Erik may be a vampire of action, but this time I wish he had found a more subtle way of apprehending the woman. How on earth would he explain how he knew?
Apparently the same thought just struck Erik so he said:
“I heard her on her cell phone before we went in here. She was revealing secrets from the court – and now she`s going to tell someone about your plans for Quinn.”
The woman had looked pale and in shock, but when Erik mentioned the cell phone, she gained her color and I could almost detect a little smile on her face. I tuned onto her thoughts.
Ha, the stupid vampire doesn`t know that the Queen has forbidden cell phones at her castle and that we all have to go through a metal detector before we go to work. But as soon as I get home I am going to use my cell phone and that conversation is going to land me a free trip to Las Vegas. Maybe I`ll even get an apartment and a job there. This information should be worth something.
The woman was lost in her dreams, but I had to think fast. Obviously the lie about hearing her on the cell phone would not stick and I was hoping Erik could think up something better – and fast.
“Erik. That would be impossible. None of my workers have cell phones at work. We make sure of that. You say she`s a spy. What do you base your accusation on?” The Queen looked down at Erik and I just wanted to be home in my bed, with or without my vampire.
Erik shifted a little bit and looked at me. I nodded slightly at him while sighing, but he made a slight `no` with his head.
“I apologize for lying to you, Queen. She really is a spy. I know that for a fact.”
Here goes, I thought. My big secret is out, not only to Erik, but to the Queen, Rasmus and Quinn too. Only, that wasn`t what Erik had planned.
“I know glamoring is frowned upon here, but I felt something was wrong with this woman, so I chose to glamor her into telling me the truth. She is a spy.” Erik looked slightly proud of his own lie. I was devastated. He obviously had no idea what he had done.
The woman turned pale again and looked at Erik with a frightened face. She certainly believed him. Her thoughts were all over the place.
This change in the woman did not escape the Queen`s attention. She nodded at Quinn who picked up the woman and held her. Then she nodded at Rasmus who went to hold Erik.
She stood up from her throne.
“Erik. Glamoring is not frowned upon here, it`s illegal. At least if the human is not willing, which I doubt this woman was. You leave me no choice, but to punish you. The punishment may sound severe, but it is fitting. A vampire, who is caught glamoring a human without consent, will have his or her eyes burned.”
I gasped. Erik`s beautiful eyes. Of course I knew that Erik`s eyes would heal, but it would be painful. And I wouldn`t have his eyes to drown in.
“I will take my punishment, my Queen, but I had to do it for your safety and mine.” Erik looked directly at the Queen.
All the time I knew what I had to do, but I was procrastinating. I reallyreallyreally didn`t want to do what I knew I had to do.
I stepped forward.
“Erik didn`t glamor anyone. I read her mind. I`m a telepath. And this woman has been promised a trip to Las Vegas for information on Erik.” I pointed at the woman who looked like she was going to faint.
Shit. That woman had no sense of self-preservation at all. And by `that woman`, I meant Sookie.
Even if Queen Thyra was among the more human-friendly vampire rulers, she was still a vampire. How would she ever be able to turn down the opportunity to have her very own telepath?
“My dear girl,” the queen said with a face that definitely had no `dear girl` over it. “It`s admirable that you want to protect your vampire by lying on his behalf, but you should remember who you are addressing. If Erik committed the crime of glamoring, he should take his punishment, just as he himself has accepted.”
I would gladly have had my eyes burned to save Sookie from a destiny as `vampire-telepath`, but it was too late now. The Queen would soon learn that Sookie was telling the truth.
And right on cue the polar bear had a fucking revelation.
“So that was how you knew about my trap?” He shouted.
The Queen looked at Quinn and waved her hand to him. “Explain, Quinn.”
Quinn suddenly realized what he had done and mumbled something to himself. The Queen looked at the stupid polar bear and he soon realized that you can`t win a staring contest with Queen Thyra.
“When I held Sookie, I had her in a room with no windows. She couldn`t see the trap I was making for him.” He pointed at me. “Still she managed to warn him of it. I never could understand how she knew.”
The Queen looked at me.
“Did you know this?” She said. She sounded like someone had taken the last Blood right in front of her.
“Sookie just told me tonight, your Majesty. And I would have told you immediately if she had been able to read vampire minds, but she can`t. She can only read other humans, weres and shifters.” I bowed my head.
“And still you proceeded with your stupid lies?” Now she sounded like someone had taken the last blood donor.
“Yes, Your Majesty. I am sorry. I knew that Sookie didn`t want her telepathy to become common knowledge and I wanted to protect her.”
“So you decided to lie to me to protect a human?” There was a question mark at the end of her sentence, but I figured she wasn`t really asking. I tried to look humble, which is not very easy when you have been Mr. Cool and Handsome for centuries.
“What is she to you, Erik?” This was a decisive question and before I could think, I had the answer.
“She is my future bonded.” I smiled. Of course Sookie was my future bonded. Why hadn`t I thought of that before? It would be the best protection I could offer Sookie and it would also keep her close to me.
Reactions around the room were divided. Rasmus smiled warmly, but his eyes told me he would tease me when we were alone, Sookie looked confused and Quinn yelled “NO!”
The Queen spoke first. “This is a turn of events. Imagine that I have a telepath living in my area. You will have to tell me more about this ability of yours.” She looked at Sookie. Then she turned her head back to me. “And you want to bond with her. Have you exchanged blood with her?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. On several occasions.”
“Good, good. I would have preferred for her to bond with Rasmus or someone else in my court, but I will allow you to bond with Sookie. You seem to have some emotional attachment with each other and that always makes for a stronger bond. I expect both of you to stay in my kingdom, though, and to stay close to me.”
She looked over at Quinn.
“Well, Quinn. It seems your services are needed now. Or rather, one of your possessions. Tonight is as good a night as any to form the bond. I want you to retrieve the ceremonial knife now.”
This was definitely not to Quinn`s liking, but he must have understood that he couldn`t go against the Queen`s orders. He left the room, pale as the fur he wore every full moon.
I understood very little of what went on and I hated it. I was apparently the leading actress in a play where no one had bothered giving me the script.
When Quinn had left the room in a very agitated state, the Queen spoke again.
“What I did summon you here for, Erik, was to inform you that Victor Madden has made a formal complaint through embassy channels about me hiding an escaped criminal, namely you. He has motioned for you to be extradited, but I have already refused the motion.”
I looked at the Queen. She was supporting Erik? I checked Erik for confirmation, but he was staring at the Queen. I thought I could see surprise, but also admiration in his face.
Suddenly I heard the spying woman on the floor think about even more interesting news to bring to Victor Madden. I stepped forward and pointed at her.
“You need to do something about her. Her brain is a cash register right now, counting how much she can earn from everything she has learned today.”
“Thank you, Sookie. You are going to be a valuable aid for me in the future, I`m sure.” The Queen smiled at me, but a half-fanged smile is not something that makes you sleep easy at night. I gulped slightly.
“Rest assured that this woman will be dealt with. She is not going to tell anyone about what she has learned today.”
I didn`t like the sound of that and before my better judgment had any say in it, I stepped even further forward.
“I cannot do you any favors in the future if I you are going to hurt people because of what I pick from their brains.”
The Queen stared at me.
“OK, I`ll make you a deal. You will do me favors and I will spare this woman`s life.” The Queen looked at me and I suddenly felt like a mouse being hypnotized by a snake. I blinked.
“And you will not hurt anyone else because of what I find out.” I said with a firm voice.
“I can`t really see why you would worry about the lives of spies, thieves and general lowlife, but you have a deal.”
Rasmus picked up the woman and went out the door with her only to come back in a few minutes later.
This was going way better than I had feared it would. Sookie was a great negotiator and I just wanted to kiss her for it. I wanted to do so much more than kiss, but I figured it would break royal protocol to fuck her up against the throne.
I had never bonded before, but I knew it was quite an intimate thing to form a bond. I was anxious to get on with it and welcomed the fact that the fleabag of a polar bear walked into the room with something wrapped in black velvet. I figured it was the ceremonial knife.
Quinn gave the package reluctantly to the queen and went over to stand next to Sookie. He whispered to her, which was so extremely stupid in a room with three vampires:
“You don`t have to do this, bab…mmm… Sookie. You`ll be bound to him for life.”
That made the Queen shout: “ENOUGH.” Quinn walked out of the room with a sad look on his face. I couldn`t help but gloat a little. I almost stuck my tongue out at him.
“Erik, I would suggest that you bond immediately. I`m sure you want privacy and I have a room ready for you. It is vampire-friendly and I expect the both of you to stay until tomorrow night where we will make further plans concerning this American making insults about one of my citizens.” She raised her voice on `my`. She gave me the package with the knife.
The Queen had certainly taken a stand. She refused to call Victor Madden by his name and she had decided that I was one of her citizens even if it was centuries since I had lived in this country.
Life was good. I had the protection of a just and clever queen, I lived in my old country and I would soon have a very smart and beautiful bonded, a bonded I would protect with my life.
I gave Sookie my warmest smile. She looked back with huge questions in her eyes.
Hmmm, I realized there would be a thing or two I would have to explain to her.
It was a bit ridiculous. These vampires were planning my future. Apparently I was to bond to Erik, whatever that meant, and I had promised the Queen I would use my telepathic abilities in her service. Still, all I could think of was that we were now supposed to spend the night at the Queen`s palace and I didn`t have an overnight bag.
And I thought about being in the same room as Erik when he went into his vampire sleep. I wondered what that must be like.
Erik took my hand, bent down and gave me a little kiss on my cheek.
“Don`t worry, my Lover.” He whispered.
Rasmus motioned for us to follow him out of the room and we did.
As soon as the doors closed behind us, he laughed.
“I seem to remember a certain Viking claiming he would never bond to a human.” If Rasmus had been 7 years old he would have made a `neener`.
“Well, I hadn`t met Sookie when I said that, now had I?” Erik pulled me closer to him and kissed the top of my head.
How can you respond to something like that? Apparently Rasmus thought the same thing because you could see how hours of teasing vanished into thin air.
“But if you insist, Rasmus, I must admit that you were right when you decided to bond to Sigrid. I can see how much she must have meant to you.” Erik said with a serious face. He looked as if it was almost painful to admit he had been wrong.
Rasmus laughed. And he laughed. And he laughed. He could hardly stop.
“Thank you, Erik. You are only 700 years late.”
I, on the other hand, had seen a vampire at the other end of the corridor. And it wasn`t a vampire I wanted to meet.