“I need to inform Charlie that he’s to go back to Shreveport and pack for our extended stay. If you need him to retrieve anything for you let him know,” Eric said to Hauk and Pam.
“I’ve already set up a few appointments at some boutiques,” Pam replied as she studied her nails. “I don’t have any appropriate Texan wear. I’ll need a new wardrobe while we’re here.”
Quinn scoffed from the corner.
“You do know we aren’t staying here indefinitely, right?” I asked.
A mischievous smile spread across Pam’s face as she eyed me. “Oh sweet Sookie, we haven’t gotten to shop nearly as much as I have wanted us to since your husband likes to monopolize all of your free time. No, this time you’re coming with me. You’ll need a new wardrobe for our stay here and when you go abroad. Plus do you really want that human in your bedroom and closet?”
“You do know I’m human too, don’t you Pam? Don’t talk about stinky humans around me.”
“You are well aware that you smell better than any human alive. Don’t act so insulted for all of humankind.”
I looked over at Eric with worry. Charlie had never been in our bedroom, and I wasn’t sure if Eric would allow him now. “There are a few items I want from home regardless of a new wardrobe or not. Will you be okay with Charlie going into our bedroom?” I asked quietly, afraid he’d say no.
“Why are you worried?” He asked cupping the side of my face and then running his thumb along my jaw. “Have I ever said no to you?”
“Yes,” I replied instantaneously.
Chuckling lightly Eric kissed my forehead. “Have I ever said no to you when I didn’t think your life was in danger?”
“Not that I know of, but I’m sure you could argue that if we let Charlie know our code then one day he could harm us.”
“Sookie,” he said and gave me an indulgent smile. “We can change the code or glamour him if it means that much to you to retrieve a few articles from our home. What would you like for him to retrieve for you?”
“The bracelet you got me for Valentine’s Day. We were so rushed when we left that I didn’t put it on or grab it; I miss it. I’m used to wearing every day. I also want my journals and our dagger.” I whispered the last part even though everyone in the room could hear every word I said.
Eric ran his finger around my left wrist where I normally wore the bracelet he gave me before nodding his head. “Tell Charlie where to look for your items. Our dagger is in a box, so he won’t be touching the dagger itself. Is there anything else you want? We don’t know exactly when we’ll be able to return.”
“I’ll be fine once I have those few items. Do you want anything from home?” I asked as I reached up and traced the necklace that I had bought him.
“I have everything I need here. I’m sure Pam won’t mind buying some more clothes with our credit card,” he stated. Eric looked over at Pam with a raised brow.
“The more, the merrier!” Pam exclaimed as she rubbed her hands together.
“Charlie,” Eric called as he walked passed the room. “I need to speak with you.”
I watched as Charlie looked about the room and swallowed forcefully.
“What do you need, Boss?” He asked once he stood in front of us.
“We are going to be in Dallas longer than we thought. I have resigned from my duties in Louisiana, and we need you go back to pack a few things for us and anything you need for yourself.”
“So I’m not fired?” Charlie asked with relief.
“Far from it. You may have more to do here than you ever did in Shreveport,” Eric said eying him. “Unless you don’t want to work for us here.”
“No!” Charlie exclaimed, and then calmed himself down. “No, I want to continue working for you. When do I leave?”
“Tomorrow during the day. My wife has a few possessions that she would like during our stay. Pam will be buying us new clothes, so it will be a relatively short trip for getting what we need.”
“Do you think it’s safe for him to go alone?” I asked after Charlie came back with a pen and paper for Eric to write down his instructions. “It’s well-known that Charlie is our dayman. What if the Queen has sent someone to sniff around and they find Charlie?”
“She very well could have. We’ll figure something out. Smart thinking.” He brought my hand to his cool lips before giving it a kiss and murmured against it. “This is one of the many reasons why I love you.”
I moved to hug Eric, wrapping my arms around his neck and nuzzled my face into the side of his neck. I mouthed ‘sweet’ against him and could feel Eric’s amusement as he kissed the top of my head.
“I can go back with Charlie. We shouldn’t have any problems if we arrive well before sundown. I am in need of a few items as well and will be able to protect him if Sophie-Ann has sent anyone,” Hauk stated.
“That’s a good idea,” I replied before realizing that if Hauk went with Charlie, then he’d know where our house was. Could I invite him into our house all the way from Dallas if Eric was agreeable? And that was a big if.
I watched as Eric sat back with his arms across his chest and quietly contemplated Hauk. I followed along with his thoughts or tried to. Sometimes when he would think something frustrating he’d start thinking in another language. What it all boiled down to was no vampire would ever trust another vampire unless he or she were their master. It made me sad to think that’s how Eric had lived his life until he’d made Pam and met me, but I understood. I’d looked into enough vampire minds to know just how depraved they really could be.
Eric kept going back to my safety again and again in his head. I decided maybe it would help if he heard what I had to say.
“Hey,” I said quietly as I took one of his arms that were crossed and then laced our fingers together after I turned toward him. “I’ve been inside his head many times, and I trust him. Our house was already extremely safe and, if for some reason he turned against us, we would be safe and we can change the codes just like you said. Is it possible to give them a temporary code that will expire after a few days?”
“It’s possible, and I know you trust him. It’s very hard for me to trust anyone, especially a vampire. The only vampire who knows of the location to our home is Pam. I don’t think he would turn against you or us, but…” His eyes caressed every feature of my face before he spoke again. “If anything ever happened to you… Let alone because I was negligent in your safety, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I will trust your judgment in this, but,” he said and turned to Hauk. “If I even think for a moment you’ve betrayed her or me, I will end you.”
“I would expect nothing less,” Hauk stated with a deep nod.
“You,” I said, pointing at Hauk,” you better give him no reason to think you’d betray us. You’re one of my best friends, and I’d miss you.”
“I don’t plan on it. I promise you,” Hauk said and smiled at me. “I treasure our friendship, my little friend.”
I felt Eric tense slightly beside me. I knew he hated any man showing even friendly endearments to me. Squeezing his hand, I sent all my love for him before I felt the warm rush of his love flow through me.
“Now that we have that all settled,” Godric said quietly from across the room. “We need to figure out where Nora is and who is behind giving the Fellowship the technology and information to bring down vampires. While you are on your… date, I’ll call around to my contacts and Valken to see if he knows where Nora is and when he last heard from her. We’ll reconvene tomorrow night and discuss what I’ve found out and where we will go from there. We need to shut this operation down before the Fellowship kidnaps and kills more vampires, or worse yet, sells their weapons and lets all of our weaknesses be known.”
Everyone sat quietly as they thought about what would happen if the weapons the Fellowship had, got into the hands of the public and gave them, even more, knowledge of their weaknesses. We couldn’t fail. I didn’t want any vampires dying or getting hurt, but I hated the thought of my vampires being in danger.
Not a sound was made until my stomach growled loudly. A blush heated my face as everyone’s eyes shifted to me. Eric stood and held a hand out to me.
“I believe my wife is in need of dinner. We will see you tomorrow after sundown,” he said and gave a nod to everyone in the room.
“Come älskling. Let’s get you something to eat and decide what we shall do on our date.”