Back to Normal: Chapter 7
I stood and wiped the tears from my face and smoothed down my dress. I started to walk towards the doors. I felt intense pain from Eric, and I almost stopped and dropped to my knees from the shock of it, but I forced myself to keep going. Then another jolt of pain. I braced myself against the wall and kept going. When I got to the doors, I knew I was forbidden to enter, but I took a deep breath and opened them anyway. As I entered the room, about fifty people, mostly vampire, turned and stared at me. From the center of a raised platform at the far end of the room I recognized the voice of the Pythoness, “You are not welcome here. Your interference is forbidden.” Amazing. She knew I was there and who I was even though she is clearly blind.
Two male vampires approached me, but I quickly said, “I killed Victor Madden.” And all movement in the room stopped. The only sound was a gasp or two from the few humans in the room.
I heard Eric’s voice call out, “No!” And it was then that I saw him. His back was to me and he was on his knees before the Pythoness, arms outstretched and held by two vampires. There was a puddle of blood on the floor in front of his knees.
I searched the room frantically. I saw Stan Davis and Barry seated in a group on the platform along with about five others that I didn’t know. “Barry! Am I telling the truth?”
He looked nervously from me to the Pythoness and then to Stan Davis and seemed very unhappy to be singled out to speak.
“Well?” The Pythoness spoke to him.
“Um. Yes, she is. She believes that she killed Victor Madden. She’s telling the truth.”
“Please come forward.”
I walked with unsteady legs up to the platform, up the steps and stood beside Eric. I glanced down and noticed two sharp fangs in the puddle of blood in front of him. His eyes turned to me, pleading for my silence. The pain from the bond was overwhelming.
“Please sit down.” The Pythoness gestured towards an empty chair beside her, and I turned around and sat obediently, wondering what I was going to do or say. All I knew was that I could not let Eric suffer further for something that I did.
I looked out to the room and also had a better view of Eric whose eyes never left mine. I saw Pam and Bill and Clancy and knew a few other faces in the chairs facing the platform.
“How did you kill Victor Madden?” The Pythoness apparently was going to question me herself.
“I cut off his head with a sword.” Another gasp from a human, but silence otherwise.
“He kidnapped me, threatened to…um…have sex with me and drain me. And then he tried to kill Eric Northman, my bonded.” I watched as a drop of blood fell from Eric’s chin into the puddle.
“And why would Victor Madden kidnap you and attack your bonded?”
“He wanted revenge from Eric. He tried to have Eric killed when Victor became king of Louisiana, but Eric escaped. Apparently, that really made him mad and he wanted Eric finally dead. He made a deal with Stan Davis to temporarily take over the throne and help him fake his own death so he could flush Eric out of hiding and find him. Once he had killed Eric, he planned to return to Louisiana and Stan Davis was supposed to give him back his throne.”
This time there were muted voices in the room, vampires and humans all whispering and murmuring with each other.
“Silence!” And then…well…silence.
“I am assuming that you have some sort of proof for your theory, do you not? Those are strong accusations against a sovereign vampire king. A false accusation such as this could result in your own death. Were you aware of that?”
“No, I was not. But I am telling the truth.”
“So, Stan Davis, the king of Texas, conspired with Victor Madden to help him fake his own death. Then King Davis took Louisiana, but was planning on just stepping away from his rule to allow Victor Madden back onto the throne? And he did this so that Madden could chase after and kill Eric Northman? Now why would King Davis do such a thing? Where is the reason for such absurdity?”
My mouth went dry. I didn’t have the answer to that question. I had already spilled everything that I had plucked out of Barry’s mind in the lobby. I looked at a defeated and pained Eric and felt his desperation. I had a wave of fear that I would be sentenced to death for my accusation. I looked out to find the faces of my friends. I saw Bill with a look of pity on his face, and thought of all the feelings that I had had for him. I had loved him, hated him when he left me for Lorena. And now he was my friend. I looked at Pam and hoped that she understood why I had tried to save Eric. If anybody could understand, she could. She was his child and was therefore bound herself to do anything for him, anything he asked. And then I turned to the Pythoness who was still waiting for my answer.
“Because Victor Madden was Stan Davis’ maker.”
All eyes turned to Stan Davis whose face was a stony mask. I saw Bill jump from his seat and run out of the room.
“Is this true, King?”
He sat in silence, staring daggers at me. The room waited in what seemed like an eternity of silence until Bill burst back into the room carrying a black briefcase. He approached the platform and asked to be heard. Everyone waited while he set up his laptop and found the page he was looking for, and then he read aloud. “Victor Madden, one child, Stan Davis.”
We all looked to the Pythoness. I looked back out to Pam who had her hands over her mouth. Eric was staring at the Pythoness.
“Well, now, this changes everything. King Davis, under other circumstances, you would be removed from your throne, but because you were under orders from your maker, you are exonerated from wrongdoing when you seized power under false pretenses. Don’t get too comfortable in your position though. You have a thirty day probationary period in which I will determine whether or not you may remain in power in the state of Louisiana.”
“Eric Northman, you have the apologies of the court for the removal of your fangs. However, you have lied to the court. When you said that you killed Victor Madden, you committed perjury. You are fined one hundred thousand dollars and released from custody.”
The vampires holding his arms released him and he stood and bowed to the Pythoness.
“Sookie Stackhouse. You killed Victor Madden in self defense and in the defense of your bonded, and are not accused of a crime. However, you have interrupted this court where you were expressly forbidden, and are fined one hundred thousand dollars.”
I looked down to my hands in my lap, hoping that I seemed contrite enough, although inside I was jumping for joy.
The Pythoness tilted her head as if thinking about something, and then said, “Considering that Mr. Northman has lost his fangs, let’s just say we’re even and call it a day, shall we?” And she rose to leave. The room rose with her and all stood with bowed heads until she was out the side door.