Payback: Chapter 1
Charlaine Harris owns the rights to all of this.
When we all got back to Shreveport from our ill-fated honeymoon cruise, Eric and I took care of Pam until she was healed. Eric worked at Fangtasia while Pam was at home recovering and he brought home a human every night for Pam to feed from. There were many fangbangers to choose from, of course, but Pam had given Eric a list of humans that she knew and trusted with our home address. I suspected that Eric was glamoring them anyway when he took them back to their cars and I wasn’t too happy about that.
Eric and I had started to have some disagreements since we got home. Maybe it was the pressure of the whole cruise incident. Maybe he wasn’t so okay with the new bond with Bill after all. I’m not sure what exactly was going on with us, but it made me uneasy. We both suspected that some group like the Fellowship, if not that exact group itself was most likely responsible for the sinking of the Mina. Eric wanted to find the perpetrators and kill them himself (but not before torturing them naturally). I told him that that kind of vigilante justice and hate-driven violence was exactly why those people hated vampires in the first place. If Eric killed those people without benefit of a trial, wasn’t he just as bad as they are? As you can imagine, this subject was the cause of many fights between us. I found myself back to the mindset that I had way before Eric and I were married. Maybe being in the world of vampires wasn’t such a good thing for me. The fighting got so bad that on more than one occasion I found myself alone in the blue bedroom at night staring at the diamonds on my left hand wondering whether or not I had made a mistake. On those nights, I would cry myself to asleep and then get mad at the thought that both Bill and Eric knew I was crying and I had no privacy whatsoever. Damn double blood bond.
Pam’s burns were all better as were her spirits when I started talking about going back to the beach house. I wanted to return to our peaceful lives and put all this cruise mess and it’s aftermath of arguing behind us. Eric and I needed time alone. But Eric didn’t want to go back. In fact, even after Pam returned to Fangtasia, Eric continued to work there every night. I started to suspect that he was avoiding being at home with me, and I was not happy.
The FBI had been in touch with us several times since our return from California. They interviewed each of us over the phone and I suspected were investigating all of us as well. Who knows who the real target was on that ship. It could have just been a general hate crime against all supes, or it could have been an attempt to kill any one of the individuals on board. It crossed my mind that I could help with the investigation by listening to human suspects, but selfishly I just didn’t want to go down that road. If the FBI knew what I could do, then even more of my free will would be taken away from me. I was already feeling boxed in by vampires. But I did feel a little guilty for not offering my help.
Eric came home from work one night and I was still awake in the den watching T.V. He came in and sat beside me with a serious look on his face, so I turned the T.V. off and faced him on the sofa.
“Bill and I are going back to L.A.”
“We think we know who is behind the bombing of the Mina.”
“So, let’s call the FBI and tell them. You don’t need to be there.”
“We don’t have the kind of evidence that would be helpful to law enforcement. We can take care of this ourselves.”
“Oh no. I don’t like the sound of that at all.”
“Sookie, don’t start this again. This is what we do. This is what I am. Do you want the people responsible to get away with the killing? Many innocent people, both supe and human died in those waters.”
“You don’t have to tell me that Eric. I was there, remember? No one wants justice more than I do, but killing the suspects without a trial is wrong.”
“I know how you feel, but I am going. There is nothing you can do to change my mind. Bill and I are flying to L.A. tomorrow night. I hope you’ll still be here when I get back.”
And then he left the room. He hopes I’ll still be here? What was that supposed to mean? Maybe things between us were worse than I thought. I dragged myself up to the blue room and fell onto the bed. I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling, wondering what I should do.