Pam blinks at Eric in surprise for a moment before a smile begins to grow, spreading across her face at the thought that she could bring happiness to someone as stoic as Godric sounds to have been. But as quickly as her smile grows, she suddenly becomes bashful, her eyes dropping as she ducks her head.
“You’re just saying that because I don’t know any better,” she whispers.
Her eyes widen when he grips her chin, jerking her gaze back up to his, his eyebrow arched high in challenge. His voice is gruff, but she can feel the amusement in his blood as he growls at her, “Are you calling me a liar, Pamela?”
“Maybe,” she answers him teasingly.
He bares his fangs at her, a sight that has been many creatures last, but she merely giggles, reaching up to flick one of his sensitive teeth with her finger, before dissolving into a fit of giggles at the look of pure shock on his face.
After a moment, he barks out a laugh, his hand rising to sink his fingers into her hair to pull her closer so that their foreheads rest together. His hand curves around to cup her cheek, his thumb tracing her bottom lip, his smile still in place as he whispers, “This is what made him smile.”
“What?” she asks dumbly, blinking at him.
“Your smile,” he replies, “Your laughter. We had fun, Godric and I, but your laughter, all your giggling. It was new. For both of us.”
“Was it contagious?” she asks sweetly, her own hands rising to cup his cheeks, “Did I make you giggle?”
“I do not giggle, Pamela,” he growls, spitting out the word with contempt.
“Yes you do,” she answers matter-of-factly, pulling away to nod her head. “Like a schoolgirl. Usually at me.”
“With you,” he tries to correct her, but she shakes her head, her smile still in place.
“No, at me.” She tilts her head to the side, regarding him curiously as she asks him softly, “Is that why Godric smiled? He was making fun of me too, wasn’t he?”
Again, he laughs, and Pam’s brows furrow, thinking for sure that her assumption must be correct. But once Eric regains control of himself, he shakes his head, his smile still in place. “No, Pamela, he wasn’t laughing at you, per se,” he answers, and she stares down at him with interest as he leans back, propping himself up on his hands in the leaves behind him. “Most of the time, he was laughing with you, at me.”
Her mouth falls into a perfect circle for the briefest of moments before her head falls back with a laugh, the tinkling sound of her giggles ringing out in the small clearing they reside in. She’s biting her lip when her head rolls to look down at him again, a playful gleam in her eye as she leans closer, resting her hands on his chest.
“He liked me because I picked on you,” she whispers, arching a brow high, part question and part statement.
“He did enjoy that, it seems,” Eric answers with a warm chuckle.
“He liked seeing you get put in your place,” she goes on, her uncertainty still lifting her tone until he confirms her beliefs.
“He did,” he answers, this time punctuating his words with a soft growl.
“You like it when I put you in your place, too,” she murmurs as she lowers her lips to his, his growl becoming louder and more choppy in response.
“From time to time I do,” he breathes against her lips, and she giggles as she shoves him backwards, hovering over him as he falls flat on his back in the leaves.
She pounces on him, her lips meeting his in a rough kiss, her hands sinking into his hair, wrenching his head up off the ground so that their kiss can deepen. His hands automatically settle on her waist, before they slide up her arms, tugging the straps of her sundress down her shoulders as he returns her kiss greedily.
His growl fades into a moan as she grinds herself down onto his lap, her tongue dragging across his extended fangs as one of his large hands delves into the top of her sundress, but Pam suddenly freezes as she hears air moving around them, and then panting breaths and the familiar scent she knows all too well.
She sits straight up, tugging her dress back up over her breasts, clutching it to her chest as her eyes fall on Diantha, who stands wide-eyed at the edge of the woods, panic clearly written across her features.
Pam rolls her eyes, knowing that she’s being hypocritical considering her fear moments before, but since Diantha doesn’t need to know that she, too, got scared, she speaks all the same.
“Why, Diantha,” she purrs, turning her head to grin down at Eric as he once again begins tugging down her top, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Not a ghost,” Diantha breathes out as she strides closer to where Eric and Pam lay on the ground. “Ghosts aren’t real. This is,” she all but mouths, leaning down to wrap a warm hand around Pam’s arm, wrenching her to her feet. Eric follows suit, though his growl dies on his lips as Diantha’s eyes flash dangerously black. She’s aware the exact moment the scent hits him; the stench of sulfur. His eyes find hers before they flicker toward the dock where the boat is moored, and then toward the sky as his hands fall to Pam’s small waist. But Diantha dashes both plans in a hissed whisper, shaking her head quickly from side to side, “Not quick enough. They already know.”
Eric opens his mouth, his fangs bared as if he would argue. Diantha flashes her own sharp teeth, and all fear that had been in her voice when they first arrived had evaporated; her focus already turned toward walking off this island in one piece. “You keep your mouth shut, Northman. You have to trust me.”
Diantha doesn’t give him a chance to answer her, hoping that for once the overgrown Viking will keep his lips locked as she turns away from them, striding to stand a few feet in front of them, facing the dilapidated building she just ran through. It had all come together so quickly. Her unease, the fires that Eric described, panic and chaos; breeding grounds for her own kind. Of course there’s a portal here. An entrance to the darker side of Faery. And of course someone would decide to come through; because they were unprepared and sitting fucking ducks, the three of them.
She can hear Pam and Eric whispering in what she’s come to recognize is Swedish; but they talk so low that even she cannot differentiate the few words she knows. She’s just about to remind them to kindly shut the fuck up when her entire body tenses. Her blood begins to throb in her veins, growing warmer by the second. Another demon is near, and quickly approaching. Almost on instinct, Diantha’s body relaxes, her demeanor calm; why should she fear one of her own kind?
The demon who suddenly appears in front of them looks as surprised to see the trio as they are to see her. She’s tall, for a demon at least. And with her long blonde hair and deep blue eyes, it’s unnerving when she smiles at Diantha. Her face is all sharp angles, her teeth lethal in her mouth. The demon’s bright eyes glance behind Diantha’s shoulder, where Diantha can only hope her two blonde vampires remain.
“Halfing,” the female demon greets her, almost seeming friendly, though her eyes continue to dart unnaturally fast between Diantha and the vampires. “What have you got there, little one?”
“Just wanted some Italian food,” Diantha grins, even throwing in a wink. “Spaghetti and meatballs weren’t cuttin’ it, ya know?” she smirks, taking a chance to glance over her shoulder, her green eyes meeting Eric’s narrowed blue. Never take your eyes off the biggest threat. The ghost of her father’s words snap her eyes back to the other demon; and though even the thought of him makes her grimace, she knows the biggest enemy at the moment is directly in front of her. No matter how many times Eric has tried to choke her, throw her out, and even bite her head off, he’s not the enemy. He’ll also have the fend for himself if this doesn’t work. And while he may sometimes get the upper hand during their little fights, she doubts he would last long against a full blooded demon.
“Human food,” the blonde demon spits out, though Diantha can see her eyes linger on Eric; at least she assumes it’s Eric, judging from the tilt of her chin. “How did you manage to get them here?”
“Oh you know,” Diantha shrugs easily, before reaching up to tap the side of her head. “They get some new space in their heads, and I get dinner. Win win.”
“Yes,” the she demon purrs, taking another step closer. “But surely you don’t need both of them,” she reasons. “You can have the woman. Let me have him.”
“They’re both mine,” Diantha’s voice rings out with the finality of her claim, though the demon doesn’t seem bothered in the least.
“You wouldn’t even know what to do with him, child,” she says in a soft tone, and Diantha watches as her eyes drift downward. “He could be a very fun toy. I won’t even kill him; you can keep your deal.”
“Nah,” Diantha says levelly, her eyes flashing, mirroring every step that the other demon takes. “No deal.”
“I wasn’t really asking, Halfling,” the demon hisses now, her own eyes flashing a dangerous black.
“Answer is still the same,” Diantha grins, though there is no amusement in her tone. “No means no.”
It happens so quickly that even Diantha doesn’t see the demon until she’s launched herself across the open space, tackling the red headed demon to the hard ground. You won’t be faster; but you will be smarter. Again her father’s words are hissed from the recesses of her mind; lessons she was taught at a young age, too young for fighting. But they spur her to move, and her elbow wrenches back to find its target on the demon’s jaw. Her head snaps back, but she’s back on her feet in no time, teeth bared as Diantha does the same. This time it’s Diantha who moves first, slamming into her and throwing her back a few feet, their hair tangling in a blur of red and gold as they fight in the moonlight.
It’s a trade from then on, with Diantha parrying and sidestepping every attack; her teeth sinking into whatever pieces of flesh she can reach. Only once does Diantha look away, in time to see Eric reaching out to keep Pam in place; he’s caught on quickly that they stand a chance if Diantha knows where to block the other demon from. One slip up, and they’d never get away quick enough.
The second Diantha’s eyes tear away, her mouth pulls back in a howl as the demon’s teeth slash against her throat, and she can feel her warm blood spill down her shirt. It doesn’t slow her down, but the blood makes her grasp slip from where it was wrenched around the demon’s hair. Diantha stumbles, hissing in anger as she turns swiftly. But the demon seems to think she’s down for the count, and makes the mistake of stopping to stare down her two prizes. They will underestimate you. Let them. Use it as a weapon. They won’t make the same mistake twice, one way or another. It’s all Diantha needs to reach her, her fingers easily sliding the iron blade from her boot in a practiced mood. And when she plunges it through the demon’s neck, it’s Eric’s eyes she holds as the severed head blinks in surprise before the body crumbles to dirt.
“Do you want me to blindfold him, too, Eric? Fuck me on a stick,” Diantha breathes incredulously. Her green eyes dart up to his ancient blue stare as he stands a few feet from her in the small interior room of the villa. He’s already cleared it of any furniture; leaving no hints or clues to where they actually are in world. Even the walls are bare, and if a human had been in their midst Diantha doubts that they would be able to see their hands in front of their face.
“This is on my terms, demon,” Eric says quietly, and Diantha can see how he speaks with a clenched jaw; clearly on edge at the fact that another demon is about to be close by.
“He’s my brother,” she reminds him, though she knows she doesn’t exactly have the best family history with Eric.
“Which is exactly why my trust and expectations are already lowered,” Eric growls. He seems on the verge of saying more, but Pam’s fingers wrapping around his upper arm silences him. Diantha shoots her a thankful smile, which she returns quickly before pulling Eric around to face her. Diantha’s not sure what she says to soothe her butt hurt maker, but when Eric turns back around, he gives Diantha a quick nod; her signal that he’s ready.
Diantha steps into the middle of the small room, very aware that both sets of blue eyes are riveted on her own. She closes her eyes slowly, retreating into that inner point in her mind; the same place she can feel the fire burning, the same place she has put up her own walls of defense. Gently, cautiously, she seeks out her brother across the black chasm, all the while hiding from her own father. It’s tricky enough, but it doesn’t help when she can hear Eric growing more and more irritable by the second. She’s just about to hiss at him to cool his jets when she connects with a mind just like her own. Her lips pull back in strange smile as she hauls her brother through the vortex, rapidly closing the walls behind him as he follows her.
She unsurprised to see him standing bodily beside her, hand in hand as she opens her eyes. Nathan’s eyes, so much like her own, are sparkling with mirth; and for a moment neither demon seems to even acknowledge the two vampires in the room.
“Sister,” Nathan greets her in the hissed tongue of demons, his smile sincere as he steps forward, his fingers brushing her cheek affectionately.
“Brother,” she answers in the same way, though her smile drops from her lips as she gets a good look at him. His eyes are glittering, in an almost unnerving way. And the blood…she can smell the fresh blood that he must have consumed recently; more recently than their little excursion. “Do you have a fucking death wish?” she hisses, grateful that the two vampires cannot understand their language.
“How was I supposed to know you would call?” Nathan answers coolly, grinning from her to ear. “Besides, my baby sister will protect me from the big bad dead man, won’t she?”
Diantha doesn’t bother to answer, only glaring at him before the big dead man in question forces a cough from his mouth, drawing her attention. She turns her head, almost amused to see how differently Eric presents himself now than just a few minutes before, as if this is just another business meeting. Gone is the tension on his face, his clenched fists. He stands almost casually, hands clasped in front of him as he stares at the two demons with an arched brow. But Diantha notices what she’s become all too accustomed to seeing. How he’s a step in front of Pam, blocking her with his massive frame so that she has to peer around him to be seen. To be honest, Diantha had been surprised when he had agreed to let Pam in the same room as her brother; but the only alternative was her being in a room by herself, and that had been out of the question. In fact, Diantha would be surprised now if he ever lets her out of his sight again. But for now, Diantha shakes her head, pasting a bright smile on her face as she stands between Eric and Nathan.
“Nathan, this is my…Eric Northman,” she grimaces, knowing from the way that Eric’s nostrils are flaring that he too can smell the vampire blood on her brother’s breath. For a moment she falters, remembering how her brother spoke of the allure that Eric’s ancient blood must possess. “Eric…this is my brother.”
Nathan, either misreading or ignoring the tension in the room completely, strides quickly across the room, thrusting his hand out as if he expects Eric to take it, “Mr. Northman,” he says with a wide smile, his sharp teeth on full display. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.”
Diantha can’t jump fast enough from the bobbing boat in the canal to the firm stone of the sidewalk. She debates leaning over and kissing the solid ground, but the driver’s grunt reminds her she has yet to pay. With a roll of her eyes, she shoves the last few bills she has on her into his waiting hands before turning on her heel and striding toward the villa. Grumbling as she realizes she doesn’t have a key to let herself in, she raises her fist to knock, hoping that Eric and Pam will hear her over the sounds of their loud fucking.
But it’s only when the door falls open as soon as her hand hits it that she realizes the entire villa is silent. She blinks, confusion washing over her as she slowly steps inside. The scent of blood is the first thing to hit her senses, and for the first time she can recall, it makes her nauseous. It’s theirs, that much is evident, and her eyes widen as she sees it trailing up the stairs, splattered on the walls. It’s dried, a day old at the very least. She follows the path up the stairs, not noticing that her hands are shaking until she reaches out to touch one of the crimson stains.
The upper floor has fared no better, the blood only seeming to have been spilled in greater quantities. It’s dripped along the hallway, and the small couch she had been using as a bed is all but drenched. Swallowing back her fear, she knows she won’t be able to stop searching for the two puddles of goo that will be the final nail in the proverbial coffin. The puddles that used to be her vampires.
Even Diantha, who has seen more blood and violence than even the most vicious of humans has to will herself not to gag when she opens the door to their bedroom. The sheets, once blinding white, are pure crimson as they lay ripped from the mattress. Feathers stir in the light breeze afforded by the open balcony doors, the pillows torn to shreds. Too much blood. Far too much blood. A glance in the bathroom tells her that the attack must have started there, with the tub still filled with red tinted water.
So much blood, but no messy pile that all vampires are reduced to in the end. Diantha takes a deep breath to steady herself, allowing her mind to sift through all that she knows. Not dead; or at least they didn’t die here. Taken, maybe. But to where? If it was her father, surely he would have waited around to drag her into it, or gloat. Or both. Cassius, perhaps. Though it seems unlikely that he would be in Italy. Or that he would have taken them somewhere else. He’d want to end them somewhere Eric felt safe…it would make for a sweeter victory. But just as she begins to realize the list of Eric’s enemies that she plans to hunt down could be longer than even she can know, her eyes flash black as the front door is slammed open.
She’s already at the top of the stairs when the next sound, Pam’s laughter, hits her ears. Diantha makes it halfway down the stairs before her brain recognizes what her eyes are seeing. Eric and Pam, walking through the entrance way, with Eric’s arms laden down with shopping bags. They both glance up; though Pam’s genuine pleasure at seeing her ends with the look of utter annoyance that Eric shoots her.
Before she can stop herself, she’s hurled herself at Eric, her small arms wrapping around his waist as she buries her face against his shirt. Relief floods through her, causing her voice to crack as she all but shouts into the cotton of his shirt, “I thought you were fucking dead, you assholes!”
Figures. At night, alone in an unfamiliar country, with only a shitty hostel to run to for cover after delivering Eric's money to the blonde human and her ramshackle home. And she’s being followed. If it was a human, or a vampire, or really any other member of the supernatural population, Diantha wouldn’t give two shits. They would be dead before their brains even computed the fact. But of course the person following her carries the familiar spicy scent so much like her own. Demon. One of her own.
The only thing she can tell about the person following her every move as she weaves in and out of the streets of London is that, though the scent is oddly familiar, it’s not her father. The constant throbbing in her head is a reminder that she’s managed to block him out, effectively erasing her from his mental grid. A feat which he seems to view as a game, always choosing random times to poke and prod to test for any weakness in her resolve. But this is not her father following her down a deserted alley; even he would not be that stupid. It’s not her sister, or her uncle; they would have no reason to hide from her. That’s all that matters, Diantha thinks to herself as, in a motion so smooth and graceful it’s as if it’s a practiced dance, she pulls the iron blade from her boot and slams the warm body against the brick wall.
The tip of her knife is already digging into the flesh of her stalker as she meets his dark green eyes, so like her own. Though while hers are narrowed with an intent to slaughter, his are wide with a mirth that seems unfitting in the current situation.
"Nathan?" Diantha snarls, his name coming slow to her tongue. Though she knows they share the blood of their father, this is only their second meeting. And names and pleasantries had hardly been exchanged during the first; imminent death can kind of put a damper on those things. But even as the realization that it’s her own half-brother beneath her blade, she only digs it deeper, causing a deep red crimson to trickle down his neck. She has not forgotten that he had been ordered to kill Eric and Pam. And while they had both threatened the duke of Luxembourg, it had only been Diantha staking her claim on them that had allowed them to escape.
"Sister," he’s just able to gasp out, craning his head away from her knife. He grimaces as she’s unrelenting, and she can see the exact moment he realizes that she may end him. He begins to laugh, his throat bobbing as he tries to suppress his chuckle. "Now I truly do see why you’re father’s favorite."
"His favorite little fuck up, you mean," Diantha snarls, finally lowering her blade. If there was anyone else with him, they would have attacked by now. And she’s already quite sure she could handle him if he decides to attack. Besides, Eric and Pam are practically a thousand miles away; safe. “His favorite little blood traitor as I recall; or at least that’s what he said while his fist was introduced to my jaw.” It’s a testament to the fact that cruelty by their father is no foreign thing to either of them from the lack of response from Diantha’s half brother. However, his eyes seem to soften as he makes to reach for her, checking himself when she steps back with her eyes narrowed. “What are you doing here? How did he know where I was?” she asks, wondering what she did wrong, and how she can prevent it from happening again. If she can prevent it from happening again.
"He didn’t send me," Nathan states simply, shrugging one shoulder; the single action seeming to allow them both to slip into a more comfortable stance. "And I doubt I rank high enough on his radar that he bothers to keep track if I stay where I’m put. After all, I’m not his favorite,” he grins, and Diantha rolls her eyes even as a smile tugs at her lips. She’s not sure if it’s some demon trait or if it’s simply that their dark blood recognizes its sibling, but Diantha knows Nathan isn’t lying.
"Well then, why are you here? And how did you find me?” Diantha asks, her eyes searching his, wanting to know where her weakness lies.
"Ah, little sister," he chuckles, wrapping his arm around her shoulder as he tries to steer her out of the alley. But Diantha stands firm, shrugging out of his too friendly embrace. He sighs, holding up his hands as if in surrender, knowing she won’t move until he explains. "Father gifted all of us, did he not? Well…most of us, I suppose. We’re all very quick, we’re all very bright, and we’re all able to at least sink our teeth into a vampire and leave a lasting, if not deadly, mark,” Nathan speaks conversationally, as if he’s telling her something she doesn’t already know. “You of course, are most like him. The flames, the speed, yada yada yada,” he grins, circling his wrist as if to wave it away. “I, on the other hand, can move through the shadows just like daddy.” He turns to face her, a brilliant smile on his face that slowly falls away when he sees her less than impressed expression.
"Cool story, bro," she says in monotone. So he can appear in a cloud of sulfur and smoke just as her father does. It would be impressive…if she hadn’t seen the magicians on Bourbon Street do that same trick. "Does it have a point? Preferably the one I asked for? Like, I don’t know, how you knew where I was so you could pretend to be Houdini?”
"You’ve been hiding for months," Nathan all but whines. "I couldn’t find you. All I could establish was that you had left New Orleans with the two overgrown children you babysit," he smirks. "I’ve been trying nearly every day but your defense was always up." He’s quiet for a moment, regarding her with true respect. "You must be exhausted."
Diantha scoffs, taking another step closer despite herself. She can’t seem to help it; it’s been months without another warm body like her own. Months since she’s looked upon her own family. Months since someone seems to actually understand how hard she’s been working. This time when he reaches for her, she doesn’t shove him away. Her eyes close briefly as his fingers touch her cheek, relishing in the warmth of their contact. But her eyes open, trained on his own, close enough to see her reflection in them, “Why were you looking for me, if not for daddy-dearest?”
Nathan smiles softly, “My owner has a request.”
"You can tell that fucking duke to take his request and shove it up his ancient anus," Diantha spits out, moving to take a step back before Nathan’s hands tighten around her arms, keeping her close.
"I was removed from Luxembourg the same night we met. I have been stationed somewhere new." He shrugs when Diantha arches a brow, "Romania." Diantha knows he can’t possibly tell how her warm blood runs ice cold at the mere mention of the place she has no doubt was meant to be her final resting place. She betrays nothing with her expression, causing him to continue speaking. "I believe there are several of us stationed in different parts of the world. Romania, Germany, Russia…" Diantha only swallows as he rattles off a few more names, knowing without a doubt that they are all of the places in which Cassius must have some influence. And knowing that they are probably the places Eric is intent to steer clear of. She listens intently, holding her breath as she realizes exactly how surrounded they are, and she only releases it when he fails to name Italy. They’re safe. "But, forgive me, you asked why I was looking for you," Nathan breaks through her revere, and she can only nod her head for him to continue. "My new owner’s request; he would like to meet with your master."
"Abso-fucking-lutely not," Diantha hisses, bodily shoving Nathan to the side as she begins to stalk past him. Her heart has let into her throat; a trick, a ploy, a threat. None of them would fare well in Romania.
"I didn’t realize servants could answer for their masters, dear sister," Nathan calls to her, causing her to whirl back around and appear just in front of his face, her bare hands reaching up to wrap around his throat.
"He is not my master,” she hisses. “And in this exact question, our answers would be one and the same. Tell your master to go fuck himself.”
Nathan regards her curiously, and Diantha can see that he does not know how the name of Romania makes her see red. He lowers his voice, speaking calmly despite the fact that her sharp nails are at his throat, “The new king in Romania is no friend to Cassius and it is clear that he is not at all pleased with his influence there. And from the few words between them, it was enough to understand that your Mr. Northman may feel exactly the same way.”
Diantha snorts, lowering her hands, “Eric’s not going to Romania so that your master can bitch about Cassius having influence where he shouldn’t. They’re not going to be best friends for life. We, I mean Eric, doesn’t need friends.” Swallowing, knowing how dramatic it may sound but not caring in the least, she whispers, for some reason trusting her brother, “We need allies.”
Nathan simply nods his head, his fingers tucking a stray auburn lock of hair behind her ear. “May I tell him that?”
"If your new king hasn’t figured that out for himself he has no business being a king," Diantha responds, shrugging her shoulders.
Again, Nathan nods his head. “You’re very loyal to him, aren’t you? I suspect they must not be anywhere close, if your guard is down. You only have to worry about yourself this evening at least.” When she doesn’t respond, he only grins. “How much does he pay you? It must be enough to buy the silence of a demon.”
Diantha smirks, the tally in her head running with the homes Eric has signed over to her for safekeeping, the wardrobes he both knowingly and unknowingly filled, and the world he has shown her; more she’s seen in her entire life. “Enough. He pays me enough.”
Nathan chuckles, his thumb brushing over her bottom lip, “I’m sure the blood alone would be worth it. An ancient creature like that? Nearly makes my mouth water.”
Diantha pulls away, more offended than she has any right to be, given her own past, “I do not drink Eric’s blood.” Seething, she bats his hand away when he reaches for her again, trying to ignore the own craving the mere thought ignites. “He’d throttle me for even breathing too close to him.”
Nathan’s dark laughter rings out in the dark alley, but he cuts off when Diantha growls, shoving against his chest lightly. “Well…there are plenty of other vampires here in…” He stops with a frown, glancing around them enough that Diantha realizes he doesn’t even know where he’s followed her to. “…this place. Now,” he says kindly, tugging her arm through his as he begins to lead her from the alley. “Since the kids are put to bed, can the babysitter have a bit of fun with her older, good looking, and incredibly clever brother?”
Snorting, Diantha feels relief flooding her at his touch, and she’s soon holding him closer as they walk back to the brightly lit streets of London. No harm done. Eric and Pam are still safe and hidden; if anything she’s probably thrown the hounds off their tracks. No harm done at all. “I guess so…but I would have just settled for you, you know.”
:::Fade to black:::
Pam hesitates for a moment before her fingers begin to move again, staring down at the way her natural yet unnaturally red hair slips through her fingers as she continues braiding her hair in an intricate pattern, her fingers moving almost on their own accord in practiced movements that she remembers perfecting on her sisters over a century before.
“It’s okay,” she murmurs after a moment, not truly seeing what the problem is, nor why Eric has such a grudge against her because of it. She shrugs one slender shoulder as she continues to braid the demon’s hair, a small smile curving her lips as she adds quietly, “I suppose I have no room to judge someone for craving blood, now do I?”
Her smile grows when she hears the girl giggle, and with no extra gentleness, she straightens her head when Diantha tilts it to the side, attempting to look at her. Diantha snorts, before she settles back against the couch. “No,” she answers, her smile audible in her voice, “You’ve drank a lot more blood than me.”
This time, it’s Pam that snorts, nodding her head as she finishes her braid. “You’d have to have drank a lot of blood to have drank more than I did just last night.”
“So that’s what was up with you two yesterday,” Diantha answers, and Pam can practically hear her roll her eyes. “Y’all were gross.”
“And yet, you couldn’t look away,” Pam replies, reaching up to pull the hair band from her own ponytail, before wrapping it carefully around the end of Diantha’s perfectly plaited hair.
They lapse into silence again as Pam’s hands fall back into her lap, both of them going back to watch the program on the television, until her peacefulness is interrupted by Marilyn when he decides to join her. She lifts her hand, letting the fluffy kitten settle in her lap, before she begins to idly stroke his fur, his purring erupting around them, sounding much too loud to be coming from such a tiny creature.
Her eyes stay on his bright blue orbs as she speaks, watching as they close into happy slits under her affections. “I…I know what happened there,” she whispers, wetting her lips as she can sense Diantha tense in front of her. “I mean…I don’t remember it. But he…he told me. He told me about…him.”
Diantha doesn’t turn to face her, but she sees her nod her head ever so slightly, just a quick jerk of her chin. Her fingers begin to fiddle with Marilyn’s collar, staring down at the rhinestones set in pink leather as she continues even more quietly, suddenly afraid Eric will appear and force her to stop; to abandon the past as she promised him she would.
“It doesn’t match what I remember…not at all,” she starts, “But I believe him. And…I believe you.”
Diantha suddenly twists to look up at her, and she smiles softly as she’s pierced with the demon’s green eyes, before she looks away shyly, lowering her eyes back to her kitten’s content face. “You helped me when Cassius had us. It’s not hard to imagine you would have helped me when Alfred…” She trails off, her words choking in her throat, the weight of her memories not quite allowing her to speak the words out loud. She forces a smile to her lips before she raises her head, meeting Diantha’s eyes once more. “I trust him. And I trust you. I trust both of you to tell me the truth about the things I can’t remember myself.”
Diantha seems truly shocked at this revelation, and she slowly turns, facing the television once more. Pam’s fingers continue to trail through the kitten’s fur, feeling his small body rumble beneath her fingers, before she breaks the silence once more, knowing her question will seem to come completely out of nowhere.
“You’d tell me the truth if I asked you a question, wouldn’t you?” she asks, and moments later she finds herself under the cat-like gaze of the demon once more, but she doesn’t falter, raising her chin, wordlessly demanding an answer.
“Pr…probably,” Diantha answers hesitantly, but she tilts her head to the side, a gesture Pam takes as an invitation.
Pam knows she’s going out on a limb, pretending to know more about the subject than she truly does. It has been niggling at the back of her mind for the past few days, ever since the night she swore to Eric she would no longer dig into her past, for fear of what she uncovers. But twice now, in passing, and seemingly completely by accident, in the heat of the moment he’s mentioned that she’s his child, twice over. Two times, just like his wife.
Even now, something causes her to phrase her question in a particular way; knowing how crazy it sounds, and half expecting Diantha to look at her like she’s lost her mind before returning her attention to the TV. But that strange feeling forces her to speak, to ask the question that some part of her mind whispers to her to ask, no matter how strange it seems even to her.
“Tell me,” she whispers, holding the demons’ gaze, before letting her words leave her in a rush, fully prepared for the girl to laugh at her stupidity, her curiosity outweighing her promise to him. “Tell me about when I died.”
Diantha holds Pam’s gaze for a long moment, her own green eyes wide in surprise at the question. She’s not sure exactly what she had been expecting, or inviting when Pam had asked her about telling the truth; but it certainly wasn’t this question. Diantha bites her lip as she turns on her knees, resting her elbows on the couch. She tilts her head, causing the braid that Pam worked on to swing to the side, over her shoulder. For some unknown reason, Diantha lowers her voice, “You mean…what I saw of it?”
Pam’s eyes seem to widen in surprise, but only for a second before she controls herself. The action causes Diantha to raise her brows, but Pam nods her head enthusiastically, “Yes. Yes, what you saw.”
Diantha sits back on her heels, lowering her eyes thoughtfully to her hands. A burst of anger wells inside her at the memory of the witch who also stole her husband’s sanity, as well as Pam’s immortality; even though both were returned in the end. When she raises her gaze, Pam seems to scoot backwards, no doubt at the demon’s suddenly darkening eyes.
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that scared, Pam," she whispers, her tongue darting out to lick her lips. "Or that unsure. Not even when he poisoned. He’s usually…he’s usually the voice of reason. But he was terrified that night. He wasn’t even crying…he was just…lost.”
Pam is suddenly leaning closer, their faces mere inches from each other; blue meeting green as neither of them seem bothered to blink. A small smirk comes to Diantha’s lips, a cruel imitation of a smile, “He made my husband go first, you know? I guess it made sense at the time; Amin wasn’t as…serious as you were. But I can’t imagine the pain, Pam. He was screaming his head off…and he was a vampire.” She shrugs, cutting herself off, “But it worked…whatever the magic was; it worked.”
She takes a deep breath, smiling a bit easier now, “And then it was your turn. It was almost funny, y’know? Eric wanted you…better. But he didn’t seem to want to let you go. You were the one who convinced him; you walked into the middle of the circle on your own.” Diantha glances down, peering at Pam from beneath her lashes. “It was fucking brave. I don’t think…I don’t think I could have done it. Especially after watching how it affected Amin.”
Diantha takes another deep, shuddering breath; as if she’s suddenly cold. But she perks up, smiling a bit wider. “But it worked. I mean, you went down like a ton of bricks. I didn’t hear what you said when Eric was beside you, but it was good enough for him. And then…yeah…you know,” she shifts uncomfortably. “You guys did the vampire shit.”
Pam seems to be on the brink of saying something else, but she sinks back into the couch cushions, silent. Diantha shrugs, not sure what else she’s supposed to say. “No offense, but I was bit more concerned about my vampire,” she says with a grin. But it stiffens, and she reaches out to touch Pam’s cool hand. “I was there though, when you came back. I don’t think Eric realized anyone else was even around when you opened your eyes. But I saw him. He was…speechless.” As if on cue, a string of curses erupts from the vampire’s impromptu office, showcasing exactly the opposite of speechless. But again, Diantha grins, shrugging her shoulders, “And then you two fucked right there by your grave. So romantic. You guys should write a book.”
Her smile falters a bit when Pam raises her eyes, her lips working before she breathes out in a whisper, “My grave.”
Diantha bops her head, “Yeah. Right there in your own backyard. Well…your old backyard. At your old house.”
Again, Pam only blinks, repeating herself, “My…grave.”
Diantha swallows, her eyes darting to the doorway and then back again. She had overheard enough in the past weeks to know that Pam sometimes relapsed, or couldn’t remember details even after they were told to her. And she had always heard Eric remind her, in a gentle way of course. Smiling softly, Diantha touches Pam’s hand gently, nodding her head again as she speaks in a kind voice, “Yes, your grave. How else do you expect to make a human into a vampire, silly?”
With her ass on the floor and her back against the couch, Diantha raises the volume on the television, trying to drown out the sound of Eric yelling at some poor soul on the phone. She’s grateful when it switches to a commercial, and her hand automatically steals into the bowl of popcorn she made a few minutes ago. She tosses an un-popped kernel towards the kitten who lounges at her feet, though the animal only watches as it bounces away, not bothering to get up and chase after it.
But both of their heads turn as one when Pam suddenly turns the corner, bouncing on the balls of her feet as if she fears she’s intruding. Her blue eyes dart between the demon on the floor and the soft glow of the television before she smiles softly, “Can I join you?”
Diantha narrows her eyes, still feeling a bit awkward after what Eric revealed about her just the other night. But she nods her head, watching with thinly veiled interest as Pam crosses in front of her, wearing only her silk robe, before dropping onto the couch behind her.
"Eric not interesting enough for you tonight?" Diantha asks just as the televisions fades back into her show.
"He’s…occupied," Pam snorts just as his raised voice filters into the room. "I don’t think I helped…I suggested buying those little paper umbrellas for the bar."
Diantha barks out a laugh, craning her neck back to look up at Pam’s proud smile. “You did that once, maybe a few years ago now,” she says easily. “Didn’t order any drink stirrers. Just the umbrellas. I saw them when I came to give Eric a summons from the queen. And then every night for a month when I showed up to demand drinks with them.”
Pam’s surprised laughter rings out, and she touches Diantha’s shoulder, “Did I really? Was he mad?”
"Nah, he was just grumpy until they were gone. Took a few weeks; but from what I understand you never ever had to do the ordering again," Diantha says as she flashes her a grin.
They both settle into silence, watching the television as it illuminates the darkened room, only breaking it when Diantha answers Pam’s softly spoken questions about the show.
"Is it really like that? Is there really a king of Hell; like Crowley?" Pam whispers, her voice soft as they lapse into a commercial once more.
Diantha chuckles, shaking her head in the negative, “No…we’re nowhere near that civilized. It’s more of a power struggle, really. None of us answer to a single demon. It’s more like…I don’t know…you ever watch Game of Thrones?” When Pam shakes her head, Diantha shrugs. “It doesn’t matter that no one stays on top for very long; everyone else is willing to sacrifice everyone else for a chance at it. Makes family reunions a little difficult.”
Both women giggle, and Diantha sits up a bit straighter, stretching her back as the show returns. Mere minutes later, seemingly having no interest in the program, Diantha feels cool fingers trail through her hair, and she stiffens at the touch. Pam immediately pulls away, muttering an apology, “Sorry…I didn’t mean…”
"It’s ‘kay," Diantha whispers as she relaxes, shivering only slightly when Pam’s fingers return to her fiery locks. She can feel her twisting them around her fingers, before the familiar pull lets her know that Pam is braiding her long curls. "My sister usually braids my hair for me…or, well…she used to."
"Your sister is still in New Orleans? At the royal estate?" Pam questions, lowering her voice.
Diantha nods her head, not quite understanding why she’s whispering, too. “Yeah. The only royal messenger for the queen now. She must be loving it.” Snorting delicately, Diantha allows Pam to turn her head, relaxing into the vampire’s cool touch. She can sense Pam’s hesitation before she speaks again, and notes that the vampire waits until Eric’s voice rises again in the other room.
"What Eric said the other night…about how you helped me when…when I was there. I…thank you," Pam says softly, her touch turning soft on the demon’s hair.
"Don’t mention it," Diantha murmurs, squirming a bit as she remembers the other bit of what Eric said about her. Suddenly, it seems very important that she speak up, that she explain herself to this woman who hardly knows anything about her. She doesn’t turn her head, but her voice turns more earnest, and she drops it to a soft whisper.
"I just want you to know, that I never…I never took your blood from you. I mean yeah, I licked your face. But that was it, I swear,” Diantha breathes, her eyes darting downwards in shame. “I…I had a problem. And I know we weren’t friends…but I respected you. Not to mention Eric would have had my head on his wall if I ever touched you,” she snorts. “But I never took your blood. I would never do that…to you at least.” With a sigh, Diantha’s eyes fall closed, realizing Pam’s touch on her hair has stilled. “I’m sorry, though. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better help. And I’m sorry I licked your face. Even if you did taste really fucking good.”
Apparently, pillows do not block out sound as well as they appear to in the movies. Something which Diantha is only just now figuring out. Eric and Pam had returned to the hotel, giddier than usual, and had proceeded to carry on in their bedroom…and the bathroom…and the living room…and back to their bedroom again. They hadn’t even seemed to really care that Diantha had been sitting on the couch at the time; and neither had she if she was being honest.
But now it’s hours later, and Diantha is pretty sure the sun has been up for some time. Still, she presses the pillow over her head, desperate for some sleep. Something the two immortal creatures across the hall don’t seem to have time for. Mercifully, a hush falls over the hotel suite, and cautiously, Diantha peeks out from beneath the pillow. She slowly counts to ten, just as she has been doing, knowing that the noise will most likely pick up again by the time she gets to five. Yet, it stays quiet; and she allows herself to relax without the danger of suffocating herself with the pillow.
Three loud bangs echo on her door, causing Diantha to sit straight up, hissing through her clenched teeth. She all but tumbles to the floor, striding across the room as she shouts angrily, “No fucking way, assholes! This is my room! If anyone is having sex in my room, it’s going to be me. Go bone each other somewhere else!”
She flings the door open, her words cut off when she sees only Eric standing there, his hands behind his back with an arched brow. She glances down, somewhat saddened by the fact that he’s wearing sweatpants. But she shakes her head, her hand flying to her hip in a perfect imitation of Pam. “What do you want? Some of us are trying to sleep.”
"I know," Eric says, looking none too caring while he glances over his shoulder to his own bedroom, "Pam is doing just that. I seem to have…tired her out."
"She’s a vampire, asshole. She doesn’t get tired." Diantha hisses, already making to slam the door, wondering if he only came in to gloat. But he stops it just in time with his foot, shoving his way into her room. She backs up, her arms crossed over her chest and sitting when her thighs hit the edge of her bed. With the look of a magician pulling a rabbit out of his ass, Eric reveals his cell phone which he had been hiding behind his back. Diantha’s eyes dart down to it, before back up to his unreadable face. "The fuck is that?"
"It’s a cellphone," Eric answers, enunciating each word as if she’s been struck dumb. "You use it to call people."
"I know what it is, shit brick. I used to have one. Until someone crushed it when we were boarding a motherfucking plane,” Diantha hisses, recalling how ever since they had left Louisiana, Eric had taken it upon himself to ensure that they were untraceable. And while Pam’s phone had the liberty to merely be turned off and kept on his desk at home, he had clearly not trusted Diantha’s enough to do the same. Since then, she had been reminded weekly not to call from any of their locations, because apparently Eric thought she was five and didn’t understand what “flying below the radar” meant. Even his laptop was untraceable, only allowing emails to come through, which Diantha sorted when she was feeling particularly bored. “I was on a super hard level of Candy Crush, too.”
Eric merely snorts before tossing the phone to her, and her hands reach out to pluck it out of the air. She glares at him quizzically, “Am I supposed to toss it back? Is it a game?”
"You have five minutes," is his only response, and he holds up a finger when her mouth drops open. "You do not tell him where you are. You do not tell him where you have been. And you do not tell him where we are going."
"But I don’t know where we’re going,” Diantha breathes out, her eyes never leaving his face. She keeps waiting for the catch to drop, for him to snatch the phone back. “Who…who am I calling?” she whispers, not truly believing he’s being this nice.
"Five minutes," Eric says again, before turning and striding back out the door, closing it softly behind him before he treads down the hall.
Not wasting any time, Diantha hurriedly dials the number she knows from memory, holding the phone up to her ear before glancing at the time. He’ll still be asleep; and she realizes too late that that was part of Eric’s plan. But she doesn’t care, can’t allow herself to when she has only minutes.
Even as the phone goes to voicemail, Diantha’s heart soars when she hears his voice telling her to leave a message, the sound warming her already fiery blood. She sucks in her breath when the beep sounds, causing her voice to come out broken. “Amin….it’s me. Di.” She takes a shuddering breath, all of the words flying from her mind. “I…I’m sorry this is a message. I only have a few minutes.” She smiles as she feels warm tears begin to stream down her face, “But hey, I’m alive. So that’s good news, right? And not possessed so…you know, better than usual.” She chokes on a sob, dragging her sleeve messily under her nose.
The five minutes seem to disappear in seconds, and Eric is soon back at her door, his gaze telling her her time is up. “I have to go, Amin. But…but call this number back…it’s okay…it’s untraceable. Leave a message if you have to,” Diantha’s eyes flicker to Eric when she hears his growl, but it doesn’t stop her. “Eric will deliver it to me.” She swallows, whispering her last words, “I love you, Amin. I’m so sorry that I must be the worst wife ever. But I love you.”
She presses the button to terminate the call as quick as she can, not sure she would be able to if she waited another second. Wordlessly, with her tears still falling down her cheeks, she holds it out, waiting for Eric to take it. She drops her hand the moment he does, and when she looks up again it’s only to see his back as he strides to the door.
"Eric," she calls out softly, but in full knowledge that he can hear her. He doesn’t exactly look back, just turns his head enough to show that he’s waiting. Despite the tears that still slip from her eyes, she manages to smile, amusement filtering through her tone. She knows exactly why she was allowed her phone call; exactly what he was trying to say by giving it to her. And just to make sure he knows that she knows, she speaks in a sure voice, knowing it will bother him all the more.
:::Fade to black:::
For what seems like the hundredth time, Diantha sighs; loud enough to make several people in front of her turn and glare over their shoulders. But she barely sees them, too lost in her thoughts that she is surely going to die while in line at a government building. In a yellow sundress. What a way to go.
Tapping her foot on the cool marble floor of the lobby, she crosses her arms over her chest, recalling what made her step into this quiet, stuck up, hell. She had just been on the verge of sleep when Eric and Pam had returned. And while her questions about why they were both covered in dirt had gone unanswered, she had been unceremoniously dragged from her bed by the bigger, blonder, asshole. Scrawling out an address on a piece of the hotel’s letterhead, he had commanded her to find out its history, specifically who laid claim to it now. Her eyes had flickered to the tinier asshole, prepared to argue; but the look on Pam’s face had stalled her, and Diantha had recognized the silent plea behind her blue eyes.
And that was how she had come to this; dressed ‘inconspicuously’ as Eric had requested, waiting in line with only a scrap of paper in her hand, her backpack slung over her shoulder. She shuffles her feet as the line slowly moves up, blowing her auburn curls out of her face. “The things I do for these fuckers, huh?” she questions the woman standing just behind her, who only smiles a bit nervously, nodding in the hopes that this strange girl will turn away again.
"Fuck this shit," she shoves her way out of line, whirling on the man in front of her who coughs in disgust, "And fuck you, too!" Diantha makes her way down the hallway, following the signs for the loo (the word still making her giggle) at the back of the building. The bathroom is thankfully empty, and she wastes no time in locking herself in the largest stall. She climbs up onto the seat of the toilet, and stretches her hand up the ceiling, directly over the smoke detector she sees there. "The roof…the roof…the roof is on fiyah,” she sings to herself, calling forth the flames that reside in her blood. A small flicker soon engulfs her palm, and she stretches, leaning closer to the detector. Within seconds, the wailing scream of the alarm fills the building, muffling her triumphant laughter as she lands on her feet, running from the bathroom.
The quiet she left behind is now full thrown chaos, with people sprinting up and down the halls. Diantha waits patiently, her back to the wall, scouring the crowds for anyone who looks official. Finally, a rotund man rounds the corner, huffing and puffing in his haste to escape. Diantha reaches out, snatching his arm and turning him around before he can even process it. He stares down at her in surprise, sweat pouring from his face as he gasps, “Fire…there’s a fire!”
"Oh, that?" Diantha points to the flashing alarms as she drags him to the stairwell; and the man is too exasperated to notice how strong she is for such a small girl. "Someone is probably just smoking weed in the bathroom." She halts, turning her head toward him with a quizzical expression, "Do y’all have weed here? Like, do you know where I can get some?" The man only stares, horrified as she shoves him up the stairs. Diantha shrugs, "No? Okay, maybe later." They fall into a hallway on the second floor, almost all of the office deserted with her impromptu fire drill. "Where’s yours?" The man points down the hall, still trying to catch his breath as he realizes he’s not about to die a fiery death.
Diantha finally shoves the poor man into his chair behind his polished desk, and she sinks gracefully into the chair on the opposite side. The man sputters as she pushed her paper across to his, leaning up on her elbows, “My mast— my client would like some information regarding this property. Preferably today. Before nightfall. He’s sort of on a schedule.”
The human raises his brows, not looking at the paper but at her, “Your…client? You…you have a legal background?”
Diantha arches a brow, knowing exactly how she looks in her borrowed sundress, white flip-flops, and her unruly red curls. She has no doubt that she has learned more at her uncle’s knee than this man could ever hope to know. But she smiles, letting just the tips of her sharp teeth show over her lips. “Yes. Yes I do.”
The man grumbles, before shoving the paper back at her, “It’s a very old property.”
Undeterred, Diantha hands it right back, “No shit. You should see my client.”
Again, the man slides the paper back, “Just as well, there is a waiting list for this kind of information. Several weeks in fact. Your client can schedule a meeting then.”
Diantha’s smile only grows, and she leaves the paper with the mysterious address in the middle of the desk. “See, that won’t work for him.” She leans back in her chair, reaching for her backpack. “The thing you need to know about my client is that, first and foremost, he’s a fucking asshole. He tends to think that the world revolves around him.” Snorting, she begins to unzip the bag, pinning the human with her emerald green stare. “Except, the only difference with him is, he’s not wrong about that fact in most cases.” Diantha smiles serenely, keeping the bag’s contents to herself. “But the most important thing about my client is that while he’s an asshole,” she very carefully turns the bag toward the human, revealing the stacks of bills that Eric himself placed there, dropping her voice into a triumphant whisper as the man’s eyes grow wide, “He’s a very rich asshole.”
:::Fade to black:::
She’s already hissing at Diantha before she feels the demon girl’s warm hand wrap around her upper arm, wrenching herself from her grasp. Her eyes never leave Eric’s face, nor does his even as he continues to struggle despite the silver and the much older vampires holding him back, and she acts without thinking, diving straight into the fray.
“Let him go!” she shrieks as she shoves her way towards him, only to be stopped when an iron grip wraps bruisingly around her arm. She spins to face the old vampire that has imprisoned her, meeting his darkly narrowed eyes as he stares down at her. In a fluid, seemingly practiced movement, she reaches with her free hand to grip his forearm where he holds her hostage, jerking his arm up at his elbow so hard the snap of bone echoes around them.
The vampire howls in pain, loosening his grip on her enough for her to pull free in his surprise, and she snarls, her fangs down and glinting in the low light of the ballroom as she grinds out her words.
“Don’t fucking touch me.”
She stands on the ready, waiting for the next attack all while trying to inch closer to her maker, who has been shoved to his knees by his captors. She meets his desperate eyes for a moment, swallowing thickly as she forces herself to look away, glancing up to where Duke Henri still lounges on his throne as if total chaos hasn’t erupted all around him.
He raises a dark eyebrow as their gazes meet, and when her words spill from her lips she’s caught off guard by how easily she speaks them, considering her fear just a few moments before.
“You want me?” she asks, holding her head high even as her eyes narrow, “Then come and get me yourself, motherfucker.”
The ancient vampire merely chuckles, tapping his hands on the arms of his throne in delight. He speaks to Eric, although her maker’s gaze is still firmly attached to her, and she’s able to feel him begging her through their bond to stand down.
“She’s a feisty little thing,” he laughs, “No wonder you keep her around.”
“There’s lots of reasons he keeps me around,” she purrs with a plastered-on smile as she takes a step towards where he sits, able to feel the warmth of Diantha just behind her as she follows suit. “Let my maker go, and you’ll have all night to find out why.”
“Pam…” Diantha warns quietly from behind her, but the Duke speaks over her, a sadistic smile on his thin lips.
“If I were to let him go, who’s to say he wouldn’t stop you from gracing me with your presence for the evening?”
It’s a struggle to keep her smile on her face as her memories swell to the surface, bringing with them a heady sense of disgust, but she barely manages to pass as interested as she speaks with a sweet smile.
“He wouldn’t dare deny me such an honor, Your Grace.”
The Duke seems to mull this over for a moment, before he nods his head. “Take her,” he murmurs with disinterest with a flick of his fingers, and although she knows the vampire that steps towards her has more than a thousand years on her, her face turns absolutely feral as she snarls when he reaches for her.
“If anyone in this room touches me besides the Duke I’ll rip their fucking arms off,” she hisses through her fangs, snarling when the vampire glances back at his master. She nods her head towards the vampire still cradling his shattered arm, the effect of her sweet smile ruined by her sharp fangs as she adds in a tone that brokers no argument, “Ask your friend there. And a lost limb takes a long time to grow back.”
She feels as though her heart would be pounding if it still beat, and although she longs to meet Eric’s eyes, she forces herself not to allow her gaze to flicker away as the Duke chuckles again, before rising to his feet.
“Very well, then,” he says with a dark grin as he steps down off the dais the throne sits on, “As you wish.”
Before she can blink, he’s in front of her, his hand wrapping around her neck, crushing her throat with his grip. She’s forced to take a step back, backing into Diantha’s chest, when he takes a step forward, his own large fangs appearing as he snarls down in her face.
She’s vaguely aware of Eric’s increased struggles nearby, although his shouts of her name become drowned out by Henri’s booming voice so close to her face.
“You are a brave little girl,” he growls, “But you’ve overplayed your hand as much as your maker has overestimated your worth.”
“Let him go,” she whispers hoarsely, hardly able to get the words out between the crushing weight of his fingers around her neck.
“I don’t think so,” he answers her with a dark smile, tightening his grip until she’s sure her neck will break. “I think I’ll kill him in front of you, before we spend the night together. And after it’s over, depending on how useful I find you, I’ll decide if you’ll join him, or if I’ll make you mine.”
“Pamela!” Eric shouts desperately, but she barely hears him, her wide eyes staying glued to her captors as she reaches blindly behind her, knowing that at any moment the royal could snap her neck. Her fingers make contact with the bodice of Diantha’s dress, and as if the demon is in tune with her thoughts, she hears her whisper, just one word in badly accented Swedish that she must have picked up along the way.
It’s all Pam needs to know, and she twists as much as she’s able, shoving her hand down the right side of the girl’s green dress blindly, feeling her fingers make contact with something wooden. They wrap around it, and in one fluid movement she draws out the second stake, before bringing it around, digging it deeply into the duke’s chest just over his heart before he can stop her.
Her voice sounds nothing like her own as she snarls out her words, hoarse from the choking grip around her neck, but also filled with a foreign sense of authority, knowing that the older vampire knows just the slightest push of the stake, even in a struggle, would end his long life.
“Let go of my husband.”
“Release him,” Henri commands, but she doesn’t look away as she hears Eric climb to his feet, her eyes still locked on her captor’s, who is also her captive. Henri grins down at her, seeming almost amused by their situation as he whispers to her, “What do they call this on your side of the world, my dear? A ‘Mexican Standoff’?”
She smiles back, her fangs on full display, her eyes dark at the thought of how quickly she could end his life. She isn’t sure she completely believes her words, but she hisses them anyway with enough force behind them she herself becomes convinced they’re true.
“Together we can kill every vampire in this room. Starting with you.”
This time he chuckles as if she’s told a hilarious joke, and he slowly releases her, staring down at her as if he expects her to do the same. But instead she only steps closer, digging the point of the stake into his flesh until blood blossoms across the crisp white of the shirt under his jacket.
“You are not playing fair, dear Pamela of Louisiana. Very well, then,” he answers with a shrug, “Nathan?”
Pam’s eyes dart away from him for the first time as she sees the sallow young man step out from where he was hiding behind the throne, his eyes darting to his master. He smiles slowly, revealing rows of sharp teeth just like the girl who stands guard just behind her, and realization hits too late just what he is, panic flooding through her like wildfire even as Henri speaks.
“If tonight is my night to die, I’ll see to it that it’s yours as well.” He smiles through his threat, before he drops his command.
“Kill them all.”
For the first time since they entered the palace, Diantha speaks up, drawing the attention of the male demon as he descends the steps to his master. “Don’t you fucking dare.”
The boy comes to a stop, but instead of looking angry, he only looks politely interested as Diantha steps out of Pam’s shadow, meeting his own bright gaze with her own. She knew exactly who he was since the moment they entered the building; her blood had been singing, boiling even, the second her foot touched down outside the grounds. Diantha is very much aware that she know holds the attention of every vampire close enough to see, but she pays them no mind as the other demon finally greets her with a rakish grin.
"Sister." The hissed language she never recalls learning, just knowing, reverberates in the quiet air; such a harsh sound despite the smile on the boy’s face. Diantha responds likewise, her own smile firmly in place.
"Brother. You don’t seem surprised to see me."
The boy looks down, winking as he glances back up at her, as if they aren’t in a room full of extremely hostile vampires. "Father told me you’d show up. He seemed disappointed. And now I understand why." Diantha merely arches a brow, taking a few steps closer, away from Pam despite Eric’s growl of warning.
"And yet here you are, in service to vampires; the same as I." The male shrugs, his entire posture relaxed as he regards her. She glances over to where Pam and the duke still struggle, able to smell the blood that she must be drawing. Her gaze swings easily to where Eric stands on the opposite side, standing still with the silver cuffs still on either wrist, his own eyes riveted on Pam. "I assume it’s the usual? You protect this ancient asshole’s life?" The boy nods, not seeming to mind that the duke in question is in a bit of trouble at the moment. "And if his life isn’t in danger?"
Nathan shrugs again, his hissed words soft despite the audience they hold. "Then there’s no reason for me to be here…though another ancient asswipe seems to think that two vampires won’t be walking out of here. He may or may not be counting on it."
Diantha nods, fully understanding that Cassius’ arm stretches well into this part of the world. She speaks with more conviction than she feels, her chin rising in challenge. "I can assure you, two vampires and one demon are about to walk out of here. And will not be followed." Nathan stares at her for a long moment before finally nodding his head once, and then his eyes land on the duke he should be protecting. She knows he’s well aware that their shared blood holds no balance in this small battle. If it means escaping with her life, Diantha would end him without a second thought. And now that she has all but claimed the two vampires, it means they fall under her protection as well. Diantha nods her head as well, walking over to where Pam and the duke stand. She places herself between them, staring up at them both. Her hand wraps around the duke’s on Pam’s throat, at the same time her other one wraps around the stake that Pam has buried in his flesh.
"Pam." The vampires seem to startle at the words that flow from her lips, no longer the hissed language they were just seconds before. "Pam, let go of the stake." Pam’s wide eyes stare down at her in outrage, but Diantha nods her head. "Let go.” She shakes her head, and Diantha speaks just one other word, never letting either of her hands slip. “Eric.”
"Pamela, let go.”
Pam struggles with what Diantha is sure is a command from her maker, finally relinquishing the stake fully into Diantha’s grasp. Diantha turns her head to the duke, smiling up at him with her sharp teeth, her warm hand wrapped around his as he crushes Pam’s throat. “Let her go.” The duke snarls down in her face, his fangs clashing above her as he commands Nathan to end them all. But Nathan doesn’t move, simply watching the spectacle before him. “He is supposed to be protecting your life, is he not?” The duke, his own eyes wide, reluctantly nods his head. “And that’s what he’s doing. Because, and believe me Henry, you would much rather have me holding this stake than my friend Pam here. Nathan knows that. Now, let her go.”
The duke finally complies, releasing his grasp around Pam’s throat, sending the vampire staggering backwards. Diantha speaks loudly, her voice sounding strange even to her own ears. “No one touches her.” Vampires actually back away from her, leaving a wide ring around them all. Diantha leans closer to the duke, now that it’s just the two of them. “Now…be a dear and release Eric Northman.” The duke snarls, until Diantha presses the stake deeper. “Release him, or I end you. And burn your entire fucking kingdom to the ground. I trust you’ve seen what Nathan can do?” Henri’s eyes flicker to the demon boy in question, and Diantha knows that of course he knows what demons, even half demons, are capable of. She smiles, a dark grin that has no place on a young woman’s face. “I’m even better. Now…release him.”
There’s a brief pause, but Duke Henri’s hand flickers up, gesturing for his henchman to stand down. The silver cuffs clatter to the floor, and then there is complete silence. Slowly, her eyes never leaving the duke’s, Diantha withdraws the stake, holding it aloft and allowing the flame that resides in her blood to heat up, turning it to cinders that float to the ground. She takes a step back, speaking softly. “Don’t trust demons, your majesty. They can’t be trusted. Just ask anyone.”
The duke growls, his eyes rising to stare at Eric and Pam as they stand on either side of the room. “Get the fuck out of my kingdom. And tell Cassius there is nothing between us. He’s fucked me over, and I won’t forget it.” The duke all but spits at Diantha’s feet as she smiles happily up at him before nodding at the other demon.
She turns on her heel, grabbing Pam’s hand as she does so. She chirps happily as Eric crosses the floor to them.
"Time to go!"
Roque, disoriented, injured, tried to adjust his vision enough to actually be able to see something in this smothering darkness, but he could not. He flicked out his forked tongue, hoping to pick up a sense of things through vibrations, but came away with nothing.
Remembering what happened,…
Yo, Yoda never takes me no where!
It’s a sad one.
Pam gets a chance to talk to Godric about Eric.
hello is this destiny’s child?? yes hi, could you put your mom on the phone i need to speak to destiny