When I woke up the next morning, it was early light. I didn’t move at first, instead I just laid there with my eyes shut trying to process how quickly my life had spun off course again in less than 48 hours.
On the upside, I had saved Sam’s life and was down at least one enemy since Mustapha Khan beheaded Jannalynne. That thought brought me up short. For a good Christian, that sure was an uncharitable thought about Jannalynne since she was really just causing me problems with Sam, up until she tried to frame Eric.
I thought twice about that again and came out still feeling a little lucky that she wasn’t part of my life and very lucky that she wasn’t part of Sam’s anymore. Given her predilection – word of the day – for skull crushing and not to mention that she had it in for me, I put her death squarely on the “pound of prevention” side of the ledger.
On the downside, I inadvertently drove another wedge between Eric and me. We just couldn’t seem to get a break. I foolishly hoped for a bit of break after taking out Victor. Between Eric’s maker bargain with the Freyda, the vampire Queen of Oklahoma, and Felipe de Castro coming to town, there was no such luck.
Eric and I had been on very thin ice since his closed-door dealings with Freyda came to light thanks to Pam. From our brief exchange last night, I knew he doubted my love for him, especially since I saved Sam instead of cashing in my magic to save us. Getting arrested for murder seemed to repair us a bit. I could only hope that would last.
After taking stock, I opened my mind to hear who all was at the police station this morning. In my immediate vicinity, Jane Bodehouse was still sleeping it off in the corner. Beyond our cell area, the station seemed pretty quiet. Five people in all.
To my surprise, I caught the fuzzy signature of two Weres. I knew all the police in Bon Temps and absolutely none of them was a Were.
While there were many Weres in law enforcement given their innate physical strength, speed, and sense of smell, Bon Temps didn’t have a one on the force. Come to think of it, there weren’t really any Weres in Bon Temps. Sam was our only shifter. All the werepanthers lived out in Hot Shot, a little crossroads town. Really, it was a little slice of Deliverance with the whole “squeal like a pig” undertone.
That put me on the alert. While I had good standing with most of the Weres I knew, some had gone out of their way to cause me trouble to put it lightly. Just yesterday, I had taken a pot shot at Alcide Herveaux, the leader of the Shreveport pack, but really that was just to make a point.
Andy Bellefleur was making his way back to the women’s cell area in quite a huff. From his thoughts, I knew that he was none too pleased about his company, which was one of the mystery Weres in question.
As Andy unlocked the door, I braced myself, but quickly relaxed. When Mustapha Khan entered the paddock, it was pretty clear that Eric had somehow negotiated to extend my special guard detail day and night.
At closer look, Mustapha was the worse for wear. His duel with Jannalynne had left him battered with a few prominent cuts where her sword caught him. I thought it served him right to have a few marks since he opted to go naked into a sword fight to the death. That definitely qualified as risky business, especially in a fight against the very deadly Jannalynne. Then again, I totally didn’t get any of the Were rituals I had witnessed.
I was glad to see that Mustapha had healed quickly after the dual and that he was back on duty. Given his involvement with Jannalynne’s plot to bring the fairy-laced Were into Eric’s home, I was surprised that Eric left me to his care.
A part of me wondered how we had survived the night. I didn’t think Eric would tolerate that kind of behavior from an employee. I hated to think about it, but a lapse of that kind likely merited a death sentence. I decided to file that away for later. Now I needed to focus on getting through my interrogation.
I tried to keep my expression neutral. I gave Andy a curt nod and raised my eyebrows questioningly.
I was hoping that Andy would resume sending me some messages telepathically so that I knew what I was walking into. Unfortunately,
Andy seemed to be blocking me for all he was worth. He was literally whistling Dixie in his head.
“Andy Bellefleur, just spit it out.”
“Nothing doing, Sookie. You’re due for questioning. Bud’s waiting. Your lawyer and bodyguard are here.”
When Andy mentioned my bodyguard, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. Apparently, Eric’s move – likely the result of glamouring Sheriff Dearborn – was insulting to Andy’s sense of professional pride. I gave Mustapha a weak smile of thanks.
True to form, he was doing his best Blade impersonation. Stone cold. I couldn’t read his thoughts at all. Since I had helped him save his best friend Warren, I was sure hoping that he would warm up a little and let me in on whatever news he had.
Andy was all about standing on ceremony now that I was behind bars. He cuffed me through a slot in the cell door and then unlocked my cell to let me out.
We walked down the hall in silence with Mustapha following just behind. His presence irritated Andy to no end. I appreciated Eric looking out for me with the guard duty, but I wasn’t so sure his stunt was doing me any favors in my current predicament. Besides I felt plenty safe locked up in the Bon Temps jail. It was likely as safe or safer than my warded house out off of Mockingbird Lane. I could only hope that he had gotten the messages to Sam and Alcide in time.