**A/N: Thank you for the awesome response to the last chapter!! I am blown away by your overwhelming support for the way Eric dealt with Pam’s betrayal, disrespect, and inherent dishonesty in this story. Now, a few of you were concerned that Sevrin would be too easy on her, and a few of you were concerned that Sevrin would be too harsh on her. But, no matter where y’all fell on the Pam spectrum, I love that you trust me enough as a writer to not fuck up the story. Does Pam get what she’s earned? Yes. Will Sevrin actively torture her? Nope. Will she feel like he is? Naturally! I adored Pam from the books. This is not that Pam… Now, on with the show.**
Wearily Eric flew toward the apartment building. Dealing with Pamela had taken more from him than he wanted to admit, although he could understand why.
He couldn’t help but think back to the night she had first risen… He couldn’t help but remember teaching her how to feed, then how to feed without spilling blood everywhere like a rabid animal. After a while he had even been able to teach her how to feed without killing. In some ways she had risen to vampire life a little too well.
As he coasted slowly but steadily, he struggled not with his decision, but with the various reasons that had led to this situation in the first place.
He had treated Pamela as if she had been a human child to be cherished, not as a vampire to be trained, and in doing so he had failed her as a Maker.
Because of his nature, he had coddled when he should have been teaching. He had spoiled her when he should have been concentrating more on loosening the apron strings, and had caved far too often when he should have been encouraging her to earn her own way – and then seeing to it that she did so.
Instead he had not only seen to her needs but had caved to most of her wants as well. He hadn’t made her work for the myriad of things, always things, that she had decided she must have immediately. And in lieu of being appreciative, she became more and more spoiled, more and more selfish.
It was his duty to see to all her needs during her baby-vamp years, and during that time he was to teach her how to survive and prosper within the confines of the vampire world. After a suitable amount of time had passed, it was the natural order of things that she go off on her own. As her Maker he would naturally have stepped in to help her when truly needed, but with her personality he should have forced her to test her wings and thereby strengthen them. He should have ‘gently’ nudged her out of the nest and encouraged her more to fly on her own.
When she failed, as anyone sometimes would, she would have retained the strength gained from rising from the ashes each time and would have grown up and out instead of …greedy.
When used properly these traits would have enhanced the vampire she became.
Godric, his own Maker, had never compelled Eric to bow before him, had indeed treated him more as a friend, a companion, as they travelled the world. Eric realized that he had made a mistake in treating her as Godric had treated him, but just like Godric, he had never wanted a subservient Child. Only, Pamela did not think the same way he did, and had never learned certain necessary values even during her human life…much less after her Rising.
While she had brought with her to her undeath several qualities that were important, sadly, honor, respect, and humility toward her Maker were not among them.
That, he thought, was what had truly led to this situation. He had expected her to become a better person than she evidentially capable of becoming.
Hell, she had even manipulated her own undeath. That should have told him something even back then.
It was hell knowing now that he should never have Turned her in the first place, that he should have followed his initial gut feeling and let her bleed out in that whore house after her manipulative little stunt.
He had spent that first night of her Turning in shock. His mind had been almost dizzy replaying everything that had happened and thinking of all the plans to be made, all the things he would have to do to care for a newly risen vampire.
It had been during the second night of her Turning when he realized that he had felt no true pull toward her. Godric, of course, hadn’t been around at that time, so he couldn’t ask his Maker if he should let her continue the transformation, or if he should take a knife to her throat and let her painlessly bleed out and fade gently into true death. For most of that second night in the dirt with his body curled around the slowly-changing blonde, he had vacillated between letting her live, and taking the rest of her life. Finally, toward sunrise and the peace of day-death, he, as always when possible, had chosen to let her keep her life.
Perhaps, he pondered with a surprising lack of feeling, I spoiled her because of the guilt I may have felt for seriously considering ending her during her transformation?
He paused mid-flight and hovered, gazing down at the twinkling lights far below, and exhaled harshly as he finally both acknowledged and released the guilt that had silently haunted him since that night so long ago.
Heart no longer as heavy from the previous drama, he increased his speed and quickly reached his building. He paused at the door to Pamela’s apartment and thought for a moment. Something would have to be done with all her shit, but…not tonight.
It was when he inhaled deeply to help clear his thoughts that he realized Sookie’s scent, the fae component enhanced with her pregnancy, had permeated the entire floor. Thankfully there were only two occupants on this floor – one of whom no longer residing there – but it was still a worrisome security risk.
When he entered Willa’s apartment after a perfunctory knock, he wasn’t surprised to find his other Child home. She and Sookie were sitting on the sofa in the living room watching a rerun of a popular ’80’s sit-com, and Sookie was shoveling ice cream into her mouth as fast as she could. The redness around her eyes tugged at his heart, and for a moment he seriously considered returning to Fangtasia, but then he was spotted.
He had to grin at the sight of both his girls glancing up at him with the same curious expression.
When Sookie placed her bowl and spoon on the table and made to rise, he flashed to stand before her.
“No, stay as you are,” he said before taking a seat beside her. “I apologize for leaving so quickly.”
When Willa rose to give them some privacy, he called her back.
“You should hear this too, Willa.”
Eric took Sookie’s hand in his, and started speaking.
“Pamela still lives,” he said, answering the main question in Sookie’s eyes first. The relief he saw in her face was all the payment he needed in choosing to let the cunning bitch live. “Yes, I wanted to kill her – very much so. But I believe I have done something to her that, in the long run, will be much more painful.” He paused to consider his next words as he rubbed his thumb in soothing circles on Sookie’s palm. While he dreaded her reaction, he refused to hide any more truths from her.
Willa spoke first. “You took yourself away from her.”
Surprised, Eric looked at his Child.
“Everyone knows how she is, and honestly, nobody will be very surprised by this…this situation. I just can’t believe how far she went, though.” She took Sookie’s other hand in her own, providing what comfort she could.
Sadly, Eric realized her words were true, and nodded.
“For now she’s being held below Fangtastia, and she’ll be leaving to go to her new job tomorrow night when Sevrin arrives. Sevrin,” he began with a silent chuckle at the eager curiosity in Sookie and Willa’s expressive faces – not a good trait for a vampire to have, but cute nonetheless, “is an old friend, well, more trusted acquaintance, of mine. He owns several mines in Poland….silver mines.”
It was very hard for him not to laugh aloud when both ladies repeated the phrase in stereo.
He nodded instead. “Yes. He has owned silver mines for as long as I have known him, and works them with vampires who are either serving sentences for their rulers, or who have been left in his care. Sevrin is fair and just, serious and bitingly honest to a fault. He has agreed to collect Pamela tomorrow sometime after his arrival, although he may choose to remain for a night or two.”
Sookie looked as though she was thinking strongly about something, so Eric remained silent. When she leaned forward for the glass of tea on the table, he obligingly handed it to her, and replaced it when she finished.
“Did she say why she did what she did,” Sookie asked, her bewildered curiosity very much evident.
“No, I didn’t give her the chance. I knew I couldn’t trust whatever excuse she used, so why bother? Plus at that moment, one wrong word out of her lying mouth and I would have ended her.” The malevolence in Eric’s voice sent a shiver down her spine.
Sookie nodded. Her emotions were all over the board, a strange mixture of shock, anger, and a sad understanding. She couldn’t believe that Pam had done that! Ok, she mentally amended, she could see the blonde vampire doing something like that to her, but not to her beloved Maker. She really had thought that Pam had more respect, more love, for her Maker than she obviously did. And a Maker was supposed to be able to trust their own progeny.
As angry as he had been when he left, she knew he had to have been hurting, too. Pam’s actions had betrayed his trust in her in an almost fundamental way.
At least he hadn’t killed his Child, though.
Her hand rose instinctively to rub her swollen abdomen where the baby had started moving. While the cold fury in his eyes earlier had scared her, she still couldn’t imagine Eric ending his own Child, no matter what.
This Sevrin…he sounded like a good answer, but she wasn’t sure.
“So,” she began, her voice neutral, “will he be good to her?”
“No, he will not,” Eric replied firmly. “However, he will be fair. She will be treated the same as any other vampire who has betrayed their Maker. If she does her jobs well and follows his orders to the letter, she will not suffer undue hardship. However, she will be given no special treatment, no coddling. He will not care if she “learns her lesson” or not as this will not be a rehab. This will a working prison. He’ll tell you more about it himself tomorrow night, but in the end, the severity of her time with Sevrin will depend entirely upon herself.”
Sookie and Willa exchanged looks, then shrugged in unison.
“Good,” the blonde telepath said. “I hate that it came to this, but it’s her own fault.”
Eric couldn’t believe his ears. He had fully expected to have to explain his decision over and over while dealing with a weeping, wailing Sookie too stubbornly tenderhearted for her own good. This new Sookie…she astounded him, but he certainly appreciated the difference.
“I’m sorry that all this happened, Eric, I really am. She cost us too much time apart, but not only that, she, well, she betrayed you, too. It wasn’t her right to decide not to tell you that I’d called or that I’d come by to see you. She had no right to withhold that from you. And I have to wonder if she’s capable of that, then what all else is she capable of? I don’t think either one of us could ever trust her again, and that makes me really sad on your behalf, but Eric, I’m still glad you didn’t kill her. You shouldn’t have to kill your own Child.”
The tears gathering in her sympathetic eyes combined with the sweet, sad tone of her voice sparked his own red tears. He had not anticipated such understanding.
Sensing an emotional moment approaching, Willa started to rise once again, but, once again, Eric stopped her.
He gently hauled Sookie onto his lap and held her close while he buried his nose into the curve of her neck. Several inhalations of her sweet scent calmed him down while he blinked away the faint line of red in his eyes. He then looked to his Child.
“Do you understand my decision?”
Willa stared at him with a sad expression for a moment, then replied quietly, “Yes, I do understand why you had to break with her.” She paused for a moment, then added, “Pam and I didn’t get along all that great, you know? Now, she did help me out while you were gone, I do have to give her credit for that, but even then I could tell that she wasn’t helping me because of me; she was helping me because of my connection to you. And she also make a point of telling me things in such a way as to make me be even angrier with you, too. I didn’t see it at the time because I was so mad at you, but now I can tell that she was doing whatever she could to make me hate you more, to drive an even bigger wedge between us. So, I don’t feel bad for her since she brought this on herself. I feel like I should in the way you’re kind of supposed to feel bad for anybody going to prison or whatever, but she brought all this on herself, so I don’t feel bad at all about the forced labor in a silver mine.”
A quiet “neither do I” came from Eric’s chest where Sookie’s head was resting just before the doorbell rang.
**A/N: Sooo, yeah, there’s that. Pam’s own actions and attitude will determine just how bad of a time she has. And Sevrin is not the type to coddle, and Pam’s (beloved, because I miss it in this story) snark will fall on deaf ears. And we get to meet Sevrin the next night! 😀 Ok, so, what did you think?**