Russell points out that the Magister is close to figuring out she's the source of the V racket, and she says she's already pinned that on Eric, whom she doesn't yet know can hear every word. Russell moves on, even though that's a feint and she's wrong, and points out that the American Vampire League's interests would be served by handing her over to the IRS: "Make an example of you. Assuage the right wing's fears about vampires running Wall Street." Apparently she's no more worried about the AVL (dumb; everybody should be afraid of Nan Flanagan) than the IRS or the Madge: "They have no dominion over me. I'm a Queen." [Idiotic Harvey Fierstein-era joke about "queens," courtesy Russell, redacted because it is 2010. Give me a fucking break.]
Sophie tells Russ to go fuck himself, and that's when Eric appears, dropping her ass and telling her that it is herself who will go and be fucked. "I am older and stronger than you. I only submitted to you in the past because of respect, but you framed me. So I renounce any and all allegiance to you. I am His now." Sophie-Anne refuses to grant him his repudiation, but he offers to up the ante by twisting off her head and tossing it in the pool. She's not going down with a fight, so he gets ready to do so, but Russ makes him let her up, asking again for her hand.
"...Goddamn it," she says, turning away in shame, and Russell giggles. They'll spend today in her palace, and then hit Shreveport at sundown. Eric trails a finger down Russell's chest, apologizing for overstepping, and calls him "My King," and they drag Sophie-Anne off screaming for Hadley like a teddybear and... There's a certain voice that Eric uses when he's flirting with guys that just doesn't do it for me, sort of like the difference between calling to a grown dog and talking to a puppy: There's a lilt in his voice that just seems sort of infantilized and infantilizing and pretty much exactly what a straight dude would sound like if he were hamfistedly trying to get under a gay dude's skin. The Skarsgård Kermit Effect is part of it also, which generally only happens when he's pushing something out wrong.
Though I can see Talbot falling for that shit, dudes that like dudes like dudes, generally. Why not go for that neck-ducking goober routine he used at the Fellowship last year? Well, maybe because it's Talbot's mode, and therefore he knows it will work on both of them. Because it occurs to me he doesn't really pull that shit with Lafayette, and in fact when he's hitting on Lafayette it's pretty much unassailable. And everything is going so well, so perhaps Russell is high enough to think he can have it all -- he certainly seems more affected by Eric's line of bullshit than previously. And really, whether or not Eric is faking it doesn't matter if the goal is having sex with Eric, you know? I guess we'll just have to see him flirt with more guys to make sure, I mean, that's just the experimental method. Probably like a lot of guys. For science.