Monday, November 30, 2009

136 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Six

"You were right about her target, but I was too late. She had already gotten to him last night. It was the first place she went," Eric said. I was snuggled up next to him on the couch, my feet tucked up under me. We both watched the flames jump and dance, the amber glow making Eric look human. He looked his best by fire light, the only source of light he had for centuries before electricity was invented.

If I was right about her target, that meant little red haired teenaged Jessica had killed the ancient and powerful Magister that had ordered her to be kidnapped and Turned without glamour.

"How did she do it?" I asked.

"She tore his head off," Eric said. I wanted to feel bad for the Magister, but I didn't. What he did was sheer evil, causing so much pain in so many lives. He reaped what he had sown. I said that to Eric.

"Not really," Eric said. "He was corrupt and sadistic, it would have taken centuries of torture for him to receive back what he had sown." Eric was a realist in all things.

"Next I checked on Luisa as you suggested," Eric said. Luisa had been the bailiff in the tribunal that Jessica was taken to. Luisa had dragged Jessica by her pretty red hair to Bill, to be drained and tormented publicly. It was an ugly episode in the lives of all concerned. Luisa had quit as bailiff after that and lived a quiet life transcribing court documents.

"That is where we caught Jessica. Luisa was in her safe room. Jessica was clawing her way through the reinforced concrete to get to her. She was so focused on getting to Luisa it was easy to net her and put her in the SVV."

"Now she's in a holding cell?"

"Yes, I will keep her until she's recovered, then I will tell the King I have her. He will not order her to be destroyed once she is herself again."

"Won't he be angry about the Magister being killed?"

"Not at all. The Magister had already been relieved of his duties. He was opposed to mainstreaming and his anti-human beliefs were the very thing the King has been trying to eliminate. Jessica just saved the King the time and effort it would have taken him to officially eliminate the man."

"You did good, Eric. Thank you for saving Jessica. Have you told Bill about it yet?"

Eric turned to look at me. "No, but that is a good idea. Would you mind if I called him now?"

"No," I said. "I want to take a hot shower and you can join me in our bed once you're done. I want you to tell me again about how you loved me from the first moment you saw me." I knew that was going to be my new favorite bedtime story.

Eric was as good as his word. In our big four poster bed, he poured out to me his longing and frustration during the first years when he knew I was the love of his long life, but he was forbidden by the Queen's edict from having me. He told me he would stand outside my house for hours just to be near me. I was the last thing he thought about when he lay down and the first thing he thought about when he arose. Every woman he bit he imagined was me, a big compliment for a vampire.

Once the restraint of a royal edict was removed he decided he would have me if he had to move heaven and earth to do it. I could tell from the emotion in his voice that these were the things he used to tell me about in his native tongue.

These were the deepest feelings in his heart, and he showered me with them like rose petals as I lay in our warm bed and held him.

More to come ......
(Greetings fanpires, I had computer problems, sorry about the delayed posting. Now I can't seem to read the comments, so I will struggle on. I'll post again tomorrow I hope.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

135 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Five

I was almost through the second movie, a suspense thriller, when Eric charged into the safe room with vampiric speed. He was in his full vampire fighting mode, and for a second I was afraid he might not recognize me in his state of fight readiness. His eyes glowed like blue coals, extra fangs crowded his enlarged jaws, razor sharp claws ended his lengthened fingers. In this small room he seemed to take up all the space. I flattened myself against the wall next to the bed, waiting for him to calm down.

The air around him shimmered and suddenly he was the usual Eric I knew and loved. "Are you injured?" he asked frantically, pulling me gently away from the wall and running his hands all over me like a vet does with a horse that seems unwell, looking for problem areas. He sniffed me in a most unhuman way, spending a lot of time on my hands and arms. I told him I was not injured at all. Vampires take some getting used to, believe me.

"Who was here?" he said, once he was satisfied I really was unhurt. The room still seemed crowded. There was a lot of Eric, even when he wasn't ready to shred everything in sight.

"Could we go upstairs and I'll tell you all about my night. You can tell me all about your night too. And I can make a cup of cocoa." It was cold enough to justify the cocoa, and I would enjoy the feel of the hot mug in my hands. I was glad I had put our heated mattress cover on. When you sleep or fool around with a vampire, keeping warm is always a consideration, especially once the weather turns chilly.

I decided I had earned a couple of cookies too. While I sipped cocoa and munched vanilla cookies and Roscoe crunched his Milk Bone under the kitchen table, I told Eric about my evening. His eyes got wider and wider as I spoke.

When I was done I put the ring in his hand. I had a third cookie. Heck, I had probably burned up that many calories just with my chattering teeth tonight.

He sat there looking at the ring. Then he slipped it on the ring finger of his right hand. It fit him perfectly. "You have no memory of what he told you?" Eric asked.

"None," I answered, sipping cocoa. "And I promised him I would keep his visit a secret, except from you. I guess that means you should keep his visit a secret too."

"I see no reason to mention it," he said. He was admiring how the ring looked on his big square hand. "Do you know if he will be back?" He asked that last question a little too casually.

I saw that Eric looked a little disappointed that he had not met Dracula, but I wasn't sure how I felt about it. If Dracula had some designs on me and Eric was in the way, that might be dangerous for Eric. I knew he would fight to the death to keep me, a thought too terrible to contemplate. Maybe it was for the best the two had not met, at least until I understood what all this was about.

"No, I don't know when he'll return, but I got the definite impression he'll be back. Maybe you can meet him then." I went and put my cup in the sink and ran water into it. That cocoa residue dried like concrete if you didn't rinse it out right away.

Eric sat quietly, looking out the window next to the kitchen table into the pitch black night. He was probably thinking about his next chance to meet the Prince of Darkness. He idly spun the ring around slowly on his finger as he thought.

"Eric, don't you think it's kind of strange that all these old vampires, the important ones, are so interested in me? I know my telepathy comes in handy sometimes, but there seems to be more than that going on." I was trying to be careful not to talk myself down, but I really was just a human girl with some fairy blood and telepathic powers. It didn't seem like that alone would be enough to cause the interest legendary vampires seemed to be showing in me. I sat back down at the table.

"I have thought about that since the day I met you. I knew you were unique and special. I wanted you and loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you in your red and white dress. You were what I had been waiting for all these centuries. Among the millions of people over the vast sea of time, you stood out, to me and to other vampires." He looked away from the window then, his eyes shining with the intensity of his passion. I was stunned.

"You loved me from way back then?" I asked. "Then why did it take so long for you to ask me out?" Though, truth be told, he hadn't really asked me out. He had rigged a drawing so I would win a date with him. Then I thought of an answer. "Was it because Bill had claimed me as his?"

Eric barked a disdainful little laugh. "Bill? No, he did not even figure in the equation. I knew he was wrong for you and that you would see through his manipulations and lies. I did not ask you out because I was forbidden from doing so by an edict from the Queen. It was only after she had been removed from her throne, and I waited to see what the new King's edicts were, that I was finally free to come after you. So much had happened at that point that I did not think I could just ask you out as a human man would. You needed to spend some time with me, to learn what I was about. Winning a date with me gave you that chance."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Are you saying that to know you is to love you?" I asked my Mr. Wonderful.

"Absolutely," he said with a twinkle in his eye. This was a guy with no self esteem issues, I thought. And, he was right.

I would have jumped his bones right then, but I was too worried about Jessica. We moved into the living room, I made a quick pit stop while Eric turned on the fireplace. Then we sat down and he told me about how his evening had gone.

more to come .........
(Juicy, kathrynwitte, Anonymous, tyesmamaw, Anonymous Z - Thanks for reading and commenting on the last chapter. The more I write the wilder this story gets. Like you, I wonder where it's headed. Again, thanks for reading along.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

134 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Four

The red mist rose up again as he spoke to me. I don't know how long he talked or what he said. I felt vast vistas of knowledge open up to me, huge cosmic designs and eons of wisdom poured into me. I was awestruck with wonder at his words.

You can imagine my frustration later when I could not recall one single word of what he said. His words were locked in a vault in my mind, and I didn't have the key. I just knew that when the time came the vault would open and I would know what I needed to know.

I heard my voice say, "Yes, Count Dracula." I wished like crazy I knew what I was agreeing to.

He chuckled and said, "For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you are a wise woman."

"I bid you a good evening and leave you with this as a remembrance." He pressed something into my hand.

The red fog grew so thick I had to close my eyes. I felt like I was floating and then slowly lowered down as light as a feather on my bed. It was so good to be warm, I snuggled down deeper into the blankets.

I opened my eyes. The credits were just finishing up on the Harry Potter movie. Roscoe was asleep in his bed. The safe room door was closed. Was this yet another crazy dream? I might have thought so if it wasn't for the object in my hand.

I was holding a ring made of gold with a crest on it over top of some red stone. There was a "D" in the middle of the crest. This was probably a reproduction of the ring Bela Lugosi wore in the movie. It looked and felt like solid gold. Did Dracula hand these out like Cracker Jack prizes, or was this truly an honor especially for me? I put it on, but it was far too large for me. Maybe it would fit Eric.

Eric. I wanted Eric. I wanted to tell him what just happened, I wanted to find out how he was. I was tempted to leave the safe room to call him. For some reason I could not get any reception in here. I was going to get a land line installed but I didn't get around to it yet.

I hesitated. What if I called him right as his attention should be directed elsewhere? It could put him in danger. The whole reason I decided to stay in the safe room tonight was to free his mind from worry.

If he knew Dracula had taken me out of this room like someone would take a kitten out of a cardboard box his mind would not rest easy. I hadn't been bitten. I hadn't been ravaged. He had basically just talked to me.

I would wait until Eric got back to tell him what happened, at least, to tell him about the part of it I remembered. It was so easy to think of Dracula as the iconic figure of Bela Lugosi. I had to remind myself that I was looking at a projection, either of his mind or mine. He might be some hideous rotting nightmare, some scaly leprous monster with claws and dripping fangs.

What I sensed about him was that he was older than old, and there wasn't anything human or even ex-human about him, still, he understood me and related to me and was even playful with me, in his fashion.

What did he want with me? What did all these old, and old old, vampires want with me? I try not to be paranoid, but it just seemed really weird that I was pals with, or married to, some of the oldest vampires on the planet.

Of course Eric was such a powerhouse, so magnetic and central to the vampires around here anyone that was his wife might attract all this attention. Still, why had Dracula, the vampire to end all vampires, or maybe the vampire to begin all vampires, come here to see me? Maybe he wanted some Halloween candy, I thought sarcastically.

Eric had missed his chance to meet Dracula. But at least I got him a souvenir ring. What was my Viking going to say about this?

more to come .......
(Anonymous, Gjers-1, VampWhisperer - I like hearing what you're thinking, thanks for writing. I'm glad you like Dracula as much as I do.)

133 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Three

Later I realized I couldn't remember what the stranger had looked like at first, all I could recall were the eyes and the voice. I remember that the stranger spoke, but I knew I wasn't hearing what his voice really sounded like. I'm pretty sure the voice was only in my head. I might have been still in my safe room sleeping for all I knew.

He came close to me, hidden in a swirling red mist. I could feel him all around me. I was emotionally numb. It reminded me of the time I had breathed in nitrous oxide from a little cup over my nose when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I knew I should be afraid, but it was a vague distant thought and didn't really trouble me.

This was a vampire's thrall, I recognized it from the time Jure had glamoured me. I began to fight it, but it was very powerful. I knew this wasn't Jure, and I knew it wasn't Anna Hita. Then I knew who it was. The knowledge was like falling endlessly down a black pit.

I clawed at anything I could reach to stop my endless descent into the madness of oblivion. Finally I felt a way to shield my mind, to harden my thoughts and keep him partially out, a skill I had honed from all the years I had tried to keep out the unwanted thoughts of others.

That part of my mind, blind and disoriented as it was, began to fight back. The red vapor receded slightly. This is the part of me that recalled the experience later. If you have ever come out of heavy sedation you will know what I mean, that part of you can hear and know everything while the rest of you is still under sedation and unable to move. Maybe being in a coma is like that too. There was a part of my mind I could protect from being glamoured by curling my will around it and protecting it.

I couldn't tell if the crimson fog was real or just inside my mind. It was maddening not to be able to see. "Show yourself!" I screamed in my mind, "Who are you?" I wanted to flail my arms to strike out and feel for what was near me, but they hung uselessly at my side.

"Mmmm," the unseen being said, "You are everything they said you are and more." I felt the crushing damp weight of the scarlet thrall lift a little. The fog thinned, swirling red tendrils parting to let the glowing eyes become visible, then the fog lifted completely and standing there in black and white was ..... Bela Lugosi.

"I ... am ... Dracula," he said in his slow, deep, dramatic, accented voice.

I had seen the movie several times, so maybe my mind was supplying the image or perhaps he was supplying it himself. The feeling I got was of a being so alien, so unhuman, I had never encountered anything like it. This was indeed the Mack Daddy, the Big Kahuna, the Grand Poobah of vampires.

He chuckled. Inside the house poor little Roscoe barked and barked, then howled like he did when he smelled the unicorn scent on the washcloth. A dog in the distant neighborhood howled and bayed back, it sounded like the beagle in the brick house next to Jure's. The sound carried through the quiet night, over the large pond that lay between us.

"Listen to them ... the children of the night. What music they make," Dracula recited, word for word from the movie.

"I bid you welcome." I said, also a line from the movie, now that I could speak. Two could play this game. Now that the thrall had lessened I realized I was so frightened my teeth were chattering. Or maybe it was just the cold. How long had I been out here?

"Why are you here?" I asked. I so so hoped the answer wasn't going to contain the word blood.

"I am a spider spinning his web for the unwary fly."

Well that didn't tell me much, did it?

"I trust you will keep my coming here ... a secret?" he asked, sounding almost playful.

Since he could glamour me six ways from Sunday to completely forget this encounter I agreed, with one exception.

"I promise I won't tell anyone you were here except my husband. He's one blood with me. And he's always wanted to meet you." I hoped Mr. Dracula knew what it meant to be one blood with someone. He had never married as far as I knew.

"Excellent, Sookie, excellent. And now, if you would be so kind to listen, I would like to discuss my reason for coming here with you."

I really wanted to go back into my house and turn on the fire and warm up, but that would mean inviting Dracula into the house. Every other vampire's invitation could be rescinded, but maybe this Master of All Vampires didn't need to follow those rules.

Of course he had already entered to retrieve me from the safe room, but maybe that was just my mind playing tricks on me. I couldn't tell if he was here or not, if I was dreaming or awake, but just to err on the side of caution I decided to stay in the yard.

more to come ........
(TMSescritura, Gjers-1, Anonymous Z, tyesmamaw thanks for your comments. The story comes to me in these cliff hanger-y segments so that's how I write it. Sometimes I have no idea what's going to happen until I have the time to sit at the keyboard and write some more. This is why I write so much, to find out what happens!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

132 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Two

I sat in the safe room listening to the quiet hum of the ventilation system, but I didn't put on the TV or open a book right away.

Eric's talk about caves made me recall my dream this afternoon so I wrote it down in my little notebook. It didn't sound nearly as ominous as it had felt at the time. Were all caves potentially exits, or only certain kinds of caves, I wondered. Lots of people explore caves and tourists visit them in droves, but I have never heard of anyone being accosted by a spirit or the restless undead.

The system of restraint for the departed in the Underworld must be pretty efficient. And spirits were allowed to visit mediums apparently. It didn't surprise me there was red tape in the Underworld, that's probably where red tape was invented. The Hundred Handers could probably deal with multiple cases at once and were probably over worked, just like their human counterparts in the sunlit world above.

I hadn't gotten a chance to find out why Maxine wanted to contact her deceased husband. But if she knew a real medium, one that could actually summon someone that had crossed over, I wanted to know who it was. I might not contact any of my deceased relatives, but I would like to have the option. I decided not to dwell on that thought tonight, I already had enough to think about.

Neither Eric nor I were going to be able to attend the Dracula Night party in Fangtasia. It was good Eric had Pam to run things and Clancy to do her bidding. As much as Clancy and I weren't buddies, I had to admit he tried hard to be a good employee and worked well under supervision. I had been to so many events and had so many experiences at the Vampire Land mall I wasn't going to miss the party tonight. And I did have a date planned with Eric tomorrow night.

Roscoe was asleep on his safe room dog bed, so I popped in a DVD and started watching it. It was one of the Harry Potter movies, another take on a magical world where the supernatural was commonplace. I especially loved Hagrid. I wouldn't mind having a gentle giant like that as a friend. Their British accents made me think about Doctor Dolittle. He must have been the one to find out the middle head bit Jessica. I wondered if the heads had names.

As entertaining as the movie was, I found myself drifting off to sleep, one of the draw backs of living among vampires. I tried not to get behind on my sleep, but I was almost always a little sleep derived. It was so rare for me to get a chance to sleep early in the evening like this that I turned the sound off and lay on the bed, watching the movie but not listening to it. Soon the flickering images put me to sleep.

I heard the safe room door being opened and woke up. Eric stood outlined in the doorway. He said, "Come with me, I have something outside I want to show you."

I put on my slippers and tightened the belt on my robe. The temperature was supposed to fall into the thirties tonight, I hoped we weren't going to be outside for long. Maybe he had Jessica in the SVV and wanted me to talk to her. What did a rabid vampire look like? I hoped it wasn't anything too scary. I followed him through the house, noticing that he hadn't put on any of the lights when he got home.

The front porch was dark and I went to put on the lights. Eric said, "No, don't put the lights on. You won't need them for this." He opened the door and I stepped outside. I didn't see anything unusual. He walked out onto the drive way and I followed him. He continued to the edge of the gravel and started across the grass.

"Eric, I'm in my slippers, and I'm only wearing a robe. Let me go back in and put on some shoes. The grass is damp and I'm getting chilly."

I turned towards the house and noticed the tray of Halloween treats was missing. There was enough light coming from the half moon to see the sign I had made was gone too. Did kids take the whole tray, or did Eric bring it in on his way? And where was Eric's car? Did he catch Jessica?

I turned back towards the woods to ask Eric about these things and I stopped dead. The man standing there wasn't Eric at all. It was a stranger with glowing yellow eyes.

more to come .........
(Thanks Juicy for the good wishes. I hope your Thanksgiving was great too!)

131 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty One

He looked alert as he listened to what was being said on the other end of the phone. I heard the word "Jessica" so I knew it was about the bitten teen aged vampire. I hoped she wasn't suffering or being hunted down like a wild animal.

Eric was her best chance to be taken in and allowed to recover. Jessica hadn't asked to become a vampire and she hadn't had an easy time since she was changed, to end up being killed because she was bitten by a rabid dog would just be so tragic and wrong.

He hung up. "It was the middle head," he said. That meant vengeance. Jessica was going to go after those that had wronged her. It was better than if she was going to start attacking people at random, but just barely.

The sheriff of Shreveport began getting dressed. As he pulled on his clothes I told him about my trip to Bon Temp to warn Hoyt and his decision to quickly take his mother to visit her cousin in Texas.

"That is good," Eric said. "Bill has been alerted, though he refused an offer to stay in the King's safe room. He prefers to stay home and believes he can deal with Jessica himself if she comes for him. Jessica's parents left without any forwarding address once the press started to hound them, as you know, so they are probably safe. I have no way to contact them."

News of the underage vampire had made the rounds from the FOTS scandal sheets to the gossip shows. No one had proven that the missing Jessica Hamby was the vampire in question, but her family had started getting news reporters asking them how they would feel if their missing daughter really was a vampire. It was horrible, and the family had moved to protect Jessica's younger sister from the onslaught of news vultures. It wouldn't surprise me if the family had changed their names.

Eric was gathering his few supplies: thick leather gloves to handle the silver net, the dart gun that fired stakes too short to kill a vampire but would disable one, a sunlight taser, and Gran's silver dessert forks. These last were my idea. They had worked to take down the gigantic Bojan, surely they could take down Jessica, rabid or not. He put his supplies in a bag, and put on his worn leather jacket. As big and brave as he was, I still worried about his safety. He would have a deputy with him and his SVV, so I tried to reassure myself he was as protected as any vampire could be.

Once Eric was dressed he brought me in the living room and sat me down next to him to talk seriously with me. "Sookie, I know you were looking forward to Dracula Night at Fangtasia tonight, as was I. But now I have to find Jessica. That means I will not be there to protect you. I know you will say .."

I stopped him. "No, I won't. I think you're right. It would be too worrying for you to have me alone in a club full of vampires with a rabid vampire on the loose. You need to concentrate on your sheriff duties, not be calling me every fifteen minutes to make sure I'm OK. I'll stay here in my safe room and won't come out until you open the door. That way you can have your whole mind on what you're doing."

As I talked his eyes grew round with astonishment. It was worth staying home tonight just to see that look on his face. I had managed to amaze him with my good sense and reasonable attitude. This was such a rare occurrence I savored the moment like a fine wine.

"Again you have surprised me, my amazing wife," he said. He was going to say more but I interrupted.

"I also have a pretty good idea of where Jessica's going to be headed. I know it's the first place I would go if I was her and hell bent on revenge."

"Hell bent is the right phrase for it. Where is she headed?"

I told him. He didn't need to write it down because Eric remembered everything. Before he left I asked him where the exit for the Underworld was. He told me they were all over, any place a cave had an opening to the earth's surface. He said the one that Jessica used might have been any of the natural openings that were numerous in this state. The Caves of Louisiana Project had been busy mapping and photographing caves for years. Of course, she would want the nearest cave to her target, that is, if I was right about who she was going to try to destroy.

After I kissed my brave and handsome warrior and warned him to be careful, I gathered my things while he took the dog out for a last trip, then he went with me, some good books, two current Netflix DVD's, and my baby dog and got us settled into our safe room. He locked the door himself so he would be sure I was truly safe.

It wasn't how I had planned to spend our first anniversary, but it was a darn sight better than having him thinking about me while he was out and about chasing down a vampire infected with some kind of super duper supernatural rabies right from the jaws of hell. That would be quite enough for my honey to deal with tonight.

more to come ........

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

130 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty

Eric had an anniversary gift for me, and I had an anniversary gift for him.

I gave him mine first. It was a new leather jacket, a nice one for when he wasn't in his work mode as night club owner, construction contractor, or sheriff. It fit him perfectly because I had brought the other worn one with me to get the new one.

He put it on and I admired him in it. More so because it was the only thing he had on. The view from the back was particularly wonderful, and Eric didn't mind me spending all the time I wanted on feasting my eyes. It's a lucky thing eyes don't get chubby from feasting, or else mine would be the size of basketballs after I got done looking at my long tall man.

I told him I thought the jeweled unicorn had been my anniversary gift. "It was," he said, "Then I had another idea."

He handed me another large jewelry case. I opened it and froze in wonder. He had taken the bracelets and gotten the diamonds reset. The two large diamonds were matched by a third diamond of equal size and clarity, with two smaller diamonds on either side of the three main stones.

It was a gold tiara, so dazzling and beautiful I could scarcely tear my eyes off it.

Eric explained, "I was concerned the King would learn of the bracelets, so I had them recast and the stones reset. The diamonds have also been laser engraved with permanent identification markings and paperwork that shows they were purchased as investments more than three years ago. The paperwork for this clearly shows that you have had this tiara for a year. I wanted you to be able to wear the diamonds without fear they would be confiscated. Also, I knew you felt bad that Anna Hita didn't let you wear her tiara at your wedding. Now you have your own tiara." He sat back and folded his arms over his bare chest. "Please, put it on so I may see you in it."

I began to place it on my head, but he stopped me. "Please take off your robe too."

So I stood there before him naked, wearing an outrageously valuable diamond tiara and a smile.

He sat and looked at me for a long time much like someone would sit and look at a painting in a museum. Finally he said, "It is as I thought. You were meant to wear a crown. You are a queen."

I really wanted to tell him to stop it, that I was just a recycled bar maid from a hick town, but I knew that this was exactly the kind of thinking that was causing me to feel so much jealousy when Eric was around a beautiful or attractive or nice looking woman.

I made my mind accept what he was saying. He thought I was beautiful and special, he had spent more money than I could even think about to give me something I wanted, and I needed to get real with this moment.

"Thank you," I said. "Your love for me is overwhelming. I will be your queen, but you're also my king. I'm so glad I married you, Eric, it just keeps getting better. I'm happier than I have ever been in my life."

I went and sat in his lap. At first his lap just lay there quietly, then his lap noticed I was sitting there naked. I don't know how many women have had sex in a diamond tiara, but it really adds something to the experience. It improved my posture, enhanced my self esteem, and sent rays of light around the room. At some point I removed it and carefully laid it on the night stand, but while I had it on it was a trip.

Later I asked Eric how he knew I felt bad about Anna Hita not loaning me her tiara. I was thinking it was from the blood bond or from him tasting my memories.

But he said, "It was from the look on your face when you saw Trinity. Your eyes went from her fangs to her tiara. You looked longer at her crown than her teeth. I knew both were a surprise to you, but the tiara was the bigger surprise. I wanted you to never feel like that again."

I asked him, "Do you know everything about me?"

"Oh no, no, my Sookie. You are more full of surprises than Christmas morning. It is one of your many charms."

"That's me, a lady of mystery." I joked, putting the tiara back on.

"A married lady of mystery," Eric added. Roscoe continued to bark at the door every few minutes, then Eric's cell phone rang signaling the end of our fun and games.

more to come ......
(Thank you Anonymous Z for your comments and your good wishes for my Thanksgiving. I wish you - and everyone that comes here - a happy healthy Thanksgiving. I am thankful to have you to share my stories with.)

129 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Nine

On the way back to Shreveport I tried hard not to think about the hurtful things Tara had said.

One reason they hurt was that they reflected some of the fears that had made me so cautious in deciding whether I even wanted to tell Eric about the wedding gift from Anna Hita. I thought I had put all those fears to rest, but Tara had riled them all up again. The heck with her, I finally decided. She had a bad history with vampires and a small mind. It hurt to have a friend turn on me like that, and I felt like my only friends besides Amelia, Sam, and Hoyt, were vampires.

Part of the problem was that I wanted the whole idea of having a child to seem more real. I made a decision to start the process by contacting the fertility clinic associated with the sperm bank that had Eric's contribution to this endeavor. If they seemed all right to me I was going to go ahead and schedule whatever was involved in getting pregnant this way. Millions of children were conceived using fertility treatments of some kind, no reason it shouldn't work for me.

I got home and put the car in the garage. I used the new underground passageway to get to the house. I could use it to take me right to my safe room, but I entered the walk out basement instead and went upstairs to the kitchen. I was still full from the milk shake, so I put some big rollers in my hair, settled Roscoe in, and lay down for a nap. I had a few hours to catch up on my sleep.

I had a very strange and disturbing dream. I dreamt that I was walking on a rough stone path towards the dark opening of a big cave.

The wind started to blow causing the trees to sway and the leaves to show their lighter backs. The current of air through the leaves whispered, "He's coming. He's coming" as the leaves spun and quivered, the boughs shaking and whipping back and forth.

The weak sun suddenly went behind rapidly gathering black clouds, leaving me feeling cold and apprehensive in the gray light. Still I kept walking towards the black yawning mouth of the cave. When I got to the entrance I was afraid to go in. Deep in the cave two glowing yellow eyes appeared. Was this friend of foe?

A thick dark red fog rolled from the cave, covering my ankles, then my knees. It kept rising, enveloping me in an inky redness I could smell and taste. It tasted like vampire blood. I was powerless to run away. As the fog completely engulfed me I felt invisible icy hands touch my arms, invisible cold lips kiss mine. It was horrible, but I could not break away.

A sinister voice hissed loudly, "HE HAS COME!" right by my ear. The shock of it woke me up. I lay there for a moment, but the fright quickly faded and I fell back to sleep.

Roscoe's barking woke me up again about an hour later. He was by the front door barking at the little trick-or-treaters that had come to the porch. I wasn't going to open the door, so I had made up goody bags of wrapped candy and put them in a dish with a little sign that said "Happy Halloween! Please take only one."

On the monitor I saw four little kids putting multiple bags of candy in their plastic pumpkins. Their mother was telling them to only take one each, and trying to make them put back the extra ones. It was fun to watch the negotiations. I admired the mother's patience trying to get the children to do what was right.

Then I heard the mother whisper in a scary voice, "If you kids don't put that extra candy back the vampire that lives in this house is going to come out and bite you!"

The kids quickly put back the extra bags, squealing and running away back down the drive. My heart sank. If parents were going to use vampires like the bogey man to frighten children, they would grow up fearing vampires. And what people feared they also hated. It meant a whole new generation of people thinking vampires were a threat to them.

Unbeknown to me, a silent vampire was at that very moment sneaking up behind me. He kissed my ear so gently I might have thought I just imagined it if Mr. Happy wasn't also poking me in the backside.

"Happy first anniversary, my wife," the vampire said to me, his voice husky with emotion.

"Happy first anniversary to you, my husband," I answered back, turning around to kiss him properly. We went back to the bedroom to celebrate. We invited Mr. Happy to join us. It turns out he was the life of the party.

more to come .......

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

128 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Eight

As soon as I was out of sight of her house I pulled the car over and exploded. "How dare she talk to me that way?" I exclaimed, hitting the steering wheel to express my frustration. "What kind of a friend is that? After all I've done for her. How can she be so stupid and ignorant and narrow minded? She's no friend of mine if that's how she feels, she's just a bitter ...."

Roscoe had his adorable head tipped trying to understand what I was saying, his large liquid coffee brown eyes full of sympathy and love. When I stopped talking his tail wagged tentatively.

"You're absolutely right," I told my little furry therapist in my baby talk voice, "I shouldn't waste my time on her stupid opinions. We have better ways to spend our time don't we?"

I gave Roscoe a reassuring cuddle and drove on to Hoyt's house. My head had decided not to let Tara's ignorance get to me, but my guts hadn't gotten the message. They felt tight and slightly nauseous. Prejudice like hers made me sick.

During the week Jason stayed home to watch Roscoe, Jason had given Hoyt the week off too. Hoyt had used the time doing some maintenance on his mom's house. Her porches had been scraped and repainted, her rose trellis re-attached to the garage, and the gutters cleaned out.

Now he was washing her windows. He was up on the ladder with Windex and paper towels, Maxine Fortenberry was standing at the bottom giving him minutely detailed instructions on how to perform the simple task. Her Southern drawl seemed to have gotten even thicker.

"For heaven's sake, Hoyt, don't you see that big streak up there in the corner? That's going to just ruin my view if you don't get that. Use another towel, no not two towels, one will do. They're the good Bounty towels. I don't see why we couldn't use the store brand for wiping down the windows. They charge twice as much for the Bounty towels ......" She heard me coming up the walk and stopped.

Maxine was a study in contradictions. Sometimes she could be the kindest most thoughtful person, then at other times she was just a shrew, making Hoyt's life miserable. Hoyt's dad had committed suicide, and once when Hoyt was three sheets to the wind he told me he thought his mother had driven him to it. I guess most of Maxine's problems centered around her fears of losing control of Hoyt, her only child. What she didn't see was that her continuous harangue was driving Hoyt further and further away.

"Sookie!" she exclaimed, but it didn't sound like a happy exclamation. She probably resented my intrusion on her window cleaning project. The big woman came over and threw her huge arms around me. She smelled like hairspray and sweat.

Her big teased bouffant hairstyle hadn't changed in forty years, but it probably took more time and hairspray to keep it so puffy now that her hair had thinned a little. More pancake makeup, more lipstick, more eyeshadow had been added to what had already been plenty. The thin October sunlight was brutal to her appearance, and her expression of irritated discontent didn't help.

After the usual small talk Hoyt excused himself with difficulty and we went to the lunch wagon in town for a milkshake just like we had as teenagers. We sat at picnic tables in the sun and froze, drinking our shakes and catching up on the latest. I didn't tell Hoyt about my plans to have a baby, but I did get him laughing about the weird happenings in the mall.

"So, Sook, have you seen Jessica lately?" he finally asked, looking through his long lashes at me as he sipped his shake. He was a good looking man with a baby face. He tried hard to keep the weight off, not an easy task with the genes his mom and dad had given him.

"That's why I wanted to talk to you," I began. I thought I'd start with the good news. "She's doing real well in her new job, and she asked about you at the King's wedding. I don't think she's seeing anyone. She told me to tell you she sends her regards." I watched Roscoe walk around on his long retractable leash smelling the ground around the picnic area. He sat down in spot of sunlight, but it wasn't strong enough to keep him warm. Soon we would need to go sit in my car with the heater on.

His open face brightened at this news. He had really loved the pretty vampire and he still hoped they could see each other again. She had accepted him, laughed at his jokes, and had wild vampire sex with him. He found human women to be pretty dull in comparison. Hoyt's mind was as easy to read as his face.

We moved to the car and the heater for the "bad news" part of my visit. "I need to warn you about something. Jessica was bitten by a rabid animal ..." I saw shock and worry in Hoyt's face. "She will be fine in a couple of days ..." If she lived that long, I thought, "but in the meantime she might attack anyone she has had contact with and an attachment towards. I thought of you. You need to keep yourself safe for the next two nights. Do you have somewhere you can go?" I asked.

I thought he could use my safe room while I was celebrating Dracula Night in Fangtasia.

"I'll need to take my Mama somewhere safe too," he said. "You remember that trouble we had, Jessica might still be carrying a grudge against Mama."

I suppressed a sigh. He was right, of course. The thought of stuffing him and Maxine into my little safe room was almost more than I could bear, but I did need to put him and his mother somewhere safe. Jessica had bitten Maxine one time when their acrimonious relations reached the boiling point. That's a big no-no when you're dealing with your potential future mother in law. In Jessica's defense it was when she was a newly Turned vampire and Bill wasn't providing the proper supervision for his Child.

"I'll take her to Texas," he said, looking happy. "As soon as I get back we'll throw some clothes in a suitcase and drive to Texas. She has been buggin' me and buggin' me to take her to see her cousin Lois. I'll tell her it's a surprise and we'll leave right away. Jessica would never find us there, she doesn't even know about Lois."

That sounded good, much better than dragging Maxine to my house in Shreveport. I promised to call Hoyt and tell him if I heard any news of Jessica, and I also told him I would square away his extended leave with his boss, my brother. This had worked out better than I had hoped, I thought, as I drove Hoyt back to his mom's house.

more to come .......

127 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Seven

Tara looked radiant. Motherhood agreed with her as nothing else had. She had Katie Marie on her hip when she came to the door, although the child was obviously big enough to be toddling around on her own. They had on matching mother-daughter prairie dresses, matching ribbons in their hair, even similar flat ballet shoes. I wondered if this was for Halloween or whether they dressed like this the rest of the time.

It turned out Katie Marie's grandmother and namesake, Katherine, had made the outfits. She was the seamstress that had made my wedding dress based on the design of my red and white date dress, the dress I had worn when I first met Eric in Fangtasia. I had gone there with Bill to try and find out about someone on Merlotte's staff that had been murdered, and Eric had summoned Bill and me up to his dais. I had hated and feared Eric back then, thinking he was a tyrant and a monster that had Bill under his sadistic thumb. How things have changed!

"Sookie, you have never looked more lovely," Tara said, putting out a tray of cookies and diet sodas.

Katie Marie immediately went for the plate of cookies, so Tara let her take one and then she had to put the tray up. It was just as well. Sitting and talking in front of a tray of cookies could result in mindless eating, the kind that put on weight. That was one thing I wouldn't need to worry about once I was Turned. Of course, my cookie days would be over too, and that felt a little sad.

"Thanks, Tara, I was just thinking the same thing about you," I replied. I had decided to tell Tara, my childhood best friend, about my decision to have a child. I hoped it wouldn't upset her.

She had adopted Katie Marie from Katherine's college age daughter Truvy because she was unable to have children of her own due to the mistreatment of a very bad vampire she had dated. She seemed so happy with her little curly haired angel I didn't think my plan to carry a child would hurt her feelings.

After I filled her in about Vampire Land, and gave her and J.B. the set of wine glasses from France I had gotten them in the Vampire Land Mall, I gave Katie Marie her toys, a stuffed bat that played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and a stuffed Humpty Dumpty doll that made a breaking glass sound when you dropped it and recited the rhyme. It also played songs when you squeezed the hands and feet.

Katie Marie had just said "Tank you" and sat down on the floor to explore her gifts when Truvy arrived to take her to a birthday party for one of her little friends.

This was an open adoption, something Truvy had insisted on, and it was working out wonderfully. Truvy was in her last year of college and she had a steady boy friend. She knew she wasn't ready for full time motherhood, but she spent enough time with her biological daughter that their bond was strong.

Still, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Katie Marie was Tara's and J.B.'s little girl, and there was enough little girl to go around. Everyone seemed to benefit from this arrangement. Tara continued to manage her store while Truvy had the child, and then Truvy was free to finish college and have her freedom knowing Katie Marie was in a loving home. It seemed to be a win-win situation.

Truvy, Katie Marie, the bat and Humpty all left in a flurry of kisses, leaving Tara and me a little time to talk in private. I had to leave Roscoe in the car because Katie Marie had allergies, so Tara and I moved out to the open front porch and I brought the little dog up to sit with us. It was kind of chilly to be sitting around, but I didn't plan on staying long anyway. I had to leave to see Hoyt and warn him about Jessica in a few minutes.

"Tara, I have some news, or at least, potential news," I began, shyly.

Tara looked both interested and concerned, as if she thought I might have something bad I was going to share with her.

"I have decided to have a baby with Eric," I said. I saw the question on her face, so I went on. "I am going to use a sperm donor with Eric's characteristics. He's delighted with this decision. Of course, it may not go as I hope, but I wanted to share the good news with you."

I sat back, smiling. This made my decision seem more real, to share it with Tara. I didn't tell her the whole truth, that I was actually going to use sperm from Eric's human life. I knew vampires didn't like their special talents to be known by humans, and time travel in a parallel dimension would definitely fall under the heading of special talents.

She didn't squeal and hug me as I thought she might. In fact, she didn't move a muscle. It was as if her face had frozen in that concerned expression.

Finally she said flatly, "That's very nice for you, Sookie." She stood up abruptly and said, "I need more soda, how about you?"

She was heading for the front door when I asked her, "Is something wrong, Tara?" I might have have upset her because she was unable to have children, but she had a daughter. Was she still sad because she was couldn't give birth? I should have broken the news to her differently ....

"Yes, something is wrong," she said, sounding angry. She turned to face me, setting the soda can down on a table. Her face was set in the stubborn squinted look I recognized as her expression of righteous outrage.

"Sookie, how can you even think about having a baby with a vampire as a father? The one good thing about marrying a vampire is that they are unable to reproduce. Now you say you want to bring some poor innocent child into a family where the father is an unnatural abomination, not even a living person? Come on, Sookie, think about it. What chance does a child have to be normal and happy when their father is a freaking vampire?"

I was speechless. I knew Tara didn't like vampires because she had been abused by one, but she knew me, she knew Eric, surely she must know Eric was not evil or abusive. My wedding shower had been held in her store. I bought my bridesmaids dresses from her. She had seemed upbeat and positive about my marriage. Yet, here she was sounding like the propaganda the FOTS handed out. Had she joined their ranks and not told me?

"Tara, you sound just like that preacher from the Fellowship of the Sun," I said, trying to make a lighthearted remark and lighten the conversation.

"I don't agree with everything they say, but I have to say that some of their ideas make sense. I'm just thinking about the baby. How will that child deal with the discrimination and teasing of the other kids once they find out his or her father is a vampire? What chance does that child have growing up normally with that kind of stigma?" She sat back down.

"So you're saying that because ignorant people are prejudiced, I shouldn't have a child because those ignorant people's ignorant children will harass my child?" I couldn't believe my friend was saying this to me.

"It's not just ignorance, Sookie. Vampires are not natural creatures, they are created by a disease or something. They kill and injure people. They live on human blood, for God's sake! We were not meant to interbreed with them. God made them sterile for a reason. If they were meant to reproduce they wouldn't be sterile. It's going against the laws of nature, against the will of God, to marry one and then have a child." Her eyes burned with her fervent beliefs.

"So you oppose my marriage to Eric?" I asked. My lips felt numb I was so shocked at her reaction. Roscoe got up and stood by my side, sensing something was upsetting me.

"No, I understand that you have that weird thing wrong with your mind. You could never find a normal human man that would marry you. If you want to marry a vampire that's your business. You have a right to have someone, even if it is a vampire. But honey, don't bring some poor innocent child into this mess. You might be mad at me right now for speaking my mind, but I wouldn't be your friend if I didn't point out the obvious. You would be making the biggest mistake of your life to impose your lifestyle on a child. Think about it, it's just plain selfish of you to consider it." She sat back, her lips pressed together in an expression that looked exactly like her mother. The phrase "invincible ignorance" popped into my mind.

I was tempted to lash out at her, to say something hurtful and mean, but I felt so strongly the presence of Gran at that moment. She would say, "The least said, the soonest mended," meaning that anything I said to fight back would just add fuel to our disagreement.

I stood up, picking up the leash. "I'm sorry to hear you feel that way Tara. I'll think about what you said. I have to go now. Thanks for the soda. Good bye."

I walked to the car on stiff legs, put Roscoe in his car seat and drove away without looking back.

more to come .........

Monday, November 23, 2009

126 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Six

The next day I unlocked the safe room and looked for a note from Eric. Sure enough, he had leaned it against the coffee maker.

"My Wife, No luck finding J. I warned Bill. Could you put Hoyt on the alert? Still waiting for Dr. D to arrive. I am well. See you tonight, your devoted Husband, Eric". I gave the note a kiss and put it with all the other notes I had for him. I still had to add them to the ones I had tied up with red ribbons.

I took the dog out, had toast and coffee, and laid out my clothes for the Dracula Night festivities at Fangtasia tonight. Then I called Jason to find out where Hoyt was working. I was in luck. He was staying in Bon Temps to take Maxine, his mom, to her doctor's appointments today. I gave him a call and asked if I could stop by and see him. I just couldn't tell him over the phone his rabid vampire ex-girlfriend might be headed his way to kill him. We had all day to plan a time, so we set our date at noon.

I called Tara to ask if I could drop off her and J.B.'s gifts and the one I had for their daughter, Katie Marie. Tara was excited to hear from me and would be home today. I told her I would be there soon. I wanted to get there before the little girl went down for her nap.

On the way to Bon Temps I thought about the things Eric had told me last night. He really loved me, I knew that, and he was very very attached to me. My jealousy really was a manifestation of my own insecurities, not due to anything Eric was doing. I resolved to work on my issues even more.

Then I thought about poor Jessica. The young vampire had no reason to come after me, but if she was bitten by the head on the right she would go after anyone she could. I thought she would have to chew through a lot of folks before she got to me. I didn't even know where the entrance to the Underworld was. Was she near or far? I should have asked Eric about this last night. I hoped this wasn't going to ruin his Dracula Night for him, he looked forward to it so.

That kill on sight order was disturbing. A vampire must be able to do a lot of damage in a short period of time in order to set fire to whole city to disguise their kills. Of course the Great Fire of London might have started off as a small fire that got out of control. Back in 1666 they couldn't have had any really reliable fire fighting equipment. A small fire set to incinerate a few bodies might have simply blown out of control and engulfed half the city.

The number 1666 reminded me of Amelia's situation. I remembered some occasions where I had over done it in the sex department. Amelia's situation was much much worse. If she learned a lesson though she would get over it in time and be a wiser witch. Would she be happy with her body as it normally was once she had experienced the intense effects of the spell? Being normal would pale in contrast, I thought.

Next I turned my mind to Hoyt's situation. He was a good son, still looking after his mom even though she could be a very difficult person to deal with. I always thought her disapproval was one reason things had never worked out between Jessica and Hoyt. Maxine had no trouble speaking her mind, her constant belittling of Hoyt and his choice of a girlfriend would have to take its toll. Jessica still cared for Hoyt, that was obvious to me. Would she try to hurt him, or Turn him, if she was mad?

I wondered why Jessica felt she needed to sneak out and tell Hoyt about his mother's paranormal activities. Was she just using it as an excuse to see Hoyt, or was there something Hoyt needed to know about his mother's attempt to contact her deceased husband? What had he buried?

That brought up all the questions I had about what happens to someone after they die. I used to believe that if you were good you went right to heaven, but if you were totally bad you went the other way. Was the Underworld the same thing as hell? It didn't sound like it. Was there a heaven? I hadn't heard about it. I knew Claudine was working to become an angel, that was why I had been assigned Chester Katz and his siblings. Was he assigned to me all the time like Claudine was, or was it just while I was in the Vampire Land mall?

Doctor Dolittle wouldn't be arriving until tonight if he was one of the Undead, so Eric might not be able to find out right away which direction Jessica might be heading. If Doctor Dolittle really could talk to the animals, it would be fantastic if I could find out why Roscoe howled when he smelled the unicorn. Of course that probably wasn't going to happen, but it was a thought.

Like most things in the magical and supernatural world, the more I found out, the more questions I had. It was a losing proposition. Still, I planned on asking Eric more when I saw him tonight. I couldn't wait to see him again. I was glad I had some visits to make to fill the hours he was dead until dark.

more to come .......

125 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Five

I trotted after him. "Seriously?" I asked.

"Seriously," he affirmed. "Think about it. How many bad movies would you assign as punishment to be watched in the Underworld?"

I could think of lots of bad movies: Robot Monster, Troll 2, Battlefield Earth, Gigli, Leonard Part 6. The list was practically endless. The thought of all those atheists being forced to sit through turkey after turkey made me chuckle.

Of course, the other Underworlds were pretty bad too. I hoped to avoid the Underworld and go to heaven. I would have to ask Eric how to get there when he wasn't rushing out the door to capture a seventeen year old girl.

I was so glad Eric said he was going to try and trap her. He had been ordered to stake her, but Eric was one to bend the rules when he could. I don't know if he liked Jessica, but he knew I would go wild if they killed that little girl after all she had been through. Bill would be beside himself, that is, if he was still with us. If the middle head bit her she might be stalking Bill to take him out even as I stood here.

"When will they know which head bit her?" I asked. Now there's a question you don't get to ask every day.

"They are waiting for Doctor Dolittle to show up and ask Cerberus. The doctor will be able to interpret what the hell hound has to say." I stared at Eric, waiting for him to break out laughing, but he was checking the charge in his cell phone and seemed oblivious to my stunned disbelief.

"There really is a Doctor Dolittle?" I guess the idea might have been based on a real doctor, but who would have thunk it?

"There really was a Doctor Dolittle. He is among the Undead now. He was too valuable to the King of England to allow him to die." Eric was ready to go, he walked to the door.

"Eric, please be careful. If it comes to a choice between saving her or saving yourself, please save yourself." I wanted to make sure he was clear that I didn't want him to save her at all costs.

"What if it comes to a choice between her and Bill?" Eric asked, looking in my eyes. His blue eyes looked as innocent as a baby's, but I wondered what his real reason was for asking me that question.

I had no answer. "I will pray it doesn't come to that." I said. It was the best answer I could give. Eric told me he would be back before dawn, which was only three hours away. A lot could happen in three hours, though.

I promised him I would stay in the human safe room until he returned. After I watched him drive away I gathered a few things, got Roscoe, and locked myself into the safe room. After setting the air flow and temperature, I crawled into bed.

I lay there worrying about Eric, Jessica, Bill and Hoyt, but at some point my thoughts drifted into dreams and I slept.

more to come ......

Sunday, November 22, 2009

124 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Four

I pulled more of his cape over me to keep warm. My mouth was dry from all the heavy breathing and I coughed.

"Sookie, let me get you some water and your pajamas, you must be chilly," he said. "I will let the dog out of the guest room, take him out, and then be right back."

I just nodded, too sexed out to think. He was back quickly with a glass of water and my lavender bunny pajamas. I drank the water and got dressed while Eric took Roscoe out for his final trip of the night.

While Eric was out his cell phone rang on the night stand. I didn't answer it because there was really nothing I could do about any of his calls. He needed to handle them himself. I told him about the call when he got in. While he checked for his missed call I changed Roscoe's water, gave him his dinner, and threw a toy for him to chase a few times.

Eric paced while he returned the call. He stopped moving when he got whoever called on the line. His voice went from relaxed to tense, terse and official. This meant there was trouble and Eric was supposed to be part of the solution. He closed the phone and sat down on the chaise in the bedroom. I looked at Eric inquiringly, but I didn't ask him what was up. He would tell me if he wanted me to know.

"There is a problem. Jessica was bitten by Hades' dog and she has left the Underworld. I need to find her before she causes a problem."

"She was bitten by a dog?" I asked. I would think a vampire could avoid being bitten by a dog.

"This is not just any dog, Sookie, this is Cerberus, the three headed dog. We don't know which head bit her, so we don't know what the focus of her madness is going to be."

"Why will the bite make her mad?" I asked. I sat down next to him. He rubbed my flannel clad leg absently as he talked. It seemed to soothe him.

"Cerberus has a case of rabies, he has always had it, it is a permanent condition with him. His bite infects vampires with a kind of madness. If the head on the left bit her, her madness will take the form of passion, she will go after anyone she desires as a lover. If the head in the middle bit her, her madness is vengeance and she will go after her Maker or her human family if she hates them. If it was the head on the right then her madness will be unleashed at random, she will attack anyone she can. The King has issued a K.O.S. order, but Persephone has begged me to find her and bring her back before she does anything horrible. They are getting a doctor to determine which head did the biting. Then I will know where to look for her."

"What's a K.O.S. order?"

"Kill on sight. The last time a vampire was bitten by Cerberus a whole city had to be burned to disguise the vampire's carnage. That was London in 1666. We are hoping to avoid that kind of disaster." He was calling one of his deputies to get the SVV, the Sheriff's Vamportation Vehicle, ready. He was going to try and net Jessica and bring her in alive.

"Can she be cured if you catch her?" I asked.

"The madness only lasts for three days, then she will return to normal. If I can keep her from harming anyone and keep her safely locked up for three days she will be back to normal."

Poor little Jessica! It wasn't her fault she was bitten by a rabid dog. Why didn't Hades keep the mutt locked up if he was so dangerous? I asked Eric.

"Cerberus guards the entrance to the Underworld. Only the dead may enter, and no one dead may leave. The Undead are confusing to the dog, and he bit her as she tried to sneak out. His chain had been recently lengthened due to the unusual activity among the dead."

"What unusual activity?"

"There has been an increase in spiritualistic mediums summoning the dead. Usually if a dead person is summoned they can leave to consult with the medium, but there have been more requests than the staff could process."

"The Underworld has a staff?" I was sorry I hadn't asked about all this before. It was a lot to take in all at once.

"Yes, of course. The ones that process the requests, the Hundred Handers, were being overworked. Jessica was helping Hades supervise their work load. But Jessica decided to take an unauthorized leave. It seems that Maxine Fortenberry recently visited a medium to contact her deceased husband and ask him where some valuables were buried. When Jessica saw the request she wanted to see Hoyt and let him know what his mother was doing. At least that's what she told Hel."

"Hel? I thought she was Norse." I really needed to get more books on these folks, it was hard keeping them all straight.

"She is, she runs the Norse section of the underworld."

"So, the Underworld has sections?"

"Many sections. Each newly dead person that is destined to spend some time in the Underworld is taken to the section that fits their beliefs in life." Eric was changing his clothes as he talked, putting on his sheriff outfit which consisted of a faded "Black Sabbath" tee shirt and jeans so worn there was fraying outlining his male parts, making me wonder how that area had gotten so abraded. With a grunt he pulled on heavy black boots, suitable for stomping.

He would wear a well worn black leather motorcycle jacket and carry a cell phone. All the weapons he needed were either in the SVV, or were part of his natural Vampire arsenal.

He threw his cape down on the floor, then glanced over at me, picked it up, and hung it up in his closet. I showed no reaction at all, but he knew I approved, just as he had known I disapproved of him dropping his cape on the floor. This was not our blood bond, just the natural knowledge a husband acquires of what makes his wife irritated.

I thought of something. "What if the newly deceased is an atheist and has no beliefs?" I asked.

"Then they go to the movies," he said, leaving the room.

more to come ......

123 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Three

There was an uneasy silence in the car on the way home. I waited for Eric to address what just happened. He picked the most troubling aspect of this situation for him. Typical Eric behavior, I was expecting it.

"How did you know she was a woman I dated, not a woman that Pam dated as I had told you?" he asked. He was still driving carefully and he had put on his seat belt. I gave him a few points for that.

I couldn't say "a little birdie told me" or give him any kind of vague evasive answer. It didn't work with vampires and it especially didn't work work with Eric. He would be unable to let go of this until he learned the truth. So, I laid it on him.

"I used my invisibility talisman to sneak outside and listen in to your conversation with her." I didn't think Eric would have the nerve to hit the roof over my deception since he started this with his deception. Of course, two wrongs don't make a right.

"How many times have you done this?" he asked. He sounded more curious than outraged.

"Just the once. How many times have you lied right to my face?" I asked him in return, but not venomously. It was good so much time had passed since the incident. Cooler heads thought better, cooler tongues were not as sharp and didn't inflict damage.

"More than once. It is my duty as your husband to protect you from upsetting things," he said, trying to sound self righteous.

Oh brother! Was it all men, or just vampire men that thought this load of horse pucky was going to fly? Bill had tried the same excuse with me.

"Eric, that just doesn't sound like the truth to me. I think you lied to prevent me from going nuts and getting angry with you. I know I have a problem with jealousy, but I'm working on it. It's getting better, isn't it? I mean, the jealousy you feel through our blood bond?" I understood that every time I had a conniption over some gal he was talking to he felt it like a punch in the gut. In time he had tuned out my jealous reactions, probably the best thing for all concerned.

"Yes, I can feel it is getting a little better. Your anger does not bother me. It hurts me to know you think so little of yourself that you believe some other could come along and turn my head. You are ...."

"Stop the car," I commanded, "Right this second, stop the car."

He pulled over to the side of the deserted country road and turned the lights off. He kept the car running for the heat. But my heat wasn't coming from the car heater, it was coming from the passion that had suddenly welled up in my breast and groin at his words. I wanted him this very second. I grabbed him and kissed him from the bottom of my soul.

"Thank you for being you," I panted. "Take me, but, Eric, don't ruin my dress."

Eric, being the vampire he was, did just that. You might not think it would be possible for a six foot four inch vampire to have passionate sex in a Corvette and you would be right. He turned off the car, pocketed the keys, wrapped me in his cape, and flew me home to our comfortable big four poster antique Swedish bed before you could say "purple passion".

He undressed me at warp speed, while his clothes seemed to just melt away. I was wild for him, understanding for the first time that when he said he was just trying to save me from myself he was telling me the truth. Maybe not the whole truth, but he was definitely trying to spare my feelings too.

He kept the cape on, not the first time we had used the cape for sexual purposes. He knew I liked being bound to him with it, feeling helpless and powerless to resist his bite. He had fed earlier so the bite was just a formality, but it was a necessary part of our lovemaking tonight. It released some hidden part of me that was free to just let go and act however I wanted. It silenced the inner observer part of my mind that worried about how I might look or act. It unified me into my animal nature, and right now my animal nature wanted to go at it like a rabbit on aphrodisiacs.

When we were both spent we lay there in a daze, holding hands and staring at the ceiling. The light was on in the hall, giving the bedroom enough light to see the familiar contours of the room. It was so good to be home. Vacation was wonderful, but home was even more wonderful.

more to come .......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

122 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Two

Eric went over the decorations and music choices for tomorrow night's party with Pam. He didn't order any Royalty this year, the insanely expensive bottled blood that the Dark Prince was said to prefer.

The blood fountain was still going to be used, as were donors that had begun signing up back in June for this premier Vampire event. The banners, white flags with red bears on them would still be hung, the alleged flag of the alleged Master Vampire. Eric had the flag researched so it would be authentic.

I was looking forward to the event, it was a chance to see vampires that usually avoided the club scene. There were sure to be some surprises because it was the custom for any traveling vampires to check in with the local sheriff on Dracula Night, and Eric would be sure to invite them to the club.

I didn't expect Dracula himself to show up, and it didn't sound like Eric did either, though maybe way down deep inside he hoped for it a little bit, kind of like I hope that someday Mr.
Jimmy Smits will show up at my door and ask if he could kiss me.

We swept out of the club like the big shots we were, many humans unsure if we were both real vampires or not. I would be glad to get home and take the make up off. All that white foundation clogged my pores and I didn't want to get any zits on my face. I had Dracula Night tomorrow and then our delayed anniversary dinner at the fancy and expensive Raquel's the following night. It was important to look my best.

These were my thoughts as I picked my way over the gravel to the car. I almost crashed into the back of Eric when he stopped suddenly. His cape was so wide I had to go around him to see what had stopped him. Standing in front of our car was Antoinette, dressed like Marie Antoinette, a fitting choice considering her name and proud buxom figure. Antoinette was plastered, she was holding herself up using the car frame.

"Antoinette, Pam is in the club," Eric said, trying to speak before she said anything to give him away.

He didn't know I already knew about his previous relationship with her. He had bold faced lied to me about who she was when her photo turned up on a photographer's camera, a photo showing her talking to Eric in the parking lot. He told me she was one of Pam's old flames. Since Pam played for both teams, it seemed like the truth until I used an invisibility spell to eavesdrop on a conversation between her and Eric where I learned he had broken up with her once he began dating me.

I felt the chilly fog bank of his glamour spreading out to envelope her, but she wasn't having it. She had enough experience with vampires to know to avoid eye contact. She must be very strong willed, or else Eric hadn't glamoured her very often, because once a person has been glamoured a number of times by a vampire they are able to be glamoured in an instant. Some vampires have had a hard time keeping their humans from going into the glamour trance even without the vampire sending out their thrall.

This seemed to be the ideal time for us to put all our cards on the table. "Eric, you don't need to glamour her. I know you two used to date." I said this in a calm non-judgemental way. I had already forgiven him for lying to me, although it did still come into my mind. I would like an apology, but I was ready to drop it after that.

"Date?" she laughed bitterly, "Date? He was going to marry me, he was going to Turn me and be with me forever!" Her bosom was heaving with the power of her emotions. Her lipstick was smeared with the power of her drunkenness.

"Yeah, well, things change. Now he's married to me and you have moved on to Jure," I told her.

Her bitterness and drunkenness made her, a beautiful vibrant woman, look ugly and pathetic. I actually felt sorry for her. To think you had Eric, the prize of all prizes, and then lose him, it must be like a knife in the gut twenty four seven.

"Jure? I never loved Jure. I just wanted him to Turn me so I would have the power to take Eric away from you. Jure is a preening ass, in love with his own reflection." She focused her bleary eyes on Eric. "Please Eric, get rid of this dumpy little cow, come back to me, a real woman."

She took a step forward and would have fallen if Jure had not suddenly swooped in and steadied her.

"Hi Jure," I said. I didn't even know he was here tonight. He was dressed like George Washington, his white wig combining with his ivory powdered skin to make him so pale his eyes looked like burning coals in contrast. Eric nodded at Jure, and stepped forward a little, putting me halfway behind his cape.

"Come on, Tony," Jure said in an overly patient voice, "Let's not bother these nice people any more."

He picked her up and carried her effortlessly towards the front paved parking lot. Antoinette was silent, so she had either passed out or he had glamoured her to shut her up. Either way I was glad she gone, though I felt bad she had said something mean about Jure within his hearing. Of course she had called me a dumpy little cow and I didn't feel bad at all. I was the one going home with the prize.

more to come .......

121 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One

Pam came up to us on tippy toe point, looking like the most ethereal and delicate ballerina ever to don a white tutu. Her legs looked so beautifully long and slender in her white tights and satin toe shoes, I was staring at them like I wanted to date her. Between Pam tonight and Amelia yesterday I wondered if my straightness was getting a little wavy.

"Pam, you look just stunningly beautiful!" I told her. She looked me up and down then leaned in to kiss my cheek. As she did she whispered, "Lose the slip, it ruins that dress." She gave my hand a light squeeze.

Steve was standing at the bottom of the dais, not wanting to crowd the little platform. He was dressed like a biker. I didn't know if it was a costume or not, he was always dressed as a biker, though not usually as over the top as he was tonight. Leather vest with club patches, leather pants, skull belt buckle, studded wrist bands, head bandanna, and big thick soled boots with chains. He looked tough, scary and full of passion. Whatever Pam was doing with him, she wasn't draining the life from him.

The club was never as crowded as it was tonight. People were lined up at the door waiting for someone to leave so they could enter. The fire code only allowed a certain number in the club and Eric was a stickler for the rules being followed.

At least in the part of the club everyone knew about. There were some secrets in the basement where the rules were not followed so closely.

Lyle from Alexandria was back tonight. He had been drafted to stand at the door with a clipboard and keep track of how many entered and how many left. It reminded me of the way Amelia was keeping count. I wondered how close she was to 666. The warm butter and the feather might have sped things along, but there must be a limit to how many times in a row she could mark off on her tally sheet.

Clancy was dressed like a morgue attendant, complete with fake bloodstains smeared on his surgical gown and "Coroner's Office" stencilled on the back. At least I hoped they were fake bloodstains. With Clancy you never knew. He didn't have the best judgement in the world.

I had learned years ago to burn clothes with bloodstains. Burying them didn't work, as I found out the second night I knew Bill. I had buried my bloody clothes in the yard so Gran wouldn't find them, but Mixie, the dog that lived at Crawdad's Restaurant over past the church came by and dug them up. I just barely got them alight in the trash barrel before Gran came out the next day.

I had to lie to her too, something I almost never did. I told her the clothes had been sprayed by a skunk and weren't worth saving. She always seemed to know when I wasn't telling the truth, she'd get this puzzled little look on her sweet face, like she was wondering why I felt I had to hide something from her. Most things I did tell her, but being kicked nearly to death in Merlotte's parking lot was too much for her to have to know, I felt. I still think I did the right thing by not telling her about it. She had enough on her mind, what with me and Jason and the bills.

The DJ Duke of Death was setting up his turn tables and equipment. The regular DJ's, Joy Joy and Bruno would play most of tonight, with the Duke only playing the last set. Tomorrow the Duke would be the sole DJ, so that Bruno and Joy Joy could party hearty at the annual Dracula Night celebration. Eric used to look forward to Dracula night like a little kid, but getting fooled by an impostor had taken some of the wind out of his sails.

He was maturing. I didn't think it was possible for someone more than a thousand years old to grow and change any more, but he had never lived in the world as it was now, a world with a place for him to do the things normal people did. The skills he had developed being a secret predator were not the same skills he needed now to be a publicly known vampire business owner and husband of a human woman. It was remarkable that he had it in him to continue to grow, change, and adapt. It gave me hope that I might have those same abilities too.

I looked over at him and saw he was sitting a little more slouched, with his long legs apart and extended. This body language told me he was now more relaxed. Our strange conversational turn in the car had put us both on edge for a while but it seemed to be fading and this current noisy and fun filled reality was taking over. We had been gone for only a week, but the weird and dream like adventures in Vampire Land had taken away my ability to perceive time as I was doing now.

It was both good and jarring to be back, and I didn't believe I was the same person that had stepped on the Anubis flight bound for the Big Easy. Neither was Eric. Vampire Land had changed us both for the better.

Eric left for an hour to take care of business while I enjoyed the club atmosphere and talked to Angellica about what a great guy Jason was. Angellica was dressed like a devil, a little inside joke because she was part angel while her sister Saytanna was part demon. Angellica was seeing how the other half lives tonight.

more to come .......
(Your comments lately are astute and insightful showing me just what a bunch of smart cookies you are!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

120 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty

On the way to the club I told Eric about my day, leaving out the details about Amelia's problem. I told him about how Roscoe had reacted to smelling the unicorn.

"I wish I knew what was going on in his mind when he was howling like that," I said. Eric had forgotten to turn the heat on in the Corvette, so I cranked it up now that the engine was hot. The warmth felt wonderful. I had a black shawl over my shoulders, but the gauze dress, even with the slip, didn't do much to keep me warm.

"Are you still waiting for Dracula to show up tomorrow night?" I asked him.

I looked at his profile. His cheek creased in a little self deprecating half smile. "No, Sookie, I am not. It is not even known if he still survives. I wanted to meet the father of all vampires, but now I suspect he is not the first."

"Who is, then?" I appreciated how carefully Eric was driving. He was still trying to make it up to me for when he had lost his temper in the rental car. He even had his seat belt on.

"I have a guess, but I think you will laugh if I tell you." He shrugged in that big guy way he did when he was a little embarrassed.

This had me hooked. "I won't laugh, please, you can tell me."

"And it will be just between us?" he asked me, his voice had a humorous tone to it.

"I double pinky swear it!"

His brow creased as he thought of what a double pinky swear might be, but then he gave up and told me.

"I think it was Anna Hita's husband, the one she says came from 'beyond the stars'. I think he was from a planet of vampires and infected some of the humans here." He glanced over at me to see my reaction.

This made sense to me. I had suspected that her outer space husband was telepathic. Maybe the telepathy and the vampirism went together. Maybe telepathy is a cousin of the vampire's ability to glamour, and that's why my telepathy prevents me from being glamoured except by the only two telepathic vampires in the world, Jure and Anna Hita. I told Eric this.

Eric was silent for a time, then he said, "That would make you a direct blood descendant of the first vampire, the one that traveled here from another planet."

We were pulling into the parking lot. Eric pulled around back to park near the employees entrance so we wouldn't have to walk past all the gaping giggling gasping Goths.

He undid his seat belt and turned to me. He said, his voice filled with an emotion I had never heard from him before, "That would make you my Queen." He took my hand.

I was going to say something flippant about hoping I was his queen anyway, but I sensed he was absolutely serious about this. Vampires have a reverence for their own hierarchy, their lineage. The elders are given the most respect and devotion. Without religion, without patriotic devotion, without a genetic family, the two things that anchored vampires in their society is their nest and their lineage.

Their allegiance to royalty played a part too, but royalty came and went, so it wasn't as strong. Like the song goes, "Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss".

"You're serious about this," I said, more a statement than a question.

"Dead serious," he said. "There may never be a way to know if this is true, but I believe it is. It would explain why you are so incredibly important, not just to me, but to the vampires that are the oldest. Can I say you are mine if you are also my Queen?"

He was asking this of himself. I guess it was like finding out that the old glass paperweight you had kicking around turned out to be a great big diamond, something that happened recently to a woman in Peoria.

"Yes, I am yours, even if I am a Queen. Besides, what am I the Queen of? I don't want to become some kind of vampire icon, Eric. If this is true we have to keep this under our hats. I don't want anyone to even suspect what you're saying might be true. I am already too involved in vampire politics. I want less, not more, of being enmeshed with vampire affairs." I looked around at the parking lot outside the car, suddenly paranoid someone might be listening in to our conversation. No one was in sight, but that didn't mean we couldn't be overheard.

"Eric, let's not talk about this anymore until we can talk in the tunnel, OK?" We had a secret tunnel that was soundproof, we could talk there without fear we would be overheard.

I wished I could shake like Roscoe and just shake off this whole creepy conversation. It disturbed me in ways I couldn't even put into words.

Opening the door to the club was a relief. The sound, the crowd, the costumes all made a distraction I welcomed and joined in. We ascended to our thrones and sat there looking like vampires. I mean, I sat there looking like a vampire, Eric sat there looking like Eric. People were allowed to take photos tonight because the cover charge was so high.

I had to struggle not to smile when I looked at Eric in his dashing black vampire cape, but he wasn't smiling, he wasn't smiling at all.

more to come .......

119 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Nineteen

I had kept him company while he fed, now it was his turn to keep me company while I fed. Over my microwave macaroni and cheese and broccoli dinner I asked him about something he had said.

"Did you say there was a way for you to be my Maker, yet not have control over me?" I asked.

I had put on a robe, not wanting to eat dinner in my underwear, something that would upset Gran. I didn't know if she could see me or not, but I put on a robe just in case.

"Yes," he answered, "The Child can be released. A Maker will release their Child once the Child can manage on their own." His words reminded me of Trinity, the King's newly Turned Vampire bride. She sure as heck wasn't ready to be set free on the world yet.

"But our blood bond would be so strong I would still feel like I wanted to please you, right?" I washed down my broccoli with grape soda.

I had found some diet grape soda in the Super Saver Convenience Store and I was really enjoying it. It reminded me of the grape soda I used to get from a vending machine in the Orpheus Theater in Monroe when Gran would take Jason and me to see a movie. Drinking the soda brought back memories of Saturday afternoon children's movies like 'Flight of the Navigator', 'E.T'., and 'The Dark Crystal'. Gran seemed to enjoy these movies as much as Jason and I did. She brought popcorn from home to save a little expense, but we could each get a soda from the machine.

"Yes, you would feel that way. But don't you feel that way now?" he asked. He was calm and easy to talk to tonight. He waited for me to finish chewing to answer him.

"I see what you're saying. This would just enhance what we already have. Once I was released could I be called back?" I was thinking of the Army reserves and how you could be called up at any time if the need arose.

"Yes and no. The Maker's power is a lot like glamour, it can only deal with a specific situation and get a specific result." He picked up my bottle of grape soda and sniffed it. It didn't seem to repel him, so I poured myself another glass.

"Can you give me an example?" I asked. I always wondered about glamour, how far it could go.

He thought for a second. "I could glamour someone to forget they had seen me, to forget I had fed from them. I couldn't glamour them to believe they were the President of the United States and have it go on. They might think they were the President for an hour or so, but soon their normal reality would close back in." He waited a moment to see if I was following along so far. I nodded to show I understood.

"A Maker could could command a Child to stay home, or to leave someone alone, but a Maker could not command their Child to go live in another country or kill someone unless the Maker had overextended their magical powers when making the Child. That is what happened to Bill with his Maker Lorena. She was a neurotic woman that bound him to her so tightly in the ground that once he emerged he was nothing more than a puppet. This is frowned upon by our kind. It creates a Child that can't function and develop the ability to become independent."

I nodded again. "So, if the Maker isn't crazy, the Child will eventually be able to get themselves under control and be independent?"

"Exactly," he said.

"But the newly made Child would always be younger and weaker than the Maker." I was thinking about this, but it didn't seem to be a problem. I was much weaker than Eric now and he didn't use his strength to push me around. I glanced at Eric to smile at him, and noticed he looked a little uncomfortable.

"What?" I asked.

"If a very powerful old vampire turned you, you would be that much more powerful, but still weaker than your Maker."

Oh, I think I was starting to understand something. "If Anna Hita Turned me, just a hypothetical here, would I already be more powerful than you are now?" I didn't want to rattle Eric's cage with my question, but this was something I hadn't thought of.

"Probably, if not at first then by the time a few years had passed." He didn't look comfortable with this line of thought, but it made me proud of him that he told me the truth. I told him that.

"I would have eternity to live with any lies I told you," he stated, "That's too long for you to be angry with me."

I went and sat on his lap, but I didn't kiss him because I needed to brush my teeth first. I hugged him and thanked him for telling me all this. I still had more questions, but we needed to get ready and leave for Fangtasia.

more to come .........

Thursday, November 19, 2009

118 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Eighteen

After I freshened up I went to the pile of things on my dresser I still had to put away. I had the notes from Eric, the living leaf from Ivy, the Jabberwocky poem, the menu from Frankenstein's Castle, the photo of Bill holding me, the re-ordering information from "Bras That Fit", a pink feather from the flamingo, the crumpled straw wrapper from Anna Hita's, the gold and silver coins the seven Swedish vampires had given me, and a small bluish gray stone I found under the bed while searching for Eric's shoes. I also had the plastic bag with the washcloth that had the unicorn scent on it.

I opened the bag and smelled the cloth but couldn't smell anything. Maybe it had lost its scent. I held it out to Roscoe. His eyes bulged a little like they do when he is very interested in something. His little cold wet nose sniffed and sniffed over every inch of the cloth, then went back over a few spots some more. He sat back on his haunches and howled towards the ceiling. His howling didn't sound like he was in pain or sad. It sounded like he was calling the pack, or making a statement. Then he barked and barked at the cloth, then howled and bayed some more. I put the cloth away.

He shook his shake-it-off doggie shake, making his collar tags jingle. He was greatly invigorated after that. I threw toys and he chased them and squeaked them until he was tired. I heated his dinner, changed his water, and left him once he started eating.

I didn't get dressed for Fangtasia yet. I hoped to have a chance to ask Eric some questions and I would feel a little silly in the floor length gauzy black dress I was wearing tonight. Without a slip you could see through the dress, but with the slip it was quite modest, with long black trailing sleeves and a little train. Eric was going to wear his vampire cape.

Tomorrow night was Halloween. The party in Fangtasia tonight was for the customers and tourists. Tomorrow night the party was called Dracula Night, and it was just for vampires and the humans that were associated with them.

Since we had parties both nights we were going to celebrate our first anniversary the night after that, on November first, All Saint's Day. I saw this was probably going to be how it went every year. Eric was like a little kid on Dracula Night, hoping that Dracula, the Dark Prince of All the Vampires, would show up at his club.

A few years ago he thought he had gotten lucky, but the Dracula the Vampire King had turned out to be an impostor, some bozo named Milos. Eric and I had staked him when he tried to turn me into his dinner after I exposed the poser for what he was.

Since then Eric had gotten more realistic and didn't wait for the Dark Prince like a little kid. At least that's what he said to me and Pam, though he might still harbour those feelings deep down inside.

I was standing in the middle of the bedroom wearing my black underwear, trying to decide if I had enough time to eat dinner before Eric rose, when the vampire himself appeared.

"Mmmmmm," he murmured, nuzzling my neck, "You smell good enough to eat." When some men said that they were just paying you a compliment, when Eric said it he really meant it, and that meant he was hungry. I wanted to talk with him, but it would be better if he were well fed. Just like a human man, the way to a vampire man's heart was through his stomach.

I wasn't in the mood, so I challenged him. "Drive me wild then." I said. That startled him. Then he smiled slowly and saw I was throwing down the gauntlet. He walked around me like he was studying a piece of stone he was going to sculpt. He was looking for the part of me that would be the most vulnerable to erotic attack.

He went for the obvious. Moving my thong aside he found my most sensitive spot and began to stimulate it. I thought about Amelia, how much more intense her experience was. After a while I didn't think she could possibly be more excited than I was. I tried to hold back, to see how long I could stand being stimulated, but I couldn't hold out very long. Eric was so fast he had his fangs in me and was feeding before my last shuddering jerking movements had stopped.

Somehow my underwear disappeared and he was in me, rubbing me, sensing I had some reason my mind was centering on my swollen nub. I wasn't going to tell him about Amelia, that was her own private business, but Eric knew something had drawn my attention to that spot.

It was strange to have the image of Amelia's condition in my mind as I clamped down on Eric, but I did. I hoped it wasn't going to become a permanent part of my fantasy life.

more to come

117 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman in Vampire Land

Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen

I had one last stop to make, one I should have made a while ago. I drove over the bumpy rock strewn road that led to the little supermarket near Hollice Clutter's place.

It was an old time store with wooden check out counters, cash registers that didn't use electricity, and many things on high shelves that ran up to the fancy tin ceiling. You had to ask the clerk to reach up with big pincers on a stick and grab what you needed. Gran would have been right at home in this old store.

They even had penny candy in big apothecary jars and salves and lineaments in tin boxes. They sold fabric by the yard and coal by the ton. The sour pickles and crackers were in wooden barrels near the wood stove. An empty barrel had a checkerboard set on top of it, two wooden kitchen chairs on either side. A game was in progress, but the players weren't here right now.

I know it was rude of me not to visit the Hollice Clutter since I was so close to where she lived, but I just couldn't handle going into her jam cram packed full house again. I had learned from the Internet that she was what is diagnosed psychologically as a "hoarder".

This is a mental illness that prevents the sufferer from throwing anything out because they fear losing the associated memories, or they fear not having something when they need it. It is a very difficult condition to treat, and somebody else coming along and throwing everything out is not the answer. I wondered when the day arrived that you went from someone who kept a lot of stuff for sentimental reasons, and someone that needed an intervention.

The elderly but spry manager of the "Super Saver Convenience Store", was in. I explained what I wanted to do and she was very sympathetic and helpful. I arranged for Miss Clutter to "win" a drawing at the supermarket that would deliver her groceries and dry goods to her free of charge. The bills would be sent to me.

When I had visited her I saw how long and difficult the trip was for a person her age to walk to the store. I got the idea of her winning a contest from what Eric had done to begin a relationship with me. I knew Miss Clutter would be too proud to accept any handouts, but if she won the groceries she might accept them. At least I would know she was eating, and able to feed her ancient hound, if the dog was still in the land of the living.

Then I was on my way home to get in a nap before Eric got up and we went in to Fangtasia. Tonight I was playing the vampire queen for tourists, something that always tickled me. It would give me a chance to talk more with Eric about the whole Turning thing. He still hadn't told me the way he could be my Maker yet not be in control of me forever. And I hadn't asked him what he talked to Anna Hita in private about. Since he knew what I had talked to her about, it only seemed fair that he tell me about his secret conversation with her.

I talked to Roscoe all the way home, glad to pour out my heart to my furry therapist and get oodles of sympathy in return. Roscoe listened to every word I said. I had some new squeaky toys for him, but he had gotten so many while I was away I didn't think he would appreciate them yet. I did have one other surprise for him, as well as the goody bag Jason and Angellica sent home for him. Once we were parked in the garage I took the things inside and refrigerated the things that needed it.

Roscoe wanted to nap with me in bed, so I pulled the shades, turned on the white noise machine, and soon Roscoe and I were in dreamland.

I woke up being gently carried in the huge jaws of some dinosaur sized beast through the woods and across the fields. I was held by the waist facing the ground, bouncing up and down, looking at the big furry paws of the animal that carried me along. Then I was laid at the booted feet of a giant. "Gooood doooooog," the giant's deep slow motion voice rumbled.

I rolled over to look up into the face of a gigantic panting Roscoe. His big black nose was shiny and wet and the skin on it looked like elephant hide. His eyes were as large as hub caps. He wagged his fluffy tail. Hairs the thickness of string flew around me and landed. Above us a big full moon lit the landscape as bright as day. A cloudless night revealed thousands of stars in the dark parts of the sky away from the moon.

A big hand scooped me up and I rose higher than the tree tops to look into the billboard sized head of Jure Grando. He smiled at me with teeth square and thick as tombstones.

"Are you going to eat me?" I asked. My voice sounded tiny and squeaky, like a talking mouse.

"Ha ha ha ha!" he laughed, the sound was almost deafening. He lowered his volume. "No, I am not going to eat you, I am going to marry you and put you there." His other hand pointed to an ivy covered tower that had no windows. It was silhouetted against a mauve and orange sky.

"You can't marry me," I told him, "I'm already married to Eric."

"You mean that Eric?" he asked, pointing to the tiny blond man down on the ground. Tiny Eric waved at me, and I waved back. It was a long way down.

"Yes, that Eric," a big female voice said behind me. I turned around to see Anna Hita, now the size of half the sky, looking down at Jure and shaking her finger. "I told you to leave Sookie and Eric alone. Now I have to punish you."

She put tiny me down next to tiny Eric, then picked up Jure and went over to a rounded mountain and sat down on the top. She pulled down Jure's pants and spanked his bare bottom. She didn't spare him, and he got smaller and smaller with each blow. Finally she put him down. Now he was a little boy with long black hair. He was crying and wailing. His tears were pink.

I felt bad for him. I looked at Eric and he said, "Go ahead."

I held open my arms and little Jure ran to me. I comforted the child until he calmed down.

"It will be OK, just you wait and see, little one," I soothed him. "It will be fine." I kissed his cheek, his forehead, his neck.

Little Jure kissed me on the cheek and spoke in a high piping voice, "Thank you, Mama, thank you. I love you." He squeezed his small strong little boy arms around my neck, giving me a fierce hug.

"I love you too," I said. Anna Hita had shrunk down and become a bird of many colors. As she flew away, we all waved at her. I was holding baby Jure on my hip. The moon turned into a red disk and then faded out to dark.

I woke up and opened my eyes. Was Jure going to be in all my dreams? I might have to use the Golden Key and fly back down to the Mall to ask Cat what this dream meant. Or did he just do that augury thing with the birds? I couldn't recall. I didn't have his card either. Already the impact of the dream was starting to fade. I made a mental note to write it down. Unfortunately my little notebook was still in my pocketbook, which was hanging on the back of a chair in the kitchen. I needed to keep it here by the bed.

Roscoe's head was on the pillow with mine. His eyes were open and he wagged when he saw I was awake. I cuddled him and told him I missed him. His warm silky body felt so real and solid under my hand. He was well fed and in good shape. He was my baby dog and I loved him.

more to come ........