Friday, April 30, 2010

91 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Ninety One

"Eric?" I said, hesitantly.

He should be standing right here where the wall was. I slowly reached out a hand and touched the wall. It was solid, not just a mirage.

"ERIC!" I called loudly.

All I heard was silence. Then faintly, very faintly, I heard "Sookie!" It was Eric, but he sounded like he was very far away.

I looked around for an exit, but the tunnel ended right here. I could go on in the other direction, but that would just take me deeper into the mountain. I felt the icy fingers of panic snaking through my chest, squeezing my lungs and making it hard to breathe. I looked for a rock to bang into the wall, but the interior of the tunnel was smooth and uniform, no rubble left behind.

I backed up a few feet from the wall and the ground felt soft under my feet.

"ERIC!" I called again, as I began to sink into what felt like fluffy sand, "ERIC, I'M SINKING!" I screamed, then I sank right through the floor of the cave.

I held my breath, covering my nose and mouth with one hand, shutting my eyes tight, for what seemed like minutes but must have just been seconds as I sank through the soft mass. Then I fell for about five feet and landed with a plop on a mound of sand. That was when I realized someone had me by the ankle.

Rubbing the sand off my face and away from my eyes with my sleeve, I was able to see first a hand tightly gripping my ankle, then an arm attached to the hand, then the whole person. It was the last person I expected or wanted to see.

"Hi there Sookie gal! Surprised to see me?" a sarcastic voice said too sweetly.

I was speechless with shock. It was my old enemy Saytanna.

"Where am I?" I asked, coughing a little at the disturbed dust in the air.

I stood up and brushed myself off. It appeared that I was in another tunnel, this one cut out of raw rock with the typical rough surfaces that showed the chiseling and chopping away of rock. It was very dim, the only light coming from the opening in the tunnel ahead of us.

"Where are you? Why, don't you know, honey child? You are where you sentenced me to live out my life when you called in your pals." Her voice was dripping with hatred now.

She wore a shapeless floor length long sleeved black dress with a hood on it, the hood down to reveal her damaged over dyed black hair. I didn't know if this dress was a fashion choice or a uniform she was forced to wear. Her feet were bare and filthy.

"I'm in the Underworld?" I asked, looking around. Everything except Saytanna was in shades of black and gray. Her crimson lipstick and blue eye shadow were the only spots of color besides my own yellow sweatshirts and blue jeans.

"You got it." She started to walk away. Then she said over her shoulder, "You better follow me chop chop if you want to get out of here alive."

I began to follow her slowly, not sure if this was another trick. How was Eric going to find me down here? Would he even know I was here? I decided not to think about that right now, I needed to pay full attention to what was happening. She kept walking until the tunnel made a curve.

"Shhhhhh," Saytanna whispered once we had rounded the bend in the tunnel, putting her index finger to her scarlet lips.

Then she pointed to a big dark mound off to one side of the rocky tunnel we were in now. The light I had seen came from torches set high up in the wall. They looked like they burned with green flames, but there was no smoke.

As I watched, the mound moved and we both froze. Three great heads, each as large as my Gran's old Buick raised up and looked around in different directions. One head yawned, the other licked his nose, the third head lay back down on the huge paws.

This great beast must be Cerberus, Hades' pet and guardian to the Underworld. Cerberus wasn't supposed to let the dead out or allow living people in. Yet Saytanna was alive and she was here. Maybe I should wake the sleeping dog up and show it I wasn't one of the dead.

But then Gran's voice came to me, "Let sleeping dogs lie." We waited, motionless, until all three heads were back down and the six eyes were closed. Then we inched forward silently against the far wall, trying not to disturb the three headed monster dog.

As we crept forward I thought about the people I knew in the Underworld. Hades and his part time wife Persephone Gallo had been at my wedding. I could count on them for help if I could contact them. Bill's charge, his Child Jessica, might be here too. She worked for Persephone in the Underworld sometimes.

After Bill Turned Jessica against her will, and, to be fair, against his will too, the troubled teen had been a handful. Bill wasn't up to the task of training a newly made vampire because his other duties took him away from home so often.

Again, to be fair, he had tried to be a good Maker. But he just wasn't cut out for the job. In the end the social worker for the Undead, Persephone Gallo, had stepped in and taken Jessica in charge, training her and keeping her out of trouble.

Now that vampires were mainstreaming it was vitally important that the pretty red haired vampire not get in the sort of trouble that would get her staked and the human population up in arms.

Maybe I was thinking too hard and not paying attention to what I was doing because just when we were opposite the dog I knocked a tiny pebble off the rock wall with my sweatshirt. One pair of huge glowing brown eyes opened, then another, then another. The monster dog sprang to his feet and lunged towards me.

more to come ..... (Kristabb, Anonymous Z, Gjers-1, Holly, Sally, Lynn - Thanks for being involved with the story. I never know what I'm going to write until I write it, so I was just as thunderstruck as you all were when things went terribly wrong.

Welcome Holly, glad to know you're reading along. Thank you for your kind words.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

90 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Ninety

Eric stood facing the blank rock surface and said something that sounded like, "Grelk er elvent kanzak grakgion."

The solid rock shimmered then melted away, leaving a large opening for us to enter. We stepped inside, our flashlights were reflected off thousands, millions, of tiny clear crystals lining the walls of the cave. They twinkled and sparkled and increased the light so it was bright and full of colorful rainbows. I moved my flashlight over the surface, almost blinded by some of the sparks of light the crystal surface threw off.

There were three openings at the back of the entrance chamber. The cave smelled like dirt, and the air had the stale quality of a room that has been closed up for a long time. I wished I had a match or a candle to see if there was any air flow. Eric didn't need to breathe, but I did. Could I be getting claustrophobic?

"This way," Eric said, choosing the tunnel to the far right.

"What kind of crystals are those?" I whispered to Eric as we walked forward towards the third dark opening.

He turned to face me, his flashlight lighting up his face from below, making him look a little sinister. "They are diamonds," he said.

"Wow," I said. The value of the cave of diamonds must be beyond price. "They're so beautiful, I'm surprised no one has mined them."

"Yes, they are very beautiful. But they can not be taken, no one would even try. This cave is guarded by Wendeunk. You do not want to get on his bad side." Eric reached up and patted the side of the cave wall, making his leather jacket creak. "This is living rock and now part of the ancient god."

"What did you say to get us in the cave?" I asked him.

"Magic words," Eric said with a devilish grin, making the words sound spooky. We moved on, farther into the carved out rock passageway.

A little way in, the second inner cave opened up and we could walk side by side. "Here the drawings begin," he said, pointing to the walls.

The ten foot high rock walls were smooth and straight, not like natural rock walls at all. Something had carved and smoothed and shaped this space out of solid rock, making a perfect room out of it. Everywhere my flashlight shone I saw something strange and intriguing.

I was drawn to a painting of a woman pointing to the sky at a constellation. Beside her were three strange creatures with some kind of antenna on their huge round heads. They had big eyes and slender boneless looking bodies. Their hands had seven fingers.

"Who are they?" I asked Eric. I had stopped whispering, there was no one to hear us.

"No way to know now, it was drawn more than twenty thousand years ago," he said.

I turned to him, my eyes wide. "This cave has been here that long? How was it built?"

"No one knows. It has always been a part of our culture, our history, but there is no further information than its existence."

"Wow," I said again.

I saw things that looked like flying saucers, horse like creatures with six legs, and a herd of unicorns. A star shaped vehicle floated over them, sending down a blue ray.

The unicorns reminded me of Arvakur and Alsvidur, the two white unicorns Eric and others had brought over from another dimension as a wedding present for the King and his bride. I had found out that Arvakur was my sister in that dimension while the larger Alsvidur was Jason's brother. I wasn't sure how that worked, but I had felt very connected to the beautiful and magical Arvakur while I was in her presence.

I pointed the unicorns out to Eric. There were dozens of pictures on the walls, with our LED flashlights it was hard to see them all, especially the ones at the top of the fifteen foot high walls.

"I think they may have lived here at one time. I heard rumors that their land was destroyed and sunk under the sea," he said.

"Like Atlantis," I said. "Was there really an Atlantis?" I asked him, looking up at him for the answer to something I had always wondered about.

"We have heard many tales and stories of that land, and other lands like Lemuria and Mu, but no proof of it has come to light, to my knowledge," he replied.

Heck, I thought vampires would know everything, but they had just as many mysteries in their culture as humans did. I bet no one had ever studied what was here in this cave. It needed to be documented. An earthquake could destroy all this, a record unparalleled in human life.

We walked on, holding hands. Beyond the walls covered in pictures there began to be strange squiggles and shapes drawn among the pictures. This must be writing, though it wasn't like any writing I had ever seen. Hands were outlined in colored paint, and not all the hands had five fingers. Several had seven long fingers with bulbous ends. What had made those?

The cave took a sharp turn to the left, then a sharp turn to the right. The straight walls began to curve, though they were just as smooth as the square ones. The curves became divided, we stayed to the right, then they divided again.

Even though the paintings of strange pointed buildings, pyramids, huge bearlike creatures and even dinosaurs were fascinating, I started to realize how far into the mountain we must be. It made me uneasy and I wanted to go back outside to the open.

I studied a drawing of an altar with a blond haired woman being sacrificed. Her blood ran down the sides. Dark human looking creatures that must be vampires were clustered around the altar, licking up the blood, their tongues long and split like the tongue of a serpent. The one wielding the knife was big and tall, with long black hair. He reminded me of Jure.

I tried to quell the rising feeling of panic in my chest. Suddenly this all felt dangerous. Was this just my claustrophobia, or was there really something sinister in this cave? Eric had said it was living rock. Was the cave waiting to eat me up? These were crazy thoughts, but I couldn't just whisk them away.

"Eric, I'm ready to leave now," I told him, hearing the tendrils of fear in my voice. I could handle the fear if we left right now, but I didn't want it keep escalating. We would have to come back with brighter lights, a sketch pad, and maybe even a tank of air.

My mind flashed back to that silly dream I had with the seven dwarfs. Surely the warning had been about the mining cave and the night I spent there trapped with a mummy vampire after being attacked by robbers with poisoned arrows. The alcoholic doctor had even looked like Doc.

Doc had said I wouldn't die, but he hadn't told me what was going to happen. I pushed that thought aside, I didn't believe in dreams that foretold the future, at least not for me.

"There is much more to see," he said, not realizing that I was getting tense. "There are two more tunnels after this one, including ..."

"I don't care Eric," I said, my voice rising, "I just need to get out of here right now. I feel trapped in here."

"Oh," he said, understanding I was experiencing a human feeling he probably didn't even remember. Vampires don't panic, they aren't filled with all the fears us mortals carry around with us all the time. "Let us leave then."

He turned and we walked out much faster than we had walked in. I wished there was a picture book that had all the cave paintings in it, then I could just look through them at my leisure in a big well lit room above ground. The rapid pace we were moving at caused the sweatshirt I had tied around my waist to come untied and it fell to the ground.

I turned around and walked back two steps to pick it up. When I turned around again I was facing a solid rock wall.

more to come .....(Pat, Sally, Anonymous Z, Kristabb, Lynn - Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and for being so enthusiastic. This is going to be a vacation like no other. Thanks for coming along.)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

89 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Nine

"How come everybody doesn't know about this cave?" I asked as we headed out of town towards the caves. I was sitting in the passenger's captains chair next to his. My chair swiveled so I could turn completely around and see the inside of the RV if I wanted.

"It is guarded by magic. Only a vampire can open the wall and enter."

He turned the wheel and shifted gears on the truck like he did it for a living. Now we were on a dirt road through open fields. Every quarter mile or so was a sign shaped like an arrow that said "To the Caves" and pointed in the direction we were going. I guess they didn't want any tourists getting lost out here.

"Whose magic?" I asked.

"Elal, he was thought to be a local god and guardian of the Underworld, but he was a vampire."


"Yes, he was taken to the Underworld many years ago. There he remains. But his magic still guards the cave entrance." Eric shrugged, his way of saying that's all he knows.

I think he was sick of having "magic" explain all the unknowns in the vampire world. In these modern times I think that he, and other thinking vampires, were ready to get some real answers. That's why the De Castro Research Center would be such a valuable and important step forward for vampires. I told Eric that, and he agreed.

I switched topics then, telling Eric all about my trip in the small plane. He smiled at hearing my enthusiasm and wonder at the fabulous landscape of Patagonia. By the time I finished we were at our destination. There were a few lights around the perimeter of the mine entrance area although we were the only other vehicle there besides a food sellers van which was closed up and probably just parked there for the night.

We parked the RV in the lot provided and got out our hiking gear. I had on jeans and a yellow sweat shirt, with a hooded darker yellow sweatshirt tied around my waist. On my feet were sturdy brown work boots with very grippy soles. I also had a hat, gloves, a scarf and two bottles of water in a backpack which Eric carried for me.

We walked along a well worn foot path past the entrances to several of the most popular caves. They were closed with wooden gates, a sign indicating that the caves would be open to the public at 9 a.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. on weekends. There was probably a guide or entrance fee taken then.

These cave entrances weren't like the mining cave in Brazil. That entrance had been huge, made larger to accommodate the trucks that were periodically backed in to haul away excavated rock. These entrances were just gaps among the rocks, some openings not as tall as I was. The dark holes looked like they could contain anything and seemed scary. Something scuttered across the rocks ahead of us, a small animal, maybe a rat. I moved closer to Eric.

The rocks here were light, sand colored, and reflected the moonlight. Both Eric and I had flashlights, each with 40 LED lights. They cast a strange bluish glow that didn't go very far into the inside of the dark caves. When the path got steeper Eric offered to carry me, but that wasn't necessary as long as I could take my time.

"We are almost there," he said, not out of breath since he didn't have one.

"Good," I gasped, stopping to take a drink of water. I wasn't used to climbing up mountain sides. I decided to hike more when I got home. I hadn't realized I was this out of shape. The treadmill was far different from this steep rise.

A few more minutes of hiking and we came to blank rock face. "Here we are," Eric said, pointing to the flat beige surface.

I stared hard at it, but it just looked like a wall of solid rock to me.

more to come ....(Anonymous Z, Juicy, Lynn, Gjers-1, Diane - I really appreciate all the nice things you have to say and the thought you give to the story.

Anonymous Z - Welcome back. I missed you!)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

88 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Eight

The next day Eric had arranged for me to take an excursion to see the glaciers. He felt it was safe enough here for me not to need a guard.

I was glad to be off without either of the Bishop brothers for once. I was picked up by a guide, Matias, and taken to a small plane.

A non-English speaking pilot flew us over Glaciers National Park where Matias, an English speaking college student earning money as a tour guide, told me about the different glaciers we saw. He was talking about glaciers, but his thoughts were full of Florencia, a dark eyed beauty from his school he was getting serious about.

"Los Glaciares National Park is located in the area known as Austral Andes in Argentina," he began, having memorized his introductory speech for the tour. I learned that the glaciers are born on the Ice Caps and were the largest continental ice extension after Antarctica.

"Also known as Patagonic Continental Ice, it creates 47 big glaciers, 13 of which flow to the Atlantic. There are also more than 200 smaller glaciers, unconnected to the Ice Caps," he went on as we swooped over magnificent mountains to see large expanses of bluish ice laying like frozen lakes in the valleys. Lakes, fields, and rock formations in phantasmagorical shapes passed below us. A flock of sheep began to scatter on the plains and I saw a warmly dressed shepherd run to head them off.

Finally I saw the most famous glacier, Perito Moreno, and the spectacular ice falls from its front walls. I also saw several condors and an eagle. The beauty of the place was mesmerizing, it filled my heart with joy. By the time we landed my head was reeling with images of the mountains, lakes, glaciers, and plains.

This was one of the most exotic and perfect places on earth and I got to see it, thanks to Eric, my love. I felt sad for a moment that he would never get to see the sunlight on the Andes, but I knew his vampire vision allowed him to see in ways that I could not even imagine.

After I returned to the hotel I checked in with the Bishops before I got in the tub to let them know I was back from my sightseeing trip safe and sound. Richard was sitting next to the travel container with a gun on his lap while Robert ate from a huge mound of pancakes, syrup, sausages, and ham.

Both men looked like they had gained weight on this trip, though their roomy overalls made it hard to tell how much. He waved at me, his mouth too full to speak. Several gun catalogs were spread open on one of the twin beds. It looked like the boys had been shopping for some new weapons. I made a mental note to ask Eric about it when he got up.

I soaked in the whirlpool tub for a while, glad that Eric had the foresight to keep his travel container in the Bishop's room so I could walk around in a towel and have my privacy. I had a light lunch sent up to my room and ate it while looking out the window at the wild mountains.

I called Angellica and asked her how Roscoe was doing, then spoke to him before I rang off. Knowing that tonight was going to be a big adventure I shut the curtains, plugged in my white noise sound machine using the power adapter, put on my nightie and got into the cool clean bed.

Eric woke me up with gentle kisses, his long hair hanging around the sides of my face like a blond veil, blending in with my hair. The color of our hair was almost the same, mine had gotten lighter over the years due to my occasional sip of vampire blood. Now it seemed to be permanently lighter, something I liked. I reached up and put my arms around his neck and he slid into the bed with me.

His big body felt so solid, so reassuring. I ran my hands over the cool marble of his skin, knowing all the curves and angles like a blind woman reading a much loved book in braille. This was Eric, my Eric, the ancient vampire, pressing his naked body against me, letting me know once more I was desirable and enticing to him. Without words we entwined and our bodies acted out what our hearts felt, we were one blood.

When we had filled up on each other, in Eric's case this meant taking a small amount of my blood, we showered and went down to the RV to drive to the cave. It was only about eight miles away, surprisingly close to the town full of tourists we were in.

more to come ....(Gjers-1, Sally , Kristabb - Thank you for going along on the trip. You make wonderful traveling companions!

*Just a note - I began writing this series of stories before book 9 came out, so all the changes that occurred in book 9 and will occur in book 10 will not be reflected in my plotlines. I probably won't be including the new season of True Blood either. Hope this isn't too confusing.)


Monday, April 26, 2010

87 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Seven

We landed at a small private airstrip near El Calafate in an area of South America called Patagonia. By avoiding the El Calafate International Airport we were able to carry all our weapons with us.

I didn't think we were going to need them, but, as Gran used to say, "Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." Of course when she said that she was talking about something like tomato paste or eye wash, not automatic weapons and explosives.

Our plane had risen above high wicked looking peaks, then flown low over Lake Argentino. The sight of the nearly full moon reflected in the still lake water was breathtaking. All around us were the tall jagged mountains, rocky and pointing to the sky in fantastic shapes.

These were the Andes. I had never seen mountains like these. I squeezed Eric's hand, happy we were going to see Vampire Cave. It was near the Walichu Caves, caves famous for their Paleolithic cave paintings and a destination spot for tourists.

Eric had offered me the option of either traveling to the cave by horse-back or motor vehicle. I had chosen the vehicle. Eric arranged for us to have an RV. Eric and I would travel to the cave alone, then come back to El Calafate before morning and pick up the Bishop brothers.

This would have to be tomorrow night, there wasn't enough time left tonight to make the journey. The sun rose early here this time of year, about 5:45 am. That didn't give us a lot of time

Tonight we would settle in El Calafate. The Calafate Parque Hotel was on a street called Gobernador Gregores Esquina 7 De Diciembre. Eric said the service would be excellent. I was looking forward to staying in a real room and sleeping in a real bed. Our RV was waiting for us, an older one, decorated in tones of brown and burnt orange, but still comfortable. The Bishops rode in the back and I sat next to Eric while he drove.

"You know your way around here?" I asked him, noticing he didn't need to read a map to know which way to go.

I was glad it was summer here, in the winter the place must be very cold. Tonight was about 60 degrees, dry and windy. Eric had told me to pack wind-proof clothing and plan on wearing multiple layers to adjust to the changing temperatures.

"Yes, I have been here many times since the Mapuche attacked the northern Tehuelches in the 1880's. We had been told the people were giants, but they were actually shorter than me. Only about five foot eleven. It was a disappointment."

I figured Eric had been here as a mercenary during some war or another, but I didn't ask him about it right then. His war stories were fascinating glimpses into other worlds. Much of what he related was about the fighting - the stategies, the loss of life, the opportunities to feed and gain wealth. Blood, death, money, victory, and then moving on to some new promising conflict.

Once I had asked him why he didn't just travel around seeing the sights. He laughed and said, "I was a warrior, a Viking, not a travel agent or explorer." I suppose you stick to what you know.

The hotel was a large square modern four story building with pointed gables on the roof. Eric told me it was "built in the chalet style with exquisite Patagonian interiors, which blend in well with its surroundings of lakes, woods and mountains".

I was guessing he was quoting from a travel brochure since he didn't usually talk like that. But he was right. The interior of the hotel was beautiful. The hotel lobby had a huge stone fireplace and was cozy and welcoming. There were beautiful woods used everywhere, both in the furniture and the wood accents on the walls.

Our room was clean, if not spacious. The Bishops had an adjoining room and Eric's travel container was placed there. They would sit up and guard his container during the day so I could sleep in a bit. I heard the traffic from the main street a block away, and dogs barking, but I knew closing the windows and curtains would keep out most of the noise. I planned to relax now that the work portion of our trip was over.

Once the luggage was in our room I went to take a shower. They had a spa tub too, something I would take advantage of tomorrow when I had the time to soak. The water pressure was good so I lathered up, then Eric joined me, shampooing my hair.

By the time we were clean and dry we were locked in an endless kiss. I was excited by the exotic location, and Eric was excited by me. We rolled around in our king sized bed like we did at home, taking our time. Eric was an expert in making love to Sookie, he knew everything I liked and he did them all. I responded with enthusiasm and love.

Just before the early dawn started breaking I was sound asleep, a smile on my face.

more to come (Sally , Gjers-1, Kristabb, Diane, Pat Jenkins -aka Duckbutt, Lynn - Hope you all had a good weekend too. Bless you for taking the time to brighten my world with your nice words.

Diane, Pat Jenkins -aka Duckbutt - Welcome to my little corner of the internet. It was so kind of you to write and let me know you're reading along.

P.S. - I just found out that the first episode of True Blood will air on June 13th. Woohoo!


* “9 Crimes”


Sunday, April 25, 2010

86 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Six

"You have blood on your blouse," Eric said, pointing to the bloody tears that had soaked into the shoulder of my blouse.

Good thing I took enzyme detergent with me where ever I went. Eric was wearing his worn button front jeans and a tight vintage Ramones tee shirt. This made me smile because the Ramones had played at our wedding reception. Being undead just added to their speed and stamina. Hey ho, let's go.

"I'll take care of it once we board the plane," I told him, putting my arm around his trim waist. "What's going to happen to her?"

The second, smaller plane, the last one on the tarmac, started up and Eric held out his arm in an "after you" gesture. We boarded the plane and sat right ahead of the Bishop brothers. They both had their iPod headphones in their ears and just waved at us.

This cabin was about a third of the size of the last plane, but I would get up and change my blouse once we could unbuckle our seat belts. I took advantage of the few minutes before take off to read the mind of the pilot. He was thinking in Portuguese, but his mental images were of his wife and children, and of a leaky faucet he needed to fix in his house before the bathroom flooded again.

"Isabel was on loan, a repayment for some favor de Castro did for Texas. Her skills as an interpreter were not even needed. Now that she has tried an act of thievery against the King's property Texas will need to either pay a big fine to get her back or give her to us for our use. Vampires take crimes against their property very seriously, as you know," Eric said.

The plane went airborne in one smooth but gut clenching sweep. You could really feel the turbulence and struggle against gravity in a smaller plane like this. We all held our breaths. All, of course, except for Eric. He didn't have a breath to hold. Then we leveled off, the seat belt light went off, and I let out a big 'whoosh' of air.

I stood up. "I'm just going to freshen up," I told Eric.

He showed me where my carry on bag was stored and I rummaged through it until I found my detergent and a clean blouse. I took them into the tiny bathroom and changed, washing my armpits with a wet scratchy paper towel since I hadn't had a chance to shower after making love in the RV. Not great, but the best I could do in this eensy weensy room. I wet the blood stains and rubbed a little Tide Night Time detergent into the stains and rubbed and rubbed until they were gone.

After using the facilities I came out of the bathroom and draped the damp blouse over the back of my seat. The Bishops had moved to the last row of seats and appeared to be trying to get some sleep.

I sat down next to Eric. "How did you get the plot squashed so fast?" I asked him, keeping my voice low so as not to disturb the Bishops.

He smiled and his eyes flashed, pleased to tell me about his adventure. "I flew to Jure's RV, entered through the sky light and deputized him, telling him about Isabel's plan. I told the Bishop brothers what was happening and gave them instructions on how to handle the guards once I neutralized them, and what to do with their driver. I could not glamour the driver and be sure he could still drive. Then I flew back and glamoured the truck full of guards until they were stunned. I could not speak their native language so I could only put them under my glamour. I wanted to remove the bullets from their guns just to be safe, but I discovered their guns were empty. Then I knew the only move Isabel could make against me was to take you hostage and threaten me. I knew she wouldn't harm you."

"I thank you for sharing that information with me," I said, remembering his whispered reassurance, right before Isabel broke in, that the guns had no bullets. That gun had felt pretty real to me at the time, but I knew it was harmless. Still, being raised around guns had taught me that it was never safe to assume a gun was not loaded. Having a gun pointed at me made every nerve in my body tingle with fear. That little voice of fear whispered 'what if one bullet was overlooked and was still in the chamber'?

"You are most welcome. I know Isabel is a dingbat. But she is not a killer. If she killed you, what would she have to bargain with? She just wanted to return to the Texas King with a prize, like a retriever. She probably has delusions about becoming the Queen." Eric gathered his long hair up and wound an elastic around it, pulling it back into a pony tail at the nape of his neck.

I told him about trying to get her an appointment with Anna Hita. He nodded as I talked. "Brilliant suggestion. It was a generous offer for you to make, especially after how she treated you." He kissed me on the cheek. "You are a kind person Sookie, but it is not always possible to be kind."

"I know," I allowed, "But she isn't a bad person, she's just hung up on her issues. It distorts her reality."

Then we sat together in contented and companionable silence until the plane began to circle and landed in Argentina.

more to come ....(Anonymous, Kristabb, Juicy - Sam will show up, but much later in this story. There will be more Jure later on, too, and its going to be a pip! Thanks for writing, it's great of you.)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

85 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Five

At first I couldn't figure out why Isabel, now competely unguarded, just sat there. She wasn't shackled with silver chains, she could have taken off into the night like the werewolves had done.

Then I realized that Eric and Jure were both so much older than her, in vampire years, that catching her and bringing her back would have been easy for either of them. She knew her goose was cooked, now she had to deal with the consequences. I bet that plane she chartered, the one that was sent away empty, was going to cost her a pretty penny.

"Theees eees all your fault," she hissed at me, under her breath. She had taken off the pith helmet, under it her hair was a mess.

"I beg your pardon?" I asked in an overly polite voice, taking a page from Jure's Big Book of B.S. "How is it my fault that you decided to steal something from King de Castro?"

"It would have worked if not for you. You always ruin everything," she said, petulantly.

By 'everything' I think she was referring to her other disaster in poor judgment, the time she brought a spy for the Fellowship of the Sun into her sheriff's inner circle where he spied and caused a great deal of trouble. Hugo had been her boyfriend, blinding her to his obvious faults. I had read his mind and figured out what he was up to, almost too late. She had been punished for that fiasco. I bet she'd be punished for this one too.

"Weren't you sent here by your King to assist Eric in bringing back something from the mine? What were you thinking?" I asked, sitting down on a crate across from her on the other side of a makeshift table. It was a piece of splintery warped plywood resting on two sawhorses.

The plane going back to Louisiana started up. I had to raise my voice to be heard over the noise. "I don't get it, Isabel," I said loudly. "What have I ever done to you?"

She stood up and walked to the corner of the lot where the engine noise wasn't so loud. I went with her. "It's not you, I know it's not you, it's just that I'm so lonely. My husband left me, now I am a laughing stock. He only used me to Turn him, but I really loved him. " She started to cry, tears of blood running down her pretty face.

We kept walking away from the noisy plane so we could talk. "There's no reason for you to be alone, Isabel. You are a beautiful vibrant woman. Any man would be happy to have you. You just need to get over this whole body image thing."

She turned to me, eyes brimming with blood. "That's easy for you to say, you've got those." She pointed to my boobs. "Look at what I have, it's a joke. Nature played a joke on me and now I'll be like this forever. No man will love me." She howled with misery, sobbing.

I put my arms around her and let her cry on my shoulder. I patted her back and said soothing things, then I had an idea. Once she wound down I told her.

"Isabel, seriously, your problem isn't here," I pointed to her chest, "It's here," I pointed to her head. "You need help and I know just the person that can help you, my great aunt Anna Hita." She wasn't technically my great aunt but I wanted Isabel to know Anna Hita was a distant blood relative of mine.

"You're related to Anna Hita?" she breathed in awe. "My God, how wonderful is that?" She seemed really excited. "Do you really think you could get her to help me?" she asked.

"I know I can ask her. She's always busy, but she might do me a special favor. But Isabel, you have got to stop making these bad decisions based on trying to win a man. It just doesn't work that way."

I saw Eric and Jure coming towards us so we didn't have any more time. "I'll ask her and let you know what she says, I promise," I told her, giving her slender body another big hug.

She gave me a weak weepy smile and said, "Oh, now I'm going to be in so much trouble ..."

Eric came up to me and put his arm around me. He raised a blond eyebrow in inquiry.

"Oh we were just having a little girl talk," I told him and gave Isabel a wink. She stood there grim and straight, ready to face whatever was coming.

Eric spoke to Isabel, "You will fly back to Louisiana with Jure. The King will be given the facts, he will decide what to do about you." Eric was not concerned with Isabel's fate.

"Very well," she said, bravely. To me she said, "Thank you Sookie. I apologize for pointing a gun at you. Just so you know, there were no bullets in the guns."

She shrugged and walked with Jure to the plane. They both waved like a couple going off on vacation and went up the steps. The steps raised up and fitted into the side of the plane. It taxied down the runway, picked up speed, and took off. Eric and I watched it until it was just a couple of little blinking lights in the sky.


more to come ....(Keith, Sally, Juicy, Kristabb, Lynn - Thanks for the interest, the kind words and the encouragement! See you over the weekend, I hope.)


Friday, April 23, 2010

84 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Four

Eric had long legs and he strode forward across the tarmac with the confidence of being a nearly immortal Viking. I crept forward with the timidity of being a mortal human woman until Eric turned and swept me up in his arms. He kissed me full on the lips, then laughed at my surprised but delighted expression. He set me down again and took my hand.

Like we were out for a casual moonlight stroll we walked around the back of the King's plane. There we found the Bishop brothers keeping an eye on the zombie-like line up of guards. The driver was tied up and secured to the truck bumper. Isabel was sitting on a box next to Richard, looking as mad as a vampire can look. Her lips were pressed together in a thin line. She didn't even look at me.

Eric said, "I need to help Jure load the plane. I'll be right back." He patted me on the back and left in a flash.

I backed up far enough to watch the two vampires get the crated mummy from the RV and carry the box on to the plane. Two of the Kings guards stood at the bottom of the boarding steps. I was sure there were more guards inside.

The moon gave off a lot of light. Combined with the landing strip lights the area was bright enough to read a paperback. Once the mummy was loaded on the Louisiana plane, Eric released the glamour on the mine guards, and sent them on their dazed and confused way in the back of their rickety pickup truck.

The unglamoured but frightened driver was glad to get the hell out of there, his big lumbering truck tore out of the parking area spewing black smoke from the diesel exhaust pipes.

Then Eric left again to supervise unloading the rest of the weapons and explosives from the RV onto the planes.

Jure came across the blacktop slowly and walked over to me. Looking around he said, "That went well." Isabel gave him a hateful look, then looked away.

"Where are the werewolves?" I asked him. Eric was still busy supervising loading the two planes.

Jure sneered his wicked little smile. "The dogs ran off into the night while they could."

He had changed clothes again and now wore a nicely tailored charcoal grey suit, yellow striped tie, and dazzling white shirt. When had he found time to change? He adjusted his cuff links. I noticed they matched his tie clip. They both had sparkly yellow stones.

He saw me looking at them and added, "Yellow sapphires. Sapphires are a pursuit of mine, they come in such a rainbow of colors." He held back his coal black hair so I could see he also had large yellow sapphire earring studs. They brought out the greenish tint to his eyes.

"They're beautiful," I said.

"Thank you," he replied, sounding pleased. He took my hand and looked at my wedding ring, a large blue oval sapphire surrounded by small diamonds.

"This is a lovely stone. I admire it every time I see it." He turned my hand this way and that to see the stone glow blue from within. "Just lovely," he repeated.

"Thanks. Eric picked it out," I said. Jure still had my hand and through the physical connection I could suddenly feel such a wave of love and desire pass from him to me it was like being punched in the gut. I glanced up at him.

He looked in my eyes and for a split second I saw his true feelings for me, then the pose of being a bored dandy closed over him like shades being drawn over the intensity in his eyes. He slowly released my hand.

"Where is my plane?" Isabel suddenly demanded. Her Spanish accent had gotten so thick it sounded like "Awhhhaare eeess ma plan?" She started to get up, then thought better of it. She still had on her pith helmet.

"It had to leave to make room for the two planes you see here," Jure told her, sounding completely unconcerned. "I believe it has returned to Texas."

He faked a bored yawn, shot back his cuff and looked at his watch, a fancy jeweled Rolex or something, no doubt. He wandered off to watch the planes being readied, not offering to help, of course.

That meant that the larger plane was the one going back to Louisiana with the mummy and the smaller plane was the one that would fly Eric and me to Argentina.

However he had done it, Eric had foiled Isabel's stupid plot and kept us right on schedule too.

What a guy!

more to come .....(KerriK, Gjers-1, Deanna, Lynn, Kristabb - I appreciate the time and effort you make to comment. I am very flattered you like what I write. Thanks very much for letting me know.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

83 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Three

Finally I pried myself loose when I heard the RV's engine shifting down to a lower gear. I hastily pulled my clothes back on, sweaty as I was, because there wouldn't be time to shower now. I was tying my shoes when I saw the airfields lights. The place was lit up as bright as a night time football game.

Two private planes were parked on the tarmac. I had run to the window on the opposite side from the couch to peer out and see what was happening, bumping my shin painfully on a corner of the mummy's box. Good thing it was a little padded, still, it hurt.

Eric was already dressed and sitting on the couch, thumbing through a magazine. He even had on his fake horn-rimmed glasses. I sat down next to him, rubbing my leg through the jeans.

"Are you all right?" Eric asked me. He looked cool, calm, and collected. Of course he was cool, being a vampire is the very definition of cool. They can even wear sunglasses at night and still see perfectly.

The answer was no, I wasn't all right. We were walking into a trap and there was no way of knowing how this would turn out. Isabel was crazy, but she had the werewolves and the truck full of armed guards on her side.

I didn't think Jure would figure into the equation, in the past he had stayed neutral when his pals were up to no good. Jure was no friend to Eric. My guts were tightened into a painful knot. I didn't answer Eric, not wanting Isabel to hear how frightened I was.

"Please, Sookie, love of my life, candle in my darkness, do not get stressful. You know it could harm your condition," Eric said in his most kindly way. I tried to relax, but to be honest, that just felt like more stress. He put his arm around me and whispered something in my ear, something that made me smile and relax.

Suddenly the RV door was literally pulled off the hinges and Isabel was standing behind me with a gun pointed to my head. The werewolves came in right behind her, one of them took her place with a gun against my skull.

"What is the meaning of this, Isabel?" Eric asked mildly, putting down his magazine.

"I have come for the ancient one. My King will be pleased I have brought him this prize," she stated, lifting her chin. She looked ridiculous in her jungle clothes and pith helmet. Her long ponytail hung down to her khaki clad butt.

"Is this what he ordered?" Eric asked, crossing his legs, just as calmly as if I didn't have a gun pointed to my head.

"No, he knew nothing about my plan. But I have initiative. I know when to make an executive decision. Your King is a joke, he is a disgrace to our kind. His foolish ideas have made vampires seem like tame pets humans may amuse themselves with. Vampire Land, what a travesty," she hissed. She looked like she wanted to spit.

Vampire Land was a New Orleans amusement park that had great success. Real vampires were on display for the human throngs, and all things vampire were sold for human tourists. Fake fangs, capes, fake blood, even a human version of TruBlood were all sold to people eager to have a vampire experience.

Jure's child, the Countess Dragan, was forced to work there night after night as her punishment for attacking the King. I wondered if the Countess Adrijana and Isabel were friends.

"Get up, you blond buffoon, and carry that box out to the plane on the right. Or else your little wifey will get her brains blown out where she sits." Isabel gave me a hateful triumphant look. She had correctly guessed that Eric would do anything to save me.

"As you wish," Eric said. He stood up and lifted one end of the box, but he made it seem as if it was too large and awkward for him to hoist up. He began dragging it, banging it into the wall.

"No, you idiot," she commanded Eric, "Carefully. I do not want the contents damaged." Her glittery green eyes were full of malice.

"Perhaps I can help?" a deep voice asked from the stairs. Jure appeared in the doorway, then, just like that, he was behind Isabel holding her slender wrists behind her back, her gun on the floor.

Eric had both the werewolves guns, one in each hand. The werewolves stepped back, eyes wide. They hadn't even seen him move. The meaner one looked like he was beginning to turn. His face was growing a muzzle and hair sprouted out of every pore. His eyes were slanting, and his teeth were changing. The air shimmered around him as the magic took over.

"Stop that," Eric snapped at him, "Unless you want your tail ripped off."

I heard Eric's fangs snick down. He liked the thought of ripping the tail off a werewolf. Probably a common vampire fantasy considering how much vampires and werewolves disliked each other. I had a mental image of a werewolf tail hanging from the rear view mirror in Eric's red Corvette.

"Don't fight them," the nicer werewolf said to the meaner one. "They are both very old."

I was glad the handsome werewolf knew what was happening. The nasty one slowly transmogrified back into a beefy human with creepy pale yellow eyes. He put his shades back on, but he didn't look cool anymore, he looked scared.

I had gotten up and walked to the far corner near the bathroom door. I knew hiding in the bathroom wasn't going to work to protect me, but it was the only door that locked. Eric seemed to have things under control, though.

"Let us all go outside," Eric said. The werewolves went first, then Jure, still holding Isabel, then Eric, with me about one inch behind him, using him as a shield. There were still the guards to contend with. Better safe than sorry.

more to come ....(KerriK, Gjers-1, Lynn, Anonymous Z, K - Thanks for your insights and encouragement. KerriK - I started writing these stories to get me through from book to book too. Now I'm having so much fun I feel like I can wait. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

82 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty Two

Every bump in the road, every clash of gears, brought my attention to point, waiting to see if we were slowing down for a hoard of robbers. While we rode Eric told me stories about how common highway robbery was throughout the world over the centuries. This wasn't exactly calming me down.

"Do you think we're going to be stopped and attacked?" I finally asked him, squeezing his hand.

"Can you use your mind reading to seek any bad vibes on the road ahead?" Eric asked.

That was a good idea. I cleared my mind, opening my thoughts to the road ahead. I kept expanding the sweep of my thoughts and stayed open, receiving the strange thoughts of a tribe of people that lived near a river. I couldn't understand their language, but I sensed they were worried about a sick child, a child with a fever.

The child was laying near a fire and they were trying to give it water to drink from a gourd. The child had been sick before and it was not hardy. I saw the thin brown face of the child as its head was lifted and water placed to the child's lips. It was a sad scene, the child did not look well. It might not survive. Sadness, sadness.

Then my thoughts picked up on something, not ahead of us, but behind us. The thoughts were in Portuguese, and there was more than one mind thinking the same thing. I got pictures, snippets of emotion, like listening to a crowd of people all murmuring at the same time. I saw money changing hands, weapons being handed out, the desire for more money, the excitement of getting a quick buck. The things that money could buy. Around and around the pictures and feelings went, until I had a clear idea of what I was getting.

I grabbed Eric's arms, just about jumping out of my skin with the news. I whispered very quietly to him in his ear, in case Isabel could hear me in her RV, hear me even past the roaring truck noises.

"The guards, they're going to double cross us. They are working for Isabel. The werewolves are going to help her. She's planning on taking the mummy and putting it on her own plane to Texas. She paid the guards to turn on us and stop us, then she's going to steal the mummy."

"Is Jure in on this too?" Eric asked me in my ear, his voice barely audible.

"Not as far as I know, only Isabel and the werewolves were pictured in the minds of the guards. What are we going to do?" It's not easy to barely whisper and sound frantic at the same time, yet I managed it.

Eric whispered, "I must leave for a few minutes. Stay here, don't go near the windows, wait for me." And just like that he was gone, so fast I didn't even see him leave. It was like a magic trick where he becomes invisible.

Sitting down on the floor, I hoped I was out of the range of fire of anyone that might shoot. This put me right next to the wrapped up mummy. I reached out slowly and touched a finger to the shiny black plastic. I thought I heard a tiny noise from within, but it was hard to tell over the noise of the truck motor. I knew that under the plastic was a layer of fireproof fabric, then another layer of plastic. The mummy and I rode along for about fifteen minutes before Eric returned.

His mission had been successful, I could tell from the triumphant look on his face. He gave me a thumb's up, then we resumed sitting together on the couch.

He kissed me, the intensity slowly escalating, but I wasn't able to put the other circumstances out of my thoughts. The mummy at my feet, and the plot yet to be thwarted weighed on my mind. I had another potential life I was responsible for now, I needed to keep my mind on my safety.

Eric looked at me questioningly when he saw his kiss didn't have the usual effect.

I shrugged. "I guess I'm just too.. anxious... about the rest of our trip to relax right now," I explained.

"It has the opposite effect on me, I get excited when things start to happen," Eric said, with a grin. His arousal was evident.

Eric loved a fight. It brought his reality into a high definition intensity that heightened all his senses to a peak. In the olden days he had probably bedded many women before a fight, after a fight, maybe even during a fight. He spent much of his life as a mercenary or following battles, he had been a warrior before he was Turned.

In modern terms I think he might have been called an adrenaline junkie, a thrill seeker, though he lived a calm and ordered life most of the time these days. I did not love a fight, I preferred the quiet times and our home.

He smiled into my eyes with his. "How would you kiss me if you knew this would be our last kiss, these were our last moments together?" My thoughts suddenly stopped.

I grabbed him around his thick neck and kissed him with everything I had, climbing on his lap to straddle him. I hadn't thought of that. Vampires are sturdy, but they can be killed. And I was certainly vulnerable. What if this was our last time together, did I want to waste it fretting or did I want to soak up every last drop of Eric, the husband of my blood?

My passionate desire for him wiped out all my other thoughts. We joined together on the couch without a thought to the future, the past, or the mummy just feet away. I was wild for him. We told each other of our love over and over. His intensity matched mine. He fed while I swooned in ecstasy. Then I wrapped my arms and legs around him and held him tight, never wanting to let him go.

more to come ....(Anonymous Z, Gjers-1, Sally, ltkp, Kristabb, Juicy - Thanks for commenting despite the difficulties. I promise you that you will not be disappointed in Sookie getting to the "bundle of joy" part of the story. Think pink, (but you know nothing ever goes smooth as silk in her world). ......


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

81 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty One

The Bishops had the mummy. It was too bulky to bring through the door, but the RV had a pop out side that could either expand the living space, or open up to attach something like a tent or a second RV.

They opened the side and slid the wrapped carton into our living room. It took up about half the floor space, I would need to slide past it if I wanted to use the restroom. Suddenly the RV didn't seem so big.

The Bishops secured the side of the RV closed, then Eric pushed a button and the side slid in making the inside space seem even smaller. I hadn't realized we were going to be sitting in the same room as the mummy. I was glad Eric was with me. I didn't want to be alone with it again. The Bishops must have been traveling in the last RV with Jure.

With a little shudder and lurch the RV started to move, gears meshing and whining until we got out of the gravel lot and on to the lumpy black top road. I didn't bother to try and look out the side windows, it was as dark as a starless night. In the rear window I saw the lights of the mine parking lot, and the higher huge stadium lights that lit the entrance to the cave get smaller and smaller as we entered the forest. With a bend in the road they were gone, and we were rumbling along with just the headlights to illuminate the way.

I could see there was one RV ahead of us, and one behind us. The truck full of armed guards was either in front or bringing up the rear, I couldn't tell which. I scooched over to sit close to Eric, feeling if there was any danger he would be my best chance to live through it. Or maybe he would leave me to save the precious mummy?

I was tempted to ask him if he could only save me or the mummy which one he would pick, but I realized that was a stupid teenage girlfriend question, not one an adult woman would ask her husband.

"Are you worried, my wife?" Eris asked, taking my hand. My face must have been drawn as I thought about Eric saving me and losing the mummy, thus infuriating the King.

"I'll be glad when that thing is safely on its way to the research center. Is there a name for the center yet?"

Eric gently rubbed his thumb over my wedding ring as he spoke, an endearing mannerism of his. "Sookie, that 'thing' is a living vampire, the oldest of our kind. It has suffered more than our minds can comprehend. It was sealed in a natural underground cave under millions of tons of rock. There was not even an insect to sustain it, yet it lived, drying out and becoming immobile. But still it has the will to survive, to return. Is that not awesome?"

He wasn't using the word awesome in the way teens do, he was using it to mean he felt awe in the presence of his elder. Vampires revered and respected their elders, not just because the elders were stronger, but because they had survived, retained the will to go on despite the erosion of motivations the years brought.

A vampire could only enjoy so many orgies, so many bloody meals, so many nights, before a kind of weariness crept in. It all became the same old same old after a number of centuries. Something had to provide the will, the desire, to go on. I knew I provided that for Eric. What had kept the shriveled being in the coffin going all those thousands of years?

"King Felipe de Castro," Eric said, interrupting my thoughts.


"The name of the center. It is to be called 'The King Felipe de Castro Research Center'," Eric said, answering my earlier question.

"Of course, I should have known," I said, smiling at him.

"Are you going to be able to control the ... cave vampire ... once you restore it? Think how powerful he must be since he's so darn old," I said.

"I have thought of that, and so have the team of specialists ready to begin restoring him. He is so depleted he will not immediately revive unless something very unusual happens. It will take a long time to return him to his original state. Perhaps that will not even be possible. Do not worry about my safety, I am not among the staff of the Center. My job will end once I get him safely to the doctors."

That was the next step in our journey, to get the cave vampire on to the plane and in the air. Then we would be free to go our way for the vacation part of our trip.

more to come .....( Gjers-1, Kristabb, Anonymous Z, Lynn, and everyone that is reading along - I love that you're following along on this trip. Now off to Vampire Cave, I hope ...)


Monday, April 19, 2010

80 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Eighty

Eric listened carefully to everything I had to say, nodding occasionally. I noticed he had put away the extra ammo the Bishops left on the kitchen counter. I guess he didn't want it bouncing down on to the floor once we started back.

"I will contact the sheriff of London and have this taken care of." He knew I would worry unless I got his assurance that Jeremy would not be hurt so he added, "The Queen of London is more eager than our own King to avoid any trouble. This will be handled with great care and no harm will come to Tadeu's brother Jeremy."

I knew I could trust Eric. I hoped he was right about the London vampires. I would never get over the guilt if I turned over a human and they were hurt or killed. Eric told me the Queen of London's name was Elizabeth Downey and she had been the Queen since 1832. I never recalled seeing any unpleasant incidents involving London vampires, but I hadn't been searching the internet for that specific topic either.

Soon the caravan of RV's, with an additional pickup truck with six armed mine guards, would be on the bumpy winding road through the lush emerald forest, moving slowly but steadily back to the private airstrip.

Jure, Isabel, the werewolves and three of the King's guards would accompany the mummy back to Louisiana. Eric and I would get on a much smaller plane with the Bishop brothers to travel down to Argentina and see Vampire Cave. Then back to Shreveport. I was practically hopping up and down with excitement.

Eric was practically hopping down with excitement too, but of a different kind. We hadn't had any private time and that was taking its toll on Eric. The ordeal of the night before had depleted him and he wanted to feed. There wasn't time to engage in intimacy so he would have to feed from me a little later.

He drank half a bottle of TruBlood, making an exaggerated yuck face with every mouthful. It reminded me of when Gran made me or Jason drink some vile home brewed medicine. I tried not to smile, but he was being so dramatic I finally grinned.

"Oh you think this is funny, do you?" he asked, his face suddenly two inches in front of mine. Sometimes when he got worked up he forgot about not startling me with his vampiric speed. He looked madder than a bobcat caught in a piss fire, but I knew it was all an act.

"No, not really," I said, trying to be serious, but then I laughed. His face had little frown lines straight up and down between his eyebrows. He scowled furiously at me, a scary sight if he wasn't my cutie pie and given to theatrics in our love play.

He stood up straight, offended. "You think it is funny that the faithful and devoted husband of your blood is forced to drink this vile stuff? What kind of wife are you?" he asked the empty room in playful mock wonder, shaking his golden head. His expression was one of astounded disbelief at my cruel disregard for his desires. He was a good enough actor to play in movies, I swear.

He came up to me, appearing to be angry again, but a twinkle in his smokey blue eyes betrayed him. "I suppose you think this is funny too?" he asked, taking my hand and pressing the palm against the straining bulge in his pants. It was as hard as a rock. I could almost hear the buttons on his jeans groaning under the pressure. I hoped one didn't fly off and put my eye out.

"No, " I barely croaked, then cleared my throat so I could speak, "Um, no, that's not funny at all." A sudden wave of heat flashed through me, a response to his naked need. "Do you think we have the time to ....." the words trailed off. I could hear the other RVs starting.

"No, unfortunately we do not," he said, striding over and opening the RV door before the driver had a chance to knock on it. The uniformed man stood there startled, with his hand raised to rap on the door.

I heard the driver say, "Are you ready, sir?" and Eric reply in a gruff voice, "Yes, we're ready."

In a moment the great truck engine of the RV came to life. I hoped someone had remembered to disconnect all the water pipes and electric wires we had going into the truck.

I sat down on the couch because I remembered how much lurching the RV had done on the trip here. Eric sat down next to me.

I asked Eric something I had been wondering about. "Why doesn't Jure have any guards?"

"He did not want anyone to guard him. He prefers to handle his own security. He does not use his RV in the daytime." Eric shrugged.

He was not concerned about how Jure managed his personal security as long as he was around to help with recovering and guarding the ancient one. Jure probably didn't have anyone he could trust. Alone he could find a place to bury himself underground or a cave where he was safe. There were thousands of miles of wilderness around us, he wouldn't have a hard time finding a secluded spot.

"Where are the Bishops?" I asked. I thought they would be in the truck with us on the way back because we had the mummy in our cargo space.

"They will be right here," Eric answered. And they were, but they were not alone.

more to come ....(Anonymous Z, Anonymous, Kristabb, Juicy, Lynn, mpedersen2 - There will be more Jure, he isn't going away. Thanks for paying such close attention and letting me know what you're thinking.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

79 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Nine

The small man was sitting in a chair near the bed he had been occupying the last time I saw him. He saw me and waved silently, still talking on the phone. He held up his index finger in the universal "I'll just be a minute" signal and talked on. I waited while he finished his conversation. I noticed he was now well enough to have gotten dressed in jeans and a long sleeved green plaid flannel shirt. His bowl haircut was neatly combed and his hair had a healthy sheen.

At first I had been alarmed that somehow Eric's glamour hadn't worked, but once I read Tadeu's mind I saw there was nothing to worry about. Tadeu now believed he had been locked in the cave with an extremely rare giant Brazilian free-tailed bat. This bat has only been seen once or twice and never photographed. Tadeu's only regret was that he hadn't had a camera. Good work Eric, I thought.

He had explained that it was much better to replace a memory with something unusual but different. This accounted to the mind of the glamoured person where the time had gone and what the strange occurance had been. There was no troubling gap in events, no uneasy sense that something had happened just out of reach of memory, no worries about what the consequences of the strange interlude might be. It was a memory all wrapped up and tied with a red bow. No one questions what they are sure of.

The one troubling thing I got from the mine manager's mind was that Jeremy, Tadeu's adopted brother, was researching the toxins and herbs used by native people in South America to subdue, exploit and kill vampires. This was pure research so far, not a tool of a hate group, but it could certainly be used by a hate group once the results were published. I needed to find out where Jeremy was and let the vampires know about this before it became a threat to them. I hoped I wasn't too late.

Once he was off the phone I pulled up a chair and told him I was fixing to leave. He expressed his regret, but from reading his mind I knew he would be relieved to have me and the entourage with me gone so the mine could go back to its regular operation. He felt that the unusual assemblage of vampires and security triggered off the robbery attempt. Locals must have gotten word of this unprecedented event and speculation led to the conclusion that something of great worth had been found.

Tadeu did not believe the story he had been told to explain our presence here, that it was just a routine mine inspection for the King to make sure things were being run honestly and efficiently. I saw how nobody would believe that story because it had no resemblance to what had happened. No mine inspections were made, no records gone over, and the inventory wasn't taken. No, our trip here looked exactly like what it was, the retrieval of something very valuable. No wonder the robbers had been quick to make a try at the treasure.

He thanked me again for my role in saving his life while we were locked in the cave.

"Oh I was glad to do it," I said, "You gave me such good instructions. How do you know so much about medical care? Is your brother a doctor or something?"

"Yes, but he prefers research to medical practice. Still, I did pick up some medical knowledge from him while he was in school."

"What school did he go to?" I asked. A large moth circling the naked bulb over our heads cast crazy fluttering shadows on us. I could hear the moth hit the bulb occasionally.

"King's College London," Tadeu replied, proud of his brother. "He teaches there too, and of course there's his research."

That should make it easy to locate him, I thought. After a bit more chat we said our farewells and I went back to the RV to tell Eric what I had found out.

On the way back I thought about how I had changed over the years when it came to human and vampire problems. Before I met Eric and learned to trust him I would have done everything in my power to protect the human from a vampire finding out anything. I had seen too many instances of vampires coming down hard on a human that wronged them. This was right after the Great Revelation, the night vampires went on television screens all over the world and let the world know that they existed and wanted to be part of regular society.

The change in vampire tactics from invisible predation over the centuries to mainstreaming was possible because of the invention of TruBlood, the first synthetic blood vampires could live on. They still preferred the real thing, of course, but it was possible to live on the synthetic stuff. I knew there were problems with long term survival on just TruBlood, but no vampire, even the most ethical one, had to live that way.

Too many humans, fascinated with the undead, were more than willing to offer their veins to a vampire for the thrill of being glamoured and seduced. Since blood was blood, no matter who it came from, any vampire could line up a roster of regular "donors" that would supply all their needs. And a handsome charismatic vampire like Eric, well, he could have any one he wanted, just about. One look from his forever blue eyes and anyone would be putty in his hands.

I knew this from first hand experience, an experience I was lucky enough to repeat every night, I thought as I climbed the RV steps.

more to come . . . (Gjers-1, Anonymous Z, Kristabb, K, Juicy, Lynn - Thanks for trying to post even though there are glitches. Your insightful and though provoking comments are very enlightening. I appreciate it.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

78 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Eight

As soon as Eric was up I told him what Tadeu was fixing to do, tell his adopted British brother all about the mummy. Eric went to glamour him and the doctor while I finished packing up all the things that had somehow gotten strewn around the inside of the RV. Robert waited until Eric got back before he went to his RV for some much needed sleep.

When Eric got back I had the computer booted up and showed him the picture, the artist's rendering, of a Neanderthal. I told Eric that's what I thought it was.

"I agree, that vampire was a Neanderthal man before he was Turned." Eric looked thoughtful. "His blood was not human blood, does he need to feed on Neanderthal blood?" He wasn't asking me, he was more like talking out what he was thinking.

"He's out of luck if he needs Neanderthal blood unless you guys can hurry up and synthesize it. He was a little revived by the smell of human blood, so that might work for him too." I pressed myself against Eric, enjoying the solid reality of him. He put his arm around me.

"True," Eric replied, shutting down the laptop and closing it. "And vampires can survive on animal blood for a long time, so human blood might be enough."

"Have you ever needed to live on animal blood?" I asked him.

He looked at me and smiled, "Oh yes, many times. During the times I was being hunted I was safer staying in the woods. But over time it weakens me, it is not ideal." He bent and kissed my neck, scraping his fangs gently over the vein there. "This, this is ideal. This is perfect ...." He kept kissing my neck, then my lips until I forgot I was in an RV in Brazil. I was soon flushed and panting, I was already missing our private time together. We needed some alone time.

A knock on the door brought me back to reality. "Come," Eric called out. He winked a sexy blue eye at me. I realized he was making a double entendre and grinned at him.

"I almost did," I whispered, squeezing his arm. His sense of humor was growing by leaps and bounds. When I first met him he had almost no comprehension of what humor was. Over time, with me as a guide, he was finding more opportunities to try out the language of humor.

The door opened and the meaner werewolf came in, followed by Isabel. She had on some kind of safari outfit complete with pith helmet.

I must have looked a little startled because she said, "This is a sensible ensemble for jungle travel, while you are dressed for ....", she searched for something insulting to say about my low cut blouse, but something that wouldn't make Eric mad, "... a much warmer evening than it is," she finished lamely.

I had forgotten about her cleavage issues. I hadn't worn this top to flaunt my assets, I just wanted to look nice for Eric. But I couldn't have worn anything worse if I wanted to set her off.

"I guess I'll just have to put on a sweater then," I said, a tad tartly. "By the way, this isn't a jungle, it's a forest, a rain forest, just so you know." I wanted her to see that I had smarts, that I wasn't all boobs and no brains.

"Whatever," Isabel said dismissively. She then spoke to Eric as if he was the only one in the room, finalizing their travel plans back to the airfield. The werewolf stared at me with his icy pale lime green eyes. It was impossible to know what he was thinking. I probably didn't want to know, in any case.

While Eric arranged the guards for maximum protection for the mummy, I went to the dispensary to say good bye to Tadeu. The doctor was no where in sight when I entered the metal hut, so I just opened the ward door and walked in.

Tadeu had the phone to his ear, speaking to his brother in London. He was saying, "I know, it was one of the most remarkable things I had ever seen in my life!"

more to come ...(Anonymous Z, Gjers-1, Sally - Thank you for your input. Hope you are having a good weekend.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

77 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Seven

I sat up in bed so abruptly that Richard stood up with his gun at the ready.

"It's OK," I told him, a little breathlessly. "I was just having a scary dream." I got up, not wanting to return to that dream and find out what happened next.

Richard sat back down and replaced the headphones on his massive cranium. They looked like a child's toy on him. The brothers tended to dwarf whatever was around them with their size.

I went to the bathroom and washed my face, thinking about the dream. Had Jure sent me that dream? This was a question I had asked myself every time I had a vivid sexy dream about the ancient Croatian vampire. He was telepathic and able to influence my mind, but he had been ordered by his Maker to leave me alone.

From previous experience I knew he would occasionally send me images from romance novels, was he sending me these elaborate dreams too? Since it was daytime he would be somewhere nearby, maybe even buried under the forest floor, sleeping as if dead until dark. Did he retain enough consciousness, enough control, to send me a telepathic dream?

Then another thought struck me. Could I be picking up on his dreams telepathically? Were these lurid romantic fantasies what actually rose from the mind of the large and looming Jure? Had I entered his dreamworld, playing along with his wishes, getting close to fulfilling his deepest desires? As much as I might wish to deny it, the darkly handsome Jure had sex appeal, and more, there was something intriguing and complex about him. If I wasn't in love with my honey-bun Eric then I might have given Jure a chance. Maybe.

Well, there wasn't anything I could do about my dreams, and aside from that, Jure had been the very soul of polite discretion. He sent an "interested" vibe whenever he was around me, pretty much all men do that when they're around a woman that floats their boat, but it was so subtle that even Eric didn't object. A man usually likes it if his wife is considered desirable by other men, as long as the men are respectful and keep their distance.

Since Jure was in the vicinity it was possible I was entering into his dreams with him. It was just as possible that seeing him again had just triggered my own subconscious mind to cook up a sexy dream about him. I told my subconscious mind that I didn't approve of this, and to knock it off. Then I moved on in my thoughts.

Now that Eric knew I knew about the research center maybe he we could talk openly about what was going to happen to the mummy. Despite my revulsion at its appearance, I knew that this was how any vampire would look if it was starved for a long long time. How long had it been trapped underground? If it had straw-like fangs then maybe it had been there for a million years. Were people around a million years ago? I would go Google that and find out.

With a stab of pity I thought about my golden beauty, my vampire. Eric would look like that if he was locked away from any chance of blood for eons. I thought of his long bones, his thick wavy honey colored hair, his appetite for life and blood. What unendurable torture it must have been for Mr. Mummy. I was going to think more kindly of him from now on, especially because he was locked away in a box where he couldn't get me. Soon he would be on a plane to the research center, then Eric and I could go for a romantic trip to Argentina's Vampire Cave, a place known to all vampires, but completely hidden from human knowledge.

After a light lunch I put on a sweater and went to the computer. The sweater was needed because the Bishop boys ran hot, and on a warm day like today they cranked the AC way up. They were taking turns going out and coming in, one getting cool in the RV while the other one heated up in the rickety chair. I paid them no mind after a while, they knew what they were doing and they could look after themselves when it came to food and drinks.

I looked up early man, and found out that 65 million years ago primates began evolving. Well, I thought to myself, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Or maybe a monkey was my uncle. This was a hot topic with some of the religious folks back home. I recalled one high school class where the divine design people jumped the evolution people and beat the living tar out of them for saying that humans evolved from primates. I thought that the divine design people sort of made the case for the evolution people by acting like enraged chimps - hooting, posturing and beating their chests.

People that looked like we do came about 50-100,000 years ago. From the skeleton of the mummy it sure didn't look like we do. I saw a description that caught my eye, it was "short, stocky body, bowed legs and a large jutting ridge over his eyes". That described my mummy to a tee, and that was the description of a Neanderthal.

I looked that up. Bingo! Neanderthals existed between 30,000 and 200,000 years ago. Present day humans are not descended from the Neanderthals. So this creature was a different kind of human. I wondered what Reverend Fullenwilder would say about that.

Of course he didn't hold with vampires at all, so the fact that it was also a vampire would probably put it in the "damned to perdition" category with him, as all minions of Satan were. I asked Bill once, early on, when I was still ignorant about a lot of things, if he was ruled by Satan. He got very sad and thoughtful and said, "Sometimes it would seem so," but he added that he had no more knowledge of Satan than I had, just what he had learned in church while he was human.

Neanderthals were from Europe, but this one was here in Brazil. I wondered if being a vampire was why. Maybe I could get to talk to it someday. Could it really be more than a hundred thousand years old? The things it must have seen, the knowledge it could give us, those thoughts took my breath away.

No wonder the King was willing to spend anything to get the world's oldest vampire back to his kingdom. It truly was, as Eric had said, beyond price.

more to come ...(Lydia, Anonymous Z, Lynn, Sally - Since I only know what Sookie knows I'm not sure why she has these dreams, but I did notice she is never really comfortable with Jure in them, even though he tries to win her over.

Lynn - As to why Jure doesn't have his own guards, Sookie didn't ask him, but she guessed it was because he has trust issues since his own Child Adrijana tried to blackmail him and his human servants turned out to be crooks. Maybe she'll find out more. :-)


Thursday, April 15, 2010

76 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Six

I wished him a speedy recovery, then Richard and I went back to the RV. We passed the doctor on the way out but he was deeply asleep on the broken down couch in his office. He was snoring loudly, an empty whiskey bottle laying on the floor right beneath his hand. I guess this far away from civilization they had to get whatever kind of doctor they could persuade to come out and work from a metal hut, especially when there were vampires involved.

Richard stopped at the mess hall on the way back and got a breakfast to bring back for his brother. It took two bags and a thermos to hold it all.

Robert, still outside the RV, was sitting on a rusty metal folding chair. He fished around in the bag his brother handed him and got out an egg sandwich. He held his breakfast with one hand while he rested the gun on his leg with the other hand.

I sat on the RV steps and waited outside with him until he finished his first sandwich and had some coffee from the thermos he had set on the ground by his side before I spoke to him. Richard went inside to cool off.

"Do you expect the robbers to be back?" I asked him.

Behind him, a red and yellow bird flew over the tree tops and away. Giant fan shaped leaves swayed in the sultry humid breeze, and something shrieked "ga-gack, ga-gack, ga-gack", over and over, until it ended with a choked "gack". It was as hot as a Louisiana August.

He gave a shrug of his beefy shoulders. "No telling. I'm prepared, and there are extra guards at the mine site today. We should be OK." He shifted his weight in the precariously rickety chair, making it squeak loudly. A bird answered from the jungle. He shifted again, his chair screeching with the strain, and once again the bird responded, making the same noise his chair made. He didn't notice, but it gave me a little smile. I went back in the RV.

Richard was watching the small kitchen TV, listening to it through wireless headphones. He gave me a wave with the hand not holding an AK47. I waved back and got ready to lay down for a few hours. Last night was beginning to catch up with me. Tonight I would tell Eric as soon as he got up to go glamour Tadeu before he said anything to his brother.

I knew from reading his mind that Tadeu wasn't going to call Jeremy until late tonight because of the time difference between Brazil and England, so there would be plenty of time for Eric to wipe clean any mummories. "Heh," I said out loud to myself as I climbed into bed, "I said 'mummories'. " I must be more tired than I thought.

Restless dreams of being chased through a maddeningly dense forest by a vampire skeleton were lifted by a beautiful dream of a moonlit voyage up a river somewhere in Europe. The high jagged topped mountains on either side of the gently winding river were not like the mountains anywhere I had even been in America. Later the land would widen out to broad grassy plains on either side, with rolling hills and sandy shores.

The moon turned the water into a wide gleaming highway of silver as the large yacht chugged sedately down the middle. I stood in the bow, enjoying the warm breeze on my skin as the boat knifed silently through the water. A night diving bird splashed down onto the surface of the water and came out with a struggling fish in its talons, sending up a glittering spray of moonlit water like jewels as it flew away with its prize.

Strong arms encircled my waist from behind, and cool lips began kissing my naked neck, working up to my earlobes. I had worn a strapless evening gown because my sophisticated date liked to dine formally. It was a treat to get all dressed up like this. My host had complimented me several times on my choice of a crimson satin dress with shiny black bead work down the front.

"Happy?" a remarkably deep voice asked quietly in my ear. The nearness of him sent shivers down my spine. His voice seemed to come from some cavernous place inside him.

"Very," I said, turning to kiss the raven haired Jure.

The breeze blew his long hair back from his noble face. High pronounced Slavic cheekbones, dark lashed eyes with a slight upwards slant, a brooding brow and a cruel twist to his thin lips made him look almost primitive at times. If it were not for his breeding and intellect he could have been a coarse and violent man, but his astute mind ruled his actions, giving him self control and a will of iron. This was the reason I trusted him so far. He was a man that would take what he wanted, and more than anything else on Earth I was what he wanted.

But I needed to move at my own speed. I wasn't ready yet to make a deeper commitment to him. He wanted me to move into his renovated castle overlooking this beautiful river as his bride. I knew the whirlwind romance he had swept me up in hadn't given me enough time to be a judge of his character. There were too many mysteries surrounding him for me to let my guard down yet.

This was the second moonlight trip we had taken down the river Drava in his yacht, the Blutjäger. As luxurious as it was, I preferred the sunshine, sitting on deck tanning. When I had asked Jure about taking a day trip he became evasive.

Were his days spent with his other women, or with his wife? Who picked his clothes for him? He was dressed beautifully in sensuous fabrics that were delightful to touch. His wardrobe must be custom made to fit his unusually muscular build. Did he take steroids? Where did all his money come from? His tuxedo looked like it must have cost a bundle.

There were so many questions I would need answered before I surrendered to the passion the mysterious dark eyed suitor aroused in me. I ran my hand over his arm, feeling that tension I sensed in him whenever I was near. It felt like he was barely controlling some urge, some instinct, to take me in his arms and have me, claim me, as his and his alone.

I hoped the thin veneer of civility and respect for my wishes held. We were alone on this big vessel except for three of his staff, a captain, a server, and a helper. It seemed preposterous that he would go to all this trouble just to ravish me.

The server came on deck now and told us dinner was served. From my previous meal with him on the yacht I knew there would be an elegantly laid table, good wines and gourmet food in the main cabin. Numerous flickering candles would shine on the white table cloth, fresh flowers in the vases, the antique gold ware shined to a mirror finish.

The room had a beautifully crafted wood interior and real furniture, with tasteful classical music coming from speakers so subtle the sound would seem to be everywhere. But if this was like our last voyage, I knew I would be the only one eating. Jure didn't eat, instead, he said he enjoyed watching me eat.

But why didn't he eat? Or, a better question, from the hungry way he looked at me from the dark depths of his inner being, what did he eat? I could swear he looked like he wanted to eat me.

"What are you thinking about?" he asked, smiling, showing square white teeth only a few shades lighter than his pale face. Was the man sick, was his pallor from some deadly disease? He looked robust, even more than robust, he was almost supernaturally fit.

"Oh, just how lovely the river is in the moonlight," I answered his smile with a smile of my own.

As we walked arm in arm across the dark deck to the dining table in the cabin below I asked him, "Tell me, Jure, what does Blutjäger mean?"

He gave a low throaty chuckle that sounded more like a growl. "It means 'Bloodhunter'," he said, suddenly pulling me to him.

more to come .....(Lynn, K, Anonymous Z, Gjers-1 - Poor Tadeu, first shot by a poisoned arrow, now he's going to be glamoured. But like Gjers-1 said - "vampires first". Thank you for sharing your thoughts. )


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

75 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Five

I opened the tinny lightweight door and saw "Doc" sitting behind a messy desk. Papers were piled up helter skelter on the desk, on top of the filing cabinets, and even piled in the corner under the small grimy window. Richard stood by the door, trying to look as unobtrusive as a three hundred pound overall clad were-Bigfoot with an AK 47 can look.

"Hi," I said, smiling, "I'm Sookie Stackhouse. We met last night." I wasn't sure I had registered with the elderly doctor, he was so focused on his patient.

"Pleased to meet you, Miss Stackhouse. I'm Doctor Rice." He didn't stand up or offer to shake hands, so I stayed put and took a peek into his mind.

He was already three sheets to the wind, or maybe he was still plastered from last night. I got the impression that this was his chronic condition. He had put his whiskey bottle in a drawer when he heard me knock. Now he was thinking of it longingly, wishing I would go away so he could be alone with his drink.

"Actually it's Mrs. Stackhouse. I'm married to Eric Northman, but I kept my maiden name," I explained. This was because Eric's last name was just one he made up to fit into a society that needed a last name. Eric was older than last names. I didn't bother going into all this with the doctor.

"So, you're married to a vampire? I didn't know that was legal." He burped and excused himself. "What can I do you for, Mrs. Stackhouse?" His eyes glanced over at Richard nervously.

He leaned forward in his metal office chair, placing his arms on top of the stack of papers on his desk to steady himself. A few fell off, but he either didn't notice or didn't care. He had bushy white brows that overshadowed his eyes, and his smudged wire rimmed glasses reflected the light in such a way that it was hard to see his eyes. He was still wearing the same dirty white lab coat from last night, now with some additional stains.

"I was wondering how Tadeu was doing," I told him.

"He's resting comfortably right now. Would you like to see him? He's right in there." The doctor made a gesture to the only other door in the room, a door identical to the entrance door.

"Thanks," I said.

Again Richard looked in the back half of the hut first, then nodded to let me know it was safe. I opened the door and saw the rest of the Quonset hut, a space long enough to house six beds, three on each side, with an examining area in the back, and old fashioned glass fronted metal cabinets containing medical supplies. All the beds were empty except for the farthest one by the window. I walked quietly towards the bed, not wanting to wake Tadeu if he was asleep. Richard followed me in and stood by the door.

"Ah, Mrs. Stackhouse," Tadeu said, turning his body towards me a little. He grimaced and settled back down. "Please, have a seat. It was a long night, you must be exhausted." He motioned towards the bunk next to his.

I still found his refined British accent incongruous with his scarified and tattooed face, bowl haircut, and obvious native tribesman heritage. This was a case of nurture over nature, his trip to England had changed the course of his life. He bridged two worlds that couldn't be more different. His early life among the trees in the forest, a primitive hut, stone age tools, hunting and gathering, and his tribe. The contrast with the highly civilized world he was adopted into must have been extreme, yet he had coped and thrived.

I sat down and asked, "How are you doing?" He was right, I was exhausted, but I needed to rest my mind about his condition. A weak beam of sunlight came in through the dirty window, lighting up his blanket covered legs.

"Much better, thanks to you and your quick action. The doc has stitched up the wound and given me the antidote to the poison. I should be right as rain in a few days. Thank you for your first-rate care, it has made all the difference." His brown eyes sparkled with unshed tears. He got a tissue and blew his nose, trying to disguise them.

"I'm glad to hear that. You were pretty sick last night. I think you were unconscious most of the time?" I asked. I was trying to find out how much he had seen of the mummy vampire. This was top secret and I knew the vampires would not allow word of this to reach human ears.

"Yes, I was delirious. I remember nothing after the arrow struck and the poison entered my system. I have brief flashes of you helping me, but aside from that the whole experience is a blur. Most likely a good thing. I would not want to remember the sickness and the suffering I endured." He made eye contact with me as he spoke, looking and sounding like the very soul of sincerity.

My mind reading abilities showed me the truth, he had a clear memory of the events, with a few blank spots. He saw the mummy and he was eager to tell his adopted brother Jeremy about it as soon as he could. He realized this was a tremendous scientific find. But he feared the vampires would kill him to keep the whole thing under wraps, so he was lying to me to save his life. He suspected I was trying to help him, but he also worried I was trying to find out the truth so I could report back to the vampires.

Like he said, sticking your nose in vampire business was a good way to get your nose chopped off.

more to come ....(Gjers-1, Anonymous Z, Kristabb - I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and let me know what you're thinking as you read. It gives me much more perspective on the story.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

74 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman's Bundle of Joy

Chapter Seventy Four

Eric saw how worried I was and hugged me to his broad silent chest. "I need to know I can trust Jason, so I will speak to him about it, but do not worry, it will not be taken further than that. I had planned on telling you about the research center. Having you get locked in the cave with the ancient one was an unexpected event, one neither of us was prepared for. If I had told you earlier you would have known what you were dealing with, to some extent." I heard his deep voice both through the air and through his chest.

I flashed back to remembering lying on my father's chest as he talked to his friends when I was little, doing the same thing. How reassuring it had been to hear his rumbling voice, even if I didn't know what he was talking about. Adult thoughts were beyond my grasp, at that time, so I was able to just let the words roll over me. Mostly I had felt my father's love for me.

This was gracious and kind of Eric to let such a grave breech of vampire security go with just a word to Jason. Vampires don't like their business known and will go to any length necessary to keep their secrets. Their survival depends on it.

Since we didn't have much time left before Eric had to go, I quickly went on to describe how the "ancient one" had behaved. Eric was especially interested in hearing about how the mummy had tried to suck up the bloody water using his fangs like straws.

"There are legends that once we were able to do that, that our fangs were once hollow, but no one had ever known of it happening. Now we have proof it was true." He seemed fascinated with the topic.

"Does that mean vampires, have evolved, like humans?" I asked, though that didn't really seem possible. Humans evolved through countless reproductive cycles, vampires were created from humans that already existed.

"No, it means that earlier humans, more primitive humans, also had vampires in their midst. It means vampires have been around much longer than previously thought. If humans knew of this discovery they would try to claim the ancient one as an early human. We want to study him as an ancient vampire. Once he is restored, he will have much to teach us about our origins." Eric stood, preparing to enter his travel container for the day. I heard people moving around outside, and trucks rolling in. The day for the mine would soon begin.

One word Eric said stood out to me. "Restored? You mean you're bringing him back?" I asked.

"Oh yes, that is the reason we came here. To release him from his tomb of rock, take him to the research center and feed him. Nothing like this has happened in the whole history of the world." Eric seldom had awe in his voice, but he had it now.

I thought it was pretty awesome too, as long as the ancient one didn't go berserk and kill everyone. He looked mighty sturdy and he was so so old. He could be dangerous to modern day vampires.

I tenderly kissed him a good day and he climbed in. I shut the lid and secured the top padding on the container just as the Bishop brothers knocked on the door. A new day was about to begin. Tonight we would bring the mummy to the plane and ship it off with Jure and Isabel back to the research center. Then Eric and I would go on to visit Vampire Cave. Well, Eric and I and the hulking Bishop brothers.

Because I had a cup of coffee when I got back to the RV in order to warm up and stay awake, I still wasn't ready for sleep. I went in the bathroom, took my unused nightgown off and got dressed in jeans and a pink tee shirt. I would nap later, a pattern I had gotten into since I began dating vampires.

Robert, looking none the worse for wear, sat inside the RV and Richard stood outside, one guarding my sweetie pie and one guarding the mummy. I told Robert where I was going and he came outside to watch the entire RV while I was gone.

Richard followed me when I went to get breakfast in the mess hall and find out how Tadeu was doing. The hot sun was blazing making the bizarre events of last night seemed like a dream. I heard, but didn't see the monkeys that made the loud howling. I could smell the trees and foliage when the breeze picked up. Today was going to be a scorcher, I thought. Richard took advantage of the trip to the mess hall to get his breakfast too.

One of the werewolves, the cute nice one, was there already, eating a big meal. He sat at a roughly made picnic table, facing the parking lot to keep an eye on the truck Isabel was sleeping in. He looked at me and with that sixth sense women have about these things I knew he liked me, felt compatible with me, wished he could meet me. But he was a professional. Nothing would bring trouble faster than flirting with a vampire's wife. He turned his eyes back down to the pile of food on his plate, not glancing at me again.

I recognized the foreman from the day before and several of the workers. The cave was open and it looked like business as usual. I got a glass of milk and a piece of toast and sat at a table with Richard. The workmen glanced at me surreptitiously, but didn't stare. I tried to read their minds but their thoughts were in Portuguese. One of them had a mental picture of me in a bikini, of us both on a sunny beach, laughing, a mild fantasy compared to many I have seen.

When I finished I asked the food server where the doctor was. It took a little work, but he eventually got what I was asking. He pointed to the back side of the mountain. Richard and I followed a faint trail for quite a while before I got to a Quonset hut, a modest sized rusty corrugated galvanized steel half round building. I knocked on the door and heard the doctor call, "Come in". Richard took a look inside, then nodded at me to let me know the coast was clear.

more to come ...(Anonymous Z, Kristabb - Thanks for commenting. I realize that sometimes there is a problem with getting a comment to post, so I thank you for your perseverance.)