Saturday, December 31, 2011

19 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

Chapter Nineteen

The four of us left the house, Eric and I using the Corvette and Adele and Lachlain in their rescue-slash-work van.

Adele offered to bring us in her van but Eric and I had the unspoken mutual knowledge that the smells in the van would probably make me sick. I looked forward to the time when my sensory filter had adjusted to my new enhanced abilities.

Pulling into the Fangtasia parking lot I could smell the hot blood of the humans inside, like standing outside a gourmet restaurant looking at the menu while the delicious cooking odors were pumped into the air to entice you in.

I hadn't brought any donor blood with me but I was sure I would find a volunteer inside the club I could take to the secret lounge where the "in" group of vampires brought their willing meals.

The lounge was in a basement adjacent to the basement in Fangtasia. The building that stood above the old basement was gone, the area paved over for parking. Underneath the lot the unknown basement served as a meeting place and hang out for Eric's vampire friends to conduct their business.

It wasn't legal for vampires to feed in night clubs so the hidden second basement was, strictly speaking, against the law. Of course they were feeding under the night club, not in it, a distinction I doubted the law would recognize.

Fortunately Eric had a good vampire friend on the police force plus a squeaky clean record as a night club owner. The undercover cops sent to keep a watch on things had dwindled down to a brief visit a few times a year, their resources better spent on more troublesome establishments.

Of course these undercover officers stood out like an ostrich at a turkey farm to vampire eyes so their presence was more of a formality than anything else.

"Let us go to the office first," Eric suggested to me as we entered the back employees entrance through a beat up gray metal fire door. We stepped into a plain and drab hallway with worn brown and tan checkerboard linoleum floors, dingy mint green paint and eye straining florescent bulbs.

This was in contrast to the gaudy vampire kitsch decor and eye popping light show in the club itself. The wall of sound and mental activity hit me and stopped me like a thick sheet of vibrating rubber until I composed myself and broke through, tuning out both the sounds and the hubbub of thoughts. All those years of practice were paying off. I knew how to tone it down to a murmur.

"You are learning," Eric said with approval, watching the process.

He could feel the tension leave my body through our bond. I could feel his admiration for my abilities.

We went in the office. The smell of blood was just about overwhelming though there was not a speck of the stuff to be seen with the naked eye. So many people had been fed on in the room over the years that the smell had soaked into the walls, couch, furniture. I felt my mouth begin to water.

Eric looked at me with narrowed smiling eyes. "You are hungry again?" he asked in a kindly way.

I nodded, not speaking because my fangs were already down and ready. I hated saying "yesth."

"Stay here, I will be right back," he said.

I noticed he locked the office door behind him after he left. To insure my privacy? Or to prevent me from going on a killing spree?

Before I had time to ponder this he was back with a fine looking human, a twenty something round faced man with a long brown ponytail and a striped button down shirt. He looked to be the picture of health and was already lightly glamoured.

"Will this do?" Eric asked, presenting the man to me with a flourish of his hand. "His name is Edward."

I sniffed Edward's neck, he smelled really delicious. We sat him down on the worn leather sofa. I unbuttoned his collar, tipped his head back, put him even deeper into a relaxing trance and fed. There was nothing like the real thing, fresh blood from a vein.

I was very careful not to get any blood on his nice striped shirt when I finished. I gave him the post glamour suggestion that he just had a great time with a pretty vampire woman.

After healing him and bringing him out of his trance I gave him some free drink vouchers, then Eric escorted him back to the main club area.

He came back with Leslie Fujikawa, his long time friend on the Shreveport police force. She looked at the new me a long moment before nodding her vampire greeting. I nodded back to my sister vampire. We had always liked each other.

Since she had been promoted to detective she no longer wore a uniform. She looked petite and elegant in a stylish navy blue pant suit and crisp white blouse. In her hand was a manilla folder.

"Leslie has some paperwork for me to fill out. While I was gone our warehouse was burgled and I need to tally the remaining contents to determine how much was taken," Eric explained.

The side of his mouth slid up wryly and he shrugged. Leslie looked down as if she was slightly embarrassed.

Eric was, in essence, apologizing for the fact that the most lethal predator on the planet was reduced to filling out forms in triplicate to get justice.

Gone were the days of simply hunting down the miscreants and draining them, then hiding their bodies in some secret place or creating an "accident" to explain their demise. The policy of mainstreaming had changed vampire culture, not vampire nature.

I excused myself to go out into the club to visit with Adele and Lachlain. I tuned out the noise, scents, thoughts and sights of the club as I pushed my way through the swinging door that separated the utilitarian part of the club from the fun part.

The song with the lyrics "Don't You Want Me Baby?" was pounding away. This must be New Wave night, something new to attract the second tide of New Wavers. Or would that be New Wavees?

As I walked through the club various men and a few women offered me their necks while singing "don't you want me baby?" to me. I could smell the sexual interest coming off some of the men in a tempting mix with their blood and hormones. I probably would want them if I hadn't just enjoyed Edward. I wouldn't want all of them, just their blood.

Adele and Lachlain were talking with Pam near the entrance to the club. She must be acting as bouncer again, if a frail icy blond in a pink taffeta dress with a chiffon skirt could be described as a bouncer. Pam was as pretty as a picture, as quick and lethal as a guillotine.

Adele said loudly, "Here's Mom now!" to Pam. They must have been talking about me but I wasn't worried. I knew Adele as well as I knew myself, she would never complain about me to Pam or reveal any of my secrets.

Pam looked me up and down and smiled a slow smile. "How is it?" she asked.

"Better than I could have possibly imagined," I replied. "I wonder now what all my trepidation was about."

Trepidation was my word of the night and I had been hoping I could work it into a sentence.

Pam turned to Adele and Lachlain. "Would you please excuse us for a moment? I owe your mother an apology."

They both said no problem and headed for the bar where Mike Malone would see that they drank free. He gave me a happy wave and a thumb's up sign showing his approval that I had joining the ranks of the undead.

Pam escorted me down to the private lounge in the second hidden basement so we could talk in private. I noticed for the first time that along with the dehumidifiers that ran around the clock down there were also several large powerful air cleaners with HEPA filters. The lounge did not smell like a charnel house, though who-knew how many gallons of blood had been consumed in here over the years.

Pam and I sat down across from each other. She leaned forward slightly, continuing to look at me. I could tell she was thinking of how to tell me what she had to say, not by using my telepathy, which was still almost a blank around other vampires, but from her slight frown of assessment.

"I must tell you how sorry I am for the disrespectful way I spoke to you," she began.


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more to come .....(Howdy, welcome and greetings to one and all! Sending happy thoughts and good wishes to each and every one of you!)


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

18 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Eighteen

The following night we came back into the newly deodorized and renovated house. The hum of a powerful hepa filter air cleaner sounded through our heat and cooling vents. Sheila had taken all the perishable food from the old fridge and stocked the new fridge with True Blood and donor blood.

I tanked up on warmed donor blood after rising, then dressed in a deep purple floor length velvet dress for a visit to Fangtasia. The neckline was cut so low my black lace bustier showed as it pushed up my bosom like two ripe albino melons. Eric's instant fangliness let me know I had chosen the right dress.

I had been to Fangtasia many times over the years as a human. This would be my first visit as a vampire. I hoped I had the coping skills to deal with the sensory stimulation.

Eric wore a black Edwardian brocade jacket over a ruffled black silk shirt. He was trying out some new outfits for our trip to Europe. I wondered if he realized frock coats had been out of style for more than a hundred years. He wore tight black jeans and his beloved black Adidas with the vintage jacket, making the whole look retro and funky. His wild blond hair was pulled back with a dark purple velvet ribbon. He could have been the front man for some impressive rock band.

While I was human I had imagined it would seem strange coming home as a vampire. It was not strange at all. The human past of me that had lived here still enjoyed the furnishings, the memories, and the comfort of objects made dear by use. Eric had the fridge, microwave, stove and vent replaced during the daylight cleaning because he knew the lingering smells would be offensive to my new senses.

In time I would probably clean and replace everything or else I would learn not to sample the air very often. I could live with things the way they were.

The front door opened and Adele came in with Lachlain close behind her. Eric and I walked at human speed to greet them. I was actually afraid I might gag up my dinner if I sampled the air around Lachlain. If a dog was bad, how much worse would a werewolf be?

I greeted her with a big hug while making sure I did not let any air in my nose. They were both dressed up for a visit to Fangtasia to be supportive of my first night out as Vampire.

"My gosh Mom! You look great! How do you feel?" she asked.

She already knew the answer. I felt fine. Vampires didn't have variable health unless something catastrophic happened to them.

Carefully drawing in the minimum of breath through my mouth I told her I felt great and that she too looked lovely. Her dress was in a shade of purple only slightly lighter than mine.

"I see you got the memo," she laughed, indicating our unintentionally matching outfits. I wondered if she had psychically picked up what colors I would be wearing.

Eric and Lachlain nodded at each other then Eric hugged Adele, lifting her in the air and complementing her on her upswept hairstyle.

As I hugged Lachlain he laughed and said, "You're even more beautiful as a vampire than you were as a human!"

I realized then that as a vampire I could switch to nodding at him, not hugging him, reducing the amount his stink ..er ... scent he would get on me.

Curiosity got the better of me and I took a tiny tiny sip of air. To my shock he smelled very nice, a pleasing combination of outdoorsy odors.

"Lachlain, you smell wonderful!" I said, sounding as astonished as I felt.

He didn't smell edible like a human, he smelled like the forest, like leaves, like moonlight on white beach rocks.

"That's Adele's doing. She concocted some kind of shampoo and body wash she said would make me smell better to vampires. I guess it works," he said with a modest shrug.

"How does it smell to you?" I asked Eric. He sniffed the air near Lachlain and nodded approvingly. He gave Adele a thumb's up.

"My woods at home," Eric said, smiling nostalgically.

By "home" I think he was referring to Scandinavia, not Shreveport.

"Lachlain's mother said it smells like the Scottish highlands in spring," Adele boasted. "I tried about ten formulas before I got it exactly right." She put her arm around Lachlain's tapered waist and smiled up at her long term boyfriend.

"She's going to patent it and sell it online. Not only does it make us acceptable to vampires, it enables us to go anywhere and not leave a personal scent trail," he said.

I saw there might be a tremendous advantage to that for werewolves. The Shreveport packs didn't have a lot of trouble with each other, in fact they often got together for picnics and rallys. That wasn't true in other parts of the country where the fighting between rival packs could turn deadly.

I was sorry that Linda wasn't going to be at Fangtasia tonight, she was off gallivanting through Europe with Jure. Since I was planning on going to Europe in a few days with Eric I hoped we might meet up somewhere.


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more to come .....(Happy Mid-week everyone! I love that you take the time to visit especially during this season when so many demands are made on our time. I simply can't thank you enough for all the kind words of encouragement and your endearing enthusiasm. If I could bottle it to dab on during the day I would!

What would kind words of encouragement smell like? I suspect it would smell like oranges and cinnamon and a touch of clove. See you Saturday if the fates allow!)

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

17 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Seventeen

My ability to control myself when feeding was dependent on the amount of donor blood I had before I left the safe haven of our apartment. We fine tuned my feedings over the next few weeks making sure I got the amount right before venturing forth to find live prey.

I continued my glamour experiments but didn't find the limits of my ability to glamour groups of people. We made a quick trip to Shreveport where I glamoured everyone in Independence Stadium on a relatively busy night. The place held as many as 50,000 people but that night there were only about half that.

I got them to get them to sing the second line in the National Anthem twice. Most people went along with it though many looked baffled. Was that because they weren't glamoured and felt compelled to do something they didn't understand or were they baffled because they weren't glamoured but went along with the ones who were while wondering at the strange turn the song had taken?

Without reading individual minds it would be hard to tell why they appeared confused. There were just too many brains all working at once to let my telepathic guard down. I figured my experiment wouldn't result in any harm to anyone, that was my main concern. I could work on understanding the extent of my influence when I had more time.

Eric was more excited about my special powers than I was. I was still in love with the night, the immensity, the glow, the lure. The silver moonlight trickling down the bark of the trees and pooling on the ground, my ability to focus, entering deeper and deeper into the radiant heart of each molecule, these things distracted me away from the more practical matters I would need to face as a newly Turned vampire.

Eric's blood, while no longer sending me over the moon on a high, still made me giddy and a little tipsy. I could have as much as I wanted and not get wasted.

The whole experience was wonderful, our closeness absolute. I could be by his side and keep up with him in the bedroom and out of it. In some ways I excelled his abilities like my ability to glamour whole groups of people.

Losing consciousness at dawn and waking the next night was exactly like blinking slowly. My eyes shut briefly and then it was another night. If my stomach didn't churn with hunger upon awakening I wouldn't know a whole day had passed. It felt to me as if I never slept. I was continuously energetic and wide awake.

Eric was always up before me by at least an hour. That would get better in time. Maybe a lot of time. The more ancient a vampire was the earlier they rose. Eric didn't need to wait for full dark to rise, though he usually did wait before he left the safety of our apartment.

Like most vampires he didn't miss the sun, he didn't want to see the rosy glow of sunset. He feared and disliked the sun, an instrument of agonizing death for him and all vampires.

I never gave the sun a thought for those first weeks. When I finally did think about it I could feel the presence of it like a roaring ball, a huge blast furnace just on the other side of something. I felt the cool night protecting me from the melting searing heat and I was glad for it. I wrapped the night around me like a cloak and danced with happiness.

Finally I was ready to return to my home and my past life. Some things were going to be different. I was going to sleep in the safe room with Eric during the day. He had moved a larger bed into the safe room so we could be together all the time, day and night.

I say "sleep" but it was nothing like human sleep. It was a seeming half second of complete and utter nothing, then wide awake and ready to enjoy life. No time seemed to pass, it was a seamless transition, an endless night.

I thought about the lonely days without Eric in the past, how time seemed to drag sometimes waiting for him to rise. His experience was completely different, a split second and then there I was again waiting for him with open arms. As long as we could stay safe I preferred things the way they were now.

Eric had planned to whisk me away to Europe before I returned home to finish my education in restraint and vampire skills but I had learned so fast and done so well he decided I could return home for a few days before the next semester in vampire school.

When I arrived home the elderly Sheila didn't seem to notice anything different about me but her niece Penelope and her dog King were both frightened of me. Penelope had to lock King in the guest bedroom to keep him away from me. The attack potential of the dog was not uppermost in my mind, however. It was the smell!

I took a small sip of air and just about threw up. It was like having a wet filthy dog stuffed into each nostril. I blew out all the air I could but still the stench lingered in my sinuses making my eyes water pink tears.

"That's worse than a skunk's armpit!" I told Eric when I could finally speak. We had to go outside to the porch so I could draw a breath and talk.

He laughed, his white teeth reflecting the moonlight. "That is why we do not like dogs or wolves, the smell is so offensive," he told me.

"How did you stand it all those years with Roscoe and Gordon?" I asked, feeling guilty I had tortured him with their foul odors.

"As with other sensory input, you will adjust, though I must admit the learning curve is a little steep in the dog smell department."

He wasn't kidding. It was weeks before I was able to behave normally in the presence of an animal or the smell of meat.

That night Sheila opened all the windows in the house. After that, she, her niece, and their vile smelling dog left. Eric and I stayed in the garage and used the safe room in the garage basement. The next day a cleaning crew catering to the needs of vampires would come and thoroughly clean and destinkify the house.

I looked at my old reconstructed Bon Temps bedroom and experienced it in a whole new way. I could smell Gran and Tina my cat, Tara and Bill. I could smell Quinn and everyone and everything that had gone on there over the years. I even knew that the plumber that had installed the bathroom decades ago had been sick with a liver disease.

I had stopped asking Eric how he stood the stink. He always said the same thing, I would get used to it and adjust. I thought about all the good I could do in helping to diagnose illnesses with my super powers but as with telepathy, helping mankind would take over all my life,the line for help would be eternal and endless, the stories heart wrenching and haunting.

My life would become a nightmare of listening to other people's misery and need. It would crush me under the weight of it and rob me of any kind of life with my family.

It pained me to realize I was not willing to give up my life to do good works. Painful or not, that was the truth of it, the truth of me. Know thyself was good advice even when it meant facing my limitations.

Eric had another plan for us to rid the world of some evils, one I was ready, willing and able to do.


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more to come .....(Cheers and blessings to all of you, my best best wishes for your health and happiness beam out to each and every one of you. You are precious to me. See you Wednesday the 28th as long as things are up and running around here. Happy happy, joy joy!)

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

16 - Sookie Stachouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Sixteen

"Cheese and possum Stevie boy!" Slip the drink-buying old timer exclaimed.

"Boy can't hold his liquor," the guy in the plaid shirt agreed.

Steve groaned and stood up with help from Joey. "That ain't never happened before," he moaned. "I got to get me to a doctor, I think my shoulder's broke."

"More like dis-lo-ca-ted," the first old timer Slip said carefully to avoid slurring his words.

Maybelle turned to the toothless man sitting next to her and snapped, "Elroy you can be a real pain in the neck sometimes."

He looked startled at this weird turn in the conversation. She still had anger hormones running through her bloodstream so she was picking a fight with her table mate. Elroy saw this as one more bit of proof the old bag was crazy. He shrugged it off his skinny shoulders 'cause Maybelle was buying tonight.

I snickered silently at her reference to her pain in the neck. I wondered if somewhere deep in her subconscious she knew she had been bitten?

"Sookie, try something. Will them all to sing along with the song," Eric suggested in my ear, sending a ripple of shivery pleasure as his sweet breath tickled my neck.

I sent a thought wave to the people inside the bar, a mental picture of them all singing along with Bing.

Steve said to Joey, "Hey, could you drive me to the hospital?" He sounded whiny.

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas ...... with every Christmas card I write ...." Joey sang, not answering Steve.

"May your days be merry and bright ....." they all sang together with boozy gusto, "And may all your Christmases be white."

It sounded nice to hear them all singing, though most were off key. The song "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony" flashed through my mind. Would that be possible with my new powers?

Of course it was the end of January, a little late to be singing Christmas songs.

"Hey, my shoulder?" Steve reminded Joey when the song ended. Joey shrugged.

Eric and I left.

Before we left the darkness outside the hotel Eric hugged me and held me tight. I could feel happiness radiating from him like warmth.

I looked up at him. "What?" I asked smiling. I knew he was thinking about something.

"You did not lose control. You are able to glamour a whole room of humans at once. You can use mind control to change the behavior of those you glamoured. Your telepathic human powers have increased tenfold until they are truly magical," he said, looking steadily in my eyes. "Having you by my side is going to be more fun than I had envisioned. There is not another vampire in the world like you. You are a sorceress, a vampire enchantress."

The vivid, impossibly bright stars dotted the incandescent indigo firmament above him and framed his golden hair. He looked like a painting on the ceiling of a famous cathedral. His true blue eyes glowed into mine with a Maker's love and pride, a husband's tenderness, a lover's desire. His big fangs slid out. Mine popped out too at the sight of them.

Didn't want to waste that.

We hurried back to our rooms so fast it was like teleportation.


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more to come .....(May your days be merry and bright fanpires! I am on my back up computer because some Grinch sent a nasty virus to my main 'puter. Hope to have it back by Saturday, if not, this will probably do. Hope to see you then!

Welcome welcome welcome to those that are new here and also just as many welcomes to those that have stuck with me through it all, your kind words, encouragement and care are like a fireplace in the cockles of my heart.)

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

15 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Fifteen

Since my fangs were still out it sounded more like "Thtop!" They got the message anyway.

My voice sounded funny, deeper and slower, like a record played at the wrong speed. Everyone froze right where they were. A few had glasses raised, lips pursed. No one moved a muscle. They were like a living picture.

I had glamoured the whole room! I looked at my reflection in the hazy mirror behind the bar and saw my eyes glowing azure blue. A blue light framed me and ice blue sparks shot from my finger tips like they were living sparklers. I kept my hands down, not knowing what it would do to a person if I aimed it at them.

I listened. They were all breathing, their hearts beating slowly and steadily. They were fine but how long could I keep them like this?

Not after sunrise, that was for sure. How long off was that? Did I conk out right as the sun rose or before it? I looked for a clock on the wall but there wasn't one, just a fake clock that scrolled "Time for another Lone Star?" across the face. The bar would make more money if everyone could just forget about the time and order another round.

"Now what are you going to do?" a familiar voice said behind me.

I looked in the mirror and saw Eric standing there in his beat up leather jacket. It reassured me that he didn't look either particularly concerned or angry. In fact, he looked interested and slightly amused.

"No idea," I answered. I went up to him and hugged him, squeezing him until his leather creaked. "How did you find me?"

"Our bond works both ways," he said. "You saw me hiding the clicker, I saw you finding the clicker and coming over to this dive. I got here as fast as I could. I had a prisoner to get checked in and squared away first."

"Weren't you worried about me?" I asked him, stepping back so I could see his face.

"No, I know you. You are smart and resourceful. You were also full as a new wineskin. Why did you not wait for me? I would have taken you out."

Then he held up his hand. "No, you do not need to answer that. The whole world is a marvel, is it not? I remember my first nights too."

"Can you eat?" he asked me, indicating with a sweeping gesture all the patrons in the bar like a host offering a lavish buffet.

"Well, I might have a bite," I allowed, grinning at my own humor. I walked up and down the bar and chose Steve's friend Joey with the thick neck.

"Don't let me kill him," I said to Eric before I pounced.

Eric sat down on a bar stool and watched me. I was in a red haze frenzy to start but as soon as it faded I was in complete control. I finished, leaving Joey with plenty of blood in his veins. I daintily dabbed at the corners of my mouth with the small bar napkin Eric handed me.

I was pleased I hadn't gotten a single drop on my silk blouse. I had brought a box of Night Tide With Energetic Enzymes! but it was a waste of my time to have to hand wash a blouse I had worn for only a few hours. I could get another wearing out of this top.

"Good control, Sookie," he praised me. "Maybe I won't have to fight you every night as I feared. My turn," he said, striding down the length of the bar to the loud-mouthed woman. She was frozen in place with her mouth open. No surprise there.

"Wait," I stopped him. He turned and looked at me, waiting. "She's so ... unpleasant," I said, realizing it sounded silly even as I said it. Joey was a goon but he had been a fine meal.

"Unpleasant on the outside, delicious on the inside," Eric said cheerfully and instantly had her in his fangs. He fed fast taking only a few seconds since he really didn't need much blood. Maybe he just bit her to taste her.

Eric liked to bite women, that was the simple truth of it. Now that I knew how it was from my first hand experience as a vampire, that fact didn't bother me anymore.

It was like going to Big Betty's Bakery back in Bon Temps. She always had samples of her recently baked items lined up on her glass counter to try. Going to her shop with Gran was a treat. Just a tiny nibble here and a small corner of something there to try all the wonderful flavors.

As I fed I had noticed that Joey's blood contained a hint of basil, fried rice and pork chop, very tasty. His pugnacious personality didn't enter into the mix at all. Apparently stupid has no flavor.

When Eric was done we healed the bites on Maybelle and Joey. Steve was going to need to get medical attention for his shoulder on his own dime. It was his fault for grabbing me.

While they were still immobilized with glamour I told everyone that Steve fell off his bar stool and hurt his shoulder, that nothing unusual at all had happened aside from that. I used my glamour power enhanced by telepathy to implant the sight of Steve lurching off his bar stool in each mind.

Eric put a quarter in the jukebox and started Bing Crosby's "White Christmas". Eric just loved that song.

Backing out of the bar, I unglamoured everyone as we left in a flash, hand in hand. We waited near the side window, listening and peeking in, to see what would happen next.

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more to come .....(Happy weekend everyone! Hope things are going well in your lives. You are always a welcome addition to mine. See you Tuesday morning, Dec 20th. Hugs!)

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

14 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Fourteen

Johnny Cash stopped singing and the bar went quiet. The jukebox had run out of quarters.

The old timer looked at me through a beery haze. He focused his faded hazel eyes and blinked.

Then he said, "I din't think your kind drank beer."

It wasn't judgmental or anything like that, just a casual observation.

Since my back was to the blond she called loudly, "Hey Slip, you din't think a WHORE like her drank beer?"

By "my kind" she didn't know Slip meant a vampire.

She laughed loudly, ending in a phlegmy coughing fit. She hadn't seen the fangs but Albert had. He dropped the glass he was drying and it bounced on the rubber mat that lined the area behind the bar. Sam had used a mat like that too, it cut down on broken glassware if one was fumbled.

"Hey now, hey now," Albert said mildly, holding up his hands, drying rag dangling from his left hand, "We don't want no trouble."

"If you don't want no trouble then why don't you throw that WHORE out on her for-sale tail?" the woman suggested loudly and laughed at her remark.

A few other chuckles joined her. She wanted to be the only woman and certainly the only blond in the bar. She saw me as a threat, encroaching on her territory.

"Shut up, Maybelle," the old timer next to the old timer that had bought me the beer yelled at her, "You don't know what you're talkin' about, as usual."

He too was unperturbed by the sight of a vampire. He had seen plenty in his years, he was thinking, a pretty vampire gal was the least of it.

A few of the younger men laughed. They were at the other end of the bar behind me and couldn't see my face.

I was thinking, "Go in! Snick back in!" to the dang fangs but they wouldn't budge.

"I better go," I said quietly to the old timer. "Thank you for your kindness."

With the fangs it sounded like "Ah etter ga. Hank ya or or hindneth."

I took a step back and felt a large hot calloused hand roughly grab my arm. I really hate it when a man grabs my arm. It's disrespectful bullying and it forces me to hear their disgusting thoughts loud and clear. I turned and saw one of the young guys, a big strong raven haired man in a green work uniform that said "Steve" on an oval patch over the pocket.

"She's a vamper!" he exclaimed, not having enough sense to immediately let go of my arm.

He turned back to his friends at the other end of the bar and grinned. "We done caught us a vamper gal!"

He smiled like a hunter that just brought down a ten prong buck. His grip tightened on my arm until it was painful.

"You ain't caught nothin' you idjit," the old timer said, "She could tear your arms off if'n she wanted."

Steve was thinking some mighty nasty thoughts about me.

"Yeah, you better let loose of her," another senior citizen in a crisp ironed plaid shirt chimed in. He gave a loud burp and muttered, "S'cuse me." into his beer glass before taking another sip.

"Come here for a little fun?" Steve grinned at me, then glanced back at his pals, playing to his audience.

"I never had me a vamper," he added, as if that would make his offer more attractive to me.

I found it interesting to be threatened in this way. This was the kind of brutish intimidation I had experienced many times before as a vulnerable human woman, but with the new power of a vampire there was no fear in me.

Or I should say, I was not afraid of Stevie boy. I was slightly fearful I might fly off the handle and rip his stupid grinning face off with my razor sharp teeth. So far I was in complete control.

"How about a little kiss?" he asked, leaning in towards me, reeking of sour whiskey breath.

He was obviously still showing off for his buddies. They cheered and made "woo" sounds.

Without thinking I flashed away from him as his wet lips came towards me. Unfortunately Steve didn't let go of his death grip on my arm so he was instantly dragged half the length of the bar floor. He fell at my feet, dazed. I was pretty sure his shoulder was dislocated from being jerked so suddenly. He should have let go I thought angrily. He groaned when he tried to use his arms to raise up.

One of the other young guys stood up. He wore a similar green uniform, his oval name label said, "Joey". He was bigger than Steve, a real brute with a unibrow and three day growth of stubble. He was the kind of man Sam used to call "mad at the world", looking for an excuse to start a fight.

"Hey, that vampire woman is attacking Steve!" he exclaimed, starting towards me, ham sized fists clenched. He might have big fists but I was Vampire and he was only a puny breather. I mean, human.

"She's gonna drag him out into the parking lot and drain him. Stop her!" the blond yelled dramatically.

Or maybe that last bit was "Stomp her!" Her speech was slurred so it was hard to tell. Her red rimmed eyes glittered. She wanted Joey to beat the stuffing out of me.

Fat chance, lady, I thought.

"Probably steal his wallet too," she added.

Steal his wallet? It takes one to know one just like my little nephew Brett would have said.

"We don't want no trouble in here, Miss," Albert repeated. He was slowly reaching for the cell phone under the bar to call the cops.

"Grab her! Don't let her leave. She hurt Steve!" another young guy said. "She's gonna need to pay his medical."

He was thinking that everyone knew vampires were all rich bastards from the money they stole from their victims.

Albert was just about to hit the second 1 in 911 when I mentally commanded the room.

"Stop!" I said and thought.


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more to come ....(Wonderful Wednesday Were-Readers! Hope your week is going well. You light up my life with your insights and encouragement. The star at the top is just knowing you made the time to stop by. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Z - Keep getting better, you are greatly wanted and adored in these here parts!)

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

13 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Thirteen

I slowly punched in the numbers, asking myself if this was a good idea.

I answered myself.

Yes.

I had forced down that third bag of donor blood just to be extra sure I wasn't tempted by all the warm bloods out there.

Warm bloods?

Where did that come from?

I had never referred to humans as Warm Bloods before. Of course I hadn't realized how hot and wonderful human blood was. Still, I frowned at the thought. Was I developing Vampire Brains?

I would need to stay vigilant and not dehumanize people. No nicknames for them like Blood Bags, Warm Bloods, Breathers, Sun Bunnies, Pulse Ponies. I would think of them as people and treat them accordingly.

I brushed my teeth and got ready to leave. I had wanted to look as cute and non-threatening as possible. When I exited our apartment I was wearing a ruffled rose pink silk blouse, designer navy blue slacks and low dark blue heels. A navy blue jacket topped it off. Dressy, but not overly so.

I didn't need any light in the tunnel. The natural greenish yellowish light given off by the fizzing atoms that comprised everything was enough. When I got to the cement door at the end of the tunnel I realized that Eric had used a clicker thingy to open it, a clicker thingy I didn't have. I could probably force the door open using my new vampire strength but that would compromise our safety. Eric wouldn't have time to repair the heavy concrete door tonight. Defeated I went back to our apartment, punched in the numbers on the keypad and let myself back in.

Eric had multiple clickers for other things like the garage. He never had just one in case it went missing, a habit left over from the days when our three rambunctious daughters could be counted on to move everything and anything and not return it.

Maybe he had a spare clicker squirreled away here somewhere. I began to search over, under and in everything in the rooms. If I was Eric where would I hide the clicker?

I concentrated with all my might and saw my hand, no, not my hand, Eric's hand, placing the clicker in a sock and rolling it up. I saw him place the sock/clicker ball in his suitcase with several other pairs. Bingo!

This must be one of the features of our blood bond, my ability to access his memories. Sure enough I found the clicker in with his socks.

Clicker in hand I again went out into the tunnel and to the cement wall which opened smoothly and silently for me. I stepped into the garage and remembered not to inhale so I didn't barf up all the blood I had just eaten.

Quick as a flash I was out of the parking garage and into the perfectly wonderful glorious night air. My new senses automatically dialed back the otherwise chaotic and deafening sounds of the insects, traffic and hotel room conversations. I could hear each of them clearly if I wanted to, I preferred to keep them in the background. I went beyond the area of the light poles to the farthest edges of the lot where the employees parked in near darkness and lack of safety. No one was being attacked tonight.

The panorama of stars lit the sky like a billion brilliant shimmering candles. The blue loveliness of infinity glowed above me like a heavenly dome. Every molecule gave off its own particular magical kind of illumination. A sweet faint sound of mystical music seemed to come from everywhere.

There was no darkness anywhere, no silence, no coldness, no stillness, no death. I was truly one of the Undead. I spun around, my arms open, embracing all the beauty and joy the night brought to my quiet heart.

Thank you, Eric, I thought gratefully. Thank you for the gift of being able to see and experience all this.

I had smoothed on some moisturizer that gave me the appearance of a light tan. I looked a little orangey, not too bad if I stayed out of bright light. I retraced my steps and walked around the parking lot.

Taking little sips of air I could tell a lot about the owners of the different cars. The Ford truck owner had two rottweilers that rode in the cab with him, the Chrysler sedan owner wore Channel Number 5 perfume, took antacids and had some kind of a fungus infection. She liked pepperoni on her pizza.

Being vampire was kind of like being telepathic. I had the ability to know all kinds of minutia about people, yet why should I bother my head with it? Unless it affected my ability to protect myself or my loved ones it wasn't important to know who smoked pot, who washed their clothes in Woolite or who took cough syrup recreationally. My years as a telepath had satisfied my curiosity about people. There was a remarkable sameness in their seeming diversity.

I stopped checking out the cars and dashed into the mowed grassy area way behind the lot just to get away from the human smells. I wondered how Mr. Van was doing. The thought crossed my mind to go check up on him. I knew his home address.

No, I didn't want to stray that far from the hotel.

A sputtering neon light down the road caught my eye. I flashed over to it, a small dingy bar about half a mile from the hotel. The buzzing crackling bug-specked sign read "THE B R". Obviously there was a short somewhere in the wiring, a fire hazard I would think. The whole place looked like a fire trap, held together by force of habit.

The Bar, I supposed it had said. Not a very creative name. Since it was only an hour before closing the rutted gravel lot was mostly empty. I decided to go inside and see if I could pass for human. I did an inner check to see if I felt hungry. Not a bit. Maybe I should say 'not a bite'. I smiled to myself at my little joke then went in the bar.

Country music blasted my sensitive ears then my hearing adjusted and the music became background noise. Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" played from an old fashioned bubble trimmed jukebox that played real 45 rpm records. That was a blast from the past.

The usual expected line of baggy old men in baggy old clothes sat near the door and a few young men in similar work uniforms lined the wooden bar towards the back. It didn't look like this bar had been renovated since the early 1960's. Neither had most of the patrons.

At a small table way in back a big blowsy blond sat with a thin man missing all his teeth. He wore a leather vest without a shirt under it - a good look for Eric, a bad look for this guy with his sunken chest decorated with a few straggly grey hairs and a tattoo too old and faded to make out its design.

His lady friend glanced at me then went back to her conversation, something about the water table and her trailer. I took a sip of air. The smells - beer, body odor, blood, whiskey - just about knocked me over. Wouldn't do that again.

I tuned in telepathically and got mostly things like "Whoa! Holy Cow! Son of a Blankety Blank! Look at the hot blond. She must be lost."

Several of the older patrons were three sheets to the wind, their thoughts were practically unreadable. Bars were the same everywhere I guess.

The bartender, a small skinny sober man with protruding eyes and a pronounced Adam's apple looked at me and thought, "Uh oh, she looks like trouble."

No one, as far as I could tell, thought, "Look, there's a vampire!"

Good. I liked the idea of being able to pass as human.

"Can I do you for something?" the bartender asked me amiably, wiping down a clean spot on the bar. He had a high thready voice, hard to hear over the music. Of course with my vampire senses I heard him perfectly.

Tammy ended her song and Johnny Cash came on with "Ring of Fire". They must have stocked the jukebox with oldies but goodies back in the day.

"Yes please, I'll take a Lone Star," I asked demurely. I saw another patron drinking it.

"Glass or bottle?" he asked, holding the bottle with the opener hovering over the cap.

"For Chrysler's sake, Albert," a grizzled old timer growled, "She look like she'd drink from a bottle to you? Get her a glass."

"A glass would be fine," I agreed. It would be easier to pretend to sip from a glass.

"That'll be a buck fifty," Albert said, setting the glass on a coaster and the icy bottle next to it.

That was when I realized I didn't have a penny on me. I couldn't pay for the beer or leave a tip. Yikes. I would have blushed if I was still human.

"Gosh, I just realized, I came out without any money," I said to Albert. "Sorry about that."

The grizzled old timer said chivalrously, "Put it on my tab, Albert."

He patted the empty stool next to him. The pleather was repaired with a crisscross of smeared dirty duct tape. I was concerned it would mess up my good slacks yet I didn't want to insult the generous old timer by refusing his offer. I stood there undecided.

"Oh here we go," the boozy blonde said loudly to her toothless companion. "She must be trying to drum up a little business." She nodded knowingly.

The woman thought I was a hustler! The nerve of her! I felt a wave of irritation pass over me. I turned and glared at her. She pointedly ignored me.

I turned back to smile at the old timer and thank him when the woman jeered at me under her breath. "Whore."

Rage momentarily clouded my vision. My fangs snicked down all on their own.


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more to come .....(Greetings All! Glad to see you had a chance to stop by! It means more than I can say to know you visit when you can.

Z - I was so glad to hear from you, hope your recovery is speedy and you are here to share your wonderful wit and wisdom real soon. Bless all your hearts!)


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Twelve

On my fifth night as vampire a distressed Eric told me he had to leave me alone for a few hours while he attended to some sheriff business back in Shreveport.

This was unwelcome information he had gotten via his computer in the hour he was awake before I rose.

I couldn't wait for the night we rose together, though that might take hundreds of years. Eric was an "early riser" due to his great age. The news put Eric in a very bad mood. I felt it distinctly through our blood.

Lawton, his senior deputy, was away on loan to the King. Eric believed he was sent to a war torn region of Mongolia, too far away to call back on short notice.

Naturally the King hadn't asked Eric's permission or even considered that his request might inconvenience his Sheriff. Eric hadn't objected because he believed he had left the jail adequately covered during his absence. Things were usually pretty slow this time of year.

Eric had assigned his twin vampire junior deputies, Dwight and Ernie, to run things while he was Turning me but they had written tonight to tell Eric they were called out of town because of a family tragedy and could not wait around to perform their duties.

Their elderly human sister had been killed by a drunk driver while she was driving home from her job as a pediatric nurse. The drunk driver was unhurt. I was pretty sure the deputy brothers would fix that if they could get their hands on him.

Both brothers had to leave suddenly to be with their surviving family and perhaps get revenge. In the meantime a dangerous perpetrator from Dallas needed to be transferred for holding to the Shreveport jail and there was no one competent left to handle the transfer. Eric would need to be there himself, much to his dismay. He hated leaving me but could not think of an alternative plan.

"I should have known better than to assign brothers to cover for me," Eric grumbled in twenty-twenty hindsight, getting into his beat up leather jacket. This signaled to me that he might be expecting trouble. Not only could a prisoner be dangerous, but often the prisoner had friends that would stop at nothing to set their compadre free.

"Do you want me to come too?" I asked eagerly. "I can help now that I'm so strong."

"Uh, no. I do not think that would be a good idea. You wait here and I will be back soon, then we will go out together so that you might practice hunting."

He added, "Would you like Pam or someone to come and stay with you while I am gone?"

I was pleased he was being less controlling of my behavior. In the past he might have just had a "babysitter" show up for me without my consent. Perhaps the last little tiff between Pam and me had warned Eric off getting her as a caretaker. He wouldn't want to come back here and discover Pam and I had taken our spat to the next level.

I didn't know who his "or someone" would be. He wouldn't want to disclose our location to just anyone. The more people knew, the bigger the chance that something could go wrong. Eric always said that two could keep a secret if one of them was dead. By dead he meant really forever dead.

His expectant face looked hopeful I would go along with having a caretaker but I declined his offer. I would welcome a little time to myself to think through the last four nights.

Eric fed me two warmed bags of donor blood to tide me over until his return then reluctantly he left me to myself, carefully locking the door behind him and testing it to make sure I was sealed in. As soon as the door closed and I was alone I took off all my clothes and looked at myself in the small dresser mirror.

I seemed to have slimmed down a little more but kept my muscles and curvy figure. I was in the best shape of my life, be it a human life or a vampire life.

Next I spent some time trying to snick my fangs in and out on command, putting on different expressions using my new fangs. The only way I could get my fangs out was to think of Eric's thigh, the vein there, and the golden nest nearby. As soon as I lost concentration my fangs instantly retracted.

My mouth seemed to have gotten slightly larger enabling me to bare my fangs in a most menacing way. The greatest intimidation factor I had was what most humans knew vampires were capable of. Like a rattlesnake's rattle, the fear factor would be my greatest defense.

I tried on some of my new outfits and put on extra make up, lining my eyes dramatically. I tried dotting on a fake beauty mark but rubbed it off with my thumb. Then I warmed another bag of donor blood and drank it slowly, humming "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes", one of my grandfather's favorite songs.

While I drank and hummed I thought about our European trip. I was sure we could hunt down and capture the people, mostly men, named in the files. But then what?

I sure as shootin' wasn't going to kill them. That was simply too heavy a burden for my conscience to bear. Scaring them wouldn't work forever. Sooner or later their inner sickness would rear up and take control as they rationalized their behavior and its consequences.

I began to formulate a plan based on my seeming ability to glamour people into a very profound submissive state. If I could implant some negative symptom with their bad thoughts then they would experience something very nasty every time their mind wandered over to the dark side. That's where the bad behavior began, in their mind. If I could stop if there I could be fairly certain it would never get any further.

Just like there was surgery to prevent over eating I could implant the suggestion that vomiting, excruciating pain and even blindness would accompany any urge, thought or desire that crossed over the line into non-consenting sex or violence. This would leave the person free to persue a healthy relationship with someone age appropriate while disabling them if they wanted to act as a sexual predator or sadist.

I wasn't sure it would work but it was worth a try. Eric had been so right in figuring out what would make my powers as a vampire most appealing to me, the ability to right what was wrong, especially wrongs against children.

As the seconds ticked by a powerful wild uncontrollable restlessness grew in me, overtaking every other thought and feeling.

It reminded me of the trapped feeling I had experienced as a teenager, stuck in a small town with no real options for a bigger better life. I paced, trying to feel calm but I grew increasingly agitated. I had to get out of these rooms, out into the immense night or I would begin tearing things apart in frustration.

I felt full of blood and in control. As long as my hunger didn't kick in I would be calm. Three bags of blood should hold me for at least an hour or two, probably more. I planned on being back here in the apartment long before I needed to feed again, long before Eric was back.

I was absolutely stuffed at the moment. It reminded me of the times Gran and I went after church service to a midnight church buffet following our big Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn't eat another bite.

Another bite, very funny.

I decided on an outfit for my first venture out by myself. After finding my shoes under the bed I went to the keypad and looked at it. Eric didn't realize I had instantly memorized the ten digit number to leave the room. He thought I was locked into an inescapable prison, a safe room that worked both ways.

I hesitated. Should I go out into the night or just wait for Eric to return? I could practically hear the swirling starlit sky calling to me. The room felt utterly claustrophobic. What harm would there be in just going out into the parking lot?

Eric had said worry was a thing of the past. I was just about busting my bustle to get out of this room. I felt an urge more powerful than any I had experienced as a teenager, a compulsion, to get out and explore the new world. Actually it was the same world, it was the new me that wanted the adventure.

My finger hovered over the seven, the first number of the sequence that would let me, Vampire Sookie Stackhouse, out into the night alone.


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more to come .....(Happy mid-week everyone! I am thinking of you all with much affection and gratitude for your support and interest. See you Saturday if the creek don't rise :-)

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

11 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Eleven

"What are these files?" I asked.

"I thought it would be fun for you to find bad guys and drain them," he said with a boyish eagerness animating his features. "These are the files of known rapists, child molesters and murderers. The law has not been able to stop them or incarcerate them for their crimes. You can end the suffering they cause."

I thought about this. "By drain them you mean actually kill them?" I finally asked.

He must believe I could be judge, jury and executioner. I knew that wouldn't work for me. What if I killed an innocent person or one that could be redeemed? On the other side of that, what if I spared a serious offender and left him or her free to damage other lives? This seemed like too much responsibility for me. I had the power, now I needed to figure out how to use it responsibly.

"I had thought you might want to ..." he stopped, scowling. "No, I see you really do not wish to kill anyone. But we could tour Europe and you could bite them."

His face brightened again at this alternative. He almost bounced up and down on the bed with enthusiasm. His golden hair, still messy from our run from the hospital, slid forward to cover half his face, he raked it back from the temples with both hands, raising his big arms and exposing blond arm pits, something I always found oddly sexy. The male scent of him wafted over to me.

My fangs snicked out showing my arousal at his manly charms. As a human woman I never had this embarrasing problem. I suddenly sympathized with men and the way they could not hide their sexual interest. Like a man, my obvious desire was not under my control.

Eric smiled a secret little smile to himself, was pleased he could entice me. He moved his arm in a way that made his bicep bulge when he picked up a file. Since the file didn't weigh a thousand pounds I knew the bicep thing was something he was doing on purpose to impress me. It worked.

His wonderful scent came to me again. Perhaps that was the source of most masculine sexiness, a hormone laden power fragrance that was below the human ability to detect consciously.

I looked at Eric's bulging bicep and tried to keep my mind on the topic.

"Biting them wouldn't stop them from being evil," I said, "But it seems like a good idea to do something with these files. Where did you get them?"

"All the sheriffs are willing to share information about human miscreants," he said. "I can not verify that their accounts are completely accurate. We will ask the perpetrators about their conduct once we meet up with them and have them under our glamour."

He looked at me with bright eyed intensity, like a child giving a carefully and lovingly selected gift to someone special on Christmas morning, waiting for my reaction.

I realized that for a predator, bringing prey to their mate was the highest order of gift. I took the gift in the spirit it was given. I flashed on a memory of Tina, my poor murdered long-gone cat, proudly bringing me a dead bird or mouse and dropping it at my feet. I knew to praise her.

I would need to give this some serious thought. "Did you say tour Europe?" I asked, looking at more names on the index tabs.

They sounded like they might come from just about every country over there. It turned out Mr. Thibault was a resident of Paris, France, not New Orleans. Jan Wiśniewski was in Warsaw, Poland. There were bad guys all over the place just ripe for the taking. Or I should say, alleged bad guys.

Until I questioned them I wouldn't know for sure if they were doing evil or not. An accusation was not the same as evidence. Between my telepathy and my ability to glamour I could know every secret thing in their mind.

Inwardly I cringed at the ugliness I knew would be revealed in some of their souls. It was going to take inner fortitude on my part to listen in on their diseased psyches.

"Oh yes, Europe" he grinned. "I have a private jet ready to take us as soon as we feel ready to travel."

"I want to see our girls first," I said, excited about beginning this new phase of our life.

"The only problem is my inability to rein you in with my control as your Maker. I will need to come up with some way to prevent you from doing something you would later regret." He sounded worried and I didn't have any helpful suggestions for him.

Poor Eric. Maybe he had forgotten how difficult it was to have a new Child. Or maybe it was just me. Each Child is different, every parent can tell you that.

"I'm sure you'll think of something," I said, nuzzling him.

Becoming a vampire seemed to have ramped up my libido. Maybe I should say vamped up my libido. Eric exuded sexiness from every pore, literally. My fangs started to ache.

"Why does biting you get me so worked up but biting a stranger just feels like a good meal?" I asked him, licking his earlobe.

My diction wasn't very good with my new dentition but he understood what I was trying to say. My fangs were tingling with lust for him but they hadn't been connected to my sex drive when I bit Mr. Van.

"Why does hugging your brother feel like a family greeting while hugging me feels like you want to pull me down to the bed on top of you?" he asked in response. "Our bodies know who we are attracted to, who we love, who we respond to with lust."

I thought of all the times I had been jealous or worried about Eric feeding from someone else and felt a little foolish. What a waste of time it had been to dwell on those angry hurt feelings when I had had loyal Eric by my side. I had learned my lesson, I wasn't going to waste any more time getting fit to be tied over some meal. Humans were the source of food. Eric was the source of lust.

I turned to the source of my new found abilities. "You still find me desirable as a vampire wife?" I asked quietly.

That had been one of my biggest fears, that my special attractiveness would somehow fade or be diminished once I Turned.

Eric didn't tell me I was desirable, he showed me - with his hands, his lips, his fangs. If I had a breath he would have taken it away. Our fourth night together as vampires ended with a bang, a big bang, where he became my whole universe.

Then, as before, instantly all went black.


more to come .....(Saturday salutations to all the Fanpires that visit here. May all your wishes come true! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and support. This is the best gift of all.)

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Ten

While Eric went to get what he wanted to show me from the trunk of the car I thought about the last few nights.

He was right. I seemed to have taken to becoming Vampire like a duck takes to water. If I could avoid killing anyone until I got control of myself I saw that this life was going to work for me just fine. I wanted to share the good news with my girls.

Eric got back carrying a very hefty beat up leather briefcase. I told him before we looked at the briefcase I wanted to speak to our daughters. He set up the laptop computer and we spoke to all of them face to face or maybe that would be face to screen using a four way connection. Fortunately all three girls were awake though for Char, in New Zealand, it was already morning of the next day.

They were delighted the Turning went so smoothly. They said I looked beautiful as a vampire. I even managed to show them my fangs briefly, though they popped right back in.

None of this was more shocking to them than if I had decided to get a tattoo. They had been raised in close contact with vampires all their lives. A vampire was no more exotic to them than a Frenchman might be.

I didn't mention running into the light pole and bending it or almost draining Spencer Clark Little, Mr. Van's real name. I told them I didn't know how much longer I would be out of town but things were going so well I might be back sooner than I had originally thought.

The girls filled me in on what they were up to. Charlaine was doing well, feeling great with her pregnancy and busy sculpting the wife of a famous movie producer. Adele and Lachlain were going to help an exhausted behemoth that had washed ashore in Florida due to an off-shore hurricane.

Linda spoke last. She was planning a two week European vacation with Jure that included a visit to Jure's ancestral castle and the small rural village surrounding it that he actually owned.

Her chin lifted and squared as she informed us of her plans meaning she was feeling defiant and stubborn. I recognized the body language she had gotten from her father and I knew not to argue with her.

I had been gone for less than a week! It sounded to me like Linda was using the opportunity to get to know Jure better, or vice versa. This troubled me for a variety of reasons.

Was he using Linda to get to me or to get Eric in a vulnerable position? Was he unduly influencing Linda with some kind of telepathic suggestion? Would he lead her on and then break her heart?

I watched Eric as she told us her plans. He didn't seem concerned. I began to relax without letting my reservations towards Jure down.

Jure was not an out-of-control rogue. On the contrary, he took time and trouble to appear regularly at the King's New Orleans castle and interact socially with the more important vampires in Louisiana and surrounding states. It would not be in Jure's best interests to harm Linda in any way. He must also be aware that a marriage with Eric Northman's daughter would form a powerful alliance.

I hoped Jure wasn't just using Linda as a political chip to better his position here in the United States. His sophisticated and pleasant mask was hard to peek behind.

Eric spoke to the girls and asked them to call their Uncle Jason and tell him things went well, then we said our goodbyes. I didn't feel sad or cut off from my girls.

Best of all I didn't feel an iota less love or connection to my human daughters. If the human origins of a vampire eroded away in the winds of time that process hadn't started with me. I intended to be vigilant it never did.

After the call I felt hungry again. Eric warmed me a bottle of True Blood and handed it to me. After the first sip it was as much as I could do not to spit it out.

"Oh gah! That stuff is nasty!" I said. It was like chewing iron filings wrapped in tinfoil.

Still, I had every intention of forcing myself to choke it down before Eric surprised me with real donor blood in a bag. It wasn't quite as good as fresh but once it was warmed in our little microwave it was head and shoulders above the fake stuff.

I thought I could taste the plastic and the microwaves but maybe that was just my imagination. The blood lacked something I might characterize as vibrancy but it was filling and took the hunger away.

"I would take you out hunting again but I do not have the control over you I expected to have. One struggle with you a night is all I am willing to undertake," he said with a chuckle.

Secretly I thought he was pleased to see my feisty nature as a vampire chick.

I was glad he wasn't angry that I didn't obey him. It was simply beyond me to stop once I had latched on to Mr. Little's pulsing vein. At least for now. I was very grateful he provided the control I lacked.

"I know it's gonna be like getting a mule out of the cabbage patch for a while," I said, hugging him, "But I promise I'll do my best to listen to you when I can."

This is something I could have said to him as his human wife too.

"Yes, the red haze is just a phase you are going through. In time you will grow out of it," he said in a heaven-give-me-strength tone of voice, the tone a parent uses when describing their child's tantrums.

He stripped off his shirt and threw it in the corner. I took off my shoes and sat back down on the bed.

The "red haze" was a good way to describe the frenzy for blood that overtook me. I did see everything through a red mist, feel the red blood enter my body, taste the hot red flow like molten deliciousness run down my throat. I felt hungry again just thinking about it.

After another warmed up bag of donor blood Eric sat down with me on the bed and opened the battered briefcase, taking out a thick ream of manila folders and plopping them on the bed.

"What are those?" I asked, picking one up.

The index tab read "Xavier Thibault".

There was a family of Thibaults in Bossier City of Cajun descent. Mr. Henri Thibault, a widower, worked in a chicken processing plant and courted Tara's mom for a few years before he realized Mrs. Thornton was not going to change her hard drinking ways. In between her sober episodes of manic religious zeal, that was.

The next folder down had "Jan Wiśniewski" on the tab.

I never knew anyone of that name. I looked at Eric questioningly.

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more to come ....(Greetings Fanpires! Thanks so much for letting me know you stopped by.

Dearest Z - I am sending you every good thought and healing vibrations. Please let us know how you are doing. You're a vital voice here.)

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

9 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Nine

The next few minutes went by in a sensory whirlwind, kind of like when you sit down to eat a fabulous meal and you're just about starving, only multiply that by a thousand.

A smoky red veil descended over my vision blotting out everything except the van guy. His pulse was like a dinner gong going "eat ... eat .... eat...". He smelled like a smorgasbord of everything good to eat there ever was.

He was, in a word, yummy.

Before I knew it I had that man down on the floor, my fangs sunk into his neck. I drank and drank, happy as can be until I heard Eric's voice as a dull deep droning sound in my ears, coming from the other side of the red veil.

I felt an electric tingling sensation on my back and in my chest as he spoke but I ignored it. It did not diminish my complete happiness in the moment or stop the waves of warm liquid pleasure that radiated from my fangs down to my tummy.

It wasn't a distinctly erotic feeling like it was when I fed from Eric but it sure felt good. Maybe like the difference between a good back rub and sensational sex.

Eric began to pull me off the man gently but firmly even though I tried to hang on and get every last drop. Eric shook me and the man hanging from my mouth, trying to get him loose from me.

It reminded me of Hoyt trying to teach his pup retriever to drop the bird once he fetched it. A good retriever had a "soft mouth" meaning it would let go of the bird without damaging it. I thought that I would fall into the "hard mouth" category right about now and drank harder.

With Eric slowly prying my jaws open I finally let go, the man falling limply from my fangs to land on the floor with a thud.

"Wow oh wow oh wow!" I crowed, reeling with pleasure, my fangs snicking back. "That was wonderful!"

I still sat on the floor, feeling stuffed, dazed and bloated in a good way.

Then I pointed at the unmoving man. "Is he ...?"

I really didn't care one way or the other at that moment. I watched as Eric healed the sizable wounds in the man's neck caused by my fangs tearing his flesh when Eric tried to shake him free from my death grip..

"No, he is not dead. I commanded you to let go with all my authority as your Maker but you did not let go. I had to physically remove him from you. That is distressing. I do not seem to have the command over you I should have."

He frowned, unhappy his power as my Maker was not all he thought it would be. I was still glowing, more than that I was way happy from feeding.

"Oh well," I thought merrily. "Too bad Mr. Maker Man can't just boss me around."

I started to giggle. Eric looked at me, his frown deepening. The more Eric frowned the more I laughed.

"You are blood drunk," he informed me a tad judgmentally. "Let me feed from you, remove the excess, so you do not get sick."

"Sure thing, Honeybuns," I told him gaily.

All that feeding had put me in the mood for loooove. I hopped to my feet and stood over my prey. He couldn't stay in the bedroom with Eric and me while we fooled around. I needed privacy with Mr. Honeybuns.

I dragged the van guy into the bathroom and locked him in. He was no heavier than a five pound bag of flour to me.

Then Eric and I made vampire love on the floor, the bed and the top of the dresser. Finally I could keep up with him and not tire out. As the excess blood left my system I sobered up and floated back down to earth, realizing how close I had come to killing Mr. Van.

"Thanks for stopping me," I told Eric hours later, snuggled next to him in our bed.

It was amazing how warm and cuddly he felt to me now. He was glowing pink from all the blood he had removed from me. I was all pinked up too. I heard Mr. Van pound feebly on the bathroom door.

"Let me out," his muffled voice pleaded.

I wondered if the irony of being abducted by a vampire as he was trying to abduct an innocent waitress occurred to him. His voice sounded kind of faint for such a burly guy.

"The shoe's on the other foot now, bucko," I called to him. "Quiet down, I'll let you go in a few minutes. Get dressed."

He would have to put his dirty clothes back on but that didn't bother me now that I was full.

To Eric I said, "Did I take too much blood from him? Does he need medical attention?"

"He will probably recover. To be absolutely sure I will take him to the parking lot near the emergency room and drop him off," Eric said.

He had promised me I wouldn't kill anyone, he wanted to take every precaution Mr. Van survived. I appreciated that. I kissed him to show him my deep appreciation of all his wonderfulness as a Maker.

"Why didn't I obey you?" I asked a while later, feeling completely sober.

This didn't bother me near as much as it bothered Eric. I had worried about being under Eric's control after I Turned, now it seemed like his control over me was virtually nonexistent.

"I do not know. It is possible the same quality of yours that prevents you from being glamoured also prevents me from being able to influence you as I should. Since your physiology is unique there is no precedent I can use for guidance. I will need to improvise." His right eye twitched a little. I think he was feeling the strain of trying to control me.

We got dressed and drove Mr. Van to the Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, only about thirteen miles from where we were staying. We drove him in his van with the windows open to cut down on the smell.

A thick piece of remnant aqua blue rug covered the floor in the back, the interior was spotless. He had a gym bag with rope, duct tape, clean rags made from torn up old towels and a can of ether.

This must have been his abduction kit. I shuddered at his nefarious plans and his thoughtful preparation to ruin a woman's life.

The whole way to the medical center I glamoured him like crazy to forget meeting me, forget wanting to abduct any women and for him to bathe and launder his clothes regularly.

I rehearsed with him what he would say if he wanted to go into the medical center for care.

"I cut myself and feel weak," he muttered tonelessly. "I cut myself and I feel weak." He looked pale and sounded exhausted.

"That's the ticket," I told him, still feeling like ripping his deranged head off.

I had taken down all the information in his wallet so I would know his name and address. I also made an extremely superficial cut on his arm. Even the fine beads of blood that appeared in the scratch were a temptation to me but I resisted. Being really really full was helpful.

In the parking lot I handed him back his wallet and Eric handed him his van keys.

I had instructed the glamoured man to go through the hospital doors and ask for help if he awoke feeling poorly. Then I had him lay on his thick piece of rug and put him into a deep sleep, planting the suggestion that he would awake feeling relaxed, refreshed and completely cured of any need to attack women.

After he was out like a light and snoring in the back of the van, Eric disabled the engine. I grabbed the gym bag containing the abduction kit and we left, running through the night, moving so fast we were almost invisible to human eyes, not that there was anyone around to see us since we stayed clear of the road.

I followed closely behind Eric so I didn't run into anything. It was more exhilarating than I could have imagined, being able to run through the glorious night like that.

We stopped to throw the abduction kit in the big dumpster behind the hotel, then we went into the parking garage to our secret entrance. When we were back in our safe apartment I told Eric, "We're going to need to check up on him. Glamour won't change his basic messed up nature."

I sat down on the bed and tried to run a brush through my wind-whipped hair. I was going to need to remember to pull it back into a pony tail or chignon if I was going to run at warp speed, otherwise it was like riding on a motorcycle without a helmet.

Of course it would return to its big curly style during my daytime rest but I wanted to look pretty for Eric tonight, not like I had styled my hair with an eggbeater.

"He will respond to intimidation," Eric assured me, sitting down behind me, taking the brush and helping me untangle the back. "Cowards do not like to be on the receiving end of brute force."

He went on, gently brushing out my tangles and changing topics. "I have something to show you. I was saving it, thinking you might need more time to adjust but you seem to have become a competent Vampire immediately."

"You still need guidance," he added as warning against overconfidence. His worried frown was back.

I could see him behind me in the small mirror over the dresser. His tawny mane could do with a good brushing too.

"Yes sir, Mr. Maker sir," I said with my most Southern down home accent and a smile. "Guide me, Master."

I turned around and bowed my head to him briefly. I could afford to act submissive since his actual control over me seemed to be slight.

When I looked up he was grinning fangily.

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more to come ....(Wonderful weekend Moon Maidens, hope you are well and peaceful. I am happy to have you here, happy to share my vision with you. I seem to be in a Wednesday - Saturday posting pattern so that will be the plan unless something untoward pops up, in which case I will let you know of the change. See you Wednesday, I hope :-)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

8 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Eight

The van guy's drug hazed brain was a cesspool of hate, misogyny, prejudice and malice towards all. There was a strong refrain of self pity and blaming others too. He thought pretty women were stuck up, that they deserved whatever they got for not being available to him.

He had stalked the attractive petite waitress for weeks, parking his van next to her car and waiting patiently for her to come to the dark edge of the lot where he could grab her.

He had no plans on bringing her back. The reason he focused his sick plans on her was because she had smiled at him and made a comment about the weather late one night when he stopped in to the hotel coffee shop for a cup of coffee and a sandwich. Her friendly smile had sealed her fate.

Until I came along. He hadn't counted on a vampire in the parking lot. Or maybe he knew that vampires rarely interfered in the affairs of humans. Or maybe he didn't know what hit him.

"What are we going to do with him?" I asked Eric.

"We?" Eric asked, his blond eyebrows raised in amusement. "He is your prey. Do with him as you will."

I suddenly realized that with one hand I could snap this man's neck like a twig. As soon as I thought of his neck I heard the blood flowing there. The man's grooming might be a hot mess but his blood was good. I bent to get a closer look at his neck.

The stench of his lack of hygiene was layered over top of another smell, the smell of food, my food, his vibrantly delicious blood. His eyes fluttered and opened. As he realized a vampire was hovering over him he tried to scoot backwards but he was already backed up against the tire, there was nowhere for him to go.

"No, no," he said, feebly. "Stay away." He held up his grimy hand as if that would make any difference.

I looked him in the eye and asked, "Is this the first time you have grabbed a woman?"

I felt very focused on him as if he and I were the only ones in the world at that moment.

He went slack, staring unblinkingly into my eyes. "No. I took another one but she got away before I could get her home." His voice was a monotone.

"How did she get away?" I asked.

"She jumped out of my truck while I was driving," he said without inflection.

I realized that I had glamoured him without even knowing that was what I was doing. It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. I briefly wondered if I could have glamoured people when I was human. I had never tried, but glamouring came so easily to me now I wondered if I had always had the talent.

"Did she get hurt?" I asked.

"I don't know. Maybe. I was driving pretty fast. She was just a whore," he said woodenly.

"Are you going to do this again?" I asked, already knowing what the answer would be.

"Yes," he said dreamily, a small smile lifting his lips at the thought of the next victim.

"Stay there and don't move," I commanded him.

I turned to Eric. "He's going to grab another woman if we don't stop him," I said. "What should I do?"

"Does it trouble you that he is going to attack another woman?" Eric asked, leaning back against the caved-in van door in a casual pose. He knew me, I was sure he knew what I would say.

"Yes! Yes! It troubles me very much! I have to stop him," I exclaimed.

Even as I spoke I knew what I was saying. To stop him I would have to kill him. He wasn't going to change his evil ways just because I told him to, glamour or no glamour.

I shook my head no.

"I can't kill him, Eric. You promised me you wouldn't let me kill anyone," I reminded him. I sure enough wanted to kill him, though. I was glad I hadn't killed him already.

"True. You could feed from him while we decide what to do with him," Eric said, thinking.

"He's too yucky," I protested. My stomach rumbled. Under all that grime was my next meal.

"That can be fixed," Eric said, throwing the man over his shoulder like a sack of rotten potatoes. "Follow me but watch where you're going," he cautioned.

At a little less than warp speed Eric went back into the parking garage. I followed, managing to miss hitting anything on the way.

We went back to our hideaway and locked the door. Eric went right into the shower and dumped the man, clothes and all, on the shower floor. He looked up blinking, but didn't make a move to run away.

"You have a great ability to glamour," Eric praised, observing how docile the man was. "Tell him to undress and clean himself."

I used a commanding voice and told him to undress and thoroughly scrub and shower himself. I stood outside the bathroom door while he showered, trying to think of what to do. Nothing came to me.

Eric saw me struggling with the whole thing. "Do not worry, Sookie. Worry is now a thing of the past. Feed, then I will take care of him. He will not abduct any more women," Eric assured me.

"Are you going to kill him?" I asked. That would hardly be better than if I killed him myself.

"That will not be necessary," Eric said. "I will intimidate him after we release him. That should be enough to scare him away from his plans."

If anyone could scare someone straight it was Eric.

"And you won't let me drain him?" I asked, hearing the shower stop.

"No, I will make sure he leaves here alive," Eric said, giving me a hug. He most likely thought this was endearingly kindhearted of me.

The bathroom door opened and the dazed robotic man walked out. He looked and smelled squeaky clean. His skin glowed pink from the hot water and all the scrubbing.

I was glad to see he had a towel wrapped around his waist.

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more to come ... (Wonderful Wednesday All! It is raining here but the sun shines in my heart from all the love we are sending and receiving. I send good thoughts for your health and happiness.

Welcome to the new readers, so glad you found your way here! My next post will be on Sat Nov. 26th. Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate turkey day. I give thanks for my dear readers. Without you I would just be talking to myself, lol!)

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

7 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Seven

The scream ended abruptly but before it faded I was on the move. It had come from the far side of the parking lot on the other side of the hotel. Moving at vampire warp speed I left the field, raced across the black top and zoomed around the illuminated building.

WHAM!

I found myself on the ground. In front of me an industrial aluminum light pole was bent almost to the ground, the light still glowing feebly. Eric helped me stand, shaking his head at my collision. My head had pain shooting through it, then the pain went away. The sound of the impact still rang in my ears. Then I was fine.

"Sookie, you must not .."

"Help!" a faint voice cried out.

"I have to go," I said to Eric, already on the move. I moved more slowly through the maze of cars, listening.

I took a breath of air and sampled it, among the symphony of other fragrances I found fear and male lust. The fear was like smelling acid, the lust was from the hormones given off by a randy man, similar to a guy's gym bag crammed with weeks of unwashed clothes. That was something I knew about from Jason's days as an athlete in high school.

I followed the scent, Eric by my side, until I saw a man dragging a much smaller woman dressed in a pink waitress uniform into a van.

I was there in a second, prying the man's hands open and taking the woman away from him.

Eric stood back, letting me handle this. I saw him just behind the van on the other side, out of range of the abductor's sight line.

The burly brown haired man was clearly on some drug, unwashed and angry. His work clothes were filthy, his boots covered with dried mud.

"Who the fuck are you, bitch?" he snarled, lunging for me. He seemed unsteady. He stank to high heaven.

"I am a lady. You will speak to me with respect," I told him sternly, shoving him away from me. "And you reek."

He hit the side of the van with a little too much force and sank to the black top, unconscious. I knew he wasn't dead because I could hear his heart. The side of the van was caved in, probably cushioning his impact, maybe saving his life. I literally didn't know my own strength.

"Are you alright?" I asked, turning to face the woman.

She stared wide eyed at me, the realization of what I was making her go pale, her work worn hands flying up to her throat.

"Yes," she gasped, wrenching herself from my grasp. "Are you a vampire? Are you going to kill me?"

Her eyes were round and white-edged with terror. She was more afraid of me than she was of the man!

"No, of course not. I heard you call for help," I explained.

"Uh, uh, thanks," she said faintly, backing away from me slowly.

I knew she was going to make a run for it. I could see her muscles tensing. I was also able to read her mind but it was like listening to sound under water. I was only able to pick up some of what she was thinking. Her terror made her thoughts disjointed and hard to read.

She had come out to her car to get her cell phone. The man was not someone she knew. Her shift was beginning, she would be late if she didn't go back to the hotel. She wasn't going to report this. She hoped I wasn't going to drain her dead. She hoped I drained her attacker.

I was sympathetic to her need to get to work, I had been in her support shoes back when I worked like a horse for very little. Like most wait-staff she was forced to park at the very back of the lot where it was poorly lit and dangerous.

"It's alright, you can go. I'm not gonna chase you or anything," I told her in my most kindly voice.

I didn't want her to break an ankle trying to escape from me. It must have seemed like "out of the frying pan into the fire" to her right about now.

She kept backing away, then turned towards the hotel and walked rapidly. Her heart was just about beating out of her chest. About halfway across the lot she stopped and turned towards me.

"Thank you, I appreciate you helping me out like that," she called, her words dying in her unbitten throat as she spotted my large male companion. Eric had silently moved to my side.

She gave a little shrieking gasp. She turned and walked at top speed back into the brightly lit building, praying with every step we wouldn't come after her.

"My goodness, Eric! She was plumb frightened out of her wits at the very sight of me," I said, dismayed. "Maybe even more than this guy."

I nodded towards the unconscious man on the ground. I wasn't used to having anyone be intimidated at the sight of me.

Eric shrugged. "Many humans react that way. So many horror stories have been told throughout the years about the blood thirsty vampire. They believe we are mindless killers that will drain them dead if given the chance. You have dispelled that notion in her mind, I hope. She was rescued by a vampire tonight, maybe that will modify her perception of us."

Us. That was a big word coming from Eric. We had been an "us" before, but now we were even more of an "us". I was going to need to remember that other people, ordinary folks, might just be scared spitless at the very sight of Vampire Sookie Stackhouse. The notion made me laugh.

"What?" Eric asked, a smile touching the corners of his lips.

"I just thought of how it's going to be with people scared - of me! It's ridiculous!"

"Sookie, you must realize, you are now one of the most powerful and lethal creatures on earth. You have the power to kill a person like you used to be able to swat a fly. She is right to fear you, you held her short life in your hands. Now you must decide. What do you want to do with this one?" he asked, pointing to the man on the ground, giving his mud-caked work boot a slight kick.

The man groaned and moved a little, still semi-conscious. I entered his mind.

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more to come .....(Hope you are all on your way to a good weekend. I appreciate your visit here more than words can say. My next posting will be on Wednesday Nov 23rd. I like to post my chapter on a day when I have the time to read it before I put it in front of you. Bless you!)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

6 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future - Part Two

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Chapter Six

What a revelation biting Eric with my new fangs was!

I had been thinking of them like long pointed teeth. They were much much more than that. They were as exquisitely responsive as the most sensitive place on my body. Instantly I had an orgasm, then another. I was bucking around so much it was hard to feed, like trying to drink a milkshake with a straw while riding a rodeo bronco.

Eric moaned and laughed at my reaction. "Yes, yes! Do not hold back," he encouraged me.

I couldn't have held back if I tried. Holding on was more my problem.

I hugged his thick thigh with my arms and wrapped my legs around his calf, clinging to him as I drank and climaxed, my fangs like two tiny sex organs bathed in the warm flow of his delicious honeyed blood.

When I was done I flung myself away from him for a second, gasping and shrieking in amazement. My fangs neatly snicked back into their sheathed position. They still throbbed with excitement.

"Oh my goodness!" I exclaimed, "I had no idea it was like that. It's like I have a whole new way to have sex!"

I ran my tongue over my retracted right fang and moaned. Was this considered masturbation? I didn't care. Eric had seen it all.

"Let me," Eric said, rolling on top of me and kissing me deeply, stroking my fangs with his tongue. They popped out, then in, then out, then in.

The whole time I just kept kissing him deeper and deeper, moaning all the while. I tasted his blood again on my lips and hoped I wasn't really hurting him though I knew his lips would heal immediately.

We made love like that, his mouth on mine, his tongue stroking my exquisitely sensitive fangs until I simply couldn't stand the intensity. I was full, satiated and my head was bursting with all the new sensations.

"I need to do nothing for a while," I told him. My thighs were still shaking. "I'm getting a little overwhelmed."

"I understand. Let us lay quietly for a moment," he said in his older wiser tone of voice, pulling the covers over us. We didn't need covers but he must have thought I would find it comforting, a leftover from my human preferences.

After laying there for ten seconds I jumped up and said, "I want to go out! I want to see the night sky."

I suddenly felt claustrophobic being shut into this apartment.

He laughed and got up too. "That is a good idea. You must do what I tell you."

We got dressed in a split second, then Eric punched in the numbers on the security keypad that opened the door. I saw the combination and remembered it. That must have been one of the benefits of my newly enhanced vampire brain.

I had always wondered if vampires were smarter than humans since vamps were stronger and healthier. The answer seemed to be that we are not actually smarter but we can recall things with greater accuracy and detail.

Our super senses of hearing, smell and vision give us additional information to base our decisions upon. Those super senses were a double edged sword, however. The moment the door opened the thick gagging smell of gasoline and car exhaust hit me, making me retch.

"I have the air in our apartment run through HEPA filters before it enters to cut down on the pollution and smell. Try not to breathe, it is not necessary," Eric advised.

That was when I realized I was still breathing. Could I really stop? I tried and held my breath for a long moment, not needing to take another breath to replace it. For the first time in my life the mighty unceasing bellows of my lungs stopped. Some other form of metabolism had replaced it.

"Why was I still breathing?" I asked, worried that my Turning might not have really worked.

"Habit, body memory. It will linger for a while but eventually you will just forget about it and only draw breath when needed to talk or test your surroundings."

Eric was a fount of information. He knew it and loved his role in my tutoring. Vampire 101.

We walked hand in hand through the unlit tunnel towards the parking lot. On the way in to our apartment, while I was still human, the tunnel had seemed filled with impenetrable darkness.

Now the fizzing glow of energy from each atom shed its teeny tiny light making the tunnel as bright as day. I could see every ripple in the concrete. The limestone and sand used to make the concrete had individual smells, the water used to mix it was from a local well that was slightly alkaline.

I could hear the sound of a car engine, the night creatures scurrying, chirping, squeaking and eating. A plane took off from somewhere nearby, maybe that little airfield we stopped at on the way here. I could hear hearts beating, breathing, coughing. I could hear a jumble of conversations, I could hear ..

"Sookie, stop it! Sookie!" Eric said urgently, shaking me a little.

I could see his concerned face clearly in the ambient light given off by the molecules in the air around him. Eric and I both seemed to glow too. This was something I had observed about vampires while I was still human.

"What happened?" I asked. I felt dazed and confused.

"You went into a trance. Try not to listen to each sound, try not to identify each smell. You will not be able to function or protect yourself if you are engaged in too much sensory stimulation," he warned.

I saw that being a vampire was a lot like being telepathic. Concentrating on the thoughts of others without a reason just made my head hurt and distracted me from being in the moment. I had a lot of experience in tuning things out. I did that now, allowing all the noises and sensations to recede to a white hum in the background. Suddenly I felt aware, focused and fresh.

"You're right. It's fascinating but too much listening is bad. Let's go," I said, running ahead of him.

He opened the concrete panel and I flew into the empty parking garage. I heard the door close behind me.

I had taken a small whiff of air and could smell the sweet fresh night air just ahead. We went up the parking levels and out over the turnstile quick as a flash.

Suddenly I was outside in the night. The parking lot lights were blindingly bright, I looked away from them. We ran, fast as the wind, into the swampy fields behind the hotel. I was able to mentally turn down the volume of the noise made by the myriad of creatures surrounding me. I looked up into the night sky and saw a breathtaking sight. If I still had a breath to take, that is.

The stars were no longer just individual twinkling dots in a black sky. The whole sky was an illuminated silvery haze of stars, ever more distant and dim, into what seemed like a celestial blue infinity.

I thought I might have heard the faintest threads of music coming from the universe, a beautiful harmony of angelic singing. I felt the sky starting to spin and knew I needed to look away to avoid sensory overload again.

"My heavenly stars!" I said to Eric, literally, burying my face in his chest, hugging him to celebrate and ground myself, "Who knew there was so much more.."

At that instant I heard the scream.


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more to come ....(Wonderful Wednesday Were-readers! I think of you all everyday and welcome you here with open arms! Thanks for letting me know you stopped by. My next posting will be on Saturday Nov 19th. Look for me then...)

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