Wednesday, August 17, 2011

103 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future

Chapter One Hundred and Three

I got Eric to laugh when I asked him if I was going to have to kneel down to him every time I displeased him like Pam did. I had rinsed my glass and was wiping the table where he and I sat, though obviously he hadn't eaten anything.

"No, Sookie, no," he laughed. "That is old school. She was Turned back in the day when that was the only acceptable kind of response. She is too set in her ways to change. It is a comfort to older vampires to stick with the way things were done traditionally."

"If you displease me I will simply spank you," he leered, grabbing me and pulling me down onto his lap

"How about if you displease me?" I asked, laughing with him, putting my toned arms around his neck.

"That could never happen," he said, kissing my ear.

"I admire your confidence," I said breathlessly.

"Confidence is my middle name," he said, smoothly picking me up and carrying me out of the kitchen. Eric Confidence Northman - it had a nice ring to it.

I managed to throw the dish cloth in the sink and turn out the lights on the way out of the room. Years of living frugally on my own had made me ever mindful of the light bill.

Eric and I did what we do best, laughed, loved and talked, the days slipping by one by one until there was no time left.

Everything was in place. Eric and I had visited Charlaine one last time so I could see her as her human mother. She was just beginning to show, a single baby bump. She didn't want to know if it was a girl or a boy.

"There are so few surprises in life when you're a telepath," she explained. "Waiting to see what the baby will be is one of life's big treats."

To myself I wondered if the baby would have any supernatural powers like the ability to read minds or the ability shift into a were-gator like Darren. I knew the were-gator talent wouldn't become apparent until puberty, a long way off, but the telepathy would be there from the start.

During our visit Eric and Darren talked business until the wee small hours when dawn was getting ready to appear. The new computer and search engine was due to launch in a few months, then the baby would be born. I didn't want to miss the arrival of the child. Eric had assured me I would be safe to travel by then.

While we were in New Zealand we were notified by Lars that there had been a devastating electrical fire in the research center. It had resulted in data being lost, crucial equipment being destroyed and part of the center being closed for rebuilding. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Eric told Lars he would be there to give his crew directions in a few days. In the meanwhile the demolition of the destroyed section of the lab could begin.

I never asked Eric if he was responsible for the electrical fire. I thought he was, with the help of one of the VL dissenters. I also thought it was clever of him to be in charge of the repairs. If there was a way for him to make a little extra for his efforts he would see to it. Maybe he was splitting the profits with Edison. Right after blood came wealth in the vampire list of favorite things.

As soon as we got home Eric went to the research center to give Jason directions on how the reconstruction was to proceed. Eric wouldn't be available to run things, he would be cloistered away with me in a secret location. When I emerged, like a creature from a cocoon, I would be transformed. I would be Vampire.

I packed the clothes I would need for a few weeks into boxes for Eric to take to the place he had prepared for my Turning. I knew it had to be nearby because he was back in few hours for another load.

Sheila was coming to stay in the house the day after next with her niece Penelope. I told them it would be alright if they brought Penelope's dog King, a big gray German Shepherd - Huskie mix. I hope King wouldn't trash the house but it was better to have someone living here than to leave the house vacant for weeks.

Sheila was no spring chicken so I didn't expect her to perform any housekeeping duties. Penelope would see to the things that needed doing and make sure Sheila turned off the stove when she was done making tea.

I called my daughters and my brother one last time during the day before the night I left the house. Then I walked from room to room, looking around at the familiar furnishings, the momentos, the unlit fire place with the pictures of the girls on the mantle. I walked through every room, mentally saying goodbye.

With a cup of coffee I sat at the kitchen table and watched the rectangle of sunlight move across the kitchen floor, slowly heading away until the sun was down behind the trees.

I admit I cried at the last sunset. I tried to dry my eyes and look cheerful for Eric yet I couldn't prevent my heart from being heavy at the loss of so many human things. I knew there would be vampire things to compensate, I just wasn't there yet.

Eric, when he rose, lifted my chin and looked in my eyes. I saw tenderness and concern on his face. He kissed me, giving me all the love in his big silent heart.

Amelia's voice rolled through my mind, "The only time it isn't too late to say no is afterwards".

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked later, after he was showered and dressed.

I searched in my heart and saw there was only one answer that made sense.

"Yes," I said simply. I put my purse over my arm, ready to go.

I looked around my human home one last time, then Eric turned out the light and locked the door.

We walked down the porch steps, got into his red Corvette and sped off into the night towards our next new beginning.


This ends part one of "Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future".

I will be back with part 2 on Halloween, October 31st, 2011. I can't thank you enough for your continued interest and the effort you make to comment and let me know you're here.

I apologize for the changes in my posting schedule, it was not possible to continue to post every day. I'm not sure what the fall will bring but the story still writes itself every time I have an opportunity to sit at the keyboard.

I hope very much that you stay well and have peace in your hearts. I also hope to see you on Halloween, the start of Sookie and Eric's next great adventure. Bless you, hug your necks!)


Saturday, August 13, 2011

102 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future

Chapter One Hundred and Two

After a few moments of silence on the ride home I said to Eric, "I know I haven't been the most considerate wife ..."

"That is not for Pam to discuss," he said flatly.

I noticed he didn't jump in with "Oh no, you have been the greatest wife anyone could ever ask for."

I let that go.

I tried to figure out the meaning of what Pam told me.

"Pam said..."

"It makes no difference," Eric said, speeding up as if he could drive away from this conversation. Unfortunately for him the conversation was right here in the car with him.

"Please slow down. You might be crash-proof but I'm still human," I reminded him.

He slowed down to the speed limit, his face immobile with irritation.

"It makes a difference to me. She said if I knew what you had done for me I would fall down and kiss your feet. You know I appreciate all the many wonderful things in my life, most of all you and our daughters. Was that what she was referring to? Was there something more?"

I asked this in a kind way and placed my hand on his leg to make a physical connection with him. Eric responded better to my questions if he felt connected to me.

"She is referring to my negotiations with the King," Eric said, looking over at me then back at the night swishing past the windshield.

"And what would that be?" I asked.

"In order for him to leave you alone, to give you time to raise our daughters and live at our home in peace I have had to make certain concessions, do favors," he said, not taking his eyes off the road.

"Are you referring to my telepathy?"

I had always wondered why the King hadn't pressed me into his service. Every vampire ruler liked to boast of having a court telepath just as rulers of old liked to have a jester. We were probably just as amusing to the vampires too. Since telepaths were as scarce as hen's teeth we were a hard-to-come-by commodity.

"Yes. He believed you might be a benefit in his negotiations with humans. You might have been of some small use."

He glanced at me, still not looking happy.

He looked back at the road and shrugged. "With our ability to glamour we are able to get any information we want. It is slightly more cumbersome and risky to glamour someone, not a real problem. The real problem was that the King was not happy his every whim was not catered to. I have performed some extra duties for him as a concession for his tolerance."

"What kind of extra duties?"

"Assignments not usually expected of a Sheriff such as the rescue of Lingza," he explained.

I knew there was probably a whole lot more but I didn't press him on it. He pulled into our driveway. I still missed the sound of Roscoe barking joyously when he heard us return home. Like Gran said, the past never goes away. Or maybe it does when there is no one left to remember.

I undid my seat belt, leaned towards him and kissed his cheek. "I appreciate you looking out for me."

I added, "Our daughters are grown now. Is he going to come after me?"

"Not if I can help it," he said with a genuine smile, unbuckling his seat belt and turning to kiss me properly on the lips before we went into the house.

Once inside I asked him, "What's going to happen once I Turn?"

I didn't want to sit at the King's feet as his telepathic lap dog for the next dozen centuries. I couldn't stand to live in the Palace, it was like living in a fish bowl. I needed my privacy, my time to myself.

"I think I have a plan to deflect him. We will tell him the change has erased your telepathic ability. You will be the first telepath to Turn as far as anyone knows. No one can predict what effect your transformation will have on your talents."

He hung up both our coats and followed me into the kitchen while I blenderized my last protein shake of the day.

"I think Pam is having a problem with you Turning me," I said, sitting down at the kitchen table.

How many more times would I sit and eat before that part of me was no more? I tried not to think these thoughts, they made me gloomy and a tad frightened.

"I agree. It has happened before. The original Child becomes unwelcoming of the Master's new protégé. Or protégée, in your case. I will speak to her about her attitude." His face was like something carved from stone.

"She was also worried I would mess up your head by not Turning when the time comes or by being such a loose cannon I bring problems for you. She was looking out for you," I said.

I went on, thinking about it as I talked. "But I also think she might be jealous. That isn't something to punish her for, that's something we have to help her with. Or I should say you have to help her. Spend some special time with her, reassure her she'll always be your first Child, tell her how she can help you to get me to maturity, that you could use her help because she's so smart and resourceful," I suggested.

Eric frowned. Then he stopped frowning and looked mildly surprised.

"I see what you are saying. Berating her and punishing her will alienate her further causing more acrimony. It will confirm her fears that as a vampire you will be a troublesome interloper. Being supportive and kind towards her will win her to our side, keeping her as a close and trusted friend."

"That's right," I beamed, proud that Eric saw things in a new light.

Actually I was quoting from an article in Parents magazine on what to do if you were going to have another baby. That hadn't happened for me but I had wanted to be prepared in case it did. Maybe my advice was a consolidation on a few articles.

"You should be the Queen," he said with enthusiasm. "With insight like that you could disarm an enemy and make an ally. You will make a truly great Vampire."

"Thank you," I said modestly, not bothering to mention how I acquired this kind of insight.

This was basic human interaction 101 to me. Eric had dealt with things as a vampire for so long that using human psychology was not second nature to him. He had taken a psychology course at a college somewhere along the way. I could help to remind him of the principles as long as I didn't lose my humanness.

I prayed that wouldn't happen.

Would I be able to pray once I Turned? And if I did, would the prayers of a vampire be heard? Some said no, that vampires were unnatural creatures not meant to exist in creation. But I thought like Gran did, if it was here then it was part of some larger plan.

I thought of a bumper sticker I saw once - "Of All The Things I've Lost I Miss My Mind The Most". My most basic question was this - Would I still be Sookie Stackhouse once I grew fangs?

I guess I would know in a month, the time I had left as a human.

more to come .....(Super Saturday Everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts. I will let you know when my next posting will be, but for now twice a week seems to be my best bet. My next post will be Wednesday August 17th. See you then!)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

101 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future

Chapter One Hundred and One

Our original date scheduled for my Turning had been January 1st of the new year but that needed to be rolled back to the fourteenth. I got my affairs in order, worked out with Halder like a maniac and spoke to all three of my girls every single day.

They were very excited for me, Linda most of all. I think she was waiting to see how it went, what I was like on the other side, possibly because somewhere deep in her heart she also wanted to become Vampire and live with Jure.

I didn't ask her about it because she needed to work things out for herself. I had very mixed feelings about both Jure and her Turning, if either ever came to pass.

I worried most about Charlaine. Her pregnancy would be progressing while I was cloistered away for a few weeks adjusting to my new body. She was doing well, continuing to sculpt and feeling great, still I worried.

Eric assured me we could talk face to face on the computer, then travel to New Zealand to see her as soon as we left the secret location he had made for us to "go to ground", an archaic vampire term meaning to stay enclosed until the Maker-Child bond was fixed in place.

I thought of this interlude as similar to a new mother needing time to bond with her infant, establish a good feeding schedule and begin the lengthy process of teaching the infant about the new world she had been born into.

When I told Eric about these thoughts he told me that was a beautiful way to describe it. He had never seemed happier, it was like a tremendous burden had been lifted off his shoulders.

We were very close in those last few weeks, spending every moment we could with each other and talking, talking, talking about everything we needed to say while I was still human.

He reassured me again that I would not lose my appeal for him once I was vampire, on the contrary, we would be together on a level that was impossible for us now. He also promised me he would not allow me to accidentally kill anyone in those first days.

He helped me fill out the reams of paperwork, ran interference when the King wanted to congratulate me at the palace saying I was unable to travel. Eric was so trusted an employee of the King's that the King didn't insist, didn't try to dig for more of an explanation, didn't demand a letter from a doctor stating I was home bound.

Others reacted to my decision in a variety of ways.

I sensed my old friend Amelia was less than pleased that I had decided to go ahead. She kept telling me the only time it was too late to change my mind was afterwards. I assured her I knew that and thanked her for her concern. She was as supportive as she could be. I knew that change was hard for people.

Jason tried to sound happy for me. Knowing him as I did I could tell he was jealous. He had been waiting for years to find someone that would Turn him. Pam had laughed when he offered himself to her. The offer he had outstanding in the vampire community had not been taken up yet. There was still time for him though each day that went by must have seemed to be one day closer to the time he would be too old and it would be too late.

Pam was oddly cold to me - formal, helpful and pleasant yet lacking any kind of warmth or support. She had never been Miss Warm and Fuzzy but I felt she could have seemed more welcoming to my new status as a vampire-to-be.

I finally asked her about her attitude one night while we were alone together in the office after the club had closed. She was counting up the receipts from Fangtasia's busy overpriced bar with the speed of a machine, her beautifully manicured hands just a blur as she sorted the bills into stacks.

"Do you really want the truth, Sookie?" she asked me, her cool ice blue gaze fixing on me and sending a chill down my spine. She put down the jumbled heap of cash on the cluttered office desk.

"Yup, I do. We're going to be bonded by Eric's blood for a long time. I don't want to feel you resent me for sharing that with you," I said.

She gave a short harsh laugh, her lovely lips twisting into a sneer. She was so very pretty but could come across as incredibly cruel and hurtful at times.

"I do not resent you for your decision to do what the Master has been wanting for years. I resent you for being a flake - a fickle and self centered human with no idea what is at stake here. Eric has loved you, protected you, walked through fire for you. What has been your response?"

She made a scornful snort and used a high-pitched Southern belle voice to mock me. "Yay-ess, No-ah, Yay-ess, No-ah. Oh Lordy gracious me almighty, little old Sookie just can't make up her fucking empty-headed maah-nd."

She fluffed her hair back like an air-headed Valley girl and giggled in a very ugly way.

Her parody of me was grotesque but accurate enough to make me blush to my hairline.

"That's not fair Pam. I had a lot to take into consideration ...."

"Consideration?" she interrupted, standing up and walking briskly around the desk on her four inch stilettos.

She came right up to me, invading my space. "Do you even know the meaning of the word?"

Her breath smelled sweet like clover. Her crisp British accent was becoming more pronounced as she became more agitated.

She looked down at the rough, worn, wooden floor, shaking her head in disbelief, then back up at me, a bitter little smile curving her crimson lips.

"If you had even the slightest clue of what Master has done for you, is doing for you, you would fall down and kiss his feet. You live in your protected little bubble in that fancy house he built for you like the bloody Queen of the May. Meanwhile Eric sheds blood and tears to keep you from harm. You have been inconsiderate of him, his status, his generosity, his worry over your mortality."

"I do not understand my Master's judgement." She put her hands on her hips, shaking her head at Eric's folly. "The mighty viking Eric took a lowly bar wench and raised her up on a pedestal. I could shed rivers of blood when I think of how the once majestic warrior, a god among men, waits and waits to get a no-brainer decision from you about the greatest gift anyone could offer you. You, a mere human girl with a little seasoning of fairy blood. What does that make you? A tasty snack. Nothing my Master should .."

"THAT WILL BE ENOUGH!" Eric roared from the doorway. He was furious, his eyes shooting turquoise flames and his body elongating. I feared he might actually physically attack Pam.

I stood in front of her, trying to block her from his sight. "It's all right, Eric. I asked her to level with me. We needed to clear the air before I Turned. I wanted her to tell me exactly what she thought. She loves you and doesn't understand why you put up with all my human foolishness. Sometimes I wonder about that myself."

I gave a little self deprecating laugh, trying to defuse both the situation and some of the hurt I felt inside at what Pam said.

She was right in some ways but not all. I would think about what she had said and own what was mine. The rest would be buried or burned away in my transition from human to vampire. Maybe now that she got all that off her chest she could begin to feel better about me, especially once she saw I was really going to Turn this time.

I looked back to see what Pam was doing. She was down on one knee, her white blond head bowed in submission, not daring to look directly at her Master.

I turned again to Eric and saw that he had returned to normal. Her submissive posture seemed to appease him.

"She had no right to speak to you in that way," he said flatly, speaking to me as if she were not even there. "I am most displeased with her attitude. My decisions, my personal life, are not her concern. She has over stepped her bounds and there will be consequences for that."

He turned and stomped out, leaving Pam still kneeling on the floor, her silky hair flowing forward to hide her lowered face. As I watched a tear of blood fell to the floor in front of her, then another, then another.

I patted her shoulder and left, following Eric through the back hall out to the car in the dimly lit rear parking lot.

I felt sort of sorry for Pam, change is never easy, especially when things have remained the same for over a century.

more to come .....(Greetings Fanpires! Thanks for showing up and leaving a comment, it really adds something special and wonderful to my life. Hope your lives are full of good things. I'll be back Saturday August 13th with the next chapter. See you then!)


Saturday, August 6, 2011

100 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future

Chapter One Hundred

I woke the next morning with the crystal clear understanding that I had to Turn.

Sometimes that happened to me. An issue that was confusing or ambiguous at night suddenly became obvious and understood the next morning. I thanked my subconscious mind for whatever work it had done while I slept. My mind was made up. I was going to Turn, the sooner the better.

Gran had said I would know the reason to Turn it when I heard it. Eric's silence when I thanked him for saving my life had been the reason, what I heard in his silence was the echo from the deepest well of despair in him.

No matter what he did, how he tried, my mortality was too fragile a thread for him to hang his hope on. If a Jello ring could abduct me from my brother's house, then where or when would I ever be safe?

Turning was the only thing that made sense. As a vampire I would be much more effective to protect my loved ones and fight by Eric's side. The many human considerations that had weighed so heavily on me before just melted away in the laser like intensity of my new understanding. I got it. The only important thing in my life was my husband and my family. Nothing else really mattered.

Because Eric could renounce his vampire loyalty to champion human freedom meant to me that I could renounce my human life to join him as a creature of the night. Together we would turn the crazy out-of-control idea that was called Vampire Liberation into something that benefited all beings on this beautiful planet.

I caught myself humming "It's a Small World After All' to myself while I showered and dressed until I scolded myself to stop. That song could get on your nerves after a while.

Once I knew I had decided I couldn't wait for Eric to rise. I did all the girly things I knew how to do to fill the time. By the time the sun was setting in the sky I was as primped and pretty as the prize winning pony at the 4-H fair. I waited just outside his safe room.

"You look especially beautiful," he said to me as he stepped from his safe room. "Are we going somewhere?"

His black silk pajama bottoms had worked their way down his long lean torso right to the top of his golden nest. He hitched his pajamas up but they slid right down again. The elastic was probably wearing out.

He came to me and kissed me. I kissed him back with a wild passion I had buried inside me, the passion of surrender, of really becoming his in a way only a vampire could impart.

"Sookie, Sookie, what is it?" he asked me, little crinkles appearing around his eyes in both amusement and puzzlement. Tonight his eyes were that deep midnight blue you only see in a young baby.

I was usually responsive to his kisses, this new level of intensity within me was something he had never experienced. A barrier, a partition that had kept me from him had crumbled, leaving me naked, vulnerable, open and very excited.

"Come upstairs, I have something to tell you," I said breathlessly, tiny butterflies of nerves flitting through my stomach.

I was excited and scared but absolutely certain I was doing the right thing. I took his hand to lead him.

I sat down in the living room, a room so familiar and comfortable. Would I want to redecorate when I saw the room through vampire eyes?

"Would you like a fire?" he asked before he sat. He knew I was often chilly in the fall and winter and tried to offer me warmth whenever possible.

I nodded. He used the clicker to put on the gas fireplace. I loved the way he looked by firelight.

He sat down next to me on the couch. "Now, what do you want to tell me?"

His beautiful handsome face was so loving and open to me I just wanted to grab him and kiss him a million times. That would be later. I wanted to tell him the good news first.

With a mischievous twinkle in my voice I looked him in the eye and said, "Yes."

He looked puzzled. "Yes?"

Then, as he looked at my beaming smile, the light dawned within him. "Do you mean ... yes?"

He waited still as a statue for my answer.

"I mean yes yes yes! I know for sure now. I want to join you, come with you into the night, be your vampire wife," I told him, practically jumping up and down with happiness.

"Det här är .... allt," he said passionately, momentarily lapsing into his native tongue as he did when he was overcome with emotion.

Then for my benefit he translated, "This is everything,"

He laughed and growled at the same time, pulling me to him and engulfing me in his super-sized loving embrace.

Everything that had come between us melted away in the white hot passion of his unconditional love for me and the red hot molten surrender I felt deep within me. Like the lava from two volcanoes our desires merged and became a mighty unstoppable flow.

We were one blood, we would be one blood and together we could make good things happen for us and for the whole world.

more to come ......(Super Saturday my Supernatural Sisters! Hope you are all well and at peace. Thank you for stopping by and for letting me know you're here. My next post will be on Wednesday August 10th. See you then, I hope.)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

99 - Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman Look to the Future

Chapter Ninety Nine

I made as if I was going to get in the car then I ran to the other side while screaming "ERIC!" at the top of my lungs.

Stuart ran around the car to grab me but I ran as fast as he did, circling the car to keep him on the other side. He wasn't any faster than I was!

I had played this game around various cars and trucks with my brother since I could toddle. I was an expert at keeping to the other side of the vehicle. I continued to scream when I had a second between feinting and darting around.

In a flash Eric stood between Stuart and me. I backed away looking for something heavy I could pick up and bash Stuart with. Eric was susceptible to damage or death by fire. I didn't want the demon to get his burning hot hands on my husband.

"Leave now and nothing more will come of this," Eric warned the yellow creature.

Eric's eyes were already glowing turquoise, a sure sign he was going to become lethal soon. Stuart's eyes flashed orange and crimson like all the fires of hell burned inside him. Maybe they did.

"You killed my love. I will take yours in revenge," Stuart rasped in full demon mode, leaping forward towards Eric.

Eric spoke to me without looking back at me. "Stay clear Sookie."

Then he reached towards Stuart's neck. He grabbed nothing but air.

I looked around wildly but saw nothing. Out of the corner of my eye, right under the dim street light, I noticed a golden maple leaf falling gently, swaying from side to side, coming from the nearest tree behind me. It must have been the last leaf on the tree because all the branches were bare.

Suddenly I understood.

"The leaf!" I shrieked. "He's turned into a leaf!" I pointed.

I remembered Stuart had told me he could change into other forms. Maybe he could only turn into yellow things.

Eric flew past me, grabbing the leaf in mid-air and taking off with it. He headed for the pond. I saw a small fire explode in the sky, then darkness.

After that there was nothing, just the chilly night and the few insects that still chirped this late in the season. And my pounding worried heart. Had Stuart blown up and taken Eric with him?

I waited for a long time until Eric walked out of the blackness and into my arms. I sobbed against his chest. He smelled like smoke and charred meat.

"I am all right," he reassured me.

I stood back to look at him. He held one arm behind his back.

"Let me see," I asked him, terrified to see what he hid.

He brought his hand around. It was fine, but the sleeve of his suit and his shirt were burned away to the elbow. His gold watch was melted to his skin, the band incinerated. He peeled it off his wrist and put it in his pants pocket. The red welt it left faded as I reached for him.

I touched his cool hand and kissed it, so happy to see it had already healed. Whatever dreadful pain he had just suffered was in the past, he wouldn't dwell on it. Neither would I.

"I waited for it to mend," he explained. "It took a few minutes."

He had to weight the fright and horror I would feel at seeing his burned hand and arm against the fright and horror I would feel at waiting to see if he survived. I thought he made the right choice. I didn't want to see him injured again. The memory of his ripped throat still haunted my nightmares occasionally.

"Thank heaven you're alright!" I hugged him again, now joyous at his return.

"Or thank my vampire blood," he said dryly.

His tone stopped me. I looked up at him. He looked down at me steadily with his intelligent blue eyes, waiting for me to understand what he was saying.

"Where's Stuart?" I asked, quickly changing the subject. I was too emotional to make any decisions right now.

"He is in the lake, either extinguished or drowned. I will notify his employer when we return home. In either case he will not bother us again. He will be recalled if he survived."

Eric had used a lot of energy flying and fighting the demon in the air, then healing. He didn't have enough power left to fly us home to change. We were going to need to leave the party. He waited in the car while I went back to Jason's house to say our goodbyes.

I told Angellica and Jason and my two inquisitive daughters I would explain tomorrow where we disappeared to. I asked to see the catering staff.

As I suspected the young woman that carried the Jello mold from the truck into the house was not among them. She must have been someone Stuart enlisted to help crash the party. Things were winding up so after a round of goodbyes I went to the car and got in.

My feet were killing me. I slipped my shoes off after making sure Eric felt well enough to drive us home.

He did feel well enough. After I told Eric about being abducted by the Jello mold and all the things Stuart had said I felt emotionally exhausted. I was glad Eric didn't press me about anything. I needed more time to think.

He told me he had been unable to scent me because the sulfur smell was so pervasive. Stuart might have had some supernatural ability to cloak our location. Finally a frantic Eric had heard me scream.

Once home I heard Eric leaving a message with Jessica for Asmodeus. Jessica still worked in the Underworld as a social worker part of the year when Persephone, her female mentor, worked there.

Persephone was married to Hades part time and lived with him during the fall and winter in the Underworld. The rest of the time Persephone and Jessica were here on this plane though I seldom ran into them.

Jessica had started out as Bill's Child but he hadn't really been Maker material. He gave over his parental responsibilities to Persephone when Jessica began to run wild. It had worked out well all the way around. Now Bill and Jessica had a good relationship.

When the phone call ended we showered together then went to bed. Eric needed to feed and I needed to feel him in my arms, safe, whole and well. He had saved me, saved my life, and I was grateful.

"Thank you, thank you," I whispered against his ear.

He didn't answer.

I knew he was thinking there was only one way I could show my gratitude. Though I kissed him and cuddled with him, I felt the chasm of my indecision about Turning threatening to separate us in more ways than one.

more to come .....(Howdy everyone! I am so happy to see when you stop by, it makes me very glad. My next post will be on Saturday August 6th. See you then.)