Saturday, December 29, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Three

The 'vette's headlights revealed to Linda what my vampire eyesight had seen before we even pulled into the apartment parking lot. Lingza and Taryn were walking the three D's, Linda's fancy poodles, back a ways from the edge of the lot, past the manicured grassy area near the wild scrub and trees.

The poodles were from show dog stock. One was peach, one was black and one was white. They were all freshly groomed in their poofy cuts and had three different colored ribbons on their topknots. Their nylon harnesses matched their ribbons. Adele would never have allowed a dog in our family to wear a collar except to hold their tags.

When the three D's saw their mommy get out of the car they wagged like crazy and pulled hard on their leashes, like a dog sled  team.  Lingza pretended, in a stumbling exaggerated way,  to be towed over to her by the dogs, making Taryn laugh.

Lingza continued to make progress in all areas of his recovery from being sealed in an underground cave for a very long time. His sense of humor had developed and he could speak much more clearly now.

He even understood why the sight of three prancing poodles being walked by a bad-looking gang banger, the disguise Taryn had perfected for him to conceal his otherness, would provoke amusement. He scowled at anyone that looked at him, a glare scary enough to discourage scrutiny.

In the beginning I hadn't known how much of his stunted development had been due to his skeletal dehydration and how much was due to the fact that he was a Neanderthal. Time had revealed that a Neanderthal was very much like a modern human.

Lingza had the added bonus of being able to walk in the daytime and eat fruit and sweets in addition to blood. He had been studied extensively by the research center without the learned scientists discovering the secret of his enviable ability to be out in daylight without bursting into flame.

"Wow, that's some rock!" Taryn exclaimed, instantly at Linda's side, reaching for the hand sporting the engagement ring. Faster than even my super sight could see, she disappeared into the night.

"Where'd she go?" Linda asked, looking around with a startled expression.

Lingza immediately took off into the night, dropping the leashes. Linda quickly picked them up, though the dogs weren't planning on leaving Linda's side.

"I have no idea," I said, looking as far into the night as I could.

While the dogs sniffed around Linda's feet we waited. In a few minutes I saw Taryn and Lingza coming back together at vampire warp speed.

"Here they come," I told Linda, knowing she wouldn't be able to see them yet.

When they got back I saw that Taryn was wet around the edges and had several kinds of aquatic plants trailing from her overalls.

"What happened, where did you go?" Linda asked as the poodles smelled Taryn's damp pant legs with great interest, their tails wagging like crazy.

"I was in Bossier City," Taryn said, brushing some of the plant material out of her hair.

"Across the river? Why did you suddenly go there?" I asked. I realized she must have traveled through the river water to pick up the plants.

"I have no idea! I was whisked away and found myself standing in downtown Bossier City, dripping wet."

Linda plucked a leafy frond from Taryn's shoulder strap. "What is this stuff?"

Taryn looked at it more closely. "Grass carp. I also have some of that damn parrot feather. That's an invasive plant imported from the Amazon," she explained to Linda.

"She has a protective spell," Lingza said to his girlfriend. "You must not startle her."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"I can see the golden flecks in her aura. If they are disturbed the spell is activated," he said.

His diction, vocabulary and comprehension were now par with anyone's. His features were still obviously Neanderthal and were not not completely disguised by the purple bandanna tied low on his jutting brow.

"You can see auras?" Linda asked, impressed. "Far out!"

I wondered what my aura looked like. Did it have gold sparkles too?

"Let's go inside so I can change," Taryn suggested. "I smell like a swamp."

She was right, she did smell pretty bad. The muck in the river was loaded with icky deposits. I was glad she was good-natured about being flung off into the night like that. Now I would know to warn everyone against sudden moves.

When we got inside the apartment building Taryn and Lingza went to their apartment so Taryn could shower, shampoo, change and launder her clothes. Linda, the poodles, and I went to Linda's place.

"Would you like some True Blood?" she asked me after hanging up her coat.

"No, I'm good," I answered, still thinking about our protective spell.

I had been able to hold Linda's hand and hug her. Eric had kissed her cheek. The spell must only react to certain movements, not any attempt to touch Linda. That was good, otherwise it would put quite a damper on Linda's love life.

Linda made the dogs their dinner and herself a cup of tea. She turned on the lamp behind the couch and turned her hand this way and that, admiring the light reflected from her ring.

"I can see you like the ring," I said to her, "Do you like the man that proposed to you as much?" I said it in a fun way so she wouldn't feel like I was interrogating her.

Her eyes opened wide. "Oh yeah. Jure's all that and a bag of chips! When I'm with him the whole world seems to melt away and it's just us two. He pays attention to me, you know what I mean? Like, he seems interested in everything I say, everything I do. Anything that concerns me concerns him, no matter how trivial. It's like we're one person when we're together."

I did know exactly what she meant. Eric was the same way. He had immersed himself in my human life and had wanted every drop of my human experience. I enjoyed the close scrutiny, his interest in a new shade of nail polish, if my polish matched my coat, or even if I nicked myself shaving my legs. It was the kind of intimacy you couldn't get with a human man.

Like every human, many self concerns crowded into their minds so only a portion could be devoted to the relationship. Sometimes that portion was almost non-existent. With Eric it was different. He thought only of me when we were together.

With a very old vampire it was the human experience that interested them. They sopped up every drop of it like gravy on a plate. It was delicious to them. I had been afraid my Turning would make me less interesting to Eric but that had not been the case. Our closeness was based on a bond of shared abilities, interests and staying and playing in love. I hoped the same thing for Linda.

"I know what you mean," I told her. "He has definitely chosen you as his significant other. Have you chosen him too or have you just been swept away by his extravagant courtship?"

Linda gave her answer a little thought. "I chose him years ago but didn't think I ever stood a chance. I love everything about him. If he didn't have a dime I would still love him. He's everything to me. I just need to figure out how I want to proceed. He'll do whatever I want, mostly."

Ah, spoken like a woman in love. I wanted to explore the word "mostly" a bit more but I stopped.

Calmly, in a low voice, I said to her, "Linda, get the poodles right now. Your apartment building is on fire."

I pointed to the smoke coming in under the door.

more to come ..... (Happy year's end everyone! This has been a great year with you and I look forward to 2013. Please stop by when you can, the party can't begin until you're back in the nest. Love and hugs!)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Two

It took Linda a second to focus on my question. Her mind was still spinning with all the new possibilities Anna Hita's offer had opened up for her.

"What? Why aren't I wearing the ring?" she repeated. She seemed to return to the present.

"Oh, that's because I'm scared to wear it. It must be worth a million dollars or something like that. What if robbers broke into the office? What if the stone fell out of the setting? What if I whacked it against something or it accidentally slipped off my finger? The truth is, it makes me nervous. I feel better right now that Daddy is ring-sitting it."

She went on, warming to the topic. "I'll need to get some kind of major safe in my apartment to keep it in. And I think a vampire could pretty much tear open any safe there is. Are there any vampire robbers around? Is there such a thing as a safe room for jewelry?" Her face was tense with worry. "I should ask Daddy."

She added, "I would love to wear it for a few hours."

She sighed, looking down at her ringless hand.

This was no good. The ring shouldn't cause her such anxiety yet I could relate. I have a spectacular diamond tiara and I keep it locked up unless I'm wearing it for Eric. I wouldn't dare to ...

I stopped and realized something. Now that I'm Vampire I could wear it in the seediest neighborhood in Shreveport and not worry about someone snatching it off my head. It might be a good way to lure robbers into my rehabilitation donor project.

Or would that be entrapment?

I knew there was such a thing as an attractive nuisance. Jason had to put a fence around his swimming pool to avoid law suits from neighborhood kids coming into his yard and falling into the pool and getting hurt. Maybe walking around with a diamond tiara on my head would be the same thing? Or would it be like me wearing a nice watch? Where would you draw the line? Another thing to ponder in my chambers. Once I got the chambers, that is.

"I don't even know how I'm going to get the ring back to my place tonight without seeing a robber behind every bush," she finished.

"I could go home with you. You could wear the ring for a while then I could bring it back to my house and put it in the safe with my jewelry. How would that be?" I offered.

Her face lit up. "That would be great! I've been so worried. Jure doesn't realize how dangerous it is for me to be walking around sporting a big flashy rock like that."

She was right. He hadn't thought about that. He had put her in danger without even knowing it. Had he been a vampire for so long he forgot how dangerous it was to be human?

Still, other women walked around in jewelry without fearing for their lives.

I guess it was a matter of degree. And we did supposedly have a protection spell around us, though I had yet to check that out with Amelia. She could tell me if the spell extended to our possessions.

"Can we leave now? Jure said he'd stop by the apartment later. I want him to see me wearing the ring. After he sees me in it you can take to your safe until I figure something out."

We went upstairs to the office and told Eric I was taking Linda back to her apartment. I also told him about our plans for the safety of the ring.

"I see why you are cautious," Eric said, the reality of Linda's predicament dawning on him.  "It is sensible for you to only wear it when you are in the presence of those that can protect you."

Linda laughed and gave him a hug. "You mean like my Mom and Dad? I agree, I need to figure something out."

For being so worldly Jure had made a major miscalculation. He had hoped to impress Linda with the extravagant engagement ring. Instead he made her worried and confused.

That was one of the problems with being a vampire for centuries, you just got so out of touch with humans. I recalled Bill once served the Bon Temps sheriff warm beer in cans so old they were rusted around the rims, wilted carrots in the bag and a box of uncooked pasta he had dumped in a bowl.

Bill had been pleased and proud at being able to offer a human guest something. The sheriff, after a moment's hesitation, had politely pretended to nibble a rubbery carrot and take a sip of the flat cloudy beer to not hurt Bill's feelings.

"Linda wants to go home now. Should I take her or do you want to come too?" I asked Eric. I knew he had things to attend to at the club, I didn't want to rush him.

He threw me the keys to the Vette. "I need to stay and discuss our upcoming charity fundraiser with Pam. Some lucky human is going to win a date with her."

He looked at me meaningfully and our eyes smiled at each other. This annual charity Win-A-Date event was how I had ended up seeing Eric. I had won a date in a raffle for charity, a raffle I hadn't even known I was registered for until Eric called to tell me I won.

"How does Pam feel about that?" I asked, knowing she was fairly intolerant of fangbangers, especially those that worshipped her. She called them "vermin" and had kicked a few until Eric asked her to stop before they got sued.

"She knows it is her turn. We have gone through everyone else," Eric said. Then he looked thoughtful. "Except Jure. Do you think that he .."

Linda headed him off. "No Dad, absolutely not. He hates having to interact with fangbangers. He won't even come to the club unless I beg him.

"Then Pam it is," Eric decided, a wicked little smile on his lips.

He liked giving Pam a hard time occasionally. I think on some level he has never forgiven her for being wild and footloose after he Turned her. Still, they have remained friends over the centuries and occasionally business partners, like now.  That said a lot.

Linda went to get her coat and we left by the back entrance. I noticed how she clutched her purse to her chest.

"You can put that pretty ring on your hand, sweetheart. Mommy's here," I told her.

She looked startled for a moment, then she grinned. She got out the ring and put it on. Even under the dim lights in the back lot the ring shot fire and light. You could probably see it from space.

"You're the best," she told me, giving me a hug.

"You are too," I responded as we buckled ourselves into the Corvette. I put the top up, cranked the heater up to high to keep my little girl warm, and off we went into the beautiful night.

more to come ..... (Howdy Fanpires! Hope you are having a good time at year's end. I am having a wonderful time coming here and visiting with you. See you Saturday, til then, wishes for health and happiness to you.)


Saturday, December 22, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One

Linda was an orderly person, that was one of the qualities that made her good with numbers. She prioritized her response.

"First of all, I do not appreciate the way you discussed my personal business with Anna Hita. She has no right to know what Jure or I are up to unless we tell you that it's OK. Can we agree on that?" Her Stackhouse blue eyes regarded me steadily but without animosity.

"Yes honey, I knew I had goofed the second the words left my mouth. I won't do it again." I really did need to keep a watchful eye on every word out of my mouth, the stakes were so high, no pun intended.

That mollified her. "However, it did turn out to be some amazingly great goof up." She was smiling as she took my hand. "Somehow whatever you do, no matter how crazy, always turns out pretty good."

Crazy? Well dang, I wouldn't say the things I did were exactly crazy.

"I want to tell Jure about this right away but what about Anna Hita wanting to keep this all hush hush? Is she OK with Jure knowing all about how we three got here? Doesn't that put her in terrible danger from the Founders?"

I had kind of put that aside thinking that Anna Hita would know how to handle things when she made the offer, but was that true? Did I owe it to ask Anna Hita again now that she had a chance to think her offer over? No, I didn't believe so.

As with all older Vampires, she was the very soul of discretion and self preservation. If she decided to make this offer it wasn't on a whim. Vampires her age didn't survive if they were impulsive. Something had happened to make her less cautious about the Founders possible exploitation.

"We can check back with Anna Hita, honey, but I think she knows what she's doing. If she made the offer she already has it all figured out how it's going to work. You might not want to take up her offer once you hear what else I have to tell you."

"There's more?" she asked, her heart beating even more rapidly.

I didn't know any gentle way to tell her. The truth was the truth, all the pretty words in the world wouldn't change it.

"I found out from Anna Hita that Jure had been married before," I said,  clasping her hand between both of mine like a mini-hug.

She slumped in relief. "Is that all? Lots of folks have an ex-spouse, that doesn't mean anything to our relationship."

"It shouldn't, however, he has never actually divorced her. She has gone missing but their marriage was never declared over."

"You mean she's Vampire?" Linda asked, starting to grasp the additional entanglement that could imply.

"Yes, Jure Turned her and she rebelled. She ran wild then she ran away. No one knows where she is or if she is even alive. She's been gone for centuries."

 "Then she's not coming back," Linda declared confidently. Then, less surely, "I wonder why he's never mentioned this to me. What else is there about him I don't know?"

She shrugged that off. "Everyone has some baggage from the past. No sense in sacrificing my future happiness on the altar of past mistakes."

Her words triggered off a sudden vision, something that had been swimming around in my subconscious mind since my trip with Eric to the Vampire Cave in Patagonia. It was the place every vampire went at least once in their long lives to leave a message or see the messages left by others of their kind over the ages. It was like Facebook for Vampires and their wall was really a wall.

There had been a rock painting of a vampire that looked remarkably like Jure sacrificing a blond woman that resembled me to a slight degree. I knew Jure was old, though not cave-man old like Lingza. Just because the painting had been on a rock in a cave didn't mean the painting was as old as the stones. I had no idea when the painting was made, who made it, or what it represented.

I needed to know. Maybe Jure was some Bluebeard type psycho that married blond women and then killed them. A serial killer of Jure's age could have left behind dozens of murdered wives. He seemed so quiet. He kept to himself.

Wow, wasn't that what they always said about guys that turned out to be major crazies?

Still, Eric didn't seem to be sending any signals that he believed Jure was a wolf in sheep's clothing. I didn't have time to think about this right now, I needed to pay full attention to Linda.

"Your happiness is all that matters to your father and me, " I told her, adding mentally - and that you don't marry some deranged serial killer.

"I don't know if I'm ready to start a family but it's good to know I have that option. I can't wait to tell Jure. We had planned on using a donor and maybe even a surrogate if I Turned before I was ready to have kids, but now I don't need either one of those."

She sat back and stared, looking into a future that might just have everything she wanted. She smiled and said, "I need to talk to Anna Hita first, I won't rest easy in my mind until I'm sure she isn't going to get into trouble."

Linda, like all my girls, was kind right down to the bone. She wouldn't buy her happiness at someone else's expense.

I had one more thing I needed to know.

"Honey, if you don't mind my asking, why aren't you wearing that ring Jure just gave you?" 

more to come .... (Yippee! The world didn't end! I am glad about that and I am ultra-glad you are with me here and in our little nest. I send health and happiness to each of you as we celebrate our various holidays. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and come back on Wednesday. Love you so so much!)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty

When Eric and I entered the office, pleased expressions pasted on our faces, Linda had her back to us. I could smell the vapor of frustration coming off  her like a tart perfume. She was was trying to cram some invoices into the chock-full filing cabinets.  The edges of yellowed papers peeked out of the not-able-to-close drawers.

She turned when we entered the room and complained.

"I simply can not get another sheet of paper into this thing! You have invoices going back to the stone age. They need to be weeded out to have only the current accounts up here. You can store the archived ones .." she waved her ringless hand in a brushing away gesture "..  wherever."

"That would be a good idea," Eric said. "While you are sorting them out you can go through the boxes on the couch."

He glanced at the two stacks of grey cardboard boxes. I counted, there were eight boxes, all full to bursting.

"Me?" she protested shrilly. "Me? You have to be kidding! This mess started before I was born! I'm going to need big time help to tackle this project."

She calmed down and thought for a moment. "Ginger is useless .... I could get Katie Marie and Bertha Jewel. I know they're both looking for work."

Katie Marie was Tara and J. B. Durone's adopted daughter. Their marriage hadn't survived but they both loved Katie Marie with all their hearts so they set aside any animosity to provide a harmonious life for their daughter. Bertha Jewel was J.B.'s youngest sister.

"Pam could help at night," Eric offered.

"I don't think so Dad," Linda laughed. "She just about spits nails whenever she has to do any paper work. Mike Malone would be a better choice. His great- nephew has an accounting firm so Mike has helped me out in the past."

"Perhaps we should hire his accounting firm," Eric suggested.

Linda pointed out, "They're in Ireland, I don't think it would be worth shipping them here to sort old invoices. No, I can do it, I'll just need help. Maybe Taryn and Lingza can help at night too. Lingza can carry the sorted boxes to wherever you decide to store them."

Since Taryn and Lingza had become an "item" they were inseparable. Lingza wouldn't be up to sorting files but he would come in handy if anything heavy had to be moved. Of course, with all the vampires around Linda would have her pick of moving personnel. Lingza and Taryn lived in Linda's apartment building. Lingza often took care of Linda's poodles while she was here.

She added, "Once we get this mess sorted out maybe we could redecorate the office. I don't think it's been painted or changed since the Ford administration."

Eric looked around at the shabby office and concurred. "I might redecorate this whole back area. The club profits are good enough."

Linda's eyes lit up. "Could we do it all in an 80's disco theme? You know, mirrored balls, neon lights, psychedelic patterns?"

"I believe the psychedelic theme was from the 1960's, however, we can do whatever suits you, as long as the office area doesn't become more alluring than the club for the patrons," Eric said with a twinkle. He was enjoying his daughter's initiative especially because it meant her continued interest and involvement in her parents and their enterprise.

"Linda, I was hoping for a chance to talk to you privately," I told her.

"In the basement," I added. She knew we couldn't be overheard there.

Linda looked puzzled but agreeable. "Sure, Mom. Want to go now?"

"Yes," I said, butterflies in my stomach at the enormity of what I was going to tell her.

Linda grabbed her purse and said, "Let's go."

Eric said, "I will wait here. You can leave your purse with me if you want." He meant that her ring would be safe under his protective eye.

"Thanks Dad." She set her purse down at his feet. "You won't go out and leave it, right?'

"I will not move from this spot, except to sit at the desk and use the computer," he confirmed.

We left Eric with the purse and headed towards the basement. I saw Pam across the dance floor. She was at the door checking ID's, her huge skirt acting like a fabric turnstile to stop patrons so she could check their credentials and decide if their outfit was steampunk enough to get a free drink voucher.

I quietly said, "Pam". Amid all the pounding music and ambient noise she heard me speak her name, as I knew she would.  She turned to look at me.

I pointed straight down with a questioning look on my face, meaning, "Is is all clear to go to the second basement with Linda?" I didn't want Linda to walk in on some glamoured donors or worse.

Pam smiled and nodded the all clear. Then she turned back to the door, frowning at a group of giggling girls in Granny gowns, maxi skirts and a bridesmaid dress. They were trying to get free drink vouchers but they weren't in proper steampunk attire.

Pam shrugged and gave them vouchers. I guess she was relaxing her rigid standards since I saw people in all sorts of costumes - tuxedos, military jackets, camouflage, ball gowns, a wedding dress and the like. They all had Jack The Ripper cocktails in their hands. Maybe I wasn't the only one that had no idea what steampunk was.

We went through the regular basement to the second basement, the only thing left of an old building that had stood next to Fangtasia. It had been leveled and a paved parking lot covered where it had stood. The basement had not been filled in. Instead it was reinforced, making an underground room without windows.

Eric had waterproofed and soundproofed it. Now it was a cozy place for the in crowd of vampires to bring a donor and feed in peace. It wasn't legal but human laws were not vampire laws. We only had to appear to comply.

After I shut the door I sat down next to Linda. I could still smell the blood of the men I had fed from, though I knew Linda couldn't smell it. The air was exchanged and purified with a hepa filter to make it nice for our human guests.

"Linda, I spoke to Anna Hita tonight. She made you an offer that I think you should know about right away. We were discussing your involvement with Jure.."

She interrupted, her temper flaring up. "You were discussing me?"

"Only in a good way. You know Anna Hita is like a grandmother to you. She cares very much about your happiness. I had mentioned that you were conflicted about Turning because you wanted to have children .."

Her eyes grew wide with indignation but I plowed on with what I wanted to say, "I know I shouldn't have been telling her this but anyway, let me get to what she said. You know how she helped me have Daddy's biological children? How she went back in time and ... anyway .. she helped?"

Linda nodded, a slight frown between her brows. She was trying to process her irritation with my big mouth at the same time she was trying to figure out where I was going with this.

"Well," I said relieved to have finally gotten to the point, "She has offered to do the same thing for you and Jure, if that's what the two of you want."

Linda sat back, her mouth open in surprise. I had managed to shock her speechless.

more to come ..... (Greetings Fanpires! I could not ask for more than your continued presence and your most generously kind and supportive words. Your interest is the bedrock of my desire to keep going. Thank you for making this year so great, looking forward to 2013! When I was a kid I thought we would all have flying cars by now ... instead we have flying vampires. Isn't life strange?)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Nineteen

I may have been a Vampire but that didn't mean I couldn't do what any female knows to do in that situation. I began jumping up and down, squealing and exclaiming about the ring, her engagement, and her plans for a wedding.

At the mention of the last a little dark cloud poofed from each of us. My dark cloud concerned the missing ex-wife, though actually, legally, she was still his current wife. She might be dead or she might be biding her time for some reason I couldn't imagine.Whatever she was, she presented a possible future obstacle to Linda's happiness.

I knew how much trouble a blast from the past could be from personal experience. I had dealt with Lorena, a crazy Maker, more jealous and possessive than a wife, when Bill was dating me. That hadn't gone well for me, or her. Mostly her.

And I had been forced to kill in self defense a crazy ex-fiancee of Alcide's with similar unfortunate results to Ms. Pelt. I surely hoped this wasn't a case of history repeating itself. I hoped very much that Celandine was well and truly gone.

I was wondering about Linda's dark cloud when Eric expressed our sentiments. "Is there a problem with the wedding?" he asked, sitting down on the squeaky creaky visitor's chair. I sat down on the part of the much-abused leather couch that wasn't holding stacks of banker's boxes containing who-knew-what.

The siren lure of all that donor blood was calling to me but I needed to know what was happening with Linda first.

"We don't have a date set for the wedding, in fact, there may not be an actual wedding. Jure has asked me to become engaged and start a family. If and when I decide to Turn then we will get legally married. A piece of paper doesn't change anything..." she trailed off, her weak argument against marriage was made weaker still by the obvious fact that she didn't even feel that way herself.

"He'll provide for me and our children," she added quickly as if the financial aspect was the crucial thing.

I knew it wasn't. I knew Linda wanted Jure's unconditional love, however she decided to proceed. She had the model of her father and me, she wanted it all. I knew, too, that Jure wasn't going to go that far unless Linda decided to Turn.

Another thought occurred to me. Was this just a stalling tactic for him to avoid coming clean with Linda about his current wife? Would his marriage to Linda present legal problems for him, problems he didn't want to confront? 

Linda needed to know about Celandine. We were going to have to have a talk.

First I needed to eat. My stomach was rumbling loudly in that embarrassing way it did when I was past my meal time.

Eric didn't jump up and down and squeal at Linda's news. Instead he bent down and kissed her cheek. "We are truly happy for you. Jure is a lucky man. Your mother needs to eat, then we will return."

Linda had put the ring on briefly to model it for us. Now she took the ring off, put it back in the box and put the box back in her purse. I wondered why, but not enough to slow me down from getting my meal.

"Come with me," Eric said when we left the office, his face shining in the particular way it did when he was pleased to surprise me.

We went down to the basement, then over to the secret second basement. Standing in the center of the room was Pam. She was wearing a huge hoop skirted grey wool dress with elaborate tucking on the bodice and black velvet trim. Her hair was done up in a bun at her neck. She wore no jewelry or make up. She might have stepped right out of the Civil War era. The dress and multiple petticoats must have weighed twenty pounds.

"Wow Pam, fancy dress," I said. "Is tonight 'War of Northern Aggression Night'?" I asked playfully.

I smelled something familiar though I couldn't place the exact where or when I had smelled it before.

"Steam Valve Coffin is playing tonight," she said, sounding like I should know what she's talking about.

"Can't say I know who that is," I said agreeably. Since the girls moved out I was out of the loop when it came to the latest music, or even the next-to-latest music.

"It's a steampunk band. Anyone wearing the appropriate clothes gets a free Jack the Ripper cocktail. I wore this to demonstrate the full costume. Wearing a floor length mint green taffeta skirt left over from the prom isn't going to qualify," she said sternly. She took her job as Maintainer-of-Order in the club very seriously. No slippage around Pam.

"You look wonderful," she said graciously to me, meaning I looked like a Vampire. "You look hungry too." she added with a twinkle in her eye, looking at Eric.

He gave a nod and she stepped aside. Hidden behind her voluminous skirts was a naked man sitting stiffly in a chair. He had a red Fangtasia bar towel discretely draped over his lap. The man was obviously glamoured into a docile trance. He looked soooo familiar. Who was he ...?

"Spencer Clark Little," Eric filled in the name.

Oh! My first feed. I had fed from him in the room Eric had for us after we brought him inside and showered him. I had caught him abducting a waitress in the parking lot outside the hotel where our room was located. He was on a path towards kidnap and worse. I had glamoured him to change his evil ways. Had it worked?

"Spencer Clark Little," I said to him, concentrating my mind on him, "Have you abducted any women?"

"No, I have Cathleen," he said woodenly. I got the mental image of ropes tying ankles, strange artificial feet, handcuffs ..

"He has a woman?" I asked Pam in alarm. "Did you see her in his room?"

Pam looked at him scornfully, her pale unlipsticked lips curling in disgust. "He has a hideous rubber mannequin, a big life sized doll with anatomically correct features, if you get my meaning. I found it tied to a chair in his room. I left it there. Should I go back and retrive it?" she asked.

"No," Eric told her. "You did well finding him and bringing him here. Now Sookie will eat. Would you pick out a suitable second course from our usual donors and bring him too."

"Certainly," she said, turning to go.

"Pam," I stopped her before she left. "Is there a reason he doesn't have any clothes on?"

"They were filthy rags. I threw them out while he showered," Pam said.

Spencer had a hygiene issue, apparently. She had washed him up the same as we had. It hadn't occurred to her that he might want clothes or that he might be chilly down here in the basement. Maybe she thought I was going to finish him off tonight but I wasn't.

He had transferred over his sick fantasies to a big mail order doll. It wasn't a cure but it made him eligible to keep living. I would check in with him again. And again. As long as he lived I would keep a watchful eye on his conduct.

Eric got my drift and instructed Pam. "Check the lost and found for clothes that would fit him and bring them. We will be sending him home tonight."

Pam nodded and left with much rustling of fabric.

"You think they have pants in the lost and found?" I asked, approaching Mr. Little with my fangs snicked out.

"I know they do. Things get a little wild around here in the wee small hours," Eric said, sitting down on the sofa we had in the room.

He loved to watch me feed and then sample what I had from me. When the second donor came I rounded out my meal, fooled around with Eric, then we went to see Linda. On the way back to the office Eric let Pam know we were done and asked her to send the donors home in cabs.

Pam had found pink and turquoise striped stretch pants, a Hello Kitty tee shirt and a pea green coat with rhinestone buttons for Spencer Clark Little to wear home. Maybe Cathleen could use them afterwards.

"Linda isn't wearing her ring," I mentioned to Eric before we entered the service hall.

"I noticed, perhaps the ring distracts her from her numbers," he suggested.

"Perhaps the ring is meaningless without a wedding date," I suggested.

"That too," he said.

We put on our happy parent faces before we went back in the office.


more to come ...... (Greetings everyone!  Glad to have you come around! Thanks for the delightful companionship of your visit, it means the world to me. See you Wednesday!)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Eighteen

I didn't know how to answer Eric when he asked if my phone call with Anna Hita answered all my questions about Jure.

I knew whatever Anna Hita said was just the tip of the iceberg. There was a whole lot more to the big Croat than one phone call could cover. I didn't want to worry Eric about what I might do next.

"Eric, does anything ever answer all my questions?" I joked evasively. "Let's get ready and get to the club. I can't wait to see Linda and tell her what Anna Hita said."

"Just be careful when you are there," Eric warned. "The walls in Fangtasia have ears."

"I will be," I called cheerfully, already on my way to the bedroom to change.

 Now that I had embraced the idea of being a grandmother with Char's little bundle of joy on the way the thought of additional grandchildren in the future made me very happy.

I threw on some long vampirey dress and did my lips in crimson. That was as much as I could manage in my excitement to talk to Linda. I was a real Vampire, I didn't need to raccoon my eyes or wear bat jewelry to play it up.

Just to confirm this assertion I hissed at myself in the mirror, making my lovely fangs pop out and glint menacingly in the lamplight. Oh heck yeah, I was Vampire Woman enough for anyone. Hear me roar.

I winked at my reflection.  "Looking good Sookie Stackhouse, looking good," I told myself as I turned off the light.

Eric had put on a "Creature from the Black Lagoon" tee shirt and he was ready to leave too. The Creature had actually been moved from the Black Lagoon to another location after Adele discovered industrial waste pollution in the Black Lagoon was making him sick. Now I guess he would be called "The Creature from Some Nameless Lagoon fed by a Small Tributary of the Amazon River".

It didn't have the same ring to it.

I gave Adele a quick call while Eric fired up the Corvette and brought it around. Adele wanted to complain about Linda leaving Fangtasia with Jure but I didn't have either the time or the inclination to hear it. I thought about the squawk she would make when she found out she was going to be the aunt to Jure's children.

 If that happened ... I sternly cautioned myself. I didn't want to go putting the cart before the horse.

 I made sympathy noises and told her I would call her tomorrow night. She was going to talk to Charlaine later, she could fill me in on that too. I couldn't wait til Char was here in this time zone, having her on the other side of the world made it difficult for me to figure out what time it was in New Zealand.

On the ride to the club I asked Eric if he was all right with the things we had learned tonight, especially that Jure might have an ex-wife out there somewhere floating around.

"Jure had an experience similar to mine," Eric said, roaring around a corner at exhilarating speed. I refrained from going "wheeee!"

Eric added darkly, "Pam was not the meek and obedient young woman she had been once I Turned her."

That was an understatement. If there were two words in the English language that would be the opposite of everything Pam was,  they would be "meek" and "obedient". She was respectful of Eric's role as her Maker due to her profound gratitude at being made Vampire, a state she deemed superior to any other life form.

Eric went on. "Every Vampire risks much when they Turn a spouse. There is no way to know what hidden desires lurk in the recesses of a human mind until the Turning takes off the shackles of human limitation."

He looked at me with affection. "I was very lucky with you. Even though you were not under my direct control you were willing to accept direction and stayed loyal to me."

"It was more than luck, Eric!" I protested. "You are the perfect man, an ideal husband in every way."

I silently added "after we had worked out a few glitches in our early days". No sense in bringing up all that Saytanna business. Or him running off with the elf queen which really wasn't his fault. Or his being insistent that he be the one to Turn me. Or his support of a vampire take over until I pointed out that humans had never thrived or been content in captivity.

I wasn't one to dwell on past mistakes. 

"I was the same man back when I Turned Pam yet she exploded out of her conventional life into ... how did Anna Hita phrase it .. into being willful, wild and wanton."

"Pam didn't even really know you, Eric. You bought a pig in a poke when you decided to Turn her based on her looks and her conventional demure human demeanor."

Eric laughed out loud. "Do not let Pam hear you call her a 'pig in a poke'. She might feel the need to defend her honor."

"I wouldn't dream of it. Anyway, back to Celandine .. do you think she's really gone for good?"

"There is no way to know for certain. Her long absence would be highly unusual if she still had a legal claim on Jure. He is a wealthy man, his wife would have a right to some of his riches."

Our speculating was cut short when we tore around the club to the gravel lot in back where the employees and the over flow crowd parked. The club was hopping, the back lot was half filled. I began to pick my way in my high heels over the rocks and ruts when Eric swept me up in his arms and flew me to the service door. He set me down as gentle as you please.

"See? Perfect!" I grinned at him.

He smoothed back his hair with both hands in pretended vanity.

He unlocked the door and we entered the outdated employees hallway, so different from the flashy and flashing night life in the club. Down the worn linoleum was the battered office door and behind that door was Linda.

Eric and I made eye contact outside the door and he kissed my cheek, not wanting to smear my heavily applied lipstick. It took years for him to learn that. I took Mr. Perfect's hand and we entered the office.

Linda was busy adding a column of numbers. She held up a finger, eyes still down on her task, signalling us to wait until she was done. Then she hit a button and the machine whirred, extruding a long sheet of numbers. She looked at the total and sighed, then looked up at us.

Her face broke into a big smile. "Mom, Dad, I have some good news!"

"The books are balanced?" Eric offered teasingly.

She made a dismissive sweep of her hand. "Heavens no, they're all messed up. Did monkeys keep the books while I was away?"

She didn't wait for an answer. "No, this is my good news."

She reached down into the purse at her feet, took out a small box and opened it, holding it up to us with a big cat-that-ate-the-cream grin.

A million watts of diamond shot fire around the dingy office. Jure had given her a ring!

more to come ..... (Happy Wednesday Fanpires! Hope your hearts are filled with peace and happiness. My heart is filled with gratitude for your presence and the time you took to leave a note. See you Saturday!)


Saturday, December 8, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen

Eric leaned forward. "Jure is already married?" he asked, his voice hard.

His hand sought mine out of camera range and clutched it. He was going to kill Jure for real if he was leading our little girl on. He might be hanging on to me to avoid leaping up and doing something impulsive at this moment. He needed to hear her answer. I was reminded of the time HoloGran told me that I must be his guiding star.

"Yes ... and no," Anna Hita said with a charming tilt to her head, trying to explain. "He married her and Turned her. She grew wild, willful and wanton. It affects some women that way, especially women that were raised in repressive societies. She took off, mocking him, challenging him. He used his Maker's power to control, but, as you know, that eventually wears thin. She hated him for controlling her. All love she had for him died. She became vengeful, refusing to divorce him. He has not heard from her for centuries. Even if he did, he would not love her. All he wants is to be rid of her for once and all."

"Would a marriage even be binding after all these years?" I asked. I knew Vampire traditionally had marriages that lasted a set amount of time. Eric and I were unusual in that our marriage had no "sell by" date.

"Jure is ... old fashioned," Anna Hita said in a kindly way. I knew she really cared about him. "If he is finally contemplating a new marriage he must consider his old marriage to be defunct. Celandine is long gone. She was a telepath also, a distant relative of ours. His mind would have found hers if she was still here. At Jure's request I too looked for her years ago, before this country was founded. I found no trace of her here either."

"Here?" I asked.

"Among the living," Anna Hita amplified.

"You believe she is dead, the final death?" Eric asked, his hand seeming to relax it's grip on mine a little.

I hung on to his hand too. I would be his anchor and he would be mine whatever the future brought. That knowledge soothed my worries a lot.

"How else could her complete psychic absence be explained?" she asked.

I had no answer for that. "What else should I know about him? Bad habits, vices, crazy streaks?" I asked.

"He is fussy about his appearance and possessions," Anna Hita said, as if beginning a list. "He will not tolerate disrespect or uproar. He keeps a close eye on his finances ... On the other side he is playful, fun loving, generous to those he cares about and worldly."

It was hard to think of the gloomy and imposing Jure as "fun-loving", though he did send me some creative romantic dreams in the past before I put a stop to it. Of course this was after he had glamoured me and taken advantage of me .... but he didn't remember that. Anna Hita had downloaded his memories to me and erased them from his mind. At least, that was what was supposed to have happened. If Jure did retain any memory of his attempt to steal me from Eric he never let it show.

"Is he glamouring Linda?" I asked.

"No, he is not. He is forbidden to glamour you or any member of your family."

"So you believe his ex-wife is really dead dead?" I asked again.

"How long would it take for someone to be declared dead if they did not reappear or send any sign?" she asked back.

Good question. For humans I think the time limit was seven years, though I got that from watching movies. For Vampires ... no telling. I was a judge now, I might need to weigh in on these issues. I would need to retire to my chambers and give this some thought.

First I would need to get me some chambers.

"If Linda were your daughter, would you let Jure court her?" I asked Anna Hita. She had seven daughters and seven sons during her very long ago human life, she would know where this question was coming from.

"Sookie, she is as a granddaughter to me. Yes, I believe Jure, for all his Old World ways, would make a fine match for Linda. How does she feel about it?" Anna Hita asked with a glint in her eye. I was sure she already knew the answer to that.

"She is sure about her feeling towards Jure, not so sure about giving up on her human aspirations such as motherhood..." I answered before thinking. Then I immediately worried I was revealing too much about Linda's personal life to Anna Hita.

Anna Hita stopped smiling. She looked directly into the camera, serious as sunrise. "That has a solution, as you know."

I saw a few flecks of gold begin to swirl around in her eyes signalling magic was being spoken of.

Her calm gaze was unwavering. She was sending me a message. A direct message. She was saying she could do for Linda what she had done for me. She could retrieve seed from a past human Jure and bring it back to the present so Linda could have Jure's children.

"Can I ... can I let Linda know that?" I asked her in a voice just slightly above a whisper, hardly daring to speak of such a big step - big for Linda and Jure, big for Anna Hita. Heck, big for Eric and me too. And Linda's sisters.

Anna Hita laughed, a sound like tiny temple bells ringing in a spring breeze. "Of course. How else would she decide?"

"Thank you ... thank you so much ... there are no words to express ..." I stammered.

"And none are needed. How does Eric feel about Jure joining your nest?" she asked, looking directly at him, the gold swirls gone.

She was changing the subject. Even though this line was secure there was always the remote danger something might be overheard and used against us or her.

"I would accept him if he proves worthy," Eric said. "I have no use for foolish pride, vain strutting or pointless power struggles. He would be joining my nest, not the reverse. If he can keep that foremost in his mind, he would be welcome."

I thought Eric put that very well. I had my doubts about how much pride or vanity Jure could set aside, but maybe it would be enough to be tolerable to Eric. As for power struggles ... well, I had even bigger doubts. I hope their love for Linda could cause both strong willed men to be flexible in their requirements.

"I'm going to speak to Linda sooner rather than later," I told Anna Hita, my mind more on Linda's future than anything else.

"That would be wise," she said. "Time is of the essence."

I knew she was referring to Linda's biological clock. Was there also some time constraint on her offer? Well, I would be seeing Linda tonight. If I could get her to the secret basement or our sound proof tunnel I could tell her of Anna Hita's life changing offer.

"What about Jure? He must be informed of this," Eric said.

"I know I can trust Jure," she said confidently. "However I can not guarantee what his reaction will be. He had no children in his human life, perhaps that was by choice. In that case ..." She shrugged her bare white shoulders causing her three strand diamond necklace to flash and twinkle.

"I'll let Linda tell him," I said. "This is a private matter between them."

As private as this arrangement can be, I added to myself silently, considering we were here plotting and planning without her knowledge.

I knew Jure kept himself to himself. He probably wasn't going to welcome us into his confidences. And children, with all the noise and the rotation of staff they require ... I tried to picture Jure dandling a squalling infant on his knee and failed. The thought of him changing a poopy diaper was beyond me to conjure up. He had recoiled at the task of caring for me when I was a weakling. Caring for a fragile human infant ... ?

No sense thinking about all that now. First things first. We said our very warm farewells. I wished I could hug Anna Hita and be enveloped in her scent and soothing aura. Perhaps soon.

After the screen went dark Eric asked me, "Did that answer all your questions?"
more to come ..... (Happy weekend everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by. I know this is a super busy time of year, thanks for making me a part of it.)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen

The next night I discovered that Linda had not returned here after her trip to Fangtasia. She was staying at Jure's house. She had come, gotten her three poodles and left a note for us with Simona.

The note read -

"Hi Mom and Dad,

I'm staying at Jure's for tonight. Will return to my apartment  tomorrow and be at work tomorrow night. Thanks for all your love and support. It really helped.

Love, Linda

p.s. Can I keep Aunt Linda' s sweater? I promise to take good care of it and I think it may have brought me good luck!

"Good luck? What kind of good luck?" I asked Eric as we read the note together.

He shrugged, not looking terribly concerned.

I took my worry out on him, unfairly.

"Eric, this is Linda's whole future we are talking about! Don't you care?"

He took my tone in stride. "I care about her future with all my heart, that does not give me insight into what might be lucky for her."

Eric wrapped his arms around me. "Poor Sookie, it is so hard for you to let her go. We did a good job raising her, she has both common sense and a zest for life. Now our little bird has flown, looking to make her own nest. Let us see where she lands before we decide how we view her adventures. Can any parent guarantee happiness for their children?"

"No, I guess not," I begrudgingly admitted, my cheek pressed against his silent loving chest..

In my heart I was still plotting schemes to find out all I could about Jure behind his back. I decided to call Anna Hita tonight and see if I could speak with her.

I was also thinking that Bill, with his access to Jure's computer, might be a goldmine of information.

I was also thinking the unthinkable.

I knew Adele could, with effort, read the minds of vampires. I could send her into Jure's mind for his whole story. The problems with that were multiple. Jure might know immediately what was happening. I had told Adele to never read vampire minds because she might let something out that would clue in  vampires what she could do. Jure might retaliate if he felt his privacy was being breached.

He might take his anger out on Linda or Adele. He was too dangerous to poke with a stick. I had to be very very careful whatever I decided to do. If Eric thought Anna Hita would be my best bet I would start there and see what I turned up.

I heard hammering and sawing. I made a questioning face at Eric.

"The work has begun on our second kitchen and the telecommunication dining room," he explained. "It will all be wired discreetly so that the cameras and screens will be less intrusive than laptops on the table. The screen where we appear will look like paintings when not in use, the tiny cameras are concealed in the chandelier. The angle will be slightly higher than eye level,  eliminating the sight of the table and the plates."

It didn't bother me much but the sight of food sometimes icked Eric out. Some older Vampires used terms such as "breathers", "breeders" or "chewers" in a derogutory way, implying those things were evidence of a lower, grosser nature. Eric didn't go that far, after all, I was recently human and his daughters were human. Still the sight, smell and chewing of food seemed yuckier and yuckier the longer I was Vampire.

I hoped I never got an "us vs. them" mentality. The best thing about being Interim Pythoness, aside from having Eric as my bailiff, would be my ability to enforce fair and equal treatment between vampires and humans.

We were going in to Fangtasia tonight to welcome Linda back to the office and check things out. Before I got ready to go I wanted to call Anna Hita. I didn't know if she would insist on us coming to New Orleans to speak to her. Eric had set up a Skype connection that he promised was private. I believed it, whether Anna Hita would trust in such a thing I would find out.

We went in the office and shut the door to keep out the sound of the construction. I had downed a couple of bottles of True Blood - vile stuff - but I was really looking forward to hitting the donors at the club to feed. Eric said he had a special surprise for me too.

Eric had informed Corinth, Anna Hita's excellent secretary, we were calling. She was right by the phone when we called.

"She is expecting your call, let me turn on the camera ...." The computer screen lit up and we could see Corinth in the office. I had only been in the office once many years ago. It had been entirely redecorated since that time and had the same creamy light color scheme as Anna Hita's apartment. Maybe the same decorator did them both.

Nobody had touched Anna Hita's scrying parlor in all those years, maybe not in centuries considering the massive Victorian furniture and dusty red velvet upholstery. Her parlour didn't even have electric lights, just an antique kerosene lamp on the sideboard.

Corinth leaned forward to do what most people do, she peered closely into the camera. Our camera was already on so she could see us.

"All set, I see," she said. "I'll go get her."

She moved out of range and Eric and I were left looking at a beige six drawer filing cabinet. There were cards marking each drawer but the writing was all little squiggles and triangles. Were they labeled in cuneiform?

Anna Hita appeared as she sat down and adjusted her chair.

"Hello?" she said to us, sounding unsure of how, or even if, this worked.

"Hi Anna Hita, it's us, Sookie and Eric," I said, though she could see and had been told who it was.

She smiled, truly pleased. "Isn't this wonderful? The things they have these days." Her eyes traveled around the screen and found the camera.

This comment was coming from a woman that could travel through time and alternate dimensions!

"Anna Hita, we have a few questions .. about Jure. He is courting Linda and we need to know more about him, about his past, before we decide how we feel about it. He wants Linda to Turn and it's driving her crazy because she's not ready yet. Is he going to break her heart?"

Anna Hita nodded as I was talking. "I see. Of course you want to protect Linda from taking a wrong path. Jure is wealthy, powerful, old. He has holdings in both the New World and the Old. His last Child was Adrijana Dragan, she's in the Underworld right now... .."

I knew that because I was the one that got her sent there, indirectly.

"I think he Turned Adrijana more than two hundred years ago  ...Jure lives near you, doesn't he?" she asked.

I got the feeling Anna Hita was stalling, telling us things we already knew. I decided to take a more direct approach.

"We were visiting him at his castle in Croatia. I saw a painting of him with a blond woman, an old painting. Who was she?"

"Her name is Celandine. She is his wife." Anna Hita said.

more to come ..... (Welcome to one and all! I'm feeling merry and bright knowing you are here, hope life is treating you well. See you Saturday. Til then I send my warmest thoughts your way.)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen

Looking at the lawyer perched on the footstool, I felt a wave of admiration and kindness towards that cute little elf Merry Dixon.

I knew intellectually that this feeling was the result of a natural emanation given off by the blue elves, an emanation that made vampires giddy with adoration. My muted response was thanks to the bespelled necklace I was wearing, one that lessened my unnatural feeling towards blue elves down to manageable proportions.

Eric had a ring that did the same thing. We might think Merry was the cutest thing on two thick legs right now but at least we weren't going to trip over our own feet to pander to her.

Jure didn't have the same protection.  It was good he had already gone off to his home to change. If he was still here we would have a heck of a time prying him away from Merry so we could conduct business.

The kids left for the club in high spirits. The gleam was back in Linda's eye, the color in her cheek. Whatever Jure's shortcomings might be, I thought, at least tonight he and Linda would have a good time. You couldn't really get into any weighty issues in the club, it was just too loud for that kind of discussion.

Merry hopped down off her stool and got her leather briefcase. She had upgraded to a Valextra "Diplomatico" complete with her initials embossed in gold, probably a gift from a smitten and pleased vampire client. She was very good at brushing off most vampire attempts to woo her.

I supposed occasionally she might allow a gift for services rendered. Maybe I should get her a diamond studded Rolex to replace her plain Timex wrist watch. It seemed little enough to give her for taking the time to visit me like this.

Merry got right down to business once Simona had popped in the living room and asked if she wanted anything. Merry requested a cup of green tea, no sugar.

"As I understand it, right now we have agreed that I will be your Judicial Assistant at a salary commensurate with the one Issussra was receiving, is that correct?" she asked, her sweet little face serious as she began her list of court officers.

"Yes, that's right," I affirmed.

"Now, for our law clerks, those are the lawyers that will assist you in all aspects of legal research relating to your prosecution cases. I was considering the Narlock sisters. They can work two at a time in rotation so it doesn't become burdensome if one or the other is already involved in a case." She looked up at me over the top of her bifocals for approval. Her faded blue eyes were utterly charming in their intensity.

"Brilliant!" I said enthusiastically, hoping in some little worried corner of my heart it really was brilliant and didn't just seem that way 'cause I was intoxicated by Merry's presence.

I looked to Eric for his input but he wasn't in the room. Where was he? Wasn't his ring working? Did he have to leave to keep control of himself? No matter - I was here with Merry Dixon, that was all that counted right now. More attention for me.

"Next, we need a court clerk to keep records," she said, bringing a list out of her costly briefcase.

"We sure do," I agreed wholeheartedly.

"Since you are unfamiliar with the names on this list, might I recommend Madison Dole? She's very fast, accurate and retired, meaning she would be available any time we needed her. I must tell you that she's a were-monkey which might pose a problem during the full moons ..." she trailed off, not sure of my reaction to this news.

"So what if she's a monkey, she sounds great!" I burbled cheerfully.

"She's not a monkey all the time, just during the full ...." Merry Dixon stopped talking as Eric strode in.

Her jaw didn't exactly drop open but she stopped moving to gawk. Eric was naked to the waist, wearing his glove soft brown leather kilt low on his narrow hips, fur lined knee high boots, and a thick leather strap across the broad white expanse of his mighty chest, a strap that held a fearsome broadsword diagonally across his back.

All he needed to do to begin killing was reach behind his neck, grab the hilt of the sword and unsheathe it in one rapid movement. His thick wrists and developed forearms were custom made for sword fighting, having been trained in that art during his human life.

In vampire terms a sword was much more lethal than a gun or even a stake. The speed and dexterity with which Eric could spin and kill made him deadly on a level humans couldn't even imagine. Few vampires would be strong or fast enough to escape Eric when he was in warrior mode.

Merry and I both stared at Eric. His blond rock star hair was wild, his striated muscles were defined by the low living room lights. I don't know what she was thinking but I was thinking that this was a display of manliness to impress Merry.

Merry cleared her throat and consulted her list. "This brings us to the position of bailiff," she announced in her quavering voice.

To Eric she asked, "I assume you are applying for that position?"

Ah! So that was the reason for the fighting gear!

To me she quickly added, "A bailiff has authority from the judge, that would be you,  to do whatever is necessary to maintain order in the court and uphold the law."

"I am applying for bailiff," he declared, whipping out his sword and cutting our blue ceramic table lamp and mahogany end table in half for dramatic effect. His sword was back in its scabbard before the two halves of the table hit the ground. Fortunately the lamp was not on. I darted over and unplugged the lamp's remains from the wall anyway so it couldn't start a fire. Better safe than sorry.

"How do you feel about that?" Merry asked me, suppressing a small smile at Eric's imposing presence and his show of swordplay. This was a job application she wouldn't forget in a hurry. It beat submitting a written resume by a country mile.

"I think it's hot!" I said, admiring my husband's good looks, fierce skills and noble bearing. I never cared for either the lamp or the end table, now I could get new ones I liked better.

"By 'hot' I am interpreting that as a yes? Eric will be your bailiff?" she asked, just to make sure we were all on the same page.

"Oh yeah, he can be my bailiff any old time," I purred at him, realizing that my warm fuzzy feelings for Merry were spilling over to Eric. The little blue elf was like a walking love spell. Too bad you couldn't bottle the stuff, you could make a fortune.

I thought of names ... Viagr-elf ... Elfrodesiac  .. Elf Potion Number Nine.

"Well, that completes our roster," Merry said, straightening her papers and placing them neatly in her briefcase.

Simona came in with the tea, looked at the halves of table and lamp, looked at half naked Eric in his Viking warrior gear and made up her mind to say nothing. Very quietly and carefully she set the tray down on the coffee table. I dismissed her for the night and she scurried out of the room.

I hoped this wasn't "it" for Simona, so far she had been very satisfactory. I bet PBS hadn't prepared her for this. They needed a few new shows - Upstairs, Downstairs, Saferoom or Vampireton Abbey. I was aware that my mind was wandering all over the place, intoxicated by the presence of the elf.

Merry took a few polite sips of tea and told me she would check back with me in a week or so to set up our first case. The Queen of California was most eager for a hearing. Eric helped her on with her coat and walked her to her car. He looked as imposing from the back as he did from the front.

As soon as he got back in the house I led him to the bedroom to continue his job interview. My first question as his employer concerned what weapons he concealed under that leather kilt.

He got a raise before he even got the job.

more to come ..... (Greetings Fanpires! There's a dusting of snow on the ground but there's a warm place in my heart for you. See you Wednesday!)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen

Lachlain, Eric and Adele were sitting in the living room by the fire when Linda and I returned. She was now wearing a soft cuddly turquoise cashmere sweater dusted with glistening sequins around the collar. It smelled slightly of cedar and blended nicely with the woodsy shampoo she had used.

"Where's Jure?" Linda asked Adele accusingly, as if her sister might have some how done away with the mighty vampire in our short absence.

Before Adele could shoot back something sarcastic and escalate the tension between the girls, Lachlain answered.

"He went home to change. He's going to meet us at the club," he said.

Adele shot him a look like he had really stepped in it this time.  He ignored her in a charmingly good spirited way.

"What happened to your other top?" Adele asked Linda, wisely deciding to switch topics.

"It was pinching me so I decided to go for comfort instead of SA," Linda replied.

"SA?" Eric asked.

Linda blushed a little and said in a low voice, "Er .. sex appeal."

"You are a lovely, sensible and intelligent young woman, you do not need anything else to make you appealing," Eric said, expressing the sentiments of fathers everywhere.

We were past the "young lady, you are not leaving the house dressed like that" stage of parenting. Eric was trying to give his opinion because he knew Linda valued it.

"Thanks Dad," Linda said with a smile, sitting down.

"Maybe I'll go change too," Adele said, popping up to her feet in a ploy for her father's attention. "I'm cold in this dress and the sleeves are too tight. It's making my arm hurt."  Pam had a smaller frame than Adele, making the dress very snug. You could hear the leather creak when Adele shifted position.

"Do you need my help?" I asked, not wanting to help Linda without helping Adele too.

There was always this kind of mental checklist going on when you had three daughters of the same age. Maybe it was true no matter what sex or ages your children were. I remember how bitter Jason and I had been on the occasions when either of us felt the other was getting preferrential treatment.

"Nope, you don't mind what I pick, do you?" she asked on her way out of the room, not waiting to hear my answer.

Lachlain moved uncomfortably in his seat. Maybe the leather pants were too snug on his bulging leg muscles too but I didn't say anything to him about it. All Eric's casual clothes were the same size, nothing he owned would have fit better.

"How are the dogs?" I asked him, referring to Gordon and Flame. We had rescued Flame from a neglectful owner and been lucky to have Adele take her and bond with her.

"Gordon seems to be slowing down," Lachlain said sadly. "His breed ... well, they don't live as long as some of the smaller ones. Flame is doing great, it's like she knows we all saved her and she's grateful for everything she has."

Poor old Gordon. I was glad I didn't have another dog. Aside from the difficulty a vampire would have with a dog - and the smell -  the emotional attachment made you so vulnerable to the inevitable loss. I had often thought how similar it was to a vampire loving a human, knowing that the length of their lives would be so different.

We chatted about what good dog parents Lachlain and Adele were to their pets and then about some of the other animals of the Campbell ranch. Adele came in wearing my red and white Fangtasia dress, the one I had worn the very first night I met Eric. Back then I had been with Bill and thought Eric was a tyrant. Eric loved that dress.

Fortunately this was a copy of the dress. I had several made at a time because Eric and I liked to re-enact the first time we met and our first date,  the time I won a date with him in a contest. Sometimes the dress didn't survive the re-enactment so I had them made six at a time. 

"Do you have any white shoes?" she asked, looking down at her bare feet. Her tanned legs wouldn't need stockings. I remembered how nice it was to have tanned legs and again felt a tiny ping of loss. I guess that was the nature of life, losing something, gaining something. I decided to count my blessings instead.

"And a sweater?" she added, rubbing her bare arms. She had a big bandage on her arm and I saw a little ooze of watery blood where the wound was still leaking.

"How about a new bandage too?" I asked, bringing her with me back to my room.

I got her the shoes and a crystal necklace. Instead of re-bandaging her arm I offered to heal her. She accepted my offer. I smeared a few drops of my blood on her stitches and her arm healed before our eyes, the stitches falling off her smooth skin like little pieces of black thread.

She looked at her arm for a few seconds, then up at me. "Mom, I'm sorry about what I said ... you know .. about you being a vampire."

I smiled at her, "Well, I really am a vampire, just like you said."

"Yeah, but I made it sound like it's a bad thing and it's not. I was just mad at Linda for taking up with Jure again after we had discussed her dating other men."

I suspected Adele had done all the discussing but I let it pass. We hugged and I knew she was fine with my change.

When we got back to the living room Linda had a coat on, Lachlain had his jacket on and he was holding Adele's coat. 

Merry Dixon, plump and prim as ever, was sitting on a stool next to the fire. Her little feet didn't reach the floor.
more to come .... (Howdy! I'm in a rush but I wanted to thank you for your perseverance in trying to post a comment. I know it can be frustrating at times and I appreciate the time and effort. See you Saturday! Love!)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

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


Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen

Eric and I hadn't heard Jure approach the house nor had he tripped the high powered motion detecting security lights.


That was my first thought.

My second thought was about Linda. It was like somebody had thrown a switch in her soul. Suddenly she was alight with smiles, blushes and sparkling eyes.

"Oh Jure!" Linda breathed in wonder, "Do come in!"

She knew a vampire had to be invited in, though whether that still applied to our house now that Eric and I were both Vampire was unknown. I suspected not and considered, for the first time, putting the house in one of our daughter's names.

Jure stepped into the house and closed the door quietly behind him. Linda's shawl, or I should say, my shawl, fell unheeded off her shoulders to the floor as she threw up her arms to embrace Jure. This gesture caused her bosom to almost, but not quite, free itself from the overstuffed bustier. If I had a breath I would have been holding it.

Linda didn't try to mold her body to his but she sure hugged his neck for all she was worth. He hugged her too, bending forward so there was space between their bodies. He gently patted her back in a way to indicate nothing more than mere friendship. I was sure that was for our benefit.

When the hug ended Jure straightened up and said respectfully to Eric, "I apologize for showing up unannounced. You obviously have some activities planned this evening that my visit has interrupted." His low rumbly voice and careful speech pattern gave his words a very formal air.

He held out the bouquet of red roses to Linda with a little bow, removing his shiny tall top hat in a gentlemanly sweep and smoothing back his long black raven's wing hair. I noticed he was wearing white gloves with a seam down each finger fastened to a snug fit with pearl and diamond buttons at the wrist. Fancy.

Before Eric could respond Linda exclaimed, "Oh no, no! This is PERFECT! You can come to the club with us!"

Adele was frowning. She practically snatched the roses from Jure's grasp and snarled at her sister, "We can't go until we put these things in a vase. Come with me and we'll pick one out."

Lachlain watched Adele with a slight grin which he tried to disguise by lowering his head. He knew what a powerhouse she could be when she had her mind set on something.

Adele dragged Linda with her towards the kitchen. Linda looked back longingly at Jure but did as her sister wished. Even though Adele closed the kitchen door we vampires could hear her as plain as night. Lachlain probably could too.

"I thought you were trying to get some space, some perspective, from Mr. Tall Dark and Deadly out there," Adele hissed at her sister.

"I was, I mean, I am. But surely a visit with him in a public place won't cloud my mind," Linda whispered.

I heard cupboard doors opening and closing. Simona must have rearranged the cabinets and the girls were having trouble finding where the vases were now stored.

"Will you be here long?" Eric asked Jure.

Something shattered and I worried about the poodles or the girls getting cut. The dogs were in the heated run for the night, in the morning they would romp all over the house I was sure. Simona already adored them, she would be feeding them tidbits of left over steak all day long, against Adele's advice.

"Please excuse me a moment," I said and went to the kitchen.

The girls were whispering furiously at each other, their faces about two inches apart. Linda was holding a clean mayonnaise jar. Another jar was broken on the floor. I had forgotten about putting those up in the pantry. I used to save nice jars to use for food storage, an artifact from my frugal days when Gran and I couldn't afford those fancy Tupperware containers. By sheer necessity we were into recycling and reusing long before it became fashionable.

I feared that in another second the girls were going to start shoving each other just like they did when they were three.

"Adele, now is not the time to solve all Linda's relationship issues. She has a visit from a friend and she wants to include him in your evening," I said in a calm and authoritative manner.

Adele looked at me in irritated surprise. "God, Mom! You really are a vampire, aren't you?"

With that she stalked off to rejoin her boyfriend in the front hall where the three men still stood in an awkward arrangement.

Was that meant as an insult? We would have to discuss it some other time. Right now I had to calm things down before Merry Dixon got here.

"Linda, do you really want to bring Jure to the club?" I asked her, taking the mayonnaise jar from her hand and replacing it with the lovely cut glass vase I found in a cupboard under the center island.

That leaded glass vase used to sit in the pride-of-place position in the center of Gran's dining room table. It was glorious when the sun hit the prismatic surfaces and shot rainbows around the room. That was something I might never see again, I realized with another of those tiny pangs of loss.

"I do, Mom. Even if we don't work out as a couple, well, I hope we can still be friends," she said sadly.

I didn't think there was much chance of that but we would see what happened.

"Mom?" Linda asked.

"What, sweetheart?"

"Do you have anything else for me to wear besides this ridiculous top? Adele crammed me into it and it's pinching me. Plus I'm freezing cold. And I don't want other men gawking at me if I'm with Jure."

"Is he jealous?" I asked quickly, knowing that was a warning sign.

She laughed. "Not at all. He doesn't think anyone can compete in his league."

I put the roses in water. We stood silently admiring them and the vase for a moment. The smell was delightful.

"Let's go see what else I have. I have some lovely vintage beaded cashmere sweaters I inherited from your namesake, my Aunt Linda. Maybe one of those will suit you."

Feeling that kind of mother - daughter rapport that makes the whole world stand right, Linda and I went to rummage through my cedar chest. I hoped Adele and the men were behaving in our absence.

more to come ..... (Happy Saturday Everyone! Hope this day finds you feeling hopeful and peaceful. I really really appreciate you stopping by and I hand each of you a beautiful cyber- rose to brighten your day!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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


Chapter One Hundred and Twelve

I checked the thermostat and discovered it was set at 62 degrees. I knew that must feel chilly to the girls so I turned it up to 70 and hoped that wouldn't be too hot for Lachlain. Were-creatures tended to run warm. If he had on an undershirt he could always remove his plaid wool shirt.

Linda was aware that we were expecting Merry Dixon in a while. Eric must have told her while I was still out for the day. When Adele heard this she got all excited.

"We can go to Fangtasia for some fun while Mom and Dad conduct business!"

Linda and Lachlain looked dubious but Adele's momentum was unstoppable. She herded Linda into her room to pick out suitable outfits for them to wear to the club. What they wore was just as important as the fact that they were going, apparently. I heard them chattering away as they pawed through Linda's closet, Adele's closet and my closet looking for the perfect get up.

Lachlain sat on the couch, his hands folded in his lap and tried to think of something to say. I think Eric still made him nervous, though I thought Eric was as warm and friendly as you could expect an older vampire to be towards a werewolf. Centuries of squabbles and wars, not to mention the gosh awful smell, had not made it easy for them to be pals. Adele's shampoo might do more for werewolf - vampire good will than a hundred years of treaties.

Lachlain finally said, "Dr. Dolittle is opening a new clinic in Africa."

When he saw the look on my face he hastily added, "Adele isn't thinking of going there, she has plenty to do right here. Did you hear about the wing rot affecting the New Jersey mothmen?"

He chatted on about wing rot and the various treatments for it including baking powder (not very effective) and the sap of a Barnacle Tree, which did wonders when you could convince a mothman to give up flying for the six months or so it took to really work.

"Are you going to change your clothes too?" I finally asked when the topic of wing rot ran dry.

He looked surprised, "Me? No ... I uh ....  Like what?"

He looked down at himself as if he had no idea what he was actually wearing. Maybe he didn't, Adele tended to pick out their clothes to match and he was fine with wearing whatever she chose.

"How's this?" Adele sang as she and Linda sashayed into the room.

Adele had on one of Pam's red leather long sleeved dresses, something Pam had left here years ago. The dress came to the ankles but was slit all the way up the sides to the panty line. The neckline in the front came up to her chin, but the dress had no back. I could actually see the dimples in her rear near her hipbones.

Linda had on my cobalt blue satin bustier and a full black silk skirt with many ruffled petticoats. It looked like something a goth vampire might wear to a square dance. They both had on bright red lipstick, tons of black eye make up and black lace stockings, probably my last two new pairs. Their pointy shoes had only moderately high heels because that's what I wore, though I supposed now I could prance around in those four inch things like Pam always did if I wanted to, which I most certainly did not.
It was nice that the girls could wear my clothes though I did wish Linda had picked another top. She was a little fuller through the top than I was and over filled the bustier to the point of eruption. The men in the club were going to go wild over her. Maybe that was Adele's plan, show Linda there were other fish in the sea, that Linda was a very pretty woman with the world of men to choose from.

Adele bounded out of the room and returned with a pair of Eric's leather jeans and his see through black mesh shirt. She shoved these at Lachlain.

"Here, put these on. You'll have to keep on your boots, Dad's would be too big."

Lachlain looked at us for both approval of this plan and maybe for us to forbid it so he wouldn't have to put on the clothes. Eric and I wore identical slight smiles, enough to represent polite approval but not enough to reveal how funny we found his pleading eyes, reminding me a little of Gordon.

"O...Kay ...." he mumbled, lumbering out of the room towards Adele's room. She went after him to make sure he was dressed properly.

Linda looked cold. She went to stand by the fire again, rubbing her arms. She had on lots of hairspray holding her hair out in a big tousled look.

"Would you like a wrap?" I asked her with the dual motive of warming her up and also concealing some of what she had been blessed with.

"That would be great," she said, starting to sound less sure this was all a good idea now that Adele's motivating presence wasn't in the room.

I knew better than to offer her my fake fur wrap, Adele would hit the roof. Instead I got her a lovely embroidered silk shawl from Spain, light but warm.

She wrapped herself in it and sat on the footstool she had pulled near the fire. I could see the wish in her eyes to just remain here, to not face the noise and forced fun of the night club. I let her make up her own mind, she needed to sort all these things out herself.

Lachlain shuffled in looking embarrassed. He was a country boy, raised on a farm, not used to fancy clothes and the night life. Adele had turned up the cuffs of the pants since Eric was a few inches taller than Lachlain. Aside from that he filled out the clothes nicely. He had the thick body builder's physique most werewolves had if they didn't let themselves go to fat. His furry chest peeking through the mesh shirt seemed so very different from Eric's smooth chest with just the dusting of blond hair on his stomach leading down.

"Maybe he would be more comfortable in one of my tee shirts," Eric offered. He went to his extensive vintage shirt collection and came back with a very cool "Werewolves of London" Warren Zevon tee from 1978.

"Keep it," Eric said magnanimously. I knew he was thinking he would never get the smell out of it. Plus he didn't often wear anything with a werewolf theme.

Lachlain stripped off his mesh shirt unselfconsciously and pulled on the Zevon shirt, it fit him like a glove. His arm and chest muscles bulged and his stomach, full as it was, was flat. I saw Adele's eyes light up. They were going to have fun later on. I bet she would make him keep the shirt on. I banished those thoughts from my mind as soon as they arose.

Finally they were ready to leave. After saying our goodbyes and promises not to wait up Linda took a deep sighing breath and pulled open the front door.

Standing there, a dozen roses in his hand, wearing a long black cape and high top hat, was Jure.

more to come ..... (Greetings fanpires! Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate the holiday. I know what I'm thankful for - you! See you on the weekend ....)


Saturday, November 17, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Eleven

As soon as I got through the door I did what I had told myself not to do - I took a breath to sample the air. Being able to smell every little thing was both a blessing and a curse. Lots of things stank to high heaven .. true .. yet there was a tremendous amount of information to be gathered from the odors that permeated the air.

Linda, her eyes looking suspiciously red as if she had been crying, stood closest to the roaring fireplace. Adele and Lachlain stood on either side of her in a consoling pose .

Since they were standing so very close to the fireplace I made a mental note to check the thermostat after our greetings. Eric and I were comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, humans had only a few degrees in either direction before they were too hot or too cold.

As long as Eric and I didn't freeze solid or go up in flames we never thought of the temperature, though extreme cold could make us a tad less sprightly.

I hugged my daughters and my almost-son-in-law, even though he was a werewolf. Eric hugged the girls and nodded in a friendly way at Lachlain.

I was pleased as plasma to discover that Lachlain was still using the deodorizing shampoo and body scrub Adele had developed to diminish werewolf odors down to a tolerable, if not altogether pleasing, level. Linda's three poodles ran around her feet yapping and wagging their poofy tails, hysterically happy to be reunited with their mommy. They had also been shampooed in the stuff so they didn't smell bad either.

What stood out against this faintly doggy backdrop of scent was the worrying smell of Adele's blood, bandages, antibiotic ointment, stitches, some strange type of rabbit and a hefty dousing of Obsession perfume.

 Eric and I looked at each other in alarm, his eyes told me to be the one to find out what injured our daughter. She had on a long sleeved orange wool shirt, not unusual in the winter. Lachlain wore a matching shirt, though his was plaid. It was not the Campbell plaid, I wondered if that bothered him. I recognized the Campbell plaid when I saw it.

I immediately went to her, touching her right arm gently.

"What happened?" I asked in concern.

"See?" she said in smug triumph to Lachlain, "Told you she'd pick it up first thing." They must have discussed the possibility of hiding her injury from me earlier.

She turned to me. "It's nothing Mom, really. I got gored by a struggling Jackalope that I was trying to free from a net. Did you know they catch those poor innocent creatures and stuff them to sell as joke items in tourist shops?" Her cheeks blushed in outrage.

"He didn't hurt me on purpose, he was just panic stricken and terrified. I set him loose but I got a little scratch in the process," she said with a shrug, minimizing the wound as she always did.

Aware what my very next thought would be she added, "And no, their horns don't carry any more germs or disease than a scratch with a twig might."

The creatures Adele helped were all over the chart when it came to dangerous. They could be poisonous, spiked, fire breathing, slime emitting, needle toothed, saw fanged, or any number of deadly defenses.

That didn't stop Adele, she waded right in convinced that somehow the creature would intuit that she was trying to help. Usually it worked, perhaps her telepathic powers extended to other species and her good intentions were transmitted. Still,  a mind clouded with fear, panic or rage might not respond immediately to the mental vibes of a helper.

I decided not to make a "big deal" out of it, that just incensed her. "I'm glad you were able to help," I said calmly.

She blinked for a second, not sure if my subdued reaction was the prelude to a lecture or not. When she saw I wasn't going to start wringing my hands she relaxed.

I suddenly had the thought, is this how vampires eventually became so calm and seemingly devoid of emotion? Did years and years of seeing the futility of over reacting to things eventually iron out the expression and level the emotions? If so it wasn't a bad thing.

"I smell steak!" Lachlain said with enthusiasm. Simona must have shut off the exhaust fans. The smell of food was seeping under the kitchen door. I stopped taking breaths.

I could hear his stomach growling, he was ready to eat. I could feel the pull of the almost-full moon coming up in the night sky over the house. I was sure he could feel it too.

"Linda will explain the way we are going to have dinner together," Eric said. "We will see you as soon as you are seated."

Eric and I went to the basement storage safe room and sat in front of our monitors. Powerful fans in the ceiling pumped in fresh air, driving out any chance of cooking smells wafting down here. This safe room had been designed for me when I was human, air circulation was crucial and had been amply provided for.

In a few moments we saw the three kids seated, Adele and Lachlain peering into the screen as Linda had. Each of them had a third of the screen, reminding me of the online court cases I had participated in.

"Hi, we're here," I shouted into the camera like you do when you're talking long distance.

"You don't need to shout, Mom, we can hear you and see you just fine," Linda said.

Her voice had a slight downcast tone to it. She wore a sweat shirt and non-matching sweatpants, something that worried me. I thought she might be depressed.

I hoped that the meal with her sister and almost-brother-in-law would cheer her up, however it occurred to me that their happy stable relationship might just drive home how tenuous her own love life was at the moment. It couldn't be helped, Linda needed to come to terms with whatever her decisions were.

Simona brought in plates of food and placed them, stuffed mushrooms and sauteed vegetables for Linda and Adele, a teetering pile of rare steaks for Lachlain. Adele was not judgmental about Lachlain's carnivore appetite, she knew the wolf in him was strong this time of the month. To his credit he used his knife and fork to bring big chunks if meat to his mouth. I thought his muzzle looked slightly elongated and his teeth looked very large. The better to eat sirloin with, my dear.

We had a delightful meal together. I was able to tell them about how Char was doing, Eric told them about our plans to bring Char here and we all talked at once about the baby. I was worried this might depress Linda further but it did the opposite, she seemed to cheer up and genuinely looked eager to have all three sisters together again.

Simona brought dessert, soy ice cream for the girls and a hunk of raw sheep liver, thinly sliced, for Lachlain. When your daughter's fiancee was a werewolf you needed to buy food accordingly. We couldn't smell any of it and enjoyed seeing the kids chow down.

Eric was going to make a bundle including this feature in his house renovations. It was such a blessing!

After the kids went back to the living room Simona put the powerful kitchen exhaust fans back on and Eric and I went upstairs.

We high-fived each other at the top of the basement stairs. A successful meal with our lovely family, and the prospect of many more in the future. What could be better?

more to come .... (Super Saturday everyone! Thanks for stopping by, your presence is a warm fuzzy place in my heart. Love!)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Ten

I thought over Eric's suggestion that I speak to Anna Hita. It might be a good place to start. I knew I wasn't going to get any more information or inspiration tonight about Jure and his past. I put the whole investigation on hold.

Eric and I both came together in unison and retired to our lovely Swedish bedroom. Maybe it was the result of dredging up all those unhappy moments I had with Eric when he and I were on opposite sides of the Vampire Liberation issue, or maybe it was Eric's heightened arousal at the thought of me in my red judicial robes, whatever the cause  - we were starving for each other.

I never felt closer to him, more loved or more appreciated. I never wanted him more. We passed the rest of the night as vampire lovers do, laughing, kissing, feeding and ascending the heights of passion.

The next night I woke as if I had fallen asleep for a second in Eric's arms. He was laying next to me, naked, ready to take up where we left off. I purposely ignored all the things the night would bring and lost myself completely in his embraces. It was a great way to start the new night.

After showering and dressing we went our separate ways. Eric went to check his phone and email, I went to the kitchen to check on what Simona was making for dinner.

I had left a note telling her we would need a meal with lots of meat and vegan vegetarian dishes. It was almost the full moon again and Lachlain would be hungry as a wolf, however Linda and Adele favored vegetarian fare. I looked over the salads, stuffed portabella mushrooms and stack of broiled steaks and gave Simona the thumbs up.

"Does it meet with your approval then, M'um?" Simona asked with her pseudo British accent and a tiny polite curtsey. She had added a little frilled cap and starched white apron to her modest black uniform. It looked good. PBS was educational in so many fascinating ways. I made a mental note to send them a contribution.

I flipped on the exhaust fans, nodded and swept from the kitchen, unwilling to explain that my lofty silence was due to the nausea the scent of the cooked meat would cause me. Eric couldn't install the new kitchen and closed off dining room fast enough to suit me. What had seemed like a good idea last night seemed vital tonight.  

I came out of the kitchen and Eric said, "Come, while you were still sleeping I set something up."

In the formal dining room each place setting had a small laptop computer set up in front of it. It made the table kind of crowded because the leaves weren't being used.  I saw there were no place settings for Eric or me. We usually had a plate and silverware in front of us when we dined with humans just to keep up the whole social idea of a meal together.

"We can dine with them in here," Eric said, leading me downstairs and into the safe room behind the bookcase off the basement storage area.

This used to be where my exercise room was. Since I no longer needed to use equipment to stay in shape we had given the equipment away and now stored out of season clothes and the like in the room.

Two desktop computers were turned on and showed the empty dining room chairs. I saw that once Adele, Lachlain and Linda were seated we would be able to see them and speak with them on the screens.

"Can they see us too?" I asked.

"Only when we are directly in front of the monitor," he replied, showing me the tiny cameras mounted on the twin monitors. "When we are over here," he indicated the area where our glamoured donors sat with their eyes closed, "they will not be able to see. You can feed now or wait to have your dinner with the girls."

"I'll eat now," I said, instantly grabbing a donor and feeding. I would rather get it out of the way than try to pay attention to dinner conversation while feeding. Plus I was mighty hungry. I was trying to exert some self control over feeding but it was difficult.

I fed from all three of them, carefully healing their bites when I was done. As I watched I saw Linda's face come into range of one of the place setting computers as she peered into the built in camera.

"Hello, I see this thing is live, is that you Mom and Dad?" she asked the screen.

"I will go and explain, you take the donors to the garage. Vito will return them to the club," Eric said. Fangtasia was a smorgasbord of donors. Eric knew how to pick the best ones and serve them up.

I guided the donors through the underground passageway to the garage and made sure Vito got them buckled in.

He said, "I'll be back later with more."

I thanked him and waited until his car was gone before returning to the house. Was Vito here in his capacity as guard or was he just a convenient employee to chauffeur my meals to me? Were the Bishop brothers out of the picture now since the mishap in Switzerland?

I missed hunting for wrong doers and feeding from them, leaving them with a powerful post glamour command to stop doing wrong. In some cases it hadn't worked out for the best of the miscreant, causing them to short circuit and in a few cases ... well, they were no more.

On the bright side many of them were greatly improved and no longer leaving behind a trail of misery and crime. I wondered if my new position as Interim Pythoness would preclude me from continuing on my rehabilitations. I didn't see why it would.

Eric was on the porch with Linda. He was explaining how he was going to remodel the house to make a dining room that wouldn't affect the air in the house.

Linda laughed, "It's so weird, I think dinner smells fantastic! I've been practically drooling for the last hour waiting for Adele and you so we could eat."

"If you're hungry I can have Simona make you up a plate while you're waiting for your sister," I offered. I was looking at Linda but I was hearing something, or I should say, someone, in the bushes a little ways in the woods. By "a little ways" I mean about a mile.

"That's OK, I can wait. Maybe I'll have a cup of tea and a cookie while I'm waiting," she said, rubbing her arms. It was chilly out here on the porch.

"Start a fire too, we'll be right in," I told her.

She didn't need to be asked twice. As soon as the door closed Eric and I flashed off the porch and through the night together as if we had rehearsed it. We were face to face with Bill Compton faster than it took to say his name.

"Bill, what are you doing here?" I asked. He used to creep around in my woods years ago back in Bon Temps. I hoped he wasn't going to start doing it again.

"I was in the area. I wanted to get the plans for the building so I can look it over and offer suggestions. You did still want me on board for Darren's company, didn't you?" he asked with a pleasant smile.

Bill looked good, as always. A comma of dark hair fell on his pale brow giving him a dashing devil may care look. He didn't look at me, waiting for Eric to respond. I knew Bill's expertise with computers would come in handy to help Darren set up a better factory here than he had in New Zealand. I wanted to make sure Darren was happy he moved here.

"I will have Vito bring them to you," Eric said. "Where are you staying?"

Bill looked slightly uncomfortable. "I am staying in Jure's house for a few nights to upgrade his computer network." 

I could tell he wasn't sure how Jure would feel about us knowing his business though this was certainly innocent enough. Still, no one wanted to be on the wrong side of Jure.

"Like the Geek Squad," I blurted out before I could stop myself.

He didn't take offense. "Exactly," he said with a smile, "I am a better choice than a human to work on Jure's network. Preston was using the equipment and seems to have downloaded a nasty virus that ... well, I needn't go into the details. I am here to fix the computers and install better shields."

"Vito will be by later with the blue prints," Eric said. "Now we must leave, our company has arrived."

In a split second I too heard a car approaching our house.

"G'night Bill," I called as we flashed back the way we had come.

Then we were up the steps and on the porch. I stopped for a moment to pat my wind blown hair back into place.

"That was downright exhilarating," I said to Eric.

 He raised an eyebrow. "Seeing Bill again?" he asked with a slight edge to his voice.

I laughed. "No, silly - running through the night like that. I want to do more of that with you. And hunt. I miss hunting."

He kissed my forehead and moved an errant strand of my hair back in place for me.

"We will run and hunt and own the night," he promised me.

"But first we must attend to our affairs," he added.

 Hand in hand we went in the house to greet Adele and Lachlain.

more to come ..... (Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope today finds you bright eyed and bushy tailed. It's always such a wonderful surprise to find you stopped by! Thank you and please drop by on the weekend if you can.... )