Friday, February 24, 2012

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

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Chapter Forty Seven

After the Berlin incident we decided we were done with Europe for a while. We sent the Bishop brothers back home to Shreveport and Eric and I went back to visit Charlaine, Darren and our grandchild-to-be.

At night Charlaine and I put away the impossibly small clothes in the thrift shop dresser she had sanded and painted bright blue. We stocked the changing table with cloth diapers and hung the bright cotton curtains that had been specially ordered from an online store that used organic material.

"Are you sure you want to use cloth diapers?" I had asked her. I remembered Gran's tales of hanging out 30 hand washed diapers a day on the clothes line in the yard.

"These have disposable liners so I'm getting the best of both worlds," she said, showing me the pockets in the cloth.

It still seemed like a lot of extra work. I didn't say anything else because I knew how important it was for Char to do things in the best way for the baby and the environment. She had a woman come in once a week to help out around the house. Maybe she could double that for a while.

Everything for the baby was fragrance free, organic and all natural. I learned that talc was not good for baby powder and felt a nostalgic pang about not having the Johnson's Baby Powder smell anymore. I had practically snorted it like cocaine when the triplets were little. Now I worried that I might have inadvertently harmed them. Who knew?

After my visits to baby land and the pleasurable company of my daughter and her husband, I went out on the prowl with my Maker. I had a foot in both worlds and it didn't feel strange at all.

As long as I could synchronize my vampire needs with moral conduct there were "no worries", as the folks said here. No worries was an admirable philosophy made easier by knowing that some things could not be changed. In the U.S. they said, "It is what it is." Same idea.

My hunting trips didn't cut down on the time our family could spend together. My nocturnal life style meant that Eric and I had a few hours with Charlaine and Darren, then they needed to get to bed. I used donor blood in the beginning of the evening and only went out looking for real food after we had said our loving good nights.

Trailer parks were prime hunting grounds for people online looking for underage pornography. But so were townhouses, apartments and mansions. The desire of humans to consume the evil fruit of predation matched my desire to consume them and then strip them of their ability to harm others.

I checked in on Peeping Tim and the others I had rerouted away from a life of depredation during the first time I had visited Char. Not to polish my own fangs or anything, but I had done a good job of it.

None of them could even answer my questions about their activities without experiencing dire symptoms. Asking them about their nasty thoughts was sort of like torturing them so I decided to stop.

The glamour I used was effective, now it was just a question of how long the effects would last. I was sure once the symptoms lessened to a tolerable level they would go back to their wicked ways. I wanted to be there to stop that from happening.

While Charlaine and I got the nursery ready Eric and Darren sorted through the hard drives we had confiscated. Our brilliant son-in-law came up with ways to harvest information and then zap the servers that sent out the porn. Eric and I wanted to cheer every time we checked a site and got the "404 - Not Found " web page.

Darren was very excited about this project but he didn't want us to mention it to Charlaine. He knew she was very tenderhearted and might become upset at the topic, something he would have avoided anyway. In her present condition he was even more protective.

On the night of the full moon Eric and I placed the small pyramid of raw free range chickens on the bank of the lake because Charlaine wasn't supposed to handle raw meat. She usually wore thick rubber gloves, but her father and I were happy to do this for her. These chickens were Darren's little once-a-month treat and kept him from chowing down on any of the local wildlife.

We got to watch as Darren, in his alligator form, cut silently through the black water and swallowed an entire chicken in two mighty crunches and one big gulp. I worried about the sharp chicken bones but his satisfied roar when he was done reassured me his throat was not damaged. We left Charlaine alone for some private time with her husband. He splashed the water with his muscular tail when we left.

As a human Darren had developed several innovative ways to communicate. For everyday communication he carried a Blackberry and typed his responses. His Blackberry also had a speak-and-type program installed.

That was how Eric had communicated with him the time they went outside to "talk", the night Darren was so upset. Eric spoke, the program typed out his words so that Darren could see them on the glowing screen, then Darren typed in his reply. It was a great system but it had a few glitches.

Eric had spoken "The future is not ours to see." The Blackberry had typed, "The furor is newt out to sea." Eric had spoken "Sookie and I will visit often." The Blackberry typed, "Suck on these eyes fist awful."

In fairness I think Eric's Scandinavian accent (made thicker during times of emotion) threw the Blackberry off a little. They decided not to have any more conversations in the dark after they got done laughing about "Waffle fondue hay." What Eric had said was "We will find our way."

We had decided to stay in New Zealand with Char and Darren as long as they were happy to have us. Charlaine was a competent and confident person, yet I thought it might be a comfort to her to have her parents close at hand.

We spent three enjoyable weeks chatting, doing baby preparedness stuff and just hanging out. I grew more comfortable in my new role and we didn't hear anything more from the folks in Berlin about our incident.

Then politics, specifically Vampire politics, reared its ugly scaled head.

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more to come ..... (Greetings all, so glad to have you on board. Wishing you all good things come your way! Thanks for being so incredibly loyal, my dear friends.)


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

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Chapter Forty Six


We wandered into a deserted business sector a few blocks from the residential area I was scanning. We preferred the quiet and dark.

I was concentrating so hard on finding English speakers and reading their minds I didn't notice the gang of five young men that were moving up behind us until Eric pulled me close to him and we turned to face them.

They had shaved heads and wore ragged jeans and tight black tee shirts with symbols like lightning bolts on them. Most noticeable was the nasty hostile look on their faces.

"Was willst du?" Eric asked in a flat voice. His long flowing locks were quite a contrast to the bare naked noggins of the gang.

"Böse blutsaugenden vampir," the largest one with the lumpiest skull sneered.

Not everyone can wear their hair cut so short, sometimes it's needed to cover an unfortunate cranial configuration. Lumpy was a case in point.

He had an earring that bore an O with an A on it. I knew this stood for Anarchy, though I didn't know if Lumpy meant the punk rock band from the 1980's or the political philosophy. I suppose it really didn't matter.

These guys were so stupid they didn't know enough to fear Eric. Did they think they could brazenly insult him and just tip toe away in their big steel toed boots?

They spoke to each other and broke out in harsh laughter. The only words I could make out were "wandelnden toten." and "sie ist sexy." Their thoughts were in German too.

But I began getting a disturbing image, an image of ..

Suddenly Eric jumped up and away from me, grabbing, in mid-flight, a short thick arrow with his bare hand. I looked to see where the arrow came from and saw another skinhead with a cross bow behind us, down the street. He was trying to quickly reload his bow but his hands were shaking.

"Glamour them," Eric called to me, flashing to where the shooter was standing.

I faced the gang and sent them a blasting wave of paralyzing glamour. All five of them went limp while remaining on their feet. They looked just as moronic as they did when they were primed to attack.

I couldn't order them to do anything after stunning their ability to think or move because I didn't know enough German. I was simply a vampire taser set to stun.

I turned to ask Eric what I should do with them. I saw him rip the bow away from the man.

Then I saw Eric stiffen. He quickly glanced back at me.

Blood began dripping from the man's arm. Eric instantly glamoured the man to keep him from screaming. Hopefully it stopped him from feeling the pain of it too.

Eric said, "Ooops," and looked back at me again.

His fangs were out meaning his anger had gotten riled up. Mine was too. I waited a few seconds for us to calm down.

Then I walked over to where he was. I mentally prepared myself for the sight. It wouldn't be the first time I had seen someone injured by a vampire, probably wouldn't be the last either.

Fortunately the street we were on was dark and deserted. Though I could hear traffic a few blocks over it wasn't coming this way.

"It's OK sweetheart," I said to him, indicating the injured human he was trying to hide behind his back.

The bow had already fallen to the ground. Blood dripped down onto it. Eric stepped aside and I saw the man had a very serious broken arm, the kind of break that might require a surgeon and even a metal plate to repair it. It might never be right again.

"I did not realize ..." he began, sounding defensive and tad angry.

I could see he was afraid I was going to have a big old hissy fit about this. In the old days this shooter would not have lived to draw another breath. Since mainstreaming and my tempering influence Eric had greatly modified his behavior to avoid hearing it from me and the King's endless red tape involved in a vampire-human "incident".

"You were protecting me. I am really really thankful for that," I told him, looking him in the eye, meaning every word of it.

Our eyes locked and I could see something come across Eric's expression, a realization of the profound inner change in me. It was the first time he had really seen me in my evolved state, not simply as his human wife with fangs. Our eyes glowed and we smiled at each other in understanding. We were Vampire.

Meanwhile the shooter was bleeding badly. What had been drips was now a steady stream. The broken bone must have severed or nicked an artery.

We looked at the injured man who was, amazingly, still standing. The loss of blood was making him weaker. Only glamour was holding him up.

"Can you fix him?" I asked Eric.

I felt completely unconcerned for the man's well-being, only annoyed at this disruption in my fun. He had really brought it on himself, no different than shooting an armed mugger or a robber. This was not Eric's fault. In fact, Eric had shown admirable restraint.

The man collapsed to the ground like a felled tree into the middle of the large red puddle he was creating. I was glad I had recently eaten so that the blood was not at all tempting to me. The thought of lapping blood off the sidewalk seemed so undignified.

"Because I recently Turned you, wife of my blood, I can not heal his severe injury right now. I can give him some of my blood and he will begin to heal. He will need immediate medical attention if he is to survive," he said, not all that hopefully. "He might bleed to death before help comes."

Eric took out his cell phone, consulted a card in his wallet, and called a number. When he got an answer he spoke in rapid German, listened, and ended the conversation with a deep dark chuckle. He snapped the phone shut, looking pleased.

"It will be taken care of by the Nacht Gesellschaft, the Night Society. They are the vampires here that fix unfortunate incidents before humans find out about them."

After Eric drizzled some of his blood into the unconscious man's mouth we waited for the Nacht Gesellschaft to arrive. The five glamoured men didn't even blink. In a few minutes three identical shiny black BMW X6 SUV's pulled up to the curb.

"Do not introduce yourself," Eric cautioned me in a low voice.

I suppose that was to keep the whole plausible deniability thing going, just like in politics. What they didn't know they couldn't be forced to reveal.

An older silver haired man in a spiffy black track suit got out first. The second car was driven by a lanky blond teen with bad "S" shaped posture, dressed in loose jeans topped by a ratty Icelandic sweater.

A grandmotherly sort of woman sporting a stiff sprayed iron grey 60's hairstyle got out of the third car. She was wearing a flowered house dress and slippers as if she had been spending a relaxing evening at home before being called out for our emergency. The Night Society vampires looked around to assess the situation.

After they were sure there was no danger they nodded at us. We were in an area of closed stores and empty office buildings. There was no one here to see us. I had already checked with my mind.

The men consulted with Eric, speaking German, then began loading the zombie-like glamoured men into the back of two of the cars. The two men hoisted the limp injured man from the ground and into the car too. They were very smooth and efficient. The injured arm lay unnaturally bent, they straightened it out next to the man on the tarp that lined the back of the SUV. He had stopped bleeding, whether due to healing or simply running out of blood I couldn't tell.

Satisfied the situation was in hand, the men nodded politely at us then the two full cars sped off into the night.

The grandmotherly type had stayed behind, She got out a large aluminum keg, like a beer keg, placed it near the blood pool and vigorously pumped the handle on top. Then she used a short hose and the pressurized water in the keg to wash the blood down into the gutter.

When the keg was empty she returned it to the car and came back with a bottle of Clorox. She gave it to Eric and he poured it all over the wet area. I was guessing she didn't want any to splash on her pretty flowered dress or fuzzy slippers. She took the empty bottle from him and returned it to her car.

She came back to us with a satisfied look on her face, drying her hands on an olive green dish towel with a daisy applique. I seemed to remember Gran having dish towels just like that.

"That vill do it," she said to us in English flavored with a pronounced German accent. She bent down and picked up the washed off bow, handing it to me after giving it a drying swipe with her dishtowel.

"A zouvenir for you, ya?" she said with good humor.

A zouvenir for me, no, I thought with a mental shudder but I thanked her and took it.

"What about the glamour?" I asked her. I had really zapped them six ways to Sunday, I wasn't sure they would come out of it any time soon.

"Nut to vorry, mein Junge. Ve vill take goot care of them," she said with a kindly smile and several soft affectionate pats to my cheek.

Obviously she thought my concern over the human skinheads was just adorable. She could probably tell I was in my vampire toddlerhood.

After she left I didn't say any more about the attack. It was what it was. They sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. It was out of our hands now.

We continued on, heading back towards our hotel.

Later, back in our room, Eric asked, "You are still grateful for the way I saved your life tonight?"

He liked to revisit his heroic moments and get additional feedback on them from me, something I was always glad to do.

"Very very grateful," I told him with feeling, thinking about my little grandson, the one I might not have lived to see. A knot of emotion filled my throat.

I went to him, my heart overflowing with gladness and gratitude. Gratitude transformed into passion, passion transformed into true love.

Love brought peace, a peace no hate monger can steal.
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more to come .....(Good Wednesday everyone! Thank you for stopping by!

Z - so sorry about what happened to you. At least no one can take your humor or wonderfulness! I love how supportive everyone is here. It's an oasis of kindness and fun.)

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Monday, February 20, 2012

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

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Chapter Forty Five

I had to repress the urge to giggle as I looked at the large uncomprehending faces of the Bishop brothers while Eric explained, for the second time, that he wanted one of them to accompany Flamenco Dancer on a plane back to Shreveport.

The brothers had been having a good time in Madrid, this new job wasn't one either of them wanted to take on. From their identically perplexed expressions I could see they could scarcely process why the mighty vampire Eric Northman was bothering himself to make elaborate travel arrangements for a neglected dog.

They flipped a coin and Robert lost. With a shrug he went out to get dog food for the trip. Meanwhile we had ordered room service. At the moment Flamenco Dancer was next to the dresser eating cut up filet Mignon and plain hamburgers off the fancy gilt edged plates the hotel provided for the human guests of the vampires. Her big jowls flapped as she hungrily scarfed down whole hamburgers in a few bites.

"That is enough, otherwise she will become sick," Eric said when her dishes were empty and she looked at us hopefully.

We had ordered a large cut glass crystal bowl which we filled with water. The dog took a big noisy drink then plopped herself onto a folded baby blue silk down filled comforter we had put on the floor as her makeshift bed.

She gave a big burp and a contented sigh, then put her massive head down and closed her eyes. Slobber made wet spots on the blanket. We were probably going to be charged for the ruined silk duvet so I told Robert to bring it with him on the plane for the dog to use.

I had to keep reminding myself not to accidentally breathe. When I called Adele I did it from the parking lot outside because I had to take a breath to speak. She had instantly agreed to bring Flamenco Dancer to her house on the Campbell ranch and get her seen by a vet. Her dog, Gordon, an Irish Wolfhound, was a laid back sort of guy.

If we could get Flamenco Dancer healthy and spayed she might make a fine companion for Gordon. I could see the two big dogs side by side in my mind's eye, not knowing which would be bigger. They could end up being best friends. There was lots of room for them to run and play on the ranch. If that didn't work out I was sure Adele would have no trouble finding the pure breed dog a good home once she was fully recovered.

The brothers took the dog, her water bowl and her quilt with them when they went back to their room.

"I feel sort of bad making Robert fly all the way back to the States with the dog, but we can't bring her with us. Besides, she needs more attention than we could provide," I told Eric.

He was busy opening all the windows. We would go back out to give the room a chance to air out. I almost gagged on the little bit of breath I took in to say this to him

Don't breathe, don't breathe I reminded myself until we left the room.

Once outside in the blessed clean night air Eric answered. "I do not feel bad. They are paid well enough to do my bidding, whatever that might be. Still, this can not continue. We will need a contingency plan for rescued animals, one that does not need a private jet and a were-Bigfoot to get them to a shelter," he said, thinking.

One of the drawbacks of being unconscious all day was that vampire dog ownership was difficult. Once we were home we could keep the dog in the run during the day but it would be a lonely life for a dog. My biggest problem was the intolerable stench of dog. I still liked dogs but the smell took the fun out of it. We melted back into the night for one more adventure before the sun would drive us to take cover.

I linked my arm through his and suggested, "Maybe Dr. Dolittle would know of some places here that could help us."

"Perhaps," Eric replied, losing interest in the topic.

He turned his full attention to me. Under the stars we forgot about everything except a kiss. Somewhere I could hear romantic music drifting out into the night sky. I recognized the tune. It was "Love is a Many Splendored Thing". Eric confirmed with his kiss that yes, indeed, love was a many splendored thing.

The next night we left Madrid and traveled to Rome, then Athens, then Berlin. It was very easy for a vampire to just blend in to a big city. Things were going really well for us. We settled into a routine, mostly discarding the files and just prowling the night looking for those English speaking individuals that were engaged in the sorts of behavior I did not approve of. I found so many of them I never needed to glamour and feed from anyone that didn't need some good old fashioned Southern gal vampire straightening out.

If left to our own devices we would have had a perfect time of it but how often does anyone get to be left to do what they want without interference?

On our second night in Berlin we were in Neukölln wandering around, seeing the sights and enjoying each others company. We wandered into a distressed area of abandoned buildings. I was listening in for anyone sending out bad thoughts about the stuff they were doing, either in person or online.

This had turned out to be the easiest way for us to find predators. It was fun, like fishing or hunting. Back at the hotel we had a duffel bag half full of hard drives we were going to bring to Darren and see if he could find and destroy the servers spewing out the kiddie porn. He might also be able to get us the names and addresses of their subscribers.

A hard drive was the gift that kept on giving.

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more to come ....... (Happy weekend all. Hope this weekend finds you in fine fettle. I love that you stopped by and that you see Sookie the same way I do. Your comments have brought me much joy! See you Wednesday. (((((you)))))).

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

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

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Chapter Forty Four


We sauntered in, looking around. The apartment was as devoid of charm as Alfred's ridiculous hair style. I wondered if it was possible to get HGTV here. That way Alfred might could get some decorating ideas beyond bare white walls and brown everything else.

The decor didn't really concern me, however. The computer glowing on his scratched fake mahogany coffee table did.

Alfred was a member of a porn exchange ring where nasty pictures could be traded. He and his fellow sickos preferred preteen girls. Alfred was only interested in young Asian girls. He had a whopping great file of them, thousands of pictures, each one documenting an exploited young life.

Under my questioning he admitted he hadn't actually ever been with one the girls but his dream was to take a trip to a country where these nubile young girls were for sale. The whole idea of it was unbelievably sordid and ugly.

I knew things like this went on. If I ruled the world they would not go on, neither would those that subjected the girls to lives of misery and shame. If I ruled the world these girls would be respected, educated and treated with kindness.

I suddenly saw that maybe vampire rule could be a good thing, especially if it could be used to stamp out crimes like this. Working alone I could change these guys one at a time, at least that was my hope, but a vigilant vampire glamouring and screening of the entire human population could eliminate them all.

I pictured long lines of men being glamoured one by one. I then pictured me glamouring huge crowds and getting the pervs to step up and admit who they were. How much power did I actually have? More to the point, how much power did I really want?

For a few seconds I felt what it would be like to be able to end this ugliness once and for all. It felt clean and right. Then common sense took over.

No matter how good my intentions, it would still be wrong. It would come out wrong in the end. Fixing things that way was a slippery slope with hell at the bottom. I would need to come up with a better way, one that left humans free to live their lives.

Eric sat on the lumpy brown sofa and watched as I topped off my tank. I really wasn't all that hungry. After, we discussed how to use what we discovered to stop more than just Alfred from paying into the system of criminal prostitution. Alfred sat on the floor, staring straight ahead.

"Tell him to take his computer to the police and turn himself in," Eric suggested. "The police must have a way of tracking the websites and shutting them down."

"But will they bother?" I asked. "Most of the websites are not in Spain."

"Ah, yes, jurisdiction is a problem. And budget. Spain will not want to use their limited funds to fix the world's ills," Eric said, crossing his long legs and sitting back.

Then he sat forward again, his face alight with an idea. "How about Darren? Could he not find a way to destroy the servers that spew out the pictures?" the father of three daughters asked.

"I don't know anything about that but we could surely ask him," I said, feeling confident Darren would have some good input on the plan. "It would mean telling him what we're doing, chasing down bad guys and all."

"I am sure Darren would want to help," Eric said. He really liked Darren and approved of him as a son-in-law.

"Do we need to take the whole computer with us or just the hard drive?" I asked, standing. Eric stood too. Alfred didn't even twitch an eyelash.

"I think just the hard drive," Eric said, picking up the computer and shutting it down. In his big hands it looked like a toy.

"Then I'll give him the whole aversion treatment and we can be on our way," I said, feeling better now that we had a plan of action.

Just then there was a scratching noise at the door. Eric and I froze and sniffed. A dog! A reeking dog! The reeking dog whined loudly.

"Do you have a dog?" I asked Alfred.

"Yes, a Spanish Mastiff bitch named Flamenco Dancer," he replied woodenly. "My dear sister, another bitch, stuck me with the mutt when she returned to England with her latest and greatest." He sneered with disgust.

Apparently being glamoured hadn't removed his ability to be sarcastic and bitter. Those qualities must have been so ingrained in his personality, or as Adele would have called it his "poisonality", that they oozed from his few glamoured working brain cells.

"Let her in," I ordered.

I didn't want the dog's whining to catch the attention of any inquisitive neighbors, not that this was the kind of neighborhood where you would expect anyone to be on crime watch. It would be a full time job.

Alfred let the big dog in. I was appalled at her condition. She was painfully thin, limping and had patches of fur missing due to either malnutrition or disease. She licked Alfred's hand in greeting, then wagged her thick tail at us. I did not take a breath so it was all tolerable. She had a big droopy sad face that was instantly loveable. One of her eyes looked infected too.

"Don't you take care of her?" I snapped at Alfred, trying to keep down my anger level so I didn't do anything nasty.

He shrugged. "It's too expensive, she can fend for herself," he whined.

He spent thousands of dollars on downloading pornography but he couldn't take his dog to a vet and get her food? I felt myself getting really really mad at Alfred.

"Sookie, stop!" Eric said hastily. "We will take her with us. We can rescue her."

I looked at Eric in amazement. He never suggested things like that. I must be a real hellion when I lost control if bringing a huge mangy dog with us was preferable to dealing with my red-out.

I liked his idea though. A few minutes later we left Alfred minus his dog, his memory of our visit and his hard drive. He would be jolted with a powerful blinding headache if he even thought about a girl under thirty. I also left instructions for him to get a better haircut. With Flamenco Dancer on a leash made from Alfred's belt we headed back to the hotel.

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more to come ......(Greetings Fanpires! So very glad you had a chance to stop by.

I TOTALLY get why you would want Sookie to use her vampire powers to kill the baddies but I had to take into account the canon of her story as written by the magnificent and brilliant CH. That character would not kill people if she could avoid it, yet she would want to use her powers for good.

Mostly I just write the story the way the characters in my head dictate it to me. Sookie would suffer terribly if she killed someone. She hopes her ability to reform the bad guys will take permanently and Eric supports her in this. Who knows where this will lead? Not me. I read the story as I write it.

Thanks so much for your input, it is always taken seriously and always appreciated.)

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

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Chapter Forty Three

As we put our predator modification plan in action we ran into some little glitches and some surprises.

For example, after a glorious shopping trip up and down the Grand Via and a stop at our hotel to drop off the packages, we paid a little visit to Jorge Abarca, a resident on a small narrow side street. Eric had gotten Jorge's name and address from a list the police kept of known offenders. Those lists were like a menu to me.

A row of adjoined identical brick buildings marched down the street like soldiers. They were each clearly marked so we had no trouble finding number 88. I stood in front of the green painted door and sent in my command thought to his mind - "dejame entrar" - which meant "Let me in".

Jorge obediently opened the door wide for us, a worried frown creasing his heavy unibrow. He was glamoured but not enough to keep him from feeling that something wasn't quite right.

Jorge reminded me a little of Lingza's looks with his Neanderthal forehead and excessive hairiness. I was guessing Jorge had never heard of manscaping. His home was cute and cozy because it and the contents had been left to him by his loving aunt.

He hadn't bothered to change out the many religious pictures and statues, the heavy horsehair furniture or the massive carved dining set, complete with worn flowered vinyl tablecloth. He had simply plonked his nasty Toshiba laptop computer down on the cheerful surface. His aunt must be turning over in her grave.

"Do you speak English?" was my first question to the glamoured man. I increased my power. He stood staring right straight ahead, an excellent subject.

"Un poco - a little bit," was his monotone reply.

"Good, good," I said. "Now, show me your pictures, the ones of the children," I told him, indicating his computer.

The glowing blue screen showed that it was already on. All these pervs had computers and they all had their secret stash of horrible pictures. I wondered briefly what they did before computers. Were there magazines? It really didn't bear thinking about.

"No entiendo," he said with an apologetic shrug.

Eric stepped forward and began to speak to the man in rapid fire Spanish. Jorge's face registered understanding and he said, "Yes, Si, I understand."

My glamour worked in such a way that Eric, and maybe any other vampire, could step in and use it. That was highly unusual. The glamoured person usually reacted only to the vampire that put them in a trance.

Was it because Eric and I were Maker and Child or was my glamour good for anyone else that wanted to step in? No way to find out at the moment.

Jorge quickly brought up a file of images so disturbing I won't describe them. Unfortunately they were enough to cause my blood to boil. Suffice it to say that when we left Jorge had lost a little blood, his hard drive, the use of his right arm (until the breaks healed) and his ability to even glance at a child without suffering "mucho dolor" - much pain.

"That wasn't so bad," I said once Eric and I were back out in the night air.

I was feeling delightfully full and cheered by the change we had wrought in Jorge's psyche in just one quick lesson. I was referring to Eric's struggle with keeping me from killing Mr. Abarca.

"You must learn to rein in your temper," Eric said mildly, rolling up his shredded shirt sleeves.

"I tried, I really tried."

"Trying is not doing," he chided, sounding just like Gran.

"Maybe I should eat more," I suggested.

Not waiting until I was too hungry to exercise restrain had worked for me in my human life. "You know, six smaller meals a night instead of two or three large ones."

"That would work if we had three times the number of files available to us," Eric said thoughtfully.

"We don't need files, we just need my telepathy to find bad guys," I reminded him.

"Can you do that? Can you randomly scan minds for those that are thinking bad thoughts about children?" He asked. We had stopped under a street light. I had no idea where we were but the neighborhood looked kind of seedy.

"I can try. I'll look for buzzwords. I can delve deeper into the person's mentality once I have them glamoured," I told him, beginning to test my abilities.

"Like Homeland Security," Eric said.

"What?"

"Homeland Security listens in to phone conversations and monitors the Internet with computers that screen for terrorist buzz words," he explained.

"But who would be foolish enough to state clearly what their bad intentions were on the phone or online?" I mused.

"Stupid criminals," Eric responded with a shrug. "You would be amazed how many there are."

Being a sheriff, he spoke from experience.

We continued to mosey along, my mental floodgates open, screening what I was hearing.

I was picking up a lot of talk in Spanish, no wonder since this was Madrid, but we continued to walk up and down the streets, getting into older and more run down dwellings, until ...

"Bingo!" I exclaimed.

"Bingo?" Eric asked. He looked around for the Bingo, whatever that was.

"That just means I found one," I told him. "And he speaks English."

We went behind a run down apartment house and I whispered, "Alfred, let us in."

The door next to the reeking trash cans opened and a middle aged man with an atrocious comb over opened the door.

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more to come ..... (Wonderful weekend everyone! I just can't thank you enough for your kind encouraging words and continued interest. It has added a whole new wonderful dimension to my life. Blessings on you! Os quiero a todos! See you Wednesday.)

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

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

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Chapter Forty Two

We met the Bishop brothers at the Madrid-Barajas Airport and settled ourselves in our adjoining suites, then Eric and I began our second honeymoon in Madrid.

We had to pick countries where Eric or I knew the language. It didn't do me any good to telepathically listen in to someone thinking in Cantonese. And a command given in English to a speaker of Arabic wasn't going to do anything either.

Eric spoke fluent Spanish and I would pick up the few phrases I needed. People tended to think in images as well as words so I thought I would do all right reading their minds once the right questions were asked.

I say second honeymoon but it was really a more of a pre-honeymoon before the renewal of vows we had planned sometime in the future. I had been married once when I was human, now we would reaffirm our union as two vampires.

When I was human I had feared that Eric's desire to have a second wedding meant he wanted to include some trap doors in our arrangement to allow him to fool around.

Now I realized it was just the opposite. He wanted to further affirm in the minds of all other vampires that I belonged to him, lock stock and psychic powered barrel.

It was only a matter of time before my extra special abilities to glamour would leak out. We would do everything possible to avoid it but when the day arrived we wanted everyone to know I was under Eric's complete control.

Of course that was a bunch of malarkey, Eric had almost no supernatural control over yours truly. He had to rely on the respect I gave him as an older vampire and the husband of my blood.

That was good as far as it went. If I lost my temper or was very hungry even Eric's strength and abilities were taxed keeping me in line. Like a toddler in the terrible two's this was simply a phase I would need to outgrow. I was working on it, Eric appreciated that. He didn't want a Tasmanian devil for his wife and who could blame him?

We had settled in at a Vampire Hotel with wonderful security. That meant the Bishop brothers would not have to be tethered to our hotel room during the day, allowing them to see the sights or rest, whatever they preferred.

Eric was an enthusiastic tour guide with many stories of the times he spent in Madrid. He walked and talked almost non-stop through the golden glowing streets, showing me his favorite places; the Plaza de Cibeles, Museu del Prado, Plaza de la Independencia and the magnificent Royal Palace, lit up at night like a fairytale castle. Right next door was the equally beautiful Plaza de Oriente. There was so much to see I could actually feel my head growing full of Spanish art and culture.

I was scarcely able take in all the lavish halls, banqueting rooms, throne rooms and residential areas. I saw art by Tiepolo, Velaquez, Goya, Giordano and Mengs. Tapestries and paintings, furniture and ceramics were all a wonder to my eyes.

My mind boggled at the age of the places we visited. The architecture was unlike anything I had seen in Louisiana, though I could tell that part of the King's palace interiors had been remodeled in imitation of these Spanish buildings, a design I liked.

The buildings reminded me of huge formal wedding cakes with many layers of intricately designed frosting, sprinkled with millions of lights along the edges. Was there anyone alive today that would know how to build elaborately carved stone buildings like these?

I commented on this to Eric. I knew I looked and sounded like a total tourist, which I was. My life had been so sheltered before this, now the whole world waited at our fingertips.

"The architecture is called the Mudéjar Style and began in the 12th century," he said knowledgeably. "It transitions into the Neo-Classical style you see here," he said when we entered the Prado.

He took me to see his favorite painting by Goya, The Naked Maja. I decided I would pose for him like that when we were alone.

"Were you in Spain back then?" I asked. Eric's travels had taken him just about everywhere at one time or another.

"I have been here many times, even before it was called Spain. Once it was called Iberia. I fought against the Duke of Alba here in the mid- fifteen hundreds. That fight went on until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648."

"You fought as a Viking?"

"I fought as a mercenary for the Dutch. It was a long war and I tired of it before it ended," he said, his face calm.

Behind his ice blue eyes, as still and placid as a Scandinavian lake on a summer day, I could pick up the sights and sound of battle - the smell of gunpowder, the screams of injured men, the spinning sword severing a head. At that moment I felt as if I were Eric, bare to the waist, covered in oil and wet with rain, hair hanging matted with dirt and blood, turning to face the next attacker.

It was gruesome. No wonder he grew tired of the endless war and all the bloodshed. He didn't mind talking about his war time experiences, but the night, the city, was too beautiful for such talk. Another time he could tell me about this episode in his very long life.

We went on to the Plaza Mayor. A slight breeze blew Eric's long golden hair across his face, he pulled it back and smiled. I noticed how very happy he was.

He practically danced as he walked backwards explaining the sights to me. His long arms and legs moved gracefully. He was so light on his feet he reminded me of the way Gene Kelly moved in the old movies we watched.

"You seem so happy," I said to him, taking his big warm hand in both my much smaller ones.

"I am, wife, I am. The happiest I have ever been," he said, pulling me to him and kissing me full on the lips right there in public.

I heard the whir and click of a camera behind me but Eric didn't react. He had, on occasion, glamoured a photographer, taken their camera or phone and removed our pictures from it before giving it back and erasing us from the person's memory. I imagined that before mainstreaming he might have done even worse to anyone intruding on his privacy.

He had to be in a super mellow mood to allow someone to take a snapshot of us and keep it. I wondered if they were taking our pictures because we were in love or because we were Vampire. The shutterbug's thoughts were in some foreign language but I sensed he was not a threat, not a spy.

"Can I ask why you're so extra happy?" I said once our kiss had ended.

"Because I am with you," he said, looking into my eyes as if I was the most special lovely thing in this beautiful old city. He was able send shivers down my spine with the intensity of his feelings towards me.

I blushed and laughed, "But you have been with me a long time."

Even as I said it I realized a long time to me was not a long time to Eric. Still, we had been virtually inseparable for decades.

"But not like this, my marvelous vampire bride," he whispered in my ear, running his hot tongue along the edge. We began walking again to discourage anyone else from taking our picture.

"Does it really make so much difference, me being Vampire?"

"Oh yes, it makes all the difference. Now I do not have such a worry about keeping you safe," he said with a laugh.

"It really weighed on you that much?"

Our walking had brought us out to Calle Mayor, a busy highway packed with cars zooming by in both directions.

He stopped and indicated the area around us, the road, the sidewalk. "Right now a car could go out of control, swerve and hit you, that lamp post could give out and fall on you, someone could drive by and shoot at you."

"A meteorite could fall from the sky and hit me," I joked, teasing him.

"Or a plane, or space junk," he added, completely serious, looking up into the night sky with a squint.

He really meant this, he had been thinking of all the ways I could suddenly be killed when I was a human. His lighthearted demeanor was the result of his burden being lifted from his shoulders, the burden of keeping me alive day to day. My fairy longevity offered me years but in no way guaranteed them.

I suddenly saw what he had seen all along. I could have caught a cold that turned into deadly pneumonia, a stray bullet, a poisonous spider .... I had been surrounded by danger.

Actually, I thought that I had read about a woman that really was hit by a meteorite, though I was pretty sure it hadn't killed her. Even a stray blood clot could have taken me out in my sleep.

Eric was just about floating on air now that he didn't have to try and protect me from every human danger. His mood was contagious and we twirled and kissed and laughed our way through the romantic Spanish night completely wrapped up in our adventure and our love.

Later, I was his Maja.



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more to come .....(Wonderful Wednesday everyone! Thank you so very much for stopping by and continuing this journey with me. You are my beloved traveling companions!)

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