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.... )


Saturday, November 10, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Nine

Eric was seldom surprised by anything but he looked surprised now.

"Do you mean a private detective that is also Vampire or do you mean someone that does detective work on vampires?" he asked.

We walked out of the office back into the living room and sat down. The fire was still burning and the heat felt pleasant, like being near a human.

"The latter," I said. "It could be either a human detective, a vampire or whatever."

I thought a vampire might have more luck as a detective but who knew, a werewolf might do just as well.

"Whom did you wish to investigate?" he asked.

 The firelight flickered and cast a lovely glow on his face, highlighting his beautiful bone structure and bringing out flashing threads of gold sheen in his clean and tousled hair.

"Jure. It occurred to me that Linda is trying to make up her mind about whether Jure is worth the effort for her to change her entire life. Really, at this point, she's buying a pig in a poke. He's lived a long time, who knows what skeletons he has in his closet? He might be hiding some terrible secret that would completely disqualify him as a suitable husband for Linda."

Eric didn't know this but I was thinking about what had happened between Eric and me a while back, the fact that he had supported Vampire Liberation and had been actively working to bring about the day that vampires would take over control of the earth.

He had some noble reasons - ending war and pollution. And some selfish reasons - gaining more power and having his own loved ones live in safety and luxury.  Worst, he had some downright wrong headed motives - revenge on humans for all the centuries vampires had been hunted and killed bolstered by a smug sense of Vampiric superiority in all things.

When I had found out what he was up to, actively plotting to enslave all humans, it was a terrible shock. I discovered what he had been really discussing at those European conferences he attended. He, and many of the older vampires, had been planning and working out the details of the Day of the Dead, the day vampires would seize control and rule humans.

Just as humans ruled and exploited the animal kingdom, vampires were planning to rule and exploit humans. I just about lost my mind and my marriage when I finally had the whole story. We fought over this issue like we were never going to see our way back to be together.

The truth is, if I had known Eric supported Vampire rule, way back when he starting courting me, I never would have married him. I wouldn't have dated him. Heck, I wouldn't have let him in my house. I would have run to anyone that could have helped me thwart the Day of the Dead.

I found out about this gigantic vampire plot by accident when Eric was attacked in our driveway by Quinn's crazy sister. I followed a tangled thread until I got to the truth. Once I was convinced Vampire Liberation was real I confronted him with it. His excuses for not telling me were pretty darn lame.

He tried to make light of it -  it was a long way off, it might never happen, it would all be for the good of everyone.  They were just evasions. The real reason he hadn't ever told me was because he knew I would flip out. That issue was an irreconcilable difference if there ever was one.

If he hadn't come to his senses, come to see that the future lay in cooperation and compromise with humans, I wouldn't be sitting in this room with him right now. He switched positions and pledged himself to my cause, the cause of fair treatment for all. Now, as Pythoness I would be in a good position to make sure everyone, vampire and human alike, were treated with fairness and respect.

Unfortunately even having the power of the title of Pythoness didn't mean I could magically protect Linda from making a poor decision. She needed cold hard information about Jure and the detritus of his very long life. He had ties to his ancient estate in Croatia, he had holdings and vassals all over the place. How could I get the real scoop on him and his business without him finding out?

Eric said, "What is it you want to know about him?"

He sounded a little guarded, maybe he was thinking about his big error in judgement and how it had almost driven a wedge between us. Could he be afraid Jure was going to reveal yet another big bomb of a surprise? Did Eric have more secrets under his cape?  I sure hoped not.

"Anything he wouldn't want Linda to know. Anything that would put her off wanting to hitch up with him. How can I get the real scoop on him and his business without him finding out?"

I didn't want to ruin Linda's relationship with my snooping, but I also wouldn't be a diligent mother if I didn't look into Jure's past.

Eric nodded slowly, he understood exactly where I was coming from. Vampire's lives weren't exactly open books under the best of circumstances.

"You should speak to his ancestor. She will tell you anything you need to know," he said.

I could ask Anna Hita if I could trust her to tell me the whole truth. 
more to come ..... (Happy Weekend everyone! Hope you are well. Thanks to any Veterans for your service. Thanks also to you for stopping by and for taking the time to write. See you Wednesday!

later - holy cow! I have been writing this story for so long I actually forget whether Anna Hita is Jure's Maker or not. I thought she was but I have changed the wording of the story to reflect the nature of the relationship I AM sure of ... he is her direct descendant - as is Sookie - like I said, a vampire's life is not an open book, not even to me. I asked Jure but he just glowered at me in response. Typical.)


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Eight

My head was spinning with plans for Char to come home, Linda's decisions about Jure and my new appointment as Interim Pythoness.

When Eric got off the phone with his foreman I took a break, going to the safe room under the garage to feed from the last two donors. Just like when I was human, eating soothed me and calmed me down.

Eric called for someone to take these last two guys home, then we returned to the house.  The conference call about setting up my court staff had been terminated due to the long hold time. They left a message for me to call back at my convenience.

I dialed the number, feeling it was familiar.

"Hello Mrs. Stackhouse. I received a request from Issussra to help you set up your court."

The unmistakable quavering voice of the elderly blue elf Merry Dixon set my mind at ease. I could trust her and she knew everything there was to know about vampire law.

"Hi Merry, it's real good of you to call me about this. I had no idea how all this works. Sorry about keeping you on hold for so long. My daughter just got back from a long trip and I lost track of the time. How are you?"

"I am quite well and looking forward to working with you. Of course you don't have to choose me to be your Judicial Assistant, you can pick anyone you want. I should disclose that a substantial salary comes with the job of Judicial Assistant so I would not be helping you without remuneration," she explained primly.

She was always one for doing things by the book, exactly what I needed right about now considering I didn't even know if there was an actual book to do things by. I made a mental note to ask her about that.

"That's just fine by me, I wouldn't have it any other way. You mentioned 'issues' or something like that, is that the name of the old Pythoness?"

"Issussra, I believe you are referring to. No, Issussra was the Judicial Assistant for Pythia but she wouldn't work for you because she only speaks Parseltongue, a specialized snake language."

"You can speak this Parseltongue?" I asked.

"I am fluent in a number of supernatural languages, yes. My suggestion is that I come to your home tomorrow night with lists of law clerks, court clerks, bailiffs, alternative judges and whoever else might be useful to the smooth running of your court room. I also have to ask if it would be considered a conflict of interests if my own law firm continued to practice, albeit not in any cases you would be deciding."

"I don't see why that would be a problem."

"I will bring the court calendar so we can set up our hearings .."

I interrupted. "Hearings? I thought it would be years before I had to sit as judge."

"Normally that would be the case. Unfortunately the old Pythoness had grown weary and kept postponing her court so we have a slight backlog."

"By slight, how many cases are we talking about?"

"Just four on the current docket. None of them are urgent. You can wait until you feel ready." she said in soothing tones.

Even though she was trying to make this easy for me I knew how vampires were. Despite what long lives they led it didn't stop them from being the most impatient creatures in the world. I hoped someone would be able to fend them off until I was ready to hold court. I didn't want to be hounded every night to make a decision. I had a lot on my plate right now.

 I said all this Merry. She might as well know right from the get-go what my concerns were.

She gave a little chuckle. "You are right about the impatient nature of vampires. Be assured your bailiffs will prevent any attempt to contact you and pressure you into sitting before you are ready. As you may have deduced, you have a great deal of latitude in how, when, where and why your court will be in session. All must await your decisions."

"So it's basically like it or lump it when it comes to my court?" I said, feeling greatly heartened by this.

She chuckled again. "Like it or lump it... My oh my, you certainly have a way with words. We're going to have great fun together."

I didn't know about fun but I liked the way this sounded so far. I set a time for her to come tomorrow night after Adele, Lachlain, Linda, Eric and I had dinner.

After I got off the phone with her I went and told Eric what had happened so far. He had been sitting at his desk typing an email but he stopped as soon as I entered the room to hear what I had to say.

"It sounds manageable. I can not wait until your robes are ready. Have you chosen a color theme for your court?"

His clear blue eyes glittered in that way they did when he was having some especially naughty thoughts.

I hadn't thought of that. Did I even want to wear robes? From the avid gleam in Eric's eye I knew he would be bitterly disappointed if I didn't.

"Um .. red?" I said, naming his favorite color.

"Oh yeees," his eyes practically rolled up in his head with pleasure. "Please allow me to have them custom made for you."

"Sure," I said, then stopped talking while he stood and kissed the dickens out of me, probably already imagining me in my red robes.

When I could talk I asked him about what he had been doing.

He looked pleased with himself. "I have some ideas on how we can improve this house to accomodate both humans and vampires. If you approve I will have a second kitchen and dining room built where the old enclosed dog run is now. That kitchen will be used for the actual cooking and eating by our human guests and family members. A television screen will allow us to converse with them as if they were in the room without any of the smells getting through. This way we can all enjoy a meal together."

It was unconventional but it would be a distinct improvement over having to communicate with nods and head shakes due to my inability to inhale to speak. A tiny pang of loss over one of my human abilities hit me. Dinner with the girls would never be the same.

"If it works well I could add it as a feature in the homes I build for vampires," he added.

He was always thinking about the bottom line and how he could improve his construction business to outdo the competition. Since he started building safe rooms and vampire dwellings many other companies had popped up. He had a lot of competition for the lucrative but limited vampire housing market.

"Great, we can try it out and see what needs tweaking before you add it to the prospectus," I said.

He laughed and hugged me, happy I was interested in his ideas and plans.

I had something I wanted to ask him, now seemed like a good time.

"Eric, do you know any vampire private detectives?"

more to come .....(Happy mid-week everyone. Hope today finds you well and safe. Thank you for stopping by and your continued support. This story has been going on for quite a while, it's wonderful to see you are still here. I can see how many visits I had so even if you don't get to write I know you were here and it warms my heart. )


Saturday, November 3, 2012

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

Chapter One Hundred and Seven

After tucking Linda in I went up to the main floor to see what Eric was up to. As I passed through the kitchen I told Simona that we were finished needing her services for the night and she could retire to her room.

She gave a little curtsy and said, "Yes, ma'am." with something that sounded suspiciously like a British accent.

Her thoughts revealed she watched a lot of English movies on PBS and thought this was how a housemaid acted. That was fine with me. A bit of playacting made life more interesting for us all.

In the office I found Eric on the phone with his construction foreman. I could pick up both sides of the conversation with my heightened sense of hearing. The foreman was promising to get right on something. Jason oversaw all the big jobs in three states. This foreman, Ryan, was handling some private construction for Eric.

After he hung up he said, "I've started the house for Charlaine and will fax the plans for the factory to Darren. If he approves I'll start that too. I have a house they can use until their new home is ready."

"That's fantastic. Will they come this quickly?" I hadn't realized Eric was so far along in his plans to get Char back to the States. He must have spoken to her before I rose.

"Call her. She wanted to speak to you but you were still asleep. I have a few more calls to make, then you and I should get busy getting your court staff assembled."

I took his advice, calling Char who picked up before the first ring ended. Since her earlier conversation with her father she had been thinking about all the options and decided she would rather move right away than wait until she was even bigger and things would be more difficult to manage.

She wanted her home here ready to welcome her son, even if it was a temporary rented home until the house Eric was going to build for her was finished. I was beyond ecstatic. Darren might have to travel back and forth between the States and New Zealand, but Char would be here full time.

"I can find you a doctor," I said. "My medical group has a doctor for every possible situation."

I knew that finding a doctor that was familiar with were-creatures was important in case the baby was born with some evidence of its double nature. Otherwise he might get written up in a medical journal as being a baby born with a tail or green bumpy skin by a human doctor that had no idea were-creatures existed.

I wondered how many birth anomalies had been incorrectly diagnosed over the centuries by doctors not familiar with were-hybrids. 

"That's great. Allison has some good doctors too. I might meet with a few and see who I'm happiest with. I'm bringing my midwife, Dad said it would be all right. She'll live with me in the house there until the baby is born."

Allison was Darren's mother. I knew Char had a great relationship with her. I sounded as enthusiastic and supportive about her plans as I should be, though privately I worried about the whole home birth thing, especially when we didn't know if the baby was going to be born fully human.

"When are you coming?" I asked.

"I'm packing as I'm talking. Give me a week to get things wrapped up here, then Shreveport, here I come!"

I told her how happy we would all be to see her and have her here. I told her Linda was staying over and Char sent her love.

"It was Tesla," Char said into the phone in a quieter confiding tone, even though Darren couldn't hear her.

"What was Tesla?" I asked, confused.

"That convinced Darren to move right away. He thought this was the opportunity of a lifetime to get input from one of the greatest and most innovative minds ever. Dad was brilliant coming up with that. I think Bill will be a great help too. This is all working out wonderfully," she enthused.

I told her about being appointed Interim Pythoness, downplaying the whole thing but telling her to keep alert until I was sure all our safe guards were in place. Since I wasn't set to hear any cases I didn't think there would be any point in threatening my family. I wanted to give her a heads up just in case.

"That's amazing! Maybe you'll get your own TV show. Judge Sookie rules on Vampire Court. Has a nice ring to it," she laughed. "Maybe I'll do a statue for the opening credits, a fanged Lady Justice holding scales in one hand and a stake in the other."

"I'm not going to be a hanging, or I should say, a staking judge. No death sentences in my court."

She laughed again, "No, I guess not, not with how kindhearted you are."

We said our warm goodbyes, both of us glowing with excitement for the future.

Somehow I didn't feel quite as kindhearted as I used to. For my new role as Judge that was probably a good thing. 

more to come ..... (Happy Saturday everyone. Hope things are being set to rights if they were disrupted by the storm. Sending my wishes for peaceful and easy November. See you Wednesday. Thank you so much for stopping by. )