Chapter One Hundred and Forty Two
Before we went into the club to sit on our raised platform and give the tourists a couple more real vampires to gawk at, I needed to ask Linda something. I returned to the office and found Jure back at his task of helping Linda sort out decades of paperwork. I stayed in the doorway, not wanting to distract him once again from his work.
"Linda, just a quick question. What color sweater did you wear to Amelia's?" I wanted to make sure I knew we were in the same reality we had been before Amelia did her magic.
"I wore a green sweater. It was on sale at Tara's Togs, you know, the new outlet in Shreveport?" She took some papers from Jure and ran them through the shredder, making quite a racket.
While she shredded I thought about this. At some point I knew her sweater had been green, then I recalled it was blue but in the end it was green. This meant we were most likely back in our original reality just like Anna Hita had assured me.
When the shredding racket stopped Linda asked, "Have you been there? They have a wonderful Night Fashion section."
She went back to the boxes on the office sofa and gleefully threw an empty one in the corner on a pile of crushed boxes. She dusted her hands together. "Another one down," she said with satisfaction.
The clothing store she was talking about was the latest branch of Tara's Togs. What had started as one small clothing store in Bon Temps had blossomed into a thriving chain of five stores, their success mainly due to the large assortment of vampire apparel they stocked. The state of Louisiana was Vampire Central. Many of the tourists and locals living here wanted to dress, live and play like vampires, without actually becoming vampire, of course.
The store's success, based on Goth attire, was ironic because Tara basically didn't approve of vampires. She had been vocal of her disapproval of me marrying one when I was still human. This caused a rift in our relationship that had never mended.
"No, I haven't made it there yet. How's Tara doing?"I still had a slight pull of concern for Tara based on our years together as childhood friends.
"She wasn't in the store, of course, but the salesgirl said she was in a week or so ago, so I guess she's doing OK." Linda shrugged, straining to read the faded print on an old invoice to see if it was something that needed filing or shredding. Jure glanced at it over her shoulder and pointed to the shredding pile. His vampire vision could see the date.
Linda hadn't ever met Tara because Tara wouldn't have approved my decision to have children with a vampire. Tara was a "humans only" kind of gal. My girls didn't need that kind of negativity in their lives.
"Glad to hear it. I'm going into the club to sit with your father. Goodnight sweetheart," I said, hugging my dusty daughter. I gave Jure a short nod.
"Remember, I'm only doing this so I can redecorate this place any way I want," she reminded me.
"You got it," I assured her.
In the hall I saw Pam showing her bracelet to Mandy, one of the human waitresses. I went over to admire it.
"Those are real diamonds!" Mandy said breathlessly. "And real rubies!"
Pam was pleased with her bracelet but not because of the value of the stones. She treasured it because the fabled scryer had given it to her.
"It's very beautiful," I said to Pam. "It suits you."
Pam smiled her cat smile and thanked me for the compliment. I thought about wishing her a Happy Turning Day too, but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate so I kept quiet.
The club was hopping, dancers twined sinuously around poles and a gaggle of young women in black lipstick and messy black hair stood around the dais and looked up at my husband in adoration. He knew the tight jeans and tighter shirt drove them wild, though you would never know he was pleased to have fangies gawking at him.
Eric was sitting on his throne, the place I first met him, looking over the dancers, drinkers, and devotees. His pale face, a blank unreadable mask, revealed something to me.
I leaned over to him a bit, though I didn't need to, he would be able to hear me over the music and din. Still it gave him a chance to appreciate my cleavage, which he did.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"You feed, then we will go," he said.
"All right," I answered, slightly uneasy at Eric's desire to depart.
I took a few donors to the secret basement room, then we went out into the back parking lot. The night was more than half over, cool, crisp, with a driving breeze from the north. I could smell rain in the air.
We stood by the Corvette. Eric put his hand out and I placed mine in his big grip.
"Sookie, I am tired of this," he said, waving his hand towards the club. The faint strains of "I Love the Night Life" could be heard through the walls. "What would you think if I turned our share in the business over to Linda?"
"Do you think she's ready for that? It might be more than she could handle," I said.
"I would pay Pam extra to guide Linda and help her get up to speed," he suggested.
"I don't think Jure would like this kind of thing. He's almost a recluse. Being on exhibit here in Fangtasia doesn't sound like something he would ever do," I pointed out."It's a testimonial to how much he cares about Linda that he's even here helping her in the office."
"I know," Eric said with a shake of his head. "I can get plenty of vampires to parade around the club. He would not have to do that. Linda could continue on in the office. The only thing that would be different would be that I would no longer be required to be here a few nights a week. I have a vacation due me as sheriff. Jason can run the construction business."
I was surprised. I hadn't realized Eric wanted to throw off all his obligations.
"Why do you want to do this?" I asked in a non-challenging way.
He waited while a giggling group of young women, dressed all in black like queens of the night, made the way to their aged beige Honda Civic and got in. They were all agreeing they hated disco music like poison. They drove off slowly, the gloomy strains of Bauhaus blasting from the tinny speakers. Guess they came here on the wrong night.
"Snow," he said.
"I want, no .. I need to go to where the snow is deep and untouched. I need the silence, the cold, the white and black of the snow bound night."
I knew Eric came from Nordic lands and now he was homesick for his homeland. He had shouldered the responsibilities of fatherhood, running the club, managing the construction business, and being the sheriff of Area Five.
For decades he had done everything in his power to make life good for his employees, friends and family. He had made life safe here for vampires and humans alike. He had given and given and given. Now he wanted something.
"How soon can we leave?" I asked him, putting my arms around him. I felt his body relax against mine. It was like our vacation had already begun. Snow it would be.
more to come ....(Greetings Fanpires! Hope things are going well for you. I appreciate your visit and thank you for the time you take to visit.)