Saturday, May 25, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Five

The phone calls home were all reassuring. Our girls and their families were well, the club was doing fine and Jason confirmed that the renovations on the research center were all proceeding according to schedule. There was still more activity than usual in the center, raising my hopes that the Daynight project might be showing success. I didn't miss daylight but I did miss being part of the activities that took place during daylight.

The night of the re-enactment Eric was like a kid on Halloween. He tried on several leather kilts and draped animal skins over his broad shoulders and drew and sheathed his broadsword in front of a mirror repeatedly. All this sheathing and unsheathing was turning me on, a fact that wasn't lost on Eric. After a few minutes we were both naked and would have to start all over to get dressed. It was worth it.

Many of the women were going to wear plain home spun fabric tunics or gowns and hand knitted raw wool shawls.  Eric wanted me to wear a long red silk dress trimmed with embroidery, accessorized with gold jewelry so breathtakingly exquisite it looked like it might have been borrowed from a museum.

"Are you sure I should be wearing these things?" I asked him, holding out my arm bands and indicating my heavy bib necklace made of coiled and pounded gold. The gold was so soft I could scratch it with my thumbnail. It was probably 22 or even 24 carat gold.

"Only you, the Profet, can wear them," he explained, lacing his knee high fur lined soft leather books.

"Does 'profet' mean the same thing as prophet?"

"Yes, you are the Ancient Pythoness. You are the reason for the battle."

"Me?" I had no idea I was to play a pivotal role in the battle. I was real glad this was all fake.

"Why is that?" I asked.

He explained. Two warring tribes wanted to possess me, I mean, the Pythoness. Back in the day she not only ruled on legal matters, she also drank from a special goblet and foresaw the events that would come to pass. Since the Pythoness was originally one of the Oracles at Delphi this made sense.

Eric was to be my personal bodyguard. I wouldn't swing a sword but I could drink from anyone wearing a sprig of Linnea Borealis or Twinflower.  Eric reassured me once again that he would make sure I didn't drink too much from one donor. I felt secure, especially after room service brought a donor for me before we left for the battle ground.

Finally we were dressed. At the door he opened a carved wooden box and took out an elaborate golden crown. Eight pointed spikes on eight jeweled medallions made the crown both fabulous and heavy. He placed it reverently on my head, fluffed my hair, and stood back to admire me.

He dropped to one bare knee. "My Queen," he said, taking my hand and kissing it. I looked at his bowed head and knew that this was both a great erotic turn on and also had real meaning for Eric. He came from a time of Kings and Queens. As a matter of fact, being in Vampire culture, Kings and Queens still ruled everything.

"Stand, Eric Northman, my loyal guardsman, and take your place at my side," I said royally.

Eric looked up at me, his blue eyes sparkling with love and fun. He was glad I got it. "I hear and I obey, My Queen."

The field that was to be the location of the re-enactment battle was shrouded in fog. A warm front moving in caused strands and wisps of white to make patterns in the air. Human, vampires and a few were-wolves stood around in costume talking quietly. Their weapons looked real. Hope they all had control of their emotions.

A man in a red cloak trimmed in white fur blew a trumpet,  then a big human guy with a deep voice announced something. Everyone turned to look at me.

"They are announcing your arrival," Eric explained.

I was confused. "Do you mean my arrival or the pretend arrival of a re-enactor playing the part of the Oracle?"

I graciously nodded to everyone as the men were bowing and the women were dipping a knee in a small curtsey.

Eric smiled, "Actually both. Since you have the power of life and death over each of these people they greet you as a higher authority. Please excuse me for a moment."

Eric drew his sword and in a few long strides he walked up to a hooded and cloaked figure that was turned away. With one sweep of his sword he chopped off the head of the figure. The head went flying reminding me of Eric's "bowling for vampires" quip in a similar situation. The body remained standing.

A gasp went up from the humans but I knew from the smell and sound that the figure was made of straw and wood. Eric resheathed his sword and a cheer went up from the crowd. Let the games begin.

"That was the symbolic beheading of the enemy King," Eric said happily.

"Which King would that be?"

"Whoever was in power at the time," Eric said.

Apparently this was an all purpose re-enactment to satisfy a variety of long standing grudges and historical scenarios. That was fine with me as long as nobody got hurt.

With a fierce roar a bunch of combatants rushed from the nearby woods. They were wearing fur robes, some with synthetic fur replacing the real thing, and waving wooden pikes. A group of big blond men dressed in leather kilts like Eric ran to engage them. They were good at fake fighting, looking realistic but never actually coming to blows.

The grunts of hand to hand combat and the screams of the "dying" could not completely drown out a small group of music makers that stood off to the side, pounding drums and blowing horns while a vocalist recited something in Old Swedish from a scroll.

"He is telling the saga of our victory at the Battle of Hjörungavágr." Eric's sensuous lips twisted deliciously when he pronounced "Hjörungavágr".

My fangs started to tingle and Eric reminded me, "You may have anyone wearing of sprig of Linnea Borealis."

"Really?" I asked. I wasn't sure what that looked like, but I figured anyone bothering to pin a sprig of flowers to their costume was fair game.

I had been standing off to one side but now I walked into the heart of the fracas, Eric right behind me. Anyone that didn't move out my way was shooed to one side by the fiercesome appearance of my honeybuns and his great big sword.

I found a tousle haired young man of about twenty brushing off and replacing a sprig of flowers on his cap after a wooden sword had knocked it to the slushy snow. He looked absolutely yummy, flushed with battle, long tender neck.

In a nanosecond I was upon him, looking in his eyes to glamour him then feeding, hearing his heartbeat slow to the beat of the drums and the cries of the warriors. It was glorious and I only stopped when Eric gently tugged my arm.

"There are many more for you," he said, sweeping his thick arm to take in the whole battle which continued to grow as more people joined in. It was less organized and more like a free for all now. I smelled some kind of alcoholic beverage made from honey. There were barrels of it on crude wooden tables to refresh the humans. They drank from wooden mugs.

I saw another good choice and then another and another. I grinned at Eric. "This is wonderful. Thank you for bringing me here."

Eric hugged me and said in my ear, "When it comes to a good meal, presentation is everything."

A "wounded" human smeared with catsup blood on his tunic and a large clump of flowers in his waistband staggered past me, giving me a wink. I pounced.

Eric, as usual, was so very right. Presentation was everything.

more to come ....(Greetings Fanpires. So happy you could stop by. Remembering all who gave their lives and their time to serve and protect. See you next week!)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Four

"Listen," Eric whispered.

We were standing in the snow covered fields about five kilometers north of Uppsala. This was Gamla Uppsala called "Old Uppsala" and it was very cold. The stars, tiny pinpoints of light, glittered overhead, illuminating the fields and three burial mounds ahead of us. To our eyes it was as bright as day. A human might have made out the general shape of the mounds against the sky but little else.

"What am I listening for? What do you hear?" I whispered back.

He hadn't been alarmed so I was listening to the sounds of the night, the sounds of the city to our south, the village nearby, all the myriad noises that make the tapestry of sound I had learned to tune out as background ambience. Nothing stood out in either sound or smell to cause me concern. There was a were-wolf in the nearby village, but it was very faint. She must be a resident of the village.

"I can hear the past, the burial songs of Kings, the roaring funeral fire sending his soul to Valhalla. I hear the crowds, weeping women, the mingled languages of the Vikings and Romans. I hear history being made," Eric said.

I listened real hard but I still could only hear the present. I realized he was hearing the memories of sounds he had experienced in this very place. This place had meaning to Eric, therefore it had meaning to me too.

He looked down at me, his eyes  glowing a beautiful blue with the power of his nostalgia. "There were three large wooden statues of Odin, Thor and Freya. They guarded the spirit of the King on the pyre and welcomed him to paradise. So much has passed away Sookie there is no way to tell of it. Yet, here I stand, where I stood so many centuries before as a newly Turned vampire."

I couldn't tell if he was sad about this or not. "Were you happy back then?" I asked, snuggling closer to him. We began to slowly walk around the mounds to the side where you could see there had once been an excavation.

"We did not think in those terms. Happiness is a modern invention. There was the wild joy of battle and blood lust, women and victory. There was the secure feeling of having a safe place and gold put away for the future. But happiness, as I am happy now? No, I was not happy." His tone was somber.

"You have brought my happiness to me," he added, his voice choked with emotion. Then slowly, slowly, he kissed me. He wanted something from me, something powerful.

We moved to the base of one snow covered mound and made love again, the icy feel of the snow adding to our pleasure. We rolled naked in the snow like children when we were done, laughing and hugging and celebrating our life together. He spoke to me in tender tones using the beautiful lyrical language I couldn't translate into English, yet my heart understood what was meant.

I knew that Eric wanted to tie the present to the past, to have it all be part of a whole. He was bringing me into his past and perhaps changing some of the bad things he experienced into more hopeful and better memories. I surely hoped so. He wanted me to act as a bridge between his Viking warrior past and his present role as father, grandfather and husband. I would try to reach out to his past experiences and be part of both now and then.

I thought of my momentary flash trip into an alternate dimension when I was talking with Jure. Perhaps someday I would actually have the ability to visit Eric in his human life, as a newly Turned vampire, during his darkest hours. The thought was intriguing but terrifying. If I changed one tiny thing in the past the whole present might be different. The very idea made me fearful. I clutched onto Eric and told him how much I loved him, that he was my whole life and how happy I was in our life together.

He threw his head back and laughed, his eyes twinkling with affection and the elation of lovemaking.

"You sound as if something or someone might come along and take it from you. Nothing can tear us apart, my Sookie. I knew that from the first time I laid eyes on you. I saw your innocence and courage. You stood up to me despite your fear. How I respected that spirit of yours and wanted it for my own."

I didn't mention my thoughts preceding my declaration. Anna Hita had explained that it was only the work of the witches summoning the past that had thinned the present enough for me to momentarily break through. It was a one time event, I told myself. I am firmly planted in the here and now.

On the way back to the hotel we discussed our phone conversations with the girls and Fangtasia. To expedite things both Eric and I had made calls at the same time. Eric called Pam to check on the club and discovered she was visiting Jason. It was almost dawn there so she was in a hurry to leave. She gave the phone to Jason so he could discuss the latest jobs with Eric.

The most important job he was over seeing was the renovation being done to the safe rooms and top secret labs in the Research Center. Hard to believe it had been built so long ago it now required more modern and efficient accommodations. It seems like just yesterday the top secret center, devoted to discovering a way for vampires to walk in the day, was being excavated and built underground.

"Your brother said there seemed to be something big going on in the Research Center. Of course they would not allow him to know anything of their business but he said many of the "big wigs" were there in a meeting. Does "big wigs" mean important people?" he asked me.

"Yes, it does."

"He is almost done with the updates," Eric said. "If there is a development with Daynight we will be notified."

I told Eric my news. "Linda told me she had spoken to Jason about redecorating the office. With Jure's help she's almost done organizing the paperwork. She's hired an office worker to enter a lot of the paperwork into a data base, thus eliminating the need for paper files. She's storing the information on a cloud so it can't be lost."

Eric stopped and looked up. "A cloud does not seem very stable."

"I think the term cloud means keeping the info at a remote location. She said it wasn't anything that you might want to keep private. Just records of our billing with our distributors, band engagements, all things that are publicly known," I assured him.

I changed topics. "Why was Pam at Jason's house?" I asked.

Eric and I had reached the hotel. I was glad. Sex always made me hungry. Didn't seem to make a difference that I'm a vampire. We stopped at the desk and I asked for two donors to be sent to our room. The girl working the desk was terrified of us. Her hands shook as she made out a request and her voice was barely audible as it squeaked out. She spoke English to me with a strong Swedish accent.

"We'll have that sent right up, Mrs. Stackhouse. I mean ... them ... I'll have them ..." her voice trailed off. She was afraid she might have somehow offended me at her answer.

"Thank you Agda," I said in a reassuring tone, reading her name from a plastic badge on her suit jacket..

She looked completely freaked out. "How do you know my name?" she gasped. The smell of her fear was making me hungrier. My fangs came out. I turned my face from her so as not to alarm her further.

"My wife read your name tag," Eric said, pointing to her badge.

She must not have been expecting Eric to say anything or move because she jumped and gave a tiny shriek at the sound of his deep voice and the gesture of his hand. She looked at him with the whites showing around her fjord blue eyes.

The manager glided up on tidy patent leather shoes and said, "That's all right Agda, I'll see to these guests."

He said, "Please excuse Agda, she's new here and still learning the routine." 

Agda had backed up to the farthest corner of the reception area, her hand on her neck. I don't think she was aware she was doing it. I didn't think learning the routine was her problem, I thought being scared half to death of vampires was her problem.

He looked at the request form and said smoothly, "We'll fill this immediately. Will there be anything else?"

Eric told him no and went to our room to wait for my dinner. It was a reality check to come across a human that was still afraid of me. Most of the folks I dealt with were completely used to vampires.

Once in our room Eric smiled a wicked little smile and touched the tip of my fang with a finger. He knew the girl's fear had turned my appetite on high. "You are going to love the re-enactment," he assured me.

A knock at the door, a tip given to the waiter ... Eric escorted two healthy young men in and I tucked in, putting my questions aside til later.

more to come ..... (Greetings Fanpires! So glad to see you here. Ah, life is almost normal for me again. Hope your lives are also the way you would like. See you next Saturday!)


Saturday, May 11, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Three

Planning our trip to Scandinavia was a lot different for Eric than it had been for him in the past. No longer footloose and fancy free, we needed a way to keep open communication between our sojourn into the wilderness and our family, friends, business concerns, responsibility and property.

In the end Eric saw he was not going to be able to just throw off his partnership in Fangtasia. Linda simply didn't want it. Not yet. And Jason, bless his heart, told Eric that it would be too much responsibility to make all the decisions while Eric was away. Secretly I was glad my brother knew his limitations. I would have hated having him mess up and Eric mad at him.

Even the King, never completely reasonable at the best of times, realized Eric was over due a vacation. The King made it clear he also wanted the peace and order Eric kept in Area Five to be unruffled. That meant that Eric needed to be on call in case something truly overwhelming happened. Nothing was on the horizon, but you just couldn't be too careful.

I also needed to be available in case a legal situation required my attention. Merry Dixon fielded all my requests, she would be able to sort out what was of immediate concern and what wasn't. We had an excellent world wide phone service. We wouldn't be out of touch.

Last but not least on Eric's pile of responsibilities was me. I still needed at least three donors a night to get enough to eat. I could drain one person if I was willing to kill someone but of course I never would. We arranged for cases of TruBlood to be delivered to our hotel in Uppsala as well as donors lined up by the local vampire club "Natt Dröm".

Eric had friends there that would not let his wife go hungry. They also had a roster of bodyguards that would make sure we were safe if we needed them. The supernatural protection we enjoyed since I became the Interim Pythoness seemed to be excellent, however, no vampire lived to an old age by being reckless.

It was hard to leave the girls and especially hard to leave little Kyle Eric. In deference to my wishes Eric cut back our planned trip from a month to two weeks. I felt comfortable leaving for that period of time. After all, how much could happen in fourteen nights?

Our travel was comfortable and unremarkable thanks to Anubis Airlines. They were thriving while other airlines were struggling. Vampire security and the general higher standard of wealth enjoyed by crafty vampires made their business hum.

Our hotel, Hotel Uppsala, was not the fanciest place, but it had the best safe rooms. Eric knew this because his European construction company,
Säker Dag had installed it. Säker Dag meant "Safe Day" in Swedish. We had the deluxe safe room with plenty of room for our clothes and a super sized four poster king bed. A warm donor was waiting for me in the room. I fed and pinked up, feeling the rush I always got from a good meal. The very air in Sweden acted as an aphrodesiac on Eric and we made use of the bed as soon as our door closed behind the donor.

Vagn Åkesson, the propietor of Natt Dröm, met us at our hotel later that first night. Although average in stature, Vagn had the sort of dynamic personality that almost seemed larger than the man himself. He was dressed in a black sweater and blue jeans, his straight straw blond hair worn collar length. He had the strong jaw and clear blue eyes I associated with Viking men. His nose looked like it had been broken more than once before he was Turned, giving his handsome Nordic face extra character.

Vagn could scarcely contain his joy at seeing his friend Eric again. They spoke to each other in rapid fire Swedish, then slowed down so Eric could tell me what was being said.

"Vagn has arranged for a re-enactment of the Battle of Hjörungavágr. There is a society of Jomsvikings that act out famous battles." Eric explained.

"That sounds interesting," I said luke warmly.

I had seen plenty of re-enactments of battles growing up. Men in a motley array of period costumes acted out various battles of the War of Northern Aggression. All the battles I had seen, many of them dragging out for hours in the stifling heat and unrelenting sun, ended in a victory for the South. I must have been almost a teenager before I fully realized the South had actually lost the war.

The idea of sitting around watching another re-enactment didn't thrill me.

"I was a Jomsviking, a Viking mercenary. I was not from Jomsborg but still I was able to join," he said proudly.

"Osynlig krigare," Vagn laughed.

"That means "invisible warriors". They called us the invisible warriors because we vampires were so fast they could not see us. There are plenty of donors that will take part in the battle. We will be able to take part and feed during the battle. It will be like the old days," Eric told me, his blue eyes sparkling with excitement.

I saw this meant the world to Eric and who knows? I might have the time of my life dressing up and biting people. I felt a tingling and stirring in my fangs. Eric and Vagn saw it too.

"Ja ja det är bra!" Vagn said heartlily, nodding, clapping Eric on the shoulder.

"He thinks you are a good mate for me," Eric translated.

Vagn's attitude was so typical of vampire mentality, the bloodthirstier the better. I tried to keep tight control on my impulses. There was a time and place for feeding. This was left over from my human thinking, I knew. What might be a little excusable "whoopsie" killing for a vampire would mean an eternity of miserable guilt and remorse for me.

However, the re-enactment would be designed especially to provide donors in the role of battle victims. This would be the best of both worlds. I could actually pounce on my prey and feed, Eric would keep a Maker's eye on me to prevent me from killing anyone, and I would feel a bit of what Eric had experienced in the heat and pleasure of battle. Putting it that way, it sounded a lot like sex.

I smiled, starting to warm up to the whole idea of acting out something that Eric had actually lived. That would be in two nights. For tonight we were going out to a snowy field and enjoy the night. But first we would check our messages, make a few calls,  and make sure all was well at home.

more to come ..... (Greeting my faithful friends! I am operating not at full steam but at least I can raise my hand to the keyboard. Hope to have another chapter next week! Thanks for being so kind and understanding.)


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thank you!!

Thanks for all your very kind good wishes. I am on the mend but still have to wait another week before I can type. See you next week... til then stay positive. Love you!