Monday, June 24, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Fifty

Over the next few weeks Eric and I zigzagged across Scandinavia where he showed me the places etched in his long memory and told me about the events that had forged his life. The best part was the stories he told, stories of bravery and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal, victory and defeat. All these events were woven together like threads in the elaborate tapestry we call history. From this new perspective I began to see the big picture, far beyond the little world of Louisiana and my family and friends.

Most of the time we were within range of a safe room but on a few memorable occasions we took to ground, burying ourselves dozens of feet under the earth for the day. Eric showed me how to pick a spot like under a fallen log or large rock that would not look like the soil was disturbed or that anything was buried under it.

Of course we were in such remote regions in white out conditions I seriously doubted if anyone would wander by in a coon's age. I found out animals and insects would not eat us, we were sniffed at and rejected as food. That was probably another factor that gave vampires the label of being unnatural beings or the undead, something unfit for man or beast even as dinner.

I thought going to ground would be horrible but I did not find it so. It was refreshing and relaxing, communing with nature in a very up close and personal way, like camping for vampires. It reminded me a little of Bible camp and how much fun it was to rough it for a few nights. I found out I could run down a deer or bear and feed from it. They froze still at my touch making it easy to feed, and I never took enough from them to weaken them or hurt them. We found a bear in a trap, I freed it and healed its poor paw, sending it lumbering on its way with our blessing.

I saw more snow than I thought possible. Eric never grew tired of the frozen landscapes but I began to feel homesick. We circled around and ended up where we began in Uppsala where Vagn Åkesson threw us a good bye party in his club. After so much time in the wilds I thought the lights were too bright, the music too loud, the room too crowded. Part of me missed the silence, the stark white peace, the crystal cold sky.

"Can we come back?" I asked my vampire husband. 

He looked so happy at that. "Yes, we will come back." He loved pleasing me and this place was now in both our hearts.

Vagn threw another huge log, as big as a man, on the open fire. Sparks flew everywhere making the crowd shriek and laugh. Eric and I held hands and were it was like we were still alone together even in the midst of this merry gathering.

Late that night we packed and left on the same Air Annubis jet that had brought us. We rose the following night to find ourselves in the small private Shreveport airport we used. Eric tipped the Air Annubis security agent very well for staying with our containers. We hadn't told anyone exactly when we were getting back because we wanted a little wiggle room if the mood hit us to do something more. Eric called Pam and asked her if she could send someone to bring us home.

"I will come myself Master, I have news," she said. She loved having some juicy piece of information and we both knew she wouldn't tell us what it was until she got here.

While waiting for Pam we called the girls and told them we were back. Then I called my answering machine, the official one at the house and got the strangest message from Merry Dixon.

"Hi Sookie, it's Merry here. By now you must have heard what happened. Of course now that she's back she wants a hearing immediately. I told her you are out of the country but we will schedule a trial as soon as you're back. This isn't something we can postpone. Everyone is in a tizzy as you can well imagine. Hope your trip went well. Call me as soon as you can."

I felt the bottom drop out of my world. Was she talking about Celandine? Is that who was back? I shared my fears with Eric.

"This might be the same thing Pam is referring to. Let us hear what she has to say before we start worrying," he advised. Eric was a big believer in not jumping the gun on worrying.

My stomach clenched with apprehension as Pam's latest big Dodge Ram truck pulled up, sounding like the rumble of doom. We threw the suitcases and travel containers in the back and got in the extended cab with her. Pretty and pink from feeding, she was also glowing with excitement. This was big news.

"Nobody told you right?" she asked, starting the truck. Her mufflers actually made the sound louder so she had to raise her voice to be heard.

"No, we are waiting to hear what have to tell us. Could you turn the truck off until you have shared your news?" Eric asked her.

"Oh, sure," she said. She cut the engine and the silence that followed was a relief. She half turned to face both Eric beside her and me in the back seat. The dashboard lights gave the left side of her face a green glow.

"Well, remember when King de Castro took over? He thought he was so clever but he missed something. Sophie-Anne Leclerq's body was destroyed in a fire but her guard Ziebert, brother of the twins Wybert and Sigebert? ...." she stopped to see if we knew what she was talking about.

"I remember the twins," I said. Eric just nodded, grim faced. Eric had had a bad experience with Sigebert.

"Ziebert took her heart before the fire destroyed it and has been tending it all this time. Drop by drop he fed it every night until it began to regenerate. Now Sophie-Anne Leclerq is back, alive and angry. She wants her Kingdom back and she wants revenge. She has troops and is stationed outside the Palace. She is demanding a trial and to have her property restored to her. I'm glad you're back, Sookie. She's a powder keg of rage ready to blow. Only the Pythoness can settle this." Pam looked pointedly at me.

"You may take us home now. Thank you for the news, it is of great importance. You were the first to tell us of this momentous turn of events," Eric said calmly, making her night. She started the massive engine and peeled away from the curb. I heard our luggage shift in the back and hoped my travel container wasn't scratched. If Gran was still alive she would have crocheted it a cozy to keep it shiny and new looking.

It was indeed momentous news. I was so relieved it had nothing to do with Celandine returning from the past. I spent a few seconds with that relief before I turned my mind to what had happened. Sophie-Anne Leclerq had been the Queen of Loisiana and after the death of her husband Peter Threadgill she had become the Queen of Arkansas too. That trial was where I first met the Ancient Pythoness.

King de Castro had been the King of Nevada and he killed, or thought he killed, Sophie-Anne and took her two states as his in a hostile takeover. He had the "might makes right" defense as well as the comfort of knowing dead queens can't sue. But the queen wasn't dead. I would need all the legal advice I could get on this. And whichever way I decided there was going to be one very angry Vampire monarch.

Pam chatted to Eric about the Club, the research center and her decision to Turn my brother. Finally! She complained about the color of the office and how she couldn't find anything in the files because it was all on computer now. She mentioned that our geriatric barmaid Ginger had finally decided to go live with her brother, a relief to everyone at the club. She said that Taryn and Lingza were getting married and going to have their reception in Fangtasia. She said a lot of things while my thoughts drifted away from the sound of her voice.

I couldn't settle the trial here in this truck tonight. I  thought warmly of home, our beautiful daughters, our wonderful grandson, and the wedding Linda would want. I thought of my brother getting what he wants and of the possibility of Daynight becoming a reality. Things that had seemed impossible, or so far off as to seem impossible, were coming true.

The future had arrived, and whatever it brought, Eric and I would face it together. I reached forward and took his hand, giving it a squeeze.

This concludes "Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman look to the Future". Next week I will I will give you my thoughts on continuing this story. Thank you so very very much for sticking with me on this epic journey, it has meant everything.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Nine

"Did I just get back?" I asked Eric, sitting up and noticing I was still in the red dress and gold jewelry. I had a weird taste in my mouth and wanted to brush my teeth but first I wanted to hear what Eric had to say.

His well shaped brows knitted slightly in confusion at my question. "No, I brought you back here last night. You went into your daytime rest an hour early, most likely due to the potion the witch gave you. Do you feel well now?"

The term "daytime rest" was the one I was most comfortable with. It wasn't really sleep and it sure as shootin' wasn't actual death like the myths said. It was easy to understand why humans in the olden days thought vampires were the walking dead, or the undead. With no pulse, breath or body temperature we gave all the signs of being actually deceased. Of course we weren't. We were in a complete state of suspended animation I figured, something brought on by the direct rays of the sun.

"I feel fine, but I wasn't here today," I told Eric.

"Where were you? How did you leave this room without leaving a trace?" he asked, glancing at the impressive electronic security panel next to the thick locked door. All the lights were steady green meaning it had not been breached. Eric had it designed that way so that the person in the safe room could see at a glance if any of the security measures were threatened.

He looked back to me, his face both puzzled and worried. I might have sounded a tad loopy.

I told him about my experience with Drevan, the castle and my role as Oracle. I explained my concerns over doing anything to alter the past if it was our past and not one from a nearby nearly identical dimension. Last I told him that I heard him calling me from outside the castle walls.

He sat next to me, taking my hand and we leaned back on the wedge shaped pile of pillows I preferred when I had my daytime rest. Since Eric woke almost an hour before me I wanted to look nice. Before I fell asleep I liked to fix my makeup, lie down in a carefully arranged gown and fan my hair out on the pillow, looking like a fairytale princess awaiting the kiss that would wake her. When Eric looked at me I would still be beautiful and inviting. Hey, this was my little fantasy world, it might be a tad Disney but I liked it.

"That is strange ..." he said slowly. "I had a dream  ... I was dreaming, at least I thought it was a dream ... that you had been kidnapped by Drevan and were locked in a tower atop a stone castle. I was calling and calling, looking up at the only lit windows ... then an owl flew overhead, swooping down at me. I put up my arm to protect my eyes and when I lowered my arm I was here. Do you think I traveled through time with you?"

I was relieved he didn't think I was just having a crazy dream. His experience verified that we had shared some supernatural event together. We seldom had dreams during our rest. For us both to have interlocking dreams was beyond a coincidence. Something had occurred.

"How did you know I was taken?" I asked, snuggling closer to him. He felt so real and here, things I really needed.

"Through my blood. I felt an unbearable stretching of our bond, like having all my veins and arteries pulled from my body. I saw you in my mind, saw you in the round room. I could not move, only call."

He wrapped his strong arms around me. "Do not ever leave me like that again. We must remain together. If you do go you must take me with you. It is torture to be apart from you."

He meant that literally, not emotionally. He suffered actual pain at my leaving this plane of existence, I could sense his distress when he spoke of it.

"I won't have anything more to do with witches," I said. Mentally I excluded Amelia. She wouldn't drag me into another time zone.

Did I succeed in keeping the past the way it was? I was pretty sure of Drevan's plan and that he was hellbent to carry it out. I didn't say anything to dissuade him. Now I wished I had been more forceful, telling him exactly what to do. I needed to talk to Anna Hita about this. There were so many pitfalls I simply couldn't hope to use trial and error to learn.

"What do you know about Jure?" I suddenly asked Eric.

"He is engaged to our daughter. He lives across the lake from us. He is wealthy and powerful..." Eric trailed off, his good humored eyes asking me if this what I wanted to hear.

"I think I better call Linda," I said. "I want to make sure she is still engaged to Jure. Eric, this is very disturbing. By making contact with the past I have no idea what kind of a world I am waking up to."

Eric gave a short laugh based on long insight. "You are fortunate to live in a time and place where the forces that rule are relatively stable. In my life few people, vampire or human, would know what the new day or night would bring. Violent overthrow of governments, cataclysmic weather and natural disasters, plagues and wars, all these and worse were the normal state of things. Even now the vampire hierarchy is ruled by power and wealth, subject to change without notice. That is why we need to be always vigilant to keep our freedom."

I looked at this man that had seen so much, survived so many things. He was my inspiration. If he could do it then I could too. I would just need to be more careful in the future, actually, careful of the future, by avoiding traveling back to the past.

I called Linda and through careful questioning determined that, aside from painting the office ocean blue, things were the same as when I left. I also called Adele and Charlaine just to reassure myself that their lives were proceeding normally. Only after Eric finally spoke to the human bouncer from Fangtasia did I truly relax. Whatever I had done or not done in the past, it hadn't shaken things up here or there.

I had to wonder, was my prophecy the thing that had originally instigated Drevan to try to usurp Jure? Was it my visit in the far distant past that had been the accelerator. How did I end up being called? There were other Oracles before me, why were they not the ones called to prophesize for Drevan? Had any of this really happened or was it a drug induced dream centering around my concerns for Linda's safety and future?

I felt that only Anna Hita could enlighten me on these things and I would need to wait until I was back in Louisiana before I could schedule an appointment with her.

Right now I was engaged in visiting former sites of interest to Eric. I would focus on this journey and what it meant. I would really pay attention to what he was telling me, to imagining what it was like for him to live in those times.

More than ever I wanted to experience the present moment. More than ever I want to give Eric my full attention. I realized how precious and important every moment with him was, like a shimmering bubble, beautiful and delicate, drifting on the chance breezes that fate would bring.

more to come ..... (Greeting my friends, thank you for coming. I am always happy to see you were here. See you next Saturday. Be well until then.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Eight

Drevan paid no attention to the sound of Eric's voice. Could he even hear it? I tried to think of when this must be. I knew Jure was several hundred years older than Eric. Maybe I was just dreaming all this due to the herbal drink. Maybe none of it was really happening.

"I mean no harm to you, Oracle. I want to know how to achieve what I want. Tell me what to do and I will release you."

"How will you release me?" I asked.

I didn't want to be wandering around in the Croatian woods outside the castle without a way to get home. A quick thought of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz flashed through my mind. Did I already have the power to return home whenever I wanted? I thought of clicking my heels together, but I didn't have the red shoes. Did I need the red shoes?

"I will set free this bird," Drevan thought/said and dramatically pulled the cloth covering off of what I had thought was a square table. Inside a crude wooden cage was a snowy white owl. It pivoted its strange triangular head and looked around, then fluffed out its wings and settled on the perch. "As long as the bird is captive you are captive too."

This must have been a magic owl because I couldn't smell it at all nor detect its heat signature. It looked real, but was any of this really real?

I appeared to stare at the bird while thinking furiously. He was going to ask me to tell him what to do, thinking he was asking an impartial Oracle. He didn't know I had a dog in this fight. If I stopped him from taking Jure's wife then Jure might still be married, making him ineligible for Linda.

And Drevan would still be alive, a loose cannon, causing trouble. I would go back to my time with both Celandine and Drevan as unknown ingredients in what was already a complicated gumbo of characters. I knew that if I changed one thing I might change everything.

Still, I felt a little bit of a guilty twinge about giving Drevan bad advice. I would be advising him to go for it, act out his dark plot to overthrow his older brother. I knew Celandine would slaughter so many humans that Drevan would finally snap his twig and stake her out of frustration.

I also knew that Jure would have to bear the burden of guilt that surely must have weighed him down for centuries after killing his own brother. Would all this misery and pain rest on my shoulders if I told him to go ahead?

I wasn't responsible for the sibling rivalry or Celandine, the poor choice of wife and Child Jure made. These things all were fermenting years and years before I was brought here. Jure might be self willed and even ruthless, but I didn't think he would be one tenth the problem Drevan would be. I simply could not advise Drevan do anything different than what had been already been done.

He didn't know that I already knew how everything would turn out. Or did he? Isn't that what an Oracle was for, someone that could foretell the future? Had it ever occurred to him that I might be foretelling his doom? I didn't think so.

"What say you, Oracle?" he asked, moving closer. His life was in my hands. Suddenly he looked young and vulnerable and my determination to send him down the road to ruin must have wavered.

"I say this to you," I said, "You know what must be done. There is a right path and a wrong path ... you stand at the cross roads. Will you take the easy path or will you summon your courage and do what is right, what is just? Every action causes ripples in the ocean of time. Think long when you decide only once."

As I talked I realized I was having a real hard directing him to do things that would cause so much destruction. If I left it up to him what would he do? The fire in his eyes led me to think he would act as he wanted and try to take it all away from Jure, but the weakness around his mouth worried me.

The frown and scowl on his face showed me he was thinking about what I said. Before he could reply I added, "Celandine will be yours, Jure will leave his land and his castle. The fight will be won by the strong."

No wonder Oracles, mediums and prophets all talked in riddles and cliches. It was darn hard saying something while saying not much of anything at all. Drevan could put whatever spin he wanted on this pronouncement. It wasn't that I didn't know the future, it was just that I didn't want to change it.

"I will have all I want?" he persisted.

Stick a fork in me, I was done. "I have spoken. I will say no more." I said in my most final and authoritative voice, the one I learned from Gran when she had well and truly made up her mind about something. That woman could be stubborn as a mule and so could I.

He must have seen the Stackhouse stubbornness radiating from me because he said, "Do you want gold or jewels?" He took a small pouch from his waistband and held it out to me. The idea of taking payment for sending this mirror image of Jure to his doom made my blood run cold.

"I want nothing except my freedom," I said.

Drevan raised the cage to one of the narrow windows in the four foot thick walls. He opened the door and the bird stepped out onto the sill.

It looked around the room, made a loud WHOO WHO WHO and walked to the opening, pushing itself off the edge and up into the night. I saw the outline of the bird cross the three quarter moon and fly off into the inky blackness of the Croatian night that lay over the even blacker mass of the forest.

I was still standing there. The bird was gone and I was still in Drevan's castle. Just as I began feeling a tad awkward the room faded away and reformed. Four poster bed ... crystal chandelier .... my beautiful Viking looking down at me.

I was back in the hotel safe room.

more to come .... Greetings Fanpires ..... Hope you are doing well ... very glad you could stop by. See you next Saturday, thanks for your continued interest.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Seven

My eyes opened and I saw I was in a round stone walled room. From the narrow windows and the torches in iron holders I figured I was in a castle. It wasn't a very big room furnished with a round rough hewn wooden table on which stood a thick smoky crudely formed candle, a cloth covered square table and fur covered chaise lounge.

That's where I was, on the lounge, covered with a thick hand woven wool blanket. That wasn't really necessary because vampires didn't feel the cold but it at least meant someone was making a effort to take care of me.

A short thick vampire man stood by the door. His sandy hair was coarse and wild, chopped off in any old which-a-way. His tunic and pants looked like they were made from burlap, his leather shoes so cracked I could see his grimy toes. His eyes were too small and too close together for his broad face, shaded by bushy eyebrows. He smiled a gap toothed mirthless smile and said something loudly. It was in a language I didn't understand. He didn't appear to be addressing the remark to me, but to the door behind him.

I swung my legs over, pushed off the blanket and stood. I was still in the red dress and fancy gold jewelry. Maybe I was being held for ransom.

"Where am I?" I asked the man.

"Majstor će objasniti," he said to me in a flat gravelly voice.

"Who are you?" I asked, coming closer to him. I was almost a half foot taller than him.

"Majstor će objasniti," he repeated.

Well this was getting us nowhere. Was Jure up to his tricks again? It seemed impossible he would follow me to Scandinavia and then mess with my mind. There were so many reasons this was not likely I decided to look for another explanation. Time travel? A visit to a nearby dimension? Both of those seemed more possible than Jure going off the rails and playing some bizarre prank.

The door opened and I was proved wrong. There stood Jure, dressed all in black, his silky raven hair hanging close over the sides of his face like partially drawn curtains. His dark eyes blazed from within the shadows created by his hair. He looked plum crazy. Had Jure lost his mind? He must have to pull a stunt like this.

I decided to play this lightheartedly in case there was some way I could salvage the situation as some kind of joke and not mess things up for Linda. Maybe Jure was doing this in his subconscious mind and wasn't even aware he had summoned me.

"Jure, what the dickens are you up to now?" I asked, smiling, trying to show I wasn't mad and wasn't going to make a big deal out of this, whatever this was..

The man didn't move his lips but I heard his answer in my mind. He raised his face slightly, the curtains of blue-black hair parting a little more. Dark emotions gave his eyes an intensity that seemed to burn from his very soul.

"Jure? Jure is a pathetic weakling that can not control his wife or his peasants. How do you know my brother?"

I looked at this replica of Jure and the truth dawned on me. This wasn't Jure, this was his twin brother Drevan. Wherever I was, whenever I was, in this reality Drevan hadn't taken Celandine away from Jure yet, hadn't set in motion the chain of events that ultimately resulted in his death. Drevan had the same strong Slavic features Jure did, the same big jaw, jutting eyebrow ridge, high elegant cheekbones.

The difference was in the mouth and eyes. Where Jure's mouth and eyes showed arrogance, a hint of contempt and supreme will, Drevan's mouth had the turned down corners of discontent, his lips pouted and truculent, his eyes wary as if waiting for a chance to take advantage of a moment of weakness.

Apparently Drevan couldn't read my mind and I couldn't read his. But he could project his thoughts into my mind so that I could hear them.

"You are the Oracle. You must tell me what I should do to accomplish my goals. Once you have mapped a course for me I will set you free," he thought/said.

I spoke out loud, wondering how he understood my modern day English. "What are your goals, Drevan Grando?"

As I spoke I realized that while I was thinking in English, my words were coming out in whatever language he understood, probably Croatian. Some kind of magic was at play here, maybe to prevent anachronisms from crossing the sea of time, maybe part of the same magic that had brought me here.

He smiled slightly. He had the same sneery half smile Jure did only his half smile went the other way. I remembered Linda saying they were like mirrors. "So you are truly the Oracle. You know who I am."

"I also know you want to take Celandine for your own and take over Jure's inheritance. Except for a moment in birth all this would have been yours." I gestured with my hand, hoping to look impressively all knowing.

He nodded, looking up more as I captured his complete interest. His dark eyes glittered behind his veil of hair, reflecting the torch light. He was mighty pleased that he had found the Oracle to help him.

"The witch has done well," he said, more to himself than to me.

Oh mercy me, another witch. I made a mental note to myself to stay the heck away from witches when I got back to my regular life. Except Amelia of course.

That was when I heard Eric's mighty bellow outside the castle walls, calling my name.

more to come .... Greetings Fanpires! Thank you for traveling through the nebulous lands of the internet to visit with me here. Here you are always received with joy. See you next week.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

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

Chapter One Hundred and Forty Six

The battle wound down when the barrels of alcoholic beverage ran dry. One of the three noisy generators that provided the lights for the battlefield began to splutter and needed to be refilled with gasoline.

I was full and happy, striding around with Eric.  The victorious Viking warriors, both human and vampire, cheered me as I passed. For one glorious night I got to see what it felt like to be Queen of All She Surveyed. It was nice. 

An older human woman with long wavy wild white hair flapping in the breeze stepped out of the crowd. In every way the crone of legend she had a hooked nose, few teeth and a big wart on her chin. It's like she was cast to be the Witch. Though bent with age, she quickly hobbled up to me and spoke. Her quick movement belied her aged appearance. Was this just a guise?

With gnarled hands she held a gold jewel encrusted goblet up to me in a ceremonial way. It might have come from the same museum my jewelry was stored in. I looked to Eric for translation as I carefully took the cup from her with both my hands. It was big, heavy and half full of a dark liquid.

"She is the local enchantress. She wants you to drink from the goblet and predict how the year will be for the village," Eric explained.

I took the goblet and looked at it sceptically. Since Turning I hadn't used a glass, cup, fork or plate. The large golden cup seemed both strange and familiar to my hands. I smelled the unpleasant metallic scent of True Blood, or its European equivalent, mixed with some strange plants, kind of like very strong marijuana and other plant smells.  I felt a momentary gagging sensation in my throat at the thought of drinking from the cup. I decided to pretend.

I gave the witch a solemn nod and put the cup to my lips. I tipped it slightly but not enough for the liquid to touch my lips. The smell was wonderful, not the True Blood, of course, but the herbs it contained. One of them reminded me of some sweet wild flower I had smelled as a child. It was almost a hypnotic scent ...

"Dricka! .. dricka! ..." the witch screeched, suddenly making an upwards gesture with her hands. The cup, which must have been bespelled,  jerked upwards, surprising me and causing me to gulp down a big swallow of the drink.

Before I could even splutter Eric had knocked the cup away from me. The Hag jumped back and cackled, hopping around in glee on bandy matchstick legs, mighty spry for a woman her age. She scooped up the cup from the slushy snow where it had landed without damage.

All the onlookers laughed and clapped and cheered. They were used to the antics of the local witch, I guess. I wanted to be a good sport and not ruin the event. Since I was the main attraction all eyes were on me, waiting for my pronouncements. Eric was frowning but he wasn't going to attack the old woman. This was one part of the show he hadn't known about, apparently.

I tried to think of a prophecy. Since I wasn't an Oracle and didn't know the kind of things they said I decided to stick with generalities. I knew this was called a "cold reading" from Amelia's explanation of how a person without psychic abilities could appear to read tarot cards or tea leaves and come up with information that seemed personally relevant to the client but would really apply to just about anyone.

"This will be a good year," I said in what I hoped was a portentous tone. The human with the deep voice translated my words. Everyone cheered.

"The crops will be abundant," I went on. I was hoping this was a farming community and not a factory town. Translating and more cheering.

I opened my mouth to say that all the babies born will be healthy but what I said was, "Lucas Bergman's wife Linnea will leave him if he does not stop hitting her."

I clapped my hand over my mouth, shocked at what I had just said. I looked at Eric, my eyes wide. He looked just as startled as I did.

When I took my hand from my mouth I said, " Nils Olsson will deny paternity of Eva Agardh's baby, but he is truly the father." I heard a few gasps go up from the crowd.

A big red bearded man stepped from the back and said something angry, waving his fist.

"Get me out of here, right now!" I said in a panic to Eric. He said a few words to his friend Vagn and we all moved at warp speed to Vagn's Volvo. The vampires could see us but we would appear to simply disappear to the humans in the crowd. Of course they would see the Volvo drive off from the mucky snow and mud parking area.

I said, "Anni Anders will die suddenly of an aneurism," but I had my hand pressed so hard to my mouth I don't think Eric or Vagn understood what the muffled sounds were.

I looked at Eric, my hand still over my mouth and saw he had the same thought I did, that the herbs in the beverage had some kind of magic ability to unleash an ability to see the future. Whether this was something everyone could do or whether it was some quality of mine didn't matter. I just wanted it to wear off quickly. There was no way I wanted to know the future, much less compulsively blurt it out.

No new revelations came to me. We hummed along in the car, Eric telling Vagn to take us back to the hotel. The thought of being in our safe room relaxed me. I took Eric's hand and held it.

I took my other hand from my mouth and said, "I will take a long journey and meet a tall dark stranger ..."

Then everything faded to black.

more to come ..... (Greetings Ladies of the Night ... I really appreciate your visits here whether you leave a comment or not. I have a counter I can see showing me how many visits I have.  I treasure each and every one of them because they mean you are sharing my vision of Sookie and Eric. For me they were truly one of the great love stories and adventure stories of all time and I didn't want them to fizzle out or be anything less than a vampire Romeo and a Bon Temps Juliet. I hold their bond to each other and my bond with you precious  in my heart.)