Joyeux Noël Chapter 25

joyeux-noel

Chapter 25

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 25

It was quiet in the house. Humans were trying to keep vamp hours. “Impossible,” the king of the dragons chuckled, “unless you sleep right along beside them.”

His big man had had a night as well. There was a lot of toasting to the bride and groom and lots of boo-hooin’ as Gran and His La La Fineness sat with a bottle of tequila between them after Eric and Sookie had retired. They toasted their baby girl while they told Scully stories about their Sookie. At times, he cried with pride and also with sorrow, knowing that he was responsible for the hardship she endured.

Gran and his big man had both petted and fussed over Scully and told him that to look at what he had wrought! Their Sookie was an upstanding citizen and had a full and loving heart and was kindness itself!

Somewhere before dawn, the Lord Scully and his Lady had stumbled off to bed. O.I. had tucked his La La in, threw more logs on the fire and then settled in front of the window to watch it snow. Before he was called back to this plane of existence, he had missed out on a lot. “But not much,” he sighed. “Good is still good and evil is still trying to devour good. What the fuck?” he rolled his eyes as he looked toward the heavens. “Glads I am back! Thanks for that!” his voice was very sincere as he then stood and saluted.

Breakfast was put out every morning and available at   eight. Earlier if you requested the time and what was desired. But O.I. liked the buffet that was set out every morning and he liked helping himself. He did not need anyone to serve his drink or fix him a plate. The pleasure was all his as he fixed for himself and a loved one.

As the clock struck the hour, he was downstairs, nodding and saying his hello’s as he fluttered in. Starting with a cup of hot chocolate with a splash of rum he sat in a chair, still watching out the window as he savored the many different tastes on his tongue. The snow was falling at a faster pace as the wind whipped around the chimney.

“Good day to be indoors, all warm and snuggly,” he smiled as he picked up the paper that had been put out with breakfast.

The U.K. Watchman seemed to be the paper that was read in this house. Ian had complained that the other national newspapers were oh-so-very bipartisan and he appreciated that the U.K.W. covered Supernatural events as well as human ones.

“Mo’ fo’n’” he laughed out loud. “Would you just admire the front page headlines!”

 Blizzard Conditions Next 12 Hours!

A White Christmas comes early to the British Isle as winds came howling down out of the Artic early this morning bring it with below freezing temperatures and an anticipatory 12 inches of snow!

“Oh and oh,” he chuckled. “Looks like we done and mades the front page. Who would have thought it?”

Queen Elizabeth the First Marries!

For those that saw Macbeth last night the question looms? Was it Queen Bess? We at the U.K.W. believe so! The ghost of Queen Elizabeth the First married last night during a production of Macbeth at the Globe Theatre. While sitting on the throne, Queen Elizabeth was known to call to court Shakespeare and his acting troupe. She very much enjoyed the plays of The Bard, Macbeth being one of her favorites.

So did she return last night to say her vows to Prince Erik of Sweden? Many think she did and that the Virgin Queen is virgin no longer.

“Oh…most good. Next up is the weather page, with maps and regions done in this pretty blue and links to the national weather sites. The headline governing over all this science says,

Frost King Brings Winter: Gorgeous blond reigns over 12” of snow in London as the front stalls over the capitol promising a white Christmas.”

O.I. merely shook his head. “So muches that can and can nots be explained. I am beginning to see why King Ian makes much of this paper. They embrace all fronts and lets the reader decide.”

Having another sip, he turned to the social page, About London, was the header with the social elite being seen escorted to and from parties held in grand ballrooms and Buckingham Palace.

“Mo’ fo’n’,” O.I. snorted. “We made that page as well”, he said as he began reading out loud in a falsetto voice.

A wedding five hundred years in the making,” he fluttered his eyelashes. “Queen Elizabeth the First picked Prince Erik of Sweden to be her mate. The handsome couple exchanged vows last night at the Globe Theatre with snow and a dragon and his rider in attendance on stage. Vows were exchanged as the handsome pair danced on diamonds of ice that paved the happy couple’s steps. The Bride wore the Ditchley portrait gown and her groom was dressed in his Viking finery. In their white and gold they ruled the night.”

O.I sat back in his chair and fluttered over and poured more rum into his hot chocolate. “I am beginin’ to wonders if I shoulds do a scrap-book for the bride and groom. Might make a fine weddin’ gift. Will have to have a chat with my big mans when he wakes. Gets us some scrap bookin’ materials and several more papers. This could be a fun thing to do with the bad weather.” Turning the page he was met with the headline, O’ to Tread the Boards. “Must be the theatre page,” he mused as he began to read the headline.

The (Snow) Globe: Macbeth—Witches, Dragons and a Wedding

The (Snow) Globe last night proudly presented Macbeth–complete with the full regalia of Witches, a fire-breathing dragon with a dragon rider and a royal wedding…

I thought I went to see the abridged version of Macbeth…instead I was treated to the Bard’s unabridged version of Macbeth and it was magnificent!

There have always been rumors that Shakespeare had written a version of a wedding into each play for the celebration of the marriage of Queen Elisabeth the First. When she did not marry, the pages were removed but not destroyed. Apparently Macbeth’s have been found and were incorporated into last night’s dazzling display of live theatre!

It was brilliant how the dragon and his rider mesmerized the audience with their heartfelt words and worldly sorrows beseeching the audience to be compassionate to one another.

The loving kindness when the Prince and HRM spoke of their love.

And Macbeth, never holding his head in shame as he knew the curse he had brought upon himself and owning it.

I had come to see Macbeth played out on the Globe’s stage. A seasoned cast giving us the tragic play as Shakespeare intended.

And indeed, we saw it as Old Willy wanted us to experience it!

The cast and the crew were exceptional!

The weather was an integral part of the show as well, setting the mood.

And as always, many, many, thanks to those in The Pit! You did all of us proud!”

O.I. was nodding his head in agreement. “Twas a fine show,” as he turned the page and there it was—“Lordys lordys, do wish my big mans was awake to dish the dirt with. Looks like I done found the good stuff on the gossip page!

 Titillating Rumors! Who was seen with Whom on the Town?” his voice was all aghast!

After last night…forget the rumors– it is true…Queen Bess did have the hots for the Crown Prince of Sweden. Did she interview him for the fill position? From the looks of things and from my angle I could see the bulge through his tunic that was dancing in his pants…! Hmmmm, me thinks maybe she did! She could have had her choice of any heir to the throne in the known world…but the ladies always side with the big blond with the Swedish accent. Prince of the Tall, Blond and Take me to Bed You Big Stud won the night and the maiden fair. Apparently being a 500 plus year old queen of England can have its perks!

Oh and looky….the cheat your fate page…,” he chuckled.

“Your Daily Horoscope—

The day in general for all signs—Today is a good day to stay in doors and bake cookies. Magic abounds and tis handy to have a small sweet about for the wee ones that are sure to be stirring as we get closer to Winter Solstice. And check to make sure your cat’s whiskers are clean. The dead roam during this season. Your cat can sense their vibration with their whiskers so keep the spider webs off and be at the ready with your camera for that all important selfie!

During this season it is always a blessed time for marriages so forget June and embrace the cold and the candlelight. When darkness falls and cold embraces all, tis little left to do but enjoy the pleasures of the flesh.”

Fluttering back over to the buffet, he just brought the rum back with him. There was no one in the room. Picking up the decanter, he held it to his lips and drank. “Lordy…that is what was needed. Now, moving on,” as he watched the snow blowing past the window for a moment and then turned the page.

I do like the advice column,” he said as he saw the header for that page. “Let us see just what help is need from Ask Anita.

Dear Anita,

I am in love with a royal.”

O.I. rolled his eyes and “tiched” under his breath. “Shocker! Don’t I knows what that is like. Poor souls thinkin’ they want what I has. They gots no idea the responsibility that goes with that kind of power. You don’t be livin’ your own life. You serve others. I don’t think this missy knows what that means.

This poor soul needs to be put on the path. Glads there is someone doin’ her this favor for free,” he said with an all-knowing frown.

I know it is fruitless,

“Yes,” he nodded “and yet here you are.”

And he does not know I exist but I have to tell someone that if it were possible I would stalk him. Yes, I admit it to the world. Stalk…him…and if given the opportunity I would kidnap him and make him my love slave to include drugging him if I had too.

“Mo’ fo’n’,” the king of the dragon’s whistled. “Desperate psycho much?”

It does not matter that he has been dead for over 500 years. This could be love!

Do you think I should invest in a Ouija board?

Signed,

Do I Have a Ghost of a Chance?

“Okay Mistress Anita,” he continued to read, “do not let me down. Both barrels and a swift kick to the butt!”

Dear Ghost of a Chance,

You have the proverbial cliché of there not being one drop of ice water in Hell kinda chance. (And if there was just one drop…can you imagine the brawl?)

“Seen that brawl,” O.I. chuckled. “Ain’t pretty!”

We all saw the big blond Swede last night at Macbeth. We all saw him looking at his bride. Ghost or not, the guy is in love. The kind we all aspire to and dream about. Wish for, long for, hope for.

“Tis a fact,” O.I smiled thinking about Eric and Sookie. “Theirs is a love that will last through the ages.”

Until death do us part takes on a whole new meaning for those two.

“Tis a fact,” he wiped the tears from his eyes. “The King of the Frost and his Maiden of the Stars. Since time began, their love warmed us all!”

Be warned! Queen Bess sees you looking at her man with lust, it will be off with your head!I suspect the same could be said if you tried to contact him on the ethereal plain. Because once a queen, always a queen! I am sure QEI could arrange for…oh let’s see, falling houses…pianos, something large enough to flatten you when it fell out of the sky as you passed by! Just say good-bye to your ruby slippers and hello Hell!

Kindest regards and I have given your address along with your missive to the police,

Anita

“Why Mistress Anita, you sounds like a woman I would love to date! Clearly you are of the no bullshit persuasion,” he nodded in agreement. “Love those kind of women. They can get right in there next to my hearts tellin’ it like it is. No fluff, no flavor of you poor thing…just truths. Preach it,” he nodded. “Just because you want it does not mean it is yours for the takin’!

That was some ugly business. Time to move on.

Next we have…

From the Front Pew—Church News

Thousands attended mass this morning through out London in anticipation of the end of times. Apparently it just takes the rumor of one dragon appearing on stage with Macbeth to achieve what many archdioceses have not been able to accomplish—grow their number over the past decade.

Good people, there is no reason to panic! I have read Macbeth and there is no dragon!

Be blessed and be the blessing!

The Greater London Archdioceses Council

“Seriously,” he snorted and then moved on down to the next article.

The Greater Coven of London would like to invite The Dragon, the Dragon Rider, the King of the Frost and his lady, the Maiden of the Stars to worship with us every Wednesday night from nine to midnight. Visit our Greater Coven of London webpage at GCL.wicca.org for sites of worship.

Blessed Be

“A bit better,” he nodded his head. *“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Oh…the sports page,” he mused as he settled in to check the scores.

The London Quidditch team is recruiting for Chasers, Beaters, Keepers and Seekers. No experience with the game necessary. Being able to fly a broom and/or defy gravity a plus. Supernaturals, humans, dead royalty, and dragons welcome.

“Well just damn,” he grinned, “seems we are being recruited.

So much for the news,” he mused as he passed by the Want Ads—then he stopped, turned back to the Want Ads page and read:

Wanted: A dragon, any size. Familiar with the complete works of Shakespeare a plus but would be willing to tutor. Fire breathing a must. Salary negotiable.”

What the…?” O.I. arched an eyebrow then continued on to scan the page. Then the unspeakable caught his eye!

Personals—

Hello tall, dark and drop-dead erotic! Why let your meat loaf? I have £ ££ £’s!

Very interested in dragon rider sex. Must prove bona fides and be able to show dragon upon request. Not adverse to a three-some. Dragon must provide condom.

Mo-o-o-o-o-o’ fo’n-n-n-n-n-n’,” O.I. whistled. “That is just some kinda nasty. Forget the decanter. Where is that bottle of tequila? I needs a lots of somethin’ to wash the taste of that nasty out of my mouth.”

 *William Shakespeare. Hamlet. 1601.

Dear Readers,

Shortest of the short. But I wanted to do the newspaper reporters look at the night before. (I started out as a journalism major. Sometimes I just cannot help myself.) This was just a small sampling of different perspectives as I am sure there is more. I did not even make the advertisements! That Ditchley Portrait dress has got to be for sale someplace!

And would they be so bold as to have an ad for dragon  steaks? Yikes!

But my time this week was limited…that RL thing. It was all good…it keeps you busy…just not busy writing!

I will be gone later this week through next week. I might not have anything to post next Monday. I will get a couple of days writing in before we depart the area and will go from there.

Up next is Gadford LaRue, Count of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes’ party. Don’t you know his friends call his Gaddy. Eric calls him Gadfly…!

Should be interesting and maybe easy to write. His La La Fineness should be in full critique mode. I think I can just about guarantee that…go La La, go La La, go La La….!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

 

Joyeux Noël Chapter 24

joyeux-noel

Chapter 24

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 24

“There is no Christmas spirit here,” she leaned over and whispered in Eric’s ear. “Macbeth is madness and mayhem, and just wallowin’ around in it like we do with fried chicken for Sunday dinner,” Sookie said as she watched the actors on the stage, then her eyes would cut to those patrons standing on the floor. “I love those folks in the pit!” she whispered to Eric. “They are worth the price of admission, itself. Those witches had no sense of humor when they would call out and tell them to run that the Queen’s guards were coming to get them. Then there are those dressed just like them in the pit that would chant along with them, proclaiming they were the real Queen Hecate and to get those posers off to jail.

Those witches on stage would shake their fists and just hiss at them and go on with their lines.

But the other actors, I swear, I almost peed myself from laughing so hard when someone yelled out and told Macbeth that he would be a fucked up king and he responded with—

But yes and on that glorious dark filled day,

in a most righteous, unforgiving and fucked up way,

it shall be my reign to fuck up thus I say.

And then Macbeth just went right on back to his line, not missing a beat.”

Eric grinned. “They ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Miss Stackhouse. Time to go change. Our nuptial lines, soon-to-be Mrs. Northman, are an up and comer.”

Gran watched as Eric and Sookie walked away. “Time for a wedding,” she smiled at Scully and leaned in for a kiss.

“There goes O.I and Lafayette,” he nuzzled her ear. “Oh my, I do believe that snow has started. I believe O.I. called Act IV: Fire & Ice.”

*Act IV:

Scene 1. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

To hide the evil stench that is wafting from the stage, snow is swirling in and reflects off scattered moon beams as the three witches appear and begin to dance madly about. Before the first one can begin her chant,

from the opening in the top of the building a loud voice boomed into the arena.

“Silence ghouls, you foul of mouth

Your words be still we know what you are about!

You may speak when the bell does toll

Until then keep your silence that is your goal.”

For a moment the snow is blocked by a large looming something. All the audience can see is something dark descending to the stage.

Then the sound of cheering starts as the audience sees a dragon gracefully landing, bowing to the audience. On his back sits a master dragon rider in all his finery! Not one geared for war, but dressed in the finest cloth and jewels the realm has to offer.

Standing on the back of the dragon, he bows to the crowd and then speaks:

“True of heart, joyous of soul,

The trumpet sounds, truth shall be known.”

“Hear! Hear!” was called from The Pit.

“Tell us the truth,” they shouted as they shook their fists at the sky.

“O’ voice of Heaven O’ voice of Hell

Tell us the truth, from whence do you dwell?”

“To all of you I say….”

The dragon rider’s voice got louder and filled the theatre,

“…Stop today and say a prayer

For those that love and endure and care

For darkness falls and wants to stay

But for love— ah-h-h-h-h love,” The Rider placed his hand over his heart, “Macbeth’s cursedness would be your day.

“We dwell with love,” the dragon spoke, each word clipped with a bit of flame.

The dragon rider raised his hands skyward.

“To bring you joy from above.

These three would bring a dark and dreary abiding realm

Without hope without love at the helm

So thankful be for those that say

My love for you does not end this day.”

The dragon’s eyes glowed, his voice a rumble.

“A different song a different chant

Triad Wyrd, tonight tell the world of your small rant.

Speak the words placed upon a dragon’s heart

From the beginning, the place to start.:

The three witches all felt the muscles contract in their throats! A spell not of their making was getting ready to spring forth. They could feel it in their bones! This would be a blessing! Those dragon eyes’ that were fixed on them decreed it so!

Around the cauldron they danced and sang:

“The Maiden of Stars The King of Frost

Their hearts are true their love not lost

Upon their hearts their vows are etched

From an ancient time their love is fetched.

So here these words from these witches true,

We came here to curse both me and you.

But love has dealt us a bitter hand

For now we cannot lay our curses upon the land.

And so it begins….

*Double, double toil and trouble;

*Fire burn and caldron bubble…….

Fools do call a dragon snake

They bring the fire to broil and bake

Woe to you and woe to frog

Flight of the bats and bark of the dog

Dragon’s fork and dragon’s sting,

Dragon’s leg and dragon’s wing

A dragon’s charm is chaos doubled

*Like a hell-broth does boil and bubble.

*Double, double toil and trouble;

*Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with love that does burn hot,

Tonight be ye married on this spot.

The snow picked up and was swirling around the theatre. Mixed in with the snow were ice crystals and the lights captured the multi faceted objects and there were millions of dancing diamonds!

Floating down out of the sky was a couple dancing on a river of frozen starlight! As they waltzed around the building, cheers went up as the dress was recognized! And billowing behind it was yards of tulle that floated like wings out into the night! The diamonds on the tulle glimmering and trailing behind the bride and bringing the stars from the heavens into the theatre!

“Our good Queen Bess!” they shouted. “Long live our good Queen Bess!

Prince Erik of Sweden!” the crowd gasped when they saw him! “The Viking prince has brought his dragon and our queen has chosen her royal consort! Long live Prince Erik of Sweden!”

Those in the pit were doing the wave and it was not long before those that were seated in the upper sections were doing it as well.

Eric and Sookie danced their way to the stage where The Dragon Rider stood on top of the dragon and threw kisses to the crowd.

Bowing, he held up his hands for all to be quiet.

Instead he was greeted with more wild cheers!

From the dragon, a burst of flame shot out, not reaching those who sat in the seats and warming those standing in the pit.

All noise stopped.

“Mo’ fo’n,” the dragon said shaking his head and looking out into the crowd. O. I.  cleared his throat.

“O’ gentle viewer of history…

We are going to right a wrong.

So that we all go merrily along.

A smallish change, a marriage arranged.

Then for Macbeth, madness and mayhem shall once more reign!”

Bowing to the crowd he was greeted with more thundering applause.

Lafayette held up his hands and once quiet was noted throughout the arena.

“Time for the wedding. Settle in and be blessed. Listen to the good words and know that Macbeth should have listened to the good words as well.

And so it begins,” Lafayette nodded to the flutiest and the song of the nightingale commenced as a low sigh beneath His Fineness’s words.

The groom does speak

His heart not weak

For love is his

And sealed with a kiss”

Eric took Sookie’s hands and looked adoringly into her eyes:

“Love does abide and love does stay

Where hate would think to have its way.”

Sookie is clearly a woman whose heart has been given to this man:

“But hearts entwined are hearts that keep

The death of love beneath its feet.”

E & S entwined about each other as the snow swirls around them:

“I love you every day through trial and fire

I stand by you until the final hour

When death does knock and I cannot stay his hand

Know that I loved you with all and our love was grand.”

From the sides came serving wenches, carrying trays filled with drink. Champagne glasses were being passed out to the crowd.

The Dragon Rider raised his in a salute!

Repeat each line of the toast after me! He shouted in glee.

“Drink of the cup, drink of the grape,”

“Drink of the cup, drink of the grape,” was sang back.

“A vow to honor our love not to abate.”

“A vow to honor, “ the crowd repeated, bowing to each other, “our love not to abate.”

“A wedded toast, a bedded groom!”

A wedded toast, a bedded groom!” was replied with lots of whistling and cheering and clapping!

The wife, tonight she shall bloom.”

“The wife, tonight she shall bloom.” Was howled with laughter and lots of forward thrusting of the pelvis.

“For this man and this woman, the seal cannot be broken.

For their love is the token.”

Eric and Sookie were sealing their vows with a searing kiss as they floated upward, the snow that had entered the building, gathering at their feet and trailed after them into the night sky.

The dragon and the dragon rider are left on stage. The dragon takes several steps forward until he stands at the edge.

“Know this,” his voice was quiet and hushed.

“Death, he does not have the final say,

For in life and love once more we shall pass this way.”

The dragon rider stood, his voice intense.

“For love does abide if the heart stays true

And if I give my heart to only you.”

Adieu,” The dragon rider whispered, taking a bow. “Joyeux Noël.”

“Adieu,” The dragon said bowing his head. “Joyeux Noël.”

They both bowed again and then the dragon went straight up and out of sight. The con trail he left behind was that of a dragon and his rider until the smoke faded into the now star lit sky.

Macbeth came onto the stage with a champagne glass in his hand.

“On a cold night the grape does warm the soul

On a wedding night lovers entwined is the goal.

Our queen and her prince shall be bedded soon,

Me thinks as soon as they can find a room.

The royals’ asses are meant for a bed,

There the prince shall take her maidenhead.

One good thing tonight has brought,” he smiled raising his glass in a salute,

“That two have found wedded bliss and for three, spells are naught.

If only Macbeth could foresee

Those witches make a troublesome three (and not a ménage a trois)” he said as an aside to the audience.

“The rest of this tragic tell is not lost,” he saluted those in the pit,

“The show must go on at all costs.

Cue the witches, do your worst,

I am Macbeth, tis my curse.”

Eric and Sookie were admiring their view of London from atop of Big Ben. “Lovely,” she sighed as she sat on Eric’s lap, his arms wrapped around her. “What else am I looking at through these flakes?”

“Westminster Bridge,” Eric replied “And the Houses of Parliament.

Do you want to see the rest of the play?”

“No,” she smiled. “We told them we would meet them at the house when it was over to exchange rings and sign the paper work. I like this,” she sighed. “It is quiet up here and the city is lovely. Damn, I like snow, hides us from not only earth, but the heavens as well.”

“Yes, snow,” he whispered in her ear. “Good thing we brought the blanket,” as he nibbled on her neck and pulled it up around them.

“You ever have sex on the top of Big Ben?” she asked him.

“No,” he shook his head.

“You ever feed from anyone from the top of Big Ben?” she sighed as he picked her up and turned her around so that she now sat facing him.

“No,” his face was now between her breasts, nuzzling the flesh there.

“So I would be your first?” she grinned at him when he raised his face to hers.

“Oh yes,” he replied as his eyes held hers, his fangs down and blue sparks flashing from those orbs that could hold her attention until doomsday!

“Clever,” she ran her finger down his nose, “how you turned me around and all this dress now just hangs down the side of your legs. Since there was nothing covering their lady parts…”

“You have lovely lady parts,” a slow, lazy smiled covered Eric’s lips.”

“Yes and I thank you for noticing,” she batted her eyelashes at him. “But by not wearing undies, I can see how this would make going to the bathroom for those women easier. And sex,” she wiggled her eyebrows. “It would make sex easier as well.” Her hands moved lower. “Why husband,” she savored the word, “there are buttons on your trousers,” she said playfully as she undid the first one. Then the second. When she undid the third, King Eric pushed out.

“Wife,” Eric leaned in and pulled her closer, lightly kissing her on the lip as she adjusted her bottom on top of his legs.

“Wife,” he said again and groaned when she undid the last button, and grasping King Eric, rubbed him against all her girly parts, before she finally settled on one place. That small button of a clitoris, which was now throbbing.

“Husband,” she breathed out and pulled his face down for a kiss, her tongue finding his and her lips now hungry.

“Wife,” he moaned as he picked her up and eased her down onto him. “I find I cannot wait,” he moved his hips forward. “I will make it up to you,” he slid in deeper as Sookie ran her hands through his hair, urging him on. “In our bed, I will make you scream my name, but for now, I ache, to my bones I ache. And all I can feel is your heat and your desire.”

“Do it,” Sookie was trailing kisses along his neck and up to his ear. “Do it,” she moaned louder. “Pound into me and make me scream, wanting you only more!”

A low, strangled cry came out of Eric as his hips moved faster and his teeth marked her skin but never broke it.

“So sweet, so sweet,” she could hear the heat rising in his voice. “So hot and so delicious and so very, very, mine,” he groaned as he pushed his furthest into her and then bit.

Sookie ground onto him and when he moved his mouth to her nipple, sucking it through the cloth, her desire blew her part!

His hand slipped inside her bodice and pulled out one nipple and then the other. Pushing them together, he took both into his mouth and suckled. When her bucking started in earnest, he sucked harder and his hands slowly ran down buttocks and back up, all the while pulling her butt cheeks further apart. When he slipped a finger inside, the low, guttural moan that left her vibrated her entire being. Pushing against him with all of her might, she let him do to her what he would…and it was all glorious and so very…very…good!

As the snow fell, wrapped up in a blanket, hovering on the top of Big Ben, there was a wife who had her legs draped over her husband’s shoulders. And while he feasted from her clit to her anus, she screamed and screamed and screamed, until there was not one sound left in her. Not one. Well maybe one. It was the merest whisper of a word. Meant only for her lover to hear and the falling snow.

“Eric…”

Eric’s approach was a bit different. “Mine!” was bellowed and the snow in the heavens vibrated to the sound of his voice! Supernaturals throughout the London felt the roar of the shuddering and the throb on their windows and knew that the night held secrets that were not theirs to keep!

It was the third curtain call for bows! The audience could not get enough and kept cheering!

“Best fucking night ever!” Hopkins kept congratulating the stage crew. “Best fucking show ever! Cue the dragon!” she yelled and danced up and down for joy! “Fuck, I want to know how special effects in the booth made all that happen but I am not going to ask because I am believing in Christmas magic! Joyeux Noël,” she yelled as she continued to jump up and down and hugging anyone who came close enough! “Best fucking show ever!”

Zara, Ziza and Zanny heard the wild cheering and their teeth still chattered in disbelief as they held hands and took another bow.

“Bow and bow and bow and get our asses off stage,” Ziza said under her breath, smiling out into the theatre.

“I have frozen my tits off,” Zara complained, as they took one last bow and headed back stage. “My ass as well.”

Zanny eyed this piece of lower than Were shit that was now walking next to her.

“Your tits and ass might be frozen but when King Hat hears about this, I want to be on the other side of the world.”

“This was not our fault,” Zara stopped and looked at her with her mouth open. “Not…my…fault,” she said pointing to herself. “You can take the blame for this if you want, but not my…”

“You stupid ass,” Ziza hissed at her. “You think that old woman was kidding? I am sure she was the one who gave Cleopatra the asp and made her use it! Those were not threats she made to us. Those were promises. Now, who has money? I mean a stash someplace so she can not trace us.”

Zanny was listening intently. “I have a little set aside. Just in case I needed to run.”

“Run?” Zara frowned at her. “Run from what? We have the Z ranking. All fear us. We are part of the bloodied sisterhood.”

“You moron,” she hissed at her. “That is who we are running from.”

Sookie was sure she had floated home on a dream. That dream being Eric, she realized. Somehow all that dress was still intact and she and Eric were all snuggled together under that fabulous blanket as they approached the front door to Ian’s house.

When the front door opened there were rose petals scattered everywhere and there to greet them was the family! Scully and Gran hugged and kissed Sookie repeatedly, both of them crying as they cupped her cheeks and looked into her eyes and saw only happiness there.

Lafayette hugged her and held her close.

“We have been blessed,” he managed to get out. “Because of your love, you righted the wrong of Sir Scully. He wept all during the rest of the play thanking God for you.

And I thank God for you also. Sookie, you believed in me. Always have. You love me. Always have. I am blessed for knowing you,” he wiped his eyes and then hugged her again.

“I love you Lafayette,” she nodded her head. “I did not have much, but because of you and Gran, I had everything,” she sobbed as she kissed him.

Stepping apart, the rest of the wedding party hugged on them and congratulated them while champagne glasses were refilled and more toasts were called out as the happy couple entered the foyer.

“I have the rings,” Samuel smiled at them. “Vedo is waiting in the library. She would have been out here to greet you but she is preparing herself.”

“She has been weeping,” Ian added. “Tonight brought back a lot of raw emotions for her.”

“Form up,” Pam said handing everyone a basket filled with rose petals. “Let us escort my maker and his bride to the library.”

In front of the bride and groom walked the wedding party. Those that had known Eric and Sookie for the longest. Those that had loved them and had stood by them…those that knew that they could be more than they could ever dream…that together they would set the bench mark of what all others desired.

Vedo stood in front of the fire and bowed when they entered.

“I am privileged, tonight, to formally join together two houses. That of Sir Angel of Green Wood and King Erikr.

Queen Sookie has consented to be the bride of The Viking King and to walk beside him. All else is insignificant to the vow that they made to each other.

I am merely here to formalize the giving of their love.

Samuel, the rings, please.”

Eric’s brother moved over to a table where he had staged a Bible open to the Book of Ruth. Placing the rings there, his gaze held that of his brother and then his bride.

“I know Eric, that the story of Ruth is not significant to you. But I do know that it is known to Sookie.”

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Ruth traveled to strange places and knew an even stranger God. But she would not break the words that she spoke to her mother-in-law.

Ruth understood that to marry the man that she wanted in her heart, that she would follow the older woman’s advice. That being, after the successful harvest and the threshing of the grain, to take herself to the threshing floor and ride the drunken Boaz. And when he came looking for the woman that had so pleasured him, she would have proof because she took his shoe.

I would say,” he smiled at her, “that you have done the same thing with Eric. Only it is his love you have taken. Guard it well, my sister. For I know, there is nothing more precious than this man that stands here with you now.

Eric,” his hand reached out and stroked his brother’s cheek. “This woman…I did not think she would ever exist. Yet here she stands. Indeed, she has traveled with the older woman to stand by your side. She entered here a stranger and now stands surround by the love of your family.

From Ruth and Boaz came a mighty nation. May your love provide you with a safe haven to dwell within as well.”

Eric picked up Sookie’s wedding band from where it was resting on the magnificent hand lettered, gold leafed, Ruth.

“Because of my brother, I am familiar with the story of Ruth,” Eric began. “She was a woman who had left everything behind to travel to a strange land.

This is what Sookie has done. Left the safety of her life to enter the world of vampire and supernatural. For me…she did this for me…the thought is staggering. How can I ever be worthy of that?” he asked her. “All I have to offer is my love and a pledge of that love.”

Picking up the ring, it was a dragon’s body that wrapped around twice. Her diamond engagement band fit in the center, so that it appeared that the dragon’s back was covered in diamonds.

Sliding off her ring, she handed it to him. Eric placed the two of them together and kissing her hand, slid the ring back onto her finger. “As I stand before you, Sookie Northman, I am yours.”

Nodding her head, she took his ring and held it up to the light. It was also a dragon, that wrapped around twice. But there was no sparkle. Just a solid chunk of gold that announced that his man was taken!

“I would follow you,” she ran her hand with her wedding band down his face, “through Hell and back because I know you would bring me safely home. This is all I have to offer. My love and my belief in you. As I stand before you, Eric Northman, I am yours.”

Tip-toeing up she kissed him lightly on the lips. With a nod of his head, he kissed her gently back.

“The marriage license is here,” Vedo smiled at both. “It will require your signatures and those of the witnesses. And a formal toast once it is done.”

“Oh,” Sookie registered surprise. “Is that part of the vampire protocol?’

“Part of mine,” Madame Vedo nodded. “Was the way of my time,” she said softly to Sookie. “And tonight, you took me back to those days that I thought were lost to the shadows. Instead, Queen Sookie, seeing you in that dress, I realized I never really left them behind. That part of myself still exists and I am grateful for that. Now, I believe King Ian has an inkwell and pen. Let us proceed. Ian has promised us dancing. I am looking forward to claiming my waltz with the bride.”

When the clock chimed two, Eric excused themselves from the festivities and wrapping Sookie back up in the blanket, took them upstairs.

There was a fire to greet them and the bed had been turned back with a dusting of rose petals everywhere.

“Thanks,” she smiled at him as he helped her to remove her clothes. When all she had on was the chemise, he placed her on the couch and fitted the blanket around her. “This evening was amazing, incredible…magical…never could I have imagined anything like this.”

“Which part?” he smiled as he sat next to her and took her hand. “That you are related to Macbeth? Married to a vampire or that you have a dragon for a friend?”

“Well,” she grinned, “when you give me those three to choose from, in their own way each is equal and not one stands above the other.”

“Nicely said,” Eric picked up her hand and kissed it. “Are you sure you are not a lawyer?”

“Oh, I know the answer to that one…no to the lawyer,” she yawned and putting her feet upon the couch, put her head in Eric’s lap and went to sleep.

“My Sookie,” he said running his fingers through her hair. “You can be whatever you want.”

The snow was still falling and Eric could hear the hiss of the sparks as they made their way up the chimney and encountered a snowflake that had made it inside.

“Which part,” he asked himself, “do you not believe? That she loves you, that you love her or that maybe there really is a happily ever after for the likes of myself?”

“Eric,” he heard his name whispered. “I love you. Make love to me. Something sweet and soft while I am drowsing.”

“With all my heart, my bride, I shall do this,” he kissed her lips and carried her over to their lovers’ bower. The snow was supposed to last the day and into the evening. He could stay here with her and be there when she woke.

Undressing he slid into bed next to her. “I love you Sookie,” he whispered in her ear while he placed kisses on her neck.

“Show me,” she sighed.

“Show me…!” King Hat was screaming. “Show me! Show me! Show me!

It is three o’clock. The clock strikes. I have worked the spell and nothing happened! Where is the fucking book that is to appear?”

O.I., who always slept with one eye open, was listening to the wind when he heard the ruckus. He did not have much time. This magic was waning. Tying his magic to the outbound magic, he projected himself to the source of the foul language and anger.

“What?” King Hat said peering into the haze. “What is that? Is that the book?”

“Fuck no,” a small dragon appeared smoking a cigarillo. “You need to shave,” he said eyeing her, with disgust in his voice. “What? You think you are the bearded lady in the circus? You do them an injustice.” Blowing smoke in her face, she was coughing and sputtering as the last of the spell dissipated and the connection broke.

Going over to the door she slammed it open so hard the wood splintered. “Where are my three from London? I want to see them as soon as they return.”

“Have not heard from them,” the Minion replied. “With the snow, traveling could be difficult. Perhaps they stayed in London one more night.”

“Have you tried calling them?” she asked.

“My King,” the woman bowed, “I do not have a phone. It is forbidden. Only the Z’s have a phone. And there are none in resident tonight. You excused them so they would not learn your secrets to calling out to the universe.”

“What?” she snarled.

“That is what the Z’s say. When you don’t want them to learn something, you send them away.”

Growling, she pushed the old woman to the ground and walked sedately back to her rooms. Not knowing whether to scream or laugh, she did neither. After all, she had made contact with a dragon. The world now belonged to her!

*Shakespeare: Macbeth 1606

Dear Readers,

Prince Erik of Sweden was indeed a contender for QEI’s hand in marriage. No foolin’!

Hope your Mother’s Day was joyous! Mine was indeed blessed.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

Joyeux Noël Chapter 23

joyeux-noel

Chapter 23

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 23

 

Annie and Alcide were still parked having waiting for the call back from her Weres and having the “get your ass home discussion” when her phone chimed.

“We have him,” Clay said, “and the truck. You would not fucking believe what is in the truck. C-4. A lot of it. Along with blasting caps and a few other things that would blow London into the stratosphere.”

“Stay with it,” she said as she closed her eyes and shook her head. “I will make the appropriate phone calls to the police. Just stay with that fucking truck. I will get back to you as soon as I can with further directions.”

“Fucking terrorists!” Alcide was growling. “That fucking Wion!

We need a plan. A good plan. Call the British Isle vampire king,” Alcide said nodding his head. “They sent me here after Northman. Eric knows somebody high the fuck up enough to generate a passport for me. Plus, he obviously knows what is going on and seems to be two steps ahead of everyone. We do not want to be involved in this. Let Eric deal with it.”

“Can do,” she nodded as she scrolled through her contact list and hit King Ian’s number.

 

Ian’s secretary came to the door. “There is an American Were here in London by the name of Alcide Herveaux that wants to speak to The Viking. He says it involves Wion and a truck load of C-4 that they are presently guarding.

“Thank you,” Eric said getting up and taking the phone as Filbert bowed and left the room.

“Alcide, you are on speaker,” Eric said. “What is going on?”

“The down and dirty,” Alcide replied. “Annie abjured Wion. Tonight he tried to have us killed by running her car off the road with a beer truck. Her Weres intercepted the truck and has the driver which I personally would have killed but the back of the truck has C-4 and other explosive nasties in it. We are not yet eyes on, but headed that direction.

Who ever the fuck you know, Eric, please, call them and have them deal with this. I still want the driver dead but I can understand how national security comes first. Her guys say there is enough explosive to take out London.”

All the vampires were fangs down, their eyes glowing.

“Give me the address,” Eric’s voice was quiet.

Annie gave them the address and just as fast the vampires had it plugged into the phone on their GPS.

“We are gearing up as we speak. Have the Weres stay with the vehicle. You two be someplace else. There are surveillance cameras everywhere. Out here.”

Eric hit another number on his phone. “Director, my contacts have found a truck loaded with C-4. Here is the address. I am on my way there now until you send in the Brits. When you are asked questions, just tell them my network informed me that Wion planned on blowing up London.”

“Roger that,” Director Castle said and hung up.

“Let’s travel,” Eric said as the five vampires were out the door.

 

Director Castle called his British counterpart, Director Lord Hillshire Devon.

“Love waking you up,” he began when Devon’s voice was heard.

“How bad is it?” he asked.

“Truck full of C-4 and other goodies. Enough to take out London. My team is on the ground there now, securing the truck, waiting for yours.”

“Bloody fucking hell,” he hissed. “I owe you. And fuck yes, dinner at Buckingham Palace and a knighthood for you.

Give me the address.”

 

The five came in at vamp speed. The Weres looked relieved. Then Alcide and Annie both hopped down out of the back of the truck.

“Northman,” Alcide said nodding his head.

“King Ian,” Annie said nodding hers.

“We are here to stand guard until the locals arrive. I would be gone from here,” Eric said to the group. “I am sure your country would be grateful for your service but then you would have to explain just how you came to be in possession.”

“Absolutely,” Annie nodded. “Get gone. All of you. Now. We are motoring off as well.”

“Will they kill the driver?” Alcide asked. “He tried to run us off the road.”

“I can put in a request,” Eric said matter-of-fact. “Since this one will not make the news, I see all manner of truth drugs in his future.”

“Thanks,” Alcide replied.

“Sirens,” they all said at the same time as they scattered to their car and bikes and were gone.

Pam was looking in the cab of the truck. “This guy is already almost dead. He has taken a severe beating to the head and shoulders.”

“So be it,” Eric grinned. “Helicopter inbound. Must be Devon. You can either stay or go,” he said.

“A very low profile is the very best profile of all,” Pamela grinned as she vamped out.

“Sound advice for once from your child, me boyo,” Cedric grinned and was gone.

“See you at the house,” Ian saluted him and disappeared.

“My brother,” Samuel hugged him. “You continue to make me proud. See you in a few.”

As the helicopter hovered, Eric broke several chem lights and placed them on the ground for a make-shift landing pad.

When Devon stepped out, he walked straight to Eric.

“Lord Northman,” he said stretching out his hand. “I should have known. Castle has his mysterious ways but we have our peerage. Walk me through and let us get this started.”

 

 

“Fastest three days of my life,” Sookie said again as Madame Vedo explained to her the purpose of each article of clothing that she was helping the soon-to-be-bride into.

“Can I just tell you,” Pamela drawled, “that I am glad I did not live through…through…” she arched an eyebrow, “that. Or that…” she pointed to something else. “And look at those stockings. Wool…I itch just contemplating that next to my smooth as silk skin.”

“His La La Fineness says everythin’ starts with the best foundation. And I gots to say…all those clothes just to wear that dress…how much, your very fine Madameness of the Vedo, how much does that dress and all those do-dads weigh?”

“Probably about fifty pounds,” she replied. “I never weigh it so that I know for sure. It scares those of the faint of heart, off.

There is ten pounds of jewels alone sewn onto the dress. When we add her wings onto her back, there is about three pounds of just tulle that flows out from it. Not to mention the diamonds that Eric asked me to attach. Never has a star shined as brightly on a cold winter’s night as our bride shall shine tonight!”

“Will I be able to walk?” Sookie asked as the first undergarment went on?”

“Not to worry,” Vedo smiled. “Eric says he is carrying you.”

“Where is Mr. Eric?” O.I. asked.

“The groom is not allowed to watch the bride get dressed,” Sookie said. “There is nothin’ we can do about him seein’ me before the weddin’. So Gran just figured that him not seein’ me gettin’ dressed was just as good.”

“Just as good,” O.I. nodded. “We shall have us a mighty fine weddin’ and defeatin’ of evil at the same time. Just does not get any better than that.”

“And what is Eric wearing?” Gran asked. “I have been oh-h-h-ing and awing over Sookie’s dress and I forget to ask about Eric’s.”

“The 16th century’s male version of Sookie’s,” Vedo smiled. “All done in white and gold. Our Sookie shall have what good Queen Bess did not. A mate who will love and adore her. Stand by her side and kill anyone who thinks to trespass where they should not.”

“I would love something to drink,” Sookie sighed. “But how in the world do you go to the bathroom in this?”

“That is why good Queen Bess had ladies-in-waiting,” Vedo said with a sure nod of her head. “O.I., if you would please, pour our bride a glass of that port you have been imbibing. We shall get her to the bathroom when the time comes.”

Samuel was helping Eric get dressed while Ian and Cedric were offering advice on how to do his hair.

“Just a bit puffy,” Cedric kept insisting.

“I don’t do puffy,” Eric replied with a low growl.

“Of course you do,” Ian said. “Remember, that time we were in Spain. For a decade you did puffy.”

“Not one of my better looks,” Eric snorted. “I am so thankful there are no portraits of my puffy days.”

“Well,” Samuel was thoughtful. “With what Vedo has created…we put some chain mail on you, grow out your hair and braid it and we have ourselves a Viking.”

Eric started pulling on his hair and continued to do so until it was the length he desired. “I am going to be needing a sword,” he grinned.

“Can do,” Ian grinned. “The armory is open for business. Your choice of chain mail and all the other to-war blood letting paraphernalia you can imagine.”

“I can imagine a lot,” Eric chuckled. “Would have to be in my size.”

“I believe we still have that chain mail that Emmory St. McCloud made for you in the 1600’s. We all thought you would look exceptionally fetching wearing it when fighting against Louis XIV.”

“Oh,” Eric looked interested. “Yes, that was some finely wrought work. By all means, let us improvise a bit on my wedding ensemble.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “Only the best for my brother. Ian, let us have a look.

“Wedding ensemble,” Cedric chuckled. “Who would have ever thought The Viking and wedding ensemble would ever be uttered in the same breath.”

“Who would have thought that I would have found the love of my life,” Eric grinned.

“I have seen Sookie’s dress,” Samuel said as they headed toward the Ian’s armory. “Just how does this work?”

“We both have a dressing room backstage,” Eric remarked as they made their way down the stairs, into the bowels of the manor house. “She is wearing everything but the gown and sleeves. Her coat will cover her and we have a matching blanket to cover both of us to help keep her feet warm.”

“Very nice,” Cedric muttered as he ducked his head as they took another set of steps down.

“Most good, here we are,” Ian grinned as he unlocked the door with an eye scan. “Let’s see, 16th century weaponry is toward the back. Let’s go have a look-see.”

 

Alcide was having a look-see.

Annie had taken today off because they were still maneuvering around what they had discovered from the Were that was trying to kill them. Eric had sent them updates of info that pertained to them.

Wion was hell bent on taking over, apparently the world!

Annie was hell bent on getting off!

Alcide was helping her along in that direction. When he nibbled on her inner thigh and then tongued her, she howled. Full force and not holding back! He figured her pack could hear her wherever they were.

This was not so bad for him, either. He still enjoyed having his balls fondled and sucked. There was still a pressure that built up inside of him and this woman had brought him to an orgasm! More than once! He had no other word for it. O.r.g.a.s.m.! And damn, it felt good!

“The brain,” she growled, still panting heavigly, as she slid on top of him, “is the biggest sex organ in the body.”

“No doubt about that,” he smiled at her and pushed the hair out of her face. “I am proud and honored to say I have had intimate knowledge of your brain. And would be proud and honored to continue to do so.”

A few tears gathered in her eyes.

Alcide became very serious as he brushed them away.

“Listen to me, Cher. You are going to continue.

Because of the hate that is in Wion’s heart, we found enough C-4 in that truck to not only blow up your building but it would have destroyed every building on your block and that end of London.

They are fucking terrorists,” he said with disgust. “The driver is never coming back. And Wion’s days are numbered and few. When the C-4 went missing, there was a lot of bad guy intel traffic of the screaming sort, so says Northman. And I believe him. He has no reason to lie, Cher. You and yours are gonna be just fine.”

Nodding her head she gave him a half-hearted smile.

“Now, where were we,” he growled as he flipped them both over. Annie was once more on bottom and Alcide was on top. “Oh, that’s right…” he started kissing her neck and was moving slowly downward. “Seems to me I was right about here…”

 

Zena was still learning the ins and outs of how The Director, it was all she could do not to snicker out loud, did business. This world was fast paced and electronic. It did no good to bitch. Those around you just looked at you like you were a moron and made snide remarks and drew straws, the unlucky short straw had to sit with her next.

She was many things, a moron was not one of them. Once or twice she had felt like peeling off this pant-suit and shoving these heels up her mentors’ asses. That would be Andrew and Paul…and spin like the mighty force of nature that she was! After all, she held the rank of Z…!

Instead she listened, she learned and she hated working the so-called 9-5…because this job was not 9 to -anything. You started early and apparently some of them never went home. They worked in shifts…well yes…like maybe thirty days on and no days off!

And her money was sniveling and the apartment where she lived, it was a hovel! Nothing exciting or lovely or strange or unusual about it. Not one haut! Not one bad vibe lived on in it. It was just an apartment that overlooked some street where she was now to play house. No wonder Zenna had jumped! She was about there, herself!

Sitting in her office, for the first time today is was quiet. Enough so that she could finally have a private moment in her head to herself.

“How goes the first day?”

Hearing his voice it startled her and she jumped!

“Director,” she replied as she righted herself and turned to face him. “It sucks. Just like I knew it would. My apartment sucks. These clothes suck. My life sucks. What can I do to remove myself from this office and go back to the basement?”

“There is no going back to the basement,” he replied, “Zamperelli is now in residence.

If you are tired of this job already, you can always leave by the window.”

“You mean jump…” she nodded and her eyes became mere slits as her hands began a series of small intricate movements.

“Witches,” he rolled his eyes. “You really are not all that. Do your worst,” his voice sounded bored. “Then it will be my turn.”

That caused her to pause. No one mocked her! But apparently he felt confident enough to do that. “If you really are all that,” she snickered softly, “why do you do this base, human job?”

“Because someone has too,” he replied. “Because there are very bad people in this world who have no regard for anything or anyone. And I seem to be at the top of their list.”

Laughing, he eyed her. “You think you want chaos to rule. You would like to ride that wind of destruction and self-pity and call yourself supreme. You have not one fucking clue what that kind of world is like. Chaos loves those who think they have all the answers and are all caught up in their petty little lives and lies. You would be the first one to die as Chaos spiked you with his forked tongue and spit you into the flames of a burning building to roast with all the others who believe that civilization should be plowed under and lazy contentment of the worship of self planted in its furrows.”

“There is nothing wrong with that philosophy of life,” she said standing and advancing toward him. “I am more than any shall ever be,” she began, her hands carefully crafting the thought. “I am more…” she smiled at him and then jumped toward him, the knife in her hand as she was prepared to plunge it into his heart! They both heard the shots ring out. Two agents had walked in just as she sprang with the knife. Both bullets hit her right between the eyes. There was a look of shock on her face.

“Timing really is everything,” Director Castle said as the dead body hit him and then slumped to the floor.

“There is blood covering the front of your suit, sir,” Agent Greely said as he approached to move the body.

“Of course there is,” he sighed. “I have a meeting with the President in an hour. I am going to change. I will be available for a statement when I come back from my meeting.”

“Of course sir,” Agent August replied. “We will have this well under way to being taken care of.”

“Thanks,” he nodded as he walked out of her office and was once more looking into the eyes of his evening staff.

“Not hiring anyone else for a while,” was all he said as he headed toward his office. Looking over his shoulder he added, “And if you feel the need to kill me please…a heads up. You know what my schedule is like.

And some one,” he stopped and turned around, “anyone, please, call in a priest or rabbi or hell, maybe both, and have them say a blessing over that room. This is not funny and getting to be the stuff of a country and western song.”

 

Benjamin was not in the best of moods  “I have no one but myself to blame,” he swore in every language he knew until he entered his own door. There he showered and dressed and then stepped onto his elevator. Going down to the sub levels, he got off and going through the bio scan, he found Zamperelli bent over the Ouija board.

“You had to kill her,” she said looking up, disgust in her voice as she pulled a gun and fired at him. Fortunately, the planchette went flying off the board and hit her hand, causing her to miss.

Benjamin saved himself another death on the 15th floor. Pulling his gun, he shot her right between the eyes. “Fucking Krasiki witch,” he hissed as he pulled her body over to the pentagram that was tiled into the floor, a small trench around it. “Do they honestly think I am a moron? That I have no idea what coven they belong, too?

For all those people that were born yesterday,” he hissed rolling his eyes as he placed the head to the West and the legs were pointed North East and South East. “I am not one of them! Good thing you missed!” He eyed the body. “I don’t get a clothing allowance and I have to wear a suit and a tie. You cannot patch bullet holes. Wish you could because I would have enough money to retire instead of having to purchase new suits!”

Taking out his phone, he dialed a number. “Zamperelli did not work out. She tried to kill me. How in the hell did she get in here with a gun? Her masking spell must be better than your unmasking spell. Send someone to come and get the body. The star will guide you.

And,” he snarled, “I do not need another seer. If you suggest one, I will rip your heart out and burn it on an altar of cold flame and hot piss.”

Touching a button, the channel around the star filled with something kin to lighter fluid, only this flammable was not known to man. A ball of flame appeared in the palm of his hand. With a thought, the flame leaped from his hand and into the liquid.

With the whoosh of the flame there appeared in the middle, standing on top of the dead body, a being of hellish proportions. Small head, with sharp teeth; a long neck attached to an even smaller body. On the giant size hands were nails long enough to fillet you with razor blades for hair.

“Thank you, my lord,” he bowed. “We shall feast this night.”

“Be gone,” he growled and the small creature and Zamperelli’s body both disappeared.

“The things I do for my country,” he said as he shook off this evening and started upstairs. “I still have that fucking meeting with the President. The things I do for my country.”

 

On an altar out at The Farm, there sat a flame to represent every Z that the coven had taught, touted and perhaps tortured a bit, just to make their point. That being, if you fail, this is just a small taste of what awaits you.

Alda and Bishop were on duty. They were the goddesses tonight as they presided over the small chapel of unholiness and watched the flames that held the secrets of their sisters.

When one went out, they both blinked.

“Read the name, quick,” Alda wept and Bishop approached the altar. “It is Zamperelli,” she wailed. “One of us most stay! Sound the alarm and ring the death knell. Our sister is not coming back!”

 

King Hat looked up from her reading. “What the hell is that?” she asked. “Minion,” she kicked at the one closest to her. “That is the death bell. Quick, run! Who is it that has left us?”

 

Sookie was looking at everything as the car pulled up to the open gates.

“Wow, the roof is thatched. What a beautiful building. And tall. That white timbered architecture really shows up at night.”

“The stage sits up off the ground. And there is a second floor for the balcony scenes.

Plus, there are three levels of galleries of seating for the patrons. We are on the second level, facing the stage. Best seats in the house,” Ian grinned.

“Somehow,” Gran was shaking her finger at Ian, “I expected no less.”

“Most excellent,” Eric smiled as the car stopped. “Out we go. We are a bit early but Sookie and I are going to meet Vedo backstage so we will know where the dressing room is located. Then we shall take the tour.

We will meet you shortly, upstairs,” Eric grinned as he helped Sookie from the car.

“Upstairs it mo’ fo’n is,” Lafayette exclaimed as his eyes went up to the top of the building. “My little mans, you sure about this. I am afraid of heights.”

“My big mans,” the small dragon around his neck replied, “’course I am. We need the blessed words. You are the bringer of the blessed words. Her fineness of the Vedo can make it all legally binding for the law of this land, but Miss Sookie will always hold in her heart that you smiled in approval as she told Eric of her love.”

“Can nots be arguing with that,” Lafayette sighed. “Mighty fine place for a weddin’. Good thing I am wearing my coat. The night air has a nip to it.”

“Good thang I put the flask in your jacket pocket,” O.I. chuckled. “So we can be havin’ us a nip.”

 

Sookie and Eric were escorted back stage by the stage manager, a woman by the name of Hopkins.

“Your dressing room is here,” she said as they pushed by props, actors and stage hands. “It gets a bit busy back here…actors,” she rolled her eyes, “most are prima donnas and this ensemble is no different. If they can break it, they will just to prove to the props people that their shit is weak.

Here we are.”

Sookie smiled when she saw the star on the door. “Cute,” she chuckled pointing to it.

Hopkins grinned. “Someone by the name of His La La Fineness called and requested it. Said I would not be sorry if I obliged him and sent proof of my fealty. I snapped a shot with Madame Vedo standing beside it and within the hour a magnum of champagne and about ten pounds of chocolates appeared at the box office window for me.

What else,” she grinned, “can I do for you?”

“This is perfect,” Eric said as he opened the door and there stood Vedo and the mannequins holding the rest of Sookie’s wedding ensemble.

“Wow!” Sookie breathed out.

“That’s what I said when I saw it,” Hopkins replied. “I will leave you to your business. You now know how to come and go backstage. I will be busy once the show starts. But you have the codes to the doors. If all else fails, just shout out at the stage like those in the pit. The actors never miss a beat and respond and just roll on. Old Willy would be proud.”

 

They had arrived early enough to locate their seats and to take a guided tour and to look about at the stage. It was a magnificent thing. The colors were incredible, even with the early night sky and the lighting.

“This is somethin’,” Sookie kept saying as they explored the stage. “Look at how they painted the ceiling! I just love this!” Then her eyes were drawn to the opening in the center of the arena.

Squeezing Eric’s hand tighter, he smiled at her and said, “Look at all those stars,” he bent down and lightly kissed her on the lips. “Good night for a wedding.”

 

Zara, Ziza and Zanny heard the fifteen minute call to opening curtain.

“I would be freezing my tits off,” Zara complained, “if it were not for this flesh colored thermal under things I have on. Seriously, Shakespeare dressed his Wyrds in rags? Just because you live on a Scottish mountainside does not mean you are poor. It just means you are scouting out the best place to build your fire and speak your peace to the all knowing. Stupid playwright male, anyway.”

Zanny eyed her would-be conspirator on the mountain. “Dear Willy was brilliant,” she snarked. “You do know Shakespeare did not have much of a say when it came to costumes. Just like today. They had a budget. Normally not a big one. It would depend on their hopefully wealthy sponsor.

The English Sumptuary Law of 1574 did make it possible for the actors to dress according to the rank of the person they were playing because clothing rules were strictly enforced. No one was to dress out of their class. That was the law. Off with your head and all that. But with the theatre all the rage, the law was changed in 1574 to allow actors to strut their stuff on stage in the gentry’s finery.

Those that stood in the pit, chances were very good that they had never seen a noble up close, so you got not only the play,” she stressed, “but a fashion show as well.”

“Well Miss La-Te-Da,” Zara glared at her. “I would still be freezing my tits off. This is just hilarious. The Three Sisters of Fate,” she threw her arms up and beckoned to the universe, “held no power or position so therefore went about in rags,” she gagged. “One to spin the thread, one to measure the thread and one to cut the thread,” she snorted. “And they were portrayed as poor hags.”

“They hung witches during Elizabeth’s time,” was Zanny’s come back as she leaned in closer and took a sniff and grinned. “I guess they were just damn lucky to be dressed in rags. Whether they be the Fates or no. I must say, Miss Runs at the Ignorant Mouth, you have never looked better.”

“Stop it you two,” Ziza stepped between the two of them. “I would say get into character but it sounds like you two are already there.

Do not get into a pissing contest,” she hissed as she placed her left had on Zanny’s chest and her right hand on Zara’s. “This had better be vowel perfect. Per-fect. As in not fucked up,” she looked from one to the other. “Because if we fuck this up King Hat will mummify us alive. So let us not be giving her a reason to have us tearing linen strips for us to dress in for our own afterlife party.”

The other two women nodded their heads in agreement.

“Good,” Zara took a deep breath. “Good. Now get your head in the game. There is the call. Five minutes to places. Then opening curtain. Break a leg.”

“Break a leg,” the other two muttered and all three slowly began rotating their heads with their mouths open and their eyes closed.

Tonight, they were going to make history. Redefine it and tell the world to kiss their ass because there was now a new world order. Slavery and abuse would be cherished. All the haves would own a have not and kill at will! And you could not escape your fate by dying. They would own your shade as well! Bow down and worship the Krasiki Koven!

 

“It is gettin’ ready to start,” Sookie whispered as she snuggled up next to Eric. “The lights are dimming.”

 

*Act 1

Scene 1. A desert place. Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.

 

 

*Shakespeare: Macbeth 1606

Joyeux Noël Chapter 22

joyeux-noel

Chapter 22

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 22

 

“Zelda Turnnings,” Eric mused as he made his way back to Ian’s and let himself in the front door.

“And…” Pam said as she came to the door to greet him. “I hear you mumbling names. Are they on the to kill list?”

“No Child,” he eyed her. “You know anyone whose name starts with a Z?” he asked.

“No,” she shook her head. “Nothing at this time comes to mind. We do have a regular at Fangtasia. Her name is Zepher Wright.”

“Where does she live?” he asked.

“Not Shreveport,” she replied. “She is a student at Baton Rouge. Figured she drove up on weekends to visit her parents and come calling.”

“Keep that thought,” Eric replied as they entered he library.

“The Krasiki Coven,” Eric said sitting down on the ottoman next to the fireplace and facing the crowd. “I am beginning to believe those whom they deem are truly gifted, they give them a name starting with a Z. The coven that I disrupted in Budapest, on the front of the shop was Zimmer’s Café.”

Eric went on to explain the evening that had transpired around him.

“What clued me in was the passport that arrived with the Herveaux’s information. On such short notice, I am sure there are one or two others in the government who can make that happen. You need a passport…here.

But Director Castle…he is famous for it. And when Zelda’s name popped into my mind,” he shrugged. “I did not even think it was a long shot that she was one of the coven. I knew it was a sure thing.

When you are arrogant, such as this coven, you think you can do as you wish and you are above mistakes that can get you killed. Their hierarchy, however they define it, they take those names that start with a Z.

I know this is not much, but it is something.”

Cedric sat up straighter and leaned in. “There is a Zella Fisherway that handles the legal work for our Irish Queen. I had the occasion to meet her when I petitioned HRM for the tax status on the family distillery. At the time, I thought she was a little off-beat. Very interested in my family history, not so much in the lawyer particulars that I was asking about.”

That brought raised eyebrows from the crowd.

“Maybe they have placed one of their own in governments around the world,” Ian’s eyes were glowing. “You know, they don’t have to run the show, just be where you can hear all the gossip.

Place a few spells, spread a few lies, and ruin some one’s day.”

“Well yes, a little discord, a little rolling of the eyes when someone is given a compliment,” Pam nodded. “I have perhaps been guilty of that myself from time-to-time, no witchcraft needed. And it does produce very satisfying results.”

“Shocker,” Cedric said with a shake of his head. “That such a sweet child as yourself would be capable of such hideous acts. Like being responsible for getting me house torched.”

Pam started to say something and Eric just shook his head no. “Not the time or place, Child,” he stressed the word.

“Samuel,” Eric continued on as if nothing had happened, “what about the original Lady Smithers? Do you think you can find her first name?”

“The English have been keeping records, forever,” he replied as he began the search, his fingers flying across the keyboard.
“Zabreana Alston married a Lord Ralf Smithers, June 20th, in 1560, according to this marriage license. Her father was Lord William Alston and her mother was Lady Zannie Williamson Alston. The reason that this is all noted is because Queen Elisabeth was in attendance.”

“Anne Boleyn was touted as a witch,” Ian was lost in thought. “That sixth finger did not bode well for her.”

“It may have been one of the things that helped to cost her her life,” Eric’s voice was soft, “but she gave birth to a queen. The likes of which the world has not seen since.”

“What was Elisabeth the First like?” Pam asked.

“Strong,” Samuel replied and Eric nodded. “Very strong. And she had a head for money. When she wanted to build the smaller and faster ships to defeat the Spanish Armada, her lords poo-pooed her.

She sent for me and explained what she wanted. She had a small amount of ready cash that she was willing to invest in this project. But her Treasurer would not let her spend the country’s wealth that she had amassed until they had defeated The Armada. Of which they were all doubtful.

But I could see it,” Samuel was nodding. “I could see how it would work. And when I presented her idea to Eric,” he said with a nod of his head toward his brother. “He could see it, also”

“Yes,” Eric chuckled. “Those big, lumbering Spanish ships out there in one of those English squalls that can hit at any time without warning. And those small, quick, English ships, buzzing about like wasps. Absolutely,” his voice was serious. “The sailor in me was salivating. This would be one of the greatest naval battles of all time. Samuel and I bank rolled HRM. She told her advisors to go fuck themselves and she had the fleet built. And that is why we speak English in the American colonies and not Spanish.”

“And also why we own the Southern Coast of British Isle,” Samuel smiled. “That was her payment to us. After the tremendous victory, those who advised her were still a bit snippy about her paying us out of the Treasury. After all they had won, the fleet was built. Why do you now need money? Such typical thinking of the wealthy.

But HRM passed out land grants like the great and mighty Queen she was.”

“To Her Royal Majesty Queen Lizzie,” Eric raised his glass of blood in a toast.

“Hear! Hear!” came the response and clinking of glasses and the shouting of, “To her royal bad ass, Queen Lizzie!”

 

Alcide had changed into a clean t-shirt and jeans for his ride back to the States. He had tucked them into his backpack, along with a toothbrush/paste and a travel size stick of deodorant. No way in hell was he paying that outrageous luggage fee!

Climbing up the stairs to the main floor, he could see the light on in Annie’s office. Knocking, she called enter and he stuck his head in.

“Don’t you ever go home?” he asked.

“No,” she replied. “That’s the problem with owning your own business.”

“Don’t I know that,” Alcide said in agreement. “That shit does not ever get done. You think you can take a breath and then the tax codes change, or the fucking zoning laws change or to take down a house or build one, you have to call Abe Lincoln and all his brothers to get all the right permits. And Abe and all his brothers are dead and I still don’t have the right permits.”

“You going out?” she asked.

“Home,” he replied. “Where you should be. I am going home. Calling a cab and hauling my ass on out of here. By the way, the basement floors and bathrooms are clean.”

“Thanks,” she eyed him. Pity he was leaving. He was one nice looking male. Who cared if his dick was gone? She had toys for that stuff. What she did not have was a male to hold her while she slept. A peer to talk, too.

And for a Were with power and influence in his own world, he thought nothing of doing janitor work. This guy was a keeper.

“I really do appreciate you doing that. That is one less something for me to fret, about. Forget the cabbie,” she replied, “I’ll drop you at Heathrow.”

“That’s kind,” he said, “really kind. But that is across town and…”

“Forget it,” she smiled. “Traffic is not to horrendous this time of night and I need to leave this…this desk…for tonight. Just leave it and start fresh after some sleep, a shower and a decent cup of tea.”

“Tea?” he raised an eyebrow at her. “Really?”

“True, it is not the jolt that coffee gives, but I can have 2-3 cups as opposed to the one of coffee. That gives me a bit more time to sit and watch the birds at the feeder.”

“Nice way to start the mornin’,” he replied.

“The nicest,” she smiled. “The rest of my day may suck, but those first rays and the birds waking up, the perfect cup of tea, that is a real treat for me.

Let me grab my keys and we’ll be gone.”

“Well alright then,” he nodded his head. “Thanks.”

Annie, Alcide and Wion all knew about if you wanted something done right, do it yourself.

But Wion had a bit of a problem seeing to this specific task.

As they pulled away and motored off to the airport, the beer lorry that was supposed to follow Annie and run her off the road and into a guard rail killing her…the driver was just walking out of an alley from taking a piss. Hurrying, he tripped over a cobblestone and fell, cursing at the top of his lungs, which caused Alcide to turn around and look.

The man was running…Were…he thought and then the truck started and rolled out of the parking lot, side swiping a car he was in such a hurry!

“What the fuck?” he said. “There is a lunatic driving that beer truck!”

“What?” she asked, turning around to look.

“He is a Were. He tripped, cussed, jumped up in the driver’s seat and just took off the side of that parked car getting to the road.

Ought oh,” Alcide whistled. “He just turned off his lights and is gaining speed. I do believe he is after us.”

“Wion,” they both said.

“Or one of his hired thugs,” she hissed. “Get my mobile out of my bag and push 1. Then put it on speaker.”

“We callin’ the cops?” he asked.

“No,” she answered, “my pack.”

The conversation was short and harsh with directions to where she was headed.

“Get on the plane,” she said hanging up, her face set and grim. “And get back to America. Get out of here…” she said again. “Go home,” as she checked the rear view mirror and picked up speed.

“This van go any faster?” he asked as he turned and looked over his shoulder. “Damn, would love to have my shot gun,” he mumbled.

“No to the faster,” she barked out a laugh. “I bought it for the business. Hauling things here and there. Maybe a little catering. Never did it occur to me that I would need it to race along to save my life.

And you carry a shot gun in your work truck?

And do not be changing the subject. Go home.”

Alcide’s face was grim as he watched the truck cast out sparks as it would occasionally skim along the guard rail as it tried to jockey for advantage. It was gaining. Alcide swore he could see the maniacal grin on their would-be killer’s face.

“Damn straight I do. I live and work in Louisiana. Job sites always come with snakes. Some are mean fuckers. Some job sites come with alligators. All those are mean fuckers.”

“Americans,” she breathed out in a heavy sigh.

“You bet,” he grinned. “Now, I can’t leave you hangin’ like this Cher. Not with this fucker tryin’ to kill you.”

In the dark, Alcide could hear the motor bike coming up from behind them and then watching, saw a Were jump from the back of the bike onto the truck. It only took a few seconds before the headlights came on and the lights flashed at them as the lorry turned down a side road.

“I mean it,” she hissed. “Get the fuck out of here. Wion will not stop until I am dead.”

“Not if we kill him first,” Alcide replied.

Annie went through the roundabout and then pulled off onto a side road.

“You don’t know me. You don’t know what I do. Not all of it is legal. If your government knew you were hanging out with me, they would pull all those licenses you have to handle explosives. You business would tank. Go home.”

“You are right, I don’t know you but you don’t know me either. And I don’t run from a fight. I never have. I am not going to now.”

“Wion is one mean fucker,” she stated matter-of-fact.

“You just have to be meaner,” he replied. “Where are they taking the Were that was following us?”

“What?” she turned sideways to face him.

“What are they going to do to him? Rough him up and let him go or kill him?”

“I would never ask one of my pack to kill anyone. Just like,” she eyed him, “I would not ask you to do so either.”

“You don’t have to ask me, Cher,” there was a bit of a chuckle in it. “That fucker was going to kill me as well. This is now personal. We have a way of dealing with that shit in my pack.

So find out where they are and let’s head that way. Time to send Wion a message.”

 

 

Director Castle was now in the middle of a shit storm not entirely of his making.

“What happened?” he asked those that had crowed around as he looked at the damage done to her walls.

“From what we could hear, her sister died and she was not notified,” Roy’s voice was a bit shaken.

“This upset her…” Susan shuddered. “She actually picked up that chair and threw it into that wall…”

Benjamin was surveying the room. There was maximum damage done to everything. Looked like a tornado had passed through. And quite possible one had. “What phone did she use? Who did she call last?”

“Don’t know,” Alice replied. “She tossed her phone into the shredder. We could hear it being eaten. There is no way of knowing. But apparently someone knew her sister was dead and had not notified her. We all got that loud and clear.”

“Director, the police are on their way up,” Susan said as she put down the phone.

“Let them come,” he replied. “We will tell them what we know. I have not touched anything in her office. They will see her prints on the window and know that she jumped due to her own deranged emotional instability.”

They all nodded. This was not the first time one of the Director’s staff had jumped to their death. It was a high stress, long hours job. The money was good, but the chances were also good you were not going to be around to spend it.

At least you would be able to afford a good “home” for your mental breakdown.

Or hell, just call the fucker done and jump.

 

 

 

Out at The Farm, King Hat was having a moment…of the melt down type herself. That phone call from Zelda was not supposed to have taken place! She was going to tell Zelda that Zoe was dead when she felt the time was right.

Questions and riots of spectacular color and sound raced through her mind…

“Northman called her from London? How is that possible? Who had she been chatting up? Gawd knows what an ego she has after she has been fucked raw! Wants to talk about anything and everything! What else did she divulge? Are we at risk? Am I at risk?” she was shrieking at those who had now gathered in the Chanting Chamber. “Prep yourselves for Macbeth!” she was screaming, trying to stay clam but finding it impossible. “No fuck ups! None. You three,” she growled at the three women that were groveling on the floor in front of her, “you will be perfect! Chant it!

All of you!” she bellowed out into the cave at her minions that were shaking their tambourines and beating the drums. “Chant it! Now! Give me what I need to live forever!”

 

 

Director Castle shook hands all around as he walked the police into Zelda’s office and explained what he witnessed. “You can see,” he sighed, “well…you can see. I will leave you to your work. If you have any questions, I am, of course, available.”

“Thank you sir,” the detectives nodded. “We will make this as fast and as painless as possible.”

“Please,” he held up his hand in front of him. “Follow all protocols. I know how this has got to look. Fifth one so far this year.”

“High stress job,” Detective Sticks nodded looking around at the damage done to the walls and the furniture. “No one would believe how many suicides we have on the force. We do our best to keep that quiet. That way we keep the family out of the media stream that can turn your tragedy into a very ugly world that is plastered all over the internet forever.”

“Thank you,” he nodded. “Apparently this happened when she got the news her sister died. Please, whatever we can do to help.”

“We have this sir. The world right now needs you to be elsewhere. We have this.”

“Thanks,” he nodded. “I do have a meeting I need to make.”

“Understand,” Sticks nodded.

“It is here in the building,” he added. “If you need me, Susan can find me.”

“Not a problem sir. We appreciate your willingness to help.”

“Thank you,” his face was grim as he looked around the room. “I would shake your hand, but you are gloved.”

Leaving the room, he turned and took one last look around. “How can you possibly think you can fuck with Northman?” he thought to himself and walked down the hall to his private elevator. He hit 1776 on the panel, the lights went out and came back on and then he hit 6771 and the elevator began moving to the 8th Subterranean. Getting out he walked over to the door and put his eyes to the camera as his biometrics were read. When the door opened, he walked in.

“Zena,” he said to the witch that was scrying the four winds. “I need you upstairs. Zelda jumped when she learned Zoe was dead.

“Zoe,” she nodded in understanding. “That makes sense, now. I thought she was astro-projecting when I was chatting with her. I guess it was her shade.”

“That is correct,” Benjamin replied.

“Will I have to wear clothes for this new job?” she asked. “I work best nude.”

“Of course you will,” he shook his head at her, his voice all business. “Something office appropriate,” he stressed. “And pick floral prints for your office walls. Nothing of the wolfsbane family or the hemlock family. Just nice floral prints that say wholesome and homey.”

“That sucks,” she sighed.

“Make this happen. I need you on board in three days. Here is a card,” he put an American Express card on the table that had her name on it. “Go to Macy’s. That is just about where everyone shops. Nothing flashy, nothing outrageously expensive. You must dress with business appeal.”

“I knew this day would come,” she shrugged. “I was just dreading it. I like living and working down here. Nude is easy to maintain.”

“I know,” he nodded. “Mother Earth is very comforting. Skin just washes off. But now is your time to shine.”

“Will you fuck me before you go?” she asked as she hopped up on the table and placing her feet on the edge, she bent her knees and opened her legs wide.

“Is something going to crawl out of there and bit me?” he asked.

“Maybe,” she responded.

Taking a step forward, he ran his hand along the inside of her leg. Stopping just short, in case something did crawl out and bit him.

“May I bite your tit off when I cum?” he asked.

“Can I bite your dick off before you do?” was her reply.

“Well, checkmate,” he responded with a bow of his head. “I will see you upstairs in three days,” he added as he turned to walk away.

“Is it true?” she asked, her voice curious and not hesitant at all. Most were afraid to query him.

This one, she wanted to fuck him but was not willing to pay the price.

Yes, she did not hesitate at all. She wanted to know. Young. Stupid. Arrogant. Entitled. That list went on. He should just kill her now for her pride. But he needed her.

Just get this out of the way…her mouth was opening. Here came the fal-da-rah and fiddle-de-de.

“That your mother was the first Krasiki witch and your father was a demon? That she was the witch King Solomon used to enslave the demons that helped to build his city. That when Solomon died, your father demon hid from the priest that was to call him back to hell. Instead he fled and your mother found him with a lover’s endless rhyming spell and cast about him a net of lust and desire. That they worshiped each other and when she was heavy with child and her time came, she could not give birth to you, so he ripped you from her body while he danced in her death blood to honor her.”

Walking back over to her, he wet his finger and ran the tip around her areola. When he lightly pinched the nipple she bucked and moaned.

“If I was to have sex with you, it would indeed be memorable. And you would bear my child. Such are our ways. To feed this child you would need both,” he reached up and gently squeezed her breasts, “of these. You would ache always they would be so full even as the child suckled, such would be his appetite. If I were to remove one, which I would, the babe would starve to death.

And rightly so. There does not need to be another one like me walking this earth. I am curse enough.”

Her bravado gone, swallowing in fear, her eyes held his for only a second longer and then looked away.

“In three days,” was all he said as he turned and walked away.

 

“In three days,” O.I. was busy checking the wedding scene he was blocking to fit the stage. His half glasses were perched on his snout as he viewed photos and in his mind’s eye pulled it all together on where they would stand.

Vedo had e-mailed him the photos of the finished dress. It needed a little bit more of this and that, she said. It was now only missing things she would know because she had made the first one.

O.I. glanced over at Lafayette and smiled. His big man was sleeping which was most excellent. “Can’t be keepin’ human and vampire hours,” he nodded to himself. “Impossible to keep dragon hours. Don’t no one even began to pedal on that invisible bike. That is just a dreadful awful thing to even want to do. Since I am king, I do it better than most dragons, but even dragons has a hard time keepin’ up with O.I.”

Stretching, he took one more detailed look at the stage. “That hole at the top of the theatre is just the best idea ever. Must have been a dragon that planted that idea in the builder’s head. Mo’ fo’n,” he chuckled as he shut down his laptop and poured himself a glass of port. Raising his glass in a toast he said, “In three days we are gonna’ have us a Mr. & Mrs. Northman. Sound the alarm! To arms! To arms! The Northmans are coming!”

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Was away on a small holiday. This is all I managed to get done. The shortest of the short.

I am trying to keeping to posting on Monday, so here ‘tis.

I have not one clue what O.I. is referencing there at the end. I hope it is good.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

Joyeux Noël Chapter 21

joyeux-noel

Chapter 21

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

 

“The people in the government,” Sir Scully, shook his head, “are not to be trusted. I speak from experience.”

“How so?” Sookie asked.

All the vampires in the room were suddenly busy looking elsewhere.

Even Pamela who picked up a glass of port that Lafayette was drinking pretended to look interested at the liquid in the glass.

“What am I missing?” Sookie asked as she regarded her grandfather.

“Been chattin’ with Sir Scully,” O.I. said gently. “Workin’ on your weddin’ plans. Explaining him to what you want. That is why we are workin’ it into the play, Macbeth. Gonna’ give it a little somethin’ somethin’ more. A bit of light in an other wise deep and dark universe.”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “I like what we have discussed so far. We have figured those three witch costumes Madame Vedo made for that Were are for the three witches in the play. Lookin’ to cast a real spell the night of. We have plans to block that. I like it,” she said with a sure nod of her head. There was still no reaction from the crowd.

“That’s right,” O.I. replied. “And we has been mightly talkin’ to the very fine and talented Madame Vedo for your weddin’ dress.”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded again and looked around the room. Pam was still busy looking into the depths of the port. Eric was admiring her engagement ring. The two kings were staring at the fire. Lafayette was pouring himself another glass of port. Gran was holding Scully’s hand with her lips pressed together.

This verged on being just a bit odd, even for vampires. “What…am…I…missing?” she said peering about the room. “Whatever it is,” she stressed, “it must be bad. Hey come, it cannot be that bad.”

“I was,” Scully began quietly, “in my human walk, a man by the name of Donwald. A warrior for my Scottish king. When we were returning from battle, I lagged behind, on the bequest of my king, to deal with a rag-tag band of thieves. My friend Duncan and I dealt with them and left them dead on the side of the mountain. It was a fiercely cold night with snow beginning to blow and we saw a great bonfire burning in the distance. Seeking warmth and shelter, we found the guardians of the flames. Three witches who foretold a horrible prophecy. That I would be king…”

“Oh-h-h-h-h shit,” Sookie breathed out.

“Yes,” he nodded sadly, “I live on forever as Macbeth, a horrible monster. And rightly so. Do you know those in the theatre believe this play is cursed? And when they work this show, they merely refer to it as that Scottish play. Never by name.

This is my legacy,” Scully’s voice was low and sad.

Sookie looked around the room. “So all you vampires knew this?” she asked.

“Yes,” Ian responded. “King Donwald ruled the Scottish highlands before my time as human. This story of betraying your king was old when I was a lad.”

“Myself as well,” Eric nodded. “My father would tell stories of King Donwald. And he would end by saying, Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You have no need to look any further than at this mad king whose thirst for blood and power drove him insane.

“When I was turned,” Scully sat up straighter and his face was set in neutral. “My maker found it most humorous that he had turned the famous tyrant. He taught me just what a despot oppressor was capable of doing. He did not care who he tortured. Human, supernatural, animal…” Scully shook all over. “If it could scream in pain, it became his plaything. I pledged to never be like him. I made a sacred vow in my heart to never again to be like the human that I had embraced. That politics was to be feared and forsaken.

So I trudged along beside my master, heeling when told, sitting at his side when given the command. Although I was not happy to do so, I thought it was just punishment for what I had done as a sworn oath bound warrior, who had given his loyalty to his king and then killed him in his sleep under my own roof.

Then as an oppressor king, I slaughtered any who thought to stand against me. Men, women, children…” his voice trailed off at the memories, horror in his eyes.

“One night,” he began slowly, “we were at a gathering of other vampires celebrating a marked occasion for the undead and my maker was being particularly brutal to me. I thought for sure he would end me and I prepared myself as best I could. I was praying. I could not ask for mercy for myself. I merely hoped to see God’ face before He cast me into Hell.

I prepared myself for the final blow when my maker’s head went flying across the room, blood splattering on all those richly dressed vampires who said nothing and made no move against the vampire that had freed me.

That was the first time I saw The Viking and his two boon companions. The King of Eire and the King of British Isle.

So I went my way. Staying away from those vampires who proclaimed themselves to be the high and powerful and doing what small, unnoticeable amounts of good when I could. Sometimes, it was nothing more than weeding a garden at night for some poor granny woman. This helped to sooth my pain and recall my memories of when I was human.”

His voice reflected simpler and more pleasant times and memories.

“My mother raised me in her garden,” his voice was soft and loving. “She told me I had the gift of working in the dirt,” he smiled at the memory.

“As I grew,” he sighed, “I did not think working in the dirt was very glamorous or exciting. Certainly nothing to brag about.

I sometimes think what a different path I would have walked if only I had stuck to gardening and not struck out on the killing trail of the warrior.”

“Why did you?” Sookie asked.

“Warrior paid more,” he gave her a small smile. “And if you were good enough, there was advancement, which meant more money and prestige and honor. Until it became no longer wanting to serve your king, but to be king.”

“So we thought,” Gran brought Scully’s hand up for a kiss, “Sookie now that you know this, if you would not mind, that we could have your wedding during the play. We could use it to counter act the poison that the three witches will be wanting to spew out into the audience. That something good and beautiful and full of joy would take the place of the curse laid down by these three.

And it would forever, give Scully a new memory of this play. That from his horribleness, his great grand daughter married and lives in love and happiness.”

“I can understand if you would rather not,” Scully said, his voice full of self loathing. “Your love and joy should be your own. It is very selfish of me to wish to benefit from your wedding…that I might gain something for myself.

I had every intention of telling you Sookie.

But things have been extremely busy. That is no excuse, I know. But…” his voice trailed off. “I am so embarrassed and mortified to ask this of you.”

Adele, patted him on the cheek. “That was a long time ago, beloved,” she said softly. “And you are no longer that person.

And O.I. thought it was such a fine idea to not only offset the witches but to give Scully a new perspective of himself. I could only agree with him.”

“How…?” Sookie hesitated. “O.I….?”

“Miss Sookie,” O.I. fluttered to her. “I sleeps with one eye open. I sees the past, the present and is constantly searchin’ the futures.

This has been weighin’ on Sir Scully. Even since I has come to know him, his soul has been weepin’ at how wrong he was and how good you are.

He has been rehearshin’ in his mind and even in his sleep how to tell yous Gran and then how to tell you. To ask your permission to allow your festive occasion to be a marker in time for him. That from his evil, comes somethin’ full of goodness and rightness for his family.

So I stepped in. Maybe not right or proper, but his grief has been for centuries and his remorse has saved thousands. I am good at stirrin’ the pot. Been known for it and will continue to do so. Bring easement where there is sufferin. So I been busy…you are family now and I step up and nosy my way into my families business. So here we are.”

“I would be honored,” she smiled at the vampire that was her blood family, his tears staining his cheeks. “Grandfather,” she bowed her head as she began to weep. “I am honored that in some small way you will be blessed from our wedding.”

Adele wiped at her own tears. “Thank you Sookie,” she nodded as she took her granddaughter’s hand and kissed it. “We both thank you.”

“Please, don’t…” she sobbed. “Gran, you have been so good to me…always believing in me. Loving me,” she hiccupped. “So what do I need to do?”

“Wants you to take a look at your weddin’ dress,” O.I smiled. “Madame Vedo done made the first one for her royal badass QEI. Has her makin’ this one for you. See I is takin’ it from the *Ditchley portrait of Lizzie the first. We’ll sweep your hair up and those mo’ fo’ers will think the ghost of Christmas Past has done come for a visit.”

“See,” O.I. fluttered over to the laptop and putting on his half glasses, his claws flew across the keyboard. “Miss Sooks, come take a look.”

“Wow…!” Sookie’s eyes were big when the dress popped up on the computer screen.

“With your coat,” Lafayette grinned, “you will be smokin’!”

“It will be cold that night at the Globe Theatre,” Eric nodded. “Your coat will definitely be needed. Plus a blanket of some sort for keeping your feet warm.”

“There could be snow that night,” Ian nodded. “Our seats are under cover, but for those standing in the pit and the actors on stage, they must dress for the elements.

And our seats are most excellent, but if the wind is blowing, the snow could still end up decorating our noses.”

“So,” Sookie was admiring the dress. “Why the Globe Theatre? It is closed this time of year. And who is paying to have this play produced? And…I have lots of questions.”

“All good ones, I am sure,” Ian began. “So let us start.

A couple of months ago, this production started being talked up. How The Globe was going to do a special showing of Macbeth during the Yuletide season.

Now, Macbeth at Christmas is not exactly keeping with the Christmas spirit and this made several of us go hm-m-m-m-m. And a vampire, once curious about an anomaly, does not lose interest.

So without asking questions or appearing too interested, I have been keeping watch, keeping in mind the mistakes Chamberlain made in regards to the war. You know, you can see it coming but you just don’t want to believe it type of attitude,” he added with a tight smile and a small shake of his head. “So I employed Madame Vedo to pass on any interesting bits of information. Everyone gossips with their dressmaker, especially Vedo. She can be very charming with her mouth full of pins and the way she rolls her eyes and clucks her tongue: either in sympathy, regret, or yes I know that fucking asshole, someone should stake him and move on.

And they say the damnedest things in front of her. She says it reminds of her of when her mother would tell her about going to confession. Only now she is the priest and politely listens and when they ask her what they should do, she says her reply is go home and clean your bathroom and get down on your knees and scrub all your floors.”

“Wow,” Sookie nodded. “That is some good advice. A little physical labor and some alone time to figure things out while you clean your own toilet and sink and whatever else you have tracked into the house.”

Ian grinned. “Yes, I was in bitching one night while having a new suit made and she set me to rights with that bit of advice. I have scrubbed every floor in this manor and for that week while I was down on my hands and knees, sloshing around soap and hot water, I got over myself,” his voice was heartfelt.

Then the grin was back. “Of course, I still bitch, I just don’t do it in front of her,” he laughed.

Then he became serious. “Vedo remains my best source of information for this. She was the first one who told me that the audience is encouraged to wear Elizabethan. Now, those who purchase tickets for standing room only in The Pit, they are often in their low brow, poor Elizabethan costumes anyway, but these productions are done during the day and during the spring through autumn months.

Then behold, up pops an evening winter production. And when she told me that a Were had been in and ordered three witches costumes from QE1’s time frame, I opened a file.”

“And?” Eric asked. “Who is sponsoring the play?”

“Gadford LaRue, Count of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.”

“Really?” Eric raised an eyebrow. “Last I heard Gaddy was broke. Has been for the past two centuries. Just living off the kindness of wealthy humans he could glamor and robbing an occasional bank for folding money.”

“Yes, most interesting is it not?” Ian smirked. “And it was French diplomatic plates that picked up Wion at the airport and Gaddy is in town. Arrived today, I understand. They brought him across using the Chunnel. Or so says the gossip. He is hosting numerous parties before opening night and today in the mail arrived an invitation for a gala after opening night.

Anyone interested?” Ian was now openly smirking.

Eric was now looking intently at O.I. “What do you know?” he asked.

“Knows this spell,” O.I. nodded. “This recreatin’ as close as possible. Was being practiced back in the day. Recreate the big bang all the way down to where you was standin’ and create your own universe where you can be God. Pardon’s me while I roll my eyes,” he snorted.

“That makes sense,” Samuel nodded. “Witchcraft, with the invention of the printing press, became a curse you did not wish to live under. They hung you here in England, those or the continent were not so fortunate and were burned.

Sadly, those were innocents. Those that practiced the black arts, and there were several in Queen Elizabeth’s court, never met any type of justice here on earth.”

“That’s what Vedo thought,” Ian nodded.   “Thinks maybe she knew of one. There was a Lady Smithers at court during her time.

As a seamstress, Vedo kept a very low profile, but her betters did gossip. Only in very low and hushed voices did they gossip about Lady Smithers and her husband Lord Ralf.

They hailed from Yorkshire.”

“Yorkshire,” Cedric interrupted him. “That is where they have found evidence of Egyptian mummies. As from the African continent mummies.

Also the Romans that settled there, they used mummification as well. They found a minted coin in the area. One with Marc Anthony on it. I believe the coin was dated 31 BC.”

“In 31 BC Anthony would still have been with Cleopatra,” Samuel said. “They were defeated sometime after that.”

“O.I. what you said was interesting about casting a spell,” Samuel was thoughtful. “The Egyptians did that as well. Built a replica of a miniature city that they wished to conquer or keep safe and then enchant it before a battle.

Sounds like this is what these witches wish to accomplish. Something from the time of Elizabeth is what they are casting for, perhaps.”

“So this Smithers,” Gran was caught up in the story telling. “If she was all that, would she have kept a spell book?”

“Would have been risky business back in the day,” Eric nodded. “But yes, probably.”

“So, do you think maybe she was from Yorkshire?” Gran asked. “Or an outsider that married into the family?”

“Vedo would know,” Eric said, making the call. When the dressmaker picked up, Eric began explaining the information that he needed. Then he put her on speaker.

“After the Wars of the Roses,” she began, “Henry the Seventh married Elizabeth of York and ended the bloodiest of battles ever fought on English soil.

To join the two families, their red and white roses formed the Tudor Rose.

The Smithers’ family was old and well regarded in York. They had helped to broker the peace and the marriage of the two Roses. The crown was grateful.

The family was trusted and well thought of and was often called upon to council the King. During the time of Elizabeth, Lady Smithers was often in service to the Queen.”

“Any idea how in service?” Gran asked.

“No,” Vedo replied. “It was always behind closed doors and the halls were cleared to insure privacy. They would take a meal and their revelry could be heard all afternoon until it was time for the next meal. We all thought they talked as old friends. Drank too much and laughed and our Queen had someone with whom she could just be a woman.”

“But you don’t know that for certain,” Samuel said.

“No,” Vedo responded. “I know nothing for certain. Other than no one gossiped about Lady Smithers. No one,” she stressed. “There was a lady-in-waiting, named Catherine, for whom I was working a bed coat. One day in passing, I heard her say that she thought Smithers had worked a spell on our Queen with her foreign ways. The next day I was told to put the coat aside for now. That Lady Catherine would no longer be needing it. Lady Catherine disappeared from court and the whisperings about Lady Smithers became less and she was given a wide berth.”

“Any idea what her foreign ways happened to be? And was she from York originally?” Gran asked.

“She was from York, but she had a slight accent,” Vedo replied. “Her grandmother had been a princess from someplace on the continent. Austria-Hungry, I believe. She married an English diplomat. When his tour of duty finished, he moved his bride back to his farm in Yorkshire and started a family. Hence the birthing place of Lady Smithers.”

“Budapest,” Eric’s fangs dropped. “Thank you Madame Vedo,” Eric said with a slight bow of his head. “You have been most helpful. Please bill me for your time.”

“Nonsense, Eric,” she replied. “It is always a pleasure to speak with you.”

“Have you a ticket for Macbeth?” he asked.

“No,” she replied. “I saw the original.”

“Well,” you could hear the deadly mirth in his voice. “You may not with to miss this one. It will be the talk of the town. I have a spare.”

“Well,” you could hear the humor in her voice. “I had no idea. If you would be so kind, I would enjoy being in attendance.”

“Most excellent,” Eric grinned. “I will have it delivered. Until then,” he signed off.

“Until then,” she replied and Eric pocketed his phone.

“That part of England,” Ian was shaking his head and what sounded like a low chuckle was coming from him. “What a cauldron of beliefs. You had the Romans, Celts, Danish Vikings, the Normans; throw in warring with some Scots and then the Black Death. That part of the country has been exposed to it all.”

“Well,” O.I. had a full-fledged toothy smile. “Good times. At the height of those witches wrong doing nasty assed ways, we shall be changing that up for them and havin’ us a weddin’! Full of love and well wishes and then we shall push on to a Joyeux Noël.”

“Hear! Hear!” was shouted by all as O.I. poured the port and there was talk of the wedding to come!

 

Annie sat looking through the two-way mirror that separated her office from the main bar floor. Were shit just continued to rain down on her!

“Why me?” she sighed as she looked through the bills. Her electric was up and running. The kitchen had been gutted of all appliances and in their places sat expensive, she shuddered, shiny new.

And now, to top it all off, sat a Packmaster from the States. A bloody Yank from Shreveport, Louisiana, by the name of Alcide Herveaux.

He had come in earlier wanting to talk to her. Thankfully, she had been up to her eyes in watching the installation of new appliances while she checked things off her inventory sheet. Her new oven was supposed to come with eight stainless steel racks. Inside were five. There had been that discussion and then her vent-a-hood was the wrong size. As in it did not fill the space of the old one. Too fucking short! So there had been that discussion!

And now she was going to have that discussion with this Were who was far from home and without a dick, if what she had learned today from her stateside pals was true. Seems his x had bitten it off. Damn…sucks to piss off your woman.

“Might as well get this over,” she sighed as she pushed the bills aside and went out into the crowd.

“Packmaster Herveaux,” she said sitting down across from him at his table. “What can I do for you?”

“Is there somewhere more private we can talk?” he asked.

“Were shit,” she hissed. “I am not interested in intrigue, outlaws or illegal dealings under the table. Nor do I have any extra drugs to sell, antiques that I no longer want and I do not know where you can get a good deal on hardwood flooring. Now, what do you wish to talk about?”

“I am looking for a vampire,” he began.

She hooted out loud. “You have come to the wrong place. I especially do not traffic in vampires. I do not know any personally, nor do I want them taking up a paying customer’s seat.”

“I get that,” he sighed. “Really I do. But I was just wondering if you have heard of a vampire by the name of Eric Northman and if so, any gossip he is in England?”

“The Viking,” she snickered. “Well, who has not heard of him. And no, I have not heard he is about.”

“I am willing to pay if anyone has information about him.”

“Packmaster…” she began.

“Look,” his voice lowered. “I am in a bad way, here. I have not one fucking clue what I am doing or how to find him. I get delivered to me a plane ticket, my passport, and a phone with a note that says I am to get my ass to London and find Northman.”

“A passport?” she raised an eyebrow. “How did you become known to your government?”

“About a month ago, I was approached by a Were, wanting me to store some illegal arms for him. Offered to pay me in gold. I refused.

It all went to Were shit with the Vampire Queen of Louisiana and my name came up. I was paid a visit. And now, here I am paying you a visit. I have no place else to start. Northman, just yes or no. Anything would help so I can haul my ass on out of here and back home.”

“Wion,” she smiled at him when she said the name. His reaction was interesting. It was one of hate then his eyes flashed orange.

“You know him?” he asked.

“I have abjured him,” she responded. “He is a presumptuous mother fucker. A dead one, if he shows himself around me or mine.”

“Well, this makes a little more sense, now. Northman knows of him as well. Warned me about him. Perhaps he is tracking Wion, maybe. And they sent me to make sure…” Alcide shrugged. “Honestly, I think I was sent here to die. Cross either Northman or Wion and just toss my dead carcass into the Thames.”

“That is what happens when you show weakness,” she smiled at him daintily. “You get your dick bit off.”

“Well Cher,” Alcide smiled in return. “I noticed today you got all new appliances. Would not have anything to do with you getting ride of evidence because you have been cooking vamp in your kitchen, would it?”

What stared back at him was a challenge. He did not give a fuck.

“See,” Alcide stopped smiling and sat back in his chair. “I have my sources as well. I am not,” he stressed, his eyes holding hers, “looking for a pissing contest. I am just looking for Northman so I can call this fucker who is right now running my life and tell him or her, yes or no. It is that fucking easy.

Because however you want to look at this, I figure my life is over. When you start getting official government passports in your mail along with the message they expect you to go looking for the Louisiana Sheriff of Area Five,” he stressed and shook all over, known world wide for being a mean fucker. And I am supposed to find him in England,” he stressed, “because hell, poking my nose in Eric’s business is not risky enough at home where I at least have some type of back up,” he spit out in anger then righted himself. “In time, I am just a pelt laying in front of someone’s fireplace. Either Northman kills me, you, or hell now that stupid fucker Wion who is back in the picture,” he rolled his eyes, “or my own fucking government.”

There was no lie in his voice. She could always hear it in a Were. Someone was pulling his strings. She knew what that felt like. Not to be in control of your own life. Just fine then, maybe she could cut him so slack. “So you will die without your hard on,” she grinned at him.

“Something like that,” he grinned back.

“Honestly, this is the first I have heard of Northman being in country. Where ever he is, he is keeping a very low profile.”

“Would he check in with the British vampire king?” Alcide asked.

Annie started laughing. “What,” she got out, “you want me to go up and ring King Ian’s bell and ask for The Viking?

First of all there are Weres that work for the King of British Isle. And I would have heard if Northman was there.

Second of all…well hell, there is no second. Where are you staying? If I hear anything, I will send word.”

“Not anywhere at the moment,” Alcide replied. “I just got in this morning. Slept a bit in your back alley. That is how I know about the appliances. Helped them out a bit by moving that new stove in. Shawn bought me lunch and told me about a hostel.”

“Just a plane ticket and a passport and a phone?” Annie’s voice was curious. “Those cheap bastards gave you no money?”

“Fucking right,” Alcide replied. “No money. I looked at hotel prices before I left. Fucking shit,” he hissed. “Who has that kind of money? I thought maybe I would just roam the streets at night until I heard anything then high tail it on out of here.”

“Well Packmaster,” she smiled at him. “Just so happens my night janitor is dead. If you are interested, there is a room in the basement that you can call our own until you leave.”

“That is nice of you and also risky. For you and me.”

“Well yes,” her smiled got bigger. “But I have learned in the past couple of days life is a crap shoot. And that fucking Wion has crapped all over me for the last time. You just might want to make it your last time as well. So I am giving you a bit of warning about him. Back in the day, he was Jack the Ripper. During the holidays, he still does the deed. He likes to see his name in print. Be careful out there. He kills males just as easily as he kills females. No remorse.”

 

Pamela, being the good child that she was, and she never liked to miss an opportunity to fuck with her maker, was making the rounds in the back alleys and sheltering places of her four legged, disease carrying British friends.

The name Alcide Herveaux came up several times. A Yank sleeping in the alley and doing a bit of work in the Pretty Pink Bicycle.

According to Ringo the Rat, who claimed he had the name first, this Were was in there now. Probably having a pint and dropping chips on the floor that poor, starving Ringo would never get to eat.

“Chips it is,” Pam said to him. “I will get them delivered here, tomorrow night.”

The rat squeaked in agreement and saluted.

Putting in her listening device, she jumped up onto an overhang that covered the front outside seating. There was plenty of noise inside, but she soon found the Louisiana accent she was searching for.

“Well,” she smiled as the conversation finished up. “No loving for my maker, this dark,” she grinned as she took to the sky and was gone. Her first stop was to visit with Leah. “I am going to get my sweet alone time in before Eric gets the good news. This just might be my last chance at some loving while I am here. Tally ho!”

 

“Midnight,” Eric sighed as he kissed Sookie one last time. “Lover,” he nuzzled her ear, “Pamela is incoming. And it will be good. If she comes calling at midnight, she is going to fuck with the rest of my old dark.”

“I’ll get dressed,” came the satisfied reply. They were still not having “sex” as they were not yet married but what they did was nasty enough!

“No need, whatever this is, she is gleeful and I am sure it will require me to be gone until sunrise. It is that type of joyous, over the top gleeful. The kind that says Eric is going to be so pleased and yet so pissed off.”

“I will pull on some clothes and at least hear the news,” she grinned as she stretched beneath the covers.

“Would probably be for the best,” he sighed as he helped her find her clothes that had been tossed all over the floor.

 

Pamela told her newest news. Grinning the entire time.

“Fucking…Were…shit…” was all Eric said. Pulling Sookie up for a passionate but brief kiss, he walked out the door, the front door closed and he was gone.

“That went well,” Ian nodded. “And my front door is still intact.”

“You have tamed his wild, inner beast,” Samuel smiled at Sookie. “Maybe all of our front doors will survive from now on. No more slamming that shatters it into a million pieces.”

“I rather liked the look,” Cedric said smugly. “Oh, on your front doors not mine,” he laughed. “I am just a poor Irish lad. I have not been havin’ the money to replace my front door every time Eric feels the need to explode the universe with his force of will.”

“I feel your pain,” Pam replied. “Only it was the doors at Fangtasia. I just finally put a door replacement guy on retainer. It cost, but fuck, it was worth it.”

 

Eric roamed Whitechapel hoping for a sniff of Wion. No such luck. But it did give him a chance to calm down and think. Two was last call at the pub. If Alcide was playing janitor, he would wait until there was only his heart beat left in the building.

 

“Not bad,” the packmaster of Shreveport said as he emptied his mop bucket and stowed his cleaning supplies in the closet.

“I understand you are looking for me,” he heard the voice in his ear.

“Nothman,” he said turning around.

“Give me the phone,” Eric said, extending his hand.

“What?” Alcide replied.

“The burn phone. Give it to me.”

Alcide removed it from his pocket and handed it to the vampire.

Punching one, the phone ran and then picked up.

“This is Northman,” he said his voice deadly.

“I understand you wanted to know where I was. Well, this should be an indication. When I return home, Zelda, you are dead. Just like your sister Zoe.”

Hanging up, Eric handed Alcide back the phone. “Go home,” he said. “You will not be bothered by that particular person, again.”

“I would not mind staying for a few days. Working for Annie and seeing London.”

Eric took a step in. “The vampires they made burgers out of were Compton and his monster of a maker. Fortunately, these two were not well liked or highly regarded in the vampire community so I am willing to let it slide. But beware, Alcide. Do not let your name become attached to the Pretty Pink Bicycle. The traffic snarl that was caused by the skateboarders were Weres from her pack. Wion bought them the vamp burgers for his own purposes. The British government has their names. Several worked here.”

“Got it,” Alcide replied. “I am on my way back to Heathrow, now. Will just stay there until I can get a flight out.”

“Good plan,” Eric replied. “A Joyeux Noël to you and yours.”

 

 

 

 

Zelda was in a panic. “Zoe, dead!” she screeched. “That is not possible. I would have heard. I would have been notified,” she wailed as she kicked the wall in her office.

“Ma’am,” a young intern stuck his head in.

“Get the fuck out!” she screamed as she fumbled with her phone.

When the phone stopped ringing and someone picked up, she started sobbing. “Is she dead? Is my Zoe dead?”

“Who told you?” the voice asked.

“So its true,” she wailed even louder.

“Who told you?” was asked again. “The Coven needs to know.”

“Northman! Fucking Eric Northman! He called me on the Were’s phone! He knew my name! He knew my sister was dead! What the fuck have you done?” she screamed in anguish.

 

 

As Eric walked away, he contemplated the night and the sounds of the dark that pushed in around him. “Fuck,” he rolled his eyes. “Can I not take a day off? And Sookie, when I give her my last name, the world can go to hell. I am going to start at her toes and slowly lick every part of her until she is screaming for me.

Better frame of mind now, Northman,” he said as he passed by a real estate office and stopped to admire the homes for sale in the window.

“Back to work,” he sighed as he dialed a number. “Director,” his voice was low. “Zelda Turnnings, your go-for, has been busy issuing passports and giving orders to look for me.”

“Eric, I am so sorry,” he replied. “I will take care of this, immediately.”

“Thank you,” he said and then hung up.

Director Castle walked out of his office and down the hall. There was no mistaking the ruckus coming from inside Zelda’s office. All those in the bull-pen just stopped and stared as the Director knocked on her door. When there was no answer, he opened it.

When he stepped in, she stopped screeching and throwing things against the walls.

“Northman is off limits,” was all he said as he shook his head. As he advanced toward her, she kept backing up until her back was against the window. Hissing at him and making the sign for the evil eye, turning, she opened it and jumped to her death, fifteen stories, below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*If you want to see Sookie’s wedding dress, put into your search engine Queen Elizabeth I Ditchley Portriat. Once more, a photo of this painting is worth a gazillon words. Because that is how many it would take me to describe it.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

Joyeux Noël Chapter 20

joyeux-noelChapter 20

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 20

 

Samuel was intently listening. Eric like to handle his own problems…sometimes on the stealthy side but mostly he left his victims with his signature bigger than life fucking meet your maker moves.

“The Krasiki Coven,” Samuel repeated as he began putting in numbers into his laptop. “No, no money under that name world wide. No nothing…real estate, stocks…not even money laundering.

I am narrowing the search to London and peeking under things that look suspicious. Nothing. Obviously they are not on any manifest list, money wise or shopkeeper.

I am now looking at palm readers, psychics, any supernatural in that trade in general.”

“Samuel,” Eric’s voice was serious. “Wion wears a scarab ring. We think this helps him not to age as quickly. Look for anyone who has any type of Egyptian anything on their web page.”

“Egyptian…” Eric could hear death in that word. “Got that,” his brother said, his voice lethal.

Eric continued on with the conversation, just as if he was passing the time of day. Would best not to poke the angel of death that was now Samuel Da’vid. “Sookie has seen the ring and she says it looks old. Lots of wear and tear. A few well worn, smoothed chips in the stone. Not just freshly minted and stamped with recent spells. She said it looked like the real deal. Something from a museum.”

“Something from the Middle Kingdom perhaps,” Samuel’s voice sounded lethal. “From my time as human.” Samuel spoke with a bit of an accent. As long as Eric had know him, there was always a soft lilt to his voice. The words now were hard and brittle. “How soon do you need the information?”

“We believe that Wion has taken a woman. We tracked a Were through Whitechapel. He met up with a drunk female coming out of a bar. We followed them to a parking garage. We know she was frightened. She pissed herself before he put her in the boot of his car. It was all over the floor. Since he did not kill her as Jack the Ripper, we think he needs a sacrifice because his world has gone to Were shit and he needs to get back on trajectory.”

“Do you think O.I can track?” Samuel asked.

“We will wake him and find out,” Eric replied. “We are running out of night.”

“This could be it,” Samuel said. “There is a shop in Twickenham, called The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Does cleansing, aura readings and purification using ancient symbols known only to the Middle Kingdom priests. They wrap you in one hundred year old linen with these scarabs tucked in. The shop backs up to the Thames. Not much traffic right now from London to Twickenham. Could take Wion less than an hour to get there. I am sending you the address and waking O.I. We will meet you there.”

 

Wion pulled around to the back of the shop. The loading dock door opened and he drove in.

Zoe was there and as soon as the door closed, she started!

“There is no way in hell we can mummify this woman today or tomorrow. And I mean the down and dirty, cheap and easy method. Remove her organs using a scalpel and dip her in wax. No, no and hell no! We do not have enough linen strips to wrap her properly. We do not have enough bee’s wax…we do not! Not here!” She was so upset spittle was flying from her mouth. “What the fuck is wrong with you? And the moon phase is all wrong! You think we can climb the steps of the pyramid to ask for this boon is three days, away? Away with you and your fucked up Were ways!” she hissed.

“She is in the boot,” he said smugly. “Better think of something or I am bashing in her head, rubbing her blood all over your back steps and tossing her in the river. Hello police,” his voice was merry, “I do believe I see blood and a lot of it, at the shop…”

“You fucker,” she snarled. “What am I supposed to do with her?”

“Wrap her in whatever you have and go ahead and store her in a sarcophagus. She can live for a few days as long as she has air. You can then transport her out to the farm…”

“Me transport her…?” she hissed at him. “No. That is where we live. We do not ever take work home.”

“Then you will have to deal with her here. But I need this done. I am in deep shit, which means you are in deep shit as well. Those skate boarders that disrupted the London traffic. They were Weres. They were my Weres. And Max Troll is wondering how we are going to get those weapons across that fucking mountain terrain now that we cannot hump them in.

You,” he poked his finger at her, “you promised him this was all going to work. You cast it, you saw it, you spoke the words and he believed. He paid you a million sterling…now you do this or we all are going to end up on his shit list. I believe he still drinks out of the skull of the last person that was on the top of that list. I have heard that the skull still feels pain and screams in agony.”

“Well,” she nodded. “I guess we could just wrap those areas on her that we do not need to access. I could go ahead and place some scarabs as we do the wrappings.”

“Good, that is what I want to hear. Very reasonable. Thinking ahead and saving time and our asses. We are a team. Let us work this as a team.”

Zoe knew Max Troll. This sacrifice was now their way out of some horrible, prolonged death. “Carry her down to the basement. The sacred room is open. I have been working down there. Lay her out on the altar. I am going upstairs and wake Polly and Petty. We will meet you there. Before we disrobe, you need to leave. No man can be present when we begin.”

“You really gonna fuck this woman until she orgasms one last time?” he grinned.

“She deserves that,” was all Zoe said as she headed up stairs.

Wion made his way down the steps and through the work rooms. Yes, he had been inside the chamber of death, he like to refer to it, once or twice. For the spell to work that he commissioned, you often had to be present. It was not his job to tell these witches how to run their business, but there was something about keeping those bodies in those stone boxes that creeped even him out. Not to mention if this chapel was ever found, it was a bit difficult to explain mummies that were just two years old.

Placing the woman on the altar, he smiled at her. “Thank you,” he said with a nod of his head. “For drinking too much and for being such a whore in your heart. Picking up a man on your way out of a bar. You deserve to die.”

 

Her two sisters had heard the ruckus and were awake. “Good,” Zoe said as she spied them fingering their monkey bones. “Let the monkey rest and get dressed. Wion needs a mummy.”

Pulling on robes, they descended the steps like the princesses that they were.

Once in the basement, Petty walked over to the woman and lifted her hair. “Nice color,” she smiled dreamily. “That ginger color is real.

“Careful with the needle,” Zoe said as Petty filled it with the sleepy time juice. “Do not think you can be twirling it around like a baton. You stick yourself and I am leaving you where you fall.”

“Can I eat her heart?” Polly asked as she cut off the sacrifice’s clothes.

“Of course not,” Zoe replied, turning to look at her sister and wondering what had happened in their gene pool. “It has to go in the Coptic Jar.”

“I know that,” she snorted. “But why could we not use a pig’s heart to substitute for human? What ancient god is going to know the difference?”

“Sister dear has been snorting,” Petty said as the last of the clothing was stripped away. “She did a locator spell to find your last bag of powder. She found it in record time. I think she has a nose for it,” she laughed out loud at her own joke.

Zoe hissed an obscenity and picked up an ancient Egyptian knife. She had promised herself if Polly stepped out one more time…

“This one, she has nice tits,” Petty said nodding her head. “She will have nice tits for all of eternity. I envy her that.”

“Oh sister dear, you can have nice tits also,” Polly giggled as she swung downward and the ancient Egyptian sacrificial ax split open Petty’s head.

“Fucking shit!” Zoe grasped the ceremonial knife and it took on a life of its own in her hand and plunged repeatedly into Polly’s chest and belly. Even after her sister fell and with blood flying everywhere, Zoe could not let the blood lie idle…that would be wasteful!

She laughed gleefully as she began chanting a spell and then realized what she had done!

“Fucking shit!” Zoe squeaked as she ran up the stairs and out into the night heading straight for the boat dock. Dropping the knife in the river, she jumped into the boat, started it and headed west.   The Farm was off limits! She could not take this back there! King Hats would put her head on a pike for her pet ravens to eat! She had assured King Hats that she had this! That their righteous walk and offerings were found worthy! The signs had assured her that the Were would deliver the goods and the Krasiki Coven would be golden! Instead she was in panic mode and headed for the stone henge and the cave! No one could find her there!

When they had purchased the Hunter boat without a sail that could sleep four, she had thought it a total waste of money. “This is fucking brilliant,” she shivered out in the cold. “This boat is going to save my life…and perhaps my after life as well.”

Starting the engine, she pulled out into the river, her heart beating as fast as the engine turned over.

“Damn, damn, damn, damn…” she sobbed. There was only the chugging of her boat as she navigated the waterway without running lights on, the tears streaming down her face for all that she had lost.

“Maybe it won’t be so bad,” she sobbed. “Rasputin made a come back…so…” she was crying, “so can I.

Wish I could see,” she wiped at her eyes. “Where did this fucking fog come from? Not that it matters. I know this river just like I know how long it takes me to orgasm. There are no more fuel docks between here and the next five miles. Just small crafts this time of morning,” she talked to herself as the shadows began to creep about and mock her. “I can hear any small boat that might be coming this way.”

What she could not hear were the wings of a dragon. And that fog that had suddenly enveloped her, that was dragon steam, cooling on the water as O.I. blew it out and watched the pitiful creature that was covered in blood spatter as she sobbed and made plans for a better day.

With one mighty flap of his wings, O.I. pushed the fog out of the way.

Zoe could see a thousand pound dragon coming in for what looked like to be a kill. Flames blowing out his nostrils and his talons out stretched, ready to rip the soul from her! Her pentagram reading had always said she would die at the hands of a dragon! She just fucking did not believe it…as she stood to wave him off or welcome him, she did know which one as fear gripped her, her heart stopped and she slumped over into the water.

O.I circled around back to the shop.

Eric was on the phone. “Director, we have a grisly scene here. The shop is called The Pharaoh’s Daughter located in Twickenham. There are two dead females. There is one woman yet breathing. Drugged with something.

The drugged one, Wion dropped her off here. My best guess says she was to be a sacrifice and mummified from the looks of things.”

O.I. stuck his head in. “One in the water, dead. West of here.”

“And another is in the river, dead. West of here. Daylight is fast approaching. If you would be so kind as to call the police we are headed for shelter.”

Benjamin Castle stood there staring at his phone. “How the fuck does he do that?” he said as he dialed Scotland Yard. “Director Devon, you owe me a night out in London,” he began as he relayed the information.

There was a lot of swearing and orders being barked. Benjamin just smiled as he thought about where he wanted to have dinner. Perhaps Buckingham Palace…

 

A special ops team boarded a helicopter from the roof of The Yard and lifted off as the Chief Inspector of Twickenham was notified of the travesty that had happened in his city.

 

“Head for home,” Eric said to his vampire compatriots. “Ian and Cedric, climb on me. Samuel, you are with Pamela. O.I., you take Lafayette and blaze the trail. We need to be airborne right now.”

 

“Home with an hour to spare,” O.I. smiled at the group of heroes. “We rescued the girl, did not have to do any killin’, they took care of all of that themselves.”

Sookie was on her second cup of coffee and sorting through the stories.

“So, one woman killed the other and the one who fled the scene killed the second woman and O.I., if I get this right, she had a heart-attack or somethin’ like that when she saw you and died and fell in the water.”

“Yes Miss Sookie,” his purple eyes flashed fire as smoke poured out of his nose. “That would be corrects. Evil done took care of itself. The last one though, I am claimin’ that kill.”

“That murderin’ skank,” Lafayette nodded in agreement. “She saw the face of rightness lookin’ at her moldy bottom feedin’ ass and she went to shake it all out with God. M-m-m h-m-m-m. And rightly so, my little man. Chalk one up to your goodness and flame throwin’ ways.”

“Well you guys did good,” Sookie grinned. “And we are all glad you are home safe and sound and that you saved the girl.”

“Sun is on the horizon,” Eric said looking toward the windows. “Rest well this day, my compatriots.”

“And to you as well,” was echoed back as vampires disappeared and the only people left standing in the room were humans. Two who kissed their vampire out the door.

Gran looked at the tea pot and instead poured herself coffee and added the heavy cream laced with brandy. “They were going to mummify that woman…” Gran’s voice trailed off. Anger on her face.

“M-m-m hm-m-m Gran. Saws it myself,” Lafayette nodded. “She was partially wrapped and they had done drawn lines on her where to make the incisions. Did me a world of good to see them mo’ fo’n witches dead at their own hands,” he said with conviction.

“And Wion is still on the lose,” Gran was squinting, as if she was trying to find him through the passage of time.

“Seems to be,” Lafayette said as he eyed Gran’s breakfast beverage of choice and fixed himself and O.I. the same. “He was not seen at the shop. His scent was there, though. My little man’s could smell it. So it appears he just dropped off his sacrifice and kept on being lower than Were shit as he motored off.”

“What?” Sookie arched an eyebrow. “He can rip and slash women on the streets of London, but making a mummy out of that woman was not his thing, huh…?”

“Just lower than Were shit, he is,” O.I. added as he eyed the bottle of brandy and poured a great and good dollop of that into his cup as well.

“You read anythin’ off those Fresh Deads?” Sookie asked Lafayette.

“Those two that were dead, they did not seem to be lingerin’. Did sense several others that were not restin’ easy. Those witches had one whole wall lined with sarcophagus’. Thinks I counted fifteen. Will be especially excitin’ when the police start openin’ those up and they find those bodies.”

“Real excitin’,” the king of the dragons chimed in. “Just sayin’. From the smell, you could tell it was not ancient bodies. Maybe one past one hundred years dead, some more recent. Those lazy asses did not prepare the bodies like the ancient priests, did. Nope. Just dipped them in paraffin.”

“Ee-uuu,” Sookie made a face.

“One or twos,” Lafayette’s voice became very still and quiet. “They was still alives when…” his voice trailed off. “I could hear them screamin’ in agony as the wax was poured onto them.”

“Gag,” Sookie shook her head. “Hand me the bottle and screw the coffee. I think this mornin’ needs somethin’ a bit stronger.”

“And we are sticking to home, today,” Gran’s voice was final. “Scully said he would rest easier knowing his family was here. Samuel did a very good job of filling him in of what they found in the basement of the shop. So, let’s spend the day in the library doing research. I have a very rough outline of what I think the chapters are going to look like. Let us sit down with that bottle of brandy and those chocolate dipped figs and make this idea a reality.”

“I am takin’ those chocolate croissants, as well,” Sookie nodded. “And that hot vanilla puddin’. I need somethin’ to dip my croissant in. Maybe stick a couple of fresh strawberries in the middle and then dip it in the puddin’.”

“Good strategies,” O.I. said as he licked the last bit of vanilla bean tastiness from his lips. “I’ll help carry.”

 

The merry group of writers spent the day at home. They could certainly abide by Scully’s wishes. It was a cold rainy day and they were happy to be snuggled up in front of a fireplace that you could easily park a Land Rover in.

O.I. was flame on when Lafayette would toss in extra wood, sending sparks dancing about until they made their way up the chimney along with the smoke rings of couples dancing that O.I. was blowing out to enhance the mood.

The library was home base. There was companionship, food and libations. They freely wandered about Ian’s manor house for inspiration. A photograph, a sketch, a rubbing of the intricate Celtic dragon carvings that surrounded the massive fireplace. All things fired their imaginations and with the real life stories as their inspiration, the novel began to take shape.

Lunch had been a joyous and somewhat rambunctious affair. Amidst the alcohol and the tall tells, they laughed until Sookie slumped back in her leather couch, snuggled into a velvet blanket. “Can it always be like this?” she asked looking around at her family as she felt the tears began to flow. “I am serious. This is…like a dream…and when I wake up I have to go back to the nightmare of knowing that I will end my days working at Merlotte’s. That I will be alone and only known to the drunks of Renard Parish.”

“Sookie,” Gran reached over and took her hand. “Sookie my dear,” she placed her hand on her cheek.

O.I. lifted off from around Lafayette’s neck and settled on her shoulder.

“Miss Sooks,” he rubbed his snout against her nose. “You is gonna see better days. More glorious than this. Now, I am seein’ a ring of engagements on your finger. I have an idea for the weddin’!”

“Thanks,” she sniffled. “I know I am blessed. And probably a little drunk. And Eric has told me he wants to marry me. Just to pick the date.”

“Then let’s do that,” O.I. wiggled his eyebrows. “The grand book is comin’ right along. Let’s push it aside and let’s talk a weddin’!”

“A wedding,” was said from the doorway and there stood Eric.
“What are you doin’ up?” Sookie’s voice was horrified as she hurried toward him.

“I could hear your crying,” he responded as he took her in his arms and held her next to him. “What is wrong?” he asked her gently.

“You bein’ up,” her voice was shaking. “That is what is wrong!”

“So far,” he brought her face up so he could see her beautiful eyes. “I am fine. It is dark outside and raining. I will monitor for the bleeds. But I think I could lie on the couch with my head in your lap and close my eyes and listen to what is being said.

Now…” he kissed her on the nose. “What is being said? I heard words about a wedding. Our wedding? I am most hopeful.

And why are you crying?” his face was even with hers as his eyes sought out the smallest hurt that she had felt.

“I’m a little bit drunk and countin’ my blessin’s and worryin’ that this is not real and I am headed back to the nightmare of bein’ unloved and dyin’ alone because nobody wants to know Crazy Sookie.”

“Fair enough,” Eric walked with her over to the couch. Sitting her down, he laid down and put his head in her lap and closed his eyes. “However, I happen to love Crazy Sookie and I must count as at least a half a someone,” he grinned at her.

“Oh Eric,” she placed kisses all over his face. “At the moment,” she drew back from him and hiccupped, “I got nothin’ more than those kisses and I love you.”

“A good place to start,” he assured her as he brought her hand to his lips for a kiss. “Now. A wedding. O.I., you keep alluding to letting Mr. Shakespeare shape our nuptials. I am interested in hearing your ideas.”

 

O.I. was vastly entertaining. They all applauded his grand designs and as the afternoon wore on, Eric would, from time to time, sip from Sookie’s wrist. As darkness welcomed the full onslaught of night, vampires rose and sticking their heads in said their hellos and that they would be back after they had their evening meal.

Lafayette and O.I. went to the kitchen in search of a pre dinner snack and Eric and Sookie were left in the library.

“Is it always like this?” she asked him.

“Like what?” he asked, sitting up and pulling her next to him.

“Early this morning. All that death. O.I. told us about it, findin’ those women. Then findin’ that secret chamber with all those bodies…those poor souls. Lafayette said some of them were still alive when they poured that wax all over them.

I know the world is made up of evil…but that kind of stuff tears at my heart.

Is this what you do? Try to right those wrongs.”

“Part of it,” he responded. “But Sookie, sometimes I am that wrong, so to speak. I am most happy that it was not me doing the killing this time. I have left must worse carnage.

I know this world is different from yours. What lays hidden behind the money can be bloody and hideous. And I want you to be happy and to have options. Now that you know these things, Sookie, have you changed your mind about marrying me?”

“No, of course not,” she shook her head. “Believe me, poor can be bloody and hideous as well. Rich folks don’t have the monopoly on that.

I think it just must get wearisome.”

“It does,” he nodded. “And the fact that it does eat at you, that keeps you a step up from the degenerates and the evil that lurks out there that enjoys killing innocents.

This coven, they are evil, Sookie. And any type of swift death they do not deserve. If it was up to me, it would be something prolonged and agonizing.

What they did was horrific. What they were going to do to that woman…” he shook his head. “She was drugged but conscience. That Lafayette could hear the other mummies still screaming in pain says much.”

“I heards my name,” Lafayette came back into the library with O.I. fluttering behind him both of them carrying a plate of munchies to share.

“One of them mummies,” Lafayette nodded his head, “was one of their own coven. Still pleadin’ for release. Those souls that are attached to Wion that he is so pleased about carrin’ around. I am sure these are the mo’ fo’ers who attached them to him.”

“Mo fo’er’s,” O.I. nodded in agreement.

“One of their own,” Sookie shuddered. “So who do you know who to trust?” her voice was low.

“Who do you trust?” Eric asked.

“Used to be Gran and Lafayette,” she felt the tears well up one more time. “But now, I have you Eric, and Poppa Scully and O.I. and Samuel, Ian and Cedric.

Mr. Clifford. I am sure I could trust him.”

Eric pulled her in close and smiled at her. “Yes, “those are the people that I trust. Those that are in this house. All others are suspect.”

“Even those guys you talk to in the government about this stuff? You don’t trust them?” her eyes were wide.

“Especially those guys,” Eric said with a nod of his head.

 

Joyeux Noël Chapter 19

joyeux-noel

Chapter 19

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 19

 

 

The top floor of the Pretty Pink Bicycle was closed. You could enter The Crypt from Dayton Street, but there was no food available to those patrons who were looking for something to have with their pint.

As of midnight, the entire building was closed because of a private function. And not one that was making the business any money! Annie had called a pack meeting and she was not pleased.

The priest had been in and said a blessing for the dead and the living. She wrote out a check for the church’s favorite charity.

A Medium had been called after the holy man left and Christopher had pronounced the place to be clean and at rest. Taking money from her emergency funds, she pressed it into his hands and thanked him for coming.

Next came the electrician… “Fucking bloody hell…” she was looking at the bill for him coming out after six. “I am in the wrong bloody business,” she said as she then looked at the other bill to put her fried electrical system back in business. Not to mention all the new appliances. If it had been plugged in, it had melted down. From the battery operated flushing toilets downstairs to her walk in freezer. If there was a wire that carried electricity, it was being pulled. She had contacted Wion. Told him this meeting had everything to do with him. If he wanted to know why he had been abjured from her pack, his ass needed to be present.

Standing at the top of the basement stairs, so she could be seen and most importantly, she could see everyone, at twelve ten she was going to start. There were two-hundred and fifty Weres in The Crypt as they all settled in, drinking their pint.

At twelve o’ eight Wion walked in. “That fucker,” her face remained expressionless. “He has not one clue how pissed off I am. He thinks I am kidding about abjuring his ass.

“It is twelve ten,” was called from the floor. “The Packmaster has called us, we are here to listen.”

“There are seventeen of our pack missing, tonight,” she began. “The same seventeen that fucked up London streets in the old dark and cost one human his life. England is pissed,” she said slowly, “but not nearly as pissed off as I am.

I shall read each name and with that name, we shall offer up a howl of good-bye and forbearance in the after life. For what they did in the old dark, I would not have tolerated and there would have been no leniency. Perhaps with God, they shall find some.”

“How do you know they are dead?” Wion asked. “And if so, who killed them?”

“Oh,” Annie smiled sweetly. “I know they are dead because I had all seventeen Fresh Deads in my establishment today, where they knocked out every electrical wire, circuit and appliance that resides inside my building.

As to who killed them, I know not. Only that they are dead.”

In alphabetical order, she called out their name, waiting for a response. When none came, they all howled for the missing.

When they had finished, she had to hand it to Wion, he was still standing there with that holy-than-thou look on his face. But she could see it. He now knew the connection. Time for him to understand that she did as well.

“Yes,” she glared at him. “It was those that called you Packmaster. Those that you vamped up. I do so hope it was not on your orders that they did this.”

“Of course not,” he shook his head. “And who told you,” his teeth got a bit longer, “that they called me Packmaster? I have a right to know who accuses me.”

“No you don’t,” Annie laughed out loud. “You have no rights here. Only the ones I have granted you. And this is how you thank me. By subterfuge,” she hissed. “By lying and deception and maneuvering.”

“No,” he shook his head. “No, I have only done what you asked me to do.”

“True,” she nodded. “That was cleverly played. But you and I,” she nodded again, “we are done.

Now,” she looked out onto her pack, “I know there are those of you who do business with Wion. I would not ask you to jeopardize your livelihood. I know work is hard to come by, whether it be honest or not. And I do not judge you how you earn your living.

I will judge you,” she stressed, “if you call this Were Packmaster and defer to his wishes over mine. I will judge you if you are known to socialize with him as human or Were.

It was brought to my attention that I am responsible for this…this Were shitting on my birthright.” She looked over the crowd. Yes, they had all wondered what the fuck was up and was glad this was being put to rights.

“It is true I have delegated and asked Wion to step in and run with the pack when I could not. Today, I was told that I favored him and excused him of his wrong doings in my domain. That my pack was afraid to step in and ask just what the fuck I was doing. That is was fear on your part that kept you from informing me.

In retrospect, I can see where this was seen as a weakness on my part. Sadly, these seventeen have paid for that with their lives.”

“May we speak privately,” Wion asked.

“You mean,” she growled, “Packmaster may we speak privately? The answer to that would be no. What we have to say between the two of us can be said in front of my pack.”

“I thought I was doing you a favor?” he responded with a bit of dryness in his voice. “Being of service when your time was pressed.”

“I thought you were as well,” she snorted. “Do not play the innocent. My grandfather took you in. Taught you a trade. Gave you pride as a Were. I am sure his intent was not for you to over throw his successor.”

“Please,” Wion laughed. “That is how he came to power. Granny Ellis, I see you sitting out there in the crowd. It was your father that Packmaster Highbridge killed. You should by all rights be standing where this Packmaster stands, today. What have you to say about this?”

Standing, the old woman stared at him. “My father could no longer hold what was his. I am not a leader for a pack. I miss the old man, but not his Were ways.

As for what I have to say, I was the one that told the Packmaster that those seventeen were calling you Packmaster. And that you had fed them vamp. I asked her if we were to expect a coup?”

“Understand this,” Annie said, to him. “You are not welcome in my bed, in my house, in my place of business. Not where my pack runs or my pack sleeps or where my pack shits,” she growled. “You are abjured from me and mine. Get gone from my sight.

Pack business,” she said, looking around the crowd. “Have we any idea how these seventeen died? Anything? Rumors?”

No one noticed him as he walked out the door. He was dead to them until they found him where he should not be. Then he was dead…

“Fuck it all to hell,” he kicked at everything, real or imagined, in his way. “How am I going to explain that I no longer have a Were commando platoon? That those munitions can no longer be humped in. Fucking Were shit,” he groused as he stepped into an alley way to piss. Taking out his phone, he made the call. “We need a new plan. The Weres I were recruiting for this mission have all died.”

There were a lot of unpleasant words coming though the speaker on his phone.

There was the yell of “You had better fucking fix this!” and then the line went dead.

Calling another number, when it picked up he said, “Spare me the righteous Wicca bullshit and put on Zoe. I don’t give a fuck who she is pleading for or appeasing. I am coming out to see her. I need a spell…a great and almighty one. Something that requires a living blood sacrifice.”

Walking over to the parking garage, he climbed the stairs and started his car. “Fucking Were shit,” he mumbled as he pulled out and drove off.

 

 

Eric was getting dressed. Pulling on his shoes, he was out their door. It was past two…Sookie was asleep. The vampires in the house were still up, but the humans seemed to be resting.

Then there was more to think about…Pamela just walked in the front door. Christmas in London was not her favorite time of the year. But anytime she could shop using his black American Express card was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Got in earlier,” she said when she saw him. “Been making the rounds.”

Eric nodded. “What say the rats?” he asked.

“Fresh Deads hit the place name you sent me. I checked out the PPB. Some serious shit was done to the building’s electrical. O.I.’s work I take it?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded as they headed for the library.

“Miss Annie, the owner, is in a snit. Seems those Fresh Deads called the Frenchie Packmaster when she was not around.”

Eric paused in front of the library door and thought about that. Opening it, they went in and Eric threw more logs on the fire.

Pam was thoughtful. “From what the four legged boys I chatted with tonight brought home, when Miss Annie finished up chewing on this Frenchie, it would be risky for that Were to be back in the area, at least in a high profile way. Ricci says they did hear him calling a coven on the phone. ”

“A couple of ways this could go. Wion likes being called Packmaster and now those that were following him are dead…

…what does he do?

He runs to the Krasiki Coven for the empower me and letus declare a Were war because I like being the guy in charge…or he just goes about business as usual.”

“Power, once tasted, changes one forever,” Pam said, not smiling. “My maker told me that when I first woke as vampire.”

“Fucking Were shit,” Eric hissed as he pulled out his phone. There was a lot to think about. Wion had been in the area and he had missed him. “Not much luck he will be strutting his stuff in that part of town,” Eric said as he contemplated his next move.

“He has been abjured,” Pam said, “he is not to be where the local pack, eats, sleeps, or shits. So sayth Ricci.

Those Weres that do business with him may continue to do so, but do not strike up any new deals. That will end badly for all concerned. Or so says Road Rat Ricci.”

“If he is pissed and I am sure he is, then we have missed him as Jack the Ripper, also. Would do us do good to make those Whitechapel haunts now. He has killed, moved on and retired for the night to lick his wounded ego and gloat about how he had once more outfoxed Scotland Yard.”

“Where is everyone?” she asked.

Eric had ducked inside his head and was running his chest game. He smelled strongly of Sookie, sex, and honey and he now knew what she knew. As he processed all that, he would not be coming back this way to gossip with her anytime soon.

“BBC is running a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon on the television. Sookie told them about it before we retired for the evening. They are smitten.”

“Oh Buffy…!” Pam grinned. “I am going to grab a bagged blood out of the kitchen. I will see you with the new dark, my maker,” she bowed her head to him.

“Rest well my child,” he answered as he took out his phone and dialed a number.

“Director,” he said when the older gentleman picked up. “I am sending you an attachment of the names of seventeen Weres that will no longer plague the streets of London. They were associates of Wion and they are now dead.”

“Does Scotland Yard know?” he asked.

“No,” he replied. “I will leave that bit of business to you. Let them owe you.”

“Thank you,” he smiled despite himself. “I will call my contact. Rest well this day.”

“Enjoy your day in the sunshine,” Eric responded and hung up.

Eric headed toward the television room. He could hear them calling encouragement to Buffy.

Sticking his head in, he said, “I am going out to cruise Whitechapel.”

“You need some help?” Samuel asked.

“No,” he slowly shook his head. “I expect the woman is dead. I just want a sense of the night air and the paths he walks. What touches his senses while he stalks his victim.

I will do a short walkabout and then return.”

“What if Sookie wakes and ask for you?” Ian was eyeing his friend and wishing to be invited along.

“Tell her the truth,” Eric responded with a bit of hesitation in his voice. “Do not ever lie to her on my behalf,” he stressed. “She knows the risks I take. And I will know that she is here and safe.”

Everyone nodded and Eric was vamp speed out of the building and airborne. Pulling the darkness to him, it would not do to dawdle. Being without other Were resources, the Were would be desperate and would turn to those who had served him, before. Somewhere in the dark was the Krasiki Coven. If he could catch a scent of anything, that would be the place to start. Witches did not scare him. Not when his brother stood by his side. Samuel’s God could over come and overthrow any who stood in their way. Wion wore a scarab ring. “He draws the power for his long life from the Pharaohs magicians and gods,” he chuckled. “Samuel is going to fucking love this.”

When he landed he heard Pamela land right behind him.

“Miss me?” he asked as he turned to her.

“Of course, my maker,” she grinned at him. “I just get into town and you take off to have all the fun and leave me with the boys…?” she rolled her eyes. “Oh please,” she rolled them, again.

Eric was shaking his head. A bit of mirth in his voice. “Cedric still wants his money for you burning down his cottage by the Carly River? I remember that stone house. Very charming with its thatched roof.”

“Well,” Pamela grumped, “perhaps it was something like that. And that was not my fault.”

“Those angry villagers seemed to think it was your fault,” Eric chuckled.

“The mayor’s wife enjoyed my eight inch both sides dildo,” she said with fortitude and pride. “She told me repeatedly that our time together was the best fucking of her life. And that just my kisses made her sopping wet. She was an unloved woman married to a man with a small dick and no hard-on. He did not understand his own sexual satisfaction, let alone hers. Unless it had something to do with sheep,” Pam nodded. “There would be times he would have her on all fours and she would have to baa-a-a,” she said, imitating a sheep perfectly.

“Any chance Sookie thinks you have a small dick and no hard on?”

Eric arched an eyebrow at her. “Do not…” was all he said as they began walking and looking for anything out of the ordinary.

“So this is serious…?” he could hear the hesitation in her voice.

“Scully married Adele. I am going to marry Sookie. As long as we are in London, the bands hold. I don’t know if she wants to return to Louisiana or not. If she wishes to stay, we shall, if she wants to go home, we shall do that. It matters not to me where we stand and call home. She will be Mrs. Northman, my wife.”

“Bold words,” Pam regarded him.

“The world can go fuck itself,” he replied as they walked. “O.I. will be in residence and Lafayette will be where ever his family resides. Anyone who wants to take on a dragon who has see the face of his God, is invited to do so. I shall sleep well knowing my bride is protected.”

“O.I.,” Pam nodded. “He is a game changer.”

“Especially in his human form,” Eric said as they passed an alley and he stopped to sniff.

“Human?” Pam queried.

“Yes, beautiful purple eyes and the most electrifying hombre platinum to purple hair you have ever seen. To quote Lafayette, Smokin’!” he said with a snap of his fingers and wiggling his eyebrows.

“Really?” Pam was intrigued.

“What is that I hear in your voice? Is that lust? I thought you only did girls?”

“Never said I would not do a dragon,” she replied as she adjusted her girls and taking out her lipstick, applied a fresh layer.

“He is not going to be joining us,” Eric smirked.

“Fuck,” she hissed. “You sure?”

“Fairly certain,” he replied as they continued their walk.

“Were,” they both said at the same time.

“Passed this way,” Eric nodded. “No way of knowing if it is Wion. Pub up ahead. If he is looking for a female, this would be the place.”

“He walked on past,” Pam sniffed the air delicately. “Oh, a female has joined him. She must have left the bar. You can still smell the alcohol on the air. She was been drinking, heavily. Bad mistake.”

“I don’t smell blood,” Eric noted as they picked up the pace. “Where the hell is he headed with her? Jack the Ripper always kills his victims in the Whitechapel area.”

“Car park,” they both said together as they tracked them up the steps and to the empty spot where his car was parked.

“What the fuck?” Pam asked. “He puts her in the car and drives away with her.”

“He is most desperate,” Eric said, shaking his head. “He has no pack to help him with his dirty work, so he is using the contacts he knows. I believe he is contemplating aligning himself with the Krasiki Coven if he has not already. They did sacrifices back in the day. Probably still do. This female would be his offer up to whatever dark lord thinks will help him. He wears a scarab ring probably fueled by whatever magic the Egyptian priests doused it with back in the day.

I am calling Samuel. With his help, this woman might have a chance at living if we can find her.”

“Those Egyptian priests were some mean mother fuckers. What they did to their own kind was just monstrous,” she nodded. “There was that one mummy priest that thought he was all that and he could stand between us and King Tut’s gold,” she snickered. “He had not one fucking clue just who Samuel Da’vid is and the God that stands with him. He found out though. That blessed kosher salt from Samuel’s favorite Jewish New York deli. We dosed that pile of rags with that salt and he howled in pain like a Were fucking a Banshee. That was a sight to see, him two-stepping his way backwards as that salt passed through his sphincter and it fell around his feet, mummy trappings and all. I might have seen funnier, but it does not come to mind.”

“Tis a fact,” Eric replied with a grin as he pushed one on his speed dial and then became most serious. “Oh, my brother. Most excellent. We need your help.”

 

Dear Readers,

Had a dose of RL this past week. So this is shortest of the short. But I got Pam on the Isle and Eric has called his brother. Evil had just best blow on out of town because I am sure O.I. will invite himself to this throw down.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing this Easter season.

Jesus is not here, He has risen!

CES

 

Joyeux Noël Chapter 18

joyeux-noel

Chapter 18

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 18

After a yummy breakfast and the sad and disgusting news, everyone had retired to Lafayette and O.I.’s room as they discussed wardrobe.

Just what did you wear to spy in?

“James of the Bond Street is mightly handsome in his tailored mades,” Lafayette sighed. “But I don’t thinks a Were bar calls for the likes of custom, one of a kind. Don’t want to stand out and not especially blend in. Anyone who hears us talkin’ is gonna know we are not locals.”

“So wear somethin’ that speaks to your supernatural-ness,” Sookie said over her shoulder as she admired the scarves he had laid out on his bed. “Nothing trashy like Miss Jazz-mean at a 900 number but something that says you have good taste and can kick your English ass. Does not matter what your supernatural bona-fides are or your physical condition. We might be Yanks but we have got it goin’ on.”

“That’s good Miss Sookie,” Lafayette nodded. “Real good. But why would we be there? This would be like Merlotte’s. Somethin’ bad happens and everyone runs there to get the latest. And it is always noted when a stranger sticks their nose in at such a time. ‘Member that time Old Mr. Rose whose dementia just kept getting’ worse, went missin’?

His daughter showed up from out of town and had lunch with us. Worried and gnashing her teeth and wringing her hands while she had two burgers, a side of French fries and onion rings along with a pitcher of beer, talkin’ to everyone and boo hooin’.

Turns out she had taken’ him out to the swamp behind his house and left him tied to a tree. She was mighty surprised when Sheriff Andy came in and arrested her. Seems no one had gossiped about Packy the hound dog. She did not count on Packy findin’ her daddy and then her daddy, misquote bit, rained on, and hungry, rattin’ her out that she had tied him and she knew he could not remember how to untie knots. Mm-m-m-m hm-m-m-m. We needs a good reason for sittin’ our fine asses down and bein’ there. A mighty good reason.”

“We are writing a book,” Gran offered. “And you two are researching…?” she shrugged. “Lafayette you are a Medium. Did you follow a ghost in? More than one?

And O.I.? What is going to be your specialty?”

“Well now, I do believes I can run a Rune pouch,” he chuckled, “and see what my third eye has to say. I will quick as can be make me a set.”

“That is goods, my little mans. Book…spooks…maybe an internet TV show…needs to speak with Mr. Clifford befores we makes out spy debuts. We coulds bes writers or producers. Longboat Publishing is getting ready to go Hollywood…or just the Internets. So, jeans, t-shirt and a nice suit jacket,” Lafayette nodded. “This cut velvet scarf and somethin’ that says I am fab-u-lous and lookin’…well just lookin’. Maybe a vest. I boughts a long tailed one at Harrod’s.”

“I like that’s,” O.I. nodded. “Right now I am partial to my linen pants and long flowin’ top with that red velvet long jacket.”

“Smokin’ your La La says,” as they both high fived.

“We will leave you to your spy dressin’ ways,” Sookie said as she and Gran picked up their tea cups. “We’ll see you downstairs for lunch and then we will kiss you out the door.”

 

 

O.I. and Lafayette took The Tube to the Pretty Pink Bicycle.

“Not a bad part of town,” Lafayette observed as they came up the steps. “I was expectin’ far worse and just far worse. I guess Weres like to do business in a respectable part of town as well.”

“Seems to be,” O.I. responded. “Shops, a green grocery and another pub up the block and a restaurant. Nice looking antique store and a used book store.”

Starbucks on the corner,” Lafayette added.   “Here we are. Were central. Nice lookin’ buildin’ on the outside. Has been well maintained. Was built in 1830 or so says the signage on the buildin’.”

“We shall stand here and read the menu while we look wistfully in,” O.I. said as they began checking the place out. “Looks to be doin’ business. Some empty tables by the door and apparently there is more seatin’ in the basement. They call it The Crypt.”

“Then let us take our jolly ol’ selves inside. I am seein’ dead folks,” Lafayette smiled. “Lots of them. And we are ready to have us some fun of the fresh dead type.”

“Yes,” O.I. grinned. “You know a dragon’s magnetic signature does horrible things to these modern day electrical systems. Circuits burn out. Light bulbs hiss and sometimes scream obscenities. Appliances smoke, shudder and try to walk out the door,” he said with an all-knowing look.

“Is that a fact?” Lafayette said opening the door for him.

“Indeed,” O.I. said matter of fact. “Some folks just might mistake it for the mischief of the Fresh Deads.

Oh look,” O.I. looked shocked. “Their open sign just burned out.”

 

Terrance the barkeep was nobody’s fool. They got foot traffic off the street. Being so close to a Tube Station helped that.

But the two that came walking in were more than just foot traffic. They were Supes, well dressed and ones he did not recognize. He could smell their magic wafting around them. All though not a Were, he was a mage of the 3rd order. He might be a novice, but he knew power when it vibrated around the room and then came back and kicked you in the ass…and his ass was twitching like he had just been violated!

Annie had left him a note to be on the lookout for strangers. They could have magic or not. And they would ask a lot of questions. “THINGS HAVE HAPPENED. BE ON YOUR GUARD!” she had printed in big letters. “Remember! Keep locals on the main floor. Everyone else in the basement!”

Annie did not specify what type of things had happened. But from judging from the size of the Were crowd that was in here, it had to be something to do with the dual natured and were gossiping and speculating up a storm. He had seen the news and had wondered if those that had broken the law and had everyone in an uproar were Weres. It just did not seem likely. No way in hell Annie would authorize those kind of shenanigans! All notorious and infamous Were dealings went through her. Even he knew that! What had happened last night with those skateboarders…well all of England was up in arms and wanting to put a head on a pike for those that had snarled traffic and caused that man in the ambulance to die!

Whoever those assholes were, they had faded away into the back alleyways. Which was good and probably safest for them.

Here came the two ringers, heading straight for him.

“Anywhere besides the bar to sit?” the one with the fascinating tinged purple hair and purple eyes asked him.

“And not over by the door,” the handsome black male added.

“Sure, The Crypt is open,” Terrance said and nodded toward the staircase. “The bar down there is doing business so drinks won’t come from up here. Should get them right after you place an order.”

“Thanks,” Lafayette said. “But we don’t mind waiting for a good beer that has been properly pulled.”

“Well, you would be the first Americans I have seen who do not mind waiting. They want to drink, eat, and get back to it.”

“That does sound like home,” Lafayette grinned. “That is one of the things we enjoy about Europe. No one hurries you through a meal. You can sit and socialize and catch up. That is most pleasing.”

Terrance chuckled to himself. Really. Yanks…not in a hurry? That did not sound right. “Miss Annie, how smart you are!” Time to play his ace in the hole! “There is a really nice restaurant up the street,” he threw out the hook. “Top shelf Scottish whiskies, only locally grown food stuffs. You place your order for their dessert chocolate mousse when you first go in and it is hot out of the oven after your meal.”

“We will have to try that some time,” Purple Eyes nodded. “But we followed about twelve Fresh Deads in here. And they are the story.”

“What?” Terrance took a step back.

“More like fifteen or so,” the black male nodded. “And I have seen none fresher. You know, when they have been here roaming for a while, they start to look like dirty laundry. These were fresh and looking like a Clorox commercial.”

“Are you kidding me?” Terrance took another step back.

“No. If I might,” Lafayette took out a business card. “I am his La La Fineness. I am a Medium by trade. I spotted the Fresh Deads. This is my associate O.I. There might be better forecasters with the Runes and those that can read where death has happened and call to the past and see the present and future, but I have not met them.

We are cruising London, looking for verified haunts and haunteds. We work for Longboat Publishers. They want us to write a proposal for an Internet documentary on the ghosts of London and then write the script. And if it takes off, we could show the world the side of the supernatural like they have never seen or experienced it. This pub might be a place to start.”

“Oh,” O.I. glanced around as the lights flashed off and then back on. “I can feel the static charge building,” he shook all over and then the blender on the bar made a hissing sound and started to smoke.

“Unplug it and put it in the sink,” Lafayette said to the barkeep who did just that and then turned on the faucet.

“Now, anywhere in the basement is okay? Or should we wait to be seated?” Lafayette asked.

Terrance was a bit shaken. He had only started his training with spirits and was a bit behind. His teacher had pissed off a dead by trying to exercise her and had been thrown out a window.

Damn! He did not want to be left alone up here, fighting off these Fresh Deads, he shuddered, by himself. “I’ll clear out a booth for you up here,” he said. “No problem. If you want something from the kitchen, you just let me know. It will be hot, none of that going up and down the stairs business.”

“Perfect,” O.I. nodded. “And thanks. We will just sit and drink your darkest stout and have an order of fish and chips with smushy peas and just track what we can.”

“Thanks,” Terrance said, trying to hide his shaking. “Anything I can do to help?”

“You wearing any wool?” O.I. asked.

“Just my jumper.”

“I would take it off. When they pass by, the static charge can start there and give you a nasty shock.

You know spontaneous combustion?”

“Yes,” Terrance’s eyes got round.

“Fresh Deads are notorious for that bit of fiery business,” O.I. said and Lafayette nodded in agreement.

“Thanks,” Terrance nodded, his voice full of wonder and a tinge of fear. “Good to know. Let me clear out a booth for you and get it set up. Then I’ll get right on your order.”

“We really do not need…” Lafayette began.

“Not a problem. Gritty and his old lady have been in here since nine. They have nursed that pint for the last four hours. She has gone to the loo. That means they are getting ready to leave. I will just go wipe down the table and hurry them along.”

“But still,” Lafayette crossed his eyes. “I feel like we are running them off.”

“Let us buy them another one and some lunch,” O.I said. “And you can move them to one of those tables over by the door.”

“Very decent of you,” Terrance said as he headed in that direction.

“Yes,” Lafayette winked at O.I. “Very decent of you.”

Gritty and his old lady, Stella stopped by to say their how dos and thank yous.

“Was not our intent to run you out,” Lafayette said. “Please, would you like to join us?”

“Well thank you,” Stella smiled. “And we were getting ready to leave, anyway. But a meal sounds lovely.”

O.I. got up and slid in next to Lafayette and Gritty and Stella slid in across from them.

Lafayette explained that the sighting of the Fresh Deads had brought them in and the conversation just went on from there as the pub listened in.

So that afternoon, the lights flickered, alarms sounded, and there were cussing sounds from the kitchen about electronic appliances not working. Those wearing wool jumpers discretely pulled them off.

Gritty and Stella finished their pints and meal in record time and moved off, as they were both wearing wool pants and jackets.

That freed up seats for others to stop by and chat up the Americans.

O.I. had his Runes out and was casting for whoever wanted their live history read. “If you want the truth, just sit yourself on down and let’s Rune,” he would say. “The Elder does not lie.”

With Lafayette speaking with authority about the Fresh Deads and saying the newest to walk the spirit realm were dual natured, and even had a few physical descriptions, everyone in the pub had a pretty good idea who it was that was haunting the establishment and the real time chatter started.

Terrance worked behind the bar, tracking the activity that was going on. He saw no need to keep secrets from these two Americans, who apparently had more answers then all of them put together. There was no hiding anything from the Rune Master and the Medium was the best he had ever encountered. Not that any Supe in here willingly offered up information, but they had quit whispering among themselves and started directing questions at the two Yanks.

Once more he checked the business cards he had been given. “His La La Fineness,” he chuckled and then got serious. “This is why he is somebody and I work as a barkeep. He believes in and promotes himself and does not give a damn what anyone thinks.

And O.I. Just look at his card. That is all it says. O.I. Like the world knows who he is. I wish I had balls like that. I wish I could get past my third tier terrestrial mage ranking.”

The light bulb over his head went out. Then another. Then another until the bar area was dark and the patrons were calling out the names of the Fresh Deads and telling them to knock it off and the shadows began to lengthen.

 

“Time to get going,” Lafayette remarked. “We are doing a Jack the Ripper Ghost Walk Tour later. And we have a few more stops to make before then.”

Granny Ellis was sitting at the booth with them and patted both their hands. “Thanks for today,” she said pressing a pound into each one’s hand. “You cannot have your fortune told without payin’ the gypsies. I don’t want The Fresh Deads to note my lack of charity and be back around to get me.”

“Did not know that,” O.I. replied.

“My granny lived by that,” Mrs. Ellis nodded, all business. “She had a friend who had the gift and would search her out and tell her to be weary on such and such a day. My Granny did not have much but she would press on her friend a halfpenny or a bit of food or a glass of beer.”

“Good to know and remember,” Lafayette smiled at her.

“They are a bad bunch, those that returned here,” she said under her breath and kissed the small gold cross she wore around her neck. Eyeing both males she continued on. “Got a Frenchie that blows into here from time to time. When the owner ain’t here, these ones, these Fresh Deads, they would call him packmaster. Wasn’t right and I don’t think Annie knows. But I think with these Fresh Deads, maybe it is time someone told her.”

“I know I would be grateful to know that,” Lafayette took the old woman’s hand and placed it between both of his own. “I would be so grateful that I would maybe extend a meal to you on the house every time you stopped by or at least once a week.”

“You think so?” she looked surprised yet pleased.

“I know I would. Cannot speak for the owner. But I know I would,” Lafayette stressed. “We thank you kindly for your company, but we must be moving on.”

Getting up, they moved over to the barkeep who they knew was named Terrance.

“Check please,” O.I. said.

“On the house,” the fine boned brunet male barkeep with the pale hazel eyes responded.

“Cannot do that,” Lafayette said and pushed two twenty pound notes at him. “We are on an expense account. Gotta spend it or next time, we only get enough money for McDonald’s.”

They called out their good-byes to all the Weres who they now knew by name and wished them and their families all the best this Joyeux Noël.

“Way to fuckin’ easy, my big man’s,” O.I. chuckled as they headed for The Tube.”

“Fresh Deads,” Lafayette chuckled. “They will get you every time. And if they don’t, O.I. and His La La Fineness will. Time to check in. Vamps will be risin’.”

 

Annie walked in at five. Chef Arnold had finally given up and called her.

“What the fuck?” was all she could say as she surveyed the damage.

“Fresh Deads,” was called out.

Terrance nodding his head vigorously and repeating “Fresh Deads!”

“Fresh what?” she said with dismay in her voice. “Terrance, you had better not been drinking on the job. Walk me through this and tell me what the fuck happened.”

Shaking her head in disbelief, she got the litany. A Medium and a Rune Reader had followed seventeen Fresh Deads into the building. Her building!

“Here are their business cards,” Terrance said with a flourish.

And…we think we know who the Fresh Deads are…”

She listened as she walked about and surveyed the damage. Thankfully the beer was cooled in the basement. All things electrical were iffy.

When she walked into the kitchen, she threw up her hands in dismay.

Chef Arnold was carrying around a meat cleaver and waving several branches of fresh rosemary around muttering be gone and be at rest! “I cannot fry anything. The fry-o-lator started to smoke and sputter and I pulled the plug before a grease fire started.

You get these Fresh Deads out of here or I won’t be back. They are not making shepherd’s pie out of my balls.”

“How’s The Crypt?” she asked, peering down the back stairs.

“Crypt is just fine,” Arnold retorted. “You know Weres don’t hang out down there. Tourist only.

The dual natured call the main floor their own. Well fuck them. I have had enough. I don’t want one more appliance telling me they would not eat my cooking and to get a job as a fish gutter. I have had it! And the Fresh Deads, they scared the beejesus out of poor Willy. He is sitting in the storeroom corner sucking his thumb and crying. There has not been a dish washed or a floor mopped since this started.”

“Shit,” she mumbled as she surveyed the kitchen and started doing a mental inventory just how much this was going to cost. She needed a priest and an electrician, in that order.

Terrance stuck his head in the kitchen. “Granny Ellis wants to talk to you.”

“I will be right there.”

Turning to Arnold she patted his chest. “I am going to call a Priest and then the electrician. Please, get Willy up and working and just…just start doing inventory on what needs to be replaced so the electrician will have an idea.”

Going out, she spotted Granny Ellis at a booth. “Fuck,” she shook her head, “she is taking up space that could hold four paying patrons. I thought I had talked to her about that.

Granny,” she said sliding in across from her, “I thought we had an agreement.”

The old woman nodded. “I know,” she responded. “I am not to take up space of paying customers. But His La La Fineness thought you would want to know this.”

“And what else did His La La Fineness have to say?” she asked.

“He said maybe you would give me a free meal once a week for this information. He said he would provide me a free meal everyday.”

Snorting, Annie gave her a toothy smile and said, “American’s seem to think money grows on trees. So tell me your news.”

“We all know who the Fresh Deads are. Those seventeen, they are the same ones that would call that Frenchie, packmaster, when you were not here.”

“What?” she stuttered.

“Yes,” Granny nodded.

“And no one told me?”

“We all know you are partial to him. You do special favors. Let him do things and walk away from shit that would get the rest of us dead. Takes the pack for runs in Scotland when you were busy. Not for us to question.

Then, you let him vamp up those that were loyal to him. We had no idea what to expect. We all wondered if he was planning a coup d’état. Would not be the first time. That is how your grandfather came to power.”

“Thank you Granny Ellis,” she smiled as she stood up. “We would enjoy having you for your evening meal. On the house, of course.”

“Well thank you,” she smiled as she gathered her things. “His La La Fineness was right about that.”

“And several other things,” Annie said with disgust as she headed back to the bar.

“Tell me,” she said, standing in front of Terrance. “About these Yanks.”

“They left their business cards,” he said pulling them out and placing them on the bar. “In regards to the magic, they are legit. Best I have seen in their respective fields. No bullshit to them. All power and knowledge.”

She merely raised an eyebrow when she saw their names. But, she was impressed when she saw the Longboat publishing logo on the back. Along with a phone number.

Dialing, there was a male that picked up. “Longboat Publishing House, this is Swen speaking. How may I direct your call?” he said with a slight Swedish accent.

“May I please speak to His La La Fineness or O.I.?”

“One moment,” he replied. While on hold she listened to their latest ad for their newest best sellers. The he was back.

“I am sorry, both are out of town on assignment. May I take a message?”

“I own a bar in London, and I believe they dropped off their business cards with one of my associates. Apparently they write ghost stories.”

“If they are interested in doing a story that can be verified, that would be the proper protocol,” was Swen’s reply.

“What if I don’t want a ghost story done about my bar?” she asked.

“Not a problem,” he assured her. “Before they would disclose the location, they would make contact with you first and go through the legal parameters.”

“Thank you,” she replied and hung up. “So these guys are real…” she thought about that and then watched in horror as the front door blew open and hit the wall so hard that the handle broke off and punched its way through the front glass window.

“Holy Mother of God,” she gasped as the crack in the window began to spread. “Somebody, anybody, get me a priest in here! Right now! I cannot afford these Fresh Deads! And Clancy, you…you…fucking Fresh Dead,” she said with disgust. “I know it was you that peed on my front window last week and shit in front of the door! And you owe me money! As soon as that priest gets here we are casting you to Hell and you burn you bastard, burn!”

 

O.I. and Lafayette retuned to the manor house well after dark. When they walked in the door the family was up and the happy couples looked…well happy!

 

“Got your text. We are having a working dinner,” Eric said when they walked into the library. “Then we are going to the theatre.”

“Most excellent,” Lafayette nodded. “We have the names of those that died and who they are related to in the pack.”

“Then let’s get started,” Gran said as she leaned over and gave Scully a kiss on the cheek. “I am looking forward to an evening out!”

Clifford stuck his head in. “Jorja can secure tickets for Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Woman in White.”

Making a face, “No,” he said with a slight shake of his head. “Let me get tickets for the Queen musical, We Will Rock You, instead.”

“I would love to see an A.L.W. show,” Gran said wistfully. “The Woman in White is one of my favorite short stories.”

“Then The Woman in White it is,” Clifford bowed his way out.

 

It was lovely getting dressed for an evening of at the theatre. There was all type of speculation and wished for and oh my gawd! A.L.W.!

The ladies were in their Chanel long evening wear and the men were wearing their Armani suits.

They made their grand entrance and were shown the way to their seats. When the curtain went up, they all sat in quiet expectation.

When the show ended, they left, each with their own thoughts of what they had just witnessed. After all it was A.L.W. in London!

 

When they settled into the limo, Lafayette said as he batted his eyelashes, “The Woman in White, by Andrew Lloyd Weber and other misconceptions. Just what the fuck?” he said in exasperation. “I knows I am a back water rube, but I has seen live theatre. And I do gets PBS on my TV. Watch the big theatrical experiences straight out of London Town when they appear. Went to Shreveport and watched Romeo and Juliet as they did it live from London and was streamed to the movie house.”

Gran let out a big sigh. “Mr. Clifford was right. We should have gone with Queen. *The Woman in White, this was an operetta loosely, and I must stress that, loosely based on the short story The Woman in White. This is one of my favorite stories and I was expecting great things….” Gran’s voice trailed off. “I am so sorry,” she sighed again as she looked around the crowd. “The only thing the story and the play had in common were that there were two females dressed in white.”

“Seriously,” Sookie shook her head and rolled her eyes. “If you are in London for that once-in-your-life-travel experience and want to go to a play, looking for what you would perceive to be the Bard’s traditional theatre, this would not be it. I would call this more along the lines of Performance Art. I am not for real sure if I like performance art,” she said looking out at the group. “Maybe that is just the poor Louisiana girl in me…but seriously…I was not expectin’…that! We do better Nativity plays at Christmas in church.”

“Please,” Lafayette shuddered. “This is playin’ in the London West End, at The Palace Theatre,” he stressed. “This…this was a new look at re-inventin’ the wheel and the wheel works just fine. Just say’n!

Lordy, from the ancient Greeks that incorporated megaphones into their masks to the French who implored the raked stage, everyone,” he threw his hands up into the air, “wants to leave their mark on the theatre, redefinin’ its greatness.

Here techno gets to raise its head and offer a more movie type experience than a theatre one. And let me be the first to tell you, payin’ eighty bucks for a movie leaves me with a screwed and no kiss kinda feelin’,” he complained.

“But,” Ian softly said. “I have heard my theatre comrades-in-arm say, after all, creativity is what it is all about.”

“Well, okay,” Sookie eyed him. “I agree to that. But there are certain things to me that constitutes live theatre and for me this was not it. Mr. Clifford warned us away from this show in his very best, proper, polite British…so allow me and I will translate it into American what I thought of it. That being, it blows chunks!”

“What say you, Samuel,” Eric leaned over and looked at his brother.

“Yes,” the small vampire gave them nod of his head. “I understand. You are in London. I can see how you are expecting traditional,” he nodded to the three Americans. “London, theatre…The Bard!

This is,” Samuel gave the group a small smile, “however a wire-head’s dream come true. The stage revolved, there were two curved screens that could rotate on the stage, which also revolved around the stage. Onto these cycloramas were projected the scenery.”

“I wanted Victorian antiques,” Gran replied. “This is London. There should be Victorian antiques. Not 21st century hub-bub.”

“Well yes,” Samuel bowed his head to her. “But in all fairness, there was an occasional chair or table.”

“Yes,” Lafayette eyed him, “after all, it would be a little difficult to ask actors to sit for prolonged periods in a virtual chair, and of course impossible to lay about on a virtual bed.”

“But the scenery,” Samuel continued. “What was projected onto those screens would be impossible to build on a stage. That manor house. The grand staircase. A garden with a fountain. Cliffs over looking the ocean. Even the slums of London.”

“Mr. Samuels,” Lafayette was shaking his head. “What you are sayin’ is true. And I have the movies for that and cable.

I was at the theatre,” he stressed, “watchin’ the characters move from the rooms of the grand manor house which was projected onto the walls of this cyc,” he stressed, “walk up projected stairs!” he remarked with great disdain.

“Yes, now La La was impressed, he says with insincerity,” he snickered rolling his eyes. “The actors were just walkin’ in place or markin’ time. If you have any type of marchin’ band experience this would be useful!

I ams self righteous at this moment and utterly disappointed.”

“Yes,” O.I. uttered. “The only craftsman ship in building this set came from the programmer who wrote the program.”

“I would like to say that it was interesting, but for me it was visually incorrect,” Gran agreed. “I am one of those people who cannot do the magic picture, you know, see the picture in all the color noise surrounding it. So, instead, what I saw was an actor marking time in place until my brain captured what was being projected onto the cyc. All focus should be on the actors in a positive way. The set is merely to dress the stage, not to distract from the actors.”

“Preach it Gran,” Sookie nodded her head in agreement.  “I am hoping that the virtual world is not the ugly road that theatre is headed toward now that I can afford to attend. And if I am paying that much for a ticket, there had better be a built set for the actors to interact with.

And if folks thinks virtual stuff is the dragon’s golden horde or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in set dressin’, woe to the set dressers and props and scene shops, all artists in their own right. Those poor folk are gonna be without jobs.”

“Not to mention writers. The plot line,” Gran rolled her eyes. “Okay, am I the only person who remembers the Dudley Do-right cartoons? Villains, dastardly villains, deadly dastardly villains. Yes, we had them there tonight!” Her voice got a little louder. “Heroine, another heroine, and heroine cubed. And oh, don’t forget the train they projected!” Gran threw her hands up in the air. “How can there possibly be a heroine in distress without a train track? And the hero….oh, yes, my darlings, he is just all that and more….we just did not get to see him flex his muscles.

And for something so cutting edge, so avant-garde, A.L.W. has jumped us back even further into the past world of entertainment. Stroll back with me,” Gran put her hands over her heart, “to the silent movies of which I know a bit about.”

“I do remember those,” Eric grinned along with the other vampires.

“Well yes,” Gran was shaking her head. “This was a great deal like those scenes that were flashed onto the screen while someone played the piano and you could either sing along with the words or it was the sole responsibility of the piano player.

Yes, indeed, we have come full circle. And I am not saying I approve,” Gran sighed.

“Okay,” Sookie was watching the group. “We have paid $80 each to have an evening at the theatre. Hmmmm, instead of being engrossed in the theatrical experience, I kept thinking, you have got to be kiddin’ me!”

“And I knows I saw those clouds that were being projected at the Venetian in Vegas.” Lafayette added. “And I kept watchin’ to see if the doors that were built into the cyclorama would match perfectly with the doors that were projected onto the cyc, allowing the actors to use an actual door,” he stressed. “And the ever present thought, Lord have mercy, if there is the squeakiest problem with the power, this show is over.”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded, “I kept praying we would lose power and call this done. Did you hear that couple next to us from New York? She was all aglow! Just wait until this gets to NY, you could hear the enthusiasm in her voice. This is so original.”

And I am sitting there thinkin’, it is going to have to make it out of the West End, first,” Lafayette shook his head and said, “Some one pour. I need am needin’ somethin’ to wash that taste out of my mouth.”

“Better plays are before us,” O.I. smirked as he went through the bottles in the bar. “We is gonna have Mr. Shakespeare as it was intended to be and it will be mighty fine.”

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Cannot have a story about our heroes in London without going to the theatre.

This is based on a review I wrote of

* The Woman in White, Andrew Lloyd Weber and other

Friday, 13 May 2015/ Tally Ho, on to London

Misconceptions    (Author’s note: Our concierge politely warned us when we asked about tickets and suggested We Will Rock You, instead.

Please keep in mind I am entitled to my opinions in regards to this play and my opinions have been transferred to the characters. If you have seen it and loved good…good on you! I obviously did not.)

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

 

Joyeux Noël Chapter 17

joyeux-noel

Chapter 17

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 17

 

“Where are we headed?” Samuel asked, looking around at the group. “It is going to look a mite bit odd if five vampires walk into a Were bar.”

“Reminds me of that joke,” Cedric laughed quietly. “The one where five Weres walk into a vampire bar and order fried mountain oysters with catsup.”

“Yes,” Eric chuckled, “the vampire rips their balls off and says, Sorry, we are all out of catsup.

Madame Vedo arched an eyebrow at them as all the males chuckled.

“Sorry Madame,” Samuel bowed his head, his voice sad. “It is a lowly, Neanderthal, masculine thing. Let me apologize for this group of male miscreants. I fear, our most talented and righteous lady, you are out with the worst of the lot that the vampire community has to offer.”

“No kidding,” she shook her head. “If you four have this, I do have stitching that I could be doing.”

“Allow us to see you home,” Eric replied. “Weres with vamp blood is never a good thing. High on blood, rowdy, and stupid best describes them. They get a taste for it and they start doing foolish things, like looking for more of what got them high in the first place.”

“And Madame Vedo,” Samuel said with concern in his voice, “you do live alone.”

“Yes,” she patted his hand in a motherly way, “that is true, but in my personal quarters I have a liberal dusting of wolfsbane for just such an occasion. This would not be the first time a Were thought I was low hanging fruit. Hopefully it will not be the last,” she said with a small smile.

Those males standing there with her all smiled.

Eric’s grin was the biggest. Vedo was known to keep a notebook of how many Weres had thought to ferret her out during the day. There was a listing of times, dates, places, others bits of pertinent information, maybe a sketch or two.

He knew she especially found it helpful whether or not it was a full moon or another special Were event when they came looking for her.

Vedo had told him that apparently they had a butt-sniffing day that rolled around every five years that they held sacred and they all got a bit feisty when they weighed their balls once a year to see who had the biggest.

Eric always thought she was gathering all this information to write and publish a paper. Once he had asked her why she tracked all of it and she had just shrugged and replied. I believe their animal mind is just a reflection of their human mind. That there is not much going on there. So I keep numbers.

“Weres do prefer what they see as an easy meal. I guess it can get no easier when you can order vamp off the menu,” Cedric observed. “And would you like that with chips and a Guinness?”

Vedo nodded her head. “Disgusting but true. Weres are all about an easy meal. So why roam the streets looking for a vampire blood high when you know where there is a sure thing? Perhaps more than one and if you are running with a pack animal mentality thinks they can take on a group of vampires.

In was interesting,” she looked around the group, “that they referenced Wion as Packmaster. Is that a legitimate title? And if so, oh king of British Isle, just how loyal are the Weres that work for you?”

“Were shit…!” Eric hissed. “Ian’s residence!”

Vamp speed, they were all gone!

 

When they entered the compound of the king of British Isle, it was very quiet. As in exceedingly quiet. The fact that there was a dragon spread out on top of Ian’s roof, completely covering it, with his head resting on the ground with his purple eyes shooting out sparks, might have had something to do with that.

“O.I., o’ great winged warrior. Greetings and salutations this fine and glorious dark. I see you have combat command of the entire area. What have you seen that caused you to sound the alarm?” Samuel called out as they approached.

Purple sparks in his eyes gave way to a big toothy grin. “We was comin’ on home, toastin’ the just marrieds and also raisin’ a glass to our Miss Sookie and her Mr. Eric,” O.I.’s voice was most earnest as he nodded at Eric. “Just mindin’ our own business and all of us congratulation each other on how we had fixed a nice plate of tasties to share on the ride home,” he was nodding his head at the memory. “Miss Sookie being particularly found of those stuffed mushrooms, she had fixed two plates of those and I was helpin’ her out by eatin’ my portion of the tasty delights.

Well, we are sharin’ and laughin’ and relaxin’ in each other’s very fine company when lo and behold, in this busy street comes these dumb ass Weres ridin’ on skate boards, smellin’ of vampire and weavin’ in and out of traffic and bangin’ on windows and demandin’ to know if there was a vampire in the auto they were defacing with their poor hygiene habits.

They were harassing the folks on the sidewalks, shopkeepers and just being rude, a safety hazard and scarin’ all those good folks that were bein’ law abidin’ citizens.

One thing I cannot abides,” O.I. snorted with smoke coming out his nose. “Is the strong abusin’ and cussin’ the weak. So these low life Weres came howlin’ up to our windows and I rolled mine down and told them to round up their brothers and I would meet them here. I had hoped to have had this finished up before you got home,” he said sadly. “Now I will have to share in the story tellin and braggin’ rights,’” he sighed.

“Swords are in the library,” Ian grinned. “To arms!”

O.I. watched as the vampires disappeared into the manor and then his attention returned to the surrounding area. “Hopes they bring all those evil mo’ fo’ers. Yes, hopes they bring everyone so we can gets on to a Joyeux Noël!”

 

Tiny Slim and No Jaw were uncomfortably lounging in an alley waiting…pissing against a wall and waiting….and waiting….

“Oh,” Tiny Slim panted, clutching his stomach. “There it is. The tell-tale gurgle of the gut,” he moaned as he pulled down his pants and squatted. “Bloody hell, I am hoping this is the last of Compton and his bitch maker! My ass is raw! I greased up before I left the house. The wife wanting to know who I was runnin’ with tonight and was he so big I needed the jelly?”

“Can’t drink beer with vamp,” No Jaw dropped his pants and squatted beside him. “My daddy told me that. Stick with whiskey. Otherwise, you will have the runs until the next moon turns full.”

“Are you bloody hell kidding me?” Slim yelped. “I am going to shit water and vamp until Winter Solstice?”

“Seems to be the way with the American vampires. They might be easy going down but they are the banging shits going out,” he gasped as exploding diarrhea shot out from behind him and splattered the alley way wall.

They both turned when they caught the whiff of another Were.

“There squats me grannies,” Leroy laughed as he entered the alley way and then backed out, making a gagging sound. “You two make my eyes water,” he said, waving his hand in front of his face. “Are we going to that vampire residence and kill the fangbangers and rob the fuckers? Yes or no? I could smell the female inside the limo. American. Fresh. She’s in heat. Love to fuck her and then eat her. Those wealthy ones have tastier and more tender meat.”

“Where,” Slim grunted, as his insides continued to explode, “is everyone else?”

“Clancy, Harvey, Fat Ass, Whipped and Tire Tracks have dumped their loads farther down the street. They say they are ready to go and figure they have maybe an hour before the next round of shit-the-vampire takes them to an unpleasant place.”

“We checkin’ in with anyone?” No Jaw asked. “You know how Annie gets. She wants all gossip and fast hits first. Gets you a free meal if she likes what she hears. A little extra money if she gets first shot at the goods.”

“Hell no!” Leroy shot back. “We don’t need her permission. We don’t need anyone’s permission. We are vamp feed Weres. Who the fuck can tell us yea or nay?”

“Stupid shittin’ fuckers,” Clancy, the self-proclaimed leader of tonight’s tête-à-tête stuck his head around the corner. “Not much chance of missing where you two decided to dump a load. My eyes are watering and Leroy is chatting you up like he wants to wallow around in that stuff. If we are going to hit the royal residence, smear some more jelly on your ass and get it in gear.

I have heard rumors that when that place locks down for the day, those that guard it have standing orders to shoot to kill. So we either hit it now or just jerk off while we brag about how we were going to hit it.”

“What royals?” No Jaw asked.

“Vamper royal,” Leroy had unzipped and was writing his name on the ground with his piss.

“What?” No Jaw rubbed his ass against the wall and pulled up his pants.

“The guy in the car with the purple contacts,” Leroy was looking at his erstwhile partner in crime with something that did not resemble respect. “He said to show up at Clotild’s Cloisters. That is the British Isle’s vampire king’s home. Where the fuck have you been?”

“Really, we could eat the vampire king of British Isle?” No Jaw giggled. “I mean, there are seven of us and only one of him. Big burly guards with bullets don’t mean anything. We run and ride on the power of a vamp burger with a side of chips! Hell, I wonder if those two vampires could fly? And if so, can we fly?”

“Only one way to find out,” Leroy nodded with authority. “Climb up there to that third story roof and jump off.”

“Can do,” No Jaw laughed as he bounded up the wall with his skateboard. Positioning himself on top of his righteous ride, with a howl he launched himself out into the night and into the street.

“Well fuck,” Leroy noted when No Jaw hit the pavement, head first, cracking his skull open, his brains spilling out. “Looks like that is a no to the flying!”

“Do we eat him or leave him?” Slim asked. “And who gets his skateboard?”

“We are running out of night,” Leroy shook his head as he observed the stars and then tasted the night air. “Leave him for the ravens or the police. I don’t care who gets to him first. If you want his ride, grab it. Let’s eat us a royal and his blood bags!”

With a chorus of howls and the sound of skateboard wheels, they were gone!

 

The cry To War! Had been sound. Swords belts with swords now clanked against chain mail. And against everyone’s better judgment, they had knocked at Scully’s and Adele’s door.

Ian explained the situation and Sir Scully had only said. “I will get dressed and meet you of the rooftop. My bride sleeps and it is my duty and my pleasure to help to provide for her this safe haven.”

 

Ian, Cedric, Samuel, Eric, and Scully were waiting on the roof with O.I.

“Lafayette still sleeping?” Eric asked the dragon that was now a sixty-pound dog size bringer of death.

“Yes,” O.I. nodded. “I would not insults him or interrupt his beauty sleeps to watch these low-life animals be brought to dragon justice.”

“Ah-h-h-h,” Cedric began. “O’ King of the Dragons, you do plan on a’leavin’ some for me boyos and myself to dispatch?”

“Not if I gets my mighty fine self there first,” he chuckled.

“So not fair,” Ian glowered at the dragon. “This is my home, by rights is mine to defend!”

O.I. drew himself up. “Brother Ian! Yous did not suffer their insults, bared teeth and asses and just all rounds bad and vicious manners. Last time someone spoke around a lady like that in front of me, you coulds not even find their ashes. I was flame on and I was righteous and it was all good!

These bastards! They insulted two ladies!” he stressed, fire escaping with each word, “And my big mans! I have never born such insults for this long! We shall have us some dragon justice!”

“I can hear them,” Scully said, tilting his head to one side. “And it sounds like little wheels?” You could hear the question and hesitation in his voice.

“Skate boards,” O.I. rolled his eyes. “They is too goods to shift and run as wolf so they just hang on to the human and ride skate boards. Gives them humans with the talent and the desire to ride a bad name. These mo’ fo’ers, I am deeply and abundantly embarrassed for them. Not to mention, I am gonna’ flame their asses which makes me deeply and abundantly not embarrassed for me.”

“Sounds like about fifteen of them,” Samuel said, now turning West towards the noise. “I do believe they think they are going to surround us.”

“I have told the guards to stand down,” Ian said looking up from his phone. “They have all retreated to the guard house. I explained to my captain and he understands, perfectly. Stay put and stay safe.”

“To arms,” Eric grinned. “And take no prisoners.”

 

The Pretty Pink Bicycle shuttered their doors just as the sun came up. The last Supernaturals paid out, tipped their hat to those were in line behind them, and went out to greet a new day.

Annie was still closing out the till and waiting for her robbers and thieves and perhaps murderers to return and bring her their bounty. Hopefully, they had done well. She needed some ready cash and a couple of new handbags. They knew the name brands that she liked and if they were stuffed with personal belongings and credit cards, so much the better. For her gang of ne’re-do-wells, she made it easy for them to dispose of the merchandise. She paid top money for stolen goods and treated everyone fairly. There was no skimming in her establishment. Fair and even and everyone got a share of the take. From the lookout to the distractor to the actual perp that committed the crime. She did not play favorites and she knew it takes team effort to score the big stuff. She preached it and did not take any sass for her beliefs or pay out system.

There was a message that just pinged on her phone. Reading it, she went to the back door and opened it.

“Have you seen the news?” Wion asked as he stepped inside.

“No,” she shook her head as she headed back to her desk. “I run a business. I have no time for lolly-gagging, eating of chocolate bon bons or the news,” she glared at him as she picked up more receipts.

Wion pulled up a chair opposite her and opened his phone and hit the SKY app.

“Holy mother of God,” she moaned as she watched the skate boarders weave in and out of traffic. Sometimes dropping trousers and mooning the driver or hitting him with the full on frontal baby elephant shot!

“I wondered if they were your boys?” he grinned.

“Do not,” she growled at him, “shovel your righteous bullshit at me. My grandfather took you in when you were starving and without sponsorship. Your family had not even allowed you to suck hind tit! My family taught you a trade and opened doors for you to walk through.”

“All true, Packmaster,” he nodded in agreement. “Every word you say. That is why I thought you should know about your Hell on Wheels,” he said as he walked over to the sideboard, picked up a glass and poured himself a whisky. “I swore fealty to your family and that oath still stands.”

Bringing the bottle with him, he sat back down. Both sat staring at each other. Annie wondering just how far that oath stood as her hand ran across the pistol in her apron pocket.

Wion could never hold a stare. He still could not as he looked away first. Most excellent, that round went to her.

“Have they checked back in?” he downed his drink and poured another.

“No,” she sighed. “I was staying here, thinking someone would stop by or call. Flat Tire normally would have by now. I was hoping the night was so rich, they had problems transporting all of it back here. But maybe not,” she motioned to his phone with her head. “Maybe the police picked them up.”

“Well,” he downed that drink and poured another. “The police picked up one. Ramsey Lilt, AKA No Jaw. Bus driver saw him and stopped before he hit the body. Looks like the boy jumped from a neighboring building. Broke his neck when he hit, cracked open his head, brains on the pavement. Ugly bit of a mess to clean up. They will have to bring in the fire engine. I have seen that before. For all your high and mightiness, or lower than Were shit ways, you end up being washed down the culvert and out into the Thames.”

“Damn,” she wiped her eyes.

Her phone rang. “It’s my sister,” she said checking the caller I.D. as the tears started to fall. “I guess the police have made contact with her. Damn stupid nephew!”

“I guess so,” he said, nodding. “I will take the bottle to help ease my pain as the bringer of such bad tidings and leave you to your sorrow.” Tipping his hat, he was up and out the door.

Listening, he heard the car pull up out front. Police, he was sure. Who else came calling so early in the morning? Deliveries always came in a lorry around to the back. This, he heard two car doors close. This was official business. Time to officially be somewhere else!

 

 

“So just what kind of excitement did we miss last night?” Sookie asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee and wiggled her eyebrows when she saw the tray of bacon.

“From the sounds of things,” Lafayette arched an eyebrow at his little man. “Lots of big assed, Were wolf non howling kinds of excitements! There was killin’ with big assed swords, kings of all kinds hackin’ and slashin’ and dancin’ around and my little man, he was on fire for sure!”

“Scully told me he killed two,” Gran said with a sure nod of her head. “As was his right as the head of the household.”

O.I. nodded in agreement. “Sir Scully did a right proud job of accountin’ for himself, Lady Adele. He saw to it that you were rightly and justly honored. Your good man said any who thought to hurt his family would die a righteous and painful death. And so they did,” O.I. nodded as he helped himself to the selection of chocolate breads. “And Miss Sookie, I gots to tell you, Mr. Erics, when the berserker rage hits him, tis as bad as a dragon!” He gloated. “For a moment I thought there was two of me!” Laughing out loud, he continued with his story. “While I watched him I didn’ts know if I should applauds our wit, good looks and killin’ skills or just be scared and hides under the bed!” He said with a grin and a wiggle of his eyebrows as he put a piece of apple fritter on his plate. “Our good boys, they was all somethin’ to behold,” he put his plate down and placed both hands over his heart. “Defendin’ the weak from the nasty-assed! I am prouds to say I stood with them!”

“My little mans, what did you do with the bodies?” Lafayette asked as he added the whip cream to his hot chocolate. “I knows you would not leave King Ian’s gardens in an unsightly mess.”

O.I. noted the footed bowl of whipped cream with great interest. In went the tip of his tail, a great and goodly amount landed there on his chocolate loaf where he sculpted a likeness of Lafayette with just a couple of flicks of his tail.

Everyone applauded and O.I. blushed a bit and took a bow before he continued.

“We rounded up what bits was left, I hit it with my flame and they is all explainin’ their no-goodin’, bad ass’n Were selves to God,” he said with a grand bow and eyeing the pumpkin pancakes, placed those on his plate as well.

“Mm-m-m. Maple syrups on the bacon and pancakes and this most delightful apple fritter. Gots my chocolates breads with my big mans adornin’ it and Irish butter on the side. A little whisky from the Isle of Sky is in the jar-o. Tis a good day! I feel a toast to rightness comin’ on and a death wish to all those who wants to do evil. May their mo fo’n days be numbered!

On to a Joyeux Noël!” O.I. said with gusto.

“Hear! Hear!” the group cheered as Lady Adele played the tea mum and poured everyone a cup to start their day out right!

“So what does the new day bring?” Sookie asked as she sipped her tea and contemplated on how to eat the toad in the hole. “Egg first or sausage?” she looked out at the crowd.

“Be a true Englisher and load a bite of sausage and then toast then egg,” Adele said as she buttered her dark fruitcake.

“We is doin’ mannys and peddys,” O.I. replied as he lifted his claws for all to see. “Lordies, I was just blowin’ fire but would you look at what the heat has done and done.”

“We is fixin’ that after breakfast,” Lafayette nodded. “Plus, my little mans and me we have been talkin’. We are both Supernaturals, we could do a quick pint at the Pretty Pink Bicycle. Get the low down and the Scooby Doo. Report back.”

“Seriously?” Sookie’s voice went up an octave. “Do you see this Crazy Sookie face I am wearin’? Wion could be there and on some level Lafayette, he could recognize you and register it as not being right. Like what is Louisiana doin’ in London?”

Her voice dropped a bit. “Now I know O.I. would not let anythin’ happen to you, but I think would be for the best that there are no dragon sightings over London, today. Let’s save that for later.”

Looking over her tea cup, Gran grinned. “I understand that there are plans afoot for setting London on its ear this Joyeux Noël. Courtesy of our good and mighty king of the dragons.”

Said king fluttered his eyelashes and blew her a kiss. “Tis true, Lady Adele. I has been workin’ on my Shakespeare and my big man and me’s we shall be treadin’ the boards!”

“What are we doing tonight?” Adele asked.

“Not for real sure,” Sookie said. “I was asleep when Eric finished up. So I am having a nap this afternoon. Just to be prepared.”

“Most excellent,” Gran nodded. “Vampire hours and jet leg is about to catch up with me.”

“Seriously,” Sookie yawned then looked at Lafayette. “Look, I can tell that you two are goin’ go to the pub while we are nappin’. Lafayette, I know you wish O.I. would have waked you so you could have braggin’ rights also. And I also know that you have talked him into goin’ out later today. I suspect, in reality, that was not much talkin’ involved with that. Just a bunch of high fifin’ and discussin’ what to wear. Just please be careful.”

“We will,” Lafayette patted her hand. “Believe me Miss Sooks, I would not be doin’ this on my own. These are some of the baddest of the bad. But I think we needs an accurate account of any and all gossip pertainin’ to last night.”

“Last night, sir?” Clifford said sticking his head in. “I was wondering if you had seen the news pertaining to the Weres frolicking in the street last night? If not, then you should. The telly is on in the television room.”

“Oh,” Sookie stood up and refilled her coffee cup, “the television room. Damn, I love a house big enough for the TV to have its own room.”

“Much to be said for that,” Lafayette agreed. “I am pourin’ up some more hot chocolates.” Then he eyed the vodka bottle and added a splash of that. “Let’s go and see if we made the news.”

When they settled in, the debacle that was last nights Were folly was on. Traffic cam view, helicopter view, video feeds from cell phones.

“Would you look at that?” Gran was shaking her head, the disapproval on her face. “Those fools tied up all the major arteries in London. Good grief. They are riding in front of that ambulance and keeping them from getting that pour soul to the hospital.

Oh-h-h-h,” Adele shook her head, sadness in her voice, listening to the news commentator. “The man in the ambulance, he died, because they were stuck there because of those fools.”

“God bless the British police officers for not carrying guns,” Sookie was shaking her head. “But there are times, when a well placed bullet says things that polite and civilized words, actions, or deeds cannot.”

“Amen,” Lafayette nodded.

“Well,” Sookie eyed the two wanna be Supernatural spies. “I feel better about you two goin’. You just be super extra careful.”

“Will do Miss Sooks,” Lafayette nodded his head. “We will be extra special careful.”

“Unless we needs to burn that mo fo’n place down,” O.I. replied sipping his rum and hot chocolate. “Then I can makes like Mr. Eric. Starts the great fire and end this Were nonsense.”

 

 

Joyeux Noël Chapter 16

joyeux-noel

 

Chapter 16

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.

This story is rated M

Joyeux Noël

Chapter 16

Clifford had called and made an appointment for them at Harrods. “Mrs. Gregory will be taking care of you. I have ordered a light lunch and also foot massages and an appointment at the spa. Let them show you their finery and you can purchase something off the rack.

Now, I did hear the gentlemen speaking earlier and I believe Madame Vedo is making the wedding assembles. So, please feel free to try that on as well, but she will do something special and right for the occasion.”

When the Rolls arrived in Harrods garage, Mrs. Gregory was there to meet them.

Escorting them upstairs, they were shown to a private parlor where feet were to be massaged while they watched the fashions parade past them.

Lafayette sat comfortably in a chair as a procession of dresses went by. “Do you see my ladies?” he asked, exasperation in his voice. “Do they look like hookers or pirates?”

“No sir,” Mrs. Gregory replied.

“Then don’t be showing us things slit up to where it is not polite to look or with pirate lacings going up the front.

We need something very fine to be wearin’ tonight when they go engagement ring shoppin’, then perhaps a small celebration party.

Now, for our Gran,” he turned to the older woman who was very relaxed and happy. Raised to her lips was a cup of tea and her toes were being pulled upon. “What have you got in a pant line with a million very fine and small Egyptian pleats? Done in a natural raw silk look. I wants a long flowing top with a lovely neckline to showcase her bosom and when it hits her waist line, it splits open and adds a layer that flows around her. Top it with a lovely long jacket that flows around her like water running off the perfect rose. I wants this to be something that is to be quiet and tasteful that showcases her flawless skin and love filled heart. I want something that announces that our Lady Adele has entered the room.”

Lafayette did not smirk when he saw Mrs. Gregory blink.

“I believe sir, we have just the thing for her ladyship.”

“Goods,” he nodded. “Brings it out. Now, for our Miss Sooks, something in a vintage style. Black lace top with a sweetheart neckline and lace sleeves. Full black velvet skirt that goes down to the floor, maybe with a train if that is possible. I wants Old Hollywood at it s finest.”

“I believe we have several somethings that would do,” she smiled. “Oh good, lunch has arrived. Before you have finished, we’ll have those items ready to go.”

“And shoes and other fine accessories,” he adde, shaking his finger. “We are on a time constraint here and can’t be wanderin’ the store, as much fun as that would be. Just brings us tasteful footwear.

Our Gran, something bejeweled with no heal.

Miss Sooks,” he eyed her and Sookie smiled at him and nodded her head furiously yes. “No heal that will cause spinal injury. Justs a beautiful, dressy shoe and no open toes. Tis Father Winter out there. We cans be fashion forward and not pneumonia foolish. No need to bring jewelry unless it is somethin’ to go in their hair. Let us get past the clothes, I want plenty of time in the salon. I understand you do updos and pamper in style. I woulds like to get started on that and their nails, as well.”

The afternoon marched to the beat of Lafayette’s metronome of : “Yes, no, hell no!”

Hair cuts, high lights and make up. The clothes were brought in for the final fitting.

Sookie started crying when she saw Gran, bedecked and radiant. “You are so beautiful!” she hiccupped as she wrapped her arms around her.

“Now Sookie,” she hugged her that much tighter. “Pretty is as pretty does. Being fine looking has no merit if you have a rotted soul.”

“You are so beautiful,” she continued sobbing, “inside and out.”

“Thank you grand daughter,” she hugged her that much tighter. “Now, let us get you into your dress and then we shall talk about beautiful!”

 

Lafayette approved of the final results of his two girls. “If clothes do so maketh the man,” he said to O.I., “then being loved does maketh the soul expand.”

“My big man’s,” O.I. sighed, “Yous is so handsome in yous tux. None finer lookin’ that ever walked through the ages,” O.I said with a sure nod of his head. “We gots specials and then we has got specials,” he wiggled his eyebrows. “Just look at our ladies,” he sighed.

“Mr. Eric’s had told me that tonight was going to be special. Let them shop and have their day and get them dressed for the evenin’s!”

“Lafayette,” Sookie looked up from admiring her I Am Not a Waitress red painted toenails. “I got a text message from Eric. They are up and he said just to meet them at Fisks & Fisks Jewelers. They have apparently been creating jewels for royalty since,” she paused. “Well for Bess the First. So we need to finish up. I’m going to put my stockings on and I am calling me done,” she smiled at her life long friend.

“I cans sure nuffs’, Miss Sookie, see where you gets your beauties from. The outward and the inward.

Lordy Gran,” Lafayette nodded, dabbing at his eyes. “You two are some of the finest ladies to ever grace my existence,” he sniffled as O.I. could only nod his head in agreement and occasionally wipe at his eyes as well, as he kept himself busy kissing both of their hands.

“Let’s get this finished up,” Gran smiled at her royal court. “Now you two gentlemen stop flattering this old soul and let me admire myself. Slowly she turned in her newest haute couture and watched her off white jacket swirl out around her in the three way mirror. “Scully is up,” she said quietly as she stared at the reflection in the mirror that stared back at her with surprise in her eyes. “They should arrive at the same time we do.”

 

Ruppert Fisks looked around his domain which consisted of a single tower built in the 1500’s. The walls were twelve feet thick and in every room was a roaring blaze in a massive and heavily carved stone fireplace. This had been in his family since the first Fisks began to design jewelry. His ancestor had wanted a mini-fortress to keep his treasures safe. This building had been his dream. There were more hidey holes and safeguards built into the tower of stone than very possibly The Tower of London itself.

Ruppert admired the fine lines and the delicate carvings that were everywhere. Inlaid wood for the wall panels. Heavy oak beams running across the ceiling. This place was not only built like a fortress, but it also appealed to the eye and your fine sensibilities. It had too. Those that had shopped here in the past could take the slightest offense and your neck could literally be on the block!

There were evergreens and red ribbons bedecking every door, window and staircase! A thirty-piece orchestra was playing tonight along with a chorus of thirty singers! His jewelers were at the ready! Anything and everything could be modified, made, or engraved at a moment’s notice. No one would leave here tonight without their dreamed of pieces of jewelry!

Good the caterers had arrived! Everything was ready! Excellent, Miss Carver was downstairs to greet his customers at the door. Watching on the CCTV, he could see five very handsome men being escorted in. Was that the vampire king of British Isle? “Oh Joyeux Noël,” he smiled. King Ian had exquisite, expensive taste and had shopped here before. “Looks like the King of Eire is with him,” he grinned as he walked over to the bar and said to the bar staff. “At least two vampires in residence, tonight. Maybe more. Have the bloods at the ready.”

Turning to the wait staff he inspected them carefully as well. “Make sure you keep circulating with whatever tasties you have. If the food is to be served cold, make sure it is cold! If hot, it had better be hot. Switch anything out that is not the correct temperature!”

“Yes sir,” they nodded as they began to take their places about the room.

 

The men were downstairs when the Rolls pulled up. The doorman was there waiting and when he opened the door, Eric looked and then looked, again. His Lady of the Light graced him with a smile! That beautiful creature surely could not be his…he was unworthy!

Ian nudged Cedric. “Wish I had my camera out,” he mouthed to his friend. “The Viking has been struck by a thunderbolt of pure heavenly light!”

Eric offered Sookie his hand. Helping her out, he kissed her lightly on the lips and then stepped back from the auto with this vision that he dared to call his own! Scully stepped forward to receive Adele’s hand.

His smile when he beheld her broke Sookie’s heart! She had never seen anyone look at Gran the way the Scully did! And Gran was beaming! “That’s what love looks like,” Sookie whispered to Eric.

Eric smiled and then looked at Sookie’s face. Staring back at him was that same look! Raising her hand to his lips, he kissed it passionately yet gently. For whatever days they had, she was his to cherish!

When Lafayette stepped out looking very fine in his tux and coat, behind him came a man that appeared to be in his late thirties. His long platinum hair was done in an hombre style, the white gaining color as the lightest of lilac gave way to a shimmering purple at the end. His purple hair perfectly matching the purple sparkle of his eyes!

They both righted their coats and donned their top hats.

“Evenin’s,” they both said as they approached the vampires.

“Lafayette,” Eric bowed his head.

“O.I.,” Eric grinned and bowed his head again. “O’ king of the dragons, you make a most attractive male.”

“Tru dat,” O.I. winked at him. “I saw no reason to miss out on tonight’s fun, so as my big man’s was pickin’ out this and that to wear, I had him pick out a little somethin’ somethin’ for me as well. We shall turn heads, drinks too much and celebrate the season!” he said with gusto.

“Should be a fun evening,” Cedric grinned.

“There goes Lady Adele and Sir Scully,” Samuel smiled as the doorman opened the heavily carved wood doors with the Fisks’ coat of arms upon it. “I would guess they have had enough of our small talk.”

 

In the old dark, with a bit of trepidation, Scully had approached Ian with what he wanted and the best way to explain it to the jeweler.

Ian could tell that the newest knight of the realm was nervous. “Let us sit and talk,” Ian had said gently. “We shall retire to the library. I have a book of the crown jewels. Let us begin there.”

Slowly he drew Scully out and they had talked at length about the type of ring he wanted Adele to have. Ian soon discovered Scully had fixed ideas as to what wealth, was. He bought from his time the visuals of what the rich had worn. He had kissed more than one ring in his lifetime as he swore fealty. And those rings were heavy gold with a gem in the center and on the sides.

Ian had listened and done a rough sketch so Scully would know what to ask for. With a great deal of pride, tonight Ian was Sir Angel of Green Garden’s point man!

“Sir Scully,” Ian began with Mr. Fisks, “desires a ring done in the Etruscan style for his Lady Adele.”

“Most excellent, King Ian. We are most happy to be able to provide for a knight of the land.

Sir Scully,” Mr. Fisks said with a bow of his head, “and his lovely Lady Adele, if you would follow me please.

Sir Scully,” Mr. Fisks addressed him, “do you know what type of metal you prefer?”

“Gold,” he nodded. “Heavy gold. Done in a wide cigar band. My lady loves to garden. I am desiring a center stone to match the beautiful blush in her cheeks. A pink diamond I believe. With a flower growing up either side of the band. A light blue diamond to match the color of her eyes with green diamonds for leaves.”

“Most excellent choice, Sir Scully. I believe we have something that you might be interested in. You can look at the style and we can start from there.”

Sookie was smiling as she watched Scully carefully check the different rings and would point to some detail on it and then look at Gran.

Gran would nod and smile and encouraging Scully he would then look at another one and comment on what he liked about the piece. Mr. Fisks had his iPad and was busy sketching what Sir Scully admired. And around the show room they went.

“He’s something,” Sookie said to Eric as she put her arm around his waist.

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “Scully is so pleased that she likes his ideas.”

“Gran is such a lady,” Sookie raised Eric’s hand to her lips and kissed it. “This ring may end up weighing five pounds but she will wear it proudly.”

A waiter with stuffed mushrooms paused in front of her and offering her one, she nodded yes. Onto a small plate went the delicacy and he moved on.

“This is delicious,” she said after she took a bite. “I could make a meal just of these.”

“You are invited to do so,” Eric smiled at her. “Whatever my lady wants.”

Sookie finished the morsel and arm in arm they wandered over to another jewelry case and another tasty tidbit.

“Is there a style of ring in particular you want me to have?” she asked.

Giving her a small smile, he shrugged. “I want you to have what you want. I saw you admiring the blue diamond eternity band. Does that interest you?”

“The only reason that caught my eye was because it was close to the color of your eyes. Come on Eric,” she elbowed him, “what are you not sayin’? Is there a style you want me to have?”

Giving her another small shrug, he smiled and started to say something then stopped.

“What? Now you are scarin’ me. Have you changed…” her voice lowered, “have you changed your mind about me?”

In a move that she did not see, he had both of her hands to lips, placing fevered kisses there. “No,” his voice was full of sorrow. “Sookie, please do not think that. And I am sorry that I made you think that. It is just…I have my mother’s wedding band. It is not much…” his voice was low and soft. “My father was not clan chieftain when they were married. And as their wealth increased, she never wanted another ring, one that would show case their wealth and status. It is just a simple gold band shaped like a dragon. Tiny blood stones for the eyes.”

Her face crumpled as she began to sob. “Your mother’s ring…” she looked up at him, the tears running down her face. “You want me to have your mother’s wedding ring? Oh Eric…” she started bawling as she wrapped herself around him and cried.

“We can pick out something that sparkles for you to wear with it,” he smiled at her as his kissed her tears away.

There were several salespersons who were working behind the counters who heard the conversation. More than one woman dabbed at her eyes as well as she thought about the gift the tall blond was going to bestow on his bride-to-be.

“Our Eric is pure poetry and easy starlight,” Lafayette said as he raised his glass in a salute to him.

“Tis the dragon in him,” O.I. clinked his glass on Lafayette’s. “Charmers, soothsayers, the ancient, the wise and some foolish,” the dragon stressed, “all are descended from the fire breathin’ beasts.”

 

At nine o’clock there was a French horn that sounded the hour and the next arrival of interesting things to come.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Ian said striking the crystal goblet he was holding, its ringing note vibrating on the air. “If you would take a seat please. We are indeed blessed tonight by the presence of Madame Vedo, who shall be doing a small runway presentation for us. Accompanying her are models wearing clothing done from the time of Elizabeth the First.

Lady Adele and her lovely granddaughter, Miss Sookie,” he said bowing toward the ladies, “these models are approximate to your sizes and after show casing their fine looks on the impromptu runway, they shall be strolling the floor with you. Look at the clothing and if you are interested and would like to own what they are wearing, then find jewelry that would accompany the look. We will try it on them so that you may yea or nay to achieve the aspect you desire. Fisks & Fisks have been designing crown jewels since there has been a crown. I believe they have one or two somethings that will go with your ensembles. If you wish to remain true to the period, I believe Mr. Ruppert said we shall find those treasures in the far left alcove.”

 

“Vedo has outdone herself,” Ian said to Samuel. “I believe she designed the first peacock dress for QEI*, and it appears she has done one for Lady Adele as well. Oh tally ho! Up goes a screen and there goes Lady Adele to be switched out of her off the rack clothing and the good Madame is there to switch her into her personal creation. So good of Vedo to include the five strings of pearls that go from shoulder to shoulder and hit at the waist.”

Cedric was looking very droll. “Daywear, evening wear, casual, lounging about. Which I find most interesting because I did not know Madame Vedo knew how to lounge about. She is always on task doing something. And dressing Lady Adele…would you just look at Sir Scully. Looks like he has seen a ghost.

Oh my,” Ian fanned himself as the screen was removed, “QEI just stepped out of the pages of history.”

“This is brilliant,” Samuel nodded. “The ladies trying the different pieces of jewelry against the clothing. Scully now wants to see pearls of every size, shape and color to match the ones on the dress. Everyone wins tonight. Vedo will sell every garment and wish she had made more and Fisks will earn enough money to make it worthwhile to keep his lights on tonight and every night for the next century.”

 

Drinks, food, bloods, clothes and jewelry kept making the rounds. Christmas carols played in the background and from time-to-time Cedric would whirl Madame Vedo around the floor.

“The music of my time,” she smiled when they played Greensleeves and that was all the invitation Ian needed to waltz her around as well.

Scully was dancing with the most beautiful woman that ever graced the planet. “You are the queen of my heart,” he whispered to Adele.

“I love you,” she whispered back, “Sir Angel of Green Garden.”

“Will you marry me?” he asked. “Tonight?”

“Of course,” she smiled shyly at him. “I would be honored.”

“We shall finish this dance and I will check on the status of your ring,” he brought her hand to his lips for a kiss.

“And the engraving in yours,” she added. “You and no other.”

With tears in his eyes he repeated, “You and no other.”

 

“What ‘cha think my big man’s,” O.I. said as he lifted a whisky off the tray that stopped next to him. “A weddin’ tonight? King Ian does have that lovely smallish chapel in his home.”

“His La La Fineness is bona fide in the great state of Louisiana to perform marriages and joyous celebrations, but in Louisiana vampire and human marriages are not recognized.

They are recognized here in London, but I am not authorized on this side of the big pond to be lifting my hands in a big amen after I says you may now kiss the bride.”

“Do you think they care that they are legal tender?” O.I. grinned as he watched the older couple that seemed to have only eyes for each other.

Lafayette grinned. “Probablys not. If they ask, I am available. But maybe King Ian knows some one who would do the honors.”

“Maybe,” O.I. pondered that thought as his nose sniffed and his focus shifted. “I smell somethin’ delicious. Maybe desserts. Let us take a look see at those very fine walkin’ sticks with the jeweled handles that are on display and see what tasty bite is now comin’ around.”

At midnight, Adele’s and Scully’s rings were ready.

It was as Scully had envisioned it! A pink beveled diamond in the center of a massive gold cigar band with flowers growing up the sides. Blue diamonds for the flowers and green diamonds for the petals.

“Does the tower have a chapel?” Eric asked Ruppert.

“Yes,” he nodded. “We have had small weddings here from time to time. I don’t have a clergy here, though, to perform the ceremony.”

“I have someone,” Eric nodded as he stepped away and approached Madame Vedo.

“Madame Vedo,” he said raising her hand to his lips and placing a kiss, there, continued on. “Truly, tonight you have outdone yourself. I do believe Lady Adele would like to be married in the peacock dress and I was wondering if you still held your seat in the clergy box to make that happen?”

“Yes,” she nodded, admiring the older woman who did justice to her QEI’s remake of her peacock dress. “But it is only legally binding if I perform the ceremony in a sanctified place of worship.”

“There is a chapel upstairs,” Eric indicated with a nod of his head toward the stairs. “Original to the tower. Back in the day, it would have been blessed by the Church of England. They would have done baptisms, weddings and funerals.

Ruppert says they have weddings there, still. All manner of faiths of those sanctified and licensed use their chapel.”

The fine boned, petite vampire female with brown hair and blue eyes nodded. “Let me go upstairs and make my peace with the room. If the spirit that dwells there abides me, and if this is what is desired by Sir Scully and his lady, it shall come to pass.”

 

And lo, the wedding did come to pass. In an ancient chapel, its stained glass windows lit by star light. On a hill, over looking London, many seen and unseen joyous spirits held witness to the vows of Sir Scully and his Lady Adele as Gregorian Chants were played and sang in the background honoring the Christ Child and the joyous season.

The wait staff and the employees of Fisks & Fisks were there to bear witness and help celebrate the occasion!

Not that they were noticed by Sir Scully and his Lady Adele…all they could see were each other.

The goodness and kindness of the Angel of Green Park had born ripened fruit; the sweet smell permeating the air in the small chapel where the angels in the stained glass danced for joy at this victory! The vampire that had put humans before himself during the bombing of London was blessed beyond his wildest dreams! Standing next to him was his wife…his family…something he had wished for and held sacred in his heart and believed he would never know that type of love.

Now here it was…laid out before him was the rest of his life.

Those angels that were in attendance toasted the happy couple and raised their own song of thanksgiving! One of their own still walked the earth and beside him now was his Lady Adele.

 

 

Sookie had sat next to Eric with her arms wrapped around him during the ceremony. Madame Vedo’s words, like her stitchery were beautifully etched upon her heart. The seamstress was stirring and honest. Her words spoken for vampire and human.

“You are a blood family,” her quiet voice carried in the small chamber. Speaking with authority, her words captured all who heard. “Above all else, you must respect this tie that helps to bind you together if you expect others to respect this relationship.

How ever you treat your beloved will be copied by others,” she stressed. “If there is love,” she paused and her voice softened, “it will be noted and acted upon. If there is disdain,” she arched an eyebrow and shook her head, “that will be noted and that one act of cowardice that you perpetuated will never be forgotten by those that witnessed you perform it. They will think your mate unworthy of you and will do their best to make you believe so also.

So while in public, lay aside any difference and stand united.

The blood seeks respect. When there is love, the blood seeks refuge in the arms of the one they consider their sanctuary. Walk in this love and show none your differences,” she said softly.

“Think on these things,” she looked at Scully and then Adele, “and carry them in your heart on your daily walk.

The rings, please.”

 

As Adele and Scully danced, Sookie was thoughtful. “Madame Vedo’s words ring true,” she said to Eric.

Nodding he turned to her and lifted her face to his for a kiss. “Before one and all— united we stand, divided we fall. Especially in the world of the supernatural.

Which is one reason I am so feared. They all know or know of Pamela. She always has my back. And I am the reason she yet lives. I have her back as well. You fault one of us, if you still live,” he stressed, “you answer to the other.

There are plenty who would like us both dead.”

“Do you worry for me?” she asked.

“Not now,” he smiled, “not with O.I. in attendance.”

“Good,” she nodded.

“And yet another happy couple,” Ian announced as he approached, beaming at Sookie and Eric. “I spoke with Sir Scully a bit earlier. He wants the first dance and a toast and then they would like to be away. I told him that the Rolls will take them back to the house,” Ian’s smile got bigger as Scully and Adele waltzed their first dance as husband and wife to Gabriel’s Oboe. “The rest of us shall travel back in the limo. My gawd,” were his heart felt words, “what a beautiful couple they make!

And Vedo,” Ian placed his hand over his heart, “eloquent, exact and no bullshit.”

Eric grinned as his phone vibrated. “Speak of the devil, Miss Sookie,” he rolled his eyes. “Tis the Child.

Yes,” he said speaking into the phone and then an unreadable mask dropped over his face as he took a few steps away.

“My maker,” Pam was all business, “Compton and his bitch of a maker was the Blue Plate Special at a Were bar in London called the Pretty Pink Bicycle. Wion was there. I understand he is still shitting Compton and having problems shifting. Of course just the thought of being around Compton makes me want to defecate all over myself…Jimmy Choo’s shoes or not. Compton just has that effect on me…”

Eric listened politely. He had to. His child had certain things she had to work past before she got to the really good stuff. Pam was most generous with the details she had learned and her ideas of how she would have tortured them for weeks and the great overwhelming sadness she carried at not getting to end that particular maker and child…and on it went as he nodded and “yes, of course,” in the correct places.

Eric would not have picked Pamela to turn. But she did make a fine damn vampire…and assassin…all around bringer of chaos and death and destruction; not to mention gossipmonger supreme of word on the street.

There was a reason she was known as the Million Dollar Baby. Those that did not know her thought it was because of the way she dressed. He snickered. Most nights what she wore cost more than a million. No, her fine sense of style was not why he called her that. It was because she would start with a million for information that she thought he should know. Her talking to the streets, Samuel’s electronic know-how, along with his long list of informants and his own brand of magic kept him ten moves ahead. And this was very useful, especially when you had Pamela for a child and on any given day she was on at least three assassins’ hit lists. If she had been busy, that number could skyrocket!

“Bad news,” Ian whispered to Sookie.

When Eric walked back over to them, the same stoic look still held.

“Let us get our newlyweds in the Rolls. Once we are headed home, there is business to discuss. Please ask Madame Vedo to join us. She needs to know as well.”

 

Flower petals were thrown at the happy couple as Scully helped Adele into the auto and they were gone. The limo pulled up and the rest of the Ian’s houseguests along with Vedo entered and settled in.

“Just heard from Pamela,” Eric began once the car began to move. “There is a Were bar in London called the Pretty Pink Bicycle. Apparently Compton and Lorena were ground up into hamburger meat and were the dinner specials.”

“What?” Sookie shuddered.

“Wion was there and it was his idea along with the blessing of the Krasiki Coven. Word has it that those two cost the coven more than they were bringing in so they saw a way to dispose of them without any spells coming back to land on them.

And to make things more interesting, apparently the owner, Annie,” Eric’s fangs dropped. “This is not the first time vampire has been on the menu and she made a nice tidy sum. And she called Wion, Packmaster.

So we now have Weres running through London who are a bit more. And I do literally mean running, out the ass as well. Apparently the meat was a bit tainted and has given them the shits.

Ian,” Eric turned his attention to the vampire king of British Isle. “Do you know this place?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “I keep tabs on all the Supes’ businesses.”

“Any credibility,” Eric stressed, “to this not being the first time? Any of your vamps gone missing?” he asked, concern in his voice. “

“Five years ago,” Ian said thoughtfully, “there were a couple of baby vamps that disappeared. There had been some speculation as to what had happened to them. There was a parlay game going at the time and they invited themselves in. You know how the young ones get. They think they know it all. I investigated thoroughly. They had just vanished. As can happen when you bet yourself at the Parlay table.”

“Madame Vedo,” Eric smiled at her. “Your dresses that you did for the witches of Macbeth. Anything special about them? Anything at all?”

“No,” she shook her head. “I just copied the originals. I did not know the Were that came in. Paid in cash. Left no address.”

“O.I.,” Eric bowed his head to the king of the dragons, “if you would see Sookie and Lafayette safely home, there is a bit of work to do before the sun rises.

Madame Vedo, if you would like to join us, you would be most welcome. Otherwise, you can be dropped wherever you desire. But we are going out and we shall be careful as we go. Apparently something is planned for the night of Macbeth. If that is our best shot at getting Wion, let us do it then! Unless of course, we run into this lower than Were shit. Then all bets are off.

 

 

 

 

*Google— Queen Elisabeth the First, Peacock Dress

Dear Readers,

It would take me forever to describe this dress. A photo is indeed worth a million words. If you are interested, take a look see. It is breathtaking!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES