With the Rising of the Moon—Chapter the Threes

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With the Rising of the Moon

Chapter the Threes

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.

With the Rising of the Moon

Chapter the Threes

Many thanks to Azucar69 for the hand-off line:

 

OI looked around in wonder, “Well I’ll be, mo’fo’n Harrods. The worlds at yo feet.”

 

Eric was considering the odds. Not even the bookies in Vegas would give him this one. “Just take it and move on,” he told himself. “Man up! Grow a pair. Shave your head…what?”

Looking over at Sookie she was still frowning and looking like she was going to stake him but maybe she would not push the stake all the way to his heart.

“You said something?” he asked as he walked over and sat down next to her.

“You are a man whore,” she replied, her eyes searching his. “A thousand year old man whore. Bad Jimmie was right. You are much worst than him. He at least professes love and probably gives the lady a gift. You manipulate the situation to your advantage. Breakfast in bed,” she snorted. “I should have been very suspicious. Gran only brought me breakfast in bed when I was sick. And that was not very often. In you came carrying that tray lookin’ like it held the most precious thing on the planet. All solicitous and polite conversation about grapes and passports. Man…whore…!” she said with disgust. “And I wanted to believe. So maybe that just makes me a whore. Just willin’ to throw aside all my principles about you don’t get somethin’ for nothin’ so I could go to London. Whoring for a plane ride and Big Ben. I am so disgusted with myself I could spit wooden nails…” she eyed him. “And put a couple of them in you.”

“And rightly so,” Eric nodded. “It was wrong, I know it was wrong and I would love to blame this on Pamela, but I was wrong.”

“Nice words…and Gran raised me to believe that actions speak louder than words. I get that my value and good will mean nothing to you. So just what did you throw me over for?”

“What?” he replied.

“You heard me. And I heard Pamela. Seriously, you did all this just to partner with some boxers?”

“Not just any boxers,” his voice became earnest. “And this is boxing.” She could hear it in his voice. This was something that genuinely held his interest. “In 688 B.C. boxing became part of the Olympic games. Sometimes with the boxers using hand coverings and sometimes not. So it is a very old and noble sport.

Stickley and Butler had their beginnings managing boxers during the days of the Roman circus. Well before my time but not that of my maker. Godric would tell me stories of these men who would fight until they admitted defeat or to the death.

Boxing is intricate and requires physical stamina conditioning. Unlike other sports, your body takes the perfectly placed impacts. Well positioned blows unless you know how to block and counter. It is like watching two people dance. Anticipating each other’s moves. Looking for your weak areas, exploiting your best maneuvers as your footwork and jabs take you all over the ring. Watching a boxing match is like observing the well timed upheaval of the social norm. And I like it,” he said matter-of-fact. “And since I was turned, I have been trying to buy my way into Stickley and Butler’s business. And I have had no success.

That changed last night. They phoned Pamela and offered me a one third partnership. In exchange, they want to go legitimate, take out a loan from a respectable agency and want to meet you.”

“So,” Sookie was intently listening as she watched Eric’s eyes and then shifted her attention to across the street. “This is about braggin’ rights.”

“Well, yes,” Eric nodded. “Yes.”

“Okay. On some level I get that. I don’t approve of your delivery method but I have perhaps lied once or twice in my life to get my way. Gran whooped me for sure with her wooden spoon when she found out and told me how disappointed she was in me. That hurt the most. That I had betrayed her trust,” her voice was low with remembering. “She told me that when you have more then someone else, no matter what it is, there comes a great responsibility to do what is right by others who have less.” Shaking her head at Eric she sighed. “I guess your version of Gran did not whoop you enough or make you feel shamed for not doin’ what was right.”

Sookie felt an odd vibration and looked away. “Here comes Pamela now with what I am hoping is my burger and shake. Who is that with her?”

“King Ian of British Isle and King Cedric of Eire.”

“Vampire ruling body?” she noted as they crossed the street and were walking their way.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Miss Sookie, my maker,” Pam bowed her head as she began unpacking the food bag. “I found these two ne’er do wells lurking around the burger house trying to pick up women with dogs. I think they are into threesomes.”
“Liar,” Ian glared at her. “You rang my bell and said Eric wanted to see us tonight instead of tomorrow night.”

“You were not whooped enough,” she arched an eyebrow at Eric. “I see the apple did not fall far from that tree,” Sookie smiled at Pam and then glared at Eric as she unwrapped her burger. “Who’s your daddy?” she snarked.

“Oh, me boyo does not seem to have his charm up and runnin’,” Cedric chuckled. “Tellin’ tall tales has he now,” he sighed.

Sookie regarded the red head and decided she liked him. “Sounds like you know him,” she snorted. “He offers up polite words for lies, manipulation and hell, maybe some extortion of the I know your weakness and am not afraid to exploit it to get my way thrown in there. Not everyday a girl gets her passport with breakfast in bed and later a bagged dinner consisting of a burger and a shake in London that night.”

“Oh là là, no charm what so ever,” Cedric grinned. “I am believin’ that is a first. The lady is immune to his Viking charms and smile. How did this miracle of seein’ past his bullshit come to pass?”

“We are cousins,” Sookie smiled as she took a bite. “His gran was my gran and here we are, blonde on blond.”

“And she is sure as hell is not talking about sex,” Pam laughed deliciously. “Why Eric has not been laid since…”

“Child…!” Eric leveled his gaze at her. “Get ye gone.”

“But…” Pam frowned at him.

“Now,” Eric hissed.

“Of course my maker,” she looked from Sookie to Eric, shrugged, smiled and then poof, she was gone.

“I want to go to Harrods,” Sookie got out before she started on her shake. “How late are they open tonight?”

“Until nine,” Ian grinned. “Not going to the boxing match, Eric?”

“Apparently not,” he replied. “Are we keeping our appointment with them after the match?” Eric asked Sookie as he extended his hand to her and helped her up.

“Yes,” she wiped her lips with the napkin and taking his hand, stood up. “But I am not entertaining after midnight. Gran always said respectable ladies do not. So this hoopla needs to be over before then.”

“It will be,” Eric assured her.

“Good.

Now,” she smiled at the two kings. “Would you like to join us or are you off to the match?”

“Kind lady,” Ian stepped up and offered her his arm. “Harrods it is. And as we stroll, let me give you the history of my lovely city. I am sure you have heard of the great fire of London. It was a Wednesday, the second of September. Despite what any historian has recorded, the truth of the matter is that Eric was responsible. You see, there was a lady of the evening that wanted to be paid in gold and not the minted coin of the realm. He tried to reason with her and when that did not happen, she threw a lamp at him screaming something to the effect of Burn you man whore, burn!”

“Really?” Sookie turned around and eyed Eric. “So I am not the first one he has wronged.”

“Sadly, yes my dear,” Ian patted her hand. “Come, we shall walk and Cedric,” he turned and grinned at the King of Erie, “you chime in when necessary, and we shall, so to speak our dear lady, give you the lay of the land.”

 

 

 

Lafayette and O.I. had been watching the store front windows and taking in the sights as they walked from one eatery to another.

“I am wantin’ fish and chips,” Lafayette would say as he would stop and sniff the air. “Can sure nuff’s smells them cookin’ up.”

“Dragon,” O.I. nodded as his body was perched on Lafayette’s shoulder, looking for all the world like a fine piece of jewelry come to life. “We likes anything fried and crunchy. Has a special fondness for fishes and potatoes. Always has, always will.”

“What does that do to my fabulous backside and waist line, His La La Fineness wants to know?”

“My big mans,” O.I. smiled at him. “Yous just shift to dragon, do a couple of loop-de-loops around the world and all is good.”

“No foolin’, Poppy?” Lafayette eyed him.

“No to the foolin’, your Poppy says. Exercise is exercise. You burns calories, yous is gonna go on just fine with your fabulous self.”

“Lordies,” Lafayette stopped and crossed himself. “Fried foods ala carte and I can be seein’ the Harrods store front from here. I has heard the tales and seen the life affirmin’ photos but never did I thinks I would be standin’ so close to the sacred shoppin’ grounds of if you want it, we have it. And if we don’t be havin’ it, you don’t need it,” his voice was a hushed whisper.

“Let us makes it so,” Lafayette smiled, righted his shoulders and with the purpose of I am gonna’ looks at everything! walked up to the front door and was greeted by the doorman as they stepped inside.

“Smells the wool,” Lafayette sighed. “Beautiful, Italians, tailored made wool suits. And oh,” he sniffed again. “The food hall. Let us take ourselves that way. Maybe we cans be having high tea at the restaurant!”

“Not to worry my big mans, yous Poppy says there will be a table ready for us.”

“Yous sleepin’ with one eye open and seein’ the future?” Lafayette asked as he stopped to admire a cashmere coat.

“Well, yes,” O.I. chuckled, “and nothin’ gets past a little dragon glamour.

“Pipers of the bag,” O.I. sighed as he watched the four players go marching by. “Makes me want to follow along and oh…oh…” his eyes were darting everywhere. “Would you just looks at that food hall! And tea! My big mans, they gots your special tea! Did not knows that all we had to do was take ourselves to this side of Heaven!” *OI looked around in wonder, “Well I’ll be, mo’fo’n Harrods. The worlds at yo feet.”

 

 

 

 

“So Eric laid Paris at her feet as he walked her to the top of the tower speaking low and soft and wanting to…well show her a view of the city so perhaps she would show him a better view of her bosom. Cedric was there waiting for him and threw him off the platform into the night. I believe Eric tried the same tactic again with her the next night. Eric is not one to walk away from a bosom he desires to see. And nothing, so the saying goes,” Ian concluded his saga of Eric’s most embarrassing moments, “gets past a little Viking glamour. And I am sure he dosed with more than just a little. Unless of course, it is another vampire who was there to witness the entire accounting of his tales of woe and wonder.”

Sookie was laughing as they approached Harrods. “Seriously, he bet Cedric that he could get a skeleton built in Paris and that is how the Eiffel tower came to be?”

“That is correct,” Cedric sighed, a big hearty one. “I have since learned to be more specific. I lost me shirt, literally, on that one. I was dancing around the Paris World Fair buck-assed naked for a few moments off the top of the metal beast. Eric was hovering and shouting at me to dance faster as he was laughing his ass off.”

Sookie turned around at looked at the blond that was still walking behind her. “Cedric, has he been checking out my ass while we have been movin’ along?”

“Miss Sookie,” he cleared his throat. “I know not how to answer that since he is much older and faster than me.”

“I…” Eric began.

“Careful me boy’o,” Cedric laughed out loud. “Ye will be damned if ye did and damned if ye did not. Best just to change the subject and live to fight another day.”

“Yes, Harrods, why I do believe I am buying tonight,” Eric’s voice held joy as the front door was opened and they were greeted with a hearty, “Welcome to Harrods.

“Please,” Eric bowed at the waist once they were inside, his hand making a wide, sweeping gesture. “Let us shop.”

“Yes,” Sookie arched an eyebrow at him. “Let’s.”

 

 

 

*Many thanks to Azucar69 for the hand-off line: OI looked around in wonder, “Well I’ll be, mo’fo’n Harrods. The worlds at yo feet.”

 

 

Dear Readers,

Our hearts go out to those in Las Vegas….

 

This chapter is a bit short but time has become a valuable commodity. RL has reared its not so ugly head. Friends are coming to visit, teas are being planned, birthdays abound this month and of course I am decorating and baking! This will be the last chapter possibly until after Halloween. If I can squeeze out a little time and I get a hand off line, I will put something into play. Please keep the hand off lines coming…my muse thanks you!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

 

 

 

With the Rising of the Moon—Chapter the Twos

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With the Rising of the Moon

Chapter the Twos

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.

This chapter is courtesy of Miss Meridian. Give her a big round of applause! *Sookie, fuming, to a frustrated Eric whilst facing off in the middle of Trafalgar Square an hour past twilight, “No, I wanted muscadine grapes, not green grapes! Geeze! Just…never mind…the fight’s about to start and I’m gettin’ hangry over here. Just send Pam for a double cheeseburger and a banana shake, ok?”

 

With the Rising of the Moon

Chapter the Twos

It was a repeat of the process to return to Sookie’s underground dwelling. They started walking the ley-line and then they were walking the circle of Sookie’s standing stones as he watched his life literally flash before his eyes on the stones.

When they were once more standing in her sacred place, Eric was thoughtful.

“We are in the midst of the new dark, Central time. How could it be zero three in Egypt?”

“That,” Sookie looked up at him, “is a very good question.

“I need to make a call,” his voice was quiet. “Do you need to do anything down here? Anything I could learn?”

“No,” she shook her head.

“Excellent. Upstairs and then more of the mystery solved.”

 

O.I. and Lafayette were playing gin rummy. Sookie did a double take. They seemed to be playing for jewels and not the plastic kind you purchased for Mardi Gras.

“Went and got the horde,” was all O.I. said as he kept staring at his cards. “Got my big man’s horde as well. We is playin’ for keepers weepers.”

“Ah-h-h-h,” Sookie paused, “If I was to compare the piles of sparkles that were on the table. I would say Lafayette’s was the biggest.”

“Mo fo’n,” was all O.I. said in return as he continued to stare at his cards.

“His La La Fineness seems to remember doin’ this,” her best friend was all grins. “Sure nuffs, all this glory sitting here in front of me, my Poppy staring at his cards, willin’ them to be somethin’ else so he can throw down and call back to him the Jewel of the Blue Moons, that is oh so prettily and with attitude sittin’ right here in my pile,” Lafayette was smiling as he pointed to what looked to be starlight blazing on the table.

“Mo fo’n,” O.I. grumbled as he continued to stare at his cards.

“Keeps tryin’ with yous bad ass ways, my Poppy. But I dones blessed those cards with the Blood of Jesus. Not gonna’ get past that.”

“Mo fo’n,” the small dragon grumbled but looked very pleased.

“Well, I will leave you to it,” Sookie chuckled. “Eric has to make a phone call. Something is not right. It is midnight here and was zero three fifteen in Egypt.”

Lafayette arched an eyebrow at her. “I would say something is just more than not right. Miss Sooks, you time travelin’ now?”

“Me?” she took a step back and then looked over at Eric who has headed for the chair in front of the fire. “No-o-o-o,” the word rolled out of her mouth in a quiet and orderly fashion. “I would say I was not the one doin’ the time travelin’.”

Eric looked over at them and shrugged. “Maybe,” was all he said as he punched in a number and settled into the chair putting the phone on speaker and setting it down.

“Eric,” they all heard the voice. “What the fuck? On speaker? Have you slipped on Were shit and skidded face down into Hell? Were you required to fuck the queen of Louisiana on your descent down? Are you licking all the asses in Hell and required to smile while you are doing so?”

Eric grinned. His friend was clearly pleased to hear from him. “Not exactly,” he began. “But there is magic afoot.”

“I am listening, you know I am. I have nothing but respect for your clan heritage. More than once in your dreaming state you have seen the future and forewarned me of dire times and not to take low cash withdrawals from my local ATM.”

“You dream the future?” Sookie mouthed at him.

Eric shrugged and continued on. “That is why we are on speaker Jimmie. I have three other severely handicapped magicals sitting here with me and we all want answers and maybe a round-about-way of doing business.”

“Woof and growl, Mad Jimmie says. Between the four of you, could you call me to you? To pass through the ether of magic and physics so that I might dwell in such esteemed company and perhaps sit at your knee and learn.”

Eric was rolling his eyes. The bullshit was about up to his ankles. “Well Were shit,” Eric said sounding disgusted. “What the fuck have you gotten yourself into?”

“It is not what you think,” there was a long-suffering sigh. “I…I have perhaps made promises I should not.”

“Oh fuck me!” Eric was shaking his head. “Who did you promise to marry this time?”

“Oh Eric,” he began, his voice merry. “She is just the sweetest bit of honey and sunlight combined to make the blood go down with a sizzle and a pop! She makes me happy and I find that…well…”

“Jimmie, you are just bad,” Eric said with a sigh. “And no, you stay there and take your beating like the innocent seducing, maidenhead taking, rascal Draugr that you are.”

“Well,” Jimmie sounded a little embarrassed. “That is why I am called Bad Jimmie. I don’t mean to become so enamored of the lady and then fall out of love…I don’t do it to be mean and spiteful…I just…I just like the idea of being in love. All the time…with…well, there are so many fine ladies and who knows when my time here will end?”

“Man whore,” Sookie shouted with disgust.

“No, fair lady who sounds oh so noble and pure of heart. I am not,” there was pleading in his voice. “I am just…”

“A man whore,” Eric said, nodding his head. “With an extensive vocabulary, a charming smile and a big dick. Now, the reason I called. My companion and I we were just there. At your establishment.”

“What?” He groused. “And you did not come in? Eric! You know you just have to ring the bell and I am more than happy to entertain you, oldest of my friends.”

“Yes,” Eric chuckled, “and the reason I am the oldest of your friends is because all of the others have met the true death. Possibly at your hands.”

“So unkind,” there was a sniffle, “but possibly true. How ever, I did save your life in Paris. That party where you were overrun,” he titched under his breath, “in your own home. I was shocked and appalled at your lackadaisical approach to security.”

“The reason I called,” Eric’s voice was a bit sterner.
“Yes, of course,” Jimmie was back on task. “You were here, did not ring the bell and now you are…are some where with three other magicals and one of them is a charming young lady. And you grouse at me,” he said with a pout in his voice. “Young miss, beware of the Viking. While he chastises me, his reputation with the women is long, remarkably very robust, and worse than mine.”

“Jimmie,” Eric hissed at him. “Listen to me. We were just there. Your establishment was burned down. I believe by you. There was the strong smell of toasted Were. Wee Willy told me that Vlad and The Hun had stopped by earlier and left with companions that you supplied and that he had no idea how the fire started. He had been nipping your good whiskey, passed out under a rock and he woke up to the smell of smoke and smoldering ruins.”

“And I thank you for your forewarning dreams, Eric,” his tone was one of respect. “You think I set the fire?” There was deadly intent on the other end of the phone.

“Yes,” Eric responded. “I do. I could only smell dead Were. Nothing else.”

“Attila and Vlad are stopping by tonight…” and that thought ran off. “Thank you my friend. I will be in touch.”

Eric turned off his phone and turned and faced the others.

“It is daylight there. You knew he was up.” In Sookie’s voice was some confusion.

“Bad Jimmie is a Draugr. A type of vampire. He does not need to sleep and can be up, just not out in direct sunlight.”

“So there is a difference among you?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “Draugr’s, because they are peculiar to the frozen Northern hemispheres, they had to adapt. There are not many people in that part of the world and the continual dark of winter may work just fine for you but during the summer the sun is up and depending on where you are, may not go completely down. So the Draugr adapted.”

“So-o-o-o,” Sookie was looking at Eric askew. “The sun is always up in Egypt. What the hell is he doin’ there?”

“He does not like the cold,” Eric replied matter-of-fact. “Not one bit. He would rather deal with sand fleas than ice ticks.”

“Ice ticks?” she drew back in horror.

“Just a saying,” Eric grinned at her. “Bad Jimmie uses it to explain why he is in Egypt.”

“But the reality?” Sookie pushed on.

“He is a gun runner. Has been an arms dealer since time began. I believe that is what got him turned. A business exchange gone bad. He had to have a sword from a grave mound to complete the deal and he became the Draugr’s meal and companion. And to his credit, he still made the deal, with the much sought after sword of Newfoundland the Swift’s in hand.”

“Oh,” Sookie nodded. “So he really is a bad guy?”

“Well, I have met worse,” Eric nodded.

“Interesting crowd you run with,” Sookie eyed him.

“Yes it is,” he grinned looking around the room. “Oh look, Mr. Hayes is bringing you your hot chocolate.”

“And some applications for loans,” her new majordomo smiled as he set the tray down and removed the papers from under his arm. “Miss Sookie, I have vetted these ten out of the hundred applications you have received so far. You and Mr. Lafayette will have to take a closer look,” he said placing them on the coffee table. “Have your cocoa. These will keep until morning,” as he placed them on the table next to the silver tray.

“Thank you,” she smiled and then sat down in a chair. “Sleep sounds good,” she sighed as she picked up the china cup and looked out the window. “Mr. Hayes,” she looked at the tray and then at him. “I…I don’t own a silver tray. Or this really lovely china pattern. Do I need to pay your for these?”

“No Miss Sookie,” he bowed. “I come with everything needed to provide for your comforts. My inventory is different with each client. For you I have all things girly and a very interesting weapons cache. I believe it is the largest one I have ever been charged with.”

“Oh,” was all she said and looked a bit sheepish.

He smiled at her, bowed and retired to the kitchen.

“My life used to be pretty small. Now,” she hesitated. “Now everything is different and yet the same. Lafayette is still playin’ gin rummy only for a table full of priceless gemstones with his Poppy. I am still living in my home and I have a hundred and fifty million dollars and this old world continues to spin. ‘Cause look, the moon is risin’, just now clearin’ the trees. Just about full.”

“Does that mean anything?” Eric asked.

Nodding her head yes, she thought about all her yesterdays and maybe her tomorrows. “Things work easier in the light of a full moon. Its light charges the ley-lines like nothin’ else, Gran always said.”

“Good to know,” Eric replied. “I need to talk with Pamela. I am going to the bar. I will see you when you wake. Lafayette, O.I. please do not play for domination of the world.”

“Won’t be doin’ that! His La La Fineness and his Poppy have done that before. Just gots really butt-t-t-t-t-t uglies.”

“Mo fo’n,” O.I. said nodding his head.

“Miss Sookie,” Eric bowed his head to her, “a good evening’s rest.”

Walking over to the door, he opened it and was gone, leaving the wood door gently closing in his wake.

Standing, Sookie walked over to Lafayette and kissed him on the top of the head. Then she did the same to O.I. “Good night you two. Love you.”

“Hugs and kisses Miss Sooks,” O.I. and Lafayette said together. “Rest well.”

“You two as well,” she smiled at them and took herself to bed.

 

Pamela was waiting for Eric at the back door of Fangtasia. This could not be good. Pamela and her fuck you and the horse you rode in on attitude sometimes transferred to her maker. Which was him. Which meant that she was actually waiting for him with the door open and a smile on her face…chances were good they were both going down in flames!

“Child,” he addressed her as he landed. “What is with the smile and bright and cheery continence? You are scaring me.”

“Eric, I have sponsored the deal of a life time. Several life times! We stand to make so much money even your brother Samuel will say oy vey.”

Eric raised an eyebrow.

“Now, we have to leave sometime today to get us to London so we can be there with the New Dark.”

“Child?” Eric said coming in and closing the door.

“Oh…and did I forget to mention, we need to take Druid House with us.”

“Child?” Eric turned and looked at her as he unlocked his office door, displeasure on his face.

“I promised she would be there,” she added, her voice earnest and sincere.

“You did what?” he hissed at her.

“I promised. I said I spoke for you and that on your word she would be there.”

Eric sat down behind his desk and clenched his teeth. “Do you see this distance I have put between us,” he seethed. “That is so I do not rip your head off!”

“Oh Eric, come on,” she sat down on a corner of his desk. “This is the real deal. The once in a lifetime. The…”

“Just tell me,” he sighed. “Just fucking tell me.”

“Stickley and Butler want to go legit,” and there was so much joy in her voice that she wiggled all over, like a dog, shaking off water!

Eric raised an eyebrow.

“See, that is exactly what I did when they called me,” she was back to smiling and nodding her head, glee on her face. “They want to meet Druid House. Just an initial meet and greet. Pitch their game plan and have her make it all happen.”

“That is not how it works,” Eric was shaking his head at her. “They write up their business plan and submit it.”

“I know, but come on my maker,” there was a frown on her face. “That takes forever and they will move on to someone else to bank roll them and offered a third of the business.”

Eric arched an eyebrow.

“Oh,” she grinned. “Did I forget to mention that?” Then she was back to all business. “We need to do this ASAP. Use your unlimited charm and unlimited good looks and that killer get’m into bed little boy smile and talk her into this.”

“Where?” he asked.

“The fight is at nine with the New Dark in Soho via Trafalgar Square. The meet and greet is after that in The Ritz.

The Ritz?” Eric queried her.

“Yes, very above-board. They want this Eric and am willing to appear human normal to make it happen.”

“I will talk to her,” his eyes said that he was not happy. “Now take your ass off my desk and go glamour someone at a passport center that is open. You are going to have to work to make this happen. I want her’s and Lafayette’s legitimate passport before sunrise.”

“Legitimate,” Pam echoed back and then nodded. “You know Eric, all my passports pass inspection. They are all legitimate. The real deal, legal tender…”

“Get out,” he smiled at her, his eyes flashing sparks.

When the door closed, Eric sat back in his chair and grinned. Stickley and Butler, one of the oldest names in boxing since…well…since the Roman Arena.

This was not about money. This was about bragging rights. More than once or twice Eric had tried to purchase shares of their business. It just was not doable. And he did so like boxing. No other human sport held any interest for him…but boxing. He was smitten.

“Time to go to work,” he mused as he fired up his computer. Logging on, he went to the stats page for Stickley and Butler. “Better know the answers,” he said to himself as he began scrolling through the numbers.

At five Pam came back in and put two passports down on his desk. “Got everyone out of bed but made it worth their time. Hers and his.”

“Good job,” Eric replied as he picked them up and inspected them. Taking a sniff, he was impressed. “The real deal,” he gave her a two-fingered salute.

“Of course my maker,” she bowed, “just as you requested.”

“We are going to the house. We will be on the boots on the ground when you rise.”

 

Sookie was still in bed and listening to the birds chirping and singing. She had been awake for a while but was feeling lazy.

There was a knock at her door. “Yes,” she answered, drawing up the covers.

The door opened and there stood Eric with a breakfast tray. “Mr. Hayes is preparing a picnic basket for the plane ride. I thought I would bring in something to break your fast.”

“We going somewhere?” she asked.

“Yes,” Eric smiled. “London. “I heard you say something last night about muscadine grapes. I have a favorite green grocer in London that stocks them. Just think, he imports them from Texas.”

“Would it not be cheaper to just fly to Texas?” she asked.

“Well yes, but I have tickets for a fight tonight in Soho. It is just a lovely six-minute walk from Trafalgar Square. Some of British history at its finest. I thought you and Lafayette might like to go. If you do not wish to attend the fight, there is always the theatre.

And…” he smiled as he took the passports out of his breast jacket pocket. “I have your passports.”

“What?” she eyed him.

“Well, we could walk the ley-lines to get there but I’m not for sure if we could include Lafayette in that method of travel.”

“These are excitn’ times,” she grinned.

“Indeed,” he smiled back. “Let us greet the day and end it with the new dark in London!”

The day was spent hurrying about! They all went into Shreveport and purchased new clothes. A few shiny do-dads and then it was time to be heading out. Mr. Hayes got Pamela on the plane followed on by the other three. When the private Lear jet was wheels up, they raced across the Southern tip of the U.S. and then over the Atlantic, heading for London and Sookie thought that things she had only dreamed of doing were finally coming true.

They made it through customs without a hiccup and Mr. Hayes had Pamela in tow and was off to The Ritz to check them in while the group went off to explore London. “Not to worry,” Mr. Hayes kept repeating as he patted Sookie on the hand as she watched the sights go by. “I have this. You will eventually be in Trafalgar Square. A lovely area with many different roads and stories to tell. Please say hello to Admiral Nelson for me. I did so enjoy working for him. I will send Miss Pamela in that direction as soon as she rises, which will be shortly. Now, run along and enjoy! Covent Garden and Soho await your arrival!

Here, Trafalgar Square,” Mr. Hayes said as he wrapped on the glass of the Rolls. “My people need off here my good man,” he said. Hopping out, he helped Sookie as Eric and Lafayette exited another door. Getting back in, he closed the door and the transport motored off.

“Good advice,” Lafayette grinned holding up his map. “Me and my little mans, we is off and shoppin’. I needs this and that’s and Mr. Erics, we thanks you kindly for the offer of the fierceness of the fight, but I ams a lover and not a fighter. Besides, I am sures you have down and dirty front row seats. Don’t be needin’ any blood on me or my Poppy.”

“Tru dat,” O.I. replied nodding his head.

“Have fun,” Sookie called after them as they took off sniffing the wind and talking about the roasting chestnuts.

The two blonde cousins roamed the streets and shops, pausing to look or purchase some small tasty tidbit for Sookie.

“Try theses grapes,” Eric said as he purchased a small paper cone for her from a street vendor. “I can smell them. Very sweet. The sugar caresses the nose. They are Italian, the grape sun-kissed over looking The Med with the ocean breezes dusting it with salt.”

“M-m-m-m,” Sookie nodded as he put one in her mouth and she bit down. “That is really good.”

“Yes,” he grinned as he brushed the hair back from her face and tucked it behind one ear. “We need to be at Trafalgar Square so we can meet up with Pam,” Eric said casually as he draped his arm over Sookie’s shoulder. “The plan was to meet up an hour after the sun set.”

“About a six-minute walk,” Sookie grinned. “It seems like everywhere is about a six-minute walk from a tube station.”

“Just like it was planned,” Eric grinned and they started in the direction of Admiral Nelson. When they got there, Sookie walked up to the statue and said, “Mr. Hayes sends his regards. He says that he really enjoyed working for you.”

There was a moment when the statue grinned at her. “A good man,” she heard whispered on the wind and then she was just staring, maybe with her mouth open, at the statue.

“My maker,” Sookie felt the breeze and then saw Pamela. “How wonderful you two look. Taking in the sights. And see how lovely Druid House looks. So relaxed and refined. She understands about once in a lifetime opportunities. I told you she would be agreeable to side stepping all that pesky paperwork and just sitting down to business with Stickley and Butler.”

“What?” Sookie said, turning to Eric.

“At The Ritz, after the fight,” Pam was radiating out happiness and vampire health! “We have front row seats. Boxing is the only sport Eric approves of and yes ma’am, he is going to get an opportunity to buy in with no monetary cost, just a meet and greet with you, Druid House.”

Sookie was incensed as she put it all together. “London, I have your passports, stay at The Ritz. Let me take you there so that I might purchase you the grapes you mentioned in passing,” she hissed.

“Well Were shit,” Eric mumbled to himself. He just might not get the buy-in after all. There was one pissed off lady. He was not so happy about this himself!

*Sookie, fuming, to a frustrated Eric whilst facing off in the middle of Trafalgar Square an hour past twilight, “No, I wanted muscadine grapes, not green grapes! Geeze! Just…never mind…the fight’s about to start and I’m gettin’ hangry over here. Just send Pam for a double cheeseburger and a banana shake, ok?” Turning, she walked back over to Lord Nelson. They could hear her disparaging vampires in general. Him in particular and Eric was surprised that she even knew some of those words!

“What?” Pamela asked. “What just happened? I don’t do food runs for humans,” she snarked. “And where the hell do you purchase a banana milk shake in London?”

Gournet Burger Kitchen,” Eric hissed at Pamela as Sookie, having vented, walked over to a bench and sat down. “You make this happen,” he was bending down and in her face. “I did not have the opportunity to tell her anything. Now she knows everything and if you don’t get her a burger and that fucking shake before the fight starts, I would say the deal is off. Along maybe with your head.”

“Of course my maker! Should I purchase the same for everyone at the fight? I can have it delivered.”

“Child…” he spit out.

Vamp speed, she was gone.

 

Dear Readers,

That is all the hand off lines that I have received. If you wish for Chapter the Threes, I need a line. Otherwise, it is back to putting up crown moulding, major furniture re-arranging and cleaning out a closet.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

With the Rising of the Moon—Chapter the Ones

with the rising of the moon baanner

With the Rising of the Moon

Chapter the Onest

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.

 

Eric was back from New Orleans. She could hear him out on the front porch, talking on his phone. Sookie had waited up for him. Not for real sure why. She, Lafayette and O.I. had talked this Gran-thing to death.

Eric’s only comment before he left was that his grandmother was a powerful wise woman who carried the knowledge of his entire clan and that she had passed that women’s magic on to him.

That his grandmother should be reborn to be Sookie’s grandmother was not such a foreign idea to him. Seemed practical and assured that she could be around to nurture her clan’s magic. Make sure her family was up and running and taking care of business. Just what business, Eric had not mentioned.

Sookie was willing to acknowledge her gran was a powerful thing as well. Instead of spilling her blood on her, she taught her everything she knew. It was considerable. There were some things Sookie had not tired again since Gran had died. Some things, even when you are born to it, was just on the outside of unnatural.

Which made Sookie wonder, just how much did Eric really know? He was over a thousand years old and had been around the world more than once or twice. The fact that he was so old had to count for something.

Then, he gave her a hundred and fifty mil and did not even blink twice. Who did that sort of thing? Either someone to whom money meant nothing or someone who could sneeze at a hundred and fifty mil! “Or maybe both,” she nodded her head. “He has so much money that money means nothing to him.”

Hearing the screen door open, Eric came in and sat down. “How was New Orleans?” she asked.

“The Queen of Louisiana,” he paused and watched the flames, “has a new-found respect for Druid House and her Mr. Money Bags. She does not desire ghosts and demons to see her out of this world and into the next. I told her that was what happened to Compton and the other seventy-five vampires that thought to sacrifice me when the sun re-appeared after the eclipse. She swore none of it was her idea and that all of it was a lie. She knew nothing about those interlopers from the continent being here and glad they were dead. Such, she stressed numerous times, is the punishment for not checking in.”

“Impressive,” Sookie smiled. Hmmm, Eric was not talkative. Did something weigh on him? Normally he had questions about their respective magic. He seemed…not pensive…but moody. Something had happened between him and the queen. That you could read without any assistance. Just the way he talked about her, it was like he was gritting his teeth. Well, she was his queen. There had to be some sort of protocols he had to follow when he was around her.

“You are still up,” Eric regarded her. “Waiting for me for a specific reason?”

“Yes,” she nodded, slowly. “O.I., Lafayette and I have been talking about us having the same Gran. I have been thinking about the magic that was shared by her between the two of us. Is there any one spectacular something that you do that you would like to share with me?”

Eric shrugged. “I think it is all spectacular. King Eric talks, that might be the biggest thing.”

“King Eric?” she raised an eyebrow at him.

“Yes, my penis. He has dubbed himself King Eric. He could not speak before I was turned vampire and when I rose the first night of being vampire, he wished to help me dig out.”

Sookie just sat and stared at him with her mouth slightly open.  “Your penis talks…?” she finally managed to get out.

“Yes, and he also has a lovely tenor singing voice. Go figure,” Eric shrugged, “seriously, singing is not one of my gifts.”

“A talking and singing penis,” Sookie repeated.

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “What about you?”

“Gran taught me how to walk the ley-lines. You know, go from here to there walking the magnetic flow of the earth.”

“That would be handy,” Eric leaned in closer. “Can you teach me?”

“Well, yes,” she nodded, “it is just that I have never done it without her. After all is said and done, I really am a big scaredy-cat. My biggest fear is what if I get there and I cannot get home. I mean, I have always wanted to see the pyramids, so I walk into Egypt using the ley-lines and I cannot walk out. I have no passport and no money and now way to get home. That sort of thing. Keeps me from experimenting and also keeps me close to home. I find driving from here to Shreveport to be adventure enough since it is now just me. I can find my way home and have enough money to put gas in my car. And none of that pesky border crossing stuff. You know, folks wanting a passport that I do not have.”

“Egypt,” Eric nodded standing and taking her hand. “Let’s go.”

“What?” she drew back into her chair.

“Samuel and I had high adventures back in our tomb-raiding days. If we cannot get back right away, I know where we can shelter until we can get smuggled out.”

“Smuggled…out?” her voice was low and quiet, shock on her face.

“Oh come on Sookie,” he grinned. “What! You have never been smuggled out of anywhere?”

“No,” she shook her head. “I just normally stand on my own two feet and walk out.”

“Time to live a little,” he grinned. “Come on. I guess we start in your work room,” he smiled leading her in that direction. “With the rising of the moon, we shall be on our way to Egypt, the land of the pharaohs and untold wealth in gold that now belongs to Samuel and myself.”

“You really did raid tombs?” she was looking at him in a whole new light. “And…and…were there mummies?”

“Of course,” he chuckled as she moved the switch to open the entrance to her underground domain. “Some of them were especially not very nice,” he added, batting his eyelashes. “But Samuel gets his kosher salt from a lovely New York Deli. Saul and his lovely bride Anna keep it on stock just for Samuel.”

“Well okay,” she nodded as the lights came on as they started down the steps. “Kosher salt. Should we take some? Just in case?”

“Scared of mummies?” Eric chuckled.

“Well yes,” she nodded looking up at him.

“Then we shall stay out of the path of mummies,” he assured her. “And their chambers as well. Besides, those few that are left, they have no treasure to speak of. Samuel and I saw to that.

Now, here we are standing on the core of your ley-line. I can feel it now that I know how to interrupt what it is I am feeling. What happens next?”

“We stand side-by-side, with an arm wrapped about each other and starting with your right foot, we start walking. Since you know where we are heading, you need to fix that point in your mind, I will tune into you, and off we go.”

“Just like that?” his voice held no hesitation. Just curiosity.

“Just like that,” she responded, putting her arm around his waist.

Laying his arm across her shoulders, they began walking.

“We are headed to Mad Jimmie’s. He is an x-pat Swede that runs a bar in the middle of the desert. Nice enough place but you really have to want to get there.”

Sookie eyed him as her mind tied into his and could see where they were headed. “War mongering buddies…” her voice trailed off as she caught the tail end of his thought.

“Well,” he grinned, “arms dealers need to be able to get a drink when they need one, too.”

Eric was paying attention. Somehow, they were now walking the standing stones that were out in Sookie’s trees. Each time they passed by one there was a rising moon. Sometimes on his left side, sometimes above his right shoulder. And when he looked at each stone, he could see Mad Jimmie’s bar. Then it began to look like a flip-book animation as each frame became faster and faster and then they were walking along the river that led to the oasis where Mad Jimmie’s was located.

Only, there was no Mad Jimmie’s. There was nothing left but a burned out shell. There was smoke still lingering on the wind.

“What the fuck?” he murmured as he sniffed the wind and was watching the shadows.

“What the fuck is right, vampire,” a lizard snickered back. “We finally saw the end to that night raiding cocksucker! Bad Jimmie! Hah! I showed him bad! Fuck yeah! Him and his were torched and left to cook in their own fat!”

“What is that you say, Wee Willy?” Eric hissed as he reached for the lizard.

“Northman, really man, just kidding,” the lizard yelped as he jumped and tried to wiggle under a rock. The cold-blooded creature was fast, but not as fast as the cold-blooded creature that now had him and was squeezing him and shaking him around.

“Oh man, not lizard guts, please, I hate to start my day with lizard guts all over me,” said *Sookie, aghast, to a fuming Eric whilst standing in the middle of the desert at 3:52am, “Eric, let that poor lizard go! He didn’t mean it, honest!”

“Please Eric, listen to the nice lady! You know Mad Jimmie took good care of me,” the lizard coughed and wheezed and was trying furiously to wiggle his way out. Eric just flexed his finger muscles and there was the distinct smell of lizard pee. “Seriously. I just got here myself. I am just as shocked as you are and would like to haul my ass on out of here if you would just let me go. Look man, I just pissed myself!”

“Just got here?” Eric raised an eyebrow. “I smell Glenlivet on your breath,” his fangs dropped as he pulled Willy in closer. “You happen to be carrying around a flask up your ass?”

“Look,” the small reptile was pleading. “There is a broken bottle in the rubble on the east side. I just had a taste. I hate to see the good stuff go to waste.”

Shaking his head, Eric’s eyes started to glow. “What the fuck happened, here? Last chance then I am bashing your head in and tossing you into that nice bed of glowing coals over there.”

“I can speak the truth, honest!”

“Better start,” Eric growled.

“I was sitting out watching for sand fleas and other dinner tidbits when Vlad Drac and The Hun drop in. There are all kinds of hushed whispers and the exchanging of money. No not kidding around about that. I could see all kinds of spend-ables.  Cash, gold, silver, jewels. All kinds of sparkle. If you wanted to be paid in it, they had it. Bad Jimmie brought out a couple of ladies and the boys all hey-de-hoed and left with the girls. I had dinner, figured the excitement was over for the night and curled up under a rock.

I woke up when I smelled smoke and no one,” he stressed, “and I mean no one yelled fire and here I am.”

“Better,” Eric set him down. “Now fuck off.”

“Will do,” the small reptile nodded.

“Hey,” Sookie said bending over. “I am just wondering. Do lizards have histories? And if so, have you ever heard of O.I., King of the Dragons?”

“Lady,” the lizard bowed at his half way-point, “of course we have histories. And there are stories aplenty about O.I. We all grow up knowing about the King of the Dragons and how he will return and dinosaurs will once more rule the land and you know, everyone else will be tasty snacks. Damn, and aren’t you just the sweetest! I could start with your toes and…”

“Euuu!” Sookie said as she stood back and Eric’s foot made contact with Wee Willy and lizard parts went everywhere.

“So,” she was watching as Eric wiped his foot off in the sand. “Can all vampires talk to animals? Or change into them? Dracula could in the story that Stoker wrote.”

“Vlad is many things,” Eric responded, “a shape shifter is not one of them.”

“So he really does exist?” Sookie asked.

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “He really does exist. Not the smartest of the group, but not the dumbest either. However, he gets the dumb ass award of the century for having Stoker write his bio.”

That information was food for thought for later,  His bio? “The Hun?” Sookie sounded a bit shocked. “As in Attila?”

“The one and only,” Eric responded as he looked around sniffing the wind.

“Is it true he has blue eyes?” she asked.

“Yes,” Eric nodded as he sniffed deeper and then picking up a limb off the ground, turned over a charred piece of the roof.

“What? What do you think happened here?” she asked as Eric bent down closer to the ground and sniffed.

“Moon is getting ready to set,” Eric said. “Let us start our way back.

Mad Jimmie did not die here,” he said as he put his arm on her shoulder and she wrapped her arm around his waist. “I believe he is the one that set the fire. There is the distinct smell of burned hair. A lot of it. I would say Weres tried to storm the place and when Plan A did not work, Mad Jimmie went to plan B.”

“That being?” Sookie asked.

“Burn it in place and drive on.”

 

Hand off lines! We  love them! *Many thanks to Miss Meridian!

Picking up the Gauntlet…

with the rising of the moon baanner

ShoeGirl01 believed that there could be more epilogues to The Setting of the Sun….hmmm, I did not think so at the time. As you can see, that has changed.

Many thanks to Miss Meridian…or you can blame her….

…she is not one to just leave a challenge idly sitting there and perhaps attracting Weres who might come sniffing around and defecate all over my Word Press site. So-o-o-o-o  she left me a couple of “one liners.” Actually, she left more material than inspired War and Peace.  

I have no time line or word count for this…other than I like to post on Monday’s. I see this as just a couple of short stories…write the two stories…shortest of the short, I am hoping and move on. I am not only doing some editing but am doing some painting in the house…great big ick to that but no putting that off! But a girl does need a break from the dull and mundane….!

So, if you want to float any more one lines my way, I am happy to give you credit at the beginning of the story and tie it all into The Setting of the Sun…so sayth the muse…as she looks wistfully around for a bottle of tequila.

Carroll

P.S. You can check out Meridian’s hand-off lines in the review section…woo-hoo!

With the Setting of the Sun—Chapter 7—Epilogue

with the setting of the sun:in memory of

With the Setting of the Sun Chapter 7 Epilogue

In memory of Nelsan Ellis  

November 30, 1977-July 8, 2017

 

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.

Chapter 7    Epilogue

 

The sun was setting for the second time, today. Its light being extinguished as the earth continued to spin and the heavens drew back the curtains on the blazing, brilliant stars.

The family was all up in the air, watching part of Godric’s legacy turn to ash. O.I. and Lafayette had done a fine job on the controlled burn. There was nothing left to show what had once been Eric’s maker’s Louisiana residence.

“May I take a closer look?” Eric asked O.I.

“Of course. Will now be cool to the touch. Such is the way of dragon fire. When the moon finishes risen’, the ash will give way to the local floral. It will be as if it never existed.”

“That is pretty heady stuff,” Sookie said as she watched the ground.

“Yes,” O.I. nodded. “Not all is as it seems and as it seems it not the final word.”

“Ominous and yet profound.” In the dark, the purple of the dragon’s eyes filled the night with the light of a thousand candles. “How many times,” her attention was now on O.I., “has the world been at war with…with angels and demons or whatevers…?” and in her voice was awe and wonder.

“Too many to count,” the small dragon responded. “The flood did more that just destroy the evil that walked here.”

“Do I want to know?” her voice was low and serious.

“No,” the small dragon reached over and patted her on the check. “No, bless your believe’n heart. Yous do not.”

Floating gently down to the ground, Eric stood in the ash of his sister and all the others who thought to come against him. “I realize,” he began looking around as the others followed him down, “that my rescue is not of my doing. That perhaps this would have been the time that I was destroyed. I do not know for certain if this would have been my fate. I can acknowledge that. I have lived this long by being careful, smart, and lucky.” A slight breeze picked up the ash began to disappear as it swirled and danced in the breeze.

It was fascinating to watch the ash particles dance on the motes of light that was now the moon rising. “That being said,” he reached out his hand as a likeness of Godric formed. Touching his maker’s hand one last time, the image of the vampire that was once Godric, smiled and saluted him before it swirled away.

“That which does not kill me…” Eric grinned and flashed his fangs, “…had better run.

If you will pardon me, I believe I am off to Shreveport. I am going to end the worst cocksucker’s undead life that walks the dark of the night and fears the light of the day.”

“You be needin’ some help?” O.I. grinned. “Always up for a good hunt and smack down. Can morphs into whatever is needed. Maybe somes he has killed in his unrighteous life. Could be lookin’ spook-tac-u-lar! He gots a braggin’ list?”

“Indeed he does,” Eric paused for a minute and gave that some thought.   “Indeed…he…does. Sounds most delightful,” Eric bowed with a great and sweeping gesture. “By all means, I feel the rising of the dead coming Compton’s way. With the ending of this dark, he shall never rise again.”

 

Bill was walking the highways and byways of Shreveport. “Not a bad city,” he kept assuring himself. “Not a great city, either. I remember when it was the jewel of Louisiana, and for two fabulous years was the capitol of this fine state. Damn Yankees,” he let his memories get the best of him as he complained to the night. “Could they just keep their prideful ways at home and leave us to our own business? No,” he hissed. “They had to bring their war mongering ways to the glorious South and push brother against brother. I remember the Kempner twins. One fought for the North. Broke his momma’s heart. That fine woman of the South declared he was dead and wore black. Of course, she was not boohooin’ so much when the Yankees came through and spared their  house and the barn because Colonel Kempner was so well thought of and had helped to blow the hell out of Mississippi. Damn traitor to his roots,” Bill took an imaginary swing at a ghost that still haunted him. “That was one of my finest nights, draining that traitor!” he chuckled to himself.

“I guess Shreveport is not so bad,” he was now walking through the waterfront district and sniffing for any lost coins on the ground. “I could probably tax the local vamps a bit more and see about glamouring the human business owners and make myself a nice nest egg. Of course, I would have to be watchin’ my back the entire time. I guess I could tell HRM that I need several deputies if a two front war is possible. Divide Area Five into sections and give each deputy an area to patrol. Have them report into me each evenin’ about any suspicious activities. That way I could report to her and ease her mind that her Northern border was still standin’ tall. Yes,” he nodded, “if I approach this like a military campaign, before I get dragged into one, this could be the answer. A show of force!

I am damn proud of myself for figurin’ that out before it got ugly. I should call HRM and tell what is goin’ to be needed to keep her kingdom in tact. I wonder if I should let her know Northman has met the true death?”

He was feeling very emboldened. From Sheriff to King…now that was doable. But he would need funding.   “I wonder if I should call Fangtasia and tell them they have a new owner?”

And soldiers… “I wonder if I should call the local packmaster and put him on high alert. That the new sheriff of Area Five demands his presence and loyalty.”

“Damn, that is a good plan. Eric had everythin’ he needed right here at his fingertips. He was not nearly as fucking smart as Sophie-Anne thought he was. I wonder if I played my cards right if I really could be king of Louisiana,” he said happily. When his phone rang, he jumped. “How does she know when I am plotting against her,” he hissed as the ring tone “Ding-dong the witch is dead…” was sung by a bunch of Munchkins.

“Your majesty…” he began.

“Yes I am so kiss my ass and listen up. I have been trying to reach Elisabeth. You just left there. Is all well?”

It was time to L.I.E.! “Your majesty, indeed I did. They were celebrating Northman’s burning when the sun reappeared this afternoon. It was very much a bacchanal. As I left, I believe I saw a vamp copulating with a Were such was the drunken revelry. No one is answering their phone. Thanks to my brilliant planning, Druid House’s medium was killed earlier and she will not be able to retaliate with ghosts.”

“But Elisabeth has her…” there was a heavy sigh from the Queen of Louisiana.

“Yes,” he nodded, believing this to be true.

“Take a message for me. I need to speak with Druid House. Elisabeth can bill me accordingly as the woman’s new manager. But I need a loan. Get back to me ASAP.”

The line went dead and Bill stood there staring at his phone. “Well, just fine, nothing about me being sheriff. That is good. I am still her procurer. That is even better. Back out to the country we shall go.”

Vamp speed, Bill followed the highway out of Shreveport. Turning onto Fox Lane he was still vamp speed to the river and then stopped and had a moment. “Where the fuck is the house?” he said as he did a slow three hundred and sixty degree turn. “I mean it,” he shook his fist and yelled up at the moon. “Where the fuck is the house? What type of treachery is this? You listen to me, you spell castin’ renegade lower than Were shit pieces of white trash magickers and cocksuckers to work you magic. You lift this!”

Bill thought he heard laughter and he was not amused!

Taking out his gris-gris bag, blessed by the voodoo priestess Mahai and guaranteed to break any spell that was encountered, he emptied it into his hand and threw it out onto the land. Nothing happened. “Odd,” he kicked at the ground and taking a step forward, all he could hear was the sounds of the river and the sleeping of the birds. “Am I in the wrong place?” Looking around there was nothing but old growth forests and quiet that refused to talk back to him. The kind of quiet that was a thousand of years in the making and unnerving. Like it new all your secrets and would blab to your momma!

It was time to L.I.E.! Taking out his phone, he called his queen.

“You Majesty,” he began. “They are not here. No one is here.”

“That fucking Elisabeth,” she was pacing, Bill could hear the click of her heals on the marble floor. He loved those black and white square marble floors. He hoped she was not damaging them!

“Took the money and ran did she? Figures!” Sophie-Anne hissed and hung up.

Putting his phone away, Bill took one last look around and shuddered. “Time to get my ass back to civilization. Shreveport…at least it has lights, runnin’ water and creature comforts. Because something here is not right.” And vamp speed he was gone.

The family was hovering up in the air out of Compton’s sight line. Sookie could not hear the conversation that Bill was having with himself, but the others could and Eric was keeping her filled in.

“Mo’ fo’n,” Lafayette shook his head. “Does he ever shut up?”

“No,” Eric responded. “He does not. But this is useful. One of the first he drained as vampire was a Union officer by the name of Kempner. Good to know.”

“Most excellent,” O.I. chuckled, “time to get our spook on!”

 

Bill was still rattled. “Things are not as they should be,” he kept repeating until he made the heart of Shreveport. “This city’s lights do bring a comfort to my soul,” he said as he ran his hand along a storefront. “The river is so peaceful and livin’ its own dream, I like that. Knowin’ that it has passed through here and will continue to do so,” as he walked past another restaurant and could see the people sitting out on the dock enjoying the night air and the view.

Turning away from the water front, he continued his amble down the sidewalk. Really? Was that a Yankee uniform? He saw someone…coming toward him in a Yankee uniform. And then he was not there.

“What?” he took a step back. “Was that someone in a Union blue officer’s uniform? And where did he go?”

“Colonel Kempner,” he heard someone call out. It was a woman’s voice. Probably Momma Kempner, now all gone to Heaven and feelin’ righteous! “That traitorous, murderin’, yellow bellied Compton is over here.”

“What?” Bill screeched. “No!” he whispered frantically looking around. “What horrible joke is this?”

He heard the soft Louisiana drawl in his ear. “You drained me, you yellow belly. I am now yours and you are my haunt!” he said gleefully. “Payback,” he chuckled and Bill felt himself being picked up by unseen hands and thrown into a wall. “Run,” he heard whispered in his ear as he was peeled off the bricks and then tossed up into the air where he was batted back down into the cement road, his entire body taking the full brunt of the impact!

“Run?” he wheezed out. “I…I can not…have mercy…” Bones were broken. He was pretty sure his neck had been damaged as well. He was doing well to pull himself up and hobble.

Staggering along, he made it to the end of the block and was resting in the shadows of a store front. “Hello Big Bill,” he heard her soft, accented voice and closed his eyes. Not wanting to look, but knowing who was standing there.

“Miss Monroe,” came the heavily Bostonian accent, “is this the cowardly scum that ended you life?”

“Why yes,” was her breathy reply. “William T. Compton. He was my agent for a while. Made me call him Big Bill, because he was not,” her laughter tinkled the shopkeeper’s bell hanging on the inside of the door. “Promised me the moon and gave me the grave, instead. I think you met him once. At your birthday party.”

“I did not like him then. His greasy smile and the way he pandered to you. Like you were a child not capable of making a decision. I like him even less, now.”

“No, no, no, no, no…” He found the strength to push away and he was vamp speed down the street but then slowed…at the corner…no…it could not be…there on the street corner playing a harmonica sat Janis!

“Big Billy,” she warbled through the mouth harp, “undead…still.” Tapping the instrument against her hand, she wrinkled her nose at him. “You smell. Like grave rot. Still not bathing, or changing your clothes, huh?”

“I always treated your right, Janis,” he simpered as he kneeled down beside her. “You know that. I was your biggest fan.”

“Well certainly you did,” was the gravelly reply and a low chuckle. “That is how I ended up dead in a rather inglorious manner. Found on the room of a motel floor. That is what happens when you trust someone else to get your drugs. Just what did you lace that with?”

“I did not…” he began.

“You know the thing about being dead Bill. You know when someone is lying to you. Sure could have used that when I was younger…and alive.”

“I…I…” he stared at her. “I miss your live music. Your voice was raw and powerful. The extra kick of heroin, I thought it would enhance your already charismatic aura.”

“Live music,” she hooted. “You miss my performing on stage. Wish you would have thought of that before you dosed my stuff. Poor Bill, still not your fault. I see your bullshit is still the same. I don’t miss that,” she grinned at him. “What I do miss is writing the poetry.”

“I used to write poetry,” he countered.

Snorting, she laughed and kept beat with the tapping of her foot. “I am sure you did. Sadly, there was no one to mess with your drugs and get you on the glory train. As in dead before you could be turned vampire.”

“You are not real,” Bill sobbed. “I have been put under a spell. Some powerful unnatural has done this to me!” With a stifled scream, he raced across the street and down the block. All he had to do was turn right onto St. James Street and there he saw it! His salvation. St. James Holy Evangelical Apostles Church. With a sigh of relief he sat down on the outside church steps, with his back against the door.

“I am safe here until sunrise,” he kept repeating as he watched approach the one who had started all of this. Here came Mr. Money Bags. In a sharp looking suit and smiling. Well hell yes, all the dead had a reason to smile, he could feel himself pulling back farther into the church’s door. They were all coming to see him!

“You planning on sitting here with what remains of the dark?” Lafayette asked as he walked up the steps. “You know daylight is coming on. Dangerous times for the likes of you.”

“You,” he pointed his finger at Lafayette, “this is all your fault! This is your doin’. I know it.”

“Well of course it is,” Lafayette chuckled. “You had me killed. You knew the curse. So own the curse and wear it until you meet the true death. Which is going to be shortly. I believe I heard this was going to be your last sunrise.”

“You cannot know that!” his hissed. “I have my own mysterious ways and powers. You don’t scare me!” he yelled at him shaking his fist.

“Really?” Lafayette laughed as he shifted to dragon. “Boo,” he said softly as his eyes held Bill’s and His La La Fineness turned on the glamour. “I claim and lay waste to your vampire speed and glamour. Live out the rest of your hours with your limited resources.”

Bill started screaming and started running.

Lafayette stood on the steps and watched Bill cry as he stumbled his way down the steps and out into the deserted city streets.

“He has sure ‘nuff gots himself the serious case of the boo hoo’s. Mr. Eric’s you’s is on.”

“Thank you Lafayette,” Eric grinned. “I have this.”

What was left of the dark, Eric followed Bill around. Whispering in his ear when he slowed down, throwing things at him when he stopped to wipe the tears from his eyes. Lafayette and O.I. were impersonating dead folks at street corners and yelling at Bill to get him to change the direction he was going. Slowly and carefully they were herding him toward Jasper Street and the building that he had owned and sat in and impersonated European royalty while he scammed the good people of Shreveport.

“Sun is up in fifteen minutes,” Eric grinned, “time to go one-on-one.”

“Sun is getting ready to come up,” Bill was openly weeping. “What am I…oh…” he let go of a sigh of relief. “My building…my great and good investment…oh fuck…” he took a step back as he watched the tall blond approach. “Northman! I did not kill Northman!” he said shaking his fist at the sky. “He was silvered and met the true death.”

“You are correct Bill,” Eric replied as he approached. “You did not. True death. Not likely. Here I stand.”

“Not possible, I saw you. You were at true death’s door when I left.”

“Left where?” Eric grinned.

“Why…the mansion out in the country…” Bill’s voice sounded scared and then his mind grasped what he had tried to forget and his body shivered in fright. Was he going crazy? Had his blood been tainted? Was someone mind fucking with him? If they were, they had better stop! He was, after all, William T. Compton! No one mind fucked him!

“There was,” he said with conviction, “a fine old mansion out in the country. And you were there. Dying. You were to be the sacrifice to the dragon god or maybe the sun god, not for sure…” he sighed, looking lost and confused. “I was never for sure about that. I think it was because Elisabeth was not for sure…” his voice trailed off. “Does not matter. I am sheriff now,” he pushed out his chest. “This town and Area Five is mine. So is Fangtasia. You are just a ghost. You need to go haunt someplace else.”

Eric picked Bill up by the neck and squeezed as his fangs dropped. “Billy Boy,” he smiled, “does this feel like a ghost?”

“No,” he managed to choke out, “that…” he coughed and sputtered, “that feels real enough.”

Eric let go and Bill dropped to the ground. “You are not crazy Bill. What you are experiencing is just some good old fashioned dragon magic.”

“Now you are fucking with me,” Bill grinned. “And you really are Eric Northman, fucking with me?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded.

“Good,” Bill grinned. “This is the first thing that has gone right in a while. If you are Eric, you know sunrise is comin’ on. A horizon event, I believe you are so found of sayin’.”

“Correct,” Eric nodded.

“Then you are a fool, Eric, and I am glad that I am leading you to your true death. You are goin’ burn in the glorious sunlight while I rise to a new dark.”

“No,” Eric smiled at him and straightened out the collar on his Polo shirt. “I am a day walker, Bill.”

“I have gone crazy,” Compton hooted. “But even in my insanity your ego is still so large that it encompasses the morning sky line. Oh Eric…” he sighed as he pushed against the tea room door and ran inside.

“What?” he screeched. “Where is my hidey hole?”

“Horizon event, Bill,” Eric grinned and walked in. “Let us go greet the sun, together.”

“No,” he sobbed. “No please. You cannot do this, I don’t want to die with you.”

“Believe me,” Eric chuckled. “That is not going to happen. But watch the sun rise, yes. So come along,” Eric was once more carrying him by the neck with his feet dangling off the ground. “We don’t want to dirty these nice ladies tea room. I had tea here and it was lovely. Now outside we go and listen, the birds are beginning to wake up. Here comes the sun, Bill, and it is glorious.”

“What?” there was horror in his voice. “You really are a day walker!”

“True,” Eric’s smile got bigger as he tossed Bill into a dumpster and with a great deal of satisfaction, listened to Bill scream in pain as his body blistered, oozed out and then caught fire.

Eric took out his phone and dialed 9-11. “I need to report a fire in a dumpster,” he said as he watched Bill and the trash that was in the container burn. “It is just about out,” he said and with a mighty breath blew out what was left of the flames. “But I thought it needed to be reported.” Giving the address he hung up.

“Breakfast anyone?” he asked the happy group.

“Sheeweeeeee stinks somethin’ powerful,” Lafayette said holding his nose.

“Let us be someplace else,” Eric nodded. “I can hear the sirens and around the corner is a busted door to the tea room. Vamp speed.” And poof! They were gone!

 

 

Breakfast was a jovial affair. The Paulette Mansion in New Orleans was serving a breakfast buffet and they all agreed it was very fine indeed.

“So just what did Mr. Hayes shoot you up with?” Lafayette asked as he buttered his French toast and then poured on the maple syrup. “If it was not silver.”

“Apparently, there are silver hard sugar balls that are used in confectionaries. He melted those down with some water. I was having something of a sugar reaction. Because he did not work for Elisabeth, he felt no need to abide by her wishes. But he wanted her to believe that he did.”

“Very believable,” Sookie was sipping her coffee and deciding what to have next. “You looked awful. I was worried for you.”

“Well thank you. But I am a very fine actor. That performance was good, but not nearly the award winning performance I gave before I ended Katrina, Queen Bitch of the Continent. Everyone that was in attendance tells me that they still cry at my heartfelt words and declared declarations of love. Damn, even I was impressed with the way I handled her. Those lessons with Stanislavski really paid off.”

Sookie may have rolled her eyes as they sat out on the rooftop admiring the view of the ocean.

“This is very fine indeed, but I could go home,” she sighed as she sipped her pumpkin spice latte. “I am just sorry Mr. Hayes would not join us and that he wanted to be dropped off at the house instead. We certainly are not at all grand and what he is used to working with. Despite that, I hope he does not see what all needs to be done and decides to look elsewhere for employment.”

“Been talking to Samuel,” Eric said as he put more strawberries on his plate. “He has the gold ready for Mr. Hayes. Whenever you are ready, we can be that way.”

“Finish breakfast,” Sookie patted his hand. “I like the idea of helping small businesses. Lafayette, what say you? I think we should make that happen.”

“Likin’ that, Miss Sooks,” he nodded. “Helpin’ those that need and can’t seem to make it happen.”

“We will talk with Samuel,” Eric added. “He has an excellent business model that he uses. It will certainly work for us.”

 

 

 

Sookie passed on seeing New Orleans. “Lafayette, if you want to stay, I can understand. Nice shops, you have money, you can feed your inner fashionesta.”

“Miss Sooks, this here shoe whore can wait a righteous day or so before I needs to shop. Let us heads for home.”

 

Sookie grinned when they sat down in front of the old farmhouse. “Adventuring is fine,” she ran her hand across the top of the handrail along the porch. “But it is good to be home.”

“Welcome,” Mr. Hayes said opening the front door. “Please Miss Sookie, I have prepared a slight repast. And made a list for the kitchen.”

“I can show you how to order those things that are more exotic on line,” Eric said walking up the steps.

“On line?” Sookie eyed him.

“Welcome to the 21st century Miss Stackhouse,” Eric bowed his head to her. “Our first calls today are to the wire heads who will put your home on the grid.”

 

After their light repast, Sookie went to the kitchen to show Mr. Hayes the ins and outs of her stove and how to coax the oven to light. He wanted to bake a cake and the oven would not stay lit.

“There is a trick to it,” she sighed. “The first thing you have to do is hold your mouth just right…”

The other three were in the living room, sipping on their favorite alcoholic beverage.

Eric had talked during lunch about his life as a Viking. He was still fielding questions.

Lafayette asked Eric, “Were you a king?”

“What?” he drew back. “No…I mean…no. I was clan chieftain after my father died. And I died about a year after that. Why?”

“Just wondering,” Lafayette replied. “You have a son while you were human? Someone to pass the chief’s linage or peerage or something like that on too?”

Eric let go of a small laugh. “My grandmother, she was the wise woman of our clan. She would tell me my future and sometimes my past and sometimes my present. But her favorite was:

When you sit upon the high seat

And look to the sky of blue

Reflected back upon the water

Is your wife and son standing next to you.

“Interesting,” Lafayette replied. “So she knew.”

“Knew what?”

“Your future.

Has I said too much?” he asked looking at O.I.

“Don’t think so,” the small dragon shook his head no. “He already knew that truth. You just actin’ as a reminder.”

“What truth? What reminder?” Eric asked standing up and going over to Lafayette.

“That men with heirs to a throne, there is someone always trying to kill them or their offspring so that their destiny cannot come to its fullness.”

“Nicely put, my big mans,” O.I. nodded.

“Thanks, Poppy,” Lafayette grinned.

“Poppy,” Sookie grinned coming back into the living room. “I like the sound of that. Lafayette, I especially like hearing you say it.”

The life long friends grinned at each other.

“What were you all talkin’ about?”

“Grandmothers,” Lafayette responded. “Sookie, did Gran ever talk about your future?

“Well,” she looked sheepish. “There was the little poem she would say to me:

When you sit upon the high seat

And look to the sky of blue

Reflected back upon the water

Is your husband and son standing next to you.

Eric looked over at her, with his mouth open. “My gran would say that to me!”

“Well yes, my grandchildren,” there stood the older woman, known to both as Gran, shimmering in the light. She had been a beacon of power and might to one young man a thousand years ago and a savior and guide to one young woman present day. “You two were my everything. And I gave to you the only thing that I had. My love.”

Blowing each of them a kiss, there were shimmering dust motes where the woman had stood.

“That’s my Gran,” Eric and Sookie both said together, looking at each other. “Mo’ fo’n!” was shouted out into the universe.

 

When the sun went down vampires came out to play. When HRM Sophie-Anne rose, there was one pissed off Viking standing over her with a stake stuck into her heart.

“I hear you thought my true death was a good idea and was going to replace me with Compton,” Eric smiled sweetly at her.

“No, oh no Eric,” she gasped, horrified. “Who would start such ugly rumors about me,” she sniffled, bloody tears seeping from her eyes.

“Elisabeth is dead. Along with all her other guests who spent the eclipse with her. She paid Compton to kill Mr. Money Bags. That did not end well for her. And Bill, ghosts took him to his true death. I understand even President Kennedy took a swing at him.”

“Really? Jack?” she hiccupped.

“M-m-m-m,” Eric nodded. “There was something about Compton mumbling that you paid him to get rid of the President because you had the hots for Miss Monroe.”

“I would never Eric,” she was shaking her head, tears flowing more heavily. “I am a trusted and true citizen of this country. I would never.”

Eric nodded and withdrew the stake. Taking her by the hand he helped her up out of her coffin.

“If you ever give me any reason to doubt your loyalty to me,” Eric backed her up against a wall, “I will keep you alive for centuries, doing unspeakable things to you. Do we understand each other?”

“Yes your majesty,” her voice shook as her courtesy took her deep to the floor. “Long live the King!” she shouted. When she looked up, he was gone.

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Just a small something in memory of Nelsan Ellis. May his good works inspire us to do the same.

I thought this would be someplace nice to stop the story. Sookie and His La La Fineness shall be around to witness many more settings of the sun. Eric shall ponder the truth of the poem and O.I. shall from time-to-time stir the pot. Oh, O.I. just gave me a nudge and a wink and said and I quote “Consider the mo’ fo’n pot stirred!”

I will once more be on the editing-my-own trail. Damn, I hate that path…lolololol…hopefully I do not get distracted by ANYONE suggesting an Eric or Sookie one liner saying…???????   Lolololool….

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

Not A Chapter!

 

welcome-to-fall-modifiedDear Readers,

As stated in the title…not a chapter.

Had a wonderful week of anniversary instead! Woohoo!

Mr. Bill has blessed me with the forty best years of my life! And it still strikes my heart that he wants to come home to me. How I do love that man!

Next Monday….the end of Compton…or so I am believing. And it shall be a star studded adventure…Billy the Boob is going to wish he had fallen down the rabbit hole with Alice…or stayed in OZ…he is such a flying monkey’s poo-flingng doppelgänger !

Hope your Labor Day Weekend was fab-u-lous! Good-bye summer….hellllllllooooooooo Fall!

All the best to you and yours!

Carroll

PS….this leaf is from last year…but no touch up on that leaf..it was as God intended!

 

With the Setting of the Sun—Chapter 7

with the setting of the sun:in memory of

 

 Chapter 7

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.

Chapter 7

Sookie was doing her best to maintain. Tears, laughter, hysteria, rune magic, it all paled to what was going on at the moment!

There was Eric, chained to the wall with just a flimsy silver cord. The-never ending Viking war machine was captured with just some delicate ribbon, it looked like to her. Of course, there was the smell of burning flesh from time-to-time so it must have the desired effect on him.

There was Bill Compton, the low life piece of Were shit that had killed her brother…or…where ever Lafayette was now…down on his knees and giving Eric a blow job!

Nora was screaming at the top of her lungs for Bill to hurry up and for Eric to hurry up and why did she have to bear the burden of the family’s good name!

And on top of all of that, Eric was in her head doing an imitation of a Southern Gentleman with a heavy Georgia drawl discussing the proper way to give a blow job and Compton must have never received one or given one in his human or undead life.

“Stop it,” she hissed back at him. “I am gonna’ bust a gut over here to keep from laughin’ out loud.”

“Why Miss Stackhouse…I am shocked that you find watching two guys well you know….” he gasped, “do things that happen in porn movies, funny!

Believe me, this is not funny. Very sad. And very un-porn like. Compton has no-o-o-o-o skills.”

“I mean it,” she threw back at him. “DO NOT!” and then she had a coughing fit to cover the laughter that had to escape.

“Odd just continues to happen,” Eric chuckled when the door opened and Sookie, against her better judgment, just had to look. There stood…well…that would have to be a Spanish Senorita in full 18th century regalia. To include black lace fan and a black lace mantilla, draped over a diamond studded peineta that was about a foot tall resting in her upswept, overdone, dyed black hair. “This,” Eric chuckled in her head, “is the Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed.”

“Darling,” she cooed to Nora as she approached her. “Why so angry? Why so loud? Why so un-lady like? I had no idea you knew such foul words. And…how many times did you utter Were shit? Why darling one, what you said from your mouth, I would not hold in my hand,” she tisked under her breath and looked forlorn.

“I am so sorry, Elizabeth,” she reached for her. “So sorry for all the ugliness. I know how much you dislike that. I am just trying to finish up this wretched business before I sent Compton up to you.”

“Yes,” she laughed, “I can see he has his mouth full. But dearest, you have no need to sorrow. The Viking is actually here! You have accomplished what I thought would never be possible. You are my lovely one,” she sighed as she pulled Nora in for a kiss.

Then it just all went to hell as she staked Nora with her fan.

“But, but you love me,” the dying vampire gasped out.

“I know,” the Countess kissed her again. “I do. But I love to be dressed in your blood even more,” she smiled gently at Nora as she pushed her tongue into Nora’s mouth.

“Bitch,” she managed to moan and Elizabeth bit her tongue and felt the blood flow and fill her mouth.

“Yes I am, dearest,” she patted her face with her other hand.

“No,” Nora was now sobbing. “Please, no. I am begging you. I gave you Eric…”

“Yes you did my sweet child,” as she licked the bloody tears from Nora’s face and then pushed the fan through Nora’s heart.

There was one final sob of “Bitch!” before Nora exploded and Nora goo went everywhere.

“Nicely done,” Eric commented to the countess with a bow of his head. “All though, I was looking forward to ending her myself.”

“Eric,” she walked toward him and pushed Compton down onto the floor out-of-the-way. “We could have saved all this trouble if only,” she sighed, “if only you would just have returned my calls,” she grinned at him as she admired his crotch.

“Bethie,” he sadly shook his head. “You realize you are covered in Nora goo. And frankly, that is just not your best look and is not at all appealing.”

“Oh Eric really,” she huffed. “Of course it is. I am the Blood Queen. And did you do her hair?” she asked pointing to Sookie.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Exquisite,” she said clasping her hands to her breast. “You have such a gift.”

“I was a sailor,” he responded. “Knots were my specialty.”

“I have heard you have many specialties,” her voice was low and soft.

“I am not fucking you Bethie,” he stated, his voice and face set.

“Oh Eric,” she sighed. “Why would you say such a thing? You know,” she grinned, “I could just fall on that staff you have sticking out.”

“I do not associate with mass murderers,” he smiled at her.

“Seriously,” she laughed out loud and then frowned. The staff had disappeared.

“Do you want me to rephrase that?” he arched an eyebrow at her. “I was being polite. After all, we do have company. Would you want Druid House to know you have drained thousand of innocents just so you could bathe in their blood?”

“Well,” she tapped Eric with her fan, “when you put it that way that is not who I would want for a next door neighbor, either.”

“Point made,” Eric replied.

“Well pox upon it all, Eric,” she pouted. “I wanted to be your last.”

“My last what?” he queried.

“Sexual partner. I need you drained of your seed, your essence, you know, your man stuff. We have about ten minutes before the horizon event and then we have tomorrow night and then…well. You are out of time.”

“Man stuff,” he chuckled. “Just what is this about?”

“The solar eclipse. I need you for the sacrifice. And apparently I now have a virgin to offer up as well. Although not called for in the prophecy, I don’t see how it could hurt.”

“Prophecy?” Eric rolled his eyes. “You spent entirely too much time with the whoring priestess Nora.”

“No, not Nora…” she rolled her eyes. “The Were shit that child believed. No,” she placed her hand on Eric’s chest and let it linger there.

When Eric shook his head, she sadly withdrew it.

“In the Cordillera Cantabrian,” she said trilling all the r’s, “a cave was found.”

“In the Pyrenees,” Eric said looking at Sookie.

“This is my story, Eric, and I should have your complete and undivided attention,” she lightly tapped his face with her fan to bring him back to her.

“Sadly I am running out of dark, so I will just cut to the chase. The scrolls said that if you sacrifice a vampire magicker during the total eclipse, then his essence, I just want to stress that…the scroll said his. I am not just picking on you. I could have gone with a female if that was what the prophecy called for.

Anyway, the male shall go from human form to that of a dragon and he shall be mine to command. And the virgin just makes this perfect. She shall be chained and you shall have her as your first meal as dragon. I would think that would endear you to me even more and as a dragon you would want nothing more than to please me.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Eric rolled his eyes, again.

“No, and stop with the eye rolling. You are completely discounting everything I am saying with such an act.

Now, Nora told me that you have some type of beyond the norm vampire magic. She did not know what it was but she heard you and Godric talking about it one time.”

“What?” Eric sputtered.

“Well, maybe she was eavesdropping, she was not real clear about where she was when she heard it.”

“You mean because I can fly and she could not! Is that what this is about? She was jealous of me and my child because we could both fly and she could not!” Eric rolled his eyes again. “Fucking Were shit,” he hissed.

“I don’t know why she did not like Pamela,” Elizabeth was shaking her head, questions in her voice. “I find her to be most delightful. Very smart and very sexual. And up for anything. Literally. And enjoys everything.

And…” she hemmed and hawed…. “not that you would know,” she frowned at him, “But, I am an animal in bed and earlier tonight Pam and I were sharing an intimate moment afterwards and even she said you had something that at times would just about scare the human back into her.”

“What!” he yelled. “She did what?”

“Did she also tell you that we do not fuck skanks?”

The room stopped breathing. That would be Sookie.

Bethie and Bill both took a breath and stared in disbelief at Eric’s crotch.

“Was…was that your penis?” Elisabeth asked, her voice trembling.

“It was,” Bill said nodding his head. “It was, I swear. I saw the mouth move and everything. I swear,” he said crawling a bit closer. “My gawd,” he giggled, “I sucked a penis that can talk!”

“Eric…” Elisabeth leaned in for a closer look. “Does your penis talk?”

Before Eric could response, King Eric stepped up!

“Of course I do. I am King Eric and I have talked since we dug out the first night of being vampire.” Hissing, King Eric dropped his fangs and lunged at Compton who yelped and scrambled back out-of-the-way.

“You suck at giving blow jobs!” he snarled at Bill and then turned to the Countess. “And I don’t do skanks. I have done the world a favor and from time to time I have gutted my fair share.”

“What?” Elisabeth took a step back.

“No one suspects me. Eric had a knife made especially for me. If I had not left it at home, oh woe is me, we would not be here at this moment.”

“I think that nicely makes my point,” Elisabeth laughed out loud but to be on the safe side took another step back. “Now, I have three hundred Weres guarding this place and Eric, I know your child ratted you out but in bed, But please keep in mind I am a powerful force of nature. She could not help talking about you. Especially when I plied her with my special ops training interrogation. I led her gently down the path of telling me everything I wanted to know. Indeed, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And in our undead heart, you would not want her to be tortured.”

“Don’t count on that,” he made a scary vampire face to enforce his words.

“Oh come on!” she said stamping her foot. “You really are no fun. I have no idea what all your hype is about. The Viking, this; The Viking that! Straddle him and you have bragging rights forever!”

She was back to staring at his crotch. “Just as dead down there as your unbeating heart. Well this just sucks,” she pouted.

“Bill, release the human from her restraints. No reason she should not be able to rest and be comfortable before she becomes Eric’s first meal as dragon.”

“I am beginning to think Bethie, that you are just bat-shit crazy. Does Sophie-Anne know she is going to be without a sheriff?” his voice was pointed and dripped displeasure.

“I chatted with her briefly this new dark. Of course she does. Bill is going to take your place.”

“What?” Bill gasped and froze in place. “No,” he said shaking his head, his hands trembling as he untied Sookie. “No, not area Five and not me,” he said sobbing. “Please, I have served you well. No, please…I am begging.”

Elisabeth was staring at Bill, then shifted her gaze to Eric, then back at Bill. “What is up with that, Bill? I thought you would be pleased. It is a step up for you. Out of the residence and out into the world where you can make a name for yourself.”

Eric was now laughing. “Oh, the name he wants for himself is King. Billy Boy thinks he can poison HRM’s bloodbags with silver and then take over.

Poor Bill,” Eric made a sad face and winked at him. “Area Five. You will be finally dead before the first week ends. The Lower Californias have been skulking around. And I saw New Mexico in New Orleans the other night. He was in a disguise so he had not checked in with HRM. Just a friendly heads up. You will be fighting a two front war.”

“Well,” Elisabeth regarded the New Orleans ass kisser. “That certainly changes things, Bill. Looks like you will be standing tall on your way out of this life. If you are going to meet the true death, this must be the will of the dragon gods and I am not one to interfere with the will of the gods. Now sunrise is knocking at the door.

Eric, give some thought to what you wish to do your last night.”

There was something that sounded like and felt like thunder that rocked through the house.

“Storm tonight?” the Countess asked looking around.

“No,” Eric shook his head and grinned. “Someone tried to open my cell phone. It blew up, along with anyone who was standing within twenty feet.”

“Bad boy,” she grinned at him. “But I like it! I am so going to miss you, Eric.

Now, bedtime has arrived. When we rise with the new dark, how about an evening of charades?” she smiled nodding her head. “We shall do nothing but movies. We all love the movies!” she said happily and clapped her hands.

Mr. Hayes appeared at the door. “Madame, Compton. It is time to retire,” he said holding the door open wide and bowed as they passed by.

“Awww,” the tall, thin, gentleman smiled as he watched them depart. “There goes Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Druid House,” his attention was back on the two in the room. “I have been instructed that you are to have the run of the mansion. I would, however not venture outside. There are Weres. Hundreds of them. Especially since you are dressed…well, not conservatively.

Mr. Eric, sadly, I am going to inject you with this silver which will slow you down and cause you to be a bit pukish. On the bright side,” he said withdrawing the syringe, “you are to be left unchained as well,” he said undoing the silver cording. “With the silver in your blood stream, if you stay awake chances are good you will bleed out. Do you really want that? Such an unholy and cowardly way to greet the true death. You strike me as one who greets death with both eyes open and fighting to the very end to do damage.

There,” he smiled as he walked over to the glass wall and pushed buttons. “This room will be light tight in a manner of moments. Rest well this day.

Miss Druid House, if you would come with me. I will escort you back to your rooms. I would suggest that you rest. With the new dark will come a never-ending game of charades. It is wearisome but not a bad way to spend your last night alive.”

 

Sookie slept off and on and would mind flash Eric when she was awake. He seemed to be in a never, never land of dark dreams and views of the fjords that would quiet him when his body would react to the silver.

Getting up, Sookie pulled on her robe and roamed the house until she finally found Mr. Hayes in the kitchen.

“May I see him?” she asked. “Eric, may I see him?”

“You are very kind,” he smiled at her and patted her on the hand. “You would have made a lovely mom.”

“Yes well,” Sookie said wiping at the tears that were falling, “I though I had more time.”

“Please don’t cry,” he sighed. “I am a sucker for women who cry.”

“I am doing my best not too,” she replied. “This is not my style, to cry in front of people I do not know.”

“That tuff shell business persona must be maintained at all costs,” he said nodding in understanding. “I get that.”

“Yes,” she sighed. “It must. As odd as it sounds, Eric is the last person I have had any type of real contact with…you know made a connection. I know he is charming and beguiling and all that. But once you get past the vampire, he has some real life skills. Being a Viking was very good for him.”

“I know what you mean,” he nodded. “Miss Nora, she talked about her brother all the time. And not all of it was snark. She had a real deep and abiding respect for him when she was not raving and swearing about Miss Pamela.”

“What are you gonna’ do now that she is gone?” Sookie asked as he offered her his arm and escorted her out of the kitchen and towards the back of the house.

“I have no idea. The Countess, she has her own way of doing things and her own staff who knows her likes and dislikes. Miss Nora kept me around because she thought she had to have a servant as well.”

“Well you are up during the day, that has to be useful,” Sookie replied.

“It is, but I come with conditions. I am a home-dwelling spirit. I don’t mean like a ghost. Maybe more like a genie,” he gave that some thought and nodded in agreement with his words. “But I have to have a house to dwell in. So I can’t run errands. I am stuck here until my person, who was Miss Nora, says it is time to move on or my contract runs out. Since she is dead, I will be here until someone pays me in gold coin to work for them and then I shall be off to whatever their destination happens to be.”

“Wow,” Sookie regarded him. “So, are you like the lucky horseshoe that hangs over the door?”

“Something like that,” he smiled and blushed.

“And you don’t think the Countess wants a lucky horseshoe?”

“She would never part with her gold. So when they move on I shall be here,” he said as he stood up taller and squared his shoulders. “Believe me, I would rather be here by myself than be with her. She is a true abomination.”

“All by yourself…?” her voice faltered.

“Yes,” he patted her arm. “I still have a hundred years on my contract to Miss Nora. But do not worry for me. I shall weather this storm, just like I have others.”

“Have you really?” Sookie asked, stopping and looking in his eyes. “Been left alone like this before?”

“No,” he blinked back the tears as he opened the door into the hallway that was now light tight as well. Closing that door, he opened the door to the pool room and as they walked, the lights came on.

“I will leave you to sit with him,” he smiled at her and bowed his head.

Sookie pulled up a chair and taking Eric’s hand, she felt him squeeze hers. “This place is probably wired,” he said inside her head.

“How are you doin’”, she softly stroked his hand.

“Good question. I can feel something more moving around inside of me. But it does not feel like when I have been wrapped in silver. This is not desperate or deadly. At least I don’t think so.”

“Do you think Hayes watered down the silver?” she asked. “Or maybe did not use any at all?”

“Is that possible?” Eric responded.

“Maybe,” raising his hand she brought it to her lips and kissed it. “And I have been thinkin’ about what you said. My magic. I can tell there are no type of ley lines around this house. None. This is like an empty tomb. Everything is dead and decaying.

However, I have been constructing my own ley line inside my head, using the runes.”

“No fooling,” his laughter inside her head filled her with joy.

“No foolin’,” she responded and kissed his hand again. “If I can construct a crossroads, why we just might be able to beat the devil at his own game. Figuratively speakin’ of course.”

“Oh no,” Eric’s voice full of humor. “Bethie is, if not the devil, a devil. Make no mistake. She is evil.

So what else did you learn today?”

“Mr. Hayes, he is for sale. I am not for real sure exactly what he is, but he sells himself to a person for gold and he is bound to whatever house they are livin’ in for a period of time. That must be negotiated. Now that Nora is dead, he is still bound to this house because his contract with her is up. For him to be able to leave earlier than that, he can sell his butler services to someone for gold. But he has said that he won’t be leavin’ here with the Countess. She won’t part with her gold and I am of the opinion he thinks she is an evil slut.”

“Well, he would be correct, she is. And that is interesting. So he what? Remains here? By himself?”

“Yes,” Sookie replied. “I have been thinkin’. I could use a helper around the house. If…if Lafayette and I,” she sobbed but for only a second, “if we are gonna’ be givin’ out low-interest loans to small businesses, then I am gonna’ need someone to take care of the house.”

“Well. When the eclipse rolls around tomorrow, afterwards, we shall approach Mr. Hayes about employment.”

“That’s great,” Sookie replied in her head. “I hate the idea of leaving anyone behind. And speaking of which, any idea where Pam is?” she asked.

“Yes, there is a tunnel running from the kitchen to the tool shed, over by the barn. She is in the tunnel. Silvered, but nothing she stresses she cannot handle. And she says she never ratted me out to Bethie. I knew she had not but all must be believable. “

“But she and the Countess, they are lovers?”

Eric chuckled. “Lover denotes some type of relationship.” Then in a very serious voice he continued. “They are sex partners. They have a physical, in the moment, no kiss, just finish and get the fuck out rapport.” Eric grinned at her and opened his eyes and then promptly closed them. “The Countess has been dosed with silver. Pamela is no fool and extremely devious.”

“You run with a tough crowd,” she patted his hand. “I like it.”

There was a knock at the door and Mr. Hayes let himself in, the flashlight giving Sookie a beacon to follow. “Lunch is ready. If you would please follow me.”

 

Lunch was medium rare prime rib with a twice-baked potato and a strawberry spinach salad.

And a melody of squashes. Sookie did not think that she liked squash. These squash had been deep-fried with a tempura batter and placed on top of a heavy cream, cream cheese and ricotta cheese mixture that had been baked. Back before cholesterol, Gran used to make a wilted salad. Over the salad, Gran would pour a hot mixture that was, vinegar, a little sugar, bacon grease and crumbled up bacon. Something very similar to what had been doused liberally on her slice. For a vegetable cheese cake, she thought it was not so very bad and managed to eat all of it.

“Would you like an aperitif?” Mr. Hayes asked as he pulled out her chair and offering her his arm, escorted her to the fireplace.

Sookie settled in and looked at him. “Offering a girl her final meal?”

“We have a lemon cream cake for dessert,” he said with a bow of his head. “I would suggest the Limón cello to go with it. And coffee. I will brew a fresh pot.”

“You did not answer my question,” Sookie regarded him. “And yes to the dessert and nice things that go with it.”

“Madame,” he smiled at her. “Last meal? I have no idea. Will Mr. Northman turn to dragon? I have no idea. If he does turn to dragon, will he eat you? I have no idea.”

At that time a Were stepped in and wolf whistled. “So this is why we were told to stay out of the house,” he grinned as his eyes went to Were orange and he approached Sookie.

There was the poof of a silencer and the Were died instantly. Mr. Hayes slipped the gun back into the holster inside his jacket.

“I am so sorry,” he said with a sigh and a bow of his head to Sookie. “One in the back of the head and it leaves no blood spatter. Just let me remove him and I will get you dessert.”

“Thank you Mr. Hayes,” she said as he grabbed the Were by the feet and pulled him from the room.

“Dam-m-m-m-m-m-n,” blew out of Sookie’s mouth before she had a chance to react. Looking around, sure enough, there was nothing to indicate that the Were had been shot and killed in this room. Or in front of her.

Taking a deep breath she tried to relax. Counting to ten and taking a calming breath, when she opened her eyes she heard the tea trolley coming her way. Mr. Hayes pushed in through the door with something that looked like more than lemon cream cake! And not just the Limón cello. There were several decanters that looked like they held whiskeys. “Okay, I can roll with that,” she said to herself when the cart stopped in front of her and Mr. Hayes began dishing up her dessert.
“Madame, I would suggest you rest after you have finished. It will do you a world of good and you will need to be at your finest tonight. For all her pandering, the Countess does not like humans unless she is bathing in their blood. She has been using only soap and water since she arrived here. And she believes no one has more money than she does,” he said with a wise nod of his head, pouring her a glass of what looked like purple fairy dust. “So you are of no value to her.”

“Good to know,” she sighed. “And that’s lovely,” she smiled when he handed her the glass. “What a lovely shade of….purple…?”

“Yes, thank you,” he said looking very pleased. “A little something I decanted, myself. It is a vodka based with purple grapes settled in the bottom. And that really is silver floating in it, giving it that sparkle. You should be safe enough around the Countess. She will smell the silver if she decides to open one of your veins and then drop you.”

“Thanks,” Sookie was wide-eyed as he handed her a full wine glass.

“When she tosses you aside, just let her huff and puff and say nothing while she vents about humans and their trickster ways. She will move on and remember that she wants to play charades. She won’t invite you to play at that point so just sit quietly, read a book, and don’t fall asleep until she retires and takes Compton with her. I don’t trust him.”

“Thank you for being so good to me,” her voice was sincere. “I appreciate that. I just want you to know.”

“Just drink up, there’s a lovely lady,” he said as he blushed. “And you just might all survive this.”

 

Sookie woke up when there was a knock on her door.

“Vampires are rising,” Mr. Hayes said sticking his head in. “It is almost ten. Come down to the kitchen and get something to eat. Around midnight, the games shall begin.”

 

When Sookie entered the library, the vamps were already present. Saying good evening, she started to walk past when the Countess’ hand snaked out and grabbed her by the throat. Baring her fangs and pulling Sookie in close, she smiled at her and said, “You don’t mind, do you?”   Taking a whiff along her neck she threw her to the floor.

“Bitch!” she screeched, “you reek of silver!”

“Yes,” was all Sookie said as she stood and made her way to the chair by the fire.

“Bring in Northman,” she said with disgust in her voice. “We will let him feed from her. A little more silver will do him a world of good.”

“Okay Sookie,” she fixed the rune crossroads in her mind, “neutralize the silver in your blood stream. Pull it all to my toenails and pass out of me and let it collect in my shoes.”

When Eric shuffled in, he looked haggard and worn. “I’m fine,” he flashed Sookie. “Really. Just a bit of acting.”

“I am draining the silver out of my body,” she replied. “So I am not gonna be chatty now. I am at the rune crossroads.”

“Got it,” he replied.

“Eric,” the Countess stood and approached him. “We have a meal for you. I think it best we whet your appetite with Druid House. That way, when you morph to dragon, you will already have had a taste and will want more. “

“I can smell her silvered blood from here,” he smirked as he stopped and stood in front of the Countess.

“Well yes,” she grinned. “We cannot very well have you rescuing your child and leaving me here with no dragon to command, now can we. And how is King Eric? And your man-ness wetness. You need to tell King Eric to spit that stuff out so that I can have my dragon.”

With a growl, Eric pushed Elisabeth out-of-the-way. “Miss House,” he said extending his hand. “If you would allow me,” he said turning the chair toward the fire with the back of it to the group.

“Oh come on,” the Countess stomped her foot. “We want the show.”

“Fuck you,” Eric replied flipping her the finger. Picking Sookie up he sat her down on his lap.

“If I might?” they all heard him ask with a low, sexy drawl.

“Yes,” Sookie was heard to mumble, “of course.”

Repeatedly licking her wrist in a slow, easy fashion, he prolonged the bite until she gave him the go-ahead the silver was now gone.

“Excellent,” he sighed as he bit. “Now, do we want to leave here tonight or tomorrow during the eclipse?”

“Won’t they have you chained in silver?” she asked. “And me tied up?”

“Yes, that is possible,” he was chuckling. “But the Countess loves the show. I am now silvered nicely through out. Just think on it as basting a slow roasting pig. She will have me stretched out on the table and you in the room. For those mere moments, she wants me to chase you around the room and maybe outside and provide some entrainment. Just like in the movies.

If I do not morph to dragon, I am so poisoned that I will not be able to escape the sun and she will have her spectacle with me burning and her having bragging rights about how she brought the true death to The Viking. She is that predictable. I am willing to bet the odds.”

“Well, alright then,” Sookie sighed. “I stand with you.”

“Most excellent,” Eric replied as he took one last mouthful of Sookie goodness and then healed the wounds.

They both sat in front of the fire as Elisabeth tried to shame folks into playing charades. You could hear her cussing and complaining. A constant stream of chatter as she prodded those vampires into playing her favorite game.

“Eric,” she finally stood up and walked over to them. “Stop playing with the human…” she stopped when she stepped in front of the chair. Sookie was still in his lap, but she was asleep. Eric was looking like death. There were dark circles under his eyes and his eyes were no longer the lustrous blue. His hands trembled a bit, his lips were dark, almost black.

“I need you to be alive come the eclipse,” she said kneeling down in front of him.

“You should have thought of that before you poisoned me,” he hissed back.

“Give me the human,” she said reaching for her. “I can get you…”

“No,” he spit at her. “She is warm and I have reached a new depth of cold! You leave her the fuck alone,” he said as his head fell back against the chair. “I am retiring for the rest of this dark and taking her with me.”

Standing, he wobbled a bit and then shifting her in his arms, with one foot placed slowly but surely in front of the other, they left the room.

“Well fuck,” she said to no one as she kicked out at an ottoman. “Mr. Hayes,” she yelled.

“Yes Countess,” he appeared at the door.

“Do nothing special. Just lock them in. Northman cannot take any more silver. I do need him to be alive. Feed the human tomorrow and dress her in something more revealing for the eclipse. I want her to be as alluring as possible.”

Bowing his head he stepped out of the room and closed the doors.

Bill was pissed off! He wanted the human for his own. He did not mind nasty leftovers and this one came with literally a boat load of money! Compton was starting to growl, rumble deep in his chest. He thought that was impressive and everyone would pay attention to him and stand back and let him take what he wanted. After all, he was somebody!

Ducking just in time, the wooden stake missed his heart and hit his upper arm.

“Get the fuck out!” Elisabeth hissed and vamp speed, Bill was gone.

“Now,” she said turning to the rest of the group, “I believe charades is on board and we decided on movies.”

All heads turned when they heard the voices over the speakers.

“You doin’ okay?” the female asked.

“Cold,” and they could hear the shivering in his voice. “Mortally poisoned…,” and the word faded away.

“Mr. Hayes,” the Countess stuck her head out the door this time when she bellowed. “Take some blankets into the pool room.” Turning back around she sighed and turned off the crackle that was coming over the speakers. “No entertainment value there,” she rolled her eyes. “Fuck…!” she kicked the ottoman again and made the sign for movies. “First letter…” she began.

 

Bill was roaming the streets of Shreveport. “All this is mine,” he moaned as he looked around. “Area Five. Just how did I fuck up and end up here? I would cry if it would do me any good. That fucking Countess and her fucked up way of doing business. That fucking Sophie-Anne and her greed and my great misfortune.

Momma always said look on the bright side of things. So hope springs eternal. This job change has not yet been announced over the net. As long as I am not proclaimed Sheriff of Area Five I am still William T. Compton, Procurer for the Queen. I am not letting go of that title, no matter what she tells me,” he said with fierce determination. “I have found my mission for my undead life and being the at-war, protector of the Northern Frontier, finally dead sheriff of Area Five is not on my mission statement!”

 

Eric was stretched out on the couch with Sookie tucked in beside him. They were covered in blankets and Sookie had finally warmed up. Eric had assured her that his cold body temp was normal but he could do little to provide warmth for her. A couple of blankets were tucked around her so that she had no skin contact with Eric.

They spent the rest of the dark inside each other’s head. Sookie was showing him how to conjugate ruin magic and Eric was trying to build the crossroads in his head. His women’s magic was something Sookie was familiar with. She had just not seen so much of it in one place.

“Morning is coming,” she head Eric whisper as he pulled her in closer. “You need to sleep. Maybe myself as well. We won’t sleep through the main event,” he chuckled. “Believe me, there shall be much fanfare when the hour approaches. It shall be noisy but we shall be well rested.”

 

Mr. Hayes woke Sookie at lunch time. “Come and eat,” he whispered. “And bathe. There are sacrificial robes for you to wear,” he rolled his eyes. “Nothing I can do about that for the time being.

How is Mr. Northman?” he asked.

“Still holding his own,” she replied.

“I am so sorry,” he said as he offered her his arm. “I thought to protect your from the Countess but perhaps I have doomed him.”

“You are very kind,” was all Sookie said as he led her to the kitchen.

 

There were trumpet blasts that sounded through the speakers with the countdown announcements. The latest one was “The eclipse starts in five minutes! Be prepared to say good-by to the world as you know it!

Rise, o’ Dragon of the spilled and licked blood! Rise and serve me! Your Queen, Elisabeth!”

Sookie gagged. “Really?” she snorted as Eric chuckled in her ear.

“Vamps will rise early and are tuned into this room. Oh, here come the lights. We are on camera. Smile,” Eric grinned as the roof pulled back.

“Beautiful eclipse,” Eric said. “I know you cannot see it with you human eyes. But I will take you to see the next one, wherever in the world it happens to be.”

“Thanks,” she replied. “And…and…” she said looking up into the darkness. “Is that two dragons headed this way?”

“Well, I do believe it is,” Eric chuckled. “And they both have purple eyes. So one of them must be O.I. The other, well just maybe that is Lafayette…!”

The vampires were gathered outside on a balcony. They were just a step away from a room full of total darkness and safety just in case something went wrong!

Elisabeth was screaming and jumping up and down and clapping her hands in joy! “Dragons! They are both dragons! Yes, I have an army of dragons at my command!”

“Countess,” the Vampire Mayor of Brisbane was watching the screen that had been set up outside showing the pool room. “Northman and the human are still…you know,” he said pointing to the screen. “Northman and human. Who the fuck are they?” he asked pointing to the sky.

“What?” she said as she glanced at the monitor and then back into the sky. “Look,” she smiled. “The eclipse. It is the diamond ring. How beautiful…

And dragons…” terror struck her, for the first time, she was speechless.

“Mo’ fo’n right,” O.I. called out into the darkness of the eclipse. “Flame on, my big mans!” he laughed in joy.

The night sky, along with the balcony, was lit up with more than just the light of the now reappearing sun. There were the flames of two very mightly pissed off dragons. And they were gunning for all the bad guys!

“Looks to be to the good of about seventy-five vamps gone,” Lafayette said, as he turned his head to observe the grounds. “And about three hundred Weres scatterin’ to the celestial night of day winds. Can’t be havin’ that!”

The hunt was on and it was glorious!

“Members me?” lafayette asked as he chased down one Were. “I do believes you were the one drivin’ the truck that struck me down. Any last words?”

“Were shit,” he screeched as it ran down his pant legs.

“Not very elegant but great truths to that,” O.I. said as he pulled up and sniffed. Together their flames made a great whirling whirlpool of flame and within seconds, there was seared Were, than charred Were, then with a flap of their wings, there was only the dust of Were.

Eric and Sookie stood and watched from the comfort of pool side as the dragons cleaned up the surrounding area. When they landed, Sookie was up and running, her arms outstretched as Lafayette morphed into human and grabbed her and swung her around.

“You knows you ain’t dressed in much,” Lafayette smiled at her.
“I know,” she said through her tears. “But I was to be the meal time sacrifice to the dragon,” she said pointing to Eric. “And I had to entice him to want to eat me.”

“Really,” Lafayette was laughing. “Don’t thinks Northman needs much enticin’. Now go find some clothes and lets haul ass out of here. I could use some food of the earthly, out of the kitchens, sort.”

“Well,” she was thoughtful. “Let me check with Mr. Hayes. Whoever does the cooking here is just the best. Man, I had something Mr. Hayes called squash, yesterday. Not even close,” she said patting her tummy. “We could sit out by the pool and maybe have an afternoon snack if the kitchen staff is willin’.”

“Please excuse me,” Eric smiled. “I am going to go unsilver Pamela and be right back.”

 

 

The kitchen staff was more than willing to prepare a snack. The kitchen staff was Mr. Hayes.

Sookie invited him to sit down. “Let us Parlay,” she said as she dipped her twice fried, lightly herbed French fries into mayo. “Now, explain to the group how you came to be here. I don’t have any gold, but I think maybe Mr. Northman could hook me up with some if you would like to come and work for me.”

The interview went very well. He could cook, clean, and did laundry to include ironing. He even ironed sheets!

“I won’t kill for you,” he ended up saying. “I will kill to protect you, but I am not a hit man. I am a butler with a special skill set. And I can keep secrets,” he said eyeing Eric who was sitting with his face pointed at the sun.

“Mo’ fo’n,” O.I. sighed as he patted his tummy. “Best BLT I have had, ever! And I dids not even know what that was! But that Sammy done stole my heart away. Could have dones with more bacon and less lettuce pray greens, but, Miss Sooks, this could work. I can sniff out gold. How much do we needs?”

“I will call Samuel,” Eric said without moving his mouth. He was throwing his voice. It sounded like it was coming from Sookie’s glass.  “Tell us in grams or pounds how much is required….and where you want it. We can make this happen.”

 

The afternoon passed pleasantly into a lovely evening. When Pam appeared, she excused herself.

“There are bagged bloods in the kitchen,” Mr. Hayes said. “If I might interest you.”

“Those have been silvered,” she replied as she flashed her fangs in a grin. “I’ll be fine. I am not going far.” With a bow to her maker she was gone.

“You really want to set fire to this place?” Sookie asked Eric.

“Yes,” he nodded. “Nora has defiled it. When I went to release Pam I checked the other tunnels. She turned them over to the Weres who just shit wherever they would. Let me cave in a couple of places and Lafayette, if you and O.I. would do me the honors. Turn it all to ash.”

 

Dear Readers,

Compton’s demise is the next chapter.

Until then!

All our love and prayers go out to those folks in the hurricane’s path.

Be blessed and be the blessing.

CES

With the Setting of the Sun—Chapter 6

with the setting of the sun:in memory of

With the Setting of the Sun Chapter 6

In memory of Nelsan Ellis  

November 30, 1977-July 8, 2017

 

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.

Chapter 6

Sookie could smell food. Getting out of bed, she pulled on a robe and went over to the French doors and drew the curtains. Lafayette looked over from the table on the balcony and waved. There was food…lots of food…a buffet had been wheeled in and it appeared that she had already missed out on round one. Opening the door she yelled, “Save me some bacon!”

“Better hurry your skinny white ass, His La La Fineness says. ‘Cause this little piggy has gots my name all over it!”

“Man,” she wailed. “He will eat all of it. And I have seen what O.I. can do to a ham!

Wash my hands and face, comb my hair back into a pony tail and waaaaa-laaaa! Sookie is a go for breakfast!”

Tying the belt around her waist, she approached the table.

“Grab a plate and sit on down her girl,” Lafayette stood up and hugged her. “I gots the coffee, you fix the plate and we shall talk the talk.”

“’Mornin’ Eric,” she said as she passed by. “What is that you are drinkin’”?

“Mead,” he replied. “The drink of myself and my forefathers. Samuel can actually drink wine on the days that he daywalks…I just thought I should be able to do the same.”

“Mead?” she replied as she lifted the lid off the server and spooned up some shrimp and grits. “Is it a little early for alcohol?”

“No ma’am,” Lafayette responded. “Gots a bottle of the bubbly. Me and my little mans, we is two the good a couple of flutes. Come on and join us. Never too early these days to get your drink on.”

“Does that make this a good day or a bad day?” she asked.

“Well, we are still standing so that makes it a most excellent day,” Eric replied as he raised his glass in a salute. “We learned several useful things last night.

One: My queen is not trying to kill me. I did not think so, because why would she go to so much trouble when all she had to do was call me to NO and drop a silver house on me.

Two: Compton was contacted and would like to try and kill me but he needs me alive to guard the Northern border. Because he is going to kill HRM. Silver her bloodbags and poison her so he can be king.

Three: Lester is very much in the know about wanting to chain me.

Four: Compton stopped by last night, thinking he could chat you up and glamour you. A relative of yours, Abraham Lincoln, beat the hell out of him.”

“Seriously, Lafayette and I are related to President Lincoln?” her voice held amusement.

“Yes,” Eric nodded.

“Indeed we are, His La La Fineness says. Mr. Lincoln, he does have a powerful right punch. And in case someone who thinks highly of themselves asks, yes, he says his Mrs. is still just bat shit crazy. But he loved her despite her odd and out-there righteous ways.”

“Mary Todd,” Sookie said with a sigh. “Glad we are not related to that bunch of crazy.”

“Indeed,” Lafayette said with a nod of his head. “Now Mr. Eric’s what else do we need to know?”

“There are all manner of stories now in the vampire world floating about Druid House. Several of the old vamps that were present did business with one of your female relatives. They spoke highly of her and showered her with great respect and are sure you are of the same ilk and generous spirit.

Sadly, there were those with no stories to tell and they looked like if they could lie worth a damn they would spin a yarn to make themselves appear important and much loved by Druid House.”

“Seriously?” Sookie snickered.

“Yes, there were many there last night who gave credence to your life’s work. That Druid House has stood for centuries, complete with ghosts to take revenge and family members that cannot be glamoured.”

“No foolin’,” Sookie chuckled.

“No fooling,” Eric replied.

“So what else do we need to know?” she asked.

“There were no Were wolves present at the to-do. HRM has been known to use them as guards. She has several on her staff. There was not one present with the old dark. And also interesting to note, there was not a vampire there over five hundred years old. The King of Mississippi and myself were the exceptions to that rule.”

“How old is Sophie-Anne?” Sookie asked.

“Around five hundred.”

“So no one’s was invited that she could not kicks their booty,” Lafayette noted as he spooned up some honey butter to go on his biscuit.

“Something like that,” Eric nodded in agreement. “Plenty of folks know we are headed to Shreveport. When darkness falls it will be interesting to note who is in attendance.

Also, Pamela checked in. She spent some time with Middleton, the night manager who gave Compton a key to your private elevator. Not only did Bill spend time with her, but apparently so has every packmaster in Louisiana. The term revolving door comes to mind but I am sure she did not charge them money. She probably traded sex for information.

This is the first time though, she has ever given out a key to the penthouse. It will also be here last.”

“Oh,” Sookie blinked. “So Compton came up here last night, nocked…?” you could hear the hesitation in her voice.

Eric nodded yes.

“And good ‘ole Honest Abe sent him home.”

“Something like that,” Eric nodded. “Of course, O.I. played a very valuable part in that. He glamoured Compton and that Were shit told us what he was about. And as much as he would like to see me meet the true death, he wants to be king and knows how vulnerable that Northern border is and that I hold it without a fight by the sheer force of will of just being The Viking.”

“Should I roll my eyes?” Sookie asked. “Seriously. Just your name alone?”

“Roll your eyes?” Eric made a face at her. “No,” he shook his head to emphasize his point. “It is all truth. I am a stand alone war machine.”

Sookie said nothing, just refilled her coffee cup and tried to hide her amusement.

“And speaking of which, you would be amazed to read my mail this morning. I received six-hundred e-mails. A bit much even for me. And the headers all say, Eric, an introduction to Druid House!

“No foolin’,” she laughed as he passed her his phone.

“No fooling,” he grinned. “Lester did not disappoint. And you,” he pointed a finger at her, “stay out of my head but I must admit last night’s timing was perfect. Compton and Lester ratted out themselves. It was most excellent to see the shadow of doubt and fear that crossed their faces each time you said the word mall.”

“Was it good for you?” she grinned.

“Most excellent,” he smiled back. “Now, we will need to get to Shreveport. All the Weres that were not in attendance last night, I have the sneaky feeling they just might be watching the airport and any and all Anubis Air travel vans. A A, for all their expensive costs and written guarantees that they have never lost a vampire, I would just not count on that today.

So we will eat and make our way there. Maybe flying below the radar. O.I. if you could manage Lafayette, I will take Miss Stackhouse and we shall head for Bon Temps. All in good time, of course,” he said as he refilled his glass.

“Most definitely,” Lafayette raised his champagne glass in a salute, “all in good time.”

“You two are not worried about being seen in daylight?” she looked from Eric then to O.I. “You could be a little hard to explain.”

“Maybe we need a storm,” Eric licked his finger, stuck it up into the air and nodded with great assurance. “Yes, some thunder, no lightning, heavy downpour. O.I. what say you? You up for flying through pelting rain?”

“I ams,” the dragon responded, refilling his glass with the cold bubbly, “ups for anythin’. My big mans, you thinks you could tuck in and hold on?”

“How long we talkin?” Lafayette asked. “Is it the blink of an eye soaked to the skin or is it sittin’ in gridlock for two hours soaked to the skin and gettin’ pruney all overs?”

“My best time is fifteen minutes,” Eric said. “Of course, Miss Stackhouse will supply some drag, so I would allow twenty to twenty-five.”

“Can does, His La La Fineness says. Then whats?”

“I would say we dry off at one of my homes but those could all be comprised. So I would suggest the farmhouse. Miss Stackhouse, would you mind?”

“No,” she replied. “Don’t know that I have anythin’ to fit you though. You got a stash of clothin’ somewhere?”

“Yes,” he nodded, “as a matter of fact I do. I have a closet full of clothes here and a waterproof bag. That will provide a little more drag but still doable in the twenty-five minute range.”

“So, His La La Fineness wants to know, Mr. Erics. Yous cookin’ on that storm right now?”

“Indeed I am,” he grinned. “I can multi-task.”

 

The day in Louisiana was slipping away. It had been a bright sunny morning followed on by rain and thunder rumbling in the distance at around ten.

By noon, the storm was raging as hail stones the size of baseballs came down. The hail backed off and now fierce, straight-line winds were blowing.

“What the fuck?” the Were, Hitter complained. “What is the reason we are sitting here in the parking lot of this fangbanger club? Vamps don’t walk about during the day. And who thinks that they are going to deliver Northman’s ass here during the middle of the day when lower than Were shit…that would be the likes of us, could be lurking out in the parking lot.”

“We got the easy job,” Hoff lit his cigarette and took a deep hit. “We are here in the comfort of my truck. Those poor mother fuckers who are watching the bus and train stations. Gag me. Nasty bathrooms and nasty food and just nasty walks through there. My momma and I took the bus one time to visit my grandma. Damn…the guy behind us was high and hummed and sang all the way to Dallas. Off key. Thought he could do The King. Just about drove me nuts.”

“I talked to Jessie earlier. He says he is watching the hotel in New Orleans where Northman spent the night. He said no sign of movement. If the vamp is Shreveport bound, he has not yet left the building.”

“Seriously,” Hitter took out a cigarette and lit it. “You think there are not maintenance tunnels and all other manner of ways to move a vamp out of that place? Northman would not be staying there is he did not have a secure day chamber and way out. That fucker is over a thousand years old, I have heard. He did not live that long by being stupid.

Damn! There goes a tree limb and awwwww shit…there goes the rest of the tree!”

“We are getting’ paid to sit here,” Hoff replied. “Easy money.”

“Not if we are dead!” Hitter responded. “Shit…” they both felt the truck give. “Parking lot is staring to flood. Look, those drainage openings are clogged with limbs and shit. Start this fucker and move us to higher ground.”

“Are you fucking kidding me,” Hoff replied when he started the truck. “This is Louisiana, there is no higher ground. Besides we are a bit too late. Shit, we are moving and I am still in park.

Fuck, the water is rising fast and…” They both felt and heard the bottom of the truck being ripped open. They were now floating and tilting to one side. “And I am now straddling a tree!” he yelled. “Hang on, if we flip to one side we are going out the opposite door! Get ready to move! I can feel it shifting! My side is going under! Open your door and hang on!”

 

 

Sookie was standing and looking out her front door window. “Wow,” she turned and looked at Eric. “You plan on shuttin’ this storm down anytime soon?”

“I have stopped with my tinkering,” he replied. “Now Mother Nature must take her course. The atmospheric conditions were ripe for a storm. I just pushed it along and here we are. I do so wish I could take credit for all of this, but sadly, I was merely the instigator and not the creator.”

“Impressive,” she nodded as she headed back to her spot by the fire. “Who is winnin’?” she looked over at the gin rummy game. O.I. was carefully rearranging his cards while Lafayette was recounting the score sheet.

“It’s close, His La La Fineness says. His royal badass O.I. counts cards. He cans tell you each hand we has had since we started. He would be hell on wings in Vegas. I ams just lucky to be hangin’”

“My big mans is winnin’,” O.I. said looking up and then started rearranging his cards again. “And I don’t’s knows why. I should be winnin’ but I ams not.”

“Hm-m-m-m yes,” Lafayette clucked his tongue as he laid down and scored his points. “Whistlin’ girls and crowin’ hens always comes to no bad ends. My Granny Woman preached that and so it bes,” he said lifting his hands heavenwards.

“So how does a female acting like a male have anything to do with this?” Sookie asked, looking confused.

“It applies to just life in general,” Lafayette said. “My Granny Woman taught me the fine ways of Gin Rummy and she would say that to me. Be who you are meant to be, my La La, she would say. That way when you are dealt a poorly constructed hand, you can hallelujah anyway and wait for the winning card to be flipped over.”

Sookie started laughing. “Okay. I take that as fair warning. I will not start acting like a guy and I will be me.

Oh,” she nodded. “Maybe it is time for a cup of tea and read some leaves. I am off to the kitchen. Eric, I hope you knew tea in your time. I would hate for you to puke and if you think you are going to, vamp speed outside, please. But, I need to be actin’ like me.”

“That there is the lesson to be taught,” Lafayette nodded. “And I coulds sure nuff use some cocoa if you is headed that way.”

“Can do,” she smiled. “O.I., you want somethin’ from the kitchen?”

“I’ll be sharin’ my big man’s beverage,” he smiled at her. “All will be goods, ‘specially after I figure out how to win this hand.”

When Sookie returned, she was carrying a tray. Eric got up and helped her move it over to the coffee table.

“I made this tea for you Eric, with flowers mixed in and some honey. I tried to replicate what would have gone into the mead. There is not much in the way of actual tea leaves, but drink it and let’s take a look at what it says.”

For the next thirty minutes they sat in front of the fire and talked about the day and what Eric wanted to get accomplished with the new dark.

“I know it is risky,” he said numerous times, “but Compton will be in town looking for me. I dare say he will start with the club. I have a mind to let him follow me all night long then toss his ass out into the sunlight of the new day.”

“Do you think he will have Weres with him?” she asked.

“Of course he will. And perhaps a few vampires. Which is why I question meeting you and Lafayette in a public place. Stray bullets and all that. A well placed silver bullet can bring me the true death and to you as well. I think I should be out roaming the streets by myself.”

“No,” Sookie shook her head. “No. That is not what I am getting. It is sitting on my shoulders like a crow squawking no out into the universe.” Finishing her tea, she turned her cup over into her saucer.

“See,” she said pointing to the saucer. “N-O spells no. Everybody see that right? NO. I am not staying behind. Now, finish your tea and let us see what the tea leaves have to impart.”

Eric was still staring at the saucer. Yes, it did indeed spell no. Or if you turned it around, it spelled ON he could argue. Which would do him no good. She had that look about her. The one that said fuck with me and I’ll burn your eyes from their sockets.

Finishing his tea, he placed the saucer on top and then flipped it over. Pushing it over to Sookie he just sat there with his arms crossed.

Lifting the cup away, she looked perplexed. “What is it?” she asked as she scooted the saucer over to Eric.

“Mountain range,” he replied. “With snow capped peaks. See, those flower bits you added, that is the snow. And look at the rocky outcroppings. These mountains are old. Someplace in Europe. Not the Americas. Those mountain ranges are young and still forming.”

“Any idea where?” she asked.

“I swear,” he laughed, “that is a miniature of the Matterhorn. So I would say Switzerland. Just how odd is that?”

Lafayette and O.I. also took a gander at the mountain range in Eric’s saucer. “Odd,” they both nodded and looked at the vampire.

Eric just shrugged. “I have not been there in a couple of centuries. I have no idea what it means.”

“Was it pleasant times?” Sookie asked.

“Well yes,” his smile got bigger. “It was the last time my maker and I spent any real quality time together…” and his voice trailed off.

“What?” Sookie asked.

“Godric left his money in a bank, there. It was a sizeable fortune. I have no idea how to access that account. It was his money and we both thought he would go on forever so I had no need to know. I told him so repeatedly.”

Brushing that aside, he continued on. “You and Lafayette should get some rest. I am going to the club and we will start them on their merry chase. We shall pick someplace for dinner. Someplace very nice and very expensive. We’ll have dinner and talk business and celebrate our good fortune.

The bad guys shall linger in the back ground if they can get into Dîner à Six Heures.

“Seriously, you can get us into Dinner at Six?” Sookie was all eyes.

“Indeed I can,” Eric grinned. “I will make the call. At what time would you like to eat?”

“How long do you need?” Sookie asked. “You know, to have them lookin’ at you.”

“Not long. Reservation at eight?” he asked.

“Yes, sure. Lafayette what do you think?”

“Thinks I need to take myself on home and get dressed for dinner tonight. That is sure enough a mighty fine tux. Thinks I will be wearin’ it again.”

“Oh,” Sookie looked startled. “What…?”

“You are Druid House, Sookie,” Eric smiled at her. “Wear your Druid robes. I will do your hair and Lafayette can touch up your makeup. You will be the most beautiful woman there.”

While Lafayette went to gather his things Sookie hopped into the shower. Dressed and with wet hair, she approached Eric in the living room.

“How we doin’,” she sighed, “really?”

“I am getting ready to find out. I am going to braid your hair into something that greatly resembles a Byzantine crown and then I am heading into Shreveport. With what daylight we have left I am curious to see what and who is stirring.”

“You still think this is a good idea?” she asked, hesitation in her voice.

“Your tea leaves are the ones that spelled NO in answer to the question should I go by myself.

All I got was a mountain range in Switzerland.”

“Is that significant?” she asked.

“Well, it was the last time Godric and I just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. We laughed, talked, got caught up with each other’s lives.

He considered Zermatt the place of his beginning.”

“Is that where he was turned?” she asked.

“No,” Eric smiled. “That is where he lived as a human, over two thousand years ago. He was a priest to his people and I think he missed that more than anything.”

“What did you miss?” she asked quietly as he took the comb from her and begun to part her hair.

“I missed watching the sun rise over the water. Sunset was never the same thing for me. It just signaled the end of the day. But sunrise always took my breath, away. The promise of a new day and all that would happen.”

“Well, you can have that back,” she said gently.

“Yes,” he nodded and said nothing else as he began to weave and braid her hair into a crown befitting a queen to rule through out the ages.

When Lafayette returned, he let out a wolf whistle. “That is…” he stopped, stared at Sookie and shook his head. “That is sure enough something right out of the ancient history books. Yous is beautiful Miss Sooks.”

“Thank you,” she smiled. “Eric won’t let me look at it.”

“When I am finished,” he said, “and not before.

Now, somewhere in a pocket I have a few loose pearls that were slipped in by people wanting to give me bribes to introduce you. Oh, this one will do nicely,” he smiled, holding it up for her to see.

“Lordy,” she breathed out. “That pearl is the size of a robin’s egg!”

“Indeed,” he grinned. “And since it is set for a necklace, if you have a bobby pin, I believe that it goes, right here, in the middle of your forehead.”

“Lordy, lordy, lordy,” was all Lafayette could say when Eric attached the gem. “Yous is a vision. A heaven on earth vision.”

Sookie wrinkled her nose at him and said, “I doubt that. But hand me the mirror and…and…” she gasped when Eric held up the hand held mirror.

“I take it you like it,” he grinned. “I am glad you are pleased. For a moment I was afraid I had forgotten how. My grandmother taught me how to do her hair. That was her favorite style. It always put my father into a deep and abiding funk when she wore it like that.

Now, I need to be off. We shall chat and I will keep you informed. If the streets of Shreveport are crawling with Weres, I will let you know and I will find another way to antagonize them. Denying them your beautiful countenance is a horrible punishment in and of itself.”

“Stop it,” she smiled at him.

“I have not even started,” he winked at her. “Now, I must be gone. Intrigue awaits.”

 

They had talked to Eric off and on for the past two hours. Things were quiet at the club. The rain had flooded the parking lot but had not made it into the building. There were tow trucks towing Weres, he laughed out loud, out and away.

“Go ahead and leave,” Eric said. “The roads are clear. You should have no problems between Bon Temps and Shreveport.”

 

Lafayette and Sookie arrived early and opted not to valet park and parked the car across the street so they could window shop for a few moments. The little shoe boutique had Stuart Weitzman’s on sale. Sookie had no idea what that meant but Lafayette was beside himself!

“We are so comin’ back tomorrow,” he said over and over as he admired the strappy purple ones with the enclosed toe for winter.

Holding hands and excited about the shopping they would do tomorrow, they were waiting for the light to turn green. When it did, they started across the street.

Speeding around the corner was a truck, going so much over the speed limit that it made the turn on two wheels. It happened in a blink of an eye. Lafayette gave a mighty shove and Sookie went flying across the street out of harms way, landing on the pavement with the full force of her body.

Lafayette was tangled up under the truck and when the driver went over a curb to scrape him off, there was not much left of the young man who held very high opinions about right and wrong and who you counted as your family.

Before Sookie could scream, O.I. had lifted off with the broken pieces of Lafayette in his claws. She knew O.I. had him because the body was there and then it just vanished.

Eric had scooped her up and slung her onto his back. “Hang on,” he mind flashed her.

“You should have been willing to share,” they both heard the voice and turned in the direction of the vampire who was leaning against a lamppost. “Hated to do that, but then, one never knows just how vulnerable a human being really is until you see one die before your very eyes.”

Compton looked over to where the body was supposed to be. He looked surprised and then shocked when it was not there and faltered around for a few seconds before he could carry on.

“As…as…” he stumbled over the words. “As you can see Eric, you have no control, here…”

Before he could finish, Eric was gone.

Bill took out his phone and walked over to where the dead man had been. There was blood, a lot of blood, but there was no body. “Just what the fuck?” he checked around and could not see or smell anything out of the ordinary.

The phone stopped ringing and he heard her pick up.

“Speak,” was all she said.

“Her assistant is dead,” he replied, matter of fact. “Eric took her and fled.

“Where is your back up? Do they have him? You have Northman.”

“Back up!” Bill snarked. “I told you I could take Northman by myself,” he retorted.

“You fucking piece of Were shit!” she screeched. “Do you have him or not?”

There was silence. She was going to make an example of Bill Compton. But just not right at this minute.

“I cannot track them,” Bill said carefully. “But they cannot have gone far.”

There was a snort from the other phone. “You know fucking nothing,” was the outraged voice. “Find the child. She is as arrogant as he is. I want Eric and I want him now. The sacrifice has to be made during the eclipse. If not, we are all fucking Were shit! Now make this happen,” she screamed so loudly, Bill’s ear started to bleed and she hung up.

“I wonder is she will invite me into her bed?” He was thoughtful as he dabbed at the blood oozing out of his ear. “I could use some top shelf romance. I wonder if she has fucked Northman? Now that could be delicious. I wonder if she will let me fuck Northman before this ritual of hers on Monday. One can only hope,” he sighed and then started the phone tree. When Tiller picked up he said. “Find Northman’s child. Turn over every rock and check every whorehouse. She is out there somewhere.”

 

Sookie was still in shock as Eric rocked her in front of the fire in her livingroom. “Where is Lafayette?” she would sob. “Is he dead? Where did O.I. take him? My La La is dead…” and the tears would start anew. “I did this too him. I got him killed…” and her tears wet the front of his shirt.

There were words of comfort he could speak. Should speak. But Sookie was still in shock.

Eric did not move from his position just kept his arms tightly wound around her as his hands stroke her back, just offering small sounds of comfort as you would a child. As the hours passed by, Sookie slept in fits and starts, waking, crying, sobbing, her heart breaking as she blamed herself for the loss of her loved one.

The morning was coming. He could feel it. The light wanting to destroy him but was unable to do so. When she woke, Eric was stretched out on the couch and she was beside him, covered up and she could feel his hand as it stroked her back.

“Oh my gawd,” she felt the tears begin. “How do I explain this? How do I tell anyone about what happened to Lafayette?”

“When we hear from O.I.,” Eric said gently, “we will have some answers. Until then, we do not know his fate.”

“Know his fate?” she sobbed. “I could know his fate,” she said through her tears. “I could.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” Eric said as his hand was now massaging her shoulders.

“I did this. I did not need to eat at a nice restaurant. Or have my hair fixed,” she was weeping, the sobs rising up in her. “I could have worked for Sam the rest of my days. I don’t need anythin’ fancy,” the tears were back. “I just need my Lafayette,” her heart was breaking as she wrapped herself around Eric and bawled.

When she had cried herself out and called herself every vile name she could think of, Eric stroked her face and said, “You need to eat. Your blood sugar levels are all out of whack and I don’t know that you have any electrolytes left. You need those to keep your heart and brain in optimum health.”

“I don’t care,” she mumbled. “I killed my best friend. My brother.”

“No,” Eric stood and pulled her up. “You did not. Some murdering asshole ran him over. You had nothing to do with that.

Now, until we hear back from O.I. and I am sure we shall, you have to act like a human. And a human eats, drinks and occasionally showers.”

“Are you sayin’ that I stink?” she muffled a sniffle.

“I am not saying that you don’t. Now go. I’ll start breakfast.”

“Really, you can cook?” she gave him a dubious look.

“Anyone can make toast. I can even maybe run your coffee pot.”

“What about my hair?” she asked.

“Do you want me to take it down?”

“No,” she shook her head. “Lafayette loved this. Wanted to actually grow his hair so he could have a do like this. I am gonna wear it to honor him. Can I wash it without doing to much damage?”

“Yes, get it wet, rub just the smallest amount of shampoo on your scalp where you can and then rinse. Wrap a towel around it. I will blow dry it after breakfast.”

“I am gonna’ use all the hot water,” she sighed. “Hope you don’t mind a cold shower.”

“Miss Stackhouse, I have been known to break the ice on a mountain stream so that I could bathe. I am a Viking. You are a Viking. We are a very clean race. Use all the hot water. It is in your blood to do so.”

“Excellent,” she nodded. “Let me see if I can make that happen.”

Sookie stood in the shower until all the hot water was gone. As the steam filled the air and caused a mist to swirl about, she could have sworn she saw O.I. smiling at her. When she reached out to touch him, he winked and disappeared.

“I am takin’ that as a sign,” she fought back the tears. “And it is a good sign. He has Lafayette and Lafayette is gonna’ be just fine. Besides, they promised me they would not leave me here by myself! And I am holdin’ them to that promise!”

Turning off the water she stepped out of the tub and wrapped a towel around her head and then her body. Written on the mirror was mo’ fo’n brownies!

Opening the bathroom door, the smell of chocolate overpowered her and she actually thought she was floating on air towards the powerful smell.

When she was standing at her bedroom door without realizing how she got there she shook herself all over and righted her psyche. “Mo fo’n brownies,” she repeated to herself. “And I smell coffee and maybe some burned toast. Eric was right, O.I. has Lafayette and eventually he will be back around. Time to get dressed and get down to business. That would be eating chocolate and having some coffee.”

Eric looked up from cutting the brownies when she walked into the kitchen. “What happened?” he asked as he wiped his hands on a tea towel and took the eggs from the fridge. “You look less pensive. And more alert. And not so forlorn.”

“Odd just happened,” she said staring at him. “First of all, tell me you are not pushin’ your magic around.”

“No. I do specialize in odd, but it was not me. I am fixing breakfast. That is all the magic I am pushing at the moment.”

“O.I was in the bathroom. Well, maybe his spirit, not the flesh. He was a little fuzzy around the edges and blended in with the fog-like conditions I had goin’ on in there. He was smilin’ at me and when I reached out to touch him, he winked at me and disappeared. Written on the mirror was mo’ fo’n brownies! With an exclamation point!

When I opened the bathroom door, sure enough, mo’ fo’n brownies,” she smiled.

“Odd, but very O.I. like,” Eric nodded in agreement. “How do you like your eggs?”

“Over easy. And I also could smell burned toast,” she gave him a slight smile. “So maybe not the expert you think you are?”

“M-m-m-m-m,” he nodded. “But the second batch is perfect. And already buttered.”

“You just might be a keeper,” she said when he poured her a cup of coffee. “Damn, you even dumped the coffee grounds so the coffee would not go bitter.”

“I have my moments and I pay attention. So let us start the day. I am going to have some mead. We’ll see how well I tolerate the toast.”

Over breakfast Eric talked about what had already been done. “Your car has been picked up and moved. I did that last night while you were sleeping. Pam drove it to a garage I own. Today we will go Dallas and pick up a car. We will drive it back here.”

“One of yours?”

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Not anything real flashy is it?” she asked.

“No. Believe me, I can do stealthy. Just a late model Chevy truck. Just like what every other bubba on the road drives.”

“There gonna’ be more rain, today?” she asked.

“Yes. So we’ll take a change of clothes. The storm is brewing down in the Gulf now. In about another two hours, we’ll be on our way.

The quick flight down was uneventful. They landed on the roof of the garage and made their way down the stairs.

“All these yours?” she asked looking around the large bay that was filled with nondescript autos.

“Yes,” he nodded. “I keep the high end elsewhere.”

“Excellent,” he smiled when he grabbed a key off the rack and headed toward a metallic gray 1990 truck. “It has been washed, gassed and will be ready to go.”

“Anything you want to do while we are in Dallas?” he asked her.

“I know it is weird, but I have never eaten at a Chipotle. Lafayette ate at one in Shreveport and said the burrito is king size and took it half an hour to eat it.”

“We can certainly do that,” he said opening the door for her. “I will input it into my phone and we’ll visit the closest one. I would love to sit outside and eat by the river, but I worry about flooding.”

“Good point,” Sookie nodded. “Anyone will do.”

When Eric pulled into the restaurant, the clouds were still pushing around although the rain had stopped. They sat at booth with a view of outside. Eric was having a beer and Sookie was contemplating her burrito. “Sure is big,” she commented. “And tasty! And why did I think I could eat chips and salsa when I am eatin’ this bad boy?”

“The chips are good,” Eric replied as he bit one and let it dissolve in his mouth. “Salty.”

“That is what makes them so good,” Sookie laughed. “Anything deep fried with salt or sugar on it, is worth eatin’. Now, I know this is ridiculous, but I would not mind another one of these, maybe to take home. Maybe for me to eat on the way home. Or hell, I’ll just eat it now. I am starving. I feel like a battery that has been drained.”

“Sookie,” he contemplated her. “What happens to you when you pass over the ley lines?”

“What?” she set her tea glass down.

“Do you burn off your essence when we cross over them? Any idea how many we crossed over when we were vamp speed here? Then there will be the drive home. Your gran ever say anything about that?”

Shrugging, she became thoughtful. “We never went very far. I mean travelin’ is expensive. We never had any kind of money to just go somewhere. Why, I had never been to Dallas before today. Don’t even make it into Shreveport except maybe once a quarter.”

“I will order you another burrito. On the way home, see if you can recognize the ley lines.”

For one so small, she consumed vast quantities of calories. Eric was beginning to think that crossing those lines did indeed engage her on some level that sparked her magic. He wondered if it set anything else in motion?

“Could someone track you by your magic?” he asked as she ate through a second bag of chips.

“What?” she choked and sputtered.

“You have consumed close to four thousand calories and have not yet slowed down. I am just wondering, with all that cosmic saturation, do you put off something like radio waves, or ping like radar or gamma-ray bursts like from an x-ray?”

“Now you are just scarin’ me,” she took a drink of her tea. “How would I know that? I don’t hang with magicals. I mean, you are the first one beside Lafayette. And he never said anything about me stirring the forces of the universe. That is what you are trying to say, right?”

“Yes. What I really want to know is can you be tracked if someone knew what they were looking for?”

“Not if I throw up by blocking goodness, like what I used at the mall.”

“Good to know,” Eric nodded and took one of her chips. “Engage that on the way home.”

 

When she finished her meal, they went next door to a Cold Stone for ice cream. “I want a scoop of mint chocolate, butter pecan and pistachio in a waffle cone.”

“You want anything mixed in with those?” the girl behind the counter asked.

“I want my three mix ins to be pecans. And I want them all in the butter pecan, please.”

“Anything for you sir?” the young woman asked.

“No-o-o-o,” he watched with interest as the tower of Babel of ice cream was being constructed. “We will share.”

Sookie cut her eyes to him and shook her head no. “Just give him one of those small tastin’ spoons and hook him up with whatever he wants. For him, you can go heavy on the pecans, also. He is allergic to a lot of things, but not pecans.”

Eric paid out and they sat down at a table and watched the activity going by on the sidewalk.

“How are you doin’?” she asked. “This must no be ideal…” her voice trailed off.

“Interesting,” he replied as he watched the two males come in and order.

“Do we want to take ice cream home with us?” he asked her as his eyes motioned to the two at the counter.

“No. Once I finish this I won’t need anymore ice cream for another year.”

“Happy birthday,” he grinned at her and toasted her with his cone.

“Thanks,” she smiled at him. Standing, Eric helped Sookie out of her chair. Gathering up her things, hand-in-hand they were out the door and to the truck.

“Weres,” was all Eric said as he started the engine and backed out. “Let us head for home. When you finish that, I am going to hand you my phone and where ever you feel a disturbance, I want you to tap the screen.”

 

“Interestin’,” she was looking at a map on Eric’s phone and would tap it when they would cross “Somethin’,” she would nod. “I get a swirl of runes floating before my eyes. That is the third time.”

“Does it feel like your ley line?” he asked.

“Well, it feels like somethin’. Thoughts of Lafayette tugs on me when we cross one and now I am just concentrating on him. I have had the runes dance around like that before when I wanted the specific answer to somethin’. Gran said they swirled because the future was constantly in motion and somethings are just not for me to know.

So I am takin’ it as a sign that no decision has been made about Lafayette yet. That he is still alive until…” her voice broke, “until he is not.”

Reaching across the seat, Eric took her hand. “We shall keep that good thought,” he nodded as they passed signs for Shreveport and kept on going.

 

The rest of the day was quiet. Sookie would sniffle from time to time but remind herself that it was not over until the king of the dragons said it was. If O.I. was older than time, then he must have some spectacular super powers or know someone who did. She was counting on that!

For dinner, they drove to the Piggly Wiggly in Monroe and Sookie picked out fresh fruit and a spiral cut ham. Eric had known pork as human and she was feeling pretty good maybe he could have a bite of that.

Or the ride back Sookie drove so Eric could text. His fingers were fast and furious across the key-board. There were ominous rumbles and what she was sure was swearing in a language she did not understand.

“I have told my child to go to ground. And to stay there. I told her that last night after she picked up your car. She was supposed to send me a text back.

However,” he hissed, “she has the very bad habit of wanting to be involved in the fight and has a tendency to talk about sun spots interfering with her phone when I issue such an order.

And she just fucking struts her stuff around like she is the queen of the world. Thinks she can take on anyone and anything. I hope Chow grabbing her in her own office taught her a lesson. But probably not.”

“What do you want to do?” she asked him.

“Stake her and put me out of my misery,” he sighed. “However, that is considered bad form, even in vampire circles. So I shall just wait and when she surfaces, we shall chat then.”

“She knows she can come here, right?” Sookie said as she put on the blinker to turn onto Hummingbird Lane.

“I told her not too,” Eric replied. “I do not want anyone tracking her to your house.”

“They can do that?” she asked.

“I did,” he answered. “And I know that was a special deal, but your magic creating some type of energy stream…I just don’t know and I am not willing to risk it.”

“Fine,” she nodded. “Let’s get the groceries out, I’ll put the ham in the oven and we’ll eat.”

 

The hour was late and Sookie was asleep. When she lit a candle for Lafayette and said a blessing over him, she had cried when she blew out the match and that is when Eric sent her off to bed.

The candle was still burning and he found himself fixating on it and remembering his grandmother. The woman had been brilliant and was a natural born leader. The clan feared her and respected her.

Yes, she could probably turn you into a toad, but in today’s professional field, she would be a top-notch psychiatrist. Her ability to ferret out people and what motivated them was truly a gift.

She was also a gifted politician. Eric shuddered to think what his grandmother would be capable of doing in today’s world.

Eric had the great fortune to look just like his dead grandfather. To say she favored him was not extreme enough. This spirited lady taught him everything she knew and paid for his schooling when it came to things she did not know. Scholars came and went out of their village on a regular bases. He could speak five different languages by the time he was twelve.

In her final act of defiance towards his father, she had cut her hand and then Eric’s and clasping their two hands together, her blood into his, she passed the women’s magic to him.

“Somethin’ is not right,” Sookie said walking into the living room. “Someone is throwin’…” she stopped and tilted her head to one side as if to listen. “It’s not magic. But…maybe…someone is searchin’…they are lookin’ for you.”

At that moment Eric’s phone rang which caused both of them to jump.

“It’s Pam,” Eric let out a sigh that he did not realize he had been holding onto.

“Child,” he began, “I hope you have gone to ground.”

“Sadly, she did not,” and in the woman’s voice was disgust. “She is just like her maker. Willful, spoiled, conceited. I have your child, Eric. And I know you are somewhere east of Shreveport. I can feel you tugging on me. Now, you either be at that fucking, disgusting, club of yours one hour before sunrise with Druid House in tow, or I shall start burning down everything between here and the Mississippi line. General Sherman thought Georgia burned, he would be jealous of the homes I will lay waste, too. Some where in the carnage will be dead mothers with babies nursing in their arms. Tell her that…”

The line went dead.

“Would she?” Sookie asked, horror on her face.

“Yes,” Eric’s voice was full of grief.

“Who was that?” she asked, putting her hand on his arm.

“My sister, Nora.”

“How long before sunrise?” she asked.

“One hour and twenty minutes.”

“That does not give us much time,” Sookie said looking around.

“That is the intent,” Eric replied. “If you are going with me, get dressed. We will make the deadline, but just barely. Wear something warm. There will be no heat wherever she stores us.”

“Got it,” she nodded and went to her bedroom to prepare to fight a battle with nothing more than her warm woolen socks.

 

When they touched down at Fangtasia, there was a stretch limo waiting for them in the back parking lot. The driver got out and opened the door and the two of them got in.

“Give me your phones,” Compton smiled at them. “Then just sit back and enjoy the ride.”

Eric handed his over and Sookie was shaking her head. “I…I did not bring mine.”

Bill started to snicker but Eric cut him off. “I woke her up, she pulled on her clothes and here we are. If I would have realized that she needed her phone as part of the entrance fee, I would have made sure we had it.”

Bill was smiling as he reached over and stroked Sookie’s hand.

Eric had his hand around Bill’s neck. “Nora said nothing about you. I take that to mean I can bring you the true death if it so pleases me to do so. Her only concern is myself and Druid House.

Eric let him go and Bill hissed at Eric but pulled back into his seat.

“Excellent,” was all Eric said as he settled in next to Sookie and they discussed his next business plan.

When they turned onto River Road Flats, Eric knew where they were. When he survived this, he was coming back here and burning it to the ground.

The old planation sat back on forty acres of land. Godric’s land. This is where his maker stayed if ever he passed this way.

There were many ins and outs and hidey holes to this particular parcel of land. There was one interesting feature in particular. There was a light tight room on the main floor that opened out to the pool. The ceiling could retract. He guessed this is where he would be.

Nora…he was going to rip the head from her body!

The car stopped and the driver was out to help Sookie from the car.

The front door opened and there stood Mr. Hayes, Nora’s manservant. “Miss Nora is busy at the moment, Mr. Eric. You are to make yourself at home.

Druid House,” he bowed to Sookie. “Your rooms are waiting for you. If you would follow me please. There is clothing that you are to change into. For the next thirty minutes you are to be entertained.”

Nodding her head, Sookie walked through the three floor open foyer, done in black and while marble tiles. The grand staircase swept up the side of the house, looking like it was just floating on air. Sookie said nothing as she passed up the stairs. The filigree on the bannister was extensive and wooden. And in some cases, the spindles were darling cupids with bow and arrows could be broken off and used as a stake.

Walking down a hall, Mr. Hayes pushed open the double doors and that led to a suite of rooms.

“You are required to dress,” was all he said as he pointed to the mannequin. “I shall be back to fetch you in five minutes.”

Nodding her head, she started stripping as she heard the doors being closed. The lingerie flowed out from the mannequin and cascaded around about on the floor. All of it see-through in a delightful shade of blue. The same blue as Eric’s eyes, she guessed.

In exactly five minutes, Mr. Hayes knocked on her door. “You are required to witness this, so you know what will be expected.”

The walls to the pool were pulled back, leaving only the glass. But you could still hear the running water from the two story high waterfalls that emptied into the grotto down below. The lights were on in the pool and added a depth to the shadows. Anyone could be lurking there and watching.

Eric was chained to one wall, his wrists wrapped in fine silver cording.

“This should be good,” Bill walked up to her and smiled. “It is not everyday you get to see a one thousand year old vampire tortured.”

Sookie said nothing, just kept her eyes straight ahead.

“Maybe,” his hand reached out to touch hers, “maybe I could call on you before I retire for the night. I will have a powerful throbbing…..”

“Good,” Nora’s voice carried on the night. “I see we are all in attendance. Bill, service my brother. Bring him to completion. I want his last orgasm to be something memorable.”

“What?” he gasped. “Me? You want me…to do what?”

“Suck him off,” she replied. “If you want to be king of Louisiana, do it.”

Eric’s fangs popped down. Sookie was not for sure if it was because he was appalled at what was going to happen or pleased.

“Work the tip Bill,” he moaned as his eyes only glanced at Sookie then licked his lips. “Pull with your lips and work the tip. Damn, I am getting hard just thinking about it.”

“You have no shame you fucking man whore,” Nora yelled at him. “You fucking man whore! You defiled your blood-line when you made another just like you.”

“Really?” Eric was shaking his head. “Still? Is this about Pamela, still?”

“Your child is a whore!” she screamed. “She defiles all that Godric stood for! And you,” she sneered, “running a fangbanger bar. Have you no shame! No pride! You broke Godric’s heart with your heathen ways.”

Eric growled at her. “Me? A heathen? Let us reflect back on the night you were made. You were begging for Godric to fuck you, there on the altar of your gods. Godric would not. He does not defile anyone’s beliefs. But I did,” Eric grinned. “We were afraid you would wake the others in the temple so I stuffed your mouth with my dick and then I stuffed your pussy, high and tight. And when I took my pleasure there, I filled your sweet little ass. And not one of those holes was virgin.

My child whored because she had no other way to make a living. And she protected those girls who had no one else to look after them.

You whored and called it the will of your gods. Opened your legs, your mouth, your ass to who ever would leave an offering.”

“You pig,” vamp speed she was standing in front of him and scratched him with her silvered nails. “How dare you?”

“I only speak the truth,” he grinned. “You were not the best I have ever had but I had you screaming like a banshee before I was close to being finished. Which makes me believe I was the best you ever had.”

“You fucking pig! All that you touch turns to Were shit, you man whore! That goes for your business associate as well. Chain her to the wall across the room. Make sure she cannot reach him. Tomorrow when the roof pulls back during the eclipse, when the sun returns, you shall be no more.

And you,” she regarded Sookie, “you shall see first hand how I do business and you will cooperate with me,” she said lifting one breast through the gauzy material.

“Compton,” she barked. “You are so far beneath him that I puke at the comparison. But this needs to get done. You have five minutes to finish him. Then get your ass upstairs and be of service to the Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed.”

“The blood queen, she is here?” Bill’s voice held wonder and horror!

“Yes, my lover has arrived and she needs servicing. But Eric first. See to it.”

“Yes, of course,” Bill was filled with glee! The Countess was here! In this very house!

Approaching Eric he sighed as he got down on his knees. “I am only doing this because I have been ordered to do so,” he said, unzipping Eric’s jeans. “This foulness will be forgotten as I know the pleasures of the blood queen who has tasted thousands of young virgins.”

“Spare me your righteous prattle, he who will never be king. Blow me and then get the fuck out of my sight.”

 

 

Lafayette was looking around and breathing in the deep pine scented air! “Just damn,” he grinned as the mountains were reflected in the water. “Looks sure enough like two of them. One above and one below. That was is as blue as the sky!”

It was lovely. And then odd continued to happen. Was that his Auntie Jean approaching him? And…and…he had heard the stories, was that his Auntie Billy, who happened to be the oldest of the two cross dressing males in his family that were now coming his way with an updo and some of the cutest shoes ever with a peep toe?

“Little Sugar,” his aunties called out to him. “Welcome and welcome. Sure ‘nuffs glad to see you.”

“Aunties! Yous is lookin’ lovely and yous make’m’up is perfects! That eye shadow is the same shade as the sky! What the fuck, His La La Fineness says. Where am I and…” he paused and looked around. “This is beautiful and I can feel the cool breeze blowing off those snow capped mountains. I could wiggle my bare toes in this here grass laced with wild strawberries and Linneas bloomin’ all day long. Nothing but beauty as far as the eye can see. Perfect beauty,” his voice lingered. “Perfect, graceful, every color vibrant and sun drenched.” His voice caught. This was not earth…that was for damn sure!

“That’s right,” Billy nodded, then adjusted the birdcage veil on his hat. “Just the best of the best in this here lower forty of Heaven.”

“That is right,” Jean nodded in agreement and fluttered his fan. “For many, this here is the first stoppin’ off and getting’ ready to meet and greet.

And sometimes,” he leaned in, his makeup perfect, right down to that beauty mark, Lafayette noted. “Sometimes they is just not ready to cross over.”

“Cross over, knows what that means. So I am dead,” Lafayette said. “Don’t feel dead.”

“Well, we are not to say, are we Jean?” Billy said with a sure nod of his head. “Not our place to be sayin’ or commentin’ on this and that. Being dead is between you and Lord Sugar. M-m-m-m h-m-m-m-m.”

“Yes, sir,” Jean nodded in agreement. “You twos has to be workin’ that out. Believe me, I was ready with the hallelujah’s and amen’s when we sat together that first time. But for you maybe, mights be different. Is different for each.

But can’t help but notice you is here by yourself and we were sent on ahead to be sayin’ our how does and makin’ sure you are feelin’ at home. Lord Sugar is comin’ on out but this here is about you. So we’ll just be goin’ on and lettin’ you study on things a bit.”

Lafayette lay back in the grass and then laughed as he watched the dragons floating overhead. “My big mans,” he sighed, “is there where you was before you was with me?”

“Indeed,” he heard in his ear.

Letting out a small screech, Lafayette sat up. “Done scared the life out of me, or back into me, my little mans,” he chuckled. “What you doin’ here?” he asked.

“Biddin’ my time,” he answered. “Waitin’ on the outcome.”

“Waitin’ on the outcome?” Lafayette eyed his friend. “This about me?” he asked.

“Always beens about you,” O.I. fluttered up and stroked his cheek. “From the beginnin’ of time, my big mans. All you.”

“That’s right,” they both heard the voice.

Lafayette turned to his right just in time to watch a tall man sit down next to him. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt that said, Hell is not on Earth. Was he handsome? It was hard to say. Was he distinguished looking? Lafayette could not swear to that either. But there was a peace and contentment that radiated out from him that made you just want to sit there and do nothing more than feel at ease.

“Lord Sugar,” O.I. said with a bow of his head. “It is good to once more see you. You are lookin’ well. How is Mrs. Sugar?”

“Thank you, O.I. I feel very well. Have been busy and business is brisk but over all, it is looking good so far. Evil continues to do evil and good continues to do good and the faithful and the faithless count their blessings. No one can complain about that.

And Jerusalem is very fine,” his whole continence changed and there was a glow that radiated from him.

Lafayette thought, “He is in love! And it is a powerful thang!”

“I will tell her you ask about her,” he said with a bow of his head. “She will be honored to know that the king of the dragons was so thoughtful towards her.”

Lafayette thought O.I. actually blushed.

“Lord Sugar,” Lafayette looked a little doubtful. “Really, you go by that?”

“I answer to many names,” he grinned. “Some are not nearly as flattering,” he chuckled. “You may call me the Eternal Son if that makes you feel better. But your family has always called me Lord Sugar,” he smiled.

“Mighty fine then. I can roll with Lord Sugar. May I ask questions? His La La Fineness has a few this and that’s that need answers.”

“Certainly,” the Eternal Son nodded.

“How did I come to be here?”

“You were hit by a car while crossing the street. O.I. scooped you up and took you to ground. He did the only think he knew to save you. He burrowed into the dirt, gave you his blood and he will rest there with you for three days.

Either the bonding takes or it does not. And if it does not, then you both shall return here, the silver chain dissolved and your ties to earth shall be no more.”

“Hit by a car! His La La Fineness, I am rolling my eyes! I was hoping to go out in a flame of glory!” he said with a snap of his fingers.

“Well you did,” the Eternal Son reached over and squeezed his hand. “You pushed Sookie out of the way and saved her life.”

“She okay?” Lafayette looked into the blue eyes that told stories, all of them with a happily ever after and you never wanted them to stop. Lafayette felt the tears form in his eyes and he brushed them away. “Please, can you make her okay? Miss Sooks, she is just the best. Believed in me. Loved me when I was sure ‘nuff not worthy of that. She has got a mighty fine soul to go with her hard workin’ heart.”

“Yes,” he nodded and Lafayette “She is fine. A little bruised from hitting the pavement, but she if fine. Eric took her and ran. As in vamp speed away.”

“Okay,” he wiped his eyes, “good,” he felt more tears fall. “Glad to hear that,” he sniffled and then took a deep breath and righted himself. “So what happens next?” he asked.

“Depends on you,” Lord Sugar answered. “The hit and run, the truck was being driven by a demon. Low lifer that lives on the fringe of humanity and has Were tendencies. He could see the light that flowed out of her and was intrigued. He could also see the light that flowed out of you and wanted to claim you as well. Give him bragging rights as well as the cash Compton gave him to do the deed. Thirty pieces of silver can still get you dead.”

“What,” Lafayette laughed out loud. “Braggin’ rights for killin’ me. Must be hard up in Hell,” he chuckled.

“They are always,” the Eternal Son began slowly and turned Lafayette’s face to his. “Looking to kill an heir apparent…their motto is that the sons of the kings would not survive to fulfill their destiny…”

“What?” Lafayette laughed. “I am the son of no king.”

The King of Kings patted Lafayette on the cheek and nodded his head as O.I. fluttered in and was face to face with Lafayette.

“My big mans,” O.I. was weeping. “I calleds you that…from the very beginning of times. You were my son, my baby boy, my big man and the best and most important thing I have ever done or could ever do. You are my son, my Lafayette. Mine one and only.

I am sorrowfuls santchin’ you away from this…your home…mighty sorrowfuls for what I did…what I had to do…and I would do it again. You were dying. Just a flicker of life left in you. I took you up in my arms and we went to ground. I fed you my blood. If you survive the bonding, you will be dragon in your bones and will be able to shift from dragon to your La La Fineness. If not, then,” he said with a smile as he wiped away his tears, his voice still shaking, “then we shall both pass back here, into the light.

Maybe it was wrongs, I do not knows. But I could not watch you return to dust, to pass on out of this life without me. I am that selfish. So I tied us together with the blood makin’.

See,” he said holding up the slender, beautifully wrought silver chain. “We is now both tied together and we is still tied to the Earth.”

“My Poppy,” Lafayette said through his tears. “When I was little, I would ask men I did not know if they was my Poppy.

They never was,” he was weeping. “But you are mine. Mine. My Poppy. Forever and always.”

“Forever and always, my big mans,” O.I. said as he stroked Lafayette’s cheek.

Those beautiful purple eyes. Guess you explains why purple is my favorite color. I guess some things you just remembers.”

“Tru dat,” O.I nodded.

“Will my eyes be purple like yours?” he asked.

“In the before times, they was. I cannot speak to what this time will be like.”

“How long do we stay in the dirt?” he asked.

“Three days,” Big Sugar answered.

“No foolin’,” Lafayette chuckled.

“No foolin’,” the Eternal son laughed and then became very serious. “If you decide to stay on Earth, you are going to be busy. Very busy. Eric’s son has yet to be born and evil will do all in its power to keep this from happening. You will have Trouble and I am in so Much Trouble to look after. Folks will begin to see dragons on the horizon and will know that justice is being dealt out to those who do not always embrace the light of day.”

“Mo’ fo’n,” Lafayette whistled. “Eric is a king?”

“This place is the heart of the King of the Frost,” Lord Sugar stood and spread his hands out in an all encompassing gesture. “This was his dream. Something he wanted to share with his family.”

“Mo fo’n,” Lafayette said as he opened his eyes and realized he was in the cool of the ground, with dragon wings wrapped around him. “How long, Poppy, have we been down here?” he asked.

“Three days,” came the answer and the kiss on the forehead. “Time to head topside and kick ass and take names. No need to dig, I am just gonna shoot us straight up and out!”

“Why is the world in darkness?” Lafayette asked looking around.

“Dragon is being born,” O.I. chuckled. “Eclipse of the mo’ fon’ sun always announces a dragon’s birth. Welcome my son, to a new day. Now, let us go and kick some ass.

 

 

 

Solar Eclipse…My Selfie

selfie and eclipse 2

 

Dear Readers,

Nope, not an update.  Just your old Auntie Carroll, along with the rest of the world, warning about the do’s and don’ts of the solar eclipse.

First of All:

If you do not have the Smithsonian Eclipse App  go forth and download. It is free and it gives you the Eclipse Viewing and Safety Guide along with a super neat countdown of the event. We are at 1 days, 02 hrs, 43 min and 48 secs as of right now!

Also, if you subscribe to their mailing list, which is pretty cool, they will give you two free downloads of the sun. And can I say he looks mar-vo-lous!  You get a screen saver and one for your mobile device. Hey, I am all about the day!

And for those of you who ordered the “see the sun” shades from Amazon, check your mail and make sure yours has the okay to you know, look at the sun. They sent us a “Warning! Danger Will Robinson!” (Who out there remembers that TV series Lost In Space? See, I really am that old!) They refunded our account and we do not need to return the glasses, but sadly, there will be no direct looking.

So heed your old Auntie Carroll and all those other government agencies that tell you “NO! Do Not look at the sun during the eclipse without proper eye covering!”

So enjoy the darkness, watch for any early rising vampires and be good to your eyes. After all, you need your eyes to read fan fiction!

And yes, there will be a posting, tomorrow!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

Your old Auntie Carroll

P.S. In my world, the eclipse has already happened and that is my selfie! Woohoo!