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.
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.