Chapter 9     I’m An Old Dog, But I’ve Got New Tricks

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.

 

Samuel’s helicopter sat down on Sookie’s drive. They would go to ground Thursday night at Samuel’s residence in New Orleans and then Friday they would be fresh and refreshed and going downtown.

They did not have much luggage, just a hanging bag each and a small overnight case. Which Sookie thought was rather remarkable, since chainmail seemed to be bulky.

The estate sat outside of N.O., they had all taken to calling it. And it was an estate. Sookie could think of no other name for it. Or maybe a small hotel. “Does Samuel own this?” she asked as they began their approach.

“Yes,” Eric nodded his head and said into the headset, “once a year he comes into town and talks money. He stays at his own residence where ever it is he needs to be.”

They were down on the helipad and Samuel was there to greet them. “Perhaps you would like to freshen up?” Samuel smiled at his guests.

“Yes, thank you,” Ian said, taking the hint. “I believe we would all enjoy that.”

“Excellent. Richard will show you to your rooms. Please keep in mind, these are members of my staff. They volunteered to be your partner for the night. Act accordingly.”

“Of course,” Cedric bowed to Samuel. “Thank you for your kindness towards us.”

Eric and Sookie were shown to their suite. “Is…is Samuel providing…?” her voice trailed off as they walked through the marble halls and admired the paintings.

“Sookie, blood is at its optimum when it is sexually charged. You have met the lads. They will see to it that their partner has a very good time before they bite. Samuel pointed out they are members of his staff who volunteered. Tomorrow night is a very big deal. And we all want to be at our very best.”

“He would provide blood for you, back in the day…” she was thoughtful as the doors to their rooms were opened.

“Samuel saved me from the true death more than once,” he answered her. “He is mindful of his friends and of his associates, as well.”

“I am grateful to him,” she smiled at Eric. “And for tonight as well. That he would ask his people to do this…thing…”

“Sookie, he knows the boys have spent the past week with us. Drinking bagged bloods. They have been without, sexually, and also blood right from the source. We are all old enough that we have control. And we all want to maintain that control. Tomorrow night it will be very easy to lose control, just from anger, alone. And we do not want that to happen. So, tonight and tomorrow upon rising, a sex partner will be available and for feeding as well.”

“Okay,” she nodded as she watched her things being unpacked. “Should we have…” she faltered, “…offered…?”

“No,” he smiled at her. “We should not. Normally, they would go out and find their own.   Samuel is doing this because there is no way of knowing who in the city has been poisoned with silver. And I am sure all the high priced escorts have been tainted. When dealing with The Authority, you just suspect everything and everyone.”

“They have that kinda of reach?”

“Yes. They are like a spider whose web they have been spinning for hundreds of years.”

“Good to know,” she sighed. “And they don’t mess with Samuel?”

“No one messes with The Da’vid.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“Because he controls the money.”

“Whose money?” she asked. “Banks? Wall Street?”

“All the money,” Eric smiled.

“All the money…” her voice faltered.

“Sookie, he is over six thousand years old and has been managing money since he was turned. He has an impressive network in place as well. His is just worldwide. Not just here in the U.S.”

“Well, alright then,” she sighed. “So, I don’t have to worry about him using his money for Tara and Lafayette and it putting him in a bind.”

“No,” Eric grinned at her. “The day Samuel is in a financial bind, we all need to be worried.”

“I bury my money in the backyard, what little bits I have,” she smiled. “I guess I need to show you where that is.”

“What ever you do, do not tell Samuel,” Eric laughed. “He believes money should be working, not lazing about.

Now,” he picked her up and tossed her onto the bed. “I believe King Eric lives by the same credo.”

“What’s that, no lazing about?”

“No, being buried.”

 Friday Night—Tonight I’m goin’ downtown… 

Eric and Sookie had followed all the protocols for their blood exchange. Sookie was still feeling a bit of a glow and a good time in her girly parts! King Eric had been his most charming and had, indeed, given her a ride to remember. “The lives of our friends depends on this, fair lady,” he would whisper to her as a new position was tried and found to be a screaming success.

When Eric bit, she was screaming as her fangs popped down and his neck became her meal.

Sookie’s clothes were being pressed.   Eric had picked out for her a navy suit with a pink silk blouse. Her shoes and bag were a matching navy and pink, made by Coach. Her pearls were the size of a robin’s egg and hung down to the top of her breasts. Her diamond earrings were headlights, she decided. The dragon torque and the bracelet she wore always. Finishing with the blush, she watched Eric get dressed.

“You need some help with the chainmail?” she asked.

“No,” he smiled at her. “It has been a while, but I remember how to do it.”

“They gonna say somethin’ about you takin’ in a sword?”

“Probably,” he laughed. “But the paper work called for Eric the Viking. Not Eric the peacekeeper.” He turned, showing her the full frontal view of the Viking warrior he had once been.

“You are a gorgeous thing,” she said with a sigh.

“And…” he arched an eyebrow at her.

“You are a gorgeous thing and deadly.”

“Better,” he grinned. “Now, let us go round up the lads. Time to change vampire history.”

As they gathered downstairs, Sookie noted that the men were all dressed on variations of the same theme. All wore leather breeches, fine linen tunics and chainmail. Tall boots. Around their waist was their sword belt with swords and various other sharp objects attached.

Pamela appeared as if from nowhere. “What no helmets?” she asked.

“We don’t want to scare them off,” Cedric replied as he adjusted his dirk.

“Yes, we all decided that the helmet would be a bit of an over kill,” Vlad chuckled. “Besides, does things to my hair.”

“Well, I will be in the cheap seats,” Pamela sighed. “Because I have no official escort and the only way I am associated with this little gatherin’ tonight is because Eric is my maker. You would think that would give me all kinds of rights.   Apparently not,” she sighed, again.

“O’ fair lady,” Vlad extended his arm to her and his cape fell away, “I would be honored.”

“Oh goody,” she smiled at Vlad. “And thanks.”

“Stay out off the battle field,” Eric told her, his voice serious.

“Well drat,” she sighed again. “Looks like I will be sittin’ with Momma Sookie and admiring the scenery.”

“Saddle up,” Eric smiled as he bit his finger. “We know from trial and error this will make you as fast as me for about three hours. So Vlad, you have first shot. Let the magister read the charges then he is yours. Call his ass out and bring him the final death.”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2mlT2s3n3o     Tonight Downtown by Aloe Blacc…..(Hit this link and begin reading…keeping fingers crossed that it works…then the bar at the top of the screen, hit the wordpress  and come back and read and listen to the music.)

The helicopter sat down on the helipad on top of the building. There was a strong wind blowing in off the coast. “Storm tonight,” was all Eric said as the helio sat down.

Stepping out, Siggy began:

*Ain’t nothin you can tell me that I don’t already know,” his hair blowing around his face.

*Been around the block a few times, I seen it all before,” Vald sang, with his cape swirling around him.

Eric picked up the beat: *I know people in high places, hot tub in the penthouse suite,” the mantle of blue around his shoulders was rippling along with the wind.

And Ian and Cedric followed with: *But all my real friends to the end still grind in the downtown street.

Tonight I’m going downtown, I’m going downtown…I’m going down, down, down, downtown.” They all sang as the guards approached them, ready to escort them into the building.

“Fucking were shit,” Alexander drew himself up. “They are carrying swords,” he turned from the monitor to Godric. “Who gave them permission to carry weapons into the building? Eric’s sword is taller than I am. With his reach, he could have my head removed before I blinked.”

“You called for Eric the Viking,” came Godric’s calm reply. “That is who is appearing here, tonight. If you wanted Eric the businessman, I am sure he would have appeared in a three piece suit.”

The child vampire’s eyes were full of hate as he regarded Godric. “Yes, thank you,” he sneered “for pointing that out to me. If I had been his maker,” he hissed at Godric, “there would be no such disrespect for The Authority.”

“Come now,” Roman smiled. “No need to be ungracious. The Sheriff of Area Five is following the protocols we sent out,” his smile turned to Nan.

“Don’t blame this fucked up were shit on me,” her voice was hard. “You pushed this out of your meeting that I was told I did not need to be in attendance. This is on all of you. The guards are on stand-by. Any move at all on Northman’s part and he will just be a footnote in vampire history.

Better question is, where does Russell stand with all of this. He and Talbot are out strolling the city. Their asses are going to be back here when we start?”

“I have talked to Russell,” Roman said, his voice calm and soothing. “They are in the building. Most good, there they are now.”

“Where the fuck is San Diego?” Nan smirked. “Making his peace with his maker? Who is in Chile by the way…he has to be here to bring the charges.”

“He is present,” Roman assured her. “He was caught, perhaps, trying to leave town.   But he says he was just out for a bit of fresh air.   He is presently locked in his chambers and will be escorted in when the time comes.”

“I knew that fucker was a flight risk,” Nan smirked.

“Well from the look of things, the Magister is going to just be an elevator ride, away. Get his ass out here so we can at least look like we know what we are doing,” Salome pasted on a smile.

“The Da’vid will be in attendance,” came a voice over the loud speaker. “ETA fifteen minutes.”

“Just fucking perfect,” Nan hissed. “He is here to see to the finally dead’s money. I wonder if there are odds on tonight’s little get together just whose bank account is going to whom.”

“You are just so fucking morbid,” Salome regarded her. “Let us live to celebrate life.”

Nan started laughing and did not stop until the elevator doors opened and their guests for the evening had arrived.

Roman watched them as they walked into the room. Eric, Vlad, Siggy, Ian and then Cedric. Then in walked Mrs. Northman being escorted by Pamela. Just which one, he wondered, was going to bring him the final death?

“Looks to me,” Russell whispered to Talbot, “that the Magister is sweating just a bit.”

“How close in age is he to Vlad? And I love that cape Vlad is wearing. Does so set off his eyes.”

“The Magister is older by a hundred years. Not that that means anything from the look The Impaler is carrying tonight. He has waited hundreds of years to finally have San Diego in his sights. I heard he was trafficking in the dark arts there for a while. Just in case San Diego was ever stupid enough to let Vlad get close enough to him to end his days.”

“Woof,” Talbot leaned in closer. “Bad boy and badder boy. If Vlad defeats that piece of were shit, we should invite him for dinner.”

Russell patted Talbot’s hand. “Bored with the old ball and chain are we?”

“Of course not,” Talbot kissed his lightly on the lips. “But I did just have the front sitting room redone…oh Russell,” he pouted, “I can tell by the look on your face that you have not even noticed.”

“My dear,” he took his hand, “you know how terribly busy I have been. You have a natural flair for these things. It is your responsibility to see to the house beautification side and my job to be the King of Mississippi. We agreed to this.”

“Yes,” Talbot sighed. “I know, no pouting in public. But when we retire, I want special treatment.”

“I always treat you special,” Russell drawled and kissed his hand.   “Now, it is about to begin. Oh, here comes The Da’vid. The evening just took on a whole new twist.”

Russell was gauging the room that was beginning to fill up and appeared to be standing room only.

His eyes went to Sookie. “Just what is so special about Northman’s breather?”

“Lovely ensemble,” Talbot remarked. “I am sure Eric had it put together in some Parisian house. Those pearls she is wearing…lovely. Those Viking pieces…m-m-m-m,” he growled. “And Eric’s as well. If they fall, I want those,” Talbot smiled sweetly at Russell. “Please.”

“We’ll see,” he smiled at Talbot and patted his hand.

Talbot had a good eye and a kind heart but he did not know how to read a room worth were shit.   Russell was carefully appraising everything and everyone around him. It was a good thing they had walked in when they did or they would be standing against the wall along with the kings from the West Coast. There was no way this was going to start on time, there was still royalty coming in.

Eric and his lads were smiling and talking among themselves. Eric kept glancing over his shoulder and winking at his Mrs.

“Mrs.,” Russell wanted to laugh out loud. Eric was openly flirting with her and then…The Viking was up and on the move. Extending his hand to Sookie and then Pamela, he escorted them down to the convicts area and Pamela went onto Vlad’s lap and Eric now had Sookie in his. Just what the fuck?

“What the fuck?” Salome hissed. “Northman has moved his women down into the box with the accused. We look like buffoons.”

“We knew this was going to happen, that Eric would change the tempo of the hearing.   Add his own interesting bits. Let him play his game. We have this,” Roman smiled reassuringly. “Besides, time to begin.”

“This is a solemn occasion,” Roman stood. “We speak of taking a vampire life. To venerate this horrific act, we call upon Lilith, to bind us to the truth and to set us on the path.”

“Oh fuck me,” a voice was heard from the back of the room, “Lilith. I already gave.”

Andrew stood. “Lilith was the first of our kind.   She is our god. Her blood rests here with us. Who dares to profane her?” he shouted.

When no one stood, Eric did. “Well, I will volunteer,” he smiled. “The first of Lilith’s laws is that children should be seen and not heard.”

“You dare, you brutish illiterate piece of were shit!” Andrew screamed.

“Respect your elders, child,” Eric’s voice was stern. “Should I quote the book of Lilith to you? I could. My friends that are gathered with me here tonight, we spoke the words of this false god and Samuel acted as scribe and recorded all that we said. Of course, we were all high on the Green Fairy. I believe Samuel may have taken more liberty with our thoughts than we intended.”

Nan started laughing. “Priceless. Bring the bitch out. Either she is or she is not. Now would be the best of times to rid ourselves of The Viking. Bring out the blood of Lilith and let us put Eric to the test or let us be rid of Lilith for all our days.”

Salome abruptly stood up and then sat back down. “Our god is not available,” was all she said.

“What, has she stepped out to get her nails done?” Nan asked.

“And would that be with the money I gave you to build her alter with?” Nan’s voice was angry.

There was a murmur throughout the room.

“Oh dear,” Russell chuckled. “It appears that several have already returned those envelopes with their donation to Lilith’s new place of sanctuary. Ours is still sitting on the secretary. I had delayed,” Russell patted Talbot’s thigh, “thinking I would just make a donation while we were here. Perhaps now it will not be necessary.”

“Show us the blood of Lilith,” one shouted and then the call was taken up by others.

“Please,” Roman said standing, “please. We are here to deal with the accusations leveled against Eric the Viking.   Please. Let us get back on track. Lilith would want this.”

Roman realized that was the wrong thing to say. Doubt registered on every face. That seed had been planted very effectively by The Viking. Word of this would spread just as soon as those assembled tonight were once more back in cell service range. There went the gifts of money and slaves. Roman was beginning to believe that Eric was here to kill more than just The Authority.

Time to put the focus back on the agenda. There was going to be a death. Just whose he had not yet determined. “Magister,” Roman spoke to an oriental screen that was set up behind their table and the room became quiet. “You are on. Walk out with me and let us get this started.”

The audience stilled when the two walked to the center of the room. “Let it be stated for the record, that there is a recognized blood feud that stands between Vald The Impaler and The Magister, San Diego. That being said, the Magister must bring charges against The Viking, then we shall deal with the reality that is the feud.” Roman turned on his heel and walked back over to the table and sat down.

“Eric the Viking,” The Magister began in his most chilling voice.   “Charges have been brought against you for the following:

“By whom?” Eric asked.

“What?” San Diego looked up at him.

“Who accuses me?”

“This esteemed body,” Jorge glared at him.

“They bring the charges,” Eric answered, “but I want to know who accused me.”

“Oh deep and smelly were shit! Round Two goes to The Viking. This just continues to get worse,” Nan rolled her eyes.

“William T. Compton,” the magister replied.

“Who? Sorry,” Eric said.   “Even with my vampire hearing I could not make out the name.”

“William T. Compton,” San Diego spoke loudly.

Eric, God does not care that you have a tight ass and long legs,” was screeched out in Compton’s voice from somewhere in the crowd. “God, why do you sound like a woman?” was said with Compton’s speech, sobbing from another part of the room.

The room was laughing as other interesting parts of the junkyard script were vocalized.

“Is Compton present,” Eric asked.

“Yes,” Roman said standing.

“As the accused, I would like for him to read the charges. The magister just has to verify that all the charges were read. Correct?”

“That is correct,” Roman nodded. “Bring Compton,” he said to a guard. “He is no longer watching but is going to be an active participant.”

“My name is William T. Compton,” he said proudly. “I do so hereby swear these statements to be just and true. Gladly do I partake of this of my own free will. I am happy to be of service to this esteemed…”

“Thank you William, we all know that you are glad to be here,” Roman said. “Please, the charges.”

“Proudly I will do so,” Bill bowed to the group at the table. “Eric the Viking willingly disclosed to the human, Sookie Stackhouse, that…”

“Sookie Stackhouse Northman,” Eric corrected him, with a hint of sternness in his voice.

“She was Sookie Stackhouse when you exposed yourself to her,” Bill shot back.

“Bill, I never exposed myself to her. She willingly undid my pants and…”

“Enough,” Roman stood. “Bill, keep to the facts and do not elaborate.”

“He told her that he was vampire. That he had a Queen.   He told her this knowing that she could not be glamoured. And that I was there to procure her for our Queen. He also involved her in a blessed to continue ceremony. She is not a supe. She is just a gifted human like her cousin Hadley.”

“Gifted how? H-m-m-m?” Talbot giggled softly. Everyone in the room was asking themselves the same question.

“These charges are correct as read,” San Diego said. “Thank you William T. Compton. All stands as is.”

“Good,” Roman stood. “Now the matter of the blood feud between Vlad the Impaler and the Magister, San Diego. You will be held liable for any other life you take besides that of each other’s. When I sit down, you may begin.”

Roman took his seat and as soon as his ass hit the chair, it happened. That fast.   San Diego was gone and was being nailed with silver spikes throughout his body to the door. His screams of agony were reverberating through the room.

“Now, now,”Vlad patted him on the cheek. “We will never get through this with you yelling like that.” Taking out his knife, he cut out Jorje’s tongue and tossed it to the floor. From under his tunic came cotton batting that he stuffed down his throat to muffle the sounds. “And to finish you off, a nice bow,” Vlad grinned as he took a strip of cloth and tied it around Jorje’s head, clamping his mouth shut.

“For my Mina,” Vlad said as he drove a silver stake through The Magister’s voice box. “His body belongs to me,” Vlad said as he stood back and admired his work. “I will bring him the true death after he has suffered for a day hanging from spikes as my Mina did. Then, I shall impale him on a silver rod and leave him for the creatures of the night.”

With a glare, his eyes swept the room, willing any to challenge him. With a shove, he drove with his bare hand the silver spike in San Diego’s throat deeper. All could hear the sizzle of Vlad’s hand when he pulled his palm away.

“Nice bow,” Pamela commented, as the room remained silent while Vlad walked back over to his seat.

“Well thank you fair lady,” he smiled at her as he extended his hand. Pamela stood, Vlad sat and Pam took her place once more on his lap.

“I believe that deals with the blood feud,” Roman’s voice was low as he shuffled through his papers. “Continuing on. I believe The Da’vid has the floor.”

For a moment the room held its breath while Samuel took out his phone and input numbers. Which was just fucking impressive that Samuel got cell service since they were twenty stories under ground.

After a moment, Samuel got up and walked over and showed Vlad the screen. Vlad gave him a two-fingered salute with his left hand in acknowledgment and all heard Pamela say, “How much?”

“A lot of zeros,” Vlad responded in a whisper, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Child,” was all Eric said and the Missy Pam became quiet and settled back into Vlad’s lap.

The smell of blood permeated the air, along with the faint gagging sounds of the magister.   Vlad had taken part of his retribution. The body of the Magister now belonged to Vlad as well.  These meetings were usually so dry. Finally a night’s entertainment worth the travel.

Nan was doing her very best not to look at Ian or Cedric. “I can hear the clock chiming on the main floor, counting down the minutes of my death,” she said to herself. “Death stalks me here. Just as it did the night I was made vampire. I should have listened to the chiming of the clock. I should have listened to my father when he said I should not take the candle out to the barn. I should have listened to my maker when he said that I was a bad girl and needed to be punished for destroying Ian’s castle with him and Cedric inside it and those peasants,” she spit, “that he treasured more than vampire. I think I am going to be punished, tonight. I think Ian is going to perpetuate something so horrific upon my person that I shall scream for a million years.”

“Well,” Bill stood and straightened his jacket. “A magister is needed. I could fill in for the night. It would look good on my resume.”

Nan’s voice spoke up. “I vote yes. Give the job to Compton. Death waits for all of us.   The clock is striking midnight. Can’t your hear it. The death bell tolls and the worms are hungry.”

Roman looked at Nan and raised both eyebrows.

“Bat shit crazy,” someone from the gallery said. “This just keeps getting better.”

“Yes,” Roman nodded to Bill. “Continue.”

“Eric The Viking,” Bill lowered his voice and stuck out his chest. “At this time, we will speak to Sookie Stackhouse,” he grinned.

“I don’t think so,” Eric smiled.   They all heard and felt the bolt of lightning that hit the building, immediately followed by a roll of thunder that shook everyone. The lights went out and there was the smell of more blood. When the generator kicked the lights back on, all the guards were dead. Their vampire killing weapons destroyed. “Lock the doors,” Eric said and power locks engaged. “Now,” he looked around the room, he and his friends wiping the blood from their swords, “who was it that wanted to question my Mrs.?”

*  Tonight Downtown     Aloe Blacc