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 woke with a start! He did not sense danger but he did sense something. Tentatively he sat up, fangs and claws extended. Looking through the darkness, something was not right. Although, now that he was awake, he knew that the sun was not down. That its life-giving essence to humans and death to all vampires, was still dancing above the horizon, for at least another hour. This was a bit odd, being awake and no hint of the bleeds—but he was eating and drinking…and his son…his son that he had conceived as vampire, was back from the grave—so what now defined odd? “The fuck if I know,” he mumbled.
There it was! This is what had woke him. A melody line he had not heard…since he was human. Listening he could hear it…the song of the sun. With his entire will, he set the rhythm in his brain and on his tongue he made the sound of the vibrations.
He hummed the music to himself.
Things shifted a bit, within him. When he was awake during the day, there was a certain heaviness that all vampires felt. You could feel the sun literally pushing you down into the ground.
A constant reminder, he always thought, that that is where the dead belonged, in the earth. That feeling was not there now. Stretching, he pushed out with his will. A gust of wind stirred things at the end of his chamber. “Okay, we are looking good.”
With a low growl he rolled out of bed. The smell of his Sookie and his Josiah were everywhere and…and…he felt something stirring in his gut. He knew that feeling…
When the shower had been put in, he had considered a toilet and then laughed at himself.
Now he was just pissed!
“Was there a fucking reason, Northman, that you could not have listened to yourself and put a toilet in down here! You are as worthless…as…a…broken…rudder…on…a…longboat,” he grumbled to himself. “I thought you had your women’s tribal magic! I though Grandmother gifted me with generations of women’s magic!
Do you ever the fuck listen to it? Well no…you heard the voice tell you the little rat-faced traitor was a lying, sneaky bastard and to kill him first thing. Did you listen? Fuck no! Sure enough, his knife in your gut was what got you on a funeral pyre. Did you listen that night in Paris? Fuck no! We had to run naked through the streets on the fucking coldest night of the year to get away from those witches. It was just fucking embarrassing when the gossip started that King Eric was not big enough to bait a hook.”
“That was not my fault,” King Eric complained with righteous indignation. “We wanted to stay home that night. Lilly was in residence at the time. She was lovely and her mouth was warm. But no-o-o-o, you had to go to the tavern on the other fucking side of Paris! See if you could match your magic against some witches. You took us out in whiteout blizzard conditions, you muscle bound fuck who never ventured out in that weather as a Viking! And then ran us home au-naturel! It was every man for himself! So the boys and I tucked in so we would not freeze and fall off. I am the stuff of legends and you turned me into the butt of jokes! Fuck head,” he hissed.
“Well yes, thank you,” he glared at King Eric. “I have managed to keep us alive this long because of my spectacular hacking and sword swinging skills, vampire strength and magic…” he hissed at his penis.
“Magic that said put in a fucking toilet,” King Eric laughed gleefully. “Now look at yourself…rich, powerful, a one thousand,” King Eric was hooting with mirth, “year old mother-fucking Viking vampire and not a pot to piss in.”
Eric made a face and crossed his eyes and sighed. “I just don’t fucking listen! Sometimes, Viking,” he muttered as he pulled on his jeans, “you are dumber than Were shit. Now I have to go upstairs to take a piss. No fucking way am I pissing in the shower or the sink. I am fucking civilized! I am a Viking!”
It was a little after five and Josiah came into the kitchen asking if it was dinnertime yet.
“Of course Sweet Boy,” Sookie smiled at him. “I forget that little tummy’s get hungry faster. We’ll heat you up some dinner. You want some more fish and mac n’ cheese or something else?”
“Yes please,” he smiled and then he saw Eric standing in the door and food was forgotten!
“Daddy!” he squealed in delight! “Daddy!” as he ran toward him with his arms up!
“Eric!” Sookie was so pleased to see him that she turned from the stove, her arms outstretched as well as she hurried to him to get a kiss.
“You are up! And the sun is still up!” she hugged him, not ever wanting to let him go. “Do you feel alright?” She pulled back and took a good look at him.
“Have to piss,” he said to her as he nuzzled on Josiah’s ear, making him laugh.
“Oh,” she held his eyes, not sure what to say. Instead, “Ah-h-h-h?” came out.
“I know,” he chuckled, “me too.
“Oh, pardon my state of undress,” Eric said as Lafayette walked to the kitchen door. “Company. Excuse me while I use the facilities. I will then shower and dress.”
“You gonna shower Daddy? In the big shower? Me too, please?” Josiah asked.
“Of course,” he smiled and then glanced wistfully at Sookie. Was best not to let his head get lost in that! Either one! “Let me take care of this and I will be right back.”
Eric was standing at the toilet, with the lid up. Sure enough, he was peeing…just what the fuck?
“Can you believe this?” King Eric was either grumbling or laughing or just shocked. Eric could not tell. King Eric was not one to whisper. He liked to announce himself with fanfare and fireworks. But not now…he was whisper quiet and speaking in a trembling voice. “That piss is warm and everything!”
“I think that sums it up,” Eric eyed his companion who was mumbling to himself. “Quiet down there,” he warned. He had not forgotten how to shake and tuck.
Eric stopped by the kitchen for a quick kiss, collected Josiah and then they were gone.
“Mm,” was all Lafayette said. “Mr. Josiah, he looks just like his daddy.” Lafayette fanned himself. “Lordies Miss Sooks.
Now,” he was at the fridge, with the door open, thinking about dinner. “Let La La heat this up, mm-hm,” he crossed his eyes and then turned to face her. “The description I gots of him…did not come close,” he was back to fanning himself. “You say he is a Viking blessed with the Berserker rage. Then we wants him happy happy before he gets the news. You go on down and join your men folk. If you wants, brings our little mans on up to eat while you dry Mr. Eric’s back or hair or whatever. La La will be right here, wishin’ he had not seen that’s with his shirt off!”
“Thanks Lafayette,” she kissed him on the check and then she was out the door!
“That girl was movin’ so fast, screen door would not have even hit her on the ass,” he chuckled as he went through what was going to be for dinner.
The sliding panel was opened and Lafayette could hear Eric and Josiah. Eric was blowing fluffies on a little boy’s tummy that was all giggles.
“Got’s him,” Lafayette held out his arms for the little man. “I gots to get back to the stove and you has just gots to get back,” he said, pointing with his head down the stairs. “Plenty of time for how-do’s, later,” Lafayette said as he kissed Josiah on the nose and continued on in the same breath, “Fish is cookin’ and lookin’ for a little man to do some catchin’.”
“That’s me,” Josiah clapped his hands.
“I am likin’s your t-shirt. Yous La La is admirin’ that color of blue on you greatly!”
Eric closed the door and for about two seconds considered doing things differently. Like sitting down now and getting the story. “Must really be awful,” he laid his head against the closed panel. “Fuck,” he felt his fangs push down. “Fuck, feed, fight,” roared through his mind. In a softer tone was “family,” as it pushed its self to the top of his list.
“Eric, come on,” Sookie called up the stairs. “We only have about ten minutes before Lafayette is finished fixing supper. Josiah likes to eat as a family. Come on…we have time for a quickie…”
Eric was there and she was wrapped around him and for the next ten minutes, this…this was all that mattered.
“Daddy, Momma!” Josiah called out when they appeared at the kitchen door. “I am helpin’ to set the table. Miss Jean and Miss Billy won’t be eatin’ with us. So we only need four plates.
See,” he help up four fingers, “we only need this many.”
“Miss Jean and Miss Billy,” Eric looked toward the living room where he could hear the movie going. “They don’t register,” he said.
“Relatives of Lafayette,” Sookie smiled at him. “From the cemetery. They are part of the on-going problem and they came with him to visit with us.”
“Oh,” Eric replied.
“Eric,” Sookie smiled at him, “I would like for you to meet one of my brother’s Lafayette Reynolds. Lafayette, this is Eric Northman.”
“That’s my daddy,” Josiah smiled as he lifted his arms to Eric to be picked up. “Daddy, that’s my Uncle La La,” Josiah smiled.
“Pleasure,” Lafayette said extending his hand.
“Yes,” Eric nodded as he extended his and they shook.
“Daddy, you need to come and meet Miss Billy and Miss Jean. They are real nice. They been watching Fantasia with me and learnin’ about how the music dances and comes with colors. They need some music and I am helpin’.”
“I am sure you are my son,” he kissed him on the nose. “Let us go say our hellos and then I believe I hear your tummy rumbling. It will be time to eat.”
Before dinner began, Billy and Jean were invited to sit down with the family at the kitchen table. The old Formica top table with the chrome legs did hold six, even comfortably.
Dinner conversation was polite. And all though the spooks did not eat, they had plenty to say about how the meal was prepared.
“Where you get your catfish?” Billy asked taking a whiff. “You catch it or buy it from a fish monger?”
“Was it iced down?” Jean asked. “Eyes lookin’ good? Not fishy smellin’?”
“Yes, it was iced down,” Lafayette wiped his hands on his napkin. “And I don’ts know ‘bout the eyes and no to the fishy smell. They were frozen.”
“Oh,” Jean nodded, finding nothing there to enhance on and so he moved on. “You checked them for that streak of dark meat? Right? You cut that out and you cut out that muddy taste they sometimes has. And you soaked them overnight? Little salt water and lemon juice works wonders. Finishes taken’ the blood right on out.”
“Yes, yes and yes,” Lafayette gave his uncles the stink eye. “Not my first rodeo or fish fry,” he said as he helped himself to another piece.
“I sees you did not make any hushpuppies. I always made hushpuppies,” Jean smiled. “And they was good. Family said they never ate a hushpuppy as good as mine. It was that finely minced onion I put in the batter, along with some garlic and a touch of parsley.”
“And I was wishin’ to see some okra and green fried tomatoes,” Billy sighed. “Just ‘cause I can’t’s eats it does not mean I don’t minds admirin’ it. And I thoughts for sures I would be so blessed….no one serves fried cat without it. Guess I was wrong…” his eyes cut to Lafayette to see if he had the good grace to look shamed.
“It is delicious, Lafayette,” Sookie smiled at him.
“Mmm-mh-h-hm,” Josiah grinned as he had another bite of fish. “I like the mac n’ cheese. How about you Daddy?”
“Yes Josiah,” Eric has been slowly eating the noodles one at a time. “The cheese sauce is delicious.”
“I lick my spoon it’s so good,” Josiah smiled.
“Yes,” Eric grinned at him. “I can see why you would do that. Thank you Lafayette for such a lovely meal.”
“We got b‘nanna puddin’ for dessert,” the little boy clapped his hands. “Just wait Daddy, that is real good too.”
“Nanner puddin’,” Jean eyed his nephew. “You stir your own or it come out of a box?”
“Eggs, milk and sugar, Miss Jean,” Lafayette batted his eyelashes at him. “Your recipe.”
“You use white eggs, Little Sugar? Those browns ones, don’t care what anyone says, they don’t set right in a puddin’.”
“Saw you’s note on the recipe,” Lafayette said to him. “Followed it exactly.”
“It’ll be good then,” Jean said with a sure nod of his head to the family. “It’ll be real good.”
The table was cleared, the food put away and dishes washed. The kitchen was looking good. Eric was sitting in the living room with Josiah on his lap. He was chatting with Jean and Billy and you could hear the low murmur of voices through the wall. “There is some serious of the serious being discussed,” Lafayette eyed the wall as he dried the pan. “Not for sure, but that there wall just might be weepin’ blood.”
“You ready to go on in?” Sookie asked. “Eventually Eric is going to ask.”
“Let’s do this,” Lafayette nodded. “We’ll let him lead.”
“Yes,” Sookie agreed. “That will be for the best.”
When they sat down in the living room, Eric directed his attention at the two new comers. Josiah was asleep, his head resting on Eric’s shoulder. “We have just been discussing Vermilion Planation, which is on an island in Vermilion Bay.”
“Oh,” Sookie looked interested. “I have heard of that place. It sits in the middle of the bay. They brought in mega ton rocks and dirt and timbers to bring up the elevation on a small island so the main house would not flood. Supposedly it is built on top of a Stonehenge replica. Some mad Englishman said his wife was the true Queen of Scotland and built her a castle out there.”
“Tru dat,” Lafayette nodded. “I did a report on it when I was in high school. I learned that with enough slaves, you can do anythin’,” he said, his voice matter of fact.
Eric nodded. “I remember the uproar when it was being built. Richard Kingsly, the mad Englishman’s name, was paying outrageous sums of money for megalith rocks. For anything that looked like a standing stone.”
“Once he had them all in place, he sacrificed a slave on top of each one,” Billy said. “Or at least that is what my daddy told me. No reason to doubt that.”
“Blood sacrifice,” Lafayette shook his head. “On tops of ugly you gets debauchery. Hopes those royal wanna bes are toasting in Hell.”
“Evil,” Sookie said, shaking her head. “Ick,” she shook all over.
“This is where Sophie-Anne has moved the party, too,” Eric said quietly as he kissed Josiah on the top of the head. “No one to hear you scream,” his eyes held death. “But it does change things for us. I do not know this place. Never been there. Pillar of the Sea is what they called it back in the day. This is where we will be headed to break down the doors and drag out Compton. So I don’t know exactly what to expect.”
“I have,” Billy said quietly. “Been there. I was born there. Know the ins and outs and secret passages and trap doors.”
“A map would be helpful,” Eric said gratefully.
“Can do, but can also do better that that. How ‘bouts a spy?” Billy smiled at him. “I have been there in the human, I cans go back as a spook.”
“Those dark chanters that called you out came from New Orleans,” Sookie’s voice was cautious. “You don’t know what HRM has waiting for trespassers. And this place sounds like it has been rigged from the very beginning.”
“Yes,” Eric nodded in agreement. “And HRM would not care if she snared trespassers or even guests,” Eric added. “As long as she and her current flavors of the month are amused. And all of her guests are degenerates.”
“We’d be careful,” Jean nodded. “I mean, we are fine lookin’ and we would not look too out of place.” Shrugging he continued on. “We are two males dressed as females. We would blends right in with the degenerates.”
“Do not compare yourself,” Eric’s voice was harsh. “You are not degenerates and you have no idea the depth of their perversions.”
“We thank you for that,” Jean said. “But the fact is, Josiah is teachin’ us and given’ us hope. We are more than we were when we got in the car with Little Sugar. And you needs to knows,” Billy said and shook his finger at Eric. “The ins and outs of Castle Deaths, is what we called it when I was a boy. And we are the spooks capables of goin’. Jean can just ride along on my dress tails. Now Big Sugar, you just let us handle this.”
Lafayette eyed his two uncles. “You just called the baddest ass vampire to ever walks the earth Big Sugar. You got some balls, probably studded with diamonds and wearin’ Chanel. I guess you can handle this but you two bes careful,” Lafayette pointed at one and then the other. “That blood on those stones maybe old, but it is still blood on those rocks. And Jesus, my Bruja tells me that blood does not forget. You stay way away. Promise me.”
“We will,” Billy answered. “I knows where those bloodied rocks are. Skimmed around and past them when I was a boy. They were somethin’ to be avoided then, will do so now. Got all kinds of common sense when it comes to those rocks.”
“Good,” Lafayette said with attitude as he was sizing up the two. “Now, you are gonna need somethin’ a little more evenin’ evenin’,” his voice was thoughtful while he eyed his two uncles. “Let’s get started on this. You materialized in those clothes. Can you do something a little more old Hollywood in a sashayin’ evenin’ dress?”
“Done invented the word shashayin’” Jean smiled.
“Bedroom,” Sookie pointed, “is that way.”
“I would rather you not go alone,” Eric said, looking from one to another. “I always led my troops into battle. I was not one to stay behind.”
“This is spy work, Big Sugar,” Billy said. “We can fades in and out and be here and there. Yous might be vamp, but you’s is flesh so that would be no to fadin’ into walls and such. We’ve got this and I know the way. We’ll be dressed and out the door in two shakes. When we comes back a complete and updated map will follow.”
“Nothin’ to muchie muchie,” Lafayette warned them, as they stood. “You gots some nice updos goin’ on, and we’ll find somethin’ flowin’ and figure flatterin’ to go with that look. You will not be leavin’ here lookin’ like Auntie June. Lordy, when they put that poor woman in the grave, her makeup, lordy, she looked like a circus clown.”
“Tasteful and elegant,” Jean said as they headed out the door. “Not Whiskey River.”
“Tru dat,” Lafayette answered as he opened the bedroom door and ushered them in.
Sookie was watching Eric as he fussed with Josiah.
“I know it is bad,” his eyes finally held hers. “Everyone is being exceptionally nice to me. They think what? I might bash the moon into rubble?”
Sookie gave a small nod of her head.
“That bad?” his voice slid quietly and slowly over the words.
“Yes,” she sighed. “Lafayette held one of Josiah’s trucks and did a re-wind. He can do it again and tell you exactly what he told me or I can tell you, if you want.”
Eric put his hand beneath her chin and lifted her face for a kiss. “If Lafayette would not mind,” Eric said.
Sookie felt the tears forming in her eyes. “There is one really awful part for Lafayette. Really awful. I had him switch the music in his head and that helped ease him.”
Eric looked at her intently.
Sookie continued on. “He can hear the conversations, the sounds going on. He knew when Josiah died.”
“Oh fuck,” Eric sighed. “I would not ask him to do that again. I will just ask him to tell me.”
“I would do it,” Sookie smiled at him and then brushed away the tears, “I just don’t know if I could get through it. After Lafayette told me, he said it did not matter if you knew his name or not. Just the fuck did not matter. That you could drain him if it gave you the strength you needed to right this wrong.”
Sookie kissed Josiah on the cheek. “Our little man, he has a way of affecting those around him.”
Eric pulled him that much closer to him. “That he does,” he whispered into his son’s hair. “That he does.”
There was a scream that erupted from the bedroom. They both turned and looked that way. “Whatever the question, I think that was a no,” Sookie chuckled and Eric grinned.
The door opened shortly after that and out walked two very elegant and well dressed ladies done in the height of glamour’s old Hollywood.
“You both look lovely in that red,” Sookie remarked with awe in her voice. Getting up, she walked over to them to get a better view. “Wow,” she walked around them both, “you are gorgeous!”
“Tolds you,” Lafayette batted his eyes. “Pink!” he rolled his eyes. “Neither ones of you has gots the skin tones for baby girl pinks.
No!” he held up his hand in front of his face. “Does not wants to hears it. Now, get thee gone and take good notes. ‘Cause we is stormin’ the castle!”
“Thank you,” Eric stood and raising each one’s hand to his lips, placed a kiss there. “You are valiant and true and what you are doing is very appreciated.”
“Don’t you worry none, Big Sugar,” Billy’s voice was set and serious. “We has got this. This coulds takes a bit and a bit. Don’t wait up!” Taking both of Jean’s hands, poof! They were gone!
Eric sat back down and settled in with Josiah. “Just tell me,” he said to Lafayette. “The best you can remember, just tell me.”
Eric could feel it, the rage that wanted to spin up and spew out of him like twisters raging through a volcano! But in his arms was the most perfect and precious thing he had ever held. So instead of his fury being unleashed, it was his tears, instead. Tears of sorrow, shame and a burning hatred that would consume him if he ever let go!
Sookie was next to him, weeping, with her arms around him, with her arms around both of them.
Lafayette sat in front of them. His body exhausted, his mind filled with the horror of what Compton had done. But this was a different reality. Reaching out with his hand, his fingertips brushed Josiah’s leg.
“That Were shit Compton was the last thing he saw before he died,” Eric was weeping, he was so frustrated at not displaying his anger, it was manifesting in tears.
“Daddy,” the little boy stirred and pulled back. “What hurts?” he asked, his voice full of concern. “Let me kiss it so it feels better.”
“My son,” Eric sobbed as he stroked his face. “I love you and all I want is for you to be happy and safe. You and your mother, safe from the evils of this world.”
Josiah kissed him and then his momma. “I am, Daddy,” he smiled. “I always hear your song,” he giggled and clapped his hands. “Yours and mommas,” his little voice was earnest. “And when I hear it I come and find you. I found Momma sleepin’ at Uncle La La’s. It was so pretty there. I left her a flower. And sometimes I would pick flowers for her and leave them. She likes that. Me too, they are so pretty!
And I heard your song and found you sleepin’ next to her. Momma said you were home from the war! Now I sleep next to both of you,” he smiled.
Eric’s mood lifted. “The music, my son, you always hear the music?”
“Yes, Daddy,” he grinned. “It is so pretty.”
Eric settled back on the couch, with Sookie next to him, her face snuggled into his side as Josiah sat up and found a spot on Eric’s lap.
“Daddy, can we have a movie and some popcorn?”
“Yes,” Eric hugged him. “Yes we can.”
“I’ll make it,” Sookie kissed them both and stood. “That popcorn pan is mighty cantankerous.
Lafayette,” she bent over and kissed him on the check as well. “You want some popcorn?”
“Is there chocolate milk to goes with it?” he asked.
“Yes,” she smiled. “Of course.”
“I remember the first time I had popcorn,” Eric had Josiah’s foot and was chewing on it, as the little boy giggled.
“We had just finished a journey to the new world in our longboat. My people were living here and we had come to resupply them and take back furs.
One day, we went to pay our respect to the local Indian chief. I sat with him at his fire and into a clay pot one of the women tossed a hand full of corn. It sounded just like when you Momma adds it to the pan. Then pop-pop-pop it went. She had no way to shake it so it burned a bit and there was no butter. But she had some sea salt and drizzled it with honey. When I put it in my mouth, it was puffy. It melted in my mouth and left the salty and sweet. It was good, but I think I like it with butter and salt, better.”
“Oh,” Sookie grinned, “there are several ways to fix popcorn. But tonight we’ll stick with what we know and maybe tomorrow night we will move on to something else. Caramel and peanuts are good, along with Kettle Corn.
Now, I wish we knew what our ladies were up too,” Sookie sighed as they headed to the kitchen. “I would dearly love to know how things are goin’.”
“Hope we don’t has to rescues their might fine dressed asses. La La has enough of a problem findin’ someone who knows anything about graveyard spells and such. Hope they is mindin’ their p’s and q’s and payin’ attentions. Just say’n,” he kissed his fingertips and spread it to the wind.
“What’s that Uncle La La?” Josiah asked as he now watched his momma take out the pan. Once it was safely on the stove, his attention was back on Lafayette.
“Just somethin’ my Granny Woman used to do. When she was unsure about what kind of blessin’ to be sayin’, she’d just kiss her fingertips and spread it to the winds. Believin’ it would find her family and cheer them.”
“Well that’s real nice,” Sookie turned and smiled at him. “I hope you don’t mind if I borrow that.”
“Nots at all,” he said as he opened the fridge door. “Now, I gots the butter. I like lots. Let’s get to poppin’ that corn.”
“Can spooks have nightmares?” Jean asked as they walked down the hall, stepping over whatever that was fucking whoever.
“I will after this,” Billy said as they smiled and waved at those who held the power. Because those that were being tortured obviously did not.