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.
OI was taking the bacon out of the package and placing it on the cookie sheet while La La made a fruit salad and Sookie mixed up the pancakes.
“Dogs are not normally allowed in the kitchen,” her voice held just a touch of momma sternness as she looked over at Gramr and Rosta.
“Oo-o-o-o-o?” they both said as they looked around, searching diligently for any dog that might have trespassed here.
Eric was laughing as Sookie eyed the two with the four paws. “So what, you are not dogs?”
“O,” they both said and nodded their heads as they lay down.
“Oh,” she sighed, “this should be just all kinds of fun when Josiah gets here.”
“Yip, yip, yip, yip!” they both started talking so fast that their conversation was hard to follow as they howled, yipped and O’ed!
Their was excitement contagious and glorious! A baby! There was going to be a baby boy! Their Josiah was coming home to them! “So,” she eyed them both, “not dogs and you know our boy.”
“O,” was once more the response as they stretched out and lay their heads on top of their feet, watching her every move and smiling at her and wiggling their eyebrows. “You dogs and that boy,” she grinned as she shook her head and then placed both hands on her tummy.
“Yip,yip, oo-oooo,” they both howled and laughed.
Sookie smiled at them and laughed right along with them. Her heart full of love and the promise of a glorious future!
But for now, folks needed to be fed. She was a might bit peckish, herself.
“OI,” Sookie asked the dragon, “are you eatin’ with us?”
“If you would be so kind as to invite me to your table,” he bestowed upon her his best smile and fluttering to her, he raised her hand and kissed it.
“You two,” she looked over at the dogs, “want a plate?”
“O,” was the reply from both with great big smiles as they wagged their tails. Coming over to her, they both licked her hand and yodeled a song of praise just for her as they gently nudged her tummy with their noses and sang softly something that was just a bit different…a song for rocking a baby to sleep…a song for Josiah. She felt the tears start to form.
Wiping her eyes, she then scratched them both between the ears. “No matter how other,” she stressed, and wiped her eyes, again, “you two may be, I will not be putting your plates on the table. And thank you for the serenade, that was lovely.”
Eric was grinning while OI was rolling his eyes at the dogs. “They knows I can’t sing,” he pouted just a bit. “And I might be glamorous and mysterious and has my handsome ways, but they is cute and likes to cuddle and keeps your feet warm and every boy needs a dog,” he sighed, “and a dragon but there is just not enough of the wind riders to go around. That is why there are dogs. But they are good boys and will take good care of you and Josiah, Miss Sookie. ‘Cause I am needed with my big mans, cause lordy, skanks abound.”
“Well, all right then,” she nodded, “I’m gonna need to make more pancakes. OI, there is another package of bacon in the fridge, if you would be so kind. Lafayette, we are gonna’ need a few more apples chopped and I am cravin’ a whole pineapple, just for me. If you would please.”
“M-m-m-m, maple syrup,” OI made a yummy sound as he ran his last bit of bacon through the last little bit of sweet goodness that was on his plate. “This guardian angel biz is just the best,” he sighed.
“O,” Rosta noted as he licked his plate clean. Eyeing Gramr’s plate, there was still a small pool of syrup left as his to-war buddy was slowly savoring it. This beat graveyard bones paws down!
“Ooo-o-o-oO,” Rosta stuck his nose towards his friend’s plate.
He was rewarded with a low growl and Gramr keeping both eyes on him as he slowly ran his tongue down the center of the syrup and then his plate was clean as well.
“It is noted,” Sookie smiled at the two dogs, “that we all like maple syrup.”
Eric’s phone chimed. “It’s Samuel,” he said, “excuse me for a moment.”
“We know this place,” was Samuel’s calm voice. “Boîte Collin,” was all he said.
Eric stood there, staring at his phone. “Thank you Samuel, I’ll get back to you.”
The kitchen had been righted and there was no time like the present. Bad news just dropped it pants and shit on you whenever it took a notion. Well, he now had the tools to permanently remove any and all shit that crossed his path. But still, it was a process to get there. “Perhaps something to drink and a favored spot to sit,” he sighed as he kissed Sookie on the nose.
“This cannot be good, his La La fineness says,” as even the dogs “woofed.”
Eric scrunched up his face and shook his head.
“Is it so very early for the blue agaves?” OI asked.
“No,” was Eric’s response. “Fix whatever and then the living room.”
They had settled in. OI had placed the bottle next to him and would from time to time fix his dragon gaze on it like he was glamouring it.
“What’s up?” Sookie asked him.
“Mr. Eric’s face is not lookin’ good. Like there is gonna be a round of cussin’ and a round of fightin’ and maybe some more cussin’. I am just practicing my glamour. My big man and me, we will be doin’ some hit and runnin’ with the glamour. I can tells. Quick in, out and on to the next skank shake down.”
“OI is also a prophet,” Eric began with a heavy sigh. “Skanks do abound. There is a little town called St. Paulville, just north of New Orleans and east of Baton Rogue. Interstate 55 to get you there and then a few back roads. The old plantation is called Boîte Colline.”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “Gran took me there once to admire the gardens. Everything else was closed for restoration. It is on the National Register of Historic sites and it has stayed in the Jacques’ family. You put your money down and you can tour it.”
“Yes, they were always known for their beautiful gardens. And the church that you did not get to tour my Sookie, is famous for its stained glass, and was built in 1788. I knew the son of the original owner, he was a good man by the name of Lucas Jacques. I was a frequent visitor there after the main house was rebuilt in 1800.”
“Oh,” Lafayette closed his eyes. “Boîte Colline, Box Hill. Owned by Lucas Jacques or in the American vernacular, Luke Jack. As in Jack-in-the-Box.”
“Yes,” Eric made a low growl in his chest.
The dogs did likewise and sniffed the air. Their eyes were now focused on Eric, watching his every move, just wishing for the slightest invitation to go to war.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Eric eyed the dogs and they grinned at him. “If it is Marie Laveau pushing the magic around, I am glad we are now equipped with the arsenal of God. I met Marie once,” his focus was back on the humans. “I ran into her one night when she was working a graveyard. I was curious as to why a human would be out so late and a woman alone at that. As I approached her, my grandmother’s magic started screaming at me to back-the-fuck-up. For once I listened.
She called out to me, Succo. Bloodsucker…not even a more respectful vampire. And vampire is the term used by supernaturals at large if they value their lives.”
“She was famous for her voodoo,” Lafayette said to OI. “Claimed she could raise the dead and bring the rotting corpses up out of the grave. She had all kinds of devotees. New Orleans would empty out to see her work her magic down by a water source on holy days.”
“Zombies,” Sookie said and smiled when the dogs let out a low growl. “Like what came into our yard.” The growls deepened and they both bared their fangs. Getting up, they came over to Sookie and they sat one on each side of her legs.
“Good boys,” she whispered as she scratched their heads.
“Well sure ‘nuff,” Lafayette shuddered. “Her worshipers now comes with a little foldin’ cash. Gots to, if they want to get in the door.
Judith James, that skank said she suckled off their power. That would be zombie making power. So naturally all her spells would be juiced with that. And that would be the underlying flavor of anything she did. Sub-consciously, she would tend to do zombie spells. This is where she would feel her most confident.”
“And Compton knew Bon Temps was the place to start,” Eric was putting the pieces together. “But he wanted a witch to validate that as a test of her power.
And James wanted a sure thing so she planted the jawbones. So all she had to do was just call to those spirits that were not resting easy so that she could chat them up.”
“But the Box Hill duo, for zombie callin’, they are not doing anything to draw attention to themselves,” OI said.
“That is actually very clever,” Eric replied. “The house is privately owned. They rent it out for parties after hours. The locals would not find it unusual to see buses coming and going from there after dark.”
“So Compton actually helped us by bringing James into the mix,” Sookie said. “Giving us a heads up about the ugly that is out there.”
“Looks that way,” Eric was thoughtful. “First useful thing that dumb-ass has ever done.”
“He roasts nicely in Hell,” OI added.
All eyes went to OI as he nodded his head in assurance. “Mr. Josiah was ridin’ on my back. I came into position above the worst part of Hell and he tossed him in.”
“That’s why our boy had to go…” Sookie said in wonder and pride as she squeezed Eric’s hand.
OI only nodded his head yes. “Can not be tellin’ you his story,” he said, his voice serious. “Not mine to tell. But I was there and can tell you mine. Lookin’ just like his daddy, he told Compton that he was your son. That hell-bound skank had a hollering moment before he even started to toast,” OI said with pride.
Eric wiped at his eyes. “Well, two useful things,” he ticked them off on his fingers as he thought his chest just might burst with pride for their little man. “The witch he sent actually worked to our advantage and Billy the boob is the kindling in the fires in Hell. He had a purpose after all. Who would have guessed? Certainly not anyone who knew him.”
Sookie grinned at him. What passed between them was the moment when all self-doubt evaporated. No more second-guessing or what ifs. Their boy had said he had to go and would return. Faith now walked where before there was mourning. In a look and a squeeze of their hands, they both knew this.
“Do you think Lucas is a vampire?” Sookie asked, back on track. Back to this life…this world that would not hold her emotions hostage, again.
“No, I am most positive about that,” Eric said with conviction. “When I knew him, he was not a supernatural. He lived for only five years after his home was finished. I was there while he lay-in-state. There was nothing vampire about him. Just dead human. Of course, I had not encountered a zombie before. He could have been percolating then, but I would have no way of knowing. Like I said, he presented like a dead human.”
“Maybe,” OI was speculating, “maybe that is why she calls him Jack-in-the-Box. Maybe he has to rest in his box on his home turf after dragging his tired old ass bones around on the night of the full moon.”
“Yes,” Lafayette nodded at his little man, “and since the plantation has been kept in the family, maybe the resident voodoo priestess regenerates him to lookin’ all good and human. That is why they have the private parties. So that he can be drain’ yous life force so he cans have one. Her as well. Probably what keeps her skanky ass on this side of the veil, sucking the life force out of everyone else.”
“So all of those that partake at their rituals, do you think they start to take on a zombie-esque look?” In Sookie’s voice was worry. “Or whenever they do their spells, it has a touch of zombie?”
“Well, that coulds explain the flash of the pointed teeths that I saw on that skank James. OI saw them also.”
“Yes, my big mans is right. Human teeth she had and then not human flashed us, then they was gone. Back to normal.”
“This could be a real problem,” Sookie looked at Eric. “Only God knows who has sat in attendance with them.”
“Now that you say that Miss Sooks, anyone seen the governor lately? Saw him on the news the other day. He has lost some of his color.”
“Lafayette, he is African-American, how can you tell?” she asked.
“M-m-m-m h-m-m-m exactly,” he said pointing his finger at her. “That blue and gold New Orleans tie he favors, it was lookin’ like used car salesman tired on him. At just a glance, I could not figures out what was wrong. He is always so handsome in that and a blue shirt. He is not as dark as he was. Cans no longer carry that color.”
“Oh–h-h-h shit,” Sookie exhaled a lot of air.
“Exactly,” Lafayette nodded. “He is a lighter shade of pale. You just don’ts be knowin’ who had been tastin’ that nasty assed who-do stirred up and laid out by the voodoo priestess, herself. And as longs as you gots money, you can get in the door.”
“You think once Marie and Jack meet the true death, it breaks the spell on their believers?” Eric was looking around the crowd.
OI was nodding his head yes. “Turn off the power source and their believers will go dark as well.”
“Lafayette,” Sookie patted his hand. “Perhaps if you had another chat with Ms. James, we would know when the next calling of the faithful was going to take place. I know she is slime and all, but it would be helpful.”
“Miss Sooks, did you not see the mornin’ news? The university is all aghast at her shameful and stealin’ ways and she is lookin’ to spend some time in jail. Might be difficult to get next to her.”
“Well drat,” Sookie was disappointed. “But then, I guess that would just have been too easy.” A smile lit up her face as she looked at Eric. “I am getting spoiled to easy,” as she held Eric’s hand that much tighter.
“Well, I can fix that for you,” Lafayette sighed. “later today, I am gonna stop by and see my momma. Not gonna’ be anythin’ at all easy about that. Then my little mans and me, we are comin’ back and spendin’ the night at my home here and we should be back to N.O. by tomorrow night and we will do a walk about and take a smallish look-see around. We can’t have La La’s some day alma mater ground zero for the zombie apocalypse. Should be quiet and we will be stealthy.
It is the dark of the moon. In the land of the dark majicks, it is trouble-free at this time.”
Lafayette looked crossed-eyed for a second. “How did I knows that?”
“Read that,” OI said with a sure shake of his head, “in the library. Transferred it to you.”
They both high-fived!
“That’s cool,” Sookie nodded in agreement. “And handy! There were eight jawbone spells in the graveyard. Do you know why only two activate? And what triggered them?” she asked.
“The last of the full moon phase did not set until this morning. I would bet that just as the moon set, those that were of the voodoo persuasion and payin’ for their undead glorification rose. That would be our two from this morning’. His La La fineness can see the reason in that. Tonight the sky is dark.
And I am proud to say that there were only two in the Bon Temps cemetery that responded to her call. They may not all be hearin’ their own song, but they ain’t tuned to that dark channel. Hallelujah and thank you Jesus!” he shouted and raised his hands heavenward.
“What library are you pullin’ from?” Sookie asked.
“There is a big-assed one in the lower part of Heaven, Miss Sookie. Is that right my little mans?”
“That is right,” OI said with a bow of his head. “I read all the books. And my big mans, it is seepin’ out from me and into him.”
“Wow…” Sookie looked from her life-long friend to the dragon…who she thought was also a life-long friend.
“Tis handy,” Lafayette nodded in agreement.
“Well, stop by for dinner tonight if you want,” Sookie grinned. “I feel like grillin’ steaks.”
“Why Miss Sookie,” OI bowed his head, “I’d be more than happy of heart to be startin’ the flame for you.”
“Well thank you OI,” she bowed her head to him. “I do so appreciate that. I can never get that charcoal to catch just right.”
“That will never be a problem when I am present, oh lovely lady,” he hovered and picked up her hand and kissed it. “Now, my big mans and me, we are off to visit with Miss Ruby Jean. We’ll be back before vampires rises and you gets the hungries.”
“We’ll stop off and get this and that’s for dinner, Miss Sooks. Corn-on-the-cob sounds good. Maybe go put to the field and pick a watermelon and pull some tomatoes and green beans. Old man Ford raises the best in the parish. Always did appreciate his good prices on his pick your own. Now, I gots my keys, times to get this goin’.”
The expecting couple walked out with them and down the porch steps. “Thanks Lafayette,” she hugged him. “You guys be safe out there.”
“Will do,” they both waved as the got into the Volvo and motored off.
Eric put his arm around her as they walked back up to the porch. “Whenever Pamela rises, I’ll call her, then chat with Attila. You know, be on the lookout for zombies. That should get her going,” Eric chuckled. “Just will not do to let her get too docile. She might start to feel like she is unwanted and not needed.”
Sookie grinned at him. “We cannot be havin’ n that.”
“Certainly not,” he nodded in agreement. “No one wants a bored Pamela. No one!”
As they started up the porch, the sun glinted through Sookie’s hair. There in the morning light, Eric sat down on the steps and pulled her into his lap. As he held her, he slowly slipped his fingers through her golden locks that looked like liquid gold.
“I am glad,” he lovingly ran his thumb across her eyebrow, “that things are now easier for you, Mrs. Northman.” Leaning in, he sniffed her neck and then kissed her collarbone that was protruding out past her neckline. “When Josiah came to us, I told Samuel I wanted his last name switched from Stackhouse to Northman.” His hand moved from her shoulder over her breast and now rested on her tummy. “I did not think it would be easy to make that happen, but I knew that I would, no matter what it took or what it cost.
Easy,” he grinned at her and then started to weep. “I married the love of my life and she is blessing me with a son…”
There in the bright, morning sunlight that lit up their wedding bands and caused halos to dance around their heads, she held him while he cried.
The ice cream shop, called Brain Freeze, did a good business. They had a breakfast milk shake that brought in two-thirds of their daily profit. It was close to both campuses; Tulane and Loyola. Both boasted smart students. And she only recruited smart.
Gone were the days of poor field hands and missing deck sailors. She was only willing to expend her energy and talents on the best, brightest and richest. And you did have to have a bit of money to attend those schools…
…and money just walked in her door!
“You should sample the pistachio,” she called out as a group of athletes entered the shop. Looked like the rowing crew was here! Yes, there stood the best the athletic department had to offer. Oh just what she could do with those bodies! “Churned just this morn’in. Best there is anywhere. It is sweet, crunchy and sinful,” she grinned. “Made with cream, eggs, sugar and a secret or two by the ice cream voodoo priestess, herself. There is nothin’ artificial about our house-churned ice cream. It is worth the calories and the brain freeze,” she smiled at them as she started passing out samples of her special mix.
Yes, one taste of this and they would be back for more! Someday, when her army of children walked across the city, they would smart and savvy! They would eat human flesh and bring her the jewels and money that they collected from those secreted places along the way! Her army would empty bank accounts and she would own real estate across the globe. New Orleans would be hers, just as her momma had said it would be! Gone would be the vampires, witches, and Weres and those poor, long suffering lesser majicked folk. She did not have a use for thinking, capable, supernaturals; but humans, humans could be useful…up to a point…drain their bank accounts then they were just a meal and a source of energy.
And all those scoffers and disbelievers and nay-sayers, well, they could just be her children’s meals…she would have a city to call her own and they would worship her as their purveyor of life and the bringer of putrefied death!
And all those gossipmongers that had spreader lies and slander about her….those that had tattled and dispersed malicious rumors about Marie Laveau! Well, she would call them out from the grave and there would be justice! She was the reigning voodoo priestess! And like her mother before her, the majiks were hers to command and control!
Short chapter, but I need to get OI and his La La fineness back to New Orleans. Gracious! To quote La La, Can’t have La La’s some day alma mater ground zero for the zombie apocalypse! And I am all kinds of pissed-off that Marie is using ice cream to spread her poison around! Oh-h-h-h-h…taint the ice cream and your Old Auntie Carroll starts to get all gnashing her teeth, squinty eyed, and shakin’ her fists at the heavens, herself. Just say’n!
Happily, La La does so like his ice cream….and so does OI….and so does your old Auntie Carroll. The voodoo priestess, her days are numbered! There will be no comin’ back from this! Brain freeze indeed!
As always, thanks for reading!
Be blessed and be the blessing,