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.
The Diplomatic Pouch Chapter 8—Day 6
Eric had decided it was just for the best for him to sit and write. Somehow, the fuck-for-all that was All Hallow’s Eve was still a go in the land of the cosmic misfit and embrace the suck. “Some things never change,” he sighed.
The one very good thing he had going for him at this moment was that Miss Stackhouse was still wrapped up in her blanket. She had wiggled around a couple of times during the night, finding her way next to him. Warm blooded did that. Like needed like. It was certainly working for him!
This was nice. Very nice. Her head was right there next to his elbow. It took all that he had not to reach down and run his hand up and down her back. From time-to-time King Eric would work his way up through the petticoats to the frock and sigh. Eric knew actually how he felt.
“Quiet sleeper,” King Eric observed, the material on the front of Eric’s dress moving. “That means she’s a screamer. She could be screaming our…”
“Do not,” Eric warned. “This works because it is not sexual and she is still not my type.”
There was uproarious laughter coming from his crotch. Putting a pillow over King Eric his laptop went back in place. “I still have not made a full blown sunrise, with light dancing on my skin. Would love to see it from the yard,” he grinned. “Just might have to pick up my Sookie burrito and carry her outside!”
The novel was actually writing itself. He was most pleased. Then he was really pleased!
Sunrise,” he grinned as he shut his the lid. “Well, perhaps today is the day walking spectacular…” And then his senses went on high alert!
There were people out moving on this side of the house.
“Sookie,” he gently shook her. “Company. Not the type to announce themselves as they wander in your pecan grove.”
“Mother fucker,” she hissed. “Is my wig on straight?” she asked as she pushed back the blanket and sat up on the bed.
“Yes,” he responded.
“Grab your rifle. Oh, and those ruby red slippers,” she grinned as she pocketed her phone. “Time to do the meet and greet. They might as well get to know the sisters,” she grinned at him as he sat there on the bed, still in his Dorothy outfit.
Getting up and patting each other here and there, and smoothing out hairdos, Sookie declared they were ready to go as she went to go pee.
Coming out of the bathroom, she was all grins. “Rifle for you,” she smiled as they passed through the living room and handed it to him “and shotgun for me,” she smiled as she unlocked the front door and out they went.
“Mother fucker!” she hissed as she stepped out onto the porch. “Would you look at my yard!”
Walking around to the side of the house, she could see them. Several men taking out what looked like surveying equipment out of the back of a truck…the truck full of what looked to be like bullet holes!
“Which one do you think is the boss?” she asked.
“Oh, he’s in the suit. See him, over to your right. Do you want the rifle?”
“Nah,” she said as she continued walking. “Shotgun will do me just fine.”
Pumping it, she stopped, aimed, and put a slug through the truck’s back tire.
“What the fuck?” was yelled as men dove into the mud and she continued walking and pumped the gun again.
“My exact thoughts!” the angry words came out of her mouth in a yell. “Just look at what you have done to my yard and get the fuck off my property!”
The Suit held both hands up and started walking towards her as she continued walking towards him.
“We are within our rights to be here and most assuredly one of my men is calling the local law enforcement and they are on their way.
“E.E.,” she countered. “I know bullshit when I hear it. Here is my phone. Scroll down until you find Sheriff, then hit it. Tell Sheriff Andy I have trespassers and to bring that plaster kit. I want these tire marks noted before the rain moves back in.”
Eric made the call, carefully watching one of the men as he low crawled his way back to another truck. Surveyors generally carried some type of weapon when out working in the woods. When the man stood up to open the cab door, Eric took careful aim and blew the light off the top of his hard hat.
“That’s better,” Sookie said. “I know you’ll carry a snake gun. My friend here knows that as well. Now, get the fuck off my land.”
“If I might,” The Suit managed a smile. “Who is it that has us at such a disadvantage?”
“Stackhouse,” she responded. “And you are?”
“Utility Fuels. Miss Stackhouse, are you kin to Jason Stackhouse?”
“Yes,” she responded.
“He said there might be some family squatters out here. But I do come with the law on my side. The house has fallen into disrepair and no improvements had been made to the property therefore, as the oldest surviving male, the property is his.”
Eric, just maybe, rolled his eyes. He knew Sookie did and then she pumped her shotgun again.
“You are not from around here, are you,” and her voice dripped sarcasm. “Last time the British thought to take any land from us was back in 1815. We kicked your ass then, I am gonna’ do it again, today.
Seriously, this is how a big oil company does business? Don’t you have folks who research plat maps before you just tear through someone’s property? Or did you just want to believe Jason when he said I was poor, lived out here by myself and had no way to fight off Utility Fuels. Just to go on out and spout some lawyer speak and she would hang her head, cry and walk away?”
“What?” in that one word, his voice hit a low note and then a high one.
“Well yes, Mr. Suit, your face gave you away. I can hear it in your voice. You did want to believe him when he said that you could just run me off.
First of all, I am not a squatter. I own this property. Pay the taxes on it. But you knew that. What kind of bullshit is if there are no improvements the eldest gets to claim liege lord rights? Seriously, there is no such law. Besides, I have a new roof, new drive, and that drive is cement, not just gravel. Why I even have cable and inside plumbing with…gasp…hot water. I cannot remember the last time I shit in the woods or wiped my ass with a leaf.
You think you can just come on out, move your equipment in, tear up my property and claim Eminent Domain to make billions in profit for your company while you pay nothin’ for my land and my house?”
Sirens came blaring down the road and two squad cars pulled up. It was Sheriff Andy and a Louisiana State Police car.
“Excellent, the constabulary,” The Suit said with a smile.
Sookie was impressed. Four officers of the law came walking out. All of them taking photos. Wow, Eric must has talked some good shit!
“Whoa, Sookie!” Sheriff Andy called out. “Can you point the firearms at the ground?
And what the hell happened to your yard?” His voice was horror struck. “Your gran took pride in her yard! Who did that?”
Sookie pointed toward the trespassers.
“No shit,” Andy eyed them. “Pardon my French, but I have never seen such disregard for personal property. Your gran must be turning in her grave. But I am forgetting my manners.
Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Emory, this is State Trooper Mills and her partner State Trooper Filby,” Andy introduced the female law enforcement officers. “They are in town on business and came out with me.”
“Ma’am,” both women nodded to her.
“Thanks for comin’ out,” Sookie nodded her head.
The Suit, snorted.
That was perhaps his third big mistake so far this morning. The first one was getting out of bed and the second, driving onto Sookie’s land.
“And you are?” State Trooper Mills stepped up, holding out her hand, obviously requesting I.D.
“Phillips Williams Singleton, Vice President of Acquisitions for Utility Fuels.”
“Well Mr. Singleton,” State Trooper Mills smiled at him. “How is it that you are not dead? I see Trespassers will be shot on sight signs all over this property. I checked. Miss Stackhouse is registered with Renard Parish and the Great State of Louisiana to shoot to kill any one she finds on her land that does not belong there.
Sheriff Bellefleur is this correct?”
“Yes ma’am,” he nodded. “I have always just asked her to call me first before she puts a bullet in someone. That way I get an idea if I need to bring the doc with the ambulance or just a body bag.”
“I am so glad you’ll are here,” Sookie said pointing. “My yard has been destroyed and they have parked on what is left of my grass. See that truck over there, shot full of holes, could you see if these tire tracks match the tires on that truck? I have reason to believe they will. That truck came blazin’ through here last night. There were shots fired.”
State Trooper Mills, State Trooper Filby, Sheriff Bellefleur and Deputy Jones all pulled their side arms.
“They shoot at you?” Andy asked.
“Don’t know, I was at work. I had some trouble the night before. Someone drove a truck, probably that one, through my packed driveway base work. Yesterday morning, when Mr. Bailey fixed that for me and then poured the cement, he left some of his crew here with rifles. Because he did not want that same truck driving through his just poured cement.
So I don’t know if those in the truck shot back or not. But I can see the bullet holes in that truck.”
The Suit looked virtuous. “Those bullet holes are easily explained. My surveying team is often mistaken for deer out in the woods.”
They all got a good chuckle out of that.
“Wow,” Sookie laughed under her breath, “just when I thought I had heard it all,” she smirked at The Suit.
“And the rain will be back in a couple more hours,” she turned to the law enforcement officers, “and all this won’t mean anythin’ because my yard will be just a great big mud hole.”
“We are on that Miss Stackhouse,” the State Troopers smiled at her and then leveled their gaze on The Suit. “Just from here, that appears to be a brand new windshield on that truck. Chances are good we are going to find a match.”
“In an act of good will,” The Suit smiled, “if I might write Miss Stackhouse a check for the damages. A thousand don’t you think?”
There were hoots of laughter all around.
“That’s about an acre’s worth of damage,” E. E. was still laughing. “I had my half-acre sodded and it was right at six thousand to include labor. Mine was flat and no trees. They charge more for trees.”
“That sounds about right,” Trooper Filby nodded in agreement. “Our yard is a half-acre. It cost us seven. Of course, we had trees to be worked around.
And look at these ruts. Lucky the driver did not hit ground water those are so deep. It is going to take some doing to have them evened out. Labor is going to be outrageous.”
“Perhaps a check for twenty thousand?” The Suit said in a sincere voice.
Sookie looked at her back-ups. They all nodded.
“That sounds fair, Mr. Singleton,” she replied.
“Officers of the law, Miss Stackhouse, I am just going to take out my checkbook from my jacket pocket.”
They all nodded.
“Slowly,” Andy said.
Nodding, he put his hand inside his jacket and flourished the checkbook. “If I might have someplace to write?” he said. “And I will need to print out a receipt for you to sign Miss Stackhouse. The printer is in the truck.”
“Of course,” she nodded as Deputy Jones was pouring the molds and Trooper Mills went over to help.
“Fuck,” Singleton cursed under his breath. Going over to the Rover, he started laying new plans. This was going to be more complicated than he thought. Too bad but there was now not another way around it. Putting his checkbook on the hood, he wrote out the amount. The hum of the printer kicked on and walking back over with the paper work and his briefcase, he placed both pieces of paper on top of his briefcase for her to use as a desk.
The law enforcement were busy. Good now was his chance. His voice could be very quiet. The other half of the Bobbsey-Twins was standing off to the side.
“Sign here, please,” he smiled at her and then continued on for only her ears. “Little girls that live in the woods all by themselves can come to a very bad, horrific, terrifying ending that can last for days.”
“Were wolves that threaten serial killers can end up as a pelt on the floor,” she smiled back as she signed the receipt with a flourish. “I have never hunted Were before,” she wiggled her eyebrows at him. “I do so love a challenge. Of course you are not the smartest Were out there. Not that many of them are. Bobbsey Twins,” she snorted. “You ignorant Were shit, we are Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.”
Slowly, he took a step back, staring at her.
She gave him her very best crazy Sookie smile and winked.
“It’s a match,” State Trooper Mills called out. “We want the truck’s registration and driver’s license from everyone here. Line forms in front of me.”
“State Trooper Mills,” Sookie called out. “The Suit,” she pointed at Singleton, “he is a Were. Just keep that in mind that he is stronger and faster than you. So if he starts to growl or gives you any shit, fair warning, take your best shot.”
“Now that is interesting,” State Trooper Mills motioned him to the front of the line. “I want to see your Supernatural I.D.”
“You would take her word over mine!” he spit out.
“Show me some I.D. Any form,” and you could hear the heat in her voice.
“I am not carrying any on me. My diplomatic passport is locked in my hotel’s safe.”
“Well, let’s run your prints and see what pops up.
Miss Stackhouse, we have this,” she nodded to her. “If you would be more comfortable inside, you are certainly free to go.”
“I want all their shit out of my yard,” she said. “I am not payin’ to have that truck removed. They drove it onto my property, they can drive it off.”
“We’ll see to it,” Andy replied as he continued photographing the crime scene.
“Oh, Sheriff Andy,” she was watching the line as men jostled to take out wallets. “This looks like it could take a while. Just as soon as the bank opens, I am depositing this check. I think The Suit would put a stop payment on it.”
“Smart,” he replied. “You might just want to go on into town and have breakfast. That way you will be there when the drive-thru opens. This is gonna’ take a while, I guarantee it.”
“Oh thanks, good idea.”
She and Eric took off for the house, planning their day.
They were up the steps and inside. She started to say something and Eric just shook his head as he closed the door. “That is a most excellent idea. Let’s change and go eat.”
Eric was all business and grins. Something was up. She had lived in such close proximity to him that she was getting to be pretty good at reading him. Sookie was giving him a very big nod of the head that she understood as he ushered her into the bedroom.
With her back turned, off went the wig, frock, shirt; on went her jeans and a sweatshirt.
Eric did the same.
Picking up his keys, they were out the door in the car and gone.
“What’s up?” Sookie asked.
“I know him. Singleton. He does the heavy lifting for Berlin. Those nice law enforcement folks in your yard are not going to be able to get past the mystery Berlin has him shrouded in. He is tagged as a diplomat.”
“So he walks?” she asked.
“Yes,” Eric nodded. “But his boss is going to be very upset that he was tagged at all. From now on, whenever anyone runs his papers, it will be noted that he was tagged as a Supernatural. People are going to wonder why. I am sure they have him listed as human.
Bobbsey-Twins,” Eric smirked as he pulled into the bank. “You were correct Miss Stackhouse. Just a dumb-ass Were that cleans up nicely. He should be castrated for not knowing what Dorothy looks like and then skinned for not remarking how beautiful we looked.”
Laughing she was able to get out, “Good one.
Oh look,” Sookie smiled. “The bank is open. Yippee. Let’s go deposit this then breakfast. My treat!”
“Diplomat,” Mills said as she looked up from her communications with higher. “You are free to go. Take that truck with you. I believe we have all the information we need off it.”
The police officers watched them carefully back out and off the property.
Singleton was in the back of the Range Rover. Once they got to the highway he started screaming, “Who the fuck gave that fuck-wad the truck? Who authorized that?”
Chaucer had seen his boss go ballistic, before. Fortunately, he had the right answer. “Berlin said to make available to Stackhouse whatever he wanted. They knew he was going to drive through her yard and make it look unkempt and abandoned. He was not going to drive his truck to inflect the damage so we were to let him drive the Ram.”
Singleton was beating his fists against his legs. “This is now a matter of public record. Our name attached to this debacle of a fuck up! We are never going to be able to declare this Eminent Domain!
Oh shit!” he shouted as his phone chimed.
“Yes,” he calmly answered the phone. Those in the front seat could hear the heated conversation.
“The AP Wire has picked up on this as news?” Williams Singleton sounded confused. “But it just happened.”
“Obviously,” there was a roar from the phone, “one of the officers notified them! Since Texas, they have all be gunning for us! The headlines are going to read: Utility Fuel…Murdering Texans is not enough! Kill Louisianans!”
“Can we spin this to our advantage?” he asked.
Outrage in the voice was heard. “There are six-hundred and fifty dead in Texas! More are going to die! They just have not yet found the site where we dumped! We needed this deal to make us look like the good guys instead of the incompetent fuck ups that we are!”
The four in the vehicle were quiet as the screaming over the phone continued and the threats could be distinctly heard.
Eventually Berlin hung up…the quiet of the grave rolled around and landed on the guy in charge.
Williams continued to sit and stare out the window.
Berlin was all about testing your smarts, mettle, strength of will. You could be humming right along and you could walk into your office with your own people there waiting to kill you.
This land grab had been in the works for a couple of months. Berlin fine-tuning it on paper before they turned their people loose. He swallowed. The former V.P., whom he had replaced, was supposed to have handled this. They had people here for a month working this deal and here he was…up to his eyeballs in that shit creek with this takeover now hitting the wire services.
Just how many times could Berlin kill him, he wondered and then shuddered. Rumors had it was numerous…
That woman! He wanted to beat someone to death…she knew…knew he was a Were…so his trip here had been a ruse…a test…well yes, he had been so proud when he had been made V.P. of Acquisitions. Of course, his first thing he was told to acquire was Northman…and just well fuck…it was easy to see just how well that was going. Him shooting his mouth off that they could have the vamp in less the forty-eight hours. Berlin did not care who you killed or what you blew up as long as you produced results. And he had blown up part of the Vatican and had not produced Northman.
The backlash on that had begun…
…they had sent him here and pitted him against a Hunter. He had heard all the stories about them. But thought they were just a myth.
Apparently not….and he had not one freaking clue what she looked like. Shit…her walking out in the Halloween costume…he felt like howling and shifting! The only thing he knew for sure was that she was short. And that held true to the rumors. Hunters were tiny, petite, and could hide anywhere. Crawl up your ass and pull your testes out through your throat.
So, his test was to kill the Hunter. And apparently her test was to kill a Were. Well, good for Berlin, two-for-the-price-of-one.
The full moon was still two weeks off. He would not be at his strongest. He could see the plan now. Not at his strongest and the little bitch had been right, he was not picked for this job because of his brains. He was just an average student at the university…average…and apparently Berlin did not mind sharing that when your time was up! Here, please kill fucking average for me and get a gold star by your name!
Well, he would kill her…and then maybe disappear…the swamps around here would do him just fine until he had a solid plan. His second-in-command, that Russian putz, Grigori… well, his Sputnik death would be immediate. They would make him VP and then gut that ignorant ass…briefly he wondered if Grigori was somewhere in the area to take over the team, perhaps to make his bones by killing him if he killed the Hunter…he got chills…just like someone had walked over his grave.
“Shake it off,” he chided himself. “You are the best in the business! And if you can’t find Northman, that mad Russian monk won’t be able to either.”
State Trooper Mills was driving the vehicle and looked over at her partner, Filby.
“How’s you momma?” she asked.
Joyce Filby shook her head. “They found another cancer. That makes eight different types. This one is in her brain and it is inoperable. They are actually watching the tumor grow. Momma gave them permission to put a little camera in her head and when they play it on elapsed-time, you can watch this fucker grow over a six hour period,” Joyce said as she wiped at her eyes. “Fucking big oil thinks they can move in and do whatever the fuck they want. Well, not this time. Not in my state,” she hissed. “They are not getting away with this shit on my watch!”
Sookie and Eric chatted over breakfast and she conducted a little business. She had waffles and ice cream and he had honey on toast and berries. All things he had known as human.
“I am glad Mr. Bailey knew someone to fix the yard. He says the guy is dependable and trustworthy and he comes highly recommended.”
Eric was laughing. “That would happen to be him.”
“Yes,” she nodded. “If his customers like how they lay out their driveway, they will trust him to fix the rest of their yard. He says it takes the same kind of tools and this way his guys stay busy.”
“Most excellent,” Eric grinned. “Now, it’s ten. Where does the parish keep the plat maps?”
“At the courthouse, why?” she asked.
“I want to look at your land.”
“Hey Sookie,” Mrs. Roundtree got up from her desk and gave her a hug. “How are you?”
“I am doing fine, thank you ma’am. This is E. E. Emory and he is doing research for his next best seller. What do we need to do to look at the plat map of my land?”
“Just sign here, Sugar,” she smiled as she took out her register book. “Come with me and I will show you where to look.”
Walking back amongst the stacks, Eric was looking at everything. This held all the documents since this had been a county. That was impressive. During wars, these buildings were some of the first ones to be torched. And not necessarily by the enemy but by a greedy fucker who wanted your land.
“Can we check to see if any of the Stackhouse land has ever been sold off?” E. E. asked.
“Oh, I can tell you that. The historical society did research about thirty years ago and the Stackhouse land is one of ten in the parish that has not been subdivided. It all stands as it did on the day it was registered in this office over one hundred and fifty years, ago. And I know that because I have been working here for thirty years and Adele never sold any of her land. And I know Sookie has not either.
Good, here we are.”
Down from the shelf came what appeared to be a large black artist portfolio. “Now that’s interesting,” she said as she opened the oversized album on the nearest table. “Your plat is missing.”
“Is there another?” Sookie asked.
“Oh yes, Sugar, don’t you worry. That was just a copy. Although it is interesting it is not here. I have the original. You will have to put on a mask and some gloves and come with me.”
They sat in the old documents room, looking at the original plat map.
“Can we have a copy of this?” Eric asked.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Leave it in its binder and we will photo copy it.”
“Most excellent,” Eric nodded. “What do we have to do to have a verified original copy? Something legally binding.”
“After I photo copy it, I will need to affix our seal and sign it.”
“Is there a charge?” he asked.
“Twenty-five dollars, nonrefundable,” she answered.
“If you would please,” he smiled. “We would like four copies. We’ll wait right here.”
Not much time passed when Mrs. Roundtree returned. Eric sat down next to Sookie at a table and together they looked over the copies, comparing it to the original.
“Excellent,” he smiled. “Thank you so much.”
Discarding the mask and gloves, they walked out of the clean room and back into the lobby. Eric handed the very helpful lady the cash, received his receipt, thanked her again and both of them waving, left.
Sookie knew the drill. When they were safely in the car and away, Eric would talk. But not before then.
“What’s up?” she asked, staring at the plat map and then at him as they motored off.
“For one, I read the register. Lydia Price was in here two weeks, ago.”
“You think she took the plat?”
“Yes,” Eric nodded. “Now take a very good look at that map. On that plat, it shows your land going over to the Compton’s.”
“What?” she said.
“Look at the boundary line.”
“Where is the cemetery?” she gasped.
“It is on your land,” Eric replied.
“No,” Sookie shook her head. “It…it belongs to the parish or township or somebody.”
“Who do you purchase the plot from,” Eric asked, “to bury your gran?”
“Well no one,” she replied. “When Gran died, I just paid to have her grave opened and closed, over in the Stackhouse area.”
“Casket real estate, Miss Sookie, is some of the most expensive dirt out there. No one gives it away for free.”
“Well…well…” she looked one more time at the plat. “No, not possible. That’s not ours.”
“Yes it is,” Eric remarked. “And could explain a lot of the fucked-up-edness that has this way come.”
“How so?” she asked.
“Did you know, if you own a graveyard, you own the souls in them?”
“No-o-o-o-o-o-o,” she laughed. “God owns those souls.”
“Maybe the ones that have moved on. But any floaters, they belong to whoever owns their resting place. Or so many believe.
That is why we Vikings burned ours. Preferably at sea. After death, we did not want anyone calling our spirit back to this plane.”
“Stop it,” she said. “You are making that up.”
“No,” he shook his head. “In many cultures fire is used. And not a well-known fact, but Utility Fuel is owned by Berlin. The cancer outbreak in Texas, that is being traced back to them. I got a text from Samuel. They use oil as the pretext and dump all manner of unholy, please note I am stressing that word, unholy things into what they call their safe chambers.”
“So, those folks with all the different cancers…” she began. “Especially the brain tumors…”
“Very possibly they are not hallucinating. Those demons that are screaming in their minds really could be demons screaming in their minds.
It could also explain Compton lurking around here. He never leaves Berlin yet here he is probably revisiting sites that he remembers. This cemetery could buy him a lot of good will
if they could own it,” he responded. “And dump whatever they wanted there. Like a landfill for lost souls. And if they are coming out of Berlin, they are corrupt, dark, and dank. Evil at its purist.
Your graveyard, I would like to do a walkabout there, in the dark. Do you have to work, tonight?”
“No,” she shook her head, staring intently at the map. “If you work a holiday, you get the next day off.”
Eric looked over at her and started to say something and she just shrugged. “Sam’s business, Sam’s rules. Halloween is a holiday, I worked, I get the next day off.”
“Good,” he nodded. “Now are we ready to discuss the conversation you had with the Were? Throwing that challenge at him, you know he will have to come back this way.”
“I’ll make more silver bullets,” she grinned.
“For one so small, you certainly are feisty…and mouthy.” Shaking his head he sighed. “Miss Stackhouse, Weres are strong, fast and sneaky. Fortunately for you, I am stronger, faster and sneakier. As much as I would love to play with him, you will be present so very possibly, I will just break his neck. Less DNA spread around.”
“Good. They did something to his blood,” she nodded. “I caught that. He wanted to hit me but if he left any blood, something about it would leave a marker that could be read…or something…about human and supe blood combined? It got gnarly.”
“Interesting. They are doping his blood which is very, very illegal. He gets human blood then they hit him with gamma rays. Also very illegal. The radiation that they use can actually be traced back to the lab that made the machine.”
“Seriously?” she asked.
“Oh yes, there are only so many machines that do this type of work and they each have their own gamma signature. Very traceable.”
“And the reason they do this?” she asked.
“It makes him read as human,” Eric answered. “It does not last for long, maybe a couple of days. So this Were is on a timetable. He is the doer of dirty deeds and he is here to get results. So in the next couple of days, he will make his kill or kills. His targets are probably you and Jason. They will have loaded his system with a human’s blood that is the same type as his. Radiate him to make it stick. That way, he can kill, spread around some blood that says the perp is human. The police will identify the killer with the left behind DNA markers and call it done.”
“Holy shit,” Sookie said in awe. “I have not heard one thing about that?”
“You would not,” Eric answered. “Hitler was experimenting with this since before the war. It has been viable for the past seventy years.”
“So Singleton can kill someone , leave some blood, and if that person’s blood is in the system, they are going to get blamed.”
“And you had better believe that person is in the system,” Eric’s voice held anger.
“They have Lafayette’s huh,” she said, rage in her voice.
“Oh yes,” he nodded. “But Lafayette,” he laughed, “none will dare accuse him. When Lafayette was appointed, I approached OI. It took my very best negotiating skills and a lot of promises that I doubt I will live to uphold, but I take care of my friends. The King of the Dragons, he is always with Lafayette. And if Lafayette is accused, OI is there to naysay it. And no one is going to call the King of the Dragons a liar and live. No one.”
“And what do they use to keep you in line?” she asked.
“They have my maker.”
“I am so sorry,” she said and reaching over she squeezed his hand.
“Thank you,” he replied. “Godric is two thousand years old. At times I ponder just how it is he came to be in their clutches.”
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
Eric gave her a very elegant shrug. “Nothing until the two of us are finished. Then I just might storm the castle.”
There were several things she wanted to say to him in regards to that like what is your plan B & C because A sounds like suicide. Instead, she said, “Rain is starting,” her voice barely audible. “We have drops of rain hiding in the shadow of the windshield wiper.”
“I have hid in shadows,” he said with the merest whisper. “I think I might be tired of hiding.”
“Please don’t let him get maudlin,” she prayed. “I am there already. Time to change the subject. It will not do to have both of us walkin’ down misery road.
We have the plat, so what do we do now?” she asked.
“I would like the history of your cemetery,” he responded. “Who would know? Or have an idea?”
“Mrs. Fortenberry is a member of the Historical Society. She is normally home in the mornin’s. I will give her a call and see if she is available for company.”
Eric watched the human work her contacts. In a small town, yes, everyone knew your business and in some ways, that was not a horrible thing. Sookie asked what she had to do to access the historical archives and Maxine was more than happy to help. Hanging up the phone, Sookie said, “She says just to come on over to the public library. They have a room in the back. She will meet us there.”
Eric was all predator as he watched Sookie in the library. His senses missing nothing. She had literally grown up in this building. She knew everyone and everyone knew her, but it was like she was a ghost, barely acknowledged and then they hurriedly moved on. They were that afraid of her. That was obvious. Being a telepath was a very real curse. She existed on the fringes of her society just like she did out in the farmhouse. Her life had to have been lonely…but she had found solace in books.
When Mrs. Fortenberry came in, all that changed. Her was a woman who took her life force with her…and it was considerable.
“Sookie,” she threw her arms up in the air and then embraced her in a bear hug. “How are you? I have not seen you in an age. Of course, I have not been into Merlotte’s since I started Weight Watchers. If Sam would have one green anything on his menu, I would go back, but there is only so much old grease you can smell. But you know, we of the Historical Society have our monthly meeting and dinner in there.”
“Yes ma’am, tomorrow night,” Sookie added for her.
“Well yes, that would be correct. Now who is this handsome man and what can I do for you?”
“Mrs. Fortenberry, this is E.E. Emory. He is a world renown author and he is here to gather background information for his next best seller.”
“Read your book,” she smiled and shook his hand. “Very good, very enjoyable. I thought you had captured the jail bird lovers perfectly.”
“Thank you,” he smiled and raised her hand to his lips for a kiss. “How very kind of you to say so.”
“Lordy,” she shook his head. “Charming as all get-out. You sure you are not from the South?” she winked at him. “Well come on back this way and we’ll get started. Now what are we lookin’ for?”
“The Bon Temps cemetery, Mrs. Fortenberry,” Sookie smiled when the door was unlocked and they stepped in. There was a photo of the original Bon Temps bank. Pretty cool! “Whatever you have about it or know, we are very interested.”
“Sookie, anything specific?” she asked.
“Well yes, I guess so,” she was thoughtful. “Who owns the cemetery? And who does maintenance and mows it? When did the wrought iron cemetery sign go up and who paid for it? Just any and all having to do with the cemetery.”
Maxine nodded and said, “Anything specific?”
“Well yes,” Sookie said and laid out a plat map.
“Now that’s interesting,” Maxine raised an eyebrow. “Explains what I always thought. The Compton’s were just some cheap assed bastards and yellow bellies to boot. Instead of planting their kin on their own land, they just pushed them off onto yours. Well then, let’s start with the town hall meetings. See if anyone has anything to say about it.
We also have old photographs dating back to 1860. Also a couple of old journals from the Everett family. Plenty here to go around,” she said, taking books off the shelves. “Let’s get started. Gloves please. They are here on the shelf.”
Maxine doled out what she thought would be pertinent to the search.
“Old photos can be a blessing and a curse,” she said, as she went through the portfolio. “Here is a photo of the Bon Temps Cemetery sign having just been erected. 1867 is the date and here are the folks who paid to have it built and put up. Of course, they do not match the photo to the name.”
Eric scooted in for a closer look. “Sookie, there is a Walden Stackhouse. Has to be one of yours. But this group photo is not labeled. However this man resembles your grandfather. The photo you have on top of the piano.”
Eric handed her a magnifying glass as she leaned in. “He does,” she replied. “I think it is the hairline and the chin.
Walden, was the son of Nathan Stackhouse who originally settled and built the house.”
“Well,” Maxine looked up from cross-referencing the photo with a ledger. “There has been some debate about that over the years. There was a Benjamin Stackhouse who staked out the land and Nathan brought in the particulars for the plat map.”
“What?” Sookie said, looking up from the photo.
“Yes,” Maxine nodded her head. “There is no record of Ben dying or being buried in the cemetery.” Maxine shrugged. “All manner of things happened back in the day. Maybe he was turned vampire or eaten by a were wolf. But frankly, Sookie, your family comes from Cornwall, England. Home of the original Celts, many believe. They were known to practice human sacrifice. Some of that carried to the new world and was embraced and practiced. So their dead family would rest easy in the ground, it was not unusual to offer up a blood related sacrifice. You know have a relative there to greet them when they are laid to rest.”
“What? Mrs. Fortenberry what are you sayin’? That his family…killed him to sanctify the ground.”
“Chances are good,” she nodded. “Now dear, don’t look so upset. Chances are good Ben was old. Maybe the grandfather and he was ailing and was happy to offer himself in such a way.” She shrugged, again. “Or maybe not. You have to remember Sookie, Bon Temps was a true backwater. Closest civilization was Shreveport which was a hard day’s ride on horseback through the brush and trees. No guarantee that a snake, gator or big cat would not get you.
People came here with all kinds of mindsets, believing whatever kept them safe yesterday would do the same, today. Just look at New Orleans. If it can be practiced, it has a home there.”
Sookie looked over at Eric. “Stop drooling,” she hissed at him.
“This is great stuff,” he smiled as he continued taking notes.
“Do you know who bought the Compton place?” she asked. “I heard it was someone in Shreveport as the Comptons were hauling ass out of the state after being burned out.”
“Well, hauling ass is right. But Favored Compton ran into Spinell Stackhouse and Spinell traded him four horses, a bag of grain and a buckboard for the land. It is all there in the Shreveport Court House.”
“What?” Sookie started to yell and then caught herself, bringing it down to a low roar. “I have not paid taxes on that land.”
“Of course you have not,” Maxine said looking very pleased. “Your gran paid the taxes on that until 2020 or until it gets developed. I thought you knew.”
“No!” Sookie was agitated. “I did not know. Why would she not tell me?”
“Well, Sookie, honestly, as you get older, you just check things off your list. And I am sure she said, I need to tell Sookie about that and then she just moved on and forgot. That happens more than you know. As you get older, you get forgetful.”
“Holy crap,” she moaned. “I wonder if Compton knows?”
“Compton who?” Maxine asked. “Has one made contact?”
“The original William T. Compton. You know, the yellow belly. He was tuned vampire. He is back in town. He was out skulking through my woods.”
“Holy shit!” Maxine exclaimed. “I wonder if we can make him stand trial for his past criminal actions? Do you think there is a statute of limitations on being a yellow bellied cowardly stealin’, marketeering asshole?”
“Oh Mrs. Fortenberry,” Eric smiled at her. “If there was not, we would all be in trouble.”
They all laughed and that eased some of the tension that was beginning to build in the room.
“Sookie,” Maxine patted her hand, “I can see you are upset. But not just by this. Now, tell me, what brought all this on?”
“Well,” Sookie said, taking out her phone. “This has been my last three days.”
One picture was indeed worth a thousand words. And when Maxine saw the neatly lettered Utility Fuels on the Range Rover, Miss Maxine just about came undone.
“What,” she bellowed, “Texas was not enough for them? And Jason…I swear on Adele’s grave, if that no-good low down boy child…” she paused for air. “I have been wondering where Hoyt has been all hours of the night. Now I know. I shall be havin’ me a talk with my son. And your brother, if he ever shows himself.”
Maxine took a deep breath, eyed Sookie then E. E. and said. “Tell me true, I have been hearin’ the rumors. Saw them in Shreveport myself coming out of the movie theatre. Jason fuckin’ Lydia Price?”
“For a fact,” Eric stepped in. “We were outside when we heard them on top of Sookie’s brand new bedspread.”
“Lordy,” Maxine shook her head. “Adele must be spinnin’ in her grave.”
“Most excellent,” Eric smiled as he continued writing.
“You cannot…” Sookie began.
“Oh yes I can. Miss Stackhouse, you signed the contract. I have held true to my part of the bargain. You must hold true to yours.”
“Oh shit,” Sookie said and sat back in her chair. “Is it lunch time yet? I feel a bout of cryin’ caused by low blood sugar comin’ on. And maybe a trip to the Shreveport County Courthouse.”
“You go on now,” Maxine patted her hand. “Now that I know just exactly what I am lookin’ for, if it is here, I will find it. And don’t forget the Fall Festival. We have a real good band this year. Gonna’ be dancin’ in the streets! Or at least in the gym at school!”
“Thank you Mrs. Fortenberry,” Sookie smiled at her as she stood up.
“Madame,” Eric picked up her hand and kissed it. “We are off.”
Hearing the back door close, Maxine reached into her bag and pulled out her thermos of coffee and sixteen counted out by hand almonds. “Real shame he is gay,” she sighed as she shifted through the stack of photos. “Sookie could do well by him. Of course, she is a hard worker. Good girl. Always has her head on straight. He could do just as well by her. Real shame,” she shook her head.
“My boy,” she picked up the magnifying glass and studied a photo, “is gonna need a pair of balls after I remove his. His bad behavior reflects on my parentin’ skills.
Jason fuckin’ everything in a skirt…” she shook her head as she ate an almond. “Gilly is a damn fine shot. Always places in the top four at the shooting range at the state fair. Always did think he was gonna’ get caught in bed with the wife by the husband and be riddled with bullet holes. Looks like that is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Lordy…” she took the Walther out of her bag and placed it on the table. “Big oil trying to take over our little piece of America…lordy…” she shook her head. “I am a Southern woman without a man to defend my home. I am gonna need me some more bullets. And my daddy’s shotgun.”
Caddo Parish Courthouse, located in Shreveport, was a repeat of the Renard Parish Courthouse. Mask; gloves; sign here; pay there.
Sookie was in somewhat of a daze as they walked out. “I, I knew the Comptons owned a plantation. Had slaves and…and…” she shrugged. “The Stackhouses were just poor dirt farmers. We had twenty-five acres, only farmed a small portion and depended on the trees for everything else. They harvested the pecans and there is a stand of black walnuts back there but the under brush is so thick I can’t get to it. Could not afford a brush hog to come in and clean it out. And because of the woods, there were berries and always plenty of deer.
From twenty-five acres to I own two sections of land. That is 1,280 acres,” she mumbled when she climbed into the car.
Eric wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Well, since you are landed gentry, do we want to have lunch at the Old Commercial National Bank Building?” he asked. “I would offer on the water to the newest land baroness, but with the rain back, flooding could be a problem. However from the penthouse restaurant, we could watch the storm rage around us.”
Making a face at him, she felt like hitting him with something, like maybe a baseball bat. “I can tell when you are trying to anticipate me and sidestep it. So stop it. Why do they want my land?” she asked.
“Same reason they bought that land in Texas. To use it as a dumping site. In Texas, they built those homes and sold them as affordable housing. Using that housing area’s sewer and drainage system, they are dumping toxic waste. Of just what type is yet to be identified. Which honestly makes me think it is supernatural in origin.
They perhaps would not need to do that with yours because our darling Miss Sookie, you have a cemetery. And believe it or not, those are hard to come by.”
“Pb-b-b-l-l-t-t-t,” she blew a raspberry at him. “I have seen plenty of abandoned cemeteries. Just between here and Shreveport.”
“Yes,” he nodded, “and they may no longer is use, choked out by weeds and rattlesnakes, but they belong to someone. Just try to bulldoze it and you will find out.
And folks may sell you the back forty, as evident in Texas, but not the land the family is buried on. There are all sorts of cultural, archeological, and historic issues that goes along with that. Not to mention the citizens’ morals, ethical conduct and respect concerning the dead in your average community.
So tell me, now that you know, would you sell the cemetery?”
“Of course not,” came out her heated reply. “Oh, I see what you mean.”
“Yes,” he nodded. “That is your blood buried there. And maybe someday you.”
“Since your people were cremated, how do you know so much about cemeteries?”
“Oh Miss Stackhouse, I have spent a lot of time there. A fresh dug grave makes for a great hiding place, right in the heart of the city.”
“Vampire,” she mouthed to herself, “just in case I forget, you are there to remind me.”
He grinned at her and she flicked him on the arm with her finger. “You better squeal like that hurt…”
And a very satisfying “Ee-e-e-e-k,” filled the air.
“I could use some lunch. A lot of something,” she sighed. “A great big salad and a steak the size of your hand and a baked potato with all the fixin’s. And something to drink. Alcohol sounds lovely.
Now, what are we doing tonight? I am under the impression it will be out in the rain.”
“Yes, after lunch, REI. You need some waterproof gear.”
Lunch was lovely. When Eric was being charming, he could make anything enjoyable. And she was relishing his company. The afternoon passed and she sat and listened to him paint pictures of places with his words and emotions that she knew she would never see in person.
As it grew later in the afternoon, there was a shift in the crowd. Ladies appeared and they were being served tea, Sookie noted.
Eric noted as well and the tea trolley was brought over.
Sookie watched with delight as her pot was prepared and her sweet and savory pyramid was left for her to enjoy.
Over green tea, she was listening with her heart when he talked about Venice. She had seen all the photographs, but nothing compared to the visual picture she got from his verbalizations. He was magic and he filled her afternoon with the nights he had spent wandering the streets of the famous cities in Europe imparting to her the feel of the velvet night and the taste of the stars!
“Sun is going down,” Eric said as he finished the snifter of tequila. “We need to shop before we head for home. Besides, if the pattern holds true, there should be a lull in the storm at ten. That is when we will venture out.”
The valet brought him the car as the wail of the siren went past. Followed by the fire trucks. The wind shifted direction and Eric could smell it. Smoke.
“What?” Sookie asked as they got in the car.
“I can smell the smoke. It’s close.”
“As in courthouse close?” she asked.
“Perhaps,” was all he said as they motored down the block and got on the expressway headed out of town.
“No,” she shook her head. “No, no, no, no…” she stamped her foot.
“Sookie, you saw where they kept the originals. In a fireproof vault. And Mrs. Sees stressed that they are all digital and on their cloud.”
“No,” she shook her head, wiping at her eyes. “Do you think they torched our courthouse as well?”
“When we get closer, we will find out. Find a news station and let’s find out exactly what is going on. There is a sporting goods store at the next exit. We are outfitting you tonight.”
“The water is really high, all over the state. Be careful in the rapids,” the kayaking expert that worked in the store told them. “With what she has on, it will keep her dry, even if she falls in. This was actually made for Coast Guard swimmers and made its way to the public.”
Paying the bill, they were back in the car and headed for Bon Temps.
“We’ll be back by eight,” Eric said as he watched her play with the bags. “Are you going to want dinner?”
“Don’t know, that was the first time I have had a lunch that lasted until teatime. And then I had teatime…
You really want to sit out in the cemetery in the rain?” she asked.
“The thought loosing its charm?” he asked her.
“When…when,” she looked at him. “When is Berlin going to give you the ultimatum? Either give yourself up or we end your maker.”
“I keep hoping it will not be until after we are separated.”
“And what if it isn’t? What if Madame Vedo or Lafayette calls you and says get yourself to Berlin by Friday or we torture and then kill your maker?”
“I would have to go…” his voice trailed off.
“Is that why you are being Mr. Charming? Because you figure I am in my final days of living?”
“I hope not, Sookie, I honestly hope not. I want you to live a long, good life.”
“But my ass could wind up in Berlin?”
The rest of the drive home was quiet.
When they passed the Renard Parish Courthouse Sookie said, “Huh, still standing. I guess they will burn it another night.”
“Probably so,” he said as they drove through town and out into the country.
“I had a really nice day, you asshole,” she sobbed as they turned onto Hummingbird Lance, wiping at her eyes. “Really nice. And I had never had tea before. And…and that one group that came there, those ladies…there were four generations of women, taking pictures and holdin’ the baby.” Now she was crying. “I will never have that! Not even two generations!”
The time with her this afternoon had been very pleasant. A memory he would keep with him to brighten his dark soul. “It was not meant to be your last meal, Sookie, before you were offered up on the altar of death. I had a very nice day as well. Although, I have yet to see a full-blown sunrise, this afternoon, sitting with you, it was very pleasant. I think you actually relaxed for a minute or two. I know I did.”
Choking back a sob she sat in the car after he had parked and turned off the engine.
“I, I feel responsible for all of this.”
Eric turned to her. “Did you fill this world with assholes? Liars and thieves? Start wars and create pestilence and famine? Murderers? That non-desirable list is endless. Did you do that?” he asked her.
“No-o-o-o-o-o,” her voice was low and sad as she rolled her eyes at him.
“Well I did not either. All though, from time to time I have topped those lists
Whatever happens, Sookie Stackhouse, tomorrow, ten days from tomorrow or ten thousand years from now, thank you for today. It was perfect.”
“Thanks,” she sighed. “So…the fact that you are not with the long-legged model…”
“Oh…well yes, that would have totally blown this day walking day out of the water! That little mini-escape I had planned to the North Pole with Miss Luscious Legs…
Oww-w-w-w-w-w-w-w!” he rubbed the spot on his arm where she pinched him.
“You better screech like that hurt,” she said as she reached over to pinch him again.
The door was open and he was out. “Come on,” he smiled leaning in, “this storm is tracking differently, it is intensifying. Let’s grab your bags and get inside. Lightning…I can feel the static charges starting to build…no cemetery for us, tonight.”
They were up on the porch, and Eric put his hand in the small of her back. “He has been here. I smell wet dog.” Eric held up his hand. “Do you read anything?”
“No,” she shook her head.
“Careful as we go.”
Nodding, Sookie opened the door and they were inside.
“I don’t smell him inside. So he is somewhere in the area. After the lights are out and the thunder and lightning are rumbling enough to cover the sound of the break in, we shall be blessed with his presence.”
“If he does anything to my shutters and new windows,” Sookie growled, “I am gonna’ be pissed. You really think it will be tonight?”
“Yes, the weather is perfect and he is on a time-table.”
“My windows are not even a week old. This is just like my new bedroom finery. Some asshole comes along and spoils it for me.”
Eric patted her on the hand. “Sadly, there shall be casualties. Unless he knocks. Then chances are good your floors might be at risk.
But fear not, dear lady. Until that time we shall watch some TV, have something to drink, maybe eat some popcorn. We will sneakily turn on the light in an upstairs bedroom, where he thinks I am sleeping and with any luck, when we turn off the lights he will appear. But until then, we wait. I actually like the waiting. Gives me time to rest.”
“What?” Sookie said.
“I know what is coming and how to deal with it. Until he steps in the door, I can rest.”
“You know you are just odd, right?” Sookie said shaking her head at him.
Eric grinned. “I have been called much worse. But I think odd describes me.”
His voice became serious. “Can you feel him at all?”
“No,” she said.
“Then let’s do our prep work. I have a few things in my suitcase and King Eric,” he looked at Sookie, “is going to have to spit it out. He is shaking in anticipation. I am sorry for the…boy toy show… but when this Were comes sniffing around, he has to believe that I am in that bed.”
“Oh,” and then “oh-h-h-h-h-h, I see,” came out of her mouth.
Into the bedroom they went and out came the suitcase. “Is that a blow up doll?” she asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “And since I am in my E. E. persona, I am going to need my black wig.”
“No foolin’?” she said taking a closer look as the doll began to take on its true size.
“No fooling,” he grinned.
“Put some pajama bottoms on that boy. That is just disgustin’,” she said as she leaned in for a closer look. “Do not,” her eyes cut to him, “say anythin’ off color or suggestive. It is just that I have never seen a blow up with equipment…” her voice trailed off.
“So you have seen a doll?” he chuckled.
Something that sounded like a growl came out of her and Eric jumped to one side before she made contact to pinch him.
Laughing, he slung her onto his back. “Now upstairs we go, with the lights out. Just hang onto me.”
They were vamp speed up the stairs and into the room.
“Now,” he held up his hands. “As you can see, nothing up my sleeves. Time for a little Northman magic.”
Sookie chuckled with glee as she watched Eric arrange E. E. on the bed, tucking this and turning that. It did look like he was in the bed.
“Now,” he smiled at her. “I need you to step outside the door, because this is where King Eric gets to strut his stuff. This won’t take long, he assures me.”
“He is right, fair lady,” King Eric said. “I am primed.”
“Oh,” she blinked and walking to the door, closed it.
He was right, it did not take long.
“Come on in,” he said opening the door. “Time to rub this in.”
Sookie watched as Eric pulled down the pajama bottoms on the doll and rubbed the inside of the crotch area. Pulling the pants back up, he adjusted the covers and turned out the light.
“You are going to wash that hand,” she said to him in the dark of the stairs as he pulled her onto him.
“Just as soon as we get to the kitchen. I could use a drink and I know I left a bottle in there and King Eric wants to celebrate finally getting some loving. Myself as well, the rosy palm has serviced me for millennia. I am happy to report that it still works as date night.”
“Oh!” he yelled when she pulled his hair.
“That is not a nice thing to say in polite company.”
“Have you smelled what comes out of your…
Ow-w-w-w,” he yelped again. Vamp speed they were in the kitchen where he finished his “w-w-w-w-w-w-w!”
She made popcorn, Eric had a fresh bottle. They sat down in front of the TV. The storm continued to intensify. At ten, they lost power.
“Time for bed,” was all Sookie said as she stood up. Her path was lit by lightning strokes that filtered through the shutters.
“It won’t be long,” Eric whispered as they made it to the bedroom. She climbed under the bed and along with Eric, relaxed while she waited.
The wolf jumped up onto the roof of the porch and walked its perimeter. Sniffing at the upstairs windows, he found the one where the male was asleep. Most excellent. With a graceful leap, he was off the porch roof and on the ground. Shifting to human, he walked up to the front door. There might be a new lock, but there was just no keeping out good old blunt force. “Wait for it,” he grinned when he saw the massive lightning strike. “One thousand, two thousand, three thousand.” There was a boom of thunder and at the same time he threw himself against the door. The wood splintering could not be heard above the roll of the thunder.
Entering, he could smell the bottle of tequila sitting on the coffee table. “Very nice,” he grinned as he picked it up and finished it off. “Damn, the good stuff. So glad I stopped by. Now, let’s see what kind of fun I can have with that Hunter before she takes her last breath…or hell, maybe the fun won’t stop after she takes her last breath.”
With water dripping off him, he followed his nose to her bedroom. He caught a whiff of another man and woman. Several days old. Oh, someone had been partying in her bed and she had not been invited. Just how embarrassing was that?
Well, he would have to be careful. She probably slept with that shotgun.
That meant he needed a knife from the kitchen. Kitchen’s were really just the best places to shop for things to kill with. It was horrific the things people kept under their sink, he smiled. But tonight he wanted to cut. And this was the South. They all had butcher knives.
Eric was rolling his eyes as he listened to the Were going through the drawers in the kitchen. Apparently Sookie had a nice collection of beer openers that he was going to steal after he killed her. Eric rolled his eyes again. What a cheap bastard!
He had a knife. Most good. If he were smart, he would jump on the bed and pin her arms under the covers so she could not fire her shotgun. “Let’s make this happen you dumbass,” and for the third time in one minute, he rolled his eyes again. “I swear, this eye rolling. I must be going for the world record. Just wait until I tell Samuel, he will not believe it! And Pamela,” he sighed, placing his hand over his heart, “she would be so proud. She eye rolls with the best.”
The door had been left partway open. It slowly pushed the rest of the way in and then he sprang.
“Yes,” he congratulated himself, “good call, Northman, he is coming this way.” Eric shot up from under the covers and grabbing the Were up in mid-flight, broke his back and then threw the naked body against the wall. There was a clattering sound as well.
Sookie stuck her head out from under the bed. “What was that noise?”
“Knife from your kitchen,” Eric replied.
There was a yell of frustration from her as she climbed out. “Was he going to kill me with my own knife? What a cheap assed bastard. Can I put my shotgun in his mouth and pull the trigger?”
“No,” Eric said, being very patient. “Just think of the mess. And it is a big one,” he said walking over to the Were, breaking his arms and legs as Eric continued on. “I have cleaned up such a mess and the blood stain and smell never works itself out. That stuff goes everywhere. Cracks in the floorboards and up to your ceiling. Plus the bone that is blown out can hurt you, as well.”
Nodding her head in agreement, Eric continued on.
“I think my aim was perfect. His back hit first so there should be no blood. His head did not hit the wall. No hollow thumping sound.”
“You do good work,” she said as she walked over to the gasping human, lightning bringing small bits of light to the dark. Then cloud to ground lit up the sky and the room.
“Thanks,” he grinned.
“Northman!” was gasped out.
“See,” he elbowed Sookie, “I told you people off the street recognized me. I really am somebody. And this is not even my best side and the lighting in here is atrocious. I am the famous Eric Northman, everyone knows me.”
“Yes,” she snorted. “Recognized by a dumb-ass Were,” she shook her head in disbelief. “Somebody is full of the shit of delusional self-importance.”
There was laughter from the floor. Sookie stomped on his hand and then there was a very satisfying moan. “I get to insult him, you do not.
Now what?” she asked. “He’s not bleeding, only broken and I am sure he did damage to my drywall.”
“And probably your door as well,” Eric said, dragging him out of the bedroom and into the living room. “Oh yes, well right-o! The front door has been bashed in.”
“Mother fucker!” she yelled and kicked him. “First my yard, then my door, then my life you asshole!” and she kicked him, again. “That is not a standard size door. Gran always wanted one of those fancy screen doors with the glass in it but the guy told her that our door had been made to fit the house. They would have to build one and it would be expensive. Fuckin’ perfect,” she stamped her foot. “I can’t manage to get ahead. Could you have just knocked?” she leaned down and hissed in his face. “Have you no regard for private property or how many fuckin’ tables I have to wait on to pay for your vandalism?”
“Fucking Hunter!” he wheezed out.
“Potty mouth,” Sookie said kneeling down and held his nose closed until a horrible rumbling sound pushed up out of his chest.
Letting go, she stood up. “Now what?” she asked Eric.
“I am going to take him outside, break his neck and then take him…” he paused. “We are going to take him down to feed to the gators. I will carry him on my back and you on my front.”
“The rain is really coming down,” King Eric chimed in. “I think it would just be for the best if we were all nude.”
“Actually, he has a point,” Eric nodded.
“Eric, that is a very cold rain and I for one am not riding on your front in a very cold rain…nude…!”
“Wet gear,” he said, “then lets haul ass. I want him out of here.”
If it was summer, she could see where being nude would be handy but this was now November and she was not catching pneumonia so Eric could get a cheap thrill. On went the pants and jacket and she left the shoes, off.
They were outside to the porch.
“Wait here,” was all he said as he carried the Were down the steps. Sookie did not hear him snap his neck, but there was no mistaking, “He’s dead, let’s go.”
Eric broke a few more bones in strategic places and wrapped the Were around his shoulders like a shawl.
“Front and hold on,” was all he said as Sookie put her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist as he started walking above the ground at a very fast clip toward the lowlands.
“Can we vamp speed?” she asked in his ear.
Turning her head for the reply she heard, “No, we can’t in our haste, leave bits of Were on a tree or a bramble. It is careful as we go.”
Burying her face in his chest, she nodded. That way she did not see the dead murderer bouncing along as they went.
“Sorry,” Eric whispered in her ear above the storm. “I know your hands come in contact with him from time to time. Nothing I can do about that except hurry carefully.”
Her ears started to itch. The dragon in Eric was calling the gators. They must be getting close.
When they stopped, they were standing in about a foot of water, with Rosco and Bosco there waiting for them.
“Eat him now,” Eric said. “Do not let him tenderize for days under a log. I want nothing of him found or floating away.”
“Of course,” Bosco replied. “We’ll feast on him now. Fish have moved on. Been slim pickin’s for the last several days. Nice to have a good meal.”
“Thanks for thinking of us,” Rosco smiled at him.
“Bon appetite,” Eric said as he tossed the body into the water.
Sookie watched in the downpour as Rosco grabbed the body with his jaws and then both of them dived.
“I’m ready to head back,” she said and shivered. “Can we go vamp speed?”
“Of course,” he replied as he wrapped his arms around her and they were gone.
Walking in the front door, Sookie grabbed the stack of towels and tossed one to Eric. He dried off and she tossed him another one to tie around his waist. Closing the door the best she could, Eric pushed the piano in front of it. “The porch this far in is pretty dry. This will help to keep the door closed. Not many things should be out and about in weather like this.”
“Let’s sleep in here, tonight,” she said. “And I want out of these clothes. And a hot shower and something to drink…” she shivered, again.
“We can do that. But first, let’s remove the damaged piece of dry wall.”
Nodding she stood looking at him, not moving. Chances were very good she was in shock. Putting his arm around her, she leaned into him and they walked into her bedroom. “Here is the knife he brought in. I’ll just use it to cut out this section and we are just going to leave it here on the floor, like so.”
Sookie nodded. “So that it looks like someone broke in and thought something was hidden behind the wall.”
“Exactly,” he replied.
“How did the clothes work?” he asked.
“Fine, I am dry beneath them but shakin’ like a leaf.”
“What is needed is a hot shower. Sadly, we need to call the Sheriff. If he can’t make it through because of the flooding, then we shall proceed. But we shall take our cues from him.”
Sookie took out her phone and dialed 911.
She explained what had happened. They had returned from Shreveport and her home had been broken into. No, nothing was missing but her door was busted and there was a hole in her bedroom wall.
“No,” she was shaking her head. “E. E. and I have been through the house. Both of us with weapons looking under beds. Looks like they came in the front door and left the same way.”
“No Kendra, honest, we are okay. Oh,” her voice sounded surprised, “the electricity just came back on. I am gonna watch TV and sit with Old Betsy and E. E. and I think we will be fine. Well, if you can get through the flooded roads come on out, but make sure you put on the siren and the lights. I’d hate to shoot your ass.”
Hanging up the phone, she slumped down onto the bed.
“Shower,” he said and picked her up in his arms and carried her into the bathroom. “There is to be no fussing, no arguing, no snarking about sexual innuendo. Chances are good you are in shock. We are going to warm up, get dressed and relax on the couch.”
“Okay,” she replied as her teeth started to chatter and then she started to shake. “I’m good with that.”