fireplace  with tapestry Diplomatic Pouch

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 10—Day  8

Jason stood up and made a big deal of dusting himself off and said, “Hey Sam, I could use a pitcher. Guess I am gonna’ be here a while to nurse my jaw.”

The show was not over yet. What Jason could not see, but everyone else could was Lydia on the move.

“What the fuck am I going to do?” Lydia asked as she spun Jason around.

“Well,” he smiled charmingly. The ladies always loved that little boy smile. “I am gonna’ have a beer. Gilly has a hell of a swing for a guy who, you know, does things with the…you said the stock market, right? But then, if you work with cows, how do you do it on-line?”

“No, you dumb ass,” she screeched at him. “I mean what I am going to do tonight? Where am I going to sleep? I have been put out of my home because…because…” Reality hit and it swung the bat at her head then her knees. She felt herself stumble. My gawd, he really was minimum wage…and not by choice!

“Go home,” he shrugged. “Gilly will have forgiven you. He knows I am a bigger stud than he is. He knows you could not help yourself.”

“I don’t have a car to go home in, you dumb shit!” she screamed.

“Just gets better and better,” Arlene whispered. “Just when you think you have seen Jason’s stupid, you realized we have not even scratched the surface.”

This was not going to plan, Jason thought as he scratched his head. At this point, the ladies just cried and walked out the door. Okay, he was the comeback kid. “How is that my problem?” he answered, sincerity in his voice. “You came with him, you should have left with him. Because you sure are not goin’ home with me. Truth told, I will fuck anythin’. Everybody knows that. But what I do not do,” he pointed his finger at her, “I do not fuck old women in my own bed,” he stressed. “No,” he shook his head. “I do that elsewhere, or anywhere but not in my bed. I sleep there. I can’t be seein’ your old titties when I go to bed at night. No, not happenin’.”

“What!” she stuttered.

“Well you sure as hell ain’t young,” his voice was starting to sound a bit peevish. “Now there,” he pointed to one girl, “now there is young. Just look at the stand alone rack on that one.”

“Eddy,” Sam yelled over his shoulder as Lydia turned a deeper shade of purple. “Here are my keys,” he tossed them to the vampire, “get her out of here! Go now! Take her home! Wait for her to get her keys and her car. Arlene, get her phone and you two hustle her out the back door.”

When Sam heard his truck fire up, a few moments later, Arlene returned. Sam turned to Jason. “Go now,” his voice deadly serious. “Arlene, get him his phone.”

“Come on,” the redhead took the dumb boy wonder by the elbow. “Time to check out.”

“But Arlene, I don’t think I drank my twenty’s worth.”

“It’s okay sugar,” she patted him on the shoulder. “There will be another time. There now, look, the front door. And look, there you go just steppin’ on out of it.

With a slight shove, Arlene closed the door and stood there with her back to it, thinking about her life and how it did not even compare to Jason’s. “For which I am thankful and Amen,” she said and crossed herself and waved to Priest Eddy when he ducked behind the bar to mop up a spill. “Get my ass back to work,” and she took her chair by the door.

With Jason gone, Sam stood up in a chair and looked across the crowd. “And that, ya’ll, is why we do not allow phones on Drown Night. You are either here to see it live or not at all.” Taking a grand bow, the cheering and whistling was so loud it made the vampire standing outside stop for a moment and consider the possibilities. Why, he was William T. Compton and now would be the appropriate time to make his grand appearance.

When he came in people were retrieving what looked like fire arms from off the bar.

“It is Drown Night. That will be twenty dollars to get tagged,” a woman sitting at small table said to him.

“I am not here to drink beer,” he smiled. “I am just looking to establish myself in what was once my home town.”

“That’s nice,” Arlene smiled. “Real nice. But it is still gonna’ cost you twenty dollars.”

“No,” he shook his head. “It is not.” His fangs popped down. “As you can see, I am vampire and I do not drink beer.”

Arlene blew a whistle that was hanging around her neck. Everything stopped and all eyes were on them.

“Sam, this one is a vampire,” she called out, keeping her eyes on him. Her silver spray at the ready! “Refuses to pay the twenty dollars.”

Bill recognized angry villagers when he saw them. “I meant no offense,” he said. “I am originally from around here and I just wanted to introduce myself and to let you know I am in the area once more enjoying Bon Temps. I am sure you have heard of me. I am William T. Compton. A Civil War hero. I fought against the North….”

At that time Maxine yelled out. “It’s the yellow-bellied traitorous coward Compton! We burned you out once—you and your family of liars and thieves! Stealing from the true wounded heroes of that time!” she yelled. “Once a traitor, always a traitor!” She raised her pistol and began shooting. Others did as well until Bill backed out the door, riddled with bullet holes, several in his heart. Blood was bubbling out his lips as he stumbled into the trees. He managed to take out his phone. That would do him no good. It had been hit a couple of times.

So maybe this had been a mistake. His boss had told him to keep his ass in Texas, doing crowd control. But the draw of his birthin’ place had a strong hold on him.

He needed a human to drain. More than one would be better. His heart would not hold together much longer, he could tell.

There had been a strong human smell at the old Stackhouse place. A man and a woman lived there and others came and went. A brother for sure and his woman. Good, most good. He would glamour them to call the family over and drain them all. He would just stay in the house for a couple of days until he could see what was happening in Texas. There were some very upset humans and he knew Berlin was willing to make some sacrifices. Literally. He just did not want it to be him.

As he made his way, his blood loss was so horrific it was not going to heal!

Not much farther. He could smell the land of his beginning! So sweet, so pure…and the farmhouse was just a bit further. Just a bit…

He faltered! The walk over had put a lot of strain on him. But blessed day and night, he could hear the T.V. on inside! Good. He hoped it was a big screen if he was going to be spending some time, here. Not being able to climb the porch stairs he started yelling, “Help me! Help me! Please!”

The porch light turned on and…and from around the side of the house stepped a man and a woman into the front yard.

“Told you it was a vampire,” Bill heard the female’s voice and he thought for sure he was getting ready to meet the true death! He had become delusional! How could they know he was a vampire?

“Right as always, Miss Stackhouse. One that is about out of blood. As in I am surprised he is still able to stand. Oh, yes…no to the standing. He just fell to his knees. Would you look at the different size bullet holes in him. He must have been at the club after we left. He is going to be ravenous so you need to keep back.

“Well hello Bill Compton,” he heard the laughter. “I thought you were in Texas, doing damage control? Looks like not.”

“Northman!” he gasped out as he peered past his blood matted eyelashes.

“See,” Eric turned to Sookie. “Everyone knows me.”

Eric was not for real sure, but he thought he heard Sookie rolling her eyes.

“Let’s walk him out to the woods onto what was once his family land. He has just about bled out. He doesn’t have much longer. When the sun hits whatever remains are left, they will burn and if someone comes looking for him, they will find what should be there.

Up on my back Miss Stackhouse and you and I am going to hover walk and only Compton shall leave a trail.”

“I have gone insane,” Bill kept repeating, his voice getting weaker as they traveled through the trees. Northman was holding him up by his jacket like a puppeteer. He had seen one of those once in Paris. The puppet dancing to the tune of its master. “I am not a puppet!” he screeched. “And you are not my master and I am not going to meet the true death.”

“The before death delusions. We are going to place him here on the ground and back up,” Eric said. “He is in his final seconds.”

“I cannot die. I am vampire. I am William…”

“Heart could not keep it together,” Eric watched as Bill’s flesh exploded.

“Wow,” Sookie tried to take a closer look. “Really? No blood at all.”

“None,” Eric replied, “he was out. Let’s just leave him here. Who ever filled him full of holes had their reason. We are not going to fuck with any of that. His phone is no longer functioning but who knows if the GPS in it is still working. Let’s go back to the house.”

“What about the blood trail?” she asked. “Especially the one outside my door?”

“Leave it,” Eric responded. “We left the club and we came home and went to sleep. He did not come up the steps. The front door is barricaded. He could not entice a human outside so he went back to his land to die. Right? That is what you here in the South do? Correct? Get me home to die.”

“That’s right,” Sookie nodded.

“Most excellent,” Eric replied. “I need to check the news and see what is new. Something is not right in Russia.”

While they were still out in the woods, Sookie whispered in his ear. “Someone is at the house. Three someone’s. Supernatural. Vampire. And…and I think they are sitting on the roof.”

Eric repositioned them so that they were now facing downwind. Taking a whiff he smiled at her. “Friends, not foes. But they are in some serious trouble. Hang on, vamp speed.”

Standing at the back door he called up to the roof in an urgent hiss. “Come down here!”

Sookie was still on his back when Eric’s arms went around someone as short as she was and Eric was whirling them at vamp speed. When he stopped and set him down he was crying and sputtering. Upset and angry and pleased…”What are you doing here Samuel,” he sobbed as he ran his hands lovingly down his brother’s face. “And those two,” he hissed again, as he reached for Ian and Cedric and hugged them to him. “I told all of you to stay away.”

All three made very gallant bows to Sookie. “Miss Stackhouse, I presume,” Samuel smiled at her and picking up her hand, kissed it. “If I might, I am Samuel Da’vid. And these two miscreants that are with me is Ian, King of British Isle and Cedric, King of Eire.”

Sookie turned Eric’s face to hers. “Is this where I invite them to come in?”

A low growling sound came from Eric’s throat. “I should just bring them the true death now, to save them from being tortured by Berlin. Yes please. I do not believe they are here to see me because they have missed me so sorely. This must be important.”

“Samuel, Ian and Cedric,” Sookie bowed her head. “Please come in.”

 

The three newcomers did not miss that Eric still had her on his back when they came in the door and into the living room. When she slid down, Eric turned to look at her. Samuel was not going to laugh. Obviously his brother took that long, lingering look to make sure she did not break her leg when she hit the floor! Oh, this could be fun!

Then she was on the floor and the most amazing thing happened! She was short! As in Samuel Da’vid short! Five-foot nothing short!

Samuel looked over at Ian and Cedric and they all looked cross-eyed at each other.

“Before you guys get started, I need to pee,” Sookie said.

Then a more remarkable thing happened! Eric left with her!

“What the fuck!” they all mouthed to each other with smiles covering their faces. “I need to pee,” they all chuckled silently.

When they came back out Eric said, “Get over yourselves. Miss Stackhouse and I are magically linked. Five feet is the limit we can be away from each other.”

“What?” they all three took a step back in case it was catching.

“A linking-lasso. They really do exist. Berlin wanted me tied to someone so I would be easy to track and real-in when need be. She was the first human I ran into, literally.

So why are you three here?” He raised both eyebrows at them.

“You cannot go to Texas, Eric,” Samuel began. “And certainly not with press credentials. Berlin is running extensive background checks on everyone who applies for a press pass. I just did not think you wanted Miss Stackhouse to jump up on that radar. They are doing dossiers on everyone. Just in case Berlin wants to use them in the future. Something along the line of I have your child, husband, family, write this for me.”

“They have been doing that,” Eric replied.

“Not this blatantly,” Samuel said.  “And they are no longer threatening just the Supe reporters. Humans have been approached as well.”

“Good to know,” he nodded his head. “But still no excuse to risk your life to come to me.

Tell me,” Eric looked at his friends and did not like what he saw. “What happened in Russia?” he asked.

“Same thing that happened in Texas,” Ian replied. “I have been monitoring what was supposed to have been oil shipped out of the North Sea. Then the ship went silent. I know it made port somewhere in the Baltic Basin because people started dying outside of Perm. Russia is not speaking of this but social media is buzzing. There are few cell towers in the Urals. The news is spotty but terrifying.”

“There is an oil tanker that has left the East Irish Sea,” Cedric said, “headed to port in New Orleans. I had been tracking it and then it dropped off. That is when I called Samuel.”

“I cannot find it,” Samuel’s voice was intense. “It is not in the major shipping lanes, which means it is somewhere it should not be.”

“That must be what they planned on dumping here,” Eric opened up his laptop and started flipping through maps. “From NO, ship it out by rail or tanker truck. But now they have no place to dump it.”

“What,” Cedric asked, “precisely is it? And why can they not dump it?”

“Evil, we think,” Eric answered.

“Mother of God,” Cedric crossed himself. “From where?”

“Berlin,” he answered. “And they wanted Sookie’s land. There is a cemetery on it. I think,” he paused, “I think they wanted to dump it into the cemetery and see what popped up. This kills humans. They know that now. So what does it do to dead bodies?”

“You think it reanimates them?” Ian asked, horror in his voice.

“I think,” Eric looked carefully at his friends, “this stuff is demons. In a human body, it just drives them insane then kills the body. In a dead body, the demon would have a vehicle to get around in. All the infected bodies in Texas, as soon as they die, they are cremated.

“I heard they are also doing that in Russia,” Ian added. “So someone is talking about perhaps the after effects.”

“Mother of God,” Cedric’s voice was a bit louder as he crossed himself, again.

“Well, that would be one way to raise any army,” Samuel said. “A cheap way to raise an army. You would not need supplies, weapons…they would just carry their war machine inside of them.”

“Yes,” Eric nodded in agreement. “And obviously they have not taken that for a test drive yet.

So to keep the humans happy, I am to be available whenever they send out the call. Offer me up as the bad guy and then they can continue on with their experiments. And believe me, I am grateful for the information, but you three need to haul your asses out of here and don’t act like you know me. Compton met the final death about three miles from here. He is full of different size bullet holes. Or he was. He had no blood left when what was left of his heart exploded. But he did manage to stop at the bottom of Sookie’s stairs out front.”

“What did you do with the body?” Samuel asked.

“We just left him as is. Looked like a group of pissed off humans did some target practice on him. I don’t know what that story is, but ours is we were sleeping after we came home from the bar.”

Ian made a face at Cedric. “That conversation now makes sense.” He turned to Eric. “Compton is supposed to be in Texas. He left early from the conference in Baton Rouge.”

“Commander Silky,” Cedric continued, “in a somewhat loud and meaningful voice, told him to go straight to Texas and do damage control and things in Louisiana were being handled and not by him. He had not been vampire long enough to return to his home.”

“Looks like Silky was right for once,” Cedric grinned.

“Hard to believe,” Ian chuckled. “But he put the stake through the heart on that one.”

“Alright, Texas is out. What about New Orleans?” Eric asked. He was met with shrugs. “Sookie and I could motor down, spend a few days taking photos of the beach, the ocean, the ships on the ocean…”

“Be careful Eric,” Samuel said. “Berlin knows you are attached and before your time is up, they will put out the call for you. No need to make it easy for them. You know how NO is…witches calling random information about you as you pass by. Ghosts walking the street with you and moaning your name.”

“I have my own magic. It has always guarded me well. And you know I am smarter than Berlin,” Eric responded.

“Yes my brother. Without a doubt,” Samuel replied.  “Miss Sookie,” he bowed his head to her, “I do so apologize for what I am going to say, but Eric,” his concentration was on his brother, “you are also encumbered by a human. And I am sure she is fearless and strong and steadfast. But still, human.”

“We will be careful,” Eric said. “The three of you, be aware as well.” A roll of thunder shook the sides of the house.

“They were not calling for more rain, tonight,” Sookie said. “Not until tomorrow afternoon.”

“Count it as a blessing, Miss Sookie. If it is a torrent, it shall wash the blood from your door,” Ian smiled at her and picking up her hand kissed it.

“Whenever I end up in Berlin,” Eric’s voice became hard and brittle. “You three stay the fuck out. I just might have a back-up plan and it involves dragons. And if you run into my child, you tell her the same fucking thing.

Have you seen her?” he asked, his voice softer.

“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “Lovely, pissed. One-hundred percent bitch.”

“Good,” Eric smiled. “Nothing has changed. I mean it. You tell her to keep her ass out of Berlin.”

“I shall pass the word,” Samuel said as he hugged Eric, kissed Sookie’s hand and hugged Eric again. “Go with God,” the small vampire kissed him on the forehead and then he was gone.

Ian and Cedric hugged Eric and kissed him. Bowed to Sookie and then they were gone.

Standing on the back porch, torrential rains hit the house and caused the tin roof to sing.

“Those are my friends,” Eric said proudly. “You can see how well they listen to me,” he said with a sad shake of his head.

“They love you,” Sookie smiled at him. “That’s nice. And don’t try and diminish that with your if a vampire cares for something bullshit.”

“You are most eloquent, tonight, Miss Stackhouse. I can see how Merlotte’s has had a positive influence on you.”

“Anytime I get to tell a skank what I think of her, it’s a good night,” she replied. “Now, I could use a shot or two of tequila.”

“Most excellent,” Eric smiled. “I believe I know where a bottle is located.”

 

Cedric, Ian, and Samuel met at the designated place off I-20.

“So do you think he suspects that the four of us have been running interference for him?” Pamela asked. “Ian, I have watched that video of you playing chase with him in that BMW so many times I have it memorized frame by frame. His E. E. persona is holding very well. How is he? What I saw of him in the video, he was his handsome self,” her voice full of good cheer and anxiety.

“Good?” the three males shrugged in unison.

“Samuel, you have known him the longest. Honestly?”

“Pamela, I think he is doing…” he shrugged. “Better than can be expected. Yes, as O.I. said, he is bound to the human. He does not seem to be in disagreement with her. I…I would not say for sure if he is in agreement with her, either.”

“You mean, they are not having sex,” she said.

“I don’t think so.” Samuel looked at Ian and Cedric and they both nodded in agreement. “But they are something.”

“Yes, something…” the other two vampires echoed.

“You think she is feeding him? Did he look well fed?”

“Yes,” all three of them said, together. “Yes,” they all looked at each other and shook their heads in agreement.

“You think he would be angry if I…”

“Yes,” they shouted at her with scary vampire teeth and claws!

“Oh, he would be that pissed off…really?” she asked.

“Do not Pamela,” Samuel shook his head no. “He would stake you himself.”

“Fuck,” she hissed. “So I know Compton came this way. What happened to him? Did you see him? I just might get to kill that fucker yet.”

“From the sound of things some vigilante humans took care of him,” Cedric smiled at her. “Eric said he bled out from lots of different size bullet holes.”

Pamela smiled and then frowned. “So does Eric have a plan for when he gets to Berlin?”

“Yes,” Ian replied. “He said it involves dragons.”

“Dragons?” she repeated back.

“Dragons. Until they call for him,” Samuel said. “We need to be gone. No lingering or loitering. Child, are you coming back home with me? I think it would be the safest. Another big storm is pushing through. You living in that underground culvert has done horrible things to our highlights. Come home with me and be pampered.”

Pam looked at her hands. “My manicure is a mess. I am afraid to look at my feet. Some nights I just stand barefoot under drainage areas and watch and listen. Not that I am complaining,” she quickly added. “I would do anything for my maker.”

They all nodded in agreement with her.

“When Eric goes to Berlin,” she eyed Samuel, “I will be there with him.”

“No doubt,” Samuel replied. “And Eric will be so angry he will bring down the entire castle.”

She thought about that for a moment. She had experienced her maker doing that once or twice. “I’ll take my chances.”

 

 

Lydia was finished with Bon Temps! Finished! She was moving uptown and Gilly could just struggle on by himself! Jason, gawd she could love Jason if he was not suck a prick…and made more money. “Stock market” she snickered. “Let’s rodeo in the stock market,” she had the visual and it made her laugh. That dumber than fuck Jason! Rodeo on the stock market! Well that was possibly the only place they had not done it. For sure, she had been sexed up and would be good for a while! She hooted as she got out of her car. “I am going to be somebody!” she giggled as she checked into the hotel. “A great big oil executive with my own office and boy toys for fetching my drinks and sharpening my pencils and whatever else has a point!”

 

Sookie thought maybe she was just a little bit drunk. She was to the good four shots. Eric might be smart and he might be a smart ass, but he knew nothing about cooking and she had finally hit on a subject where she could dominate and not get out-of-her-mind drunk.

“All right Little Miss Southern Hospitality,” Eric grinned at her. “What is an egg cream?” he asked turning over the thumb-sized hourglass.

“Fucker,” she hissed. “That’s one of those tricky New York City drinks. I heard about this on a cooking show. Or was it Reader’s Digest? Wait!” she screeched as he tapped the top of the plastic minute timer housing the sand. “That’s cheating and I know it does not have cream or eggs in it. It has milk…and some kinda flavoring and something that makes it fizzy….oh!” she jumped up and down in her chair. “Club soda!

And you need to make that a double!” she flicked him on the hand. “Cheater…no fair tapping on the top of the timer to make the sand fall faster!”

“A double,” he looked shocked. “Well, if I must,” he grinned as he downed one and then the next.

“Some one is knocking on your front board,” he chuckled.

“Oh shit, what time is it? I told them they could come at six so they could paint before they went to their regular job!”

“Six it is,” Eric stood and offered her his arm. “Let us go speak through the window and let Freddy in so that the painting may commence.”

“What the fuck was I thinkin’ when I agreed to this time?” she sobbed.

Laughter filled the hallway. “Well, you did not think you would be up all night doing tequila shots.”

 

Freddy made his way in with drop cloths, paint rollers, and paint. “I bought the high gloss for the window trim and the crown molding,” he said. “The whitest they had.”

“Perfect,” Sookie nodded. “I’m gonna make breakfast. You eat?” she asked him the young man.

“Yes ma’am,” he answered as he headed back to her bedroom.

“Is that the polite thing to do, offer to feed who ever comes in your door?” He was watching her as she made her way to the kitchen.

“Of course,” she smiled.

He wanted to ask her, “Is that why you offer to feed me? Because of your hospitality?” But he was afraid of her answer. It might be yes.

After they cleaned the kitchen, Eddy popped back in. “I have the primer on and the trim painted. You want your bathroom painted also?” he asked. “Not much to it. I can knock that out in about fifteen minutes.”

“Oh, well thank you for askin’. That would be real nice. Just let me move some things. Come on E. E.,” she said. “Come see what all a female serial killer keeps in her bathroom.”

As Sookie bagged it up, Eric made a list and commented on how it could be used to kill someone.

At one point Sookie and Freddy both were laughing so hard they drowned out the thunder.

With her bag in tow, they left the area and Freddy went back to his painting.

“I am going to sleep now,” she said, lying down on the couch. “Tell Freddy I will pay him when he finishes up tonight.” Covering up, she was asleep.

“Mr. E. E.,” Freddy stuck his head in. “I am going now. I’ll be back after work.”

“Freddy,” Eric sat on the chair with his laptop open. “You know anyone who does bathroom re-dos? Tile, plumbing, new fixtures?”

“Yes sir, I have an Uncle.”

Eric turned his laptop around. “See these items. They have them at Home Depot in Shreveport. Do you think you could call him and ask him what he is doing today? I could make it worth his time.”

“Sure, one minute,” he said taking out his phone. “Hey Uncle, I am at a job. There is a small bathroom they want redone. Are you available?

When?” he asked Eric.

“Today. I really want it done, today.

Here,” Freddy said handing him the phone. “Talk to him.”

 

At nine a truck pulled into the back. “Just come on in,” Eric said into his phone. “I am working and cannot stop. Miss Stackhouse is asleep. You know what I want. Just make it happen.”

Ralf Green was Freddy’s Uncle. He had heard in haphazard way what was going on out in Bon Temps. Ralf was thinking a 5,000 dollar bonus check was not a bad thing. He was just hoping there were no ghosts hanging off the back of anyone’s truck. Coming on into the house, the man smiled at him and Eric nodded and gave him a small wave. “I am in the middle of a murder scene. That way,” he pointed with his hand as his head went back to the computer screen.

All Ralf had to do was follow the smell of fresh paint. Yes, small bathroom. Scrape up the old linoleum…old…probably had asbestos.

Going back out he stuck his head in the living room. “Mr. E. E., that old linoleum…”

“Yes, of course,” he said looking up. “Asbestos. Can you lay the new tile on top of it? Or do you need to haz-mat up to remove it?”

“No, I can tile on top of it. I’ll take the sink and toilet out and install the new once I have that done. Small space. Won’t take me long.”

“Perfect,” one happy vampire smiled as he went back to his writing.

 

Sam was up early, inside the bar, doing inventory. Eddy was a blessing. You would not have guessed how many drunks they had in here last night. There was not the smell of vomit, anywhere! And the  bathrooms smelled minty fresh!

He had counted the till, twice, before he locked up this early A.M. They had made money last night! As in a lot of money! You don’t get a show down like that but maybe once every ten years or so.

Of course, there was the fall-out that went with that. Eventually someone would come around looking for Compton. So be it. You flash your fangs in an unprovoked setting and the humans could get rowdy! And they did…all very legal…Sam was sure eventually an officer of the law and a Were tracker would be around. That was more than fine. The law was on their side.

His phone just buzzed, again. Sam’s rental units were handled by Lydia Price. Well shit, of course they were. Well, were handled by Lydia Price. Her twitter feed was fired up this morning and sending:

LydiaPrice@IsellBonTemps : #Trendthisbontempsassholes:#JasShithousehasSTDs. #JasShithousesmalldick&brain&brain #JasShithousestockmarketnotarodeo #Ihavegreattits #makingmillions #UtilityFuelsismysugardaddy

His personal favorite was the one about the rodeo. The fact that Lydia worked for Utility Fuels made him nervous. So that was who she had to purchase Sookie’s land.

“Damn it,” he sighed. “Sookie…just damn it…gonna have to take you off the payroll until this blows over. Nobody wants Berlin sticking their nose in here anymore than they have already. Looks like we are never going to have that dinner.”

 

Sookie’s phone pinged. Scowling at the noise, Eric picked it up and put it on silent. Checking on Sookie she was still asleep. Good!

Hm-m-m-m, it was the shifter. Most good. His message read he thought it was for the best if Sookie did not come in, tonight.

“I think it is best if she never comes back in at all,” Eric smiled as he zipped back a can do response. Will be out-of-town. Going to NO. Back when E. E. says he has the fill he needs for his story.

“Seriously,” Eric grinned, “they should just put me in charge.”

 

Sookie woke up at six when she heard heavy boxes being shifted down her hall. Sitting up she smiled and looked around. “I need to pee.”

“Well,” Eric closed his lap top lid. “The water is presently turned off in the house. The new toilet and vanity are being installed.”

“What?” she asked standing when Freddy and a man she did not know came walking out of the back of the house and into the living room.

“Miss Stackhouse, my name is Ralf Green,” he extended his hand for her to shake. “It is gonna’ be about fifteen more minutes.” Both of the workmen nodded to her and left.

“Excellent,” Eric nodded. “Now, Miss Stackhouse needs to pee. I shall venture forth with the fair lady and act as guardian as you, well, find a spot in the woods. We shall sally forth with your snake stick and I shall keep away mad dogs and Englishmen!” he said with great bravado and a twirl of his hand.

“Stand watch, huh?” she eyed him. “I am beginning to think you are a pervert….”

“Please,” Eric pulled himself up and thrust out his chest. “I am not the one who agreed to letting the pervert follow me around…”

“Fair enough,” she said as she headed for the kitchen to get a paper towel. “Now, what is going on in my bathroom? And what time is it?”

“Oh,” Eric said as he opened the door. “Sam said not to come in and I responded with we were going to NO and would be back when I had enough fill.”

 

Freddy and his uncle both smiled as they heard the conversation.

“I wonder if he is her uncle?” Ralf said as he set the toilet. “He is really nice to her. I can understand though, why you said he was gay.”

“Yes,” Freddy nodded. “But he sure is fair. We all cashed his check straight away and it went right though, without a hiccup.”

Ralf nodded. “I showed up at HD and there it all was, on the loading dock, just waiting for me. Just like he said.

Her brother really do all this damage to her house and her yard?” he asked.

“Yes,” Freddy nodded.

“If that was my boy who did this,” Ralf muttered as he brought in the vanity next, “I would beat him into the ground.”

 

When Eric and Sookie came back inside, she grabbed some hand sanitizer out of her purse and went into her bedroom. “Yes,” she grinned, admiring the room. “I really like this white paint.”

“All done,” Ralf said as he stepped out of the bathroom. “I need to turn the water back on and check my joints. Give me a minute.”

Sookie stuck her head in the bathroom and started to cry.

“It’s beautiful Mr. Green,” she sobbed as she shook his hand. “Lovely. Like a little spa! Thank you,” she cried as she wiped the tears away.

“I am glad you like it. But Mr. E. E. had it all picked out. I just had to pick it up and install it.”

“Well,” she wiped her eyes, again. “It is beautiful. Thank you.

And Freddy, the room looks beautiful.”

“I’ll get my stuff out of here. You need some help moving things back in?” he asked.

“No,” she grinned and shook her head. “E. E. will help me. I know it is past ya’lls diner time. And you still got an hour to drive. Thank you so much.”

“I’ll get the water back on and then we’ll see how it all goes. Now those tiles are gonna need twenty-four hours,” Ralf said as he headed out the door, helping Freddy carry his tools. “Just walk on the boards and you will be just fine. No shower though.”

“Got it thanks,” she called back. “It’s lovely, thank you,” she smiled at him.

“No shower for 24,” Eric grinned. “Let’s spend the night in New Orleans.”

“Storms and all?” she asked.

“Storms and all,” he grinned.

“And I am off for how long?” she asked.

“Until I am finished in New Orleans,” he said, not smirking. Nope, he was not smirking at all. The shifter could just eat shit and die.

 

Eric thanked the two workmen as he gave them each a check.

“Miss Stackhouse is saving her money for sod,” Eric shook both their hands. “I believe this covers what she owes you.”

“Yes sir,” Freddy did not even look at the amount. He knew it would be generous.

“Thank you,” Eric said again as they left and the two of them walked them to the door.

Closing the back door, Sookie grinned. “I could use some food. How about you?” she asked as they made their way to the kitchen.

“Yes,” he nodded, his eyes searching hers. “Yes I could.”

“You have been real good to me,” her voice was soft. “Thank you.”

“I could be better,” he replied as he took a step toward her.

Stepping back, she smiled and said, “I can’t have E. E. coming on to me. If Eric wants to eat, I am available.”

“Can you have Eric coming on to you?” he asked as he shifted his looks and he took another step forward.

“What?” she ran her hand down the front of his shirt, a small smile on her lips “You think you can buy short and stubby legs with a few upgrades. Very lovely upgrades,” her voice was soft and sincere as she smiled at him.

“Miss Stackhouse,” he now had her back against a wall with his face even with hers as he pulled her body into his. “I don’t think I can buy you at all,” he whispered as he bent his head to kiss her.

Eric felt the vibration and then heard the voice…

“Fu-u-u-u-u-uck he-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!”

Eric took a step back and turned to the window. His voice a mite bit testy. “Child, as your maker I command you to stay.”

“What?” was squeaked out as he approached the window. Opening the glass and then the shutters, there stood his child.

“Ian, Cedric, Samuel…show yourselves!” he hissed.

“It was Pamela’s idea,” Cedric began as his face appeared at the window. “We were all set to leave after meetin’ up with her and she said let’s go get a mannie and a peddi and so we did and then she said, what do you think my maker is doin’ and let’s go find out.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded, his face set as he hovered looking at Eric. “It is all the child’s fault.”

“Oh,” Pam’s ears perked up. “The UPS truck. Turning onto the road. Are there presents for a special someone?” Pam’s eyes were focused on Eric, searching for the smallest something, anything, so she could blame this human for not seeing to her maker.

“Miss Stackhouse is not inviting you in and all of you take cover so you are not seen,” Eric hissed. “You know not what or whom lurks in these woods.”

“They’re clear,” Ian said smiling as his face appeared.

“Yes, my boy’o,” Cedric pushed in, “cleaner than me ears after me ma has scrubbed them.”

“Please, guys,” Sookie stepped past Eric, “come in,” she said.

“Yes, Eric,” Cedric grinned. “Please stand aside. We have been invited in. We shall hide.”

Floating up, one at a time they all came in feet first and vamp speed they were gone up the stairs.

Pamela continued to stand outside with sad eyes. “I will give away the game if they see me, my maker. All shall know that where ever goest the child of The Viking, there also goest The Viking,” she said, wiping her eyes. “His life,” she turned tear ladened eyes on Sookie, “his life is in danger as long as I stand here,” the tears streamed down.

“Pamela, please come in and hide,” Sookie said.

“Thank you, madam,” she said once inside and bowed at the waist, blew air kisses everywhere, and bowed again. “I shall go and hide.”

“You do not know what you have done?” Eric said as he walked Sookie to the back door. “The madness and mayhem that follows her around.”

“Sounds just like her maker,” Sookie smiled at him as she watched the man walk up her new driveway.

Sookie greeted the driver and Eric pulled in the boxes. Pamela appeared from nowhere. Making much ado about handling the boxes and assuring everyone she would wrangle them into the bedroom, there were more air kisses and smiles and winks as she called “Ollie, Ollie oxen free” and the boys appeared and helped move things along.

“Five, six…seven big boxes,” Sookie was counting . “What’s in them?”

“Things for the freshened up bedroom,” Eric replied.

“Not to worry,” Pamela air kissed Sookie again. “Please, allow me to unpack this.”

“Thank you child,” he replied. “So kind of you to offer,” he raised an eyebrow at her. “Glad you could be in attendance to help.”

Sookie thought maybe Eric had not sounded especially happy.

“Of course,” Pam said through a fixed smile as she passed him. For his ears only she whispered, “You are so handsome as E.E. and apparently so unfuckable…

…sadly, now that she sees you as Eric the same thing can be said. Just unfuckable.”

There was a low growl from his throat and she was gone.

“Very lovely and oh so Madame Vedo,” Pamela said as she shook out the sheets, curtains, bedspread, dust ruffle, pillows… “What?” she said as everyone entered the room to oh and aw…”no chaise lounge?”

“It’s coming,” was all he said in the way of a reply. “Sarcasm at its finest,” he muttered, “Pamela be thy name.”

Pam did not like being sent away! If there was a brawl, and there was going to be one, she wanted in. And here Eric was, playing house with this human. So what if he was magically attached? End the bloodbag and call it done! Easy fix!

“I see Vedo has decided to go with the Windsor Blue,” she was running her hand over the velvet. “Very fetching, very regal looking. I am somewhat surprised she did not go with the Versailles yellow and blue. Also very nice.”

“She suggested it. I said no,” was all Eric said as he unrolled the carpet while Sookie said, “That is so beautiful,” her voice soft, as each piece was taken out!

Oh, her maker was gloating. Yes, he had outdone himself. Eric’s taste was flawless. She just preferred that he spend it on his bloodbags buying them new shoes or a fur coat or something else disposable. This Eric homemaker business was disturbing.

“Nice marble on the floor and on the walls in the bathroom. Small space, but she is not very big,” she snickered under her breath. “Of course that tub would cramp your style, my maker. That could take some getting used to,” she smiled at Sookie and then said for vampire ears only as she unpacked pillows. “I don’t know that you have ever done poor Southern. Slumming is so…”

Pam found herself dangling from Eric’s outstretched arm, his hand around her throat; her feet not touching the floor!

Everything in the room stopped. The three vampires that were hanging six layers of curtains of course had heard every word and were not surprised at Eric’s reaction.

Sookie was putting new sheets on the bed when she turned. Pam’s back was to her, Eric’s face she could clearly see. His fangs were down and he was pissed!

“Is there a problem?” Sookie asked, walking over to Eric and putting her hand on his arm.

“Is there a problem?” Eric asked Pamela.

Shaking her head vigorously no, Eric put her feet back on the floor. “She was being rude,” was all Eric offered in a way of explanation.

“Oh,” Sookie looked a little sad and nodded. “About me?”

“Yes,” his one syllable reply sounded stark surrounded by so much loveliness.

“It’s okay Eric. Really,” she gave him a small smile. “I am use to it.”

“You shouldn’t be,” he growled.

“Thank you,” she smiled at him and tiptoed up and kissed him on the cheek. “This is really lovely. Thank all of you. Sincerely. If you could just excuse me for a minute.”

Walking into the bathroom, she closed the door and sat down on the toilet. Laying her head in her lap, she started crying and she sobbed for what her life had been and what it would never be.

She had no idea how long she sat there, staring at nothing.

When the door opened, it was Eric, not E.E. who stood there looking at her.

“Whatever Pamela said about me, it was the truth. And you know it and I know it.”

Eric kneeled down in front of her. “Pamela runs at the mouth, is rude and believes in makes cutting, nasty remarks. In the supernatural world, she is normally met with equally as rude. But you could not hear her and I believe it is not in your make-up to be intentionally mean to someone with a kind heart.”

“Well,” she sighed sitting up straighter. “I have not slept, I’ve been drinking tequila, I beat the hell out of my brother and I have all these lovely new things. I am probably on emotional overload.”

“Does not matter,” he replied. “Put on your jammies. We probably have a bit more business to discuss and you can sleep.”

When she had finished changing, he picked her up and carried her into the living room where everyone was waiting. Sitting down on the couch with her cradled in his arms, Eric grabbed her pillow and blanket. Tucking her in, she was asleep. Leaning down he smiled at her and kissed her on the forehead.

Then he turned his gaze on Pamela. “I asked you to stay away from me child because I want you to live. I am touched by your devotion and yet horrified by your disregard to my host.

I am thrilled to see you and my anger is so great at you right now I could destroy you. I have been an honored and respected guest here. And you have no idea of the turmoil and life-threatening endeavors I have and will subject this human, too.

You are correct, she could not hear what you said. But I could, and so could Samuel and Ian and Cedric.

I am horribly embarrassed by your rudeness to a person who stood guard over me in my day slumber.  Yes, Vedo outdid herself and the marble in the bath is lovely. And yes, it did cost me. But I have to ask you child, how much monetary value do you place on my life?”

“There is not enough money in the world for what your life is worth,” her voice was quiet, tears in her eyes as she looked at him.

“You should have stayed away,” he sadly shook his head. “Before I only asked you to stay away. Now…”

“No Eric…please…no…” she was on her knees in front of him. “Please, I am begging you…” she sobbed.

“Now as you maker, I am ordering you stay a minimum of a five hundred miles from my presence. I will call you back to me if this is ever finished. But you are to live,” he said to her. “I command this.”

“Eric, no,” she sobbed as she began her backwards walk out of the house. “No, please…no…” as they heard the backdoor open and close.