Just some baby goats in pj’s to brighten your day!
Just some baby goats in pj’s to brighten your day!
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
When the last rays of the sun dipped below the horizon, there was a knock at the door.
Sookie peeked out the kitchen window and there stood Eric. “How does he do that?” she asked herself as she admired the first of the dark. “And he has flowers, not a petal out-of-place.”
“Who is it?” Emmy asked.
“It is the fucking rat bastard,” Sookie said to her daughter. “We are going to have our dinner. I will invite him in to sit with us.”
Emmy nodded as she stopped stirring the fruit salad. Hopping down off her stool, she went with her mommy and watched as she answered the front door.
“Thank you for seeing me,” Eric bowed his head. “I am here to apologize.”
“Please come in,” Sookie nodded. “We were getting ready to have supper. The things you sent over were lovely and much appreciated. Not necessary, but Emmy and I are thrilled to have them.”
“I brought flowers,” he began his act of contrition by handing them to her. “Such a small gesture for the atrocities that I committed in your home. I had no right,” Eric got down on both knees, “to come into your place of sanctuary and act the way I did. To yell at you and your dogs. They are good boys and have done a much better…” his voice faltered. “And they have done a much better job of being here for you and protecting you then I could ever have done. I am so sorry Sookie,” he said taking her hand and kissing it. “Truly. I am grateful for Samuel for being a good and righteous soul and knowing the truth when he hears it. I cannot hear the truth when it…” the tears started. They pooled in the corner of his eyes. “When it literally speaks to me.
I have missed out on so much,” he sobbed, “and left you to face your fears. I do not know how you have stood so tall and brave. To watch Emmy…grow cold…” he wiped at his eyes. “I am so sorry. I do not deserve to be a part of her life, your life. I would be honored if you would allow me time to sit and visit with you and feel blessed. And not so cold and alone.
Emmy,” he looked over at her, a dog on either side, standing guard. “I had no right to think I could keep your good boys from protecting your mommy. I was angry at your mother and I had no right to be angry at her, either. I have just been angry…” his voice trailed off, “and unhappy.”
Walking toward him, the little girl placed a hand on his cheek. “Thank you for the sparkles,” she said as she kissed him on the nose. “But if you hurt my Mommy, or doggies or goaty-goats, I will turn you into a toad.”
“I know,” he nodded. “Your Mommy told me. And rightly so. I would deserve far worse for hurting those that you love and cherish.”
Emmy nodded and stared into his eyes. Then her eyes took in everything about his face. The bloody streaks, the soft color of his eyes. Her hands went to his hair and she gently stroked it.
Eric took her tiny little hands and brought them to his lips for a kiss.
“We are fixing supper,” she continued to watch him. “Mommy said you could sit with us. I am making the fruit salad. Mommy said you left all that food for us. Thank you,” she bowed her head and pulled out the sides of her sparkle dress and curtsied. “I like the strawberries with the chocolate. And the blueberries,” she grinned. “We had those in pancakes. And real maple syrup!” her eyes got big. “Mm-m-m-m,” she nodded.
“All very good,” Sookie smiled at her daughter and then spared a very little smile for the fucking rat bastard who was doing his best to worm his way into their lives. “You two have got the fruit salad. Cut up lots of apples because we are having pork chops, tonight. Eric if you want to wash your face, you can use the kitchen sink and dry off with paper towels.”
Emmy explained the ins and outs of sniffing apples for ripeness as they went through the basket of fruit.
“Emmy, show the fucking rat bastard where the knives are and the paring knife we us for apples. He is going to need a cutting board. Please get one out for him.”
Eric did not make a face or respond with a sniffle or a tear at hearing his rat bastard name. He was here to take his licks and be of use. “Did you go out to the barn today?” he asked making pleasant conversation with Emmy.
“I did,” she grinned. “I wore my new muck boots! The goaty-goats danced with me! I had to leave them in the laundry room. Not supposed to track up Mommy’s floors.”
“Yes,” Eric smiled. “She is most particular about her floors. Does she still nap on them?” he asked innocently.
Sookie turned and looked at him, shock on her face, her fork raised in mid-air. Blushing, she went back to turning the meat.
“Sometimes,” Emmy nodded. “We read stories in front of the fire and sometimes we take a little nap.”
“Excellent. Clean floors make that possible,” Eric said. “Now, the apples are chopped. What goes in next?”
Through dinner Eric’s girls, he often thought that to himself, entertained him with stories about their day and how there were going to be two mules coming to live with them.
“Yes,” Emmy nodded and smiled as she had a bite of green beans. “Their house is built all snug and tight and the plow came this afternoon for them to pull. Mr. Joey is going to come and work here.”
“Well, if your Mommy hired him, I am sure he is a mule and plow expert.
Is he also going to drive the tractor?” Eric asked.
“No,” Sookie said. “We all took a vote and decided that we did not like the tractor out there sputtering and billowing exhaust all over our gardens. We have enough work to keep Mr. Hyett going full-time so we are hiring one more person. We have been talking about plowing with mules for a while. Just never found the right person to make that happen.
So we have been putting Joey through the business. He has leaned to make soap and how to run things in the buildings. He was raised Amish, left for his year of seeing the English world, fell in love with a Goth girl and they got married. Since she is not of his faith, and likes to wear her black in very creative combinations, she is not really welcome on the family farm in Ohio.”
“What does she do?” he asked.
“Getting ready to give birth to twins,” Sookie grinned. “And she also does a little pre-school teaching in our Care Center and helps the elderly folks with stretches. She is a Yogi and I have never seen Mrs. Hunter so spry.”
“You do good things here,” he said as he cut Emmy’s meat. “Take care of your people.”
“Yes,” she nodded. “But Samuel makes all this possible. He takes our little bits of money and turns them into bigger bits of money.”
“If I might ask,” Eric put more fruit on Emmy’s plate. “Why are you still shopping at the thrift store?”
“Because I was raised poor,” she began with a smile. “Gran would take us there and we would find what we needed. And then as I got older, I found that with what money I made, I hated paying retail for anything. Plus, I had nowhere big to go, so shopping there saved me money. Then I would do jobs for you and we saved every dime of that for emergencies and I found suits and what I needed to wear, there. Again at a fraction of the cost.
Right now, we have enough capital in the bank that if something were to happen, we could pay everyone’s salary for a year. And that gives me comfort knowing that until they found another job, they would be provided for. Because your life can turn on a dime and no one is promised, tomorrow. Because I am responsible now for these folks and I am not spending money on things I do not need.”
He started to say something and she placed her hand on his arm.
“Eric, the folks we hire, nobody else wants. Not really. They are too old, or handicapped or don’t have enough education. Or come with so much baggage that working a regular shift anywhere is impossible for them. I understand that. I also understand what it is like to have a child with special needs.”
“I get cold,” Emmy nodded. “Mommy stops what she is doing to cuddle me.”
“She is an exceptional Mommy,” Eric picked Emmy up out of her booster seat. “Now, are we ready to clean the kitchen? I have a very big desire to see the goats before they go to bed.”
Sookie eyed him and arched an eyebrow as she stood up from the table.
“Being a Viking was more than traveling the world in your longboat. And that was fun,” he rubbed his nose against Emmy’s. “But I was also a farmer and could plow and I raised goats.”
“What?” Sookie took a step back. “You were a farmer?”
“Well yes,” he nodded. “I can also build a log cabin, we Swedes invented that, and I am an accomplished Boatwright.”
“So you know something about carpentry?” Sookie choked back a smirk.
“I certainly do and whoever works on your barns knows what he is about.
I can wash if you will dry,” he said to Sookie,in the same breath, not wanting to lose the moment.
“Please don’t do this,” she said quietly.
Eric raised her chin and gently stroked her lips with his thumb. “Pam apologized to me for manipulating our relationship. But it was not her fault. It was mine. I allowed her to do it. I am by far too comfortable when I am around you Sookie. That is very dangerous. Vampires are not to get comfortable. And being with you makes me happy and I don’t deserve to be happy. Being with you and Emmy…” his voice trailed off. “Whatever it takes just for small moments of your time, I will do.”
Sookie only looked at him and finally nodded her head.
Emmy was intently watching the exchange as her parents cleaned the kitchen. They did not say much but they were kind and helpful to each other. So maybe the fucking rat bastard could be a daddy after all.
And so she watched…and made a decision…
…Daddy putting things on that way up high top shelf for her Mommy. He did not need the step stool! Mommy admiring the flowers that Daddy brought and said how pretty they were!
She was being a good helper by putting away the cutting board. When the kitchen was clean and the floor swept, they all went to the laundry room and she got her muck boots. Daddy and Mommy both said she looked like she was wearing shooting stars on her feet! Together they walked out to the goat barn. Her Mommy holding one of her hands, her Daddy the other.
When they went in they greeted with a small stampede! Goats going everywhere!
“I have a surprise,” Eric smiled at Emmy and tweaked her on the nose. From his inside jacket pocket came a small package. Eric handed it to Emmy and with delight, he watched her as she unwrapped it.
“Jammies for the babies,” she laughed. “New jammies! Mommy lookitlookitlookit! Daddy brought the baby goaty-goats new jammies! Daddy will you help me please to put them on?”
“Daddy,” Eric breathed out and kneeled, melting into the ground and wrapped himself around his knees as he sobbed. His little girl wrapped herself around him and then kissing him, she patted his face. Eric looked into those almond-shaped eyes that were so like his own. “I have been looking for you,” she whispered in his ear and then licked blood from his face. “Sometimes I would find you but I could not see you. And I would try and try and try.”
Emmy stroked his hair and then rubbed her nose against his. “You were not here but my Uncle Samuel was and I liked his curls. So my hair is not like yours, but my Uncle Samuel’s. I would have liked to have had hair like yours,” she said as she followed the curve of his head. “I think I would have liked it very much.”
Sookie went over to the sink and got a clean hand towel. Wetting it, she knelt down beside Eric and began to wash what was left of the blood from his face. Those impossible blue eyes staring back at her. “You are welcome in our home and in our lives. Do not make promises you will not keep. Do not say things you do not mean. If you have nothing nice to say to us, say nothing at all, because if you hurt Emmy or me,” she said smiling at him. “I am turning you into a toad. Fair warning, Eric,” she said.
“Fair warning,” he echoed as he took her hand, raised it to his lips and kissed it.”
“Bed time for goaty-goats,” Emmy sang. “Daddy brought new jammies! Who wants some?”
Eric dressed the goats, just to prove he knew a thing or two about them and watched them dance about with Emmy.
“She could do this all night and day,” Sookie shook her head. “Bed time for baby girls and goaty-goats!” she smiled and rubbed several nannies between the horns one last time.
“Daddy,” Sookie addressed Eric, “if you would be so kind to round-up the babies. It is bed time.”
Sookie did her best not to laugh as Eric chased baby goats up walls and under nanny goats. They enjoyed the game of chase, singing their goat songs with Emmy who was singing and clapping in glee right along with them!
When the last one had been divested of their pajamas he placed Emmy on top of his shoulders and they walked back to the house.
“Bath time, story time, then bedtime,” Sookie reached up high and tweaked Emmy on the nose.
It was ten before Emmy closed her eyes, with Eric’s head resting on her back. When she got warm, he sat up. “Thank you,” he said. “I mean that. For tonight, thank you. And for…everything. She is so wonderful and incredible. Just like her mother,” he added and stood.
“It was fun,” she smiled at him as she got up to walk him to the door. ”I am glad Emmy got to know this side of you. The side that I got to know. Thank you for giving her that.”
Eric didn’t say anything, just nodded. “You two saved my life,” he looked in her eyes and she could see the truth that he spoke. “I was on the path to self-destruction. I was ready to greet the sun and Samuel said whenever I did that to let him know. He would go with me and together we would walk the path to meet his God. That is the only thing that has kept me from doing so. Samuel does so much good. I could not take him from this world.”
Sookie nodded. “You went to see him after Emmy was born. Samuel has been, I think, prepping you and us for this minute. When she would meet you.”
“Well then, I will have to thank him as well.”
“You should,” Sookie grinned at him.
Eric hesitated. “I hate myself but I have to ask because…because I do not understand how I misread…” He stopped. “Fuck Northman, just say it,” he said out loud. “Sookie,” his voice was low and sincere, “that night you were in your Gran’s truck, after the Wicca meeting. You smelled strongly of another man.”
“Eric, I have nothing,” she sighed. “Alcide hugged me but I broke that off. I told Gran I was going to wait in the truck. I got in, it was cold, I put on her jacket.”
“Fuck Northman!” he hissed. “Of course. She fucked some guy wearing that jacket. You two…your pheromones would have been close enough I would have read the two of you as one. I am a fucking flaming asshole!”
“Would not have made any difference,” she sighed. “I was so pissed off at you…so angry…so fucking angry…I was so young and so foolish. I like to think I am a bit older and wiser. That is why I put that toad warning out there.”
A small grin tugged at the corners of her lips. “Just be polite to me and be here for Emmy and you will do just fine,” she gave him a full smile.
“You seeing someone?” he asked.
Sookie laughed out loud. “I learned my lesson about men. And then Emmy came along and Lafayette is the only male I see on a regular basis. Besides,” she grinned, “who could possibly compete with you?”
“So,” he wanted to push the question so badly he could taste it. “Has there been anyone else?” screamed in his mind and his ego roared! He had been and was still her only one!
Instead in a very sedate voice he said, “I would love to see you tomorrow night. But I will be late. Probably around eight. Fangtasia burned and Pam sent me a text saying we will need to meet with the insurance adjuster at around six-thirty. I know eight is Emmy’s bedtime. But I will be here in time to read her a story and hear about her day.”
“That should be just fine,” Sookie smiled at him. “Until then.”
“Until then,” he smiled at her and picking up both hands he kissed one and then the other. “Good night.”
I still have a list of needful things and that list is extensive. Rain once a week so there is water for the lawn. Keeping the crows off the roof. The mice out of the house. Roses that don’t get mites, bag worms (yes seriously), and for some reason the finches pick the petals from the roses and line their nests. (We need those petals for making soap!) Keeping the milk fresh past the expiration date. We need our goats to be healthy, the lavender to grow big and strong, the rosemary to always stand guard and the pecan grove to produce, produce produce!
And I have always wanted Emmy to know her Daddy.
That fucking Eric! In my heart I have waited a lifetime to hear my baby call him Daddy. I don’t know if I should yell, scream, or just sit down and bawl! See needful things.
There are also some not so needful things on my list. Right now my body is raging! Emotions! Not so needful things! Nor and I repeat NOR do I need my body to react to him like a teenager whose hormones are running so amuck, if you would cut them and if they would to bleed on a just up out-of-the-ground corn plant, you would be able to shuck the corn from it at the end of the day and have it for dinner! I do not need a…a…stress reliever in the form of that fucking rat bastard! No! No! and once again, NO! shouted at the top of my lungs! Because if it is one thing the fucking rat bastard knows how to do and that is to well…release stress…after he has worked you over and made you scream…well yes…then comes the great big, toe curling, release…damn I remember those nights all to vividly. And those memories…man, I sure don’t need them whenever he comes around.
No one, and I know this for a fact, no one is promised tomorrow. Your world can turn on a dime…mine did.
Emmy was up the next morning, pushing one of her mommy’s eyes open.
“Mommy, you in there?” she asked.
“M-m-m-m,” she answered. “What ‘cha thinking baby girl?”
“I like having a Daddy. Can I tell my friends I have a Daddy?”
“Emmy, my darling daughter. We have to talk. About serious things. Secret things.”
“Secret?” she said sitting down and wrapping her lovey around her. “You mean like me drinking blood?”
“Yes. You drink my blood because your Daddy drinks blood. Do you know your Daddy is a vampire?”
Sitting quietly, she thought about that. “I know he is different. Like me. Am I a vampire?”
“Emmy, you are my baby girl. You are human, like me. And you have fangs like your Daddy. And you can fly like him and you certainly have his temper.”
Emmy nodded. “Yes. He would not have hurt my doggies but he kept them from protecting you.”
“You know that?” Sookie asked.
“Yes,” she nodded.
“Well okay then. Since he is a vampire and I am a human, our biology should not mix. Vampire and human can marry, but they can’t have babies. Their biology will not allow this.”
“But you had me,” she responded.
“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “You are very special. And if people were to know that about you, they would take you from me so they could study your biology.”
“I would turn them into a toad,” she said with a sure nod of her head.
“And baby, you have my permission to do that if anyone does try to take you from me.”
“But my Poppi-La La knows,” she said.
“Yes, he loves you very much.
And your Uncle Samuel knows along with your Auntie Pam. They are vampire also. But those are all the people who know. We trust them and we love them and they would do anything to keep you safe.
Now, there may come a time when you can tell people about your Daddy. But until then, it needs to be a secret.”
“Okay,” she nodded.
“And let’s not do any flying,” she smiled at her, “around folks.”
“Okay. I’m hungry, is it time for breakfast?”
“You bet. I need to pee. How about you?”
“Yes,” she nodded.
“I’ll use the one in the hall, you use this one with your step stool. Wash up and we’ll have breakfast.”
Everyone got two days off a week and that included Sookie and Lafayette. Today was an off day. No need to be in the barn. No need to do anything. So it was a lazy day.
Robby stopped by and picked up the plants that Eric had purchased.
They walked with him out into the gardens and showed him where they needed to go.
They talked about what Emmy wanted to do for her birthday.
“Can we go trick-or-treating in town?” she asked.
“Well yes,” Sookie nodded. “Anything else?”
“Can we have birthday cake and ice cream with our friends out in the barn?”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded.
“Will Daddy be here?”
“We will check with him. Now, he is going to be late coming tonight because he has to take care of some business. So he will finish that up and then be here in time for a story before your bedtime.
What else would you like?” Sookie picked her up and spun her around.
“A baby brother or sister,” Emmy smiled at her. “Daddy is here now. He could share his biology with you and we could have a baby!”
“Oh, Emmy…” Sookie set her down on the ground and squatted down by her. “I just don’t know about that. Maybe your Daddy does not want to have another child with me.”
“Can we ask him?”
“Sweet girl, there is so much to having a child. Just so much,” she sighed. “Right now, I have you and I love you very much. And your Daddy loves you. And for right now, I think that is enough.”
“Okay,” Emmy nodded.
“Thanks,” Sookie hugged her close. “Now,” she stood up, “what else do we need to get done, today?”
“Can I make Daddy a card?” she asked.
“Well yes,” Sookie smiled. “What a nice idea. Let’s get out the crafting supplies.”
It was a very good day. Emmy drew scenes of the farm and one of herself on a card that said, “I love you, Daddy!” that her Mommy helped her to write. There were hearts and hand turkeys and other things that Emmy saw everyday that she put worked onto the card.
When there was no space left on the front, she turned it over and decorated the back.
Around five, they sat back from the kitchen table and smiled at each other. They had made Eric a Halloween card, a Christmas card and a birthday card for him! They were starting on the Valentine’s Day card next. Sookie had out the red glitter and Emmy was busy with the red marker.
“We will take a break for dinner and then finish with the glitter,” Sookie kissed her on the nose.
“Sookie,” Arlene stuck her head in the front door and called out. “Dark is coming on. The barn is spanky clean and I am goin’ home.”
“Thanks Arlene,” she said getting up and sticking her head out of the kitchen.
“Well, I am gonna’ get. There is a Abbott & Costello movie marathon at the drive-in tonight. Starts in thirty minutes. Terry has the kids ready to go and I gotta haul ass.”
“Be careful out there,” Sookie smiled at her and waved.
“Will do,” she called.
“Let’s eat and finish up,” Sookie smiled. “When Daddy gets here, we will be ready for him.”
The Valentine’s card was a fancy thing! They had glued and then glittered Emmy’s hands and she put handprints all over the piece of paper.
They both declared it beautiful!
“We will let these dry and we will put things away. Then we’ll check the barn. Before you know it, your daddy will be here,” Sookie kissed her on the nose.
“Now, up to the sink and off with the glitter!”
Looking around the kitchen, they had cards hung up everywhere to dry! Looked like wash day! Sookie had hung a piece of twine from one cabinet door to another with love filled cards attached with clothespins.
“It sparkles in the kitchen, Mommy,” Emmy said proudly.
“Yes it does. Now lets round-up the dogs and go check the goaty-goats. Then we’ll have a story or two and Daddy will be here to read you one as well.”
Staring down at her little girl, Sookie knew that her life was blessed. In a way that she could not comprehend or perceive. All she had ever wanted was a family of her own. And Emmy made that possible for her and she would be forever grateful.
As they walked out to the barn, she admired the stars in the sky and offered up a prayer of gratitude.
Telling the goats goodnight, they securely closed all the doors behind them and walked back to the house, with the dogs stopping to sniff everything along the way.
“Want to sit and swing for a while?” Sookie asked.
“Yes,” Emmy nodded her head. “I like that swing. I like it when we swing and it is raining.”
“Me too,” Sookie grinned at her as they climbed the last step. They crossed the porch and Sookie started to lift Emmy up when both dogs sniffed the wind and growled. That caused Sookie to turn out toward the yard to see what had caught their attention.
There was a crack and she felt a searing pain go through her as she fell to the porch floor, blood covering her hands where she had grabbed at the pain to pull it out of her body!
“Mommy,” Emmy was down next to her, “Mommy,” and Sookie could hear the panic in her voice while the dogs whined, circling around her.
“Sweet baby, get inside with the dogs,” Sookie said to her as she tried to sit up. “I need my phone…I can’t remember where I left my phone…”
“Mommy,” the little girl bawled when she saw the blood covering the front of Sookie’s body.
“Dadd-e-e-e-e-e! Dadd-e-e-e-e! Dadde-e-e-e!” was screamed in anguish out into the universe as she began to wail. “Mommy, I won’t leave you, Mommy,” she was crying, “Dadde-e-e-e-e-e!”
Eric was in a meeting with the suits that wanted to talk about fire damage and the no longer standing Fangtasia.
“Dadd-e-e-e-e-e!” was screamed with heart breaking anguish and panic through his soul.
“Emmy!” he roared and pushing through walls and whatever got in his way, he was gone.
“Fuck off!” Pamela said to those at the table and she was gone as well.
“Mommy,” she was sobbing, “Mommy,” she had her hands on top of Sookie’s.”
“Emmy, baby, they can see you. Go inside. Take the dogs with you,” she was able to gasp out. “I…I need my phone….can you find mommy’s phone?”
“Daddy,” she was sobbing and looking out into the night and Sookie could feel it! Eric was incoming and what flowed out from him was indeed, what she had witnessed in Emmy last night. Berserker rage!
“They hurt Mommy,” Sookie heard her say as she began to lose consciousness.
“Emmy, come and stand in front of Daddy. Do it now. Mommy is going to be just fine,” he said as he opened a vein in his wrist.
“Sookie, lover, I need you to drink,” he said putting his wrist to her mouth. Scooping her up so that she was in front of his body he said, “Emmy, I need you to go inside and turn off the lights. I am right behind you. You boys, go with Emmy!” he said to the dogs who crowded up around her.
“Daddy,” she was still sobbing but nodding in understanding.
“Stay in front of me. Good, Mommy is drinking and she is going to be just fine. Good. The lights are out I want you to get down on the floor.
Pamela,” he said as he felt her come in. “Sookie has been shot! Carry Emmy to the bedroom and then find them warm blankets…” was all that he said as he fought to contain the rage that carried him in its wake!
“Emmy, we are going to go back to the bedroom. Auntie Pam is going to carry you. I have Mommy.”
“Okay,” she sobbed as she looked over at him and wrapped her arms around Pam.
Eric got his family on the bed and Pam was gone.
“Mommy is fine,” Sookie smiled over at Emmy who was still crying. Reaching for Sookie, the little girl climbed into her arms.
“You need to get out of those clothes and into the shower,” Eric said. “A bath is just what everyone needs. I will start the water then come and get my girls.”
Sookie just looked at him with grateful eyes. When she began to cry in earnest, Eric grabbed another blanket and wrapped them up together. Holding them in his arms, he knew when they both began to feel better.
“I am going to adjust the water to the right temperature,” he said gently as he eased away. “Good boys,” he called to the dogs that had been whining. “Up,” he said. “See for yourself, they are fine. Stand guard, I will just be in the bathroom a moment.”
Kissing both, he went to the tub and turned on the water.
Pam appeared back in the bedroom.
“What?” he asked as she joined him in the bathroom.
“I followed the trajectory of the bullet. The smell of gunpowder is still strong in the air. I could see where they had stood to take the shot. But there was no human smell. I could track it no farther. There was, however, the distinct smell of magic.”
“I am giving my girls a bath. Sit with them for a moment while I run the water and call Samuel.”
As Eric was walking into the bathroom, he punched the one on his speed dial.
“My brother,” Samuel began.
“Sookie has been shot,” was all Eric said.
“I am on my way,” Samuel replied as he pocketed his phone.
Samuel turned to Ian and Cedric. “We are getting off, here.
Clifford, have the pilot take us down to twenty thousand feet. We are getting out.”
“Bathing water is ready,” he smiled as a claw appeared and he removed the clothes from Sookie and then Emmy and tossing them to the floor. Picking both up, he carried them to the bathroom and undressing, got into the shower with them. “A little shampoo,” he kissed both on the nose, “a little…oh look, goaty-goat soap for washing and we will cuddle on the bed and talk about our day. Now close your eyes and let Daddy work his magic.”
Eric shampooed Emmy first and then Sookie. What he could see and they could not was that the tub floor was red. At some point he was going to howl with rage at what had been done to them, but not right now. No, now he was going to correct what he could and eventually he would slowly and carefully torture who had done this.
When the water was clear on the tub bottom, he turned off the stream. Drying everyone off, when they entered the bedroom. Pam had removed all the bloody things and there was clean bedding.
Getting everyone into jammies and in bed, he went over to Sookie’s dresser and opening a drawer, took out one of her oversized night shirts and slipped it on. With a blower dryer and a brush he gently worked through their hair. Putting the things back, Sookie and Emmy both watched him as he came back over and put a knee on the bed to lean in. “I am going outside for just a bit.”
“No Daddy, please,” Emmy started to sob, again. “Stay here with us,” she pleaded.
“My angel’s kiss,” he kissed her on the cheek. “I will not be gone long. Someone has used magic to block them from your Auntie Pam. There is no smell of human. Or of anything.”
Emmy looked over at her Auntie and Pam nodded yes.
“I am just going to try to unlock their spell,” he smiled at her.
“We can do that,” Emmy nodded and wiped her eyes, dry. “We can do that.”
Eric, Sookie and Pam both mumbled something to the effects of “Oh shit!” under their breath.
“Daddy, you are here with me and Mommy. We can do this.”
“Most good,” Eric nodded and he and Emmy began to rub their hands together at the same time.
Emmy smiled. “You are just like me.”
“Yes,” Eric grinned at her. “Now, can you rub them really fast?”
“Yes,” she nodded. “Mommy, you rub them too.”
“Me?” Sookie asked as she struggled to sit up.
“Stay down,” Eric said gently, “and just raise your hands a bit and let us all rub our hands together.”
“Just like this,” Emmy smiled. “You feel it?” Emmy asked.
“I feel something,” Sookie replied. “And…and smell something.”
“Shewee,” Emmy shook her head. “Stinks.”
“Yes,” Eric nodded as his eyes went into a squint. “It does.”
“I sing this song,” Emmy said and then clapped her hands, “be gone.”
“Now you Mommy.”
“I sing this song,” Sookie stopped rubbing them and then clapped. “Be gone.”
“I sing this song,” Eric said, and when he clapped his hands, thunder shook the house, “be gone.”
Pam grinned, “I’ll be back. I am going to text Lafayette. He needs to know. What do you want me to tell him?”
“Shelter in place,” Eric responded. His voice serious.
“Will do,” she bowed her head and was gone.
“Emmy, Daddy needs his phone. Auntie Pam left it on the dresser. I am going to get up and go get it. Are you fine with that?”
“You’ll come right back?” she asked.
“Right back,” he smiled at her.
Emmy and Sookie watched him as he walked over to get his phone and watched him until he was back on the bed.
“Sookie, we have to notify the police.”
“And say what?” she asked. “That I was shot. That you healed me with your blood.” Shaking her head no, Eric took her hands in his.
“Please tell me what happened?” he said gently.
Sookie took a deep breath and then blew it slowly out. “We had come back from the barn. We were going to sit out on the porch swing for a bit. The dogs started to growl and I turned to see what they were fussing about.
I think I heard the crack of the rifle being fired, but I am not sure now.”
“If you had not turned,” Eric held her eyes, “the bullet would have hit your heart. You would be…” he let that thought trail off and his grip tightened on her hands.
“We will bandage your arm. Tell the Sheriff you were grazed. The bullet is lodged in your doorframe. Let them work the forensics. That way we can tell your employees to beware.”
“Okay,” she nodded. “Okay.”
There was a knock at the door.
“That is your Uncle Samuel,” he kissed both his girls on the nose. “I’ll be right back. Are we good with that?”
“Yes,” Emmy nodded and wiped at her eyes. “I love my Uncle Samuel.”
“I’ll be right back my angel’s kiss,” he grinned at her and kissing her forehead, he left them on the bed.
When Eric and Samuel walked into the bedroom, Eric was wearing what looked to be his own clothes.
“You always carry extra for him?” Sookie asked.
“Always,” Samuel smiled. “Now, how are you doing?”
“Better,” she offered him a small smile. “Eric gave me some of his blood and then he put us all in the shower and when we came out the…the…” the words faltered.
“Pamela put fresh bedding on. Most excellent,” Samuel finished for her. “Now, I have brought two friends, along. Ian and Cedric. They are good lads have helped Eric get into as much trouble as they have helped him get out of it. They are following Pam’s trail.”
“Okay,” she nodded. “Okay,” she looked at Eric. “Call the Sheriff. I will only speak to Andy and Kendra. They can keep a secret. They might as well know. Everything.”
The two police officers sat and listened. The man who sat across from them that was tenderly holding Emmy next to him while she slept and had his arm around Sookie was one of the most well-known and notorious vampires to walk the night. The Sheriff of Area Five! No fucking kidding! Andy had never met him but he was grateful for him. Because of Northman’s reputation he did not have to deal with supernatural shit like other parts of the country.
“We will work the crime scene,” Andy nodded. “We’ll walk the path of the bullet. Extract the bullet and put up the tape and then wait and see what happens.
Are we,” Andy paused. “Are we going to ever know who did this?” he asked.
“I am going to know,” Eric said, his voice low and full of purpose.
Andy nodded. There sat one vampire you had better not cross and someone had. “You call Lafayette and let him call the work roster and we’ll get on this.”
“Thank you,” Eric nodded. “That is very much appreciated. If there are no more questions, Sookie needs to rest.”
“Of course,” Andy nodded.
Eric shook hands with them and walked them to the door. Gathering up Sookie and Emmy, he walked with them off to bed.
“Fucking Were shit,” Andy mumbled.
“No kidding,” Kendra replied as they walked back to the cruiser. “I hope whoever did this is repenting before The Throne and sees fit to come to us and give themselves up, otherwise they are going to be servicing those in Hell before another day passes.”
“Naw,” Andy shivered. “He is going to torture them for days before that happens and make them wish for Hell.”
Popping open the trunk, they took out the work lights. “Post and Revere are on that way out. We will work the house, we are sending them out into the woods.”
Lafayette was staring at his phone like it had bit him! “What do you mean I am to shelter in place,” he kept hissing at it. “I am his La La Fineness! Poppi-La La to that angel’s kiss that watched her momma get shot!” he was now shouting! “Shelter in place,” he yelled for the last time. “I think not!”
Jesus had Lafayette by the arm. “Hey,” his voice was gentle, “we are both drunk. We cannot drive.”
“Fuck that shit!” Lafayette said. “We are hiring a limo and driver. They can just tow my car as well. I am done waitin’ around.”
The limo driver along with the tow truck driver quoted Lafayette a price to take his unhappy ass from Dallas to Bon Temps.
“You just make this shit happen,” he hissed. “I have got to get home. No speedin’ but push it when you can! But you get us there in record time and I see a thousand dollar tip in your future. Both of you!”
Pam, Ian and Cedric were back at three. Samuel opened the door for them. When they walked in, Eric came into the living room and sat and watched as they settled in.
“Tell me…” was all he said.
Ian began. “Tracked the human to their car. Then we tracked their car to a meeting place in the state park where they changed cars. Pam ran the tire tread though her database and we picked up the truck headed north into Arkansas.
Then,” Pam grinned, “they switched out, again. This time into a sport utility headed East toward Mississippi.
Then,” the grin covered her face, “they switched out again and came west, back into Area Five. More specifically, Bon Temps. Do you know a woman by the name of Hadley Savoy?”
Eric blinked. “Sookie’s cousin.”
“She fired the shot. She reeks of gunpowder. She is presently bunking in with Jason Stackhouse. And interestingly enough, he is not the male that was with her. Does not mean he was not associated with it, but Jason was not who drove her.”
“Does she still live?” Eric asked.
“Well, not exactly,” Pam replied.
“What?” he asked looking from one to the other. “Is she is alive or dead?”
“Well, not exactly,” Cedric said and crossed himself. “Sure enough, Pamela did want to do the deed and what a fine death it was, her nasty assed Hadley gaspin’ and chokin’ and cryin’ out her last. But Pamela just started walkin’ toward her with her fangs down and she up and died of fright, we think.”
“Yes, fright,” Pam and Ian nodded in agreement. “We think.”
“But,” Cedric crossed himself, “Hadley went to ghost, her spirit cryin’ and grievin’ and shoutin’ somethin’ about wantin’ another chance. At what, we were not for sure and not stayin’ to find out. She went screamin’ into Jason Stackhouse’s home and he started screamin’ and when we left they were still a screamin’.”
“What we know about Hadley is that she was a blood bag for HRM SA,” Pam said softly.
“No one knows about Sookie and I,” Eric replied. “So why would SA send her after Sookie?”
“I don’t know that she did,” Pam said. “I am just stating a fact. Plenty of breathers out there who must be jealous of Sookie. Her cousin for one.”
“Does her cousin have a boyfriend?”
“Maybe?” Pam shrugged. “We are working that.”
“Most excellent,” he smiled at Pamela. “Thank you child. And thank you, King of Eire and King of British Isle. What brings you here?”
“Samuel,” Ian replied. “We were on our way to Los Angeles with him when he got the phone call from you.”
“Well then,” Eric sat up straighter. “Let me tell you what has brought you here this fine old dark.”
Everything Eric would say, Ian would look at The Da’vid to confirm. Samuel would just nod his head yes.
“Can we see them?” Cedric kept on whispering. “Please Eric, me boyo, can we see them? Your sweet Sookie and the darling Miss Emmy? The angel’s kiss?”
Eric would shake his head no and continue on with his story.
Cedric kept pleading silently for a look-see. “And she has Samuel’s curls? Please Eric!”
Before Eric could finish with his telling, there was a ruckus out in the yard! And a lot of cussing coming, it sounded like, from a black, gay male!
“Lafayette is home,” Samuel grinned as he shook his finger at Eric. “And you are in so much trouble,” he said in a sing-song voice.
“Where are my girls?” he called out, opening the front door. “I am gone for one mo’ fo’n weekend and Miss Sooks gets shot while my angel’s kiss watches her momma bleed!
Northman!” he hissed when he saw Eric sitting there. “Of course it would be when you would brings your war-mongering, heart breakin’ fine cha-cha shakin’ Viking ass around here that it all goes to Were shit! Blood just follows vampires around. Just as day follows night and Were shit does stink!” he was now shouting.
Leaning in and down, he got in Eric’s face. “If I think for one moment you has brought this apoplectic shit down on our house, I will raise up all the dead to curse your steps for the rest of your days,” he hissed.
Eric said nothing, just watched as Lafayette right himself.
“Brother Samuel,” he said, “good evenin’ and welcome to our home. Now who are these two other mother fucker’s?” he said, pointing to Ian and Cedric with his head. “And can you vouch for them or are they part of his blood-lettin’ cha-cha chasing horde?”
“They are Eric’s friends and mine as well,” Samuel stood and hugged Lafayette. “I am glad you are home. There is much to be done. Please, go and check on Sookie and Emmy. Ian and Cedric want nothing more than to just look at them. A small peek if you do not mind.”
“Well, I do mind,” he said, his eyes glaring at the two newcomers. “But since you vouch for them Brother Samuel, you all,” he twirled his finger at them, “not one sound. You wake my angel’s kiss or her momma, I will toss your skanky asses out into the sun.”
Ian and Cedric both nodded, vigorously.
Lafayette went back into the bedroom and quietly opened the door. The light from the hallway spilled in and he could see his girls resting. Smiling and with a big sigh he closed the door and walked back into the living room. “So now tell me,” he looked at the five vampires, “Just what the fuck happened!”
Lafayette kept playing Hadley’s death over and over. “And the skank got so scared at seeing Missy Pam all vamped up she just dropped over dead?”
“Well, I was describing what I was going to do to her,” Pam smiled.
“And she is now haunting Jason?”
“Oh yes,” Ian, Cedric and Pam all nodded. “Screaming her discontent. Jason screaming his.”
“But she started out spelled?” he looked at Eric.
“Yes,” he nodded. “But Emmy, Sookie and I did a spell to break the magic so we could have her human bona fides and we would be able to track her.”
“So you, in essence, you drop kicked that skank’s human back into place? Or unmasked her human? Is that right?”
“Yes,” Eric nodded.
“I wonder if that explains her going to instant ghost?” Lafayette mused. “When she was unmasked, you saw her ass for the screaming banshee that she really is. Humph! His La La Fineness says.
Comin’ on five-ish! I has got to start callin’ folks. Tell them Sookie has been shot and to stay home. I’ll do the milkin’.”
Ian and Cedric both stood up. “We were farmers,” Ian said. “We can help.”
“Good,” he nodded. “Let’s get out to the barn. Get this done and then you all can…” he shrugged. “Go to ground under the front porch.”
Within ten minutes they were back.
“What’s up?” Samuel asked as they came back in the door.
“The crew is here and fired up,” Lafayette replied. “Askin’ about Sookie and Emmy. Getting the work done and I do believe Arlene is doing open carry, today. Never saw a woman so pissed off and riled up!
Apparently Jason took his blubbering self to the police station. Hadley followed him. She was boohooin’ ‘bout how she tried to kill Sookie and missed and now had to wander the earth with Jason as her sidekick. Somethin’ about him being’ the first family that she saw and that was her curse.
Arlene said Andy was not for real sure if a statement from a ghost would stand up in court.
Anyway, our crew is out there throwing salt around and sayin’ blessin’s and callin’ on the blood of Jesus! I think they has got this. I am goin’ to bed.”
“Poppi-La La” a little voice called out and then ran to him!
Lafayette turned around and with silent tears picked her up and hugged her.
“There is my brave girl,” he wept as he wrapped his arms around her. “You was there with your momma. Your Poppi-La la is just so happy you were not hurt,” he sobbed.
Emmy nodded. “Mommy was hurt so I called for my Daddy,” she nodded wisely. “Mommy wanted her phone but she did not know where it was. But I knew where my Daddy was. I knew he would come to us,” she nodded, “because he is a good Daddy. Just like Billy Goat. He got me and Mommy and took us inside and he healed Mommy. And we took a shower and put on clean jammies and Daddy snuggled with us until we went to sleep.”
“Daddy,” Lafayette smiled at her.
“Yes, he is like me and I am like him and Mommy is like both of us.”
“Well, that is very fine and good,” Lafayette kissed her. “Now, you hungry?”
“I have this Lafayette,” Eric said and smiled.
Emmy reached for him. “My Daddy will fix me something, my Poppi-La La. Don’t you worry.
And oh-h-h, Daddy, we have surprises for you!”
“You do?” he sounded pleased. “In the kitchen?”
“Yes,” she giggled and patted him on the check.
“Poppi-La La,” Eric smiled at him. A genuine smile. “Thank you for taking care of my family. I will need you to see to them during the day. Please, get some rest,” Eric said extending his hand.
Lafayette took it and they shook.
“Thank you,” Eric said again. “I cannot say that enough.”
“You just be true,” Lafayetee eyed him. “Cause I got cha-cha’n chasin’ relatives in the cemetery just looking for someone to haunt.”
Eric nodded his head yes.“Thank you,” he mouthed to Lafayette, one last time. Lafayette nodded and headed up stairs.
Giving his daughter a kiss, he smiled at her and said, “Let’s find you something to eat.”
Eric and Emmy led the way to the kitchen. There were squeals of delight from the little girl as Emmy clapped her hands. “See Daddy, we made these for you!”
Eric carefully took down the cards with his daughter’s help. She explained each picture and how she had used her hands to make many of the designs.
Eric was so pleased and proud that all he could do was grin!
Samuel took out the peanut butter and bread and strawberry jelly and made her a sandwich and poured her a glass of milk.
“See what you missed out on,” Samuel eyed him as they all admired the cards as they passed from Eric’s hands.
Pam was sitting next to Eric. Watching this small wonder explain about making turkey hands.
Cedric was muttering in ancient Gaelic about how a dumb-ass cha cha’n Viking did not deserve a family.
Pam had to grin, discretely. Cha cha’n was said in English. Must not have a direct translation in ancient Gaelic.
“Oh come on,” Eric eyed him. “You would not have believed her either.”
Cedric made a face and then rolled his eyes at Eric. “I want a family so badly, I ache in me bones…me boyo! I would believe every word the lass said.
You and your conqueror the world Viking ego! Thrustin’ your chest out and sailin’ off into the sun, not knowin’ if you were gona’ be swallowed by the sea monsters or not!
We Irish stayed home and drank and let the conquerors come to us. Like any decent civilized folk does and we believe what our women folk tell us!
My father always said I looked like Michael, our distiller. But Father said Michael made damn fine whiskey and I was the apple of me old father’s eye. His favorite son and male child I was.”
Eric was chuckling was all the other men were nodding their heads in agreement.
“Good words,” Ian said. “And you were his favorite son and now that you mention it, you do look like Michael,” he laughed out loud.
Pam had sat and not said much. Eric was still in kill mode as he held Emmy while the baby girl ate. There was still someone else out there. Someone who could cast spells! Good ones! And was no amateur. She honestly did not think it was Daryl the warlock. He was a lot of talk and was all for getting paid for servicing the older women in the covens. A man whore, absolutely. But did not have the smarts for this? There was a talented someone! Somewhere!
“Why so serious?” he asked Pam.
Emmy had her snack and was now asleep on his shoulder.
“Eric, you thought Sookie was seeing Emmy’s father. Why did you think that?”
“Because I am a stubborn, dumber than Were shit ass,” he replied.
“My maker, there is some one else out there plotting this; someone with considerable skill.”
“You are right, of course, child.
After Sookie and I,” he hesitated. “After we broke up, at the Wicca gathering, when Sookie was out in the truck she reeked of another man. Turns out she had on her gran’s coat.”
“So,” Pam was thoughtful, “this man was having sex with her gran. She was the goddess of her coven. He would have been her equal.”
“I see your point,” Eric nodded.
Sookie walked in and all the men stood up.
“Please,” she smiled, “sit down. I am just here for Emmy.”
“You should not be up,” Eric said coming toward her. Sweeping her up in his arms, he walked out with them to the bedroom. “Lafayette is back and pissed off and resting.
The crew is coming in to work. They are all carrying weapons, I believe. They have salted the perimeter and have said fuck you to evil and I know I heard more that one hallelujah out in the barn area, already.
Pam shall be leaving shortly, Ian and Cedric are going to ground under the front porch. Samuel and I are sleeping under your bed today.
Now,” Eric tucked them both back in. “Sleep.”
“Thank you for being so thoughtful toward us,” she said.
“I am the one that is thankful,” his voice was soft and gentle. “And I will be right here if you should need me.
But I need to tell you what we have found out so far,” he said as he got into the bed beside her. “The Sheriff will be here sometime this morning, but the crew already knows about what has happened here and in town at the police station. Along with most of the town. Here is the official story.”
“Okay,” she nodded as Eric pulled her and Emmy in closer and told her about Hadley and how she was now residing with Jason.
Satan Is A Lady
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