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Chapter 7

 

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

 

Dawn was still a couple of hours off. Not that she cared. She was the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Others trembled in fear and even the sun held back its deadly rays when she stormed with her might and majesty! And at this moment, she was storming! She had drained three and ripped the hearts of out two vampires! Her loyal subjects were all cowering, Compton was prostrate before her, whimpering, pleading with her to just let them know what was needed!

“I want my Sheriffs here with the new dark,” she snarled. “No one goes to their day rest until you have confirmation. And I want Northman, here. Get his ass home! Start right now,” she screamed as she picked up her throne and threw it across the room!

 

When Eric’s phone chimed he checked the caller. “New Orleans,” his eyes were slits. “And so it starts,” he glared as he answered in a low, deadly controlled voice, “Northman.”

“Sheriff,” he heard Compton’s voice and Eric rolled his eyes. “Our Queen requires your presence with the New Dark. It is strongly suggested that you be in attendance.”

“Or what?” Eric’s laughter was deadly. “Rest assured Billy Boy, I will kill you first and then whoever else thinks to threaten me.”

“Look, you suicidal maniac,” his voice went up an octave. “Do not include me in your mad  scheme of self-destruction. Some of us have enough money put aside to live a long and prosperous life. Do no Were shit on the rest of us.”

“Say the magic word,” Eric said softly.

“Please, Sheriff,” Bill said, sobbing. “Please. She has destroyed one-third of her staff she was in such a rage this dark. Please…please be in attendance. She has threatened the rest of us.”

“I will think on it,” he replied and hung-up his phone.

“What are you going to do?” Pam asked.

“Hear what she has to say,” Eric replied. “And if she asks for children, that will be her exit out. Besides, SA is not known for her patience. In five, four, three, two, one…”

His phone chimed, again. “The bitch does not disappoint. Conference call,” he said as he settled into a chair and motioned the others to the front of him.

“Listen up you fuckers,” SA snarled. “You are my sheriffs for a reason. I personally picked you to stand by my side and you have gained and profited much from it.”

“Profited what?” Eric asked. “Money? I think not, my area is the highest taxed in the state of Louisiana. And you certainly did not pick me. Area Five was mine before the United States became a country.”

“Eric,” she stomped her foot, “can you just play along and be on my side for I don’t know, say ten fucking seconds?” she screeched.

“Probably not but go ahead,” he replied as he rolled his eyes.

And so she began. “The Grand Wizard of Bethany Fields Daryl Strummer speaks of a miracle child. He says he has not yet been born. I believe the child has. Have you heard rumors of such a child? And if so, I want to hear about them.”

“What for?” Eric asked, an edge in his voice. “We do not prey on children in the New World. I can think of no reason a child has business being at your court. A child has no business being anywhere around you. Any one in my area even jokes about taking a child, they are fucking tortured for days. By me, personally.”

“Eric,” her voice was soft and low. “Honestly,” S A looked sad and downcast. “I wish this so that my name might be attached to this miracle child and I will grow in stature and be known for my mercy and loving kindness.”

Eric could see the faces of the other four Sheriffs on his screen as they sat there in stunned silence. Their mouths’ open in disbelief.

“Mercy and loving kindness are not what you are known for,” Eric replied. “And if you think draining this child will cure you of your Sino-Aids, you are badly mistaken.”

“What?” she screamed. “You fucker! Who told you those lies about me? Was it Leonard? You know what a piece of Were shit he is.”

“Yes,” Eric said nodding his head, concentrating on the faces of the other four Sheriffs. “Makes perfectly good sense now, does it not, sheriffs. Her odd behaviors. Drinking from only specific humans. Spellers and Chanters that have been seen coming and going out of her mansion. Even consulting with ghosts. Sino-Aids. And she is looking for a magical cure.”

“You fucking piece of Were shit!” she screamed at Eric. “Your days are numbered Northman!” she screeched.

“Daddy,” a little tiny voice said. “Who is that?”

“That my darling Miss Emmy, is the Fucking Wicked Bitch of the South. She is evil,” Eric’s voice was low and serious, “and not nice at all.”

“Do you want me to turn her into a toad?” Emmy asked, her voice and face very serious, her tone matching that of her daddy’s as Blackie stood by her side.

“She will eventually be this way,” Eric reached over and tickled Emmy under the chin. “She has her IT experts tracking my signal.

Do not worry my Queen,” Eric bowed his head at the monitor and laughed. “I will leave the line open until you show up.

Sheriffs of the Kingdom of Louisiana,” Eric bowed his head, “I wish you a good day’s rest,” and Eric clicked off.

“We are going to have us some new toads,” Emmy nodded with surety.

“Oh yes, my darling,” Eric kissed her on the nose. “We are.”

 

Those in the Throne Room began backing away. Even Compton was more afraid of the Sino-Aids then he was of her!

“Stop it!” she was screaming again. “Stop it! It was all lies. You know Northman. You know he is lower than Were shit! I am not dying!” her voice pierced their eardrums as they all bowed themselves out and fled like bats before the lightning made its first strike!

Foster and Grant were back in a dark corner being ignored and unobtrusive. They were supposed to be sleeping tonight downstairs in a crypt…but no longer. They would go to ground. Taking a step back farther into the shadows they knew this could not be contained. The Bitch Queen was dying. The deadly Sino-Aids!

So be it…there would be those who thought they had enough money and power to put things in motion and own Louisiana before they went to their rest. Northman would hold Area Five but the rest of Louisiana was going to be mired in supernatural blood. Hopefully not theirs. They ran a small but useful consulting firm and would poll humans and Supes alike and would sell their information to whoever needed it.

They had been hired by HRM SA to ask nonchalantly about a child. In the New World, children were strictly off-limits. They had been cautious about taking the job and were paid upfront.

In actuality they were spies for Northman who was most interested in anything of the unsavory type that landed at their door.

In sign language in ancient Gaelic Grant asked, “Did you hear the little girl call Eric, Daddy?”

“Yes,” Foster signed back. “What the fuck do you think that means?” he asked.

“One, Eric has a liability. Two, he is into role-playing with his bloodbag. Three, he just likes to fuck with the world in general.

You know, he did that back in the 1700’s. Said he was going to side with the British when he was supplying arms and money to General Washington. He made a fortune on the bets that were placed on the outcome of the war. We did not do so very badly ourselves acting as his surrogates for placing his bets.”

Grant took another intensive look around the room. “He is going to want all the details.”

“Let us fade away,” Foster placed his hand on Grant’s arm and melted more into the shadows. When they pushed through the exit the alarm sounded but they were gone before the Were guards could respond.

 

 

 

Eric picked Emmy up and stood her on his lap. “My darling daughter,” he kissed her on the cheek, “you should be sleeping all tucked in next to your mommy.”

“I know,” she grinned at him and kissed him back. “But I heard that woman who was not nice to you so I came to see. Someone not nice hurt my mommy,” she said, her voice serious. “She was not going to hurt my daddy,” she nodded her head and stared Eric in the eyes. “She will be a toad.”

“Thank you,” he rubbed his nose against hers. “By the end of the day, I think there will be many new toads in your mother’s gardens.”

Emmy smiled and gave Eric a loud, smacking-happy kiss!

“Now,” he picked her up and stood. “As much as I would love to have you here with me, you, my dearest, you must go back to bed and sleep. The goats will be up shortly and will wonder why you are a sleepy head and why you do not get your rest. And Blackie is up as well. Look at those sad eyes. He would like to seek his bed.”

“Okay Daddy,” she grinned as she put her arms around his neck and off to the bedroom they went.

 

When Eric came back in and sat down, Ian was staring at him.

“Speak!” The Viking said.

“Is there anyway, do you think,” the King of British Isle asked on bended knee, “that we could day walk and so that we might be blessed to see the toad making?”

Eric sat back into his chair.   “I…I just don’t think so…but then, nor do I know. For now…” Eric shrugged, “I think we all need to be light tight. But we can set up surveillance cameras so that we might watch it at our leisure. Besides, HRM does not have much time before sunrise. She can make a few phone calls and have herself and her warriors positioned when the sun goes down.”

“Good thought,” Samuel nodded in agreement. “Yes, she would want to be here to watch you be destroyed.”

“Indeed,” Eric grinned. “We have a couple of more hours until sunup, what other mischief can we possible get into?”

“Not much,” they heard Sookie’s voice and all rose as she entered the room. “If there is going to be madness and mayhem, let’s get it over with. Emmy’s birthday is in a couple of days. She wants to go trick-or-treating in town.

I am going to make coffee and take a cup out to check on the goats.”

“Oh,” they all smiled. “We can help. We were all farmers at one time.”

Sookie gazed at them through her blurry eyes. “I am not hooking up with Eric so you other two can have wives.”

When she started for the kitchen, Ian elbowed Cedric and they both wiggled their eyebrows.

“You two are not,” Eric hissed, “marrying my daughters. Samuel is…” he paused, “the exception…” he glared at his brother and then his unhappy focus was on the other two.

“So there is going to be hooking up,” Ian and Cedric both grinned with their fangs down.

Eric smiled. “I am working on that! I think Emmy needs baby brothers and sisters.”

 

 

Before Eric slid under the bed, his phone chimed.

“Nicely done,” Foster chuckled when he heard  Eric’s voice say, “Northman.”

“It has been an ugly old dark at the residence. She has all manner of unsavory types lingering about, looking for work.”

“Get me their names,” Eric responded.

“They are on their way,” Foster hit send.

“Thank you,” Eric growled as he read through the list. “I thought Finkel met the true death.”

“Apparently just a rumor he started,” Foster grinned.

“Well then, if you see him before me, give him my regards. And if you end him, gladly I will pay you any outrageous amount you ask.”

“So he was the one that betrayed you in Paris,” Foster was sadly shaking his head. “You know, Grant and I always thought so.”

“Well,” Eric grinned, “be good fellows and do this deed for me and you can retire.”

“Oh Eric,” he could hear Grant in the background, “consider it done.”

 

 

Vampires went to ground and humans went about their daily business. The Northman Triad had, indeed, spelled the land…and then some…any bullet that was fired onto the land just sorta went poof! Into nothingness! And as an added bonus the magic followed the route of the bullet and apparently you did not have to be standing on the land if you intended to do them evil! Your ill intent got you into the land of the green butted, eating bugs and sometimes squished by cars toad world. And since it was almost the end of October, bugs were getting a bit difficult to come by.

 

 

Mr. Hyett called the Sheriff’s department when he came back from town with a load of lumber.

“Sheriff, we have a Davis & Davis plumbing truck sitting out here smashed into a tree off Hummingbird Lane. I do not see any hurt bodies.”

“We’ll be right out,” Andy replied and he and Kendra finished their lunch, grabbed their keys and were gone.

When Andy and Kendra drove up, they saw Sookie and Emmy outside herding what looked to be a dozen toads out to the lavender garden.

Andy explained the situation about the truck.

“Have you heard or seen anything?’ he asked. “There was no blood and we can’t find any footprints leading away.”

“Toads,” Emmy nodded. “They were not nice,” she said nodding her head, curls going everywhere.

“Eric, Emmy and I,” Sookie began as she pushed them along with her rake, “we spelled the land. If anyone wants to hurt us, they turn into a toad. Emmy’s idea and her spell, as well. We just agreed with her. We are now the Northman Triad.”

The little girl smiled up at the Sheriff and his deputy, her cheeks dimpling. “We did. Those bad people hurt my Mommy. I heard one say she wanted to hurt my Daddy. No,” she shook her head. “They are toads.”

“So,” Sookie pushed one toad back into the herd who wanted to get in with the goats in the pasture, “if you find what looks to be abandoned vehicles crashed into a tree in these parts…” she nodded her head. “And you know, no one is hurt. No bodies, no blood. Chances are good they are toads.”

“Yes,” Emmy nodded as well. “Toads. These are pretty,” she dimpled again and she bent down to pick one up and admire it.

“I have not seen a white one with green spots,” Kendra commented.

“I looked them up,” Sookie smiled at the two adults who were staring back with round eyes. “You are correct. They are not local. Eric knew them when he lived in Europe.   So Emmy knows them also, apparently.”

“Toads,” Kendra and Andy said together.

“We’ll get a tow truck out here,” Andy nodded, “and…and call the number painted on the truck. Chances are good it was stolen.”

“Thanks,” Sookie smiled at him and held out her hand to shake his and then his deputy’s. “We appreciate that. I would walk you back to your car but we just hoed up the lavender field, I think that will be the easiest place for these toads to hibernate.”

 

“Who the hell would believe us?” Kendra asked as they started back to their cruiser. “Even with the Supernaturals out, I mean it Sheriff, who would believe us?”

“I like my job,” Andy smiled when he saw Arlene at a distance and waved. “How about you?”

“Love it,” she waved at Arlene as well.

“Then we need to do our job. We have got us an abandoned truck, Deputy. Call in a wrecker and I will call in the license plate. It is time for us to earn the money that the fine folks of Renard Parish pay us with their tax dollars.”

“Roger that,” she replied as she took out her phone and went to work.

 

There was much blood-letting anticipation from those that were hiding from the light and waiting for the dastardly deed to be committed during the dark.

 

There were five vampires sitting around a monitor inside the Stackhouse farmhouse, waiting for the show to begin. The Mommy of the house and her daughter were tucked safely into bed, the dogs behind the closed-door with them.

“They are inbound,” Eric grinned. “Let us walk the perimeter. Entice them in.”

“Most excellent,” Pam said standing and shaking out her skirts. “You think the pumps are a bit much?” she asked, raising her hemline.

“No,” Ian shook his head. “Good color match to the hat.”

“Thanks,” Pam smiled. “Let me grab my bag and umbrella and I am ready to go.”

Sophie-Anne stood on top of Compton as she watched the vampires stroll through the graveyard.

“What is up with the tails and top hats?” she said as she hopped down off Bill and started toward the graveyard. “And is that Northman’s bitch of a child in that Victorian get up?

Are they…is she throwing rose petals while that small vampire reads poetry? Seriously?”

“They are headed back toward the farmhouse, my Queen,” Bill hissed. “Whenever you are ready?”

“I am going to lead the charge,” she smiled. Well, not really. Her momma had not raised a fool. But when she said it, she believed it!

 

The Victorian Five settled on the front porch and talked polite pleasantries that include reviews about Shelly and Keats. They could feel the wind of the incoming vampires as it rustled the leaves. And then night became still and the leaves once more held the secrets of the stars and disrupting the quiet was the singing of the toads.

The four noticed that Eric was not sitting with them and grinned as they went to find him.

“Eric, olly olly oxen free,” Cedric called out.

“Over here,” they heard him and headed in the direction of the cemetery.

“Oh look,” Pamela grinned, “Eric you have caught two somethings. How very clever of you, my maker. What are you going to do?”

“Did you bring the net?” he asked.

“Have it here,” she grinned.

“Perfect,” he smiled. “Now HRM SA, please watch closely as I toss Compton onto the Stackhouse land. Say hello to being green, Bill,” he smiled as he walked to the line and dropped Billy over.

“Yes,” Eric’s smile got bigger as HRM tried to shriek and beg for mercy! “Your eyes did not deceive you. He just turned into a toad. And not just any toad. But the kind I knew as a child. Yes,” he turned Sophie-Anne to face him, his fangs down, sparks spitting from his eyes. “There really is a miracle child and she is my daughter. Born to a human mother and she inherited all of my women’s clan magic.” Eric started laughing. “And you wanted her!” he roared his displeasure.

“Eric please,” Samuel whispered. “Your girls are sleeping.”

“Thank you my brother,” he bowed his head to Samuel. “How thoughtless of me.

Now, since you have Sino-Aids, we cannot just turn you into the wild. I have no idea what that would do to the environment. So Pamela is going to net you and I believe she has some type of habitat for you all set up. You will live out your life as a toad and when you die, she will take her favorite flame-thrower to the area and destroy anything that is left of you. Of course, if the Sino-Aids is found in your frog blood, and she is going to take a sample, you are going to be dead, immediately, still followed on by a flame thrower.”

Eric had his hand around her neck, ready to snap it. “I would love to have the pleasure of ending you for what you wanted to do to my daughter. And I would do it slowly. But I did promise Pamela that you were hers.

And toads can live for quite some time. Easily ten to twelve years and in some cases, up to forty. I do so hope the Sino-Aids does not carry over to toad. I see bugs in your future.”

Eric stepped across the property line and in his hand was a toad of his homeland. Pam held out the net, he dropped it in and they all headed back to the house.

 

Eric’s phone rang, “Grant,” he smiled into his phone. “Who was in attendance with us this new dark?”

“Well,” the vampire smiled at the camera. “I believe what was left of the old ones that were looking for you found you…or at least that is what we are hearing through the screams of Where the fuck are they? Those screams would be coming from Sophie-Anne’s maker along with her sisters that were all in attendance this very fine evening with SA in New Orleans. Solidarity and all that. Of course, they did not follow her into war because they wanted Sophie-Anne to have all the glory.” Everyone snickered.

“I hear from most excellent sources that what remains of the old regime that you pissed off has gone into hiding. Something about toads and witches and warlocks is all we can make out from discretely listening at a safe distance.”

“Good job and I thank you,” Eric smiled. “The money is in your accounts. Enjoy the rest of this dark.”

 

For the next several days there was an influx of toads. Folks would see one and toss it out of harms way before they went back to their task.

When Emmy’s birthday landed, her daddy and her Uncles were up with her for the celebratory birthday breakfast. Her Poppi-La La make her a pumpkin pie and after she blew out her candles she got to have a piece of that with her breakfast!

“What was your birthday wish,” they all asked. She grinned and replied as she ate her pie, “I want baby brothers and sisters,” she clapped her hands in joy. “Daddy is here and he can give Mommy his biology!”

Sookie looked cross-eyed and Eric said nothing and kept his face in n.e.u.t.r.a.l. He had not come this far by blowing it while beating his chest and yelling “Babies!” at the top of his lungs.

“Right Mommy?” she was still clapping her hands as she smiled at Sookie. “That is my birthday wish!”

“You are my Birthday Baby,” she hugged her and said nothing else. “Let’s get ready for the your birthday day!” she said with gusto! “Poppi-La La is going to make ice cream for your birthday lunch. Let’s finish our breakfast so he can have the kitchen.”

As the sun began to creep up, vampires went to bed and one little girl who was now four went out to have the goats sing  happy birthday to her!

“How many times did Emmy clap her times after saying she wished for baby brothers and sisters?” Samuel was grinning as he lay beneath the bed next to Eric.

“There were five distinct claps,” Eric’s smile covered his face.

“Make it count, me boyo,” Cedric said as he and Ian crawled under the bed with them. “You be nice to Miss Sookie and you make your biology count! We want wives and children and we are countin’ on King Eric to be charmin’ and sweet talkin’ to our Miss Sookie. We have seen you in action and you are just pitiful!”

“About time,” King Eric muttered, moving around in Eric’s pants and trying to peek out. “Have I heard a thank you for Miss Emmy or a job well done or how about a job exceptionally miraculously done?” he shouted with gusto.

“Sun…is…up,” Eric grunted.

“Yes, good thing for you that you have me. Because without King Eric, you big oaf, you would just be a big, ugly girl!”

 

Emmy and the dogs went dashing outside when she heard the other children arrive.

Sookie was helping Lafayette load the dishwasher.

“Baby brothers and sisters, m-m-m-m hm-m-m-m. And just how many times did she clap her hands?” he asked, looking over at her.

“Five,” Sookie said as she stood up and reached for the silverware to go in. “Five.

Those children,” she said softly, “does not have to be with Eric.”

“Did you actually say that out loud?” Lafayette hooted with glee. When he got no snarky comeback he sighed. “Baby girl,” he put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her on the forehead. “You live your life the best way you see fit. You knows I am right here. And if you want to move on, we can revoke his snappy assed invitation.”

“It is easy to believe in him,” she said quietly. “Easy to love him. To want to be with him. That is what makes it hurt so desperately…” she began to cry quietly as Lafayette took her in his arms and whispered,

“It is going to be all right, Sookie,” as he stroked her back. “You and our Angel’s kiss, you are going to know love and have what your heart desires. You are going to be just fine.”

 

Samuel said nothing as he took Eric’s hand and listened to his brother sob.

 

It had been a grand birthday day! Emmy was under the bed, talking to her Daddy as the sun went down. “And I got a kitty for my birthday!” she said in joy. “It had a big bow around its neck and Mommy helped me take it off and we have been playing chase!

See,” and Eric felt the little flea butt being placed on his chest.

”I see,” he replied. “And did the birthday fairy leave this for you?”

“No-o-o-o,” she put kissed all over his face. “Mommy read me the card and it was from my Daddy!” she giggled. “We are having an early supper so we can go trick-or-treating. My Poppi-La La says it is ready. So you wash up and we’ll be in the kitchen!”

Emmy scooted out and he handed her the kitten. Holding up the bed skirt, he watched the ribbon being drug along on the floor and the kitten pouncing on it as Emmy walked along and then her feet disappeared from sight and the four vampires were up and moving.

“Pamela said she was bringing in bagged blood if anyone is interested,” Eric said as he stripped off and headed for the shower.

“That works,” they all chimed back as they went to their respective bathing places and thought about tonight.

When they came into the kitchen, Emmy proudly displayed the gifts she had received and she passed out her thank-you kisses.

At five-forty five, she went to change into her Glenda the Good Witch costume.

“Mommy,” Emmy turned to watch her mother apply her green makeup. “It is my birthday. May I have another birthday wish?” she asked softly.

“Of course,” Sookie knelt down and smiled at her.

“May I have a Daddy for my birthday?” she asked. “One I can tell people about?”

“Yes,” Sookie smiled at her as she held back the tears. “Of course you can.”

When they met back in the living room, Emmy smiled at Eric and raised her arms to be picked up.

“What is it my angel’s kiss?” he asked.

“Mommy said I could have a Daddy for my birthday. One I could talk about. Are you ready to be my Daddy?” she asked.

“Yes,” Eric smiled at her as he hugged her. “Yes,” he felt the tears as she wrapped herself around him. “Yes I am.”

 

It was a short drive into town and the five vampires walked in their Victorian dress with her as she went house-to-house.

Eric carried her up the steps of one house and Sookie, dressed as the Wicked Witch, waited at the bottom. “Trick-or-Treat Grandma Honeywell,” the birthday baby called out at the door. The door opened and there stood a little old woman dressed as a skeleton with her basket of candy.

“Trick-or-treat Miss Emmy,” she called back as she opened the screen door. “Why who is this fine young man here with you?”

“This is my Daddy,” she grinned. “He could not stay with my Mommy when he went to war so he gave my Mommy his biology so she could have me.”

“Indeed he did,” she eyed Eric. “Marine, I would like to thank you for your service to our country. But,” she shook her bony finger at him, “you make an honest woman out of our Sookie and you give your daughter your last name!”

“Yes ma’am,” he nodded at her.

“I asked the birthday fairy for baby brothers and sisters. My Daddy is here now,” Emmy nodded her head. “He can share his biology with my Mommy so I can have my birthday wish!” she clapped her hands.

“That is a fine birthday wish,” Grandma Honeywell nodded in agreement.

Sookie was blushing beneath her Wicked Witch of the West makeup. Eric was doing his best to keep a straight face while all he wanted to do was beat his hands on his chest and yell like Tarzan as he drug a willing Sookie off to bed!

“Thank you,” Emmy said politely as Mrs. Honeywell dropped candy in her pumpkin.

And so went trick-or-treating. Emmy introduced her daddy at every stop and she told them about her birthday wish and the adult at the door played back the same message or a variation of that theme of doing what was right by your family.

“Thank you for your service, Marine, and you make an honest woman of our Sookie!” Or, “Are you gettin’ out and settlin’ down?” Eric always responded that yes, he had served his country and now it was time to take care of his family.

By the time eight o’clock had rolled around and tricks or treats was declared officially over, they all loaded back into the cars, Eric feeling very smug. Well yes, everyone knew Emmy’s daddy! He was that tall, good-looking blond Marine! Semper Fi!

When they reached the house, Emmy kissed Ian, Cedric and her Auntie Pam good-bye.

There was apparently a party in Shreveport and Pamela had gotten invites. Ian, Cedric and Auntie Pam were headed for the big city!

 

When they went in the farmhouse, Lafayette was inside watching NCIS re-runs.

“How did it go?” he asked Emmy. “Looks like you gots quite the haul!”

“This popcorn ball is for you,” she smiled at him. “Mrs. Lloyd said it was your favorite. Thank you for watching Kitty,” she put her candy pumpkin down and picked up her cat.

“Bless her heart,” Lafayette took the popcorn ball from her. “And I appreciate you delivering it to me. And Kitty is very good company. Now,” he eyed the dogs who looked sad, “So is Brownie and Blackie but Kitty can fit in your lap.”

Emmy’s grin got bigger.

“Now were there spooks about?”

“We did see one spook, my Poppi-La La. She was in a truck with a man whore, Mommy said, heading out-of-town.”

“Lordy,” he replied. “That is why I do not go outs and abouts on Halloween. I can not have them chattin’ me up and wantin’ my candy. Now, do you have a Baby Ruth in there?”

“I do,” she giggled as she took it out. “I asked for one just for you. Miss Arlene said she knew it was your favorite.”

“Bless her heart,” Lafayette batted his eyelashes at the little girl who giggled in joy. “Now, I am thinkin’ it is time for birthday babies to be gettin’ to bed.”

“Me and Mommy are going to take a shower to wash off all the make up!”

“That sounds just fine. Saved you some hot water to be bathin’ with.”

“Come on sweet girl,” Sookie took her hand. “Time to get ready for bed.”

“Daddy will you wash my hair?” she asked.

“Of course Emmy,” Eric grinned at her and followed them back to the bedroom

Samuel watched them leave.

“What’s up?” Lafayette asked as the small vampire sat down. “If you did not own all the money in the would I would say you just inherited all the money in the world.”

“Watch this,” Samuel wiggled his eyebrows as he hit play. “This was our first stop on our trick-or-treating extravaganza.”

“Grandma Honeywell,” Lafayette nodded as the sequence began. “She has worn that costume since I was small. Oh-h-h-h,” he chuckled. “So Emmy has got her a Daddy.”

“That happened at every house we stopped at,” Samuel said most pleased.

“And at Arlene’s?” he asked.

“Hers was the absolute best,” Samuel chuckled as he found the video and hit play.

The look on Arlene’s face was priceless! Her mouth formed into a big 0….and it was almost as round and big as her eyes! She just kept repeating, “…and you are Emmy’s daddy…! Sookie, this is Emmy’s daddy! And you are Emmy’s daddy!”

“Good stuff,” Lafayette said as Eric came back out and joined the group.

“Emmy’s daddy,” Lafayette nodded. “Should be all over town by now.”

“That was my plan,” Eric grinned as he reappeared.

“So, his Poppi-La La wants to know. You stayin? I mean through the good and the bad and the cha cha lovin’ uglies? Miss Sooks, when she was pregnant, she would weep over nothin’. One mornin’ it was because we were out of chocolate Cheerios.

And we work hard around here. We have too. Just because you is a day sleeper, there are things to be done at night as well.”

“I can contribute, whatever needs to be done.”

“Okay then,” Lafayette nodded. “The rest of this is between you and her. You hurt her and it is between you and me.”

“I understand,” Eric nodded.

“Good. Then I guess you will do.

Brother Samuel, I thank you for the night’s entertainment.”

“Pleasure,” the old vampire grinned as he watched the young black man take his candy and head upstairs.

“You going after Merlotte?” Samuel asked.

“Oh yes,” Eric grinned. “Louisiana will settle out and I have the feeling he is the one that wants to pick up the reins of power.”

“Really?” Samuel replied.

“I got a text from Grant and Foster. There is going to be a meeting of whatever is left of the Louisiana supernatural community. The date is not yet set. It appears that no outside vampire kingdom is willing to take on the magic of the witches of Louisiana. Apparently they think Daryl can turn the living and the undead into toads.”

“Oh do tell,” Samuel chuckled.