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
Eric Northman stood in the trees outside the picnic area in the Piney Woods Park in Shreveport. Listening…
When he heard footfalls, he knew they were not Pam’s. Concentrating on that area, with a thought he threw tempest force winds, complete with driving rain in that direction. There were several screams and it was most satisfying when he heard several bodies hit the ground. One rolling on the ground before colliding into a tree. He could hear the sobbing of eight different individuals. And now that the air was wet, there was the distinct smell of Were. With another thought he hurdled his would be disrupters of the law another fifty feet down the trail. There was more screaming and then silence.
He heard one car start. Then another. Walking in that direction, he began to smell blood and then he could see the bodies. Six were dead. Two were drained of blood. And not vampire style. Their heads had been ripped off and the body had been turned upside down and the neck had become a chalice.
“Were,” he breathed out and then sniffed again. “And vampire. More than one.
Child,” his voice was gentle on the night air. “Anytime now.”
“Eric,” Pamela vamped in. “What the fuck?” she said admiring the carnage.
“Wind death, my doing. Ripping off their head, not my doing.
What did you find?”
“I have been at the Wind River Park,”
“Some type of witch business. Big bonfire, chanting, the sky opening up and raining salt down on them. That was a shocker! Maybe a salt block or two falling from the sky as well! No death-by-salt block, sadly, but many near misses, drat the luck. I need to practice my aim at that height. But listening to them screech as the salt made contact with their skin was most satisfying. Brother Samuel does know where to find the best blessed salt.”
“Kosher deli in New York City. Saul and Mary Levi import their salt from the Dead Sea. This pleases Samuel very much. You know how he is. That boy is a Jew down to his very bones.”
Pam grinned. “When only the very best will do.
So my maker,” she changed speeds. “That is two distinct hits. Were shit always happens in threes. Where to next?”
“Somewhere downtown,” he grimaced. “More visible damage and maybe with video for the ten o’clock news. Looking a bit stormy tonight. I hope whoever they are they are carrying some type of I.D. so their bodies can be identified. Tornado alley here we come.”
The disrupters were really not so difficult to spot. They were parked down from City Hall with their backpacks full of spray paint, talking about writing vampires eat humans all over the wall of city hall.
Lightning, straight-line winds and a small tornado touched down, spreading bodies around the judicial courtyard. Eric watched as the mayhem took place. “No vampires or Weres about,” he noted as he and Pam took flight.
As they came in the back door to Fangtasia, they both started stripping out of their wet clothes.
“I’ll change and check out front and be back with you,” Pam said as she unlocked her office door. Nodding his head, Eric smiled at her as headed for his office.
“Nice storm,” she grinned at him when she entered. “Now,” her voice was pissed, “who has declared war on us?”
“Wish I knew the answer to that,” Eric replied as he sat staring at the bottle of tequila on his desk. “We seemed to be engaged in gorilla warfare. It just might be time to start calling around. Some soon to be dead fucker will be celebrating Christmas in Hell this year…or the place of purgatory of his choice.”
“Do you think it is Sophie-Anne?” she asked as she watched him spin the tornado around inside the bottle.
“No, no purpose to that. If she wanted my area, she would just call me to the residence and when I walked in have her guards gun me down. This is someone who wants to embarrass me before they make their move to…” he shrugged.
“Do you think they want to be Sheriff of Area Five?” she asked, doubt in her voice.
Eric snorted. “And be the first line of HRM’s northern defense? Not if they have a brain in their head. Of course, several fall to that description. I think Gervaise wants out of Area One. How much fun can that be having N.O. looking over your shoulder. But I think everyone else is happy where they are. If there is a vampire coming up in the ranks I cannot imagine that this would be their first or even second choice. Once more, we are the northern most line of defense. With Texas and Mississippi bordering us, if Stan and Russell ever threw in together, we could be in for some interesting times.”
“Yes, Stan would just have to get past the fact that Russell killed his child,” Pam hooted.
“Indeed,” Eric grinned and then became serious. “That leaves the upper forty-five funneling in through Arkansas. Would not take much to overrun that state and everyone knows it. The only reason that has not happened is because we hold the Northern border.
There is a plot, afoot, though and HRM is not their primary target. I do so believe they are gunning for me.”
Pam rolled her eyes as he placed both hands over his heart and looked very sad as tears gathered in his eyes.
“Time to call in a few favors. Rest well this day, child,” he smiled at her.
“Thank you,” she bowed her head, “and the same to you my maker.”
Pausing at the door, she turned to face him. “Eric, just who did you piss off this time?”
“Child,” he smiled at her as he picked up his phone. “Who have I not pissed off?”
“Come on Sam,”Sookie groused in the late afternoon darkness, “it is comin’ on Christmas and I spend more time here than I do at home. It is time to put the small tree on the bar. Plug in the lights and sell some egg-nog.”
“Sookie,” the owner of Merlotte’s stopped adding up the receipts from lunch and looked at her. “No one in Bon Temps drinks egg-nog. And I am not putting good whiskey in egg-nog. Or cheap ass rum, either. Give up the egg-nog and we’ll get the tree out.”
“Is it alright if I bring in my own carton so I can have some on my breaks?” she asked.
“I did not realize I gave breaks,” Sam countered eyeing the little waitress who was not going to go gently into that somewhat cold and early dark not yet decorated for Christmas.
“I’ll be in early tomorrow to get the little tree out,” she grinned at him.
“That would be just fine,” he gave her a fake smile and then grimaced. “Vampire Bill just walked in the door. He has got that human with him. This is the third night in a row they have been in. Go see what they want.”
Sookie made a face and then muttered, “When he meets the true death I hope he burns in Hell and takes his cheap assed friend with him,” as she filled a glass with water and went to take their orders.
Sam watched as Sookie placed the water on the table and handed them menus.
The Werewolf sitting with Compton looked over at him and raised an eyebrow and smirked while he licked his lips. The lower than Were shit went back to look over the line up of good eats. Merlotte’s did not have a wide variety of food, but what they made was filling and had enough calories to hold you over until the next meal or to absorb all the alcohol in your system. The full moon was coming on and the Were was packing in the protein. Looked like tonight was not going to be any different as he heard him give Sookie his order.
Sookie scooted back to the kitchen and placed her order on the wheel.
Catching Lafayette’s eyes, she motioned with her eyes toward the table she had just left.
Nodding his head, he read the ticket. “Five Lafayette burgers?” he said in surprise. “That is some serious good eatin’.”
“Yes,” she nodded. “I need them all rare. Nothin’ green on the burgers. No tomato or pickles either. Fry up the bun. Lots of butter on it.”
“Can do,” he winked at her as he turned to the grill and began putting the homemade patties on the flames.
Sookie went to the cooler and took out a True Blood. Into the microwave it went…for thirty seconds…out is came…shake, shake shake, and back in it went. She would hit it with the heat one more time when the burgers were ready, until then she needed a pitcher of beer at another table and a glass of Old Bushmills at Compton’s. His human friend was paying fifty dollars for the privilege of drinking a water glass full of whiskey. “Cheap bastard, I hope he tips tonight,” Sookie said and then rethought that. For the past three nights these two had been passed around. Tonight was Sookie’s turn. “Non tipping scum,” she nodded to Arlene across the room when her friend made a face at her when she saw who she was serving. “I will just settle for him not making a big mess that I have to clean up.”
Compton and his friend ate, paid, left no tip, and just left. Sookie was shaking her head in disgust as she cleaned up the table and took the dirties back to the kitchen.
“Cheap assed bastards,” she said as she passed through to start refilling the salt and peppershakers at her tables.
Lafayette started to say something and she just shook her head no. “Later,” she mouthed and was back out front carrying her supplies on a tray.
When she had set up her area for breakfast she passed by Lafayette. “You need some help cleaning the grill?” she asked him. “Human and Compton both are still outside,” she mouthed.
Lafayette raised an eyebrow. “Thanks for the offer Miss Sookie,” he grinned at her. “His La La Fineness has been invited to a pre-Christmas Christmas Santa Hat preview and I could sure enoughs use some help.”
The kitchen clean up went fast…too fast for her liking.
With her help, they had even made salads and garnishes for tomorrow. “Help me get this prepped salads back to the walk-in,” Lafayette said as they both picked up a bowl. “Then we are making like Rudolf and findin’ us some reindeer games.”
Once they were in the walk-in, Lafayette put the salads away and said, “Word has passed. Kitchen staff is all walkin’ our mighty fine selves out of here, together. You still licensed to carry your pea-shooter?”
“You know I am,” she replied. “Ever since that rapist two years ago.”
“Goods. Much wisdom in that. Keep your little Saturday Night Special with you from now on at all times. Might slow that supernatural down.”
“Finally got close enough to him. Knew he was not human,” her voice was low. “He sorta growls at times inside my head. Any idea what he is?”
Her friend made a face and then hissed. “Best guess maybe a Werewolf.”
“What?” she gasped.
“He has gots enough half-eaten ghostly bodies floatin’ around hims to make you wants to puke. And his La La Fineness is just not addin’ that for effect. Tis truths.
“Well shit,” she squeaked. “Should I make some silver bullets?”
“Would probably be most needful,” he nodded thoughtfully. “I gots some silver bracelets and such if you be needin’ some.”
“Thanks,” she nodded. “Let’s go home.”
Her drive was uneventful. Quiet and serene and pleasant as she sang along with the Christmas carols on the radio. “When is the bottom gonna’ fall out?” she asked when she saw their porch light. Turning into her driveway, she got out and parked and hurried inside. Closing the front door, Gran was still up.
“Sookie, I am so glad you are home. There was the ring around the moon, tonight, and it is not even full.”
“Really?” her voice caught. “I did not see it.”
“Just there for a bit and then it faded away. I built a fire and placed a holly bundle in all the windows. No reason not to get in the spirit and keep a few spirits away.”
“Good,” she nodded as she glanced at the windows. Hanging from each window lock was a piece of holly and from the smell, garlic and rosemary all tied together with a red ribbon. “Gran,” Sookie took her hand. “I know we have discussed this before, but you cannot invite Compton in here.”
“What happened?” the older woman asked, worry in her voice.
“Nothin’, yet. It is just that he came in again tonight and he is hanging around with an unsavory type. Very unsavory.”
“What about the Glorious Dead Meetings, dear?” Now there was genuine worry. Gran lived for her Civil War memories. “Mr. Compton still has two more battles with local families to discuss.”
“That’s fine,” Sookie replied. “But do not invite him into this house. You haven’t have you?” her voice had dropped and was full of concern.
“No,” Adele shook her head. “He did stop by last night for a spell and we sat out on the porch and discussed the next battle for the meeting.
Just how unsavory are we talking, Sookie?” and she could hear the hope in Gran’s voice. Hoping that it was nothing so very awful and she could invite him in.
“Very,” she replied. “And Lafayette agrees with me. And Sam does not like this new fella Compton is hangin’ with either.”
“Well, just fine then,” Adele nodded. “It’s late, time for me to be turning in. Don’t stay up too late, Sookie. Sam called before you got home. He needs you to come in early.”
Locking up, Sookie admired the holly. It was festive and made the house feel like Christmas. Looked like Gran had bundled a little bit of rosemary and wild garlic into her bouquets in the windows as well. Hm-m-m-m, things must not be sittin’ well with her, either.
Closing the curtains, she fixed herself a cup of hot chocolate and headed upstairs.
“That’s interesting, Gran has dosed these upstairs windows with the same. I like to think she did that decoratin’ for me. But maybe she is a bit more worried than she lets on.”
Changing out of her work clothes it was a quick shower and she was in bed, her head leaning against the headboard as she had her hot chocolate and contemplated the world as she now knew it.
This past several days had been eventful and unnerving. It was a good thing she was the only telepath in the area because if Compton or his Werewolf friend could read her mind, she would be dead.
Setting down her cocoa, she got up and started going through her jewelry box. She had a couple of silver necklaces and one thin silver bracelet that Tara had brought her back from Old Mexico. “Melt these down and get out Grandpa’s bullet molds,” she nodded. “Hope I have enough here to make more than one or two bullets.”
Sookie got back into bed and thought about what she knew and how to go about saving the human/vampire world that pretended to get along. That Werewolf wanted to start WWIII with Eric Northman in the middle of it just for a joke. “I am so not laughin’,” she shook her head in disgust.
She had to work for the next two nights. But after that, it just might be time to go to Shreveport.
When Gran got up the next morning she could smell hot metal. Coming into the kitchen, she eyed what appeared to be silver bullets sitting on the kitchen table.
“Werewolf,” was all Sookie said as she dumped two more out of the molds.
“I have often wondered…” and Gran’s voice trailed off. “I have those sterling silver candle sticks I got as a wedding gift,” Gran said going to the china hutch. “Never did care much for them. A bit gaudy for my taste and they have to be polished.”
“Are you sure?” Sookie asked.
“Do you want them?” Adele asked her favorite granddaughter.
“No,” she shook her head. “A bit gaudy for my taste as well.”
“Well then, there you have it,” Gran smiled. “Oh, you made coffee. Let me pour a cup then I will take these hideous things outside and pound them down. They will melt faster that way.”
Sookie was in early to work. No time to get out the Christmas tree. But tomorrow was another day!
And just when she thought her morning was perfect, in came. Mr. Cheap Ass No Tipper. All by his lonesome. “Pity Compton did not come with him,” she snickered to herself. “Would love to watch his sorry ass burn.”
“Shit,” Sam made a face as she passed by. “I am sorry Sookie, but you know the other three waitresses have babies at home and they live by their tip money.”
“Pay us more and we would not have too,” she smiled sweetly.
“Please,” San sighed. “Just take that asshole’s order.”
Squinting at Sam and giving him the finger, picking up her tray off she went.
Sookie approached the table and felt the rumbles inside her head.
“You are here a lot,” he smiled at her as she handed him a menu.
“I have to work for a livin’,” she replied. “Which means I do not get to laze about during the day or hang with cheap assed vampires at night.”
“Oh, I see,” his smile got bigger. “You do not approve of vampires?”
“I do not approve of any cheap assed individual,” she replied, all business. “If you know what you want I will take your order. If not, I’ll be back.”
“A couple of steaks, rare, no sides and a pitcher of beer.”
“Got it,” she replied as she walked off.
“Hey Lafayette,” she called out as her friend walked in the front door. “We still shoppin’ Thursday night? That is when the big sales start.”
“Sure ‘nuff,” he high-five her as he passed by. “Seven to Midnight! My credit card will be blazin’ hot!”
“Sookie,” Sam stuck his head around the corner. “Sorry to do this to you, but can you work a double shift today?”
“I am not waitin’ on those assholes tonight,” she stated matter-of-fact.”
“Holly’s turn is up,” he nodded. “And thanks.”
“I need to call Gran and let her know so she does not worry.”
“You are so responsible,” he grinned at her as she threw a waded up napkin at him.
“Damn and double damn,” she commented later that night as she and Lafayette walked out to their cars.” Who were all those people and just what the fuck were they doing at Merlotte’s? Thursday night cannot get here soon enough!”
“Tru dat,” he replied as he hugged her before she got into her car and motored home.
Once inside her own door, she smiled when she saw the nativity scene on top of the mantle. “God bless you Gran,” she sighed as she headed up the stairs. “Shower, sleep and some more sleep,” she yawned as she crossed into her bedroom and noticed something odd about her window. In the low light of her night-light, it looked like a face had been pressed against the glass. The outline was too big to be Compton’s.
“So Weres can climb,” she shuddered as she pulled the blind and then the drapes. “I’ll tell Gran in the mornin’,” she thought as she took her pistol out of her holster and placed it on her bedside table.
Getting into bed she was sound asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Which was for the best. There were two faces in the woods looking up at her window. They were doing paper, rock, scissors to see who would get to be her first.
Once more Gran woke to the smell of hot metal. Going into the kitchen, her counter top glistened with silver bullets.
“When I came home last night,” Sookie said looking up, “I could see the outline of a face pressed against the glass of my bedroom window. It was too big to be Compton’s.”
Gran nodded. “I have the matching silver tray to those candlesticks. I’ll have my coffee and pound that out as well.”
It had been a good morning and Sookie was now looking forward to it being a good afternoon. There were some low hanging clouds and it looked like maybe more rain but she would get into Sam’s shed and haul out the Christmas tree. “More like a Charlie Brown tree,” she smiled as she dressed for work. But interesting things made their way there for decorations. One year, there was woven plastic straw ornaments which was only topped by the string of beer caps that wound all they way around the tree. Last year was paper napkin origami of very small men with very big penises. And of course, there was lipstick marks on the very large penises. It finally got so raunchy Sam took them all off the tree and glared at anyone who wanted to put any type of decoration on it at all. So she was grateful for the lights and just waited, like everyone else, to see what this years decorations would be.
As she moved boxes around, she heard the rumble inside her head before she felt the eyes on her back. That bastard was stealthy, that was for sure. Grabbing the box with the tree, she sat it down and pulling her gun from the holster under her jacket, she turned and faced him.
The look on his face, Sookie did not smile, was priceless. His lower jaw actually dropped.
“I am sure Sam did not send you out so I do not know what you are doing out here. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did not come out here to rape me.”
“Sookie,” Sam called out. “Can you reach that box with the tre-e-e-e…?” he asked as he stepped in and assessed the situation. “What the fuck do you think you are doing in my storeroom?” he snarled at the male.
“Please, this is some horrible understanding,” he bowed deeply and then smiled. “It is just that Mr. Compton had such nice things to say about Miss Stackhouse, I thought I would ask her out.”
“I don’t know you,” Sookie growled. “Not even you name. And Sam is not runnin’ a datin’ site, escort service or a whore house. And Compton is a fuckin’ asshole. And you don’t tip so that makes you a fuckin’ asshole as well.”
“You and your vampire friend need to move on out of here to someplace else,” Sam said, his voice even and carrying a distinct threat. “I see you around here again and it will be shoot-to-kill. I am calling the law just as soon as we get inside and tell them about how glad we are that Sookie was carryin’. Stopped her from getting raped.”
Bowing his head again, “Miss Stackhouse,” he smiled at her, all his teeth showing, and he stepped out and was gone.