joyeux-noel

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

 

Joyeux Noël

 

Chapter 8

 

The bar at The Blood had turned into a lively place. Last call had been hysterical. Every time a barkeep sounded the bell for just one more drinkie, Eric ordered another round for the house. The Bar Manager, which reminded him a lot of Pamela, could not let the money go and so another round was poured up and served. People were coming in off the streets and everyone behind the bar was hustling and cursing Eric under their breath while they had another shot of their favorite as well.

With each round came a toast to Eric with a lot of cheering and he would stand and take a bow! It was a good night to be Eric Northman! Grinning at Samuel, his last bow was with a flourish and shouting out to the well oiled crowd, “Remember to tip your waitress!”

Sunrise was getting ready to be a horizon event. As much fun as this was, Samuel locked on with his steely green eyes and gave him a quick, fast jerk of his thumb and told him to get his ass up stairs.

With a grand bow to Samuel, he paid out and took the vampire stairwell to his floor. He was still in killer mode and needed to burn off some energy. Easily he could start by killing the terrorists, kill all the bad guys in the world, kill anyone who looked at Sookie twice!

Sookie…

What they had done tonight had redefined him. Maybe it was her blood. Maybe she had poisoned him…poisoned him for anyone but her! Which excited him and also caused his brain to make jumps to the next twenty steps on the chess board. He was not moving on in this live without her. He was not waiting for some never time when she would be safe and he could see her without worrying. Grandmother had said his holy lady would be there to light his path.

Eric settled into his room, showered, lay down on the bed and checked the last of his messages.

“We need to talk,” King Eric stirred and sat up. “Is Miss Sookie our Holy Lady? Because even if she is not, I want to keep her. If you don’t want her, I do. She can be mine and you can just go fuck yourself without my help.

I like being warm, again. I like it a lot. And she is so sweet and good and I fit inside of her. Seriously Eric, when was the last time a woman could take all of me? And she is a lady. You make sure you treat her like one or I will gut you in your sleep.”

“What’s up?” Eric asked, sitting up. “Something has got you going.”

“I have not yet read to her Shakespeare or Keats or any of the other poets that touch my heart. I know you two talked about Tolstoy…I swear, if I had eyes I would roll them. So I will just have to roll the one.” King Eric made a big, round circle then settled back, looking at Eric. “All that Russian angst. No sweet words. Only longing looks of anxiety and sorrow through snow encrusted eyelashes before they walk off into the middle of a polar vortex sub zero winter across the steppes of Siberia. Just trying not to starve or freeze to death; having to drink that swill of distilled weeds, left over horse oats and maybe a few scrawny onions; even the aristocratic vodka would poison you,” he spit out, “warmed by a dried horse poo fire,” he said in disgust. “Please Eric, do not blow this for us. Please,” he sobbed. “I had no idea how much I hated being cold until I was warm again. Please, I am begging you. Please.”

“I will do my best, old friend.”

“I have seen your best,” King Eric sniffled. “And it is often lacking. Leave the sweet words and romance to me.”

“Good thing the sun is coming up,” Eric growled. “Or I would whack you,” he sighed as his body leaned back and as his head touched the pillow, he could see the blazing yellow ball that lit up the sky and his soul. No, it was not the sun. It was her, his holy lady.

One last something to do before he left this existence. Dialing her number, he heard her sleepy voice.

“I miss you,” she sighed. “I wish you were here.”

“I miss you as well,” he whispered. “I will see you with the new dark. Go back to sleep and dream of me.”

“Eric?” her voice was low and hesitant. “Is this what love feels like?”

“I don’t know,” he replied truthfully. “But I would like to find out. Be safe in your out and about. I will see you soonest.”

They both hung up their phones and sleep once more called to them. For the vampire, it felt like he had returned to the comfort and love of his home. For the small telepath, she knew she finally belonged.

 

As Eric pushed off in his longboat to the land of day dreams, he was once more wrapping his dying grandmother in his bear skin and moving her out of her hut. “Your Holy Lady will light your path,” she said as she grasped tightly his hand and pointed to the lights that danced in the winter sky. “She will color your world with flames of color. You will blaze across the heavens and your feet will dance and you shall navigate your life with your soul.

Do not be afraid my Erikr, all is yours. Darkness is coming, then all shall be light. Your Holy Lady shall feed you the light that dances across the sky and takes me to Valhalla. She will be the bridge that you cross.”

 

 

As Sookie began to drift up through the layers of sleep, her mind and her soul had unwound and was floating peacefully with her as consciousness beckoned to her. Tugging at her to come back to the place of sharp angles and broken glass.

Breaking from that pulling, she instead once more embraced this place she was experiencing that held her in its warm grasp. There were hands that soothed her hair and told her not to worry. Her life was spread out in front of her. Looking out beyond herself, she could see the blazing stars in a night sky that filled eternity. When the colors began to dance across it, she knew that each color represented a sound and that the stars sang the song that she held in her heart.

“This is your home,” the voice said. “And you must return to that body if you are to find your way here.”

Acknowledging that, she felt herself begin to get heavy. Her essence now resided in something that felt more familiar than did the stars that could sing and talk to her. Before the pull of gravity took her, she could see him. His hands pushing the hair back from her face as he kissed her and pulled her to him. His warmth and strength flowing out of him and enfolding her like a gossamer skin.

“Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus you are mine. I charge you guard him well,” she intoned as she wrapped her body around him and let him do with her what he would.

When she woke, she was wrapped around a pillow that she had pulled up next to her. “Erikr,” whispered in her mind as she heard the rain beat against the tin roof.

“Eriikr,” she said repeating as she stirred a bit more and then sat up, bringing the pillow with her.

“Did we really do all that?” she said to the pillow. “And if so, can we do it again? And did he call me?” Her voice went up in pitch. “And did I ask him if this was what love feels like? And…”she hesitated, “did he really say he did not know but wanted to find out? And who the hell is Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus?” she said shaking her head.

“Pbbllltttt!” she rolled her eyes. “I am not,” she pointed a finger at herself, “that easily distracted! Because I am not Cinderella and he is not Prince Charming! This is…this is,” she closed her eyes and felt the memories of what he had done to her… “This is so much more that I ever thought I would have…and when he walks away, it is going to hurt like hell because it hurts now just thinking of it. Damn!” she hit the bed with her fist. “Sookie,” she chided herself remembering the words of her gran. “Do not over think this. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Now, I smell coffee. Someone is up. Let’s get started and see what happens.”

When she got downstairs, Lafayette and Adele were pouring up the coffee and making cinnamon toast.

“Yummy,” she said when she came in. “Gran, you have not made cinnamon toast since…well since I was fifteen and sick with the flu.”

“I know,” she nodded, “it is way past time. I’m going to heat up some ham from yesterday and we are going to have breakfast.”

“Is Mr. Tall, Blond and Yummy nappin’ under your beds?” Lafayette asked.

“No,” she shook her head as she picked up up her mug off the counter. “He left at around two maybe.”

“Hm-m-m,” Lafayette nodded, smirking. Hoping for dirt but it was a bit hard to hoe that row if there was none.

“What are you watchin’ on your phone?” she asked leaning over. “Must be good. You have said nothing about making red-eye gravy.”

“There was a big assed explosion on the Le Grand Sud Belle. Its home port is New Orleans. This is all over the news here on my phone. You name it, and it is being posted. For starters,” Lafayette arched an eyebrow, “Big Guns getting off on big guns. Big, very bad party last night on the third deck of now on the bottom of the river. Invite only. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, according to one who was flaming with good looks and photo bloggin’. Someone posted two men who were having a very good time. One down on his knees with his head in his partner’s lap. Then, cause it looked like so much fun, others came around and wanted to join in. Only these two were dead.

There was yellin’ and screamin’ and of course postin’ the mayhem of the moment on the righteous YouTube. They docked, the police showed up, a fire broke out, there was mass evacuation; then it got interestin’. Apparently there were similar things that went ka-boom on board that ship as what was next door. It being believed that these terrorists have their things stashed hither, thither and way down yonder on that boat.

According to sources in New Orleans, it is firmly believed that the boat was registered to one William T. Compton, vampire.”

“Well,” Gran nodded. “Apparently the war did not end for him at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.”

They all three looked at each other and then raised their coffee cup in a salute. “To the United States of America,” Gran said and the other two echoed it.

“Lafayette,” Sookie poured more coffee, “Eric did say to remind you that we have to call Sam and quit. You up for that?”

“Miss Sooks,” he grinned. “La La says someone else can cook La La burgers tonight, tomorrow night and all the blessed nights to follow. Might not be as good, but the job can be theirs.”

“Just fine then. If nothin’ else, we will call and leave Sam voice mail. I’m hungry. Let’s eat first,” she said, sticking her head in the fridge. “There is just the one tray left of those fancy little desserts. How wrong is it to have them first thing?” Sookie’s voice held happiness.

“Not so wrong, his La La Fineness says. Now, how goes the kissin’ with the big blond? Don’t be bashful, is he as good as he looks?”

 

 

There was one very nice thing about HRM’s residence that the agencies had not bothered to deconstruct. She had a nice space to keep unruly vampires. It was muchly appreciated. They were keeping a couple of unruly ones there now.

“Apparently,” Special Agent Leads was still being briefed on the newest ammo cook-off. “Mr. Compton did not understand that the war ended for him at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.

Get him up. I don’t care if he bleeds out. I want some answers.”

 

Bill was sitting in his cell with walls lined with silver. He kept swiping at the blood that was dripping out of his ears. They had blasted him with ultra violet rays until he woke up screaming and then sat up.

He had been up for ten minutes and no one had yet to ask him a question. He could hear the agents on the other side of the silver bars discussing death and taxes. They had no idea who they were fucking with! He was Death! And he had never paid his taxes! Well, he did to HRM, of course…and only on the property she knew that he owned! He would survive this, he always did!

There was much discussion of back-blow from a bomb and water displacement. Fire burn rates and accelerants.

He bled for an hour and forty-five minutes. Then, they turned out the lights and left. That was just odd. More than odd. It reminded him of some of the fun he used to have when he would taunt old Horsey, the house slave. He was his master until his momma or daddy showed up and blistered his behind for hurting a valuable piece of property. “I wish I could have been a child forever. Living in my daddy’s house. Having Little China bathe me when I was fevered and needin’ release. It was all so much simpler, then. So much kinder. So much gentler.”

Lying back down on his cot, he cursed Lee and his surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.

 

It was another rainy day at the Stackhouse farmhouse! Breakfast was still on going.

Sookie left her message first and then passed the phone to Lafayette.

They cooked, they ate, they heated and Lafayette did his best to coax out of Sookie was Mr. Northman really all that or was he just pretty to look?

“Cause he is sure ‘nuff pretty to look at,” Lafayette said nodding his head. “And I know pretty. M-m-m-m hm-m-m-m,” he said making a yummy sound.

“Lafayette,” she said at one point, sounding shocked. “I am not one to kiss and tell.”

“Hm-m-m-m,” he grinned. “So there was kissin’. I knew it. Now was that all that there was? Hm-m-m-m? You tells your La La. Just whisper in my ear so Gran does not start clutchin’ at her heart.”

By this time, all three were laughing.

“Best evenin’ of my life,” she grinned. “There. That is all I am sayin’. Let your imagination run wild. Now, you were not woke up with screamin’ and pantin’ and Tarzan yellin’ and swingin’ through the house, so don’t be lettin’ your imagination get too carried away.”

“Well drat, this is his La La Fineness poutin’,” he said dropping his lower lip. “Cause I could sure nuff’s see you hangin’ on his back and well, you know, him swingin’ through the trees with his shirt off.”

“Yes, thank you,” she laughed. “I now have that visual as well. So stop it.

Is it lunch time yet? Gran said no desserts until we ate our lunch. I could use some chocolate. Which means I could use some lunch.”

 

Eric woke early. It was raining, he could smell it. The air was damp and moisture laden. His internal clock told him it was three in the afternoon. Which was odd. Early even for him. Checking his watch, yes, it was indeed three in the afternoon.

Sitting up, he checked his mouth. Yes, still moist. Just like the air.

Picking up his phone, he started going through his messages. There was one from The Director.

Le Grand Sud Belle is registered to Compton. Two dead bodies found. Fire started before it came to port. Made its way to the hold where more ammo exploded. Follow the links to YouTube.

Please, interview Compton first thing. Tell him he is getting ready to face the true death. Get what you can out of him because he is getting ready to face the true death.

 

Eric watched the videos. “So they found the bodies. And then,” he clucked his tongue, “someone set fire to the boat to hide just exactly what was going on up there. Whoever thought they were doing Bill a good deed had no idea there were big things that go boom in the hold of the ship. Oh, this should be all kinds of fun,” he chuckled.

Then he called Samuel.

“Hello my brother, you are up early,” Samuel smiled at him and yet was also looking him over carefully. “You are looking your handsome self and bleed free.”

“Well yes,” Eric grinned. “Thank you for noticing. And a blessing to you and yours on this holy day.”

“And the same to you as well,” Samuel smiled.

“Samuel, I need to know who owns the ship Le Grand Sud Belle. She docks in New Orleans, at the piers just past Canal Street.”

“One moment,” Samuel replied as he sat down at his laptop.

“The authorities on this end,” Eric was watching his brother, “say the ship is registered to Compton.

“Interesting,” Samuel mused as he pushed his data around. “Says here it comes with a curse. That the owner always dies at the hands of another.

While it was being built in the boatyard, a welding spark killed fifteen workmen. After that, three dropped from the top deck and broke their necks. Two drowned. They fell while painting her name on the bow. Two more drown when they took her out for her sea trial.”

“Interesting,” Eric nodded. “Nothing worse than a cursed ship. Best just to take it out, burn it in the water, and leave it to the gods of the deep.”

“Good answer,” Samuel nodded his head. “But apparently, this was not to be.

It was built in 1960 as a gift for the actress Vivian Harwell. She won an Oscar that year and did not get to accept it. Instead of being in Hollywood on the night of the Oscars, she was murdered on board the ship here in New Orleans. It was brutal and ritualistic. Her murder is still a cold case.

Let me see, its history goes on to say that ship has had ten different names.

“Just out of curiosity, what were the other names?” Eric asked.

“First name it was registered under was Hollywood ‘N Third. Then Third Wife’s Pleasure, Daddy’s Third Home, Third Shark Attack, Third Bitch on the Beach, Third Pirate on the Left, Third Times a Charm, Third Deck, Third Fixed Income and then Le Grand Sud Belle.”

“People are not very creative,” Eric shook his head. “Sounds like the same owner through its history, with third always being in the name.”

“Not what the titles say,” Samuel chuckled. “Always a new owner. And now it belongs to one William T. Compton with the registry coming out of the Bahamas.”

“Cheap assed bastard,” Eric frowned. “He will do anything not to pay taxes. Interesting though, to register in the Bahamas, they do not like to take boats older that twelve years.”

“Somewhere there is a forged document with the age on it,” Samuel replied. “Or Compton was able to prove that the boat was up to snuff by their standards.

Either way, moot point now. What is left of it is at the bottom of the river until the Feds float it.”

“Thank you my brother,” Eric bowed his head. “Your information is always the best. I have been asked to speak to Compton before I depart for Sookie’s this new dark. I plan on being brief and to the point. As in, you are fucked. Tell the Feds what you know and then greet the sun.”

Samuel chuckled. “What do you think is going to happen?”

“I think somewhere is a mole and word will come, probably out of France to release him, that he is their double agent. The Feds will probably agree so that he might be tracked.” Eric rolled his eyes. “Which is fine, then I will just end him.”

Samuel laughed out loud. “I know it is cloudy in Louisiana, but there is a ring around the moon, tonight. Please, before you go, stop by and see me. You are my gift for this night of Hanukah. ”

“I will be by to see you,” Eric grinned. “Magic lurks when the moon speaks and it is my brother’s holy day. I am hoping my Grandmother would put in her appearance as well. I do have some questions for her.”

Samuel smiled. “And if she does show, please give her my regards. I shall see you soonest!”

“I shall,” Eric laughed.

“It is nice to speak to Samuel at three in the afternoon,” he grinned tossing his phone up into the air. Then he realized what the extra time meant. More bullshit to deal with.

It was five. He had accomplished a lot in the last two hours. Time to get Billy Boy up, rattle his world and then haul ass to Bon Temps.

His Holy Lady awaited!

Eric’s smile got bigger as he dialed another number.

“Hi,” and he could hear the contentment in Sookie’s voice, along with the pleasure of hearing from him…along with the pleasure of wanting him.

The grin covered his face. “Hello my lady,” his voice was low and husky. “I miss you. You need a new phone. I want to be able to see you when I talk to you.”

Sookie chuckled. “Are we talkin’ about seein’ me or phone sex seein’ me?”

“Damn,” Eric laughed. “I did not realize I had options. Well, both. I will say hello and then take great delight in watching you get off. Moaning and panting my name, of course as you say hello.”

“Of course,” she laughed. “I was expecting your knock at the door,” and he could hear the smile in her voice. “Since this is a phone call, I am betting you are getting ready to go to work. The news is full of the ship blowing up. Ammo, illegal munitions…just like at Compton’s.”

“Yes,” he sighed. “Yes. But this should not take me long. Have your dinner and think about me until I get there. I don’t mind if you rub around on your clit to warm my dinner up.”

“You are just a bad boy,” she laughed.

“The baddest,” he chuckled. “This should not take long. Keep my dinner warm for me.”

“Bad boy,” she laughed. “See you soonest,” and then she hung up.

“Fuck….fuck…fuck…” Eric groused. “Why did I not order them smart phones? Fucking Weres! Fucking Compton! Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Not one word,” Eric addressed his crotch and whacked King Eric just for good measure.

“What the fuck Northman!” was bellowed back. “I have said not one word to you about your fucked up shit! And it is mightly fucked! I am sure it will take me to unfuck it. It is a good thing she is a holy lady and does not expect much from you. Her kindness and goodness overlooks your big and oafish ways.”

“That whack was for on-going principles,” he growled. “Do not start on me. Let us get this done and then our Lady awaits.

Well fuck,” he was lost in a memory. “Just what was it Compton and his maker had done to that body that I found? Fuuuuuck!” he hissed. “I need to speak to Samuel.”

 

“Lorena Krasiki,” Eric said as he and Samuel sat hunched over the lap top in Samuel’s office. “Compton’s maker. The Hollywood starlet, her murder was ritualistic.”

“I have the photos,” Samuel said as they flashed up on the screen.

“Yes, exact same fucking thing that she and Compton did to that body in London.”

“What do we know about Krasiki?” Samuel asked.

Eric shrugged. “She’s a monster, in every sense of the word. But more than that…?” Eric shrugged, again.

“Wait one,” Samuel said, opening the door and stepping out into the hall he said, “Crankshaft, if we might have a moment please?”

“What is need sirs?” he asked as he appeared at the door.

“Please, come in,” Samuel said “and sit. We are in need of some information. Have you ever heard the name Krasiki mentioned at the residence?”

“Just by Compton once or twice. But when I was first turned, my maker wanted to be a warlock and hauled us to Hungary. Budapest, to be exact. He went to study with the Krasiki Coven. Devil worshipers,” he whispered as he crossed himself.

“I feel a headache coming on,” Eric said rubbing the bridge of his nose.“Witches,” he hissed.

“Samuel, follow me on this, Crankshaft just nod if any of this sounds right to you. Bill’s maker, Lorena Krasiki has been a practicing witch before she was turned. The two of them travel, performing their rituals on their victims before they leave them to gurgle out their last.

They know Vivian Harwell. Lorena has the boat built for her, or so she says. Invites the actress to come to New Orleans on the night of the Oscars. Rumor has it she is going to win, and yet, there is a mighty big pull for her not to be in town but in N.O. instead.

The aspiring actress shows up, who knows, hoping maybe they are going to turn her. Instead she initiates the boat with her blood and screams.

So, Krasiki has owned it the entire time. Hence the threes in the names. No way is she willing to part with it after all the trouble she has gone to sanctify it to her dark lord. So, she has Compton register it in his name and turns it into a money making venture.

Now, Crankshaft, for the coven did they have a symbol?”

“Yes,” he nodded, “yes they did. It was the nasty Nazi swastika. There was three of them vile things that had a pentagram for the center with those branching out from it. Looked like an obscene flower it did. They all had it tattooed on them and they would paint it on the walls with blood before they would start their chantin’.”

Eric ground his teeth. “That is what those two fuck heads had drawn on the bodies of their victims,” he hissed. “Samuel, if you would please, print me off those boat registries.

This certainly does not please me. There has been a coven of witches trying to make my life just a bit more colorful. Well fuck…” he sighed.

“What is it my brother?” Samuel asked.

“I really want to go to London for Christmas…”

“London,” they both heard the joy in Crankshaft’s voice. “Pardon me, sirs,” he said bowing. “It is just that it has been a while and a bit since I’ve been home. Miss the smell of the place. The cobblestone streets. Why I live here. Smells a bit of the same with the ocean and all.

And I have not been back since the bombin’.”

“Crankshaft, do you remember anything else about the coven?” Eric asked.

“They smelled, they did. Somethin’ awful. It clung to them and wafted from up under their skirts.”

“Halászlé, or Fisherman’s Stew,” Eric said. “Made from all the different fish in the Danube. Lots of hot red paprika and maybe some onions and garlic if any was at hand. It was generally made in a large cauldron. Those that ate it stank and were not a tasty treat for vampires or Weres alike. Could be why they ate it. To keep those things that go bump in the night away.

You remember their faces?” he asked.

“Yes,” he nodded. “But they were mostly all blackened up.”

“Probably to hide the symbols from view,” Samuel added, intrigued. “We saw that a lot with the Egyptians. There were sects who worshiped the dead. In reverence, they painted on Anubis. And so the dead would not seek them out they then painted over Anubis. One of the first secret societies. Or so they claimed. If I might quote Pamela, posers,” he hissed.

“The more I do the farther I have to go,” Eric sighed. “I am limited on time before we depart. These fucking witches change everything. I think I need you two to go with me to convince the three that…that…perhaps it is not as safe as in London as I thought it was.

Let me go bring Compton the true death and then I’ll be back. Be prepared to fly.”

 

When Eric came in he was greeted with, “We have been contacted,” Special Agent Leader said. “Someone high up in France says Compton was a double agent.”

“Bullshit,” Eric snorted and handed over his file. “Contact the Homicide Cold Case Unit. We are about to solve a cold case.”

“No fucking kidding,” Leader smiled. “So we have that bastard because murderer trumps double agent.”

 

Eric was escorted to the holding area where Compton was being kept.

“Come to let me out?” Bill laughed as the door was opened and Eric walked in.

“Not exactly,” Eric grinned, grabbed Bill and shoved him up against the silver bars and strapped him there.

His screaming was delightful to hear. Then the blubbering and screaming started in earnest when Eric pulled out the straight razor.

“Now Bill if you cooperate, this will go much easier on you, and I would hate to cut your head off with all the jerking around you are doing,” as Eric pulled Compton’s head off the bars and held it in a dead lock. “If the tattoo is not here,” Eric said into his ear. “Then I am going to shave another part of your body. And the razor will slip and cut your dick off.”

The razor in an expert’s hand made short work of Compton’s hair.

“Detectives,” Eric smiled. “There it is. The tattoo of Bill’s maker. I found more than one body with this on it after one of their killing sprees back in the early 1900’s. The young starlet, Vivian Harwell was bloodied with the same mark in 1960. There are the photos in the file. If you are weak of stomach, be careful. They are vile.

If you follow the paper work, you will see the boat Le Grand Sud Belle, never left Krasiki’s ownership, she just signed it over to Bill. There is enough there if you connect the dots to hold Compton on the suspicion of murder of Miss Harwell. And I believe I heard murder trumps a double agent,” Eric grinned.

“I fucking hate you,” Bill snarled as Eric stepped out of the cell and then it locked behind him.

“I know,” Eric smiled.

“Gentlemen of the law, I leave you to prove his guilt.”

“I will eat your brains out,” Compton stepped up to the bars and jeered.

Eric reached through and once more pulled Bill’s body onto the silver. His screaming only exceeded the smell of the burning of his flesh.

“Not if I rip your heart out first,” he grinned. With a shove, Bill went flying across the cell and smashed into another silver wall and the wailing reached a new fevered pitch.

“Gentlemen,” Eric said bowing, “a good evening to you one and all. If you need sworn affidavits, just let me know.”

 

“Fuck,” Eric muttered as he exited the residence of a now defunct vampire queen. “Tonight is not at all going as I planned.”

When Eric entered the bar at The Blood on the Quarter his two riders were grinning and waiting on him. “Not going as I planned at all,” he sighed.

 

When they landed at the farmhouse, they all three straightened their hair and righted their clothes.

“Sheriff,” Cranky nodded to him, “I’ll just be out here straightenin’ out the garden until you need me. These good folks have no need to entertain the likes of me.”

Eric started to say something to the back that was now bent over and going through the winter garden. Samuel touched Eric’s hand and shook his head no.

The two of them went up the steps and Eric knocked. Gran opened the door with Sookie peeking around her. Her smile had made that worthless piece of Were shit Compton forgotten.

“Miss Adele,” Eric began. “This is my brother, Samuel Da’vid.”

“Eric, good evening.

Won’t you please come in Samuel,” Adele stood aside and let them both pass through.

“And that,” Eric said with a nod of his head out into the yard, “is Scully Crankshaft deadheading your garden.”

“What?” she said stepping out onto the porch.

“He said he would just be useful outside until he was needed.”

“What?” Gran said in a bit louder voice looking at Eric and then back out into her yard.

“Mr. Crankshaft,” she called out. “Now you get yourself into my home right now. We Southerners pride ourselves on our hospitality and you are making me feel mean spirited and uninviting and just cold hearted. That will not do. Besides, I am standing here with the door open letting all the heat out. So you just bring yourself on up here. I am the lady of this house and as my guest, I expect you to act as such and abide by my wishes as long as they do not interfere with your sense of religious believes or decorum.”

“Yes ma’am,” an older man with white hair and light blue eyes said as he began climbing her steps. “It is just that I don’t keep polite company much and I am afraid my Sunday manners are not the best.”

“Nonsense,” Adele poo-poohed that. “You just come right on in.”

“Wipe you feet, though,” Sookie added leaning around Gran.

“Sookie,” Gran’s voice was shocked. “He is company,” she chided her grand daughter. “Mr. Crankshaft, you just come in and make yourself at home.

Please, allow me to introduce you to my grand daughter, Sookie and my grandson Lafayette.”

“Pleasure,” Lafayette stepped forward and shook Scully’s hand and then Samuel’s.

“Always happy to meet Eric’s family,” Sookie smiled as she shook hands with Samuel and then Crankshaft.

“Oh Miss Sookie,” Crankshaft took a step back. “The Sheriff there, I am not his family. Just privileged to be along and help him where I can.”

“Well,” Sookie grinned at him, “you look very handsome in your tux.”

“Thank you,” he blushed. “When the Sheriff said I was to accompany him tonight I gots myself into a bit of a panic. I had nothin’ nice to be wearin’ to be meetin’ ladies in. So Mr. Samuel said it was just fine if I helped myself to the clothes closet that the staff uses. I thought this was mighty fine for one as old as myself.”

“And indeed it is,” Gran smiled at him. “Thanks for dressing up and looking so handsome to come and see us. I don’t think we have ever had a man in the house before who had on a tux. Well, this is a momentous occasion. Please, everyone get comfortable.”

Eric brought Sookie’s hand to his lips for a kiss.

“Now that we are all here, can I get anyone somethin’ from the kitchen?” Sookie asked. “We bought some True Bloods, today. I think one of every blood type they make. Anyone interested?” she asked.

“Thank you but we ate before we left,” Samuel said with a slight bow of his head.

“Well then,” Sookie smiled at him. “I could use a cup of hot chocolate. Gran, Lafayette, you want any thing?”

“Hot chocolate sounds delightful, dear,” Gran said sitting down. “We’ll just get acquainted until you return. I am sure Eric would help you carry out the tray.”

“Would you mind?” she asked him.

“Of course not,” as they both started toward the kitchen.

“There will be some milk heatin’ and some smoochin’ while the milk is heatin’, his La La Fineness says,” as Lafayette wiggled his eyebrows and snapped his fingers.

 

The milk was on the stove doing a slow simmer. Sookie was wrapped around Eric doing a slow simmer, as well. Eric was passionately licking her neck, his tongue doing amazing things to her insides…which was just short of a miracle since he was licking on her neck and was not a.n.y.w.h.e.r.e close to licking on things that really made her certifiable bat shit crazy!

When he bit, she thrust her hips forward and felt her own release.

“Time to add the chocolate,” she murmured in a sigh as she felt her legs go from jello to rubbery to a state where it was safe to stand on them.

Standing behind her with his arms wrapped around her, she added the chocolate syrup to the heated milk, stirred and then poured it into three cups.

Placing them on Gran’s little brass tray with the pineapple motifs running around the edge, Eric carried it proudly into the living room.

Sookie served Gran, Lafayette, and then keeping the last one for herself, she and Eric sat down next to each other on the green velvet love seat.

Eric put his arm around her shoulders. This was noted by all and the conversation began.

Eric talked about Compton’s maker and the Krasiki Coven.

Crankshaft went into more detail about the Coven and how vile they were.

Eric then discussed the witches that had been attempting to give them hell in Shreveport to help kick off this road march of death and destruction and perhaps they should stay home.

He continued on with there Weres and their histories of serial killings, especially during the holidays.

“This,” Eric looked out at the group as his arm tightened around Sookie. “This could be more dangerous than what I had originally thought.”

“What?” Sookie sat up and looked at him. “What are you sayin’? Are you sayin’ no to Christmas in London?”

“What?” Gran sat up also. “Witches don’t scare me and mine. We are covered in the blood of Jesus.”

Samuel smiled. “Spoken like true believers, Eric,” he chuckled. “Sometime, Miss Adele, I will have to tell you of our adventures in Egypt. You would be amazed at what a little kosher salt and believing in Father God will do.”

“Yes indeed,” Lafayette nodded. “Christmas in London. We will have darlin’ little pistols that will shoot silver bullets and at least slow down this and that until The Angel of Green Park appears.”

“You know about him?” Crankshaft smiled. “I used to pray to him back during the war. To help me find those who was buried in those bombed buildings and get them to safety.”

“Sure enough, his La La says. Our Gran,” he blew Adele a kiss, “her momma was pulled from the burning rubble by the angel himself. If not for him, we woulds not be sittin’ here today.”

“September 7, 1940,” Adele nodded. “My family was from Cornwall. My mother and grandmother had come into London that day to do some shopping. Sun was shinning. Lovely day. Then it was not. The Angel pulled them from the rubble that evening.”

Eric and Samuel both had a moment!

“Crankshaft,” Eric began slowly. “You were in London during the war…”

“Yes Sheriff, I was. Old Cranky was not big enough or grand enough to be fightin’ them filthy Nazis with the magnificent likes of The Viking.

But I did my helpin’ in other ways. My hearin’ is real good. And when those filths started bombin’ at night…well…” he nodded. “Sometimes I could hear the planes comin’ in overhead and I could guess where they was headed and I got there first, I did. Moved them babies and their mommas to safety, I did. I knows what it is like to be hurt and alone and scared in the dark. I was not gonna’ let that happen if I could help it.”

“You’re the one,” Samuel and Eric both said at the same time with shock in their voices. “The Angel of Green Park…”

“No-o-o-o,” Crankshaft shook his head and smiled at them. “No sirs, not me. He was a holy being that moved small ones out of danger. Healed their hurts and got them to safety. I heard all the stories about him and I just prayed to him to watch over us all. To make me extra quick and my hearin’ extra sharp.”

“You went to ground in Green Park,” Eric said gently.

“Yes,” Crankshaft nodded.

“They dropped a few bombs in Green Park,” Eric nodded.

“Yes,” Crankshaft.

“When you found the ones that were hurt, you gave them a taste of your blood…”

“Well, well yes,” Crankshaft said, sitting up straighter. “I knew it was wrong, but I did not care. I still do not. These were my people. Londoners. My home. I was not going to let the little ones die. No,” he said shaking his head. “Not die alone and being scared. No.”

“It is said,” Samuel began slowly, “that while the bombs fell on Britain, that the angel saved around five thousand souls. That would be you, Scully. You saved those people.”

“I am not one for countin’,” he replied. “And the job was not done until that hell from the sky stopped rainin’ down on my city!” he said with venom.

“Just wait until Ian finds out,” Samuel said with a grin. “He thought that is was a vampire walking into those burning infernos, he just did not know which one. And after the war, no one came forward.”

“Am, am I in trouble?” Crankshaft asked.

“No,” Eric laughed. “the King of British Isle would very much like to meet you and thank you personally and bestow upon you some official title and some type of monetary compensation.

That being said, Scully Crankshaft, I would like to introduce you to your blood family. By giving of yourself, you made this family possible and they carry inside of them your goodness and self sacrifice; they are of your blood: Adele Stackhouse and her granddaughter Sookie. And of course, this family is not complete without his La La Fineness.”

 

Any thoughts of not going to London?

Eric realized that train of thought was never going to come back around. Adele was sobbing and had both of Crankshaft’s hands, lifting them to her lips and kissing them. Telling him how thankful she was and grateful for his kindness and mercy.

Scully was so embarrassed that he blushed the entire time and looked like he wanted to hide behind the back of the couch.

Which, Eric realized as he watched Adele dab at her eyes and then begin to bombard Scully with countless questions, maybe Crankshaft was what made all this make sense.

Adele was a first rate gardener. Was that Crankshaft’s blood?

And Sookie’s telepathy. Crankshaft’s hearing was exceptional. There was no doubt that he could hear the bombers coming in over the Channel. Was that why Sookie could hear people’s thoughts?” Something the vampire blood had passed to her?

Oh wait one, what was that?

“You are responsible for my family being here,” Adele stated, with a firm tone in her voice. “Now, I don’t know much about the feeding habits of vampires but I want you to know that I am always available. So, don’t you go hungry sitting here in my house,” she shook her finger at him. “So, explain this to me.”

“Gran,” Sookie leaned forward.

“Here it comes,” Eric did not grin as much as he wanted, too.

“They like blood at body temperature. From your wrist is fine. The neck is a bit more intimate. However, how they really like their blood is it to be super charged after sex. And that only happens if the sex is, well, super charged.

Then they like that vein down there on the inside of you thigh by your sex or your neck…or well…wherever.”

The room did not breathe…eyes went from Sookie to Eric back to Sookie.

“Last night, my bedroom, it was perfect,” was all she said.

Gran looked at Scully and smiled. “I have been waiting for you,” was all she said.

Looking out at the group she she announced that she was making more hot chocolate and stood up. “Refills for everyone. Sookie, no need to get up. I believe Scully can help me carry the tray.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Well-l-l-l-l-l-l-l…not even I saw that coming.

(Old Cranky says thanks to all of you for finding him so adorable! He had no idea that if you were in more of the plot it just got him…well…more…

Dear Readers and believer in Old Cranky. We shall just all leave him with the official BATTLE CRY of 2017: GET SOME!”)

My hope for all of you is that your New Year is off and running…mine is…well…off but no to the running, at least not yet.

Monday, as in tomorrow, the right knee gets replaced. Woohoo!

Any kind thoughts, prayers, lit candles, tequila toasts pushed my way would be deeply and humbly appreciated.

So…I have leftie as a very fine example of what I am to expect with rightie as far as total knee replacement goes. (Yes that was 1 November. Still rehabbing but am kicking ass and taking names. And yes, I have been warned each knee is different. (Same surgeon. Not kidding, this doc is magic.) And not to count on the same type of recovery. Okay…got it. Expect the best, prepare for the worst. Just like all things in my life.) Personally, I am thinking I can do some writing while I am in the hospital. More of that woohoo thing!

If you are kind enough to leave a review, I will not be able to answer it until perhaps late Tuesday night when I have returned home and settled in. (WiFi at the hospital sucks! Just sayin’!)

Hopefully, I will be back to posting on Mondays! They might be short, sweet, and in coherent, but hell, you guys are just the best at not complaining about my misspelled words. And I appreciate that. Truthfully!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

Ps….leaving for Belvoir soonest…I thought I had a couple of more hours for editing…I guess not!

Get Some!