joyeux-noel

Chapter 19

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 19

 

 

The top floor of the Pretty Pink Bicycle was closed. You could enter The Crypt from Dayton Street, but there was no food available to those patrons who were looking for something to have with their pint.

As of midnight, the entire building was closed because of a private function. And not one that was making the business any money! Annie had called a pack meeting and she was not pleased.

The priest had been in and said a blessing for the dead and the living. She wrote out a check for the church’s favorite charity.

A Medium had been called after the holy man left and Christopher had pronounced the place to be clean and at rest. Taking money from her emergency funds, she pressed it into his hands and thanked him for coming.

Next came the electrician… “Fucking bloody hell…” she was looking at the bill for him coming out after six. “I am in the wrong bloody business,” she said as she then looked at the other bill to put her fried electrical system back in business. Not to mention all the new appliances. If it had been plugged in, it had melted down. From the battery operated flushing toilets downstairs to her walk in freezer. If there was a wire that carried electricity, it was being pulled. She had contacted Wion. Told him this meeting had everything to do with him. If he wanted to know why he had been abjured from her pack, his ass needed to be present.

Standing at the top of the basement stairs, so she could be seen and most importantly, she could see everyone, at twelve ten she was going to start. There were two-hundred and fifty Weres in The Crypt as they all settled in, drinking their pint.

At twelve o’ eight Wion walked in. “That fucker,” her face remained expressionless. “He has not one clue how pissed off I am. He thinks I am kidding about abjuring his ass.

“It is twelve ten,” was called from the floor. “The Packmaster has called us, we are here to listen.”

“There are seventeen of our pack missing, tonight,” she began. “The same seventeen that fucked up London streets in the old dark and cost one human his life. England is pissed,” she said slowly, “but not nearly as pissed off as I am.

I shall read each name and with that name, we shall offer up a howl of good-bye and forbearance in the after life. For what they did in the old dark, I would not have tolerated and there would have been no leniency. Perhaps with God, they shall find some.”

“How do you know they are dead?” Wion asked. “And if so, who killed them?”

“Oh,” Annie smiled sweetly. “I know they are dead because I had all seventeen Fresh Deads in my establishment today, where they knocked out every electrical wire, circuit and appliance that resides inside my building.

As to who killed them, I know not. Only that they are dead.”

In alphabetical order, she called out their name, waiting for a response. When none came, they all howled for the missing.

When they had finished, she had to hand it to Wion, he was still standing there with that holy-than-thou look on his face. But she could see it. He now knew the connection. Time for him to understand that she did as well.

“Yes,” she glared at him. “It was those that called you Packmaster. Those that you vamped up. I do so hope it was not on your orders that they did this.”

“Of course not,” he shook his head. “And who told you,” his teeth got a bit longer, “that they called me Packmaster? I have a right to know who accuses me.”

“No you don’t,” Annie laughed out loud. “You have no rights here. Only the ones I have granted you. And this is how you thank me. By subterfuge,” she hissed. “By lying and deception and maneuvering.”

“No,” he shook his head. “No, I have only done what you asked me to do.”

“True,” she nodded. “That was cleverly played. But you and I,” she nodded again, “we are done.

Now,” she looked out onto her pack, “I know there are those of you who do business with Wion. I would not ask you to jeopardize your livelihood. I know work is hard to come by, whether it be honest or not. And I do not judge you how you earn your living.

I will judge you,” she stressed, “if you call this Were Packmaster and defer to his wishes over mine. I will judge you if you are known to socialize with him as human or Were.

It was brought to my attention that I am responsible for this…this Were shitting on my birthright.” She looked over the crowd. Yes, they had all wondered what the fuck was up and was glad this was being put to rights.

“It is true I have delegated and asked Wion to step in and run with the pack when I could not. Today, I was told that I favored him and excused him of his wrong doings in my domain. That my pack was afraid to step in and ask just what the fuck I was doing. That is was fear on your part that kept you from informing me.

In retrospect, I can see where this was seen as a weakness on my part. Sadly, these seventeen have paid for that with their lives.”

“May we speak privately,” Wion asked.

“You mean,” she growled, “Packmaster may we speak privately? The answer to that would be no. What we have to say between the two of us can be said in front of my pack.”

“I thought I was doing you a favor?” he responded with a bit of dryness in his voice. “Being of service when your time was pressed.”

“I thought you were as well,” she snorted. “Do not play the innocent. My grandfather took you in. Taught you a trade. Gave you pride as a Were. I am sure his intent was not for you to over throw his successor.”

“Please,” Wion laughed. “That is how he came to power. Granny Ellis, I see you sitting out there in the crowd. It was your father that Packmaster Highbridge killed. You should by all rights be standing where this Packmaster stands, today. What have you to say about this?”

Standing, the old woman stared at him. “My father could no longer hold what was his. I am not a leader for a pack. I miss the old man, but not his Were ways.

As for what I have to say, I was the one that told the Packmaster that those seventeen were calling you Packmaster. And that you had fed them vamp. I asked her if we were to expect a coup?”

“Understand this,” Annie said, to him. “You are not welcome in my bed, in my house, in my place of business. Not where my pack runs or my pack sleeps or where my pack shits,” she growled. “You are abjured from me and mine. Get gone from my sight.

Pack business,” she said, looking around the crowd. “Have we any idea how these seventeen died? Anything? Rumors?”

No one noticed him as he walked out the door. He was dead to them until they found him where he should not be. Then he was dead…

“Fuck it all to hell,” he kicked at everything, real or imagined, in his way. “How am I going to explain that I no longer have a Were commando platoon? That those munitions can no longer be humped in. Fucking Were shit,” he groused as he stepped into an alley way to piss. Taking out his phone, he made the call. “We need a new plan. The Weres I were recruiting for this mission have all died.”

There were a lot of unpleasant words coming though the speaker on his phone.

There was the yell of “You had better fucking fix this!” and then the line went dead.

Calling another number, when it picked up he said, “Spare me the righteous Wicca bullshit and put on Zoe. I don’t give a fuck who she is pleading for or appeasing. I am coming out to see her. I need a spell…a great and almighty one. Something that requires a living blood sacrifice.”

Walking over to the parking garage, he climbed the stairs and started his car. “Fucking Were shit,” he mumbled as he pulled out and drove off.

 

 

Eric was getting dressed. Pulling on his shoes, he was out their door. It was past two…Sookie was asleep. The vampires in the house were still up, but the humans seemed to be resting.

Then there was more to think about…Pamela just walked in the front door. Christmas in London was not her favorite time of the year. But anytime she could shop using his black American Express card was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Got in earlier,” she said when she saw him. “Been making the rounds.”

Eric nodded. “What say the rats?” he asked.

“Fresh Deads hit the place name you sent me. I checked out the PPB. Some serious shit was done to the building’s electrical. O.I.’s work I take it?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded as they headed for the library.

“Miss Annie, the owner, is in a snit. Seems those Fresh Deads called the Frenchie Packmaster when she was not around.”

Eric paused in front of the library door and thought about that. Opening it, they went in and Eric threw more logs on the fire.

Pam was thoughtful. “From what the four legged boys I chatted with tonight brought home, when Miss Annie finished up chewing on this Frenchie, it would be risky for that Were to be back in the area, at least in a high profile way. Ricci says they did hear him calling a coven on the phone. ”

“A couple of ways this could go. Wion likes being called Packmaster and now those that were following him are dead…

…what does he do?

He runs to the Krasiki Coven for the empower me and letus declare a Were war because I like being the guy in charge…or he just goes about business as usual.”

“Power, once tasted, changes one forever,” Pam said, not smiling. “My maker told me that when I first woke as vampire.”

“Fucking Were shit,” Eric hissed as he pulled out his phone. There was a lot to think about. Wion had been in the area and he had missed him. “Not much luck he will be strutting his stuff in that part of town,” Eric said as he contemplated his next move.

“He has been abjured,” Pam said, “he is not to be where the local pack, eats, sleeps, or shits. So sayth Ricci.

Those Weres that do business with him may continue to do so, but do not strike up any new deals. That will end badly for all concerned. Or so says Road Rat Ricci.”

“If he is pissed and I am sure he is, then we have missed him as Jack the Ripper, also. Would do us do good to make those Whitechapel haunts now. He has killed, moved on and retired for the night to lick his wounded ego and gloat about how he had once more outfoxed Scotland Yard.”

“Where is everyone?” she asked.

Eric had ducked inside his head and was running his chest game. He smelled strongly of Sookie, sex, and honey and he now knew what she knew. As he processed all that, he would not be coming back this way to gossip with her anytime soon.

“BBC is running a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon on the television. Sookie told them about it before we retired for the evening. They are smitten.”

“Oh Buffy…!” Pam grinned. “I am going to grab a bagged blood out of the kitchen. I will see you with the new dark, my maker,” she bowed her head to him.

“Rest well my child,” he answered as he took out his phone and dialed a number.

“Director,” he said when the older gentleman picked up. “I am sending you an attachment of the names of seventeen Weres that will no longer plague the streets of London. They were associates of Wion and they are now dead.”

“Does Scotland Yard know?” he asked.

“No,” he replied. “I will leave that bit of business to you. Let them owe you.”

“Thank you,” he smiled despite himself. “I will call my contact. Rest well this day.”

“Enjoy your day in the sunshine,” Eric responded and hung up.

Eric headed toward the television room. He could hear them calling encouragement to Buffy.

Sticking his head in, he said, “I am going out to cruise Whitechapel.”

“You need some help?” Samuel asked.

“No,” he slowly shook his head. “I expect the woman is dead. I just want a sense of the night air and the paths he walks. What touches his senses while he stalks his victim.

I will do a short walkabout and then return.”

“What if Sookie wakes and ask for you?” Ian was eyeing his friend and wishing to be invited along.

“Tell her the truth,” Eric responded with a bit of hesitation in his voice. “Do not ever lie to her on my behalf,” he stressed. “She knows the risks I take. And I will know that she is here and safe.”

Everyone nodded and Eric was vamp speed out of the building and airborne. Pulling the darkness to him, it would not do to dawdle. Being without other Were resources, the Were would be desperate and would turn to those who had served him, before. Somewhere in the dark was the Krasiki Coven. If he could catch a scent of anything, that would be the place to start. Witches did not scare him. Not when his brother stood by his side. Samuel’s God could over come and overthrow any who stood in their way. Wion wore a scarab ring. “He draws the power for his long life from the Pharaohs magicians and gods,” he chuckled. “Samuel is going to fucking love this.”

When he landed he heard Pamela land right behind him.

“Miss me?” he asked as he turned to her.

“Of course, my maker,” she grinned at him. “I just get into town and you take off to have all the fun and leave me with the boys…?” she rolled her eyes. “Oh please,” she rolled them, again.

Eric was shaking his head. A bit of mirth in his voice. “Cedric still wants his money for you burning down his cottage by the Carly River? I remember that stone house. Very charming with its thatched roof.”

“Well,” Pamela grumped, “perhaps it was something like that. And that was not my fault.”

“Those angry villagers seemed to think it was your fault,” Eric chuckled.

“The mayor’s wife enjoyed my eight inch both sides dildo,” she said with fortitude and pride. “She told me repeatedly that our time together was the best fucking of her life. And that just my kisses made her sopping wet. She was an unloved woman married to a man with a small dick and no hard-on. He did not understand his own sexual satisfaction, let alone hers. Unless it had something to do with sheep,” Pam nodded. “There would be times he would have her on all fours and she would have to baa-a-a,” she said, imitating a sheep perfectly.

“Any chance Sookie thinks you have a small dick and no hard on?”

Eric arched an eyebrow at her. “Do not…” was all he said as they began walking and looking for anything out of the ordinary.

“So this is serious…?” he could hear the hesitation in her voice.

“Scully married Adele. I am going to marry Sookie. As long as we are in London, the bands hold. I don’t know if she wants to return to Louisiana or not. If she wishes to stay, we shall, if she wants to go home, we shall do that. It matters not to me where we stand and call home. She will be Mrs. Northman, my wife.”

“Bold words,” Pam regarded him.

“The world can go fuck itself,” he replied as they walked. “O.I. will be in residence and Lafayette will be where ever his family resides. Anyone who wants to take on a dragon who has see the face of his God, is invited to do so. I shall sleep well knowing my bride is protected.”

“O.I.,” Pam nodded. “He is a game changer.”

“Especially in his human form,” Eric said as they passed an alley and he stopped to sniff.

“Human?” Pam queried.

“Yes, beautiful purple eyes and the most electrifying hombre platinum to purple hair you have ever seen. To quote Lafayette, Smokin’!” he said with a snap of his fingers and wiggling his eyebrows.

“Really?” Pam was intrigued.

“What is that I hear in your voice? Is that lust? I thought you only did girls?”

“Never said I would not do a dragon,” she replied as she adjusted her girls and taking out her lipstick, applied a fresh layer.

“He is not going to be joining us,” Eric smirked.

“Fuck,” she hissed. “You sure?”

“Fairly certain,” he replied as they continued their walk.

“Were,” they both said at the same time.

“Passed this way,” Eric nodded. “No way of knowing if it is Wion. Pub up ahead. If he is looking for a female, this would be the place.”

“He walked on past,” Pam sniffed the air delicately. “Oh, a female has joined him. She must have left the bar. You can still smell the alcohol on the air. She was been drinking, heavily. Bad mistake.”

“I don’t smell blood,” Eric noted as they picked up the pace. “Where the hell is he headed with her? Jack the Ripper always kills his victims in the Whitechapel area.”

“Car park,” they both said together as they tracked them up the steps and to the empty spot where his car was parked.

“What the fuck?” Pam asked. “He puts her in the car and drives away with her.”

“He is most desperate,” Eric said, shaking his head. “He has no pack to help him with his dirty work, so he is using the contacts he knows. I believe he is contemplating aligning himself with the Krasiki Coven if he has not already. They did sacrifices back in the day. Probably still do. This female would be his offer up to whatever dark lord thinks will help him. He wears a scarab ring probably fueled by whatever magic the Egyptian priests doused it with back in the day.

I am calling Samuel. With his help, this woman might have a chance at living if we can find her.”

“Those Egyptian priests were some mean mother fuckers. What they did to their own kind was just monstrous,” she nodded. “There was that one mummy priest that thought he was all that and he could stand between us and King Tut’s gold,” she snickered. “He had not one fucking clue just who Samuel Da’vid is and the God that stands with him. He found out though. That blessed kosher salt from Samuel’s favorite Jewish New York deli. We dosed that pile of rags with that salt and he howled in pain like a Were fucking a Banshee. That was a sight to see, him two-stepping his way backwards as that salt passed through his sphincter and it fell around his feet, mummy trappings and all. I might have seen funnier, but it does not come to mind.”

“Tis a fact,” Eric replied with a grin as he pushed one on his speed dial and then became most serious. “Oh, my brother. Most excellent. We need your help.”

 

Dear Readers,

Had a dose of RL this past week. So this is shortest of the short. But I got Pam on the Isle and Eric has called his brother. Evil had just best blow on out of town because I am sure O.I. will invite himself to this throw down.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing this Easter season.

Jesus is not here, He has risen!

CES