joyeux-noel

Chapter 22

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 22

 

“Zelda Turnnings,” Eric mused as he made his way back to Ian’s and let himself in the front door.

“And…” Pam said as she came to the door to greet him. “I hear you mumbling names. Are they on the to kill list?”

“No Child,” he eyed her. “You know anyone whose name starts with a Z?” he asked.

“No,” she shook her head. “Nothing at this time comes to mind. We do have a regular at Fangtasia. Her name is Zepher Wright.”

“Where does she live?” he asked.

“Not Shreveport,” she replied. “She is a student at Baton Rouge. Figured she drove up on weekends to visit her parents and come calling.”

“Keep that thought,” Eric replied as they entered he library.

“The Krasiki Coven,” Eric said sitting down on the ottoman next to the fireplace and facing the crowd. “I am beginning to believe those whom they deem are truly gifted, they give them a name starting with a Z. The coven that I disrupted in Budapest, on the front of the shop was Zimmer’s Café.”

Eric went on to explain the evening that had transpired around him.

“What clued me in was the passport that arrived with the Herveaux’s information. On such short notice, I am sure there are one or two others in the government who can make that happen. You need a passport…here.

But Director Castle…he is famous for it. And when Zelda’s name popped into my mind,” he shrugged. “I did not even think it was a long shot that she was one of the coven. I knew it was a sure thing.

When you are arrogant, such as this coven, you think you can do as you wish and you are above mistakes that can get you killed. Their hierarchy, however they define it, they take those names that start with a Z.

I know this is not much, but it is something.”

Cedric sat up straighter and leaned in. “There is a Zella Fisherway that handles the legal work for our Irish Queen. I had the occasion to meet her when I petitioned HRM for the tax status on the family distillery. At the time, I thought she was a little off-beat. Very interested in my family history, not so much in the lawyer particulars that I was asking about.”

That brought raised eyebrows from the crowd.

“Maybe they have placed one of their own in governments around the world,” Ian’s eyes were glowing. “You know, they don’t have to run the show, just be where you can hear all the gossip.

Place a few spells, spread a few lies, and ruin some one’s day.”

“Well yes, a little discord, a little rolling of the eyes when someone is given a compliment,” Pam nodded. “I have perhaps been guilty of that myself from time-to-time, no witchcraft needed. And it does produce very satisfying results.”

“Shocker,” Cedric said with a shake of his head. “That such a sweet child as yourself would be capable of such hideous acts. Like being responsible for getting me house torched.”

Pam started to say something and Eric just shook his head no. “Not the time or place, Child,” he stressed the word.

“Samuel,” Eric continued on as if nothing had happened, “what about the original Lady Smithers? Do you think you can find her first name?”

“The English have been keeping records, forever,” he replied as he began the search, his fingers flying across the keyboard.
“Zabreana Alston married a Lord Ralf Smithers, June 20th, in 1560, according to this marriage license. Her father was Lord William Alston and her mother was Lady Zannie Williamson Alston. The reason that this is all noted is because Queen Elisabeth was in attendance.”

“Anne Boleyn was touted as a witch,” Ian was lost in thought. “That sixth finger did not bode well for her.”

“It may have been one of the things that helped to cost her her life,” Eric’s voice was soft, “but she gave birth to a queen. The likes of which the world has not seen since.”

“What was Elisabeth the First like?” Pam asked.

“Strong,” Samuel replied and Eric nodded. “Very strong. And she had a head for money. When she wanted to build the smaller and faster ships to defeat the Spanish Armada, her lords poo-pooed her.

She sent for me and explained what she wanted. She had a small amount of ready cash that she was willing to invest in this project. But her Treasurer would not let her spend the country’s wealth that she had amassed until they had defeated The Armada. Of which they were all doubtful.

But I could see it,” Samuel was nodding. “I could see how it would work. And when I presented her idea to Eric,” he said with a nod of his head toward his brother. “He could see it, also”

“Yes,” Eric chuckled. “Those big, lumbering Spanish ships out there in one of those English squalls that can hit at any time without warning. And those small, quick, English ships, buzzing about like wasps. Absolutely,” his voice was serious. “The sailor in me was salivating. This would be one of the greatest naval battles of all time. Samuel and I bank rolled HRM. She told her advisors to go fuck themselves and she had the fleet built. And that is why we speak English in the American colonies and not Spanish.”

“And also why we own the Southern Coast of British Isle,” Samuel smiled. “That was her payment to us. After the tremendous victory, those who advised her were still a bit snippy about her paying us out of the Treasury. After all they had won, the fleet was built. Why do you now need money? Such typical thinking of the wealthy.

But HRM passed out land grants like the great and mighty Queen she was.”

“To Her Royal Majesty Queen Lizzie,” Eric raised his glass of blood in a toast.

“Hear! Hear!” came the response and clinking of glasses and the shouting of, “To her royal bad ass, Queen Lizzie!”

 

Alcide had changed into a clean t-shirt and jeans for his ride back to the States. He had tucked them into his backpack, along with a toothbrush/paste and a travel size stick of deodorant. No way in hell was he paying that outrageous luggage fee!

Climbing up the stairs to the main floor, he could see the light on in Annie’s office. Knocking, she called enter and he stuck his head in.

“Don’t you ever go home?” he asked.

“No,” she replied. “That’s the problem with owning your own business.”

“Don’t I know that,” Alcide said in agreement. “That shit does not ever get done. You think you can take a breath and then the tax codes change, or the fucking zoning laws change or to take down a house or build one, you have to call Abe Lincoln and all his brothers to get all the right permits. And Abe and all his brothers are dead and I still don’t have the right permits.”

“You going out?” she asked.

“Home,” he replied. “Where you should be. I am going home. Calling a cab and hauling my ass on out of here. By the way, the basement floors and bathrooms are clean.”

“Thanks,” she eyed him. Pity he was leaving. He was one nice looking male. Who cared if his dick was gone? She had toys for that stuff. What she did not have was a male to hold her while she slept. A peer to talk, too.

And for a Were with power and influence in his own world, he thought nothing of doing janitor work. This guy was a keeper.

“I really do appreciate you doing that. That is one less something for me to fret, about. Forget the cabbie,” she replied, “I’ll drop you at Heathrow.”

“That’s kind,” he said, “really kind. But that is across town and…”

“Forget it,” she smiled. “Traffic is not to horrendous this time of night and I need to leave this…this desk…for tonight. Just leave it and start fresh after some sleep, a shower and a decent cup of tea.”

“Tea?” he raised an eyebrow at her. “Really?”

“True, it is not the jolt that coffee gives, but I can have 2-3 cups as opposed to the one of coffee. That gives me a bit more time to sit and watch the birds at the feeder.”

“Nice way to start the mornin’,” he replied.

“The nicest,” she smiled. “The rest of my day may suck, but those first rays and the birds waking up, the perfect cup of tea, that is a real treat for me.

Let me grab my keys and we’ll be gone.”

“Well alright then,” he nodded his head. “Thanks.”

Annie, Alcide and Wion all knew about if you wanted something done right, do it yourself.

But Wion had a bit of a problem seeing to this specific task.

As they pulled away and motored off to the airport, the beer lorry that was supposed to follow Annie and run her off the road and into a guard rail killing her…the driver was just walking out of an alley from taking a piss. Hurrying, he tripped over a cobblestone and fell, cursing at the top of his lungs, which caused Alcide to turn around and look.

The man was running…Were…he thought and then the truck started and rolled out of the parking lot, side swiping a car he was in such a hurry!

“What the fuck?” he said. “There is a lunatic driving that beer truck!”

“What?” she asked, turning around to look.

“He is a Were. He tripped, cussed, jumped up in the driver’s seat and just took off the side of that parked car getting to the road.

Ought oh,” Alcide whistled. “He just turned off his lights and is gaining speed. I do believe he is after us.”

“Wion,” they both said.

“Or one of his hired thugs,” she hissed. “Get my mobile out of my bag and push 1. Then put it on speaker.”

“We callin’ the cops?” he asked.

“No,” she answered, “my pack.”

The conversation was short and harsh with directions to where she was headed.

“Get on the plane,” she said hanging up, her face set and grim. “And get back to America. Get out of here…” she said again. “Go home,” as she checked the rear view mirror and picked up speed.

“This van go any faster?” he asked as he turned and looked over his shoulder. “Damn, would love to have my shot gun,” he mumbled.

“No to the faster,” she barked out a laugh. “I bought it for the business. Hauling things here and there. Maybe a little catering. Never did it occur to me that I would need it to race along to save my life.

And you carry a shot gun in your work truck?

And do not be changing the subject. Go home.”

Alcide’s face was grim as he watched the truck cast out sparks as it would occasionally skim along the guard rail as it tried to jockey for advantage. It was gaining. Alcide swore he could see the maniacal grin on their would-be killer’s face.

“Damn straight I do. I live and work in Louisiana. Job sites always come with snakes. Some are mean fuckers. Some job sites come with alligators. All those are mean fuckers.”

“Americans,” she breathed out in a heavy sigh.

“You bet,” he grinned. “Now, I can’t leave you hangin’ like this Cher. Not with this fucker tryin’ to kill you.”

In the dark, Alcide could hear the motor bike coming up from behind them and then watching, saw a Were jump from the back of the bike onto the truck. It only took a few seconds before the headlights came on and the lights flashed at them as the lorry turned down a side road.

“I mean it,” she hissed. “Get the fuck out of here. Wion will not stop until I am dead.”

“Not if we kill him first,” Alcide replied.

Annie went through the roundabout and then pulled off onto a side road.

“You don’t know me. You don’t know what I do. Not all of it is legal. If your government knew you were hanging out with me, they would pull all those licenses you have to handle explosives. You business would tank. Go home.”

“You are right, I don’t know you but you don’t know me either. And I don’t run from a fight. I never have. I am not going to now.”

“Wion is one mean fucker,” she stated matter-of-fact.

“You just have to be meaner,” he replied. “Where are they taking the Were that was following us?”

“What?” she turned sideways to face him.

“What are they going to do to him? Rough him up and let him go or kill him?”

“I would never ask one of my pack to kill anyone. Just like,” she eyed him, “I would not ask you to do so either.”

“You don’t have to ask me, Cher,” there was a bit of a chuckle in it. “That fucker was going to kill me as well. This is now personal. We have a way of dealing with that shit in my pack.

So find out where they are and let’s head that way. Time to send Wion a message.”

 

 

Director Castle was now in the middle of a shit storm not entirely of his making.

“What happened?” he asked those that had crowed around as he looked at the damage done to her walls.

“From what we could hear, her sister died and she was not notified,” Roy’s voice was a bit shaken.

“This upset her…” Susan shuddered. “She actually picked up that chair and threw it into that wall…”

Benjamin was surveying the room. There was maximum damage done to everything. Looked like a tornado had passed through. And quite possible one had. “What phone did she use? Who did she call last?”

“Don’t know,” Alice replied. “She tossed her phone into the shredder. We could hear it being eaten. There is no way of knowing. But apparently someone knew her sister was dead and had not notified her. We all got that loud and clear.”

“Director, the police are on their way up,” Susan said as she put down the phone.

“Let them come,” he replied. “We will tell them what we know. I have not touched anything in her office. They will see her prints on the window and know that she jumped due to her own deranged emotional instability.”

They all nodded. This was not the first time one of the Director’s staff had jumped to their death. It was a high stress, long hours job. The money was good, but the chances were also good you were not going to be around to spend it.

At least you would be able to afford a good “home” for your mental breakdown.

Or hell, just call the fucker done and jump.

 

 

 

Out at The Farm, King Hat was having a moment…of the melt down type herself. That phone call from Zelda was not supposed to have taken place! She was going to tell Zelda that Zoe was dead when she felt the time was right.

Questions and riots of spectacular color and sound raced through her mind…

“Northman called her from London? How is that possible? Who had she been chatting up? Gawd knows what an ego she has after she has been fucked raw! Wants to talk about anything and everything! What else did she divulge? Are we at risk? Am I at risk?” she was shrieking at those who had now gathered in the Chanting Chamber. “Prep yourselves for Macbeth!” she was screaming, trying to stay clam but finding it impossible. “No fuck ups! None. You three,” she growled at the three women that were groveling on the floor in front of her, “you will be perfect! Chant it!

All of you!” she bellowed out into the cave at her minions that were shaking their tambourines and beating the drums. “Chant it! Now! Give me what I need to live forever!”

 

 

Director Castle shook hands all around as he walked the police into Zelda’s office and explained what he witnessed. “You can see,” he sighed, “well…you can see. I will leave you to your work. If you have any questions, I am, of course, available.”

“Thank you sir,” the detectives nodded. “We will make this as fast and as painless as possible.”

“Please,” he held up his hand in front of him. “Follow all protocols. I know how this has got to look. Fifth one so far this year.”

“High stress job,” Detective Sticks nodded looking around at the damage done to the walls and the furniture. “No one would believe how many suicides we have on the force. We do our best to keep that quiet. That way we keep the family out of the media stream that can turn your tragedy into a very ugly world that is plastered all over the internet forever.”

“Thank you,” he nodded. “Apparently this happened when she got the news her sister died. Please, whatever we can do to help.”

“We have this sir. The world right now needs you to be elsewhere. We have this.”

“Thanks,” he nodded. “I do have a meeting I need to make.”

“Understand,” Sticks nodded.

“It is here in the building,” he added. “If you need me, Susan can find me.”

“Not a problem sir. We appreciate your willingness to help.”

“Thank you,” his face was grim as he looked around the room. “I would shake your hand, but you are gloved.”

Leaving the room, he turned and took one last look around. “How can you possibly think you can fuck with Northman?” he thought to himself and walked down the hall to his private elevator. He hit 1776 on the panel, the lights went out and came back on and then he hit 6771 and the elevator began moving to the 8th Subterranean. Getting out he walked over to the door and put his eyes to the camera as his biometrics were read. When the door opened, he walked in.

“Zena,” he said to the witch that was scrying the four winds. “I need you upstairs. Zelda jumped when she learned Zoe was dead.

“Zoe,” she nodded in understanding. “That makes sense, now. I thought she was astro-projecting when I was chatting with her. I guess it was her shade.”

“That is correct,” Benjamin replied.

“Will I have to wear clothes for this new job?” she asked. “I work best nude.”

“Of course you will,” he shook his head at her, his voice all business. “Something office appropriate,” he stressed. “And pick floral prints for your office walls. Nothing of the wolfsbane family or the hemlock family. Just nice floral prints that say wholesome and homey.”

“That sucks,” she sighed.

“Make this happen. I need you on board in three days. Here is a card,” he put an American Express card on the table that had her name on it. “Go to Macy’s. That is just about where everyone shops. Nothing flashy, nothing outrageously expensive. You must dress with business appeal.”

“I knew this day would come,” she shrugged. “I was just dreading it. I like living and working down here. Nude is easy to maintain.”

“I know,” he nodded. “Mother Earth is very comforting. Skin just washes off. But now is your time to shine.”

“Will you fuck me before you go?” she asked as she hopped up on the table and placing her feet on the edge, she bent her knees and opened her legs wide.

“Is something going to crawl out of there and bit me?” he asked.

“Maybe,” she responded.

Taking a step forward, he ran his hand along the inside of her leg. Stopping just short, in case something did crawl out and bit him.

“May I bite your tit off when I cum?” he asked.

“Can I bite your dick off before you do?” was her reply.

“Well, checkmate,” he responded with a bow of his head. “I will see you upstairs in three days,” he added as he turned to walk away.

“Is it true?” she asked, her voice curious and not hesitant at all. Most were afraid to query him.

This one, she wanted to fuck him but was not willing to pay the price.

Yes, she did not hesitate at all. She wanted to know. Young. Stupid. Arrogant. Entitled. That list went on. He should just kill her now for her pride. But he needed her.

Just get this out of the way…her mouth was opening. Here came the fal-da-rah and fiddle-de-de.

“That your mother was the first Krasiki witch and your father was a demon? That she was the witch King Solomon used to enslave the demons that helped to build his city. That when Solomon died, your father demon hid from the priest that was to call him back to hell. Instead he fled and your mother found him with a lover’s endless rhyming spell and cast about him a net of lust and desire. That they worshiped each other and when she was heavy with child and her time came, she could not give birth to you, so he ripped you from her body while he danced in her death blood to honor her.”

Walking back over to her, he wet his finger and ran the tip around her areola. When he lightly pinched the nipple she bucked and moaned.

“If I was to have sex with you, it would indeed be memorable. And you would bear my child. Such are our ways. To feed this child you would need both,” he reached up and gently squeezed her breasts, “of these. You would ache always they would be so full even as the child suckled, such would be his appetite. If I were to remove one, which I would, the babe would starve to death.

And rightly so. There does not need to be another one like me walking this earth. I am curse enough.”

Her bravado gone, swallowing in fear, her eyes held his for only a second longer and then looked away.

“In three days,” was all he said as he turned and walked away.

 

“In three days,” O.I. was busy checking the wedding scene he was blocking to fit the stage. His half glasses were perched on his snout as he viewed photos and in his mind’s eye pulled it all together on where they would stand.

Vedo had e-mailed him the photos of the finished dress. It needed a little bit more of this and that, she said. It was now only missing things she would know because she had made the first one.

O.I. glanced over at Lafayette and smiled. His big man was sleeping which was most excellent. “Can’t be keepin’ human and vampire hours,” he nodded to himself. “Impossible to keep dragon hours. Don’t no one even began to pedal on that invisible bike. That is just a dreadful awful thing to even want to do. Since I am king, I do it better than most dragons, but even dragons has a hard time keepin’ up with O.I.”

Stretching, he took one more detailed look at the stage. “That hole at the top of the theatre is just the best idea ever. Must have been a dragon that planted that idea in the builder’s head. Mo’ fo’n,” he chuckled as he shut down his laptop and poured himself a glass of port. Raising his glass in a toast he said, “In three days we are gonna’ have us a Mr. & Mrs. Northman. Sound the alarm! To arms! To arms! The Northmans are coming!”

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Readers,

Was away on a small holiday. This is all I managed to get done. The shortest of the short.

I am trying to keeping to posting on Monday, so here ‘tis.

I have not one clue what O.I. is referencing there at the end. I hope it is good.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES