joyeux-noel

Chapter 23

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 23

 

Annie and Alcide were still parked having waiting for the call back from her Weres and having the “get your ass home discussion” when her phone chimed.

“We have him,” Clay said, “and the truck. You would not fucking believe what is in the truck. C-4. A lot of it. Along with blasting caps and a few other things that would blow London into the stratosphere.”

“Stay with it,” she said as she closed her eyes and shook her head. “I will make the appropriate phone calls to the police. Just stay with that fucking truck. I will get back to you as soon as I can with further directions.”

“Fucking terrorists!” Alcide was growling. “That fucking Wion!

We need a plan. A good plan. Call the British Isle vampire king,” Alcide said nodding his head. “They sent me here after Northman. Eric knows somebody high the fuck up enough to generate a passport for me. Plus, he obviously knows what is going on and seems to be two steps ahead of everyone. We do not want to be involved in this. Let Eric deal with it.”

“Can do,” she nodded as she scrolled through her contact list and hit King Ian’s number.

 

Ian’s secretary came to the door. “There is an American Were here in London by the name of Alcide Herveaux that wants to speak to The Viking. He says it involves Wion and a truck load of C-4 that they are presently guarding.

“Thank you,” Eric said getting up and taking the phone as Filbert bowed and left the room.

“Alcide, you are on speaker,” Eric said. “What is going on?”

“The down and dirty,” Alcide replied. “Annie abjured Wion. Tonight he tried to have us killed by running her car off the road with a beer truck. Her Weres intercepted the truck and has the driver which I personally would have killed but the back of the truck has C-4 and other explosive nasties in it. We are not yet eyes on, but headed that direction.

Who ever the fuck you know, Eric, please, call them and have them deal with this. I still want the driver dead but I can understand how national security comes first. Her guys say there is enough explosive to take out London.”

All the vampires were fangs down, their eyes glowing.

“Give me the address,” Eric’s voice was quiet.

Annie gave them the address and just as fast the vampires had it plugged into the phone on their GPS.

“We are gearing up as we speak. Have the Weres stay with the vehicle. You two be someplace else. There are surveillance cameras everywhere. Out here.”

Eric hit another number on his phone. “Director, my contacts have found a truck loaded with C-4. Here is the address. I am on my way there now until you send in the Brits. When you are asked questions, just tell them my network informed me that Wion planned on blowing up London.”

“Roger that,” Director Castle said and hung up.

“Let’s travel,” Eric said as the five vampires were out the door.

 

Director Castle called his British counterpart, Director Lord Hillshire Devon.

“Love waking you up,” he began when Devon’s voice was heard.

“How bad is it?” he asked.

“Truck full of C-4 and other goodies. Enough to take out London. My team is on the ground there now, securing the truck, waiting for yours.”

“Bloody fucking hell,” he hissed. “I owe you. And fuck yes, dinner at Buckingham Palace and a knighthood for you.

Give me the address.”

 

The five came in at vamp speed. The Weres looked relieved. Then Alcide and Annie both hopped down out of the back of the truck.

“Northman,” Alcide said nodding his head.

“King Ian,” Annie said nodding hers.

“We are here to stand guard until the locals arrive. I would be gone from here,” Eric said to the group. “I am sure your country would be grateful for your service but then you would have to explain just how you came to be in possession.”

“Absolutely,” Annie nodded. “Get gone. All of you. Now. We are motoring off as well.”

“Will they kill the driver?” Alcide asked. “He tried to run us off the road.”

“I can put in a request,” Eric said matter-of-fact. “Since this one will not make the news, I see all manner of truth drugs in his future.”

“Thanks,” Alcide replied.

“Sirens,” they all said at the same time as they scattered to their car and bikes and were gone.

Pam was looking in the cab of the truck. “This guy is already almost dead. He has taken a severe beating to the head and shoulders.”

“So be it,” Eric grinned. “Helicopter inbound. Must be Devon. You can either stay or go,” he said.

“A very low profile is the very best profile of all,” Pamela grinned as she vamped out.

“Sound advice for once from your child, me boyo,” Cedric grinned and was gone.

“See you at the house,” Ian saluted him and disappeared.

“My brother,” Samuel hugged him. “You continue to make me proud. See you in a few.”

As the helicopter hovered, Eric broke several chem lights and placed them on the ground for a make-shift landing pad.

When Devon stepped out, he walked straight to Eric.

“Lord Northman,” he said stretching out his hand. “I should have known. Castle has his mysterious ways but we have our peerage. Walk me through and let us get this started.”

 

 

“Fastest three days of my life,” Sookie said again as Madame Vedo explained to her the purpose of each article of clothing that she was helping the soon-to-be-bride into.

“Can I just tell you,” Pamela drawled, “that I am glad I did not live through…through…” she arched an eyebrow, “that. Or that…” she pointed to something else. “And look at those stockings. Wool…I itch just contemplating that next to my smooth as silk skin.”

“His La La Fineness says everythin’ starts with the best foundation. And I gots to say…all those clothes just to wear that dress…how much, your very fine Madameness of the Vedo, how much does that dress and all those do-dads weigh?”

“Probably about fifty pounds,” she replied. “I never weigh it so that I know for sure. It scares those of the faint of heart, off.

There is ten pounds of jewels alone sewn onto the dress. When we add her wings onto her back, there is about three pounds of just tulle that flows out from it. Not to mention the diamonds that Eric asked me to attach. Never has a star shined as brightly on a cold winter’s night as our bride shall shine tonight!”

“Will I be able to walk?” Sookie asked as the first undergarment went on?”

“Not to worry,” Vedo smiled. “Eric says he is carrying you.”

“Where is Mr. Eric?” O.I. asked.

“The groom is not allowed to watch the bride get dressed,” Sookie said. “There is nothin’ we can do about him seein’ me before the weddin’. So Gran just figured that him not seein’ me gettin’ dressed was just as good.”

“Just as good,” O.I. nodded. “We shall have us a mighty fine weddin’ and defeatin’ of evil at the same time. Just does not get any better than that.”

“And what is Eric wearing?” Gran asked. “I have been oh-h-h-ing and awing over Sookie’s dress and I forget to ask about Eric’s.”

“The 16th century’s male version of Sookie’s,” Vedo smiled. “All done in white and gold. Our Sookie shall have what good Queen Bess did not. A mate who will love and adore her. Stand by her side and kill anyone who thinks to trespass where they should not.”

“I would love something to drink,” Sookie sighed. “But how in the world do you go to the bathroom in this?”

“That is why good Queen Bess had ladies-in-waiting,” Vedo said with a sure nod of her head. “O.I., if you would please, pour our bride a glass of that port you have been imbibing. We shall get her to the bathroom when the time comes.”

Samuel was helping Eric get dressed while Ian and Cedric were offering advice on how to do his hair.

“Just a bit puffy,” Cedric kept insisting.

“I don’t do puffy,” Eric replied with a low growl.

“Of course you do,” Ian said. “Remember, that time we were in Spain. For a decade you did puffy.”

“Not one of my better looks,” Eric snorted. “I am so thankful there are no portraits of my puffy days.”

“Well,” Samuel was thoughtful. “With what Vedo has created…we put some chain mail on you, grow out your hair and braid it and we have ourselves a Viking.”

Eric started pulling on his hair and continued to do so until it was the length he desired. “I am going to be needing a sword,” he grinned.

“Can do,” Ian grinned. “The armory is open for business. Your choice of chain mail and all the other to-war blood letting paraphernalia you can imagine.”

“I can imagine a lot,” Eric chuckled. “Would have to be in my size.”

“I believe we still have that chain mail that Emmory St. McCloud made for you in the 1600’s. We all thought you would look exceptionally fetching wearing it when fighting against Louis XIV.”

“Oh,” Eric looked interested. “Yes, that was some finely wrought work. By all means, let us improvise a bit on my wedding ensemble.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “Only the best for my brother. Ian, let us have a look.

“Wedding ensemble,” Cedric chuckled. “Who would have ever thought The Viking and wedding ensemble would ever be uttered in the same breath.”

“Who would have thought that I would have found the love of my life,” Eric grinned.

“I have seen Sookie’s dress,” Samuel said as they headed toward the Ian’s armory. “Just how does this work?”

“We both have a dressing room backstage,” Eric remarked as they made their way down the stairs, into the bowels of the manor house. “She is wearing everything but the gown and sleeves. Her coat will cover her and we have a matching blanket to cover both of us to help keep her feet warm.”

“Very nice,” Cedric muttered as he ducked his head as they took another set of steps down.

“Most good, here we are,” Ian grinned as he unlocked the door with an eye scan. “Let’s see, 16th century weaponry is toward the back. Let’s go have a look-see.”

 

Alcide was having a look-see.

Annie had taken today off because they were still maneuvering around what they had discovered from the Were that was trying to kill them. Eric had sent them updates of info that pertained to them.

Wion was hell bent on taking over, apparently the world!

Annie was hell bent on getting off!

Alcide was helping her along in that direction. When he nibbled on her inner thigh and then tongued her, she howled. Full force and not holding back! He figured her pack could hear her wherever they were.

This was not so bad for him, either. He still enjoyed having his balls fondled and sucked. There was still a pressure that built up inside of him and this woman had brought him to an orgasm! More than once! He had no other word for it. O.r.g.a.s.m.! And damn, it felt good!

“The brain,” she growled, still panting heavigly, as she slid on top of him, “is the biggest sex organ in the body.”

“No doubt about that,” he smiled at her and pushed the hair out of her face. “I am proud and honored to say I have had intimate knowledge of your brain. And would be proud and honored to continue to do so.”

A few tears gathered in her eyes.

Alcide became very serious as he brushed them away.

“Listen to me, Cher. You are going to continue.

Because of the hate that is in Wion’s heart, we found enough C-4 in that truck to not only blow up your building but it would have destroyed every building on your block and that end of London.

They are fucking terrorists,” he said with disgust. “The driver is never coming back. And Wion’s days are numbered and few. When the C-4 went missing, there was a lot of bad guy intel traffic of the screaming sort, so says Northman. And I believe him. He has no reason to lie, Cher. You and yours are gonna be just fine.”

Nodding her head she gave him a half-hearted smile.

“Now, where were we,” he growled as he flipped them both over. Annie was once more on bottom and Alcide was on top. “Oh, that’s right…” he started kissing her neck and was moving slowly downward. “Seems to me I was right about here…”

 

Zena was still learning the ins and outs of how The Director, it was all she could do not to snicker out loud, did business. This world was fast paced and electronic. It did no good to bitch. Those around you just looked at you like you were a moron and made snide remarks and drew straws, the unlucky short straw had to sit with her next.

She was many things, a moron was not one of them. Once or twice she had felt like peeling off this pant-suit and shoving these heels up her mentors’ asses. That would be Andrew and Paul…and spin like the mighty force of nature that she was! After all, she held the rank of Z…!

Instead she listened, she learned and she hated working the so-called 9-5…because this job was not 9 to -anything. You started early and apparently some of them never went home. They worked in shifts…well yes…like maybe thirty days on and no days off!

And her money was sniveling and the apartment where she lived, it was a hovel! Nothing exciting or lovely or strange or unusual about it. Not one haut! Not one bad vibe lived on in it. It was just an apartment that overlooked some street where she was now to play house. No wonder Zenna had jumped! She was about there, herself!

Sitting in her office, for the first time today is was quiet. Enough so that she could finally have a private moment in her head to herself.

“How goes the first day?”

Hearing his voice it startled her and she jumped!

“Director,” she replied as she righted herself and turned to face him. “It sucks. Just like I knew it would. My apartment sucks. These clothes suck. My life sucks. What can I do to remove myself from this office and go back to the basement?”

“There is no going back to the basement,” he replied, “Zamperelli is now in residence.

If you are tired of this job already, you can always leave by the window.”

“You mean jump…” she nodded and her eyes became mere slits as her hands began a series of small intricate movements.

“Witches,” he rolled his eyes. “You really are not all that. Do your worst,” his voice sounded bored. “Then it will be my turn.”

That caused her to pause. No one mocked her! But apparently he felt confident enough to do that. “If you really are all that,” she snickered softly, “why do you do this base, human job?”

“Because someone has too,” he replied. “Because there are very bad people in this world who have no regard for anything or anyone. And I seem to be at the top of their list.”

Laughing, he eyed her. “You think you want chaos to rule. You would like to ride that wind of destruction and self-pity and call yourself supreme. You have not one fucking clue what that kind of world is like. Chaos loves those who think they have all the answers and are all caught up in their petty little lives and lies. You would be the first one to die as Chaos spiked you with his forked tongue and spit you into the flames of a burning building to roast with all the others who believe that civilization should be plowed under and lazy contentment of the worship of self planted in its furrows.”

“There is nothing wrong with that philosophy of life,” she said standing and advancing toward him. “I am more than any shall ever be,” she began, her hands carefully crafting the thought. “I am more…” she smiled at him and then jumped toward him, the knife in her hand as she was prepared to plunge it into his heart! They both heard the shots ring out. Two agents had walked in just as she sprang with the knife. Both bullets hit her right between the eyes. There was a look of shock on her face.

“Timing really is everything,” Director Castle said as the dead body hit him and then slumped to the floor.

“There is blood covering the front of your suit, sir,” Agent Greely said as he approached to move the body.

“Of course there is,” he sighed. “I have a meeting with the President in an hour. I am going to change. I will be available for a statement when I come back from my meeting.”

“Of course sir,” Agent August replied. “We will have this well under way to being taken care of.”

“Thanks,” he nodded as he walked out of her office and was once more looking into the eyes of his evening staff.

“Not hiring anyone else for a while,” was all he said as he headed toward his office. Looking over his shoulder he added, “And if you feel the need to kill me please…a heads up. You know what my schedule is like.

And some one,” he stopped and turned around, “anyone, please, call in a priest or rabbi or hell, maybe both, and have them say a blessing over that room. This is not funny and getting to be the stuff of a country and western song.”

 

Benjamin was not in the best of moods  “I have no one but myself to blame,” he swore in every language he knew until he entered his own door. There he showered and dressed and then stepped onto his elevator. Going down to the sub levels, he got off and going through the bio scan, he found Zamperelli bent over the Ouija board.

“You had to kill her,” she said looking up, disgust in her voice as she pulled a gun and fired at him. Fortunately, the planchette went flying off the board and hit her hand, causing her to miss.

Benjamin saved himself another death on the 15th floor. Pulling his gun, he shot her right between the eyes. “Fucking Krasiki witch,” he hissed as he pulled her body over to the pentagram that was tiled into the floor, a small trench around it. “Do they honestly think I am a moron? That I have no idea what coven they belong, too?

For all those people that were born yesterday,” he hissed rolling his eyes as he placed the head to the West and the legs were pointed North East and South East. “I am not one of them! Good thing you missed!” He eyed the body. “I don’t get a clothing allowance and I have to wear a suit and a tie. You cannot patch bullet holes. Wish you could because I would have enough money to retire instead of having to purchase new suits!”

Taking out his phone, he dialed a number. “Zamperelli did not work out. She tried to kill me. How in the hell did she get in here with a gun? Her masking spell must be better than your unmasking spell. Send someone to come and get the body. The star will guide you.

And,” he snarled, “I do not need another seer. If you suggest one, I will rip your heart out and burn it on an altar of cold flame and hot piss.”

Touching a button, the channel around the star filled with something kin to lighter fluid, only this flammable was not known to man. A ball of flame appeared in the palm of his hand. With a thought, the flame leaped from his hand and into the liquid.

With the whoosh of the flame there appeared in the middle, standing on top of the dead body, a being of hellish proportions. Small head, with sharp teeth; a long neck attached to an even smaller body. On the giant size hands were nails long enough to fillet you with razor blades for hair.

“Thank you, my lord,” he bowed. “We shall feast this night.”

“Be gone,” he growled and the small creature and Zamperelli’s body both disappeared.

“The things I do for my country,” he said as he shook off this evening and started upstairs. “I still have that fucking meeting with the President. The things I do for my country.”

 

On an altar out at The Farm, there sat a flame to represent every Z that the coven had taught, touted and perhaps tortured a bit, just to make their point. That being, if you fail, this is just a small taste of what awaits you.

Alda and Bishop were on duty. They were the goddesses tonight as they presided over the small chapel of unholiness and watched the flames that held the secrets of their sisters.

When one went out, they both blinked.

“Read the name, quick,” Alda wept and Bishop approached the altar. “It is Zamperelli,” she wailed. “One of us most stay! Sound the alarm and ring the death knell. Our sister is not coming back!”

 

King Hat looked up from her reading. “What the hell is that?” she asked. “Minion,” she kicked at the one closest to her. “That is the death bell. Quick, run! Who is it that has left us?”

 

Sookie was looking at everything as the car pulled up to the open gates.

“Wow, the roof is thatched. What a beautiful building. And tall. That white timbered architecture really shows up at night.”

“The stage sits up off the ground. And there is a second floor for the balcony scenes.

Plus, there are three levels of galleries of seating for the patrons. We are on the second level, facing the stage. Best seats in the house,” Ian grinned.

“Somehow,” Gran was shaking her finger at Ian, “I expected no less.”

“Most excellent,” Eric smiled as the car stopped. “Out we go. We are a bit early but Sookie and I are going to meet Vedo backstage so we will know where the dressing room is located. Then we shall take the tour.

We will meet you shortly, upstairs,” Eric grinned as he helped Sookie from the car.

“Upstairs it mo’ fo’n is,” Lafayette exclaimed as his eyes went up to the top of the building. “My little mans, you sure about this. I am afraid of heights.”

“My big mans,” the small dragon around his neck replied, “’course I am. We need the blessed words. You are the bringer of the blessed words. Her fineness of the Vedo can make it all legally binding for the law of this land, but Miss Sookie will always hold in her heart that you smiled in approval as she told Eric of her love.”

“Can nots be arguing with that,” Lafayette sighed. “Mighty fine place for a weddin’. Good thing I am wearing my coat. The night air has a nip to it.”

“Good thang I put the flask in your jacket pocket,” O.I. chuckled. “So we can be havin’ us a nip.”

 

Sookie and Eric were escorted back stage by the stage manager, a woman by the name of Hopkins.

“Your dressing room is here,” she said as they pushed by props, actors and stage hands. “It gets a bit busy back here…actors,” she rolled her eyes, “most are prima donnas and this ensemble is no different. If they can break it, they will just to prove to the props people that their shit is weak.

Here we are.”

Sookie smiled when she saw the star on the door. “Cute,” she chuckled pointing to it.

Hopkins grinned. “Someone by the name of His La La Fineness called and requested it. Said I would not be sorry if I obliged him and sent proof of my fealty. I snapped a shot with Madame Vedo standing beside it and within the hour a magnum of champagne and about ten pounds of chocolates appeared at the box office window for me.

What else,” she grinned, “can I do for you?”

“This is perfect,” Eric said as he opened the door and there stood Vedo and the mannequins holding the rest of Sookie’s wedding ensemble.

“Wow!” Sookie breathed out.

“That’s what I said when I saw it,” Hopkins replied. “I will leave you to your business. You now know how to come and go backstage. I will be busy once the show starts. But you have the codes to the doors. If all else fails, just shout out at the stage like those in the pit. The actors never miss a beat and respond and just roll on. Old Willy would be proud.”

 

They had arrived early enough to locate their seats and to take a guided tour and to look about at the stage. It was a magnificent thing. The colors were incredible, even with the early night sky and the lighting.

“This is somethin’,” Sookie kept saying as they explored the stage. “Look at how they painted the ceiling! I just love this!” Then her eyes were drawn to the opening in the center of the arena.

Squeezing Eric’s hand tighter, he smiled at her and said, “Look at all those stars,” he bent down and lightly kissed her on the lips. “Good night for a wedding.”

 

Zara, Ziza and Zanny heard the fifteen minute call to opening curtain.

“I would be freezing my tits off,” Zara complained, “if it were not for this flesh colored thermal under things I have on. Seriously, Shakespeare dressed his Wyrds in rags? Just because you live on a Scottish mountainside does not mean you are poor. It just means you are scouting out the best place to build your fire and speak your peace to the all knowing. Stupid playwright male, anyway.”

Zanny eyed her would-be conspirator on the mountain. “Dear Willy was brilliant,” she snarked. “You do know Shakespeare did not have much of a say when it came to costumes. Just like today. They had a budget. Normally not a big one. It would depend on their hopefully wealthy sponsor.

The English Sumptuary Law of 1574 did make it possible for the actors to dress according to the rank of the person they were playing because clothing rules were strictly enforced. No one was to dress out of their class. That was the law. Off with your head and all that. But with the theatre all the rage, the law was changed in 1574 to allow actors to strut their stuff on stage in the gentry’s finery.

Those that stood in the pit, chances were very good that they had never seen a noble up close, so you got not only the play,” she stressed, “but a fashion show as well.”

“Well Miss La-Te-Da,” Zara glared at her. “I would still be freezing my tits off. This is just hilarious. The Three Sisters of Fate,” she threw her arms up and beckoned to the universe, “held no power or position so therefore went about in rags,” she gagged. “One to spin the thread, one to measure the thread and one to cut the thread,” she snorted. “And they were portrayed as poor hags.”

“They hung witches during Elizabeth’s time,” was Zanny’s come back as she leaned in closer and took a sniff and grinned. “I guess they were just damn lucky to be dressed in rags. Whether they be the Fates or no. I must say, Miss Runs at the Ignorant Mouth, you have never looked better.”

“Stop it you two,” Ziza stepped between the two of them. “I would say get into character but it sounds like you two are already there.

Do not get into a pissing contest,” she hissed as she placed her left had on Zanny’s chest and her right hand on Zara’s. “This had better be vowel perfect. Per-fect. As in not fucked up,” she looked from one to the other. “Because if we fuck this up King Hat will mummify us alive. So let us not be giving her a reason to have us tearing linen strips for us to dress in for our own afterlife party.”

The other two women nodded their heads in agreement.

“Good,” Zara took a deep breath. “Good. Now get your head in the game. There is the call. Five minutes to places. Then opening curtain. Break a leg.”

“Break a leg,” the other two muttered and all three slowly began rotating their heads with their mouths open and their eyes closed.

Tonight, they were going to make history. Redefine it and tell the world to kiss their ass because there was now a new world order. Slavery and abuse would be cherished. All the haves would own a have not and kill at will! And you could not escape your fate by dying. They would own your shade as well! Bow down and worship the Krasiki Koven!

 

“It is gettin’ ready to start,” Sookie whispered as she snuggled up next to Eric. “The lights are dimming.”

 

*Act 1

Scene 1. A desert place. Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.

 

 

*Shakespeare: Macbeth 1606