joyeux-noel

Chapter 28

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 28

Custer took the call and listened to Wion as he laid out the plan for the money.

“One hundred and twenty-five million in gold,” he repeated just in case his maker did not hear it.

The count nodded in agreement. “The cave in France has that much. We’ll just give him the grid co-ordinates when he has finished the job.”

Custer relayed the message and even Gaddy could hear the swearing.

“Not only no but fuck no,” Wion was cursing in French. “We want payment after the job is finished. As in tonight. We can warehouse it in England until we move it on a timetable that works best for us. Grid co-ordinates my ass!” he bellowed. “Gaddy needs to stop watching the Wheel of Fortune. I seriously doubt he even knows what that means.”

“I do too,” Gaddy hissed and fussed with his jewelry. “It has something to do with grids.”

“Master,” Custer eyed him and shook his head and placed a finger over his lips. “Yes or no.”

“Yes,” he stamped his foot. “Of course yes.”

“We have the gold here,” Custer said into the phone. “It is in bricks, coins, and maybe a statue or two. You give us what we want, I will show you where the horde is kept. The rest is up to you.”

“We will have the humans and the crown jewels. You make sure we get our payment.”

“Just let me stress, transport is on you,” Custer said.

“It all melts down,” Wion replied. “And I can drive a truck. We will see you with the new dark.”

“King Hat is in,” Max smiled as he hung up his phone. “She has called her girls in London and they are now prepping the spells and the blood they will be using. She assures me that by nine the house and surrounding grounds will be ready for us. She wants her million before she sends them out. I have already transferred the money to her.”

“Let me call my boys,” Wion was thoughtful. “We will be boots on the ground by noon. We’ll have some lunch, do a bit of scouting and by three this should be finished.

That will give us time to enjoy the humans a bit and then get our asses over to Gaddy’s to collect our payment.”

“No,” Max shook his head. “I mean it. No. And I will be telling mine to do whatever it takes to stop you from touching them. If you want to rape them, you talk to Gaddy about that after they are delivered. I want them in pristine condition. I mean that. You know Gaddy will be looking for any reason to defer payment. So you keep them shiny new and fresh. If I don’t make my money out of this deal, I will come looking for you,” he said pointing his finger at Wion. “And it will be the last deal you and I ever bargain, again. It will be the last deal you bargain with anyone.”

“I can take the hint,” Wion rolled his eyes.

“Good,” Max nodded, “because I am serious about this money. That last war you had me invest in did not go so well and our gold stockpile is down. It makes the tribe very nervous when their treasure horde is not what they think it should be.”

“Got it,” the Were nodded. “My last bastion of refuge…”

“You think this is a joke?” Max glared at him. “Have you ever seen a troll who thinks he has been cheated out of his money?”

“No,” Wion said, shaking his head.

“Then let’s get to work and make some money so you won’t be the subject of their wrath. Now, who are you putting in charge since you will not be in attendance?”

“A buddy of mine. Member of the Legion. Home on leave for Christmas. Grayson. He is a tunnel rat from way back. Not afraid of anything that lives underground.”

Max, King of the Trolls chuckled. “Most excellent. Since there are no trolls living under King Ian’s residence, he should do just fine. Let us make this happen.”

Max hesitated. “Go with more than ten Weres. Pay them less, whatever. But my life is at risk, here. If Northman survives this, we,” he pointed to himself and then to Wion, “are dead. We have no real idea just what kind of security British Isle has in place.”

“You know how vamps are,” Wion’s voice took on a whine. “They all hate technology. They will have some Weres with guns and silver bullets but they all live in whatever century they were turned because they think they really are all that. Just look at Gaddy. Apparently he keeps a hundred million in gold some where on his property. He has a few Were guards and his mantra…I am a scary vampire. Eat Were shit and die!”

“Do you know anything,” Max stressed, “about Northman? Because he really is that scary vampire and he fucking knows everyone. Those are his family’s crown jewels you are bringing in. Along with his wife. His wife,” Max stressed. “I fought with Eric during the last troll war. He is a brilliant tactician and leaves nothing to chance.”

“He is one vampire not expecting to be attacked,” Wion said with a sincere voice. “It is just his bad luck to be in residence with British Isle.”

“Take more than ten men,” Max stressed. “Ask yourself what your life is worth and act accordingly. Because if this goes to Were shit and Eric goes on the hunt, I am leaving a dossier about you where he can find it.”

“You think I lack good judgment in this matter?”

“Dossier,” Max repeated. “All about you and your favorite haunts.”

“Damn,” the Were said with a bit of chuckle to his voice. “You are serious. Well I can be as well. I will ask if there are a few more looking for work. After all it is the Christmas season.”

“Good,” Max nodded. “Now let’s make shit happen.”

 

 

 

The snow was still flying but it would be sunrise in the next forty-five minutes and Pamela was pouting. “It is just not right, my maker and husband to our Sookie, that you can be up and about and I cannot. I am to be put to bed and tucked in with the kings of Tweedle Dumb Land and he who rules over the land of Putt-Putt.”

Ian looked at Cedric. “I get the land of Putt-Putt.”

The Irish lad crossed his eyes and gave Ian the finger and then mooned Pamela.

“See,” she sighed. “Not very dignified and I would certainly not call them dangerous during the day.”

“Not dangerous,” both kings mouthed at each other and made a scary vampire face.

“I would not mind getting the bleeds…” she began.

“No,” Eric interrupted her. “And no,” he looked over at his two friends. “We are capturing all of it on video to watch at our leisure. You shall all be reposing today under the tower in Ian’s chambers. O.I. will have command of the air.”

“Yes,” Sookie waved at the group as she came in with a cup of coffee. “He has been trying to sell me on the idea of going shopping with Gran and Lafayette. I told him no way in hell…I just stopped off and chatted with my family, who are on their way down and they are not in favor of being forced to shop, either. We want to stay home, sip our hot chocolate and cheer our heroes on.”

“Well said, Miss Sooks. His La La Fineness is all-l-l-l in agreement about that,” he said with a snap of his fingers as he entered the room and eyed the chafing dishes across the room. “Cannot be writing this and that in our best seller based on scuttlebutt alone. Needs the facts, the experience and the reality. Not face-to-face, ‘cause we is lovers, not fighters. But live and in streaming colors is good enough.”

“So not fair,” Pam whimpered. “The humans get to watch in real time and I do not.”

“Such is the way of your time, child,” Eric said softly.

“Hah!” she made a face at him. “I am willing to bet the Mrs. said she would cut you off if you shipped her out with a credit card and the instructions to do as much shopping damage as possible.”

Sookie grinned.

Eric made a face.

King Eric chimed in. “She did indeed. There were words said but our Mrs. has half the money, to which she is entitled,” King Eric said with great reverence, “but she is also owner of all the pussy. Which…”

“Whack!” sounded throughout the room along with a screech followed by a lot of rude name-calling. All of it attached to the word Northman.

“Forgive him my bride,” Eric said raising her hand to his lips. “He is just overjoyed at being married.”

“Yes,” whimpered from Eric’s crotch, “overjoyed. Such a lovely creature you are and you are ours to love and cherish. Such a fine lady and the bringer of the light. You are not anything at all like the skanks I would have to…”

“Whack!” was heard again.

“Do not,” Eric hissed. “We do not ever discuss our past exploits in front of our bride unless she requests it.”

“Pardon,” was being sobbed. “I am such a big oaf. My manners were once upon a time were impeccable. This comes from associating with this big lug and the low life, Were shit dregs that…”

“Whack!” was heard again.

“Thank you King Eric,” Mrs. Northman smiled. “I understand what you are trying to say.”

“Such a lady,” he sighed as he shifted around in Eric’s pants. “And I am honored and grateful that you are ours.”

“Thank you,” she replied as she refilled her cup.

“Now,” she addressed the group. “It is supposed to snow all day. Are we making more snowmen? I saw the ones that were made during the night. I think that might help with the invasion. Make us look like we are more than what we really are.”

Eric shook his head no. “Humans are confined to the house. Witches should be this way directly. By mid morning I would think.

And after lunch, you shall be tucked neatly away. There are such things as stray bullets and flying shrapnel.”

“I can understand that,” she nodded.

“Good,” Eric smiled at her and pulled her up for a kiss. “I would hate for anything to happen to,” his voice dropped as he nibbled on her ear, “the owner of all the pussy.”

Samuel smiled at the happy couple. “My brother, I am going down into the tunnels.”

“I will see you there,” Eric replied as he kissed Sookie one more time and disappeared down one of many staircases.

“Let’s get something to eat,” Lafayette nodded toward the food that was calling to him and his tummy.

“Sounds good,” she nodded and taking his hand, with O.I. in the lead, they headed that way.

“The guards are all set,” Ian said in a low voice checking his site on his pad as he watched the humans walk away. “Everything is in position and looking for all the world just like every other day. Except, of course for the snowmen. I think they add a nice holiday touch. I love them in the top hats and holding a walking stick!”

Pam rolled her eyes at him.

“What?” he asked her.

“I might be willing to admit that as far as royals go, you are not so bad. I might even be willing to admit that your Irish brother is a fierce fighter and that he owes me money with interest being compounded daily. I might also be willing to admit that when it comes to tactical, you just might be a fucking genius. And oh, I also like your Christmas decorations.”

“Well thank you, Pamela,” he bowed his head. “Now, let us retire to my chambers where I have monitors covering every inch of my home,” he smiled. “And I have stashed a few cameras where no one would think to look. Perhaps because they are not on my property.

As long as none of us are bleeding, I think we can watch. So let us haul ass and lock ourselves in before The Viking shows back up and makes me unplug everything. You know how he gets.” Ian struck the perfect Viking pose and began in Eric’s voice. “It is perfectly fine for me to raise hell and cause trouble. After all…”

“Trouble is my middle name,” all three vampires said together as the walked toward the tower and rolled their eyes…and then snickered.

“We can sleep until it starts,” Ian grinned. “I will turn the volume up and when the ruckus begins, we will have first class seats.”

 

Samuel and Eric were down in the tunnels. Checking Ian’s wiring and have found the best site that the trolls would punch through to discover all was not as they would wish.

“Once the trolls see that it is fresh, moving water, they will have to have a change of plans,” Eric noted as they passed on through to the next intersection. “It all looks to be clean water.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded in agreement. “No sewage or run off. I don’t even smell mold. Cold, crystal clear water. They won’t be coming this way.”

“Nice, is it not, that vibrant, life giving running water sucks their strength right out of them, never to return,” Eric chuckled. “They avoid streams and rivers like humans do the plague.”

“Yes,” Samuel grinned. “You know your river front property is going to always be troll free.”

It was quiet once more as they turned the corner at an intersection.

“Are you going to call him?” Samuel asked as they waded through water to the last intersection.

Eric looked over at him and said nothing.

“Eric, you silence speaks volumes. You and Max go way back. You two have always dealt fairly with each other.”

“Yes,” Eric said as he inspected an explosive charge, “but I have never plotted to kill him. I think that changes things a bit.”

“Does it?” Samuel asked softly. “You play by your own rules, not the whims of others. More than once you have alerted your enemy that you were coming for them. You even spared Gaddy and that abomination Lorena Krasiki and her unholy child Compton after you found them playing hopscotch in the remains of that family.”

“This feels like betrayal,” Eric said as he stood looking at the blast radius. “And I have not yet decided how I want to deal with it. When I confront him will his ill deed, I will allow Max to change into a tux so that he will look dashing throughout history as he stands rock solid in Ian’s foyer with his hand outstretched receiving Ian’s guests business cards. Or perhaps he wants to stand the rest of his days as a statue with his pants down, bent over, mooning Ian’s guests. That works as well. They can leave their cards in his ass.

I have a human family now Samuel and until we figure out what Sookie’s super power is, it is just going to suck to be the bad guy. My sense of humor about killing you later has been left elsewhere. I am just going to kill you now.”

“Pretty words,” Samuel replied as they floated up and compared the diagram they held to what was before them, noting that nothing had changed. “Yet I hear no conviction in your voice when we discuss Max.”

Eric simply stared at Samuel and when his brother sighed, Eric shrugged and sighed as well. “He knows he is coming after me and he knows what to expect,” Eric stressed. “I would never go down without a fight. Whether it be in daylight or the dark. He knows that.” They were both silent as they continued walking. Eric broke the silence as he stopped and turned and addressed Samuel. “You know the old saying, let the troll bash down the door and then become the pavers his enemy will walk upon. There are no truer words. Max is smart. But he is still a troll and greed motivates them and their biggest problem is that they think they are indestructible except to another troll so they make a lot of stupid mistakes. They do not even count as tactical errors. Just sheer stupidity,” Eric said shaking his head, disgust on his face. “And Gaddy must be offering up a lot of money, probably gold, for Max to be coming after me. So let him come. I will be waiting.”

“So trolls won’t be coming this way,” Samuel said as he looked around. “Ian was brilliant to have his home plumbed, so to speak, with underground rivers coursing next to his walls.”

“Ian sheltered me after the troll war I participated in. I told him everything I know about them. Glad to see he took everything to heart.”

“He does have his moments,” Samuel grinned. “Do you think it was wise to put Pamela in with the Irish lad?”

“That is yet to be seen,” Eric chuckled. “Depends on whether or not she gets the middle chair in front of all the monitors. If Cedric is willing to give up his favorite spot, all just might be forgiven.”

Samuel made a face.

“Well, the compounded interest might be forgiven,” Eric chuckled.

“That’s better,” Samuel laughed. “I would hate to think our girl was…well…”

“Thinking she had enough money?” Eric asked.

“No. Just less of a bitch,” Samuel replied as they started for the exit out as the thunder shook the walls of the tunnel.

 

The five witches, Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower and Seed all sat in the cafe looking at their maps. They had gotten a phone call from The Farm and hauled their asses out at zero dark thirty to leave the warm comfort of their London loft apartment to trudge through the storm.

Root, being the oldest, had a case of the ass and was not embarrassed at all about bitching in front of her peers.

“Can someone explain to me why King Hat sent us out on the worst day of the year to spell the Vampire King of British Isle’s town home? It is not like we can walk up to the front gate, ring the bell and ask to be admitted. That would be maximum damage. This is just a fart in the wind. I have looked at these street corners we are supposed to stand on and chant,” she fussed while she looked at her map. “There is not one fucking building anywhere to block the wind, snow, or to buy a cup of tea. And her royal badass would not let us bring a mini thermos. Nothing to distract us from our work, she says. I am plenty distracted. That snow was blowing up my skirt and icing down my hooch. And is there,” her voice raised a little, “a reason we cannot wear underwear under these dresses? Her old-fashioned shit does not carry though to this modern age. I have yet to turn my x-boyfriend into a toad and it is not from lack of trying. I saw him the other night with his new girl at the pub and he was ordering regular food…not asking for insects at all.”

“Sh-h-h-h,” Seed whispered. “Things can hear and will report back.”

Root rolled her eyes. “Well yes, they can. But I have not seen one crow or raven or bird of any type since we left our loft. Those feathered spies have more sense and have stayed in their shelter. Which we should have done.

And save me from the voice of reason, Stem. She is not Queen Hatshepsut with the royal beard, making her the ancient pharaoh of Egypt. King Hat my ass,” she hissed. “I saw her nude, once. She has the small pox vaccine scar on her arm.”

“When did you ever see her nude?” Flower asked. “You were never one of her ladies-in-waiting. And if you were not one of her hand picked, you were not allowed anywhere near her private chambers.”

“Oh fuck,” Leaf shook her head and added another teaspoon of sugar to her tea, stirring the dark liquid vigorously to help with the tension that was building in her. “We are off to spell the British vampire king’s home and we have division in the ranks. How in the fuck do we make this happen if we all are not on task? Root, you need to stop with badmouthing the boss. She finds out that you are spreading lies about her, your fine ass will be out on the street, freezing everything before she sends a Were to eat you. Not without having his own brand of Were-wolf fun first, of course.”

We are not going to say anything to her about you, but give the goddess a break, would you? We have a sweet deal here. We get to practice our craft out of the way of everyone’s orders and eyes.

Yes, I think we all admit today is the worst day yet to be out doing this. And if we don’t do it right, King Ian will be having us for snacks and what is left of us The Farm will feed to…well…what ever it is she keeps in that pit. So fucking stop with the whining and let’s get on this. Have some more tea because we have to piss where we stand while we are chanting the last part.”

Seed took a final swallow and then swirled her tea leaves around and dumped them onto the saucer. “Well shit,” she sat staring at the image that was staring back at her. “Who read their tea leaves before we left?” she asked looking around the table that was tucked back into a corner.

Silence hung over the back of the room and a feeling of doom was crawling along the floor toward them.

“Just what the fuck am I looking at?” her voice was startled as she pushed the saucer to Leaf who was sitting to her left.

“Looks like five graves,” she whispered as she pushed it with her spoon to Flower.

“This is not funny,” Flower whispered. “What did we bring for personal protection? And just what does the vampire king have his home warded with? And why did The Farm not tell us this was a suicide mission?”

Stem was thoughtful as she pulled the saucer across the table towards her with her spoon. “Maybe,” she looked at each of her Wicca sisters, “maybe this is how many vampires are inside that shall meet the true death. This does not mean that it is us. It could be whoever is inside. Perhaps even humans. But it does not mean,” her voice got a little shrill, “that it is us.”

“Root, finish your tea and dump your leaves,” Stem said to her. “You two were the only ones who had loose tea leaves. We had the bagged.”

“No,” she said shaking her head. “I will not finish it and I will not,” she stressed, “dump the leaves. Our fate is our own. And if it is mine to die this day, so be it.

Do you hear that,” she smiled as she tilted her head to get a better listen. “That is thunder. We are having thunder snow. A sure and good sign,” she smiled at her sisters and nodded her head. “Yes, thunder snow in London. A good sign. Those graves are not meant for us, for we shall be victorious. It is for those that live in the house. Death to the vampire king of British Isle and all those that serve him. Those five graves are merely a representation of the many that shall die this day. Death to all in residence,” she smiled. “Let us go forth and conquer so we can return safely to our loft and contemplate the good we have done this day.

I knew this day would come,” she smiled at each one. “I knew our time would be. With the coming of the dragon we shall know real power,” she nodded her head as she lifted her pack from the floor. “I have been working on these for us,” she said as she took the velvet pouches from the bag and handed one to each. “We shall start our own coven,” she nodded.

“Is this silver?” Seed gasped. “Fucking shit, Root? Is this medallion silver?”

“I wish,” her smile brightened. “I wish we had that kind of money. No, it is a highly polished steel, made to resemble silver. But it is a powerful talisman. Do you see? The dragon’s body is in sections so that it drapes and locks securely around your neck. See,” she demonstrated to her group as she put hers on.

“Is this a mutiny?” Flower whispered. “Because we are running late. We were supposed to have this in place by nine and it is now almost eleven.”

“No,” Root shook her head. “We are late because of the storm. We cannot help that The Tube could only get us so far.

And we are not disparaging King Hat. We are simply taking on a name. No longer shall we be King Hat’s in London. We shall be the Dragon Coven in London.

Oh come on,” she hissed looking at doubtful faces. “Who is going to know? No one! Let us wear the necklace. And look, I have matching tips for our staffs. Enough of the self-doubt or those graves could be for us! Let us get dressed in our newest finery and own the day! We,” she touched each one on the hand, “we can own the day!”

They helped each other with the jewelry and then they dressed their stick.

“I feel like something special,” Seed grinned. “And after all, who is going to know?”

“That’s right, now out into the snow, place the spell, let the vampire household die and then home. I want to imbed some crystals in my staff,” Root said as they all took out their money and admired their newest look. “Make it my own.”

Paying their bill, they wrapped their capes back around them and opened the door as the snow pelted them in the face and the screaming winds pushed what warmth they had from their bodies. Their staffs’ went out before them providing an anchor and a hand hold as the wind pushed them back as it met them head on.

They made it to the end of the block where they were to split and each seek their own corner that was a point on the pentagram.

The wind died down so that they could actually hear each other talk.

“A blessing,” Leaf said as she kissed each on the cheek.

“Raise your staffs,” Root directed “and form the circle and touch the tips of power. We shall prevail and always prevail until the final hour.”

Standing in a small circle, they each raised their wooden staff and the metal tips touched in the center above their heads.

“We shall not be King Hat’s sacrifice to her many gods,” Root yelled in defiance. “Our magic is skilled and death follows those that think to ill repute us! We are the Coven of the Dragon and death lurks over our shoulders.”

“What?” they all looked at her startled.

“We are more than any false god shall ever be,” she declared. “And today, we are not afraid to die.”

Root’s last words was followed by a crash of thunder that shook the ground, followed by a flash that cut through the snow and brought arching daylight to the over cast corner. The heat of 53,540 degrees Fahrenheit, 5 times hotter than the sun, went searching for a contact point. The lightning found the metal tipped staffs and followed it down to the hands of its owners. For one heartbeat the coven was frozen in time before the lightning found the necklace and removed the head from each one.

 

 

It was short notice but very doable. Wion had called, offered money and the killing and kidnapping plan had become a go.

Grayson was standing in the back of the Range Rover with the tailgate open. There were ten more parked behind him in this warehouse that was theirs for the using for the next week. That had been part of his deal. He was in need of a London based site for a couple of days and this deal worked out well.

There were thirty of the meanest, roughest, most unsanitary men in the business lounging around the area. There was a fire in the coal furnace and the trolls kept tossing in coal and watching the furnace belch smoke. It amused them greatly.

Ryce Grayson finally had to open a window or choke on the soot in the air. There was a reason you had to have a special permit to run one of these beasties. Apparently whoever owned the warehouse did not give a rat’s ass. Not that he did either.

The Vampire King of British Isle’s home was a matter of public record. Books had been written about the place and every year it appeared is some architectural magazine. There was plenty of information about the place and he had been studying it since he got the phone call if he wanted the job.

Everyone was hunched over information and reading like crazy. There was a slight change in their game plan.

At that moment his phone rang. About fucking time Wion got back to him!

“About fucking time you returned my call,” Grayson jeered at the phone. “We have a change in the game. The first part of that is we want more money. Two million apiece!” his voice was low and dangerous.

“What happened?” Wion asked, “and okay, I’ll get you more money. I cannot guarantee two million at this point. But a million plus, yes, doable I think. So what has changed?”

“The trolls,” he said as he watched them throw more shovels of coal into the furnace, “apparently there are fresh water rivers that run around the perimeter. They will not go into them. They have no problems bashing through the wall that surrounds the house, which will of course bring guards with lots of ammo, but we are not busting through the bottom and coming in unannounced.”

“Well fuck,” Wion sighed. “Trolls do not like fresh water. No sewers, huh?”

“Not a one to be found,” Ryce replied.

“What can I do to help?” the Were asked.

“Get us the 2 mil. We will handle everything else from our end. The trolls can bash through the garden area. That wall backs up to forest. No one will see us coming in. The storm works to our advantage. Everyone on the block will be inside and with the thunder, should help with the sound of the bullets. I will talk with you later. In another hour we are moving out and should be boots on the ground by two. The deed done by three. And I will be back with you at four, wanting to know where I can pick up our gold.”

“Solid plan,” Wion nodded to himself. “Make shit happen,” he said as Ryce replied, “Make shit happen,” and hung up.

 

Eric was standing at the window and watching the back garden wall.

“Those trolls are ugly things,” Sookie said as she slid up next to him and put her arm around his waist.

“For as dark as it is in those tunnels, Ian gets remarkably good resolution. Of course, when you spend the money, you can get whatever you want.”

“So, you think they are coming over the garden wall?” Sookie asked, trying to peer past the snow.

“Absolutely,” Eric nodded. “Backs up to trees. No one can see them as they approach.

They will be leaving feet first, what ever is left of them. Ian does not take kindly to coming under attack. He takes on that siege mentality. You know, if 20,000 rounds of bullets are good, 250,000 rounds per weapon is even better.”

“Ouch. Sucks to be the bad guy,” she smiled up at him.

“Indeed,” Eric grinned. “And plus Samuel is here with his guards and I guess it has been quiet around Samuel for the past couple of decades and they are all grinning like they…” Eric stopped.

“Like they spent the night in a whore house, I believe is how that phrase is finished,” Sookie kissed him on his chest. “So they are also spoiling for fight?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “Since the trolls are not knocking through, they have pulled whatever information they kind find and are dutifully studying the outside grounds. I would give them until around two. They want the job finished before vampires start to rise. And you just never know how early the really old ones can be up and about during the winter this far north. They will be erring on the side of caution.

Now let’s find Lafayette. I know Gran is locked in with Scully.”

“You bet she is,” Sookie’s smile got bigger. “I don’t know what type of automatic weapon that woman has been practicing with down in the basement, but she says she is now a real badass. Anyone tries to hurt her man and that is the last thing they will do.”

“You like the M-16?” Eric asked as he pushed back her hair.

“You bet I do. American made. And I have several crates of ammo myself. Lafayette and O.I. are finishing off the ice cream trifle. Lafayette will be here as soon as the last spoonful of goodness is gone and then we shall retire and watch the battle through the all knowing and powerful magic of wi-fi.”

“Most excellent my wife. And here comes our dashing duo now. I believe I see an ice cream mustache on O.I. I am taking that as a sign. Let us to war.

Samuel,” he said into his headset. “I am tucking the family away. Be with you in one moment.”

 

The Rovers pulled up in the woods, a hundred yards from the wall. They were all dressed in winter camouflage. A white ski mask pulled down over their faces kept their it dry while it kept their hair from snagging on the under brush.

Their polarized goggles were in place. Grayson held up a fist and they all spread out. The advance team going forward, signaling in his earpiece that they were on the move.

The van with the trolls in the back pulled up. When the doors opened, the trolls hopped out, bringing their clubs with them.

“Just big ugly mothers,” Grayson said to no one as they approached. “Let’s move forward,” he said to the two who would never be mistaken as human, were draped and belted in white sheets. “Once we are given the all clear, gentlemen, the wall is yours.”

 

 

Sookie and Lafayette were in Ian’s chambers and settling in with a bowl of sweet and salty kettle popcorn each and a root beer float when vampires began to fill the chairs beside them.

Cedric climbed into Ian’s chair and said nothing as Pamela came in dragging her blanket and pillow with her.

“Look Irish,” she went around and stood in front of him. “I might be willing to forgive you the interest if you move your ass out of that chair.”

“Ahhhh, you a mean-in’ this chair?” he asked lovingly as he ran his hands down the arms of the butter soft leather. “This lovely chair that has the best seat in the house for watchin’ the humblin’ of some trolls, Weres and who knows what else at the hands of your maker and his brother. Not to mention the fire of a dragon that I have been hearin’ you have the hots for.”

Pa was licking her lower lip. “And I will forgive you for torching my house as well.”

Cedric grinned. “And I want to keep my braggin’ rights.”

“Well fuck,” Pam stomped her foot.

“Best be hurrin’ lass. I can see your maker on top of the tower, watchin’ it all in real time as they think to advance.”

“Fuck yes,” she said as she pulled him up and pushed him onto the floor as she snuggled in with her blanket and pillow, her eyes following the action on all the monitors.

“Let the games, begin,” she snickered. “And are those trolls wearing sheets? Belted on with…another sheet? I love this kind of entertainment,” she grinned and then laughed out loud when one troll tripped over his hem and with a resounding thud, the shock wave was picked up on the seismograph. “It is just the best. Oh wife to my maker, would you care to share my chair?”

“No thanks,” Sookie waved at her. “I am content here with my popcorn and float. Got everything laid out just the way I like it. But thanks for offering.”

Pam nodded. “That was the polite thing to do. Eric will be impressed. We all need to be sure and tell him so he will not be so pissed about me being up.”

There was a round of applause. “Good,” Ian grinned. “Our girl is still working the angles.”

“Yes,” Pam smiled and winked. “And now it was time to be the all time bitch.

Pull their fucking heads off my maker!” she cheered. “They are going to damage Ian’s wall. I think you should heal them so you can pull their heads off twice!”

“Just sad,” Ian remarked. “They think they are being stealthy? And what…they blend in with the snow? Maybe if you were a dog you would have a difficult time seeing them. But my gawd man,” Ian was shaking his head in dismay. “Your heat signature is enough to light up London at night.”

“Must be one of those that believes that we never progress out of the century we were turned,” Cedric rolled his eyes. “I believe our very fine boy’o Eric started that bit of mythos.”

“Seriously,” Sookie looked over at him.

“Yes his Mrs.,” Cedric nodded. “We perpetuate whatever his Viking fineness puts out there.”
“Yes,” Ian intoned in his most priest like voice. “Push forward the words of The Viking and live long and prosper according to the fullness of your time. Amen and amen.”

“Sh-h-h-h,” Pam hissed. “Ian, there goes your wall. The first blow is about to be delivered.

Oh, that’s interesting. It is going to be a one-two punch. The trolls are apparently doing their version of rock, paper scissors to see who get to go first.

Okay, the tall ugly one. Looks like he won. Up with the club and pound once and tall and ugly number two pounds the second time and oh…” she sobbed, “Ian, they have breeched your very fine garden wall.”

“They are pouring through just like they have good sense,” Ian shook his head. “I would call that a kill zone. Nothing tactical about that at all.

Well and thank goodness, they are now all onto the grounds. Looks to be about thirty of them. Oh-h-h-h and did you see that snowman pull out a weapon and dispatch the one closest to him. Those silencers are really top notch.

And down goes another one. And yet another.”

“I am a bit disgruntled,” came O.I’s voice over their head sets. “These mo’ foer’s are droppin’ like flies over a flame. I just love seein’ those snowmen come to life and their weapons spittin’ little flames of death!

Oh wait,” he chuckled, “I have a big billowin’ flame of death. And those trolls are head right to the library wall,” he titched, under his breath. “I love havin’ breakfast with the family there in the library. Flame on!” he laughed as he began his dive.

“Well Were shit!” O.I complained over the headset. “Mr. Eric and Brother Samuel has done pulled those nasty assed trolls’ heads off. Pbbllltttttt!” he snorted. “Looks like I got no braggin’ rights and all I gots is the clean up on aisle six. Unless you want to keep those mo fo’ers.”

“No,” Eric shook his head as his eyes lifted skyward. “If you would do the honors. Please do not even leave ash.

And not to worry O.I.,” he waved as the dragon landed and began flaming the bodies. “We still have to go and see Gaddy. You can be the first thing he sees when he rises,” Eric laughed wickedly, “for the very last time.

And is there a reason my friends and my child are up?” and you could hear the sound of displeasure in his voice.

“Old vamps, winter hours,” Ian laughed over the headset. “Please Eric. Let’s not be a scold. The sun is going down and I cannot see one drop of troll blood on you and we need to get to Gaddy’s to meet and greet. And Samuel is his same handsome self. Not a hair out of place. And O.I. is always splendid, so handsome. So tasteful.

Inside with our heroes so you can be made much off.”

“When are you going to contact Max?” Lafayette asked as he thumbed his mic.

“After we finish with Gaddy,” Eric replied as he toed the troll with his foot. “O.I. You need to burn the head first with these two. Then the body. That is the troll way to keep them from regenerating.”

“Will do,” the dragon said as he fluttered up, pausing in mid air to admire a snow flake. “I’m about to finish up. Thinkin’ I will be done flamin’ when I do these two. We are coming in for our hero salutations and kisses.”

“Then back to business,” Eric sighed as he and Samuel watched the king of the dragons melt the head of a troll then torch the body. As O.I. turned to start on the second troll, the eyes opened and he screamed, “It’s a dragon! Come to eat my gizzard!” as the mouth then hung open in the death gasp and spittle ran out off the teeth.

“Come to eat your gizzard,” O.I. rolled his eyes. “You should be so lucky…

Flame on, you mo fo’n killers of innocents. Hopes your troll happy asses is burnin’ forever.”

 

When they entered the house, there was cheering and hugs and big hurrahs! Sookie wrapped herself around Eric and kissed him until she could not breathe, her hands pulling him in closer and deeper. When they broke apart she put another small kiss on his lips. “I can see why you invest heavily in technology. Ian’s war room is just amazin’. And those snowmen were just the cutest and most deadly thing I have seen in a while. I mean, it was like Frosty comin’ to life. They really are snowmen, right, with it hollowed out with a human on the inside just waiting?”

“Something like that,” Eric nodded. “When you said you wanted to build snowmen, well…it was Ian’s idea.”

“So are we off to Gaddy’s?” she asked.

“Samuel and I are going. Along with O.I. Everyone else is staying home.   Just safer that way.”

“Okay,” she nodded. “I will be right here waitin’ for you.

Eric,” she looked up at him, “I love you.”

“Lover,” he rubbed his nose against hers, “for whatever days we have together, I am blessed to be loved by you. And I have given to you all that I am, whatever love dwells inside of me, it is yours. Know this and never doubt it.”

“Just come home to me,” she tiptoed up and kissed him on the lips. “Be safe and come home to me.”

“This I shall do,” he replied as he ran his fingers through her hair and his hand slid down her arm and took her hand. Raising it to his lips, he kissed it.

“Samuel,” Eric looked over at his brother. “Let us to war.”