In memory of Nelsan Ellis
November 30, 1977-July 8, 2017
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.
There were no happy sounds coming out of the car. There was a lot of “mo’ fo’n vampire!” and just “mother fucker” in general, mixed in with other terms of body positions and what to do with them.
Listening, Eric thought that even as vampire he would no be able to do one or two of them.
Approaching him was a black, gay male. Handsome. Despite his foul vocabulary, you could hear the education in his voice. So this guy was not stupid or enamored of Sookie. But he loved her, just as he loved Samuel.
His eyes went to the female, who was holding this flamboyant gay man’s hand. “How does he look so gorgeous on such notice? His makeup is perfect. Good thing Pam is not here, she would drain him just because he is prettier than she is,” Eric said to himself as they continued walking towards the front porch.
“Damn,” he congratulated himself, “I pegged her right down to her cute button of a nose,” he thought as he watched the female approach him with a firm and stately stride. “Miss Stackhouse is every inch a Viking. Not a very tall Viking,” he chuckled silently. “But a Viking. Clearly Uncle Axel had very good genes.”
“Tracked you through the mind link,” the male said as they approached. “Mo’ fo’n,” he hissed. “And he is kin…those mother fuckers will take advantage of yous every times and a half and even when the opportunity does not present itself. There they are…all wide eyed with their hand out and wantin’ and puttin’ you out.”
Sookie said nothing, just put her arm around him and hugged him to her. They stopped walking when they were face to face with the vampire.
“I believes you heard all of that,” he said. “I knows you talked money with my girl and workin’ hours and the this and that. Did you at anytime tell hers just how dangerous it is to be sportin’ a business card with yous name on it? How her life can take a turn for the worse just like that!” he said with a snap of his fingers while they circled his face. “Hell no,” he spit out. “Cause this is just the daily deadly biz of fangin’ and walkin’ the night and sleepin’ the day. And don’t start the bullshits where she is on the sidelines and maybe and maybe not safe given your bull shittin’ this and that and the time of the month.”
“Eric Northman,” Sookie began slowly, “I would like for you to meet the brother of my heart, Lafayette Reynolds. Lafayette, this is Eric Northman.”
“Wishes I could say I was pleased and pleasured. But I am still out on that one,” Lafayette said as he looked Eric up and down. “Mo’ fo’n. Even better lookin’ in person. No wonder they gots him on the boob tube and everywhere else women wanders.”
“Oh, he has lady skills,” Sookie agreed, nodding her head in agreement. “Little boy grin. Lovely smile. All serious when he needs to be. And that has just been past hour that I have spent with him. Wiles, why I am sure he has them.”
“And spent a thousand years perfecting them,” Eric added, very serious. “Mr. Reynolds, you are correct to be concerned for her. You saw what was after me tonight at the mall. There has been only one other time that someone managed to come after me in my own home. She was the Queen of the Old Empire. She met the true death at my hands and that of my brother Samuel. My friends agree that this is a woman coming after me.”
“Shocker,” Sookie snickered and rolled her eyes.
“You two gots a vibe thang goin’?” Lafayette cut in looking from one to the other. “I sense a vibes thing. Never wrong. How come?”
“He has been inside my head,” Sookie was not at all pleased. “And knows one or two things about me.”
“Oh,” was all Lafayette said as he took a step back. “Lots of dangerous mo’ fo’ers involved here Miss Sooks. You tells me what you wants to do.”
“Don’t be the vampire,” Sookie said looking up at Eric. “Do not. You have no idea where that will lead. And if you dare to trespass, it just might be the last thing you will ever do.”
“Those are very big words from such a small human, blue lightning or not. Here stands two humans alone with a very old and very fast vampire. You could both be dead in a matter of seconds.”
“Wrong thing to say mo’ fo’er,” O.I. bellowed as he lifted off from around Lafayette’s neck. With his force of will he shoved Eric to the ground. “Just shows us your true colors, mo’ fo’er,” he roared. “Tries it! Just tries to lift yourself or even your tiniest of fingers up off the ground. Drop them fangs. I will pulls them! Would be my pleasures to flame your ass into nothin’!”
“Dragon…” Eric managed to get out. “Grandmother said they really did exist,” and on his face was a look of shock and pleasure.
“Mo’ fo’n right,” O.I. said as he sat on Eric’s chest. “Looks like you could use a shave,” he said as he ran a talon along Eric’s cheek.
“Yes, of course,” Eric’s voice was subdued. “Whatever you think best.”
“Damn straight,” O.I. nodded as he slid his talon over Eric’s face. “Needs to be careful not to nick such prettiness’,” he smiled at the vampire, “or slip and cuts your heart out.”
“I would appreciate that,” Eric said keeping perfectly still.
“Yous done fucked up,” O.I. regarded him as he ran his claws over Eric’s chest. “Nice,” he smiled to himself. “My big mans, I still has the touch. Light as a baby’s kiss my touch is. We all in agreement here?” he asked looking at Eric.
“Absolutely,” Eric managed a small nod. “One hundred percent. Best shave ever.”
“Good,” O.I. grinned at him. “Glads to hear we are all in agreement ‘bout’s that. Now let us moves on. What’s this ‘bouts paying Miss Sookie and my big man? Any truths in that? Tell O.I., now, you lying or is you sincere?”
“Very sincere,” Eric nodded as he felt the dragon hold him with his eyes and the words volunteered to come out of his mouth.
“So how is we gonna do this?” O.I. asked politely.
“My brother, he will make the arrangements.”
“He speaks truths, my big man,” O.I. said turning to look at Lafayette.
“Mighty fine then,” Lafayette nodded. “Let’s talk money. I gots my lawyer self along with me tonight and we wants two million up front. As in right now. If Mr. Slick and Charmin’ lives to see another sunrise, that is on him. Be we ain’t quitin’ our jobs on his say so for a monthly payout that may or may not be there if someone catches up with him. We will just be callin’ it goods faith money. His money, our good faiths.”
“I can do that,” Eric nodded. “If you will just let me up…”
“What is the mo’ fo’n magic word?” O.I. batted his eye-lashes at him.
“Please,” Eric replied with a sincere smile.
“Watchin’ you,” the king of the dragon’s said, death in his voice. “You thinks you is fast. Test me. Go aheads,” he grinned, “you knows you wants too.”
“How old are you?” Eric asked.
“Since the beginnin’ of time. Not to be braggin’ none and not sayin’ that I an angel, but I gots angelics fast to your slow mo’ fo’n vampish haul my tired old ass ways down the big road.”
The vampire was gone.
“See Eric,” O.I. laughed out loud as he flew in carrying Northman by the shoulders. “See Eric runs. Run Eric runs. See O.I. flies. Flies, O.I. flies.”
With a plop Eric was back down on the ground on his back.
“Want’s to try that again?” the king of the dragons chuckled. “If you asks real polite like, I would even’s give you a head start. I’ll catch up with yous at the Artic Circle and fly yous ass on back from there as well.”
“No,” Eric replied as he sat up. “I need answers. Let’s talk business.”
“Big mans, get your lawyer self on. You writes it up and I will be checkin’ for truths as he speaks it along.”
“Most excellent,” Eric stood up brushing himself off.
“Miss Sooks, I would say it was safe to be invitin’ his vampire self on in,” Lafayette nodded. “My big mans, I would say he had this.”
“I would agree to that,” Eric nodded as they all started toward the porch steps.
“Eric Northman,” Sookie said opening the door, “won’t you please come in?”
They all sat at the dining room table. Eric had his phone tied into The Da’vid network and then he made the phone call.
“Eric, my brother,” Samuel was jovial,” twice in one night. I am so blessed. Have you figured out who is looking for you?” he asked, concern in his voice.
“No,” Eric replied. “But I need you to set up an account for me. The woman who helped me in the mall, I found her. And I am at her home now with her brother Lafayette and,” he eyed O.I. “and Lafayette’s brother, O.I., King of the Dragons.”
“Tru dat,” the small dragon nodded his head and waved at Brother Samuel when Eric turned the phone his way.
Samuel only blinked and said, “I know you.”
“Tru dat,” the small dragon grinned.
“Northman, shoulds hads said you knew The Da’vid. Would have been a mite bit nice to you…well maybe…and only a mite,” the dragon grinned.
Squaring his shoulders, Eric continued. “This is Sookie Stackhouse, Druid extraordinaire, my savior for the evening and my Uncle Axel’s descendent,” as he panned the phone her way.
Sookie waved, smiled and gave a small nod of her head.
“Most excellent,” Samuel grinned. “Tell me what is needed.”
There was no negotiating. Lafayette told Samuel what they wanted, Eric nodded and Samuel input the information.
“So in essence, you want your own business,” Samuel said as he keyboarded along, “so that you can pay Lafayette for helping you. That is correct?”
“Not takin’ her money,” Lafayette said with his arms crossed. “Don’t minds none workin’ for it, but Miss Sooks, you is just not gonna be handin’ me my daily breads. Not while I can works.”
“Yes sir,” she nodded at Lafayette. “So Samuel, yes, I want to be incorporated,” she nodded.
Samuel nodded in agreement. “Now, though my insurance business, I can set you two up with medical, dental insurance, even optometry. I would advise this. Gives you some tax breaks.”
“Since my office is gonna’ be in the house, do you,” she hesitated, “do you do homeowners or somethin’ like that as well? If they come lookin’ for Eric and burn me out, I am gonna need funds to…well…replace it.”
“Absolutely,” he nodded. “I will add that to the contract. You will have business credit cards and a checkbook. Also, business cards. I will be your accountant, so you just submit all your receipts to me.”
Eric did a double take. The person who ran the world’s money just agreed to be Sookie Stackhouse’s accountant!
“Excellent,” Sookie smiled. “So what I cannot figure out, I subcontract that to someone who can and write them a check.”
“That is correct Miss Stackhouse,” Samuel smiled at her. “You will get the hang of this. Just keep a paper trail. The government loves a paper trail. All your business transactions are above-board and legitimate. Now, have you thought of a name for your business?”
“My gran always used to say that this was a Druid’s house, you know, when things would get a bit odd or strange. Well, things have gotten very odd and very strange. So I think Druid’s House would be appropriate. Lafayette, you mind workin’ for a company with that name?”
“Miss Sooks,” he reached across the table and took her hand. “Rights now, I works at Merlotte’s Bar and Grill for minimum wage and no tips. Don’t come any more red neck or back water than that. Just sayin’. No offense Sam. I can certainly works for a spiritual frame of mind business that pays me six figures.”
“I want a will or somethin’,” Sookie said. “If anythin’ happens to me, all of this goes to Lafayette. Company, house, land, whatever I own at the time is his.
Jason Stackhouse, where ever that whore lovin’ miser is, can just continue on.”
“Got that,” Samuel nodded. “I will write that into the contract and back that up with a will.”
“Thanks,” Sookie nodded. “Samuel, what else do I need to know?”
“Please,” he smiled at her. “Help my brother. He really is not a bad sort and I love him.”
“I will do my best to uphold my end of this bargain,” Sookie’s voice was confident. “Now, when does all of this take effect?”
“Druid House just went on-line with Sookie Stackhouse as the CEO. Your taxes are paid for this year, you have insurance. You have purchased a computer and a printer for your business. They will be delivered, today. You will be able to print off your insurance cards and tax statement. I am forwarding you that account number. Also, a Jeep Grand Cherokee will be delivered to you as well. Tag, title and license are included. If you look at Eric’s phone, you have in your account 1. 3 million dollars.”
“Wow…” in her voice was wonder. “And wow…that’s a chunk of change missing.”
“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “You are registered, everywhere with all licenses required by the feds, state and parish governments. Most of these are a one shot deal, but some will have to be renewed every year. This years’ taxes took its toll.
I have set up your payroll account. All seems to be in good order. Please Miss Stackhouse, see to my brother.”
“Thank you Samuel, I will,” she nodded as she sat back in her chair and felt herself relax. She had been tense the entire time and had not realized it.
“So, first order of business,” she smiled at Lafayette. “You go home and get some sleep. I will be up with Eric doing a reading and answerin’ his questions. I am gonna need you to be my day guy, Lafayette, whenever you get up. And oh…I need to call Sam and tell him I am givin’ notice. You need to do that as well, unless you still want to work his hours.”
“Makin’ that call on the drive home,” Lafayette said with a snap of his fingers. “That burger fryin’ grill and myself is partin’ ways. Wants me to tell him you are givin’ notice as well?”
“That would be helpful, ‘cause I don’t know how long this is gonna take. And Sam needs to know soonest.”
“My little mans and me, we is out the door and I ams turnin’ off my phone and sleepin’ the dead for the next couple of hours. I wills be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed whens I wakey wakey.”
“Love you,” she smiled and hugged him.
“Love you more,” he hugged her back and with an air kiss to each cheek and a flutter of the hand, the screen door opened and closed and she was alone with Northman.
“You have powerful friends,” she said to him as she pulled out her rune bag.
“I also have powerful enemies,” he reminded her.
“Yes you do,” she sighed in agreement. “I have witnessed that first hand. Let’s get started. I generally start with just a reading. You up for that?”
“Yes,” he nodded. “I believe I am.”
“Give me a number between one and twenty-four.”
“Five,” Eric answered with surety. “I am the Sheriff of Area 5 and I was born on the 5th day of the week. Five is my number.”
“Five it is,” Sookie said as she reached into the bag and pulled out five staves. “Since five is your number, this reading is about you. Do you object?”
Turning them over she began, “Teiwaz, Radio, Uruz, Dagaz, Eihwaz,” Eric nodded in agreement as he followed along.
“You honor justice and this is your strength. It sets your personal rhythm and this is the core of yourself. This can only be changed by you and your sense of purpose.
Now Tiewaz is number 17 on the Aettir. 1+7=8.
Raido is 5. 8+5=13.
Uruz is 2. 2+13=15
Dagaz is 23. 2+3=5 . 5+15=20
Eihwaz is 13. 1+3=4 4+20=24. 2+4=6.
Kenza is number 6 on the Aettir. Your vision of self remains true but you will be changed and your world shall alter according to your needs. You shall be given new gifts, supremacy and drive.”
She could see him digesting that as he stared at the staves laid out in front of him. “My grandmother pulled the same runes and spoke over me the same words. So my sense of self is getting ready to change, again.”
“Before you were turned?” Sookie asked softly.
“Yes,” he nodded. “Now, down to business. Who is trying to kill me?”
“Berkano,” she said laying it down. “Not kill you. Birth. Looking for the promise of new beginnings and desire. Definitely a love affair is what they are after. And children.”
“They want me alive…” his voice trailed off.
“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “Berkano, birth. Fertility. Berkano’s number is 18. 1+8=9 and nine is Hagalaz.”
“The wrath of nature,” Eric murmured. “Destruction on a grand scale.”
“She,” Sookie paused, “she wants to mate with you and produce children and their calling shall be the wrath of destruction.
I have to ask, are you fertile?”
“No,” and she could hear the humor in his voice.
“But someone thinks you are,” she said pointing to the staves. “And that someone is,” she started pulling the staves from her pouch. Kenza, Ansuz, Nauthiz, Tiwaz, Ansuz jumps into place and Laguz. So, Kantal…or I guess that could be Cantal.”
Eric looked perplexed. Taking out his phone he put in Kantal. Then Cantal.
“Cantal is a cheese. Has been around since Pliny the Elder wrote about it in the first century. So perhaps it is even older than that.”
“So she goes by Cantal,” Sookie pondered that. “Can she really be that old? All the way back to the 01 A.D?”
“Yes,” Eric nodded. “But no one comes to mind. My maker would have been that old…but…” Eric shook his head. “He met the true death.”
“But maybe someone he knew,” Sookie looked at him. “Maybe his maker.”
Eric blinked. “He never mentioned her. And since he did not speak of her, I did not ask.”
“Would she know about you? Would your maker have kept you a secret?
And if she just found out about you, would she want you to have children with?” Sookie stared at him. “If she is vampire, she has to know how all this works.”
Eric was watching Godric in his mind. His maker. Solid, staid, and his wit very dry. He spoke of world events and how they would impact humans and vampire. But he never spoke of his maker. “Can you answer yes or no, true or false?”
“Of course,” she replied. “Where do you want to start?”
The hours slipped away as Eric ferreted out information one rune at a time. He was running his own little blind test with Miss Stackhouse. Changing up the questions, pausing for her reactions. Keeping her one-off and him in control of the flow of information. She had been spot on with the first drawing of the runes. Those had been the exact same ones his grandmother had drawn and her words verbatim. He had no doubt she was the real deal, but he just could not have information about himself fall from the runes and into her hands.
“Money well spent,” he said pushing back in his chair. “I stayed much longer than I intended. Sunrise is getting ready to be a horizon event. Would you mind if I went to ground on your property?”
“No,” she slowly shook her head, “not at all.”
“What?” Eric asked watching her closely now. “You hesitated.”
“It is a matter of trust,” was all she offered in reply as she stood.
“Good for you,” he smiled at her and then frowned, tilting his head to one side as if listening.
“No,” he hissed, “and then no!” he roared.
“What?” she asked taking a step toward him.
“They have Pamela. Silvered her. There is a lot of pain and…and…she had been put into a box and is being carried out of the club.
Sunrise is in five minutes,” he bellowed. “Fucking Were shit!”
“Can we track her?” Sookie asked.
“I am the only one who can,” he cursed in frustration.
“Then let’s get on with this,” her voice held steady. “Follow me.”
“Where?” he hissed and then he realized she had gone into the kitchen. When he stepped in, she had slid a cheap frame with a photo of flowers in it to one side and a door had opened.
“This way,” was all she said as she descended into the earth.
He could smell it. An old root cellar of some sorts. Walking over to the opening, when he stepped in, she pulled a lever and the wall slid back into place. Lighting the candles with her blue spark, they descended the ten steps and as there was more light, he realized this was not a root cellar. Had never been. It was a cave and he could feel the vibrations that the walls gave off. The only thing they had stored in here was magic!
“The house sits on the intersection of two Ley Lines,” she said as she pointed to a rock that was two foot by two foot square. “This…this work station,” she said, nodding to herself. “It came from Cornwall and it sits dead center of the two so it hums of its own accord.
Was probably used as an altar and only God knows what else. But I just use it to mash herbs on and what my Druid self tells me that needs to be done. Now, I need you to sit here,” she indicated, pointing with her hand as she pulled out her bag of runes.
“How is this going to help?” he snarled.
“You need to rescue your child. I understand that,” she said softly. “So my time has come. Just as Gran said it would. You are a part of my family that makes her a part of my family. The time has come for the rest of your life.”
“What?” he said sitting down.
“Remove your clothes,” she said sitting down on a low stool. “To save your family, you do what you can. Now is the time for you to become more. Vampire enhanced, maybe,” she nodded to herself. “Like the rune said.
My gran, I think, I think she saw you comin’. She taught me things I did not think I would ever need to know and here I sit.
Raido! She said each rune with power and it appeared before her, transparent, just like from the vaporous ether magical world where it had lived, floating on the air.
“Daywalker,” Eric breathed out as his hand reached out to touch the ghost runes. “You can do this?”
“Fuck,” she sighed, “Gran seemed to think so. Apparently you are not the first vampire to pass its way into our clan.
There is a ritual. I will burn each rune into your chest. When I do, you will nick a different one of my finger’s for each letter. I will smear that blood onto that letter. When I have finished, you will nick both my palms.
I will place them on the runes and then I will set you on fire one more time.
Then you drink from me and that sets all this in motion. After you have had my blood and it courses through you, I will hit you one more time with the blue flames. This will cause your vampire layer of skin to burn off. That is why you have to be nude.”
“Where on you?” he asked.
“What?” she looked puzzled.
“Where on you do I drink?”
“My inner thigh. You ready?” she asked.
“Waste no more time,” he replied standing as he undressed. “They have my child.”
There was intense pain when the light of the rune touched him, and then he felt nothing once her blood was applied. Across his chest, he felt each rune etch itself into him and those powers that it held became his as he felt himself becoming more!
When she had finished she held up both palms. With a flick of his wrist, there was a small gash across both and she leaned forward and rubbed her life’s essence all over his open wounds.
Then there was the flame and he felt and smelt the sizzle of his skin and her blood!
When she drew back, she stood. Since she was short, her thigh would never reach his mouth. Pulling her right foot up onto the stone, he lifted her skirt and pulled her leg to his mouth. Licking the pulse point, she placed both hands on his shoulders and he bit.
She was delicious and he wanted more but it was denied him. Not of his own accord, he slowed down and withdrew his mouth, her skirt dropping back into place.
“Continue to sit,” she said as she took a step back. “I have to light you up.”
Yes, he felt the runes chattering inside of him. He knew this last step to be true. To set them ablaze and seat them inside of him. “Do it,” he nodded.
When she raised her hands this time, he could see the wildness in her eyes. Something had been unleashed inside of her.
The air was beginning to tingle. He could feel the electrical currents push through him.
When she lifted both hands, the blue light filled the chamber and it echoed through every cell in his being!
He screamed with pleasure and pain and because the scream would give life to a new creature! There was no denying this. She had burned away the old. He could see it as it flaked off around him, the sizzling bits in the air. That was him! The old vampire Eric. Here sat the new vampire Eric!
When it stopped, the madness that had danced around the chamber ended. An echo of it here and there but only at a distance. Like thunder rumbling across a distant valley.
There she stood, Sookie Stackhouse. Just another all American girl. Nothing special about her at all. Her hair was not sizzling blue sparks and sticking straight out all over her head and you could no longer see her body glowing beneath her clothes.
“Am I permanently tattooed?” he asked. “Visible to others?”
“I would not mark you in any visible way without asking you first,” she replied, matter-of-fact.
“The only time you will be able to see the runes on your chest is when you are standing on the axis of two intersecting Ley Lines. So you don’t need to worry about anyone else seeing them and wondering. You will still be your handsome self to your lady friends.”
Eric said nothing as he regarded her. If this worked…he let that though lead his way down many different paths. All of them good.
“You ready?” she asked him.
Standing, he flexed his muscles and stretched out his arms, admiring his hands that would bring life to his child and death to the ones that had taken her. “Yes. Let’s go,” he said reaching for his clothes that were on the ground beside him.
“We are going to need a light tight vehicle,” Eric said as they climbed the stairs. “I will fly us to my garage and there we shall pick up a van. I will be able to track her though our bond.”
“Even during the day?” Sookie asked.
“She is in pain. She will not rest this day. I will find her.
Now,” he picked her up and slung her onto his back. “Let us be gone.
Sunlight!” Eric could feel it on his skin. See the fall colors as they graced his eyes! He had no time for such niceties. They had his child! It was time to go to war!
They landed on the rooftop of a garage in Shreveport in the older part of town. Eric punched in a code and unlocked the roof door and down they went.
Grabbing a set of keys hanging on the wall, he went over to the white panel van and unlocking the doors, they both got in.
“I don’t know why I brought you?” he said as he started the engine. “Do you wish to stay here?”
“No,” she shook her head. “You are going to need a look out or another set of hands or something. Is she going to need to feed?”
“Once I remove the silver and wrap her in the blankets, she will sleep. I will command it. Then we will move her to …”
“You can take her to my house,” Sookie replied. “The chamber beneath might do her a world of good.”
“Thanks,” he nodded. “I appreciate that.”
“Family,” Sookie replied. “She is yours and you are mine and so it goes.”
Eric backed out of the garage. “Yes.”
In the daylight, you could see the familiar things about her. Her hair color was the same as his. Her brow. The nose. She reminded him a great deal of his mother. And everyone had told him growing up that he looked just like his mother. Yes, one of his Uncle’s. Or fuck, maybe one of his descendants. There had to be one or two of them out there. He was not going to let his mind dwell there. She was family, that was enough.
“Interesting,” he said pulling onto the road. “She is close. They are unloading her now and taking her inside. She can smell the river. And…and…cotton.”
“Before the Civil War, there was a cotton mill on the river. It is an old red brick building with a wharf and its own railroad spur. It was purchased and someone was going to make it a restaurant. Last I heard they were still waiting on permits.”
“I know where you are talking about. We are headed there.”
Parking two blocks away, they walked over to the end of the block the building was on. “Nobody in there,” she said.
“Pamela is there,” he nodded, “I can feel her. We are going to drive the van up the back door. I am going in and getting her. As soon as I close the back doors on the van, you drive off. Take us straight to the interstate.
When we get within range, I am turning on the jamming device on my phone. Just in case anyone is looking, they won’t see us.”
Sookie nodded. “Good plan, I’ll throw my mojo out there as well. I really do not want to be seen on camera.”
“That night at the mall?” he asked.
“Yes,” she nodded. “I had a bad feelin’ so I just started the party a little early.”
“Nice,” he grinned as he pulled around to the loading dock. Getting out, Sookie slid over to the driver’s side. With one mighty shove, the locks gave way and Eric was inside. They had left the coffin in the next room. The room was not light tight. That was their backup. In case she somehow managed to escape, she would not go far.
Out he went pulling it behind him and lifting it up, into the van it went. The doors closed, Sookie put the van in drive and headed toward home.
The back of the van was light tight. Eric opened the coffin and putting on his work gloves, lifted the chains and then the net from his child.
“Sleep now,” he smiled at her. “Daddy has this.”
“Chow,” she said through bloody tears. “Chow let them in through the back. Busted down my door.”
“Sleep child,” he pushed her hair back out of her face. “I will save Chow for you. I promise.”
“Thank you for letting me end that cocksucker. I love being your child,” she wept.
Placing a kiss on her forehead, he closed the box.
Sliding open the back, he climbed into the front passenger’s seat.
“She going to be okay?” Sookie asked, concern in her voice.
“She is going to be just fine,” Eric smiled, death in his eyes. “We are going to make a couple of stops. She has bagged blood in a freezer at a couple of storage units. Let us head that way.”
Pam had been his first concern. Now that he had her and knew she was safe, those thoughts that were screaming for answers were now at the front of his mind. “How long,” Eric asked, looking over at her, “how long does the daywalking last?”
“You get one day of use for each rune,” she replied. “So that would be nine days. No need to go through the preliminary stuff again. To recharge, you need to drink from me and I have to torch you and burn off the old and you are good for another nine days.”
“So I need to see you on the night of every ninth day?” he asked.
“Well no,” she shook her head. “You know, you can bank them. Go for a day, a week, even a year. And I could see you at the end of nine years.”
Eric laughed out loud. “Miss Stackhouse, you have given me the greatest gift of all. Do you honestly think I am only going to daywalk one day a year?”
Eric looked over at her. “I see why your gran warned you about becoming more in your craft. Because now I am hooked on daylight and we have not even started our journey, together. Makes the telepathy seem like nothing, correct?” he asked her.
“Somethin’ like that,” she responded absent-mindedly, her thoughts elsewhere.
Sensing her mood, he continued on in a business vein. “Lafayette is going to need a new car as well. With the bonus money you earned today, we shall get him one that matches yours.”
“Bonus money?” she echoed back.
“Yes,” he nodded. “Who ever paid Chow to come after me, that money is yours.”
Making a phone call, Sookie listened as one of the movers and very old shakers of this world placed an order for a new Jeep to be delivered to her door.
The Weres charged with delivering The Bitch to the old mill were sitting in Prichard’s Pancake Place.
“Damn,” Napoleon grinned, “workin’ vamps sure does give me an appetite.
“Thank you sugar,” he grinned at the waitress as she placed plates of pancakes, eggs, sausages, grits and bacon on the table.
“What’s the plan?” Grieves asked.
“We sit here and eat and drink coffee until the packmaster calls and tells us to meet him at the mill. By the time we finish up, he will be calling us and telling us all about that nice bonus we will be getting. Christmas is coming on and my momma needs a new roof.”
They were through their first round of all-you-can-eat pancakes when the phone call came.
“Who was left to stand guard?” was yelled so loudly into the phone that all of them at the table could hear it.
“Get your asses over here right now!” was hissed and then followed by a howl.
“Holy Hell,” Wright said standing and throwing down a hand full of twenties. “We gotta haul ass!”
The building was ten minutes away. Even shorter if you shifted and ran as a wolf. What the fuck had gone wrong?
When they pulled up, they could Herveaux’s work van was parked by the back loading dock. Walking up, they could see it. Someone had forced open the door.
Their packmaster was inside. They could smell him and hear him yelling curses and swearing at the top of his lungs.
When they entered the room where they had left The Bitch, there was nothing there. Only the writing that had been carved into the wall. Long Tooth Pack: You are all fucking dead.
“We…” Jonas cleared his throat. “We thought we could all go to breakfast…” he was shaking his head as he still could not believe the words that had not been there thirty minutes, ago. “Chow told us Northman was if not dead, then…slivered and waiting.”
Fillmore stepped up and ran his hand over the inscribed message that had been cut two inches thick into the old brick walls. Long Tooth Pack: You are all fucking dead.
“Looks like maybe he is not, huh?” Alcide spit out in disgust.
“Oh come one boss,” Hubert said. “The sun is up. This cannot be a fucking vamp that did this. No way in hell.”
“Then who?” he asked.
“You know he probably has Weres on his payroll,” Hubert was going to be the voice of reason. “We have a spy in our midst.”
“Which means one of you who did the job told Northman,” Alcide replied, feeling a bit better about this. Betrayed by one of his own. He could deal with that. Had in the past, would again in the future. Now was just another day in his life.
“So let’s line up and talk this out. One of you is gonna be missin’ his dick and a pair of balls.”
“Packmaster?” Baby Huey stepped up. “I can see how you would suspect us. But respectfully, what about you? We all know Debbie is usin’ again. Owes money to Robert the Roach. A hefty sum from what we all hear.”
Alcide took a step back and lashed out at Huey. There was the crunch as their packmaster’s fist made contact with the man’s jaw.
“Oh come on Alcide,” Hubert was shaking his head in disgust. “Honestly, man, you didn’t know? And my old lady says she has seen her at the mall spendin’ money on clothes and furs. What the fuck does a Were need a fur coat for in Louisiana? We thought maybe you were takin’ her North for a vacation.”
That thought slid up and addled his brain. A fur coat? His woman was buying a fur coat? With what money? And why? They did not go anywhere she needed a fur coat?
“Sorry Baby Huey,” Alcide said bending down to help him up.
Hubert was once more shaking his head. “We didn’t find out about this job until midnight. Did not know who we were grabbin’. Only that it was a vamp and to come prepared.
You tell your old lady who it was?” he asked.
“Fuck…maybe…” he replied.
“Then start with cleanin’ your own house,” Hubert looked at him. “Now, can we go?”
“Yeah…sorry…” he said not looking at them as they all walked out.
“Time to haul ass,” Jonas said once they were out of earshot of their packmaster. “This shit stinks. And if Northman is not locked down and now apparently that Bitch Child of his will be risin’, we need to be someplace else. Cause you know who she is gonna be looking for. I am gatherin’ up me and mine and goin’ to the lake for a couple of days.”
“Good idea,” Grieves nodded in agreement. “Have heard stories about The Viking. Shit, I think he could actually day walk if he put his mind to it.”
When Lafayette woke up at noon he turned his phone on.
“Dress, eat, then it is time to go to work. Busy morning. Big Bonus. Your new Jeep awaits. Love you, Sookie.”
“Mo’ fo’n,” Lafayette said as he sat up and looked at O.I. who was perched on his shoulder reading the message. “My little mans, we has got to haul ass!”
When he pulled into Sookie’s yard, there sat two new, Grand Jeep Cherokees. “I guess anythin’ besides that charcoal grey woulds be an overkill,” Lafayette eyed the two trucks that were sitting side by side as he looked in the windows as they walked by. “Leather. Fully loaded. Expensive. Even says so on the side in that chrome you-name-it model. This here is a mo’ fo’n top of the line most expensive beast out there. Just call us Thang 1 & Thang 2,” he shook his head rapidly back and forth, his mind racing. “My little mans, I am thinkin’s I can smell me some bullshits way out here. And did I just see Northman look out the door! What the fucks!”
“She done whamm’ied him my big mans,” O.I. nodded. “I cans see it. He glows with her blues lightnin’. For better or for the worse of the worst, it is done.”
“Mo’ fo’n,” Lafayette sighed as they approached the front door. “Just mo’ fo’n.
Well, if we is gonna’ dance to the top of our knees in the righteous bull shit, gonna’ be to our own tune. Mr. Tall, Blond and Day Walkin’ can just mind his manners.”
Lafayette and O.I. sat and listened to this morning’s adventures.
“Shoulds have woke us,” Lafayette kept repeating. “Last time,” he pointed his finger at her, “that I turn my Ma Bell device off. Dangerous situations and then some.”
“I would have known if anyone was lurking, about,” Sookie reassured him.
Eric was very pleased. “Apparently our timing was perfect. The Weres that delivered Pam to the site had just cleared out the area of any looky-loos and homeless individuals. When we left the area was still quiet.”
“Weres?” Lafayette looked cross-eyed. “Mo’ fo’n. You sure?”
“Could smell them,” Eric nodded. “The Shreveport packmaster is a lower than Were shit wolf by the name of Alcide Herveaux. I shall be having a small sit down with him. If I like what he has to say, he just might get to live. If not, then Shreveport will be needing a new packmaster and pack.
That is for a later time because with the new dark I take care of Chow. Then I have to get my ass to New Orleans.
But I was wondering, if the three of you would accompany me to Shreveport. Perhaps dinner first and then we will stop by my club.
Your royal majesty,” he bowed to O.I. “If you would not mind working your charming ways on my erst while business partner. He will tell us what we want to know and then we shall drain his banking accounts.”
“You really think his checkin’ account is worth all that?” Sookie asked.
“Oh, my very dear Miss Stackhouse,” Eric batted his eyelashes. “Someone paid Chow a great deal of money to take Pamela from the club. Again, they committed this crime in my own home. And if I was pissed before, I am really pissed off now. No matter how great my chagrin, I have promised Pamela that she may end him. She will have to do so with this dark. She can’t dally. The future is in motion and until I know who is doing this and destroy them, we can’t afford to take pleasure in the smallest of things.”
“Was meanin’ to go to St. Gabriel’s Gate for their fall festival and farmer’s market. Got’s a nice little tea room all sets up. Miss Sooks, you game?” Lafayette asked her.
“That sounds like fun,” she smiled. “Eric, what about you? You feel like Pam is in a safe enough place for you to leave her?”
“I will check on her before we leave. Hook her up to another couple of I.V.’s. When she rises, the bloods will be thawed out and she can put them in the…” he paused. “You have no microwave. She can thaw them in a pot of warm water on the stove. I will leave her a note and her new phone. When we are ready for her she will come to Fangtasia. Then the night will belong to her and I will be on my way to N.O.”