Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 5

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.

 

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

 

Chapter 5

 

It was a good drive back to the house. Sookie carried on with O.I. as if she was speaking to Lafayette! Brothers! Well yes she could believe that! These two were twins! Same mold, same mo’ fo’n mo’ fo’n! More than once she had to pull over she was laughing so loud and clinching her sides!

“Oh,” she said between her giggles, as she drove, “that is the phone. Would  you get it out of my purse and see who it is?”

O.I. grabbed her bag and out came the phone. “It is my brother,” his smiled covered his face, as he read the name.

“Answer it,” she laughed.

“You has got His O.I. Fineness,” the small dragon spoke into the phone with attitude and a snap of his claws. “How may I direct your very fine, gayness, perfects ass’s, call?” he snorted and then hooted with laughter. “You wants to be chattin’s up your sister or your brother or both?”

“Puts me on speaker,” Lafayette grumbled. “And just hm-m-m-m. I want’s to hear my Miss Sooks.”

“Hey Lafayette,” and you could hear the smile in her voice as O.I. was doing back flips in the front seat to help work off the excitement!

“We are on our way home! Be there in about twenty-five minutes.”

“I’ll be waitin’s,” he said. “With a shotgun. If you has been vamps glamoured, that fanged regret is gonna have his mo’ fo’n heart blown out of his body!”

“I love you Lafayette. Your brother is still doin’ back flips in the front seat he is so excited.  No shot gun required! See you in a few!”

“Backflips?” Lafayette replied as he went to the closet and got out the shot gun. “Mo fo’n!  Who can do backflips in the front seat? If she has gots some glamoured vamps breakfast ridin’ with her, I am’s doin’ them a big favored one and endin’ their mo’ fo’n fucked up shit, as well!”

“We is gettin’ closer,” O.I. was dancing a jig. “I cans feel it!”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded, “almost there.”

 

Sookie had said that he did not need the shot gun and thought about putting it back. Naw-w-w-w, he was walking out with it! He heard Sookie’s car coming down Hummingbird Lane. There was no mistaking the sound her little old, rice burner made. That timing belt needed to be attended, too.

Okay then, he could be civil up to a point. He would let them walk up to the porch and he would make his assessment.

 

Lafayette was sitting out on the porch sweing when she pulled in.

Sookie got out and then went over to the passenger’s side and opened the door.

“What the fuck,” he mumbled, “is she doin’?”

There was a bird or something sitting on her shoulder as she approached him through the shadows of the porch light.

“Lafayette,” her voice was very serious as she took a step up, “I would like for you to meet your brother, O.I., King of the Dragons.”

As she continued up the steps, she did not realize why he was so quiet. Then, when she kneeled down in front of him and he and O.I. were face-to-face, she could see the tears streaming down both of their faces!

Lafayette’s hands were reaching for him, his fingers reaching out and stroking the small dragon’s face.

“My Big Mans,” O.I. whispered through his tears.

“My Little Mans,” Lafayette sobbed as he drew the dragon up to his chest and cradling him between his hands, bawled for all the loss, loneliness and isolation he had accepted as his fate.  His upper body rocked back-and-forth, holding the most precious thing he thought he would never find, the rest of himself.

 

 

 

Sookie was snuggled up on the couch in the living room. O.I. and Lafayette were singing doing the dance moves to Singing in the Rain.Gene Kelly had never looked so good!  She had never laughed so hard in her entire life!

The 6,000 dollar bottle of tequila was empty and she had certainly drank her fair share. Mysteriously, another one had appeared. When that one was gone, something O.I. called Death from Above had appeared. That had happened when she had gone to the bathroom. Along with a few other things. The boys were wearing matching jewelry. And it was big and it was flashy!

“I am leavin’ you two at it,” Sookie smiled and waved at them. “I am goin’ to bed while I can still climb the stairs.”

“Nights, Miss Sooks,” they both called out as she stood up and started toward the stairs.

 

When Gran came out the next morning, sleeping on the couch was Lafayette and a dragon… “…a dragon,” she said with a shrug. “So Lafayette has found the rest of himself. I wonder if he likes decaf?”

“Mornin’s Gran,” O.I. said opening his eyes. “I am his La La Finenesses brother, O.I.”

“Good morning my other grandson,” she replied. “I see you found your brother. About time. That boy has been so lonesome and looking for he did not know what.”

“Indeeds,” he nodded. “We shall be doin’ our jobs! Evil…well we is gonna damn’m and send’m straight to the fire and brimstone end of Hell! That is my big man’s journey. Mine as well. We is back and always lookin’ to do right by our family!”

“You two fighting the big bad along with Sookie?”

“Yes ma’am,” he nodded his head and grimaced. “I sorely apologize’s for my bad manners of not gettin’ up and kissin’ your very fine hand, but we imbibed last nights of the goods blue agave and the Death’s from Above. And danced and drank and danced and drank. Good times, we had, our most righteous and holy Gran. Payings for its now. My Big Man, he cans keep up but it all comes at a price.”

“I know it does,” she smiled at him. “I am going to the kitchen to make breakfast. You just go ahead and sleep. I am here all day. I am glad you have come home to us.”

“Thankee kindly,” O.I. blew her a kiss and laying his head back down on top of Lafayette’s crossed hands that were resting on his chest, O.I. went back to sleep, snoring in time to Lafayette’s.

“Always knew Lafayette had a twin,” she smiled to herself. “There was just too much of him to be in one body. Had no idea it was a dragon. It suites them though. They look mighty good, together.

Decaf,” she sighed as she headed towards the kitchen. Since her heart-attack, Gran was on a high fiber, lean protein diet, with no caffeine.

“Turkey bacon,” she rolled her eyes as she went through the fridge. “Who ever thought that was a good idea? Now, in here somewhere Sookie has hidden the low sodium, extra lean bacon. From a pig. As God intended. Oh, there it is. I can have two slices of that, toast this high ruffage bagel that goes down like an evergreen tree and oh, here is that fruit salad.

And coffee…decaf…pbbbllltttt! Oh well,  I get the taste, if not the jolt.”

 

When the bacon hit the skillet, three noses started twitching.

“Bacon,” Sookie sighed, stretched, and grinned. “Gran found the real stuff. Gonna have to eat that to save her from herself.”

“Bacon,” Lafayette’s stomach rumbled. “Gran is not supposed to be eatin’ that to break her mornin’ fast. Gonna have to eat that to save her from herself.

My Little Man’s,” Lafayette said, “yous up and movin’?”

“My nose is workin’ the air of the mornin’,” he replied, inhaling deeply and then exhaling a smoke ring that was of a pig wearing a tux and top hat holding a walking stick. “What deliciousness is that’s waftin’ on the breeze?”

“Bacon, His La La Fineness says, and our Lady Gran, she is not supposed to be eatin’ that.”

“Well then,” O.I. stood and stretched, “Let us have some mornin’ bathin’ rituals and  be goods to her. We will have to eat that to save her from her mighty fine self!”

 

For so early in the morning, breakfast was chatty and funny. Sookie explained about how she had changed and what she had left on their “Cousin’s” ceiling.

“Mighty magnificently done,” O.I. kept repeatin’. “I was watchin’ from on high! Thoughts I was gonna be splattered up there amongst the stars that she tattooed there. For a minute or two, I was hidin’ behind the gargoyles that sit up there!” he chuckled gleefully. “Scared the magics out of all, put the fears of doin’ right into most.”

Gran clapped her hands and laughed along with him. Beaming, she got up and hugged Sookie. “Can’t save the world p-p-p-p-shaw!” she hooted with glee. “That is my granddaughter and you baddies had just better look out!”

And so it continued on! They wanted stances, looks, and what Miss Sookie had said!

O.I. was more than happy to oblige!

“Damn,” Sookie chuckled, “your  impersonation of Northman is perfect! To include the way he arches both of those eyebrows!”

“Cous-s-s-s-s-i-n-n-n-n-n,” rolled out of Lafayette’s mouth as he sashayed over to pour another cup of coffee. “You’s can just kiss my all American, Druid’s magikin’, covered in the bloods of Jesus, ass! Excepts you would probably likes that way too much! So I will be limitin’ the time’s you can be admirin’ that!” he turned and wiggled his eyebrows and shook his ass at the group!

Amidst hoots of laughter, cat calls and wolf whistles, he walked his way back over to the table with his coffee.

“And did nots spill one drop,” he batted his eye lashes and sat down at the table to thundering applause and calls of “Bravo!”

“Well, that cannot be topped,” Sookie was still chuckling. “And the mornin’ is slippin’ away. It is comin’ up on that time.”

“Whats?” O.I. asked.

Sookie and Lafayette both announced, “Time to go to work.”

O.I. looked from one to another. “We all goin’ to the sames place?”

“Yes,” they both nodded.

“Mighty fine then. My brother can just wears me as a charmin’ pieces of jewelry to go all matchy matchy with his earrin’s and I will helps to supervise the kitchens and any and all wrong doin’.”

 

Lunch had whizzed by! The kitchen was now a place of joy! It was a slow moment and Arlene stopped by Lafayette’s prep station to admire his newest collection. “I swear Lafayette,” she began, “that necklace is just this side of gorgeous. Where did you get that?”

“Miss Sooks picked it up for me in Shreveport. She shops all the thrift stores and is constantly on the look’em out of the strange, unusual and down rights gorgeous for me.”

“Well, I would say she found it! I am gonna ask her to shop for me!”

Leaving Lafayette’s station, both waitresses were at the pickup window.

“Sookie, that ensemble you found for Lafayette is top notch stuff. Did you really get that in Shreveport?”

“Yes,” she nodded. “Indeed I did. It was probably made in China or someplace East of here, but the price was right and I though Lafayette would look smokin’ hot in it. And sure enough he does,” she said with a straight face when O.I. looked up and winked at her.

“Well, at least now he has that dragon necklace to talk to and practice his ventriloquism on.  You know, when he would have that hamburger patty talk back to him, and they would tell cow jokes, sometimes I was a little creeped out by that. But not so much anymore. That dragon is workin’ for me.”

“Well Arlene,” Sookie smiled at her. “That is a mighty good thought. Just talk to the dragon. I will have to put that into practice.”

And so over the following hours, Lafayette’s ventriloquism became top notch. All the staff commented on how you could not see his lips move, how you could see the dragon’s lips move and how he should go on TV!

“Thankee muchly,” his voice would sound from the dragon’s mouth. And so Lafayette continued to have conversations with himself and offer up bits of advice to whoever asked. The kitchen would applaud and laugh along with him.

“That’s some real good advice Lafayette is givin’ out,” Arlene would say to whoever was listening. “Real good advice. You can pay money and not get advice that good. What he said about my no-good Ex. All true. I need more child support. And if he can’t afford it, he can just sell that brand-new truck   instead. I don’t care if the new wife is makin’ the car payments. His baby has got to have shoes, a roof, and eat.”

 

By the end of the day, Sookie had worked another triple shift. The event was now three days, away, and she was so tired she did not care. “Just don’t bother me,” she sighed as she laid down and was immediately, asleep.

“Sookie,” she heard the voice and turned her head to look at who was talking to her.

“Hello,” she smiled at the very tall woman that wore a very chic blue ensemble. Her red hair was upswept and perfectly styled. She was striking. Certainly not beautiful, but very vivid. She also knew this woman. Knew that she would lie to you before she told you the truth.

“Where do I know you from?” Sookie asked.

“I was your momma in another life,” she smiled at her.

Sookie did a double take. Not in any life time would her momma look like that!

Getting her bearings, she now could see where she was. She was standing in an apartment. “Apartment? This is an apartment? How do I know that?” flashed through her mind. And this room was large! Easily the size of their town library. With a view that overlooked the mountains.

There was a huge bed at one end of the room. It stretched from one side to the other. She knew there was a male in it, sleeping. One that slept like the dead.

“You don’t look anything like my momma,” she said to the woman as she took a step toward the sleeping male.

“Would you really wake him?” the voice whispered in her ear. “He will be very angry at you. And he will never help you. He only helps himself. He has no respect for anyone. Not even himself. And you…a bar waitress…he would spit on you if he knew.”

“Don’t give a fuck,” she replied and when she turned, the woman was gone.

In her place there came a voice that sounded just like her gran!

“All henges are sanctified with mead, millet and maidenhead blood. The first henge was sanctified with mead, millet and maidenhead blood. The lady and her mate, giving birth to the henge. This henge that must be closed was sacrificed with mead, millet and maidenhead blood. That lady and her mate, giving her sacrifice to the stone.

You will need to do like-wise. During the battle, on the altar stone, pour out the mead, spread out the millet seed and then sacrifice yourself on the altar and smear the blood.

Remember, he will need to drink the mead, eat the millet bread and taste the blood.”

“Millet bread,” Sookie whispered to the voice.

“You know how to bake bread,” Sookie heard the smile in woman’s voice.

“I do?” Sookie said sitting up in her own bed. Looking around, she felt things in the dream begin to slip away. Reaching for a pencil and paper that was on her bedside table, she wrote down what she remembered of the dream.

“Damn, I have to have be sexed-up on top of this altar! Really? I guess it does not matter how I feel about that. Oh well…okay, in order:

  1. pour out the mead,
  2. spread out the millet seed
  3. sex me up
  4. sacrifice blood on the altar
  5. he will need to drink the mead,
  6. eat the millet bread
  7. taste the blood.

 

“Well just damn,” she rolled her eyes. “Really!” For a moment she held onto the paper and pencil, thinking about what needed to be done!

“Fuck that,” she yawned. “I need more sleep.”  But her mind would not let go. “It was snowing outside. And where did they get the sheets to fit that bed?  And why is that important?”  she rolled her eyes at thought.

“He sleeps like the dead and he will not help me,” she thought about that as she laid back down on her pillow. “Woof…can’t get my mind to clear. That’s it,” she was no longer tired, physically, but still this dream disturbed her. “I am calling Sam and telling him I am taking a couple of days off. I will see him on the evening of the 22nd.”

Making the phone call, she lay back down. “Family…” she rolled her eyes, “they will not miss an opportunity to fuck you over. Then they are required to, you know, sorta fuck you over…Northman…” she closed her eyes. “So he is the one…to be my first…well, sort of. I just don’t know how I feel about that.” When her breathing was once more even, she was fast asleep.

 

Sam listened to the messages on his machine. He smiled when he heard Sookie’s voice, then he was not smiling.

“Fuck,” he hit delete and put the phone back on its cradle. “I guess I rode that horse too long and too hard. I can call but Adele will pick up and shame me for working Sookie like a bitch in heat. Well fuck,” he stared at the bed in his trailer. “As much as I like seeing her smile, I am never going to get her into bed if I run her into the ground.

I wonder if Lafayette is interested in working the floor? He is off for a couple of days…oh yeah…just how well would that work out…he would run all my customers off. Alright, I can do this. I am not too good to get plates out to customers. Besides as squirrely as the customers have been lately, would do them a world of good to see that the boss man takes an interest in what is going on out on the floor.”

 

 

 

She knew she was sleeping and she knew the dream was back. Same place, same winter scene outside. The man was still sleeping in the bed. Reaching out with her hand she touched the window. It should have been cold, instead she could feel the heat radiating from it.

She felt like she had been here, forever, time pushing down on her.  The mountains seemed closer and the air inside the room was now heavy with a sweet perfume that started her stomach churning.

“Lovely view,” the voice sounded in her ear. “The snow is beautiful yet deadly. Like him. It can consume you and you are frozen, never to be found again, in the wasteland of whiteness and ice. Just as worthless in death as he would proclaim you in life.

You know that about him, correct?” the woman was standing behind her and had her hands resting on her shoulders. “He is faithless and cannot possibly begin to treasure or understand what a gift you are.”

Sookie looked at the left hand that was resting comfortably on her collar bone and the right hand that was twitching on her upper arm. This woman was dressed to impress. Why was she not wearing any jewelry?

Turning her head to look once more up at the face, she was indeed striking! The smile that she bestowed on Sookie was genuine.

Oddly, it was a nice smile and yet tired her out! She felt the energy drain from her. Sookie lowered her head to take a look around the room that was all glass and leather and chrome… it was snowing heavier. This is what they called white out conditions…when all was lost and the safest place to be was inside. The safest place to be was inside…why was that important? Eric would be inside of her. Was he the safest there?

“Get your head back in the game, Sookie. You are starting to think gibberish!”

When she looked back up at her, her eyes lingered on her Adam’s apple…

“Mother fucker!” she yelled and Sookie sat straight up out of bed, “Mother fucker! It’s a guy! I have been betrayed! Again!”

“Sookie!” she heard Gran calling for her and her steps coming up the stairs.

“Gran,” she called out. “I’m okay…really…” she smiled at the woman who hurried into her room and then felt the tears began to roll down her cheeks.

Gran got into bed  beside her and held her while she cried.

“No more of this working endless shifts, Sookie,” she said when she lifted her face to hers and wiped her face with her robe. “This stops now.”

“I need to talk,” she nodded her head. “I mean talk. Druid to Druid and then some.”

“You want breakfast or something else?” she asked.

“We have any carrot cake left? I could do with a great big slice of that, a peck sack of pecans and all the coffee you care to make.

And I need to call Lafayette. He needs to hear this as well.”

 

They all sat around the breakfast table, listening to Sookie talk about her dreams. When she had finished, they were all shaking their heads.

“You are more, Sookie,” Gran began carefully and slowly. “The evil is reading you  as you are gaining in strength and is acting accordingly. Taping into you while you are dreaming and placing doubt.”

“Yes,” O.I. said nodding his head. “I has noticed the deads tryin’ to infiltrate my big man’s. With just a looks, I  sends them on their way.”

“Really?” Lafayette asked.

“Yes,” the small dragon replied. “The evil dead is gettin’ all twitchy. I can sees now why I was sent this ways. To be a boon and a help to my brother and his family. Tis the dragon way.”

“So,” Sookie eyed the group. “Let’s talk about it. Do I actually have to have Northman break me on top of that altar stone?  Or can I break the hymen myself with a couple of fingers or maybe the mead bottle? I am open to any and all suggestions. Also,  I am going to need some millet grains, millet flour for making bread and a bottle of mead. And Northman. I am pretty sure that is the male she was referencing. I could be wrong. But family set all this in motion, and here sits the family, minus the Viking who is sleeping his vampire ass off someplace and probably practicing being snarky in his down time.

I am open to advice. Good, bad, or indifferent. And at the top of that list, do I advise Northman ahead of time?”

All heads nodded yes.

“So be it then,” she got up and went over to the phone.

Calling the club, she left a message. They needed to talk. She would be there about forty or so minutes after sundown today and would stay until he was available.

 

 

The day had passed. She thought about her life and what if it ended in a stone henge? They had dinner and Gran kissed her good-bye. Getting into her car, she motored off.

“All life ends,” she out loud. “So you do the best you can so when your turn comes, you end up dancin’ and singin’ hallelujah and not toastin’ in the pits of Hell. So I am doin’ what is right in my heart. Lookin’ at myself in the mirror and know I did all that I could at this time and moment. That is all I can do. Because I want to be able to live with myself after the fact.”

For the rest of the drive, it was quiet. No music. No road noise. Just blessed silence.

Night was falling. With interest, Sookie watched the sun go down and looked for the least, smallest something that was wrong. The sunset was spectacular as the fading red lit up the few clouds that were floating in the sky.

Forty-five minutes later, she was parking her car at the far end of the strip mall lot, down from Fangtasia.

As she began walking, she felt herself coming on line and at one with the universe. Or at least, the universe she needed to understand.

Standing outside of Fangtasia,  the doors were open and she was in the full regalia of the Druid Seid. As she approached the girl working the door, Pamela walked out.

“Eric will see you now,” she said as she escorted her inside.

 

“Cousin,” he said, standing behind his desk when Pamela showed her in.

“Cousin,” she replied as she sat on the couch and faced him. “There have been things revealed to me that I need to share with you. I want to make sure that we understand each other before the eclipse.

Do you dream?” she asked him.

“Sometimes,” he replied.

“Do you have prophetic dreams?”

“Sometimes,” he answered carefully, watching her facial expressions.  There was no deceit there. No underlying motive for asking him such a personal question.

Sookie smiled at him. “Question my motives all you want. Just remember, it was the male’s disbelief that got us to this time and place.”

“Touché,” he answered.

“Good,” she nodded. “I do not bring treachery here. Only truth as I understand it. As I get closer to this event, I become more,” she began. “And also more in tune with what wants to defeat us.  Let me tell you what I know.”

 

Eric listened and a couple of times blinked.

“So Abhartach now seeks you out,” he said, nodding his head.

“Yes,” she replied,

“And he wants to bed you before the event?”

“Maybe. Or perhaps he just wants to gain my trust. Or rage. Or doubt.  I have no way of knowing for sure. But he was certainly referencing you. I now wonder if I would have seen his face if he would have looked like you?

Do you know where this place is?” she asked.

“No,” he replied. “I have several homes where it snows, but nothing is like what you described. Glass and chrome…so not me. Bad guess on their part.”

“So he is layering me with what he thinks I would respond too. What a fucker,” she hissed.

“If you have the dream again,” Eric pondered the idea, “call my name and see if I wake. If it is me, try to engage me in a conversation.”

“Will do,” she nodded.

Now came the awkward part. She was going to have to talk to him about…well…about sex. And it was personal.

Eric sensed her discomfort. So, it was time for the sex talk. “We did not have a henge in our village. We did not worship that way. The ritual of the millet, mead and maidenhead blood is new to me.”

Sookie let out a small sigh. For as brash as he was, he could be sensitive. Or maybe not. This was just another day and the same old battle to Northman. Only the Druid had changed. And maybe some villagers. And of course, social media.

“Well, Gran told me that they used that to set the henge in N.O.

And the Gran in my dream told me that is what it will take to lock their entrance to this world, forever.

What happens when you eat human food?” she asked.

“The smallest taste, I puke,” he answered. “Long and profusely. Once I eat and drink, I will be of no help to you. And I will need to remove myself from the fight because I am vulnerable.”

“That debilitating?” she asked.

“Yes,” he nodded.

Sookie was thoughtful. “This has to be done in the dark of the eclipse. The dark is going to last a little over an hour. If we do it first thing, we can close the portal, but there will still be things out and about that will need to be killed.”

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “And you are still going to need a lot of killing power. They come pouring out as soon as it goes dark.

Cousin,” he began, tapping his fingers together. “It is during the darkness that this is at its most spectacular and most dangerous. The darkness inside the henge is complete. The fighting is ferocious. The night sky is beautiful. I killed one of these beings with my bare hands last time. We were wrestling down on the ground, getting in everyone’s way. I finally broke its neck. But not before sustaining several stab wounds and something trying to remove my head.

 

Granted, O.I. did not have a dragon rider at the time which he says changes the game. Nor did we have mead, millet or a Druid with a maidenhead who carries a staff that burns sky-views into your ceiling.

Perhaps things shall go in our favor.

Now, how do you want to do this?”

“Nothing like being blunt,” she breathed out.

“There is,” he countered, “nothing like it,” he said with passion. “Lives are at stake. And just not ours. Perhaps the world as we know it as well. At this time, I know no other way to be,” he answered.

Nodding her head in agreement, she forged on. “I have to prep the henge then be sacrificed. Then you have to drink and eat and taste  the blood.

As too when…?” she shrugged. “If we do this first thing then we count you out for the rest of the battle. But it will limit those that make it through the barrier.”

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “But you,” he stressed,
“cannot become enchanted by the disco lights or the music. Other Druids have in the past. Because of your strength, I  am hoping that does not happen to you.”

“But there are no guarantees,” she countered. “That does not leave me with much of a choice. I have been thinking I could do the breaking with my fingers, but if I do become lost to this madness, whether I am willing or no, I am counting on you to break me.

What?” her stare at him intensified. “You have shifted color. Are you blushing?”

“Perhaps,” he shrugged. “It is just that is has long been a desire of mine to take a virgin on the altar stone of a henge. To sacrifice her maidenhood to my prowess as a male. You know, I, myself, have finally offered up a sacrifice worthy to the gods. To show my brothers that sit in Valhalla that I am indeed a man that is…worth-y-y-y-y of-f-f-f-f…” his voice trailed off. Clearly, she was not impressed. And he could see that he was beginning to sound like an ego maniac.

“Seriously?” she regarded him.

“Seriously,” he replied. “Remember I asked you the difference between genius and stupidity. Genius has limits. Stupidity, none. I speak from experience.”

Sookie eyed him. “I sense a story.”

“You would not be wrong,” Eric said with a sigh. Squaring his shoulders, he began. “The first hundred years after I was turned, I was young and stupid. Stupid with no limits except for the rising sun. Which was a good thing because that could slow me down.

I had more sense as a human. The last stone henge I encountered during that hundred-year period, changed me, forever. Destroyed the feral in me and sent me back to the sane and rational Viking I had been raised to be.

Now, if we both lose all reason during those first moments, …” he said nothing and shrugged. “It might be a bit rough.”

Sookie was watching him. He told her the truth. Well fuck… “Have you had sex before in the middle of a battle?”

“No,” Eric shook his head. “But Cousin,” he smiled at her, “the way these battles go, no one would know. They would just think that you were wrestling with someone for your life.”

“Really?” she stared at him, trying to flush out in her mind the battle that would allow that.

“Really,” he nodded.

“That brutal?” she asked, shock in her voice.

“You are battling with evil, you cannot begin to know until you are there in the midst of it.”

The expression on her face changed. He did not see fear and it did not look like she wanted to run. Perhaps it was determination he now saw.

“Then I leave it to your discretion,” she nodded.  “I mean, there might be a situation when your penis is the only thing we have left to get the job done.”

For a second, she thought she heard from Eric’s crotch, “Damn straight!”

“Oh, one last thing. Did you mother have a millet bread recipe that she used?”

“Don’t think of it as bread,” Eric said, thinking back on his past and seeing his mother at the fire in their lodge. “More like a pancake or a crepe. And she would serve it with honey and comb.”

“Like Jewish unleavened bread, good to know. And is mead, mead?”

“My mother made it different ways for different occasions. Honey and water were the two main ingredients. We liked it sweet so there was a lot of honey. She always saved the dried peels of lemons and oranges from our summer trading to put into the Midsummer mead for the next year.”

“So, nothing fancy with a long list of ingredients.”

“Correct,” he nodded. “I would be the most familiar with just the sweetness.” For a long time, Eric sat and looked at her. Getting up, he walked over and sat down beside her on the couch. Gently, he touched the braided design that was in her hair. Her eyes never left his.

“From time-to-time,” he began slowly, picking up her hands and admiring the strength that was there. “Your hands remind me of my mother’s. She had strong hands. A few scars, a strong grip, and they always knew what to do to fix your hurts, mend your clothes or cook your favorite meal. Or reaching to pick you up and hold you next to her. Her hands were beautiful. When I think of her, that is the first thing I see of her. Her hands, reaching for me as she held me close and cuddled me.”

Slowly, he raised Sookie’s hand to his lips and kissed them. “My mother died after I was turned. I was there that night when they put her body onto a dragon boat to set her out to sea.

I walked out in my Viking regalia and moved her from the death ship to my small boat that was still being used. It was a fancy thing, heavily carved and outfitted like the large dragon boats. Then I shifted my boat onto her death barge.  I sat on board my boat, holding her next to me. I directed the wind to blow us out past the breakers. One last time I held her hands in mine.  I wanted her to wake and talk to me. Hold me in her arms and tell me all would be well.

When the wind stopped out at sea, I poured out the oil. One last time I held her hands in mine and then, lit the fire. I stood beside her death pyre until it sunk into the ocean. I went back to the village and into what had once been her home. The family had removed all things of value and placed them on the long boat that was to be her grave. The only thing left was her bed, a chair, some kitchen utensils and a five-gallon crock of mead that had yet to be decanted.  I knew she had made it for I could smell the extra honey that she used to brew.  And so I did that one last final act for her. And as I placed the liquid in the familiar crock bottles, I knew that I could not leave them behind. So taking them with me, I placed them in an old drauger’s haunt underground and left them, knowing they would not be disturbed.  Then, as time passed, I moved them.”

Eric stood and went over to his desk. Moving his chair, he got down and began to lift away the floor and out came a crock bottle that he placed gently on the desk.

“The others are in a vault under-ground. But I keep this one under my feet to keep me focused. To have a piece of my mother here with me.

If you would,” he said breaking the wax seal, and pouring the bubbly liquid into a glass, “tell me what you think.”

“I can smell the honey,” Sookie nodded.

Eric smiled. “Yes,” as he handed her the glass.

Sniffing, Sookie looked at him. “I can also smell the alcohol.”

Eric grinned.

Tentatively, she tilted the glass and stuck her tongue out and met the liquid as it bubbled onto her tongue. Taking a sip, she sat back on the couch and savored the aromas that played in her mouth.

“I can taste the orange,” she nodded. “And the honey is so smooth. This is delicious,” she smiled at him. “Really good.”

“Good,” Eric grinned. “Then we will have this. Now what about the millet?”

“I can get that locally at the feed store. We’ll bless it and O.I. can toast some of it with his fiery breath and we’ll have the dragon blessing on it as well.”

“Most excellent. Now, do we want to meet up early somewhere or just at the henge?  Where are you staying in N. O.?” he asked.

“Not staying anywhere. O.I. says he can fly us down the evening, of.

Then home after the battle. Gran is going to want a full report.”

“Well, after sunset, we could meet and talk a bit more strategy. I will have aerial photos and do a mock up and we can discuss how we can somehow work this. I will give it thought. You do likewise. Also, the best position of how you wish to be broken.”They both just stared at each other. “Maybe you would know best about that,” she finally said. “Fine,” he nodded and continued. “There is a hotel, the Le Petit Sang in the French Quarter. Meet me there at sundown. Go to the front desk and tell them you are part of Eric Northman’s party. You can wait for me upstairs. There we will have more privacy. My champions will be somewhere in the building  as well. They all have invaluable thoughts and have stood in awkward situations and walked away. Plus, this will be the 4th henge for some of them, standing tall with me.”

“Sounds good. Anything else?” she asked standing.

“No,” he replied standing and walking with her to the door.

“Then I will see you in N.O. No need to see me out. I have this,” she smiled at him as she turned to leave. “Oh…a final thought. You say it gets wild and crazy…and dangerous…and you have to be mindful of your friends while you are hacking and slashing.

What about an air gun? Are you at all familiar with a BB gun? They also make air pistols. And rifles. I don’t know what the bullets are made of, but maybe they could be made of tin? And you would not need a big caliber. Just something to penetrate the…the ethereal vapor or whatever skin they have. Maybe that would slow them down.”

“Good thought,” Eric nodded.

“Rest well,” she nodded to him as Pam appeared out of her office.

Eric leaned against the door jamb and watched as Pamela escorted her back into the club.  That was way too easy. She was sane, rational, and not hysterical at all. And she came with valued information. Things he had not learned throughout his long life. “Well, you always wanted to take a virgin on a henge’s altar,” he chided himself.  “My grandmother always told me to be careful what I wished for. This is not what I wanted, but look Eric,” he ridiculed himself, “you just might get to do that.

What the fuck, Viking,” he said in disgust, timing it just right to catch Pam coming back.

“What?” she asked. “Was her visit useful? Not useful.”

Eric stood there shaking his head in dismay. “May the gods help us if we are going to have to depend on King Eric to get the job done and win the war. Also, look up air pistols, rifles, machine guns, fuck, whatever they make.  And get us some tin ammo. Does not have to be a heavy caliber. We don’t want to kill the humans that are helping us.”

“What-t-t-t?” she stuttered.

“You big oaf!” and Eric was whacked on his thigh. “Gear up for war and get me my knife! No wait, all of my knives! It will not be the first time I have pulled your mangey ass out of harm’s way.”

Pam was wide eyed. A bit shocked, even for her! “King Eric is in an uproar! Demanding his blades! What did she say? In fifty words or less!”

Eric motioned her inside his office and closed the door and gave her the down and dirty version.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Pamela kept repeating.  “You cannot see inside that henge once the moon goes dark. Let alone guarantee that it is her you are engaged with and not sticking your fingers or dick in someone’s ass.

Which means you will have to be prepositioned on the altar, under the stairs when it all goes to hell, literally. And if you two survive that, you will be puking your guts out.

But air pistols…that just might be a boon,” she said thoughtfully and out came her phone and her fingers went flying across the keys.

“That thought has occurred to me,” he responded as he went through his desk looking for King Eric’s favorite pot sticker.

“Ah-h-h, good,” he smiled when his fingers found the treasure! He pulled the small, wicked looking Viking blade out of the leather sheath it was housed in. “Found it. And his hunting knife,” he smiled when he stuck his hand into the far back corner of his desk, “his  serrated blade and his wooden knife as well. I’ll sharpen them and replace this leather strap. Looks a bit worn. King Eric prefers the bandolier style. But he wanted to try a belt and sheaths  for them and I was game.”

“You are really going to gear him up for war? Do you remember what happened the last time you did that?”

“That was not my fault,” came the response from Eric’s pants. “You, dear child, did not get out of the way when I told you to do so.”

“You slit me from left to right, straight on with my belly button.  I had to hold my guts in.”

“Not my fault,” he countered. “You said you knew the Old Norse. I shouted out in my native tongue to get the fuck out of my way. It was the height of the battle!  The berserker had taken me! I went with the language that was the most familiar. And I am fast. It keeps us alive. I killed that bugger that thought to end us. Threw my wooden blade right into his heart. Not my fault I had to go through you.

There was glorious vampire splatter everywhere. I believe it even spelled out my name in Runes.”

“Ppppplllltttttttt!” blew out of Pamela’s mouth.”

“Blow all the raspberries you want, Child, but, I am, poetry in motion when you least expect it.”

“You sound just like the pain-in-the-ass older brother I never had,” she replied crossing her arms and stomping her foot. “I am never right and you are never wrong. So not fair.”

“Will you two stop it,” Eric sighed. “I need to think on these things. The boys will have to be informed at some point. We have two darks and a wake-up. Are any of them out there now?”

“No,” Pam replied. “They all left for N.O. to check in with  Samuel. Are we finished with business here? If so, let’s head South.”

“I believe we are,” he nodded. “Samuel has tin swords and other sharp paraphernalia for us so we can travel light. I am going to call and explain about the air pistols. Tell Patrick to close up and he is in charge until we return. I still have one more thing to do.”

“Yes, Child, you can be on your way, and we will still beat you there,” King Eric said with a chuckle.

Pam left with a roll of her eyes and giving King Eric the finger.

“What are we doing?” King Eric asked as Eric walked back over to his desk, corked the mead and picked up the glass that Sookie had left.

“Tasting her,” he sighed as he lifted the glass to his nose, found the exact spot she had placed her lips and tongue and put his on top of hers.

“Fuck-k-k-k-k-k,” he breathed out as he delicately licked the area, lightly, not wanting to end the experience. “She tastes like the mead,” he groaned. “Sweet, like honey…”

“Don’t do it,” King Eric warned.

“Too late,” Eric grinned as he pushed his tongue down the path that Sookie’s had taken and into the magic that his mother had made. “Oh,” his blood ignited and he grunted as he felt the power start at the root of his penis and traveled up like a bolt of lightning! He came as he threw his head back and roared!

“Did not,” King Eric gasped, “see that coming! Woof!  Powerful…shook me to the base! Lefty and Righty are still in a state of shock! They have no idea what hit them!

Would love to do that again! What are you thinking? Yes, no; puking?”

“I have no need to puke,” the grin covered his face. “I can now see how this could happen. One stroke and we are in and we are done. Blood on the stone and me in the battle.  I am now wondering if her spit is on the glass and the bread where I will drink and bite, if that allows me to not puke?”

“Good thought, old man,” King Eric nodded. “But I am not counting on that. Grab the bottle and my knives and let us be gone.”