The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 12

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 12

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 12

Sookie and Eric were kicking numbers around.

“Look,” she pointed her finger at him, “You paid me ten thousand to listen in on that Senator. Now there was a cesspool,” she said in disgust.  “And that was for two hours.

And poor Lafayette, dealing with those ghosts that were hanging onto him, wanting the favors that asshole had promised them for haunting those good folks who would not donate money to him. Where did that dickhead even go to find someone to raise those poor creatures from their rest?

Oh,” she snarled, “do not look at me like that! Some who-do princess here in N.O. did that for him! You know, this just pisses me off.”

“I would not have guessed that,” Eric raised an eyebrow at her. “And yes, I know,” Eric nodded, “that these amounts seem like an unreasonable amount of money. But you pay Lafayette and you will pay taxes on this.”

“Yes,” she squinted at him. “And after you took out taxes, that ten thousand did not go very far. Just barely made a dent on Gran’s medication bills.”

“You did give half to Lafayette,” he remarked.

“Yes, he has a sick momma as well,” she snarked. “We just do not walk away from our families.

My gawd, Eric, ten thousand per person for the entire night is a bargain! I cannot stress cesspool enough!”

“Ten thousand times four hundred is four million,” he replied.

“What?” she stammered.  “That cannot be right.”

“Yes,” he nodded, “it is. And you are correct, that is more than fair. As your agent/manager, I will take my cut, which is…?” He looked at her.

“How much would you normally get?”

“The vampire agents get a third,” he replied.

“What?” she gasped. “God only asks ten percent.”

“Then he sells himself short,” Eric replied.  “It is all about the contacts, Miss Stackhouse and the type of service you need or have to offer. Somethings are very job specific. My queen desires a telepath. That is a rare commodity to come by. So your four million…let me see…one third goes for federal taxes…so you are down to 2,800,000. I get a third. You are now down to 1,600,000. You also owe six percent to the state of Louisiana. So let us deduct 240,000 from your four million. That leaves you with 1,360,000.”

“Wait a minute,” she glared at him. “You are deducting all this money from the original four million. Does that money amount not decrease?”

“Not when you are dealing with vampires, Miss Stackhouse. Now where was I.  Oh yes, so split 1,360,000 with Mr. Reynolds and you have 680,000. A respectable amount. If invested wisely, you could possibly live off of that by retirement age.”

“You asshole,” she hissed at him. “That will just about cover Gran’s med’s.”

“So as you can see Sookie, that four million…not as much as you would think.”

“Fuck,” she spit out.

“Plus, you two are going to need something to wear to the formal. Along with jewelry. I can appreciate you going to the outlet mall to purchase what you are wearing today. It is a cut above your jeans and a t-shirt. But my queen will expect something not from the outlet mall. Those in attendance tonight will know the difference.”

“Fuck!” she stomped her foot.

“Something in the Armani tux line for Mr. Reynolds and not anything off the rack for you. There is a shop on Royal Street. A lovely boutique called The Royal Guard.  Caters to men and women.  I would suggest you go there and mention me.”

“Will they up the price if I bring up your name?” she frowned.

“Probably, but they will also show you the caliber of clothing you will need. Shoes, jewelry, etc. To include your hair. You could use some highlights.”

“Fuck you,” she mumbled, again.  “You are so not worth this. But Gran is,” she eyed him. “Highlights my ass,” she glared at him.

“Excellent,” he grinned. “I can see we are in total agreement. Now, I have some business at the club that must be seen, too. I have to call Pamela and see what is so desperate that she has been calling.”

“Do…” Sookie hesitated, “do you think she has caught  the thief in action?”

“One can only hope,” his smile got bigger. “If that is the case, there will be joy in her voice instead of the bitch that resides there.

Adieu until the morrow, Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Reynolds,” he said with a bow and a flutter of his hand.

“And to you as well,” they both said with a slight bow of their heads and then stood to leave. When they approached the pocket doors, they opened and were escorted to Sophie-Anne.

“Eric explained our money ways to you,” she smiled when they entered her throne room.

“Yes, ma’am,” they both bowed their heads.

“Four million is a fair amount,” Sookie replied, “Minus Eric’s one third and the taxes. We will need the W-2 form before we leave.”

“Yes, of course,” she smiled and motioned to a man in the corner of the room. “Speak to Ruppert. He is the accountant for my dealings with humans.  He knows exactly what to do.”

When all the paper work was done and handed over, the check was cut. With a bow to the queen, Sookie and Lafayette were escorted out.

They were shown outside to their auto where they motored off.

One block away, they pulled over.  Samuel and his team were waiting for them. Getting into the limo, Sookie and Lafayette waved as Samuel’s crew hopped into the Jeep and drove off.

Samuel smiled when Sookie handed him the papers and he began to work his magic on his laptop.

Sookie leaned against Lafayette. “My gawd, Lafayette, a half a million bucks…for which I am forever grateful. But from four million to half a million. Just what the fuck! And I thought the Feds took your money. Thankfully, they did not learn from vampires.”

Lafayette gave her the moment. There was not anything he could say to make her feel any better.

“Holy shit!” she said under her breath. “We will have half a million!”

“And all the palace intrigues we cans stomach,” he added with O.I. nodding is head in agreement.

“Mr. Samuels says,” his head pointed to the vampire that was busy at his laptop. “We are to limo from here on out. We are the newly riches white trash and N.O. will be expectin’s such bad behaviors from us. So lunch at some wheres exquisite and perhaps tea time as well. Let us lay down our monies.” “Spend most of it today,” Samuel said looking up. “We have this. They have encrypted a code into the check. If I might quote Miss Pamela, what a bunch of non-tech savvy posers. They want you to spend your money so that you will keep coming back around.”

“Like drugs,” Sookie nodded. “Get us hooked on the high life and she will keep cutting the amount…”

“Yes,” Samuel replied. “And entice you away from Eric. Keep you on staff and living on the premises.”

“But she would have to keep Eric there, as well,” Sookie replied.

“I do believe that is her plan,” Samuel chuckled. “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, I believe is the expression.

So today you are renting a limo and doing the town.”

“Who are we renting from?” Sookie asked.

“Why me, of course,” Samuel grinned. “They will track your money to the best of their ability. They will see that you have deposited the check in a local bank. Owned by me. That you have taken out credit cards. Also owned by me. That you have shopped in outrageously expensive places, also owned by me. And perhaps one or two by Eric. Do not,” he chuckled at Sookie and blew her a kiss. “We have this.”

There was a knock on Eric’s door. Opening it, there stood his queen.

“You are very thorough,” she bowed her head to him.

“My queen?” he bowed in return. “I thank you for the compliment. To what do you reference?”

“Your employees left here and switched out to a limo.”

“Anytime, my queen, they deal with someone besides me, that is SOP. Their auto was in your possession. I do not want to believe that anyone in your employee thought to do you a favor and plant things like listening devices or a GPS or some such forward thinking technological device in their car. The least I can do for them is trade it in on something new. They work very hard for their money. I would hate to have their car tainted by working for me.”

“You think of everything, Sheriff,” she smiled at him.

“Thank you my queen,” he said with another bow. “I do believe that is why you have me guarding your Northern border.

And Pamela found the thief,” he smiled. “You will be hearing from Longshadow’s maker, wondering what has happened to his child.”

“What did happen to him?” she smiled.

“Better you do not know,” Eric grinned in reply. “Let us just say, your taxes should be a bit healthier this year.”

“Most excellent,” she winked at him. “I do believe Longshadow submitted paper work to migrate to New York. I will have that signed for you when you rise.”

“Thank you my queen,” he bowed, again.

“And Eric, suggesting that they shop at The Royal Guard.  You naughty thing,” she clucked her tongue.  “They will spend all their money there and Miss Stackhouse will end up working for you the rest of her days.

That,” she gave Eric a long, lingering look, “could be most handy for both of us.

Rest well this day, Eric,” she ran her hand down his face.

“Thank you my queen,” he took her hand and kissed it, “and you as well.”

Stepping out of the room, she closed the door and stood staring at it. “Fucking Northman. Why am I under the impression I have just been played?”

Eric smiled as he stared at the door. Turning around, his stoic face was in place and he retired to his bed where he planned tonight’s festivities. They were going to be some good ones!

Sookie, Lafayette, O.I. and Samuel gave the out-briefing to Gran who nodded her head in approval. “So Sookie’s and Lafayette’s money is actually in an account, drawing interest?”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded. “The entire four million, minus taxes. Miss Sookie’s legitimate brokerage firm, Sleeping With One Eye Open, deals in communications.  She is the CEO, Lafayette is the CFO and they are up and running. Complete with business accounts, expenses, credit cards, and most importantly, tax records.

S-A’s check was cashed for cash and the money put into their business. All nice and legal and untraceable by HRM’s accountants.”

“Brother Samuel,” Gran took his hand, “I mean this in just the best way, but you are scary.”

“Thank you Miss Adele,” he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. “I thank you for that compliment.”

Bill Compton was going to ground outside of New Orleans. This way, when the queen saw him when he came vamp speed in at sundown, she would know how diligent he had been. Look, sleeping in the dirt because I spent the last possible moment searching in Bon Temps. I have done everything possible to please you and everything to get to you on time!

“Yes,” he danced a jig, “diligent describes me very well. What a fabulous night off I had. Little Sister entertained me and I entertained her and it was money well spent to have her tie me up and lash me down while she dribbled her blood into my mouth and I begged and screamed for mercy. I should be in pictures,” he licked his lips. “Perhaps purchase my own movie studio and star in all the films. I could make a fortune and be famous and all the hotties with deviant behaviors would want me.

I could even star my queen in a film or two…put her in a supporting role to my heroic self and she would call me her Big Stud!”

Shivering at the thought, he jumped into the hole and covered himself up. “Damn, I love a good plan,” he giggled and when the sun hit the horizon, he had jerked off, swallowed some dirt when he had screamed in joy, and went off to bedtime with a few mud balls in his mouth.

Not that he minded, he was, after all, a dirty, dirty boy!

A beautiful and chef catered breakfast  came and went in the penthouse. After all, it was white trash doing up the town! Then, they rented a limo! And they shopped at all the most expensive stores! And tipped outrageous amounts to those that helped them with their purchases back into the limo!

When they walked into The Royal Guard,Sookie stopped and stared at the dress that was dead center to the entrance, at the end of the grand hall that was standing between marble columns and arches.

“That’s the one,” she whispered.

“That one,” Lafayette said with authority and pointed to the dress as they were approached by a sales person.  “It is perfect with its sweetheart neckline. The short sleeves will allow her to wear a fur. That draped bodice shows off her loveliness and that pleated back that drops back into a train,” he let out a low whistle as they approached and then walked around the dress. “Perfect.”

“The fact that it is the silk and is the perfect shade of yellow to match her hair and is covered in rhinestones and crystals,” Gran chuckled, “could also have something to do with that.”

“She will look like the sun has walked into the room,” Lafayette nodded. “And those deads will start breathin’ agains and those humans dressed in their blacks and reds can just wail and gnash about their biggest fashion fuck up of the year.”

“You really think so?” Sookie looked from Gran to Lafayette.

“Yes,” they both nodded.

“We needs to see her in it and then comes the alterations,” Lafayette snapped his fingers. “Miss Sooks, you will be a vision!”

“When is it needed?” Virginia, their sales hostess asked.

“Before we leave the shop today,” Lafayette said. “Or no later than three.”

“Yes sir,” she nodded and ushered Sookie off to a fitting room as the dress came off the mannequin and in the land of fashion, all hell broke loose as people began scurrying about!

Lafayette strolled into the men’s department. “I am looking for a tux for myself. Along with other fine do-dads.”

“Of course sir,” Robin smiled. “Please, allow me.”

While clothes were being altered, there was lunch and manni’s and peddi’s and hair-cuts and styling.

“French tips,” Lafayette said to the manicurist who was concentrating on Sookie. “She will carry the evening. Class and refinement shall rule while everyone else stands back in awe!”

“Let’s do tea at the hotel,” Gran said as she enjoyed the hot stone massage on her legs. “That way we won’t muss our look.”

“Good thinkin’,” Sookie said. “Maybe even have a small nap.”

“Excellent idea,” Lafayette nodded. “We will pick up the clothes and motor on back for nourishments.”

When Sophie-Anne rose, the report was waiting for her. Yes, Eric’s humans had been out and about, today. And her spies had been following them. Grinning, she read through the list. “Looks like they spent about 100 grand,” she smiled. “Poor folks are just so predictable. I am glad they took her gran with them. Very nice. Show her the nicer side of things and she will encourage her granddaughter to do the right thing by her. Hm-m-m-m-m, perhaps tonight things shall go just as I planned and not how Eric, somehow, has this wired with his Late Druid.

And if all else fails, at least I will know what Andre had planned for me. He blabbed everything he knew to his human love toys. And he invited all of them, tonight.”

There was a knock on her door.

“Yes,” she called out.

One of her guards opened her door and Compton walked in and got down on his knees.

“You stink,” she said to him, curling her nose.

“I know my queen,” he nodded, “I had no idea I had gone to ground so close to an underground sewer line that had failed during the day. I rinsed off in a creek, so that I could come straight here,  but I fear that…”

“That you slept in shit during the day. Got that Bill,” she fanned her face. “Now tell me what you found out.”

“My queen,” he began, “Eric’s day walker, she is a female and her  name is Sookie Stackhouse. She lives in Bon Temps. Works for a shifter by the name of Sam Merlotte when she is not doing errands for Northman. I went to the shifter’s bar. I had just missed her. Her shift had ended and she was off for the rest of the evening.”

“Bill,” she shook her finger at him. “You are such a liar. We smell silver on you. We suspect you were partying elsewhere and did not even make it to Bon Temps.”

“What?” Bill squeaked.

“We know all about Sookie Stackhouse,” she hissed at him. “Now tell me something we do not know.”

“What?” Bill stammered. “But my queen…” he stuttered as he watched her pick up a stake and run her finger tips along the sharp, pointed end.  “We met Sookie during the old dark. Her and her day walker Lafayette Reynolds.”

Bill looked disheartened. “Met them, as in they came here?”

“What you think? We went to them?  Oh poor Bill. Tell us the truth, just where did you spend the old dark?”

My Favorite Cousin,” he replied.

“Bill, we would have wrapped you in silver,” she snarled, “for free.”

Bill looked panicked.

“Our party tonight starts at ten. Get yourself cleaned up and presentable. You will be working the driveway. Opening and closing car doors. Cleveland will help the ladies out, you will only open and close the car doors. Are we understood?”

“Yes, my queen, of course. If someone asks me question?”

“No one will ask you a question. You open the door and stand behind it. Then you close the door. All questions, comments, and tips will be directed to Cleveland.”

“Of course my queen, I am grateful to be of service, my queen.”

“Of course you are,” she glared at him. “Not get out of my sight.”

The family was enjoying the New Orlean’s skyline as they had a late dinner sitting out in the penthouse’s lilac garden.

“What time do we need to leave here?  And I know that is the ninth million time I have asked that,” Sookie said as she took another bite of her fried calamari. “But this is so good I hate to leave one bite on this plate. Many, deep fried green and red peppers, and lordy, that last bite was a mushroom, and to this day, I never thought I needed a piece of deep fried cauliflower. And this is, tempura batter, is that right  Lafayette?”

“That is correct, Miss Sooks, nows you just enjoys that feast. I have never had vegetables look or taste this delicious. Exceptin’ for your green fried tomatoes and okra, Gran. Oh, and that yellow squash you lay a hand, too, lordy,” he sighed. “Like eatin’ meat.”

“Well thank you Lafayette. But I would have to agree. This is some delightful eats. And the presentation! My goodness! Makes me want to take down my Gran’s silver and polish it up!

And I do want to have a go at that chocolate fondue before you three leave. I fear  I would eat that…all of it, by myself!”

“Plenty of time,” O.I. nodded as he dipped the corn fritter into the dill heavy sauce. “We will nots be walkin’s away from all that chocolate-ee goodness!”

“An hour more to nibble, His La La Fineness says, thirty minutes to slip into the clothes and thirty minutes to get there. Or a variation of that theme. Plenty of times to enjoy.”

“Good,” Sookie sighed as she helped herself to a piece of broccoli, the heat still radiating off. “I could use another plateful of this. And this dill sauce…lordy…just move that dish over here and I will eat it with a spoon.”

“The red carpet for the invited guests will be at the main entrance,” Gran said looking up from the map of the residence she was studying. “Our message from Eric says to tell the driver to let you off at the Belfont Street entrance. He will meet you there and escort you through. That is going to save a lot of time. If he is not there, you are to drive on and return here. O.I. you are to be at the ready to do damage.”

“Yes,” O.I. nodded as he helped himself to another corn fritter. “We are expectin’ good will towards men.

And if not…dragon fire is just the best.”

“But we are expectin’ Eric to be there,” Sookie added.

“Yes. His Viking fineness will get us in a speedy way so that we may be on the floor, doin’ our telepath thang,” he grinned with his dragon teeth sparkling in the candle light. “Mr. Eric says he has the particulars on that so we shall be effective and all knowin’ and blowin’ the bad asses out of the buidlin’,” he grinned.  “I am thinkin’ HRM just does not knows what a bad ass truly is. I can be prepareds to show her,” he chuckled.

Sookie reached over and rubbed O.I.’s snout. “We are to behave….if all hell breaks out and actions escape good etiquette, then we shall act accordingly,” she grinned, “to all of hell breakin’ loose. Until that time, we are getting’ paid to do a job,” she felt the tears form in her eyes. “A lot of money. So don’t make me cry. My eye make-up looks perfect and I need for it to stay that way.”

“Yes ma’am,” O.I. smiled at her and patted her hand.

“So,” she dabbed delicately at her eyes and sat up straighter, “let us continue our lovely meal and prepare for better days. For they are surely comin’ our way!”

When the limo pulled onto Belfont Street, they could see Eric standing outside the gate. They could also see his smile and the two fingered salute he gave them saying everything was a go so far.

When the gates opened, they drove through and Eric walked with the car up to the entrance.

Opening the door, he helped her out. “You look beautiful,” he raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. “Just like a ray of sunshine that burns away the night and brings light to the damp and cold, dark places.”

“Waxing the poet tonight are we Eric?” she raised her eyebrows at him. “You know your bullshit gets you nowhere with me.”

“Just preparing you for the bullshit you are going to hear once we step inside. All those old vamps are going to look at you and wish they were me.”

Snorting, she rolled her eyes at him. “Are you feelin’ a might bit peckish?  Do you need to feed?”

“Well, truth be told, I am not one to eat on the hoof in HRM’s residence. Silver poisoning and all that.”

Rolling her eyes again, she sat down on a stone bench that was located off the walkway in a small arbor. “Then let’s get this done.”

“Is this going to cost me?”

“I am not a blood whore,” she snarled at him. “You drink and let’s get this evenin’ done. I spent a lot of money today to be presentable for tonight. Holy shit,” she grumbled. “Workin’ in New Orleans is just fuckin’ expensive! Spendin’ money on a wardrobe I do not need and will never wear again. Just what the fuck,” she hissed at him.

Then she paused. “Oh, I get it. I look like a million bucks so now maybe HRM can whore me out and get a cut because she says I cost so much. Just look at the way I dress. And I always have to have my entourage. They cost money as well. So before she flips the offer to you, she has already made her cut. If anyone asks me about my dress, I rented it!”

“Oh Miss Stackhouse,” Eric bowed his head to her, “you are a quick study. Have I told you today how much I admire smart, strong women.”

“You suck,” she hissed back at him. “Well, at least I have enough left to purchase Gran’s meds for the next couple of years so I still need my other job and eventually the sun is comin’ up. Are we done here yet?”

“Of course,” he said lifting her wrist to his mouth and licking.

His tongue on her skin was exquisite and she was very surprised by the reaction her body made! It was if there was only the two of them in the world and time belonged to them.

The feeling could not have lasted longer than an instance or perhaps forever! Sookie was not for sure.

Eric had pulled his mouth away and was looking at her, the blue in his eyes now soft and comforting.

“This way, Miss Stackhouse,” he said rising and offering her his arm. “Mr. Reynolds, if you would,” he offered Lafayette his other arm and together they approached the door.

“All business, all the time,” Sophie-Anne said to no one as she watched the monitor. “Fuck, she has me figured out. And if asked, she is not too proud to tell them she rented tonight’s little ensemble.  Well just fuck!”

Turning to her guards she said, “Get them on the floor. Senator Cusac’s car is here. I want to know what is going on in that head of his.”

The fearsome foursome strolled the floors. Up and down the stairs; a smile here, a small laugh there. O.I. would occasionally wink at Sookie when she would lean into Eric and complain about her shoes being too tight. That was their code. Eric would take notice of who they had just passed or chatted with and when they walked away, she would pass on what information she had gleaned.

“The Mezzanine,” she told him, “seems to be ripe with thoughts of the unwholesome sort,” she smiled up at Eric when she had stopped to pick up a drink from Samuel as he played the part of waiter.

“That is because, from high ground you have the advantage of being able to see everyone which brings thoughts of them to the forefront.”

“Yes,” she nodded. “There is someone here that works for a Victor. He does not want to move to Vegas but he enjoys Victor’s company. He is wondering if perhaps he can hook up with someone new, tonight.”

Eric turned and looked at her. “Really?” he grinned.

“Yes,” she nodded. “Victor talks on the phone to Vegas and does not care who knows that he is leaving Boston.”

“Sweet,” Eric’s smile got bigger. “Time to have some fun. Lafayette, if you would escort Miss Stackhouse to the bathroom, I shall just be a short stroll, away.”

Eric sauntered up to the bar and ordered a mouthwash. Swishing it around in his mouth, he discretely spit it back into the glass and set it down on a nearby tray. As he turned to go, much to his surprise, Victor Madden slid in next to him. “She is lovely,” he purred. “And your other blood bag is handsome to look at as well.”

Eric arched an eyebrow and Victor and stopped walking and turned to face him.

“Victor old chum,” Eric addressed him, laughing. “You are a bit brazen, are you not, to be appearing at tonight’s little on-dit hosted by my queen.”

“Governor Hayden asked me to accompany her lovely wanting to be re-elected self. I could not refuse such a lovely lady. However, she does not compare to the golden light that shines from your arm.”

“Hm-m-m-m,” Eric grinned. “Sophie-Anne just might take exception to that. She might see it as a ploy to gain entrance to her residence so that you can take a look around, find the weak areas, and forward that info to the King of Nevada so he can overthrow her.”

“What?” Victor took a step back.

“You know they do not get along and she suspects everyone of foul play that even says de Castro’s name.”

“What?” he hissed that time.

“Oh come Victor. My spies in Vegas tell me you are blowing out of Boston and setting up camp on The Strip. I must admit, you will have a much better view of skin year round. The winters in Boston does seem to keep folks indoors and when they do venture out, bundled up.”

“No one knows I am moving to Vegas,” he said through clinched teeth.

“Well let me see. HRM Nevada knows. I know,” Eric chuckled. “And my people in Vegas know. I hate to think we count as no one. I pay them enough to keep me informed.”

“Is there anywhere Eric, you do not have spies?” he hissed.

“No,” Eric shook his head and chuckled. “When you have lived as long as I have, you understand the importance of knowing everyone that crosses your path.”

“There are all manner of beings not worth knowing,” Victor eyed him.

“And there lies the difference between me and you,” Eric grinned. “More than one dog has howled to give me the alarm. More than one human has offered me shelter from the morning’s first rays. I treat those I encounter with courtesy and respect. Especially those that others would not deem worthy. They in return, have treated me with curtsey and respect. Hence my long and well informed life.”

“Does it do me any good to hate you?” Victor asked.

“My grandmother, who was the wise woman of our clan, would say to that. Hate. Well if you must. Just remember, you drink that poison and expect the hated one to die. It is not them who will have their insides eaten away. Their speech and thoughts tainted. It will be you.”

“A very smart woman,” Victor gave Eric a bow.

“Indeed,” he replied. “And also a Viking raider.”

“Really?”

“Warrior was her middle name.”

“So what else would your grandmother have told you?” Victor asked.

“That de Castro was contemplating a smallish war and bringing you in as new muscle and new ideas on how to fight this war. I believe his old to-war planning Adjutant has retired and moved to Alaska.”

“No one retires and moves to Alaska,” Victor smirked at him.

“Exactly,” Eric grinned.

Victor frowned and took a step back.

“Northman, will I ever be able to trust you?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t” Eric smiled.

“Fucker,” Victor smiled at him, gave him a small bow of his head and walked off.

“Are we havin’ fun yet?” Sookie asked as she slid in next to him and put her arm through his with Lafayette following her example.

“Oh, all kinds,” he grinned. “I need to warm HRM. Let us stroll that way.”

“Excuse me,” Sophie-Anne said to those standing around her as she smiled and watched Eric approach. There was no missing Sookie in that dress. The least amount of light clung to it just like that dress did to her curves.

“Sheriff,” she smiled as he faced her. “Let us step into the library.

Please,” she smiled sweetly at Sookie and Lafayette, “if you would just wait here a moment,” she motioned to one of her guards to stand with them. “I will return Eric to you shortly.”

With the door closed, she turned on her white noise and Eric began.

“De Castro has recruited Madden to bring new ideas to his war machine. Victor has not yet accepted the position, but at this point, if he does not, de Castro will come looking for him and want to know why not. My queen, I would advise you to be highly suspicious from this point forward. Have your Weres working the city. Any out-of-town Weres come this way, I would be exceedingly cautious. If you know the Packmasters in your kingdom, I would be kind and polite and offer them more than what de Castro will be willing to pay them. He might have casinos, but he hates to part with his money. I hear he treats the Nevada packs poorly with his Old World mentality.”

“And you know this how?” she asked.

“Sookie overheard one of Victor’s humans. Madden is moving out of Boston to Vegas. I pieced it together with other things I have observed and heard, tonight. I put the plan before Victor and he was rather amazed at just how far ahead of the game you are, my queen.”

“Your advice, Sheriff?” she asked.

“They will do nothing, tonight,” he answered her. “Not until Victor moves West. De Castro does not do his planning over a phone or anything that can be hacked. He will want Victor standing there in front of him.”

“Anything else that I should know now?”

Congressman Leight is not going to recommend to the state house that we need more river boat casinos. He wants more leverage, I believe is the word Sookie used.

My queen, if this is some way he could use his influence to blackmail you, I would not agree to it. Sookie says he is a slime ball. Something rotten in his soul.”

“So that would be a no to his proposal for…” she stopped. “Well, just no.  I can handle that tonight. Move him on out and tell him not to come back.”

“Most good, my queen. There is nothing else major at this moment,” Eric said to her. “Small things and who is bribing whom. But that can wait for the outbrief.”

“Thank you sheriff,” she sighed as he bowed his head, opened the door and left.

“So worth the fucking four million,” she gloated to herself. “A bargain and then some.”

Bill Compton was dressed in the Queen’s livery and was doing as he was told. When the rain started, he continued to stand, open the door, step out into the rain then back under the awning and repeat the process or each and every car that came into his line. He was happy to be of service. Being of service was so much better than meeting the true death in a prolonged and painful manner. Word had spread of how inglorious Andre’s death had been. “Staked out in the Florida sunshine,” Bill shuttered. “Rain is nourishing and good for the soul,” he smiled and nodded as he opened each car door. “We are blessed to live in such a land where all can work and the rain falls and the great and mighty Mississippi continues to flow.

I am blessed to stand with my queen and not that ungrateful slut of a child who would betray her. That boy was a whore of the worst type. Always wanting to rule and planning big to do’s and getting everyone all riled up and excited about everyone getting a raise and everyone getting a month at  ruling the kingdom once he came to power. Instead he is just dust in Florida somewhere, constantly out in the sun and probably having gators poo all over him. Serves him right. He was lower than Were shit. I knew it the first time I met him and he had me tie his shoes. So stupid he could not tie his own shoes. No wonder Velcro does so well. Stupid vamps who cannot even tie their own shoes drives that industry. Glad my momma taught me how to tie my shoes. Just how embarrassing would that be. That royal bastard of a child asking me to tie his shoes and I would not have been able to show him up. Hell yes, I am smart. I am still alive to plot and plan and Andre is just dust for the gators to fornicate upon and to grow fishing worms in.”

The more Bill was caught up in the moment and reflected on his life, as he stepped back into the rain, the angrier he got!

“Lower than Were shit Andre! What am I supposed to do now? He would not give me his list of contacts for disposing of the queen. But he certainly had no problem passing my name around. And here I stand, smiling and posturing myself like Were shit that was picked up by disposable humans! I am the righteous one, here! I am he who should be king! I had experience by being queen! I am qualified!

Or at least the Prince Regent! Not doing some Were’s job! Who does she think she is? Ordering me around like this! Treating me like a nobody! Thinking I am just dirt for her to walk on! Well ha on her! Andre is dirt for her to walk on! I will be her master and she will know what it is like to shovel Were shit! And wait on humans! And…and…” he ran out of vile thoughts for the moment!

There, standing at the door, was a ray of sunshine! A star fallen from the soggy heavens to radiate her heat out here on Earth! His heart beat! He took a breath! The blood surged through his veins!

She was a goddess and he was her god!

 His night that would conquer her day!

Then the heavens opened up and he was drowned by the knowledge that if he wanted her love, that damned Viking that was her escort would have to go! The way she put her arm through his when he stepped up. The way he placed his hand in the small of her back as they walked off. Eric knowing that with all of his heart, that beauty should be standing out here in the rain next to him! Her opening the doors while he stood back and admired her every move!

The queen kept stakes everywhere. Maybe tonight Northman would meet the true death and he would own his own ray of light!

What? What was this? Was the vision coming this way?

“Fucking Eric,” he seethed as the trio approached the car that was pulling up.

“British royalty, I should have known,” Bill was boiling on the inside.

Bill opened the door on his side and then stepped from under the canopy out into the rain.

Out hopped British Isle while Eire got out of the opposite side!

Ohhhh, what a merry fucking group they were! All chummy! All goody-goody and let me introduce you…blah, blah, blah…  “Suck my dick, Eric!”

And then one of the most embarrassing moments of his life, happened.

“Doorman,” Eric grinned at Bill and tossed him a coin.

“Ha, I showed, him,” Bill smirked as he jumped up a foot and caught it. “This is now mine!”

A scream emitted from the depths of his body and then he howled with pain! “A silver dollar,” he shuddered as it dropped to the ground. “Fucker! Fucker! Fucker!” Bill was now sobbing.

Bill had the perfect view as group of five walked back into the residence all chummy! They could all just burn in hell after being tortured for weeks by him!

There was the watery glitter reflecting light, down on the ground that caught his eye! “No fucking way am I walking away from a dollar! Packmaster,” he called out. “If you would give me a dollar bill, you could have this silver dollar on the ground.”

Dear Readers,

Thanks for hanging with me.

Lefty eye was a bit more than righty….but both are healing nicely and my vision is soooooo much better.

I am still using eye drops and am not to strain the eyes, so my writing, reading, etc., is down.

I thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 11

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 11

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 11

“So what do we know about this new and improved Cacius?” Pam asked.

“He is not omnipresent or omnipotent or omniscient.

Or any of those other omni words used to describe our righteous God,” Lafayette said. “He did not know about the smallest spy device and he does not know this and that’s or any other things of importance. He is just a mo’ fo’n mo’ fo’r with a bit of power and a whole lot of wantin’ to do wrong.

My little man’s, you feels likes drivin’s Miss Sookie?” he asked. “We could bes the day’s walker, walker of the days. You know, Eric’s is so much that his day walker needs a day walker.”

“Lafayette, I love you,” her heart felt words found the peace and love in the room, comforting. “But, I cannot…”

“You gots nothin’ to say about this, drivin’s Miss Sookie,” he said with attitude and a snap of his fingers. “Me and my little man, we have gots the ‘tudes and a righteous  way of doin’ things. Smokin’ evil I thinks can become a year round way of bringin’ the glad tidings and sleepin’ well at night. No way’s is His La La’s perfectness wakin’ up a zombie or some such somethin’ that my expensive’s night creams will not fix! I am’s,” he shouted, “just sayin’ no and no to that!”

“Amen,” O.I. placed his hand over his upper heart, his voice earnest and forever grateful, “and Amen.”

“So what do we do?” Sookie asked.

Samuel was thoughtful. “We wait for the beads to be placed. And until then, we plan. I like the idea of a day walker and her day walker. Perhaps the lovely Pamela would be required to be in attendance as well for this party. I can always work catering,” Samuel smiled. “Let us give this some thought and then I will contact Eric.”

The Scooby Gang spent the rest of the night plotting and planning and there was some drinking involved, as well. O.I. had broken out something he called the Death From Aboveand since it was not from this world’s time and place, Samuel and Pam were seen doing a shot occasionally, as well. Which made for some daring-do rescues and outrageous plot lines!

All of which Eric would have rolled his eyes at…and the  one   time Samuel called him and told him about the grand dragon ride-through-to-the-rescue, complete with a mariachi band, perhaps Eric did roll his eyes, more than once, because he could not speak due to the listening devices in his suite.

It was an hour before sunrise in Louisiana. Sophie-Anne was still up. It was satisfying to watch her child live out the last minutes of his life. He thought to end her and reign supreme. Yes, she had been lax with him but his time had come and she was saddened and glad at heart that it was at her hands. His screaming and cursing her was most satisfying. Then, as the sun crested, his sobbing and pleading and begging was even more so.

She was glad he was in Florida. The one-hour time difference made all the difference in the world! Without even a tear she watched Andre go up in flames.

When that task was finished, it was time to concentrate on things a little closer to home. Sun-up was in thirty minutes. Compton must be praying to every god that he had ever heard tale of. Good, perhaps she had made a believer out of him.

“Bring me Compton,” she said and guards moved out to do her bidding.

From his prolonged and wild weeping, Bill was a bloody mess when he was brought in. With gratitude, he wrapped himself around her legs, proclaiming her mercy and justice.

“This is what we want you to do, Bill. When you rise, tonight,” she pushed him off of her and back onto the floor. “We want you to take yourself to Area Five. We want to know everything  there is to know about Eric Northman. Who does he see, who does he talk too?  Does he favor anyone at his club above another? Is there anything or anyone new in his life? You travel fast and you glamour everyone. We do not care how much energy transference there is from you  out into the atmosphere to make this happen. We do not care if you are a dried-up husk when you return to us. We want facts and wes want them soonest.

We are leaving the beads in Baltimore with the ending of the new dark.

You have this new dark. So move your ass and make this happen. Today was just a trial run of your true death venue so that you will know what to expect. When we rise, tomorrow, I want answers to all my questions.”

“My queen,” Bill was bawling, “thank you, thank you, thank you! You are indeed noble and gracious! I will come back with knowledge.”

So he was going to live! HE WAS GOING TO LIVE! Shouted through him!

This was perfect, made to order! “Eric has a day walker!” raced through his mind.  “I will give her that precious knowledge and I can just party while I am there!

Thank you my queen,” he was sprawled out on the floor. “ I shall return successful or I will gladly meet the sun!” he sobbed.

Rolling her eyes at him, she said to no one.

“Hand me Eric’s phone.”  When it was given to her, carefully she ran her hands over it. Then her nose, sniffing with great concern.

“I can sense nothing out of the ordinary,” she fumed. “What do you think the chances are that his phone is rigged with an explosive device?”

Everyone in the room took a step back.

“Yes, my exact thoughts. Bring me Northman.”

When Eric came in she tossed him the phone. There were certain things she knew without having to be told. Eric had people. As in humans that he tasked out the mundane, too.  “We all have a day walker,” she stated as a fact. “Call yours,” was all she said.

Eric dialed in the number and then she took the phone from him.

“This is Northman,” she said, imitating Eric’s voice.

“Where are you?” the female voice asked.

“New Orleans,” Eric’s voice replied.

“Good for you,” the voice held a certain amount of snark. “You suck!” was hissed and then the phone went dead.

Sophie-Anne looked over at Eric. “Just what was that about?”

“My queen,” Eric shrugged, “taxes were due. She has not been paid for the past several weeks. I would say she is a might bit pissed off.”

There were chuckles around the room.

“Good to know she is immune to your charms,” S-A smiled.
“Yes,” Eric nodded, “one of the reasons I keep her around. She gets the job done with no distractions and no flirting and wanting what I am so amply endowed with.”

All the men in the room smirked. There were a couple of gaffes and S-A just rolled her eyes.

“Sunrise is a horizon event in two minutes,” a guard announced.

“Bill,” she focused on him. “You make this happen. The rest of you, I will see you with the rising of the new dark.”

The Scooby gang stared long and hard at the monitor. You could feel the thoughts being scattered around the room by the ceiling fan.

“If we are here,” Sookie said, “Bill cannot very well find us in Bon Temps.”

“Yes, but,” Gran said, “he has seen you before, Sookie. And he knows you are Eric’s day walker. Just how hard do you think he will be looking?” Gran shook her head. “I had always heard that the Compton’s were a lazy lot. He might go to Bon Temps but his feet will not be pounding the pavement looking for clues. I bet he sees this as a night off.”

“His La La Fineness  and his little man’s is sure enough gonna’ need a starrin’ role in this high-flyin’ comedy,” Lafayette chuckled while O.I. sported a big toothy grin

“So,” Samuel smiled, “we stay here until the time is right. Let Bill take his nasty self to Bon Temps. We shall have a glorious day in New Orleans and when darkness falls, perhaps even a better time, then.

Sookie, you need to know Eric’s measurements, likes, dislikes. Let us gear you up to be day walker extraordinaire!”

The day was pleasant in their out and about. Several crows stopped by to chat up Lafayette and to remark to O.I. that they, too, had started out as dragons!

Gran carried the Day Walker’s Grimoire , they had taken to calling it, and as they ate, shopped and stopped to admire all that New Orleans had to offer, she tested Sookie on the subject of Eric Northman.

“Ah-h-h,” Lafayette sighed, “The Riverwalk. Miss Sooks we is gonna’ take our fine selves into Nordie’sand shop for you. And we will definitely be stoppin’ at Saks.  Now what does a day walker for his Northman of the fine ass wear when she goes to see the boss in New Orleans? Does she dress like him so that they are all matchie-matchie or does she carry her very fine Northern Louisiana style with her? Now, we are past Labor Day, so that would be a no to the white. And we is not dressin’ you in business black or this crowd. That is just a vampire cliché.”

“Well, it is seventy-eight degrees, today, will be a bit cooler, tonight. Maybe a cap sleeve with a jacket? You are right about the  black, that is so vampire cliché…how about gray with pink trim or maybe navy with pink trim or any solid color with pink accessories?”

“My girl, one hundred percent, His La La Fineness says. Let us go put some money on Mr. Eric’s credit card.”

“Can’t be too upscale,” Gran cautioned. “Remember what Brother Samuel said. It cannot look like Eric is paying her a lot because this will arouse suspicion that he makes more money than he pays taxes, on.”

“Got’s that,” Lafayette tapped his head. “Outlet shoppin’, here we come.”

The outfit they decided on was gunmetal grey. Had just enough blue in it to enhance Sookie’s skin tones and the pink pinstripes made the look. With pink pearl jewelry, shoes, bag, and scarf, she was declared ready to go.

Lafayette had opted for a grey suit with pink pinstripes. White shirt with pink tie, socks and belt. His grey shoes were rockin’ his feet!

When the sun went down, they left for S-A’s place of business.

As they turned the corner to approach the gate, there was a chuckle from around Lafayette’s neck. “They sure enough give us any sass,” O.I. said raising up from around his big man’s neck. “That will be the last mo’ fo’n thing they do.”

Lafayette was driving the Jeep when they pulled up to the gate. “We are here to see Mr. Northman,” he said to the guards.

“Who,” the guard asked, “am I say to say is calling?”

“His day walker is here, along with her day walker.”

The man said something into his radio and three more guards instantly appeared. Because two were obviously not enough.

Walking around the vehicle and running a mirror underneath, they also opened the doors, asked them to step out and looked into the auto. “Lift the back hatch,” the guard said.

Lafayette hit the button and the hatch came open. When he was finished, he motioned for Lafayette to close it.

 “You can get back in,” was all he said as he disappeared behind the wall and two guards were left there with them.

“You got the travel Scrabblegame handy?” Sookie asked. “This could take a while.”

Thirty minutes had passed. “What?” one of the guards asked. “Are they doing?”

“Playing Scrabble,” Tommy chuckled. “No need to worry about them. They are the real day walking deal. I can smell a sandwich. Along with the BBQ chips and,” he took a deep whiff. “Lemonade. They came prepared. They have obviously waited on vampires before.”

There was a knock on S-A’s bedroom door. When told the news, she tilted her head to one side and listened. She could hear nothing coming from Eric’s suite.

“What the fuck! How did they know he was here! Sweep the library for spy devices. Get Northman and meet me there.”

Eric was reading when she came in. Something in ancient Greek. He really was all that. She just hated to admit it.

“My queen,” he said standing. “I have been patted down and scanned. Just what is it you think I have done? Or am doing?” he asked her.

“It seems we have company,” she smiled at him.

“Please show them in,” she said to the open door.

Eric turned toward the door. Well, there was no mistaking who was coming down the hall. Samuel had given him the briefest of info. “Be prepared,” his brother had said. “Sookie is known by your cousin, the Late Druid.”

“I do not understand,” Eric said as they entered the room, S-A watching him carefully.

“Why is my day walker and her day walker, here?” There was surprise in his voice.

“I got the phone call from your cousin,” Sookie replied, ignoring the fact that he had directed the question to the other female.  “She said to get my ass to New Orleans and come and see you at this address.

And oh,” Sookie continued on. “She says she is not coming to pick up the beads. She has an early breakfast meeting in the morning so she sent me here, instead. But she will leave a libation for Poe in your honor, later. She says he really does not care for the beads being left at his memorial but does so like the Rye.”

“What?” S-A asked, taking a step forward. “Do you take me for a fool?” she hissed.

“Ma’am,” Sookie looked over at her, “I do not know who you are, so I cannot make that judgement call. But when the Late Druid calls and tells me to take my ass forthwith, I do it. Ever since she found out I work for Eric, she is now part of my universe, as well, influencing me and calling me. And she does not even need a phone. However, it is handiest when she calls, keeps her out of my head and my dreams. I liked myself just fine before she rolled into my life with her ways of doing business.”

“Really?” Sophie-Anne replied.

“Yes ma’am,” Sookie continued on. “I don’t know that she really cares for Eric, but since he is family she feels responsible for him. And she blessed me with shit that I do not need nor do I want.”

“For instance,” the queen asked, curious yet believing it would be all lies.

Somehow, the breather knew he was here! How was that possible? Was this Druid really that powerful?

“Well, now, when I am around him, I am a telepath. I can only read humans and the occasional Were, who comes in real gnarly. I am grateful that she spared me listening into vampires, because I do not want to know,” she stressed and pointed her finger at Eric, “what weird, unholy-burning-in- Hell-shit he is up, too.

And speaking of burning in Hell,” she eyed Eric, “I have not been paid in weeks! Which means Lafayette has not been paid in weeks,” she growled at him.

Eric grinned at her. “Well, at least you had a lovely dinner. Is that a grilled chicken sandwich from Subway? Topped with Sweet Baby Ray’s? And perhaps a bag of BBQ baked potato chips?”

“Not the first time I have eaten a bagged dinner,” Sookie responded, frowning at him.

“Myself as well,” Eric picked up the bagged blood and toasted her.

Sophie-Anne could not believe the banter between the two! And did she hear correctly?

“A telepath?”

“Yes ma’am. But only when I am with him,” she nodded at Eric. “She seems to think his ass needs all the help he can get. I could agree with that, I just wish it was not be that was his first line of defense.”

Sophie-Anne looked at Eric who seemed very nonchalant about all of this. Like it was just another day in his life! Like maybe he knew his Druid really did protect him. “And you only read human or a Were?”

“Yes,” she responded.

Was the Druid really all that? And Eric, my gawd, he always seemed to be one step ahead of the game. Did his cousin influence those around him to help him along? “Send in Addams, Quincy, Monroe and Washington,” she said to no one.

The older gentlemen came in and stood in a line.

“Show me,” she said, her eyes flaring, her voice neutral.

Sookie reached out and touched Eric’s arm. Taking a deep breath, she began. “The first man is a vampire. The second one is human and wants more time off to be with his dying wife. The third man is not a vampire or Were…something I do not know. He sounds like static on a radio. The forth man works in housekeeping and someone is stealing your hand towels. The fifth man is a Were…gosh….gnarly and then some. Oh, he has been drinking and wants another beer.”

Sophie-Anne raised her eyebrows at all of them. “Yes or no,” was all she said.

They all nodded yes.

“Get yourselves to the see Mrs. Brown, all of you. Tell her to adjust your schedules accordingly.”

With a bow of their heads, they were gone.

So it was true! All of it! Oh what to do! For the telepath to work, Eric had to be present! Fuck! But then…

 “You are his employee?” she asked as she turned to face Sookie.

“Yes,” Sookie made a dejected sound. “It was one thing to pick up his laundry. A little extra money to be made during the day. Since his cousin entered my life, this is not what I signed on for.  If I ever lay eyes on that woman, we are going to have words. I just hope she does not turn me into a toad, afterwards.

And I hope you can hear me right now,” Sookie looked skyward and shook her first. “You, along with your asshole vampire cousin, suck!”

“For one so small, she is not one to mince words,” S-A chuckled. “You surprise me Sheriff.”

Eric shrugged and smiled. “I like strong women.  I was raised around them, I seek them out and I employ them whenever I can. My cousin may be a pain in my ass, but I admire her greatly. She has power and she uses it to her advantage.

My queen,” he bowed, “may I introduce you to Miss Sookie Stackhouse. My day walker, telepath in my presence, and bar waitress extraordinaire!

And her day walker is Lafayette Reynolds. Heavy lifter, Medium and cook extraordinaire.”

“Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Reynolds, this is my vampire queen, HRM of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne.

A bow,” Eric directed his attention at the two humans, “would be appropriate.”

“Oh yes, of course,” they both said as they both dipped a bit and then stood back up.

“Your majesty,” Sookie looked at her, “I was brought here for a reason. If I knew what it was, I could accomplish that task and be on my way back home. I do have another job. So does Lafayette. We depend on that job,” she glared at Eric, “to pay our bills.”

“Well of course,” she smiled and then looked over at Eric. “Sheriff, why would she be called here?”

Eric shrugged.

“I’ve picked up your laundry,” Sookie said. “Purchased new socks and two new blue shirts. Took them to the tailor.”

Eric shrugged again.

“Does the Vette need an oil change? Tires rotated?”

“No,” he replied.

“You need a blood whore?” she asked.

“No,” he shook his head. “Hunger wise, I am fine,” he saluted her with the bagged blood.

Sookie looked perplexed.

“Perhaps,” S-A smiled. “Perhaps she sent you here so you could get paid. We are having a formal tomorrow night. Many will be in attendance. Could I possibly interest you in reading them for me?

Of course,” she turned to Eric, “she is your employee,” she nodded. “You are entitled to act as her manager and take your cut.”

“My queen, I thank you for your generosity, but I am not allowed to make a profit from this gift my cousin has given her.”

“Oh,” HRM replied.

“I am more than happy to help Sookie negotiate a price, but I cannot have a portion of that. That would not end well for any of us.”

“Oh-h-h-h,” she said again.

“An entire room?” Sookie said. “How many are we talking?”

“Perhaps a thousand. Around four hundred humans.”

Sookie looked aghast! “Have you any idea what it is like to have that many voices inside your head?”

“Set a price,” S-A nodded to Eric. “And be fair to her. Andre has money that will be used to pay her. This will be an all dark event. Do not cheat her.”

“Of course my queen,” Eric said with a bow of his head.

 As she turned to leave she addressed Sookie. “Take your time with this, Miss Stackhouse, I know how you have been wronged by my Sheriff. If you will give me an amount, I will have a check ready for you before you go.

And tomorrow’s function is a formal. You will need to shop.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Sookie bowed her head, “thank you. So you know, Lafayette is my partner. He goes with me everywhere when I am working for Eric. I pay him when I get paid. And for this…this telepathic stuff to work, Eric has to be present, so by all rights he gets a cut as well.”

“You are very amiable, Miss Stackhouse. You see to those about you. A gracious trait.”

Eric took a step forward. “I will gladly forgo my pay, my queen, as a gift to you.”

“Well thank you Eric. I will leave you to it, then. Just let me know when you have reached a decision.”

S-A retired to her throne room where sadly, there was business to attend. She would much rather be in the library watching the show in there. It was fine to listen with her ear piece, but she loved the show. The little breather gave as good as she got. And the expressions on her face were priceless.

Hm-m-m-m-m-m, so Eric liked strong women. Well that certainly explained his child. What a bitch!

And perhaps why he had agreed to guard her Northern kingdom. “He thinks I am strong,” she smiled to herself at that thought. “He admires me. And most importantly, perhaps he really does respect me.”

And his strong dislike of Andre. Her child was a fool and thought he could bully, deceive and lie to get his way.

She could smell no deceit or lies on either of the breathers. A telepath and a medium. Come the new dark, she would know what Andre had planned. Who was to be trusted and who was to be dead.

A telepath…oh glory days!

How much of Cacius was still human? Could the breather read him? And if so, the world was her oyster.

And if not, well perhaps Cacius would know that his mind was being violated and could destroy the human for attempting to trespass on him and he would, perhaps, kill Eric as well. She would not be to blame. The Druid would not come looking for her when her cousin, fell.

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the short and very late chapter!

I was out of town …..wedding!!!!!!!!!   Woohoo!

Then, when I returned, it started my parade of visits with the eye surgeon for the rest of the month.

Cataract surgery on both eyes. Rightie happened last week.

Rightie is up and running….with eye drops for a month.

Leftie happens in another week.

Hopefully, your old Auntie Carroll will once more be able to see at night. I have not driven in the dark in the past 13 years.  A whole new world is just about to have me wake it up!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 10

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 10

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 10

“That is good,” and you could hear the worry is Sookie’s voice. “I am glad that someone besides me can deal with this. I cannot change to Druid at will. That just comes on me.

I was very surprised when at the henge, I did not change to Druid until I went out to speak to Abhartach. The only thing that changed about me while I was under the altar was that my watch disappeared.”

“Good to know,” Samuel nodded. “This changes things, a bit. We are not sending you in Sookie, unless you are up and running. And we are not going to risk the meet and greet  if you are not.

We need Eric out.”

“Time to start a war,” Pam grinned. “Let’s see, who is the next up-and-comer on the world stage? Someone who has a good standing but has not shown any ambition.  Maybe one or two rumors have been heard about them wanting more, but nothing definite.”

“You know of such a one?” Gran asked.

“We keep them made to order,” Pam grinned. “You just never know when we have to pull Eric out and put S-A in her place.”

“I am alerting the fleet,” Samuel grinned. “Her lovely residence is about to be overrun.”

“You’s can do that on such a shortest of the short notices?” Lafayette asked.

“We are very good at doing that,” Samuel laughed. “Time to go to work. Now where is S-A’s child?

Eric,” Samuel spoke into a microphone. “We will activate your hearing piece only when we have information. We do not want them doing sweeps and finding it.”

There was a flurry of activity in the throne room. Messengers were coming and going.

“My Queen,” Raphel bowed, “there is chatter bouncing off all the satellites.  It is saying that The Viking is under house arrest and that he no longer guards your Northern border. That you do not sit at war council with him. That he has fallen out of favor.

Rumor has it that there is a fleet moving in…”

At that time a shock wave went through her palace and rocked everyone, sitting and standing.

“What was that?” she screeched.

“The pirates are using some type of sound wave,” Tobby replied. “I have heard rumors of this type of weapon, but only rumors. Have not seen one personally.”

“I have fucking spies, everywhere!” she shrieked. “How do they even know Eric…”

Another blast went through the building, knocking paintings off walls and causing chandeliers to crash to the floor.

“Those fuckers!” she was still screaming. “Get me The Viking. I want him, here, next to me, giving me council!”

Eric was sitting in the War Room with S-A and several others. Their queen was pacing and throwing things.

“They hit us with a LRAD. A long-range acoustic device. A sonic canon in layman’s terms,” Eric said looking at a map. “They loaded the GPS coordinates into the firing system and that is how they are able to strike only you, my queen. They are probably several miles off shore, disguised as a transport ship.”

“From the ocean!” she sobbed. “Andre and his love of sailors! That is why we settled here and not in the north! With my all knowledgeable sheriff!

And where is my child now? Still vacationing in New Zealand! He could not part himself from that French whore he is all enamored, of!”

“How fortunate that if something happens, here, my queen, your progeny  will continue,” Bill said in a humble voice.

“What!” she screeched as she flew up to the ceiling.

“My queen,” Eric began, staring up at her. “Please sit. This does not help matters. There will be a couple of more volleys from their sonic cannons and then a phone call. At that time, they will make their demands of you.”

“Sheriff,” she floated down and sat next to him and took his hand. “Have you any idea who is doing this?”

“The King of Florida had at one time a very ambitious lieutenant by the name of Wang. I only know this because The Hun mentioned him when he was here. Wang worked for Attila until twenty years ago and then moved to the New World, bragging that he would someday have his own kingdom. The Hun tried to make contact with him while he was here and Florida denied having such a person on their pay role.” Eric shrugged.  “Attila said Wang was a superior sailor. Very tech savvy. My guess would be that he has gone rogue and taking to being a pirate. Hiding anywhere in the Everglades, working his contacts and watching and waiting.”

“How would you know this?” Bill was in Eric’s face.

“Because that is what I would do,” Eric replied.

“My queen,” Eric shoved Bill out of the way, “if you do not keep Compton out of my face, he will not live to see the new dark.”

“Bill sit down or better yet, leave,” she hissed. “Go put on your body armor, grab a weapon and stand guard.”

“My queen?” he gulped.

“Do it,” she spit out at him.

Bill was glaring at Eric. “You and I, we are not finished with this. I know you are the traitor.”

“Bill,” she yelled at him and picked up a stake and threw it at him.

Making contact in his chest, Bill bawled out in terror! Her guards grabbed him and then carried him out.

“What do we do?” S-A asked Eric.

“We wait,” he replied. “They will ask to speak to you to make their demands. Once they do that, hand the phone to me.”

“Eric,” she leaned in and put both of her hands on his shoulders. “Andre is not really in New Zealand. He stopped off in Florida.”

Eric said nothing, just stared at her.

“Please Eric,” she sobbed, “give me some type of reassurance that Andre did not do this.”

“My queen,” he began slowly and took both of her hands. “You know him,  I only know him when he is on the prowl looking for power and to exert his own influence. Every time he comes into my area uninvited, you get that phone call.

I have heard that he and Compton have run up a very large gambling bill on the New Orleans Haunt.”

“What?” she took her hands and wiped at her face and sat up straighter.

“Veernox, the owner of the riverboat is an acquittance. He called me one dark a couple of months ago and wanted to know if Andre was good for the hundred-million he owed. He said Compton was there with him and was vouching for the money. I told him Andre was your child and Compton your main ass kisser. That was all the vouching I could do for the two of them.”

“What?” she hissed through clinched teeth. “So that is why Andre was so insistent on us purchasing into the riverboat gambling. So if he lost, it was our money, no one would care; if he won, it was our money he would be taking and gloating, about.

And why does he need money?” she hissed. “We provide for him.

Sheriff, if you would please, I need ten minutes, alone.”

“I will call for you, I…I just need some time.”

“Of course my queen,” he said rising and with a bow he was gone.

“Alder,” she looked over at her aide-de-camp. “I want to talk to this Veernox.”

“Of course my queen, one moment,” he said taking out his phone.

There was a brief discussion and then she was handed the phone.

“This is her royal majesty, Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the vampire queen of Louisiana.”

“This is Veernox, owner of the New Orleans Haunt,”came the reply with a Dutch accent. “Queen Leclerq, I am glad you have called. Your child came on board my riverboat thinking to glamour my people and walk out with my money. Everyone that works for me is some type of Supe and cannot be glamoured. The little Were shit thought to make his money in a very illegal way. I let this pass and did not end him that night because he assured me he was good for it. He has paid me twenty-five million  but his chit for seventy-five million is still outstanding. I normally do not carry the marker for this long. But he gave me twenty-five million as a good faith payment. He knows by the end of the month, I expect the rest of it. Child of a queen or no, I will have my money.”

“You do understand that this is between Andre and you. I have nothing to do with this.”

“Of course.”

Hanging up, handing back the phone she screamed, a long piercing one that shook her own palace!

“Bring The Viking back in,” she said, righting herself.

At that time, another boom shook the palace.

“My queen,” Alder said as he handed her the phone. “For you.”

Eric walked in and said, “If it is Wang, you will need a Chinese translator so that you will know we are speaking the truth.”

“Alder,” was all she said.

“Of course my queen,” and he was up and gone.

Gran, Lafayette and Sookie and even O.I. all sat there with their mouths, open.

They had just listened to Pamela impersonate a Dutchman by the name of Veernox and now Samuel was doing Wang as he made his demands!

“One moment please,” Sophie-Anne said and handed the phone to Eric.

Zhi Ruo from accounting was ushered in and S-A nodded to Eric.

Eric put the phone on speaker.

“This is Eric Northman. I am here to negotiate for our queen.”

“The Viking,” was said with respect in Chinese. “I heard you were in her dungeon, awaiting execution. I thought this was a reason to celebrate. To be there with your finally dead  queen, so that I might dance on your ashes before I dance on hers.”

“Obviously not,” he replied as the room could also hear Zhi Ruo translating the conversation.

“And you are?” Eric asked.

There was laughter. “If you really are all that, you tell me.”

“What’s the wager?” Eric asked.

“Let’s make it interesting. I will stop the bombing but I still want my money from Andre.

And if you are wrong, I could use a second in command. You work for me for the next hundred years.”

Eric looked crossed eyed at the phone. “That’s all?”

“With you by my side,” was more laughter, “we could rule the world! And we will start with Louisiana, then the costal  regions of the U.S.”

“HRM S-A is not liable for her child’s debts and you shall not retaliate on her in any way. And we want to know why Andre owes you money.”

“Agreed,” came the reply.

Eric looked crossed-eyed at the phone. “Wang, Attila had told me you had gone a-pirating. What else are you trafficking in?”

There was silence on the other end.

“You really are all that,” was said quietly. “Your royal majesty, Sophie-Anne, I meant no disrespect to you. I shall not trespass upon you again.

What else am I trafficking in? Well, that would be weapons. And Andre still owes me fifty-million and I will have my money.”

The connection went dead!

Silence overwhelmed the room! S-A just sat with her hands in her lap.

“Are you planning a war, my queen, that I am not aware of?” Eric asked.

“No,” she sighed. “Eric, please stay. Everyone, leave us.”

Sophie-Anne just sat, staring at a painting of her and Andre on her coronation day. “Even then, I knew,” she said nodding at painting. “I knew it was going to come to this. He wanted a crown as well. To wear in the painting. It was a spot of contention between us for months.”

“The child that would be king,” Eric shook his head. “Spoiled and then some. This is your doing, my queen. You let him snicker about you behind your back. And challenge your ways in front of his friends. You have created Frankenstein’s monster.”

“What do I do?” she asked turning to look at Eric.

“Can he be trusted?” he asked.

“No,” she replied softly.

“Then there is your answer. I will leave you to your thoughts, my queen. Is there anything else I might do for you? I need to check tonight’s balance sheet at the club. Someone is stealing from us. And so they are stealing from you, my queen.”

“Thank you Eric,” she sighed. “I am sorry to take you from your work.

But I am grateful that you are here. I am hosting a party in a in a few days. I would be honored if you would attend. I would love to meet the Late Druid. That is not an order, just a request.”

Eric said nothing. His face gave away nothing. It sounded very much like an order to him.

“Are your quarters comfortable?” she smiled at him.

“Yes,” he smiled at her. “You are very gracious.”

“If you would please, on your way out, tell the guards to stake Compton in silver out in the courtyard. Make sure they record his greeting the sun for me.

I will deal with Andre.”

“Of course my queen,” he said with a bow.

“Eric, this party that I am hosting,” her voice was low and dangerous.  “I am now concerned about the guests. Some are people who Andre believed could be very beneficial to me. One in particular. He is a Druid and perhaps the devil incarnate.

So please, tell your cousin that this is a life and death situation. If she wishes for us to live, she needs to be here.”

“I understand my queen,” he said with another bow. And there it was…his life was forfeit if Sookie did not put in an appearance.

“Rest well with the rising of the sun,” she smiled at him.

“Yourself as well,” he said and left.

Taking out her phone, she had no options with Andre. Hearing her child pick up, he began his newest line of Were shit.

“My dearest one,” he addressed her. He used that phrase when he was alone. She did not allow it when he was not.

“Child,” she began, cutting him off.  “As your maker, I command you to meet the sun. You are not to speak  of this to anyone or glamour or command anyone to lock you away. You will do this, as your maker, I command it. Set up your phone and broadcast it live to me. You are an hour ahead of us. I want to watch.”

Disconnecting she once more stood in front of the painting of the two of them. “You are so clever, Andre. But not nearly as clever as The Viking. He will have to go also. And his Druid will be a tasty snack for Cacius.”

“Not yet Brother Samuel,” O.I. said peering into the computer screen. “Stay tuned in. There is movement coming in from behind that false wall.”

“Pity to waste the two vampires,” she felt his hands settle in her hair, pull out the hair pins and toss her crown onto the floor. His hands then settled on her shoulders, ripping her dress down and then he impaled himself inside of her.

“Cacius,” she moaned, “are you really a god?”

“You tell me,” he laughed. “I am turning this poor excuse of a human’s balls into another dick and riding you bow and stern.”

To make his point, she felt herself penetrated in both orifices. “Ask me that again and I will have something for your mouth, as well.”

“Will you make me your goddess?” she gasped as he pumped harder, filling her with a fulfilling, gratifying force that made her grunt, reminding her of the first time she had dug out of the grave!

“Every god needs a goddess,” he groaned as he wrapped his hands around her breasts and squeezed until she whimpered. “You will bear my children and suckle them with your blood at your cold, but perfect,” he licked the side of her neck, “vampire tits. Once you give birth, these beauties,” he hefted them, “shall always be bared from that time forward. You shall be naked and proud that your teats feed my children.

 The little ones shall delight in your undeadness and your blood shall fill them with the goodness of the grave. I shall be known as Cacius the Bountiful.  I shall rule earth and you shall suckle my children until the end of days.  I have declared it so.

Of course,” he pulled out of her and turned her around to face him. “These bodies will not do. We shall have the ones to which I am entitled. The ones I had promised, myself. I shall have that damned Viking and you shall take possession of the Druid.  They are far more beautiful and skilled then these crude and ugly forms we now dwell within. Magic, these bodies we reside within, they know nothing of magic. Nor could they contain what needs to dwell within!” he sputtered in disgust.

“I am rather attached to this form. Am I so ugly?” she asked softly, sweetly, her hand on his chest, stroking him there.

“No,” he answered. “This form you are in is pleasing enough for here and now. But not for the millenniums to come.”

“Must it be those two?” she asked humbly.

“Well of course,” he smiled at her. “That was the bet I had with Satan. Those two and none other,” he smiled at her and winked. “Or I am fucked, in not a very pleasant fashion,” he laughed.

“Now, where was I…oh yes, I was about to get off.” Turning her back around he bent her over the throne.  “No need for you to orgasm.  The vessel is just overjoyed at serving her lord.”

 “Oh Were shit!” Pam breathed out.

“Sookie,” Samuel turned and looked at her. Disgust and horror on his face. “We are not sending you in. Cannot.”

“They want to…to enslave all of us,” Sookie felt the tears rolling down her cheeks. “What sort of vanity and fucking shit for brains is that! Just what the fuck? And if Sookie the Druid does not show up, they are going to kill Eric. Because he is tied to me in this farce where evil thinks it deserves to rule.

My family started this,” she sadly shook her head. “And Eric’s. I don’t see how I cannot. If I don’t shift into the Druid, then I will be just be Sookie, Eric Northman’s day walker. That should get me in the door.

This fucker,” her voice was getting louder,  “makes deals  with Satan! And thinks he is entitled to do just whatever the fuck he pleases! Well fuck that shit! Jesus overcame the grave and so will I. Hallelujah I believe!

This can only end one of two ways,” her voice shook with anger.  “Either Eric and I are walking out or I will be dead. But no,” she shouted,  “evil mother-fucker is taking over my body. Never! I shall not be the mother of monsters!”

“Amen and Amen,” Lafayette, O.I. and Gran said, “and Amen.”

Dear Readers,

Shortest of the short.

I am back giving the tours in Crazy. Not even time for a tequila break. Ole!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 9

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 9

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 9

Sookie pulled into their drive and sat looking at Eric. “Do you want to come in? I am not sure just exactly what I am supposed to do from this point on. I sorta thought I would not see you again.”

“I still do not know your last name,” Eric replied. “How about if we start with that?”

“Stackhouse,” she said, “Sookie Stackhouse.”

“Stapelhus,” Eric laughed out loud. “My grandmother’s maiden name which in English is Stacked House. Because her ancestors lived in a stacked house.”

“Really?” Sooke said in wonder.

“I kid you not,” Eric chuckled.

“So we really are cousins…” Sookie’s voice trailed off.

“Well, we are something,” Eric replied softly. “I really do not believe we are that close in the gene pool.”

That was a lot to digest. With that bit of information, it made Eric more real and her less…less…oh shit, maybe she really was white trash! “I guess we have been out here a while. Lafayette and O.I. are coming out to check on me.

Do you want to come in?” she asked.

“I have to be invited. Then univited when I leave.”

“Seriously?” she said.

“Absolutely,” he nodded.

“Will you be back?”

“Perhaps,” his eyes rested on her. “That will depend on you.”

“Is there a reason why I would not want to see you again?” In her voice was hope and perhaps a bit of dread.

Shrugging, he let out a sigh and got out of the car.

Coming around to her side, he opened her door and helped her out.  “Perhaps we should just sit out on the porch. I am very serious about you doing some work for me. And Lafayette as well, if he would like to earn some extra money.”

“I can appreciate the work, but seriously, what is going on? I am getting a completely different vibe from you. And your eyes have chained color.”

“You want the truth?” he asked.

“Always,” she replied.

“My long life is full of things I should have said and did not. To you, I shall speak what my heart urges me to say.

I thought I knew what it meant to desire something. To want someone. To feel the burning ember in your gut turn into a roaring flame. To learn that you are greedy. For their touch, their look, the feel and smell of their skin. To listen to their laughter and to hold them before they fall asleep.

Honestly, I want you,” his voice was low. “I carry your laughter in my soul and a fierceness inside of me that wants to taste you, again. And when I wake, to see you smiling at me.

I should not have said that. But there it is,” he said simply.

“You take my breath away,” she said, putting her hand along the side of his face. Looking into his eyes, they were the blue of another time and place. Just not her time or place. “Eric Northman, will you please come in,” she said to him as they started for the house.

Lafayette and O.I. greeted them as they stepped up and onto the porch.

“Glad to sees everthin’ is good and gooder. We was gettin’ a bit concerned,” O.I. said looking from one to the other.

“Eric has a briefin’ to give,” Sookie hugged Lafayette and rubbed O.I.’s nose. “So grab somethin’ to drink.”

“Really, this Sophie-Anne, she can do that?” Sookie sputtered.  “Just kidnap someone and haul them off to New Orleans?”

“She does that,” Eric responded. “But normally not in my area. It must be something she desperately wants and or needs.  She would not be this bold or brazen to take such a risk if she thought the payoff would not be worth it. There was a spy for her there the night of the blood moon. I would be willing to bet it is Cacius, but I have no proof. And if it is, what does he want in exchange for giving her information?”

The group was thoughtful.

“Do…,” Sookie began, “do you think Cacius wants to wheel-and-deal with Abhartach? I mean, that evil bastard could influence my dreams, you think he could do the same thing with that little worm?”

“Now there is a frightening thought,” Eric crossed his eyes and rubbed his face with his hands.

“I guess it is a good thing I am off for the next couple of weeks,” Sookie let out a big sigh. “I’ll dig up my tips out of the yard and we should be okay.”

“What?” Eric looked at her. “I am hiring you to work for me for the next two weeks. Perhaps longer. I was not kidding about that. You are still a telepath, correct?”

“Oh,” she replied. “Well yes, I am. I cannot seem to read vamps. Which is nice.

For a salary, well, I make minimum wage plus maybe ten dollars a night in tips.”

Eric shook his head and wore an expression she did not know how to read.

“I do not pay minimum wage, to anyone. Our staff at the club makes thirty-five an hour plus tips. I will be paying you twice that amount along with providing you a Jeep so you can get to and from work. I do indeed want you to take photos for me of properties. And do a little listening in from time-to-time.

Lafayette, I am willing to pay you the same if you will accompany her. One hundred an hour plus a car, credit card for gas and hotel. There is another three hundred a day per diem.  If you have to spend the night somewhere, I want it to be in a reputable, hotel and have a nice meal.

 O.I. name your price for protecting both. I have no idea what S-A is up too, but it does not sit well with me.  And when things do not sit well with me, I get a might bit perturbed.”

“That’s a lot of money,” Sookie said to him.

“What?  Twenty thousand a week for the next two weeks. Maybe longer. I cannot put a value on our time, Sookie. You can do things that I cannot. Day walk being at the top of that list. Being a Druid when needed. A telepath when needed. Do you want more money?”

“No,” she violently shook her head. “Twenty thousand for one week. That is more than I make in a year.”

“His La La Fineness says we needs us a schedule. Of the do’s, don’t and whatnot’s. Also, who can be trusted and nots would be of big values. Also along with where and who to avoid.

I knows you would not send us knowingly into danger, but shit happens.”

“Indeed it does,” Eric nodded. “How about if we start with the henge in N.O. I want to know if you can get some type of reading off that? The lightning storm blew the hell out of it. The altar stone was broken in four equal parts. I moved them, just to be on the safe side.”

“Safe from what?” Sookie asked.

“Any evil intent on anyone’s part. Or even their good intent. That was your sacrifice on that altar,” he stressed. “It is not for anyone else to attempt to reproduce your actions or to fathom the outcome or try to justify how more righteous they are to star in their own version of a graphic novel.

You did this Sookie, you. And you are not to share this praise with anyone else. So the altar stone is elsewhere.”

“Well okay,” she nodded. “So what comes next?”

“We get you on payroll. I need to speak with Samuel. Then you go to work.”

Eric took out his phone and Sookie was thinking through the next couple of weeks. “Is the henge closed? And if it is, how do we get past the farmer who owns the cornfield?”

“The henge is still open and I own the cornfield,” he replied.

“Oh-h-h-h-h…” she nodded in understanding.

“Samuel,” Eric smiled. “My brother…”

When Eric hung up he smiled at the trio of do gooders. “My own Scooby Gang! Take the day off. The Jeep and phones will be delivered. Along with a few other things that might be helpful. Become familiar. Go shopping for clothes for all types of weather. Spring storms and winter blizzards. I do not know where this will take us, but be prepared. I will see you with the new dark!”

Pride was a terrible and powerful thing. Since creation, he, Abhartach, had ruled. The stars, the stairs…

…and now…now he was lost in the ether…he had stayed too long gloating to the humans and before he reached the top step, the stairs gave way as did his night sky and their cold moon now ruled him!

And now he was stuck, neither here or there. He could just endlessly tread up and down where the stairs had been. His feet remembering the path he had taken in triumph down to this cursed place.

This planet was not new to him. He had traveled here and watched the humans with interest until one day he had taken a body and forced it to his will.

With the duality, there were certain forces that worked against him. Having a tether to this world was what made it possible for him to travel back-and-forth.

Now that tether was gone! He had been defeated! The curse no longer held and now he was doomed to once more travel as spirit…high above the mists of time and the meaning of death…

…death…he shivered as he thought about his own demise. This was the precursor to his end. His resources limited, because what was left of his divine nature would continue to diminish.

Humans did not seek the ways of the righteous beings that had held them sway in the past. This new time of unrighteousness was foreign and distasteful. Humans’ arrogance knew no bounds! He had been defiled with something of a holy matter that was now lodged in his body!

And he was locked here…him!

“Past glories,” he mused. “There is none to remind me of my past glories. Or how to summon the stairs or the stars!”

This was now his eternity. In the cold dark of space, he saw the faint outline of the steps that now denied him his escape. The portal at the top was closed. Below lay the henge that mocked him. It looked like a great, gaping, maw with broken, decayed teeth, wanting to devour him!

What would it accomplish if he stood in the henge? What would it accomplish if he did not?

Carefully, he descended to the circle. The destruction here had been complete! Shards of rock and splinters of melted metal protruded out of what was left of the standing stones. The floor looked cold and glassy!

Once he touched the ground, he could feel it! The pain where the object had pushed into him pulsated! It was alive with energy!

So were the grounds! Walking towards the boundary rocks, he could feel the charge begin to build. The static coursed through him and the closer he came to the edge, the more the current pushed him apart! The metal in him causing him to howl and rip at his skin!

Taking a step back, he felt parts of him flow back into their proper places.  The pain was becoming an ache. When he was back in the center, he no longer felt disjointed, but whole.

So this was his destiny! To wander this foreign night sky or to stand in this one spot on earth…! Where all he could do was stand!

As a dare to himself, he threw his will at the outer wall! It rebounded back to him on the same course it had taken and when it hit him, he sizzled and smoked while he screamed and cursed!

The sun had been up or an hour. Cacius was indeed alone and cursed! This was misery he thought to never endure! The day would pass and he was not the king of anything except his own misery. There was no concept of time, food, or drink. There was just the want! Cacius sat staring at the cold firepit he had started right at dawn in what was left of the circle.  Feeling old and abandoned, his soul was empty, with nothing to speak of his heritage or rightful place in the universe!

He sobbed out his grief. What would his grandmother say to him? She had taught him what he needed to know to magic his way through life and others’ pockets. How to smartly move through a crowd and influence the weak willed.

Staring at the wood stack, he willed it to light! It must light! He had to be worthy!

“Please dark lord, please dark lord, please dark lord,” he began chanting. “Grant me this boon. Give me my desires. They are few and you are the holder of many.”

Abhartach heard the crying echoing up the void.  Perhaps all was not lost after all. Below was a supplicant! Someone who believed!

It had been an early morning and busy. The Jeep arrived and with it credit cards and phones. Sookie and Lafayette and even O.I. now had banking accounts.

“Likes bein’ bonna’ fide,” O.I. said more than once as he admired the plastic card. “Hm-m-m-m, needs me a pouch to carry it in,” he began feeling around on his body. “Oh, there it is,” he smiled as his paw slipped into an opening on the left side of his body and left the card, there.

“Time to walk the talk,” Lafayette said, eyeing the new auto. “Gots us some righteous four-wheels drive and,” he opened the doors, “appears to be everythin’ else. My little man’s, we shall go in style when we is not in need of ridin’ on you’s back.”

“Is it time for lunch times nurishments, yet?” O.I. asked. “I gots a hankerin’ for that cheesecake my big man’s made.”

“Can do,” Sookie nodded. “Let’s call it breakfast cheesecake!”

“And maybe something a bit more user friendly to my old heart, like tequila to go with it,” Gran said with a smiled. “After all, Lafayette did make it with lime.”

“Ole!” they all shouted and then went back to their newest toy.

“I think I have the phone figured out. Eric left us voice mail,” Sookie said as she played with her phone. Hitting play, they heard his voice. “This is Northman. Can you meet me in N.O. at the hotel? Same room, just use your bio-metrics to get in. If possible, I would like eyes on the henge beginning at sun rise. Doing readings throughout the day. Out here.”

“Time to go to work. Let’s take the cheese cake,” Gran smiled.  “We can buy coffee and have a picnic along the way.”

“Oh, I am likin’ that,” Lafayette nodded in agreement. “Some nice enough places in Shreveport.”

“Have their dessert and maybe ours as well,” Sookie wiggled her eyebrows.

“Well lets pack a small bag of creature comforts and go,” Gran smiled. “A trip to New Orleans. I cannot wait to see the penthouse!”

 “Nice day to be driving,” Gran smiled as she admired all the gadgets on the dash. “Lafayette, what does that do?” she asked.

“Heats the steerin’ wheel,” he grinned. “Now, Gran, you find us a station to listen, too. Just check that card. We has gots 200 channels of music to right the soul. Finds us somethin’ we can move on down the big road, too.”

The Stackhouse Family in New Orleans

Arriving on the outskirts of N.O., they all voted to go to the henge, first. The hotel would wait.

When Lafayette drove into the cornfield he pulled over for a moment. “Looks different,” he said. “Not that I could see that night. But…Miss Sooks, what thinks you?”

“Does look different. And smells different. O.I. you got any sorta vibe on this?”

“Air smells heavily of ozone and some type of rottin’ fruit. And burned corn of the pop.”

They pulled in and parked and walked the fenced alley way to the henge.

“Maximum damage to the rocks,” Sookie said with a low whistle.

“Lightnin’ at its finest,” Lafayette responded. “Hotter than the sun, it is. Done and melted the metal that was in these rocks.”

“Wow,” Sookie said running her finger lightly against a shiny bit. “It looks like wet, dark algae,” she stated, letting out a low whistle.

“Huh,” they both heard O.I. and looked in his direction. “Woulds you just looks at this. Between the two standing rocks where the top of the altar was…here on the ground, there are footprints.

Look,” O.I. said pointing to the ground. “Someone stoods here in the center, coulds maybe hold onto either side of the standin’ stone and endure…cause woulds you just look at the prints left in theses stones. Human on one side and…wolf paw on the other!  Mo’ fo’n…there is a human bare foot and there is a wolf’s paw print right there next to it on the ground.”

“Wonders if we should call Mr. Heveraux….?” Lafayette   arched an eyebrow as he bent down to examine the ground.

“Who?” Sookie queried. “Oh, you mean the packmaster? Was he here?”

“Yes he was. And Cacius had a Were in the trunk of his car to sacrifice on this here altar. Alcide made it possible to track him and haul his ass in before, I am guessin’ Were justice. I am wonderin’ now if Part A  has been served.”

The time at the henge was well spent. There were photos and measurements taken, much like a CSI unit working the field.

Finished with their fact finding, it was late afternoon and time to go to the hotel.

The drive into town was pleasant and they checked out various places they thought would be fun to eat.

Arriving at the hotel, they handed the valet the keys to their car, their luggage was taken and they were shown inside and deposited with a bow at the entrance to the penthouse.

“Lovely,” Gran nodded as she peeked in every room.

“The view is not to shabby either,” Sookie added as she opened the doors to the balcony. “This garden is a whole other suite out here above the sky line. Gran, would you just look at these old-fashioned roses. They smell heavenly.”

“Glory,” Gran smiled as she stepped out. “They have the blooming and the repeat blooming varieties.  Bushes and climbing. All colors. What a delight!

Can we have our dinner out here?”

“Of course we can,” Lafayette said. “But lets order tea, first.”

“Oh-h-h-h,” Sookie grinned. “A tea party! And me without my hat!”

“I’ll be tea-mum,” O.I. said as he picked up the house phone. “Now, we wants some of everythin’, right! And better heart stuff for Gran.”

“Pbbbllllttttt!” Gran rolled her eyes. “I want a lemon-blueberry scone. And an orange one! Hot! With butter! As much as Eric is paying for this room, I figure we have our own chef so bring on those cute little crust less sandwiches! And a lovely fresh fruit platter. That can be my heart healthy.”

When Eric rose, there were messages on his phone. The ones from Sookie made him smile. Along with the photos she had sent, along. Those of them having tea on the roof was priceless. O.I. was such a ham!  Fluttering upside down and pouring was pretty cute.

The message from Sophie-Anne put him into a furious rage! She wanted to see him upon rising! See him she would!

Eric sent out a text message to his best buddies. “Required at S-A’s residence. Start the briefing without me. Will be there ASAP.”

The Stackhouse family was standing out on the balcony when the vampires landed, there. Samuel and Pam both sporting a bit of fang.

“Eric is required at the residence?” Sookie said, worry in her voice. “Is he going to be alright?”

“Things are back to business as usual,” Pam replied. “S-A is going to want an out-brief. This could take a while.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded at her as they went inside. “She will want to know as much as possible.

Let us use what time we have wisely. Would you please show us the photos that you took at the henge?”

Pamela and Samuel intently studied the images. “Have you talked to the Were?” he asked.

“No,” Sookie shook her head. “We looked up his business. So far, all we have been able to do is leave a message.”

 “I spoke with him at the henge,” Lafayette said. “that night. He was sure enough gonna do somethin’ not very nice to Cacius.”

“I have his number,” Pam replied pulling it up. “Sending him another message.”

At that time, Lafayette’s phone began to ring. “We are a go for launch,” Lafayette said as he picked up his phone.

“Mr. Herveaux, this is His La La Fineness,” he began. “Thanks you for returnin’ my call. I ams the Medium that you meet at the henge. I hope all is fine with you and yours and kept out of the blood moon. Cause not all things are sitting pretty with me and mine and  am’s hopin’ you have some answers. We went to the henge today and took photos of the odd and odder type. You know anythin’ about someone with human on one side and wolf on the other?”

New Orleans, Sophie-Anne’s Throne Room

“Bill,” the queen snorted, “We want to know how Eric took care of this mess. Before my Sheriff arrives, we want to at least know as much as Eric, does.

The King of Mississippi would like to know as well,” she glared at Bill one more time and then turned her smiling face upon Russell.

Then her glare was back upon Bill. “It is sadly disappointing that you have not one clue as to any of this and that our Sheriff of Area Five is going to put in an appearance to explain it all to us. Any doubts I have about his story will be just that…doubts that anyone could us against us.”

Bill was down on his knees. “My Queen, I was the acting head of your realm, ready to defeat any and all foes.  I thought it wise to be safe and protect your rule and your queenship   and let Northman handle this. I had the guards at the ready in case he could not hold the front line. We were here, if someone tried to storm your residence. I am your most loyal and humble servant.”

Russell was admiring the stained glass in the windows and rolled his eyes.

For this time and place, he did not give a rat’s ass about the liar that Sophie-Anne kept as her main ass kisser. He wanted the female Druid and was willing to sign over his half of the gold mine if S-A could produce her.

The doors opened. “Your majesty,” the guard bowed. “The Sheriff of Area Five is here.”

“Please show him in,” she replied and everyone turned their eyes  to the monitor that just came on.

Eric was standing at the entrance doors.

“The Queen will see you,” he was told. “Take out your phone and any other electronic device you have. We are not required to do a strip search, but we will pat you down.”

Eric took off his watch and as he handed over his phone, he placed his finger over the camera lenses and clicked the side button three times, pause, then three times vampire speed. The SOS message just went out and would be vibrating on several phones as a friendly heads up to his friends that things were not to his best interest, and included was his last GPS location.

Around the world, and in New Orleans, the message was received.

With a smile, he endured the Weres’ hands going over his body and perhaps lingering too long on his crotch.

“Thanks,” he grinned at both of them. “And I thought this evening would not end with me sporting a hard on.”

There was a low growl as another set of guards stepped up and walked him to the throne room.

There were guards, everywhere in the halls. All of them at the ready. This was not unusual, as Sophie-Anne protected what was hers. But Eric has never had them trained on him, before.

At the doors to the throne room he was frisked one more time.

The doors opened and he was announced.

Eric did not have a problem reading the room. Sophie-Anne was wearing the look of a predator, moving in for the kill; Bill was gloating and Russell wore the bored expression of show me the money, then we will talk.Good to know who wanted what.

His guess was that they all wanted Sookie. Cacius, wherever the fuck he was, figured mightly into this. Alcide had cursed him so that he now wore a bit of Were on his right side. If he could leave prints in rocks as a human and Were, then he was something more. Abhartach came to mind. He had stayed until the stars began to vanish. As a rule, he was the first one to haul his ass up those stairs when the moon started to go to cold.

So, this was a trap…well fuck…but then again, when was it not. When Sookie was pulled into this, she would be able to take care of herself! And O.I., well fuck, he would scare the life right out of you!

Russell had seen Northman at a distance once or twice. There was a snowy night in Paris when a pack of Weres had thought to take The Viking, on. Russell had bet his money on the Weres that were hyped out on vamp blood. It had taken him a year to re-coup his losses on that smallish wager.

The sheriff was announced and Northman came in. Bowed and then stood at ease.

“He really is all fucking that,” he digested that and mentally regrouped. He was here to observe and that was all. Did he and Talbot  want a henge…yes. Did they it want blessed by the real deal? Yes. After she was finished setting the stones, would they have to sacrifice the Druid on top of the altar? Well, maybe. Talbot had been doing research about that and still had no definitive idea.

Bowing, Eric stood and addressed her. “What may I do for you my queen?”

“Sheriff,” HRM raised her hand for him to kiss, “we wish to thank you for protecting our realm from the horribleness that wanted to come through the henge. How is it that you stopped it?”

“I did not do this by myself, your majesty,” he replied. “I had the help of my friends. We went to war and victory was ours.”

“Yes,” she smiled, “victory. My Sheriff, please tell me who they were for we would like to reward them.”

Nothing but the truth, just not all of the truth. If she wanted to know, she had to show her hand.  “Of course my queen. It was Vlad Drac, William the Conquer, Attila the Hun; Ian, King of British Isle and Cedric, King of Erie.”

“Traitor!” Bill yelled. “You brought into our queen’s realm those that would attempt to depose her?”

Eric leveled his gaze on Bill. “When you called me, asking for help, I told you I would bring my friends. You, who were acting queen, as in I was told to address you as Queen Bill at the time, said that was perfectly fine. I brought them here with your blessing, Bill. And if they wanted this kingdom, HRM would not be sitting here now.

And we were not the only ones to be in this fight. If you had taken me up on my offer to attend, you would know that.  There was all manner of magics there that evening as well. Witches, Druids, Weres, one or two trolls, some wee folk   with their own brand of magic that they bring into the mix. And I think I saw a giant. There is no light in the henge, so I cannot swear to that.

I wish I could take credit for this, but in fact, I believe it was all of us working together to accomplish this feat! When we arrived, there were several hundred different magics there laying the ground work with their chants, blessings, and prayers. Their ballads written upon a staff, placed in the ground at strategic places. Or so they said,” he shrugged. “All of our combined magics, that brought the victory.”

“And one in particular,” Bill snorted. “That you have left out.”

“Fucking perfect,” Sophie-Anne grinned to herself. When she had briefed Bill, she had told him about the cousin, the druid.Bill did love to play I know more than you do. Sadly, he was just not very good at it.

But this female, this cousin, she was the one with the real power and not Eric.

Bill did not disappoint. He just kept right on with the I too have spies.

Go Bill. Go! Keep blabbing away! She was blameless for pulling Eric’s cousin into this. Bill would be the one to face the true death, in Eric’s eyes, for mentioning her!

“I believe you called her cousin,” Bill smirked.

“Actually, I call her Late Druid,” Eric remarked. “And when I really want to piss her off, Cousin.”

“Why Eric,” Sophie-Anne smiled, “please tell us her name so that we might thank her as well.”

“Her name is Late Druid, or I am allowed to address her as Cousin. I am under a geas, my queen. I piss her off and she removes words from my vocabulary that I am no longer allowed to say.”

“She is that powerful?” Sophie-Anne asked and you could hear the awe in her voice before she dropped it back to neutral.

Eric shrugged. “Yes. But this is a family thing,” Eric responded, “because we share a common ancestor.  My grandmother’s sister, who lived on British Isle at the time and was a Druid.  I meet her as a young man and pissed her off and she gave my female relatives this power over me. From this lineage comes my cousin and she is able to deny me certain things.”

“So, she cannot do this to everyone?” S-A said with relief in her voice.

Eric shrugged, again. “Probably. Maybe, perhaps. This I do not know. But she has a strict code that she lives by and I am part of that code when I piss her off. I know how to do humble.”

“You Sheriff, humble?’ she laughed. “I would very much like to meet her,” Sophie-Anne smiled. “When can you arrange this?”

“Hard to say,” he replied. “The only way I have of contacting her is to leave five purple Mardi Gras strings of beads on Edgar Allen Poe’s memorial marker in Baltimore before five in the morning.”

“You think she walks there so early?” Sophie-Anne asked in awe.

“I think she does whatever the fuck she wants,” he answered.

“She burned a star map into the ceiling at the club to make her point to everyone there. I am just happy she did not burn it into my forehead. Or on my ass.”

“She would do that?” Bill asked in awe.

“Do not piss her off,” Eric replied. “Or you will find out.”

“Well Sheriff,” S-A’s smile got bigger. “We very much now desire to meet her. Anyone that can bring you to heel is someone worth knowing.

You shall reside with us until she is announced in our throne room. Now,” she motioned one of the guards, forward. “Give all the particulars to Hendrick and when she calls your cell phone, we shall chat and have a grand party for her when she arrives.”

With a flutter of her hand, Eric was excused.

“The God of my fathers,” Samuel said watching the room with the smallest spy device that had been created in his lab. “How do we do this Brother Samuel?” Pam asked.

“Let them plant the beads in Baltimore. Give it a day then Sookie,” he looked at her,  “call Eric’s cell. We will bounce the signal all over the world. They will negotiate a time for you  to come into town and do the meet and greet. That will buy us another day or two.

Let me set this in motion.”

“So they really do have Eric, now?” Sookie asked, looking anxious.

“Yes,” Pam nodded. “But he has been invited-to-stay,” Pamela said with death in her eyes, “once or twice, before. When this happens, there is always something that comes up that he is needed for. Maybe a war will start on one of her boarders or perhaps there will be someone from the Old Empire that wants to see Eric and she is to send him forth or suffer the consequences.”

“Are there real consequences?” she asked.

“Yes,” O.I. chuckled. “And they are mighty and severe.”

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 8

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 8

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 8

There was a road running through the corn field. Eric had them vamp speed to where there was parked an RV.

“Nice ride,” Sookie said when Eric put his hand on the biometric display and the doors opened.

“Me or the RV,” he grinned at her.

“Both,” she smiled back.

Stepping in there was an audible intake of air from her. “Really nice ride,” she nodded and turned and looked at him. “Marble inlaid floors, granite counter tops. Leather and even a fireplace.”

“Two full baths and a bedroom with a king size bed,” Eric nodded. “All the comforts of home. Would you like something to eat or drink? The fridge is stocked. There is an ice bucket with champagne and I believe even room for dancing.”

“M-m-m,” Sookie sighed, “I would love to dance. The music  playing is Benny Goodman.”

“How do you know that?” Eric asked as his hands arranged her braids.

“Gran,” she answered with  a smile. “She loves to dance and so she taught me. The big band era was somethin’ else. She loves the music and so do I.”

Sookie looked at the champagne and shook her head. “If I want to keep my wits about me, I guess that would be no to the champagne,” she said picking up the heavily carved flutes that were beside the bucket.

Her eyes rested on him. His face. The way his brow was lightly furrowed. “This is really lovely. Thank you.”

“No,” Eric replied bringing her hands to his lips, his eyes never leaving hers. “Thank you,” and you could hear the passion in his voice.

Moonglow,” Sookie smiled to hide her embarrassment as the next song started. “One of my favorites.”

Eric’s placed a hand on her cheek. “I am so sorry about this. It saddens me that this has to be. That you are giving your all to one such as myself. That I am not what you deserve.”

“Eric,” she let go of the bewildered feeling that tried to dominate her. “There is a sayin’. In the end we all get what we deserve. If this is to be my last meal, so to speak. I could not,” she smiled at him, “have imagined any of this,” she smiled at him. “Truly. I could not…no correction…I would never have dared to dream this big.”

“My lady,” Eric bowed to her, “would you care to dance?”

“Why thank you kind sir,” she smiled up at him as she stepped into his arms. “Yes I would.”

Sookie sang along with the song as held her and danced her around the floor.

“You have a lovely voice,” he said to her.

“No,” she grinned. “The Seid has a lovely singing voice. Sookie does not.”

“Is that a fact?” Eric asked her as he dipped her to the floor and slowly brought her back up.

“That is a fact,” she grinned. “Sookie cannot carry a note in a bucket. But I do like to sing and so I do. Not everyone enjoys it as much as I do.”

“Are you sure? I could easily offer you a recording contract.”

Laughing, she kissed him on the cheek. “That is so sweet, but when this is over and the Seid has retired until the next event, no, I really do not think you will.”

“How bad can it be?” he asked.

“Plenty bad,” she grinned.  “My gran loves me to death but when we go to church, she sings in the choir and I sit in the back of the church. Mr. Hershel, he is tone deaf and he loves to sing also. So the two of us has the grandest time singin’ for all we are worth while the rest of the church sings louder to drown us out.”

“You go to church,” Eric nodded. “If I might, how do you reconcile this…this…evil that is coming from the stars with your beliefs?”

“I believe in God and His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That means different things to different folks. I have my own personal take on that as well. And because of what I believe, I have found that faith is walking to the edge of all the light that I have and taking one more step. That because of what I believe, I will never be swallowed by the darkness that looms in front of me. And the light that lives in me, the darkness cannot over-come it.

So evil comes and evil goes. That is every day of my life. And if it kills this body, my light lives on in Heaven.”

“And what if there is no Heaven or Hell?” Eric asked.

“If this is all there is,” she shrugged, “then I have had a pretty good time.

I like who I am and what I stand for and at the end of the day, or at the end of this life, if I have done the best I can, then I  figure I will rest easy in the grave.”

Eric stared at her. “You do not fear death,” he said slowly.

“No,” she responded.

“You are a remarkable woman,” he raised her hands to his lips and kissed them. “A woman that values herself. That lives what she believes. You are rare, Miss Sookie and I am honored to say I know you.”

“Not that rare,” she shrugged as he twirled her around and back into his arms. “Lots of good folks out there. I know several. It is just that after puttin’ in a full day’s work, all you want to do is get home, kick your shoes off, put your feet up and enjoy your family.”

Laughing, he spun her around the room and then back to face-to-face. “So what you are saying,” he grinned at her while she laughed, “is that I probably won’t meet them if I only associate with the dregs of the supernatural society.”

Sookie shrugged and became very serious. “Probably not in the dregs of any society.

What are you thinkin’,” she asked him. “Your eyes just changed color.”

“We have about forty minutes,” Eric noted the time. “And you are naked beneath that robe,” his smile was impish.

“Yes, I was wonderin’ if you were gonna’ notice that?”

“Oh, believe me, I noticed,” his fangs dropped down just a bit.

“I believe you mentioned that you wanted to do some smoochin’.”

Grinning at him, she blushed and nodded her head, yes.

“Well, we can smooch standing up, or sitting down with you in my lap. We can also smooch on the couch lying down or in front of the fireplace.

And there is that king size bed in the back,” he wiggled his eyebrows at her. “So are we going to pick the box, the curtain or door number three?”

“Let’s go with what’s behind door number three,” she motioned with her head.

He waltzed her there and opening the door, he announced, “You have picked the king size bed. Now let me tell you what you have won. Shall this be with clothes or naked or a combination.

O’, wait one,” he grinned as her robe disappeared. “Looks like the fates have decided.”

Scooping her up in his arms, he carried her to the bed and placed her under the covers. “You under the covers, me on top of the covers, and if you don’t mind, a lot of French kissing. Put your spit all over my mouth and anywhere else you have a mind, too.”

“Hear! Hear!” was called from his crotch as he began to disrobe.

“What?” Sookie asked sitting up. “Does your crotch speak?”

“That is King Eric. My penis. He talks. I was hoping he would keep it to himself, tonight, but apparently not.”

“She looks like Venus rising up out of the waves, Eric,” he gasped. “Her light shines around her like the luminescence of a perfect white, South Sea pearl. Her breasts reflecting dazzling snow-capped mountains in the brilliant sunshine and her nipples, the pink glow of the fiery sunset as the ocean sprays her with a fine mist and sets all aglow declaring her the perfect woman!

I am glad you brought my knives,” his voice was solemn and proud. “Gladly I would go to my death defending her. You may count on me fair lady, I will keep you safe and the evil ones dead!”

“Thank you,” she replied as her eyes went up to Eric’s. “Really? A knife?”

“He is deadly with a knife,” Eric replied. “And he has, more than once, saved my life. I bought his arsenal. After tonight I am going to have a Bowie knife made for him and present it to him with much pomp and fanfare.”

“Really?” Sookie replied, her eyes going back down to Eric’s crotch.

“Yes. Because of our unusual circumstances this evening, Madame Vedo has stitched sheaths into my pants to hold his knives. So they shall be at the ready and easily accessible.”

Sookie was smiling. “I have never thought in my entire life that I would need a penis to protect me, let alone know one that carries his own knives.”

“Truthfully,” Eric smiled, “I did not either. Yet, here we all are. You, me, and King Eric. Ready to cross blades.”

“War is my middle name,” King Eric replied. “And Trouble is his. That is why War is my middle name,” he snorted. “To keep Trouble intact. I am the brains and he is the legs that walks us around.”

Snorting, Sookie swallowed the chuckle. “He comes with attitude,” she nodded.

“Yes,” Eric sighed,  “more often than not he gets me slapped. I am happy to see he is on his best behavior.”

“Best behavior,” she ran her hand down the side of his face. “I believe you said something about French kissing. I have never done that. And I am looking forward to doing that. Now should I help you with your clothes or can I just watch?”

“Do you want to watch?” he asked her, his voice low and sultry.

“I think so,” her voice was curious. “Yes,” she nodded, “I want to watch. Would you please do just sorta go slow and easy?”

“Well yes I can,” he said standing and because he could, pulled his t-shirt up very slowly up and over his head. Then, like a slow trickle of water running of the bloom of a rose, he was running his hands down his chest and into his jeans. With a low moan, he rubbed his upper thighs and said, to her, “I wish you were doing this.”

Sookie’s eyes were riveted as his hands moved and he was now rubbing on King Eric.

Sookie was moaning softly as Eric slowly moved his hands out and undid his belt.

Then the top button.

Then the next button.

“The Levi Denim 501 Five Button Fly,” she nodded, her eyes finally looking up at his and not watching his hands. “Straight leg. Hugs your ass. Looks like they were made to fit you.”

“Tailored,” he grinned and licked his bottom lip.

“Part of the seduction?”

“Well that depends. Do you like it?” he asked, undoing another button.

“Oh yes,” she nodded, as she was once more watching his hands. “I like it very much.”

“What?” he asked her as he undid the last button and his hands reached in and pushed his jeans down until he stepped out of them. “What is it that you like the most?”

“The way your hands are so sure and steady. And that low moan you made. That was pleasure. That is the same kind of satisfying sound I make when I rub on myself. But it is dark and I am under the covers.

You are not at all embarrassed about…about anythin’.”

“No,” he said as he approached the bed. Getting on, he lay down beside her, his face buried in her neck as he placed kisses there.

“You are more than welcome to cover me in your spit,” he licked her pulse and then her neck.

He left a small trail of kisses along her collar bone, then down her side until his ear was even with her breast. As his mouth worked toward her nipple, his hands slid under the covers and then under her. Mouthing her nipple he began to suck. Then his hands cupped her butt and he pulled her up to him.  “Just ride it,” he said as he thrust his hips forward  and put his considerable concentration on one nipple and then the next. Listening to her cry and whimper and whisper “Please, Eric, please,” was enough to make him this side of crazy. Who needed to be a genius? The nice thing about crazy was that it had no limits…and he was going to push her over that limit…if he did not end up there first!

My name is King Eric and I am sure you have heard all manner of rumors about me…may I just stress to you that they are all, true.

I have been with The Viking since time, began, for us. Yes, I am the Y chromosome that keeps the big oaf from just being a really tall, ugly girl. And he is tall…that is the Viking blood…and yes, he is blond and blue-eyed as well, which is also his Viking gene pool. And his dick…well, that is all me and I am my own man, King Eric, Viking or no! I get my girth and robustness from my sheer strength of will and never ending devotedness to wanting to please the ladies!

I am deeply embarrassed to say, there was a time in his life when I went on strike!

Yes…I know… it still assaults me to my very soul!

There was a hundred years when he was not the best person that you would want to know. His grandmother and mother would have shamed him in front of the entire clan for doing some of the outrageously disrespectful things that happened on his watch.

I still roll my one eye at the thought of some of the things that he did. And we would have shouting contests about this! One dark he got so tired of me speaking the truth to him, that  he put a geas on me so that I could not speak and berate him for his sad lack of manners and the way he conducted himself!

I just want you to understand that I did not encourage nor did I participate in his immoral, outrageous acts.

That is correct…for a hundred years, he could not get me up. No one knows this, but when he was with a woman, he was forced to use a strap on, then he would glamour them, tell them what a great lover he was and send them on his way.

Poser! And then some…!

It was a stone circle that brought him back.

I am proud and pleased and deeply humbled to participate tonight in this stone circle that is going to wipe his name from the list of dumber-then Were shit. You know the list I mean. That awkward moment when someone in the crowd yells out when you are telling a story… “Well just how dumb was he?”

And you are forced to speak the truth so you reply, “He was dumber than Were shit!”

“Oh, man…” they all take a step back, shake their heads and roll their eyes. 

“You just cannot come back from that! And as the King, there is no way I want my name associated with dumber than Were shit. After all, I might be  the little head, but I am the brains of this outfit!

So, this evening, that is my intent. Tonight we are coming back from…from…that!  And all though my name is clear on this account, I am attached to the big oaf! And I suffer from guilt by association. Yes, I know, I am all heart and soul and take the responsibility! But this is who I am! And it cannot be helped!

So am I looking forward to tonight? You know that I am! I shall do my job! It might be the quickest one stroke on the face of the planet, but Miss Sookie shall know pleasure   and we shall put that beastly one hundred years behind us, once and for all!

Eric and Sookie were both giggling. The spit idea seemed like a good one, so they were taking turns licking each other, starting with their feet and working their way up.

Sookie now had her tongue on the back of Eric’s knees. He  was ticklish there and his giggles caused her to giggle.

When she was finished with those, she laid down and he licked the back of hers.

Her whooping with laughter could be heard by the vampires at the stone circle.

“I thought he was sexing her up?” Vlad said to Attila. “You know, that she would be screaming with pleasure…not laughing…” his voice trailed off as the merriment just got louder.

Everyone looked at Pamela and then Samuel.

They both shrugged.

Pamela and Samuel looked at each other and shrugged.

“This is new,” Pam mumbled under her breath. “Screaming his name in pleasure, yes. Laughing so hard that she is gasping for air, I am not for sure what that is…” she was shaking her head and her focus was now on the direction of the RV.

“They have thirty minutes,” Madame Vedo replied, watching the moon.

“We have thirty minutes,” Eric said looking up at her. As much as he wanted her to work over King Eric, who was gasping for air, they had to move on.

“I will hurry it along,” she replied as she licked her way up his chest to his neck.

“Your turn,” he said, lying her down on her back. “As much as I hate to, vamp speed from here on.”

“Yes,” she replied as she let her body enjoy the following moments. “Yes,” she whispered as she grabbed his head and held on!

Sookie purred when Eric finished with her face and he pulled her fiercely to him.

“We have to go,” he whispered into her ear.

“I know,” she nodded and watched him get up, go over to a chair  and pull on a long linen shirt.

“Madam Vedo made one for you as well,” he said reaching to the chair and walking it over to her. “These have been treated with tin. I do not know how she works her magic, only that she does very well. Until yours manifests, this will serve you well.”

Sitting up, she took it from him and slid it on over her head. Helping her stand, she shook the shift out. “Well, it covers the girly stuff. For now, that is all that matters.”

“Let us away,” Eric smiled at her.

“Front or back?” she asked him with a grin.

“Front, front, front!” was being yelled from King Eric.

“Front it is,” she wrapped her arms around him and then her legs.

“How about a kiss for the road?” she asked.

“Oh, we shall kiss while we are on the road,” his tongue reaching out and licking her lips.  “We have five minutes to get there. Five minutes to get into position. We shall have a five-minute kiss to get there.”

They were out the door and moving not at a high rate of vamp speed, like they had coming over. But a more moderate pace. Which she enjoyed, immensely! King Eric was singing the Ride of the Valkyriesand Eric’s tongue was all over her mouth in time to it.

It was, she thought one of the funniest yet most sensual things she had experienced thus far.

“Or maybe it is just my nerves,” she reflected on that for a moment. “Does not matter,” she tightened herself around him while her tongue licked his. “I like it!”

When they arrived at the henge, there was the appearance of a battle already taking place…Mother Nature was warring against what wanted to descend from the sky!

Everyone had fled, except for the vampires and the dragon and his ryder that now stood in the circle.

“You smell like each other,” Ian said when Eric stepped them into the henge.

“Yes,” Eric nodded as he walked them toward the altar.

“How is that possible?” Vlad asked.

“We covered each other in our spit.”

“But vampires do not make dry saliva,” Ian pointed out. “Only if we are preparing to feed.”

“Apparently I do,” Eric responded.  “I see we are on time. And o’, here comes the stairs. And you have the gate! And what looks to be weapons at the ready. Love your holstered bodies! You bristle with armament!  My fellow warriors, on to victory!”

“Pamela is standing by at the ready with yours,” Samuel told him, watching the stairs and now the changing of the starfield above their heads. “And your swords are under the altar, along with other things we may not want or need.”

“Into positions,” Eric called out.

Pam was down on the ground with Sookie now standing on top of her. She had the mead in one hand and the bowl of millet resting on the altar. Eric was holding the bread.

“How are you doing?” he asked her.

“Your smile makes me all warm and hopeful inside,” she grinned back.

He leaned in and she kissed his bottom lip, pulling it into her mouth and suckled there for a few seconds.

“Thank you for being so thoughtful of me,” her smile got bigger. “You have treated me with nothing but respect. And I just want you to know how much I appreciate that.”

“The Druid is on you,” he rubbed his nose against hers. “I can see it. Your eyes are glowing. How are you doing?”

“Good, no outside interference yet. But I do feel like I am being bombarded on the top of my head with…with…something. Feels like fine grains of sand raining down on me.”

“Good thing I licked you there,” he grinned, “just maybe it will keep their screaming voices out of your head. I am right here beside you,” his eyes held hers. “And as soon as you dump the mead and the millet, I will have you in my arms and we will be up on the altar.”

“Yes,” she nodded as she kept her eyes focused on his. “It is nice to be here with family,” she could feel the shadows begin to lengthen. The warmth of the moon beams giving way to the dark, pulsing dark that wanted to consume her! Instead, she watched his eyes, as the blue in them began to fade and the deepest of night was going to consume them. With his hands on her, she paid no attention to what was happening around her.

“Heads up!” was yelled by all as the last sliver of moon still shone proudly against the blood red and the screams of agony, despair and triumph were coming down the staircase!

“Madame Vedo,” Vlad yelled, “rip off their clothes!”

Vedo was at the altar, her especially stitched, prepared garments removed with a flick of her wrist.

“I’ve got this,” Pam bellowed up from the ground, her weapons strapped to her body.

Leaving the comfort of Eric’s arms, Sookie stood on top of Pam.

“Darkness in five, four, three, two, one,” Samuel yelled above the raging sounds of Mother Nature and the evil that wished to descend to earth!

Sookie noted when the circle went to black…and she could see nothing…

…and if there was terror, or disco lights, or beings assaulting her brain, she was not aware of it.

Her hands were sure and steady. . .

“Dump the mead,” she spilled it out onto the altar.  “Cast the millet,” she repeated to herself as she made a sweeping movement with the bowl, sending the grains, everywhere,  “wrap my legs around Eric and…” and up they went.

Her legs were wrapped around his waist. Her butt on the altar. “Put my feet on the altar, he pushes in,” she felt him push in and pull out, “I put my fingers in then,” she could feel the blood “and then out and spread the blood on top. And put  my bloodied hand on his shoulder.”

He drinks, eats,” she could feel Eric doing these things.  “My  fingers are in his mouth and the gate closes.”

And then there was something completely unexpected! “Stay safe,” he said and then pulled her fiercely to him.  His mouth covered hers in a searing kiss!

Eric was up and shoved her under the altar, with a “Shoot to kill!”  and then he was gone.

Taped to the inside  of the altar were air pistols. She had been practicing with the ones that were positioned down here. Her hands found the guns and removing the tape, she was armed and at the ready!

“He kissed me,” she smiled and allowed herself a small moment of pleasure. “And him breakin’ me, well that did not hurt at all!”

Cacius had gotten into his car and drove out to a rise that overlooked the cornfield! Stripping down to naked, he held his staff in his hands and bowed to the four corners of the all the worlds.

“Glorious, glorious, glorious,” he wept as he prostrated himself toward the stone circle. “I hear and obey, I stand and I do not falter. I am justice and pure of heart. I will tell the Queen that I sacrificed the Were and that her glorious reign shall continue forever!”

Standing, he could see the henge and it wasglorious. He began his dance of the openingand felt the last of the cold moon’s rays run off his body as he cast aside this world and was ready to embrace the next.

 Dancing in the moonlight…the last bit of the cursed white light disappeared as his dance became fevered and the blood red captured and would now control the face of the moon!

Then something marvelous began to happen! He could feel it in his leg and arm! The change of purification and of   collapsing vanguards. The old was ending! The new beginning!

“I am righteous, I am righteous,” he cried out and beat his fists in the air! That is when he noticed. His right arm had shifted to that of…of…a wolf! And the splendor that was his right leg, tattooed with the protection spells of the ages, had changed to wolf as well!

“By all that is unholy!” he screamed. “The gods of my other-worlds, save me! What is this? What has happened?”

On top of a small rise in a cornfield outside of New Orleans, Cacius had a small, come to Jesus meeting. Not that he would ever admit that, but it was now time to think some serious shit, through. Because his life and future undeath depended on this. Out here screaming like a banshee would do him no good. Okay, the right side of his body was seriously fucked. Because of the horror of his body that he was beholding, there could be a loss of bodily functions, later. At the moment, he could not shit, himself! Could not! S-A was going to want a full report. The who, what, why when, where and how. All he had to do was stand here and watch.

Could he do that? Fuck no! He had to work his own agenda! Gain where no other could. Walk with eyes where no one else could see! Own the world and all those in it!

Now he was cursed! Not fit to be an immortal, a vampire or even a complete wolf! Nor was he a man…he was now an unspeakable! A hybrid, he shuttered at the thought! An outcast!

Whoever the winner was, be they a god  or vampire, if they knew about him, he was fucked! Here in the corn was the best place for him! Here in the corn he would stay!

Sookie knew her hand was in front of her face. It was pitch black in the circle. Like being inside of a cave! Which made the stars that were foreign to her eyes, look like you could reach out and touch them. What held her attention was watching the light show up in the air. Yes, the stair case was a grand, sweeping show of power, with all manner of ungodly things in a bottle neck, on it. She could see the gate. It was doing its job. And their team was in the air and shooting and you could hear the screams of those that now sizzled with embedded tin.

But it could not compete with the air bursts that were coming from on high! That had to be Lafayette and O.I.

Lafayette had been practicing with a sling shot. Those bags of tin pellets went winging through the air to be hit with O.I.’s flame and even down here, the stench of roasting…something…was horrific!

They were perhaps two minutes into the battle. As she got her bearings, she realized she was still naked and her watch was missing. “I could use some Druid magic,” she said out loud as the yelling and screaming continued and she could hear their guys yelling   above the wind and using O.I.’s fireballs as light to shift positions!

You could see the movement around O.I. That was the vampires, coming in to take a better shot, get more ammo, which O.I. had strapped to him, or just fuck with the evil in general. Vlad had said something about how he was going to moon them.

“Any time now, magic! Give me some Druid!”

Nothing happened! She was still nude and her hair was still loose and just what the fuck had happened to her watch?

“Well, just what the fuck?” she hissed.

“Sookie!” she heard Pam yelling.

“One, two, three…” she began yelling the numbers so that Pam could find her way to her.

Despite herself, Sookie grinned. They had rehearsed, everything! Down to the second. Pam was to check on her on the fifteen-minute mark. Really, that much time had passed? And what had happened to her watch?

The vampires rotated in and out to O.I. just like they had practiced. Giving everyone time to reload and rethink the battle plan. That was the thing about wars, the battle field was constantly changing and you had to be able to adapt with it.

“That gate was just pure fucking genius,” Eric smiled as he continued to spray bullets at the bottle neck. The stench was overpowering. More than once, he thought he was going to puke!

Samuel, who was just somewhere below O.I., had puked. He knew it was not Lafayette because they had equipped him with a gas mask. And Eric knew it was not O.I. because there would have been something like lava raining down on his very fine vampire ass. He had seen O.I. puke, before, and it got dangerous if he was projectile vomiting!

That only left his dear brother. Who was undoubtedly singing The Psalms as he wretched.

His watch vibrated on his wrist. They had been in here for fifteen minutes. One thing you could say about technology. These fuckers could give you the appearance of slowing  down time or speeding it up, but unless you could slow down the rotation of the earth, science continued to track the spinning of the earth down to the zeptoseconds, and the gods only know how far down the physicists tracked it.

 Pam had gone to check on Sookie. Good. You could not see worth a Were’s shit in here, but those off-worlders could do nothing about the vibration on your wrist.

There was now about forty-five minutes left. Most excellent. The big bad had yet to put in an appearance.

Eric figured this being’s ego would not let him keep out of sight much longer.

Flexing a bit he felt ready for the battle…and then some. Wanting it to start so he could push his limits.

Because he now had new limits. He was more. What he and Sookie had done tonight, was an interesting phenonium.  He had extra somethings. He could feel it and it was a powerful thing. Now he wanted to know what it was that had changed and with a sword in his hand was the only way to find out. He always felt good before a battle, tonight was no different. Although, things had changed a bit for the evil.

There was not the constant influx of the big bad. For which he was grateful. They were still coming down the stairs, but not in the numbers that they had seen in the past. So maybe they had closed it. Which meant they were going to have to kill everything that came down, because there would be no returning to their home dimension. So Abhartach died tonight. “Well just the true death to that fucker,” Eric snarled as he open-fired on those that were rushing the gate. “Or maybe not,” he held that thought. “Maybe for those on this side, it is a two-way door. They can escape back up.

What?” he said feeling his wrist vibrate, again. “Another fifteen minutes has passed. Don’t get lost in your thoughts Northman. Those uglies would love for you to go adrift in this and never come out.

There it is,” he saw the fireball light up the sky as those from the top pushed those that were standing back from the gate into it.

“Took them long enough to figure that out,” Eric snorted. “What a lot of posers,” he grinned as he pulled his sword.

This morning, Sookie was hopeful. By afternoon, she thought maybe she was not ever going to talk about what was going to happen to her. Now that she was here, she was sure she was not going to speak of this evening ever again! This is not what she had envisioned!

Naked, she was armed and sitting under the altar. Her Druid self was not anywhere. Just what the fuck? Was she worried…well that was the question!

“No,” she honestly answered to herself. “Not worried. The moon is going to go back to white light. The team seems to have things under control, because there was nothing for me to shoot at. Surely, by this time, there would be one or two that I could claim as my own personal kill.”

“Sookie,” she heard Pam calling her name, again.

“One…two…” she shouted.

“Sookie, where are you?” was yelled back. “I can’t see you in this hell-hole!”

“Oops…” she pulled back under the altar into a tight ball. “Guns at the ready,” she steadied herself. “Just let that fucker roll on past here. You can just feel the sting of my tin b-b’s. come on, come one, come on.” And maybe, she thought she sounded a bit gleeful!

This blood moon was not going to set on her cold body! She was going to live to see her moonlight return! And once more wear clothes!

“Come on,” she grinned, “Please allow me to take you back to Hell.”

There was the distinct smell of something unearthly that grunted when it ran into the altar. Pulling the trigger, there was a scream, and the sickening sound of flesh opening where she made the wound as the body fell.  Next came the work of the tin sand that had been scattered over the area popping open the exposed flesh and burning away at the evil. “Putrid,” she shuttered.  “Hopefully, that thing is now dead.”

There was another one coming this way. The entity tripped over the body and landed on top of their fellow legionnaire. Firing more shots, she heard the shuffling of what she could only call insanity, and bracing herself, she began to shoot out into the dark and with much satisfaction, she heard grunts and screams as her aim hit true and more bodies fell.

“They must have rushed the gate,” she thought as she kept firing. “Knew that was going to happen. The guys even planned for it. Damn, so glad this is not their first time in a battle zone,” as she dropped the magazine from her air rifle and pulling another one from the holster taped to the side of the altar, loaded another one. “This would just suck if there was no plan.”

Eric felt another vibration on his wrist. He was standing on the rock beams on top of the henge uprights, fighting those who wanted to play King of the Hill.  King Eric had insisted! There was no way of knowing how many they had pushed to the ground and the bad guys continued to fall like hail stones from the sky. Fifteen minutes, left,” he nodded to himself as he slashed his way around the circle, King Eric doing just as much damage as himself!

Then something interesting happened. He could see the eclipse of the moon begin to fade. And the stairs in the Earth’s night sky were beginning to twinkle through. “That’s different…and…is it, perhaps, not as black in here…?”

“What the fuck!” King Eric shouted in glee. “I have grown two more inches! My reach is now as long as yours, my comrade-in-arms!”

Sookie felt the changes taking place on her body. Clothes were back and her hair was in some elaborate braid. Still no watch on her wrist, though.

And she thought maybe she could see…maybe…and the wind and noise were gone. And maybe the stink…she no longer wanted to puke. Yes, their moon was making its way back to them!

Abhartach was watching what was going on around him. His time was not up and yet…yet…the moon spoke of a different reality!

His troops had been fleeing back up the stairs and others had not been able to come down them to re-engage. Things  were horribly wrong!

He had one chance left. And only one as the stench wafted back up the stairs and now polluted his private space. “Retreat,” he bellowed.

His followers did not need to be told twice. There was pushing and shoving and an ending of their reality at the hands of these humans as they fled to get away from the death that lurked there in the dark.

Left alone, he was standing on the stairs. “I would speak with the self-proclaimed lady of the light,” he shouted. “That abomination that calls herself a warrior and a hero! That putrid amount of flesh that wafts deceit on the breeze!”

There was a glow by the altar and it came towards the staircase. It was Sookie! Or perhaps not, Eric reasoned. Her hair was done up in an intricate braid resembling a staircase. On her forehead, a simple gold circlet, also engraved in Runes. From her body flowed a gossamer gown that light surged from and filled all the dark corners of the henge. Around her swirled a purple robe. Gold medallions  the size of dinner plates, done in fanciful embroidered Runes adorned it!  Along with the lavish matching trim that framed the edges. Around her waist hung her sword, and on her arm, she carried a matching shield.

As she approached, she said, “My fellow heroes, not one word. Not one. Whatever you say he will use, against you.”

Abhartach smiled.  “Lady of the Light,” he gave her a deep bow. Then, with a turn of his body, he dismissed her.

“To the men that fought so bravely here, this dark. Your countless fallen comrades would rise from the ground and slay you if they knew they had sacrificed themselves for the likes of her.  I say to you she lies,” he shouted, placing his hand over his heart. “And is a war monger. And a lover of dead flesh. Your lives are forfeit while she sits as a queen and eats honey and comb and washes it down with sweet nectar and your blood. She utters words that true men would never heed.  Promises riches that she does not have and spread her legs to whoever asks. And gives birth to all things unclean and abhorrent. I hope those of you left standing will at last make your will known to her,” he smiled as he thrust his hips forward and then pulled them back. “Let her serve you as is your right! Who here is the man among you that would broker a deal with me and cast this whore into Hell? For Hell is where she belongs. Yes, she is a lady of the light. But you need to ask yourself, what light fuels her? I can tell you, it is the crippled, crushed pieces of a looming dark night. One filled with anguish and hate that she brings here and disguises as good deeds.”

Everyone still held their weapon at the ready.

Eric took careful aim and pulled the trigger.

There was a screech from the being on the stairs. Turning to Eric, he roared his discontent  and threw a fireball at him. Dropping the rifle, Eric used his sword as a bat and knocked it back to him.

Contact!

Abhartach screamed as he patted out the flames with his hands.

“You will regret this, you whores’ sons, all of you! You think you can stop me? There is always someone who wants power of the unworldly type! I will find them and then I will be back for you! You shall feed those who thought to never again taste flesh and you shall fuel their desires!”

Turning, he ran up the stairs as they began to disappear.

Their moon was back to its white, cold light. And their familiar night sky had never looked so good.

“Thank you,” Sookie looked around at the group. “Thank all of you. From my heart and from my world, I thank you.

O.I., if you would not mind, I know Gran is worried. I would like to go home and rest in the comfort of her love.

This is indeed a reason to celebrate,” Sookie bowed to them as O.I. landed with Lafayette on his back. “I will leave you to it,” she smiled at them as Lafayette helped her on and settle in.

O.I. and Lafayette both saluted and with a lift of the dragon’s wings, they were airborne.

There was a comfortable rocking as O.I.’s wings moved up and down.

“You ready?” Lafayette asked her as he handed her his phone.

“Yes,” she nodded.

When Gran picked up Sookie said, “All is well. We are coming home. I love you Gran, we will be there shortly.”

Hanging up, she handed the phone back to Lafayette.

When Sookie began to cry, Lafayette took held her in his arms and held her all the way home.

The vampires watched the dragon take flight. “She would not be wrong,” Vlad smiled as he turned his attention to his fellow warriors. “Time to celebrate!”

“There are blood whores and other pleasures waiting at the penthouse,” Pam smiled. “The last one there has to pay the bill!”

All you could hear was laughter as the vampires disappeared into the darkness.

The night air cooled the henge as the moon smiled down.

Samuel approached Eric who was sitting on top of the altar. “You are quiet,” he said as he hopped up and sat down beside him.

Eric looked around and let out a big sigh. “I believe that our family’s part in this is finished. That we have locked the portal and it is no longer our job to fight this evil.”

“I would say it was a job well done and congratulations are in order,” Samuel replied watching his brother as Eric’s eyes shifted colors and his face remained in neutral. Things were not right. His brother was troubled.

“Is there anything you would have done differently?” Samuel asked.

“Sookie deserved more than what I gave her.  She did not know if she would live or die,” Eric voice was far and distant.  “And she wanted to dance. She said she had danced with her gran but not with a male. And what could have been her final hours here, she just wanted to dance…with me.

I…I feel like I cheated her. She should have had so much more. Instead, she danced, with me.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Samuel asked him.

“No, I need a couple of days to process, this.”

“Do you want to sit with me while I work?” Samuel’s voice was soft and comforting. “We can go, anywhere.”

“I believe so, my brother,” Eric sighed. “Quit. I seem to crave it.”

“I can do that,” Samuel smiled at him. “Let us be gone.”

The Bon Temps Triad landed in the front yard. Gran was out the door to greet them.

There was hugs and kisses and laughter and a lot of “Thank you Jesus!” as her family made their way into the house.

“Tell me!” Gran said as she closed the front door. “But get drinks first. And maybe some dinner. I made beef stew and the biscuits are hot in the oven. Lots of honey butter! What else is needed?”

“Tequila,” the three heroes said as looked around this place they called home.

“Home,” Sookie smiled as she ran her hand along the wall. “I love being home!

And tequila. I could use a jelly glass full of that!”

They sat at the kitchen table and ate and drank and Gran asked what else do you want and Sookie said. “Could you please make monkey bread? Lots of cinnamon! I could eat the entire pan!”

An hour later,  amidst “Lord have mercy!” and “Thank you Jesus for my family!” they were having dessert and Gran was making another pot of coffee.

“So the portal is closed,” the older woman said with a sure nod of her head. “Our family obligation is done this night.”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “Abhartach can just go…”

“What?” Gran said. “It sounded like you said a heart attack. All the women in our family die from heart attacks!”

Sookie looked at Gran. “You think this thing cursed our family with heart attacks?”

“Well if it did, it is not going to any longer,” Gran replied. “You saw to that, tonight!”

“Amens and hallelujahs, His La La Fineness says! That mo’ fo’er is not spreadin’ his filth around no mores!”

“Amen and hallelujah  is right,” Sookie sighed. “I am full, ready for bed and I think I am headed that way.”

“You doing okay, Sookie?” Gran asked, taking her by the hand.

“I am more than okay,” she smiled. “I am covered in vampire spit, which I do believe kept the crazies out of my head and I am now tired. Feels like all the air has been let out of me.”

“Get some sleep, honey,” Gran said as Sookie stood up and kissed her on the forehead.

“Will do,” she hugged this woman that believed in her and stood by her.

When they heard Sookie’s door close, Gran looked at Lafayette.

“It worked Gran,” he said with a shrug. “The two of them  rehearsed it and it worked.

It was indeed black as pitch in the circle and nothing could be seen. Let alone heard. For her it was a private moment. I think she intends to keep it that way.”

“Do not blame her a bit,” Gran nodded. “I just wish things could have been different for her,” the older woman sighed. “I am going to bed.”

Kissing her on the forehead, Lafayette watched her toddle off into the house.

“Gran, at times I wish things could have been different for all of us,” Lafayette sighed.

“My Big Man’s,” O.I. fluttered in front of him. “You gots regrets?”

Lafayette smiled at the love filled eyes that stared back at him. “Maybe that I was kinder, more loving, considerate.”

“Yous is not lacking, my La La,” he stroked his face with his claw. “Not lacking at all.”

The vampires were at the hotel, partying. It had been a great victory!

They all admired the storm that was beginning to build off the cost.

“Going to be one hell of a blow,” Pam remarked.

“Yes,” Madame Vedo replied as they both stood out on the balcony. “Something to wash clean the air and rid us of the stench of evil.”

There was a storm building up in New Orleans. The thunderheads had pushed in, filled with warm water from the Gulf. Before the sun rose, lightning lit up the sky and for twenty minutes, there was a spectacular light show in the air. Then the rain moved in and for ten minutes it fell so hard you could not see ten feet in front of you.

With sunrise, it promised to be a nice day. The air had been washed clean, there was a cool breeze and the humidity was low.

Outside of town, the cornfields benefited from the rain and the rocks that made up the henge held a high degree of iron ore, which made them very attractive to the lightning. When the storm dissolved, the henge was no more as well. The thunderbolts had done a most excellent job of reducing it all to rubble.

Before sunrise, Cacius was on the phone, sobbing and pleading. “My Queen,” his words tumbled out. “The henge was  secured. The darkness cannot control us. But it is now rubble. A storm moved through and brought it to an unjust end!”

“Was secured and now destroyed!” the voice of reason drawled out. “You told me you had this. That you had secured my position in the realm of the Ether and Mist. How does a storm destroy rock?”

“Lightning storm my Queen,” he shook his head.  It would not do to show fear! What the fuck had he been thinking to  call her? “I need to know how you want to proceed. I am at a loss without you here.”

“We will be on our plane back to our residence. Now, this Druid that was in attendance with Northman. Is she dead?”

This was a tricky moment. He wanted the job as Druid.  He wanted to be a vampire Druid! Was she dead? He had no way of knowing.

“I do not know,” his voice dropped. “The darkness kept everyone from seeing.”

“So she could be dead?”

“Perhaps,” he replied.

 “Find out for me. And if she lives, I want to meet her,” she replied.

“I…I do not know her name,” he sobbed.

“Well, who does?” her voice went up an octave.

“Alcide Herveaux,” he stammered.

“A Were?” she hooted.

“Yes,” he replied.

“I will contact Compton and get the Were to us. With the new dark, he shall answer our questions.”

Bill was lounging in the pool at the Big Pull Motelin Jackson, Mississippi. This trip had been a bust. He had not been invited out to the King’s mansion and he was out a tank of gas.

Northman must have been successful. The moon was once more white. There were no demons dancing on the light posts or angels singing to STOP signs. Things were looking good. Time to take his ass back to the residence and take over and rule!

His phone trumpeted with the horns of Reveille.  It was Sophie-Anne.  Picking up he heard:

“Get me Packmaster Herveaux. We will be there with the new dark. He is to be in attendance upon us at that time.”

The phone went dead. “Why me?” he sobbed. “I have been a good and righteous Queen. I am not deserving of this short notice Were shit she throws at me.”

Getting out of the pool, he took a towel to dry off. “This is not fluffy at all,” he complained. “And has no nice nap to it. Good thing I am not paying to stay here,” as mumbled as he went to the locker room and changed into his clothes. “Well,” he held up the towel once more after he had slipped on his shoes. “I guess it is good enough to dry the car off with after I have washed it.”

Tossing it into his bag, he walked through the lobby and out into the night. Getting into his car, it was time to haul his ass on back to N.O.

Alcide had driven all night to get back to his own bed. He just fucking hated sleeping in hotels. There was nothing comfortable about them. Even the king size beds cramped his style. He liked to sleep spread out. As in spread eagle all over the bed. It was a bit hard to do on a bed that was not his own.

When he pulled in, six Weres stepped out of the bushes, all of them with shot guns.

“What the fuck?” he said. “Samson, I was just in N.O. You could have called me and I would have met you for coffee.”

“S-A wants to do a meet and greet,” he replied.

“Really? I doubt that. It is morning,” Alcide chuckled.

Samson snarled at him “No fucking kidding. I know morning! I am not a dumb ass Were! I did go to school, you know. Auburn kicked LSU’s sorry ass that year. You really were not all that at the end zone and I was when I blocked your sorry ass from making that TD.” (touchdown)

Samson smiled. “S-A wants you there when she shows up.”

“You got breakfast, somewhere?” Alcide asked. “My ass is tired from the ride back and my stomach is growling.”

“Chicken fried steak smothered in gravy.”

“Why Cher, you remembered. Well fuck, let’s go. But I need to call Momma. She is expecting me for lunch.”

“Can do,” Samson replied. “Tell Auntie that I send my regards and will see her on my Momma’s birthday! Now, let’s get to the chopper.”

“Chopper, really, she sent a chopper for me?” In Alcide’s voice was surprise as a car pulled up to give them a ride. “Hell no! This is for us to get you back there.  And you are walkin’ back from N.O.

Momma has never ridden’ in a chopper before and we are takin’ this opportunity to make that happen for her. We are stoppin’ off at the house. That is where it is parked. Cousin Willy is there now, showin’ Momma and Aunt Susan the ins and outs.”

“Oh man,” Alcide sighed. “We havin’ Auntie Carol’s chicken-friend steak? And those tater tots she deep fries?”

“Hell yes,” Samson replied. “You don’t think I eat anyone else’s do you? If you think that, you are the dumb ass Were.”

It had been a quiet flight to Breckenridge. It was best to let Eric fight his own demons until he asked what Samuel thought of the situation.

When they landed, Eric retired to his chambers. Before sunrise, Samuel went in to tuck him in.

“I love you my brother,” Eric sighed when Samuel kissed him on the forehead.

“Rest well this day, Eric, and know that the God of my fathers watches over us.”

Everyone at the old farm house slept that night. And the next day. It was quiet and peaceful and no one tried to influence their dreams!

With the new dark, Eric sat out on the roof of Samuel’s home on Peak 8 and watched it snow. Beautiful, quiet, peaceful. And he had taken a virgin on top of an altar in a henge! And with one thrust he had spent himself inside of her!

Samuel walked outside and looked up. There sat a gargoyle covered in snow on the roof’s top peak. He knew staring out of the face of that gargoyle were blue eyes that belonged to his much-troubled brother.

Samuel floated up until he was face-to-face with Eric.

“What distresses you, my brother?” he asked.

“Beside the fact that I took a virgin on an altar. And still live…not struck down for my not so stellar behavior?”

Samuel waited. With Eric, there was always more…

“It took maybe a second…maybe…” Eric shrugged and the snow fell off his shoulders. “I was in, out, and in that fraction of the turning of the earth, I ejaculated inside of her. I kissed her, put her under the altar, and here I am.

Only, this is not the first time I have done that.”

“What do you mean?” Samuel asked.

“When she tasted my mother’s mead and I placed my tongue where hers had been on the glass.  My blood ignited and I…I…grunted as the power started at the root of my penis and traveled up like a bolt of lightning!

“Twice in one lifetime!” King Eric shouted, as the snow fell off Eric’s crotch. “It was a powerful thing Brother Samuel…shook me to the base! Same thing happened with the old dark. Lefty and Righty are once again in a state of shock! They have no idea what hit them! Me neither. And being inside of her was like reliving a dream in slow motion. He says we were in and out. I say we lingered there, forever.”

“Interesting,” Samuel nodded.

“I just need time,” Eric said as he put out a finger and a snowflake landed on it.

“I will see you inside,” Samuel smiled at him and left his brother sitting on the roof, watching it snow.

When Sophie-Anne woke, she knew she was home. There was just something sweet and overly ripe with a hint of salt   about the New Orleans air.

“Time for business,” she chuckled. “Dinner can wait.”

Sophie-Anne sat in her throne room. Cacius had begged off from attending this evening. The henge had been hit by lightning and was in a sad state. He had observed it during the day and now he wanted to walk it at night. Which was fine with her. She had gleaned from him what she needed to know.  Northman had defeated the evil and the female druid was perhaps alive.  Perhaps…

Time for business.

The Were, Heveraux, was being brought in. She had questions. And this hairy beast had better have answers!

The doors opened and in stepped the Shreveport Packmaster. She had heard he was nice looking. Carried himself well and was intelligent. Perhaps those rumors were not wrong.

“I hope he really is all that,” she thought to herself. “Hairy beast or not, he is a good-looking stud!

“Packmaster,” she said standing, a smile covering her face. “So nice of you to join us this evening.”

“Did I have a choice?” he asked. “You sent Weres for me? All you had to do was call. I could have gotten myself here and I would have been assured of a ride home.”

“I apologize for that,” she smiled at him and approaching him she extended her hand. “We were away, on a fact-finding mission and my guards took my words with a bit much more zeal than what I had intended. I do so apologize for any inconvenience.”

“Missed a day of work,”  he replied, shaking her hand instead of kissing it. “Good thing I was only going to run inventory and not actually doing construction on the job. I would have to bill you for that.

Now, what can I do for you?”

“You are to the point,” she smiled at him.

“Ma’am, I run my own business. Which makes me self -employed. Time is money.”

“We were told you were at the henge on the night of the eclipsing blood moon.

That my Sheriff of Area Five was there to help defend my home from evil that would perhaps descend from the stars.”

“As far as I know, that is correct,” he replied. “But I would not know for sure. I left early.”

“Did you know the henge has been destroyed.”

“I had not heard that,” he said. “How did it happen?”

“Lightning storm that passed through. I was just wondering if you think the female Druid that was in attendance had anything to do with that.”

“What? She can call down storms to destroy the henge? If she could do that, I would have thought she would have done so last night and side-stepped the war.”

Well fuck! She had not considered that. Maybe the female really was not all that. “We are in need of a powerful sorceress and we would like to meet her to see if she could be of any type of help. We have been told that blue sparks obey her.  We are in need of this type of power. We have heard that Eric called her Cousin.”

“Yes,” he nodded.  “And he also called her The Late Druid….she called him Cousin and Ass Hole. That is all I know about her.”

“Truly. Is that all you know? We know that you were in attendance in my sheriff’s club the dark she used her staff to place a star guide on the ceiling of Fangtasia.

“Myself and a couple hundred others saw her do that. I suspect your spy did as well. Just what is it you want me to say? You know as much about her or perhaps more than I do.

I know Northman by his reputation. That night, I saw the   two of them together and they are indeed, family. One just as surly and circumspect as the other. That is a lethal combination. Both of them looking to start a fight. Both of them capable of kicking your ass. So I do not go around asking questions about them or sticking my nose into their business. I have heard that more than one person has gone missing when they desired information about Northman. In Shreveport, he is referenced as Trouble. No one says his name. Because no one wants Trouble raining down on them. Keeps us all alive that way.”

With a flutter of her hand, Alcide was excused. She turned to walk away and then turned back to him. She had to know if she yet lived! It was time to be coy! “Did she leave there on her staff?” she asked. “I was told she used it as a witch does her broom.”

The bitch clearly wanted her. Alcide shrugged and decided it was time to fuck with her. “I don’t know if she survived the war. At the meeting at Fangtasia, it was my understanding that the druids of the past normally did not. That it took all of their energy to defeat the evil that came down the stairs. And that if there was anything left, it was just a screaming husk. And for mercy’s sake, it was killed and put out of its misery.

But I left before the battle started.”

“Mm-m-m-m,” she said with a flick of her wrist as her guards fell in beside him, took him by the arms and escorted him out.

He was walked to an outer perimeter gate, shoved out onto the street and the gate closed. “Dumb ass,” he chuckled as he began walking. He was being followed.

Heading for the French Quarter, he kept walking until he found his favorite beignet stand. He stopped and ordered a bag full of sweet. “And Cher, I need an extra special one.”

“Can do, Alcide,” the owner grinned back at him. “How’s  Momma? I need some advice. She still talkin’ to Jesus?”

“You know she is,” he grinned. “Give her a call and go see her. Been a while since she saw her favorite god-daughter.”

“Well now wait one,” the twin of the young lady came up from under the counter.

“And her other favorite god-daughter,” he chuckled.

“That’s better. Now, I poured us all a shot of tequila. We’ll just sip this while we finish off your order.”

They passed a pleasant time, together, catching up on family gossip and the newest dry-rub recipe. Paying out, he took the bag and continued walking, eating as he went.

The street vendors were gearing up for the evening and the place was taking on its night time persona. A bit more mysterious and a bit more dangerous with things that went bump in the night.

It was a vampire that was following him. What a dumb ass! Alcide drifted into the crowd and watching the vamp’s reflection in the store window, he turned sideways and lobbed the beignet right into his face!

There was a screech and the scream of “Garlic!”

With a smile he continued on until he entered the bar, Quarter Moon Distillery.

For a Were’s place of business, it was a little upscale. This was not someplace where you caused a scene. T-shirts and jeans were fine but if you thought you were gonna start a rumble in here, Dixie would fill you full of lead. Weres, being hard to train, she had to do it once or twice. She liked her clientele neat and clean and if you thought about pissing on her floor, she would use your face for a mop. He saw her do it one night, as well.

“Packmaster,” was called out when he came in. Saluting them, he sat down at the bar and took out his phone. Punching in a number, the voice at the other end said, “Northman.”

“I was picked up outside my house in Shreveport and I am presently having a beer in N.O.  Folks are asking questions. Who lived who died.”

“Can you talk?” Eric asked.

“No Cher, that is not possible.”

“Were you followed from the Residence?”

“You know I was,” Alcide chuckled and motioned for a beer.

“Are you safe?” Eric asked.

“I am having a beer at the Quarter Moon Distilleryif you want to meet me here.”

“Put Dixie on the phone, please,” Eric said.

Alcide motioned for the owner to come over. When she arrived he handed her the phone.

“I understand completely,” she grinned. Hanging up she handed Alcide back his phone and said, “Come with me. I’ll show you the bike if you are really interested in buying it.

Helen,” she yelled to the blonde behind the bar. “Got a live one here. Maybe tonight I will unload that piece of shit bike my x-old man gave me as alimony. We’ll be outback in the store room. Toss me the keys!”

They were out in the alley and Dixie unlocked the garage door. Opening it, there sat various paraphernalia from the bar along with what looked to be a brand-new Harley.

“This way,” she said skirting around chairs, tables and an old pinball machine. Shifting something on the back brick wall, a panel in the opposite wall slid open.

“Follow this all the way to the end. You’ll come out in a basement. Take the elevator to the seventh floor. Before the door opens, push 13, 2, 10 and 4. The doors will open on the opposite side. Push the emergency bell. You have five  seconds to exit. Then the doors are going to close and return to the basement where a new code will be set. If you do not push the emergency bell, it is going to drop to the subbasement and you are going to be dead.”

“Seventh floor. Before door opens, push, 13, 2, 10, 4, doors open, behind me, push the emergency bell and get out.

Thanks,” he said as he stepped away from her. His curiosity got the better of him. Northman was avoided like the plague!  “Why?” was all he asked.

“You ever hear of a Were paying alimony?  As a rule, they like to come around and beat the hell out of their X. Who do you think gave me the Harley and got rid of my old man?” she smiled.  “Haul ass, Cher. You will be safe once you get there.”

Locking up, she went back into the bar, tossed the keys back to Helen and went out onto the floor to bus tables.

Of all the fucked up Were shit! Putting away his phone, Eric floated down to the pool entrance.  Stripping, he left the snow and his cleared his mind by the fireplace. Her royal highness of bad timing and greed had pissed him off. Hovering above the deep end, he executed the perfect dive into the water and then swam to the shallow end. Pulling on a bathrobe, Eric went to find Clifford. “I need to make contact… if he does not know her last name, time to do work the search engine.”

Clifford listened while Eric explained about the newest development.

“I do not have her last name.  All I know is that her name is Sookie and that she lives about an hour’s drive somewhere outside of Shreveport. O.I. said Sookie and His La La Fineness both work at the same place. Merlotte’s, he said was the name. O.I. was very taken with this. He helped to cook Lafayette burgers and watched for when the fries were ready to come up out of the oil. He would chat her up whenever she came in to pick up the food.”

“Merlotte’s,” Eric said. “I know of it. Thanks.”

Passing through the house, Eric found Samuel in his study. Samuel noted when Eric came in. He would have been hard to miss.

Things were not sitting well with the tall blond. From somewhere he had acquired a sword and Eric’s fangs were down.

“What happened between the roof and inside? Things did not get better, I see,” he said to his brother.

“I got a phone call. That fucking Sophie-Anne…” he hissed as he paced back and forth in front of the fireplace and told Samuel about his conversation with Herveaux.

When he had finished, he sat down on the arm of Samuel’s chair. “I have got to haul ass back to Shreveport.”

“You want a plane?” he asked.

“No, I am going super-sonic. I’ll get dressed and see you before I leave.”

Samuel watched as Eric took off into the night sky.

Sophie-Anne…her days were numbered. The small vampire returned to his office and began looking at her assets. Before too much longer, Eric was going to own what was hers.

It was midnight and Eric’s first stop back in Louisiana, was the henge.

“Looks like it has had the hell blasted right out of it,” he said to himself as he walked around the pile of rubble. You could still smell the ozone in the rocks where they had been struck by the lightning. The altar stone had been hit and was in four separate, but equal pieces on the ground.

“Interesting,” he smiled as he regarded the four.  “Looks like it was broken right down the center. A stone mason could not have done a better job.”

Stacking the four of them together, he carried them across the cornfield to the old graveyard behind the barn. Placing them on top of graves, they looked like they had been there, forever.

 “Anyone who wanted that altar stone for evil intent, good luck with that.”

Dusting off his hands, he was once more airborne and into the night. His direction was North and a bit East.

Merlotte’s was outside of Bon Temps. It was time to make contact.

The sleep today had been good. She had not paced back and forth and had a pity-party like maybe she thought she would a week ago.

Eric had been exceptionally nice to her. No fairy tale romance could have compared to that! She had experienced a world class lover that had turned what could have been a terribly awkward situation into bliss. Parts of her body on fire while others had smoldered and shivered with want! “He is very good at what he does,” she sighed with joy at the remembering!

The world was set to rights and she had helped with that. “Good-bye family curse! Evil can just continue to burn in hell or walk the stars, or whatever the fuck they do. They are just not gonna be doin’ it here! Go Team!”

The clock struck down the hour the magic hour. Turning off the TV, she thought about what needed to be done. She had taken time off and played. Her paycheck was going to reflect that. It was time to get back to work. “I’ll give it fifteen minutes,” she thought to herself as she pulled on her shoes.  “You just have to wait of things to die down at the bar.”  Around midnight just seemed to work for the best if you needed to have words with Sam. Good, bad, or indifferent to the night’s till, fist fights and drunks puking, Sam was more agreeable at midnight than any other time.

There was no mistaking the vampire that walked into the bar. Sam had seen him once or twice before skulking around town. Just what he was doing here was anyone’s guess.

Looked like he was going to find out. Here came the blood sucker now.

“You must be Sam Merlotte. I am Bill Compton. Do you have someplace where we can speak in private?”

Since Sam had never met this vamp, he guessed N.O. had pulled his file and showed this cock-sucker what he looked like.

“My office,” Sam answered him and led him to the back. “Have a chair,” Sam pointed to one as he sat behind his desk.  Bill was looking around with a critical eye. “Your establishment is new to the area. My family used to live around here during the war. The  Compton planation. Perhaps you have heard of it?”

“The Old Compton place,” Sam looked at the vamp and did not smile. “Old man Compton died about three years, ago. It was run down when he lived in it. It has been abandoned since then.”

‘Truly?” Bill sounded shocked. “Well, I cannot imagine a Compton letting the family manse go to ruin.

It is indeed fortunate that I have come home, so to speak.

I will now need to correct this matter while I am looking for workers for my Queen’s residence.”

“What?” Sam eyed him. “You have come far North to be looking for work so far South.”

“I realize that, but I am looking to re-establish my home that apparently is now in need of repair,” the look on Bill’s face was one of shock.

“And so all will know my good intent, I am just looking to spread a little good will. If someone needs a job, I know where they can get one. Our Queen can be very generous.”

“Your queen,” Sam pointed a finger at him. “And that is quite some commute,” Sam answered him.

“I am just trying to be a good neighbor,” Bill answered.

The door was left partially open so Sookie stuck her head in. “Sorry, did not realize you were doin’ business,” she said.

“It’s okay. Come on in, Sookie.  What can I do for you?”

“Sam, I need to work the early shift, tomorrow.”

“I have all those slots, covered, Sookie. I have you off the schedule until next week. But if someone calls in sick, I will call you.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that,” she said.

“This is what I am talking about,” Bill said with a sincere smile on his lips and in his eyes. “Hard workers. Always wanting more hours. The back bone of the South. My name is William T. Compton. A hero of the great war. Perhaps you have heard of me?”

Before she could speak, she felt him behind her.

“Most excellent, you are here,” came the voice that vibrated through her and caused parts of her to flare up! “And Bill, no one has heard of you. Great hero my ass.

Sookie,” she turned to look at him. “I am back in town and need you for a couple of hours each day this week.”

There was shock on both Merlotte’s and Compton’s face!

 “Short trip,” was all she said to him.

“Indeed,” he smiled at her and then looked over her head at Bill. “What are you doing in my area unannounced, Bill? And sounding like you want to spirit my day walker, away.”

 In Eric’s voice was a hint of mine,  that Bill had no problem reading.

“I have a letter from our Queen,” Bill replied, patting down his pockets. “She sent me here.”

“That does not excuse you from notifying me.”

“We are not to discuss vampire business in front of non- vampire,” Bill preened.

“Spare me the trivial,” Eric responded.  “And the attitude. Are you trying to piss me off? What are you doing here?”

“I am on a mission of our Queen. She returned this dark and sent me here to see if any of the hard-working folks of Bon Temps would like a job working in her Residence.

I stopped by the club but you were not there.”

“That is one long commute,” Eric smirked at Bill then his attention was back on Sookie. “I need clothes for this weekend. A couple of suits, shirts, ties. Heavy gold cufflinks.”

“What about shoes?” she asked.  “And most importantly, socks. You still want cartoon character socks?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “And I have the shoes I am going to wear. Oh…and I am also going to need highlights!” he winked at her.

“Got it,” she nodded. “Did you bring your laundry?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Okay. Sam,” she turned to him.  “I’ll be day walkin’ for Eric for the next week. If you would, please put me back on the schedule any time after that. And I don’t know about workin’ anyone’s sick hours.”

“Do not count on that,” Eric responded. “ Maybe more like two weeks. There are properties I want you to look at and evaluate. Along with some land. I want photos of everything. You will need the Jeep. Some of it is hard to get, too.”

“Sookie,” Sam stood, horror in his voice. “Is this what you do in your spare time? You work for Northman?”

“Yes,” she nodded. “Sam, you pay minimum wage and I make not even gas money in tips. Gran is gettin’ older and I can’t always depend on her bein’ around. Been thinkin’ about asking Lafayette if he wants to move in and pay a little rent. Maybe I will consider that more in depth after Gran passes. But for right now, I am lookin’ after me and mine and not countin’ on one source of income.”

“Where,” there was still dismay in Sam’s voice, “where did you two even meet?”

Eric noted the interest. In Sam’s voice was…well perhaps worry and jealousy. So the Shifter was sweet on her. So little, so very, very late!

“Laundry mat,” Eric supplied. “I lost a bet so I had to do my own laundry.”

“And he was clueless,” Sookie chuckled. “Which turned out for the best for me.”

“Come on,” Eric extended his arm to her. “Please allow me to see you home. We’ll take your car and I will come back for mine. I have already dropped my clothes at your house.”

They went out to the parking lot and Eric waited while Sookie unlocked the doors.

“You drive,” he smiled at her as Merlotte was watching them out a window. Bill’s sad little face was at another window.

“Let’s give them what they are expecting to see.”

“What’s that?” Sookie asked.

“That you are hired help.”

As they were driving off, Eric looked at her and said “You are exceptionally short.”

“Was I not this short as a Druid?” she asked.

“No,” he shook his head. “You were not. I would have even said that you were tall.”

“What’s up?” she asked. “As in why are you here? And did O.I. tell you where I worked.?”

“Well, he told Clifford. The dragon king was apparently entranced by how French fries were made. He likes them with mayonnaise.

As to what is up,” Eric replied as he watched the road while watching the small young woman that sat next to him, driving a car that was older than her. “That is a story. The Vampire Queen of Louisiana wants to know if the Druid is  still alive and kicking ass. They pulled Herveaux into N.O. this morning, wanting to know about you.

Then I walk into Merlotte’s and there sits the biggest ass kisser this side of the Old World. I thought he would go up in flames if you got him this far away from the throne.”

“Is that a problem?” she asked.

“Oh yes, but not for us,” he grinned as she put on the blinker and turned onto Humming Bird Lane.

Dear Readers,

On to the holy days!

To quote an angel: Jesus is not here, He is risen!

As always, thanks for reading!

Be blessed and be the blessing,

CES

 

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 7

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 7

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 7

When Sookie came down stairs the next morning, O.I. was up and chatting with Gran.

“Just how dark is it in that henge?” she heard Gran ask.

“Darker than the pit of hell,” O.I. replied. “I will be blowin’ flame and Mr. Clifford has tolds me he has bags of powered tin, prepped and ready to go. My Big Man’s just tosses those up, I will track them with my ear-bones and hits them with the flame.  This will push some lights up and outs, but, honest, Gran, cannot be seenin’ much of anythin’.”

“Morning Sookie,” Gran smiled at her and then checked on the eggs in the skillet.

“Morning,” she offered in return.

“So Sookie will have to be in position to pour the mead and then the  millet out on the altar. So standing in front of it, at the ready is for the best.”

“Yes’m,” O.I. nodded. “Mr. Cliffords’ is thinkin’ the tin gate on the stairs will slow them down some, buy us a few seconds.”

“The stairs are…tangible?” Gran asked.

“Yes’m,” he nodded and turned the bacon then plated it up. “They become true to this world just like these creatures becomes flesh and blood whenever they touches earth. Them stairs is solid and walkable until the baddies start to flee, then they begins to disappear and turns to mist.

In the pasts, we has gone up them, chasin’ those mo’ fo’ers, past the stars. Good thing we can all fly or hover. Cause once you gets on the steps, up off earth, you has the starlights to see by. And they is spectacular! And that is when you knows for sures that this gang of evils is not from around here.”

“You were with Eric before?” Sookie asked.

“Yes,” he nodded. “And Brother Samuel’s before him.”

“Samuel has been fightin’ this? How…?” Sookie looked puzzled.

 “Miss Sookie, I beens fightin’ this since the rebellion in Heaven.

This evil, it takes different names and faces and comes in different styles and this and that’s. Now this particular bum fuck, please dear ladies, pardon’s my old, trashy mouth, but gots no other good names to give him, he always comes with this night sky. With yous people, he used the henge to gets you to believe he is a god.

Pardon’s me while I puke…” he said sticking his talon down his throat and rolling his eyes while making gagging sounds.

“After Brother Samuel’s was turned, there was all manner of unhealthy things of the dark persuasion wantin’ to chats him up and well, Brother Samuels comes with his own sense of justice. So he hears tales and rumors and tracks down this and that’s and calls out into the night sky, O.I. o’ blessed brother, get’s yous unruly self on down here. Found some evil. You wants to have some fun?

“Really! Samuel?” Sookie looked shocked.”

“Worse than The Viking,” O.I. nodded sagely.

“Woof,” Sookie replied. “Please go on.”

“Then along rolls The Viking who is the also our brother and he says, hey, I gots this evil thing in this henge that I gots to weed and hoe. Anyone interested?”

And me and Brother Samuel, we is always lookingto defeat evil, plus, we knows these mo’ fo’ers so we says dear brother, anythin’ for you and yours! Let us to war!”

 “So…so…the Druids that Eric has used these past times you have been with him? Were they all that?”

O.I. looked at her long and hard. “You has gots your mysterious Druid ways that comes on yous, and I am happy for that’s.  Here sits Miss Sookie, at the club is the Lady of the Light.

You is more than I has seen at these gatherin’s.

But since yous family carried the curse, the women has not faired well. They is bombarded with the million voices of rage and song. Love and defeat. Screams of frenzy and laughter. They can hear it before the herd appears. We hears nothin’ and they are sobbin’ that their skull is gonna explode from all the noise.”

“Telepaths?” Gran breathed out.

“Yes, I believes so,” O.I. nodded and took a long look at Sookie.

“Well fuck,” Sookie took a piece of toast, put an egg on top and a couple of pieces of bacon.

“So, they fought along-side of you?” she asked as she sat down.

“Yes, those souls did.  Theys brought their chantin’ and sword and all cloaked up with wards and magics. Calling down blessin’s and spewin’ out curses in iambic pentameter and a two-step shuffle.”

“So, so…” she regarded O.I. “Eric has been on top of the altar with a woman…” her voice trailed off. “And it did not work?” she asked in a whisper.

“No’m,” he shook his head. “No one on tops of the altar and we did not have these particulars to work with.”

“Screw the eggs and bacon,” she said giving the plate to O.I. “I am going to have the biggest hot fudge sundae in the world for breakfast. That gallon of ice cream is mine.”

Before the dusk of the eclipse of the Blood Moon—New Orleans: The vampire hotel, Le Petit Sang 

Lafayette, Sookie and O.I. landed on the roof of the hotel. O.I. had come in on bright beams of sunlight and anyone looking their way would have been blinded.

“Security cameras,” he sighed as they dismounted, “bless they’s little fuzzy electrons. They’s just had a fizzy moment. All will be rights as soon as we step inside. Nothin’ like a little dragon hocus-pocus to set things to rights. Good, there is our ride.  Elevator… we takin’ the express and pushin’Lfor Lobby….”

The doors closed…. “and  we is moving fast…and here we are. Lobby floor. Crystal, harp player and very small security cameras.”

 “Nice place,” Sookie said again as they strolled past the bar and followed the signs for the lobby.

“Really nice place,” Lafayette added. “Black and white marble tile floors, fine antiques, and those chandeliers hanging over our heads has hung in some palace on the continent. Can tells just from the looks of them. Reminds me a whole lots of Fangtasia.”

“Yes it does, does it not,” Sookie nodded. “Woof, look at those folks at the bar. They are gorgeous!”

“Blood whores,” Lafayette whispered to her. “But none looks as fine as our girl, all decked out for battle. M-m-m-m hm-m-m-m-m, you in your leathers and swords and sharp pointed objects stickin’ outs of yous belt. Your cape swirlin’ behind you. And your hair done in braids that hangs down your back. I am likin’ this new bad-ass Sookie look!”

“Yes, I have been admiring my look in all the mirrors we have been passing. Oh, wait one. We have been spotted.  Here comes someone now.”

“Good afternoon,” he smiled. “I am Mr. Joseph Clark, the day manager. Might I ask the name of your party?”

“My name is Sookie Stackhouse, also known as the Late Druid.  We are here to meet Mr. Northman and his party.”

“Yes ma’am, of course, I have a suite reserved for you. If you would come with me, please, Mr. Northman has arranged for dinner to be sent up and if there is anything in particular you would like to drink, there is a barkeep there as well.”

“Thanks,” she nodded and following the man onto an elevator, he pushed Penthouse. It took them back up to the top floor, stopping at the lobby outside the penthouse.

“This way,” he said opening the door. “If you would please, place your hand here, madam we will do a bio scan and record it. Now you sir, and that will be your key.”

“Thanks,” they both said.

“Fabion is your barkeep tonight. You may also place your dinner order with him.”

“We don’t need a barkeep,” Lafayette said. “We’ll fix our own. And we will call down our dinner order. What we do want is privacy.”

“Of course sir.

Fabion,” he addressed the man in the tuxedo behind the bar. “With me please.”

When the two men left, O.I. lifted off Lafayette’s neck. “Can you smell that?” he asked.

“What?” Sookie asked.

“Comin’ in from the doors that lead out to the garden. It is the moon, gettin’ ready to rise.”

Sookie went to the door and opened it and walked out. “It smells like…like…”

“Blood,” Lafayette added for her.

“’Tis a reason it is called a blood moon,” O.I. nodded. “I am doing security check on the rest of the rooms,” he said as he fluttered off.

Sookie took off her leather satchel. “Can’t be fussin’ about that now. The moon is gonna’ rise and this is gonna happen. Smell or not.

We brought the flat bread and also fixin’s for more,” she said unpacking.  “When Eric show’s up, I’ll ask him if these will do or does he want fresher.

Now, let’s take  a look around and see what comes with this suite besides a big assed kitchen and a grand piano. I could do with someplace to stretch out.”

“Down here,” O.I. called out. “Gots us a gym.”

“Perfect,” Sookie said as she opened doors going down the hall. “Wow, to include a hot tub for relaxing those sore muscles,” she nodded. “And looks to be workout clothes in those cubbies. Let me get out of my leather bondage outfit and into some sweats.”

“M-m-m hm-m-m,” Lafayette headed for the cubby and found what he wanted to wear.  “I feel a yoga moment comin’ on.”

The vampires met up in Eric’s suite after their meal. “Time to rock and roll,” Eric smiled at them as they took the stairs vamp speed up to the penthouse. Eric opened the door and they found the happy trio in the gym. Lafayette was leading the yoga poses and Sookie and O.I. were following along.

“We’ll change,” Samuel said with a nod to Lafayette and soon the vamps were back in their work out clothing, doing the stretches along with the two humans and one dragon.

Lafayette ended his session with “Hot tub, ten minutes and I am setting a timer.

After those blissful ten minutes, we shall discuss business, but not before,” he shook his finger at them.

The vampires began to shed their clothes.

“I don’t get naked in front of people I do not know,” Sookie said.

The shirts were pulled back on and for the next ten minutes hot bubbles, silence and peace ruled their world.

When the timer went off, there were groans from everyone.

“Best ten minutes I have had in a while,” Madame Vedo sighed standing.

“I am gonna change,” Sookie said getting up and walking out, and grabbed a towel. “Those locker rooms are really nice. When I get dried off, I’ll be back out and we can discuss…things…” she added.

“Yes,” Eric replied as he watched her leave.

“You are the Medium,” Eric turned to Lafayette.

“Yes,” he nodded. “And that there is my sister. My family. You needs to be respectful of her at all times. For her first time, this shoulds not be and yet it is.

We has been rehearsin’. Hopes you has been doin’ the same. We thinks we has got the sequence so we’ll add your long legs to the mix and sees what happens.”

“What happened to the leathers?” O.I. asked when she returned.

“They were switched out for this,” she replied. “Sorta of a comfy jammie Druid kinda thing.”

“May I please call you Sookie?” Eric asked.

“Yes,” she nodded. “Who told you my name?”

“I paid Clifford, Samuel’s majordomo, for the information. He got the story from O.I.”

“Really, you paid him for my name?”

“Yes.”

“So what was knowing my name worth?”

“I owe him a personal favor. Anything he wants, if it is in my power, I will give it to him. That includes myself. The only thing he cannot do with it is trade it to my child, for any past, present, or future debts.”

“Well, rats,” Pamela muttered and stamped her foot.

“That is a pretty hefty price,” she addressed him.

Shrugging, he continued on. “I wanted to know. It was very rude of me to ask you to perhaps sacrifice your life and not know your name.

I would never treat a fellow warrior this way. I apologize for treating you this way.”

“I thank you for your apology,” she said with a small bow of her head.

“I am sorry it has taken me this long. Truly,” Eric responded. “You are vital to this mission and I know better.

Now, down to business.  Sookie, your ancestors were telepaths. Are you also?”

“Yes.   O.I. briefed me on the insanity that the noise caused in my ancestors.

I have been practicin’ with my shields for my entire life. I am hopin’ that is gonna help and be enough. If it is not, just do what has to be done. You have my permission.”

Eric became very serious. “If your shields are not enough, Sookie, I want you to know you will be well  cared for. As well as your gran.”

“You mean if this splits my brain in two and I am left a vegetable?”

“Yes,” Eric’s voice was low and serious.

Noddding, she sighed. “I guess I cannot ask for more than that.  Now, moving on. Let us discuss your millet bread before we get to the physical part.”

Sookie showed Eric what she had brought. “And I can also make fresh, I brought the ingredients, if you would prefer that.”

Eric picked it up and sniffed. Yes, just like his mother used to make. “No, this is fine. But what I would like for you to do is to lick them for me. And also,” he held up a small stoneware bowl, “spit in this and rub it around.”

“Okay. But that is a bit odd. Am I allowed to ask why?” and you could hear the hesitation in her voice.

“Of course,” Eric replied. “After you left the other dark, I was intrigued by you. So I put my mouth exactly where yours had been on the glass. I could taste you and when I took a drink of the mead, I could still taste you and I did not puke.”

“You were intrigued, by me?” she questioned him, doubt in her voice.

“Yes,” he replied. “So much so I wanted to know what you tasted like.”

“Is this your norm?” she asked.

“No,” he replied and smiled. “Not at all.”

“Well all right then. If that will keep you in the fight,” she nodded, “I am all for it.”

“Excellent,” he smiled at her. “Now, we have also been rehearsing and perhaps between all of us we  have figured out a way around this.”

The Bon Temps Triad listened while things were explained and demonstrated.

 “And Samuel will be alright up there by himself?” Sookie asked.

“Yes,” Samul smiled at her. “I am the oldest, therefore the fastest.”

O.I. chimed in. “My big mans and me, we will be Mr. Samuel’s wing man.”

“M-m-m hm-m-m,” Lafayette nodded. “We gots us some air rifles. Is that corrects?”

“Yes,” Vlad nodded and went over to the case on the floor and tossed him one.

“Mighty sweet,” Lafayette hefted it. “How many does it hold?”

“A thousand,” Ian grinned. “And we have magazines. We have been practicing with them. You should see Samuel’s ceiling.”

“Plus, we have bag bombs for you and O.I.,” Cedric smiled. “You just toss them and O.I. hits them with his flame and maybe some air and you have tin napalm.”

Pam pushed up a table. “This is the height and the top dimensions of the altar. Not your regulation table size.

Here,” she drug over a burlap bag, “is some millet and I have small cups of water that match your bowl at the ready.

Time for you two to strut your stuff.”

“Shit,” Sookie said as she stepped up next to the table. “This thing is tall. Hard for me to reach the center of it.”

“Not a problem,” Pam said. Getting down on the floor, she looked up. “Stand on top of me.”

“You sure?” she asked.

“Yes, once Eric takes over, I will join in the fight. But I am down here on ground level and I will cover you if anything thinks to come slithering up.

I will be down here right in front of you before it goes dark.  So you can just position yourself on top of me.”

“Thanks,” Sookie said stepping up. “This is much easier,” she looked out at the group. “Dump the water, cast the millet, wrap my legs around Eric and…” up they went.

Her legs were wrapped around his waist. Her butt on the table Eric’s legs on the outside of hers. “Put my feet on the altar, he pushes in, pulls out, I put my finger in then out and spread the blood and put my fingers in his mouth; he drinks, eats, and the gate closes.”

“Let’s do that again,” she said, “until I am comfortable with it and have some type of muscle memory.”

Two hours passed.

“Let’s now put it all together,” Samuel was watching from above as he floated down. “Everyone places. Into your gear. Madame Vedo, we thank you for our tin padded jackets,” he said as he put his on.

“Vlad and Atilla and Madame Vedo you start us out by getting the tin gate in place on the stairs.

O.I., Lafayette, and I will be on guard while this is happening. The rest of you, positions. Our job is to guard Eric and Sookie until the altar is seasoned.

And Miss Sookie, if you would please season the cup and bread, we will take that with us.”

Sookie picked up the cup and spit inside it and began painting the inside with her finger.

Then she took out the three breads and licked them as well.

Eric said nothing, just watched her until she was finished.

“It’s nine,” Madame Vedo said. “How do we all feel about this? Miss Sookie, you have any doubts or questions?”

“No, I think I am ready.”

“Excellent,” she smiled at her. “We will leave you and Eric to discuss what comes next.”

They all left with a bow and a see you there.

When they were the only two left, the conversation began in earnest.  “I was wonderin’,” she began, “if we could maybe smooch a little before we go. It would help me along.”

“I understand,” Eric nodded. “So many unknowns, to include myself, being so intimate with you.

I do have a question I would like to ask you,” he began. “You are an attractive young woman. Why are you still a virgin? Is it for religious reasons?”

Shrugging, she said nothing as she watched the anniversary clock’s pendulum go around in a circle.

“When  I was a child, I was molested by my uncle. I have since comes to terms with that so I no longer have problems fantasizing about being with a guy.

And since I am a telepath, you know, I hear their thoughts. Nice tits, nice ass, I would do Crazy Sookie, but hell, can you catch crazy?

Plus, my gran, she raised me to value myself. I have a cousin that does not value herself. Yes, she’s cute and sweet and can bat her eyelashes as she holds your hand and giggles when you suggest the two of you could do very sweet things, together. So I know what that looks like and I really am not interested in being a notch on some guy’s bed post.

And seriously, I was not ever gonna’ fuck some guy just because I had never fucked some guy. I mean, where is your sense of self-worth?

And now it seems, I guess, it was a good thing I did not.  Go figure.

How about you?” she asked.

Eric sat there staring at her. That was a lot to take in. Especially the molestation part. He had been a total, scheming, lying, cad  for a hundred years, but thankfully, he had not molested a child or forced himself on anyone.

“For me, it was always about the conquest. Could I be charming, enough? Gracious enough? Does she like a bad boy or a milk sop or something in-between? Does she like flashy riches or would she rather be shown your working farm?  What to her says security? And that you can be trusted with her heart and other parts of her body.

And the first hundred years I was vampire, well, I did not rape them and I got them past their initial fear of me bedding them. But that is all I did.

There was a stone circle involved that returned me to my beloved Viking ways.”

“Woo-o-o-o-ow!” Sookie choked out. “That is quite some tell- all.”

“Well, as long as we were being honest, I thought I would just put it all out there.”

“So how many women are we talkin’? Ball park figure.”

“I did not keep notches on my bed post. But I have been vampire for a thousand years. And if I had sex with just one woman a year, that would be a thousand women.”

“So if you did one woman a month, that would be twelve-thousand women.  And if you did one woman a week, that would be forty-eight thousand women…” her voice trailed off.  “That’s the population of Monroe.

You…you don’t have a disease do you?” she eyed him.

“No,” he shook his head.  “I am vampire. No STD’s or other human ailments.”

“Okay, so maybe this makes things a bit easier. I tried putting my fingers inside my vagina, you know…to get an understanding of how easy or difficult this would be…”

“You are concerned about dryness,” he stated matter-of-factly.

“Yes,” she nodded. “So I was wonderin’ if you would mind kissin’ for a bit before this starts.”

“I had the same thought.

Well more truth. It was Clifford who suggested it.  That perhaps you would like to be kissed and held. And then we all went Ooooo yes…!”

Eric sadly shook his head. “Since vampires have come out, sometimes, we take our charm and our partner’s willingness for granted. Although I do enjoy the foreplay.”

“Well, that’s just it. I don’t know if I do or not,” Sookie was thoughtful. “I mean, I think I would. When I read about the sex scenes in books, I always heat up and wonder what that would be like.”

“There will be an RV close by to give us privacy. Unless you would rather stay here. I can fly us to ground zero.”

“Really,” she smiled at him. “You can fly?”

“That is a big vampire secret,” he grinned back. “So when you write your memoir, please do not include that.”

“Please, me write a memoir…no one would want to read that.”

She was thoughtful. “We do have a grimoire. After tonight’s battle, I need to write the particulars in that. I guess I can leave out the sexing up bit.”

“You have a grimoire?” Eric chuckled. “Really?”

“Yes, it has been in the family for a while. Lafayette says it is an ancient manuscript, written on velum and  would bring a fortune at Sotheby’s.

“Does it have a chain wrapped around it?”

“Not any more, that is long gone.”

“I have made notations in such a book,” he said softly. “After each battle I was invited to write a bit by the druids that were left in the village. I wrote it in the Old Norse.”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “There is a lot of it we can’t read, just by glancing through it. Gran has just had it put away. It was not anything we ever talked about or looked at.” Shrugging, she continued on.  “We have been busy with this. But the book is now out and there are a few of the illustrations I have seen  and they are beautiful.”

“An illustrated manuscript, Miss Sookie,” Eric arched an eyebrow at her. “Yes, you have in your possession a considerable fortune. And especially to the right buyer.

Frankly, I would pay just to peruse it. In your presence, of course.”

“Well of course you can look at it. No need for money. You are, after all, family. And maybe some of it is your writin’.”

“Well I thank you for that,” he smiled. “You are very gracious,” his voice lowered and lifted her hands to his lips where he kissed both.  “Would you care to dance?”

“You have got some serious skills,” she smiled at him.

“Well, I thank you. But I do love to dance.”

“Myself as well,” she nodded. “But I have never danced with a guy before. Just me and Gran.”

“Well then,” he grinned, “what should we start with?”

“Gran and I can do all the swing dances. And Foxtrot. And the waltzes. Gran was a great dancer in her time. Could we do those?” and he could hear the hope in her voice.

“Of course. Glenn Miller it is.”

Eric put on the music and watched in amazement as  she walked across the room, her jammies shifted to a blue lace bodice with a long blue velvet skirt.

“Let’s see your shoes, Cinderella,” he grinned at her.

Lifting her skirt, there on her feet were indeed, dainty diamond encrusted, strappy pumps.

“These are really comfy,” she giggled, wiggling her toes. “Damn, they even did my toes in in my favorite shade of red!”

“Excellent,” Eric smiled at her and began moving her across the floor to Moonlight Serenade.

After the first dance step, not any words were spoken vocally. Eric’s smile and his eyes held her as they would glide from one dance to another. There bodies barely touching; his nose, occasionally rubbing against hers, then he would stare intently into her hers, his eyes asking her questions.

When she gasped and nodded her head yes, he pulled her in closer, his left hand now resting in the small of her back while his right hand held hers and he gently ran his fingers over hers.

Eric pulled her into him and then spun them around the room. Sookie wrapped her arms around him and hung on, laughing the entire time until the song ended. He dipped her to the floor, back up, tossed her up into the air and when he caught her, he let her body slowly slide down his.

Her breath caught when she  made contact with his crotch and she could feel his desire, just right there! He pulled her in a bit closer so that she could feel all of him before he let her slide down the rest of his body.

When her feet were touching the floor, she looked up at him and ran her hand down the side of his face. “You are very,” she whispered, “good at this.”

“M-m-m-m,” he whispered back, as he took her hand and brought it to his lips, placing wet kisses there.

“You inspire me,” he whispered into her ear, his nose nuzzling the top part of it while his tongue lightly traced the outside, his lips ending with nibbling on her ear lobe.

With her hand on his cheek, she tip-toed up and pulled him down, her lips just barely brushing his.

Slightly opening her mouth, the tip of her tongue reached out and lightly stroked his bottom lip.

When Etta James started singing At Lastthe only dance step that seemed appropriate was the Clutch and Sway.

There were no hot and heavy hands or pushing or thrusting. Just small steps, lots of dipping her down to the floor and laughter and small, funny moments of their histories.

Then came the ringing of the door-bell and they both stopped, sighed, looked into each other’s eyes and said, “It’s Samuel.”

Grinning at each other and then high-fiving, Eric called out, “Samuel, come in.”

The doors opened and their stood Samuel, looking a bit embarrassed and also apologizing.

“I hate to interrupt you, but something is not right with the henge. The uprights are starting to develop hairline fractures.”

“So not good,” Sookie started toward Samuel, her clothing shifting to a white loose woven, linen flowing robe, her nude body moving freely beneath it. “The stones were not aligned properly. Or maybe they were for evil intent…but if they shatter, there will be no henge and this evil will never again be contained!”

“Time to go,” Eric said as he approached and swung Samuel onto his back and Sookie climbed onto his front. Blowing open the doors on the balcony, they were gone into the night, the full moon smiling down on them; the blood moon, its evil twin, hoping that they would not arrive soon enough!

Alcide had been at the henge since nine, watching and talking to his momma on the phone and streaming to her live. Giving her the blow-by-blow.

They had both been keeping an eye on Cacius and his brood of slow movers and nose pickers. They did not seem to be chanting, shaking a stick at anything, or trying to induce any type of flame. But that finger kept going up their nose.

“Something is just not right about him,” Momma Herveaux said more than once as her son would scan the area with his phone. “And what are they doing with those burgers? They are disgusting.

Son, I wish I could be there with you,” she would sigh.

“Momma, you know you cannot not. You worked the last eclipsing of a blood moon. If you were to get caught in this blood moon’s rays, you would shift to wolf and not shift back.”

“That is right, Alcide. And I did what had to be done.  That is why I want you gone before this thing goes blood red, if possible.

Now, someone is going to end up in the water. And when they do, you throw my piss on them.

 Then you take cover so not one red ray falls on you.”

“If they need me, Momma…” he began.

“I know Son, you will do what is right. That is who I raised you to be.”

“You got any regrets, Momma, about that night?”

“What? You mean when I saved your daddy’s life,” she laughed,  “or when I ripped the throat out of that rabid Were troll  hybrid who was going to eat that family? None what so ever. Evil comes and goes from this world, child.  We stand against it.  I just wish I was able to stand with you there, now.”

“It is okay, Momma,” he smiled at her. “I can feel the Were coming on. And something else,” he said looking around. “That would be the blood moon fever,” she nodded. “You got that sweetened condensed milk in your trunk?”

“You know I do,” he nodded.

“Go and get it and start drinking. All that sugar will keep the worst of what feeds off those red rays, away. Even trolls. They cannot abide sugar.”

When they landed outside the henge, Sookie was off Eric and headed through the cornfield and then passing through the parking lot. It was a short walk down the fenced alley way and then there she was, face-to-face with the abomination that was this henge.

There was a moaning sound coming from the uprights and the stones were making death gurgling sounds. When an upright would splinter off a piece, it was accompanied by a scream of anger. It certainly did not sound like it was in pain.

“Many guardians have left,” Theresa, of the Cat’s Paw Coven approached her. “This place smells of death and something unholy. And now, the uprights want to give birth to something that smells of taint and rot and evil not of this world!”

“You are correct,” Sookie nodded and then turned to Eric and Samuel.

 “This henge is seriously fucked!

All the sacred sites are laid out on the Golden Ratio. Like a chambered Nautilus, spiraling and connecting all. A good example of that is the Great Pyramid that geometrically links to the belt of Orion.

The twelve stone henges have to geometrically link to De Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.   Which is the same principle using the Conch Shell for the representation of the Golden Ratio,” she explained as she walked the circle.

“So you have your ground work that needs to be exact, and when it is, it carries over to the sound vibrations. The Harmonics of these circles works the same way, on the Golden Ratio. The universe as a whole is to work with you.

We are so screwed,” she shook her head in disbelief. “Who ever put this together should be staked out here and left for whatever is comin’ down that staircase to be eaten.

Eric, you think your friends can help me align this mess?”

“Yes,” Eric nodded and the boys began to appear.

“Well, at least these idiots got twelve stones up. I am thankful they go that right.

Think on this circle as a chromatic scale. And we are just going to name this a C scale.” Striking her staff on the rock, you could hear the C note that was off key.

“Turn it half a step,” she said as Eric and his vampire friends took ahold and spun it into a different position.  When she struck the stone again, she smiled as a true pitched C rang out. “Good, most excellent. Now let’s knock out the other eleven. This will put everyone in sync and will stop the rocks from splintering.”

Lafayette was watching. He had learned tonight what he had always thought. There was a lot of mo’ fo’n nasty assed wankers that walked this world. But not that tall, dark, and handsome man that was standing over there.

“Gots to do what is rights and check in,” he said to the deads that were with him.

Walking over to the Were he held out his hand. “There is bad business afoot, here, His La La Fineness says. Yous can just calls me La La.”

“Alcide Herveaux,” he answered in return and they shook hands.

“That one,” Lafayette pointed to Cacius, “has been about some very bad business. You know of him?” he asked.

“He was at the briefing at Fangtasia. Said he did not care what came slithering out, he was here to protect the stones.”

“I am smellin’ me some unrighteous bullshits, and I knows what that is, believes me,” Lafayette added with an all knowing arched eyebrow. “You gots skills,” he said with a sure nod of his head. “From the dead folks around you, I knows you is more than human.”

“I am a Were and there are dead around me and what kind of skills are you talking?”

“Not to worry about the deads. I gots those and they is talkin! Mostly ‘bouts that mo’ fo’er,” he pointed to Cacius with his head. “Can you find the auto that brought that mo’ fo’er out here and you know, maybe be more discreet than breaking a window ‘cause I can do that. I am startin’ to get all kinds of worried faces when my deads look at him. And break the lock on his trunk. He’s hidin’ somethin’ there.”

“Can do,” he nodded. “I have his scent and I have backup out in the field. I will get him the word. I cannot leave this area. I have been talking to my momma. I am on the lookout for whoever gets tossed into the water.”

“Being baptized is they,” Lafayette nodded. “Evil will be defeated this evenin’. No matter whats. You talks to yous folks and I will be watchin’ the local deads.”

“Go team,” Alcide grinned and he and Lafayette high-fived.

Cacius was having a fit! “What in the name of hell is she doing?” he kept sputtering. “I fixed those rocks in those locations.”

Approaching that…that…abomination  and her vampire laborers, he was all fire and brimstone! “You are not to touch those! I laid the plan for this! I consulted…” he was yelling…

“Yes, you consulted what?” Sookie snarled at him  as they  moved on to the next note, the boys turning the rock until it held the perfect pitch.
“Good job,” they congratulated each other and the stone vibrated back, “good job.”

“No!” he yelled as the vampires moved to  the next one and rotated it. “No!

You are the one that will be fucked for eternity,” he shrieked at Sookie, shaking his fists. “You have not one idea who you are fucking with!”

The boys continued to work and were trying not to smirk when Sookie turned on Cacius, frowning, death in her eyes.  “I have no intention of fucking you, or whatever comes down those stairs,” she replied. “I have a job to do and you…” she pointed her finger at him.

He took a swing at her! That was a very, very bad mistake! She blocked him with her staff and then raised it and walloped him against his chest, sending him stumbling backwards. With intent to do more damage,  he got up and charged at her!

 Sookie swung again, this time catching the side of his body. Screaming his outrage, he was once more on his back. Standing,  picking up a rock he threw it at her.

“I play a good game of fast pitch,” she grinned and whacked the baseball size rock back to him which hit him in the chest and sent him tumbling down onto the ground, out of the circle and into the ditch where he made a satisfying splashing sound.

Leaving him there screaming obscenities, she smiled and leaning in, kissed her staff.

“We are running out of the white moonlight,” she said to the guys, “the red is comin’ on. Let’s get this done. Eric and I still have some unfinished business.”

“Last one,” Madame Vedo called.

With the final rock shifted, everyone began the C scale and the rocks sang along.

“I believe this henge is back in tune,” Eric said to his heavy lifters and slinging Sookie onto his back. They were gone.

 Alcide watched as he thought what would be nigh unto impossible happen. Not that his momma was ever wrong about these spiritual things.  But seriously, there was standing water out here?

“That one that she knocked in the water,” Momma’s voice was slow and sure, making him slow and sure. “Pull his ass out of the water and then pour my piss on him. We will be able to find him and make sure his days are numbered.”

Cacius was sputtering and cursing as he rolled over in the ditch to sit up. Alcide extended his hand to him and pulled him up and over the embankment. Before him lay a floundering, wet, something that looked more reptile than human. That robe was wrapped around him like he had been caught in the spin cycle of a washing machine. Gasping like a fish out of water as Cacius tried to right himself, Alcide uncapped the jar.

“Un-fucking believable,” Cacius snarled as he sat up.

“What…what the fuck are you doing?” he gasped as Alcide poured the pee on his exposed leg and arm.

“Marking you as a tasty snack,” the Were grinned. “The Eclipsing Blood Moon, it loves Weres. Loves to fuck with them. Loves to end their days in a blaze of glory, leaving behind a hull that the moon has run into the ground. And that blood moon,” he looked up at the all familiar smiling face of the full white one, that beamed down on him. “You will be smelling like Were piss and it is going to think you are that Were that it has cursed, before. And it will be a blessing to you that you did not see coming,” he howled in delight.

“No,” Cacius yelled and jumped back into the ditch. “I do not want your blessing or anyone elses. I am all that I need!”

“Cher,” Alcide laughed, “What are you doin’ scrubbin’ away down there. Were piss does not wash off. It has to wear off. It takes from one full moon to the next for that to happen.”

“No, no,” he yelled, as he began climbing back out. “No,” he shouted as he ran. “No!” he screamed as he took off to his car. “I must live in the moonlight! And tonight’s moon is mine! I am more than Were piss! I am a holy one!”

Alcide started to say something to his momma when he heard a couple of distress howls from the corn field! Something had happened! His wing man was calling!  “I have no time for your bullshit,” Alcide hissed under his breath, breaking into a full out run in the opposite directon. Out in the field, he caught up with Lasso. His friend  had Little Joan in his arms. Lasso was headed to the back forty where he had parked his Jeep.

“What the fuck happened?” Alcide was keeping pace along beside him.”

“That fucker had her in his trunk, bound, gagged and bleeding.  Where is he and I will end his days?” the Were growled. “I checked her vitals, she is good. But that head wound bothers me and he broke her arm and his ass is dead!”

“Fuck,” Alcide snarled. “We are in a bad way, here. You got less than an hour to get yourselves out of this moonlight.

Momma,” Alcide said into his phone. “Looks like we got a good whack over the head and a broken arm. I got some unfinished business. I bet that fucker was going to sacrifice her on that altar. You talk Lasso through this, will you.”

“I got this Son. Give him your phone.

Now Lasso, has she said anything, yet?”

“Yes ma’am,” he replied. “She did open her eyes and smile at me and said my name.”

“All good signs. You are in a corn field. Good. Once you get her…”

Alcide came running up to Lafayette.

“Herveaux, His La La Fineness says, that was some floor show. Cacius come cruising through here, wet, angry, and smelling of piss.

What,” he eyed the Were whose eyes were orange and his tone changed to one of concern. “What has happened?”

“My guy Lasso found Cacius’ car. He had Little Joan bound up in his trunk. I do believe he was going to sacrifice her to whatever was coming down those stairs. I have marked him and he will be found. So let that fucker run where he will. He will be doing it with a wolf’s two legs on one side of his body.

 You gonna be okay out here?” the Were asked, worry in his voice.

“Yes, my little mans, he has gots me covered. And those vamps, they knows me. I think if I was gonna be a tasty treat, I would be headed that way by now.

You gots someplace else you needs to be?”

“Yes, the blood moon will curse me if I get caught in its rays. So I have to take cover in about an hour. I got one of my pack that is bleeding. I figure my part here is done, unless you need me to stay.”

“Nope, we has gots this. Whenever Northman and her fineness reappears, we will be a go for launch.”

“Would love to stick around and help with that,” Alcide replied. “Like a good brawl, myself.”

“No sir, you go take covers and see to your own. We would not ask a vamp to meet the sun, unless it was an evil mo’ fo’er. And we would certainly not ask a Were to be cursed. You done your part. We is grateful. You got one evil sorted out of this group. And from the looks of them, they all need to be sorted. Tell your momma God bless her and we is thankful!”

“Will do,” Alcide nodded and took one final look, around. There was maybe one hundred left…maybe. The stones had stopped their cracking sound and now it sounded like they were talking. And laughing. And snickering. Looking up at the moon, he howled to declare himself a packmaster and they did not scare him.

What came back through the rocks was You dare to defy us! We shall feast on you, first!

“Did you hear that?” he asked, searching Lafayette’s face.

“Sure, nuff. They is gonna’ start throwin’ the madness down. We got’s this.”

The vampires approached Lafayette as they watched those that were chanting, stop, scream, and then run for their cars as the uprights began to smoke and belch flames. “Never fails,” O.I. hooted. “They is all up for the big brawl protectin’ your back and poof…least little rock starts hissin’ and complainin’ and they up and runs.”

“That actually cleaned the area out, quite a bit,” Samuel said. “The Three Feathers Coven has huddled together, oh, here comes the wind. There is no way they are going to get their fire to stay lit. Would you look at that, one of them is actually riding that broom. Although I do not think that was her plan from the way she is screaming in terror.

I’ll get her,” Samuel said, “and encourage the others to move out.”

O.I. looked at the moon. “Damn, looks like this breeze is even blowin’ the moon beams, around. Guess that mo’ fo’er who lives in the stars knows  this is his last go around-abouts.”

“There goes, literally,” Vlad said shouting above the now moaning wind, “another coven being pushed by the wind, out.”

“Let’s go get the guns,” Ian said.

“O.I. and I will be here, watchin’,” Lafayette answered. “See you in a few.”

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 6

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 6

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

 

 

 

 

Sookie slept, not dreaming and not moving. When she woke late in the afternoon, she was in the same position she had been in when she laid down.

Getting dressed, she went downstairs and was greeted in the kitchen by three cooks and a ten-pound bag of millet and ten pounds of honey and comb.

“What are we doin’?” she asked as Lafayette added more millet to the blender and then pulverized it to flour.

“We have been experimentin’. Try that stack of pancakes, there. My Little Man’s done toasted the grains. Makes for a heartier loaf with it mixed in with the flour.”

Sookie spoon-cut herself a pat of butter and spread it around and then spooned on some honey.

“Not bad,” she said with enthusiasm. “You know, if you did them thin like crepes and filled them with comb and some coconut, that could be a real nice thing to eat.”

“Not so very bad with some sautéed apples with cinnamon,” Gran said. “We have been experimenting. Apple butter. O.I. did not care for the peach flavored yogurt and we even tried banana and peanut butter. All of it was good.”

“So this is what I need to make?” she smiled, spooning on some more honey and taking another bite.

“This is it,” Gran said. “Now what about the mead?”

“Eric has that. Some his mother made and it is delicious.”

“Lordy, thousand year old meads…sounds like a tasty treat!” O.I. replied as he flipped over the next flat bread.

“Oh, that one looks good,” Sookie smiled as she peered over O.I.’s shoulder.”

“Put some oatmeal and other hearty breakfast grains in it for Gran. Gonna’s keep her heart healthy. No reason why it cannot be delicious while doin’ so.”

“Well okay then, good-bye to those bran bagels we have  been choking down and hello to a better way to clean you out! You guys can coach me through this and we’ll have our part done. I wonder what it would be like to soak one of those in honey? Then layer it in whatever we want. Coconut comes to mind!”

“Let’s do that nexts, His La La Fineness says. How cans it be wrong?”

 

 

 

All  the vampires were up and moving. All of them forgone dinner and were sitting in Samuel’s library, looking at Eric’s mock-up and admiring the air-pistols and other things that looked dangerous.

“My gawd, I have not shot a pistol since…well, I don’t know, ever,” Attila said as he held one in his hands.

“Seriously,” Vlad eyed the one he was holding. “We are much faster than this.”

“Yes,” Samuel smiled at them, “but with the tin projectile, you don’t have to be fast. You maybe don’t even need to be accurate. As long as you don’t hit one of the humans in the eye, you can just fire at anything.”

“Should we send them in with eye protection?” Madame Vedo asked.

“Well, we could, I guess,” Eric shrugged.  “But I just don’t see any humans, besides the Druid and the Wynd Ryder, going in with us. They talk a good game of standing with us, but I don’t think the crowd that was at the club the other night is going to find that once it all starts to go to hell, they are going to scatter like fall leaves in an autumn tornado. They will run over each other in the mad hustle to get out of there.

Cacius was actually funny. That he and his were there to protect the stones. They care not for anything else, not like they will care for their own hides.”

“Have certainly seen enough of that type through the ages,” Samuel nodded in agreement.

“We have been admiring your mock up Eric,” Willy said as he slowly turned the henge, around. “So what is the plan to lock it? Don’t get me wrong, you sponsor the best wars ever.

But I would like on occasion to visit with you and not have to spill any blood.”

“Well,” Eric began slowly, “it goes something like this…”

 

All of them sat there with their mouths open.
“Mother of God,” Vedo crossed herself. “A virgin on the altar and after tasting the mead, you did not puke!”

“Yes,” Eric nodded  his head. “Not the most romantic of situations.

And I am going to have her spit all over the bread.”

Samuel stood up and walked over to his desk. Shoving everything off onto the floor he began. “We are going to need some oatmeal or some sort of grain from the kitchen. And  water.

Clifford, if you would please,” Samuel called out. “Oatmeal and a bottle of water.

Eric, Madame, if you would please, gather here on top of the desk.  This shall be our stone altar.

Gentlemen, find a position around them and above them. With a sword in one hand and the pistol in the other, let’s see what type of damage we can do to my ceiling.

Eric, tell us one more time the sequence of events.

“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.”  Eric recited.

“So we can’t pre-stage these things on the altar,” Siggy replied, as he hovered above Eric and Vedo.

“That is correct.  They have to appear on the stairs so they will already be pouring out  and the fighting started.”

“Hey Sig,” Attila looked up. “Sorry my friend, but that just does not look right. Trade out places with me and you guard them from down here.”

“He’s right,” Samuel nodded in agreement. “As the oldest and the fastest, I should be the one on top. Whatever gets through me, should go to the next layer who would be the next oldest and so on down to the altar. So sort yourself out according to age and let’s fill in.”

“Eric, what about O.I.?” Pam asked.

“Yes, our friend is the oldest and has found himself a Wynd Ryder. He will be playing by his own set of rules. But before the fight, we will rehearse him with what we get worked out and see where he wants to be positioned.

Now, given these parameters, it is going to be a bit tricky to get all this done without interruption. So let’s give it a go, shall we.

For the time being, Pamela, you be the bad guy that has slithered down to the altar. And let’s try not to damage each other, please.”

 

 

Clifford, Samuel’s Majordomo came and went. “Not the oatmeal,” he said after regarding the  mess. “I believe we have some grits. I’ll bring that.”

 

“Sun up is a couple of hours out,” Eric said looking at his friends. “Madame Vedo you have been most courageous.”

“Thank you,” she replied, eyeing the group.“Eric, the only way this is going to work is if the Druid sits on top of you. This frees up both of your hands. She has her job and Eric you have yours.

The best way to do this  looks like if you are both nude on bottom and she has wrapped her legs around your waist. She spreads the mead, the millet and then you hop up onto the altar and break her. She  then smears the blood while you drink and eat and then taste the blood off her fingers.

As we have demonstrated, clothes on both of you are going to get in the way. You both could have something short sleeved on top, but you would not want any loose clothing that would get in your way and  slow you both  down. I’ll devise something that can just be ripped off.”

“Would a tin fence across the stairs slow them down and buy us some time?” Ian asked. “The stairs appear right before the eclipse, and that would give us time to get them into position.”

“My gawd, British Isle, you are a pretty face and a brain,” Vlad whistled.

Everyone blew him a kiss and winked at him, doing rude and vulgar things with their hands and asking if he dated and did he kiss on a first date.

When the group settled down, Eric was grinning when he said, “Worth a try.”

“On that,” Samuel responded and picked up his phone and started punching in what was needed.

“Thank you all, so much,” Eric smiled at his friends. “Hopefully, this is the last time.”

Clifford came in. “The tin sand has arrived. We have enough tonnage to sprinkle, everywhere. The henge will be covered in it.

If his royal highness, O.I., wishes to toss it into the air and ignite it with his flame, and blow it onto the enemy, so much the better.”

“Clifford, you are so very good to us,” Vedo bowed to him.

“Yes, Madame,” he bowed in return, “I pride myself on that.

Now, shall we need the RV someplace close by?”

“What?” the vampires all turned and looked at  the magicked human that ran Samuel’s empire during the day…well…correction…all of the time.

“I understand that this is a very delicate matter. And the lady will be…perhaps…dry…which makes penetration difficult…” he cleared his throat, frowned and turned to Madame Vedo. “Apologies my lady, that is vulgar male locker-room talk.

I just thought perhaps,” he turned his attention on Eric, “perhaps a little smooching before-hand would help things along.  And she could get a little more comfortable with the nudity. And the RV is a step up from the back seat of an auto.”

“Good thought,” Samuel nodded. “Clifford, you are due some time off. Name when. You just cannot take an entire year at one time. You know what happened the last time you did that.”

“Of course, Mr. Samuel,” he bowed and left.

“What happened the last time he left for a year?” Cedric asked.

“It was August 14th, 2003, 4:10 P.M.,” Samuel sighed.

“The grid failure that took out the Northeast, parts of the Mid-west and parts of Canada?” British Isle replied in a shocked voice.

“That would be the event,” Samuel grimaced. “Clifford was in *The Islands and I was in my day slumber. August, you know, is still heavy sunshine territory and when I rose at nine, well, there we were.

The timing was most unfortunate. It happened at ten minutes past tea-time. Watson was the tea mum that day and was pouring, when our generators kicked on. There was the scurry from the table, cups overturned, savory landing on the floor…the computer system to boot. Watson is a good man, he is Clifford’s second-in-command and was doing his best to keep up but he just did not have Clifford’s intimate knowledge of the system.

An oversight on my part which has since been corrected.”

“Hear, hear!” they all shouted. “To Clifford and Watson!”

Samuel regarded the group. They were good friends. Trusted champions. A rowdy bunch and he loved them all. But there was one he loved more. Time to get down to business. “We have a couple of hours. I trust you all to rest well during your day slumber.”

“Have we been dismissed?” Attila hooted.

“Unless you want to sit with my in sack-cloth and ashes while I say my prayers,” Samuel grinned.

“Oh, well, tally-ho then!” British Isle called out getting up.

“Indeed,” Cedric stood and bowed. “Rest well this day, gentlemen.”

Saying their goodbyes and well wishes, they were all out the door.

When they were gone, Eric remained.

“My brother,” Samul smiled at him.  “What are you doing here, I thought you would…”

Eric rose and went to the fireplace. “Have one last hurrah before I possibly meet the true death and never have another one? This should be obvious,” he smiled at this being that had brought him back from the brink of destruction more than once. “I am going to sit vigilance with you, my brother,” as he began smearing the ashes on his head. “So have Clifford bring me out a hair shirt as well.”

 

 

Sophie-Anne, the vampire queen of Louisiana, was fuming!  “What do you mean that our henge will be closed for business the night of the eclipsing blood moon. I paid a fortune to have that erected and I want my photo op with it!” she yelled and threw things at Compton.

“I am sure that is all doable my Queen. There is just word on the street, my Queen,” he said as he lay prostrate on the floor. “That there is some terrible evil that is going to make its way through and devour all of us if it is not stopped.

The witches’ coven Silver Tide has been tracking this disturbance.”

“Will they be in attendance?” she asked.

“No, they will not. They do not know how to fight this evil that will descend and devour. They are hunkering down, Saint Not-Here said. Layering their spells and drinking potions that will keep them off the radar of this evil that will consume us.”

“Can we tear it down?” she asked.

“My Queen, this was built  to rival Stonehenge in all its glory. You can hire Weres to go in and take it out, but it took a week to erect. We don’t have that kind of time.”

“So, let’s get out of this time zone. Call my plane. The residence is going on holiday…to…to…my holiday home in New Zealand. Make this happen. Now.

Send out the prepared message stating with this: We are going on vacation. I will be back next week. Until then, William, you are in charge.”

“You…you are leaving me behind my Queen?” he sobbed.

“Get over yourself Bill. This is your one chance to get something right. You get everything taken care of before the helicopter departs, and you can be on-board. If not, you continue on to fight-the-good-fight. And when all is locked down here, come the new dark, you can at least haul ass out of Louisiana.”

By the time Compton stood up, there was only the fluttering of some papers in the breeze of fleeing vampires. The helicopter was on the roof, and they were outbound.

“If I can defeat what is in the stone henge,” he sobbed as he hit the red alert panic button and watched the Weres move into place and begin locking doors. “I will be a hero. If not, I will be dead,” he sobbed. “I am going to be dead,” he boo-hoo’d in earnest.

“Or maybe not,” he wiped at his eyes and cleared his throat. Taking out his phone, he called The Sheriff of Area Five.

 

Eric felt the phone vibrate in his pocket. It was coming from the Queen’s residence.  Samuel had just finished the last Psalm and was finishing with a hallelujah.

When Samuel looked over at him and smiled, Eric knew everything was going to be alright.

Hitting talk, he said, “Northman.”

“Sheriff,” Bill began. “There is going to be an attack on the stone henge that the Queen had built in New Orleans. You are required to be here the night of the eclipsing blood moon and shut it all down.”

Eric did his best not to laugh. Compton’s voice was shaking. Their fearless leader had  hauled ass and left Bill in charge.  This was hilarious!  Time to have some fun!

“Bill, she may have contributed to have it built, which I doubt, but she did not pay to have it built. Put her majesty on,” Eric replied.

He could not lie about this. Eric would just call her himself. “She is not here. She has taken her staff  and has left me in charge. So I am, in fact, ipso facto, King. You may call me King Bill.”

“No, Bill,” Eric managed to keep a straight face. “You are ipso facto, Queen. You are not replacing a king so therefore you are not a king. It is like for like. So you are Queen Bill,” Eric stressed again.

“Oh,” Bill took a step back. Eric had just called him Queen! “Well, I am in charge and her last order was to call you and have you here to fight this…whatever it is.”

“Can do,” Eric replied. “I will bring a few of my friends.  We’ll be there, Queen Bill, never fear. Do you want us to check in with you, first, and escort you over?”

“What?” he gasped. “Well no. I am watching the eclipse with the King of Mississippi. I have been invited to join our Queen, there. It shall be a blessed event.”

“Oh, well what a good time,” Eric smiled, despite himself.  “I believe Russell has built for himself a henge as well.

Now, you must promise me you will not tell him this, but, this will give you the opportunity  to strip naked and dance under the moon and be blessed by….”

Bill was overcome by joy! He had heard about the royals depraved moon celebrations from some Were guards but thought it was just all made up! To make him feel less while they knew more!  “By a moon goddess and her…her…”

“Unicorn,” Eric added for him. “The males that  dance in the circle are called her Unicorns. So you would be a Queen and a Unicorn. That is a powerful combination.”

“I knew that,” Bill countered with indignation.  “I am just so overwrought at the thought of being in attendance. What a blessing to me!”

“I can understand that,” Eric grinned. “It is not every day you get to strip naked, attach the horn and fuck a rock. I do so hope Russell had the tall ones installed. I heard that he did, but it is only a rumor.

The short ones are not a bad ride, of which I am familiar,  but when you bend over like that, you become vulnerable. And you cannot refuse the moon goddess or her Unicorn if they want to ride.”

“You mean they can fuck me in the ass?” he asked aghast.

“All part of being Queen, Bill,” Eric assured him. “All of it an honor. Gives you certain bragging rights. I know I pull mine out from time-to-time whenever I get around royalty. Especially those in the Californias. They are really not as special as they think they are.”

“Yes, well, I will be sure to include it in my resume.”

“Good thinking,” Eric replied and made a face at Samuel. “Queen Bill, rest well this day and see what you can do about finding your own unicorn horn.

The ones the moon goddess provides, they are not much. And you want to have the last useable horn. That way all must bow to you and you can have your pick of whatever looks the most inviting.

Until another time, Queen Bill. Out here,” Eric said and hung up.

Samuel was sadly shaking his head at Eric.

“Something so easy should just be wrong,” Eric grinned at Samuel.

“Oy vey,” Samuel replied and eyed the cold fireplace. “I think I should just climb in and cover myself.”

“Samuel,” Eric was chuckling, “your God has a sense of humor. After all, he made me.”

“Oy vey,” Samuel was laughing despite himself. “You have a valid point in there somewhere.”

“I have one more stop I have to make. Do you think Clifford has retired yet for the evening?”

“Oh, I am sure he is still up. You are in residence, he does not want to miss out on any of the fun.”

“I will see you with the new dark,” Eric hugged his brother.

Going down the hall, Eric went into Clifford’s office and found him  going over his list for sundries.

“Mr. Eric,” he said looking up, his half glasses perched on his nose. “Do you require something?” he asked standing.

“No, please sit,” Eric pulled out a chair. “I am in need of some information and I know you deal in it.”

“Why sir…” he began.

“Don’t sir me, Clifford,” Eric responded rolling his eyes. “Too many years between us. And I know you trade O.I. storage spacefor his fermenting alcohol for interesting tid-bits of info. Now, you name your price. Ask me for anything.

dragon liqueorDeath from above in barrels

But I need to know the Druid’s name that was at the club.”

“You mean the Late Druid’s name?” he grinned back.

“That fucking O.I.,” Eric snorted. “Yes,” he closed his eyes and rubbed his face with his hands, “that would be the one,” he said with a sigh and gave Clifford that boyish grin he was famous for.

“Hm-m-m-m,” Clifford patted his cheek. “If only I was a sweet young thing instead of an old crusty male who has seen it all and had to pull your ass out of it all, literally, sometimes. That  winter night in Paris come to mind.”

Eric snorted again, this time with laughter. “’Tis true, sir,” Eric gave him a bow, “I would not be here today if it were not for you and your quick thinking. A stake through the back of the heart works just as well as one through the front. Nicely played, sir.

Now, I desire to be a gentleman and not refer to the sacrifice on the altar as the Late Druid. What I can possibly do for you?”

“She is fearless, is she not, sir,” he said gently.

“She is,” Eric nodded.  “And commands our respect.”

“Good, respect. I am glad you led with that.

Sookie,” he said with a sigh. “Her name is Sookie. O.I. did not know her last name.”

“Sookie,” Eric repeated gently. “It suits her.”

“O.I. also gave me her Druid name.”

“How so?” Eric asked.

Clifford shrugged and laughed. “You know O.I. He has his old and ancient ways and is a charming rascal. He says she is called The Lady of the Light.”

“That suits her as well,” Eric said nodding. “What do I owe you?”

“Just consider yourself in my debt,” Clifford grinned.

“I fucking hate that,” Eric replied, arching both eyebrows.  “And I will agree to that but you cannot,” he stressed, “use that to pay off your debts to The Child. Past, present or future.”

“Well rats,” he replied with a grin. “Then I ask that you treat her like the lady she is, at all times.”

Eric paused. “Is there a time when I would not treat her like a lady?” he asked.

“I have seen your egoistical maniac, Mr. Eric, and your boorish and ill-mannered ways. Also, the way you pander to your child with her sometimes boorish and ill-mannered ways. At these times you are no credit to your mother or grandmother  when you act in such a fashion and are insufferable.”

“Point well taken,” he nodded. “If I might be so bold to ask, what is going on?”

“I just got off the phone with O.I. and he reminded me that she is indeed, a descendent of the other Druids.”

Eric stared at Clifford and then closed his eyes. “Oh fucking Were shit…she is also a telepath.”

Opening them, he sadly shook his head. “O-o-o-o-o Clifford,” his voice held sorrow. “Fuck! If her brain does not survive this, then she will be well taken care of. I promise you this.”

“Good,” he nodded. “And I am prepared to make some sort of stipend to her gran. They live together and they both depend on each other’s work habits to keep them on their land.”

“Their land?” Eric asked, curiosity in his voice.

“Yes, they do not fall under landed gentry, but what   considerable acreage they have must have the taxes paid.”

“Thank you,” Eric said with a bow of his head.

“You are most welcome, sir,” Clifford replied. “Now, sunrise is coming. You have a meal waiting for you in your suite.”

Eric made a face. “If you would not mind giving me a few moments and then escorting her out. This will not take long. I am just looking for a meal and not companionship.”

“Most excellent sir. I will be up in five minutes.”

 

As Eric went up the stairs, he made the phone call. “Sophie-Anne,” he smiled when he said her name.

She hated it when he did that but there was nothing for her to do about it. After all, if push came to shove, he would defend his acreage and leave her to fight the war on her own. It just sucked that she did not own him!

“Eric,” she put a smile in her voice which made him grin even bigger.

“My queen, I just received a phone call from Queen Bill. I am sure he is on the phone right now talking to Edgington. Russell will know that you are gone, left a pile of Were shit in charge, and  think you are ripe for a take-over.”

“Queen Bill?” she snarked.

“I may have had something to do with that,” Eric chuckled. “Long story short. He wanted me to call him king and I said I would call him queen.

I am also to be in attendance of the stone circle the night of the eclipsing blood moon. Yes, you heard correctly I am to battle the evil that is coming through that portal.

This is not a problem. Myself and my crew will be there. We will do our best to shut this down. We have been successful in the past, I am hoping our luck still holds.

So a friendly heads up, you are going to be hearing from Edgington. I would not overtly bullshit him or he will be living in your residence when you return. Out here.”

 

 

 

Bill sat back and grinned. “That was easy! That bastard Northman will take the brunt of this and I am Queen Bill! A royal at last! Good on me! And somewhere in Mississippi there is a henge I can dance in! I am calling Russell! How can Mississippi tell me no when I know  the secret handshake and have the horn of the unicorn? I am a Queen! I am a Unicorn! I will fuck stones until my true love is only left to embrace and I shall be the best lover ever!”

Taking out S-A’s work phone, he dialed the number.

“Queen Sophie-Anne,” he heard Russell say. “What a pleasure to have your company this evening.”

“No, Russell, Sophie-Anne is on vacation. This is Queen Bill Compton. I understand that you shall be celebrating with other royals in your  henge on the night of the eclipsing blood moon. I would delight to be in attendance. I can bring my own unicorn horn. No need for the moon goddess to supply me with one. After all, I want to be able to fuck all the rocks and still be the one standing and able to pick my own lover for the night.”

“It’s locked down,” a guard stuck his head into the chamber. “Are you leaving or staying? We are getting ready to lock the front door and shoot to kill.”

Bill frowned at the guard who interrupted him.

“I am on the phone.”

“Staying or leaving?” the guard asked again.

“One moment please Russell.

Oh, I am leaving,” he turned to the two Weres.  “And you may address me as Queen Bill.

Now, Russell, as I was saying…hello…hello…?”

“Heads up,” the Were squawked his radio. “Queen Bill is getting ready to leave the building. After he is gone, any movement, shoot to kill.”

 

Russell ended the call and stood staring at his phone. Talbot came and put his arm around him. “What?” he asked.

“Did you have a stone henge built?” he asked, taking his lover’s hand and kissing it.

“What?” Talbot said again, this time with a bit of hysteria in his voice. “You know what happened the last time we passed through one of those. It was dreadful. I swear, that Seid cursed me and to this day I still have a fat ass!”

“My dearest,” Russell winked at him. “Your ass is perfect and Sophie-Anne is on vacation and has left Compton in charge.”

Talbot shrieked, “You mean her main ass kisser? The local boy who has not a brain in his body! Why would she do that?”

“I have no idea.”

“Do we want to know?” Talbot asked, suspicion now in his voice.

“Not from that pile of Were shit,” Russell replied. Pushing a number into his phone, Sophie-Anne picked up.

“Russell, how delightful,” she began.

“Cut the salutations,” he drawled out. “Where are you and why is Compton in charge?”

“The word is out that my staff and I are going to New Zealand  for a few days to get away from all the electronic chatter. But we are actually just off lurking in the shadows. I have a traitor inside my residence.”

“And you left Compton in charge?” In his voice was disbelief.

“Yes,” she replied. “If anyone from within is going to try a coup, now would be the time. And The Sheriff of Area Five is keeping an eye on things while I am observing. He will also handle it if anyone tries anything from outside. He is boots on the ground, geared up for war.

I shall be back in a couple of days if this does not ferret out the rat. But in the meantime, what do you think about re-opening the gold mine in the Superstition Mountains?”

“We were told that there was no more gold in that mine?” Russell responded, thinking about the possibilities.

“Well, not without blasting,” she chuckled.

“The state will not allow us to do that,” he replied.

“Well, who says they have to know?” There was silence on the phone while he thought about that.

Congratulating herself, they had just switched topics and Russell was going to think she was lurking in Phoenix and doing some business without him. Pulling up their joint ownership of the mine on her laptop, she was ready to talk some trash.

When they hung up, Talbot was sitting next to him on the couch. “They have a stone henge in N.O. Why would Compton want to come here?”

“He seemed to think this was going to be party central. Other royals would be in attendance, he said.

And that he could bring his own unicorn horn…I have no idea what that means,” Russell shrugged. “And pick his lover for the rest of the evening.”

Talbot looked thoughtful. “Is this some new game we know nothing about? Is that what those lower than Were shit Californias kings were talking and snickering about? Should we,” he gasped, “be entertaining on that blood moon? I am always the last one to know,” he pouted. “It is because I keep myself boxed up here, doing the best I can by you and the house and the fucking grounds! Those roses and those little pests that give them the wilt. I spend all my time fighting that instead of keeping up with the newest,” he said, dabbing at his eyes. “The things I do for you so you will be proud of our home and of me,” he sobbed.

“That is why no one comes to visit. They are all off playing this henge game,” he broke, crying in earnest, “and we are not invited because we are country bumpkins. Just white trash from the poor South, not good enough…” the tears were streaming down his face, “…not good enough to be in the know and have to be informed by the likes of a Were shit bottom feeder Compton…just what the fuck! They think we are lower than Were shit…” his crying was in earnest, with his head on Russell’s chest.  Bloody tears covering his face and Russel’s shirt. “Even that bitch Sophie-Anne has a henge. And we are not invited…to her game night…!” came out in a low, disparaging wail.

“Right,” he continued on, sobbing,  “like she has left Compton behind so that she can find a traitor. Ha! She is in the Californias, doing unspeakable things under that moon!”

Russell held Talbot while he cried out his anguish. After all the tears had been shed, Russell took Talbot’s face in his hands. “Do you want a henge?” he asked.

Letting out a long, suffering sigh, he shook his head, no. “It would just be that much more embarrassing when we invited royalty to play and they could not attend because of other engagements, elsewhere,” he pouted.

“Do you want to go back to The Continent?” Russell asked him.

“Sometimes I think I do,” he replied, laying his head in Russell’s lap.

“We really would be no-body’s,” Russell smiled at him.

“You are the Crown Prince of Hungry-Burg,” Talbot sat up, shock in his voice. “Don’t you dare disparage yourself in such a way!”

“Well,” Russell stroked Talbot’s hair. “If and when you decide you want one, we will go shopping in the Isles for one. None of this local rock for us, my love.”

“Really?” Talbot looked up at him, love in his eyes. “Truly. We could have one brought in?”

“Anything you want,” Russell replied, bending down and licking the blood off his face. “For you, the world. I am so proud of what you have accomplished, here, my love. Our home is beautiful. And I know that is because of you.  All I do is track mud in on your clean floors. And they are a lovely black and white marble checkerboard. And you did that. Turned this abandoned hovel into a home, the place where you keep my heart. I do not know what I would do without you.”

“Thank you,” Talbot sighed. “Thank you. You know I worry…”

“Sh-h-h-h, now. You feel like looking on line at some henges?”

“Thank you,” he whispered. “That…that would mean a lot to me.”

“All I want is your happiness, my love. Now, let us shop around and see what we like.”

“I don’t want anything like Stonehenge,” Talbot said, righting himself. “That is like what they put up in N.O. That is just too vulgar for words or polite company. We want something that says tasteful and refined. And perhaps worthy of a moonlight picnic and then dance.”

“Something charming,” Russell nodded, “well, let’s begin in Wales.”

 

 

 

 

 

That morning when Sookie woke, she had a revelation of the powerful sort.

“All of this is gonna’ happen fast. I tried putting my fingers into my vagina before I fell asleep and when you are dry, that is not pleasant or easy. And I need to trim my nails. As in cut then down to nothin’. We will be goin’ for broke. Oh ha ha…

I wonder if Eric would be okay with a little smoochin’ before hand?” Thinking on that thought, she felt herself begin to heat up and get wet. “Woof,” she sighed as she thought about yesterday.

“I am glad Lafayette and I rehearsed this. My clothes get in the way. And we both need our hands so this will have to be front-to-front. I will have to adjust whatever Druid thing takes form on me.

Practicin’ with a bottle of water and grits outside on a table helped put all of this in perspective. This is gonna’ take some co-ordination and some practice. We need to be in N.O. before the sun goes down.  That will give us at least five hours to rehearse this. Eric is gonna have to get us to the top of that altar after I pour out this stuff.  I am believing he can do it.”

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note:  *Mr. Clifford vacations on Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal.  Apparently, he is not without his own personal charms. He joined Brother Samuel’s household right after the outbreak of the American Revolution. Before then, he had journeyed with the British Navy as a youngster to various and interesting parts of the world.

 

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon Chapter 5

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 4

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 4

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 4

The doors at the front of the club swung open as Sookie approached and the sailors in the boat on the door knocker all bowed to her. “Easy journey, Fair Lady,” they called out to her. “Thank you for blessing our house! Fair winds and following seas to you and yours!”

Waving at them, she took a couple of steps. Taking out Lafayette’s phone, she called home.

“I am done,” she said when Gran picked up. “I will be home in a bit. I love you.”

As the doors closed behind her, there was a short, dark handsome man who stepped out and smiling at her he bowed.

“Please, if I might introduce myself. I am Samuel Da’vid, Eric’s brother. Please pardon him for his rudeness. This is not the first time he has fought this evil that descends and tries to rule the world. He has a good heart but a foul mouth, from time-to-time. I cannot make excuses for his ill manners but I love him. Please, won’t you join us for the after-party briefing.”

“I don’t think he wants me there and if I attend, I am not going to make this easy for him.”

“He would not know what to do if you did,” Samuel smiled at her.

Sookie thought it over for a second or two. An after briefing made all kinds of sense. “Do you know how long this will take? I just called my Gran and told her I was on my way home.”

“Possibly until sunrise. Would you mind?”

“No, I’m off work today. I could swing that. Just give me a minutes. Where do I meet you?”

“Make your phone call and I will escort you to the back of the  building.”

When Sookie hung up, Samuel was there and offered her his arm. Placing her hand on his forearm, together they walked around to the back door, Samuel discussing the building techniques that had been used to turn a warehouse into a Gothic manor.

So, this is where everyone had parked, she nodded to herself as she surveyed the back-parking lot as they approached another door. Samuel placed his hand on biometric scanner and the door opened.

The hallway was nice. Lovely, even. The Goth carried all the way to the back-loading dock. Not at all like the drywall and scuffed, aged, green paint that greeted them at the back door of Merlotte’s. Walking inside, once more time Samuel placed his hand on another door and it opened, to reveal a large room with leather furniture and paintings on the walls. A massive desk. All very masculine. It was an office, a very nice office. And in it sat several other men and a woman who all stood when she entered.

“If I might,” Samuel smiled at her, “I would like to introduce you to Ian, Cedric, Attila, Vlad, Lady Vedo, Siggy and Willy.”

They all bowed their heads to her when their names were said.

“Please,” she motioned with her hands, “please sit down. And you can call me Sookie.”

“Here,” Samuel smiled at her, pulling out a chair. “Please sit. We were just watching the floor show. I must say my dear, you were very impressive. I believe Pamela owes all of us money. We bet on you. She of course, had to bet on her maker. I am happy to say, I believe I am getting my Paris penthouse back in time for Spring.”

Sookie grinned at him. “Is she anything like her maker?”

All of them laughed.

“Well then,” she grinned, “good for you.”

“Oh, the party is breaking up,” Ian chuckled.  “Eric is threatening to throw them bodily out. Pamela will see them to the front doors. If anyone is tossing them out, she wants to be the one to do it.

I do believe our host for this evening is headed this way.”

The door to Eric’s office opened and when he saw her he said, “Where are your friends?”

“Friends?”  she replied, baffled.

“You really came by yourself?” he stared at her in disbelief.

“There was nothing said about bringing friends,” Sookie countered.

“Late Druid,” Eric eyed her in disbelief. “That is a given. When you go to war, you take as many friends as you can with you,” he chastised her.

In the same mocking voice he continued on. “Do you have a name?” Eric asked her.

“Yes,” she stared at him, her eyes never leaving his.  “Late Druid.”

Cedric actually laughed out loud.

Eric and Sookie both turned and glared at him.

“Pardon,” the Irish lad mended his manners and wiped the smile from his face and sat quietly with his hands folded in his lap.

“Yes,” Ian nodded, smiling, “you can tell she is family. She gets pissy, Eric, just like you do. Has not one problem expressing her opinion.

We were very impressed the other day, my lady,” he bowed his head to Sookie,  “with your on-line come backs. Clever, refreshing and to the point.”

“That was not me,” Sookie looked at the Irish and the English. “That was my family helping me out. My Gran knew the Irish code, my brother, who is a Medium, knew that the undead was not a spirit but a vampire and I pushed the thought around that you were all probably sitting in England having a very good laugh at our expense,” she chided them.

“So you do have friends,” Eric nodded. “Most excellent. Will they be joining us?”

“No, if something happens to me, Lafayette is to take care of Gran. I am willing to risk myself but not them.”

So, he had been wrong about her. It was time to re-evaluate. “She has morals,” he digested that, “and a real sense of family. Well fuck…” so she was from his mother’s side of the family. And he had been disrespectful. This was not going to be easy.

“Why not a steel blade?” he queried, his voice polite.

“Because tin is native to Cornwall. It runs through the earth there and flavors everything. Curses, blessings, water, wind, it all carries the taste of tin. The madness might have started in Eire, but for the family,Cornwall is where this began. The henge was flavored with it and the evil, also, once it opened the portal.

So it will take tin to destroy it.”

“Fuck me,” Eric said as he thought through that line of reasoning. “That explains a lot.”

“Yes, it does,” Vlad nodded in agreement. “We were so proud of our crucible steel blades. They could cut any metal known at the time. Just not the death blow to whatever that is that descends those stairs.

Tin,” he shook his head. “We would have never put that together.

Thank you,” he said, bowing his head to Sookie.

Eric was watching her closely. Relaxed, confident, at peace. Her dress and her braids reminded him of his grandmother. The symbols that were braided onto her scalp proclaimed who she was. Seid, well yes. Priestess, well yes. She was his match. She carried her line of women’s magic, as well. She was very gifted in an age that was without grace and not deserving of her.

 “My Viking ancestor,” he began,  “was married to your Druid ancestor. Somehow time and place lines were crossed and here we are today, still cleaning up this mess. I fought this war a thousand years, ago. And five hundred years, ago. And in the early  1700’s hundreds.

Tin,” Eric nodded his head. “I will have a blade of tin and my steel one as well, just in case.”

“Smart,” Sookie nodded. “Always be prepared.”

“What else do you know of this?” he asked.

“I hate to sound like the cliché, but our male ancestor should have killed the traitor when she told him too. Her husband hesitated, because of the laws, and I get that; but that gave evil an opportunity to escape up the stairs and into the stars.

She set boundaries, though. For them to return, it has to be an eclipsing blood moon, there has to be a henge that the eclipse stares into at its azimuth, and a male and female family member must be present to fight it.”

“And if we defeat it, you really have a way of closing it?” Eric asked.

“I am thinking on that,” she replied. “There are one or two ways it could go. But for sure, it can be done.”

Eric stared at her and started to say something when they heard singing out in the hall. A male and female, singing a bawdy song and laughing in-between verses.

“O.I. and Pamela, from the sound of things,” Attila chuckled.

“I would say your top shelf tequila that Pam keeps under lock and key took a serious hit,” Samuel was laughing as well.

When the door opened, Sookie smiled. For the first time tonight, she felt a weight lift from her. There fluttering into the room was the clone of Lafayette, in dragon form.

“Mo fo’n,” she smiled at the cat size dragon, “no turban tonight to match your big assed jewelry? And where is your cigarillo?”

The dragon landed in her outstretched hands. “You knows me?” he asked.

“I know your brother,” she replied. “Because he is my brother as well.”

“Mo’ fo’n,” he replied, staring into her eyes. “So tells me somethin’ about myself,” he grinned at her, all his teeth showing.

“Oh where to begin,” Sookie sighed and then chuckled. “Let me see, what is the most important part of your look? That would be a coin toss between your eye makeup, which is sadly missing tonight. You would look killer in a purple butterfly design. Or your manni and peddi. Seriously, I could go either way with that.”

“Favorite drink?” he asked.

“Well you might think that Attila gave that away. But it would be the blue agave. Just pour it into a glass and don’t stop until it is full.”

“Favorite somethin’ somethin’ to snacks on?’

“Corn chips, hot and fresh from the fat; and salsa, medium hot.”

“Favorite singer?” he leaned in.

“Barry Manilow.”

“Favorite movie?” he chuckled, thinking he had her now.

“Some Like it Hot.”

“Favorite get on down the big roads music?” And he thought she just might know him!

“Anything by the Queen of Soul. Miss Aretha, step on out.”

“Barry White?”

“Your hero.”

“Hm-m-m-m-m-,” he was stroking his exposed left, front fang. “And if I never come home again?”

“I can find you someplace over the rainbow.”

 “Those are some good and righteous answers,” he smiled at her, nodding. “Toughest one of all…now…wheres do I live?”

“In a heart full of love,” Sookie replied gently.

O.I. could feel it building inside of him. Hope…

Sookie was admiring the big presence that the small creature made. His wings created a soft fluttering of the air currents. There was a distinct smell that wafted around him. “Fireplace with toasted marshmallows,” flitted across her mind and cause her to recall memories of s’mores being made on a cold day with her oldest brother.

 O.I. noted the change in her. She haloed love and caring, and a softness to her that had been missing, before. What could bring about such a change in her?   “I could use me’s a dragon rider of the finest sort in this next battle. How’s come it won’t be him?”

“Because,” Sookie smiled at O.I., “he is afraid of heights.”

“Mo’ fo’n,” O.I.’s lower lip trembled while he wiped the tears away. “Been missin’ him somethin’ fierce and fiercer. Been lonely, so much been tearin’s at my heart this last bits and bits.”

“I think he would say the same thing,” Sookie nodded.

“He here tonight?” he asked, hope in his voice.

“No,” Sookie shook her head. “He is at home, takin’ care of our gran.”

“Course he is,” O.I. nodded, wiping at the purple tears that were falling from his eyes.  “Doin’ what’s rights and goods. See’n to family and bein’ mindful. Not out chasin’ the stars and fartin’ on the wind currents of time and chance.

God bless his heart and his soul. You gots photos?” In his voice was the sound of hope.

“Sure I do,” Sookie smiled and went to Lafayette’s selfie album on his phone. “Start here,” she smiled, “and just scroll on through. And maybe take a few of yourself so I can share with him when I get home.”

The vampires and Sookie talked family history while O.I. made his way through Lafayette’s photos. His giggles of delight and outright tears of joy stopped the conversation   more than once.

“Just goes on with your rat killin’s,” he would wipe at his eyes and do a jig. “I am celebratin’ my brother!”

“So how,” Sookie was watching Eric, “how do you keep others from jumping into the foray? I mean, won’t every Druid and his brother be out there at this stone circle during the eclipse?”

Eric stared at her for a long time. Trying to see the depths of her soul. Trying to gauge her…genius, or insanity.

“Late Druid,” he began slowly, “do you know the difference between genius and stupidity?”

“No,” she shook her head.

“Genius has limits. Stupidity does not.

So the answer to that is yes,” Eric nodded, “they will be there with their staffs of elm,  smudge pots, crystals,  and whatever else they deem necessary. But the closer the eclipse gets, the stones begin to vibrate and there is a horrible stench. I don’t even think grave rot begins to describe it. Then the air starts to shimmer and gives way to a completely different night sky. The star clusters are pinks and greens. A stone stair step appears, with a lion guarding  it. Sometimes it roars and joins in the fighting.

In the past, most got scared and ran. There will probably be a few posting to social media and they will get eaten because they are that stupid. Because stupid has no limits.”

“You don’t mince words,” she nodded to herself, “I like that. So, these creatures…are these things like ghosts? Or are they solid?”

They all shrugged. “Both, I would say,” Samuel replied. “You get a true mixture of human appearing specters and things that do not resemble human construct at all that appear to be solid.

My best guess, is that Abhartach was possibly an angel that fell during the rebellion and has been spreading his discontent ever since.”

“Cathain, our male Viking ancestor,” Eric motioned to her, “had trouble killing him. As in, he slew him more than once or even twice. And Abhartach always reappeared in a more dreaded form.”

“So he wasn’t a vampire?” Sookie asked.

“No,” Eric shook his head.  “Something far beyond that.

Be forewarned! The night sky is beautiful! Strange and exotic. If you are weak willed, it can draw you in and the time will pass without you knowing it. This has happened to others in the past. Druid and supernatural, alike.

What comes down that staircase is evil. You can taste it on the wind and feel it in your bones. Not that I am virtuous or would be considered moral, but I certainly do not want that set loose here.”

“I looked on line at this henge. It is out in the middle of a corn field. I know folks just drive up to it. Park, and then walk through some fenced off alley ways.  Is it on private property? Do we need to clear this with someone?”

“Yes, it is on private property. And yes, it is open to the public. But we shall remove the innocent bystanders at around eleven. Then those that are destined to fight this or be destroyed will be in attendance.”

“So, I just meet you there?” she asked.

“We’ll set something up. Call the club between now and then and we will get you the specifics.”

“Well alright then,” she nodded and stood. “I got to be gettin’ back. Is there anythin’ else?”

“No,” they all shook their heads.

“Excellent, I will see you at the henge in N.O. the night of the eclipse. Until then, rest well during the day.”

Reaching for Lafayette’s phone, O.I. handed it to her. “May I go with you, to meet him?” he asked.

“I’ll call,” she smiled at him. “I think he will be delighted to see you.”

“Then come fair lady and I will see you safely home.

Adieu,” O.I. called out and bowed to the group, snagged the bottle of blue agave then opened the door for Sookie and together, they left the building.

Once they were outside Sookie called the house.

“Lafayette, Gran still up?” she asked.

“No, she has done and gones to bed.  You doin’ fine?”

“Indeed I am. I am bringin’ home someone who wants to meet you.”

“That a fact? What is his bona fides?”

“Well,” Sooki smiled at O.I. “He is your brother.”

“What?” Lafayette shot back. “What has Miss Thang done and did now?”

“Not her doin’, Lafayette. We’ll be home in about forty-five minutes.”

“You not drivin’ with some serial killer are you? Do I needs to load your shot gun?”

“No-o-o-o, no need. Just hang tight. And set up the shot glasses. Looks like we are bringin’ home a bottle of Class Azul Ultra. Ole!

See you in a bit, gotta drive now,” she smiled and hung up.

“Ole!” Lafayette shouted. “Where oh where, His La La Fineness wants to be known, did Miss Sooks gets herself a 6,000 dollar bottle of tequila? And I am gonna be havin’ me a bottle of 6,000 dollar bottle of tequila! And a brother who brings home expensives tequila! Ole!”

O.I. fluttered along while she walked the parking lot. “Where you parked? The north forty out of bounds?” he asked, looking around.

“Oh, at the end of the strip mall. I did not realize there was parkin’ in the back lot. Did not even realize there was a back lot. Wow, would you look at the high-end autos parked back here. There must be over a million bucks in cars alone.”

“Yes, the riff of the raft has gone and only vamps left. Their rides are fast and faster,” O.I. observed.

“Yous is changin’,” he said as he now flew in front of her, watching her morph to someone else.

“Yes,” she nodded. “Gran said I would change the closer the time came to goin’ to war. I was surprised that I changed so much tonight. The closer I got to Fangtasia, the more I took on the appearance of a Druid Seid.

That job is now over and I am going back to being Sookie, the waitress in a bar and grill.”

O.I. looked her over carefully. “All I sees is yous love and cherished heart. Your people are mightly blessed to be havin’ you in their life.”

“You know that Eric now consists of my people,” she replied as she opened his car door and he fluttered in.

“Yes,” he nodded looking at her, “he is blessed most of all.

Now then, tells me about my brother. His momma! Do I has any more family that I am missin?”

There was was quite in Eric’s office. All of the vampire’s fingering the blade at their side. “That is why,” Vlad took out the bronze blade, “we were able to kill them.”

The others laughed out loud.

“We were so proud of the crucible steel,” Attila was chuckling as he drew his bronze sword as well.

“To kill an ancient evil, you need things that are original to the earth,” Samuel grinned. “Copper and tin, goodly things that Father God created, make bronze.”

“Note to self,” Madame Vedo nodded. “When killing ancient, go with ancient.  I wonder,” she eyed the crowd. “What do you think of tin worked into your clothing? I don’t know that we have enough time for tin armor. Maybe something like a Kevlar vest?”

“Oh Madame,” they all stood and bowed, “we leave you to do your best.”

“Eric,” they bowed to him and then all pulled their swords and saluted!

“Thank you, once more,” he presented his Viking sword to them in a salute. “The world and I am forever in your debt.”

Eric saw his friends out the door and went back to his office. Samuel was there, waiting for him. It was time to talk this out.

Eric felt the tension of the dark slip away. It was time to speak the truth of his irrational mind and basic greed. Samuel’s green eyes were soft and welcoming. His brother had never judged him, always gave him good council and loved him despite himself.

Eric sat down next to him on the couch.

“What weighs on you my brother?” Samuel asked as he placed his hand on top of Eric’s and squeezed it.

Eric settled back into the couch and bringing Samuel’s hand to his lips, kissed it and letting go, he clasped his own hands in his lap.

“Samuel, I have been thinking the unthinkable. This evil gets stronger every time we encounter it.

The Late Druid, she has inherited her women’s clan of magic. Just like myself. When I was turned vampire, that magic became more.”

“Eric…” Samuel began, shaking his head, no!

“Just let me say it,” Eric whispered. “What…what if I turned her?”

Samuel smiled at his brother. “You share a bloodline, my brother. You would what, create a constantly pissed off version of yourself? Or, God forbid, another version of The Child?”

Eric made a sour face. “Trust you to get to the guts of the matter,” he gave him a small smile.

“There is a reason you do not know her name,” Samuel said gently. “She does not strike me as the type that would go gently into that vampire darkness so I would suggest you keep your fangs out of her neck. She would fight you with all that she is and perhaps destroy the both of you in the process. Evil would gain a gateway and this world would never be the same.

Would you doom all of us to this tragedy, my brother?” he said gently. “Besides, I heard her say she had a plan for closing this portal once and for all.”

Eric was thinking about that. Humans were so fragile. “Then she should be protected. Humans live by the turn of a leaf. Or the soap on a shower floor. A shoe on the stairs.”

“Eric,” Samuel took his hand. “You are not alone in this endeavor. Your friends are here. We have your back. And now, we have a new something to add to the mix. Clearly, she carries power within her. A clean, sweet smelling power. Nothing corrupted. She walks with the God of my fathers. Not the heathen human sacrifice of old.

And I do believe O.I. shall be in attendance upon her. He will keep her safe so that she may play her part. And it sounds like, perhaps he shall have a dragon rider, this go around. Truly, he shall be death from above. And we have the knowledge of tin.”

Eric smiled at his brother and then leaned his forehead against his. “How much salt did Saul and Miriam give you?”

Samuel laughed. “About 200 pounds. Straight from the Dead Sea. It is already on the ground in N.O. at my residence.”

“Most excellent,” Eric grinned and then hugged him.  “Thank you for listening to my idiocy. But sometimes, I just have to say it out loud to someone to get it out of my system.”

“I understand,” Samuel smiled at him. “Truly I do.

Sunrise is coming.”

“Yes,” Eric smiled at him and then stood and headed for the door. “My residence is closer. Let us take shelter there.”

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon—Chapter 3

Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 3

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 3

Sookie heard her alarm, felt the sun, and was up and in the kitchen. Gran had already made coffee and had gone out to get the newspaper.

“We may be country dwellers,” Sookie poured herself a cup, “but Gran says we live in civilization. And reading the paper with a cup of coffee is a sign of civilization. So be it. I am living the dream!”

Taking out the bread and making toast, Gran came in. It was lunch time but breakfast sounded better.

“Bit of a nip to the air,” she said as she took the rubber band off the rolled-up paper.

“That’s interesting,” she spread the paper out and Sookie refilled her coffee cup as well.  “There is a small article here on the front page that says if you want more information on last night’s shooting star spectacle, to contact Longboat Scientific Optics. Apparently, they have several telescopes, the biggest one named Drakbåt,pointed at the night sky and captured some excellent photos. If you want to use them in your magic circles or for science projects, please feel free to do so, it says.  They are not going to hold  a copyright on the photos. They give a web site and everything.”

“Just shooting stars?” Sookie asked. “Nothing about the purple Northern Lights that were flashing their stuff this far south or the Drakbåtthat was ridin’ it? Yeah, go fish,” Sookie hooted.

“Not one word,” Gran smiled at her. “Nope, not a one. Do you think this is from the fellow warriors that you are supposed to fight with? You know, throwing out a line? Do a little pre-war meet and greet?”

“Oh, it is probably a line all right,” she snickered,  “but I cannot ignore the magic circle bit. So, Lafayette has a laptop. We should be able to check in with his.

I’m callin’ him now.”

“You has got the good and righteous His La La Fineness, Miss Sooks. How are you and Gran doin’? I didn’t sleep until the sun came up.”

“Us as well,” Sookie said pulling back the kitchen curtain.  “After last night, don’t know if I will ever sleep again.”

“Same as same here,” he replied. “Lordy, pretty lights and a boat you don’t have to row. No spirits on board, though. Don’t know if that is good and righteous or nots.  Not everyday, though, you see one of those hovering on the lights of the North this far south.”

“Yeppers, that is where we are at. And because of that, Gran and I are in a quandaryover here. We need a computer to check out a web site that looks like is talkin’ to us.”

“Well come on,” he said. “I’ll fire it up and will be here waitin’ on you. Makin’ coffee. A pot. Don’t bother bringin’  that stuff you keep in yous cupboard.”

“On our way,” Sookie said and hung up the phone.

“Do you think Lafayette will put a chocolate kiss in our coffee along with that full fat cream,” Gran asked grabbing her sweater.

“I would count on that,” Sookie smiled and reaching behind patted her butt. “So much for ever fittin’ into my skinny jeans, again. Lafayette puts those kisses in his muffins, as well. I bet he is doing up a batch of those, even as we speak. Forget the toast and peanut butter. Let’s go have chocolate for breakfast and then see if he will do a follow-on with chocolate for lunch!”

Lafayette had indeed made chocolate muffins and had special coffee! As they ate, he studied the newspaper article.

“So we are thinkin’ this is code for somethin’,” he said as he took a sip and then put in the web address. “Okay…here we are…and we are lookin’ at their menu in regards to the shootin’ stars.

Hm-m-m-m, nothin’ here that particularly sets this in motion,” he said as they scrolled through the photos.

“Okay,” Sookie was thoughtful, “here it says leave a comment. What says the group?  Yes or no? Easy-peasy. Click yes,” she said.  “And now it says describe what you saw.”

“We can do that,” Lafayette said and began typing. “What do you think? Is that enough?” he asked as he sat back and turned the lap top to face Sookie and Gran.

“Oh yes,” Sookie nodded. “Good description. You even include the big, shinning stars that twinkled and looked like they were blowing kisses.”

“Clicking the send box and well, just looks here at all theses pretty photographs. It says pick the one that looks like the closest of what we saw.”

“It is not there,” Gran said carefully scrutinizing the photos.

“You are right Gran,” Sookie nodded. “It is not there.”

“Now what?” Gran asked.

“Scroll all the way to the bottom and once more click into the comment box and ask them just what the fuck? Sorry Gran,” Sookie looked at her, “but really, just what the fuck?”

“And so if I might quote you on that,” Lafayette began typing, “Just what the fuck? The photo is not there.

Hitting enter, there was no immediate response. Then another box popped up. “Would you like to chat with a live associate?”

“We want to do that?” Gran asked.

 “Yes,” he typed, “get yourself on line.”

Eric had caught an immediate flight out of Shreveport after watching the sun set and was sitting in Ian’s manor home in London, watching the wanne be’s think they could be invited into the little eclipsing of the Blood Moon, to-war, soirée.

“We have a live one,” he chuckled as Ian, the vampire king of British Isle pulled up a chair beside him.

“I like him already,” Ian laughed as he read the message. “Sounds like a live one. We got afuckright out the door. So who do we have manning the phone lines today?”

“What do you think about a peg-legged pirate?” Eric asked.

“Aar-r-r-r-r-r-gh!” Ian answered. “I like it. But I really like those psychics at those 900 numbers. Maybe you should fly as one of those.”

“Really?” Eric grinned. “I have not done Miss Jazz-meme in a while.”

“Time to take the old girl out,” Ian grinned.

“Can do,” Eric replied as he began to type.

Greetings and salutations from the other side of the veil, oh gifted of sights not seen by human eyes. I will be your guide for this conversation with the undead who shall pass your way with vital information.

I am smelling me some bullshits,” Lafayette rolled his eyes as he read this missive out loud. “Undead? This is His La La Fineness! I knows undead in the grave. This is undead that walks! You think we is chattin’ up a vampire?”

“Well if we are, he is not local. We have got us some sunshine ruling the skies today. He should be sleepin’. Anywhere in the U.S. he should be sleepin’. Unless he is in Hawaii. And if he is in Hawaii, fuck him,” Sookie snarked.  “He can just turn to flames when the sun comes up.”

“True dat,” he nodded. “But this vamp, he could haves some serious foldin’ monies and the world could be his oyster. Lets says he watches here last nights then hops on a plane and goes East. Maybe London or Paris. If I hads monies, that is what His La La Fineness would do. They have some nightfall there and nice things to buy.

Miss Sooks, how do you want to play this?”

“Fucking rich ass hole,” she snipped. “I am wound up enough about this and now to put up with this…this…” she stopped and looked over at Gran. “Bad work, bad word, bad word, stuff,” she nodded.

“For now, just go with it,” her voice stern.  “Hit them with your woo-de-who ways, our very fine His La La Fineness.  Call him a Viking, because of the longboat and a seer…really?  Isn’t that a tough job for a vamp, seeing as how he sleeps during the day.”

“Tit for tat, I likes it,” Lafayette grinned. “Here we go.”

Oh one of the Viking fanged persuasion. We grieves mightily that you cannot partake of tea-time and champagne, so please check in with someone in charge so that we might glean our info and move forward.

“I like,” Sookie nodded. “Hit send.”

“Off we goes. Now, let us see what pops up next.”

“Damn and damn again, Eric,” Ian was laughing. “Too bad Cedric is running late. He would love this.”

“Did I hear my name, me boyo,” the Irish stuck his head in. “And what do we have going on? I see The Viking looking daggers at his lap top. I do so hope he is not going to go berserker all over it.”

“King of Eire,” Eric looked over at him and smiled. “Sit your very fine Irish ass down and have a go at this. I am starring you in the very beginning of the conversation.”

“Oh,” the Irish lad read, “and then oh-h-h-h-h, well. Appears that you have been figured out.”

“Yes, hit them with some of your Irish. I am now curious to see their bona-fides.”

Hello darlin’ one. Something like that?” he asked.

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “And do not make this easy for them.”

“Well, then, let us discuss the Hill of Uisneach. See what they have to say about that.”

The seat of kings,

The power of one

From the beginning of time,

All has come undone.  Lafayette read.

So is that a yes or no on the approval rating?” Gran asked.

“So-o-o-o,” Sookie was staring at the poem. “Since there was no snark, we are somewhere in Europe. And I think they have switched out folks. So who is the new guy?”

“Irish,” Gran replied. “The seat of kings…that is the Hill of   Unisneach. Remember that postcard we got from my Aunt Hilda. She was there on Samhain for the fires.”

“Well, Ireland does have a vampire king,” Lafayette added.

“You think we are rolling with the big guns?”  Sookie asked, a little shocked.

“Who is to say?” Gran replied. “We got no come back when we called him a Viking. Maybe that is why they switched drivers, so to speak.”

“Well, time to rhyme, His La La Fineness says.”

 Undone? Undone my king?

Your seat of power continues on

The vista great with birds on wing.

The Hill of Usineach forever in the dawn.

 

“And there it goes,” Lafayette chuckled.

“My o’ my,” was being laughed out loud.

Eric looked at the two royals who were having a chuckle at his expense.

“Bona fides and then some,” Ian grinned.

Eric glared at the two and then making something that resembled a triangle with his two hands, tapped his fingers together. “Well, that purchases some good will. They get grid co-ordinates. I hope they know as much about land navigation.

Ian, if you would do the honors?”

“My pleasure.”

Gran, Sookie and Lafayette  watched the screen once more as it came alive.

32.454N X 93.8287W  15/1/19  02

“What the hell?” Sookie hissed.

“Grid co-ordinates,” Gran answered. “The wonder of it all,” she sounded exasperated and rolled her eyes. “They don’t believe in making this easy, do they? And the date and time.  The 15th of January at two A.M.”

“Fine ladies, we knows that we has got us a Viking, the king of Eire, and there is a vamp king of British Isle. Where do you think these mo fo’ers are broadcasting from?”

“I read a romance novel about the vampire king of British Isle. C.E. Stewart did a real fine job of writtin’ up his London manor.  Let’s look that up and put it in.”

Lafayette was out on the web and then grinned. “Gots it right here, Fine Ladies.”

“Send it,” Sookie and Gran both said.

 “51.5194 N X 0.1270 W,” Cedric read as he chuckled.

“Mo’ fo’n,” O.I., king of the dragons laughed out loud, blowing smoke rings that looked like bunny rabbits that went bounding away.“Tis good to be able to pull on Mr. Eric’s short hairs. Really gets his attention!  Tis good to be bona fide.”

Eric said nothing, only glared and then had a smile, himself. “We will have an interesting crowd fighting evil this time. O.I., so glad you could join us.”

“You know Mr. Eric’s, if there is a brawl, I wants in.

 Been that way from the beginning of time. In later ages, when I hooked up with Brother Samuel, there was some of that evil from the beginning, still out there lurkin’ and we kicked its ass.  And then, Brother Samuel introduces me to his Viking fineness and there are stone henges that need to be weeded and hoed…especially on the night of an eclipsing Blood Moon. And you knows, I am always up for a good brawl. Will invite myself in if needs be.”

“The meet and greet is on the 15th,” Sookie took out a calendar, “at two! As in two in the morning! Sick vampire fuckers,” she mumbled under her breath. “Lafayette, do you know where yet?”

“Yes…” he looked up at Sookie. “Fangtasia. The vamper bar in Shreveport.”

“You mean the one that looks like a Gothic manor on the outside?”

“That would be the one,” Lafayette, nodded. “And it looks like a gothic manor on the inside as well. All the furniture  and do-dads, the real thing. Stained glass, a lot of it. A vampire by the name of Eric Northman owns it. Viking, starting at the top of his head with his blond roots,  all the way down his long legs. Gorgeous but deadlies, I hears.”

“So this fucker just up and flies to London to hang out with his friends that are two kings and who knows what else. Must be nice,” she mumbled.

“Okay, got that out of my system. Maybe.

So I don’t appear to be a complete goof-ball, I am goin’ need to do some studyin’.  Viking religion, Druids, and I want to go to church this Sunday and take communion. I need all the help I can get.

The romance novels I read has a lot of Viking history in them. Along with stone henges and other magics. So some things maybe I know. And there are libraries about things I don’t know.”

“I can help also,” Gran said. “I’ll go to the library and read and then, Sookie, I can explain to you the important stuff when you come home from work.”

“Myself as well, Miss Sooks. We shall have us a basic working knowledge. And that night while you are there, maybe you will learn some more.”

For the next nine days Sookie learned, discussed and speculated on the most general of things relating to magic…Viking, Druid, and how they celebrated their holidays.

Those days passed swiftly. Lafayette grilled her at work, Gran was always up whenever she came and filled her in with fine details.

The evening of meet and greet finally appeared. Gran was helping her with her jacket.

“The most important thing to remember,  Sookie, is: Vikings: The Tree of Life and the Rune stones.

Druids: Poetry, stone circles, and all things that speak too and of nature.”

Sookie nodded. “Got it. No bullshit. If I don’t know the answer, then I don’t know and let him make of it what he will. This rich, Viking vampire asshole is a relative of some sort. Boy, I sure would like to kick his ass for getting me out at such an hour.”

“It is 0045,” Gran looked her granddaughter over one more time. “Give us a kiss and we are lighting a candle for you. I am going out to the henge and taking my lantern with me.  Lafayette has said he will sit with me until you return.”

“You be careful” they both shouted after her as she made her way out to her car.

“Will do,” she looked over shoulder and called back. There, in the porch light stood her family. “I love you,” she said and blew them a kiss and got in started the car. With another wave, she was off into the night.

“Lafayette, if you would grab the thermos, I already have the blankets and chairs positioned and the wood stacked in the fire pit.”

“Let’s go call down some blessin’s,” Lafayette nodded.

“Our girl is goin’ into the fiery furnace. The angels will surely be there to keep her from gettin’ burned!”

It was a fine night to be out driving! The sky was crystal clear and the stars glittered like diamonds thrown out into the dark abyss of waiting love.

“Yes, right,” she grinned, “who is ever gonna want to love me? Crazy Sookie! But hey, check it out, tonight I have a mission. And it just does not come any crazier than this.”

Turning up the radio on her favorite gospel station, she sang along and shouted “Amen” when she felt the need.

When she hit the Shreveport city limits, there was a detour sign.

“What the fuck?’ she groaned as she followed the signs through residential neighborhoods. “This is going to cost me time. Should have allowed more leeway,” she hissed to herself. “But I will be there!”

When she emerged back onto the interstate, she had five more miles to go.

When she pulled into the parking lot, “What the fuck?” exploded out! There was heavy road machinery everywhere. “So this is their staging ground. Come on universe, work with me here!”

Carefully she threaded her way through and down to the club. There was no place to park! Heavy machinery along with holding containers of sand, rock and who knew what else took up all the room.

She found a parking spot next to a bulldozer down by the Toy’s R Usthat had gone out of business. “Finally,” she moaned as she scampered out of the car.  “I am going to be late. But I am here, that has to count for something.”

Down the parking lot she went, weaving her way in and out of the machinery.

Approaching the front door, she felt something inside of her shift. Like when she clutched her car. That second before the next gear engaged and then the shift went smoothly into gear. Before she knocked, she felt the warmth spread out and around her. The night air no longer held the chill.

“What the fuck!” breathed out of her. “What is happening to my hair?” Lifting her hands up to her head, she could feel the corn roll braids covering her head in intricate patterns until one long bread cascaded down her back to the floor.

Her clothes had shifted as well. Looking down, she could see that she was wearing an off-white shift and was wearing a massive white wool shawl that wrapped around her and covered her head. Her suede boots went to her thighs.

“I’ve been Cinderella-ed,” she choked on that thought. “Okay, Gran said I would become more.” As she reached out to lift the door knocker, a staff appeared in her hand as well, the top third embedded in crystals and from the top bloomed lilacs.

“We are not worthy, O’ honored one,” the sailors aboard the longboat knocker said to her.  “Please, rap with your bloodied staff and we shall consider ourselves blessed.”

“Okay,” she kept her eyes on the longboat and raising her staff, struck the door three times. Even from where she stood, she could hear it ringing throughout the building, a pure clear tone that announced her.

Everyone in Fealty Hall heard the knock.

“Druid. Late, as always,” Eric rolled his eyes.

“Come in,” he shouted.

The doors swung open and Sookie stepped in. Lafayette had not been kidding! Even in the candle light, this place was damned impressive! Manor house was right!

Hearing the voices, she went toward them until she found where they were gathered. There were chairs scattered about the room.  Lots of chairs and all looked inviting and expensive.

A huge fireplace spewed embers up the chimney when she entered.

“Late Druid,” the man at the front called out to her. “We have been waiting on you. So nice of you to join us so that we might start.”

“Fuck,” she mumbled. T’was indeed Eric Northman that was hosting tonight. Lafayette had briefed her all about him. Complete with photos. Blond, good looking, deadly and apparently family.

Just fucking great. So it was noted that she was late.  Well, she had been raised with manners. “Just do the polite thing, Sookie,” she nodded to herself.

“I apologize to all of you for being late. That I have misused your time unwisely. May the love of the universe find its way to you and yours.”

An older woman up front stood and faced her. “The Three Feathers Coven thanks you for your blessing.”

“Here we go,” Pam mouthed and shook her head at Eric. “We’ll be here all night just listen’ to them praise each other.”

Eric hid his smirk and began his dressing down. “It is a quarter past the hour,” he said with disapproval in his tone.  “With the Late Druid’s permission, we shall start.”

“Well, yes…” Sookie began a bit embarrassed.  “Please do…”

“Do you not know sarcasm when you hear it?” Eric said staring at her and then switched his attention to those assembled.

“Tit for tat” rattled around in her brain. After all, he was family. “Treat him like you treat Jason,” she heard that voice of reason and acted on it.

“I know an asshole when I hear one,” she smiled at him. “They make a rude noise followed on by a foul odor.”

From the corner of his eye, he could see Pamela smirking.

“Touché!” The Child mouthed at him and winked.

“Thank you, Cousin,” he bowed his head to her,  “for your endearing remark.

First order of business,” he began, as he watched the crowd’s reaction! Several blinked and many of them turned to look at her.

“What is your reason for fighting this war and how did you get here?” Eric asked calling their attention back to the front of the room.

Sookie took a breath. Okay, so he knew about the family curse. That made things easier, maybe. Pulling up a chair in the back, she sat down and looked around her. Most were dressed in jeans and a hoodie. Which is how she had started out. The Coven in the front, they all wore robes. As she traversed the room with a critical eye, there seemed to be several other covens as well.

The meeting had been called back to order and it was interesting listening to them speak.  Each group had its own reason for guarding the stone circle.

For some it was a rite of passage.

For others it was a test that had to be passed before moving to the next level of their rank.

“Packmaster,” Eric addressed a tall, handsome man who wore a brooding look that matched the one of the vampire on stage. “Why are you here?”

“Blood moons are bad business for us. It has its ways with the dual natured. My momma sent me tonight. Momma said that her bona fides and my strength were needed. So here I am to stand and fight with you.”

Eric nodded. “I respect your mother’s knowledge and her reverence of the ways of nature. So be it.”

Something rippled throughout the crowd. For a moment Sookie thought maybe they were laughing at the man.

The blond on stage dropped his fangs and roared his discontent out at the gathering. “You think you know this magic that wants to eat you,” he snarled as blue sparks shot from his eyes. “You know nothing!

Packmaster,” his voice was calm and held respect.  “I have nothing but admiration for your mother,” Eric said with a bow of his head to the other man.

“Well good on you,” Sookie smiled to herself. “Don’t let them insult him and his momma!”

The crowd settled back into itself.

“Let us continue,” Eric said. “The Coven of Cat’s Paw, stand and take the floor.”

Sookie was very surprised  to hear several say that it was their destiny to die defeating the dark magics.

And as she listened, she wondered if they were human.  “Dual natured,” her eyes went back to the man that was called Packmaster.  “Just what type of pack does he master?” she wondered.

A man in a dark cape stood. “The Dark Arts Druids are here to protect the henge. We care not what does or does not slither out. The circle has been sanctified and we will keep it that way. We arrived here because there was a calling in our magics.

And we do not know this…this…Late Druid,” his voice held malice. “She is not a goddess, regardless of how she dresses and proclaims it to the world.  Such arrogance! We doubt that she walks the path at all.”

Sookie stood and announced in a very clear, controlled voice, “Like I give a fuck about what you believe or do not believe,” she replied with attitude and then sat back down.

There was a slight ripple of power across the room. Sookie could feel it. It was like someone had been sitting on the fence about her, but that business was now done. The decision had been made in her favor. She had no idea by who or what, but her words had rung true. She did not give a fuck what any of them thought of her.

“The Late Druid is recognized,” the host for tonight looked amused.

Sookie stood, her eyes never flinching as she stared at the vampire. Her voice held humor. “This is a family feud and I got here by GPS.” Sitting back down, everyone in the room turned around to look at her.

“So tell us, Late Druid…” Eric began.

“I do have a name,” Sookie replied, her eyes never leaving his. “And it is not Late Druid.”

“Were you late?” Eric asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” she replied, keeping her temper in check.

“Are you a Druid?” he asked pointedly.

“Yes,” she responded.

“Then you are a late Druid.

Now,” he was once more addressing the populace.   “Let us talk skills.  If you cannot defend yourself, I will not allow you to sacrifice yourself or be a martyr to the cause.  Who would like to begin?”

Sookie watched as she witnessed magic being done.  Some of it magnificent and others she thought boarder in the dark and nasty.   And so folks auditioned for their bragging rights to this battle.  She wondered what they would say if she were to tell them she was a telepath. Who could apparently change clothing and hair styles as she walked.

Once again, she was the last.

“Late Druid,” was said with a grand bow.  “Show us your

super power.”

“I have no super power,” she began. “My only claim to fame is being related to you.”

From the front a voice yelled, “What did I tell you! Not a Druid. Not even a decent human that can do Momma Magic!”

Sookie felt the tingle go up her arm and into the staff. All the crystals that had been placed it in began to shine and small bolts of lightning were flashing around her and then they began to streak upward toward the ceiling. There was the crack of thunder as nine distinct burn marks appeared on the ceiling. Then other small bolts hit the ceiling in rapid succession.

When the smoke cleared, you could see the nine planets and dancing around each one of them were nine more planets.

“You think you know what you are fighting?” she began, looking out into the crowd.  “You do not. This is a family vendetta with evil thousands of years in the warring. Taking on the ungodly unknown that would eat your souls and have you lick the shit out of their asses,” she laughed as her voice mocked them.

“I don’t know if any of you believe in God.  Your hereafter is not my concern. But it was the Vikings and Druids that got us into this. It is going to take the Vikings and the Druids belief systems that are going to hold true for the threat and give us the victory. For the Vikings, there are nine planets that reverence the Tree of Life. They are surrounded by nine planets that are surrounded by nine planets to infinity.

For the Druids, there is an eight-fold wheel.” As the words left her mouth, more lightning spit from her staff onto the ceiling. “As you can see, there are  nine major planets living within the Tree of Life. And imposed on each plant is a node of our wheel.  Look closely and you can see that Earth is without the Druid protection. Which allows this evil to access the stone henges.

If we defeat the evil this time, I will seal the henge, and a node will move to block our planet and we will not be troubled again. If we do not…well, there is always next-time.

Is there anything more to discuss?”

“No,” Eric shook his head. “Until the night of the blood moon, Cousin,” Eric bowed his head to her.

“Until then, Cousin,” Sookie bowed her head to him. Her eyes turned from him up to the ceiling. “For your rudeness to me, I shall leave the star map to remind you to mind your manners. Perhaps next time you will remember your etiquette and not mock your family.

Listen carefully” she addressed the crowd. “For those of you who will bring a blade, you will need tin ones to defeat the monsters that will sally forth. Steel will not defeat them.”

The crowd all stood and began talking at once and Sookie walked unnoticed out of the room.

Cacius, the Druid that had rebuked her, approached Eric.

“Just what the fuck has happened?” he glared at Eric. “Cousin? Really? Where did you find her? How did she come to be here? Who is she? What is she? Where does she dwell?” His rage was so great that spittle began to run down his chin. “Cousin…you call each other cousin! You know her truths! I want to know them as well!”

“Cacius,” Eric addressed the Druid that had been so rude, “you heard her just the same as I. Our family set this loose and she is here to help right the wrong.

If you hurry, perhaps you can catch her out in the parking lot and demand answers to your many questions.  But I would be careful if I was you. You can see what she did to my ceiling,” he grinned. “I don’t think she would have a problem tattooing that onto your forehead. She strikes me as the type that would enjoy it.”