Jason leaned over again. “What’s up? You look like you’re caught in the crosshairs.”
He was still just as watchful over the fangbanger as I was. “I asked your sister to read her mind and now she’s very concerned.” Scared shitless would have been more accurate.
“How do you know that?”
“I’ll explain that later.”
He nodded slightly. “If you think she’s one of them drainers, I can get rid of her for ya.”
“Thanks, but it’s best that we wait. I’m sure Sookie knows exactly what her intentions are. She could just be a nervous cop.”
He shrugged and sat back…
And the waiting continued.
The waitress finally returned with a note for me and ‘fuck me’ eyes for Jason… I had to shoo her away.
‘She’s a scout for a team of drainers. She’s watching the vampires, what type they like, if they leave with someone. You seem to be ‘in charge’ so she thinks they could get a lot for your blood.’
That would explain her sudden fear… and it gave me a sliver of hope that Sookie might be approachable sooner than later.
Jason leaned over to whisper, “Well?”
“You were right. She’s with drainers, but she’s just a scout.” How his tiny brain managed to ‘guess’ that would probably puzzle me for a while.
“Ew… How do you have her followed without risking whoever goes after her?”
I smiled at him, impressed that he could think ahead to having her tracked. He really wasn’t an idiot. “I send a vampire I wouldn’t miss.”
He laughed, “Shame on you for not bringing Bill back to Shreveport.”
When I was done with the call regarding the drainer’s shadow, I texted Pam that Sookie needed to take a break when she was done with the next client.
While we waited for her to join us, Jason made jokes about the fangbanger I had to kick away from my leg.
Pam joined us quietly enough that she startled Jason as she sat on the arm of his chair. “If I did your makeup…”
“Wrong Stackhouse, sister. You ain’t putting makeup on me.”
“We aren’t discussing eye shadow and color pallets… I meant to cover your tan… You could sit up here and be the resident pussy magnet instead of Eric.”
I welcomed the idea. “I wouldn’t mind in the least.”
“You know… The pussy magnet thing ain’t the turn off… it’s the johnsons that’ve been making eyes… Hell no.”
He laughed, “Chicken enough.”
I chuckled at the adamant look on his face. “Pam, why don’t you take over baiting the ‘johnsons’ while I go to my office.”
“Certainly. I don’t need to tell you that Sookie’s not holding herself together well.” No… she didn’t. Sookie’s fear had been strong enough that I’d actually gotten a chill… and she was pacing erratically enough that she’d made herself dizzy.
No sooner than I entered the office, expecting to argue… she plowed into me, hugging my ribs. “What have you been doing?”
My arms went around her automatically. “I believe it’s called ‘hanging out’… Your brother stopped by because Adele and Bubba cast him out.”
Her grip tightened. “Not that! The drainer.”
“I called our favorite reconnaissance team. The ‘disco triplets’ will be here shortly to follow her. We’ll know more by sunrise.”
“You’re letting her leave? You… She wanted you specifically.”
“She certainly wouldn’t make an attempt on me herself.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“I can’t be, but if she were to come after me on her own, she wouldn’t walk away from the encounter.”
“There’s at least four more. I’m scared. What if…”
“I preferred when you were angry.”
“How can you stay so calm? A drainer is in your bar and she wants you!”
“You’re not funny!”
“Sookie, I’ve survived worse than drainers. We just aren’t worried over the same things.”
“What do you worry about then?”
“You. I worry that you’re pigheaded enough to go out without your guard. I worry about how long you’re going to stay angry over a mistake.”
One of her arms held firm, but the other let go long enough to punch my back.
“What was that for?”
“Being a giant butthead! I didn’t go without Alcide! And I’m still going to worry about you! I don’t care if you’re older than dirt! I still don’t want anything to happen to you!”
“Is this how you apologize?”
She growled into my chest and when she pulled her arm away to hit me again, I grabbed it.
“Stop that. I don’t hit you.”
“If you did, I might make a better pet.” She was just making a cheeky suggestion, but it still wasn’t likely that any form of discipline or abuse would ‘tame’ her.
“If I did hit you, you wouldn’t be much of anything.”
Thankfully, she giggled. “I’m sorry… not about worrying, for acting like I did… I’m not used to all this.” Only a small victory… Her fear was still rattling.
“Are you going to stop seething over something neither of us can control?”
“You weren’t taking me seriously. You can control that.”
“I always take you seriously. You became angry with me for not having much capacity for fear.”
“Fine. We’re even then.” Like hell…
“If being a fossil is your excuse for not getting scared, then being new to the relationship thing is my excuse to…”
“Overreact and behave resentfully?”
She let go of me and stepped back to scowl at me. “Hey! That’s shitty! I…”
“You… are not only making excuses for how you’ve been treating me since yesterday, but now you’re firing up for another tantrum.”
“I wasn’t really making excuses… I… well, I was, but you got one too!”
“Sookie, I don’t need an excuse to be unruffled. I can be angry and irritated without yelling and stomping around.”
“Oh! Sure you can! But give the vampire a hard on and watch out!”
“Watch out for what, exactly? Being heavy handed is hardly the same thing as attempting to walk home alone at 3am in a cocktail dress… refusing to discuss your reasons for behaving as though you want to see how far you can try my patience… leading me to believe that you’d chosen disregarding your own safety as an outlet to rebel against me… drinking fast enough that I felt the alcohol affect you when you should be focused… and use a lack of relationship experience (which we both suffer from, by the way) as your justification for all of it. I think it’s my turn to call ‘bullshit’, Sookie.”
She’d stared at me in spite of the steady flow of tears that had soaked her cheeks, but at least she let me finish. “I… At least you know what’s going on! You know how to react to all of this! You probably haven’t dealt with such a huge turnabout since you were turned! A couple of weeks ago my biggest worries were Gran’s health and keeping guys from driving home plastered! Now… Now…”
“Now… Vampires and Weres and Witches, oh my… a former junkie cousin, now vampire is dumping her telepathic child in your lap… you’ve nearly been killed and certainly stalked… you can’t leave the house without protection… you’ve moved… You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. I understand that everything has changed for you in a very short amount of time. I’m not trying to discount that, not at all. You need to realize that you aren’t going through any of it alone. You have Adele and me. Jason and Pam are even available to you in their oscillating states of usefulness. You are actually the catalyst for all of the change in our lives, but you’re the only one taking things out on others.”
She flung herself onto the couch and buried her face in her hands. “I’m being a bitch…”
“Yes. You are.”
“…For no reason.”
“I’m sure you’ll be a bitch for good reason eventually. You’ll need to, but please don’t practice on me. How about Pam?”
She snorted into her hands.
I sat next to her, relieved that she was finally calming down, but more from having vented. “If you need help relaxing, I can send you out for a spa day… I’ll want pictures of that smelly guard of yours holding your purse.”
She snorted again, this time with a giggle. “You’re mean.”
“You bought pink shag.” Not that it really mattered. As long as there was a bed, I probably wouldn’t concern myself with carnation pink fur walls and a disco ball.
She finally looked at me again, wiping her eyes. “Only for Pam’s room… and it’s just an area rug and a couple of throw pillows.”
“That was very devious.” I could feel bitter that she’d fooled me, but knowing the truth just made me proud of her. She’d make a good vampire if she could get a reign over her temper.
“Coming from you, Mr. Loophole, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
I reached over, taking her hand to guide her into my lap… She snuggled into my chest, resting her head on my shoulder… and that’s when bitterness set in.
She sat back to look at me, having felt my mood. “What?”
“I missed this. I hated being in bed without you this morning.”
The corners of her mouth turned down. “Me too. I didn’t sleep at all… That’s why I went out… If I stayed home I would’ve climbed into bed with you.” I’d wallowed for hours that she’d leave me, but she was still calling it ‘home’…
“So you called Alcide to have him take you out.”
“No… I was going to go alone. He came by while I was getting ready. He told me that he wasn’t going to leave until you got up if I didn’t just let him take me. He’s a stubborn ass…” A stubborn ass that might deserve a raise. “…I heard that.”
“Good… What was his reason being over, if you hadn’t called him?”
“He called his sister. He was vague, but he explained that I was suddenly going to be raising a 3 year old. He had a list of stuff she told him. We need a pediatrician and a dentist.”
“She didn’t suggest a veterinarian?”
“You know, Alcide hasn’t said or thought one crappy thing about a baby living with a vampire. Be nice.” Fair enough…surprising, but fair enough.
“I’ll try… was that all she had to suggest?”
“Well, she suggested a playgroup and said since he’s suddenly having a big change of surroundings that we should understand if he’s got a security blanket or something like that… She said that we could call her if anything came up… She seems nice.” At the very least, she was willingly helpful.
“What did I miss while I was in the bar?”
“Not much… A sheriff named Salome sent an underling to have his pets read with an invitation. She’d like to set me up for a few nights to do for her area what I’m doing here.”
She nodded. “The letter is on your desk, but she wants you to contact her about particulars. She said she’d pay me a booking fee and let her vampires know what we wanted to charge. She mentioned that having me down there would be a ‘reduction in drama’.” It certainly would be… It’s already proving to be helpful.
“If you’re interested, I’ll contact her about going down for a couple of days once Hunter is settled in. By then things here should be more sedate.”
“That’s fine… I’m sure Gran can find somewhere to drag you to with a little research…” I’d barely had the chance to chuckle at the idea before Sookie shot off of my lap, taking my hand. “Liam’s here and Jason’s having a reaction…” Shit.
“What kind of reaction?”
“A play by play of the video of Liam and Maudette… Seeing him in person may very well make him ruin Pam’s shoes.” She’d never forgive him… She might consider moving though.
“He’s thinking ‘don’t barf, don’t barf, don’t barf’.”
“My, my, my… Miss Sookie, you have moved up in the world, haven’t you?” Malcolm had barely waited for Sookie and me to enter the bar before he began crooning tauntingly.
She snapped back, “That depends on how you look at it, Malcolm. The sheriff is definitely a few steps up from Bill, but somehow I still find myself dealing with you.”
He drawled his chuckle. “Before you know it, you’ll be the queen’s.” Not funny.
She reached up and patted his cheek as she passed him to stand by Pam. “My contract with her is enough… I enjoy being Eric’s.”
“Just because I can’t touch you now, doesn’t mean that I don’t fantasize about what you’d taste li…”
I’d had all I could take for the evening… All it took was the beginning of his suggestion before I’d tossed him into the wall behind the stage. Since Sookie took a seat next to Jason with interest, my only concern was that I’d only proven to the drainer that I was strong enough to be a ‘prize’. If nothing else, the sudden attention from all of the other vampires in the bar was proof that I was in a position of power…
“Any questions Malcolm?”
While Dian went to hover over Malcolm’s body as he collected himself, Liam looked up at me with a terrified grimace. “Sheriff, we heard that Sookie has formal protection now.”
“So you have heard.”
“Yes, sir… might I ask who the other human is? He smells… he smells like her… well, not as good, but…” He was going to find himself in a heap next to Malcolm.
“Liam, that is Sookie’s brother. Jason Stackhouse. He also has formal protection.”
He offered a nod in Jason’s direction. “He live in Bon Temps too?”
“Yes, he lives in Bon Temps. No, he isn’t a donor.”
“It’s a shame. He smells goooood.” Impossible fucking asshole… the color was gone from Jason’s face in an instant. My bar was full to capacity including 22 vampires with 30 more in queue outside… all but 3 were behaving.
I turned to him, his attention caught by my fangs. “One more fucking word, Liam and you and your nestmates will all find yourselves dangling from silver chains in the tree on my lawn at dawn. Do you understand?”
“I… I… I didn’t mean… Yeah, I understand.”
“Wonderful. Now, the reason I called… Just behind you is a girl. She is a scout for a small cell of drainers. The three of you are to trail her, learn what you can about the cell and report back.”
“For now. There are four more…”
Sookie corrected, “Five… and they all live together in an apartment not far from here. She’s never done it before, but they met online and the others have experience.”
“Is that all?”
She reached out for Pam’s hand and closed her eyes… “They managed to make a silver… blanket. One of the guys in the group got the idea from a friend in Vegas. They plan on trading back and forth… They shop at the casinos, but since Nevada isn’t our concern…” She released Pam’s hand with a shrug.
She nodded. “As far as Louisiana is concerned, yes.” Too easy…
I turned to Liam. “Knowing that, you should all be quite full. Don’t leave a mess.”
“A mess… Seriously?”
“Don’t make me regret sending you. Pam could easily take care of it and I can depend on her to not fuck up.”
He had an excited look when he looked over to Dian and Malcolm and jerked his head towards the door.
As they turned to go wait in the parking lot, Sookie called after them… “Wait!” She got up and sauntered over to Liam, stopping inches from his face. “Bill contacted you.”
Liam chuckled nervously and tried to take a step away, but she stayed with him. “What? Huh? Why?”
“What did he tell you? What did he ask you to do?”
He started shaking his head. “I… uh…”
Sookie turned to me. Frustrated, angry. “Eric… When I met them, they didn’t get told about my ability. They don’t see other vampires out in Monroe… and they didn’t ask how I knew about the drainers… Bill’s contacted them somehow.” The cherry on top of a lovely evening…
“You can explain now or you can piss me off by making me chain you… You won’t recover as quickly as last time, I promise you that.”
The three of them shared looks for a moment. Dian was the one to finally break their silent deliberation. “His maker… Lorena… She called. Bill called her… She wanted us to take Sookie to Jackson.”
“She said someone there owes her a favor. She offered us cash on delivery… We talked about it, but… not for long! None of us are suicidal.”
“When did she call you?”
“Monday night. It was early. She said she’d call us about when, but she never did. Then we heard about Sookie’s protection and… well, that saying ‘dodged the bullet’ came to mind.”
Sookie’s face seemed to fall in on itself as she turned red and as angry as she’d been with me was but a drop in the bucket by comparison… As though I wasn’t pissed enough for both of us. “Monday being the night she left for New Orleans.”
The best thing about all of this coming to light was that every vampire in the fucking bar had heard… Lorena and Bill were still plotting… from chains. “The reason you haven’t heard from her is because she and Compton have been Andre’s toys… And so you know, if anything happens to Sookie, the three of you will be in chains while I look for her. Have I made myself clear?”
They all nodded and made their way out as quickly as they could.
Somehow, the highlight of my night had been killing time with Jason fucking Stackhouse.
Jason was perfectly satisfied to continue being entertained by Pam so that Sookie and I could return to my office…
She closed the door behind us. “I’m not sure how I feel about that.”
“I’ll call Andre. He’ll tend to Bill and Lorena.”
“I’m sure he will, but I was talking about how buddy-buddy Jason and Pam are.”
“The only thing keeping me from forbidding anything is that she knows better than to hurt him.”
“He’s a grown man… but it…” She shuddered. “You ready to get this over with so we can go home?”
She shrugged and reached for the door knob. “And can’t wait to get in bed. Guess I’d better get a move on…”
The next hour and a half could only be considered a marathon. Sookie read 34 more pets in record speed… her job was made easier by the fact that most of them were very guilty of something that they’d gotten quite nervous about while being forced to wait. No less than 26 of them would be glamoured, discarded or disposed of for one reason or another and the grateful nature of the offended vampires was endlessly fascinating… I was sure that eventually one would prove me right by taking on a ‘shoot the messenger’ attitude, but after two nights I was left waiting for it.
‘Money well spent’ was the common expression of the evening and while Sookie listened to thoughts, I emailed Salome with particulars…
…And received an eager reply only moments later. Not only was she anxious to pay Sookie’s $10,000 per night fee plus extras, but she mentioned that she knew for fact that 3 other sheriffs would be contacting me in regards to ‘clinics’ in Gatlinburg, Dallas and Savannah… I was sure the list of prospective destinations wouldn’t disappoint Adele in the least.
As Sookie’s last customer left, somehow before the bar closed, we went back to the floor to find Jason standing at Pam’s post by the door.
Sookie sat at the end of the bar and asked for a soda before turning to her brother. “Where’s Pam?”
He looked pained, but didn’t say anything… Sookie started laughing at him anyway.
“Jason! We’re at a vampire bar… You can say that she’s feeding for God sakes.” He’d been too embarrassed to say ‘it’, so he’d thought it to her… cute.
He shrugged and turned his back to her. “Sorry… Damn. I didn’t know.”
“We’re heading home in a few. You following to see Gran or what?”
“Naw. I think I’ll head back to my house. She’s probably asleep by now.”
“You alright to drive?”
“Yeah. I just had the two beers. I’m gonna hit the Wendy’s for a big bag of fries for the ride home too. Kinda one-sided that you don’t have human food here, Eric.”
Sookie and I both laughed. He was probably the first to ever complain about the lack of food. The lighting, the drinks, the service, the décor… but leave it to Jason to be unhappy with the peanuts Ginger orders to keep at the bar…
Sookie shook her head at him. “Now you know. If you’re gonna be visiting Fangtasia, you need to eat before you get here or order takeout and eat it in the back.”
“I might do that… especially now that Sam’s being a dick. What’s up with that?”
“You know he has a thing for me… Turns out he has a thing about vampires too… Combine the two…”
“And you get one rabid mother fucker… I met Hoyt there for dinner to catch up… Sam gave me the stank eye the whole time I was there… Hoyt said he’s keeping stakes behind the bar now.”
Sookie growled. “Goddamnit… I can’t win! You know if I hear about some random hating going on out there, Alcide…”
“Alcide what?” The woman standing at the door was glaring at Sookie… and it took a moment for her smell to reach me since the bar had been so busy… Were.
Sookie stared back for a moment feeling an annoyance similar to what she has for Jason and Andre. “Alcide would just have to pull up his panties and get over being pissed that I didn’t call him.”
“Why would he get pissed that you wouldn’t call him?” The girlfriend. The closer she got, the stronger Alcide’s smell was… the vulgar bitch fucked him and then came to confront her ‘competition’. I might have done something to intervene (especially since I’d ordered Pam to), but as the Were stopped directly in front of Sookie to stare her down, Sookie slid from her stool and met the bitch’s eyes. She was completely unmoved by the posturing.
“Because it’s his job to keep me from getting myself in trouble.”
“So you are the little fangbanger he’s looking after?”
“Unless there’s another one, yeah.”
“What makes you so special that you get a guard? Rare blood type?”
“I’m a mind reader with royal protection. It helps that I’m bonded to a sheriff.”
“Do you mind telling my why my man smelled like you when he got home today?”
“Because he was doing his job.” Sookie might as well have been reading the phone book. Her tone was completely unaffected.
“How did your scent end up on him?”
Sookie paused before she answered, even giving a snort but she was more than slightly amused. “He already told you…”
“You got it out of my head? And you think it’s funny?”
“Absolutely! Eric, Jason, this is Debbie Pelt… You’re gonna love this… As soon as he walked through the door to find that his girlfriend had driven 5 hours to surprise him, she started bitching at him for ‘stinking of fangbanger trash’… When she asked what he’d done…” She took a minute to laugh and collect herself. “…He told her that it took him a while to get me out of my clothes, but eventually he spent the day mattress testing with me… And she still had sex with him even though she took him literally and thinks he’s having sex with me.”
While Sookie’s laughing only pissed of the Were, Jason and I both enjoyed the ‘joke’ since we were sure we knew what had actually happened.
“I’m not laughing!”
Sookie still hadn’t given up any ground. “That’s because you’re too jealous to realize that I’m no threat to you.”
Debbie snorted. “You think you’re too good for him?” I couldn’t tell if she was implying that Sookie was uppity for a blood bag or if she had a two-natured complex…
“Not at all… I really like your boyfriend… But… I love my master. End of story. Alcide is my guard and we’re friendly.”
“Friendly enough to get naked and spend a day in bed with?”
Sookie sighed and rolled her eyes… “Friendly enough that I humored him and changed into jeans and a T because he growled about how I was falling out of my other outfit… And then he escorted me to the furniture store where I tested a few mattresses to find one for me and Eric and I had him pick the other ones since it doesn’t matter to a vampire and he’s likely to need to sleep over if something happens…”
“Something like a situation where my family shouldn’t be left unguarded… Let me ask you something… Does Eric look like the type of guy, or vampire, to let me get away with doing my guard? For that matter if he had any reason to suspect that there was anything going on, would he have thought Alcide’s description of our shopping trip was so funny? No. As a matter of fact, a 300 year old vampire got flung into the wall earlier for implying that I’d taste good… Eric’s a little protective… Hence my guard…”
Sookie was interrupted by Alcide’s sudden appearance at the door… his boots weren’t tied and shirt was mis-buttoned… he’d clearly dressed as quickly as I had the night before.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
The girlfriend whipped herself around. “You think you’re funny!?”
“There’s not a damn thing funny about you slipping out of the house after I fall asleep to stir shit up.” He had her there.
“You told me…”
He looked past her to Sookie and me. “Sorry y’all.”
Sookie snorted at him. “Oh… You’d better be!”
“Shit… Sookie… I…”
“…Suggested that Eric need to lock me up… Yeah… I was there!”
“I’m gonna hear about this until my contract is up, aren’t I?”
“And move and change your name… oh yeah, you are.”
He looked like she slapped him and for some odd reason, I felt like he should be let off the hook. “She’s not really angry. She laughed her ass off. Sookie’s handing out ‘hard times’ tonight.” She scowled at me, but wasn’t serious.
He gave her a dirty look. “That’s just wrong.”
“You suggested you slept with me. Dirt bag.”
“She was already thinking…” He thought better of finishing that sentence, especially considering who he was talking to.
Debbie was probably more pissed now that Alcide had arrived though. “I’m still not sure you aren’t fucking her.”
Sookie shook her head, feeling more pity for Alcide than aggravation at his leashless bitch. “Not that it’s likely at all, but since my grandmother was with us, even less likely.”
Debbie spun back around again. “Your grandmother? Why did he only smell like you then?”
Sookie rolled her eyes, but clearly didn’t want to answer. “Because Gran didn’t put herself between Alcide and the day guy.”
She hadn’t mentioned that Bobby had been there… “What did he do?”
Alcide snapped at Sookie. “You said you’d tell him!”
“I hadn’t gotten around to it. It’s been the night from hell!” It hadn’t been the best of nights, but Sookie’s escalating tension wasn’t improving matters.
“What. Did. He. Do?”
She huffed out a loud breath and looked everywhere but at me for a moment…
The air could be cut with a knife and Alcide actually sent his girlfriend to wait in the car. “Tell him or I will.”
After another sigh, “He was suggestive…”
Alcide barked, “Bullshit.”
She shot a dirty look in his direction. “…We were waiting for the salesman to make sure everything was in the warehouse so that he could run it out to the house…”
He cut her off again. “You’re shit for story telling… He grabbed her, smelled her and then told her that with his tutoring she could earn a diamond to replace the sapphire in no time.”
Sookie slapped Alcide’s chest. “You suck at stories too!”
“You were dragging your ass!”
She looked back to me. “Eric, it… he wasn’t right… I don’t know where he got it, but he was having a reaction to the blood.”
“Blood!? FUCK… Is it dawn yet!?”
“You scared the shit out of him… It was the only thing he could think of. Even when his hands were on me…”
She growled at Alcide, “Thanks… Even then his thoughts were off and he wasn’t sure why he was touching me. I was going to tell you, but I think we need to find out where he got it more than kill him. Alcide had him before I could hear any details.”
“Oh, yeah… I’m the bad guy! He was rubbing all over you and in front of your grandmother no less!”
“I’m not saying you’re the bad guy, but…”
“Oh, there’s a nice way to tell him his day guy practically raped you in public!?”
She clenched her jaw. “He’s fired anyway. He’s gone in 9 days. Period. He’d never taken blood before and he only did it because he was terrified. Yes, there was a better way to explain!”
Enough. “Would you two shut. The. Fuck. Up!”
In a sudden show of impeccable timing, Pam was standing at my side in an instant. “What now? I thought you two made up.”
Sookie opened her mouth, but I held my hand up. I’d been serious. I wasn’t in the mood to hear any more. “So… I rise this evening to emotional warfare from my bitchy bonded. Her cold shoulder only let up enough for us to discuss our disagreement once she learned that I might be in danger, you know, because of the drainer in my bar… In an effort to rid of the drainer, I discover more vampires who want Sookie as well as extra fun with Bill and Lorena… and now, just as I think the evening might be close to being over, not only has there been a catfight over Alcide, but my day guy is a blood head. Oh, and these two argue like Laurel and Hardy. Did I cover it all?”
“Are you whining?” She was ignoring how close I was to killing someone.
I pulled my phone out of my pocket after a long consideration and snapped it in half and dropped it on the floor. “No. I’m going the fuck home. We won’t be in tomorrow night. Sookie get your purse.”
I heard her heels following close behind me. “But Eric…”
“We need to find out…”
She slid into the car just after I did and wisely stayed quiet while I refused to think of anything.
When we finally pulled into the garage, Sookie removed her seatbelt slowly and turned to look at me expectantly. “I’d already told Pam… I didn’t want you to think I was keeping it a secret, but I didn’t want to talk about it while we were still upset with each other.” Understandable.
“When would you have talked to me about it though?”
“Right about now… When we got home from work and had the chance to settle down.”
“Any ideas on how to find out, since you’ve had the day to think about it?”
“I’m going to confront him about it. He can’t hide it from me once he comes down a bit.”
“Has he ever had any threatening thoughts about you before?”
“No. He’s jealous. He wants you. He wants you to get rid of me. He’s grossed out by all things Sookie. When he had me, it was the weirdest thing… it took Alcide like two seconds to get to us, but Bobby was hard and looked like he was going to be sick at the same time. He really, never would’ve…”
“But he’s using blood.”
“He was only hoping to be able to defend himself. I understand if you think something else needs to be done, but we kind of pushed him. He knew that you could hurt him, but now that he knows I’m a telepath, he’s worried about all of his friends too. It’s why he didn’t run instead.”
“You think we should take care of the dealers and just cut Bobby lose.”
She nodded. “It won’t be as much fun as a Mary Kay party, but… He’s too scared to do a decent job for you anymore. We can manage without him until Paulette gets here, can’t we?”
“Now that you’ve got Alcide to run errands with you, I suppose. But Hunter will arrive during the lapse…”
“We’ll manage… It’s been a long night. Why don’t we go tuck Gran in and call it a night?”
Sookie slid into bed next to me with her phone in hand. As disappointed as I was that she had intentions of doing anything, the disappointment was buffered. Her warmth that I’d missed the night before was making up for the sound of her phone dialing…
“Good morning, Andre.”
“Sookie Stackhouse, or should I just call you Northman?”
“Like you’d care if I have a preference.”
He snorted. “What can I do for you this morning?”
“Well, we have new gossip in regards to your guests. It seems Lorena contacted some local vampires in an effort to have me abducted to Jackson, Mississippi before she arrived in New Orleans. It seems ‘someone’ there owes her a favor.”
“Do you know how she contacted them?”
“She called. Bill had called her. My guess would be that he wanted to establish a plan B if things didn’t go his way. She offered my would-be kidnappers COD.”
“How did you come by this information?”
“They volunteered it when they discovered that the target had protection. They had no intentions of taking the risk.”
“Why are you calling me instead of your master doing it?”
“He wants me to learn to handle some things myself. He doesn’t fancy the idea of me being as reliant of my maker as Compton.” Beautiful…
“Then I’ll make sure to notify you once I spend more time with my guests. Is there anything else I should know?”
“We’re only suspicious, but just last night the king of Mississippi sent an underling to test me. It could be the same curiosity as several others, but…”
“Of course the concern would be there. I’ll make sure to get to the bottom of things. Thank you… I was getting bored with them.”
She giggled. “Glad to help. Tell everyone I said hi.”
“You handled that very well.”
She smiled, feeling how proud I was of her. Her answers… the one in particular. “I’m just trying to get used to everything. I really am sorry I’m not adjusting well.”
“You’d do better to not be so hard on yourself. You’re right about how drastically your life has changed. You’ve done remarkably well, all things considered.”
She was quiet for a minute before she looked up at me to cringe… “If I’m doing so ‘remarkably well’, then what was that at Fangtasia? You kinda flipped out.”
“I didn’t flip out. I quit. I’d had enough and decided that the night was over.”
She giggled. “Is there a such thing as ‘too bonded’? It just occurred to me that I had a jealous, snarling, Were bitch in my grill and I didn’t blink and like two minutes later, you had a hissy fit and stormed out.”
I chuckled. “That’s not funny.”
“Or it’s hilarious… So since you’ve declared that you’re taking the night off, what are we doing tomorrow night?”
I growled at her… She already knew the answer. She was just being a brat by asking.
She giggled again, but got caught in a long yawn. “We should relax for a little bit before we go in at least.”
“Have you planned anything for the day?”
“Ummmm… I need to go through the boxes of clothes Pam gave me…”
“Clothes?” Pam? Pam parted with clothing?
“Yeah… she left 4 boxes of stuff that she ordered and it ran big… She actually whined that vampires don’t get ‘fat days’.”
“Of course she did… What else do you have planned?”
“Sunshine. My tan is fading.”
“That’s it? No mattress testing with your guard?”
She giggled again, this time sleepily. “Still funny… I should make sure to have him with me when I buy underwear for Hunter.”
“And a bathing suit, his bath needs… sheets.”
She snuggled closer, tighter. “Naw… I’m retiring from being a bitch for a while.”