**Two Weeks Later**
Since Sookie still had keys to Merlotte’s, she insisted on Magnusson’s shower happening as scheduled. Sookie had combined the occasion with meeting with her lawyer… So while Tina and Shelly greeted their friends and boasted about their baby brother, Sookie made a list of responsibilities she was saddled with. The fucking prick was still making Sookie’s life difficult from on the lam.
Instead of using her maternity leave to focus on finding child care, she spent most of it establishing child support for Merlotte’s illegitimate children (and backdated it when she found out that he hadn’t paid the first doctor’s bill), finding a handyman to tend to the rental properties Merlotte accumulated since he’d always done most repairs himself, and promoting a waitress to manage the bar because Lafayette used his ‘Peter Pan Pass’. Growing up wasn’t in his five-year-plan. All while she closed the sale of her Bon Temps house, collaborated with Paulette to furnish and decorate what was being called ‘The Holiday House’ and managed the scheduling and stocking of Fangtasia via the phone and internet.
The only complaint I heard was that she missed working at Fangtasia.
Since Paulette’s sister-in-law was a paralegal and managed to find a job in Shreveport immediately, she wasn’t an option when it came to caring for the children. The nanny had been found by chance. While Sookie was at the pediatrician’s office for Mag’s 2 week check up, there was a woman interviewing for a nurses position after being ‘downsized’ from the hospital… Teddi (formally Theodora) interviewed for her position as the children’s nanny in the waiting area. Not only did the woman meet the approval of 3 telepaths, but she passed Pam’s nursing pop quiz and my background check…
I would’ve loved to have had Sookie back, if for no better reason than her company, but as it was Lorena had yet to make her presence known officially. The eyes and ears I had in Bon Temps had been reporting she was in the area, but she’d carefully hidden her resting place. She seemed to be waiting for Merlotte to return, brazenly asking (if not glamouring) for information about Sookie and the children as part of her vendetta.
Every night I had spent at Fangtasia had been for the sole purpose of waiting for the impetuous bitch to show her face and if she’d passed her 2 week grace period and made me go look for her, she was going to regret it for a long fucking time. I’d have no qualms torturing her just for taking me away from home. Merlotte stole Sookie’s time off, and Lorena stole mine. It hadn’t been until Saturday night that she presented herself to me. She didn’t bother to ask to speak to me alone. In a full bar, she declared that the ‘Shifter Sam Merlotte’ murdered her child… explained that she knew I’d claimed his children… and demanded that I hand over Tina so that she’d have bait to bring him out of hiding. Explaining that wasn’t going to be happening and suggesting Lorena look for Merlotte’s mother in Texas only made her laugh and tell me that I was lucky she wasn’t demanding Sookie.
That was all I needed to hear. The prideful cunt had been daft enough to arrive unarmed to make demands of a Vampire twice her age. I believe she thought she was being taken to negotiate when I ushered her to the back door by her neck and I didn’t waste the time waiting for her puddle to stop oozing before I was on my way home. I showered away the tetchy bitch’s residue, left a message for the Queen about the incident and joined Sookie and the children in the den with a very relieved smile on my face. Being suspended as we waited for Lorena’s lunacy to push her to act could be called rattling, but it would be an epic understatement. The only complaint I had about her final death was that Pam whined about the blood spatter on her rims until I took her fucking car to be detailed.
Even though I’d explained to Merlotte in detail that he could email the children as Hadley and spoil them as Jason, the bastard had failed to make contact. Sookie explained to the girls that he was most likely settling in, but for the past couple of nights they’d been more anxious knowing that he was safe and wanting to tell him as much. Pam had already bought the first batch of gifts, established an email account and drafted the email ‘from their father’ to spare the children from being disappointed. She was only going to give him until next weekend before she intended to begin her role as Merlotte’s proxy.
I should have just killed him when I had the chance.
After a fun-filled night of Hide and Seek in the holiday traffic of the mall the night before, we’d returned to the house for the Spoiling Day slumber party… It wasn’t much more than robbing the sofas of their cushions so Tina, Shelly and Junior could sprawl out and eat ice cream while watching movies, but they enjoyed it. And since Junior was along for the fun, he cheered up from just saying goodbye to Jason for the month he’d back in California. Sookie had fallen asleep curled up next to me and I hated leaving her at dawn even though I’d been staring at a blue screen for several hours.
The fact that I still smelled like Sookie and the fire we’d lit brought a smile to my face. I almost didn’t want to rinse it away by showering.
My phone offered no surprises. My email offered nothing of interest other than shipping confirmations. And the house was painfully quiet since I’d gotten used to, and quite fond of, waking up to the sounds of life upstairs.
The sun couldn’t set fast enough.
According to the note left for me on the kitchen counter, “Lots to do today. Errands and going back to work. Meet you at Fangtasia. Love, Sookie.”
As soon as I opened the door to Fangtasia, I could smell the chemicals from Sookie’s detailed cleaning and hints of freshly cut fruit…
I could hear things being moved around, but there weren’t any excited footsteps racing in my direction.
Sookie called to me, “Don’t worry, hon, Lauren has them.” As well as she could read my emotions from my mind, she wouldn’t need the bond.
I waited to answer until I was on the floor. “Were they not looking forward to going back to work as much as you?” I couldn’t decide what to focus on. The way Sookie wore her jean shorts or the favors she was doing for the Fangtasia T-shirt rolled up and knotted in the back… I might’ve tried to look at her face if she weren’t on her knees, wiping down the upholstery of a booth.
“Shelly was actually torn, but baking cookies and playing at Holiday House won. Since Teddi can’t start until Friday, Lauren volunteered to keep them tonight. She loves that kitchen so much she’s making dinner. I’m almost finished so we can head over.”
I pulled a chair from a table and sat down. “Take your time. I’m enjoying the view.”
She giggled, “You’re not upset that I’m so eager to get back to work, are you? I know you had that whole housewife fantasy thing going on.”
“I… I think I like that you’re back. I have other fantasies.”
She gave me a flirty look over her shoulder. “Good. I’d hate for you to pigeonhole yourself.”
“Was your day interesting?”
“Very. If I tell you about it are you going to remember anything but, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, reach, jiggle?” No. Probably not.
“I’m sorry, what?”
She snorted that I was a smart ass and said, “Well, grocery shopping, then the bank because Hadley texted me that they were too tight to travel for Christmas…”
“That means Lauren won, yes? Because you bet that Hadley would wait until the last minute.”
“We called it a draw because ‘last minute’ is a matter of perspective. She hasn’t bought the first present. I sent her some cash and told her to send me a list so Misty and Jenny wouldn’t feel slighted on Christmas morning.”
“Are you sure she wasn’t just making an excuse to avoid spending her holiday with Vampires?”
“It would’ve been a dumbass move to text the ‘rich cousin’ and use money as an excuse. She could’ve used Brian’s job. Anyway… I had just enough time to pick up our dry cleaning before I went to the doctor…”
“Why did you go to the doctor?”
“Checkup. It’s usually done at 6 weeks, but since my doc didn’t get the chance to see me at the hospital, he wanted to make sure of things.”
“Are you kidding? You know I feel fine.”
“I know that you feel healthy. Something else could be wrong.”
“I am fit as a fiddle. He’s never seen anyone recuperate as quickly as I have. He called it a miracle… Happy?” Very.
“I do have some bad news though… I’m done cleaning.”
“I don’t suppose you’re willing to just stay on your knees and wiggle.”
She laughed as she stood up and walked over… instead of sitting on my legs, she straddled them. “I think you might have missed something.” I couldn’t help but pull her closer. We’d been torturing ourselves for two weeks… Long enough that we’d redefined our ‘gluttons for punishment’ titles.
“I can’t miss it if I’ve never had it.”
She bit her lip, rocking her hips into me. “That’s not what I meant. I’m fit as a fiddle.” How ‘fit’?
“I shouldn’t dive in without testing the water, but…”
“I ask for details and you give me a euphemism?”
“No. That’s not even paraphrasing. Dr. Sanjay was too busy laughing at how eager I was to be technical.”
She smirked. “Miraculously.”
She dropped her face to tickle the side of my neck with her nose, nibbling… “I can go back tomorrow… get it in writing if you want… but we’re free to fuck whenever…”
Instead of finishing what she was saying, she cackled as I put her on the bench she’d been bent over. “Do. Not. Tease.” Not about that.
“Are there any hazards?”
She giggled, “Yeah, we’ve waited so long, my virginity came back.” Funny…
“You’ve made the last 2 months miserable for me. You’re not allowed to complain.”
She pulled her legs up, hugging my ribs, opening my belt and reaching into my pants… shamelessly stroking my cock. “I’ve been fat and whiney for most of it… You’ve been sexy the whole time. I win.”
“If you win, is that your prize?”
She glanced down for a second before nodding and giving a squeeze. “Absolutely. We’ve been making out like timid virgins and medicating with cold showers.”
“You’re ready to go straight to fucking like animals?”
She let go of my cock to pull her shirt off and toss it on the table and growled, “With rabies,” while she pulled mine off.
Even if I hadn’t been so tempted, I wasn’t going to argue.
She kicked her shoes to the floor while I inched down her body…
One glorious inch at a time… enjoying every second while Sookie whimpered… squirmed… encouraged…
I lingered too long when I nicked her skin just above the waist of her jean shorts. The tiny sample was just as perfect as I could imagine… bagged blood hadn’t tasted right since the first time she cut her lip on my fangs…
I couldn’t say that I cared who the fuck opened the back door to the bar, but they needed to die.
It only took a split second for the idiot to announce himself.
Sookie wrapped her legs around me when Merlotte shouted for her, rather than the children he ‘adored’.
“Are we to keep going and hope he leaves or did you just dig your heels in to tease me?”
She was just as pissed at our interruption as I was, but she still had to fight a grin. “I did it to keep you from flying across the bar to kill him.”
“Why?” I was going to need a really good fucking reason.
“I have two. If you kill him with me here, the girls will find out eventually. You can’t leave witnesses.”
“Nevermind that you practically just gave me permission… What’s the other reason?”
She snickered, “I just cleaned the floor.”
So help me, in spite of how much my dick hurt from being cockblocked, I chuckled. “Such a smart ass.” Merlotte cleared his throat behind us and asked me to get off of his wife. Asshole.
Sookie winked and told me, “But I’m your smart ass.”
Merlotte growled behind me, no fan of Sookie’s new tenure… I’d barely decided to get up when Merlotte growled again, “Where the fuck are my kids?” It made for one hell of a conversation starter.
Sookie put her shirt on while she stomped over to punch him in his eye. “If you gave a shit about them, you wouldn’t be here!”
“I’m here because I miss them! I’m staying just over the state line. I figured you’d be back to work already. If no one knew I was coming…”
She punched him again. “I know for a fact that Eric told you there’s a crazy-ass 500 year old Vampire after you for killing her child. What the fuck!? Even if you chose the less dip-shit option of coming during the day she could have Weres watching for you. How can you be so selfish that you’d put the kids at risk!?”
“It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen them.” One might’ve felt some semblance of sympathy for him if he was referring to all of them instead of just the ones with his name.
“And? You could’ve been emailing them…”
“So you can read everything I say?”
“Um… I listen to everything you say and think as it is. Get the fuck out. Go now or I’ll call 9-1-1 so they can take you in.”
“Yeah, I would. If you’d have been in contact, we’d have been able to tell you that Lorena’s dead… But here you are. As far as you know, you’ve got a psycho after you and give two shits about your kids’ safety.”
“That means you still need to get the fuck out. I’ve talked to detectives a dozen times since you left. If they’re watching where I work to make sure…”
“Andy isn’t that damn sophisticated, Sookie. You give him too much credit.” And he called her stupid?
“Except after Andy ‘let you escape’, Bud turned things over to the State Police. Sid’s been pulled out of court to answer questions about how you contacted him and what you talked about.”
“I called him before I hit the border. I didn’t want…” That had been a sore subject since the lawyer contacted her.
“You called our fucking lawyer!? You called Sid instead of your children!?”
“I didn’t know what the fuck to say to them! Your fucking boyfriend told them what happened!”
“He sure did. My fucking boyfriend bit the bullet and explained, since the girls already knew something was going on, and the only reason you’re alive right now is because he did.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Because if he hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t have asked him to help you. You could’ve rotted for all we care. Hell, I asked him not to help you. Don’t you dare walk in here and start pointing fingers!”
“If I’m just looking at a murder charge then…”
“It’s not like you just have a weak alibi, clown! You committed a hate crime in front of 30-someodd customers!”
“I still have a chance. I could turn myself in now that Lorena isn’t after me, use an insanity defense…”
“What happens when you’re in jail during a full moon? Even if you beat the charge and claim insanity, you’d be held without remand until your trial because you’re a flight risk.”
“Look, you don’t have a choice. You’ve got to leave.”
“I can’t just walk away…”
“Then gallop, soar, trot, slither, dig a tunnel, skitter… dart into traffic…” Merlotte gave me a dirty look for laughing. “…whatever. Shit’s being handled. Merlotte’s is still open because it’s still making some money. The properties are in great shape. Your kids are all getting child support…”
“Katy, Annalisa and Rosie… It’s why I left Merlotte’s open. Whatever profits they don’t get as monthly support, is going into their college funds. Do I need to think about Crystal?”
“She just announced that she’s pregnant and won’t tell Calvin who the father is. I haven’t seen her to find out on my own. Could the baby be yours?”
He glared at her like he didn’t want to answer her… Like he could possibly fall in her estimation. “Yeah. It’s… when it’s born, do the math. If it’s mine, it would’ve happened right after you split.”
She shook her head. “Did I miss any?” Seven children in five years wasn’t enough? He should try moving to Utah.
“Good. So you only fathered 4 other kids while you were married… Your brother and sister have been blowing my phone up. You might want to get a trac-phone so you can let them know you’re alright. Your mom is having them call me because she won’t talk to me. What else is new… Everything is taken care of, because as usual, I’m doing it.”
“I didn’t want you to have to do all that. I called Sid so you could sell everything and take care of our kids…”
“Once again, proving that you’re a fucking shit-head. You’re actually a better father now that you’re on the lam… Do you realize how fucked up it is that your ‘baby mommas’ didn’t get any help from you until your wife took care of it?”
“I… I was seeing them. If I’d been giving them anything, you’d have found out. I didn’t want to just walk out of their lives…” Bullshit. It was Sookie he was obsessed with. If he took being a father seriously, he’d have been a father to his other children too.
I’d finally had enough. Since it didn’t seem like Sookie was going to hit him again to increase the entertainment value of his visit, I offered, “Tough shit, Shifter. Sometimes that’s the only option.”
“Oh, how the fuck would you know, asshole?”
“Because I had to do it. Granted, I left because I’d been brought over, but it was for their safety. I would’ve killed to have your limited options. Phone calls and emails weren’t exactly possible a thousand years ago. Even if you could guarantee a windowless incarceration so the full moon wouldn’t force a change, you wouldn’t be able to get more than that. ”
He began pacing, fisting his hands in his hair. “I could…” He stomped around erratically mumbling incoherently to himself for a few moments. Sookie became bored enough that she came over to sit on my lap, leading my hands around her waist. Finally, he blurted, “Turn me!”
If my arms hadn’t been around Sookie, she’d have fallen off of my lap while we laughed at him. “I’m not going to turn you.”
“Then find me someone who will. It’s perfect.”
“Because you won’t be able to procreate?” As irresponsible as he was as an actual father, I couldn’t imagine how insane his Vampire children would be. It was a good thing I couldn’t have nightmares.
“Because y’all are allowed to get new identities. I can change my name and whatnot… the girls wouldn’t have to hear what I’m thinking either…”
“And when you’re sentenced for 90 years for murder, you’ll go mad in a silver lined cell. Going over isn’t an acceptable evasion. Granted, you wouldn’t expose Weres by shifting in your cell, but you wouldn’t last in a Vampire detention as a newborn.”
“I can change my identity.”
“In order to get that ‘shiny new identity’, you’d have to be fingerprinted to prove you aren’t wanted. There isn’t anywhere you can go with a murder charge hanging over your head.”
He shook his head and began pacing again, laughing wryly. “Well, this is exactly what I was afraid of… and fuck if I didn’t help it fucking happen.”
“What’s that?” I don’t know why I asked. I didn’t care. Unless it was something that could be laughed about, I didn’t want to know another thing about the prick.
“I knew I was going to lose her… that you two were going to do everything you could to keep me from my kids like y’all did to Hunter.”
Sookie leaned forward to leave my lap and go after him, but I held her in place. If anyone got to hit him again, it would be me. Instead of resisting, she yelled from my legs, “Of course you knew that! Because you think I’m as big of a slut as you are! What? Did you think I’d hear you running down the list of women you fucked and forgive you because ‘my cheat list’ would be as long as yours? And Sookie and Eric didn’t keep Hunter from his parents. Hunter can see and talk to either of them whenever he wants. I will agree with you on one thing though, you did fucking help ‘this’ happen. Eric was perfectly happy to have a mind reading manager until you pulled your childish stunt. And you having to leave town is a fucking dream come true for me, lemme tell ya! It wasn’t until a couple of days ago, since you didn’t bother contacting the kids, that I wasn’t worried that Lorena had caught up to you. How does one tactfully tell their telepathic children their father died in a display of epic retardation and not slip and let them know she’s chilling champagne to celebrate later?”
“Show some fucking respect! If you aren’t polite enough to acknowledge Eric’s position as Sheriff, or that the man is a thousand years old, just say ‘him’.”
“He could’ve killed me. Why didn’t that pop into your head?”
She reached back, digging into my pocket to pull out my phone and as she dialed, she told him, “It did occur to me. I thought about it a lot actually… We’re done.”
“You didn’t think about it enough apparently since you aren’t too scared to…” What? She wasn’t too scared to be a pair of shorts away from fucking me? Hmmm…
“I said I was thinking about it, asshole. The only part that scared me was that he might tell me. Since you’re still alive and causing trouble, I’m very disappointed in him. I think I’ll punish him later.” The look on his face was spectacular. And the idea of my ‘punishment’ was too enticing.
I pulled her back and whispered, “I could try to make it up to you now, but what would you do if I spoiled your clean floor?”
She dialed the phone and snickered, “Miss dinner. I’d have to get on my hands and knees and scrub the floor all over again. It could take a while to clean the Sam-bits out of the bar…” She was only joking. She hadn’t been the least bit dishonest when she told him that she fantasized about his death, and was only scared that the girls would find out and nothing more. Anything Pam had told me about how Sookie could ‘cool off’ and forgive him eventually went out the window the night Merlotte killed Compton. Sookie had told me as much, calling Merlotte a ‘quarter father’ (half a parent to half of his children) and she’d considered him to be a poor husband even before she became sure of his adultery. Killing someone as a safety measure was one thing… she didn’t begrudge me for ending Lorena, but Merlotte’s blind rage was something she refused to have her children around.
When her call was answered, Sookie huffed, “Hello, my name is Sookie Stackhouse. I’m an employee at Fangtasia. My ex-husband, Sam Merlotte, is wanted for murder and he’s here now.”
His eyes widened while she explained to the dispatcher, standing completely frozen and when she hung up, he didn’t have anything but shock on his face before he ran.
Of course, Sookie immediately called Pam back to congratulate her on her performance. Who knew 9-1-1 dispatcher was in Pam’s repertoire?
In spite of what Merlotte interrupted, Sookie was still laughing as we pulled up to the front of Holiday House.
Meanwhile, I’d bent the steering wheel.
She smiled at me, taking my hands and slowly walking backwards towards the door. “You should calm down. It’s not like we were operating under the delusion that he’s the sharpest tack in the desk.”
“Not only is it galling that he’s managed to live as long as he has, but I’m not exactly happy about his timing.”
“Ah, but Sam will find a way to prove Darwin right eventually… and we still have the rest of the night. Fangtasia closes at 2… home by 3… trust me, I’ve been dying to get my hands on you for weeks.”
“You’ve been fantasizing about me?” It made me feel better to hear I wasn’t the only one.
“You could call it that… I’ve woken myself up sweating and panting a few times.” She wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to mention it either.
“And what have we been up to in those dreams of yours?”
She’d managed to make it all the way to the door without stumbling and leaned against the jamb, biting her lip. Just thinking about it was bringing back the mood that had been so rudely interrupted. “Well… I don’t think there’s anywhere we haven’t fucked… we even went dancing one night… we got one another so spun up that we got tickets for public indecency in the club’s parking lot.”
“In my car?”
Her eyebrow quirked up and she smirked. “On it…”
There was nothing left of my mind to formulate a reply. The harder I tried to think about the conversation, the more vivid my imagination became. Laying Sookie on the hood… bending her over the trunk… I could hear every sound she’d make… feel her hot little body pressed against me…
She slid her hands up my arms, perfectly content to let me push her against the side of the house. “…every chance we get… playing games… taking turns tying one another down…”
I forced myself to answer, “Ropes wouldn’t hold me down.”
She hummed and stretched up to nibble my neck. “Silk scarves, actually, and they held just fine when you were told that if you broke them, I’d stop.”
“Biting, licking, sucking, teasing, tickling… It was a good thing I tied you down first… there wasn’t much left of me by the time you were done…”
“You wouldn’t have to tie me down for that.”
He snickered against my ear. “It was part of a deal… I was blowing you and you ended up with fists full of my hair. I joked that I was going to have to strap you down so that I wouldn’t be bald… you said that you’d let me as long as you got a turn.” I couldn’t focus… there wasn’t a way I could decide which option was more promising. Letting her do her worst or having her completely submit so I could do mine.
“We should go shopping for scarves and go home.”
“We should go in for dinner and go to work. Send a message to Paulette about getting the scarves… if you can manage to get through dinner without breaking anything, I’ll give you that blowjob that made you pull my hair out.”
“Deal, but you didn’t specify that I had to behave at Fangtasia.”
She giggled and began inching herself out from between me and the house. “Of course not. As soon as we’re done with dinner, I’ll be looking for a chance.”
Lauren had everything waiting on the table for ‘us’. Hearing that she was holding dinner for Sookie was one thing, but she’d spread the table to look like she was expecting heads of state rather than only one other adult… it seemed to be the obvious result of a party planner’s hands being idle.
The only thing I’d caught Sookie feeling insecure about in all the time we’d spent together was when Lauren was being ‘Martha Stewart’. Sookie didn’t begrudge her sister-in-law, but she did consider herself lacking in the domestic department. Lauren had been the reason Sookie knew what an eggnog waffle was to crave it, but she was better suited for pancakes.
We hadn’t been greeted until Lauren smiled from behind the island. “Hey there guys! Mag had a bottle an hour ago and has been sleeping ever since. Dinner’s all set. The kids are playing Memory…”
Sookie shook her head. “How do three telepaths play Memory with each other?”
Lauren stopped ladling stew into bowls long enough to beam. “I had an idea… I took the cards and hid them all over the house like an Easter egg hunt, right? I had them listening to each other’s thoughts to make sure they weren’t cheating… they have to go from room to room and they aren’t allowed to take more than one card that doesn’t have a match…”
Sookie smiled back. “So they have to listen to each other and remember… Nice! SO stealing that at home.”
“I had to do something. If they snuck up on me one more time I was going to wet myself… I yelled so loud once, I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the cops.”
Sookie nodded and swatted my ribs. “The yelling makes it better. Ask Eric.”
I shrugged, unwilling to admit to anything. “Jason made it home safely I assume.”
“Yeah. He’s not happy about being alone for a month, but he forgives me since it’s for a good cause.”
“How is he coping with Junior’s ability?”
She tilted her head from side to side. “He’s… he’s… he’s upset that he didn’t get the chance over Thanksgiving to go piss on Michelle’s grave, to be honest. He’s harboring a lot of resentment. Lots of stuff from childhood bubbling up to the surface… I’m trying to get him to settle down enough to not end up in a screaming match with his dad right now.”
“To what end? It’s not as though being angry will change that there were secrets kept from him.”
“That’s what I told him. He’s just a mule. Sookie didn’t deserve to be shipped off. It was their job to help her instead of making her feel like she was a freak. He’s always been protective of her so finding out her ability is real and that if she hadn’t been so scared to use it, she could’ve saved herself from what happened with Sam… he doesn’t know which way is up. The time alone should help him though. I can talk him down over the phone and it’ll have the chance to sink in before he can do anything he’ll regret.”
“You seem to be doing just fine with the new information.” More than ‘fine’… Sookie had caught her thoughts over Thanksgiving… She was still hoping to have more children even though they could inherit what Sookie’s mother considered a defect.
“I’m in a different boat from poor Jason. He’s choking on family skeletons… I just found out that my son has something that makes him special. I’m doing like any parent would do… My kid has a talent. I’m teaching myself how to help him with it…”
Sookie giggled and hugged Lauren, pinning her arms to her sides. “See… that’s why I love this bitch right here. Why couldn’t I have a Lauren instead of a Michelle?”
Lauren’s chin trembled, “If you keep it up, I’m gonna cry…” Too late. “I’m lucky enough to have you to help me know what I’m dealing with. Your mom didn’t know anyone else could do what her kid can. I might not be so…”
Sookie released her and stepped back. “Bullshit. You’re awesome with a cherry on top… You’d have managed…” She swatted Lauren’s ass and stole a carrot from a bowl of stew. She had her mouth open to say something when Corbett called from the foyer to announce his entrance.
Sookie called back to ask him how he didn’t have a date since it was a day that ended in Y, and sent me to find the children while she helped Lauren gather bowls…
Corbett and I suffered 3 tense meetings with one another before he finally seemed to relax around me… and it took seeing that Norris wasn’t sweating bullets in my presence to loosen him up. Granted, part of the problem could’ve been my reluctance to be too close to him since his scent was ‘worse’ than Sookie’s… I bet my dick he was who’d passed the Faerie genes on to Sookie.
He sat at the table without eating like I did because he’d stopped at a drive through on his way to Shreveport, begging the question of why he’d come by at all.
Shelly was using my lap as a booster seat (as she tended to do whenever possible) and everyone was nearly done with their dinner when Junior jumped into the polite dinner conversation with both feet…
“Grampa, why’d you put Aunt Sookie in a hospital?” Uh oh.
He cringed, staring at Sookie apologetically. “I… I didn’t have… ummmmm…” It wasn’t an uncommon answer, considering the source.
Sookie cleared her throat. “Don’t you dare lie to him. There’s no point.”
He huffed, leaning back in his chair and running his hands through his hair… something I’d seen Jason do repeatedly while he was visiting. “Well kid… I’m a shitty father. I didn’t have anything to do with Sookie getting sent away, but I didn’t stop it… See, when me and your Grandma Michelle were still together, I only let her take Sookie to a doctor. Me and my folks kinda ganged up on her when medication only made Sookie feel like crud and we just put our feet down in general… But when we split up, she went out to Minden to visit her folks and took the kids with her… or so I thought. She was sneaky about it and I believed her when she told me the kids didn’t want to talk to me because of the divorce. I thought I was doing them a favor by backing off a little. When they got home, Jason told me what was up.”
The boy nodded, seeming satisfied with Corbett’s answer. “So what did you think? I mean… you didn’t think she was crazy…”
“I hated it. Poor thing… I thought she might be doing it for attention until she started school… but then, she’d come straight home from school and take a nap. She was taking so much Tylenol for headaches that she’d get an upset stomach…”
“You believed her?”
“Well, yeah… kinda had to. She was either really telepathic or she was one hell of a little actress. When she came back from the hospital, I thought they’d killed it or something until she told me she got taught how to not do it… That first term back to school she brought home straight As… I was so happy for her I cried. Couldn’t stand to look at ‘em anymore ‘cuz they just reminded me of what her old one’s used to say.”
“A few of ‘em said she needed to be tested ‘cuz folks at the school thought she was retarded… Not her. Your daddy, he was a big goon like me when he was little. I’d have let them test him… My Sookie’s always been smart as a whip. I drove out to thank the nurse personal for helping her out like she did…”
Sookie shook her head. “When did you do that?”
He studied the ceiling for a moment before he shrugged. “Guess it was Octoberish since that’s ‘round when the first report cards come out. Why?”
“Did she say how she knew how to help me?”
He shook his head. “Naw. You musta remembered her name wrong, baby. No one named Claudia, or nothing close, ever worked there.”
“Claudine. I still remember it… there was a Claudia at school, but I’d never heard the name Claudine before… I told her and she said we were even because she’d never met a Sookie before either.”
He shrugged again. “Don’t know what to tell you. I called your mom to make sure I was at the right hospital… Had them make sure there weren’t any patients with the name too. Nothing.”
Tina started giggling, then Junior and Shelly followed. “She was your Faerie God Mother.”
Sookie grumbled, “Knock that off.”
Corbett seemed to be hovering while Sookie and Lauren cleaned up dinner.
He wasn’t getting in the way, but his behavior could’ve been compared to the children’s when they’d been waiting for me to reveal a surprise… expectant, anxious, peculiar.
Sookie had noticed, but was temporarily preoccupied by discussing the slumber party Lauren was offering… Sookie jokingly questioned Lauren’s sanity since she was volunteering to keep 3 extra children overnight while I did everything in my power to dam up my urge to scream that Sookie shouldn’t give Lauren the chance to retract her offer.
We’d be 100% alone.
Free to do whatever we wanted…
As loud as we could until dawn…
I only let myself feel guilty for being eager to have the kids out of the house for a moment… but then I remembered to text Paulette about silk scarves.
Lauren used checking on Mag as an excuse to leave Sookie to speak to Corbett about his behavior and since the children had taken their dessert to the den to watch television, I didn’t have an excuse to leave.
“Alright Daddy, fess up. Why are you here?”
He shoved a cookie into his mouth and mumbled, “Just felt like being with family tonight.”
“Oh, come on. Don’t be like that… I just like…”
“Telepath. Out with it, or I go into your head.”
He rolled his eyes and huffed, “I just have a weird feeling, alright? Damn.” Sookie and I had been discussing his ‘weird feelings’ for more than a week… What spurred the deliberation was a call from Corbett in the middle of the night because he wanted to make sure things were alright with everyone. An hour later, Sookie went to tend to Mag and found him jaundiced… She admitted that it could be coincidence, but she had information that she didn’t before…
She’d been observing Jason and Corbett as though they were science experiments. Since we’d learned in the journal that Jason had heightened intuition, Sookie observed that Jason was ‘the perfect husband’ because of his ability and didn’t even realize that he was reading his wife…
Sookie’s memory was all she had to go on when it came to her suspicions about Corbett though. Since Mag’s episode, Sookie remembered that Corbett had been the one to find his father dead, checking on him on the way to work even though he’d been in seemingly perfect health. Corbett had called her in Switzerland to make sure she was actually coming home and she just so happened to be debating whether or not to pack at the time. His call was the reason Calvin checked on Michelle during her last bath.
Sookie was convinced that her father was a bonafide psychic of sorts… I was holding judgment for the simple reason that it was an insane notion for one (mostly Human) family…
As Sookie would say, ‘says the Vampire who lives with 3 telepaths’…
At best, for the time being, I was willing to admit Corbett Stackhouse had a very sensitive ‘oh-shit-meter’.
Sookie glared at her father. “What kind of feeling, Daddy?”
“Dunno… just feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. I can’t explain it.”
“Sam showed up at Fangtasia earlier.”
“Shit. What did he want?”
“To shit hate. He showed up just long enough to piss me off.”
“Just give it some time. He’s gone and lost the best thing that ever could’ve happened to him. He’ll find himself some tart that’ll kiss his feet and help him forget that he lost you to a better…”
“God! Don’t say that! He’ll knock that one up too!”
He stared at her Sookie for a minute before he used the cookie platter as a distraction…
Sookie probed, “What?”
“Nuthin’… made me think of something, but it passed.”
She growled at him. “Fine… so the news that Sam darkened the doorstep doesn’t change the feeling?”
He shook his head. “Nope and get outta my head. I’ll let you know when I know, damn it.”
Since we’d been delayed by Merlotte’s visit and spent longer than planned at Holiday House, most of the staff was already in Fangtasia when we arrived.
Sookie went to the break room and left me to my own devices. She showered and dressed while I used my office to change and I’d managed to fill my idle time before the bar opened with paperwork… I should’ve spent the minute it would’ve taken for me to look in her locker for the dress she was going to torture me with all night.
Going by the reactions of the waitresses, and the fact that Darius and Ramon called Sookie ‘the cure to gayness’, I was better off staying in my office and put off seeing what she was wearing. The uniforms we’d settled on for the servers were red, empire waist dresses… short enough to seem like negligees and loose enough to be flattering on the varied body types of the waitresses. Sookie had been right that the uniformity would solve confusion and I’d even gotten compliments.
The waitresses’ uniform wasn’t befitting management though… while I wouldn’t have complained to see her in the tiny dress, she ‘cleared it with the owner’ that she was allowed to continue the red dress theme, yet deviate enough to stand out.
I’d only gotten a glimpse of the dresses she was browsing through and imagining her in them is how I killed my keyboard.
I actually watched my feet as I walked out to the bar to take my seat… the same boring activity that annoyed me to no end for years before Sookie came into my life made it more impossible to avoid looking directly at her… not to mention that regulars, Human and Vampires alike, were commenting over and over about Sookie’s appearance. I had to ignore remarks about how her dress made milk tempting to Vampires and questions about her peacock tattoo because its tail was past the hem of her skirt.
My best efforts finally failed when Sookie was approached by a new check in… At least I’d been listening so that she wouldn’t take me by surprise.
I lasted as long as seeing the fangs and dazed look on the Vampire she ushered to me.
Her dress was so short she was close to showing her panties while standing perfectly still and the halter top of the fire engine red dress was deliciously tested. It was practically a bathing suit… not a single bit of the form fitting dress betrayed that she had children, let alone delivered so recently. And with the way she’d pinned her hair up to expose her neck, she was a walking menu.
Sookie bowed, offering a magnificent view of her cleavage. “Master, Lewis Warren, formerly of Kansas’s Area 2, checking in.”
It was difficult enough for me to take my eyes from Sookie, but when I tried to look at Warren, he hadn’t budged from staring at Sookie’s ass. His mouth was watering.
“What brings you to my Area, Lewis?”
“I was bored out of my mind, Sheriff. I’ve been in Hutchinson for close to a century waiting for something interesting to happen.”
“If you don’t retract your fangs, something interesting will definitely happen to you. Sookie is Mine.”
He bowed, still not taking his eyes from Sookie. “My apologies. It’s not you… She’s…”
“Have you heard the saying ‘milk and honey’, Sheriff?”
“You’ve been warned. Pull them in, or have them ripped out.”
Sookie cringed and offered, “I’ll go back to work if there’s nothing else, Master.”
I dismissively nodded and only watched him long enough to make sure he put his fangs away… wanting to watch as much of Sookie’s retreat as possible.
From that point on, I watched her. I listened to as much as I could when she wasn’t doing something to distract from that too, but the check-in only got a small portion of my attention while he was there.
I took his walking papers back to my office, planning to check Warren’s references… removing myself from temptation.
His previous Sheriff had only just answered my call when Sookie slinked into my office without knocking… taking her shoes off and leaving them next to the door to move more quietly.
Up to something.
Tip toeing to stand next to my chair…
Rotating it and dropping to her knees between my feet…
Working deliberately to silently open my belt and zipper while Sheriff Breckenridge sang Warren’s praises…
The blow job I’d been promised…
The only contribution I made was lifting enough for her to pull my pants out of her way…
Everything else was just watching her…
Taking the clip out of her hair so I could run my fingers through it…
Holding it out of the way while her lips slid up and down my shaft…
The fucking aching…
Only paying enough attention to the phone call to remind myself to be quiet…
Biting my tongue wasn’t going to work for long…
I felt lightheaded in under a minute…
All the while, the Sheriff prattled on, proving how boring Kansas really was…
And Sookie filled the office with the scents of milk, honey and sex…
She was too much…
Pushing so deep my eyes crossed…
Pulsing her tongue…
Only retreating long enough for air…
Even then, not letting up…
Fisting and nibbling until she drove down again…
I was edging, savoring every second…
Only taking my hand out of Sookie’s hair long enough to disconnect the call…
Hissing as Sookie slowly dragged her teeth away and back again…
Realizing I was panting and squirming…
Trembling from holding back…
Awed by perfection…
One more gasp for air and as soon as she pushed down again, humming to push me, I caved…
Cumming too hard for it to have been from a blow job and slumping in my chair.
Sookie didn’t give me the chance to do as much as release her hair before she was straddling my lap…
Kissing me before she lifted her chin, baring her neck to me…
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to resist…
She’d done too much to me…
Moaning against my shoulder while I fed, both of us realizing we were dangerously close to spiraling into forgetting where we were…
She stared at me starry eyed as I healed her marking, staying on my legs to sweep her hair back and replace the clip.
“Much… I have to call the Sheriff back to find out about Warren though. I wasn’t listening to a word he said once you came in.”
Her tongue played inside her cheek for a moment before she took my hands and began untangling a few of her hairs from my fingers. “Breckenridge said Warren is on Santa’s nice list. The Sheriff’s been in charge there for 70 years and other than one skirmish with a Were, he’s never had any problems with Warren. He’s been in your Area long enough to find himself a local AB- pet though. Granted, Mark was living in the dumpster enclosure behind Outback, but I doubt that Lewis was ‘lucky’. He’s not as bored as he is moving up in the gambling world. He’d admitted to Mark that he’d gotten too much attention at the Reservation Casinos. He picked Shreveport because it’s close to 100 casinos and riverboats. Warren has three houses in the area even though he only gave you the address he lets Mark stay in. His real address is 4649 Pinkerton in Springlake. He told you he’s about 200, but he’s closer to 400… Still need to call the Sheriff back or did I get enough from the pet?”
I chuckled at her. “No… I can’t say that I do. I’m not sure I need to be here either. Can we go home now?”
She giggled as she backed away from my lap. “Sorry. My break’s over…” She leaned over to kiss me before she headed for the door. “No rest for the wicked.”
She giggled, “You can’t fire me…”
“I can. I did. Let me give you a ride home.”
“No…” She narrowed her eyes and came back towards me, leaning over for a kiss. I didn’t even care that she was rifling through the drawer of my desk. “Don’t be silly. If I’m at home, getting fat, who’s going to make things interesting around here?”
“Who says I’ll be here to care?”
She had an evil twinkle in her eyes when she stood up, showing me that she’d taken a box of matches out of my desk. “Just in case you get any ideas.”
“I’m allowed to burn it down if I want to.”
“I like my job, Eric. If it wasn’t for Fangtasia, you’d still have to leave home to go be Sheriff. I’d need a job so I wouldn’t go stir crazy at home. We have a good set-up.”
“Do we?” My obligations, her ex… the lingering worries of Sophie-Ann discovering my little telepathic gang.
“I think we do. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I growled, “Perhaps a long vacation then?”
She slapped me like she had the last time I mentioned taking her. “Don’t tease.”
“I’m not teasing. If we go now, we could take the girls skiing… Feel free to slap me again though.”
She bit her lip and slinked away. “Maybe later.”