Chapter 5: A Man Obsessed

Alpha

Chapter 5

A Man Obsessed

**

Sunday night was interesting…

Even though I spent a bulk of the early evening setting up Pam’s torment, I was still thinking about Sookie.

I blamed the dolls she’d abused as I drove from location to location, placing them with little notes that would lead Pam to the next… The last of them was the one with the demand for an exchange… I didn’t want to waste any and I had my own fun staging them… Hanging from rafters by a noose, chalk outline, buried with nothing but an arm poking out of the ground, floating face down in a small tub of water…

Pam’s clue was attached to the keychain instead of keys…

Playing with dolls at my age.

I’d taken pictures of each little crime scene for Adele, Linda and Sookie to justify the extra effort…

I watched Bobby leave my office with Pam’s first clue on her scavenger hunt. A quote from Vanity Fair: “Revenge may be wicked, but it’s natural.” It should lead Pam to the Natural History Museum to find another doll strung between the horses flanking the entrance… I could hope she would make the connection between ‘natural’ and the museum…

I tried to get some work done, but my phone rang… My associate in Dallas, Maxwell, had tracked Merlotte’s address down, but he wasn’t there and his mother refused to tell him where he was… Maxwell wanted to know what his ‘next step’ was since Bernadette’s Human husband seemed to own the house.

I told him to wait for further instructions and immediately dialed Merlotte’s mother…

I didn’t give her the chance to answer.

“Bernadette, where is your son?”

“It doesn’t matter. He’s changed his mind.”

“That’s cute. Seriously, where is your son?”

“He’s not going to let you swindle him out of that property. He’s going to sell it for a fair price and be done with it.”

“First of all, he isn’t going to sell it. It had been on the market for over a decade, which is why he didn’t pay full price for it. Secondly, he’s lucky I made an offer because there are two other available properties within Bon Temps limits. Lastly, he made a verbal agreement with me. He can either exchange the deed for the check my associate brought to him or your home will be burned down around you. Considering your son’s recent attempt at insurance fraud, which can be substantiated by Bon Temps law enforcement, I don’t think he wants to try playing in my league. You knew enough about me to advise him against settling in my Area. You know I don’t play games or repeat myself. Where. The. Fuck. Is. He?”

“This isn’t right. Don’t Vampires have any ethics? You railroaded him out of Louisiana and now you’re going to practically steal what he earned in the Army.”

“If you’d have done a better job as a mother, he’d have known better than to chase a girl who belongs to me… Are you haggling with me?” She was and it was difficult to keep from laughing.

“No. He’s got the right to want a fair price. He bought a dump… If he hadn’t put so much work into it, then your offer wouldn’t be such an insult. If there are two other properties, then why can’t you just buy one of those and let him sell his place?”

“Fair enough. Wish your son luck. Explain to him if he returns to my Area, he’s done.”

“You’re kidding?”

“No. I don’t joke about business and I don’t make empty threats. Goodnight.”

I held my phone away from ear… waiting… “HOLD ON!” Two and a half seconds.

“Yes?”

“Nevermind… he’ll take it!”

“Take what? My offer expired when you helped me realize the former bakery a mile away would better suit my needs.” It had more ovens and a bigger walk-in…

“The original offer. He’ll take it.”

“Bernadette, is your son avoiding the transaction or did you take advantage of a poorly timed errand to try to renegotiate for him?” I couldn’t help but picture Merlotte waiting to be rescued from a tree by firefighters.

“He… Don’t blame him. We both know your offer is shady…”

“Where is he?”

She whimpered, “Blockbuster.”

“Are you quite done trying to bluff me while your son returns your overdue copy of 101 Dalmatians?”

“Yeah… I’ll tell your guy to wait for him.”

“You do that… Your son isn’t the only Merlotte on my radar now, Bernadette. Watch yourself.”

I finally let myself laugh once the call was disconnected… and within 20 minutes, Maxwell called to tell me the deed to Merlotte’s land was in his hand and it would be in mine within 24 hours.

I left a message for Bobby to send rawhide bones to the Merlotte family with a thank you note.

For the rest of the evening, I had to resist the urge to call Sookie.

I had to keep reminding myself I’d only just seen her the night before and it was ridiculous to want to talk to Sookie again so soon…

But Pam had been monopolizing my line. Since her first call to beg for clues, I let the rest of them go to voicemail. I’d wait a few minutes and listen to the message, rampant with ranting and whining, and hope she was in the confines of her car given the empty threats she was making…

Unfortunately, every last message had to be deleted because they all included threats to my ‘dead ass’ or fangs. I was hoping, in vane, to be able to share the fun with my coconspirators.

I filled my time with other things…

I fed, but it didn’t satisfy me.

I did paperwork, but I caught myself glancing at my phone as though I wanted it to ring.

When I finally gave in and dialed it, I managed to resist calling Bon Temps, but only because of the late hour. I called Bobby to tell him there was a lease prepared on my desk and as soon as the courier delivered Merlotte’s deed, he should deliver it to Linda Stackhouse… and once I was done with that, I called my casino and had the manager collect the retired card decks, chips and dice and set them aside.

I still wanted to call Sookie.

I killed two hours trying to bid on a few books on eBay and decided otherwise. Fuck PayPal. Why the fuck wasn’t a platinum card good enough?

**

And…

Monday was worse because Glamour was closed and I had that much less to distract me.

I was too annoyed with my fascination…

And when I Ieft my room to find that my books had been returned my mood only soured. Not only was the prank over so my friendly think tank wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to call Sookie to share my victory.

Every fucking box I opened so I could return the books to their shelves made me want to call Sookie that much more.

And I honestly started to resent her for it. There was no fucking reason why she should be the only thing I could think about. None.

It was nearly 10 when I broke down and called Linda…

Strictly business, of course…

“Hello?”

“Sorry for the late hour…”

Linda laughed, “Erik, you can call any time.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

She laughed, “Oh, honey, if you looked just a little older, I’d be stalking you. A face that pretty and a sense of humor are hard to find in the same package… I guess you’re calling about the lease, huh?”

“I am. I was just making sure you have it and you don’t have any questions.”

“Just one… Do you waive the security deposit for everyone?”

“Not for everyone… Notice there’s a stipulation that increases the early termination fee though. It evens out.”

“Yeah, it does… I already signed it…”

She was interrupted by someone. A female asked, “Mom. Who the fuck’s callin’ so late?”

Linda scoffed, “Little girl, you were a ghost for over a week. You want answers from me, you can borrow my Magic 8-Ball when I’m done asking it what you’ve been up to.” I had to assume the elusive Hadley had returned.

The girl sniped, “I’m free, white and over the age of 18. Bite me.”

“You’re a damn squatter who scared the crap out of her family AGAIN. And it’s not called ‘free’. It’s called ‘cheap’ when you come home in the same clothes you left in and still drunk. It’s called a ‘walk of shame’ for a reason. You might be 18, but you’re no grown up. Sookie hasn’t ever been so inconsiderate and Jason can manage to keep a job and a social life.”

“Fuck those goody-goodies… I can’t wait to get out of this house. You’re such a bitch.”

“Nothing’s stopping you… except for the fact that you can’t make a living being a snot. Shut up. I’m on the phone… Sorry Erik. What were we talking about?”

“Corporal punishment.”

Linda laughed, “I’m telling ya… I broke curfew once and I couldn’t sit down for a week. My Daddy made sure I learned my lesson. This one, at 14 I swatted her rump for calling me the ‘C’ word and she called Child Services and claimed I abused her.” Lesson learned. The next time, break the little bitch’s arms so she can’t use the phone.

“Homelessness could adjust her perspective.”

“Yeah. It could… Except when I changed the locks on her last year, she made herself a burden on poor Jason and nearly got him arrested. I’m sure she’d make me regret it. Did you give your parents such a fit?”

“No. I knew better. My father could hear me thinking about being an asshole. Fuckery wasn’t tolerated.”

“Did you fear or respect him?”

“Both.”

“See, me too… I can’t say I wish Hadley’s father was still around though… So, other than business and beatings, did you need anything else?”

“Did Sookie mention that I offered to meet you at my warehouse tomorrow night?”

“She did… We’ll be there with bells on. We can’t wait. We’re leaving early because I found a store in Shreveport that sells the oversized cards. We’re getting really excited over this. We’ve been talking about it for years.”

“Good. We’ll set aside whatever you want and I’ll have Bobby deliver everything…”

“Oh… That’s sweet, but you’ve done so much already. Jason is coming with us in case we need his truck. I didn’t figure that many ping pong balls would fit in my station wagon.”

“That many ping pong balls would take several trips with the van alone.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I hope you know plenty of people who need garland.”

“I guess it’s a good thing I have a great imagination and a new restaurant to plan decorations for. How big is your bedroom?”

“A little larger than your mother’s living room. Pam filled it to my height.”

She cackled, “I know Momma gave you grief about being wasteful, but my evil streak just wants tickets to see you and your sister go at it. Corbett and I were bad enough. I can’t imagine what we could have done on a bigger scale.”

“You might not be able to sit down yet… what did you do to your brother?”

“You’re right about that… My Daddy took the belt to Corbett once for rearranging my room and unscrewing the light bulb. I split my lip when I fell over my bed.”

“What had you done?”

She giggled, “I may or may not have put crawdads in his bed. The only time his bed was ever made was when Momma or Michelle did it.” Just like Sookie’s treatment of Jason’s socks. She took advantage of her victim’s laziness…

“I hadn’t thought of crawdads.”

“You did too… Just now. All on your own. I did not help. And I most definitely didn’t suggest you put any in Pam’s purse.”

I chuckled, “Of course not.” As big as Pam liked her bags, I could hide a couple and wait for the fun.

“And because they like fresh water, bathtubs don’t bother them… So if you didn’t call me to pump me for information about Sookie, I’ll leave you to your crawdads…”

“Why would you think I’d ‘pump’ you for information?”

“Because you’re a lot of things, Erik, stupid being the least of them. You know there’s something different about Sookie, but you can’t put a finger on it or why you like her so much. You aren’t taking into account how different you are though. Don’t let your age gap get to you. You never had what today’s brats call a childhood anyway, so enjoy it while you can.”

“Oh really?” I couldn’t help it. It had been a struggle to say that much. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she knew I was a Vampire.

“Really. She’s a good girl. She’s bright. She’s pretty. You make each other smile and that’s the important part. Get out of your head a little and let yourself have some fun. It’ll be good for both of you… Y’all are both different and you needed to find each other.”

“Uh oh. It sounds like you believe in something as impractical as providence.”

She snorted, “Yeah. Among other things. I’m not even going to ask how many girls you’ve been so preoccupied with that you ended up calling their aunt instead of calling them, but how many girls have even had your attention for four whole nights?”

She said ‘nights’. She specified ‘nights’. The common term was ‘days’.

Linda continued, “That’s what I thought… You know better than to settle for something random. You’ve seen more than your share of gold-digging little nothings trying to fake their way into your graces. You don’t mind Sookie’s rough edges because you know they’re honest and you love that she doesn’t want anything from you even though you could buy her nearly anything… Let me tell you something, keeping a straight face while your assistant was at the house was killing her… as soon as he pulled out of the driveway, she squealed like I’ve never heard and said she didn’t know if she was going to kiss you for the joke or kick your ass for the price-tag… You’ve outlived too many of your people and you spook nearly everyone else because of what you can do. If nothing else, you definitely found a kindred… Don’t second guess it. It’s perfectly fine for you to be interested… and so you know, she’s at home right now, just as ticked at herself for wanting you to call her as you are for being tempted.”

“She told you that?”

She snickered, “She didn’t have to… Neither did you. See ya tomorrow night, sweetie.”

I nodded rhetorically and hung up the phone without saying goodnight…

I stared at my phone as though that helped…

Linda said Sookie and I spook people by what we can do… I knew what I could do and why…

Kindred?

Linda made it sound like she knew I’m a Vampire, but Sookie wasn’t a fucking Vampire.

What. The. Fuck…

The smell…

That smell…

What the fuck are the Stackhouses?

What the fuck is Sookie?

I was already too preoccupied… suddenly I was fucking obsessed.

Maenads, Vampires, Weres and Shifters, Elves, Trolls, Faeries, Oracles, Witches, Daemons, Gypsies, Familiars, Kitsune…

Fuck, I’d even crossed paths with a Potnia Theron once or twice…

NOTHING ELSE smelled like that.

The only things that came close were Faeries and there would be a mess to clean up if that’s what they were… I’d been in the same room with four of them at one time… I’d been hugged and teased… a Faerie would have barely needed to be on the same property to get my attention.

Faeids would know what the fuck I was, but that wouldn’t explain why they’d seem so comfortable with me, or the fact that Linda implied Sookie was gifted or enhanced somehow, or the smell unless there was a recent visitation…. Even then, Sookie shouldn’t have smelled so sweet after showering.

Enhanced.

Enhanced?

She acted as though she needed to brace herself before going into Merlotte’s. She said she heard Danny talking about her and that wasn’t likely given that I had to concentrate to hear over the din. She showed no fear even though he should have been able to hurt her easily…

Heightened senses?

Heightened senses and a fragrance that could make me hard.

I was six numbers into dialing Ludwig when I thought better of it. Advertising my ignorance was the most brainless move I could make…

If I didn’t know what the fuck Sookie, her whole family, was… not only would I look like an imbecile if the answer was right in front of me, but bringing attention to them when I don’t know what the fuck they are could put them in danger.

I was probably just going to feel like a complete dullard… I was going to find out her aunt was using some manner of Podunk matchmaker intuition.

Delightful as Linda was, I didn’t know any more about her than I did about Sookie…

Either way…

Tuesday couldn’t come soon enough.

I wanted answers.

**

I didn’t leave my study for most of the night…

I sorted and categorized, updated my insurance inventory, made a few additions to my watch list, and failed miserably at trying to get the infection that was Sookie Stackhouse out of my thoughts.

I was still trying to put together the puzzle pieces when I fucking died for the day… And like I hadn’t been dead for nearly 14 hours, I went right back to speculating when I rose.

I thought my cock hurt Saturday night… I had no idea I could suffer a headache, but I’d finally managed to prove it was possible.

As I left my house, I ignored a call from Pam. A few nights ago, I would have laughed until I hurt at the mere idea of her rising buried in the rubble of a clothing avalanche. As it was, I wasn’t interested in hearing about how difficult it was for her to claw her way out without damaging anything.

One thing was on my mind…

And as I pulled up to my warehouse, she was smiling from the hood of her aunt’s station wagon in a sundress that could only look better if it were in shreds on my bedroom floor.

Before I could greet the Stackhouses, Sookie’s arms were around me and if I didn’t know better, I’d swear she knew what her fucking scent did to me.

She cooed against my chest, “Well?”

“Well what?”

“Did you get your books back?”

I nodded, playing along in the hopes of having the chance to remedy what was driving me mad. “Pam crisscrossed Caddo Parrish on a scavenger hunt for twisted little dollies holding clues to where she might find her clothing… all of it ended in a frustrating little ransom note and when I woke last night, I had a library again. Go figure.”

Jason, Adele and Linda applauded and whistled while Sookie laughed without letting go of me.

I added, “And I’ll have pictures.”

Linda cackled, “I’ll make an album for them so she doesn’t forget the lesson soon.”

“Perfect.” No sooner than it was out of my mouth, I realized I was being sucked in again. I needed to focus, look for clues… I had every intention of glamouring Sookie if I didn’t get my answers, but I wanted to figure it out on my own volition. It was a matter of principle.

As Sookie let go of me and stepped back, I went to my trunk… I handed a gift bag to Sookie and carried the much larger box to Linda who was already waiting with an envelope in her hand.

She opened the tailgate of her car for me and offered the envelope to me. “One signed lease.”

I grinned and pulled the new keys for Merlotte’s out of my pocket. Her eyes glazed over while I explained, “The locks have been replaced. The boards have been removed. The walls have been primed. New windows have been installed. My property manager, William Kinsey, will be calling you in the morning to arrange a walk through.”

She squeaked and forced herself to take the keys from me somewhat calmly. She fingered them as though she was hypnotized for a moment… Long enough for me to realize the fucking breeze had it in for me… Jason, Sookie and Linda’s scents were bombarding my senses. I was starting to think I wasn’t meant to stay focused.

Linda finally shook off her daze, nodding towards the box and asking, “What’s this?”

“I figured it would be a given you’d be interested in these. I told you I own a casino… Retired cards, dice and chips. Let me know if you need more. They’re only used for a week before a new style is used to prevent cheating.”

Adele and Linda pulled bricks of 6-deck shoes out of the box and as soon as they opened them, they cooed in unison, “Kids’ menus…”

Linda’s eyes lit up as she explained, “You know kids can be picky… we thought we’d do picture menus for them like flip-books… And that little area in the back, the one where Merlotte put the pool table, we were thinking about lining the walls with butcher paper and provide crayons. Make it family friendly.”

“As opposed to serving fattening food and booze to bored rednecks? What the hell are you thinking?

She snickered, “I’m thinking I’d rather break up Canasta disputes than bar brawls…”

I shrugged. “Suit yourself, but blood is easier to wash away than crayon.”

She patted my shoulder as she shook her head and tried to keep from laughing. “I’ll leave security to the one who can move two tons of books without breaking a sweat…” Oops. And… she definitely knew something. “What did Sookie get?”

“A lesson on loopholes.”

Sookie narrowed her eyes and groaned, “Already?

“Technically, you asked for it, so I’m allowed.”

She gasped, “I haven’t asked you for anything!”

I nodded towards the bag, making her wait for the reminder. She suspiciously pulled out a short, white nightgown and matching pumps…

Sookie shook her head. “When did I ask to be dressed like a centerfold?”

Jason scoffed, “Shows how much you know. Centerfolds are nekked.”

I tried to pretend he hadn’t just said that. “Thursday night just so happens to be ’18 And Over Pajama Party Night’ at Glamour. They’re already giving away passes on two radio stations.”

She laughed, “And the price cap doesn’t count for datesyou win.” She stretched up to kiss my cheek. “Thank you. That was sweet.” No. Not sweet. Calculated. Being a ‘good boyfriend’ made answers more likely.

Jason snorted and took the slip out of her hand to hold it up. “Shit Sook, that covers more than your dress. Ya sure ya ain’t gonna overheat if you try to dance in so much?”

She slapped his chest as Linda swatted the back of his head. “Leave her be, Jason! Get off it.”

I asked, “Get off what?”

Sookie huffed, “Jason’s on a soapbox about how girls can get away with practically wearing underwear, i.e. bikinis and halter tops, and if a guy tries to he’s considered a pervert. Nevermind he’s thinking about trying to set a trend of boxers and wife-beaters as summer apparel… He does it every year when the temperature spikes like this.”

I shook my head. “You’ve seen Olympic Swim Teams, yes? I’m sure that’s what you’re picturing for your ‘New World Order’…”

He shrugged. “Yeah…”

“What happens when Andy Bellefleur tries to fit in…?” The woman began snickering.

He pulled a face and jerked his head back like he’d smelled something vile. “Alright, man. Stop.”

“And how do you accessorize something like that? I’m picturing Bellefleur with tall tube socks and leather sandals because I’m sure he wears them with his plaid Bermuda shorts already…” Sookie buried her face against my shoulder to laugh while Linda and Adele giggled harder.

“God damn… you’re cruel…” He had no idea.

“Personally, I’d enjoy the comfort. Simple flip-flops, silk boxers and a muscle shirt… But you should go whale watching on the beach. Until 300 pound women stop walking out of their houses in bikinis, there will be furry lounge-lizards with just as many stretch marks sweating through their Fruit Of The Looms…” Like I’d cued the laughter of a ‘live studio audience’, the ladies’ volume increased.

“I’m gonna barf. I’m gonna barf ON YOU.”

“And I doubt you calculated for stains. Cool? Yes, but as soon as someone bends over…”

He quickly stabbed his fingers into his ears, squeezed his eyes closed and spun around. “Nevermind! Y’all win! I changed my mind!”

While he tried drowning me out by singing “Friends In Low Places”, Linda high fived me and laughed, “Nice! He’s been going on like that since he was 9.”

Sookie gave me an impressed nod. “The Vulcan Mind Meld should hold long enough to get us through this summer. He might have nightmares.”

Good. That settled…

**

My warehouse had previously been a machine shop contracted by the Air Force base to manufacture and repair planes during the Vietnam conflict… Given its size, Adele and Linda didn’t realize exactly how much they had to choose from until we were nearly halfway across the building.

I automatically unstacked the last of the boxes from Elevenses for them as I asked, “Can you think of a reason for fur?”

There was a chorus of thoughtful humming behind me before the women each offered something different. Baby blankets, throw pillows, teddy bears, purses, slippers… Not surprisingly, once they were done rattling off their overlapping ideas, they all asked why.

“PETA was asking for furs to be surrendered last year. Pam placed an ad directly next to PETA’s offering to buy unwanted furs rather than have them be destroyed. She didn’t see the point since the animals were already dead… She said since they’re already dead, it slights the animals by undermining the purpose of their deaths. She donated some to charity auctions, some things just had fur trim, so they were given to shelters… she had enough responses she couldn’t find a use for it all.”

Linda asked, “But Pam likes fur, right?”

I nodded and began pushing the large boxes of those closer to the others. “She does.”

“What color is her house?”

“This season? White with ‘fuchsia and violet accents’. I tease her about having the Easter Bunny as an interior designer.”

“She redecorates seasonally?”

“She only buys furniture once every year. It’s the accessories she changes. Spring is pastels. Summer is jewel tones. The fall holidays get an absurd amount of attention. For Thanksgiving, she puts ‘Taxidermy Tom’ in a roasting pan at her bay window and scrawls ‘Help Me’ on the glass.” Asinine as it was, her neighbors photographed it to share it with their friends.

Jason blurted, “I WANT ONE!”

Adele chuckled, “So do I… but we live in the country, baby. No one would see it.”

He whined, “Yeah, but you still put up Christmas lights… and we always carved pumpkins.” He made a fair enough point.

Linda offered, “Tell you what, Jas… If you find somewhere to sell you a whole Tom we’ll get Mr. Mason to stuff him for the shop. He’ll be a cute decoration…”

“You’re on… Damn, now I want a Thanksgiving sandwich.”

I had to ask. “Do I want to know what’s on a Thanksgiving sandwich?”

Adele grumbled, “Dysfunction, hostility and lots of salt to rub in old wounds only family can open.”

While I laughed, Linda corrected, “Don’t mind her. We had an unwelcome guest last year… it’s stuffing, turkey, green beans and cranberry sauce.”

“How exactly does one fall from the esteem of one of the friendliest families I’ve ever met?”

Nothing.

I was answered with nothing. It was the first time the Stackhouse family stalled… even when I probed about Sookie, Jason changed the subject.

When I looked to Jason, he shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I didn’t even understand the question.”

The only hint I was given was Sookie’s sickened look as she turned back to look through a box.

An outcast family member combined with that reaction could have been added to why Sookie wasn’t fond of physical contact… The logical assumption was abuse of some kind.

But it didn’t seem to fit… it didn’t fit unless I took something out of the original equation I was toiling over…

And when it occurred to me I could have been looking at pieces to three separate puzzles, I appreciated the quiet.

Linda’s innuendo could have been nothing but over romanticized whimsy… After all, Sookie mentioned Linda’s preference for poetry. Sookie’s dislike for being touched could have been nothing more than avoiding uninvited groping… I had seen her hug, kiss and/or hit everyone in company. And the unwanted Thanksgiving crasher could have just as easily sold a family heirloom as been a Gorgon… for that matter Thanksgiving was ‘last year’ and that was when Linda changed the locks. Hadley could have put on an impressive display of infantile behavior.

Fuck.

Because I needed more to think about.

**

After more than an hour of sorting, during which the friendly chatter did start again, there were two neatly stacked collections of boxes. A small lot (minus the ping pong balls) was to be taken back to Linda and Adele’s houses to be used as crafting supplies. The other lot would be taken to the new site of ‘Sandwich Island’…. Another clever nod to the namesake Earl.

Linda and Adele had been girlishly giddy when they discovered the salvaged ice cream machines from the bankrupt vendor at my mall, and the stockpile of black melamine plates and bowls that hadn’t been used because Pam changed her mind about that particular venture.

By 11 o’clock, Adele was beginning to wilt from working in the heat even though Jason and I pushed the larger doors open to create a cross-breeze. With more than half the boxes sorted, the family opted to call it a night.

As everyone walked out, I took Sookie’s hand and let the others go ahead of us.

She wrapped her legs around me as I lifted her, pinning her to the wall just inside the door.

I medicated my frustration, taking every bit of her scent I could, kissing her, clawing at her legs…

Gritting my teeth when she had to stop for air.

She looked towards the door to remind me her family was waiting and panted, “We need to chill out.”

“No. Come home with me.”

She practically purred as she ran her fingers through my hair. “Sorry sweetie. I need to get up for work in the morning.”

“I’ll take you home later.”

She shook her head. “We’re going out Thursday… Don’t act like two nights is forever. What time are you going to pick me up?”

“Nine… I still want you to stay with me.” She was still running her fingers through my hair and it was taking too much effort to keep my eyes focused.

“I want to stay too… but I should go…”

“Tomorrow night.”

She cringed. “I’m going over to Jason’s house to help him clean up for his shindig Friday night.”

When I growled, she half-smiled and arched her back to kiss my neck…

The way her body rubbed against mine, the way her breath felt on my neck…

Every part of my body stiffened.

She stopped, brushing her lips against over my skin as breathed, “Your neck?”

Instead of putting her down, letting her leave before I invited more misery on myself, I answered, “Among other things.”

The tip of her nose tickled me just a moment before she kissed the same place again…

As she nibbled and licked the side of my neck slowly, all hope was lost for staying focused.

By the time Sookie decided she’d done enough damage, my fangs had cut into my lip…

She put me in such a state I didn’t realize she’d managed to take her legs back…

I was hunched over, making myself her victim.

When she finally pulled away, she breathed, “Thursday at 9, right?”

I only nodded when I couldn’t retract my fangs.

She stretched up to kiss me again, leaving me to accept an annoyingly innocent kiss, but as she left me, she nibbled my lip.

As though I wasn’t close enough to bloodlust, seeing my blood on her lips…

Seeing her lick it away without noticing as she walked out of the warehouse…

If I were ever going to lose control, it would have been then.

**

I waited, listening to Sookie join her family, as they drove away, until the cars were out of my range…

Standing frozen until I realized I was hoping Sookie had gotten enough of my blood for me to have a sense of her.

No such luck…

No connection…

Sookie only left me with more questions than I had before and a new definition for ‘blue balls’.

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86 thoughts on “Chapter 5: A Man Obsessed

  1. Good God, I am in LOVE with this story!! I have been stalking your FB page all day since I saw that you sent the chapter to the beta team 🙂 Definitely think Linda at least suspects who/what Eric is and I can’t wait for more!

  2. i love you…you’re my new best friend….and i never realised how being the first to review a chapter makes me feel both proud of myself and kinda like a stalker O.o

    • If ur a stalker what does the chick with the cold and an unstoppable need to check her email just cuz she got up at asshat morning hour become?? lol we all stalk angela in our own ocd ways.

  3. Totally loving this story. Every time I think I’ve decided which one of your stories is my favorite a new chapter comes out and I change my mind. Can’t wait for more.

  4. OMG hilarious. Love the whole family getting in on the prank on Pammy. Hmm now what does Linda and Adele know? Eric needs to glamour that ungrateful, nasty Hadley. Cant believe Sam’s mom actually tried to get something over on Eric. Stupid biatch.

    Can’t wait for their date!!!

  5. I love it. That Linda is such a character. So Hadley is already a *itch. So is Pam gonna find out about Sookie soon say at the party? Jason is so easy to play. I can’t beleive Sam’s mom thought she could pull a fast one.Can’t wait for the next chapter. thanks

  6. My GOD! I can’t wait for them to find out about one-another!!! Love this chapter and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Does Linda really know? Does Adele suspect?

    I honestly am wating on bated breath for the next chapter!!! I want to see what makes the Alpha couple…the Alpha couple!!!

  7. I do so love this story. Poor Eric, in such a quandary with no idea how to solve his puzzles. Can’t wait to see if he’ll really try to glamour it out of Sookie.
    Cheers, Balti K

  8. i was so disappointed to come to the end of this chapter…i could have read way more…lol

    i love your writing.

  9. WOWSERS, I am sooo addicted to this fic. Love Linda’s character in this. She is so spunky and damn it she has to know what Eric is. There is no way she can’t with all the inuendos she throwing out. I will definently not be waiting for the next chappie patiently. haha 😉

  10. Oh she is so tormenting him. I love it.

    Linda is catching on quick. I always thought she’d be swift like that, its just her daughter is a twat.

    Can’t wait to see Pam’s reaction to meeting Sookie.

  11. Amazing chapter!! You keep making it harder and harder to pick a favorite couple out of the skips. I think this Eric may be pulling ahead of the rest though, he’s got the added pressure of having to hide what he is. Sigh. You are still my favorite addiction 😉

  12. he really is A Man Obsessed. poor Eric, obsessed and now with the worst case of blue balls he’ll ever know 😉 haha Wow, i so didn’t see that Aunt Linda would know about him being vampire. it also didn’t help that he slipped when was telling them that he go his books back by the time “I woke last night”. big slip! unless he meant to drop that but i don’t think so.

    i enjoyed myself, like i always do, and thank you for such a great chapter! i am so loving this Verse…can’t wait for more 😀

    until next time
    YOUR loyal brat 😉

  13. absolutely love Alpha! So I’m pretty sure Linda knows about Eric, and Adele might know too. Does Sookie know? I’m very much looking forward to what will happen if Eric tries to glamor Sookie!

  14. Love it! I just wanted to keep reading, I always feel sad when I come to the end of another one of your updates – it means I have to somehow wait for more! No wonder I’m re-reading the multiverse stories, again!
    Love Linda and had to LOL @ Hadley and her bitchy ways already! I suspect all of the Stackhouse women suspect/know he is Vampire, can’t wait to find out! Eric is so funny not knowing what Sookie is, cracks me up!

  15. I read Kristals comment about stalking your page and realized I too click refresh a ridiculous amount of times when I’m on line. Then again your site is the only one I love so much so I will just chalk it up to my undying admiration for your writing and not beat myself up about it. lol Can’t wait for the next 30 chapters to this fabulous story.

  16. I was wondering how long ago this fic is set..and how long eBay has existed! 🙂
    Linda is a dark horse as we don’t know anything about her apart from selfish daughter, cancer, molested by Uncle B and I can’t remember anything about a husband… I wonder what her ‘talent’ is as she’s same generation faery as Corbett (and would thus smell stronger than Sookie). Can’t wait to find out more!!!

    All that talk about sandwiches makes me hungry…..

    Kajsa

  17. When it comes to your stories I’m bipolar. I get very manic and excited when there’s a new chapter and it just flys by! Then I get depressed that it’s over and I have to wait until there’s another one and it feels like forever. I can’t wait for the next chapter. 😉

  18. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

    Can’t wait for more. You are a Master storyteller!

  19. So I guess that Linda doesn’t really smell fae too. Just sweet. I get the feeling that Linda and Adele know what Eric is but do they know who he is? I am sure that Fintan would have told Adele about the other kinds of supes out there and who could be a danger to her kids. I love how Eric has fallen for the family. Not just Sookie. I know that he has not fallen for Hadley but Had can’t be all bad because in the skips she is not all bad either. Selfish yes but not bad execpt in Meanwhile. I think the resturant the ladies are going to open will be great. Will the Alphas skip once they bond? It would be fun to see them interace with some of the other skipe we know and love.

  20. loved it. i like that they both dont know about each other yet! cant wait for more of them! i was so excited to see an update from you in my email today 😉 football all day and your story was perfect ending for my weekend. but im a BRAT and cant wait for your next update already!

  21. Ok 5 am here and my asshat morning need for more cold meds made me check my email and i had to keep myself from squealing like a fangirl when i saw an update for Alpha. this is awesome I love confused! possessive! Erik. God do i want more keep up the awesome work!!

  22. Very nice. Can’t wait for them to realize it too. Crasher had to be the stupid uncle? I adore the samwhich shop idea so cute 🙂

  23. thank you for the update, but I feel like an addict wanting more. Love confused and obsessive Eric. Poor guy left hunched over trying to figure out his next move.

  24. A scavenger hunt with dolls? Where do you get these wonderful whacky ideas? And poor Eric is so confused about what the Stackhouses are..I love all your flips, but this one has to be the most fun.

  25. I think Sandwich Island would be a great name for the restaurant. Love Eric’s handling of the Merlotte’s. I wonder if Linda is intuitive like Jason and if they’ve been told about other Supes at some point. It does seem that Linda, and Adele, too, know Eric is a vampire and accept him the way he is. Maybe they’re waiting for him to confess. I’d say they need to sit down and have a heart to heart. Or he could glamor Hadley, if she knows anything. Or Jason. It’ll be cool when he discovers he can’t glamor Sookie, though. Or, he could come out and ask them directly.

  26. I love this. I love the couple that Eric and Sookie are becoming and the relationship he is building with her family and tada, here is Hadley. Very awesome. Love it

  27. Oh, there is so much wonderful stuff going on here. I think Linda has an ability, perhaps not telepathy, but an intuitive sense of some kind. And I think they ALL know that Eric is a vampire, maybe even Jason, who seems pretty dumb but has his moments… I’m not sure if they know about their own fae heritage, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they know all about the supe world and are just waiting for Erik to fess up.
    Looking forward to eventually meeting Pam, who will fit like a glove with the Stackhouse women if she can enjoy their wit and humor and not be a brat that she was left out at first.
    This Hadley, like most others, is horrid and will no doubt cause trouble for everyone.
    I already love this story, thanks for the update.

  28. God I love this story! I can’t wait for them to reveal to each other what they are. I think that Linda has figured it out, probably Adele too, and that they would be so cool with Eric being a vampire is great. I only hope that if Jason figures it out he doesn’t make bad assumptions about vampires like he usually does in the beginning of each skip. Please write more chapters soon, I will continue to stalk your facebook page, LOL!!

  29. I am so on edge waiting for updates that i think my family thinks im crazy but with all the rocking to and fro in the corner may have something to do with it…. LOL. really am loving this so much and i love you all the more for updating so quickly. really good job and ill be in the corner till next time lmao!!! x

  30. Love, love, love this skip!! Wonderful chapter “building the mystery”. Does Sookie know or is Linda the only one who knows about vampires? If Linda is the only one it could be explained if she had experienced a skip from another her bonded to a vampire…

    Can’t wait to see how you’re going to get to the great reveal. Please post more (and some more Euro Pass!!) soon.

  31. Well as usual this chapter of Alpha has left me desparate for the next one. I am so curious as to what will happen. I think Linda and Adele know what is up. We know they had a skip, right? From when Adele mentioned it before? But what is going to happen when Sookie finds out. I love, love love this story. I hope you will update for us again soon. It is driving me nuts waiting to find out.

  32. I am loving this story! Even better that Linda, and I’m sure Adele, seem to know what Eric is, or at the very least that there is something different about him. I’m still itching to find out whose secret comes out first though.

  33. Awesome update!!! I am falling in love so quickly with this one, I can’t wait for the next chapter!!! Damn you and your amazing talent!!!!!! j/k 🙂

  34. You are such an amazing and talented writer! I always love your attention to detail; but never have I wanted pictures as much as I do now! I so want to see the dolls! I’ve been laughing like a loon letting my own imagination take over. WONDERFUL!

  35. You are a wonderful writer, Angela, and I have enjoyed your stories. There is something about this one, however, that just sparkles. Maybe it is because you are working on developing the relationship between Eric and Sookie as two individuals rather than their relationship as an alternative to some former or lesser relationship. By that I mean that Eric and Sookie are finding each other rather than Sookie needing to be ‘saved/rescued’ from the likes of villainous Bill or stupid/cheating Sam. For me there is something rather pure and wonderful about that.

    Thanks so much for writing. The ‘brat’ in me hopes that more updates come soon.

  36. THANK YOU. A wonderful gift for my day off. As always more please.

    I figure Uncle Bartlett ruined Thanksgiving. I am sure Erik will take care of that.

    Cannot wait til their Thursday at Glamour. Hope I don’t need to wait til my Thursday to read it.

    -from a faithful brat

  37. So Hadley isn’t the new suicidal vampire (I’m sad as that would have been an awesome big change and change is usually interesting in this story) and cancer can’t be cured by vampire blood (which makes me worry for Linda).
    That whole thanksgiving thing, did you just make a Bartlett reference? Jason didn’t really know and in BTD he didn’t know either. If either Jason or Erik find out that could be trouble.
    It was a nice chapter but I miss Pam! The snippets about her were nice but you can’t replace real Pam! As much fun as Erik and the Stackhouses (and I count Linda in that) are having at her expense I want to see what Pam fights back with. So far your stories have not had a real Pam prank on Erik or Sookie in progress only in the past and only mentioned. Please let’s see more Pam!

  38. UGH!!! It’s brilliant and so annoying because I want more, more, more!! I absolutely love this story and how both of them are so “innocent” from not knowing the other’s secret!! I can’t believe she didn’t get enough blood ingested! I wanted her to go home with him, but celebrated when she didn’t. Truly brilliant story telling that I only wish I didn’t have to wait. I sincerely hope that this becomes one of the longest stories ever. I’m thinking…minimum of 50 chapters. Especially since they are still keeping their secrets and we are done with chapter 5. All I have to say now is that I AM NOW A BRAT! You have totally turned me into a brat that wants nothing more than to bug you for more story. I might even be turning into a person obsessed just like Erik because all I can think is more story, more story, more story!! 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work and for a fantastic story.

  39. I love it and I can’t get enough of it! I can’t wait for the next chapter. Seriously awesome writing talent! Can’t wait for the next chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Oh Goddess Angelificus! I bow to your greatness and bask in your glory. I am nothing but your humble servant that waits until your next update like junkie craving its next fix.

  41. Nice update! I wonder how much Linda really knows and if she will/has shared it with Sookie. I’m glad Eric didn’t tell anyone else about them since we already know that way leads to trouble. I love that Eric was continually trying to avoid his ‘craving’ for Sookie and it’s already a lost cause. Nice to see him interacting with the family. I am curious though if when they bond they start skipping, since it would be years before any of the others meet. Unless of course there are even more universes where the skipping has been going on even longer.

  42. Soooo love AlPhas. I must check this Page every other hour for updates. Pretty pretty please with an eric on top post again soon.

    Thanks
    Janet

  43. I think Linda’s comments were just vague enough that her knowledge could be interpreted as limited, or well informed. It never occurred to me that Adele may have told her daughter about her origins. And i’m flirting with the idea that Linda’s an empath. I always wondered if Adele suspected the death of her son, and his wife, was no accident.

    I’m curious to see who uses the ‘V’ word first. Will it be Eric, or Sookie? Hell, now it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Linda, or Adele. Eric may have stumbled on the one family where he can’t hide who he is. Of course, as usual, Jason is clueless. He’s such a lovable dolt in this fic. ^_^

    You keep teasing us with the potential disaster of a failed glamour attempt. Is this a red herring? Or will this eventually be how he exposes himself? I’m positively vibrating with anticipation for what’s to come.

    As for the ‘Obsessed’ man. Me thinks, Eric is a pencil and paper away from writing ‘Mr & Mrs Eric Northman’, ‘Sookie Northman’, ‘Mrs Eric Northman’, like a smitten highschool girl! He’s such a Smitten Kitten.

    KC

  44. that was a great update too bad a second one wasn’t waiting in the wings…… I think Linda and Adele know what Erik is……. so many clues. I wonder how long it will be until Erik figures out what Sookie is. I know she is killing him with her scent and when Linda and Jason are near i am sure they smell like a WHOLE complete Fae. Pam giving in was too funny, an avalanche of clothes…. i love this verse thanks for taking us on a wild ride. my best Kristie

  45. Oh, this is so awesome to see Linda as a character! I think she totally has Erik figured out. And I love how she just knows that he and Sookie would be good together. I am so looking forward to the new business venture 🙂

  46. Loved it!!! Hey do you think you are ever going to do a story from the multi-verse where Sookie has been made Vampire? I would love to see that one.

    Thanks,

  47. maybe eric needs to pull a ‘ i’ll show you mine if you show me yours’. linda seems to know, but she could just be talking, i wonder if they know and are waiting for him to ‘out himself’?

  48. Well if Erik needed a distraction he found the right family. This chapter was hilarious. I could just picture Pam scurrying from place to place to get her clothes back. The ending was absolutely great. Poor guy couln’t stand up straight or retract his fangs. He just keeps torchering himself.

  49. Poor Eric ending up with more questions and riddles than answers. I feel actually very sorry for me. I’m looking forward to him unwrapping the riddles and finding out what’s going on. I’ve got a feeling that he and Sookie will be unstoppable once they realise 🙂 Fantastic work as always. It really sucks me into the world you’ve created and grips me completely. Can’t wait for more 🙂

  50. In guessing Bartlett was the unwelcome guest/ghost of Thanksgiving past.

    Linda has figured him out, consciously or unconsciously though? If Linda has his number I’m sure Gran does too.

    Love the PJ party idea. I’m starting to think he’s a glutton for punishment.

  51. Just wanted to say that I love this story!!
    I’ve not been here a while, so now I’m catching up on all your new stuff 🙂

  52. I think the Stackhouse family knows Eric is a vampire….and I can feel poor Eric’s frustration!!….poor baby…this is getting better and better…I’m practically shivering in anticipation for next chapter….Thank you…….

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