The Best Medicine
I stood there, unable to form words…
She’d actually given me her panties?
They sat in my hand, still warm from her body heat and without lifting them, I could smell her traces.
She’d actually given me her panties?
I’d had more than a few (hundreds actually) undergarments shoved at me, ‘accidently’ left in my office and car… mailed to the bar…
Clean and used.
All sizes and colors and styles…
But the idea of Sookie’s panties being surrendered to me with so little effort…
The first pair I’d actually asked for…
Fuck. I was going to be hard all night.
All fucking night.
She’d fixed her lipstick and left our room with a wink before I managed to break the stupor her ‘gift’ had caused.
The wink: her cheeky way of letting me know she enjoyed what she’d done to me.
She was welcome to it.
Finally calmed down, I could hear Sookie complimenting Pam’s jewelry downstairs as I knocked, and entered Adele’s room.
Jason was fighting with his tie, but otherwise looked nothing like a man that has the intellectual capacity of a small rodent. The surprisingly well fitted suit almost served as a costume since he could be mistaken as a professional.
Since Hadley was helping Adele pull back her hair into a modest bun, I took pity on the ‘Special Olympian’.
“Give it to me before you wrinkle it.”
He actually looked grateful as he handed it to me. “I never have a reason to wear one. Our church is really casual so even when I go…”
Adele interrupted. “Which isn’t often enough.”
He groaned, “Even though I don’t go often enough, the pastor is the only guy in a suit.”
I used my own neck, not willing to ‘reach around’, to quickly tie his tie and hand it back to him. “I wear them often enough to know I prefer being… more unfettered.”
Jason slipped his tie over his head, squinting as he tried to think and straighten his collar. It looked like he was in pain. “Last time I wore one… Hell, I guess it was back when Uncle Bartlett took us to get that portrait made, right Gran… I was like 12, 13 I guess.”
Just the mention of the name changed the set of Adele’s shoulders… more so, Hadley visibly twitched and seemed to be doing her best to hide that her fangs had run out. It was the first time I saw even the slightest of similarities between her and Sookie. They shared the same sickened and haunted expression at the thought of the man.
Knowing that Bartlett’s comeuppance was already on the way, and wanting to enjoy a lighter evening, I made an attempt to overlook his mention… “Used to it or not, the suit looks good on you. Paulette did a remarkable job having you fitted.”
He thanked me for the compliment while I pulled the first of Adele’s boxes from the jeweler’s bag on the dresser… Her necklace.
She eyed me carefully as I reached around to clasp the delicate gold chain that played host to an adequate princess cut solitaire pendant. “What. are. you. doing? Like this dress and all the rest of…”
“Hush… I’m just gilding a lily.”
She smiled at me. “Well, thank you. It’s beautiful.”
I couldn’t help myself. I went to the door and called out to Pam, “It’s remarkable! I just gave jewelry to a woman and didn’t have to worry about my safety. I was actually thanked!”
Pam’s ‘go fuck yourself’ and Sookie’s ‘bite me’ was only heard by Hadley and she started laughing. “You’ve got your hands full with those two.”
“Yes, I do.” I was fine with the idea… I’d be happier to have an actual handful of Sookie (or two, maybe a mouthful), but the Sookie ‘sampler’ in my pocket would be fine for now.
I removed the gold chain bracelet from the box and held it out to fasten it. Adele smiled as she studied the charms. A fleur de leis, an open book, a small ghost and a medieval cross…
“Awww, the renaissance cross is my favorite one. Thank you.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “You’re very welcome.”
“Will you take me again next year?”
“Absolutely not. I’ve thought of a way to escape that experience. Next year I will conveniently have planned a trip to Rome for us.”
She gasped. “You will do no such thing! You don’t have to go to the fair.”
“Adele, if you want to go to the renaissance fair, I will accompany you to the renaissance fair. But… if you want history, you’ll get much more of it seeing the Circus Maximus, perhaps even a side trip to Pompeii…”
She actually bit her lip in her attempt to not look excited.
“…Of course, Pam will be but a shadow. She’ll ignore us all to indulge her oniomania at Via del Corso.”
She laughed. “If, I’m only saying ‘if’ we go, you should cancel her credit cards ahead of time and have new ones issued, just not give them to her until she tries to use the lame ones.” Precious. Absolutely priceless.
I started laughing. “You’re brilliant. I’ll have to get you to help me for her birthday. After a couple hundred years, I’m starting to run out of ideas. I gave up last year and just bought her wish list.”
“When is it?”
“You could have a lot of fun buying her shoes and earrings. Anything that comes in pairs… Hide one of them. Like give her a shoe box with one shoe and a riddle to help her find the other one. Or a wallet with a riddle to help her find the matching bag.” Utterly perfect… and timeless… I could do exactly that year after year after year…
Since Hadley was finally done with Adele’s hair, I kissed the mastermind’s forehead. “That’s it. I’m buying more books so that you don’t ever want to go back to Bon Temps.”
We were both still laughing as I handed her earring box to her. Jason had a sudden idea that seemed to take him as much by surprise as the rest of us. “Rice.”
We all stared, waiting for him to clarify if he was hungry or… I was starting to think that ‘rice’ might have actually been a complete thought for him…
He shook his head. “Y’all vampires have great eye sight, right?”
Hadley and I nodded, waiting on the edge of our figurative seats for ‘this’ to have some fruition…
“I had a friend go to some theme park and get a necklace for his girlfriend. Her name was Stephanie. Pretty long name, but somehow this lady managed to fit it on a grain of rice… You could write her scavenger hunt clues on rice and then hide them all over. Hell, you could make her find the different pieces of rice and then unscramble them to find the actual thing she’s looking for… Is that thing about not being able to go into houses without an invite true?”
I nodded, smiling… liking where he was going…
He chuckled. “Then you could give her A shoe with her first piece of rice that leads to the next present and piece of rice… include some folks’ houses… Oooh, I bet you could get a night attendant to let you hide a piece of rice in ‘a car’ at a dealership. That might keep her busy for a while. You could… drill a hole into ‘a pumpkin’ as a hiding place and send her to a pumpkin patch… since her birthday is in October and all.” Then she’d have to ruin her nail polish digging it out.
Adele slapped his chest. “That’s mean… You need to stop it!”
I put my arm over his shoulders and started leading him the door. “Nooo, Adele. He needs a pen and notebook so he can take notes as the ideas come to him…”
While we rode to the palace, I caught myself wondering what squirrels ‘like’.
Jason’s deserved a treat.
I was too amused and decided to get some business out of the way since the ladies were fawning over each other’s appearances and Jason was happily scribbling notes like a child making a wish list. The whole family was proving themselves to be more useful than I ever could have imagined.
Your lack of communication makes me wonder how dedicated you are to your job. If you feel as though you are above a daily status report to the employer that pays you too much as it is, perhaps you should give notice.
Until I have your resignation, your days belong to me. Your errands are as follows:
- There are several houses for sale in my neighborhood. Buy one. It should have no less than 4 bedrooms and occupy one of the larger lots. Pay cash and close immediately. If it has a pool, have a childproof barrier installed. Attend to all of the requisite utilities, including the cable service and a wifi installation.
- Purchase a Lexus RX with all of the options. If it doesn’t already have a GPS system, have one installed. Register it under the name of Paulette Simonette with the DMV. Her relevant information is in my employee files. Leave the SUV in my driveway.
- Purchase an iPhone and add it to my plan.
- Purchase a top of the line laptop and all of the accessories. Leave it on my kitchen counter with the phone.
- Take the ball gags from Pam’s home. Wrap them individually and leave them with the other items on my kitchen counter. I’ll parcel them out as needed at a later date instead.
- Contact Smythe to let him know I’ve hired a new welder and to expect a call from him this week about his employment information. Porter Simonette.
- Collect an assortment of travel guides for Rome, Italy. Include highlighters and Post-It tabs. Gift wrap it and leave it on the desk in the library. DON’T leave it in the kitchen. I’m not amused by the idea of an 82 year old woman’s reaction to inadvertently opening a ball-gag.
- Mrs. Stackhouse will be making a grocery list to be sent to you tomorrow since we will return in the evening. I expect for her list items to be appropriately stored.
I’m losing my patience for you. This is your last warning. I expect daily reports.
I always expect them, even if the only thing you have to report is that you have nothing to fucking report.
If you continue to insist on sucking at your job, then you’ll have to find someone else to suck for.
I’ll provide the knee pads.
What have I told you about being a fucking asshole?
I only interrupted the chatter around me to ask Sookie if she had any chores for Bobby.
She grinned and gently took the phone from me to see if my list made her think of anything.
She gasped immediately. “YOU’RE HAVING HIM HELP… REPLACE HIMSELF!?”
I smiled proudly. “Yes, I am.”
She laughed, “You’re wicked!”
“Thank you. Can you think of anything else for his list?”
“Uh… He should pick up your dry cleaning and replace, or at least dispose of, the rug and couch in your office… oh, and make sure there are plenty of Fangtasia applications for the horde. When Long Shadow dug out the one I used, it didn’t look like there were many left.”
I was typing Sookie’s additions to the list when she thought of something else.
“What about him?”
“You said you were going to call him, right? His ‘guys’ can help audition your prospective bartenders too. I can’t do it by myself. You’d have to pour me into bed when we get home… You should call him tonight before it gets too late. Give him some notice.” It didn’t escape me that she’d referred to returning to my house as getting home… and it finally occurred to me that I knew why I noticed… I enjoyed it. I liked how comfortable she felt with me.
Then… there wasn’t much that I didn’t like about Sookie and hopefully she’d be easily broken of those few inclinations that irritated me… starting with her surprisingly low self worth.
I smiled at her as I sent Bobby’s email and dialed ‘the Colonel’. It only took a moment to arrange to have a few Weres attend the interviews…
Flood actually mentioned that I’d caught him on his way to bed… and that he was surprised that I called him ahead of time.
…And there would be another reason to be appreciative of Sookie… Since my position gives me absolute dominion, I can call any vampire in my area and have them drop everything at a moment’s notice. Even a Packmaster as respected as Flood would have had difficulties gathering his pack with short notice. I’d have thought nothing of calling him when I rose on Thursday night… and the conversation would have gone much differently.
Over the many years I’d been in Sophie-Ann’s service, I’d been to her various palaces hundreds of times. Each time a different page in a colorfully garish uniform would usher me to her for whatever was my purpose. This week, and only this week, our usher had been Andre. Ever since Sophie-Ann discovered the breadth of Sookie’s ability, Sookie had been collected by the Lieutenant. The royal treatment. Tonight was no different.
The usual mockery swathed servants were waiting, flanking the open doors and greeting guests to direct them to the ballroom. But Andre was waiting just inside the entrance and seemingly… just for our party.
He gave a genial nod and directed Hadley to escort Adele and Jason to the ballroom, then nodded to have the rest of us follow him…
Sookie, Pam and I shared a look as Andre closed the doors to the throne room behind us.
“We have company.”
His opening lines tended to be infuriatingly vague… “As in a War Of The Worlds sort of company or a Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner guest?”
He snarled at my flippancy. “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Atop of all of his failures, Bill Compton is a whiner too.”
I snorted. “He called his maker?” Pam started laughing quietly at my shoulder.
“She chartered a flight to get here while she rested. She was here at first dark. Pacing and snapping until the queen could see her.”
“So… he ‘called’. She came. If she were simply in attendance, you wouldn’t feel the need to mention it.”
“She’s angered that we’d be punishing Compton so severely. She’d nearly talked herself into identical circumstances when Mr. Cataliades arrived with my gift.”
“Has she been informed fully?”
“Lorena hasn’t been informed… at all. She was still spouting threats and dropping names when Sophie-Ann and I were distracted. When the queen was done laughing at your note, Lorena was invited to attend this evening and told she’s welcome to have Compton back afterwards… Whose idea was that?”
I gave nods to my partners in crime. “It was a team effort.”
The corners of his mouth turned up slightly before he caught himself. “Nice team. The banana body wash was a nice touch too.”
When we were escorted into the ballroom, it stopped.
In a room with more than 200 vampires, every conversation came to a screeching halt as we were led to be greeted by Sophie-Ann.
Sophie-Ann surprised me, nodding more deeply than I had. She took Sookie’s hand, smiling brightly. “You look amazing tonight, my little friend.”
I could feel Sookie’s blush. “Thank you majesty, but Pam did all of the work. I love your dress. That purple makes your eyes sparkle.”
Sophie-Ann’s smile became a smirk. “I’m flattered, but I just wore what my maid left out for me. I wasn’t in a preening mood this evening.”
Sookie leaned forward, closer than I was comfortable with and whispered, “I’m very sorry for your loss.”
The queen leaned away slightly, her smile diminished but still in place. “Yes, well… While I appreciate your condolences, it’s all for the best. Yes?”
I worried for a second, feeling the challenging echo that Sookie usually experiences just before she tells me ‘bullshit’, but she nodded rather than mention how upset the queen was.
Once released by the queen to enjoy the reception, we joined the table where Adele and Jason had already been seated.
Jason had leaned over to ask if there were any humans in the room. I had to explain that the pets and donors were enjoying their own party in another room. I chose to gloss over that they were specifically in the ‘dining room’. There were only a handful of ‘living’ beings in the room including the Stackhouses and a few of the more influential Weres… counting Quinn, who was actively leering at Sookie.
Since Jason was seated across from me, his sudden, braying laughter took me by surprise.
When I turned around to see the cause, I found my own amusement nearly impossible to curtail. I know I was smiling, but it wasn’t possible to dial myself back any further.
Wybert was standing just a few feet away from me in a suit, with the most spectacular sight…
When Pam noticed her handy work, she howled with laughter while she pulled her cell phone out to take a picture…
Her wardrobe choices for him, while inspired, hadn’t been seen in full context.
White. All white. From his platform, knee high boots… to his fishnets and lace garter and panties… beyond his vinyl corset to his tiara and lacy veil… It was outstanding!
And as the laughter at our table spread through the room like a contagion, I couldn’t help myself… “Bill, I was under the impression that such parades were held in June.”
He ran his fangs out and leaned over, getting pulled back into place by the hulking Saxon behind him. “I will…” The sound of Wybert’s sword being unsheathed ended his attempt to threaten me. “…This is an example of what happens when one embarrasses the Queen of Louisiana or challenges her Sheriff. I am an insufferable idiot and I’ll be your server for the evening.”
Wybert grumbled through his grin, “Do it.”
After Bill rolled his eyes, he reluctantly curtsied. It was monumentally hilarious and a special touch that I’d have to thank Andre for later.
I looked over to Adele, who was actively crying through her laughing fit. “Adele, would you care for a drink?”
“Oh boy, would I!? I’ll need something to settle me down. If I keep on like this, my heart will give up… I’ll just have a glass of red wine, please.”
I gave Jason a nod so that he could take his turn.
He stopped laughing enough to scowl at Bill. “I’ll have a whiskey and coke, but only if the bottles don’t mind!” Pam actually congratulated him for his resentful dig by patting his knee.
When I looked to Sookie, for her drink order, she started shaking her head. “Don’t look at me. I’m not asking him for a damn thing… God only knows what kind of tip he’d want.”
It just kept getting better.
When Bill turned to leave, I called him back. “Bill, are you not going to take Pam’s drink order, or mine?”
He barked, “Why would you need…”
Wybert growled, reminding him of his script.
“What can I get for you Miss Ravenscroft?”
The humorless fuck seemed confused. “Excuse me?”
Pam rolled her eyes and huffed. “You. Can. Get. Bent. I understand it’s called a penile fracture formally, but you can just get bent.”
He still didn’t seem to get the joke that even Wybert grasped and turned to me. “The bar doesn’t have Sookie on tap like you do, so what would you like?”
I smiled at him. I won. “I can’t put my finger on why, but I’m in the mood for something fruity. I’ll have a Banana Colada.”
“Why would you…? Fuck you.”
“Heavy on the bananas.”
Pam laughed, “Oooh, that sounds divine… I’ll have one too.”
He stared at me for a moment; everything he wanted to say was no doubt hitting a dam of threats/promises regarding his behavior.
He turned to leave, but Wybert grumbled again for him to ‘do it’.
I turned, expecting him to curtsy again…
But when Bill wiggled his bunny tail ass plug before stomping away, I finally let myself laugh… like I could hold back anymore.
Sookie gasped, “Pam! Is that… I thought that was for you!”
Pam laughed as she started sending the image of Bill’s shame to every vampire in her phone’s memory, including mine.
The message read: ‘Bill Compton challenged Eric Northman. Any questions?’
When the small band began playing something less somber than a funeral march, I invited Sookie to the dance floor and Jason surprised us all by being a gentleman and leading his grandmother to ‘cut a rug’.
Sookie smiled, as I put my arm behind her back and took her hand in mine. “This is fun.”
“Sookie, you’re a walking meal for 200 inhabitants of this room, and you’re having fun?”
“I’ve never been in a room this full and not gotten a migraine from keeping my shields up, so yeah, I’m having fun… You know, curiosity is getting to me, right?”
“I do. What is it in regards to?”
“Are you sure you want to know?”
“I’ll probably regret it, but I can’t help myself.”
“Pam likened Bill to a gorilla and then we amused ourselves at his expense during his speech. I arranged to have bananas delivered to him here, knowing that he’d be reporting to Sophie-Ann. Andre used them in his punishment…”
She giggled. “That’s enough. No more details.”
“Are you sure? I think it’s funny that Andre used them to…”
“Eh, some things are better left to the imagination.” So says the little human whose hot little panties were burning a hole in my pocket… Imagination can be a bad thing too…
I leaned into her ear. “And some things are better while spread out and bared to be enjoyed.”
She hummed against my neck. “We aren’t talking about bananas anymore, are we?”
I pulled her closer. “I’m certainly not.”
“Then we’re talking about when you finally get me out of this dress.”
“Since that’s all you’re wearing, yes.”
“So we’re talking about when we can sneak away and I can wrap my warm legs around your cool waist. When you can make me moan and pant and beg for more until you bite me and we both fall apart at the seams. Is that what we’re talking about?” I was at a loss for words, but that was indeed what I was looking forward to.
I growled against her neck, my fangs bared and waiting, begging for the escape lingering just under her skin. “If you continue, I might not wait.”
She whimpered, “I wouldn’t mention it at all if I wasn’t dying to be in bed with you… have you on top of me…” I wanted to hear more… I needed to get her back to the house…
I groaned, “Later.”
Her chuckle vibrated the side of my neck. “You started it.”
“You gave me your panties. You started it.”
“Hmmm. You asked for them.”
“Is that all it takes?”
“Then why don’t we find a quiet room somewhere?”
She giggled again, letting her warmth cascade over my neck. “Don’t be greedy. I’m not quite ready for the public thing yet.”
“It’s in my nature to be greedy… and can I feel how much you want to.”
She breathed, “Want to what?”
The temptation to answer her was too much. “How much you want to fuck. How much you want to feel me slide into you, push into you, ride you… I can feel it. You want to feel me inside of you, feel my mouth on those fabulous breasts of yours… You want it so much that I can almost feel your sweat against my skin. You want it.”
I was answered with nothing more than the heat of her flush and her attempts to calm her ragged breaths until the song was over.
…But neither of us had unruffled ourselves enough.
As I led Sookie back to the table where Pam was still gleefully texting like a teen mall crawler, we were headed off.
Lorena stepped directly in my path and seemed to be sizing me up…
“I understand that you’re the reason for my child’s humiliation.”
“If you say so.” I tried to sidestep, tucking Sookie behind me, but Lorena didn’t have enough sense to back down.
“I’m not amused by his punishment. I should have been called to handle it myself.”
“And what, pray tell, did he tell you he’s being punished for?”
“For claiming your inbred blood bag over there.”
“Then you should torture him until he reveals his full list of imprudent decisions since he arrived in Louisiana. Excuse us.”
“How dare you tell me how to punish my own child!”
“How dare I? Your child is obviously no more ready to be weaned from your tit than he was the day he rose. His punishment is a price he is paying for your failure as his maker.”
Her move was sudden and meant to intimidate me, but her instant appearance less than an inch from my face with her fangs drawn was the last straw.
I used a handful of her dark hair to put her into the floor face down, grinding my knee into her back and uncaring of the scene it caused.
“Where are you, Lorena?”
“Not in area 5.” The insane whore had no idea of what a fool she was making of herself… and advertizing it, no less. And it only proved that her ‘bad apple’ didn’t fall far from the tree.
I pressed her face further into the floor, enjoying the crunch that was her cheekbone. “Where are you?”
She grunted trying to free herself. “Louisiana.”
“Whose home are you in?”
“Your child’s punishment has occurred under this roof. Not mine. Are you questioning the queen?”
The room had gone still and for a moment… I thought that it had been Sookie to say my name, until I heard it the second time…
It had been the queen.
“Bring her to me, if you don’t mind Sheriff.”
Lorena’s resistance was a futile battle that resulted in a large clump of Lorena’s hair staying in my hand when I put her to her knees in front of the queen, but she was delivered in spite of her best efforts.
She was trembling on her knees as the Bert’s flanked my position behind Lorena with their swords drawn and resting on her shoulders.
Not only was I called to stand behind the queen, but Sookie was as well…
Sophie-Ann had only taken a moment to decide on combining Lorena’s open correction with her declaration of my ownership of the Stackhouse family and extended royal protection… and why…
The queen described in great detail what Bill had planned and continued to explain Sookie’s aid over the past few days, his eyes never leaving Sookie as the Queen made his idiocy public… and further sentenced Bill and Lorena to a week’s vacation with Andre and their joint banishment from her realm once their torture was over. But by then, word would have spread to every kingdom in North America… Their only recourse would be for them to take asylum in Nevada, Arkansas or on another continent.
As Andre and the Berts escorted Lorena and the knob back to his little dungeon, Pam sped past us to catch up to them.
When I pulled Sookie’s chair out, she sat gracelessly and breathed out a deep sigh.
Instead of asking about her mood I probed, finding a surprising quantity of lust remaining from our ‘discussion’ on the dance floor as well as how nerve-racking her presentation into vampire society had been.
She sat quietly and sipped from the monstrosity of a drink I’d ordered and subsequently moved on to relieve Pam of hers just before she returned much pinker than she had been before.
Pam joined the table wearing a wicked smirk and gingerly setting a paper bag under the table. “I didn’t want anything to happen to his outfit. I plan on mounting it to the wall in Fangtasia.”
Sookie giggled. “You should have it put in a shadowbox… include a picture of him in it… You know, so new arrivals get the hint.”
Pam cackled. “I like the way you think, my little friend.”
Sookie smiled impishly behind the bright pink straw of her pilfered drink… and then the onslaught began…
Over the next hour, nearly every vampire in the room approached our table…
Some to show appreciation for Sookie’s service…
Some to kiss my ass in an attempt to gain Sookie’s help for whatever reason…
One vampire just seemed to want to be close enough to Sookie to smell her… He was quickly bullied away with a simple use of fangs.
Our last visitors were Andre and Hadley. He asked the table to follow him.
He led us to the main entrance to the palace where a car was waiting.
Sookie turned to him with a quizzical grin. “Andre, are you throwing us out?”
“No Miss Stackhouse, Hadley was concerned that Mrs. Stackhouse might be tired. I was sent to rescue you all from the networking horde that was raining down on your table.”
“Aww. I could hug you.”
He put his hand up. “Let’s not get carried away. It was Sophie-Ann’s idea.”
She stepped back and gave him a faux stern expression. “Of course. Then tell her we are very grateful for the exit strategy.”
“Certainly. She wants to see you off tomorrow evening. We’ll be picking you up for the airport at 10 if that’s acceptable.”
I gave him a grateful nod. “Most welcome. Thank you.”
Once back at the house, and my sights set on the door at the top of the stairs… Sookie’s hands were already tugging me towards our objective when Hadley asked for a moment alone with me. Fuuuuuck!
All I wanted was to spend the next few hours with Sookie…
I had less than a good humor about me when we stepped outside and started walking down the street.
“What’s this about?”
“I’m sorry. I know you’re not in the mood to deal with me…”
“Right. I know I don’t have the right to ask… You’ve already done so much… but with everything that’s happened over the last couple of weeks I’ve started to worry… I talked to Sophie-Ann about it and everything, so…”
“Hadley, you’re rambling.”
She stopped walking to face me and took a deep and unnecessary breath. “Can you watch out for my son?” Excuse me?
“You have a son? Why is it that your family doesn’t know?”
“I don’t know what you’ve been told, but the last time I saw them, I was in a bad way. I was a… a junkie.”
“That, I know. Continue.”
“I went on like that for another year or so before I started missing them again. I didn’t want to go home all fucked up like I had the last time so I got into a program and met a guy when I got a straight job. I loved him. He was so good to me… But I’d told him about my past with drugs and… he watched me like a hawk and it only made me want to go back to it. Rebellious streak, I guess.”
“That seems to be a family trait.”
She nodded. “Anyway, Remy and me had a fight and I actually went out to try and find… anything… But I stopped myself and just decided to leave him… I ended up meeting Sophie-Ann through a friend that was a pet of Waldo’s. I found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant… I was Sophie-Ann’s pet and we weren’t planning on me coming over until… the delivery went bad.”
“So you have a three year old son. Why would you think he needs my protection?”
She started crying and tried in vain to collect herself. Finally she choked, “I think he’s like Sookie.” Uh oh.
“Why is that?”
“Andre and the Berts are the only ones who know… Andre has been checking on him with Remy and glamouring him to forget the visits, but… Remy said that Hunter had another sitter quit because… well, as soon as he could talk he would finish sentences and answer questions that didn’t get asked out loud.”
“You think he might eventually be in danger?”
She nodded. “The thing is… I confronted Sophie-Ann about her real reason for sending the knob to scope out my family. She… She wanted to see if my mom would be open to raising Hunter since Gran could guide her after raising Sookie. Sookie’s ability just sweetened the pot for her. The vampire acceptance thing is a plus because I might be able to visit him once in a while, you know as extended family… but… with Mommy gone… I… I’d want Sookie to raise him. I know how miserable and alone she was growing up. I don’t want that for him.” I couldn’t think of a single thing to say…
“What a twist.”
She snorted out a laugh past her tears, but kept her pleading gaze on me.
“Hadley, do you know where these gifts come from? Do you have any special abilities?”
“I’m like Jason… I just have the allure…” I was fucking right.
She nodded. “Andre tasted it right away. We went over and over the family tree. No clue where it came from. The only thing we know is that it isn’t from Gran because she’d smell like Fae if she were 2 generations more Fae than us. And with everyone else being gone… You know.” That was not a conversation I was interested in starting at the moment.
“So, you want my pet to raise your telepathic son. How do you propose to get him away from your husband?”
“Andre is planning on glamouring him. That’s his thing. It’s more than the usual thing. More like brainwashing. And Mr. C will push through the adoption as fast as he can.”
“And if Sookie and Adele agree to raise him you intend to visit as what? the cousin?”
She giggled. “I guess that would kind of make you like a stepfather, but yeah. I know Sookie’s going to be traveling and stuff a lot, especially after the way your ass got spit-shined after the announcement… But he’s not in school yet and Sookie might think it’s better to home school him anyway. She seems so much happier… You know, with you… She doesn’t have to hide her gift. Hell, Jason and I already talked about what assholes we were to her because we didn’t even understand… can you imagine how much happier she’d have been if she knew there were others like her?”
I grumbled. “A Baptist on Sunday.”
“That’s what Sookie tells me when I jokingly try to give her a guilt trip.”
She giggled, “Oh, I wasn’t trying, but is it working?”
I chuckled. It was all I could do to not pull my hair out, wait for it to grow back and pull it out again. “And the queen is accepting of this?”
She nodded and started walking back towards the house. “Only if you are. She knows that it will be a strain on you, your relationship with Sookie. She can tell that she’s more than a pet to you like I was for her.”
“I’ll talk to them.”
“Not tonight!” She looked as though she wanted to be as far from the conversation as possible.
“No. I have other plans for the rest of the night. I’ll speak to them about it on the plane tomorrow. Everything is bolted down.”
She laughed for a moment before she became more serious. “I’m sorry…”
For a second, I thought that she should be. She should be very sorry… but I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t do anything to keep Sookie safe. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t bother me that her childhood was described with heavy eyes. I would do something to undo that for Sookie if I was capable… and this was Hadley’s actual child.
She took my silence as something other than just casual consideration and continued, “…I know it’ll put off turning her and all… I’ll understand, so will Sophie-Ann if you don’t want to get involved in this.”
“At the moment, it wouldn’t affect our plans.”
“You aren’t turning her?”
“We’re bonding. She’s still only considering being turned. It would only happen if there was no other option.”
“So… you were being quiet. Are you thinking that they won’t want to or that you don’t want the complication?”
“I’m just thinking. I don’t believe you have to worry about them wanting to take him in.”
“Then you don’t want to deal with a baby.”
“It’s not that. In fact, with our hours, their care of him wouldn’t affect me much at all. I was already planning on insisting that Adele travel with us for Sookie’s work. Using sightseeing as a snare to not leave her alone. With Sookie, Adele and the guard, a child wouldn’t make much impact. One more suitcase.”
“So… You aren’t against the idea?”
“Even if I were, it still makes sense to have him in the care of someone who knows too well how to care for him.” This may be the first time I would regret being pragmatic.
“He might end up liking you… a quiet mind and all.”
“Wouldn’t that be laughable.”
“Not really. You seem like you’re just as good at putting bitches into the floor as you are at making old ladies smile. Besides… you’re already dealing with Jason just fine. He’s got the mind of a three year old.”
As I trudged up the stairs, I found myself concerned over Sookie’s reaction… the instant pity she would feel for the child who would be all but stolen from his father so that he could be raised by someone who knows about his ability enough to nurture it rather than stifle it.
Adele would most likely have nothing but happiness with the idea of being a great grandmother… Certainly something she wouldn’t normally have a claim to… since Sookie is mine and a condom is the most complicated thing Jason had mastered the use of.
When I entered our room, it was still.
Sookie wasn’t in the bed, but there was an all too enticing glow sneaking through the crack left in the bathroom’s doorway…
Scented steam wafting into my senses…
The moment I stepped in, Sookie’s peaceful face was swept with a broad smile. She’d lit dozens of tiny candles and spread them over every surface of the room.
Her eyes still closed.
Her arms on the sides of the tub… the only thing that remained on her body was the ring she’d asked me to not buy.
The water’s surface was covered with vanilla scented bubbles.
“What took you so long?”
“Did you miss me?”
“Enough that you might have a hissy fit on your hands if you don’t hurry up and get in here with me.”
Oh. Well, far be it from me…
It took me no time to shed my clothes and step into the tub…
But I took my time lowering myself into the water…
Sookie turned to face me, nibbling my thighs…
Running her tongue along my dick…
Nipping at my stomach…
Biting each of my nipples…
Each in turn as they passed her mouth as though they were being served to her.
Before I was completely settled, Sookie was on her knees between my legs…
Bubbles sliding down her body…
She hovered over me to nuzzle her nose along the rim of my ear as she kissed the side of my neck…
I groaned, only fighting to not take over.
She pulled away, but shifted her legs to straddle me. She hummed, reaching into the water to start stroking me.
She smirked when my fangs ran out, leaning to me again to grab my bottom lip between her teeth.
Sookie’s kiss only ended when her body shuddered as she pushed herself down around me…
Twisting her hips…
Grinding and pumping…
Letting go of my shoulders to sit back and use the sides of the tub as her brace…
Until she moaned and cursed through her finish…
I moved her, resting her on the side of the tub, pinning her to the wall…
Pushing into her…
She was still throbbing, gasping, begging…
Digging her nails into my shoulders so deep, I could feel blood running down my back…
Pushing harder, rougher…
Waiting until the last minute and sinking my teeth into her neck…
And coming from just the taste of her.
Laying back in the tub, she curled up against my chest while she calmed.
She eventually became so still that I thought she might have gone to sleep.
I tested her, running a finger up her spine.
She wiggled and gave a hum. “I’m awake.”
“I was just wondering.”
She giggled. “Eric?”
“Yes. You, ya big butthead.”
I chuckled at her… and that no one else would ever get away with calling me a ‘butthead’. “What can I do for you?”
“You know how I feel about you, right? I mean… because you feel my feelings.”
I started stroking her back and she laced her fingers into my other hand to play with my ring. “I believe so.”
“I love you, right? I mean… I’m pretty sure I do.”
“If you’re ‘pretty sure’ then why ask me?”
“Because I don’t know. I mean… I wouldn’t know.”
“We seem to be on a level playing field, Sookie. I wouldn’t know either.”
She sat up slowly, not releasing my hand. “I… I’m really pretty sure I love you.”
Her eyes were locked on mine and it felt as though she was pushing her emotions to me to scrutinize.
Peace. Comfort. Trust. Passion… most importantly, most powerfully was affection.
Affection in volumes… Enough to drown in.
“I’m really pretty sure that you love me too.”
“What about you? You treat me like you love me… I don’t want to push you, but… I’m just curious.”
“I can feel that too…”
She stared, simply waiting. And I began picking apart all of the emotions I had for her… Thinking of the long list of things that I love about her and what she does to me… Trying to imagine what I wouldn’t do to keep her safe and content and coming up with nothing… Remembering what my existence was like before her and loathing the emptiness caused by imagining ‘life’ without her now…
“…Sookie, I’m really pretty sure that I love you too.”
She barely had the chance to smile at my confession before we heard a muffled ‘I knew it!’ through the bathroom wall.
“Sookie, I hope you aren’t attached to Pam. I’m going to kill her.”
She leaned over to me, brushing her lips against mine as she spoke. “No, you won’t.”
I growled, “I might.”
“Not if you’re too busy.” She pressed her lips into mine, pulling my hand around her waist.
Her mouth started to wander down my neck… “Sookie, do you have any fears about having a blood bond with me?”
She continued, only mumbling an ‘uh-uh’ against me.
“It’s permanent. It would fade over time if we stop exchanging blood, but it would always be there.”
She purred, not letting up. “Why would we stop?”
“Are you sure?”
Sookie breathed, “Positive.”
She dragged her teeth, causing a shudder. “Are you sure?”
I pulled her hand from my chest and held her wrist to my mouth, feeling her pulse pound against my lips… “I’m certain.”
When I felt her take her first swallow, I took her arm…
And just as she’d said, we came apart at the seams.