Chapter 24: Hard Landing

Bored To Death

Chapter 24

Hard Landing

**

After the way Sookie had ‘ordered’ me to stop my attempt to calm her down earlier, I had more fun than I should have making her beg to be soothed during the landing.

Laughingly, Pam did have to glamour Jason so that he would stay in his seat instead of pacing frantically… He actually thanked her earnestly once the plane touched down.

Sookie and I both had messages waiting. Our cell phones were almost frantic by the time Sookie was calm enough to let go of me to grab them from her purse.

As suspected, Sookie was the topic of every one of the voicemails (by then numbering in the 30s). The messages were annoyingly trite and a few were duplicates from the emails I’d already answered and/or their own voicemails… Something needed to give. There was no way I’d ever get anything done if I was constantly on the phone acting as Sookie’s booking agent.

I had to remind myself that this was a phase. That Sookie’s popularity would die down to a point… at least once word spreads as to arrangements… once we establish a system, that is.

Sookie had quietly listened to her messages and put her phone away, but as she sat waiting for me to be done I could feel her irritation… for lack of a better way to describe the feeling, it was like sandpaper under my skin.

**

The ride back to the house was no better.

Whatever it was that she found so irksome wasn’t something she wanted to talk about. She took our suitcases directly down to our room to unpack and she didn’t need to say that she wanted to be alone. Even without the bond her body language would have said it all.

Once Pam took her leave, Adele and I gave Jason a tour of the house and she jokingly referred to the library as ‘her room’ and practically ran to the desk to peruse the new additions. Giddy is the only way to describe her as she gasped before reading each title… and she’d almost overlooked the gift basket on the side table.

“What is that?”

“How am I supposed to know? You were in there more recently than I was.”

She resisted the urge to declare ‘horse puckey’ and went to the basket to begin peeling away the cellophane… the sound made Jason and me cringe. When she began inspecting the contents, she gasped. “You were serious!”

“Of course I was. If there’s somewhere higher on your list, just let me know.”

She snorted. “What could be higher on a history buff’s list than Rome?”

“That depends… Kiev, Edinburgh, London, Geneva, Tokyo, Brussells… We’ll need to plan for overseas trips, but I’m sure you’ll have no shortage of domestic trips…”

She interrupted me with another gasp, yanking a book out from under the basket to clutch to her chest. “That’s it. Let’s go.”

I chuckled at her. “Do we have a last minute date?”

“You bet! Let’s show this boy where to find the TV so he’ll be out of my hair.”

Jason scoffed. “Oh! That’s real nice, Gran!”

She took my arm and led me into the hall. “Oh, hush boy! Don’t you have a coma to recover from?”

**

Once Adele’s bag was in her actual room and Jason had been assigned his own (and had the chance to gape at the entertainment center until he was tutored on how to use it), I went to the kitchen to deal with the mountain of items left on the counter.

The shopping bag full of ball gags went to the trunk of my car right away and I laughed to myself when I came into the kitchen to hear Adele turning pages in the library.

I leafed through the information about the available properties and suffered my own annoyance that all three houses were built from the same plans. The one and only difference being that one of them had wall between the kitchen and dining area and the others didn’t. Bobby had wasted a fucking day over drywall. Lazy idiot.

Grabbing the boxes containing Paulette’s laptop and phone, I went downstairs hoping that Sookie was willing to talk even though her mood hadn’t improved.

I stood in the door way watching her take item after item out of her bag and hang them next to mine.

“You’re no less irritated, but are you at least ready to talk about it?”

She huffed, only making eye contact with me for a moment before putting herself back to work. “Did you hear the message from Sam?”

“I heard his voice to know he called, but I was concentrating on my messages. What did he want?”

“He was returning my call. ‘We need to talk’. That’s it. He sounded like he was bracing himself, like he was annoyed to call me.”

“You can’t be upset that you might be fired from a job you were about to quit.”

“Yes I can.”

I put my armful down on my desk and went to stand next to her. “That doesn’t make any sense to me. Explain it.”

“Arlene has 2 kids and is constantly calling in sick at the last minute to stay home with them. Holly has a kid and barely ever works nights. Poor Terry can barely bartend because of his PTSD… He can understand, and forgive, and work with them…”

“But he doesn’t seem to be accepting of your special circumstances.”

“No he doesn’t. Not at all… I mean he’s known about the mind reading thing all along and I’ve even used it around the bar to help out… He would’ve known that there would be better stuff for me to do with it than keeping drunks from fighting. I’d be happy for him if he figured out a way to be…”

“Sniffing luggage at the airport?”

She giggled. “Stop that… It’s not fair.”

“If his plan is to fire you, then what do you want to do about it?”

“I want to go tell him that I’m quitting and why. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of firing me for being with you. We both know that that’s his reason.”

“You want to go out to Bon Temps tonight? After traveling and while your nerves are still raw from the news of Hunter?”

“Hadley.”

“What about her?”

“I’m pissed about Hadley. I can’t blame Hunter that his mother is a self serving twit… And yes. I want to go out there and get this over with. Do you mind?” Do I mind? I had other plans for the evening, but if her mood didn’t improve, I wasn’t going to get to enjoy myself anyway…

“Should we take Jason back to his house since we’ll be out there?”

She grinned and stretched up to kiss me. “No. You still haven’t beaten him up yet.”

“Beaten him?”

“You’re the butthead to set up an accident bad enough to put him in a coma. He’s not going to escape that without some bruises. He needs a shiner, maybe even a split lip or someone’s gonna call bullshit.”

“You want me to attack your brother.”

“Nope. Just slug him a couple of times.”

I snorted at her. “I’m not sure that I’ve ever found myself in this situation.”

She giggled. “That must be nice. To be alive for so long and still have some surprises.”

She had no idea.

**

After leaving Sookie’s phone with Adele and letting her know we’d be leaving, we left for Bon Temps with only an hour left before Merlotte’s would close.

Most of the ride was quiet once Sookie gave up trying to find a radio station that wasn’t playing ‘crap, crap, crap and more crap’.

She sat with her legs crossed and her hands wedged between her thighs and staring blankly out of the window.

I left her to her thoughts until she finally resolved to say something. “Do you like kids?” That’s what I was afraid she was thinking about.

“I don’t like humans as a rule.”

“You know what I mean. How much… I mean… I love that you like Gran and you’re getting used to Jason now that you know how to deal with him… I’d hate to have to keep that part of my life separate.”

“And I know you know what I meant. Sookie, I find small humans no more or less annoying than the adults. Your family sets a precedent. Having a child around will take some getting used to, but we’ll adapt. It’s what we do.”

“We’ll have a lot of details to work out.”

“Probably less than you think.”

“I’m going to need to go shopping to set up his room… You’ll have to come out to Bon Temps to see me now.”

“Why is that?”

She huffed, “I can’t tote him all over creation in the middle of the night and I can’t be constantly leaving him with Gran.” I didn’t have to tell her how disappointed I was. Not only could she feel it, but she was reciprocating it.

“It’s one of the things that we’ll have to figure out, but we will figure it out.”

“Did she say when?”

“There’s nothing pressing at the moment.”

“I suppose we should wait and see how things go as far as urgent stuff getting dropped in our laps. Maybe in the next few weeks we’ll have the time to settle him in.”

“Sookie, things change. There’s rarely anything that can be done to prevent it.”

“I get that, but you’re the first positive change in my life… I’m scared.”

“Of what exactly?”

“That I’ll screw up and do the wrong thing… All the wrong things… I didn’t exactly have a great mother.”

“I’ll give you that, but you had an amazing woman take care of you when your mother died.”

She sighed heavily. “I wonder if this is what normal women feel like when they find out that they’re expecting. The anxiety and worry… the onslaught of things to plan for.” Most women don’t find out that they’re inheriting a telepathic toddler from their recently turned vampire cousin, but I suppose I could almost understand how overwhelmed she could be.

“We need Pam.”

She giggled which is exactly what I was hoping for. “Why do we need Pam? You usually want her to stay out of this kind of thing.”

“She’s obsessed with Dear Abbey. She could actually have something to offer on the subject.”

“Dear Abbey?”

“And any ‘reality’ based TV show. She’s a slave to pop culture as much as fashion. She glamours Ginger to watch Big Brother so that she has someone with whom to talk about it.”

She was still laughing. “You changed the subject.”

“You don’t seem to mind.”

“I don’t guess I do.”

**

When we stopped in front of Merlotte’s she removed her seat belt, but stayed in her seat staring at the building. “It feels weird to park out front.”

“Do you have a plan?”

“He’s going to shit himself for a few minutes when he smells you on me… Hopefully he’ll settle down enough to listen.”

“How much do you plan on telling him?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

“Flying by the seat of your pants?” I’d feel infinitely better if she had a plan.

She took a deep breath and pushed her door open. “Thank God I improvise well.”

I’d only cracked the door for her when I saw Sam standing behind the bar filling a pitcher of beer, but the sodden yahoo approaching Sookie had the bulk of my attention.

I immediately put myself in between Sookie and the drunkard.

I felt Sookie’s hands go to my sides from behind. “Eric, he’s fine. This is Catfish. He’s Jason’s boss.”

The redneck frowned at me and balked with a hiccup. “I known Sookie since she’s knee high. I ain’t gonna hurt her, mister.” Even if he tried, he wasn’t moving fast enough that she couldn’t defend herself.

She slid her hand into mine and stepped out from behind me. “Hey Catfish.”

His eyes darted back and forth between the two of us, obviously threatened by me. “Hey. How’s Jas? I can’t get that hospital to let me know how he’s doing.”

She used her free hand to pat his shoulder. “He’s on the mend… We were on vacation in New Orleans when we got the call. When he came to, we brought him home. Gran’s tending to him now out at Eric’s place. He’ll be back to work in no time.”

He chuckled, “If that lady’s taking care of him, there’s no doubt a’ that. You let him know we’ve been worried about him… Did y’all hear about Rene?”

Sookie shook her head. “No. Is he alright?” Nice lie.

“Dunno… he got picked up by Shreveport cops… they connected him to those killings. Poor Arlene don’t know whether to shit or go blind.”

“Oh, God! I bet. Is she working tonight?”

“She got to crying earlier when the news mentioned it, so Sam sent her home since it’s slowing down.”

“Wow… The first vacation I ever take and I missed a lot. Is that it?”

“Yeah. I guess. I bet you already knew about that big vamp scaring that Compton guy out of town, right?”

She smiled up at me. “Yeah. I was there. Bill grabbed me and talked nasty about Gran. Eric was just watching out for us.”

“No shit. Huh… So what did y’all do in new Orleans?”

“Just a bit of R&R… We went on one of those haunted trails. We had a good time.”

**

Once she’d gotten the ‘gossip’, she managed to slide away from ‘Catfish’ to go towards the bar, waving to several of the patrons on our way. She sat on the stool across from Sam’s irritable stare so I sat next to her. His pissy snarl was shifted to focus on me.

“What are you doing here?”

She started, “Sam, you…”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

Her irritation was back and she didn’t hesitate to grab a pretzel from the bowl on the bar to throw one to bounce it off of his face. “I’m talking to you though.”

“Are you not allowed to come here without supervision?”

“I asked him to bring me. Should I have left him in the car with a window cracked? Don’t be an ass.”

“What am I supposed to think?”

“I don’t really care since you’re being so high and mighty. I’m not going to talk to you at all when you’ve got a hair across your ass. I’ll take a coke and then you can pout in your office until you settle down.”

“What? No true blood for…”

She threw the whole bowl at him this time and the shocked look on his face was priceless. “He’s fine. Coke. Count to ten. Talk. That’s how it’s going to go if you want to talk to me at all.”

He stared at her while he filled her glass and set it in front of her before disappearing down the back hallway.

I leaned over to her ear and whispered, “I’m proud of you for standing up to him, but if you keep throwing things I might succumb to a laughing fit.”

She giggled, leaning towards me. “Just let me do the talking as long as you can. The last thing I’m in the mood for is more accusations that you control me.”

I put my mouth closer to her ear. “Let you do the talking?”

She put her finger to my lips and licked her own. “I’ll figure out a way to repay the favor.”

“You’re asking for a sizable favor.”

“I’m sure we can come up with something.”

As much fun as I was having with our back and forth, Sam decided to return from the rear of the bar… “No promises, but I’ll play along for a while.”

She kissed my cheek before I peeled away from her side to rest my elbows on the bar. “Thank you.”

**

She scowled at Sam. “That was fast. Did you take a chill pill?”

“Why did you come out here? You could have just called instead of bringing him into my place.”

“You don’t even know him. What could you possibly have against him?”

“Oh… I guess I shouldn’t have anything against someone like him using you.”

“Fine. You have a chip on your shoulder with vampires. Be a bigot…”

“I’m not a bigot.”

She chuckled at him wryly and focused on her drink for a moment. “When we walked in the first thing you thought was ‘like dealing with poor Arlene isn’t enough, now I have to put up with this shit’. So tell me, Sam, now that you’ve personally known a human serial killer, are you going to discourage all women from dating humans?” Beautiful point.

“You know damn good and well that all humans aren’t…”

She cut him off. “Did you call me back to tell me how stupid I am for being his?”

“No… I called you back so… RINGS!?

Sookie ignored the attention his outburst caused. “Have you always been distracted by shiny stuff. Damn! Would you focus?”

“Are you married?” He was still staring at my ring and the temptation to raise my hand just to see if his eyes would follow it was unbearable.

“Might as well be. Would you knock it off? I want to get home sometime tonight.”

“You’re…”

“Sam! My Christ in heaven! Why did you call me?”

“I was going to tell you that I don’t want fangbangers…”

“Dawn was technically a fangbanger, but since you didn’t know until after she died, you were fine that she was just a slut.”

“She also never brought vampires into my bar.”

“I want the record to show that you are the one causing a ruckus at this point. Even when Bill was in here he minded his own damn business.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Fine. Whatever. I came out here to tell you that I’m quitting anyway. You need to replace me.”

“You’re quitting!?” More attention… The 14 customers left in the bar were watching with more interest than I was comfortable with.

“Yeah Sam, I am.”

“He’s making you quit?”

“No.”

“You’re trying to tell me that he’s fine letting you work for… someone like me?”

“No. He doesn’t want me working here and doing my other job, but I’m doing this on my own.”

“You realize that he can make you, right? Without you even knowing it.”

She snorted at him. “No. He can’t.”

“Sookie…”

“He can’t… no more than he’d have to wait for an invitation into your house. It’s a side effect of my condition.”

“Oh, well doesn’t that just take the cake. Here I am, worried that you’re glamoured and it turns out that you’re just brainless enough to want to be with him!”

“I’m not interested in being insulted. I only came out here to tell you in person that I won’t be working here anymore.”

“So what is this fabulous new job?” He was practically dripping with distain.

“I’ll be getting paid to do what humans always treated me like a freak for.”

“Seriously? And you trust them?”

“Not all of them, but I trust Eric to keep me safe.”

“What the hell is wrong with you!?”

“What’s wrong with you, Sam? Tell me with a straight face that humans don’t lie and kill and steal and take advantage. You can’t. What you hate about vampires is ingrained in human nature. That was set up before they were turned. I could kill you just as fast as Eric could, we’d just be using different weapons. And it’s people like you that are why Hadley’s been afraid to come home all these years.”

“Hadley was turned?”

“Yeah. So go ahead, stand there and shit on my family. While you’re tossing around vampire stereotypes, why don’t you shit on old women and blue collar boneheads and mind readers. But I’m going to warn you, doing it will make you fair game.”

“I have the right to worry. He’s not like us.”

“Well Sam, since I’m always a telepath, I’m not like ‘us’ either.”

“You know what I mean!”

“No. I’m afraid I don’t, but it doesn’t matter. I have more on my plate now than ever and I just don’t have time to keep waiting tables… even if I wanted to put up with your crap now that I’m with Eric.”

“What kind of stuff? I don’t get it. What the hell…”

“You act like you weren’t planning on firing me.”

“I wasn’t going to fire you. I was going to tell you that I didn’t want fangbangers filling in for you. I was going to hire a girl on my own to fill in. I found two girls today. That’s why I was busy when you called.”

“Well, then I’m sorry for assuming, but something’s come up since the last time we talked. You need to find a girl for full time.”

“What’s come up?” He seemed to be fishing for Sookie to blame me for everything. He was grating my last damn nerve.

“I have my family to tend to. Gran’s slowing down a lot and deserves to put her feet up and we have every intention of making that happen now that I’m making enough to take care of us.”

“If it’s money… I can give you more shifts… a raise. You’re the best waitress I’ve got.” If he weren’t being so dense, I could almost call him adorable.

“Sam, what makes me the best waitress you have is the same thing that paid off my house in one night.”

“So this doesn’t have anything to do with your new jewelry and all the stuff that’s going on out at your house? The work crews have been taking lunch here, ya know. It’s all over that your vampire boyfriend is throwing all kinds of money around.”

“Master.” Oh, that word again and coupled with how she was rubbing his nose in it…

“What!?”

“You know how it works. Eric is my master… And you know better than to think I’m with him for jewelry and windows. Now you’re just being an asshole and I don’t appreciate it.”

Sam tried scaring me with a ‘mean’ look. “She didn’t used to be like this. What the fuck have you done to her?” The better question would be ‘what has she done to me?’…

Sookie’s sudden giggle grabbed our attention. I’d barely had the chance to give her a questioning look before she gave me a cheerful nod and swayed to bump our shoulders together.

I smiled at her. “Are you almost ready to go home?”

Sam was being persistent and butted in before she could answer. “Are you taking her home to her house or have you decided that she’s staying at your house chained to a wall?” He was intentionally pushing my buttons.

Pushing back sounded like fun… “Chains are for dogs. Sookie is with me because she wants to be.”

“Nice that you don’t have to go looking for fangbangers.”

“I’ve never had to beg for table scraps.”

Sookie giggled again and grabbed her purse. She pulled a couple of singles out and set them on the bar next to her drink. “Yeah, I think I am ready to head out.”

“Are you sure? I was just starting to have some fun.”

She smirked at me. “I said what I came out here to say. If you have too much fun, he’s going to give you reason to make a scene. Let’s just go home before Sam gets himself killed.”

I chuckled at the look on Sam’s face as I stood up. “Sookie, he’ll just hurt you!”

She huffed, stopping to face him. “Thanks for the tip, Sam. I’ll keep my eyes open. In the meantime, why don’t you make me a list of people you know who’ve never been disappointed by someone they love.”

“That’s not the kind of hurt I’m talking about and you know it! What the hell could you see in him?” He said ‘him’ as though he was fighting the urge to vomit.

“Even if I told you, you’d just call me stupid again… See ya around.”

**

I’m not sure how, but Sookie’s mood was lighter as she lowered into the car. It was as though she was pleased to have gotten the chore of quitting out of the way and I’d be lying to say I wasn’t satisfied that she’d leave his employ… Even when she ‘works’ at Fangtasia, I wouldn’t be lowering her to wait tables.

When I took my seat, she smiled at me. “Thank you… I could tell that you were ready to beat his ass… thanks for letting me deal with him.” I’d get my ‘payment’.

“You, however, are in a better mood.”

She nodded slowly. “Yeah… He’ll come around eventually… He really is scared for me. He’s really pissed at himself that he couldn’t talk me away from you.”

“So I can’t hate him?” I might decide to regardless.

She giggled. “Sorry… We already know that we aren’t a normal master/pet scenario… he hates Supe politics and that’s why he’s in the middle of nowhere.”

“I’ve tried that… staying out of circulation. I managed for a few decades without having to deal with the bullshit.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Dizzying would be the best way to describe it. In fighting, back biting, coups and subterfuge… It’s all illogical absurdity. I found that it’s easier to be a part of it so that I’m in the know.”

She quietly absorbed the idea for a moment before she said anything else. “Why did he think about Hotshot?”

My eyes rolled involuntarily. “Hotshot is a small community not far from here. It’s Deliverance with Were Panthers.”

She started cackling. “No freaking way! All of them? I haven’t met many but they’re a harder read than Sam!”

“Inbred and disgusting. I prefer the company of Sam to those throwbacks… Not Deliverance as much as The Hills Have Eyes actually. Their traits and shifting are affected…”

“But you don’t mind Werewolves?”

“If you repeat this, I’ll deny it, but I do have a certain respect for Flood. He runs his pack with a militant hand. They aren’t as unruly as most I’ve seen. I’d trust his recommendation for a guard for you.”

“As opposed to trusting what I get from their minds?”

“In addition. I won’t be taking any chances with your security.” If the well for suitable guards is dry, searching for an available daemon with stellar sword skills would be my next task.

**

Sookie offered a sweet smile when we pulled into the garage. “Gran’s still up.”

I chuckled at the idea. “Waiting for you to get home from Merlotte’s. Old habits?”

It was nearly 3am as we made our way through the house to ‘check in’. No sooner than we arrived at the doorway for the library, Adele’s face lit up with a bright smile and I couldn’t help but notice that she was nearly done with her book.

“I’m glad y’all got home before I fell to sleep. How did things go?”

Sookie huffed and sat down next to her. “He wasn’t happy that I quit. He wasn’t planning on firing me after all, he just didn’t want it to get around that Eric was helping him staff his restaurant. He’s worried about me being with Eric, but…”

“The only remedy to that worry is time. He’ll back off enough for y’all to be friends again when he sees that Eric’s not gonna use you.”

“Hope so.”

“When am I ever wrong?… Alright… now the reason I was waiting up; I had an epiphany. Wanna hear it?”

We both gave her a nod so that she’d continue. She seemed quite proud of herself.

“First of all, when is Fangtasia closed? Slow nights?”

“We’re closed on Mondays. Sunday is our slowest night.”

“Perfect. Feel free to reject the idea, but I think we should move in.”

Sookie snorted, “GRAN!”

“Hush. Hear me out. This has nothing to do with these books… It’s because of Hunter. It will be nearly impossible for Eric to keep something from happening from here if we’re way the hell out in Bon Temps.” My appreciation for this woman had no bounds.

“You’re right about that. Even if I fly, it would take about 20 minutes to get there.” By then, any number of things could happen.

“And you’d both be so full of ‘it’ your eyes would turn brown if you tried to claim that y’all didn’t want to be together anyway.”

Sookie rolled her eyes at how right the woman was and looked to me. “You think this is great, but I’ve been dealing with this all my life.”

I was already laughing when Adele reached over and swatted Sookie’s knee.

“I’m old and set in my ways and it would be a shame to waste all the work that’s gone into our old house… So here’s my idea… We do up rooms for the baby in both houses. We’ll stay here during the week and then I’ll have Jason come out and collect me and Hunter on Saturday mornings… y’all can join us in the country when you’re done at Fangtasia… Sunday we’ll go to church and have a Sunday dinner, relax on Monday and we’ll be ready to come back to Shreveport for the week when Eric rises on Tuesday.”

I was smiling so wide by the time she was done that my face felt stretched. “The Stackhouse homestead will be a ‘weekend house’?”

“Travel aside, yeah. It sounds a whole lot more reasonable than having you commute for no reason. Shreveport has options that would keep Hunter from being a shut in… Sookie can home-school him and then take him out for errands and activities. That wasn’t an option for her. I had to go back to work to make ends meet. Her mind reading paychecks alone will make Hunter’s life easier than hers was.”

I agreed with a nod. “No doubt.”

“And when I’m gone, if y’all want to keep going out to Bon Temps for weekends, you can. But if you don’t want to, then Hunter won’t have much of an adjustment to make.”

I didn’t have the chance to feel my own grief over the idea of Adele’s death. Sookie had a sudden wrenching in the pit of her stomach and told her grandmother to not talk about ‘that’.

Adele rolled her eyes and focused on me. “So, do you think the old lady is off her rocker?”

“No, Adele, I think the ‘old’ lady is as firmly planted as she can get. Sookie and I were discussing the matter during our drive out to Bon Temps. We only managed to come to the conclusion that we needed more time to plan.”

“The only real planning we need to do is getting him set up. He’s only three so shifting his schedule to fit our hours better won’t be hard. Schooling isn’t a worry yet and spending weekends in Bon Temps will give him time to play with Jason without being around all those fools trying to figure out where he came from. No one in Shreveport will think twice about seeing Sookie with him.”

“Being in Shreveport for a majority of the time will spare him of that… Sookie?”

“What?”

“Your thoughts?”

She snorted. “Like it makes a difference what I think. You two…”

“Don’t be petulant. What part of your grandmother’s suggestion irks you?”

She slammed herself back in the chair and folded her arms. “That you two just planned this whole thing without me.”

Adele and I rolled our eyes at her. “So, to be clear, you don’t think that her idea is far-fetched. You’re simply being a brat about not having thought of it yourself.”

Her only reply was to raise her ‘fuck you’ finger.

**

I kissed Adele’s cheek and congratulated her on the brilliant plan… and ignored my pouting pet to go take care of business.

“Hello?”

“Hadley, it’s Eric.”

“Oh shit… if you’re calling so soon it can’t be good… What did she say?”

“I think the best way to put it, is that she’s pissed.”

“Oh God… I knew it… I just didn’t know what else to do… who else to ask…”

“Hadley, do you have any vampire qualities? You ramble incessantly.”

I heard Sophie-Ann’s laugh before she demanded the phone from her child. “Not a single one. Other than her diet and schedule… she is still as she was as a human.”

“Then she balances Andre well. The two of them together must make a tolerable vampire.”

She laughed again. “Am I understanding that Sookie isn’t interested in taking care of Hunter?”

“That’s not the case. Sookie is infuriated with the situation, but they are more than willing to take him in. We’ve been discussing details for most of the evening.”

“Truly?”

“They’ve managed to plan most of the steps. Adele assures us that the only thing left is shopping.”

“But you said that Sookie is pissed.”

“Her aggravation lies on her history with Hadley’s track record of… follow through. She understands Hunter’s needs and knows she best suited to take care of him.”

She hummed thoughtfully. “And you have no reservations?”

“It won’t be a hardship to see to his safety.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“To be honest, I have plenty of reservations. I haven’t been around human children since I was human myself.”

“Perhaps it’s a difference in the sexes… Hunter is the only infant I’ve held since my younger siblings. If it weren’t for the trappings of my position, I’d cheerfully have him at court… Sadly, you’ve seen what risk that would pose to him.”

“Yes, I have.”

“So what have the Stackhouses decided?”

“It seems that we’ll be outfitting their house and mine with his needs and spending weekends in Bon Temps. Keeping them in close proximity will make their security more manageable. Sookie has already quit her waitressing job to free her schedule for him.”

“Excellent. When do you want him?”

“Whenever you see fit. We’ll make sure to be prepared.” Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

“Then we’ll plan for next week. I’ll let you know when we’ll arrive.”

“Thank you, majesty.”

“No, Northman. Thank you. Sookie isn’t the only one to have proven how invaluable they are this week… You might be the first vampire I haven’t made that I can depend on.”

**

Since I was alone in the kitchen, I cared nothing about the shocked expression I was wearing.  The queen doesn’t offer compliments easily… and the one she gave was remarkable.

I took the time to send Bobby his tasks since I was planning on collecting my payment from Sookie now that her disposition was improving…

“Boob,

A few changes need to be made to the earlier orders…

  • Since the firm won’t have to excavate under the Stackhouse home, have them install a full suite… sitting area with three adjoining sleeping quarters with bathrooms. Continue plans for the porch to camouflage its evidence.
  • Purchase both the gold and the silver Lexus. Paulette Simonette and Sookie Stackhouse.
  • I’m not impressed that you indecisively pissed away a day over three identical houses. Purchase two of them. Have the deed to the one closest to mine registered to Sookie.
  • Under better circumstances, I could have my ‘day guy’ assist the Stackhouse ladies with shopping on the internet. Since you’re an irritable asshole (not to mention practically incompetent), provide catalogs for the ladies. They’ll need to furnish a child’s bedroom. Make sure they have a variety of choices.
  • Denim shorts. Size 8. As many as you can find. Sookie refers to them as ‘Daisy Dukes’ but her brother complains, calling them ‘coochie cutters’. Either way, Sookie will need a continual supply. Her clothing doesn’t seem to have much shelf-life.

E. Northman.”

**

With everything else out of the way…

I made the silent decision to declare recess…

I leaned against the sliding door leading to the patio and pushed my wants to Sookie. Ultimately, our bond was going to become my favorite new toy.

Feeling her confusion at her sudden urges, I pushed further and felt her solve the mystery without asking. It had finally dawned on her that I was the cause of her inexplicable agitation.

She yelled from the study for me to ‘quit it’, only encouraging my fun…

Sookie finally stopped resisting and bid ‘goodnight’ to Adele before stomping into the room with her hands on her hips as though I wouldn’t know that she wasn’t angry.

“You were a horrible liar, even before I could feel your emotions… besides, I can smell how wet you are.”

She dropped her hands and snarled, “That’s not fair.”

“Sure it is… you owe me.”

“Owe you?”

I nodded. “The price of my silence… You could wait to make good on our agreement, but the interest is pretty high.”

Her eyes sparkled. “Oh really… What is the fee?”

I reached out and unbuttoned her skirt to push it down until gravity took over… pulled her tank top over her head…

She raised her eyebrow. “Swimming?”

I pulled her to me, stealing a kiss while I unhooked her bra. “Skinny dipping.”

She gasped, “What?”

“As it was explained to me, it’s swimming in the ‘buff’.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You knew exactly what skinny dipping is before I said anything, you butthead.”

“Maybe.”

“We aren’t the only ones here. What if…”

I shrugged. “What if we get caught? We’ll be in the water. No one would see anything, since you’re so shy.”

“Except I’m standing in the dining room in nothing but panties.”

“Good point…” I slid my hand under the lacy fabric and pulled them away from her. “…It seems as though you’re wearing the required uniform now though.”

She smiled despite her rising blush and put her hands to my belt…

**

By the time she’d pulled my shirt off, I was ready to break through the door to get to the pool.

She only made me want her more once she slipped into the water… I watched her body cut through the water and I felt like a proverbial deer in headlights staring at her every movement…

Sookie surfaced briefly, taking a few breaths and telling me that I was ‘ogling’ her again before diving down to meet me…

Rather than waiting for my lead, her hand went around my cock… her mouth to my neck…

I clung to her, enjoying the attack until she needed to surface for air…

Her hold was still firm as she gasped for air, wrapping her legs around me to line up and take me in…

Taking advantage of the lightness to lift and push down around me…

Knowing that the bond was responsible for how comfortable she was, and regretting not having completed it sooner…

But enjoying every tug, every clench, every drop… every second…

**

She giggled nearly the entire time we made our way to bed; collecting our discarded clothing, rinsing the pool water away in the shower, even as she removed her jewelry (except for her ring) and settling in for the day…

I finally asked, “What are you being so silly about?”

She snuggled closer. “I don’t know. I’m just in a ridiculously good mood.”

“I could feel that much.”

She shrugged. “I’ll let you know if I figure out why. Until then, I’m gonna blame you.”

“Blame me…?”

We were interrupted by my phone and Sookie started laughing again, getting up to fish it out of my pocket to hand to me.

“It’s just Pam.” I tossed it to the other side of the bed.

“She’ll just call back until you pick up.” Or sunrise.

Sure enough, no sooner than the phone stopped chirping, it started again.

Sookie grabbed the phone and set it on my chest, giving me a knowing glare.

“Fuck… We just spent a week together. What do you want?” Sookie smiled and stared kissing her way down my body…

“I wanted to confirm that moods have improved since we parted ways.” Sookie’s teeth raked over my side causing a groan to escape.

“Much improved.”

“Sookie is more agreeable to motherhood?” …among other things… at the time she was running her hot little tongue up my dick and digging her fingers into my thighs…

“Yes. The boy will be brought to Shreveport next week. Anything else?” Not that I was interested… Sookie’s game was more than distracting and the smile she wore as she wrapped her lips around my cock proved that she could tell.

“I was hoping I could help.” Of course, she’d pick now, right now, this very moment to be ‘helpful’…

“How so?”

“I shop. It’s what I do. I was thinking I could help since Sookie and Adele are unfamiliar with the internet.” Every time Sookie pushed down, she took a little more and… fuck… Pam wasn’t ever going to shut up…

“There’s a difference between couture and children’s needs.”

“I’ve had pets with children. You pick things up.” Suppressing the urge to tell Pam to shut the fuck up was getting harder with every stroke of Sookie’s lips… but when she pushed down to what I thought would be her stopping point and burrowed to take me deeper I gave up. My fingers tangled into her hair and I managed to dial a groan back to a mere grunt.

“You and Sookie can do some shopping tomorrow night at the bar. I have Bobby bringing some catalogs to them.”

“Really?” she almost squeaked.

“Yes, really. If that’s all you needed…”

“It is. Bye.”

That’s all I needed to hear. I tossed my phone to the floor, hoping it would break and freeing my other hand to grab more of her hair. “Fuck, Sookie…”

She pulled away, leaving an ache. “How am I doing?”

She pushed back down too quickly for my answer to come easily. “Perfect,” was all I could manage as I watched her work, her eyes locked on mine.

Relentless and determined, she played and pushed until I couldn’t keep myself still… until I needed more contact…

Until I needed to share blood with her again…

What had she done to me?

NEXT>>

53 thoughts on “Chapter 24: Hard Landing

  1. Looooove it! Love Gran and Eric in cahoots and I love Pam–

    “And any ‘reality’ based TV show. She’s a slave to pop culture as much as fashion. She glamours Ginger to watch Big Brother so that she has someone with whom to talk about it.”

    Hahahahahahaha!

    “I shop. It’s what I do.”

    It’s so her motto.

    Thanks for the quick update, still loving this story!

  2. Hot! Sam was being a huge pain in the butt, however the hot scene between Eric and Sookie more than made up for it. I also want Adele to be my grandma, she is funny, loving and smart as a whip. I think she will continue to find new ways to shock and astonish Eric.

  3. Sigh…You rock my world.
    I can’t say anything that I haven’t said a million times before, you’re just awesome and I love getting updates from you, it seriously makes my day.

  4. the end of the chapter….hot, hot, HAWT!!! you have talent girl 😉

    btw, does this mean we get to meet Hunter in the next couple of chapters? omg i can’t wait 😀

    ~NC~

    P.S. i hate sam. bad dog, no cookie!

  5. oh! oh! oh! Yum!!!
    “Boob” ROFL – so appropriate
    I loved their playtime in the pool…in the bed :)Sookie doing that while Eric was on the phone…LOL
    Sam’s pissing contest was hilarious, Sookie awesome when she handled him.
    Adele’s solution was also ingenious. I can’t wait until Hunter gets to Shreveport. I also can’t wait to read the shopping trip/computer splurge.
    As always awesome work, luv. You stopped me from getting chores done, but it was soooo worth it. *grin* Now I get to do them smiling, a first.

  6. I concur. I LOVE it. I am glad “they” (Adele) figured out a way for things to work for now. I wish Hunter wasn’t coming for 2 weeks instead of so soon. But you are brilliant so it will all work out. I totally ❤ this story. I enjoyed the convo with Sam. It seems as tho they have worked out how to live together all the time – Yahoo! Thank you for this story, this update.

  7. ♥♥♥Mwuaaah! Oh, thank you again for such an awesome chapter. God bless Gran. She has it going on. Great plan she came up with. Damn, Sam just doesn’t get it. I’m glad Sook had the wherewithal to quit and move on. She has so much more going for her with her talent and Eric 🙂 I so love getting your updates!

  8. LOL @ Sookie telling Eric he has to beat up Jason to make Jason’s accident & coma more believable. I think Eric will have too much fun. Or let Pam have fun.

    OMG! I love you! Pam watching Big Brother AND glamoring Ginger to watch it is AWESOME!!! LOL

    Sook’s chat with Sam was interesting. Sam was being rather obstinate. Hope he gets his head out of his ass soon.

    Yay for Gran finally saying what everyone wants to do anyways! Woot! So glad they will be moving in to Eric’s home. 🙂

    Sook is turning into a minx, teasing Eric while he’s on the phone with Pam. I’m surprised Eric chatted as long as he did. Haha!

  9. I love how Pam and Eric are so caught up in the Stackhouses.

    Hilarious:

    -Leave Eric in the car with the window cracked
    -Greeting to Bobby: Boob
    -Pushing lust onto Sookie and her yelling, “quit it”
    -Pam calling to learn how the moods had altered

    I am so glad they figured out how to incorporate Hunter into their lives! Fabulous!

  10. Perfect gift for my first day home. I’ll get over missing my kid more easily having a new chapter of BTD to reread.

    Beat up poor Jason!

    Great interactions: Eric/Sookie(natch!), Sookie/Sam, Eric/Gran, Eric/Sophie-Anne, & Eric/Pam/Sookie at the end.

    Why is Eric buying Sookie another house? Isn’t she staying with him? Gran & Hunter too? Will Gran & Hunter stay in the new house?

  11. What can i say??? Fucking Brilliant!! You have an awesome talent, and just love hearing from Eric and this gang. Love Sookie telling Sam off, Trying to get Eric to beat up Jason. Gran is awesome, and i had a little tear in my eye when she spoke about her death 😦
    I drop everything to read your updates, and they never disappoint

  12. Another great chapter!! One question, though… why is Eric registering the 2nd house under Sookie’s name… she and Gran will be living with him, right? It’s past midnight and I’ve surely forgotten something written in a previous chapter explaining it, but reminder, anyone?

  13. I think I start every review for you this way: Fabulous.

    I want Adele to be my grandma.

    And the queen? Actually paying Eric a compliment? “No, Northman. Thank you. Sookie isn’t the only one to have proven how invaluable they are this week… You might be the first vampire I haven’t made that I can depend on.” How wonderful was that? That’s a queen I could be loyal to. So much better than the shrew on TB.

    I do like the light background with the black text, but I liked the reverse as well. Mixing it up is fine with me. Just don’t use a black background with blue text. That combo I just can’t read.

    Love that Pam decided to volunteer. And loved that Sookie got Eric again with her oral play. She just loves doing that to him while he’s on the phone with a woman…Hot, hot, hot.

    That’s probably enough for now. Thanks for posting so often, between all your stories. I can’t wait to read the next installment of any of them!

  14. All I can say is I try to read really slow, so it will last a long time. Thanks so much for this story!!!

    Cindy

    P.S. Say hi to Boob, lol

  15. You know, you make it so I almost don’t want to see Bobby go just so I can read more of Eric’s emails to him.

    I absolutely loved all the interactions in this. You’ve created a truely wonderful realm. I just hope you can find a way to keep Adele alive forever asshe isto wonderful toever leave them. Loved every moment of this. Please keep up the goodwork and update soon.

  16. I want to be there when they tell Jason that Eric has to beat him up ! What a very unusual household it’s going to be with Eric, Adele, Sookie and Hunter living together. Really looking forward to the Queen and Hadley being houseguests next week, I hope they bring Andre.

    • Well, you did it again. It’s early in the morning and I had to stifle my giggles because I was the only one up (with the dogs). I was wondering why Sookie and Gran had a mortgage in such an old house, but I guess they had to have work done on it sometimes.

      Also, if Remy loves his son, it doesn’t seem fair to glamour him to forget. I realize that Hunter needs protection, but unless Remy is prejudiced against his son or scared of him, it seems to me Sookie and Eric should consider his feelings.

      Of course, only you know what sort of person your Remy is. Hunter needs to be with Sookie and I can hardly wait for you to get him there.

      Gran is wonderful, Jason is a hoot, and the queen is worthy of loyalty. Even Andre seems to have possibilities.

      As someone else said, I tried to read slowly, but I still got through the chapter to fast.

  17. LOVE it!! hehe “boob” and the “master” comment to Sam hahahaha!! to awesome, great ending as always 🙂 i love the way you write the lemons scenes 😀

  18. I always thought that Sookie should quit Merlotte’s and start a business with her gift. I’m happy to see that she’s smart enough to know that she can do this on her own. Sam was being a dick about her being with Eric. I can’t believe he was being so judgmental about being different. Ugh…hello your a shifter. lol

    Love the emails to “Boob”. *snickers* Those are hilarious. Gran is awesome and I love her to pieces. I’m so glad she was able to figure out a way for them to work Hunter in their life. I can’t wait to see how Eric will be around Hunter.

    The end was sexyhot.Sookie teasing Eric while he’s on the phone was great. I’m surprised Pam didn’t have any snarky comments about his grunting. lol Another great chapter. Can’t wait for more.

  19. I am looking forward to Sookie explaining to Jason that someone has to beat him up, maybe it could be Pam. Glad they have a plan for Hunter, so happy she isn’t going back to work for Sam and let him know she was happy where she is now. Love Gran, I want her to come to my house. Can’t wait for more, seems she and Eric are fairly well suited to each other. thanks for the update.

  20. Please let me walk about in your head! This is why…

    “If he weren’t being so dense, I could almost call him adorable”

    Okay so this is my usual review, I love it, and you, blah blah, but what can I say that hasn’t been said (by me and everyone else) you are my favourite fan fic author, I am 42 so if you could see your way clear to writing your big three for the next 40 years? Just to be safe 🙂

  21. is there another way to read this story? The pictures of Eric are in the way of being able to read the story (God I hate to say that)! Please let me know – Thank you. LOL

  22. Loved it! Another amazing chapter.
    Of course I was actually giddy when I saw the note to Bobby… you know that’s one of my favorite parts of this story!
    I think I may create some of my favorite lines in Eric’s notes to Bobby and share them with you!
    Can’t wait for the next chappie!
    Juls

  23. Loved it, Love that Eric and Gran had a plan all worked out.Just had to sell it to Sookie..Sam was being a jerk when she went in to quit, making it so much easier for her to walk out.. Thanks 🙂

  24. Sam is an ass, Gran is brilliant, and the phone call with Pam while Sookie was tending to the GP’s well-being was interesting to say the least. I hope this story never ends.

  25. I know I just read this a year ago but it would have been poetic justice if sookie had hit sam on the nose with a rolled up newspaper when she ran out of pretzels

  26. here I am again , reading this story because there is nothing new to grab my attention. I just love gran because she so reminds me of my own granny. I remember once when she was well into her seventies and widowed for the second time and I was giving her hair a perm. some of it slid down her neck and her only comment when I mopped it up was ” that’s so slimy if it was on your leg you’d know what it was”! sadly she died fifteen years ago and I still think of her almost every day.

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