Sergeant Fogleman showed Sookie and me to a small lounge to have us wait for Detective Brandt…
The room’s purpose seemed to be just for delivering bad news… No personal effects or official items like the offices we passed along the corridor. Just old furniture and a worn rug with all the privacy the wooden blinds could offer.
Sookie was clearly upset and the Sergeant lingered, kindly offering various forms of refreshments and sympathy. She apologized several times for not speaking vaguely enough that Sookie hadn’t caught on to the thinly veiled subject of the baby. As surprisingly compassionate as the cop was, her efforts were lost on Sookie. She seemed to want nothing more than to be left alone.
As soon as the Sergeant left the room, Sookie began pacing erratically and offered, “This is what I get for thinking Hadley was selfish enough to die alone.”
Her frenetic energy was so crazed that even her voice shook.
“Try to calm down. What did you learn from the Sergeant’s thoughts?”
She shook her head and tightened her ponytail. “I uh… she… Not much of anything. She was the one who sat with the baby until child services showed up, but she wasn’t on the case. Ummmm, the baby was about four months old, they guess. He was on a quilt with MD embroidered on it and ‘Holly’ called him ‘Mack’ when she checked in to the hotel. The Sergeant tried to guess his name while they looked for something to ID him.”
“But her name wasn’t Holly either.”
“Right… they were frantic to identify Hadley because they were afraid she’d kidnapped him. The only babies matching Mack’s description were little girls and they were found before the DNA results came back to confirm Mack was Hadley’s.”
“If this were anyone else, we could call Lynn.”
“She’ll keep pushing anyway. Whatever we learn from the official report will just scratch off a line item for her… What do you want to do?”
She nodded. “Yeah. I mean, part of me wants to call her now. You know, give her a play by play so she isn’t going nuts. How’s she doing? Is she really impatient right now?”
“She doesn’t seem terribly upset right now. I think it’s best to wait until we have more information. You don’t seem to be doing well with the little bit we’ve learned…”
“Right. No point in causing an outbreak. Good point… Erik, how the hell is… She’s going to want him. Aunt Linda’s going to want Mack. She isn’t going to be happy letting strangers raise her grandbaby.”
“I’m sure we’ll think of a plan.”
She snorted, “Good luck with any plan that doesn’t include Aunt Linda having custody.”
“She won’t have a choice. The timing is unfortunate, but she can’t be trusted to care for a baby as a newborn. I’m shocked that she hasn’t posed a threat to you yet.”
Sookie raised an eyebrow at me… it was the first time she stopped pacing since we’d been left in the lounge.
“What? Officially, she’s an end-stage cancer patient, therefore no judge in their right mind would award her with custody. In reality, she’s a newborn Vampire with idiosyncratic feeding habits, therefore her Maker would be insane to allow her to be alone with her grandchild during the day. As distraught as she is over the death of Hadley, she probably wouldn’t survive the grief of draining her own grandchild. Unless you’re willing to take on the responsibility of legal custody of Mack and supervising Lynn while she’s with him, because a nanny isn’t exactly practical when she’d have to reach past buckets of blood for the child’s milk… that child isn’t going to have more than an occasional visit with her.”
“Why do you say that like you assume I won’t be willing to do it?”
“Because you’re going to move in with your Were and eventually have a puppy or two of your own, Sookie. Are you really willing to go from being your aunt’s nurse to the nanny? You’re talking about an obligation that could last until the boy’s old enough to care for himself. You’ve only known about him for a few minutes. You aren’t thinking rationally yet. You need to take the whole situation into consideration.”
“What else is there to consider, Erik? It doesn’t matter if Aunt Linda’s a Vampire. Mack is family. I’d petition the court for custody even if Aunt Linda was still sick. There’s no reason to let that baby grow up in the foster care system… Is this a Vampire thing or did your people turn their backs on each other?”
“Neither. I’m thinking about what’s best for my child. You need to consider how she’d react to hurting him…”
“She’d die. I’m not picturing any fairytale bullshit, Erik. I know it would kill her, but if we observe the same precautions we’ve already been taking, we’ll be fine.”
“You’re seriously considering this, taking custody of your cousin’s child so Lynn can have a relationship with him? What about Alcide’s thoughts on the matter?”
She narrowed her eyes and lifted her chin. “I guess you could say Alcide’s reaction will be a defining moment in our relationship…”
I couldn’t decide if that was the most selfish thing I’d ever heard… or the least.
“Family comes before anything else. I’m old enough to take the baby and young enough to start over again once they don’t need me anymore. Yes, I’m seriously considering taking Hadley’s baby. I don’t have to be a live-in to run errands for you guys. If keeping the baby safe means getting a little place nearby, I’ll do that and I’m sure Aunt Linda will understand the necessity. It’ll be complicated, but it’ll be worth it…”
She wasn’t thinking… She was feeling. I understood that she had been taken in by family after her parents died, but that didn’t mean she was obliged to run an orphanage as an adult.
On the other hand… I could only hope my own family had been so eager to take my children in.
“You said your cousin was promiscuous and used drugs… You could be volunteering to take in a child suffering from birth defects, HIV… You’d have no life of your own…”
“I could have my own children and they could have birth defects in spite of how healthy I am… I wouldn’t love them any less.”
Of course she wouldn’t… I shouldn’t have even considered otherwise.
“If anyone could talk sense into you, who would it be?”
She snorted, “Aunt Linda.”
“Just think about it. A child is a big responsibility.”
“I’m not going to change my mind.”
“I’m not necessarily trying to change your mind. If taking custody is what you’re set on doing, you’re ‘employed as an administrative assistant at Securities North’ and you live in ‘corporate housing’. It will sound better than ‘live-in errand-girl’ and your competency and sanity won’t be questioned when Vampires reveal themselves.”
She narrowed her eyes and studied my face for a moment before hugging me.
“It’s got to be hard to be so convincing as a perverted turd…”
“Don’t suggest I’m a sweetheart quite yet. While you’re waiting for social services and court hearings, you’ll be preparing a second house just in case. The first time Lynn gives me any reason to worry, you and the boy will move and I’ll have the property on the lake warded so you can’t visit during the day.”
Her arms tightened slightly before she stepped back. “You’re still a hero just for giving her a chance.”
“Remember that if I’m forced to command her to stay the fuck away from him. All of this will have been pointless if she drains Mack and then commits suicide in her grief.”
She stretched up and kissed my cheek. “You don’t have to be such a pessimist. The baby is already a good thing. Aunt Linda’s got something to distract her from losing Hadley.”
I shook my head. “New babies don’t replace the ones who were lost, Sookie.”
She frowned and shook her head. “I didn’t mean like that… The confirmation that Hadley’s dead is a shock, but Aunt Linda’s been coming to terms with this for a while, realizing Hadley won’t ever come home… I just mean that the baby is a good reason to not wallow. A reason to smile, a fresh start, something to look forward to, ya know?”
I agreed, “Fair enough,” as she turned for the door to the lounge. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to talk to Sergeant Fogleman while we wait for the detective.”
Sookie commandeered a pen and legal pad to make notes and used it to let me in on the Sergeant’s thoughts while they discussed hypothetical situations between the occasional visitors to the lobby.
Once Jane Doe had been identified, the police would be able to find the baby’s birth name as soon as the Bureau of Vital Records opened in the morning. The Sergeant had already made a note to call Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas’s offices first.
Sookie handed over Hadley’s birth certificate, social security card and her long expired learner’s permit so the Sergeant could make copies… lending to the identification of Jane Doe. As it turned out, Sookie had already returned to Lynn’s house in preparation for her drive to Texarkana, retrieving the contents of Lynn’s fire-proof box full of documents.
Sookie asked, hypothetically, if DNA would be needed to prove Jane Doe and Mack were related to her… She made it clear that she had every intention of seeking custody of the baby… Sergeant Fogleman smiled at Sookie as she swabbed the inside of her cheek just in case the Detective confirmed the identification.
Sookie discussed moving Jane Doe’s body so she could be buried by her family, with her family… While the Sergeant said a judge could take his time issuing an order to have Hadley’s body exhumed, she thought that Hadley could be returned to Bon Temps by the end of the week. It would be safe for Sookie to begin making arrangements with a funeral home.
The conversation rooted in the theoretical, full of disclaimers and ‘ifs’ was as pleasant as possible given the circumstances, and was more informative than I could have hoped for. Sergeant Fogleman had explained most of the logistical steps we’d need to take.
Of course, it helped that Sergeant Fogleman truly believed Sookie’s claims to be Jane Doe’s cousin.
She went as far as asking if Hadley had any scars…
One on the heel of her right foot from stepping on Christmas lights when she was 7. A burn scar on her pinky from touching a burner when she was 14. One scar along her jaw and a broken nose from a vehicle versus tree collision when she was 20. And Sookie thought to mention that Hadley had all four of her wisdom teeth removed at the same time.
As Sookie listed each distinguishing mark, the Sergeant might as well have verbally confirmed them as she made notes… and she actually offered, “And the cesarean scar happened after she left Bon Temps.”
Sookie’s chin puckered as she nodded. “I know you can’t answer anything, but it’s killing me to not ask about the baby…”
The Sergeant offered a half-smile and rocked back in her chair. “Tell me about it. After all the worry you and your family have been through, it’s killing me that I can’t tell if his social worker calls him ‘Babe’, as in Paul Bunyan’s ox. I’m planning to call her once Detective Brandt gets here.”
Sookie’s eyes lit up and misted over simultaneously. “Yeah? Big and healthy?”
She winked and stood up, walking towards the hallway leading to the lounge. As she moved she offered, “I’m going to use the lady’s room. Detective Brandt should be here any minute…”
She tapped on a photo tacked to a bulletin board as she passed it… and Sookie practically ran to take a closer look.
There, among the photos of retirement parties, turkey shoots, and softball games…
A little boy, sporting a strawberry blond ‘baby mullet’ and big brown eyes, in the arms of a man with a mustache and a ball cap.
While I was still studying the photo, Sookie wedged her hand into my pocket and pulled out my phone… taking a picture of the photo… because her phone was a ‘cheap piece of crap’.
She didn’t return my phone to me… she stared at the screen as she returned to the lounge and studied the picture of the boy until Detective Brandt arrived.
He tapped on the door to announce himself and explained, “I’m sorry for the delay. Detective Al Brandt.”
Detective Brandt, a silver-haired gentleman who looked old enough to consider retirement, shook our hands as we introduced ourselves and pulled a chair closer to sit across from us. I was Sookie’s cousin on her mother’s side.
The folder containing Hadley’s case, nearly an inch thick, was laid across his lap and had all of Sookie’s attention for a moment.
“So, Miss Stackhouse, how did you hear about Jane Doe?”
“I’m not familiar with computers, and when my boyfriend heard about my missing cousin, he suggested we try looking for something online. Like maybe she had a social networking account. He thought of it because a lot of the ladies in his office have them and one of them mentioned finding old friends from high school. I figured it was worth a shot, but after a while I got frustrated…” She cringed and sighed, “I fussed and told him to look up Jane Does found in ditches. There was a lot, because he only searched for ‘Jane Doe’, so then he looked up Louisiana. It turns out your Jane Doe got a little press in the Shreveport Times.”
Intricately woven lies… but completely believable.
“What made you drive all the way here?”
She shrugged. “Y’all are close. I had to start somewhere. There was a Jane Doe in Alexandria and a few in Dallas, but I didn’t want to leave my aunt long enough to look into those. She’s with friends right now.”
“Your aunt… your missing cousin’s mother? Why didn’t she come with you?”
“She just finished another round of chemo that didn’t help. She’s in no shape for this… not that this would be fun for her if she was well.”
“Understandable…” He opened the folder and carefully removed a photograph, clearing his throat as he held it up. “Sue showed me the graduation picture, but… I have to ask…”
Sookie sniffled as she nodded. “Yeah… that’s… Hadley Stackhouse Delahoussaye… How?”
He slipped the photo back into the folder and explained, “The coroner’s report listed her death as an ‘accidental overdose’. She dozed off in the bathtub and drowned. She had muscle relaxers, pain killers, and wine in her system… It didn’t seem as though she was trying to kill herself, or that she was taking them recreationally. There was a bruise on her arm, and the examination revealed she had muscle and ligament damage…”
“The coroner thinks she was medicating the injury and… it was just… really an accidental overdose… Wait. What about the prescriptions?”
“The only prescription bottle we found was in the bathroom with her. The label was still wet, so the printing faded. It was for the infant we found with her. It was a common medication used to treat acid reflux for babies.”
“You found him with her? In the tub?”
He shook his head. “I’m sorry. He was in the bathroom, but he was sleeping in a carrier on the floor next to the tub. He was perfectly healthy when he was examined at the hospital.”
“His birth certificate, her IDs…?”
“That’s part of the mystery. There wasn’t a single personal item in the hotel room. Holl- Hadley’s clothing was on the floor of the bathroom, but there wasn’t anything in the pockets to identify her. Someone called 9-1-1 from the room and the door was open when police arrived. We think someone entered the room to burgle it, and found her body. If everything she had was still in bags, it would have been easy to get away with it all. She sold a gun and a rather nice necklace at a pawn shop nearby, but that led to a dead end… By all accounts, Hadley should have had close to a thousand dollars in her room.”
Sookie shook her head and leaned forward. “No. Aunt Linda’s gun was registered. Was the serial number filed off or something?”
“Your aunt’s gun was stolen?”
“Yes. Her boyfriend bought her a .38 Special. Hadley took it, and all of Aunt Linda’s Dilaudid and Vicodin when she originally skipped town. We know she sold the pills to a local dealer though.”
“The gun she sold in town was a Mustang .380. It was registered to… Martina Roberts…”
“Do you know the woman? When we contacted her, she claimed that her suitcase was stolen from her car while she was traveling with her daughters… Cheerleading competition in the Austin area if I remember correctly.” He opened the file and leafed through it, finally nodding to confirm his memory.
Sookie took a deep breath, then another… the more she tried to calm herself, the faster her tears fell.
She finally croaked, “Martina Roberts Delahoussaye… Martina is Hadley’s step-mother… That bitch…” Sookie took a sharp breath and blurted, “Carrey! If that son of a bitch knew… Hadley must’ve gone to see him, maybe for help, money, a place to stay…” She covered her face and cried for a moment before whimpering, “Everything’s kinda… falling into place, the pieces of the puzzle…”
I asked, “How are you imagining the situation?” I couldn’t help but wonder if Sookie had an ‘imagination’ like Lynn’s, but more importantly, she knew Hadley and the family history.
When I reached out to touch her shoulder, she was shaking.
She stood suddenly and left the lounge, and she had a parade behind her.
She went directly to the lobby and asked Sergeant Fogleman if there was a way for her to look up Carrey and/or Martina Delahoussaye in the New Orleans area.
Brandt gave her a nod and after just a few minutes of watching Sookie’s knee bounce relentlessly, the Sergeant scribbled a phone number and brought the sheet of paper to the detective, but Sookie snatched it and walked back to the lounge…
She yanked the phone from the wall and began dialing, asking how to turn on the speaker so Brandt could hear.
After four rings, a man answered, “Delahoussaye residence, Carrey speaking. If you’re calling for Madeline or Gabrielle, their phone curfew was at nine, so you just missed it.”
There was whispered disapproval in the background… Madeline or Gabrielle told him she would kill herself if he continued to answer the phone that way.
“I’m calling for you, Carrey. It’s Sookie Stackhouse. Remember me?”
“Sookie? Good lord. Why are you calling?”
“When was the last time you saw Hadley, Carrey?”
There was a long pause before he answered, “Has she run away again?”
Sookie urged, “When?”
“August. She’d been planning to go home for a while, but Maddy and Gaby talked her into staying through the summer.”
“I’m sure it was August. We spent most of July in Memphis and Orlando. Well, Savannah too, but the weather was horrible.”
“Did the baby go with you?”
He chuckled, “Yeah, but at that age, his favorite parts of the trip were the hotel pools.”
Sookie took a deep breath and sighed, “What’s his name, Carrey?”
“What? Sookie, why don’t you know?”
“Because Hadley died. The baby was found in her motel room with her. She was buried as a Jane Doe and the baby’s been in a foster home. What’s the baby’s name? Where was he born? How did Hadley hurt her arm? Why the FUCK was she in Texarkana? Why didn’t your wife say something when the police called about her gun being sold?”
Brandt squeezed his eyes closed and shook his head, mumbling to chide himself for allowing Sookie to place the call to a deceased’s father…
Carrey wept… quietly relaying the news of Hadley’s death to what sounded like his daughters.
Sookie only allowed the man a minute or two before demanding, “What happened down there, Carrey? I’m in Texarkana, at the police station. I just identified Hadley from her autopsy photo.”
He croaked, “The girls were getting along so good…”
“Start at the beginning. We didn’t even know she was down there. She took off while Aunt Linda was in the hospital.”
He cleared his throat. “Yeah. Uhhhh. She tracked me down. She told me her mom was sick and she didn’t have anywhere else to go. She didn’t want Lin worrying… She called Lin and told her she was staying with friends in Dallas. She called her every week, but she didn’t want to drop the bomb about the baby until Lin was better…”
“She wasn’t calling, Carrey. Aunt Linda’s been beside herself for over a year.”
His voice wavered, “Oh God… I didn’t know… I… We were getting to know one another and the girls took to their big sister so quick… Martina wasn’t on board with the whole Hadley thing at first, on account of her being so young and pregnant. She thought it would be a bad influence on Maddy and Gaby… but she came around…”
“The baby, Carrey… Hadley checked into the motel as Holly and called the baby Mack when she checked into the motel… do you know why she was here or why she wasn’t using her real name?”
He grumbled, “Goddamnit… She complained, said she could hardly understand the clerk and said she needed to learn to speak Mexican… I guess they got creative or lazy about the name… She was going home, Sookie. She fell asleep and missed the Shreveport stop. The bus driver didn’t realize until the next one. She called me from her little Trak Fone… She was planning to take a bath and get some rest. The bus going back to Shreveport didn’t leave until the afternoon. She said she was going to call Jason in the morning so he could get her at the station because you were taking care of Lin…”
That meant Hadley was talking to someone in Bon Temps. For all she knew, Linda’s cancer could have been in remission or Adele was caring for Lynn… She was informed.
Sookie pushed, “And the baby? She called him Mack?”
“Yeah. Mack’s right. We’ve been calling him that since he was just a couple days old. The girls would sing Return Of The Mack to him, dance with him, he’d smile every time… It’s short for Maguire. He was born on May 13th. Maguire Corbett Delahoussaye.”
“Yeah… she said your Daddy was really good to her after I left, but she didn’t want to use Corbett as a first name in case you or Jason wanted to… Maddy and Gaby helped her pick Maguire.”
Sookie breathed, “Sweet Jesus.”
Carrey continued, “She did so good… She said she was a real mess before she left Bon Temps, but she got a job at a bakery, all the baking Lin does and as artistic as she is… she was so proud of herself, couldn’t help but be proud with her. She worked there the whole time she was here…”
Sookie punched the cinderblock wall three times… leaving bloody smears, screaming, “Of all the damn times for her to get her shit together, realize… wake up…”
She collapsed to her knees and started to hyperventilate.
The Detective took over while I squatted next to Sookie, trying to calm her down.
While Sookie gasped and sputtered, Brandt started, “Mr. Delahoussaye, Detective Al Brandt. I’m sorry for your loss. Can you by any chance explain the injury to your daughter’s arm, where she got the medication she’d taken, or the items she pawned?”
Carrey explained, “She fell… our porch, it’s painted concrete so when it’s wet, it’s slick. Her feet went out from under her when she was bringing in groceries… Maddy, she gave her some of her leftover meds from when she tore her hamstring in the spring… There wasn’t much left, but Hadley didn’t want to leave any doctor’s bills behind… And we gave her the gun. She was taking the bus alone. Martina had that gun since she was in college… when y’all called,” He choked, “We just didn’t want her to get in trouble for selling it. Not when we told her she could.”
“She sold a necklace as well. A solitaire pendant.”
He sniffled, “Some guy, married, he kinda got attached to her. He bought it for her and wouldn’t let her return it to him. A bunch of other stuff too. She was planning to sell it once she got home so she could buy a little beater car. She’d been sharing a car with the girls here… She told me when she called that she got nearly a grand and I fussed… ‘cuz she’d already gotten rid of the gun. The pawn shop guy couldn’t take it all because it would tap him out.”
Sookie panted, “There’s your burglary suspect… the guy… the guy who knows… knows she’s traveling alone… and doesn’t have a… a way to defend her… her… herself… Why pay for it… when it’s like… taking candy… candy from a baby…”
I shushed her and took her hand… She hadn’t just scraped her skin, she’d broken bones… several.
“Look what you’ve done to yourself.”
She gasped, “Fuck it… I… I have to tell… my aunt… she missed it… she missed Hadley getting her shit together… That’s gonna hurt.”
She whimpered quietly while the Detective informed Carrey that Sookie intended to claim Hadley’s remains, and asked if he had any objections…
Carrey cleared his throat. “No… She wanted to… she wanted to go home… What’s going to happen to Mack?”
Sookie growled and began struggling to push herself from the floor, wincing against the pain caused by leaning on her wounded hands.
“Oh no you don’t! You are not taking that baby away from Aunt Linda, Carrey! I’m gonna get custody of Mack so she can love him for however long she has left! Mack belongs to her!”
He choked, “But…”
Sookie screamed, “BUT NOTHING! You don’t get to be a fucking hero! You walked out and left your daughter! Her mother was the one who was there for her! Ten months doesn’t make you a damn father! You didn’t even care enough to call to check on them SINCE AUGUST! And I’d know because I’ve practically been living with Aunt Linda since then! Out of sight, out of mind, just like always, huh Carrey!?”
He chocked, “You’re… you’re right… I wasn’t any kind of father to Hadley… Can you… can you call me once you make arrangements, let us come up for the service?”
Sookie hissed, “FOR HADLEY’S SISTERS. You can fuck yourself as far as I’m concerned.”
While Brandt continued to speak to Carrey, I led Sookie from the lounge and peeked around the corner to ask for a first aid kit. Sookie refused to be seen by a medic while I bandaged her hand and told the Sergeant to expect to hear from my lawyer about Hadley’s remains and Maguire’s custody.
For the next half hour or so, I filled out forms as dictated by Sookie and watched her struggle to grasp a pen for long enough to scratch out her name.
In that amount of time, Sookie’s mood seemed to melt into a numbness… She’d been through an incredible range of emotions over the course of the day and it was as though she’d run out of feelings.
When we were finally finished with what could be completed for the time being, we walked out of the police station with a copy of Hadley’s file and the actual photo of Maguire…
And as soon as Sookie sat in the car, I squatted next to her and began un-bandaging her hand.
“How the fuck do you propose to change diapers like this?”
She closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat. “I lost it… I kinda deserve this.”
“Lost it? I think you have a future in criminal justice. Even though you were upset, you were thinking clearly enough to suspect the pawn store clerk of the burglary.”
She snorted, “Thanks… Are you stalling because you aren’t looking forward to the sit-down in our future?”
“No… I’m taking a moment to heal your wounds. Lynn doesn’t need to worry about your hand while she’s grieving for Hadley and anxious about Maguire.”
“Why do I feel like I should be bracing myself?”
“I don’t know… you don’t seem squeamish.”
She smiled. “If you insist, do what you’ve gotta do… I don’t even have it in me for a self-deprecating debate about how stupid I was to hit a concrete wall.”
“Sookie, you’ve broken bones. A dab of blood will only fix superficial abrasions.”
She opened one eye. “Then what… You aren’t about to tell me third base will heal me, are you?”
I chuckled, “Third base will make you feel much better, but you’ll need to take my blood to heal your hand.”
“Take? You mean drink?”
I nodded. “A mouthful should be enough. If not, you’ll still be more mobile, in less pain, and you can take more once we’re home.”
“And no more tanning.”
I shook my head. “I won’t bring you over. I already have two stubborn, emotional, high maintenance children. A third would require a vacation in a padded cell.”
She giggled weakly, “Is the vacation for considering it, or as a result of it?”
She giggled again, but it was stronger, “So what are the side effects, doc?”
“You’ll smell like me… and I’ll be able to sense your emotions for a while until it leaves your system, but I’m not in the practice of giving blood, so I’m not sure how long that would last.”
“I can already sense your emotions. It sounds like we’d be pretty even.”
“Good point… Are you ready?”
She took a deep breath and sighed, “I guess.”
I shifted to avoid advertising what I was for the security camera on the corner of the building and when I dropped my fangs, Sookie warned, “If you’re up to something, I’m gonna get you.”
I chuckled at her, biting into my wrist to make a small wound and putting it to her mouth.
As soon as she began to pull from my wrist, I had a sense of why Alcide mentioned her mouth…
She rolled her tongue over my wrist, milking blood from the small opening…
The look she was giving me, with her hand cupped over the back of mine…
I lost track of how much blood she could have taken, letting the wound close… and waiting for her to realize it, letting her continue to chew my wrist until I realized she was teasing me intentionally.
I growled as I pulled my wrist away, “Tease.”
She cooed, “Pervert.”
“If I were being a pervert, I would have had you suck my fingers for the blood you needed.”
Her nostrils flared. “Not your tongue?”
“That could be arranged. How does your hand feel?”
She closed it, and opened it again… then reached out and swatted my cheek. “All better. Poor you.”
Definitely. Poor me.