As soon as she placed the phone back in the cradle, Sookie glared at me.
“What is the nasty look for?”
“You. Why don’t you just own up to liking her? You had the perfect chance to say something when you had her on the phone. You sat there like a stooge.”
“You expect me to say what exactly?”
“She’d probably shit her pants if you said you love her… you should start small with something like, ‘I’d miss you if you stayed away’. I don’t think that would’ve hurt.”
“I told her that there were options for being in Shreveport.”
“But not that you preferred the idea.”
“It’s not as though… She is a stubborn bitch! I’ve saved her life and she still acts as though I’m out to get her…”
“Well, the reason for that problem is currently killing the grass in her yard. I’m going to be having a chat with her…”
“She might not be coming back.”
“Then I’ll call her… There’s a few things she needs to hear… I’m going to give her an Eric cheat-sheet.”
“That’s not exactly fair. I’ve had no help. In fact…”
She put her hand over my mouth and giggled, “Stop whining. You’ve got me all night. I’ll tell you everything you need to know… And if she does come back then maybe we can make some efforts in that direction.”
She nodded and took her hand away. “According to what we know, Bill Compton started filling Your Sookie’s head with fear as soon as you met her. Every kind thing you’ve done for her has been twisted to seem sinister… And you haven’t helped your case very much since the only ‘feelings’ you’ve mentioned to her have to do with your cock.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You don’t know that for sure.”
“Then when have you…?”
I decided it was my turn to cover her mouth. “Not the point.”
She giggled into my palm and lifted her chin away from my hand. “But Bill showed up and it was too easy for him. Life made her the perfect target. She had no clue what that asshole was thinking and I can tell you this because I’ve met other Sookies who got snowed, she associates how your mind feels when you lie to love, of all things. She’s got no idea how much you care for her because you’ve never lied to her… The bad news is that even though she’s spending time with an Eric who’s out of the closet about loving me, he isn’t much of a goodwill ambassador when he has blue balls.”
“After rising the way he did…”
She snickered, “No pun intended?”
“Pun fully intended. He’d better have been putting in the effort…”
She bent over to cackle, “When do you not?”
“Oh yeah… them. Not to worry. You’re better than Bill in your sleep from what I’ve heard… Okay, so now that Pam is on the way back…”
“How do you know that?”
“I can feel you notice her. I know your mind like the back of my hand, bond or not. So… back to Pam? Should we have some fun?”
“What kind of fun?”
“You ‘called’ her to come back, so she doesn’t know that it’s because you found Your Sookie.”
“We can strip our clothes and let her think she’s walking in on us.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m willing to go as far as faking a BJ.” Oh really?
“Good. Take off your clothes…”
She threw her head back and laughed. “You think I don’t know better? You don’t bother yourself with that step with most Fangbangers… If I’m on my knees, your desk and my hair will make me look like just another donor.” Fuck. At least I tried.
“If you aren’t naked, then Pam will sense that I’m not fully engaged. I won’t have any fun.” That was a lie… I wanted my own Sookie… I liked seeing the sincere smile on this one too much. The only times I’d ever seen her smile had been counterfeit or meant for Compton.
“Psshhhh… I’ve been with a You long enough to learn a few tricks. I got this…”
Sookie and I hurried through our plans to toy with Pam so that we could have as much rehearsed as possible. Sookie swore that she wouldn’t be the one to give us away… if anything betrayed us, it would be my bond with Pam.
Sookie didn’t miss a beat, feeling Pam’s mind arrive, she rubbed as she slithered to the floor and the way she looked up at me from between my feet… fuck.
She cooed, “You should run out those fangs… we want Pam to buy this.”
I let them down since I’d been holding them back. “Certain individuals act like they’re frightened of them.” My version of Sookie had shied away from them.
She raised an eyebrow at me. “Certain individuals are full of shit… My Eric’s fangs run out before he’s awake enough to move on purpose when I go to bed smelling like sunshine…” Fuck… I wanted that enough that I might have begged.
“Yet she had no qualms that he was going down on her.”
She wiggled her eyebrows at me. “She said she thought she was dreaming… she didn’t call it a nightmare.” What a very encouraging observation.
“My my, aren’t we astute.”
“I try…” She lifted her arm, offering her wrist. “Just a bite unless you want to see how long it takes to grow back the chunk I take out of your leg.”
“That sounds tempting.”
Sookie opened her mouth to answer, but she was interrupted by Pam… as she approached my office, she huffed, “Jesus, it still smells like Stackhouse…” I took Sookie’s wrist and she pulled my other hand to her hair, lowering her face to my lap as I bit. As soon as I tasted her, I knew I was ruined. Only drawing once, but leaving Sookie’s wrist to my mouth for show as Pam reached the door and continued, “Can I have Jason since you’re going to run away with the other one?”
I pressed Sookie’s head against my cock like I would have done to any fangbanger and drew one more mouthful before releasing her arm. “As long as he’s willing.” It was difficult to say that much with Sookie pushing warmth through my pants. Sookie might have been faking it for the sake of the joke, but everything Pam was sensing from me was authentic.
Pam stopped just inside the door and rolled her eyes before shutting the door. “Sorry to interrupt.”
“She can wait…” Sookie mumbled and made a slurping noise to sell the scene. “I found Sookie.” A couple of them. It had been my lucky night.
“And a stand-in, it seems. Where is she?”
“Between my feet…”
She rolled her eyes again and huffed, “Sookie. Where is Sookie?”
“Oh. She made a reservation at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau. Bank records. The concierge knows she’s being searched for.”
“You have blood on your chin… Are you going to shop for Havana shirts and board shorts before you breach your contract?” No… after.
I used Sookie’s hair to lift her face away as though I was letting her breathe and let her fake a few gasps before pushing her back down. Pam barely noticed. “I’m waiting to talk to her. Now that Compton is dead, things have changed.”
“Compton is dead? Permanently? When did this happen?”
“Shortly after he left here. He’s putrefying in Sookie’s yard at the moment.”
“I’m sure he’s already spread the word. I wouldn’t put it past the Shifter to react to the news Sookie is gone.”
She turned for the door. “At least we know that much. I’ll let you get back to your meal…” Sookie grunted against me and began to squirm. “…before ‘Random Blonde playing the role of Sookie’ suffocates on your dick. I’ll be out front.”
“I could just let her go. Do you have anything else?”
“How did you hear about Compton being ended? Is there a video?”
“Sookie told me.”
Pam raised an eyebrow and asked, “Which one?” Finally! I wasn’t sure I could take much more of having Sookie’s head pressed against my cock.
I lifted Sookie by her hair and said, “This one.”
While Pam stammered, Sookie put her legs under her to put herself back on my lap and offer her wrist so I could heal it… She wasn’t at all shy about licking away the remains of my feeding and her healing.
Pam finally managed to put words together enough to shout, “IT WAS ALL A JOKE!? She never left?”
I shrugged and offered, “Merry Christmas?”
Sookie giggled, “Ho, ho, ho…” as Pam called us assholes and dashed out of the room to pout alone.
We were both laughing our asses off when my phone began ringing…
Sookie left my lap to close the office door without being asked as I answered, “Northman.”
The other me replied, “Greetings. Do I want to know what she did to make you laugh like that?” I just fed from your wife and received a phony blow job that was promising enough to make me wonder if I could just keep the Sookie I had. Thanks for asking.
When Sookie whispered for me to behave, I couldn’t help but laugh, “No. Pam’s not talking to us right now.”
“Pranking while coasting across plains of existence? Lovely. While you’ve been enjoying your evening…”
“More than you know.” Blue balls. Both of Me were in the same ‘health’, but he didn’t need to know that.
He ignored it. “I discovered why Your Sookie left. She mailed a letter to Pam anonymously in regards to Witches being in the Area. Her friend Holly is terrified and knows that they have plans to interfere with Vampires somehow.”
“Witches? She survived a Maenad attack and she’s afraid of…”
“As soon as she met a Vampire, someone died. As soon as she met a Maenad, she was attacked. Werewolves have tried to kill her and she saw Hobbs melt the skin from a man. I think she might have an excuse to be leery of a natural Witch powerful enough to scare her own kind and dumb enough to antagonize Vampires.”
“Fair point… Your Sookie knows the witness too, yes? Questioning her would be sensible.”
“And calling Paulette for input.”
“Are you certain you aren’t just thinking of reasons to get your wife off my lap?”
“That’s exactly what I’m doing. Have Pam look through her mail. Find something out. It might be useful to us as well.”
I could have been pissed that he barked orders at me, but… he was Me. It was too bizarre to fathom.
As soon as I hung up, Sookie made a sympathetic face and said, “Wait ‘til you’re in the same room together… Alcide jokes that he’s having acid flashbacks when he sees it. ‘Better you than me,’ is the catchphrase at home right now.”
“I’m sure… You heard about the unfolding Witch situation, yes?”
She nodded, but didn’t say anything as she left the office… She came back a moment later with an envelope like the one I’d opened earlier and sat down on the sofa with it.
She took the letter out and handed the empty envelope to me, asking, “Same postmark?”
“Don’t you recognize your own handwriting?”
She crossed her legs and giggled, “Barely. I’m so bonded to my Eric, mine has gotten really neat like his… I was just asking because I wouldn’t have sent them from the same place… The return address on that one is Bryant Park to get Pam’s attention.” That would do it.
“She used her house’s address and mailed them from Bon Temps. She drove to Ruston for this one.”
“I would have sent it ‘care of Winifred’.”
“She’d kill you.”
She grinned from ear to ear. “She’d have to find me first… You ready?”
“To hear that I have a Witch in my Area? Foolishness and power never go well together…”
She interrupted by snorting. “Shut up. Don’t act like intrigue isn’t your second favorite flavor.”
“My favorite being…?”
“Me…” She cleared her throat and lifted her chin to jokingly put on airs…
“To whom it may concern…
It has come to my attention that someone has recently moved into your Area that may very well cause a lot of grief. It was only today that I overheard particulars of the new residents. I did have some trouble hearing some things and only heard part of the details before the person I was overhearing was distracted.
In general, the situation consists of Witches moving to Shreveport.
They have been consuming Vampire blood to enhance their own abilities.
They have a grudge against the Supe communities in Area 5.
They’ve all but taken over a local coven that hadn’t ever stirred up any trouble that they knew of. The principal players have started recruiting unwilling Witches by threatening them. Most of them are unwilling participants.
The person mentioned that Vampires of importance were being targeted as well as the local pack.
Unfortunately, that’s the bulk of what I overheard, but there were some scattered keywords that caught my attention.
Good luck trying to prevent harm from coming to anyone.
I wish I could be more help.
I just can’t risk it.”
Sookie held the letter out to me so that I could read it for myself and huffed, “At least she hid that the info was gathered via telepathy well enough… I’m going to go get a drink. Want anything?”
I raised my eyebrow. “Not from the bar.”
She walked towards me, practically hypnotizing me with her hips until she braced herself on the arms of my chair… leaning over until our noses touched. “You’ll get your Sookie.”
“I already have one.”
She smirked and said, “When you get her, you’ll bond to her… Now, you do your best to seem like an asshole, but you’re a very principled man… When you and your Sookie start skipping, do you want her to fuck and feed with another you?”
“I wouldn’t mind at all.” She could tell I was lying, but I had to try.
“Okay… I’ll call my Eric back and give him permission to fuck your Sookie. I mean since we’re the same, it’s no big deal, right?”
I narrowed my eyes. “You made your point. Get your drink. We need to talk to Holly.”
She kissed my cheek before she left, giggling under her breath that she ‘thought so’.
While Sookie was gone I read and reread the letter from My Sookie… the actual message was as straight forward as it could be. It was the subtext that I was studying.
Even though I knew that My Sookie left to avoid the impending commotion, it wasn’t like her… Not considering the way she’d been when we first met. The last few months had definitely chinked her armor. It wasn’t something I would have thought about before either. I’d been too distracted by Sookie to see the bigger picture.
It hadn’t been but a couple of hours since I’d reminded Compton what his failures had caused… But I’d been keeping score, considering each list item to be Bill losing ground in a game…
I had compartmentalized the events of the last few months instead of realizing how each one was weighing on Sookie.
Bill Compton hadn’t just failed to keep Adele Stackhouse safe… Sookie lost the woman who raised her and understood her gift.
Bill Compton hadn’t just failed to discourage Sookie from going into the Fellowship alone… Sookie was brutalized and narrowly escaped rape and immolation.
And the list went on…
I’d already decided that I couldn’t hold her departure against her…
But I had to add that I was much more of an asshole than I thought to the list of reasons she had for leaving.
I must have wasted half an hour contemplating the dilemma of what to do if she didn’t come back, how to proceed if she did, if there was any way to help her realize there was more to her than mind reading in my opinion…
And I was only just beginning to wonder how much insight I could get from the visiting Sookie before her husband returned when I realized how long I’d been pondering.
Pam’s mood was sour, but given the prank that wasn’t a surprise…
I entered the bar to find Sookie… If I was going to talk to Holly, I needed Sookie with me since she was My Sookie’s friend.
The only clue I had was the unattended rocks glass left on the bar…
When she wasn’t on the floor or at the bar, I opened the bathroom door and called for her… Nothing.
Like that wasn’t enough to worry me, Pam wasn’t at the front door either.
Feeling that Pam’s location was still so close was the only settling thing about their disappearance. The thought of Pam confronting Sookie about our prank crossed my mind, but that concern was put to rest as I turned the corner to the back of the bar.
Pam and Sookie were standing side by side… Sookie was holding a woman up, her arm was stretched out, pinning the women to the brick wall behind her by her neck and leaving her feet to dangle… Meanwhile Pam was pinning another woman to the ground by standing on her hands.
I couldn’t decide what was more impressive… that Sookie wasn’t struggling to hold her prisoner, that she looked positively venomous, or that Pam seemed to be following Sookie’s lead.
As I approached, the woman in Sookie’s hold kicked her leg…
Sookie chuckled, “Is that all you’ve got? One more of those and you’re toast. Tell me, Jenna, where am I going to find Hallow?”
The woman’s face was swollen from the pressure being applied to her throat, but she managed to choke, “She’ll kill me.”
“What does Hallow look like?”
The woman shook her head.
“What does Mark look like?”
The woman just stared back at her.
“Have they approached Colonel Flood?”
The woman gave the effort, arching her back to try to escape.
“What do they have planned?”
When the woman’s eyes crossed, Sookie’s rolled.
She shook her head, and looked over her shoulder at me. “Good timing. Can you hold this bitch down while I talk to the other one? Don’t touch her. The ‘glitter’ they’re wearing is silver dust.”
When I nodded, Sookie tossed the woman to the ground and as I put my foot on her hand, Pam gave me a look… she was no less impressed than I was.
Pam backed up to stand next to me when Sookie told her she could handle it. She whispered, “How long has Sookie been so… hot?”
Sookie giggled, “This is what happens when old ass Vampires feed Faeries their blood, Pam. Just ask Hadley. I handed her ass to her when she mouthed off the other day.”
Sookie kicked the woman in the side and barked an order for her to get up. “The Queen’s Hadley, my cousin. Hadley Stackhouse Delahoussaye.”
Pam’s eyes widened, but she waited to say anything in favor of watching Sookie work. She only had one chance to see Mine in action and that was simple mind reading and it seemed so long ago… Even My Sookie showed her mettle in Jackson.
Sookie glared at the woman. “What does Hallow want?”
Instead of saying anything the woman staggered her first few steps of her attempt to run away… Sookie looked up at the sky and heaved out a deep cloud of chilled breath. She let the woman get far enough that Pam wanted to go after her, but Sookie moved fast enough to surprise us…
She stopped just in front of the runaway and tilted her head. “Really Anne? Really?”
The woman reeled back, stumbling onto her ass. “They’re going to kill us!”
“No. They sent you into Fangtasia as a sacrificial lamb, stupid. I can tell you right now that you were sent to see if the target was clued in to the fact that Hallow was planning to make a move. You come in, learn what you can and report back. Great. They have intel. If you’re noticed and don’t ever turn up, Hallow knows to lay low. You’re Human. You’re nothing but a poser with an affinity for botanicals. You were recruited as cannon fodder, a meat shield. In fact, they’d be hoping you do get killed here. It’ll justify their original plans and they just call it a volley instead of an attack… How many of you are there?”
“I… I don’t know… 20 maybe.”
“What is she holding over you?”
“My… my kids…”
“Where is she staying?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know… we… she hasn’t mentioned…”
Sookie looked in our direction to ask, “Can y’all think of anything else we need to know?”
“Have we learned anything?”
She grinned. “Of course we have.”
“Then no.” As long as we knew where to find whoever had designs on my Area, that was all we really needed.
Sookie shrugged and snatched a handful of the woman’s hair to drag her over to where Pam and I were waiting… Once she stopped, she pushed her hand into Anne’s top.
As Sookie flipped the other ‘Witch’ over and fished the pouch out of her shirt, she explained, “Having Paulette around has come in handy in so many ways. Rosemary, cedar and silver make for a gris-gris against glamouring.”
She stood up and took the pouches to the dumpster to dump the contents and keep the bags.
“Y’all should glamour them to sing show tunes when they’re asked what they learned… They’ll probably just get written off. Have them stop at Wal-Mart to use their credit cards for groceries or something just in case they disappear… so it’s obvious they made it out of Fangtasia alive.”
I wasn’t just getting a glimpse of what My Sookie could do with practice. I was getting a glimpse of what Mine would be like as a Vampire.
It was so fucking beautiful, I was hard.
Pam paced in my office while we waited for Sookie to clean the silver from her hands… When Sookie joined us with her drink, she set her glass on my desk and pulled her shirt off to toss it in the bin.
She opened the closet to procure one of my t-shirts and asked, “You don’t mind, do you? I’m sure some silver transferred.”
“Not at all…”
Pam interrupted, “I’m still pissed about that ‘Runaway Bride’ thing, but Sookie… I’ve got a boner. When did you get to be such a badass?”
She snickered as she opened her belt to tuck my shirt into her jeans. “I’m not a badass. Those twats are messing with Eric.” It didn’t seem to matter that they were ‘messing’ with an Eric she wasn’t married to.
“You were holding one over your head.”
“Eric’s blood. Lots of it.”
Pam tilted her head and sighed, “I heard… So we have a Witch problem?”
Sookie grabbed her drink and sat on the sofa. “She goes by Hallow, but her brother has slipped and called her Marnie a couple of times. She’s not a natural Witch. She’s a Practicing Were… She shifted in front of the new recruits to make them think she did it magically. They’re terrified of her. The end game is dominating Area 5 but we don’t know why yet. She’s addicted to Vampire blood and Jenna overheard Hallow telling Mark that she couldn’t wait to get her hands on Eric. There are plans to go after Flood’s Lieus and blackmail him for use of his soldiers… The plan is to take out as many of the Shreveport Supes as possible and take over.” They could try.
I asked, “Do they have funding?”
“I don’t know what kind of bankroll they have at the moment, but after she catches you and bleeds you for as long as she can, she’ll get her hands on your revenue.” My pale ass.
“You seem to have some insight about witches. Ideas?”
“Well, someone needs to take me to grab something to eat. I’m starved.”
“Not a problem. Do you not have any ideas about preventative measures?”
“Then we go to her house and kill her and her brother in their sleep, silly.”