Like A Rock
His & Hers Cages
After leaving Sookie’s I went directly to Fangtasia… and dragged the first thing to eye-fuck me back to my office to feed.
Bloodlust wasn’t going to make the cage more comfortable.
Before I sent the donor away, Pam was in my office… She’d originally felt my good mood and assumed I’d gotten my way at the dealership, but couldn’t have been more confused about why I would have taken the new car I didn’t have to Bossier City for its maiden voyage.
My mood at the time was that much more confusing to her. She wasn’t used to feeling me crave anything.
I might have felt sorry for her… If I was at all familiar with the sensation. As it was, the sweaty slag I’d fed from had only made me want to return to Sookie’s house that much more.
The official excuse for my mood… I simply told Pam it was the dealership’s fault. The ‘bitch sales-girl wouldn’t sell the demo’, and the new models wouldn’t be available for seven weeks.
Of course, Pam assumed the ‘bitch’ in question was a Were who couldn’t be glamoured to sell the demo and I was subsequently sulking.
Rather than the fierce bitch who couldn’t be bullied and subsequently offered more entertainment than I could have hoped for.
I took my seat and read my book… While Pam was amused by the idea I was pouting over a car, I distracted myself with a seasoned favorite… Actually, I distracted myself by reading a few pages only to be sidetracked by wondering which book I should take for story time the next night. Then I read a few more pages… and began wondering if Cort or Hunter had read Monte Cristo. Then a few more pages… and did some mental math to factor how many tiles I’d need for Pam’s bathroom. A few more pages… Then I remembered how sweet Sookie tasted, and practically squirmed thinking about when I’d get my turn with my oral fixation…
So went the cycle, but I’d managed to ignore most of the pathetic pleas for my attention until closing time.
And yes, after leaving Bobby’s list of chores for him, I went to rest in my house in Sookie’s neighborhood. I may or may not have needlessly passed her house… a few times.
My choice of resting places left something to be desired. The flaw in my plan to have as short a distance to travel as possible was that I had nearly an hour to wait and Sookie was only a few feet away. Eight fucking properties. Eight. My house had probably been on the boys’ trick or treating route, possibly a door-to-door fundraising campaign… but no one would have been there to answer the door in their lifetime.
As much as I loathed hearing the sound of Bobby’s voice, I checked my messages. I was actually hoping he’d fucked something up so I’d have something to fill my time.
His first message was left in the morning, confirming that he’d bought the tiles and paints I’d sent him for…
The second was so funny, I had to play it twice so I could hear the whole message.
He stammered, “Urrrrrrm, Eric… I went to pick up your car at the dealership… But, uhhhhh, it wasn’t where you said it was. I uhhhhhm, I found it… Sort of. Sir, they did a lot of unauthorized work on your Corvette… And they said I couldn’t take it. You have to get it… And you have to wait until Monday because there’s a balance due. I’m so sorry. The mechanic gave me a name. The guy who did the work order. S. DuRone… He isn’t answering his line, but it’s Sunday… I don’t know what you want me to do.”
He was weeping by the end of the message… that was usually indicative of his need to change his pants.
I fucked with him. I had to do it. It was probably going to be my last chance… I berated him for waiting until after noon to retrieve my car. I admonished him for being so daft that he couldn’t convince a mechanic to relinquish my car to him. I belittled him for failing to pursue ‘S. DuRone’ more aggressively. I degraded him for claiming to be frightened of the mechanic… of course, the ‘blood on top’ was when Bobby claimed to be thinking of my safety because pissing off a mechanic was asking to have my brakes tampered with like insulting a waitress meant food would be served with a side of mucous.
I couldn’t know if he’d already soiled his pants earlier, but I was only halfway through my point about his timing when I heard the floodgates open.
It might have only killed a few minutes of my idle time, but I was still smiling when I left my house with my supplies and my choice of bedtime stories.
Cort opened the front door before I had the chance to ring the bell, but the entryway was dammed by little people, one of them was gaping. She was the same height as Cort with long blonde hair… if I didn’t know better I would have thought she was his twin given how much she favored Sookie.
Cort started, “Eric-Julie, Julie-Eric… Whacha got in tha bag?”
Julie- the abominable Round Robin Master.
“Nice to meet you, Julie… These are the tiling supplies I sent my day-guy for. I wanted to be sure he purchased the correct items.”
He shrugged. “Got me. I was jus’sa baby when Aunt Linda did it. Tha’s Mommy’s depar’ment.”
“I assumed as much… I brought a book too.”
While Cort laughed, Hunter snorted, “Feelin’ lucky, punk?”
Little Dirty Harry.
I chuckled, “Optimistic. I’m feeling optimistic.”
Cort offered, “Yer screwed. Uncle Brandon an’ Jason an’ Julie’s playin’ with us t’night.”
“Seven boards, seven kings…”
Hunter countered, “Seven shances ta be whomill’ated by kids!”
A man began chuckling in the dining room, “Hunt? Are you talkin’ shit to a Vampire?”
Cort grabbed my wrist and pulled me across the threshold without inviting me into the house… Either Sookie failed to rescind my invitation last night or she’d reissued it.
As soon as we were in the doorway to the dining room, Cort released my arm and offered, “Eric-Uncle Brandon…”
The dining room table was littered with notebooks and pencils and three laptops.
“We been doin’ quotes all day! We got over three hundred. Grownups been makin’ sure we aren’t paraphrasin’.”
Brandon offered his hand for a shake and explained, “YouTube is the best video reference ever. Great way to avoid watching the whole movie… Jules, quit staring… Sook’s in the kitchen cleaning up with Gran. Jas is skimming grass out of the pool…”
“And you’re in Disneyland.”
He was nodding when Sookie entered the dining room, drying her hands with a dish towel… No makeup. No up-do. A snug little T-shirt, short enough to show just a sliver of her waist, and a pair of jeans battered and faded enough for me to assume they were her favorite. They were long enough that the cuffs curled under her heels.
Sookie in her natural habitat… I was already smiling before she stretched up to kiss my cheek.
“Welcome back… If you didn’t have a message waiting from your day-guy, we need to talk about certain liberties I might have taken with BLDSKR.”
“He was a hysterical wreck when I spoke to him, but I’m still anxious to hear your version of events.”
She giggled, “Like real crying?”
“More like bereft weeping. He used to just urinate in his pants when he screwed up, now that he knows I’m a Vampire, he sobs too.”
She covered her mouth and laughed, “When I’m done laughing, I might feel bad… That’s… Oh my God. A man?”
“That’s debatable. He doesn’t correct Pam when she calls him Boobie… What liberties were taken?”
She dabbed the corners of her eyes and took a deep breath to try to stop laughing. “We were making breakfast this morning when a friend called. He drove past ‘my car’ and was hoping he would get the chance to play with BITE ME. Once I told him you planned to have the same mods as me done, he offered to do them today instead of letting ‘the little boys’ in our shop do them. BLDSKR is all set… but it has a few extra miles on it because he had to go out to Ruston Speed for the parts. We don’t keep them in stock because they aren’t GM parts so they void warranties…”
“He covered the expense of the parts?”
“For me, yeah. I told him we’d drive out to get it later. Do you mind?”
“Not at all… Arranging for the mods through Boobie would have been like pulling teeth… What’s the balance due?”
“That could be a problem. Who carries around $2700 in cash? He said he’d take a check for half since you’re a friend of mi-”
“I have the cash. Who would be brave enough to pick my pocket?”
Sookie shrugged and offered, “Good point,” just as there was a tug at the back of my pants.
Cort cackled, “I AM!” and ran away with my wallet.
Sookie opened her mouth to scold him, but I looked at Hunter and Julie. “I’m offering a reward.”
Neither one of them hesitated a moment. They were through the archway as quickly as their legs could carry them…
Sookie gave me a warning look. “You move faster so I’m making you break them up if it comes to blows. Julie’s a scrapper…” She pointed to the bag in my hand and asked, “Tiles?”
“I could have bought a gift for you.”
She sighed and took my hand to lead me to the kitchen. “Better not have. Foot rubs are free and I’d rather have one of those than most anything with a price tag.”
“I’ll have to keep that in mind.”
As we entered the kitchen, I walked into a cocoon of sweetness… The house, even the surrounding yard, smelled like a haze of different foods, as many restaurants tended to smell like everything simultaneously, but the kitchen was central to an oddly familiar yet foreign sweetness… and it only intensified when Sookie cracked the oven to peek into it.
She hummed, “That’s gonna kill me until I can pig out… Let’s see what Boobie got for ya.”
I set the bag on the counter. “His life is in your hands… What is that smell?”
She cringed, “Is it bad?”
“Not at all. I just can’t place it.”
“It’s Shoo-Fly Pie. It’s mostly sugar and molasses. It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. Have you been to Amish country?”
“No. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Germany though.”
Her eyes lit up and she turned to open the pantry, offering a small container with a large brown brick inside. “Spend any time in Asia? This is pretty popular in the south.”
As soon as I cracked the lid to sample the contents, I knew what it was. “You use Indian jaggery in an Amish recipe?” I used to keep a small amount with me to mask other scents.
“Happy accident. We were on a baking spree and ran out of regular brown sugar. The date juice gives the pie a nutty-fruity flavor…” She took the container from me and returned it to the pantry. “Now that the mystery is solved…”
Yes, now that the Vampire was craving pie… how the fuck did that happen?
She stretched up to her toes to peak into the bag and smiled when she removed the book that had been sitting on top.
“Have they read it?”
She shook her head. “No, neither have I. Dystopian society with a dragon, huh? Nice compromise.”
“I thought so.”
“There aren’t a lot of books with dragons, at least not where they’re a character. Hunter still isn’t happy about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He says Sir Gawain is a ‘poo-stain’ for killing the worms.”
Before I could stop it, I snorted out a laugh… there was no way to claim I was just amused by the term ‘poo-stain’, even if it was going to be Gawain’s new nickname. Possibly forever.
“Tell Hunter the ‘worms’ in question weren’t dragons, but marauding rapists. It was all a metaphor for a nest of vicious Vampires who systematically abducted and mutilated young girls.” I wasn’t sure how watered down the truth needed to be, so I was going to leave that to Sookie. I had a feeling the boy would insist on more information if I just said ‘bad guys’.
Sookie’s eyes bulged. “You’re shitting me.”
I shook my head.
“Is this something you heard through the grapevine?”
“No. More often than not, Gawain’s been a Knight for most of his existence. He compares Arthurian legend to the Bible. As much as he’s tried to correct the exaggerated metaphors based on his own experiences, that asshole has ‘sympathy for God’. Even under glamour, Humans eventually make revisions.”
She seemed to shake off a daze as she reached into the bag again and snickered, “We’re so keeping that to ourselves. Gran would go nuts. She still might pull out the hot lamps and interrogate you. She was really tired last night. History junkie, that one.”
“I’ll be careful.”
She removed everything from the bag, one item at a time, approving of Bobby’s purchases… She was concerned that I only had one box of tiles, so I explained there hadn’t been a point to bringing all of them. She warned me that the shades of pink and lavender pigment Bobby bought would darken several shades when the tiles were fired, so I explained that I knew that because glazed pottery wasn’t a new concept. She suggested I use a pencil to write the quote first because the pigment couldn’t be washed away from the tile, so I took the opportunity to sidle up behind her, trapping her against the counter, to quickly paint her name on a blank tile.
I was given an A+ for penmanship… and she verbally refused to think about how steady my hands were.
The last of the items in the bag left her confused… two little black velvet purses.
Pam, being Pam, enjoyed the ornate… powdered gold and .10 carat diamonds…
I sprinkled a light dusting over the wet paint on Sookie’s tile… and pressed a tiny stone into the dot over Sookie’s I.
I had just enough time alone with Sookie to be tempted to bend the bars of my cage, enjoying her body being pressed against mine and the way it made her heart race, but Hunter and Julie thundered into the room, demanding their reward.
When I opened my wallet, Sookie snatched her purse from the top of the refrigerator, and ‘magically’ transformed the $100 bill I was holding out for Julie into $20s and $10s… The children walked away with their $10s singing, ‘every party needs a pooper’… Once Hunter was out of Sookie’s earshot, he told Julie if there was a next time, she needed to distract Sookie so he could collect the reward. Sharing $100 would have been ‘epic’.
Fucking brilliant. Re-strategizing after a disappointment. At his age.
Sookie narrowed her eyes at me. “Do you have any idea how insane a kid can be with that much cash?”
I shook my head and held a finger up to have her wait. “Hunter’s plotting with Julie. If she trips over a step, you’ll be distracted long enough for him to collect… And Julie’s a ‘dingleberry’ for not snatching the $100 and running when you reached for your purse.”
She gasped, “That devious little…”
I finished, “Mastermind. It’s incredible that they didn’t walk away calculating how much candy they can buy, Sookie. Don’t overlook that.”
“I know he’s smart…”
“But faking an injury as a red herring… I’m going to need…”
“A substantial college fund.”
She giggled, “You’re impressed because he isn’t trying to con you.”
“No. I’m impressed because he’s a born strategist. He’s a rare breed… He thinks in angles and approaches when most adults can’t think tactically.”
She smirked at me and began re-bagging my tile painting supplies. “He really does. Funny you should notice that so soon.”
“Because I underestimated you?”
She giggled, “Along those lines, yeah. What was the first thing you thought after sizing me up?”
“That’s just cruel. I’m in the cage.”
She giggled, “Even though my kids were there?”
“Well, I assumed Jason was your husband, and that was annoying, but yes… car-salesmen are generally intolerably omnipotent assholes who behave as though they made the vehicles they hock with their own hands with instructions direct from God. I chose you because at least I’d have an incredible view during your spiel.”
She snorted, “Jesus, you just described all the guys on the sales team… So once we started talking then?”
“Oh, that’s when I realized you’re a horrible, sadistic bitch… telling me ‘no’ while your arms were framing those perfect… see, you’ve done it again. I’ve broken eye contact. What was the question?”
She blushed while she giggled, “You seriously didn’t pick me because you thought I’d put up less of a fight?”
“No. It was the view. Do most of your customers approach you because you seem sweet?”
“Most of them approach me because they assume I’m too stupid to lie.”
I nodded. “Because you’re too stunning to have a dynamic personality and a very sharp wit.”
“What I’m getting at is the wrapping is deceptive. Hunter, he’s cute as a button. Even once people hear him talk, they don’t take him seriously. Some guys ask to take me out to lunch or dinner for their test drive, but most of them are slobbering messes and completely shocked that I know anything about cars.”
“Because they’re picturing you on the hood in a bikini.”
She snickered, “Did I rattle the cage?”
I nodded. “From the moment you punched me… Out of curiosity, how was I sized up?”
She pulled her lips over her teeth and looked away for a moment before giggling, “I’m so not telling you.”
“Now I have to know.”
She cringed and stepped closer to whisper, “I thought, ‘Where the hell do you think you’re going? You should be waiting for me in bed’.”
“Did you mean to hit the cage with a wrecking ball just now?”
She laughed, “You asked…” When I began walking towards her, she whispered, “Uh oh. Did I break the lock?”
“Nearly… Once you were finished fantasizing about being in bed with me?”
She took a deep breath and sighed, “Then I realized you’re a Vampire and probably going to try to bully and glamour me.”
“That had to be disappointing.”
“It might have been if I wasn’t so distracted by how much better your hands would look tangled in my hair.”
That sounded like an invitation… and she shivered as soon as I pushed my fingers through to take hold.
Why the fuck did I do that?
“Teasing me, Sookie?”
“Stop asking. I tried to get you to stop flirting with me. I was behaving.”
I chuckled, “How is your cage holding up?”
She narrowed her eyes at me and poked my chest with her index fingers. “What cage? It’s more of a makeshift lean-to at this point. A stiff breeze coul-”
Before she could finish complaining about what I was doing to her resolve, I leaned over to kiss her.
And no sooner than my lips touched hers, there was a horrendous, “Ooooooooooooh,” coming from the doorway.
The volume increased and the pitch became higher as the children went on until I was sure only Vampires and Weres could hear the noise.
Sookie dropped her head to lean against my chest and mumbled, “Still think they’re cute?”
“Adorable. How much time do you think I’ll buy us by putting them on the roof?”
She giggled, “We don’t have a ladder. I guess they’d be at your mercy.”
I looked at the children and smiled. “Would they?”
Cort shouted, “Oh nuts!” and ran in one direction while Hunter darted in the other, but Cort returned to save Julie. While he towed her away he explained that I fly.
Once they were all looking for somewhere to hide, I took my kiss, but when I stepped back Sookie was holding my shirt.
She didn’t say anything. She only looked up at me with an inscrutable look on her face.
“If I don’t give chase, they’ll assume it’s an empty threat. I’ll never be able to use it again.”
She smiled sheepishly and nodded as she released my shirt.
“K… have fun.”
I kissed her forehead and offered, “I already am,” before I darted through the door.