Chapter 14: Better Things

Meanwhile

Chapter 14

Better Things

**

It only took a moment for us to make our plan… the rest of the elevator ride was spent looking forward to the chance to get our hands on the major nuisances of our ‘lives’.

Salome had eagerly offered their room number like virgins to a pyre, along with the infuriating news that Mrs. Caroline Holiday had reserved her room for 4 nights… Killing Sookie would only take 1. Including their night to plan… turning her would take four.

Even if we didn’t know which room was theirs, Hadley made their location known as soon as we were clear of the elevator. The petulant little bitch was whining in full voice to Lorena about wanting to go downstairs to feed…

Lorena’s tone was pandering as a minimum when she told her infantile company to have some patience…

All of my plans for Lorena were tossed aside when she told Hadley that she wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. “…See what’s so special about the cow that my Bill had to die for…” She was looking forward to inspecting his substitute.

I hadn’t seen her for more than a century… And she was still completely enamored with her pathetic excuse of a child…

I motioned to have the Berts follow me to the stairwell so that I could change the plans…

**

My original plan was to storm into the room and take the twat’s head from her shoulders… Barehanded… for the fun of it… and let Hadley sit in vampire debris and the fear of Andre’s imminent arrival.

The new plan wasn’t going to make Sookie happy, but she’d probably be less angry than with the original.

Sadly, since both of them were vampires, neither of them pissed down their legs when they jumped to their feet… But the looks on their faces when the splinters of door and framework flew at them after I kicked it in was enough.

Hadley, being the pathetic waste of plasma that she is, tried to run away… My satisfied smile when Hadley screamed in the hallway was reflexive… primal.

Poor Hadley ran into her ‘brothers’ (probably literally) just outside the door while Lorena leapt for a stake she’d left on her nightstand.

I watched her.

In the light tight room, there was only one exit and it just so happened to be blocked by the mother fucker she should’ve been considering when she made her plans to come after my Sookie.

She held onto her stake, shaking in spite of her attempt to hide how frightened she was while I rolled up the sleeves of my shirt so that her filth wouldn’t taint it.  “Long time, no see, Lorena. What have you been doing with yourself?”

She hissed in a miserable attempt to intimidate me. “Most recently I’ve been mourning the loss of my child.”

“Why mourn a cock drip like Bill? Just replace him with some marginally sane vagabond. At least they have some manner of survival instinct.”

“I doubt you’d be so flippant if you lost your precious ingénue.”

I laughed at her. “Ohhh, my Pam is hardly an ingénue… I’d call her a protégée if she weren’t so proficient… She hasn’t needed me for a while now. I don’t need to be reminded of how lucky I am that she prefers to stay with me.”

“I hear that your luck extends to taking fat little whores from other vampire’s beds too.” Trying to bait me into lunging for her? Compton never had a chance with such a fool for his maker.

“It does. You mentioned wanting to meet her.”

“I didn’t come here to meet the little bitch.”

Snorting at her, I slid my hands into my pockets, knowing that it would make her believe it was a vulnerability and itch to use it against me. “Lorena, I’m aware that it’s been a while, but you know what you’re dealing with. Are you going to drop the stake and play nicely?”

“So you can kill me? I DO know what I’m dealing with…”

“Lorena, if you truly had a single sane thought in your head, you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t have come for my Sookie. You wouldn’t be standing there with a stake thinking it could do any good against me. I’m stronger. I’m faster. And the only way you’re going to get to live long enough to finalize your will is if you drop that fucking stake.”

“Or what? You killed my Bill. What else do I have to live for?”

“Your Bill left your side ages ago because you’re so blatantly maniacal that your own child couldn’t tolerate you. You should have thrown yourself on a chair leg then and saved me the trouble of bothering with you tonight. By my estimation, you owe Sookie and me 17 nights each. You can either drop your silly little stick and come with me or you can put up a fight.”

“To what end?”

“Cooperating guarantees a quick death… resisting comes with a perfunctory 34 nights of ruin, mutilation and violation… and you know I have the means and animals at my disposal to make it happen.”

“Don’t you get your hands dirty anymore?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“For a human…?”

For my human. I’m not sure you’re catching on, Lorena. Since I rise early in my old age, by the time you rise you’ll be enjoying fresh stitches every night… you remember those, don’t you? Being flayed and stuffed with silver slag, then sewn back together with fine gauge silver wire… to rise like that every night and then die with a different animal on top of you every morning… your last 34 nights… and believe me, if you take me away from Sookie for that long, I’ll be inventing new fun. Just. For. You.”

“She was Bill’s human.”

“And?”

“She’s responsible. She owes me a child.” Over my dead body.

“Calling him a cock drip was the nicest thing I could think of, Lorena. He needed a fucking helmet. If he were smarter or had a smarter maker, he wouldn’t have introduced her to me at all. She came to me. She wanted my protection because your stain was such a failure as a vampire he couldn’t manage to cover his tracks. You might as well have separated him from his head yourself… Would you like to know how he spent his last night in existence? Or do you already know? Could you feel the silver burning him from Seattle? Did you know that for pocket change, you can buy hundreds of little sterling earring hooks… Pam and I make the occasional bets… whose hooks can hang the longest without pulling through… we use little brass fishing weights. 6 ounces are just enough that they don’t slice through too fast…”

“You tortured him before you killed him?”

“I let Pam torture him. She’s been a very good girl this year. An early birthday gift of sorts. He’d have gone on like that for a while if he hadn’t been royally discontinued.”

“That bitch…!”

“You’re either talking about THE queen, MY child or MY Sookie…”

“Fine! Your human BITCH! She’s the reason…”

“She actually cried for that lump of shit, felt guilt for her part in his asinine choices. She isn’t to blame for his incompetence; you are… Lorena, you’re keeping me from Sookie. I’m losing patience for you. Make your choice.”

She stared at me for long enough that I was starting to think she was actually going to take her chances with the stake.

I could’ve stood there until dawn if it weren’t for the fact that Sookie was a wreck. An emotional tornado… overwhelming amounts of horror and fatigue and angst… my only peace came from the gifts she gave me… the scent from my shirt, though fading, offered some tranquility… my rings told me that Pam was close enough to Sookie to be some comfort… They were so close that I could practically see Sookie’s hands in Pams.

The source of my impatience was the understanding that Sookie’s state wouldn’t improve until she saw that I’d given Lorena the chance to be rational. That I didn’t kill her recreationally… Just because Sookie wasn’t frightened of me, didn’t mean that she couldn’t be…

I loved her too much to fuck up so early…

**

Sookie was watching the door when I walked into Shed, tethering one useless cunt in each hand by her hair.

Sookie’s emotions seemed to die and her stare became blank… watching me lead the bitches to stand by a pair of chairs I kicked to the middle of the floor… waiting for Siegbert to return from the bathroom and Wybert to be done clearing the lounge…

I didn’t need to explain to Pam… she seemed the least interested in our entrance of anyone in our entourage… Salome, Owen, Mickey, Herveaux, Jake… all of them were watching as though they’d paid full price for tickets. I almost made a joke about Paulette not being invited.

Even when Seigbert returned from the bathroom, there was no reaction from Sookie… the silver nets that she disposed of the night before were showcased in his gloved hands…

Sookie watched Siegbert lay the nets out over the seat of each chair and both of the stupid twats tried to take a step away. An act that was only successful in pulling their own hair.

I enjoyed the smug look on Hadley’s face too much to make her sit first.

I directed Lorena over her would-be throne. “Lift your skirt. Take a load off.”

She balked, making the mistake of sneering.

“Lorena, one night or thirty four, the choice is yours.”

She swallowed nothing as she tried to ease herself onto the equivalent of a seat of a branding iron.

“I already have plans for when you try to leave that seat. All I need is an excuse. Understand?”

When she nodded, I finally had the chance to pay some special attention to Hadley.

She was so smug… “You wouldn’t. I’m the queens…”

“Retard. You’re the queen’s least fruitful venture. Your flavor as a human couldn’t possibly make up for how you shame her as a vampire. It’s only been days since your queen, your maker set the precedent of declaring a human as a protected asset and in your infantile little tantrum brought on by your own foolish sense of entitlement, you led that blood thirsty whore directly to your own kin… I would. I can. I will put your ass on silver until Andre can come take your self-important ass away.”

“You’d punish the queen?”

I pulled her closer to laugh in her face, but not so close that she’d spoil my shirt. “No. And you won’t either… Since you were so brilliant as to brag about being able to block your own maker from sensing you… Sophie-Ann won’t feel a bit of it. If the queen feels the slightest bit of your time-out, then the Fellowship of the Sun will have a young vampire, signed, sealed and delivered to its doorsteps first thing in the morning and you will be their next casualty in the war on vampires.”

I let her turn her head enough to see that the Berts were on board and turned her to face me again.

You’re so young, Hadley… Do you know how long it’ll take to burn? The Berts are sick of how you embarrass and weaken their maker. Andre is sick of babysitting you… Now, Lift. Your. Skirt.”

“Sookie! Make him stop! This isn’t fair…”

I was worried that I’d overplayed my hand, afraid that one pleading word from Sookie would break me, would make me back down… I still felt nothing from her… she was as much an enigma as she had been the night I’d met her. Turning to look at her wasn’t an option… one tear would undo me.

The sound of her throat clearing softly sent chills over my back that became needles while I waited. “Hadley, I’m not sure what you want me to do. I’m smart enough to not defy my master.” The room actually felt as though it was spinning… without sharing her feelings I didn’t know if she agreed with the punishment or if I was going to lose her for forcing her into a morbid recess of habitual bullshit pageantry… and just hearing her call me her master in the midst of the uncertain situation pushed a profound dread into my throat… Calling me master playfully was powerful, promising that she wasn’t afraid of what it meant… not between us… but not knowing her state of mind… the idea that she could be hiding hostility and sarcasm under those precious little words…  I couldn’t swallow.

The only thing to save me was the indignant bitch attached to the hair in my fist. Her attempt to fight for her freedom was foolish at best. The fucking brat thought that punching me, a childish jab to my nose, was going to do anything more than piss me off.

She started crying the moment she realized she hadn’t and couldn’t really hurt me, not unarmed as she was. I laughed in her face again, “Are you always like this when you’re punished?”

“Go. Fuck. Yourself.”

“I was serious about blocking Sophie-Ann and what would happen if you don’t. We’re all prepared to spare her future humiliation.”

“Are you deaf…?”

“Berts, you’ll let me know?”

When they provided a unified ‘sofort’, I quickly yanked up the back of Hadley’s skirt and shoved her ass onto the chair. I watched her face contort, puffing in short, annoying ‘breaths’… Lorena found it in herself to roll her eyes at her coconspirator over the display. Even if Lorena’s tacky instigating had brought her to silver many times over the years, she at least had the conceit to not play a victim when her games caught up to her.

While Hadley oscillated between hissing and whining ridiculous obscenities at me, I reminded her that getting up wasn’t in her best interest…

If it weren’t for my ring, I wouldn’t have known Sookie was leaving. She’d quietly nudged Pam so that she could scoot out of the booth and quietly duck into the hall leading to the bathrooms…

Part of me was worried that she was interested in finding the stakes.

**

I waved Pam off, needing to know for myself what was going through Sookie’s head.

Still feeling nothing.

The bathroom was expectedly vacant except for Sookie’s heartbeat and shallow breathing. Her feet were under the door of the last stall… and she’d found another way to lock me out.

“Sookie.”

More nothing.

“Sookie. I don’t need you to open the door. I can go over it or through it. Say something. I can’t feel you. It’s like the Abbey all over again.”

Her face was turned down when she opened the door. She didn’t look at me as she wrapped her arms around my sides. “Just give me a minute.”

I hated it.

I hated touching Sookie when I had the stench of those fucking bitches on my hands.

I hated that Sookie had closed me out again.

I hated waiting, dangling in suspension while I awaited unknown fallout.

I hated the idea that she might climb into my bubble to hide from talking to me.

I hated all of it…

But I did it.

I gave her the time she asked for…

After a few minutes she began to tremble as though she was freezing and it was only a warning of what was to come… the abrupt and vicious barrage of her feelings hitting our bond as they came back to her was so mind numbing that it made me realize that I wouldn’t know what to do with them if I’d had them all along. I felt like I was standing at the base of a dam as it crumbled… paralyzed to stop it and only hoping to not get swept away. But there was no bracing myself for the swell.

Affection. Apathy. Hate. Fear. Security. Pain. Turmoil. Greif. Exhaustion. Spirit. Anger. Pride. Shame. Trust. Nihilism. Relief. Mania. Understanding.

As the flood of every feeling I could identify settled into pools, Sookie’s arms tightened around me.

“I’m glad you’re ok. How’s your nose?”

My nose? I’m more worried about my pet.”

“Thank you.” Her cousin made the mistake of wearing a g-string on Hot Seat Night at Shed. Sookie thanks me. I’d have to turn her so that she’d live long enough for me to comprehend her.

“What for?”

“You wanted to kill her, but you didn’t.”

“Sookie, I’m still going to. She can’t be trusted to not carry a grudge.”

“I know… you gave her the chance to back down though… thank you.”

“That isn’t all you’re thinking about though.”

“No.”

“Care to share?”

“Not right now… I just really hated worrying about you.”

“You need to prepare yourself. Things could get ugly when Andre arrives.”

She pulled away to look at me, gasping. “Because you’re punishing Hadley?”

“No… He’ll pretend to be grateful so that he isn’t forced to admit she’s out of his control. He’s going to take his embarrassment out on her though.”

“That’s what you’re warning me about?”

“Yes.”

She laid her head on my chest again. “Fuck her. She’s dead to me.”

She is dead, Sookie.”

She giggled, but her mood took a colder turn. “Since you don’t play in the human sandbox often, I’ll clarify… There are three types of dead. There is the human termination of earthy existence… There is temporary, solar induced death that vampires dance with… The third kind is ‘dead to me’… dead to me basically means that you’d kill them, but you like hating them too much to give them an escape.”

“That should be embroidered on a pillow… but you forgot Zombies.”

She stepped back and shook her finger at me. “Don’t you dare tell me they’re real. I’ll never sleep again.”

I shrugged. “They suck for conversation, but they’re great for noodling.”

She cracked a smile and poked my ribs when she caught onto the joke. “Keep it up and I’ll glue you and Pam together in your sleep. She tried to convince me that some vampires really sparkle.”

**

As we came out of the back hall, Hadley was fidgeting… too stupid to realize that squirming only gave her skin the chance to heal and reburn. She modified the focus of her pleading from berating Jake about ‘growing a set’…

She whined, “Sookie! How could you let him do this to me? I’m your…”

Without warning, Sookie moved at a surprising speed to interrupt her cousin by backhanding her. Sookie’s hand collided with Hadley’s cheekbone hard enough to leave a gash and then she spit at her.

Hadley stood up and barely had the chance to get her legs under herself before Sookie shoved her down onto the chair again while we watched in awe, at the ready to end the confrontation before Sookie was hurt.

She loomed over her cousin, grabbing her face to squeeze her cheeks, mashing her lips into her fangs and drawing blood. “I’m not anything to you. I’m not your cousin. I’m not your friend. I’m not your ally. You played the poor, pitiful vampire princess until it was too late to get protection for Gran. You led Lorena here to turn me on a grudge after doing your best to upset me. The only thing you have left is Jason and I swear, if you do anything to harm one hair on his helpless head, I’ll end you with a splinter of the home you turned your back on.”

“You little bitch! You always got the attention…”

“Well, genius, you’re getting plenty now. How’s that working out for ya?” Pam and Herveaux snickered behind her.

When Hadley’s next tirade began Sookie rolled her eyes and stormed over to where she’d left her purse. Since her back was to me, I couldn’t see what she was rooting around for… the only things I had to go on were Sookie’s frustration and the way Pam mouthed ‘I love her’ to me with a raised eyebrow.

I didn’t get the feeling that Sookie was tending to her scheme with her back to me secretively. It seemed like circumstance of positioning were to blame for why I was out of the loop. Hadley squirmed more as Sookie reached under the chair and Lorena’s bloodied eyes widened while Sookie grumbled that Hadley even managed to ‘fuck up dying’ like everything else she’d ever tried.

When Sookie stepped back from her hateful kin, there was a patch of silver net affixed over Hadley’s mouth. Sookie had gagged her and as she walked past me with a wink, she groaned. “Thanks a lot, Hadley. Thanks to your perpetually cranky suck hole, I’m out of Crazy Glue and need to replace my Swiss Army.” She’d used Crazy Glue to silence a vampire with silver. Crazy Glue.

When Sookie came back from washing her hands in the restroom, Pam started laughing out an absurd song. “Mother Necessity… With her good intentions,”

Alcide made it a duet, “Where would this country be… Without her inventions?”

Sookie rolled her eyes and joined them (along with Owen) to butcher a verse about the invention of the cotton gin… and then they explained Schoolhouse Rock to those of us who were oblivious to what the fuck they were singing about.

**

When Andre arrived he seemed truly appreciative of my call about Hadley’s location… he began oozing disgust when the outline of her incorporated revenge scheme was explained though. The silver shackles he paraded her through the lobby in were but a clue of what she had to look forward to. Not to mention… he hadn’t covered the slowly healing burns on her ass and thighs or taken Sookie’s offer to remove the gag.

As a ‘token of appreciation’ for the evening’s entertainment, Salome offered to babysit Lorena until I could return to her just in time for Sookie to thank Jake for ‘realizing Hadley needed an intervention’ and keep her dinner plans in spite of everything…

Since Merlotte was still ‘in the wind’, Sookie used that as her excuse to invite Herveaux to dinner… and no sooner than we entered the lobby, Sookie provided a pair of diversionary donors for Wybert and Siegbert… and had to promise to find some ‘fresh meat’ for Pam later.

Any fool would’ve known she was up to something when she insisted on specific seating arrangements. The only empty seat in the booth was across from me and next to Pam. At least the bigger table and booth would provide a buffer from vodka being breathed into the shirt that had even gotten Andre’s attention.

Sookie had seemingly gotten a second wind. With yet another immediate threat out of the way, we both enjoyed her lighter mood.

At 10:10 I asked her if she thought ‘her date’ had decided to stand her up.

She giggled and swept her foot over my shin as she turned my hand over in her lap. “S H E S H E R E.” But hadn’t made a showing? Our company.

I returned, “A N G R Y?”

“S C A R E D.”

“P?”

“A. N O W E R E S.” As closed off as Michelle was, that wasn’t a surprise.

“?”

“S H E S L I S T E N I N G.”

“W E W A I T?”

Sookie made the mistake of nodding her answer…

Pam leaned towards us. “What was that? Are you two… Can you…?” I was sure she was implying that Sookie could read my mind now that we were bonded.

Before I had the chance to categorically deny anything, Sookie’s mood became mischievous… she placed a finger to her lips and quietly hushed Pam.

Pam gasped, “Bullshit.”

Sookie shrugged.

“You’re just fucking with me.”

Sookie stared while I spelled out a message and was quite possibly having more fun than I should be allowed. Sookie matched Pam’s lean. “The reason you don’t have any body hair is because your maids got body lice so you’d been sugaring.” She turned her head to look at me. “What’s sugaring?” I’d only just thought of the short way to spell out the process when she winked. “OhhhhOhhh. And it doesn’t hurt like waxing?”

Pam shot back in her seat and gaped. Her eyes moved like a tennis ball between us while I spelled another message.

I smiled and shook my head. I definitely hadn’t had Pam going like that in ages.

Sookie started to giggle. “The first thing you did when BetaMax came out was record Saturday Morning Cartoons on all three networks and you tried to call in sick to watch them all that night.”

Pam looked de-animated so Herveaux snapped his fingers in front of Pam’s face a few times. “Great. Y’all broke her.” Even I laughed… and spelled out more trivia.

Sookie laughed again. “You’ve been shopping for a new name since ‘88 because you hate Toto?” Herveaux started laughing that he knew just enough of the lyrics to ‘Pamela’ to have some fun with that fact. Then Pam elbowed him for humming it.

Sookie added to the fun, letting go of my hand to dig through her purse to find her cell phone and dissuade Pam from catching on by using her hands. “Sampson and Delilah. Homer and Marge. Adam and Eve… Hansel and Gretel.”

Pam shook her head suddenly. “Alright stop. That’s just…” She stopped talking when she realized that Sookie was eying her carefully. “…What?”

Sookie spun her head around to give me a ‘surprised’ look. “Eric, if I didn’t know better… it’s faint but…” She winked again as she disappeared under the table, dragging her hand over my lap on her way to the other side. When she reappeared next to Pam she sidled in as closely as she could, staring almost as intensely as Michelle had done to me the night before. “…This is… it’s quiet… Think something. Really concentrate on it…”

Pam’s chin disappeared into her neck, leaning away from Sookie’s invasion of her personal space while she waited.

Sookie whispered. “Ssss…sucker… Sucker?”

Pam gasped. “Close enough! ‘Mother fucker’… motherfuckermotherfuckermotherfucker…”

Sookie tilted her head and gave her a relatively curious look. “Nooooo. Pam. I’m pretty sure… Yeah… Definitely. It’s SUCKER.”

“No. It was mother fucker… why would I think about a… OH! YOU! BITCH!”

While Herveaux and I roared, completely, to our cores amused at the result of Sookie’s joke and the residual expression on Pam’s face, Sookie leapt out of the booth to spare herself an embittered blow from her victim.

Our noise had attracted plenty of attention by the time I let Sookie scoot back into her place…

Herveaux was wiping his eyes. “Fuck. Sookie, I’m crying. Crying… If I can’t tell folks about that prank I’m going to be pissed… That was too good.”

As it turned out, he’d seen our hands moving all along and figured us out, but wanting to share the prank, reminded Sookie that I hadn’t called Flood yet.

**

The call didn’t take long. Explaining that there was no way to predict the lengths humans will go to probably didn’t dissolve his paranoia that I harbored any resentment, but it did relieve me of the responsibility of any pending health problem he might develop from ruminating. I’d tried. I tried to settle his nerves and even thanked him for his cooperation and what his pack had accomplished. My attempts to ‘play nice’ were rewarded with teasing little fingernails running along my inner thigh and waking up every part of my body below my belt.

Michelle’s arrival was immediately noticed… It seemed that Sookie was much better at hiding her wear and tear than Michelle. It could probably be explained by the fact that Sookie was immersed in society while Michelle enjoyed a more hermit-like status.

Her choice of clothing helped her appearance. Although frail could still describe her frame, it wasn’t as obvious thanks to her padded bra, properly fitting dress and curled hair. The baggy clothing and limp hair had made her seem skeletal last night.

She leaned against the side of our booth with an unsure grin. “I wasn’t sure I’d join y’all, but I could use a good laugh and I could hear y’all in the lobby.”

I nodded to the empty seat as invitation. “Alcide, Pam, this is Sookie’s friend Michelle.”

“Hey. Nice to meet you. So what were y’all going on about?”

“Sookie had Pam wholly convinced that she could suddenly read vampire minds.”

She rolled her eyes and shook her head at the casual mention of telepathy. “Not only is it a source of income, but it’s good for parlor tricks to, huh sweets?”

Sookie nodded. “Among other things.”

“Such as…?”

“It makes me one hell of a wing man.”

Pam laughed, “Amen.”

Sookie suddenly became troubled and immediately kicked Herveaux under the table earning a scowl from her guard.

She mumbled at him, “My shoes aren’t even on. Stop.”

“I’m right.”

“I’m going to…” She turned her attention to Michelle. “I’m sorry. He figured it out.”

Michelle sat back and pointed. “Good for you, smarty pants. Now what the fuck are you? Your brain is impossible.”

THAT ONE doesn’t have a problem.”

“That one has more practice and a coach. What are you?”

By the end of a long exchange of glances between the three of them Michelle was left staring at Herveaux.

Pam broke the silence as she signaled the waitress. “I’m not buying it.”

Instead of trying to convince her, we laughed and moved on.

**

Michelle didn’t drink nearly as heavily as she had during our previous dinner. Much more of their conversation was voiced as well. She seemed more comfortable being around other non-humans just as much as Sookie … The two of them even teased Herveaux about the waitress’s ‘plans’ for him.

Once the ‘chewing’ portion of dinner was over Sookie ended a brief silent exchange with a smile… “Hey Pam, you should fix your makeup while Alcide escorts me to the bathroom.”

Pam rolled her eyes. “Subtle, Sookie. Really subtle.”

Michelle stood to let everyone slide out and as she scooted, Sookie snorted, “You glow in the damn dark, Pam. What do you know from subtle?”

Michelle watched them leave and was still smiling when she turned back to me. “How full of shit is she?”

“I’m not sure. I haven’t heard most of your conversations.”

“Say I get a ‘job’. What does that mean?”

“It would depend on the job. What did you and Sookie discuss?”

“She thought that the casino might want to hire me to do what she’s doing for them on a smaller scale because I’m not as strong as her.” The equivalent of using an antenna when satellites are down, but better than nothing.

“That’s entirely likely.”

“Could I stay secret or would I end up being ‘The Telepath’ like Sookie?”

“I’m sure arrangements could be made to offer the illusion of being a normal employee, but some would have to know. You have to be aligned with Salome for protection and some of her staff would have to be made aware of your ability so that they can understand why you’d be able to give orders.”

“Sookie said that exposure could be ‘minimal’, but zero would be impossible.”

“Michelle, you need to realize that if you are exposed, if you find yourself publicizing your gift for any reason, there will be no going back. You will need protection, a master for as long as you live. There are those of us who would value your services, but there are some of us who would exploit you for financial and political gain. You would have to leave the country and create a new identity in order to ‘retire’ completely. The only other option would be to become a vampire. Even then you’d have to be able to trust your maker to protect you instead of using you. You understand that, yes?”

She nodded. “This Salome… How well do you know her?”

“I’ve known her for centuries. She’s patient and as above-board as I’ve seen. She achieved her rank as Sheriff because she’s loyal and she’s known to mediate as well as Solomon. She’d more than likely be willing to offer protection and a contract. When your contract is up, she’d let you move on, but do her best to encourage you to stay.”

“Would you be willing to talk to her? Sookie said that she would but you’re the business man… There’s stuff in her contract that she never would’ve thought about because of differences between vampires and humans. And… money is kind of subjective…”

“Silly little things like rest escape most of us after a while and holidays tend to be nothing more than a reason to have a party. As for the money… How much would you like to make?

“I don’t know… see… that’s the thing. What should I ask for? I couldn’t do it for less than $10 an hour. That’s what I made housekeeping and I was making ends meet.”

I tried to not laugh at her underestimation. “I’m sure that won’t be a problem.”

She stared at the candle in the middle of the table for a moment before letting a long breath. “Alright… put me in, coach.”

“I just told you that retiring quietly isn’t an option.”

“Eric, I’m a recluse now. If I need to change my name from Michelle Johnson to Jennifer Smith and move to Reykjavík…”

“Learn Spanish or Mandarin. It’s more versatile. Don’t paint yourself into a corner. I suggest you plan an escape route and safehouse immediately. Just in case.”

“Alright.”

“Alright?”

“Yeah. I don’t have a life as it is. I don’t have much to lose.”

**

While Herveaux decided to retire, Pam opted to join us in the casino. She liked to watch Sookie work.

Rather than play, we made ourselves comfortable at one of the closed tables. There was a steady stream of vampires who would sit at the empty end of the table after quietly setting an envelope by my elbow. Sookie greeted each one with manners that weren’t surprising me anymore.

More than half of the ones she felt the need to deliver bad news in person to had been waiting for her when she was waiting out the unfolding family drama in Shed. Four of them returned with more pets and the rest of the anathema was waiting for her when Sookie entered the casino.

There were more than a few occasions when Sookie seemed still enough to be ‘talking’ to Michelle while she observed from the active poker table next to our post.

Sookie had just cleared the 3rd pet in ten minutes when Salome joined us to ask about progress.

The report that Baton Rouge pets seemed to be either well behaved or ‘straight from the depths of hell’ (even those were few and far between though) was ended with another customer.

Michelle had been watching the envelopes become a stack of $31,000, probably believing it to be closer to $3,100, so since she was within earshot I tested the waters.

“Salome, I have a hypothetical question for you.” Michelle twitched.

“What’s that?”

“If someone were to be discovered to be in your casino and using an ability like Sookie’s, what would you do?” Pam could have bit through her to cheek when she realized we’d been serious at dinner and Michelle folded with an Ace high flush making it hard to keep a straight face.

She laughed. “What am I, a fool? I’d hire them on the spot!”

“How much would you offer them?”

“Whatever they wanted, plus the kitchen sink and my youngest child as a slave.”

I laughed, “Mickey would hardly be an incentive… Seriously, what kind of contract would you offer such a hypothetical person?”

Her eyes sparkled when she realized she wasn’t dealing with a hypothetical opportunity. “For the sake of argument, would this notion of a being be as skilled as your Sookie?”

“Hmmm, just for the sake of argument then, let’s say that said individual has the potential to be as talented with practice.”

Our amusing little negotiation was interrupted by one of Sookie’s customers and Salome seemed to be resisting the urge to vibrate impatiently until Sookie informed him that his car hadn’t been stolen last year. His pet sold it.

As soon as they were gone again, Salome took the reins of conversation. “I’d offer such a person $1000 per night, protection, and all of the working arrangements that are contingent in Sookie’s contract.”

“How would you go about things if said person were adamant about remaining theoretical? Would it be possible for only a pair, no more, of your staff members to know the true nature of their speculative position?”

Completely possible. Said person’s position might be ‘Loss Prevention Manager’ or something of the like. Of course a hypothetical talent wouldn’t be able to enjoy the additional income from clinics.” Sookie was positively giddy and showing nothing.

“Maybe this imaginary contract should allow for clinics and sidework if the pretend individual were to manifest willingly.”

“Indeed.”

After a moment of anxious quiet, Sookie’s foot found my thigh… “G O” Where she put the O and how almost made my fangs run out.

“Well then Salome, in the interest of a potential whimsical windfall, maybe drawing a probationary contract for your wish list would be engaging.”

She did nothing but stare except for the 8 times she blinked. “Where?”

“Playing house with 7 dwarves.” Well, playing poker with a full house. 7s over 5s. When Sookie giggled I couldn’t tell if it was because she’d heard me, or Michelle ‘told’ her.

“The queen?”

“She already has Sookie at her beck and call and wouldn’t need a second with limits and no training.”

“Your finder’s fee?”

“Already taken care of.”

“Bullshit… Do you want a slave?”

I laughed at her. “Stop trying to franchise out that heel and go type.”

“Tomorrow night?”

“In our room. It’s more private.”

“I’ll go arrange for that babysitter.”

**

Michelle wisely went home without as much as a nod in our direction (probably as a safety measure Sookie suggested) and Pam left us for ‘greener pastures’… Greener pastures was code for the barely-legal bimbo with a pierced septum and a tree frog tattoo on the side of her neck. An homage to the Emo menu options that Fangtasia previously offered perhaps.

Sookie had pushed herself until 1am… but her second wind was failing her. Since the flow of customers had slowed to a trickle, I decided that it was time to quit for the night…

We were halfway…

Halfway between the gaudy entrance to the casino and the bank of elevators…

I should’ve known better than to think we’d get away that easily.

Even though I’d slowed to match Sookie’s stiletto hindered gate, I still almost hurt her arm when she halted suddenly… It didn’t seem as though her feelings had caught up to whatever stopped her and my only hint was a breathed, ‘stupid sonofabitch’.

“Sook…”

She quickly silenced me by putting her fingers to my lips, shook her head and whispered ‘later’ as she started walking, no, sprinting towards the elevator…

A man called her name and she did her very best to ignore it… and the only thing that kept Sookie from slipping around the corner to escape into a waiting elevator was the loud, harsh slap from just behind us… the noise was unique to a body crashing onto marble with force.

Considering how quickly she’d been moving this time, her instant standstill could only be called violent.

Unsure of what she’d been running from since I was only guessing that it was her Shifter, I put her behind me as we turned … Herveaux had a man pinned to the floor, arms twisted behind his back at impossible angles and Owen was only inches away from them. “Sheriff, Miss Stackhouse, we’ll take care of him.”

The man under Herveaux jolted, not enough to free himself from having a knee grinding between his shoulder blades, just a semi-successful attempt to lay his eyes on Sookie. “Sook! Sookie… tell them you know me!” When his scent reached me, the odor of grease confirmed it was the Shifter, the putz… and he’d made one hell of an entrance.

Sookie groaned louder than I thought she could given her fatigue. “I know the jackass… Alcide, could you please let him up… Owen, is there somewhere private we can borrow for just a minute?”

He gave a nod. “Certainly. Whenever you’re ready.”

I found it difficult to not laugh at Herveaux. He was annoyed enough that he had to let Merlotte up, that he manhandled and berated him all the way to the small office that Owen led us to. My favorite of his slurs: ‘Retarded piece of shit shifter. What the fuck do you smell like? Is your familiar a chicken fucking nugget?’ Not only was I forced to crack a smile, but it broke through Sookie’s irritation enough to warrant a giggle.

Owen stopped at the door to stand sentry and Herveaux shoved his captive through the door with enough strength to send him over a chair and, again, onto the floor.

Sookie took a step towards him and grabbed the back of his shirt. “It’s ok. He’s not a threat, just an idiot. What are you doing downstairs anyway?”

“The Berts’ dinner break freaked out Maria-Star… She woke me up to keep her company while she ate… We were leaving the restaurant when I saw him tear off after you… if he’s fine, why were you avoiding him?”

“I just didn’t feel like dealing with him.” If the shadows under her eyes weren’t enough she yawned enough to make her eyes water.

“So this weasel… wait… pussy… no… cockroach… I got it… Jackass.” Who’d have thought a Were could have as much fun with animal humor as I could…

“Yep. That’s Sam.”

He growled and started for the door. “I’ll be with Owen…” And continued to grumble, “yeah, Sookie’s the dumb one… she’s got a state worth of vampires eating out of the palm of her hand… stupid fucking shifter… shift into a higher life form… like a fucking hamster… one of those would know better than to go after a vampire’s pet at night at least… fucking idiot…” Sookie had apparently filled him in on Sam’s flawed perspective of her life.

As amusing as his rant was, curiosity made me stop him. “Where is Cooper?”

“Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m packing her shit and sending her home if you’re alright with it. She should’ve at least circled as backup. She’s a wooden fucking leg if she’s too spooked by y’all to deal with her own kind.”

I gave him a nod. “Agreed.”

**

Sookie and I waited impatiently for her shifter to collect himself. “I think he broke my rib.” Alert the Humane Society.

Sookie snorted, “It’s a shame y’all heal so fast. Otherwise, it might teach you a lesson about chasing after people like you did. What the hell are you doing here, Sam?”

His look was angry and disbelieving. “I guess I just had to see it for myself.”

“See what exactly?”

“Jason came to the bar tonight. When Lafayette asked after you, I heard him say that when your ‘business trip’ got cut short by the bombing, Northman brought you here… I tried to track down Compton to see what was going on… but… I can’t believe you’re letting him use you like this.”

She rolled her eyes and came over to lean back against me. “You really are a jackass. You nearly got yourself killed over nothing.”

“How is this nothing!? He’s got you using your disability to make money at a casino and he’s dressing you like a slutty doll…” Slutty? It was almost a shame that Fangtasia wasn’t still standing… He could’ve easily seen ‘slutty’ without getting out of his car. Knowing that Sookie’s dress was Fendi, I was tempted to report his remarks to Pam… but she’d drain him.

Before he had the chance to insult her again, Sookie grabbed a Rolodex from the desk and hurled it at his face. In spite of how deserved it was, I pulled her back to keep her from doing something she’d regret… She was furious and exhausted, but hurt and disappointment were starting to take over her feelings.

Sookie hissed, “One more crappy thing out of your mouth and I will start your whopping and let Eric finish it… I am NOT lining his pockets in the casino, you sanctimonious asshole. I’m here because of the bombing. The sheriff of this area hired me to listen for the wackos from the Fellowship because she’s been having problems. Congratulations on making the world’s longest jump to the wrong conclusion. Guinness Book’s gonna need your picture.”

“Hired you? How did he find out about you at all?”

“She. Salome found out about me because I outed myself. Eric already knew about my ability and didn’t say a word until I called the queen to be put under his protection instead of Bill’s… Bill was the one using me.”

“Do I get to say ‘I told you so’?”

“Say whatever the hell you want, Sam.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, if you think after losing my grandmother, my cat, nearly dying and being played like a pawn by someone I trusted isn’t enough… go ahead and rub my nose in how you told me Bill Compton would use me. Pat yourself on the back while you’re at it.”

Herveaux grumbled from the hallway that he’d volunteer to do the patting if ‘McNugget’ couldn’t reach.

“That isn’t what I mean, Sookie. Why do you have to be so damn pigheaded?”

“Because that’s who I am. I’m a pigheaded telepath. You’re an obtuse shifter. I hardly think it’s worth mentioning anymore. I’m exhausted. I was on my way to bed when you showed up. You can either check in and stick around so we can talk tomorrow, or just go home and call me later. Your call. Either way, I’m not up for your horse shit tonight.”

“Will you be allowed to talk to me without your big scary vampire looming over us?”

You’re the one scared of him. And no, he won’t be around, but I’d have to kill Alcide to keep him from being there along with the hotel guards.”

“You’re not allowed to go anywhere without a guard?”

“Sam, after seeing for yourself what kind of crap I’ve been through over the past couple of weeks, what makes you think I’d want to be anywhere without a guard? You said yourself that I should get a gun…”

“A sadistic Were isn’t better than a gun.”

“He isn’t sadistic. He’s protective…” And getting a raise.

“And I guess you’ll defend vampires until you’re dead too, huh?”

“Depends on the vampire, Sam. I’ve got a few who want to kill me and I’ve got a few who kiss my ass… I’ll talk to you once you’ve calmed down.”

When we left, he tried to follow us… but Owen helped Herveaux fill the doorway (not that he needed help). Sookie’s Were growled, “Give us an excuse.”

Owen hissed, “You’re lucky she’s willing to talk to you tomorrow.”

When the elevator doors closed behind us, Sookie all but slumped against my chest.

**

She was nearly asleep by the time we reached our floor. She let me carry her to our room and deposit her in the bed without resisting because she didn’t have the energy.

She hummed as she nuzzled into the pillow, “I wish you could glamour me so I won’t worry. Be careful.”

“I’m always careful.”

“Then be extra careful. Love you.”

“I love you too. I’ll be back soon.”

The door was closed behind me before I realized what I’d said…

In the elevator before I realized that I meant it…

The stake I used to end Lorena was in the puddle on the floor with the rest of her before she knew I was in the room with her…

I had better things to do than waste time with her when I could be with Sookie.

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75 thoughts on “Chapter 14: Better Things

  1. Phenomenal as always. Won’t see me complaining about frequent updates. Eagerly awaiting the rest of your awesome story.

  2. Hadley is the winner for biggest fuck up! Damn! The Sookie-Eric-Pam-Alcide quadrangle of friendship and love is great as always. I laughed like a loon at Alcide’s “is your familiar a mcnugget” line. HYSTERICAL! Thank you for ending Lorena quickly she really didn’t deserve wasting anymore of their time than she already did. I’m getting the feeling that you don’t like Sam too much. I have to agree that he can be quite the hypocritical douche at times.

    I think Salome will be a fair “Master” for Michelle. Hopefully, she’ll be happier with her life and ability like Sookie is now.

    Eric dropped the L bomb and owned it. Very nice.

  3. Here I am at 5 am trying to get at least some sleep and you post on other chapter?! Love you so much for taking my mind of my insomnia at least.
    Great chapter, loved the way Eric despised of Lorena to spend more time with Sookie.
    Whats happening with Fangtasia? I would have expected some panicked messages from Bobby to his Master about it.
    Might as well get up now, too excited to sleep anymore and the alarm’ll go in 30mins anyway.

  4. Hadley is a moron. So is Sam. I’m sure you aware of this, but I felt the urge to say it anyways.

    LMAO @ “What the fuck do you smell like? Is your familiar a chicken fucking nugget?” Too funny! And then Alcide nicknames Sam, “McNugget!” Awesome! Hahahahaha!

    Woot! Eric told Sookie he loooooooooooves her! Although, who knows if she’ll even remember it. But at least he got it out there. Tehe.

  5. Well done. This was a great chapter – you are doing really well with your updates! I love the way you write Eric’s point of view, I think it fits well with your writing style. When will you start up the sequel to Bored to Death? There’s in rush! I love Meanwhile just as much it is fun to play with alternate-alternate realities.

    Well Done.

  6. Three updates? You really do love us, huh? 🙂 Well, my dear, you have outdone yourself again! Another brilliant chapter! I can’t believe Hadley would stoop so low. I’m sure Andre is going to make her pay for the embarrassment she is causing Sophie Ann. And uugghhhh. I am not even going to go into how I feel about Lorena. That bitch definitely got what she deserved. Its nice to see that Michelle’s going to get taken care of. She seemed so lost! And, last but not least, he FINALLY said it! I’m so happy! (I’m such a sucker for love, lol). Thanks for this update! It definitely made my day!

  7. I’m so glad you’ve been in an update kind of mood. I’m running out of other stories of yours to start reading, so the updates are awesome.

    I think the Eric/Alc dynamic is great, and I like how Sookie is taking charge of her life more now than when this story started.

    Hope your muse/inspiration/”happy-dappy herp-derp” feelings continue for a while!

  8. I think I love you lol. You’ve made my week with your 3 updates!! Your wonderful writing always makes me happy and after the last couple of weeks I’ve had I need my fix of happy, so thank you again for giving us more Meanwhile so soon. *hint hint*

  9. Yep, Lorena ending up in a puddle was so well deserved. Eric slays me. He just realized he loved her? Who is he kidding? This version of her is hard not to love. Good chapter as always.

  10. You made my day. It was a long and crappy one but I get to go to bed giggling. “What the fuck do you smell like? Is your familiar a chicken fucking nugget?’” I truly adore your Alcide. Truly. Thanks for the cheer up, I sure as hell needed it.

  11. I don’t know if I can handle the excitement of having a third chapter in a week 🙂 I don’t know if I’ve commented before, but I really love your writing, and I’m loving how you’ve really made this off-shoot story so unique from Bored to Death.

  12. THANK YOU THANK YOU for another chapter so quickly I just love the way Alcide seems to be fitting in with Sookie and Eric and YAY Eric said “I love you” and knows that it’s for real I can’t wait to read more.

  13. I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to go back to the books’ Sookie and Eric after reading yours. I love all of your stories and squee like a total girl every time I see that you’ve updated. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them 😀

  14. Thank you for the third update this week. The Dynamic Duo of Hadley and Lorena was surprising, and they didn’t get much done even with two brains. Sam has always been a hypocrite, so I suppose he deserves whatever he gets just for that.
    Nice that Eric finally said it. Whichever alternate world they’re in, they belong together.

    Can you spill? What’s going on with Life & Death? What about the sequel to BTD? AIW & M are great, but the originals are just that; original, and they have the most joie de vivre.

    Sighing in happiness,
    irene

  15. Three chapters in one ween?? Eeeh pinch me! I’m dreaming!
    Loved Erics seating arrangements for Lorena and Hadley. The prank on Pam was too much!
    They’ve shared three little words!! Too sweet

  16. love where this is going. sookie will hopefully get rid of sam quickly enough to relax for the day like shes suppose to. sam sure is being an idiot.

  17. I love all the recent updates. You are the best fan fiction author alive. I glad that Lorena was ended quickly. She does not deserve a lot of our time at all. I love the relationships between the power 4 (Sook-Eric-Pam-Alc). You make it believeable the they would all come to care for each other. I love Salome but why would she have pick a slimeball like Micky to make into her child. That would be an intresting side story.

  18. Awww… Eric said the ‘L’ word and didn’t over think it, he just said it like it was the most natural thing in the world.

  19. ‘it was blocked by the motherfucker she should have been considering when she made plans to come after my Sookie’

    Oh how I love your Sheriff. Like Byron, mad, bad and dangerous to know…but how amazing if you know him in a special way.

    I can’t even list everything I loved about this, I would still be typing and you would have updated again, how spoilt are we this week?

    So my absolute highlights only 🙂 I loved the silver gag, in fact I love the whole crazy glue/pranks running joke. It just emphasises something else I truly enjoy, the relationship between Eric, Pam and Sookie. (the reference to Toto cracked me up).

    And now Alcide is making it a foursome. You are the only author ever to make me desire the wolf, be it canon or AIW I wouldn’t mind petting that dog! And you have given him the most wonderful sense of humour and spirit. McNugget lol, you laugh even though you know it’s mean. In fact that makes you laugh more!

    Loved Sookie and Eric’s prank on Pam, but she’ll get her revenge.

    The character of Michelle is developing nicely, it’s great how much Sookie’s feelings influence the big guy, without letting him become pussy whipped.

    Their relationship is the one we all want, loving and hotter than he’ll, but with a deep connection and respect. Sookie is the girl we all want to be.

    I felt quite sad Fangtasia was gone but the idea of Pam playing homage to the menu made me laugh.

    There is so much I have missed, like how cool Sookie’s relationship is with the Berts. But I really would be here all day. It’s 7 am, what a great way to wake up! After all this drama I hope our pair get some time to be with each other.

    I love ya and I love every word you write! Oh, yeah, where did you get that pic at the top, God he’s gorgeous….if only.

    I forgot! You are an education ! Being a Brit I had to look up noodling to see why Zombies would be so good at it! LOL, that was so funny, I would love a walk in your brain. It’s like an extreme sports version of trout tickling…you guys always do things bigger and better 😉

    So…are there such things as Zombies and if so, can I have Eric and Alcide to offer round the clock protection?

    Loved it to the MAX!

    • haha you are too funny. your forgot to mention that walking in Angela’s brain would be an extreme sport!! LOL i would also gather that it would be a fun/scary place to be 😉

  20. that was an awesome chapter. i totally loved how Sookie manhandled Hadley or how she explained what ‘dead to me’ means to Eric…”human sandbox”. haha
    oh how i loved Alcide this chapter 😀 not just for his part on Pam’s prank (priceless) but the way he treated Sam! You always out do yourself with the best quotes ever, “Retarded piece of shit shifter. What the fuck do you smell like? Is your familiar a chicken fucking nugget?” my Mom has never read anything SVM but i explained what a shifter was so she’d get the quote…you had her rolling on the floor with your genuis 😀 Thank You for another suprise update *muah*

    p.s. it looks like you were well feed this chapter 😉

  21. Spoil us much why don’t you! Another wonderful chapter. I love the friendship that is springing up between Alcide, Pam, Eric and Sookie. Him saying he loves in that way was just perfect. No big production just a simple honest realization of his feelings for her. Wonderful look forward to the next post, though I will totally get it if it a bit before we get one on this story since you have spoiled us with so many in the last week.

  22. wow so many articulated reviews. I don’t know what to add :0 that hasn’t been said already… but… I LOVED the ‘natural’ way eric tells sookie he loves her. liked the back and forth banter, specially the supper glue to Hadley, the ‘schoolhouse rock’ bit. was funny. hope hadley won’t cause more trouble or cooper holds a grudge for being sent home. just enjoy your writing so much.

    as a side thought to someone else’s post concerning insomnia I suffer from sleep deprivation too and recently was told about ‘meltonin’ maybe it could help 😉 hope im not overstepping anything but for me its been a blessing. =)

    thanks again for another great chapter as always can’t wait to read some more

  23. Once again there is so much in this chapter that I love that the only way to mention them all would be to basically copy the whole chapter in to here, ;-).
    I didn’t get some of the references but who the hell cares I still loved every bit of it. I love that Sookie isn’t a wimp or a stubborn past any sense twit and that Eric is influenced by Sookie without being a wimp. I love the relationship between and Pam and Alcide. (Really like Alcide in this fic and his friendliness with Eric). Finally I love the ‘McNugget’ comments from Alcide, left me giggling. Remember 4 is always better than 3 so another update as quickly as the rest would just be (en francais) formidable!

  24. Love, love, LOVE it! They shared the I love you’s and Eric did not freak out about feeling it. How priceless was them punking Pam…..and Alcide knew and got in on that action! I also thought it was incredible when Sookie GLUED Hadley’s mouth shut with silver, after explaining how she was dead to her. And poor Eric was worried she’d defend her. Not likely! Sam is a huge idiot and I’m so glad Alcide put him down hard….now if only Sookie would let him neuter Sam for keeping them from having longer together upstairs.

    I’m loving all the meanwhile updates but can I put in a tiny plea for Alcide in wonderland (I’m missing that story badly!)

  25. Sam…ungh…he’s so sly in how he always goes after Sookie thru her insecurities, knowing which strings to tug at…all under the guise ‘because he cares for her’ hahaha. That’s like people who start a sentence with “I know I shouldn’t say this but…” or “this is going to sound bad but..” Here’s a tip: if you KNOW then DON’T! Sam Sam Sam, apologies don’t contain the word “but”.

  26. It does appear that Sam tries to manipulate Sookie, too, in his own way. I don’t think that’s working anymore. As for Hadley, I wonder if the queen is regretting turning her. Do we dare hope she learns a lesson from all this? Though she might not be smart enough. The story is fabulous. I love the “I love you’s”.

  27. You love us, you really love us! You have made this a great week. Thanks so much for all the updates. I loved how Sookie gave it to Sam. Mc nugget!!!LOL! Totally agree with one post-er who asked how we could go back to the books after your story. I just complained to my sister that I was pre-ordering the book so I could be disappointed for $14. instead of $28. I wish CH read fan fiction. You are an awesome writer.

    • Lol! still haven’t listened to or read Dead in the Family and I totally blame awesome stories like the ones here 😀

  28. Your imagination amazes me. Can I take a vacay in your brain? My muse is playing hard to get.
    Once again, great chapter. I loved how Sookie shut Hadley up, got in Sam’s face, and got Eric to speak without thinking.

  29. SOOOOOO glad for the trifecta in updates. Love this story! I like the friendship between Eric & Alcide. Sam as a McNugget, priceless. I also thought it was funny to see how even as a vampire Hadley tries to play the family card with her sense of entitlement.

  30. Fantastic chap again! Love the Eric/Sookie/Pam/Alcide dynamics you have going on, you write all 4 of them so well. And we got to see protective, angry, cunning, caring and loving Eric all in one chapter, what a treat. Wondering whether he told awake or sleeping Sookie he loved her, looking fwd to finding out whether this will take them (is he going to to try to ignore it like that awfully sweet thing he said in the restaurant in chap 12 or will he repeat it when she is up?) . But what the hell is wrong with Sam, ass. Alcide really stepped up to the plate on that one. As for Hadley, hope she gets what is coming to her, the chair and gag should only be the beginning.

  31. Sam=moron. Chicken nuggets=LOL! Hadley=bigger moron. Hadley and Lorena=playdate? Hahahahaha! The “L” word=divine. I always drop everything when your alerts hit my Blackberry. You rocked this one again !!!

  32. I’m so glad you muse has returned. I don’t know where you find the time to write so much, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    My favorite part of this chapter:

    ‘Retarded piece of shit shifter. What the fuck do you smell like? Is your familiar a chicken fucking nugget?’

  33. OK, this has been an amazing week for updates, hon! *bows* Thanks for the wonderful stress relief. I’m so glad your muse is singing to you on this story. It is unfolding so beautifully.

    Again, there have been so many comments that reflect what I love about this chapter. The pranks, the camaraderie among Eric, Sookie, Pam, and Alcide. I like the introduction of Michelle and I think that she will do well with a master like Salome. Love the bit with Lorena and Hadley. And oh, did Sookie handily take care of that little tripe Hadley. How the heck can family treat each other like that? Crazy glue and silver net….very inventive!!! Brilliant as usual, Angela.

    Oh, and my favorite line? Eric saying the L word, of course, not even having to think about it and knowing he means it 😀

  34. Thank you for the 3 updates. I loved each chapter. Love Sookie’s practical and naughty sides and the reactions from Eric. Alcide’s comments to Sam made me laugh out loud. Sam is an idiot.

  35. Didn’t get a chance to comment last night after reading this but I’m back and boy..oh..boy…this story is going to be just as epic as Bored To Death…wow…you really are my own personal pusher and your ‘crack’ is just what the doctor ordered! Such great stories, keep up the abso-awesome work 🙂

  36. So, I’ve heard that you have a review addiction problem. Considering I have a Meanwhile addiction problem, I thought we could enable each other.

    Thank you so much for updating so soon. As always I’m amazed by your wit. The chapter started as emotionally intense but grew to be a running joke.
    I always laugh so much as the banter and practical joke. Alcide wins this chapter with the chicken nugget line. The visual has me holding my sides.
    I seriously don’t understand why Sookie is still bothering with Sam, he’s pretty worthless. I am enjoying Eric and Alcide’s growing bromance as well as the Michelle storyline.
    Lastly, I though Lorena’s ending was pitch perfect. You expedited it in one sentence, period. That was totally proportional to the amount of consideration she was worth.

  37. YES! I am thrilled beyond measure to get another update. I love the dissing of Lorena, Hadley and Sam. This stuff is fantastic. You are brilliant and I love it. And Eric says he loves her and means it. Excellent. I love the pranks on Pam, the silver gag, so much more.

    I hope you are getting some sleep. I could go on and on about how much I love you and your writing. Thank you.

  38. absolutely loved it! I about swooned when he said he loved her too! Did she hear him?!

    Sam’s being a douchetwazzle… And I love protective Alcide. It’s always refreshing when he’s not fighting with Eric in a fic.

  39. I’m too lazy to log in, lol.

    OMG, I just wanted to comment on ‘McNugget’ since it almost made me pass Mr. Pib through my nose. Anywho, loved this chapter, and this story, even though I’m completely fail at reviewing like 98% of the time.

    *hugs*
    Sydney

  40. Excellent chapter! You stuck like a ninja in the night. LOL
    I have always thought Hadley was a selfish little twit and that Sookie was too nice and too forgiving. I mean she is the one that started the whole damn thing. You fried her ass perfectly. 😉 Anyway, I would love to hear how She gets punished. Lorena…what is there to say about her..Pitiful? Yeah that’s it, she was just too damn pitiful but then again that could be said for Hadley as well. Sam, you poor thing. He is just lost. I hope he gets over her soon. The joke they played on Pam was too funny. I really like the twist with using Michelle instead of Barry.

  41. Wow! You need to leave your brain to science, ya know?? Bar none, published or unpublished, you are one of the BEST writers out there –really….out there…. 🙂
    Love it! Glad the little one slept enough so you could issue this wonderful trifecta…..hope your muse is chattering non-stop….

    pat

  42. Damn do you ever sleep? How do you do it?
    Anyway,thanks for updating again. And for making me LOL with this hilarious chapter. And for the fluffiness at the end. And for the friendship they’re building. And for the prank to Pam,that was brilliant. And for Alcide. No negativity comments about the bitch,the brat and the puppy. I’m in a good mood tonight. I ADORE YOU!!!!! 😉

  43. Seeing as you find brain licks slightly disgusting and uber creepy I’ll just say I love your brain and I’m ecstatic I get to read your work.
    I hate that I can never think of anything decent to say… so I’ll just say that I loved this chapter, I loved that Eric didn’t waste time on Hadley and Lorena, I love that the Berts are on Sookie’s side of this weirdness, I love that Eric and Alc are prolly going to end up friends, I love that Sookie got Pam so damn well with that prank and most of all I love that Eric said I love you and owned it… YAY!!! Thank you so much for being so flippin awesome 🙂

  44. This chapter was absolutely hilarious! I L-O-V-E it. I think it might be my favorite chapter. Well, so far. Thank-you so very, very much for spoiling us with your talent. Best wishes to you and yours.

  45. there’s nothing to say that hasn’t been said, you are just the best. Love all your updates, all your stories and your wonderful mind, thanks so much.

  46. Awesome chapter!!! I think this is one of the best yet. It had a little of everyething….and you left us wanting more! Thanks so much for the rapid updates this week…it’s been a real treat!

  47. You spoil us, and I love it! I was sad when the other story ended, but now… not so much, this story is shaping up to be even better. As always, thanks for writing.

  48. Okay – there’s not much to be said that hasn’t already been posted … but I found something.

    “I loved her too much to fuck up so early…” That’s the line that did it for me … Of course, I loved the same things the previous posters did. Alcide was wonderful, the prank hysterical, Eric helping Michelle inspired. But for me, him acknowledging his feeling for Sookie gets me every time.

    When he says it to himself, it’s real. That’s the moment I live for. Especially with him. Because he’s buried his tender emotions under his Vampire cloak. When they hit the moonlight, you know he’s changed. That’s she’s affected him, and he knows it. So well done.

    And there was no artistry to it. He just said it like it was common knowledge.

    Thank you for posting so many chapters this week, and for posting the rec for “Collide”. I spent the better part of the day getting lost in that world, and I absolutely loved it.

    Can’t wait to read whatever you post next. Hope you have your home running like clockwork and your family is all happy and healthy.

  49. Fantastic chapter as always! I got hung-up in real life and couldn’t review until today so I re-read. It’s just as well, I needed the pick-me-up and you always deliver!

    I can’t wait to see what else Sam has to say for himself, I’m sure he’ll dig his hole a little deeper. Must be all that practice burrying bones in the backyard, lol. I also can’t wait to see if Michelle gets settled in and is happy with her new circumstances. I also wonder what the queen is going to do with Hadley. I can’t believe what a twit she is. I guess she required gran’s influence to be tolerable.

    And, of course, I can not leave feedback without mentioning how happy I am that Eric realizes that he really does love Sookie. The way in which he came to the conclusion was just right: quietly and confidently in the realization of how natural it was for him to say it. I hope Sookie remembers him saying it and that he says it again as if he were saying it all along:)

    I took your advice and read Collide

  50. Oops, forgot to finish my thought…

    I took your advice and read Collide. I must agree, it is as addictive as S&S and I look forward to reading more. The male mind has really made Eric’s voice in that fic real and believeable. Thanks for the referral!

    Anyway, I hope that you and your family are well and I look forward to reading more as soon as you can post!

  51. loved this chapter i am so in love with the comraderie between Eric and Alcide, i see a budding friendship…… Sam is such a fool and Maria Starr what a wimp she should have excused herself i the beginning and went home. don’t even get me started on Hadley …… waiting for the next chapter
    by the way i am not getting updates when you post anymore is there a problem again? just curious kristie

  52. great chapter! I especially liked how protective Alcide, Oven and the Berts are getting about Sookie.. not to mention Eric’s declaration 😉

  53. you’re awesome 🙂 another great chapter! I love seeing Hadley get put in her place, great fun! Btw, had a couple people stare after I laughed out loud when Alcide asked Sam if his familiar was a “chicken fucking nugget” Haha totally worth it! Keep up the amazing work!

  54. I LOVE IT!! He finally told Sookie he loves her! YAY!! And Had’s dumb ass got punished, albeit less than what she deserves. Glad she ended Lorena.

  55. Brilliant!

    I think that Eric choosing to kill Lorena quickly, instead of torchering her, so that he can go back to Sookie – really means alot, maybe even more than him saying, “I love you.”

  56. hadley is such a bitch. Hope Andre makes it painful for her. Sam is such a moron. Go eric and alded for protecting her. Love the practical joke on Pam.

  57. Is it possible to be a brian damaged vampire. Hadley beats out even Bubba. At least he knows how to listen to orders. Hadley is just asking to be staked. I couldn’t believe she was begging Sookie for help, after conspiring with Lorena to turn Sookie. Idiot!

    Loving the friendship between Eric, Sookie, Pam, and Alcide. I fall more in love with Alcide with every chapter. Loved his mumblings about Sam. As much as I usually like Sam…this one is an asshole. I think he deserved to get hit with something much heavier than a rolodex.

    I squealed…yes squealed, when Eric told Sookie he loved her. The fact that he didn’t even have to think about the response made me smile. His guard was down and he allowed his true feelings to leak out. I was even more excited because he didn’t try to talk himself out of it. Just admitted to it. I would have like to have seen a little more of Eric putting Lorena in her place, but his way was pretty perfect as well.

  58. Not much left to say. I truely loved this chapter. I almost spit coffee on my keyboard with Alcide’s McNugget comment. Eric being so concerned about Sookie’s felings while punishing Hadley. Admitting to himself that he loves her. Very nice!

  59. “So this weasel… wait… pussy… no… cockroach… I got it… Jackass.” And, that isn’t counting McNugget!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  60. Hey Hun an oopps
    “to ‘play nice’ were rewarded with teasing little fingernails running along my inner thing and waking up every part of my body below my belt.” do you mean inner thigh not inner thing?
    KY

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