Chapter 4: Gestures

Raw4 SceneArt by EricIzMine

Raw

Chapter 4

Gestures

**

I’d died to the sound of two heartbeats… and I was preoccupied by, if not apprehensive about, the scent that could be waiting for me when I rose…

I rose to… roses… The fragrance of roses was almost overwhelming even in the isolation of my room.

It made me wonder if Chantalle had registered ‘us’ at a garden center Becky hadn’t seen.

But it seemed more likely that Rhiannon and Becky had taken an extra step towards covering their scents… The distinct lack of heartbeats just implied that Rhiannon had found an available dentist.

When I reached for the doorknob to leave my room, my phone began ringing… Not my new cell phone either, but the direct line to the lobby… The doorman was less than enthusiastic to announce that there were five men in the lobby asking to see Miss Blanchard.

Five.

All but one had the last name Stackhouse, including Corbett.

If it weren’t for the astounding nature of Becky’s gift, I might have wondered how Rhiannon had been found so easily.

The scent of roses only intensified as I walked down the stairs to let my visitors in… I actually took a moment to find the source… and discovered that the counters in my kitchen were covered with vases of roses…

One card, a random sampling, read, “Happy 5th birthday, sweetie. Your Daddy would have blocked traffic on our street to teach you how to ride your first two-wheeler, just like he did with your brothers.  We can’t wait to meet you in person. Love, Julie.”

While Rhiannon’s father had clearly booked the first flight to New York, her stepmother had apparently spent her morning on the phone with florists.

Becky said that Michelle would be too drunk to answer her phone, but Rhiannon’s stepmother who never met her was making seemingly heartfelt gestures…

Suddenly, even I wanted to kill Michelle.

If it wouldn’t have been a blatant invasion of her privacy, I could have let curiosity pull me to read all of the cards… Especially considering there were more than just 21 arrangements for birthdays the Stackhouses had missed. If I had to guess, seven were meant for Becky… and perhaps a few more were for Mother’s Day.

When I opened the door to my apartment, I was face to face with five men in suits. Four blonds, including Jason and Brandon, and a large Were with black hair.

Aside from the Were, the family resemblance was remarkable. Blond hair, blue eyes, average height, athletic builds… and they were all Fae enough to be beautiful.

The oldest of them was standing front and center like a sentry.

Jason started, “Eric Northman, this is my father Corbett Stackhouse. This is my brother Christopher, my cousin, Alcide Herveaux… and you met Brandon. We’re here to see Rhiannon and Becky.”

“I assumed as much…” I stepped back. “They aren’t here, but you’re welcome to come in.”

As they filed past me, Jason argued, “What do you mean they aren’t here?”

“I rose to an empty apartment. Before I died for the day, Rhiannon mentioned finding a dentist.”

“She was conscious?”

“She was treated by a Vampire with medical training and a large supply of Vampire blood at his disposal. Other than her broken teeth, you wouldn’t know she was attacked last night.”

Christopher asked, “Whose blood?”

Knowing that Jason was three years older than Rhiannon, and Brandon was the same age as her, Christopher couldn’t have been much younger. Irish triplets?

“No one in particular. The Queen drains Vampires before they’re executed and keeps their blood for emergencies.”

He nodded approvingly, and Jason sighed, “You don’t seem surprised to see us.”

“Did your aunt locate us by seeing us leave the Peninsula?”

While the others traded loaded glances, Brandon chuckled, “That little brat… She told you I thought her thing was like our aunt’s, huh?”

I nodded. “We spent a fair amount of time discussing your family last night.”

“What do you know?”

“Anything I know I’m obliged to keep to myself. I’m not interested in being caught in the middle of bickering Faeries.”

“So they do know what they are? The kid told me they didn’t.”

“They didn’t.”

Corbett finally spoke up. “But once Rhiannon was bleeding everywhere…”

I shook my head. “I fed directly from your sons and didn’t recognize the traces of Fae… I don’t have any experience with hybrids. How potent is your blood?”

He raised an eyebrow at me as though I’d made a direct threat.

I explained, “I’m concerned because they’re staying in my home. Are you masking your scent like Becky does?”

He shook his head. “I’m covering my scent with orange scented bath stuff…”

Christopher added, “I’ve got two Vampire profs. I eat oranges in class to knock my scent down too. Citric acid is bitter enough to make us smell like orange juice instead of a Vampire candy shop.”

“Good to know…” I was already pulling my phone from my pocket to text Chantalle and add to her errands when I heard Dotty bark on the elevator…

I assumed Pam was coming to check on Rhiannon (be nosey), but when I excused myself to open the door, Rhiannon and Becky were stepping out of the elevator with the puppy.

Whatever Rhiannon looked like before, she was positively radiant now… knee high boots and a long low-cut sweater over leggings… all black… not even silver jewelry.

She looked so sophisticated I had to wonder how the fuck she’d come from a trailer park.

The brightness of her smile was just a bonus.

“We could hear poor Dotty crying from the elevator when we got back from the dentist, so we rescued her and took her for a walk in the park. I left a note so she wouldn’t worry.”

“How did you get in?”

“I picked the lock in under a second. Pam needs a better deadbolt.”

“Noted.”

“We were just coming back from the dentist. Becky’s not talking to me because I made her get a cleaning… Your wedding registries have been canceled. Winifred said she’d definitely entertain a job offer from you. She’ll fax over her resume as soon as I give her a number.”

Winifred was hired with or without a resume just so her name could easily come up in conversation to make Pam twitch.

“Perfect… I have company…”

“Oh!” She backed up and caught the elevator door. “We’ll make ourselves scarce then.”

I should have said ‘we’ have company.

“Don’t do that. The company is here for you. It’s your family.”

Becky giggled and ran into my apartment with Dotty, leaving her mother with an anxious look on her face.

“You can leave if you don’t feel comfortable meeting them yet.”

She groaned, “No, I should get it over with. How did they find me at your place?”

“I assume you have a family member with an ability to help with that. Becky mentioned last night that she-”

Becky cackled from inside, “MOMMY! YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!”

Rhiannon took a deep breath as she walked in… and as soon as she did, Christopher opened his mouth and gagged…

The Wolf laughed, “He spotted her at the ballgame yesterday… and went into full mack-daddy mode.”

Rhiannon offered, “He wasn’t that bad… not as bad as the puppy-authority guy in the park just now.”

Becky and the Wolf nodded to confirm Christopher had indeed been ‘that bad’.

How awkward.

Christopher groaned between gags, “God, I wish I was a mind reader sometimes.”

Becky giggled, “Joe Dirt’s an empath like Jason.”

Rhiannon actually laughed. “His wingman is a Werewolf. I’m a telepath like Brandon… What about everyone else?”

Jason offered, “Dad’s a harbinger… and he’s why we were so quick on the draw last night. He called just as we were leaving to meet Leattner because something wasn’t right…”

Wow.

Jason reached into his pocket and pulled out a mini-cassette recorder. “Once we were freed this morning, we regrouped, did a family meeting by conference call… Retarded as he was, what Brand said about your name got me wondering…”

“What did he say?”

“Oh… ummm…”

Corbett took over. “When Michelle was pregnant with Jason, she liked Lyle, like Lyle Waggoner from Wonder Woman, and Rhiannon for the song… I told her over my dead body. I told her I wanted Steve, like Steve McQueen, or Diana like Wonder Woman’s alter-ego. She bought it and agreed to a compromise. The name’s how Jas put it together… It’s not like he could tell you’re the spitting image of your aunt while you were unconscious. Your frown’s even like hers.”

Rhiannon gulped and breathed, “When I asked Michelle why she picked my name, she said it was to piss off my father.”

Jason nodded and held out the recorder, “So… Here’s how the family meeting went down…”

He pressed play, and right away, Jason said, “Alright… Dylan, where’s your big sister?”

While there was a sudden rumbling from more mature voices, a boy (at the ‘height’ of adolescence if the cracking and pitching voice meant anything) answered, “In bed. IV bags full of blood and medicine… Pretty house. There’s a couple of kids lookin’ after her… Dude! We don’t have a sister!”

A nearly identical voice offered, “She’s at 990 5th Avenue, New York City. Penthouse.”

Fucking incredible.

The Wolf whispered, “That was Drew, Dylan’s twin,” over a cacophony of disputes on the tape…

On the recording, Jason raised his voice, “I’ll explain in just a sec, but one more thing… Aunt Lin, you had the same damn earworm as long as I can remember…”

A woman answered, “Yeah. ‘Rhiannon’… I told you, it always pisses me off because it makes me think of your mo- Oh my God…” the sudden sound of running followed by retching filled in those blanks.

Corbett clenched his jaw and growled, “We’ll deal with what she saw later.”

As incredible as that ability was, I didn’t envy it… There was no shortage of scenes inspired by what I’d been told of Rhiannon’s childhood that were disgusting enough to imagine.

The tape sounded like it was stopped and started again before Jason’s voice began, “So Brand and I shot up some poor bastard a couple of hours ago… We got to the hotel for the meeting, and Brand saw some Vampire ripping apart some girl, right… got two people and a Vampire inside the room… Pain and fear are just pourin’ into the hallway, right? We go in, see a girl laid out on the couch, a Vampire movin’ too fast to ID… We yell at him to stop, and when he didn’t, we put six rounds in his back to slow him down, and he didn’t stop until he tackled another girl in the tub while she was takin’ a shower. Poor fucker’s just trying to cover a kid. The mom was the one that got attacked. He was stayin’ at the hotel, first on the scene, and he already called the Queen to handle that shit…”

Corbett’s voice grumbled, “And since nobody’s calling me to come ID your body, you did somethin’ to make that shit right.”

“It helped that the kid could tell we thought we were helpin’ her out, but feedin’ him after he spit out our ammo was a point in our favor… So… the girl on the couch is unconscious, and telepathically talkin’ to Brand… Y’all… the vic’s name is Rhiannon Blanchard.”

Corbett barked, “How fucking old is she!?”

“She was born right after Brand, Dad. Raised in Louisiana. She ran away. Her mom’s a drunk. Brand didn’t get much else from her or the kid. They shut him out on account of us shooting the guy helpin’ them out. The Queen was nasty, but she had more goin’ on than just covering tracks. I got old-wound vibes from her…”

“Rhiannon… she was full telepathic with Brand?”

“And so was the kid…”

“I got a baby girl and a grandbaby?”

“Seems like it… Aunt Lin can probably set us straight though.”

The woman sighed, “Yeah- Cort, where are you going!?”

“New York.”

The squeaking boys complained that they wanted to go with him, but another male voice began chuckling, “That’s four. Telepaths win.”

The Wolf offered, “That was Josh. He’s a mind reader too.”

On the tape, another woman’s voice asked, “How old is the little one?”

Jason answered, “Seven, if she’s a day… and full of piss and vinegar.”

“Seven? But that means…”

Jason sighed, “Yeah Mom, we did the math…”

The mom interrupted, “Linda, where are you going?”

“Monroe…”

Another man chuckled, “No, you’re not…” I tried to place his accent as his laugh became louder. “You aren’t stronger than me, woman… You’re not going alone. I’ll have someone meet you.”

The Wolf mouthed, “Mata.”

The King of Louisiana and Nevada had been part of the Stackhouse family meeting?

There was a kissing sound before Linda offered, “Family meeting over. This shit’s getting handled. Don’t let Rhiannon skip New York before her Daddy meets her. I’ll take care of my former sister-in-law.”

Jason stopped the playback and the Wolf offered, “So… I’m sorry to hear about your mom.”

Rhiannon tilted her head to the side. “Did she already drink herself to death?”

Brandon giggled, giggled, “She got jumped and never got a look at her assailant… at least, that’s what the police think she wrote, but since her writing arm was broken, they aren’t sure.”

Rhiannon asked, “Writing arm?”

Christopher nodded. “Aunt Lin doesn’t fuck around. Michelle’s mouth was so cocked up-”

Corbett reached out and slapped the back of Christopher’s head and warned, “Little ears.”

“Right. Sorry… Anyway- Shattered jaw, broken arm and ribs, concussion…”

The Wolf added, “I’m glad Lin married my dad after I was through testing parental boundaries.”

Corbett snorted, “You ain’t got it in you to earn that stompin’. After what Lin saw, I’ll be payin’ Michelle a visit too.”

Becky snorted, “Leave some for me,” and turned to lead Dotty to the kitchen. “I have plans for that bitch… and fondue forks. Lots of ‘em.”

And she looked so cute with the puppy with hot pink claws.

When Corbett’s eyes bulged, I chuckled, “You should have seen her stake a Vampire. It was spectacular.”

Jason blurted, “You didn’t say she did it! I thought you did it!”

“I threw him aside. She improvised the stake and finished him before I had the opportunity.”

Corbett chuckled, “What the hell is her dad, a Titan?”

Rhiannon offered, “Faerie.”

After Rhiannon’s family stared at her for a moment, Jason offered, “So you heard Aunt Linda, Daddy’s sister. She has some sixth sense thing going on like Becky, so she can focus and see stuff that happened… Mom is an angel of a woman, Human, and she was so good to me I forget she didn’t have me herself… Dylan and Andrew are thirteen and we call them ‘geocentric’ because they can find anything. Dylan can spy from anywhere and see what anyone is saying or doing, and Andrew can find what he’s seeing down to the address, but he only sees what Dylan does for a second… Josh is a seventeen-year-old mind reader. He’s giving mom nightmares, coming home with hickies all the time… Josh is probably in Dylan’s head watching us right now…”

Becky called from the kitchen, “Josh and Dylan are both here. Dylan’s up Mommy’s nose, but I came in here so Drew can switch focus between me and Mommy to stay with us… Y’all better have a ‘no bathrooms’ rule or some shit.”

The Stackhouse camp’s eyes bulged… and it practically confirmed that Becky’s ability wasn’t quite like her aunt’s.

Jason finally shook off his shock and offered, “Bathrooms have been off limits since they were little, but in a house full of guys, there isn’t anything going on in there they’d want to see… So… Y’all heard Mata’utia too. Our cousin is his. Bonded. She spotted him at Mardi Gras and, she had him at hello, but in his defense, she wasn’t wearing much… The silent members of the family were our cousins, Hadley and Audrey. Hadley’s like me, and Audrey’s a pusher. That’s like glamouring… Uncle Jack, Alcide’s old man. He did plenty of talking while Aunt Lin was getting sick. He’s her second husband because Hadley and Audrey’s donor skipped out when they were little… Our grandmother spent the call crying like Mom did. We call her Gran…”

The Wolf added, “My sister Janice was the only one missing from the meeting and that’s because she didn’t play hooky like some slackers we know. She’s at Ole Miss.”

Christopher responded with, “I resemble that remark. LSU. Baseball ride. I’m going to Yankees games while I’m here. It’s research.”

Brandon and the Wolf coughed, “Fucking off.”

Becky giggled from the kitchen and asked, “Why the hell isn’t anyone listed? I tried finding y’all last night. I got jack shit from information. Are y’all ronin or something?”

Corbett explained, “Mata didn’t want anyone to be able to find Hadley’s family so easy. We’re all unlisted. There’s a couple of dummy numbers that are set up to forward to him just in case…” He whispered, “She always talk like a sailor or is she showing off?”

Rhiannon raised an eyebrow and stared back at him for a moment before turning her attention to address everyone else. “So, breakfast at Norma’s? It’s in the Meridian on West 56th… I’ll make reservations. Nine o’clock?”

She hadn’t as much as invited them to sit in the living room… Standing room only in the foyer. It wasn’t as though we were cramped, but they might have been more relaxed if they weren’t all standing at attention.

Becky shouted, “Caviar frittata, YES!” and promised Dotty she’d bring a ‘nibble’ back for her.

Eggs in a puppy’s stomach?

I joined Becky in the kitchen and gave her my credit card. “Buy one just for her. On me.” It was the least Uncoo Ewic could do for his favorite fur-niece.

Becky giggled, “It’s so huge me and Mommy share one… Dotty’ll stink Pam out onto the terrace, but the caviar frittata will cost you a grand.”

“Worth it. Buy two… We’ll draw out the fun.”

She shrugged and tucked my card into the back pocket of her jeans before calling, “Mommy, are you going to change before we go?”

She couldn’t be planning to work again so soon.

Rhiannon told her family, “It was nice to meet you all. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Corbett asked, “What do you have going on tonight?”

The question seemed innocent enough, but the long silence that followed made me wonder about Rhiannon’s reaction to his question…

While Becky baby-talked to Dotty, telling her ‘mummy’ was on her way, Rhiannon explained to her family, “I have Jason’s number if the time isn’t good for Norma’s.”

Apparently, Rhiannon’s idea getting their introduction over with consisted of getting rid of them expeditiously.

When the elevator doors opened, Pam scoffed, “How delightful to see you boys so soon. Have you come to shoot my Maker again?”

Jason offered, “We felt bad about that before he started healing. We deserved those rabbit punches you gave us too. Sorry about the misunderstanding. Jason Stackhouse.”

Pam was actually surprised by the apology.

“Pam Ravenscroft.”

“I know. You want to punch me again for old time’s sake?”

“Perhaps a rain check… I seem to have misplaced my cuffs.”

Uh oh.

Becky giggled at their flirting when Jason mentioned he’d be in New York until Monday…

Once the elevator door closed to return the Stackhouses to the lobby, Pam complimented how much better Rhiannon looked as they walked towards the kitchen… but Rhiannon stopped when she saw the array of flowers everywhere.

“What the hell?”

I explained, “I read one of the cards. It seems your stepmother sent them.”

She puffed out her cheeks and turned around again. “Come on, Beck. We need to change. Dotty left a pound of little white hair on us.”

Becky groaned, “Can I just hang out with Eric tonight? Allen’s a tool.”

Allen Tatum?

“It’s just dinner, and we can bail out after dessert.”

“Can Eric come with us?”

As Rhiannon climbed the stairs, she answered, “He’s more than welcome to join us, but why would he want to watch people eat?”

“He wouldn’t, but Allen’s ridiculous, so it’ll be fun…” She giggled, “He’s like a taxidermied bear.”

The potential for doggie bags for Dotty was there…

“Why not? What should I wear to dinner with Yogi?”

“Keens Steakhouse, so dressy casual…” She bolted from the barstool and ran after her mother calling, “He’s coming with us! At least I’ll have someone to laugh at Allen with.”

Pam began taking the cards from the arrangements, and paused to read one before handing it to me.

“Rhiannon, there’s nothing more terrifying and amazing than being a mother. Nothing matters as much as the potential looking back at you from that little bundle, but don’t feel pressured. You’re a Stackhouse. You can do anything you set your mind to. Love, Julie.”

While Pam continued to be nosey, I scoffed, “If I were Rhiannon, I’d be immeasurably bitter to know a close family was just a few miles away.”

“She is… While they were in the elevator, one of the boys told the father not to take it personally because she’s in pain… I’m not sure, but I might actually feel sorry for her…”

The only reason ‘might’ fit in that statement was because she was unfamiliar with sympathy… and she wasn’t the only one… on both counts.

Pam continued, “It seems like we have twenty-one dozen roses for Rhiannon’s birthdays… seven for Becky’s… seven for Mother’s Day… and pink roses were for when Becky was born.”

“It’s endearing that they consider themselves in arrears, but…”

“It’s overkill. Even though they have an idea of what she went through, they went prime time… A gesture meant to welcome her to the family ended up rubbing her nose in the fact that her misery could have been avoided… I hope she sees it as both. At the very least, they are trying.”

Becky returned, brushing her hair and already changed into a black dress, tights and Mary-Janes… and a liquid silver necklace.

She sighed, “Mommy’s trying too… the roses are just… it burns that they would have done it for her all along, and it burns that they don’t know she hates roses or why… and then there’s the fact that she’d probably like roses if they had raised her… Yeah- Mommy’s head is a mess right now. Oh, by the way, she loves being blindsided.”

That was understandable, but she did a remarkable job of hiding her emotions.

Pam asked, “But she isn’t holding this against them, is she?”

“No, but you can’t just plant a garden over toxic waste…”

That analogy was too fitting.

Becky swept her hair up and pushed silver sticks into her twist as she continued, “So since Mommy locked Brandon out of her mind, I explained as much as I could to him… I know Corbett was disappointed. He was hoping for a more sentimental introduction. He would have hugged Mommy if Alcide hadn’t thought that she might be skittish after what happened last night. He wanted to take her out to dinner, just the two of them if that’s what she wanted, but he didn’t even have the chance to ask. Honestly, he seems awesome. The whole bunch of them do… well, aside from shooting Eric, but knowing they got an ominous warning from a harbinger, their Darwinian chivalry is a little easier to take.”

Pam sighed, “Will she be angry with you for meddling?”

“I’m too cute to hold a grudge against…” She punctuated that with a kewpie doll grin, complete with dimples. “But seriously, I can take a hit. I think it’ll be good for her. She’s really jaded from being shit on, but she’s not ruined yet. All the Stackhouses want to do is love her. She doesn’t trust it because I’m the only one who ever has.”

I couldn’t help but wonder how Becky wasn’t more cynical considering how much she knew about what her mother had gone through.

It seemed like our conversation was over when Becky gave me a devilish grin just before there was a knock on the door… She tossed her brush to me and ran to the foyer…

I knew before she shouted who it was…

“Daddy! Chardonnay’s here, and you need to hurry up and get dressed ‘cuz Mommy’s hungry…”

I could hear Rhiannon snickering upstairs as Becky led Chantalle into the kitchen.

Chantalle stopped in her tracks… with a single shopping bag and a sickened look on her face…

Becky giggled, “It’s like a florist, huh Chanterelle?”

She didn’t even have it in her to complain about the liberties Becky had taken with her name.

On top of how difficult it was to keep a straight face while Becky was being evil, I was beginning to notice a difference between behaviors… Becky put on an act of being her actual age for strangers.

Initially I’d thought she was well-spoken, but she was otherwise as reserved as a Human child would be, as though she was treading lightly because she was with a stranger in unfamiliar surroundings…

When Chantalle didn’t respond, Becky patted the bag from Tiffany’s and offered, “Marchereine hit the jackpot at her friend’s bead store. You can take the lavish stuff back tomorrow.”

Rhiannon called from upstairs, “Speak for yourself, shorty. I like Tiffany’s…”

Just the sound of Rhiannon’s voice made Chantalle cringe… As though it had been easier for her to believe that I’d rented an orphan.

Becky rolled her eyes and mocked her mother as she strolled to the refrigerator.

As soon as Becky opened the lid on a takeout container, Rhiannon warned, “Don’t you dare ruin your appetite. Put those shrimp back.”

Becky sighed, “Eyes in the back of her damn head, I swear,” and shoved a shrimp into her mouth before returning the box to the refrigerator. “So… Chartreuse… did you get the worst cabbie ever? How did Marchereine run an assload of errands in the Village and get all the way back here by lunch… and you’re only just now getting here? Did you stop to take a nap?”

Chantalle finally reacted to something being said to her by raising an eyebrow at Becky. “There was traffic.”

That might have been an acceptable excuse if Marchereine hadn’t been coming through the same area Chantalle had.

“Or you had a panic attack when the lady at Tiffany’s offered condolences for your cancelled registry. You’re a little sluggish… Valium?”

Pam tried to claim her snickering was ‘allergy-induced pre-sneezing’ and blamed the roses.

I’m almost sure Chantalle planned to deny the accusation when she opened her mouth, but she stopped when she heard pumps on the staircase…

Rhiannon joined us in the kitchen in a short strapless black dress that even caught Pam’s attention… perfectly subtle makeup, and heels tall enough to need a warning label from an orthopedist.

She breezed past Chantalle, leaving her jacket and bag on a barstool, to stop in front of me and turn around to ask me to close her zipper… and then stretched up to kiss my cheek. “Thanks… I can’t believe I’m not the last one ready.”

As far as I could tell, she hadn’t even looked at ‘the help’.

“I’m on my way upstairs now. Do you have an opinion on what I should wear?”

Without missing a beat, she breathed, “You know I love you in red. Your eyes…”

Suddenly, I was very grateful that I’d only been conned out of a few hundred dollars. They were both phenomenal actresses.

Pam added, “And if the whole family wears all black, it’s very matchy-matchy.”

Oh good. Pam had a chance to play too.

When I leaned over to put my mouth to Rhiannon’s ear, she rested her hand on my arm… A subtle implication of intimacy that just so happened to display the large diamond on her ring finger.

The ring was a beautiful touch.

“Do you plan to fire her for me?”

Of course, Chantalle didn’t know what was said, but I was sure her imagination was running riot.

Rhiannon answered, “I can if you want me to, but Becky likes to mindfuck her victims… and her replacement would need to give notice at her old job.”

In perfect time, Becky groaned, “If y’all are gonna do that, they’re gonna give our table to tourists… Can I snack on my shrimp so I don’t starve?”

Rhiannon gave me a playful nudge and giggled, “Go on and get ready before she tries to fit your errand girl in the oven…” She turned to address Chantalle and asked, “Cheryl right?”

Becky wasn’t the only one who enjoyed being evil.

“Chantalle.”

As I walked up the stairs, annoyed that I’d miss the show, Rhiannon said flatly, “Right. So let’s see what you found at Tiffany’s so we can get on with things.”

Chantalle asked, “Evening out with the family?”

“I have a business meeting.”

“You take your daughter to business meetings?”

“You learn more from life than you do from a teacher. Yes, I take Becky to business meetings.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m an analyst…”

That was one way to put it.

After a few minutes, Rhiannon groaned, “What is this shit? It’s like you tried to find the most unrelated pieces. Pam, you’re the authority. Can you find an ensemble in this assortment?”

I could feel how disappointed and annoyed Pam was as she perused the jewelry…

Pam finally snorted, “This had to be intentional. If the fucking lights were out, you’d have accidentally picked a pair from the same line. Ridiculous.”

Rhiannon sighed, “So it’s not just me.”

“No… This is one for the record books. Usually, those little robin’s egg boxes make me wet.”

I would have said ‘rabid’, but that was still an understatement.

“Silver isn’t your favorite though.”

Nicely put.

“Even if they were platinum they’d go back.”

Becky teased, “Good thing her folks paid for Vassar, huh?”

I started for the stairs in a red dress shirt, tie in hand, trying to straighten the grin on my face.

Rhiannon was tossing jewelry boxes into the bag when I joined them and grumbling, “Find somewhere to donate a pint of blood so your day won’t be a complete wash…”

Chantalle was actually crying.

Rhiannon took my tie from me and tied it as she continued, “Don’t waste the tears on me. You’re paid too well to do a half-assed job. You walked into Tiffany’s and asked for a random selection of silver jewelry even though you were specifically told necklaces and earrings. Meanwhile, Marchereine followed orders and purchased exactly what she was told and then some… and she photographed the rest of the selection of silver for us… and she returned to us in time to go back to the store for additional purchases if we wanted. You ran one errand and went home to nap… If that’s how you want to roll, fine. Find yourself a husband and squeeze out a few kids so you can bask in the superiority of Tommy Hilfiger-clad suburbia because being a housewife is the only way to pay your bills between mood enhancers. Are we clear, princess?”

Rhiannon was a little pit bull.

As Pam mumbled, “Amen,” Chantalle sniveled, “Yes ma’am.”

“This may very well be the first time you’ve ever been so far off the mark- God knows Eric hasn’t complained about you before- but the contents of that bag is evidence that you weren’t just pacifying your mother’s matchmaking by starting a wedding registry. You need to get a grip on reality.”

Chantalle cleared her throat and repeated, “Yes ma’am.”

While Pam admired my perfect Eldredge knot, I offered, “Is there any question as to my reasons for not defending your performance?”

Chantalle sniveled, “No sir.”

“Do you want someone to scatter a path of rose petals for you? Leave.”

She whimpered, “Yes sir,” as she turned to leave.

Rhiannon snorted, “If you think I’m a bitch now, keep playing games. I’ll fuck you up so bad the only marriage prospects you’ll have will be the surgeons trying to put your boney ass back together. Don’t let me find out you made other wedding plans.”

Becky snorted, “Oh, for God’s sake… Come back. Leave your keys and cards with Pam. I’m hungry, and I don’t want to wait for you to take a nap in the lobby…” When Chantalle sulked to the kitchen again, Becky swung her arm up and slapped her breast. “And that’s for sleeping in beds that don’t belong to you, you desperate harpy…”

Chantalle gasped and moved to loom over Becky, “You vicious little bitch!”

Within a second, Chantalle was flat on her back… Rhiannon had snatched a handful of her hair and pulled her over, resulting in a miserably hard landing…

Rhiannon looked down at my former assistant and smiled. “The end.”

Chantalle’s tears spilled into her hair as she rasped, “What?” The sudden fall had taken the wind from her.

The end. When a story comes to a close, you can obsess over it or you can pick up another one… If I were you, I’d move on to another book, because I promise you, I’ll live through the sequel. Goodnight.”


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59 thoughts on “Chapter 4: Gestures

  1. I am just hoping that they will be ready to read tomorrow… while watching a friend fish. I promise to not read them in bed BEFORE I get up – like I usually do with anything I follow!

  2. Hmm, what do you consider night? 6pm? I’m Pacific time.. So I wonder when I should start stalking the site. Lol.
    It’s ok I realize most people have kids and busy lives. I appreciate what you do, and I can wait for the well put together stories you give us. Thank you for not abandoning us, and puting up with all the whining we have a tendency to do.

  3. I did not realise it was possible to love AND hate someone so much, I am super excite about the new stories loving them no question, but goddamit if i dont wanna know whats in that VAULT.

    I love all your stories by the way, I originally found you on fanfiction.net but this is MUCH better ^.^ I dont have to worry they’ll be taken down anymore

    xoxo

  4. oo this sookie is VICIOUS i love her!! chantallle got exactly what was coming to her -evil grin- i wanna kno more about linda fucking up michelle excellent new strand in the braid

  5. Omg I swear I hurt myself laughing at this :
    ”Eggs in a puppy’s stomach?

    I joined Becky in the kitchen and gave her my credit card. “Buy one just for her. On me.” It was the least Uncoo Ewic could do for his favorite fur-niece. ”

  6. I hate to say it, but the Mushroom was right that Becky is a vicious little bitch. I understand Rhiannon defending her child, but Rhiannon needs to look outside herself and teach that kid some manners. She may be a well-spoken, mind-reading fairy child, but even well-spoken mind-reading fairy children need to learn some manners, which includes NOT hitting people in the breast. The Mushroom deserved a hard lesson, but from the adults, not from a bratty little snot. The kid had absolutely no right to physically accost the Mushroom and deserves to have to eat dry salad for dinner and go to bed early.

  7. Your mind wonderful thank you for sharing it with us. Love this new braid where Sookie is not the nice little virgin. This Sookie or her other name is great and Becky is really sassy. Susan

  8. Jeez o Pete, fantastic chapter. That last line was spectacular!

    Love Becky and Rhiannon. Don’t blame her for holding back on the wannabe family either for now. Becky’s analogy about gardens on toxic dumps was perfect. I figure Rhiannon will come around to accepting them, but the Stackhouses are a tad overbearing. They’re also kind of pushing what they want/hope for on Rhiannon instead of realizing the impact this has on her, allow her to absorb the overwhelming news and digest it in her own way and time…especially in light of what she just went through 24 hours ago. I get Corbett is hurt it didn’t go the way he hoped, but his thoughts should be for what she needs. Rhiannon’s already been run roughshod over by pretty much everyone who ever entered her life in the past, she doesn’t need the Stackhouses doing it too- even if it is in the name of love and making up for past. I love how Rhiannon is a get back up and dust herself up kinda girl and not woe is me, but she still needs people around her who appreciate the balance between their ‘wants’ and hers and Becky’s wants/needs. Like Eric and Pam 🙂

    Oh gosh, I think I enjoyed Chantelle’s undoing even more than Bobby’s! Mothers take note…this is what happens when you name your daughters after lingerie or perfume.

  9. I tried to save this till I’d run out of reading material but I just couldn’t resist. Excellent chapter can’t get enough of this new verse.

    I can understand why others thought Becky’s behaviour was unacceptable but I think they are forgetting she isn’t very human no matter who she was raised by. There is obviously inherent characteristics in her because of that. We have been shown in many of the verses that all of the stackhouses can be violent when provoked and she was defending Eric who had pretty much saved her mum. Well thats how i see it anyway, I didn’t see a problem with her behaviour, putting human morals and manners on her is just weird.

    Any chance there is an ETA on the vault opening? **bats eyelids** pretty please.

  10. This is like gold ,gimme gimme gimme . This verse has me squeezing like a fan-girl every time there’s an update . Praise be to your awesomeness .

  11. Wow! Rhiannon has got some serious claws on her! Becky’s even got some little mini claws! I’m sure Pam was just sitting there enjoying the show, impressed that someone that was mostly human could kick just as much ads without touching someone as she can. I think out of all of the Verses so far, Rhiannon would make the most immediately kick ass vamp!! She’d probably leave Pam in the dust with her awesome vampiness!!! Then in another 15 years or so, finish up the perfect set of the MOST AWESOME female vamps every by adding a 23 year old Becky to the set!! Eric could rule the world with those three woman as his children. Look how the two are ruling New York as mostly humans!!

  12. Holy Mackeral! Crossing Rhiannon and Becky is a very bad idea. I almost feel sorry for Chantalle. I’m not surprised Corbett and the others arrived. I can’t blame Rhiannon for being cautious. I figure the roses are associated with something very unpleasant in her childhood. Julie is wonderful, but she doesn’t know all about the past either. Linda must have gotten a brainfull of Rhiannon’s abuse as a child. Awesome chapter. Waiting for more is so hard. I love every chapter for every story you have going, but I can’t help wanting more of this one soonest.

  13. Once again, brilliant. I can see how confrontational Becky seems, but keeping in mind how much violence and abuse she has ‘seen’ her mother go thru, that she is barely human and was raised by an abused and angry child, the viciousness is to be expected. Odd to think of the vampires, vicious beasts that they are, teaching Rhiannon and Becky compassion and trust. I’m in love with these characters.
    If I mention the vault again, would it be too harpy?
    Blessings

  14. After reading the chapter and thinking on it a bit I”m really hoping that their first skip is NOT with the Rubbernecking Universe. I think Rhiannon/Sookie would have an easier time dealing with any of the other versions of herself than that one. In the Pam/Eric/Becky conversation about the roses, it was mentioned that Rhiannon/Sookie felt burned by what she could have had, actually *seeing* it…. seeing what could have happened had Corbett and Julie raised her that would not be good for her mental landscape.

  15. Ha! That bit with Chantalle was hilarious!

    And I can totally see why Rhiannon would feel the way she does about having a huge loving family she was kept from. Hopefully she’ll get passed it and enjoy what she has now.

  16. it was a great chapter and the above reviews about Becky are interesting. I love becky she is awesome and we need to remember that she is more like 60-75% supernatural..her dad was Full Fae (so that makes her at least 50%) and they are vicious and I think Becky portrays that more and more. but she still has a heart and you see that with the caring she does of her mom and how she deals with Eric and her new family. Everyone needs to cut her a little slack she is 7 years old after all . But this chapter is just as awesome as every other one and i won’t mention the vault because i know what is likely on the horizon. Kristie

    • Exactly! Along with the fact that her mother was a child for the better portion of the time she has been raising her. I think they have done the best they can under these circumstances and Becky is pretty well adjusted all things considered. Not to mention she basically sees herself as an adult anyway, size not withstanding.

      I absolutely loved this chapter! And speking of the vault, has no one noticed the next chapter of Intrepid is with the beta’s now? I know it isn’t a figment of my wishful thinking cause I commented on it and everything. I am just hoping nothing gets between fangtasia and the house!

  17. I’ve thought about this chapter a lot since last evening. I appreciate and understand Rhiannon’s reaction to the outpouring of the Stackhouses. Certainly years of abuse and neglect cannot be overcome by rose bouquets regardless of how many there are. Also, the sudden inundation of attention and concern would be uncomfortable it not unwelcome. For me, this was the absolute best part of the chapter proving that EIM has astute understanding of human nature in the face of indescribable hurt.

    That’s the good news.

    As for the business with Becky and Chantelle…hmmm…let’s examine the situation critically, shall we?

    What exactly are Chantelle’s crimes? Being so infatuated with her employer-the glory that is Eric- that she presumes far, far too much? Guilty. Laziness? Guilty. A certain haughty disregard for those she sees less well educated than herself? Guilty. Certainly those are fireable offenses, but allowing and validating an 8 year old child’s upbraiding and physical assault of an adult who is NOT in her employ strains credulity in a most uncomfortable and aggravating fashion.

    That said, it appears, given Rhiannon’s reaction to Chantelle’s comments to Becky after Becky slapped her in the breast, that the child has not had much of an example to work from. Miserable childhood aside, I have to think that Rhiannon should have had some inkling that her child was not only over the line, but had erased the line completely. I found her reaction somewhat confusing especially given that she had acknowledged Becky’s tendencies toward poor behavior, sarcasm, and mulishness in the precious chapter. Instead, Rhiannon echoed Becky’s disgusting behavior thus illustrating that her previously expressed concerns for the possible causes of Becky’s downfall was just so much talk.

    Yes, yes. I know that Becky is at least 50-60% faerie and they are notoriously ill tempered, but the last time I looked, all of the Stackhouses, Rhiannon and Becky will continue to live, at least part time in the human world. If that’s true, then it is highly unlikely that Becky’s behavior would be allowed to continue without substantial repercussion. In this case, Becky was indeed a foul-mouthed, ” vicious little bitch” and 8 years old or not, she could called to account for it. Without a tempering of her behavior she’ll be in for a very rough life.

    Another disappointing element was Eric. Surely he’s not forgotten how to deal with less than effective employees so much that he has to allow a child and woman that he’s known for less than 24 hours to do his dirty work for him. He was a huge disappointment for me in this chapter especially since he’s been known to hold children accountable for their behavior in other ‘verses. Here, he stood around with his thumb up his rear silently condoning a child’s egregious behavior. His silence was effective encouragement for that behavior.

    I know that this ‘verse is intended as a departure from the normal Sookie characterization. I have to think (hope) that Eric’s presence in her life ( if he can quit being amused long enough) and the finding of her family will help both Rhiannon and Becky. God knows they both certainly need it.

    • Maybe they were going to chastise Becky AFTER Chantelle left.. It wouldn’t be cool to correct her behavior in front of Chantelle because she is in effect an Enemy/Outsider. … and Rhiannon stepped up when it looked like Chantelle was going to retaliate against Becky…which would have been bad even though Becky misbehaved and crossed the line first by slapping Chantelle’s boob. She’s 8 after all. But honestly vampires are probably inured to violence in some respects so that’s probably why they didn’t have much initial reaction. Especially the older ones… Don’t put all the blame on lack of chastisement on Eric.. Pam was there too…

      Seriously though…… After what Rhiannon and Becky have seen and done and been subjected to…can we blame them for being almost outright *feral*? I mean really.

      Did I like and approve of what Becky did… nope…but only because I wouldn’t have aimed for a boob…(because my first reaction was strangely to be insulted(I know it wasn’t my boob being slapped.)) WHICH I think was the point of Becky DOING JUST that very thing. I think. Because its more insulting than a hand slap which is really what Chantelle needed.. amongst other things. (Psych eval anyone?)

      I’m only guessing at EIM’s motivation. Who knows. I think it’s a very deliberate thing the author has done because so far she’s had a stunning grasp of writing very intelligent children so this seeming “aberration” in the standard of well behaved children after multiple braid strands filled with awesome rockin children.. I think the rough edges on Becky are a nice departure because she is a product of her past and present situation. Becky and her mom have been fucked with enough Becky’s standard out of the gate reactions are probably much harsher than would normally be….

      ALSO think about it..Notice that Corbett was asking about Becky’s cursing.. Yes a lot of the children curse from time to time and from time to time Sookie or someone chastises them…. I actually approve of Rhiannon’s eyebrow raise at Corbett… It was an innocent question on his part but also semi judge-y..
      If I were Becky, being at the height of an 8 year old notwithstanding.. I’d have probably kicked Chantelle’s shin or something.

      Besides…. Chantelle I think needed a rude and harsh hand because that crazy witch was SLEEPING in Eric’s bed. She registered for a nonexistent wedding and all the other things you mentioned. I don’t know what I would have done but they were more calm than I would have been to discover her actions.

      SSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to the next installment!!

      • Feral is a really good way to describe them!! This Rhiannon has raised herself. She had zero input from a worthwhile adult until she was old enough to be set in her ways. And she is the one that has been the sole caregiver and role model to Becky since she was old enough to absorb her surroundings. It is going to be very interesting to see how they develop throughout this verse.

        And it is entirely possible that Rhiannon had plans to say something to Becky about her behavior towards Chantelle after she was gone. But when Chantelle bowed up on her child, she reacted first. With Rhiannon’s background of abuse, there is no way she would ever let anyone abuse Becky, verbally or physically. And she is definitely the strike first and strike hard type of person. I love them both and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

      • Right there with you missingjasamalways, I think you summed it up perfectly. I have quite a but of experience with punk street kids, the longer they’re out there the more ‘feral’ they become. They have to be. They’re also very very very protective of each other which I greatly admired them for. Anyway….

        While Rhiannon may clean up pretty and classy, at heart she is still the nomadic street urchin regardless of whether she actually ever slept on the street, the principle is still there and her ethos will naturally reflect that. She was a child raising a child on instinct and possibly on what she saw in others heads because god knows she had absolutely no one in her past to emulate for child rearing. Quite the opposite – she had experience and a head full of things she DIDNT want to repeat as a parent. Its a tribute to Rhiannon’s inherent strength Becky is the amazing child she is.

        What 8yo doesn’t make mistakes? I’m not condoning the boob slap at all, clearly she was in the wrong to lash out in that way…but again, that is measuring Becky by the standards of a ‘normal’ / typical 8yo raised by ‘normal’ (non homeless/transient) parents. I’m not including any of Becky’s supernatural genes either, I’m basing my opinion solely on street/transient ethos vs. ‘traditional’.

        IMO, Rhiannon protected Becky as any lioness would. However, I think it’s a giant leap to assume just because she (rightly) protected her daughter that she doesn’t intend to have a little pow wow with Becky over it later. I don’t believe that for a second. What was Rhiannon supposed to do in this situation? Seems to me she was set up to fail on the old parental judging block no matter what action she took. I still think she did the right thing and will hold off judging until until I see how she handles the entirety of the situation. We’ve already read of Rhiannon manners and of her ‘correcting’ Becky for poor behavior, I don’t think this will be any different and Becky might just get her wish of the cold leftovers.

        Another thing which we don’t know totally yet is what else exactly Becky ‘saw’ in Chantelle’s head to inspire her to lash out physically when she was doing a bang up job verbally 😉 It first appeared Chantelle was just a hopeful yet delusional nitwit with superiority issues. But if I’m reading Becky’s few hints correctly, Chantelle seems to have moved into the SingleWhiteFelmale category and that makes her dangerous, not just a delusional bitch. I’m hoping we get more on what all Becky ‘saw’.

        Lastly, Eric. I didn’t see his silence – or Pam’s – as condoning Becky’s behavior or allow the child to do his dirty work. At the time he had been vocal Chantelle would remain in her job for a couple weeks until her replacement was available. The next bit happened rather quickly…because Becky saw something that changed everything that no one else was privy to. Did she overstep? Probably yes. But we don’t know that yet….
        What I do know is I don’t call out or attempt to discipline other peoples kids who are misbehaving in public no matter how much I want to. Goes for friends and strangers. I sure as shit wouldn’t cross any mother in that respect 😉 I’m also damn sure Eric is smart enough not to so either. He’s known Rhiannon and Becky barely 24 hours. He would’ve been pitchforked for overstepping if he got in the middle.

        Personally I love this verse and all the avenues it open up to explore.

      • I pretty much agree with you phoenix. My one side comment is… Is it just me, or does Becky seem like a ‘feral’ Misty. I think, their background, and Becky’s extra Fae agressiveness, ate the main things seperating NW Misty and RAW Becky – as far as personality and their outlooks and responses to the world.

        Misty just had a bit more ‘grounding’ in pulling that mallicous streak in. Becky’s has been allowed to go a bit wild, considering how strong she is.

    • Bah it wont let me reply directly to you missingjasamalways (it either wants to put my reply to you above what you wrote or down here at the very bottom so I hope you see this) but this is to your reply to my reply. 🙂
      Ooooh I like the way you phrased that. I was basically trying to get that across but you put it more succinctly than I did. I like it: “And she is definitely the strike first and strike hard type of person.”

    • @888Spike. Thank you for your well written comments and I appreciate the time that you took to write them. Some I agree with, some I do not. As far as I am concerned every adult associated with Becky failed her.

      Rhiannon, who after acknowledging that Becky might end up suffering from her own dangerous precocity and marginally contained volatility, proceeded to act in precisely the same manner. I also assume that Rhiannon will have “a little pow wow with her over it later.” Given Rhiannon’s own behavior it’s going to be hard to see how it will be much more than a “do as I say, not as I do” conversation. Rhiannon could have stepped in at any time to take the verbal reigns from Becky, but instead instead of controlling the conversation she fanned the flames of Becky’s egregious behavior. One wonders if she wasn’t getting the same perverse enjoyment out of this kid smack-talking an adult that Eric was.

      As for Eric…my comments were really not focused on him correcting Becky’s behavior or reminding Rhiannon that she was supposed to at least try to act in a slightly more evolved manner. Rather, it was meant to indicate that his contentment to sit back and watch the show lent credibility to the disturbing actions of both the child and her mother. Perhaps, they heard something that made Chantelle more of a threat than what we’ve been told to this point, but I think it’s safe to say that their vocabularies are sufficient to the task of speaking about what they’ve heard out loud. The ONLY person who should have handled Chantelle was Eric. Both Eric and Rhiannon were witness to Becky’s escalating assault on Chantelle and neither did anything remotely adult-like in taking control of the situation.

      It would be hard to convince me that Rhiannon doesn’t have at least an academic understanding of appropriate behavior. She’s lived long enough to have picked up at least a bit of it through observation if nothing else. Yes, instinct rules much of her behavior, but both hers and Becky’s behavior was over the top in my estimation.

      I taught for thirty five years in the same inner city, low income, high language and ethnic minority high school. We had many kids who were homeless, abused and illiterate in their own language. More than 80% of our students were on free and reduced lunch. I am no stranger to “kids raising kids” and was there long enough to have taught the second generation of some of them. I saw kids just like Becky and typically they came from parents who were very similar to Rhiannon. They could never understand why their kids struggled in school, were in frequent trouble and just couldn’t seem to “make it.” Invariably, whatever the trouble was, it was almost always someone else’s fault.

      Someone higher up in the thread made mention of liking Rhiannon’s and Becky’s “take no prisoners” handling of Chantelle. That might be interesting in literature for some (not me), but in real life the only one imprisoned is the one who has that attitude and conducts their relationships in that manner. I have no clue where EIM is taking these characters, but right now I have that same sad, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had so frequently for some of my students. Their lives had been hard and would most likely not get much, if any better. To know that when they are 15-18 years old engenders an immeasurable sadness.

      • You make some excellent points. The one difference here than what you described as having seen, is the Stackhouses new involvement in Rhiannon and Becky’s life. They will be able to see a healthier way of looking at the world first hand. I think that will make a hiuuge difference 🙂

  18. Loved the chapter. I don’t know about all the “psychology” of what Becky and Rhiannon have been through, or whether what Becky did to Chantelle was right or wrong from her perspective (I must admit I was a bit surprised by the boob slap), but I’m sure the fact that Chantelle had the misfortune/gall to mistakenly assume/pretend she had ANY chance with Eric, was part of the reason. She registered their “wedding” and slept in Eric’s bed. Big No-No!
    While I would be horrified if my child slapped anyone that way, Rhiannon and Becky have had a hard life and only had each other to depend on. So…I’m not going to judge.
    Besides, half of me thinks Chantelle had it coming *wicked grin*
    Can’t wait for more 🙂

    • Almost 24 hours ago ; Rhiannon was very close to death.

      If she had died, Becky does not have ITD measures in place (if kids are attacked, hide until they are found by Family) because beyond her mother; Becky had no family.

      Knowing this; Rhiannon has raised an assertive, strong, girl-woman. That if she was alone in the world; she would not be a easy victim; or one with no way out; due to scant education/not knowing limits/options.

      While we don’t know all of the abuse that Rhianonn has been through; we have enough hints that she has been abused (in every way) by her mother, abandoned by step-father (Rhianonn is in & out of mental institutions/group homes for abuse & step dad was a worst option than that? Did he even try to get Rhiannon twice?) and almost discarded by one that she thought of as a ally/friend for her child.

      With such a wide range of being a victim; it’s a safe bet 2 assume that 2 avoid that title; have a strong offence that no one wants 2 fuck with.

      Chantelle did not just fail Eric; she was disrespectful 2 Rhiannon & Becky (avoids Rhiannon, speaks down to Becky) so I loved that Rhiannon/Becky pulled a team effort and confronted her.

      As for the titty slap; I really wonder what Chantelle was going to do in condo that made pair reclaim keys once they were gone. Mess with their stuff/rob/try to blackmail them?

      Flowers were a great idea to welcome Rhianonn & Becky but tooo many were sent; visiting instead of phone call? Overkill; especially from people who are out in public but have no phone number listed so they can control encounters with unknowed people. Soooo disrespectfully since they know that vampires keep their addresses private; if someone rolled up at Mata’s resting place as a stranger, I’m sure the Stackhouses would be close to trading blows. They are so caught up on what they ‘want’ not one Stackhouse thanked Eric for hosting/arranging Rhiannon to be healed. Crap. Even as they assumed that Rhianonn was still injured; not a one gave an item helpful to healing; or a flower arrangement with a get-well-soon card! (That would have been a welcome /clearing of toxic dump!)

      5 strange men approach a very recent rape victim & are hurt they were not welcomed with open arms? Fairies.

      Rhiannon let off Cortbert easy with the eyebrow! Why was it cool for Cortbert to ‘allow’ hurting Michelle talk from Becky; but he wants to correct swear words from her? After he KNOWS she killed a vampire? Spotty gramp skills!

      Amazing chapter; EIM; thanks for spoiling us this week!

      • I dunno. If I got a psychic update on a sister/daughter that I was just finding out about and I had the money you bet your ass I’d be hauling arse on the next flight to make my way to them. A phone call wouldn’t cut it for me not for first contact. I wouldn’t be pushy or anything but I’m an enough alpha that I’d totally not be taking jack shit up to chance like putting my foot in my mouth and spooking someone over the phone. Least I can do is do that in person so there’s a chance they see my well meaning intentions and earnest efforts. Would that be the right way to go about it… who knows. It would probably depend on the long lost sibling. Not that I have any of those…

        Besides.. it’s not like they’re going to skywrite where Eric lives. The fact that they were name dropping Mata ought to have reassured Eric and Co. that the Stackhouses aren’t going to be loose lips.

        The flowers were indeed overkill on Julie’s part but honestly they were a kneejerk reaction and probably the first thing that game to mind so she was a little impulsive I bet.
        And yea your right gratuitous thanks shoulda been offered. Julie’s awesome but not perfect. I’m sure the Stackhouses are still a bit stunned despite the proactive showing up in person thing.

        And OMG at your “5 strange men approach a recent rape victim & are hurt they were not welcomed with open arms? Fairies.”

        That CRACKED ME UP! So true lol. and LOL “Cortbert” is probably NOT used to being a grampa to a female grandchild lol. That should be fun to watch.

      • Dione Robertson @ “5 strange men approach a very recent rape victim & are hurt they were not welcomed with open arms?”

        Ditto. I was trying to say same thing but you were much more succinct than I. Ditto to everything else too. I never read a Stackhouse say Thanks to Eric or anyone else for Sookie’s healing…but one of them started to get their back up over whose blood was used to heal her. Also thought rolling up unannounced on Eric’s private space was presumptuous given they are versed in vamp etiquette and secrecy.

        So glad you brought up Corbett’s ‘offense’ about an 8yo using curse words yet condoning her views of visiting violence upon Michelle. Maybe it’s okay as long as the cruse/violence is in alignment with their own? lol. Here’s the thing, I can’t help but wonder how Michelle was really able to hide Rhiannon the entire time from Corbett. He knew her to be viscous and a liar. He went back to her long enough to fuck her and impregnate her. He never thought to check? Or was he just satisfied he got want he wanted in a life with Julie and had custody of Jason that he never thought to check up in his duplicitous ex he banged again for a while? He supposedly a Harbinger! He never got any twinges? I understand Rhiannon’s caution and skepticism. I’m not keen on the Stackhouse crew right now either.

  19. I like that they are “take no prisoners” type of people, hard life will bring hard reactions. I like them. Pam will find them both very entertaining. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  20. Just a few points. 1. We don’t know what Rhiannon and Becky heard Chantalle thinking. 2. Eric didn’t get involved most likely because he was amused. 3. We don’t know what’s gonna be said after Chantalle leaves. 4. Trust the author.

  21. I don’t trust anyone blindly. But our trust in EIM isn’t blind and I will *always* trust the author of the great MultiVerse! Because it is indeed great!

  22. Meeting her family for the first has got to cause all kinds of feelings. That hanger on day chick was delusional when she thought she was gonna have an HEA with Eric not to mention napping in HIS bed, but when she tried that $h¡t with Rhiaookie’s daughter, she got the RIGHT ONE!

  23. I’ve pretty much said everything I wanted to say in my previous replies.
    Talk about an overwhelming response a chapter!

    Really look forward to finding out what ‘Shanty’ was thinking that warranted the request for key return, and the slap.

    Hope Corbett can take a break and unserstand how hard this is for Rhiannon. Glad that becky was playing Devil’s advocate to smooth things over! ‘Too cute to be mad at’ LMAO

  24. What a delightful story. Had a wonderful time reading these 4 chapters. The way you set up the meeting between Becky & Eric was inspired & your brilliant writing continued on from there. Your Becky character is so wonderful to read, I had to keep reminding myself that she is only 7. The way you had her interacting with everyone, including her mother, was exciting to read. Now having Rhiannon recovered & her brand of wackiness unleashed on the world is something that I look forward to reading. Thankyou for this delightful story, I hope that more of it forthcoming soon.

  25. Now jljph0enix…..

    Remember Mac? Of BT? Despite the fact that he is in foster care/toddler; the Stackhouses (now that they know he’s alive) are not rolling up to caregiver and visiting. With Lynn’s Fae talent; they could find out where he is/what his talent is.

    Instead all if the Stackhouses’s are working on getting ready to meet him properly regardless of the fact that they want him now; because it would be best for Mac care long-term. Remember he’s a child; he might not remember the foster care/being transferred out of it; but it is healthier for all to go though the process of change instead of jumping into drama; u could create terrible after effects.

    In every MV story there has been a ‘wow we’re family!’ meet. But the ‘meets’ have allowed newbies to control pace (BT Shawn drives to Eric’s/Intrepid’s Gran & Eric knock on Brandon’s door (instead of whole family)/Rubbernecking allows Eric 2 check in with Sookie feeding him details on Pam’s family status).

    Now that Raw Stackhouse’s know of Rhiannon & Becky, it’s wonderful that they want 2 get to know them. But they messed up intros. Twice. 1st time? Well with warnings; shit happens. The 2nd time; unlike u and I; they had enough power/resources/experience 2 create a better intro.
    They. Really. Didn’t.

    Julie could have asked twins where Rhiannon’s fav flower was, Gran and Corbett could have entered Eric’s place and left rest in lobby with open phone line, family could have thanked Eric/Queen for healing, could have gifted Rhiannon with dentist appointment/item for Becky. (Again with right questions for twins)

    Now this meet difference is WHY we all heart MV; grace us with differences 2 adore/pick/apart/improve relationships for future chapters!!! Looking forward to Stackhouse comeback (will Gran give Corbett a ‘come to Jesus over approach? Jason feeling guilty for not requesting visiting rights with Michelle?)!

    And as for Mata; just because he is a Vampire/King does not make his actions predictable; even with Eric’s amazing rep; his maker could force him to do ANYTHING (kill Cort/LAR). Should u need a reminder that u might not want to trust Kings or reps; Eric worked for King Halfdan voluntary (at 1st…).

    Looking forward to learning more about Mata; his beauty/strength at his age (under 200?) makes a gal wonder….is he Fae-vamp?

    Thanks for reply!

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