T R O U B L E
Then talk to Pam so you can go back to thinking with your dick.
If I wasn’t mistaken… that was practically an invitation.
“I’ve never asked for her seal of approval for anyone I’ve fucked. Why should I start now?”
“Because this one just so happens to be her best friend and the sister of her bonded pet. There could be weirdness there for her…”
“Yeah… weirdness. You’re a very big deal to her. She might not want to share you even if it is… for… unattached…” She sighed and put her hands on my chest. “Okay… I’m going to get back…”
When she tried to slide out from between me and the wall, I caught her… ‘Trapping’ her consisted of putting my hand on the wall and nothing more. “Where do you think you’re going?”
Her eyes were slightly glazed over as she cleared her throat and offered, “There’s this little thing called resisting temptation… I’m going to go back to the bar… where it’s easier to remember why Pam comes first.”
“Why would you do a silly thing like resist temptation. Temptation isn’t…”
She interrupted me by whimpering, “Stop talking in that tone….please.”
“That one… that husky, sexy, you-know-damn-well-it’s-a-panty-accelerant tone… It’s not fair.”
“It’s fair enough considering…” I ran my thumb over her lips as I finished, “You know you’ve been teasing me.”
She corrected, “Taunting a fuddy-duddy,” and nipped my thumb.
“You said I should think about how much I want out of my evening and formulate a plan to achieve my goals… How many hugs will I need to exchange for fucking you until dawn?”
She shook her head and sighed, resting her shoulders against the wall to bow her body against me. “You don’t have to barter for that. I already want to fuck you… but Pam has the key to my chastity belt.”
“You let her choose who you fuck?”
“Just this once… since my target is her Maker and best friend, yes.” It was almost funny that she thought I was her target.
“What if she’s opposed to the idea?”
“Then we’ll both be trolling the casino for fresh meat later.” Like hell.
“Then I want my hugs now, before you smell like someone else…”
She laughed, “At least you don’t have any preconceived notions about your negotiating skills. You already seem pretty sure that you won’t win that debate.” Oh really?
“I’m usually quite proficient when I’m not distracted by the scent of Faerie. You took advantage of that…”
She snickered and bit her lip, slowly running her finger down my chest. “And? It’s not like you begrudge me for making use of my resources…” When her finger reached my belt, she slid her hand around my side and hugged me until she’d pulled herself away from the wall.
She leaned away, breathing, “One,” and circling around behind me…
Tightening her arms again and breathing, “Two,” before clawing her fingernails down my chest as she walked away. “C’mon. We have to get our shit together before the empaths call us out on our moods.”
I growled, leaning against the wall… the only thing keeping our clothes on was my willpower. “Why wouldn’t the extra telepath be a problem?”
“Brandon can’t hear you and I can block him… Hadley and Jason will be close to jumping someone if they walk between us. We need to chill.”
Chill? That wasn’t going to happen.
Sookie detoured to the elevators, leaving me to join her family alone in the now bustling bar while she tended to ‘something’ upstairs.
I was still hard from our encounter and it didn’t help that the logical part of my brain was bound and gagged while the animal part ran riot… picturing the list of things I wanted to do to her… It was worse when I reminded myself she wanted it too.
As soon as I entered the bar, I was approached by Sookie’s father. He hadn’t needed to introduce himself for me to know… Brandon and Jason favored him that strongly.
Again, I braced myself for a hug that wasn’t delivered. Instead, he offered his hand. “Corbett Stackhouse. Jason’s dad. Great to finally meet you. Heard you scared the shit out of my boy earlier.”
“Actually, he did that to himself. Pam and I needed to discuss something completely unrelated…”
He shook his head to stop my explanation. “I heard that too. Brought it up ‘cuz it’s funny is all… Don’t hold it against him. He got being a jackass from me. Good news is, those genes don’t have as much muscle as the others…” He looked over his shoulder and called, “Sweetness, get on over here.”
When a large man moved to stand a tiny blonde slapped his arm and giggled, “Not you, ya lummox. Sit. Stay.” He jokingly growled and flashed his irises from green to gold while she laughed her way over to join Corbett. When ‘the lummox’ relaxed again, he stretched his legs out like Alcide had earlier. This family tree wasn’t going to be difficult to remember.
“This is Julie. Jason’s mom.”
Her smile brightened and, for the third time, I was offered a hand instead of a hug. Sookie had been fucking with me. That little bitch… she might not flirt, but she was a tease. She was going to pay for that.
I took her hand and nodded. “Nice to meet you.”
She blushed and put her hand over her heart. “I’m sorry. I’m a little star-struck. I’ve heard so much about you… and I couldn’t ask for anyone better than Pam for Jason. If only there was another Pam for Brandon.” It was at least marginally amusing that Julie was so accepting of Pam, but for the most part I was still experiencing some shock.
It would have been a very safe bet that there wasn’t (and possibly never had been) another peaceful assembly of Faeries, Weres, Humans, Vampires and Daemons anywhere else in the world…
“It’s probably best that Pam’s an ‘only child’. Can you imagine how much closet space two of them would need?”
Julie laughed, “Point taken! That girl is so bad… she tried to convince us to go to Fashion Week with her because we needed to be reformed.” Jeans and casual shirts. The whole family; Brandon was the only exception and he’d been working. I didn’t see a single need for reformation.
I shook my head. “It didn’t work when I finally went with her. It only made me appreciate jeans more.”
Corbett snorted, “Sook went with her… After one show, she sat in the hotel naked in protest for the rest of the trip.”
Fucking beautiful. I wish I had thought of that.
I was still laughing when Pam entered the bar on Jason’s arm… he seemed like he was walking in his sleep, dazed and staring over heads. Making me want to probe someone about the nature of his ability and his range.
Pam rolled her eyes at her ‘father-in-law’. “That brat didn’t just protest clothing. The hall was lined with room service carts because she vowed to gain five pounds on principle…”
Amusing until I pictured Sookie lounging nude, snacking from a fruit tray…
Julie giggled, “Sookie? Opinionated? Say it isn’t so… let us know if you can do anything with that girl.”
Pam huffed, “At least she was opinionated privately. Whenever a model introduced herself to Eric, he told her how much weight she needed to gain and asked if she belonged to the Auschwitz Modeling Agency…” Not all of them. I amused myself by slipping food related puns into my brief conversations with others.
I argued, “You set them up for the insults by pointing me out as a plastic surgeon… and you act as though I should have been honored to have the attention of vacuous, emaciated bimbos whose one accomplishment was conquering the task of walking while wearing clothing.” I was remarkably well behaved given how repugnant they all were.
She rolled her eyes. “You didn’t have to point out that they smelled like laxatives or vomit.”
“There also wasn’t anything keeping me from doing that.”
Corbett snorted and mumbled, “Jesus. Where have I heard that before?”
From the bar, Alcide coughed, “Sookie.”
Julie shook her head and joked, “It’ll probably be better to keep them apart. God only knows what could happen if they’re left unsupervised long enough to compare manifestos.” Like hell. They should lock us away from society. We could share a cell.
Pam groaned, “Amen… Where did she disappear to?”
Brandon piped, “Secret squirrel. She’ll be back in a few.”
Pam’s spine straightened as though a rod had been shoved up her ass. “Tell her to get her ass downstairs right now.”
Brandon snorted, “The number you have reached is out of order. Please check the number and dial again.” Cute.
“Do I want to know what she’s up to?”
Pam growled, “I swear… she’s going to age me…”
Julie reached out to rub Pam’s shoulder and began walking away, “I’ll take care of it…”
Before she could finish offering to go after Sookie, Brandon had left his seat at the bar and was blocking her path.
“No. This isn’t something for you to get involved in, Mom.”
She grinned in spite of her son’s seriousness. “Bran, I can go talk to h-”
“No. Go back to your table.”
“Brandon Emery Stackhouse, if there’s something going on that you don’t want me near, then I’ll be damned if I want Sookie near it. Get her out.”
He clenched his jaw and glared at her, making me wonder what the fuck was going on and if he was using his ability.
He growled, “Mom, she’s just-”
“No. I’m not going to listen to ‘just’. You’re scaring me. You know you’re scaring me and if ‘she’s just’ than you wouldn’t have had a problem saying something in mixed company. Pull her out of whatever she’s trying to get in the middle of.”
He cleared his throat with his jaw clenched, and finally turned to leave without another word…
Jason, Jupiter and Alcide were right behind him, following like firefighters after an alarm sounded…
The only thing said during the otherwise silent exodus was when Linda told her husband to let ‘the boys’ handle it…
I couldn’t help myself. I asked, “Does anyone know anything, or is everyone making assumptions?”
From her seat at a nearby table, Hadley offered, “Sookie’s been monitoring a couple of guests… brewing problem.”
“A problem that requires four men as backup?”
Before Hadley could answer, Pam grumbled as she joined Adele in a booth. “I’ll explain later if Sookie doesn’t beat me to it by trying to defend herself. It’s nothing for us to concern ourselves with…”
That wasn’t necessarily true. I knew Pam meant that it wasn’t a Vampire related issue, but I could still be concerned… how would I fuck Sookie later if she injured herself?
I was forced to drop the subject since I didn’t want to seem too invested in Sookie’s state. I took advantage of the show and used the idle time to think about how to approach Pam…
In the midst of the absurdity of planning to ask Pam for ‘permission’ to fuck her friend, I realized Sookie was most likely fucking with me the same way she did over the hugs.
The mood was nothing if not oppressively anxious for nearly an hour.
In the interim, the connecting lounge filled with the noise of a robust, female Ritchie Valens impersonator… She was surprisingly impressive vocally, but the view left something to be desired…
And once I stopped letting myself focus the fact that ‘Sammy Davis’ was nearly a foot taller than he should have been, the recently negotiated Martin and Davis act was enjoyable…
There hadn’t been any signs or clues from Pam about what Sookie and her family were doing until Jerry Lee Lewis was onstage… Jason and Brandon made a sudden appearance to sing Jambalaya and it was the highlight of the otherwise abysmal performance.
But Sookie, Alcide and Jupiter were all still unaccounted for as Brandon and Jason joined the rest of the party without offering any details. Brandon had changed in favor of jeans and a T-shirt, but I couldn’t begin to guess if it had been for comfort or because something ruined his suit.
The fact that Alcide had offered to hide a body for Bubba did cross my mind though.
A few moments later Jupiter returned, sliding his chair closer to his wife’s and stretching his arm around her shoulder. Watching her parents beam as Hadley snuggled into her husband’s side reminded me that the wedding invitation I received claimed her name was Hadley S. Herveaux… She’d taken her stepfather’s name even though she didn’t meet him until she was in college.
Sookie might have been teasing me about being hugged at every turn, but in addition to my earlier realization that Pam hadn’t been exaggerating how friendly and accepting the Stackhouses were, I was coming to terms with the how fitting the term ‘thick as thieves’ had been.
And again, I wasn’t given any hints to what the ‘brewing problem’ had been. Jupiter hadn’t changed his clothing like Brandon had and he didn’t seem at all distracted as Hadley told him he missed Jason and Brandon’s performance.
It was probably the most intriguing event I’d been party to in a decade, but at least I wasn’t the only one distracted. In fact, Julie’s obvious anxiety was probably why I didn’t ignore it.
I was waiting, assuming Alcide would be the next to join the family, but I was pleasantly surprised by Sookie.
She approached from behind me to breathe into my ear, “I’ll love ya forever if you help me stall by dancing with me.”
She’d changed into a less revealing top and reeked of Weres she wasn’t related to…
Pam was glaring at her, feeling annoyed and worried…
I still couldn’t resist.
‘Patsy Cline’ was singing I Fall To Pieces (and beautifully) when Sookie turned around to put her hands on my shoulders.
“I’m going to have to insist that all of the excitement is explained.”
She giggled, “I’m sure you can arrange to witness my trial… As soon as Bubba’s off stage, I’ll be ordered upstairs to explain myself.”
“You smell like Weres and that fabulous tube top is gone.”
“No. I’m mourning the loss of the tube top and letting you know if you changed because it smelled of Weres, there was no point because I can still smell them.”
She lifted her chin, nibbling her lip. “The tube top had to go bye-bye because it stretched out when I tussled with Fake.”
“Did you leave it on the floor of my room where it belongs?”
She snickered, “I didn’t even think of it… sorry.”
“Don’t make that mistake again… Should we talk about hugs?”
She threw her head back and cackled, “What about them?”
“I was tricked.”
She pulled her face, completely erasing the signs of how amused she was. “By who? Can you describe the guy?”
“It was a female… a bitchy little Faerie…”
She clicked her tongue and shook her head ruefully. “Damn Faeries. Devious assholes, if you ask me… So you were bamboozled, huh? What did you lose?” Bitch.
“Ohhhhh noooooo. How do you recoup that loss?”
“I might challenge her to a duel.”
She smirked and wiggled her eyebrows. “Mmmmmmmm… demanding satisfaction, huh? Nice.”
I growled, “I’m not sure she’ll be so amused by the time I’m finished with her.”
Sookie gave me a very serious look and whimpered, “I’m sure… I can’t help but picture a full-on assault… sweat and tears… begging and pleading for mercy…” Fangs down. She doesn’t flirt. She taunts. “You’d be justified though. She should be taught a lesson… it would serve her right if you worked her over until she could barely move.”
It was as though she wanted me to break her.
All I could do was growl at her as she winked and stepped back to applaud the Patsy Cline performance…
When the next song started, she put her arms over my shoulders again and warned, “Here it comes… Seriously. Chills.”
As ‘Patsy’ began perfectly drawling the first word of Sweet Dreams, I watched chills sweep over Sookie’s shoulders and along her arms.
Sookie shivered and giggled, “Met her in Vegas. She was safe once the movie was made because everyone started picturing Jessica Lang and forgot what she looked like.”
“How did she survive? Wasn’t it a plane crash?”
“Officially everyone died on impact, but the lie was a public service since it was fire that got them… Her Maker got her out in time… He’s young too. He was staying in a cabin nearby for the quiet while he adjusted.”
“Do you know of any others?”
“Singers or famous people in general?”
“Other than Thackeray?”
I nodded. “Yes. Other than Thackeray.”
“And Beowulf’s grandpappy, the nephews of Richard III, the Oracle of Delphi, the King of all Franks, and an Arthurian Knight…”
I chuckled, “Pam talks too much… Yes, other than them.”
She giggled, “I heard Jim Morrison was turned, but since he was unstable and couldn’t define ‘moderation’ with a gun to his head, he didn’t celebrate his first decade.”
“Boring. I already knew about that.”
Sookie scoffed, “You’re not allowed to complain. I don’t see you making any trophy children.”
“Have someone in mind?”
She bit her lip while she searched the ceiling for her answer. “Ummm, will turning Burt Reynolds bring his hair back? I always had a huge crush on the Bandit.”
“No. And his face would look like plastic forever too. He’s far enough past his prime it would be cruel to bring him over now.”
She sucked air past her teeth and went back to pondering. She finally offered, “Dave Matthews.”
She nodded. “I love his voice… If you just want someone to pick on, you could go with… Marilyn Manson would be hilarious…. Command him to be mute, make him wear loafers and polo shirts.”
“I can’t decide whether to laugh or suggest you be committed.”
She snickered and stepped back, patting my shoulder. “Dave Matthews it is then. See you in a few nights.”
I took her wrist to pull her back. “Poor Dave. I’m busy.”
She sighed playfully and rolled her eyes. “Fine, I guess he isn’t pretty enough to be a Vampire anyway…”
Before she returned her hands to my shoulders, there was a Were standing next to us. I almost laughed, but I waited, assuming I’d have the chance when he tried to cut in…
Sookie stared at him for a moment before he called her a ‘troublemaker’ and swatted her ass before walking away, grumbling that he was leaving before Pam put him on a slab.
Once he was gone, Sookie shrugged and offered, “Nate Kendall…”
“Nate? Beneficiary of Janice’s blowjob lessons?”
She nodded. “Poor guy hasn’t gotten any benefits since she was home for Christmas though. She’s at Ole Miss finishing up.”
“So not only did both of your cousins and both of your brothers become part of your trouble-making, but you pulled in a cousin’s boyfriend…”
She shrugged with a wicked smirk on her lips. “And the Packmaster… Pam’s gonna be über-pissed.”
“You say that as though she isn’t already festering.”
“She’ll get over it. We outnumber her… Even Jason’s on board.”
“Are you purposefully building the suspense?”
She shook her head. “No, I kinda feel sorry for you that you think this is interesting. The reveal is going to be so anticlimactic.”
“Good. You can make it up to me later.”
“Mmmmm, not so sure about that… As pissed as Pam is, she’s probably not going to be willing to give up the keys.”
“I could command her…”
“Oooooh, as flattering as that is, I’d pass. The fallout would be miserable.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. She was one hell of an actress… then again, she still thought I believed her.
Peer pressure is underestimated…
Yes, I enjoyed Bubba’s performance. Very much, in fact.
I was actually proud of him for seeming so comfortable being himself…
I was happy for Pam when I noticed the Viva Lounge was so full tables were being removed…
And dancing with Sookie was partly to blame… Even if the only break she took from rubbing her body against mine was to join Bubba on stage to dance with him while he sang You’re The Devil In Disguise. I already had my own opinion about how appropriate the song was before Jack toasted that Sookie should have the lyrics tattooed on her body.
I could claim I didn’t want to be the only asshole, but by the time it occurred to me, I realized I was applauding and cheering like the rest of the infectious Stackhouses.
Perhaps my mood was improving exponentially because I was anxious to hear the reason for all of the drama…
But I was definitely looking forward to my plans for after the ‘inquisition’…
As each family member congratulated Bubba on his flawless performance, they trickled into the lobby and towards the elevators.
Since Pam was stalling, making sure Sookie didn’t try to escape from her chiding, I lingered until Pam was finished with business.
Sookie had tried to ‘get away’ several times, suggesting she tend to a business matter as her excuse… then winking at me every time Pam snarled at her to stay where she was.
When I stepped into the elevator with Pam and Sookie, Pam pressed the button for both of our floors. “I’m sure you don’t care to be part of a family feud.”
“On the contrary. I couldn’t be more curious about why you’re so on edge.”
She watched the numbers on the elevator panel as the elevator climbed and scoffed, “How boring is your job?”
“So boring it hurts. I should annex Louisiana as an excuse to come take part of the excitement from time to time.”
Pam snorted, “Make up your mind. You just threatened to abdicate; now you want more territory?”
“Not territory. Entertainment.”
Sookie licked her lips and winked at me again.
That impish little Faerie knew she was getting under my skin.
Bubba had taken Adele home, but the rest of the Stackhouse family had congregated in Pam’s suite…
Sookie calmly walked towards the bar without a word to take a drink from the refrigerator.
Her mother watched anxiously, waiting until Sookie took a sip from her Snapple, and pushed herself up to sit on the counter.
She finally offered, “It’s not the same thing, Mommy. They’re just stupid Humans…”
I held my hand up to stop her. “Since I’m not a mind reader, would you consider offering some details?”
Sookie’s eye lit up. “Yeah, no prob… How about this? Say a couple of fundamentalist jacktards are crusading against the ‘abomination du jour’. They’re in town organizing and comparing notes with some local wackadoos because this week they have a hard-on for stem cell research. Say someone overhears them planning to pull a ‘Strangers On A Train’…”
“The Hitchcock film?”
She nodded. “Swapping wet-work to give the other guy an airtight alibi… Yeah. So the wet-work being swapped in this case includes the assholes from Dallas planning to bomb a lab that does stem cell research in Shreveport while the usual suspects are protesting the planned parenthood office across town…”
I finished, “And in a few weeks, the Shreveport ‘wackadoos’ take a road trip to Dallas to return the favor.”
She shook her head. “Dallas is returning the favor Shreveport did last month. We looked it up. More than twenty fatalities. Go Shreveport.”
I chuckled at her sarcasm and asked, “And you’re invested because of your sense of moral and civic responsibility?”
Sookie’s family laughed at my suggestion, however Pam wasn’t amused.
Pam grumbled, “You clearly need to get to know that bitch a little more. It would be wonderful if it was that simple.”
Sookie faked an innocent look and cooed, “You know I’m right.”
“Being right doesn’t mean you need to get involved in something that doesn’t concern you…”
Sookie threw her head back and yelled at the ceiling, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! How does this NOT concern me?”
“Because the last time I checked you can’t see the future! You don’t know for sure that sticking your neck out is going to do any fucking good!”
Jason joined his sister behind the bar to get a drink for himself and lean against the counter next to her.
He cleared his throat and opened his mouth, but Pam cut him off. “YOU TOO!?” Uh oh.
He nodded. “Yeah, Pam… Me too. She’s right. Assholes like them get their hate from the headlines. Abortion, cloning, stem cells, gay rights… abominations du jour… What’s next, hon?”
“Jason… The last thing…”
He shook his head and drawled, “Stop. What’s next? What happens when those hatemongering fucks decide Vampires are next on their list of people to hate? Do you really think it’s ‘just a possibility’ that they’ll go against their track record of hatin’ on any damn thing they can’t wrap their heads around? Are you kidding me? Why would they turn their noses up at the chance to fuck with Vampires? Y’all don’t die, hon. Y’all get to bypass being judged by a God they’ve been afraid of their whole lives. Y’all comin’ out is gonna make a lot of assholes twitch, even folks who’ve been open-minded about other shit.”
Annunciation aside, he made a fine point.
Sookie hopped off of the counter and walked towards where Pam and I were standing.
“The drama wasn’t necessary…” Sookie turned to look back at Julie and grumble, “I know worrying is in your job description, but that was a tad melodramatic considering Brandon told you not to worry.”
“He made it sound like you were diffusing a bomb, Sook.”
The woman’s eyes bulged when Sookie and her partners in crime started laughing.
Sookie finally held her hands up to signal everyone to settle down, but she was still laughing when she started, “Okay… ‘Levi and Lot Smith from Atlanta’, also known as Steve Newlin and Gabe Henry from Dallas, met with Shreveport’s resident bomb expert tonight. Guess who was on her way upstairs to change her top when they stepped into the elevator. I wasn’t looking for trouble, Pam...”
Pam growled, “You never do. Trouble finds you.”
Sookie rolled her eyes. “Lemme finish… Their little minds were all over the place… Tomorrow night two masked men go to the lab, shoot the guard at the service entrance, move the multitude of bombs in, strategically place them around the building, and set the timers to go off at 9AM on Monday while the building is active… So I made some calls to take care of it…”
Pam hissed, “What did you do?”
Sookie narrowed her eyes and put her hands on her hips. “I called in a favor to make sure the bombs go off when they open the trunk to take them out. I called in some of our friends to make sure the bomb maker gets put behind bars for long enough that he isn’t hired to build a bomb for OUR place…”
Pam droned in the most condescending tone she had in her arsenal, “I’ll sleep much better knowing you’ve saved us all from the wrath of hypothetical boogie men.”
Sookie shook her head and threw her arms in the air. “This is fucking insane! You don’t have a fucking excuse. You had a front row seat to the Civil Rights movement!”
I probably shouldn’t have said anything, but… “And perhaps she’s forgetting why we left Amsterdam in the first place.”
Pam spun around, gasping like a Human who’d been held underwater. No. No, I shouldn’t have said anything, but I couldn’t resist… Sookie was more concerned with Pam’s safety than she was. I already knew the Revelation was going to be a nightmare in the States. Sookie wasn’t doing much more than confirming suspicions I already had.
I shrugged. “One word, Pam… Kulturkampf. You should know better than to underestimate prejudiced zealots.”
She clenched her jaw and growled in her throat. “I’m not…”
Sookie blurted, “Oh! Sorry to interrupt, but the anonymous tip exposing the bomb guy also mentioned the Dallas bombing. The ATF won’t have any trouble figuring out both bombs are the same… so that’s all sealed up… Sorry. Go ahead.”
Pam rolled her eyes. “Thank you, Sookie. I appreciate your permission… It’s not that I’m underestimating anything. I think Sookie’s just being a bit gung ho.”
I shrugged. “I’m not sure how that matters in this case. She’s making a practical attempt to reduce the hurdles… Sookie noticed a threat and neutralized it without getting her hands dirty.”
“I told her to stay out of it.”
I was a second from asking if she was being obstinate because she was angry Sookie ignored the order or if she was angry about being wrong, but Sookie didn’t give me the chance.
Sookie snorted, “You sure did. This is you reminding everyone I suck at minding my own beeswax. This is me reminding everyone that I’m a stubborn ass. I know you didn’t want me to get involved because I could get hurt. And I didn’t want to ignore what was going on because of the potential for you to be hurt… What’s the score?”
Pam growled. “We’re still tied.”
Sookie giggled, “Good. Are we done now? I want to go get some peace and quiet at home.”
What? No. No peace, quiet, home. No. The plan was for rough, loud, my bed…
When the fuck did my plans change?
Pam rolled her eyes, putting on she was more annoyed than she really was, so Sookie turned to her mother. “Mom? We good?”
Julie grumbled, “Yeah… I’m still gonna worry about you.”
“Fine… Is anyone opposed to me giving Bran a nut-tap for not just telling Mom I was in my office the whole time so she wouldn’t worry?”
Everyone shared a round of looks while Brandon looked around the room, shocked that there wasn’t anyone arguing on his behalf.
Sookie polled, “Opposed?”
Brandon’s arm went into the air. “Me. I’m opposed! I was scanning and she was freaking out while I tried to…”
Jack snorted, “Quit yer cryin’. Motion carried.”
Sookie gave her brother the finger and blew a raspberry at him on her way out, but her father whistled to stop her.
“Hey Eric, if you want to avoid renting some sedan with no balls, you can give Sook a ride back to the house so you can use her wheels for your errands tomorrow night.”
“Oh really? What does Sookie drive?”
She gasped, “I drive a Viper! That’s really nice, Daddy… Loan my car to someone so I’m trapped at the house all day tomorrow!”
He shrugged. “If you have wheels, you’ll think of a thousand things to do when you should be using your day off to visit with family.”
He raised his eyebrows at me as a subtle way of urging me to take his offer.
Because I needed a reason to be alone with Sookie.
The only question was if I could accept his offer without appearing too eager.