Chapter 19

Friday, January 8th
Another early morning… I woke up at 7:00 and in spite of a legitimate attempt, I couldn’t shut down my brain and drift back off.

I snuggled up to my Viking and crooned, “Errrric? Hey there sexy.” He didn’t move. So I moved in closer and started running my fingertips up and down his ribs. He stirred very slightly. Encouraging. So I started delivering slow warm kisses to his chest and then ribs and then down further and while he was still very uncooperative, I went in for the kill. His brain might not be willing at the moment but other things were. I started with a few long strokes and licks, nibbling on the tip. Mostly just a warning, really, before I swallowed as much of him as I could and went to work on giving him a slow, gentle awakening. I felt a sudden snap when I felt his brain engage.

“Sookie?”

“Mmmm Hmmph” was all I could say since it’s rude to talk with a mouth full. He sat up so fast my teeth scraped him and drew enough blood that I tasted it. I felt horrible. He even winced a little but he had started kissing me before I could apologize. He and I were stomach to stomach on our knees on our bed. His mouth was pressed against mine our tongues wrestled against each other around his fangs. One hand in the small of my back holding me close and the other was rubbing my folds. He plunged two fingers into me and saved his thumb to flick across my nub. I moaned into his mouth and he whispered “Shhhh. Careful, you don’t want to scare the children.” Before I had the chance to say anything has hand sped up and he gently commanded me to look at him. As he locked my gaze on his, his hand went into overdrive moving in vampiric speed forcing me to my first climax. I felt the swell of noise about to erupt when he gently shushed me. This went on for what seemed like forever. He milked several silent orgasms out of me before I started begging.

“Please, fuck me Eric. Please.” He made me hold out for another hushed finish before turning me around and bending me over. He nuzzled my back kissing licking and scraping his fangs from my shoulder down to my ass where he sank them in and took his time enjoying his reward while his hand was still between my legs moving precisely to bring me to a peek and then calm me down. When he had his fill he lined himself up behind me and stabbed forward slowly pulling back out causing a shock to run up my spine over and over again. When he filled me it was heaven and when he pulled out it was like dying.  I was relieved when he finally settled into a more steady rhythm. I had resigned myself to a low hum concentrating on not yelping, begging, panting and moaning, tears streaming down my face. He suddenly and without warning plunged his finger into my other entrance forcing out a very unladylike grunt followed by a shiver. He massaged and stroked until I felt another finger enter and go straight to manipulating that deep sweet spot. My whole body ached. I had never felt ecstasy like this. The muscles in my pelvis were developing a mind of their own contracting and releasing begging for more, begging for relief. I could feel him ready for release and folded himself over me to torture my nub as he dug deep into me causing a sudden out letting of heaving and I came around him. As he pumped and stroked he slowly brought his knees together between mine and pulled me back to him as he sat back; his chest against my back rocking my trembling body back and forth he moved my hair away from my shoulder and sank his fangs in again and it brought us both to our end. We collapsed into the mattress and he pulled me close to him neither of us had much to say. We laid there dazed for a while and pondered the ceiling and nothing more until finally he shifted to his side and noticed my tear streaked face. Shame and concern ran across his eyes and then into the bond. He opened his mouth to say something and instead of letting him waste time I kissed him. “You didn’t hurt me. I’m Ok.”

“But you’re crying.” Puzzled doesn’t look good on him.

I chuckled, “All the noise I would have made had to come out somehow I guess. Trust me, feel free to do that again anytime.” I pulled him out of the bed and took him to take a shower where we did more sweating than washing then I redeposited my sleepy lover back in the bed. I went into my closet and paused to think about what I was doing today. It occurred to me that I didn’t really have much to do until the interviews tonight so I grabbed an old pair of jeans, one of Eric’s white wife beaters and my navy blue and white polka dot bra and panty set. It excited me a little to take the tags off of it and decided to go shopping tomorrow morning after I signed the contracts. The kids had a lot of fun shopping when we all went and it should be fun for them to pick out some of their own clothes. It was 8:30 when I made my way downstairs to the quiet kitchen. I started making breakfast. I started the coffee then the home fries and muffins and seasoned 3 steaks this morning since Jason was still drooling and face down on the couch in the den. I pulled out the cereal boxes, milk, yogurt and fruit and set them on the table for the kids and I heard Alcide wake up. I’d swear that guy could smell coffee brewing from the front gate. I laughed to myself. I threw our steaks on the skillet and greased the pan for our eggs. I got out the condiments and poured 2 cups of coffee. When Alcide came around the corner I was taking a sip from mine and had his held out for him.

He smiled and gave me a thankful kiss. “Is it weird that I have 2 wives?”

I laughed. “Probably, but who cares. It works for us.” I heard Jason starting to wake up and started his steak and eggs too. Jason was never a coffee fan so I made him a big glass of chocolate milk. Some guys never grow up.

Jason sat down and I put the glass down in front of him. “Aww, thanks sis, but I…”

“Oh sakes alive! What kind of damn fool drinks as much as you do and doesn’t know how to avoid a hangover?” I came around to the other side of the bar and put both hands on either side of his face and quickly and agitatedly cured his morning after woes. Alcide snorted at my handling of Jason and I gave a wink. I walked around and started plating our food and passed it all out. I stood across the counter from Alcide.

“Shug, why don’t you sit down?”

“Dunno, too hyper I guess.”

He smiled at me, “So what are you channeling your energy into today, World Peace or homelessness?”

“Haha! I have a couple phone calls to make and I need to look over my contract but until the interviews tonight I’m just hanging out here with the kids waiting for Bobby and the boys to deliver stuff. Maybe going shopping.”

“Yeah, Eric looked them over. He says that they’re more generous than they should be. I already signed mine.” Jason had been slouched over his plate shoveling food into his face like he’d never eaten before. He looked up at Alcide with a mouth full of partially masticated food and spat: “Contracts?”

Before Alcide had the chance to do anything but wince in disgust (funny that a Werewolf has impeccable table manners) I barked at my big brother. “JASON CORBITT STACKHOUSE!!! You are acting like an animal! What happened to your manners? Act like you’ve got some raising or I will beat your ass like Gran should’ve!”

His eyes were wide and his mouth hung open for a second before he swallowed his food. “Sorry, Sook. I haven’t had a good breakfast since the last one Gran made for me. That ‘wife’ of mine didn’t even bother keeping milk in the house for cereal.”

I retreated slightly out of pity. “That sucks Jason. I’m sorry about that. I’m glad you are enjoying your breakfast, you should come by once in a while for a home cooked dinner as long as you don’t eat like that.”

I could have hit Alcide. He started with a snort that morphed into a fully developed belly laugh. Jason quickly followed suit and I couldn’t fight it for much longer. The irony was staring me in the face.

“Alcide! You hush.”

He was still laughing, “Sorry baby doll! I tried to fight it, but your little ole self just went all Judith Martin on a Were for acting like an animal!” I laughed again but Jason looked confused so I explained that Judith Martin was also known as Miss Manners while I was grabbing the hair stuff from the bathroom. I went over to Alcide and stepped up onto his stool.

Jason had been watching Alcide and I and finally ‘figured out’ what was going on. “Ohhhh, he’s gay. I get it now!” Alcide just stared at Jason for a minute. I thought I might need to hold him still but finally Alcide blew a kiss at Jason. That really shut him up.

“Your hair soaked your shirt. Take it off.” He did and I took it to the laundry room and came back with a clean, dry, folded one and set it on the bar and climbed back up and started playing with Alcide’s hair. It was turning into my favorite part of breakfast; it relaxed both of us. I smoothed it out and put it into a super tight low braid and finished it off with an elastic band.

He craned his head around and gave me a kiss. “Sookie, you are too good to me.”

I smiled at him, “Then we’re even, but I’m not done yet. Sit up straight.” When he did, I tried a new tactic. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and hugged him from behind so that I was touching every part of his back and arms. Instead of easing one or two muscles at a time, I sent soothing into all of them at once and within a minute his back was set to rights and I stopped the healing but still held onto him. “Better baby?”

“Oh yeah. You’re going to have to get a restraining order to rid of me.” I laughed. “You’re the best. You better know it.”

“Hey! No problem. Today is the last day you’ll have a real problem and I’ll still be here next month.”

The intercom beeped so I went over and I buzzed in Bobby and crew. The guys ate while I ran up for laundry and started a load then started the kids’ breakfast. A few minutes later the kids came running down the stairs. It almost worried me how self sufficient they were. They had bathed and gotten dressed and put shoes on. I plated and delivered breakfast and took the hair kit over and started on Manen’s hair. I parted her hair down the middle and gave her two little French braids. As I was finishing up I saw the front of a tractor trailer pull up through the back door. Bobby climbed out and came up to the portico door so I waived him in.
“Bobby, how are you doing this morning?”

He smiled at me, “I’m doing well, thank you. I have some deliveries for you. I suppose I need your assistance outside, if you don’t mind.”

I took the packages from him and set them on the counter for later. “Sure thing, would you like a drink? Cup of coffee? Soda?”

“No ma’am, thank you though.” So I followed him out into the yard. As I walked farther out into the yard I saw what was on the back of the huge truck.

“HOLY SH…!”

“Mr. Herveaux ordered these. I hope he will be pleased that they are ready early.” I was standing there looking at 2 jungle gyms. Not so much jungle gyms as playgrounds, like the ones that churches raise money for, the kind that public schools can’t afford. Bobby explained that one of them has plumbing so if you hook a hose up to it, water comes down the slide and there are sprinklers. “Where would you like for us to set them up?” I thought about it for a minute and pointed to near the tree line but straight out from the back porch so it would be comfortable for the adults to supervise the children and told him as much. “Thank you for your help. We’ll start right now.” He nodded as a polite way to let me know that he didn’t need anything else from me.

“Bobby, where are the boys?”

“They are packing up Miss McCourt’s apartment now. When I am done here, I’ll head over to make sure of things and we’ll be back here to unload.” He grinned. It seemed he liked being kept busy.

“Ok. Thank you so much for overseeing that. I hate to make you too busy, but the house is filling and I am finding myself entertaining a lot now and more soon. If you and the boys could squeeze in a trip this week to get me a very large freezer, I would appreciate it.”

“A freezer? For extra food storage?”

“Yes. I’m finding myself surrounded by ice cream lovers.” I smiled at him.

“Of course ma’am.”

I thanked him and went back inside. Alcide was standing at the bar looking through the packages.

“What’d we get?”

“The ES package, the jeweler, and some lawyer.”

“Cool, where’d Jason go?”

He turned to me with a sinister look on his face. “He may or may not be trying to start his truck.”

I laughed. “It serves him right for trying to leave without saying goodbye.” Alcide and I started clearing the table and putting things away. I loaded the dishwasher and started it. Alcide went outside to ‘relieve the monkey from his math problem’ and I hopped up onto the counter to focus on my mental checklist. For the rest of the day, I need to wait for Bobby to deliver items unknown and I need to go to the grocery store. I reached over and picked up the package from the ‘lawyer’. It was addressed to me. I sent to Eric: “Honey, there is a package here from a lawyer addressed to me. Do you know anything about it?”

“I believe it’s Bill’s estate. Is it from Parker, Bassnight & Swearinger?

“That’s what it says. What do you want me to do with it?”

“It’s yours. Do with it what you want. I would start going through it soon because the real estate items may be time sensitive.”

“Oh, Okay. What rooms are you planning on putting the Kings into?”

“Any of the even rooms along the hallway. Why?”

“Because they aren’t exactly befitting royalty. I was thinking about buying some new bedding and maybe order fresh arrangements for them. You know, that kind of thing.

“I thought about it too but I thought you might have too much going on right now to worry about it. Are you sure you don’t mind?”

“It’s just a little shopping. I’m on it. Any special requests?”

“No. You get whatever you think will look nice and it will be perfect. Just like you.”

“Aww. Thank you honey.”

“Thank you, for this morning.”

I giggled then hung up and started ripping into the lawyer info. There were 3 files. One with Lorena’s assets and transferred paperwork and another was Bill’s. The third was filled with bank cards. Each bank card was in my name and was clipped to a bank statement in my name.

Alcide was coming in through the garage with grease on his hands so I hopped down and turned the water on and held the soap out for him. He smiled at me.

“Your brother really is a tool.” He chuckled. My eyes were steadily fixed on the bank papers in front of me. “Sookie? You ok Shug?”

“Unfucking believable.”

“What’s wrong?” I couldn’t answer him. I just handed him the folder and sat down.

“Holy shit. Eric was off with his numbers.”

“The only thing I can figure is that Bill had already started liquidating Lorena’s assets.”

“You’ve got to be right. I can’t imagine Eric’s numbers being this far off. Plus, those papers were done before that program was done right.” I just nodded. “I guess, your biggest problem is going to be finding a wallet big enough for all of these cards.” We sat and looked through things for a while and came to the same conclusion and I wrote out what I wanted to do with the assets and left it on the counter.

“I have to go find Bobby.” Alcide followed me out to check out the new jungle gyms.

“Bobby, are the boys at Angela’s apartment still?” he nodded.. “Would you mind calling them so that I can talk to one of them?” He took out his phone and dialed then announced that they were about to speak to the Queen.

“Tobin is on the line for you ma’am.”

“Thank you, and stop calling me ma’am. You’ve seen me in my waitress uniform.” I gave him a quick wink. “Hey, Tobin. It’s Sookie. Could you do me a favor?”

“Uh, yes ma’am. Anything.” Alcide rolled his eyes.

“I want to get Angela a housewarming present. But I don’t know much about her. Her favorite color, the kind of soap she uses, a nearly empty bottle of perfume… Anything like that would be a really big help.”

“Well, the bedroom had a lot of pink. Like bright pink. Almost red, hot pink, I guess you could call it. Let me find the box from the bathroom. Uh. There was some light green pillows in the living room and a blanket on the back of the couch. It was like a eastery green I guess, with beads, looked kinda Indian. Ah… Here it is, she used cheep stuff. Like from a grocery store.”

“The bath stuff… fruit or flowers?”

“Flowers. But not strong… Ma’am?”

“Yeah?”

“If you don’t mind me saying… she’s got a big box of pictures but not a single frame. Oh, and the stuff she has for the kitchen, the table cloth and place mats, its toile. Black and white. Don’t think I’m gay or nothing. My ex’s place was covered in it.”

“Tobin! You rock! I’ll save a dance for you! Thank you!”

I handed the phone back to Bobby and thanked him. I turned and took Alcide with me. “Sweetie, did you see her room? I haven’t looked around yet. I didn’t even know there was a room back there.”

“Yeah I saw it, there are 2 rooms back there. Come on I’ll show you, Eric mentioned that they were both the same.”

We walked back and opened the door to what I thought was some kind access for the pool stuff to see a long dark hallway. Alcide led me to the first door and we went in. Eric was full of it when he said small. This room is the size of a decent hotel room. It had a big bed, pretty desk and large dresser. There was a TV on the wall and a DVD player on top of the dresser. In the corner by the door to the bathroom was a small kitchenette with a mini fridge, microwave, sink and some cabinets. The bathroom was no joke either. It had the usual sink and toilet but there was a garden tub with jets and a very nice shower head that looked like it had every setting possible.

“What size do you think the bed is? Queen? Full?”

He climbed onto it and laid down. “My feet don’t completely dangle. It’s got to be a Queen.”

“Is it comfy?” He smiled and patted the bed next to him. I rolled my eyes. But he reached up and grabbed me around the waist and pulled me down with him spooning behind me. “You SO did not learn your lesson yesterday.”

“I’m a slow learner, I guess.”

I rolled over to face him. “Alcide, I have some shopping to do. Do you want to come with me and the kids?”

“You don’t wanna play today?” He pouted.

“Can we play while I run around?” I kissed him to encourage him. I reached down and ran my hand down his thigh and over to claw his butt through his jeans. “Well?” He still wasn’t answering me so flicked my tongue out and gave his lip a little lick and then I gave it chew. His eyes were rolling back in his head. “Okay then…” I started to get up and he rolled on top of me putting one leg between mine and pressing himself against my hip and grabbed my wrists. He had me pinned.

“I want the whip.” He flashed a smile at me as he lowered his head to attack my neck.

I was already breathing hard when he grinded his thigh into my center kissed me intensely. I wiggled my wrists a little and he let them go. One hand went up and grabbed the back of his shoulder where I dug my nails into it and the other hand went down and slipped into the waist of his jeans and tickled the small of his back.

When he came up for air his eyes were glowing. He flashed a lusty gaze down at me. I lifted my knee that was between his slowly and moved it from side to side rubbing the inside of his thighs and stared at him steadily. “So what are we waiting for?” He smiled at me at pushed himself up quickly and then pulled me up and slung me over his shoulder and carried me to the den and told the kids to get ready because we were going shopping and out to lunch and then to the kitchen where he sat me on the counter and grabbed my purse and tossed my bank cards into it.

“Got everything you need?” I nodded. He picked me up again and took me to the laundry room and took the wife beater off of me and dug into the bags of clothes that we had bought but hadn’t put away last night. He pulled a short sleeved turquoise satin blouse with ruffles and keyhole yolk at the top. He even buttoned for me and then he unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them off . I couldn’t blame him; the ones I had been wearing were baggy before I started working out, now they made me look homeless. Alcide pulled the tags from a new midnight blue, ‘no rise’ pair and started pulling them up my legs. He dug into the bags again and handed me a shoe box as soon as the kids ran by on their way to the car. I pulled out the shoes and slipped my feet into a beautiful pair of turquoise leather stiletto boots and zipped them up.

He eyed me with a raised eyebrow and pulled the pony tail holder from my hair and ran his fingers through it to shake it out he picked me up and took me to the Suburban and dropped me in the front seat. He put his hand on my leg and ran it quickly up into my new piercing and gave a hard rub making me throb. He helped the kids with their seat belts and climbed in. Once we were on the way the conversation started.

“Where are we going?”

“Macy’s.” Then I sent: “What are you in the mood for today?”

“I was still thinking on that.”

“So is this ok?” I mentally tweaked his nipples slowly but firmly.

His spine straightened and he growled. “That’s more than fine.”

“And this?”  I ran imaginary claws lightly down the insides of his thighs.

He growled at me again. “What else you got?”

“I can make it too hard for you to drive.” I gave him a mental ping on that hidden male sweet spot. I watched his Adam’s apple bounce as he took a hard swallow, and then again. I glamoured him into feeling like I was lowering myself onto him…

“Stop.” I giggled at him. “My whip.”

“Yes sir.”

He whipped his head around and by the looks of things even my words turned him on. “Sookie.”

“Yes sir?”

“What don’t you like?”

I snorted, “I don’t like fighting over bruises. I don’t like fucking in small sports cars.”

“Bruises?”

“Yeah, Eric treats me like the good china sometimes. One night we fucked like animals and when we got in the tub I was looking forward to more but I had a bunch of bruises and he freaked out.”

“So you like it rough? How rough?”

“Well, our sparring… is a little tame.” I winked at him and he took another hard swallow.

“So you know that you like it rough. You can’t think of anything else?”

“Most of my excitement comes from the foreplay so you already know. I love it when you guys watch me and Pam go at it. The game we play, pushing each other to the point of cold sweats and pre-come and stopping, it makes me throb just thinking about it.”

“I’m starting to think that we might want to look for a daytime sitter.”

“I think the kids are just fine. You can barely handle the tease and Pam was a lot easier on you than I was on Eric yesterday.” Alcide’s head snapped sideways. I smiled at him and blushed a little bit when he realized I was mentally lofting in the room.

“What did you do to him?”

“Rude.”

“My whip. What did you do?”

“It’s hard to explain.”

“Can a normal person do it?”I shook my head.

“Would it kill me if you did it to me?”

“Since we’re going 55 on a country road with no shoulder, it’d probably kill all of us.” I giggled as he took a hard swallow. “I’ll do to you later but you have to be sitting down so that you don’t buckle under and you won’t get the full effect because you won’t be in me, but I can probably simulate that.”

“Can you?”

“If you don’t mind a glamour, more than likely. The one a few minutes ago felt real, right?”

He cleared his throat even though we weren’t talking and it made me giggle. “It felt real enough. Why didn’t you do it yesterday?”

“Because from the distance I was at I wouldn’t have been able to tell if I was hurting you. Holding you still and damming you off was enough considering Pam’s strength. You don’t have to, of you don’t want to. It’s your whip.”

“But it won’t hurt?”

I unbuckled my seatbelt and adjusted so that I could speak directly into his ear. “It will hurt so good, you’ll feel it in your teeth and beg for more.” I laughed out loud when he shuddered. “Could you do something about that smell?”

“Shug, that smell is your fault. Deal with it.”

“Yes sir.” He growled at me a little and last few minutes were void of conversation until we pulled into our parking spot at the store.

Alcide turned to the kids to and told them to sit tight for a few minutes because we had ‘grown up’ things to discuss.

He bounced out of the truck so fast that he met me on my side.

“I told you that you needed to be sitting down.”

“Curiosity is killing me. I’ll improvise and lean against the truck.”

“Are you sure? Do you want the whole thing?”

“I’m sure. I want as close as you can get.”

“Go ahead then.”

Alcide leaned against the truck and I stood directly in front of him between his feet and leaned against him, lacing our fingers together.

I stared into his eyes. “I need you to use your words. I need you to tell me what you’re feeling, if I’m hurting you or if it’s too much, ok?”

“I can do that.” He immediately started kissing me so I held him right where he was because I figured I should get something out of it. I changed the order of what I had done to Eric. The first thing I did was give him the glamour of me being on top of him. He moaned into my mouth and he broke the kiss and his head fell back.

I giggled. “That’s just me. You still want the rest?”

He nodded. I built the dam up as the glamour of me sped up and tightened down on him. He started to pant and groan. “Are you still good we still have two more steps to go.”

He nodded again. I released the Were scent gradually and waited while I watched his chest start to heave and cranked up the glamour one more time. I could feel him throbbing where his hard on was pressed against my stomach. He jerked his head forward and his eyes met mine. He was nearly gasping for air and leaned forward to kiss me again. I released his arms and he wrapped them around me, leaning against him harder to keep him from falling over as I threw it all into over drive.

I shored up the dam, the glamour sped up and tightened down with more of an iron fist, I released another wave of Were heat and then, I mentally went after his p-spot and ‘rubbed’ it. His arms wrapped around me tighter and I looked up at him and he looked like a man who had run a marathon.

He was sweaty, his mouth was dry and I could watch his adam’s apple bounce in his throat. He lowered his face to kiss me but I pulled back, afraid that he needed every bit of air he could get. “How are you doing?”

He smiled at me. “Never better.”

“You ready for me to dial it up?”

I saw panic flash across his eyes, but he was a dumb man. He smiled and wiggled his eyebrows at me. So I turned it all up a little bit at a time and he almost yelled so I clamped my hand over his mouth so he just squeezed me tighter. I was getting really close to half power when one of his hands left my back and went into my hair and forced my mouth to meet his. He kissed me hard and deep and it didn’t take long for his panting to get in the way so he pushed my face against his neck and I licked and chewed and he finally started breathlessly begging me to stop.

“Stop which part.”

“Anything.”

So I stopped the mental pinging on his p-spot first. “Better?” His breathing started to slow as he nodded.

He was thinking about his knees aching from having been locked in place so the next thing I did was let the hold I had on him slip away. He stood up and put his legs under him and I could tell that he felt better but he was still on the verge of coming.

“Alcide, what next? The scent, the glamour or the dam?”

He looked at me too long so I ‘accidentally’ released another wave of the scent and had the glamour slow down to grind against him and tighten down even more. He pitched his head forward and growled loudly against my neck sending shivers up my spine.

“If you don’t use your words, you’re going to need a napkin. 3..2..1…” The dam was gone and he pulled me against him and squeezed me tight, moaning into my shoulder and he grabbed my hair and forced our mouths together and kissed me again. He thought it was over but I hadn’t stopped the scent or the glamour. In fact, since other than keeping the kids focused on their PSPs those were the only powers I was using at the moment so I dialed them up another notch and he went wild. He threw his head back and sputtered as he tried to stifle his own yells. I reached between us and started rubbing him too. His body jerked and twitched and I knew he had it in him to tell me to stop but he wanted to see how far he could go.

“You’re being greedy, Alcide.” I threw everything back at him except for the dam, and then I stopped.

He was so out of breath that he could barely say my name without a break. “Sookie… that was… the best…I’ve never…”

He gave up trying to use words and kissed me again.

“So, Dr. Herveaux, how did the experiment go?”

“You tell me.”

I smiled at him wickedly. “Not bad for about 6.”

“6?”

“Yup. If I had a dial, I was powered up to about 6.”

He squinted his eyes and stared at me in a daze for a moment. “That wasn’t all of it?” I smirked at him and shook my head. “What the fuck does 10 feel like?”

“Wrong choice of words.” His eyes got big and before he had the chance to argue I went at him with level 8 and left the dam out of the scenario. He tensed up and was hard within seconds and coming again in under a minute. When I turned off the juice he crumpled onto the blacktop I squatted down straddling his legs and lifted his chin so that I could look him in the eyes. “We could give 10 a try, but how did you like 8?”

“How far did you go yesterday?”

“With Eric?” He nodded. “11.” Alcide’s jaw dropped.

“You held down a vampire strong enough to fly carrying a car on level 11?”

I smiled at him. “I had to. I was sweating Fae.” I raised an eyebrow at him.

He cleared his throat. “Scared a’ you.”

I laughed at him. “I’m getting better too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m multi tasking easier. I did the scent, the dam, the hold, the massage, the glamour and the shield. The glamour, did it feel real? I’ve never done that before.”

“I don’t know if it felt like you; but it felt like it was really happening. I could feel the weight and the… yeah it felt real.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “You just fucked ‘me’ and now you’re shy?”

I put my hand down and helped him to stand up and then stared into his pretty green eyes that he was doing a very poor job of looking shy with. I wrapped my arms around his waist and pushed the issue. I spoke slowly as I taunted him. “Alcide, did you feel my sweat? Could you smell my excitement? Was I wet enough? When I was rocking against you did you feel the cool metal of my clit ring touching you?”

He was having a hard time keeping his eyes from rolling back in his head and he took a hard swallow. “Sookie, if you give me a heart attack…”

“Alcide, did it feel as good as when you had your fingers in me?” I slipped my hands up inside his shirt and scratched at his back. “You’re getting hard again just thinking about it. Was it tight enough for you?”
I found his hand and brought it up to my mouth and licked his finger tip before sliding his warm finger into my mouth and closed my lips around it rubbed it slowly with my tongue. He put his other hand up into my hair and pulled his finger out as he yanked my head back. I couldn’t help but smile at him.

His eyes were blazing. “I need to calm down.”

I eyed him carefully and licked my lips slowly. “It was your game, boss. You want to calm down, we’ll go shop.”

I slapped the side of the car and called for the kids to join us.

When we got into the store I gave Alcide his space and did the shopping I needed to do. Unfortunately I didn’t find everything I was looking for so it looked like I would be shopping again tomorrow.

 

The kids did enjoy going to the clothing and shoe departments and buying everything they wanted. I even handed them the credit card and them ‘pay’ themselves.

I loved the light behind their eyes when they got do something new. I caught myself second guessing the declaration I made to Eric about not wanting children, but my concerns were still the same. With all of the craziness in the world, I didn’t trust our life. I would always be afraid for Hunter and Manen because of who Eric and I are. In our world, an ally can become an enemy overnight. Keeping 2 children safe would be hard enough, what would happen if Eric and I did take more in? Have our own? Fertility wasn’t an issue in my family, so I guess I could look into in vitro without the same worries some women did. For women with fertility issues, the existence of in vitro could be just as cruel as being without options. Poor Marsha had already had 2 miscarriages and would keep trying to infinity if she weren’t about to luck out. I don’t know how many times I could do that, put Eric through the aftermath. Maybe we should just wait for the ‘stork’ to bring more Manens and Hunters. For the time being, it seemed like we could keep them safe from the ugliness of the supernatural world.

I probably could have stood there and watched Hunter and Manen try on shoes all day while I was lost in my deep well of doubt but Alcide interrupted.

He walked up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder.

“I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings earlier.”

“Hmm, oh, no, you didn’t.”

“Then what’s wrong Shug? You look upset about something.”

“No. Not really. I was just stuck in a mental tug of war. Nothing to worry about.”

“Liar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you that pensive. Something must really be bothering you.”

“Nothing I can be rational about right now. I was just thinking about the kids.”

He thought about it for a minute. “Eric told me that you didn’t want any. Why’d you lie to him?”

“I told him the night we got back together when he mentioned it that I didn’t want to bring children into our life because they wouldn’t be safe.”

“You can’t be afraid of everything that might happen, Sookie. I’ve seen you get thorough some crazy shit. You are a great mom to those kids and you’ve had them 2 days.”

“Alcide look at them. You see how happy they are to be in a store and trying on new shoes. Do you really think that those shoes or pop tarts are going to pacify them through safe houses and hiding. Or worse. I lost my parents when I wasn’t much older than Manen. Do you think she’s going to give a shit that I bought them dip n dots if she gets bussed off to another temporary home? I can’t count how many ways I could have died over the last couple of years. Something brought us those kids to us and I will do everything in my power to keep them safe but only a selfish bitch would bring kids into my life on purpose.” I was dealing with a steady stream of tears at by then so I turned around and used Alcide to cover that I was wiping my face. I didn’t even look up at him when I announced that I was going to the bathroom.

When I came out, I decided to do something to lift my spirits so I stopped and asked for a personal shopper and I grabbed my phone and called Arlene. I disguised my voice of course. I used my worst crisp Midwestern accent not that it mattered when she was at Merlotte’s during the lunch shift as loud as it got in there.”

“Ms. Fowler, I’m calling from the church. My name is Marigold.” I had found Alcide and he was giving me a look.

“Marigold, I’m at work, hon. What can I do for you.”

“The Bass’s house burned down. Everyone is just fine, Praise Jesus. But everything is just plum gone. They had little ones and I got your name from a list. We need 12s for girls and 10s for boys. Do you think you’d be able to…”

“Well, yeah. Those are the sizes my kids just grew out of. I’ll bring them tomorrow night for services. I have shoes in 3 girls and 12 boys if that’ll help?”

“Well God Bless your Christian heart. That would be such a blessing. Thank you. I’ll see you then. I’ll be in the sanctuary with the collection boxes. You are such a dear. Praise Jesus.”

I hung up.

Alcide was laughing as I gagged at how I just sounded. “Shug, what was that about?”

“I’m pulling up my big girl panties and digging out of my pity pit.” I turned to the personal shopper and told her the sizes I needed and set her off to fetch it all and then turned back to Alcide. “If you breathe a word of this to Eric, I will call you a liar and then neuter you in your sleep with nail clippers!”

He chuckled and hugged my shoulder. “Welcome back, Puddin’. What was all that about?”

“Arlene makes the same $350 per week I did, and living on my own in a paid off house was hard and I miss her kids. So I’m going to arrange for her mother to win a drawing. She enters them all the time. It’s a running joke.”

“What happens when she gets to church tomorrow and finds out the Basses don’t exist?”

“The Basses do exist. Their house burned down on new years. The neighbors were setting off bottle rockets. They are just going to be very confused as to why they got a bunch of children’s clothes when they’re kids are grown. You know what bothers me the most about it all?”

“What’s that?”

“That she’s a good person. She didn’t hesitate for a second when someone was in need. I hate that she got sucked in by those idiots.”

He looked at me thoughtfully for a minute. “Shug, you know what bothers me about it?”

“What?”

“That you said Praise Jesus… twice and Bless your Christian heart.” We both laughed and… I was back. I wrapped my arms around him and craned my neck up to kiss his cheek.

“Thank you.”

Once the personal shopper came back with 10 outfits, 3 pairs of shoes, a winter coat, 2 Sunday dresses/suits and 4 pairs of pajamas for each kid and 3 outfits, 2 Sunday dresses and matching shoes for Arlene I told them to send them to Merlotte’s anonymously and we left with our goodies for lunch. We stopped at one of those chain restaurants that has walls covered in random items and the four of us played ‘I Spy’ while we ate.

When we got home we unloaded and put everything away. I took the laptop out to the patio table and watched the kids play on their new playground while Alcide went to shower. I went through bid by bid and figured out who we’d use and who would do what. When all was said and done the final cost of the renovations were only going to cost $70,000. When Alcide saw that he told me he was happy but to read the fine print. Some contractors give themselves permission to go up 20% in the contract. I sent out an email to the contractors that I wasn’t going to use for one reason or another thanking them for their bid. The 6 contactors, Miranda, ES Superstructures and Jared and Dawn were sent an email confirming my interest in securing their services and inviting them to come in briefly at 9:00 so that I can sign contracts and finalize any options. I looked through my contract and other than being appalled that my official new title will be ‘Supreme Mystical Judicial Regent’ everything looked awesome. I can’t believe how much money I was going to get paid for 1 week of travel each month. I loved that Alcide’s title is ‘Lunar Counsel Judicial Regent’. Alcide came in just as I was buzzing in Bobby and his crew. I had them unload Angela’s things into the room next to hers to make it easier on her.

The kids came in and wanted watch a movie so Alcide and I took them to the den and started 101 Dalmatians, one of their favorites. The kids settled into one couch with blankets and Alcide and I snuggled up together on the other in our usual position. We had been busy enough that the kids both conked out before the previews were over and I dozed off soon after.

I woke up to Alcide trying to get a rise out of me by rubbing my arm. “Shug… Sookie… They need to talk to you.”

I cracked my eyes and looked at the ceiling and couldn’t roll over enough to see who it was but I could tell by the movie that we hadn’t been napping for long. Perdita had just had the puppies. I flung my leg over Alcide and raised myself by pushing against his chest and finally looked over the back of the couch. I was straddling his lap as I yawned.

It was Bobby and his boys. “Majesty, we have installed the freezer, Miss McCourt’s belongings are in the 2nd room on the pool hallway and the ATVs are parked around back with the keys in them. You will need me tomorrow morning, correct?”

“Thank you, Bobby. That’s wonderful. I asked everyone to be there at 9:00. Tobin, thanks again for the help.  I’ll be at the Zoo tonight if you want to collect on that dance I owe you.” Alcide growled so I mentally pinched his nipples.

Bobby nodded. “Shall I have the guys with me?”

I almost said yes as a  just in case measure but since tomorrow night was the full moon I thought that it would be good for them to be able to sleep in. “No, I think we’ll be fine. They should enjoy their day off. Thanks. Uh, Bobby… Have you thought about the number I should give Eric?”

He paused for a moment. “Mr. Northman already pays generously so 15% will be more than acceptable.”

I sent to Tobin: “Does he know that you are Weres?”His eyes widened for a second then he nodded.

“Do you pay the boys, or does he do it separately? Hourly or salary? Do they have hospitalization?”

“I do it, hourly, yes”

“Ok, the amount will go up 50% to allow for a 20% raise for the crew. Anything over 6 hours in a day is overtime, the 2 days after the full moon is double time. I won’t use them unless it’s really needed on those days. Is that ok with everyone?” I was hit with a chorus of ‘Thank you’, smiles and nods. “Also, the reason I am going to the Zoo tonight is to interview for our new security team. I’ll be hiring 8 Weres and Eric will be at Fangtasia hiring 4 Vampires. We have some VIPs joining us for a visit on Monday. Their security will be joining us too. I have tour buses being delivered as temporary dorms. If you three can stay to help from Monday morning until Thursday, there will be $1000 in it for you. You will basically be my Katos. Running errands, picking up catering, things like that. But for the most part you guys can hang out and play video games and play some football and what not.” Curtis, Manny and Tobin were all smiling ear to ear.

Tobin spoke for them, “Ma’am, that is very generous. We’d be fools not to accept.”

“Thank you SO much guys, you being here will be a huge help! Now, get out of here and enjoy your weekend, if I don’t see you before then, I’ll see you bright and early Monday.” They thanked me again and left through the front door.

I turned to Alcide and he looked aggravated. “What?”

“You were flirting with him.”

“I was not, he’s just a boy.”

“He’s old enough to want to be in my position.” He put his hands on my hips.

I leaned forward. “Yet, still young enough to not be scared of me.”

He imitated Jason. “Why would anybody be scared of sweet ol’ Sookie?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. I laid back down into the crook of his arm and snuggled in. Alcide rolled over and flopped his hand over my side. We dozed off again.

 

I woke up a while later being crushed under a ton of snoring Were. I could hear the rescue scene from the movie playing out somewhere past the mountain of a man that was piled on top of me. His arms were both around me, his huge leg was draped across my hips and his mouth was right next to my ear. His snoring wasn’t as loud as I’ve heard it, but it was right next to my ear. I tried rolling over and it was a chore to do without knocking him off the couch. I tried patting his side. No luck.

“Allllciiiiddee.” Still, no luck. I needed to get up. I still had a bunch of stuff to do. They were all little things but if I didn’t get up now, I would fall back to sleep.

I reached up and started massaging his ear and I got a stir out of him. So I tried crooning his name again. I got another stir along with a squirm and a grunt. “Alcide, cut me loose so I can get back to work.” He groaned and pulled me closer to him. “Alcide, please.” As soon as I said it his brain snapped to, his eyes opened a second later.

“Hello there. You can go back to sleep if you want. You just gotta let me up.”

He grunted and closed his eyes again and pulled me closer and settled back in. “Mmm. Comfy.”

“I am too, but I still need to get up.”

He growled with his eyes closed tight. “No.”

I pouted. “Please?”

“What’s so important?”

“I only have about 2 hours to get dinner together, go through the ES package and set up Angela’s surprise.”

Alcide rolled over and scooted down to use my chest as a pillow. He snorted while he was getting settled back in. “20 more minutes. Then I’ll help.”

I ran my fingers through his hair while I contemplated. I felt his brain slip back out before I had the chance to agree. I played with his hair while I pulled out my phone and checked my texts and emails for the first time in a while. I had so many messages that Alcide got an extra 10 minutes.

“Alcide…” I ran my fingernails through his hair massaging his scalp. “Come on baby. Set me loose. I need to git.”

He barely moved. I tried to squirm free but he held me fast and groaned. “Mmm, No.”

Still no brain click yet. “Hey, big guy. Get up.”  I started reaching for the arm of the couch and sliding myself out from under him and I had only made a couple inches of progress when his brain engaged. He grumbled. “You’re trying to escape?”

I giggled at him. “I couldn’t wake you up. I was going to let you sleep.”

He leaned away from me and hooked his arm behind my knees to slide me down to his eye level. He pouted. “You were trying to escape.”

I smiled and kissed the corner of his mouth. “I guess I was. I even gave you an extra few minutes.” I gave him a pouty face. “Your pillow has a day job, sorry.”

“My pillow wore me out at Macy’s. ‘It’ should stop arguing and sit still.”

I giggled at him while I ran my fingers through his hair. “If the pillow remembers correctly, you asked for it. You begged for it. You enjoyed it.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “Are you trying to bait me?”

I fluttered my eyelashes at him. “You couldn’t handle it and I don’t have time. Let me up.”

Instead of letting me up he started unbuttoning my shirt blindly while he kissed my neck and rubbed our pelvises together.

“Alcide, that wasn’t a dare. I…”

Before I could finish, his hand went to the back of my head and pushed my mouth to his and settled into a long kiss.

My eyes rolled back in my head and I couldn’t help myself. I enjoyed it, a lot. I found solid ground and put my fingers into his hair and used it to pull his face away from mine. When I did, he was smiling. “I have to wait for later, don’t I?” I nodded and poked out my bottom lip. “What are we doing first?”

I thought about it for a second. “Angela’s stuff. It should only take a few minutes but I want to get it done while the sun is still high so we don’t disturb her.”

He started to stand up and then put his hand out. “What are you waiting for? Stop stalling.”

“I’m stalling, huh?”  I thought about playfully punching him, but I was afraid the current state he was in would escalate, so I stuck my tongue out at him instead.

We went to the garage to bring in the things for Angela and quietly moved around her room as we put everything in place. We hung her hot pink sari style shower curtains and set out her bath accessories including an orchid for the counter and a basket of my favorite bath items from LaSource. Alcide put an arrangement of fresh flowers on her dresser and set her new springy pink and green toile bedding and pink silk sheets on the bench at the end of her bed. We stood up 3 very large collage picture frames up in her desk chair. I put the slip cover on her side chair while Alcide put her new lamp on her nightstand and put her new laptop and accessories on her desk all the while she slept seemingly undisturbed. I smiled at her when I turned back before we left. She really was angelic.

We went to the kitchen and got started on dinner. There was prep work to do. I marinated the steaks and the veggies and started baking the potatoes.

While I worked setting up dinner, Alcide sat down at the table to look through the ES jumble. So, when I was done, I grabbed a couple of beers and a can a smoked almonds and went to sit on his lap and figured things out. It was all normal stuff so we spent a fair amount of time chatting and feeding each other our snacks.

We had found a disk stapled to the folder with the floor plan, so I put it in the computer and saw that it had a digital 3D model of the room over the garage and one of the villas.

When the sky started to change colors, we went outside and fired up the grill and continued our mindless ramblings. I felt the kids wake up just in time to realize dinner was ready.

We were setting the table when I turned around, Eric and Pam were standing there with a pair of true bloods. “What’ll it be tonight?” They both replied with AB- so with a touch their dinner was ready.

The kids ran in and tackled Eric’s legs with hugs and then Pam. They were chattering about the playground as we sat down for dinner, chatting about random things Eric and Alcide talked about getting horses to fill the stables now that Eric had the kids as an excuse to. That excited the kids. Eric decided that as soon as he found a groomsman we would take the kids out to find a pony. A little later Alcide got up and went to the fridge to grab fresh beers for us. He noticed the pile of clothes on the chair and stopped. He came over to me and held up the white crochet halter top. “Is this what I think it is?”

“That depends, what do you think it is?”

“It better be a slingshot.” I raised an eyebrow at him everyone else snickered. “Don’t give me that look.”

“Why not? It’s the shirt I’m wearing to the interviews.”

“You want to wear this to a bar full of Weres the night before the full moon?”

“I’ve worn less to Fangtasia while on my period.” I snickered as I got up to take it from him. He looked stricken. “Look, there is a method to my madness. Most of the applicants are going to be feral men, whose thoughts I can’t read easily. If they can’t keep their eyes off my rack, then I certainly don’t want them roaming the ranch ogling me through the windows instead of doing their job.”

“Your boyfriend will be there to collect his dance.” He narrowed his eyes at me, so I plucked him in his forehead. He looked to Pam and Eric to back him up.

“Oh, no you don’t! I will not play this game. We will not gang up on each other.” I eyed them. Alcide thought I was defending myself but Pam and Eric thought that there was nothing wrong with the outfit in the first place. I started clearing the table since the kids had gone back to the den.

I had just finished loading the dishwasher when Angela sprang from her hallway and charged me. She picked me up and spun me around singing “thankyouthankyouthankyou! I feel like The Little Princess!”

“Aww, Poppet! I’m so happy you like it.” She smiled at everyone and told them all thank you for being so good to her. Even Eric got up and hugged her then Alcide and Pam.

I went to the fridge and grabbed a blood for her and she sipped it. “Mmmm, this tastes different.” Her fangs ran out. Eric explained to her about the talent I had in that department and her eyes got really wide when he told her about how it was real.

Eric saw the file on Bill’s stuff and asked what else came today.

“The jeweler sent the rings and the ES package.” He reached for the rings. “Honey, hold off on that for a second. I have something I want to show you. Pam, I’m going to need your help.” Pam smiled and started following me as Eric sat down with the ES info and the estate file. As Pam and I left Alcide was already filling him in. We got to my room and went into my closet and grabbed a garment bag and pulled out a corset and held it up. “I figured you’d know better than anyone how to get this on.”

I pulled on the white lace boy shorts and white stretch sheath mini skirt and gold pumps. Then I held up my top and turned around.

“It is exquisite. I want one.” I was glossing over the fact that one of them were hers and that I was going to buy more now that I knew she liked it so I just smiled at her.

“I know it’s a little small so just get it as tight as you can without breaking my ribs.” It was a white silk shantung Victorian corset with salmon and gold floral embroidery embellishing the front panels.

“I may be the one who can get you into it, but Eric is going to be the pro getting you out of it.” We both laughed at that.

When I came around the corner Eric and Alcide were huddled at the computer and when they looked up I could hear them both swallow. I grabbed the rings on my way over and I sat on Eric’s lap.

“Lover, I love the way this looks on you. We need more of them. It almost looks like a wedding dress.”

“I was going for something like this. I bought two of these. Pam’s is upstairs and this was Amelia’s. Mine is being made.” His eyes lit up and I handed him the rings. He ripped into the box like a kid on Christmas. The first velvet box was mine. It was a delicate platinum channel band set with small princess cut Padparadscha. They were perfectly matched and sparkled like there were lights behind them. He took it out of the box and took my hand and slid it into place. He smiled at it as he stared. He finally shook the trance and grabbed the box with his in it. His was a heavier platinum channel band. It was set with princess cut Padparadscha as well but the center stone of his was a whole carat and they graduated to ¼ carat at the back. I took it out of the box and slid it on to his finger. It was a perfect fit. He stared at his longer than he stared at mine. “I’ll give them back to Bobby in the morning so that they can be finished and engraved.”

Not breaking his gaze, “Lover, tell me about your dress.”

I smiled at him as he carefully placed our rings back in their boxes, “It’s just like this except for the color. The skirt is silk shantung; strait but it’s bustled into a cascade in the back with embroidery there too. The skirts are full but I ordered a knee length skirt like this to wear during the reception for dancing.”

“Are you not wearing white?”

“No. Pam is.”

He grinned as he realized I was making him work for it. “What color will you be wearing, Sookie?”

“Padparadscha with white and gold embroidery.”

“You don’t want to be more ‘traditional’?” I couldn’t help but giggle. “Why are you laughing?”

“Because wearing white isn’t that old of a tradition especially considering you are about ten times older than the custom. Not to mention, there is no person in the world who would accuse us of being traditional with a straight face.”  Everyone chuckled.

“You’ve got me there.” He smiled at the dress again. “Do you have an idea of what you’d like for me to wear?”

“I hadn’t really thought about that yet… I do love the way you look in jeans and a wife beater.”

He snorted at the thought. “After 1000 years of bachelorhood, I can hardly be married in something so unceremonious.”

“You know that grey 3 piece suit you wore last weekend?” He smiled at me and nodded. “I really liked the way that looked on you. The color was good too. I don’t want black. Come to think of it, I’m really starting to like the idea of that. Charcoal 3 piece and, would you be opposed to your shirt being Padparadscha?”

“Not at all. I think that it will look really fine. Hmm, What color tie should I wear? Do you want Alcide to dress the same? If you have 2 who will my 2nd be?” He smiled at me and his eyes flashed a little. I loved how excited he was getting over all of this.

“No tie, I loved it when you wore it unbuttoned at the top. Charcoal 3 piece for Alcide but his shirt should be white with his coloring, Hunter should dress like you though. And I can’t figure out if I’m going to have the Annoyance or the Mississippi Queen give me away, but if you don’t mind, if it comes down to it- the runner up. I am a little torn. Jason is a hemorrhoid but he’s my only living family, my big brother- useless as he is. But giving the bride away is a bigger honor than being an usher and we owe Russell a lot. What’s your take on it?”

“Have Jason give you away and no seconds, just Pam and Alcide. Having Russell do it, could give the appearance of partiality.”

“I am 100% on board with that and I’ll call the store about having a dress made for Manen and getting a swatch for your tailor so that he can match your shirt and Hunter’s. Then you’ll have it when you go see him.”
He nodded. “I’ll have Bobby track down an orchid farm.”

“We’ll need a lot of roses too and it’ll be hard to get a large quantity in that shade of pink.” I giggled. “We should leave something for Russell and Bart.” Angela looked a little confused so I explained. “Russell and Bart are 2/3 of our company that’s coming on Monday. They are married and very excited about our wedding. They want to help if not just be spectators in the planning since Eric married them.” I laughed a little, “They would probably fall over in excitement if I asked them to be brides maids.” Eric and Alcide laughed at the idea of the 2 vampire kings in a white corset.

“Lover, where did you find this?”

“Russell sent me a link to a local shop’s website because they do custom work and he was thinking about undergarments or wedding night but when I saw their costume pages I stopped by and bought these off the rack and ordered mine.” Eric ran his fingers over the embroidery and mentioned that he owed Russell a thank you and the 5 of us talked about wedding things for a few minutes then moved on to other topics.

After a while I realized that it was getting close to time to leave. I stood up and turned to Eric. “Honey, can you help me out of this?” I walked over to the counter and as he unlaced me I pulled a credit card out my purse and handed it to Angela so that she could go online and buy anything she might need to set up a home school, including organizers. I added “I heart IKEA” with a wink. She excitedly agreed. Once I was free of my corset I slipped everything else off right there in the kitchen and started dressing, while I did I went over some finer points of the hiring process. I was wearing the ‘slingshot, a pair of white skinny jeans and a pair of white high heels with an ankle strap.

“I’m hiring 8 fur, you’re hiring 4 fang, right?

Eric laughed at my hyper activity. “Yes, what are you offering?”

“Well, 10K off the books for Dawson for head hunting and training even though he asked for 2. I know that he’s going to be putting a lot of time in on us. Then 3 day rotation, 9 day week, 5K to start because they’ll be live ins for the first few days, 50K and a 10K bump after 3 months, medical reimbursement and a million dollar insurance payout for ILD with 30+. Bobby will have the contracts printed for Monday when I have them report. How about you?”

He smirked and raised an eyebrow. “3 day rotation, 9 day week, 90K. Fangs don’t need the rest that’s why they get more.”

“Working from the same playbook. I like that.” I stretched up to kiss him. “Alcide, honey, you should go get dressed too.”

He looked at his watch and then stood up and kissed my cheek on his way upstairs. “Sorry, I was enjoying the show.” I was trying to hurry through my makeup and I wasn’t having much luck so Eric took my eyeliner from me before I hurt myself and did it for me, then my mascara. I grinned and decided I needed to know how he got so good at that and filed it away for later. I thanked him with a long kiss. When Alcide came downstairs ready to go I kissed him and said, “We need to git, Tray is expecting us in 10 minutes.” I looked to Eric. “Tell the kids I said goodnight and I’ll tuck them in when I get home. I’ll see you at the bar when we’re done at the club. I love you.” I kissed him, patted Pam’s butt, hugged Angela then grabbed Alcide’s hand and we walked out to the garage and headed for the Zoo. It looked like we were only going to be about 5 minutes late. We were turning out of the driveway onto the road when I turned my focus from getting ready to my Were “Hey, I like that shirt on you. You are sexier than usual tonight.”

“Thanks.” He was being curt.

“Are you angry about my outfit still?”

“You know I couldn’t stay mad if I wanted to and you look good enough to eat so it’s worth the risk. I’m sorry. I’m not used to being around people this close to the moon.”

I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek and put my hand on his thigh and rubbed it in the quiet until we pulled up to the club and parked at exactly 8pm. I waited for Alcide to come around to my door and took his hand when he offered it. When he shut the door he pinned me against the car and gave me one of his long warm tongue intensive kisses and when he pulled back his eyes glowed at me. He took my hand and when we got to the door we were waived right through.

I was looking for Tray when I got tapped on the shoulder. I turned and it was him. He had his arms open wide so I jumped up for a hug. When he put me down, he took a step back. “Whatever you’re doing, keep it up, Sunshine. I thought you were getting too thin, but you’re filling in with cement!”

I smiled at him. “Alcide’s doing his best to keep me in shape.”

He hadn’t had the chance to introduce the guys with him before Sara came over to flirt/show us to our booth. “What do you have on tap, hon?” Her eyes twinkled as she told me. “K then guys, pitchers of Guinness and a bottle of Jameson?” They all nodded so I winked at her. I took my jacket off while Tray made his introductions. I shook each one’s hand (read them). I got a good feeling and for that matter was impressed with the brains of each one. Alonzo Houston (nicknamed Azo by his kid brother and it stuck) was built like Alcide but wasn’t as lucky in the features department. He had deep pock marks on his face and neck, his hair was a muddy brown and his eyes were a weird non color. Like what happens when you mix red and green crayons. Grayish brown? He had been on the force with Dawson and recently taken early retirement. He had a family and was looking for a job with good normal hours. Don ‘Skip’ Overton did look at my boobs but only briefly. He thought more about the rumors about my ‘companions’ being unlikely considering my size. He was round faced and short but you could see every muscle and tendon move in his arms and some of his legs. He had retired from the Shreveport FD when he tore his rotator cuff on the job. He has an ex-wife and a little girl to take care of and he’d been a body guard before from time to time. Ferebee, “Just call me ‘Febes’.”Briggs is beautiful. I swear I thought she was Indira Varma for a second. She had just fulfilled the last of her TAMP requirements that afternoon and was officially no longer a marine. She had never liked her pack or her home town of College Park, near DC so, after graduation, she joined the first branch of the military to have the paperwork done. She was an ordinance specialist and worked several security details. And then there was Oscar ‘Dozer’ Dozier. This guy made Eric look short and gaunt. He must be over 6’7” and weigh over 300lbs. He was kind of a steroidal version of the guy who plays Warwick on CSI with a regulation hair cut. I don’t know how he was in the navy at his size but he spent 7 years in until the low ceilings and tiny beds gave him a bad enough back during deployments that he was miserable. They gave him a medical discharge out of pity. His training as an engineer wouldn’t come in handy but he was in an advanced level of 5 different martial arts and is a weapons enthusiast.

The best part was that I had all of that before I was done with nice-to-meet-yous and it was only quarter after. Once we were all seated, I was sandwiched between Tray on the end and Alcide on the inside.

I explained to them the pay and the schedule and that they would be needed as live ins from Monday morning until Thursday morning and from time to time with as much notice as possible then the regular schedule would start. They all liked what they heard. Sara had brought pitchers and glasses and poured beer for us and left us for refills. “So, I guess, you’re hired.” I picked up the bottle of whiskey and poured the shots and offered a toast. “Slainte!” They all either repeated after me or offered a ‘cheers’. “So, what do you know about Eric and I?” Their faces cleared.

I looked at Tray and he laughed. “I’m going to assume that they’ve heard rumors.”

I looked back to them. “Okay, I’ll start with me. I am a telepath. I can read minds. True. Next.”

Skip: “I heard your older brother is a were, your boyfriend killed your mother, you have a hit out on you by Mississippi because you stole from him, you are the only reason anyone survived the hotel bombing, the fellowship staked you, you ended the witch war, you killed an ex in public you’ve survived a draining…

Azo added, “killed a demon in your front yard, and killed a lovers ex.

I laughed. “Ok, ok, ok… Slow down…”

Alcide interjected, “He’s a bitten. Panther; her grandmother was killed because she was dating a vampire, but by a human; Mississippi is an old friend, he’s one of our VIP visitors; she is responsible for every life saved in Rhodes; the fellowship did stake her in Club Dead with Edgington there, she led us into battle with the witches, she helped to end Compton, she has survived a draining and then some, a demon was killed in her yard but she didn’t know about it until days later,” He looked at me with a wicked grin on his face, “which lover’s ex?” I laughed and gave him a kiss. The kiss made their jaws hit the floor.

I looked up and they were staring. “Don’t eyeball me. If you have a question ask it or I’ll jump into your brain and get it.”

Febes: “Ok, I’ve heard a few things. I heard that you are just a human but you can drink as much as you want and not get drunk, and that you are sturdy enough to take on a vampire and a werewolf. That they share you and you are always in a good mood and freakishly friendly until it comes to battle and then you a fierce bitch.

I smiled at her. I was really thinking that I could be friends with her. “I am 93.75% human. I can drink what seems to be a lot, I am a rough and tumble kind of girl- you’ll see that if we can pick up a football game or two, there are 4 in our nest and we do switch off from time to time, we live together with our 2 kids and another vampire,  bad moods are a colossal waste of energy, so is being rude and I only battle when I have to, but I have been known to hold my own but I have to acknowledge that I have a few folks that I trust at my back. Did I cover it all guys?”

I looked at Alcide. He added, “the Maenad, she survived a maenad poisoning.”

I looked at Tray. He added, “She survived the attack of a fresh vampire, several Weres, she’s been shot, beaten and nearly and not so nearly raped and she is the one that kept him and Furnan from going to war with each other when the New Orleans Weres tried to take over.”

“I think that just about covers it other than my powers.”

Dozer asked, “What powers, other than the telepathy do you have? It might be a good thing for us to know.”

I giggled and blushed a little, “Let’s just say that with warning from you guys, I can take care of anything that comes our way. Just use the mind phone and we’ll be ready for nearly anything.” They all asked what a mind phone is. I laughed again as I sent: “That’s what the kids call it. I can send and receive as far as, Alcide- you think 10 miles?”

Alcide sent: “15 at least.”

They all stared. Then they tried it and were surprised when they could hear each other too. We sat and talked for a few more minutes and I pounded back 2 more shots and a pint before Tobin and Curtis came over to the table. I smiled at them and leaned over and gave Alcide a big kiss. “Excuse me y’all, I have a debt to settle.” Before Tray even realized what I was doing, I pulled my knees up and put my feet on the seat and stood up and stepped onto the back of the bench to walk along the wall like a cat and then off to the floor in spite of wearing 4 inch heels.

I stepped up to my Katos and took their arms and we went to the dance floor. The DJ (the same one from the cookout) played a club mix of ‘Do You Wanna’ by Joan Jett and I had a lot of fun with them. They were pretty good dancers and very much invested in having everyone they knew see them dancing with the ‘Queen’. I laughed to myself as I bumped and grinded with the both of them. When the song was over I stood on my toes to give them a friendly kiss and thanked them for the dance.

The next song was a remix of Madonna with Ozzy so I went over to the table and stole Alcide for a dance. We didn’t dance as dirty as I’d like to but we did enjoy ourselves. When the song was over we went back to the booth and sat down. I needed to catch my breath and Alcide just needed to calm down. The 7 of us discussed a strategy for weeding as Febes called it. After a few more drinks Sara came over and asked me for a dance. The 3 new guys snorted until I stood on the bench and walked out over Dawson’s head again, I stopped for a second and put my hand out for Febes to join us since I could tell she was intrigued when I accepted the invite from the waitress. We danced close and hard to most of ‘Tap That’ and had a great time doing it considering my partners were very good dancers, good enough that I would probably dance with any of them again if they asked.

The 5 guys at my table had fun watching it, especially Alcide judging by his state when I got back. Dawson had moved to Febes’ seat so I slid in next to Alcide this time and I gave him a wink and he just stared at me. “What’s the matter, your spank bank too full?” All of the guys looked at me in shock that I’d know what a spank bank was, not to mention use the term. I laughed at them shaking my head, “Guys, I was a waitress at a bar for years. I know it all.” I had left Febes and Sara on the dance floor to dance to some power ballad from the 90s and we were watching them dance so I didn’t notice our first applicant until I felt Alcide growl behind me. Shit.

“What the fuck do you want?” My new security team knew who he was and were really concerned with the way I was speaking to the ‘mighty Quinn’.

“I want to apply for a position in security.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Haven’t you gotten bored with dipping my pig tails in the ink well yet? This is really ridiculous.”

“Nope, I want the job.”

“That’s funny, like I’d let you near my kids.”

“Kids? Really? Mazel tov. Who is the lucky daddy?”

“I’m bored with this. You need to stop.”

“You owe me a conversation at least. I did save your life.”

I stood up and got so close to him that our stomachs touched. “Tiger, our score board is showing a landslide in my favor.” The music had stopped and the whole bar was on high alert. I was slightly embarrassed.

“Were you keeping score? I didn’t know. That’s very romantic.” He lifted his hand to touch my face and I grabbed his wrist. He made the mistake of looking surprised when he fought against my grip and couldn’t move. I heard Alcide laughing behind me and telling everyone to stand down because I could handle him.

“It’s hard not to, since you are the reason there was a coup in the first place and then led the rebellion to my house to boot. NO ONE HAS YOUR BACK. Everyone knows what you do to people when shit gets dicey. Leave Louisiana and don’t come back.”

“How do you figure that the coup was my doing?”

“Because you killed Andre. You staked a wounded man in cold blood leaving my Queen no one to rule while she recovered. There are hundreds of Vampires that have been eating a shit sandwich for months including me and all I have to do, is say the word, and you’ll be dead before you hit the floor.”

“You need to get away from those blood suckers, babe. You’re starting to consider yourself one. You need a man with a pulse.” He lifted his other hand and caught that one too.

“I have a man with a pulse. A man that has done pretty much everything I can think of with me including hiding a body. Do you want to be next? Leave now Quinn!”

“I have the right to be here.” I started walking him backwards towards the front of the bar and my guards and Alcide were all following me. Tobin and Curtis too, but it didn’t matter because the whole bar had stopped breathing to watch what went on between us.

“You’re right. You absolutely have the right to be THAT guy and embarrass yourself in a bar obsessing over a girl you fucked once. You go right on with your bad self Tiger.” I let his wrists go at the door while my whole entourage laughed and made ‘oh snap’ comments and Alcide came to put his arm around me smiling at Quinn until he stormed off and left.

We headed back to our table and sat down. After they all got done with round 2 of laughter Dozer looked at me, “You and Quinn? damn girl! So, I guess it’s true that you really aren’t scared of anything, huh!” I laughed. I did a quick read on the table and realized that they had all heard about Quinn, like most vampires knew about Eric’s ‘prowess’ and if I had chosen Alcide, they were impressed with him. He had just gotten a reputation without doing anything. I laughed to myself and decided to tell him later.

One at a time 14 guys and 1 gal came to the table and were interviewed by all 7 of us and read. When all was said and done I found the other half of my staff. ‘Bells’ is a former marine, Dale was a cop, Shaun was SWAT before he signed up after 9/11and Marin was an Air force flight nurse. Out of the other 11 guys, 4 of them had gotten way too excited watching me dance with Febes and Sara, 6 of them had no experience in security and the other one wasn’t even a Were. Sara had noticed that more folks were joining us so she dragged another table over and some chairs so we all sat together and I explained the pay again and socialized a bit before I explained that we needed to get going so that I could go meet my fanged staff. Alcide, Tray and I climbed out and I slipped the envelope with Tray’s payment into his pocket as I hugged and thanked him.
“Sunshine, that feels a little heavy.”

“Worth every gram, besides, I paid you in singles.” We all laughed and he called me ‘too much’. I handed $500 to Sara. “That’s to take care of the table and the rest is for you. You were great.” I winked at her and she blushed. It didn’t keep her from watching me walk out though.

When we got into the car, I was going to drive because Alcide and I had enjoyed several beers and I wasn’t feeling any of the effects of the 9 drinks I had, I leaned over and kissed him. He leaned right back and we sat there making out for a while and doing some heavy petting. He put his hand on my throat and I was really getting close to caving in but I slowed down and pulled away in spite of myself.

“And having my throat squeezed apparently” continuing my list of turn ons from earlier. I adjusted myself and started the car.

His eyes widened, “You didn’t know you’d like it when you put my hand on your throat the other day?” I shook my head. “Then why did you do it?”

“Because you wanted to…” I turned my head briefly to smirk at him, “and I have a neck thing anyway.”

“Oh, the biting thing?” He looked a little grumped.

“No, I do enjoy chewing and biting but the neck thing is unrelated. Eric almost never bites my neck and I didn’t like it when Bill did. Kissing, nibbling, breathing, I like it all… a lot and you know that.”

He seemed to feel better when he heard it out my mouth that I didn’t have a fetish. “So, have you thought of anything else?”

“In the realm of ‘normal’ sex, I haven’t done anything that I hated. I seem to be pretty much down with anything. I haven’t been in an uncomfortable position and I haven’t been shy since my 1st time which was about 4 months before we met.” He considered that for a minute or two.

“I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that. By the time I had 2 years experience I was barely experimenting and stuck with 2 or 3 positions.”

“That is because you were learning with girls who had about the same amount of experience as you. I was learning with 2 vampires. Well I suppose that gives Bill too much credit. I learned more from Eric in one week than I learned from Bill in months. Bill was very… boring in hindsight.”

“Ok, this I want to hear.”

“Bill and I only did it facing each other. He never went down let alone around back. Boring. But I guess he had good timing because I didn’t know any different.”

We were pulling into the parking lot at Fangtasia. I had a feeling that I had dropped the bomb in perfect time. We climbed out of the car and he grabbed my hand. “Still, it’s a shame that you went through so much because of him and didn’t learn m… wait. Around back? You like that?!”

I threw my head back and laughed. “Come on, if you think about it too much you’ll hurt yourself.” I gave his arm a tug and walked into Fangtasia like I owned the joint.

We walked by an empty office and Alcide let go of my hand when we went through the doorway to the floor. I saw a very full booth. Eric and Pam were bookends to 4 male vampires who (as much as a vampire can) looked friendly and unassuming. We went over and Pam stood up and Eric pivoted and spread his knees a little so I maneuvered onto his knee and he brought me in behind the table. Alcide took the same approach and Eric began the introductions. They were Jacob, Landry, Kaleb and Oscar and every one of them reminded me of Bill. They weren’t doppelgangers but they all had dark hair and eyes and none of them were what I could call tall for a man. “Did any of them not look like Bill?”

Pam laughed. “I told you, Eric.”

Eric was chuckling. “I don’t see the resemblance.” That made Alcide snort and Pam laughed again.

I was mildly irked so I had fun with it. “Pam, you should see the eye candy I hired tonight. One guy makes Eric look like a speck he’s so BIG. He could hunt geese with a rake! Arms like tree trunks and you remember the bitchy princess from Kama Sutra, I found a Were that looks like her.” She closed her eyes licked her lips.

Alcide’s eyes got big. “That’s who she reminded me of! Did she have any qualifications or did you just want her around?” He smirked and I laughed out loud but Eric was getting cranky.

“Don’t worry baby, I hired a couple of lookers but most of them were dogs.”

Alcide was playfully offended. “HEY!” I smiled apologetically.

I wasn’t sure how Freudian his choices had been but I decided to ignore it for the time being. On top of that, our silent exchange had them all wondering what they were getting into because to them we looked like a bunch of fools making arbitrary facial movements and laughing randomly.

“Do they know about me, my powers, us have you filled them in?”

“Why would they need to know anything other than what their job is?”

“I spent a while confirming and denying rumors with my guys. It put them at ease.” I turned to look at the Bills. “Do you guys have any questions that you’d like me to answer? I don’t mind.” But they looked at Eric and then shook their heads.

I reached into my purse and found my iPod and cued up the playlist I wanted and handed it to the waitress as she approached the table. I ordered a coke and Alcide did too. I watched and as soon as the music started I stood up and took Pam to dance. When we came back the Bills were standing to leave. So I said my thank yous and goodbyes. Alcide and I briefed them on the Weres that we hired. We danced to a few songs switching off between us. I realized how long the day had been and decided to go home.

“I’m going home. You and Pam finish up your business. Don’t take too long I still need to tend to you.”

“As you wish, ma’am” and he bowed.

“Alcide, do you want to come back to the house or wait here for them to get done?”

“I’ll go back to the house. I’ve had too much to drink.”

I kissed Pam and Eric goodbye and we drove home.

As soon as we were in the door I stripped off my jeans and shoes leaving nothing but the lace boy shorts and slingshot on. Alcide sat at the table while I dug around in the fridge and made myself a huge sandwich and grabbed some chips and cokes.

I went over and he was looking pretty smashed I sat across his legs facing him like I’d sit on the edge of a bed; with one leg folded in front of me and the other on the floor. I gave him a kiss and then handed him half of the sandwich. He looked at it like he didn’t want it. “Come on, Alcide, You know how this works. You feel queasy and don’t want to eat it but you know that I want you to put something in your stomach, so you’re going to eat it just to make me happy but then you’ll feel better.”

He smiled at me and took the sandwich. “You are the best friend I’ve ever had. You know that right.” I kissed his neck and then his throat and lifted my mouth to his and we shared a long meaningful kiss until my stomach growled and we laughed into each other’s mouths. “Eat.” He munched and rubbed my back with his fingertips while I ate. “What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Contracts, shopping, shopping, shopping.”

He chuckled. “What are we shopping for?”

I took a deep breath and blew it out. “Lawn furniture and outdoor fire places, a trip to Kohl’s or the like because I didn’t find everything I wanted to for some welcome wagon type stuff for the kings, I want to get a warehouse membership so that I can stock the house and new freezer for us and set up a craft services type table for everybody for snacks, and if you can be good, we’ll go to the toy store and out to lunch.” I was giggling when I leaned over and kissed his warm lips.

“Are you implying that I am immature?”

“No I’m saying right out that you are a big kid at heart and I love that about you.” I kissed him again and got up and grabbed a pint of ice cream and a spoon and came back to straddle his lap.
I fed the both of us while we talked. He was starting to look better and get a little playful after a short while. He had caused a mess or two with the ice cream so, I leaned over and licked a drop from his chin slowly. When he took a stiff gulp I giggled wickedly.

“What are you laughing at.”

“Hmmm, I love it when you do that… When something turns you on, you swallow. It makes your Adams apple bounce” as I said that, I ran the back of my finger down the fore of his throat, so he did it again making me flash a nefarious smirk.

“Now, we could find ourselves in a fix because I love it when evil evicts the innocence that usually lives in your smile.”

We shared a few tense looks back and forth and when we were done I took his hand and led him back to the den and started watching Adult Swim. We sat there and laughed for a few minutes before Alcide reached over and muted the TV.

“What did you mean earlier? When you said that I couldn’t handle it.”

I looked over at him a smirked.

“What? Sookie, come on tell me.”

“We were outside and you were standing up. So the scent was diffused and some of the wattage was keeping you upright. I think you’d cave inside and laying down.”

He swallowed and stared at me almost begging for another experiment.

I huffed out a deep breath and told him to take his shoes off and lay back. He was so wrapped up in the idea that he didn’t even crack a smile while he was taking them off. Once he was laying down and comfy I straddled his lap.

“Since I don’t have to worry about you falling or draining me, I’m not going to bother with the hold but the dam will be the first and last thing, got it? I’m not gonna ruin Pam’s night.”

“Ok.” So I walled up the dam and moved on.

“You have to keep yourself quiet so that I don’t have to waste the energy on it.”

“Ok.” Alcide reached up and put his hand at the back of my neck and I leaned down and kissed him while his fingers wove into my hair. I released a wave of Were scent and our kiss grew and I started rubbing my body against his and he moaned into my mouth. When I felt through his jeans that he was ready I started the glamour slowly, miming my movements and he moaned again. I pulled back and sat up putting his hands on top of my legs he looked up at me.

“Shh, keep them closed or you’ll have a hard time focusing.” He closed his eyes. I let the scent and the glamour get warmed up. He was already starting to grope at my thighs. I leaned forward and whispered into his ear. “How are you feeling?” While I waited for his answer nibbled his ear, making things a little harder for him to put his thoughts in word form.

“I’m good. Did you start me off half way or something?”

“I told you, you’re relaxed and the scent isn’t going anywhere. We haven’t gotten to two yet.” I felt his chest vibrate in anticipation as I started licking his neck and blowing warm air on it. I started the ping slowly and gently and I felt his legs tense under me as I brought that up to match the intensity of the glamour and threw another wave of heat into the room. I gave him a minute to level out from the surge and get his panting under control. No sooner than I cranked the power up to about 3, his hands left my legs and tried to find something to brace against so I took them and laced our fingers together and pinned them at his shoulders. He jerked under me and his legs were tensing and releasing.

“Alcide, you ready for more?”

His eyelids clamped down and he clenched his jaw before he nodded.

I skipped 4 and went straight to 5 and his body bowed under me like a mechanical bull and he shot bolt upright and wrapped his arms around me. He was absolutely breathless and I tried calming him down by playing with his hair which didn’t seem to help. I started slowly dialing back…

“Don’t you dare! I’m fine. Keep going.”

I smiled at him, even though he wasn’t looking at me. I could smell it on him that if the dam fell now it would be over for him. I was worried about how much more he could take. I wrapped my fingers into his hair and pulled his head back to give me access to his neck and licked and nibbled him to level 6. I could feel his back and legs starting to tremble.

“Alcide, what’s wrong?”

“Keep going.”

“No. Alcide, you’re in pain I can tell.”

“It’s my pants. That’s all.”

I pushed him back and got off of him long enough to pull his jeans down to his hips, leaving his underwear in place. When I climbed into place, I could tell what a relief it had been. He was panting and clawing. I gave him a few moments to adjust.

“Alcide, can you take more? Do you want more?”

“I can do more. Keep going.”

I lowered myself onto his chest and hugged to him while I pushed him to 7. He not so gently flipped us over to be on top and put his weight on the couch and his knee against my center. He reached down and started pawing at my underwear.

“Alcide, no distractions.” He brought his hand back up to pull me to him without argument and I turned up the heat one more time. By now every part of his body would feel like his hard on, sensitive to the touch and rigid. If he didn’t call uncle soon, I was going to have to stop. He was starting to twitch like he were having aftershocks and his mouth was drying out. I put my hands into his hair and gently lifted his head from the couch behind my shoulder. “Alcide, look at me.” It took him a minute to open his eyes, but when he did they were sparkling and radiating light. They were prettier than usual and they took my breath away. “Sweetie, don’t be a hero. We’ve been at this for almost an hour. We should stop.”

He swallowed. “More.” I smiled at him and shook my head as I skipped 8 and went straight for 9. I was operating at almost full power and I released a wave of Heat scent so strong we might still smell it tomorrow. By now the glamour was tightened around him with so much force that he was aching and I had thought that he would have thrown himself around wildly, instead he climbed closer to me and his whole body tensed over me. His breathing became ragged and his chest was now home to a constant low growl.

“Sookie, I’m done.” He was panting and he was disappointed with not being able to go further. “I can’t take anymore.”

I bit by bit started bringing him down feeling him relax gradually. His demeanor had improved a lot by the time I turned everything off but the dam. We had shifted back into our relaxed snuggle position and waited for the last of his ‘stress’ to subside and I started joking around to relax him.

“If you want, I’ll wall up the dam, when we pair off later. That way you won’t have to worry about bunting or striking out.”

He brought his hand up and playfully slapped my face. “Thanks anyway.”

I laughed at him. “Ohh! I get it. 10 run rule. Ok. To each his own.”

He laughed. “Don’t joke. It’s not fair.”

“What? That girls can hit triple plays all night long.”

“Yeah, and y’all get more energy the more times you do cross the plate. Us guys, crash.”

“Well, not from experience, but there are plenty of girls who deal with errors and there’s plenty of guys with broken bats. Not all girls are a grand slam waiting to happen like me. You could have it a lot tougher. Don’t whine. There’s no crying in baseball.”

He laughed. “Still, I’m not sure if I even have the energy for a grand slam tonight. I might just end up warming the bench.”

I started getting up and reached down for his hand. “Come on, stand up.” When he did I hugged him around his waist and not only healed his back, but fixed his energy problems.

“Holy Shit! Puddin’… I feel like I just drank a case of red bull.”

I laughed at him as I walked to the kitchen. “See! No broken bat or blue balls for my Alcide. Now, come keep me company while I refill the tank. You drained me.”

While I was waiting for my leftovers to warm up, I took a can of air freshener to the den and emptied it. When I came back I joked that burning down the house probably wouldn’t get rid of the stink in there. I sat down with a plate of random leftovers, taking my perch back on Alcide’s lap and started shoveling food into my mouth.

“So, Shug, what is up with all the power all of a sudden?”

I shrugged. “Dunno, when I met Niall, I asked him if all Fae had telepathy and he told me that it wasn’t a Fae gift at all. So, even though work and running around with you and Amelia kept me pretty distracted these last few months, I did a little research. There are a few websites out there that seemed to know a few things. Telepathy tends to be a very rare witch talent, along with foresight and telekinesis. So I just started trying stuff and it worked. There isn’t much I can’t do but I don’t know where it’s all coming from. Amelia’s theory is that I could probably always do the other stuff and just didn’t realize it. I mean would you ever try to move something with your mind?”

“Is there anything that you think you might have used before and not realized it?”

“Well, I started thinking about that. I guess my intuition. I always knew that Eric wouldn’t hurt me even though Bill told me different. I always had a good feeling about you. I could usually tell if work would be a good day or a bad day to some extent. Gran always encouraged me to trust my instincts and she bragged about hers so I guess that I could have gotten that from her side. I’m still in shock about it though, I mean my family tree kind of got turned upside down when I found out about Fintan.”

“What kind of stuff can you do that’s Fae?”

I grumbled. “I don’t know. I haven’t been in touch with Claudine, but she’s as big of a pain in the ass to get info from as Niall. Claude is a grumpy jerk and talking to him is like herding cats. He at least told me that if I were part witch that my Fae blood would amplify that.” I shrugged again “The Daemon shit had me more freaked out than anything else though and Hunter kind of ruins my theory on why I can’t read Vampire minds. I had it figured that it was because since technically they’re dead they don’t have brain waves, but I’m starting to think that it was always because I was too afraid to do it and I still don’t.”

“Daemon?” he looked scared now.

“Yeah, the alchemy and fire balls. The pied piper shit where I attract other Supes, running for an hour can recharge me better than 8 hours of sleep, when I shut down to get a dirty job done, things like that.”

“As much as I hate to say it, maybe it is time to call dear old granddad.”

“No fuck that. I’m not in the mood to deal with his shit. He claims to have a sweet spot for humans and yet makes no effort with me on a human level. All he has ever done is offer to kill Eric and try to get me to ask him for stuff and favors. I’ve never trusted him. Niall is just a spectator with an ass load of baggage and politics that I would rather gargle broken glass than deal with. Now that my life is finally slowing down I don’t need that.

Alcide started laughing so hard I thought his sides would split. “You call this slowing down? You’re planning your wedding, you have 4 nestmates, 2 kids, 3 vampire house guests on the way along with 27 Weres and Vamps who are going to be camping in your yard, you are overseeing new construction at home and are in charge of renovations at your bar, and you are now the only person consulted when there is an inter species conflict. I don’t call that slow compared to anything.”

“You could look at it like that, or you could look at it like this: I live in a beautiful house with my close family who just so happens to be my best friends, I have a lot of projects to keep me busy, I’m good enough at helping people that they ask for my advice and I’m excited to have company.” Alcide chuckled and rubbed my shoulder. He was thinking that anyone who called me naïve was a fool, I was just a Pollyanna.
We heard a voice come from the doorway “Lover, when you go out tomorrow, could you buy us all a pair of rose colored glasses like yours?” Eric chuckled and Alcide joined him. I giggled a little and stretched up enough to kiss Eric when he came over. He turned his attention to Alcide. “You look much better. Did she heal you?” Eric patted him on the shoulder as he walked to the laundry room and came out having taken off his dress shirt and shoes to get more comfortable.

“No, she just made me eat a sandwich. Did she tell you about Quinn?”

Eric’s face went sour quickly. “What happened?”

I slapped the side of Alcide’s leg for asking a loaded question. He sat up and delivered the reader’s digest version. “… You know he showed up, got his panties in a twist when she wasn’t happy to see him, so she made him look like an ass and the whole club laughed at him until he stomped off in a tizzy. He’s going to be a problem. He’s not in my pack so I can’t do anything to him. You’re the only one that can kill him.”

I scoffed and jumped off of his lap like it was electrified. “Says the guy with me in his lap! Why would you kill him? He’s just being annoying.”

“Shug, he’s a predatory Were and he’s stalking you. He has popped up 3 times in a week. What do you think comes after annoy?” My heart stopped and blood drained from my face.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes I’m sure. Wolves are the same way. If he were part of the pack I could banish, abjure him.”

“Lover, everything will be fine. We just need to arm the guards and make sure that they are aware. They’ll take care of you and the kids.”

“11 of my 12 are ex-military or police so they’ll have no problem with the guns and I’ll start carrying mine again.”

“What guns, Lover?”

“12 M4s with accessory kits and 12 Desert Eagle .50cals. I ordered them the night Russell told us you were king.”

Alcide was laughing. “I see Ron is rubbing off on you. When should they be here?”

“Early next week. I’ll call Ron tomorrow to see what he has in stock to tide us over. I’m sure that the other security will bring their own. So I’ll just have to worry about our guys.” I absent mindedly went into the laundry room and hung the load of lingerie I had run earlier and started another load. When I came out Eric, Alcide and Pam were all looking at me like they had been waiting for me to come back. “Alcide sweetie, remind me to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow while we’re out please.” I grabbed my phone out of my purse and checked for messages. They were all staring at me while I sat and listened to 8 messages. I grimaced and laughed and grimaced and laughed again.

Most of them were repeat calls by the same couple of people.

“Miss Stackhouse, this is the Red Ditch coroner’s office. The police gave us your name as next of kin for Remy Savoy. We need to know what you would have us do with his remains.” They left a phone number.

“Hey there Schatzi! It’s Bart. Russell and I are wedding shopping and we wanted to know if you are going with white or ivory. White will look great with your complexion but you’ve been with the Viking long enough that we’re not sure you could get away with it. Call me.”

“Cher, its Sam. Look I really miss ya. I don’t know how to make you believe me but I’m sorry. I tried stopping by your house to apologize a few times. I just want you to come back and I promise to keep my opinions on your love life to myself. Call me and let me know that you are ok.” I hit 7 to delete. Eric chuckled.

“Dahlin’ its Russell. We will have to get our business out of the way on Monday because Bart and I have planned a surprise for Tuesday. Kisses.”

“Hello Miss Stackhouse, I am calling for Queen Nicholette of New York on a matter of importance.” She left a number. Eric and I looked at each other befuddled. So I called her back right away from speed dial.
Someone else answered the phone. “This is Sookie, put the Queen on please.”

“Hello Sookie.”

“Nicki, why the formal message, is something wrong?”

“It was my assistant. Congratulations are in order though. Did you hear about the bullet you dodged?” Eric shot me a look.

I cleared my throat. “I already knew.”

“Right, of course you did. Well, it’s better this way that we wait to get you on our team. You could end up as grumpy as the rest of us once the King turns you.” Eric looked like he was about to throw something and I felt like the bond was screaming at me. Pam must have felt it too because she was in the room in a heartbeat. I was feeling very uneasy.

“I was wondering what you will be doing the weekend of February 13th.”

“As far as I know, not much other than planning my wedding. Why Toots?”

“What is your date?”

“March 18.”

“Shit! Ok, I’ll change mine…Will you be back from your honey moon before April 1st?”

“Change what?!”

“I’m getting married too. No one has balked at the idea of you and Eric being public and Josh and I have been together 6 years so we decided to marry. But I won’t do it before yours. It wouldn’t feel right if you didn’t go first.”

“Oh My God!!! I am so happy for you two! But sweetie, Eric and I aren’t going to be the first vampire and human to marry. Have yours in February. Will I be invited?”

“You’re more than invited, I need a bride’s maid. You’d be Maid of Honor if Josh’s sister wasn’t an issue and I’d like it if Eric officiated.” Eric was shooting daggers at me but he nodded.

“He’d be happy to. You’d better hurry up with your invites. Are you registering?”

“No. We’re sending a list of charities. I’m so happy that you all are going to be in for this. How big is your entourage?”

“The family is 6 including the kids and 2 sitters and 2 guards.”

“Kids?”

“Uh yeah, I thought I told you. We’re guardians for my cousins little boy and another little girl whose parents passed on.”

She laughed. “You won’t stop surprising me will you… The other 2 are the Lieutenant and the Lunar Justice, I assume. Since you have kids are they the right age for ring bearer and flower girl? Josh’s sister is childless because she is a beast and a nuisance to your race.”

I chuckled. “They are 4 and 6. That’s fine, they’ll need the practice. Just email me links to what I’m getting and the events we’ll need to dress for and I’ll take care of it right away. Are you doing it in the city or in East Hampton?”

“That’s wonderful! I’m so excited to call and wake the bitch up with news.” She laughed. “The Hamptons are such a bore in February, we decided to do it at Belvedere Castle.”

“Oh that’ll be beautiful. I’ll call the Waldorf tomorrow to make reservations. I’ll talk to you soon. Kisses.”

“Good night friend.” She hung up.

 

Eric didn’t miss a beat. He was seething. I had been wrong about the night that Angela came to us. This was as angry as I had ever seen. “Explain. NOW!”

I blew out a breath and started explaining the bullet Nicki had mentioned. “Victor waits for there to be a reason to need my powers to bring me down there. He was going to use me as bait and kill you, me and Pam. He was going to leak that Russell did it to punish you for being part of the coup… You must have been part of it to be the only Sherriff left standing. Victor was going to take out Russell and Bart to ‘avenge’ you and make sure that Felipe fell during the coup so that he would end up in control of all 5 states.”

“YOU LIED TO ME AND TOLD ME THAT YOU WERE NOT IN DANGER!”

I crossed the room and wrapped my arms around him and squeezed him tight even though he tried to pull away. “I didn’t lie, Eric. I wasn’t in danger. I knew that everything was going to be taken care of. I called 8 different Kings and Queens, all from Rhodes, they called their friends and so on. The anti Victor movement spread faster than bubonic plague. I knew about the plot, but I ‘saw’ it so that I could change it. Because it wasn’t supposed to happen.”

He was still irate and spoke through a clenched jaw. “What was his plan for you?”

“Eric, don’t. I…”

“NOW!”

“It doesn’t make any damn difference.”

“I WON’T SAY IT AGAIN.”

I looked up into his face and the expression was frightening. I wasn’t scared of him but he seemed dead set on knowing. “He was going to torture, rape and turn me while he waited for you and Pam to show up and ‘save’ me. He was going to put you and Pam in a silver cage and make you watch more of the torturing and raping and eventually the sick fucker was going to take us to the gulf and strap us to a buoy to watch the sunrise. Happy now?” He wrapped his arms around me and held me close. The whole room was calming down. When Eric was angry at me both Alcide and Pam were on high alert. Both of them were furious at him for yelling at me.

“Sookie, no more secrets. Surprises are fine, but there can’t any secrets between us.”

“I promise. For the record though, I did tell you that there was a very good reason for my dealings. When you didn’t ask for details, I assumed you didn’t want them. I’m sorry for that.”

Alcide, for the first time as long as I’ve known him had bad timing with his trademark mood lightening joke. “So does that mean that I can tell him about you joining the church, Marigold?”

I felt Eric tense around me so I couldn’t go over and slap the teeth out of his head. “Alcide, shut up.”

Eric was trying to stay calm and failing miserably. He grabbed me by the shoulders and stooped down to look me in the eyes. “What have you done?”

“It’s not what you think. I… I made a call PRETENDING to be a member of the Sun Church. That’s all.”

“Why the fuck would you use that name? Was that fun for you?”

Pam and Alcide were paying very close attention again; neither of them were happy with the posture Eric was using and I couldn’t help but feel honored. Not so much at Alcide’s loyalty, it was Pam’s that had me near tears.

“Yeah, it was a blast for me. You know how much fun it was since you picked the safety glass out of my arm for more than an hour. You’re the one who had to hold me down while the stake was pulled out of my side. I used the name, pretending to take donations to find out what sizes Lisa and Coby are in now so that I could do something nice for them. That’s it. I told Alcide not to say anything so that you wouldn’t feel like you were keeping me from my old life. Calm down! Anything you don’t know about me is because it hasn’t come up or I don’t even know. Okay!?” He let go of my arms and straightened. He stared off into nothing and I did my best to let him calm down. I understood the first part of the outburst. He was blindsided with a heft of information. The second half of it was an insulting over reaction and I was still pissed at Alcide for causing it. I crossed the room to sit down to finish with my business and I was being watched and instead of addressing that I texted Bart and Russell.

“U2 need 2 find a hobby. IM wearing Padparadscha. Just cuz IM human doesn’t mean IM a cliché. Confirmed 4 2sday. XOXOX send

I set my phone down and fidgeted for a few minutes. I could tell that the room was calming down so that was progress. I went to the kitchen and grabbed a coke and a jar of cashews and sat down to munch while we rode out the uncomfortable silence.

Still staring… “OK what?”

Pam looked to Eric. “Did she just call Nicholette della Rovere ‘Nicki’ and ‘toots’?

Eric was still very sour, he deadpanned. “To which the only Queen in the history of gotham replied by calling her ‘friend’. The other night she called Georgia ‘Josie’ and Virginia called her to ask for help with Russell and Bart’s practical jokes. I don’t think I’ll have to suffer too much networking with her at my side.

Alcide added: “You should have seen her tonight at the club… Everyone who meets her is impressed with her.”

“Our new guards are impressed with you now.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, they had all heard that Eric was a Lothario but apparently Quinn is pretty renowned too. But since they think we’re sleeping together, now they figure that if I’d rather be with you than with Quinn, you must be better, bigger, whatever… They respect you more now. Guys are simple.” Pam and I laughed.

Alcide looked at Eric with a confused stare. “Alcide, welcome the infuriating world of politics and supposition.”

I laughed. “Speak softly and carry a big dick!” Pam and Eric laughed with me but Alcide just shook his head. I went over to him and wrapped my arms around him. “What’s wrong?”

“I never wanted to be Packmaster or anything like that. I’m pretty sure that if I want to be known for something it’s not that.” He looked down at me. “Anymore than you’d want to be known for your rack or how you are in bed.”

Eric laughed. “She already is.”

Pam saddled that one with zeal. “Anyone Eric would ‘pursue’ would have to be amazing. He’s known for being more than a Lothario in many ways.” She was smirking.

“Pam, are you trying to sell me a car I already own?” She laughed hysterically. “The vampires might think I’m legendary in the horizontal medium but the Weres are more impressed with my charm and boobs.” Alcide seemed to lighten since he snorted at the statement.  “Probably because there haven’t been two Weres swaggering over me like there were Vampires and Quinn didn’t consider our fling any more notable than I did. Nothing worth bragging about.”

My phone buzzed from the counter. And then again and again. Then again.

It was Russell… then Bart…then Stan then a email.

“I ❤ it! White is tres blasé! Pinks everywhere!”

“How old skol. I luv it”

“Im happy 4 u but if I hear nemore abt ur wedding from Illissippi, I’ll throw up.”

I replied: “LOL hang in there honey. Mondays coming.” I told everyone about Stan calling Russell and Bart ‘Illissippi’ and Alcide howled but we had to explain the ‘Brangelina’ thing to Pam and Eric.

The email was from the caterer I hired for Monday through Thursday confirming breakfast for 50 for all 4 mornings; at 10:00 on Monday and 7am on the other days.

Finally everyone’s mood seemed to be much lighter, even Eric’s so I stood up. “Ok guys. It’s been a long day. I’m exhausted.” I gave everyone a kiss and went upstairs. I drew a bath and added some green tea bags and leaned back. I fell asleep and woke up when Eric splashed the surface and smiled at me. I smiled back then I realized I was looking up at him from under water and sat up. He took his jeans and t-shirt off and climbed in and leaned back and stared at me.

I stared back while he washed. I wasn’t sure if there was a purpose to the staring but I’d find out soon enough. I could see that he was thinking. Finally, he lifted his hand and summoned me to his end of the tub. I complied and crawled over and straddled his lap.

“I’m sorry.”

“For which part?” He knew that he was being quizzed.

“For being so harsh with you, mostly for over reacting to Alcide’s joke though.”

Blast From The Past

Sookie’s POV

I smiled at him for passing the test with flying colors. We hugged each other close and I let him comfort himself for as long as he needed to.

“What are you in the mood for tonight, Lover?”

“How about I think about that while you take me to bed?”

He smiled thoughtfully as he helped me out of the tub and gently dried me off and then carried me to bed and climbed in next to me propping himself up on an elbow. “Have you decided yet, lover?”

I giggled and put my arms over his shoulders. “I love you, Eric.”

“I love you too, Sookie.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, I released the Fae scent. His fangs ran out instantly. He growled, “Sookie, I don’t believe that I can control myself when we are this close.”

“Eric,” I lifted my head and kissed him and released another, much stronger wave, “I don’t expect you to.”

That was all I needed to say. For the next two hours I was adored and battered, pushed and pulled, drained and fed. We were so completely fulfilled that even I didn’t want to talk when we were done. I snuggled into my usual position, and fell asleep until just after dawn.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Chapter 19

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    Sookie is her own universe, she is so complex and getting more so… i love it my best Kristie

  2. jennifer says:

    I just love this story, still in my favorite top 10…. For the revision it would be nice for tke kids to be in it more and more dialog with them selves and the adults.

  3. loveallsvmtb says:

    This is my Favorite Sookie story. She knows what she wants and goes after it. Just like some of the Sookie’s in the multiverse.

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