Chapter 21

Oh Brother

Sookie’s POV

Saturday, January 9th
I rolled over and kissed Eric, wishing more than anything there was time to stay with him for a while today. I reluctantly got up to shower and put on my clothes for the day.

Today I was wearing ‘no rise’ black jeans, a light turquoise demi bra and matching bikini brief underwear, a matching short turquoise camisole, a black and turquoise flannel, black boots and a black leather belt with my daddy’s gold belt buckle that had a huge oval turquoise cabochon on it. The house was warm enough that I tied the flannel loosely around my hips.

When I immerged from our bedroom the kids were clamoring past me towards the stairs. Manen went straight to the bathroom and grabbed the hair kit and then climbed onto a barstool.

“How are you doing this morning baby?”

“I’m great.”

Hunter came into the room with their PSP cases and watched as I pulled Manen’s hair up into handle bars then pulled my hair back into a French braid. I was putting the elastic in when Alcide came into the room with his shirt in hand. He liked my outfit enough to whistle. I smiled at him and slapped the barstool and he sat down. I brushed his hair smooth and we all discussed what we were doing today as I gave Alcide a sectioned pony tail.

Hunter and Manen got serious for a minute right as I was done with Alcide’s hair.

Hunter started. “We want to feel more like a normal family.”

Manen jumped in, “It feels weird to call you all ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’ since you aren’t doing the jobs of aunts and uncles. You do the parents’ jobs. Can we call you Momma and Daddy?”

I fought back tears and ignored the look Alcide was giving me because I knew I wouldn’t hold it back if I made eye contact with him. This just might be the ‘too much’ Eric had been expecting to bowl me over.

Hunter added: “We were talking about it and we want to call Aunt Pam and Uncle Eric ‘Mummy’ and ‘Far’.”

That was it, I was glad that I hadn’t put my makeup on yet, my dam broke and I was ‘leaking’. Thank God for Eric. “I would be honored for you to call me ‘Far’ if that is what you want.”

Then Pam sent, “I would be happy for you to call me ‘Mummy’.”

The kids giggled as Alcide bent over and scooped them up. “If you two feel more normal having two mothers and two fathers than you do with aunts and uncles, then that’s what you’ve got.” The kids hugged his neck and he smiled at me so I joined in the hug. I didn’t have any words for what I was feeling so I just held them tight. I was surrounded by people I loved and I wouldn’t do anything to change it. How we all wound up together was beyond me, but it didn’t keep me from being thankful. Unfortunately, we had to break up the moment and leave for our very busy day.

**

We went to the bakery and ate our breakfast while they put our order for refreshments together, joking and laughing with each other.

At Fangtasia, Bobby was standing out front in his usual ‘parade rest’. We unloaded the refreshments and set them out and I noticed that the sections of the couches I had Bobby order were stacked in a huge pile that looked a little like Tetris and was covered in a clear plastic tarp near the back wall.

I gave Bobby the rings to be dropped off for finishing, the to-do list for Bill’s estate and the stack of information he needed to draw up the security team’s contracts.

One by one, we looked over the papers from the contractors and signed, Bobby giving each of them each a copy of the key.

The welding firm had started the job as soon as they got the email from me. Miranda brought in the samples she had done including the acrylic counter top and the blown glass lamp shades; they were red and had little ridges that looked like blood was cascading down the sides. They were amazing and better than I had hoped. Jared and Dawn brought in several design boards with samples. They were just as impressed with Miranda’s work as I was. All in all, things went smoothly and we only spent an hour at the bar.

We lucked out at the recreation warehouse. January wasn’t exactly their best month and when I came in and bought 10 higher end patio sets, 4 fire pits, and a bunch of pool toys for the kids they very excitedly offered to deliver it all for free Monday morning.

When we went to Kohl’s we went on a little spree and we all bought more clothes. The kids must have picked 10 outfits each and Manen even found 2 pairs of gold shoes. Alcide found 3 dresses along with the extras for Pam and picked up 4 more pairs of the ‘no rise’ jeans for me. I had to giggle at that, I guess he really liked the way I looked in them. I bought him a couple of silk shirts and found some great clothes for Eric too. After spending a ton of time in clothing, we went to house wares and I found the items I had initially set out to buy.

It was almost noon when we went to the bulk warehouse and the kids were very excited to go up and down the snack aisles and grab anything they wanted again. I had to get Alcide to go back to the front of the store for a flatbed cart for all of the drinks and the kids sat on top of them as we finished our shopping like they were on a parade float. We bought a couple bags of ice to but on top of the cold items for our last couple of stops.

We were on our way to lunch at one of those pizza and games places, all having a blast and I had been smiling for so long that my face was starting to hurt.

A sudden thought forced me to get serious. “Alcide, I need you to call Janice today.”

He snorted, “Do you need your hair done?”

“No. Sweetie, call your sister.” He got serious now.

“Why? What’s happened.”

“She just needs to hear from you. She’s not doing too well, not for a while. Since your dad passed.”

He was concerned but trying to hide it. “I was just there for 4 days and she seemed great. The whole lot of them did.”

I hemmed and hawed over telling him what I know. He saw it. His eyes got serious to the point of almost being angry.

“Sookie, come on. What is it?”

I blew out a deep breath and winced before I started explaining. “She got really depressed when Jackson died. Dell was less than understanding. He started cheating on her- I don’t think she knows for sure but she suspects and I ‘know’ he is. She’s really unhappy and right now she’s sitting at her kitchen table crying because she wants to leave him but doesn’t know how to do it. She isn’t afraid of him. She just doesn’t want Tommy to grow up thinking that Dell’s way is the right way to treat a woman. She wants to move here so that you can be a good role model but doesn’t want to be a burden to you. She hopes that you are happy with… she thinks you’re still with Carla? She doesn’t want to be ‘that’ troubled family member so early in your relationship.”

Panic and fear had taken over his eyes. He was almost whispering, “Sookie, what do I do? How can I help her?”

“What do you want to do?”

“I want to fix it. I want to take care of her. I owe it to her. We’re the only ones left.” I knew the feeling since Jason, Hunter and I were the end of our family too.

“Call her and tell her how much you miss her and Tommy. Once she’s here, she’ll let you help her. Our company is leaving Thursday morning. She can come as soon as then.”

“But she can’t stay at our house. And her shop…”

“Well, she can certainly have a nice visit with us and your and Jackson’s houses are empty. If she doesn’t feel comfortable with that, I apparently have a ton of real estate in the area. She’s still a hair dresser no matter where she goes. Fangtasia will be empty next month and there isn’t another beauty shop in the mall. If she wants to start over, she can. The one thing I can say about these flashes is that the few times I’ve had them, it’s turned out to be for a good reason.”

“Sookie, she’s never been like that before. Are you sure I can help? Our house isn’t exactly peaceful.”

“Sweetie, she’ll realize that she has a support system while she visits. It’s the perfect refuge for her right now. When she gets here, her big brother will give her a hug and she’ll know that everything will be ok.”

His phone went off and I smiled at him. “She beat you to it.”

He dug his phone out of his pocket and gave me a look when he saw that it was her.

“Hey Janice, how’s my baby sis?”

“Alright.” She sounded anything but.

“I was just talking about you…”

“With who?”

“Sookie…”

“What were you saying?”

“She was just saying how she really liked visiting you and I was gonna call you to see if y’all could come for a visit…”

“Are you with Sookie again?”

“Well, sort of…”

“I get it. It’s complicated, right? I know it hasn’t been that long since I’ve seen you. I wish your visit could have been longer.”

“I wish I didn’t have to get back after Christmas too, I miss you and…”

“When would be convenient?”

“We have company through Wednesday…”

“Well, I was thinking that I could drive out on Thursday to beat the weekend traffic, but I don’t want to…”

“No Janie, we’d love it… Sookie, tell her Thursday isn’t too soon after the other company.”

He held the phone out to me. “Janice, if the other company wasn’t business crap, Thursday wouldn’t be soon enough.”

Alcide took the phone back before I had the chance to say anything else. “See.”

“You keep saying ‘we’. Do you live together?”

“Yeah.”

“What about that Carla woman you were seeing?”

“We aren’t a couple anymore.”

“I knew that wouldn’t last long after seeing you and Sookie together.”

“I’ll explain when you visit.”

“Are y’all getting along okay? Are you happy.”

“Yes, I am happy.” He flashed an amused grin at me and rolled his eyes for his nosey sister.

“Is there going to be room at your house?”

“We’re not at my house. We’re out in the country.”

“I’ll call you when we leave the house.”

“Ok. I’ll email you the directions, it’s not hard to find.”

“Thanks, Alcide. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

“I can’t wait either… Bye.” He hung up and put his phone back in his pocket. He eyed me thoughtfully then all of a sudden he leaned over (thank God we were at a red light) and planted a big kiss on me and whispered into my ear, “Thank you.”

I whispered back, “Have you come to expect any less from your day girl?” I returned the kiss, smiling.

**

We sat and ate and then I made some phone calls while Alcide and the kids spent a fortune in tokens while I worked.

I called the three restaurants that I was splitting the catering between and confirmed the menus.

I called the florist and ordered arrangements for Monday afternoon delivery.

I confirmed the RV delivery and changed the pickup to Thursday afternoon.

I confirmed the tent, flooring, table and chairs delivery.

I called the corset seamstress and explained what we needed for the wedding. Donna told me that she would stay open on Friday night so that I could bring Eric in for a fitting because she would be able to make Eric and Hunter’s shirts and Manen’s dress as soon as I picked the style and I could try on mine because it was done.

I called Ron and he told me he was just about to call me because my order was in. I told him to bring it out to the house Monday morning bright and early and that I wanted ‘too much’ ammo.

I was sliding out of the booth when the kids ran up to me yelling  “Momma, Momma! Daddy’s stuck!” I followed the kids over to where he was ‘stuck’ afraid he had hurt his back that I forgot to take care of before we left and found myself looking into an empty ball pit.

I turned around and the kids’ giggling was growing into a roar. I stood there looking confused until I was grabbed around the waist and yanked backwards into the balls by a manically laughing Werewolf.

“Alcide Bernard Herveaux! You had the kids LIE to me!” I playfully slapped his arm as the kids jumped into the pit on top of us.

“It got you over here didn’t it.” We laughed and fired balls at each other and wrestled and chicken fought for a good long while before we were all out of breath. The kids had fun spending the tickets that they (mostly Alcide) earned and we loaded up to stop at the toy store.

**

On the way there something occurred to me. “Honey, what are you doing tonight? With the moon?”

“Oh, Eric and I hammered that out. If Miss Manen is in agreement…” He raised his voice to get her attention, “I’m going to hunt with the pack tonight and Eric will go flying with the kids. Then tomorrow, if she wants to shift into a runner she and I can hunt the ranch.” He turned and winked at her when she squealed and clapped with delight. Hunter was excited too. He had loved flying last time.

“Daddy what kind of runner should I turn to? I’ve never hunted before.”

“Well, I have to turn into a wolf but you can turn into whatever you want.”

“What are we hunting for?”

“Far says that there are deer and some water birds out at the pond.”

“Can you keep up with a cheetah or should I be a jaguar instead?”

Alcide and I chuckled as he answered. “Have you been either before?”

“Yeah. My other mommy and I used to watch animal planet before she got sick and I would practice. I’ve been a lot of stuff but Mommy told me I wasn’t allowed to turn into a dragon anymore after a burned the couch.”

Alcide and I got a little concerned, ok, a lot concerned! I spun around , “A dragon?” trying to keep my tone level and failing. “Where did you get the model to become a dragon?”

She giggled, “Eragon. And I turned into a Griffon after Harry Potter once. Last year I was a Wookie for Halloween.” Her and Hunter laughed to each other. “I’m not supposed to watch fantasy movies anymore.”

Alcide was laughing at the look on my face as he laid down the law. “Manen, sweetheart, let’s stick to something real tomorrow night, ok? And we’ll keep the dragon and unicorn type stuff in the family too.” She giggled as she promised.

Alcide put his hand on mine and gave it a gentle squeeze. “She’ll be fine, Shug. She’s got us to look after her.” I smiled back at him but I worried until we got to the toy store.

**

When we parked, I noticed that Alcide was more excited than the kids. He was bouncing a little. When he reached for the door handle I used a mind trick to jam the locks. He looked at me and growled playfully which cracked the kids up.

“OK, you! It’s 2:30. I have a lot to do before dark and Manen needs to rest before the moon rises. You have 15 minutes to grab everything you want and not a second more. Got it?” He jokingly scowled at me.

He turned and looked at the kids. “Nerf.”

Manen added, “Board games.”

The Hunter finished, “Legos.”

Alcide nodded at them and then looked at me. “OK, we have a game plan. Can we go now?” I smiled at him and unlocked the doors. As the kids slid out of the truck he leaned over to me and whispered ‘Alpha Bitch’ before he kissed me.

“You haven’t seen anything yet.” I waggled my eyebrows and kissed him back.

We walked in and I grabbed my own basket. “You kids have fun. I’ll find you in a minute.”

I went over to the sporting goods and grabbed footballs, baseballs, softballs, bats, gloves, bases, a T, soccer balls, nets and cones. I went over and found where they kept the moon sand and grabbed a ton of it along with some big jugs of bubbles and tubs of sidewalk chalk and then tracked down the kids and watched them. I laughed as they filled their basket and then topped off mine. I called ‘Time’s up’. It had actually been 25 minutes but I had been having fun watching them.

The kids walked over to me, but Alcide stomped out a little troll dance and we all laughed. “But, MOM!”

I couldn’t help but play along, “What kind of example are you setting? You know I’ll put your stuff back.” He huffed and pushed his cart over to the checkout with me. There were 3 people waiting in the shortest line but the kids were in good spirits and being very patient.

“Hey Alcide, did you…” He was gone. “Where are you?”

“Ummm, bathroom?”

“Liar. Are you trying to get put in the doghouse?”

“Nope. I am hoping you’ll eventually buy that leash though.”

I laughed. “I don’t think that’ll do, but I’ll switch you to decaf.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Hurry back. We’re next in line.”

He showed up at the last minute and dumped an armful of video games on the belt and smiled broadly at the kids and then dared me to fuss at him with a wink.

**

The kids were playing a couple of their new games as Alcide and I rearranged the back of the truck to squeeze everything into the back. We even had to put some stuff in the seat with the kids. I shut the back gate and Alcide pounced, wrapping his arms around me and pinning me between him and the spare tire. He pressed against me and gave me a kiss so deep I felt like we were part of each other. When he pulled out of the kiss his nostrils flared. He could smell how much our kiss had excited me.

He hummed from deep in his chest. “Did I tell you how much I like this color on you?” He pulled the flannel off of my shoulder and began licking and nibbling my neck as his hand drifted down into the front of my jeans and tickled my nub.

“Alcide, I… oh… god… Alcide!” He made me come in the parking lot with very little effort and in less than a minute. I was flushed and seeing stars. “Why do I want to strip our clothes off and fuck you right here?”

He looked at me with glowing eyes and growled: “I don’t know. It couldn’t be the pheromones; they only affect Weres.”

I hooked my leg around the back of his hip and rubbed him through the front of his jeans and craned up to chew on his neck. He threw his head back and closed his eyes. We were both starting to pant and claw at each other. His hand was up my shirt and under my bra, my legs were around his waist when I snapped out of whatever had come over me.

“Alcide… Alcide… Oh God! Alcide…” I patted his back. “Come on, we have to get home. Sweetie, come on. Let’s go.” He begrudgingly set me down and I went to my side and got in, but Alcide was still around the back of the truck.

When he finally climbed in behind the wheel I gave him a curious look. He raised an eyebrow devilishly and answered simply: “Baseball.” I giggled and apologized.

**

When we got home he backed into the garage to make it easier to unload. The kids climbed out and ran to the den with their new games and Alcide and I impatiently dug out the stuff that needed to be kept cold and shoved it into the fridge and freezer. We were trying to ignore that passing each other in the kitchen was getting to be too much.

While we worked, Alcide had grumbled ‘stop that’. When I asked him what I did, all he did was snort.

The task only took us about 30 minutes but it was agonizing for us. Alcide was bringing in the last box of things for the fridge and I went back to the den to check on the kids who were lying on the couch and watching TV.

I came back into the kitchen and boosted myself onto the counter next to him. He complained again. “Seriously, Sookie. It’s hard enough…”

“What?”

“Your smell.”

“What about it?”

“You know what.” He was pawing at me and starting to breath hard.

“Alcide, honestly, I’m not doing anything.”

“You aren’t releasing that scent on purpose?”

“Do you mean..?” I clapped my hands over my mouth to muffle an ‘ohmigod’. I immediately released the scent of faerie. I had been releasing the scent of Were and didn’t know it!

Alcide growled and shook his head. He looked at me through glowing eyes. “Sookie, that smells like heat and Fae.”

“Honey, I don’t know why. I’m not doing it on purpose. I swear!”

“Never mind that now. Where are we going?”

“Take me where ever.” I wrapped my arms and legs around him and started kissing him. He hoisted me from the counter and he growled into my mouth a couple of times on our way to the dining room we hadn’t used.

He put me down on the table and reached between my legs and attacked my center. I was panting and throbbing as I started Alcide’s glamour. I threw my head back and moaned and started pinging at his p-spot. I whimpered and whined while he chewed and choked my neck with the perfect amount of pressure. I felt his knees buckle slightly so I slid off the table and moved him over to sit in a chair and straddled his lap. I licked and nibbled his neck and ears between kisses while I gradually turned up the intensity of his glamour and pinging until eventually he buried his face in my chest and held me tight at his end. I immediately quit working on him and hung on to him, waiting for him to give me a sign that he was ready to get up.

Finally he looked up at me. “Sorry about your error, but thank you for helping me out.”

I forced a smile. “Don’t give it another thought. I have a DH upstairs, waiting for the night game. I’ll get a guaranteed grand slam with a foul ball or two. I’m more worried about why I smell like heat.”

“You don’t just smell like it. You taste like it too. Not like yesterday. Could you be part Were?”

“Wouldn’t I know?”

“Well, Gran would have told you if she was and she was the one that was with the Faerie, right?”

I nodded.

“What about your mom and her parents then?”

“My mom wasn’t much of a mom. She never talked to me. Nana Lil and Grandpa Buck died a couple of years later, by the time I was 10.”

Alcide smiled at me. “That explains a lot.”

“What does?”

“Buchanan and Lillia Rhys?

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Your mom, I guess she had an older sibling?”

“Yeah, Uncle Paulie and she were Irish twins born on Leap day and Valentine’s Day 50 weeks apart.

“Well, I found a puzzle piece.” He looked at me with a knowing smirk. “Little girl, your grandfather was a Were. He was the Colonial’s predecessor.”

I smiled at him and waited for him to tell me he made it up, but that didn’t happen. “That explains why the necks in Bon Temps are terrified of me.”

“That’s not all. Your Nana Lil, all us kids called her that, was half Shifter, half Fae. So that makes you… ¼ Were, 3/8 Fae and less than ½ human. I’d be willing to bet that you have a little more going on from Gran’s side too.”

“Wait, wouldn’t you or Sam have noticed that smell before?”

“I don’t know about Sam, but you know I stay away from humans during the full moons. I’m usually a cantankerous asshole. This would need to be a new thing anyway. You didn’t smell like this before.”

I laughed. “Sam doesn’t bother keeping that to himself. During the night though, Terry covers for him and I usually work that shift because Terry prefers me to the other waitresses. I handle him better.”

“Sam also doesn’t tend to run with a pack, he might not know what he smells. It would explain why when you tried to smell like a Were you smelled like one in heat and why you find me irresistible today.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me. “You’re pretty damn strong for a human, even before you hooked back up with Eric and started getting his blood again. You started packing on meat as soon as you started working out. You were ready to kick my ass for suggesting that Quinn should get taken care of until you knew he was a threat to your family then you were ready to make a rug out of him. Does your intuition cover moods too?”

“Do you mean like you? Mr. Social Cues. Not usually it’s different, kind of like the bond and not really at the same time.”

He nodded and stayed thoughtful for a minute. “So, what’s with us making out and stuff again. When you called me and told me that y’all were together again, I figured that our flirt was over.”

“I figured it was too. I hadn’t had the chance to explain things before the night we took your drunk ass home from the cookout. He picked up my smell in your place, that I wasn’t shy about putting you in the shower, that I knew which drawer you kept your PJs in. I told him that we were friends with partial benefits. BFFs that like to make out and he seemed fine with it. Then the night you took me to the Zoo I fell to a guilt attack and talked to him about it. I asked if he was mad. He congratulated me for having used the bond to spice things up. I planned on talking to him about it to make sure since he’s got all kinds of trust issues but bossy and possessive aren’t on the list of feelings he hides. If he has a problem he wouldn’t be shy about talking me down about it.”

“What about last night? He was all kinds of pissed. I thought it was because of what we’d been up to.”

“That had something to do with me accidentally relaying the vision of my torture to him when I was trying not to tell him about it at all. Then some dick weed made a joke about the church who actually did torture me.” I popped him on his arm when he gave me his puppy dog eyes.

**

After we talked for a bit, we got back to work putting things away. Alcide went to go check on the kids and he was smiling ear to ear as he walked back to me. “Out like lights.”

We’d only been on task for a few minutes when my phone started to ring. It was Amelia, so I braced myself.

“Hello?”

“Hi,Sookie. It’s Amelia.”

“How’ve you been? Do you like being back in New Orleans?”

“Are you fucking Tray now too?”

“What?” Alcide was standing next to me and was already getting pissed.

“You heard me. Are you fucking Tray?”

“I don’t know where you’re coming from with all of this meanness but no, I’m not doing anything with Tray. I hired him to train some security.” I felt like I was going to throw up. I couldn’t figure out why she was being so hostile. It hurt to be accused like that.

“That explains why he has your phone number on speed dial.”

“Look, I’ve seen him twice in about a week. A cookout last Saturday and last night at The Zoo. I talked to him on the phone twice too. Why are you acting like this?”

“Because you either fuck or ruin every Supe you meet.”

“Amelia, I was hoping that things would blow over between us but I can’t take how mean you’re being. I don’t get it since I haven’t ever done anything to you. Don’t call me again unless you can be nice, please.”

“You didn’t have to do anything to me. It’s only a matter of time. You already used me enough. Stay away from Tray.” She hung up.

I looked up at Alcide. I was fighting back tears and he wrapped his big arms around me. “Forget it Shug. You’ve gotten spoiled being around so many people that know how special you are. You have Kings trying to be your wedding planners, Queens willing to rearrange their own wedding for yours and humans are more honest with you than they are with each other. One witch isn’t worth the tears even if she was a good friend for a while. You have more than she ever will and it’s her right to be jealous. This is probably because Tray broke it off with her. She just needs someone to blame.”

“I know, it’s just that she’s so angry. It’s not like her.”

“Come on, let’s work it off.” He pulled me towards the bags and put me on task.

**

I started putting the remaining food and drinks into the pantry and Alcide was putting all of the video games in the den when I came from the laundry room after starting a load of the new sheets.

He started gathering the packages of bedding and he headed upstairs. I grabbed the Crabtree bags and followed him. I deposited a gift basket into each of the guest bathrooms as he dropped off the bedding. We dropped off fresh bottles of toiletries to each of the occupied bedrooms then went through the guest rooms and stripped the plain white duvets and sheets and folded them and put them in the top of each closet.

I had docked my iPod on shuffle. He sorted out all of the toys and games and I used the barstools to sort out all of the clothes into separate piles.

When I came back downstairs from putting the kids clothes away, I started browning the meat and diced onions and carrots for dinner and took another armful of clothes upstairs and came back.

Alcide was standing over it sniffing. “Lamb?”

“Shepherd’s pie.” I filled a pot with water and potatoes and set it to boil.

“You’re making shepherd’s pie?”

“Yeah. Why?”

He came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed while I was tending to the stove. “Because I might not go out, I might stay here and eat all night instead.” I laughed as I turned around.

“Don’t go doing that. You’ll get used to eating well now. There’ll be a whole lot more good meals than full moons in your future.” I craned up and kissed him on the way to switch over the laundry, then back to the food on the stove to make the gravy and take it from the heat.

I took the last of the bags of décor upstairs and started depositing them in the right rooms. Each room had a color theme.  They were yellow, red, purple, blue, turquoise and green (according to the designer though they were sunshine, crimson, amethyst, cobalt, robin’s egg and spring grass. Whatever.)

**

I was just finishing when Alcide sent: “We have company, Shug.”

“Who?”

“Your brother.”

“Fuck! Be right down. I think we should move.” He thought I was trying to be but I was almost considering glamouring our address from Jason.

I got downstairs and Jason was standing in the kitchen in his work clothes. “Jason you’re a long way from Hotshot. You only have an hour until sunset. Won’t Calvin be looking for you?” He didn’t answer me, he just walked up and hugged me tight. He didn’t smell like he’d been at work. I hugged him back. “Jason, why do you smell like a hospital? What’s happened?”

He still wasn’t talking but he didn’t need to. I saw it all.

“Oh, honey. I’m sorry.” I stood there holding my big brother while he cried…

He had just gotten to work when Crystal’s sister called him and he rushed to the hospital. Crystal had started bleeding 2 days ago but she just crawled back in bed because she’d had other miscarriages before and this one didn’t seem any different, but this morning her sister couldn’t wake her and called Calvin.

Crystal was hemorrhaging and there wasn’t much that could be done. When she got to the hospital the doctors did everything they could but the baby was already gone and Crystal only lasted a few more hours.

Jason was just as torn up about Crystal as he was Corbett. He already named the baby in his head, even though he knew Crystal would have hated it. Alcide was looking worried so I relayed the facts to him and he sympathetically frowned.

I felt like I had been hugging him forever and was considering suggesting we go sit down when Manen and Hunter came into the room and tugged on the corner of his flannel. “Uncle Jas?”

He looked down at them and let go of me to wipe his face. “Hey guys. What are y’all up to?”

Manen summoned him down to her and he squatted down and they hugged him around the neck. Manen whispered in his ear. “Crystal says she’s sorry and that Corbett will find his way to you soon.”

Jason’s eyes widened so fast that I didn’t see it happen. They shot up to meet mine and started to weep again.

When their hug was over, he stood up and stared at me for a good long while until Alcide patted him on his arm and offered him a beer. “Your sister is making Shepherd’s pie for supper. You stayin’? Then you’ll run with Shreveport if you want.”

“You sure you don’t mind? I’m a bitten, a panther. The only reason Hotshot lets me run with them is ‘cause one of theirs bit me.”

“Even if I weren’t Packmaster, no one would mind because you’re Sookie’s brother. I promise. It’s fine.”

I scoffed as I started tending to the peas with Alcide’s help. He smirked at me. “What?”

“Even if you weren’t Packmaster… You’d still be Lunar Justice.”

He laughed. “You are right about that. I’m sorry… wait. Which way are you outranking me? As Queen outranking the Packmaster, or as Supreme Mystical Judicial Regent outranking the Lunar Regent?” He leaned over and kissed me.

“Well since I’m not married to the king yet, I suppose I’m outranking you as a Justice.”

“Yes, Madam Justice.” He bowed and I threw a pea pod at him.

I was getting a pan out of the cupboard when Jason’s brain turned itself back to its upright position. “Justice? Queen? King? What are y’all talking about?”

We explained it to him, slowly and with small words but he was still confused, but he decided he didn’t care enough to listen to it again. He got up to go ‘drain the vein’. Alcide and I rolled our eyes at each other and then he grabbed me and started dancing with me to ‘Put Your Records On’. We scooted around the room and he dipped me and gave me a big kiss for fun.

**

When he stood me up Jason was in the doorway to the bathroom staring. He crossed the room and sat on one of the few free barstools.  “So you really are with both of them? Does the vampire know? How does he feel about it?”

Eric appeared snuck up behind him too quickly for me to warn Jason. “I’m fine with it.”

Jason just about jumped out of his skin. As it was I had to toss him a towel to clean up the beer he spilled.

Eric laughed as he came over to me. “I was wondering why you didn’t wake me. Were we expecting company?”

He leaned in for a kiss and I ‘sent’ to him the sad circumstances of Jason’s surprise visit and the message Manen gave to him. I was leaning up against the counter and Alcide was next to me and he could ‘hear’ that the prolonged kiss was cover for our telepathic gossiping.

Eric was in a silly mood in spite of the bad news. His arm let go of me and drifted over to Alcide’s chest and tweaked his nipple. Alcide volleyed by goosing him then blowing a kiss when he looked over. Eric winked at him. God only knows how long it would have gone on if the kids didn’t come running into the room.

As soon as he heard them running in our direction calling after him, Eric was in the air at the high ceiling in under a second.

Manen looked right at him. “You can’t hide from me.”

He quickly landed right in front of them. “So it seems. How was your day? Did they behave?” He bent over and gave them both a hug and a kiss.

Hunter explained, “Daddy was bad in the toy store and we tricked Momma into the ball pit.”

Eric’s eyebrows went up. He was completely amused. “Daddy was bad?”

Manen helped with the explanation. “Momma gave us 15 minutes and Daddy had a hissy fit in the store when time was up. He wandered off to get more stuff.”

Eric smiled at the two of them broadly as they laughed about their day. I could feel in the bond that it made him happy to see them so excited. “Are you two ready for the full moon tonight?” They exploded with excitement. He laughed with them and then got a little more serious. He squatted down to their level, which meant nearly sitting on the floor for him. “Guess what? Mummy just rose.” They clamored and ran after her.

Jason looked at Eric. “Do vampires do something for the full moon?”

I handed Eric a true blood. He gave me a puzzled look and asked me on the mind phone if I had told Jason about Manen but I shook my head. “I do now. Manen is a shifter and turns into a bird of prey so I’m taking the kids up since I fly.”

Angela came around the corner and said hello to everyone. She stopped to kiss Eric on the cheek and then Alcide. She came around behind me to put her arms around my shoulders, leaning her head against mine. “This is the worst part of being fresh. I still miss the food.”

**

Alcide put the dish in the oven so I could tend to her true blood and the sheets that just buzzed in the laundry room. When I came back Pam was sitting at the table with the kids drawing.

I reached into the fridge and grabbed a beer for me and a true blood for Pam, taking it to her. “What are you up to tonight?”

She frowned. “I have to go in.”

“If I give you a list could you bring some things home?”

She smirked at me. “Like what?”

“8 cases of true blood, 20 cases of beer, and 3 kegs.” She smiled and nodded.

My phone started ringing and Angela was the closest to it. She picked it up and threw it to me quickly and accurately and I caught without even thinking about it.  “Softball in college?”

“Baseball in high school.”

“Oh… we are SO picking up a game when we have the extra people here this week!”

Angela smiled at me as I put the phone to my ear.

**

“Hello?”

“Please hold for the King of Michigan.” The whole room fell to a hush.

“Buttercup, how are you doing?”

“Howie, I’m wonderful but you are about to ask me for a favor. Hit me with it so I have the chance to reject you quickly.”

My future husband and his child blanched until they heard the uproarious laughter coming from Michigan. “You are a cunning one. Did the gossip get back to me correctly? Are you and the King expanding Fangtasia?”

“We are.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. It seems that I owe a favor to a couple of individuals that are very much interested in playing for your reopening. I would like to owe you a favor in exchange.”

“Ok, Let me clear this up. You owe someone a favor, they want to play at Fangtasia so if we grant their favors for you Eric and I get Howie favors for our piggy banks?”

“That is the case m’lady.”

“Give their promoters my contact info.”

“Yes ma’am. Don’t you want to know who?”

“Ritchie and Mathers right?”

“You’re good. They’ll contact you very soon.”

“Kisses.”

The second I hung up I started laughing my ass off.

“Lover, I’m not sure of what you negotiated. Please explain.”

Pam offered: “For starters, she just called a 900 year old King: Howie.”

I stuck my tongue out at her. “His Majesty Howard Brighton owes a favor to a couple of performers who want to call in their favors by getting the king to negotiate them into playing at the reopening. Then he owes us the favors.”

“I thought you had talked to other bands.”

“I did, but they were stock. They didn’t particularly care where I was hiring for or that it was an opening, they can be hired for other dates. These other guys specified that they wanted to do the opening.”

“So what did you agree to?”

I laughed again. “I agreed to accept favors in exchange for ‘ALLOWING’ Kidd Rock and Eminem to play the grand opening!”

Eric’s eyes got really big. “Can we afford their riders and stay in budget?”

I stood up and walked over to my man. “Dear, if they want to play at your club bad enough to use a banked vampire favor, they aren’t asking for a rider. They want publicity, which means Fangtasia gets it too.” Eric grabbed me and tossed me into the air and hugged me when I came down.

“Is there anything you can’t do?”

“I’ll let you know. Now put me down, I need to tend to the chewers in the room.”

He begrudgingly set me down and I gave him a kiss and patted his butt as I walked past him. I plated small portions for the kids and Alcide took them over to the table and I consolidated the piles of clothes to a stack for Eric and I and then one for Alcide and Pam.  When I was done Alcide was standing beside me with 3 plates and held them out one at a time. He put them in front of Jason and at his spot and left the other one for me, then grabbed a beer for each of us.

**

Eric decided to talk to me while I was trying to eat… grrrrr.

“Lover, how was your day?”

I took a deep breath and blew it out and gave him a run on. “Hand blown lamp shades and the acrylic for the bar top are on the work bench in the garage. The contracts went well; everyone was on the up and up and Bobby was happy with all of the papers. Bobby is also taking the rings to drop them off and the list of to dos regarding Bill’s estate.  Outdoor furniture purchased, to be delivered Monday AM. I bought nice bedding for the upstairs and we went on a little spree in the clothing department. I ordered flowers for the guest rooms, to be delivered Monday AM. I confirmed the buses, dining area, the catering and Ron confirmed that our shipment is in and when he delivers it all, he’ll have plenty of… fireworks: to be delivered Monday AM. We have an appointment on Friday PM with my seamstress who is going to take care of you and Hunter’s shirts and Manen’s dress and I can try mine on too because it’s done. Alcide’s sister and nephew are coming for a long visit Thursday afternoon. Amelia wants to know if I’m fucking Tray so I told her not to call back and I am the bomb and got you Kidd Rock and Eminem. Did I forget anything other than the dry cleaning?” Alcide shook his head and held his plate out for more with a big smile on his face. I couldn’t help but smile back. Jason held his plate out too and I gave them both seconds.

Eric was amazed judging by the look on his face. “You left out that you bought groceries, did laundry, squeezed in an afternoon delight and made dinner for 5.” He chuckled as he came over to kiss me on the forehead.

Eventually, Alcide held his empty plate up again and wiggled it. “Shug, can I please have a little bit more?”

I dished it out for him and noticed that his beer was empty so I took the bottle to the trash and delivered a cold coke to him and another warm blood for Angela. When the kids were done, they brought me their plates and I gave them a pouch of ice cream dots for dessert which they took outside to eat on the portico.

I walked over behind Alcide and checked his back and I had never felt him so tense so I took a step up and wrapped my arms around his shoulders and fixed his back tout de suite. He hummed in appreciation and leaned back to kiss me.

It was about an hour past sunset and Jason was starting to get antsy. Alcide picked up on it and gave my brother’s arm a slap “Stackhouse, you ready to go?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

Alcide walked over to me and gave me a hug and a kiss. “I’ll be home right after dawn. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of him. All I have to do is introduce him and he’s all set. All of your fans, pets and boyfriends will be running. It’s the first Moon of the new year.” I smiled at him. It was cute that he thought I was worried about Jason. It was him that I was worried about. I know he can handle himself, but after the last couple of years I was still a little gun-shy.

He kissed my forehead and then moved down the line to Pam, Angela and the kids.

I rinsed their dishes and started the dishwasher and went to the laundry room to get the sheets out of the dryer and start another load.

**

When I came back into the kitchen Eric walked over to me and kissed me. He picked me up and put me on the counter and stood between my knees. “Lover, what have you planned for tonight?”

“I’m giving Angela the night off because I’m not leaving the house.” He was pleased enough with my answer that he kissed me.

“I’m worried that you are doing too much. I still want you to have an assistant.”

I groaned and rolled my eyes. “Eric, I’m having fun. I’ve been bored for years. Besides, things will quiet down a lot after Friday. The kids are having a lot of fun running errands too. Please…” I leaned forward and kissed his neck. “Do I seem tired?” I gave him a nibble. “I promised that I would tell you if I get overwhelmed.” I pulled his earlobe into my mouth and nibbled, wrapping my arms around him. “I have a lot of help. That’s why Bobby is getting a raise; I’m using him and the teen wolves a lot.” I chewed the sweet spot behind his ear and clawed my fingernails down his back.

He was starting to lose the battle to seem unaffected. “As you wish, Sookie.” I smiled at him. “As long as you’re happy, I’ll keep my promise.” He gave me one of his 1000-years-of-practice kisses causing a throb or two. I pulled away to tell him to answer his phone. He eyed me for a few seconds until his phone rang.

I hopped off of the counter and called towards the den. “Manen, honey, you have a phone call.” I started picking up the pile of clothes and started to head up to put it all away. I laid out Eric’s blackout outfit and went to the kids’ room to do the same for Hunter and get Manen’s black footie PJs.

I bounced back down the stairs and grabbed my phone to check for messages and emails. I was shocked and relieved to see that there weren’t any. I took the sheets that were done upstairs and started making beds and arranging the décor. I got four bedrooms done and the last 2 were being run through the cycles now. So I left both doors to each room open to air them out a bit.

It looked like tonight was going to be a quiet one. When I got back to the kitchen Pam was gone and so was her pile of clothing. Eric was sitting on a barstool next to Manen while she excitedly bragged to Carol about what she’d been up to.

When she hung up I told them that I had laid out their clothes so she bolted off her seat and went to grab Hunter to take him upstairs.

Eric watched her with a big grin on his face. He gave me a little kiss and without a word became a blur on the way to get ready himself, so I went back to the laundry room.

I was putting the last load in the dryer when I realized that I needed to do the schedule for the guards, so I grabbed the laptop and a bag of chips and sat down to get to work.

I kissed Manen, Hunter and Eric goodbye (and later, Pam too) and finished with the schedule, then I grabbed the cleaning supplies and vacuum and got started in Pam’s bathroom and bedroom and worked my way down the hall. I cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, changed sheets, delivered clean towels and collected laundry. I went downstairs and decided to sweep and mop and then made a couple of phone calls.

Everyone had been gone for a while, all of my chores had been taken care of so I took a quick shower and threw on a tank and shorts PJ set. I went to the den with a pint of ice cream and turned on Adult Swim and laughed while I ate my snack. By the time I was starting to worry about Eric and the kids having been gone so long, I heard them coming in the back door talking and laughing and still full of energy.

**

The kids ran into the den with Eric closely following behind. They jumped on me and excitedly told me about their adventure. They’d flown out to where Alcide was running tonight and they watched the hunt from the sky. We talked about their fun for a while before they kissed Eric and me goodnight. Eric took his hoodie off and got comfortable next to me so that I could snuggle into him.

“Tell me, Lover, did you clean the whole time we were gone?”

“Nope. When you left I was doing the schedule for the security guys. Then I cleaned and did laundry. Then I called the Waldorf and made our reservations for the week before Nicki’s wedding. I went online and bought Knicks/Celtics tickets (courtside) and I booked a moonlight cruise to the statue of liberty too. It’s a charter. I didn’t make any other solid plans because I didn’t know what kind of receptions and parties Nicki will be having closer to the wedding. I ordered a toddler bed for Tommy to use while he’s here along with the bedding and then I grabbed a pint of pistachio to watch cartoons. I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour waiting for y’all to get home.”

I laid my head on his lap and I was looking up at his beautiful face.

Eric rested his hand on my stomach. He very seriously leaned forward and looked into my eyes. “Sookie, I can’t help but be amazed. I knew you were special when I met you, but I had no idea, no one did, exactly how special.”

I closed my eyes for moment and hummed. “Thank you, Eric. I’m really glad that I haven’t disappointed you. I was afraid that you wouldn’t be up for dealing with the new me. ”

“Lover, you have done so much in such a short amount of time, I couldn’t be disappointed. Jealous yes, but not disappointed.” He smiled at me as he smoothed a strand of hair away from my face and I smiled up at him.

“Alcide found out that I’m more special than he thought today.”

He chuckled. “Lover, are you sure I want to hear this?”

“I don’t know, but you probably should. I’m part Were. More than a quarter and I’m more Fae than we thought.”

“Were? How much more? How do you know?”

“Yes. Another 3/8 Were and 1/8 Fae. Because it came up and Alcide knew my grandfather, he was Packmaster here in Shreveport.”

He thought about that for a minute or two. The bond was being no help at all and his face was still. Finally he cracked a smile. “I love you anyway.”

I smiled back at him and we spent a few minutes talking about some of the things that I probably got from being a quarter Were and then the combination of powers I had. We still weren’t sure about why I had them so suddenly but we did finally figure that I was more likely to be 3/8 Were, ¼ Fae, and at least 1/8 Daemon since those powers are so strong. Leaving me at only ¼ human at the most. That was more than a little daunting. So I processed that while he ran his fingers through my hair and smirked down at me.

**

We heard my phone ringing in the kitchen as I sat up and heard Eric sigh needlessly, but I straddled his lap with no intentions of answering it.

“Don’t worry, it’s just Florida. Ray can wait until later.” I planted a huge kiss on him. “Our last couple of days have robbed us from time together.” I put both of my hands on either side of his neck and ran my fingers into the hair on the back of his head and did the same to me. While we were making out on the couch I felt his legs moving under me.

Eventually I realized he was fighting with his boots. So I pulled out of the kiss giving him a sly grin and leaned back slowly and in the end my head dangled between his ankles. I reached over and untied his boot and loosened it from his leg and then undid the other. In a far more impressive move than the act of lowering, I slowly raised my body up to face him again.

I felt his excitement as he easily relieved himself from his shoes. He took my camisole from me and chucked it over the back of the couch, but made no move on my bra. I pulled my knees up and set my feet flat on the couch on either side of his hips and stood up. He laid his head on the back of the couch to look up and watch me slowly start pulling the bottoms down. I kept my legs completely straight as I pushed them down the length of my legs with the occasional wiggle. His hands found my bare legs and drifted gently up and his finger tips slipped under the edges of my panties as they caressed my backside and upper legs.

I decided to loosen Eric’s belt and then undo his button and zipper. He braced his back against the couch and pushed his pants down. I was helping them down towards the floor he took his t-shirt off and tossed it. I kept my back facing him as I lowered myself  back to straddle him again and leaned against his chest and grinding down onto his lap delivering my neck to him like room service. He wrapped one arm around my waist as he started nuzzling my shoulder and his other arm came up to my mouth and we bit at the exact same moment. We both came at the taste of each other, moaning with pleasure.

When we had calmed down he picked me up and carried me upstairs to our room and set me down in the bathtub and started the water and climbed in with me. We did indeed get a grand slam out of our shower and after we both fell back against the walls of the shower, realizing that we had been in the shower for nearly 2 hours, he pulled me to him and started washing me with the loofah and quietly bathed my body and then shampooed and conditioned my hair so I returned the favor.

**

I decided to talk to him while I dried off.

“Eric?”

“Lover?”

“Have you ever heard of anyone turning into a vampire without dying? We share blood really often.” He climbed out of the tub and started to towel himself dry so I sat on the counter and waited.

“I admit, I’d thought of the concept too but I researched it and no one I’ve talked to has ever heard of it. Would you like to stop taking my blood until we find out something more concrete?” He came over to stand in front of me. He gazed into my eyes intently, just waiting. He moved closer, put his hand on my knees and they slid up my thighs and rested on the backs of my hips. “Sookie?”

“Eric?”

“Would you prefer to stop taking my blood?”

“No.”

“No? What if we find out that could cause a… transition?”

“No.”

“Sookie?” He asked that as though he was 5 and I finally agreed to let him get a puppy.

“Not now, because the kids need me, but eventually yes. I like the way we’re doing things. So why fix what ain’t broken.”

“Really? You would have me turn you?”

I nodded as seriously as I could since the look on his face and his excitement in the bond were making it hard to not laugh.

“Sookie, I want to hear you say it.”

“Eric, one day when the time is right, I want you to be my maker.”

He stared at me with wide eyes and slightly slack jawed. I had always been such a brat about my humanity, but after the week we’d had, I realized that being a vampire wouldn’t change me.

“Lover, say it again. Please?”

I put my hands around the back of his neck and pulled his face closer to mine, giving him all the sincerity I could. “Eric, I want you to turn me. I want you to be my maker. I want to be with you forever.”

His face was frozen. I found myself feeling really guilty for being so horrible about things for so long. The bond was full of surprise and love.

I squinted at him and playfully, trying to lighten is mood. “Are you going to cry or something?”

“Something.” With that he wiggled his eye brows kissed me hard, leaning me back. He pulled my legs up and rested one ankle on each side of his neck and slowly stooped down and with no shyness buried his tongue into my opening. He nuzzled my hoop with the end of his nose and started using his fingers to tease and stretch everything he could, making me ache for him to be inside me again.

“Jag behöver dig i mig. Jag skadad utan. Knulla mig, Eric.” It made his eyes flash and his nostrils flared as he stood to his full height and centered himself at my opening, teasing my nub first. I moaned, “den andra en.”

I didn’t have to tell him twice. He lifted my pelvis to the right height and he was gone, buried deep inside of me. I lowered my shoulders onto the cool marble counter resting my weight and freeing my arms so that he could watch me clutch my breasts and pinch my nipples. It drove him wild. The look in his eyes was foreign to me and he was lost in his task.

He was pounding hard enough that I thought he was going to cleave me in half. He was hurting me. It was horrible and it was wonderful. I was whimpering and gasping and I could taste my own blood from biting my lip. I moved my hand down to my clit not to play with it, to abuse it. He enjoyed watching it but he really liked it when I slapped it because it sent a shock through my whole pelvis. I started poking around mentally for his p-spot. I thought I had found it when I felt him jerk slightly out of time. I went back to it. Yup. That was it. So I mentally flicked it over and over and over as I released a slight Fae scent.

He was pounding harder and harder and I was bucking wildly and was starting to feel cold and dizzy. He was roaring and I was wailing. He was nearly done when he grabbed my hand and bit the heel of it and we crossed the finish line at the same time with a flash of bright light. And then the room went black as I slid off the counter.

Suddenly, I was bundled in my Viking’s lap and he was stroking my hair.

“Sookie?… Sookie?… Sookie?” I lifted my arm and put it on his shoulder.

“Mmmmm. Eric, I love you.”

“Sookie!”

“Yeah?”

“Sookie, are you alright?”

“Mmmmm, I’m wonderful. That was great!” I kissed his chest

“Sookie what did I do to you?”

I laughed. “Whatever you did, feel free to do it again whenever you want!” I looked up at him to smile. “Come on, I’m hungry again. Keep me company while I grab a snack.” I stood up and went out to the dresser and dug out a snug white camisole and a pair of white super short knit workout shorts and pulled them on. Eric threw on a wife beater and a pair of sweats and followed me down after I grabbed our towels and my underwear to take to the laundry.

**

He sat on a barstool while I went to the fridge and I grabbed 2 blood oranges and a container of strawberries. I poured some sugar into a bowl and brought my snack over and hoisted my butt onto the counter and put my feet on his lap while I pealed an orange and started eating it.

I looked into his eyes as he contentedly watched me eat. “I like this. We haven’t been alone in a few days.”

“We should go out on a date. Friday night?”

I smiled at him and nodded.

“Have you thought about pregnancy?” Alcide must’ve mentioned my meltdown at Macy’s.

I took a cleansing breath. “I don’t know Eric. It’s barely been a week since we talked about it. I am still really scared about being able to keep our kids safe if we decide to give it a try. I’m still so unsure about my powers and as it turns out, more than half of me is a mix of races with huge fertility problems. Manens and Hunters are probably how we end up with children at all.”

Eric looked a little annoyed, maybe even a little sad. “Sookie, I was talking about what you’ve been doing with Alcide. I felt you this afternoon. You need to be careful especially since you don’t even want to raise children with me.”

Holy shit! That might as well have been a slap in the face. “I don’t even know where to start. It may have been a while for you to have had to worry about it, but I can guarantee that nothing Alcide and I have done can get me pregnant. We are NOT having sex. We have never had sex together.”

I was even more insulted when he looked at me in disbelief. He stared at me blankly, I assumed it was because he was waiting for me to break down and confess something. I could feel his anger and frustration building in the bond but he hid it from his voice. “Sookie, you promised last night that you would not keep secrets from me anymore.”

“There are no secrets, Eric. I’m not lying. I swear. Alcide and I are very physical people. Most of what we do is cuddling and friendly. Sometimes we get playful, like the wrestling we did at the cookout. Sometimes we make out. We did get carried away this afternoon, but we still controlled ourselves. It was my fault though. I’d smelled of heat without realizing it and I was picking up on his mood. I was about to try to wake you when Jason got here. Just ask him.”

Eric’s face had shifted from disbelief to regretful. “I’m sorry, Sookie. I’ve seen the way you are around each other over the past few days. You’re right about it not being a long jump to see you as a couple.”

I slid over and looked into his eyes. “Eric, I need to get something straight with you. I don’t think I was clear, probably even lying to myself about it. When we discussed children the other night, I over reacted out of fear. The truth of the matter is that I want nothing more than to raise children with you, but I’m scared considering what the last couple of years have taken from us. I know that I will eventually come around to your way of thinking.” He smiled at me when I used his words against myself. “Please don’t think that I don’t want to fill this house with kids for us to raise.”

He hugged me close to him and it worried me how full of happiness our bond was. I really was afraid that my genealogy would keep us from having kids the new fashioned way, but if it came down to it, we had more than enough money to adopt.

When the moment had passed, I pushed myself back onto the counter because I was still starving. I finished one orange and started my second, Eric watching every bite while we enjoyed our lack of conversation. I leaned forward and kissed him with blood orange juice on my lips and he pulled me closer and enjoyed the taste.

My phone buzzed and I leaned over to get it. It had been going off for a while before we headed upstairs.

**

“Shit. 6 calls from Stan and 2 texts from him saying urgent. I’d better call him.”

“Sookie. It’s about time.”

“Stan, are you ok?”

“I’m fine. I have the information you asked me for. That idiot Sheriff in 5 needs a few days of silver chains.” Eric looked less than amused.

“Area 5 in Texas, not you.” His good mood returned. “What did you find out Stan?”

“That there were no known transients in Orange around the time of your pet’s accident. But there was a fellowship skirmish and 3 of ours were ended. I looked them up on Compton’s program and they are all between 300-500 years old, I think we can eliminate one of the possibilities because more than 2 dozen claim him as their maker but they are all men. Is she tall/short, blonde/red headed?

“She is very petite and a red head. Does that help?”

“If I am right, her maker is… was Ross Ferguson. The program says that his power was metamorphosis. That’s a really rare power.”

“Yup, that’s the guy. She has the same power.”

“Glad I could help but damn it, now I have to call back and deal with the estate.”

Eric was getting bored with the conversation so he dipped a strawberry in sugar and fed it to me.

“Sweetie you’ve already done so much. Text Pio his orders and tell him if he doesn’t have the estate info to Angela by Tuesday I’ll seek penalty.”

“You know what, you’re right. I’ll do just that. Thanks, I’ll see you soon, sweetheart.”

“Kisses,” and I hung up.

Eric laughed. I leaned forward and gave him a kiss so that he could taste the strawberry. “What are you laughing at majesty?”

“That you just threatened a King’s sheriff and he thanked you for it.”

I giggled at the idea. Eric playfully shoved another strawberry in my mouth so I giggled again.

No sooner than the phone was on the counter, he had grabbed my ankles and slid me off of the counter and onto his lap again and we laughed and tickled each other while I finished my snack.

We sat and talked and enjoyed it being just the two of us until nearly 6am. We did some kissing and snuggling, as much as one can on a barstool until I noticed what time it was.

I looked at Eric. “It’s getting late. Alcide and Jason are on their way back. I should get started on breakfast for them.”

3 thoughts on “Chapter 21

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    Eric what are we going to do with you and your jealousy of Alcide you have nothing to fear you are top dog…. my best Kristie love reading this story again

  2. loveallsvmtb says:

    Every time i read this i read something i don’t remember. his jealousy is so unfounded. i love this story.

  3. if eric thought they were having sex then I expected his reaction to be far more furious! and in reply to kristie’s comment, i think eric isn’t jealous enough! they are practically having sex right under his nose (in HIS house, for god’s sake!) and the fact that sookie seems to be spending more quality time with alcide than eric. i’m thinking that eric should end up with angela, so leaving sookie to put alcide out of his misery and marry him instead!!! sorry, i just love eric so much and i feel he is getting a very raw deal in this story! pleeease prove me wrong!

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