Chapter 28

Little Blessings

Sookie’s POV

Tuesday, January 12th

I can’t say that I was really awake. I was about half way there when I thought I heard whispering and… giggling? I was just starting to crack my eyes when I saw the flash of light and my eyes flew open like an old shutter in a storm. I looked up and Eric and Alcide were standing at the end of the bed with their phones pointed at me. The source of their amusement was that I had snuggled up to Pam the way I snuggle up to Eric, my head on her chest with arm stretched out and a leg crooked over her thigh. Of course we were both still naked.

“Which one of you started this?”

They looked at each other and back to me and pointed at one another. “That’s great.  The ‘I’m with stupid’ defense.” I rolled over a little bit and the clock said 4:30 so I still had a few minutes before I had to be downstairs so I decided to be mischievous. I rolled back over onto Pam and started flicking her nipple with my tongue. Alcide and Eric’s grins came unraveled. Their eyes started to widen as my hand drifted down to pet her and she slowly started to buck against me. I started by rubbing little circles around her piercing and then flicking it deliberately. Even though she had been pulled into rest she was responding to my tease. I lifted myself onto my knees, straddling her thigh I plunged my fingers into her and started tugging on her lips with my teeth, then pressing them with my tongue… kissing her neck gently delivering every bit of hot air I could. I felt her brain grab onto what I was doing to her as her eyes flew open and fangs ran out. She grabbed my hair and pulled my face back up to hers and kissed me hard, biting my lip and enjoying the taste of my blood and circling my tongue roughly with hers.

My hand began moving faster and faster my fingers were soaked with her excitement as my thumb circled her hood and her moaning and bucking became more and more wild. I moved myself to hover over her, my mouth was chewing her neck, one hand squeezing her full breast and the other was milking everything I could from her. I mentally reached out and hit her g-spot hard, almost like I was trying to remove it, and within seconds she was calling my name into the darkness of our room as she came.

I laid on top of her for a few moments, letting her calm down from her awakening. I kissed her lightly while we cuddled and she thanked me several times. She even reached after me as I scooted to the edge of the bed to get my clothes but she was back at rest before I could turn to explain. I pulled on my tight sky blue lycra workout bra and shorts, socks and tennis shoes then twisted Alcide’s wrist to check his watch. 4:55. I gave him a kiss and acknowledged his hard on with a slight tease from my fingernails then stepped around him to do the same to Eric.

“I gotta run. Thanks for the wake up boys. Love you.” I jogged down the stairs and quickly washed my hands in the kitchen sink and walked out the back door to meet the oncoming duty section.

**

When I stepped out I was greeted by 12 Weres. Some more weary than others. “Okay boys, who’s hung over?” Only 2 of them owned up to it so I motioned them forward and fixed their hang over as quickly as I had Jason’s. “Feeling better boys?” They nodded with thankful smiles on their faces. “Ok then, grab a water to rehydrate and a muffin and hit your post.” They ran off with a new found energy. “Do the rest of you want to suffer through your hangovers or do you want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed?” 7 others stepped forward and I fixed them right up. There were only 3 of them who weren’t hung over. I sent them all on their way and started my jog.

When I finished an hour later I went over to the jungle gym and used the monkey bars to hang upside down and do 50 inverted sit ups and then 50 chin ups. I dropped to the ground and started walking towards the house and realized that Alcide was standing there with a cup of coffee for me wearing nothing but the sleep pants I left him in.

I bounced over to him and gave him a quick peck because I was pretty sweaty. “Thanks sweetie.”

“Sure thing Shug, you do it for me enough. Aren’t you cold?”

“Nope, body temp is up because of the endorphins.”

“Do you know how you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Wake the dead? Eric tried for about half an hour to wake Pam back up and couldn’t.”

When we got inside I went to the cabinet and pulled out the crock pot and started adding ingredients to make Italian wedding soup and turned it on. I went into the laundry room to grab something clean to throw on and grunted because I realized I had put most everything away and found a pair of Alcide’s boxers and Eric’s wife beater. I jumped in the shower and cleaned off quickly. I jumped into ‘my’ clothes and pulled out the ironing board and started pressing the clothes that we’d be wearing to the funeral. Alcide had been shuffling along after me like a lost puppy, haha, through my chores. He even leaned against the wall while I showered.

“Honey, how is the shirt that you’re wearing?”

“It’s fine. Do you not want to answer me?”

I stared at him for a minute before I realized I zoned out on him. “I’m sorry, Beb. I don’t know how it works. It just happens. I didn’t even expect her to wake up. I just did it to mess with you two for taking those pictures. It was just going to be a grope and a couple of kisses, but she started to wake up. It was the same way with Eric.”

“So you don’t focus on it? It isn’t something you choose to make happen?”

“You mean like the other stuff I do? No. There’ve been times that it worked and times that it didn’t.”

“Well this time worked in more ways than one.” He waggled his eyebrows at me.

I giggled and Alcide followed me as I went to the den and sat on the edge of the couch next to where Jason had passed out. I put my hand on his chest and gave him a nudge.

“Jason… Jas, did you bring what you’re wearing?” He woke up slowly but not completely.

“Yeah my suit is in my truck, why?”

“Because, big brother, I’m sure it could use a pressing.” I leaned over and kissed his forehead. “I’ll take care of it. I’ll wake you up in about an hour to get a shower.”

He grabbed my wrist as I got up. “Sookie, I love you. I know I’m a shit and I don’t deserve your help. Gran really would be proud of how you turned out.” I choked back a couple a sappy tears and kissed him on the forehead again.

“Thanks Jason. That means a lot to me.”

Alcide followed me out to Jason’s truck to get his suit and thank God I did. He had rolled it up and tossed it into a backpack. When I held it up it looked like a road map and his shirt was dirty. I fired up the steamer and threw the shirt in the wash. At 7:30 I sent for Eric and the kids to start getting dressed as I put out fruit and pastry and yogurts for everyone and took the kids clothes to them and to get dressed.

**

Eric was just coming out of our room when I came out of their room. He was wearing a navy blue pinstripe suit with navy blue silk shirt and tie.

He looked at me from head to toe carefully. “I didn’t know that today was going to be this casual.”

I snorted. “I was just coming to get my things. I forgot to get my shoes and under things.”

“Lover, under normal circumstances, I would suggest that you continue to forget them. That was quite a show you put on earlier.”

I tossed my head back playfully. “Was it ‘hard’ for you to get back to sleep?” I giggled in my throat.

“I… We enjoyed the show but your exit was abrupt.” He ran a finger lightly down my arm to my hand, taking it he placed it on the bulge in his pants. “I’m sure that Pam appreciated your affection, but you have certainly left me wanting… more.” When he said ‘more’ he punctuated it by licking his lips and extending his fangs.

“Unfortunately, ‘more’ will have to wait. We have regrettable business to attend to first.” I gave the bulge a squeeze as I craned up to kiss him. When he grabbed the back of my head and held me to the kiss I found myself very happy that I hadn’t done my makeup yet. He wrapped the other hand under my leg and lifted it to press into my center. I finally came to my senses and pulled away. “I think that we are close to being even now. You know how damn irresistible you are.” He smiled at that. God, he was vain sometimes. He nipped my lip suddenly and licked the trickle of blood away.

“Go grab your things. I will wake Jason so that he can bathe.” As I turned he slapped my rump leaving a sting that reminded me of how badly I wanted extra time this morning. I went in and put on my navy blue lace bra, panties and garter with nude silk hose and my navy patent leather pumps and went downstairs. I was growled at when I got to the bottom of the stairs by Alcide and Eric both. I just smiled at them, knowing that they were bitter about being teased. Alcide was wearing a double breasted navy blue suit with a light blue shirt and abstract tie in blues.

“Alcide, you look good enough to eat. Do you want me to do your hair?” He harrumphed down into a chair and helped Manen with her buckles while I stepped into my dress, buttoned it and tied the sash. Eric was helping Hunter with his belt. “Eric, honey, which cars should we take? Have you talked to Jason about that yet?”

“I sent a limo out to Calvin’s house for Crystal’s immediate family. The other limo is for the 6 of us. Jason agreed to it.” I gave him a thankful smile and kissed the air between us.

When Jason came out of the bathroom I went in to grab the hair kit. I went to work on smoothing Alcide’s hair into a low tight braid and Eric parted Manen’s hair down the middle and secured the front with little white barrettes. I smoothed my hair back into a twist, securing it with bobby pins and leaving the top out to cascade. I only wore lip gloss and water proof mascara today so it didn’t take but a second to do my makeup. By 8:45 we were walking out to the car and on the road.

**

The ride to Hotshot took an hour and we sat in a solemn silence the whole way. It was only now that we were all sitting in close proximity that I noticed none of us were wearing black. We were all wearing navy blue. It was a silly observation but when Gran and I had funerals to go to when I was growing up we wouldn’t wear black unless it was someone we felt a significant closeness to. I wore black when my parents died and then when my Sunday school teacher Miss Beverly died. But when any of Gran’s friends from the DGD passed or one of the elders at church died we wore blue and it seemed that most of Bon Temps held to that ritual. I wondered how widespread that was and if we’d be sending the wrong message.

When we pulled up to the little chapel near Hotshot the only cars there were the hearse, a dark sedan with clergy tags and the other limo. Jason climbed out first and held his hand down to help me which surprised me a little. I spotted Calvin walking our way as I emerged. The kids were followed by Alcide then Eric, shocking Calvin but not enough. Right in front of the kids, Calvin pulled his fist back and punched him in the jaw knocking him back into me. Eric blurred his way in between the two of them.

“Mister Norris, this is not the time or place.” Calvin was making an attempt to get around Eric in vain.

“I just got a phone call. That son of a bitch was out on the town with some red head last night! He can’t even keep it in his pants long enough to put them in the ground!” Calvin’s eyes had changed and were flooded with angry tears but Eric kept his calm.

“Mister Norris, your friend would have done well to also tell you that in addition to the pretty redhead he saw Jason with, there were also two children and they were seeing a g-rated film.” I was checking Jason’s jaw and it was already bruising and his lip was split. Eric was doing a wonderful job at peace keeper and I let him have at it. I was too angry at Calvin at the moment to stay as calm as Eric was. “My children have been of great comfort to him these past few days as I am sure you can understand. Sookie and I had business last night that was quite boring and Jason took the children to the movies with our governess.”

Calvin’s eyes cooled and the rage on his face was quickly replaced with chagrin. He backed down and Eric immediately held out his hand. “I am very sorry for your loss; I know she was like your own.”

Calvin regarded him for a moment and took Eric’s hand to shake it, then offered his hand to Jason who complied. Calvin did his best to apologize with his eyes. God forbid a man say out loud that he was wrong. Hunter had jumped into my arms and Manen into Alcide’s. Calvin’s hand eventually made its way to Alcide’s and he only looked at me and he was welcome to just ‘be that way’.

The unseemly display was over before another car pulled up and we chose to stay by the car calming the kids down for a while.

Eric looked at Jason’s lip. “Jason, you should let your sister tend to that for you.”

“It’s ok. I deserve it. I did some really shi… awful stuff while we were together. It just caught up to me.” I used my free arm to reach around my brother and hug his neck.

**

After a while I took his hand. “Jason, are you ready? It’s about time for us to go in.”

He nodded.

I held his hand as we headed into the church and we made it most of the way to the front pew reserved for him when Jason noticed that with the framed enlargement of Crystal’s graduation photo. There was also a magnification of the strip of ultrasound photos. He stopped dead as tears exploded from his baby blue eyes. I mentally declared this an OSM and couldn’t think of what to do.

Eric stepped forward and put his arm around Jason’s shoulder. “Don’t worry brother, we’ve got you.”

Eric helped to get him the rest of the way to our bench and sat down. He offered to adjust the photo, but Jason told him not to worry about it.

It was a closed casket and there was a short service. Eric reached his arm over to give Jason’s shoulder the occasional squeeze of manly support. It distracted him into a different train of thought a couple of times. He thought about what he had heard of Eric the Northman. That it was probably all ‘BS’ since he had never seen Eric be anything other than what him and Gran had always hoped I’d find in a husband. He also thought that I must not have told Eric much about him otherwise Eric wouldn’t be this nice to him.

During the service I found myself confounded that a person’s moral fiber always seemed to be elevated by their death. A cousin had sung ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ and two friends spoke of Crystal as though she were the Virgin Mary. I know that it would be tactless to stand in a house of God and call Crystal a trashy, mattress jumping harlot who flirted with other men at her own wedding. If I were planning on dying I would want Jason to call me a stubborn horse’s ass for my eulogy. I would want my loved ones to talk about the fact that I enjoy sex and a 12 year scotch and spending time with my kids and cooking family recipes and that I’ve taken lives and saved them. I’d want my service to be an honest one. But none of that matters anyway. Vampires don’t get funerals.

As we followed the pall bearers carrying her casket through the side door to the small cemetery we recited the Lord’s Prayer. Then everyone dropped a handful of dirt on the casket a plump woman sang Amazing Grace and, finally, it was over.

**

Jason stood at the grave for a while but we gave him his space and went over to wait by the car. Eventually everyone but the two limos had left. I started towards Jason and Eric stopped me and went in my place. After a minute or two Eric sent to me that I should make our apologies to Calvin because Jason didn’t ‘wish to receive’ so I had the driver open the trunk and I took the soup and croutons over to Calvin’s car and excused us from the open house. He was still very chilly with me but thanked me for the soup and his car left.

Alcide and I climbed into the car with the kids to get them out of the cool air. We must have been there another half an hour waiting for Jason to budge from his stance.

“Shug? What’s up with that?” He was surprised that Eric was tending to Jason.

“Just imagine the worst, Sweetie.” I didn’t want to tell him anything that Eric would want to keep private. Alcide thought long and hard for a moment and finally blanched.

“You mean…” I had heard his brainstorming and his conclusion. I cut him off with a nod so that he wouldn’t blurt out that Eric lost a wife and child in pretty much the same way.

A few moments later Jason and Eric started towards the car. Eric slid in close to me, grabbing my hand and once Jason was in he called the driver to give him his address. Eric sent that we were going to go get some of Jason’s things to save him the trip. I gave his hand a little squeeze to thank him for helping Jason through everything.

**

We slowly poured into the house after the emotionally draining morning. The kids ran to get changed and the four adults parked our sad asses at the kitchen table and moped until I’d had enough.
I went to the cabinet and grabbed three glasses and filled them with ice and grabbed the bottle of good stuff and a true blood. I took it to the table and poured without sitting. I held my glass up and waited for the guys to join me. Then, I toasted:

“Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.”

The guys all gave me a gentle smile, clinked glasses together and drank. I refreshed the scotches and then sat down, reclined back in my chair and crossed my legs.

After a few quiet moments I decided to passively declare our entry into the last stage of grief: acceptance.

“Jason, you should take the green bedroom. It’s halfway down the hall.”

“Thanks sis. Sounds good.”

“I guess you need to be briefed too… Since I’m not sure what’s been covered for you, I’m just going to give it all to you in one big pill, Alright?”

“Sure. I guess.”

I gave him a nod and went about it. “Because of the power shift, Eric is the Vampire King of Louisiana and Arkansas. Alcide and I are Justices on the Supernatural Council; it’s kind of like being Judges on the Supreme Court for Supes. The royalty aspect is why there’s so much security. Right now, it’s doubled because of who our company is but it’s going to stay in place. I need to get dressed down and head to Fangtasia to check on things in a little bit. Tonight Pam, Alcide, Eric and I have a thing with the kings so you can hang out with the kids or out in the camp. Our company leaves Thursday AM and Alcide’s sister will get here with Tommy that afternoon for her visit. Friday AM we have different construction projects starting. Friday PM Eric and I have plans. We’ve been pretty busy around here this last week and it’ll keep up for another couple of weeks, but it’s pretty easy to get used to. At the end of next week Alcide and I have a thing in Boston for a few days, the beginning of February is the grand reopening of Fangtasia and, the whole lot of us have a week in New York for a wedding, then Mardi Gras and in that time I have to plan our wedding before mid march. Eric, Alcide, did I cover the quarter?”

“Lover, Pam and I are going to spend 3 days in New Orleans next week. We’ll leave Monday. I’m sorry that I forgot to mention it last night. We need to settle some holdings and issues. The new Sherriff will arrive and hit the ground running Tuesday, hopefully.”

“Oh, alright. Shitty timing, if it weren’t for the construction I’d like to go too. What do you want to do about security?”

“We’ll have Mardi Gras. I’ll take the alternates and Tray has 4 guards down there for me. That will be sufficient.” I nodded.

“Alcide?”

“Sounds like you covered it all to me.”

Jason’s eyes were almost so wide they’d fall out of his head if he leaned forward by the time we were done talking. “Wow, sounds like my hopes for you getting to ‘settle down’ are shot to shit!”

As I stood up, I kissed the top of Jason’s head. “Big brother, settled or not, I’ve never been happier.” I took the last sip of my drink and rinsed my glass. “Well, I’m going to go grab laundry and get changed then I’m going to go track down ‘my boyfriend’ and give him his list of chores before I go to the bar.”

Alcide growled so I stuck my tongue out at him. “Shug, what will your t-shirt today say?”

**

I giggled as I walked out of the room. I went from room to room and collected laundry and then on to my room. I know that Pam couldn’t be woken up but for some reason I still found myself sneaking around in the room, old habits and all. I tidied up a bit and wiped down the counter in the bathroom before I started undressing. I had just gotten my dress off when Eric walked in. He instantly licked his lips and it made me quiver. He smiled slightly and started taking off his clothes and walked towards his closet so I went over to mine and grabbed a jean mini skirt and my dirty shirt. Today’s is white and very thin with red glitter letters and a pair of glittery cherries and said “GOOD GIRLS NEED SPANKINGS TOO”. I planned on wearing my red 20 hole Dr. Marten’s, red leather belt with an enameled wonder woman buckle and red satin push up bra and cheekies. I had grabbed my stuff to take to the bathroom to change and fix my hair. I walked into a wall of naked Viking instead. Just when you think it’s safe to go back into the closet!

“Can I do something for you?” He didn’t answer me; he just smiled and ran out his fangs. His fingers ran up my ribs and grabbed my breasts. I playfully backed up slowly until my back was pressed against the empty wall in the back of the closet. I slowly lifted my knee and slid my stocking clad leg up the outside of his bare thigh and down again. He came in after my neck and licked and teased it with his fangs and slowly worked down my chest, then stomach and once on his knees he relieved me of my panties leaving my garters in place and buried his face between my legs and I instantly grabbed his hair to give me something to keep my balance. I lifted my leg again and threw it over his shoulder. I had given him more access and he was taking full advantage. He plunged his fingers into the wetness his mere approach caused and rhythmically and methodically went into virtuoso mode, playing me like an instrument he’d been playing for all of his thousand years. His fingers curled forward and then moved to press backward and such was the pattern until he removed them to turn me around and stood up. His fingers went right back into action and I soon felt the familiar pressure of his thumb exploring my other entrance; I shuddered in anticipation. He pushed forward and found the sweet spot that gave me another release and then another.

“Lover, you like lollipops, long walks on the beach and… what?” He put a hand between my shoulder blades and leaned in, pressing me into the wall aggressively.

I was so overwhelmed I almost couldn’t manage being flippant. “I can’t remember, Eric. Remind me.” As soon as I said it his hand was gone and without falling out of rhythm he stabbed into me and slammed the lower half of my body into the wall. He drove into me over and over until my orgasms had stretched out and overlapped each other reducing me to tears. I could feel him getting close to his own and I ‘pulled’ at his p-spot and in turn he reached around and his hand went after my clit and he ripped into my shoulder with his fangs as we came together with a flash of light while I glowed like a hot coal. We collapsed into the floor of my closet and didn’t even have the strength to search each other out to cuddle. My heaving breaths were the only thing filling the empty space around us. I felt like I was floating… there was no explanation for what it felt like really. I knew that every part of my body felt renewed, heavy as lead and light as air at the same time.

Finally, I felt his hand on the curve of my hip so I made myself roll to him. I stared into his eyes and appreciated him silently for a while until I had the energy to speak. “That was amazing.”

He lifted his hand to sweep a lock of hair from my face. “Yes, Lover, it was. Thank you.” A few moments passed before he realized that he didn’t tend to the bite on my back. “You should let me tend to the wound.” I sat up so he could get to it. “You healed it already?”

“No, Eric. It isn’t there?”

“It’s gone. Not a hint that it was ever there.” He ran his hand over where the mark should be. “Give me your arm.” I did and he ran his fangs out and ripped into my forearm. He took very little blood but as he removed his mouth we watched the wound heal just as it would if it had been in his skin.

“Oh shit!” We just stared at each other for a second and then he tore a hole into his arm. We were both relieved when it closed itself as it should. I continued to stare at the place on my arm for a bit before it occurred to me what was going on. “Eric! It’s the bond. We’re sharing abilities. That has to be it! The flash of light must be when it happens.”

He stood up and put his hand down for me and I stood to meet him, his gaze. I giggled a little. “If you keep making me come like that you might not need to turn me.” He smiled his Cheshire cat grin and hugged me tightly. “And you’ll be the most powerful vampire ever.”

He chuckled. “We could take over the world. Mwahhahah.” I laughed into his chest before I grabbed my clothes and dragged him to the shower. While we washed up I thought through things a little.

“Eric, if you can do everything I can do, all the Fae magic, and all of your Vampire stuff too, you really would be unstoppable.”

He rolled his eyes slightly. “Granted, it does seem that we are sharing powers or tapping into the same source, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. It could be a progression of your ability.”

I agreed with him as I got out of the shower and toweled off and he did the same.

“How long have you been able to read minds?”

“You’ve known?” The look on his face was priceless. I’d managed to surprise him.

“Not for sure.” I raised an eyebrow at him as I brushed my teeth. “Well?”

He looked very guilt laden so I didn’t push him for keeping the secret since I had my own.“Once or twice after Dallas, it increased after Russell’s, and I nearly went crazy once our bond was permanent. It took me a while after I recovered to harness it. It seemed like the more of my blood you have, the clearer it all became. Only once on a vampire, it was the Arkansas vampire during the trial.”

“I heard him too, but it was the third time for me.”

His head tilted when he learned my dirty little secret. “When were the other times?”

“The night you killed Longshadow, when we made our ‘deal’; I heard you, and then in Dallas when Stan kissed my hand when we met. I caught his birth name, nothing more.”

He looked a bit relieved. I pulled my t-shirt over my head and he chuckled at my t-shirt lustfully. I slipped on a flannel because it was chilly out. I waited for him to be dressed and I grabbed my collection of laundry and went into the kitchen with Eric on my heels.

**

Alcide and Jason were chatting about nothing in particular it seemed.

“Sorry to interrupt. Jason I need you to come here.” He slowly, nay, suspiciously rose and came over to us. “Jason, stand still and just trust me.” I took Eric’s hand and put it on Jason’s bruised jaw.

“Ok, Eric, you know how when you flood the bond with that calm feeling to chill me out, it’s like that. Close your eyes and focus wellness into your hand.” Alcide got up and came over to watch. Eric stood there a little resilient to the idea for a bit and finally closed his eyes and I could feel his determination in the bond. Alcide gasped when Eric’s hand started to glow.

I spoke gently so that I wouldn’t jar his concentration. “You’ll know when to stop. I imagine it as the feeling you get when you know to stop feeding.” After another second, Eric opened his eyes and moved his hand. Jason’s bruise was gone as well as the mark on his lip. I was giddy. I bounced up and down and clapped and didn’t feel the least bit silly doing it.

“Ito ba ay isa sa mga wikang kilala mo?”

His eyes widened. “Ito ay hindi na ginagamit na. Ano ito?”

“Filipino. This is so AWESOME!” He smiled at me with a little more than astonishment on his face.

“Sookie, I’m not sure what this means.”

Alcide was dumbfounded. “Can one of you please tell me what’s going on?”

Eric looked at him for a minute trying to arrange the words that wanted to come out and trying to sugar coat them because my brother was right there. “I told you the other night, when we had sex, there was a flash of light and then I felt no need to go to rest when the sun came up. Well just now the flash happened again and when we were done I went to heal her… marking and it was gone. I bit her arm and we watched it heal by itself like mine would. Sookie had the thought that we might be sharing powers through the bond and that seems to be the case now.”

I held out my hand and created a fire ball. “Try this, all I have to do is picture it, feel it and it’s there.” He tried it, but nothing. “Well there’s one you don’t have yet. How do you move as fast as you do?”

“I just do. I had to learn to control it, not do it. Like your telepathy.”

“Bummer… oh well. Focus on the kids. What are they doing?”

He stared off into space for a second before he laughed. “Hunter is building with legos, looking for a ‘skinny yellow piece’ and Manen is angry at him because she just stepped on one barefoot. It’s like I’m in the room with them.”

Our smiles matched each other in excitement. “That’s my favorite one so far.”

I went to the fridge and grabbed a couple of true bloods for him and held them out. He took them and one at a time guzzled them and then gave me a strange look. “I see what you mean. It really does demand fuel doesn’t it.”

“Yeah… That could be the other shoe. If using the powers increases your hunger too much it could prove to be an issue for me for a while, but I’m adjusting.”

“It could, but now you have extra blood, remember.”

I smiled at him, thinking about how ‘convenient’ my extra blood supply was. I had just noticed everyone’s t-shirts and couldn’t help but laugh! Eric’s was black with white lettering. It said: “DEAR LORD: PROTECT ME FROM YOUR FOLLOWERS”, Alcide’s had a cat on it and read: “I EAT PUSSY LIKE A FAT KID EATS CAKE” and Jason’s had a graphic of a motor home on it and said: “FUCK WITH ME AND YOU FUCK WITH THE WHOLE TRAILER PARK.”

I walked into the laundry room, giggling and shaking my head, and started a load and bagged up the dry cleaning and loaded it into the back of the charger.

When I turned around Eric was standing behind me. “Do you want company when you go?”

I looked up at him and it seemed like he was excited at the idea of running errands during the day. I kissed him on the neck and whispered into his ear. “Only if it’s you.”

**

We walked around for a while before we found Tobin. I made sure that he had done what he was supposed to and knew about the rest and dealt with a couple of unruly guards. As we headed back to the car, I sent to Alcide that we were leaving and we’d be back shortly. We got into the charger and headed to the site.

When we got there, we took a look around and everything was moving along well. The foremen were very proud to show off their achievements after only 2 days. We stopped by the dry cleaner to pick up/drop off and we were done, maybe.

“Eric, do you feel like shopping?”

“What do we need?”

“I was thinking about getting something special to wear tonight.”

“Where are we going?”

I shrugged. “Anywhere is fine, but I want to get Pam a gift after this morning.” I hate the word manipulation, especially when I’m the one doing it. I think I prefer the term ‘handling’.  Not to mention, all I was doing was making him remember what I did to Pam and it worked. I smiled at him and gave him a wink.

So Eric drove us to the boutique that Alcide and I had been to before to get the dress for Angela’s ‘coming out’. When we went in I saw what I wanted right away. There was a rack of Versace being sorted near the service counter. I made a bee line and happily grabbed a couple different dresses in both mine and Pam’s sizes then scuttled to the back dressing room. The choice was easy and I decided that my game could begin.

I called out for Eric who was at the door in a flash. “What can I help you with?”

“Hey love, can you come in here? I need some help.” He stepped into the glorified telephone booth of a dressing room and I was standing there in my red satin push up bra, cheekies and boots. He folded his arms as he does and scanned me slowly.

“What did you need?” I was enjoying the surge of lust in the bond.

I kept up the act and quickly looked over my shoulder. “I’m having zipper trouble.”

He looked over my shoulder and pointed to a dress from the hook on the wall. “This one.”

I reached down and grabbed his zipper and slowly unzipped. “No, Viking. This one.”

He whispered into my ear slowly. “Sookie, are you sure this is a good idea?”

I craned up to meet his ear and whispered, “Are you afraid you can’t be quiet?” I slid my hands up inside his shirt to his nipples and gave them a pinch. He smiled slyly; he knew I was daring him. I slowly unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned his jeans then I turned around and watched him over my shoulder as slipped my thumbs into my panties and started teasing them down painfully slowly. I ‘accidently’ bumped against him as I bent over to finally step out of them and hung them over the hook on the wall as I turned back around. I wrapped a hand around to the back of his neck to encourage him to kiss me and as soon his lips were on mine I reached into his pants and wrapped my hand around his excitement with a squeeze. He moaned into my mouth and his hand found my center to start petting me, surprising my nub with the occasional nudge. The petting grew into domination, forcing silent explosions from me while my hand was still at work encouraging him as he grew closer to his release. I was suddenly turned around and shoved over to lean over the small wooden chair. I complied with a huge smile on my face but when he tried to push into me, I bent my knees to make him nudge my other entrance instead.

He gave my ass a hard slap. “Stop that.” I giggled and then did it again. He slapped me again and I finally gave him what he wanted and tightened around him. He took long patient strokes until I felt like I would vibrate out of my skin. I knew he was paying me back for teasing him earlier and my body loved him all the more for it. Every muscle in my pelvis was clamped down and I started to pitch my hips with his rhythm as he gradually started to pick up speed. My hands walked up the wall to help me stand and wrapped a hand around to dig my nails into his butt and put the other arm around the back of his head grabbing his hair to pull him down to kiss me. He put his hand on my breast, his thumb teasing my nipple ring. I moaned into his kiss and he instantly started slamming into me squeezing me a little harder. I had to bite my lip to keep from screaming out when we started coming together and Eric was grunting to stifle a growl when we collapsed against the mirror with a loud thud.

**

We chuckled together as we righted ourselves very quickly. One of the shopkeepers knocked on the door. “Is everything ok in there? It sounded like someone fell.”

Eric looked a little concerned but I didn’t miss a beat. I giggled. “I did, but I’m fine. The sole of my boot caught on my skirt when I was dressing and I fell into the wall.” I opened the door and walked out with the two dresses I was going to get. “Thanks for checking on me though. That goon just laughed at me.” I snorted as I thumped his chest. The woman was none the wiser as I went to look at the shoe department and found shoes for Pam and I to match our dresses for tonight.

The woman who checked us out had remembered me being with Alcide and gave me a dirty look but told us what a cute couple we were anyway and when we got to the car I leaned over and gave him a proper kiss and thanked him.

He looked at me for a second. “No Lover, I’m the grateful one.”

I giggled at that, “We are a cute couple though, aren’t we?” He chuckled as he started the car and argued that we were a lot of things but cute wasn’t one of them. On the way home we tried to guess about Russell’s surprise and talked about some sightseeing options for when we go to New York. We also noticed that we spent nearly 2 hours ‘shopping’ and hoped everything is alright at the house.

**

When we pulled up and stopped the car we heard a ruckus coming from the camp so we ran around back worried that there was something wrong. After all, this is me we’re talking about. When Eric and I got to where all of the commotion was coming from we found ourselves standing at the edge of an obstacle course and there were 2 dozen men standing around it yelling and whooping and cheering for Manen and Hunter as they rode through the track racing neck and neck. We spotted Jason and Alcide and made our way over to them.

“I leave you two alone for a couple of hours and look at the trouble you get into!” I was yelling because of the noise from the hollering, not because I was angry.

Alcide put his arm around me as he explained without taking his eyes off of the kids. “Jason and I took the rugrats for a ride on the ATVs and he suggested Power Wheels. So we tracked some down online and went and bought one for each of them.”

Jason helped the story along. “Dozer and Tray got some guys to put the track together and when we got back just a few minutes ago it was done.”

The track was outlined by landscaping timbers from the barn and the volunteers had gone into the woods and collected large branches and made a couple small ramps out of sheets of plywood I don’t remember seeing around. They had used the cones from the football field to do a zigzag obstacle and pegged a plastic tarp down and wet it down as a water element.

I laughed. “This is brilliant! They are so happy!”

We stood there watching the kids enjoy themselves for nearly half an hour before their batteries were almost too spent to make it to the porch to park them. They were so excited that they were, I guess you could call it, buzzing with energy. They bounced up into mine and Eric’s arms and breathlessly told us all about the thrilling time they’d had. When they were done Eric took them up to help them clean up for dinner and I went to the car to grab the dry cleaning and the bag from the boutique.

Alcide looked at with interest and held his hand out. “Whatcha get?”

I shrugged and handed it to him. “It’s something pretty for Pam and I to wear tonight.”

He reached into the bag and held up each dress and then the shoes, nodding approvingly. “Nice! We’ll enjoy the view.” I gave him a kiss as I took the bag from him, heading upstairs to deliver the clothing and get changed.

**

When I got to my room I noticed that Pam wasn’t in the same position that she was in when Eric and I left her earlier. I ran to the top of the stairs and shouted for him and Alcide. He used his vampire speed to meet me.

“Eric! Go into the room and see if you smell anyone but us.” He gave me an inquisitive look as he did as I asked and I waited outside the room where Alcide joined me.

Eric came out with a confused look on his face. “Sookie our room hasn’t been entered by anyone but the 4 of us. What’s going on?”

“She moved.”

“No, that’s impossible. Sookie, we die during the day. It’s like the part of our brains that controls our body completely shuts off. You saw her in the sun in Rhodes. We don’t have any reason to believe…”

“Eric when we walked out of that room earlier, she was on her back on my side of the bed. Now she is on her side, in the middle.” Eric and Alcide’s eyes grew and their eyebrows flew up. I grabbed Alcide’s wrist and it was only 4:00. “Has she ever raised this far from sunset before?”

He was thoughtful for a moment before he shook his head. I grabbed their wrists and towed them into the room and stood over her for a minute.

“Is she ticklish?”

Both of them answered. “Only her sides.” I laughed to myself that both of them knew that and I’m not sure why. I pulled the sheet back to the foot of the bed. I ran my fingers down her side and she twitched. I did it again and I got a slightly stronger reaction so I wiggled my fingers against her side and she giggled under her breath until I became more persistent. Suddenly she rolled over and grabbed my wrist.

“Sookie? What’s going on?” She was confused but completely coherent.

I didn’t know where to start. “Alcide, could you open that door please?” He went to the first door in the vapor lock and opened it all the way and then stepped up to the second and watched Pam as he slowly cracked the door the hallway wasn’t open to direct light but indirect light can still cause some discomfort. I could feel her panic slightly and I held her hand when Eric stepped out of the way of the glow coming from the house beyond the threshold but within seconds she was basking in, albeit diffused, but sunlight never the less. She got up off the bed taking the bed sheet with her and walked to the door as I followed her. She wrapped the linens under her arms and stepped out into the hallway and to the catwalk that passes over the kitchen into the direct beams and stared out the windows opposite us at the clear blue sky. She stood stock still and wept crimson tears in silentce for a long while.

I put my hand on her bare shoulder. “Pam, honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” But before I could finish her arms were wrapped around me and her face was buried in my neck. She quietly thanked me over and over before I led her back into the bedroom. Alcide turned on the lights and Eric ran a wash cloth under the water so that I could clean up her face. We had left the door open without thinking of it but the four of us snuggled quietly around her on the bed. She was starting to come back while we started to talk through a few theories and figured that since she was so close to us when the ‘incident’ occurred and had a bond with Eric already, that must have been why she was effected.

Alcide asked: “So have you figured out what causes it?”

I answered him. “Not yet, but I’m sure there is a recipe.”

Eric corrected me. “The only common denominator for all three times has been alcohol, either recent or excessive. The first 2 times it happened there was Fae blood as a factor.” We sat quietly for a moment before Eric spoke again. He patted Alcide on the shoulder. “Why don’t we go check on the kids and discuss this further while the girls get ready.” They walked out of the room and I stood and grabbed Pam’s hands and gave her a tug. “Not that a dress measures up to being a daywalker but I got a present for you while we were out today.” I pointed to the closet door where our dresses were hanging.

Her eyes lit up and she screeched “Versace!” She wrapped her arms around me and lifted me.

I giggled and pointed to the shoe boxes on the settee. “Tan Michael Coors pumps. We’ll match. My dress is pink. I bought tan cashmere wraps too.” When she finally put me down, she dropped the sheet and we held hands walking to the bathroom. I stripped and joined her in the tub and we sat and talked while we washed. We were having so much fun that we decided to drain the tub and refill it to soak. I even lit the candles and turned off the lights while we relaxed.

**

Suddenly, we broke the silence and spoke in unison. “Eric is coming.” We looked at each other and grinned. We heard the doors open and then the room was very full. Alcide and Eric stood over us, arms folded and speechless.”

Since they were staring, I delivered some sass.“Rude. Knock much?”

Eric ignored that. “The kids are napping and we are bored.”

Pam was busy smiling and laughing to herself so I was left to come up with a retort. “Well, this one is occupied; find somewhere else for you two to take a bath.” Pam choked back a laugh.

Eric and Alcide looked at each other from the corners of their eyes.

Alcide was getting impatient. “What’s taking you two so long?”

We both giggled wickedly. I went with a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice. “Every time we get clean, we get dirty again.”

Alcide’s mouth fell open. But Eric reeled it in. “She’s teasing. I’d have known if they were doing anything interesting up here.”

“Fine then, party pooper. Be that way.” I stood up, wrapped a towel around myself and went out to the bedroom to get dressed. I grabbed my underwear and stepped into them while I walked to my closet and put on a pink, black and white plaid pleated mini skirt that didn’t cover much at all. I’ve seen wider scarves. I took the shirt I was going to wear into the bathroom (topless) and took the scissors out of the drawer to perform surgery on it (“IT”S NOT GOING TO LICK ITSELF”) to make it a halter top. Pam was standing to get out and noticed what I was doing and watched me and asked me to help her do the same to hers.

When I gave her a nod, she zipped in her towel to her bedroom and came back seconds later with her outfit and started getting dressed while I put on my new halter top that I rolled up to tie just below my boobs. I helped Pam with her shirt. Hers was grey with a graphic of a rooster and a sucker side by side in red. I finished off my look with white thigh highs and black patent leather high heel mary janes and pulled my hair into pig tails. Eric had been watching me get dressed with interest. Poor Alcide on the other hand was confused.

His head was telling him that he was afraid for my safety if I went outside like this, but his pants were telling him that dinner would be a lot of fun. Pam and I were ready at the same time. It was about 5:30 and Tobin was just about back with dinner.

“Well boys, what do you think?” I pivoted quickly so that my skirt would swish and show my underwear a little and then back so that ‘the girls’ would jiggle. I knew I was teasing overtly, but that was half the fun.

Alcide, whose brow had been furrowed during my process grumbled. “You look like a hooker.”

“Aww, how sweet. You sure know how to make a girl feel special.” I thumped in the chest on my way out to help Tobin. I hadn’t eaten yet today and was starving.

**

I bounced down the stairs and out to the dining tent. Since Tobin wasn’t back yet, I went to the buses and knocked on each door before I went in. I startled a few half dressed Weres not only by being there but by being dressed as a naughty school girl. I asked everyone I came across if they needed anything or if they had heard any griping about comfort and every single one of those guys would sooner fall on their swords than hurt my feelings by complaining. So, because I’m ‘queen’, I checked their fridges and cabinets and they were low on snacks, toiletries and nearly out of sodas and clean towels. I told them all that I’d be right back, sweetly admonishing them for not saying something.

I grabbed Manny and Curtis and brought them to the garage and pointed out what to take to each bus and set them to work and I grabbed a pair of laundry baskets, to take clean towels to each bus and took the dirties and ran them through the wash. When I was walking back out to the camp I saw Tobin pulling up with dinner.

Eric and Alcide had come outside with Jason and the now awake kids. My men were pretending to be busy while keeping a watchful eye on me so I made sure to bend over more than I needed to just to get their goats. What finally set Alcide off was when he noticed that 2 very able bodied Weres were leaning against the side of the house watching me stretch into the Suburban to get the food trays and carry them to Tobin to set up.

He sent to me instead of causing a scene. “Sookie, I get it. You like teasing us and normally I like it. But I really don’t like the way some of these guys are looking at you. And Hunter… Please. Please, stop.”

I turned to find him and eyed him carefully. He was standing alone in the middle of the clearing with a wide stance, arms folded across his chest and hands balled up in to white knuckled fists. His face was concerned rather than angry. “Come here.” He started over and I saw his jaw clench. I’m pretty sure that he was readying himself for an argument. When he got to me I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him.

He stared into my eyes and quietly asked: “Please.”

I smiled at him. “I guess maybe you are, at least a little bit, the boss of me.”

He smiled back at me enjoying his victory. “Thank you, Shug.” He helped Tobin and I to finish setting up and I went to get the first keg. I ran upstairs and knocked on the kings’ doors.

Stan was in the shower and called for me to come in. I walked in just long enough to tell him that we’d all be in the dining tent when he was ready to come down and to get a hearty laugh out of  my shirt.

When I went to Russell and Bart’s door I heard all kinds of raunchy noises but knocked anyway just for fun. They greeted me from the bed as I stepped in and grinned with a raised eyebrow.

“When you two decide to come up for air you don’t need, we’ll all be out in the camp, so I’ll have your true bloods out there.” They smiled in accord. “What time would you like for us to be ready for our surprise?”

Russell looked at me for a moment, no doubt calculating travel time. “We are to be there at about 8 o’clock, so leaving here at quarter ‘til will do just fine.” We smiled and as I turned to leave, Russell called after me. “Dahlin’, loooove your shirt.” I was laughing as I walked out the door to go fetch Angela for dinner and fill her in on the plans for the evening.

When I walked back outside only about 10 minutes later (and 6pm on the nose) the Weres were gathered around the dining tent so I announced that dinner was served and went to find my family. By the time I found them, Eric and Pam were sitting with the kids while they ate, Bart was with them so I went behind the buffet and grabbed some true bloods for them and  dropped them off for them.

We were having Mexican food; 3 kinds of fajitas, chori pollo, chimichangas, chili rellenos, taco bar and all the fixings. The buffet line was still pretty active so I put myself to work waitressing. I pumped a few beers and then started taking them around to the tables and went back for a repeat or two before the line died down. I sat down at each table and talked to everyone to make sure they had everything they needed, didn’t have any beefs with anyone or anything and knew about the 5am muster. Once I made my plate, I made the announcement about tomorrow’s baseball game and then settled onto Eric and Alcide’s lap to eat.

While I ate, Manen asked me to call Manny over and when I did Manen whispered to me. “Tell him it’s a boy, and he’ll be really fast.” When I gave Manny the message I ‘heard’ loud and clear that he was glad that the baby would be ok and that Were genes would be kinder to him than they were to his girlfriend. She was half and miserable because her genes gave her a hyperactive sense of smell and that turned out to be really unfortunate during morning sickness.

Manny looked at Manen with a tear in his eye. “Thanks, angel. That’s good to hear.” I reached up and gave his hand a friendly squeeze as he turned to leave.

When he looked at me I whispered to him, “She’ll be miserable to go so long but, Happy Cinco de Mayo.” I gave him a wink and patted his butt as he left us.

**

I was finished eating and we chatted for a while before I looked at Alcide’s watch and it was time to get ready. Russell and Bart never came down to join us so I collected my nest to go get ready I grabbed some true bloods to drop off with the happy lovers.

When I knocked I was greeted with a towel clad Bart. He had a delirious smile on his face and made no attempt to hide it and I could hear Russell in the shower.

I giggled at him. “You guys were otherwise engaged and missed dinner.” I held the warm bottles out to him. “Room service.” I didn’t think it was possible but his smile broadened and he hugged me.

“Thank you, Sookie. You have no idea how much this has meant to us. We really needed to see each other.”

“Well, I don’t know what I had to do with it, but you’re welcome sweetie. You guys are welcome to use us as an excuse whenever you feel like it.”

When I left the room I headed to mine to get dressed. Eric was in black dress slacks and a shiny dark grey silk shirt. Pam entered the room right behind me in beige boy shorts and strapless bra with Alcide right behind her wearing dark grey dress slacks and the dark purple dress shirt that I had bought him (and looked really good in it too).

I stripped down and started putting my carnation pink boy shorts and strapless push up. I helped Pam with her zipper and then she helped me with mine. Then we went to the bathroom and did each other’s hair and makeup. We were ready a few minutes early and when we went by the kings’ bedrooms on the way down they were empty so Pam and I went out back to look for them while Eric and Alcide went out front, planning to meet in the middle.

Pam and I stepped down from the portico we were met with a wolf whistle, and then another, a few more and eventually half of the yard was staring at us. It probably didn’t help that Pam and I were holding hands. I was blushing, but Pam was beaming. The good news was that the commotion brought the kings out of hiding. They had been meeting with their security to check on things. It brought Jason and Angela out of the woodwork too, so I let them know that we were leaving.  Pam and I headed to the front of the house to meet our men, kings in tow, to go find our surprise.

**

As we were on our way down the driveway I was sandwiched between Pam and Eric and holding hands with both. Alcide hand was rested between Pam’s knees. The four of us were quite cozy. The 3 kings were eye balling us though, Russell especially.

“Pardon my French, but bull shit.” The nest shared a round of amused looks and let me field the comment.

“Bull shit what, Russell?” I knew ‘what’, but I’ve become fond of making people work for information.

“Bull shit, my dear, about your little ménage au quarte. I don’t buy it, by try as I have, I cannot figure out a reason for the farce.”

“That isn’t because you’re slipping, it’s because there is no farce.”

“Why are you marrying one instead of the other?”

I laughed. “Because marrying them all isn’t legal yet.” Pam laughed out loud and my guys gave me a smile.

Russell was un-amused. Bart thought that it was plausible and Stan was jealous but he smiled because he knew his happiness waiting for him at home. “Do you have a schedule?”

The four of us chuckled and shared a round of looks. “Not officially. There is… intimacy by opportunity.” I looked at them with raised eyebrows, wondering if the interrogation was over. But they were still wondering. “Guys? What’s up? Does it all make any difference in the scheme of things? Keep in mind, before you make a federal case out of our foursome that I am a mind reader, my dear. We could talk all night about what I’ve gotten out of the minds of your staff and pets.”

Russell rolled his eyes at the goofy grin that Bart gave him agreeing with me. “I suppose it makes no difference. Am I to understand that this is your wedding party as well?”

Eric laughed as he finally joined the conversation. “Who better? But don’t forget our flower girl and ring bearer.”

“Russell, it’s driving me crazy. Where are we going?” I needed to change the subject.

Russell just smiled at me. “Bart and I are going to live vicariously through you.”

After a just another minute we pulled off of the road and traveled up the long driveway. When we stopped I looked out the window. “Is this Midyette Plantation?”

Russell looked surprised. “You know it?”

Alcide was impressed. “Most anyone who grew up around here does. Byron Midyette was infamous during the civil war; a local hero. I came here for a field trip in 10th grade.”

**

The tour guide met us at the door and gave Russell a deep nod and called him ‘majesty’.  He showed us straight through the foyer and out to the back terrace where my breath was taken away.
Russell came over to me and took my hand. “Sookie, I humbly present to you our wedding gift.”

I was looking over the railing of the terrace at hundreds of white chairs set into rows with coral rose topiaries at the ends of each and a white carpet running up the middle. Off to the side of the terrace was a huge sunken patio framed by azalea bushes with no less than 50 tables set on it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was beautiful and it left me speechless. I didn’t need to ask Eric if this was ok with him because his awe and excitement in the bond were some of the things making it so hard for me to put words together.

I think my silence was making Russell nervous so he started rambling. “Now, the dance floor will go over there and the cake will be set here and the…”

I wanted to end his misery, Eric wasn’t betraying himself with excitement. Typical male. I did the only thing I could think of. I launched myself at Russell, Bart and Stan and squeezed them as tightly as I could. After a moment, I finally pulled myself together. “This is beautiful. I can’t believe this. You’ve already done so much for us. How could we ever repay you? You’re wonderful to do this!”

Eric came over and wrapped his arm around me and thanked them in his faux unaffected way. It made me want to pinch him.

Bart was very happy to see that we were excited. There had been a table set off to the side that Stan showed us to it so that we could approve of the place setting. They had found (had made) Padparadscha colored taffeta tablecloths, and set the table with gold chargers and goblets with white china that had a delicate gold filigree band and gold flatware. They had booked the photographer, a string quartet, a DJ, a bartender and a caterer to do tapas since it would be an evening wedding.

Russell gave us the low down on our contribution. “You need to take care of your invitations, your attire, your flowers, your cake and getting here. The other kings and queens will be bringing extra security with us so that won’t be a concern either.” I was so swept up, I’m pretty sure I hugged them all more than once.

The tour guide rejoined us and gave us a tour of the bridal and groom’s suites. We were only there for an hour or so and I didn’t want to leave.

**

We very excitedly talked about the wedding plans and I described the dress and the 7 of us were still happily chattering about our plans all the way home in the limo and all the way into the kitchen. I grabbed true bloods for the 5 vampires and I grabbed a couple of glasses and a bottle of scotch. We continued our happy chatter long enough for Jason and Angela to join us and we were starting to discuss which movie to watch…

Suddenly there was a pop and I found myself wrapped in Claudine’s arms.

I jumped in spite of her grip on me. “Claudine!” She blanched when she looked around the room and saw how many Vampires were in the room. She jumped behind me using me for cover. “Settle down. I’ll keep them back. Everyone this is my friend Claudine. What’s wrong? I tried getting in touch with you but Claude wasn’t very helpful.”

“Nothing is wrong, necessarily.”

“Claudine, if everything is ok then what are you up to that you popped into a vampire nest… into a room with 6 vampire in it, no less, rubbing your scent all over me in the process?”

She made some shifty eye movements implying the need for privacy.

“Everyone, could you excuse Eric and me for a moment. There seems to be something Fae afoot.”

I took Eric by the hand and led him outside to the middle of the yard.

Claudine still looked nervous.

“Claudine, I have him. He can’t move. What’s up.”

“Ok, I have two messages for you from Grandfather and I don’t have much time so let me cruise through as fast as I can. First, Grandfather spoke to the Fates. He wanted to figure out a way to release you from your bond without angering you by killing the Viking. Don’t make that face.” I was making a face so I stuck my tongue out at her. “He was very unhappy to hear that you two are soul mates. It turns out that over his lifetime Eric has ‘missed’ you several times. Oddly, the Fates aren’t always… well you’ve heard the saying ‘the best laid plans of mice and men…’ yeah, you should see what they’ve managed to mess up.”

She seemed very pleased with herself for giving the message.

“Message number two: Grandfather is anticipating trouble within the Fae realm. He is closing it off as we speak and is very sorry that he cannot come to you himself and very sorry that he does not know when he’ll be able to. Maybe not for years. He regrets not knowing the children very well.” I didn’t want to say anything but I was kind of happy about that. “You’re hard to find when you’re not surrounded by Vampires so you might have already noticed some changes. I was sent at the last minute in spite of the danger, obviously. Grandfather has, I guess you could say, opened the dam on your and Jason’s powers. Fintan had used his magic to make you seem more human. He blocked your supernatural powers, but Grandfather figured it out. Something about your only power being a witch power made him look into why you didn’t have any Fae powers. There’s a lot of info regarding that but unfortunately I don’t have time for it. The most important parts are that you’re still more human than Fae so you can die, but it would take something serious to kill you since you can heal now, you can bestow powers and you have our life span since you’re Fae royalty. And by the way, watch how much you drink- it’s not just a social lubricant, it’s a magical one too.”

Eric broke into the conversation. “Why were you seeing the children?”

“Don’t trust grandfather. He isn’t being truthful, even with me. The children are too vulnerable.”

She bent over and kissed my belly just below my naval to and winked. “Tell Manen and Hunter that I’ll miss them.” Pop. She was gone.

**

I stood there and stared at Eric until remembered to release him. He wrapped his arms around me and when he touched me, I had a long, powerful vision.

The next ‘real’ thing I remember was Eric standing in front of me with his hands on my shoulders. He was terrified.

“What happened?” I was trying to put the words together. “Lover, what happened?”

“Eric, promise me to try not to freak out. I just ‘saw’ a lot and I need to tell you but I need you to stay calm.”

“I’ll try.” I took his hands and laced our fingers together.

“Manen is your daughter.”

“Absolutely, I’ve already talked to Carol about adop…”

“…Her soul, honey. You would have named her Atje after your mother…. And she knows.” His knees buckled slightly. He stared at me as a bloody tear rolled down his face.

“Sookie, are you sure? What did you see?”

“I’m very sure… I saw a lot.” We stared at each other for a while before I said anything else. “I’m starting to think that the Fates like to knit.”

He was still trying to wrap his head around the idea that the daughter he lost over a thousand years ago had been reincarnated. His grip was so tight that it hurt. “Why do you say that?”

“Because Hunter was Pam’s little brother, Michael.”

He chuckled a little as he tried to control his tears. “We knew that there had to be a reason for all of this.”

“There’s one more thing.” Well, there was a lot more things, but only one that I needed to talk to him about at the moment.

“I don’t know if I can take anymore at the moment, Sookie.” He looked into my eyes as I reached up to clear his tear away.

“Then it can wait. Let’s go clean up and pretend to care about the movie.”

**

When we entered the house from the portico, Eric used his vampire speed to go through the door and to our room to clean up. I walked as calmly as I could through the room behind him.

“Majesties, I apologize for the interruption, we’ll only be another moment. Jason, could you go find Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and put it in? Alcide, Pam, we should get into something more comfy and tuck in the kids.”

Once we were in the room I had Alcide unzip my dress and I dumped it on the floor with my shoes and underwear and went into Eric’s closet to get a wife beater and sweats, Pam followed suit and I stood in the doorway and ‘called’ Alcide’s lounge pants and muscle shirt. We were all dressed and ready to go talk to the kids when Eric came out of the bathroom and went right over to Pam and whispered into her ear so low Alcide and I couldn’t hear. She wrapped her arms around him and cried into his chest. She finally went into the bathroom and cleaned her face.

When she came out Eric was wearing sweats and a muscle shirt and we went to the kids’ room. Their eyes sprang open and they sat up and in a blur Eric and Pam were sitting on the beds next to them, hugging the children. Alcide went to enter the room and I put a hand on his stomach to hold him back.

I whispered to him. “This is theirs. Give them a minute.” I was weeping silently. The life of a vampire always seemed so sad to me. I was really proud to witness something that made them both so happy.

He whispered back as he wrapped his arms around me. “What the hell is going on? Shug, I’m lost.”

I almost told him I couldn’t tell him but Eric ‘said’ it was fine. When I told him, he stared at me with astonishment as it sunk in. The two of us stood there and held each other while Eric and Pam reacquainted themselves with their long lost kindred and said goodnight. When they were done Alcide and I went in and said our goodnights. We held hands as we headed downstairs and I broke off to grab 3 pints of ice cream and drinks for everyone.

**

When I entered the den, there was a preview playing and I passed out everyone’s drinks and snacks and we sat the same way as we had the night before. We sat there and let the weirdness of the last hour melt away and the reality of it to sink in under the blanket of ‘dick and fart’ jokes. We laughed at all the right places, but we really just wanted the movie to be over so that we could go to bed and talk.

Even though Stan wanted to talk to us instead of Jason and Angela for a bit, we still managed to get into bed by 1 o’clock. None of us bothered with undressing, none of cared about naked activities tonight. Pam and I in the middle with our man book ends. We were all on our sides and snuggled together closer tonight than we did last night and we laid there quietly trying to string words together in our heads. Eric won the prize for first sentence.

“Lover, you said there was something else.”

She gave my hand a squeeze. “Are you sure? This isn’t little like the earlier news.”

“Lover, I wasn’t at all sure I was ready until you said that.”

I pulled him to the bathroom for some privacy, knowing that this was going to be an uncomfortable conversation.

“Are you sure you’re ready for it? It’s been a big day.”

He nodded his head and wrapped his arms around me and I took a deep breath and promised myself that I wouldn’t cry.

“I’m sorry to drop this on you. You know I didn’t plan this. I didn’t think it was possible. I’m pregnant.”

He backed away from me with a shove like I was poison. I was waiting and I could feel that he was furious, but it was written all over his face to boot. “Sookie, I need you to explain how this happened.” I could tell, I had known before we ever came inside, that he would assume I had lied about how far Alcide and I had gone with our flirtation.

“The vision I had didn’t help me much in that department. The best thing I can figure is that it has something to do with the flashes of light.” I was only half way through with that before I realized I needed to hold him still.

He growled, “Release me. NOW!”

I shook my head and tried to stay calm in spite of the pain in my chest. “I can’t. If I do you won’t listen to me and you’ll do something you’ll regret.”

“What makes you think that I’d regret killing you both for this?” He meant it. With every fiber of his being, he was ready to kill us both.

I held my breath and dove into the deep end. Sink or swim. I put his hand to my throat, keeping every other part of his body held in place. “Right now, I understand what you’re thinking and why, but Eric, I swear I haven’t lied to you.”

“How the fuck am I supposed to believe that?”

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t given a ‘how to tell a vampire he knocked you up pamphlet’.”

“This isn’t funny. Release me.”

I shook my head slightly. “No.”

“You can’t hold me here forever.”

“I don’t plan to. If you kill me, you’re free to leave. If you think I’d lie to you about this, Eric, after everything we’ve gone through, then I want you to. I know you can. You can snap my neck like a tooth pick or if you’re angry enough, you can give my throat slow pressure and watch the light behind my eyes dim.”

“You’re right about that.” He’d never been more serious, but I still hadn’t gotten scared. What was scaring me was how much I meant what I said.

I felt a lot of things, fear could have been mixed in, but it was smothered by hurt. For more than a year, I’d toyed with him and hurt him. He really didn’t have anything but the last two weeks to go on. I probably wouldn’t trust me in his shoes. “Eric, please. I couldn’t stand it if you thought that little of me. Kill me if you don’t trust me.”

He shook his head slowly. “It’s not possible.”

“I warned you.”

“Sookie, you’re sure?”

“There’s more. It’s twins. They’ll both have strong Fae gifts like me. They’ll both have blonde hair and blue eyes and turn into white wolves…”

He shook his head in disbelief and was near a whisper. “That’s not possible.”

I raised an eyebrow at him. “Do you mean that I’m pregnant at all or that the fates sense of humor proves that you’re the ‘sire’?”

I can’t!”

“Eric, are you really going to try to a take a trip to impossible with me? I am a Cobb Salad of supernatural powers. You and Pam are daywalkers, if I can bring 2 vampires back to life for days then why would it be a leap to think I could wake up your DNA? I don’t know how, but it seems that it is possible, whether I’m ready for it or not.” I wasn’t even trying to hide how conflicted I was over the news.

He stood in front of me locked down so tight he may as well have been in downtime. I unlaced our hands and wrapped my arms around his waist and he remained still. I thought about it and I figured I’d try to convince him by showing him what I had ‘seen’. I projected part of the vision to him. The eight of us in our yard at night, Pam and I with huge smiles on our faces. Eric taking to the sky with the beautiful tween that Manen will grow into. Alcide in the yard with 5 year old Erika and Dagny, and Hunter on an ATV. All of them laughing and playing just before they change into breathtaking white wolves and running into the trees. Not only will the twins be perfect and healthy but they will be part Fae and have the powers that go with it just like Manen.

“Eric, I’m sorry. I had no idea. If… I… I never meant to…”

He quieted my rambling by putting a finger to my lips. “Sookie, I don’t know what to say. I never expected…” He wrapped his arms around me, kissing my forehead and holding me tight. I was excited and terrified at the same time and as the old timers would say, I didn’t know whether to shit or go blind. I still hadn’t come to terms with my wants and fears regarding having children and now I have a finite amount of time to make my peace with it.

“How did you know?”

“Intuition I guess. When you told me what your mother and wives went through, it rang a bell. Our conversation last night darned a lot of holes for me.”

“But you didn’t say anything.”

“Neither did you. You weren’t ready.” I looked up at him. “We’re going to spend hundreds of years together. Would you have ever told me?”

“I hadn’t thought of being Were in years. I never spoke to anyone about it. I’m not even sure if my maker knew.” His tone became wry. “My father would be ecstatic over this. All he cared about was breeding.”

“Well then, I’m happy to hear Tijs would approve, but Fijtje and Oma would be happy for you.”

He raised his eyebrow at me. “Where did you get those names?”

I smiled up at him. “From what I saw earlier.”

He scowled at me. “What did you see?”

I snorted at a few things that had run through the back of my mind from the ‘vision’. “That based on naming traditions back then…  you’re really lucky that your grandfather lived until the week after you were named. Otherwise you’d have had a hard time contemporizing ‘Leendert’. Arie was a lot easier, I suppose.” I was smirking at him.

He smiled at me as he pushed my face into his chest to shush me. “I hated that name. My family had come from Friesland to Sweden only a couple of generations before but they held onto the old names.” I laughed into his chest. He was still smiling as he went to the sink and started cleaning the tears from his face. “Do you want to wait to tell everyone?”

I laughed. “I want to wait until after the wedding, if you don’t mind. Except for those two.”

“Should we tell them now?”

“We already did.” Then I slapped the door. Eric and I laughed as Pam and Alcide complained.

**

The moment I opened the door, Pam was in my face and walking backwards as we climbed back into bed. “Can I throw the baby shower?”

“No.” I hugged her neck. I had every intention of sharing this with her. These babies, to me, were just as much hers as they were mine. “Of course you can’t, Mummy. Mother’s don’t throw their own showers.”

She stared at me and I watched her eyes rim with blood. “Damn it, Sookie.” She darted off the bed and into the bathroom to hide her tears. When she came out, refreshed, she gave me the most grateful hug I’d ever gotten.

Eric was on his side against me, Pam on the other side holding my hand and Alcide arm was draped over Pam and holding my other hand. I fell to sleep shortly after we got comfortable. I was listening to them all chatter about everything and very happily let go.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 28

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    that was a beautiful chapter I know Sookie is your main POV but i feel she tells it best sometimes, especially all the girly things. my best Kristie

  2. jennifer says:

    I love Pam! Any chance we can have more Pam in the revision?

  3. loveallsvmtb says:

    Just beautiful. love it.

  4. love how this is turning out! x

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