Monday, January 18th…
My first stop was Janice’s room.
I knocked on the door and heard a lot of shuffling and a bump or two before she invited me in.
When I stepped in, I could smell how much fun they had last night.
I whispered so that Alcide wouldn’t hear my warning. “Good morning you two. Jason, get your ass in your shower in the next 3 minutes or you’re busted. Alcide’s already getting ready to take you to the shop.”
“Ok sis. Thanks.” Said the closet. Hahaha
I was still laughing on my way downstairs. I started the coffee, dropped 3 steaks into the skillet and started frying eggs and making grits and put the bacon in the oven for the kids. I had just plated the first batch of eggs when I saw Alcide go to Jason’s door and knock. Damn, do I know my guys or what!? When Alcide came down he looked grumpy giving me a kiss good morning. I set his coffee and breakfast down in front of him. “What’s wrong princess? Didn’t sleep well?”
He grumbled. “I didn’t sleep at all.”
I smiled at him on my way to get the hair kit from the bathroom. “When I climbed up to the back of his chair I wrapped my arms around his chest and gave him the Sookie recharge. “That’s better right?”
He turned to look at me with a huge smile on his face. “Much. How do you have so damn much energy? You didn’t sleep either.”
“I ate a bucket of food at about 3 when we came up for air and I’m going for a run as soon as you and Jason head out. I’ll be ready for another long day in no time.” I started brushing his hair out. “Do you mind going to work with a top knot?”
“Cause I like leaving some of it down. It gives me something to pull.”
“Reallllly. In that case, even if I minded, I don’t. ”
It was really chilly out so I heated my hands and ran my fingers through his hair to dry it and massaged his scalp. He moaned a few times as I worked. “So tonight we relax, tomorrow night we go to the Zoo. What are we doing Wednesday night?”
I bounced off of his chair and cracked eggs for Jason’s breakfast and smiled at Alcide. “You don’t have to go, if you don’t want to.”
“What are you up to?”
“Well, it occurred to me that since I’m making the rounds between the Were bar and the Vampire bar, I should…”
“You’re dragging me to Hooligan’s” I smiled at him. “You’re taking me to a Faerie strip club.”
“At least I’m not taking you on ladies night. I said you didn’t have to go if you don’t want to. I can take Febes or Dozer with me. There are some Supes that wouldn’t want to go to Fangtasia or the Zoo for one reason or another. Like last night, Mickey didn’t want to go to the Zoo because he was afraid that someone he knew would know that he lost his girl to a fang.”
“No, I’ll go. I don’t know how much help I’ll be, but I’ll go.”
“I don’t think you’ll be any help at all. Claude’s going to goad me into dancing.”
Alcide took a hard swallow. “Great. Now I don’t know how much help I’ll be for the next 3 days.”
I smiled at him as I plated Jason’s breakfast and set it at his place at the bar. He was just coming down the stairs. “Morning sis, Alcide.” I poured his OJ and set it in front of him and he smiled in appreciation.
Eric came down the stairs and jumped into the conversation. “Family or not, I’ll drain Claude if he even suggests you strip.” He kissed my cheek with a smirk. “Do you think you can prepare some true bloods for Pam to travel with? She isn’t used to the taste of synthetic anymore. We’ve become quite spoiled.”
“Like you weren’t already. Would you be able to keep it cold en route?”
“There is a refrigerator in the limo.”
He smiled at me. “That should do her quite well.”
“I’ll be fine until Thursday.” He winked at me then leaned against the counter. “Jason, I need a favor from you.”
My poor brother looked very perplexed at what a vampire might need him to do. “Sure, what’s up.”
“Janice doesn’t feel comfortable staying here when Alcide and Sookie are in Boston this weekend. I’m worried that she is going to have problems with her husband if she leaves us before he cools off. She is unsure of me and would rebel if Alcide suggests she stay here for another week. Do you think you could convince her?”
“I could go stay with her.” Alcide made it a point to take another bite of his food instead of blurting out: ‘oh no you won’t!’ I was very proud of him for that.
Eric shook his head slightly. “I’m afraid there are too many variables. He knows where Jackson’s house is and Alcide’s. If he comes armed, then you, her and Tommy could get hurt. Even if he thinks to go into her email and get directions to our home, we have the guards to let us know if he has the stones to show up here. After what he did to her, I’d just as soon make her a widow rather than a divorcee, but all roads would point to her brother or beau. You’re both too pretty for jail.” He was smirking. Alcide blew him a kiss.
“Sure, but I’m not a good liar. What should I tell her?”
“I don’t expect you to lie. Tell her just what I said if you choose. I just know she’ll take the request for what it’s worth from you. She’ll think Alcide is just being over protective. She considers you a friend and will know you really are worried for her.”
“You got it. I’ll do my best. I’ll talk to her tonight.”
Eric smiled at Jason before he turned his attention to Alcide. “3 suitcases?”
Alcide snorted. “4. You forgot the shoe case.”
“I don’t know why it surprises me. You should have seen her travel in the days of hoop skirts and petticoats. We used to have to take two carriages everywhere. Once had to evacuate Virginia because of a hurricane and I only let her pack one trunk. She didn’t speak to me for weeks until I went to Williamsburg and bought a seamstress and dozens of silks to replace what she had lost.” We all laughed. “I lost 40 horses, more than 2 dozen slaves, the whole year’s crop and the back half of my house and she mourned the loss of her dresses. Brat.”
I got excited for a minute. “Where did you live in Virginia? Alcide and I will be in Virginia Beach the first week of March.”
He looked melancholy for a minute. “The estate is gone. A blue collar neighborhood is there now. It was right on the Elizabeth River in Princess Anne County. The county doesn’t even exist anymore. PACo was split up years ago to make up 3 different cities. I was there a few years ago. It stinks now. The river has been raped by commerce. I can find it on an online map though, if you want.” I smiled at him on my way to get my laptop. It was never far from my thoughts that he was old, ancient even. But until now, I had no tangible proof that this man in front of me had history. He had lived through so much, most of his life predated pictures and was on foreign soil that there wasn’t anything of his past that I could consider viewable. I was going to drag Alcide out to this place when we visited whether he liked it or not.
When I brought him the laptop he smiled at my curiosity as he showed me the aerial view of what used to be his land. “Where are you staying while you are there?”
“The Cavalier at the oceanfront.”
He chuckled. “You know that place is haunted, yes?” Alcide and I both laughed that he would mention it and he gave us a dirty look. “Is this where the meetings are scheduled?”
“Yes. Why would we care if the place is ‘haunted’. I sleep next to a vampire. Ghost stories aren’t going to scare me.”
“I wouldn’t imagine they would, but the ghosts will bother you. You’ll be a magnet. They won’t let you rest.”
I stared at him, simply shocked. “You’re serious. Eric, I’ve never seen a ghost.”
He nodded. “You’ve not been anywhere with a ghost then, or not realized it. I’m sure that with your new combination of talents, you’ll be a lightning rod. You should stay somewhere at Waterside and just rent a car. It’s all new construction and less likely to be an issue and there is a lot of shopping to be done in Ghent.”
“What harm would it cause for me to stay somewhere with a ghost?”
“They’ll annoy you to tears once they notice you notice them. They’ll think you can help them. That lunatic Edgar Cayce stirred the pot in the area, but what else would you expect from a Faerie. That area is very annoying for Supes. I’m surprised Manning booked it for the session.”
Alcide and I shared a look. He certainly didn’t want to deal with anything extra when we had some quiet time. “Which hotel at Waterside should we stay at?”
Eric seemed pleased that someone considered his concerns. “This one.” He swiveled the laptop to show Alcide. “The blue roof next to it is a mall with several bars and restaurants and the downtown area is good for shopping and it’s only half an hour away from the Cavalier but it’s far enough that it’s unlikely for anything to follow you back.” Alcide nodded and decided to make the reservations.
“With that in mind, I wonder if Manning didn’t have something up his sleeve, plans for me to tend to something, perhaps.”
“It’s possible. I’ll feel better knowing you’ll have some respite though.”
We talked for a few more minutes before Alcide and Jason left for the shop. Eric went back to packing after I gave him a basket of clothes to take to Pam and I went for my run.
I went on my normal tour of the property. I was on my third lap when Jeremy noticed me and did a double take. I had to slow down so that he could catch up with me.
“How far do you run?”
“I run for an hour or so. I lap the property a few times. Then I use the beams in the barn or the jungle gyms for sit ups and pull ups. Why?”
“Back home I ran about 10 miles a few times a week. Does anybody ever run with you?”
I chuckled. “Febes and Dozer did once. They slowed me down enough to not get another invite. Not that they wanted one when I made them look bad.”
“You’re not running that fast. They slowed you down?”
“I slowed down so you could catch up.” I picked up my pace to my usual speed and he kept right up. I was impressed.
He was smiling at me. “I’ve never run with anyone who could keep up with my pace. Want a running partner?”
I smiled back at him. “Sure, that’d make Alcide happy. He worries I push too hard. He’s convinced I’ll keel over.”
“So I gotta ask, are you with the Packmaster or the King?”
“Eric and I are engaged. Alcide and Pam are a pair and we switch off. All four of us are equal parents.”
I just smiled at him. “Do you always run in steel toes and jeans?”
“I run in whatever. I haven’t run but a few times since October when the snow started falling up there.”
“Well then you’ll love it here. I haven’t seen more than a dusting but a couple of times in my life. You might hate the humidity here though. It’s gross in July and August.”
“Do you guys want me around that long?”
I just winked at him and he smiled back. “So, how is the reunion going?”
“Great! Jimmy and Azo were wondering if they should ask you to keep an eye out for the other 2 of us.”
“I already found one. Mickey came to me last night to solve a problem. He’s a mechanic in Haughton. He settled there after he left the Air Force last year. I put his number in my phone.”
“You’re fucking kidding me! How is he?”
“He’s good. I know plenty about him from reading him, but I’ll let him tell you. Christopher will come back from Boston with Alcide and me.”
Jeremy had a goofy smile on his face. “It’s true then, what I’ve heard about you?”
“That depends on what you’ve heard.”
“That you are the ‘Infinite’. That you have unlimited powers and you pretty much run things. I heard you have every vampire in the country eating out of the palm of your hand. Jimmy told me that you dislocated your shoulder and then finished a football game after you had someone pull it into place.”
“You Weres are gossiping bitches. I tell you what! Dozer reduced my shoulder and we still lost the game.”
“Then 2 nights later you pitched 9 innings.”
“With my other arm. My left was dislocated.”
“Still pretty bad ass!”
“You know horses. How hard do you think it would be to find a Friesian or two?”
“Nice subject change. Not hard. Probably find a couple today but it depends on what you’re looking for. You looking for something you can ride, show, breed? What?”
“Riding. Eric looks a little silly on such a small horse and Friesians are what Eric prefers. Do you think we might be able to find one before he gets home on Thursday? Can you handle more on your own?”
“Texas and Arkansas are going to be our best bet. After I clean up I’ll come in and look up some breeders and make some calls. I should know something by this afternoon. You all should get a trailer.”
“Look for one while you’re shopping for the new horses. Just let me know how much. That reminds me though, I need you to come with me when we go out later. You’ll need wheels while you’re here, so Eric arranged for a truck for you.”
He smiled to hide his surprised confusion.
When we got back to the barn I used the ladder (usually I lift myself but I didn’t want to freak the kid out) and started my other exercises and he joined me. He was tired and went back down before I was done but he chatted me up while I finished.
“Damn! Are you sure you’re not Were! How often do you do this?”
“About a quarter but I’m Fae too and I do this as often as I need to recharge.”
“You do this to wake up?”
“Yeah, I never went to sleep last night and only got 2 hours the night before. Doing this for an hour works better than sleeping 8 hours. I’ll be ready to go now.”
He was impressed. “I’m gonna go clean up. I’ll be out in a minute.” He walked away chuckling and shaking his head that he was bested by a girl.
When he was done with his shower, I popped down to stand next to him and we walked back to the house together. Alcide met us half way.
“Hey Beb. Everything go ok getting Jason settled?”
“Yeah. I buddied him with another crew so he could learn the ropes. He’ll stay with them until he catches on.”
“It’s gonna be a good day. Jason will like his new job and I found someone to keep my company on my runs that doesn’t slow me down.”
He kissed my cheek and held my hand while we walked. “That’s good to hear. Did you get word from the tiger?”
“Fucker called me at 4:30. Mommy and sissy are pleased with the crib. He’s shopping for them today before he graces the south with his return.”
Jeremy had been curious. “So that guy was THE Quinn?”
Alcide grumbled. “Yeah, her ex. He showed up yesterday needing a favor. I’m kinda pissed that Landry didn’t shoot first and ask questions later.”
I smiled at him but told him to be nice.
“What? He was a shit heel the last few times you saw him in spite of owing you his life and his Mommy’s.”
“Yeah well, you don’t have to like someone to feel sorry for them.”
He put his arm around my shoulder then he quickly pulled it away. He sucked air across his teeth. “Eww. You are nasty.”
I laughed. “Yes I am, but I feel like I could go for days now. So, it’s worth the nastiness.”
When we got back into the house I went straight to the bathroom and got a quick shower and put on my dress and boots. When I came out Alcide was sitting at the bar with a cup of coffee at his computer and winked at me. Jeremy was already at work on my computer and I went back to work in the kitchen and made breakfast for Janice, Jeremy, Febes, Dozer and Tobin (he slept over again) and more for me.
“Hey Packmaster, you think that you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship with Tobin yet?”
He growled at me. “Not yet.”
“Maybe there’s something I can do to convince you.” I blew him a kiss.
“I’m sure there are a lot of things you can do to try to convince me.” He blew a kiss back.
By the time everyone’s breakfast was ready, Pam and Eric had loaded their bags into the car and Bells, Dale and Marin were waiting out front. They gave everyone their goodbyes and Eric told Alcide not to break me. Nice.
The kids stood in the driveway and waved as they pulled away and then we went back inside so that Manen and Hunter could do their school work and Tobin and I could get started on finding a moving company.
Tobin and Jeremy were side by side at the table working on their tasks and Alcide was at the bar working. I went around and collected laundry and started a load. The construction crew had already checked in and I found myself bored. I decided to entertain myself at Alcide’s expense. I grabbed my phone and texted him.
“how long are u” Then I sent another text. “gonna b?”
He laughed. “long enough” Then he sent another one. “2 get it done.”
I smiled at him and put my hands up, showing him that I gave up.
I sat down on the bar stool next to Alcide and put my feet on his lap while I checked my emails. I was almost done when Tobin came over.
“I found a company that can clear out your house and take it all to storage here in Shreveport for $800 and they can do it on Thursday.”
I smiled. “Book ‘em. I’ll go out to Bon Temps tomorrow then. You hear from Bobby?”
“No. Why would he call me?”
“Because as my PA, you are the point of contact. He’s been told to call you daily for his tasks.”
He smiled. “He’ll love that enough to shit.”
“That’s what I told Eric. Hopefully, he’s on the way to bring me the lease I emailed him for. Is Manny’s girlfriend registered for baby gifts anywhere?”
“How would I know?”
“Because telegraph, telephone, tell a Were.”
“Yeah, but we’re still guys so we only talk about other people, not ourselves. Silly woman.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Could you get it out of him?”
“I’ll call my cousin. She’s friends with the girlfriend.”
“That makes more sense. That way you won’t be in violation of any man-laws.” I winked at him.
He smiled at me as he went to call the movers back and Jeremy came over with the laptop and showed me pictures of 4 horses for sale; all of them were beautiful animals and perfect, in his opinion, for us. We scrolled through the web pages and he talked about their pros and cons but the names were what caught my eye.
“Northern Lights and Laid to Runes, that’s them.”
“You sure? Both of them are yearlings. Not quite two yet.”
“Yeah, Eric and Hunter will help train them.”
Jeremy was excited to get green horses to train. His eyes actually twinkled. “I found a couple of trailers in Shreveport for sale. Both of them are in great shape.”
“Eric would rather pay too much for new than get a great deal on a used one. Are there any local dealerships?”
He nodded on his way back to work. I went and switched over the laundry. It was 9am and I was bored again.
I thought about getting a sucker from the cabinet to toy with Alcide, but I sat and watched him work instead. I wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing, I was just watching his fingers on the keyboard.
I guess I zoned out because the next thing I knew, Alcide’s hand was under my skirt and stroking my knee with his thumb. I smiled at him.
“Welcome back. Where’d you go?”
“Dunno, just zoned out.”
He chuckled. “Jeremy was talking to you. Did you catch any of it?”
“No. I’m sorry, Jeremy. What’s up?”
He chuckled and shook his head. “I talked to the owners of both of the ones you liked. Both are willing to do a COD on Wednesday night.”
“Yay! Cool, set it up.” He smiled and nodded and started dialing again. “Tobin, would you be a sweetie and grab Jeremy a phone and add it to our plan please. If he’s going to be on the phone all the time, it should be on our dime.”
“Sure, I set up the move. They’re gonna go in and pack everything and I’m having them take it all to the warehouse Eric has all of his old stuff stored in.”
“Alcide, are you almost done?”
“Nope.” He closed his laptop. “I am done. Are you still bored?” He waggled his eyebrows at me.
“Well, as soon as Jeremy is off the phone, we need to get your sister out for shopping.”
His hand slid up to my thigh. “But… he is still on the phone.”
“We would take a lot longer than his phone calls.”
“You think so?”
I quickly maneuvered onto his lap. “I’m sure of it.”
“What makes you so sure?”
I hugged his neck and whispered into his ear. “Because, we haven’t even started playing yet.” I nipped his ear before I gave his neck a long, breathy lick.
He put his hands on my hips and ‘adjusted’ me. “What game can we play when we have 3 kids and my sister with us?”
“Whatever we can get away with.” I ‘adjusted’ myself.
“So the name of the game is: Frustration?”
“You can call it that, but the happy ending will be worth it.”
He smiled and gave me a long kiss. “Can I get a preview?”
“What do you have in mind?” I ‘adjusted’ again.
“Hmmm. I have a lot on my mind.”
“I know that.” I grinded against his lap and took the time to give him a longer, hotter kiss. I threw a glamour of me pole dancing on top of it. “How’s that?”
He swallowed while his eyes focused back on mine. “That’ll work. Sookie… Would you really stop me if I took you upstairs right now?”
I looked him in the eyes and even if I couldn’t read his mind, I would know he wasn’t kidding. “No, but I would rather wait until it could be more than a quickie.”
He growled into my neck, knowing that it would make things harder for me. “You don’t play fair.”
I smiled at him so wickedly I might as well have had horns. I was about to pull one of his memories out of his head and play it for him when Janice interrupted. Yay, and Eric wanted her to stay for an extra week.
“Manen just got done reading a story to the boys and from what I can tell, it’s the last of her homework. We’re ready when you are.” At least she didn’t freak out when she walked in and saw me straddling her brother’s lap. Progress.
“We’re just finishing up in here. Just a few more minutes.”
Tobin put his hand in the air like a Horshack from Welcome back Carter. “My cousin texted me the link. She’s registered at Target… for everything.”
I kissed Alcide’s neck as I climbed off of his lap. I looked over Tobin’s shoulder. “It’s all pink.”
Tobin chuckled. “I guess he didn’t tell her yet.”
I scrolled down the list a little. “Oh, good. Look, the travel system she liked is gender neutral. Go ahead and order 2 of those and send them to her please.”
“Is it going to be twins?”
“You have a lot to learn Bubba. One for her car, one for his. That way they don’t have to move the seats back and forth between cars after they’re installed.”
“How do you know all this stuff then?”
“Because I know everything… and in Bon Temps, the high school had a day care. I was an anomaly for not needing a babysitter for graduation.”
“So, you’re the only one who passed the banana test in sex ed, huh?” The guys all chuckled.
“No sex ed in Bon Temps. Ironically, they used the funding for the day care. I didn’t date. I wasn’t exactly popular.”
Jeremy and Tobin both stared at me in disbelief.
“I was fat.”
Alcide cracked me on the ass and tried to explain it to them better. “She was the only Supe in her little BFE. Jason didn’t even have any latent powers, so the necks were too spooked.”
Janice laughed. “But look at her now. Everyone wants a piece of Sookie.”
We were all amused by that.
“I need a good riding lawn mower for Gran’s house. Hoyt’s mama is going to make him cut the grass at the Museo de Compton too.”
Alcide put his hands on my shoulders. “Sears will have what you need. Why don’t we get one on the way out there tomorrow and have Holly meet us at the house when we get the trunks and have her sign the lease, and give her the keys. All in one shot. She can even let in the movers on Thursday.”
I leaned back against him. “See, now that’s a good idea. Ok, then. Tobin, you’re only errands today are getting Jeremy’s cool guy phone and getting a gift card from Home Depot. $1000 should do it. Then you can get back to the books. By the way, don’t sweat the Bay of Pigs. Your Prof wants more about the Revolution in your paper on Castro.”
He looked over his shoulder at me. “Ok. Thanks. Got any advice for my PoliSci paper?”
I giggled. I knew that he was being facetious but I helped him anyway. “If you really are going to go with Marxism, don’t be too critical and make sure you cover Engels well. Your professor is a closet Marxist.” He smiled at me again as he nodded.
Azo and Goose came in the back door and Jeremy held a finger up as he finished his call. “Ok, the one coming from Arkansas will leave in the morning tomorrow and be here around 2 the one coming from Texas will be here around 9 tomorrow night.”
“Yay! That will be a nice surprise for Eric. Will either of them wear a bridle or saddle?”
“They’ll wear them. I’ll need to buy them though.”
“Can you find them here?”
“Yeah, I can stop on the way back.”
I smiled at him and Goose looked down at his kid brother. “You free for lunch?”
Jeremy smiled at him. “Yeah. Guess what.”
Azo and Goose just looked at him.
“Sookie met Mickey last night.”
Alcide elbowed me for not telling him and the brothers jerked their heads to look over at me and waited. “He had a dispute and came to me at Fangtasia. I read him to help me figure things out and saw it. I didn’t tell him but he’ll be at the cookout Friday night.”
They just smiled at me so I kept talking. “You 3 go on to lunch and drop the kid at the dealership. Jeremy just give them your name. They’re expecting you.” I grabbed my purse and went over to him and handed him a wad of cash and a credit card. “The card is for the new tack and the cash is your DLA. Stop at a bank and start an account so that we can start your pay this cycle. K.”
He smiled and jumped up to give me a grateful hug then the brothers were gone. Tobin left shortly after.
Alcide looked at me and gave me narrow eyes. “You didn’t say anything last night.”
“Sweetie, I had other things on my mind last night.”
He smiled at me. “We all did. So what did we need to wait for if he’s going with them?”
“I can only figure Bobby is on his way with the lease. What does Janice need for the house? Where should we start?” I wrapped my arms around him to rest my hands on the back of his shoulders.
Alcide looked a little discontented. “When dad died, we cleared out his house. The family pictures and stuff are boxed up in a spare room, but we donated all of the furniture and appliances and his clothes to charity. The place is empty.”
I pouted my lip out at him. “Well then we should start at the furniture store and then go to Target for her electronics, appliances and accessories and we will have Bobby follow us with the truck to get it all and then do most of the unpacking for her. Yes?”
He half smiled and nodded.
“We can go to the hardware store and buy paint and have Manny and Curtis paint the rooms this week too. That way it won’t feel like a mausoleum. K?”
He nodded again. He was glad that I knew he wasn’t looking forward to going back to his dad’s house. Even though he didn’t have a great relationship with his parents, watching his dad die and the way he died still ate at him. I understood that. I never went back to my parents house after they died until Jason moved in and even then only once in a while. Jason, kept it like a museum, he still had all of the furniture and curtains and it depressed me. After Gran died, I changed things around in the house to make it seem newer. Alcide bent and rested his forehead on my shoulder.
“Alcide, honey, do you want me to take her? You can use work as an excuse to not go.”
He spoke into my neck. “No, I need to suck it up.”
I ran my fingers through his hair to try to relax him. It didn’t seem to help. “Just let me know if you want to tap out. I’ve got your back.”
He squeezed me a little and took a deep breath before he lifted his head to look at me. “I know, Shug. Thanks.”
“Well then, let’s get this over with. Like a band aid, right?”
He half smiled at me again as he let go of me and went to the den to collect everyone.
Just as we were loading everyone into the truck, Bobby pulled up so I went to quickly explain what was going on and get the lease from him. He told me that he’d meet us at the furniture store and we were on our way.
In general the shopping trip was a joyless one. I found myself missing the silly Alcide that wandered off with the kids and loaded the carts down with unnecessary toys. I certainly wouldn’t be taking that for granted again anytime soon. When we were done with the furniture store, Target and the hardware store, Janice announced that Tommy was ready for a nap. She offered to feed the kids lunch so that Alcide and I could go to finish the other errands and we took her up on it. I’m pretty sure she was just as melancholy about the chores at hand as Alcide was and just wanted to call it quits. She was already making sandwiches for the kids when we walked out.
Our first trip was to get lunch. I picked Hooters, causing a much anticipated smirk from him.
I had felt his mood lighten slightly as we were shown to our table.
“Hey Beb, you starting to feel better?” I wanted to hear him say it. I knew he’d feel better with a little talking, but God forbid a man initiate a deep conversation, even Alcide.
“It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It helped that I didn’t have to go to the house yet.”
I put my hand on his thigh and he put his down to hold it. “It won’t as bad as you think. It never is.”
“I know. I guess you know all about it though, huh?”
“Well, not really. I was at Gran’s when my parents died and didn’t go back to my parents house for 10 years, but I was young enough that I wasn’t expected to.”
“What about when Gran died? You had to live there.”
I snorted and took a sip of my beer. “I had to do more than live there.”
“What do you mean?”
“She was killed in the kitchen. I had to clean up after. There was blood everywhere.”
“You’re shittin’ me? Why didn’t the coroner do it?”
I shrugged. “It needed to be done.”
“Still, why didn’t Bill help?”
“I didn’t want him to.” We sat for a minute before I said anything else. “You know what though, I thought about Gran, even pictured her crumpled in the floor every time I walked into the kitchen until it got remodeled after the fire. After that, it didn’t seem like ‘her’ kitchen anymore. It’ll get easier. You just need to start thinking of it as Janice’s house.”
“I promise. It shouldn’t take long at all for her to make it her own.” That cheered him up just enough that he smiled at me a little more.
When our food came I moved to sit across from him in our booth. He looked at me, a little confused, until he heard me unzip my boots under the table and then I put my feet in his lap. He narrowed his eyes at me. “So the games begin, huh?”
I was rubbing my foot along the inside of his thigh. “I did say earlier that we would do whatever we could get away with.”
“Did you glamour Janice into taking the kids?”
“Would you be mad if I did?”
He thought about it for a minute. “No.”
“Then I’ll keep that in mind, but it was her idea.”
He smiled at me briefly before his eyes rolled back and he swallowed air as my foot found its way from his thigh to the front of his pants and back again. I did it through the entire meal. We barely said anything to each other because he was having a tough time seeming calm to the waitress when she checked on us. When it was time to leave, he had me walk in front of him all the way to the truck and once we were there, he hugged me to him and went in for a long kiss before we peeled away from each other.
We did the rest of the errands as quickly as we could and hurried home, hoping that we might be able to catch a private minute or two before nap time ended. Janice’s car wasn’t in the driveway when we got there, so we worried for a minute until we got to the kitchen there was a note on the counter.
“Tommy’s nap was short so I took the kids with me to Dad’s house to look around. I have my cell. –Janie.”
Alcide and I shot each other look and all but ran to the car to unload the groceries and put them away.
When we were done he put me on the counter and attacked me with his hands and mouth, holding our bodies together as tightly as he ever had.
“Alcide. Slow your roll.” He pulled away and put his hands on the counter and hunched over to catch his breath.
It took him a minute to rein himself in. He was still panting. “What are the new rules?”
“Before we were doing…”
“Alcide… what rules?” He caught on.
His eyes flashed . “Anything?”
“Then what are we waiting for? There’s no one here.”
I slithered from my spot on the counter and took him by the hand and started leading him to the extra room next to Angela’s. “We’re not waiting for anything. I just didn’t want to fuck in the kitchen.”
As soon as the door to the hallway was closed behind us he picked me up and carried me the rest of the way to the room, my legs tied around his waist and my fingers were tangled in his hair while I nibbled his collar bone.
Alcide put his knees on the bed and crashed into the middle of it on top of me. I used my grip on his hair to pull our mouths together then let go to start pulling his shirt off over his head. While he chewed at my neck I unzipped my boots and kicked them off into the unknown before he rolled us over for me to be on top. My dress had gotten tangled up between us so it was a tug of war to get it off, but once it and my bra were gone, I started chewing and licking his ribs and stomach then down further while I frantically clawed at his belt and jeans to undo them. His hands were tangled in my hair and he was panting when I started pealing his pants away and then I wrapped my lips around him. He moaned and squirmed and panted until he had all he could take and pulled me up for another kiss before rolling us over again. He shed his pants and pulled my panties off me and laid back on top of me in our familiar snuggle position with his weight next to me and one leg between mine. We kissed while we wrestled and clawed at each other, groping at every square inch of one another for a long while.
“Shug, are you sure this is ok?”
I answered him with a smile and rolled us over to sit up and then lowered myself onto him. His eyes shut and his mouth flew open as he dug his fingers into my hips.
His panting sped up. “Don’t tighten down like that.”
I giggled as I threw up the dam. I leaned over to look him in the eyes. “Who’s tightening down?” I started grinding down, moving back and forth then leaned back and put my hands on the bed next to his knees and stared at him as I pushed down onto him. I brought myself to a head a few times before leaning over him and putting my hands on the bed next to his chest to support myself and he wrapped his arms around my waist to hold me close.
“Alcide, do you want to feel what it’s like when I tighten down?”
He tried to laugh but he was breathing too hard. I gradually flexed my muscles around him and his breathing sped up again and he rolled us over and grabbed my wrists and pinned me to the mattress with one hand.
“What are you using?”
“That’s it. Why?”
He eyed me for a moment then lifted himself just enough to put his free hand between us and toyed with my hoop and without moving anything but his hand made me come again and again while he calmed himself down. I was at the end of my rope. I had bitten through my lip a few times and was getting close to my boiling point when he finally released my hands and they flew into his hair and I pulled myself up to kiss him. He put an arm behind my back to support me as he spread his knees between my legs and drove himself deep into my center and pushed harder and harder.
“Sookie, end it.” I dropped the dam expecting him to be done right away, but he kept going strong.
He drove into me and I felt like I was going to have to take a break when I felt a swell and I knew that I was tightening down on him without meaning to and starting to glow. The final muscle flex finished us both off and I grabbed onto him so that he wouldn’t fall back when the blast erupted from me. When it did we crashed into the bed and wrapped ourselves into each other, trembling as we waited out the aftershocks and panting.
When he finally calmed down, he was the first to speak.
“Shug, that was phenomenal!”
“You’re not so bad yourself. That was great.”
“Seriously though, you shouldn’t tighten down like that next time.”
“Seriously though, I wasn’t.”
He gave me the liar-liar-pants-on-fire look and leaned away from me slightly.
“Alcide! Don’t look at me like that. I’m serious.” I put his hand between my legs. “Go ahead.”
He gave me a suspicious look as he slid his middle fingers into me.
“Normal…” I slowly tightened the muscles around his digits and watched his expression go from skepticism to shock. “Clamped down.” Then I relaxed the muscles completely. “Any questions?”
His look got more serious. “Yeah, do we have time for more?”
Before I had the chance to answer, his mouth was on mine and his fingers were pushing for more and we took a few more turns around the bed before we crashed into each other completely spent.
We laid there in a spooning cuddle for a while before I spoke. “So, was it worth the wait?”
“Puddin’, it was worth that and more. You are the best at everything you do, aren’t you?”
I just giggled at the compliment and rolled over to face him. “You got pretty lucky between me and Pam, you’ll never be bored again.”
His eyes rolled and he laid back. “You discussed the new rules with Eric, right?”
“And? What did he say about us being together?”
“Well, that’s a two parter. He’s fine with us being together, but just within the four of us. He is wholly against the idea of us ‘swinging’.”
“Ok. Like I could have the energy for more than you and Pam. What’s the other part?”
“I was wrong about him and Pam. They’ve been friends with benefits for ages.”
“The whole time?”
“Well, sort of. They’ve been together a handful of times over the last decade. They kind of petered out. When he came clean and told me, I think he was expecting me to make him chose between us. It shocked his hair straight when all I told him was not to hide it anymore. Pam too.”
“Have they been together since she and I started seeing each other?”
“After you two met but before you saw each other the second time. And when they were, it was kind of my fault. It was the night we were at the zoo.”
His eyes went wide. “The bond worked that well?”
I cleared my throat. “The marking. It was kind of a bloodlust.”
He gave me ‘way to go, dummy’ look. “You’re sure that’s it?”
“That’s what Eric told me. I can’t help but believe him since, according to the time frame, he and I were already talking about the wedding. I don’t think he would lie about the timing and not make sure the lie would prevent a possible fallout.”
“And you’re sure that us having sex won’t be a problem for them?”
I smiled at him and climbed up to lay on his massive chest. “I’m sure. No one is going to kill you.”
He put his hands up to rest on the back of my shoulders. He smiled at me and pulled me down for another kiss and rolled us over. “This is so much fun, I’d be willing to risk it anyway.”
He shifted himself and pulled my knees up to my sides. “Extra innings?”
I did a mental search and groaned. “No. The 4 stooges are in the dining room waiting and Jason, Janice and the kids are all on their way back to the house. We’ll have to wait in the bull pen until the night game.”
His head fell forward and he chuckled into my chest for a stretch before he sat back to offer me a hand. We got dressed and emerged from our little nest.
Febes thought we were on a level playing field when we came out of our hiding place. “Damn, cuz! Y’all stunk up the whole house!”
Alcide, at his age, looked slightly embarrassed. But I wasn’t and I let them know. “Awww, don’t be jealous. You’ll figure out how to turn your little ‘squeeze and squirt’ into a fuck fest eventually.” Her mouth dropped open as Dozer and Jeremy covered their mouths to mute their laughter. Tobin and Alcide even laughed. I was pretty proud of myself for the comeback.
“Now who’s the dirty bird?”
“That’d be me. You’re rubbing off on me.”
Dozer thought he’d join the roast. “You’re not the only one.”
We all laughed again. We probably could have kept going but I decided to cut Febes a break since she was starting to look like she didn’t like that I turned the table on her.
“Ok, Jeremy. You look like you have something to say.”
“Um, first of all… Are you sure you want me driving around in a brand new truck?”
“Why? You can win at bull riding and a Hemi scares you?”
He smiled and shook his head. “K then. I got the tack for the larger horses and the farrier took a look around and says that he’ll come out every few months for trims but everything looks good for them to be barefoot. He’ll come out on Friday to check on the new ones. The guys bringing the new horses will need cashier’s checks for 37.5 for one and 34.2 for the other.”
“Cool. Did you get your account opened?” He nodded and pulled a slip of paper out of his pocket. “K. give that and your driver’s license to Tobin so he can scan those and send them to Bobby for payroll and insurance.”
While Tobin stepped out I asked who was going to be at mess and, it was going to just be Dozer. Jeremy was going over to Azo’s for dinner to meet his niece and nephew and Febes was going out with Tobin. When Kato came back from the office, I shooed Jeremy to go have fun with his family and he hugged me on his way out.
While I started the chicken pot pie, Tobin jumped into conversation like Eric did. Maybe that’s why I always liked the boy. “What do you have up your sleeve?”
“I’m sleeveless.” He narrowed his eyes at me and Alcide chuckled. “Sara.”
“I knew it! When I heard you had him going to the Zoo with you tomorrow night, I knew you were up to something. Isn’t he too young for her?”
I smirked at him. “He turns 20 next month and she started work when she turned 21 in December. I know of bigger age gaps.”
“So what’s up with taking Angela?”
“Just to get her out. She doesn’t know anybody here and the Zoo is more fun than Fangtasia. Plus, she doesn’t like venturing out much.”
He smiled and nodded his approval. “So what’s on the plate for tomorrow?”
“Well, I’m probably jinxing it, but you get to sleep in. Me and Alcide are running out to Bon Temps to meet with my new tenant early. Whenever you roll out of bed, go to the bank for those checks. Call Danielle and make sure she knows to be here from 7 until someone cuts her loose Saturday through Monday. Bobby will call you and all he has tomorrow is having the guys paint. One errand, 2 phone calls then you have the day to yourself.”
“Nice. You got a bunch of packages. I put them in the office. Why do you need Danielle though?”
“Because Alcide and I leave for Boston after the cookout Friday. Someone needs to be here to cook for the kids during the day and be on hand if Eric and Pam need rest, I still don’t trust the day walking thing.”
“I think it’s a waste of money, honestly. Pam and Eric can’t cook, but Jason, Janice and I can. With what you pay for as little as I do, I’ll hang out here and study as back up if all you need is someone to babysit the adults.”
I was fine with the idea so I looked at Alcide for his opinion. He didn’t even look at me. He knew I was going to leave it up to him. He only mildly grumbled. “How do you know how to tend to kids?”
“I have 7 and 5 year old sisters and my mom works nights. I got them ready for school every morning and took care of them all weekend long. They wanna play with y’alls kids by the way.”
Alcide’s eyes narrowed. “So, what is your mom doing with them now that you are here all the time?”
“We have a neighbor who watches the girls once in a while but my Gamma’s Christmas visit went long and doesn’t seem to be close to ending.”
“What are the girls?”
“Nadine and Annabelle are just little girls who think I replaced them with Manen and Hunter. They know about Weres though.”
“Call Eric before you call Danielle. Tell him you think he’s hemorrhaging money and where.”
Tobin smiled and I winked at him behind Alcide’s back.
As Tobin and Febes were on the way out Jason was on the way in. He and Alcide sat and talked about surveying and how much Jason liked the work for a while before Janice came in with the kids. The pot pie was in the oven and I was pretty much off for the night other than dishing out dinner and cleaning up after. So I told Alcide I was going to go to get in the shower and made my exit. When I was all clean, I decided to wear a 3 piece PJ set that Alcide had picked out for me; cami top, lounge pants and a robe in the softest turquoise knit you can imagine. Alcide seemed like he was hypnotized when I walked down the stairs. I was finally convinced that he would be impressed with anything I wore and decided to be not quite as flattered by his reaction to my wardrobe anymore.
We had an uneventful dinner and enjoyed that we didn’t need to hurry out to do anything tonight. After dinner Tommy passed out so I sent Jason and Janice out to a movie. Dozer went out with friends and Angela took the kids to her room to do their lessons and Alcide and I were left to our own devices. I went to the office, he followed me, and discovered that Pio had sent Angela’s estate info (FINALLY!) and I got a few small packages from an online store. I tossed those to Alcide since I bought them for us to watch; Ali G and Crank Yankers. Eric, Alcide and I all got our Regent seals. Remy’s ashes were finally here. There was a package from the lawyers office that handled Bill’s estate. It was the size of the Bon Temps phone book and I decided to deal with it tomorrow so I dropped it on the desk with a thud and grabbed Alcide’s hand and towed him to the den to enjoy some couch surfing.
We hadn’t gotten through our first episode of Ali G before our snuggling got playful. Our hands started out on one another’s knees but slowly started to slide up towards our thighs then further. Before too long we were wrestling on the couch. Tickling and rubbing, groping and kissing. Alcide had pushed my cami up, his mouth was teasing my nipple while his hand found fun further south; I had managed to open his pants so I was stroking and squeezing him with one hand and my other was fisted into his hair. We were to the point of gasping and grunting, considering the short walk to the quiet of a secluded bedroom or even the back porch when Jacob came into the room and faked a throat clearing.
“I beg your pardon Majesties.” He was looking at the ceiling.“I tried to call you another way but it didn’t work for me.”
Alcide and I went still except for pulling my shirt down, our hands still in each other’s pants. “Is there trouble Jacob?”
“No ma’am, Visitors. They say they know you and request… demand audience. They say it’s an emergency.”
“Sam and Arlene Merlotte.” Alcide and I shared confused looks. For a split second we were wondering when they got married until…
We heard a genuine throat clearing. It was Sam. “Sam Merlotte and Arlene Fowler.” I had to push aside the fact that I wanted to pull Jacob’s fangs out by the root for bringing them into the house unannounced because I recognized the tone Sam was using. It was his morose tone. Something had to be seriously wrong, especially for him to be here and with Arlene.
“Jacob, we’ll talk about this later. Show them to the kitchen.”
“Yes ma’am. Sorry ma’am.” He bowed as he left the room. “Right this way.”
I looked at Alcide with a wicked grin. “Can we make them wait until our business is done?”
He flashed a smirk back at me. “Sounds like a plan.”
We jokingly went right back to where we were when we were interrupted and pushed harder and faster on all accounts for a moment until we both heard crying coming from the kitchen. Huge cock block. We both sat up and started righting ourselves. Admittedly an easier task for me than for him since he had something extra to deal with.
I went to the kitchen and straight to the fridge. I hadn’t even looked at them as I opened it to grab beers and iced teas. “Who’s looking after the bar tonight if you’re both here?” I turned around and handed Sam his tea then went to hand Arlene hers.
“I closed up.”
When Arlene took the bottle from me I gasped. “Arlene! What happened to you?” She had been beaten severely. Her arms were bruised and her face looked like she had been kicked in it.
She started sobbing and left Sam to tell the story. “Last night some vampire bitch roughed up Arlene’s new boyfriend’s brother at Fangtasia and broke his arm tossing him out. So Zane and his cronies went to the bar and waited for closing and screwed with a bunch of them at closing time and they killed one. I guess Zane got followed back to Arlene’s place. When they went to go out to dinner tonight, they got ambushed. Zane’s dead, his head was nearly twisted off, Arlene got beat up real bad and the kids got taken.”
“Yeah. She didn’t see where they got to; she got knocked out.”
“Alcide call the bar and see what Clancy knows about the vampire that got killed last night.” I went over to Arlene and put my hands over hers without caring that they were bruised and read her mind.
What I saw was 3 vampire that I didn’t recognize. That wasn’t going to help, neither was the fact that I couldn’t see a car anywhere in her memory. I thought about healing Arlene, but I decided that she deserved every bruise she had since the vampire she got them from gave them to her fending her off after they told her they were just there for Zane. Maybe I was starting to think like a vampire.
Alcide said that Clancy had no idea it happened he left at closing time. Felecia closed up and she didn’t see anything. I went to the kitchen and thought for a minute and I bolted to the liquor cabinet and poured myself an iced tea glass full of Patron.
“Slainte.” I started up ending the glass and got about half way through it before Alcide yanked the glass from me.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
“Claudine told me that it was a magical lubricant. I’m hoping that I can pick something up with a little help.”
“A beer here and there is one thing but…”
“Alcide, there aren’t many options right now. The only person who can ID the vampires involved is 4 hours away and you know damn good and well that there aren’t many reasons 3 angry vampires would have taken 2 little kids. If I don’t get something soon, we could be looking at something ugly.”
He looked at me for a minute. Then growled at me. “Finish then. You throw it up in 10 minutes whether you’ve gotten something or not.”
“Deal.” I knocked back the rest of the drink in a flash and then went back to the office and grabbed a pen and paper and put it down in front of Arlene. “The names and addresses of the humans involved in the vampire’s death, now.”
“Just write you stupid cow. It’s the only fair way to get your kids back.”
Sam objected. “If you give those names to the vampires, they will hunt them down and kill them.”
“Sam! THEY WILL DESERVE IT! Those ass holes killed a vampire just for being a vampire. Pure hate. The vampires have the right to their pound of flesh.”
“They really have sucked you in haven’t they!”
Alcide growled at him and I jumped between the two of them. “Merlotte, you are walking a fine line… You came to me for help… Arlene keep writing.”
“A vampire started it!”
“No they didn’t. Walter started it. Him and his buddies were in Fangtasia last night making life miserable for one of our waitresses so I went to the table and told them to finish their drinks and leave then Walter felt me up. I am the vampire bitch that supposedly roughed him up. Then he grabbed my ass while I was dancing with Alcide and ALCIDE tossed him! Then her dumb shit bigot boyfriend believed his brother’s bull shit half truth about how his arm got broken and went off on a tear and killed an innocent man just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. THAT is a hate crime, my friend, no matter how you slice it. If y’all want Lisa and Coby back, then that list is the fair way to do it! If I don’t get to those kids in time, it will be her burden for needing to fit in somewhere more than wanting to make sense! Now hurry up.”
Arlene was shaking like a leaf during a nor’easter. “I’m done. Zane said there was 5 of them but I only knew 3. Do you think that will be enough?”
“That’s fine because I’m giving them Walter too.”
I went over and instead of grabbing the paper in her hand, I put my hand on either side of her face and threw myself into zeroing in on those kids. “Arlene, no matter what you see, don’t move away.” I stood there and closed my eyes to concentrate. She started to tremble when I started to glow. I heard Alcide softly give me a 2 minute warning while I dug into her brain.
When Alcide called time I pushed a little harder and I could feel him getting closer to me but one of Arlene’s panicked tears touched the back of my hand, opening the floodgates on the information I was looking for and when Alcide picked me up around my waist I held her face fast and he dragged her along with us, without reservation, to the bathroom. I was still holding her when I felt Alcide put his fingers down my throat but I didn’t let go of her until I thought I had enough to get them. When I was done ‘purging’, Alcide was leaning against the counter with my toothbrush already pasted for me. I quickly brushed my teeth to get rid of the putrid taste in my mouth.
Alcide was watching me closely. “Are you angry with me?”
“Shug, I was going to ask you the same thing.”
When I was done rinsing my mouth out I stretched up and kissed his cheek. “I couldn’t love you if you didn’t care so much. We’re good.”
He smiled at me as I darted out of the bathroom.
Sam was beside himself. “Sook, what the hell…”
“Shut up, Sam.” I grabbed the list from the counter. “Be right back.” I popped.
When I ‘landed’ I was in the lobby of the Brickhouse Gym. I had actually thought about getting a membership here, going as far as to take the tour. Pam had told me when I mentioned it, that it was owned by a vampire, frequented by Weres and home to illegal gambling on weekends, so I decided the rec center back home was fine.
I spooked the towel and water girl at the front counter but I shrugged that off. I stood in front of her with my arms crossed over my chest. “I need to speak to Truman.”
Once the initial surprise wore off, she decided to be a snob. “And who might you be?”
“Just tell him Sookie is here.”
“Do you have a last name?”
She stared at me blankly for a minute. “Can I tell him that you are here in your pajamas?”
“Sure. When you tell him what an elitist snit you are being to his superior.”
Her eyes widened as the color drained from her face. She got on the intercom and was ordered to show me up to his office. As I was led through the gym and to the back stairwell, I caught the eyes of several familiar faces and gave a wink to a few of my pack friends. I walked through the gym barefoot like I owned the joint. The second she opened the door to the office 3 vampires knelt and bowed their heads calling me Majesty.
“Truman, Norcom, Maury. Truman you have something that doesn’t belong to you.”
His head flew up and he eye balled me so I took it on myself to dismiss the water girl for him.
He didn’t speak again until see was gone. “Ma’am?”
“Do you have no respect for you king?”
“Of course we do.”
“Then why did you not speak to him before you sought revenge for your fallen friend?”
“We were told that he was out of town and we wanted to act quickly so that those involved would know why.”
“And the children?”
The three of them looked like dogs having a rolled up newspaper shaken at them. “Ma’am, they are unharmed. We wanted to scare those fools. They were going to be returned in the morning.”
“Well, they’re mother is plenty scared, so mission accomplished, but those children are special to me. I want them back now.”
“Of course ma’am.” Truman made a gesture and Maury blurred over to the door and went through it. Lisa and Coby came out and tackled my hips with big smiles on their faces. They had been eating pizza and popcorn by the smell of it and told me that they were watching cartoons.
After I greeted them happily, I turned my attention back to Truman and summoned him to me. “That was poor planning. The king will be told of this, but he will also be told of your cooperation… And thoroughness.” I handed him the list.
When he looked up at me with shock on his face I explained the story and told him to make sure that ‘things’ were taken care of neatly by the time Eric got home on Thursday.
The three of them bowed to me again as I squatted down and hugged the kids to me.
Truman looked down at me. “Ma’am, I will make sure everyone knows of your fairness and generosity.” I smiled at him just as we popped back to the kitchen.
When we landed Arlene released an ear shattering squeal and nearly knocked me over to get to the kids, but they wanted to pop again. Sam just looked like he was going to pass out from having seen me pop… twice.
Alcide stood by the sink so I went over and bounced up to the counter and explained mentally. He chuckled and hugged me close. He was very proud of me and told me as much. I got a ‘call’ from the kids and sent to them that it was ok to come out of Angela’s room.
They came spilling out of the hallway straight over to Lisa and Coby and introduced themselves. I introduced Angela who had blurred her way over to stand by Alcide and me. Sam had even done a double take at how lovely she is and the extra attention made her uneasy enough to hold my hand. Alcide rubbed her back gently on his way to the fridge and came back with a coke for me and a true blood for her. Sam was eyeing her steadily and she was getting more and more uneasy, seeming more like a frightened child. She was the only vampire in the room with vampire haters. She hid herself between Alcide and I and hugged to his waist under his arm. Alcide stroked her shoulder and shushed her. When Jason and Janice came in the door, I explained what Sam and Arlene were doing over. Jason didn’t seem to care about Sam and Arlene because he picked up on Angela’s stress. He gave her a big hug and then scooped her up to carry her to the den to pick a movie and settle down for the night.
Once they were out of the room Sam came over to me and got more close than I was comfortable with; Alcide didn’t like it either, for that matter. “What was up with the vampire being scared of her shadow?”
“She’s not scared of her shadow. She’s scared of humans. She’s only 4 months old and has had a rough time.”
“How rough could a pretty little thing like that have it?”
I looked up and gave him a hard look and resolved not to tell him but Alcide bent down to speak directly into his ear. “Because 2 weeks ago she was gang raped by 3 vampire hating yahoos.”
The color drained out of Sam’s face and he looked stricken, which was exactly Alcide’s intent when he decided to tell him. So I drove it home. “Yeah, nice huh? She was run off the road by a human drunk driver, then a human killed the vampire trying to save her. When she woke up in a refrigerator her human family and friends turned their backs on her.”
Alcide added: “And if it weren’t for that asshole Northman, she’d have nothing and no one.”
In spite of the sorry look on Sam’s face, I giggled and looked up at Alcide. “Febes is about to try to scare me. Watch it.”
Just then, my cousin popped in at my side. “Boo. Cuz.”
Sam, in spite of the warning, nearly jumped out of his skin. When he was breathing again, “Cuz?” is all he could muster.
“Yeah, on my mom’s side. S’up Febes? That wasn’t much of a date, it’s barely 9.”
“Tobin’s mom interrupted it. Gamma’s blood sugar dropped too low after dinner so she needed to go to the hospital. I was bored over there, so I made him bring the girls here for a sleepover. They’re on the way up the drive now.” Alcide and I smiled at her. “Where the fu… fudge did the other munchkins come from?” Alcide chuckled and told her it was a long story. She had been eyeing Sam, funny that it was his turn to be locked down on, now he was getting nervous. It made me laugh to myself.
I started dishing out bowls of leftover pot pie for me, Sam and Arlene and put them in the microwave. Tobin came in and went straight to Alcide to clear the sleepover and Alcide actually smiled at him and gave his arm a slap. When the microwave dinged, I flung a box of ice creams to Manen and they happily went out the back door to play on the playground and eat their ice cream with Febes and Tobin on their tails. So I passed out the bowls and sat on Alcide’s lap to eat mine, feeding Alcide the occasional bite, while I explained what happened with the vampires and that Arlene and the kids needed to stay out of Bon Temps for a few days while everything was taken care of . I was going to glamour her about what happened so that she wouldn’t be an accessory. Alcide had been completely uninterested in the topic since I had already filled him in so he watched the kids playing through the back door and tickled my back while I refueled. Sam was a student of Alcide’s behavior. I caught a few stray thoughts from him about what he had seen tonight and the rumors he’d heard, but what had his attention the most was how close Alcide and I seemed and that if he didn’t ‘get’ me, he was glad another shifter did. Men.
“The Belle Shreveport will be expecting you by the time you get there to check in. You and the kids can get whatever y’all want from room service and pay per view and they have a pool and arcade. I’ll bring by some clothes for y’all tomorrow morning. It’ll be like a vacation for the kids. I’ll make sure the concierge takes care of you. Sam can come get you Thursday morning. Everything should be taken care of by then.”
Arlene had been nodding and had, for once, been listening to me. “Sookie… Thank you. I don’t know what would have happened if Sam hadn’t brought me here. After the things I said and put you through…”
I cut her off. “I know what would have happened. The men who took your kids ordered them a pizza and were going to have them returned in the morning after a trip to IHOP. They had no intentions of harming those kids. The leader took them symbolically because the vampire that was killed was his child. He hoped you would see what being involved with those people could bring to you. For the record, I didn’t do this for you. I did this for them because in spite of you, I still love them. Arlene, you need to realize that vampires are human too. We all are. Some of them are murderous, cold blooded, bastards and some are good and kind and only want to live their lives. Fangs don’t necessarily make them evil. You need to realize that I am surrounded by vampires and the closest I have ever been to death has been at the hands of humans who hated me for being friends with them. You can be afraid all you want, but you have to stop hating. The fellowship is just the new klan.”
“I’m starting to see that.”
“I don’t think you are. Right now your children are outside playing with my kids and hearing all about Manen and Hunter’s Vampire parents. How they get tucked in every night, that Eric and Pam help them with their schoolwork, that they’ve never been happier and they live under a roof with 3 ‘horrible’ vampires. What my kids just told them about vampires undid everything they learned over the past few months at ‘church’. I’m sorry for you that you don’t know that compassion is a much softer blanket to sleep under than fear.” She was crying softly and waited for me to get done educating her. “I have met the scary vampires you have nightmares about. They scare the shit out of me too. I have seen Eric and Pam kill with their bare hands. But you need to realize that when I have nightmares, they’re about humans.”
Alcide had been listening and when I was done, he sat up against me and wrapped his arms around my waist. “Mine are about clowns. Those fuckers are creepy.” We all laughed and I turned to kiss his cheek.
Sam and Arlene were still pulling out of the driveway when I called the hotel about their new check in and made arrangements for them. I was just finishing up as Eric called to check in and find out the source of my earlier ‘angst’ and laughed when I told him how Alcide made me throw up and then again when I told him about the vampires being so terrified of his homecoming.
When I got off the phone, I went over to Alcide where he was standing at the back door watching the kids play.
I hugged his ribs. “Watcha thinkin’?”
He turned around and put his arms around me. “That you were right.”
I smiled up at him. “What was I right about this time?”
“That I’ve been too hard on the kid. You should ask him to live in.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. He’s a good kid. I don’t know why I didn’t like him, but he’s grown on me.”
“I can tell you why.” Similar build, bright green eyes, dark hair, perfect smile… younger.
“Don’t. I don’t need to hear out loud how petty I can be. You should see if he wants to bring his sisters to Disney with us. If his mom works nights when she’s got little ones, it’s because she has to, so it’s probably not something they can afford.”
I chuckled into his chest. “Pussycat.”
He laughed along with me and after a long moment changed the subject. “Do you think they know why I lost it over you drinking?”
“Arlene is an idiot. She thought you were just being controlling. Sam suspects though.”
“Are you going to talk to him about it?”
“Nope. I’m going to let him stew. He thinks it’s yours and that his suspicions will get confirmed when he reads about your untimely death in the paper.”
“I should call the paper and put in my own obit, just to fuck with him. I bet he calls and offers to escort you to the funeral.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
I grabbed an arm load of ice cream and a true blood and we headed to the den, hopefully to stay.
When we got there, Jason was on the couch with his arm over Janice’s shoulder and the other around Angela who was curled up next to his side. Jason tried to put his arm on the back of the couch and look less conspicuous. Alcide wasn’t buying it. “Nice try Stackhouse. I know you’re doing my sister. If you hurt her, you’ll regret it.” Then he ate a scoop of ice cream and put his feet up on the coffee table. Janice smiled and I winked at them.
The five of us sat there and watched the end of Blazing Saddles. We heard the clamor of the 4 kids come in and they all said good night and went to the kids’ room to get put to bed… All of them fast friends. When the movie was over, Jason leaned over to Angela to quietly ask her if she would be ok if he turned in. She wanted him to stay with her so at about 10 the three of them went to her room with another movie.
When they were gone, Alcide gave me a look. “The 3 of them?”
I shook my head. “No, Angela isn’t attracted to Jason. He reminds her of her dad. The three of them have gotten to be good friends though.”
He snorted. “That’s all it took for us.”
“Hmmm, that reminds me… where were we?”
He smirked and his eyes sparkled as I pealed out of my robe and then pulled him down on top of me. I reached down and opened his pants and reached in to grab him and put the other hand in his hair.
I pulled him down for a kiss. “Do you remember where you were?”
He smiled at me as he pulled my cami up and teased my nipple and squeezed the other one. I took his hand and slid it into my pants for him and his fingers went back to work. We had picked up right where we left off. It didn’t take long before we were just as worked up either. I rolled over to face him and threw my leg over his hip to give him more access. We started pawing at each other’s pants, once they were off, we went back into position and he reached between us to guide himself to my entrance and pushed in. I watched his eyes roll back as his mouth dove onto mine and he used a hand full of hair to hold me as he started to push harder and faster. When we finally had to pull away from our kiss to breathe I went after his neck and chest, licking and dragging my teeth against his skin. We were both starting to get close to our finish when Alcide decided to change things up. He rolled me over to spoon behind me and shoved back into me and no sooner than he did he grabbed my throat. It was the beginning of the end for me. It pushed me over the edge so fast that I didn’t see it coming. My muscles tightened down without warning and my arm flew behind me looking for something to grab and latched onto Alcide’s thigh. I was still in the middle of mine when Alcide got his turn. He buried his face in my neck, as much as he could, and growled. There was no crash, we just went limp and laid there perfectly still for a long time.
“Shug, you’re too much.”
I rolled over and threw my arm over him and chuckled. “I think we might not see much of Boston.”
He chuckled. “Lots of room service…”
“Lots of sex. I’m a lucky girl.”
He laughed. “I think I’m the lucky one. After all, I get to see you pole dance.”
“Shit. I guess I’d better study.”
“How do you study for pole dancing?”
I smiled at him. “Search youtube. You can find pole porn all day long.”
“So that’s where you learned your moves.”
I giggled. “Some of them, but Tara and I exchange gag gifts for Christmas and this year she bought me a pole dancing workout video. Amelia let it slip that I was related to Claude.”
“That reminds me, why didn’t he go to the Fae realm when it was closed off.”
I shrugged. “My best guess: he’s an egomaniac. Here he is a super star. There, he’s just another guy.”
“They all look like that?”
“He’s average for there, Claudine too. You should see some of the ones I’ve met.”
“How’d you meet so many? Hooligans?”
“Um. No. Niall sent me a few prospects.”
He eyed me.
I took a deep breath and blew it out. “At first he brought me a few ‘men’ to try and ‘lure’ me away from Eric when I told him that I didn’t want him dead. Then he brought me a couple to ‘breed’ with. He was unhappy that the Fae line was going to stop with me.”
He growled. “How generous.”
“Tell me about it. Claude was one of the prospective sperm banks and the other guy was pissed when he heard I’d rather not have children at all and be with a vampire than sleep with him. Faeries are fucked up.”
He agreed. “Does Eric know?”
“You know, I don’t know. It happened while we were apart, but I did tell Pam. I guess I should make sure. She might not have told him just because he had a ton on his plate already and was worried about me as it was.”
“If it happened while you and Eric were apart, then why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I didn’t want you to feel like you needed to drop everything to come look after me.”
He smiled at me. “You might know me too well.”
I smiled at back. “His tactics were passive anyway. He was watching me so that he did it on nights when we weren’t together.”
“How adamant do you think Niall was about using you to breed Fae?”
“I dunno, but just to be sure when I’m done, I’m getting fixed. He doesn’t have the option to open a factory if there’s no machine.”
He narrowed his eyes at me. “When you’re done? If this was going to be your only pregnancy, you’d have said ‘when they’re born’. How many do you plan on having?”
“It’s not my plan. The vision I had that told me about Dagny and Erika showed me more.”
“How many? How close together? Does Eric know?”
“If I didn’t tell Eric, I’m not telling you either. Knowing takes some of the fun out of it.”
“How far into the future did you see?”
“Near as I can tell, about ten years.”
“And we’re all ok? And we stay together?”
I smiled at him. “You mean the round table?”
He nodded. “Yes. The fantastic four stays together. Happy. Healthy. Ok. Jason and Janice stay together too.”
“That is amazing. That’s a cool power to have.”
“That reminds me.” I put my hands on either side of his neck and looked for the result of this afternoon’s flash of light. “You could end up with it but this time you got Psychometry.”
“What the hell is that?”
“That is why you’re suddenly cool with Tobin. It’s when I just know things about people and stuff. It’s intuition on steroids.”
“How you knew what the Shonks drink and what made you sit next to Mickey instead of Patty.”
“Yup. It’s been pretty helpful.”
“Is it the same thing that makes you a caller ID?”
“Nope. That’s the precognition.” I started getting up. “Come on, I need food before we go for the grand slam. Where’d you throw my pants?” He sat up with me.
“Do you really need them?” He grabbed me by my hips and pulled me backwards onto his lap to start nuzzling my shoulder.
“Yes sir, I do. We aren’t alone in the house.” He wasn’t giving up.
“I know exactly where your pants are. Do you really want them?”
I turned around and gave him a kiss. “I only want to borrow them. You can have them right back after I eat.” He smiled at me as he leaned us over and produced my pants; he had been sitting on them.
We went to the kitchen and I rummaged around until I settled for making grilled clubs. He sat and watched me as I worked.
“You always been so good in the kitchen, or is that new too?”
“Half and half. Gran always made me help in the kitchen, not that I didn’t like it, but her thinking was that I’d never find a husband if I couldn’t feed him.” Alcide started laughing. “Yeah, I know. Ironic since I’m marrying a man that doesn’t eat. But the rest of it is Daemon. I’m a Mimic now too. All I have to do is see something once to know how, like pole dancing and recipes.” I put a sandwich and a beer down in front of him, earning a smile.
We enjoyed a midnight snack with a side of conversation and then we went upstairs having happily refilled our tanks.
Alcide and I settled on one of the guest bedrooms since neither of us felt right sleeping together in the rooms we shared with Pam or Eric. Territory issues. I laughed at him when he told me that him and Pam had used the floor when bunked together while the kings stayed with us.
When the door closed behind Alcide and he turned around I was holding my pants out to him.
He took them from me with a smile but he was shaking his head. “Interest.”
I smiled back at him as I slowly pulled my top off over my head and handed it to him. I grabbed the hem of his shirt and pulled it off over his head and started kissing and licking my way down his chest while I started opening his pants and sliding them down for him to step out. I had nibbled and scraped all the way down to his thigh and instead of standing up, I settled onto my knees and took him into my mouth and ran my fingernails lightly all over whatever I could reach of him. His hands were fisted into my hair and since we were in one of the light tight (and slightly more sound proof) rooms, Alcide was not being shy about how much noise he made. It was kind of flattering. He gave a half hearted attempt to make me stop but I could tell he was enjoying himself so I pushed him right up to his breaking point and then shoved him over the edge.
When he lifted my face to his, he was out of breath and kissed me while he backed me up to the bed to lay me back. He pulled away from our kiss and then worked his way down my body to repay the favor. He pushed my legs up to my sides and buried his mouth into my center and made me come until I cried. When he grabbed my legs and flipped me over, he slid his arms under my thighs and pulled me to my knees and pushed in, one of his hands reached around to toy with my piercing and the other grabbed my throat and yanked me up to slam my back into his chest. I gasped in between moans and yelps and his chest was vibrating under his growling until we started feeling the build up about to spill over. I started glowing so bright the room may as well have had a spot light in it. I barely caught my breath to tell Alcide to hold on before I erupted and we collapsed into the bed. It was the most powerful one I had ever had. We laid upside down on the bed, both breathing like long distance runners and smiling like fools. I rolled onto my stomach and rested my head on the back of my arms to face Alcide.
He draped his heavy arm across the small of my back. “This is bad.”
I was a little shocked. Based on the look on his face he was more than happy about what we’d done. “What? Did I do something wrong?”
He laughed. “No. I was just thinking about how much harder our teases are going to be now that I’ve had all of you.”
I giggled. “I need to practice the duplication power. I’m dying to see what y’all keep going on about.”
Alcide’s eyes looked like dinner plates. “Duplication?!”
“Yeah. I can duplicate myself. I found out on Christmas. I called to tell you but you didn’t pick up, by the time you called back I was at Merlotte’s and couldn’t talk about it. That was the last time I got drunk… I had overslept that morning and I was supposed to make the sweet potato puff for Sam’s little orphan party and I was running late and wished that I could be in two places at once so that I could clean the house and cook at the same time. I nearly had kittens when I passed myself in the hall. I didn’t know what the other me was doing but when we merged back, I remembered every little detail.”
He thought about that long and hard before he said anything. He had a guy moment and glossed over the explanation and gotten hung up on the mental image of me doing me.
“I can read minds you pervert. Haven’t you had enough?”
He scooted closer to me and rubbed my back while he laughed. “No, I can’t say that I have. Why, are you bored with me already?”
“No. How could I be? You’ve been full of surprises today.”
His eyebrows drew together. “How so?”
“Ok, don’t take this the wrong way, but… The other morning, the three of us, was a lot more reserved than I expected, plus you usually let me do the driving during our tease, and I kinda didn’t expect you go so many times.”
He cleared his throat and his hand drifted south. “1, the other morning I was hijacked and hadn’t been made aware of the new understanding. Don’t expect that again. 2, I let you do the driving during the tease because it’s fun and because most of the rules were yours. And 3, How many times have we gone? How do you count?”
I giggled. “Without an ump, there’s no way to count mine, so yours.”
“Do you count head?”
I smiled at him. “Only when you come.”
He started checking his mental scoreboard. “Just now, the hummer, the couch…”
I smiled at him. “And 3 times earlier.”
His hand was still slowly, smoothly drifting over my backside. “6 is a lot for me but not unheard of.”
“That does explain a few things.”
I laughed. “Why our exes go psycho.”
He laughed with me. “I’ve only had 2 exes go hose beast on me.”
“Yeah, but that’s all of your exes. You’re batting a thousand. I’m batting 150.”
“Your only counting the ones that lasted longer than a week too, you Slut.”
He batted his long eyelashes at me and slid his hand between my legs, rubbing and petting. “It’s a shame to stop now when we could play the whole series. You up for more?” His strong hands were rubbing every bit of my center from front to back and even if I was exhausted, it would have woken me up.
“What did you have in mind?”
He smiled at me as he sat up quickly and straddled my legs, pinning me to the mattress face down. His hand hadn’t stopped taunting, they had even gotten more forceful. I was eating it up. My hips had started bucking with the rhythm of his hand, grinding and writhing as he pushed and teased every button I have. When he pushed into me I was already on overdrive my frenzy lasted the entire time he was working towards his. When he collapsed on top of me panting he reached out his hands out and found mine to lace our fingers together. He stayed there until his breathless spell passed and when he rolled off of me he snuggled me close to him. I smiled to myself when I listened to his breathing get deeper as he fell to sleep and I followed shortly after.