Chapter 40

Playtime

Sookie’s POV

Tuesday, January 19th

I had no idea how long I had been asleep, but we were still laying in the exact same position as we had been when we dozed off. I reached down and tried to gently lift Alcide’s wrist, but he pulled it away.

Alcide growled.

I giggled. “Sweetie, why do we keep having this talk?”

“Shut up. Go back to sleep.”

“You talk to all of your girlfriends that way?”

He slapped my butt playfully. “No. Just you. It’s only 4. One more hour, please.”

I took his wrist and programmed his watch alarm. “Anything else?”

He pulled me close enough that I thought I could feel him blink. “Not a thing. This is perfect.”

**

When his alarm went off at 5:30, he lifted his arm and noticed that I had given him an extra half hour of snuggle time.

“Mmmm, you gave me extra time?”

“Yes, sir. I did.”

“Why? It won’t mess up the day will it?”

“Our day will be fine. You earned it.” I rolled over. “You played a good game.”

He chuckled. “Thanks coach. What’s the line up for today?”

“Well, first we hit the showers… once we eat and get some work out of the way, we need to run to Target and take some things to Arlene. Then we hit Sears on our way out to Bon Temps. Once we’re home we have the rest of the day to relax.”

He smiled at me. “It’s not nice to get a guy’s hopes up.”

“We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”

**

When we were done with our shower, I popped us to his room to drop him off to get dressed and then popped to mine.

Today I decided to dress flirty. Since Alcide loved me in turquoise so much, that’s what I was wearing from head to toe. I picked a beaded cami/shrug set, mini skirt and cowboy boots. I skipped wearing a bra but went with matching boy short underwear.

Alcide was starting the coffee pot when I came out of my room and bounced down the stairs and Tobin was already downstairs.

“C’est un travail de femme.”

Alcide laughed. “Vous avez juste secoué le féminisme à ses racines.”

My turn to laugh. “Le féminisme est une excuse invoquée par des femmes paresseuses. Une vraie femme prend soin de sa famille.”

Tobin couldn’t help himself. “Quelque part, Betty Friedan a ressenti une douleur.”

“Va chier elle! J’aime mon soutien-gorge.” They both laughed.

I gave Alcide a kiss and shooed him out of the kitchen so I could do his hair then start making breakfast and he slapped my butt as he walked by. “I hope you don’t like that outfit. It won’t last the day.”

“Promise?” I gave him a wicked smirk. “Tobin, how’s Gamma doing?”

“She’s having one of her spells. She does really well for a while keeping her sugar in check and then, for no reason, it just goes crazy. They’re keeping her for a few days to get her meds right. She’s a cranky bitch right now. She’s one of those old ladies that speed walks around the mall and does the senior-robics at the Y. The doctors won’t let her out of bed.”

I couldn’t help but giggle about that. Gran would have been the same way. “Well, if you want to stay here with the girls, you’re welcome to. It might distract them from worrying.”

Alcide smiled at me and then spoke to Tobin without looking up from his computer. “They all seemed to get along well together, Manen and Hunter don’t get to be around kids their own age enough. You should bring them around.”

Tobin looked shocked for a moment before he smiled at me and told me he’d clear it with his mom. “If you want to leave Manen and Hunter here with me while you go out to Bon Temps, I can just go to the bank when you get back.”

I smiled at him. “Better idea, I’ll run to the bank and you just man the phones. I have another job for you. I want you to go online and track down Wescoat’s gallery and order every original you can get your hands on. Have them delivered to the Abbey. We have 20 some odd bedrooms and another 12 common rooms to deal with. Oh, and we need to house about 60 security guards for Mardi Gras. Call the Bane Arms and get no less than 30 double rooms. Make sure you let them know it’s for King Northman.”

“Why so much security?”

I closed my eyes and counted on my fingers. “Because, Mississippi, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, California, Michigan, New York and Georgia will all be joining us.”

Alcide’s eyes shot up to meet mine. “No fucking way!”

I giggled. “Those are just the ones staying with us. PNW, Alaska, Carolinas, VACap, France, Cuba, NoMex and New England will be in New Orleans too. But they’ll just be fly bys. After all, Mardi Gras is the Vampire Thanksgiving. Eric and Pam are planning the reception and a couple of parties for while we’re down there.” I had to explain to Tobin that PNW was the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington & Vancouver), VACap is Virginia’s hat (D.C. Maryland and Delaware) and NoMex is Northern Mexico.

“Shug, How big is your ‘Abbey’?”

“It takes up a whole city block. I think it’ll be big enough.”

“What about fang guards? Who’s going to coordinate all that?”

“I told everyone not to bring any fang unless they could find lodgings on their own and it’ll be impossible during the holiday. And I’m dragging Tray with us as overseer. Our guys will stay with us at the Abbey.”

“I’m going to be surrounded by vampires for 10 days.” He said it like it was a prison sentence.

“Screw on your big girl panties. You know damn good and well that it’ll be fun. You know what vampires are like around me. They all drop the ‘I am Vampire’ bullshit and remember what it was like to be human.”

“But other than security, I’ll be the only Were.”

“Not true. Nicki and Josie are both bringing their beaus, the Thrashes will be visiting and like I said, our guys will be there too. Besides, out of the 4 of us, Pam is the low man on the totem pole.”

“And you sit on top.”

“Not always. I’m just as comfortable on my knees.” He stared up at me and raised his eyebrow slowly before he went back to work. That shut him up.

**

I had quickly made omelets for the three of us plus Jason, who was up and getting ready for work. I started slinging food like a diner chef and by 7:30 all of the grownups were fed and the kids food was plated and ready for them.

While we waited, Alcide did a little work and I checked my phone for emails and put one foot up on Alcide’s leg, giving him a very distracting view.

I laughed out loud at the texts I had gotten from Eric and showed them to Alcide.

“Maybe I should have told YOU not to break HIM.”

A little while later he had sent: “How am I supposed to get any work done?”

Alcide’s eyes got big. “How does he know?”

I smiled at him. “The blood bond.”

“He can feel you having sex from 350 miles away?”

“Well yeah. I can feel him and Pam too.”

“Do you ever feel like he’s, I don’t know, eavesdropping?”

“Used to. Used to hate everything about the bond, but the jerk was right. I grew to love the damned thing.”

I texted him about what we were doing today and then grabbed my laptop and shopped for bedding and décor for the Abbey and texted Mr. Cataliades about an interior designer in the New Orleans area who he could put in touch with Eric while they were there about a walk through and a rush job. He replied by telling me that his sister in law would be in touch with Eric this evening.

“Hey Tobin, have you spoken to Eric about Danielle?”

He cleared his throat. “He said that we would give it a try while you’re in Bean Town. If everything goes well, he’ll let her go. He said he’s already got her designing a website for the bar.”

“Good, good. I’ll call her about doing a site for the DGD and Nicki wants a site for her club too. She might not even have the need for the baby sitting income by the time we’re through.”

Not long after that, the kids (all 5 of them) came downstairs for breakfast. Alcide and I cleaned the kitchen and left cash on the counter for Tobin to order pizza for lunch.

**

Our first stop was Target and we quickly grabbed clothes and a few other things for Arlene and her kids. Alcide and I decided that since we weren’t in a rush, we’d go ahead and take it all in. The concierge had done well. He had set them up in a suite and when we got to the door their breakfast cart was in the hallway. Arlene looked just as disheveled as the night before when she answered the door. The bruises on her face were darker and the swelling was worse. I didn’t have a chance to talk about healing her before the kids came in and attacked me with hugs. I took the bags to the table and started showing them what we had gotten them. Everyone got 4 outfits and a bathing suit and Alcide (big surprise) had suggested that we get them a Wii and some games since they’d be holed up. That was a show stopper. They dragged him to their bedroom to have him hook it up to the TV. It gave me and Arlene a minute alone.

The second they were through the door she hugged me. It nearly surprised me off of my feet.

“Sookie, I don’t know why I’ve been such a bitch. I guess you’re right about me. I just hate being alone so much. I thought about what you said all night last night. I knew what Rene did was wrong. I knew it was hateful. Watching what you’ve been through I started blaming it all on vampires. It was easy for me to hate them.”

I smiled at her, probably smugly. “I can give you the timeline, but I have been protected by vampires and other Supes more than I’ve had humans stick up for me.”

“There’s more?”

“Yeah, there’s more.”

“Like what? Is that where you’re stuff comes from?”

“There’s a lot more. I’m still learning. And yes, that’s where my stuff comes from. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.”

“I’m part Faerie and part Witch for starters.”

She laughed but when I didn’t, her face got serious quickly. “No, that’s all make believe. The next thing you’re going to tell me is that werewolves and ghosts exist!”

Alcide had just come back into the room and was laughing. He’d been listening. I smiled at him and back at her. “Well Arlene, I’ve never seen a ghost.”

Her eyes grew and her jaw dropped open. She gasped. “Werewolves?”

“…Faeries and Witches, Oh my! All over the place, all minding their own business, most every one of them work hard for what they make and never hurt a fly. You’d be surprised. Around here, It’s hard to throw a rock and not hit a Supe.”

She looked over at Alcide. “What are you then? I ain’t never seen Sookie around a human for long except Sam.”

Alcide laughed and refused to answer her. “Shug, we need to run. You gonna fix her up?”

I smiled at him before I turned to her and put my hands on her shoulders to start her healing. When I was done she looked right as rain, like she had never been hit. “There you go, this way you can take the kids down to the pool after lunch.”

She stood at the mirror and stared at herself before we said our goodbyes and left for Sears. It took Alcide no time at all to find the biggest, meanest lawn mower they had and even talked me into getting a chipper too. Men.

**

When we got to the house, Holly wasn’t there yet but we were 20 minutes early.

“Shug, what should we do while we wait?” He waggled his eyebrows at me.

I raised an eyebrow at him. “We should go in and grab the few things I want to take back with me.”

Alcide frowned at me. “Party pooper.”

We went in and grabbed my Gran’s steamer trunks and boxed up the family pictures and albums. It took all of 10 minutes since most of them were on the wall in the living room and stairway. When Alcide came back from the truck he found me in my room, looking through my jewelry box.

“Hand it here, I’ll run it out to the car.”

I smiled at him. “It’s all costume or silver. I couldn’t get away with wearing any of it anymore. I just wanted this.”

“A bullet? Wait… What did it hit?”

“Eric. It’s the one he took in Dallas for me. He doesn’t know I kept it.”

“The damn thing is nearly flat! Where’d he take it?”

“His shoulder. The one he took in the neck a few months ago flattened out like that too.”

“I guess you do feel like life is slowing down.” He smiled at me. “So, what’s left?”

“Ummm, oh. I need to check the back porch to make sure I didn’t leave anything out there.”

“I already did. What happened to your washer?”

I laughed. “Me and Eric.”

“No, seriously.”

I laughed again and grabbed his hand and dragged him through the house to the porch. I leaned over the washer like I had that night we caved it in and my body fit into the dent like a glove. “Really. Me and Eric happened to it.”

“Holy Shit! You like it THAT rough!”

I was still laughing as I turned around. “Eric said that if he’d have done that to Pam, it woulda hurt her.”

“It didn’t hurt at all?”

I shook my head. “Nothing hurts. That night at the cookout when you split my lip, twice, you remember?”

He looked a little upset with himself. “Yeah, I remember.”

“It made me wet.”

“Seriously?” His mind was racing.

“Seriously. And you’re being a pervert again.”

He took a step towards me and put his arms behind me, pressing us together. “Can you blame me? My best friend just so happens to be the hottest girl I’ve ever known and I get full benefits. I’m the luckiest pervert I’ve ever met.”

I was flattered, but worried. I didn’t like that he sounded like he preferred me to Pam. “What about Pam?”

“Don’t be like that. I can pay you a compliment without insulting her. You are my best friend and you are the best I’ve ever had in bed. I’m smart enough to not tell her that though.”

I giggled. When he started to kiss me I started slowly walking backwards, leading him towards the living room couch. When we got there, I hoisted my skirt and straddled his lap. His hands went onto my butt and pulled me closer to him.

Things were starting to get really heated when my phone started to vibrate in my back pocket, I pulled away from Alcide but I didn’t get up. Maybe I should have.

“Hey, Holly. What’s up?” Alcide grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled me over, torturing my neck. Oh god, it felt amazing. I was panting.

“Um, Hoyt and I took the day off to come over but Arlene is off the grid and Sam needed me to work. Can you come to Merlotte’s?”

Alcide pushed my panties to the side and started rubbing and petting, playing with my clit ring.

“You need to ask Sam about that. The last time we were there he and I had words and I promised I wouldn’t come back.”

Alcide had pushed his fingers into me and was slowly but surely working me up. My breathing was starting to get out of control.

“He’s the one that suggested it. It’s your lucky day, Maxine is here too. She wants to talk to you about the Compton place. Sookie, are you ok?”

Alcide had slid my top up and was nibbling at my nipples and I was really close to coming.

“Yeah, I’m great. Getting Gran’s trunks from the attic is harder than I thought. If Sam says it’s ok with him, we’ll head over when we’re done here. See you in a few.”

When I hung up the phone I sat back and looked down at Alcide. He gave me a shit eating grin. “You never called for a time out.” His fingers were still at work, making it really difficult to be mad at him.

“Alcide, I should kick your ass for that.”

His smile grew even wider. “You should, but I don’t think you will.” He wrapped his free hand around my waist and left the other at work and carried me to my bedroom. He laid me back across my bed and started pulling my panties off. When he climbed onto the bed next to me, I grabbed for his belt and started opening his pants while I licked his chest and nibbled his nipples… We went at it for more than an hour. It was more like a wrestling match than sex. We slapped and bit and held each other down and that little bedroom had never seen such a bout. We were sweaty and out of breath when we collapsed to the floor and we laid in our heap laughing and panting while the room stopped spinning. When we stood up to start straightening our clothes, we even gave each other playful high 5.

“Alcide do you have my panties?”

“Maybe.”

“I’m NOT going into Merlotte’s without them, sport. Give ‘em over.” I held my hand out.

He pouted as he pulled them out of his pocket. “Party pooper.”

I stuck my tongue out at him as I walked out the door to go get into the truck. “Don’t you think my new perfume will be enough to fuck with Sam’s head?”

He only chuckled.

**

When we walked into Merlotte’s it was typically busy for lunchtime, most of the tables were full, but no waiting. Alcide and I quickly spotted the table that Hoyt and his Mama were at and she lunged at me for a hug. I introduced her and Hoyt to Alcide (of course they’d seen him over the last few months, they just hadn’t been formally introduced) and we sat down at one of the tables close to the back.

“Little girl, I have a surprise for you.” She bent over and hoisted a large flat box. “Me and the Mayor thought this would be appropriate.”

It felt like it was full of lead. When I opened it I realized that I wasn’t far off. It was brass. It was the plaque for meeting house. It read:

Adele Hale Stackhouse Memorial Library
Compton Society for continuing Antebellum research and appreciation.
Descendents of the Glorious Dead Post #116
May God bless all those who enter with knowledge and pride.

Alcide read it over my shoulder and smiled at me. I was misting up. I guess I wasn’t as angry at Gran as I thought I was.

“Maxine, I have a surprise for you too. A few of them. Remember how I told you I had a few friends?” She nodded. “Well, first of all, I’m going to get a website started for the Library so that you can start promoting it. Plus, I have a friend who has pulled some strings to get a copy of everything related to the civil war in Louisiana sent to you from the national archives and some memorabilia from the Smithsonian.”

I thought she would cry. “Oh you sweet thing!”

“That’s not all. I also found 6 vampires who served. They are willing to answer questions and digitally record them so that you can show their narrative. One of them was a slave who fought for the south. He was one of Midyette’s.”

She was speechless for what seemed like forever. Her brain finally stopped spinning and caught grit. “Now, I heard that handsome new beau of yours is quite old. Did he fight?”

Alcide laughed so I stuck my tongue out at him before I answered her. “Yes ma’am. He’s plenty old, but he was living in Virginia during the war and didn’t fight.”

“Did he own slaves?”

“Yes, ma’am. Probably hundreds. Eric is over a thousand years old, I’m sure that they accumulated over time.”

“If he was a slave owner, then why didn’t he serve?”

I chuckled. I knew it was because he didn’t care what humans were fighting for but I felt the need to sugar coat it for her. “Well Mrs. Fortenberry, after being in Europe during the middle ages, he was all warred out. Besides, he hadn’t been here long enough to consider it his fight. He’s still really handy with a sword though.”

She seemed impressed enough to let it drop. “We want to dedicate it the first Saturday in March. Can you and Jason be there?”

“We can. You should make sure that Mrs. Bellefluer and Andy and Portia are there too.”

“I’m sure Caroline will be, but why should the kids be there?”

She called them kids like they were still in stride rites. “Because Bill was Mrs. Bellefluer’s great grandfather. It’s only right that they are there.” You’d have thought I gut punched her. Her mouth was open and drawing flies.

“I’ll leave it to you to let her know she needs to climb further up her family tree, on her mother’s side. For the record though, it might ease her mind to know that Bill was turned against his will. He hated being vampire. I’m having a new headstone made for him. So I’ll schedule his services for that day too.”

**

I was starting to wonder where Holly was. The restaurant was getting a little loud and the mood was shifting. I excused myself and went to the back to look for her and she was coming out of the bathroom. She looked like she had just gotten sick.

“Sweetie, you ok?”

“Yeah I guess. I don’t know what got into me. I went to the pass and I got a whiff of pickle and…”

Her eyes got huge and she started counting on her fingers. Her hand slapped over her mouth to stifle an ‘ohmigod’.

I smiled at her. “Congrats!”

“No, Sookie. You know Maxine! She’ll think I’m trying to trap Hoyt.”

“Fuck her, girl. Hoyt’s going to be a daddy. And she’ll love having a grandbaby. She’ll be a pain in the ass until the baby is born, but she’ll be the dotin’est grandma Bon Temps has ever seen. Come on, the pass has filled up. I’ll pass the plates, you refill the glasses.” I winked at her and we did the rounds.

When I got back to the pass for another trip I ordered for our table (mind reading has its privileges) and Holly met me with a smile when I went behind the bar and started pumping out pitchers of beer and taking them around. Once Holly was caught up she sent me back to sit down.

I gave Alcide a kiss on his cheek as I sat down. “Shug, you’re waiting tables. I’m sure Eric is trying to figure out why he just clenched up.”

I laughed. “No he’s not.”

I handed Alcide my phone so that he could read: “Queens don’t sling chicken baskets. Stop it.”

He laughed. “How did he know that?”

“He’s guessing based on my mood.”

Alcide started shaking his head and texted, “ur missing a gr8 show. u shd C her duds.”

Alcide’s phone went off. “Y? What is she wearing?”

I laughed out loud and then did as Alcide instructed: a Betty Boop pose so that he could send it to Eric.

Just a second later both of our phones went off. Mine said: “Those yokels don’t deserve the view.” Alcide’s said: “Nice to see that she doesn’t behave for you either.”

We shared a laugh and I replied to him. “Just helping Holly. Love You. Miss You. Hurry Home.”

I heard the chef call order up and I went to get our lunch and then back to get 3 beers and a sweet tea for Maxine.

Eventually, after being curiously grilled by Maxine, she left after eating her lunch to spread gossip all over the south. When I saw Holly bolt for the bathroom to get sick again, I went to the pass and served her tables again then I went to the back and knocked on Sam’s door.

“Sam, Holly needs some help out here.”

“Why? What’s wrong?”

“She’s under the weather and having a hard time keeping up with her tables.”

“Shit, Arlene couldn’t come back to work if she wanted to. I hope Holly’s not contagious.”

“Arlene can come back to work on Thursday and Holly isn’t contagious she’s just having hard time keeping up.”

“Arlene looks like raw meat.”

“Not anymore, come out here and sling drinks so I can settle my business and get back to my kids.”

“What do you mean ‘not anymore’? You find a vampire to heal her?” We started down the hall towards the dining room.

“No. I healed her.”

He grabbed my arm and spun me around. “Sookie, what the hell is going on? Where’s the power coming from? Are you some kind of vampire now?”

I stifled my laughter. “Now Sam, do I smell like a vampire? It turns out that Fintan bound my powers to hide me. Then Niall, unbound them thinking that he was being helpful but he didn’t know the whole story. It turns out that I’m barely human.”

“Then what are you?”

Deep breath, blow out… “Were, Shifter, all 3 kinds of Fae, Dae and Witch in that order. On Vampire blood.”

He took a huge step back from me. “All of them?!”

I smiled at him. “Supernatural grab bag. Now get out here and help your server.” When we walked past the kitchen I grabbed another table’s order and served it, then went back to our table.

When I went to sit down, Alcide kicked the chair out from under me and I went down like a ton of bricks. Hoyt stood up, horrified and shot Alcide a dirty look. So did 5 other guys and the restaurant fell quiet. Alcide was chuckling to himself. “Why bother with the chair. You sat down more when you worked here?” I waved at the other guys to sit down.

I stood up, still laughing. “Thank you sir, for pointing that out. Might I sit in your lap?”

“As long as I can hold you down.”

So, I sat in his lap and conducted the ‘business’ I had with Holly and Hoyt. It consisted of having them sign the lease, handing them their keys, telling them that they needed to let the movers in tomorrow and that there were toys on the front porch for Hoyt. I gave them the Home Depot card and let them know that they could use it for anything the house needed and a jungle gym for Cody.

**

When we got to the truck and climbed in he looked like he was waiting to be fussed at so I leaned over and gave him a very tonguey kiss before I started checking my phone for messages and emails and I called Tobin to check in on the kids. They had enjoyed pizza and were chilling out watching a movie since they had spent the morning covering the porch with chalk and moon sand. Once the kids were checked in on, I found myself bored so leaned over into Alcide’s lap and entertained myself and he didn’t seem to mind one bit.

When we went into the bank branch, the bank manager had to be called about the size of the checks and to verify my identity. So it took much longer than I wanted to take but I went to the jewelry store next door anyway. I had them put a bale on the bullet for me and bought a long white gold chain for it to wear it out of the store. Oddly, the jewelry store took less time than the bank. Figures. And we headed for the grocery.

**

When we finally got home at about 3 we unloaded the groceries and I started dinner while Alcide checked on the kids (all 5 were sleeping in the den after their morning of fresh air). Once the meatloaf was in the oven and the potatoes were on, I sat at the kitchen table with Tobin and fired up the laptop and cyber shopped with a beer and a bag of pistachios and my feet up. Alcide came in to check on me and kissed my neck.

“You sir, are a liar.”

He was still kissing me. “How so?”

I giggled. “It’s almost dinner time and I’m still wearing this outfit.” I smirked up at him and stuck out my tongue.

“I’ll have to think of something fast then.” He scooped me up and started kissing me while he walked. I knew what he was up to. It didn’t take a telepath to figure it out. I’m not sure what got into Alcide today, but he woke up playful and had a relapse.

He’d slapped my butt, distracted me from a phone call, had VERY playful sex, kicked a chair out from under me. Now, he was walking me slowly to the pool to dump me.

When he dropped me in, rather tossed me like I was nothing, I went in without a fight and swam to the bottom of the pool and then popped to my shower. I could only imagine the temporary panic he had when I didn’t come right back to the surface. I went ahead and took my shower and by the time I was done, Alcide was leaning against the counter, holding out a towel for me.

“You cheated.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know there were rules to ‘Dunk your Fuck buddy’.

He laughed. “Still. I would have figured you’d have pulled me in with you.”

I smiled up to him as I leaned into his chest. “Your phone is in your pocket, otherwise, I would’ve.”

“Aww. You’re too nice sometimes.” He kissed my forehead. “So, do you know what we’re going to be dealing with tonight?”

“Well, I’m introducing Jeremy to Sara, that’s going to take care of itself. Calvin will come in to complain about Jason, there’s going to be another juvi/domestic- were/human, we’re going to have a hunting grounds dispute from out in Clarice- all yours and Gary Morse is gonna want to chit chat about random shit a) to be seen talking with us. b) because he doesn’t approve of his daughter dating a Vampire and wants to pump me for info. Plus we’ll have some company.”

“Shit. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to have much time to play tonight.”

“On the contrary. I can’t help but feel like the interruptions are going to make it more fun. You gonna grab my outfit so I can dress without coming back up?”

He went into my closet and started rummaging and came out with a turquoise knit strapless baby doll dress that came down to my mid thigh and a pair of turquoise and black paisley pumps with a VERY high heel. He went over to my dresser and pulled out a pair of black cheekies and a turquoise strapless push up. He held it all out with his eyebrows up. “You ok with this?”

“You have to be seen with me. You’re the one that needs to approve.”

He smirked at me and started out of the room.

I put curlers into my hair since Alcide likes my hair down and went around to each bedroom to collect laundry so I could run a few loads while dinner cooked.

**

Tobin and I had been clearing up some business until Eric called.

“Hey Sexy. How are things going down there?”

“Just as I expected. The Abbey is fully staffed. 2 chefs, 2 maids and 2 valets. Mr. Cataliades’s  sister in law called me too; good idea. I’ll give her a walk through and let her take pictures and measure and have her call you tomorrow for particulars. Do you have anything in mind?”

“Well, I ordered the bedding today from a few different places so it’ll be there by the end of the week. Every room’s set is different and every stitch is black and white. Paisley, toile, floral, damask… we can brighten each room by accessorizing with color. I had Tobin track down enough Wescoat originals to hang one in each room and several in the common rooms.”

“I love that idea. I ordered furniture for the rooms today. The valets will be bringing it all over and installing it by Friday. Sookie, with all of our company, I’m not sure that we will have room for the security. Do you have a plan?”

“I had Tobin reserve a block of 35 rooms at the Bane Arms today. I explained to all of our company to leave the fangs at home and the rules of the house in an email. We’ll need a couple of large vans to shuttle them and I emailed Tray. He’ll be with us as overseer and our guys will be staying on site.”

“Perfect. Lover, the gallery here with Wescoat originals, shall I go buy them out?”

I smiled into the phone. “Absolutely. We can use them at home too. How’s my Pammy doing?”

He chuckled wryly. “She’s being defiant. She’s out shopping again since no one here knows her. We may have to ship her purchases home for lack of room in the cars.”

I giggled. “You’re the king, order her to stop.”

“I would, but it would be mean. Most of her purchases are of the small pink variety.”

“Oh…” I smiled at the idea of her excitement over the babies. “Tell her to buy different sizes so that they have the chance to wear them all.”

“She had already thought of that. Her plan is to buy so much that their clothing will be worn once and then donated.”

I laughed. “Leave it to Pam.”

“Did you check on your ‘friend’ today?”

“I did. I healed her. I figured she learned her lesson, plus Alcide wanted me to. He didn’t like that her kids saw her like that. Last night was pretty enlightening for her. I just pray it sticks.”

“Don’t we all…Lover?”

“Yeah sweetie?”

“If I had taken over for Sophie Anne, would you have come with me?”

“I don’t think so. I was still being a seditious, petulant bitch.”

He laughed. “I wouldn’t go so far to say that.”

“I would. Why did you ask?”

“Because every day you surprise me a little more with your acceptance of how our life so chaotic.”

“You mean that I’ve stopped whining about vampire politics.”

“Among other things, yes. You seem to be taking so many changes in stride.”

“I told you when we found out you are King, I can’t take anything as long as you still love me.”

“I do love you too. I miss you.”

“I miss you too.”

“Alcide isn’t wearing you out is he?”

“That’s creepy. Are you going to want to talk about that now?”

I could feel his amusement, even at that distance. “Please no. I do not want details. I was speaking of rest.”

I laughed. “Thank god. To answer your question, I think I’m wearing him out. You know how I am.”

He hummed. “Indeed. I’m very jealous of him right now. Will you have someone record your dance tomorrow night?”

“I can do that. Should I send it to your phone or wait for you to get home?”

“I want to see it as soon as possible. Send it to my phone. Are you sure that I can’t convince you to let me install a pole at the house?”

“Ok.” I realized that my hair was dry and started taking the curlers out.

“Sookie?”

“Really. Who am I to say no to my King?”

He hummed again. “Lover…You don’t know how excited I am that you agree to getting one.”

“Thanks to the bond, I know that you are excited enough to miss the way your dick feels inside me.” I tried to duplicate and it worked; the second thing I tried was popping one of me to the Abbey. I was shocked that it worked.

“Sookie?! Is this a glamour?”

“Does it feel like a glamour?” I heard him kissing the other me. I could feel it too.

“Mmmm. No. It feels perfect.”

“That’s because it’s me. Call me when you’re done. I’ll explain then.”

**

When I hung up I realized that it was almost 5:30, so I finished making dinner and served it up. Everyone chatted while we ate. Angela and Jeremy seemed really excited to be going out. I had been a little distracted for the last hour and while I was rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher Alcide came up behind me and hugged me.

“Shug, you alright? You seem off.”

I giggled. “I’m fine. Just practicing.”

“Practicing what?”

I leaned back and whispered into his ear. “Duplicity.”

He furrowed his eyebrows at me while he thought that out. “Where is the other you?”

“With Eric.”

Alcide’s eyes lit up. “Are you serious? How?”

“I doubled and then one of me popped to our bedroom there.”

“That’s awesome. Can you feel it? How does it work?” He was excited about the new trick. I guess he would wait until later to be a pervert about it.

“I can feel him through the bond and when she comes back and we merge, I’ll remember what they did. It takes a lot of juice though. I’ll have to eat at least another plate once she comes back.”

“When do you expect you?”

I giggled. “Any minute. They’re done.”

My phone rang just as I said it.

“How was it?”

Eric laughed. “I’m keeping her.”

Alcide and I both laughed. “You can’t honey. I need to merge back. That one takes a lot of juice.”

“Sookie, it was just like you. Everything felt… It was the same. When did you learn about this power?”

I explained to him about my Christmas morning accident and that I had forgotten about it. “Not bad for a long distance booty call, huh?”

He was still laughing in agreement when I heard Pam barge into the room. “You idiot! Eric, you pined for Sookie for over a year and you’re going to fuck it all up by fucking some fucking fang…Sookie?… Sorry Eric, I…”

I handed the phone to Alcide and gave him a wink before popping to join Pam, Eric and Me.

I’m sure Alcide heard Pam yelp through the phone when I popped in right next to her. “Hey Pammy, miss you.” I gave her a kiss. Eric was snuggled on the bed with the other me and laughing. I climbed onto the bed with them…us…. whatever and merged. I gave Eric a long kiss. “That was fun, thank you.” And I popped back to my kitchen with Alcide, startling him.

**

He stared at me while I made another huge plate of food and sat down to eat it. He stood across the counter and watched me.

“I can think of a hundred different things that will come in handy for.”

“Ok, I’m sure I know about the first 69, what are the others?”

He laughed. “Now who’s the pervert? I was thinking that when the kids get older and they have baseball and soccer and gymnastics that overlap, you wouldn’t miss anything. That you could clean the house in half the time if you wanted. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself; everyone has wished at one time or another that they could be in two places at once. You’re going to have 4 kids and this power could end up being really helpful.”

“And nieces and nephews and cousins. You know what my first thought was when I did it?”

“What?”

“We had just done all of our Christmas shopping. I would have killed to be able to hold a place in line at the toy store while we shopped.”

He laughed. “That’s my girl! But we don’t have to worry about that too much this year, since your husband can get us private shopping hours.”

I thought about that for a minute. “God! Alcide… we get to do Christmas shopping for our own kids this year!” I didn’t have a mirror but I was sure that I had the dumbest grin on my face, but I didn’t care. I had always had friends with kids and that had done me just fine to shop for them but the thought of writing ‘from Santa’ on gift tags made my insides jump with joy.

Alcide’s smile looked just as goofy as I imagined my own. “Where are we going to put a tree big enough to put all the presents under?”

In spite of my excitement, I made a little fun of him. “There won’t be that many since you Dads can’t be stopped. There’ll be nothing left for them to want by then.”

He stuck his tongue out at me. “They come out with new stuff every year at Thanksgiving.”

I smiled at him as I stripped down and pulled on my panties. Angela had just come into the room and as Alcide was hooking my bra Jeremy came through the back door and realized I was standing there in my underwear. His eyes shot up to the ceiling and he turned around, apologizing. Alcide, Angela and I all started laughing at his reaction.

“Wow, Jeremy, if you’re that shy then on warm days you should use the front door. My bathing suit doesn’t cover nearly this much.” He laughed nervously. I had to stifle my own laughter at the idea of a modest Were.

Angela took over. “Seriously, dude, she does this all the time.”

“You look nice tonight. Both of you do.” Jeremy was wearing straight leg jeans with a hot crease and a dark blue dress shirt (open at the top) over a snug fitting light blue T-shirt. Angela was wearing a sweet little blush pink lace slip dress without much of a back and spaghetti straps. Once Alcide zipped me up he ran upstairs to get ready and I bounced up onto the bar and did my makeup.

When he came down ready to go, Alcide was wearing the purple shirt I had bought him on our girls shopping trip. It was so dark that it was nearly black and skin tight so that I could enjoy every muscle in his chest and stomach and the sleeves stopped perfectly in the groove between muscles. Purple was my favorite color on him because it set off his pretty light green eyes. I had bought the jeans he was wearing too as well as the shoes and he was wearing them well and he knew it.

“I hope you don’t like that shirt. I won’t last the night.”

He gave me an evil smirk. “Promise?”

**

When we got to the Zoo, the bouncer let Jeremy in without carding him, just like I said he would. Even if the guy had asked, I’d have glamoured him.

We were barely through the door when I was spotted by Sara. She waved at me from behind the bar.

I went over and lunged across the bar and surprised her with a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Hey there, sweetness! You have a couple of booths for us tonight? Alcide and I need one for business and the other for pleasure.” I winked at her.

Her eyes were the size of dinner plates. “Take your pick, majesty.”

“You gonna dance with me tonight?”

She blushed. “Yes ma’am. I’m off in an hour. What should I get you?”

I was still bent over the counter, with my butt very close to falling out of my dress. “Umm, I need a cold true blood, a coke, a boiler maker and a pina colada half strength, extra cherries.”

“Yes ma’am. Who are your friends?”

“The pretty red head is our nest mate Angela, she’s really shy and that hot young guy is Jeremy, he takes care of our horses. He’s new in town so we thought we’d bring him out and show him around.”

“Are they a couple?”

“Why would I dangle a piece of meat like him if he was meant for someone else’s plate?” I kissed her cheek again and bounced off the counter.

**

Alcide put his hand on my shoulder where it curves up to my neck and pulled me close to him as we walked to the back, past the DJ to sit in a booth along the back wall. From there we could see the whole club including the door. I set my purse down and told Alcide I was going to go dance with Angela and talk to her. He nodded and kissed my neck as I left him for the dance floor holding Angela’s hand.

We settled into Behind Blue Eyes and danced close but not raunchy.

“Poppet, you know this place is just as safe as Fangtasia, right?”

“I know, Sookie. I’m just uneasy in general around strangers.”

“Well, most everybody here is in Alcide’s pack. So when they see you with us, they’ll behave as a rule. The guy that was at the house last night, Sam, I’ve known him for years and he’s going to show up tonight. He’s harmless. The reason he was staring last night was because you took his breath away. I just thought I’d warn you now. I don’t want you to be blindsided when he shows up.”

A bashful smile snuck across her lips and I brushed her hair out of her eyes. “Thank you Sookie.”

“Now if you get spooked or uneasy, you let me know and I will pop you home in a heartbeat. You got it. I understand if it takes you a while. Don’t be scared to ask ok?”

She hugged me close and buried her face into my neck. “Thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys.”

We finished the song out just like that. Our legs were moving but our bodies were hugging.

**

When we got back to our booth, our drinks were already there.

“Hey, Poppet, what are you drinking tonight?”

She smiled at me like a kid in a candy store. “Choco-tini?”

I handed it to her like a sommelier would present a bottle of  expensive wine. “Your wish… My command.”

She took it from me and took a sip. She squealed with delight and thanked me with a great big smile.

“What about you, Jeremy?” Alcide slid his drink over to me.

“Captain and coke is fine, I guess.” I touched my finger to the side of his glass and Alcide slid it back to him. He took a sip and gave me a smirk.

Alcide leaned over and spoke directly into my ear. “What did you order?”

I giggled and whispered my answer into his ear. “I got a half power pina colada so that I can have two without a fuss.”

He was a little surprised and smiled at me for behaving.

We sat and talked for a few minutes before our first customer came along. It was Calvin.

**

Alcide and I took our drinks to the next booth over and Angela and Jeremy went out to the dance floor.

“Hey Calvin, how’ve you been holding up?”

“Hotshot wants to abjure Jason.” I wanted to say, ‘screw you too, Jerk!’

Alcide took over. “You have a good reason to be an ass bag about his status? One of yours is why he needs a pack at all.”

This was a problem I hadn’t thought of. If a Bitten was rejected by a pack, he was put down unless another pack accepted him/her.

Calvin looked at Alcide like he’d just been sassed by a child. “Crystal was the only reason he made it back from his first run. Now that she’s gone, we have no reason to suffer his dumb ass.”

Alcide chuckled. “You’re right about that. You gotta be a ‘dumb ass’ to buy cat food when the pussy stops by for free.”

“Watch it!”

“Why should I? You’re a massive lowlife for abjuring him after you let him get bitten right under your nose. Fuck you. You don’t get to kill him just because you’re pissed that Crystal was too stupid to see a doctor. Shreveport accepts.”

“You can’t just…”

Alcide let a loud whistle and slid out of the booth to loom over Calvin, barking ‘Longtooth’. The music stopped and a bunch of Weres stood up.

“Calling a vote. Hotshot abjures Jason Stackhouse. Longtooth moves to accept. Ayes?”

From what I could tell, everyone who stood up, put their hand in the air and repeated ‘aye’.

“Nays?”

I swear, I might have heard crickets.

“The ‘Ayes’ have it. Stackhouse belongs to Longtooth pending full vote.” Alcide folded his arms across his chest as he told everyone ‘as you were’ and then focused on Calvin again. “Like I said, Shreveport accepts.”

“Just like that?”

Alcide slid back in the booth with me as he nodded. “Stackhouse belongs with us anyway, since his parents weren’t brother and sister, and all.” He looked so smug. Smug is sexy on him, really sexy.

Calvin stood at the head of the table and snarled so I raised my eyebrows at him, waiting for him to realize he was done at the bar.

He finally realized that he wasn’t going to get to kill Jason and stormed out.

Alcide and I both waved antagonistically as he left and we went back to our booth.

**

Angela actually looked like she was enjoying herself. When we sat down, she was smiling through small talk with our new kid.

I leaned over into Alcide’s ear. “Thank you for looking out for him. I know you didn’t have to accept him.”

I kissed the side of his neck and as I pulled away, he caught my cheek for a peck. It looked like he was about to say something when he was distracted. He rolled his eyes. “Shug, it doesn’t look like we get to play tonight.”

“But why?”

He nodded towards the door and Sam was walking towards us.

“Oh hell.” At least he has a smile on his face instead of his usual worried/constipated look. I must have thought that last bit too loud because Jeremy, Angela and Alcide all laughed.

I offered him the seat next to Jeremy and Angela scooted over towards Alcide a little.

“What’s up Sam? I didn’t see you this often when I worked for you.”

“I wanted to talk to you. Holly told me how much you helped her out today before you came to get me. Thanks.”

“She helped me through enough bad shifts, it was the least I could do. How’d you track me down?”

“I called Fangtasia. They said that you weren’t ‘taking meetings’ there. To try here.”

“So, did you want something?”

“Well, I went to see Arlene to check on her and the kids, mostly her, and while I was there that vampire showed up. The one that beat her up. Truman.”

He had my attention now. “What happened?”

“Well after Arlene nearly peed her pants, the kids went running up to him and thanked him for the fun and acted like he was the ice cream man.”

“Why was he there?”

“He sat down and apologized to her for over reacting and scaring her. He wasn’t sorry for Zane and the others because even by human standards, they got what they had coming but he told her that he was very disappointed in himself for behaving badly. He said that he was expected to try to make it up to her. He delivered an SUV and a scholarship to Rainard Academy for both kids until they graduate.”

Alcide pulled out his phone and started texting Eric to find out if it was his doing.

“That’s great. I hope it helps her. That school will be great for the kids.”

He got more serious. “Does Eric do that with everybody or was it just because of your connection?”

Alcide held his phone out to me. “I haven’t dealt with Truman yet. Why?” I smiled at that and Alcide replied to Eric’s question.

“Sam, Eric didn’t do that. Truman did it on his own.”

“Bullshit!” It wasn’t angry just surprised. But it scared Angela into Alcide’s side. I reached over and put my hand on her knee and she grabbed it. She didn’t have to say that she wanted to go home, I could see it in her eyes. I popped her into the den where Jason and Janice were watching a movie with Tobin and Febes. I gave her a supportive hug and watched her kick her shoes off and snuggle into the couch next to Jason. I popped back to my place next to Alcide and he had a smile waiting for me.

“The popping is good too. How is she?”

I smiled back at him. “It has come in handy. She’s just spooked. Jason has her.” He put his hand on my knee as I snuggled into his side and refocused on Sam. “Why bullshit?”

I waited for him to shake off the stun. I had to wonder if he was ever going to get used to the idea of me being more than who I was when we met. “Because, he’d have to turn around and do whatever Eric told him to do too. Why would he pay his fine twice?”

“Because, he wanted to apologize in his way before Eric assigned a value to Truman’s mistake.”

“What do you think that will be?”

“It will probably be mild. Truman is appropriately contrite and the children weren’t hurt.”

Sam laughed nervously. “Yeah, but what’s ‘mild’ to a vampire?”

“Typically ‘mild’ is financial rather than corporal.”

“Corporal? Vampire get spankings?”

I nodded. I was getting bored with the conversation, so I playfully reached over and tried to take a sip of Alcide’s drink since mine was empty. He slid it out of reach and gave me a dirty look.

I guess I could say I was saved by the bell. I had been trying to come up with an answer, probably for too long, when Sara came to the table with refills and whispered into my ear that someone was asking for us.

I patted Alcide on his thigh. “That’s your guys from Clarice and Morse is on his way over. Two birds, one stone. We might get to play after all.” I slid out of my seat to let him out and he kissed me before he disappeared into the booth next to us.

**

Sam went ahead and left, just as confused as he had been when he showed up and more aggravated by my closeness to Alcide.

Gary Morse (owner of The Zoo) came over to introduce himself. He spread it on thick. He spent too long telling me how pretty I am and thanking me for coming to his ‘establishment’ because I was good for business. Jeremy and I had spent several unimpressed minutes listening to his drivel before Jeremy started pretending to fall asleep when Gary wasn’t looking. It turned out that it was doing more harm than good. In trying to fight off my laughter, Gary thought I was flirting with him.

When Miss New Booty started playing, I excitedly excused Jeremy and myself to go dance and he went back to his office.

Jeremy was surprised by how well I moved in such a high heel and I was surprised by how well he moved in general. He was such a good dancer, I never would have guessed he had spent his life in areas where Selena or Garth Brooks reign supreme. I noticed as Whip It started playing that Sara was taking her apron off, so I waved her over. I introduced the two of them and we danced the song through.

Alcide’s meeting ended and he leaned against the booth until the song was over, smiling at us. He came over and stole me when Beautiful Disaster started and then we showed them how it was done. Alcide and I had so much fun that we danced through Sexy Bitch and She Got Me Like. The four of us finally decided to take a breather and slid into our booth.

Alcide was breathless and grinning from ear to ear. “Shug, you should dance to Got Me Like tomorrow night. I like the way you move to that one.”

I smiled up at him and grabbed the bulge in his jeans. “Like you ever have any complaints, besides, I already know what I’m dancing to.”

Sara chimed in. “Dancing to?”

“Yeah, Alcide and I are taking meetings at Hooligan’s manana. My cousin owns the joint so I’ll end up swinging from the pole at some point.”

She smiled. “No shit! You’re related to CLAUDE? I’m dancing there tomorrow night. I do it once a week for the exercise! You ever pole dance before?”

I was laughing and about to answer when Alcide interrupted to brag, so I elbowed him in the ribs.

Sara laughed. “Promise me, you’ll go on after me!”

“That’s a promise.”

**

We sat there and enjoyed each other’s company long enough for Alcide’s hand to drift up my thigh and under my dress. His finger was tickling my ring and I surprised him by putting my leg over his knee to give him more access. Jeremy and Sara left to dance again so Alcide took advantage of the moment alone to pull my legs over his lap and push my panties to the side. To the naked eye Alcide and I were making out like horny kids but his fingers were at work deep inside me. Thank god we were in a loud bar. We were moaning into each other’s mouths like we were in pain. I know that no one could know what we were doing but I was really turned on by playing in public. I quickly adjusted to straddle his lap and stared into his beautiful eyes while he played his little game, giving him permission to do whatever it was he had in mind.

His eyes sparkled and he was trying to hide how surprised he was at my willingness. I was doing my very best to control my breathing. “Beb, is our game going both ways?”

He smirked and shook his head slowly. “Nope. My whip.”

I smiled back at him and leaned forward for a kiss and he started slowly torturing me. He had me on the edge and wouldn’t let me get to my end. Finally, I broke our kiss and spoke into his ear. “Alcide, does your game include taking me to the bathroom and fucking me until I can’t walk?”

“No, you have to wait until we’re home.” He pulled his hand away from my center completely and smiled at me until I calmed down.

“Can we go home now?”

He shook his head and swept a curl out of my face. “No, I’m having fun playing.” He reached up and gave my neck a slow squeeze making me moan.

I leaned forward and whispered into his ear. “If I’m not allowed to come, then I need a breather.” Then I started chewing on his ear and he laughed as he pulled away from me.

“We should go dance before you rape me.” His hand started teasing me again.

“Can you rape the willing? You’re asking for it. Walking around all sexy like that.”

He laughed. “Probably not. But I can have fun putting up a fight.”

I started chewing on his neck and whispered in his ear. “Alcide, how long are you going to torture me?”

“As long as I can.” He put his hand to the back of my head and started a long kiss. He was bringing me to the point feeling a like my body would seize and then relax his tactics. It was like taking a pit stop right before the finish line.

I was actually relieved when Sara interrupted to point out that we had more company.

I looked up at Alcide and smiled at his sheer frustration. “If it makes you feel any better, this is what happens to me and Eric all the time.”

He smirked. “Thanks, that kinda does make me feel better.”

I playfully slapped his chest. “Come on, let’s go help a family split up.”

**

What we saw looking up at us a man and a female Were, in their late 30s, they were both dressed conservatively and they were well mannered enough to try to hide how much they hate each other. Alcide knew the woman so he introduced us without a bit of love in his voice. “Tonya Sheffield and her husband Pete.” He said ‘Tonya’ like it was a venereal disease.

She looked up and gasped. “Packmaster Herveaux! How have you been?”

He didn’t answer her he just looked down at me. I guess that was my cue. “What can I do for you?” I went to sit down and he pulled me back. Ok. I guess we were standing.

She ignored me and kept talking to Alcide. “How is your sister? Have you settled down yet? It’d surprise me if you did. You always reminded me…” He’s where I was smart enough to freeze Alcide where he stood. “…of your daddy.”

“Beb, what do you want me to do?”

“Let me go so I can kill her!”

“Short of that? You know I won’t let you get into any trouble.”

“Then just hold me still.”

I turned my attention back to the couple. “Pete since the wife wants to be difficult, can you tell me what you need from me?”

“Ma’am, we’re divorcing and the kids want to live with me and she won’t let them.”

“How old are the kids?”

She finally decided to cooperate… by interrupting. “Don’t put it like that! They aren’t your kids!”

He yelled back at her. “I didn’t know that until Denny changed last year! Slut.”

I’d had enough of her before she ever spoke to me. “Stop it. Both of you. How old are the kids?”

I locked down on Pete. His was the only voice I wanted to hear at the moment. “Denny is 14 and Melanie is 11.”

“Who is listed as the father on the birth certificate?”

“I am.”

“Do the kids know that mommy is a carnival ride?”

Pete and Alcide, through their seriousness, laughed. “Yes, last year when Denny changed for the first time, she told them that it was for the genes. They don’t have any interest in their real fathers.”

“Tonya, this sounds pretty cut and dry. You have any reason why the kids shouldn’t live with him?”

“He’s not their father. He’s human. He just wants the kids to hurt me.”

“He’s more than their father, he’s their Daddy. His being human doesn’t mean shit to me as long as he can handle and help the kids handle their extra needs. And you don’t want the kids, you just don’t want him to have them. You’re mad at the kids for preferring him to you.”

“I want another judge. You’re biased.”

“By what? Justice Herveaux hasn’t said a word. He’s only a witness. But feel free to go into family court and explain that you lied on your children’s birth certificates. Pete, where are the kids?”

“That’s the other thing… They’re out in the car because they snuck out of the house to come to my house. They walked 4 miles in the dark and she didn’t know they were gone until I called her to have her meet us here. She says she was in the bath.”

“I’d like to talk to the kids, since they’re here.”

They both nodded and started sliding out of their booth. I took Alcide’s hand and led him out to the parking lot. I walked over to the car after telling Pete and Tonya to stand by the building and knocked on the window. Melanie rolled it down while Denny paused the movie they were watching. I introduced us and explained that I was the judge that would try to help.

“So, who do you guys want to live with and why?”

Denny spoke for them. “We want to live with dad. He’s fun and spends time with us. Mom just bounces around like she doesn’t want us near her and she embarrasses us.”

“Bubba, all parents embarrass their kids, you’re gonna have to give me something specific.”

“Do all parents sit on the principle’s lap at PTA meetings? She’s dated one of my teachers and my piano teacher and there’s a video of her on youtube. It’s called Eifel Tower MILF. My dad did embarrass us that one time when he stood up too fast at a restaurant and knocked a waiter over with a tray full of food. So I see what you mean.” The last bit was cheeky, but I guess I deserved it.

“How do you feel about being Were?”

“I’m fine with it, I guess. It’s a little weird.”

“So does any part of you want to be with Pete because he’s ‘normal’?”

Melanie answered that one. “Maybe a little, but it’s mostly because we’d rather be with the parent we can trust. We know he loves us and he doesn’t even have to say it. Mom says it, but it’s usually when she wants us to do something.”

“Ok, say I let you live with your dad. What will your schedule look like?”

Denny took over. “He makes breakfast before he leaves for work and leaves two plates in the oven for when we wake up. He calls us to make sure we’re out of bed. We go to school and when we get home at about the same time, give or take half an hour, we do our homework at the kitchen table while he cooks dinner just like when they were still together.”

“And your schedule at mom’s house?”

“She smokes and drinks her coffee at the kitchen table and hands us pop tarts on the way out the door. Sometimes she’s home to make dinner but it’s usually take out.” Melanie had been nodding in agreement. “We want to live with dad and see mom every other weekend. I don’t want to run with her. Dad said that he would find me a Were to like mentor us if we wanted.”

I waved the parents over and held Alcide’s hand. I felt him tense up as she got closer.

“Pete, I’m giving you custody. Tonya, you get every other weekend unless the full moon overlaps it, then they’ll stay with Pete so that he can tend to them as they see fit. These kids are getting exactly what they want out my ruling. I’ll finalize this with the other justices and the children will move in with Pete over the weekend. Pete you only have a couple of weeks before the full moon, do you have a mentor for Denny in mind?”

“No ma’am, do you know how I would go about that?”

I smiled at him. “I know of a few guys who’d be up for it. I’ll call you this weekend about setting up a meet next week.”

Tonya had been crying. Well, Pete had gotten misty too, but he was trying really herd to hide it. Tonya was angry and disappointed and suddenly blurted out: “Kids need their mother!”

I admit, I got a little high and mighty on her, but at least it was entertaining for Alcide. “Sweetheart, any bitch can pop out a kid. It doesn’t make them a mom. I can tell you from experience that a mother can mean as little to a child as a piece of furniture when they don’t feel any love from her. Having a mother and being loved by a mom are two very different things.”

“I don’t see how!” She was snarling at me.

“That, my dear, is why I gave Pete custody.” Alcide gave my hand a gentle squeeze to let me know he approved and I gave them the speech that I gave Patty and Mickey about leaving town and going over my head and playing dirty, revised, of course for their specific needs. I programmed Denny and Pete’s numbers into my phone and texted Alcide’s to them so that they would be able to contact one of us anytime.

As Alcide and I walked back to the bar, he stopped walking and hugged me. “I hate that bitch.”

I had gotten enough puzzle pieces from the two of them to spare him from having to tell me that she was one of his dad’s ‘special friends’. She had been his sitter when he was about 10 and that her and Jackson were on again- off again for years, causing a lot of drama under the Herveaux roof and that’s what started his mom’s drinking.

“I know honey. It’s over now. I know of something that’ll make you smile though.”

“What’s that?”

I pointed over to her car as she was pulling away and I mentally cut her back tires. It more than made him smile, it made him laugh until I thought his sides were going to split.

**

When we got back to our booth, we interrupted a very frenzied make out session between Jeremy and Sara. They both blushed as we slid into our seat. Probably because Alcide and I were grinning at them.

Finally Jeremy cleared his throat and thought of something to say. “So are you guys done with business?”

“Yeah, we are ‘go for fun’, for the rest of the night.”

Alcide waved over the new waitress and ordered a round of Cuba Boda and leered at me for a second before Closer started playing and he dragged me to the dance floor. By the time the song was over he seemed plenty ‘cheered up’ but we stayed when we heard that The Bad Touch was the next song. By the time we got back to our booth, his rounds were there and Jeremy and Sara were back out on the dance floor, practically having sex.

Alcide used his arm to gently sweep everything to the side and patted the table. I smirked at him and quietly obeyed. When I was in place, sitting on the table with my feet on either side of his lap on the bench, he pushed my dress up my legs, leaned over and licked the inside of my thigh slowly, causing a throb so hard, he could have heard it. He sprinkled the cocoa over the dampness and then drizzled tobasco over my other thigh.

When he was all set, he smiled up at me and watched as I took a shot glass and set it in my cleavage. At least half of the bar had stopped what they were doing to watch the Packmaster go down on the vampire queen and we didn’t care. He took a lick of the cocoa powder and then I leaned forward to serve his shot and he went down for his ‘hot lick’ as soon as I took the shot glass out of his mouth. Every time he licked he went higher up and we were both enjoying the game, getting more and more worked up as each step went by. We were still fighting over the pineapple prize when I sent to him that I wanted the keys and he dug them out of his pocket without pulling away. I grabbed my purse and pulled a hundred out and put it on the table and our kiss didn’t end until I looked up for Jeremy.

I tossed the keys to the Charger to him. “Don’t forget the way home.” He smiled at me and I grabbed my purse and popped Alcide and I to the bedroom we used last night.

**

He smiled at me. “The popping is good too.”

That was the last sentence either of us said for more than 2 hours. Sure we breathlessly called out things like ‘more’ and ‘please’ and ‘oh god!’ But I don’t think they can be considered complete sentences. The only rational thing we did was to pull the comforter from the bed before it got ruined. And it would have. I had had another, really strong, ‘power surge’ as we collapsed into the bed. It had never taken me so long to catch my breath and he wasn’t doing any better. We finally calmed down enough to mix an occasional chuckle in with our panting and he snuggled me to him.

“Sookie, you’re going to kill me.”

“Cry baby.”

He laughed. “I’m not complaining. If I didn’t like your cooking so much, I’d have Eric turn me. With our new arrangement, I’m not looking forward to aging.”

I laughed. “I’d pay to see you and Eric snuggled together in the dirt.”

He snorted. “Pervert. You’re more depraved than I am.”

Yes, I am, but I decided to change the subject anyway. “You know, last night after ‘the series’, I didn’t check you for powers so you should have two new ones.”

“Well, hit me. What’d I get?”

I rolled over and did the scan and drew back. I slid myself clear across the bed and all I could do is apologize and cry.

“I’m sorry Alcide. I didn’t mean it. Ludwig said that I could take them back too. I’ll ask Claude to teach me how! I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He was looking really worried, but I could tell that he wasn’t scared. He was thinking that if it was bad, he just wouldn’t use it. He sat up and crawled over to me and wrapped his arms around me. “Shug, what could be so bad? Come on, just tell me.”

I was hyperventilating. “Alcide… you can’t die.”

He let go of me and looked at me blankly. It was like he was in a coma with his eyes open. Eventually he forced calmness into his voice to spoke to me. “You turned me into a vampire?”

“No. Not undead. But like me. Eating and breathing for a super long time. Right now, the only way for you to die is if you’re beheaded, like me and Eric.”

More staring. I watched as he processed that thought. “Do you mean, I’m self healing too?”

“That’s part of the ‘life: infinity’ thing. Yeah.”

“Fuck.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll learn and I’ll take it back. I swear. I’m sorry…”

“Shhh. Sookie stop. Breathe. It’s ok.” He started laughing.

“What’s so funny? Your so-called best friend just took away your mortality!”

“I just suggested you would kill me.”

I snickered. “You’re not mad?”

“I might be if I were suicidal. Sookie, it’s fine. It won’t kill me.” He started laughing again.

We heard my phone ringing from the other side of the room and Alcide went over to get it for me.

“Eric?”

“Sookie, what’s happened?” He was in a panic; a drawback to the bond.

I sniffled. “I just made Alcide immortal.” Just saying it again made me want to start the water works all over. I felt like I had robbed him.

“How angry is he?”

“He’s not.”

“Then why are you feeling so much worry? You’ve said yourself that he’s the best friend you’ve ever had and now you’ll never lose him. You should be happy.”

I thought about that for a few minutes and was feeling much better. I decided to be relieved that nearly nothing could hurt Alcide and redirect my angst. “Eric, that douche bag, fucker of a grandfather should have bothered himself with telling me about my powers.”

“Well of course, there is that.” Him and Alcide were laughing at my editorial on my genealogy. “Lover, calm down. Over time you will learn how to control it. But you’ve guaranteed that we have time to figure it out.”

“Ok.” I was calmed down. Eric was making sure of it through the bond, but Alcide not being angry at me was the biggest part of it.

“Lover, I have news. Will you be at the house tomorrow?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Because the poles will be installed in the morning.”

“Poles? Plural?” Alcide was laughing.

“One for our room, one for the office and Pam still wants you to teach her, so one for their room.”

Alcide spoke into the darkness and laughed. “Eric, you are my HERO.”

I told Eric a playfully frustrated good-bye while my guys laughed then I popped to my room to grab PJs so that I could go eat something. I was starving.

**

Once I got downstairs, I started digging around and finally decided to munch on some hot wings so I preheated the oven and turned on my laptop to do some more shopping. I was looking for red glassware for Fangtasia.

Alcide made his way downstairs after a quick (even for him) shower.

“You’re making hot wings?” He bent over to kiss my neck and sat next to me.

“I’m in the mood for something spicy.”

“So what are you shopping for? Pole dancing apparel?”

“Smart ass. I’m looking for Fangtasia stuff…” I looked over at him and he was grinning at me. “What are you beaming at?”

“I cut myself in the bathroom.”

I giggled. “Emo.”

He thought that was a riot. “It was surreal. I’d seen all of y’all heal, but watching my skin fix itself is just… bizarre.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“What’s on the sched for Today?”

I looked at the clock on my screen and it was already 5 AM. “Shit. I guess I’ll just pack those wings for Jason’s lunch. Today, I need to make breakfast.”

He chuckled. “What else?”

I looked over at him and smirked. “Lunch and dinner. I’m not leaving the property until we go to the club. I’m going to send Tobin out for a camera and once the poles are in, I guess I’ll ‘study’ and I need to find something trashy to wear tonight. I’ll run after breakfast, but today, I’ll root down.”

2 thoughts on “Chapter 40

  1. Kristie Yamber says:

    i still want my own Alcide, damn you write him well…… my best Kristie

  2. loveallsvmtb says:

    i loved this chapter. i want my own alcide and eric too!

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