LATE Chapter 021

The Pool, the Quilt and Bayou Bandit

 

 

Sookie woke up at 11 and stretched. She loved waking up in Eric’s big bed, even when he wasn’t there. She felt safer here than anywhere, and she was still pretty shaken by last night’s encounter with Bill. She would have never believed it was possible – she knew he still loved her – and the idea that Eric nearly had to kill him scared her to death. Luckily, Eric wouldn’t… Damn! They were so busy worrying about her cramps last night that she forgot to drink from Eric.

She was supposed to take at least a little every day to make sure there was a bond with the baby that would prevent that reaction with him. Well, she’d make sure she drank extra tonight. The thought of tasting Eric’s blood started the fire down below, so to speak. Sookie was starting to feel like “it” had a mind and a life of its own. Was this going to last the whole 4 months? And Dr. Ludwig said it could last up to 2 years after the baby? Good thing vampires don’t get tired, because she was going to be after Eric a LOT if she kept on this way.

She threw on the red silk shirt Eric had been wearing last night because it smelled like him and he smelled so good to her right now it made her throb. She pulled on a pair of panties and she really, really tried not to touch herself but failed. At least today Alicia wouldn’t catch her naked. Should it bother her that getting caught naked didn’t bother her more than it did? Honestly, clothes were kind of bothering her right now. She couldn’t wait to get naked when she got home last night.

She found a note on the dresser from her bonded:

My Lover,

We have a meeting with my accountant tonight just after dark. He will be coming here to the house, and I will need you to attend for at least a part of it. Please be ready when I awake, and I will shower and dress quickly.

Please eat well and rest today, dear one.

I love you,

Eric

 

Ok, why did she want to rub that paper all over her body? Because Eric had touched it? She couldn’t even stop herself from sniffing it to see if it smelled like him.

‘Stop, Sookie, stop thinking about sex. There’s more to life than feeling his,… stop. Seriously, get yourself together and stop thinking about the naked Viking in the basement. Oh, I wish I could go down there with him, but he wants me dressed when he gets up. As soon as the accountant leaves, though, his ass is mine.’ She giggled. Great, now she was thinking about his ass. His round, beautiful, award-winning buns, fresh from the bakery. OK, that thought had an actual physical response, like, down there and she realized she was fighting a losing battle. Her hormones were running this show whether she liked it or not.

“Food, Sookie,” great, now she was talking to herself! “Go eat. Maybe that will take your mind off of Eric’s…. oh hell.”

Shaking her head at herself, she headed down to her kitchenette on the second floor. Alicia was unloading groceries.

“Good morning, Miss Sookie,” Alicia smiled at her.

“Hi, Alicia. I managed to wake myself up today!”

“So I see. Can I get you something to eat?”

“Yes, I have orders from Eric to eat well today. I had a little problem last night.”

“Yes, Mr. Northman left a message for me. I’ve got three bottles of Ibuprofen here. I’ll put one in your bathroom, one in the cabinet here, and you take this small one and keep it in your purse. Those cramps can be something else.”

“Do you have any kids, Alicia?”

“Yes, I have three, all grown, and two grandchildren. I’ve also worked for several new mothers like yourself.”

“So it’s not that unusual?”

“Not at all. How would you like some waffles for breakfast? It wouldn’t take long to make them.

“That would be great, if you’re sure it’s not too much trouble.”

Alicia poured her a glass of juice. “Here Miss, get started on that and I’ll have your waffles in just a bit. “

Ew. The smell of the juice hit Sookie’s nose and – uh oh. “Alicia where’s the bathroom on this floor?”

“Second door on the left down the hall. Are y—“

She barely made it. Well at least she was having morning sickness in the morning for a change. Alicia found her on her knees by the commode.

“Are you alright, Miss Sookie?”

“I’m sick.” She sort of sat, sort of fell back so she was sitting on the floor.

“Did your doctor give you anything to take for your stomach?”

“No, I’ve just been drinking ginger ale when I’m sick.”

“Honestly, that probably works as well as anything. It will pass in a bit. Do you think you can get up yet?”

“I think I better stay here a while.” She was very pale.

“I’ll be right back, Miss.”

Sookie leaned back against the wall. Alicia came back in with a can of warm ginger ale.

“Thank you, Alicia”

“Here’s your monitor, Miss. I’m going to make your breakfast, and you use this to call me if you need me. I’ll check on you in a few minutes.”

“Thanks, but I don’t know if I can eat waffles now…”

“It’s better if you try. Best to have something in your stomach if you’re going to be sick.”

“OK, I guess.”

“As soon as you think you can get up, I’ll take you up in the service elevator and get you settled in your room.”

“Service elevator? I didn’t know there was one.”

“Yes, it’s well hidden, but it’s here. It helps with getting the cleaning supplies through the house and such.”

“OK, then. I think I could manage that.”

Alicia helped her up and took her down the hall. She flipped a switch in the end room and a panel in the wall slid open to reveal a rather large elevator. Eric never showed her that. They managed to get Sookie back to her bed, and she put the wastebasket near by. Better safe than sorry.

Once Alicia had Sookie in bed, monitor at her side, cold washcloth for her face, she went back to make her breakfast. Sookie turned over into her Baby Eric position, and hoped she didn’t ruin Eric’s bedspread. Next thing she knew, Alicia was waking her for her waffles. She was a little groggy, but Alicia cut the waffles for her – she didn’t have it in her to complain – and she managed to eat and go right back to sleep.

When she woke up, it was 5 o’clock. Another day spent in bed. Was this going to be a pattern? She hoped not, but it was looking that way. At least she wasn’t sick anymore. She was in the shower when Alicia came in to gather laundry, and she seemed to be hanging in the bedroom to make sure Sookie got out of the shower OK, Sookie figured she had orders not to leave her alone when she had been sick. Sookie wrapped herself in a big white towel, combed out her hair, and lay back down on the bed.

“How are you feeling, Miss?”

“Better, but still tired. I don’t know how I can be tired after all that sleep, but I am.”

“That’s to be expected. Your body is working hard right now.”

“I guess. I have to figure out what to wear for this meeting.”

“You’re meeting with Mr. Northman’s accountant tonight?”

“Yes – what do I wear for that?”

“You don’t need to wear anything fancy. Let’s see here…”

Alicia looked through the small selection of clothes Sookie had in Eric’s closet

“How about this, Miss?” She held up a dark blue tank dress with a tan leather belt.

“It’s comfortable, it’s dressy enough, and you won’t need to wear a bra if you don’t want to.”

“I usually always do, but honestly the thought of wearing one right now is suffocating.”

“That’s not unusual either. One of my daughters went through a phase when she was pregnant where she couldn’t stand having clothes on. Even wearing underwear set her nerves on edge.”

“Yeah, I think I know what you mean.”

Alicia helped Sookie slip into the dress, adjusted the belt to hide her little baby bump which Sookie noticed seemed bigger, and then combed her hair again and put a head band on her. She even helped her put on a little powder, lip gloss and mascara. Sookie looked in the mirror on the dresser, and thought she looked kind of classy, even if she was a little pale. At the moment she could almost pass for a vampire. ‘A Vampire,’ she thought. Something to think about, but not right now.

“Miss Sookie?” Sookie realized she was staring at herself in the mirror.

“Ah – Yes? “

“Maybe you should lie down and watch some TV until Mr. Northman arrives? Your dress won’t wrinkle.”

“Yeah, maybe I should.”

Alicia took the remote laying on Eric’s nightstand and set Sookie up to watch Judge Judy. Sookie was sure some day she’d see somebody she knew from Bon Temps on that show. She already did once on Jerry Springer.

When Judge Judy was off, Sookie explored the channels a bit. Eric had every premium channel and some she didn’t even know existed. She was watching a rerun of That 70s Show and eating a salad with turkey and cheese when Eric came up the stairs in a pair of jeans and a black muscle shirt.

“My lover, you are the very picture of a lady of leisure,” he teased her.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t have much choice today.” She said as he leaned down to kiss her.

Alicia knocked at the door even though it was open. “Excuse me, Mr. Northman?”

“Yes, Alicia – what kind of day did you girls have today?”

“She’s been a bit sick today, so she spent most of it sleeping, but she did manage to keep some food down twice now.”

“Thank you – you got the ibuprofen I assume?”

“Yes, sir, it’s in the cabinet in the kitchenette, your medicine cabinet in this bathroom and I put a small bottle in her handbag.”

“Excellent – if you are finished with everything you need to do, you can go home whenever you like.”

“Very good, sir. You two have a pleasant evening.”

“Bye, Alicia, Thanks!” Sookie wanted her to know she appreciated her help.

“You were unwell, today, my lover?”

“Morning sickness. No big deal.”

“How do you feel now? Do you need to skip the meeting with the Accountant?”

“No, I’m dressed and I’m not sick at the moment.”

“Alright then, you relax a little longer and I’ll take a shower.”

He proceeded with his shower and Sookie got up to get his clothes ready. A nice pleated white shirt and a pair of black slacks. She didn’t think he’d want to wear a tie at home. She picked a pair of shoes, socks and some black paisley silk boxers that made her smile when she found them.

Eric came out of the bathroom in a towel. Holy shit. “It” was alive again.

“What are you doing out of bed, dear one?”

“Getting your clothes ready – is this shirt alright? Did you want to wear a tie?”

“No, a tie isn’t necessary. This is a good selection.” He smiled to himself – she did this without even asking or thinking about it. She was acting like a wife.

“I love these boxers, by the way. “ She grinned at him.

“The fabric, the cut or the pattern?”

“All of those, but the fabric mostly. It’s sexy.”

“Well, then I’ll have to keep that in mind when I shop for more. My lady likes silk,’’ he said as he took her in his arms and hugged her. He held her for a long time.

“Wow, good hug.” She said when he didn’t let go.

“As I was waiting for sleep to come this morning, I thought about our two little dramas last night. I don’t want to lose you, Sookie,” he whispered in her ear.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I should have gotten you out of there earlier.”

“You didn’t know Bill was back until the middle of dinner and neither one of us could have predicted Bill going crazy like that.”

“Well, we are going to be more careful. And I don’t want you spending time alone. I’m going to engage someone to stay with you when you can’t come to Fangtasia with me.”

“Like a baby sitter?”

“Call it what you like, but I don’t want you unattended. It’s a little early for a Doula, but maybe that’s the next step.”

“So, we’re never going to be alone?”

“No, you are never going to be alone. You and I will be together as much as possible. I’ll take more nights off from Fangtasia, and you won’t always be indisposed. On the nights you are up to it, you can come with me. You can always sleep in my office as you did the other night, or you can sit out front with me so I can show you off.”

“You might not want to show me off much longer. The bump is growing.”

“Yes, but it’s MY bump, so I’ll be very happy indeed to show both of you off.”

“Awww.” She stood up on her tiptoes to kiss him.

“Now, dear one,” he said as he finished dressing, let’s go down to the living room, and get ready for our meeting. Margaret should have some tea and some cake ready for our guest.”

“OOohh… cake sounds good! I’m still hungry. Margaret is still here?”

“For the meeting. I don’t like to have people here without refreshments so she comes in for those occasions.”

He grabbed his files from the office and ushered her downstairs. Margaret had baked red velvet and German chocolate cakes and they were both heavenly. Sookie had two pieces of each, and Eric was beaming at her eating for two. The meeting with the accountant went smoothly.

George Anderson was a distinguished Southern gentleman, tall and slim with gray hair and kind grey eyes. Eric introduced her as his fiancé and he congratulated them. She could hear his thoughts and he was an honest man who actually liked working for Eric even though he was a vampire. He paid well and he was always agreeable and had nice cakes and coffee. He thought Eric had better manners than most of his clients. He thought Sookie was sweet, and didn’t make any rude observations about her body or think she was a bimbo.

Eric explained that they were having a child and that they would be married within a few months. Anderson had a couple of credit cards for Eric’s accounts in Sookie’s name and had forms for her to sign that would set up accounts in her name and eventually give her access to Eric’s. Anderson was to set up a meeting with Eric’s attorney for estate planning and everything for Sookie and the baby would be in place as soon as the baby had a birth certificate. He gave Sookie a big folder that had information she might need on all (Eric told her later it was only most) of his businesses and accounts. Eric was loaded and it made her head spin a little.

Once her part was done, Sookie went back upstairs and stripped. Man, it felt good to be naked. She got into bed and put the TV away. If she had her way, she and Eric would be spending a lot of time in that bed the rest of tonight and tomorrow since it was Monday and Fangtasia was closed. Eric took a long time so she started looking through the folder Mr. Anderson had given her. Shopping Malls. Factories. Investments in several different countries. Accounts in 5 different banks and offshore. About 2 dozen credit cards and purchasing accounts not including those for his businesses.

He had given her an American Express black card – she didn’t even know they came in black – a Visa card and a Discover card and had her sign them. She put those in her wallet in her handbag. They said those should cover almost anything she might want or need. Anderson was in the process of setting up 2 accounts in Sookie’s name that would have regular deposits to them and that she could use for anything she wanted. Eric offered to set up a pre-nup that would insure that her house would remain hers alone after they married but she wouldn’t hear of it. He was giving her access to everything he had. She couldn’t exclude him from the one thing she had and she knew he wouldn’t have any interest in it anyway.

It wouldn’t take much for her to freak out about all of this. There was so much information and so much money and most of this stuff was over her head. She should feel bad about being given access to all of Eric’s stuff, but a part of her understood that this is a part of marrying someone and sharing their life. She’d have to do something similar with anyone she married. Eric just had a lot more than she ever anticipated a husband of hers might have. That’s not a bad thing.

It was almost 10 before Eric came upstairs carrying a sandwich and a glass of milk. “What’s that?”

“This is a ham sandwich. Alicia and I have a system worked out to try to make sure you get three meals a day on the schedule we keep, so she’s to feed you at least twice while she’s here then she leaves something I can make sure you eat in the evening.”

“I ate four pieces of cake, you know.”

“Yes, I do know that,” he laughed “but you need protein for the baby.”

“Since when did you become an expert on nutrition?” she said as she took the plate from him and he set the milk on her nightstand.

“When I go down to bed, before I sleep I do a little research on the web with the laptop I keep down there. I’ve been reading about pregnancy and birth and baby care.”

Sookie laughed loudly. “You’re joking?!” She was eating as if she were starved.

“No, I am quite serious. You know, you need to get back into your new laptop and get some things done if you have a day when you can stay awake.”

“Oh, yeah – wedding stuff.”

“Have you thought about that any more?”

“I think we should have a small ceremony in Las Vegas.”

“Really?! Dear one, that would make me very happy.”

“How long do you think it would take to set that up?”

“I am waiting for a call from Sandy to set up a teleconference with Felipe. Once we see what he has to say, we should be able to set a date and you can invite your Witches and your brother. I will pay for all of their travel and expenses, of course, so I don’t want you to worry about that.”

“Wait a minute – did you say you already called Felipe?”

“I called to make an appointment.”

“How did you know I would agree to a Vegas wedding?”

“Even if you didn’t, I need to inform him of my intentions and the impending birth. I had a feeling you would be agreeable, though, because of the time constraints and your health. Even with a wedding planner, I don’t think you are up to a big wedding.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too, and I do want to be married before the baby is born.”

“Well, then, we have a tentative plan, my lover. Your next task is to choose your dress and some resort wear and we’ll plan to stay in Vegas for a few days and enjoy ourselves.“

“Can I play some slot machines?”

He laughed, “Yes, my lover, you can gamble, you can eat, you can lie in the sun, we will see some shows – anything you want.”

“Awesome. Come to bed.”

“Not just yet, dear one. Put this back on for a while.” He said as he threw her the navy tank dress.

“What’s going on?”

“I want to show you something. Have you ever been out to my back yard here?”

“No, actually, I never have. Is it big?”

“Come and you will see,” and he threw her a pair of Birkenstock sandals.

“Hey, I don’t own any Birkenstocks – where did these some from?”

“They must be part of your new wardrobe.”

“New wardrobe?” She pulled the dress over her head.

“Yes, well, I thought you might want some new things… a little more polished, or that maybe you couldn’t afford before. Alicia has been buying things and adding them to your closet and your drawers. She must have bought those sandals for you.”

“You don’t like my clothes?”

“Some of them are very pretty, but you don’t have a lot, and you might need a wider variety of nice things for some of the things we will be doing together.”

“What if I don’t like what she buys?”

“Tell her to take it back and buy something more to your liking.”

“Eric…”

“Ah, yes, there he is…”

“There WHO is?”

“My old friend, resistance. I’ve just told you I’m having pretty new clothes purchased for you and you feel as if that’s something you should throw a fit over. Never mind that you often find yourself trying to figure out what to wear, or that I’ve often had to furnish appropriate clothing for your activities, and never mind the fact that you like the new clothes because you’re wearing one of the dresses right now…”

“I thought this dress was strange. I guess Alicia picked it because she knew it was there and I didn’t.”

“No doubt. You told her what you needed and she had already anticipated your needs. I pay her a great deal for that service.”

“You don’t have to, you know.”

“I know that. I want to do that to make your life easier and nicer, so that my life will be nicer and easier. I know you are used to struggle, Sookie, but you don’t have to struggle anymore. You are allowed to have nice things. You can afford them. You deserve them.”

Sookie’s lip started to tremble and tears welled up in her eyes.

“Don’t cry, Sookie, please –“ he never could stand to see her cry.

“I’m so much trouble.”

‘And hormonal,’ he thought.

“You are not trouble, Sookie. You are a dream for me. You’ve given me things I’ve been denied for a thousand years. Let me do this for you.” He took her in his arms and hugged her, then stroked her hair.

She took a couple of deep breaths and pulled it together.

“Ok, you’re right, I’m sorry.”

“Now – ready to come outside with me?”

“Yeah, let’s go.”

He swooped her up in his arms and flew them down the stairs to the first floor. She laughed. “Glad I’m not nauseous any more.”

“So am I,” he said as he set her down in the den. He pulled the curtains open and flipped a switch and the outside lights came on. The yard was huge, and there was a big blue tarp on the ground.”

“What’s that?”

“That’s what I wanted to show you – it’s a swimming pool.”

“You have a swimming pool?”

“WE have a swimming pool.”

“Why didn’t I know this?”

“I never thought about it before. As you can see, it hasn’t been opened since I’ve lived in this house. I was rarely here before I met you. I spent my nights at Fangtasia, so I never bothered to have it opened and serviced. Remember I told you I was doing research on the web…?”

“Yeah….”

“Well, swimming happens to be a very effective and safe exercise for pregnant women. They have water aerobics classes especially for expectant mothers. How would you like to be able to swim and sunbathe in the afternoons?

“I would LOVE that!” Sunbathing was her only vice and she was busting at the prospect.

“I thought that might be the case. I’ll have my day man engage the pool services and we’ll get it opened for you as soon as possible.”

She threw her arms around his neck and kissed his face over and over, all over.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

He laughed loudly. “A thank you from Sookie Stackhouse? No resistance? No drama?”

“OK, Ok I deserve that, but this is so COOL!”

“If I had known this was the way to your heart I would have opened it years ago.”

He walked over to a closet and took out a really pretty quilt that looked handmade.

“Wow, that’s nice,” she said.

“And comfortable. Come lover.” He opened the door so they could walk around the pool and went out to the larger yard behind it. Eric spread the quilt, a burgundy double wedding ring pattern of all things, out on the grass and motioned for her to sit down. Once she was settled, he lay down beside her, looking up at the stars.

She was looking all around. It was dark, but she could make out a couple of out buildings and see the back of the garage.

“It’s nice out here,” she said.

“Yes. I sometimes come out and look at the stars, but I’ve never had anyone with me before.”

Sookie shifted and lay down next to him, He took her hand and held it. They didn’t speak for a while.

Sookie ran her hand over the soft fabric of the quilt.

“This quilt is huge.”

“I had it made for me about 2 years ago.”

“You did? Did you choose the pattern?

“I asked for something romantic and the seamstress showed me a book. This is called a double wedding ring pattern.”

“Yes, I know. I’m surprised you know.”

“I told her I wanted it huge, and soft and very pretty”

“It’s all of that, alright. Did you have it made so you could lie here and look at the stars?”

“No, I had it made so WE could lie here and look at the stars.”

“Nuh-uh, you’re making that up.”

“No, Sookie, I’m not. I had it made for you, for this.” He reached out and put his arm under her head. She rolled over into him and put her arm across his chest.”

“I didn’t know Vikings were so romantic,” she teased him.

“We were poets as well as warriors, my lover.”

He kissed her forehead. Then he kissed her lips. Then he put his hand under her skirt – and she wasn’t wearing anything. They made love, and that’s exactly what it was, very slowly and quietly.

When they were done, they we lying face to face, smiling and talking.

“Was that what you had in mind when you had this quilt made?”

“Exactly, but the reality is even sweeter than I imagined.”

They cuddled and whispered to each other a long time. Sookie noticed that as they talked, Eric kept stroking her baby bump with the backs of his fingers. He really was happy about all of this. He really loved her.

They must have been out there for at least an hour and a half when a car pulled into the driveway out front. Eric sat up.

“We have company, lover. We should go in now.”

“Oh… ok. I wonder who it is?”

“Let us go in and see.”

He gathered up the quilt and took her arm and they went back in the patio door. She closed and locked it, and he went to the front door, dropping the quilt on the couch in the den on the way.

“Pam!” She heard him greet his child – what was she doing here?

“I’m sorry to bother you, Master, but there has been a disturbance at Fangtasia and your presence is required. I came to stay with Sookie so you could go and attend to it. There was no way to avoid it.”

“My lover…”

“No, that’s ok, you go if you need to. Pam, you don’t need to stay with me…”

“Yes, Sookie, she does. I don’t want you here alone. I probably won’t be gone long – you girls find a movie and watch it on the home theatre system in the den. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Pam, give me your keys.”

He kissed Sookie on the forehead, and headed for her dark blue car in the driveway.

He drove about a mile to a deserted road and got out to see if Pam had put his equipment in the car. In the trunk was a bag with a change of clothes, good strong rope, his gun with the silver bullets, and a special sword he had hidden at Fangtasia for jusr this occasion plus two gallon jugs of water and a bottle of bleach. Pam did well.

He drove out side the city about five miles, into the swamp. He parked the car where it could not be seen, changed into the spare clothing, took the bag and sword and flew over the fence into the interior of the Bayou Bandit Alligator Farm. This was one of his businesses that could not be traced to him, and only Pam knew about it. He placed the bag and the sword in a building near a large pen and locked it. He had keys to all of the locks here, and he made sure there was no security on duty tonight. Everything in place, he flew off into the night.

John Quinn was bone tired. He had worked for two weeks setting up a huge fundraiser in New Orleans that was hosted by Felipe de Castro, but attended by the likes of Madonna and Brangelina. It was a huge success and he was paid well, but he would be glad to get home and sleep in his own bed. He dragged himself and his bags off the elevator and unlocked the door to his apartment. He didn’t have time to react to the scent he picked up – he never saw it coming.

“Wake up, tiger.” Eric kicked Quinn and he opened his eyes, His head was splitting and he was tied tightly in a kneeling position

“Where the hell are we, Northman?”

“The Bayou Bandit Alligator Farm. I own it.”

“You got something on your mind?” He was putting on a tough front, but Quinn knew this situation was bad. Northman had reason to hate him, and they were in the middle of nowhere.

“Are you acquainted with Niall Brigant?”

“The fairy – yeah, I know the old bastard, why?”

“Very few people know this, but Niall is Sookie’s great grand father.”

“Sookie? Is a fairy?”

“Part fairy – one quarter, to be exact.” Eric walked around behind Quinn.

“So when you said that forces beyond comprehension would be called down if she were harmed…”

“Yes. You and Felipe de Castro very nearly started another war with the Fae. Imagine the carnage you nearly caused.”

Quinn was beyond worried now, he was scared.

“Funny thing about fairies, Quinn – my mother was one, too.”

“And I care about this why?”

“Because Niall decided to give Sookie a gift like no other – he worked magick so that I could impregnate Sookie.”

“Vamps can’t…” Quinn was struggling but Eric had him trussed up so he really couldn’t move.

“But fairies can, and I have. Sookie is carrying my son.”

“And you want me to congratulate you?”

“No, but Dr; Ludwig warned us that if either of Sookie’s former lovers came near her while she was with child, they would try to kill him even if it meant killing her.”

“And this is about protecting Sookie?”

“No, not at all, though Bill Compton did try to kill her last night and I nearly had to stake him in her front yard.”

“What makes you think I would do the same thing?”

“Bill was only acting on instinct that told him to kill another man’s child. Your tiger instincts would see the baby as food. You know how fond cats and fairies are of each other.”

“So you went to all of this trouble to tell me to keep away from Sookie while she’s pregnant?”

Eric walked back in front of him with a huge sword. This was definitely not good.

“I can smell your fear, tiger.” He waved the sword with a flourish “This sword, by the way, is a special design. The tip is coated with silver – just in case.”

“Get on with it, Northman.”

“Oh, I will – but I want you to understand something. I am not going to kill you to protect Sookie or my son. Do you remember your date with Sookie, when you encouraged my bonded to defy me and walked out of her house with her on your arm?”

Shit.

“Yes?”

“And then you defiled my bonded with your animal stench”

“Whatever. Get to the point.”

“My point, Quinn, is that the minute you walked out of her house, you were a dead man. I waited for the right time and the right place, and now, you are going to pay for touching that which was rightfully mine.”

“Northman…!”

THWACK THWACK

The first strike came from behind and separated Quinn’s head from his shoulders. The strike backward cut him in half.

Eric laughed out loud. That was a most satisfying kill. He might have preferred combat, but this was more than sufficient.

Eric threw Quinn’s head into the largest alligator pen, which churned with excitement. Eric cut the rope and clothing off the pieces of his body and threw it into an oil drum he had near by. Then he threw his upper torso in, and then his legs and lower body. The ‘gators were having a fine meal tonight. Eric enjoyed the sound of the beasts fighting over the pieces of Quinn, making sure all the pieces had been consumed.

He stripped off his clothes and burned them along with Quinn’s.

He flew back out the to car and opened the trunk. He took the water and washed himself off with it. He wiped the sword down with bleach. He put on the other clothing and drove back to his house.

Sookie was waiting for him at the door.

“Hi!” She was so glad to see him.

“Hello, dear one. Did you girls have fun?”

“I guess. Pam really liked Underworld. She thought Vampires enslaving Weres was a fine idea.”

“Hmm – I don’t know if I’d like keeping the filthy beasts so close.”

“Hey, now, some of my best friends are Weres and Shifters.”

“Yes, my lover, I suppose they are. If you were up to climbing the stairs I’d suggest you going and running us a nice bath with that vanilla scent while I speak to Pam.”

“Oooh – good idea. I can do it. G’night, Pam!” and she was up the stairs.

“Master – all is well?”

“All is very well. The fight was stopped, the authorities and insurance have been notified and all interested parties have been dispatched.”

Pam looked at him. When he was sure that Sookie was up in their bathroom he said “Bayou Bandit.”

Pam smiled a wicked smile. “Lovely. Good night, Master,” and she was gone.

Eric flipped the lights off and stripped, since Sookie was already in the water and had the candles lit. He got straight in and said, ‘Wash me off, my lover.” She happily complied. He did the same to her, then lifted her onto his “gracious plenty” and moving her slowly, up and down, as she wrapped her arms around his neck, he whispered to her “You are mine.”

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