Sookie would have liked nothing more than to just give in and go back to the empty apartment between the worlds, but with the boys awake and Amunet visiting, it just wasn’t a good time to let go. Sookie focused her energy on keeping her awareness split into distinct parts – one that was conversing with the aquamarine crystal and one that was laughing and chatting with family and friends. Bobbie was telling everyone about the first time she met a vampire, making everyone laugh at how cheesy he was, being a circus performer who did a high wire act and some simple juggling, and Sookie was mostly able to follow along.
In the other place, the stone whispered to Sookie, “I’m a Morgen.”
“A Morgen stone – Morgen mean means “woman of the sea.”
“But aren’t aquamarines from mines in Brazil?”
“Some, but not I. My Sisters and I are found only in one special part of Avalon, where the sea washes lava rock away from our crystals so the Priestesses can gather us by hand. I’m one of the largest ever found. Only The Lady of the Lake and 2 members of the Council have larger. Yours was chosen specifically for …
“Mamee, wadiz Won Don Sthimmers?”
“That’s pretty good, Sweetie. Say LONG.”
“Yay, Alex!” Amunet lead the applause and everyone joined in.
Alex was so proud of himself, Sookie thought he would pop! “You’re talking very well, Alex!” Sookie reinforced as she poured some vinegar on her fish.
Alex’s eyes got wide as he cried out “Wadiz dat, Mamee!?” and leaned toward her sniffing.
“EEAYAH! DAYTHS ID, MAMEE!” He was jumping up and down in his seat, literally making his highchair hop. Bobbie grabbed it just before it turned over as everybody shrieked just a bit.
“Whoa, Buddy!.” Bobbie laughed. “Hang on a minute. Mamee will give you some, right, Sookie?”
“Yeah, here, Baby, try a little,” Sookie broke off a bit of fish and crust that was still crunchy but was covered with vinegar.
Alex was bobbing his head left and right, smacking his lips, blinking hard, then holding his mouth open for more.
“Want more vinegar?”
“Eaah, wan moh bimender,” he said, holding his mouth open for her to feed him like a baby bird.
Sookie gave him another bite and he reached for her plate, which started to move toward him. “Alex, no!” She snapped as she caught it. “We’ll get you your own plate, OK?”
Amelia had already been chopping fish and sprinkled it with a little vinegar. “Moh bimender, pweezth, Ameeah!” Alex told her as she put it in front of him.
“This has got vinegar on it, sweetie,” Amelia held the bowl so he could smell it.
“More vinegar? OK, but you don’t want to over do it, kiddo. A little goes a long way!”
Alex watched her reach for some packets on the table and he called some into his hand.
“Hang on, Alex, some of this is not vinegar. This one is, and this one…” Amelia and Bobbie were both trying to separate them out, but before they finished, Alex got a hold of a packet and tore into it with his fangs. He slurped hard and got a big shot of it in his throat which made him choke and sputter.
“Alex, are you alright?” Sookie panicked a little, but he quickly came our of it and Bobbie gave him a sip of her diet coke to wash it down. Everybody laughed as he settled a bit, looking at Amelia with big eyes.
“I told you, Alex…” she started.
“…A widdow does a won way,” Alex said in agreement, just a little chagrined. He was then content to eat the fish Amelia had fixed for him and everyone relaxed.
“I wonder if we should let Aubie taste some?” Sookie wondered, “I don’t want him to feel left out.”
“OK,” Bobbie said, taking some finely chopped fish with a little vinegar on it and held a spoonful for Aubie. He looked at it, sniffed, sneezed the cutest little sneeze and spit like a cat. Everybody cracked up as Bobbie quipped, “I don’t think Aubie’s a vinegar fan, Sookie.”
“I guess not,” she laughed.
“I mean this in the kindest, most admiring way possible, Darling, but meals with your sons are always eventful!” Amunet laughed.
“Yeah, Alex takes his food seriously, don’t you, Pookie?” Sookie stroked his cheek with the backs of her fingers and let a wash of affection and love flow from her over both of the boys.
“Ah, Mama!” Aubie felt the wave and wanted more, so he reached toward Sookie and Bobbie passed him over to her because she knew what he wanted.
“It’s so interesting that they have different tastes,” Amunet mused. “I wonder how much is nature and how much is nurture.”
“We’re pretty sure that most of the difference is nurture – Alex was in my womb, while I was feeding from Eric, but Aubie never was…”
“Excuse me?” Amunet hadn’t heard this before.
Shit. Sookie wished she hadn’t said that.
Bobbie helped her recover, “It’s kind of complicated, but yeah, Alex was favored in a few ways during and after gestation, but Aubie is catching right up now.”
Sookie got it together and continued, “Once Aubie was with us so I could feed him several times a day, he started to catch up. Dr. Ludwig…”
“LUDWIG?! THE Doctor LUDWIG?” Amunet was seriously impressed now.
‘Damn. I did it again,’ Sookie berated herself. “Yeah, she’s a family friend. Anyway, she thinks that eventually Aubie will catch up completely.”
“I can easily believe that. I told you how much stronger he seems now. His eyes sparkle and he smiles so much — as much as Alex, and I’ve never seen a baby happier than Alex.” She wrinkled her nose at him affectionately and he tried to do the same, making everyone laugh again.
“So Sookie, did you see the news earlier today?” Amunet had been looking for a place to change the conversation.”
“I saw just a few minutes earlier…”
“Your favorite Mercenary is celebrating his birthday this weekend.”
“Oh, yeah, I heard. He’s supposed to be at his home in Savannah all weekend and be back in Washington by Monday afternoon.”
“Why don’t you go get him?”
“Now? I don’t know..”
“Wouldn’t a party make it easier to slip in and out?”
“No, not really. I can get in and out clearly enough, I just need to scry first and find the right time.”
“Well, you can’t do it too soon, Sookie,” Amunet pushed just a little.
“Is he giving you problems in Egypt, Amunet?” Bobbie said mostly for Sookie’s benefit. It wouldn’t be good to let Amunet make Sookie act before she was ready and she could tell Amunet was the type to push and keep pushing because no one ever said ‘no’ to her. She took Aubie over to join Alex in the play pen.
“Yes – he’s making a lot of enemies, creating more unrest and confusion than I’ve ever seen in some quarters. I can’t wait until he’s dead.”
“Neither can I, but it has to be the right time.” Sookie emphasized “right time” to really drive it home.
“Yes, of course, these things need planning. It’s just so tempting, isn’t it? Imagine being able to teleport. Think of it, Sookie!” She placed her hand on Sookie’s forearm. “Imagine us being in his house right now!”
And they were gone. Sookie and Amunet simply disappeared.
“OH. MY. GODDESS!” Bobbie and Amelia said in unison as the three of them realized what had happened.
Alicia was speechless, but she tried to speak. “Is it possible…?”
“It’s not only possible, it’s probable,” Amelia said as Bobbie ran to the hall to find Bjorn and Jerry.
Alicia didn’t intend to wait. She had a “panic button” in her pocket and she used it.
Bjorn and Jerry nearly flattened Bobbie as they sped through the door. Before they could ask, the women were all talking at once, all saying the same horrible thing – Sookie and Amunet were probably in Jubal Garner’s HOUSE!
“OK, everybody be calm. Amelia, slowly, and completely, tell me what happened,” Bjorn tried to take control of the situation.
“OK, we were all talking about Garner’s birthday bash this weekend, and Amunet said “think about it, Sookie; What if we were in Garner’s house right now, and they were gone.”
“Can Amunet teleport?” Bjorn asked
“I don’t think so,” Bobbie said, “she was wishing that she could.”
“And she touched Sookie, who actually can teleport,” Amelia finished.
“The crystal!” Bobbie suddenly remembered,
“What?” Bjorn asked, really trying not to panic.
“I saw Amunet touching that aquamarine thing that Sookie can’t take off. Can that thing give her any powers?”
“Shit,” Jerry said, “I’ll bet it can.”
“You know about this, Jerry?” Bjorn was open to suggestions.
“I’ve read most of the myths about that thing since Sookie turned up with it. It’s like an amplifier, and it may have residual effects.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s possible that a person who touched it might retain part of it’s power temporarily. It sort of “rubs off” on anyone that touches it.”
“OK, so we have to assume that Sookie is inside enemy lines right now, with Amunet…”
“In bikinis,” Bobbie sheepishly reminded the guys they’d been in the pool. Neither woman was properly dressed by anyone’s standard, let alone by vampire’s stricter standards.
“Aw, hell! I forgot they’re not even dressed!” Bjorn said. That alone would make Eric ready to kill and no one could blame him.
“OK, they have no clothes, no phones, only Sookie, Amunet and Sookie is wearing the crystal, correct?” Jerry asked. “Bjorn – We need Raphael.”
Bjorn saw where he was going and nodded. “Right, we need a Daemon. Someone that can see what they’re doing and go get them if necessary. Is he in the building?”
“Today is his day off, and he was going into town but he might be back by now.” Jerry told him as he pulled out his phone.
Suddenly Sookie and Amunet found themselves standing in a some kind of man’s office with creepy stuffed animals all over the walls – a huge sword fish, some kind of antlers, deer and boar heads. It smelled like cigars and beer.
“Oh, my Goddess,” Sookie said quietly, terrified. “I didn’t know you could teleport!”
“I can’t! It has to be you and that crystal…”
Before the words were out of her mouth, a booming voice came from behind them.
“Who the hell are you and how did you get in here?”
Sookie spun on her heel and looked up into the angry face of Jubal Garner.
“Do it, Sookie, NOW!” Amunet urged her as Garner grabbed her arm.
There was nothing else to do, so Sookie put all her force into her hand and reached into the man’s big chest. She wrapped her fingers around his heart and squeezed as hard as she could. Garner let go of her and dropped to his knees, crying out in agony, eyes wide and fixed on Sookie with absolute terror, his hair suddenly shocking white, as she squeezed and squeezed and …
Sookie jumped back, his heart still in her bloody hand as she turned to look in the face of Garner’s 15 year old son, frozen at the door, still in his military school uniform.
The boy shrieked “DAD! HELP! DAD!” as Sookie grabbed Amunet with her free hand and said “HOME!” just as the boy started toward them.
In an instant, they were back in the penthouse. Before anyone could speak or react, Sookie fell to her knees, the heart still in her hand, her little body wracked with sobs. No one knew what to do. The bloody heart was on the floor in front of Sookie, her arm bloody up to the elbow, as she wailed in grief the likes of which she had never imagined. Garner deserved to die, but his son didn’t deserve to see it – to see her with his father’s heart in her hand, and she knew, without any doubt, that no one would believe his story. He would tell them that a bikini-clad vampire queen and a friend had popped in, killed his father, and disappeared with his heart. He would end up in an institution, or a jail, or he’d grow up hating vampires like no one ever hated a vampire before. He would know that Witches are real. He might even learn about Fae if he dug very deep.
Every cell in Sookie’s body knew that someday, in about 25 years, her son Alex would have to kill Jubal Garner’s son, Caleb. The die had been cast. The battle was over, but the war — the real, horrible, bloody war — had just begun.