“In what shit has that Reynolds guy got himself into…”
“Why? Why us again? Havin’ a killer in our midst ain’t enough for you, Lord?”
Andy Bellefleur quickly sobered up the moment Sam Merlotte dropped him to the ground to check what had made Tara scream like a banshee. Calls were made to the police station while people started to desert the bar for its parking lot. It was soon discovered that the body wasn’t Lafayette, but a woman. A woman that Tara, even though she denied it when asked, obviously knew.
“Fuck… It’s Miss Jeannette!”
Tara was currently being questioned by Deputy Jones while Deputy Ellis was doing a very bad job at questioning me.
“Don’t look at her boobs… Don’t look at her boobs…”
I couldn’t believe it!
“So, Miss Stackhouse… Can you tell me how you found the body?”
I sighed. “As I already told you, Deputy Ellis, I was going to give Detective Bellefleur a lift home, but he said he needed to grab some stuff from his car. When we reached it, the back passenger seat was half opened…”
“Yes… And what ‘bout your whereabouts?”
“God, her boobs are so big I bet if she took a deep breath the buttons would burst… I should drop my pen and let her bend to pick it up…”
“Detective Ellis? What do you mean about my whereabouts? My whereabouts for the evening? Or my whereabouts when we found the body? For the latter I was right where Coroner Spencer is standing right now, for the former I was at my Gran’s house where I had dinner with her, then next to Detective Bellefleur inside the bar.”
“Well… I… Thank you, Miss Stackhouse. I… We’ll contact you again if we need further information.”
“Thank you, Deputy Ellis.”
I made my way toward my car, stopping on my way to make sure somebody else would drop Detective Bellefleur home.
“Don’t worry, Miss Sookie” said Terry Bellefleur. “I’ll bring him home. Let’s hope Grandma Caroline ain’t awake…”
I left the scene and drove back home. Home… I would never get tired of calling Eric’s Shreveport house ‘home’. I once thought Boston was my home. It was where I was born, where I lived. But when my father died… I realized that our big empty brownstone wasn’t home anymore. Gran once said that home was where your heart was. Well Eric definitely held my heart.
I was expecting to find Pam’s pink mini-van in the driveway, but it was nowhere in sight. I made my way to the front door and absentmindedly smiled.
“Honey, I’m home!”
Nothing… Normally Eric would vamp to the door as soon as I entered the house. I dropped my purse on the side table and made my way upstairs. I could only feel one void, coming from our room. To my disappointment it was empty, but the door to the ensuite bathroom was half-opened.
“Eric, honey, are you in the bathroom?”
Still no answer. I shimmied out of my clothes and decided to join him. The sight of my Viking lounging in the large bathtub that was still too small for his impressive frame sent a spark to my spine. He was deliciously sexy, his eyes closed, a ghost of a smirk on his magnificent face.
“Hey there handsome…”
He opened his eyes and his smirk grew bigger at the view of my own nakedness.
“Good evening, Lover.”
He had started to call me ‘Lover’ more and more, reverting to the Swedish version only when in the throw of passion.
“Want some company?”
His only answer was to extend his hand helping me into the tub. The water was still hot as I settled in, my back to his front with his hands circling my waist. I let out a moan as his lips trails down from my ear to where my neck met my shoulders.
“So I guess the lesson on feeding went pretty well if Jessica and Pam are already gone…”
“The young one is quite impressive… Her glamour is extremely strong for one so young. Too bad Compton is her Maker… But she’ll make a magnificent vampire with time.”
“Compton might be her Maker, but she has you and Pam…”
His large hands were now cupping my breasts, massaging them.
“And she has you too… and Adele…”
“That she does…”
Lust filled our bond as his hands mapped my body. My own hands travelled to his strong thighs, his growing erection pressing against my backside.
“How about we get out of this bath?” I said, between moans and groan. “My skin is starting to prune and while this tub is large, it is not large enough for what I intend to do to you…”
I felt his smile on my neck. “I think that’s a good idea, Lover.”
I let out a gasp as he vamped us out of the tub, dried us off and set me on the bed. In one swift move he was inside me, literally rocking my world. Thanks to his Vampire stamina, Eric brought me to ecstasy a good half dozen times before I dozed off completely exhausted. When I finally opened my eyes, he was lying next to me, still completely naked, working on his laptop.
“Welcome back, Lover…”
I kissed him softly, before letting out a yawn.
“How long was I out?”
“Just a little under an hour. I guess my prowess were too much for you…”
I slapped his arm before kissing him once more.
“It’s all your damn Vampire stamina’s fault, honey. I’m just a mere human-fairy hybrid after all.”
“If I remember correctly you were the one begging for more. The words ‘Faster, Eric’, ‘Harder, Eric’ and ‘More, Eric’ escaped your lips several times if I’m not wrong…”
“Thank you for reminding me not to stroke your gigantic ego!”
As usual our little banter turned into a heated make out session that turned into another round of screaming orgasms. Several hours later, just before dawn, we were tangled together, telling each other about our day slash evening.
“After dinner I went for a few drinks at Merlotte’s, you know to see how they were dealing with Lafayette’s absence. Tara and Merlotte are starting to get worried, but otherwise people don’t really give a damn. Apparently he has a habit of going away for several days without telling anyone…”
“Do I need to send Pam to glamour Merlotte and this Tara?”
“No, I don’t think so. Anyway, this ‘Come-to-Jesus’ should come to an end soon, right?”
He nodded. “We’ll glamour Mr. Reynolds to forget who held him, but yes, in a couple of days he should be set free.”
I told him about the body found in the back of Detective Bellefleur’s car.
“Is it Vampire related?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“No, I didn’t really snoop into the officers or the coroner’s heads, but I think it wasn’t related to Vampires.”
“You know, you’re a real trouble magnet, Lover. Before you moved in Area 5, everything was quiet and peaceful… Maybe you should move back to Boston…”
I gasped before tickling him. Yes, the powerful Viking Vampire Sheriff of Area 5 was ticklish.
“I surrender!” he begged, a huge smile on his face.
“The great Viking warrior admits defeat?”
“Only to Sookie…”
His lips were sealed to mines in a searing kiss that left me breathless.
“And what are you going to do tomorrow?”
“I have to go to AIK headquarter, but after that I’ll head over Bon Temps and spent some time with Gran. I will probably be back after sunset. And you? Are you going to Fangtasia tomorrow night?”
“Yes, I have to deal with some Area businesses.”
I frowned. Normally, whenever Eric and Pam dealt with ‘Area businesses’, Jason would be the one to assist them. But with him away in Dallas, maybe I could be helpful.
“I could come with you, you know. I know that normally Jason is the one seeing to the legal side of Area businesses, but…”
He smiled. “Don’t you worry your pretty head, Lover. Pam and I can handle it.”
We continued chatting until dawn finally claimed Eric. I slept until nearly 10 AM before taking a long lonely shower. Getting dressed in a marine and white dress matched with a white trench-like jacket and delicate heeled sandals – thanks to my new wardrobe compliment of Pam, I was ready to head to AIK Headquarter in downtown Bossier City.
Apart from being the HQ of AIK, the building also housed Jason’s offices and several of Eric and Pam’s different businesses. Upon entering the bright and modern edifice – definitely not what you would expect for a Vampire business, I was escorted to the office of Desmond Cataliades. While Eric was the owner of AIK, Desmond Cataliades was the one who was really in charge of the company. The daemon, because yes, Desmond Cataliades was a daemon, had been working for Eric for years and had been a great friend of my father.
“Sookie! Such a pleasure to see you!”
I spent several hours going over several files with the help of Desmond. Corporate laws had never been my forte, but under the daemon’s tutelage I quickly found my footing. After sharing a lunch with my father’s old friend, I drove down to Bon Temps where I find Gran sitting on her porch, Freyja at her feet, looking quite grim.
“Why the sour look, Gran? Did someone die or…”
“Yes… I received a visit this morning. You might not remember him, but Sid Matt Lancaster was our family lawyer before Corbett finished Law School. He came by to tell me that Bartlett had died.”
I’m not ashamed to say that this news didn’t bring any emotion whatsoever in me.
“I’m sorry, Gran. I know that what he did is unforgivable, but he was still your brother…”
“He stopped being my brother the moment I found out about what he had done to my little girl and to her own little one and what he had planned for you. No… I’m not feeling anything regarding his death. According to Sid Matt, he had been sick for a while. In my opinion, it was his comeuppance. As a good Christian I can’t rejoice in the fact that he suffered, but I can’t help being glad his last years on Earth weren’t easy ones. Now he has to face our Lord and pay for his crimes for Eternity.”
I sighed. “So, apart from telling you he finally died, what was it that Mr. Lancaster wanted?”
She didn’t give me any answer, just handed me a piece of paper. I quickly scan it. It was a copy of Bartlett’s last Will and Testament. According to the document, his house in Monroe and all his saving were to be given to Hadley…
“He’s giving everything to Hadley?”
She nodded. “Blood money if you asked me. A way to atone his sins.”
“So, Mr. Lancaster came down in the hope that Hadley would be here? Or does he know where she is?”
She let out a sigh. “He knows as much as us… Which is not a lot.”
The last we had heard from her, Hadley had skipped rehab with Gran’s check book. The only thing we knew for sure was that she wasn’t dead. Dad had arranged with several of his contacts throughout the South to call us whenever a Jane Doe was found dead and none of them had been Hadley.
“Do you want me to do some research? I could check public records… We never know. All we ever looked for was death certificates. She might have gotten arrested or something…”
A glimmer of hope appeared in Gran’s blue eyes.
“You really would? But what about your other work?”
“Don’t worry about it. Eric won’t mind.”
We shared a light dinner and said our goodbye just after sunset. I arrived to an empty house and a note from Eric telling me he wouldn’t be back from Fangtasia until later. After getting a cup of tea, I settled in the living room and started searching Louisiana’s records for any traces of Hadley Delahoussaye.
Since she had never filled out income taxes there was no known address for her. I then searched for criminal records and surprisingly she didn’t have one. I was getting restless until I finally found something. A marriage certificate and a divorce decree. Apparently she had gotten married three years ago to a Remy Savoy in New Orleans and he had petitioned for divorce less than a year and a half ago. Unlike Hadley, Remy Savoy was easier to find. I wrote down his phone number and decided to call him the next day.
Throughout the evening I had felt a maelstrom of emotions coming from Eric – even though I could feel he tried hard to block the bond. But in the last couple of weeks we had become so used to feeling each other that closing it became more and more difficult. I felt disgust, amusement, anger, blood lust and finally annoyance. Feeling that his night must have been a difficult one and sensing him getting closer and closer with each passing minutes, I closed my laptop and ran upstairs to the walk-in closet.
If my Viking had a rough night, then his Fairy would do anything to make it better. Pam had surprised me a couple of days before with several boxes from Frederick’s of Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the kind of girl who likes nice under things and lingerie and while I loved shopping at Victoria’s Secret, La Perla and now at Agent Provocateur, having someone else buying me these – especially my boyfriend’s Childe, was still new to me.
Excitement filled me as I stripped down and put on a red lacy halter-top bustier, tiny thong, garter belt and thigh high stocking. Grabbing a pair of black and red stripper shoes – probably another ‘gift’ from Pam, and undoing my French twist, letting my hair fall in a cascade of curls on my back, I went back to the bedroom, lounging myself on the bed foot ottoman.
My heart was racing as I heard the door opened and felt one void coming in. Thank God Jessica was staying with Pam tonight! I softly bit my lower lip when the bedroom’s door opened on Eric… sporting a way shorter hairdo!
“What happened to your hair?”
Gone was all my sexiness as I got up and tentatively brought my hand to his now very short hair.
“Min alskäre…” he said, speechless.
“Eric Northman answer me right now! What happened to your hair?”
He cleared his throat. “You really want to talk about my hair when I come home to find you dressed… or should I say undressed like this? Min alskäre, if I were still human I would have a heart attack!”
“Well good thing you’re a Vampire, then! Now answer me! Who chopped your hair?”
There was no way I would let him drop the subject.
“Pam did it. She’s been bugging me for a while now about giving me highlights and earlier tonight she did. But I had an… accident while having almost all my head wrapped in aluminum. She had to cut it. You did tell me I was in need of a haircut.”
“Yes, but… It’s gonna take some getting used to. I really did like your long hair, especially when I would grip it during…”
He cut me off by kissing me long and hard. My hands went to his now shorter do and I did just what I told him I like, I gripped it.
“Now, to what do I owe the pleasure of being welcomed by you in such a mouth watering outfit?”
A sexy smile appeared on my lips. “I felt your change of emotion throughout the evening… I guess I wanted to make the rest of your night a little better.”
“Just a little?”
I smirked. “A lot better…”
Soon the thong was ripped from my body, my breast were spilling from the bustier and I had a very turned on Viking between my thighs. He didn’t even stripped and when we finally reached our peak together he was still fully dressed.
“If this is the welcome I am to expect whenever I have a bad night at work…”
“And if this is your response to such an outfit…” I let out, breathless.
His lips claimed mine as he spooned me from behind. It took me several minutes to finally calm down and catch my breath. He took this time to tell me about what had happened at Fangtasia. How they had brought Royce Williams, one of the men who had set ablaze Malcolm, Diane and Liam’s nest. How the bastard had burned him with a tiny piece of silver before being dismembered swiftly – causing the mess to Pam’s hair dyeing job leading to his new haircut.
“And what about you, Lover? How was your day?”
I told him about my afternoon with Desmond Cataliades and my early evening with Gran.
“Gran received the visit of our family’s old lawyer. Her estranged brother, Bartlett, passed away.”
A frown appeared on his handsome face.
“Bartlett, you said? Is he the one who abused both your aunt and cousin?”
Now it was my turn to frown. “How do you know about that?”
“Corbett… He came to see me, one summer you were visiting Louisiana. He was extremely drunk, it was the first and last time I saw him like that. He asked me to kill his uncle. I couldn’t believe that my dear friend, my own lawyer, was asking me to kill someone for him. Then he told me what that monster had done to his sister and his niece… What he had planned to do to you, his little girl. I saw red. I was ready to do it, to kill that bastard. But I didn’t. That wasn’t my friend talking. That was his pain, his anger. So I sobered him up and told him I wouldn’t do it. I told him that killing Bartlett would only shorten his punishment, that for the crimes he had committed, he needed a long suffering. So I put your father in a cab and sent him back to Bon Temps.”
“I’m a little afraid to ask what punishment you came up with…”
He smirked. “You know that the older the vampire is, then stronger and better is the glamour – except of course for young Jessica who seems to be quite the prodigy. Well, I glamoured your Great-Uncle to have tiny small heart attacks every time he had lewd thoughts about little girls. How did he die?”
“According to Mr. Lancaster he had been sick for years… Eric, are you telling me that you didn’t kill him when dad asked you to, but you were the ultimate cause of his death?”
He took a deep breath, a breath he didn’t need to take, before nodding.
“Thank you” was all I could say.
“You’re welcome. Now, if he was estranged from the family, then why did that lawyer went to Adele?”
“His will. He left his house and money to Hadley. Mr. Lancaster was hoping we would know how to contact her…”
“She ran off, didn’t she? And she stole money from Adele, right?”
I nodded. “But I think I might have a lead. I search the state records and found a marriage licence and divorce decree under her name in New Orleans. And since Delahoussaye isn’t that common, I’m pretty sure it’s her. I’m going to call her ex-husband in the morning and ask him if he knows how to contact her.”
“If you need any help, Lover, feel free to use Bobby. That man has quite a few tricks up his sleeves.”
I yawned and nodded. Dawn was coming soon. The shutters were already closing and soon Eric would go to rest. I closed my eyes and let sleep claim me. I could feel Eric moving through the room and going to the bathroom before coming back to bed to snuggle next to me.