Even though my late night / early morning activities with Eric completely exhausted me, I was up by half past 8. After a much needed cup of coffee, I settled in the home office with my cell phone, a legal pad and a pen. I hadn’t really thought about how I was going to approach this Remy Savoy. At first I thought about driving to his New Orleans address, but then I’d much prefer being hung up on then having a door slammed in my face.
The phone rang two times before a man answered.
“Hi, could I please talk to Mr. Remy Savoy?” I asked after taking a deep breath.
“That’s me! Who’s callin’?”
“Good morning, Mr. Savoy. I apologize for calling in so early, but I thought this would be the best time to catch you. My name is Sookie Stackhouse from Auditore & Stackhouse Law Firm in Shreveport. I’m calling regarding your former wife, Hadley Delahoussaye.”
There was a loud groan at the end of the line.
“What does that bitch want? I hope she ain’t thinkin’ ‘bout suin’ me for spousal support! Tell that two-time cheatin’ bitch I’m done with her!”
His animosity toward my cousin didn’t really surprise me. Most people who had the misfortune of encountering Hadley tend to despised her. It really hurt to admit it, but she was probably the most selfish person of my acquaintance – and I knew one Pam Swynford De Beaufort!
“I’m not calling on behalf of Hadley, Mr. Savoy. My client is actually Mrs. Adele Stackhouse, Hadley’s maternal grandmother who also happens to be my own grandmother. You see, Hadley is my cousin…”
There was a silence. I was afraid that in his rage, Remy Savoy might have hung up on me.
“Mr. Savoy, are you still there?”
“Yes… I’m real sorry ‘bout my outburst, Miss. I… Hadley wasn’t really into talkin’ ‘bout her family, but she did talked ‘bout her Gran once in a while. I think she even said she had an uncle who was a big time lawyer up North…”
“She was talking about my late father, Corbett. Mr. Savoy, I understand that you and Hadley were married for a while…”
“Worst mistake of my whole life! I should have listened to my mama! Hadley was nothin’ but a fuckin’ lyin’ cheatin’ drug usin’ bitch!”
There definitely was some bad blood left between the former spouses.
“You’re preaching to the wrong person, Mr. Savoy. I know firsthand how bad Hadley can be. Did you know she bailed out of rehab and stole our grandmother’s check book? That she didn’t even came back home when her own mother died after a long battle against cancer?”
He let out a laugh. “I didn’t even know if her parents were dead or alive… I’m real sorry, Miss Stackhouse but I ain’t heard ‘bout Hadley since she tried to pin her bastard on me in September… You see the moment she started usin’ again I threw her out…”
“Wait a minute, what do you mean by pinning her bastard on you? Did Hadley give birth? She has a child?”
“She dropped the bomb ‘bout a month after I found out she had been cheatin’ on me with a guy who worked with me. She had started usin’ dope again and anybody could be the kid’s father. But it ain’t me!”
“You had a paternity test done?” I asked, curious about how he could be dead on certain he wasn’t the child’s father.
“Ain’t got money for that, but that kid sure ain’t mine! Even if he was, I ain’t ever gonna get myself chained to that bitch!”
He… Hadley had a baby boy. Shit… She could barely take care of herself, but a baby?
“Mr. Savoy, I need you to tell me everything you know about Hadley’s whereabouts…”
“I’m tellin’ you, I ain’t know nothin’…”
How I wish I could read mind through the phone…
“She must have given you an address during your divorce proceeding or a phone number. It’s really important, Mr. Savoy…”
He sighed. “She was stayin’ in the Quarter. She was rentin’ a room from some rich daddy’s girl. Name is Carmichael, Mia or somethin’ like that. Give me a minute.”
Five minutes later I had an address, indeed located in the fashionable French Quarter of New Orleans, and a name, Amelia Carmichael.
“Thank you, Mr. Savoy.”
“You ain’t told me why you were lookin’ for Hadley…”
“Hadley came into some sort of inheritance… Not a lot, but significant enough.”
“Between you and me… Don’t give her the money, she’ll just buy more drugs with it.”
I swiftly thanked him before hanging up. I knew that in some way he was right. But she was a mother, now. Motherhood tended to make women grew up. Maybe having a child had tamed her selfishness? I shook my head, fat chance indeed.
I spent the rest of the morning and the early afternoon planning. I quickly researched this Amelia Carmichael. She was the only daughter of Copley Carmichael, owner of a very successful construction company that ended up doubling its net worth after the disaster that had been Katrina. She was quite the recluse and didn’t seem to socialize with people. I then called Gran, asking her to come before sunset and waited. Eric would be up shortly and I couldn’t wait to tell him. I was still pretty shocked by my discovery.
Eric must have felt my emotion because he was already rising as I made my way to the bedroom.
“I imagine you were able to get a hold of this Remy Savoy.”
I nodded. “Gran is coming soon…”
“Lover, is your cousin alright?”
The doorbell ringing didn’t allow me to tell him about what I had uncovered.
“That must be Gran… Why don’t you get dress, I will tell you both…”
He vamped to the walk in before reappearing seconds later fully dressed. I went to answer the door while he waited in the darken living room.
“Sookie, dear… Did you find her?”
“I might have…”
We all sat down on the couch, Eric sending me calm and reassurance through the bond.
“I found out that she had gotten married three years ago to a man named Remy Savoy in New Orleans.”
“Did she settle down?” asked Gran, hopeful.
“No… They divorced about a year and a half ago. According to what Mr. Savoy told me, Hadley was sober when they first married, but soon fell off the wagon. He found out she was cheating on him with one of his co-worker and call it quit.”
“But that’s not the end, Gran. About a month after throwing her out, Hadley told Remy she was pregnant… He doesn’t really know if he’s the father or not, but he refused to acknowledge the child.”
“Did this Mr. Savoy told you where your cousin was?” asked Eric.
“He’s not absolutely sure, but he knows of her last known address. She had been renting a room in the Quarter to a woman named Amelia Carmichael. Hopefully she’ll be able to tell us more.”
My Viking nodded before taking his cell phone out of his jeans pocket.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m getting the jet ready. It’s about an hour flight from Shreveport to New Orleans, we can be back before dawn…”
“Of course, Sookie. I’m not letting you go alone!”
I watched in disbelieve as he made arrangement for AIK corporate to be ready for takeoff as soon as the sun set.
“Sookie, dear… You didn’t tell me, Hadley’s baby…”
Gran seemed to have aged 10 years since I told her about Hadley’s motherhood.
“A boy. I don’t know his name or if he’s alright… Hopefully we’ll know soon.”
“A baby boy? I have a great-grandchild!”
The sun wasn’t fully set when we left Gran back at the house and drove toward Shreveport’s airport in Eric’s heavily tinted SUV. I took the wheel, afraid that the still there ray of light would hurt my vampire. And I was right to be afraid, since he got some light blisters as we boarded the jet. We sat down on the snow white leather couch. The pilot, his co-pilot and the stewardess were ready to depart and soon we were in the air. Once the seatbelt sign went out I offered him my neck. Reluctantly he refused it.
“I’ll take a glass of Royalty Blend” he argued.
“You won’t! You have blisters, Eric! Royalty Blend won’t do! Bite me!”
Stupid, stubborn Vampire.
“If I bite you, Lover, we will scandalize my poor stewardess once she comes back from the cockpit…”
“Fuck the stewardess” I said. “If you don’t bite me I’m going to take a knife and cut myself, then your immaculate couch is going to be stained…”
He didn’t need more invitation. His fangs were down and quickly imbedded him my neck. As usual, his bite aroused me. I was grinding myself to him as the door leading to the cockpit opened and swiftly closed. Eric licked the wound he had inflicted me before making it disappear with some of his blood.
“I am regretting my choice of turning the jet bedroom into a light tight coffin storage room!”
I laughed before snuggling next to him. I found peace in his embrace. I knew that worst case scenario the rest of the evening would be awful and I wasn’t going to let precious moment of quietness get away. Soon we were landing in New Orleans’ Lakefront Airport, which was better than landing at the Louis Armstrong Airport, more privacy and less security.
The twenty minutes drive to the French Quarter was torture. I was dreading seeing my cousin. If indeed motherhood had changed her, then it would be quite easy. But if she was still the same selfish Hadley I knew – and I was pretty sure she still was, then it would be quite a confrontation. Then there was the baby to think of. My little cousin… If his mother was still selfish and irresponsible there was no way in hell I would let him stay with her!
“Lover we are here…”
I had never been to New Orleans before and under normal circumstance I would have been excited at the idea of visiting the Big Easy. But as I stood in front of Amelia Carmichael’s beautifully restored house with ironwork galleries. I took a deep breath, squeezed Eric’s hand which had been resting on my waist before ringing the doorbell.
“I’m here, Lover” he whispered, kissing my temple.
The door opened on a tiny brunette with dark circles under her eyes.
I smiled. “Hello, you are Miss Carmichael, right?”
“Depends who’s asking…”
“My name is Sookie Stackhouse and this is my boyfriend, Eric Northman, we would like to see Hadley if is available…”
“I don’t know who you’re talking about. I don’t know any Hadley…”
She was getting ready to close the door on us when Eric stopped her. That’s when we heard it. A baby crying.
“Is that the baby?” I asked. “Hadley’s baby?”
I dropped my shields and listened to Miss Carmichael. Lucky for me, she was quite the broadcaster. Probably the loudest one I ever encountered.
“Fucking Hadley! Not another couple you’re hoping to con into buying your baby!”
“Barnet är här, men Hadley inte. Jag tror att hon försökte sälja honom innan. Eric, hon skulle sälja sitt barn till högstbjudande! (The baby is here, but Hadley is not. I think she was trying to sell him before. Eric, she was going to sell her baby to the highest bidder!)”
“Jag tar hand om det, min älskare. (I’ll take care of it, my lover)”
As soon as the words escaped his lips, Eric had Miss Carmichael under his glamour.
“Miss Carmichael, may I call you Amelia?”
She nodded, her eyes empty.
“Amelia, you will invite both me and Miss Stackhouse inside, won’t you?”
“Please, come on in.”
The living room was cosy, but nowhere could we see that a child was living here.
“Amelia, why don’t you tell us about Hadley and her baby?”
“She’s not here. She left about a month after giving birth, so 9 months ago. Told me she would send me money for the baby, but she never did. What she did send were couples, several couples, willing to pay to buy the baby.”
Fucking Hadley! Selling off her baby while she knew she had family who would gladly take him.
“And do you know why Hadley was willing to sell her baby?” asked Eric, still holding Amelia Carmichael under his glamour.
“He was cramping her style. She couldn’t go out as much as used to. And Hunter is quite a difficult child.”
Hunter! We finally had a name!
“Are you here to take him?” she asked.
It hurt me to see how hopeful at the idea of us taking the baby.
“Yes, we are” said Eric.
I looked at him, surprised.
“Miss Stackhouse is Hadley’s cousin. She can be trusted with the child, Hunter.”
A smile appeared on Amelia Carmichael’s face.
“Thank you! Hunter is such a difficult child, peculiar even. He doesn’t like to be cuddle and prefer to be left alone in his cot.”
A frown appeared on Eric’s face. I was pretty sure he was thinking the same thing as me.
“Why don’t you go collect his belonging and bring him to us. We will then leave and you will never be bothered again.”
With that, Amelia got up and left. I turned to Eric.
“Do you think the same as me?”
“That the baby, Hunter, might be a telepath? Yes.”
“Then no wonder Miss Carmichael think he is difficult and peculiar! She’s the loudest broadcaster I ever heard!”
Heart wrenching cries got our attention as Amelia Carmichael came back to the living room carrying a blond haired, blue eyed 10 months old baby boy.
“Oh my God…”
Tears willed in my eyes. How could Hadley abandoned such a perfect little treasure?
Miss Carmichael handed me a diaper bag that I knew from her thoughts contained the baby’s meagre possessions before giving him to Eric. As soon as the baby was in his arms, he calmed down. The magic of Vampire bubble.
“I put his birth certificate and other stuff in the bag…”
“Thank you, Amelia” said Eric, still holding her under his glamour. “You will forget all about our visit. If Hadley comes and ask you about Hunter’s whereabouts, you will tell her that her family came and collected him.”
And with that we were back to the SUV that had brought us. Eric sat next to me, still holding Hunter, before asking the driver to take us back to the airport.
“Do you want to hold him, Lover?”
“I don’t know… He looks so peaceful in your arms.”
Eric holding a baby that in look could pass as his own was quite a sight. And the smiles gracing both his and Hunter’s lips were enough to warm my heart.
“Here, take him” he said, passing the baby to me. “Put his head close to your heart, it should calm him.”
I was expecting the baby to start crying again once leaving the sanctum of Eric’s bubble, but surprisingly he didn’t. The fact that I had been keeping my shields up might have something to do with it, so I slowly lowered them, but nothing happened. Hunter was still peacefully quiet.
“You are just like me, Liten Jägare (Little Hunter), there is no better place than against your Aunt Sookie’s ample bosom!”
“Eric Northman! Don’t listen to your Uncle Eric, Hunter… He just has a very deprived mind!”
Uncle Eric… And Aunt Sookie… It would take time getting use to.
“I’ll call Adele and Pam” he added, taking his cell phone out. “They are in for quite a surprise.”
That they were!