The trip back was quite uneventful. Lafayette was quick to empty the plane’s minibar before we even reached England’s airspace and fell into an alcool induced sleep for the rest of the flight. For my part, I stayed awake, watching over Eric’s travelling coffin until we landed at New York-JFK for a refuel pit stop just before dusk.
“Open your beautiful eyes, lover…”
I did as I was asked and sighed with contentment. Eric had somehow left his coffin and was now sitting on one of the snowy couches, my head resting on his laps.
“Hi… Are we home?”
He smiled tenderly, softly stroking the side of my face.
“My home is wherever you are…”
Could he be any sweeter? He gently brushed his lips against my own before easing me up.
“But if you mean are we in Louisiana, then the answer is yes. We landed in Shreveport about 15 minutes ago.”
I frowned as I took in the empty plane.
“Where are Lafayette and the girls?”
“They’ll meet us later at your house. They’re heading to one of our safe house to freshen up before joining us for our meeting with your brother and the Sheriff.”
“So we are going to the farmhouse? But what will we do in the meantime?” I asked, sneaking my hands behind his neck and playing with his soft hair.
“Minx… You know very well what I want to do. First we’ll get down and dirty, then we will take that long awaited shower that we never got to take a long time ago during the witch’s curse…”
I blushed furiously at the memory of our aborted shower during our first bonding trip… That snow globe like forest with the fur bed… The promises we made to each other, promises that I soon after broke…”
Damn bond! Of course he felt the change in my mood. And there was no point lying about it, he would know.
“I was just thinking about the promises we made to each other during our snow globe bonding trip, how I broke them all at the first sign of trouble.”
“I can’t blame you, lover. I haven’t been better. After Nora’s death, after the escape from Vamp Camp I could have gone to you. I have no doubt you would have welcome me with open arms. Because you are such a good person, Sookie Stackhouse. Even after all you’ve seen, all you’ve been through, there’s still a sweetness, a goodness in you. You thought you had lost the girl in the white dress, but she’s always been there. Hidden, but always there. She’s an integral part of you, one of the many reason why I love you.”
Tears filled my eyes.
“Don’t cry, lover… I didn’t mean to…”
“I’m sorry… You’re just so… sweet.”
“Sweet, you say? I always thought that out of the two of us you were the sweet one.”
He wiped away a lone tear before kissing me once more.
“As much as I hate your tears, lover, they do make your lips oh so soft…”
I playfully slapped him on the chest before going for another kiss.
“Come on, lover. We need to get going.”
“I love it when you call me lover…”
He took my hand and led me out of the plane. I was expecting to find his Corvette on the tarmac, but there was no car in sight.
“Eric… How are we going to get to Bon Temps without a car?”
His hands went to the back of my knee and suddenly he was carrying me bridal-style.
“I don’t think you ever flew Air Northman…”
“Of course I did, you dimwit! How do you think I crossed the…”
We were swiftly taking to the sky, flying at an incredible speed over buildings, highways and forest. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, holding Eric’s neck in a tight grip. I was too afraid to close my eyes and Eric seemed to relish in my scaredness. Soon the familiar view of the cemetery told me we were getting closer to our destination. The landing in front of the porch was soft, a contrast to the high speed of his flying skills. As he gently set me back to my feet, I nearly fell to the ground, my legs feeling like noddles.
“Are you alright, lover?”
“What? Oh, I think so…”
I unsteadily went to the door and took several deep breaths, trying to calm my fast beating heart.
“I was surprise not to seen any cars on the highways. I mean, it’s still pretty early” I said as I unsuccessfully tried to unlock the front door, my hands still shaking.
“That would be because of the curfew, lover. According to what your brother told me when I called him, several of the smaller towns surrounding Shreveport have established them after the first few Hep-V horde attacks. It’s the reason why your brother and the Sheriff aren’t meeting us earlier. They have to conduct rounds around town, make sure the curfew is respected.”
He pushed the door open and waited. Still on a high from my Air Northman experience, I frowned.
“You receded my invitation, lover. You have to invite me in…”
I smiled, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and pulling him inside, the magic that had expelled him from my house six months ago completely gone.
“I’ve invited you back about 5 minutes after receding your invitation.”
I was rewarded by the mother of all kisses before being pinned against the wall. With a well placed kick Eric had the door closed and was heading me toward what had once been my Gran’s bedroom, specifically the bed we had shared during our time together. After the whole witch fiasco I had moved back to my childhood bedroom. When he had moved in with me, Alcide had tried to pressure me into moving back to the ground floor master suite, but I had always said no. He had thought it had been because of the memories the room held. He was right, in a way although it wasn’t because of memories connected to Gran. No, the room held many memories, erotic memories of what Eric and I had done.
Each of my times with Eric had been spectacular… No, spectacular was too weak a word to describe the intensity, the fire of our sexual compatibility. Of all the men I had sex with… Who am I kidding? I’ve only slept with 4 different guys! Bill was the boring missionary position then I bite you as soon as come without even thinking of you type. Alcide was the beastly type, but not in a good way. Lots of groans and grunts, then wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Warlow… Worst mistake ever, not even worth mentioning. While Eric…
Eric was in a league of his own. I don’t know it’s his thousand years of experience… Nope, not gonna think the endless list of women he had had. No, what Eric and I had was… How to even begin to explain it? Gran once told me that we all carried a stone within ourselves, a stone in the form of half a heart. Each and everyone of us spent our life looking for the perfect other half. Only a few lucky ones got to find their perfect half, their soul mate… Yes, Eric and I were soul mates.
The long awaited shower turned into a long soak in the antic claw foot tub in the master en-suite bathroom.
“Do we really need to get our of this tub?” I asked as Eric meticulously cleaned my breast.
“As much as I love it, we do. And you are starting to prune, lover.”
Reluctantly we left our team filled heaven.
“I have to go upstairs to get dressed. If you want, your clothes are still in the cubby.”
“Which ones, lover? My own or the ugly ones you made me wear while I was under the witch’s curse?”
I smiled before getting on my tiptoe and quickly kissing him.
“Yours… I even spied a beautiful blue sweater, quite similar to the one you wore in Jackson.”
“Then hurry up, lover, so you can peel that sweater off of me.”
I giggled my way up the stairs and sighed at the view that welcomed me. Nothing had changed… The room was the same as when I had left, a little more than a week ago. I had expected the worst from all the angry voice mails Alcide had left me, but my clothes and belongings were still intact next to his own, as if he expected things to go back to the way they were these last six months. After putting on a blue sundress, I went to the kitchen and grabbed several garbage bags.
“This room reeks” said Eric, peeking in the room.
“Well it’s better that it reeks than being completely thorn to shreds. Here be useful and help me fill everything in bags.”
He sighed before opening the window.
“There, that’s better, some fresh air. What do you plan to do with all that?” he asked, throwing handful of flannel shirts in the black bag.
“I’m not a scorned lover, so I don’t plan to burn them and grill s’mores on it. I’ll drop them off at his father’s. Jackson has always been nice to me and I learned he’s on Team Eric…”
“Team Eric, you say? I would have took him for a Team Herveaux.”
“According to him I was too good for his son.”
“On that I agree with him…”
We finished emptying my closet of Alcide’s stuff before doing his drawers in the commode. When everything was packed we took the bags downstairs and settled in the living room, waiting for our visitors.
“Is it wrong to be blissfully happy in the present situation?” I asked while we were lounging on the couch.
“Don’t feel guilty, lover…”
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. It was just me, Eric and… a car coming up the driveway?
“Eric? Honey, I think either Jason and Andy or Lafayette and the girls are there…”
“Hum? We’ll just have to wait for them to come here and knock… I am not moving on inch…”
I smiled as the car’s ignition was cut and a door opened and loudly closed.
So not my brother, Andy or Layette…
Furtively, Eric went to the window. He looked through the curtains, sighing loudly.
“Don’t come too close to the window, lover.”
“Did you locked the front door?” I asked, leaving the couch but staying in the shadow.
“I did… Didn’t want a repeat of that time when we were so unceremoniously interrupted by King Bill.”
“Sookie!” lamented Alcide, in a slurred speech. “I know you,re there! I knew you’d come back to me!”
“What do we do now?” I whispered.
He said nothing, simply brought his finger to his lips.
“Sookie! Sookie! Come on, darlin’… I guess Northman is truly gone… Or did you find him and he didn’t want you? Don’t worry, darlin’, I still want you! Soooookiiiiiiie!”
A second car went up the driveway, this time a Renard Parish’s patrol car.
I finally had enough and went to the front door. As I opened it and walked to the porch, my ex-boyfriend fell to his knee.
“Sookie! My sweet, sweet Sookie!”
Jason and Andy exited the patrol car, followed by Jessica and Adilyn.
“Jesus Christ, Alcide!” sighed Jason. “What’s with the live performance of A Streetcar Named Desire? You ain’t Brando and her name ain’t Stella.”
“I told you she’d come back to me! Sookie!”
“Alcide… Have you been drinking?”
He looked at me, hurt. Throughout our relationship he had told me about his father and his struggle with alcohol following his mom’s death and how he never wanted to his rock bottom like him. And here he was, drunk as a skunk.
“I just had a drink… or two… or three…”
“He spent the last couple of night in the drunk tank” explained Andy.
“That’s because I was missing you, Sookie! I was drowning my sorrow… But you’re back now and…”
“Yes, I’m back, Alcide… But it doesn’t change anything. You and I, we’re done.”
“What? No… Sookie! You might not be good enough for Northman, but you’re good enough for me!”
“Alcide, even if I hadn’t gone after Eric it was over between us…”
A black SUV parking behind the patrol car. Pam, dressed in a pink set, got out from the driver side followed by Lafayette, Tara and Willa.
“What is that bitch doing here? So what? Northman didn’t want you either, bitch?”
Pam smiled, showing her pearly white fangs.
“Why don’t you ask my Maker yourself?”
Alcide frowned before turning toward me. In a nano second his expression changed and I knew before he even put his hand on my shoulder that Eric had left his hiding place.
“You! It’s all your fault! You took her from me!”
“She was mine, Herveaux! If someone took her from somebody then it was you! Sookie and I bonded while you were still playing house with that V junkie were-bitch.”
“Eric, please” I begged. “Alcide, even if I hadn’t found Eric, id he told me he wanted nothing to do with me… We would still be done. You and I… We were a mistake.”
“Don’t say that, Sookie! Think of the life we would have! We could have a family, a bunch of children…”
He was so intoxicated his thoughts were a thousand times louder than usual and what I caught would have hurt me deeply had I loved him.
“Children, you say? Ours or the ones you’re having with Rikki AND with Danielle? I hear were-bitch tends to be jealous. How do you plan on handling tow baby mamas?”
I heard Eric’s fangs clicked in, as well as Tara’s, Willa’s and even Jessica’s.
“Andy, I think Mr Herveaux needs one more night in the drunk tank. We wouldn’t want an expecting father to run the risk of dying behind the wheel because he had too much to drink…”
The good Sheriff nodded before going back to the squad car to make a call on the radio.
“Kenya will come pick him up.”
“Pam, will you keep Mr Herveaux’s company?”
The blond vamp smiled. “Of course, Master. I think I might be able to teach my sister and Childe a thing or two.”
“Then Lala gotta stay!”
Andy, Jason, Adilyn and Jessica followed us inside. The redhead vampire and the young halfling went to the dining room while the rest of us retreated to the living room.
“Andy… I’m really surprised to see Adilyn and Jessica together…”
“Yeah, well… Jason… he explained some things to me… I now understand that Jessica had no control… If someone’s to blame for my girls’ death, it’s Vampire Bill. He’s the one who left… Well it was like that time grandma Caroline’s cook left me and Terry alone with that big chocolate cake when we were kids. Anyway, Vampire Bill should have known better. What’s even worse if that he’s my I don’t know how many times great grandfather.”
“I’m very sorry for your loss, Sheriff” sympathized Eric. “As Jason probably told you, I’m willing to offer you and your daughter my formal protection. I don’t know the current state of affair in the vampire hierarchy, but up until recently I was the vampire Sheriff of this area. I am probably the oldest vampire in the whole state of Louisiana. As long as I will walk this Earth you and your family will be safe.”
Andy’s reaction surprised me and surprised Eric even more. The Bon Temps’ Sheriff hugged the Area 5’s vampire counterpart.
“Thank you, Mr Northman. Jason told me you were a man of honour and I’m sure you won’t let anything bad happen to my little girl.”
Andy quickly got over himself.
“Alright, let’s talk ’bout our Hep-V problem.””