Chapter 30 – High Cotton

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There’d been a time she’d balked at buying gowns. She loved the way they made her feel, but spending the money seemed so wasteful. ‘Guess I save it on hired help,’ Sookie thought, taking another of the long dresses from the garment bag and hanging it in the hotel closet herself.

Whenever they watched TV, which they did at least once a week, Eric would laugh at depictions of rich Americans. “Look, another chance to die in your sleep!” he’d say as he pointed out the servants who seemed to be everywhere. Of course, they had people who cleaned and carried for them, but it was different. The people who supported vampires were hired help who went home at the end of the day. They were rarely around when it came to things like packing or running your bath. It wasn’t that it didn’t suit Sookie. She’d always been more of the self-sufficient type, but somehow, she’d imagined living in a Palace meant never having to pick up her husband’s dirty socks.

“Do you need anything pressed?” she asked Eric.

“Maybe my dinner jacket.” He was holding the jacket up, examining it for creases.

Sookie looked over her own icy lavender handkerchief dress. The fabric was so delicate it gave the impression of transparency. It also wrinkled easily. “Do you suppose this hotel is any better than the last? I mean, Isaiah’s reputation doesn’t exactly include an appreciation for luxury.”

“He hosts people from all over the world,” Eric replied, running his fingers over the soft silk. “Kentucky may retain his frontier roots, but his guests don’t suffer for it. I’m sure the hotels in his kingdom are staffed to handle the basics.”

“I ended up throwing the last one away,” Sookie reminded him. She picked up the phone and placed the order. “I don’t know what chemicals they used, but I couldn’t wear it after they finished taking out the stain.” Turning, she asked, “Anything else need to go?” She grabbed one more blouse and headed to the clothes rack in the antechamber near the door.

“This,” and Eric added another jacket to the one he’d handed her. He checked his watch, “Pam will be here at eleven. Do you suppose Hunter will remember to join us?”

“I just hope he got some sleep,” Sookie sighed. “These opening receptions can be long but it’s where everyone gets a look at him.” She glanced at her mate, “Do you really think he’s ready to start working again?”

“He’s a young man, Sookie, and one of your relatives. He’s too restless to waste his time on broken hearts. Being busy, working is best. Soon, he’ll be earning money, meeting new people. He will forget about Heidi. After all,” and he leaned down, hovering just over her upturned lips, “Isn’t that how you chose to get over me?”

“Work?” and Sookie’s eyebrow raised, an almost perfect replica of her husband’s trademark. “As I recall, I had a baby. That’s one hell of a distraction!”

“Well, if you think that would work better?” and when Sookie’s eyes narrowed, Eric laughed. “Come, Älskade! We need to feed and then we could take a walk through the exhibitors hall if you’d like.”

“Something you have your eye on?” Sookie asked. It was the quick glance and the faint feel of having been found out that had Sookie chuckling. “Come on, out with it, Viking! You have that ‘spend big’ thing going on. What new toy do you think you need?”

“I’m not a child,” he snarled.

“That’s up for debate,” and Sookie slipped into her heels. “Especially when you see some new, shiny bauble you just have to have.”

“The Italian is here,” Eric sniffed.

Sookie paused and then she knew. “The shoe maker.”

“He’s an artist.” Eric was slipping into his custom boots. They were beautifully made and he told Sookie at least once a month how comfortable they were.

“You’re already his best customer.” They headed for the door, Eric’s hand firmly at her waist.

“Not really,” he contradicted, but he couldn’t quite meet her eyes.

“We’ll look,” she conceded, knowing it meant at least two more pair. “You know, you’re getting worse than Pam,” she teased as they walked across the lobby.

“Pam has good taste,” Eric replied, then pressed lightly, steering her in the direction the valet indicated.

This was a vampire hotel, which meant the first floor had facilities specifically designed for donors. As they walked through the frosted double doors, the very attractive attendant bowed and tapped her screen. “Greetings, Majesties. I see you’ve requested feeding together. I don’t have a preferred blood type for you,” and she glanced at Eric.

“Surprise me,” he purred, but in the next instant, his eyes cooled.

“Anything but O negative,” Sookie answered, knowing Eric felt her sharp mental poke.

“Of course,” and the attendant was smart enough to keep her eyes on Sookie. “One or two?”

“We’ll share,” Sookie replied.

The attendant tapped her screen, “The Natchez Room, please follow me.”

The small ensuite was more luxurious than Sookie anticipated. There was a sumptuous reclining couch large enough for four. The bathroom was also generous, the walk-in shower tiled in black slate. ‘Look,” Sookie grinned. “Warmed towels.”

“Let me know if you need anything,” the attendant said from the door. “The phone,” and she indicated an ornate old-fashioned phone on a nearby table, “calls my desk. The room is yours as long as you wish.”

“So,” and Sookie turned to start unbuttoning Eric’s shirt, “She’s pretty.”

She had to hand it to her mate. He recognized a trap when he heard one. “I did notice, but you have to know, Lover, she doesn’t hold a candle to you.” He reached for her shirt, but Sookie batted his hand away.

“Let’s wait to see what she sends,” Sookie scolded.

They didn’t wait long. He was tall, almost as tall as Eric, and darkly handsome. “Attractive?” Eric hissed in her ear.

“Sorry, Buster. You aren’t getting off that easy,” Sookie hissed back before advancing, her hand outstretched. “Sookie Northman, and you’re…”

“James,” he answered, unbuttoning his own shirt. He was bold, letting them know he was offering more than blood. “Perhaps the couch?” and when he reclined, his erection pressed against his pants.

Eric’s eyes flicked to hers. She knew he’d be fine with sharing her, if that’s what she wanted. He just saw things in bed differently from her and she supposed he always would. “The couch would be fine,” Sookie answered, “but you should know we’re monogamous. I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea.”

“A shame,” James flirted, giving her a look that could have caught the curtains on fire before turning the same look on Eric. “Well, I’m here all week, in case you change your mind.”

He was tasty, and he wasn’t shy about using his hand on himself as they fed. Sookie pulled back from his neck to find James cumming. Eric finished feeding a few moments later, and James was spent. It was like that sometimes, the act of feeding triggering sexual feelings from humans. “We’d appreciate our privacy,” Sookie whispered, her eyes on Eric. There’d been a time when she felt uncomfortable looking at her mate’s bloody mouth, but now, it was different.

James didn’t linger, or, at least, Sookie didn’t think he did. Eric was within her so quickly, Sookie could almost imagine it was the way it once was, when it was her blood that excited this lust in him. “Mine!” he growled, pushing forward, asserting his dominance.

She felt her nipples harden, the coil starting low in her belly. She could keep up with him now, his speed no longer alien. He still found the right angle, shifting her up against the slope of the couch until his cock was rubbing across that place within her. “Oh!” she gasped, her mouth falling open.

“Yes, Lover!” and then he slowed, like the sexy bastard he was, moving a little on each thrust, hitting her from one angle and then another, building with each pass but never giving enough to send her over the edge.

“Please!” she finally begged, trying to take things into her own hands, but he batted her fingers away from the juncture between them.

“No one else can do this to me,” he growled. “I could stay hard for you forever, Sookie. Just having you look at me makes me hard, don’t you know that?” He changed angles again, stroking twice, three times, and Sookie felt her release coming, and then, he slowed again. “I would give you anything! How can you doubt me?”

“Don’t you miss being in something warm?” she gasped.

Now, Eric did slow. “You don’t feel cold to me, Lover. We are, now, exactly the same.”

“But,” and Sookie drew in air and held that breath as she focused on the sensations her Viking was kindling. “But,” she finally gasped, “You used to compliment me on how warm I was. How you felt almost human, being in me.”

He never stopped moving, but his smile was gentler. His fingers smoothed a curl from her face as he said, “It was different. It was attractive, but that was only one thing. You have replaced that attraction with so many others. What is it about you that calls me? I have sought to define that call so many times.” He pushed forward, hitting deep. “There was a time I wanted to understand it so I could fight it.” He stroked again, “There was a time I tried to capture it.” He leaned down to nuzzle her neck, “And, Lover, I finally understand that it was not one thing. I understand that you are not one person, but many people, constantly changing, an enigma. I might learn one part of you, but as quickly as I do, you take on something new, and I am bewitched all over again.”

“Careful about using that word!” Sookie teased. “Wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was some kind of witch!”

“You are a witch,” and Eric circled his hips, striking new places within her before starting to move with more purpose. “My witch, and the spells you weave are for me, alone!”

The time for talking was over. Sookie dug her nails into Eric’s perfect butt, seeking leverage to get them both what they needed. He started first. His back arched, his jaw clenched as the tendons and muscles of his neck stood out in stark relief. His movements slowed as he came and Sookie marveled again at his sheer beauty. In the next moment, his tension flooded their bond, triggering her own orgasm. It was glorious. When her pussy finally stopped clenching around his cock, Sookie was boneless, drifting in the euphoria that she only found with this man. He wasn’t crushing her, but as their fluids started dripping, Sookie pushed a little. “Time to move.”

He pressed into her again, still a little hard. She knew it wouldn’t take much. “How soon do we have to be there?” she reminded.

“They wouldn’t miss us,” he murmured.

“Well,” and Sookie shifted enough that he fell from her, “We both know that’s a big, fat lie.”

Eric reached between them, his clever fingers finding her. “Why worry about those things when we can indulge?” He really did know her and the quick sensation as he stroked and then stroked again made her gasp.

“Is this what a King would do?” she teased.

“Fine! We leave early,” he compromised. “We don’t worry about Hunter. We leave him to Pam.”

“Speed dating,” Sookie giggled, and when Eric frowned, she explained. “We deliberately spend only a few minutes with each person, moving on until we’ve worked the whole room.”

“And we enjoy one dance,” and he sashayed a little as they headed for the bathroom.

Sookie turned, taking him firmly in her hand. His eyes warmed as she said, “There’s only one kind of dancing I’m interested in tonight, Eric Northman, and it isn’t on a dance floor!”

They dressed quickly, signing out with the desk attendant. As they passed the exhibitor’s hall, Eric’s eyes wandered. He didn’t say anything, but as they rode the elevator up, Sookie slipped her hand in his. “Let’s check our schedule for first rising tomorrow,” she told him. “I think a King deserves new shoes, don’t you?”

He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t have to. What he sent through the bond was enough.

xxxXXXxxx

“So, you’re telling me you can detect this glamour?” Phoebe, Iowa’s Queen was looking Hunter over like some new and slightly disturbing variety of insect life.

“Yes, Majesty,” he assured her.

“Do you really think this thing is real?” Maude, the Minnesota Queen asked Phoebe. “Glamour under glamour?” Her eyes narrowed, staring at Hunter. “How do we know this isn’t just another human trick, designed to extract our money?”

“You’re so suspicious, Maude!” Roland, the King of Wisconsin purred. “But in this case, you’re wrong. I’ve seen it. You know how you can usually tell there’s glamour, but with the one I found, you couldn’t tell at all. I had my best probe her and there was no sign, none!”

“But, it’s there!” Phoebe nodded. “Like a spider, hiding in a crack.” She nodded, “I wouldn’t have believed it either, until someone I know well returned. He was altered.”

“If ‘he’ was a human, it might simply be a case of betrayal,” Maude sniffed.

Phoebe shook her head, “No, it’s not that. I’ve known this person all his life. I raised him. I’m telling you, Maude, I sent him for a trade conference and he returned with… programming. It’s the only way I can describe it. It was like watching him sleep walk.” Phoebe’s eyes drifted. “The first time I saw it, I couldn’t understand what I was seeing. We were talking. It was about a new business deal. Everything was the way it’s always been, but as he left the Palace, he made a call and told someone all the details. He was heard. I had his cell records pulled and sure enough, it was an international number. Nothing could be traced.”

“So, you killed him,” Maude concluded.

Phoebe eye-rolled, “No, of course not! These are different days! No, I had him followed. It was only under closer inspection that I started to see the pattern. He was truly unaware. One minute he was his normal self, but when something about business or other vampires was said, it triggered him. He’d make the call and as soon as he finished, have no recollection of what he’d done.”

“Well, I don’t have any of that in my kingdom!” Maude sniffed.

“How would you know?” Roland asked. “How would any of us know, unless we systematically surveilled our humans?”

“Mine was Were,” Phoebe told them, which caused them all to pause.

Hunter waited while they processed. It was Wisconsin who turned back toward Hunter, breaking the silence. “So, can you find this programming in Weres, too?” he asked.

“I can,” Hunter assured them.

“Then what?” Phoebe asked. “Let’s say you find it. What can be done?”

“Kill them!” Maude huffed.

“I am learning how to remove it,” Hunter told them. “I have had some success, but it is my Queen who is the expert.”

“Sookie Stackhouse?” the Wisconsin King laughed. “Of course! The telepath!”

“My Aunt no longer has that gift,” and Hunter looked across the floor to where Louisiana’s Queen was talking with Isaiah, “but she now has another. We’ve worked together on several of these so-called sleepers and we’ve succeeded in removing all trace of this deep glamour.”

“I suppose it might be worth a favor,” Phoebe said softly.

“These sleepers are our mutual threat,” Hunter replied. “I find the glamour. In most cases, I can remove it myself. If I’m unable, my Aunt has agreed to help for no more than the cost of flying the person to her.”

That was met with silence. “Nothing more?” Maude asked after a bit.

“My Queen views it as a further training opportunity for me,” Hunter told them before adding, “I think she wants me to be self-supporting.”

“I know what you cost,” Wisconsin said gravely. “Surely, any human can live on that!”

“A joke,” Hunter explained. There were moments they were almost human, but then he’d find the end of their same-ness, like jokes they didn’t understand. Vampires liked nesting. The concept of penniless relatives being unwelcome under their roof was foreign.

“I find it hard to believe there won’t be some favor expected for doing this,” and Maude stared at Sookie again.

“Please!” and Hunter bowed a bit, “I encourage you to take this up with either my Queen or my King. I believe they will convince you of their sincerity in lending their services to fight this problem. While I understand it isn’t uncommon for us to have ‘friends’ in other kingdoms, this is different. Who knows where this information is being funneled and to what end?”

“But we all have a good idea where the threat is coming from,” Phoebe growled and the vampires, as a group, turned to stare at Russell Edgington.

Across the floor, Russell was talking with Sybil, the Queen of Alabama. Their conversation stopped as they both felt the stare coming from Phoebe and the others. Meeting the hostile gaze, Russell forced a smile and bowed before turning back to Alabama. “See? They all blame me!” he hissed.

“Well, isn’t it you?” Sybil wasn’t well liked, but if asked, she made a show of being supremely unconcerned. Russell could see it amused her to have him seeking her company.

I’ve been relegated to the loser’s table,’ he thought bitterly. “I’m not saying I’m innocent. I did use sleepers,” he confessed. “It was my beloved Talbot who knew how put the glamour in place.”

“Surely, he taught you how to do that before he found his final death,” Sybil sniffed.

She didn’t bother hiding her cruelty as she reminded Russell of his loss. Yes, he and Talbot fought. Yes, they cheated on each other regularly, but it was the sauce that kept their relationship fresh. They fought, they snarled, they froze each other out, and then they reconciled. Neither of them was supposed to be finally gone, but Talbot was. He’d been captured by humans, silvered and staked. Every time Russell thought of it, it was a stake through his own heart and he felt tears fill his eyes. “It was his gift,” Russell sniffed. “It never occurred to me that it could be shared.” He stared at Sybil, “Could you teach someone your ability to summon? Or could Northman teach someone to fly? Of course not!” He turned to stare back at the group across the ballroom floor. “Talbot’s dead, but they still blame me!”

“That’s because there are still sleepers out there,” Sybil pointed out, “and if they aren’t contacting you, who are they contacting?” She took a deep breath before shifting her weight to strike another pose. “Not that I want to lose the pleasure of your company at these little soirees, but you might consider throwing in your lot with your next-door neighbor. If you worked with Northman to get to the bottom of this, it might put you back on the inside with your former little friends.”

“Northman?” Russell hissed. “I wouldn’t touch that if my…”

“Life depended on it?” Sybil finished. “Well, if this continues, it might, and don’t look to me to help you. I like being alone. It’s part of my mystery. Having you as my new best friend, intruding on my solitude, is beginning to pall.”

From her vantage across the room, Sookie watched the interplay between Hunter’s group and Russell Edgington. “Guess the cat’s out of the bag about that one,” she said to Isaiah. “I’ve had Russell’s number for a long time, and now it looks as if the others do, too.”

The Kentucky King was watching as well. “Don’t count on this shift to last,” he counselled. “The ties that bind first generation Kings and Queens in this Clan are strong. There was a time I was on the outside looking in, like Russell is now, but after a few decades all was forgiven.”

“I can’t imagine what you could do to alienate people like that,” Sookie mused. “You’re just… Well, nicer.”

“Don’t ever say that to a vampire!” Isaiah chuckled. “It incents them to prove you wrong!” He glanced over again, “It’s old news, now, but I tried to take over Ohio. I was lucky to get out of it with my life. What I didn’t know was Bartlett Crowe also had designs. To this day, he barely speaks with me.”

“Speaking of Bartlett,” and Sookie looked around. “I thought he’d be here. After all, he is Russell’s consort, isn’t he?”

“It’s the way of these royal marriages,” and Isaiah glanced toward the group where Wisconsin was laughing. “It’s difficult for vampires to maintain strong emotions, like love, for long. We are too,” and he twirled the glass in his fingers, while he searched for the word. “Possessive,” he concluded.

“Well, if y’all didn’t cheat on each other,” Sookie teased.

“It’s not that simple,” and Isaiah turned his gaze on her. “Surely, you’ve already noticed the tension. You feed. You fuck. Your mate does the same. Eventually, there’s that stare that’s a moment too long, or they return to the same donor too often. There are words. Compromises are made. Trust is bruised.”

“Honestly, we don’t have that problem,” Sookie replied.

“Then, you aren’t paying attention,” Isaiah concluded. “Every vampire couple has that problem.”

“We don’t have that problem because we’re monogamous.” Sookie leaned in when she delivered the news. She didn’t know why she felt it had to be a secret, but for some reason, she did.

“Are you a witch?” Sookie could see the Kentucky king was serious.

“No,” she told him. “I’m not. I’ve been friends with witches and I won’t say I won’t be friends with a witch again, but no. That was never my gift and I never learned any of their tricks.”

“I wouldn’t tell the others about your relationship,” Isaiah counselled. “No one will believe you managed harnessing the Viking’s appetites without witchcraft being involved.”

“Do they still think our son’s a product of witchcraft?” Sookie knew Rick’s name was brought up from time to time as proof of how different she was.

“No,” and Isaiah grinned. “That may be one good thing to come out of the Revelation. Vampires aren’t being killed off so often. There’s one in California who hit a thousand years and a couple in Europe. Males, I mean. They’re being pretty open about the prospect of fathering dhampirs.” When Sookie’s eyes widened, Kentucky leaned in to whisper, “You didn’t think you’d be the only one forever, did you?”

“Well, no.” Sookie thought about it, “It’s just I was told that vampires found the whole thing a little…” and she took a quick breath so she could find the right word. “Distasteful,” she concluded.

“It did shock folks,” and Isaiah winked, “but they got over it.” He looked over the ballroom filled with glittering vampires. “Can’t stand not having something that someone else has.”

“Jealous,” Sookie sniffed.

“Possessive,” Isaiah corrected. “You really removing glamour?”

Sookie glanced up at the tall King, following his gaze to where Hunter stood surrounded by rulers. She couldn’t hear their conversation, but she knew the talk track Hunter was using with potential customers. “I am,” she nodded. “I’m hoping that once these people have that glamour removed, they’ll remember who placed it, or at least where they were when it happened.”

“Well, to hear others talk, it’s all coming from Russell Edgington.” Isaiah stared at her, “Do you believe that?”

“I don’t know,” Sookie confessed. “I’m prepared to believe it, but Eric keeps reminding me we have no proof.”

“Russell is telling folks it was all Talbot’s doing,” Isaiah mused. “Do you remember Talbot?”

“Russell’s special friend?” and Sookie nodded. “I met him in Mississippi a long time ago before I was turned.”

“I wouldn’t call that so long ago,” Kentucky chuckled. “Yes, that would be Talbot. Now Russell, he says the sleepers were Talbot’s doing, his gift, but Talbot’s finally dead. Doesn’t seem to have stopped the sleepers, though. They just keep showing up. What do you think about that?”

“I don’t know,” Sookie answered. She couldn’t help it. Her eyes sought out the Mississippi King’s location.

“Can you read vampires?” Kentucky asked.

Sookie’s head whipped back. Isaiah had taken her by surprise, and when she met his eyes, the Kentucky King’s stare had turned hard. Sookie felt a shiver build, but she repressed it. “No,” she answered. “Technically, I can’t ‘read’ anyone. My gift is different now. I can see glamour and I can remove it, nothing more.”

“You’re telling me you can’t read their minds while your shuffling around in there?” Isaiah asked.

Sookie thought of the books she saw, the library that represented a person’s life. She wondered what would happen if she decided to open those books and what secrets they might reveal. She couldn’t read the glamour books, but maybe the others were different. Kentucky was waiting and she knew what she needed to say right now. “No,” she replied. “It’s not like that. I can see the one thing, or things, that don’t belong, and I remove them. I don’t know how else to explain it, but my true telepathy is gone.”

Kentucky seemed to believe her. He smiled briefly and broke eye contact before asking his next question. “And can you find glamour in vampires?”

“I didn’t know vampires could glamour other vampires,” Sookie replied.

“Clever!” and Isaiah laughed. Sookie laughed with him, making a show of appreciating her own joke, but she was relieved when Eric appeared at her side.

“If you’ll excuse me,” she said to Isaiah. “The exhibitor’s hall is closing shortly, and I promised Eric a new pair of shoes.”

“The Italian?” Isaiah asked.

“I was surprised to see him here,” Eric answered. “He was at the last Summit. I didn’t think he liked traveling.”

“I persuaded him. You see, I am a fellow fan,” and Isaiah bowed. “I thought I recognized the workmanship.” Kentucky was opening admiring Eric’s boots, and Sookie realized she could see the similarities in Isaiah’s footwear.

“People today don’t appreciate the important things,” Eric grinned.

“Like footwear,” and Isaiah turned, making clear he intended to accompany them. Sookie had hoped to share her uneasiness about Kentucky with her mate, but now there’d be no chance. Instead, she urged caution through their bond and fell into step between them. “Unless you lived in a time when custom shoes were available, how could anyone appreciate the beauty of a well-cut instep?”

“The joy of a toe box that cushions?” Eric added.

“The way you two are carrying on, maybe I should get a pair myself!” Sookie teased.

“Alas, he won’t touch female feet,” Isaiah tutted. “He reserves his talents for us.”

“He has found that one thing he does well, and he seeks to master it,” Eric nodded.

“Like you, Northman!” and with that Isaiah seemed to have come to his point. Eric stopped, waiting. Isaiah glanced briefly at Sookie. “You have a talent for finding the unusual and then tying those assets to you. Arguably the world’s best assassin.”

“Umberto in Pisa is better,” Eric said flatly.

“The telepath…”

“I told you I no longer have telepathy,” Sookie protested.

“And now, a gaggle of Fae-laced relatives. You have the mind reader in there,” and now Isaiah’s gaze became pointed, “And then you simply made another one for your first-of-his-kind offspring. Seems like you’re just ringing that ‘special’ bell. It’s enough to make the rest of us a little nervous.”

“Are you?” It was the way her mate said it. If she’d been human the hair on the back of Sookie’s neck would have risen.

It couldn’t have been any longer than a second, but for Sookie the moment seemed far longer before the Kentucky King’s hands relaxed. “No. I think ‘concerned’ covers it.” He winked at Sookie, “You saved my life once for no reason at all. I don’t believe people change, even when they’re turned. And if you…” and Isaiah gave Sookie a nod, “are willing to stay with the Viking, then I trust your judgement. He must be a good soul, under all that arrogance.”

“Don’t tell anyone!” Eric said it lightly, but Sookie wasn’t fooled. Her mate took her fingers, raising them to his lips. “My mate is an exceptional woman and I am fortunate that she chose me.”

“You always were lucky,” Isaiah grinned.

The Italian (‘Anthony, Mistress,’ he said with a bow and flourish) was diminutive. His hands were delicate as he measured, comparing foot sizes to his database. The Kings spent the next fifteen minutes comparing leather and selecting dyes. It gave Sookie an opportunity to think. Isaiah hadn’t said her name, but Sookie found it impossible to believe Isaiah didn’t know about Brigid. Reports from Bon Temps told them the place reeked of Fae. Mustapha restricted the number of Weres who patrolled the grounds, but Rick and Brigid weren’t shy about venturing around Bon Temps. They went to Merlotte’s and they grocery shopped together. Word traveled and the word was there was something up with Rick Northman’s wife, something odd. Some people were saying that Brigid was a telepath, and they were blaming the house.

Sookie knew Rick and Brigid were guarded. She knew Karin and Peter were living in a house right down the road, one the owners decided to sell under mysterious circumstances, but Sookie worried it wasn’t enough. Isaiah was staring at her again and she forced a smile. She realized he’d asked her something but she’d been too trapped in her own thoughts to hear him. Eric’s warning came to mind, ‘Distraction can get you killed.’ She’d check on Rick when they returned to their rooms. It would have to be enough, and pulling herself from her own head, Sookie apologized for her night-dreaming and made an effort to laugh at Isaiah’s jokes.

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 30 – High Cotton

  1. Interesting, is someone else behind the deep glamouring, or is Russell just very good at deflecting? This chapter is fraught with vampire politics, there is what is said, and then what is under it. Love the little domestic touch at the beginning, and Eric’s lust for well made shoes (wouldn’t we all love to be able to afford that?)…hope you have a joyous new year…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I wonder if Talbot had any brothers or sisters that kind do the same. Is his maker still around? After what Isaiah was saying about a longer look here, going back to the same donor etc. I wonder if Sookie is going to keep an eye out for that. I really don’t think she has anything to worry about after all this time. But it’s in her head now.
    Happy New Year !

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting opening night. Russell started the gossip going but now seems upset that there is gossip about him being behind the glamour.
    Hope things work out and between Hunter and Sookie they can find the mastermind sooner rather than later.
    Also hope Isaiah hasn’t planted too many seeds in her head about unfaithfulness.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. In a stressful day to day world where my favorite fandom is becoming more and more quiet, I so look forward to your posts like clockwork every Sunday. All is right with my world when I get to escape there for a little while. Thank you, and blessings for a newer stronger year 🖤

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Agree with Mom2Goalies —seems like the rumor mill started by Russell may have, for the time being, boomeranged against him. Now….how is doing this deep glamoring. Russell has enough years to have perfected his innocent face –is it a facade or the real thing? Could it be possible that there is a fae (Brigit’s relative) that has a gift like that? Hmmmmm…..so many things…… Isaiah is mining for info –so best be careful….I don’t think he believes what Sookie has said about losing her telepathy….

    And men –they may complain and tease women about their love of shoes, but even a vampire, who wouldn’t suffer from sore feet, love a good show…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t know if I’m reading this correctly, but Sookie seems almost annoyingly arrogant about her monogamous relationship. Is this just naïveté? Thank you so much for this chapter. Wishing you all the best in 2019.

    Like

  7. I also look forward to your posts and am trying to decide what story I want to reread! There is a tension going through the last few chapters.
    Something is going to snap and I just hope it doesn’t kill anyone.
    Happy New Year!

    Like

  8. This chapter was full of intrigue. Russell is trying to deflect but is he being honest? Isaiah is fishing for info and I’m not sure he really believes what Sookie is telling him. And the really big question, if the sleepers aren’t reporting to Russell then who is behind it? Just loving this story more and more.

    Like

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