NOTE: I hope you like the glimpses of Bill’s book in this chapter. Thank Breathesgirl! I am encouraging her to think about making it a full fledged novel – it would be an absolute hoot. You can see that she has a deft touch with humor. My own thanks seem insufficient for the encouragement and support she’s given. From the bottom of my heart.
Sookie peeked out the curtains for the fifth time that morning. Jason and Michele were supposed to be arriving any minute. They weren’t bringing their kids but Sookie didn’t mind. Although she was becoming comfortable with the compound and its personnel she still didn’t think that it was really child friendly. For one thing, Thalia was resting in the next room. It wasn’t like anyone could really wake a resting vampire, Sookie just worried that there could be a lot of questions that didn’t need to be asked or answered if someone’s small hands couldn’t stay off the knob of the mystery door.
When the driveway was just as empty as the last time she looked she walked back and forth a couple of times. She shook her head at her own foolishness. ‘Just like a kid wondering if we’re there yet,’ she giggled to herself. She glanced over at the book Bill had left her, picked it up and wandered out to the enclosed porch. Sookie settled into one of the rocking chairs. ‘Maybe I should read it. Not like I have many friends who write books,’ she thought. She studied the cover art. The brown haired vampire’s shirt was open showing cut and well defined muscles. ‘Sure don’t look like Bill,’ she thought, giggling again. She flipped open the first pages and stared at the dedication. ‘Still, it’s nice that he dedicated it to me. He was always teasing about how much I liked romance novels. Now I have one that’s got my name in it. Or at least my initials.’ Those happier, simpler days in Bon Temps sometimes seemed like a million years ago.
Sookie leaned back and thought about her phone call with Lydia earlier.
The night she’d asked Bill to leave; the night she’d seen the picture of Eric in Oklahoma, Sookie had lain in bed tossing and turning. She knew that Thalia was right. She needed to find her trust for Eric. But somehow her doubts kept creeping into her mind. She would think of the times Eric would ask her to be with him. Then she would think about how he had hidden Freyda from her. After a few hours Thalia had opened her door.
“You are making so much noise you are making me restless, human.” Then Thalia had walked into the living room leaving the light to pour over Sookie’s bed. Sookie had wrapped herself in her bathrobe and wandered out. She sat in one of the armchairs and Thalia sat down opposite her. Sookie raised her eyes to meet the vampire’s unblinking ones. “You doubt him,” Thalia said. “You doubt him because you doubt yourself. The steel you must find is within you but you are working against it. This is beyond me to repair.”
Sookie found herself nodding. “I’m calling Lydia in the morning.” Then Thalia had reached across and taken Sookie’s hand. Sookie was startled and deeply touched. She bit her lip a little and found a smile. “And don’t call me human!” Thalia had laughed then, a full throaty laugh. They sat together for a while longer and when Sookie had gone back to bed she had found a dreamless sleep.
Sookie and Lydia spent over two hours on the phone that first morning. They had talked for at least an hour every morning since. Sookie felt just hearing the healer’s voice was bringing back all her progress and resolve. Lydia had told her that she would likely fight with trust issues her whole life. “Most of us find that we are disappointed at some time in our lives. It is the size of the betrayal and our ability to absorb it that dictates how long and how hard each struggle becomes.” Lydia told her that Eric was probably not the root of Sookie’s inability to trust. “I suspect you have observed how people say one thing and do another all your life. That fed you a constant stream of doubt about the people around you. But I think the good news is that you have also shown remarkable resiliency in how you have absorbed and handled it. Knowing this about yourself will help you to catch when it’s happening and identify it instead of just reacting.”
This morning they had been talking about Eric, “Tell me about the worst time you remember; a time when things were supposed to be good between you and your Viking but you found your trust was tested ,” Lydia had instructed.
Sookie talked about the time during that last year they had been together; before The Time, when she had been summoned to Eric’s house; the time of the murder. She told about how she had been feeling out of sorts and starting to doubt what was going on between Eric and herself. She told how she had started telling some people they were married but how she hadn’t felt married in her heart. She told Lydia about the horrible scene she had walked in to find; how Eric’s beautiful home was trashed. She talked about how heartsick she had felt when she walked into the bedroom, her bedroom, and found Eric with Kym. He had been out of it; drugged by fairy blood as it turned out. But the way he had tried to justify his actions; his taking blood from another when he knew she was coming to see him had hurt her deeply. Even now Sookie found that the memory of that night caused her heart to clench and her eyes to burn.
“Sookie, you knew he needed to feed, but you were rarely near him. How did you think he would eat? You know that vampires can supplement on synthetic blood but they can’t survive without real blood.”
“Of course!” Sookie had replied. “My head knows. My head trusts him. But my heart keeps wondering. I think of that woman and I start thinking about how he was feeding and whether he was getting other needs met too when I wasn’t around.” Sookie swallowed hard. “I know it’s not a choice for him. I know it. But I can’t help feeling like every time he touches some other woman it’s a betrayal. And now that we’re back together, but not really together and I see pictures of him with women or I think about how long it’s been since I’ve seen him… I wonder. Who is he holding? Whose blood is he taking? Does he pretend it’s me?”
That had been the low point.
Lydia pointed out that it appeared that Eric was still working the way he always had; he solved problems through his own channels, leaving Sookie in the dark. “If you need a more equal relationship and you need more communication then you need to tell him that. Don’t assume he knows. He’s a man and they are notoriously dim about these kinds of things.” Sookie had found herself giggling but it was as though Lydia had read her mind.
“I would always tell Eric he was too high-handed. He just assumes he knows what’s best for everyone!” Sookie had told the healer.
Lydia had become brusque then. “Sookie, you are making yourself miserable. If you want to find things to cry about that matter you should watch videos on world hunger and abused animals. You know in your heart that your Viking is doing everything he can think of to get back to you. Isn’t his sense of honor what is keeping him in this situation? Why would you assume that he would be less honorable about you?” She had made Sookie acknowledge that she heard what Lydia was saying. Then Lydia had continued.
“I’m not saying that you have no right to some doubt. Under the circumstances and with your history you are having a perfectly understandable reaction. And Eric is not helping. You have been without any communication from him for some time. He should include you in plans that will affect you. You are not a child. But you will need to be the patient one. Sharing won’t come easy for him. Vampires are secretive by nature. They have had to be in order to survive. But I don’t believe your Eric would purposely keep you in the dark if he knew how it was bothering you.” Sookie had felt encouraged. Lydia was saying the same things that Thalia was telling her, only in a more direct way.
“The most important thing you need to come to terms with is this; when the way is clear and Eric can offer you his hand again, what will you do? Will you continue to live apart or will you choose to stand by his side and share your lives? Because the choice you make dictates what you should or shouldn’t be willing to accept in Eric’s life.”
Sookie asked Lydia a question she had been wondering. She didn’t know if Lydia had the answer but she thought she might. “Do you think if I was with Eric; I mean really living with him. Do you think I’d be enough?”
“What do you mean? Enough of what?”
“Would he need to feed from others too. Would I be able to supply everything he needs?”
“I think so, but I’m not sure, Sookie,” the healer told her. “Eric is very old; older than my Robert and I was more than enough for him. As vampires age they need less and less blood to sustain them. I doubt Eric needs more than a mouthful or two most days except when he’s under periods of prolonged stress or he’s been damaged.”
Sookie thought about how pleasurable Eric could make his feeding. She also thought about how he had the ability to make it painful. She knew that if she was to really make this decision; to be wholly his, she would need to come to terms with this part of what their lives together would be.
Each day she felt stronger in her resolve. She had declared at Sanctum that Eric Northman was hers. She marveled that every day, even when they were apart, she was discovering what that meant to her. Sookie shifted again to look up the road and winced. She rubbed her butt where she was sure there was a bruise forming.
The other change in her life was that Thalia had started giving Sookie some basics in self-defense. She had explained the lessons to the telepath as, “You can’t keep hoping that you kill the next person that comes after you by accident. It’s better and more satisfying when you mean it.” Then she had smiled in a way that made Sookie laugh out loud. Now they spent a few hours every night practicing holds and breaks. This seemed to translate to Sookie spending time landing hard on the floor which amused Thalia and was leaving a freckling of black and blue marks on her body. Last night she had been searching for something she could use as a weapon and a knife had magically appeared in her hand. She had been so startled she’d dropped it. Thalia had nodded but had not looked surprised. “That is a handy trick,” she had said. Sookie had tried to do it again but hadn’t been able to figure it out. She told Thalia that Mr. Cataliades had offered to find her a trainer and Thalia had been strong in her approval of the plan. “Fae are fierce fighters. If you can develop that part of yourself you will be formidable.” Sookie agreed but couldn’t help feeling skeptical.
Sookie leaned down to pick up a pillow that had fallen to the floor and she hugged it against herself. She felt the sun on her face and she thought about how she had held Eric to her. She remembered how his skin had warmed against hers and how his fingers felt stroking her sides. She wondered if she thought about him with all her might if he could feel how much she wanted him and missed him and loved him. She squeezed her eyes shut and thought about her Viking. She wished him comfort and luck and she wished him back in her arms soon. Then she waited to see if she’d feel anything in return – which she didn’t. But just having done it made her feel better. She shook her head at her own silliness and then turned her head at the sound of a car pulling up on the gravel outside.
Sookie stepped outside and waited, her arms open, for Jason to park and step out of the car.
“Look at you little sis,” he said, kissing her hair. Sookie smiled at him and then rolled right into Michele’s arms.
“You are a sight for sore eyes, Sookie.” Sookie looked at Michele’s face. She could see that there were new lines, but they looked like reflections of happy days and many smiles. Sookie wondered if her own face was changed; if there were those indents and shadows that were proof of a life well lived. She had a brief moment of concern as she thought of Eric’s unchanging face and then she dismissed it and sank into her sister-in-law’s warm hug.
Sookie linked her arms through both of theirs and led them inside. She had a cold lunch prepared. She went into the kitchen and grabbed plates and forks. Michele followed her and brought out the sandwiches and the bowl of potato salad. They both headed to the enclosed porch and set things on the small dining table. Jason walked past them bringing out a pitcher of sweet tea and glasses with ice. While they ate Michele brought out her phone and they started to look at pictures of Jason and Michele’s boys. Sookie couldn’t believe how they’d grown in the past couple of years. She felt a deep sadness for the time she had missed because of Sam. When her face fell a little Michele had reached over and covered Sookie’s hand with her own. “It’s okay Honey, we tell them stories about their Aunt Sookie. They can’t wait to see you again.”
“Wonder what they’ll make of their Uncle Eric,” Sookie said, almost to herself.
“Really?” Jason said. “For real?” When Sookie nodded Jason leaned back and had a big smile took over his face. “Damn sis! I’m real happy for you.”
But Michele didn’t look as enthusiastic. She squeezed her hand and the look of concern on her face caused Sookie’s smile to slip a little. “You heard from him recently? Eric I mean?”
Sookie shook her head. Sookie could tell Michele really wanted to say something. “Come on Michele. You might as well let whatever it is see the light of day.”
“I don’t mean to stir trouble for you. I’m sure you know what he’s doing.”
Sookie smiled, but shook her head. “What have you heard?”
Jason took Michele’s hand and then looked at his sister. “It’s just all the television coverage. I guess we just didn’t know what to think. He’s out there in Los Angeles and all. I kind of thought that if you were together he wouldn’t be… well walking around with his arm around someone else.”
“Lots of someone elses,” Michele added.
Sookie hadn’t watched any television in some time. She never had been much to while away her evenings with shows. She’d mostly used the TV to watch movies or particular episodes she had recorded. She took a deep breath and thought about what she knew in her heart; Eric Northman loved her. “Jason, you know how the vampire hierarchy works.” Sookie waited for Jason to nod.
“He’s told me about it, Sookie. I know about kings and sheriffs. He told me the same time he was telling me about how packs work,” Michele said.
Sookie took a deep breath, then began, “What you may not know is that Eric is a regent for King Felipe de Castro now. Eric runs Oklahoma.” Jason looked confused.
“I thought that he wasn’t married to that Oklahoma vampire anymore,” he said.
“He isn’t,” Sookie told him. “She was killed. I don’t believe Eric did it, but now she’s gone and he’s reporting to Felipe.”
“Oh! I remember that being on the news about Freyda Northman and some kind of accident,” Michele said.
“Well it wasn’t any accident. That’s how things work with vampires. You want territory you kill whoever has it,” Sookie told her.
Michele shook her head. “Do you know how terrible that sounds? I can’t believe that someone didn’t end up in jail.”
Sookie nodded again. “It does sound pretty bloodthirsty, but it’s been their way for a long time. Anyway, Felipe doesn’t like Eric. He doesn’t trust him which means Eric is in danger all the time.” She waited for this to sink in. “The reason I’m in Mississippi is because when Freyda died the protection Eric had negotiated for me died with her. This is a different kingdom with a different king. Felipe can’t touch me here. But neither can Eric if he wants to keep his head.”
“Well hell, what does that mean Sook? You together or what?” Jason asked.
“It means Eric is working on a plan. I saw him when I was away up north. We are going to find a way to build a life together. I believe that and I trust that he is doing everything he can to make that happen for us.” Sookie smiled brightly then.
Michele smiled too. “I believe it too, Sookie. I really do,” she said. “But when I read the book I did wonder if maybe the reason you moved here had to do with Bill Compton.”
Sookie was genuinely puzzled. “Bill? Book?”
“Yeah,” Jason added. “Vampire Bill’s book. Can’t imagine Eric was too happy about that.” Jason looked at Michele and cocked an eyebrow. “Couldn’t think you’d be too happy about that book either.”
Sookie got a strange feeling. “What are you talking about Jason? What would I… is there something in the book that I wouldn’t like?”
Jason and Michele looked at each other. “I thought you’d read it Sookie,” Michele and Jason exchanged a look and then Michele looked over toward the rocking chair at the far end of the porch. “After all, you have it sitting right there.”
Jason started laughing. “Yeah, pretty much everyone in town knows about your sexing now, sis. I got to say the first time I heard someone saying it all out loud I hit him. But hell, even I couldn’t beat up that many people.”
Michele shot Jason a look, then put a smile on her face and turned back to Sookie. “Everyone knows that folks make stuff up in those books. I’m sure that most of it wasn’t even close to true.”
Sookie stood up and walked over to the rocking chair. She picked up the book and brought it back, turning to the first couple of pages.
“I first saw him half way through my shift at the local watering hole. He was only slightly taller than me, had chocolate brown eyes and wavy brown hair and his eyes twinkled in the dim light of the bar as a half-smile played at his lips.
We were pretty well packed, standing room only, but a table for two had just opened up in my section so I hustled forward, “Welcome to Sam’s. I’m Shanna and I’ll be your server.”
He smiled at me, a warm, genuine smile, “Aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself…Shanna? Shouldn’t I be seated first?”
I looked at him, a little dazed then blushed furiously, “Of course,” I said, more than a little embarrassed, “if you’ll follow me…”
Sookie felt bile rising in the back of her mouth. She felt like someone had lit a fire behind her because she could feel the mad coming from behind her until her whole face was burning. Her hands wanted to reach out and start hitting something… no… Someone.
“Oh My God! He wrote this about me?”
Jason smirked and Michele blushed a little. “Sookie, he wrote a lot about a lot. If half of that is true I have to say I know way too much.”
Michele grinned a little. “Sure will give the boys a whole different impression of their Aunt Sookie,” she laughed. “As if I’d ever let them read something that smutty.”
“Smutty! Smutty? If I ever get my hands on Bill Compton I am going to stake him dead!” Sookie sputtered. Michele took the book from her hand and got her to sit down. “Jason, why don’t you see if there’s something to drink inside? Something with a bit of a bite?”
Jason disappeared into the house and came back with a bottle of bourbon and three juice glasses. He poured a little bit in each glass and handed them out. He sat down and held up the glass in a kind of salute. “Well, Sook I guess you’re famous.” Michele snorted beside her. Sookie was finding it harder to find anything funny about any of this.
She turned stiffly towards Michele. “You better tell me the rest. If I read any more I’m going to start breaking things.”
Michele looked at Sookie. She was trying to keep her face neutral but she was having trouble doing it. “You sure?” she asked.
Jason was biting his lip. His shoulders were shaking. “Read her that one part.” Michele shot Jason a look that should have burned him. It just made Jason struggle harder not to laugh. “Come on. We loved it!”
Michele growled, “You are just trying to piss her off,” but she took the book and flipped through the pages. She looked up and started to read.
She had taken the day off work so she could pamper herself. She went to her friend’s store to buy something appropriate to wear and then spent the rest of the day at a spa getting her hair and nails done and a nice, long relaxing massage to help relieve the tension her excitement had caused.
By the time night fell she was nearly bouncing out of her skin with excitement.
Not only had Troy given her the money for her spa day but he had insisted that he pay for her clothes as well!
“Well, that is for sure one big fat lie,” Sookie burst out. “Bill didn’t care if I starved. He never gave me one cent for anything, not like I’d have taken it.”
Jason nodded. “Gran raised us right,” he said. Michele looked between them and continued to read.
In her mind she was going to be reserved and lady like, just like her Aunt had taught her but when she opened the door she was speechless.
He had dressed in a nice brown suit that looked like he had just bought it, his hair was slicked back and his eyes twinkled.
She was biting the inside of her cheek, trying to control herself…
Jason started choking and put his head down on his arms. Michele frowned and kept reading.
…trying to control herself and not throw herself into his arms. “You look lovely this evening, Shanna,” he said with a smile lighting his face.
She smiled back at him, “Thank you. You look quite dashing yourself, Troy.”
“Are you…” Shanna finally thought “fuck it!” and threw herself at him wrapping her legs around his waist and planting the mother of all kisses on his lips.
Sookie grabbed the book from Michele. “He did not write that!” she yelled. She looked at the page and read the next few lines out loud, her voice getting higher and angrier as she read.
“Are you sure we can’t just stay in and do… other things?’ She panted once she pulled away to breathe. Shanna could feel his excitement at the thought rubbing slightly against…
“I am going to kill him! Jason! Did you bring your shotgun? I am going to kill Bill Compton dead!” Sookie looked over to see her brother. He was shaking helplessly, his face on his arms. Michele was kicking him under the table but she was biting her lips and her shoulders were shaking too. She looked at Sookie, her eyes closing with the effort and shook her head in defeat.
Sookie walked over to Jason and slugged him as hard as she could in his shoulder. “God damn it Jason! It ain’t funny!”
“Oww! Shit, I don’t mean nothing by it! But it is pretty damn funny when you think about it! Damn girl, you really do that? Go tree climbing on ol’ Vampire Bill?”
Sookie yelled and pushed him again. “I never! This is a pack of lies! I can’t believe anyone would read this!”
Michele started laughing out her nose. “Well you better! There’s a whole bunch of people reading this. Where you been? It’s a bestseller! He’s doing book tours!”
Jason started to laugh straight out then. Michele got up and poked him hard in the chest. Jason tried to hold his hands up to ward her off but he leaned back too far in the chair and fell over backwards, hitting the floor. “Jason honey!” Michele cried and ran over to make sure he was okay, but she got her foot caught up in the chair leg and fell landing right on Jason who stopped laughing long enough to go ‘Oomph.”
Sookie suddenly found she couldn’t be angry anymore. She shook her head, sat down heavily and took a drink of tea. “Oh Lord! What a muddle,” she sighed.
“Damn,” Jason said. He stood up and held his hand out to Michele. “Here you go sweetie. Let me help you up.”
“Don’t know why I married you,” Michele added. “You ask me your family tree is starting to look like a straight line. Makes me want to check our kids when I get home.”
“Now that’s just mean,” Sookie said, but she couldn’t stop grinning.
Jason righted the chair and sat back down. He took a pull at the bourbon and then smiled up at Sookie. “You have to read about the bad guy; the one that seduces her and tempts her all to hell.” He turned to Michele. “What’s his name?”
“Leif,” she told him. “The evil seducer is Leif.”
“Leif?” Sookie choked, feeling the tea all the way to her sinuses. “He called the villain Leif? What does he have? A death wish?”
Jason looked puzzled. “We don’t know anyone named Leif, do we?”
“Oh yes we do,” Sookie told him. “Leif is the name Eric uses sometimes and Bill knows it.”
“Damn, would love to see that fight,” Jason said. “Bet it would be worth betting some real money.”
Sookie shook her head. “Wouldn’t take but two seconds and Bill would be a greasy spot on the floor.” And then she smiled.
They chatted through lunch about other things. Sookie told them about Russell and Bartlett and her upcoming trip to Kentucky. It was her first official assignment for her new contract. She told how everyone seemed to want a telepath to listen to what was not being said during negotiations.
“Somehow it don’t seem fair,” Jason had said. “You tell the vampires what their opponents are thinking but you can’t return the favor to the other side.” Sookie had shrugged.
“Well, everyone knows that I have rules about things. If I find out that folks aren’t being honest I just won’t work for them again.” Jason had nodded at her logic.
She told Jason and Michele what Russell had told her about the Kentucky king, Isaiah. She knew he had been turned at a time when most of the United States was still frontier. His maker had been Native American and he hadn’t learned English until he’d been a vampire a long time. The Kentucky king and Maude were the only vampire monarchs that Russell knew as having their start as vampires in the United States. All the rest had been made somewhere else and emigrated. Jason asked if she thought Isaiah would have a coonskin hat. Sookie thought back to the buckskin pants he’d worn in Rhodes. “Wouldn’t surprise me,” she told him with a wink.
When the afternoon started to edge toward evening Jason and Michele rose to start the long drive back to Bon Temps. As they walked to the car Sookie pulled them both up short.
“I’ll be away for most of this week in Kentucky and then we go straight to Minnesota. After that I’ll be headed back to Nashville for the Amun Summit.” Michele nodded and smiled, but her smile wavered when she saw how Sookie was looking at them. “I may not be able to get word to you, but there is a possibility that things could go bad.” Sookie squeezed both their hands. “If someone calls or sends you a message about the weather in Florida you have to get in the car with your boys and drive here as fast as you can.” Sookie looked hard at both of them. “Russell and Bartlett will protect you but you have to get here first. This is their territory.” She waited until both Jason and Michele nodded.
Jason pulled her forward and kissed her cheek. When he pulled back he said, “You expecting trouble, sis?”
Sookie shrugged. “I’m not sure. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard from Eric and that usually doesn’t mean good things. I just want to be prepared.”
“Okay,” said Michele. “I understand,” and they walked to the car.
Sookie thought about that night long ago when Eric had come to the door; the night of the takeover. She thought about how the house had been surrounded by vampires from Nevada. “If you get that message don’t even stop to pack things. Just get in the car and drive. And if there are people in front of you, drive them over.” Sookie looked at Jason again. “Promise me.”
Jason pulled her into a hug. “You know I will,” he told her.
When Thalia rose that night she found Sookie watching television in the sitting room. The commentator was providing a live feed of the opening of the new Fangtasia nightclub in Los Angeles. Most of the coverage featured Eric. He was smiling and chatting with various celebrities. There was footage of his hugging Pam and kissing her forehead. There was film of Karin standing to one side and looking serious. There was even footage of Felipe de Castro flanked by several people. Sookie and Thalia recognized Horst.
Sookie glanced at Thalia. “He looks stressed, don’t you think?”
Thalia glanced at the screen. “He looks like he wants to be somewhere else,” she agreed. She raised her head and sniffed. “Your brother and his wife were here?”
Sookie nodded. “It was nice. I gave them the panic code.”
Thalia nodded in return. “It‘s good to be prepared. “
Sookie couldn’t bring herself to look away from the screen. “Mr. Cataliades will probably see Eric at the hearing. I imagine Felipe will want him there.” She glanced at Thalia. “Guess we’ll be in Kentucky when that happens.” Sookie bit her lip a bit then turned to look at Thalia. “I have to ask. If the judgment goes against me and the court orders me returned to Louisiana, what will you do?”
Thalia smiled. “I’ll tell you breather. I’ll give your brother the panic code and I’ll be putting us on a plane to Sweden.”
‘Sweden?” Sookie was puzzled. “Why Sweden?”
“Because,” Thalia told her, “The North Man made me promise that if all else failed I would get you to a place where you would be safe. I have directions and contacts. You will never be found until it is time to find you.”
Sookie felt her resolve start to falter. “Thalia? If I didn’t want to be there; if I wanted to join Eric instead….”
Thalia’s look was flat and unwavering. “I have given my word. It will fulfill my obligation.”
Sookie bit her lip and looked down. She didn’t meet Thalia’s eyes as she asked, “What was it he did for you?” Once she had the words out she raised her head to meet the vampire’s eyes.
Thalia smiled thinly. “I will never speak of it, but if you find yourself with the North Man you can tell him that I release him.”
Sookie nodded and went into her room to pack.
Russell stood next to the car. “You’ll be fine. Thalia has all the travel arrangements in hand. Louisville is a wonderful town. Isaiah’s second, Thomas, is sociable. Get him to take you out to see the sights. If you like jazz you could do worse.”
Sookie smiled and bowed. “Thank you so much for everything. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear from Mr. Cataliades. When I think about it I can’t decide if I’m nervous or so mad I could spit.”
Russell smiled. “I can’t see any woman as beautiful as yourself spitting. Travel safe.” Sookie and Thalia folded into the black car. As they pulled away Bartlett came from the house.
“So, the travel begins?” Russell nodded. “I do wonder how Isaiah will handle all that female energy in his house. He does tend to favor more masculine influences.”
Russell nodded. “The only female I ever saw him choose to interact with was Maude and theirs was not always a happy union.”
Bartlett smiled. “Unlike us.”
Russell smiled in return. “Yes my love. Unlike us.”