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is an avid fan of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, so much so, that waiting for the next book was not an option! This Sookie Stackhouse Fanfiction fantasy picks up where CH's book 9 left off. Tune in weekly for the next installment of Back from the Dead. Disclaimer: J. Barrington does not own the characters of the Southern Vampire Series AKA Sookie Stackhouse Novels. All rights are reserved for Charlaine Harris.

Mojo Workin - XVII & XVIII

The spell on my house had a little extra sizzle, I realized as I breathed in the dense fog of the mother of all protective wards, or the grand-pappy. Mourning magic apparently has a bite. The entire house was saturated with the distinctive smell that I had only encountered with Hallow, the witch that cursed Eric and one of the most powerful that I had ever come across.

I slept all night. Many of my fears invaded my slumber. To my relief, they were cut off abruptly. Maybe the trauma triggered a defense mechanism in my brain. It was wonderful to rest knowing that I was protected. It was a prayer answered, that I had peace.

My night started out the same as it does whenever Eric is not around, with Felipe. For some reason he was unable to enter my room, so he summoned me out. I dreamed that I had to go to the vamp headquarters of Louisiana under the pretense of me becoming a spokes person for the new vampire rights amendment. He said it would help vampires all over the world. When I arrived, I walked though a long corridor that had pictures covering the wall in gilded frames.

I was moving toward a cherry wood door when one of the images on the wall caught my attention. There was an entire section devoted to me, at different points in my life, with all of my loved ones. On the door was a photo of Hunter and me, sitting in his father, Remy’s living room. We had never posed for such a picture yet here it was in living color. Hunter was my late cousin Hadley’s four year old son. He was telepathic, also. Seeing us together made me realize why Hadley had kept him a secret. The photo signified the new regime’s knowledge of him and their willingness to use him as a pawn to control me.

I took a deep breath and opened the door, falling deeper into a world that refuses to release its hold on me. Felipe stood alone in the candle lit room. He was as attractive as I had remembered; dark hair, wide shoulders, pale white skin, and obsidian eyes. He had on a long dark satiny robe, which he held open as I approached, dark pants and no shirt. I stopped inches in front of him and he closed the fabric around me. Surprisingly, I wasn’t afraid or appalled, nor did I pull away. I just stood there in a trance, my eyes locked on his. “You look thirsty,” he said in a whisper.

I don’t know what he used but a graze of his hand revealed two holes on his neck and blood trickled in a dark stream. My mouth began to water and then went desert dry in an instant. Compelled beyond reason, I stood on my toes preparing to lick the crimson nectar. It smelled tinny and salty but I knew it would taste so sweet. He moaned and said “Mine!” I latched on to his neck eager to take greedy pulls of Felipe into me. He lowered his head as a cool mist swirled around my legs, slowly moved up my body and consumed me.

Normally, this is the part were I would wake in a sweaty panic. Instead, it felt as if I was in a protective cocoon and safe from danger. I involuntarily released all worries from my mind. I could feel them pulling away, not gone, but out of reach. With no nightmares to torment me and no worries, I slept like the dead.

I woke and found Amelia and Seejay on the couch asleep. He reclined in an awkward position, with one foot on the floor and she was snuggled up close. He awoke as I entered the room. “Sup,” he greeted me with a stretch of his arms. I thought that was a cute greeting. It made me grin.

“What’s up with you?” I shot back cheerfully. Bending down to get the morning paper off the porch caused no aches or pain. I felt downright good. “Mornin’, Niall.” I stood there, letting the rays wash over me. The feeling of warmth was as nearly as good as a hug and I remained standing in the brisk morning breeze for a while.

I thought of waking next to Eric in the day and it made my heart sing. The ring hung heavy around the dainty chain and I grabbed hold of it. I was missing my Viking too much. “You’d better get here today.” I whispered into the ring hoping it would somehow transmit my wishes.

“Carpe Diem!” Seejay said in a soft voice. I hadn’t heard him approach but his tender voice didn’t startle me. “This is far too beautiful of a day to spend it pining.” He figured, since I consorted with the dead, that I was longing for something that I couldn’t possibly have; vampires during the day. He didn’t know what I knew. A slight breeze caused the porch swing to move and creak.

“I gotta have coffee,” I said heading toward the kitchen. I didn’t even want to think about what happened on that thing. He followed. Just then, Amelia got up and rushed pass us.

“Let me get that, Roomie,” Amelia said. She broadcasted her thoughts louder than she spoke. She knew that I had read her thoughts from the past days. She felt bad about it but she had really meant it at the time. She was sorry about the way she felt.

We conversed over coffee. He gently spoke about Amelia, the tough days ahead and the funeral of Dawson. He inquired of how my night went and did not mention our little mishap on the porch.

Amelia was glad that the worst part was over and her brother had come to make sure she was okay.

“Brother?” I mumbled, not even sorry for picking it out of her head.

Seejay sat at the table innocently. Amelia froze and held on to the top of the straight back chair, looking at me with a sheepish grin. He did not know about my gift and therefore didn’t understand our silent standoff. She turned on her heels and went to refresh our coffee. I removed three pre-maid breakfast trays from the fridge. Thanks to Tara. I placed them in the oven and went into my room. I had to process the information I’d just received. Seejay was Amelia’s brother. I was sure that there were more twists to this story.

I returned to a quiet kitchen. Seejay was reading the paper. Amelia had removed the food from the trays and placed it on the good plates. The breakfast table had her touch. It looked like something out of a magazine, complete with flowers, linen napkins (fancily folded) and OJ in crystal goblets. My mood lifted. She knew that it would. I sat down and grabbed my much needed cup of Joe. I just enjoyed it for a minute in the silence, blocking every thought in the room.

“Sookie,” Amelia said. “I’d like you to officially meet my um . . . this is my brother, Copley . . . Copley, Junior,” she beamed.

Mr. Sharing and Caring failed to mention this part. I rolled my eyes. This made me feel even worse about the previous night.

“Thanks for finally telling me,” I said. Seejay was CJ, I thought. Those dang pills had me so loopy. CJ is Copley, Jr., AKA Junia AKA Junior, Amelia’s brother from another mother. Got it! It’s no wonder I’m going crazy. I’m surrounded by craziness.

We ate and talked but never touched on the family ties again. It wasn’t necessary because Amelia told me all the details in her head. I didn’t know if she was trying to do that or not. It appeared that Papa was a rolling stone. CJ’s mother was a colleague of their father. I couldn’t pick up where. Copley convinced her to work for him. Her name was Marie and she was beautiful. Marie was a corporate attorney and she became the legal adviser for the Carmichael Corporation. CJ and Amelia were inseparable playmates in their youth.

“It’s okay you guys. I understand,” I told them both. I had more skeletons than them and could not judge.

“I don’t apologize for who I am,” Seejay stated, coolly.

“We do apologize because you felt deceived,” Amelia added.

I let that marinate for a while. We finished breakfast and cleaned the kitchen together.

Jason walked in and greeted all with one “Mornin’.” The guys shook hands with a weird slap and nod, macho guy thing. Jason tore into breakfast and demolished plate one in a matter of seconds.

“More?” I said. I already knew the answer and started heating plate two. When he finished, he sat back and rubbed his belly with satisfaction.

“Let’s do this people.” Seejay announced, rising and slapping his hands to get our attention. “We're burning daylight.” Amelia’s face lit up like a kid on Christmas and then she shot up the stairs. “No good deed goes unpunished. Chop, chop.”

Seejay was a morning person and he had plans, lots of plans for the day that did not include my moping around, waiting for a day walking vampire to appear. He was a persistent little bugger and even recruited Jason to his side. Outnumbered, I finally relented.

It was the first time that a helicopter landed in my front yard. The noise and dust kicking up was a little unnerving at first, but after our third landing I was used to it. For the most part, I had no idea of our destinations, nor did I care.

The four of us had professional massages on a beach, complete with mani-pedis. The Caribbean isle had black sand and turquoise water. The sun was hot on my back and I could help but smile and soak it in. We had lunch in a tall sky scraper of a big city. The restaurant was so fancy and hid in the clouds.

Amelia could shop ‘til we all dropped, I learned. It seemed to be just window shopping until I over heard Seejay give my address for delivery. There were no price tags, which meant out of my price range. “If you have to ask, you cannot afford,” the sales attendant’s brain told me when I turned a slinky stiletto upside down.

We dined in New Orleans at the Carmichael Estate; a manse straight out of MTV Cribs. Pappa Copley was so excited that I missed his haughty flair. “Daddy’s girl is back,” he sang, calling on all the servants to prepare the proverbial fatted calf. We feasted like kings.

By mid-night, we were back in Bon Temps and I was face down on the bed, exhausted. I was too tired to put up the many items that filled the shopping bags throughout the now immaculate house. Not only were Amelia’s purchases in the house when we arrived, so was every item that caught my fancy as well, in the correct size. I wanted to fuss about the cleaning crew but it was a relief to find my house spotless.

“Stackhouse’s do not do charity.” I told him, closing the shoe box on my bed that contained the stilettos.

“Neither do Carmichaels. This is how we say thanks,” Seejay said. He was leaning against the door frame of my bedroom. “I am under strict instructions to return the many favors of your hospitality and the care of my beloved in her time of need. You treated her like your own sibling and we are indebted to you and Jason.” He made it sound so regal and formal. “Please accept our small token of appreciation and do not insult us by returning or trying to pay for them.”

“No more!” I retorted in defeat, too tired to fight. Beside, those shoes were some bad mamajamas.

“For now,” he agreed.

The rest of the night was peaceful. Pam said that Eric was in negotiations with Felipe who was trying to avoid an embarrassing tribunal for lack of support during my abduction. It was kind of like settling out of court. Eric would be detained until it was over. She didn’t know how Bill was doing. They would only share that information with his Sheriff, she was told by the Nevada Vamps Central Office.

Jason went home. Amelia and CJ were gone into town. I had the house to myself. I took a long shower and changed into my favorite pj’s. I curled up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and caught up on my reading. I went to bed still wishing that Eric would greet me in the night. My snuggle bunny never arrived.

The morning of Tre’s funeral arrived too soon. I was hoping that it held no surprises. The vamps tried to push for an evening funeral but the family was not inclined to do so. They blamed the vamps and they blamed the fairies. Most all, they blamed me.

I remembered that Were funerals were very formal from Colonel Flood’s. Jason wore dark slacks, shirt and tie. He looked like he could work for the undertaker. As usual, he made it look good. Amelia dressed in traditional black. Her dress accentuated her feminine curves in a subtle way. I had on a mahogany knit jacket with jeweled buttons and a coordinating skirt. Both were from our shopping trip. I had no recollection of ever seeing my suit in the store but it fit like a dream. Amelia told me that my body was made for St. John, when she saw me admiring my silhouette. I had no idea of who that was but “Me likey!”

We fiddled around the kitchen, drinking coffee and nibbling on various breakfast foods while we waited for CJ to emerge. Emerge he did. He entered the kitchen hurriedly and everyone looked up. I gaped and my spoon fell into my cereal bowl, milk splashing me in the face. He was a vision of caramel goodness, dressed in a taupe suite that must have been tailored for him, matching shoes, and a pale green shirt that accentuated his hazel eyes. I grabbed a napkin, dabbed it to my mouth and caught the drool. He flashed a smile and walked in the living room, his loose hair dangling over his broad shoulders and back. The tips of his hair were a lighter color that blended in with the suit. Mr. Fashion Plate was a true showstopper and he knew it. I shook my head and set to cleaning my mess.

“You guys clean up nice,” CJ’s voice flowed through the house.

Alcide met us at my house. Escorting me was Alcide’s way of re-establishing my “Friend of the Pack” status as we ventured into, what we suspected would be a hostile environment. He was letting his facial hair grow in, I noticed. It had perfectly tapered lines and his hair was cut low. I liked the new polished look on him. It made him seem more mature and distinguished.

We loaded into a black limo and went to pay our respects. Upon arrival we were greeted by Calvin Norris. Calvin was the Pack Leader of a group of Werepanthers in the Hot Shot Community near Bon Temps. Jason used to be a member of this pack before Niall’s gift changed him. Calvin made a bigger deal than necessary of our arrival. He was also letting everyone know that I was still under the protection of the Hot Shot Weres, as well.

Amelia and I followed the procession inside the chapel, flanked by Shifters and Weres. The Pack Masters’ attention to us spoke volumes. Friend of the Pack was a position of honor but it placed so much attention on me, that I felt even more uncomfortable. Amelia didn’t want any attention on her either, out of respect for the family. Dawson had been Amelia’s boyfriend but he had an ex-wife and a teenage son, Q.

Q was the spirit image of his father and a full-blooded Were. Unlike Dawson, he was no fan of me. He gave me a cold, unwelcoming stare as we passed the immediate family in the front pew. Alcide spoke a few words, of rebuke (I was sure) and Q seemed to relax.

I hated funerals and opted not to view the body. I made a bee line to an empty row of seats in center of the sanctuary, avoiding any other disappointing stares. The mood was just as you would expect at the funeral of a young man cut down in his prime. There were so many flowers surrounding my old friend. His body was displayed in a beautiful, silver casket at the center of the altar.

I looked around at the many familiar faces. My first Were funeral was just two years ago and I hardly knew anyone. Now, I knew just about everyone. I saw a bald head in the crowd and it made me think of Quinn. Quinn was my ex-boyfriend, also a Were. A rare Weretiger, to be exact. Quinn was head to toe beautiful but due to irreconcilable differences, we (or I) decided to part ways. I wondered if he knew Dawson and if our paths would ever cross again.



My party joined me after greeting the family. First, Alcide, who sat to my right. Jason sat on my left. Amelia sat next to Jason and Seejay on the aisle seat, closing out the pew. We all found each other’s hands and clinched for support. Amelia and I were surrounded even as we sat. Calvin, his girlfriend, who shall remain nameless ‘cause I really don’t like her, and other Hot Shot residents sat in front of us. Crystal’s sister glanced over to our group with a warm smile.

Sam leaned forward to kiss me on the cheek followed by my cousin, Claude, a full-blooded Fae. They both sat behind us. I turned to look at Sam who gave me a reassuring smile. Sam and Dawson were both lone shifters, refusing to commit to any Pack. They were also good friends. I had known Sam longer than nearly all the Supes and it burned to know that the recent tragedy had hurt him, too. My eyes welled up and I choked back the tears when he purposely thought comforting words toward me. I love me some Sam. He was with me through sick and sin. I was thankful that the room was so full of Supes and I couldn’t decipher their thoughts.

The feeling of guilt and shame was overwhelming and the room was beginning to close in on me. Alcide looked over at me. “Don’t ever apologize for who you are Sookie.” I blinked back the tears to see his rugged face that was full of pity as he leaned in. “The Packs are indebted to you because you unselfishly helped us when we were in need.” He spoke quietly, rubbing the top of my hand with his thumb. “You are invaluable to all Supes and worthy of all the protection and attention that has been bestowed on you this day.”

I could have done many things differently, I thought. I should have called Dr. Ludwig when it was evident that Dawson had been poisoned. I just thought he was invincible. “You are part of us.” Green eyes scanned the room in a piercing gaze. The muscle in his sharp jaw line worked while he fought to control his words and I watched his Adam’s apple go up and down as he swallowed hard. “Dawson knew that too,” he said through gritted teeth.

Yeah. Those heartfelt sympathies were meant to ease me but only managed to fry my tater to extra crispy. Tears streamed down my face and I was ready to bolt.

Just then, the minister stepped up to a podium and I lost the nerve. Don’t move while the preacher is speaking, was something ingrained in me by my grandmother. The lectern was suspended slightly above everyone to the side of the altar. The minister appeared to have stepped out of nowhere. I resigned to my station, hoping that he was going to give some inspiring words of comfort because we could certainly use it, especially Q and the rest of the family.

The minister spoke eloquently. “No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13. We have come to pay our respects to one who took this scripture to heart even unto death. Dawson Flood, III, also known as Tray, spent most of his life protecting others. One might say it was his life’s work. The newspapers will tell you of his tragic death that left him as the victim of a horrific crime. We will remember him as a hero. . . .”

I thought of the first time that I saw Dawson. He was guarding Calvin Norris’ room after he had been shot. Then Dawson saved me from Sweetie Des Arts. Sweetie was a Were, bitten not born. She was killing shifters and she mistook me for one. Dawson was there for Alcide when Maria Star Cooper was killed. He was there to defend Merlotte’s during the Were Revelation. He had defended me to the death in the Fae war.

Dawson was a hero. No truer words had ever been spoken, I thought, focusing on the minister. The sun glared in behind the clergy through stained glass windows. Although my tears and the sun clouded my vision, I could see that he was very tall like Alcide with wheat colored, long hair. His accent was not local. Maybe he was from the northern states, I thought. He wore a black robe and one of those funny hats that came to a point. Thick, darkly framed, glasses balanced on the tip of his sharp nose. His skin was pale in contrast to the dark clothing. He spoke as if he knew of Dawson’s sacrifice, personally? . . . My mouth fell open.

“Oh, my GOD!” My shaking voice rang out in the quiet room and everyone looked at me. I put my face in the handkerchief that I had been using to wipe the tears. Alcide pulled me to him rubbing my shoulder and back.

“Sookie. It’s okay,” he said. He pulled my chin up to see him. I looked into Alcide’s face that was filled with concern for me. I wanted to scream “That’s Eric!” But I couldn’t. The blood in my body was lurching for him. It had been too many days since I’d seen him. “Eric.” I said to myself, it was Eric! ERIC! I dared not to make another sound but he knew the moment I recognized him. He looked in my direction and paused in his speech. Breathe, I said to myself, breathe Sookie.

“NO!” Eric said loudly, continuing his address and pulling the attention back in his direction. “. . . one should take on the burden of guilt. Many will feel that they should have loved harder, sacrificed more or simply made other choices. That is not the way that Dawson would want to live on in your memories. He knew that he was loved. Remember him as the strong, courageous man who would and did put his own life on the line for others. Today we honor the memory of Tray Dawson. We commit to memory his heroism, his loyalty and bravery, his dedication, his friendship and his love.”

His words were spot on and lifted our spirits. Another minister stood near the casket and offered a prayer and the benediction. I made no effort to go to Eric because I didn’t want to blow his cover. If it was discovered that a vampire (during the day) was officiating a Were memorial service, we would definitely have a problem.

I walked out in amazement. I wanted to get home, in the hopes that Eric would be in my room waiting for me but I had to be patient. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I missed Eric so much.

Alcide treated us all to lunch. We spoke of the message and how well the funeral went. We all knew that there were many other scenarios that could have played out at a Supe funeral and was thankful for the peace. It was just like regular human stuff.

We stopped by the grave site of Crystal, Adele (my grandmother) and my parents. Jason took extra care, cleaning the weeds from around the headstones. Amelia and I sprinkled rose petals and said a silent prayer for their souls to rest in peace.

Alcide took us home and departed without coming in. He didn’t even try to kiss me this time. He grabbed a hold of my hand when I stopped on the driver’s side to bid him farewell. “I will see you later,” he said. Maybe Alcide forgot that contact gave a clear reception of his thoughts. He was thinking that it could have been him being funeralized trying to protect me and it sickened him. I gave him my nervous smile, thanked him, spun on my heel and went into the house expediently, my face full of hurt. I waved at Jason, who was driving way, as I reached the front porch.

Alcide’s parting thoughts left me in misery for the remainder of the afternoon. I tried to keep busy by catching up on some household chores. The morning rush had left the house in a tizzy. I took a quick inventory of the dinners in the fridge. We were good for another day or so. Those shifters sure could eat. I thought.

Amelia fussed with the house, as well, going up a down the stairs many times. Seejay was out of sight. I guessed he must have been upstairs or maybe in the yard. I could sense that he hadn’t left the premises. I closed my mind to my houseguests and mulled in my room. I just couldn’t bear to hear Amelia accuse me in her thoughts again, although she would never say such things aloud. She wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings. I couldn’t face Seejay either. After the other night, our encounters were awkward. He’d said little to me on our day out and even less since. I was glad to see that Seejay made Amelia so happy and she really needed him today.

I stared at my reflection in the mirror over my dresser for a long time. I was a confused mess. I was upset about Tray and Amelia, hurt by Alcide’s thoughts and worried about what Jason’s gift would mean for him. I’m sure he’ll be joining Alcide’s pack now. I was so excited to see Eric at the funeral. I hadn’t seen him in so long that I was beginning to think that his day walking was something that I had fanaticized about.

If he had not intervened, I would have lost my mind at the funeral. I had forgotten that he had become an ordained minister by the Church of the Loving Spirit, over the internet. I thought about how much I missed Eric and I knew I would see him by nightfall, which was not coming fast enough. We had to keep our big secret. No one could know that Eric could walk during the day. Plus, he had to rest sometime. The best part was that he was no longer being detained by Felipe. My reflection lifted my spirits for a change. I had removed my jacket before straightening the house but I still had on my black cami and skirt.

As I organized my room, my mind wandered back to Amelia. I felt like a coward, hiding out. I needed to look at Amelia and know that all was well with us but I was so afraid that she would say that it was not. We had buried her boyfriend today. I removed my skirt and my hose, put on my black slippers and my satin robe. I gathered up all my nerve and stepped into the hall.

There was much activity in the house. When I reached the living room, I saw several designer suitcases that belonged to Amelia and a few others. I drew my own conclusion, leaned on the wall, and wept.

“Roomie. Roomie. Roomie. Are you still upset about the funeral?” Amelia asked. She had only spoken a few words to me since the Fae war. The sound of her voice evoked a flood of tears and emotion. I lost control and started blubbering. The day finally caught up with me and Mount Vesuvius erupted. She took me to the couch, petting me along the way. Seejay looked and shook his head as he rolled one of the larger bags out the door. He gave me a slight smile of pity and turned away when he reached the porch. I heard his song in the background.

“You’re moving out because of me,” I cried.

“No. I would tell you if I was moving out Roomie. This is my brother’s stuff. Daddy bought us the same luggage but this is all his.”

“Well, he’s moving out because of me,” I choked on the words that were barely audible through my sobs, “I nearly molest …”

Amelia put her hand up and to prevent me from going any further. “Sookie! Stop. Nobody’s blaming you for anything. Sam offered my brother temporary housing at one of his vacant apartments. That’s all. Um gonna get him settled and I will be back either tonight or in the morning. Now pull yourself together, girl.”

She brought me a wet washcloth and cleaned my face. I wanted to cry some more but decided that I had embarrassed myself enough.

“Seejay made his specialty and it should be ready to come out of the oven any minute. We’ll have supper together before we go in to town,” she said.

Seejay walked past us to retrieve more bags. He tousled my hair when he passed and we all giggled a little. I was feeling better but I was still teetering on the edge of a weeping jag. I fought with everything to stay calm. He stopped in the doorway as he was making his final trip to load the car. He paused his singing for a moment, acknowledging my pitiful state. “I got you,” he sang and in a fluid motion he reached over, scooped me up, slung me over his shoulder and out the door we went. I went limp like a sack of flour. Amelia protested lightly and then chuckled. He spun me around the front yard in a dance and with a new song as the sky glowed orange with the sunset. I thought of the night that he danced with Amelia and I felt like a treasured sister, too.

I could listen to him sing for hours. When I smiled, he said “This always worked for Cuppy, too.” After a short time outside, we returned arm and arm to the house. I appreciated him for what he did. He acted on me like a tonic, as well.

We followed the aroma of food to the kitchen. I tossed a salad and buttered the rolls. Seejay washed his hand and set the table. I noticed that he and Amelia had changed into similar warm up suits. Hers, a pale pink with a chocolate accent and His, chocolate with pink accents. They were like twins. I usually hate for men to wear pink but he was working it owt!

Dinner was delicious and we had good conversation too. Vegan lasagna made with roasted veggies sent my taste buds soaring. I was pleasantly surprised at the bold flavors. His mother was a strict vegan and a teacher of holistic health, he explained over dinner. He could not partake of the flesh; his mind told me and then locked down. I guess I wouldn’t find out why.

We talked about Sam’s apartments and the local stores. I offered him my spare room. I knew that was a bad idea and was glad he declined. “I'm allergic to vampires,” he said with a Saccarin smile. “Besides, I need my own space.” He was so right. “Cuppy,” he said, pushing back from the table. We all walked to the door together.

Amelia gave me a long hug. “Feel better, Roomie,” she said and walked to the car. I stood at the door looking like an abandoned child. The cool breeze refreshed me and I inhaled deeply. Seejay ran back in the house. I guess he forgot something. Amelia looked with suspicion and mouthed the words, “Watch out girl,” as she got in the car.

I contemplated that for a moment and then I could feel him at my back. I was kind of happy because I wanted to apologize, again, thank him for all he had done and say good bye. I turned to see him and got lost on the way in those damned hazel eyes that were way too close. They shone like gold and his teeth were so white and straight. It made me wanna stare at his mouth when he spoke. Damn this was a bad idea. He was about a foot away, definitely too close for comfort. I stepped back until I hit the wall.

“We’re cool, right?” he questioned stepping forward and placing his hand on the wall above my head. I was speechless. I wanted to say something but it got caught in my throat. “You should really learn how to relax.” He traced the sleeve of my robe with his fingers. This brotherly love/seduction thing was confusing me. I opened my mind to see just what this guy was up to. I read nothing but concern for me. I finally relaxed but I didn’t look at him. His eyes made me feel like I was being glamoured. He was closer now. He smelled fresh, like he’d just showered. The intoxicating scent of soap, lotion and after shave was delightful. I searched for another point of entry as I felt his mind shut down like a steel trap.

“Goodnight, Ms. Brickhawse.” I saw his mouth twist in a teasing smile and then he became serious. He leaned over and grazed my cheek. His lips were smooth as satin. “Je n’ose pas vous embrasser à nouveau car je n’ai qu’un seul cœur.” He sang in a whisper. The song was different from the others. The inflection seemed more personal. For a moment, I was lost in the words. He moved to the other side and gently kissed, continuing his song. This time it was a little more intimate but I didn’t tense up as I thought I would. I was more relaxed than ever.

“Wa, wa, wa, What does that mean?” I asked, dumbstruck.

He hummed another bar and said, “I dare not kiss you again, for I have but one heart.”

He kissed my forehead and moved his lips so very close to mine. “I would be stuck on you like these other poor saps you have circling around your camp. Your vampires have no heart to lose. The Were heart will heal quickly. I, however, have only but one heart and I cannot lose it.” His mouth was almost on mine as he spoke with a melodious, soothing voice. His breath was sweet, like warm cookies fresh from the oven. My mouth watered. “Your enchantments make me wonder, who is the true witch?” He chuckled lightly. I closed my eyes and held on to the wall.

No Sookie, you are engaged. I said to myself preparing to push him in an effort to escape. I put my hand up in protest and found his chest. I pushed him so hard that he flipped backward, ass over teacup, landing in an embarrassing sprawl on the floor . . .

Well, in my mind I did. But what actually happened was quite different. In my efforts to push him away, the tips of my fingers touched the exposed flesh of his chest and it was on like Donkey Kong. The remainder of my hand palmed a block of muscle on his pecks and I froze, staring like a deer caught in the headlights. I felt the same tingling and weightlessness that I’d experienced on the porch.

I should have broken the skin contact but it gave me just the edge I needed and I burrowed fast and hard. His shields shattered. Going deep into his mind was like a maze of billowing satin that enveloped me, ushering me further in and preventing my retreat. I realized that he was only allowing me to dance on the surface of his thoughts before. His thoughts poured into mine and intertwined. Instead of reading his thoughts, he was giving me his.

They were not the clean and innocent things he displayed in the past few days. No, these were very different. Erotic thoughts filled my mind as he showed me what he was capable of doing with me in the starring role. Strangely, it wasn’t distasteful. Seejay penetrated every part of my mind. It was like the most beautiful love scene, full of passion that seemed so real. We both fought the magnetic pull of our bodies so hard that we trembled. After what seemed like an eternity, I clawed his chest and bit back a climax so hard that I tasted blood on my lip.

We both stood there panting and perspiring, his face still hovering and both of us in shock. His hands or body never touched mine. A single tear fell from my eye and he gently grazed it away with his thumb. “Now that’s what’s up!” he said in surprise and complete gratification. He was gone so fast that he seemed to just disappear out of thin air.

If reading a human’s mind was like reading a book, Seejay’s was like popping in a BluRay, high definition, full color DVD with surround sound. The vision overloaded my senses. I went from a spectator to an active participant and could feel him and smell him and taste him and . . .

Shhh*****ttttt! What the f****ck was that? I said to myself. I know we didn’t actually do the do but the sin is in the thought as my grandmother used to say. Boy, did we just do some THOUGHTING!
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