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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.

Proceed With Caution - XIX & XX

An audible blink, blink, blink or maybe crickets chirping would be an appropriate sound byte for the stunned silence that suddenly overpowered the room. A resonate, defeatist whine and sharp, short inhalations would suffice in this altered state of consciousness. Unable to “deal,” my entire being collapsed into minuscule molecules and skidded across the floor like marbles.

I don’t know how this experience would measure on the Richter Scale of personal seismic moments to the average Josephine. To a telepath like me, it was off the charts and rocked me to my very foundation. Normally, mind reading is like pursuing prey and biting off thoughts, emotions and/or phrases to come up with a unified whole understanding. Seejay’s mind was like being confined and spoon fed your favorite meal, with everything cooked to perfection and seasoned just right. No work, all play.

If I could just stop thinking about the split second event I could pull myself together. My mind however, wanted to access the “Rewind, Pause, Play, Pause, Pause, Pause” options. Protectively, my brain would only allow me to process that which it could handle, no doubt, preventing me from searching for this man during the daytime with a flashlight.

I was able to recall, what I imagine was only the tip of Seejay’s Fantasy Island iceberg, in spurts:

A heavenly vision of a blinding sea of white, billowing satin pooling on the floors and reaching upward, further than my eyes could see. A gentle breeze caused the fabric to slowly move back and forth, stroking my exposed skin. I lay bare on the soft folds, my body undulating with each caress. The faint scent of the ocean, lavender and the bold scent of man permeated the air. He was near, watching, stalking.

Fade to black.

We bathed in the sweetest communion that flowed into a seductive dance, tantalizing, offering, teasing creating an insatiable desire for the slightest of touch, only not. There was power in his presence that didn’t just occupy space; he saturated it, stroking my hearing with aphroditic charms flowing in hypnotic melodies. I was an active participant, matching him move for move, breath for breath, moan for moan, soul stirring gaze for soul stirring gaze. Both of us, feeding on the immediate and gratifying payoff which was a fire ball of energy, kindling in the center of our bodies and tenderly licking up the core.

Fade to black.

The cool breeze that wafted through the warm space was refreshing to our sweat glistened bodies. We sat upright facing, what looked like, an altar with candles. My body was nestled into his frame. The muscles of a bronze arm flexed near my face as he leaned forward to light the candle in the center. I took a deep inhalation of his masculine scent into my nostrils. “This represents your pleasure,” he told me. “Extinguish this flame when you have had your fill.” He looked into my face to make sure I understood. I let out a whimper. It was a long and thick pillar candle. We were close, so very close but the magic stick that throbbed and stretched with virility between us was not his weapon of choice.

“Plan B,” a legion of voices spoke in a quiet chorus. Fibrillate much?

Fade to black.

With each inhalation the fire burned up my center, hotter and hotter. My muscles began to contract and release of their own accord. The air surrounded us with palpable energy and raw emotion, channeling through bodies that seemed to have no beginning or end.

Back in five.

“Hold it for me,” A husky voice chimed as I arched my back, ready explode. “Breathe . . . breathe and hold all that precious energy for me.” Uh, maybe next time, buddy. My body had other plans and selfishly sucked up said energy for its own purpose. It was a good purpose, a mind blowing, earth shattering purpose.

OMG the aftershocks! “You coulda sang me a song before you left me here like this, Mr. Pa-rozac!” Were my first words when I was able to utter a cohesive sentence. Wow. That little f*cker. I was straddling the fence of violated and excited as I made my way to the couch and curled into a ball waiting for the storm to pass or should I say, the channel to close.

The mind exercises that Bill taught me helped. Slowly, I regained control, strategically creating a barricade of steel plates around my brain. I only had ten or twenty setbacks before I succeeded. The key was to isolate the new visions, lock them down and throw away the key, FOREVA! I could not use any thoughts or words that could be misconstrued and manipulated to erotica or my traitorous mind would latch on like a pitbull and catapult me back to square one. Finally, finally, I was calm and breathing normal but a part of me was awakened that I never knew existed. I felt invigorated and empowered.

Now THAT was a gift! I thought and my curiosity was officially piqued. I leaned on the wall for support for a long while, my goal, the bathroom. My house wasn’t that big but it seemed to take an eternity. Everything I touched or touched me was an assault on my senses which were cranked all the way to ten. The coolness of the floor boards under my feet were tickling feathers of eroticism. My slippers? Where in the Sam Hill were my slippers? My hands, bracing myself on nearby furniture, to keep from falling, caressed taut muscles and feverish skin. I used my bare hands in a desperate attempt to wipe away the flavor of warm cookies. That was a bad idea. Licking anything in my state of mind was a really bad idea. The visions had blazed a trail to my very core. My body, a burning inferno and my outer garments an offense to it. Clothes were strewn from the front door to my bath. My satin robe was flung in the air. My cami was just rubbing me the wrong way . . . or maybe it was the right way. I wrenched my bra off. My half slip gave the sensation of friction caused by hairy masculine legs against mine. My thong? We’ll just keep the sensations of that secret between Victoria and me.

I was feeling the best that I had felt since the Fae war and now this? I was thinking that my worst days were behind me. I dared believe my life was once again my own. A deceptive calm before the storm . . . the sh*t storm.

The feelings that I had reminded me of my interaction with Bellboy Barry. For a second, I wondered if Seejay was a telepath too. I would have been able to tell that, right? I knew the moment I met Barry and within a few minutes of meeting Hunter. They were the only other telepaths I knew and their gifts were not as well-honed as mine.

As I stood in the cold shower and the ache in my center brewed down to a low simmer, I had an epiphany. Seejay had no special gift, he simply used mine. Playin’ possum, that’s what my grandmother called it. Pretending to be harmless as road kill, waiting until I had fully opened up and exposed my hand and then he pounced.

He was sending thoughts that manipulated my abilities. What was puzzling about this ultimate and very literal mind f**k is that he looked shocked at the results and then pleased with my reaction. It was too intense for words.

Well, Ms. Sookie. What was the lesson? (Less you have to learn it again.) Beware of his singing, although it was sometimes beneficial and made me feel really, really, really relaxed. That man is trouble with a capital Truh! Don’t look at those damn eyes, especially while he is singing. The most important lesson of them all – never, ever try to read his mind!

The frigid water made my teeth chatter and my hands had turned to prunes. I heard Eric come through my bedroom window. A series of colorful exclamations told me that he didn’t just glide in like usual. He met some resistance in the new wards. He eventually undressed and got into bed.

I stood looking at the bathroom door expecting it to somehow transform me into someone who hadn’t just had the most erotic, purely accidental, non-sexual, yet earth shattering experience of my existence with someone other than my freakin’ fiancé!!!!

“Ohhhh, Soooookiiiieeee,” Eric called. I wanted to see Eric so bad but I was afraid he would see straight through me. I flung open the door, flicked out the lights and dived under the covers with my back to him. He spooned in response and soon noticed that I was trembling. Our bodies felt like fire and ice as he pulled me closer. I was afraid that we would flick the “Seejay Trigger” back on. It was damn hard to turn off and he would know something was amiss.

“Thank you,” I said. “You really saved me today.” The funeral seemed like a lifetime away but I meant every word.

“I could not let you go through that alone if it was within my power to save you from pain.” He spoke in a low calm voice pulling my fingers to his mouth and kissing them. Mount Vesuvius erupted, again.

“What?” His voice was full of concern for me.

“I just missed you so much and it’s been such a long day,” I cried. “Jason’s a Faewolf,” I blurted. “Felipe keeps creepin’ into my dreams. Dermot is locked outside the Fae realm. I think. Amelia blames me for Dawson’s death and so do some of the other shifters. Alcide thinks I’m a death sentence and I still don’t know how Bill is.” I rambled on and Eric just put his arms around me in a big bear hug.

“What of Eric, Lover?” he said silkily after turning me around to look at him. “Hmmm?”

It’s a trick question. I thought. “Huh?”

“You told me of all the others in your life. What about your main squeeze?” he said.

“You?” I was silent for a few minutes. “You . . . love me.”

“That is all that matters.” He wrapped his arms around me and pulled my head to his chest. “Rest now. You need sleep.” We lay there silent for a long while with my ear to his motionless, soundless chest. I knew that I should tell him what happened. He would probably want to kill Seejay or blame me for the mental infidelity. No, he would ask Seejay to teach him how to do it first and then kill him. I’ll tackle this problem another day, I easily decided.

“I love you, too,” I said before following his advice.

Eric ambushed me just before dawn but there was no fighting involved. I should have known that I was getting off too easy. Eric would not be refused once he got going and I really missed him. Besides, I had my libido in check and I was completely calm. He really missed me as well and was eager to show me just how much. We started out slow and steady and it was living up to everything I’d remembered.

At, what I thought was the midway point, things took a drastic turn. Eric pulled me to him and whispered something in my ear. I didn’t know what the hell he was saying as he kissed me gently on the cheek . . . bing! “Seejay Trigger” Activated!

I recall flipping him over on his back and the look of surprise and excitement on his face. The remainder of our love session was a blur. Eric was sure to question me about this later but right now he was enjoying the ride on the Sookie Love Train and taking all the credit. The climax ended with me sprawled on top of him sobbing and convulsing. I had some clumps of hair in my hand but I wasn’t sure of which of us it belonged. Eric went to his native tongue, whispering breathlessly for about ten minutes straight. His large hands clinching my hips like a vice grip. Finally, he said “No more vamp blood for you young lady.” And then he passed out. I knew that vamp blood was not the culprit.

We woke many hours later in the same position. The sun was shining through the window and we both greeted Niall in unison. I sat up and smiled at my honey. I had waited so many nights alone and was elated to see him here with me. He, on the other hand, looked positively horrified. “Sookie!” he cried out, his eyes wide in amazement. I followed his eyes to my torso and returned his gaze with a sheepish grin, biting one side of my lower lip.

“That vamp blood sure is something,” I said, trying to peel my body off of him. “Give us a push baby.” And he did, sending me tumbling to the bed. “Gently!” I cried in a low screech. My everything hurt. Bruises covered my body, especially my hips. I think he held me in that vice grip while we slept. His large hands were imprinted on my skin. My body was an array of colors and my crotch felt like someone had socked me in it with a fist. I found walking to the bathroom challenging, as well. Eric came to my aid and helped me conquer the morning routine. He carried me back to the bed with fresh clothing and a clean all over body. “Thanks baby,” I said when he laid me on the bed.

I dozed while Eric cleaned up and returned chugging a warmed bottle of TB. He didn’t like clothing I guessed. Works for me! He balanced a bed tray of Tara’s delectables on one hand and placed it in front of me. I sat up to meet the tray and smiled in admiration. My two favorite things in the world, good food and my naked Viking.

We both consumed our fill and lazed in my room all day. Talking seemed like more than we could handle. I wore out a vampire, I thought with amazement about the two of us going bump in the night. Then I thought of why and cleared my mind from even going in that direction. At sunset, we replayed the morning activities ending with a meal, and bottle of Trueblood for Eric. Still no clothes. Hmmmm. After dinner, Eric sat up in the bed to talk. We shared our week with each other. I skipped several things but gave him all the details of Jason’s gift, Tara’s attentiveness, Amelia’s recovery and that she had a relative here to see her.

Supe life trumps normal life was made evident as he shared his week. Bill is what I was interested in. I had to wade through the rigmarole of the new regime highlights. Unfortunately, Eric revered the Vampire King as much as he did Queen Sophie Ann. Felipe had redeemed himself without much effort in his eyes. I couldn’t stand to hear Eric speak highly of him. He refused to believe my stories of his new boss and our midnight excursions, stating with the utmost assurance that “The new king would never consort with a human.” and that I should “Say no to drugs.”

He sounded so excited when he asked me if I received the gift from Felipe, which was supposed to be the official royal sanctioning of our up coming nuptials. “Felipe was anxious to give his blessing and nearly ruined my surprise.” Eric told me. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I gave it the burial it deserved in the yard.

I learned that Felipe is one-fifth of a council of vamps at the National Vampire League. The league viewed Felipe’s actions or inaction, when I was in need, as bad publicity for the mainstreaming vamps. He was reprimanded in some creepy vamp way and Eric was offered compensation for his aggravation. What Eric got out of the deal was an increase in the territory of Area Five. Even more minions, yay! I thought.

Bill was returned to Dr. Ludwig’s care. He was not responding to treatment and was very sick. Mr. Cataliades was still working to get all charges dropped. Bill and his business are now under the umbrella of Area Five and cannot be removed.

“Bill should be treated like a hero,” I told him. “He was probably wrongfully accused anyway.” I wanted to see Bill. I needed to see him.

“It’s complicated Sookie,” he said in response and changed the subject.

Eric was offered the position of Public Relations Director for the league. “The NVL feels that our images as a model mixed couple are marketable. We could do wonders for world-wide acceptance.”

“Whoa! What’s this ‘We’ stuff Kimosabe? Please tell me that you didn’t commit me to this sh**!” His excitement fizzled away in an instant as he realized that I would not be playing the role of the supportive spouse.


Part XX

“Who better to show the perfect example of humans and vampires living in harmony?”

“Somebody else!” I was looking for an out, not an in. I didn’t want to be like the Newlins. The Newlins were the power couple behind the Fellowship of the Sun Ministries which was really a vampire hate group, the most powerful hate group. Their faces were plastered all over television, billboards and the tabloids. That kind of public spectacle just wasn’t me.

“Is that your final answer?” His voice dropped and octave, trying to make light of the situation.

“Dang skippy!” Aint no way I’m volunteering to spend any extra time with that motley crew.

“I guess televising our wedding is out,” he said sardonically while taking a swig of TB. “Aaaand the reality show.”

“You agreed to that too? What kinda monkey shine . . . It’s me, Eric! TP on the DL!”


“Telepath on the Down Low.” The public didn’t know about my gift and I wanted to keep it that way. The bottom line is that I just didn’t trust most vampires any farther than I could throw them and expressed as much.

“I am a part of the ‘them’ you speak of. I thought when you accepted my ring you accepted all of me.” He looked down at my hand, which was minus the bling and paused. His feelings were hurt so he tried extra hard to keep a stone face. “Trust me Lover, to see through deception,” he said, reassuringly. “You know me. I will make sure that it is a sweet deal for the both of us. As the NVL poster children, we would be untouchable and handsomely compensated.”

“Can’t we be a little more low key?” I could be helpful without putting all my business out there.

“Low key is for losers. It’s time to go big or go home. I am tired of scratching out a living in the shadows because I stopped to help a man over a thousand years ago. I’ve done things that you cannot imagine to survive. I was not born with that instinct but it was developed out of necessity.” He paused and stood looking out at the last bit of sunlight, putting his hands on either side of the window. “No matter what I do, I am still a vampire.”

Whew. Riches, power, fame and security were tempting and a lot to absorb. It was also a battle that I wasn’t ready to fight. “Congratulations Baby! I knew that you would shine,” I said, seeing that there was no talking him down.

I must have looked like I was drowning because he slipped in the bed and pulled me to him to comfort me. He was very careful of my sore spots and I nuzzled to him. I understood the fascination with all the new changes but it was just so overwhelming. “Sookie, just think about it. If you say no, I understand. I am convinced that the vampire world is coming into the present age. Soon, laws will prevent us from creating a monopoly and we must act now to acquire as much as we can.”

“What about your gift. That makes you different,” I told him. I thought that or I was hoping that after he became a day walker we would be like a normal couple. Instead, we are going further in.

“I love the gift. I have to figure out how to use it without putting you or myself in more danger.”

Maybe it was time that I looked at things from Eric’s point of view. He loved being a vampire. He loved being the main attraction at Fangtasia. He loved being Sheriff of Area Five which seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds. He fed off the respect and fealty of all those in his retinue. There was nothing low key about Eric. The organization that he was forced into and had been a part of for centuries was finally coming into its own. It was bad timing, but I should be happy for him.

“Vampire walks on the moon!” Or,“Vampire discovers the cure for cancer!” Maybe even, “Eric Northman, President of the United States of America!” are some of the headlines of the future that I am holding at bay with my own prejudices, only willing to accept Eric if I can extract as much of the undead as possible out of him. Eric could be the catalyst for change and assuage the bias toward the vamps and Supes, alike? He could be the new face of acceptance. He can usher the barbarian vampires of the night into the mainstream. He can aid in the transition of these carnivorous creatures, as they become contributing members of our society? Eric can be the father of the Supe Civil Rights Movement. He can make people accept a half breed Fae telepath like me?

“There is something else I must tell you. It’s good and bad.” His speech pulled me back to reality. I was immediately distracted, again, by his lack of attire now that he was horizontal and in closer proximity. “Focus, Sookie,” he snapped and I did. Those blue pills had to go. “I had to take a two week leave of absence for insubordination. The new regime has to save face and not show favoritism to me for disobeying a direct order from my superior. So that means that I am yours for a while.”

“You should have told me that first,” I said dipping under the covers. We played around for a while. I went to sleep early with a smile on my face. I had a lot to think about but Eric was here, in my bed, and I didn’t have to say good bye for a long, long time.

I hadn’t been this content in ages. I slept like the dead, only waking Eric once for a little midnight love. I woke after dreaming of Seejay in a panic and then Eric and I were “in there like swimwear.” It hurt like hell but I didn’t stop. I was just as crazed as before but Eric handled it so much better this time and slowed the pace down. Mr. Highhanded wouldn’t be slung around the bedroom by the likes of me, his eyes told me as he took control. Eric completely drove out all the other images and replaced him with some of his own. He proved that a young buck would not test 1,000 years of mastering the art.

Eric newest happy place was joining our bodies to the hilt, holding steady, staring into my eyes while watching my face contort and feeling my body writhe underneath him until . . . “That’s what my dreams are made of.” He whispered while I found my own happy place. His fangs grazed my skin many times, so full of wanting but he refused to take a bite of this forbidden fruit. He brushed my hair from my face with a gentle hand and spoke sweetly, ushering me back down to earth. We made a lot of noise and I was glad that Amelia hadn’t returned home.

“Full disclosure works both ways?” Eric said just before sunrise. He used the quietest voice and I had to take a moment to decipher his words. My eyes popped open but I didn’t move and stayed silent with him at my back. I could feel when he propped himself up on one elbow but I made no effort to turn around. He traced my shoulders lightly with his finger tips as he spoke. “You just handled a coffin full of my crazy, trust me to handle your secrets.” I thought about Bill who literally killed my Uncle Bartlett when I told him he had molested me as a child.

“Secrets?” I said innocently. But, I was thinking, Aw HELL! I didn’t expose my hand. Besides, I was innocent and he couldn’t kill Amelia’s brother right after Tray’s death. I wanted to panic but I stayed calm.

“Sookie. I can still sense how you’re feeling. I knew that there were many things wrong when I arrived. I smelled an uncommon mixture of Were and Shifter, Witch and … Sorcerer?” he said the last word slowly as if he had just made a revelation. “I know that there is something. I have ways of making you talk,” he said flicking his tongue in my ear.

Sorcerer? I said to myself. I kept my breath even and did not respond. That explained a lot. Breathe. Um gonna kick Seejay where it hurts. Breathe. Um okay. My brain fought with itself for a few moments. Once again, I was so thankful that Eric was not telepathic. He stroked my hair, letting me know that he was not going to press the issue and after a long silence, I drifted off to sleep again.

I stopped at Wal-Mart, after renting Eric a car and sending him off to run his own errands. I stocked up on some much needed supplies, which included a few cases of True Blood. It felt good to be out of the house. I pulled on my blue and gold Reynard Parish High School hoodie, that bore the emblem of my old alma mater. I needed to cover the newly bruised flesh that my low rise jeans exposed.

I ran into a few people that I knew, including the stern faced Reverend Fullenwilder, pastor of a local Baptist church, who seemed deeply sorry about my recent car accident. We had told the police that I had been hit by a car instead of kidnapped and tortured by fairies. The true account would have added the straight jacket as an essential part of my wardrobe. The world had come to know that vampires existed; now shifters, but they were not quite ready for the Fae. Hell, I wasn’t ready for the Fae.

I stopped by Merlotte’s for lunch. It was filled with the same local yokels that added the down-home ambiance to our small town’s watering hole ever since I could remember. Sam greeted me with a smile, blonde, curly, disheveled hair surrounded his head in a halo. “You are a sight for sore e . . .” He paused in mid sentence. He had stepped behind me and was helping me out of my jacket when he spotted the fresh bruises on my arms. Without saying a word, he pulled the hoodie back over my arms. I zipped it up quickly. He led me to an open booth. “Sook, you have Eric send that Supe doc to see you again. Ya hea? Those bruises still look fresh. They should have healed up a little better by now, Cher.” I flashed my nervous grin and ordered a chicken basket. He watched me eat every bite, including the fries, followed by a Cherry Coke. “I guess you are going to need a little more time before you return to work?” He asked.

“Uhuh.” I didn’t know what else to say. I wanted to have more time while Eric was off work and I didn’t know if I would be returning to Merlotte’s at all. Eric’s offer of employment was very tempting. Especially if you believe the vamps were on the strait and narrow. I was afraid to say anymore on the subject so I pretended to be really interested in Potia and her brother, Detective Andy Bellefleur, who stopped by the table to gloat about the joys of marital bliss. Not that they were married to each other.  Andy took a seat for a moment as his sister made her way to their favorite booth.

“Sookie, I should let you know that the case against Arlene and Whit isn’t going so well.” Andy's devastating words fell in a quick succession. It was just no gentle way to say it. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach with a sledgehammer. Tears welled but didn't dare let them fall. I couldn’t speak. He went on, “There is a lack of evidence to corroborate your and our account of the event and they are claiming their innocence. If we don’t come up with more evidence the charges may be dropped.” Andy apologized for being the bearer of bad news and returned to sit with his sister.

I received many well wishes and even saw Jason in the bar. His co-workers, Catfish, Hoyt and a few others filled a table for lunch. Jason told me that Alcide called him in for a second interview for Herveaux & Sons. I tried to be cordial to everyone but after Andy’s bombshell, I couldn’t even pretend. “That’s great news Jason. I’ll call him and put in a good word for you,” I said absently, making my way to the door.

“Thanks, Baby Sis. I gotta get back now.” He waved his hand as he walked out to the parking lot. I knew that he wanted to tell me more. Like how his new life was going. He didn’t know how to say it. Plus, there were too many ears in the bar and he wasn’t ready to let everyone know that he was a Shifter just yet.

Sam met me at the door. He wanted to hug me but was afraid that he would hurt me. “We will talk soon.” He tugged my ponytail and gave me a peck on the top of my head. Sam was a Shifter and could transform into any animal he saw. A Collie was normally his guise of choice. Supes had the sensors of a bloodhound, so his next question didn’t surprise me. “Sorcerer?” he said, inhaling me with a look of disapproval. I wasn’t sure if he recognized the scent as belonging to his newest tenant or not. I rolled my eyes, said my goodbyes, got in my car and headed home. Sam meant well, but sometimes his over protectiveness got on my last nerve.

“When it rains, it pours,” I said aloud on the drive home. Arlene’s betrayal had nearly destroyed me. She had been one of my best friends, like a second mom, especially after my grandmother died and I loved her kids too. Her boyfriend, Whit was a member of the Fellowship of the Sun and they both had plotted to kill me. I knew that they were guilty. I told myself that justice would prevail and pulled myself together as I turned on Hummingbird Road. I ended my pity party before I entered my house, refusing to taint my house with any more gloom.

I still had a lot of time to kill before Eric would be home. I decided to put up my perishables before they spoiled in the trunk of my car. I pulled up to the back door and unloaded the groceries. I organized my cabinets and made room to put the new things. Amelia came in with a quick greeting and shot up the stairs like a bullet.

“Hi to you, too,” I said, under my breath.

I removed the TrueBlood from its carton and lined them up in a neat row in the refrigerator door. The look of seeing them there gave me comfort and confirmed that my vampire would be a permanent fixture in my home. I retrieved the last two glass bottles and noted they were cool to the touch. I inverted the last ones absently, watching the thick contents cling to the inside of the bottleneck, when I heard that ever smooth, deep and melodious voice. “Honey, Um Home!” Heat rippled through me. One bottle slipped out of my hand to the floor and burst into a million pieces before I realized it was no longer in my grasp. I was distracted by the pain in my other hand that had squeezed the glass bottle that I held, crushing the shards deep into my palms and fingers. I couldn’t tell the TrueBlood from my own. The throbbing in my hand told me that I was cut deep.

Seejay rushed over apologizing for startling me. He turned on the cold water and yanked me to the sink. I stood there stunned, dazed and confused while Seejay washed my hand and pulled out pieces of glass with urgency. Shock opened my mind as before and I lost control. I grabbed him in a sudden jerk, not caring that I was rubbing my bleeding hand all over him. I tore at his buttons as he calmly said “Uhhh, Sookie! Sookie!”

“Yeah, baby. Say my name!” I hadn’t noticed that I was alone in my enthrallment until Amelia screeched in the doorway.

“What the hell! Junior? What have you done?” I froze at the sound of her voice. His lower lip was clinched between my teeth and one of my legs was hitched around his hip. Seejay stood there as if he was being mauled by a wild animal. His eyes were bulging. He was having an internal battle of his own. One massive arm embraced me while the other held me off. “Release her Junior, now!”

“It’s her!” Seejay mumbled raising his hands in surrender. It was a little difficult to understand him with me trying to consume part of his face. While I licked his cheek, he awkwardly hummed a quick melody and I slumped into his arms.

Amelia came close. “Please, please, please tell me that you didn’t charm my roomie,” she said, brushing my hair from my face.

“Maybe a little,” Seejay said, sheepishly. My hands began to roam, again and I pulled him close to me. I clung to him nibbling his neck while they conversed. “I did a simple enchantment spell,” he confessed, “But I didn’t do all this.” Blood was dripping from my hands. It was a lot of blood.

“Telepath! Junior, you can’t enchant a telepath,” Amelia scolded, biting the words through perfect teeth. “Especially one who’s a Fae mutt on vamp blood.”

“Telepath?” he raised a brow in amazement. There was a pool of blood forming on the floor beneath us. I imagined it was a pond and dove in for a swim. “I got you” he scooped up my legs, just before the darkness claimed me.

I woke up on the couch with a thick bandage on my hand. Seejay was pacing near the fireplace. I thought of making a fire and pushing him in. “You needed twelve stitches.” I heard Amelia’s voice say. “Our father sent a physician over to see you.” She was sitting on the floor in front of the couch. She lifted a bottle of blood to my mouth that had a straw in it. I was all too familiar with this scenario. “Brave choir-boy wonder over there panicked when you hit the floor and ran to daddy.”

“You had lost too much blood,” he said in his own defense. He looked completely disheveled and sadness filled his face but I didn’t spare his feelings.

“This is your fault!” I spat. Just then, I realized that I didn’t feel that insatiable burning in my loins that overwhelmed me before.

“I released you,” he admitted. “I only wanted you to feel better but each time you took it to the extreme. You cried in your sleep when I held you on the porch. I sang a spell and you, Ms. Hoover, swallowed my face. I still have scratches on the back of my neck!” He lifted his locks to show the damage and for a half a second, I was ashamed.

“Your fault!” I was louder this time, fuming. I covered my face with my hands as Amelia rubbed my ankle to calm me. This was so embarrassing. Eric is gonna kick his a**, I thought.

“You were so sad on the day of the funeral. . .” he interjected, halting my vengeful thoughts. “. . that I thought you were going to need counseling or a straight jacket, especially when we decided to leave.” He was trying to make me understand that his intentions were noble and I must say that I didn’t read any malice in his mind this time or before. “And that deal at your door! That was the . . .” I held up one hand and stared with a threat of certain death if he didn’t get that stupid smirk off of his face.

“All I’m saying is,” he slowed his speech in an effort to calm me. “None of this would have happened if we had trusted each other with the simple truth of our identities. I am a Sorcerer and you, chè, are a Telepath, not to mention freakin’ Fae royalty.” Stressing the latter. “I would have taken the necessary precautions, had I known.”

“You may be right about part of it,” I admitted with a sob and thinking of all the information that we had shared about each of our lives but not trusting enough to tell one of the most important facts. “But look at what it cost me.” I showed them some of the discoloration on my tummy.

“Eww!” They shrieked back in unison.

“Well, I’m sure that Eric enjoyed the souped up Sookie, version two point ohhh yesss,” Amelia teased and we all had a laugh.

“Vengeance will be mine,” I said faking a coy smile. I would not let this go. All I could think about was getting into his head and scrambling his eggs.

“I do have charms especially made for Telepaths,” He warned dryly, extending a long manicured pointer toward me.

“Stop your bickering, you guys,” Amelia ordered handing me an antibiotic the doctor left for me. “This is so the wound won’t get infected. He gave you a shot as well.”

“Hey, what else can you do, Houdini?” I said in a demanding tone.

“If I told you that I’d have to kill you!” Somehow I think he meant what he said in jest. “We koo, princess?” He said holding out a fist. I gave it a light bump with my own fist, using the good hand, of course.

“On one condition.” Both looked to me with curious eyes. “Show me how to do it.”

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