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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.

Who Dat? - XV & XVI

Modesty was not the way of the Shifter and we watched Alcide fling his clothing around my front lawn with aplomb. Seeing the second person in as many days that had gone commando side tracked what should have been a horrific event and sent my mind in an odd direction. Maybe it was shock. Amidst the snarls and growls and Alcide contemplating the likelihood of Jason ripping him to shreds while he did the stop, drop and glop routine, I made a mental note to advise the shifter populace to get some of those break away pants that I sometimes see athletes wear. It would save a ton on their wardrobe budget. I would also add underwear to the Christmas list. What was it, Supe laundry week?

Seejay and I stood eye to eye, since he was a few steps down on the stairs. He pegged me with one final threatening stare willing me to hold my ground. He was quickly becoming an official pain in the butt. I wanted to tell him to mind his own damn business. Jason is my brother and Alcide my friend. I couldn’t stand by and watch them hurt each other, no matter how entertaining Seejay thought it would be.

My body was suddenly overcome with a strange calm as bronze hazels held my gaze. I didn’t want to calm down dang it! My feet seemed to be glued where I stood and my knees no longer held my weight. I kneeled down on the porch, which was more like I collapsed, and peeked under Seejay’s arms for a better view.

Alcide’s brawny human form crouched down and prepared for the onslaught. Jason advanced, stalking toward his pray in powerful leaps. Nearly too fast for my human eyes to track, Alcide made an inhuman surge upward to the nearby trees in three quick jumps. He disappeared in the Loblolly Pine that was nearest to the house. It shook under his weight, sending branches falling down. The feat was pretty impressive because the lowest of the limbs were some 15 feet off the ground.

Jason followed, making it to the base of the tree when Alcide’s wolf landed on the ground behind him. Like his own hair, Alcide’s fur was black as pitch. Familiar emerald green eyes looked up to me and then searched the landscape for the immediate threat. In a snarl that exposed his long, sharp teeth, all remnants of humanity left him.

I closed my eyes when I saw them collide, forcing the tears that had welled down my face. My hands involuntarily slapped over my ears. The sounds of battle too much to take. I began to cry out loudly. “Please! Please! Stop!” Alcide had Jason pinned, his muzzle at his opponent’s throat.

“Ah, quit yer belly achin’ Sook!” Jason’s voice was breathless and high pitched. “Stop actin’ like a girl!” Time froze, all eyes on the anomaly. Werewolves could not speak in their wolf form. Alcide’s stunned reaction cost him. In a blur, Jason shot up, knocking Alcide away. They quickly resumed the battle. I could tell that Alcide was a little rattled by his slowed movements. I rejected my brother's advice and continued to wail.

“Psst.” The sound came from my right side. Seejay sat back on the porch to talk to me, propping himself on his elbows. He had this smirk on his face and rolled his eyes in disgust like I had obliterated all my cool points. He took a deep, exasperated breath before saying “Uh, pardon my French but, um, it’s just a pissin’ contest.” My mouth moved like a fish out of water. I couldn’t form words to respond. He went on while I gaped. “It’s not a Pack Master competition.” He spoke not fully committing his attention to me. “It’s a guy thing. It’s like first on the Man Rule list. It mandates that they establish who has got the bigger cahones.” A blood curdling yelp came from the front yard. I think one of them was just handed theirs.

“Oooh! Welcome to the sopranos!” Seejay said, wincing and cupping is middle. He actually started to laugh. “He didn’t want kids, right?” I think my face must have turned green. I heard pity come into his words. “Come on, woman.” He pulled me to sit next to him. My movements lacked the grace of the animals and several of my body parts clumsily hit the deck before my face ran into Seejay’s thick arm. It seemed like a good place to have a mental breakdown, so I held there for a moment. My body was jostled as he bobbed and weaved with their movements.

“Man up! It’s like the WWF. See.” He lifted my chin to face the fight. “No blood!” I pried one of my eyes open to see a blended ball of blonde and black rolling across the grass. Seejay put two fingers in his mouth and let out a loud whistle and they halted as if he had a pause button. Jason was standing on his hind legs, gnawing on a furry black paw as Alcide dangled upside down with a patch of blonde fur in his mouth.

Seejay held a hand over my head and pointed downward. Party pooper, killjoy, buzz kill, wet blanket, take your pick of the words that floated around me. Jason released the dark wolf that began to wriggle and change form in midair. My head was forced downward between my knees when I started to hyperventilate.

“You know how long I been waitin’ to do that?” Jason said as he shot pass me and went into the house to change. It saved me from having to burn my eyeballs out from seeing my brother’s nakedness. “Ask Niall to make you a wolf and you can play, too.”

“Aw! We were just shakin’ hands, Sookie.” Alcide went over the yard retrieving his belongings and casually walked up the steps. He paused to give me a comforting pat on the back. “You should be used to the way of the Weres by now.” Shifter minds sometimes read clear as a bell with skin contact. The brief touch revealed that Alcide had planned on greeting me with a kiss. That’s what he was thinking when he drove over here and was sorry that he’d now missed the opportunity. He was also jealous to see another rooster ‘round the hen house, his mind said as he got a load of Seejay. I lifted my head to look at him and quickly put it back down. He had his clothing flung over his shoulder and work boots strategically placed to cover himself. Man, his muscular legs were hairy, very, very hairy and he resonated heat.

“Alcide, Seejay. Seejay, Alcide.” I made introductions without any further explanations. I wasn’t going to apologize to those mongrels for my behavior. Sookie’s no softee. I’m a beast! I eat strange and exotic for breakfast. I dine on the entrails of the absurd. Jason’s gift merely shocked me, is all. They had no right to judge me. If Alcide’s sister, Janet, suddenly exploded into a fur ball he would probably Brick it.

I guess Alcide gave a head nod in greeting cause I heard Seejay respond with a cool “Sup.” Seejay placed a possessive arm over my shoulder and spoke quietly to me, like he knew me like that. Considering the way he was caressing the small of my back, one would think that he did. “Bé, take deep breaths.” He said silkily. This was his testosterone’s way of checking in, I suppose. I’d have to consult with the Man Rules about that. Men are so full of it. I wanted to give him a sharp elbow to the ribs but I was just too exhausted.

Thankfully, Alcide erred on the side of human and didn’t bite . . . this time. “Is that gumbo?” he said. “I just worked up an appetite.” He went into the house and got dressed.

I took a moment to gather myself before joining Alcide and Seejay in the kitchen. Alcide was on his second bowl when Jason joined us and met my male guests in his human form. He was trying to stretch the young clothing (that he had most likely found in the attic) over his long limbs. Maybe it was a shifter thing but my brother seemed to walk taller with a new confidence that I had never seen in him, all roostered up and ready to cock-a-doodle do. Alcide took a double take and started questioning Jason while he ate.

“Drake?” Alcide sounded puzzled. Jason shook his head. “You are a dead ringer for a business associate of mine.”

“Dermot,” Jason and I said in unison.

“No, his name is Drake, or that is the name he told me.”

“Uncle Dermot or Drake, as you called him, is a relative of ours, a very dangerous Fae relative,” I said. “This” I motioned to Jason “is my brother, Jason.”

We shared the entire story with Alcide, who told us that he had not seen Dermot in a few weeks. I hoped that meant the he was locked in Fae. They continued to raid my kitchen and I was glad that I didn’t have to feed them on a regular basis. Alcide made sure that Jason was aware of all that was to be anticipated from the Werewolf life. He even invited him to be an associate member of the Pack. Jason was completely pumped and tried to talk Alcide’s ear off. Finally, Alcide stood to leave, shaking his head in disbelief. It had been quite an interesting afternoon, I had to admit.

Jason had some idea of the Shifter life since he was bitten by a Werepanther and was forced to change to a four-legged furry once a month. Since he was bitten and not born, Niall was able to tweak his abilities. Jason was now able to turn into a full wolf at-will instead of the half panther creature he was cursed to become at the full moon. All Weres and Shifters had to answer to call of the full moon and revert to their animal, so he was no worse off.

“Walk me out Sookie?” Alcide reached for my hand.

“I wasn’t sure of why you came in to my life, Mr. Herveaux. Today you have proved to be a most valuable friend. My brother will need someone like you.” We walked to the car with my arms around his waist. He is so big that my head was just under his arm pits. He had the faint smell of the woods and I felt safe and warm under his wing. “Come back and see us soon.”

“You are still a friend of the Pack, young lady.” He swung around to face me and leaned his back to the car. I knew what he was thinking. Now that Jason was a Were, he could get closer to me and I responded before he said it.

“Maybe in another lifetime, Alcide. I’ll have to resign to the fact that we are going to be really, really good and maybe even close friends,” I told him.

“That’s a great foundation for an even better marriage.” He gave me a wink, held my face and kissed me gently on the forehead. His kiss was filled with innocence and intent depending on how you wanted to take it. I pulled my ring out of my shirt and rubbed it. Alcide got in his truck, rolled down the window and handed me one of his business cards.

“I have your number already.” He knew that.

“Yes, you do,” he said, flirtatiously. “That’s for Der . . . uh . . . um, Jason. I would like to offer him a job with Herveaux and Sons, so that I can keep an eye on him. The werewolf life is quite an adjustment. He is very different and will need help.”

“Thanks, again Alcide.” I turned to go back in to the house. I crashed in exhaustion for the remainder of the afternoon.

The sound of the microwave being set told me that Pam was up and hungry, or thirsty, as the vamps call it. Dark already, I thought. It’s pretty sad when you don’t know who is sleeping in your house, or under it, in this case. I didn’t even know she was in the hidey hole. The darkness of the sky sparked the hope that I would hear from Eric soon. I prayed that he would have good news about Bill.

Pam fumbled around the kitchen for a few moments emerging with her drink of choice in her hand. She was un-groomed when she spotted our newest houseguest and began tugging at the snarls of her tangled mane.

“Hell-oooo,” Pam said smoothly, filling her greeting with meaning. I could almost hear the Boom Chicka Wah Wah playing in her head.

Seejay let out a low hiss. “Sup,” he said, quickly giving Pam a courteous glance and went straight back to his ESPN trance. The room went so cold that I looked around to see if someone had left a window open. Pam moved closer, introducing herself. He responded in the same way as before. Wow! This was a first, I thought. Seejay was not impressed by Pam in the least. Pam, however, was looking at him like a juicy piece of filet mignon. At one point, she attempted to put the vamp whammy on him but he never looked up.

I was enjoying the show but I decided it was time to take a look in Seejay’s head. Sports only, dem Saints. New Orleans Saints, to be specific. His favorite team was destined for a championship. His brain was completely immersed in game commentaries, highlights, the team, players and stats and had no thoughts of Pam or me floating around in his head. I wondered if Claude was more his flavor? Pity. Pam left the room in a swift glide toward the bedrooms.

“Have you had a chance to talk to Amelia?” I asked. He turned to look at me. His face was sad and distant. He shook his head in a negative response.

“Tara took her food but she didn’t eat. She even tried to get her to come down the stairs to see her company but she would not.”

“She doesn’t even know that you are here to see her?” I asked.


“Why don’t you go up to see her?”

“I’m concerned that if she sees me before she is ready, she will know how worried the family is and it will drive her into a deeper depression. I will wait around a little longer,” he said. “If the grieving stalls I will I will go to her in the morning, if you don’t mind.”

The more the merrier, I thought. Besides, Amelia was bad off and I’d requested the help. Extending my hospitality to her family was the least I could do.

Pam returned a short time later after pulling herself together. She looked like the Pam I knew; a permanent 19 year old with straight, pale blond hair on a small frame. “Sookie.” She spoke a little louder than necessary. I could see that she was trying to get more than just my attention. “Eric, your betrothed boo, is detained again this evening.”

Well, now, Ms. Pam has a little beyotch in her. She was clearing a path for herself and outing me in one fell swoop. I laughed quietly. She spoke slowly breaking up the words as if they were code for something. I was a little put off by her actions but I needed the information she was providing.

“All is well?” I asked, sure that she was reading my silent message to her.

“He is.” She looked directly into my eyes. I wasn’t sure of what that meant. I sat back and thought about it. As well as to be expected considering that Felipe was trying to screw him straight up the yoohoo without even so much as a kiss or lubricant, I guessed.

“Eric?” Seejay questioned. He was looking at me from the corner of his eye. His body was still facing his laptop.

“Yes!” Pam chimed with a sound of delight. “Eric is Sookie’s big, strong, vampire. He is also my master.” She added just to make sure he knew where her loyalties lied. His gaze drew over to Pam, which is what she was after. He noted her improvements and quickly returned his attention to the program as if he was never in the conversation. I soon lost interest in the cat and mouse game.

Seejay sucked his teeth in distaste and said “I should have known.” underneath his breath and I paused. “The good ones are all . . .”

“Taken!” I interjected through a fake smile and clenched teeth. The derogatory “fangbangers” had fallen out of his head before he’d said it. I spared him from the vamp beat down that Pam would have gladly issued for insulting me but not from my wrath.

I had to cool down. It was hard considering that our last verbal exchange caused thoughts to flow out of his head like a broken dam. “This is an effing vampire nest? F***!, F***!, F***!” He first thought that I was pretty cool but was now re-evaluating his first impression of me.

Copley hadn’t shared that info with him and he was pissed. He wasn’t even sure if Copely knew. “Get Cuppy and Um out!” He mumbled over and over, his words becoming incoherent and eventually brewed down to what sounded like a low chant.

“Pam can you show Seejay to the Bon Temps Arms?” The town had no such hotel or any hotel for that matter but he got the message. This house guest thing was fast becoming a bad idea and I decided to revoke my invitation. I was waiting on Pam to back me up but she seemed to be tongue tied. She stared at Seejay for a long while. His large body seemed to dwarf the piece of furniture. He lay back, relaxed and non-threatening. One arm was behind his head and the other on his stomach, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

“My . . . um . . . master . . . I need to get to . . . Well, then,” Pam said, completely discombobulated. She was embarrassed by her apparent confusion and her thwarted attempts to woo Seejay. That was my take on it anyway. I can’t read vamp minds. “Amelia, I’ll get her something to eat.” Seejay’s hackles rose at the mention of Amelia’s name on the vampire’s lips but he played it off, pretending to still be calm and cool.

“Can I get you something to eat?” I asked Seejay as a peace offering before following Pam in the kitchen. He pressed his lips together, never taking his eyes off of the screen. He shared the same sentiment as most people did about vampires consorting with humans. His reaction was calm considering that he was blindsided with the hard reality. My mistake was assuming that he was cool with all Supes because he was familiar with Weres and related to a witch. I would ride this one out for Amelia, if he behaved himself.

“You are the one who needs seeing after.” His lips curved up in a subtle grin. It reminded me of the diplomatic way that Copely handled things. He had decided to play nice, too. We both silently conceded that Amelia was the priority. “But no, thank you. Besides, I promised Tara that I would make sure that you and Cu . . . Amelia received your proper rest and you got your meds.” He pulled the prescription bottle from his pocket and placed it on the end table. “After the Were debacle, I owe you a peaceful evening at least. I can heat up the food when you are ready to eat. Tara left plenty of food,” he informed me. I opened the fridge and my eyes popped in shock. There was barely any light. There were neatly stacked trays of prepared meals ready to pop in the microwave. The freezer was full, too.

“Check the pantry,” he said, proudly. Great! That Tara. I will have to do something extra nice for her. Maybe I will give her and JB tickets to somewhere romantic as a late wedding gift. Not that I could afford it but when I think about how much it cost to fill my house with food, and prepared food at that, I think we’ll break even. Maybe I’ll have Eric send her something extra nice for the new baby when it comes. He was very thoughtful when it came to choosing gifts.

Pam pulled one of the prepared meals out, removed the lid, frowned at the contents and heated it in the microwave. The tray was hot when Pam pulled it from the oven. She did not flinch as she moved it slowly to the bed tray. She scooped up the necessary utensils, a beverage and headed toward Amelia’s retreat.


Part XVI

I wasn’t hungry yet, so I decided to take this time to do some much needed grooming. The hot shower felt so good on my body that still ached. I made it last as long as I could, keeping the water as hot as I could stand. I needed to relax and longed for the old boring, lazy days of my small home town. I dried my body and wiped the mirror with a towel so that I could examine myself. I turned from side to side, trying to see as much as I could in the vanity mirror. A few bumps and bruises but I appeared to be healing nicely. I smiled as I rubbed my body with the towel. I thought of the intimate moments with Eric in his lair and my face began to blush. He would come to me soon, I could feel it.

I walked into my room and slipped on some plaid pink sleep pants, a pink tank and my robe. I heard a faint ruckus so I moved toward the sound. I pulled on my fluffy slippers on the way out of my room. The noise became louder as I neared the stairs to Amelia’s room. Part of what I was hearing was Pam speaking in a muffled voice to Amelia. The other part was coming from inside of Amelia’s head! Pam was desperately trying to convince her to snap out of her stupor. I let my shields down to really hear what Amelia was thinking and her thoughts ripped through me like a knife. She was screaming without making a sound, her words and inflection loud and clear. She was so upset. She felt like life wasn’t worth it. She hated me for leading Tray into such dire straits. She missed him terribly. She thought of her home and Hurricane Katrina. She thought that she was a disappointment to her father. She thought that she was a failure as a witch.

Her mind was a jumbled mess. Her thoughts were swirling with spells, chants and random words of names or places. “Junia! Junia!” I made out and I hoped that I was not witness to a nervous break-down. I’d ask Seejay what Junia was later. Maybe it was something that could help her, a tranquil sanctuary, I hoped.

I digested her anguish like vicious blow to the gut that made me double over in pain. My body found rest on the bottom step that led to her room. Seejay emerged from the hallway bathroom, wiping his hands on a paper towel and tossing it in the wastebasket as he exited. He leaped to my side, unsure if I had fallen down the stairs, I read in his thoughts.

“Are you ok?” I didn’t answer. It was simply overwhelming. His eyes followed the noise coming from above. He took a few steps up and then paused. I know that he could not hear her thoughts but he empathized just the same. He looked back at me. I was beginning to curl in a fetal position and gave up on anyone being able to help me. I wanted him to help Amelia feel better. He put his head down and sat on the steps, his head buried in his hands.

“Please help my friend,” was my only plea.

He was very quiet for a time. “The cycle of mourning must run its course. I will intervene, but not now.” He reached down as he stepped back down the stairs and pulled me to my feet. “I gotta get some air.” He deposited me on the couch and retrieved my pain pills and water, handing them to me before he walked out the front door. This was painful for him, too. What bothered me was, if he could help, if he came here to help, why wasn’t he? I swallowed my meds and followed him outside. I was trying to catch him before he drove off but as I got to the edge of the front porch Seejay called to me. He was reclined on the porch swing.

“Only two more,” he said. I looked over to him and sighed in relief. I really didn’t feel like running after him. I perched on the railing of the porch, near the swing, waiting for him to elaborate. “Unfortunately, I’ve watched Cuppy go through this too many times. It’s always the same pattern. People rush in and are frustrated because they can’t fix her. She appreciates me because I give her what she needs, which is time to mend. So far, I’m sure she has appeared to be in shock right?”


“Then, she started screaming?” he asked. “She became hysterical?”

“I was told that she did the night we returned.” I answered. That’s what Pam had told me.

“Now she has not and still will not speak or eat.” He didn’t need an answer since he was here for that part. “She is close to the end.”

“What’s the next step?” I asked.

He looked dead into my eyes and said “Violent . . . .” Before he could finish the statement, we heard a loud clamor from inside the house. We both stood to our feet. “Outbursts.” Suddenly, Pam burst on to the porch rather ungracefully. She had a gash in her head. It was healed over before she reached the first step. Blood stained her shirt.

“I must go,” Pam said, clearly upset. Amelia was her friend, too. “Will you be okay, Sookie?” The noises continued and Amelia began to use a few four-letter words. Seejay sauntered into the house, singing to himself. Pam threw her hands up in surrender, turned on her heels and stalked to my car. “I will have Bobby Burnham drive it back by morning.”

The noises from inside the house stopped but I still heard Seejay singing under his breath as he appeared next to me. “Don’t worry about rushing the car back,” he yelled to Pam as he put a throw from the couch over my shoulders. He held on as if we were old friends, looking down at me. “I’ll see after the ladies tonight and my car is in the back.” This infuriated Pam. She got in the car in a huff. This night was not going well for her. She sat still for a few moments in the car, torn between staying and fleeing. After starting the car, she stepped out again with an apologetic tone.

“Sookie are you sure you are going to be okay?”

“I’ll be fine.” I assured her. “Besides, Mr. Carmichael here won’t let anything happen to us helpless ladies,” I said teasing. Pam stood there for a moment with her mouth open. She started to speak a few times but held off as it registered in her mind that Seejay was a relative of Amelia. In the past, she and Amelia had a “thang” going on which meant Seejay was officially off limits to her. If you follow the “no dating family members” rule, which I was sure she’d have no qualms about but Amelia probably would.

She gave me a curt smile, walked closer to us and warned in a cool voice “My master will return soon. He should not find one hair of Sookie’s out of sorts.” Seejay's song took on a low cadence of words that fell out in quick succession but he never even looked up at her. In a wink, she was down the road.

“I don’t like vampires,” he confessed.

“No shit, Sherlock?” I mumbled.

“Someone very close to me was glamored by a vampire, removing her memory. It took three weeks for her to get home and longer to get her life back,” Seejay confided. Well, I couldn’t protest that. I knew that vampires were just like that. They would glamour me if they could. Early and often, I chuckled to myself.

“What’s the next step for Amelia? How many steps are there? Is she gonna be okay?” He motioned for me to sit on the swing next to him. This was gonna take a while.

“Well,” he said, “she is tired now. That just took a lot out of her and she has not eaten a thing. She will sleep and when she awakes, she will be strangely giddy. She’ll put on a very convincing performance to prove that she has not gone crazy. I will approach her at that time.” We could hear a few aftershocks of Amelia’s tirade. I bet the walls were very colorful with food now. I moved to rise but a slight pressure from Seejay’s hands rested on my shoulder and pulled me back. He shook his head no, as if he was the authority on the matter. I was a little frustrated at his intervention. Just then, he started singing again. It was the same melody as before but slightly louder. That mouth of his, poetry in motion and holding my attention. He had the most beautiful voice. I can’t sing a lick so this is a quality I can appreciate. My own lips involuntarily smiled and he took that as an invitation to continue. I didn’t understand a word he was saying. Whatever language it was it, wasn’t English but it sounded so good. It soothed my ears and calmed me too.

“Mr. Prozac!” I said to myself.

Hurricane Amelia slowed her roar as the melody seeped through the house like a vapor. We all were relieved when she finally relaxed. I wished that I could go and hug my friend, tuck her into bed and tell her that she was loved. I thought better of it when I remembered her inner most feelings about me and the tears flowed. Seejay pulled me over to him and I rested my head on his shoulder. “Soon,” he assured me. “She will be okay, soon.”

Jason returned home and crashed in the guest room without asking. I hoped he wasn’t moving in. Despite his incredible new gift, he was having his own battle with depression. Hell, we all needed counseling. Maybe Seejay’s song would sooth him, too.

Seejay and I talked for what seemed like hours. I told him of my extraordinary life with the Supes and what being a native of Bon Temps was like. I found out that he went to a real Ivy League School and holds a Masters degree in Anthropology. I had no idea what an anthropologist did but it sounded important. He gave up everything to follow his dream of music, which angered Copely who funded his matriculation. He considered schooling a waste of time if he wasn’t going to use it.

Like Amelia, he grew up in the Big Easy. I was having trouble reading him now. He was a low transmitter but that dang blue pill was kicking in and made my visions hazy. I sensed no falsehoods, only a great, brotherly love for Amelia. They were pretty close and I thought that was sweet. They were both around the same age, I gathered, and raised on the Carmichael Estate. He liked to talk and his voice soothed me. Plus, I didn’t have to try and get into his head. His life was an open book.

He asked as many questions as he answered and seemed genuinely interested in my response. I felt a giddy sense of euphoria wash over me as I shared my inner most thoughts with this perfect stranger. He now knew my shoe size, favorite color and dream home just to name a few. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He asked to the hypnotic sound of the swing creaking from our weight as we moved back a forth. I giggled at the question at first, considering my age and then felt suddenly sad. No one had ever sincerely asked me that. People with my ailment had only one aspiration; avoid being locked away in the mental facility. I felt a lump in my throat and my eyes stung.

“Normal,” I responded sadly, quietly ending our Dr. Phil moment. Of all the things that I had just shared, for some reason, my gift or disability, per se, was off limits. I tired of people seeing me as broken and decided to adopt the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” I rose, bidding my new friend goodnight and must have moved too fast for the drugs in my body because I fell back on the swing. Seejay adjusted swiftly and smoothly to break my fall, as if he had a foreboding of me measuring the floor of the porch.

“Take your time, Mon amie,” he said. “Wait a few minutes and we will try that again.” I lay down on the bench with my head whirling. I looked pretty awkward and Seejay scooted under me to act as a pillow. Again with the singing and I didn’t object. He stroked my head like a cat in his lap and before long, I drifted off to sleep. “You are a different one,” he whispered and gently propelled the swing to resume its motion.

I must have passed out. I slept for a long while on the bench and Seejay did not disturb me. The cool night air felt good and cleansing to my lungs. I dreamed about many things. I had a nightmare about Eric and Felipe in a fight to the death. It was a bloody battle that had my heart racing. I opened my eyes and I heard Seejay still singing. I drifted back off. I dreamed of Bill being poisoned by the Silver, him meeting the sun and cried in my sleep. Comforting arms embraced me and I felt like all was well.

I dreamed of how Bill and I met. It was so real that I spoke to him. I missed him. He was my first love . . . my first kiss. We were in my driveway. His car was parked nearby. My grandmother was in the house. She was excited that Bill had agreed to be the guest speaker of her social club, Descendants of the Glorious Dead. I remembered being so nervous and apprehensive then. My dream seemed so real. Bill’s hair looked dark as a raven’s wing in the moonlight. His dark eyes were truly captivating and his fangs extended just a little. I could almost smell his shampoo. I asked dream Bill to kiss me one last time but unlike my real Bill, who was always on the ready, he resisted. I was in a strange state between sleep and wake. I wrapped my arms around him and forced a long kiss as he tried push me away. He finally relented, responding only for a second, gifting me a full and long velvety stroke of the sweetest . . . hmmm. It was better than I had remembered, so soft and warm? Almost feverish. My whole body tingled and became weightless.

“Hmmmm.” Bill started to ramble breathlessly in French? He had never spoken another language before. He struggled to get out of my hold. His voice was different, too . . . It sounded like . . . Seejay? At that moment, my body tensed and my eyes flew open to see Seejay recoil in shock, wiping his hand across his mouth. I lurched to my feet with my hands in fists at my side. He tumbled on to the porch and quickly stood.

“Bé it is not that kind of party,” he said with regret. He slowly licked his lips like he could still taste the kiss. “I don’t partake . . .” He paused and shifted his words. “What’s with you?” he quietly demanded.

“We just met and should not be kissing. Plus, I have someone. Pam already told you that.”

“The word of a vampire!” he hissed, pressing his lips together. “You seemed to be having a bad dream and when you asked me to kiss you . . . I only wanted you to feel better. It was supposed to be a short, comforting peck but you grabbed me to you and literally sucked me in.”

His face was red where I’d grabbed him. “Shepherd of Judea!” I’ve molested my house guest while I slept, I realized. I felt so ashamed at my behavior. If I had been dreaming about Eric, who knows what …. I couldn’t even think about it. I profusely apologized and retired for the evening. One thing was apparent to me. I knew for certain that Seejay wouldn’t like Claude.

On the way to my room, Amelia passed me in the hall. She looked right passed me trying to make out who was on the front porch. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even stop her. I heard her cry “Junia? You came for me.” Maybe Junia was some term of endearment or Seejay and Junia were one in the same, I thought. Mystery solved. “I felt your presence and then I heard your song. As always, it soothed me,” she said.

I tipped to the window and eaves dropped on their reunion. He kissed her right on the mouth, a quick peck. “How’s my beautiful little Cup Cake?” he said, adoringly. He took her hand and twirled her around like a ballerina. Her face brightened with delight as she snuggled into his protective embrace. She put her satin slippered feet on top of his boots and they danced while he sang a new song. The sound of his heavy boots kept percussion time on the wooden planks of the porch floor.

It was such a precious moment. I had to cover my mouth to hold in my sobs. I tipped to my room and fought the urge to burst into the guest room and bop Jason on the head for not being as caring with his only living relative.

I went to bed hoping that Eric would come to me in the night. As I drifted off to sleep I prayed for the peace that I took for granted most of my life. Peace for my family, peace for my friends, peace for my love.

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  1. Loving Seejay ...
    May 3, 2010

  2. I've read all ten books as of May 5. I absolutely adore CH and her characters. I an also a huge fan of HBO TrueBlood. I certainly hope you continue on w/ this blog. Honestly, I kind of wish that CH Dead in the Family would have included some of your plot twists! :)
    May 9, 2010