A/N: This is post Dead in the Family, so if you haven't read that, well, go do that. Honestly, what are you waiting for? If you are reading my other story, I promise, I haven't forgotten it. I got a really awful computer virus a couple months ago and lost a couple chapters, which I'm finally in the process of rewriting. I will actually probably have a chapter of that up tomorrow. This is purely fun, picking up where DITF left off, mainly because I can't believe Sookie just forgot about leaving her brother at Eric's. Enjoy, and read and review!
I woke up slowly, as if I was drifting to the surface from the very depths of the ocean. I was warm, comfortable, as if I was cocooned in light. Two sets of arms were wrapped around me, but for some reason this didn't strike me as odd, but rather just as it should be. I knew I'd dreamt, but I couldn't recall the specifics, just a sense of goodness and love. Finally I sat up and stretched, disentangling myself from my cousin and great-uncle, who were both still asleep.
I managed to get out of bed without waking them, and went to the kitchen to make coffee and get a start on breakfast. Today was going to be a good day, and I didn't know if anything could detract from the overwhelming sense of peace that seemed to flow through my very veins. That feeling lasted until I filled my cup of coffee and took it outside to sit on the porch and enjoy the moist coolness of the morning air. Jason's truck, complete with obnoxious paint job, was parked where I'd left it. "Shit."
I'd left my brother at Eric's, and Eric had presumably returned home high on fairy blood. The thought of my boyfriend eating my brother put a serious damper on my good mood, though I was still feeling pretty good. I wondered if I was still feeling the after effects of the drugs Alcide had given me, or if this was all due to sleeping in close proximity to Dermot and Claude. I took my coffee inside and called Jason.
When he picked up, I actually sighed with relief. "Jason, you're alright?"
"Yeah, Sook, I'm fine. I'm at Pam's, and I called in sick, but if you could come get me, that'd be good. Pam said everything worked out okay last night?"
I took a long sip of my coffee. I don't know if I'd have described the situation as 'okay', but I wasn't ready to get into all that over the phone. "I guess. Turns out Dermot was on our side after all. He was under a spell, but Claude and I sorted that out."
"Well, shit." Somehow, Jason had summed it up rather nicely. "When you going to get here?"
"Give me about two hours." I got Claude and Dermot woken up, and let them know I was going to get Jason. They made some noise about coming with me, but I told them not to bother, since I was bringing Jason back here. If he'd taken the day off, I figured it was high time we had a bit of a family meeting. I didn't have to work until the dinner shift, so I had some time.
It was odd, about three hours later, when Jason, Dermot, Claude and I all sat around the kitchen table, drinking coffee or iced tea and eating BLTs. I'd filled Jason in on the previous night's events, and he'd been suitably shocked. He'd told me how Eric had returned once Pam was pretty much healed, and Pam had hurried him out of Eric's place and taken him to hers. The cleaners had still been sorting things out. Jason hadn't wanted Michele to drive the hour to pick him up, since it was so late by the time he'd realized I wasn't coming back.
It took us some time to do more than just sit in each other's presence. Once we'd all sat down together, that feeling of peace, of rightness, returned and I could tell we all felt it, even Jason. Finally Dermot spoke. "You do not understand what a relief it is to no longer be under Niall's spell. It has been decades since I've been able to think clearly. Being here, with all of you, is helping me to heal as well."
"What do you want to do, Uncle?" If I hadn't been so swept up in our mutual kinship, I might have struggled with what to call Dermot. Now it just seemed so natural, feeling the blood that ran through all of our veins. "You are welcome to stay here for some time, if you'd like."
Dermot stared at his hands for a few minutes. "I would like that, I think. I am not yet sure in myself. Being amongst kin will help me. Perhaps Claude can stay as well?" He turned to Claude. "I could use some help in sorting out my affairs, and I need to find a way to make a life for myself."
Claude nodded. "Once you are feeling more like yourself, you are welcome to live with me, though I am happy to remain here for right now. It is good to be with blood." We all just nodded at that. It was good, and there was no denying that.
Jason was the next one to pull us out of silence. "Why are we feeling like this?"
Claude thought before answering. "Because Dermot is healing, he is pulling on our essence, our kinship. It is always comforting for the fae to be with their blood, though it will be less," he paused, searching out the right word, "intense when he is completely well. For now it is best to gather our blood around us, so no one is drawn on too much."
In the silence, our breathing synchronized. We sat like that for hours, food and coffee getting cold, iced tea getting warm, until I managed to stand. "I have to work tonight."
Claude nodded. "I should go to my club. Jason, can you stay here?"
Jason nodded, which made Dermot smile. If their thought signatures hadn't been so different, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Dermot's had changed once the spell was broken, but it was still decidedly other than human. "I would like to spend some time with you, Jason. We have so much to talk about."
Claude and I both managed to get to our respective bathrooms and shower, but we were so reluctant to leave. It wasn't until we were physically outside of the house that the sensation started to dull. "This is intense, Claude," I said as I unlocked my car.
"It'll be better in a few days. He was under that spell at least since your parents were killed. He's healing."
I nodded. "Are you going to be back tonight?"
"Yeah. I'm just going to go get a bit of paperwork done, then I'll come back. I'll probably be home before you."
"Good. See you later, cousin."
He nodded to me and we both got into our cars and left. I was a bit distracted as I waited tables that night, though I still felt relaxed. I was smiling a heck of a lot more than I had been recently, and my tips sure felt the difference. It even seemed a bit easier to keep out of people's heads. Once it got dark, I felt the hum of Eric being up and about, and he seemed a hell of a lot more relaxed too. I wondered, as I served beer and chicken baskets, what I was going to do about Eric, especially with my house being chock full of fairies for the foreseeable future. Would he be able to control himself around Dermot and Claude? I remembered how vacant he'd gotten around Claudine, when he'd been cursed, but he'd seemed pretty lucid when he'd been fighting Breandan's crew as well as last night when he'd killed Colman. Would he even be able to sit in my living room with those two around? Who knew. I didn't even know when I'd hear from him, since he'd said he needed to sort out some things, what with Appius being dead. Of course, I had no clue what that meant. Appius hadn't exactly had a huge presence in Eric's life up until the past week. What exactly did he need to sort out?
By the time my shift ended, I was craving a bit of the peace I'd felt sitting with my fairy kin. Of course, Sam pulled me aside before I could get out the door. "Jannalyn told me a bit of what happened at the pack meeting last night. You alright?"
Somehow, with everything else, I'd almost forgotten about the pack meeting. "Oh, yeah, that went fine. I got out of there before anything too messy got started. The rest of my evening was pretty interesting, but I think everything worked out okay. The whole Dermot situation has been sorted out. He's staying with me for a while."
Sam frowned, but just nodded and let me go. I guess he figured I'd explain it when I wanted to. When I got home, Dermot and Claude were already in my bed, asleep. I smiled, showered and then got into my pjs and crawled in with them.
Eric called me the next night shortly after sunset, which came as a surprise. I'd worked the lunch shift, and had just gotten home to find Claude and Dermot cooking in the kitchen. Claude had handed the phone off to me with a wink when I walked into the kitchen to see if they needed any help.
I frowned and walked back to my bedroom with it. "Hey, Eric. You doing alright?"
He certainly sounded more relaxed, more like himself than he had the last time I'd seen him. "I am well, lover. Your cousin seemed to be in a good mood."
"I guess so. We're taking care of Dermot. He's doing a lot better." He was. Though it was still comforting to be with my fairy relatives, I didn't feel the pull of their blood as much as I had two nights before. "Are you getting everything sorted out? Is Pam all healed?"
"Yes. Pam is fine, and I am working out the details of Ocella's estate. Since Felicia was killed by his child, her maker will be paid from that. I am finding it difficult to cope without Bobby Burnham."
I wondered how much of Eric's business needed to be carried out during daylight hours. "Well if you need anything while you're looking for a new guy, let me know if I can help."
"Would it be possible for you to pick up paychecks from the bank for me tomorrow? If you don't have time I can get one of the waitresses to do it."
While I didn't mind, I hadn't expected Eric to take me up on my offer so quickly. "Uh, I guess so. What bank do you use?"
"The HSBC closest to Fangtasia." I knew which one that was, you passed it on the way from the interstate. "They close at five. Most of our employees use direct deposit, but you will still need the pay stubs. I will email the branch manager to let them know you will be coming instead of Bobby."
Great. I guess it served me right for offering. At least it reminded me I needed to go to my own bank and deposit Claudine's check. "Okay, I guess I can manage that."
"Thank you Sookie. I appreciate that." He paused for a few seconds. "Pam asked me to let you know that Bruno Brazell's car was found. Victor is irritated, but he knows he cannot easily implicate us. He is assuming for the moment that Bruno and Corinna have simply disappeared. He may try something underhanded."
That made me laugh. It was like saying the sun might rise tomorrow. "Won't that be fun? Anything else I need to know?"
"Will you come and see me tonight?"
I thought for a minute. Even though I wanted to see Eric, I was tired and I was craving Claude and Dermot's company, as odd as that seemed to me. "Look, Eric, I would, but Dermot kind of needs me. He's still healing from the spell and having family around is apparently helpful." I didn't mention how relaxed and peaceful it made me feel, and I didn't suggest he come over, since I was pretty sure the sleeping arrangements tonight would be the same as the previous two nights.
Eric actually seemed shocked at my refusal. It took him a few minutes to respond. "Will you come to see me tomorrow then? You can wait at my house after you go to the bank." Sunset was around quarter to eight, leaving me nearly three hours of sitting around waiting for him to rise.
"What time are you going to the club?"
"I'll need to be there shortly after sunset," he said.
I pursed my lips. It was my day off tomorrow, but then I worked the lunch shift the next day, so I didn't want to be up to all hours of the night. "I'll go to your bank in the morning, then I've got some other errands to run, but I'll come by Fangtasia around nine, okay? I'm working lunch on Thursday, though so I don't want to be out till too late."
He didn't sound happy. "Come to my house at eight. I want you."
That made me smile. At least he was honest. "I can make that work. Pass the phone to Pam, I want to say hello."
Pam sounded cheerful when she took the phone. "Hello. You had an interesting night after you left, I hear."
Pam did love understatement. "Yeah. Thanks for getting my brother out of Eric's when he was hopped up on fairy blood."
"You're welcome." She got serious for a moment, a rarity for Pam. "You must tell your brother thank you for giving me his blood. It really was delicious." Now she went back to teasing sarcasm. "No wonder Eric puts up with you, if you taste like that. I must convince him to share you at some point. I've only gotten to taste you once, and you were tainted with poison. It really isn't fair at all."
She cut off suddenly and Eric came back. I assume he'd snatched back the phone. At least Pam sounded pretty normal. "I will email you the information you need for the bank." I said okay and he abruptly hung up. I never got why vampires never seemed to say good bye.
The next morning, I went to my bank bright and early, and Dermot came with me. Claude had things to do in Monroe, so I'd offered to spend the day with my great-uncle. The intense connection we'd been feeling had lessened, but it was still pleasant to be together. Claude had told me this was probably the level it would settle out at, which was fine by me. I was pretty ready to have my bed back to myself.
When I handed the endorsed check to the teller, my hands shook. I put two thousand into my checking account, but the rest went into savings. Looking at my balance made me feel like I was going have a heart attack. I'd never had that much money in my life. What on earth was I going to do with it?
That was what Dermot and I talked about on the hour long drive to Shreveport. We talked about Claudine, and why she might have given me money, as well as what she might want me to do with it, what I wanted. He asked me what I would do with my life if a paycheck wasn't an issue, and I realized I had no idea. That was how I found myself in the admissions office of the Shreveport branch of LSU, with a pile of pamphlets in my lap. I felt shell shocked. And slightly excited, especially after hearing about the options for "non-traditional" students, which basically meant I was over twenty five and didn't need to go through the traditional application process, plus they had schedules that could fit around working.
After we went to the bank for Eric, we went to one of the big garden centers in Shreveport, and I bought some roses and a live oak. I'd wanted one for years, and Dermot got excited at the prospect of gardening, so it seemed like a fun way to spend the afternoon. Once we got home, we spent several hours in the garden, which we both enjoyed. Maybe it was part of being a sky fae. I remembered how pleased Niall had been about me gardening. Once that was done, I showed him how to use a computer, at least a little. He needed to get in touch with the banks where he had accounts, so we searched for phone numbers on the internet, then I left him to make some calls and got myself showered.
When I was out of the shower, I made some dinner, which was done about ten minutes before Claude walked through the door. We all ate together, then I left to see Eric, a stack of envelopes in my purse. Since I didn't have a garage door opener, I parked in the driveway and knocked on the front door. As soon as I was inside and my shoes were off he had me pinned against the door. I could feel his fangs against my neck as he spoke. "Lover, you smell amazing." Practically before I knew what was going on, he had me in his bedroom. I didn't know where my top had gone, but I certainly wasn't wearing it anymore and he'd unbuttoned my jeans before he threw me down on his bed and pulled them off.
He pulled off his own shirt and jeans, then got into bed with me, taking a minute to slow down. He kissed his way down my neck and over the curve of my breasts, making me arch into him. His lips worked their way back up to mine, and I lost myself in kissing him, in the feel of his hands ranging over my body, caressing every inch of skin he could reach. I tangled my fingers in his hair, keeping him locked against me.
When one of his large hands slipped inside my underwear, I broke off our kiss long enough to gasp, then pulled him back to me, kissing him fiercely as first one, then two fingers slipped inside me. His thumb rubbed circles around my clit and my hips bucked into his stroking fingers. I wrapped a hand around his very gracious plenty, doing a bit of stroking of my own. He broke away suddenly, making me cry out at the loss, but he just pinned both my hands above my head in one of his much larger ones, pulled off my underwear, lifted one of my legs by the thigh and slipped inside of me.
We both moaned as he entered me, going still for a moment as I adjusted before he thrust himself fully in. He started moving his hips so slowly, I wanted to scream out of impatience and pleasure. Everything felt so good, and I started arching myself into him, urging him on. He didn't need any more encouragement. I screamed as he increased his speed, bucking into each thrust, meeting everything he gave me. Just as my walls started clenching around him, he roared, sinking his teeth into my shoulder and drawing deeply, pushing me over the precipice into my orgasm, and triggering his own.
We settled into stillness, coming back into ourselves, my heavy breathing the only sound in the room. I must have screamed pretty loudly as I came, because my voice was horse when I spoke. "Well, hello to you too."
I could feel Eric smile as he licked the bite mark on my shoulder. "I missed you." He sounded almost surprised. "You smell almost like a full fairy, and you taste more like a fairy than normal as well."
I thought about that. "Claude said that spending time around the fae accentuated my bit of fairy blood. Maybe that's it."
His arms wrapped securely around me and he pulled me close, rubbing his nose into my hair and making a noise of agreement. "Tell me about your day. You smell like the sun, and earth, and the breeze and fairy. We should bottle this scent."
That made me smile, thinking about how fangbangers would go nuts for a perfume that made you attractive to vamps. "Well, I did some gardening with Dermot this afternoon. I'm surprised you can still smell that. I took a shower. I went to my bank this morning, then to yours. Claudine left me some money, so I deposited that. I talked to Dermot for a while, about what I want to do with the money she left me."
Eric nodded against my hair, his fingers tracing the curve of my waist. I tried to brush his hand away, since it tickled, but he ignored me. "And what did you decide to do with your fairy legacy, my love?"
I shrugged, slightly embarrassed. "I went by the LSU campus and picked up a prospectus. I don't know though. I can't really see myself going to college. I don't even know what courses I would want to take."
"It isn't a bad idea. You're intelligent. You can't work in a bar forever."
I laughed at the immortal bar owner, telling me that working in a bar wasn't a good long term career choice. "I'm having a think. Would you maybe have a look through the course catalogue with me?"
For some reason, that made Eric inordinately happy. "Of course, Sookie. I would love to." He sighed. "I really need to get to the club. I wish I could just stay here all night fucking you."
I decided to broach a sensitive subject. "Eric, how are you feeling about everything, you know, Appius and all that?"
He took a long time to answer that, and I let him. "It will take some time to adjust to his being gone. I knew Ocella for over a thousand years. It is not a relationship that can be described in words. I loved him with all my heart, and hated him with all my being. I cannot explain." He stretched and stood, pulling on his pants and reaching out a hand to help me up. "Come on lover. We need to get going."
A/N: Hope you enjoyed the first chapter, there will be more soon. Just saying I fixed a few completely inexcusable typos from when I first posted this. Sorry all!