Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thanks to TheLadyKT for your helpful suggestion for their night out. I would also like to thank my brother, who unknowingly has helped me write about Vegas. He’s one of my favorite Las Vegans, despite the fact that he does not understand me (or know anything about my writing).
SeriousCrush is amazingly talented, both as an editor and an author.
I woke up agitated. Something tingled inside me, caused by the anticipation that comes when something big is about to happen. I couldn’t shake the feeling, and Eric was doing nothing to help get it out of my head. I kept questioning him about Alex’s visit, and why in the world he would need to come to our meeting with the Narayana tonight. Eric smiled and kept his lips sealed. So unlike his typical boasting. That alone was enough to unsettle me. Not that I feared something bad was going to happen, I had become comfortable in the fact that my life with Eric was quite nice, and seemed to always turn out the way I wanted. I guess I was lucky! That, or I had made some good choices. That’s what it really came down to, wasn’t it? Making good choices. Once I had finally taken the plunge and committed to Eric, things had been wonderful. Of course there were always going to be crazy people out there, that hated us because we were different, but I had no control over people like that, and I refused to let some crazy, hateful person affect my happiness. Still, I couldn’t quite figure out what was going to happen tonight. My disjointed thoughts kept me distracted while I tried to put together an outfit for the evening. I threw my hands up in the air and walked away from the closet.
“Something on your mind, Lover?” Eric called from the couch, where he lounged nonchalantly.
“Funny. You’re hilarious.” I shouted from the bathroom where I stood, looking at myself in the mirror. “Something on your mind, Lover?” I quietly mocked his voice to myself. “He knows full well there’s something on my mind, and he’s the one that put it there!” His voice from the doorjamb startled me.
“Are you talking to me?” He asked, knowing that I wasn’t.
“No! I was talking to myself, now, please go pick something for me to wear, I can’t think straight.”
“I don’t know why you’re so uptight about a meeting.” He was mocking me. He left the bathroom, laughing. By the time I cooled down and left the bathroom, he had an outfit laid out for me on the bed. The plum colored silk one shoulder dress, pink strapless bra, with matching panties and garter, black thigh highs and my Louboutin’s all waiting for me.
I looked at him, incredulously. “This dress for a meeting? What exactly do you have planned Mr. Northman?” He winked at me and said nothing. I huffed and dropped my robe to the floor. The humor faded from his eyes and was replaced with something much more feral. I clicked my tongue at him, stopping his movement from the couch. “We don’t want to keep them waiting, do we?” I dressed in front of him, enjoying the painful look on his face as he sat back down on the couch.
We made our way to the hall outside the conference room, where a woman was waiting for us. She had a heart shaped face and flowing red hair, which was neatly brushed and arranged around her face, framing it perfectly. Her blue eyes stood out against her pale, lightly freckled skin and her beautiful white teeth looked delicate and wicked. She was wearing a turquoise silk pencil skirt, with a matching jacket, and looked professional and stunning. “I am Rebecca Hill, welcome to Las Vegas. Please come with me, they are waiting.” Eric and I followed her, and took our seats in the chairs she motioned to. I scanned the room and smiled as my eyes fell on Felipe de Castro. He nodded his head towards me, and immediately felt at ease with his gracious energy. As I looked at the other few faces I noticed one was lacking. Alex. Eric said he would be at the meeting, and yet he wasn’t here. The anxious feeling was building more than ever now.
Rebecca started the meeting. She introduced everyone, noting that we, of course, already knew the king. She introduced us to several vamps that I had not met before. The man sitting next to Felipe was as well dressed and equally handsome, but in a much more American sort of way. Dark hair, perfectly styled, a dusting of stubble on his face that made him appear manly and casual. Rebecca introduced him as Ryan Downs, Felipe’s new second in command in Las Vegas. Ryan did not hide his pleasure at my presence, and the glint of fang he flashed me was enough to quicken my pulse.
Rebecca discussed the issues of salary, and once again we set up an addendum to the contract to include a secrecy clause for my telepathy. Felipe, of course already knew about my talent and he said that he was the kind of man that never shared a lady’s secret. I smiled at him, realizing that he had indeed kept my secret by the look of surprise on Ryan’s face when I revealed my ability. There was also talk of our press conference, and congratulations on our influence on the Supreme Court’s decision. Eric and I thanked our hosts, and after a few more formal comments, the meeting ended and the Narayana governing board members took their leave. Eric and Felipe became engrossed in a conversation. I stood up, thanking Rebecca personally for our suite and arranging the meeting. Rebecca was gracious and after wishing us a happy visit to the city, she said goodbye just as Ryan sidled up next to me.
Ryan’s face was very close to mine, and when he talked I could feel his cool breath on my cheek, making my legs a little unsteady. He whispered, “Is it true you were present when Victor met his final death?” I turned to face him, and nodded my head as the gruesome memory of Pam’s victory flashed through my mind.
“I would have liked to have witnessed that. I hated that fucker,” Ryan said simply.
“I hated him too. He got what was coming to him, as far as I’m concerned,” I answered.
Eric’s arm slipped around my waist, pulling me against him. “Ryan, so good to see you again. I see you have met my wife?” I rolled my eyes. Honestly! Is this something I could expect to happen every time I met a drop dead gorgeous man? I put my hand over his, and laced my fingers through his, willing his grip to relax just a little. Our conversation with Ryan was brief.
Ryan and Felipe bid us farewell, Felipe expressing his wish to see us again before we left his city. Eric and I nodded politely, but the feeling I got from Eric is that he wanted to keep me far away from Ryan, not that he had a say in the matter. I turned around and faced Eric just after they left, and was about to reassure him when the door to the conference room creaked open, and a familiar voice came through the gap in the door. “No I will not wait out here anymore! Hell fire, I haven’t seen my sister in a month!” I turned and broke away from Eric to run and embrace my brother.
“Jas, what are you doing here?” He picked me up and hugged me, twirling me off the ground. Michele was standing in the door just behind where he had been, smiling at us. More voices echoed down the hall, nearing the room. Jason put me down just as the door opened all the way. I fought back tears as I took in the faces of my friends and family. Jason’s voice pushed me over the edge, “Well, we couldn’t let you get married without us, could we?”
“No we couldn’t have that!” I sobbed and wiped my eyes. Eric stood back, beaming at me, enjoying his moment of surprise. Claude and Dermot were next to pick me up and hug me, pulling me into a three-way squeeze that left me breathless. When they put me down, they made their way to the window, keeping their distance from the vampires in the room. Tara and JB waited their turn, each holding a squirmy toddler. The kids both smiled at me and squeaked something I couldn’t understand. Tara translated; they were thanking me for their new yard. I kissed their cheeks and hugged their parents. Sam stepped forward and hugged me lightly, under the watchful eye of Jannalynn. She looked as colorful as ever, and shot me a suspicious look as Sam’s hand lingered around my waist. In my heels I was a few inches taller than him, so my cheek rested against his wild curls as I hugged him. Amelia nervously waited, standing next to Jannalynn. I looked at Amelia and noticed her fingers were entwined with the woman’s standing next to her.
“Sookie! Long time no see!” Amelia gushed as she hugged me. “Sookie, this is Mindy. Mindy, Sookie.” I smiled and shook Mindy’s hand.
Amando yanked me into his arms saying, “Give me a hug girl, before I explode!” I smiled at Alex, noting the smile on his face as he, Eric, Pam and Laurie stood back watching our reunion. “So this is what you meant when you said you would see us tonight,” I said, the pieces finally falling into place. Alex nodded his head and Amando answered, “We wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I stood on my tippy toes and kissed Alex on the cheek, then moved over to greet Pam and Laurie.
“Those shoes look good on you,” Pam said, staring down at my feet. Of course that’s what she would notice. I laughed and hugged her. She hugged me back, and then released me so I could hug Laurie too. “Laurie, it’s so good to see you again! I hope Pam hasn’t been causing any trouble,” I asked, feigning concern, hands on my hips. Laurie let out a loud burst of laughter, then covered her mouth and shook her head gently to imply, ‘Pam? Trouble? Never!’ I couldn’t help but laugh.
There was a soft noise from the doorway, which got my attention. Standing there, next to a handsome man with a small boy on his hip, was Ella. She was smiling from ear to ear, watching the reunion, much the way Eric had. I walked over to her and asked, “Your work, I assume?” I motioned around the room at my friends and family all standing around chatting. She nodded and I took another look at the man and child with her. She apologized, “I’m sorry, I forget that you haven’t met! Sookie, this is my husband Julian and our son Miles.” I held my hand out and Julian took it with his free hand, giving me a firm handshake with his smooth warm fingers. Miles hid his face against his daddy’s chest, leaving me to admire the soft honey curls that covered his head. Following his lead, I hid my face behind my hands then poked my face out and said, “Boo!” Miles giggled, and hid his face again. After three more peek-a-boos, Miles smiled at me and whispered into his daddy’s ear. Julian smiled and said, “Miles thinks you’re funny and he likes you.” I wiped my hand across my forehead and made and exaggerated phew noise. Ella laughed. I hugged her and thanked her for bringing everyone together, then realized that she probably knew more details than I did about my wedding.
“When is it?” I asked, absentmindedly spinning the ring on my finger. “You mean Eric hasn’t told you?” I shook my head and she shot him a look that would have shamed him if he cared. He shrugged instead and went back to his conversation with Alex.
“Tomorrow. Your wedding is tomorrow night. Tonight, we celebrate.” She said, her blue eyes sparkling.
“Celebrate? Like a bachelorette party?” I asked.
“Not exactly….more like a ‘we’re all so glad you’re getting married, let’s eat, drink and go dancing’ kind of party. I haven’t been to Vegas for years though, so we’ll have to find someone to help us decide where to go.”
I thought about the bellboy that had helped us into our room yesterday, and thought he was the best person to ask. “I have the perfect person to ask. But what about the kids?” I asked, suddenly realizing that three children were present.
Ella waved her hand to dismiss my concern, “Taken care of. I brought a babysitter, Jenny. She will watch the children the three nights we’re here. I arranged for Tara and I to have adjoining rooms, so Jenny will be able to open the door between them and keep and eye on all three kids. Julian, Miles, Jenny and I came in earlier today, and Tara and JB and the twins settled in about two hours ago. Jenny is a big hit with the kids,” she paused then and leaned over to me and said in a whisper, “she’s also a big hit with our husbands, she’s really beautiful….not that I’m worried about her, she’s really professional.” Ella straightened up and continued, “Jenny has traveled with us once before when Miles was much smaller, when Julian and I went to his brother’s wedding. Nothing like having someone help you so you can enjoy a vacation, right?” I nodded my head, it was a brilliant idea; of course Ella had thought of brining a babysitter!
Ella grabbed my hand and announced to the room that we would be right back. Claude, Dermot, and Amando joined us, curiously asking where we were going. Ella explained that we were going to find a local to give us some suggestions for our celebratory night out. They insisted on joining us, effectively surrounding us with gorgeous men.
The five of us stepped out of the elevator and found the bellboy I had thought of. I nodded my head in his direction and we made our way over to him. He looked at me, then quickly to Ella, and spent at least a minute admiring the three men. There was a lot to look at, so I didn’t rush him. He blinked and shook his head, asking if he could help us. I stepped forward, introducing myself, and told him that I was getting married tomorrow night, barely able to contain the excitement in my voice, and that we needed to find a place where we could celebrate, specifically dinner and dancing. After he congratulated me, and brushed the thought of Eric out of his head, he said, “My name is Kyle. I can recommend Firefly, a great tapas restaurant, if you like that sort of thing.” He was self conscious, and looked nervous making a suggestion for us. Amando stepped forward and gushed in his fast and friendly voice, “Oh I adore a good tapas restaurant. I haven’t been for ages!” Kyle perked up and smiled shyly at Amando. Ella pulled out her phone, found the number and made a reservation at Firefly. Luckily they had no problem fitting us in since it was a Tuesday night.
“What about a dance club? Are there any good ones around?” Amando added, winking at Kyle. Kyle’s smile widened and he said, talking to Amando now, “Well…..my favorite is Krave. It’s filled with the most beautiful men!” Amando clapped his hands like a little boy and said, “Sounds like a winner to me!”
With our plans for the night sorted out, we made our way back up to the conference room. Amando and Claude were talking quietly about our heritage. There was no hiding the fact that you’re part fairy from a full blood fairy. Dermot didn’t say much, until Amando mentioned his great-great-grandmother by name. Dermot’s mouth opened and he said, “You’re related to Victoria? How is she, it’s been years since I’ve seen her.” Amando started talking about her, love and kindness filled his voice. Ella had a question on her lips but didn’t ask it. I was quietly enjoying the conversation of new friends finding they had more in common than they originally thought. It was lovely. We joined the rest of the group in the conference room, and the same thing was happening there. Amelia, Laurie, Pam and Mindy were talking, and Laurie was staring at them mouth open when she realized that witches were real. It had been months since I had seen Amelia. When I had last seen her, she was mourning the loss of Trey and I was indecisive about my relationship with Eric. A lot had changed. Mindy was shorter than Amelia and had short, styled hair, spiked in a very fashionable way. She was dressed in casual clothes, cut beautifully around her muscular feminine body. Amelia was dressed in a lovely blue pantsuit, and her hair had grown enough to be tucked behind her ears. “Ames, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you.” I hugged her again and listened to the story of how she and Mindy met. Turns out that Mindy was also a witch. They met through Olivia in New Orleans and had been in a relationship for three months. They were already living together, which I thought was fast, but who was I to judge? Mindy showed me pictures of her lemon colored lab, which she called the love of her life, then said, “No offense, Honey.” Amelia smiled and squeezed her hand. It was adorable.
Sam was having a rather serious-looking conversation with Eric. Their conversation quieted as I approached, “Talking about me, huh?” I asked smiling. Sam said, “I was just making sure you are in good hands. Can’t have you marrying the wrong person.” I lifted my eyebrows and waited for the verdict. “I think you’re making a good choice,” he admitted. I felt relieved to hear him give his approval.
Jason and JB were talking loudly about their trucks and women, and I realized that Tara and the kids were gone. I looked around for Julian and he was gone too. Ella saw the concern on my face and said, “They’re getting the kids to bed. Jenny will take over soon, and then we’ll go out.” Sure enough, Julian and Tara appeared minutes later, and with that, we made our way to Main Street for dinner.
Are you ready for their night out? One little click down there will make me smile all day, so please review….you know I love it!