Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thanks to Nguyen at luckymojo(dot)com for the inspiration for Amelia’s spell. Finally, those years of studying botanical taxonomy are finally paying off.
Gngr, I need to thank you again for your wonderful suggestions and amazingly brilliant mind. The day that you start putting it to use writing your own fanfiction, is the day that I’ll be in trouble. 🙂
Despite an insanely busy schedule and plans galore, SeriousCrush got this back to me in record time. I’m going to have to start paying her, since I am very demanding these days. Thank you for everything you do for me.
Here’s something shocking…this chapter is safe for work! *gasp* I promise to make it up to you with some hot lemons in the next chapter.
“Amelia, you do know what you’re doing, right?” I asked as I watched her put down a brandy decanter that she had brought with her from Mr. Cataliades’ office. She then began to unpack some of the contents from her bulging purse onto the marble conference table. She carefully avoided touching the metal cup that held the minuscule amount of demon blood. She didn’t seem to hear me, so I asked her again.
“Oh, yeah. Sorry…I was just going over everything in my head.” Amelia smiled at me and then looked at Eric. “Do you mind sitting down? No one likes a looming vampire.”
Eric narrowed his eyes at her and then glanced at me. I begged him with my eyes, and he finally resigned his protective stance next to me and sat down in the closest chair to where we were standing.
“I won’t need you for this first part,” Amelia said, putting two small glass bowls on the table near the metal one that Mr. Cataliades had used to collect Nargal’s blood. Four drops of blood ascended out of the metal cup and hovered a few inches above the rim. Amelia opened a glass vial and carefully poured the remaining three drops into the bottom. She capped it with something that looked like wax and tucked it safely inside her purse. The other four drops continued to hover over the original cup.
“I’m going to start with four drops. If we need more, then we can use these,” she said patting the side of her purse gently.
I stood silently as she pulled an herb out of one of the pouches she had lined up at the end of the table. “Burdock,” Amelia said as she surrounded Nargal’s cup with a fine line of green dust. I watched her mouth move in a silent chant as she pointed at the four drops hovering above the cup. The drops elongated, forming long threads of black liquid that continued to stretch until they hit the cup. The moment they contacted the cup, Amelia spoke in a low voice. “Separata!”
The inky black blood stretched farther, the strands separating into columns tipped with a tiny opalescent end and a little section of gold, leaving the majority of the liquid a concentrated inky black. “Abjugo!” Amelia commanded, using her fingers to slice through the air that separated the gold from the black. The black essence fell into the cup, pooling in the bottom. Amelia turned her attention to the four remaining pieces hovering in the air. “Abjugo!” she said again, separating opalescent and gold, putting them in the two glass bowls. Once it was on its own, the golden liquid called to me, willing me to reach out and touch it. Amelia must have noticed my movement because she smacked my hand away, snapping me out of my trance.
“Do you feel that?” I asked her, taking a step away from the bowl, feeling a sudden pang of sadness.
“Feel what?” Amelia asked. She looked at me and then at the bowl of golden happiness. “The mentocytes…interesting. I’ll deal with that later,” she said pushing the bowl farther away from me.
Amelia opened another small pouch and pulled out another herb, this one was more fibrous and brown. “This is Angelica,” she said as she piled it on top of the burdock, “it is great for chasing away evil.” Amelia chanted something else and ran her hands across the top of the cup. The air around the opening shimmered.
“What just happened?” I asked watching her intently.
“I sealed it. We definitely don’t want any of that tonight. That is the thanocytes, isolated,” Amelia explained. She pointed to the opalescent bowl. “This is what you want, the luminocytes.”
“How did you…”
“Know about all the components of demon blood?” Amelia asked. I nodded. “You’re not the only one who knows Dr. Ludwig.” She gave me a confident smile and then said, “Are you ready for your part?”
Eric touched my back, letting me know he was still there. I felt calm instantly and could have kissed him for giving me just what I needed. Confidence. “Yes,” I answered.
Amelia opened a book and pulled a variety of supplies out of her purse. “Sookie, I need you to get on the table. Sit here,” she said pointing to the end of the table away from her supplies. I obeyed and got onto the table and crossed my legs so I took up as little room as possible. “Eric, you need to move back. I need room to walk.” He complied and moved his chair a little further away from us, his muscles tensed, ready to save me if anything went wrong.
Amelia was holding a piece of white chalk. She came over to me and drew a circle around my body on the table. Right in front of me, she drew another circle. The circles were close, but not touching. She placed an empty glass bowl inside the empty circle, and then pulled a loose piece of paper out of the book. The word ‘humanity’ was written across it in Amelia’s familiar handwriting. It reminded me of the meticulous shopping lists she kept on the fridge when we were living together. She walked over to the pile of supplies and pulled out a tiny curved knife. “Can you control yourselves?” she asked looking from me to Eric. He rolled his eyes and I nodded. She pierced her finger with the tip of the knife and winced as blood pooled on the surface of her skin.
My fangs descended. “Sorry Ames, I can’t control these yet…but you’re safe. I promise.”
She gave me an uneasy smile and then turned her finger until the blood dripped onto the paper. “My blood represents the blood of all humans.” Amelia put the bloody paper into the empty glass bowl inside the circle in front of me.
Amelia unraveled a piece of twine stretching it until it lay flat on the table, connecting the two chalk circles. Next, she moved the small glass bowl holding the opalescent essence of luminocytes and put it down next to the twine.
“Convecto!” The liquid shifted and formed a tiny ball that danced along the bottom of the bowl. “Extendam!” She put her two pointer fingers together, and slowly drew them away from each other, and as I watched, the shimmering ball of liquid jumped out of the bowl and stretched, filling the gap between her fingers. She pulled the liquid farther apart, until it was little more than a piece of transparent thread the same length as the twine. She carefully lowered her hands until the thread fell onto the piece of twine, merging with it.
“Sookie, I need you to think of the memory bond you share when you feed. Do you have it?” I nodded. “Keep it in your mind.”
Amelia walked around the conference table counterclockwise, three times, each time pointing to the twine that connected the two circles. The twine tightened, becoming more taut with each trip around the table. She stopped and shouted, “Perseco!” The twine snapped in half, the ends curling unnaturally towards the bowl and my chest, pulling me forward.
Amelia reached inside another small pouch and pulled out a white crystalline substance, sprinkling it on top of the paper. “I command this link to break and not reform!” she said to the twine. It writhed in the air. She picked up the brandy decanter and splashed enough into the glass bowl to saturate the paper. “Ignire!” she shouted at the bowl. Sparks jumped as the paper ignited, leaving a pile of gray dust and sparkling crystals. The twine fell limply against the table, instantly releasing its hold on my chest. I relaxed and felt completely normal. I could sense Eric’s relief that it was over.
“Is it done?” I asked hesitantly.
“Should be! How do you feel?”
“Normal. How am I supposed to feel?”
“Beats me!” Amelia proclaimed. “First blood memory bond I’ve ever broken.” She winked at me. “Before you get down, I want to try one more thing.”
“Okaaaay,” I said. I knew her well enough to feel nervous when she wanted to ‘try things’ on me. “Hey, what’s that stuff you sprinkled on the paper?”
“Brandy. It’s really flammable.”
“I know what brandy is…I mean the other stuff, the white crystals.”
“Kosher salt…it’s not just for cooks!” She laughed. “I actually keep most of these ingredients in my kitchen pantry, since they serve dual purposes.” She gave me a wet cloth to wipe the chalk off of the table while she gathered a few more supplies.
“What are those for?” I asked, eyeing the pouches she was pulling out of her purse. “Wait a minute…is that a vanilla bean? And rosemary?” I had asked for Amelia’s help to break the bond, not be marinated.
“Yes! Good eye…or was it your nose?” She smiled at me again and looked a little too mischievous for my liking. “How is your telepathy since you were turned?”
“I can control it now. For the first time in my life, it feels like a gift.” As I spoke, I felt the presence of the bowl of golden liquid again. As if she knew what I was feeling, she picked up the bowl and walked towards me.
“What do you want?”
“That,” I answered automatically. I shook my head. “Why do I want it?”
Amelia smiled. “I think it has something to do with your ‘essential spark.’” I narrowed my eyes at her. “What? Dr. Ludwig is chatty!” Dr. Ludwig had many traits…but chatty was not one of them. “It’s almost like your energy is in sync with it, and I can feel it, like when the barometric pressure drops before a storm. I felt it earlier…your attraction to it, even before I saw you move.”
“What is the rosemary and vanilla for?” I asked, attempting to change the subject since I was feeling uncomfortable with my uncontrollable desire for a component of demon blood.
“They will purify the mentocytes,” she said as she took a sprig of rosemary and bundled it with the vanilla bean and then waved it over the small bowl, chanting again.
“Is it safe?” I asked as I took the bowl out of her hands. The metallic liquid vibrated against my hands, filling me with an overwhelming happiness.
“Lover?” Eric’s voice sounded muted. I could feel his concern under the current of happiness that flowed off of me and into him.
I couldn’t fight the urge any more. I opened my mouth and tilted the bowl until my tongue came in contact with bliss.
I closed my eyes and felt the electric pinging noise the mentocytes made as they slipped between cells, searching for their kin. With each reunion, I felt a pulse of energy radiate through my body, making my skin tingle. My body hummed and the table shook.
I opened my eyes just in time to see Eric jump up out of his chair and rush forward to pull Amelia away from me. They were both staring at me, wide-eyed.
“Whoa! That was intense!” I exclaimed, smiling from ear to ear.
“I guess so…” Amelia said, bending over to look under the table.
“What are you looking at?” I asked craning my head over the side of the table. I didn’t have to wait for her answer, since I could see it for myself. The table was not touching the ground.