Chapter 12 – Pink Painted Nails

October 26, 2003

Shreveport, LA

Eric rose shortly after 4PM and as usual, he checked his bond with Sookie. He knew it would weaken soon and for now, he didn’t know if he would ever get the chance to give blood to Sookie again. At the moment, she was content and this pleased him. Her mood could have been due to several things: Eating the fresh pastries that he knew Pam had delivered after he reported that she was eating again; antagonizing Bobby with Potts since he was due to be at the house today; or simply adjusting to her new home and status after their talk last night.

After getting ready for the day and working on Norse Enterprises, the sun was setting and he was excited to head upstairs for the evening. He had already told Pam he was going to Fangtasia late. A Sheriff errand needed to be run and honestly, he wanted to spend time with Sookie before he left. Ready to see why his Sookie was in a good mood, he headed up the stairs.

He found her in the den finally going through the bags of books from Pam. Seeing her with the books reminded him about the indecision he felt over her reading and his secret library. Since his library was part of his underground secured chamber, he felt it wasn’t safe to share it with her yet. Pam’s selection of books was a good start and he hoped she would continue to accept new purchases instead of being stubborn about taking anything from him. He was completely prepared to play up the fact that PAM had purchased them for her, even though Pam’s credit cards were his credit cards.

“Good evening Sookie. You’re in a good mood.”

“Bobby was here today. I had the pleasure of telling him he needed to go to Goodwill with Pam’s Wal-Mart clothes. He hates being seen at Goodwill.”

“For someone who fusses at my attempted purchases for you, you have no problem sending Bobby on errands.”

“He’s an ass.”

“I think you called him a fucktard, and remembering your comments to him can still put a smile on my face.”

“Glad I can entertain you.”

“You certainly do. Bobby hasn’t misbehaved again, has he? You need to tell me about it, since I am concerned about his behavior toward you, and he really only has one last chance.”

“No, he’s been good.”

Eric stared at her. Her statement said one thing, but he felt a bit of pain from her when she answered. “Sookie, if he’s been good why did I just get pain from you?”

“Pain, I don’t know about pain. I guess even after the jerk he’s been I would feel bad if he lost his job.” Internally she was relieved that she came up with that one fast. Bobby’s thoughts were very unpleasant, but she certainly couldn’t share that with Eric.

Her answer seemed right, but like a few other times, her feelings and words did not mesh up. ‘I’ll ask Potts about Bobby to be sure as well. Though Potts would love any reason for me to fire Bobby so I know she would tell me if there was a problem.

“Did you spend time outside today?”

“I did. I scoped out the areas where I thought the gardens would benefit from some spring bulbs, if that’s OK with you. According to Potts, you don’t have any bulbs.”

“That’s fine Sookie. You can order what you need through Bobby.”

“Yes, that’s what Potts said. I placed an order on your desk for you to approve. I gave you a few options with different layouts and prices.”

“You can get whatever you want, price is not a problem.”

“Oh.” She looked down from his gaze.

“I thought you would be happy with that.”

“I just drew up some plans for your beds, just quick sketches, I mean; it’s YOUR house, not mine.”

“You wanted my input.”

“Yes.”

“OK, I’ll take them to Fangtasia and review. Or we can plan to walk the gardens tomorrow right after the sun sets?” He paused and realized that a pleasant walk around his property would be good for them. “Now that I think of it; that would be best.”

“Yes, I’d like that. I do need to order quickly though. I have to refrigerate the bulbs starting early November for planting just at the beginning of the year.”

Eric was almost unsteady on his feet thinking about how well the conversation was going. Indicating the books on the table, he asked. “See anything you like?”

“Yep. I sorted them in a few different stacks. This one,” she pointed to one of the stacks,”is books I want to read or I have already read them and would like to read them again. This stack, I don’t really see myself ever reading.”

Eric chuckled after looking at the stack. “I would agree with that. ‘The Heiress and the Vampire’? No; ‘The Guardian of the Siren’? Not any time soon. Yes Sookie, I would agree with you there.” He nodded his head towards the other pile. “What’s the last stack?”

“Well, I haven’t read them, they’re biographies or autobiographies. It’s not really a genre I read, but since I’m here for a while I was concerned I might run out of material.”

“I’m sure Pam will keep you supplied.”

“I don’t want to take advantage.”

“Sookie, you recall that companions are cared for, sometimes extravagantly. Books for you would be no different than providing your food.”

“And you recall that I don’t like the whole companion thing. You telling me you have registered me as a companion isn’t the same as me accepting it.”

“I understand that and I know you need time.”

She shook her head and started to protest. “Time isn’t…”

He cut her off, “Sookie, please. I know you are struggling with this – in the interim, books, even if you go through a few a day are not going to break Pam. You let her buy the pastries, you don’t NEED pastries.”

Based on the look on her face, he guessed that was the wrong thing to say. Her statement proved it. “What do you mean, I don’t need pastries? Are you saying I eat too much, that I’m fat? You know what, never mind. We can’t seem to have a conversation without arguing, I’ll just go to my room.”

He watched, his mouth hanging open as she stormed up the stairs. ‘What the fuck just happened?’ he wondered to himself as he heard Pam sneer. “What the fuck did you do this time?”

He turned to Pam, his mouth still open in shock and finally spoke. “I have no idea.”

“Sit down and tell me, I’m sure I can figure out where you screwed up.”

“Let’s go to the office, I have to get ready for an errand.”

While they walked to the office, Pam asked. “Errand?”

“Yes, I’ve gotten complaints from local police in Monroe about a house of vampires.”

“Liam, Malcolm and Diane?”

“Of course. Who else thinks they can continue to break the rules without consequences? I never approved their nest yet it seems they do live together even though they provided us three separate addresses.”

“Oh goody, does that mean I’ll have three playthings later?”

“You’ll have to wait until I meet you at Fangtasia later to see if they are being brought in or not.”

Seated in the office now, Pam said. “Very well. Now, tell me what you did.”

He summarized the conversation with Sookie, and when he got to the part about pastries and Sookie’s reply, Pam laughed out loud. “Oh Eric, this is too good.”

“How can it be good if she stormed out? I need to go upstairs and apologize for something – I guess for her thinking I was calling her fat – which I was NOT. She needs to know that I think her body is perfect, well actually now she needs to gain back the weight she lost. That’s the right move here, isn’t it?”

“Normally it would be, but I’ll tell you a secret.” He raised his eyebrow in anticipation, so she continued. “Before her depression and hopefully now again, she’s been trying to gain weight, figuring you wouldn’t want her if she was fat.”

Now it was Eric’s turn to laugh. “And you didn’t correct her?”

“What? Tell her that her plan would only make her more attractive to you? No fucking way.”

“She’s going to be pissed at you if she finds out.” He paused then something dawned on him. “PAM! That’s why you keep having pastries purchased?”

“Of course. I’m helping my favorite breather and my master at the same time all while appearing to her that I ‘care’. You like?”

“I love.”

“How much do you love?”

“You can start wearing your own clothes again on Halloween.”

“Excellent. Speaking of Halloween, what about having Sookie at Fangtasia?”

“She’s missing Pam, that won’t work.”

“I’ve thought this through. She can attend in a costume with a mask, so her identity will be safe. We can be sure to have only your most loyal vampires in attendance. She needs to get out.”

“That’s a good idea. Do you want to discuss it with her?”

“No, you should ask, you would be her escort.”

“I think that would be a deal-breaker for her; being my escort.”

“I bet she’ll be so excited, that fact won’t matter. You need to be her escort since she is yours in the eyes of the vampires.”

“Ok, but how do I get out of tonight’s mess without revealing how much I love her curves? If I tell her that now, I’m afraid she’ll starve herself thin.”

“Good point. Just tell her you were only making a comparison to necessities versus luxuries and since she doesn’t partake of any luxuries except the pastries, it was your only option. You weren’t making any other judgments. Then launch right into Halloween, get her mind off of it. I’ll start on the costume.”

“Ok, I’ll try that. I have one other item to discuss with you.”

“Go on.”

Eric told Pam about Sookie’s reaction to the newspaper articles and her concern over her Gran’s feelings. “The concern she has for her Gran is eating at her. I have an idea but I wanted to mull it over together, look at it from a few different angles.”

“Ok, shoot.”

As they often did, he proposed his plan, she questioned and assessed; they bickered several times as well. They realized the plan needed more work and Eric decided to call Godric at his first opportunity.

‘I’ll see you at the bar. I need to see Sookie then get going.”

“Later then.”

“Oh and Pam?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t pretend that you’re only making it appear that you care. You like Sookie and it would bother you if she was gone.”

“We both would be bothered if she was gone and we’ll keep that secret for each other.”

With that he headed upstairs to see Sookie. Thankfully, the crying he heard when she first went up had stopped, but he knew her face would be covered with tear stains and her eyes would be puffy. He steeled himself for that, knowing it always tugged at his emotions, and knocked on the door. “Sookie, I need to leave for Fangtasia, but I want to talk to you first.”

“So talk.”

“I want to talk to you Sookie, not your door, can I please come in?” He tried to sound pleasant while asking to enter a room in his own fucking house.

“Fine.”

He entered the room, and as suspected, he saw the evidence of her crying jag, but he pressed on with his task.

“Sookie, my comments were only about pointing out luxuries and since you don’t partake in any luxuries, pastries were my only available comparison.” He paused when she didn’t immediately react. “I wasn’t making any judgments about what you eat.”

“Ok.”

OK was probably the best he would get so he launched directly into Halloween, using Pam’s plan to distract her from her earlier upset.

“So, we’re having a big costume party on Halloween at Fangtasia. It’s a great opportunity for you to get out while hidden behind a mask. Would you like to go with me?”

He didn’t miss the excitement coming through the bond, even though she forced her face to remain passive while she answered. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

He pushed. “Sookie, you might not like that I can feel you, but the fact is I can. I know you’re excited by this opportunity to get out.”

She sighed. “You’re right. Yes I’ll go, no sense hiding it and I really don’t want to fight again. I’ll get dehydrated if I keep crying. How do I get a costume though?”

“Your new BFF will help you.”

“You mean Pam? My BFF?”

“You have no idea the effect you’ve had on her. Well, you’ll see it. When we go to Fangtasia next week, the Pam you see there is the Pam we typically have. Since you’ve joined us, she is much happier, lighter. You give her things to enjoy Sookie.”

“I like her too. It’s a shame it’s all due to captivity.”

He clamped his mouth shut to not correct her. ‘It’s on the positive side now; I must leave without starting another fight.’ Keeping a smile on his face, he asked. “Will you be up when we return? You can probably start looking for a costume with Pam then.”

“Sure, I’ll go down and read in the den. If I fall asleep, tell her to wake me when she comes in.”

“Sounds good. I’ll see you later then.”

OOOoooOOOooo

Pam was positively giddy when she saw Eric pull into the parking lot with Liam, Malcolm and Diane. She even ran to meet him at his car after she grabbed another employee to man the door. “I guess you’re glad you drove the SUV tonight?”

He nodded and asked her to help with moving their guests to the basement. “Gladly Master.” She moved quickly with Eric and they were chained to the wall in only a few minutes. “What’s the charge?”

“They were seen with two missing girls outside a restaurant and taking them away in their car. I found the girls in their house being kept as unwilling and uncared for pets. Luckily, it had only been 2 days. The girls were returned to their human families with a commitment that these three will cover all their recovery expenses and I need to report the punishment back to the local police.” He walked over to Liam who served as the leader of the trio. “When I arrived, they also tried to cover up their actions, so they need to learn that when they are caught, the need to comply. They need to learn that clearly.”

“And the punishment?”

“Pam, as you have pleased me greatly this evening already, it’s lady’s choice.” She started rubbing her hands together and he stopped her for a moment. “Within the following limits: they need to live, they need to be out of Fangtasia before Halloween, and they need their limbs.”

“So fangs?”

“Can go.” He smiled and faced the trio. “You will be on True Blood until they grow back. That’s for defying me after you were already caught red handed.”

Malcolm spoke. “Sheriff, True Blood only? It will take forever to grow back fangs on True Blood.”

“Yes, it will take a while. Do not defy me on this or try to use a blade so you can drink from donors. You will each have a tail, and if you are caught with a human or even bagged donor blood, you will be back here. You will also pay for the expenses of your own tail. Pam, I will leave you to your work.”

He went upstairs and spied one of his dancers, Yvetta, and motioned for her to join him in one of his ‘guest rooms’ downstairs. He’d added sound proofing to the ‘guest room wing’ downstairs and a separate staircase so guests didn’t need to pass through the punishment area. As soon as they were downstairs in the spare bedroom and the door was locked; he ordered the dancer to strip. It only took a moment since she wore next to nothing as a dance costume. Yvetta was beautiful, but he couldn’t help wishing she was someone else. She reached up to kiss him, but he never kissed fangbangers, ever. For tonight especially, he couldn’t even bear to see her face so he turned her around to face away from him. Yvetta liked it rough and he was in the mood to provide it since Liam, Malcolm and Diane had tried his patience. He used some rope and bound her arms together then attached her to a hook on the ceiling. He was pleased with this since he didn’t even want her to touch him. Blood and a release, that’s all he wanted. Yvetta, however, thought she was really pleasing Eric with her compliance and she tried to say as much. That wasn’t the voice he wanted to hear. “Silence!” He ordered as circled her and ended at her back. Yvetta actually licked her lips and pushed her ass out a bit offering it to him. He took full advantage of her proclivity for roughness and about 2 hours later when they were both sated he untied her and ordered a vampire to see her home.

Meanwhile, after a few hours, Pam was cleaning up from her fun. Luckily, Fangtasia had a shower so Pam could change out of her blood covered Fangtasia clothes and shower before donning her lovely Wal-Mart sweats. Even having to wear the Wal-Mart clothing couldn’t darken her mood after her little torture session with three of her least favorite vampires. She texted Eric as he sat on the throne asking him to choose a donor for her. He walked a curvy brunette into the shower room with Pam and left her to her fun. The crowd was starting to thin and he decided to leave so he could return to Sookie. ‘She invades my thoughts all night long. This relationship must work, I need her. Shit, I need her?’

Shaking his head at his own revelation he left the throne and spoke to Longshadow, his other Fangtasia partner and bartender, “you can close up. Pam is busy at the moment and I’m heading home.”

Longshadow simply nodded and watched Eric go to the back of the bar. He knocked on the door to the shower and quickly informed Pam that he was leaving and he would see her at home. “Remember, you are costume shopping tonight with your girlfriend.”

The door flung open and Pam was standing there naked, while the brunette quickly tried to cover herself as she stood exposed in the shower. “You didn’t tell me that before. She agreed?”

“Yes. She said you should wake her if she is asleep so you can start looking at costumes. She’ll be in the den.”

“Any costume guidelines in addition to a mask?”

“I want her in a corset with back ties and I want you and Potts scarce when we get home from Fangtasia on Halloween.”

Pam didn’t answer with words; she just snickered at him, and then closed the door to go back to her fun.

OOOoooOOOooo

When Eric walked into the den, Sookie was indeed asleep on the couch with a copy of Anna Karenina open on her chest. He picked up the book and marked the page, noting she was an impressive 2/3rds through the book already. As if tempting him, she lay dressed in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt that had crept up her stomach and he resisted the urge to lean over and lick her exposed belly button. He could NOT, however, resist her tiny feet with freshly painted pink nails, evidenced by the bottle of nail polish on the coffee table. ‘She won’t object to a foot massage, at least I hope not.‘ The end of the couch had plenty of room, so he gently lifted her legs, moved to sit under them, then proceeded to massage her feet where they now rested in his lap. In a few minutes, she started making low moaning noises, similar to the noises she made when eating something she really enjoyed.

“What are you doing?”

“Your pink toes were calling me.”

With her eyes still closed, she scowled and asked, “You don’t have a thing for feet do you?”

“No, I was resisting the urge to tickle your tummy and your feet seemed like the safer place to get my hands on you.”

She tugged at her shirt to cover her exposed stomach. “You’re lucky you know what you’re doing down there. It’s heavenly. I hereby give you permission to give me a foot rub whenever you want to.”

“How about when you are in the bathtub? We could really have fun with that.”

That got her to open her eyes. “ONLY WHEN I AM FULLY CLOTHED!”

“Prude.”

“And proud of it. How was Fangtasia?”

So shocked that she actually asked he paused his attentions for a moment, but finally resumed his handy work and answered. “Typical. Fangbangers throwing themselves at vampires.” To show her his seriousness in protecting humans and to start desensitizing her somewhat to the violence of his world, he decided to tell her about his Sheriff duties. “I did have some nasty Sheriff business tonight.”

“Can you talk about it?”

“Yes, since you are my companion and not a random human. You see, there are advantages to your position.” She rolled her eyes and told him to go on with the story. “I got a call from the police in Monroe about some suspected vampire issues with two missing young women. When I got to the vampire’s nest, I found the two women there involuntarily and removed them to safety.”

“Oh my God, what happened, will they be OK?”

“Physically, yes, and the three guilty vampires will be paying for the medical expenses. A designate in my retinue will approach the families tomorrow to help glamour the trauma away.”

“Why not you?”

“I have a vampire who is especially gifted with glamour. She is the best person for the job. I also want her to glamour selectively. While the vampires being punished were in the wrong, the girls did go to a known vampire location and threw themselves at the vampires hoping for a bit of fun. They just got more than they bargained for. I need them to remember some of their ordeal so they don’t put themselves in danger again.”

“That makes sense. What happened to the vampires?”

“They were taken to Fangtasia and punished. They will be there for a few days. I believe Pam removed their fangs and they can only drink True Blood until their fangs grow back.”

“Pam did that?”

He nodded his head. “Your buddy is quite skilled at dishing out vampire punishments.”

“I don’t know what to say about that. Why are you being so honest when you know it will bother me? Do you want me to hate Pam?”

“Quite the opposite.” He stopped with her feet and moved up to her calves, not even realizing what he was doing. “Sookie, this violence is part of my life as a sheriff. We talked last night about the need to punish vampires in a very different way than you are accustomed to with human punishments. Do you want these three vampires to think they can get away with keeping unwilling pets?”

“Not at all. I get that.”

“Good. What I want you to also understand is that someone, some vampire actually needs mete out the punishment. For me, many times that is Pam. I would rather you start hearing about it and understand her role in my life now while we can calmly talk about it. If you joined me at Fangtasia or some issue caused you to see Pam in action and you had no idea, it could turn you away from her. Honestly, I think you would both be hurt by that.”

“I see your logic. I don’t like thinking about my friend that way, but I can compartmentalize it in my head. I certainly don’t want those vampires to go unpunished.”

At that moment, Pam entered from the garage with a loud “I’m home cream puff! Time to start picking your Halloween costume.”

Eric and Sookie both chuckled at her, but Sookie was the one who spoke. “Did you have fun tonight Pam?”

Pam looked at Eric, “You told her?”

“Yes Pam, we are being honest with Sookie.”

“Sookie?”

“It’s OK Pam. I don’t agree with your punishments of humans, but I can’t disagree that vampires need to be punished differently. I don’t want those three to EVER get their hands on another unwilling human and if you are the one prevents it, I can deal with that.”

“You continue to surprise me Sookie.”

“I surprise myself as well. Are you ready to start looking at costumes?”

“Sure, let me just boot up my laptop.”

“Sookie, Pam, I’ll leave you to your shopping. I have some Norse Enterprises work to get done.”

“Eric, I’m planning on dressing you and muffin in a couple’s costume. We can shop in the office with you while you work, or you can just work out here, but I need your input either way.”

Sookie looked horrified at that idea. “What do you mean, a couples costume? Not something stupid like salt and pepper, or ham and cheese?”

“No, nothing like that at all.” Pam spied the book on the table. ‘Perfect‘ she thought. “How about Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky?” She knew she had a winner when both Sookie AND Eric grinned. Sookie obviously liked the story and Eric would get a corseted Sookie out of the deal. “I think I picked a winner.”

“Ok smarty,” Sookie started. “How do we get something that elaborate in under a week?”

“I have friends who make clothing. We just need to find some appropriate images and they will get on it. I can have Potts take you over there tomorrow for measurements. My friends have already made clothing for Eric, so they don’t need his.”

“Ok, this sounds like fun. Wait, tomorrow is Sunday, your friends are probably closed.”

“No, they work out of their house; we just need to make an appointment.”

A short while later; they had selected images for both Sookie and Eric’s outfits. A gorgeous wine colored dress for Sookie and a dark grey 19th century Russian Military uniform for Eric. Pam e-mailed the details to her seamstresses and told them to call Potts in the morning to make an appointment for measurements. “Sookie, they’ll have the undergarments for the outfit there tomorrow. Don’t fight with them. They’ll select what you need and ensure you get the right size.”

“I’m getting the whole thing?” She asked her face bright with excitement.

“You are, but we’ll need to find shoes online since they don’t carry any footwear. Let’s order a few that could work and have them shipped.” Pam smiled back and navigated to her favorite sites for shoes. They selected several pair and Pam arranged for them to be shipped FedEx for Tuesday delivery, after she added a few selections for herself of course. “Now, I’ve heard your stomach growling, let’s get you some pastries.”

“It’s too close to my bedtime for pastry. I’ll grab a yogurt and head up to bed.” She stood to head towards the kitchen but stopped and turned. “Thanks for the costume Pam. Eric, thank you for inviting me to Fangtasia. I’m actually looking forward to it.”

“You’re welcome Sookie. Goodnight.”

“Yes crumbcake, have a good night.”

Sookie’s footsteps, not stomping, were heard as she went to her room and closed her door. Pam turned to Eric. “How does she feel?”

“Listen.”

“What do you m…?”

“Shhh, listen.”

Pam stilled herself and listened, then smiled. “She’s humming something.”

“She’s gloriously happy Pam. In fact, It’s the first time I’ve felt this much happiness from her. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome and -”

“Yes, I know – shoes.”

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 12 – Pink Painted Nails

    • I loved reading your comments. It’s like reminiscing through the earlier chapters (though I just finished a re-read from about chapter 10 on – I do that to check on consistency every once and a while). You made my day with all the posts to my wordpress page.
      ~mags

  1. Wonder if he’ll think about the comment she made about HUman vs Vamp justice. Vamps loose fangs or an appendage that will grow back, but humans just seem to die. Very unequal. But ah well.

    Glad Pammy is good with her.

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