Chapter 45 – Vegas Sucks, and not in a good way
July 8, 2004
“COMPTON? We have to fly with COMPTON?” They were walking towards the Queen’s plane that would fly the Louisiana contingent to Las Vegas.
“It would appear so min kära. Pam, Thalia and I will surround you. Amelia is joining us; maybe she can put a ward on him.”
Sophie-Anne noticed the discussion including the scowl on Sookie’s face and guessed correctly at what was happening. She approached Sookie and Eric. “I’m sure you don’t want to see him, but he is selling his new software program at the Summit and he must be there. I’m seating him in the back section of the plane and you and Eric will be in the front. He won’t be near you.”
Sookie summoned all the politeness and strength of character she could and responded with a bow. “Your majesty, I appreciate that you have taken my needs into consideration over this very difficult situation.”
Eric flooded the bond with pride but he still felt quite a bit of frustration, though not directed at her. He felt that was going to be the standard until they left Vegas; many of his fellow vampire were going to look down on her and she would be pissed most of the time. Instead of dwelling on the situation, he took her arm, “Shall we board?”
True to her word, Sophie Anne had Bill situated in the back of the plane and Sookie relaxed when she realized it was a completely separate room; she couldn’t even see him.
As she was settling into her seat, she heard her name. “Sookie!”
“Uncle Des! I didn’t know you would be on this plane.”
“Of course, I’m part of the Queen’s entourage.”
“How about Glad and Diantha? Did they fly out with the other day guards today, or. . . never mind, I see them boarding now.” The two colorfully dressed girls waved at Sookie and made their way to the front of the plane. She contained her laugh at their outfits and hair. It seemed they had some kind of contest between them to wear the most colors and patterns at one time while also adding vibrant colored highlights to their hair. Tonight, they also had feathers tied into their locks as well.
“Werelookingforwardtospendingthedayswithyou.” Diantha spoke.
“I hope you aren’t too disappointed, I wake pretty late in the day.”
“Weknowthat.” Gladiola confirmed. “Canweplaycardsfortheflight?”
They landed about 3 hours later and arrived at Felipe’s Casino, Torre Agbar Las Vegas, in 3 separate limousines. “Sweetie.” Sookie asked Eric with a very serious look on her face
“Yes min älskade?”
“This building looks like a giant cock. I mean, I know it was made in the image of the Torre Agbar in Barcelona, but I can’t help but think he’s compensating for something.”
A snort actually came out at her comment before he could control himself. His Sookie was priceless since she delivered her comment with a straight face even as he felt the mischief coming from her. Deciding to play along, he offered, “a shaqdick you mean?”
“A shaqdick, a small dick on a large man. Felipe is quite tall and broad.”
“Yeah, since he erected a building like this, I’m thinking he’s not proportionate like you.”
Potts interjected. “TMI!”
The passengers in the limo just laughed at the interchange and agreed with Sookie’s assessment once they got out and saw how large the tower really was.
Room availability was tight, but Eric called to reserve the suites as soon as the Summit was announced and now it was paying off. With the date change, he lucked out as they simply reassigned the suites he’d originally booked. It was one of the guarantees afforded the attendees when the dates was changed. He wanted everyone together: He and Sookie, Pam, Amelia, Thalia, Alcide, Potts, Peter, Gladiola and Diantha. There would never be a moment that Sookie wasn’t guarded, and to be especially paranoid, he Pam and Thalia would be guarded from the suite the entire day as well. Private time would be difficult, but the need for security took precedence. Pam had pitched a fit that she and Amelia would get no private time and a large shoe ordered had been promised as compensation. When they left Shreveport, Pam was still prioritizing her choices based on the budget she’d been given.
After checking into the hotel, Sookie and Eric led their group to the two connected suites he’d booked for the duration of their stay. Once sorting out the rooms Eric announced “We need to be downstairs for the opening reception by 2AM. Alcide, Potts and Peter, I suggest you get your beauty sleep. Amelia, please start on the wards.” He turned to Sookie, “We’ll check in and then change for the reception.”
They arrived at the Summit check-in shortly before 2 to register for the event. Packets for the participants were handed out. “Good Lord!”
“Look at the notices in this packet.”
Sookie pulled the group to the side to show them the degrading pages from the booklet included in the packet. The first was simply the cover page introducing Felipe and Freyda as their hosts. The next was a reminder page about no public biting (she could handle that), no public punishments (her aggravation grew) and in an angry whisper she read the last reminder, “Pets must be CLOTHED?” Eric, what the hell?” The pitch of her voice rose as she spoke. She pointed to the note at the bottom of the page. “And you can forget spending time on the third floor if this is all permitted there.”
“I don’t have need of the third floor. Perhaps we can discuss this l. . . “
She flipped the page. Eric braced himself for the next comments after glancing at the picture; it was an image of a human wearing a collar and leash with a warning about keeping pets restrained. “Tell me these attitudes are the minority. Please.”
“Sookie, we can discuss these notices and you can rant a rave later. Can I please get you to focus on the agenda for now?” He pleaded with his eyes and when she threatened to open her mouth he made the symbol for quiet. She was quickly escalating, and while he completely understood her upset, the lobby was filling with vampires and he couldn’t take the risk of an incident. To help the situation he sent her streams of calm through the bond. “When is our presentation?”
The only noise she made was an exaggerated exhale while she glared at him. Finally she looked down at the packet and read.
Focusing on the agenda instead of her ire, Sookie pulled out the details for their session from the packet to check the time of their session. “Ok, this is good, we present tomorrow night before the trials are held. Then I guess I’m free for the night. I don’t need to attend the trials, do I?”
A familiar voice answered behind her. “I would like you in attendance Mrs. Northman.”
Sookie spun around with a smile on her face and knelt, Eric and the rest of their group quickly joined her on the floor. “Your Grace. What an honor to see you again.”
“Please rise.” She spoke to the whole group. After Sookie was standing, she leaned in to her directly and spoke quietly. “How was your honeymoon my dear?”
“Oh Amma thank you for asking. It was too short, but Eric has a surprise after this. He spoils me.”
“He better or I will kick his ass.”
They spoke for a few more minutes before the Ancient Pythoness left them for a meeting she needed to attend.
“Your Grace,” Sookie bowed and the rest of the group mimicked her.
“I will see you tomorrow Mr. and Mrs. Northman.” The Ancient Pythoness said and she walked off with her guards and hand maidens.
The Ancient Pythoness was lead to a meeting room where she was alone while waiting for her guest. She spent a moment allowing herself to feel sad for the upcoming events in Sookie’s life. Being so old, she could easily detect that Sookie was pregnant. Unfortunately, being a seer, she already knew more hardship was on the horizon for her granddóttir. She was confident from her visions that once the final foes in the Americas were defeated, Eric and Sookie would have the peace they deserved and the family they desired. It was the time between now and then that she regretted. An announcement at the door took her from the sad thoughts and she greeted her guest. “Russell, please come in.”
Eric and his entourage returned to the Grand Hall after depositing the Summit materials in their room and changing into formal wear. A Were guard at the door to the hall stopped the group. Since Eric was holding tightly onto Sookie, the guard addressed him directly. “No donors. She will be moved to the donor room off the great hall with the others.” He moved to grab Sookie’s arm. “I’ll take her.”
Moving an arm quickly in front of the guard, Eric spat out calmly but with force, “Do not touch what is not yours.”
The idiot guard responded. “If she had a leash on, I could have just grabbed that. These are the rules: No humans in the grand hall.” He pointed to the doors down the hall. “All donors are being held in a sound proof room next to the grand hall. She’s not dressed appropriately, but I guess they can deal with that. I can grab a spare leash to restrain her in the room.”
Sookie desperately wanted to crawl in a hole and hide, but she kept her back straight and her head held high as she offered, “I’ll wait in the suite Eric. Let’s just call Glad and Diantha to come collect me. Then all of you can attend the reception.”
“No.” He stated with no room for argument. Then he glared at the guard, “Find your superior.”
“I’ll call him, but the answer won’t change.”
Stan and Liz had made their way as well. “Why are we standing outside the reception?”
Eric turned and bowed. “Your majesty, no humans are permitted in the grand hall for the reception. I am unsure if Liz is permitted to join you since she is a Were. I have requested for the guard’s superior to join us.” Before he’d finished speaking, Sophie-Anne and her entourage had gathered at the door as well. Stan filled her in on the situation. Sookie wanted to leave and was damn near crying. No other groups were getting into the room as they had essentially formed a blockade at these doors and no other doors were open for entrance. From the corner of his eye Eric spied one of his least favorite vampires walking towards the group: Victor Madden, Felipe’s second in command. As soon as he saw Eric a smirk appeared. “Northman, I’m sure you’ve been told, but donors are not permitted in the grand hall. Please take your pet to the donor room and allow the other attendees to enter the hall.”
“She’s not a donor, she’s my wife.”
Victor’s focus zeroed in on the wedding ring Eric wore and sneered. “Yes, well that may be true in Louisiana, but Nevada doesn’t recognize a vampire and human marriage.” He took a moment to look at the telepath and thought to himself, ‘Oh little telepath, soon you will be ours. Nice to see that your telepathy is wrapped in such a tasty looking package. We all can’t wait to get a taste of you.’
“Be that as it may, we are bonded; surely you can’t deny the meaning of a blood bond.”
“We do recognize a blood bond, and for that reason the Were here will not be the one to escort her to the donor room. However, the blood bond won’t get her in the door.”
“Eric,” He turned to see Godric approaching him. “We will be moving to New York New York, it is close enough to walk, and I have booked their ballroom. It will take them about an hour to get food and blood services set-up.” Godric was thankful for the note he received from one of Pythia’s handmaidens to call about the ballroom. He was sure that she had booked it ahead of time and canceled the reservation enabling him to take it.
“Who is leaving, what are you talking about?” Eric looked at Godric, clearly confused.
“DeCastro has set out rules that will not work for our group; I have simply arranged an alternate welcome for the Summit. Everyone here is invited.” He opened his arms and swept them around to include the group that had gathered. “And I sent out messages to Benito, Antonio, Russell, Bart; well any other states that include more enlightened vampires.”
Finally Eric sported a wicked smile thinking about Felipe and Freyda making a grand entrance into a poorly attended event. “Let’s go everyone!”
Victor stood stunned by the departure of vampires from 3 regions knowing that more were going to follow based on what he heard Godric say. If a vampire could sweat, Victor would be dripping right now. This was not the plan. Felipe and Freyda wanted the telepath and had planned to use the standard rules for the kingdom to have her separated from her bonded as much as possible for information gathering. The donor pools had been filled with women glamoured to interview the telepath and find out all they could about her life: Her days, her guards, her relationships. They would need to count on some of the other group events like the trials and Russell’s wedding for their plan to shape up. At least they were all staying in the hotel and that would give some of the day spies access to the telepath.
He turned around after hearing some more vampires approach the Grand Hall, but they kept walking to the lobby doors. The California, West North Central and Southeast contingents all walked out and he was sure they were headed to New York New York. Goddamn Godric!
As Victor stewed, Godric lead his group to New York New York using one of the over the road walkways and they were greeted by a man who was now serving as their onsite host for the group; he addressed Godric as the lead. “Mr. Godric?” Godric nodded. “I am Mr. Salky, your host for the evening. Follow me please. As you were told on the phone, we are working to set up the food and blood buffet, but I already have seating in the room and music for the dance floor.”
“I have others still arriving.”
“I have a guide available at each entrance so they will be directed to the Tribeca room, the venue for your event.”
“Please lead the way.”
Once in their new welcome reception, the group started moving about and greeting one another. Ensuring first that Sookie was relaxed and sitting safely with Stan and Liz, Godric eventually pulled Eric aside. “If you will give me your room keys, I am also having your and Stan’s groups moved to this hotel for the duration of the Summit.”
“Godric, we have. . .”
“It is already done and I’ve paid for several Weres to move our belongings. Call Alcide to alert him; I gave his name as the point of contact.” He leaned in to speak as quietly as possible. “I just have a bad feeling and I do not want you or Sookie staying in Felipe’s hotel. This move is sudden and unplanned so they will not have had time to plant bugs.” He stood and spoke in a more normal tone. “Besides, I booked you and Sookie in your own suite. I know privacy was limited back at Felipe’s hotel. Diantha or Glad can stay in the common area of the suite for protection.”
Eric smiled. “There was no privacy with our large group. I don’t know how you did it but thank you.”
A small but harsh looking vampire approached Eric and Godric as they spoke. She had a large escort holding onto her arm. When Eric and Godric noticed the diminutive vampire, they smiled. “Queen Ivkin!” Godric bowed with Eric following suit. “Congratulations on your takeover of the Great Lakes Region.”
“Thank you Godric, but you know is acting Queen only, please call me Kat.”
“I have heard but cannot say I understand.”
Her eyes darted around the room to take in the attendees before she spoke. “It is long story. I will find suitable room for discussing, yes?”
“Yes, you let me know when you are ready.”
“I like to introduce my companion, Odair Braguini.” She turned to her lover and pointed to each of the men in front of her. “Odair, I introduce you to Godric from Texas and Eric Northman from Louisiana. Both are friends. Eric you have recently pledged to human girl, correct?”
“Yes, just a few weeks ago.” Eric was surprised to hear that Kat had held onto her Russian accent and incorrect grammar, but he respected the former sheriff, now monarch.
“Congratulations. Odair and I will pledge after political crap is sorted out in Great Lakes.”
Godric navigated the next comment carefully as he had already been made privy to the takeover concerns in Kat’s area. “It is nice to meet you Odair. I have heard about your involvement with the takeover.”
Odair, a Were, stiffened at the comment and replied defensively. “I was only trying to protect. . .”
“I am well aware and I applaud your actions. I would certainly like to find a private place to talk.”
“Godric!” Their talk was interrupted by the flamboyant Russell Edgington. “I understand you are the cause of this relocation?”
Godric nodded. “Felipe is the cause since only vampires were welcome at the opening.”
“A good move. Ekaterina, you are as lovely as ever, and now you are a Queen.”
“Russell, you are charming as ever.” She looked to the side and noticed someone trying to get her attention. “I am being called away. Godric, I look forward to talk.”
Russell, Godric and Eric continued to discuss Felipe’s failure for a few moments. Knowing she would want to greet her friend, Eric sent a gentle call to Sookie to get her attention. Once she saw Russell, She moved from her current conversation to greet her friend. “Russell!” She leaned in for an air kiss on each cheek then relaxed into Eric’s embrace.
“How is my bridesmaid this evening?”
“Witness Russell, I’m your witness. Pledgings don’t have bridesmaids, heck most don’t even have the witnesses.”
“It’s my Pledging if I want to call you a bridesmaid; I’m calling you a bridesmaid. Bart is calling Toni his bridesmaid. We have our programs all done up and you and Toni are bridesmaids. That’s final.” Godric and Eric were both chuckling at the exchange.
She just shook her head at her colorful friend. “And when do I get to meet this Toni?”
He looked around the room and spotted her so he started waiving her over. “Here she comes now.”
She took one look at Godric and gasped. “Godric?”
Eric and Sookie exchanged a look while Godric’s eyes narrowed. After carefully inspecting her face, he finally inquired, “Who are you?”
“My name is Toni, well Antoinette. I am a descendant of your Angelica. You are our Godric, aren’t you?”
“Italy, almost 250 years ago? Your family has records that go back?”
“You mean records that go back to the vampire who loved the human side of our family? The vampire that helped my grandmother, well many times a great grandmother, escape the vampire attack on her small town? We most certainly do. I have Angelica’s journals. You weren’t just her adopted father, you were her hero. I can’t believe I’m meeting you in person.”
Russell interjected. “What’s going on?” He pointed from Toni to Godric. “You know each other?”
Still in shock somewhat, Godric answered in a way to give him time to recover. “Russell, it’s a long story, and I’d rather not get into it here. Maybe we can meet in my suite at 3AM, actually Eric you have the larger suite, can we intrude?” Eric nodded. “Until then, I need to ensure this party is running smoothly.” He turned and took Sookie’s hand looking between both she and Eric. “I want you both to be with us, to hear this story.”
“Of course Papa.” Sookie beamed, feeling the happiness rolling off her father-in-law.
“Now, let’s enjoy ourselves.” He announced with a large smile on his face and a sparkle in his eyes that Sookie had never seen on him before.
Back at the Torre Agbar Las Vegas, Victor was in a panic. He had no idea the breadth of Godric’s reach. He cursed himself for not notifying Felipe about the incident right away. Now, he was going to have a furious King and Queen on his hands. His head shook almost nervously as his King and Queen, Felipe and Freyda approached the Opening Reception for their ‘Grand Entrance’. Godric’s party had caused most of the vamps to forgo the Summit’s official welcome party and Felipe and Freyda were about to walk into a sparsely populated empty hall. The vain king would probably lash out. Knowing this, Victor decided to busy himself in the office making phone calls so it would appear he tried to contain the issue.
Even though his office was a floor above the Grand Hall, he could hear Felipe scream, “WHAT. IS. GOING. ON!?” He cringed while he was on the phone but stayed safely in the office until her heard another scream. “VICTOR!” His reprieve was over; it was time to face Felipe. He walked at human speed to the Grand Hall and stood surprised at the doors. There should have been about 250 vampires in attendance: monarchs and sheriffs from each vampire region. Instead there were only about 50 present. Those representing Felipe and Freyda’s Southeast Territory and the New England Region.
All the vampires in the room were looking around, surprised themselves at the lack of attendees as Victor made his way to the stage where Felipe and Freyda were already seated. He knelt, figuring it would benefit him to be extra subservient given the circumstances. “My King and Queen.” He stopped to take an unneeded breath. “It seems that several regions were not pleased with the separation of vampires and pets. An alternate party was formed at New York, New York and those regions moved there.”
“WHO STARTED THIS ALTERNATE PARTY AND HOW COULD YOU ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!?” Felipe’s voice boomed and echoed in the sparsely populated room.
“Godric.” To Victor, the name of the much older vampire answered both of Felipe’s questions. He waited patiently while Felipe worked through the information.
‘The welcome reception is not something that is required, so there is nothing I can do. This will resolve easily with the trials and the pledging being held here. For those, attendance is mandatory as part of the Summit. He knew this would greatly impact his plans for the little telepath on information they could gather tonight. He was pretty sure the Gaul was Northman’s maker, but Godric couldn’t protect Northman’s pet for the entire Summit and he had many more plans. Yes, this would all even out with time and demanding everyone return to the Summit welcome party by going to New York, New York would only give Godric and his cohorts satisfaction. I will remain here and not mention this again.’ He turned to the band in the corner. “Why are you not playing? We have guests who want to dance.” Taking Freyda’s hand in his, he asked her, “Shall we open the dance floor my dear?”
Later that night, a small group met in Eric and Sookie’s suite to discuss the history of Godric and Toni’s family. Eric, Sookie, Russell and Bart sat enthralled by Godric and Toni’s story. Sookie reached for Godric’s hand as she wept while he told the story of how Appius had watched him, assessing the village and then attacking and killing everyone. Russell and Eric both hissed at hearing the name Appius. Godric left out the details of watching his Maria die but the story affected Sookie and Toni greatly so Godric stopped for a few minutes. Toni took over telling a summary of the family history starting with the birth of Angelica’s daughter, the girl who Godric would have considered his granddaughter.
Now Godric was also rapt as he listened to the story of his family after Holger escaped with Angelica. “Angelica and Holger stayed in Italy and made a home with a wolf pack in a small village north of Trento. They raised three children. Since they were now linked to a pack the oldest, Maria, was mated to a full Were and that process continued through the generations. Eventually full strength Weres were born which is how I am a full Were, even though there is a very small percentage of regular human in me.” She paused and shook he head. “Ah, sorry. I got off topic – back to Holger and Angelica. They stayed in Italy as did their daughter Maria. It was Maria’s son Stefano who moved to the new world. He landed in New York but moved quickly to the south. He’d pre-arranged to join a pack in Kentucky. They were aware he was joining with ‘diluted’ genes but they had friends from the Italian pack and agreed to take him in. Stefano and his descendants stayed in Kentucky for almost 150 years until they branched out into Mississippi. I was born in Mississippi and like I said, I have full Were power, as does my child.”
“How old is your child?” Godric asked, captivated with the story of his descendants.
“She is almost 4; her name is Cecelia. I call her Celia.” She reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet. “Here is a picture.”
“She looks like my . . . she looks like Maria.”
“Yes, well her father is Italian-American so the genes are there I guess.”
Sookie, who had been deep in thought blurted out, “I don’t understand.”
The question seemed out of context so Godric probed. “My dear, what don’t you understand?”
“Appius. It seemed like his attack was personal. You said he had watched you and the village. That seems personal to me.”
Godric sighed. He had never revealed the history he had with Appius, and now his daughter-in-law just brought it to the forefront. He was surprised and proud that she had picked up on that subtlety of his story. After a few moments of silence and having the stares of everyone in the room he spoke. “It was personal.”
Eric didn’t try to hide his reaction and was in Godric’s face demanding information. “What does that mean? Is there a risk you have never shared with me?”
“No, well of course there is always a risk. Right after the incident I hired guards to keep watch over you and Pam. She was so young and needed your complete focus. I didn’t want you watching your back for Appius. Once Pam had grown into her vampirism, they were called off.”
“You had me guarded from a distance? You never told me?”
“You were enjoying Pam when I first left you. I was in pain and couldn’t, no wasn’t ready to tell you what happened. Once I stopped in to see you – Pam was about 175 years dead at that time – I knew you would be able to focus and watch your back.”
“Yet you never told me.”
“We can discuss those particulars at another time. I think your wife is on edge trying to understand how or rather why Appius would attack me.” Realizing that his anger had dominated his thoughts and the conversation, Eric backed off and nodded. Godric knew Eric wouldn’t remain calm for long though. Not once he told his story.
“Almost a year before I made you I started to feel a compulsion and draw towards your homeland. I was happily living in a cave, feeding and glamouring as needed so I fought this pull. That only worked for about 4 months when the need to move north started to become painful. It only lessened as I progressed towards you. When I first was close enough to see your village, I thought my chest was going to erupt. The compulsion turned into a need, a need I fought for a short while. I eventually saw you my son, and you were glorious. I knew you were meant to be my child, however I could see you with your own little ones and I decided to stay locally and wait. I wanted to give you that time.” The maker and child shared a small look of understanding and love at those words. Eric had no idea what was coming next. It was Sookie that gasped and Godric knew she had figured it out. “You know min dotter?”
“You keep talking. You tell us.”
“Very well.” Honestly he hoped she would blurt it out and take his burden, but that wouldn’t be fair to her. “I watched as you left your village to meet your possible new wife.” He turned to the side to explain quickly to the others in the room that Eric’s first wife and newborn had died and he was in need of a new mother for his first 5 children. “I followed closely, but not too. I saw your face when you met Gillaug. She was a plain woman, very square, not rounded as was your ‘type’. For you though, this was business so you put on a pleasant face since she would make a suitable wife and add a child to your family with the son she already had from her first marriage. You completed your deal and worked out the details then headed home. That was when I realized that the other I kept feeling around your village was Appius. Eric, Appius wanted you for his own and I could not allow it. In my time since being turned, I had not met many other vampires, we were so few and far apart, but I had met Russell and he was well aware of Appius. Russell, though our time together was brief, had warned me of this vampire, his cruelty to his own children, his thirst for death. Not just a need to feed for survival, but a true desire to kill and cause pain. I knew I could not let him take you my beautiful Viking so when he moved towards you as you walked home, I attacked him.”
“The wild animals. I thought I heard animals fighting that night.”
“I know. It was two vampires.” He took an unneeded breath. “The fight was difficult; lasting longer than it took you to get out of the area. Appius and I are nearly the same age so we were well matched. Finally, I got a break and literally ripped his arms off figuring it would give me some time before I needed to turn you my son. He ran and I kept watch over you until I saw you complete your union with Gillaug and join your families. I was prepping for your turning shortly after that when you were called to battle and the decision was made for me. If I did not turn you that night, you would have died.” He sat up a bit straighter, the burden of the long kept secret finally being removed from him. “I didn’t see Appius again until he found me in Italy and you know that story now.” Taking Sookie’s hand and turning to her he asked, “How did you figure it out?”
“Eric told me about the wild animals he heard fighting the night he was walking home after meeting Gillaug. After you started your story it just clicked.”
The room remained silent having been enthralled by the story. Eric spoke first. “I’d like to process” he gave a small smile to Sookie, having used her word, “this information but I do want to talk more about it.”
“Take all the time you need Eric. We can talk whenever you want.” Now Godric was concerned this story would have a negative impact on his relationship with Toni so he spoke to her next. “Toni, I understand if this causes you grief because it was my personal issues that got your ancestors. . .”
“Godric, nonsense! It was this Appius jerk. Say nothing more about this being your fault.” She stood up. “Perhaps after the Summit we can meet and I can share the journals of my descendants?”
“I would like that very much.” He stood and extended his hand. “Perhaps we can continue talking a bit more at the bar or my suite while we give Eric and Sookie some relaxation time tonight. I think Sookie has had a long day.” He smirked at Eric knowing he had plans for his bride.
Toni took his offered hand. “Let’s go. I want to hear all about your life since you left Italy. I’m going to be the family hero for meeting you.”
Russell addressed the elephant in the room without care. “Yes, we must give the newlyweds some privacy for their ah honeymoon activities.”
Sookie gasped. “Russell you hush!”
Russell put on an innocent face but couldn’t hide his smile and said, “what did I say?”