No beta for Beauty and the Vampire Beast – read at your own risk.
The next chapter needs one more round of edits and should be up soon. Then – there is a 2 part epilogue.
Glimpses 14 – Who invited Pearl, Vicki and that Agent anyway?
Time jump: Spring 2011 Frannie 22, Hunter 12, Moyra 7, Triplets 6
Eric smiled. The giggling in the house was at an all-time high since Frannie graduated and came home for her last weeks before the wedding. In about an hour, the ladies of the house were leaving for Frannie’s bridal shower being held at the Marriott in town.
Moyra, her cat Pascal, and Lacy walked into Eric’s office where he was safe from getting in the way of anyone trying to get ready. With her cat, she curled up on the couch next to Eric and Lacy jumped up to sit next to her. “Hi Daddy.”
“Hi angel. Are you ready?”
“Mostly, I was told to see you for my hair.”
He turned his body and she moved into place in front of him so he could braid it. Over her shoulder, she handed him the purple butterfly ties he needed to secure the ends. While he worked, she asked. “What’s perla?”
“Pearls, like jewelry?”
“No. Perla, not jewelry.”
“La Perla?” She nodded. He wasn’t sure why his seven year old angel would ever need to know what La Perla was, so he was confused. “Why do you ask?”
“Well Perla, Vicki, and some agent are coming to the shower.”
“Agent Provocateur?” His voice rose in question. He really wanted to know how she knew these things. “Where did you hear this Moyra?”
“Shower talk – the invitations. Oh and Uncle Russell and Uncle Bart complained again that they weren’t invited to the shower so Frannie ‘vited them. Said they arrived early for the wedding next week since they had something they wanted to give Frannie. Something ‘bout your grey hairs.”
The wheels in Eric’s head were spinning and he didn’t like where this was all going. Somehow, he knew Pamela was responsible and she was doing this on purpose. “Moyra, I never saw the invitations, can you find one for me?”
“Sure Daddy!” She hopped off the couch and ran out in search of the invitation; her mini zoo following behind her as usual.
While she was gone, Sookie carried a squiggling Addie in and asked for help. “Here’s her dress and hair ties. Can you get her going while I try to get Pammers done?”
“I don’t mind helping but I’m confused. They can dress themselves.”
“HA! When they like what they’re wearing. Those two are pitching fits because they have to wear dresses. For the wedding, they need to wear stockings too! It’s going to be fun.”
“They aren’t that bad.”
“You can blame their leader, Jarl. People joked that they’re Eric’s minions, but in reality, the girls are Jarl’s minions and tomboys. It doesn’t help that you spar with them.”
“They approached me to learn.”
“Whatever. I have to get Pammers done so you can do her hair. Then I still have to dress myself. I can’t debate the tomboys at the moment.”
Sookie left in a huff leaving behind a very angry Addie. She stood with her hands on her hips (where had he seen that before?) and a scowl. “A lilac dress Daddy. Really?”
Due to the telepathy, in some ways the trips were more advanced than Moyra with their language skills. Not that Moyra was a slouch, but she tended to add more ‘southern’ to her speech where the trips did not. “Put it on.” She stood still so he added. “You don’t have many restrictions in your life. You know how important today and the wedding are to Mommy and Frannie. Don’t make this about your selfishness.”
“Fine. No sparring with anyone for a week after the wedding.”
“That’s not fair.”
He raised his eyebrow at her. “Want to go for two? Should I add this week when we have all the guests? Guests you’ve been dying to spar in front of so you could show off?” He moved closer to loom over her. “That can be arranged. And I know you’re talking with your sister in your head. It will be the same for her if she gives Mommy grief. Send that along please.”
There was a quaver in her voice but she tried to hide it as she asked. “If I get dressed now will you take back the no sparring after the wedding?”
“You know better. You spoke back to me. Getting dressed now will prevent further consequences.”
It took her a moment and it looked like it hurt but she finally offered a “Yes sir.”
My Gods he loved the trips but if a vampire could have high blood pressure, they’d be the cause. Since having them, his sympathy for his own biological mother grew every day. If he was a small percentage of the trouble they were, the woman had been a saint.
While Addie donned her dress, scowling at her father, Moyra came skipping into the room with a bright smile and a purple card in her hand. “Here you go Daddy.” She handed the card to her father and turned to look at Addie. “We match today Addie!” She spun around in her dress enjoying that they skirt flared as she moved. “We never match. Is Pammers wearing the same thing?”
Addie smiled at her sister, she was so sweet, even the trips didn’t mess with her (and they messed with everybody). “Yes Moyra. We all match today. I’m sure it’s all for the pictures.”
“Cool.” Moyra replied. “Daddy, do you need anything else? I need to take Lacy out before we go.”
“No honey, thanks. Have a good time.” He watched as his little angel skipped back out of the room and recalled what the daemon sisters had told him. As Moyra matured in her healing powers and fairy spark, they noted a brightening in her aura. According to Glad, Moyra had always had a pure white aura, but the white was becoming more intense. Diantha had added with a laugh that Moyra was so wholesome, it looked like bluebirds and butterflies circled her. Of that, Eric had no doubt; his angel was the sweetest thing on earth.
Not wanting to tarnish his thoughts with an invitation that would probably make his blood boil, Eric tucked the invitation, face down, on his desk. First he would finish braids on Addie and Pammers (when she came to the office); then deal with whatever the invitation said.
Pleased neither of his triplet daughters gave him grief about the girly hair ties; he got to work on their braids. Of course, while they didn’t give him grief out of fear that he wouldn’t let them spar; they also managed the silent treatment with enthusiasm. Eric was fine with that given the way Addie had already spoken to him. When he was done, he thought they both looked beautiful and he told them so. Their response? Matching raspberries. He shooed them out so he could take a look at the invitation; though part of him felt it was best to not look.
‘A lingerie theme? The. Fuck!?’ Positive she was the mastermind behind this idea, he bellowed for Pam. He knew she was in the house.
From Frannie’s room, Pam heard Eric and felt his rage. She stood and stiffened when he added a not so gentle call to his command. “Ladies, I’m being called by Eric. He’s not happy.”
Sookie confirmed. “No. Furious is more like it. We’ll head over if you’re not done by the time we need to leave. I’m not compromising the shower for whatever tiff you guys are about to . . .” Sookie stiffened next. “Shit. I got called too.” She turned to Kaley. “What I said to Pam does not apply to me. You. Will. Wait.” Kaley confirmed and Sookie practically ran out the door.
Pam and Sookie walked into Eric’s office, both nervous but Sookie was pissed on top of it. She started. “What is the meaning of this? We leave in fifteen minutes. I will not be late for my daughter’s . . .”
“Smut-a-thon? Sex party? What do you call a shower that’s lingerie themed?” He looked smug like he’d discovered a secret they’d been keeping from him.
“It’s a shower. Frannie didn’t want dishes or appliances and we still wanted a shower so this was a good choice.”
“Objectifying my daughter was a good choice? When were you going to tell me? Were you ever going to tell me?”
“It’s been a lingerie shower since the start. It was never a secret and I don’t see where you get off being upset. She selected tasteful nightclothes and swimsuits from both websites. There is nothing wrong with including lingerie for a trousseau.”
Losing his footing, and fast, he grasped at his last complaint. “Moyra said something about Agent Provocateur. That’s not a store for a blushing bride.”
“You buy me things from there.” Sookie retorted with her arms crossed in front of her.
“For how many years have we been married? There’s a difference.”
Sookie put her hands up knowing he was right. “I get that, okay. But Agent Provocateur was not part of the invitation or her registry.”
“Then where did Moyra, my innocent little angel, hear it?”
Pam had the decency to look down while the bond screamed guilt. Eric turned to her. “I knew you were behind this. Explain.”
“My gift is from Agent Provocateur; as far as I know, it’s the only one. I’ll give it to her in private.”
“What is it?” He could feel Pam was in near panic. “We agreed years ago to leave innocents out of our pranks. Is that what’s going on now?”
“I thought it would be funny! Frannie has lightened up over the years, not you. If you could get the stick out of your ass, you’d know that part of bridal showers is joking about the honeymoon and sex in general. I’m not out of line.”
“What did you buy her?”
Pam darted her eyes to Sookie and she shook her head. “Don’t get me involved. I’m thinking I’m done here. You’re on your own.” With that, she ran from the room.
“What. Did. You. Buy. Her?”
“NO! Keep them for yourself but you will not give them to Frannie at the shower or in private.” Pam knew he meant it so she nodded in agreement. “Good. And say that I have a stick up my ass again, and you’ll be back to Wal-mart shopping for months. As much as we behave like siblings these days, you’re still my vampire child and what I say goes.”
He acknowledged her with a nod then pointed to the door. “You better get going so you aren’t late.”
Though she agreed to his demand, he could feel that Pam was upset. He decided to explain. “One more thing Pam.” She turned and waited. “I get this way about her because of what happened in Vegas. Don’t let the sex talk get out of hand. She might be better, but the other attendees don’t know she was raped and I don’t want anything to trigger that and taint her day.”
“Understood.” Her anger at Eric evaporated. “I didn’t think about that history, I’m sorry.” She put a hand on his arm. “I assure you, the other ladies will have purchased tasteful items. I’m probably the only one who went for the smut. I’ll control the situation if needed.” He nodded to her and she turned to leave.
He stayed in his office for a few minutes trying to control his worry – but he didn’t have time to fret over Frannie for long. Hunter and Jarl came in shortly after the girls left. “Is it safe?” Hunter asked.
Eric laughed. “What do you mean?”
Hunter explained. “Dad. Dude! They were nuts. What’s it going to be like next week for the wedding?”
Eric warned them. “The whole week will be bad.”
“What are we doing while their gone?” Jarl’s face lit up. “Can we spar?”
“You know what Jarl; I think that sounds like the perfect thing for us to do. Let me get you guys some lunch first; then we’ll head out.”
At the shower, the guests started filling in. Given the size of Frannie’s wedding, there were dozens of guests. Many ladies from Bon Temps, elected officials from Shreveport, Supernatural royalty, and of course family and friends were all invited. The stack of gifts was going to take a while to open so Frannie started right away. Pam was correct, the ladies had selected from Frannie’s registry or equally tasteful items as gifts. Russell’s gift was over the top and it was meant to make Eric cringe. It was a vacation home on Cape Cod, including private jet access for whenever the couple wanted. “Russell, I can’t accept this.”
“Nonsense my dear. Your Daddy has been hoarding children. I’m trying to kidnap you for vacations and I’m especially looking forward to spoiling great nieces and nephews. My Cape Code home is right next door.”
Frannie shook her head. “I’m not sure I like giving you the ammunition to goad Daddy, but I’ll admit that a getaway home sounds nice.”
“Good. One condition.” She raised her eyebrows at him. “I get to be there when you tell him about the gift.”
“You’re bad.” Frannie laughed out loud. “I agree to your condition.”
Russell was going to enjoy seeing Eric’s face when Frannie told him, but he had another motive beyond making the Viking’s blood pressure (if he had it) rise. He’d truly enjoyed sharing holidays and other visits with the Northman family. For Frannie, he wanted to give her something special as she started her own family and by purchasing a home in his territory, she could travel and be secure, he’d see to it. Course, Russell wouldn’t mind great nieces and nephews either. With all the vampire families that had started up, he was thinking he’d missed out on something. Especially as he watched a few of the teens from the local Packster’s group trying to keep Pammers and Addie out of trouble while their sister opened her presents. Right now, he could see Pammers running with cupcakes she’d stolen from the buffet while Addie was busy trying to put silk panties from one of Frannie’s gift boxes on top of her head. They were behind the ladies so nobody else had seen it yet. He turned so his laughter wouldn’t get them in trouble; he wanted to see what else they could get into.
Oblivious to the chaos in the back of the room, Frannie opened her gifts as the guests ooh’d and ahh’d at them. She saved the boxes from her sisters and mother for last. Moyra and the twins had purchased the garter, wedding guest book, and other wedding related items. Sookie had selected a wedding night ensemble from La Perla. It was white (of course), full length, and included a lace robe. Sookie also handed Frannie the earrings she’d worn to her own Pledging ceremony. They’d been worn by both her Gran and Aunt Linda for their weddings and would be Frannie’s ‘something old’. Sookie recalled that for her pledging she wasn’t that sure about the old poem’s tradition, but Frannie was adamant about ensuring she had all things covered. “Thanks Mom. I have everything since I’m borrowing your handkerchief, I have my new dress, and the garter from Moyra, Addie and Pammers is blue.”
“You’re all set.” Her eyes glazed over the pile of gifts. “Well, after we get these ready and packed for the honeymoon you’re all set.”
Liz, Stan’s wife and the Supernatural Queen of Nevada, commented. “That’ll take you the whole week with that pile.”
“I know!” Frannie agreed. “And I still have stuff to do for Saturday.”
Russell patted the girl on the arm and pointed to his husband. “Your Uncles are here this whole week – and we have fairy blood so we can be called to duty anytime. What needs to be done?”
“Russell, I could never ask kings to do wedding busy work.”
“Nonsense! We want to help.” He scooted his chair closer. “Tell us about the theme. I’m guessing from all the purple in here, that’s your color?”
“Yes, and butterflies.”
“Lovely. How did you pick that?”
Frannie went on to tell Russell and Bart about her first months dating Sam and how he discovered she loved butterflies. Hunter had intervened when Sam was struggling with date ideas and suggested they go to a local butterfly house. Frannie loved it. “Since he already knew I loved purple, he picked this ring,” She held up her right hand, “As my promise ring. I’ve worn it since our first Christmas together.”
“Yes, I remember that Christmas It shocked me that you Daddy didn’t pitch a fit. Tell us more. What flowers have you selected?”
“Arrangements of mainly light purple roses with green and purple highlights.” She grabbed Pammers as she ran by. “The triplets will be my flower girls and ring bearer. The girl’s dresses are gorgeous, wait until you see them: white, full skirts with purple sashes and butterflies on the skirt.”
Frannie looked at Pammers and asked, “Aren’t they pretty Pammers?”
“For a girl.” She spat out the word.
Frannie let her down her sister and she ran off, chasing the purple balloons with the rest of the kids. “Addie and Pammers are still very much tomboys.”
“I’m aware.” Russell saw Moyra and curled his finger for her to come over. She hopped on his lap when he put his arms out. “Not this little one.”
“No, she’s a princess through and through. I’m not sure she even owns pants. Leggins under her skirts don’t count.”
Russell looked at Moyra. “What about your dress for the wedding? Do you like it?”
“I love it.”
“Does it have the butterflies on it?”
“Yep, same as Pammers and Addie. Daddy says they make them look innocent even when they aren’t.”
Russell barked out a laugh. “They’re always in trouble?”
“Yep. Mommy calls them Daddy’s minions. Sometimes when they’re really bad she’ll say hellions.” She crossed her arms and added. “Jarl is the leader but Pammers usually comes up with the ideas; Addie is the lookout.”
Russell said, “And you’re Daddy’s angel.” She shook her head ‘no’. “No?” Russell asked.
“I’m his kryptonite and his angel.”
Russell burst out laughing. “I’ve heard that too. Most recently it was something about a kitten?”
“Yep. We found Pascal at the park and Daddy said I could keep him.”
Frannie laughed at the comments and Russell asked her to explain. According to Frannie, there was Moyra foot stomping at Sookie when she said no; then pleading to Gran. The begging continued until Eric flew to the park from home to find out what was happening with Moyra. One look at her face and he melted, of course, and Sookie knew they were taking the kitten home. “Mom was fine with it since she was denying Moyra for Daddy’s sake – well for the sake of his nose since we didn’t think Daddy would want anymore pets – animal pets.”
Moyra added her perspective. “The kitty didn’t have a mommy or daddy. We had to do something cause he was obviously hurt.”
“So the Viking has been conquered!” Moyra smiled triumphantly. “When do I meet this kitten?”
“Pascal is a cat now.”
She looked at him like he had two heads. “From the movie Tangled?”
“Ah. I missed that movie little one so what about Pascal in the movie made you pick that name?”
“Pascal is Rapunzel’s bestest friend.”
“Is Lacey upset with this?”
He shook her head and gave him a puzzled look. “The movie wasn’t around when we ‘dopted Lacey.”
Knowing he couldn’t argue with that logic, he asked again about meeting the feline. “You didn’t answer me about when I can meet your cat, Pascal?”
“You can come home with us. Mommy says we need more cars ta take home Frannie’s longery.”
“Lingerie, my dear.”
“That’s what I said.” She hopped off his lap. “See ya at home.”
Russell turned to Frannie. “I believe I’ve stolen the bride for much too long.”
She leaned in. “And since you’re fun that was fine by me. I see though that Kaley has been making the rounds for me, I guess I should greet everyone.”
“I’ll see you at home since I’ve been invited.”
Frannie spent the next two hours ‘working’ the room and though she appreciated everyone that came, many of the attendees were invited for political reasons; they weren’t personal friends. Still, being the dutiful daughter she was, and now heading up the charitable unit of her father’s company, she knew these relationships were important, so she smiled and chatted.
Finally, the party started breaking up and Sookie was collecting the kids to leave. “You ready Frannie?”
“Yeah Mom. Russell and Bart are coming over; Moyra invited them to meet Pascal.”
“That’s fine.” She said as they headed to the limos. She told Frannie to rest for the short drive home since some of the vampire guests were meeting them at the house after dark – those without access to fairy blood.
The limos pulled up to the house and everyone helped carry in gift boxes. Sookie directed them to the formal living room. “We’ll put them here . . .”
Russell’s laugh cut her off mid-sentence. “That’s some unique redecorating Sookie.” Russell was eyeing the framed wall ‘art’ behind the couch. “I remember that newswoman who stayed with you a few days – recording your life.” Sookie nodded indicating she remembered. “She said that the triplets couldn’t be trusted with crayons. Given this lovely work of art, I guess the same is true of paint?”
Sookie explained how a few months ago, the triplets had escaped the notice of the adults and painted on her wall. At first, she was livid and started screaming, but then she read the message. “I cried, of course, and decided to frame it.”
Russell raised his eyebrows in question. “You are a curious creature my dear.” She shrugged it off. “How do you do it? Six kids? Do you see each of them every day?”
She nodded. “Sure, I teach the triplets and Moyra reading, individually. That gives us one on one time every day. I’ve been wedding planning with Frannie, though after this week, I’ll see her less and I’m heartbroken and happy for her at the same time.”
“At Christmas you said you were going to explore Moyra’s healing ability. Have you had a chance?”
Her face changed before she replied. “Sadly, yes. When Hoyt’s mother died, Moyra had the opportunity to heal the family. It’s a definite, she can heal humans. We haven’t tried Weres yet.”
“There’s no rush to explore it.” He paused before adding. “I forgot, you didn’t mention Hunter?”
“He’s teaching me Swedish.” She cocked her head to the side. “Speaking of Swedish, someone must have bested Hunter because my little man cursed in Swedish.”
“Someone is sparring with him out back.”
Russell brightened. “Like Eric? Shirtless?”
“Eric and yes, shirtless. Godric and Godric Jr. since I can see them in Hunter’s head. You’ll enjoy this I’m sure.”
The group headed to the yard and Russell gasped when the sparring field came into view. “Jarl too?”
“Eric taught Hunter and the trips.”
Russell watched as Eric worked with Hunter and Jarl for a few moments. Eric and Godric enjoyed their kids – that was clear. He could see Pam with her son as they watched from the sidelines; they were speaking animatedly. “You know, seeing you guys like this, knowing you make it work – as busy as you are – makes me want a family.”
Sookie was about to respond when Pammers and Addie ran by, small, dull, swords in hand, ripping their dresses off (emphasis on ripping) so they could play with the boys and Daddy. They stood in the yard in their underpants, ready to spar.
Sookie could see and feel Eric’s amusement and horror that they stripped in front of a crowd so he knelt down to speak to them about nudity and company.
While Eric reminded them to act like young ladies, Sookie responded to Russell’s comment about having a family. “Be carefully what you wish for, you might wind up with scalawags.”
“You love those kids and think they’re hysterical and you know it.”
Before he could say anything else, Moyra walked up with a cat in her arms and her dog following. “Uncle Russell, this is Pascal, he smiles all the time.”
Russell needed to school his features when he looked at the cat. It was hideous. How a young girl could fall in love and fight for that pathetic creature was beyond him. Pascal was an orange cat and he had seen better days. Part of his tail was gone and he’d obviously been in fights before the family had saved him, but the creepiest part was this bizarre smile that Moyra seemed to love. The cat had honest to goodness fangs. He managed a smile and commented. “Well that is the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen.” Then he glared at Sookie and said, “Your mother should have warned me about how cute that smile is.”
Sookie snickered while her daughter beamed at Russell’s words. “Do you want to come in and play princess with me? I don’t like the swords.” She paused and looked up. “We can put on Tangled and you can wear the tiara. Daddy had one made for me that matches Rapunzel’s.”
He raised one eyebrow at Sookie. “I could always wind up with an angel.”