Chapter 19 – I Smell a Rat

Chapter 19 – I Smell a Rat

Tissue – We’re OK

Frying Pan – look at the title – what do you think?frying pan still


Eric continued to entertain Sookie and Hunter as much as possible while they waited for the results of the bone marrow test. In addition to dates with Sookie, Eric also made it a point to spend time with Hunter before they went out and he even, much to Pam’s chagrin, added an extra night off just for Hunter time. On the second of Eric’s ‘Hunter’ nights, they planned to attend a craft evening at the hospital. Heidi, Hunter’s former physical therapist, organized a night for the kids in the hospital to make handmade items for their parents as Christmas gifts.

“Mommy where are you headed for your night out?”

“We’re checking out what movies are playing. We haven’t picked anything specific yet. Tara is picking me up. Oh, here she is.”

“Hi Sookie. Hi Hunter.”

“Aunt Tara – you haven’t met Eric yet have you?”

“No, I didn’t make the last girl’s night out.” Tara turned to Eric. “It’s nice to meet you, Eric.”

“You as well.” Sookie listened to Tara’s thoughts, something she normally didn’t do but her friend looked off. She heard she was nervous about meeting Eric since she was so scared of vampires. She listened further and discovered she was scared because she’d been seeing a vampire and he ‘gave’ her to another vampire and this new vampire, Mickey, was possessive and a little mean. She decided to ask Tara the details when she had a moment alone tonight. “Come on Sook, Jessica and Lala are waiting for us, I came up alone since I didn’t see Hunter last week.”

“Baby you mind Eric, OK?”

“Yes Mommy.”

She kissed Eric and told him to enjoy craft night. “I will. It’s a first for me. I actually can’t wait.”

Afraid that the elevator ride might be the only alone time she’d have with Tara all night, Sookie jumped in with the questions. “You’re not going to be happy but spill about this Mickey situation.”

“What were you doing in my head?”

“You looked way too nervous to meet Eric, I dipped in. I’m not sorry though, what I heard scared me.”

“Stackhouse, you promised. . . “

Sookie cut her off. “Tara, do you want me to keep this conversation going in the car? Spill before we’re with everyone else.”

With a heavy sigh she gave in and told her story. “I was dating Franklin Mott. He was really attentive and showered me with gifts and the SEX! It was incredible. Well we were together for a month and then he tells me he has a debt to a vampire he needed to repay and I was the payment.”

“How can a person be a payment?”

“According to Mott, he owns me, I was his pet and therefore I was his to give. Mickey has informed me that I’m ‘allowed’ to live in Bon Temps but that he owns me and if he calls, I’m to drop everything and be ready for him.” She started shaking. “Sookie, I tried to fight him – I did – but he beat me. I don’t say no anymore, even for sex” She hung her head. “It’s been two weeks. I don’t know what to do.”

Sookie hugged her friend, offering comfort. “Why didn’t you tell me right away? I’ll tell Eric. He’s the vampire authority in the area.”

“Mickey will kill me if I do anything like that.”

“Trust me, I won’t let that happen.”

Sookie could see and hear that Tara was nervous but she trusted her and she finally agreed with an “Ok.”

“Now, let’s go pick a movie.”


Back at the hospital, Eric heard furniture moving around so he hooked up Hunter and went to see if he could help. He was surprised to see Heidi and one of the nurses on duty setting up the playroom for crafts. “Was the hospital not able to provide someone to help you?”

Nancy was the nurse helping so she introduced Eric to Heidi. “Heidi, I’m not sure if you’ve met Eric Northman yet, he’s Sookie’s beau.”

“No I haven’t met him yet. A pleasure.”

“Same here. So can I help?”

“Sure. We need to set these tables and chairs up.”

“Not that I mind, but why did they leave you on your own?”

“Oh, your original question, sorry. This isn’t a hospital event.” Heidi answered simply.

Nancy clarified. “Heidi puts on this craft night, not the hospital.”

“I had no idea. Let me cover the costs.” Nancy just laughed. “What?”

“I should have known you’d do that.” She turned to Heidi. “Eric is the resident Santa.”

“Ah, I assure you this is my pleasure and I will accept nothing.”

“Very well. Let’s get the room ready, Hunter is anxious to get started.”

After the furniture was ready, Eric helped to distribute the materials on the tables so everything would be truly ready for the kids to come in and start. “I like to have it all prepped since some of the kids don’t have too much energy and they need to make their items quickly.”

“Well, Hunter is doing very well thanks to the exercises you showed Sookie. They do them every day.”

“That’s great Eric. I have seen him progressing since I stop in while I meet with other patients. Sookie takes his care seriously.”

Nancy chimed in. “Eric does too Heidi. He’s like a guardian angel that’s been sent to them.”

Eric laughed out loud. “Nancy, I don’t think ANYONE has ever referred to me as an angel. I call Sookie the angel.”

“Well you’re right about Sookie, but I still stand by my words, you’re both angels.”

“We’ll agree to disagree then. I’m getting Hunter.”

He returned and they sat together at the table and Heidi explained the instructions for the glitter snowmen magnets they were each making. It wasn’t long before Hunter was covered in the glitter. “What’s with this stuff?” Eric asked. “I wipe and wipe and I can’t seem to get rid of it.”

Johnny’s mother, Tammy, laughed at him. “Welcome to glitter Eric. Months from now, you’ll still see a speck of glitter every once and a while in this room.”

Grady added. “I heard my Dad describe it like boogies once. You just can’t get rid of it once it’s on your hands.”

Eric deadpanned. “Thanks Grady for that visual.”

“Anytime Eric. I got some fart jokes for later.”

“GRADY!” His mother yelled. The boys just laughed at her – including Eric.


When Sookie returned from her outing with the girls, just like his other night with Hunter, he had her son all bathed ready for bed – but he was still awake and it was past bedtime. They were tucked in playing on their Nintendos together (Eric bought himself the player and same games as Hunter so they could play in tandem). Eric was surprised to see her. “You’re back early.”

“None of the movies playing tonight excited us so we just went for dessert.” Using her thumb, she brushed something off Eric’s nose as she leaned in to give kisses. “You had glitter stuck there. I didn’t think it was intentional.”

“That stuff sticks to everything.”

“It does. How was everything here?”

She didn’t miss the worried look that crossed his face before he answered. “Tonight was good. Did you know Heidi does that craft night on her own – it’s not run by the hospital?”

“Yeah. I heard she did it last year too. She just likes to be helpful.” She folded her arms across her chest. “So what wasn’t good tonight?”

He mouthed later over Hunter’s head and kept talking about Heidi instead of answering Sookie’s question. “I liked her. She just finished her semester at school. She’s getting her graduate degree.”

“Yes, she told me about that. She still has another year and a half to go.” She checked the time. “So were you keeping him up late thinking I wouldn’t catch it?”

“Nope. I didn’t even notice the time.”

“Uh huh.”

“Really Sookie. If I was trying to secretly keep him up, I would have taken the Nintendo away when I felt you returning.”
“Well it’s certainly bed time now.”

“Yes Mommy.” Eric replied while he took the game from Hunter causing the boy to giggle.

A short while later Hunter was asleep and Eric and Sookie were talking about the night. “So what happened Eric?”

“The Rats were here.”


“Johanna was brought in. She fell. They graced Hunter with a visit since they were already in the hospital for that.”

“Is she being admitted?”

“I overheard from Nancy they are expecting her sometime tonight. She’s still in the ER.”

“She’ll be put in here. At least they’ve done that before.” She shook her head. “I hate that she’s hurt from a fall but maybe she’ll be with us for Christmas.”

“I called Hoyt, he’s on his way over.”

“Good idea.”

An hour later Hoyt was waiting for Johanna to be admitted with Eric and Sookie. Sookie checked with Nancy and it was confirmed she was being brought up shortly – and that the Rat’s had just left her in the ER once they knew she was being admitted. Assholes. Hoyt had a bouquet of daisies ready, Johanna’s favorite and Sookie caught herself wishing they could get rid of the Rat’s for good and Hoyt and Jessica could raise Johanna. It was an AHA moment for her so she started a chat with Hoyt while they waited.

“Hoyt. When are you popping the question?”

He just laughed. “I should be mad at the question but I guess you know I have a ring.”

“I do. Been waitin’.”

“Christmas. I have it planned for Christmas.”

Sookie and Eric lit up. Eric walking over to offer his hand. “That’s great Hoyt. You are perfect for each other.”

“Thanks man.”

“OK, so that’s step 1 of my question.” Hoyt looked at her with raised eyebrows. “How long do we have to wait for the wedding?”

“I’m ready when she is. Where is this going? Do you know something I need to be worried about?” His first thought was that maybe Jessica was pregnant and hadn’t told him.

Sookie saw his concern and continued with her meddling but nodding to the flowers Hoyt had in his hand. “Don’t you think it’s time you made Johanna a Fortenberry?” Pain crossed Hoyt’s features. “Hoyt, Hon, I know she’s sick. But you guys . . .”

“I don’t care about that. I’d love to take Johanna whether it’s a week or 80 years.”

“Then what?”

“I work on the road crew Sookie. I’m uneducated. What do I have to offer her besides daycare?”

“Love Hoyt. Love. Who cares that you aren’t rich. You and Jessica have been saving so you can get a house. She’s got a solid teaching job with benefits – right? Why can’t you be a stay at home dad and do your music lessons on the side?”

“You really think I have something to offer her?”

The timing was perfect. Just as he asked, Johanna was wheeled into the room, her face bruised and her leg casted in bright pink but she lit up at seeing Hoyt and squealed out his name. “HOYT! You heaw!”

Eric and Sookie watched as Hoyt’s face lit up. “Hey princess. You bet I’m here. Sookie’s friend called me.” He looked up and down her body. “What happened to you?”

Nancy stepped in to answer. “She actually had some blood pressure issues – her heart and all that – anyway; her blood pressure dropped and she fainted then fell.”

Sookie wasn’t buying it. “They don’t have stairs, what could she have fallen on to cause this much damage?”

“She was taking a bath – alone.”

“She’s three with a heart condition!”

“The Rats explained that they don’t help her bathe in case it’s misconstrued as molestation.”

“Tell me that’s not an acceptable answer for this?”

“Their story has already been approved, this was ruled as an accident that has no impact on their standing as fosters. You know who approved it.”

Sookie scowled and answered. “Fucking Sabrina Thomas.” Eric knew she was mad. He could feel it and the fact that Sookie cursed – in front of Johanna – proved it. They had to move forward on the Rats and Sabrina; Mustapha had found more evidence that she was using sick kids in the system to line her pockets. Right now though, Sookie was helping Hoyt get Johanna settled in so he wouldn’t bring it up. He walked over to meet the girl and they spoke briefly but with her pain meds, she was out quickly. Before Hoyt left for the night, Sookie promised him she’d take care of his princess and he in turn promised to really think about her suggestion.

Finally alone Sookie brought up Tara’s problem. “Eric, Tara has a problem with a vampire.”

“What’s happening?”

“Well, she was dating – or so she thought – a vampire for a few weeks. A Franklin Mott.”

“I know him, he’s from Jackson Mississippi.”

“Well, two weeks ago he ‘gave’ Tara to another vampire to pay a debt. He GAVE her to him Eric.”

Eric groaned. “Before the reveal Sookie, this was common. She was not dating Mott, she was HIS pet. He likely claimed her specifically making her essentially his property – according to vampire custom.”

“What about human law?”

“Technically, he can’t do that anymore with our reveal. It’s one of the rules I need to enforce as a Sheriff. He doesn’t live in my area, but Tara does so I can deal with this.” He rubbed his face out of frustration. “Who is her new master?”


“Shh, you’ll wake the kids. That’s what Mott considered himself and this new vampire. Again, vampire custom.”

“Are you my master?”

He sighed and answered her. “If something ever happened and our relationship was suddenly exposed to other vampires, technically yes. That’s not what I want, you know that.”

“This is partly why you want to keep me away from vampires?”

“Yes. There is protocol involved if we are together.”

“Should I learn how to act just in case?”

“I don’t want that.”

“But if something happens, it’s better to be prepared, yes?”

“I suppose, but not tonight.” He kissed her nose. “You are entirely too understanding. Now, back to Tara. Who was she given to?”

“Her new . . . Master,” she spit the word out. “Is Mickey.”


“Shh, you’ll wake the kids.”

He nodded. “Mickey is the worst sort of vampire. He lives in Area 4, his maker is the Sheriff. I’ll need to make some calls. He’s hurt her?”

“He’s beaten her and forced sex.”

“I’ll take care of this. Can you call Tara this late?” She nodded. “Call her and tell her Bobby will be in contact to hide her for a few days. Text me her number so I can get that arranged. When Mickey’s been captured, she can return home.”

“How long?”

“Hopefully only a day or two.” His face changed to a bit sad. “I have to leave now though so I can start handling this.”

“I understand. Do I get a goodnight kiss?”

“But of course.” He pulled her close and provided a very thorough kiss goodnight. “That will have to do since I can’t help you shower tonight. I hope you do OK in there without me.”

She pouted. “I’ll be wonely but it’s for a good cause.”

He chuckled at her pout. “I’ve never liked Mickey; so honestly, I’m going to enjoy this.”

“I don’t want to know. You get and sheriff Sheriff.”

“Yes Ma’am. Love you.”

She smirked. “I love you more.”


Eric was on the phone to Bobby before he was even out the front door of the hospital and had a safe house arranged for Tara by the time he was at his car. Bobby would contact Mustapha to transport Tara. With her safety ensured, he called Mickey’s maker and the Sheriff of Area 4, Salome, “Salome how are things in your area?”

“Never better and you?”

“I have a bit of a vampire and human problem. That’s why I’m calling.”

“I’m happy to give you some advice. Tell me the situation.”

“How kind of you Salome, but I don’t need advice, I need your action.”


“It’s Mickey.” He could hear the female vampire groan on the line. Her child had been nothing but problems. Pam was lazy and selfish, but she wasn’t a danger to humans or their kind. “Yes, I received a report that he’s forced himself on a human in my area. Franklin Mott apparently gave Mickey this human and he’s beaten and raped her. That’s a no-no Salome.”

“I’ll handle it.”

“You’ll handle his capture and delivery to me you mean.”

“You can’t kill him!”

“No, this is not a final death offense, but I will mete out his punishment. I take the protection of humans seriously Salome, I want acknowledgement and punishment of his misdeed to be public.”

“He’s my child.”

“And he committed an offense in my area Salome. You can ALSO punish him, but I’m within my rights to demand him.”

“What will you do to him?”

“Right now, I’m locking him in a coffin until after Christmas; then I will have a public display of his punishment. He will be returned to his coffin for a period of time. I’ll determine how long after I speak with him about his crime.”

She sighed knowing Eric was within his rights. “I will have him delivered.”

“No, I’m sending two of my vampires to collect him. Have him held Salome. They can make the trip out tonight and will return with Mickey at first dark tomorrow. I expect they will be given proper accommodations.”

“He’s not here right now.”

“CALL HIM SALOME. I will have Mickey in my cells tomorrow night or I’m coming for you.”

He was at Fangtasia quickly and called Thalia and Indira into his office. Mickey was about Indira’s age so he wanted Thalia along for muscle. He laughed as he thought of that since Thalia was one of the smallest women he knew and the deadliest at the same time. Within two hours of his arrival at Fangtasia, all his arrangements for Mickey were made, Thalia and Indira were on the road to Salome and Bobby confirmed Tara was secure at the safe house – and that she’d not had Mickey’s blood (Mustapha checked by sniffing per a text Eric sent to him directly). He didn’t want to scare Sookie any further by asking her about the blood, and honestly, Tara could have been glamoured and not even have known if Mickey had done it.

Pam stopped in once out of curiosity but he just explained he had Sheriff work and she left knowing it wasn’t her concern any longer. From his bond with her, he felt something akin to hurt and envy – perhaps she was missing her role as his second. Maybe time would work with Pam – that and continued firmness on his part.

Since Pam was scheduled to work and close Fangtasia, he left for the hospital even knowing Sookie would be asleep. Just resting in the bed with them was bliss that he didn’t want to miss if he could help it. The night staff at the hospital was now well accustomed to Eric’s odd arrival times and they greeting him pleasantly. He spent time in the past few weeks getting to know their names and responded to them personally as he passed each one. You never knew when you might need someone’s assistance, and as he did with his Sheriff/liaison role, he built a nice rapport with this staff.

He adjusted Sookie and Hunter slightly to make room for his large frame and noted that Hunter STILL had glitter stuck to his nose. Grady was right – that stuff really never came off! Sookie mumbled as he moved his arms around her but nothing coherent and he simply went into downtime, comforted by their snores, and fantasized about life with his family after Hunter was healed and they moved from Louisiana. He laughed to himself as the honest to gods white picket fence and a dog entered the daydream of their own accord. He was turning into a sappy family man – and he couldn’t be happier.

VAlady – credit for eric being the guardian angel

Tidbits updated for chapter 18 and 19

Another opportunity to share a picture of my oldest, Emma, who is playing Johanna in this story:


Home-2 Next-2 Back-2



55 thoughts on “Chapter 19 – I Smell a Rat

  1. Pingback: A treat for you | magsmacdonald

  2. Awwww your baby is a cutie patootie!!! I can totally see her as Johanna 🙂

    As for why Johanna is in the hospital why do I have a bad feeling that she was beaten or thrown by the Rats? Eric just needs to drain them, I swear…

    Great chapter!

    • The Rats aren’t that Ratty – she did just fall – but for a 3 year old to be in the bathroom alone – with a heart condition – still abuse if you ask me. They get what’s coming to them.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  3. I hope the problem of the Rats is solved soon. Hoyt and Jessica would be great for Johanna and Hunter needs to be with his “Mommy” permanently. Great chapter 🙂

  4. Wondering if we are going to see Eric in bad ass sheriff mode as he metes out Mickey’s punishment? Hope so! Thanks for the double update today! Hope to see more in my inbox this week 🙂
    Oh and I like the new look of your WordPress page!

    • Bad Ass Viking Sheriff over Mickey – your wish is my command – actually – it’s already written as an outtake – it’s nasty!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  5. Thought the glitter fun was cute! One of my fellow (male) teachers, while we were helping 9th graders decorate their homecoming float, dubbed glitter as “the herpes of the arts and crafts world… There’s no getting rid of it!” That’s all I could think of when I read that part, so I was dying laughing!

    Anyway, great chapters… Hope we see a resolution for somebody soon… Either hunter or Pam…

  6. Thanks for another great chapter. I’m glad Sookie got Eric to help Tara. I strongly dislike the Rats and their cohort. Those poor kids.

  7. I’m glad Eric was able to handle the Mickey problem. I just hope Tara doesn’t end up paying for it later.

    Your little girl is adorable! 🙂

    • Tara will be fine – a little distant – but fine.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing. I’m reading Le Bon Temps Rouler now – that story should be a manual for men that want to date.


  8. I hope the Rats lose everything. I can’t believe their treatment of the child. I’m glad Eric is helping with Tara. I liked the ending with Eric dreaming of the future.

  9. Emma is so cute!. You have mentioned Tangled as being Hunter’s favorite movie. Due to my children being grown now I had never seen it. My daughter had a friend over the other night with a 2 year old. Disney was playing Tangled…It was great!!! I love the frying pan…

  10. First off I cast my vote , so best of luck . Like my last comment I kinda wish Sookie was a get even type those Rat#s need sorting along with their facilitator, fingers crossed Mustapha has them well and truly caught and Portia’s not going to suddenly pop up as their lawyer . Your wee angel is gorgeous .

  11. Sigh…seems like a bath never removes glitter –it just goes somewhere else to hide!
    Your baby is so cute! Lovely girl!
    Yeah…let’s get the rats out of the way, and soon, I hope.
    Tara and Mickey –ugh, at least he won’t do any more damage to her…
    Great chapters!

    • I’ve given glitter to an entire Girl Scout Troop – now that was DUMB!

      Rats – it takes a bit to get that handled- we need the adoptions complete first.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  12. Great two chapters. Your daughter is a cutie! Glitter…..gah! I have always sad that I am a glitter magnet….I cannot leave Hobby Lobby without glitter in my eye(s)…even if I did not even touch anything remotely “glittery”. Yes – MY EYES…try getting that out!! Hey – that would be an awesome punishment for vampires – SILVER glitter! Just imagine the creaks and crevices that could work into……hmm, maybe Eric will get a brilliant, glitterific idea about how to handle Mickey or Pam….

    • Silver glitter – I read that – Ah, A different Life – Sookie put glitter on her body – I think it was silver glitter – as protection.

      Cracks and crevices – LOLLLLLLLLL

      Mickey’s punishment is part of an outtake chapter coming up – next few chapters of other stuff to come first.


  13. Rats are in for a surprise! And I hope Eric can get Hoyt and Jessica help to have Johanna. (Ps Emma is gorgeous!)

    *crossing fingers that they catch Mickey without too much trouble*

    • Mickey – not a problem and we learn more about his punishment in an outtake coming up.

      Rats and others are in for a surprise when this all plays out.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  14. damn the Rats need to disappear, Mustapha needs to end them soon and that Sabrina chick too…. love that Sookie felt comfortable telling Eric but will the captue of Mickry go smoothly, i don’t think so… until the next post. KY

    • Mickey is not a problem – we get more of what happened to him/happens to him in a few chapters from now (it’s an outtake).

      The Rats and the social worker- it takes some time but we get there.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  15. Hmm…we need some Rat poison & maybe the woman from the Foster Care agency can have some as well. No doubt that Mickey will get what’s coming to him, and that you’ll write it better than the original; in fact, you’ve a great head start already! Here’s to hoping that Eric will convince Tara to stop dating insane vampires. Johanna needs loving parents like Hoyt & Jess.
    Your Emma is a beauty! Thanks so much for these two fantastic chapters!

    • Mickey get its – so good it’s an outtake. Coming soon . . .

      Well you see your comments about Hoyt adopting Johanna are true – since you’ve ready the Christmas chapter.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


    • Thanks for that – it takes a few extra minutes and sometimes I wonder if it’s valuable – so now I know. If I help one person prep and choose from a content perspective – then it’s time well spent.

      Glad you found me!

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  16. Your little girl is adorable!!! I can see why she would be the model for Johanna. It is time for Eric to lower the boom on the people who are using these children to make money..they are lower than whale shit..

  17. ‘Johanna’ is adorable and I am so angry (frying pan angry of course) with yet another corruption practice here and with all the rubbish the Rats get away with with this awful Sabrina’s help. How can they exploit all these vulnerable children and get away with it? I hope they are served Northman Justice soon…

    • They won’t get away with it – we just need the adoptions in place . . .

      But there may be a bump in the road for that. And the bump’s name may be stubborn.

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  18. How sweet for Eric to take an extra night off for Hunter! And his white picket fence daydream – awww. Hope he takes care of Mickey without letting him know about Sookie. Love MAW!

  19. Emma is adorable! So happy with the extra chapters, but please, please, please some positve Hunter news from Ludwig…. soon! I am on pins and needles waiting.

    • Hunter’s test stuff takes a few chapters to play out. Hopefully you’ve caught up on the latest posting (while I catch up on responding to reviews – I’m soooo bad).

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.


  20. I’m confused, i thought Theresa was the physical therapist that came to show Sookie how to strengthen Hunter’s muscles? or did he has 2 of them? one for good shepherd and one from the parish?

    • She is the one from the parish. She also, out of the goodness of her heart, comes in to do a craft event for the kids at XMAS. Let me know if you have another question and I’ll try to answer. It’s been a while since I’ve read this story, so I might have to review before answering.

Will write for comments, please help . . .

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