First of all, sorry it’s been a loooooooooooong time since I updated this story! I hope you’re still interested in reading it and hope you enjoy this chapter!
Disclaimer: characters are the property of Charlaine Harris. I own nothing. Used for entertainment purposes only.
Rated: M (some language)
I woke up later than usual, got ready for the day, and headed into the kitchen to grab myself a cup of coffee. I had a pen and notebook in my hands, so I could start writing down the things that needed to be done for my wedding. There were so many ideas…I needed to keep track of them, by keeping them neat and organized.
Bella greeted me as I sat down. She was busy carrying a laundry basket full of clothes she had just taken out of the dryer.
“Good morning, Sookie,” she said with a bright smile on her face. “You look very happy,” she commented, as she started to fold the clothes and placed them on the table.
“I am, Bella,” I told her excitedly. “Eric and I…we’re getting married!” I burst out exuberantly.
Instead of answering, she dropped the shirt that she had been holding, came around the table and hugged me, with a squeal of glee.
“Really? Oh my, that’s wonderful news, Sookie. Really wonderful,” she gushed. There were tears in her eyes.
I knew they were happy tears. I knew that she was extremely happy for Eric and me. I hugged her back.
“He proposed to me during our court proceeding. Can you believe it? You should have been there. I was completely stunned. It took me a few minutes to give him my answer,” I went on to explain how it had all gone down.
“Master Eric has always been full of surprises,” she agreed, amused.
“And guess what? We won weekly visitations with Hunter beginning next week! Things are definitely looking up for us.”
“That is very good news,” Bella replied. “I know how much the Master wanted you to be happy. I’m glad you are getting everything you rightly deserve.”
I hugged myself, trying to contain the happiness I felt. “If I had known back then, what I know now…I would never have been so afraid,” I told her. “I couldn’t ask for a better man than Eric.”
“Sing it, sister,” she agreed. “Hallelujah.” Bella laughed, pretending she was in church, raising her hands up in the air, rejoicing.
I had to laugh at her actions.
She returned to her household chores, while I sat at the table and got started on my wedding plans.
I pictured how I wanted my wedding to look like in my mind. I had to buy bridal magazines to help give me some ideas. I would visit Tara’s shop for my wedding dress, because I knew she would give me a good discount. I needed to find a caterer. A photographer. A florist. Someone to officiate. What else would I need? Most of all, what would Eric want?
The wedding plans already gave me a headache. I would definitely need some help with some of the planning, I decided.
I knew who was full of great ideas too. I grinned at the thought.
I walked to my purse, dug out my cell phone and dialled Amelia’s number. It rang a number of times. I was almost ready to hang up, when she answered.
“Hello?” she asked, curiously.
“Hi Amelia,” I greeted her.
“Oh, how nice of you to call me after all this time,” she replied, sarcastically.
Amelia sounded bitter over the phone and I knew why. Neither of us had spoken to each other since Eric carted me away from my house like a heathen caveman.
“I’m sorry I haven’t called you,” I apologized. “It’s just – Eric is Eric- he didn’t give me a chance to leave a note behind to let you know I was leaving.”
“It’s okay, I was only busting your balls,” she giggled in response. “Pam told me everything. How are you? How is Eric treating you?”
“I’m great, in fact, better than great. I’m so happy I could die!” I exclaimed. “Eric proposed to me and we’re getting married!”
“Sookie, I’m very happy for you. Truly,” she replied. “How did he propose? Was it romantic and everything you have ever hoped it would be?”
“Better than that. He took me completely by surprise, and proposed during a court proceeding!”
I began telling her everything that had happened since I left Bon Temps, including the news about Hunter. After I was all finished and she had given me her congratulations, we started planning for my wedding day.
“I really need your help, Amelia. I was wondering…would you be my maid of honor?” I asked, hopefully, suddenly fearful that she may not want to be involved.
“Of course!” She replied, excitedly. “The answer is rather obvious, don’t you think? I have plenty of ideas. I already have your bachelorette party all planned out in my mind. What would you like me to do exactly?”
“I’m coming home back to Bon Temps later today, but I have to run some errands first. I’ll pick you up at my house, and we can start going over everything. Is that okay?”
We made arrangements and tentative arrangements for our planning session. After our conversation ended, I hung up the phone. I called out to Bella and told her I was leaving. I left through the garage door.
There was one, very important thing I had to do and I knew Eric would object vehemently to it, if he found out about it. He wouldn’t like this at all. I could only do it while he was in his daytime sleep.
I could hear a little voice in the back of my head, telling me what Eric would think about my brilliant idea. Eric would be telling me it was a very stupid idea, but I stubbornly refused to listen to my inner voice.
I had to see for myself. I had to help both Eric and Hunter. My gut was telling me – the problems the two special men in my life faced – were somehow related.
I drove to Red Ditch and on to Dwayne and Sally’s house. I had to take back roads, but I eventually found it with ease. It was the only house for miles around.
God forbid, if Hunter ever needed emergency medical attention, I thought to myself. There was no way anybody would be able to reach him in time.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, or why I had to do this…but my gut was telling me – I needed to be there.
I pulled to a stop on the shoulder of the road, and parked at the end of the driveway leading up to the property. I could see a small run-down house, in need of a paint job. The eaves looked in dire need of a cleaning, and the porch looked like it was sagging in on one side.
Hunter’s living conditions broke my heart. While I felt sympathetic for them falling on hard times. This was no home for a child like Hunter.
There was an older model pickup truck parked next to the house. It looked dirty and had a dent in the drivers’ side. The grass was tall and needed mowing, and it looked like a very depressing place.
I listened in with my mind to see if I could pick up any brainwaves or if anybody was home. There wasn’t.
I was about to open up my car door and step out, when I heard a vehicle coming up behind me on the road. I quickly put my car in gear and stepped on the gas. I needed to find a place to hide my vehicle from view. I noticed a turnoff up ahead and pulled into a secluded clearing. I would have to hike through the forest to get to the Savoy’s house.
I was wearing the wrong kind of shoes for this, I thought to myself, after I twisted my ankle for the umpteenth time,while I manoeuvred my way through the woods. Stifling a groan, I limped towards the farmyard, which wasn’t as far away as I thought. I peered around trees and tried to keep hidden, as I spied Hunter, Sally and Dwayne entering the house, and closing the door behind them.
Luckily, the farmhouse was the closest building to me. I walked to the window, but it was too high up for me to look inside. I needed something to climb up on, I looked around and noticed a wooden crate sitting next to the house. I tried to drag it over, but it was heavier than I had thought. I needed to find something else that I could move, without making any noise.
I looked around some more and noticed another crate off to the side, this one was empty. I carried it over to the window, climbed up on top of it and looked inside.
The window was very dirty and it was hard to see. I could barely make out the figures in the living room. I could see Hunter playing with a toy car on the floor, Dwayne was sitting in front of the TV, in a worn-out Lazyboy chair. He had a beer in one hand and a remote control in the other – the typical male version of multi-tasking.
Sally was out of sight, but I could read her thoughts. She was thinking of what she was going to make for dinner, so I assumed she was keeping herself busy in the kitchen.
I shifted my attention back on Hunter and Dwayne. Dwayne’s thoughts centered around the ballgame on TV. Hunter’s were on his toy.
Suddenly, Hunter looked up as if he sensed me there. I put my finger up to my lips and thought at him.
“Please don’t let on that I’m here. Keep playing with your toy,“ I told him.
Hunter looked unsure, but nodded his head in a discrete manner.
Suddenly, the wooden crate I was standing on, splintered and cracked. Next thing I knew, I was laying on the ground, with my feet tangled up in the crate.
Shoot! I screamed in my mind.
I could hear Dwayne suddenly call out, “What was that? Did ya hear a noise? It’s came from outside, I’m goin’ to check it out.”
I could hear his footsteps, as he climbed out of his chair and headed for the front door. I had to think fast. I scrambled to my feet and ducked around the corner of the house. I was breathing rapidly, as I heard Dwayne arrive at the spot I had been a few seconds before.
“What the fuck?” I could hear Dwayne saying. “Must have been a wild animal or something,” he grumbled to himself. “Who’s out here?” He called out.
I tried not to make a sound. I could hear him moving nearer, I had to get away from him somehow. I noticed a Quonset type of building not too far away. Hopefully, I could make it before Dwayne rounded the corner.
I sprinted as fast I could and tried the knob on the door. It was open. I stepped inside, just a few seconds before Dwayne came around the corner. He must have noticed the door closing behind me, because I could hear him yell, “Shit!”
I tried to look around for a place to hide, but it was too dark. I kept bumping into immoveable objects, as I made my way through the huge room. Finally, I found something big enough to hide behind. I ducked down and watched as Dwayne entered the Quonset, closing the door behind him, I saw the sliver of light shining inside as he entered, only to grow dark again.
It was enough. I had been able to spot a closed door not too far away from me. I slowly came out of my hiding place, and crept towards it as quietly as I could. I could hear Dwayne steadily getting closer and closer.
I tested the knob and it was open too. Don’t people lock doors anymore? Anyone could get in. Mind you, who would be stupid enough to come all the way out here, like me?
If I walked through the doorway, it would definitely draw Dwayne’s attention. I needed to distract him somehow. I bit my lip as I thought about it. I noticed something near me, which I could throw. I picked it up and it was a tool of some sort. I felt the metal in my hand and threw it in the opposite direction from where I came from.
“What the hell?” Dwayne called out. I could hear his footsteps moving away from me and in the direction I had thrown the tool.
I opened the door and crept in, wincing as I heard the door creak. The hinges need to be oiled, I thought to myself.
The good news was, there were a few windows in this room, so I was able to see clearly. The bad news…I stood there motionlessly as I took it all in.
It was surreal to me. There were tubes, IV’s, syringes, bottles and everything else you could possibly need to extract, portion and distribute V. At least, that’s what I guessed all this equipment was used for. There was even a chair with silver chains strapped to it, where I assumed a vampire had once sat while either he or she had freely given their blood, or it had been taken from them by force.
I was horrified. Dwayne was behind this? I had had my suspicions…but to see the physical proof was unsettling for me. I heard Dwayne on the other side of the door and it shook me out of my stunned state. I began to take pictures of all of the paraphernalia in the room as quickly as I possibly could, with my cell phone.
The doorknob rattled, as Dwayne tried to turn it. I looked around for some place to hide or escape.
“Uncle Dwayne?” I heard Hunter call out, on the other side of the door. “Aunt Sally said to tell you supper is ready.”
“Fine, I’ll be there in a minute, boy,” he replied. “I just want to check on something first.”
“Okay,” I heard Hunter reply.
“Hunter, insist that he must come now. I’m in the next room,“ I explained to him in my mind.
“Aunt Sookie?“ Hunter replied, in the same way. “What are you doing here?”
“Nevermind, what I’m doing here. Just distract Dwayne, so I can get out of here.”
“Okay,” he replied. “But Uncle Dwayne, Aunt Sally said that the food will be cold, if we don’t get there now,” he insisted. “And we can’t eat until you get there.” Hunter added, as an after-thought.
“Good boy,“ I approved, in my mind. “Thanks Hunter.“
“Okay, fine. Wouldn’t want that bitch to cut me off. Her crawfish gumbo is the best this side of the Mississippi.” He complained.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I heard both Hunter and Dwayne leave me alone in the Quonset. After I was sure the coast was clear, I headed outside too and went back through the woods to my car.
Sitting in my car, I looked at the pictures I had taken.
It appeared I had solved one of the mysteries we had surrounding us. I needed to get home and make sure to save these pictures on Eric’s computer, before I headed back to Bon Temps.
To be continued…