Chapter Twenty-Two: First Day in the Sun
“Fuck, Pam,” I pant, and then clench my teeth around her shoulder while I cum for the fifth time that day. “I can’t go no more!” I collapse next to her on the roof of our building, pressing my sweaty palms into my eyes. I’m startin’ to get a migraine, and I don’t think I can take any more!
“It is only three in the afternoon,” she protests mischievously, rakin’ her nails across my abs as if they could possibly wake up my cock from the coma she’s put it in.
“Yeah, well, I’m still human,” I point out tiredly. “Ya gotta give a man a break!”
Pam stretches out next to me on the afghan we dragged up to the roof with us. She’s been wantin’ to do everythin’ and anythin’ she possibly can outside while the sun’s up, not that I blame her. I know the novelty will wear off eventually, but I get the feelin’ it will be a long-ass time till it does. It’ll probably be even longer for Eric or Godric to get used to it since they’ve been vampires for such a long time.
“C’mon, let’s do somethin’ other than fuck,” I urge her. “We could take the chess pieces or checkers to the park and play a few rounds,” I suggest.
“I destroyed you in both of those games,” Pam teases.
“I don’t care. I beat Sooks all the time. It’s okay to lose,” I shrug.
Pam considers my proposal another moment before rising to her feet and walkin’, naked, toward the building’s roof access door. I swear she has not an ounce of shame in her as she walks inside.
I guess it don’t matter, though. No one lives in the second apartment anyway. We practically have the whole place to ourselves.
“So, you know where Sooks and Eric are gonna live? The condo or the farmhouse?” I ask Pam once we return to the apartment and start gettin’ dressed.
“Probably the farmhouse during the remainder of the summer, then the condo once the school year starts. Maybe the farmhouse on the weekends and vacations,” Pam replies thoughtfully. “I know Sookie prefers the farmhouse for reasons other than it being your ancestral home. The city is a difficult place for her to live with her gift. Her range is quite large, and all of the minds living and moving in proximity make it difficult for her to sleep or concentrate on her studies.”
“Huh, I never thought about that,” I frown sadly. It’s still frustrating to realize all the hardships she’s had to put up with because of her telepathy. The fact she’s always hid it so well only confirms what a good sport she is.
We gather our stuff and I drive to a nearby park. It’s got chessboards, so all we needed to bring was our own pieces to play. Pam flattens me, and we gain a couple old spectators, one who challenges my friend and gets destroyed even quicker than me.
“So, what do you think you’re gonna do with all this new, free time?” I ask her while we pack up, and then just stroll around the park, enjoyin’ the nice day.
Pam frowns contemplatively again, starin’ straight ahead while she considers my question. “I will probably expand my languages further… Eric speaks so many languages and I would like to do so, too. Hmm, maybe I will learn to play an instrument.”
“Does Eric play anything?” I ask.
“He can carve a flute and play it,” Pam laughs. “He can play many old, handmade instruments, but he has never been musically inclined, although that may change with the spare time he’ll have. Being Bonded will prevent him from becoming bored any time soon.”
I grimace when I hear that. I don’t wanna think about Sookie fillin’ spare time.
Pam and I spin around to find Godric standin’ a few feet away. We both let out long, relieved sighs once we realize who’s recognized her.
“Hello, Godric,” Pam shakes her head in astonishment. “Have you just arrived?”
“Very early this morning,” Godric answers. “Before sunrise.”
“Really?” Pam raises her eyebrows. “You’ve just been wandering the city this whole time?”
“Yes,” he nods, and with a grin so elated, I don’t think I’ve ever seen what elation was, it covers his entire face. “People are so energized during the day. It has been a marvel to experience.”
“Yeah, y’all are probably used to seein’ drunks and druggies all the time,” I laugh at the realization.
Godric smirks, but nods that I’m not too far off my assessment. “Are you enjoying your first day out after so long, Pamela?”
“I do not believe I’ve been indoors for more than a few minutes all day,” she responds. “Stackhouse has spent the day humoring me. We have gone for walks, played several board games on the roof of their apartment, fucked in almost every location where we could get away with it, and we just finished a few rounds of chess.” She points vaguely at the boards set up near one of the walkin’ paths. I could’ve lived without her divulging the fuckin’ part, but…whatever. They’re vamps, so it really don’t mean much to them. They’ve all done more than their fair share of bonin’.
“I have been spending the day contemplating just how long our future family member will be remaining mortal,” Godric tells us, and I can’t help but swallow hard. Already thinkin’ about endin’ my life. “I believe turning you shortly before the Revelation would be optimal. It will be much harder to conceal our Bloodline’s abilities afterward because you may become known as vampire otherwise, so that would not bode well with your desire to remain a teacher,” he explains in a low voice I have trouble hearing, even standin’ as closely to him as I am.
“Will I be able to teach after first becomin’ a vamp?” I ask curiously, tryin’ to keep my tone just as soft.
“You will be fine. We will turn you during the summer vacation and, with the right training, I am certain you will be under perfect control. I am also quite certain Eric may pull some strings to have you and Sookie working in the same school. I know he would prefer if someone were with his Bonded during her working hours,” Godric tells me.
“So, when’s the Revelation?” I ask.
“Three years,” Pam answers.
“Huh, twenty-five… That’s cool. Twenty-five’s an okay age, I guess. Might’ve been nice to be a little older,” I confess. “Then again, Eric was younger than that when he was turned, and he looks a lot older than twenty-four.”
“The times took their toll on the body more harshly during Eric’s human years. As did mine,” Godric smirks.
“That makes sense, I guess, plus, y’all didn’t have all these hygiene products we do today,” I realize. “Although, I understand that Vikings really had a thing for cleanliness.”
“Yes,” Godric laughs. “They really did!”
The three of us chat for a good while. I convince them to catch a movie with me, but Pam’s antsy the whole time, wantin’ to get back out in the sun. My skin needs a good break. I think my face got burnt from bein’ out all day. I practically pass out durin’ the movie. The theater’s all dark and cool, and it feels awesome on my scorched skin. While we’re leavin’, Pam takes one look at me and starts laughin’.
“What?” I frown.
“Your face is as red as a lobster!” she cackles.
“Yeah, well, that’s what happens when ya keep a guy out in the sun all day,” I grumble back, feelin’ my burnin’ cheeks while I dig my phone outta my pocket to turn it on. I wiggle it free, turning it on while we make it on to the sidewalk. I notice a missed call from my sister. “Hold on. Sookie called,” I tell the other two and I hit her number in my contacts to call her back.
“Hey, Jason,” Sookie sounds breathless.
I make a face. “Why’d ya answer the phone if you’re screwin’ ’round!?” I snarl.
“I’m not. Eric and I are on a walk!” she protests. “You try keepin’ pace with a six-and-a-half-foot vampire and not be outta breath!”
“Sorry, sorry! Why’d ya call?”
“Eric wants to go traveling for a month, so when we get back, it won’t make the fact I’m movin’ out such a weird transition for us. He thought that we and his entire Bloodline should go somewhere and just have a blast! He’s already called his boss and told her that he’s Bonded and wants to go on leave. It’s approved and he has the next twelve weeks off!”
“That is so cool. So, where we goin’?” I ask.
“Wherever you and I want! He said we gotta pick one place though, ’cause he, Godric, and Pam are gonna make sure we see everything!”
“Well, it’s kinda your honeymoon, so why are you givin’ me a choice? I never been anywhere. I’ll be stoked no matter where we go!” I point out.
“I was thinkin’ the U.K., tons of different cultures and experiences crammed all together! Tons of history for you, books for me… Still, I hear the food’s not so good, but we could stay in a place with a kitchen where I could cook us stuff a little reminiscent of home.”
I smile at her thoughtfulness. The U.K. sounds more than cool with me. “Sounds great, Sis. I’ll let Godric and Pam know the plan.”
“Godric’s with you?” Sookie asks in surprise.
“Yup. He’s been hangin’ with me and Pam for a couple hours now, got in first thing this mornin’.”
“Wow! Huh? Okay, Darlin’…Eric says he’s welcome to stay at his condo if he’d like ’cause he’s still workin’ on getting the property he wants for Godric’s permanent residence. Eric and I won’t be usin’ the condo at all till school starts,” she tells me. Godric’s noddin’ that he’s heard the message loud and clear.
“Well, I need to get us some paperwork, so we can get us some passports then. You get back to enjoyin’ married life. Talk to ya later,” I quickly hang up before she starts yackin’ again. She doesn’t need to be tryin’ to placate me so much. I’m a big boy, and it’s time I learn to live without my sister. After a trip to the U.K. that is, I think amusedly.
“Shall we go get your D-11’s?” Pam asks curiously.
“Yeah, I guess,” I mumble.
“I can’t believe you don’t have a passport,” Pam rolls her eyes after we start trekkin’ down the street.
I give her an odd look, “You saw how we were livin’ before. You think we could afford to go anywhere further than Monroe?”
She nods her head, understanding my explanation, “I suppose that is true.”
The three of us walk toward the sunset, talkin’ and laughin’ as though we were three, normal, human friends just like anyone else.
It is strange to see Godric so full of fun and lighthearted, enjoyable, yes, but strange, nonetheless. He is smiling more than I have ever seen, joking with Jason, pointing out children on bicycles, and commenting on how beautiful a woman’s hair looks when it banners through the air of a passing convertible. I cannot wait to watch him and Eric together, and I know I will have my chance once we set them loose in England. It will be so exciting, taking Jason and Sookie to pubs, pumping them full of historical events, and reminiscing on my human years.
Still, there remains a dark cloud for me in London, though I have many fond memories, too, escaping my arranged marriage and my overbearing father by becoming a Lady of the Evening are only some of them. Prostitution has never been a glamorous profession, but I managed to make it so. Many men called me their Muse back then. I had the good fortune to have been born to a rather prestigious family, raised as a lady, and knew the ins and outs of high society gatherings. I was very much like the high-end escorts of today’s era.
I lived in a lush apartment, enjoyed sex, and was rather inventive in the arts of love-making, even before becoming a vampire. I seduced the rich and well-kept, earning my salons and fashions until I fell into the trap of women.
Whoever could have blamed me for longing toward the fairer sex? The way they moved and murmured in soft, beautiful voices, the way they fanned themselves when given a compliment or blushed prettily at the mildest of gestures. They were women whom I never could be, and I loved it.
I was more of a man for them than any of their husbands or suitors. Most had never even considered the existence of an orgasm until I laid them down in their beds myself. Awareness of female sexuality was probably inspired by the likes of me in gloomy, old London. I was turned into a martyr of the sexual awakenings for women during those times. Casanova inspired the women of the Renaissance, but it was me who introduced enlightenment for the women of my era and great city.
“Man,” Jason murmurs once we arrive at the apartment after having obtained the applications for his and Sookie’s passports, “I’m wiped. I’m gonna pass out for a bit.” He yawns and stretches his way down the hall toward his bedroom. He leaves the door open, and I hear him collapse onto his bed.
“It will be pleasant having you around, Master Godric,” I say softly to my Maker’s creator.
“It will be pleasant to be around,” he chuckles in reply. “I cannot remember the last time I felt this much excitement about anything.”
“I wish I could comprehend the appreciation you and Eric seem to have regarding our new immunities,” I tell him while we sit around the kitchen table. “You two seem far less…”
“Urgent to be in the sun as you?” Godric finishes.
“Yes,” I confess. “The two of you have been cloaked in the darkness for so much longer than me, yet you seem far less preoccupied with the need to be out in the sun. I find it confusing.”
Godric smiles patiently, then tells me, “Believe me when I say those two hours in the movie theater were most trying. I want nothing more than to laze about in the sun all day as well. Still, I believe this lack of desperation is more about contentment. Eric, obviously, has something far more important to him than sunlight. Of course, he is more than enthusiastic about being in the sunlight, but Sookie remains his primary focus. As for me… Well, I am in awe of our beautiful gift. I suppose it is keeping more in my nature to approach things slowly and to absorb everything around me. You, on the other hand, are still so young, Pamela. Just as a small child would, you wish to do everything now, and to ignore the finer details. Perhaps it may be that Eric and I have become relegated by the darkness. We are not quite certain what to make of it yet.”
I smile at his remark. “Do you fear you may lose it? Could that be why you are so hesitant to leap in head first?”
Godric shakes his head, “Not at all. I cannot foresee any of us risking the loss of this perfection. Although…”
“You will find your Mate, Godric,” I assure him gently. I know he is very lonely, and I also suspect he is very envious that his Child has found such a magnificent Mate before him.
“Perhaps a being created out of the darkness as I was cannot actually love,” Godric murmurs. “Maybe I was incapable of love, even before my turning.”
“No one loves more than you, Godric,” I remind him.
“Now, that, we know is not true. You could cut the love between Eric and Sookie with a knife.”
“What is the saying? ‘When you stop looking for love, it will find you’?” I offer.
Godric grunts with a dark laugh, “Have you been reading those ‘Dear Abby’ articles again? Eric told me about your mild obsession with them since meeting Sookie.”
“I just like having things to tell her. She is very delicate in some ways,” I try to explain. Before Godric can reply, there is a buzz from the intercom, and I rise to answer it, “Stackhouse residence.”
“May I speak to Jason Stackhouse, please?”
“He is asleep,” I respond professionally.
“This is Detective Carrick of the Monroe Police Department. I would greatly appreciate if you would wake him,” the officer replies.
My eyebrows rise at the visitor’s identity. I know neither of the Stackhouses have been anywhere near Monroe from the time we first met them. “I will wake him. Come on in,” I tell the officer, then disengage the intercom. Godric waits at the door to let in the police officer while I go to wake and retrieve Jason.
Slowly, I enter Jason’s room, and I must nudge him several times before he jerks awake.
“Wha? How long I sleepin’?” he mumbles, hugging his pillow to his head.
“Not long. You have a visitor,” I explain.
“Is it Sook?” he grumbles into the mattress.
“Tell ’em t’come back later,” He buries his head under his pillow.
“It is an officer from the Monroe police department,” I explain.
Jason peeks from beneath his pillow and gives me a quizzical look. “Monroe? I ain’t been there in nearly three years…”
He climbs out of bed and follows me down the hallway. I smile once he is under the lights and I can see the bright red of his burnt cheeks and nose.
Walking toward the kitchen, Jason yawns, and holds out his free hand to shake the detective’s, “I’m Jason Stackhouse. What can I do for ya?”
“Mr. Stackhouse, I am Detective Carrick with the Monroe Police Department. I am sorry to tell you that your Aunt, Linda Delahoussaye, and her daughter, Hadley, were found dead in their home late last night.”
My eyes widen at the name Hadley. I know this is the cousin Jason told me about several weeks ago.
Jason’s shoulders sag for a moment before he asks in a rough voice, “Wha-what happened?”
“Preliminary reports appear to be an overdose and suicide,” the detective responds sympathetically. “Do you know if your cousin had a drug problem?”
“Uh, yeah… Ya mind if I sit down a minute?” He points desperately to the kitchen table and chairs. “Um, Pam, can you… Shit… Um, will you call Sook? No, don’t do that… Shit! Call Eric? Get him to bring her back in Shreveport? Just try not to let her find out why? Fuck!”
“Mr. Stackhouse, why don’t you sit down?” Carrick encourages. “I should have suggested that before making the notification.”
“Nah,” Jason allows himself to be pushed into a kitchen chair, “better ya didn’t. I woulda thought my sister was hurt if ya did.” He looks at me and Godric before saying, “Can you give us a minute? Find a way to get Sook back home?”
“Of course,” Godric ushers me out the door.
“Sorry ’bout that… My sister got engaged last night and she’s been out celebratin’ with her fiancé,” I explain my disorientation regarding my sister.
“I’m sorry to bring such bad news for ya,” Carrick grimaces. “Are you sure you want to answer my questions right now?”
“Y-yeah. I’m sorry. Just distracted. Go on… Oh, Hadley and drugs,” I remember after a moment. “Yeah, she had a drug problem. It’s one of the reasons I ain’t been in Monroe the last three years to visit.”
“Because you did not want to be around drugs?” Carrick asks.
“Well, that, and our parents died when me and my sister were real young. We lived with our grandmother who passed away three years ago. I took custody of my sister, and I just didn’t wanna risk potentially bein’ near any drugs with Social Services watchin’ us like hawks,” I explain quickly. “Hadley’s had a substance abuse problem since she was thirteen, though.”
Carrick nods, taking notes. “Do you recall your aunt having troubles with depression?”
“I don’t know,” I shrug weakly. “It’s hard to say. I mean… Ya gotta understand, our family’s had a real rough time. Our Gran’s brother raped Hadley when she was barely in the second grade. Linda’s husband left her that same year. Her brother, my dad, died a few years after that. Then Hadley started usin’ drugs when she was thirteen. Then Linda’s mom, our gran, died suddenly just a few years after that. If Linda wasn’t depressed at the start, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was by now… Did she find Hadley dead and kill herself? Is that what you think happened?” I ask. I wish Sooks was here. She’d know exactly what the cop thought.
“That is our interpretation of the situation,” Carrick nods. “We just wanted some confirmation. Suicides are always initially treated as homicides… Do you know if your aunt carried a gun?”
“Um, an old Winchester. Only gun she had, but I don’t know if she kept it in very good condition at all. Ain’t seen her hunt since I was four,” I explain.
Carrick nods and jots that down, too.
“So, um, what do we do about a funeral?” I ask quietly. “I take it ya can’t find her ex-husband, so that’s why you’re comin’ to me as next of kin?”
“You may contact a funeral home to coordinate with the Monroe Medical Examiner’s office,” Carrick offers. “The bodies will be released once the Coroner determines there was no foul play involved. With hope, that probably won’t take too long.”
“You won’t need me to identify the bodies, right?” I ask squeamishly. Oh yeah, future vampire in the makin’ right here!
“No, that’s already been handled,” Carrick assures me. I just nod blankly and rise when the Detective does. “I will contact you should there be any more questions,” He shakes my hand firmly while I barely manage to keep up the good manners of walkin’ him to the door.
“Thanks for lettin’ me know ’bout my aunt and cousin,” I mumble while I open the door.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Carrick pats my back briskly, then leaves without another word.
I sigh and lean against the doorframe ’til Pam and Godric return. Once I see them comin’ toward the door, I slink back into the apartment, and flop onto the couch.
“I called Eric,” Godric announces after he and Pam come through the door. Pam sits next to me on the couch, awkwardly pattin’ my chest in comfort. She still doesn’t do the comforting thing all that good, but I don’t got the heart to push her hand away. “He asked if you wished to be the one to break the news to your sister, or if you would rather he did it?”
I frown. It really is my place to tell Sookie, but I don’t wanna tell her over the phone. That means Eric would have to drive her all the way over here just for me to give her the shitty news. Then she’ll be all upset and won’t want to leave me ’cause she’ll think I need her to stay.
Sighing, I get up off the couch, walk over to the phone, and call Eric. He answers on the first ring.
“Stackhouse,” Eric’s voice greets.
“Yeah,” I mumble, “you can just go ahead and tell her. If ya bring her here, she’ll feel obligated to stay, and I don’t want that. So, just break the news, and tell her I said to stay in Bon Temps.”
“You are certain?”
“Yeah… Sorry to lay this on you,” I whisper.
“It is no more inconvenient than the news itself,” he responds. “I will let her know what has happened.”
With that, we both hang up. I feel like such a dick, lettin’ Eric give my sister such bad news when they should still be celebratin’, but at least he can get her to stay in Bon Temps after he tells her. If she returned to Shreveport, he’d never get her back home any time soon.
Lookin’ across the room, all I can think is that I’m the weak link. I’m the last livin’ relative Sookie’s got, and I could still be taken from her. Maybe it’s selfish, tryin’ to stay human for as long as I can. Maybe I should let Godric turn me after I graduate… I just don’t wanna cause her any more pain.
“Jason,” Godric snaps me outta my thoughts, “I will not allow anything to happen to you before you are prepared to be turned. Relax. There is no hurry.”
“I still wanna be turned before the Great Revelation,” I whisper.
“All right, then we shall aim for that,” Godric nods.
I lean back into the couch, and Pam’s hand is there again, rubbin’ at my sternum. I hate that I’m so keyed up that Pam is takin’ on this consoling act.
It’s so not her thing…