Sookie 09 Dead and Gone

Sookie 09 Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Book: Sookie 09 Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlaine Harris
Tags: sf_horror
    “I know that if I hadn’t done it, you’d be sitting in a little room in Nevada right now, listening to Felipe de Castro while he does business with humans.”
    I hate it when my suspicions are correct. “But I saved him,” I said, trying not to whine. “I saved his life, and he promised I had his friendship. Which means his protection, I thought.”
    “He wants to protect you right by his side now that he knows what you can do. He wants the leverage having you would give him over me.”
    “Some gratitude. I should have let Sigebert kill him.” I closed my eyes. “Dammit, I just can’t come out ahead.”
    “He can’t have you now,” Eric said. “We are wed.”
    “But, Eric . . .” I thought of so many objections to this arrangement I couldn’t even begin to voice them. I had promised myself I wouldn’t start arguing about this tonight, but the issue was like the eight-hundred-pound gorilla. It simply couldn’t be ignored. “What if I meet someone else? What if you . . . Hey, what are the ground rules of being officially married? Just tell me.”
    “You’re too upset and tired tonight for a rational conversation,” Eric said.
    He shook his hair back over his shoulders, and a woman at the next table said,

    “Understand that he can’t touch you now, that no one can unless they petition me first. This is under penalty of final death. And this is where my ruthlessness will be of service to both of us.”
    I took a deep breath. “Okay. You’re right. But this isn’t the end of the subject. I want to know everything about our new situation, and I want to know I can get out of this if I can’t stand it.”
    His eyes looked as blue as a clear autumn sky, and as guileless. “You will know everything when you want to know,” he said.
    “Hey, does the new king know about my great-grandfather?”
    Eric’s face settled into lines of stone. “I can’t predict Felipe’s reaction if he finds out, my lover. Bill and I are the only ones who have that knowledge now. It has to stay that way.”
    He reached over to take my hand again. I could feel each muscle, each bone, through the cool flesh. It was like holding hands with a statue, a very beautiful statue. Again, I felt oddly peaceful for a few minutes.
    “I have to go, Eric,” I said, sorry but not sorry to be leaving. He leaned over to me and kissed me lightly on the lips. When I pushed back my chair, he rose to walk me to the door. I felt the wannabes hammer me with looks of envy all the way out of Fangtasia. Pam was at her station, and she looked at us with a chilly smile.
    Lest we part on too lovey-dovey a note, I said, “Eric, when I’m back to being myself, I’m going to nail your ass for putting me in this position of being pledged to you.”
    “Darling, you can nail my ass anytime,” he said charmingly, and turned to go back to his table.
    Pam rolled her eyes. “You two,” she said.
    “Hey, this isn’t any of
doing,” I said, which wasn’t entirely true. But it was a good exit line, and I took advantage of it to leave the bar.

Chapter 7
    The next morning, Andy Bellefleur called to give me the green
light to reopen.
    By the time the crime scene tape was down, Sam had returned to Bon Temps. I was so glad to see my boss that my eyes got weepy. Managing Merlotte’s was a lot harder than I’d ever realized. There were decisions to make every day and a huge crowd of people who needed to be kept happy: the customers, the workers, the distributors, the deliverymen. Sam’s tax guy had called with questions I couldn’t answer. The utility bill was due in three days, and I didn’t have check-writing privileges. There was a lot of money that needed to be deposited into the bank. It was almost payroll time.
    Though I felt like blurting out all these problems the minute Sam walked in the back door of the bar, I drew in a calming breath and asked about his mother.
    After giving me a half hug, Sam had thrown

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