Niall had told me that my biological grandfather Fintan, too, was dead and gone. It had crossed my mind to go through my grandmother's things in search of. DeadandGone Chapter 1 “Caucasian vampires should never wear white,” the television announcer intoned. “We've been secr. Dead and Gone A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse True Blood). Read more Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series #9).
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Its easily mounted to the back of a monitor VESA too. Why bother? I had to deal with the consequences here and now. The trace of fairy blood I carried made me more attractive to supes, at least to some vampires. Not all of them could detect the little trace of fairy in my genes, but they tended to at least be interested in me, though occasionally that had negative results. Or maybe this fairy-blood thing was bull, and vampires were interested in any fairly attractive young woman who would treat them with respect and tolerance.
As to the relationship between the telepathy and the fairy blood, who knew? Maybe little Hunter and I had both developed the condition through a coincidence—yeah, right. Maybe the trait was genetic but separate from the fairy genes. Thankfully, the lunch crowd was light. At least I was able to make a few phone calls while Terry Bellefleur who made ends meet with several parttime jobs covered the bar.
While Terry kept the beers coming and kept an eye on Jane Bodehouse, one of our alcoholics, I started phoning to find a replacement barmaid. Amelia had told me she would help a little but only at night, because she now had a temporary day job covering the maternity leave of a clerk at the insurance agency.
First I phoned Charlsie Tooten.
Charlsie, though sympathetic, told me she had the full care of her grandson while her daughter worked, so she was too tired to come in. Danielle, the other full-time server, had said the same.
Tanya had been dating him for a while. I liked the man myself, but when I thought of that cluster of little houses at the ancient crossroads, I shuddered. This is Sookie Stackhouse. She freaked about the were thing and walked out. I was wondering if you could take over a couple of her shifts, just for a while.
He got called away on a family emergency. It was hard to read anything from her voice. You got a T-shirt I can file: Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on. Sam called while Terry and I were closing the bar. I was so tired. My head was heavy, and my feet were aching. His voice was rough with exhaustion. My stepfather is under arrest. As it turns out. I wondered how it was going in Montana, Indiana, Florida?
I wondered if any of the famous actors in Hollywood had admitted to being werewolves. What if Ryan Seacrest was fuzzy every full moon? Which I thought was more than likely.
That would make a huge difference in public acceptance. My brother went by. He said Don started crying. It was bad. She had a hard time arranging child care. Talk to you tomorrow, okay? He sounded so worn-out and sad it was hard not to cry.
It had been the right thing to do. Sam always ordered the supplies and kept up with the inventory, naturally. Somewhat nervously, I signed for Sam. I accepted both. Sarah Jen had her talking shoes on. I got to finish the route. Octavia said Eric tried to call you at home twice.
Lucky you. Bobby Burnham was an asshole. Maybe Eric had gotten him on sale? He told me to talk to you today, without fail. Being polite. That was almost enough to make me smile. But Eric worried me plenty. I had to talk to him, and I might as well get it over with. He wants you there at seven. Victor will be there then. It had been a bloody takeover, and Eric was the only sheriff of the old regime still standing. Staying in the good graces of the new regime was important to Eric, obviously.
But I was thumbs-up with Felipe de Castro by a happy accident, and I wanted to keep it that way. I tried not to think about how much it would please me to lay eyes on Eric. Yeah, seven is just about doable.
Keep it up, asshole, I thought. Black velvet. Just holding it gave me a bad feeling. Everyone was pitching in to help, and that was pleasing. This cook, Antoine Lebrun, was real nice. Antoine was in his fifties, his curly hair showing a strand or two of gray. Two nights before, many people had discovered that someone they knew personally was a were of some kind.
Hopefully, if the were had never shown signs of insanity or violence, these people would be willing to accept that shape-changing was an unthreatening addition to their knowledge of the world. It was even exciting.
Tanya was twenty minutes early, which raised her up in my estimation, and I gave her a genuine smile. If something goes wrong, they have a meeting and discuss it. They were concerned about Mel making it in the big world of Bon Temps, I guessed. Hotshot was its own little universe. I started to listen to the news as I drove, but I was tired of grim reality. The tensions of the day began to drain away, replaced by an optimistic mood. Sam would come back, his mother having recovered, and her husband having made amends and having file: The world would oooh and aaah about werewolves and other shifters for a while, then all would be normal again.
I knew I was going to see him, and I was simply happy about it. I should have been worried, I should have been apprehensive about what he wanted, I should have asked a million questions about the velvet-wrapped bundle, but I just drove with a smile on my face. It was a busy night at Fangtasia, and there was a crowd waiting on benches inside the first set of doors. Pam was at the hostess podium. She smiled at me broadly, showing a little fang.
The crowd was delighted. Her fingernails were polished scarlet. I was surprised but pleased and gladly hugged her back. It appeared to be an expression that compounded exasperation and affection. Now go. That was why the humans came to vampire bars, and vampire comedy clubs, and vampire dry cleaners, and vampire casinos.
Every now and then, flirtation became the real thing. I made my way between the tables and across the dance floor to the rear of the bar. Felicia, the bartender, looked unhappy when she saw me. She found something to do that involved crouching down out of my sight.
I had an unfortunate history with the bartenders of Fangtasia. There were a few vampires seated throughout the bar area, strewn among the gawking tourists, the costumed vampire wannabes, and the humans who had business dealings with the vamps.
Over in the little souvenir shop, one of the New Orleans vampire refugees from Katrina was selling a Fangtasia Tshirt to a pair of giggling girls. Tiny Thalia, paler than bleached cotton and with a profile from an ancient coin, was sitting by herself at a small table. A drunken serviceman from Barksdale Air Force Base file: I heard his voice inside, telling me to come in. I stepped inside and shut the door behind me.
His long blond hair was braided tonight, and he was wearing his favorite jeans-and-a-tee combo. The T-shirt tonight was bright green, making him look whiter than ever. The blood bond was responsible. I had to fight the feeling. For sure. Victor Madden, representative of the new king, Felipe de Castro, stood and inclined his curly dark head.
Victor, short and compact, was always polite and always well-dressed. This evening he was especially resplendent in an olive suit and brown striped tie. I smiled at him and was just about to tell him I was glad to see him again when I noticed that Eric was eyeing me expectantly.
Oh, right. I shucked off my coat and extracted the velvet bundle from my purse. This was making as much of the moment as I could, short of getting on my knees and crawling over to him, which I would do when hell froze over.
I laid the bundle in front of him, inclined my own head in what I hoped was a ceremonious manner, and sat down in the other guest chair. Maybe he was actually that happy, or maybe his mama had taught him a few centuries ago that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
With a certain sense of theater, Eric untied the golden cord and silently unfolded the velvet. Now Eric lifted the shining blade to his lips and kissed it. After Victor recognized the knife, there was no trace of a smile remaining on his face.
He and Eric regarded each other steadily. We acknowledge your formal attachment to this one. When you saved our king from death. I wished I had a moment to think, far away from this room where two vampires were staring at me. How could you boss the weres? And when did you put that rule into effect? I wanted Victor to explain the last part of his little speech, too, that bit about the formal attachment, but I decided to tackle one question at a time.
His face was calm; his voice was uninflected. I heard it from his own lips. Why should he return? He was trying to be serene so that some of that serenity would run through our bond and drown my agitation. How could you do this without talking to me about it? How could you think I would let you commit me to something without talking about it first? I sent at least one of my people around to every public file: I went to watch Alcide himself shift at the Shamrock Casino.
They were quelled quite easily. One woman even offered herself to Alcide in his wolf form. Eric rose and vaulted over the desk in a movement that was as startling as it was impressive. Suddenly he was right in front of me, and his arms went around me, and he held me to him. It took everything I had to keep my back stiff, to keep from relaxing against him.
No matter how furious I got with Eric, I was happier when I was with him. All the time.
I wondered if it was the same for him. We have a lot to talk about. I knew how Eric had gotten the knife. And thanks to my own dazed affection. I would think of Eric and feel the warm rush of joy, and then think of Eric and want to punch him in the face.
[PDF Download] Dead And Gone (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood Book 9) [Download] Full Ebook
But that night, men were on my mind, and not in a happy way. Sam called the next morning while I was still at home to tell me his mother was better and was definitely going to recover.
His brother and sister were now dealing with the family revelations in a much calmer way. Don, of course, was still in jail. Though I was moving and thinking, I felt as rumpled and wrinkled as my bedsheets.
I wished someone could yank me smooth and orderly, the way I yanked the sheets. The pattern was broken by a knocking at the front door. I looked through the peephole to see a man and a woman, both dressed in proper business suits. I reached out to them mentally and found no hostility or anger, only curiosity.
I opened the door. I smiled brilliantly.
The cold air gusted around my bare feet. The woman, who was probably in her early forties, smiled back. Her brown hair had a little gray in it file: Her pantsuit was charcoal with a black sweater underneath, and her shoes were black. She held out her hand to shake, and when I touched her, I knew more. It was hard to keep the shock off my face. My grandmother would have given me a sharp look for my ungraciousness, but then, Gran had never been questioned by the FBI.
This was not exactly a social call. The sick feeling that had started up in my stomach intensified. I had a moment of wanting Eric there so badly it made me a little dizzy, and then I looked out the window at the sunshine and felt only anger at my own longing. This is what you get, I told myself. The smile popped onto my face, the smile that said I was really strained. Please, have a seat. The FBI is here!
And here came Octavia in her favorite green pants and striped long-sleeved shirt, looking as dignified and sweet as an elderly white-haired black woman can look. Ruby Dee has nothing on Octavia. She swept a hand to indicate the spotless living room. It would never be featured in Southern Living, but it was clean, by golly. Weiss had two teenagers and a husband and three dogs.
I felt a lot of sympathy—and maybe some envy—for Agent Weiss. I rose from the chair opposite the couch to put napkins in front of them, and Octavia placed the glasses on the napkins. Lattesta took a large swallow. I smiled at them brightly, my hands folded in my lap, my feet parallel, and my knees clamped together. Lattesta had brought in a briefcase, and now he put it on the coffee table and opened it.
He extracted a picture and handed it to me. It had been taken in the middle of the afternoon in the city of Rhodes a few months before. The picture was clear enough, though the air around the people in it was blighted with the clouds of dust that had billowed up from the collapsed Pyramid of Gizeh. In the picture, Barry the Bellboy and I were standing together in the rubble of the Pyramid, the vampire hotel that a splinter Fellowship group had blown up the previous October.
I was somewhat more recognizable than my companion, because Barry was standing in profile. We were both covered in dirt and blood, ash and dust.
Looking at the picture made me feel sick because it forced me to remember that day all too clearly. The so-called Queen of Louisiana. I shrugged. I wondered how much about the vamp hierarchy the FBI actually knew. That was a very tricky question.
I took a deep breath. So many people hurt so bad. Weiss looked down at her tea glass to hide her expression. He said you actually steered the rescue crews to the living. I see the heat of the brain; I can count the living people in a building, if I have time. Vampire brains leave a hole, a negative spot; I can usually count those, too. That day when Barry and I had held hands, the joining had magnified our abilities. We could find the living, and we could hear the last thoughts of the dying.
Amelia came forward with her hand extended. They did. Leave my roommate alone. Weiss nodded pleasantly. She left it at that. Afterward, we felt really close. Hanky-panky had been the furthest thing from our minds. The two agents stared at me doubtfully. Weiss was thinking I was lying for sure, and Lattesta suspected it.
He thought I knew Barry very well. The phone rang, and Amelia hurried to the kitchen to answer it. She came back looking green. And then she turned to the FBI agents. Lattesta was stuffing the picture back into his briefcase. There were five or six cars parked across the spot where the front parking lot ended and the back parking began, effectively blocking access to the back.
But I leaped out of my car and picked a path between them, and the FBI agents were right on my heels. I had hardly been able to believe it, but it was true. There was a traditional cross erected in the employee parking lot, back by the trees where the gravel gave way to dirt. A body was nailed to it. My eyes scanned it, took in the distorted body, the streaks of dried blood, came back up to the face.
Andy Bellefleur was there, and Sheriff Dearborn. They walked over to me, looking bigger and bulkier in their waterproof quilted coats. Their faces were hard with suppressed shock. I took a deep breath and managed to look again. The lower part of her legs had changed, too. The effect was even more shocking and grotesque than the crucifixion of a regular human woman and, if possible, more pitiful.
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Thoughts raced through my head with no logical sequence. I thought of who needed to know that Crystal had died. Calvin, not only head of her clan but also her uncle. Why was Crystal left here, of all places? Who could have done this? I tried to blame that on the cold, but I knew it was shock. There was a bloody mess trailing down the wood of the cross to the ground at its base.
I gagged, got myself under control. Rage was in the back of his eyes. But he would never do anything to his baby. Lattesta walked over to us, Agent Weiss following close behind. She looked a little white around the mouth, but her voice was steady. I nodded. His face was locked down tight, and his thoughts were orderly. He was composing a mental list of phone calls he should make, and he was trying to figure out if there was any way he could take charge of the case.
If the murder had been a hate crime, he had a file: He had his hands on his belt, and he was looking at Weiss and Lattesta as if they were pre-need burial plot salesmen. But we called your house right after. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and pressed his speed-dial number.
He could already tell something was wrong. Did the bar burn down? Out back by your trailer. And it was no use pretending I had everything under control. Sorry for Crystal, too. Stackhouse, are these men other bar employees? She come in the bar some. But you need to call her uncle, Calvin Norris.
He works at Norcross. Besides the husband? Close enough. Lattesta and Weiss huddled with Bud Dearborn. They were deep in conversation, probably about Calvin and the tiny community out at the bleak crossroads. Hotshot was a group of small houses containing lots of secrets. Crystal had wanted to escape from Hotshot, but she also felt most secure there.
Crystal was dressed, but her clothes had ripped when her arms and legs had changed to panther limbs, and there was blood everywhere. Her hands and feet, impaled with nails, were crusted with it. Ropes did the work of holding her to the crossbar, kept the flesh from ripping free of the nails. Andy had a cold. He sneezed and excused himself to use a handkerchief.
I looked at his weary, broad face. I trusted Andy. Square-built Andy, some years my senior, had never been a smiley kind of guy. He was serious and suspicious. She cheated on him. That was the way she was. This time it registered. Andy glanced over at Alcee Beck and back to me. He would never do that to his baby. Why would he even go to the trouble? They came along out of professional curiosity, I guess. Lattesta, the guy, thinks this might be a hate crime.
I was in charge of the bar, and the crime scene was on bar property, so I was determined to stay. All police officers who are nones sential to the crime scene, step into the front parking lot! So I went back to lean against my car. I pulled my coat collar up around my ears and reached into the car to get my black gloves. I tugged them on and waited.
Time passed. I watched various police officers come and go. I saw her once at Dairy Queen. He looked five years older. The Bayou was a bar in Clarice, only a few miles away.
I said as much. She was partially changed when she was killed. All I could do was fetch a Kleenex from the box in my car and shove it in his hand. Had he even cried when Gran had died? Quicker than my eye could track, he stood in front of me, while Tanya Grissom scrambled out the other side. Normally a peculiar yellowish color, those eyes were now almost golden, and the irises were so large that there was almost no visible white.
Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
His pupils had elongated. He was not even wearing a light jacket. It made me cold to look at him in more ways than one.
I held up my hands. He still looked solid and dependable and tough. At least Jason was smart enough to stay on the far side of my car.
Bud Dearborn moved over to the other side of the tape when he saw us. Suddenly they were on the ground. There was a lot of shouting and tumult, and then Calvin was being held back by Bud, Andy, and Alcee, with Lattesta and Weiss trying to assist from their undignified positions. Bud was not a young man, and it was clear that holding Calvin back was taking every bit of strength he possessed.
I would have expected him to crack Calvin in the head with his baton or a flashlight. Instead, he seemed as sympathetic as a strained and taxed man could be. Special Agent Lattesta noticed them, and he drew in a harsh breath, making an incoherent warning noise. You got to stay away from her. After a long moment, Calvin nodded. Some of the tension went out of his shoulders.
Everyone who was holding on to him eased up on their grip. You got my word. The law enforcement crowd let go. Calvin let me put my arm around him. Together, we turned to make for the front parking lot. Tanya was waiting for him, tension in every line file: I had to respect his feelings, so I shut my mouth. Tanya took his hands, claws and all.
I might as well not have been there. It would be so great if Calvin could identify the culprit. Thank God the werecreatures had come out. Her voice was quiet, intent. She put her arms around Calvin, and though he was not a tall man, she only reached his upper sternum.
She looked up at him. I can only try to match them all. Jason was standing a yard away, waiting for Calvin to notice him. His back was stiff, his face frozen.
Slowly Calvin held out a hand to Jason. Though it was a human hand again, it was obviously battered. The skin was freshly scarred and one of the fingers was slightly bent. I had done that. Jason bent and licked the back of the hand, emphasizing how subservient he was.
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He did it awkwardly, because he was still new to the ritual. I held my breath. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares.
Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Dead and Gone [PDF] 1. Dead and Gone [PDF] 2. Book details 3.Paul Nugent returns as McGowan, offering a chillingly taunting interpretation.
I had a moment of wanting Eric there so badly it made me a little dizzy, and then I looked out the window at the sunshine and felt only anger at my own longing. And with the sixth child, Aude died, too. Don, of course, was still in jail. Niall had told me that my biological grandfather Fintan, too, was dead and gone.
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