“You’re part fairy,” Braelyn said to Jason. In that moment, she no longer seemed shy.
“Um—yeah,” Jason nodded. “I guess if Sookie is, then I am too. But I can’t do nothin’ special.”
“Can’t you?” Braelyn asked, even as she let go of Andy and approached a confused-looking Jason. As if in a trance of some kind, the young woman placed her hand over his heart.
When Andy moved to intercede, Adilyn stopped him.
“It’s okay, Daddy,” I heard her whisper. “She’s just doin’ what Danny and I already did.”
“Huh?” Andy asked.
“She’s picking her mate,” Danika said, a little louder.
“Oh—hell no! Not Stackhouse!” Andy said gruffly. Danika and Adilyn both held him back, even as they tried to sooth him.
I felt sorry for the man. But—then again—on the other hand, I’d seen Jason prove his metal. I figured, he was a decent catch—all things considered. However—from what Sookie had told me—I decided to send him to Dr. Ludwig to get checked out right away! Who knows what the boy might have been carrying, giving his promiscuity in the past.
Meanwhile, as I was contemplating and Andy was lamenting, Jason and Braelyn seemed trapped in their own little world as the young woman’s hand glowed over his heart. The light began as a white color, but soon became almost blue.
“Uh oh,” Claude said as he entered the room.
“What’s goin’ on?” Holly asked, her voice awestruck. Clearly, she was in tune with the magic filling the room.
“It seems our Braelyn has an unexpected gift,” Claude whispered. “She is awakening what is dormant in Jason.”
“A doormat?” Jason whispered, though he was still focused on Braelyn.
“Can she awaken his intellect?” Danika muttered snidely.
I smirked. I found that I very much liked that pushy young woman.
In the next moment, however, Danika was rubbing her head. “Sorry, Brae,” she said.
I looked at her with curiosity.
“Brae and I can pack quite a wallop with our telepathy now,” Adilyn shared as Danika continued to rub her temples.
“It’s like a bitch slap to the head,” Danika complained.
“Language!” Andy chastised, even as his eyes stayed locked on his shyest daughter and Jason.
“Sorry, Daddy,” Danika said, though she winked at me conspiratorially.
The levity of the moment was soon gone, however, as Braelyn took Jason’s hand and turned it palm up.
“Your light is almost like mine now,” she smiled at him, as she showed him an orb of white light emanating from her palm.
“I can’t do that,” Jason said, transfixed by her light—and her.
“But you are doing it,” Braelyn smiled, and—indeed—Stackhouse had produced a small orb of white light above his palm.
Well—there went the fucking neighborhood!
“Fuck! I got light comin’ out of me!” Jason exclaimed.
“Language,” Braelyn chastised her new “mate” gently as she brought her hand to rest over Jason’s.
The twin white orbs seemed to dance together for a moment before they disappeared.
“Wow!” Stackhouse said as he lifted his eyes up to meet with hers. Even from where I was standing across the room, I could tell that he was trapped in her gaze.
“Daddy’s decided that Danny can’t date her Northman boy for a year,” she said. “Of course, he doesn’t know that Addy wants the other one.”
“What? Adilyn?” Andy asked.
“Huh?” I found myself uttering incoherently. Both my boys had been claimed?
Braelyn kept on talking. “Daddy’s even more protective of me, so I bet it’ll take you two years to convince him to let you take me out. But I really hope you’ll try.”
“I will!” Jason said, grinning like a fool.
“Oh, hell no!” Andy exclaimed, finally forcing his way past Adilyn and Danika. I had a feeling the girls could have held him there if they’d wanted.
Andy pulled Braelyn’s hand from Jason. “Now, honey. You are way too young to talk about dating!”
Braelyn looked up at her father with a smile on her face. “I know it’s gonna take you some time to get used to us bein’ grown up, Daddy, and we’re patient.”
“Yep!” Danika agreed. “We’ve already talked about it.”
“Huh?” Andy asked.
“We won’t even ask if we can date our Northmans until a year from now,” Adilyn supplied. “And now that Brae’s found her mate too, you should probably let her date when Danny and I do.”
“Wait! Uh—date? Uh—mate?” Andy asked. “No one’s gonna be matin’ any time soon!” He looked at me. “Right?”
I lifted my eyebrow at him. I’d “mated” earlier that night, so I wasn’t one to talk.
“And you!” Andy looked at Jason accusingly. “Stop,” he paused, looking for words, “lightin’ up with my daughter!”
“Hey,” Jason said, looking affronted. “I didn’t mean to!”
“You aren’t gonna mate with Braelyn!” Andy shouted.
“Of course not!” Jason said defensively.
“What?” Braelyn asked, looking angrily at Jason. “Why not?”
Speaking of lighting up, there were white orbs on each of her palms—orbs ready to fire into Jason, I figured.
“Uh—that’s not what I meant,” Jason said, trying to backpedal. “Uh—it’s just that I need to date you proper first, and I won’t do that without your daddy’s permission.”
Braelyn smiled beautifully and her little white balls of energy—and potential pain—disappeared back into her palms.
“Oh. Okay,” she blushed.
Jason smiled dopily. But I couldn’t judge; I’d seen that look in the mirror before—when I was thinking about my new wife.
Andy looked back and forth between Braelyn and Jason. And then he looked at Danika and then Adilyn. And then he looked at Holly. And then he looked at me.
And then he looked a little sick.
Probably because none of us could offer a solution for “Jason.”
“He’s hyperventilating!” an observant Holly pointed out.
“Just a sec!” Jason said, running into the kitchen. He was back in a moment with a brown paper bag. He rushed over to his friend, whom Holly had led to sit on the couch. “Just breathe in this,” he instructed.
Andy did as instructed. Within a couple of minutes, he was breathing normally again.
He looked straight at me.
“Pray you never have daughters,” he growled.
“Oh, Daddy!” Danika said fondly, as all three of his daughters crowded around him on the couch and hugged him.
I didn’t stress Andy out further by telling him that it seemed clear that I already had daughters-in-law. I just wondered if my sons would agree to their claiming.
If not, there would be fireworks.
In that moment, Sookie came up from the cubby, looking larger with my boys than ever—and more fuckable than ever. I groaned. She was dressed in a nightgown that I was glad she’d found time to stow in the cubby at some point.
“What’d I miss?” she asked sleepily.
“I got light!” Jason exclaimed, holding out his palm.
Of course, nothing happened.
“Jason?” Sookie asked. “Did you hit your head on something—again?”
“No!” he defended.
Braelyn giggled and got up from the couch to go over to Jason.
“I have to light it for you until it gets stronger,” she explained to him. In the next moment, Jason did—indeed—have a palm full of light.
“Our little Braelyn was able to strengthen the Fae in him,” Claude informed Sookie. “In essence, she activated a latent spark in him. It’s not very strong, but it’s there.”
“Really?” Jason asked, looking a little proud.
“Like Claude said, there’s not much goin’ on in him,” Danika informed.
“Huh?” Andy asked.
“Danny’s reading Jason’s gifts,” Adilyn said.
“No telepathy. Just that little light,” Danika giggled somewhat judgmentally.
“It’s plenty!” Braelyn insisted, glaring at her sisters.
“Sure it is,” Adilyn soothed. Danika rubbed her brow as if one of her sisters had “bitch slapped” her again.
“It’s late. Y’all girls need to go to bed,” he said before looking at Claude. “You sure they’re done with their growin’?”
The fairy nodded.
The girls looked ready to argue, but thought better of it and went upstairs with Holly in tow.
Sookie let out a huge yawn. “I’m goin’ too,” she said before coming over to kiss me on the cheek. “Our room or the cubby?” she asked.
“Our room,” I said firmly, trying to convince my wife and Andy that I was confident that we’d be safe the next day.
Sookie smiled up at me. “You’ll come soon?”
I nodded. “Sun-up is in two hours. After I’ve gotten things as secure as I can, I’ll come to you.”
I bent down to kiss her gently on the lips.
“Um—I’m gonna stay in my old room if that’s cool,” Jason said.
“Sure thing,” Sookie smiled at him before proceeding to our room.
Jason and Andy shared an awkward look and then an even more awkward hug before Jason scampered upstairs. Sensing that Andy wanted to speak with me, Claude made an excuse about wanting to check on the girls.
“I want to have a funeral for Charlaine,” Andy said as soon as we were alone.
I nodded. “I understand.”
“But I need to know it’s safe,” he added. “I can’t lose another one.”
“Give me one more night. I’ll make sure it’ll be safe,” I promised.
He nodded. “This house? It’s safe?” he asked.
“The cubby,” I said. “Even if this house comes down, it would be a safe place.” I sighed. “All I can say is that I couldn’t get into it. It is the best I can offer.”
Andy sighed. “Okay. Claude says he and his sisters are gonna train the girls—starting tomorrow. And I’ll do anything I can to help you kill Warlow.”
“We’ll get him,” I vowed.
Andy nodded and then went upstairs to join his girls—or to keep Jason away from Braelyn. Whatever came first.
I figured that the Bellefleurs would all be okay in Sookie’s old room. Earlier, I’d overheard from Holly that Brady had taken some cots into the room; plus, the room was quite large and had an ensuite bathroom.
Finding myself alone, I took out my phone and dialed Ian.
“I need you again,” I greeted.
“I have a headache. You should ask your wife, darling,” Ian said drolly.
I laughed. “I don’t need you that way, asshole. Something’s happened.”
“Your needing me is becoming a habit,” he chuckled.
We both stopped laughing when I explained the situation to him.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can be,” he said—after he promised not to bring Jessica. She was just too young to be trusted close to the fairy girls.
After hanging up with him, I called Pam, with whom I’d exchanged a couple of texts throughout the night.
She told me that Tara, Willa, and she were already in Shreveport and would soon be at a safe house. And she promised to stay away from Bon Temps. I asked her to prepare for the reopening of Fangtasia and to keep a close watch on the news surrounding Governor Burrell. I figured she’d want to do those things anyway, however.
“How is everyone there?” she asked.
“Deliveries for the nursery for the boys were to begin tomorrow,” she informed. “Should I stop that from happening?”
“Delay them for a day—will you?” I asked her, but then I rethought that. As Sookie had slept a few nights before, I’d read an online book which had detailed a woman’s desire to “nest” in the home. “Wait.”
“Yes?” she asked.
“In my time, there were cradles—simple things that could be placed by the bed of the parents or by the hearth when it was cold outside. Are such things made large enough for twins?”
“Yes,” she said, sounding as if she had a smile in her voice. “I’ve ordered one already.”
I nodded. “Can that be delivered—along with the linens for it? And maybe a few pieces of clothing and diaper supplies. I think Sookie would feel better if they were here. Oh—and a rocking chair. I should like one of those, I think,” I said as I visualized myself rocking my children.
“What are you worried about?” came a voice from the stairs.
It was Adilyn.
“Hold on, Pamela,” I told my child.
I heard my child grunt as I focused on Adilyn.
“A lot of things,” I said to the young woman.
Adilyn nodded in agreement. “But—just now. You seem to be questioning something that’s not quite so serious. You seemed happy and then cautious and then happy again.”
“You can read my feelings?” I asked.
She nodded. “Claude said that I’m empathic now, as well as the other stuff I have goin’ on. I was pretty intuitive as a kid, but it’s been stronger since I woke up.”
I shook my head. I was having a difficult time reconciling the fact that the young woman before me had been a child just two nights before.
“And you can read the feelings of vampires?” I asked.
She nodded. “Your feelings tend to be steady—determined. The feelings of the vampire outside seem almost,” she paused, “overwhelming.”
“How so? Are you frightened of Thalia?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No—it’s her devotion that’s overwhelming. She doesn’t even know us, but I am sure she will protect us. I told Daddy that too when he worried that there was another vampire here.”
“Can you hear my thoughts?” I asked her, knowing that—if she could—she might be in more danger than anyone could protect her from.
A/N: Hello all! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I hope you are enjoying this odd gathering of people as much as Eric and I am. LOL.
Many thanks to Sephrenia and Kleannhouse! As always!