Jesus interrupted Sookie’s thoughts by bringing her brunch, which consisted of an omelet, toast, and iced tea. “I thought you might be hungry,” he said.
Sookie gestured for him to sit in the folding lawn chair next to her as she took an appreciative sip of tea.
“Thanks so much! Y’all have been spoiling me somethin’ fierce!”
Jesus smiled. “I also wanted to tell you that I’ve found out some more stuff about dreams that might interest you. Nothing about the kind that you’re having now―I’m afraid―but something about the dreams caused by vampire blood, which the book I just read from calls ‘blood dreams’.”
“Blood dreams?” Sookie asked popping a bite in her mouth and making a contented murmur as the egg, cheese, mushrooms, and green onion flavor mixed together.
Jesus laughed, “Glad you like it.”
Sookie nodded vigorously, taking another bite and making another “mmm” sound.
“What did you find out?” she asked after finishing her bite.
“So far, I’ve read a bit about dreams in general. And then I found a really detailed passage about dreams induced by vampire blood in particular that I didn’t see when Marnie and I did our initial research. Some of what it said matches what I have already told you, but there’s some new stuff too.”
She gestured for him to continue as she took another bite. She wanted to know everything that she could before meeting with Bill that night.
Jesus spoke, his voice sounding almost professorial, “A lot of ancient cultures thought that dreams were messages from the gods or predictors of the future. Others thought that they taught people lessons about life. Nowadays, they are seen as a way to connect with our subconscious thoughts. Whatever the culture, though, there seems to be one commonality―dreams are viewed as extremely important ways to work through problems whether it be by getting direct help from a god or another person, by learning some kind of a lesson, by working through various scenarios until the best one stands out, or by just offering a release valve for the pressures in our lives. Whatever the case, when people have been prevented from entering R.E.M. sleep, which is the stage of sleep during which most people dream, they become distraught and anxiety-filled. In fact, preventing people from sleeping long enough to reach a dream-state was considered the first form of psychological torture.”
Sookie listened intently to Jesus as she finished her toast and took a sip of tea. “What about the vampire dreams.”
“Well, as we already knew, blood dreams will be especially vivid. And they are often very sexual in nature. However, there seem to be two varieties of blood dreams. One type contains a clear element of violence and danger, despite the fact that they will most likely be extremely sexual as well.”
Sookie coughed and turned a bit red.
Jesus continued quickly. “The other type of blood dream may be sexual, but it is often not. In this type, there is no real violence, nor is there that element of danger. This second type is much less common.”
“What makes for the differences?”
“Do you remember the other day when I told you that there are different kinds of ties―the common ones that are about the vampire taking some control over the human and the much less common ones where the tie is made more for the human’s sake?”
“Well, it seems that the differences in the nature of the dreams are brought on by the vampire’s motives in making a blood tie more than anything else.”
At this, Sookie stopped eating and sat up straight, her attention totally on Jesus. “So the dreams can help me to understand exactly what Bill and Eric want from me!”
“I thought this part would interest you most,” he chuckled a bit.
“Yes,” encouraged Sookie, gesturing with her fork for Jesus to keep talking.
“Well, the usual type of blood dream is caused by vampires who are motivated by their own interests. The mixture of lust and/or fear in the dream works not only to enthrall the human but also to keep them securely under the hold of the vampire. The ultimate goal here is for the vampire to gain power over of the human.”
“And the second type―the less common type of blood dream?”
“Well, there have been fewer occurrences of this; it’s probably a one-in-a-thousand type of thing, but in the second type, the motive of the vampire giving the blood is not selfish, but somehow selfless. In these cases, the vampire may want to protect the human or may even love the human. Since a vampire’s personality and spirit―his or her entire being―is wrapped up in the blood, it seems that the blood somehow carries the vampire’s essence into the human; this essence will include his or her intentions.”
Jesus paused and then turned more serious, “Sookie, because of the unselfish nature of the second kind of tie, a vampire making one has a very limited influence over the human. The vampire may be able to influence dreams that reflect his or her motives―to love or to protect. But there is also some indication that the vampire who creates this kind of tie cannot even control when the human dreams. Thus, these dreams seem to originate mostly from the human and are tinged with only the essence―or the spirit―of the vampire.”
Jesus took a deep breath and continued, “And, Sookie, a vampire who creates a bond with a human cannot control the human’s dreams at all; because the balance of power becomes equal between them, the appearance of a vampire in his or her bonded’s dream seems to be totally by the choice of the human.
Jesus waited for a few moments as he saw Sookie thinking over what he had just said.
When she gestured for him to go on. Jesus summed everything up. “Vampire magic makes a tie when a human takes vampire blood only if it is directly from a vampire and only if the tie is intended by the vampire; as I said the other day, this is why V users don’t have ties to a bunch of random vampires. But once the tie is made, it seems to be able to take on a life of its own in the human, at least in relationship with the dreams. And this relationship is directly determined by the vampire’s motives in giving the blood in the first place.”
Sookie sighed, knowing that she was going to become a dream analyst during the next few hours. She looked at her watch; it was almost noon. She would have to leave at about 3:00 to go to the grocery store and to prepare for her 8:00 dinner with Bill that evening. That gave her three hours. And she knew that she could really use Jesus as a sounding board right about then, but she also knew how good Alcide’s ears were.
Sookie gestured for Jesus to come closer so she could whisper to him. “I have a favor to ask. Do you know of a spell or something that would let us talk to each other without anyone being able to hear us?”
Picking up on Sookie’s meaning, Jesus looked toward the front of the house. He spoke in a low voice, “I did look at the spells for warding places just a bit, and one of them included a part that would make the people within the ward virtually unseen and unheard by those outside of it.”
“Could you do that for us back here?” Sookie asked tentatively. “I really want someone objective to talk over all my dreams with, but I also want to keep them private,” she whispered.
“Sure,” Jesus said. “It’ll be good practice. The spell I’m thinking of looked really easy, in fact―just a circle and a little chanting. It doesn’t last too long, only until the people leave the circle, but it should work for us here.”
Jesus went inside to get the spell book he needed, and Sookie took the opportunity to take her empty dishes inside, grab another glass of iced tea, and go to the bathroom.
By the time she got back outside with two glasses of iced tea, Jesus had drawn a circle with a substance that looked like salt around their two chairs and had brought over a little table where he’d laid the book. Sookie added the tea to the table and sat back down.
“What now?” she whispered.
“Now I just say these words, and we should be sealed in.”
Sookie watched as Jesus softly chanted. She felt what could only be described as an electric current pass through her.
“Did it work?” she asked as he finished.
“I think so,” he said.
“Only one way to find out,” said Sookie. “Alcide,” she yelled at the top of her voice. “Help!”
The two waited and nothing happened.
“Looks like it worked just fine,” Sookie said.
Jesus grinned proudly, “Yeah, looks like.”
Then she laughed, “I never thought I’d become the boy who cried wolf.”
Catching the joke, Jesus chuckled. Then he got a twinkle in his eyes. “Now lay down on the couch, Miss Stackhouse, and tell Doctor Velasquez about your dreams,” he said taking on the air of a psychologist. “Start with the very first one you had.”
Sookie laughed again, took a deep breath, and launched in.