The day she went away
I made myself a promise
That I’d soon forget we ever met,
Well, but something sure is wrong,
‘Cause I’m so blue and lonely.
I forgot to remember to forget.
“I Forgot to Remember to Forget”—Elvis Presley
Debbie Pelt felt her body tingling—a sure sign that she wanted to shift.
Or that she needed a fix.
Of course, she’d shifted the night before—at the full moon.
But her night of running and then partaking in a larger-than-normal dosage of her current drug of choice hadn’t fully alleviated the aggression inside of her body—aggression that was now focused upon the woman Alcide had brought to Club Dead the night before!
As if he’d wanted to steal Debbie’s thunder!
Her engagement to Charles Clausen should have been the major news of the night! Not Alcide’s new whore!
“Likely, the whole thing was the woman’s fault!” the werefox said to herself as she parked near the elevator which would take her to Alcide’s apartment.
“Yes, it was her fault,” Debbie seethed.
“And his,” she added to herself.
After all, Alcide had run off with his tail between his legs to Shreveport after their last break-up, which had been caused by Alcide’s rejection of his obligation to add to the ranks of the two-natured.
Apparently, Alcide had been content to be with Debbie—enough to marry her even. But he’d not wanted to be the father to her children, and that fact had cored the werefox.
Debbie sighed. She could recognize that Alcide’s “rejection” had caused such an intense reaction in her because of her background, but that didn’t excuse him from shirking his own duties to his pack.
Debbie had been abandoned by her biological parents, but had been lucky enough to be adopted by a caring Were couple, Gordon and Barbara Pelt, who didn’t care that she was a werefox. Unable to produce his own children due to a childhood accident, Gordon had always lamented not being about to fulfill his duty to his pack.
That was why he and his wife had been ready and willing—enthusiastic even—to take in any two-natured orphans in their area. Debbie and her sister Sandra had benefitted from their generosity.
For all intents and purposes, Debbie and Sandra belonged to the Pelts, and the couple had tried to make sure that their daughters felt attached to their pack too.
Thus, when Debbie’s beloved had summarily decided for the both of them that he didn’t “like” their nature enough to want to perpetuate it, she’d been flabbergasted! She’d asked if he would prefer adopting, perhaps having been inspired by her own parents.
But he’d said “no.”
He’d said that he didn’t want to raise a two-natured child. He’d assumed she would feel the same or capitulate to his desires.
Debbie shook her head as she got out of her car. She inhaled deeply, picking up a recent scent from Alcide’s new paramour.
The werefox growled.
“You shouldn’t even care about that bitch—or Alcide,” Debbie told herself as she traced the scent to a late-model Lincoln.
But she did care.
She just didn’t want to.
“Vampire?” she asked herself as she sniffed around the trunk of the vehicle.
She frowned in confusion.
“Why would Alcide’s girlfriend have a vampire in her trunk?” She moved closer to the Lincoln and could smell vampire blood. “What has your little human gotten you into, Alcide?” Debbie added with a judgmental shake of her head.
The truth was that—despite everything—she would always care about Alcide. He was her first love, after all. She couldn’t help but to wonder what their lives might have been like if they could have just come to a compromise about children.
“And I tried,” she muttered.
As a matter of fact, she’d been willing not to have children of their own—a huge compromise for Debbie—if only they could adopt any abandoned two-natured children that came onto their radar. Alcide had refused to even consider that.
So Debbie had issued an ultimatum.
And, when Alcide hadn’t budged, she’d left him.
And then gotten back together with him.
And then left him.
And then gotten back together with him.
And then left him again.
Rinse and repeat.
Debbie frowned. She couldn’t even remember all the times she’d broken up with Alcide, but she knew that—along the way—she’d been labeled as “indecisive” by their friends.
“Flighty” had been the next label.
And then “a little unhinged.”
But the truth was that she’d loved Alcide more than almost anything. Except for the idea of motherhood.
Perhaps, Alcide’s disgust at the latter idea had made her crazy.
She closed her eyes and sighed.
Somewhere along the line, she’d turned to alcohol to help her get through the lonely nights when she and Alcide weren’t together.
Eventually, she met Charles Clausen, who seemed to want her and who wanted to father her children. That man had worked for Russell Edgington.
And he was into V.
After that, she did become the labels that had been given to her by her and Alcide’s friends.
No—she became worse than those labels.
The rational part of her knew this—knew that she should move heaven and earth to leave the lifestyle she’d fallen into.
To save herself.
But, without Alcide waiting for her on the other side of sobriety, she didn’t have the motivation to change her lifestyle.
Thus, a “little” insanity became more.
And her rationality became less.
She could acknowledge those facts. After all, she’d felt herself slipping from the person her parents had raised her to be.
Sometimes, she’d even welcomed that slipping—for the numbing of her “self” had been preferable to feeling heartache all the time.
So she no longer cared about being rational; she no longer stifled the jealousy and anger she felt when she thought about Alcide. What she wanted—all she wanted—was to take away everything “good” from her ex because he’d forced her to choose between motherhood and him.
Moreover—at some points during their relationship—he’d committed an even larger sin against her. He’d tried to convince her to hate her own nature—even though he knew that she’d already had to work very hard to like herself, given the fact that her birth parents had not wanted her.
But, during her later teen years, Debbie had succeeded in feeling worthy because of her adoptive parents. She’d been a good student and was even taking college courses when she and Alcide got together. She’d wanted to be a teacher.
She’d imagined a whole sphere of happiness with Alcide by her side and children all around them.
Family that would give her life more purpose and happiness than she’d ever hoped for as a child.
Fellowship with a close-knit pack.
Comfort in her own skin.
The life she’d wanted had been a simple one—a pure one. And—for a while—Alcide had seemed like the perfect choice of mate: steady, honorable, and—most of all—two-natured so that they could understand one another.
But Alcide, as it turned out, wasn’t willing to foster anything that Debbie needed to tick.
Instead of supporting what she was, he’d tried to convince her that being Were—or werefox—wasn’t “natural.”
He’d told her that she was selfish for wanting to inflict a dual-nature upon innocent children.
A part of Debbie would always hate him for making her feel like “what” she was wasn’t wanted by him or the world.
Yet she couldn’t stop loving him either.
Indeed, she knew that—despite her new fiancé—she was still unhealthily obsessed with the Were that had first stolen her heart.
Of course, the V didn’t help to squelch that obsession. If anything, it amplified it.
Debbie inhaled again, forcing her drug-addled brain to focus on the nuances of the scent coming from the trunk of the Lincoln this time.
“I know this scent,” she whispered.
Her fiancé, Charles, had helped her to get a job with King Russell Edgington, but as a new employee, she tended to get the “shit” assignments. One of those had been cleaning up the bloody messes created by Lorena Ball, a vampire who seemed to be squatting in Russell’s territory more than she was adding to it—at least, in Debbie’s opinion.
Lately, the messes had originated from Lorena’s own child, a vampire by the name of William. Debbie frowned, trying to recall if she’d ever heard a last name for the vampire. She hadn’t. But some of them didn’t seem to have last names.
She took her phone out of her pocket and dialed.
“Charles?” she asked as an out-of-breath voice answered the call with a muffled and frustrated, “What?”
Debbie ignored the tell-tale signs that there were actually two out-of-breath people close to the phone—just as she’d always ignored Charles’s propensity toward fucking almost anything with a pulse.
He’d told her—very early on in their relationship—that she was his “favorite,” but that taking V “freed” him to enjoy pleasure as it came to him. He was fine with her seeking pleasure elsewhere too, but Debbie had been faithful to him—just as she’d always been to Alcide when they were together.
Despite what Alcide might have thought—despite what Charles currently thought—Debbie believed in fidelity, for it was one of the cornerstone tenets she’d learned through the example of her parents.
Debbie closed her eyes tightly. Her parents had been faithful to one another for decades, and would have never insulted each other by claiming that their “nature” caused them to stray. She frowned. She knew that her parents were worried about her and wondered why she allowed herself to stay with a man who cheated on her in such a cavalier way.
The answer was simple. Unlike Alcide—Charles was proud of being two-natured. And—unlike Alcide—Charles wanted Debbie to mother his children.
And, most importantly—unlike when she was with Alcide—Debbie now felt shame a whole lot more often than she felt self-worth.
And shame made her feel as if she deserved to be cheated upon.
“Deb?” Charles asked. “You still there?”
“Yeah. Uh—I’ve found something Russell might be interested in.”
“What?” he asked, sounding slightly intrigued.
“You remember that vamp Lorena was torturing?”
Charles chuckled. “Oh—we had fun with him the other day—didn’t we?”
Debbie cringed a bit as she recalled the previous Tuesday.
Or had it been Wednesday?
Whatever the day, they’d been tasked with keeping William awake during the daytime, and they’d silvered him relentlessly—every time he was about to succumb to his day-sleep. Debbie remembered most of that day only in a haze—as she and Charles had feasted upon many vials of V. Of course—right before sunset—it had fallen upon her to clean up the bloody mess, for Lorena liked to start with a pristine “canvas” each night.
“Yeah—uh—speaking of that William guy—could you make sure the garage is clean by tonight?” Charles asked. “I know it’s your day off, and I promised you that Helene would do it, but I’ve been told that she’d busy.”
The fact that Debbie heard Helene, who was a werehawk, giggling in the background made her stomach turn.
“So—what’d you find out that Russell would be interested in?” Charles asked. “I could be at the mansion at sunset to let him know all about it.”
With Charles’s words and the self-serving intent behind them, Debbie had what Oprah would call an “Aha moment.”
Aha! Charles will never really put Debbie first in his life! Hell—she’d be lucky if she found a ranking in his top ten priorities, given his friends, his other women, his vampire king, and his addictions.
And his dog!
Aha! Even if he did want to be a father, Charles would make a horrible one!
Aha! She might be able to convince Alcide to breed with her if she tried a little harder.
Aha! If she told Charles about William and the matter proved beneficial for Russell, her fiancé would take all the credit!
And she’d have to clean up the damned garage like a maid!
Aha! She wasn’t about to clean up any more vampire messes!
“Uh—I figured Russell would want for Lorena to be kept happy, so I thought I’d call and see if you had Helene’s number—so that I could offer my help to her,” Debbie lied.
“Well—it’s good you called then,” Charles said. “But I don’t see how this is information that Russell would need,” he added a little suspiciously.
Debbie quickly responded. “Well—I was—uh—hoping that you could mention it to him. You know—that I’m willing to go above and beyond for his guests?”
Charles sighed. “Now—we’ve talked about this, Deb,” he began. “I can’t be showin’ no favoritism. But I’ll make sure to mention to Betty Joe that you came in on your day off—if it comes up.”
“Oh—well—that’s all I could ask for,” Debbie responded, feeling her affection for the wereowl deflate even more as she realized he would do no such thing. He would be more likely to prop up his lover than his own fiancé in the eyes of their vampire superiors! She decided to change the subject. “Uh—where’d you end up last night?” she asked. “You didn’t come home after we shifted.”
“I crashed at David’s house,” he responded quickly. “We had a crazy flight last night. Went all the way to the Tennessee state line and back.”
Debbie cringed, knowing that her fiancé was lying to her. She didn’t doubt that he’d had a “crazy flight,” but—from the sound of things—it had culminated in his fucking a werehawk instead of his fiancé!
“Hey—you hear about the crucifixion tonight?” Charles asked, grabbing her attention.
“Huh? No,” she responded.
“Apparently, Doug and ’em found a vamp sniffin’ ’round right before dawn. Doug said he seemed harmless ‘nough. Simple even. They locked ‘im up in one ‘a Russell’s cells but didn’t hurt him none.”
“So why would they crucify him?” Debbie asked. “Doesn’t sound like Doug thought he was much of a problem.”
“You know the king. Likes to make an example every now and then—especially with trespassers. And it’s been a while since we had a good roastin,'” Charles chuckled. “Doug figured he’d get the ball rollin’, and—if Russell wants to be merciful—it’s not like much effort goes into building a cross and stackin’ up a pile of wood under it. But here’s the kicker!” Charles exclaimed, obviously coming to the meatier part of his gossip. “Couple hours after sunrise, someone found some blood near the pool. Vamp blood! And guess whose remains they found when they took off the pool cover?”
“Whose?” I asked, looking at the trunk. I had a guess already.
“Doug said it was hard to tell ’cause she was already decomposin’ like vamps do, but they could smell it was Lorena. When they looked in the garage, they discovered that her little whippin’ boy was missin’. Doug figures a group came to rescue him and that Bubba got left behind.”
“Bubba?” Debbie asked, realization dawning on her. She’d been to Louisiana enough to know that a simpleton vampire named Bubba was likely the King of Rock & Roll himself!
“Yeah. Funny—huh. Doug says the name fits the idiot. Anyway, once Russell finds out ’bout Lorena being dead and her kid—I can’t remember his name—being missin’, we figure the crucifixion will definitely be on! Doug figures Russell might even reward us with some of the good shit.”
“V,” Debbie said almost wistfully.
“Maybe straight from the tap of poor Bubba before we string ‘im up,” Charles returned gleefully. Again, Debbie could hear a feminine giggle in the background, and it certainly wasn’t David.
In that moment, Debbie Pelt made a choice.
She would be the one taking advantage of her current situation.
She would break into and hotwire the Lincoln she was, even then, looking at.
She would take William back to Russell’s lair, arriving at the mansion just after dark so that she wouldn’t risk Doug or Charles taking the credit for her find.
She would implicate Sookie in the matter, for—other than William’s scent and the residual odor of his maker—only Sookie’s scent was fresh around the car. Alcide’s scent was nowhere to be found!
And, then, she would help Russell avoid an “international” incident by cluing him in that he had Elvis Presley in custody! Of course, Russell should have been able to recognize Bubba, but Alcide had once shared the rumor that Bubba was very particular about the monarchs and sheriffs he would work for. Apparently, the vampire was as eccentric in un-death as he had been in life. Thus, it was possible that Russell had never met Bubba, and—if that was the case—Debbie knew that the monarch would owe her one for saving him the embarrassment and other potential repercussions of “assassinating” a king who was even more popular than himself!
“Deb?” Charles asked, breaking her from her musings. “You still there, darlin’?”
Debbie sneered, wondering if she should immediately cut her losses with Charles. She imagined herself breaking up with him right away—over the phone even!
She wondered if he would even be upset—or if he’d go right back to fucking Helene.
Seeing Alcide again the night before had made Debbie remember what a “good” man was like. If only Alcide would get over his hang-up about children, he’d be perfect. And—once his little tart was out of the way for vamp-napping William—Debbie figured she could try again to persuade Alcide that adding to the pack was his duty.
“Deb?” Charles asked again, this time with irritation clear in his tone.
“Yeah. Just thinkin’ about what supplies I might need to clean things up in the garage,” she lied, as she finally answered her fiancé. “I’ll see you at the crucifixion—if not before,” she added.
“Yep, babe. See ya!” Charles said, hanging up. Of course, Debbie could hear a female cajoling him for “one more time” before he did.
Debbie thought for a moment about how much more satisfying it would be if she could slam the phone into a receiver, but she had to settle for pushing a button and then forcefully putting her cellphone into her jeans pocket.
“Why did I ever settle for Charles,” Debbie asked herself as she went to her car to get what she needed to break into the Lincoln that smelled of vampire and Alcide’s whore.
“Oh—yeah—Charles seemed to have an unlimited supply of V,” she answered herself.
Debbie thought about Alcide. Was his slut with him even then? Were they fucking in his apartment?
The werefox was of half a mind to go up and interrupt them.
But she stifled that impulse; she knew that the smartest thing to do would be to take the vampire immediately so that she could get him to the king right after sunset. Then, Russell could take care of Alcide’s “friend,” Sookie. And Debbie needn’t be implicated.
“I’ll find a way to keep Alcide out of it too,” she said to herself softly. “And he’ll be grateful,” she added with a smile.
She frowned, however, when she wondered if Alcide was somehow involved in whatever Sookie was doing with the vamp. She shook her head. Her ex-lover had no love-lost toward vampires, but that didn’t mean he’d help to kidnap one. More likely, Sookie was somehow using or deceiving Alcide. Maybe she was a V dealer and had taken the vampire in the trunk as “product.” Maybe she was working with whomever had killed Lorena.
“Doesn’t matter,” Debbie said to herself as she looked around the garage to make sure she was still alone. Once certain that she was, the werefox pulled a long tool from the duffel bag of supplies she’d brought from her car. With a smooth, practiced movement, she quickly had the driver’s side door of the Lincoln opened. She unlocked the back door and placed her bag inside before looking around again.
She felt her body twitch slightly as she was able to discern the scents of Sookie and William more acutely.
Smelled his blood more acutely.
She’d had a good-sized dosage of V the night before, but—like any addict—she was always wondering where and how she’d get her next score.
Of course, V became a more potent drug in some ways when it had been out of a vampire’s body for at least a few hours. But a different kind of euphoria was created by drinking it directly from the source. The feeling just didn’t last as long, nor was fresh blood addictive. Like a fine wine, vampire blood got “better” with age.
Or worse—depending upon one’s perspective.
“But it’ll take the edge off if I drink just a little,” Debbie reasoned to herself.
“And no one will know if I take a little taste,” she added, even as she determined that opening the trunk wouldn’t expose William to direct sunlight. She saw a lever next to the driver’s side door that was labeled “trunk” and pulled it. Immediately, she heard the latch disengage and then walked quickly to the back of the car. She pulled out her knife and cautiously lifted the lid of the trunk. As expected, there was no movement from William, who had been wrapped up in a blanket.
It didn’t take Debbie long to get one of his arms free and a wound opened on his wrist.
She was sucking down the vampire’s sweet nectar when the doors to the elevator opened—revealing Sookie!
“How lucky!” Debbie smiled sickly after swallowing her mouthful of blood. “You can be part of my gift to Russell Edgington!”
She dropped William’s bleeding wrist and sped toward her prey.
A/N: Debbie’s addiction to V was more of a True Blood narrative than an SVM narrative, but I’ve imported it to this piece because it fit with what I wanted to do from this point on.
Did I make you feel sorry for Debbie at all?
So-this is the last chapter written before I lost the rest of the text due to computer cat-astrophe. Like I indicated before, I’ve started to draft the story again, but I’m honestly not sure when more chapters will be posted. But I haven’t lost my passion for writing about Eric and Sookie and I plan to finish all of my pieces, given time. Many of you have asked about the others, and I am working as I get time and inspiration. Not Without Action is done and getting posted at one chapter per week. I’ve also written a new Gift Horse story and plan 3-4 more. I’m hoping to write all those before I post them so that I don’t have to leave you all hanging again. After that, it’s onto Who’s Your Daddy? or From the Inside Out or Earned. And who knows what else? So-you see-I’m not planning on stopping my writing, though I’ve had to go slower because of my work and fibromyalgia.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me.
As always, thanks to Seph and Kleannhouse for all their support and friendship!