Emma roamed the confines of the apartment and tried to control her restless impatience. Andre would be back by tomorrow evening and really, she should be tending to her guests before going to bed at some point and at least trying to get some rest.
Adding to stress of worrying about him and the mission was the fact that she was irritated with herself. She’d known the vampire an unGodly short time yet here she was wrapping her whole entire life around him.
That shit just wasn’t healthy, she mentally groused. Here I am living so far up his ass that I can’t stand spending even one night alone?? Yeah, it’s true that he actually is one of the good guys once you know him, and he is fun and distracting and sexy as all fuck but damn… A girl needed a life of her own, her own interests and hobbies and friends who have nothing to do with “the guy”. Well, maybe once this BeauChamps crap is over with I can start finding my own life again. Now to figure out how to extract myself from his ass…
She sighed as she came to the sad conclusion that she had apparently lost her brain at some point in the recent past.
While she could still feel a little something from him in their Bond, that feeling was growing faint and allowing only what she considered the strongest emotions to pass, with impatience and frustration leading the way.
Before meeting the slightly aggravating, super-sexy, too often inscrutable yet deeply emotional Andre, she’d never once had a problem sleeping alone. In fact, the idea of sharing a bed with someone just sounded…annoying. She liked having the whole bed to herself, all the covers, all the pillows – but now… She sighed in exasperation with both herself and the situation. That bed was going to be just too damn big.
At least he’d called her before they actually left. Granted it was on the pretext of making sure that Tracy was there, but still; it was sweet.
She stomped over to the impromptu coffee station and, while brewing herself another cup, she studied the odd cast iron coffee tree that Sookie had gotten her. While it was a very practical and thoughtful gift, it still seemed like a weird thing to receive from someone who didn’t know her from Adam’s house-cat.
And that nasty Meyer lemon crap that wasn’t growing mold fast enough in the fridge? What an odd combination of gifts! The orange was pretty good, though. She shrugged as she added milk to her cup then went to sit on the sofa…then promptly remembered what Andre had done with her on that sofa and threw her head back against the backrest with a frustrated moan.
Tomorrow. He’d be home tomorrow.
Sookie and Tracy both watched Emma with understanding expressions – Tracy because she knew just how “well” Emma and Andre got along, Sookie because she damn well missed Eric, too.
“So, ladies, what do we want to do this evening,” Tracy asked, taking pity on the women missing their men.
“Go kill BeauChamps and bring our guys home?” Emma wasn’t completely joking.
“I agree. Motion carried.” Sookie wasn’t completely joking either.
Tracy rolled her eyes and flipped on the already-uncovered tv and really hoped they could find an engrossing movie. The Telepath and the Whatever – any of the Weres who had paid extremely close attention knew Emma was something ever so slightly more than human, something slightly…”other”, but couldn’t quite figure out what – were going to drive her nuts. She was vastly relieved when they found Emma’s favorite “end of times” movie in progress, and plied them all with copious popcorn.
Just before the dramatic conclusion, the house phone rang, and they all jumped in surprise. After recovering, Tracy rose to answer it. The ID showed the call was coming from ‘in house’ but not from which area.
“It’s for you, Emma,” she said as she handed the receiver to her friend-slash-boss.
“Hello,” she said, her voice showing her confusion – she hadn’t been expecting any calls.
“Just calling my favorite breather to see how you’re doing before I go down for the day,” came the deceptively light-hearted reply a half-second later since the Queen of the Louisiana Vampires wouldn’t be dialing her own telephones, for goodness sake. Emma had no illusions as to the nature of the double entendre, either.
With a laugh, she replied, “Aww, thank you Sophie-Anne, I’m doing…well, I’m just doing, let’s put it that way, but I’m in good company. How’s everything on your end?” She knew the Maker/child bond would be much stronger between Sophie-Anne and Andre and was hoping for some info.
“All is as it should be, Emma. Andre will undoubtedly perform his duties with his usual bloody flair and should come swooping home sometime tomorrow night,” she stated with carefree assurance, then her voice turned a bit more serious. “How much of your Bond do you still feel?”
Emma sniffed, then replied, “Not enough, honestly, but I can tell that he’s alive and well, so that helps.”
“Emma,” the red-head drawled, “darling, you do remember that we are not alive, right?”
The reference to one of their previous long-winded, never-ending play-arguments had the intended result, and she smiled.
“Yes, dear, you can be just as dead as you want to be, but I still think you’re alive, simply…altered, so there,” she replied in her best “I’m right and you’re wrong” tone.
Sookie and Tracy both stared at the brunette as if she had lost her mind – who argued with THE queen?
“Well, then, if you insist in persisting, I believe I shall allow my sweet Clarice to dive lively between my thighs.” Although her first language was a now-forgotten ancient dialect of what would no longer be considered French, the queen had never had a problem learning new languages and often enjoyed word games…when she wasn’t driving her retinue insane with noisy board games.
With a gusty laugh in appreciation of both the outrageous joke and the well-intentioned reasoning behind it, Emma rejoined, “It sounds like you’ve got your plans settled for the evening then.”
“Indeed,” the queen purred, then more seriously added, “I will check in on you tomorrow evening. Go well into your rest, and do not worry – our Andre will return safe, sound, and hearty. He always does.” With that final soft reassurance the queen disconnected the call.
With a small smile gracing her lips, Emma rose to place the phone on the charger. Sophie-Anne had a well-earned reputation for being an intelligent, fearless hard-ass with a side of toddler-tantrums that could rival an actual pissed-off toddler – if that toddler were an old, powerful, somewhat self-centered vampire – but she was also capable of showing a surprising amount of compassion and sympathy…when she wanted.
“Your relationship with Sophie-Anne always amazes me,” Sookie spoke into the sudden silence.
Although the blonde’s few recent interactions with the queen had been civil and very much above-board, the Telepath could never see herself feeling anything remotely resembling friendship with the vampire. Of course, Emma was also voluntarily intimately involved with Andre, so maybe Emma needed to see somebody…maybe a mental health professional…an exorcist…someone… She shook her head. People in general never made sense to her so why should specific ones?
Tracy just nodded from the other sofa – when she had first entered the apartment, her suped-up nose had detected exactly what had happened on the one couch and she’d made her seating selection appropriately. Naturally she’d been able to overhear the phone conversation and, knowing that the queen was likely going to her chambers for the night, she hoped that Rasul would put in an appearance here since the queen would no longer need his guarding services.
Well, unless he chose to remain outside the apartment to avoid her. Things had become rather heated in the best of ways the other night…but she really didn’t think he was the “almost-love’em and leave’em” type. But then, how well did she know the darkly handsome vampire with the bright, flashing eyes and that grin? Sure she’d seen him around the palace halls every now and then, and they’d spoken several times before, but…
“Sophie-Anne is a case, that’s for sure,” Emma replied to Sookie. “I won’t lie and stay she’s all kittens and rainbows since she can easily be a ruthless hard-ass, but she can also be sweet and playful, just as she can be devious and power hungry. She’s like every vampire, I guess.”
“What do you mean?” Tracy’s ears had perked up… figuratively speaking. She’d been around vampires for ages, but wanted to hear Emma’s thoughts, too, even if the brunette hadn’t known vamps for long at all. The girl had an unusual but absolutely spot-on way of seeing things.
“Well,” she drew out her answer, “vamps are basically magically-enhanced, suped-up humans or Weres, or whatever. If they were assholes before they were Turned, then they’re going to be suped-up assholes afterward. Same as with intelligence or kindness or any other basic human characteristics. I think the Turning process probably makes them much more in tune with their basic instincts, but still, you know how you have many different parts to your personality? Well, vamps would, too.” She shrugged as she took a good look at Tracy’s face. Something was whirling around in her friend’s mind, and she bet his name was Rasul.
She quirked her brow then said, “Spillit, Were. What’s going on?”
Tracy squirmed a bit as all eyes honed in on her. Then she sighed. While she didn’t know the Telepath all that well, she got good vibes off her, as her mother would say, so, what the hell… “I think maybe I might be falling for Rasul but I don’t know how he feels about me.”
Both non-Weres were thankful for their recent ingestion of vamp-blood or they would never have understood Tracy’s rushed words.
“Oh.” Emma’s voice gave nothing away, but when Tracy looked up at her, she blushed when she saw her friend’s huge smile.
Sookie smiled as well, glad to know that her friend Rasul had such a nice admirer. She’d have to get to know the Were better, though; Rasul really did deserve to have someone in his life who would treat him well.
“Yeah? So, tell us more! You can’t stop there!” Emma felt almost giddy inside – the beginning of a relationship was always the best part simply because of all the wonderful possibilities.
At that moment there was a knock on the outer door and Tracy’s relief was obvious. Yes, she wanted to discuss this, but, well, maybe not right then…maybe later…
With a look from both Sookie and Emma indicating that the subject was by no means dropped, Tracy smirked, shrugged, and gladly rose to go to the door. As she reached for the doorknob she stopped for safety’s sake to listen closely to the voices on the other side, then couldn’t help the blush that stained her cheeks as she opened the door.
Rasul and Sigebert entered one after the other and everyone stopped to stare when the darker vampire strode straight for Tracy. He lifted her up in his arms, swung her around, then claimed her lips for so long that Emma rolled her eyes as she loudly cleared her throat.
“I guess that answers that,” quipped Emma and Sookie in almost perfect harmony.
When both immediately and simultaneously declared, “Jinx!”, everyone burst out laughing. Everyone then politely ignored it when Rasul whispered into Tracy’s ear, “I missed you.” When she replied that she had missed him, too, Emma and Sookie turned to Sigebert and attempted to engage him in conversation so that the lovebirds could have a bit of vague privacy.
Out of the corner of her eye, Emma saw how Tracy snuggled her face into the crook of the vampire’s neck as they whispered to each other, and tried to keep the smile from splitting her face. They truly did seem to get along quite well.
Eventually the widely grinning Rasul led the fuchsia-blushing Tracy over to the sofa and proceeded to park her squarely in his lap. Sigebert, ever the diplomat, muttered, “About time.”
Sookie just chuckled. The night had been out of the normal enough already, but at least this weirdness was sweet rather than hurried. Before leaving their own place earlier that evening she had enjoyed a very quick, by their standards, bit of afternoon delight with her Viking. While they both preferred to take their mutual pleasures slow and easy, spending time knowing yet relearning each other’s bodies, sometimes things just had to be rushed. Ah well, she thought to herself, better rushed than nothing.
While Emma continued with her attempts to draw Sigebert into conversation and Tracy was still front and center of Rasul’s attention, she took a moment to concentrate on her Bond with Eric. Because their Bond was so strong and well-developed she was able to sense much more than Emma could, for which she profoundly pitied her new friend. The feelings coming through were vastly reassuring. Eric was impatient and excited – undoubtedly fervently anticipating the upcoming bloodshed – but overall everything was perfectly fine.
After a while another movie came on and everyone settled down to watch it. The big blond mountain of a vampire drug the largest chair over while the lovebirds stayed in their own little world on the other side of the couch. They kept to themselves for the most part with slight whisperings, and everyone ignored when softly feminine or deeply masculine laughter would break the silence every so often.
Sigebert was never one to talk much anyway but especially not during a movie, but he would, however, growl or snort at the screen depending on the action, which left Sookie and Emma to trade amused glances with each other.
After the movie was finally over – no one except Sigebert could recall what they’d supposedly just watched – Rasul reluctantly rose from the couch and deposited a sleepy Tracy onto her feet.
“Madam,” he addressed Sookie with an ostentatious bow. “Your room awaits. The day guards have already arrived and are in place if you wish to read them before retiring.” At her nod, he turned to face Emma. “Your guards are already in position as well,” he nodded toward the door, “so I will bid you a good day.”
He then gently cupped Tracy’s face in his palms, leaned down to gaze into her eyes for a minute, then kissed her with deliberate thoroughness until Sigebert rolled his eyes and ‘harrumphed’ very, very loudly before suggesting, “Get a room.”
**A/N: And that’s for you my Rasul/Tracy shippers – hope you liked it!**