Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
talk to save my soul.
“What … how’d you do that?”
“Tell you later.”
“You … you can do that?” He was dazed.
“Not again,” I warned him. “That’s it. You got to stay alive from now on.”
“Okay,” he said weakly. “I promise.”
Eric left while I was with Sam. He left without speaking to me.
When I got Sam to stand, we had to walk past Jannalynn’s body. Sam looked at the corpse of the woman he’d dated for months, and his face was blank. He had a lot to process.
I didn’t give a shit about the rest of the Were evening. I figured no one was going to challenge Alcide on the spot, and if they did, I wasn’t going to stick around to watch another fight. I also figured if Mustapha wanted to join the pack, no one was going to vote against that, either. Not tonight. I didn’t even worry about the effect of tonight’s spectacle on the smaller teenage Weres. They had their own world to live in, and they had to learn its rules and ways pretty damn quick.
I drove, because I figured a guy who’d just died and come back probably should be left to think about the experience. Sam’s truck wasn’t hard to operate, but between driving an unfamiliar vehicle and remembering the way to get back to the county road to go home, I was pretty preoccupied.
“Where’d Eric go?” Sam asked.
“I don’t know. He left in hurry. Without speaking.” I shrugged.
“Kind of abrupt.”
“Yeah,” I said briefly. I figured his was the voice I’d heard yelling, before I’d focused on Sam. The silence hung around and got awkward.
“Okay,” I said. “You heard about Freyda. I figure he’s going to go with her.”
“Oh?” It was clear Sam didn’t know what reaction to give me.
“Oh,” I said firmly. “So he knew I had this thing. This magic thing that I used on you. And I guess he thought it was kind of a test of my love.”
“He expected you to use it to save him from this marriage,” Sam said slowly.
“Yeah. Evidently.” And I sighed. “And I kind of expected him to tell her to go to Hell. I guess I thought of it as a test of his love.”
“What do you think he’ll do?”
“He’s proud,” I said, and I just felt tired. “I can’t worry about it right now. The most I can hope for is that Felipe and his crew leave for home and we get some peace.”
“And Claude and Dermot are gone, to Faery.”
“Yep, their own land.”
“They’ll come back?”
“Nope. That was the idea, anyway. I guess JB is out of a job, unlessthe new management of Hooligans wants him. I don’t know what’ll happen to the club now.”
“So everything has changed in the past few days?”
I laughed, just a little. I thought of seeing JB strip, looking at the wet chair in Tara’s shop, the faces of the babies. I’d talked to Mr. Cataliades. I’d seen Niall again. I’d bid good-bye to Dermot. I’d loathed King Felipe. I’d had sex with Eric. Donald Callaway had died. Warren had lived. Jannalynn had died. Sam had died. And lived. I’d worried and worried and worried about the cluviel dor—which, I realized, I didn’t have to worry about, ever again.
I was relieved when Sam agreed to spend the night in the spare bedroom across the hall. He and I were both exhausted for different reasons. He was still pretty shaky, and I helped him into the house. When he sat on the bed, I knelt before him to take off his shoes.
I brought him a glass of water for the bedside table.
I moved toward the door, walking as quietly as I could.
“Sookie,” Sam said. I turned and smiled at him, though he wasn’t looking at me. His eyes were shut and his voice was already slow and thick with sleep. “You have to tell me what the cluviel dor is all about. How you made it work.”
That was going to be a delicate conversation. “Sure, Sam,” I said, very quietly. “Another day.”
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