Taking Action: Chapter 16
This all belongs to Charlaine Harris.
When I woke, I immediately started making calls to confirm my plans. Everything seemed to be in perfect order. Excellent. I just love efficient humans. I called Sookie’s witch friend and she was more than happy to take part in the plan.
I had never heard of Pawley’s Island, of course, but a little research revealed it to be a beautiful and remote little island off the coast of South Carolina. I didn’t know why it was significant to Sookie, but wanted her to be pleased with our little getaway, so took her suggestion and ran with it.
Apparently, there were no commercial buildings on the island, only rows of houses that vacationers rented to enjoy the beach. Finding one with a light tight room had apparently been a challenge, but it had worked out in the end, and my man found one that was vampire-friendly.
In the 1700’s, families of rice planters that owned plantations on the nearby rivers settled on the island for the summer months. They didn’t know about malaria (or other blood-sucking creatures such as myself, as a matter of fact), but still somehow knew that being on the shore for the summer was healthier. There are still some historic homes there, apparently, but most of the houses online looked like newer wooden homes built on stilts to survive the winter storms. The more I learned about Pawley’s Island, the more I decided that it was a perfect choice for Sookie and me to relax in. Very few people. Beautiful beaches. No vampire politics. No Fellowship of the Sun. Perfect. And I liked the fact that we would be discovering it together (unless she was already familiar with it—in which case she could teach me all about it). I know that I can be somewhat heavy-handed when it comes to Sookie. It’s hard not to be a know-it-all when you do actually pretty much know it all. At Pawley’s Island, I can open my mind to new discoveries with Sookie. I hope she will like that.
I called the area sheriff and told her that I would be vacationing in her district, but would be bringing my own human. I wanted her to know that I’d be no trouble for the locals, of course. She seemed nice enough and said she hoped I enjoyed my stay. I hope so too.
When Sookie opened her door to me, it was all I could do to restrain myself from kissing her and biting her and fucking her on the floor of the entryway. She looked so beautiful, bruises and all, but I was cautious and just kissed her hand (and stole a quick sniff of her that I hope she didn’t notice). I didn’t want her bolting from me before we even got started.
I could hear Amelia packing frantically in Sookie’s room while I made small talk about the bar. When we stood to leave, it was then I realized that Sookie hadn’t remembered telling me about Pawley’s Island the previous night. This made me happy, knowing that I would be able to really genuinely surprise her with our destination.
Part of me felt a little manipulated, but then a bigger part was excited at the prospect of a trip with Eric. Thinking of him planning it in secret and getting Amelia to help made me smile. He was the most thoughtful man, vampire or human that I have ever known. Maybe I should rethink his offer of blood. I hate to think of this awful headache ruining some vacation fun. And who wants to see a tourist covered in bruises? We’ll see.
I slept on the flight from Shreveport to Atlanta, but woke up just in time to enjoy the view of the city lights as we landed. Eric led me through the airport until we found our gate. Our plane was going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Hmm. I had never been there, but had heard of it. I was kind of surprised actually that it was Eric’s choice. I would have expected something showier. Hawaii maybe. Fiji. But Myrtle Beach sounded great to me. I had always heard that both of the Carolinas had beautiful beaches, and the prospect of enjoying the sun while Eric slept sounded pretty perfect to me. Then we could explore the city at night together. Yep, Myrtle Beach would be just fine.
Once we landed and retrieved our luggage (Eric had twice the luggage I had. That’s odd.), we took the shuttle to pick up our rental car. I expected a limousine, knowing Eric, and was actually pleasantly surprised that we were renting a car. That meant no limo driver, just the two of us on our adventure together. When we got in the car, Eric handed me the placemat-sized map that the car rental agent had provided. I looked down and saw circled in red, the words “Pawley’s Island.” My breath caught in my throat. I stared at the words for a long moment until I saw a single big teardrop hit the red circle. I looked over at Eric and felt more tears roll down my cheeks. He looked very serious and said, “Are those happy tears or sad ones?”
“How did you know?”
“You told me, lover. Last night. I asked if you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be, and you said Pawley’s Island. Did I make a mistake? Was I wrong to bring you here?”
I shook my head no and smiled at my beautiful sweet vampire. “No, Eric. This is perfect. Thank you.”