Taking Action: Chapter 5
Still all Charlaine’s people…
I had to hand it to De Castro. These women were no ordinary fangbangers, but to me they might as well have been day old cheeseburgers for all the interest I had in them. (What had Sookie called them once? McPeople?) I certainly wasn’t up for the orgy De Castro had in mind, so I suggested we all relax in the bar for a bit first—drinks and dancing, that sort of thing. Our little party seemed up for it, and just as we were headed for the door, I sensed her close by—first a wave of happy anticipation and then an immediate sick panic. Good gods, could her timing be any worse? The last thing I wanted was for De Castro to get a whiff of her, but it looked like there was no avoiding the inevitable. We stepped out into the hallway and she stood facing us, stock still with a very odd expression on her face, but what a vision she was. Her dress reminded me of the one she wore the very first time I saw her. She was indeed a candle in a coal mine, but burned brighter than any candle I’d ever seen. I felt decidedly disconcerted though. If I was this overwhelmed by her beauty, what was De Castro thinking? I felt my McPerson’s hand on my waist and instinctively grabbed it to remove it, knowing it would upset Sookie to see another woman touching me. Sookie was dipping in a little curtsy as she greeted De Castro and Sandy. I seethed as I watched him kiss her hand. She glanced at me briefly and then lowered her eyes.
De Castro turned to me. “Why Eric, I believe I do owe you an apology. Here I am bringing you dinner, and I had no idea you had already called your evening meal to you. Here’s your lovely Sookie, and doesn’t she heel nicely?”
Sookie whispered a tiny, “excuse me,” and made a dash for the ladies room. De Castro tilted his head and said, “Hmm…nature’s call, I suppose.” And then he led our little party into the bar.
Before I had a chance to turn and run like the coward I am, Eric’s office door opened and what seemed like a huge group of people spilled out into the hallway. I recognized Felipe De Castro and Sandy and couldn’t look at Eric, but knew he was there, of course, in all his 6’5″ glory. The three human women with them were all stunningly beautiful, tall with dark hair cut in sophisticated styles and in what were surely expensive designer tight black dresses. They all looked like those models in that Robert Palmer video from the 80’s. If they were the Robert Palmer girls, then I felt like Ellie Mae Clampette in my little floral cotton dress. I wished I could crawl into a hole, but being a Southern girl (just call me Ellie Mae), I remembered my manners and did my best little curtsy towards the king. He was handsome, but his cold lips on my hand gave me the willies, and honestly, he really should rethink that cape. I stole a glimpse at Eric, and my heart sank as I saw he was holding the hand of his—his what? For all I knew, this was his girlfriend. They certainly looked like a couple—both tall and gorgeous. The anger in his eyes made me instinctively look down. Why on earth couldn’t I be home right now watching Gone with the Wind? I wanted to be anywhere but here. And then I was vaguely aware that Felipe—King—whatever you called him, was talking to Eric about how nicely I heeled.
My god, had Eric called me? Here I thought I’d had this sudden burst of bravado to visit Fangtasia, and was happily singing like an idiot all the way here, thinking I was finally taking charge of my own feelings, my own life, and I had been called. I wasn’t sure if I would cry or vomit or both, but I made a bee line for the bathroom, manners be damned.