Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel

Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris Read Free Book Online

Book: Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlaine Harris
were even there the night my parents died. If you were, I think you were under a compulsion. In my experience of you, you’ve been a total sweetie.”
    He leaned against me like a tired child. By now, a human guy would have made a huge effort to pull himself together. He’d be embarrassed at displaying vulnerability. Dermot seemed quite willing to let me comfort him.
    “Are you feeling better now?” I asked, after a couple of minutes.
    He inhaled deeply. I knew he was drawing in my fairy scent and that it would help him. “Yes,” he said. “Yes.”
    “You probably need to get a shower and have a good night’s sleep,” I advised him, floundering for something to say that wouldn’t sound totally lame, like I was coddling a toddler. “I bet Niall and Claude’ll be back in no time, and you’ll get to …” Then I had to trail off, since I didn’t know what it was Dermot truly wanted. Claude, who’d been desperate to find a way to enter Faery, had gotten his wish. I’d assumed that had been Dermot’s goal, too. After Claude and I had broken the spell on Dermot, I’d never asked him.
    As Dermot trudged off to the bathroom, I went around the house checking all the windows and doors, part of my nightly ritual. I washed and dried a couple of dishes while I tried to imagine what Claude and Niall might be doing at this moment. What could Faery look like? Like Oz, in the movie?
    “Sookie,” said Dermot, and I jerked myself into the here and now. He was standing in the kitchen wearing plaid sleep pants, his normal night gear. His golden hair was still damp from the shower.
    “Feeling better?” I smiled at him.
    “Yes. Could we sleep together tonight?”
    It was as though he’d asked, “Can we catch a camel and keep it as a pet?” Because of Niall’s questions about Claude and me, Dermot’s request struck me kind of weird. I just wasn’t in a fairy-loving mood, no matter how innocently he intended it. And truthfully, I wasn’t sure he hadn’t meant we should do more than sleep. “Ahhhhh … no.”
    Dermot looked so disappointed that I caught myself feeling guilty. I couldn’t stand it; I had to explain.
    “Listen, I understand that you don’t intend that we have sex together, and I know that a couple of times in the past we’ve all slept in the same bed and we all slept like rocks…. It was a good thing, a healing thing. But there are maybe ten reasons I don’t want to do that again. Number one, it’s just really peculiar, to a human. Two, I love Eric and I should only bunk down with him. Three, you’re related to me, so sleeping in the same bed should make me feel really squicky inside. Also , you look enough like my brother to pass for him, which makes any kind of vaguely sexual situation double squicky. I know that’s not ten, but I think that’s enough.”
    “You don’t find me attractive?”
    “Completely beside the point!” My voice was rising, and I paused to give myself a second. I continued in a quieter tone. “It doesn’t make any difference how attractive I find you. Of course you’re handsome. Just like my brother. But I have no sex feelings about you, and I kind of feel the sleeping-together thing is just odd. So we’re not doing the fairy sleep-athon of comfort anymore.”
    “I’m sorry I’ve upset you,” he said, even more miserably.
    I felt guilty again. But I made myself suppress the twinge. “I don’tthink anyone in the world has a great-uncle like you,” I said, but my voice was fond.
    “I’ll never bring it up again. I only sought comfort.” He gave me Big Eyes. There was a hint of laughter turning up the corners of his mouth.
    “You’ll just have to comfort yourself,” I said tartly.
    He was smiling as he left the kitchen.
    That night, for the first time in forever, I locked my bedroom door. I felt bad when I turned the latch, like I was dishonoring Dermot with my suspicions. But the last few years had taught me that one of my grandmother’s favorite

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