An Engraved Invitation

“Sookie Stackhouse, what a pleasant surprise.”

“How is my being here such a surprise? You sent me an engraved invitation.”

“Would my little bullet sucker care to join me.” He waved his hand towards the chair that he’d had me sit in the first time I was here and he was completely ignoring Bill.
“Your costume is divine. What inspired it?”

“To be honest, you did. I thought you’d appreciate the irony.” Eric chuckled and licked his lips as he gave me another long look, taking in my Dallas cheerleader costume, complete with dark blue spandex hot pants and a top that pushed my boobs up to my chin.

“Both of us being such passionate fans of the ‘big D’, it is an excellent choice.” Bill was nearly biting through his lip that Eric was overlooking him, but it didn’t last for long.

As Eric looked away from me for the first time since I entered Fangtasia, I took a moment to appreciate his pirate costume; black leather knee boots, black trousers with a red tasseled sash tied over his hips and a gauzy white shirt with billowing sleeves- open down the front, of course.
“Bill, the invitation said that a costume is required. Did you dress as a tiresome suburbanite intentionally?”

Bill was seething, but I had to fight the urge to laugh. I was angry at Bill and was hoping to teach him a lesson. On top of keeping secrets from me, he’d out and out ordered me not to come to Fangtasia tonight as though I am a child. We’d barely made up after Dallas when I got the invitation and when he saw it under a magnet on my fridge, he put in the trash. I hadn’t talked to him in nearly a week. Tonight, he had wanted to talk when he showed up on my porch. He ‘inadvertently’ arrived when I was on my way to the party. I told him we could talk in the car if he wanted to tag along or wait until Wednesday when I was off again. He chose to clench his jaw for the extent of the drive.

“I wasn’t sent an invitation and Sookie forgot to mention it. What are you dressed as?”

“I am a pirate. I even have a sword.” He turned to me and winked then gave his eyebrows a waggle. “Would you care to see it?”

I knew better than to think Eric would whip ‘his sword’ out in the middle of the bar, so I indulged him.
“Now Eric, that depends on where you have it hidden.”

My answer earned a very wicked smirk from the Sherriff. I could tell he knew that my cheekiness was for Bill’s benefit. Oh boy, was he going to have fun with this!
“I wager you could find it yourself, if you just sit on my lap.”

I watched from the corner of my eye as Bill’s eyes burned a hole into Eric’s head.

Eric winked again and put his hand out and I surprised both of us when I took it and sat sideways on his lap. He had his arm around my back with his hand resting on my hip, his other hand on my knee. He’d pulled me down so that my back was to Bill and even though I couldn’t see him, I could tell how angry he was.

“Miss Stackhouse, I believe it will be easier for you to put your hands on it now.”
I looked down to see that an actual sword was, indeed, hiding in his chair between the arm and the cushion and I giggled. Normally, it would have been a chuckle or a snort, but I was pushing the envelope for Bill’s sake.
“It seems pretty big. I’m not sure if I know how to handle something that bulky.”

I watched him lower his head to hide a very amused smile from Bill. He was trying not to laugh.
“You know, I hear that a lot.”

It was my turn to have to stifle laughter. I put my forehead in the crook of his neck, but Eric brought me back to reality by sliding one hand further up my thigh and the other up my side. I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew, so I leaned against the arm of the chair in a poor attempt to casually get my face away from his neck as quickly as I could.

“Bill, I think your human is thirsty. Why don’t you fetch her some means of refreshment. I will devote my attention to her.”

Bill wanted to protest, but before he could, I turned to look at him with a big fake smile plastered on my face. “I’ll have a Long Beach.”

Once Bill had stormed to the bar, Eric gave me a slightly more serious look. He ran his finger down the front of my throat. “Sookie, you are using me.”

“Are you telling me that you mind? I was under the impression that you had no problem with doing little favors for me as long as you get to cop a feel.”

He laughed as he nodded. “What did he do that you punish him with me?”

“He called me stupid for considering your invitation and told me that he forbid it.”

“It’s a very dangerous game for you to play.” He brought his hand up to the back of my neck and brought my mouth down to meet his and gave me a kiss that dreams were made of. Seriously, I had been dreaming about his kissing skills since he took me to the orgy. I moaned into his mouth and he slid his hand further up my thigh. This time, I didn’t move away so his grip tightened. I’d have sat there all night if I could have. Bill came back with my drink and set it on the table, while our tongues continued to twist together. When I pulled away, I gave his bottom lip a nibble and Eric growled. His fangs were fully run out, and somehow I wasn’t anything but turned on and he could tell.

“Tell me, Sookie, what did you have in mind when you decided to come see me without an escort?”

He’d seen through Bill’s half true excuse for not having a costume.
“I thought I might ask you a question that I couldn’t get Bill to answer.”

Bill stood up quickly and redirected his ire to me. “Sookie! Leave it alone!”

I turned to give him a dirty look but Eric’s cool hand touched my cheek and turned my face back to him. “What can I help you with?”

“At the… ‘party’ you chaperoned. The two of you mentioned a ‘deal’ that you had worked out. You didn’t mind that I heard you talking about it, but he did. He won’t tell me what the deal was.”

“The answer will almost certainly upset you.”

“I asked him casually and his harsh refusal to answer has my curiosity eating me alive.”

“Very well then… He agreed to let me have you when his business in Bon Temps is finished.”

I looked into Eric’s eyes and, I don’t know how, but I knew that he was telling the truth. “You agreed?”

He flashed his wicked smirk at me. “Trust me when I tell you, I had no intention of waiting. The bargain was only a ploy to get him to prove your importance to him.”

Without taking my eyes from Eric’s, I turned my questions to my soon to be ex-boyfriend. “Do you have anything to add, Bill?” I knew he wouldn’t falsely accuse Eric of being a liar in public.

“Yes. He’s telling the truth, but I had no inten…”

“You told a Sherriff that he could have me when you leave the area, knowing that he could order you out of the area.”

“Yes, but…”

“But you had no intention of honoring your deal?”

“Of course not.”

“Then why not tell me as much when I asked about the deal? You didn’t think Eric would tell me the truth, did you?”

“No.”

“So, you lied to me and to your Sherriff.”

“Yes, but he just said that he wouldn’t have waited.”

“You lied to me and you lied to a man who you’re terrified of, yet all but gave me to. Now your argument is that Eric had no intention of honoring a dishonorable agreement.”

I hadn’t taken my eyes from Eric’s while I dug through Bill’s nonsense. He’d been looking at me with sympathy since he’d answered me. He hadn’t been showing any strut about seeming like a better ‘person’. There was none of the usual arrogance or lust that he usually wore as plainly as a t-shirt. I wasn’t at all sure how to deal with having a vampire feel sorry for me.

I pressed my cheek to his and used my hand to hug his head to mine as I whispered into his ear. “Thank you, Eric.” As I pulled away, I kissed the corner of his mouth.

I slowly stood up and walked over to Bill and I looked at him in a new way. The features that once made him so attractive to me, were now villainous somehow and I couldn’t stand the sight of him. Before I knew what I was doing, I drew my hand back and slapped him as hard as I could. It barely moved him, but it made him angry enough to bare his fangs at me. Part of me was scared, but the rest of me paid no attention to the sudden pang of fear, it only took more offense to his gall. That is the part of me that pulled my hand back to slap him again.
I hissed at him through a clenched jaw. “You make me sick.”

When I pulled my hand back to slap him a third time, I felt Eric’s cool hand on my wrist. He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me to him. He sat back down and pulled me back into his lap and put his mouth to my ear, brushing his cool lips against my lobe. “I won’t make you feel better.”

I turned to look at him and laughed. “Wanna bet?”

Eric laughed too. “Sookie, how did you get here tonight?”

“I let Bill drive.”

Eric took a strand of my hair that had fallen out of my ponytail to tuck it behind my ear and leaned over. “I will make sure that you get home safely then. Yes?”
It gave me chills… among other things. My mind was racing with the way that his offer made me tremble.
I turned my face to meet his and kissed his cool lips and I lost my sensibility enough to let him turn that kiss into something far more than friendly for the second time. Eric only pulled away long enough to dismiss Bill and stand us up. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he straightened his back, taking my feet from the floor. I pulled my feet up and hugged his waist with my legs and Eric started carrying me to the back of the bar. We went straight to his office and he slammed the door shut behind us, pinning me against the wall and continuing the kiss. I was running out of air and had to pull away from him, but he barely noticed and sent shivers up my spine by teasing my neck with his fangs.

“Eric, I can’t have sex with you in your office.”

“Where then?”

“Wait. Put me down.” He growled as he set me down and took a step back.

I bent to put my hands on my knees and did my best to calm my breathing and collect my thoughts.
“First of all, thank you. Hopefuly, Bill will leave me alone now.”

“You are quite welcome. I have to admit that fucking with his head has been fun… In several ways. What else?”

“I want to know; do you want to date me or do you want to own me?”

“Why does one have to exclusive of the other?”

“Because I like having some control over my life.”

“Sookie, I have watched humans for hundreds of years. It is my understanding that attraction begets dating and eventually dating becomes ownership.”

He made a good argument, but he’d talked around a topic or two with me already. “Eric, I’m not a fang banger. I’m not just a snack and a roll in bed.” I was still staring at the floor between his feet.

“I knew that the moment you opened your mouth to introduce yourself.”

“Does that mean that you’ll respect me more than the needy sycophants who throw themselves at your feet?”

“I already do, though it doesn’t say much. I have no respect for them whatsoever. You… you definitely have my attention.”

“Why?”

I looked up and straightened myself. He seemed to be genuinely considering the question. “Many reasons. The most profound of them being that you aren’t scared of me. It’s been a very long time since a rational human has looked me in the eyes.”

“You can be scary.”

“Then why have this conversation with me?”

I thought about that for a minute. “Because I trust you.”

He looked down into my eyes and took a step forward, putting his big hands on my shoulders and tickling the sides of neck with the brush of his thumbs. I put my hands on his sides and leaned forward until our bodies met and invited him to kiss me again. His kisses were worth paying for. I forgot about everything as his cool tongue danced with mine and his strong hands drifted down to my butt, pulling me close enough to realize that he was just as affected as I was. I pulled away from the kiss again as reality (a.k.a. Pam knocking on the office door because ‘duty calls’) snapped my brain into gear.

I’d been so carried away that my eyes didn’t want to focus on Eric right away and it amused him. “Because of the party, I should get back.”

“Should I go home?”

“Are you asking because you’d rather stay to pick this up later?”

“Yes.” I bit my bottom lip, hoping that I didn’t seem feeble.

He smirked and gave me another long kiss before he took my hand and led me to the bar and ordered a drink for me, then tended to his business.
I’d finished my drink while Eric and I shared lusty looks back and forth across the bar and he talked briefly to several different vampires and kicked his legs free from two desperately groveling donors. Eventually, he summoned me with a slight nod and I went over to him where he sat on his throne.

“Are you ready to go home?”

I smiled at him and offered a bow.

Without a word, Eric led me through the back door to his car and we headed back to my house.
The sexual tension in the car was like static electricity. The long drive was almost painful and I started regretting my choice of saying no in his office. As my mind raced through feelings of lust and anxiety Eric looked over at me a few times with an unreadable expression on his face.

“Am I just a distraction? Or revenge?”

“No, I haven’t stopped thinking about you in a couple of weeks.” I immediately knew that I’d answered too fast. I embarrassed myself. Eric is a big boy. I knew he could count and would know that he’d left an impression at the orgy. I could feel myself turning beet red.

He licked his lips and smoldered. “The feeling is mutual.”
I couldn’t believe that he’d ignored the chance to taunt me.

I barely had the chance to close the car door before Eric had me pinned against the side of his car with his mouth on my neck. My hands were quickly tangled in his hair, his hands were under my butt, prying me apart. He was rubbing up against me, making me think about what I’d said about the size of his ‘sword’. I was suddenly worried that my joke had been prophetic, but to be honest, his technique had more of my attention since he had stirred up a constant throbbing for me. I was having a hard time focusing on anything but what he was doing.

I leaned my head forward and my mouth landed on Eric’s neck. I started to nibble and kiss my way from his collar bone to his ear. As I licked at his throat, I felt his chest start to vibrate.

He clutched me to him and I didn’t even realize we’d been moving until I heard the screen door opening behind me. Eric gave me a wicked smile as I reached into my top and pulled out my house key and as we went through the door, I reattached myself to his neck.

I could just barely make out his outline in the moonlight coming through the curtains of my room while we hurriedly undressed. I laid back on the bed and waited. He rubbed his cool cheek up my thigh on his way to my center and I found out that kissing wasn’t the only thing he was good at. My hands held the back of his head while he licked and teased my nub, burying his long, powerful fingers into me, bringing me wave after wave of ecstasy while I called out his name.

Eric worked his way up my body and hovered over me on his knees for another long kiss. I wasn’t sure if he kissed me so often because he enjoyed it of if he knew I did. He reached back to pull my leg up to rest on his back and slowly pushed into me sending a shock to every part of my body. He released a nearly pained grunt and I gasped. Definitely prophetic. I started panting and moaning my way towards bliss as soon as he started to move inside me, the rumble in his chest wasn’t distracting me from how gentle he was being in spite of himself.

After giving me some time to ‘adjust’ he gradually started to pick up his pace and I wrapped my other leg behind his back to lift myself to him. It was enough to push me over my edge again and started digging my nails into his sides. His mouth found its way down to my breast and he took my nipple into his mouth. When he nicked it with his fang, I released a whimper and arched my back towards him. He groaned again with the taste of my blood, so I lifted my shoulder to him as an invitation.

If it hadn’t been so dark, I’d swear he was surprised at the offer. He nuzzled his face against me, giving me a warning, if not assurance, before he bit and pulled from the puncture with a rising growl. Without warning, his speed increased again and the new speed made my blood boil until we reached our ends together.

Eric lowered himself to the mattress and pulled me close to him, smoothing my hair while I caught my breath enough to speak coherently.

“If you had no intention of waiting, what was your plan?”

He started chuckling. “Sookie, what makes you think I had a plan?”

I started laughing and slapped his ribs. “Because you’re you.”

He was smiling ear to ear as he rolled me on top of him. “I’ve told you before that I’m opportunistic.”

“Then what did you have in mind when you sent me an invitation and not him?”

“I didn’t have enough.”

That seemed a little suspicious. “Sherriff, how many invitations did you start out with?”

“One.”

14 thoughts on “An Engraved Invitation

  1. This is great, I have read everything you have written and loved it all. You are a fantastic author.

  2. Don’t know why I never read this one before … My mistake. Loved it. Does everyone hate Bill? I know there are people out there who like him. I wonder why though.

  3. I’m gradually re-reading all the stories. It’s helping me remember how wonderful they were, and what an amazingly talented writer Angela was….

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