As though I hadn’t been dead for nearly 13 hours, my mind went straight back to what Sookie said as dawn took me…
She said she loved me.
She’d said it…
It wasn’t a concept that I could ignore as Pam’s hearsay anymore… Saying ‘it’ made ‘it’ real…
Like it wasn’t bad enough that finding her little pro/con list had stirred too much curiosity when I thought I was starting to put the puzzle that was Sookie Stackhouse together…
I’d found her overactive conscience utterly adorable until I discovered that it had been such a large factor in risking her finances… Necessity was too closely related to greed, at least that much was common between humans and vampires. The threat of arrears should’ve inspired her to take the money whether trust was a factor or not.
And she took my blood rather than money. Nevermind that she acted as though she was forced to choose between them. After everything we’d just learned from our visitors, she should have wanted nothing to do with the complication unless our company had more to do with her decision than Sookie was letting on…
I tried my damnedest to blame it on romanticized notions of what she’d seen that night… The other Sookie had moved quickly enough to seem like a vampire and was strong enough to break up a fight in the bar with Pam… Even her shields were stronger. Her more trouble free life was something she thanked her Eric for. And she thanked ‘God’ for vampires because they were the ‘best friends a telepath could have’…
But… at every turn, I went back to one contradiction…
Sookie didn’t know I’d ever see her list and those reasons weren’t on it.
Since I couldn’t consider ‘security’ as selfishness, only survival instinct, the single self-centered item on her list was the ‘vacation’ she’d get from her injuries… Whether they heal quickly or not, I’d had broken ribs… knowing what that felt like, I was surprised she was so mobile… knowing what it felt like, I might have offered my blood to her out of mercy when she was still Bill’s. That fuck, letting her leave the hospital before healing her would have been cruel to a normal human… letting Sookie, was blatantly vicious. Even though he cared nothing for her, she’d already proven her worth. He did need to die again. And again. And again… His maker was the only one left to pay for his mistakes… I’d have fun making it happen too.
And there I was… imagining what I’d do to the maker of Sookie’s stain of an ex ‘boyfriend’ since he was too dead to take the punishment I thought was proper… tethering the forsaken twat to my seat onstage at Fangtasia with a silver collar and taking the occasional lap around the bar, gluing pennies to her to remind her of her worth, inviting the depraved mawks to spit on her, humiliating her…
Like her child humiliated Sookie…
I rolled my eyes at myself as I realized that I was already more attached to Sookie, more protective of her, more concerned with and for her than anyone ever.
All it really took was one stray thought…
‘I’d give anything but Sookie to be able to get my hands on Compton.’
Pam was going to have a fucking field day.
I was only ‘awake’ for a few minutes when I heard Sookie’s laughter in the distance. It was loud and pure and got louder once the door to our suite opened.
Herveaux was with her. “I’m going to run over and pretend to need a break so Maria-Star earns her keep. You all set, princess?”
“Stop calling me that… I’m good. Eric’ll be up in a few and I need to start getting ready for later.”
“I’ll stop calling you one, when everyone stops treating you like one… I’ll see you in a bit.”
When the door opened, Sookie was still grinning as she headed directly to the bed… and settled next to me like she had been when I died with her head on my chest and her leg hitched over mine.
That smell again.
She carried the scent of Paulette and Herveaux with her from having been in their company, but it was the proverbial pea under a mattress in comparison…
And the heat of the sun was still lingering, warming the air around Sookie like she was emitting the warmth herself…
“You came straight from the pool?”
“You mean, knowing what happened last time? Yes.”
She shrugged and rested her chin on my chest to look at me. “You like it.”
I rolled us over to lie on top of her, taking in as much as I could without letting myself become irritated that I didn’t have the time I wanted. I could just as easily disappear in her scent as she disappears into my chasm of a mind. “But I ‘like’ the way you smell when you don’t bathe yourself in the equivalent of vampire ecstasy too.”
She laughed in her throat while I pushed her T-shirt up her sides. “That’s sweet, but you’re full of crap.” If I didn’t have my nose against her stomach and my dick pressed into her leg, I might have been able to deny it with a straight face.
I chuckled at her. “You smell sweet, like sugar. Say what you will, that is very enjoyably distinctive.”
She wriggled, pulling her shirt up to take it off. “What do normal people smell like?”
Sookie rested her hands on my head while she laughed. “That’s just wrong! Even if some of us have bad hygiene, be nice.”
“Hygiene has nothing to do with it. They smell like shit and food and their stale houses. They smell like their pets and their jobs and their own disgust as well as everyone they spend their time with… They reek. And why should I be nice?”
“Because they can’t help that you can smell a mouse fart from a mile away… those ‘nasty humans’ have kept you alive for a long time. I love a good burger, but I don’t hate cows for being cows.”
When I laughed into her side because she made a fair enough point, she twitched away from the tickle. “Ah, but none of them were as delicious as you are.”
“Are we still talking about how I smell or did we move on to how I taste?”
“Both are true.”
She snickered, “You sure know how to flatter a girl.”
“I must be a natural. I don’t have any practice at it.”
“Why bother? You’re the first thing I’ve wanted in a very long time.”
“Thing?” Obviously, a poor choice of words.
“I didn’t mean some ‘thing’ to be disregarded; junk mail or pocket change or something to feed from… I meant wealth or power or Sookie… ‘Things’ that are worth starting a war to protect.”
Her body seemed to get warmer when she purred, “Nice recovery, vampire, but I wouldn’t fight for money or control.”
“Of course you wouldn’t, but you would fight to prove your brother’s innocence.”
“Because I care about him.”
“Proving my point… The American South fought over wealth. Sophie-Ann battles for power and I would most definitely kill for you.”
“There’s not much point in that. Since you already ‘have’ me and all.”
“To keep you. You’re mine.”
“I’m my own.”
“Would you be comfortable if I called you ‘my designated fuck’?”
She gasped, “No.”
“How about ‘my hot pocket’? That’s what you called it, yes?”
“That’s what I called it… and no, that wouldn’t be cool.”
“The telepath in my protection?”
“Slightly less irritating, but still no.”
“Even though you are all those things?”
She groaned as I tore myself away from her scent to look at her. “Now you’re just making fun of me, you big jerk.”
“I’m not. Explain why the concept of being mine bothers you.”
“Being yours doesn’t bother me. The terminology does.”
“Because ‘mine’ carries the nuance of a thing to be possessed?”
“Yes. Absolutely. My toy. My keychain. My whatever.”
“You’re being too particular about verbiage based on human conventions then.”
“You’re doing it again.”
“Being dismissive of humanity like being human is something I can ignore. It might have been a long time ago, but you were just as freakin’ uncultured as me once.”
“Fair enough. I apologize… Let me try another approach then?”
She rolled her eyes, clearly humoring me. “Go ahead. Give it a shot.”
“If we were more ‘conventional’, you wouldn’t mind being my girlfriend… married; my wife… simply working together; my telepath… just under my protection; my charge…”
She groaned. “Uh huh… get to the part where you’re going to bullshit me about ‘mine’ being a term of endearment to vampires.”
“I don’t take the word lightly, Sookie.”
The defiant crease between her eyebrows made its showing. “Really? Fingers and toes, both of us here… can you count how many ‘mines’ you’ve had? I mean, over a thousand years…”
“As a vampire?”
She rolled her eyes and nodded, assuming I was trying to cheat on her little test, no doubt.
I took her hand from my chest and curled her pinky and ring finger over… and waited.
“Three? Three what, like three dozen, three hundred?”
“Just three…” I pointed to each one of her remaining fingers as I counted. “My maker. My child. My Sookie. If you include anyone I might have given my blood to for one reason or another, you might be able to fill both hands.”
“Even when it comes to you, there is a difference between your junkmail and your Gran. I’ll admit that you’d be hard pressed to find a vampire who doesn’t mean ‘my special fuck and suck’ when claiming a pet, but you’re much more than a pet to me.”
“Yeah, I’m a telepathic pet.”
“You had my attention before I knew you were a telepath.”
“But… why? I mean, honestly… I saw plenty of people at Fangtasia that night…”
“…At the very least, willing donors… I saw them trying to get your attention. I walked in with another vampire. You didn’t have any reason to believe that I wasn’t just his pet.”
“First of all, Bill Compton was claiming to be mainstreaming so he wouldn’t keep a pet. Secondly, he certainly wouldn’t allow you to dress like you did around other vampires because he was an insecure, daft fuck. Thirdly, and most importantly, he wouldn’t rate someone like you.”
“But he did eventually ‘get’ me.” How could I forget that?
“I’ll clarify… he wouldn’t normally deserve a prize like you. If he had used honorable tactics, you’d have never been more than a friendly neighbor to him. My first thought when I saw you, with him… ‘I wonder if that bottom feeder glamours her to fake it’.”
She furrowed her brow. “Then you tried to glamour me!”
“I only wanted to draw you over to me so that I could… I was going to have you sit on my lap just to fuck with the insignificant prick for not checking in with me. I was exceedingly bored.”
She giggled, “Shame on you… So that’s it. I stood out because me and…”
I cut her off with a growl. Hearing ‘me and Bill’ cross her lips in any capacity would have added to my plans for Compton’s pathetic excuse for a maker.
Without needing to hear my reasons, Sookie seemed to understand. “So the odd couple thing caught your eye?”
I nodded. “Initially. The way you shrugged off my influence like it was nothing more than a slight breeze intrigued me… But it was actually meeting you that stuck with me…”
“See, the telepathy.”
“You asked. Do you want my answer or do you want to continue to assume?”
“Admittedly, I’d have enjoyed nothing more than to take you back to my office as soon as I smelled you, but it was when you were introduced to me… You answered Pam tamely and Bill grabbed your arm… Any normal human, fangbanger or otherwise, would have been intimidated enough to cower with an apology. Even though it looked like he was pinching your arm firmly enough to leave a bruise, the look you gave him was priceless.”
“The way I looked at him? Seriously?”
“You looked like you were going to hit him… Pam called it a ‘Bitch, I’ll end you’ look… I didn’t care what you said, there was no way I believed that you were his pet… Even if you were what I know of his type, you were more in control of the situation than he was.”
“The ‘willing donors’. The piteously subservient with the ‘as you will’ mind-set. The ones who want to be abused and utilized as breathing blood taps, who dress as though Marilyn Manson is the Grand High Poobah of vampires… too ignorant to know that our senses give away their disgusting drug use and, yes, poor hygiene. He enjoyed what I find disgraceful yet lucrative… in fact I was told by our company that Mr. Mainstreaming enjoyed a 3 course meal in their version of events…”
“So being too…”
“You’re interrupting me again.”
She cringed. “God. Sorry.”
“It was your appearance that made you stand out, but it was your nerve that made me want to relieve you of his company… by the time you revealed your ability, I was already making a list of ways to lure you away from Compton.”
“My curiosity about your gift was a great excuse to see you again. I was not disappointed to see that you really are just as determined and sassy consistently.”
She stared at me for a moment, seemingly waiting. It was amusing to say the least.
“Does there need to be more? Even the fangbangers who want my attention are still afraid when they get it.”
“Well, we met and then you had Bill bring me to Fangtasia about the missing money… Then… the next time you saw me, you let ‘me’ climb all over you and…” Commit aggravated sexual assault? So. It would’ve been the most fun I’d had in a century.
“There was the hospital too.”
“The hospital? Oh, yeah… Hey, how did you hear about what happened?”
“Paid informants. I have a few sets of eyes and ears who call me whenever a vampire related patient is treated so that I can keep a handle on my Area. I had a voicemail waiting at sunset about a girl that was nearly beaten to death for being a fangbanger… I hoped it was just another one of Lanier’s victims so that I’d have an excuse to see you.”
“You were floating outside my window…”
I smiled at her, understanding more since our conversation about her pro/con list. “You don’t remember talking to me, do you?”
“Talking to you? I guess not… I was pretty out of it though. I was on a lot of painkillers.”
It wasn’t the medication. I was sure it was part of her consciousness… a side effect of her gift. “You explained what happened quite thoroughly. I offered to kill him since Bill was missing, but you asked me to glamour him to confess instead. That there had been enough killing.”
She laughed in her throat. “I don’t remember any of that, but that explains a lot… The look on Andy’s face when he said Rene wouldn’t stop talking…”
“Andy is… the oaf detective?”
She nodded. “You sent me flowers.”
“Actually… that was just to irritate Bill. Since I couldn’t find him and you refused to be healed, I assumed he’d at least be calling you. If you mentioned that we’d talked and I sent flowers…”
“That he’d beat feet home and tend to me because you were circling.” Hindsight… I would have just healed her while she was unconscious since that prick left her to suffer.
“No one knew what he was planning, Sookie.”
“It’s just Gran, you know… Everything else worked out for the best… It’s what happened to Gran that hurts. Especially knowing that she still had plenty of time left in her… That she didn’t make it to see her house finally get paid off or… I know she’d be excited to see Hadley again, to see that Jason didn’t go to jail, for all the stuff going on with me… ” She had every fucking right to be bitter about everything.
“The ‘stuff’ going on with you? You mean having your ability exposed and exploited in a vampire coup?”
“To see me able to do something positive with my ability, yeah… and she used to fuss a lot that I should just use my shields so that I could date…”
“So that you could date?” It wasn’t until after I’d asked that I realized that human men would be intolerable to her, explaining why Bill Compton won her first ‘second date’.
“Yeah… so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the guys’ thoughts… She called me a silly romantic, but I didn’t think it was too much for me to be able to just relax.”
“You think you can relax with me?”
She smiled from ear to ear. “Completely.” That’s insane…
“I could be replaced with any other vampire though.”
Her fingers stopped working through my hair to become fists just behind my ears. Just a gentle tug, but it was enough. “Why would I replace you? You’re mine.” She licked her lips with a smirk, as though she was daring me to contradict myself with an argument about being ‘claimed’. That wasn’t going to happen… I wanted to hear her say it again.
“Good. Now that we’ve established that you’re my tenacious little telepath and I’m your vampire, can we go back to the ‘designated fuck’ part of the conversation?” I buried my nose in the puddle of her hair to enjoy the sunlight again and pressed into her.
She giggled and pushed my shoulders so I lifted before I could get carried away. “I’d love to, but I don’t think we have time. I need to get a shower… and you’re still all kinds of nasty from this morning.”
“I won’t be bathing. I want to walk around all evening smelling like the fun we had.”
She gasped, “Oh. No. You. Don’t.”
“Because that’s just tacky! Besides, what would happen when all the other vampires catch the smell of sunlight on you?… How about… a compromise?”
I lifted her arm to bring her wrist to my nose, taking in as much of her sunshine as I could before I’d have to unavoidably let her up. “I’m half listening.”
She giggled. “Will you take a shower if I go with you? Two birds, one stone?” She had stellar negotiating skills.
“If you shower, my treat will wash away.”
“I’ll bring you a refill tomorrow night. Promise. Besides, you said you like the way I smell without it too.” Fuck. That had been stupid.
“A counter offer… I can call Salome to explain that you are unwell and taking the night off. We can lock ourselves in this room… so I can keep you to myself all night.”
I felt a wave of disappointment from her, but it showed in the way she looked back at me too. She’d have been just as happy to stay in as I would have. “A shower for two and I’ll come down with a migraine at 2am?”
Once I set her in the tub, I untied the strings on her bikini and tossed them over the wall while she turned on the water. I was surprised that I’d let them last so long.
She shied away from the spray, stepping around it, towards me… “No sense in washing away your ‘treat’ just yet.”
She could be too much.
She hated that she was naïve, but if she were more experienced she’d know how dangerous she was…
Crystalline blue eyes drawing me down to her…
Stealing my lips for a minute before letting me enjoy just a bit more of her enslaving scent. I hadn’t been lying; her normal essence was powerfully pure, almost virginal… and the mystery of how she can steal sunlight, smuggle it to me like reminiscent contraband could go unsolved forever…
Her little fingers rubbed and tugged my ears while I drifted down her body smelling as much of the bed as her day by then, but it was enough.
She sighed as I reached her waist, letting go of my ears and turning her back to me… a fresh expanse of her skin…
The smell, the taste…
The texture changes. As I bit and licked, sliding along her flesh…
Softer than the most precious silk… then rigid and punched by chills that seemed to spell her wants out to me…
My senses were greedy enough to hold off my body’s urges for long enough…
Standing again to enjoy her hair again delivered my cock to her reach and once she touched me, grabbed it, pulled, squeezed, worked… I broke.
The way she was standing… facing away from me… not bashful anymore… trusting.
I pulled her to me, using her hair to turn just her head to face me… watching her eyelids flutter when I reached between her legs, pushing through the warm gathering of dew, sliding my fingers into her slowly, memorizing her contours to use them against her later…
Bringing her hips around, lifting her willing legs… pushing into Sookie slowly enough to be punished with her frustration…
But she still surrendered to me… moving at my pace, without resistance, entrusting no less than her body to me.
She stretched, reached, begged without a word only empty lips for a kiss…
I was still plagued by the one time she’d taken my blood from me… the concentration of bliss it had to offer… I hated that we couldn’t spare the time… but I was too gluttonous to ignore the temptation…
Her eyes locked on my lips, studied my fangs as I pushed them into my lip… not enough to complete the bond yet… hoping that the small amount would bring on a hint of what we’d eventually enjoy from sharing… testing what I’d been told…
Sookie didn’t wait for me to come to her. Quickly enough to surprise me, she’d grabbed my shoulders to lift herself… wrapping her lips around mine, drawing my blood into her…
It wasn’t a gradual accumulation.
The moment our blood began to mingle on our tongues, the urgency of every impulsive craving I had intertwined with hers and became magnified, amplified… overwhelming.
In the blurred craze of clawing and biting and fucking, I only fully remember the look in her eyes.
The recollection of that needy, wanton stare was the only thing to buffer my confusion as to why I was heaving for air when it was all over.
She was still panting, trembling and resting her head against my shaking shoulder. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Breathe. It doesn’t freak me out that you don’t need to.”
“I’m trying to stop.”
“What? Is that… Did he tell you…?”
“It wasn’t part of my warning. He must have gotten used to it.”
“You’re alright otherwise though, right?”
“I think so.”
“Is that going to happen every time?”
“I… Sookie, I don’t think that was the complete scenario.”
“Tell me you’re kidding.”
“How… No way… how could that be…?”
“More insanely unhinged? More carnally satisfying? I don’t know.” But I wanted more… all of it.
She giggled lazily against my neck. “I guess I need to take a night off soon then, huh?”
“The sooner, the better.”
“I thought you were waiting because the next time I have your blood could cause a bond?”
“Waiting for you, nothing more.”
She didn’t reply, though her excitement gave her away. I’d have bonded to her last night if I’d only known she was ready for it… but I couldn’t let myself be disappointed…
Her leg slid over my hip slowly, then the other so that she could test her stability… waiting for me to step away from having her all but crushed against the wall…
When I finally managed to stop breathing, take control of my impossibly heavy legs, she wobbled and laughed at herself.
She quickly shampooed her hair, then scrubbed herself, then rinsed… all while beaming pure determination…
And when she stepped out of the tub, already wrapping a towel around herself, she mused that she was already feeling a headache coming on.
Sookie was standing at the mirror to apply her makeup while I went to the closet… She was curiously quiet and feeling slightly anxious.
“I was too distracted to ask. How were things in the casino today?”
“Not too bad… Well, considering how many people there were. I didn’t find anything outside of the realm of what you’d expect in a place like this though.”
“A place like this?”
“Greed and excess… that’s why folks come here, right?”
“You’re right about that… So there isn’t a problem with the church or Arkansas?”
“No sir. Not today there wasn’t. I’m going to make a pass or two tonight though.” I’d have been surprised if she didn’t want to.
“Of course… If there isn’t any kind of threat on your mind, what are you anxious about?”
She narrowed her eyes and gave a half-serious scowl to my reflection. “Cheater.”
“What? You’re apprehensive about something.”
“I want to ask you for a favor.”
“Did you fuck me beforehand in the hopes that I’d be more pliable?”
I was met with disgust. It was written all over her face and practically abusing my connection to her feelings.
“I was making a joke, Sookie.”
She sucked her teeth and shook her head. “Here I thought that if I asked before we had sex that you’d think I’d hold out if you told me no. That’s what I get for thinking, I guess.”
“I probably would’ve made that joke instead, if that had been the case. I want to hear the favor though. Truly.”
“It’s kind of a two-parter. First, I want you to keep a secret.”
“Want? Not need?”
“I don’t need you to, but I’d be grateful. It’s not a matter of life or death. It’s actually something I’m pretty excited about and I could keep it from you without you ever knowing… but, I don’t want to hide anything from you.” Hiding things becomes lying, lying becomes betrayal… the slippery slope… trusting her was just too important to me.
“I wouldn’t want that either… What’s the second part?”
“I want you to consider helping someone.”
“Who and how?”
“The who is the secret. The how is giving her some guidance.”
“What kind of guidance?”
“I’m going to keep that to myself until you decide on the first part of the favor, K?”
“In essence, you’ve met a female at some point who would benefit from some direction.” Fuck. Could she be more vague? She was spending too much time with vampires.
“How much time do I have to make the decision?”
“I’m meeting her for dinner at 10 o’clock. You don’t have to decide by then, but I’d like for you to go with me to meet her. Like I said, it isn’t a matter of life and death.” Who the fuck would she want me to give advice to? A fresh vampire? Someone looking to hide a body?
“Is Pam invited?”
“No. Paulette is going on an errand for me. She’s inviting Pam to go with her so they can shop after. The big mall here is open until midnight.”
“This secret deserves a diversion?”
“For now. Paulette thinks it’s because I want to be alone with you though.”
“He doesn’t know anything either. And before you ask, I’m going to find dinner for the Berts just before too.” There wasn’t a single forgivable reason for HER GUARD to be oblivious that she’d made dinner plans, not with his hearing being supposedly heightened.
“What’s the errand Paulette is going on?”
“That’s a secret. Unrelated though.”
“Not for long. Promise…” She giggled and began putting her makeup away. “It’s really not a big deal, Eric. In the scheme of things it doesn’t really make any difference. In fact, I’ll probably tell you anyway once my dinner is over if you opt to say no. K. Seriously, don’t worry about it.”
“If I agree now, do I get the details of the favor?”
“No…” She winced and turned to lean against the dresser. “The thing is, hell, this is hard to do without giving anything away… Um… You’ll know right away what kind of guidance I’m talking about when you meet her, but I have my reasons for not telling you before.” I could only call the tension of not knowing more than I did ‘maddening’.
I startled her by how quickly I crossed our room to stand directly in front of her and fake the seriousness that usually broke Pam. “You realize that I could torture you to get that information now, yes?”
She smiled, resting her hands on my chest. “You mean like the ‘punishment’ I got last night? Bring it.”
If I hadn’t laughed, I probably would have stolen her towel from her and tossed her to the bed to do just that. Right then. Right there. Just seeing that flirtatious little gleam in her eyes… “I’m too intrigued to wait until after your dinner meeting. It seems like you’re getting at least the first half of your favor.”
“What about the other half?”
“I can’t think of a reason that I’d refuse, but I don’t want to make any promises I’d have to renege on.”
“Don’t thank me yet. I’m still unsure of how much ‘guidance’ I can offer.”
She stretched up on her toes for a kiss. “Not for that… thanks for not giving me an empty promise.”
I took my laptop to the sofa in the living room so that I could create the illusion of business as usual for Fangtasia. Not tending to the bar could give away that I knew about the bombing ahead of time.
It was better to distract myself from Sookie’s short pink robe anyway. She was helping Paulette apply aloe to her sunburned shoulders when Pam emerged from her bedroom. Red lace bra and panties (probably a g-string) and a matching red kimono, open of course.
The silly brat yawned and stretched as though either were necessary, getting a giggle out of Sookie and Paulette in the process. She sympathetically mentioned Paulette’s sunburn, but followed up with ‘better you than me’… It still earned a snicker.
Pam made her way to me, nudging my computer out of the way to use my leg as a pillow.
I was rolling my eyes when I looked down at her. “What are you doing?”
“I’m lodging a complaint.”
“In regards to you. I don’t know what you and Sookie were talking about…”
“If you’re going to make fun of me then shouldn’t you be doing it from further away?”
“I’m not making fun… I was just going to mention how idiotically peaceful you seemed when I rose. You’re usually abusing me with tension from annoying business matters. I was happy as a clam to go to rest with a full stomach and saddleburns from that buckaroo of a donor Sookie found for me… but waking up to an unfamiliar nirvana… that’s just spectacular.” She was using the amusingly quixotic tone that usually came when trying to convince me that she needed a new fur or car. A purr and a whine rolled into one.
“She came to bed directly from sunbathing so we both rose in a good mood. What is the complaint?”
“That you didn’t find her sooner.”
I snorted at her. “I’m so very happy that you approve.”
“No. You’re just happy. Have you even realized it yet?”
“I’ll leave you alone about it; I like the side effects too much… well, last night was a little excessive, but…”
“What about last night?”
“You were very close to killing someone for a minute. Did you two argue?”
“Did it have something to do with the broken keycard attached to a discount card for Jethro’s Tan & Wax or whatever?”
“And the lacerated clothing strewn about?”
“And the wailing and groaning and…”
She giggled, “Yes?”
“You don’t mean that. You love me.” I’d have jokingly denied it if it weren’t for how recently I’d almost lost her.
“Then stop annoying me.”
“Send me shopping.”
“Haven’t you done enough shopping?”
“There’s no such thing as enough shopping. I think I’m going to enjoy our little vacation… Can I move in with you? Your house has fabulous closet space.”
“Those aren’t closets. They’re extra bedrooms.”
“Same thing… and all that wasted cabinet space in your kitchen…”
Sookie joined the conversation by kissing the side of my neck and sliding over the back of the sofa to rest on her knees next to Pam’s legs. “Am I interrupting?”
My ‘no’ was hardly noticed from Pam’s bleating. “Eric has 5000 square feet of unused space in his house and he won’t let me move in with him.”
Sookie looked at her like she was waiting for more information or a punchline. She finally offered an unfeeling, ‘Waah’ before she completely changed topics. “So what’s with the computer? Are y’all ordering beer so it doesn’t look like you knew?”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes.”
She stared blankly for a moment. “Seriously?”
“Not literally. I made a schedule that the staff won’t need and emailed it to Ginger and ordered a new refrigerator.”
“Ok. Wow… I was kinda just joking… Hey Pam, Paulette’s running an errand for me in a few minutes. Then she’s going to the mall… it’s open ‘til midnight.”
“What kind of errand?”
“A secret errand that you’ll be told about by Paulette once Eric can’t hear about it.”
Pam was off of the sofa and on her way back to her room within a second. Brat. “Get ready to go, witch. We have things to do.”
As soon as Pam’s door slammed shut, Sookie started laughing. “That was easy.”
“She loves nothing more than to know something I don’t.”
She started crawling along the sofa towards me slowly and straddled my lap. “I’ll have to keep that in mind.”
I couldn’t keep from pulling her closer, rubbing her body against mine. “Have you changed your mind about staying in?”
“No. I still hate that we have more responsible stuff to do.”
“Then you’re teasing me.”
I watched her smile disappear against my neck… her lips were so close to my skin, the warmth was like a haunting sweeping over me inch by miserable inch, slowly to my ear. She breathed, “Do you want me to stop?” No.
“I want to be able to follow through.”
“You know I do too.”
“What you’re doing is sadistic.”
She purred, “Don’t exaggerate. You’re being a brat about being patient… You said it yourself… it isn’t torment. It’s a promise.”
“You think you’re clever, don’t you? Using my own words against me.”
Her coy little giggle rattled through to my fingertips. She started to nibble again. My ear. My neck… Along my chin… Grinding her hips into my lap more and more as her mouth closed in on mine… She dragged out a kiss, rocking back and forth, not seeming to care that we would need to stop. I was at her mercy, and loving every second of it, until there was a knock on the door.
I’d been wrong…
The next four hours was going to be torment.