The room was so dense…
It smelled as though I’d managed to lie in a sunbeam unharmed.
As my body came back to my control I noticed the neatly folded piece of paper in my palm.
I was slow opening it and looking at the clock to see that it was earlier than usual, suggested that the sky was overcast since it was so early… The idea made me wonder (jokingly, of course) if Sookie had indeed managed to bottle her scent… until I heard the thunderclap and the crash of a nearby transformer being hit by lightening through the ceiling.
I smiled to myself that if the storms were persistent enough, I might last past dawn and be able to remember it.
Before I read the note, I was met with a concentration of her scent. Sunlight and sweetness… she’d wrinkled the bright pink paper slightly when she transferred the scent… just for me.
A- Shame on you for letting me sleep all night.
1- I missed you.
2- I was awake and full of energy too early.
B- The jailhouse treatment until 2 drove me nuts.
1- I got bored with the TV and there wasn’t anything to read so used your laptop to take care of a few things.
2- Paulette came back from the studio with my ring and the box haunted me from the bar.
3- I entertained myself at Pam’s expense.
C- By the time we ate lunch, I only had an hour at the pool before the storms hit.
1- I left as much of a treat as possible.
2- Being inside brought good news though.
Sam and Hadley (by extension, Jason) will be involved in your update.
Hopefully, I’ll feel you wake up again and be up shortly.
I could have written my own list in reply.
A- You needed to rest.
1- Your ability could’ve been hampered.
2- You’d had enough energy drinks to cause a nervous tick in the vampire you’re bonded to.
3- You didn’t sleep as much as you thought since once I returned, you cuddled my thigh and talked while I tended to the Fangtasia nonsense from my laptop.
B- As caged as I’m sure you felt, you were a willing prisoner because you know I was right about why you needed to take time off.
1- There are worse ways to be jailed than in a High Roller Suite with anything you want being just a phone call away.
2- The box that ‘haunted’ you from the bar, while accidental, seems like payback to me. Need I remind you that your little IOU had me fully engaged in poker for the first time ever?
C- Sadly I have no control over the weather.
1- There is enough treat remaining that I don’t want to leave the room.
I have a feeling that whatever you need to tell me about your Shifter and family is going to annoy me. Consider me braced.
Not only did you feel me rise, but I felt your mood become eager only a moment later… and you’ve been on your way back to me ever since…
I could have written it, but didn’t. I played with Sookie’s ring. Sliding it on and off… still amazed. It wasn’t just how well the charm worked, but how inclined Sookie had been to it… I could find her anywhere. The bond alone, even the partial one we had at the time, would have led me to her if she had been on the other side of the planet. There wouldn’t be any escaping me unless I let her go… and that wouldn’t happen. The idea should have frightened her. It still annoyed me that my maker could find me. But Sookie was so determined for us to be able to find one another that she’d participated in creating her own tracking device.
If we were to ‘enter the land of shadow and substance’ again, I would definitely make the suggestion to our counterparts… If we never found the spell to be intimately helpful, then I’d simply find myself proudly wearing a reminder of my Sookie’s ingenuity.
I could feel her smile before the door to our room opened even though her mood was contradicting itself. Happy and troubled.
A mismatched combination, but not surprising given their host who stopped to stand at the end of the bed. Her tiny denim shorts and the playfully low neckline of her t-shirt made me want to get my hands on her that much more. ‘Behaving’ so that she could get some much needed rest, hadn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. Hours alone with her in bed was exactly what I’d wanted, but that was where my goals stopped being accomplished… Wanting less clothing and more cumming made my hands itch to leave the keyboard. When she’d been purring against my thigh…
“I don’t want to ruin anything. I smell like Weres and pets now.” The way she pulled her lip when she’d said ‘pets’ was amusing enough without considering that she was noticing more subtle notes to scents… It was adorably haughty of her to say out loud that their scent would ruin her own traces.
“I’ll manage.” She’d smelled much worse and I still couldn’t stay away from her.
She kicked her shoes off and crawled up the bed to straddle me… “I was worried that I was just feeling you because I wanted to… it being so early.”
“It’s unusual, but not unheard of for me. It’s because of the storm… Other than your miserable seclusion in your penthouse suite, how was your day, Rapunzel?”
“I’m supposed to start at the beginning?”
“No. Start at the elevator and explain backwards.”
She gasped trying to resist the smile forming at the corners of her mouth as she slapped my chest. “That’s shitty.”
I twisted my fingers into her hair and pulled her face down to mine…. And enjoyed every bit of the way she absentmindedly arched her back to rub into me while we kissed. “You’re stalling. What is it that you don’t want to explain?”
“That Sam’s a bonehead. He must’ve tried to talk to me 20 different times before I was freed. Alcide finally answered my phone and told him that if he kept it up, he’d squeeze his neck until his head popped off… and then play soccer with it. He finally backed off and just waited until 2 so we could meet for lunch.”
“So he stayed here at the hotel last night?”
“Yeah. He thought without you around I’d let him take me home.”
“He arrived thinking you needed to be rescued?” Absolutely hilarious. “…I assume he’s on his way home now then.”
“Yeah. He’s calmed down a lot though. He expected a lot and didn’t see any of it… The jerk felt better when he saw me in my bikini… well, for a minute…”
“What was he expecting? And why for only a minute? Did he immediately begin humping strangers’ legs?”
“He was expecting you to pull that ‘mine’ shit that Bill used to do any time anyone looked at me… He expected me to be upset or unhappy… He expected me to look like a fangbanger or malnourished or scared… The reason his reaction to seeing me in my bathing suit was short lived was because I could hear that he was happy to not see me covered in fang marks. Alcide couldn’t hear it though. I was trying to ignore Sam’s thoughts and enjoy the sun, so I didn’t see it coming. Alcide caught him staring at my thighs and punched him in his throat. Told him that even if I didn’t belong to a vampire powerful enough to ‘disappear’ him that he should show me some effing respect if we’re such good ‘friends’… then he rumbled and grumbled like he did last night. I don’t think Sam’s name has ever crossed his lips. Dick head, asshole, McNugget… that one’s really starting to piss Sam off… the waitress at lunch snuck up on him so Alcide called him ‘Chicken Little’ a few times. I swear, I can totally picture Alcide locking nerds in lockers in high school. He was a bully from the minute we were in the elevator.”
“Chicken Little… No. I still like McNugget… Did McNugget meet you upstairs?” Perhaps the olfactory challenged idiot would strive to improve his menu if the nickname annoyed him enough.
She giggled, “No. Alcide was fussing at me about demeanor. He barked (no pun intended) that I wasn’t allowed to touch Sam and that I should curtail friendliness. Just because vampires aren’t around, doesn’t mean their pets wouldn’t gossip. Stuff I already knew, but he was just ornery about it.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s been with you for the past few days. This seems to be your first complaint about him. So, since you can read minds, why was he ‘ornery’ today?”
“Sam. He called him a ‘retarded, self-centered sadomasochist’ for showing up here. He was thinking that if Sam’s so sure that you’re a monster, that he should’ve thought about what would happen to me after his grand entrance last night. Sam should’ve been thinking about the bigger picture than just his Knight in shining armor fantasy that I needed saving. Alcide was thinking that assholes like Mickey would mark me up and parade me around just to prove to Sam that I was his to do what he wanted with.” Again, the wolf was proving that he was more than just hired muscle.
“Are you complaining about Alcide’s perspective?”
“No. Not really. He’s right… I mean… Sam didn’t think about it. It’s just… Kind of a slap in the face that some stuff still doesn’t occur to me.” And then there are times when she can solve any problem with Crazy Glue.
“It will with time. You’re young yet. You’ll learn.”
She snorted. “You say that like I’m a newborn vampire.” One could hope.
“You are of sorts. Considering your company and profession, the only difference is that I don’t need to teach you to stop feeding before you kill.”
“That’s a pleasant thought.”
I raised an eyebrow at her. “The steak you savagely devoured the other night bled all over the plate.” Not to mention the fact that she’d fed directly from me later that night. She hadn’t quite realized how much less squeamish she was becoming.
She giggled, admitting that she saw my point of view with a nod. “Moving on?”
“Since I seem to have made my point, definitely. Your note mentioned that you did something to Pam. What will she be blaming me for?”
She giggled again and moved to take my phone from the bedside table. “I guess you haven’t checked this yet…” Why would I bother with business related bullshit when there had been sunshine waiting in my hand?
She held my phone out and one look… one look and I was grateful that my death negated my need to breathe… and piss… Sookie had outdone herself. I was laughing so uncontrollably that it was hard to keep from jostling Sookie onto the floor.
My new homescreen… beautiful. I wouldn’t have done anything any differently if there was a stake at my heart…
Starting at Pam’s feet…
Gold lame slippers with maribu trim.
Gaudy socks that made Pam’s ankles look like rolls of candy.
An elastic garter was on each one of her thighs… one was light blue and white lace, the other was dark green and glittery.
The garters were over equally mismatched stockings. One black fishnet. One white.
A dangerously bright yellow, baggy T-shirt that barely covered her hips and had nothing more than a cartoon bird’s face as a design.
Each and every one of Pam’s fingernails were painted a different color.
Both hands had an onion ring around each of her fingers.
Rainbows of plastic bands covered her wrists along with something that looked like a Swatch. The Swatch, Pam would just add to her collection.
Pam’s face was caked with a green mud-like paste.
Her lips were smeared with a nauseating shade of brown.
And Pam’s hair was pulled up around countless pink sponge curlers…
The crown poking out of the nest of curlers was plastic and said ‘birthday girl’.
And I laughed the whole time I memorized the picture captioned ‘OWNED’.
“Sookie… She’s going to come after you… This is… This…” If I were human, I might have felt lightheaded, drunk, euphoric.
She looked so proud of herself. “I already have my volley taken care of.”
“Where did you…? How… This is priceless!”
“TV was boring me, so I grabbed your laptop and Alcide helped me do the internet thing to make sure my checks had cleared so I could pay my bills…” She paused, feeling a brief ‘uh oh’ because she didn’t remember that I’d discovered my uncashed check, but she tried to ignore her little ‘whoops’. “…It was perfect timing, really. I was just starting to whine about being bored when Paulette came back. Sydney had followed her up to see if there was anything we need… All of the stuff came from the hotel’s storage locker where they keep stuff folks leave behind in their rooms.”
“You had help in this?”
She drew back, shaking her head. “Nuh-uh! Those cowards didn’t want any parts of my fun. The closest anyone got was Alcide. He stood at the door and sang that I was going to get it.”
“He’s right. You may very well…”
“She started it. She started it and you wouldn’t let her kill me, so I figured I’d blow off some steam… She’ll have fun acting like I started it, but last night… While she was in Shed with me, she started glamouring the donors to think about Alcide and her and the Berts and… I was attacked with mental porn starring everyone I know while I was delivering news to seriously victimized vampires.” That was funny in its own right.
I chuckled again, taking one last look at my homescreen before putting it aside so I could focus. I rested back to the bed again, taking Sookie with me. “I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard, but last night at the restaurant… Wait, wouldn’t that be your payback for the porn?”
“No. That was just joking around on the fly. Fun with friends… the slumber party prank was ‘getting her’.”
“Are you sure she knows the difference?” I wouldn’t.
“Pretty sure.” She didn’t seem at all worried that things could quickly get out of hand when it came to engaging in a prank war with Pam. I’d given Pam more than 300 years of material to recycle.
“I’m going to keep my eye on things regardless. She’s been known to get carried away… Other news?”
“I found the missing vampires.”
“Really? How did that happen?”
“When the storms rolled in, we came in to change and then headed down to the casino. My dealer at the blackjack table is the pet of one of the missing vampires. It’s a long story, but he was late for work because there was more traffic than he expected between work and the safehouse where the other vampires are holed up. I’ve got a phone number for Salome to call. They got spooked because of the bombing and decided to lay low while they felt things out.” Cowards.
“As it turned out there wasn’t much reason for you to be here then. Since the vandalisms were in house and the missing vampires hadn’t been ‘sacrificed’…”
“Eh, it was smart to come here though. I mean… Now Salome can warn her vampires about what Newlin is up to and can keep an eye on the Weres. I think she should call the Packmasters here and ask them for a courtesy call in case new guys show up for no reason since Arkansas is going to be an issue until Sophie-Ann takes over.”
“The concern keeping her from asking is her lack of previous cooperation.”
“Fear based reluctance. Alcide and I talked about it this morning. Vampires don’t tend to explain. Anyone would be suspicious of doing a favor without hearing the reasons. All she has to do is explain why she needs the heads up then their imaginations wouldn’t lead them to possible clandestine motives… a phone call is a simple favor to ask for, so it wouldn’t cost her much in return.”
“That depends on the Were though. That’s how I’ve come to deal with Flood, but his predecessor wasn’t nearly as obliging. I’ll suggest she offer the proverbial olive branch though… Was there more to your day? ”
Sookie grimaced when she nodded. “I probably should have saved that picture of Pam for later. Hadley called me.”
“When did she call you?”
“It was about 11ish, I guess. The storm hit New Orleans first…”
“No. That doesn’t matter. She isn’t old enough that she’d wake up a moment before sunset even given the storm.”
Sookie sat up, away from my chest… confusion and curiosity bouncing between us while I watched her thoughts dance across her usually well controlled face. “Eric?”
I was almost sure that we were on the same page. “Yes?”
“She can block herself off from her maker.” Almost like Sookie can become a nonentity to me.
“It’s unheard of, but it seems to be the case.”
“She can be awake during the day?”
“If she called you at 11, then yes. Equally uncharacteristic to her state of being as it is, that seems to be the case as well.”
She stared down at me for a moment trying to battle away a hailstorm of emotions. “Does that mean… Eric do you think that means that I’d be like that too… If I became a vampire I mean…” Bingo. As usual, we seemed to share complementary epiphanies. This one… Sookie becoming a vampire.
“There’s no way to be sure.”
She started crying before I felt the fear sweep over her. “Would I be like that?”
“There are too many variables. You’re only cousins so half of her genetics differ from yours… Her maker and I have practically polar opposite personalities…”
“Eric, I mean hateful and crazy… We know that I’m part Faerie and that she is too… that’s why she was so attractive to them…”
I tried hushing her, sitting up to close the gap between us. “Is there any reason we should be concerned about this, Sookie? The last time I heard, you didn’t want to become a vampire.”
She put her hands to my chest to push away, but only slightly. “Don’t bullshit away from this, Eric. You know I’d end up considering it… I don’t want to be like that.”
“Do you remember when I told you that taking vampire blood doesn’t change a person; it only enhances what’s already part of them?”
She nodded, biting her lip as though she were waiting for a movie fiend to jump out of the closet with an axe.
“Even though the first vampire blood you had was that of an uninspired coward, when I met you, you were still anything but.” If anything, she might’ve been adopting some of Compton’s paranoia, but her generalized suspicions could easily be blamed on actual circumstances rather than imagined ones.
She nodded again, still not relaxing in the slightest.
“I also remember hearing that she was always unpredictable and egocentric… If those were her most defined characteristics as a human, then it would explain why she’s how she is now.”
“Then… what do you think I would be like then?” If it weren’t for the affectionately scented note I rose to, causing the deprived and lingering stiffness she was already sitting on, I’d have given myself away… Even hearing Sookie speak in hypothetical terms about becoming a vampire… fucking incredible…
“If you were to be turned, I think your maker will have a wickedly determined, enterprising and captivating newborn on his hands.”
“Could you put up with me? Would I embarrass you like Hadley…” Her breathing sputtered and her tears fell more readily as her interruption. It wasn’t at all lost on me that while I was trying to stay in the realm of theory to avoid pushing my luck, she was clutching to the finite concept of becoming MY child. Mine.
Jokingly reminding her that I’d ‘put up with’ Pam for more than 3 centuries wasn’t going to fix the situation. “Sookie, you’ve yet to embarrass me. I wouldn’t just be tolerating you. I’d be privileged if you chose to let me enjoy you forever.”
More surprising than how much I meant what I’d said, was how relieved she was to hear it… Her arms quickly went around my sides to strap her to me. She cried quietly while she tried to calm herself unsuccessfully and it tickled a curiosity I’d harbored for a while. As I did my best to push some manner of soothing, some comfort to her through our bond, her arms only tightened around me… eventually she’d calmed down enough to actually thank me in a tiny little whisper against my neck, but still clung to me.
“It’s not something worth fretting over now, Sookie. There are years between us and that decision.”
She nodded, staying hidden at the base of my neck.
“Why did she call?” My only hope of enjoying the proud excitement she’d been feeling before was moving past the topic of her fears of being a disappointment like Mickey and Hadley.
“To shit hate.”
So help me, I chuckled. The way she worded some things… some of her phraseology was why I could be surprised at how well read she was, but some of it was worth adding to my own repertoire. “How precisely did she choose to shit hate today?”
Sookie giggled, albeit weakly and pulled her face away from me a tiny bit. “She said that I was the one to deserved to not have a family, not her and if she really wanted to get to Jason, she would and knowing that he was all the family I had left she’d gladly move on to draining my friends. I was tempted to tell her to kiss my ass because all of my friends are already dead… But it’s not true. There are a few humans left I still care about.”
“How did she have access to a phone?” She should’ve been on a silver rack somewhere.
“I don’t know. I called Jason… He’s on his way here. I thought I should tell him in person about Hadley’s crap since she threatened to hurt him and all.” No sooner than I had the thought that it was impractical for Sookie to summon her brother from Bon Temps to share family gossip, I realized that she was most likely becoming homesick. I couldn’t be sure without asking plainly, but I doubted she’d ever done much traveling. I was sure she’d never been away from ‘home’ for an entire week.
“I’m sure he’ll appreciate getting that news in person. Did you already arrange for a room for him? He might have some fun in the casino while he’s here…”
Without warning, Sookie’s lips took over mine. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she felt grateful, of all things, I might not have been so puzzled as to miss my window of opportunity.
“Not that I’m complaining, Sookie, but what was that about?”
“I was worried that you’d be upset… you know, about another interruption.” She couldn’t be serious. Her worries weren’t centered on threats from a family member, they were specific to my reaction to her brother’s invitation.
“Hadn’t you already decided that I’m not a monster?”
“Yeah, but you could be annoyed that we’d have another distraction… And it’s not that I think you’re not a monster. I’ve seen you be what people assume.”
“Then what’s the difference?”
“You aren’t like that unless you have to be and God knows I don’t have any plans to push you to it.”
“Are you sure that you aren’t scared of me? You have been before.”
She pulled away from my neck finally to give me a very solemn look. “I was afraid of a lie, not you.” Normally, being feared was my end game, but somehow the contradictions Sookie caused were refreshing rather than infuriating. Eventually I’d have to admit to Pam that she’d been right so that she’d lose interest in mocking me about it.
I leaned forward, pulling Sookie closer, adjusting to put her on her back and me… between those thighs. “Then why be so careful?”
She eyed me carefully, knowing what I wanted and more than eager to play. “What do you mean?”
I pressed into her, letting down my fangs to tease down her chest. “You’re hiding my pussy. You’ve locked it away in a denim safe.”
She giggled and arched her back to combine our efforts in ridding of her shirt. “Yours?” Mine.
Her fingers wove into my hair… we watched her nipple draw in as soon as I touched my cool tongue to it. “Just like this is mine.”
She tried to look bothered until I moved to her other side. She sighed, “I guess that’s yours too, huh?”
She squeaked as I dragged my mouth down the delicious curve of her breast, not at all annoyed that she didn’t taste like anything but herself… nectar, honey, sugar, none of them and all of them. “You know it is.”
I nibbled down her ribs, leaving hot goosebumps and quiet humming in my wake. “I should be pissed that you’re ‘claiming me’ when there’s no one here to prove anything to.”
She squirmed, tugging my hair when I began chuckling against her stomach, moving to tease her other side without answering.
“What’s so funny?”
I made her wait… inch by satisfying inch, wanting to see the look on her face, but craving just a little more. I’d chewed and groped, nicked her collarbone to steal a taste and her patience didn’t run out until I reached her chin. Just a bit longer and she wouldn’t have had the chance to repeat her question.
“What’s. So. Funny?”
I pushed against the regrettably present denim barrier between us, enjoying the way her eyes lost focus from the friction to speak against her lips. “I’m not proving a point, Sookie… Since you aren’t arguing, I think you are.”
I waited. Her face was a lock. Her legs didn’t move from their twist around mine. Her hands didn’t release my hair. It was the bond that gave her away. She was feeling a strange breed of acquiescence… more along the lines of nonresistance than surrender. Her stubborn streak made her jaw clench, refusing to confirm anything.
As beautiful as my silent victory was, I wanted more. I knew pushing her could piss her off, but that would be fun too. “Who do you belong to?”
“Eric, I’m gonna…” I snorted, cutting off her would be ‘threat’ to kick my ass and leaving her with a surprised expression.
I arched away from her just enough to start opening her shorts, wedging my hand in, grazing her clit, sliding my fingers into her while she tried to muster some anger for the triumphant smirk that I wasn’t bothering to resist. “Who else makes you wet, Sookie?”
Her hips tried to rise to me on their own. She bit her lip and whimpered, “No one.” Mine.
I drew a slow line from her chin to her ear, teeth and tongue, making her shudder under me. “Who else do you dream about?”
She rubbed her cheek against mine, trying to pull me closer with her legs. I’d half expected her to be livid, but her symbiotic mood put a pounding need into my cock. “No one.” Mine.
Lust laced sweat began dewing on her shoulder as she rocked her hips as much as I let her… “Who else gets to touch you, Sookie?”
She lifted her head just enough to bite my shoulder. She was trying to push me and it was working, but it only made me more determined. “No one.” Mine.
I slowed my fingers, but started moving my thumb over her clit tighter, faster… she gasped, arching her back away from the bed.
I was high on what I could do to her…
Drunk on the way desire smelled wafting from her…
On a collision course for my own breaking point…
Bringing her close, all but nudging her to the fine line, the threshold of how much she could take before she came…
Taking away her control… robbing her of her shell, her ability to pretend… and all the lies she told herself…
Laying in wait, poised to strike…
Feeling the slightest force around my fingers, I retreated slowly… painfully…
For both of us.
I sat back, resting on my knees to bring her legs up and peel her shorts away as carefully as I could. I wanted to see them again… soon.
Swimming in the dazed stare she gave me while I worked…
Taking my time to bite along her thigh on my way to where my entire body ached to be…
One long lick brought her hands back to my hair…
The way she squealed when her clit pulsed against my tongue…
She was holding on like she was afraid to die if she let go…
Pinning her legs back to calm her squirming…
And leaving her with nothing but expectation at her threshold… Panting my name and ‘please’ in scattered, random bursts as though they were interchangeable.
The way she moaned when she tasted herself on my mouth was almost enough to make me forget our discussion…
But it was the guttural, primal growl when I pushed into her that anchored me.
I waited to enjoy the perfect feeling… that precious pop, that sudden give when the head of my cock locked behind her deeper curve.
She felt a splinter of panic when I stopped, looking between us and lifting her hips, wanting me to keep going…
Exactly where I wanted her… “Who else makes you beg?”
She lifted again, but I matched her shift to keep her from getting what she wanted on her own and repeated the question. “No one, Eric, I…” Mine.
The rest of her words were replaced with a deep groan trapped behind her bit lip when I shoved into her…
She let go of my hair to claw the sheets…
Going back to my haunches, but holding her thighs to my chest for want of her heat…
Fucking past her limits, holding back until she’d cum and cried in cycles… until her pulse hammering in her neck caught my attention one too many times.
The first taste, the tiny flash of her blood was my undoing.
As soon as my back touched the mattress, Sookie rolled to my side. Trembling, practically vibrating as she curled her arm and leg over me.
I swept a lock of hair from her face, about to ask her who she belonged to…
My mouth had barely opened when she lifted her chin to narrow her eyes. She grinned and whispered, “You.”
And then the feisty little brat punched my ribs.