It Gives You Wings
If I’d had my way, I sure as hell wouldn’t have spent half an hour explaining to Sookie and Pam that it made sense for Fangtasia to get a live bomb instead of a decoy. Nor would I have been all but trapped on the phone with all of the other Louisiana sheriffs. One call after another… Cleo and Gervaise were hoping to be ‘next in line’ for the use of Sookie’s ability after Salome… Followed by neighbors including Dallas’s sheriff and Mississippi’s king…
Emailing them all a copy of Sookie’s contract and outlines for ‘telepathy clinics’ did nothing to end the battery of inquisitive groveling. They agreed to the fees and stipulations without hesitation and made no complaints about being queued in order of urgency rather than ‘first come, first served’…
The most annoying aspect was that Sookie was exhausted enough to be fighting yawn after yawn before she was done explaining to Salome that a ‘mandatory staff meeting’ had worked well in New Orleans… Cleo was still kissing my ass when Sookie curled up next to me on the couch to use my leg as her pillow and by the time Russell Edgington was done shamelessly gushing, Sookie was purring softly with her arms wrapped around my thigh. Through the entire process, irritating as it was, Sookie managed to sleepily mumble responses to the questions she was needed to answer even though everything about her told me she was completely asleep…
When I carried her to her room to put her in her bed, Pam had covered it with a plethora of clothing she’d found for Sookie. I was planning a way to clear the heap away without disturbing Sookie when she whispered, ‘I thought I was sleeping with you anyway’… She hadn’t opened her eyes though.
Even though I’d been told that she talks in her sleep, there wasn’t any way to explain how she was so aware of her surroundings when her eyes were closed. I was still trying to figure out how she’d known where we were or what gave me pause when I slipped away at dawn with Sookie breathing against my chest with her thigh hitched over mine…
When I rose, I immediately felt charged… Not my usual.
Every part of my body felt as though I was leaning against heavy machinery. Almost a shiver if I remember one correctly.
Sookie was completely to blame, but I couldn’t explain why. Judging by her determined yet frazzled mood and the fact that she was darting around the house as though she was being chased, I wouldn’t even have ventured to guess…
The foyer housed a collection of luggage. Sookie’s and Jason’s (if a duffle bag suffering from dry rot could be considered ‘luggage’) and what I assumed was Paulette’s. It was all arranged neatly with a few nondescript boxes.
When I walked into the kitchen, Sookie was standing in front of the open refrigerator drinking from a can as though her life depended on it while Paulette and Jason watched her.
She tossed the empty can into the garbage and grabbed another while she closed the refrigerator door and began to study her erratically moving hands as though she was checking off an unseen list.
“I think that’s it! Pam might need help packing all of her new schwag, but Eric…” She turned around to face them and that’s when she noticed me… And her face was instantly taken over with that smile I’d been craving… She was genuinely happy to see me. “…Oh, hey there! Need any help packing?”
“K… I’m packed, Jason is ready to head out too, the house is clean and ready to be closed up… Other than your and Pam’s…” She was speaking so quickly that her voice was an octave (and several decibels) higher than usual.
“Sookie, are you on something?”
Paulette giggled. “My fault. I never went to sleep last night because of planning and packing. I brought some energy drinks with me to keep me going…”
Sookie broke in with wide eyes, “She shared. These things are awesome. I usually stick to coffee, but these little silver cans… I could drink these all the time… They’re soooooo yummy… I slept until 3, but after the way I crashed on you last night I was worried about a repeat. They work really well. I wish the cans were bigger though. Kinda wasteful if you ask me, they should sell it in 2 liter bottles… or like juice pouches, ‘cept for grownups… Maybe that’s a bad idea. I just pictured what would happen if Arlene’s kids accidently drank some…” Hyperactive rambling. We served the drink at Fangtasia, but I’d never seen it cause such a reaction. I had been convinced that the ‘energy drink’ label was nothing more than a brilliant marketing ploy that only served to drive up the price per can…
“Paulette, tell me there’s an antidote for Red Bull.”
She cringed, “Weed?”
The three of them found that utterly hilarious. Considering what Sookie needed to be prepared for, I wasn’t amused. “How long does it take for the effects to wear off?”
“It doesn’t take long for me, but she’s never tried it before. She should start mellowing out once she stops drinking it. She hasn’t eaten yet either.”
Jason snorted, “Or she could ‘have wings’ for 3 days like I did when I tried it… and I just had one.” Fuck!
“Feed her something while I pack.”
If I thought that Sookie’s room had been ridiculous when I tried to put her to bed, I would’ve just needed to see Pam’s in comparison. There was a Pam shaped dent in the clothing mountain on her bed and the floor was riddled with shoe boxes and bags stacked knee deep. “You won’t have the chance to wear a fraction…”
She purred from the bathroom, “Classics, my dear, never go out of fashion.”
“Good. Then you won’t ‘need’ to go to Milan this year.”
“Bite. Your. Tongue… No seriously, bite it… Hard.”
“What would be the point in going to buy new fashion when you’ve collected so many ‘classics’?”
“When you stop buying new cell phones every 4 months, then we’ll talk… You’re in a mood. What crawled up…?”
“NOTHING… Stop asking what crawled up my ass. It’s completely absurd.”
She rolled her eyes and huffed one of her pointless breaths in my direction. “Blue balls?”
“Are you sure? When was the last time you suffered?”
“I… fuck. I don’t know. Never? I could be, but I’m ‘in a mood’ at the moment because the anointed savior of Louisiana vampires is downstairs zipping around in some sort of Red Bull induced buzz. She’s having some sort of reaction to it.”
“Is she freaking out?”
“Is she feeling pressure, stress, upset?”
“No. She’s feeling… She’s frenzied.”
“Well, good then. She’ll calm down enough for business. And if you get lucky, she’ll taste like candy later. Win/win.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“You act like Sookie hasn’t owned every task she’s been given. She might be bouncing off the walls right now, but she takes what she does very seriously. You know she won’t disappoint. I mean, that pompous prick Andre thinks she’s the bee’s knees as far as pet behavior is concerned.”
“Thank you, Pam, for reminding me of another concern.”
“I need a vacation from you.”
“YOU? Need a vacation from ME?”
“You’re usually much cooler than this. I think you need to get laid.”
“I do need to get laid, but that has nothing to do with the fact that ‘my pet’ is more popular than AB- right now… and that Andre, of all fucking vampires, is a little too impressed with her for my taste.”
“Attached to her already, are you?” She was taunting me on the wrong subject matter.
My stray moment of deliberate candor only served to get Pam to back down. “Hurry up and fuck her and bond to her… Before you end up killing someone for looking at her.”
“You say that like bonding to her is going to make me less protective of her… Fuck, you say that like a bond would deter a weasel like Andre.”
“It’ll deter Sophie-Ann as long as you’re compliant. Right now she has the best of both worlds. Sookie is willingly yours…”
“And a master at publically faking her devotion.”
“She’s not faking… and she’s going above and beyond every expectation they had for her. All they were hoping for was to have her sit in on the occasional meeting to look for dishonesty. They didn’t have any idea that she’d be capable of so much detail.”
“What do you mean ‘not faking’.”
“No. Not this time.”
“Why don’t you pass her a note during study hall?”
“Why don’t you stop trying to piss me off. What. Did. You. Mean?”
She sucked her teeth, knowing full well that I was done with letting her bait me. “You’re slipping. You can tell exactly what I’m doing by our watery bond and you can’t tell that she loves you? You really can be an idiot sometimes… She would’ve agreed to belonging to another vampire rather than see you injured or ended! She was covered in mucus and leaking in the bathroom when she told me that if anything had happened to you because of her, letting her live would’ve been punishment enough… her perfect behavior might have started as being part of ‘the show’, but she’s not faking it. Sookie loves you.”
“She depends on me…”
“For what? She could be protected by any vampire she chooses. She has friends. He’s not much, but her brother does love her…”
“He’s abusive to her.”
“He doesn’t mean to be. He’s just too simple. He doesn’t know how to sugarcoat anything and she knows. She warned me about him after you called him. While I was babysitting him, he talked about how ‘cool’ it was to see so many people in one place that weren’t freaked out by her ‘thang’… He loves her enough to be happy to see something positive happen to her.”
“He considers his sister being the most valuable piece of property in the state as a positive?” He must’ve been dropped as an infant… often.
“He called her haunted. She couldn’t ever get away from people’s thoughts and she was miserable for her whole life because of it… The point is that you’re too used to people needing something from you. You need to wrap your head around the fact that she doesn’t need you for anything. She actually enjoys being with you.”
“Not that this conversation isn’t enlightening…”
She interrupted. “And making you feel things.”
“At least I haven’t cried over a hug. Would you like to continue talking about feelings or would you prefer to take care of business so that I leave you to packing?”
She stared at me before she abandoned her plans to taunt me because she knew I had more ammunition than she did. “Are you absolutely sure you want to do this? Fangtasia…”
“I can’t think of a negative aspect worth mentioning. It’ll be bombed during the day so no one will be injured. Media coverage of bombings at both ends of the state will make the church look completely psychotic. I don’t like being closed down for safety’s sake. It could look as if we’re afraid to face them… It’ll appear to the queen that I’m making a sacrifice for the cause while showing that I take Sookie’s ability and her assistance on human insight seriously… It’s not as though we’ll miss the income while we rebuild, if we decide to. The bar wasn’t anything but a profitable storefront to the sheriff position to begin with… I’ve already looked into real estate in the area where we can take audience, have meetings and have Sookie offer her services. And the best part of watching the place burn to the fucking ground on the news is that we won’t have to think about that shackle for a while.”
“Whatever… So, I’m going back to Shreveport, dispose of the yahoos and NOT rest in my house. Tomorrow I’m clearing out the safe, grabbing your hard drive and joining you in Baton Rouge.”
“Unless you hear otherwise, yes. Why did you ‘whatever’ me this time?”
“Because you don’t need to do it. Putting a ‘dud’ by the service entrance would give you just as much reason to close down as an actual explosion.” The way her voice wavered when she said ‘explosion’…
“Are you scared to go?”
“What? Why would I…?”
“Because you were almost ended two nights ago and there are risks involved in going to Fangtasia.” I hadn’t needed to explain, she’d already betrayed herself… Saying that the bombing left her rattled would be an understatement.
“It worries me.” That would be the best I’d get as far as an honest answer was concerned. We’d had a few ‘near misses’ in the past that had left her clingy, but I was getting the undeniable feeling that I wasn’t the only one she wanted to stay close to… even if she would only admit that Sookie was an amusing safety measure, Pam was forming an attachment of her own.
I started for the door. “Then pack for Baton Rouge instead. No deep meditation though. We’re short for time.”
“Not at all.”
“What will you do about…?”
“The yahoos will wait. I’ll have Bobby manage the rest. Is there anything ‘irreplaceable’ that you’re keeping at Fangtasia?”
She shook her head. “Thank you… I… Thank you.”
“You should’ve said something since I’m slipping so badly.”
She tried to force a smile, but it wasn’t coming to her so I relieved her of feeling things around me and went to take care of business.
I was nearly done packing when Sookie knocked on the door and waited (anxiously) for her invitation.
“I’m going from room to room to make sure nothing got missed. Are you sure you don’t want any help?”
“Are you angry? We didn’t know Red Bull would key me up so much.”
“Concerned. Not angry. You’ve settled since you ate though. If energy is going to be a problem, maybe Paulette can think of something that’ll keep you awake without causing the side effects.”
“It’s called coffee. I’ll stick to that from now on. Unless it’s housekeeping day. Red Bull would be perfect for cleaning.”
“It might help Pam pack. Have you seen her room?”
She giggled. “No. How could it possibly be worse than what she did to mine?”
“Your room would be the square root of hers.”
“Sadly, yes. Paulette will have hundreds of pounds to ship back to Shreveport when she returns to New Orleans.”
“She could just bring it all with her when she moves.”
“She won’t relocate. I’ve tried.”
“She could be convinced.” Whenever Pam used a similar singsong voice, my skin crawled, but Sookie’s didn’t irritate me… The intriguing subject might have been the reason.
“You heard something?”
She smirked. “Maybe.”
“I’d give you whatever you want anyway. Name your price.”
“Don’t send Pam back to Shreveport. I think she’s scared, but even if she’s not, I’m scared for her.” Unfuckingbelievable.
She pouted. “I don’t want a single thing. Is it too much? I just figured you could have Bobby take care of most of it and glamour him later. You know, back burner the yahoos… It’s fine… I just…” I heard Pam’s echo, ‘she doesn’t need you for anything’… Sookie could’ve asked for anything…
“It’s not too much… I’ve already taken care of it. She’s going with us to Baton Rouge already.”
“Seriously?” When I nodded, her eyes lit up and she closed the distance between us to hug me. The happiness I was feeling was hers… but the strange weight in my chest was my own… My reaction to the fact that Sookie was the only other individual I’d known to care about Pam?
“How did you come to the conclusion that she was worried about going back alone?”
“When you told us the plan, she seemed kind of weird about it… she had less reaction to seeing two of each of us.”
“So I tell you that I’d give you whatever you want, and you option for Pam’s peace of mind?”
“I told you I don’t want anything… Now Paulette is a different story.”
“Did you know that she lives with her brother and his family because he lost his job a while back? They live off of what she makes working for you and his unemployment.”
“When we had our company, it was mentioned that their Paulette was relocating, but not what he used as bait… There were too many questions. Bobby’s attitude was what we focused on.”
“Ahhh, well… If a certain vampire knows someone in need of a qualified welder in the Shreveport area, then they could all relocate and Paulette wouldn’t have to worry about how Porter is making ends meet.”
“After the other night, the queen may very well hire them for piece work. The wards they cast were…”
“They don’t want to work as witches on a regular basis. A- it’s hell when filing taxes. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do…”
“Financial consultant for my company. Bruce is already taking care of things on that end.”
“B is that it’s a slippery slope. Paulette knows that you understand, but they’re picky about how they use magic. They’ve got no problems casting spells to protect folks, but they’re strong enough to do a lot of damage. They wouldn’t want to piss off the wrong person by refusing to be more aggressive with their talents.”
“That’s all I have to do? Hire Porter as a welder, then Paulette is my day girl?”
“Well, helping them relocate too…”
“Of course… I’ve been offering her Bobby’s job since before she’d been working here for a year. I owe you a favor.”
She giggled. “We’re even. We both got what we wanted… I’d have told you anyway… I’m going to go get a shower and get ready since you don’t need any help.”
“Mind if I join you?”
She laughed, “You already took a shower.” I’d been expecting an unconditional ‘no’, so her reason threw me.
“I feel dirty.”
She rolled her eyes. “I bet.”
When she turned around to leave, giggling and under the assumption that I was joking, I grabbed her. Her body against mine, a fistful of her hair, a whiff of her scent and I was already getting hard as I spoke against her neck. “I know it’s a poorly veiled excuse to touch you, but you need to show me what you’re doing wrong if I’m going to teach you how to use the shower.”
I was waiting, still expecting her refusal with my face buried against her neck when I heard a click and looked up to see that we’d been moving… the click was the knob on her bedroom door.
She bent over to turn on the water, giggling that I still hadn’t let her go. “You’re persistent.”
She hummed, leaning back to me again. “Is that a good thing?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
“All kidding aside, I need you to let me go. I don’t have much time to get ready.”
It was harder than I thought it would be to take my arm away from her and put my back against the wall…
She watched me for a moment as though she was waiting for something before she grabbed the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head slowly… shyly.
And everything slowed down…
Watching her shirt fall to rest on the floor…
Memorizing every wrinkle of her nipples as they reacted to the cool air of being freed…
Studying the way her hips shifted when she pushed her shorts down…
The flip of her ankle as she kicked them aside was a flourish, like a boastful pen stroke…
The glance over her shoulder as she stepped into the tub wasn’t just watchful…
I might have wondered about it if I couldn’t feel her anticipation, her wonder, her craving…
That glance had been my invitation.
I fed it. I don’t know how the fuck I managed to wait, but that’s what I did…
I waited, watching through the smoky glass doors as her silhouette hinted that she was washing her hair…
Letting her expectation clash with my own until I couldn’t stand the wait any longer.
I stepped into the tub behind her and didn’t give her the chance to react. I began washing her, starting at her shoulders…
She took a moment to bask before she let herself remember our limitations. “Eric, the time.” …down her back…
“What about it?”
She whimpered, “We don’t have much.” …enjoying every delicious contour of her ass…
“What if we did? What if we had the whole night to ourselves?”
“Then I’d be out of excuses.”
“Excuses for what?”
She giggled, laying her head back against my shoulder to look up at me. “Excuses to control myself… Happy?” …reaching around to let my fingers play along the outline of her breasts…
“Does it make you feel better to know that I’ve painted myself into a corner? Now that I’m done over-thinking everything, we’re too swamped to do anything about it.”
“No. I don’t think it does make me feel ‘better’.”
“Then… I’m sorry?” …squandering precious time along her waist, but devouring her expectations… she wanted my hands to continue…
“I’m still preoccupied by hearing that you’re out of excuses.”
“We still can’t do anything about the fact that the Berts will be here to get us in half an hour.”
“But you’ve run out of excuses.” …turning her around and worshiping the way her leg trembled when I lifted it, then the other…
“You’re out of patience?”
“It worked out well that I managed to last until you’re out of excuses.” …the way she hated that I set her foot down instead of doing anything else with it…
“I know I’m out of excuses… and time. We don’t have time to…” As much as I wanted to ignore our agenda, I was painfully aware of it… but I was not about to walk away from that shower with nothing…
I ended her weak complaint about timing with a kiss, finally venturing to reach between her legs and being rewarded with her anxious moan… the sound was so deep that it felt like my own…
Every second that my fingers whispered over her skin without giving Sookie what she wanted pushed her breathing that much more out of control…
When she had to finally pull away, she gasped as I ran my fangs down her neck.
“Do you think that the car would leave without us?”
She rolled her eyes towards the ceiling and whined, “Goddammit, Eric. This isn’t fair.”
“What isn’t fair? The way you tease me?”
“The way you tease me… You do it on purpose.” It was my only defense.
I chuckled against her shoulder and watched her goosebumps spread. “Is it working?”
“You know it is.”
“Are you so sure about fucking me all of a sudden?”
There was something nearly feral about the way she looked at me. “You know the answer to that too.”
“And your only excuse is that you don’t want to keep the Berts waiting?”
“Not them. Salome.”
I took a step away from her. “Then you’d better rinse so that you can get ready.” My aching dick is the only thing that kept me from laughing at the frustration written all over her face.
She curled her little hands into fists and punched both of my shoulders. “You son of a bitch! You planned that!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was only here to observe your technique… You really do need lessons.”
She put her hands on my chest and tried to shove me away, but nearly fell in the process. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m not laughing. Payback, my dear Sookie, is a bitch.”
Her eyebrows twitched with the corners of her mouth. “Oh yeah? Is that one of my lessons?”
“No. Just a simple fact.”
“So is ‘don’t overplay your hand’.”
“Who’s done that?”
“You.” Before I could deny it, Sookie leaned forward and dragged her teeth down the side of my neck so violently, so perfectly that it was agonizing… And when she wrapped her hand around my cock and started stroking, my eyes rolled back and I had nothing to do but brace myself against the wall…
Her hand was so tight… it hurt… I couldn’t stand the idea of making her stop…
When I tried to put my arm around her, she grabbed my wrist and pushed it away…
With every heated stroke, the head of my dick slid over her stomach…
I tried to reach between her legs, but she used her thigh to block my hand…
Her grip only became more unyielding…
I was aching. I was so close to cumming that my stomach hurt and when I tried to go for her neck, she caught my mouth with hers…
I would have begged.
I would have pleaded… there was nothing I could do without force…
She let my fangs nick her lips… and the hint of her blood pushed me that much closer…
Then it was over.
Just as quickly as she attacked me, she ended it. I was left so dazed that she had both of my hands in hers, our fingers laced together with as tight of a grip as she could… and she was panting against my neck.
“Sookie, you really shouldn’t tease me.”
“Yeah, well… I figured that since I was being accused, I might as well join the game. How am I doing?” Winning, by a fucking landslide… Fuck… I really had done that to myself. The something I’d hoped to walk away from the shower with had been the idea that Sookie would be as dazed as I was just then… not an epic disappointment.
“We’ll finish this later.”
“Oh, yeah we will, but we’re not done yet.”
“If you push me any further…”
She whispered into my ear, “I’m not pushing you. You’ve only fed once since we got here. If things get crazy, you need to be at the top of your game. Bite me.”
“At my age, I don’t need…”
“Shhhhh… you know I’m right… just… do… it.”
“You’re sure?” I don’t know why I asked. There was only one thing that I wanted more.
With our hands still together, she pulled mine behind her back, pulling us together. “One. Hundred. Percent. Positive. We’ll finish this later.”