Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual”—Octavio Paz
His lips moved against mine as if they were aiming to create a paradox. Hard and soft. Forceful and gentle. Demanding and giving. Lustful and loving.
The first time we kissed had been in his office at Fangtasia; I’d intended to push him away, but had eventually melted into him.
The second time we kissed was on my porch. I’d just called him to come back to me, and all I could think about was how much it would hurt if he would have kept walking away into the night. After we’d kissed that time, I simply couldn’t imagine ever getting enough of him.
We’d kissed many times after that—all wonderful, all transformative. All leaving me with the feeling that I’d been flying.
But this time—this kiss—was more.
Yes. It was more for a lot of reasons. But the biggest one was surrender.
I could feel it. Heck—I could sense it in the way we were holding onto each other! We were both surrendering.
I’d made mistakes. I’d been inconsistent because my feelings had been tattered from years of reconciling myself to settling for a life without romantic love and then months of being in a relationship with the queen’s procurer—not to mention the vampire blood I’d been fed by Bill and, to a lesser extent, Eric.
The list of people who had died because of me seemed to be growing every day: my parents, my molester uncle, Gran, Rene, my grandpa Earl, Tara. Eric had been right. Even if a few of the people on that list had done or were doing wrong when they were killed, that fact hadn’t really curbed my guilt that much. And that didn’t even count all the fairies at the club. Unintentionally, I’d told their killer exactly where they were hiding.
I’d been almost killed by a serial killer, almost clawed to death by a Maenad, almost raped, almost killed by a bomb, almost drained by Bill, almost killed by Russell, almost forced to stay in the fairy world, almost killed by witches, and then almost killed by Debbie. My life had been too full of “almosts.” Maybe that was why I was now holding onto Eric for dear life.
Throughout all the things that had happened, Eric had stayed—well—Eric. Always strong and always protective. His maker had died, his sister had died, and he’d faced down multiple catastrophes, but there was something fundamentally steady about him. Though he hurt, his strength—and, yes, his faith—didn’t diminish; if anything he became more resilient because of the trials he’d been forced to endure.
Before he’d been cursed by the witch, he’d been arrogant and highhanded, but also infuriatingly charming and even kind at times. However, I’d been afraid of him—mostly because of the false picture Bill had painted of him and because of how Eric made me feel: vulnerable. In truth, I’d felt guilty that Eric made me “feel” at all; I was supposed to be “with Bill,” after all.
When Eric lost his memories, I managed to shelve my fears and to operate on instinct. Meanwhile, Eric had been the same infuriatingly charming and kind man; otherwise, he’d have never gotten into my bed within days. I certainly didn’t have sex with him because I felt sorry for him, and he certainly wasn’t shy about letting his arrogance come to the surface at times, especially just after he’d left me a satisfied, orgasmic wreck. In fact, though he was without his memories and seemed uncertain of himself sometimes, I could still see all the facets of his personality that I had seen before. The only difference was that he showed me his softer side without hesitation or fear, instead of trying to hide it from me as he’d done before.
After the curse had been lifted, I—that’s right, Sookie Stackhouse—had been the one who’d gone back to being ruled by fear. Every time Eric had interacted with me, however, he’d been the same man I’d let myself fall in love with—just more. So much more. He hadn’t been afraid to let his feelings be known to me. He’d made himself vulnerable, but I couldn’t do the same. Instead, I’d walked away, feeding myself the lie that “my Eric” was gone and that I couldn’t love the arrogant, high-handed sheriff he’d gone back to being.
But the thing was that I did love that Eric—all of Eric. I had just been too chicken-shit to let myself be vulnerable.
Gasping a little, I pulled quickly away from his talented lips and tongue.
“Sookie?” he asked uncertainly.
“Remember,” I panted, “I still need oxygen. And,” I started.
“And?” he asked, even as he lifted me into his arms bridal style. My arms twined automatically around his neck.
“I wanted to tell you something.”
“I like your ego. Love it—actually.”
“Yes. And your arrogance. And when you call me yours.”
He stopped in his tracks. “You love it when I call you mine?” he asked in disbelief.
I smiled at him. “Well—mostly.”
“I don’t like being a weapon in some supernatural dick-measuring contest.”
He smirked as he recommenced walking us toward Gran’s old room. I’d moved into it fully now, though the first night I’d spent in it had been with Eric.
“Surely, lover, I would easily win such a contest with your other suitors,” he said cockily.
“Uh-oh, I never should have told you that I found your arrogance endearing,” I giggled.
“But you did, and now I have free license to extol all my perfect qualities with impunity,” he chuckled, “starting with the superiority of my dick.”
“You’re so sure of yourself?” I asked, teasingly.
He nodded as he placed me gently onto the bed. But his smirk soon faded.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Being able to tell other vampires that you are mine is a weapon, Sookie. It is how I can keep others from claiming you.”
“I know, Eric,” I said. “And I’ll work on getting used to that part.”
“Make no mistake, Sookie,” he said backing away from the bed a little. “Once we do what we are about to do, you will be mine, and I won’t give you up. Never! So if you have any remaining uncertainty about me or about us, you should tell me now.”
“I don’t,” I said with conviction.
He looked down at me, and I could see the hesitation in his eyes. He took another step backwards.
It was the wrong direction, and suddenly I was afraid that he might decide I wasn’t worth the trouble.
“Do you—um—have any doubts?” I asked softly.
“I want you to be mine, Sookie Stackhouse. I have always wanted you.”
“But?” I asked, my voice shaking through the single, short word.
“But it is a risk,” he admitted. “I would not,” he paused, “react well if you turned away from me again.”
“Eric,” I said, moving so that I was sitting more upright on the bed. “I know that I’ve hurt you. I know that I’ve rejected what we had and what we could have. And I get that I don’t really deserve your trust, but I still want it. And,” I stopped.
“And?” he asked, taking a step toward me.
I breathed a sigh of relief that he’d not moved farther from me. It was time to lay my cards on the table and to give him the kind of assurance that would make him trust me with his heart again. I knew that—in the future—he and I would likely disagree and argue. But one mistake I’d never make again was turning my back on Eric Northman and the love we had for each other. It was too precious to waste.
“And if I ever break your trust again, I give you permission to drain me,” I answered him.
I knew that he could feel my seriousness because of the surprise in his eyes. “And turn you?” he asked, raising the stakes.
“Yes,” I answered immediately.
His mouth gaped in surprise; Gran would have said that he was “catching flies.” It was “cute,” though I wasn’t going to say that adjective out loud.
“I’m not giving you carte blanche to turn me, Eric,” I said.
“I know,” he replied softly. “Am I correct to assume that you would prefer not to be vampire?”
I took a deep breath. “I’m not sure. But in the past, I would have rejected the notion outright.”
I sighed. “I’m tired of being a hypocrite, Eric,” I said, feeling an odd mixture of defeat and victory in that statement. “I made the choice for Tara to become a vampire, even though I knew she wouldn’t want it, because I didn’t want to lose her—because I felt responsible for Debbie shooting her. There was a whole lot of me and none of her in that choice. So to say I wouldn’t entertain the notion of becoming a vampire now would make me an even worse person that I already am.”
He took another step forward and reached out to touch my cheek. “You make mistakes sometimes, but you aren’t a bad person, Sookie Stackhouse,” he said softly. “In fact, I think that your trying to be a good person—to everyone but yourself—is what often leads you to trouble.”
I smiled at the acceptance in his eyes. I wasn’t aware that a tear had fallen down my cheek until he collected it with his thumb and raised it to his lips.
“What does that taste like?” I asked.
He closed his eyes and his tone took on a faraway quality as he spoke. “When I was human, my people lived on the sea coast, and fish was a staple of our diets. Herrings were the most abundant and the most easily preserved. We would hang them so that the wind would dry them. And then we would salt them.” He smiled but his eyes remained shut. “Unless it was a time of scarcity, my mother would let me eat them as a snack whenever I wanted—with butter. It was one of my favorite dishes.” He opened his eyes. “Your skin reminds me of that combination of tastes when I kiss you—a little salty and so goddamned smooth that it threatens to melt me. Your tear is like a concentration of that taste.”
I gasped at his words and at the fact that he’d shared such a memory with me. I was greedy for more and said a quick prayer that I’d have years—and not just one night—to hear such stories from him.
“So—um—I taste like fish?” I asked, deciding to tease him a little so that I wouldn’t fall into tears because of the anxiety I felt over what he’d soon be facing at the Vamp Camp.
“A little,” he chuckled.
“And my blood?” I asked.
He licked his lips. “I never had anything that could rival it during my human life. I have no words for it.”
I pushed back an irksome fear that Eric wanted me only for my blood. I knew that fleeting notion was a byproduct of my lingering insecurity, trying to poke its way into my brain and make me doubt myself and Eric. But I was finished allowing that to happen.
“Are you hungry now, Eric?” I asked, my voice a little raspy.
“I am always hungry for you,” he said, his eyes flaming and looking downright predatory.
“Then eat,” I whispered.
When vampires move fast, it is sometimes difficult to follow along. Almost as soon as I said those two words, I was flat on my back on my bed, and Eric was on top of me, his tongue already dueling with mine in a fervent kiss. My T-shirt was off, though I didn’t remember it going over my head. I’d not been wearing a bra, and one very large hand and five long, talented fingers were already making the most of that fact, traveling from one breast to the other. My nipples were already taut and straining for more before I’d even registered that his jacket was also off. I “caught up” a little as I raised my hands to his bare arms and began to caress his supple skin.
I still wasn’t the most experienced woman when it came to sex, but I understood one thing instinctively, and that was “fit.” Eric’s mouth just “fit” with mine, and it wasn’t just a size thing or a shape thing. It was the amount of pressure he put against my lips at any given time and the way his tongue moved with mine. I felt like Goldilocks as Eric trailed his kisses from my lips to my cheek at just the “right” moment so that I could steal a breath.
“Just right,” I half-mumbled and half-moaned as he moved to my chin and then neck. I let my hands rove over Eric’s broad shoulders and wondered briefly what had happened to his shirt. As he sucked a little on my neck, I decided that the location of our clothing didn’t matter—as long as it was off. It seemed that Eric had the same idea. His hands were already loosening the drawstring on my flannel pajama bottoms, and seconds later, they—along with my panties—had migrated to places unknown.
“God, you’re efficient when it comes to removing clothes,” I said with another breathy moan.
He chuckled from between my legs, though I couldn’t remember when exactly he’d moved down there.
“That is not all I am efficient at, lover,” he said, his face about an inch from my clit. He blew air onto my bundle of nerves and then all around my lady bits. But he hadn’t yet touched me. It was exquisitely frustrating.
“Keep looking at me,” he ordered, his voice deeper than I’d ever heard it.
I could only nod.
I’d not had much experience with oral sex. Bill had done it for me a few times, but it had always felt like a prelude to a bite. And Warlow and I hadn’t engaged in any foreplay. That level of closeness hadn’t been my goal when I fucked him.
When he didn’t have his memories, Eric and I had set a record for positions and orgasms over a two-night span, but we’d not had oral sex. He was always so anxious to be inside of me, and I was just as anxious to have him there.
Seeing Eric poised between my legs and ready to devour my lady parts, however, made me quake with anticipation and brought goose bumps to my flesh.
He gave me one of his half-smirks and half-smiles before diving in.
“Oh God!” I moaned as he flattened his tongue and licked me from my opening to my clit.
“Cloudberries,” he moaned before continuing to lap up my arousal.
“Cloudberries?” I muttered shakily, thinking I must have heard him wrong.
He stopped his actions and looked up at me. “You’ve never had them?”
I grunted. “What?” I tried to use my thighs to get him to go back to work, cursing myself for asking him to clarify what he’d moaned out.
He grinned at my impatience. “Cloudberries are similar to blackberries, but sweeter. They grow wild in Sweden. I’ll have to get you some so that you can see just how delicious they are.” He paused, and I was about to kick him for giving me a berry lesson when what I wanted was head! However, before I could, he growled and his eyes dilated as he looked down at my sex as if it were a bowlful of whatever he was talking about. “The nectar from your body is even better than cloudberries.”
I’m pretty sure that every single inch of me blushed a deep crimson, but I didn’t really care as Eric began licking my folds again. It was becoming more and more clear that vampires enjoyed all human fluids, which was a good thing—a very good thing—because I’d never felt more capable of producing so much liquid in my life! Eric slipped a finger into me slowly, his gaze locked with mine as he kissed my clit before licking it repeatedly with some kind of vampire-speed tongue vibration thing that made my Rabbit seem like a tortoise!
I wanted to tell him that his thousand years had been well spent—very well spent. I wanted to ask him who’d taught him his tongue trick so that I could shake her hand or put flowers on her grave—anything to show my gratitude! However, the only sound from my mouth was a grunt. Inelegant, but all I could manage.
I felt my body writhing under his touch, but he kept me steady with one of his hands. His other continued to maneuver his long finger in and out of me. Soon, a second finger joined the first, and then he began to curve them toward where his tongue was still performing magic on my clit.
As soon as he touched my G-spot, I exploded with my orgasm. I think I yelled out his name, but I wasn’t certain. It could have been another grunt. All that I could focus on was the feral look in his eyes as he moved his mouth from my clit to my opening in order to taste my release. Of course, what he did with his tongue once he got there managed to intensify and prolong the waves of my orgasm.
Yes—a thousand years very well spent!
My next coherent thought was of Eric trailing kisses up my body. I felt his bare legs against mine and knew that he’d managed to take off his shoes, socks, and pants without my being aware that he’d even broken contact with my body. Sometimes vampire speed was a great thing!
“I was a fool for not tasting you like that before,” he said, hovering over me.
“You can do that anytime you want,” I managed, though I felt myself blushing again. “Just as long as I can return the favor.”
“I will take you up on that offer—another time. Right now, I can wait no longer,” he growled before his lips came crashing down on mine. Once again swept away by our kiss, I was sent into pleasure overload as he entered me.
“Oh God,” I murmured as I took a breath and adjusted to the size of him. Meanwhile, his lips moved to other pursuits: my cheeks, my neck, my collarbone, my breasts, my earlobes. Hell—his talented lips and tongue felt like they were everywhere at once. And everywhere they went, they trailed fire with them.
“You feel so fucking good, lover,” he grunted as he pumped in and out of me slowly. I wrapped my legs around his hips, trying to meet his thrusts, trying to get closer to him—glad that I wasn’t the only one reduced to grunting, but jealous that he could still form words out of the sounds. I took that as a challenge.
As I tightened my legs around his hips, he moaned in pleasure at our closeness, but kept up his pace. He did, however, stop producing coherent words. That was probably about the same time I stopped producing coherent thoughts, however.
We moved together for a while, speeding up and then slowing down to prolong our ecstasy—both of us capable of little more than just hanging onto each other and enjoying the pleasure we were giving and receiving.
I screamed out in ecstasy as he suddenly changed our position a little and thrust upward. To say he’d found my G-spot would have been an understatement. He found it, landed on it, claimed it, and planted a flag on it!
However, he stopped his movements as the tip of his cock was millimeters from hitting that spot a second time.
“Do I win?” he asked, his expression half-wild and half-playful.
“Huh?” I asked inelegantly as I tried to wrap my legs around him tighter in order to force him to move just a little deeper.
“The contest,” he reminded, managing a smirk through his otherwise stirred-up expression.
God he was handsome.
That was my only thought for a moment—well, that and the fact that I wanted him to move. Now!
“Huh?” I asked again when he didn’t move—not even a fraction of an inch!
“The measuring contest,” he said, his smirk deepening.
My mind flew through our earlier conversation as if looking for the answer to a riddle. Oh yes—the dick-measuring contest.
“Yes,” I answered quickly. “You win by at least an inch.”
“Only an inch?” he asked, looking a bit disconcerted.
“It’s a very important inch,” I said, once again trying to get him to move just that inch in order to stimulate my G-spot again. “Plus,” I added, trying to make my tone sound more playful than pleading, “you are thicker and turn me into Goldilocks.”
“Huh?” It was his turn to ask a question inelegantly.
“Just right,” I responded.
He smiled as he recalled the folktale and then moved fractionally forward. It wasn’t quite enough, but it was getting there.
“Are you saying that I’m perfect for you, lover?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said sincerely—and not even so that he’d move again. “You are.”
He leaned down and kissed me, this time less feverously and more gently. He began rocking in and out of me again, but like his kiss, his thrusts became gentler—tender.
And for the first time in my life, I felt like someone was making love to me. I closed my eyes and gave myself over to the feeling—and to him—completely.
“Surrender” was a beautiful word.
My body matched Eric’s in a flawless rhythm, and my mind seemed to be moving with his too. The moment was perfection itself.
An orgasm hit me out of nowhere, having been building up and up and up—because of the fact that Eric was a master—the master—when it came to having sex. But—mostly—because I loved him.
Pace, pressure, precision—all mastered by him. Proficient, patient, passionate, playful, poignant, pure—all accurate when describing him.
Perfect. Yes—Eric had justification for his arrogance.
And I loved that he knew how great he was—and still strived to better himself.
My walls crashed around him again and again, and he cried out my name right as I felt him swell and release into me.
And then he bit, and all the ecstasy was multiplied.
I’m not sure how long my orgasm lasted. It seemed like hours as I got lost in the waves of pleasure we’d shared. I felt him licking my neck—healing me—and I shivered at the added stimulation. It was too much, but I still wanted more.
“Sookie,” he whispered, his voice reverent and quiet, “open your eyes.”
As soon as I had, I saw a light, wrapping itself around us both. It was a “warm” color, golden almost.
“This is the light I see from you all the time,” he said, his voice demonstrating his wonder, “though now it is brighter, and this is the first time it has embraced me. Do you see it?”
I gasped. “Yes.”
He smiled down at me, and I noticed that his strong arms were flexed, holding him steady and still above me. “Do you remember the day you found me in the sun?”
“You were playing in the water,” I responded, reaching up to caress his cheek. “I was so scared that you might burn in the sun.”
He nodded. “Your light feels like the sun did when it was warming my back that day.”
“I’m glad,” I said, as more tears suddenly came to my eyes. This time, they were happy tears. However, a moment later, fear hit me like a ton of bricks.
“What is wrong, lover?” he asked.
“I’m scared. I don’t want to lose you—not right after I’ve finally gotten my shit together.”
I realized that he’d entered me once more. Or perhaps he’d never left. He started moving again, gently gliding in and out of me.
“I will not make false promises about our safety,” he said resting his forehead against mine. “We live dangerous lives. But I promise that I will be as careful as I can, and you must promise the same.”
I nodded, but my tears didn’t stop. Eric didn’t stop either. He kept moving in me—loving me—his weight like a safety blanket.
By the time he took us to our second shared orgasm, my tears had stopped and I was once again swept up into the moment of pleasure. The light had intensified; I wanted to use it to hug him to me—to keep him close forever.
He finally pulled out of me and repositioned us so that I was lying on his broad chest.
“Eric?” I asked after several minutes had passed.
“Will you complete the bond with me?”
“I want to,” he said without hesitating. “I would very much like to exchange blood with you again, but I will not complete the bond with you until after I have faced my enemies. If I were to die the true death with us already bonded, it would hurt you physically.”
“It would?” I asked.
“Yes. You would feel the bond breaking—dying—as vampires feel bonds with their makers or progenies breaking. In fact, it would likely be even worse. I would spare you that pain.”
“What else?” I asked, intuiting that there was more.
He sighed again—so not a good sign.
“On occasion, the death of one member of a bonded pair has been known to kill the other—though slowly,” he informed.
“How?” I asked.
“The best analogy I can give you is of a human couple who has been together for many, many years. When one of them dies, the other sometimes wastes away and follows quickly.”
“So I’d die of a broken heart if we bonded and you,” my voice caught, “died?”
“Maybe,” he confirmed.
“Would the same thing happen to you?”
“Sometimes—if the bond is strong—the vampire will feel compelled to meet the sun not long after his or her bonded dies.”
“Then why would you want to bond with me at all?” I asked incredulously. “You’ve lived so long! I couldn’t bear to know that I was the reason you met the sun!”
Eric raised my chin. “Do you not see this?” he asked, gesturing to the light that was still encompassing us. “This is worth anything. Plus—if I wasn’t meant to die—I would live through the bond breaking, just as you would. Honestly, there is an even better reason for us to wait, however.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Once we fully bond, no one else could form a bond or a tie with you, even if I were dead. You could not even be healed by another vampire again. Your body would reject the blood.”
“So?” I asked. “I wouldn’t want a tie or a bond with anyone else. And wouldn’t that be a good way to keep me away from Bill and Warlow?”
He sighed. “Yes, but without me there to protect you, you would be subject to their wrath. I would be especially fearful of Warlow’s reaction once he found out that you would reject his blood. And,” he paused, “if we cannot complete the bond because I have died, then I want you to have,” he paused, “options.”
I sat up quickly. “I don’t want options!”
“You might need them,” he said reasonably. He smoothed my hair behind my ear. “If I am gone, you may have to choose one of them in order to survive.”
“No!” I insisted vehemently. “Now that I’ve stepped forward, I won’t go backwards! Whether I finish a bond with you or not, I won’t ever settle for anything less than what you and I have!”
“Even if that gets you killed?” he asked, his tone showing his mounting frustration—or maybe it was fear.
He sat up. “You are the most stubborn fucking creature I’ve ever met, Sookie Stackhouse!”
“Just trying to keep up with your pigheadedness and highhandedness in deciding what is best for my life without asking me!” I yelled. “In case you’ve missed it, I’ve picked you—you obstinate A-hole! And that makes me your stubborn creature—for better or worse!”
“Mine?” he asked a little more calmly, a smirk competing with his glower.
“Yes!” I took a deep breath and settled myself down. “Tell me something—if I were to die, would you bond with someone else, even if it could save your life?”
He closed his eyes as if in pain. “No,” he relented.
After a moment, his eyes opened and locked onto mine. We sat there silently for a while before getting more comfortable. I lay back against the headboard and drew my knees up. He lay against them, caressing long lines up and down my legs. Somehow I could tell that he was moving chess pieces around in his mind; I just prayed to God that he could figure out a way to win with both the king and the queen safe at the end of the game.
“Sookie, how far would you go to get that ‘other life’ with me?” he asked, looking intently into my eyes.
“As far as I have to,” I responded immediately.
“Would you exchange blood with me—now?”
“Yes,” I said, surprised that I felt no hesitation whatsoever. He looked a little surprised too.
“You are sure?” he asked.
“Yes,” I responded with a smile. “After all, it’s the only practical move—right?”
“Yes—I assume that there is some kind of waiting period between exchanges,” I posited.
He chuckled. “Yeah. The full cycle of the sun is the minimum.”
“I can also see your brain spinning like a turbine, so I know there’s a plan brewing in there.”
“How can you . . . ,” he started.
I grinned. “Your head is like a void to me in a lot of ways—just like other vampire minds. But right now, it feels like it’s whirling around with the light.”
“You’re amazing,” he said, pulling me to him and kissing me softly.
“You’re the man with the plan—right?” I asked when I took a breath.
“Yes,” he responded.
“Then in my book, you’re the amazing one.”
Some of you commented about the bond/tie scenario I have set up in this story. If you know my other work, you might recognize that my description of/conception of the bonds and ties is a little different in each, though I try to stay pretty consistent with what I know of the “canon.” However, in the books—I think—a tie can lead to a bond if enough exchanges are made (though those exchanges don’t have to be done at the same time). In the show, I’m honestly not sure! Sookie seems to be taking Bill’s blood at almost every turn (Rattray beating, Maenad, hospital after the van incident, in Fangtasia, after Sookie was shot, and there might be others that aren’t coming to me)! And Bill seems to think that sex cannot happen without lots of biting and spilled blood (note the contrast with amnesiac Eric, who would have—supposedly—had less control). So—I guess that what I’m saying in answer to your queries is that the way that I have presented the bond/tie in this story is hopefully consistent (as much as it is possible) with the source, which is the show in this case. However, given the “confusion” in the show, it’s sometimes hard to be consistent. 😉
Again, thanks for reading!