I try not to drink too much because when I’m drunk, I bite.—Bette Midler
I winked at the serial snarl-pouter and then moved behind him before sinking my fangs into his neck.
The sound of his tearing flesh was even more satisfying than I’d thought it would be.
I’ll admit it.
Warlow’s blood—at least half of it—was flavorsome. However, because of the vampire blood that came with the Fae blood, it wasn’t nearly as tasty as Claudine’s blood. And it was certainly not as stirring as Sookie’s.
However, it was still an enjoyable meal.
Contrary to what I’d led Bill to believe, taking Warlow’s blood was not Plan B. It was a part of Plan A. I wanted Warlow to be weakened—at least for a little while. And I needed to know just how his blood worked. Moreover, depending on my experimentation, I had other uses in mind for the vials—now that I knew Warlow’s vampire blood had been removed from it.
However, taking Warlow’s blood was the part of “the plan” that held the most variables. If I became too inebriated, I might not even remember “the plan,” after all! And that would put everything that was most important to me—my progenies and Sookie—at risk.
I steadied my mind as I swallowed my first gulp of Warlow’s blood. Allowing myself to become slightly intoxicated was acceptable—necessary even—but I couldn’t afford to lose control completely. When I’d drained Sookie’s fairy godmother, I’d retained very little self-restraint and almost no self-preservation. I couldn’t let that happen this time.
I recalled flashes of what occurred after I drained Claudine, but—like a drunk human—all my actions and thoughts had been fuzzy at the time. In fact, if Sookie hadn’t called Herveaux to track me down, I would have likely stayed in the sun until there was nothing left of me other than ash and sludge.
With their blood, fairies had a truly efficient and devastating defense mechanism against vampires—a game-changer. If I’d not finished off Claudine or if there had been another fairy lying in wait, I would have been a very easy target. I was determined to fight the effects of the Fae blood—to make sure that didn’t happen now.
In that battle, I knew I had some advantages. First, I had the knowledge that came with my experience of drinking pure Fae blood before. Second, I had Takahashi’s research to employ. And—most importantly—I had my bond with Sookie to “hide” inside.
Even before learning more information from Takahashi, I’d hoped to use the bond to keep myself as level-headed as possible. Knowing how Warlow’s blood avoided the bond inside of Sookie, I figured it would do something similar in me—especially now that some of Sookie’s light was enveloping the bond in my body too.
Even as I swallowed another gulp of Warlow’s blood, everything Takahashi had told me about his research was playing out like a scripted performance inside of my body.
Remarkably, it felt as if I were drinking from two beings at the same time. The vampire and Fae blood entered me as if from completely different sources.
The vampire blood was thick and moved into my body sluggishly—begrudgingly. Vampires, in general, hated feeding on and giving blood to other vampires. Unless it came from one’s maker or child, another vampire’s blood would provide very little nourishment or healing. And—given how guarded vampires were—we wanted no others to have knowledge of our emotions. For that reason alone, vampires rarely drank from each other—unless in battle when the death of the opponent was imminent.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case this time.
Even as I swallowed another gulp, I made sure that most of my own feelings were secure within the bond. Just as I had expected, Warlow’s blood was repelled by that—now essential—part of myself.
Meanwhile, I let Warlow feel only my pleasure in feeding, and I activated some of my own blood to “study” his. Though old and powerful, his vampire blood was behaving just like any other vampire’s blood would have. From the moment it touched mine, it had begun to deteriorate—a kind of automatic self-destructive sequence of sorts. That was why vampires couldn’t form bonds with each other—beyond the maker-child bond. However, even those bonds were not really between two vampires. They were started while the child was still a human and solidified before the transformation to vampire was completed.
Weak ties could be created between vampires, but only if blood was exchanged. Thus, there was currently a disproportionate “relationship” between my blood and Warlow’s blood. Because I was the one feeding, Warlow would be able to sense my emotions—at least, the ones I gave him access to. On the other hand, I was able to “study” the chemical make-up of his vampire blood. As far as I could tell, there was nothing abnormal or remarkable about it. And that was good news! It meant that as soon as my bond with Sookie was completed, his fragile tie with her would die.
While Warlow’s vampire blood was nauseatingly cloying, his Fae blood was fucking scrumptious. Concentrating on that aspect of the feeding, I pulled a little harder with my next gulp. Whereas the vampire blood was dense, the Fae blood was light—almost like drinking air. In fact, I felt like I could drink it all day without getting my fill of it; I wanted to drink it all day. It coursed into me like a sprinter, and my own blood immediately wanted to make chase—to try to consume it at the cellular level.
However, because of my experience with Claudine’s blood and because of what Takahashi’s research had concluded, I knew that giving my blood permission to “chase” the Fae blood was what would cause me to feel drunk. That was how I’d lose control. That was how I’d become vulnerable.
The trick was that—to convincingly play the role I needed to play—I had to lose a little control and I needed to be a little vulnerable, at least for a while. So I gave only a fraction of my blood permission to pursue the Fae blood. Immediately, I felt what humans would call “tipsy.” However, I still felt able to stay in control overall—to keep my mind focused on what I had to accomplish next. Basically, I needed to take as much of Warlow’s blood as Bill would let me take. And then I needed to stir up the hornet’s nest—so to speak.
The only snafu in my plan so far was that Warlow’s blood wasn’t causing me to get aroused, which—frankly—I’d been counting on being. Every other time I’d taken any amount of Fae blood before—even under less than ideal circumstances—I’d become hard as a fucking rock, but Warlow just wasn’t doing it for me.
Luckily, I quickly thought of a “Plan B” to remedy the problem. I concentrated on Sookie’s residual scent on my clothing and body—as well as the memory of her literally coming undone as we’d had our second blood exchange. And then—there was the way her lips had looked when they were wrapped around my cock during what she called our “bonding trip” to the meadow. In that dreamscape, the sun had been warming my face and the wildflowers had been fragrant, but I’d barely noticed my surroundings as Sookie had given me the most phenomenal blowjob of my existence.
She’d never pleasured me that way before; however, the moment that my chosen mate had figured out that she didn’t have much of a gag reflex—and then found a way to suck most of me into her beautiful fucking mouth and throat—would be a memory I was sure to replay millions of times. God—she had looked untamable as she’d made herself cum with her fingers even as she’d driven me to ecstasy with her mouth.
Yep—that memory did it! My cock finally decided to cooperate; hell, it was likely standing up so that it could conduct its own one-eyed search for Sookie! I couldn’t blame it.
I took several more long pulls from Warlow. I could feel him weakening. He was now slumping to the point that I was holding him up. I had a brief hope that Bill might just let me drain Warlow dry. That would solve a problem.
However, as always, Bill was a fucking spoilsport.
“That’s enough!” Bill warned.
“Mmm,” I purred against Warlow’s neck as I stopped drinking and gave his flesh a long lick over where I’d bitten. “You taste even better than Sookie,” I lied as I let him feel my erection against his ass.
“Vos esse sordidas!” he hissed. [Latin translation: “You are foul!”]
“That’s not what Sookie said last night,” I goaded as I licked him again. “Tell me—did you feel how many times she came for me?”
In the next second, I was on my back on the floor, and Warlow’s fangs were in my neck. However, because he was weakened, I was able to throw him to the other side of his cell pretty easily. However, in his rage, he was already preparing to attack again—despite the fact that he was teetering on his feet from blood loss—as I stood up.
“Stop!” Bill ordered. “As your maker, Warlow, I command you to stay where you are!”
Warlow looked positively lost in bloodlust as his fists clenched, but he didn’t move other than to lean against the wall where I’d thrown him.
“You got enough?” Bill asked as he turned to me and watched me brush myself off.
“I did,” I responded with a chuckle. I looked at Warlow and licked my lips. “You really are delicious, and I can tell you enjoyed my attentions just as much as I enjoyed giving them.” I looked down at Warlow’s erection. Based on what I could tell by the bulge in his pants, Sookie was right. Warlow’s cock looked to be only about an inch shorter than mine; however it wasn’t nearly as thick.
He was no competition, especially given the fact that Sookie was my own personal Goldilocks.
Just fucking right!
I smirked at him.
Warlow growled. “Abominatio es! Non dignus satis pro Sookie!” [“You are disgusting! Not worthy enough for Sookie!”]
I leered at him. “Judging from your reaction, I’m guessing that you wouldn’t mind if I gave you the same kind of treatment as I gave her last night,” I offered, as I stroked my cock through my pants.
As he continued to growl at me, I could feel Warlow’s Fae blood attempting to stir more of mine into a frenzy. Obviously, that was how it worked to defend its source, though I didn’t sense that Warlow had any conscious control over his Fae blood inside of me. Interestingly, even that blood was steering clear of my bond with Sookie. Thus, I made sure to keep my main focus there, though I allowed a little more of my blood to “chase” the Fae blood inside of me. I needed for both Bill and Warlow to believe that I was truly intoxicated.
Given the fact that Warlow had bitten me in his anger, a weak tie had formed between us. I could feel his rage and his fatigue. I could also feel his lust and shame; it seemed that he did want for me to fuck him, after all. Well. Well. Well.
I knew the tie wouldn’t last for long. I could feel my own blood inside of him; it was already trying to destroy itself. By rule, vampire blood kept its integrity inside of another vampire for only a little while—generally less than an hour, no matter what its age. Now that we had a weak tie, Warlow and I would keep our connection for only about a day. However, once I left the area, I would no longer feel his emotions, nor would he feel any of mine. He would be able only to tell that I was alive, but that was all “the plan” called for.
And, of course, the weak-as-shit tie I had with him would be immediately eradicated if—say—I completed a bond with someone.
For the next few minutes, however, I wanted to feel his emotions. Right now, for example, I could tell that he still wanted to kill me and to fuck me—though probably not in that order. And—as disgusting as the thought of sex with Warlow was to me—I needed to continue to taunt him for a few more minutes in order to keep him enraged and distracted.
“So,” I asked with a slurry purr, “would you like the Eric Northman treatment before I go?”
“Abi in malam rem, you fucking bastard!” Warlow yelled in a mixture of Latin and English. [Latin translation: “Go to the devil (hell), you fucking bastard!”]
I chuckled. “You forget. I’ve had your blood. I can feel your lust for me.” I licked my lips. “You would like for me to fuck your sweet little ass—wouldn’t you?”
Bill looked down and saw Warlow’s cock pushing against his pants. He chuckled as well. “Indeed. I believe he would.”
“No!” Warlow denied.”
“It doesn’t really matter,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. I laughed maliciously. “Perhaps you were thinking of a threesome with Sookie and me. I know I was.” I winked.
“Vos monstrum! Leave her alone!” Warlow yelled, even as he slumped down the wall a little more. [Latin translation: “You are a monster!”]
I chuckled heartily, which caused me to wobble on my feet. I was definitely more inebriated than before, but I was still cognizant enough to do what needed to be done.
Luckily, Bill unwittingly provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that when he abruptly changed the topic.
“Was Warlow correct about the bond?” he asked as if attempting to trip me up mentally.
I celebrated inside. It was just the topic I’d been hoping for!
“‘Bout what?” I responded, overrunning my words a bit more than I needed to. It would be best if Bill believed that I was too drunk to lie.
“Did you form a bond with Sookie?” he asked pointedly.
I laughed. “You have more blood in her than I ever did. Can you feel a bond in her?”
Though he looked at me suspiciously, he shook his head. “No. I cannot. However, Warlow believes that you have a bond with her. He thinks that is why neither he nor I can detect her emotions or location as well as we should.”
I stifled a grin. Bill was playing right into my hands. I had figured that I would have to manipulate Warlow to bring up the bond topic. However, I was grateful for Bill’s unintentional “assistance,” especially since I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to keep my drunkenness at bay if I continued to allow some of my blood to pursue the Fae blood inside of me.
I laughed mirthlessly and staggered a little for effect. “What’s got you so upset?” I asked with a fake pout in Warlow’s general direction. “Are you mad ’cause you couldn’t bond with your little fairy?”
“Have you?” Bill asked me again. “Bonded with her?”
“What?” I asked bitterly—channeling the behavior I’d witnessed from people Pam called ‘angry drunks.’ “You think I bonded with the woman who spurned me? A woman who seems ready to fuck anyone and take all the vampire blood she can?” I shook my head and staggered again, this time because I couldn’t help it. “Yeah—I got right on that,” I deadpanned.
“Then why wasn’t he able to bond with her?” Bill asked with curiosity as he glanced at Warlow. “He claims to have attempted it.”
I hiccupped. Sadly, it wasn’t on purpose, but I kept my wits about me. “I’d guess it’s the same reason I could never use my blood to control her as I could have a regular human. I imagine that you tried too—just as I did,” I slurred.
“Yes,” Bill admitted. “You are right about Sookie’s ability to resist a vampire’s influence. Even with a lot of my blood in her, I found it,” he paused, “challenging.”
I kept my anger to myself. Now wasn’t the time to pick a ‘bar fight’ with a demigod.
“But,” Bill continued, “Sookie’s body attempted to resist taking my blood the last time I gave it to her, and that would seem to indicate that something had changed—that you’d started a bond with her.”
Luckily, I’d rehearsed my response in case Bill made that connection, and like the well-seasoned actors who worked through their drug-induced hazes or liquor-addled states, I played my part perfectly: I grunted as if truly disgusted by the idea Bill had put forth.
“At the time, you were very much infatuated by Sookie,” Bill reminded.
I chuckled and began my planned lines. “Luckily, even though the Emo version of me might have wanted to bond with Sookie, she wouldn’t let me take her blood after I drained her ‘fairy godmother,'” I said, using sloppily drawn air quotes around that moniker. “And even in my ‘pussified’ state, I knew better than to give her mine. Hey,” I paused, “is ‘pussified’ a word?”
Bill ignored my sincere question and asked one of his own.
“Why would Sookie initially reject my blood then?” Bill pushed, obviously trying to ensnare the truth out of me because of my drunkenness.
I concentrated on my bond with Sookie to give me the strength I needed to stay in control and to be convincing. “You haven’t figured that out?” I slurred incredulously. “Before she embraced her fairy side, she couldn’t be glamoured and she could barely be influenced by a tie. Does it really surprise you that she’s learned to block us from feeling most of her emotions? Does it really surprise you that she’d reject either your blood or my blood—given the way she’s rejected us before? Of course, now that she’s entered her ‘danger-whore phase,’ feel free to give bonding with her a try. I know I’m not going to do it, but knock yourself out!” I laughed wholeheartedly.
“What’s so funny?” Bill asked.
I screwed my face in confusion. “I can’t remember,” I shrugged.
Bill—or rather Billith—laughed at me, looking convinced by my act thus far.
“Anyway,” I slurred, ready to fire my final volley, “the boy wonder over there would have been the most able of all of us to form a bond with Sookie.”
“How do you figure that?” Bill asked with curiosity even as Warlow perked up to listen to my response as well.
Fish. On. Hooks.
“A shared fairy-ness and all,” I said with a hiccup. “His and her fairy lights, his and her towels, his and her coffee mugs,” I added with a sloppy smirk. “And,” I slurred as I gestured toward Warlow, “even if I’d started a bond with her, I definitely didn’t get a chance to finish one, and his would have superseded mine—with him being like . . . .” I paused. “Um—four thousand and—um. Wait. Four thousand and—um.” I shrugged and stumbled. “More than four thousand years older than me!” I finished as if in triumph over simple mathematics.
“He is right,” Bill said in Warlow’s direction. “There would have been no time for him to complete a bond with her. And I have never felt anything resembling a bond inside of Sookie,” he added, “either before or after I took Lilith’s blood.”
That’s because your blood is too afraid to come anywhere near her light, Captain Douchebag—I thought triumphantly to myself. I almost said it out loud. Luckily, my bond with Sookie seemed to give me a slap just when I needed it to.
“If he can’t bond with her, no one can,” I opined with a rude gesture in Warlow’s direction.
I glanced at the hybrid. Through our weak tie, I could tell that he too had accepted the “truth” that I’d not bonded with Sookie. And—after that acceptance—I felt a mixture of arrogance and hope from him.
I hid my triumph in my bond with Sookie and let Warlow feel only my amusement and drunkenness.
“You know what? I doubt that Sookie can bond with anyone,” I said with run together words, even as I prepared the drive the last nail into the proverbial coffin. “In fact,” I chuckled in Bill’s direction, “why don’t you lift the ban on his turning her. ‘Cause I bet she can’t be turned either!” I laughed heartily as if I’d just told the best joke in the world.
“Why did you ask for the ban to start with?” Bill asked, his eyes narrowed again.
Another slap from the bond prevented me from saying what I wanted to—subterfuge, misdirection, ruse. Asshole, dickhead, nimrod, fuckwit, douchebag.
Instead, I gave my rehearsed line. “I promised Sookie that I’d take care of the Warlow situation if she had sex with me,” I answered cavalierly. “It didn’t take much convincing. It seems she’s anxious to fuck at the drop of a hat these days.” I leered and winked in Warlow’s direction. “But then you’d know all about that—wouldn’t you.”
“You don’t care about her at all!” Warlow said incredulously.
“Maybe I could have—in another life,” I said with a bitter slur. “But in this one, she’s fucked me over too many times to be anything but a convenient fuck to me.”
“Bastard!” Warlow scoffed.
I continued with a drunken sneer, “And now that I’ve had my fill of filling Miss Stackhouse, my priority is revenge.” I smiled and slurred, “Just ask Russell Edgington how serious I am about that.” I chuckled as if I’d told another joke. “Oh wait—you can’t. I staked him.”
“I’ll kill you,” Warlow promised me.
“You can try,” I responded with a hiccup. “But look at it this way,” I added, “I’m giving you a gift.” I looked at Bill, who was still chuckling.
Bill shrugged and looked at Warlow. “As your maker, I lift the command about your never turning Sookie,” Bill said lightly, as if the idea didn’t bother him at all.
If things hadn’t been going exactly as I’d wanted them to go—better even—I might have kicked Bill’s ass. However, I was drunk and in a good fucking mood all of a sudden.
“To everything turn, turn, turn,” I started singing. It wasn’t part of the script, but I really couldn’t help myself. It just felt right to sing.
Immediately, Warlow relaxed a little. Why wouldn’t he? In his eyes, he could now go for Sookie as soon as he escaped from Bill, which he felt confident he could do. Plus, he no longer saw me as a viable threat for Sookie’s affection. I felt that much from his blood.
My work there was done. And done well.
“Goddammit!” I yelled with real frustration after hiccupping again.
“What?” Bill asked with amusement.
“I used to get these when I was a human too,” I said with another hiccup. “Fucking annoying!”
Meanwhile, now that Warlow’s rage wasn’t filling him, he looked like he was about to fall to the floor out of weariness. I took a moment to enjoy his condition.
“Well, gentlemen,” I said, with my most obvious and uncontrolled slur yet. “It’s been a pleasure.” I bowed with a flourish. “But I have somewhere else I need to be and many people I need to be killing.”
“Don’t forget your part in the plan,” Bill ordered.
I nodded and then tripped over my own feet as I hiccupped again. Sadly, I really wasn’t faking the hiccups. Every bit of my blood that I had allowed to “chase” the Fae blood was as drunk as a skunk.
“Of course,” I managed to tell Bill as I gave another exaggerated bow.
Bill zipped in front of me and looked at me as a stern father might. “I mean it, Eric. Keep your shit together!”
I tried to speak more soberly, though I was finding it hard to focus on his face without laughing. “I will. I won’t fuck up the plan,” I said sincerely, though I was—of course—referring to Sookie and my plan. “And I’ll even try to get you word about your progeny before I let myself be captured.”
Bill looked a little surprised by my moment of charity—or clarity—but stepped away with a grateful nod. “That would be appreciated.”
“Well toodle-oo,” I waved, as I zipped out of the room. I hit no fewer than three walls before I was outside.
“Shit,” I said aloud, trying to reign in my Fae-pursuing blood.
Not paying any attention to me, it kept marauding. “Shit!” I slurred again.
As soon as I was greeted by the cold air outside, I was also punched by an intense wave of what felt like nausea. “Fuck!” I said as I stumbled in Bill’s yard.
I’d counted on being able to “recall” my blood that I’d allowed to chase the Fae blood, but that didn’t look like it was going to be easy.
Somehow I rose to my feet and took to the air, hoping like hell that the flight would help me to overcome my drunken state. I certainly zigged and zagged a little at first, but I managed to hone in on my bond with Sookie. I flew toward her location, focusing on only her—needing only her to be my beacon.
A/N: As always, thanks for all the comments for the last chapter. Y’all are wonderful! I’m glad that my explanations about the blood are working for y’all.
I must confess that I enjoyed writing tipsy Eric. I tried to convey his remaining in control, even as he got a little “toasty” and had a little fun at his ex-rivals’ expense.