Knowing that Sookie had once disappeared from my world for a year, I immediately took up a defensive stance in front of her.
“Niall!” Sookie yelled out.
“Hello, Sookie,” the fairy said casually, seemingly ignoring the fact that there was a vampire poised for attack in front of him.
“Your fairy kin?” I asked, my fangs clanging down because of the amazing scent that attacked me.
“Yeah,” Sookie said from behind me, placing her hand on my elbow. Her touch was steadying—almost calming. “Please don’t eat him. I like this one.”
I started to like Niall as well when he and I both chuckled at Sookie’s words.
I liked him even more when the scent that had threatened to make me lose control disappeared. Thank fuck! Otherwise, I might very well have eaten him.
“You covered your scent,” I said, stating the obvious for Sookie’s benefit. “Nice trick.”
He smiled at me. “It comes in handy on occasion.”
“How are you here?” I asked, not liking the thought that my best sanctuary had been found.
“I can go anywhere that my blood is,” Niall explained. “And Sookie is of my blood. But don’t worry. I mean you no harm.”
“What are you doing here?” Sookie asked.
“Do you have anything to eat?” he asked, instead of responding to her question.
“No, this is Eric’s house,” Sookie answered. She looked up at me. “At least I assume you have no food.”
“You are right; I have none,” I responded.
“Well—if you are to be the mate of my great-granddaughter, then you’ll need to rectify that,” Niall returned. “Though, I suppose, things have just been settled between you two. You are cured and immune to the Hep-V virus now?” he asked me.
“Yes,” I said.
“Good—then my magic and your blood can cure Sookie as well,” he announced.
“What? Cure me?” Sookie asked.
Niall nodded. “Yes. This is the one you have made a bond with, Sookie. Thus, his blood and your inherent light will always mix together to good effect, and—after I use my magic to begin to heal the damage you did to your own light last year, your body will be able to make its own cure from his blood.”
The fairy looked at Sookie pointedly and continued. “You ought never to have tried to do away with what makes you Fae. I understand why you did it, and I know that you see the fairy in you as an invader of sorts—an enemy to the person you’ve wanted to be. But to be happy, you must love all of what you are.”
I smelled Sookie’s tears before I saw them and pulled her to my chest in comfort.
“By the way, Sookie, this is the one I like for you,” Niall said.
“He is?” she asked, wiping away her tears.
“What are you talking about?” I inquired.
“I asked Niall to try to heal Bill,” Sookie explained.
“Yes, you said that during your phone conversation with him.”
“My magic heals only other Fae magic,” Niall explained. “Plus,” he added sourly, “the other vampire is not good for Sookie—not good at all. He views the world—and Sookie—through only his own perspective. He would stifle her light with his self-absorbed ways. I informed my great-granddaughter that I didn’t like Compton—for her. You are the far better choice; it is good that Sookie has now realized that.”
“I’m sorry I treated you so badly during your visit,” Sookie said.
“You were trying to save the one you blamed yourself for infecting,” Niall returned kindly. “Think nothing of it.”
He moved toward Sookie and extended his hand to her. “Let me start the healing of your light, great-granddaughter. Then Mr. Northman’s blood will finish the job and help your light kill off the Hep-V virus invading your blood.”
“Eric,” I said offhandedly. “Call me Eric.”
The fairy looked at me and nodded, even as Sookie took a deep breath and stepped toward him.
“I’m ready,” she said.
Niall gestured for me to move away. “As soon as you and my great-granddaughter bonded, her light became incapable of hurting you, but mine would pack a punch if you were touching her while I used it on her,” he cautioned.
I nodded and stepped to the other side of the room. Then I watched as Niall took Sookie’s hand. Glowing white light encased their joined hands within moments. Sookie’s eyes were closed, nervousness and acceptance fighting in her expression. And—then—suddenly, those emotions were replaced by a sense of calm I could feel echoing through our bond.
A few minutes later, the light disappeared, and Niall stepped back from Sookie. “Take your vampire’s blood. I will return in an hour to make sure you are cured of the Hep-V.”
With a loud pop, the fairy was gone.
Sookie turned to me, her eyes calm, but inquisitive. “When Niall talked about a bond between us, what was he referring to?”
“What happened in the cubby—when I took your blood and then you took mine,” I responded, walking back over to her. I brushed a piece of her golden hair over her ear. “I might not have had my memories then, but when I said that we would be one, I was accurate.”
“But, how’s this bond thing different from what I’ve had with you before—or with Bill?”
“It’s permanent,” I responded. “That is why I can still feel you—despite the fact that my blood is out of your system. If we exchanged two more times, you would experience the bond as I do. We’d feel each other’s emotions and sense each other’s locations.”
“Why didn’t I form one of these with Bill?” she asked. “I mean—from what happened in the cubby—I assume that the bond comes from an exchange, and the very first night I had Bill’s blood, he had some of mine too.”
“There’s more to it than just an exchange,” I said, trying to keep my temper under control given the reminder of Bill’s crimes against Sookie. “I never bothered to learn much about bonding beyond the basics because I never thought I’d attempt one,” I informed.
“Are you upset that we bonded?” she asked.
“Not even when you got your memories back?” she asked.
I chuckled. “I’m pretty sure that the only reason my memories came back at all was because of our bond. Otherwise, your light would have knocked me on my ass at the Festival of Tolerance. But—no—I have never regretted our bonding.”
She smiled a little. “You said that you’d never bothered to learn much about bonds. But what are the basics?”
“I know only what Godric told me of bonding. Most vampires are instructed by their makers to be careful with their blood, for it is unknown why sometimes a bond forms and other times it does not. However, Godric had a theory.”
“What was it?”
“Well—undeniably—a bond is about equality, not power; that’s why you wouldn’t have had any blood dreams about me after our time in the cubby. In essence, we lived out a dream of sorts together—following the bonding. That is the general way it works—though I couldn’t remember that at the time. Godric posited that a bond formed only when the vampire saw a true partner in the person with whom he or she shared blood.”
“Is that how you see me? As an equal? A partner?”
“Yes,” I answered simply. “That is what I want—what I have never had with anyone.”
“But you and Pam are partners—at Fangtasia.”
I smiled. “There is a difference between business and personal, Sookie. Plus—as Pam’s maker, I have always been above her. True partnerships cannot exist when one could have absolute control over the other. Now that I’ve released Pam, we could be true equals, but I cannot fathom having a romantic relationship with her again. You are the only being in a thousand years that I have ever viewed as a true complement for myself.”
“Oh,” she said with a little blush reddening her cheeks. “Um—thanks,” she added a bit uncertainly.
“You’re welcome,” I said with a chuckle.
“It’s hard for me to imagine someone thinking of me like that,” she said quietly.
“You will get used to it,” I returned.
We were quiet for a moment, but she broke the silence with a laugh. “After that exchange in the cubby—I thought you were drunk on my blood and I was drunk on yours.”
I smirked. “I supposed that’s an accurate enough description.”
“So—uh—do you mind giving me your blood again now? Like Niall said?”
“My blood is yours, Sookie,” I responded as I ran the backs of my fingers along her cheek.
“Should we—uh—exchange?” she asked shyly even as she shivered at my touch.
“Not if you still want to hold off on recommencing our sexual relationship,” I chuckled. “I’m not sure I’d be able to control myself.”
She looked slightly disappointed. “Okay—but, in the future, would you want to complete the bond?”
“Yes,” I answered immediately. My body and my mind—my very spirit—had been calling out to complete the bond since we’d started it.
She smiled up at me as I led her back to the couch.
“Pam does good work,” Sookie remarked as she glanced at the screen to see the ‘finished product’ of Sarah Newlin’s once again blond hair.
I only nodded in response as I sat as far back into the couch as possible and guided Sookie to sit in front of me—her back to my front.
“Do you mind if I use you to make a little friction?” I asked, even as she inhaled sharply from feeling my suddenly excited cock against her back.
“No problem,” she whispered as the scent of her own arousal filled the air.
She moved against me a little, and my cock celebrated. I’d cum when she’d taken my blood in the cubby, and I was pretty certain I’d be doing that again, but I couldn’t find it in myself to apologize for that. I only regretted that I wouldn’t be cumming inside of Sookie when my release came.
I wanted to have Sookie drink from my neck, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from ravaging her if she did. However, to drink from the palm of the hand was considered more intimate than the wrist, so I bit the same place I’d bitten when Sookie and I formed our bond.
As soon as her questing tongue swept across my palm, I felt my cock weeping out its pre-release, and my body began to grind against her back without my being able to stop it. I was glad I’d already asked permission, especially when she moaned.
“How is it possible that you taste so good?” she purred against the wound, right before she bit a little to keep the blood flowing.
I growled and grinded.
The scent of her arousal was so thick in the air—in my mind. My free hand itched to unbutton her jeans and travel to the center of that arousal. But something rational in me told me that would definitely not be taking things slowly.
“Please,” Sookie panted, now moving her body so it would rhythmically stroke my confined cock. “Bite,” she whispered as she nipped at my wound again.
Greed—that’s what I felt from her. Greed for pleasure. Greed for blood. Greed for me.
I loved the feeling. Loved my blood moving inside of her once more. Loved the way her emotions sharpened inside of me again.
And then I came, even as I felt her body shiver to announce her own orgasm.
Somehow—I kept myself from tearing off her clothing and fucking her as she licked my now-sealed wound.
Somehow—I kept myself from taking more than a few gulps of her blood.
Somehow—I kept my fucking sanity as our bond strengthened and grew.
Somehow—I retained the power of speech.
“You make it difficult to take things slowly, lover,” I moaned as I kissed her neck, over the now-healed spot where I’d just bitten.
“Sorry,” she panted.
“I’m not,” I growled. And I wasn’t. Well—I was sorry that I wouldn’t be ravaging her for the rest of the night, but I could be patient.
“What the fuck?” Sookie asked, her dreamy tone coming to an abrupt end as she sat up.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Bill!” Sookie shouted as she pointed to the television screen. “At Fangtasia!”