A/N: This chapter follows INNER-Ludes 3 & 4 (Warlow & Willa) in the overall narrative of the INNER-Verse.
I awoke about forty minutes before sundown to the sound of two women laughing. I immediately knew that one of them was my bonded.
Was I disappointed that Sookie was not in the room with me when I rose? Yes. But, then again, I was a selfish bastard and always desired for her to be close. Of course, I had spent my day in a coffin, so I couldn’t really blame her for not being in the large bed all alone.
“But you will be used soon,” I whispered a promise to the bed as if it were alive.
It would certainly be “moving” soon enough. And likely “groaning”—depending on the quality of its springs.
Once again, I lamented the fact that Sookie wasn’t already with me.
However, any selfish feelings I had regarding my bonded were obliterated as soon as I let myself sink into her emotions through our bond.
Her laughter was only a dim reflection of the joy she was feeling—a joy so intense that I had to sit down onto the bed so that I wouldn’t fall to my knees.
Or perhaps my knees were exactly where I should have been.
To worship at the feet of the goddess who had agreed to be mine.
To properly recognize the gods who had seen fit to favor one such as myself.
To show my gratitude to Fate for bringing Sookie into Fangtasia.
To demonstrate my thankfulness to my soon-to-be bride—for giving me the greatest gift that anyone of my kind had ever received.
To pray that I would be able to keep my family safe.
I felt a cool drop flowing over the ridge of my cheekbone. Instinctively, I reached up to wipe away the tear even as I heard the code to the door to the bedroom being entered.
Sookie’s smile faded as she saw the smeared blood on my face.
“What’s wrong?” she asked with concern as she rushed over to me.
“Overwhelmed,” I choked out as I took both of her hands with both of mine.
“With love. With happiness. With gratefulness.”
Slowly, like the sunrises I could barely remember, her smile spread back across her face. “I know. Earlier today, I was freaking out from everything too!” She giggled. “Luckily, Willa was there to talk me down. And Claude, Jason, and Tray have been providing entertainment to distract me.”
“Entertainment?” I asked.
She nodded. “Through the window, Willa and I have been watching them string up lights outside. It’s okay if we have the ceremony out there—isn’t it? It’s a little cool, but there’s a really nice spot by the water and some portable heaters we can use.”
“Of course it’s okay,” I smiled up at her.
“Thank you,” she grinned—before picking up her previous train of thought. “Anyway, Willa and I were coming up with fairy, Were, and human jokes.”
“You know—stuff like, ‘a fairy, a Were, and a human walk into a bar . . . .’ Or ‘how many creatures does it take to change a light bulb . . . .’ Stuff like that.”
“How many does it take?” I asked with curiosity.
She giggled. “I have no idea. We were much better at coming up with the premises than we were the punchlines, but it was enough to distract me.”
“From freaking out?” I asked, even as I acknowledged that she had distracted me from my own overpowering feelings.
“Uh-huh. I like Willa a lot,” she said.
“I’m glad,” I said sincerely.
“She and Tray already sort of feel like family,” she chuckled. “Tray must have hit Jason upside the head twenty times today!”
I joined in her laughter. “I’m sure Jason deserved it.”
“Oh yeah,” she agreed. “But he’s been good overall—you know? He sometimes lets idiotic things come out of his mouth, but—in his head—he’s really happy for me. For us. He’s almost always been protective of me, except around the time when Gran died and he was on V and—then again—when our parents’ spirits were haunting him.” She frowned a little.
I growled as I recalled the effects of that “haunting.” Jason had wanted Sookie to abort our sons!
She squeezed my hands. “Down boy,” she said with mock sternness. “You know—Jason has actually been thinking about those times a lot today. He is prayin’ that he never does anything to hurt me again. He’s vowing that he’ll do everything he can to be a good uncle to the boys. And he’s even come to see that he was an idiot for not liking you before,” she added with a smirk.
I raised an eyebrow. “Really?”
She nodded. “Yep. He was thinking about how you cared about me enough to give him another chance, despite his V-taking, his involvement in Eddie’s death, and his brief stint as a Fellowship member.” She shook her head. “True to form, Jason didn’t think about the ‘why’ of your looking the other way at the time. He was just glad that you did. Oh—and he thought you were a ‘scary motherfucker’ back then.”
“Not anymore?” I laughed.
She smiled. “Oh—he still thinks you’re scary, but only for people who mess with you and those you care for. And he is startin’ to think of himself as bein’ in that second category.”
I chuckled. “That’s presumptuous.”
“That’s Jason,” she giggled. “But—for the record—his thoughts go both ways.”
“Well, he was thinkin’ that he’d do whatever it took to keep you safe—if the ‘shit ever went down’ during the daytime,” she smirked. “It’s kinda sweet—really.”
I chuckled at the thought of Jason Stackhouse protecting me. But I wasn’t about to turn down a potential ally. I’d seen Jason “work” at the Authority, and he was good with human weapons. Of course, I knew that my biggest daytime protector would be the woman in front of me, and I felt my gratefulness and love growing even more for her.
I moved our hands so that they were resting on her now prominent baby bump.
“They’re bigger,” I grinned before leaning forward to give her belly two kisses—one on each side. I felt little flutters under our hands. “Are they . . . ?” I was dumbfounded. “Is that them?”
She grinned. “I think so, but I haven’t felt a ‘proper’ kick yet. But based on how big I am, I don’t think it’ll be long.”
I sighed. “I hope I won’t miss it by being dead for the day.”
“Oh—don’t worry. Once they start, they won’t stop,” she chuckled even as she cringed a bit at the thought of two kicking boys inside of her little body.
I nodded and wrapped my arms around to her back before resting my head on her bump. She thread her fingers through my hair, and I felt myself rumbling in content, even as I sent a silent message to my sons that they needed to be “nice” to their mother as far as their kicking went.
“You’re purring,” Sookie said with a smile in her tone.
“I’m happy,” I responded before placing two more kisses onto her belly.
She sighed, and I felt her contentment mirroring mine.
“You know—Willa helped me to avert a disaster today,” she said after a while.
Not feeling any real duress in the bond, I kept calm—despite her wording. “What disaster was that?”
“Well—I was tired after dress shopping today and almost took a nap, but—then—my dress wouldn’t have fit,” she giggled. “I made Willa stay up with me in order to keep me awake.”
I tilted my head to grin up at her since she was still standing before me as I sat on the bed. “I will make sure that Pam knows to reward her future progeny.”
“Do you object to Willa becoming a vampire?” I asked with some trepidation. Indeed, though it was true that Sookie’s fairy blood and my blood would ensure that she aged much more slowly than “normal” humans, the day would come when I wanted—needed—to turn her.
“Oh no!” Sookie answered quickly. “It’s just that Willa is a little afraid of Tara’s reaction. “From what she told me earlier, Tara’s been,” she paused, “gruff.”
“Isn’t she like that with everyone?” I asked, recalling all of my interactions with her thus far.
“Yeah. And that’s what I told Willa, but Tara’s,” she hesitated again and sighed, “complicated. Her own mom might as well have abandoned her. Hell—it would’ve been better for Tara if Lettie-Mae had abandoned her!” she scoffed with uncharacteristic venom.
“Why’s that?” I asked curiously, wanting to know more about my progeny’s child.
“Lettie-Mae was an alcoholic—the mean kind. On good days, Lettie-Mae only yelled at Tara and left her alone to scrounge up her own food—while she was out getting drunk or having sex with whoever bought the liquor.” She shook her head. “On Lettie-Mae’s bad days, however, she would blame Tara for all of her troubles—especially if the booze had run out. And—by blame—I mean ‘beat.'”
“Tara’s mother physically abused her?” I asked with a growl. I intended to find out if the woman still lived. Perhaps she could be used to train my “grandchild” how to properly torture a child abuser.
“Yeah,” Sookie shared, thankfully not hearing my dark thoughts. “A few times, it was really bad, and Tara came to Gran’s—looking for sanctuary. Gran convinced Tara to go to the cops one time, but the only thing that happened was that Tara got shipped off to an orphanage in Shreveport for six months until her mother got cleaned up enough to claim her again.” She shook her head. “Tara says that the orphanage was worse than home, and she got beaten up there, too. Hell! Her arm was in a sling when she came back! After that, Tara never turned in her mom again. And she stayed with Gran, Jason, and me a lot more.” She sighed. “You know—Jason used to stand up for Tara just as much as he stood up for me. He even stood between Lettie-Mae and Tara one time when Lettie-Mae came to the house with a baseball bat.”
I shook my head, wondering if Jason might like some instruction in torture as well. “You know—with a little time and a few more of those stories—I might actually develop a soft spot for your sibling.”
Sookie smiled in return. “Don’t tell anyone this, but Tara loved Jason for years—like really, really loved him. A part of me always hoped that they’d end up together, but Jason was so clueless about it.” She shrugged. “And I think that Jase always thought of her too much like a sister to see her as a potential mate, but she would have been good for him. They would have been good for each other,” she added even as her eyes glinted mischievously. “That is, before Tara became a lesbian.”
I chuckled. “Loving Jason might drive anyone to that decision.”
Sookie cackled but then became serious. “I think it was actually Franklin Mott who did that,” she sighed.
My own smile disappeared as well as I recalled my own callousness toward Tara when she’d been Mott’s captive—despite the fact that I had recognized her scent at Russell’s mansion and knew that she was a friend of Sookie’s.
My only defense was that I was overwhelmed then, too. I’d just learned that Russell had been the killer of my human family. I’d also been trying to save Pam from the magister. And then there was the matter of Sookie being dragged into Russell’s mansion as his prisoner—thanks to Bill Compton going to “visit” her.
I growled, wishing I could kill him all over again.
“Franklin’s dead—you know?” Sookie asked, thinking that my growl was on behalf of Tara situation. Maybe it was to a certain extent; however, Sookie and our boys would always be my first priorities.
Even if that made me a bastard.
“I did not know. How did he die?” I asked her.
“I don’t know the details,” Sookie shrugged. “But I do know that Tara and Jason were involved.”
“Good,” I said. “Maybe Tara got a little closure.”
“And a little peace,” she added.
I nodded in agreement, and we were silent for a moment, just enjoying the closeness we shared.
“The sun will be down soon,” I said.
“And we have a marriage license to get,” she replied.
“And a Justice of the Peace to pick up,” I added.
“Do we have time for a shower first?” she asked suggestively.
“Why? Did you get dirty today?” I returned with a leer.
“Filthy,” she whispered.
“Then let’s go scrub you, min kära.”
“We really shouldn’t be doing this,” Sookie pointed out as I carried her into the bathroom.
“Doing what?” I asked, even as I turned on the water.
I’d learned during our time together that Sookie liked her showers hot—steamy, in fact.
And I was ready to turn up the temperature in more than one way.
“Being together before our wedding,” she gasped, as I turned and relieved her of her maxi-dress with a few sudden movements.
“But we’ve definitely already been together,” I growled, taking in her fuller breasts and her curving belly.
“But I wanted to try to wait till after we were officially married,” she pouted, even as I could feel her lust beginning to whip around the bond.
“We could wait . . . .” I began with a leer, though my tone was full of the suggestion that we should do the opposite.
“Are you trying to take advantage of my pregnancy hormones?” she gasped as I took off my shirt.
“Of course not,” I grinned wickedly.
“Liar,” she whimpered as I slowly began taking off my pants.
“Isn’t it enough that we waited for our wedding night?” I asked innocently.
“Ugh,” she sounded with frustration, though I could feel her lust becoming overpowering in the bond. “We haven’t really waited at all, you know!”
It was my turn to pout. “But I haven’t had you in a whole day.”
She scoffed. “It’s not even been that long,” she said, licking her lips as she looked at something “long” on my body.
Something long and ready.
I could feel her resolve ebbing in the bond, and normally I would take advantage of that. But—at the same time—I didn’t want her to be disappointed with herself later.
I curtailed the lust flowing from me. “We really can wait, Sookie. I would be happy to just wash you thoroughly.”
She sighed. “Yeah—but then I’d be compelled to attack you as soon as the Justice of the Peace pronounced us man and wife. And I wanna enjoy my reception,” she said, her pout coming back.
“Attack?” I asked roguishly.
“Yeah—and who knows?” she returned coyly. “If I’m too wound up, I might even hit you with my light for making me wait.”
“Making you wait?” I asked, my eyebrow climbing.
She seemed to be coming to a resolution. “Yep. And I might accidentally shoot someone else at the wedding, too.”
“So servicing you now would be a public service,” I grinned.
She smirked. “You could be saving lives, Mr. Northman.”
“I’m selfless that way,” I leered, moving slightly closer to her.
“Plus, waiting would be cruel to the others. I mean—really—what kind of a wedding reception doesn’t include the bride and groom?” she rationalized.
“The best kind?” I joked.
She smacked my arm, her breasts moving enticingly with the movement.
I half-groaned and half-growled, and her body seemed to react to the vibrations of my voice.
“Waiting is an old-fashioned notion anyway,” she asserted before quickly pulling me to her and capturing my lips in an almost brutal kiss. I was happy to oblige her.
After a few seconds, she bit my bottom lip, drawing my blood, and I had to pull back from her so that my fangs didn’t pierce her tongue as they dropped dangerously fast.
Her eyes had lit up, and the scent of her arousal was overpowering.
I couldn’t help but to fall to my knees before her. She really did inspire my worship.
“You are all woman,” I growled, feeling very much like a caveman in that moment.
I placed my large hands over our children and she moaned at my touch.
“You are ripening,” I panted. “Soon you will be even rounder, even more beautiful.” I growled and pulled her closer to me. “More mine!”
“Eric,” she whimpered, her own passion clearly rising as her eyes brightened.
I wanted to yell out my triumph in marking Sookie—in placing my seed within her. And—though I understood that the modern “human” woman, who made up a part of my bonded, would not necessarily like that impulse—I intuited that Fairy Sookie was completely on board with it.
The passion in her intense gaze was a tell-tale clue.
I inhaled deeply, taking in the sweet scent of my mate’s blood, which was hurrying through her system as her pulse quickened. I scented the proof of her arousal. And I also smelled the presence of our sons—the absolute proof of our love for one another.
Her love for me. Her choice of me!
I leered up at her as her fingers brightened with her Fae power. And—in that moment—I recognized that our sons were actually not evidence of “me” marking “her.” They were evidence of “her” taking what she wanted—what she needed—from “me.”
“Take what you need, Sookie,” I growled as I ripped apart her panties before rising to quickly disrobe. Sookie had removed her bra by the time I was bare before her.
Bare and ready for her to fill me.
She pulled me into the shower and then immediately pushed me to my knees.
Gods—I loved it when my mate made sure she got what she wanted from me. I immediately pulled one of her legs over my shoulder and licked her from her rear entrance to her clit.
“Eric,” she moaned. “Again!”
I wasn’t about to disobey as I lapped up more of her sweet nectar. After a few more long licks, I focused on her clit, even as I moved two fingers into her entrance.
“Eric!” she yelled as I curved my fingers and vibrated my tongue around her clit—at vampire speed, of course.
However, she didn’t allow me to finish her off that way. Instead, she gripped my hair with both of her hands and yanked me roughly upward before capturing my lips with hers.
“Sookie,” I growled as she bit my lower lip, drawing blood. To anyone spying on us, it would have been she who was thought to be the vampire in that moment.
“Fuck me!” she ordered, lifting one of her legs to envelop my thigh. I lifted the other, and her legs locked behind me right as I thrust into her.
“Ughh,” came a noise from both Sookie and me.
It was good to know that we were both on the same wordless page as I began pounding into her.
She gripped my shoulders with her lit-up hands, which were sending pleasurable shocks of euphoria into my body.
“Faster!” she ordered, somehow finding language.
Even more surprising, I understood her, though I could answer only with a grunt—and my obedience to her request, of course.
“Harder!” she yelled out.
I was happy to pound into my bonded; however, a part of me worried that my sons might be harmed, given our current position, so I turned Sookie around and placed her hands onto the tile in front of her before thrusting back into her from behind.
One of my hands went straight to her clit to stimulate her while the other moved to ensure that her belly was not pounded into the wall because of my vigor.
I thrust in quick, hard movements, but even that wasn’t enough for my fairy mate.
She turned her head to look at me over her shoulder and snarled.
Literally. Fucking. Snarled.
I almost came right then!
“Fuck me like the vampire you are!” she commanded.
Sookie had certainly “tuned me up” in the past, but there was something about the way she was looking at me that unleashed the animal that resided within me.
That animal forgot that she was part human, and he moved at inhuman speeds.
“Yes!” Sookie yelled out, even as her light came forth from her hands and cracked the tiles she was bracing against.
Better them than me.
The vampire in me, the beast that she’d compelled into a frenzy, leaned forward and bit into her neck, and I felt her cum around my cock, drawing my own cum from me.
I yelled after I’d drunk my fill, but my fairy wasn’t done with me. Before I could even heal her, she turned around and used her light to slam me into the opposite wall of the shower.
It fucking hurt! And I growled at the predator in front of me, but I wasn’t about to detract her from her goal, which turned out to be forcing my cock into submission.
I was ready to be vanquished!
She took my cock into her mouth and managed—within only a few minutes—to bring me to the brink of another orgasm. Of course, the fact that my eyes were glued onto her as she pleasured herself with her fingers didn’t hurt my progress. Even as my balls tightened to signal that I would be cumming very, very soon, she turned her head and bit into my inner thigh with the precision of an ancient vampire.
I yelled as I came.
As she drank my blood and then my cum.
And I could sense that she was cumming too.
I thanked the gods for that as I quivered against the tile wall. I wasn’t sure that I had the strength left to pleasure her in that moment, so it was a good thing she’d fucked herself to completion.
An aftershock overtook me as I glanced down at Sookie’s fingers still inside of her own body. Sookie hadn’t pleasured herself in such an overt way around me before.
To say it was an amazing sight would have been the understatement of my fucking millennium!
“Gods, you are beautiful,” I managed, even as I pulled her to her feet and kissed her gently before licking the remnants of her blood from her shoulder, though my own ingested blood had already taken care of her healing.
She giggled bashfully and blushed.
And—Gods help me—I almost pushed her against the wall to take her again! The fact that she could go from Fae vixen to shy human within a few seconds would be my undoing!
But I was fucking fine with that.
“We really shouldn’t have done that before the wedding,” she said, though I could tell that she wasn’t actually upset about breaking her “rule” from the night before. “But we probably did save lives,” she grinned. “And now I’ll get to enjoy the reception.”
“Mmm. For a little while,” I returned. “But you should know: that was just a warm-up for what is to come for you once you are Mrs. Northman,” I leered.
She smacked my arm. “You are insatiable.”
My eyebrow rose, “Says the fairy who broke the shower wall.”
She turned and blushed even redder as she took in her handiwork. I didn’t let her get too embarrassed, however, as I began washing her. I took my time massaging shampoo into her hair before rinsing that and then rubbing in conditioner. I let that set for a few minutes as I lovingly washed the rest of her before quickly washing myself and then rinsing us both.
By the time I was toweling her off, she seemed both relaxed and drowsy.
“No time for sleep,” I grinned as I led her into our room. “We have an appointment with the county clerk to get our marriage license, after all.”
She immediately perked up and went to the closet to grab another maxi-dress before slipping on a warm sweater over it. She looked at me through narrowed eyes. “Well—step on it, Northman! I have a man to marry tonight!”
I grinned and quickly dressed.
The sun had set fifteen minutes before and Sookie was right. We had a lot to do that night!
A/N: So we are back with Eric’s POV! I hope that you enjoyed it!
Scheduling notice: My teaching schedule has changed, so I’m going to be changing my posting schedule too.
New chapters of the INNER-Verse will be appearing on Mondays on my WordPress blog and Tuesdays or Wednesdays on the other sites.
Many thanks to those of you still reading this series! I’ll be starting my next major piece, Earned, later this week. It is the third major part of the Back & Forth Series. I hope you will join me for that. I also have a new SHORT in the works.
Finally, I wanted to thank all of you who followed my UN-iverse series of stories. I finished the third part of that trilogy on Sunday, and have been getting amazing support and feedback. I’ve had a constant smile on my face. Thanks you so much!
As always, thanks to Seph and Kleannhouse for all you do!!