At 4:00 and with more than an hour left to kill before sunset, Sookie decided to take a long bath. Her wandering and researching had been interesting, but she felt that a little relaxation was in order.
She poured some lavender scented oil into the steamy water she’d run for herself and settled in. She was surprised when―about 10 minutes later―a deep, lust-filled voice said, “Lover, I very much hope you will let me join you.”
“Eric!” Sookie sat up in the tub in surprise. “How are you up already?”
Still just as naked as he’d been in bed, Eric stalked toward the tub and then sank in behind Sookie. “I believe the miracle of your blood and our bond is the cause for my waking early, min kära. If this morning and afternoon are any indication, I am becoming resistant to indirect sunlight. The intense light of day still calls me to my sleep, but my body does not crave to hide from the sun as it once did. It can only be your magic that is protecting me.”
Sookie sighed as she sunk her back into his chest. “Well, whatever it is, I like it if it gives us more time like this.
Eric chuckled, “We will have to renovate Gran’s house to have a tub like this, my lover. I find that I quite like feeling your body against mine in this way.”
Sookie and Eric relaxed comfortably into the bath. Finally, Sookie spoke, “You painted the pictures in the living room, didn’t you?”
Eric ran his hand over Sookie’s damp hair and said, “Yes, I went through an artistic phase after I met Van Gough in Amsterdam.”
Sookie gasped and turned her head to face him, “You knew Vincent Van Gough?”
“Uh-huh,” Eric answered casually. “I enjoyed meeting the artists of that time. They were quite revolutionary, so many remained unknown in their own time. However, I always thirsted for things that were new and different. Van Gough was an especially tragic figure, however. But he was also quite full of life in his own way, and he was a bit of a night-owl.” He flashed her a brilliant smile. “Like me!”
Sookie couldn’t help but slap his knee playfully. “You think you are so cute and clever, don’t you buck-o.”
Eric leered, “What you think is more important, lover.”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Sookie said mysteriously. “Now―tell me more about Van Gough!”
Eric laughed and continued, “There’s not a whole lot to tell, I’m afraid. I liked Vincent’s techniques with paint and studied with him for a time.”
“Wow!” Sookie exclaimed.
Eric laughed, “I’m afraid I was never that good―nothing compared to the master. He said that I had the hands of an ape once, and I had to glamour him to continue with the lessons. He was in need of money due to his health problems, however, so he taught me for several months.” Eric added fondly, “When I refused to listen to him about how to mix a certain shade of blue correctly, I don’t think even my glamour would have convinced him to continue with the lessons.”
Sookie laughed and then muttered, “Stubborn vampire.”
Eric’s tone turned more serious. “I’m afraid that when it came to color, I was never quite able to make the hues match the memories in my head of the daytime from my human days. Blue―especially the blue of the sea on a sunny day―always eluded me in my painting.”
Sookie settled back against her beloved and stroked his arms in comfort.
After a minute or two, Eric continued, “He did help me learn a bit about how to create texture with paint. Working with him was quite enjoyable actually. I admit that several years later when I learned of his death, I was somewhat regretful that I hadn’t given him my blood. He was sick much of the time even when I knew him.”
Eric entwined his arms around Sookie and settled his hands on her stomach.
He reflected for a moment. “I will take you to Amsterdam sometime if you wish. Many of his paintings are lodged there, and you would enjoy all the canals, I think.”
“Yes, Amsterdam actually has more canals than Venice.”
“Ooh Venice!” Sookie exclaimed. “Can we go there too?”
Eric chuckled, “We can go anywhere you wish, min kván. I will enjoy revisiting all these places through your eyes.”
“Will you take me to where you grew up?”
Eric laughed. “Of course.”
“Why are you laughin’?”
Eric answered, “It’s just that Pamela is the only one other than Godric who has seen where I grew up, and she calls it a ‘windy shithole.’”
“Still,” Sookie resolved, “windy shithole or not, I wanna see it.”
Eric smiled. “Then I will take you there. It will make me,” he paused, “happy to be there with you.”
They rested against each other until Eric felt Sookie shiver due to the cooling water. With his toes, he lifted the drain and turned on the hot water. “There is a natural hot springs on the land I own in Sweden. It is unknown to outsiders, but some of the people who are tenants on the farm I have there use it. When we visit, we will go there. It is lovely, and I bathed there as a child.
“I’d like that,” Sookie said. After a few minutes, she asked, “What do your tenants do on your farm? I mean―is it a real farm?”
Eric chuckled. “Yes, it is a working farm, and I own about a thousand acres all told. Now, mainly wheat and a bit of sugar beet are grown there. And the tenants tend to that; most of the families there have been on the land for many, many generations. I have a home that I keep there, but I have not visited in more than a decade. Before the great reveal, I had to be very careful not to be seen in a place for too many years―for obvious reasons.”
“We’ll go soon?” Sookie asked.
“Yes,” Eric answered, stopping the drain again. After the tub had refilled with hot water, he turned off the nozzle―again with only his feet.
“You have talented feet,” Sookie laughed.
“I have talented other things too, lover,” Eric purred as he raised his hands from her waist to her breasts. Sookie moaned as he rubbed circles around her hardening nipples. Eric brought his mouth to Sookie’s neck, kissing it lightly even as he increased the pressure of his hands. He trailed soft kisses along her shoulders as one of his hands left her breast and traveled downward. She arched into him as his hand circled lower and lower, creating waves of movement in the water. Finally, the tops of his fingers touched her mound, combing through the trimmed hairs that he found there.
Sookie moved her own hands to his knees that were on either side of her thighs and began stroking his flesh even as she spread her own legs wider apart to allow for more of his touch.
Eric moved two fingers so that they were on either side of Sookie’s clit, and then circled them back and forth, causing her to groan lustfully. He brought his other hand down to her entrance and traced her folds slowly. Occasionally, he would shallowly dip his finger into her center briefly, only to remove it and continue his attention to her folds. His other hand never let up on slowly circling her nerve center.
Sookie was certain that she was going to melt into the hot water any moment under Eric’s skillful touch, and as he finally plunged a finger fully into her core, she cried out. He worked his finger in and out of her unhurriedly, curling it into her in just the right way to brush her G-spot.
“Please,” Sookie begged.
She felt Eric shake his head, “No, min kära. This time, you must cum for me first before I enter you.”
Sookie groaned and moved her hips in time with the thrusts of his finger. When he added a second, she threw her head back against his chest and dug her fingernails into the flesh of his outer thighs. She ground her back into his steel-hard erection.
Now it was Eric’s turn to groan, and he increased the pace of his thrusting fingers.
“Cum for me, lover,” Eric whispered desperately into Sookie’s ear. “I want to feel your beautiful core pulse around my fingers. You feel so hot, so tight, lover. I cannot wait to bury myself into you.”
Sookie brought one of her hands to the back of Eric’s neck and twisted her head so that she could take his lips with hers. Their kiss was all hot passion, and Sookie exploded beneath the onslaught of Eric’s touches. Her orgasm seemed to go on forever as he continued to stroke her lightly, bringing her slowly down from her pleasure.
Finally, Sookie was able to utter a coherent, “Oh God,” but Eric gave her no rest as he lifted her body and plunged into her still ready entrance. Sookie sunk her back into Eric’s chest as he slowly began to move beneath her. When she’d recovered enough from her previous orgasm, she moved her legs to the outside of his in order to increase the depth that he could achieve in that position. Then, she complemented his movements with her own, meeting him thrust for thrust.
He growled into her ear, “Do you know how fucking perfect we fit together? How good you feel to me? So. Fucking. Good.”
Their movements increased in speed and desperation, and water began to spill over the edges of the tub. When Eric knew that they were both close to their releases, he felt a pull from their bond to be even closer to her. He answered it by biting into his hand and offering it to her.
She gripped his wrist and greedily took the offering, marveling at the way Eric’s blood seemed to ignite her own magic. Her now-glowing hand continued to hold Eric’s bleeding one to her mouth, and he felt a surge of electricity flow into him as he bit into Sookie’s neck, completing the circuit between them.
Both cried out as their orgasms pulsed through them. After their releases had stopped and their wounds had closed, Eric lifted Sookie off of his sated member.
Once she had caught her breath, Sookie turned and sat on Eric’s lap so that she was facing him. She looked into his eyes and then kissed him fully but chastely on the lips before pulling away. “I love you, Eric Northman,” she whispered as she brought her mouth against his neck and lay into him.
“I love you, Sookie Stackhouse,” Eric answered as he put his arms tightly around her. “Tomorrow night, you will be even more mine, if that is even possible.”
She sighed into his chest. And they sat in the cooling water, quietly and completely content.