A/N: This chapter title comes from the song by Nora Jones called “The Nearness of You.” FYI: If you get married and have “a dance” and your husband/wife/partner does not dance and just needs to have a really slow-paced song so that he/she can sway and NOT step on your toes, this is a good song for that. Here’s a link to the song.
It was several hours later that Sookie woke up. Eric had repositioned them so that they were lying on the floor on the pallet. Gran’s afghan and a quilt were pulled snuggly over Sookie since the fire had been dying down.
“I’m sorry I slept so long,” she said groggily as she turned to face Eric.
“Do not be sorry, my love. It has been a very long few weeks for you. And I very much enjoy holding you as you sleep.”
Sookie chuckled, “Not boring?”
“No,” Eric said seriously. “It is odd to feel so at peace, but it is,” he paused, “nice. Plus, I did some work.”
“What time is it?” Sookie asked.
“It is just after 3:00, min kära.”
Sookie nestled her body more tightly into Eric’s and sighed into his chest. “It is nice.”
After a minute or two, Sookie spoke, “I found out something strange from Alcide’s head the other day.
“Hmm?” Eric asked, seeming to come out of down-time. “What was it? I hope not some plan to kill me and take you as his own,” he said half-joking.
“No,” Sookie shook her head, “but he does pretty much hate vampires in general and you in particular.”
Eric sighed, “It is a pity. I suppose I do understand why a Were from Mississippi would dislike vampires; I have learned that Russell’s Weres had pretty much taken control of the packs in the area in order to recruit. Alcide showed courage in remaining independent. Still, in my dealings with him, I have been fair, especially since I always saw his potential as an asset; that is why I thought of him when I needed someone to guard you.”
“I’m afraid I’m at least partially to blame for why he dislikes you.”
“Jealousy,” Eric stated.
“Yeah, that. And,” Sookie blushed, “he saw us in the woods that night when we were making love.”
“Ah,” Eric said. “Then I can see where his jealousy would stem from. The love between us that night would have been obvious to anyone.” He pulled her closer and chuckled. “Surely this cannot be the strange thing you got from his head.”
“No, Alcide was there the night I was shot; he took me from the graveyard to the house, actually. And then I saw Bill in his mind, trying to give me his blood.”
“Trying?” Eric asked.
“Yeah, at first, even though I was still breathing and everything, I wouldn’t take it. Alcide thought that I was dyin’, and the look on Bill’s face was one of surprise.”
“You were unconscious?”
Sookie nodded in confirmation.
“Did you see from Alcide what happened after that?”
“Well, Bill literally pried open my mouth and force fed me for a while.”
“Even after you’d taken some of his blood, you didn’t begin feeding on your own?”
“Not according to the picture in Alcide’s head.”
“Interesting,” Eric said. “And you are right; that is strange.”
“It was like I was tryin’ to reject his blood. Do you think this has to do with the bond or my fairy heritage?”
Eric nodded. “I can only guess, my love. But I think it has everything to do with the bond we have. I think it makes us desire to belong only to each other. Since we bonded the first time, the thought of taking blood from another is repellent to me. In fact,” he paused, “when I killed the witches and drank their blood, it tasted rancid.”
Sookie added, “And the thought of taking blood from or giving blood to someone else makes me nauseated.”
Eric chuckled. “Then I think it was our first bond that made you try to reject Bill’s blood, that made you want no other.”
“That was how I felt until his blood was in me. And then all of a sudden, I thought I loved him again. I can’t believe that I didn’t recognize what it was doin’ to me then. If I had been using my sense, I would have seen it all along.”
“Vampire blood is strong in a human,” Eric tried to comfort her. “And as you experienced, a tie works insidiously to control. You could not have known. Plus, as difficult as it was to be without our bond when you had Jesus conduct the severing spell, in the end it was for the best. You are now free of Bill completely.”
Sookie nodded and took Eric’s hand in hers, entwining their fingers.
“Even without the bond, I always wanted to be close to you.”
“And I you.”
Eric kissed Sookie’s forehead and began to lay soft butterfly kisses around her face. Sookie sighed into him and raised her own lips up to meet his. “Make love to me, Eric,” she whispered.
Not needing to be told twice, Eric had his own clothing off in moments as Sookie slipped her robe off of her shoulders.
Eric lay his long and lean body over hers, touching her in every way possible without crushing her. Sookie enjoyed Eric’s weight and pushed up into him, devouring his neck with kisses as he worked on her cheek and ear.
Sookie felt him hard against her leg, and she was dripping for him, desperate to be connected even more. “Now, Eric,” she said. “I need you now.”
She felt Eric’s hand moving down to test her readiness, but she stopped it with hers, “I’m ready for you,” she said, arching into him. “Please―now.”
With a growl that showed that his anxiousness matched her own, Eric buried himself to the hilt. “Fuck,” he managed. “I was made to be inside of you.”
“Yes,” Sookie muttered, capturing Eric’s lips with hers. Their tongues matched the rhythm of their bodies as they slowly rocked against each other, neither in a hurry to find completion. Still, despite their languid pace, several minutes later, Sookie found her release due to Eric’s angling himself to hit her G-spot just right, but he resisted the urge to follow her even as her body pulsed around his shaft. Instead, he continued his long, slow strokes and bent down to capture first one breast and then the other with his mouth.
Sookie felt one orgasm rolling into another as Eric continued to stroke her with his hands, mouth and penis.
“More,” she muttered as she lolled her head to the side.
Eric understood exactly what she wanted and needed; he felt the same desire from within himself. He grabbed the knife from the coffee table and quickly unwrapped it, handing it to Sookie. “Take what you need, min kván. I am already yours.” She pushed the point of the dagger into the flesh of his shoulder and drank, even as he bit into her neck. An even stronger orgasm rocked her just as his finally overtook him.
The dagger once again was lit up in Sookie’s hand, and the white light of the fairy magic enveloped and strengthened the bond between them, sealing them even more tightly together.
Eric unhurriedly licked the wound he’d made on Sookie’s neck and then watched it heal due to the blood she’d just taken from him. His flesh had already healed, and Sookie lay panting beneath him, kissing the area where she’d made her cut.
He took the dagger from her grasp and laid it back on the coffee table before slowly pulling himself from her and settling onto his back beside her.
She moved with him and settled herself onto his chest, still trying to recover her breath. After several minutes, however, she sat up abruptly. Eric, as if a magnet in his body were connecting his heart to hers, sat up with her.
“What is it, min kära?”
Sookie answered, “It’s just that―why haven’t we had another one of those strange fantasy trips again? I mean, we’ve had each other’s blood more times now, but there’s been no lake in the sun or bed in the snow.”
Eric chuckled but then looked contemplative. “I don’t know, my love. Perhaps it occurs only at the first bonding. Or maybe this moment with you right here and right now is fantasy enough. I cannot imagine a place I would rather be right now.”
Sookie grinned, “Me neither.” She sunk back into Eric’s chest, and he laid them back down. “Still, it’s one more thing to wonder about, right along with why I’m so blood-thirsty all of a sudden!” She sighed.
“Indeed,” Eric chuckled again. “It must be that you cannot resist me.”
Sookie snorted and then hit his arm playfully, “Or―maybe I’m just craving chocolate.”
Eric laughed and pulled her closer.