The bonded pair lay together in contented silence for about half an hour, each luxuriating in the love that was flowing through the bond. Her breathing and heartbeat soothed him, just as his soft touches and caresses lulled her.
About an hour and a half before dawn, Sookie raised up on her elbows, abruptly breaking the silence, and exclaimed, “I’m starving!”
Eric chuckled at his wife. “Well, we must feed you then, and you still need to get your present.”
Sookie looked at Eric curiously, “Present? It better not be a car, mister.”
“I mean it, Viking!”
Again, there was just laughter from him.
Sookie rolled her eyes. “If you got me a car, I’ll run your cute little ass over with it.”
Eric laughed even louder.
As they were getting out of bed, Sookie smacked that cute little ass and then noticed that there were large, very thick black curtains installed over the window. Eric followed her gaze and said, “I had Miranda put those in so that I could rest safely beside you in our bed on our wedding night.”
Sookie’s mood immediately softened, and her eyes welled with tears.
Eric continued as he softly ran the backs of his fingers up and down her cheek. “A contractor I trust will be meeting us here Tuesday evening, and we can talk about how to secure the room more permanently with light-tight shades then. Shades won’t cover the window as cumbersomely as these curtains, and we can put them on a timer or control them manually so that we can both, perhaps, enjoy the morning and evening light in this room.”
“Is this my present?” Sookie asked, gesturing toward the curtains. She slipped on her robe and made Eric pull back on his boxer-briefs.
Eric smirked at his wife’s modesty, especially given what they had done to each other earlier, but his expression softened into a genuine smile as he thought about how the behavior was quintessentially Sookie. “Nope,” he answered playfully. “After you eat, you’ll get it.”
Sookie looked again at the curtains. “We’ll keep them up until we are able to make this room light tight,” Sookie declared determinedly. “And if they need a few days to get things set up, I’ll just sleep with you in the cubby. I’m not spending another day or night of sleeping without my husband, Mr. Northman.”
Eric smiled and picked Sookie up into his arms before carrying her downstairs to the kitchen. He set her into her seat at the table, “I’m afraid I can manage little more than a sandwich, my love. Will that do?”
She nodded happily, and within moments, he had returned with her plate. “Water? Tea?” he asked.
“Tea,” she said. When he returned again, he was carrying both a glass of iced tea for her and a warmed TruBlood for himself. Suddenly, Eric cocked his head just a bit. “Excuse me just a sec, min kván,” Eric said as he zipped up and down the stairs again. When he returned he had his phone in his hand and was checking a text.
“What is it?” Sookie asked as she took a large bite.
“Pam,” he answered as he moved a chair from the end of the table so that he could sit closer to his bonded. “Everything seems quiet for the night. Bill, after some major fit throwing and object breaking, has settled down thanks to Lillith’s calming presence. However, they are determined to carry on with his original plan. He is certain that it is just a matter of time before I break your heart, and he intends to pick up the pieces.”
Sookie sighed, “Is it just me, or can he just not take a freakin’ hint?”
Eric spoke in an even tone, “He is delusional, Sookie―either that or he’s the most obtuse vampire I’ve ever met.”
Sookie sighed again as she took another bite. “Hey, can people hear us in here?” Her face grew flushed at that thought as she remembered the loud noises she’d been making earlier.
Eric chuckled, “Lafayette and Jesus performed a new privacy spell before they left for Shreveport earlier. Jesus believes that he has successfully modified it to allow us to see, smell, and hear what is occurring outside even as our movements remain unknown as long as we are inside. He has also adjusted the spell to last for the cycle of the moon instead of the sun.”
“Is it working? Can you hear and smell what’s happenin’ outside?”
A huge grin broke out on Eric’s face. “Indeed lover. I have heard some extremely interesting sounds coming from the woods.”
Sookie cringed, “Don’t tell me if Bubba is out there killin’ cats, Eric!”
He laughed, “Actually, until about twenty minutes ago, he was chasing a very different kind of tail.”
Sookie gasped and blushed again. “Thalia?”
Eric snickered. “Indeed. It seems that the King of Rock & Roll is still very much capable of making new,” he paused, “fans―at least if the sounds Thalia was making are any indication.” He grinned devilishly, “He even had her singing at one point.”
Sookie laughed and hit him on the arm, “Stop it! Don’t tell me any more! That’s supposed to be private.”
Suddenly, Sookie got a horrified look on her face. “What if the spell isn’t working? What if they could hear us too?”
Eric’s grin turned to a smirk. “Well―if they could, I’m sure it only inspired them.”
Sookie hit his arm again, “Eric, I’m serious. I don’t want the stuff we―uh―do in the bedroom to be heard by anyone else!
“Then, let’s test out the rest of the spell, shall we?” His eyebrow raised wickedly.
“Haven’t we already done that?” Sookie answered, turning tomato red now.
Eric laughed heartily and then dialed before putting the phone on speaker mode.
“Howdy, Mister Eric,” came Bubba’s distinctive voice.
“Hello Bubba,” Eric returned. “I need you to confirm that you haven’t heard, seen, or smelled anything from inside the house since you arrived.”
“No, Mister Eric. If I didn’t know you was in there, I’d think the house was empty.”
Eric said, “Excellent. We are in here, but the witches’ spell is obviously working as intended. Feel free to do a bit of hunting and whatever else you wish before you go to ground.” He paused, “And Bubba―tell Thalia hello from us, will you?” Eric winked at Sookie, who immediately turned pinker again.
“I sure will!”
Sookie could hear the happiness radiating from Bubba’s voice, and she couldn’t help but be happy for her friend. Bubba continued, “Miss Thalia’s waitin’ for me while I do a little huntin’, but I’ll tell her when I see her.” He paused. “Miss Thalia sure is pretty, ain’t she?”
Eric chuckled good-naturedly, “She certainly has her own unique brand of beauty.” He winked at Sookie again.
“You have a nice end to your evenin’, Mister Eric.”
“You too, Bubba.” Eric pushed the button to end the call and then set the phone on the table.
Despite her lingering blush, Sookie looked much more at ease. She smiled and took another bite of her sandwich.
Eric tilted his head to the side and grinned at his beloved before he leaned toward her and tenderly moved a loose strand of her hair behind her ear, a gesture that Sookie was getting used to.
Finishing her bite, Sookie looked at him earnestly, “You’re just a big ol’ pussy cat, you know―always touchin’, and rubbin’, and snugglin’.”
Eric crinkled his nose. “All your fault, min kära. If you weren’t so touchable, I wouldn’t need to touch all the time.”
Sookie grinned, “You happy with the privacy spell now?”
“Yes―it’s working exactly as I had wished,” Eric returned as he played with another strand of her hair. “Now, I can hear and smell what is going on outside―though my range is not quite as far as it usually is. It is sufficient for me to have adequate warning of any threats, however.”
“And Jesus and Lafayette’s protection spell should stop anyone who intends us harm anyway,” Sookie added.
“Good,” Sookie said. “And if anyone does get through that barrier somehow and threatens me or my family in the day time,” she continued passionately, her southern twang prominent, “I’ll either zap ‘em or shoot ‘em.”
Eric chuckled, “I have no doubt, lover. But Miranda and/or Jarod will always be with you as well.”
She continued fiercely, “Good, but I want you to know that no one―no one―is ever gonna get close to you in the day―not if I’m here!”
Eric was kneeling next to her in moments and had turned her chair so that their lips could crash together. He had her robe off and his underwear torn to shreds almost before she registered his presence and was able to respond to his hungry lips with her own.
He quickly lifted her up to the edge of the table and checked her readiness with his fingers. Finding her already wet and waiting for him, he growled and thrust into her roughly. Whereas their love-making had been slow and tender earlier, this joining was about the raw passion that Sookie stimulated in Eric. They groaned into each other’s mouths.
“Fuck, Sookie,” Eric rumbled. “So tight for me. So strong. So perfect. Min sköldmöns.”
To keep from flying across the room from his hard trusts, Sookie wrapped her legs around his thighs and complemented his movements with her own. She sank her fingernails into his back, both to keep herself attached to him more fully and to spur on his own passion.
He plunged into her even faster and with more penetrating strokes until they both exploded in their mutual pleasure.
Eric brought his arms tightly around Sookie and leaned into her as she collapsed into his chest, trying to catch her breath. “Jeez, Eric,” Sookie said when she was finally able to speak, “what brought that on?”
“Well, other than the fact that I pretty much want to be doing that to you all the time, lover” he chuckled suggestively, “it was your fierceness that acted as the immediate catalyst. When you say things like that―when you call me your family or when you get protective―I feel that I must have you immediately,” he added sincerely. “I am afraid I have very little ability to control myself when you behave in such ways.”
She laughed, “Well, you protect me in the night; I’m just prepared to do the same for you in the day. That’s all.”
“It’s no small thing, min kván. In fact, it’s maybe the biggest thing in my long life,” he said, his voice still earnest.
Sookie smiled wider and kissed his chest where his un-beating heart lay. “Hand me my robe?” she asked.
He lifted her off the table and set her gently on her feet as he kissed her forehead. After she’d put her robe back on, she reached down for his torn underwear. “Well, it looks like these are done for, buster” she teased him.
Eric zipped into the kitchen to throw away the destroyed garment and take her used dishes to the sink. He was back before her in moments and picked her up bridal style. “That’s all your fault too, you know,” he said playfully. “If you were not such a temptress, I would not be tempted all the time.”
“Well, Mister Impulse-Control-Problems,” she teased, “it’s gonna be dawn soon. And I need to get cleaned up and go to sleep since I have to go to work tomorrow. And you need to get unpacked and get your cute little behind in bed too.” She paused, “And, you know, I am capable of walking, Viking!”
Eric kissed her nose, but did not set her down. “First things first, min kära,” he said mischievously. He carried her to her old bedroom, the door of which had been shut. He set her on her feet before it. “Inside, you will find your wedding present.”
Sookie opened the door and squealed as she saw a little gray and black striped tabby kitten curled up on her old bed. She ran to it and picked it up, stroking its soft fur.
“Oh Eric!” she said. “I love her!”
“Him,” Eric corrected, walking over to Sookie to pet the cat as well. It purred loudly and greedily accepted their attention. Eric motioned to one wall where a litter box, food, and water were set up. “I had Miranda bring him in here for the evening so that he’d be a surprise, but we can move these things to wherever you wish tomorrow. He is supposed to be already house trained, and Bubba has been informed that he is not to touch this cat even if it goes outside. I had to claim the kitten as mine formally, my love, but Bubba will leave him be.”
“Wait!” Sookie exclaimed. “You won’t have to bite him to claim him, will you?”
Eric chuckled, “No, my love. Bubba has agreed to recognize the claim without that. Plus, Miranda told him last night that you will most likely love this animal, so he actually agreed to protect your kitten from harm, no matter how good it might smell.”
Sookie chuckled happily and continued to pet her new kitten. “He’s perfect, Eric. Thank you.”
Eric sat next to her on the bed. “You must think of a name for him, min kära.”
Sookie nodded, even as the kitten was falling back into slumber. She kissed Eric lightly on the cheek. “I think we’ll leave him shut up in here for the night. When I get up in the morning, I’ll start introducin’ him to the rest of the house.” She gave the sleeping kitten a final pat, “Now―I should really get cleaned up and get to bed, and you still have to unpack.”
“Yes, ma’am!” Eric said as he picked her up again and carried her to their bathroom, kissed her forehead gently, and then zipped back to the entryway to retrieve their discarded bags.
He heard her speak after him, “I really can walk by myself, you handsy vampire!”
A/N: Here’s what the little kitten looks like.