As soon as Sookie finished her meal, she expected for Eric to be on her like a starved man, but instead, he leaned back against the coffee table and pulled her to him so that her back was to his chest. She nestled comfortably into his body, and he raised his knees slightly on either side of her, giving her perfect armrests. Then he pulled a quilt over her legs to keep her warm and wrapped his arms lightly around her, bringing his hands to rest on her stomach over his shirt.
They snuggled into each other like this for quite a while, enjoying the warmth of the blanket, the fire, and most of all their shared bond.
“I’m fine, you know,” Sookie finally said; she’d been sensing Eric’s concern through the bond for several minutes.
“I did not like not being able to get to you,” Eric said quietly, kissing the top of her head.
“I know,” she said just as quietly, comforting him by rubbing soft circles into his legs.
Another few minutes of silence passed between them.
“I wish to always be able to protect you―to keep you safe―and tonight I failed,” Eric said with regret.
“Don’t you talk like that, mister!” Sookie ordered, turning around to face him. “You did protect me; you do keep me safe! I knew that you would come for me. And when you got there, you did and said exactly what you had to in order to stop Debbie from killin’ me and to give us the time we needed. Even though you weren’t able to come in and get me, I knew that I’d be okay once you were there.” She brought her hand up to Eric’s cheek. “Don’t you see, you silly vampire! You and I are not like Romeo and Juliet―not at all! I know you will always have a plan―even if I don’t know what it is exactly. I will never give into despair and shrivel up and die. I’ll always be waitin’ for you to come.”
Eric nodded and agreed, “I will always wait for you to come for me too.”
Sookie looked up into Eric’s eyes, “We are gonna be able to make it through everything that will be coming at us, right?”
“Yes,” he answered with certainty.
“But there’s so much that could go against us,” she said.
Eric nodded thoughtfully; he could feel her fear and anxiety rising through the bond. “You are right about Romeo and Juliet, my love. They were too young to act with wisdom, but you and I are not. We will use your creative mind and my thousand years of experience. We will use all the lessons we have garnered from Godric and from your Gran. And we will encounter all our enemies with logic and carefully-made plans. We will start now,” Eric said, already feeling Sookie calming through the bond. Her confidence was rising as well.
He continued, “Let’s make sure we have plans in place for every contingency. What are our threats, min kván?”
“Bill,” Sookie said first. “He’s got some power over you as your king, and despite anything he might say to our faces, he still wants me―wants to possess and control me, wants my blood for his own. And he wants you dead out of some misguided idea of vengeance.”
“You’re right,” Eric agreed. “He will keep up his machinations with Lillith in hopes of weakening my position. He will bide his time until he believes that I am unguarded, and then he does intend to kill me. After that, he believes that you will see the light, so to speak, and come to him.”
Sookie scoffed, “He’s ‘F’-in crazy if he thinks that.”
“And that is what will make him potentially more dangerous to us. But do not fear, min kära. Because he believes so strongly that he loves you, he would not harm you.”
Sookie shook her head, “If he harms you, that is the same as trying to harm me, and I won’t fuckin’ stand for it!” Her fire was back up.
Eric smiled at her and gripped her hand. He had felt that same protective fire from Sookie as she’d pulled the trigger and killed Debbie because she’d perceived her to be a threat to her husband―hers! Eric once again thanked whatever power had brought him to Sookie―or her to him. She was his match in every fucking way. Had they been together when he was human, he wouldn’t have been able to be separated from her either. She would have fought next to him always, his shieldmaiden.
Sookie’s logic overcame her anger, and she continued calmly and with certainty. “But Bill won’t be a problem for us.”
“Why not?” Eric asked, still with a smile on his lips.
“Because we’re watchin’ him and listenin’ to him, and we’ll be waitin’ at every turn to stop him―unless he finally pushes us to the point that we have to kill him.”
Eric was both surprised and proud of his bonded’s confidence and certainty. “Yes, it will most likely come to that,” Eric agreed. “But hopefully Bill will surprise us both and become truly accepting of us over time. It would be ideal if he could focus on being king and become a good one. If he does not, however, we will be ready.” He paused and looked at Sookie steadily, “I must tell you, min kván―if he ever tries to get his blood into you again, I will tear his body to fucking shreds.”
Sookie raised her hand to her husband’s cheek. Her vampire was practically shaking with emotion at the thought of Bill having his blood in her. She comforted him, “I would kill him myself if he ever tried, min bóndi. It is your blood―yours and yours only―that I crave. There will never be anyone else.”
Eric began to relax at her words and her touch. His eyes, lit up by passion and the flames of the fire reflecting in them, calmed as he was once again grounded by her. He inhaled deeply to take in the scent of his lover and then pulled her into his body tightly.
Sookie held him and sent him comfort while taking her own from the feel of his skin on hers. After a few minutes, she pulled back a bit and took his left hand in her right.
“I just hope that Bill behaves―at least long enough for Rasul or Isabel to become established in the state in order to become king if he must be eliminated.”
“I agree,” Eric said, now fully composed again and impressed by Sookie’s ability to see his own possible endgame. He was even happier that she seemed to agree with it. “I would not wish to be king. It is too difficult a job to quit once it’s gotten. I will not trade my freedom for an endless series of political machinations if I can help it.”
Sookie nodded, “So we will bide our time with Bill, hoping that he comes around, but we will always be a step ahead of him if he continues to be a threat. And if he comes after either of us―well―then Ashley Wilkes will finally pay the piper.”
“Exactly.” Eric chuckled. With a twinkle in his eye, he asked, “What else is there that threatens us, my love?”
“The Authority,” she said. “If that bitch, Nan Flanagan, told anyone about me, they might decide to come for me. Plus, they might still come after you. They were, after all, ready to kill you about a week ago.” It was now Sookie’s turn to be visibly upset, and Eric reached out and took her other hand in his, sending her comfort.
“Yes,” Eric agreed. “Dealing with the Authority has become tricky, especially with certain members becoming more and more factional; some are even openly speaking out against the AVL now and subscribing to an attitude similar to Russell Edgington’s.”
Sookie shivered at the sound of that name, and Eric squeezed her hand gently in comfort. “Do not worry about him, my love. He is safely entombed in concrete, and that’s where he will be staying for the foreseeable future.
“But what if he gets out? He’s much older than you are―stronger too.” The thought of Russell returning scared Sookie more than she was willing to admit, even to herself. She could still remember the resignation in Eric’s eyes when he’d kissed her goodbye in his office at Fangtasia; she never wanted to see that level of hopelessness in her vampire again.
As if reading her mind, Eric spoke up, “In my office that day, Sookie, I had given up, but things are different now. I have much more to fight for―to live for; I have you and the life we are building together. Despite the fact that Russell is three times my age, he will never touch you,” Eric said fiercely.
“And I’d use my light to blow him to fuckin’ smithereens if he tried to touch you,” Sookie said passionately.
Eric smiled at her and raised her hand to his lips. “He wouldn’t stand a chance against the two of us.”
“Nope,” Sookie said with certainty. She smiled at him, “That reminds me―you need to buy Pam a new pair of shoes or a designer purse or something.”
Eric quirked an eyebrow in question.
“Well―she is the one that convinced you to fight Russell, right? And even though you totally should have told me the plan, it was Pam that made sure you didn’t just shrivel up into a hole and wait for Russell to come and get you.”
Eric smirked, “She was very convincing.”
“Good!” Sookie exclaimed. “You’d better listen to her. Don’t forget that you made her for a reason! If you stop listenin’ to the women in your life, you’re gonna get yourself into even more trouble than usual, Northman,” she smirked.
Eric smirked back, “I’ll have to remember that, min kära.”
“See that you do, cowboy,” Sookie said. She paused a moment and then became serious. “Why didn’t you kill Russell that day, Eric? Why let him live?”
Eric looked past her eyes and into the fire behind her. “It was strange, min kära. I had wanted my vengeance more than anything for so long, and Russell had become a threat to you as well. But out there in the sun that morning as we lay handcuffed and burning together, I saw a vision of Godric.”
“Like the one you saw when you had amnesia at my house?”
Eric shook his head. “No―the vision I had at your house was odd. In it, Godric was telling me to feed from you, and he fed from you against your will―something he would not have done in real life. I think his presence at that time was a product of my own conscience―fighting with my vampire nature.”
“Well―I’m glad Jiminy Cricket won,” Sookie winked at him.
“As am I,” Eric agreed, catching her reference to Pinocchio. He continued, “That morning with Russell, Godric told me that I had to forgive; it was something that the real him had told me many times before. In fact, it was why we’d seen each other less and less in the last half century or so. For many years, he helped me seek my vengeance, but he evolved into the vampire he was when you met him, and he wanted me to forsake my obsession with the Were pack and their master to seek peace in my life. Looking back at that morning, I think that his spirit was trying to tell me that killing Russell would not help me―that vengeance would not fill the hole in me.”
“At the time, you said you wanted Russell to suffer.”
Eric nodded. “That was part of it, but something Godric said also made me think. I,” he paused, “regret some of the actions I took. I am not sure what to do about Russell now―to be honest. So for the moment, I am watching and seeking guidance.”
“You have the place where Russell’s entombed under surveillance,” Sookie stated more than asked.
“Of course,” Eric confirmed. “He is under guard at all times in case others find him, especially since . . .” Eric paused, looking back into Sookie’s eyes.
“Especially since Bill knows where he is,” Sookie completed.
“Yes,” Eric said, “It is possible that Bill may still determine that he could use Russell to kill me.”
“But Russell’s insane! Bill could never control him.”
“No, he could not,” Eric agreed. “But if Bill becomes so desperate that he loses his sanity completely, he might try. Right now, ironically enough, it seems that Lillith is keeping him from doing just that.”
“But you are watching the place where Russell is buried.”
“Yes. If Russell somehow managed to break out of the cement, he would be very weak, and I have Were guards during the day and vampire guards at night, ready to restrain him in silver before he could possibly get away.”
“And those same guards would stop anyone who came for him?”
“Exactly,” Eric confirmed.
Sookie thought for a moment, “You said you were gettin’ guidance about the Russell situation. From whom? Why?”
Eric looked back into the fire, “As I said before, I have regrets about some things that I did.”
“Talbot?” Sookie guessed.
“Yes,” Eric said quietly. “My maker would have hated that I took my revenge by killing Russell’s family―his beloved. Godric would have said that I’d become as bad as he whom I hated. And he would have been right,” Eric said. “Killing Russell for what he did to my family, for what he wanted to do to you, or just to keep him from fulfilling his insane plans would have been justifiable, but I acted rashly in killing Talbot. And the repercussion was that you were almost killed.” He paused for several seconds. “And then as I was finally moments away from killing Russell, I couldn’t go through with it, so I have asked someone much wiser and older than myself for advice.”
“The A.P.,” Sookie guessed.
“Indeed,” Eric confirmed. “She is currently thinking over the matter.”
Eric seemed to stare past Sookie for a moment before looking at her again. “I think she told me about you once―more than five hundred years ago, actually,” he said quietly.
“Really?” Sookie asked, gesturing for him to say more.
“Yes, Godric would take me along on his visits to her, and she grew a fondness for me―well at least after a couple hundred years.” He chuckled. “She always said at first that she didn’t want to waste her time with me until she knew I’d live long enough to make it worth her while. Of course, she knew I would all along.”
Now it was Sookie’s turn to chuckle.
Eric continued, “Eventually, she wanted to talk to me. She said she liked hearing about my exploits and my studies. She said that too few vampires bothered with education and that most just took what they wanted using glamour and power. She taught me to judge an asset as an asset, no matter if he or she was a vampire, Were, human, or something else. She also enjoyed the fact that I didn’t treat her as lesser because she was a female. Of course, as I have told you, Viking women were extremely strong, especially my mother. The A.P. liked that I was not the chauvinist that most male vampires were in the past.”
“What did she tell you?” Sookie asked, very curious now.
“She said that she liked that I respected women. She said that one day I would meet a woman that I would respect more than any other.” He got a faraway look in his eyes as he remembered the rest of her words. “She told me that I would need to heed the lessons she had taught me about humans and other types of creatures being potentially equal in gifts and value. She said that if I could do that, I would find my true mate, someone that would complete the missing part of myself. She called this person my “compare anima.”
“What does that mean?” Sookie asked as Eric’s eyes once again met hers.
“He squeezed her hands a bit. Today, it would be translated into English as “soul mate.”
“Oh,” Sookie gasped and then squeezed Eric’s hands back. She responded confidently, “Then you’re right. She was telling you about me.”
Eric chuckled and bent to kiss her lightly.
“So is the A.P. on our side, then? Would she step in if something happened with Russell?”
“Perhaps. And she has agreed to speak with me about him once she finishes contemplating what I have done for a while.” He laughed. “She loves contemplating, my love. You will come to understand this when you meet her.”
“You’ll take me to meet her?”
“But of course,” Eric said. “She did, after all, prepare me for you in many ways.”
“What about the Authority?” Sookie asked, moving back to their earlier topic.
“Well, I have spies in both the Authority and the AVL, min kván. I am old and have accumulated many allies and collected many favors owed to me. The A.P. also keeps her hand in the pot, so to speak. It was she who introduced me to Rasul, who was one of her spies in the Authority for many years. And as I told you before, he was the one who warned me that Nan had been ordered to assassinate me and Bill.”
“So the A.P. has your back,” Sookie observed.
“Yes, it appears she does, but she also doesn’t do too much to overtly interfere. She likes to test those she cares for―to see how they will handle difficult situations. Of course, it does not hurt that she can see what is going to happen in the future. However, she tends to prefer letting things play out as they are supposed to. She certainly does enjoy knowing though.” Eric got a twinkle in his eye, “But I suspect that the old hag has done a bit of dabbling in the happenings of fate from time to time―when things aren’t going her way.”
“Like when she disposed of her own maker? Or when she warned you about Nan?”
“Indeed. I have no doubt that if she looked into the future and saw something that she really could not abide that she would interfere to a certain extent.”
“So,” Sookie concluded. “We have our eyes on Bill, our eyes on the Authority, and our eyes on Russell. And an ancient vampiress, almost as old as Russell himself―and who can actually see the future―has our back.”
“Well, then we’ve got those things under control,” Sookie said confidently. “But what about the damned Fairies? I really think I pissed them off when I wouldn’t stay in their realm and when I shot their queen with my light and knocked her onto her ass.”
Eric chuckled at that.
“And then there’s the whole vampires bein’ able to get to the fairy realm if they have had our blood thing.”
“Huh?” Eric asked inelegantly.
“Oh,” Sookie said. “I didn’t tell you this part?”
Eric shook his head.
“Well, apparently if vampires have had enough of our blood, they can access the fairy realm somehow. I guess Bill did it after he took so much of my blood in the back of that van. That’s how he confirmed that I was a fairy. Claudine told him. They wanted me to eat their light fruit so I’d get stuck there forever. They told me I was a danger since at that moment only two vampires had the ability to enter their realm: you and Bill.”
“I did?” Eric asked. “You mean, I could have come for you all along?”
“I’m not sure,” Sookie said. “Bill said that he somehow dreamed of the fairy realm while he was in his day rest. I don’t know if he was actually there or not. But while I was there, I don’t think he came, and since he’d been there before, you’d think he would have tried. I don’t know how it all works, to be honest.”
Eric contemplated for a moment, “And I killed your relative, so others might come looking for her or seeking revenge. I admit, min kära. It is the fairy threat that I fear the most right now.”
“Me too,” Sookie said pulling herself tightly into his embrace. “I don’t even want to think of being separated from you. I can’t imagine what it was like for you with me bein’ gone for so long. For me it was only fifteen or twenty minutes, but for you it was more than a year. I couldn’t stand that.”
“So, my love, we cannot let that happen again. What are we already doing to prevent it?”
“The magic barriers at our home, my guards, Jesus learning all he can about fairies and their magic so that I can learn to use my own magic better.” Sookie used her fingers to number off their actions so far.
“Yes,” Eric said, “And you are our best asset in stopping them from taking you.”
Sookie pulled back a bit and looked at him, “Every time I went with Claudine―right after Bill had almost killed me in the van and then again the night I found out about his deception―I had to choose to go with her. And when Claudine came that night when you ended up draining her, she was trying to convince me to go with her then too. She didn’t seem to be able to take me against my wishes.”
“This is good, my love. Perhaps, an element of choice is involved in your going to the fairy realm. Plus, you were able to choose to come back. The light fruit you spoke of seems to be designed to take that choice away, but it, most likely, can exist only in the fairy realm.”
“So I’ll just never choose to go back there with them.”
Eric nodded. “Yes, that might be enough to keep you in this realm, but they may still try to harm you here. So we will stay vigilant.”
“And I will get better at using my light so that I can kick any fairy’s ass that tries to mess with us.”
Eric grinned, “And if they come near you at night, I’ll be there to drain them.”
Sookie scoffed. “You just want to get fairy drunk again.”
Eric’s grin widened. “I must admit, lover, the sensation of being intoxicated was interesting after so many years of sobriety.”
Sookie hit his arm. “Well it scared me half to death when you went off and didn’t come back before the day time.”
“I just wanted to play,” Eric pouted. “I was having a good time―at least until Alcide showed up.”
Sookie punched his arm again playfully. “Yeah, yeah. I know. You were killing ‘sea monsters.’” She used her fingers to gesture in air quotes. “But it scared me when your skin started to redden, and until I found you in that lake, I feared that I might find only a pile of ashes on the ground and not you!”
“I am sorry I frightened you,” Eric said sincerely. “But I was not totally myself.”
“And you pinched my bottom too,” Sookie said in mock anger. “You should apologize for that as well.”
“Never,” Eric swore playfully, pinching it again lightly.
Sookie shook her head and swatted his arm yet again. “Okay, so that takes care of Bill, Russell, the Authority and the fairies. What else is there?”
“Felipe de Castro and Victor Madden,” Eric answered, his tone even.
“Who are they?”
“They are the vampires that were going to use Bill’s and my deaths to get a foothold into Louisiana. Victor was seen by Rasul meeting with the Authority in the days before the death warrants for Bill and myself were issued.”
“Well fudge!” Sookie exclaimed. “Do we still need to worry about them even now?”
Eric thought for a moment. “Not as of yet, my love. Putting into place three strong vampire sheriffs, who, along with myself, can solidify the power of the state will have stopped their plans for the short term at the very least; however, Felipe is the king of Nevada and has been anxious to expand his casino empire into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. And Victor Madden is very ambitious in his own right.”
“Well, what are we gonna do about them?”
Eric looked contemplative for a moment. “I have been thinking of that. I’m pretty sure that Felipe and Victor will put their plans on hold for the time being―as long as Bill continues to look strong, but I’m working to put someone close to them.”
“You and your spies,” Sookie joked.
They were silent for a few moments until Sookie finally cried out. “Why Louisiana? Why not Mississippi? I mean, who’s king or queen over there now? If this Felipe guy just wants casinos on the Gulf and in the Mississippi River, why not there?”
Eric scratched his chin. “Interesting idea, my love. The monarchy of Mississippi is being held by one of Russell’s old sheriffs, but Russell was a heavy spender, and after he murdered the newscaster, many vampires left the state. Some feared that when people learned that Russell was from Mississippi there would be reprisals by humans.”
“Some,” Eric nodded. “For a while, the Fellowship became more prominent there, and then other vampires left. The state has very few vampires left now. Some have settled across the River in Area 3, which Isabel now controls.”
“So Mississippi is as weak as Louisiana was, maybe even weaker?”
“Yes, and the AVL is displeased with the king that the Authority has installed.”
“But would they order him to be killed too? I don’t want someone I don’t even know dyin’ just so that we can have a plan with this Felipe guy.”
“Well―the current king has a few friends in the Authority, which is why he’s been given longer than would seem reasonable to turn things around in the state. Even here, Bill had been a competent king, not particularly profitable, but competent―especially when it came to P.R.―before the necromancer took over Marnie’s body. Neither the Authority nor the AVL will kill a king without a very good reason.”
“So what can we do?”
“Well, we’d have to somehow get Felipe interested in Mississippi instead of Louisiana, and to be honest, because of New Orleans and its vampire-tourist connection, this is the more attractive state.”
“But not worth the bother if there is powerful leadership.”
“So we have some time to think about how to do it. Meanwhile, you do your spy thing and we work on a plan. As long as this Felipe and his little minion, Victor, are in a holding pattern, we can work on figuring out how to get rid of our incompetent neighbor king without getting him killed.”
Eric kissed Sookie on the top of her head. “You see, between my experience and your ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions, we will always be able to defeat potential threats.” He kissed her forehead and then got up to put another log on the fire. “So, my love, we now have plans for all these threats. Can you think of anything else?”
He joined her again, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of her.
She answered, “Just the fact that most of the people I know will think I’m crazy for being with a vampire.”
“Ah―you once told me that everyone in town thought you to be ‘Crazy Sookie’ anyway, so what’s the difference?” he smirked. “And everyone that cares about you will come around.”
“Yes,” Sookie said sighing. “On the phone earlier, even Sam sounded better.”
“I think he finally saw how much I love you.”
“And Lafayette, Jesus, and Jason are definitely on team Eric now,” she joked.
Eric was silent for a moment. “I am sorry about your other friend, Tara.”
Sookie sighed louder. “Maybe even she’ll come around one day. She was hurt before by vampires.”
“And she was right. I did threaten to bite her when I didn’t realize she was your friend and she threatened me. Maybe―in time―she could even get used to me.”
“Anything is possible,” Sookie smiled up at him. “And, of course, there are the usual prejudiced people―the Fellowship and all the other vampire haters.”
“We will keep our eyes open for them as well, my love.”
Sookie took a deep breath, “So we have to look out for Bill and his minions, the Authority, the AVL, Russell if he ever gets out, fairies, Felipe de Castro and his minions, the Fellowship of the Sun, and all the other crazy prejudiced types.”
Eric nodded and smirked. “I think you have everyone, min kära―at least for now.”
Sookie hit him in the shoulder. “But―at least for now―we have everyone covered.”
“Yes,” Eric confirmed, “and we will always work to stay one step ahead.”
“And if we don’t―or if something like what happened tonight surprises us again?”
“Well,” Eric sighed and pulled Sookie into his embrace, “we think well on our feet too. So when surprises come, we will always deal with those together.”
“Together,” she said, pulling herself onto his lap.
“Always,” he agreed.
“And we have a lot of friends we can count on in a pinch.”
“Indeed, my love. We have many assets.”
“We have friends.”
Eric pulled back from her a bit so that he could look at her. He loved how her hair glowed in the firelight. “Yes, we have many useful allies.”
“Friends,” she corrected again with a grin. “We have Lafayette and Jesus.”
“A very powerful witch and a brujo with demon blood to boot,” Eric said nodding.
“And they like you now.”
“A bonus,” Eric smiled.
“And you like them too.”
Eric raised an eyebrow, “I admit to seeing their use, and Jesus is a perceptive individual.
Sookie swatted his arm again, “You like them.”
He scrunched up his nose. “Just do not tell them.”
Sookie laughed at him. “And we have Jason, for what it’s worth.”
“He will always be willing to help protect you, so it’s worth a lot, min kván,” Eric said sincerely. “Plus, he is with the police now. And that is definitely a benefit. Even this evening, he was able to use his connections to find out the owner of the van that you’d been taken in. Such information could have been extremely valuable.”
Sookie nodded, “And we have Miranda and Jarod.”
“Yes, they are extremely loyal, and Miranda is one of the strongest Weres in the country, even more powerful than the famed Weretiger, Quinn, who lives in Nevada and is currently in the service of Felipe.”
“So if their kitty comes for us, ours will scratch his frickin’ eyes out.”
“Precisely, my love.”
“And Sam, I think, would help us if we needed.”
“Yes―now, I think he would. And I think he will give you less trouble about me now too.” He winked.
“And there’s Bubba.”
“Yes, he likes you very much and will be loyal to you as long as you need him.”
Sookie nodded. “And we can’t forget Pam! She’d walk through fire for you.”
“No, I couldn’t forget Pamela―even if I might want to sometimes,” Eric deadpanned.
Sookie chuckled. “And Isabel and Rasul and the A.P.”
“And Thalia and Chow and others in Area 5 are quite loyal to me as well,” Eric added.
“So we have lots of powerful friends―and good ones too,” Sookie smiled.
“Yes,” Eric agreed. “We have many good,” he paused, “friends.”
Sookie smiled at him and kissed his nose. “And we also have that brain of yours working for us.” She poked his head playfully.
“And we have yours too.” He returned the gesture.
“And you’re a big badass Viking vampire.”
“And you’re a telepathic fairy barmaid.”
“You can break people in two like twigs.”
“And you can charm them to death.”
“If people mess with us, you can eat them for frickin’ dinner―literally.”
“If people mess with us, you can light them on fire with your hands or shoot them across a fucking parking lot.”
Their foreheads pressed together, they laughed for a minute.
Eric gently touched her cheek and spoke sincerely, “And you have given me the gift of your magic, which has made me less susceptible to the sun.”
She touched his opposite cheek in a similar gesture, “And we have given each other our hearts, and that has made us even stronger.”
“Our blood,” he whispered.
“Our bond,” she added.
“Your magic,” he continued.
“Ours together,” he finished.
“Yes,” she said as she brought her lips to his.
Their kiss went from slow to burning passion in moments, and Eric had them out of their clothing in even less time, his track pants flying across the room and the shirt he’d given her to wear losing all its buttons. He sat again with his back to the coffee table as she lowered herself onto his waiting and very aroused cock. There was no foreplay this time; there was no waiting. Neither one could have waited even if they had wanted to.
Sookie rode Eric as he thrust into her. They held each other’s hands, their foreheads touching, their eyes locked in an embrace more powerful than any physical one could have been.
She rose and he fell. He rose and she fell.
She was his anchor to the earth, and he was her rocket into the sky.
Their releases were eminent when Sookie brought Eric’s wrist to her mouth, kissed it lovingly, and then bit down hard, taking in as much of his blood as she could. In the same moment, he was gently nuzzling her neck and then biting into it carefully so he would cause her no pain.
Their releases washed over them, sating them. Their hunger for each other satisfied for the moment, they both lovingly licked the bites they’d made. Once both sets of hands had re-entwined, they brought their lips to one another’s, even as their bodies continued to roll together, sharing the after-effects of their orgasms. Their tongues, still tasting of each other’s essence, mingled together.
Once their kiss had ended, they looked at each other and smiled.
“I love you,” Sookie told her husband.
“I love you,” Eric returned.
For the last few hours of dark and into the first few of the new day, their bodies continued to make a physical magic all their own, even as the bond that connected them swirled with the magic of both vampire and fairy as well as the magic of the love that they had made together―the magic of soul mates found and claimed.
A/N: First, thanks for investing your time with this story, especially given its length. It was an odd and satisfying feeling being done with this story. It was my first finished story.
It gave me immense pleasure writing it, as well as sharing it with all of you. Back and Forth is complete, but if you will indulge me, I will be posting a postscript following this chapter. It’s NOT a continuation of the story, so if you aren’t interested in hearing a few more notes about where I’m going to go from here, then just ignore it.
Finally, thanks so much again!