Eric Northman stroked the hair of his beloved one as she lay next to him. Her wavy blond locks spread haphazardly across his bare chest, and as her own chest rose and fell with her breathing as she slept, Eric sighed contentedly.
The two bonds between them, formed by their shared blood as well as the magics of both fairy and vampire, ebbed and flowed comfortably, like the waves of a starlit sea on a calm night.
Just six nights before, it had not been so calm. His wife―his world―had almost been taken from him. She’d been kidnapped by the bitch―the both figurative and literal bitch―Debbie Pelt. Pelt had abducted Sookie and held her inside a private residence that he’d been powerless to enter. She’d threatened his bonded first with a knife and then a gun. Eric shuddered at the thought of losing his Sookie, a movement that caused her to stir slightly and mewl endearingly as she re-nestled into his body.
Also disturbed by Eric’s movement was the little kitten he’d gotten Sookie as a gift after their pledging.
The gray and white tabby pawed at Eric’s hand, with which he was still stroking his bonded’s hair lightly. “Not getting enough attention, little one?” Eric chuckled quietly as he brought his other hand up to scratch the kitten’s ears and chin as he’d discovered the little feline loved. The kitten quickly spent up its energy and flopped onto its side next to Eric, seemingly dead to the world a second later.
The kitten had taken to sleeping next to Eric instead of Sookie since the couple had returned to the farmhouse three days before. The creature had quickly learned that his master moved less than his mistress. However, once awake, the kitten’s preference for Sookie was clear, especially since Eric refused to let the kitten bite or claw him—not even in play. Eric chuckled and thought to himself, “The last thing we need around here is for the little creature to become a crazed V addict.”
Eric sighed again, thankful for his little family. Before he met Sookie, he’d had what he thought to be a satisfactory life. He was wealthy. He had a position of respect and some authority—just the right amount for his tastes—among vampires. He’d reached an age where others feared him just enough to leave him the fuck alone. He had all the fangbangers he could ask for―literally lining up to feed him and give him sex. And among all the mundane, he’d had a bright spot in his life—his vampire child, Pam. She managed to amuse him almost every night; she kept the boredom away, or at least at bay.
And he had learned how to ignore—to put to the side—all of the things that he hadn’t so much liked about his life. After all, in a thousand years, he’d had worse times. The twenty months spent in an older vampire’s ‘custody’ in the Ottoman Empire before Godric was able to negotiate for his release came to mind.
Mainly, it had been the boredom of his day-to-day life that Eric had needed to cope with. The rise of the fangbanger had also meant that he no longer needed to make any effort whatsoever to seduce or to search for his food or his sexual satisfaction. And that went against his nature to hunt. His wealth was a positive, of course—he’d spent enough years without material wealth to know that for damned sure—but it also had allowed him to become complacent, and he had foregone seeking out new ventures since the opening of Fangtasia. In many ways, the Great Reveal of the vampires had made his life too easy.
He’d become somewhat complacent in his duties as sheriff too, happy to keep his head down—so to speak—and not rock the boat with the increasingly annoying Sophie-Anne. Yes, his life had―before Sookie came into it―become an unchallenging routine. He had become uninterested in most things.
In addition to his boredom, there had been things that he had needed to push constantly out of the forefront of his mind. Godric had been essentially shutting him out of their maker-child bond for almost a century, but Eric had lost complete contact with his maker one evening about a month before Sookie first walked into Fangtasia. He’d thought that his maker was dead, but a call to Miranda had confirmed that Godric was alive and well. He just didn’t want Eric to feel him anymore, or he didn’t want to feel Eric—maybe both. And he’d not warned Eric about it. It had hurt Eric more than he wanted to admit to lose that last bit of contact with Godric, whom—until Sookie—Eric had loved more than anyone else in his long life.
Perhaps that is why he’d lied to Sookie—or at least misled her—in the Fellowship of the Sun church. He told her that she ought not to use words that he “didn’t understand” when she’d said that he had a lot of love for Godric. Of course, he had love for his maker; he still did. But having and understanding were two different things to him then—both because of his hurt feelings concerning his maker and his burgeoning emotions for the woman now at his side. He’d felt jumbled up inside; he hadn’t yet understood all that he felt.
That lack of contact with Godric was also why Eric had not known how far Godric had sunk into depression. Hell—he’d needed to be told by Miranda that Godric had gone missing. And he had needed Sookie to help him find his maker since the maker-child bond had been closed down. However, the hurt that the disconnection from Godric had been causing Eric had been put to the side in his mind.
Eric had also been at a loss about what to do regarding the mysterious tattooed Weres before he met Sookie. Their trail had gone cold in the 1940s, and that meant that his promise to his human father had continued to go unfulfilled. The disgrace that he felt at this failure was a constant itch in his mind—one that he’d become an expert at filing off to the side of his thoughts.
Yes—until Sookie had entered his life, Eric had been existing with little to stir his soul and much to hurt it. In fact, he’d tried to deny the very notion that he even had a soul, knowing that acknowledging it would simply leave him more vulnerable to rejection or failure. And a strong vampire ought never to feel either.
However, everything changed when she walked into his world. Boredom was no longer an option with her around. It wasn’t that she attracted every Supernatural being in the tri-state area—though she did. It also wasn’t that she was physically beautiful—though she was. No, it was the other aspects of her beauty that had enthralled and then held him. She alleviated his boredom because she surprised him constantly with her insight and her wit. But mostly, he just wanted to know her—knew that she was worth knowing fully. He also knew that he would never know everything about her because she would always continue to grow.
Sookie had a fire inside of her that had lit Eric up from the inside and incinerated his boredom. Likewise, she burned through his pain, and—ironically enough—she’d been at his side through the worst of it. When Godric died, she was there. When he figured out it was Russell who had killed his parents, suddenly she was there again. With her, he had been learning how to feel safe bringing the insecurities that had plagued the corners of his mind to the center of it, and then she had taught him something he’d not learned in a thousand years—that having a partner in his life could help him to conquer all those insecurities. For the first time—truly—he was not alone.
He moved the caress of one his hands to the smooth skin of his wife’s shoulders and brought his other hand back to the soft fur of the kitten. Yes—he was very happy with his little family.
He inhaled deeply. Jesus’s magical spell to maintain the privacy of their home was in place as was the protection spell.
Eric could also scent Bubba, who was stationed outside at the tree-line. In addition, he could make out the scent of Bill Compton—barely. Eric scoffed lightly. He’d take the King of Rock & Roll over the king of Louisiana any day of the week. However, Bill was exactly where he was supposed to be―in his own mansion on the other side of the cemetery that separated Compton’s property from Sookie’s ancestral home. For a change, Bill was currently behaving intelligently and hadn’t attempted to make contact with Sookie for several days—well, at least not directly.
Bill had not yet discovered the listening devices that Eric had planted the night he’d killed Nan and helped Bill reestablish his kingship. And Eric didn’t expect him to, given the advanced technology of the tiny bugs. Hell—Eric could hardly hear them himself.
Eric chuckled at the thought of Pam’s report earlier that night. Bill was still confident that Sookie would “come to him” when “she saw the errors of her ways,” but the Civil War veteran was anxious for Sookie to go back to work so that he could gain access to her outside of Eric’s purview. He’d already tried to get her schedule from Sam Merlotte, who had called Sookie a few days before to tell her about Bill’s inquiry. Little did Bill know that Sookie would be working only days for the foreseeable future, partially to thwart Bill’s ability to gain any private access to her.
Eric still hoped that Sookie might decide to quit her waitressing job and pursue her education. Also, in a few months―after the Marnie situation was fully resolved and the new sheriffs were well-ensconced in Louisiana―Eric hoped that Sookie would agree to travel with him as well. She’d shown interest in his homeland―which he’d not visited for more than a hundred years―as well as in other parts of Europe. The thought of seeing all those things with his wife stirred the explorer in him—the Viking. He could already imagine her beautiful face as she saw the Northern Lights―what his people had called the norðrljós―for the first time. When he was a young boy, his mother told him that the lights in the sky were the reflections of the beautiful Valkyries as they came to collect fallen warriors and take them to Valhalla, the hall of the god Odin. Eric, who’d had an intense interest in Odin as a child, had been fascinated by the norðrljós. And he couldn’t wait to share all of his stories and memories with Sookie as they traveled the world together. Mostly, however, he couldn’t wait to make new memories with her.
Sookie snored lightly in her sleep, causing Eric to cradle her more closely. His mother had once told him that none rivaled the Valkyries in beauty, but as he looked at the sleeping figure in his arms, he couldn’t imagine a more beautiful sight than she.
Given all that had occurred with Debbie Pelt, Sookie and he had postponed their meeting with the contractor, Scott Cusmano, who would be doing renovations on the farmhouse, until earlier that night. Eric smiled at all the plans he and his bonded had made.
In addition to installing light-tight, electronically controlled shutters to all the windows of the house, they’d decided to renovate the entire second and third floors as well. The second floor would receive the most alterations as the master bedroom would be extended, and a huge master bathroom would be added. In addition, the unused bedrooms on the other side of the floor, including Sookie’s old room, would be transformed into an office and a large library for them to share. All the walls, floors, and ceilings would also be reinforced and bolstered with fire retardant materials.
It had been Sookie’s idea to make the downstairs bedroom, which would serve as their only guest room, into a light tight space so that Pam could stay over or so that Bubba wouldn’t have to go to ground. Even though Eric knew that Bubba preferred the earth, he was constantly amazed by how thoughtful Sookie was with everyone―whether human, vampire, shifter, or Were. When he’d mentioned that Pam could always stay in the cubby, Sookie had scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Pam―in that cubby!” she’d exclaimed. Eric chuckled as he continued stroking Sookie’s shoulder; he had to agree with her, of course. His child would think that the cubby was sparse and shabby.
His wife, ever the consummate Southern hostess, also wanted to add a guesthouse about fifty yards from the back of their home so that Jarod and Miranda wouldn’t have to stay off the property in a hotel as they were doing. True to form, Sookie treated the Werelioness and the shifter more like family than her daytime guards, and she wanted them to “feel at home” and “have their own space.”
The attic on the third floor was to be re-finished and transformed into a reading room for Sookie with a huge skylight installed so that she could enjoy the sun during the winter days and so that they could stargaze together during the long winter nights.
Eric smiled. The third floor renovations had been completely Sookie’s idea. And he knew that she had thought of the sky light with them both in mind.
In fact, so many of the details of the refurbishment of their home had been insisted upon by his bonded, including the new building to be added out back to house a work space for Eric’s woodworking.
Eric chuckled; Sookie had sternly told him that he’d be responsible for their new furniture for the upstairs and had even given him a list of things that she wanted for him to make, with a star next to the top item: “New Viking-sized bed (with plenty of room for me and the cat too).” She also insisted that work start on his new workshop that very morning―a morning that was just beginning. He felt his ‘gracious plenty’―as she called his cock―getting hard at the thought of her insisting. He loved her fire more than anything else.
It was four minutes past sunrise, and Eric once again marveled at the gift of longer days and some tolerance to the sun that had been given to him by his bonded. She was his miracle.
He pulled his wife closer, and she nuzzled against him in her sleep, sighing a contented “Eric” as she wiggled herself into comfort.
The vampire felt his bond with Sookie―not the vampire bond, but the fairy bond she had created between them―stirring inside of his chest, almost like a heartbeat. Sookie both literally and figuratively had returned life to the lifetimes he’d spent traveling the earth.
Because of her, he now believed strongly in things like “faith” and his own “soul.” After a thousand years of thinking of them as abstract concepts of little value, they’d become tangible to him. He felt them in the bonds that he’d formed with Sookie every minute now. Again the thought that he might have lost her to Debbie’s insanity struck his heart and pulsed into their bonds.
It was early Sunday morning, and Sookie was due to go to work the next day—precisely one week to the day after she’d been kidnapped by Pelt. For several days, Eric had been feeling her restlessness to be working―to be doing something―and now he felt his own restlessness. He was extremely uneasy about letting her leave his side again, but he knew his wife; she needed her own life. Still, he couldn’t put aside his anxiety completely.
“Hey you,” Sookie’s voice said softly―groggily. “What are you thinkin’ about?”
“Fuck,” Eric said under his breath; he’d not meant to wake her with the strength of his concerns in their bond.
Sookie smiled sleepily and looked up at Eric. “Didn’t we already do that?” She stroked his chest.
Eric grinned at his wife, “Indeed―if I remember correctly, we did that several times earlier.”
Now more awake, Sookie said, “Indeed, mister Viking. I seem to remember quite the pillagin’.”
“Oh, my naughty fairy,” Eric returned playfully, “you are not one to talk. I remember being tinkered with by my own little Tinker Bell―my Southern belle.”
Sookie giggled, “You started it! The contractor was barely out the door before you started your pillagin’.”
Eric tried―and failed―to look innocent. “Not my fault, lover. You are the one who acted all forceful and saucy with the contractor, making demands for this and that—insisting. And that list of furniture, min älskare? How could I resist taking you in this bed, especially since I know it will soon be moving to the guest room? We must get mileage out of it while we can.” He winked at her.
Sookie giggled again, “I did not act saucy; I just told Mr. Cusmano what I wanted―what we wanted.”
“Yes, but you insisted upon it,” he growled teasingly. He pulled her up onto his chest so that he could kiss her, a move that caused the kitten to become displaced and jump down. Eric had to hand it to the little creature. He definitely knew when to get out of the way when his mistress and master needed some time alone.
Eric kissed his wife’s lips tenderly for several minutes, just enjoying the feel of her soft, warm skin on his. Then he spoke sincerely in a tone as soft as his kisses had been. “Sookie, sometimes I have a difficult time waiting to join with you—to be inside of you. I find that I simply cannot bear to be physically apart from you at times, such as when you insisted that I have a workspace here or when you suggested the skylight in the attic for us. You do not know how full of wonder I am when you think of me in such ways.”
Sookie shook her head and propped her chin up on his chest. “Sometimes, Mr. Northman, you can be a silly vampire. How else am I supposed to think about you? I love you; you’re my husband. And this,” she said looking around them, “needs to be our house. Not just mine―and not even Gran’s anymore. It has to be ours. Plus, I can’t wait to see you working out in your shop.” She smiled mischievously. “I’m even thinkin’ about making a flannel shirts only rule when you work in there.”
Eric chuckled naughtily. “Oh Sookie, I have no need of a workshop to work with wood. I have some that I can work with right now―I assure you.”
“Oh!” Sookie gasped inelegantly as Eric moved so that she could feel exactly what kind of wood Eric was speaking about in that moment. She bit her lip in anticipation. “So?” she asked raising her eyebrow. “Do you have any specific work in mind, cowboy?”
Eric had her on her back in moments. “Indeed, min älskare,” he purred as he stroked the side of her body with the backs of his long fingers. But first―as any good carpenter knows―the working surface must be cleaned and properly primed.”
Eric took Sookie’s mouth roughly with his, and she opened her own in welcome to his invading tongue. He pulled back from her momentarily as his fangs dropped and then was back on her mouth. She was the invader now as her tongue embraced his before exploring his fangs. She heard a deep growl emanating from his chest as she stroked his fangs lovingly before nicking her tongue on purpose. He lapped up her offering frenziedly, even as his saliva healed the small wound.
As soon as the wound had closed, Eric raised up a bit, licking the blood from his lips. His expression showed clearly that he was trying to regain his control. “You minx,” he said playfully, “are you trying to make me forget what I need to do to prepare my work surface?” He shook his head, “Tsk, tsk. I fear that I must give you a lesson in how to properly work with wood.” He began to run his hands in slow, sensual circles along her body. He paid special attention to her breasts before roving his touch to her stomach and then toward her already soaking center. She moaned and arched into his fingers.
“One of the steps is making sure the wood is buffed and smoothed, lover. Do you enjoy my technique?” he asked as he moved his hands in light circles over her inner thighs. The edges of his fingers made tantalizing brushes against her nether-lips as his hands journeyed over her flesh.
“Very much,” Sookie squeaked, her eyes glazing over but holding to her husband’s as she knew he liked. “What else do you have to do?”
Eric’s look was half playful and half pure lust. “As I said before, the surface must be cleaned, lover. Here―let me demonstrate.” At vampire speed, Eric was between her legs, his tongue lapping up the moisture he found there. “So wet for me,” Eric groaned. “So beautiful. So. Fucking. Delicious.”
It was Sookie’s turn to groan. “Eric,” she managed to mutter. “More.”
“Fuck!” Eric exclaimed, his voice indicating the level to which she inflamed him. “My. Greedy. Wife.” He delved his tongue into her center, extending it as far into her warm channel as he could. He couldn’t get enough of her. Soon his fingers had joined work with his tongue; he circled her clit with one hand even as he used the other to hold her down so that he could continue his ministrations, despite her bucking.
“Eric,” Sookie gasped, her eyes taking in the erotic sight of him between her legs. “Please. Bite me.” Sookie spread her thighs even more, inviting him to taste her there.
Practically panting, Eric looked at Sookie with unbridled passion. “Are you certain, min kära? I have never bitten you here before. You don’t have to do this.”
“You have to!” Sookie insisted, her eyes matching his in lust. “Now!”
She’d insisted, and he was powerless against that. His mouth went quickly back to her center, even as his fingers continued to circle her clit. He licked from her opening to her clit and then thrust two long fingers into her dripping sex. She arched into him as he pumped his fingers in and out of her several times before curving them to find the spot that he knew would send her over the edge.
As he felt her beginning to pulse around his fingers, he moved his mouth over to her thigh―to her femoral artery. The thought of biting her in this place―so close to her surging blood, so near to her orgasm―made the vampire in him growl with delight. But the man in him―the man that Sookie had brought out and nurtured―knew that her inviting him to take her blood from this place signaled her enduring trust in him. He bucked his vampire instincts and bit gently so that her experience would match his own in pleasure.
As soon as Sookie felt the almost-tender bite of her husband, her orgasm intensified tenfold and was drawn out with each draw of her blood. She felt as if a piece of her very essence were traveling into Eric’s body, and that thought made her even more aroused. A part of her more elemental than she could name or even pinpoint drove her to want to nourish Eric―to feed him, to protect him.
The taste of her blood, which had been intensified by her orgasm―as well as the lingering flavor of her sex on his tongue―pushed Eric over the edge as well, and―untouched―the vampire shook with his own orgasm. He quaked as he sealed the small wound he’d made on her inner thigh with his saliva.
He looked up at Sookie lovingly as he bit his fingertip and used his blood to finish healing his wife’s soft skin.
He moved up next to Sookie and waited as she recovered from her powerful release. When she had, she looked at him with mischief in her eyes.
“What?” Eric asked, taking in her look.
Sookie had felt Eric’s release on her leg and giggled, “You made a bit of a mess, I think. You got the―um―splinters from your wood all over my leg, Mr. Carpenter.” She giggled again and eyed him seductively even as she blushed.
That combination was too much for even Eric’s control. He growled and was over her in a moment, thrusting into her welcoming heat. “Your fault,” he grunted. “You make me cum like a fucking teenager.” He fell into Sookie as she rose to receive him.
“Oh Eric!” Sookie cried as she wrapped her legs around his thighs. “Thank God for vampire recuperative speed,” she moaned.
He thrust again and again into her tight center, “I am always ready for you, min kván―always.” He looked down at her with wonder. It had been almost a thousand years since he’d cum without any physical stimulation. That had occurred because of a wet dream he’d had about a servant girl when he was thirteen. And he’d never cum from just taking blood before, but then again, his wife’s blood was far from ordinary. Its taste was better than any he had ever had before in his millennium of life, more exquisite in flavor than even Godric’s, and a vampire’s maker’s blood was supposed to be the best taste in the world to him or her; it was one of the ways makers were able to gain and keep the affection of their vampire children. But there was more―much more―about Sookie than her blood which stirred Eric.
And here he was―after only a few minutes inside of her―ready to cum again. He slowed his thrusts and steadied himself so that he could draw out their pleasure. “You are the most amazing woman, Sookie Stackhouse.”
Sookie raised her hand to his cheek and smiled at the sincerity coming from her vampire’s eyes and from their bond. “You are an amazing man, Eric Northman.”
She pulled her vampire’s face to her own and attacked his lips as he began to thrust harder again―this time in an upward motion that he knew would cause the tip of his cock to drag across her G-spot. He moved one of his hands to her clit to stimulate her there as well.
Sookie moaned into his mouth, “Yes. Eric, don’t you dare stop.”
“Never,” Eric growled as he continued his dual stroking.
She gripped his shoulders and deepened their kiss as her release neared with each exquisite stroke of her husband’s hands and penis. Sookie once again tongued his fangs, eliciting another low growl from his chest.
Eric lifted his body a bit to change his angle slightly, and Sookie cried out, breaking their kiss, “Yes! More!”
Eric looked down at the beautiful creature writhing beneath him. “Sookie, min kära,” he groaned. His eyes were begging her―begging for even more connection. “Never enough,” he whispered. “Never. Close. Enough.”
Her eyes met his, and she saw the need in them. She felt his desperation for her through their bond, and she knew exactly what they both desired. Now tangled in his hair, her hands brought his lips once again to hers.
His movements in and out of her body became frenzied as Sookie again used his fangs to cut her own tongue. At the same time, he nicked himself on purpose, and their blood mingled in their heated kiss.
His release began first, and his cool seed filled her forcefully, the impact of which caused her own orgasm to begin. The constrictions of her body drew from him everything he had, everything that she’d built up within him. And their tongues twined to draw out their shared essences in tandem, closing once again the distance between their spirits, which joined in the white light of the fairy bond.
Eric held her as their shared orgasms and blood shook them both. He was certain that they could never be close enough to one another to suit him, but in that moment, they were damned close to perfection.
A/N: I will attempt to use some Swedish and Old Norse (because I like to imagine Eric saying these things & he insists upon it in my head as I’m writing for him). If you are not familiar with the endearments I have used / am using now, then here’s a quick rundown.
- min kván = “my wife” in Old Norse
- min bóndi = “my husband” in Old Norse
- min kära = “my dear” in Swedish (this is replacing “min kärlek” which I inititally used in Back and Forth—because that was all wrong)
- min älskare = “my lover”
If I screw up in my usage of Swedish, let me know.