As soon as Sookie was done packing, she felt the vampire bond surge with Eric’s emotions, and she glanced at the clock, noticing it was 5:02, about fifteen minutes to sunset. She hurried into the bedroom, almost running into her very naked and very aroused husband, who had been seeking her as well.
He quickly took her lips with his, and she jumped into his arms. He growled, “Sookie,” as he threw her playfully onto the bed that the kitten had smartly just vacated. “Do you want to keep those clothes?” he asked teasingly as his mischief shot through the vampire bond.
Quickly, she pulled off her shirt and unhooked her bra even as he pulled off the slippers she’d put on and unbuttoned her jeans. Her jeans and panties were quickly discarded onto the floor as he joined her on the bed.
She smiled up at him as he hovered over her. “You seem to have woken up,” she paused as she reached down and took his wide, engorged girth into her hands, “ready.”
He groaned. “I am always ready for you, wife.”
She pumped his cock slowly, even as she gripped it tightly. He groaned again.
“Do you like that, Eric?” Sookie asked saucily. She could feel her own arousal building as she played with Eric.
“Yes,” her vampire gasped. “Love. It. Love your hands on me.”
“You know what I would love even better?” she asked playfully as she continued to stroke him and his eyes glazed over with passion. “You know where I want you to put this monster I have in my hand?” She squeezed his cock tighter.
He moaned. “I have a few ideas, lover.”
With that, he grabbed both of her hands in one of his and trapped them above her head as he drove home into her moist center. She cried out blissfully and wrapped her legs around him.
“Oh Eric,” she gasped as he began to thrust into her again and again. With his free hand, he caressed and fondled her breasts as he took her mouth once more with his. She noticed that his fangs had not dropped yet, so she licked the spots where they descended from, causing him to pull back quickly to let them drop so that they didn’t cut her. He quickly re-found her mouth even as he increased the pace of his thrusts. And she tongued those fangs that she’d wanted, savoring the deep purr she earned from her husband as she did.
Once again, he felt like a teenager, wanting her as soon as he rose―needing to feel himself inside of her body more than he needed blood or battle or even life itself.
Her hands were still trapped, but the rest of her body rose to his like it was looking for a missing piece of itself. Her breasts pushed into his hand and his chest, her lips rose to meet his, and her thighs gripped his hips as she met him stroke for stroke in the dance that people had been doing together since the dawn of humanity. However, she doubted that anyone had ever danced as well as they did.
Her moans and mewls met his growls and grunts as they sought sanctuary in each other’s bodies. Eric let her hands go so that he could put his other hand to better use on her clit, and she lifted her hands to his shoulders, trailing them down his back until they gripped his ass and pulled him into her even more.
Their impending sexual releases were like a living thing fueled by both of the bonds they had made with each other. That living thing had been waiting―impatiently―during their sleep all day long and now seemed anxious to crash down upon them. It sped toward them and met them both together. Sookie cried out in release even as Eric’s cool seed filled her.
After emptying into her, Eric rolled over onto his back and pulled Sookie to his chest. He smiled into her hair and inhaled deeply.
It took several minutes for her breathing to go back to normal. When it did, Sookie raised herself up slightly, putting her chin on her hands so that she could look into her husband’s impossibly blue eyes. Soon, she felt as if she were almost swimming inside of them as they told her of his contentment, which she also felt from the vampire bond. She never wanted to leave them, yet she knew that she would never drown in them either. She sighed. She had always loved gazing at the blues of the Louisiana sky every time she’d sunbathed, but her husband’s eyes had layers and depth that the sky itself would be envious of. She could think of no better place to become lost.
She heard herself speaking words that she’d wanted to say since their pledging but had not found the right time for. As she looked into the ocean of her husband’s eyes, she knew that—despite all the things they needed to deal with―this was that ‘right’ time.
“I want your last name, vampire.”
Sookie watched as surprise flowed quickly into Eric’s eyes. Astonishment and disbelief—but also hopefulness—surged into the bond. “Sookie?”
She chuckled a bit as joy emanated from her end of the bond; she loved when she could surprise him. He might be able to give her things, but she knew that every time she was able to surprise him, that was a gift in his eyes. God—she loved him.
“What?” she inquired playfully. “When a human woman gets married, she often takes her husband’s last name. And the more I think about it, the more I want yours.”
“Sookie,” Eric said again, the emotion thick in his voice. He, for once, didn’t know what to say.
She kissed his chest without breaking her connection with his blue pools. “One day, when they let humans and vampires marry in Louisiana―and we don’t have to run away to another state in order to get hitched, like fugitives or somethin’―I am gonna marry you in a ‘human’ ceremony. I’m gonna wear a pretty white dress and have bridesmaids, and you are gonna wear a tuxedo. But if this country has taught me one thing about marriage rights from its history of prejudice against black people and now with gay people, it’s that the whole ‘life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness’ guarantees that are supposed to be foundational for everyone in this country are often illusive—at least until people stop bein’ afraid of people different from themselves. And I don’t wanna wait for people to do that this time, Eric. I want to be Sookie Northman—or maybe Sookie Stackhouse-Northman, if I decide to go that route. So I’m not gonna wait. I’m gonna file some papers and officially change my name to yours now.”
He continued looking at her in shock.
She began to feel a bit anxious. “Are you okay with that, Eric? If you don’t want me to have your name, I . . . ,” Eric stopped her with a finger to her lips.
“No, Sookie,” Eric said quickly, his voice as deep as his eyes for a moment. “I mean ‘yes.’ I want you to have my name. I,” he paused, “would love for you to have it. You have no idea how much I want us to belong to each other in every way―every way. Hell―if you want, I’ll take your name!”
Sookie giggled. “Eric Stackhouse. Hmm? That’s got a certain ring to it.”
“Is that what you wish?” Eric asked sincerely. “I have had many names in my long life, min kära, and I will gladly take yours now.”
She giggled again. “No―I think that Sookie Northman has a better ring. Plus, I love that you decided on the name, ‘Northman,’ for yourself. It’s like a little piece of your human past stored inside of your name.”
He tightened his arms around her, and his voice became deep again and thickened with emotion, “Sookie Northman.” Eric sampled the name and wondered how words could taste as sweet as his wife’s blood to him, but they did. It was a new sensation—a wonderful one. “I like the sound of your name mixing together with my name.”
“Good,” Sookie said, both her happiness and relief clear in the bond. “I’ll start the paperwork when we get back from Santa Fe, and then I’ll legally become Sookie Northman or Sookie Stackhouse-Northman.”
“Mmmm,” Eric sounded as he kissed her hair. “I like that one too.” They were quiet for several minutes as they just took each other in with a long gaze. Sookie could feel through the bond that Eric was processing his feelings, which seemed to be storming inside of him. She was once again floored by the magnitude of her husband’s feelings—especially his feelings for her. She gave him the time he needed as she was content to simply watch the magic of those blues as they worked.
Finally, his eyes seemed to explode like a blue firework in a night sky. He whispered, “I love you, Sookie Northman. Sookie Stackhouse-Northman.” His voice broke as he tried both of her potential names.
His surging emotions caused him to need to move, and he sat up against the headboard, drawing his knees up a bit. She drew herself up with him and turned to face him. She rested her cheek lightly on his knees and looked into his eyes again. She placed one hand on his bare chest as she was so often drawn to do―one hand right above where his un-beating heart lay and where she instinctively knew that their fairy bond was housed in him.
Again, they simply looked at each other for long moments. His eyes were baring his soul to her; more importantly, she could tell that her husband was letting them bare it. He was opening himself to her in a more profound way than he’d ever been able to before. He exposed everything, and he was more beautiful than she had words to describe. She used one of his. “Fagr,” she whispered. A tear traveled down her cheek as her lips turned up into the smile she reserved only for him. “You’re happy,” she whispered.
“Yes,” he replied simply and then sighed. “Finally happy.”
Another tear slipped down her face. His eyes told her the story of almost a thousand years that were standing behind his word, ‘finally.’ She felt in that moment incredibly blessed that she had to wait only twenty-six years to find him. Feeling the need to be even closer to him, she gently nudged his legs down and brought one of her legs to each side of him, straddling his lap. Their sexes touched, and his member rose quickly as she warmed and moistened in anticipation.
Eric had been unable to drop his wife’s gaze, and his whole being wanted to shout with joy. She was going to take his name just as she’d taken his heart. In fact, she couldn’t wait to take his name.
His people had not used surnames as they’d been adopted in modern days, so his human marriage had not included a change in name. Before their pledging, Eric had briefly wondered whether Sookie would take his name after their human marriage, but he’d put that thought from his mind. He now knew that he hadn’t wanted to ‘get his hopes up’ as humans said. He’d expected Sookie to keep her family name and not to take his, so he’d unconsciously steeled himself to that fact. He’d not allowed himself to imagine the feeling that was now flowing through him, a feeling he couldn’t quite pinpoint.
Vampires loved to possess, and her having his name would show that she was even more his, but the need to own her was not the emotion he felt. He felt proud and grateful. He felt thoroughly and utterly loved.
In the Shakespearean play that Sookie had once gotten so passionate about, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet had questioned names and their meanings when she’d found out that Romeo was a Montague, which made him an enemy to her family. Eric’s supple mind recalled Juliet’s words exactly; she’d said, “What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, / Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part / Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! / What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet; / So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, / Retain that dear perfection which he owes / Without that title.”
Sookie had once again proven that they were nothing like the fictional young lovers at all. She’d somehow―not only for herself but also for him―intuited the importance of her taking his name even if he was only just becoming consciously aware of that importance himself. As he looked into her deep brown eyes―which reminded him of the complex melding of shades that he loved to study as he worked with various woods―both the man and the vampire in Eric wanted to sing with joy. The vampire was contented by the fact that Sookie―in taking his name―was becoming his in yet another way. The possessive side of him rejoiced in the fact that others would know her as his, just by seeing her name. He imagined saying it to people as he introduced her to them. Even better—he imagined her saying it to people as she introduced herself.
Juliet was an infant. As he fell more and more deeply into Sookie’s eyes, he knew that there was so much in a name. The man in him, the man that Sookie had reawakened, rejected Juliet’s words that a name was no part that ‘belonged to a man.’ Eric’s name belonged to him; he hadn’t consciously acknowledged it until Sookie had said it out loud, but he’d chosen that name so that he could identify with his human roots. ‘Northman’ had kept him tied to his humanity―to the people of the North, his family—in a fundamental way, and now, the person who had helped him to remember and embrace that same humanity wanted to take that very name. She’d chosen to take it. She’d chosen to mark herself as his family, a fact made all the more sweet because of the importance that he knew she placed on her own family.
‘Stackhouse’ was her family’s name―her parents’ name, Jason’s name, Adele’s name. And Sookie was also independent by nature―her own person. And now she was willingly giving up a part of herself so that she could add everything about herself to his name, just as she’d added herself to his life. The profundity of that act―of her desire to label herself as his and become his family in that way―ironically made her seem so powerful to Eric, and he was even more in awe of his bonded one than ever before. He’d take his Sookie over Juliet any day.
He registered that she was calling him “beautiful” in the language of his humanity—in the language of the men of the North. She recognized all that he was in that moment, and from her side of the bond, he felt her love—her profound acceptance of him. That was what was most ‘beautiful.’ She pointed out his happiness, and he agreed. He’d never felt “happiness” in its noun form before Sookie―never felt it as a state of being that he could dwell in. Oh—he’d been “happy” before, but the adjective form of the word was fleeting, ready to be replaced by another describer at any moment. No—Sookie had introduced him to the noun.
As his wife settled onto his lap and held his eyes in hers like a warm embrace of the soul, he brought his hands up to her cheeks and thumbed away the tears that were making their way down her face. She made a slight movement, and suddenly he was inside of her―their bodies now making the same magic as their eyes. He was so lost in her that he didn’t even sense the bloody tear that was making its way down his own cheek in that moment of connection.
Sookie made slow movements up and down to build them up. Seeing his tear, she raised her hands to either side of his face to mirror his own hand placement before drawing him forward so that their lips could meet. She heard him and felt him cry into her mouth―the slightest of sobs—but it was enough to let her know that her vampire’s emotions were so intense that they were literally spilling out of him. She broke their kiss and retook his eyes with hers.
“You are mine,” she said softly as she rode him a little faster, a little harder.
He nodded as another bloody tear slipped down his cheek.
His hands―fully spread out―now flowed softly over every inch of her he could reach as if to catalog and memorize every curve.
“I am yours,” she added as she again increased her pace. Her own hands had settled onto his solid shoulders, and she used the leverage of her grip to increase the impact of her movements.
“Yes,” he managed in a whisper. “We own each other—belong to each other.”
She stopped for a moment and smiled at his words, and then she began to rise and fall again. She moved one of her hands to one of his and brought it up to her lips, kissing his palm. She turned it around to him. “Eric,” she said as she ground herself into him, “bite for me.”
He nodded and dropped his fangs before tearing two neat holes into his hand. He turned the wound to her, and she pulled his hand to her mouth and drank from him. His hips were now creating the movement of their sexes, and he leaned forward, grabbing her bottom with his free hand as she drank from his other. He kissed her shoulder, smelling her blood, which was careening through her body due to her increased heart rate and welling emotions. He’d not taken any since he took a bit too much the day before, but he knew that his own life force had replenished her. As she drank from him, he completed the circuit by biting into her neck gently.
The flood of emotions he’d been experiencing, the physical pleasure of their bodies joining, and the coursing of her blood toward the fairy bond all combined within Eric, and―for a moment―the pleasure was too great for even his supple vampire mind to process. All of these feelings warmed him to the point of overflow, and more tears spilled from his eyes even as his seed spilled into her womb. She followed him into orgasm moments later as his hand healed.
He held her as he recovered. He licked her slight wound so that it would heal, but he kept his nose buried in her neck and put his arms tightly around her. He closed his eyes just as tightly―savoring her―as fresh tears rose in his eyes and then flowed down his cheeks and onto her shoulder.
She was holding on to him just as tightly, anxious to keep their bodies as close as possible, relishing in his touch. The emotion that she felt flooding from him threatened to overwhelm her. But she steadied herself, knowing that he needed her steady as he finished processing what he was feeling. His side of the bond overflowed with love, contentment, happiness, and especially gratitude. Sookie knew that he was letting her feel just how grateful he was that she was going to take his name. In that moment, she felt his tidal wave of emotions like a gift given to her in return.
After a few minutes, he was the one to speak, though he didn’t move his face from her neck. “It is 6:15, min älskade. As much as I wish to stay with you here,” he paused, “we must shower and get ready. There is a long night ahead.”
Sookie sighed, “I know. Just one more minute.”
Eric chuckled. “One more minute, and then we need to pack some things for our trip and speak to Scott. His men are finishing up for the evening now, and we have blueprints to see.”
“Mmmm,” Sookie sounded, as Eric seemed to nuzzle into her even more, just as glad for that extra minute as she was; she wanted him to have more. “I already packed, so we get two more minutes.”
Eric chuckled again, “But I must pack too.”
“Nope,” Sookie said, dreamily. “I packed some things for you already.”
He sighed into her neck as another tear rose and then fell from his eye. He tightened his hold of her and smiled into her flesh, “Min kván, that just bought you four minutes.”