At about 2:00 a.m., Sookie put her feet up and enjoyed a few moments of relative quiet after having danced nonstop for more than two hours.
The wait-staff was making sure that the food and drinks were stocked one more time before they left. The Weres and shifters had left for their run about five minutes earlier, and howling could already be heard in the woods. Pam and the A.P. had just exited the tent area together, and Sookie knew that they were likely saying their goodbyes. After all, Pam was not one to do that kind of thing with others around. Sookie shook her head as she tried to shake away her building sadness.
She looked over at Duncan, who was gently rocking little Mia so that her parents could run in the night. The dashing Scotsman gave her a little smile, though she could sense his melancholy too. He’d have his own goodbye to say to the A.P. before long.
Thanks in no small part to Becky’s babysitting prowess, all the other kids under five years old were already asleep, and Hunter and Emma were—even then—being herded to bed by Eric.
Hunter had had his own emotional visit with the A.P. about half an hour before, and Sookie was glad that Sam and Luna had agreed to stay the night and let Hunter and Emma have a sleepover. Sookie and Eric—as well as the A.P. herself—had been preparing Hunter for what was to come, and her child understood why the A.P. would be leaving, but he would still need all the support he could get. And, though it hurt Sookie a little to admit it, what Hunter needed most right now was Emma’s company.
Sookie knew that Emma’s presence would console Hunter, even as she knew her own presence would comfort Eric later that morning when the A.P. walked into the sunlight. The Northman “men” would both feel the loss of the A.P. keenly, and Sookie understood well that they would need to share that loss with their “women” first. She couldn’t help but to smile at the similarities between the two most important individuals in her life. She also knew that both Eric and Hunter would need some father/son time the next night so that they could talk things out. She smiled again; her boys always talked things out, and Eric made sure that the two of them had some “boy time” almost every night. It was something they both needed.
She’d already told her mate that he and Hunter needed to spend part of the next evening in their workshop fixing a chair that had been broken. That would give them the perfect opportunity to talk about the A.P. being gone if they were ready to do so. But even if they weren’t ready to talk it out, she knew that the act of fixing the furniture together would help them both. And that also reminded her; she needed to “accidentally” break a chair for them to fix the next day. Sookie smiled. Maybe she’d get Henry to help her break a couple.
Sookie looked around the tent. All the Bellefleurs had decided to leave for the night about half an hour before. Terry, Arlene and Holly, who was now an assistant manager at Merlotte’s, were due to open the restaurant the next morning. Diantha, Mr. Cataliades, and Octavia had also taken their leave since they wanted to get some sleep before making their trek back to New Orleans in the morning. Hoyt, after making a date with Katherine for the next weekend, left shortly after the beautiful fairy had.
Frannie continued to play music, but everyone remaining at the reception seemed content to take a break from dancing until the two-natured returned to the party. They were all sitting around in little groups, just talking quietly and hanging out—obviously enjoying themselves.
Sookie smiled and stretched out a little bit more as she waited for Eric to return. She grinned even wider when Jesus and Batanya reappeared. Jesus gave her a wink.
“Is it ready?” she asked.
“Yes,” Jesus assured. “And he’s gonna love it.”
“I agree,” Batanya said with just the slightest lift of her eyebrow.
“The privacy spell is up?” Sookie asked with some nervousness, especially since she knew that there was a whole slew of Weres and shifters running on their property.
“Yes. The spell will accept only you and Eric inside, and once in there, no one will hear a thing,” Jesus whispered.
Sookie blushed a little and thanked both Batanya and Jesus before she leaned back again, determined to get a little rest before Eric came back. After that, she knew she would not be resting; in fact, she planned to do quite the opposite.
But for now, she was cursing her new Jimmy Choos. No matter how great they looked, her feet were sore after two hours straight of dancing—despite her husband’s blood in her system. However, her sore feet were well worth it as she thought about the fun her family and close friends had had.
On the dance floor, Hunter had put all of his moves to the test with Emma, who managed to allow herself to be led by him—at least most of the time. He’d danced with only two others that evening: the A.P. and Sookie. However, Hunter had kept a close watch on Emma during those dances. He’d been comforted when Sam danced with her as he’d been dancing with his mamma; however, he’d paled considerably when Coby started sniffing around his Emma when he’d been dancing with the A.P.
Hunter had shot a desperate look to his daddy, causing Eric to quickly step forward to ask for Emma’s dance before Coby could generate the courage to do so. Sookie chuckled. Her mate and her child really were two peas in a pod. Sookie giggled even more as she remembered the look on Hunter’s face when Coby had tapped on his shoulder to try to cut in. She’d half expected for her son to let out an Eric-like growl, but he’d been beaten to the punch by Emma herself, who’d told Coby—in no uncertain terms—that her dance card was full. If Hunter could have floated, Sookie knew that he would have been spinning Emma and himself over the dance floor in that moment.
After that close call, Hunter hadn’t let Emma go—not even once—until his time with the A.P., and even then, he’d been reluctant to leave her. Sookie had seen the A.P. bend down to whisper something into Hunter’s ear, something that caused intense mirth in Eric. When Sookie asked about it later, Eric explained that Britomart had assured Hunter that Emma would not be dancing with anyone but the girls during their time away. Apparently, she’d used her future sight to confirm that for their child. Just to be sure, however, Hunter had asked Frannie to play only fast songs until he reappeared with the A.P.
Sookie grinned as she thought about Hunter’s antics. He was definitely a chip off the old block.
Thankfully, Eric had been more generous with Sookie’s dance card, though he’d never let her be away from him for more than one dance at a time. Of course, she felt the same and always sought him out after she’d danced with another. In addition to dancing with Hunter and Jason, she’d shared dances with Claude, Niall, Lafayette, Jesus, Henry, and Sam. There had also been some faster dances—when Hunter was with the A.P.—which she’d enjoyed with Tara, Amelia, Pam, Diantha, Katherine, Arlene, Holly, and—of course—Emma.
For Eric’s part, he’d danced with Tara, Pam, Jessica, Miranda, Isabel, and Lafayette, who used the fact that he’d been a willing medium that night to cop a feel or two of Eric’s bottom.
Yes. It had been a fun night, but Sookie was ready to cop a feel or two of her own.
Through the bond, Sookie felt Eric quickly returning to her from the house.
“You look beautiful,” he said almost reverently as he lifted her feet, sat down in the chair that had been holding them, snaked his fingers under her dress, and began to rub her sore calves.
“I look like I’ve been danced off my feet,” she chuckled.
“Exactly,” he smirked. “I take great pride in being the one who is responsible for your condition.” His eyes sparkled.
She sighed as she enjoyed the pressure of his hands. “Hunter asleep?”
Eric shook his head as he continued to rub. “Of course not. He and Emma were beginning one of their ‘discussions’ even as I left the house.”
Sookie’s lips turned up into a contented smile. Hunter and Emma had been having sleepovers for years—under Breeta’s close supervision, of course. The two often stayed up giggling and talking for several hours after they were supposed to be sleeping. “What were they talking about?”
“They were discussing the merits of the cake,” Eric answered with seriousness even though his eyes were still smiling. “They had snuck another piece up there to share.”
Sookie giggled. “Then they really will be up for a while.”
Eric nodded in agreement. “All night, I’d suspect.”
“They truly are each other’s best friend,” Sookie observed.
“Yes. That bodes well for their future.” He chuckled. “Did you see Hunter’s reaction to Coby?”
“Yeah,” she grinned. “Hunt looked like he was gettin’ ready to fight him off of her.” She sighed. “You’re probably gonna need to talk to him about that. He can’t get all bent out of shape if she wants to dance with another boy.”
Eric quirked a brow. “He can if the other is a threat.”
Sookie chuckled and shook her head. “You two are just alike.”
Eric smiled unashamedly. “Yes. Neither one of us would allow our mate to dance with someone who has designs upon her. Plus,” Eric’s eyes glimmered, “what do you think Emma would have done if Lisa had wanted to dance with Hunter? I would have paid to see that confrontation.”
Sookie laughed louder. “She would have done what I would have done,” she admitted.
“And what would that be?” Eric asked with a little leer.
“She would have told the other girl to back away from her property,” Sookie winked. “And if the ‘ho’ hadn’t listened, she’d have kicked her ass.”
“That’s what I thought,” Eric grinned in triumph. “Still, I’m glad Coby showed interest. It gave me a chance to dance with my future daughter-in-law. Hunter likely would not have allowed me to otherwise.”
“Don’t let Sam hear you calling her that—yet,” Sookie giggled. “You know how he gets.”
Eric rolled his eyes. “Sam is half a mile south of here, howling at the moon.”
Sookie grinned, but then suddenly changed gears. “I’m so tired,” she said with a dramatic and very fake yawn and stretch of her arms. “How does a short,” she paused, “nap sound to you?”
Eric felt her spike in lust through their bond and growled. He was immediately up on his feet and pulling her into his arms. Just as he was getting ready to head them toward the house for their “nap,” she placed a hand on his chest to stop him.
“No, no, no, Viking,” she chided as she shook her head.
His expression immediately sank.
“It’s just that I have somewhere else in mind,” she whispered seductively into his ear. “Somewhere more nostalgic.”
Eric’s eyebrow rose, even as he smelled Sookie’s arousal beginning to pool in the only place he desperately wanted to be. “Where?” he panted as he inhaled deeply.
“The first place we were together,” she whispered. “I want you to take me there,” she giggled coquettishly, “so that you can take me there.”
In a flash, Eric had his tux jacket draped around her to keep her warm and was flying them to the spot in the woods where they’d first made love. He landed them next to the stream and lifted his nose into the air to make sure they were alone.
“The others are running near here, lover,” he said before burying his nose into her neck. “I do not mind if the whole world hears me claiming you, but I know that you do.”
She gave him a knowing smile. “That’s why Jesus was here earlier setting up a privacy spell for us.” She grabbed his hand and led him to the clearing where they’d first made love. Eric had bought the patch of woods between Gran and Jason’s properties, which housed their special place, and had given it to Sookie for their third anniversary. They had returned to the spot many times over the years.
Eric gasped with surprise as they entered into the confines of the privacy spell. “Sookie,” he whispered.
A half a dozen large, thick furs created a comfortable-looking bed on the ground, and a small fire had been built nearby. A huge piece of wedding cake had been set onto a small table that had been placed next to the furs.
Eric stepped forward to take in the scene. He noticed that the privacy spell also seemed to insulate the space so that the fire amply kept the November chill at bay. “What are your plans for that?” Eric asked as he motioned toward the cake.
Instead of an answer to his question, the vampire heard a loud zipping noise and immediately turned to see his wife standing on the furs and slowly unfastening the side zipper of her beautiful wedding gown. His eyes locked onto her fingers as they dragged the fastening lower and lower.
He couldn’t stop himself from panting as more and more of her luscious flesh came into view.
“I intend to eat that cake off of your naked body, Mr. Northman,” Sookie said in an innocent tone; the bond, however, told him that her intentions were anything but innocent. She reached the end of the zipper and raised her hand to her shoulder, slowly moving the last bit of fabric which was holding her dress onto her body. As the material slipped over her shoulder, the dress slipped down her curves before pooling at her feet.
Eric felt frozen in place as he took in his wife in all her glory. Mesmerized, he watched as she reached up and loosened the bun in her hair with a few tugs on strategically placed bobby pins. Tumbling out of its imprisonment, her blond locks fell in curls around her face and shoulders. The peach blossom fluttered onto the furs, but Eric didn’t follow its path. His eyes were slowly trailing down his wife’s body, devouring her every inch. She stood in a white strapless lace bra, through which he could see the rosy shade of her nipples teasing him. He licked his lips as he took in the flat of her stomach and the swell of her hips.
His roving eyes stopped at what he saw on those supple hips. “A garter belt,” he croaked out as he gazed at the white lacy lingerie that held up his mate’s white stockings. Underneath it, she wore a matching white thong. For the thousandth time, he wondered if eternity would be long enough for him to celebrate the curves of her flesh, curves made even more splendid because they fit against him perfectly.
“I initially tried it in red,” she said, biting her lip, “but the color showed a little through the dress, so I’ll save that outfit for later.”
“You bought the red one too?” Eric’s voice stammered a little.
“Uh-huh.” She dragged one finger lazily down her body—down her neck, along her collar bone, over the swell of her breast, and down so that it ghosted under the edge of her garter belt. “But don’t you like the white one?” she asked in a pouty, teasing tone. Her eyes smoldered with desire.
Eric didn’t answer her with words. Instead, he sent his lust through the bond like a bolt of lightning, even as he loosed his tie and began to unbutton his shirt. “You requested my nudity, lover? For your—uh—cake eating?” he asked with a raised brow.
“Yes,” she purred as he shoved his shirt over his shoulders. She stepped out of her dress, quickly moved it to the side and then walked over to him. “Let me open the rest,” she whispered huskily, as she undid his belt, pulled it out of his tuxedo pants, and then went to work on his button and zipper.
Eric growled as Sookie lowered his trousers, dragging her fingernails over the swell of his cock as she moved downward.
“No special undies for me?” she asked coyly.
One side of Eric’s mouth tugged upward. “I wanted to be able to take you quickly in your wedding dress if need be.”
“Would you like me to put it back on?” she asked as she bent down in front of him and removed his shoes, socks and pants so that he was nude in front of her. She eyed his cock hungrily.
“Absolutely not,” Eric panted. “I am enjoying your current attire, lover.”
She grinned up at him as she licked his length with one long stroke of her tongue. “Are you?” she asked, as she took his tip between her lips and swirled her tongue around it.
“Yes,” Eric growled, even as his knees buckled a bit at her ministrations. “However, had I known about all this, I would have worn that Viking costume you bought for me last year.”
Inflamed by the memory of how he’d pillaged her while wearing that outfit, she took more of him into her mouth and used her hands to make up for what she couldn’t reach. He was Viking-sized, after all.
She hummed around him. “Mmmm,” she said brazenly, even as she blushed a little. “This is even yummier than cake.”
“Sookie,” he gasped as she moved one hand to fondle his balls.
“Hmmm?” she sounded around his shaft as she started a steady pace, taking him in deeper with each bob of her head.
“I need you,” he groaned out. “I need you now.”
In the next second, Sookie found herself on her back on top of the soft furs. Her mate hovered above her, his eyes a mixture of adoration and blue fire. There was awe in his voice. “Ligga på pälsar, ser du ut som en gudinna. Fucking. Beautiful.” [“Lying on furs, you look like a goddess.”]
Having spent the last several years becoming fluent in Swedish, Sookie understood his words and smiled at them. She’d been reading as much as she could about Viking wedding rites and had found out that some of the most common items a bride would bring into her new husband’s household were furs and blankets. They served both utilitarian and symbolic purposes. Obviously, they helped to keep the bride’s new family warm during the cold Scandinavian winters. Moreover, they symbolized her commitment to the hearth and the home of the family.
However, as Sookie took in her own Viking above her, she didn’t care about the time it had taken her to track down the furs that were protecting them from the cool ground. All she cared about was her mate’s cool body positioned above hers.
She gasped as she felt the tip of his penis sliding through her folds and moaned as it hit her clit. “Eric.”
Stealing her moan, his lips crashed down onto hers as if he’d not kissed her in a hundred years, and she met them with equal fervor, arching into his hands as they surrounded her lace-covered breasts.
Her husband’s frustrated growl told Sookie two things loud and clear. First, her underwear was not going to survive her pillager. Second, foreplay was over.
Sookie endorsed both of those facts as Eric took her bra with both his hands and ripped it in two before following suit with her panties. All that she had on as her mate sank his shaft into her welcoming heat was her garter belt, her stockings, and her high heels, which she pressed into the back of Eric’s legs.
He groaned at the pressure of them. “Leverage, lover?” he asked as he stilled and enjoyed the feeling of being buried to the hilt inside of his mate.
She smiled and used the force of her heels against his flesh to compel his lower body even closer to hers. She fisted her hands into his hair and brought his face to hers as well. Just as their lips were about to touch, she whispered breathily, “Every girl needs spurs now and then.”
He growled into their kiss as he felt her smile lingering. Their tongues battled and then played and then battled and played again as she spurred him to move his straining cock in and out of her—setting a fast and hard rhythm that left them both moaning.
“Sookie,” he gasped into her neck as he broke their kiss so that she could breathe. One of his large hands had taken hold of her breast even as he slid his lips down her body and curved his back so that he could take a nipple into his mouth.
Sookie arched up into him, and between the back of her heels, which were still digging into his upper legs and bottom, and her fingernails, which were cutting into his shoulders, Eric felt himself losing control, but he was not going to tip over the edge until his wife did.
He brought a hand down to toy with her clit even as he slid his other hand underneath her bottom so that he could change his angle of thrusting just enough to find her G-spot.
“So good,” Sookie moaned as she increased the pressure of her limbs on her mate. “More!”
From the bond, Eric knew exactly what she wanted, and he pounded into her even harder—thrilled, as he always was, that she could take him all in and still crave more. No other woman had ever come close to matching him so perfectly, and sex between them was only getting better as they grew in their knowledge of each other’s bodies.
“Sookie,” he groaned as her hips rose to meet his thrusts in a perfect, powerful rhythm. “Come. For. Me. Now!” he cried out, knowing he couldn’t hold himself back much longer.
From the telltale fluttering of her walls around his cock, he knew that she was close to her release, so he increased his speed just a fraction and thrummed vibrations onto her clit with his fingers.
“Eric!” she screamed as her walls crashed and pulsed around him. In her pleasure, she bit into the spot where his neck met his shoulders; she sucked his thick blood hard from the wound, causing him to explode into her.
Eric bent to her breast and fed from her as she continued to pull his release and his blood from his body. He felt empty and full all at once as he gave everything to her and took everything from her.
It was always that way between them.
It was always bliss.
But every time with his mate seemed completely different too. Eric knew that he would never get used to the electrifying feeling of their joining. And he was glad about it—very glad.
The vampire in him sated for the moment, Eric licked her wound closed and moved so that he could gently take off her shoes, stockings, and garter belt. As fucking sexy as she was in them, he knew that she’d be more comfortable out of them. And—when it all came down to it—her flesh was more beautiful without any kind of adornment.
Once she was bare before him, he lay on his back on the soft furs and pulled her into his arms as he covered them with another fur blanket. She happily burrowed into him and played with the wispy hair on his chest as her breathing normalized.
“Thank you,” he whispered after a few minutes.
“You gave as good as you got,” she said with a giggle.
He purred, “Yes, the sex was very good, lover. But I was speaking of this.” He gestured around the little love nest she’d arranged for them.
She looked up at him and inhaled deeply as she was struck by the emotion in her mate’s eyes—emotion that was heightened by the colors of the fire dancing in blue. “I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it.” He bent down slightly so that he could brush her lips with a gentle, chaste kiss. A faraway look came into his eyes. “If we had married during my human days, it would have been much like this day. We would have both prepared for weeks. The men of our families would have hunted and fished for food for the feast, and the women would have prepared the food. They would have used herbs and berries to flavor the meal. The bride would have seen the feast as a way to honor her husband.” He smiled down at her. “You did this for us—for me—Sookie.”
He went on. “The brides back then would have prepared special clothing and worn flowers in their hair. You did this for me, Sookie.”
He kissed her temple and ran his fingers through her hair lovingly as he slipped the still fragrant peach blossom behind her ear. “In that time, we would have been married surrounded by our families and our friends. And we would have danced and feasted with them well into the night. You made this possible for me, Sookie.”
She went to speak, but he softly placed a finger over her lips. “In that time, I would have taken my bride back to my home and made love to her on a bed of furs.” He sighed. “You arranged for this as well, Sookie.” His smile was as soft as his touch. “I vow to you that I will always appreciate the many things that you do for me, min kära—so many things that only you know that I want and need. You have made this day more than I ever thought it could be because of the touches you have placed onto it—touches that you knew would be meaningful just for me. It is for those things that I thank you.”
“Eric,” she whispered as she kissed his chest. He felt her hot tears on his flesh and reached for his jacket, which he knew had a few more fresh handkerchiefs inside the pockets. He was beginning to wonder if the seven he’d originally stowed into the garment would be enough and was already planning to ask Arlene to embroider more for him to keep handy.
He lifted her face and tenderly wiped her eyes with the piece of cloth.
“Snälla, gråt inte, min älskade,” he begged. [“Please, don’t cry, my beloved.”]
“I’m not crying,” she said as she smiled at him through her lingering tears. “I’m just leaking.”
Eric laughed as he felt Sookie’s bliss echoing through their bond. She kissed his hand that held the handkerchief and then placed her cheek against it. “Thank you,” she said meaningfully as her eyes glanced to the handkerchief. “All those things you mentioned me doing for you? Well—I’m just returning the favor.”
They lay in each other’s arms silently for a few minutes before Sookie sat up next to him. Eric felt her playfulness flood the bond; it was paired with a high level of lust. Her eyes were not on him, however. They were on the little table next to their makeshift bed.
Knowing that he was about to find out firsthand what it felt like to be licked clean of cake, Eric growled in anticipation.
It turned out that it was pretty fucking amazing. And sticky.