Summary: A “missing chunk” of Come Back to Me, Sojourn tells the story of Eric and Sookie’s necessary re-connection and healing.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or story of True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball (and the other writers of True Blood) have that honor. No copyright infringement is intended, and I make no profit from my work (except the mental release it gives me).
Description: Hello all! Sojourn is a side story or a “missing chunk” of the story of Come Back to Me, so I’m afraid that it won’t make much sense to you if you haven’t read that story or its precursor, Back and Forth. Sojourn includes several ideas that were in my original outline for Come Back to Me, but I didn’t put them in for one reason or another.
Reminders about Come Back to Me: As you might remember, in Come Back to Me, Eric and Sookie are separated for 20 months (human time) because Claudette forces Sookie to go to the fairy realm. There, Sookie meets and forms close-knit relationships with Niall and Claude; she also has to hone her fairy gifts so that she and Eric can face down a threat predicted by the A.P., which turns out to be the return of Russell Edgington. Meanwhile, Eric takes in Hunter and becomes a father to him, and when Hadley has to stay in the fairy realm because she’s eaten the light fruit, Hunter chooses to stay with Eric. After Russell’s defeat and Sookie’s return, Come Back to Me jumps five years and picks up again on the day of Eric and Sookie’s wedding. Sojourn takes place five weeks after Russell is defeated.
Since it may have been a while since you read Back and Forth, I will also remind you that in that story Eric and Sookie formed two distinct bonds: a vampire bond and a fairy bond. The vampire bond does mostly the “usual” canon things. It allows Eric and Sookie to feel each other’s emotions and sense each other’s presence. It allows Eric to track Sookie if they are in the same realm. However, by all accounts, Eric and Sookie’s vampire bond is quite powerful. The fairy bond, which Sookie formed with Eric without knowing she was doing it, allows them to feel each other’s presence even when they are in two different realms. It also allows them to “share” certain gifts between them. (These reminders will come in handy later.)
Sojourn doesn’t have the kind of angst that its parent had (sorry Scorp), and there is no action (unless you like interior drama, which you know I do). What it does contain is a lot of love with some necessary healing for both Eric and Sookie. It is written in a series of first-person points of view (different than B&F and CBTM, which were all in third person). Most of it is from Eric’s or Sookie’s point of view, but there is one part that veers to the viewpoint of another (not a villain—sorry, it’s not that kind of story), but I’ll let that identity be a surprise for you.
Chapter 01: Talk First
[The Second Week of September 2011]
I gripped Eric tightly, both for utility’s sake—we were over fifty feet in the air, after all—and for the simple reason that I liked holding on to him. Actually, I loved it.
I loved him.
In fact, I loved him in a big, sappy, cavity-inducing way. It was the kind of love I’d pretty much given up on as unobtainable—simply the stuff of fairytales.
But—then again—I was part fairy. And, after a thousand years, Eric definitely deserved his “happily ever after.” And I was just the fairy princess to make damned sure he got it! And he was my Viking prince. I chuckled at the notion that we were both, in fact, descended from royalty. Yet we were both blissfully happy with the simple life we were making with one another, with Hunter, and with the rest of our “family”—or “clan” as Eric liked to call them.
“What are you contemplating in that beautiful head of yours, min kära?” Eric asked as he landed us in the yard in front of the cabin.
I waited to answer for a moment as I stretched out my telepathy to make sure that we were alone and safe. I knew that Eric was checking the area with his senses too. We both grinned at each other.
“All clear?” he asked me.
“Yep. You catch any whiff of enemies?” I playfully rejoined.
“Two opossums—fifty yards to the northeast.”
“Were-opossums?” I asked with mock concern.
He chuckled and then contemplated. “You know―I don’t think there is any such thing as a Were-opossum.”
He took my hand and began to lead me into the cabin. “So what were you thinking about?”
“Just about how we’re due for a little peace,” I said with a squeeze to his hand. “And really fucking due for a lot of happily ever after.”
He chuckled. “Tsk, tsk, lover. What would Gran say about your language?”
I giggled. “Gran sometimes cursed like a sailor—in her head, at least. And I’m certain that she would forgive me—just this once.” I smiled innocently at him.
From our bonds, I could tell that he didn’t buy my innocent act at all. Oh well. I couldn’t blame him; after being held so closely by him for twenty minutes, I had anything but innocent things at the forefront of my mind at that moment. In fact, even though my mate was insisting that we get the discussion we needed to have out of the way before we spent the rest of our little getaway in bed, I was itching for a little of that “happily ever after” right then. In fact, I was practically dripping for it.
Eric chuckled again as a not-so-innocent smile spread over my lips and I sent him a little surge of lust through our bond. Not much. Just enough to butter him up a bit.
He bent down and gave me a little kiss on the nose and a playful swat to the bottom. “Tsk, tsk,” he chided. “Talk first. Then I intend to worship every fucking inch of your body.”
“Language, Mister,” I jabbed teasingly as I returned the favor by swatting his perfect bottom and then giving it a little rub. I’m sure I moaned a little as I felt that particular piece of his anatomy under my hand. Gluteus Maximus indeed!
“Talk first, woman!” he reminded with a shake of his head as he gently batted my hand away from where it still rested on his bottom.
“Oops,” I said, trying the innocent act again, “I must have forgotten that hand was there.” I bit my lip.
“Sookie,” he growled a little.
“Yes?” I asked, feeling his mirth and lust combining in the bond.
The panty-destroying leer he was giving me was not helping his case for having our talk first.
“Talk first,” he repeated.
“Yep,” I nodded obediently. “Talk first,” I agreed—at least out loud—even as I plotted ways to get his clothes off of him within the next five minutes.
As we entered the cabin, Eric’s phone beeped with a message. He looked down and smiled at it. “Hunter tells us to enjoy our ‘play-date.’”
I giggled as Eric turned on the lights and led me into the living room. It was—sadly—way too hot for a fire. September was proving to be even more scorching than August, and the humidity was brutal. However, without needing to speak about it, Eric and I still started to construct a pallet for ourselves on the floor. I had bent over to arrange some pillows when I heard a growl coming from behind me—feral and predatory.
Playing my role of prey to perfection, I turned around slowly to see that Eric was as naked as the day he was born. He’d obviously been turned on when I’d bent over to perform my task. It might also have been the fact that I had been purposely swaying my hips and my bottom a bit more than I’d needed to. And it probably had something to do with the fact that I was wearing short jean shorts—very short jean shorts. It was hot outside, after all.
In truth, I always enjoyed seeing how riled up I was able to get my mate. And he never disappointed, nor did he complain.
“Talk first?” I asked coyly, biting my lip again and maybe drawing just a little blood. Oops. Accidents—they do happen.
He growled again.
“Minx,” he said under his breath.
“Were-minx?” I asked, licking my lip a little.
Despite my victory in enticing my husband into nudity within the first five—no, make that three—minutes of what Hunter called our “play-date,” I managed to stifle my smirk. Of course, the vampire bond I shared with Eric gave away my feeling of triumph. Oops.
“Were you hot?” I teased, gesturing toward my husband’s nude body, a body that was moving slowly and lithely toward me. I had a hard time not drooling at his beauty—or allowing my eyeballs to pop out like one of the cartoon characters I now watched so much because of Hunter.
“You were hot,” his eyebrow quirked up playfully.
“I was?” I asked. “I’m not anymore?”
“Oh, lover,” he leered. “You are still very hot. Perhaps,” he suggested as his hands met the bottom of my T-shirt and began to lift it up, “I can assist you by getting some of these heavy clothes off.”
It was my turn to smirk as I looked down at my clothing, which consisted of a T-shirt, cut-off shorts, and well-worn Keds. “Oh yes,” I said, trying to sound serious. “I am afraid I wore very heavy clothes today, and it’s just so hot outside.”
“Mmmm hmm,” Eric sounded.
“I’m sure we could have our talk better if we both cooled off first,” I whimpered as Eric leaned in to lick the tiny trace of blood from my lip, healing the small wound as he did so.
It didn’t take my vampire long at all to be “helpful.” Soon my clothing was on the floor. Actually I think my panties landed in the fireplace, which seemed rather appropriate since I now felt like I was on fire in the region they’d recently been covering. In fact—now that I thought about it—the fireplace was probably the only safe place for them since they’d probably been ready to combust.
But I stopped caring about underwear and fire safety as Eric drove into me hard even as he laid me down on the pallet.
Well—actually—his hard forward motion was probably “helped along” due to the fact that I’d wrapped my legs around his delicious ass and was using all the strength in my body to bring him down against my flesh. And maybe my hand was guiding his gracious plenty into my opening while I was doing that.
But—honestly—how could’ve I resisted the pleasure of my husband’s G.P. for even one more second? The answer was that I couldn’t. Despite how much I loved foreplay with Eric, sometimes the appetizer just wasn’t welcome when the main course was already ready. Delicious.
“Oh God, Eric,” I gasped as I felt my body stretching around his girth. Once he felt me tug onto his back, he began to move in and out of me, quickly establishing a rhythm that should have been illegal.
I had always been amazed by how fast my Viking could bring me to the edge of an orgasm. Of course, he could get me wet and ready for him with only a look, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.
But he seemed to be even more on his game tonight than usual—and that was saying something! After only about a minute of his being inside of me, I was already teetering toward my release.
And he knew it too. With a mischievous look competing with the passion in his eyes, he slowed down his pace.
“Eric,” I groaned.
“Yes, lover?” he asked as he moved in and out of me in methodical, deep strokes.
“Uh—um,” I bit my lip a little at the pleasure caused by his pubic bone hitting my clit.
“What did you want to tell me, lover?” he purred over me.
“I forgot,” I moaned as my head lolled back. “Just keep doing that.”
“Oh—I will,” Eric assured as he continued his slow rhythm, bringing me to the edge of release again before changing his pace again.
I wanted to beg for him to let me cum, but I knew one thing for damned sure: begging would only make Eric’s sweet torture of me last longer. Plus, I trusted that what he was doing was going to lead to a much more powerful release for us both. Eric was never one to do things halfway.
So I was just gonna have to lie there and take it. And I was willing to do that. More than willing.
I hadn’t had a lot of lovers in my life. Two was not an impressive number for one’s sex résumé in this day and age. But I’d heard from a lot of women’s heads—and some men’s—over the years that learning to fake an orgasm was a must.
However, I’d never faked one. I’d never had to—never needed to.
With Bill, there had been times that I didn’t “finish,” but, honestly, he’d not seemed overly concerned about those. He’d once told me—awkwardly and in his most genteel accent—that the female orgasm was not to be expected every time during sex. It was, according to Bill, “more elusive, and, therefore, more precious.”
In vulgar terms that Gran definitely wouldn’t have approved of, I could report that there were several times that Bill had “gotten off” and then hadn’t really bothered to make sure I had. And—because I’d never had a partner before Bill and things still usually felt “good” even if I didn’t have an orgasm—I’d never complained.
One of those times had been in the graveyard—the night I’d thought Bill had been killed in the fire with Malcolm, Diane, and Liam. That night, I’d been equal parts aroused and frightened by Bill. When he’d cum quickly, I’d been glad, despite the fact that I wasn’t even close to reaching my own completion. Mainly, I was just happy to be alive after that encounter with Bill, and I was ready for a shower. As it turned out, dirt plus the crevices in my body were not a great combination.
Bill had apologized for being what he called “extra amorous” with me that night, and he’d had tons of excuses for it, all of which I’d accepted without question at the time. Bill had claimed that he’d been “distressed” that night in the graveyard; after all, he’d not been able to make it home the morning before and had to seek safety in the ground. He also said that he was “merely responding to my emotions” and his own hunger after just waking. Plus, he’d claimed that vampires were always “a bit more wild” outside. He said that the combination of factors had led to his “over-enthusiasm.”
Yes. He’d been full of excuses.
Looking back, however, I knew that what he’d really been full of was shit. Bill had been rough with me—too rough—because he’d wanted to be and because he’d cared more about his own pleasure than mine. Sure—he’d barely made it to ground that night because he was “visiting” with Malcolm, Diane, and Liam, but he’d not been injured before going to ground. He’d been “hurried.” And—if I knew anything about Malcolm, he would’ve had at least one live donor on hand during Bill’s visit, and I couldn’t imagine that Bill had refrained from feeding. He certainly wasn’t going to when I’d met Malcolm and his screwed up crew before. So there was no way that Bill was “dying” of hunger that night. He hadn’t been a freakin’ newborn, after all, and I’d served him two TruBloods in Merlotte’s just the night before!
Plus, I now knew that his excuse about being “outside in the wild” was utter bullshit too.
Eric and I had also had sex outside; in fact, our very first time together was outside. But that encounter was so different from the one with Bill that the two could hardly be compared. Eric had made sure to lay me on top of some of our discarded clothing. He’d made sure to be gentle so that I wasn’t pounded into the unforgiving, hard dirt. And he’d given me two orgasms before he’d allowed himself to fall into his first.
In contrast to Bill, Eric really had been weakened when we’d made love outside. Eric’s hands had been bound in silver by Bill for at least part of the time he was in Bill’s custody. He’d been kept in Bill’s little dungeon during the day, and I knew from Eric himself that he’d not fed between the time he drained Claudine and the time I offered him my blood the next night in the cubby. He certainly hadn’t taken any of my blood during our first night of sex, and he’d had lots of opportunities to.
Bill’s almost-violent treatment of me in the graveyard couldn’t be explained away by his “concern” over my sadness either. If he had been truly concerned about me, why would he have been so rough when we’d had sex, and—to be vulgar again—why hadn’t he gotten me off? The answer was simple. Bill didn’t lose control because of my sadness; he lost control because of my fear. His hand had literally come out of the ground and grabbed me. And I’d been afraid.
Eric, too, might have responded to my fear or my sadness by losing his self-control that night we were together in the woods. I was ripe for the picking―so to speak. I’d been out at night during a full moon by myself. I’d been so worried about Jason that I was walking through the woods when I knew that witches and Weres and vampires could all be out. I had a shotgun, but—honestly—against Supernaturals, it wouldn’t have been enough. And I was scared that night—for Jason and for my own safety. Moreover, I was terrified by what Bill was going to do to Eric.
A part of me that I was trying to ignore right then was afraid that Eric was already dead, but I’d kept moving forward through the woods anyway. Maybe that’s why I’d kept moving. I couldn’t lose both Eric and Jason in the same night.
However, when he found me, Eric hadn’t tried to cultivate my fear; he’d done the opposite. He’d stayed at a distance and waited for me to know it was him before he approached me. Eric had soothed away my fears. He’d put me first, and he’d taught me that night what a truly unselfish lover could be like.
So no—with Eric, there had definitely never been a need to fake an orgasm. And I was extremely thankful that there never would be one. Apparently, the female orgasm wasn’t so elusive after all. Oh—Eric was the master at keeping them at bay, as he was proving even then, but when he did let them come to me, they came in force.
My mate seemed to know where all the magic buttons on my body were located. He seemed to like pressing them even more, and he was pushing them even as my overactive mind was trying to keep some control over my writhing body.
When I was still a virgin, I’d had―of course―some experience eliciting orgasms from myself. And from the heads of others, I’d learned that a woman could often “get herself off” before any man could because she knew just where and how to touch herself, but my vampire was evidence against that theory. He could take my body from 0 to 99 in seconds. Of course, he could take it right back down again—time and time again.
“Eric,” I moaned again, as he sped up his pace. The needful look in his eyes told me that he could no longer hold himself back.
My orgasm began approaching like a speeding freight train as Eric brought out what I liked to call the “big guns.” Yep—he managed to find the elusive G-spot with his big gun. I had seriously thought that spot didn’t exist—at least not for me—until the first time Eric had “stumbled” upon it in the woods.
I groaned. Yep—I’d learned very quickly with Eric what all the fuss was about with the G-spot. And I loved the feeling of his member stroking it again and again, but I wasn’t quite satisfied yet. I wanted more. Call me greedy.
With a single groan and a heated look between us, my husband seemed to understand exactly what I wanted, and he moved one of his hands so that his long fingers were swirling around my clit.
I’m pretty sure I called him God in that moment, but I was too busy with my orgasm to know for sure.
Right as I started quaking, Eric’s orgasm began as well. I wondered briefly if it was our vampire bond that always had us completing at about the same time. Before we’d started the first bond—when Eric had amnesia—I always seemed to come first, as if Eric was purposely holding himself back so that I would find pleasure before he sought his own. Of course, I honestly didn’t care if Eric came first. His recovery time was—well—let’s just say that I’d drafted a long thank you letter to Santa because of my vampire’s recovery time. And even if he did soften, his fingers and tongue would have been a more than adequate backup.
Yep—sex with Eric was a good thing. A very good thing. And after everything that life had thrown at us in the last several years, we were ready to enjoy our lives—and the very good things in them—without having a threat looming over us.
I was panting and sweating as I came down from my release. But thankfully, I had a Viking-sized “air conditioning unit” in the form of my cool vampire to snuggle next to. I thought how funny it was that most people snuggled for warmth, but I often found myself snuggling with Eric to cool off.
My vampire sighed as he smoothed my messy hair. I loved the sound of that force of air from his lips. I’d come to know a lot of different kinds of sighs from Eric. This one was my favorite because it sounded out his contentment.