I did not even think about peeking as I dropped the wet towel on the bathroom floor—which I knew would rile my mate—and left the bathroom with my eyes closed tight. I was enjoying the game too much to cheat at it. However, I did walk slowly down the hallway and was rewarded for my efforts when I heard a gasp from Sookie and felt her lust rise in the bond. Her scent, as well as her quickened pulse-rate, made the ol’ G.P. stand to attention. I chuckled to myself. It was too bad the “one-eyed monster” could not actually see.
“See something you like?” I asked with my eyes still closed and a smirk on my face.
“Nope,” she said, popping the “P” in the word. “I see someone I love. Now get your cute ass down to the cubby!”
I paused in the hall where the closet leading to the cubby was located. I may have turned around and flexed said “cute ass” to give her a show. She was—I thought—overly fond of that part of my anatomy, but I was determined to use all of my advantages if I could get her into my arms faster. “Will you spank me if I disobey?” I asked.
Her desire ratcheted up and I heard her suck in a deep breath behind me.
“I’ve got to hold that contest,” she muttered to herself.
“What contest would that be, lover?” I asked as I sensed her distraction in the bond.
“Butt contest,” she sighed. “International. You’d win,” she said in an almost dazed voice.
I chuckled heartily, breaking her from her apparent stupor. I did not peek to confirm it, but I was certain that my mate’s eyes were wide and her cheeks were flushed because of her little “confession.” I felt a flash of embarrassment shoot into the bond from her end, and I sent her my amusement. In truth, I had used my body to help me get what I had wanted for a millennium, but in that moment, I was just glad that it was to Sookie’s liking.
Along with her mild embarrassment, I could still feel my wife’s lust and indecision in the bond and knew that she was struggling over whether to finish whatever plans she had for me or to ditch them. I also knew that I would have to do very little to push her over the edge and that I could be pushing my cock into her warm body against the hall wall in moments if I did push her.
Decisions. Decisions. I sighed. I would be patient. I did not like the idea of Sookie’s regret if she wavered from her plans.
And I really did want my surprise.
I brought down my own lust and sent Sookie a burst of love through our bond. “I will see you soon, my lover.”
With those words, I zipped down to the cubby and immediately felt a little burst of gratefulness from Sookie as her purposefulness returned. Moments later, I heard her humming again. Actually, it was as if she was humming right into the bond.
I kept my eyes closed for a minute more in order to enjoy the feeling of her song inside of me.
I honestly did not have words for the pleasure our transformed bond was giving to me. I had always been amazed by the feeling of both the fairy and the vampire bonds inside of me. Each of them had been so unique. Through the vampire bond, I had been able to sense my mate more sharply than I had ever felt Godric or even Pam. Through Sookie’s emotions in our vampire bond, I felt as if I got to know both her and myself. The fairy bond had enabled me to feel that she was alive even when she was in a different realm, and it had allowed us to share some of our abilities with each other.
Yes. I had loved both of our bonds.
However, there had been a disconnect between the two bonds. We had used them together at times, such as when we defeated Russell, but now that they were truly fused into one, there was no detachment—no distance between them. Our new bond was almost as fucking amazing as the woman I shared it with.
I heard myself sigh with happiness, and there was a grin on my face to go along with it. Pam would remind me that vampires did not fucking grin, but with Sookie and Hunter around, I could not help it. And I did not want to either.
That did not mean, however, that I would not kill to keep the smiles on the faces of my son and my bonded. That I had done. And that I would do again—as many fucking times as necessary. My own smile stayed on my face. Sookie would not necessarily approve of it, but I did still enjoy a good battle. I had not killed indiscriminately since I gained control of my bloodlust more than 900 years before, but if my family were threatened, my sword would see blood.
I opened my eyes and saw that Sookie had placed clothing on the bed in the cubby. There was also another note waiting for me.
Wear this and meet me upstairs at exactly 9:00 p.m.
Don’t be late.
My fangs clicked into place. I fucking loved it when my mate took charge like this. I looked at the clock even though I already knew what it would say. It was exactly 8:27, which meant I had quite a bit of time to kill.
I looked down at the clothing she had chosen for me to wear. It was the best suit that I had in the cabin. The dark steel gray jacket and pants were cut slim—what Pam’s fashion magazines called a “modern cut.” I scoffed a bit; modern my ass. This cut of suit fit me almost exactly the way suits in the early 1960’s had fit; the only difference was that it sat slightly lower on my hips. Still, I liked the style—much more than many of the “fashion” inclinations that I had been forced to adhere to in order to fit in with the times. I was just thankful that vampires had revealed themselves. That meant that I no longer had to look like a human; thus, my days of enduring ridiculous trends were done. Even I had found it difficult to make the top hat look good! And one of my height should never be made to wear breeches and stockings! And the codpiece was not pleasant for someone of my size! The G.P. seemed to duck a bit into my body at the memory of those torture devices. And I did not blame it one bit.
I patted my cock gently and promised that there would be no more codpieces in its future before I put on the comfortable boxer-briefs that Sookie had also laid out onto the bed. As I did so, I noted the other items Sookie had selected. She had paired the suit with a simple black button down shirt, black shoes, and black socks. I noticed that there was no belt. I smiled. She knew that I hated wearing a belt with a suit.
It was nice having someone who knew me so fucking well. Actually, it was more than nice.
With a disgruntled grunt, I hung up Eric’s sopping towel―which I knew he’d deliberately left on the floor. I felt a surge of amusement from him, which let me know that my husband knew exactly what my grunt had been about. I couldn’t help but to chuckle a bit. At heart, Eric was still just as playful as Hunter sometimes, a fact that I was very thankful for—despite the way he was always trying to get a rise out of me.
I slowly unzipped the slim garment bag that I had just removed from the larger bag Eric and I had brought to the cabin. I held my breath as I took “it” out of its enclosure and sighed with relief when I saw that it hadn’t wrinkled much. That Pam sure knew how to pack a dress! I hung the garment on the bathroom door before turning on the shower, hoping the hot steam would eliminate the few wrinkles there were there.
I giggled. As a bonus, Eric would likely enjoy trying to figure out why I was running the shower again, given the fact that I’d already bathed. I loved giving him little mysteries to solve, and I knew that he loved it to. I was enjoying the feeling of his anticipation and intrigue in the bond.
I glanced at the clock on my cell phone and saw that I had a little less than thirty minutes to get everything together, so I picked up my pace. I plugged in Eric’s hairdryer and turned it on low so that my hair wouldn’t frizz. Thankfully, it had already dried a little while I’d eaten the delicious pancakes Eric had made for me. Hunter had declared that his daddy’s pancakes were even better than his uncle Lala’s were, and I couldn’t help but to agree with that, especially when I factored in how damned hot my husband looked when he made them. Plus, he was way more generous with the strawberries than Lala was.
It was hard to imagine the ruthless Sheriff of Area 5 being the same man that was so at ease with me in our kitchen as we prepared meals together, but he was. As I teenager, I had dreamed of having someone to share the intimate domestic spaces of my life with. And then I had all but given up on that dream because of my telepathy. But now I had my man—a vampire better than any dream I had ever fathomed—and I intended to treasure him every day of our lives.
I sighed. Given our conversation the night before, I wondered when Eric and I would be able to get married in Louisiana according to human law. Part of me didn’t really care. After all, we’d already been pledged according to Supernatural law. And—even more importantly—Eric was the husband of my heart. But there was still the little girl inside of me who had dreamed of wearing a beautiful dress and walking down the aisle to meet her prince. And there was still the teenager who had given up on any notion of fairy tales—or even a “normal” relationship for that matter. I wanted both of them to have their day. But more importantly, I wanted to exchange vows with Eric in front of our friends and family. I didn’t need a human wedding, but I wasn’t going to feel bad about wanting one either.
Helping to plan Lafayette’s wedding with him had reminded me of all the afternoons we had fantasized about being able to get married. At that point, neither one of us thought our fantasies could ever be real, but now they could be—were going to be. Part of me felt bad about the fact that Lala and Jesus had to go to another state to get married when Eric and I had the time to wait for change; however, Lala’s being able to marry at all was a miracle, considering the way things had been when we were growing up. And I intended to celebrate that miracle.
Eric had talked to me a lot about his past since I’d been back home. And from his stories, I’d learned a very important truth. The world sometimes took a long time to change, even when that change was the “right” thing to do. However, it seemed to be equally true that good people in the world would eventually force the “right” changes to happen when they finally pulled their heads out of their derrieres and fought for the rights of others and not just for themselves. And I could already see that happening in places like Massachusetts, where Lala and Jesus would be able to marry each other legally. I smiled when I thought about my friends’ bubbling excitement over their upcoming wedding. There was so much love between them, and I was thankful that there was a place that would allow them to have a legal ceremony to express that love.
I pulled myself from my thoughts and checked my hair. Declaring it dry enough, I set about arranging it into a simple messy bun. I wanted my neck to be bare for my bonded. I grinned into the mirror as I started putting on some light make-up. I had planned everything about my appearance tonight with Eric in mind.
Thanks to Eric’s blood and the tan that I’d been working on since I’d been back in the human realm, I didn’t need much make-up. I used to feel the need to apologize for my one “vice”—tanning—but now I no longer had to. Claude had assured me that the Sky Fae craved the sunlight and were strengthened by it; thus, I wouldn’t be harmed by my “vice.” I had happily lowered the SPF of my suntan oil from 8 to 2 after I’d heard that news.
I smiled even wider, thinking about how Hunter seemed to be a creature of both the day and the night. He too loved the sun—though I still made sure he was slathered in SPF 72 for now. However, he associated nighttime with his daddy being awake, so that was his favorite time of day. I didn’t blame him one little bit. Nighttime had become my favorite too.
I brushed a little mascara on and finished my eye makeup with a bit of liner—both waterproof, of course. Then I added just a hint of rouge to bring out the color in my cheeks before putting on some red lipstick—smudge-proof, of course. However, from experience, I knew that by the end of the night, none would be left. No lipstick could withstand the prowess of the Viking’s kisses, after all. But it would survive long enough to do what Hunter “required” of me and Eric. And I knew that my husband would also approve. After all, red was his favorite color.
With that in mind, I pulled out the red underwear that I had brought with me. Being careful not to mess up my hair, I slipped off Eric’s T-shirt and then put on the cute little lace boy shorts and matching strapless bra. I sighed, knowing that the beautiful lingerie would likely not survive the night. Eric had been in a panty-ripping mood lately. Thankfully, he always took two hands to the task; otherwise, we would have had a problem! The chafing alone would have made me put the kibosh on his undie-ripping tendencies. However, even I could admit that he was damned sexy when he became so impatient that he felt the need to rip rather than to take two extra seconds to remove my panties the old-fashioned way. The thought of the look in his eyes when he got that impatient for me was enough to cause my own juices to flow.
I sighed and tried to shake away my lust. “At this rate, you’ll ruin your own undies if you aren’t careful,” I chastised myself quietly.
“What was that, Lover?” Eric said loud and clear into the bond.
“Your bat hearing is scary sometimes,” I said back to him. How my husband could almost make out my quiet mumbling from this distance—with the shower still on—was beyond me. Remembering the shower, I quickly checked the dress, and seeing that the wrinkles were adequately taken care of, I turned off the water.
He chuckled into the bond, which tickled a little. I couldn’t help but to giggle back.
“I shall see you in twenty minutes, lover,” he purred in a tone that was definitely not helping to keep my panties dry.
“Not if you don’t quit bugging me,” I chastised teasingly, though his reminder of the time got me moving into a faster gear.
I pulled my dress off the hanger and shimmied into it. The garment was one shouldered, which I knew would remind Eric of the night we’d pledged. More importantly, it was white with a red pattern of flowers across it, which I knew would remind him of the night we first met.
I was not one to want to rewrite history. As tempting as it might seem to think about, if I’d ditched Bill and fallen into Eric’s arms the first night we’d met, who knew what may have happened? Would Eric have stayed intrigued past that first night if he’d not had to experience my initial rejections? Would I have fallen in love with him? Would we have Hunter?
The potential ramifications of going back to that night and starting over were too great to even imagine, and Gran had not raised me to be the kind of woman who wanted to imagine them either. “One does not start over,” Gran used to say to me. “One picks up right from where he or she left off and moves along—with grace, of course.”
I sighed heavily. The one “what if” that probably would always haunt me was whether Gran would still be alive if I had made different choices. I knew that she wouldn’t approve of my regret, but I still wondered sometimes. Mostly, however, I just wished that she was still with us. She would have loved Eric, and she would have doted on Hunter.
“You okay?” Eric asked quietly into the bond so as not to startle me this time. Certainly, he must have sensed my sudden melancholy.
“Just memories,” I said, repeating Eric’s words from earlier.
He seemed to sigh into our bond before he answered the way that I had answered before. “I love you, Sookie.” I felt a matching burst of love through our bond.
“And I you,” I answered. “So much.”
He sent me a surge of comfort through our bond, and I inhaled deeply, as if breathing in his gift to me. Truthfully, it was his desire to care for me—to love me—that made me expel the regrets from my mind.
I exhaled my deep breath and looked into the mirror with satisfaction as I put on my carved pendant. I added the earrings that Niall had given to me about a month before. The beautiful jewelry had originally been made for Viola, my great-grandmother. Niall had held onto the earrings as a reminder of Viola’s fire, but had passed them along to me, saying that I was now all the reminder he needed of his bonded’s spark. I brushed away a sudden tear as I thought of how much my great-grandfather’s words had meant to me.
Thankful for waterproof makeup, I blew upward in order to dry more threatening tears and studied the earrings for a few moments. They really were lovely. They’d been made in Faerie, and their unique design reflected that. A long, curved hook―that looked to be made out of gold―kept the jewelry in my ear lobes; however, the metal was lighter than gold, and the earrings weighed next to nothing even though they were much larger than the simple studs that I usually wore. At the top there was a chain made of the same gold-colored metal as the post; the chain connected to a circular piece that held dozens of little ruby-like gems. The red in the jewelry matched perfectly the red in my dress.
Finishing my study of the beautiful jewelry, I grabbed some lavender oil and rubbed a little onto my wrists and neck. Given the strength of his nose, Eric didn’t care for most perfumes, but he did enjoy natural essences. Luckily, lavender was both of our favorite. I smoothed my hair one last time and then looked at the intimidating red Jimmy Choo’s that Pam had insisted would go perfectly with the dress. When I’d first tried on the four-inch Mary Jane heels two days ago, I almost toppled over, but I’d been practicing, and I had to admit that they were beautiful. They were red and glittery, but the glitter looked more like a lace pattern, and they did go perfectly with the dress, a fact that Pam was probably still gloating about. Plus, the heels were so tall that they would make me a little closer to Eric’s height. I giggled to myself and felt mirth returned to me through the bond.
“Sixteen minutes, my lover,” Eric said to me through our wonderful “new” bond.
I sent him a burst of love back.
I had no idea what kind of magic within the daggers had forged our two distinct bonds into one new one, but I was over-the-moon thankful for it. What we had now felt like what our bonds always could have been before. Maybe, they were just waiting for us to be ready before they could merge into one.
I wasn’t about to begin questioning the magic that had fused our bond, however. I was simply grateful for it, and I knew better than to look a gift horse in the mouth. I also knew better than to doubt the kinds of power Eric and my love could achieve.
Deciding to hold off on putting on my imposing shoes until the last minute, I grabbed them and my phone so that I could keep track of the time, though I expected that my anxious vampire mate would continue giving me the countdown through the bond.
I headed back out to the living room and quickly folded the blankets from our pallet before turning my attention to setting up the tripod and camera as Molly had taught me to do two nights before while Eric had been fitted for his tuxedo for Lafayette and Jesus’s wedding. I may have had something to do with the timing of that fitting.
I smiled as I thought of Hunter’s involvement in the “plan” that I was now hatching.
Note: No codpieces or panties were actually hurt or ripped in the writing of this piece. 🙂