SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13 • 2:30 a.m.
“All is secure?” Eric asked Amelia and Molly, who were relaxing in the living area of the guest house when Eric, Sookie, Thalia, and Maria-Star emerged through the entrance to the tunnel.
Molly looked up from her laptop where she’d been piggybacking off of the queen’s surveillance systems. “No threats to us, Sheriff. But I’d keep an eye on one of the Arkansas people—if I were you.”
“Who?” Eric asked, his eyebrow raised, even as he glanced at his bonded.
“Jade Flower,” Molly responded with confidence. “She seems a little too adept at putting herself into places where I can’t see her; I think she knows too much about how the queen’s surveillance system works for someone from another state.”
Eric smirked at the young vampire in his employ. “Sookie’s telepathic gleanings have already told us that Jade’s up to no good, but it’s nice to see that your brand of expertise would have given us a warning as well.”
“Oh!” Molly said, smiling a little at both the compliment and the fact that she’d been right.
Eric looked at Amelia.
“The magic’s holding strong around the guest house,” she reported without prompting. “Because of Octavia’s help, the spell against ill-will should prevent anyone who shouldn’t be here from getting in.”
“Good,” the vampire said, even as Sookie spoke out a, “Thanks!”
The telepath yawned widely.
“You’re tired,” Eric spoke the obvious.
“Hmmm . . . .” Sookie sounded.
“We’ll retire for now,” he said to the witch, Were, and two vampiresses. And he was certain that Batanya was in there somewhere, too. He smiled a bit to himself. He knew that Onawa and Willow were currently outside, patrolling around the guesthouse, and offering a report to Pam, who had gone directly to them after the meeting with the queen ended. Meanwhile, Tray was manning the guesthouse’s guard station, even as Warren and Mustapha got some sleep in one of the rooms attached to the guard station.
With a few strong male exceptions, he couldn’t help but to notice that he was surrounded mostly by capable women, with his mate being the most amazing of them all in his eyes. His human mother—so strong in her own right as she sometimes had to yank the village’s people through food shortages when the men were gone “A-Viking”—would have been happy about his choice of company.
In that moment, he could vividly imagine her watching over himself and Sookie—approval shining in her blue eyes, which were also his blue eyes. Indeed, all Eric had ever needed to do was to look into a mirror to know that he still carried his strong mother with him. And he always would.
Of course, Eric had this thought in only a few seconds. However, his bonded could feel the warm affection that he felt in that moment, and she could also sense that not all of it was directed toward her.
She looked up at him with a question in her eyes, though she did not question his fidelity to her, nor was she jealous. She was simply curious about where his thoughts had gone.
He took her hand softly into his and led her toward their bedroom.
“Night everyone. Try to get some sleep—okay?” Sookie said, addressing Maria-Star specifically. She’d learned that the Were didn’t need a whole lot of sleep to function at a high level; however, she was more likely than any of the others to overwork. Of course, Thalia—Sookie knew—would be at her post 24-7 if the sun did not prevent her from doing so.
A chorus of “good-nights” followed Eric and Sookie as they went into their room. Sookie closed the door behind them and then looked up at her mate, the question back in her eyes.
“I was thinking about my mother,” Eric responded. “Surrounded by strong women, it would be impossible not to.”
She smiled up at him. “Astrid,” she recalled from his having spoken of her before—especially during a particular night in early January when they’d exchanged many stories about their families. They’d both enjoyed that night immensely.
“Yes. She was strong and brave—as you are.” He chuckled. “However, it’s good that you and she actually look nothing alike. Otherwise, I might be accused of seeking out a mate just like my mother, and that is,” he fake-cringed dramatically, “not a Freudian adventure I would like to be on.”
Sookie giggled. “What did she look like? You never told me.”
“She had raven hair—if you believe it. Indeed, though my father was blonde, I was the only one of their children to inherit that hair color. My other siblings were all dark-headed—not as dark as my mother though.”
“I thought all Vikings were blond,” Sookie said, her mouth in a flirty smirk.
“Nope. Just the best of us,” he preened.
She grinned widely, but then her expression clouded with a little concern. “Speaking of strong women, what will the queen do?”
Eric took Sookie’s hand and led her toward the bathroom. He turned on the shower and then began to undress himself.
Sookie giggled. “So—I guess that you don’t want to talk about politics then?”
He shook his head. “No. I’d rather worship your body for the rest of the night.”
“Indulge me for a minute?” the telepath requested. “Otherwise, I’ll worry about it all more than I need to.”
Knowing his bonded well enough to know that she would do just that, the vampire nodded. “I speculate that Sophie-Anne will choose to give Peter the chance to help her deal with the Jade Flower problem; his choice will ultimately determine whether she goes through with the wedding.”
“And if he doesn’t help her?” Sookie asked.
“My instincts tell me that he will,” Eric said, even as he checked the water to make sure it was at a good temperature before turning to his mate’s clothing. She—of course—did not protest as he lovingly disrobed her.
“But if he doesn’t?” she pushed herself to concentrate on political matters for at least another minute.
“She’ll send his ass back to Arkansas before the ball and likely never trust him again. And she’ll make sure that Jade and her confederates are dead anyway—without Peter’s help—before they leave Louisiana.”
“And if King Peter tries to help them—or warn them?”
“The queen will have another state to rule by tomorrow morning,” Eric said solemnly.
Sookie shivered a little—from a combination of the promised violence, the coolness of the room against her now-naked skin, and Eric’s soft touches as he drew her into the shower.
The time for political discussion was over as soon as the Viking’s strong hands began to massage shampoo into the telepath’s long, blond tresses.
“I find that I dislike your new witch friend,” he growled.
“Why? Amelia’s great!” she responded, her tone showing her surprise.
“I don’t like you smelling of others—when I cannot smell myself inside of you,” he said softly, his voice laced with his displeasure.
“Then fix it,” she returned, her tone commanding.
“I will,” he growled, his own voice low and intense.
Sookie leaned her head into his touch as he continued to massage her scalp, and then he cradled her neck as he leaned her back into the spray of the water to rinse out the shampoo. He repeated the process—with, first, another round of shampoo and, then, a small dollop of conditioner—before moving on to wash her body, his touch staying more sensual than sexual.
When he was finally done with her washing, she took over, cleaning his hair and his body with just as much care. When she was nearing completion—having saved his cock for last—she re-soaped her hands and began to stroke him with slow, though firm strokes, enjoying every initial inch of him, even as she challenged herself to create even more inches, while encompassing as much of his increasingly impressive girth with her small hand. After she’d enjoyed the way that his eyes glazed over and his fangs jetted down, she took her second hand to him as well, increasing the amount of territory she could cover along his cock.
“Sookie,” he groaned. “Don’t stop. Please,” he implored as she picked up her pace.
“Do I smell like you yet, Eric?” she asked, her voice like velvety seduction.
Almost swept away in pleasure, he shook his head. “No.”
“I need to,” she whispered, letting go of his cock. “Right. Now!” she added, pushing lust and desire into their bond.
His groaning transitioned into a growl as he picked her up; her limbs immediately entwined around him. She gasped as her body was pressed into two cool surfaces at once, the slick planes of the tile behind her and the confluence of hard and soft ridges of her mate’s body. She leaned forward into her preferred surface, even as his cock filled her fully, causing them both to moan deeply.
“How do you feel so fucking good—so goddamned tight—every fucking time?” he gritted out, looking at her with almost accusation in his eyes.
“How do you seem bigger every time?” she accused right back.
He smirked, but then trembled as she used her internal muscles to offer him even more pleasure.
“Gods, woman!” he exclaimed as he began to move in and out of her in a consistent rhythm.
“Oh God!” Sookie echoed, becoming lost in her own desire as his pace picked up.
The two seemed on a mission to completion.
He growled and sped up his thrusting.
Perhaps, their rush was their combined need to find perfect oblivion for just a few moments after the trying political intrigue which had surrounded them, not to mention the naming of Bill Compton—the vampire who would have surely raped, drained, and turned Sookie in a car trunk in Jackson, Mississippi, had Eric not arrived in the nick of time to prevent all three.
Perhaps, the increasingly frenzied joining had been brought upon by the fact that Amelia’s spell had taken away one of the ways in which Sookie’s and Eric’s very beings yelled out to all others that they belonged with and to each other.
Perhaps, their desperation for each other was simply a byproduct of their bond and their bodies’ ever-expanding need for one another.
Or, perhaps, it was because they both sensed themselves to be in danger—from both known and unknown forces that would separate them if they could.
To Eric and Sookie, it didn’t matter why they felt so desperate in that moment.
Sookie’s fingernails scraped into Eric’s back as she held on for dear life as his speed increased yet again—to that pace that only vampires could accomplish. She yelled out as he lowered his right hand and began to stimulate her clit.
Eric’s growling had become feral, though the sound of it did not scare his mate; on the contrary, it brought her closer to her completion.
Facts and feelings collided as she released and took him with her. He licked her throat, desperate to bite, but he held back. Sookie’s first coherent thought after coming down from her orgasm was to giggle at him.
“What?” he asked, moving them back under the thankfully-still-warm spray of the shower so that they could rinse again, though he did not yet pull his cock out of her body.
“You didn’t bite,” she panted, still catching her breath.
“You know why,” he returned, looking at her intensely.
She nodded. Indeed, she did know. They both greatly enjoyed sex in a shower, but feeding could be tricky in one. It was difficult for Sookie to bite Eric when his skin was slick from water. And—as for the vampire—he bemoaned seeing any of his mate’s blood trail down the drain.
He was a vampire not ready to waste any part of her.
Sookie made fun of him for his “frugality” even as she loved him all the more for his desire to safeguard everything about her—down to every single drop of her blood.
“I want an exchange,” he insisted as he put her onto her feet before turning off the shower.
“So. Do. I!” she responded forcefully, primally. She was the one growling now, letting the Supernatural being within her take prominence.
With purpose, the two dried off hastily, not caring that they weren’t doing a thorough job. It would be good enough. Eric picked up his bonded and rushed them to the bed before lying Sookie down on her back and then taking a step away so that he could marvel at her creamy body.
Her own eyes were not shy about taking him in either. Despite having had a release not five minutes before, his cock was already ready again, standing up proud and eager. However, his eyes drew her in more than any of the other wonders of his body. The expression in them had turned from passionate to tender.
So tender and raw that it almost hurt her to look into them, but she held his gaze.
“I love you,” he said softly, wonder in his tone.
She smiled radiantly. She no longer questioned whether she was worthy of love from someone as beautiful as Eric. However, she remained awestruck that a love like theirs could exist at all. It seemed too big to fit into the world, let alone the room they were in. But somehow, it did exist. And that love had found her. And it fit her.
“I love you, too,” she proclaimed, even as he began to move toward her.
Unhurried now, he kissed his way up her body until his flesh was pressed against as much of hers as possible and their lips were compelled together. He managed to let her feel his weight without making her uncomfortable in any way because of that weight. She twined her hands around him and gripped his shoulders, pulling her body upwards so that their bare chests were even more flush.
“I love the way your chest feels against mine,” she sighed as he moved his kisses toward her ear so that she could take some breaths.
“I do too,” he agreed, putting a fraction more weight against her chest so that she could feel just how much. The beating of her heart seemed almost to echo within his chest.
She moved her legs so that they were on either side of her mate’s hips. As always, his cock seemed to find her opening without any help from their hands, and he moved into her.
“Eric,” she gasped, loving the feeling of his size and his weight all at once. She felt small and protected, while at the same time strong and capable of bearing his weight. Those feelings should have been contradictions, but they were not with the couple, for their bodies had been made for one another.
He moved with slow strokes, keeping as much of his body against hers as possible.
She gasped and moaned through the pleasure—until he slowed down and stopped above her.
“I need you to know that my time with you has been the most important—the most joyful—the most profound—of my thousand years,” he said, his voice stiff with emotion.
Minutes before, she had closed her eyes to better focus on his slow movements within her, but she opened them at his words. However, she did not find his own gaze where she was expecting it to be. Instead, he was looking down—as if at her chin.
“Eric?” she asked.
He looked up at her, and she could tell that his eyes were rimmed with red.
Immediately concerned, she asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I need you to know . . . ,” he began, but then stopped as a red tear fell from his eye.
Sookie instinctively wiped it away and then put his blood into her mouth.
“My blood is yours,” he said softly. “My heart is yours. My soul is yours. All that I am is yours. You know these things—right?”
“I do,” she assured, even as she stroked his blood-stained cheek. “And I am yours, Eric.”
He nodded and began to move again, though still slowly. “Whatever happens in the future, my love for you will never fade. Even if,” he paused, “something were to happen to one of us, I would find you. My soul—which you have discovered within me—would seek out your own. Nothing will keep me from you, Sookie. Not even the true death. Nothing!”
“Eric?” Sookie asked, tears suddenly burning her eyes. “Why are you afraid? Why does it sound like you’re sayin’ goodbye to me? Do you think something’s going to happen?”
“I don’t know,” he said honestly. “I had a feeling earlier—of dread.”
“About what?” Sookie asked, trying to concentrate on the seriousness of their conversation even as he was still bringing pleasure to her body with slow strokes.
“I do not know. It lasted only for a moment—when I first arose without you. It felt like you’d been,” he paused, “taken from me.”
His volume was so low as he finished that she had to strain to hear him. However, she did not need to strain to feel his unrest in their bond.
“But I wasn’t taken. And I won’t be,” she reassured.
“I will move heaven and earth to make sure that is true,” the vampire stated firmly.
“We’ll be okay. Tomorrow night, we’ll watch out for Jade and the others working with her. We’ll keep each other safe,” she vowed.
“Yes,” Eric said, though there was still a bit of uncertainty within him. No—it was more that he was disconcerted, rather than uncertain.
“Whatever it was—your feeling,” Sookie said softly, “it is not here—with us—now. We are fine, Eric. And we will be fine.”
“Promise me,” he said almost desperately, “no matter what happens . . . .”
“I promise,” Sookie said, “no matter what happens, we’ll be together.”
“I will leave Valhalla to find you in the Summerland if I must,” he said, his voice shaking with emotion.
“I will leave the Summerland and meet you in the middle,” she vowed.
“We will find our own place in the afterlife—one where we can both dwell. Together,” he emphasized vehemently. “Promise me that you believe that—that you believe in me to make it happen.”
He was moving faster now, their bodies taking over on their own, even as their hearts and minds were connecting with promises that others might have thought were impossible.
“I believe in you,” Sookie said with certainty. “I believe in us.”
“No matter what occurs,” Eric promised.
“Yes!” Sookie said in agreement and pleasure as her orgasm neared.
“We’ll be together!” he growled.
“Yes!” she repeated.
In the next moment, he’d half-flown and half-rolled them so that he was sitting and she was on his lap. Though she was used to such quick movements by now, she still gasped, but his emotions had changed with their position.
All of his fear was gone—replaced by steely resolution. “I’ll never lose you, min kära. Never!”
“I know!” she yelled out as her walls began to quake around him.
“Bite!” he half-ordered and half-begged.
It took her no time at all to zero in on the patch of soft skin on his neck and, even as he thrust up into her, she bit into him. Despite the shallowness of the bite she could create with her human teeth, his blood—the flavor of him—exploded into her, and she exploded around him, her orgasm steamrolling through her body.
“Sookie!” the vampire yelled out as he leaned forward to complete the circuit of their exchange. He released as soon as her sweet blood hit his tongue.
It took them both a few minutes to calm down, though the vampire instinctively cleaned and healed the wound he’d made in his mate’s neck even before he could think coherently again.
As soon as he could, he moved them so that he was lying on his back and she was cradled against his side, her head on his chest. She drew lazy circles along his abs and the V of his hips.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she finally asked. She did not need to tell him that she was referring to his earlier unrest.
“No,” he said softly. “The feeling came and went, and I was fine tonight. I was,” he paused, “overcome there for a moment, though I meant everything I said to you.”
“As I did, too,” she vowed. “But—if there is one thing that I know—it is that we need to trust our feelings. If you had a bad feeling, then I think we need to be even more careful than ever.”
“We will tell Thalia and Maria-Star to be on extra alert,” Eric said.
“And I’ll have Onawa and Maria-Star stay right by me tomorrow when I’m scanning everyone again,” Sookie said with determination. “Hell! Quinn’s strong, so I might even let him practice his flirting—as pathetic as it is—just for the added layer of defense.”
Eric chuckled. “Are you implying that you are willing to use Quinn as cannon fodder—a meat shield—so that you and your guards will stay safe, my love?”
Sookie snorted out a giggle. “I wasn’t thinkin’ of it quite that way.”
“But it couldn’t hurt, and—the gods know—he could use all the practice he can get with his pitiful flirting.”
“I’ll probably dry heave if he calls me ‘babe’ again,” the telepath giggled.
“Have Onawa film it,” Eric chuckled.
Sookie reached in to tickle her beloved, so—of course—he retaliated until the collisions of their bodies led them, once again, toward more carnal delights.
Their serious conversation from earlier was forgotten as they playfully made love one more time before Sookie succumbed to sleep.
After she did, the vampire held her close for a while before rising to quickly inform Thalia that they all needed to be even more vigilant than before. The vampiress did not question him, and Eric was comforted to see the wheels spinning in her head as she contemplated additional security measures.
Feeling better, Eric returned to his mate’s side and resumed holding her—watching over her.
A/N: Hi all! I hope that you enjoyed the chapter. I felt that we could all use a love scene amidst all the political intrigue and plotting among the villains. As a writer, I was “missing” our main characters. So I knew that you all must be too! Thanks for bearing with me as I’m trying to bring so many characters’ stories into this piece!
Borrowed line alert! For those of you who are fans of the show, I’m sure you noticed the “Why does it sound like you’re sayin’ goodbye to me” line. I know that this piece is set in the Book-verse, but I loved that line in Season 3, and I wanted to make sure that I gave credit where credit was due.
Please comment if you have the time and/or inclination.
P.S. Story Update: As of now, I have 39 chapters of this story drafted; some are with the amazing Kleannhouse and some are just awaiting final touches. That means, we’ll be able to go uninterrupted with weekly chapters for at least 11 weeks. Yay! At this point, I’m thinking the story will have about 45 chapters (up from the last update). Hopefully, I can keep writing on the rough draft so that there will be no more delays with the weekly postings. Thanks to everyone who’s been patient with this story.