Definition: Seguro (Spanish)—safe, secure, certain, sure
Eric woke up the next night just as he’d fallen into his day-rest—with Sookie next to him. However, instead of smelling like the soap she used, she smelled of horses and the sun. And instead of being asleep, she was grinning at him from her side of the bed.
“What has you smiling?” the vampire asked.
“Horses! I love them. Actually—one horse in particular, Seguro.”
“I take it you had fun then?” he asked with a chuckle. Her enthusiasm was contagious.
She nodded vigorously.
“You’re beautiful when you are happy,” Eric said sincerely. Actually, he sighed the words.
She blushed furiously. “I have been happy today! It’s like—by telling you about the other woven dream—I was freed from something. And—uh,” her face fell a bit, “and even if you care about me because of the Fae bond, at least that’s caring. That counts for something—doesn’t it? It is something.”
“Do not forget, little one,” Eric said as he pushed a piece of hair over her ear, “I cared for you before the bond. Yes—the bond has intensified that care in a way that may not have happened as quickly otherwise. I cannot deny that. But I would have been pleased by your happiness—even before. And there is no reason to believe that my affection for you wouldn’t have grown on its own.”
Sookie smiled and leaned in toward Eric until their lips were almost touching. She looked into his eyes, gauging for hesitation or disgust or disappointment or doubt. She saw only curiosity and a kind of steadiness and resolve that only someone who had lived a millennium could have developed.
And there was also a flickering of something else. It wasn’t love—nothing like that, in fact. But Sookie didn’t want to see love. In that moment, she wouldn’t have believed it anyway.
What was there was a strange mixture of “longing” and “withholding.” Sookie understood how finding out about the Fae bond had affected Eric. He’d had to deal with the fact that what he was feeling wasn’t quite real. It was created by the Fae bond—as well as from small kernels of mutual affection. Moreover—Sookie knew that Eric didn’t like to “feel” at all! Thus, the Fae bond had forced emotions onto him in a way that had taken away his control. She couldn’t blame him now for trying to withhold himself to a certain extent and for keeping what was coming from the Fae bond separate from his actual feelings.
But he was also working to forge a path with her in the “new” life they’d been given. They would have to stay together, but Eric was trying to ensure that they wouldn’t lose themselves in the Fae bond. They couldn’t have sexual relationships with others, but Eric wasn’t pressuring her to have sex with him either—even though their having sex seemed like an inevitability to her, especially if they added a vampire bond.
She also knew that Eric was merely surviving on the TrueBlood he was drinking and that only her blood would satisfy him, but he’d not asked to feed from her. It was true that he’d stopped sharing of himself as he had been doing before they knew about the Fae bond. But he was still sharing in a different way. He was helping her to increase her Fae gifts. He was making her a part of the decisions that would determine the course of their lives. He was telling her about vampire politics and Supernatural politics as a whole. He was—quite literally—making her his partner. He had accepted that their existences were tied to each other’s forever.
He had judged and accepted the benefits of that connection.
He’d accepted her.
Indeed—how could she blame him for withholding a part of himself? Before coming to terms with the Fae bond, she had been holding back as well. But, honestly, she was tired of holding back from Eric—tired of denying what her gut was telling her.
What her instincts had known all along.
That morning and afternoon, as she’d ridden her horse, she couldn’t keep herself from smiling—really smiling.
Until her cheeks had hurt from it.
And it had been Eric who’d arranged for her to have that gift. She hadn’t asked for it. She wouldn’t have even known how to ask! But he’d given it to her nonetheless.
And while she’d ridden, she hadn’t been thinking of Bill or Gran or Russell or Niall. She’d not been thinking about Fae bonds or vampire bonds or blood ties or telepathy. She was thinking of only one thing: the joy of the moment.
It was a first for her to feel such a moment without worry.
She was even able to enjoy the thoughts of the one human within her range, for he wasn’t thinking about trying to use her in any way. He wasn’t thinking about how she was a burden or an oddity. To him, she wasn’t crazy or gifted or cursed or nosey. No. Charlie Johnson had just wanted to teach her how to ride a horse, and he wasn’t in a hurry for her to do it either. He was thinking about how everyone went at a different pace when learning to ride, and—since he had no other lessons that day—he was willing to let “the pretty girl with the nice boyfriend” who wanted to buy her a riding lesson take her time.
She’d laughed at Mr. Johnson’s thought about a thousand year old vampire being her boyfriend—let alone his thought about Eric being “nice.” But that had been the full extent of her thinking about Eric too. He’d rested next to her during the night, which had allowed her to sleep and which had—paradoxically—quenched her need to stay next to him. It seemed that the closer she felt to him emotionally, the farther she could be from him physically. So the time they did spend together now seemed like a pleasure rather than a necessity. However, she’d not pondered that fact during her riding lesson either.
She was too busy getting used to the rhythms of the beautiful animal she was working with. She was learning how to guide him to go the way that she wanted, while—at the same time—trusting him to choose the best places to set his own feet in the rough terrain of the desert landscape. She was learning how to move with him and enjoy the ride as he walked. She was learning to hold tight and let the wind take her breath away when he ran. And she was learning that the roughest ride came in the moments between walking and running—between control and pure freedom—when the horse was at a trot. The first moment she felt herself bounce along with his canter, she’d thought she was going to spring right off of his back, but she didn’t. Instead, her body soon got used to the feeling, and she realized that she was not going to fall!
She’d just thought she was for a little while.
Her time on the horse had zoomed by. When she got off of the animal for the last time that afternoon, she’d taken a while to scratch his head just as Mr. Johnson had told her the horse enjoyed being scratched. The horse, named Seguro because of his sure-footedness during his first steps as a colt, seemed to look right into Sookie. And the telepath realized why she had always loved animals so much and why she missed Tina so much. It was because they seemed to be saying so much with their eyes, yet there was no way for her to know their thoughts.
Seguro’s eyes seemed so full of the confidence he was named for. And they were also content. He was more than happy to have helped her learn to ride that day, and Sookie sensed that he enjoyed his life, despite the bridle and reigns that could have limited him.
Once she’d gotten back to the house, she’d put her hair up into a bun and bathed—but had been careful not to remove the potion before it had run its course. And then she’d lain down next to Eric.
Through the hours of the late afternoon, she’d let herself really think about him—about everything she knew about the Viking vampire. Eric’s vampirism could have tethered him, as Bill’s had. But Eric had accepted the bridle of his new life without allowing it to take away who he was—or his freedom. And she could see him figuring out how to do the same thing with the Fae bond too.
Yes. The Fae bond might control their path in a way, but they could still determine their own steps as they moved along that path. And—if there was one thing that Sookie had grasped from what Niall had said—it was that the Fae bond would try to put them on the path that would most likely keep them safely together—and “safe” didn’t sound bad at all!
Neither did together.
She’d also come to another realization as she’d lain staring at Eric. He was willing to evolve and change with the times—always with the purpose of becoming stronger. Even before the Fae bond, he’d seen her as a way to increase his strength because he’d seen value in her. He’d shown her respect because of that value. He’d negotiated with her instead of trying to control or manipulate her. He’d wanted her to evolve and increase her own power because it would help him AND help her. And she realized that in his mind, those two things—the benefits to both himself and her—had always been one and the same. Indeed, that had been true from the first night she’d met him.
She’d alerted him to the undercover cop, and with no hesitation, he’d believed her. He could have grabbed Pam and left Bill and her to their own devices. But he’d led them out of the club through a secure entrance. She’d made her gift known to him, and—in exchange—he’d made sure she got out without problems. There had always been something of a give and take between them—an inherent instinct that what was good for one of them was good for both.
The look in his eyes that night right before he’d zoomed away was almost exactly what it was now: curiosity, resolve, longing, and withholding. She knew that he needed to protect himself, but she also understood—finally—that he wanted to protect her just as much.
Being on Seguro that day had taught Sookie that she could be strong even if she was frightened. It had taught her that she could stay steady even when it seemed like she would fall. It had taught her that even if she was bridled, she could run. It had taught her that even if she had no idea who “Sookie Stackhouse” really was, it didn’t mean that she couldn’t figure that out. And the possibilities now seemed much bigger than before! The thought of living more than one lifespan would have frightened her before, but now it seemed exciting. She’d have time to figure herself out and evolve with the world around her—just like Eric had and continued to do. Meanwhile, she had a partner willing to help keep her safe.
All of these thoughts zipped through Sookie’s mind quickly, even as she was only a breath away from Eric.
“Seguro,” she whispered as she leaned in the rest of the way and settled her lips over his.
At first, their lips just touched one another.
They’d not kissed since they’d found out about the Fae bond, so both felt the need to pause as they were. When they’d kissed before, they had each been spurred on by the feelings from the Fae bond—the “love” it had made between them. That love was still there, but neither of them could yet accept it as entirely real. So they needed to ground themselves in what they knew to be true.
The vampire let himself enjoy the tactile sensations of the kiss: the softness of Sookie’s lips, the sweetness of her mint-flavored breath, the sharp inhalation that signaled her enjoyment.
The telepath let herself savor the fact that for the first time in her life, she was kissing someone whom she could not “hear,” but someone whom she already knew the thoughts of regarding her.
Both seemed ready to deepen the kiss at the same time as Sookie’s arms came around Eric’s shoulders, and his hands pulled her a little closer. Their mouths opened as their tongues joined their lips in exploration, but the kiss was careful—careful in the best sense. After all, they both needed to be full of care for themselves and for each other.
The passion built between them, but there was no frenzy. Eventually, their clothing was pushed from their bodies, but there was no ripping—no impatience. His hands and then mouth explored further and further down her body, but he kept his attentions upon both the giving and the receiving of pleasure.
And when her legs wrapped around his body so that she could encourage him to enter her, there was no begging. He was not taking her—or claiming her. He was not making her his. And she was not making him hers. After all, how could they deny the fact that they already belonged to one another because of the bond.
This—their first time to be joined—was not about ownership.
It was about trust and a deeper connection than the sexual act itself.
As they moved together and established a steady rhythm, both of them moaned in pleasure, but they were not lost in ecstasy. Their eyes would meet and pause on each other at times, even as they both learned how to bring the other more pleasure. At other times, their eyes would be closed as they focused on holding on to the pleasure for themselves.
Eric kept his mind on the physical sensations he was feeling. Sookie fit his body as perfectly as he’d suspected she would, having held her many times before. Her body welcomed him. Her sheath was tight, but supple and wet as she stretched around him. He went slower at first so that her body could become accustomed to him, for he’d seen what Bill Compton was packing once when the idiot vampire was fucking a donor in Sophie-Anne’s sunroom—even as she’d been conducting a meeting with her sheriffs! Thus, Eric knew that Sookie had not had anyone close to his size. But that didn’t stop her from moving with him, as he moved into her. His body and her body were true complements, and—in a thousand years—Eric had not come across a woman so suited for him in a physical sense.
The vampire could feel the Fae bond exploding with what could only be called bliss as their bodies moved together, but he didn’t allow himself to dwell on that feeling. For this first joining, he needed to concentrate on only the thoughts in his mind and the feelings of his body.
Meanwhile, Sookie felt the overwhelming pleasure caused by Eric’s years of experience building within her, and she knew that her orgasm was fast-approaching. She too concentrated on the physical sensations of their joining. She was amazed by the feeling of it—the equilibrium of their movements. Bill was one to take control during sex, but Sookie didn’t feel “controlled” by Eric—which was ironic, given the fact that he was literally on top of her. If anything, she felt “warm”—another irony, given the refreshing coolness of Eric’s flesh.
Her first time with Bill had been in the so-called “missionary position” as well. But the feeling of the two experiences couldn’t have been more different. Eric was so much deeper inside of her, yet he was not so heavy on her body. He was so much taller—bigger—but she didn’t feel smothered. Eric’s gracefulness seemed to allow him to touch and kiss anywhere he wished on her face and shoulders, along her collar bones, and on her breasts—even as he maintained his steady rhythm. Bill’s movements had been much less smooth. Also, Eric’s thrusts were more powerful than Bill’s, but, somehow, they were also less aggressive.
Yes. The experiences were night and day, and for that first time in her life, Sookie felt cherished and complete—not because Eric was cherishing her and completing her, though he was doing just that. No—she felt complete in and of herself—even though she wondered whom she might become in the future. And she felt that she could finally cherish herself—to accept the things that had always made her different.
To embrace those things.
Eric was looking into Sookie’s eyes as her orgasm swept through her. He’d found that most women looked lost in that moment of ecstasy—lost in their pleasure. On the contrary, Sookie looked found. And she looked free—free to feel the way her body was being sated. Free to enjoy that feeling.
As her inner muscles caressed his shaft, Eric grunted out his own release. He memorized the moment: her eyes, free and satisfied; her face, relaxed and ethereal; her hair, a chocolate tangle; her legs, wrapped to hold him inside of her; her fingers, pushing into his shoulders; her neck, exposed and ready.
But his fangs didn’t come down, and he didn’t bite. Her posture gave him permission. Their act gave him need. And he wanted to taste her.
But he didn’t want to unsettle the perfect moment by taking something when she was not taking as well. He realized then that the Fae bond had managed to creep into their lovemaking—after all. But he found that he couldn’t resent it. It seemed intent upon keeping the balance between them. He realized something else too; he didn’t need for the woman underneath him to yield to him, as much as he needed to know her trust. He didn’t need to proclaim that she belonged to him—not when every part of her had been given to him freely.
Oh—his vampire nature wanted to proclaim that she belonged to him—to mark her body with his fangs. He wanted to go find Compton and rub his fucking nose in the fact that Sookie Stackhouse was his. His instinct was to kill Sophie-Anne and Sam Merlotte and Alcide Herveaux and Russell and anyone else that would dare to even look at his woman with the intent to take her from him. But as she relaxed her legs so that he could withdraw from her body, he realized that he didn’t need to do any of those things.
There was no reason to taunt Bill—because Sookie had never and would never truly belong to him.
Merlotte and Herveaux were also no longer threats for her affection. They were simply two-natured men, whom Sookie had made her friends. Whether they wanted more from her or not simply didn’t matter, for Sookie and he were now one. No—they were not threats; they were potential allies to his bonded fairy.
He would, however, kill anyone—be it vampire king or fairy warrior—who truly did threaten Sookie. However, that was not because she belonged to him or because he wanted her greedily for himself. Well—he did want her greedily. But that was not the main thing.
She was his because she’d selected him—unwittingly or not. And he would protect what they were to each other because it had beauty and uniqueness—even if it still unnerved the hell out of him.
Even if it was difficult to negotiate.
Even if it was impossible to control.
However—despite these things—in that moment, Eric did something he’d yet to truly do. He consciously chose Sookie as well—with every rational thought in his thousand-year-old mind.
He chose her because he wanted her. He chose her because of all the people he’d met in a thousand years—all the humans, vampires, Weres, shifters, demons, fairies, and witches—she was the one who was best-suited for him.
He rolled onto his side, and she turned to look at him as well. They stayed like that for a while—just silent and quiet—and he felt her contentment through their started bond. He wished she could feel his too, so he spoke of it.
“I feel happy,” he said as he settled his hand onto the curve of her hip.
She smiled. “Me too. But I bet you can feel that.”
“I’ve never had an orgasm like that,” she said, even as she flushed pink.
“Bill never?” Eric asked with surprise and judgment in his tone.
She became even redder. “Oh—no. Um—I did have orgasms during sex with him, but he always bit me right before I had them.” She laughed nervously. “I was a little worried that I couldn’t have an orgasm without—uh—getting bitten.” She looked down a little. “I’ve heard from some women’s heads that they need pain to—uh—get pleasure. You remember Dawn?”
Her blush darkened and she spoke quickly. “It’s not like anything’s wrong with that. I mean—I’m not one to judge people for their quirks and preferences. But I just wondered if I could—uh—you know. Without—uh—being bitten. And then I felt you having an orgasm without biting me first. That’s never happened to me before either. Bill always bit before he . . . .” She stopped midsentence and smiled through her blush. “It kind of makes me feel good to know that my body is enough to make you—um—happy enough to—uh—have an orgasm too. I know you probably wanted to take my blood, but I appreciate that you didn’t this time. I mean—you could have, but you chose not to. Octavia said that’s a sign of a vampire caring, and I appreciate that.” She shook her head. “I’m rambling. Sorry.”
“You are nervous?” he asked as he assessed her emotions from the tie.
She kept smiling, though she became impossibly redder. “Most girls are nervous after their first time with a new guy. I’ve heard it from many a head. They’re worried about whether the guy was satisfied and whether he was going to call or just disappear. I guess it’s nice to be nervous—to feel normal like that.
He smiled softly. “I was satisfied—very. And if you were away from me, I would call. Once with you would not be enough.”
She giggled and then turned serious. “Um—do you wanna do the blood exchange now?”
“Later,” he smiled as he pushed her hair behind her ears affectionately before leaning in to kiss her gently. “You should eat first, and we need to check in with Cataliades. “I’d also like to have that swim with you and take our bath—this time in the buff,” he said waggling his eyebrows.”
She grinned and leaned in for a kiss of her own. “Promise me something?”
“If I can,” he said.
“Let’s not let Russell find out about this place—if we don’t have to.”
“This place will be just ours,” he promised. “Our home in Slidell too.”
She smiled. “Thanks.”
“I—uh. Oh never mind,” she stopped.
“Can you—uh—pay Mr. Johnson a little more? He was thinking he might have to sell some of his horses ’cause his arthritis is getting worse. He just needs a little more so he can hire this nice young man in town to move to his ranch and work full time. It wouldn’t have to be much more.”
“Of course, lover,” Eric said without thinking.
“I have a little in savings, and you could apply the money I earned in Dallas to helping him out.”
Eric’s face clouded a bit.
“I know it’s not much,” Sookie said quickly, “and I’m not criticizing you for not paying me for Dallas sooner. I know you had a lot on your plate.”
“No, Sookie. It is not that,” Eric corrected. “Now that we are together, you can ask for whatever you wish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—you will not exhaust my money. But—as for the Dallas money—I did pay you; I messengered the check to Compton four days before you came to Fangtasia to report that he was missing.”
Realization came to Sookie’s face. “Bill?”
“You claimed to be his. It was protocol to send the payment that way, and I didn’t want to make waves with Compton because he knew of the queen forcing me to sell V. Otherwise, I would have sent it directly to you just to fuck with him.”
Sookie sighed. “Well—then I guess I’ll have to wait to pay you back until I can learn how to use my fairy light better, kick Bill’s ass, and get my money back.”
In the next moment, Eric was on his back, and he had drawn Sookie up to straddle him.
“Oh!” she gasped in surprise at their sudden change of position.
“Mmmm,” he half-purred and half-growled. “When you talk about kicking asses, you make me want to be the first being that you tame, Sookie.”
She bit her lip a little as she felt his erection standing tall and thick against her bottom. Immediately, her own sex started readying itself for him again.
“You like a girl who takes charge, Northman?” she teased, shifting her bottom a bit so that she could make more contact with his straining member.
“I like you,” he answered with a twinge of desperation in his voice. “I want you.”
Seeing the intensity in his eyes, she couldn’t help but to oblige him, and even though she’d not often been the one in charge during sex, she lifted her body up and took him into herself, slowly lowering until he was fully sheathed.
“You feel incredible,” he almost whimpered.
“You too,” she groaned as she started to move. She set a faster pace than before. This time, they were both more anxious to reach completion. And no thoughts entered either of their minds about bonds or ties or blood.
All Eric could think about was Sookie’s beauty as she rode him. She was unfathomable: innocent and wild, shy and wanton. She was as magnificent as any fairy or Valkyrie, but she was just a human too—a young human woman who was still learning how to seek her own pleasure.
When he could tell that her exertions were tiring her, he placed his large hands on her hips and helped her move, even as he thrust upwards in various directions, finding the spot he was “looking” for after only a few moments.
“Oh God!” she yelled out. “What’s that?” she asked with a pant as she bucked against him, trying to get him to hit that spot again.
“That is the part of you that no one but me will ever touch,” he growled, letting his vampire nature stake its claim at last, as he curved his body and thrust upwards again.
She yelled out in ecstasy and shook above him before coming undone. He watched her orgasm begin, and thrust into it, even as he brought his thumb to stroke her clit.
“Eric!” she yelled more than once as he kept up the stimulation of her body until she felt as if her orgasm was going to cause her body to explode.
Watching her writhing and shaking above him led to Eric’s own orgasm. She collapsed onto his chest, breathing heavily and still shivering. He didn’t feel much more in control as he let himself get lost in the pleasure of the moment. He wrapped her into his arms.
“God,” she giggled after her breathing evened out a little. “You’re much more fun to ride than a horse!”
I will admit that I was nervous about this chapter. It’s a very different kind of love scene that any that I’ve ever written before. And—being the first sex scene of the story between Eric and Sookie—there’s pressure b/c of that too. To me, this scene is—ironically—mostly “love” and not sex, which is odd given the fact that Eric and Sookie are still reticent of the Fae bond. My grandmother—a few years before she died—told me that loving “despite” your beloved’s flaws was much more beautiful than loving “because” of his strengths. I think that always stuck with me. And I was thinking of that wisdom when I wrote this. I hope you liked the chapter.