Two nights later, 4:00 a.m.
Sookie woke up a bit disoriented. It was dark outside, and she felt like she’d been sleeping for a full day. She also felt something else, something she’d grown very familiar with during the last few days: Eric’s tongue. To say that he knew what to do with that particular part of his body was an understatement. Eric was a master with his tongue, a virtuoso.
And, at this point, she’d be any instrument he wanted her to be.
“Eric,” she moaned out as he languorously licked and kissed and sucked her folds.
“You are beautiful here,” he growled, the vibration causing Sookie’s hips to rise. His hand gently pushed them back to the bed, holding her in place. “This is my fifth favorite part of you.”
“Only fifth?” she squeaked as he continued his ministrations and applied a bit more pressure to her opening with his tongue.
“Maybe sixth,” he said as he blew on her engorged clit and then took it into his mouth and nipped it lightly. “No—definitely fifth,” he growled, his voice causing glorious vibrations to travel through her body.
“God, you’re good at this,” she moaned.
Eric was in no hurry to bring her to release, and Sookie had quickly learned that he was familiar with many, many techniques when it came to cunnilingus, as he called it. Some of them had her barreling into an orgasm within moments. Others seemed to take glorious hours. She’d also learned with Eric that there were many kinds of orgasms in the world. There was the kind that hit her like a ton of bricks and knocked her practically unconscious. There was the kind that swept her up into its embrace like a barely-rolling wave in a gentle, warm sea. There was the kind that seemed to feed her energy and had her climbing back onto him so that she could seek another. And then there was the kind that went on seemingly for hours—as if it were thousands of small orgasms stitched together in a beautiful pattern like the blocks of the quilt that had been wrapping them up since their time in Slidell.
Her back arched, creating more contact between her center and his tongue, which was still making the most of its time with her clit. Much to Eric’s amusement, she had proclaimed his tongue to be her “love button’s BFF.” But in her defense, she’d been in the middle of one the longest orgasms of her life at the time when she’d made that proclamation—because of something Eric called tantric sex. She’d said a lot of things that had made her blush later when he had reminded her of each and every one of them. She’d called him a “Viking sex god”—in addition to just calling him God many times, a fact which would have had Gran chasing after her with a rolling pin. She’d also slipped and called Eric’s penis, “the gracious plenty,” a label that had been whirling around in her head since the first time she’d seen it, but was mortified to actually say out loud. Yes—she’d learned two important things about tantric sex that night. First, it completely eliminated the filter between her head and her mouth. Second, it was fan-freaking-tastic!
Eric’s fingers became accomplices to his tongue as they slowly entered her, scissoring their way inside.
“What was that, lover?” Eric asked with a chuckle.
“Ummghh,” she said just as unintelligently.
“Oh,” he chuckled again. “I thought that was what you said.” As he dove back in to concentrate once more on her nerve bundle, she made other unintelligible sounds, speaking in a new language that Eric’s attentions were provoking her to create more and more each night. When he tried to tease her about it, she liked to remind him of the litany of curse words in various languages that he used when he lost control.
He knew a lot of languages. And a lot of curse words.
As soon as Eric’s fingers curled into the spot that only he had ever found, the dam that had been holding back her orgasm shattered into a million pieces. She felt her walls squeezing his fingers, trying to force them to stay inside. Too soon, however, he removed them, but before she could complain, something larger replaced them as he thrust into her with one swift movement.
“Unghfah,” she yelled out as their hips pushed together. To say that he filled her completely was not an understatement—or an overstatement. It was a fact.
And it was a snug fit—though a perfect one.
Sookie had always been appalled when guys had made comparisons between her and other girls in their heads—especially when those comparisons were made during an act that was supposed to be intimate. Her first kiss with a guy was spent with her having to hear him compare her lack of skill with the others he’d kissed. The first time a guy had felt her boob, she’d sworn he was weighing and testing it like a scientist as he thought about the other breasts he’d touched. Those were just some of the reasons why being with human boys had been impossible for her. However, she had come to realize that comparisons—or in this case, contrasts—were natural to make during sex. Oh—her mind didn’t wander because she wasn’t “into” the act with Eric.
She was most definitely into it!
No. On the contrary, sex with Eric seemed to make her “hyperaware” of everything somehow. It woke up every single cell within her body, and each one wanted in on the action.
The only other person she’d been with was Bill, and she wasn’t going to lie and claim that she’d not enjoyed sex with him. She also wasn’t going to lie and say that she’d never been frightened during their sex. Bill had a strange kind of intensity about him—the kind that spoke of something darker lurking just under the surface—something she’d been “told” to ignore by his blood. Their time in the graveyard had left her bruised and sore—and not in a necessarily good way. Then, in Alcide’s van, she’d seen the monster Bill was capable of being firsthand, and she had no doubt that he would have fucked and drained her if Tara and Alcide hadn’t intervened.
However, sex with Bill had been good in many ways too. She’d had her first orgasms with another person with him. Now that she’d been with Eric, however, she could look back and see that there were things that the Viking did to her that Bill never did—never could. The way Eric filled her was among the best of those things. Eric was bigger—quite a bit bigger—than Bill in the “equipment” department. Oh—Bill knew how to make up for that to a certain extent, and Sookie wondered if she would have been as excited about Eric’s size if he’d have been her first.
“Uungh,” she groaned as Eric increased his pace. Yes. He filled her. It was like there was no millimeter of her core that he didn’t strike as he moved in and out of her. She’d heard from a lot of women’s minds that they didn’t really get much—in terms of orgasm-inducing pleasure—out of simply vaginal intercourse. And Sookie had been inclined to agree with them. It was pleasant enough with Bill, and he certainly seemed to enjoy being inside of her, but her orgasms came only when he bit her and/or stimulated her clit. But her opinion had changed since she’d been with Eric. His girth allowed him to touch all of her, and his length brushed against her cervix in the subtlest and most delicious way when he buried himself deeply into her as he was doing now. Those two factors alone had brought her several orgasms, but when he moved his hips and then thrust upward, that was when she saw literal stars. Nope—the G-spot was definitely not a myth just because most men couldn’t be bothered to find it in their partners.
Sookie had not been merely a passive recipient of Eric’s ministrations either. She’d been learning him as he’d been learning her. And that was something she’d never done with Bill. In truth, she’d not felt confident enough in herself to do much more than follow Bill’s lead when it came to sex. And he’d seemed to prefer it that way.
However, Eric was different. He seemed to savor every little move she made to try to increase his pleasure, and he displayed his enjoyment to her like an open book. She was learning the sounds he made or curse words he used when she did various things. But she had come to learn that his eyes would tell her anything she really needed to know about the pleasure he was receiving.
Yes—his amazing blue orbs literally screamed out a “how-to” guide when it came to making their master happy.
Sookie twisted her hips to the side a bit and squeezed her internal muscles around him.
“Fjandinn! Helvíti! Skít!” he yelled in quick succession. Sookie was pretty sure that she didn’t want the exact translation of what he’d said, nor did she need it. What she was sure of was that she could make him come undone, which was always quite an accomplishment, given his control.
“Sookie,” he warned her with a grunt as he thrust into her with a precise strike to her G-spot.
She looked up at him with a mixture of ecstasy and challenge as he rotated his hips so he could hit her spot again.
“Unghfh,” she uttered. He was playing dirty now. Somehow—she held onto her orgasm and decided to up the ante. She lifted her legs and locked them right above his world-class ass and then tightened her internal muscles again.
“Fjandinn hirði!” he yelled out as he lost control and began to spill inside of her. Immediately, she let go as well, the coiled spring inside of her ricocheting around her body and extending her orgasm right along with his.
Eric—of course—recovered first and pulled her body to his so that her head was on his chest. “You don’t play fair, lover,” he said with mock frustration.
“All’s fair in . . . ,” she started, but then stopped herself before finishing the familiar phrase.
His arms tensed around her for a moment, but that moment soon passed as he drew her closer to him.
“How long till sunrise?” she asked.
“Still almost forty minutes,” he said. “I am sorry I woke you, but you moved in your sleep.”
“Moved?” she asked with a kiss to his chest. “Moved how?”
“Moved against me,” he answered simply.
“Hmmm,” she giggled. “So, because I moved, you had to wake me up with oral sex?”
“Mmmm,” he responded affirmatively. “That region was the guilty part of your body. It was the part that moved; that and your delectable ass were accomplices in my seduction. And I was powerless.”
By this time, she was propped up a bit on his chest so that she could look at his face in the dim light of the room. She felt the wisps of Eric’s feelings fluttering through her as if they were laughing. Since they had not yet completed the bond, she still didn’t feel his specific emotions yet—but she could feel that they were there.
“Poor, powerless baby,” she said with a teasing pout.
“Indeed,” he agreed with mock seriousness as he moved his hand down and began caressing her bottom.
“I suppose that’s your way of keeping half of the dastardly duo in check?” she asked with an arched brow.
“Someone must,” he said with mock resignation and a little squeeze to her bottom.
“You’re weird,” she said as she burrowed into him.
“Am not,” he pouted, sounding much younger than his thousand years—about 997 years younger.
“Shhh,” she ordered. “I wanna cuddle till I have to get up and meet Claudine, and you have to go to sleep.”
“Mmmm. That sounds wonderful, lover,” he purred as he brought his hands to rest on her back.
She smiled into his chest. She’d been surprised—pleasantly surprised—when she’d learned that Eric was a cuddler—and an amazing one at that.
Sookie sighed happily into her lover’s embrace. She’d been looking forward to Claudine’s visit and had spent much time studying the Fae book—when she hadn’t been enjoying her Viking lover, that is. She thought back to the previous two days and nights as she continued to enjoy being close to Eric.
After she’d had her mini-breakdown about completing the vampire bond in the early-morning hours after they’d arrived in Roswell two days before, she’d given up sleep and then read the rest of the Fae book. She’d also begun a list of questions she wanted to ask her fairy cousin.
That night—after a mind-bending (and back-bending) lovemaking session with Eric, she’d shown him her list and then had asked him to speed-read the book as well, but he couldn’t. Obviously, Fae magic prevented anyone other than a fairy—or maybe just herself—from reading the book. So she began to read it out loud to him as he massaged her feet and legs. They’d taken a bit of a “break” when he’d begun to massage other things.
An hour or so later, after they’d checked in with Mr. Cataliades, Sookie had continued to read the book out loud, and Eric soon theorized that it was a book that seemed made just for her—as if it focused mostly on the gifts she had and what she could do with them. She’d looked at him in confusion since the book covered four Fae gifts: telepathy; the light power, which Sookie had learned was caused when her Fae magic reacted with ambient electromagnetism to create a spark; teleportation, which was the “popping” that Niall had done; and scent-manipulation, which Niall had done as well, both to conceal his scent from Eric and then to amplify it. Sookie had assumed that these four were the only Fae gifts until Eric posited that they might be the only ones that she had and, therefore, the only ones that Niall was willing to tell her about.
That thought had elicited a slew of new questions for her list, with Eric suggesting many of them. Sookie had been a little relieved when he suggested waiting to complete the vampire bond until she could ask Claudine if she thought that the Fae bond would resist it in any way. Of course, Sookie had her own reason for wanting to hold off on completing the vampire bond, but she’d not yet been brave enough to share it with Eric. How could she tell him that she feared completing the bond because she didn’t want to have to feel it if part of him hated or resented her?
When every part of her now loved him.
She just hoped that Claudine would tell her that there was a way for her to block out Eric’s feelings if she needed to. She figured that Eric would be happy, too, if she could do that. The only reticence he’d indicated about completing the vampire bond had related to the fact that she would be able to feel his emotions. Of course, he’d expressed that hesitation before they’d started their physical relationship, but she figured that he would still welcome it if she could block his feelings.
After she and Eric had finished the Fae book and the list, Eric had shown her what sex with a vampire could really be like when he’d held her against a wall and fucked her at vamp speed until she’d literally lost consciousness for a moment. She’d expected to be sore afterwards, but she’d not been. She’d been shaky as aftershocks of her orgasm seemed to find her and cause her to shiver for hours after they’d had sex. But she’d not been sore at all, a fact that she’d marveled at the next day when she’d woken up and contemplated the dead-for-the-day Viking in her bed. Eric had never caused her to be sore—at least not where she expected to be. She had found muscles she’d never known she had as they’d had sex, and those muscles were definitely saying “how-de-do.” But he’d never had to heal her “lady bits” with his blood when he’d gotten too “vigorous.” Bill had needed to do that several times. Sookie wondered if it was because Eric’s blood was already inside of her, but—then again—Bill’s had been too.
Of course, Eric hadn’t been apologetic about causing her to black out; in fact, he’d looked pleased with himself—very pleased. However, she hadn’t minded much, especially as he’d bathed her tenderly, washing her hair and telling her about his human village and the foods he most wished that he could try, which included Swiss milk chocolate, which he insisted smelled better than any other food; kimchi, a spicy Korean food, which he claimed made his nose hairs twinge in excitement; and Granny Smith apples, which he enjoyed the sound of when people ate them.
They’d laughed about his fascination with the smells that emanated from fast food restaurants—especially since none of them smelled like actual food to him.
After Sookie had assured him that she was too wired for sleep, they’d packed up and started the four and a half hour trip from Roswell to a town north of Taos, New Mexico, which was where Eric intended for them to stay for three days. His house there was secluded, even more so than the Fort Stockton home since it was high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. He explained that she and Claudine could practice all they wanted there, safely secluded because of the thick cottonwood and spruce forest his house was situated in.
Eric had driven for the first ninety minutes of their trip while Sookie had taken a nap. After a long kiss—during which the high-handed vampire deliberately sliced his tongue so that she’d get a quick boost from his blood—he’d gotten into his coffin before she could zap him with her light. However, she had to admit that his blood did work to keep her awake during the rest of the early morning drive.
He was better than Red Bull.
She’d fallen more and more in love with the landscape as she’d driven higher and higher into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. She thought it was ironic that the mountain range, which was one of the most southern parts of the Rocky Mountains, had the Spanish word for “blood” in its name. According to Eric, the Sangre de Cristos ran from Colorado into New Mexico and had been named “the blood of Christ” because of something called an alpenglow, which made some parts of the mountains look reddish at sunrise or sunset.
She hadn’t seen a reddish glow by the time she got to the mountains, but she had been awed nonetheless. Not having travelled much, Sookie was amazed by the change in landscape she’d experienced over the last few days. The stark beauty of the desert had calmed her, while the high elevations of the mountains took her breath away. There was not yet snow on the mountains, a fact that disappointed Sookie since she’d never been in “real” snow before. She’d experienced nothing but stray flurries in Louisiana, and they’d always melted when they hit the ground. Eric had promised that their destination in California would have snow—at least if they were there long enough.
However, when Sookie had gotten out of the car when she arrived at the cabin, she’d been greeted by much cooler air than she’d expected. The cabin didn’t really have a garage for her to park inside. There was just a space to park the car under the main part of the cabin. She’d, of course, cast her telepathy around and had loved the fact that there was no one in her range there. However, she was expecting someone, a woman who took care of the cabin. Eric had called her the day before and had arranged for her to bring Sookie some groceries and incidentals. Sookie was glad that her vampire had thought to include a warmer coat on the list of things to bring. Sookie began to unload the car, deciding to take in all their belongings since there was not an enclosed garage. She had just taken Eric’s reserve of TrueBlood inside when she “heard” a fuzzy brain approaching.
Needless to say, Sookie had been initially freaked out by the fact that someone of the two-natured variety was close enough for her telepathy to pick up, but soon, she’d been reassured by the thoughts of the Werebear who was driving up the little road that meandered to the house. She was also shocked that she could hear the Werebear’s thoughts so clearly and wondered if that was a byproduct of Eric’s blood or the Fae bond.
Of course, it could have been the fact that she’d been practicing with her telepathy too.
“Yaa’ ta’ sai,” the woman had greeted with a smile.
“Um,” Sookie had stammered, not knowing what the striking woman in front of her had said.
“You are welcome here,” the woman had translated. “I am Elina. The Viking said you would be lovely.”
“Hello,” Sookie had returned, unable to help her smile as she listened in on the striking woman’s thoughts. Luckily, those thoughts were mostly in English. She was thinking that the vampire was lucky to have found a woman with such a striking “spirit.” She was also wondering about Sookie, and the telepath could tell that the woman in front of her was much more than she seemed as well. “Eric didn’t tell me that you knew him. Uh—most people that care for his homes are glamoured humans.”
“He thought you might enjoy someone to speak with for a while,” Elina had smiled as she took two bags from her car. Sookie had grabbed the other two.
As it had turned out, Sookie had enjoyed Elina’s company—very much. She’d learned that Elina belonged to a small group of Werebears and had known Eric for much of her life. Sookie had tried not to be jealous when she heard from the woman’s head that Eric had once had a dalliance with Elina’s daughter, Onawa, who—at least in the thoughts of her mother—was one of the most gorgeous women Sookie had ever seen. The telepath had been happier when she discovered that Onawa was now happily married and was a new grandmother, though she still looked gorgeous to Sookie.
In addition to being a Werebear, Elina was also a medicine woman. Sookie had been more than a little captivated to hear that Elina was an Apache and that her Were family had long been known and accepted by the rest of the small community they belonged to. She’d asked Elina to stay for lunch, and the two women had enjoyed their food on the porch, where Sookie had wanted to sit—despite the cool temperature—so that she could keep an eye on the car. Elina had given Sookie a knowing smile more than once as the telepath’s eyes had drifted to the vehicle where Eric was resting.
“He will not be waking for many hours,” Elina had said.
Sookie had shrugged and then blushed when Elina correctly guessed why Sookie was so anxious for the vampire to rise.
The elder Apache woman had seemingly looked right into Sookie. “You and he have made good medicine together?”
Sookie had sputtered out her coffee at that remark, an act which had caused Elina to laugh merrily. “From what my daughter once told me, I am sure you have made good medicine with your bodies, but I was speaking of your spirits. I can see something amazing inside of you—something magic. I cannot tell what it is—some kind of bond, perhaps?” Elina closed her eyes. “But it is not a vampire bond; I have felt those before, and what you have is a little different.” She opened her eyes and smiled benevolently at Sookie, “I know that you cannot be fully human—since I feel that you were the one who shaped what is there.”
Sookie’s blush had melted away immediately. “I didn’t mean to,” she said quickly—apologetically—somehow knowing that the woman in front of her would keep any secrets she spoke. Suddenly she knew that Eric had sent Elina for a reason. “Gran,” she’d whispered. Eric had wanted to give her a sounding board—someone who would remind her of Gran, while at the same time being able to understand something of the Supernatural. It had been a high-handed move on his part, but she couldn’t exactly be mad at him—not when he’d given her exactly what she’d needed.
Taking advantage of Eric’s gift, Sookie had told Elina about the Fae bond and Bill and Russell and Sophie-Anne. And Elina had listened patiently before giving Sookie a piece of advice: to look at the moment on the Dallas roof as being the best moment in her life—not one of the worst—for that moment had clearly put her on the pathway to herself. To what she could be—but had been stopped from being by her kin.
After those words, Elina had left Sookie to her thoughts.
Sookie had then curled up with the Fae book in the car, trying to glean any additional information from it. Eventually, she’d dozed off and had awoken after dark.
Eric had been sitting on the porch, looking into the star-filled sky when she had gotten out of the car. “You believe me high-handed,” he had said as she approached him, wrapped up tightly in their quilt. She’d appreciated that he’d made that statement matter-of-factly. Of course, however, there was no contriteness in his tone.
“Yes,” she’d answered. “But maybe I don’t mind your being high-handed so much—sometimes.”
He’d turned to look at her and his eyes had shone with sincerity. “I should have told you what I intended, but I wanted you to be able to choose whether to speak with Elina or to send her away. I asked her to follow your lead.”
“She was nice,” Sookie had said, sitting onto Eric’s lap. “And you were right. It might have seemed forced if you would have told me about her. By the time I figured it out, I already knew that she wasn’t talking to me out of obligation or anything.”
“Good,” Eric had observed before taking her inside and making love to her. After that, they’d had a meal and a bath before Eric had insisted that she ought to go to bed early so that she’d be well-rested for Claudine’s visit. Of course, that had been before he’d woken her up with his talented tongue.
[end, extended flashback]
“Are you nervous?” Eric asked into the dark, breaking Sookie from her thoughts of the past days.
“Yes. But excited too,” she smiled.
“I have done something,” he admitted.
“What? Asked Elina to patrol the perimeter of your property while Claudine is here today?” Sookie chuckled. “She told me earlier—asked if it was okay with me.”
“And?” Eric asked, showing a few nerves of his own.
“I know you don’t trust the fairies.” She sighed. “And they’ve never done much for me either. After meeting Niall, I think I have to agree that I don’t much trust them to be my family, but I also have a strong feeling that Claudine won’t hurt me.” She paused. “Still, I think it would be best if someone was here to make sure you’re protected during your day-rest.”
“And to make sure you are protected too,” Eric added.
Sookie nodded. “Elina’s going to bring her oldest grandson, Kuruk, with her. She said that he needs experience in organizing and conducting patrols. And I figured an extra set of hands—err paws—would be good.”
“Thank you, lover. I will worry less,” Eric said as he gently caressed her back.
“You’ll be dead for the day,” she commented. “You won’t have to worry at all.”
“That’s why I worry. I am not able to be with you during the day. I am not able to help to protect you. Even if you activate the bracelet to wake me, you will be outside, so my help to you would be limited.” He sighed. “It makes me feel powerless.”
Sookie could say nothing. She couldn’t imagine how vulnerable a vampire would feel during the day. Someone like Eric was so strong, yet in his rest, he could literally be killed by a toothpick to the heart. She hated that thought and kissed his chest, even as her alarm clock went off, signaling the time when she had planned to rise for her one-day session with Claudine.
She got up, kissed Eric, and quickly took a shower before applying some of Octavia’s potion. She’d had a bath the evening before with Eric, but she’d not washed her face because she wanted the potion to be fresh for the day. She got dressed quickly and was grateful to see that Eric had made her coffee. Elina had brought some homemade breads and sweet rolls, which Eric had put onto a plate. He watched her intently as she carried the modest breakfast outside, just as the gray fingers of dawn crept onto the horizon.
She “heard” a fairy mind approaching and yelled out into the near-dawn. “I’ll be back in five minutes! Uh—help yourself,” she gestured toward the food, even though she’d not yet seen her guest.
Sookie went back inside the house and took Eric’s hand, leading him into the bedroom. They both lay down.
“Var försiktig, vacker en.” [“Be careful, beautiful one.”]
“Do I want to know what that means?” she asked with a little smile on her face.
“I am asking you to be careful,” he responded. “I need you to be careful.” He touched her chest right over her heart, and she understood all the ways he was intending his words.
She leaned in and kissed him softly on the lips. “I’ll see you tonight.”
“Yes,” he said right before he fell into his day-death.
She sighed as she looked at his beautiful face, caught up in his concern for her in the moment of his death.
“I love you, Eric Northman,” she said as she kissed him again before getting up.
He, of course, didn’t hear her.
Nor had he heard her the morning before.
Nor the morning before that.