It wasn’t a question because I could feel her pain. Different than the pain I’d been feeling coming from her over the last two weeks, but it was there.
Like the scent of her blood I was desperately trying to ignore.
So far, so good.
“Victor shot me on his way out,” she offered casually, like it was a normal everyday occurrence. But then I could feel her snapping her own set of Legos into place when she added, “That was you. You did the smash and grab.”
“It was,” I admitted. After feeling her fear and then pain – the evidence of his blow now visible to my eyes in the bruise on her cheek – I couldn’t hold back. I could no longer wait for the car to come to a stop to rescue her. And the only reason he still lived was hearing the gun go off and feeling a new pain light up in her body. I’d heard everything she’d said to him. Felt her incredulousness when he’d truthfully claimed I would pay any price to have her returned unharmed. But I’d heard everything he’d said to her in return and while I wanted to rip him apart piece by piece, I knew now we would need him. I’d track him down later and snatch him out of his life, like he’d snatched Sookie off of the sidewalk, and then I would find out everything he knew about the werewolf threat.
In any way I had to.
But in my panic, I’d thrown him down onto the side of the road just in time to see the car go through the guardrail and over the bridge they’d been on. I didn’t know I could fly until the moment I chased the car over the side, with my only plan being to get to her.
But she’d been right. It was convenient.
And now I could feel her emotions warring within her. She was happy to see me and angry at the same time. I couldn’t blame her. I deserved whatever treatment she bestowed on me, but first we needed to deal with her injury.
Our thoughts were similar in nature because she locked down both her muscles and her emotions as she said, “I suppose I should thank you, but since you never thanked me, I’ll just say we’re even now. So if you don’t mind, Mr. Northman, your employee would like to get off the magic carpet ride now. You can just drop me off wherever and I’ll call for a cab.”
Shoeless. Purse-less. And with a bullet hole in her side.
She was also fucking clueless if she thought I was letting her out of my sight now.
But feeling the sadness I knew I was the cause of starting to creep in, I chose to piss her off instead to spare both of us from feeling it and asked, “How are you going to call anyone when you left your cell at my house? And what would you pay your fare with anyway? The chip on your shoulder or the spent round in your side?”
I was nearly certain the bullet had passed through her and I had the resources and knowledge to treat her wound at my house. But it was like I could almost hear the ‘Oh no you didn’t!’ coming from her head, even if my heightened hearing wasn’t quite that good.
But it had been good enough to hear that purple pansy-eyed pussy hitting on her at the function she’d just left.
But instead of yelling and screaming at me, calling me any one of the numerous descriptors I’d heard her say in the past, she called my bluff by not calling me any of them and instead gritted out, “Put. Me. Down. Now.”
“Or else what?” I asked, hoping to distract her since we were nearly back to my house. If I’d known about this flying thing it certainly would’ve made following her around every night much easier. Not only did I miss her more than I knew was possible, I wanted to be sure the wolves weren’t following her or lying in wait to do what Victor had nearly succeeded in doing. But even if I couldn’t use my blood to track her every move, all I needed was to pull up her work calendar online.
At least some things never changed.
I’d been perched on the rooftop across the street from where she was and had planned on going to her when she got home that night. To try and explain why I’d sent her away and apologize for hurting her in my attempt to not hurt her. Using my blood to zero in on her – something I’d been practicing over the previous two weeks – I’d been able to filter out every conversation around her. It was how I heard that asshole hitting on her. But when she left the building a new scent wafted into my senses. Similar to the wolves, but I couldn’t be sure they were similar enough to represent a threat and as I was looking around for the source, Victor grabbed Sookie and everything else was forgotten.
But her next words shocked me enough that I nearly put us both down.
At a high rate of speed that wouldn’t have worked out very well for her.
Quit what? Our back and forth banter? Trying to get me to leave her on the side of the road? Her job?
My emotions were suddenly too turbulent to make our flight an enjoyable one, so I put us down in a clearing in the woods. The moon was full so there was enough light for her to be able to see, but it wasn’t necessary for me to see the hurt in her eyes.
Or the tears welling in them.
“Sookie,” I began, but she held up one hand to stop me, while she clutched at her side with the other.
“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t Sookie me. Two weeks, Eric. I haven’t seen or heard from you in two fucking weeks. We’ve played a lot of games with one another over the years, but I’m not going to play this game with you Eric. You made me a promise and you broke it. You told me you wanted to be in a relationship with me and then I found you…I watched you…”
The tears had spilled over by then and she softly sobbed before choking out, “And then you told me to leave and don’t come back. You can’t have it both ways, Eric. And I shouldn’t be left wondering what in hell it all means. Why you ignored me for two weeks only to show up and play at being my savior. Whatever changes happened to you because of the serum, have obviously given you some new superhuman powers, but you’re not a superhero. A superhero wouldn’t treat someone they claimed to care about like trash.”
Trash, alluding to every other woman before her.
I knew I had a lot of explaining to do. Bowing. Scraping. Groveling. They were all appropriate and warranted right now. But I thought it best to start off with a visual explanation. One I’d given the guys shortly after she’d left that night.
Sookie wasn’t even at the end of the driveway before Flood spoke up saying, “Like I said before Eric. I’m glad to see you up and around, even if it’s ten shades of strange. And you must be a genius to have concocted some magic potion to bring you back from death, but to put it bluntly. That was a dick move you just made.”
“Hear, hear,” Herveaux added, raising his invisible glass in the air.
But it took hearing Purifoy say, “I’ll take her if you don’t want her. I like my women with balls bigger than mine,” for me to lose it.
In a big way.
I smashed my way through walls, not bothering with stairs, until I finally reached outside. I uprooted tree after tree and topped my tantrum off by throwing a huge boulder off of the cliff and into the ocean before I finally calmed down enough to stop.
But my muscles told me I could keep going if I’d wanted to.
Talk about strange.
Turning to face my new roommates – even in all of my self-made ruckus, I’d heard them follow me outside – I said, “That is why I sent her away. To put it bluntly I don’t give a shit about you three, but I give plenty of shits about her. What if I lost control? What if I did something to hurt her?”
“You mean like you just did?” Herveaux asked.
He at least took a step back when I growled at him, but ever the leader, Flood moved to stand in front of him saying, “Alright. Maybe you need to figure out what’s what first, but while you’re doing that, keep in mind you don’t give a shit about any of us. And yet you came out here to open up your can of whoop ass on a few trees instead of whooping our asses. Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to her.”
“What is this?” I asked. “The Sookie Stackhouse Fan Club?”
As the president of said club, I should know if there are new members.
“You didn’t see how she was when you were…out? Dead?” Flood began, sounding just as confused as I felt about my new state of being.
So Herveaux took the opportunity to automatically interject with, “We came in looking for you. We didn’t hear a peep and I move like a fucking ninja. So imagine how surprised I was when I barely cleared the bottom step and got a Louisville Slugger to the chest. She was already poised to go back for seconds when Flood managed to get her attention. Dude, she was protecting you. She knew about werewolves and that you’d just been attacked by them, but instead of running she stayed to help you. Someone like that deserves her own fan club.”
“I get it!” I exclaimed, feeling even more like shit for what I’d just done.
But what they didn’t know was how hard I had to fight against my urge to bite her. How much I craved her blood.
“I don’t think you do,” Purifoy offered. “She’s covered in blood because she was doing chest compressions on you for forty-seven minutes before we got here, according to that Godric guy. She only stopped for long enough to put Herveaux on his ass and then she went right back to it until I offered to takeover. We stopped when it didn’t seem to be helping anymore, but when you died? She went crazy. She did CPR on you like her life depended on it until her body gave out. The house could’ve been on fire the whole time and I doubt she would’ve noticed. I don’t think you know what you just kicked to the curb, but I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d take her. Any guy would be lucky to have somebody like her in their corner.”
Hopefully by showing her it would be enough to get her to at least listen to what I had to say. To try and explain why I’d sent her away.
To try and convince her to give me another chance at making things right between us.
Walking over to the nearest tree, I gripped it in both hands due to its size and ripped it from the ground. Tossing it aside like it was a stick I turned back to her and said, “That is why I sent you away. I knew something was different when I woke up that night and I needed to get a handle on what I can do. What my limits are and how much control I have over myself. I was afraid of hurting you in the process.”
“And yet you hurt me anyway,” she said, unknowingly mimicking Herveaux. “You had control over your words. You’re a fucking genius, so I know you could’ve chosen better ones than leave and don’t come back.”
“And I’m sorry,” I pleaded, taking a step closer to her. “I know it’s no excuse, but I really was trying to do the right thing.”
“Well then you’re not as smart as you think you are,” she hissed. I could feel the pain radiating from her wound, but it was overshadowed by the other pain she was in when she went on to say, “I was devastated when I thought you died and I felt a part of me die with you. So when you were miraculously awake, I didn’t care about your heart not beating or your new clicky teeth. I just cared that I had you back and I told you that, only for you to tell me you didn’t want me around. The old saying goes be careful what you wish for Eric because I’m done. It’s over. And it’s been over ever since you told me to get the fuck out.”
She said she didn’t care about my ‘clicky teeth’ or no heartbeat now – which wasn’t entirely the case – but she didn’t know everything else. I wasn’t even sure I knew everything else, but I would tell her everything I did know. I just needed her to agree to listen. But instead of trying to explain any of that, my mouth opened and exclaimed, “But I love you!”
The words came flying out faster than I’d flown after the nose diving limo. The same could be said of Sookie when she was suddenly in my face, followed quickly by her slapping hand across it as she yelled, “FUCK YOU! Don’t you dare say something like that to me just to weasel your way back into my good graces. You might be able to rip down the whole Redwood Forest, but I’ll kill myself trying to kick your ass if you ever…”
Maybe it was her slap. Maybe it was the scent of her blood. Maybe it was having her so close again.
Or maybe it was just because I fucking loved her and I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it that made me cut off her rant with my lips on hers. I poured my desperation into that kiss and it didn’t take long before she was returning it in equal amounts.
But feeling her pain from the bullet wound, I forced myself to pull back, but not without reiterating, “I love you Sookie. If you believe nothing else I say, believe that.”
She tried to hold onto her anger, but I could feel it when her belief in my words finally settled in. But instead of throwing herself into my arms or something equally Lifetime movie-ish, all she said was, “Well fuck me if I don’t love you too.”
“How romantic,” I narrowed my eyes back her, but it was ruined by my smile.
Her mood was turning lighthearted when she snickered, “What do you know about romance? Harlequin didn’t make a bank by modeling their male leads after you. Waltzing into a bar and pointing at whatever happened to catch their fancy, like a fat kid in a candy store, does not a swoon-worthy hero make.”
She probably would’ve kept on going if it weren’t for the pain I could feel pulsing through her, making her suck in a breath of air, so I let her have the last word on my sense of romantic style and said, “Let me see.”
Dropping to my knees in front of her, I turned her body enough to put her wound in front of me. The scent of her blood was nearly overpowering and my ‘clicky teeth’ made another appearance of their own volition. I had better control over them now, so I hoped I would maintain some level of control as I tore the fabric free from around the bullet hole. But seeing she was wearing something underneath her dress I’d never seen before, I asked, “What’s this?”
“That is what happens when women hate other women,” she grumbled. “They design torture devices and then market them to the rest of us chumps as beauty enhancements. Now pretend you don’t see it and go back to playing doctor.”
She was playing with fire with her choice of words, but I pretended to not notice that too and checked her back, saying, “The bullet passed through.”
“Fucking Victor, the thieving bastard,” she grimaced as I pressed gently around it, trying to stem the flow of blood. But before I could ask her what she meant by him being a thief, she asked, “And how can you see anything? I wouldn’t know it was there if I couldn’t feel it.”
“My senses are heightened,” I offered, getting some of the explanations I had ready for her out of the way. “Sight. Sound.” But not wanting to give her any reason to bolt just yet now that I had her back, I joked, “And smell, so don’t think you can sneak any farts by me anymore.”
My plan worked because she laughed out her vehement denial, “I never farted around you.”
Yes she did.
“Yes you did,” I chuckled. “You fart in your sleep.” Feeling her dual amusement and mortification, I added, “They’re cute. And you didn’t even notice when I pulled the covers over your head to seal them in.”
“Keep it up and I’ll eat cabbage and broccoli every night before bed,” she threatened, not seeming to realize her threat was an empty one if it meant she’d be in my bed. Despite my best efforts at keeping them in check, my hopes only continued to grow when she went on with, “Did you know I’m lactose intolerant and I’m a whore for chocolate milkshakes? You might be able to knock down a forest, but I’m pretty sure I can knock you down too. Just call me Obi Wan because the force is in me.”
In that that moment I realized just how much I’d really fucking missed her.
And how big of an epic douchebag I was for ever sending her away in the first place.
But seeing through my douchebag exterior to whatever it was on my face made her sober up and ask, “Are blood red Slurpees still your drink of choice?”
“Yes.” I only hungered for blood and it seemed to allow me to keep my strength up. I’d experimented with eating food, but it didn’t turn out too well when it all came back up.
“Do you want to try mine?”
But would I be able to stop?
I hadn’t experimented with drinking fresh blood from the source. Flood, Herveaux, and Purifoy would’ve been my only options – which weren’t an option at all in anyone’s mind – unless I attacked someone on the street during my nightly Sookie stalking.
But having a better feel for what I could and couldn’t handle, I thought I could at least try. I was a scientist at heart and experimenting was in my blood – literally – so when she offered me her side by pressing forward towards my face, I gave in to my wants for both her blood and answers by gently licking the blood from her skin.
Anything I’d thought about how she would taste didn’t come close to how good she fucking tasted. Or how turned on I would be doing it.
Was it just her blood?
Was it the intimate act of licking her skin?
Or was it just her?
I had a feeling it was likely a combination of all three and Sookie was apparently feeling some of it herself. And it wasn’t helping, so I admitted another truth to her by saying, “I can feel you.” And feeling her confusion, I specified, “That night, after…before…when we kissed. I’d accidentally cut my tongue and you swallowed a little bit of my blood. I don’t know why, but I can feel your emotions now.”
I expected her to be pissed. I was waiting for her to feel violated over me being so intimately aware of everything that went through her. So of course she surprised me instead by saying, “So then you should be able to tell when I’m about to fart in my sleep and hold your breath.”
“Yeah,” I chuckled. “Out of this whole experience, that is what I’ll consider my greatest accomplishment. A Sookie fart-dar.”
At least talking about farts had abated some of the sexual tension we’d each been feeling, so I thought to experiment a little more by saying, “One of the other changes – one I’d actually hoped to accomplish – was that my body heals itself now. You probably noticed it that night, but…would you mind experimenting a little?”
“What did you have in mind?” she asked and then grinned. “Because I wouldn’t say ass play is definitely off the table, but you’d have to ease me into it first. You might have pointy teeth now, but I already know the real monster is in your pants.”
“Sookie,” I growled.
Because there went my libido again.
“We’ll talk about your ass and what I can and will do to it later,” I warned.
Her. Me. Who the hell knew anymore.
“But for right now, I was thinking of trying to heal you with my blood. In theory, since whatever changes occurred in me allows my body to heal itself, then I’m wondering if dabbing some directly into your wound would do the same.”
Talking about it drew my eyes back to her side and I squashed the urge to bathe it in my tongue, knowing I could very well bathe the inside of my pants in cum if I did.
“Would you be able to feel me even more?” she asked.
I was about to reply I couldn’t be sure when I felt her lust skyrocket and ended up gritting out, “Stop that!”
“Stop what?” she asked innocently, but if I could’ve read her mind I was certain I would be able to see every lewd and lascivious thing she had to be imagining right then to feel as turned on as she was.
“I mean it Sookie,” I warned. I had no idea of how I would manage to restrain myself if we were to have sex right then. Between the smell of her blood, my new strength, and my carnal desire for her, I could easily kill her.
“So shut up and quit using your sex voice. Be like Nike and just do it already,” she taunted, but I could tell she was hoping it would work. Her pain levels had steadied, but she was still in pain.
That made two of us.
For two different reasons.
Not knowing how much would be needed – or if it would work at all – I thought to try it in small quantities at first. Cutting open the tip of my finger on my sharpened tooth, I squeezed about a dime sized dollop of blood out and gently applied it to the hole where the bullet entered.
“It…it tingles,” she said, while I watched it seep into her skin and waited for a sign it was working. So when I saw the edges slowly starting to knit back together, I did the same thing to the hole where the bullet had exited her body.
In all it took under five minutes for there to only be a faint outline of where her wounds were and I hoped they would fade in time too. I didn’t want her to have any physical reminders of what would’ve never happened had I not sent her away.
It was bad enough knowing I would never forget it.
Standing up, I looked into her eyes and asked, “How do you feel?”
“You tell me,” she smirked.
“Good. You feel good and I can’t feel you any more than I already could,” I answered after feeling her out – so to speak.
But I felt her mischievous mood just as she asked, “And now?” right before she pulled my blood covered finger into her mouth. Moving her tongue across it reminded me of how good she was at moving it across other parts of me and she seemed to know that when she finally released it with a pop, purring out, “Can you feel me now?”
Yes I could.
And what I was feeling coming from her was not helping.
Not helping at all.