I probably should’ve made Eric work a little harder to get out of the doghouse, but the truth was I missed him more than I had wanted to admit even to myself. Even as I told him to fuck off and that we were through, every part of me revolted against the idea of not seeing him anymore.
And then he went and said he loved me.
So fuck me if I wasn’t that girl.
I believed him though, and while I had a billion questions about what was different, besides him being able to fly, for right now I only had one thing on my mind.
And playing with Eric this way might very well be my new favorite game. Especially since I was in the mood for some makeup sex. Something he already knew since he could feel me.
Now if only I could get him to feel me from the inside.
So I let my mind wander, remembering exactly how that felt, and before you could say ‘Game Night’, my feelings hopped, skipped, and jumped their way over to Eric, making him hiss, “Sookie…”
Probably realizing exactly what I was doing – he was a genius after all – he switched things up by whining out, “Soookiiie…”
But my kitty wanted to play with his balls of yarn and make those bitches unravel, so I matched his whine with my purred out, “Errriiiic…”
“No!” he growled. “You have to stop trying to tempt me.” Acting like he didn’t want me with his words, his hands were a different story. Even as he was saying no with his lips, he pulled my body against his and rubbed it against me.
The monster in his pants was growling and making a grab for me too.
“But whhyyy?” I whined, hoping there wasn’t a little part of him that was mad at me for giving him clicky teeth. It was a hell of a lot different than say an ugly Christmas sweater.
“Because of this,” he gritted out and before you knew it I was tumbling across the ground.
Jesusfuckingchrist! Maybe he really was mad?
“Shit!” I heard him yell out, right before he pulled me back up to my feet just as quickly. Patting me down like his initials were TSA, I guessed looking for injuries over whether or not I had an extra ounce of shampoo tucked into my Spanx, he eventually ran out of places to pat. The only damage done was a new rip along the skirt of my dress and seemingly satisfied I wasn’t hurt, he ran his hands through his hair and said, “I’m so sorry!”
“What were you trying to do?” I asked. My body might have come to a standstill, but my head hadn’t gotten the memo yet to stop spinning.
“I don’t know,” he moaned. “My intention was to give you an example of how easily you could be hurt by me. I was going for tearing your dress into a mini skirt, but…it didn’t work out so well.”
Now that I’d stopped seeing two of him, I couldn’t help but snicker out, “That would’ve been kinda hot, but I didn’t pay a couple of grand for shoddy workmanship.” But feeling better already – and by better, I meant horny – I slithered back up to him and asked, “What’s wrong with working the zipper?”
When I felt the low growl work its way through his chest, I was sure it was only because we were standing on grass that the sound of checkers falling from my checkerboard couldn’t be heard hitting the ground.
Tink. Tink. Tink.
“That’s hot too,” I whispered, picturing my Harlequin hero ripping the rest of my dress from my heaving bosom, so he could push his pulsing manhood into my love chamber.
Yep. I could be that girl too.
“And that’s not helping! I mean it Sookie,” he warned.
“I mean it too,” I whispered in my best impersonation of Jessica Rabbit.
Apropos, I thought, since I wanted us to fuck like rabbits.
Sliding my hands underneath his shirt, I noticed his skin felt cooler than I expected. But what really got my attention was how big he felt.
Aside from his monster.
It made me want to strip him naked and pull an all-nighter, studying his body like I was cramming for sexams as I crammed him inside of me.
I’d always been a very good student.
“You’re too tempting,” my pot whispered to his kettle, fighting against what we both obviously wanted for whatever reason.
But never one to back down from a challenge, I quoted my hussy hero, drawling out, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”
“You’re quoting cartoons?” he managed to chuckle, even though I could tell his pot was rapidly approaching an all-out boil.
“You’d rather I quote former presidents?” I asked. Dropping my voice to a whisper and my hand down to the front of his pants, I stroked his leaky spout and offered, “If I speak softly will you let me carry your big stick?”
“That’s not what Roosevelt said,” he said in a hoarse whisper.
“Roosevelt never had your stick in his hands.”
More like tree trunk. Maybe carrying that around for all of these years is what gave him the ability to rip others from the ground now? Either way, his stick was mine now and I’d beat anybody who tried touching it with an ugly one. Former or current president.
No. He. Can’t.
But my actions were making me crave more than a spot of tea when he pleaded, “Sookie,” and forcefully took my hands in his own. “I’m not saying no. I’m just saying not right now.” Looking up at him, I could see he was struggling with both his words and his wants when he finally admitted, “I’m scared I’ll hurt you. I want you too much and with the scent of your blood…it’s just too overwhelming.”
Considering his grip on my hands was approaching painful, I could see his point.
So I would have to wait until he was calmer to play with his point.
“Fine,” I grumbled, trying not to feel disappointed now that I knew he would feel it coming from me too. I couldn’t imagine everything he was going through, so the least I could do was chain up my inner hussy to make it easier on him. But that wouldn’t work forever.
Now that she knew just how many points Eric could make, that whore would chew off her own arm to free herself eventually.
“Thank you,” he whispered against my lips, keeping our kiss more sweet than sultry, and then added, “I know there’s a lot I still need to tell you, but we should head back to the house. I need to tell the guys about Victor and what he told you. I dropped him on the side of the road when I went flying after you, so we need to find him and then find out what he knows.”
I hadn’t given much thought to Flood and the other two who’d come into the house that night. I’d been doing my best not to think about that night at all, so after I yipped and smacked Eric for shooting us into the sky without warning, I snuggled into his chest and asked, “They’re still staying with you?”
Being out of the loop wasn’t something I was used to where Eric was concerned. Just thinking about it made me feel a little sad and a lot pissed, but Eric just squeezed me tighter and said, “Yes and I promise I’ll tell you everything that’s happened since that night.” Pausing for a moment, he kissed the top of my head and said, “You know, I really am sorry.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “You are.”
He knew what I meant.
It didn’t matter though. I was still fucked because I still loved him, even though he wouldn’t fuck me yet.
So for anyone keeping count, I was fucked on two outta three fronts.
I didn’t have long to languish though because just as I noticed his house coming into view, I noticed something else new.
“You fenced the property?”
“Yes,” he replied and explained, “It’s electric and Godric’s wired into it. If anything bigger than a Shih Tzu goes up to or over it, they’ll get showered in an atomized silver spray.”
Sounded handy, but before I could issue my atta boy, Eric brought us down – too fast, I thought – and it seemed my assessment was valid. Eric must have needed new brake pads because before I knew it we landed in the yard hard enough for the ground to shake and then rolled across the lawn, like someone had shouted, “Stop! Drop! And…”
From the safety of his cage-like arms, I squealed like a pig in an Eric blanket, and just as we came to a stop the sound of feet could be heard running towards us. Once the dust literally settled, I looked up at our audience, recognizing Flood and his men, and the largest of three – the one I played Babe Ruth with – looked me over before turning to Eric and saying, “No means no, man.”
I supposed I did look a little worse for wear in my riches to rags ensemble, but I stood up and brushed myself off, while Eric grumbled, “I found out I can fly. I just need to practice the landing part.”
The three of them laughed before letting their eyes fall to me. Looking back at them and acting like I didn’t look like I’d lost a fight with a weed whacker, I smiled and greeted, “Gentlemen. It’s good to see you again.”
“Miss Stackhouse,” Flood smiled and nodded in my direction.
But before anyone could say anything else, the sound of, “SOOKIE!” boomed around the yard.
It was the voice of God…ric.
Maybe feeling a little spiritual himself, Eric huffed, “Jesus Christ,” and threw his hands up in the air, talking to the thin of it around him, asking, “So now you’re talking again?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Eric. The thin air. Take your pick.
“Did something happen to Godric?” I added, sounding worried. I’d kind of wondered why he’d never tried contacting me and then told myself I was being stupid for thinking my computer generated buddy would miss me. Sure, I didn’t have my phone, but I knew he – of all AI people – would be able to worm his way into Northman Inc.’s computer network.
The Godric IM I kept telling myself I wasn’t but really was waiting for never came.
“Other than a major case of the ass?” Eric groused, as he led us indoors. “After you left he gave me a very detailed dissertational account of asses and the types I most resembled, so when I commanded him to not contact you until I was ready, he went radio silent.”
I would’ve pet him if I could – Godric, not Eric – but since I couldn’t I was about to tell him I missed him too when the third troop in Eric’s little band of misfits laughed, “Not to us. He’s talked to us plenty. It’s just his Maker he’s mad at.”
“You’ve brought back my woman,” Godric said – like Maker, like AI Caveman. “So you’ve earned my cooperation.”
Eric only sighed and shook his head before turning to me with a smirk and said, “You have a fan club. The whole fucking lot of them have been against me since you left.”
“Since you sent her away,” Godric corrected.
At least I wasn’t the one to have to say it, but since Eric and I had already covered that, I didn’t feel the need to beat a dead horse’s ass and offered, “That’s very sweet of you all, but I’m back now, so no more picking on Eric. That’s my job.” But staring at them all, I realized I didn’t know the names of half of them, so I admitted to that half, “I’m sorry. Colonel Flood I know, but I’m afraid I don’t know your names.”
My baseball opponent looked up and waved his hand at me with a smile, saying, “Hey there Shoeless Joe, I’m Alcide Herveaux. And while I admire your swing, I appreciate you not taking a swing at my balls. The runt of the litter over there is Jake Purifoy.”
If he was a runt than my name should be Arrietty Clock because I’d have to borrow a ladder to be eye to eye with any one of them. But since I was the definition of icky-poo-cah at the moment, I just waved at each of them in return and said, “Nice to meet you. Officially.” And turning back to Eric, I added, “I’m just gonna go take a quick shower and I’ll be right back.”
I didn’t wait for a response, but it made no difference because I only got five feet down the hall before I stopped to ask, “Doing a little redecorating?”
There were patched holes – Eric-sized ones – in the walls on one side, but hearing Eric say, “Uhh…” was all the answer I needed.
I didn’t want to know.
Between the grass in my hair, the blood on my side, and the checkers falling out of my cooch, I needed a shower stat. But it turned out to be a long one, so by the time I went back into the living room wearing some of the clothing I’d thankfully left behind, everyone looked fit to be tied.
“What happened?” I asked and then grinned at Eric, “Did somebody fart?”
“Victor,” Eric managed to snarl, while fighting off his own grin. “Between what he did to you and then what he said to you, he’s not winning any popularity contests around here. Godric tried locating his cell, but he seems to have turned it off.”
“Or maybe he didn’t pay the bill,” I scoffed. But seeing Eric’s arched brow reminded me we never got around to that, so I added, “He was the one embezzling money from Northman Inc.”
“I thought I heard Edgington telling you that tonight, but I guess it makes more sense now.”
“What do you mean you thought you heard?” I wondered aloud.
And then wondered if I’d have to go clear across town the next time I had to fart.
“I told you I can hear better,” he said and then looked pointedly at the other three.
Which was no fucking fair because I should get first dibs on any point playing.
“What?” I asked, wondering what they were hiding from me since I had a feeling I was about to be Dutch Oven’d.
Eric wasn’t the only one with powers. All women had an innate ability to sense male bullshit a mile away.
No intrusive sniffers needed.
Flood spoke up and said, “Go ahead. She knows about you, so we’ll be yesterday’s news to her.”
When Eric hemmed, I glared at him before he could haw and said, “Just tell me.”
“I changed them.”
“What do you mean you changed them?” I asked, even though I had a feeling I already knew. And knowing how Eric’s change came about and remembering the new drywall, I felt my panic rise when I asked, “Did the wolves come back? Were you all hurt?”
I felt like the biggest asshole on the planet for letting myself get caught up in my own melodramatics. I guessed I was that girl too because instead of getting in Eric’s face and telling him to shut the fuck up, that I wasn’t going anywhere, I took my pigheaded ass and went wee wee wee all the way home.
And now my new business cards would read:
Sookie Stackhouse, PhD
“No,” the three of them said in unison, with Flood taking the lead and adding, “We all volunteered. Those werewolves are too quick and too strong for us to take them head-on without some kind of enhancement ourselves. Eric is inhumanly strong now, but he’s got no experience fighting. And we’ve got the know-how, but we didn’t have the oomph. Now we’ve all got an edge.”
Looking at Eric, Alcide piped up with, “Eric is still the strongest, but we’re teaching him tactical maneuvers and he’s picking them up quick. And because looking like that wasn’t enough, now apparently the fucker can fly.” Narrowing his eyes at him, he added, “Always gotta overachieve, ay brainiac?”
As an outsider on the inside, I could see there was a camaraderie there, but instead of feeling left out, I was overcome with happiness for Eric. He’d never had any real friends he could count on, but out of something as horrific as his near death, he now had them in his life because of it.
I knew Eric was confused over my sudden joy just from the look on his face, but he didn’t ask and explained, “I’m still different than them. They got everything from the serum I’d strived for, but didn’t have the same…extras mine came with. The teeth. The need to drink blood or the decelerated heartbeat.”
“Your heart still beats?” I asked, with my feet already moving towards him before I’d finished the thought. I pressed my head against his chest and waited, but I didn’t hear anything and said as much.
“It’s very slow, like molasses moving down a glacier on a sunny day in negative forty degree weather,” he explained. “My heart beats once every twenty-four hours.”
Weird, but no weirder than him walking around with no heartbeat at all. But since the others seemed to miss out on pointy extras, I asked, “Why do you think you’re different?”
I knew Eric, so I knew he would’ve already thought it out. Dissected it to the Nth degree and then dissected it some more.
“The only thing I can think that was any different was the wolf bites,” he said, wrapping his arms around me and holding me against him. “Something about being bitten must have made a genetic difference. And my change only took about an hour, but when John was given a dose, he passed out and didn’t wake up for three days. The same for Alcide and Jake.”
“So…all of you?” I asked, pulling away so I could take a look around at the other three. “You all have crazy extras like Eric?”
“Yep,” Jake smiled and said, “Step away from Eric and I’ll show you.”
So I stepped away from Eric and then took about a dozen more when Jake flew across the room faster than my eyes could track towards Eric. I didn’t even have the time to scream before it was all over, but Eric must have moved faster because he had Jake pinned against the wall by his neck.
Grinning at his captive audience, Eric asked, “How many times do I have to hang you on my wall before you realize you’ll never beat me?”
Jake just grinned back at him and asked, “Are you sure about that?”
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I heard Alcide snicker right before Eric toppled to the ground like some little bastard from Hogwarts shouted their deboning spell at him.
Like someone had cut the invisible strings his limbs had been attached to, Eric fell in a heap where he stood and I ran over, yelling out his name, but not before I heard Jake guffaw, “It never gets old!”
“It doesn’t!” Alcide cried out in laughter, holding his sides.
“What happened to him?” I yelled in a panic and dropped down beside him.
But before I could say or do anything else – and I had plenty I wanted to say and do to the two braying jackasses in the room – Flood walked over. Picking Eric up like he was sack of potatoes and throwing him over his shoulder, he said, “Don’t pay those two assholes any mind. It scared the shit out of us the first time it happened too.”
I followed Flood back to Eric’s room where he put him on the bed and explained, “It happens at daybreak. It’s like somebody turns out Eric’s lights and he’s out. Out out. The first time he was out until sundown, but since his heart wasn’t thumping before he took a header, we decided to wait him out before digging his grave. And every day since then, he’s still lights out at dawn, but he comes around earlier with each passing day. He’s more sluggish when the sun’s up, but that seems to be evening out too. He thinks in time he won’t need any sleep at all.”
I couldn’t help but connect the dots on my mental vampire image. It was the only reference I had, what with the clicky teeth and blood Slurpees, so I drew on every other piece of folklore and teen romance I knew and asked, “Can he go out in the sun? Does it burn him or make him sparkle?”
“Neither,” he chuckled. “The sunlight doesn’t hurt him and if he drinks a liter of blood before going out, his coloring looks normal. It takes him a minute for his eyes to adjust, but we all had the same issues. It’s a good thing his neighbors are a little ways away or else we could’ve gone crazy with how good our hearing is now before we learned to tune things out.”
I had a million more questions, but seeing Eric lying in bed only made me want to join him. I was pooped – something I wouldn’t be doing in this house with all of the literally and figuratively nosey occupants – and Flood must have seen it on my face because he said, “You’ve had a long night, so why don’t you get some rest. We’ll all be here when you wake up.”
He moved to walk out the door, but before he got too far, I reached out and put my hand on his arm saying, “Thank you. For staying with Eric and looking out for him.”
I’d always felt like it was my job to do that for him, but this was different. Good different and I suspected Flood knew that because as I finally lay down on the bed, curled around Eric, I fell asleep replaying his parting words to me.
“It’s what brothers do.”