I was so confused.
I couldn’t tell up from down.
Left from right.
But the one thing I did know in this moment was that I needed him in every way. This strange man of my even stranger dreams made me feel desirable. Unstoppable. He somehow made me feel like I was spun glass only he had the delicate hands to care for and invincible at the same time.
And all of that only confused me more.
But as corny as it sounded, when he was as deep inside of me as he could get, I felt complete. Whole in a way that I never even knew was possible.
I wouldn’t call it love, but it was definitely something.
However I would call it crazy.
And even crazier, it was just as true.
I didn’t even know him. Dream Him was just a man who’d died a thousand years earlier and for some odd reason my psyche was choosing to make me believe we were meant for one another in some weird monster-y way.
So did that mean I wanted to meet up with him in the afterlife when my time came to join him there?
And did it also mean I’d read way too many supernatural romance novels?
I had been raised to believe in God, but after my diagnosis, deep down I was no longer sure about what I believed in anymore. What I did know was that I had no control over what would happen to me when I died. Just like I had no control over my disease or how much time I had left on earth.
And I had absolutely no control over my body when I climaxed yet again thanks to his pistoning hips and just as quickly I was flooded with an overwhelming sense of affection that was coming both from me and not. The sensation was just as strange as my dream, but the flood didn’t stop there.
Because his bellowing roar flooded my ears, while a torrent of his cum flooded my very own Netherlands.
And in my dreamy sated state, I giggled thinking maybe Eric-er was actually the fabled little Dutch boy who could stop floods with his body’s appendages. Although it wasn’t his finger he was using to dam me up, but damn if it didn’t fit.
Unaware I was mentally fitting him for canoe sized wooden clogs, Eric-er snuggled my body underneath his own and whispered what I imagined was sweet gobbledygook into my ear, while I tried to focus on something other than him damming my leak.
Because in addition to fangs, Dream Me apparently had ADHD.
And thinking of my as yet undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder led me to thinking about doctors.
Which led me to think about my already diagnosed ALS.
Which in turn made me remember who I’d told about my condition.
Which was only one other person.
And that was how I remembered we were supposed to be heading back to Niall on the off chance this wasn’t just a dream, which in turn made me remember I was clearly off my rocker.
And confused. Remember?
But instead of doing any of that, I was on my back with a not-so-little maybe-Dutch boy lying on top of me, after just doing me.
And once again my mind flitted away with that shiny thought, thinking maybe I would call him Nike in my next dream.
If it weren’t for the threat of the impending daybreak, I would’ve happily stayed exactly where we were for the foreseeable future. I didn’t know if it was because she was my child or if Soo-key was truly a gift from the gods, but I felt at home with her – in her – in a way I hadn’t felt since I had been made vampire and I had no desire to be anywhere else.
Or with anyone else.
Which was probably why I felt a little irritated when she softly called my name, only to wait for our eyes to meet, so she could spoil our time together by bringing someone else into our fold by saying his name aloud.
Of course I recognized the pixie’s name at once, but she had been witness to me crushing his magical cage. She’d even felt relieved about it at the time, but now all I could feel coming from her was a form of eagerness coupled with desire. Not the kind of desire she felt when looking at me – and that had led us to our current positions – but the kind that sprang from hope.
But hope for what?
“Eric-er?” she called out softly again, while brushing the hair away from my eyes. “Niall. We have to go see Niall.”
Our language barrier was a problem I had not anticipated when I’d chosen to take Soo-key as my child and I knew it would take time to learn to communicate with one another. So I tried to keep that in mind and not let my own frustration – from her repeated pleas for the pixie – to bleed into our bond when I questioned, “Niall?”
Her responding smile would’ve lit up an entire village for the whole of the dark season, warming me in ways that had nothing to do with the temperature of the air or our bodies. And a soft moan left those same smiling lips as her eyes rolled into the back of her head when I couldn’t stop myself from slowly thrusting my hips back into hers.
She was too beautiful for her own good.
And it was good to be a vampire at times like this.
“Eric…oohhh…” she moaned out. I cared nothing about the mangling of my name above me now that my lips and hands were busy paying attention to her breasts. Our previous couplings had been fast, fueled by our mutual lust and her newborn urges, but now I wanted to take my time. To learn her body and all that I could make it do.
I had a feeling it was a lesson she would enjoy.
“You are a beautiful woman, Soo-key,” I murmured against her skin. While I did not regret making her my child, I couldn’t help but wonder how things might have gone had our paths crossed when both of our hearts still beat. I did not know her very well at all, but it was not unusual for my people to marry complete strangers. Soo-key was no stranger and she had already shown me her fiery spirit. Her gentle heart and her mammoth strength when feeding. Our bond allowed me to feel the truth of all of those things within her and all of those things could lead me to believe she would have made an excellent wife. A kind and yet fiercely protective mother to any offspring the gods might have gifted us with.
My hands automatically shifted to grab onto her hips, with my mind imagining her belly swollen with my child and I had no doubt.
Had our paths crossed while I’d still been alive, I would have pursued her relentlessly in my bid to take her as my wife.
And once she’d agreed, all would know she was mine in every way when not a single season would pass without her being with child or giving birth to one. I would swathe her in the finest furs I hunted across our lands. Tend to our fields and keep her fed with our harvest so that she could grow my sons and daughters.
While I had respect for Aude, taking her as my wife had been an obligation when my brother had been killed. But even if our union would mean peace for our people until the end of time, taking Soo-key as my wife never would have felt like an obligation.
I knew because it was already beginning to feel like something else entirely.
We really needed to get a move on, but I couldn’t do anything but enjoy the way he was moving on top of me. Strong waves of desire – both possessive and affectionate – were coursing through me and while I knew I felt both of those things for Eric-er, I didn’t believe they were all coming from me.
I just couldn’t explain where else they could be coming from.
But my already addled brain was further mushed when his lips met mine and I allowed myself to get lost once more in his kiss, telling myself to enjoy it now because those same lips would be cold and hard as stone when I woke up.
Besides, necrophilia so wasn’t my thing.
Instead of the fast and frenzied sex I had come to expect, I followed his lead and matched his unhurried pace. But even in my dream where I didn’t seem to need air, I couldn’t help but feel like I should have been panting it in when I fell apart once more underneath him. And his own happy moment wasn’t announced with another thundering roar, but a reverent plea from his lips before they gently landed back on my own.
My own feelings of affection for him were bombarding me – confusing me even more – which may have been why I freaked out when I wiped away the moisture I felt dripping from my eyes and noticed not tears, but blood on my fingertips.
What in the hell did bleeding eyes mean in dreams?
Flipping through my mental textbooks – while I was working myself up enough to flip the hell out – I showed them to Eric-er in answer to his questioning gaze. And as dumb as it was, when he cleaned away the evidence with his tongue, he must have taken my fright right along with it because waves of calm soothed my frazzled nerves. But before my mind could get lost in pursuit of the shiny new emotions flowing through me, I forced myself to focus on one thing at a time. And as far as I was concerned my primary focus should be on getting to Niall.
Besides, who wouldn’t gladly put off dealing with bloody teardrops for another day?
So before I could go chasing after anything else of Eric-er’s that was shiny – or to try and reenact how parts of him got that way – I rolled out from underneath him and pulled my clothes back on. I waited until he was dressed too and hoped he could see – if not possibly feel – my desperation when I pointed at my crude Etch-A-Earth drawing and said, “Please…take us back here.”
His head was already beginning to shake in the negative and his lips opened to likely fill my ears with more gobbledygook I had no hope of understanding. But instead of feeling any defiance over his refusal, my legendary Stackhouse temper seemed to have abandoned me because I only felt grief-stricken. I was desperate for answers and logically I knew I could try and go off on my own to find them, but on the inside, I knew I couldn’t leave him. Whether or not he would or could stop me wasn’t the point.
The thought of walking away from him scared me to my core.
And that fact only scared me more.
I felt my eyes widen feeling Soo-key fill with fear.
I caught her body when she threw herself at me like a lost child and sobbed into my chest. The longing in her was so great I found I couldn’t ignore it. If anything, I felt compelled to do whatever was necessary to take it away from her. No amount of calm I flooded through our bond seemed to have any effect on her emotional turmoil, so I did the only thing I could do.
I wrapped her up in my arms and took off into the night sky back towards where we’d first come from, hoping that was what she was longing for.
She clung to me automatically, while I attempted to soothe her with words she would not understand, but she only appeared to realize we’d left the ground when we were descending back onto it once more.
We weren’t quite back at the same location, but we were close. A vampire’s sense of direction was just as innate as the need to seek shelter from the sun. It was what allowed us to bury our treasures anywhere we saw fit and the ability to be able to return to the same exact spot, no matter how much time had passed or how the landscape had changed.
It was how I knew we weren’t very far from where the majority of my Maker’s wealth was hidden deep beneath the earth’s surface. We had just finished burying it, having moved it north from another spot further to the south, when we’d boarded the shipping vessel I had ultimately jumped from and into the frozen waters in my bid to be away from him. He had been over a thousand years old when he turned me, so he had already amassed quite a bit of gold and jewels by then.
And with him no longer alive, I supposed it was all mine now.
But before I could get lost in thought over our fortunate fortune awaiting us a short flight away, Soo-key seemed to recognize the darkened path I’d set us down on, when her eyes lit up and she hugged me, chanting over and over, “Thank you thank you thank you thank you.” Gratitude filled her veins, while more bloody tears filled her eyes and I quickly wiped them away so she would not feel distressed again finding them, as she added, “Niall will help us. I promise.”
Again, with the pixie.
I didn’t understand her words or what her fascination with the now crushed creature was, but I allowed her to pull me alongside of her down the path and back towards the large structure we first emerged from. With the late hour, we appeared to be the only ones out. But I had already decided I would glamour the memories from anyone we happened upon who appeared to know Soo-key and hoped being here one final time would give her the closure she needed. Allow her to move on.
It would make for a long and miserable eternity for any vampire who could not let go of their human past.
I would know.
But now I had an eternity to look forward to. One with my new child and without my sadistic Maker. And I was also looking forward to learning all about the new world I now found myself in, seeing the strange things Soo-key appeared to take in stride as we strode forward.
Light of all shapes and sizes without the use of fire.
Images on walls that appeared lifelike and not drawn with any paint or dye I had ever seen before.
Nearly invisible walls, like thin layers of ice. They didn’t feel like frozen water when I touched them and yet I could still see into the rooms beyond them.
It was all so strange.
Very strange, indeed.
I hadn’t paid attention to any of it when I’d first fled the structure with a lifeless Soo-key in my arms. My only concern had been getting her to ground in time for the magic to work, hoping she would rise as my child. But now that I had her safe and sound at my side, I allowed my eyes to take everything in, while I kept a watch for any threats.
And it was only the sound of an odd buzzing – unlike any bird or insect I had ever heard before – that drew my attention to the fact we’d stopped walking. She had let go of my hand by then to nervously wring her own in front of her, when a moment later the door in front of us opened. An older man stared back at us with a shocked expression and before I could do or say anything, he exclaimed, “Sookie! Get in here!”
At the same time he spoke, his hand shot forward and latched onto my child’s, pulling her inside and out of my reach, with the magic surrounding his human home now keeping me out.
But it wouldn’t be able to keep me out for very long.
Only as long as it took for me to tear it down in order to reach my child.