I couldn’t tell whose lust was whose, with Eric’s emotions channeling straight into my own. But I couldn’t be bothered to care because the fact of the matter was we were both feeling it.
That alone was enough to keep me from wanting to stop. However, while my body was fueled with nothing but desire for the man now underneath me, what gave me peace of mind – what warmed my heart – was realizing I was falling in love with him.
Logically, I knew it was quick. We hadn’t really been together but for a few days.
But we’d been through more together in those few days than some couples experienced in a lifetime and through it all, Eric never once waivered from standing at my side.
He’d been there to hold me up, when I was too weak to stand on my own.
He’d been there to bring me back from the depths of my despair, not once, but three times.
I’d already learned that in the Supernatural world, nothing was given without a price.
Favors done became debts owed.
But thanks to my bond with Eric and the snippets of his thoughts I’d been able to hear, I knew his actions had been completely selfless.
It was – perhaps – a first in his millennium long lifetime.
His only want was for me to be comforted and happy because he just wanted me. I knew he would kill for me and I knew – that thought alone – should scare me, but it didn’t.
We might have been living in a palace and each of us came with our own royal titles, but this was certainly no fairytale.
Eric was a killer by nature. A survivalist by instinct.
And yet with me he was just a man.
I’d seen his tenderness, his anger, his passion, and his rage, but I was never afraid.
Not of him.
Because I loved all of him.
I realized it when I could feel his need to kill, when he’d guessed about my childhood trauma. But he cast aside what his own instincts demanded of him and instead pushed solace into me.
To him, my wellbeing took priority over everything else and coming from a man who was running two kingdoms, with hundreds of others depending on him, while keeping those who wanted to take what he had at bay, I was left awestruck.
He put me first – time and again – even before we’d become anything more than just friends. Because of my curse, it was more than I’d ever dared to hope for, but with Eric I got to experience the best of both worlds.
I could touch him without his thoughts screaming into my head, but what I did hear from time to time only brought me happiness.
And when I couldn’t hear him, I could still feel the sincerity behind everything he told me, so I didn’t have to question his motives because I could feel his intent.
While I wasn’t quite sure that he loved me too, whatever it was he felt for me was something close to it.
And that was close enough for me.
The things Eric made me feel just moments earlier were better than anything I’d ever read about in one of my trashy romance novels, but having been subjected to the thoughts of one Lafayette Reynolds on more than one occasion, I had my own ideas on how I could repay the favor.
Any nervousness I may have felt was quickly replaced by determination as I removed his pants, carefully lowering the zipper – knowing my vampire liked to go commando – and I felt another flood of moisture gush between my thighs seeing it spring free.
It wasn’t the first time I’d seen it, nor would it be the first time I’d felt it, but now I literally wanted to devour him.
I wanted to give him the same kind of pleasure he’d given to me, but more than that, I wanted to be the one that brought him to the point of no return.
The one who broke his self-control, until he had no choice but to succumb to me.
Because he was mine.
His body truly was a work of art – a masterpiece that deserved to be worshipped for hours on end – but seeing his hands gripping the sheets on either side of him, with his eyes tightly closed made me set aside those desires for now, knowing he needed some sort of relief.
Remembering earlier that evening when he seemed able to read my thoughts and wondering if our bond somehow worked both ways, I silently projected his earlier command back at him, thinking, “Look at me, lover.”
His eyes snapped open with my unspoken request and seeing my lips, now hovering a hair’s breadth above his more than adequate gracious plenty, they only darkened with barely restrained passion.
But I could tell from his expression he didn’t realize I hadn’t spoken the words out loud. It was something we would need to talk about later on, but for now the time for talking was over.
My mouth would be too full to maintain any kind of conversation anyway.
I watched him gasp, when my tongue darted out and stole the drop of his arousal that had pooled on the tip. And while I’d already been determined to see it through no matter how it tasted, I was surprised finding I enjoyed the flavor.
So I greedily went back for more, while my hand wrapped around the base of his shaft, knowing it would be impossible for me to fit all of him into my mouth. Instead, I hummed my appreciation when more of his flavor hit my tongue and inadvertently caused Eric’s hips to buck upwards, as he growled out his approval.
It was impossible for me to maintain steady eye contact, with me getting lost in everything I was doing to him. In everything we were both feeling at that moment.
But whenever my eyes strayed back up to his face, his eyes were there – watching me – and it only turned me on more.
I’d never done anything like what I was now doing to Eric, but wanting him to get the most out of it, I made sure to pay attention to everything his body and our bond was telling me.
He liked it when I hummed.
He panted breaths he didn’t need when I tightened my grip and increased the force of suction with my mouth.
He growled when I used my teeth to lightly scrape against his skin on my upward strokes.
But when I used my free hand to gently caress his balls with my fingertip – lightly stroking the skin just underneath them – his entire body stiffened, with his eyes slamming shut as he all but forced the warning from his lips.
“Lover…I…I’m going to cum.”
All it took was for me to hum my approval, when my mouth was flooded with his seed and I hungrily swallowed it all, even as my ears rang from the roar that exploded from his chest.
His hands finally let go of the sheets to gently entwine in my hair, while I licked him clean from base to tip – not wanting to waste a single drop – all while he mumbled incoherently above me.
It could’ve been Swedish, but for all I knew it was gibberish and I felt oddly proud that I’d made him that way.
I’d seen enough in the minds of the donors to know none of them had gotten that kind of reaction from him before.
When there wasn’t another drop to be had, he pulled me up the length of his body and captured my lips in a kiss, as he rolled our bodies so that I was underneath him once more.
When he finally pulled away, so I could take a much needed breath, the intensity in his eyes made that same breath catch in my throat. But what made my heart skip a beat was what I could feel from him.
That feeling – those emotions that were close to love – had only grown bigger and I could feel his own confusion over them, along with his overall acceptance that blanketed them all.
So when he seemed at a loss for words – and knowing he wasn’t ready to hear the words I wasn’t even sure I was ready to say – I let him off of the hook with a small smile and just whispered, “Me too.”
It seemed to be enough for now, so with those words being the last spoken by either one of us, it wasn’t long until I fell asleep, safely ensconced in the arms of the man I loved.
He must have really worn me out because I didn’t wake up again until Eric had already risen for the night.
And by risen, I do mean all of him.
One of his needs was pressed against my thigh, while his lips played against my neck and his whiskers tickling my skin.
My arms automatically wrapped around his body, while I pressed myself against him, hoping his cool skin would help alleviate the fire now burning through my veins.
But when I shifted in order to wrap my legs around him as well, another part of him inadvertently shifted, so that all it took was a small swivel of my hips for his erection to slide through my quickly moistening folds.
“Sookie,” he groaned out, half-warning and half-pleading.
But I’d already made up my mind. I wanted him – all of him – and saw no reason to wait any longer.
It wasn’t out of sadness or a diversion from my thoughts that made me want to give myself to him.
It was the love and gratitude – the warmth and affection – I had for him. No one ever made me feel what I now felt for him and I knew once I gave myself to him in this way, there would be no turning back.
Not only could I feel his own emotions for me, but after seeing his reaction to Preston’s attempt to claim me, I knew Eric would never willingly let me go once we took this next step. I would be his in every way and I was okay with that because I knew without a doubt – from his deadly vampire king persona to his amused and exasperated acceptance at being the target of Pam’s and my mischief – I loved all of him.
And he would be mine in every way too.
Since I hadn’t said anything, Eric attempted to pull away in order to put some space in between us, but I merely held on tighter and moved my hips again, so that his tip was resting against my entrance.
Pulling his lips back to mine, I whispered, “Please?” And hoping he would be reassured by what I knew he could feel coming from me, I added, “I want to.”
Boy, did I…
His entire body froze, with his eyes locked onto mine, and I was sure he was picking apart our bond to make sure.
But even knowing I’d meant every word, he still questioned, “Are you sure?”
His own unneeded breath caught in his throat, when I pushed every ounce of the love I felt for him through our bond and hoped it – along with my small nod – would be enough to tip the scales.
In reality I was afraid, if I dared open my mouth, I might say those three little words and knew it was too soon for us to be having that conversation.
One thing at a time.
“Sookie,” he managed to whisper both tenderly and warningly. “You must be sure before you truly give yourself to me because once I’ve had you, I won’t be able to let you go. I don’t think I could have even before now, but by giving me this gift – make no mistake – you will be mine. Forever.”
I understood what he was saying.
I heard every word.
He was merely repeating what I’d already known, but something deep down inside – the same thing that had me racing against a wooden bullet without any thought of my own safety – told me this was right.
I was exactly where I was meant to be, with the man I was meant to be with, so thoughts of forever no longer gave me pause.
They only gave me comfort.
“I’m already yours,” I whispered back truthfully. “So take me and show me that you’re just as much mine.”
I wasn’t sure what I expected his reaction would be, but instead of taking what I’d offered him right away, his body sank down further onto mine and his lips lovingly coaxed my own into a gentle kiss. Tears pricked at the corners of my eyes, knowing the affection he was showing me was his own gift to me.
Like my virginity, his gift would only ever be given to me.
I could read it straight from his thoughts.
But as our shared passion began to inflame once again, I could feel the moisture of my own arousal now coating my upper thighs and was nearing the point of begging him, when he slid through my folds once more and then slowly began to push inside of me.
We each held our breath as my body gradually adjusted to his size and while it wasn’t excruciating, I felt uncomfortably full. But I didn’t let that dissuade me and locked my ankles together around his body, forcing myself to take him deeper.
“Patience lover,” he grunted out with his restraint. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Patience wasn’t a trait I’d ever been known for and now was no exception.
Already the slight soreness I’d felt initially was giving way to something much better, but I wanted to feel him all the way inside of me. I wanted our two bodies connected completely, like I now knew I wanted our bond to be as well.
But I wouldn’t take his blood again unless he offered it, not yet knowing if a permanent tie was something he wanted, so I did the next best thing and gave him my own.
As he struggled to maintain his restraint – denying both of us in the process – I pulled his mouth back to mine and slashed my tongue across his fangs. The taste of my blood was enough to make him lose command over his self-control and almost effortlessly, I was able to pull him inside of me the rest of the way.
We moaned into each other’s mouths and the sting only lasted for a few seconds, but feeling him like that for the first time – our bodies throbbing against one another so intimately – while our kiss continued on, had me bucking my hips in the hopes he would move.
I was sure he could feel what I wanted – I knew because I could feel it was what he wanted too – and when he finally pulled his hips back, his lips left mine and in a hoarse voice he said, “This is right.”
Then pushing back in, he ended with, “This is best.”
If I’d been in a different frame of mind, I might have argued the point, with him since I was certain every other woman he’d ever been with had been better than me. But I didn’t care.
All I could focus on was how he felt. How his body made mine sing and how his hands and lips began to seemingly touch every other part of me at the same time.
All I could do was give myself over to it all.
Now I could finally understand why every other person’s thoughts were preoccupied by sex, but I knew it was only that much better for me. Not only because I happened to choose someone with a thousand years of experience to share, but because I loved him.
I trusted Eric more than I’d ever trusted anyone and by giving him that trust, I’d unknowingly freed myself.
I didn’t have to get caught up in my own mind, wondering what this meant to him or what our future held because the answers were there in his eyes.
They were there in our bond.
So when I felt myself hovering on the edge of ecstasy, I held his head to my breast and begged him for my release, by pleading, “Bite.”
There was nothing painful about the way his fangs slid into my skin and I felt my inner walls clamp down around him inside of me, as I yelled out his name. He growled against my skin, while he pulled on the wound and his hands gripped my hips tighter.
His own hips thrust into me over and over again, seeking out his own release, with his pubic bone hitting me in just the right way each time. He managed to draw out my orgasm, before he finally pulled back and roared out my name, as I felt him explode inside of me.
Continuing to stroke in and out of me almost lazily, while my muscles milked him of everything he had, the pure bliss floating back and forth between us was like a high I never knew existed. I imagined it would only be that much better if we were permanently bonded, but I didn’t want to broach the subject now, when I knew neither one of us was thinking straight.
Eric made sure to heal his bite marks before pulling me flush against his body and he nuzzled my ear before finally looking into my eyes, wearing a smile I had yet to see on him as he said, “Thank you, lover.”
I knew he was thanking me for giving him my virginity, but in my euphoria I ended up giggling out, “Oh, I think I should be the one thanking you.”
I totally deserved every last one of the hateful thoughts and daggers thrown my way from the last batch of donors, knowing I’d be mad too if I was them.
My lips went right back to kissing him again and I marveled over his turnaround time, feeling The Beast stirring against my leg, when we heard Pam shout from the other side of the door, “It’s about fucking time! Speaking of the time, you do realize Cataliades will be here soon?”
“Fuck,” Eric sighed, I assumed at whatever Pam had said through the door.
I was too busy enjoying our post-coital high to get upset over their super-secret Swedish speak, until Eric said with a grin, “My lover, while I would love nothing more than to lie here in bed with you for the evening, I’m afraid we must get ready. Cataliades will be here soon and you must eat something to maintain your strength.”
I’d forgotten all about our meeting, but considering the man’s skills, I was surprised I hadn’t forgotten my own name.
He certainly had the art of leering down pat because his eyes let me know exactly why I would need to maintain my strength and since I didn’t have any clothes to wear, I threw his t-shirt on before literally skipping towards the door.
Eric caught me around my waist before I could get too far and he nuzzled my neck from behind, while asking, “Where are you going? How am I to show you how dirty a shower can be, if you are not in there with me?”
I hadn’t really been walking funny – I don’t think – but I was definitely feeling the soreness now that I was up and moving around.
Eric must have felt it too because I heard him say, “Please forgive me of my thoughtlessness lover.”
Then I saw his bloody finger appear in front of me moments before he slipped it inside of me and in an instant, all of the aches I’d been feeling were replaced with a wholly different kind of ache.
When his lips and tongue trailed across the back of my neck and shoulders, my body started moving on its own in keeping with Eric’s movements and I barely had the chance to gasp out my displeasure, when he pulled his finger out of me.
Because just as suddenly, I felt the cold tiles at my back, with the water beating down on us, as Eric lifted me up and thrust into me again. Now that he knew I could take all of him there was no hesitation on his part and my hands gripped his shoulders, as he pounded into me over and over.
While I’d already dismissed the worries I’d had days earlier over the thought of becoming addicted to his blood, I could now see being addicted to his body and the things it could do to me, was a very real possibility.
But at the moment, I couldn’t think of one good reason to ever leave his room – fairies and demons; kingdoms and hostile takeovers, be damned.
I had a Viking who needed to pillage and plunder everything he could from my body.
The man really knew how to optimize his time because he didn’t waste a single minute of it, making sure I climaxed twice before he let himself go. And since my legs refused to work, he continued to hold me up as he lovingly washed my body, all the while making me blush as he complimented each part of me his hands touched.
Eventually I was able to return the favor and our shower ended up taking twice as long as it would have had we washed separately, but neither one of us seemed to care.
In fact, Eric didn’t seem to have a care in the world, until I wrapped a towel around my body and made to leave his chambers, with him asking again, “Where are you going?”
“Well, unless our meeting with your lawyer is clothing optional, I need to go get some to put on.”
He frowned – and damn it all, even that was adorable on him – before he hesitantly asked, “Would you consider moving your things into this room?”
Well, color me shocked.
If anything, I knew Eric was the type to just order Pam to do it.
But I’d wanted to do it anyway and since he asked so nicely, I agreed, “Yes, I’ll do it when we get back tonight.”
He tsked me with a smile – that had I been wearing any panties, they would’ve poofed away, just like my fairy kin – as he softly shook his head and said, “I am afraid that will be impossible, as you will be too busy doing me, when we return for the night.”
I thought I should maybe huff over his presumption.
Perhaps, chastise him for his lewdness.
So what did I do?
I agreed with a breathy, “Okay,” like any common harlot, and fanned my now sweltering skin before forcing myself to turn away from him, so I could get the door open.
And then I nearly lost my towel, when I doubled over with laughter seeing Pam.
“I’d normally be happy for you and my asinine Maker, but I hate both of you right now,” she glared and then added, “Do you want fries with that?”
Even if I couldn’t feel Eric’s amusement, I could hear his barking laughter all the way from the bathroom.
I could barely catch my breath enough to say, “I love the new crown. Much more regal than the tiara.”
The world’s first Vampire Burger Queen looked positively livid and she sounded just as mad as she looked, when she seethed, “I mean it, Sookie. Do you want fries with that? I hate you both. Do you want fries with that? He commanded me to end every sentence I speak to you with that fuckery. Do you want fries with that? I can’t not do it. Do you want fries with that?”
She ended her tirade with a scream, but I was too busy laughing at her to be frightened.
So maybe Eric really was on to something, when he’d poo-pooed my self-preservation instincts.
When I finally calmed down somewhat and brushed the tears from my eyes, I took in her expectant look, and snorted out, “Actually, I’d prefer onion rings.”
Eric might really be onto something.
I wasn’t sure if it was our friendship or her fear of her Maker that was keeping me alive by that point, but I couldn’t help it.
The paper crown begged to be teased.
“You bitch!” she hissed and – from the looks of it – tried to keep her lips sealed.
Even so, she still couldn’t help but mumble out, “Do you want fries with that?”
I didn’t realize Eric was behind me until I saw her angry eyes glare several inches above my head.
And feeling bad for my temporarily former friend, I turned to him and asked sweetly, “Can you please do whatever it is so she doesn’t have to say that anymore?”
“Do you not want fries, lover?” he snickered and then added, “It was your idea.”
So maybe I wasn’t the only one who was lax on my survival.
Pam looked fit to be tied.
And it was her hiss that brought my eyes back to her, but since I didn’t really believe she’d hurt me – or that Eric would make her leave his chambers still under that command – all I could do was shrug sympathetically and say, “I’d offer you a dose of Vamprin, but I have a feeling that would only make things worse.”
I really did feel bad for her, so I offered, “Since it was sort of my idea, I hereby symbolically lift your Maker’s command. Now I’m gonna go change while he does it for real.”
With that, I took the paper crown from her head and stuck it on my own, laughing out on my way to my soon to be old room, “This is more a redneck fairy princess’s style anyway.”
By the time I came back out a few minutes later – sans paper crown – the two of them appeared back to normal.
But just to be sure, I looked over at Pam and asked, “All better?”
She spared one more glare for her still snickering Maker before shooting it my way and replied with a succinct, “Yes.”
I thought it would probably be pushing my luck to ask where my onion rings were, so instead I warmed up one of the meals the chef had prepared for me, while the two of them went over their plans for the evening.
From what I heard, everything would be revolving around the demon lawyer’s appearance. But Pam’s next words reminded me of another King’s visit from the night before when she told Eric, “You were right about Compton. It seems the little prick was gathering data on every vampire he came across, cataloging what he knew of their history, as well as who their Makers and children are.”
Then darting her eyes my way, I could see a smidge of concern in them, when he added, “But buried underneath it all was a file on a little known redneck fairy princess.”
“Me?” I asked incredulously. “What would he know about me?”
My chest ached remembering my conversation – more like confrontation – with Jason, but I pushed it aside with Sam’s words coming back to me.
According to him, Jason had seen Bill Compton leaving Gran’s house. But Gran had no memory of him at all, so it was likely she’d been glamoured.
I bristled inside, just thinking she’d been subjected to something like that by someone like him.
But Eric’s snarl brought me out of it, when he barked, “What was on it?”
Pam ignored him and kept her eyes on me, instead asking, “Do you know a Hadley Delahoussaye?”
“She’s my cousin,” I replied automatically. “We haven’t seen her in years though, not since she got addicted to drugs and ran away during her junior year in high school. We all thought she was probably dead by now. Why?”
“Well, she’s dead alright. Twice,” Pam replied.
I felt bad, of course, but it wasn’t like I hadn’t expected it. And honestly, a part of me was still angry at her for not being there when Aunt Linda had to fight a losing battle with cancer.
She died never knowing what happened to her only daughter, but I didn’t understand what she meant by twice, so I asked, “Twice?”
“She was the favored pet turned vampire by none other than our former monarch,” Pam explained. “According to Compton’s notes, your dear cousin used you and your ability for pillow talk and Sophie-Anne dispatched her procurer to go to Bon Temps and procure you by any means necessary. It seems she felt he’d be perfect for the task, since Hadley told her about your love of the film ‘Gone with the Wind’. She thought his southern accent and ghastly sideburns would be enough to sway you into his bed. Your cousin was ended by her jealous sibling, only a few months ago.”
My meal was long forgotten, with my stomach turning over the thought of anyone trying to use me in such a way.
Since Eric’s mind was the only vampire one I could read – sporadically at best – I might not have known anything was amiss until it was too late.
Eric didn’t seem too pleased over the idea either and it was a good thing I was done eating because he snatched me into his arms, while a low threatening growl vibrated through his chest, but it strangely made me feel better.
If Bill Compton had any brains, he’d keep on running.
Eric was still seething inside, but he looked like his normal indifferent self as we made our way to his office.
We had no choice because the demon lawyer was due to arrive any minute and even though Eric didn’t think he meant me any harm, he was being extra cautious.
And – I could feel – extra possessive.
He placed me in a chair at his side behind his desk and we’d barely gotten ourselves seated, when my mind reached out to the presence on the other side of the door.
But my overwhelming fear and anger was quicker than my mouth could form the words.
Only being able to sense my emotions, Eric stood up – shielding my body with his own – and faced the door just in time for it to burst open, with Niall striding through.
Pam sped over and put herself in front of me too, but not before Niall’s eyes met mine.
He’d never looked so scary before and my fear was only made worse because I could still sense his emotions.
He was completely outraged and – from the looks of it – my vampire was the cause.