*Secret Swedish speak in italicized quotations below*
My child was lucky. Be it a happenstance of her being my child or the fact I could feel their mutual affection for one another, I was certain it was only due to one – if not a combination – of those two things in which she was able to remain in possession of her hands.
I would’ve ripped the arms off of anyone else who dared to touch my bonded at all, much less for grabbing her ass.
“Sookie,” Pam purred in a whisper, “Feel free to do a little groping yourself before my Maker regains his senses.”
“Too late,” I barked with no real bite to my words and pulled my bonded back onto my lap. It was impossible for me to feel anything but Sookie’s happiness at the moment and I was truly happy for her that she’d found a friend in my child, after learning how little of them she had due to her gift. We would need all the allies we could gather – her furry friends included – if we were to fight off the Fae and Demons alike, but until they made their first move there was nothing more we could do but prepare for them.
“Her bigoted brother is out of prison and has returned to their hometown awaiting a new trial. Have you found the uncle yet?” I asked, while feeling Sookie’s growing aggravation over my evasion.
Pam smirked at Sookie’s scowl and replied, “Are we killing the asshole? The brother – not Uncle Fester the Molester. Uncle Fester is currently in a state run home where the humans send old people to die. I didn’t know if you’d still want him since there’d be no sport in killing him. He’s unaware of his surroundings.”
Truthfully, I wanted to kill them both, but I knew Sookie would miss at least one of them. The other, however, was fair game. Normally I wouldn’t bother exacting revenge on someone so frail and near death, only because it would almost be kind to put them out of their misery, but nothing of what I was feeling now could be classified as ‘normal’. My bonded had been victimized – by both his thoughts and his actions.
For those offenses his painful death would be slow in coming, even if I had to heal him with vampire blood so I could prolong his punishment.
“The brother will live,” I replied, “for now, but I want the uncle brought to the dungeon here. Use only vampire guards. I don’t want my bonded to hear any details from the Weres’ minds.”
I didn’t know what Sookie’s reaction would be to my plans and decided to use the ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ policy where he was concerned.
I wouldn’t tell her if she didn’t ask.
“What are you two talking about?” Sookie finally huffed with irritation.
“My Maker was just reminding me that he has no desire to share you with his most loyal child,” Pam replied before I could even try to formulate an answer, bending the truth so much it could be used as one of those ridiculous looping plastic straws she sometimes used to drink synthetic blood. I’d never actually come out and said so, but Pam knew well enough through our tie I would never share Sookie with her – even before we were bonded. However she was also shrewd enough to realize, as my bonded, Sookie would know if I’d tried to lie and had saved me from having to answer.
“He’s promised me diamonds to make it up to me,” she smiled back at me.
“You’re just spoiled,” Sookie laughed and then looked back at me, asking, “What’s on the agenda for tonight, besides bedazzling Pam?”
Considering Sookie had bought her half-truth, Pam may very well look as though Liberace was her personal shopper by the time I was done repaying my debt to her.
I could practically hear my wallet crying in my bedroom, but it was a small price to pay so I decided to get my money’s worth and looked at Pam, saying, “You’ll see to whatever business there is for the night. Sookie and I will be along later.”
There wasn’t much on the agenda considering all we’d been subjected to the night before, but her hands shot to her hips while the scowl formed on her face with her asking, “And what will you be doing while I’m ass deep in kingdom bullshit?”
My hands did a little of their own ass grabbing on Sookie’s, attempting to remove the invisible fingerprints my child had left there, while I said, “I’ll be teaching my lover how to wield a sword.”
Ever since she’d brought it up, I couldn’t get the image to leave my mind. Imagining her thrusting the deadly weapon I would have made just for her; her tiny hand wrapped around the grip with the gleaming blade waving in the air in front of her while her body glistened from exertion. The thought alone would’ve made me sweat if it were at all possible. The visuals my mind conjured were nearly as good as seeing her putting her things away in my closet and my own lust at the mere thought of my warrior lover shot through my veins, colliding with Sookie’s growing excitement, but was tempered just as quickly by the insolence I felt from Pam as she turned and stalked from room, calling out behind her, “Based on what I heard and felt coming from you last night, oh bonded Maker of mine, one would think Sookie was a veritable Samurai in wielding your sword.” As she came to the doorway, she turned her head back to let out one last parting shot of, “This had better just be the honeymoon phase or else I’m going to take a long vacation. Even that windy shithole farm of yours in Urland would be better than here.”
Pam never did wear her emotions well. Perhaps it was time to rip off a few more sleeves from her outfits to form the letters ‘N’ and ‘V’.
She could go find her own buxom blond – the donor pool was certainly overflowing with them – but Sookie was all mine. The Ancient Pythoness had even said so, but Sookie only addressed Pam’s comment in the form of a pinkish hue coloring her cheeks and otherwise ignored it entirely to ask excitedly, “Are you really going to teach me how to use a sword?”
I was admittedly worked up and like the addicted creature I’d become, I buried my nose against her skin and inhaled her tantalizing scent as I asked, “Did you not hear Pam, lover? I agree you’re as skilled as any Samurai and humbly offer you the use of my sword whenever you have need of it.”
“Eric Northman!” she scolded me even while her body taunted me by pressing against me harder – thereby making me harder. She ignored our mutual reaction to one another and continued on with, “You said it yourself. We seem to be getting a few extra hours to our day with you waking up so much earlier. Do you want to spend them all in bed and cross our fingers that no one is gonna come after me? Or do you want to help prepare me to be able to defend myself?”
Pride and shame warred within me over her blatant attempt at getting me back on track. She’d certainly used the right tactic in making me focus because her safety would always outweigh my need to fuck her senseless.
What was it the Pythoness had said? Threads woven together forming a tapestry?
More like strings. My bonded was certainly pulling mine.
Seeing as how she had my balls sufficiently yoked, I growled against my puppet master’s neck, eliciting a soft laugh and several goose bumps from her, before standing and leading her into my new dojo. The door to enter the room blended in with the wall next to the bookshelves flanking the fireplace, so I wasn’t surprised Sookie hadn’t noticed it before and she followed me inside filled with wonderment as she took her first look around.
The walls were adorned with weaponry of all different types – from broadswords to smaller katanas, and daggers. I’d liked the look of Brazilian teak which was why I chose it for the flooring, but now that Sookie would be using it to practice her skill as well I would need to cover them with mats. Not only to cushion her inevitable falls, but because any moisture would bead up on the wood’s surface and she could slip. I couldn’t sweat, but I definitely intended on working one up on her.
And then licking it off of her.
She was nearly the same size as Pam, so I chose one of her smaller swords for Sookie to use and started with the basics on how to hold it properly, what her stance should be and how she should strive to make her movements seamless. I showed her using one of my own swords how the weapon should become an extension of her body, moving it as though it was just another appendage and assuring her after time, it would feel as though it were as well. She took to it quickly, with her lithe young body moving as though she’d done this many times before, but I wasn’t all that surprised after having enjoyed how well she could move across the dance floor.
And my bed.
“This almost seems like second nature to you lover,” I said, praising her skills. It was too soon to actually spar against one another, but I looked forward to it.
She blushed yet again and admitted, “Well, when I was stuck in Never Never Land, I used to watch the fairy guards practice sword fighting through my window. Even though I hated them at the time, I thought the way they moved was beautiful and I didn’t have anything better to do, so I used to copy their actions in my room.”
I could feel the twinge of regret running through her, but not knowing its cause, I asked, “Why are you feeling disheartened? You’re doing very well.”
I thought perhaps she was feeling guilt over not being able to be there for her grandmother or her idiot brother while she’d been trapped in their world, so I was surprised when she admitted, “I was such a fool Eric. I fought them every step of the way. Every effort they made at making me feel welcome or even just a simple attempt at opening a dialogue was met with hostility. If only I tried talking to them or just listened to what they had to say, maybe things would’ve turned out better.”
A foreign sense of insecurity flooded through me wondering if perhaps she was unhappy.
Unhappy being with me.
She’d called the prophesy of our fated coupling hippy tree hugger tapestry horseshit and while she’d seemed willing to bond with me at the time, I wondered if perhaps now she was having buyer’s remorse. By completing our bond she was now ripe for the taking. We had knowingly taken the final steps necessary in order for the demons and Fae alike to rape her into mothering the antichrist. If she’d learned of their plans while still in the Fae realm, she could have made an informed decision as to whether or not she wanted to remain there. Without our bond, she would’ve been relatively safe.
At least safer than she was now.
“You regret our bonding?” I softly asked, deluged by the despairing sorrow now inundating me.
“No!” she yelled out and dropped her sword to attach herself to me. “No Eric. I love you. I wouldn’t change that for anything! I just meant that if I’d known about the danger I would have insisted they protect Gran and Jason.”
I could feel the sincerity behind her words and it was enough to pull me back from the abyss, but as I got ahold of my emotions I realized something else.
Sookie hadn’t said the words out loud.
She couldn’t have because the moment she embraced me her lips were on mine, using her kiss like a life raft to save me from drowning in my own misery, and I pulled away in shock asking, “Lover? Did I just hear your thoughts?”
I could feel her still probing my emotions and seeming to find them to her satisfactory, she grinned and asked, “Just now catching onto that, are you?”
“It’s happened before?” I asked in disbelief.
Her eyebrow rose up just as she dropped to her knees and she licked her lips with her mouth hovering an inch away from my cock, saying, “Look at me lover.”
Only her lips hadn’t moved.
Look at her I did and we spent the next hour practicing this wondrous new and advantageous skill while simultaneously ensuring the dojo would smell of our blood and cum for the foreseeable future. I would’ve thought our shared ability came from completing our bond, but Sookie was able to show me the first time it happened – watching my maiden blow job from her perspective was arousing to say the least – so it was no wonder I hadn’t noticed then when it occurred. And being able to talk to Sookie while my mouth was otherwise occupied gave multitasking a whole new meaning.
Once my lover was thoroughly satisfied we showered and changed, but instead of heading for the office to relieve my still stewing child from having to work, I led Sookie towards the dining hall feeling her hunger. I didn’t think anything of holding her hand as we walked through the palace until I noticed a succession of several odd stares from the staff and guards alike. Sookie either noticed as well or heard their thoughts because she began pulling her hand from mine and projected into my mind, “Sorry. I forgot.”
I refused to let go of her and entwined our fingers once more, saying out loud so they could all hear, “I am the king. You are my bonded. They can all fuck off.”
Propriety among vampires and their human companions was the least of my concerns and my invisible mark on her signifying our bond would be known by any supernatural that came upon her. Considering the threat she was under, I felt it was prudent to make my claim on her known. However it wasn’t as though vampires sent out ‘bonded announcements’ or broadcast such unions in the local newspapers, so I would have to rely on the gossiping nature of the supernatural world to spread the word.
Therefore everyone in the northern hemisphere should know by the next sunrise.
Once we were seated and her entrée was in front of her, Sookie looked up at me and asked, “When do you think we should contact…my great-grandfather?”
Even without any food in her mouth at the time, she still managed to choke on the words. I knew she didn’t want to believe her grandmother would have strayed from her marriage, but there was no longer any doubt in my mind what Niall claimed had been true. I’d heard the Fae could sense their kin and had seen for myself his protective nature of her. He’d been prepared to end a vampire king which would have started another costly war between our two species – one neither side could afford to wage.
The Prince of the Sky Fae wouldn’t have bothered with her if she truly wasn’t a Brigant.
Thankfully she hadn’t said his name out loud because although we were alone in the room, that didn’t mean we couldn’t be overheard. While I wanted our bonded status known by all, I didn’t want to add to her appeal by making her lineage public knowledge, nor did I want to inform anyone of her gifts.
She was coveted by enough without her other powers being known.
“I’ll leave word with him once we reach my office. Considering your display yesterday it shouldn’t take much tutelage from him for you to be able to exert control over your new skillset. The only hindrance may be when I insist on being present during your lessons.”
He was egotistical enough that I wouldn’t put it past him to try and come to her during the daytime. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wake from my daytime rest at will without feeling Sookie’s panic or distress since we hadn’t tested my limits yet. It was yet another item to add to our ever growing list of things to do, but it was also an ability I wasn’t sure I wanted to be shared with the fairy.
If they tried to take my lover during the day, I wanted the upper hand. Their stunned expression would be the last one they made before I relieved them of their head.
“I heard that,” Sookie mumbled, indulgently shaking her head at me as she took another bite of her food. I could feel her mulling over something, but it seemed I was unable to hear her thoughts unless she wanted me to. We were nearly even in that regard since Sookie had no real control over when she heard my thoughts unless I thought them directly at her, as we learned in the dojo, so I was left with no choice but to wait for her to speak them out loud when she finally said, “I can’t even remember the last time I saw the sun. I don’t know what that was in the sky back in Never Never Land, so I guess it was on the day he took me.”
I could feel her sadness over the thought – either from her kidnapping or the lack of sunlight in her life – and while she’d said it had only felt like she’d been gone for a few weeks, we both knew it had been much longer than that.
“Would you like to see the sun again?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.
She thought about it for a moment before shaking her head and looking back down at her plate, replying, “It’s not safe.”
I reached across the table and tilted her head back up to face me, waiting until her eyes met mine, and said softly, “That’s not what I asked, lover.”
She blew out a frustrated breath of air and said, “Of course I’d like to see the sun again Eric, but how is that gonna happen? You said yourself it would be too dangerous for me to even go into Merlotte’s at night when you’d be outside, so how am I going to go out in the daytime?”
Sookie was so adept at everything that I truly believed it would take no time at all for her to learn to use her new gifts at will, so I might be able to allow her her time in the sun when she had perfected her shield. But, if my confidence in her aptitude was erroneous, could I deny my Princess of the Sky Fae her beloved sun?
Could I truly deny her anything?
My mind was already erecting borders within the palace’s courtyard that I would have the best witches brought forth to cast wards to keep even the pollen from being able to touch her skin as I offered, “There might be a way.” I gave her my explanation without words, projecting to her what I had in mind, and then verbally added, “Your Were guard could accompany you.”
Sookie gasped out loud and sat up in her chair exclaiming, “Alcide! Eric, you don’t have him still locked up, do you?”
My eyes narrowed at her feeling her concern from the wolf, but all I said was, “No.” He’d been freed by the following day, but I’d had no use for him since that time once I decided I couldn’t trust anyone else to keep Sookie safe.
Which only made me question my thoughts from a moment earlier.
Her own eyes narrowed back at me in return, with her no doubt scrutinizing our tie searching for the truth of my claim, so I ignored her fruitless examination in favor of reading my messages on my phone. I’d felt a jolt of happiness from Pam and seeing her latest text made a smile appear on my face. It was enough to halt Sookie’s exploration of our bond with her asking, “What is it?”
“My brother has arrived,” I said and seeing her quizzical expression made me explain, “Not my brother by birth or even by blood, but he has been my brother in battle on many occasions over the years. I asked him to oversee Area Five when I took the throne and he’s just now arrived.”
Sookie smiled feeling my excitement and stood up, now finished with her meal, asking, “What’s his name?”
We began walking towards my office as I replied, “He goes by Phil now, but when I first met him in Greece he was still considered a newborn and was going by his given name, Philandros. He was a born warrior.” And I felt better having him close now knowing what we would soon be up against.
Her feet halted as she looked up at me with a wide grin on her face as she giggled out, “Seriously?” Raucous laughter overtook her as she barely managed to pant out, “As in philanderer? It’s no surprise you would have a brother with that name.”
A spade was a spade, I supposed.
She laughed so hard that we had to make a stop for her to use the bathroom with me waiting for her just outside of the doorway. I was happy, not only that my brother had finally arrived, but that we finally had a night when all hell hadn’t broken loose. We needed the break, but just as Sookie shut the door behind herself my excitement over seeing my longtime friend quickly turned into shock.
Because my Maker was walking towards me with a smaller, younger vampire in his wake.
My surprise had barely registered when suddenly I was forced to my knees.
A Maker’s call.
“How good of you to show your respect, my child, even now that you are a king,” he crooned.
I tried to stem the panic that swept through me knowing Sookie was on the other side of the door and would surely feel what I was feeling. In my distressed state over his unexpected arrival, I couldn’t pick up any emotions from her and my mouth and limbs were held in his vice-like grip, so all I could do was push my thoughts at her telling her to remain in the bathroom.
“Aren’t you going to greet me, my son?” he asked, just as I felt his hold over my throat lessen.
I tried not to make it sound like a question which it fucking was because I had no clue what in the hell he was doing there. He’d always been cruel – unusually so – and I had no doubt he would try to do something to Sookie once he found out I’d bonded myself to her.
I’d kill him if it was the last thing I ever did.
The smaller vampire came up to stand alongside him, with Appius only acknowledging his presence with a tilt of his head in the boy’s direction, saying, “Say hello to your brother, the king, Alexei.”
“Hello brother,” he grinned, with his fangs already down. Hearing his name, I realized why he looked so familiar to me.
My sociopathic Maker had turned fucking Alexei Romanov, the last Tsarevich of Russia.
I knew he’d been ill with hemophilia when alive and spoiled because of it, but he was thought to be amongst the dead when his entire family had been massacred. Seeing the mad gleam in his eyes told me his turning hadn’t made him any better off.
“Why are you here?” I asked, hoping perhaps he just wanted something as simple as money and I could easily be rid of him.
Alexei’s face lifted as he scented the air in front of him and my still prone body tensed even more knowing what it was he was smelling.
“I need your help,” Appius said, ignoring his child as Alexei stalked towards the bathroom door. “Your brother is unwell and I think spending time with you will do him some good.”
I couldn’t ignore his wants if he commanded me to do so, but I needed him to free me so I could at least try and protect Sookie who would inevitably be opening that door. She hadn’t replied to my unspoken order, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I could do nothing but watch as the door slowly opened. The thunderous, “NO!” barely left my lips as Alexei prepared to pounce on my unsuspecting bonded and Sookie’s eyes widened in shock, with her hands barely having the time to light up, when a much quieter sound rang through the air.
The fairy had popped in right behind Sookie, grabbed her around the waist, and popped them both out of sight just as Alexei leapt into the now empty doorway.