The unexpected emotional upheaval from the night’s events were still running through me, pinging back and forth between the extremes of relief and rage in their purest forms, so I did the one thing I knew would settle me. In the blink of an eye I had Sookie’s warm body back in my arms, relishing the beat of her heart against my silent chest, with its hypnotic rhythm slowly but surely lulling the beast within me back into tranquility. I’d become so attuned to the sound over the previous weeks I was sure I could pick it out from miles away well before we’d completed our bond. The lack of hearing it had only corroborated what my eyes had seen when the fairy had popped her away.
My emphatic belief that I could protect her from those who would harm her was shattered the moment I’d laid eyes on my Maker and instead she had been the one to save us all. And while I was comforted she’d been able to do so, receiving no more than a bruise for her selfless and courageous act, I now had yet another worry to contend with that hadn’t occurred to me before now. Appius was one less adversary we would have to face in the coming days, but was he the only one who would be able to best me? It made me question now whether we would be forced to confront yet another foe – one who could overpower me. One who could take her away from me and do unthinkable horrors to her – horrors I couldn’t allow my mind to ponder because of the unbearable pain those thoughts would bring with them if they ever came to fruition.
Could I be enough to protect her?
I hugged my blond-haired Achilles’ heel closer to my body having never felt as weak as I did now. Not even when Appius had forced me to learn my place as his newborn child. Sookie must have felt the utter powerlessness now flowing through me – and I felt even weaker realizing I’d unknowingly shown her that side of me – because she pushed her own feelings of love and determination through our bond while silently projecting into my mind, ‘Alone, we’re weaker. Together we’re unstoppable.’
It wasn’t so much her words as it was the strength of her conviction that slowly led me to feeling it as if it were my own. Her faith in our unity being able to overcome any threat to either one of us ebbed away at my fear of her subjection by another faceless being more powerful than me, little by little until there was nothing left but the memory of it. It was a memory I would not forget, but instead of wallowing in distress I resolved to use it to my advantage. To drive me to take any and all steps needed – to leave no stone unturned in searching for our enemies and striking when they least expected on my terms. To stay one step ahead of any and every mother fucker who dared to even think of touching my bonded, so that when all was said and done I could willingly stay one step behind her, enjoying the view of her hips’ sway, as I followed her into eternity.
My hands automatically traveled downward to grasp onto those hips with a very different feeling now surging through me and Pam’s uttered, “Jesus Christ…again?” was the last thing we heard as I flew us to my chambers, but scenting the lingering smell of fae made me pause at the entryway as my fangs snapped down with my eyes darting around the entrance looking for our invisible foe.
Sookie tensed in my arms feeling the rigidity of my body and in answer to her unspoken question, I softly snarled, “Fairy.”
Again, the scent held no draw for me other than the desire to rend the creature limb from limb, but Sookie’s apprehension disappeared, distracting me both with her hands and lips as she attempted to recapture our previous mood while she explained, “Claudine. This is where she popped me back into the palace.”
I wasted no more time in getting us through the door and into our room, startling Hund with our sudden appearance on the bed beside him and causing Sookie to laugh aloud when he screeched, with his hair standing on end, before streaking from the room. Hearing the joyous sound from her lips only served to remind me how close I’d come to never hearing it again and my impatience in getting her undressed only added more literal threads to our figurative tapestry. I wanted to look at the wondrous creature underneath me, gloriously naked and perfect in every way but even so, I couldn’t bear to part my body from hers and instead covered her completely, shrouding her from everything but me.
Except for what equated to less than a few minutes apart thanks to her timely – and not quite unwelcome – fairy kin, Sookie and I had been in each other’s continual presence for days. The last time we had been parted at all was when Pam had accompanied her to dinner prior to Cataliades arrival, but at least then it had been tempered by her close proximity. Now that our bond was complete, feeling it stretch the distance to Bon Temps had been nearly unbearable, both from the unknown of what her fate might be to the fact I couldn’t be certain I may possibly prefer it to knowing what her fate would be if Appius had been able to get his hands on her.
And he had been able to do so anyway, as evidenced by the bruise now healed on her arm.
Our bond had completely overridden my logic by reaching out to her, demanding her return despite the danger I knew she would be in if and when she did. It made me wonder now if we’d ever be able to be parted for any length of time, but it made no difference considering I would never allow her to leave my sight again.
She could huff and puff and blow the whole palace down around us. I didn’t care how much indignation she could muster up so long as she did it from the safety of my arms.
Just thinking about it again made me cage my body around hers, with the beast inside of me growling out in warning at the danger that no longer existed in that moment, but only my purr of contentment could be heard. Whether she read it from my mind, my actions, or our bond, Sookie’s hands wound their way into my hair, with both her fingers and her blood flowing through my veins stroking me back into serenity.
A portion of my mind knew there were other things I should be doing – other things I should be concerned with given the implosion of our once peaceful night. My palace guard had witnessed firsthand my previously presumed ‘human pet’ was in actuality my bonded fairy princess – smugly so on her behalf, at that. I’d paid no mind to their presence then because she had been my only focus, but now I should be worrying about making sure of their loyalty to me and mine while keeping their mouths in check. The rumor mill was already likely to be churning at maximum power by now, but instead of trying to stifle the uproar and bury the evidence, I was trying to bury myself inside of her.
My priorities were admittedly skewed, but fuck it. They were my priorities.
The thrumming of her heart drew my lips like a moth to a flame, so I leaned down and kissed that piece of her she had given to me. Before Sookie had come into my life, love was an abstract – if not absurd – concept. I never understood the need to make ones’ self so vulnerable. I didn’t believe in the overwhelming power it had to either bolster or cripple the beholder, but now it was irrefutable. The love I had for the vexing young woman underneath me had the ability to both render me invincible and completely incapacitate me. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to protect her and if I failed, I had no doubt it would utterly destroy me. Kingdoms; The Fellowship; demons and fae; none of them mattered so long as I had her safe and sound, and as I reverently worshipped the pulsing spot underneath my lips, I let every other thought slip away – for she was safe and sound.
And she would remain that way.
Another pulsing spot within her body drew both my attention and my lips on a downward trek, with her thighs muffling the sound of her cries as my tongue thrust inside of her, marking her as mine with my saliva just as thoroughly as my blood that flowed in her veins. Licking against the beating from within, I was so focused on her body’s reaction that I didn’t notice at first the overwhelming scent of fairy that emanated from her pores. More alluring than any full-blooded fae – more irresistible than anything I could ever recall in my existence, but even in my clouded mind I knew it wasn’t from an unseen intruder. I knew all too well from the night of our bonding the scent was distinctly Sookie.
My growl of approval only furthered her lustful state thanks to the vibration of my lips against her tender flesh and I barely had the wherewithal to pull back in time when I could no longer keep my fangs in check. They itched to sink into her skin, but I somehow stayed the urge with my only desire being to give her whatever she needed while selfishly taking whatever she offered me in return. A millennium of self-centeredness had been replaced with a single aspiration – to make Sookie happy in any and every aspect – to fulfill her every wish, but as I brought her to the release she was so desperate to have I realized my altruism wasn’t as selfless as I’d previously thought.
After all, watching her come undone from my own actions was certainly no hardship.
Heat radiated from her skin with my own cold body absorbing it like the sun’s rays I could scarcely remember and I reveled in every ounce of it as I slithered my way back up her body, internally cursing my still clothed state for coming between me and her warmth. I righted that wrong a second later by ripping myself free of the woven threads, but it was feeling her own hearty dose of lust shooting through our tie that did me in. What little willpower I managed to hold onto disappeared just as quickly as my clothing. I hadn’t even realized I’d been holding myself back until I felt my control slip away and in the blink of an eye I was on her – in her. My fangs and cock firmly planted inside of her warm depths, marking her in every way possible. Even as my body and mouth worked unforgivably against her small frame, my mind at least issued its silent plea asking her for forgiveness. I couldn’t stop myself and while I could feel her own pleasure at my actions, I still felt a shred of regret having never taken her like this before. Sookie deserved to be worshipped in any and every way, but my own instincts demanded I claim her – body, mind, and soul – they were all mine, but I knew the true prize was her heart. By gifting me with that fragile piece of herself she’d both yoked me and set me free, but I would be eternally grateful nonetheless. And I would destroy any and all comers who would dare try to take her from me, attempting to deny me what was rightfully mine.
‘I am yours,’ she silently conveyed with her miraculous powers and as my body slowed with my consciousness regaining ground over my possessive needs, I slowly pulled back to look down upon her. With bloodied fangs and a feral snarl still on my lips, my eyes met her own and in that instant the predator became the prey as every shred of innocence she ever had was gone as she verbally declared, “And you’re mine.”
Her own possessive feelings ran through me like an electrical charge, leaving behind a tingling sensation as they collided with my own, but before I could even comprehend what I was feeling I was suddenly underneath her. White light had literally exploded from her hands, leaving me unharmed while forcing me onto my back as she leapt on top of me and impaled herself on my cock and another growl ripped its way from my throat watching my lover claim me just as furiously as I had done moments earlier. My eyes slid over her golden skin, from her full breasts glistening with her narcotizing scent to her slight waist and the sensual flare of her hips. My inner beast howled with unrestrained glee while my hands grabbed onto them, helping her along, and when I could no longer take not feeling more of her skin pressed against my own, my hands slid up her back as I sat up to mold myself against her. I’d been with thousands – men and women alike – and yet no one had ever come close to making me feel the things my bonded could. I doubted the Ancient Pythoness had meant she’d been made for me in this way, but it was still just as accurate. Not just in the way our bodies fit together, but in the way she managed to feed me everything she was feeling. The love, the lust, the affection – it was all there for me to bathe myself in just as her pussy bathed my cock with her cum and my own body was demanding I give in to her silent command to let myself go, but I wasn’t ready for it to end. I never wanted it to end because here and now there were no foes. No forces who threatened to tear us apart. Here and now it was just the two of us and I preferred that above all else.
She could feel me holding back, but my bonded was nothing if not tenacious and she added an eye roll inducing twist of her hips as she ground herself down on me with every plunge of her hips. I was nearing my breaking point when images suddenly flooded into my mind, making me freeze but for a moment until my confusion gave way to understanding.
They were her memories.
Seeing myself on my knees through her eyes, restrained by my Maker’s invisible tether and unable to do anything against it, could’ve brought back my feelings of helplessness were it not for feeling Sookie’s overwhelming rage.
And blind possession.
I relived Appius’ declaration that I was his from her perspective and it would seem that my bonded was just as furious at the thought of anyone else laying claim to me. I was lost in the sensations of the familiar and similar emotions we each seemed to possess where the other was concerned, with it only feeding my need more than ever to mark her as mine. However when she pressed her face against my neck and sank her teeth into my flesh, it was her first draw of my blood that was my undoing and rendered me incapable of stopping the torrent of cum that now bathed her in my scent from the inside out. The whole world seemed to explode, just as our two bodies had, and then fell away like ash.
Just as my Maker had.
I doubted even the strongest magic could’ve separated us in that moment and I only realized I too had bitten into her when the addictive flavor of her blood exploded on my tongue. I didn’t stop to think. It was impossible for me to form any rational thought and I gave into my instinctual needs, consuming her as she consumed me.
‘MINE!’ our silent voices seemed to shout through our bond, with neither one of us able to pull away from the other. I was hyper aware of her. Sensitized to the point I could feel every tremor of her body – every beat of her heart – as if it were my own. It was how I knew she didn’t feel weakened by the amount of blood I had already consumed and it felt real enough that I had no choice but to release her neck from the snare of my teeth when I felt her need to breathe.
Because it felt as if it were my own lungs burning for air.
We pulled back from one another with each of us panting in deep breaths only one of us actually needed and while I pondered over the oddity of the forgotten sensation coursing through me, she managed to speak first by breathing out a whispered, “Wow.”
“Indeed,” I agreed when I could manage to speak again.
‘Wow’ didn’t even begin to cover it.
“Indeed!” Pam repeated through the door. “Now if you’re done reuniting your cum, Uncle is wondering if you’ll be coming back out tonight or if you’ll be holed up in Sookie’s hole for the rest of the evening. Just so you know, I have a Benjamin riding on you riding Sookie until daybreak.”
Sookie’s eyes narrowed hearing Pam’s voice even as she chuckled, saying, “I heard my name, but I have a feeling I don’t want to know the rest.”
“Indeed,” I repeated with a grin and tossed her back down onto the bed to enjoy her giggling naked body for a few more moments before we inevitably had to redress and address life as we knew it.
“You owe me a hundred dollars Philandros!” Pam sang on her way back out of my chambers making me realize my brother wouldn’t be able to get in.
“What’s she gibber jabbing about?” Sookie laughed out, feeling tickled by my nose skimming across her skin until her breath caught in her throat feeling my tongue slide its way across her neck.
“She is mocking my brother,” I replied absentmindedly against the shell of her ear before begrudgingly pulling away from her addictive body. I knew we couldn’t stay hidden away forever, but that didn’t make parting from her any easier. For now, at least, I was somewhat mollified that my scent – both on and in her body – nearly overpowered her own. When her quizzical eyes met mine, I explained, “I’m afraid we’ve left him waiting since he cannot enter my chambers, so I think it would be best if we got dressed now lover. But if it makes you feel any better, we’re about to make Pam poorer by a hundred dollars.”
The money meant nothing – she would probably use mine to pay him, but it made me feel better on principle alone.
I watched Sookie’s eyes grow as wide as her embarrassment – which rose to new levels – and she started pulling herself from the bed, saying, “Gran would tan my hide for being so…so…”
My warrior fairy princess turned seductress had reverted back into a southern belle, but each had their own merits. This side of her I enjoyed immensely, so I offered with a chuckle, “Horny?” with the latter syllable being muffled by the pillow she used to smack me in my face.
Her reflexes were much faster now.
“Graceless,” she huffed, feeling both amused and only mildly irritated, but more so at herself than over my comment.
“That’s where you’re wrong, lover,” I called out at her retreating back.
Watching her naked body glide across the room and into the closet, she was nothing but grace personified.
And I blamed my Sookie-induced stupor on why I was then knocked over by the hundred and ninety pound weight that was my brother.
“Brother, it’s been ages since we’ve had a slumber party!” he said happily, bouncing his body on top of my own and nearly vaulting us from the mattress in the process.
“How did you get in?” I asked, again muffled by a pillow since he had me pinned face down on the bed.
At least my need for air had ceased.
“I’m a poor loser. You know that. I can’t let Pam win and something tells me your little fairy princess won’t be willing to let me watch, so you’ll have no choice but to rejoin the living. Well…” he snickered, “You know what I mean.”
I threw him off of me only to sit up and feel Sookie’s silent laughter, but when I caught my reflection in the mirror I could see why.
Sex hair took on a whole new meaning when it involved sex with my bonded.
While I ran my hands through my hair I saw she was fully dressed again in a simple tee and jeans, but the sound of Phil’s fangs snapping down only preceded Pam’s arrival at the now open door of our bedroom by a split second. I didn’t have to wonder why when Pam just shook her head while breathing in deeply through her nose and sounding anything but dour as she declared, “The smell in here is obscene.”
“Pam!” Sookie admonished as her previously declining embarrassment rose up again.
“More like appetizing,” Phil purred and patted the spot next to him on the mattress while looking at my bonded as if he weren’t in danger of losing his eyes.
Pam quickly took that spot, but before I could feel gratified, she then gave Sookie a just as thorough eye-fuck saying, “Mmhmm…and I’m suddenly feeling famished.”
If she kept it up, it wouldn’t be ALL she would be feeling.
“Did you all eat?” Sookie asked, trying to maintain some shred of dignity in the company of our ignominious fools.
“Are…” Phil began to say before she cut him off with a wag of her finger, interrupting with an amused, “And before you ask, no, I’m not offering myself on the menu.”
“Pity,” he said forlornly before looking over at me with a now cheerful gleam in his eyes, saying, “But Pammy tells me she’s not the only fairy you have, she’s just the only one you’d kill me over. Willing to share the other, brother?”
Why had I thought we needed to rejoin them?
As I stared back at him, my mind finally unclouded enough for me repeat my earlier question of, “How did you get in here? You’ve never had my blood.”
Other than my finally dead Maker and my child, no one other than Sookie had ever had my blood so he shouldn’t have been able to enter my chambers.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “One minute I was pulling my wallet out at your child’s premature behest and the next I sensed the magical barrier outside your chamber doors falling away, so here I am.” His head turned towards Pam when he grinned and added, “I believe you owe me a hundred dollars.”
Seeing the two of them together, I now remembered why it had taken me so long to call him to my side. When paired with my child, the two of them were capable of making my head spin, so I was grateful hearing Sookie’s voice break into the madness, hesitantly asking, “Maybe it was me?”
“Maybe what was you, lover?” I asked. I started to stand up from the bed when Sookie shot towards me like a bullet and threw my robe over my naked body, while practically screeching my name. She knew well enough by now that vampires had no modesty and it wasn’t anything either Phil or Pam hadn’t already seen many times before, but I could feel the same tendrils of possessiveness sparking out of her as earlier.
And it was making me hard. A fact my robe could not hide.
Our eyes were locked onto one another’s with our mutual lust shooting back and forth through our bond. I barely heard Phil’s proclamation of, “You weren’t kidding,” and Pam’s reply of, “No shit. Why do you think I bet you?” when Phil effectively killed the mood by jumping onto my lap and declaring, “Sorry. Sore loser – that’s me. Now unless you’re willing to get rid of me by offering your other fairy up, then you two knock it off.”
I was contemplating killing him when Sookie shook off her own lust and answered my forgotten question by saying, “Maybe it was me that let Phil in. That oracle woman said it was my fault that Preston was able to get in here because I wanted him to be. When I was getting dressed all I kept thinking was I didn’t want Phil to be left waiting outside.” Her spoken words ended there, but she silently projected to me, ‘I thought it would be nice if he could come in too, but I didn’t want him to have your blood.’ Her feelings of ownership burst through our bond once again, but knowing exactly how she felt, I couldn’t begrudge her. As my bonded, my blood belonged to her just as her blood belonged to me and it seemed neither one of us was inclined to share. When she realized we were still silently communicating, she offered aloud, “So maybe that’s how he got in?”
It made sense – in the loosest sense considering how fucked up everything seemed to be as of late – but hearing the two of them still whisper-bickering over the terms of their bet made me wonder if her gift worked both ways. I pushed Phil off of me and in deference to Sookie, put on my robe before standing up and walking over to her side. Grabbing her hand in my own – and feeling ridiculously complete as soon as her fingers entwined with mine – I pushed my silent request into her head asking, ‘See if you can wish them both out, lover. Un-invite them…for now.’
She only hesitated for a second before turning to face them and we both laughed out loud watching as they fought against the invisible magic until realization dawned on them hearing our maniacal laughter. They each gave in – not that they had any choice – and allowed themselves to be pulled through the door as though their invitation had been rescinded from a human home.
And we left them out there as we took an extra-long and extra dirty shower together.
As we dressed Sookie explained again how her cousin had declared the land of her former homestead to be safer due to whatever fairy magic still lingered there and I resolved to speak to Niall about it, as well as having him tutor my lover on her powers. My mind continued to churn over the possibilities as we went in search of our two outcasts and we found them in my office, both of them still jokingly bickering over who owed who money, but the appearance of one of my guards at the doorway thankfully brought it to an end.
Colin was a very skilled warrior which is why he had been chosen to head the palace guard. He also knew better than to bow towards me – I hated that shit – and instead only kept his eyes trained on the floor in front of my desk until I acknowledged him, as he knocked once and said, “Majesty?”
“What is it?” I asked, hoping ‘it’ wasn’t anything urgent or damning.
The night had been full enough.
“There’s a human at the gate wishing to speak with your…your…”
He wasn’t ever one to mince words, much less stammer, but when his eyes darted over to Sookie, letting me know exactly who he was talking about, I thought perhaps his apprehension was based on his earlier firsthand account of her powers when Pam laughed out, “Yes, your majesty…I believe you’ve previously declared our dear Sookie as your Royal Courtesan. Tell me, does that title still hold true?”
Colin appeared to be relieved Pam had been the one to pose the question, so it appeared she’d guessed right. Not just Colin but the entire guard had heard Sookie declare herself to be my bonded fairy princess, so they all knew by now she was much more than just any courtesan. But I felt irritated when Sookie didn’t feel any irritation in hearing her former false title, so I let my eyes meet each of theirs before coming to rest on Sookie’s when I said, “No. She is your Queen.”
And there was the irritation I’d come to expect.
Before she could argue with me, I turned back to the Colin and barked, “Who is it that wants to speak with your Queen?”
There always seemed to be a human at the gate who wanted entry into the palace – be it for political, business, or other reasons – but hearing my bonded had been requested made me go on alert. I thought perhaps it was her Shifter who’d come looking for her when it occurred to me the guard wouldn’t have referred to him as ‘a human’, but I’d come to wish it was the mongrel who made my lover stink of dog when Colin spoke up again and replied, “He claims to be her brother, your majesty. The name on his ID is Jason Stackhouse.”
Sookie’s irritation at me quickly morphed into hesitation and worry, with a huge dash of hope added into the mix, but my own irritation only continued to grow in the absence of hers.
And I didn’t know whether to feel elated or disappointed that I might get my chance to kill him before the night was through.