I studied her profile as she drove, using my blood in her body to filter through her emotions. And while there were many, her stoic expression showed none of the bewilderment now coursing through my little blond bewitched bodyguard.
Envious of her gift and unwilling to guess for any longer, I finally asked, “What has you so confused?”
I could have choked on the sudden dam in her throat at my question, but her only physical tell was the small swallow she made before answering, “I don’t understand why you want to go dancing with me. It would hardly be a punishment.”
Me. Not her.
Realizing my own failure for not communicating very well, I took a second to appreciate our two-peas-in-a-pod similarities before joking, “You say that now, but just wait until your senses are inundated with stale grease, body odor, and traces of vomit.”
“I take it back,” she smiled softly and teased, “You are a cruel master.”
Not as cruel as your own people.
However, as much as I wanted to know more about her past, it was the last thing I wanted to discuss right now. But knowing we needed to clear the air on at least one issue, I waited until she parked in the gravel lot before saying, “About Adele’s brother.”
Contempt and acceptance flowed through her once more, but now realizing the cause I quickly added, “You will not be punished for your actions this time, but in the future you will stay your hand and discuss it with me first, unless they pose an imminent threat. It is my fault for not giving you any defined instructions beforehand, but my only disappointment in your actions today stems from not having the opportunity to end the bastard myself.”
Now it was I who was confused, feeling the overwhelming amount of regret coursing through her until she said, “I am sorry Master. I should not have acted. His life was yours to end, not mine.”
“You will not apologize anymore over that fool’s death,” I returned. But recalling her last apology precipitated her stripping her clothes off in preparation for whatever in the fuck she thought I would do to her, I decided now was a good time to clear the air over that issue as well.
Locking my gaze on her own, I enlightened her by saying, “And for future reference, if there ever comes a time when I believe you should be punished, you will not be disciplined physically. Regardless of your abilities and skill level; in spite of your position within my retinue; despite your calling in life, know this. I will slaughter anyone who dares to harm a hair on your head. You are mine, Sookie. I take that very seriously. And given the fact you were born for me, it would stand to reason you have always been mine. Therefore I will take great joy when I one day destroy each and every one of those responsible for the marks left on your body.”
Both my mood and tone had grown darker with every word I’d said. Something I was sure she was aware of.
If not from our small blood tie, then from my fangs snapping down midway through my impromptu speech that could be titled, ‘Pissed and Prejudiced’.
But as much as I wished I would have let that sadistic fucker die eight centuries earlier, if given the choice to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
If I did, then I wouldn’t be sitting across from my fascinating little part-Fae.
I watched her eyes grow wide, likely flipping through the mental images of tormentors past, but instead of giving voice to that small part of her I could feel pleading their case, while simultaneously excusing their actions, she only asked, “Then, if I may ask, how would you punish me?”
I already knew her biggest fear would be me dismissing her entirely and sending her away. I could only speculate it was due to the sheer amount of stubbornness she possessed that allowed her to live through her abusive upbringing relatively unscathed. But that wasn’t all that I knew about her.
So I smiled when I replied with a small shrug, “I would order you to answer to Quinn for a length of time. Or maybe assign you shadow the Stackhouse boy and forbid you to use any magical talents you might possess that would aid you in that endeavor.”
Seeing her now horrified expression, I added to her torment by teasing, “Can’t you just imagine it? Having to traipse after him all day every day without a snap, crackle or a pop? But who knows, you might come to like it.”
And I couldn’t stop the chuckle that came through when I ended with, “I hear he’s quite the lothario.”
My chuckle only got louder feeling for the very first time actual fear in her before she narrowed her eyes and playfully hissed, “I was right. You are a cruel master.”
She had no idea, but Brigant one day would.
I was still laughing as I watched her look over at the bar, I assumed to listen in with her gift. So I was surprised when a mixture of insecurity and doubt bled through our tie when she turned to me and asked, “You really want to go inside and dance?”
Glancing over at Chateau Redneck, I could understand her disbelief. But wondering too if some of her hesitation stemmed from my inability to keep my hands – and lips – to myself when around her, I reminded myself to keep my actions – and dick – in check.
Whatever happened or didn’t happen between us, from now on it would be her choice.
So I thought to assuage her reservations by adding a true – if not superfluous – fact by offering, “We may be fortunate enough to run across others associated with The Brotherhood tonight. Merlotte’s is the only bar within thirty miles, so if the humans want a beer, in all likelihood this is where they will come to get it.”
“Oh,” she whispered. “Of course.”
Disenchantment rocketed through my enchanting companion in an instant, with a speed and force that rivaled the rocket propelled grenade she’d saved me from.
Not having the faintest clue as to the cause, I could only ask, “Sookie?”
“I should probably change,” she said, seemingly to herself and ignoring the curious vampire at her side.
Her emotions weighed on me so heavily, I didn’t even get any satisfaction watching her t-shirt and jeans transform into a flirty little light blue dress.
And a quick glance at me only made her feel unhappier.
“What is this?” I asked, unable to be any more articulate.
Misreading my question about as well as I’d somehow misread her reaction, she asked, “Is this dress not appropriate?”
“You could be in a pink velour tracksuit with ‘Juicy’ on the ass and I wouldn’t care,” I said truthfully.
Pam owned one. I rarely twitched at all anymore whenever she wore it.
But not understanding the cause for her to feel so unhappy, I asked, “Why do you feel so…anticlimactic?”
Pam would own me if she’d heard the question come from my lips.
Never, in a thousand years, had there been a need for me to pair together the words anti and climax.
“It’s nothing,” she lied, choosing to play with the hem of her skirt instead of looking up at me.
She was usually so bold and self-assured that I found it distressing both seeing and feeling the vulnerability that lurked just underneath the surface. And since she wasn’t being forthcoming at the moment, I resorted to guessing by asking, “Are you nervous about dancing?”
And doubting she’d gone from Weapons Training 101 to Ballroom Dancing in her studies, I added, “Have you ever danced before?”
After seeing the way she could move across a room with a sword in each hand, I had no doubts her performance would be riveting.
And I would no doubt have to resort to using rivets to keep my dick away from her.
“Only with Great-grandfather,” she eventually replied and shrugged, adding, “And only a handful of times. I was only ever allowed to dance with my own kin, but it’s not like anyone el…”
Her words trailed off, while her melancholy grew, but she attempted to shake it off by looking directly at me and admitting, “My cousin Claude never clamored to be next on my dance card.”
“Your cousin Claude is an idiot.” And figuring she could use hearing another truth, I added, “But while there will be many clamoring to be next on your dance card this evening, it’s already full with me.”
Unlike her body.
Another truth I didn’t necessarily want to hear.
And she gave me a truth of her own when she responded with, “Of course, Master. You are my only priority and I will do my best to root out anyone who comes into the bar tonight who is associated with The Brotherhood.”
Was that it?
“You believe that is why we’re here tonight?” I asked before clarifying, “To look for members of The Brotherhood?”
“Aren’t we?” she asked in return, her question bringing with it a return of her despondency. “That is what you said.”
Could she really be that naïve?
No. She was well-read. She could perform as a highly trained assassin just as well as she could blend in at any royal affair.
I’d seen her do it. I knew what she was capable of.
But perhaps she was just that innocent.
Not only was her childhood abusive, it was sheltered. She’d already admitted to the horrors she’d faced because of a crush and a sadistic bastard.
She had no clue.
Technically I had no clue as to how I felt or what would become of whatever may or may not happen between us.
But I was a step ahead already acknowledging there was an ‘us’.
However my steps could be heading in the wrong direction. For all I knew she wanted nothing to do with having any kind of intimate relationship with me, so I decided to test the waters by once more asking, “Sookie?”
I waited until her questioning eyes met my own before adding, “Do you want to go dancing with me?”
Already nodding, she answered, “Of course. I want to find the traitors.”
Shaking my head, I said, “That’s not what I asked. In this little world – in this car – where it is just you and me, there is no Brotherhood. No traitors. No treasonous sheriffs or RPG’s. Here, in this little world, do you want to go dancing with me, for no other reason than to have a good time?”
Her mouth fell open slightly and I could physically feel her trying to sort through my simple query, so I added, “You speak every language, so surely you understood my question. Don’t overthink it. Just answer. A simple yes or no will suffice.”
Her immediate response seemed to surprise us both, but before she could change her mind or her better mood, I got out of the car and escorted her inside.
Still relatively early when we arrived, the bar had less than a dozen patrons. So after she’d used her gift to determine there were no threats, and amused me by whispering some of the incredulous thoughts of those around us at seeing their king in Merlotte’s of all places, I’d dragged her onto the dance floor.
And from that moment on my dick continually dragged along the zipper of my jeans in its attempts to reach her.
But knowing she’d been raised – literally – in a different world, when she turned around and slithered against the front of my body, instead of asking what her thoughts were on fucking in dirty bar bathrooms, I found myself asking, “Where did you learn to dance?”
Did fairies HAVE strip clubs?
While she was still fully clothed, with the way she moved her body against mine, it wouldn’t have looked out of place at all to see bills stuffed into every available space on her body.
Hundred dollar bills.
She was that good.
And did I mention she was wearing a dress?
The light blue number I hadn’t given any thought to when she’d fairy-popped it onto her body before exiting the car.
The same one that caused me to pop wood. Also before exiting the car, if I was being honest.
Two peas. One pod.
The hem barely hit the midpoint of her thighs and instantly forgetting I had just asked her a question she’d had yet to answer, I was preparing to ask another, feeling a multitude of things when she spun around and wrapped her right leg around my left one and slid down.
The dagger I could feel strapped around her thigh was the least important of the multitude of things I was feeling.
“I’ve had no formal training in dance,” she answered in response to the question I’d already forgotten.
The bar had quickly filled to capacity once word had gotten around I was there – with a date (their words) no less – but we’d switched to speaking Old Norse from the moment we’d walked through the doors, so no one could understand anything they possibly overheard. And having apparently claimed the title of ‘spectacle’ for ourselves for the evening, we were still the sole occupiers of the dance floor too.
But both her voice and steps faltered as she looked around at the empty space surrounding us and asked, “Am I doing it wrong?”
My reply was meant for both her question and her rapidly deflating mood.
My pea was suddenly in danger of falling out of our pod.
So I grabbed ahold of her hand and spun her away from me, only so I could pull her back into my arms. Her intoxicating scent filled my nose and the feel of her body moving against my own made my pants unbearably tight, but I persevered and attempted to reassure her with my words by saying, “I only asked because you’re very good at it.”
And you’re doing a spectacular job of causing my balls to turn blue.
Her already hot – also for a multitude of reasons – body warmed from the inside at my words.
And then white hot fury moved through her.
I had absolutely no qualms when she wrapped her arms around my neck to pull me closer and even though Old Norse was deader than my long dead Maker, she chose to whisper her warning into my ear.
And because she was too tempting, I took advantage of the situation by playing dumb to prolong our close proximity and asked, “Who’s here?”
“Members of The Brotherhood,” she hissed.
I hissed too, but it had nothing to do with those worthless fucks.
It was because her lips and breath had ghosted across the shell of my ear and I had a sneaking suspicion she would be a priceless fuck. So I reminded myself it had to be her choice.
Her choice. Her choice. Her choice.
Did it count that she’d chosen to latch onto the front of my body?
I couldn’t be sure of that or anything, other than how quickly I could be inside of her.
Less than two seconds.
Three if we left the dance floor first.
Whether consciously or not, she continued to rub her body against mine, but instead of keeping to the beat of the music, now it was as though she’d decided any amount of her skin not touching mine was unacceptable.
As did my two peas who desperately wanted to empty themselves inside of her pod.
She may have growled, but I certainly did when I felt her teeth clamp down on my neck. And, as it turned out, that was my breaking point.
All I had to do was straighten up and her feet no longer touched the floor. If she noticed, she didn’t mention it, but I only held her body against my own and moved towards the door, giving Merlotte a small nod towards where he’d been watching from behind the bar.
So focused on whatever it was she could hear, she didn’t even blink when I sprawled our two bodies across the hood of my car and only snarled, “They’ve made plans to ambush us on the way back to the estate.”
Her ire only increased as she mocked, “They thought they were safe by sending text messages so they wouldn’t be overheard.”
I’d heard every word she said. Even without my supernatural hearing, it would have been easy for anyone to hear her when lying on top of her.
Since she’d had yet to release her hold on me, I told myself that had been her choice as well.
But I lost my already tenuous hold on keeping my fangs hidden away when she suddenly t-boned me with her Mack truck called bloodlust, right as she all but begged, “Please Master. May I kill them?”
“You misunderstood,” I said, keeping my words and tone soothing to counteract the sting of my fangs dragging along her neck. She automatically pressed all of her against all of me, so I was forced to groan out the rest of my explanation when I said, “Your restrictions only apply to regular everyday humans. Members of The Brotherhood are always fair game.”
By her reaction, I would guess my spoken affirmation had somehow managed to stroke her g-spot because she softly moaned and shuddered underneath me, but only whispered, “They’re coming.”
But hearing the boisterous voices floating through the now open door, quieting to a whisper at the sight before them, I decided to own the fucking title of ‘spectacle’ and crashed my lips against hers.
Be it for appearance’s sake or because I’d been a goddamn saint in a previous life and was now reaping the rewards, her hands moved into my hair and kept me there, returning my kiss with her own.
And own me, she did.
The sounds of their hurried footsteps across the gravel registered somewhere in the recesses of my mind, but I was more attuned to the woman beneath me.
And the recesses to be found within her.
“Do you want your sword?” she asked, turning to watch at the sound of them driving away.
“No,” I sighed, now knowing where her head was at. But that didn’t stop me from nipping at her neck and asking hopefully, “But do you?”
With their taillights nothing but a memory, she turned to me and shook her head with a smile, answering, “I have my daggers and Sig Sauer.”
And I had to smile too at the realization once again we were having two different conversations. But feeling her happy anticipation at our upcoming skirmish, I chose not to make her wait any longer and pulled her up off of the hood with me. Looping her arm over my extended elbow, I escorted her to the driver’s side door where I opened it and said, “Your chariot awaits.”
“You should drive,” she balked, surprising me yet again until she explained, “They were excited to see you out without your guards and know they’re unlikely to have another opportunity like this one. It’s common knowledge you don’t travel with donors, so they believe I hold some meaning to you. They’re hoping to use any affection you have for me against you by luring you out of the car and taking me hostage. I could see the plan in their heads. In it, I’m in the passenger’s seat.”
For that alone their lives were forfeit.
She meant more to me than even she knew of.
But wanting to hear her thoughts on the matter, I asked, “So what do you propose we do?”
“We go along with their plan, of course.”
At some point early on – our first sparring session, I suspected – I had become amenable to her touch. She’d never asked for permission to make physical contact with me, nor had I even entertained the idea of making her do so. But it was something no other, save my Maker, had leave to do so.
Free reign to touch me was just as rare as a hybrid fairy who could speak Old Norse.
Sookie was two for two.
So there was no hesitation on her part when she threw her arms around me and hugged my body to hers, adding happily, “It’ll be so much more fun that way!”
She was practically vibrating in the seat next to me as we drove towards our destination, but her eagerness coupled with her need for violent retribution only solidified the idea she had been born for me. Only instead of the revulsion I’d felt earlier that evening at the thought, seeing her scars for myself, now I felt honored.
She was undoubtedly the missing pea in my pod.