Binding her body in my arms – a royal judgment she may very well never be pardoned from – a small part of my psyche worried for wellbeing.
A very small part.
But it was there and it was likely the only thing that would keep me from consuming her whole.
With the explosion of her magic, ending the duel between her great-grandfather and I – lighting up the room in a way that brought to mind the Northern Lights of my home as a human – the magic she normally used to contain her natural scent was all but depleted.
She smelled like sex and candy and it was all I could do to keep myself from gorging on both.
But in spite of that I had an overwhelming compulsion to sink my teeth into her skin and wanted her to do the same. The strength of it so all-encompassing that I couldn’t ignore it if I’d tried.
I could only hope that I wouldn’t drain her in my madness.
Be it due to our bond or her own need for the same, I didn’t know, but just as my fangs breached the golden skin at her neck, so too did her teeth sink into mine.
As our bond tore open, an animalistic growl tore its way out my chest. A sound that would have frightened anyone else.
But as my lover had proven time and again, she wasn’t like anyone else.
And be it due to my madness or something else altogether ‘other’ I would have sworn we’d begun to glow. More than just the subtle luminescence all vampire emitted, my very pores seemed to shimmer under the night sky.
I couldn’t even find the wherewithal to give a fuck I was impersonating that sparkling emo bastard from those ridiculous books.
But where I gleamed, Sookie positively blazed, like she was the sun itself personified. However this was different than what I’d witnessed moments before. So I fought against closing my eyes to shield them from the blinding light, unable to not watch what would surely be an extinction level explosion that would return us once more to the Stone Age.
Not that I cared.
Nothing mattered to me anymore, so long as I was with her.
But instead of blasting me away as her light had done moments earlier, it enveloped me. Wrapped around me like a warm blanket and infused me with her distinctive fairy laced scent.
I could practically see the molecules that formed her light disband like a million fireflies, only to then latch on and cling to every atom of my being, burrowing their way into my DNA and changing me at a molecular level in ways I couldn’t even begin to fathom.
But instead of fighting against the unknown implications – the unidentified strange and mysterious invaders attempting to colonize my body – I welcomed them with open arms.
Not a product of my madness, I could no longer remember a time when I wouldn’t gladly take anything my lover wanted to give me.
Even at an atomic level, I was a greedy bastard when it came to her.
And I trusted her implicitly. Even unaware – as she seemed to appear – I knew she would do nothing that would cause me harm.
I didn’t even second guess that assessment when I was forced to finally pull my mouth away from her neck to gasp what felt like a very necessary breath, feeling the electrical current I could now see flowing from her chest to mine. Like an angry river of energy, pouring from her heart straight into my own, I would have worried about draining her in an entirely different way if I could have formed any thought.
But even more than our shimmering connection, there seemed to be another type of magic at play.
Something about the fairy’s words – his off the cuff blessing of our union – seemed to cuff me to her even more, the moment the words had left his conniving lips.
Before then, I had felt her in my blood, as she could feel me. Bound together in every way I’d thought possible, I hadn’t given any physical weight to her words that her eldest kin’s blessing was necessary for our union to be official. I’d thought it to be more of an emotional significance.
Important to her because it was all that she’d known in her world.
I had never been so wrong.
I knew that now that I could feel my own heart expand and pulse once in my long dead chest before falling silent again. I could feel her in a way that should have been impossible, like I was physically inside of her chest, with our bond expanding and contracting in ways so that I could no longer pick apart who was feeling what.
We were truly one.
Two halves of the same whole.
I hadn’t the slightest inkling of what had just transpired. Frankly, I didn’t care. Anything that bound her to me and me to her was fine by me.
As my blood worked its way through her body, so too did her light work its way through mine, caressing me – petting me – from the inside out.
I had an overwhelming want to purr.
Having no appreciation for what could be, prior to this event, I would have thought our connection to one another was unbreakable.
Only now did I know it to be true.
We were bound together for good.
The glow surrounding us still pulsed brightly, as I looked back at her. Still in a seemingly state of obliviousness, her pupils had long since forced her beautiful blue irises to the outermost edges, defying both physics and physiology in our pod now hurtling towards a supernova.
While she still seemed unaware of what had transpired, I tapped our bond to make sure she was well and I found whereas before I could sense her emotions – her physical presence and location – now I could feel every heartbeat in her chest as if it were my own. My own lungs expanded, feeling her need for air.
It was as if our very souls were now entwined.
And not in some hokey Hallmark sort of way, but in a way that made me wonder how long either one of us would survive should the other meet their end.
It only made me that much more determined to see us through the impending war Niall had spoken of.
But above it all, his fairies-can’t-lie words that piqued me the most were the ones that spoke of her destiny.
Sookie had been fated to be mine.
Up until then, her musings over her coincidental feather birthmark could be attributed to just that.
Her staunch belief that she had been born for me had likely been nothing more than a product of her abusive upbringing.
But now I had nothing to dismiss the notion.
Which was okay because I didn’t want to.
The thought she truly had been born for me only fed the possessive monster I barely managed to keep contained inside of me and recalling her earlier audacity of popping herself away from me, forced the beast from within to snarl out, “Never. Again.”
Looking into her eyes as I drove the growled words out of my lips and in through her own, she appeared to come back to the here and now, from wherever she had gone to in her mind. Holding her head in place with my hands – hands that at once held enough strength to easily crush the skull within them and yet could no sooner cause her harm than I could harm myself – I stared back at her, hoping the force of my will alone would be enough to force her to obey my command.
Never again was she to leave me behind to face any foe on her own.
But I’d had the misfortune of falling in love with a stubborn girl – fated, it would seem – so it was no surprise when her tinkling laughter filled the air as she teasingly reminded me of that fact by saying, “I will do whatever I must in order to keep you safe. My first vow to you will always come before every other I have made.”
Her easy dismissal – all but flippantly flipping off the domineering brute who lived in my chest – only infuriated me more.
Something I knew she could feel.
Because I could feel what could only be classified as her I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude.
It only made me love her more.
But still, I glared with my rebuke of, “Stubborn girl.”
A nonplussed shrug accompanied her reply of, “It is in my blood, I’m afraid.”
However her shrug also managed to shrug more of her clothing from her body. Whether it had been her hands or mine that had begun the process of stripping her bare, I had no way of knowing.
Lucidity had epically failed me when we’d been forced out of the Fae Realm’s asshole.
But in spite of feeling the spark of lust in her blood, seemingly only now realizing we were one zipper away from fucking the night away, her lethargy was what held most of my attention.
I’d never felt her so weakened before. Using the amount of magic to blast Brigant and I apart – somehow without killing either one of us – was more than her body could handle.
Never mind everything that happened afterward.
But she’d warned me of the downside to using the first type of magic. Of what it would do to her body and seeing the proof of her words now had me hoping there would never come a time when she would feel the need to use it again.
The thought of her being left vulnerable, while a battle waged on around her – or worse, towards her – was unbearable.
So used to the woman who seemed invincible – Susannah was a force of nature – knowing it would be Sookie who was left to deal with the repercussions of those actions was agonizing.
I would command her now to never use such magic again, if I thought she wouldn’t blast me with it, just to prove a point.
That it was she who wore the proverbial pants in my kingdom.
It was yet another tick in her win column.
Knowing that she needed sunlight to fully recuperate only made me hate that I was a slave to the very thing she needed. That I couldn’t be there for her – with her – when I felt she needed me most.
Because I only trusted myself to keep her safe from day walking faepire assholes.
Speaking with nothing more than an arched brow at my disregard of her near disrobing, I gathered my arms around her more gently, as I argued, “You need rest.”
While I plotted the necessary arrangements to see to her recovery – with no real control to mask her scent, she would have to be kept in my chambers, away from the other vampire until sunrise; the threat too absolute to send them away from the compound before then – she pulled my lips back to hers and purred, “And I will, when you go to your rest.”
It was yet another first – in a long line of firsts – she managed to give me.
A true want to refuse to have sex with her.
The hallmark of our newly entwined souls made it so I could feel the pulsing in between her thighs, thereby making my cock rise up, wanting to feel it too.
It was a piece on my mental chessboard that I both knew – and didn’t know – what to do with.
What were the odds we could sit out the impending war of the worlds, fucking the nights away instead?
“You need to rest,” I repeated, wondering where my conviction had gone.
Perhaps I’d left it behind in the Fae Realm’s asshole?
A small sound of disapproval left her lips, right before she took control of my own and flooded more than just our bond with her need – the scent of her arousal was crushing – as she said, “What I need is my husband.”
What was the human saying?
The woman is always right.
She somehow managed to feel my acquiescence before I could even identify the emotion and no sooner had I begun to tear the clothes from her body – not caring that I was leaving us both exposed in ways that had more to do with than just baring our bodies – than I felt the magic take hold, transporting us both back to my chambers.
Via Fairy Airways.
I knew from scent more than sight.
It was impossible to tear my eyes away from her to confirm our location for sure.
I would have given her my own disapproval over using even more magic, when her body was already exhausted, but she was one step ahead of me yet again.
Not giving me the chance to censure her at all, her fatigue from moments earlier disappeared. With her strength renewing tenfold, she wasted no time in magically stripping us free from what remained of the bindings of our clothing and impaled her body on top of mine.
The strangled roar ripped its way free from my chest at the feel of her surrounding me again. I’d had her countless times by then – in every position imaginable – but it made no difference.
My urges never tempered.
My desires for her body were never sated.
Each time seemed to surpass the last and only made me crave the next encounter before the current one could even draw to an end. I doubted I would ever get used to it.
The perfection that was my lover and mate.
Nor did I want to.
But recalling once again, her actions from earlier that night – the ones that had separated us to begin with – my hands automatically gripped her hips and I sat up, putting my face directly in front of hers, with my lips harshly ordering against her own, “Never again!”
Never again would she leave me behind.
Never again would she put herself in the path of anyone coming for me.
Never again would I be left to wonder if she’d been taken from me for good.
No matter what I’d said to Brigant, I hadn’t been certain I would be able to reach her in the Candy Land she called home. It had only been the call of my blood in her body that had even told me where to look.
Weakly pulsing and pulling me to her, it had felt like she’d been drowning at sea.
Or perhaps that had just been me.
But it had been enough for me to know that I wouldn’t want to go through it a second time.
She merely laughed at my abrasive words and then put our lips to other uses.
Sookie may have been inexperienced in the sexual arts before arriving on my doorstep, but something else her fairies-can’t-lie kin had said on that night absolutely rang true.
‘Her aptitude for learning is quite prolific.’
Because no matter how bitter I was over her complete disregard for her own safety – in spite of her pledge to me on that night, to put my survival above all others, even hers – she easily swayed my thoughts away from every other, with nothing more than a sway of her hips.
A well timed thrust here.
A well placed bite there.
And I easily became a slave to her and her wiles.
But more than that all it really took was a kiss from her lips.
A tender look from her eyes.
A gentle caress of her hands and I was reduced to putty in them.
The inequitable bond we shared clearly tipped in her favor.
I may have worked up more indignation over that truth had she not worked my body up until I was pouring more than just my love and affection into her. But it would seem I was left feeling the effects more than her because, lying beside me now, she turned to me and asked, “Do you feel any different?”
I guessed she’d been more aware in the woods than I’d known and figuring she was talking about our light display, I admitted, “I do.”
“I wasn’t sure it would work,” she admitted herself. And at my questioning look, she went on to explain, “When fairies pledge to one another in love, with the blessing of their kin it unlocks the magic of their essential spark. The light all fairies are born with exchange with their beloved and fuse themselves together, so that they are bound to each other for the rest of their lives.”
Her momentary look of anxiety, staring back at me as though I might become upset at her revelatory words, was quickly replaced by a look of relief, likely feeling my satisfaction at the very same thing.
Pulling her tighter against my body, I huffed with no real upset, “It would explain the inequality of our bond.”
Seeing her confusion, I chuckled over having to illuminate the facts to her, as I said, “I am filled with darkness, lover. So I have no light to share with you. You are the only light in my undead life and as much as I love you, I am unwilling to share you, even with you. I have no doubt that whatever magic your people share was present in the woods, but the distribution was disproportionate. You gave and I took. It explains why you have the upper hand in all of our disagreements.”
Rolling her eyes – because she spent too much time with Pam – she argued, “But the essence of your life is magic as well. It is the magic in your blood that gives you life, even though your heart doesn’t beat. Magical blood that you shared with me.”
Feeling vindicated, she merely looked back at me like she’d won.
It was a look from her I was well familiar with.
So I may have felt a little vindication of my own, arguing back with, “And I took your blood at the same time, so the act cancels itself out.”
Seeing the small frown form on her face, while she tried to work her way to a more compelling argument, I smiled and pressed a kiss against her temple, playfully sighing, “Get used to it, as I have, lover. I am more indebted to you where our bond is concerned.”
Another small sound of disagreement left her throat, but she said nothing more and feeling her weariness begin to seep back into her body, I changed the subject by saying, “Have Herveaux and his men stand watch around you, while you recover your energy in the sun today.”
I hated not being able to do it myself, but it wasn’t until she mumbled something that sounded like, “Clock phone,” and pulled the cell from my magically discarded jeans on the floor, that she felt floored.
Sitting up, wondering what message she could have possibly read about whatever threat we’d missed in our time away from the others, I asked, “What is it?”
But instead of answering me, she stared back at me with a clinical eye and asked, “How do you feel?”
The consummate competitor, my lover did so enjoy her wins.
Thinking that to be the cause for her question, I replied with an eye roll of my own, saying, “Like I am a slave to you, my darling wife, only put on this earth and left idling for a thousand years so that I can do your bidding and fulfill your every wish and whim.”
“Besides that,” she smirked at my effusive words.
Smirking – most likely – because she could feel the truth of them.
“I feel fine,” I finally replied. “Why?”
Turning the phone in her hand to show me the display, she asked, “And have you ever stayed up until ten o’clock in the morning and felt fine before?”
Staring at the time, the impossibility of such a thing kept me from answering her. While I’d been able to wake earlier in the day since completing the bond with Sookie, I’d never not felt the pull of the sun before.
It made me wonder what else – besides gluttoning the greedy bastard within me with her light – our exchange in the woods had given me.
Her bare body was doing nothing to help me focus, so after asking her to get dressed and doing the same, I wrapped my arms around her body and said, “Pop us onto the roof.”
Without the threat of heavy snowfall in the wintertime, the roof had no need to be sloped and instead was flat, allowing the guards to easily stand watch during the daytime.
“What? Why?” she asked in quick succession and without waiting for an answer, she shrieked, “No!”
Hoping to calm the fear rising in her, I attempted to soothe her with, “Feel me in our bond. I don’t feel the call to rest, but this is the quickest – safest – way to test my theory that perhaps your light has gifted me with something more. If I begin to burn then you can pop me back here and I will heal.”
And after staring at her for a few moments, feeling no acquiescence coming from her, I changed tactics and said more forcefully, “Or I will just wander outside on my own and hope I can find the cover of darkness if I do burn.”
“Stubborn ass,” she grumbled.
But before I could comment my ass was one of her favorite things about me – or remind her of pods built for two – the familiar magic took hold, taking us up onto the roof a split second later.
Refusing to take her eyes or her arms from me, I flinched at the brightness of the sky. I hadn’t seen a sun filled world that hadn’t been on a television screen in more than a thousand years.
The colors were so much more vibrant than my human eyes would have been able to see. Blues and greens, deeper and richer than I could have imagined, filled my gaze.
The lemons hanging in the groves of trees surrounding the property looked like twinkling citrus stars.
“You’re not burning.”
Her whispered words in awe were soon overrun by the Were guards running towards us, having either scented or heard our presence on the rooftop.
But it was only the wolf Herveaux who had the balls required to approach us and say, “Holy. Shit.”
Standing taller, I took in a breath of sun filled fresh air and took in the landscape surrounding us, more certain than ever that we would prevail in whatever came at us next.
Because never again would I be a slave to the one thing I’d had no defense against.