Kissing her, while more perfect than I could have ever imagined, had been an impulsive action on my part that ultimately could have done more harm than good. Sookie had had enough forced on her in her short lifetime – her sense of duty to me being one – and the last thing I wanted was to make her feel forced into doing anything more.
She had a choice.
And I would make sure she knew that.
But caught up in the heat of the moment, that thought had been the only thing capable of making me pull away from her at the time. Her emotions had been too wild for me to zero in on any one, with the exception of her inferiority complex, but I hoped over time she would come to see that too was a choice. That she didn’t have to feel substandard to her kin.
That she was in fact above them all.
But if I thought I’d had a difficult time controlling myself around her before, feeling her growing excitement and watching her fade away, while leaving me with nothing but her taunting words in her wake?
I could only hope she had known what that choice would get her.
I barely had the forethought to inform my guards I would be leaving before I flew out of the house and called to my blood in her body, grinning when I felt her presence roughly two miles to the south. She was excited.
We were very alike in that moment, although in two entirely different ways.
I hadn’t been exaggerating when I’d told her she called to the predator in me. From the moment she had appeared in my office a week earlier, I had been plagued by a visceral need to solve the unsolvable puzzle she represented and my wants had only grown by leaps and bounds since then.
Her upbringing meant she had been able to seamlessly insert herself into my royal retinue. Picture-perfect and well-schooled in the dog and pony show of vampire protocols, her behavior in the presence of others only made me look better for having acquired the services of a seemingly benign human whose conduct was flawless. Only those who worked closest to me knew of her other not-so-benign abilities. But if I had come across her in any other’s court, I would have taken notice.
Not only was she beautiful and exceptional company, her skills with a sword beckoned not just the warrior in me, but the man as well. Coupled with her clever mind and quick witted mouth whenever we were alone, it only made her all the more appealing.
It almost seemed as if she truly HAD been made for me in ways that had nothing to do with fulfilling her kin’s debt.
The fact she had thought to do something like this for me was far better than any gift I would’ve thought to receive because as the king of the pride, this lion would only want to take down the strongest of the herd.
And eat her.
The Fae were the only species who represented a true challenge for our kind and being given the opportunity to hunt one was akin to putting Pam in a high-end shoe store.
I now had a better appreciation for her claims that it took the term bloodlust to a whole new level.
Nearly every quality Sookie possessed made her ideal in ways I couldn’t describe, so I wasted no time trying to find the words. And, already hard, I shifted my straining dick in my pants and took off in her direction. Wanting to draw out the experience, I chose to run instead of fly and as I got closer, I took in deep drags of the air trying to find her scent.
I would recognize it anywhere.
But as my blood informed me the distance between us was closing, I discovered something else completely unexpected.
The scent of fresh blood.
A growl erupted unbidden from my chest and I put on a burst of speed, finding a single drop on a branch, and wondered over its placement hanging ten feet up in the air. One part of my mind attempted to put the puzzle piece into place, while the rest of me used all of my senses to give me a clearer picture.
There was no pain coming from her. There was no panic or rage.
There was only a mocking pleasure.
She was baiting me.
And it was working.
But wanting this to be a fair fight – a true hunt – I shut down the weak bond I shared with her and drew on a thousand years of experience to find her. Her ability to teleport would give her an added advantage, but it was one I had already faced many times during the vampire/fairy war. So I moved on, working blind without our bond and scented the air as I went. As hers became stronger, I slowed my steps and listened for a heartbeat my ears were telling me wasn’t there.
But something else I couldn’t name told me she was close, so I chose that moment to advertise my presence and drawled out my taunt of, “Soookiiiee…come out, come out, wherever you are.”
A second later, the feel of her small hands on my back disappeared just as quickly as they had come, with her own taunting words already trailing off before I could even turn around.
“Tag. You’re it.”
I hoped her stamina with a sword held true in every activity she participated in because I was going to fuck her until neither one of us could walk.
Maybe not tonight, but soon.
She would still have the choice, of course.
Of course she would choose me. How could she not?
Born for me.
And looking down at my magic wand struggling to free itself from its denim prison, I silently commanded it to abracadabra my part-fairy in front of me to no avail. So I drew in another deep breath of air and moved towards the scent of her blood wafting towards me, finding yet another drop on the underside of a fallen tree fifty yards away.
The next was found on a single blade of grass two hundred yards to the east.
And floating in the middle of a pond, with a leaf as her canvas, the finger painted smudge in the shape of a happy face was found seventy-five yards to the north.
She made no sound. No twigs snapped underneath her teleporting feet. No racing heartbeat gave away her location. But scenting her blood once more, stronger in volume than the other breadcrumbs she’d left behind, I could tell instead of being stationary in location it was moving by the way it would grow stronger and then fainter, with every step I got closer.
Victory would soon be mine.
Thinking it was her self-made wound I could smell, I darted towards it and nearly roared out in triumph when all of me zeroed in on what my senses were alerting me to.
The now overwhelming scent of her blood in the air.
The rustle of leaves in the treetop in front of me.
The faint heartbeat she couldn’t mask with me so close.
And knowing she could pop away again at any moment, I flew like a torpedo up into the tree, taking care to avoid any branches that could potentially ruin the night for us both, and snatched my prize before it could get away again.
Only to find a terrified squirrel in my grasp, bearing her blood on its back like a warrior painted to go into battle.
“I think you’ve been spending too much time with old women,” she giggled from behind me and my head whipped around to see her standing in the field a hundred yards away. Making exaggerated movements, she hunched over and shifted her limbs at a snail’s pace to move forward with an invisible cane, as she added, “You’re very slow in your old age, so I guess it’s a good thing you heal so fast. Just how many broken hips have you suffered, Master?”
Tossing the squirrel back into the treetop, I dropped to the ground with a smirk and said, “You’re quite cocky for someone who’s vowed to remain with me to the end of her days. Unlike an old man like me, you’re young and you can’t hide from me forever.”
“Who’s hiding?” she smiled, straightening up and crooking her finger at me, like the vixen I suspected was there, lurking just underneath the surface. Her head tilted to the side and with wide innocent eyes, she suggested, “Just think of yourself as The Vampire King That Could and chant, ‘I think I can. I think I can.’”
“Keep it up, my little Sookie, and I’ll show you what I know I can.”
Her wide eyes were no longer innocent and she swallowed hard at my not-so-innocent promise. But when she’d held up her hand, I couldn’t help but notice the trail of blood staining her skin from where she’d purposefully cut herself.
And, by her own admission, this was a hunt.
So while she still appeared stunned by the thought of her future ride on my freight train, I closed the distance between us in a blur of movement, hoping to reach her before it was too late. But she’d been ready for me and disappeared before my fingers could latch on to my reward, with her reappearing half the distance away and laughing out, “You’ll have to be quicker than that.”
The scent of her free flowing blood was incentive enough to make a fool of myself as I darted after her teleporting body. Two steps forward and three steps back, she would run in one direction and then teleport backwards and eventually forward again, so that we ended up zigzagging our way little by little well to the south of my estate.
We eventually ended up miles outside of the perimeter and she showed no signs of slowing down, when I watched her once more reappear in the distance. Only instead of laughing or taunting my inability to catch up to her this time, her eyes grew wide and her head snapped to the left, before turning back towards me.
Already set on a collision course, I had barely registered her look of caution before she disappeared and then reappeared, now wrapped around my body. In the next moment, the strange sensation of being moved by magic filtered through me, but already familiar with it and still caught up in the chase, I didn’t care.
Reaching around and wrenching her free from my back, by the time my feet hit solid ground again, my lips were solidly on hers.
I would give her the choice next time.
“Master…” she garbled into my mouth, with her single word making her tongue glide across my fangs and causing a soft snarl to erupt from my throat, while I imagined what it would feel like gliding across other parts of me. Everything I’d sampled of her so far tasted magnificent, but I wanted to taste more.
So much more.
My focus was solely on her, so it was easy to identify the feel of her hands entwining in my hair. Her pulling at the strands only served to make me press my body further against hers and her legs wrapping around my waist made one part of my body in particular happy.
The slight scent of her arousal accompanied her frustrated groan, so I released her head from my grasp and moved my hands to grip her hips, moving my own to try and alleviate what I assumed had been her current aggravation. And it didn’t take long before I deemed our clothes a nuisance I could do without, but before I could rip them free from either one of us, she pulled back from our kiss with wide eyes and panted out, “We’re not alone.”
“I don’t give a fuck,” I growled and with her hands still in my hair, all I had to do was turn my head to reach the heavenly blood still dripping down her arm. Still marveling over her flavor, I forced myself to merely lick the wound closed and then moved my lips and tongue to trace over her collarbone, adding derisively, “Surprise. The king was caught kissing the beautiful girl in his arms. Breaking news at eleven.”
“The…huh?” she whispered out before shaking her head and fruitlessly trying to put more distance between us than I would allow. “No, I…I mean I heard voices. Thoughts.” Jerking her head to her right, she added, “Over there.”
Hearing the worry in her voice but unable to feel it made me realize our bond was still closed, so I reopened it and was immediately flooded with her concern. With her finally in my arms and our game now drawn to a close, logic was able to work its way back into my psyche, telling me something wasn’t right.
Looking up at the stars to triangulate our location, I quickly figured out what was wrong and said, “We’re not far from the contamination zone. There shouldn’t be anyone for miles.”
My southern estate had become an undefined boundary of sorts, with very few humans traveling beyond it. Certainly not at any great distance or for any length of time and to the best of my knowledge, no one lived south of Bon Temps. Even the few hunters in the area steered clear of those lands because it was likely any animal caught couldn’t be consumed due to the potential of being contaminated by radiation.
The feel of her concentration seeped into our bond, so I watched as she closed her eyes and listened.
To voices I would never be able to hear, despite my enhanced senses.
My nasal cavities were still filled with the part-fairy in my arms and I wasn’t concerned enough with the humans to put her down in order to track them. But sensing her growing unease, coupled with her rising ire, I tried to remain focused on that instead of all of the things I would much rather be focusing on.
Like all of the things I wanted to do to find out what her ‘O’ face looked like.
But her next words, spit out with the venom I could feel coursing through her body, got all of my attention.
My fangs were already down.
My baser instincts to hunt were already drawn to the surface.
My arms were already filled with the perfect partner in crime.
Looking at her now, I could see her in a whole new light. In the course of the night another side of her had now emerged. One where Sookie and Susannah had combined to become what was surely a modern day succubus, with my mind automatically flipping through past images of her that would give evidence to that thought. Ones I had witnessed for myself throughout the night.
Her hooded gaze, both innocent and yet somehow full of promise.
Her crooked finger, teasing me closer to something I knew I should avoid and yet couldn’t resist.
Her ability to draw me in, with nothing more than the possibility of one day being able to satiate my desire for her.
The nuclear fallout would likely pale in comparison to the explosion that would occur when that one day arrived.
And staring back into her eyes, both glazed over and yet sharpened at the prospect of a hunt, I had no doubts her ‘O’ face would be spectacular. Something I hoped to find out soon.
But in the meantime…
“Sookie?” I softly entreated, taking one last drag of her scent by dragging my nose along her neck and up to her ear before adding, “Would you like to join me in a hunt?”
A shiver worked its way down her spine and her own version of bloodlust rose up in its wake, wreaking havoc as it added to mine. But even so, I got the feeling she didn’t realize she was rubbing her body against my own when her gaze locked onto mine and she seductively purred out her reply.
“Master…I thought you would never ask.”