“Can you sense anyone nearby?” I asked as quietly as possible, but loud enough for her to hear.
I sensed no others, but I wanted to remain vigilant. And it seemed there was in fact no one around when Sookie shook her head in the negative, so we both let out our varying degrees of frustration in the form of a sigh.
Our group had arrived at our destination just before sunrise that morning. Thankfully, the Weres drove faster than I suspected Sookie ever could and our group was already more than halfway to our destination by nightfall, with the vampires taking over driving duty so they could rest.
If the word rest could be defined as fidgeting nervously and attempting to sleep with one eye open, unable to relax completely in the presence of their undead chauffeurs.
Asinine. Understandable, but asinine.
Truthfully I was relieved to have their support. We would need it in the upcoming days and nights and I would take the head of any vampire who unnecessarily hurt any one of them.
Perhaps Clancy would do well to be the first telepathic vampire in existence if he wanted to keep his.
And speaking of telepaths, Sookie had continued to surprise me. While I’d felt her worry, it was overshadowed by her determination and excitement. I might have attributed her exhilaration to her finally getting out of her – likely literal – one horse town, but considering we weren’t exactly going to Disney World, I knew there was more to it than that. And taking into consideration all she’d done to free me from my own captivity as well, I shouldn’t have been as dumbfounded by her emotions as hers continued to make me feel. She had apparently slept on and off for most of the day, so she was wide awake for most of the night. But it was feeling her sense of relief as we crossed over the Nevada border that assured me taking her with us hadn’t been a mistake.
Hopefully I would get to have my own sense of relief, having her safe and unharmed at my side, when we crossed that same border on the way home. Despite the unknown origins of her gift and her unnaturally sweet blood, Sookie was still – mostly – human. She was fragile. Breakable. I worried more than I should over her safety, but bearing in mind where I now knew my child to be, and all that she could be subjected to, I had to cast those worries aside. I had to convince myself our cause was greater than any one life and hope ours would remain intact when all was said and done. I couldn’t give in to my desires to hide her away.
We needed her.
Our second blood exchange only amplified my own need for her.
So I cast those feeling aside as well. I couldn’t afford to become mired down in emotions I had no reference for. Feelings I had no experience with. Strategizing. Revenge. Fighting. War. Those were things I could wrap my head around.
The feelings of warmth – both internal and external – when she’d wrapped her hand around my own as we drove on into the night, I could not understand.
So I told myself I was merely studying the effects of handholding when I’d done nothing to stop her.
And ignored the fact, lying to myself was quickly becoming a habit.
When we’d changed drivers at nightfall, Flood opted to ride with the larger group of Weres in another vehicle so they could make plans for when we arrived at daybreak, allowing Sookie and I to travel alone. She filled me in on all that she’d heard with her gift from the others’ minds during the day, thereby proving her invaluable worth all the more by easing my mind we weren’t going to be double crossed by them. Knowing I could trust them made my work that much easier now that I didn’t have to make detailed contingency plans in case we couldn’t rely on them.
The Weres were organized enough to have brought food rations along, but TruBlood was quickly becoming a rare artifact in Louisiana, so the vampires in the group would have to do without for the time being. The youngest of them were just over two hundred, so it wasn’t an issue at the moment and there were several small towns outside of Groom Lake where they could hunt in the following nights.
And it wasn’t like I was going to share Sookie. Ever.
I told myself it was because she wouldn’t want to offer her blood to strange vampires. I told myself it was because she couldn’t be glamoured into doing it even if I had wanted her to. I told myself it was because she needed to maintain her strength and our position was too precarious to weaken her.
The truth was I would slaughter any of them if they even salivated in her direction.
At this point truths and lies could be classified as kissing cousins.
And at this point our frustrations not only stemmed from the tactical advantage our opponents held, but with each other. Sookie was adamant she should go to Dallas at Newlin’s invitation.
I was adamant she could only go if winged monkeys flew out of my asshole to bring her there.
She had seen me weakened by torture and blood loss. She had seen me weakened by my undeniable desire for her. She had seen me in ways no other living creature on earth had ever seen me, but now she was facing an entirely new side of me. One many were familiar with.
The hard-assed son of a bitch who would sooner feed Newlin my own balls as an appetizer than to allow her to be alone in his presence.
It wasn’t even my own sense of proprietorship over her. Mostly. It just wasn’t necessary. He wanted to fuck her, not make her his second in command. While she could gain some new insight from his thoughts, Newlin was the government’s lackey. Their fall guy. The Fellowship’s course was already set.
Capture unsuspecting vampires and turn them over.
We didn’t have the time to follow his cell groups across the country in the hopes to stop them. We didn’t have the numbers to try and facilitate numerous rescue operations at different locations. Our only hope was freeing the mass held at the main facility in Area 51 and then forming our own offensive line with the added bodies. Newlin’s thoughts would give us nothing advantageous in that area. Even by the rapist’s own memories, Newlin himself needed permission to enter their facility. They were searched and escorted by armed guards at all times. Nothing she could get from his head would give us a magic key into getting inside.
So fuck that.
At least she’d had the sense to wait until we were truly alone to bring it up, so our disagreement was had in private. The last thing we needed was to distract the others with the strife of two stubborn personalities colliding.
We were currently two peas in a pissed off pod.
But at least I had the advantage of feeling her emotions. She understood my reasoning, which was the only reason why she had finally let it drop. She just didn’t like my methods of conveying them.
Winged transit monkeys or not, apparently the whole of me was an asshole.
“Maybe we’ll have better luck in the morning,” she offered softly, setting aside her anger at my assholery and reminding me of Flood’s earlier suggestion.
Our purpose for scouting the terrain was to see how close we could get in the hopes Sookie’s gift would give us any insight. Coming up with a Plan B, Flood made a few soft inquiries about the facility to some of his military contacts, so we knew the humans met up at a designated location a few miles away. Their cars were left there, while they traveled as a group via buses to and from the facility at the start and end of every shift. Considering the kind of experiments they were performing, they wisely only traveled during the daylight hours. Flood’s plan was for Alcide to feign car trouble on the side of the road near the lot, while Sookie sat in the passenger’s seat, so she could try to gather intel from the minds of the workers.
It was a risk. One I was uncomfortable with her taking when the sun was out, when I would be unable to go to her if the need arose.
And now that I was so much closer to Pam, my levels of discomfort had grown by leaps and bounds. It took every one of my one thousand years of patience to not literally fly off the handle and fly to her, ripping the heads off of anyone dumb enough to put themselves’ in my path.
So I appeased myself with the promise it would happen soon.
But it wouldn’t be happening soon enough. We’d been wandering the perimeter for a couple of hours, straying as closely as we dared, not knowing what might give away our presence. I could hear the occasional rustle of dirt being displaced, be it from a breeze I couldn’t feel or a snake that should be hunkered down now that the sun was gone from the sky. But I wouldn’t be able to know for sure what the cause was without moving forward into dangerous territory where long view camera lenses or pressure sensitive buried sensors awaited an error in judgment.
My impotence was maddening.
The moon was new, so the sky was especially dark and unable to sit still any longer in the desert brush we’d concealed ourselves in, I gathered Sookie into my arms and shot straight up into the air without a word. She silently startled at first and my fangs dropped for more than one reason when she pinched my chest and hissed, “Warn a girl next time!”
With my heightened bloodlust from our fight and our reconnaissance mission, the feel of her body in my arms and the heat of her pressed against me only added to it.
So when she’d pinched my nipple, all bets were officially off. Blasphemous considering we were in Nevada.
My mouth slanted over hers and she gasped in surprise, allowing my tongue unhindered entrance to smack her harsh rebuke back down her throat. The taste of her only fueled the fire now burning through my veins and because she was perfect for me in ways I had no words to describe, her hands fisted into my hair while her legs wrapped around my waist. Her growing lust nearly outpaced my own when she growled into my mouth and attempted to beat me into submission with a tongue lashing of a different kind.
It had only been two days since I’d last kissed her. Less than forty-eight hours since I’d last held her. It hadn’t been the time or the place for affection of any kind since we’d left for Shreveport. We’d arrived in Nevada just before the sun had risen and left our makeshift camp not long after I rose for the night. But now that I had her in my arms once again, I knew what the nagging sensation had been in my chest because it was gone.
I’d missed her.
It was completely idiotic, considering she’d been in my sight – if not within arms’ reach – over every waking hour since then. But it was true nonetheless.
Perhaps when all was said and done I could get my own reality show on Lifetime.
Whipped – The Vampire Sheriff Pussywhipped by the Virgin Vagina.
Check your local listings.
And if I didn’t know any better I may have thought Sookie could read vampire minds because she chose that moment to whip her pussy across my cock, using the grip of her legs around my waist to whittle away what was left of my sanity. It reminded me of her rebuke to her brother, admonishing him for whittling his stick in any knot he could find.
So her knot finding my stick left me looking for a tree I could brace her against, so we could whittle the night away.
My mouth had unwittingly left hers, so my eyes could look for the elusive fucking tree. Scarcer than winged monkeys who dwelled in vampire assholes, in an arid desert it would be like coming across Dorothy fucking the Wizard of Oz himself. But it was feeling her sudden jolt of fear that made some clarity reform in my mind before it had even made its way to my eyes.
“Holy shit!” she gasped and clutched at me tighter, burying her face against my neck in fright instead of passion.
Looking and finding the cause of her distress, my smirk was lost on her tightly shut eyes when I acknowledged her words with an, “Oops.”
We’d risen straight up into the sky, apparently taking direction from my co-pilot Dick who was trapped in his denim cockpit, and were several thousand feet in the air by the time I’d stopped our ascent.
She shivered against me, I knew both out of fear and temperature, and unable to warm her with my nonexistent body heat, I slowly lowered us back towards the earth.
The elusive fucking tree would have to remain elusive for a while longer.
The act of fucking itself had eluded me for weeks and while I had gone without for much longer, I knew it was only adding to my frustrations. I could use the release to clear my head by clearing my cock of cum. Any other time I would have gone hunting for a full course meal. Being in Nevada, I knew I could be in Las Vegas and well into my second course in under an hour. Showgirls, bridesmaids, or the brides-to-be themselves. Any number of beautiful women were on the prowl at that very moment hoping to live up to the city’s campaign of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
It was a virtual vampire buffet.
But the one lie I couldn’t tell myself was that it was what I wanted.
The one I wanted was strapped to my body like her last name was Velcro even though we’d been back on the ground for a full two minutes.
There were still plans to be made. Besotted shifters to call for updates on what was being said about the tangled heap of Fellowship soldiers we’d left behind. Contacts to be sought out and informed in the hopes they would join our fight. Russell, perhaps. Crowe, if he so wished. I was still hesitant to inform either de Castro or Threadgill. Their numbers would be helpful to our cause, but each was greedy enough to takeover Louisiana if they knew Bubba was the only vampire keeping the throne warm.
But all of that could wait for a few more moments, so I’d set us down about a half mile from the camp, figuring Sookie would likely need a few moments of her own to compose herself.
I certainly did.
So I merely continued to hold her and listened as her heart rate slowed to a normal pace, while her breathing evened out. And not knowing how long it would be until our next stolen moment, I leaned down, placing a tender kiss to her forehead, and softly said, “I apologize for scaring you, lover. My only excuse is when you kiss me, I can’t help seeing stars.”
She snickered against my neck and finally met my eyes with her own, saying, “I’ll keep in mind how literal you are if you keep in mind that just because I might moon over you, it doesn’t mean I want to fly over it.” Tilting her head with a smile, she added, “I suppose I should refrain from telling that Clancy guy to bite me the next time he gets all huffy with me, huh?”
“Say what you will to him,” I shrugged nonchalantly, while my hands gave away my fury at the mere thought by holding her more tightly. And since the cat was out of the bag, I leaned down further to press my forehead – and more of my scent – against her own, saying, “Our numbers will just be reduced by one when I rip his undead heart from his chest and offer it to you as recompense should he try.”
Her eyes narrowed back at me, but the smile still played on her lips before she shook her head, chiding, “Always going straight for the kill. Literally.” Her hands moved to my shoulders, digging her fingers into the muscles underneath them, as she softly chanted, “You’re a teepee. You’re a wigwam.”
“I’m a what?” I asked with my eyes now closed, enjoying her ministrations and not understanding anything other than the feel of her hands gripping my body.
If she would move them further down to my control stick, I would be flying all over again and my feet would never have to leave the ground.
“You’re two tents,” she laughed softly. The heat of her lips were added to the heat of her hands when they were suddenly pressed against my own as she whispered, “Is there anything I can do to help you relax?”
It was so odd. To be enveloped by her warmth, since she’d made no moves to disembark my space shuttle, and yet my body froze where it stood.
No longer hiding my eyes, they snapped open to darken back at hers as I warned, “You shouldn’t tease me, lover. I have been with no other since before we first met and now no one other than you will do. Remember how literal I am before you make any offers.”
Instead of frightening her, she seemed excited. Heartened hearing the unintentional verification of my pussification because of her. And she was maddening enough to offer me no more words. No verification of her own, so I was forced to read between the lines that were her lips when she pressed them more firmly against my own and spoke silently.
Tongue to tongue.
When her hands began to tear away at my clothes, I allowed my jacket to fall to the ground before placing her body down on top of it and covering hers with my own. My pussification only continued to grow when I mentally lamented over the fact her first time wouldn’t be in bed. We didn’t have the hours I would’ve wanted to spend learning each and every inch of her body or every way in which I could make it sing. But it had been two nights since she’d last had my blood. I knew now that her actions weren’t driven by bloodlust.
Just Sookie’s lust.
It was enough.
When everything was done and our mission was accomplished, I would find the time to spend romancing her. Make her every wish and desire come true. Give her the perfect night she deserved, but for now I would give her what she was silently asking for.
She’d had me long before this night.
Her hands tugged at my shirt, so I lifted off of her enough for her to pull it over my head and smirked both seeing and feeling the lust shoot through her body at the sight of my bare chest.
If only I’d given her my blood prior to her bathing me, recalling my own insecurity over how I thought she saw me, our experience would have been much more enjoyable.
“See something you like?” I smirked.
“Uh huh,” she confirmed unashamed and pulled me back down for a kiss. Her hands wandered over my bare skin, around my torso and across my back, trailing downwards until her hands gripped my ass. “But this is my favorite part.”
My hips thrust against her own, letting her feel the effect she had on me and enjoying the way her eyes rolled back into her head at my actions. I certainly enjoyed the cause for her eye roll now more than the reasons why she’d done it in the past.
Trailing my hands down her body, I gently gripped the two twin favorites of my own on hers, as I hedged, “I bet by the time we’re through, you’ll have changed your mind on what part of me is your favorite.”
Her back arched under my hands, elongating her neck and showcasing her now throbbing carotid artery. I couldn’t resist leaning down and tracing over it with my tongue, but I stayed my urge to bite.
Tonight I would be having my dinner from somewhere much lower on her body.
While my hands worked to gently rid her of her clothes, knowing she’d be aghast if I ripped them to shreds when we still had to return to the camp, I felt her nervousness flare as she stilled them with her own, with her next words stilling my entire body.
“You’ll be gentle, right? I uh…I’ve never…you’re my first.”
I’d suspected, of course. But hearing her confirm it aloud shocked me nonetheless.
And pleased me like nothing else ever had.
I felt privileged Sookie chose me to give herself to and seeing the anxiety in her eyes, I slowly leaned down, cupping her face in my hand and admitted, “You honor me, lover. In more ways than I have words to describe. But you can trust I will not hurt you. At least not any more than I can help.”
The physics alone meant the initial intrusion of my body into hers would bring with it some pain, but a topical application of my vampire blood would diminish it just as quickly. Nevertheless, my words were true. Twice bonded or not. A thousand year old vampire sheriff and a telepath filled with ambrosia-like blood or not. The woman staring up into my eyes from beneath me was merely a girl named Sookie and she was choosing to give herself to a guy she only saw as Eric. She made me feel more alive than when my heart still beat in my chest and I would do whatever was necessary to keep her happy, and happily with me.
A millennium was long enough to learn what was to be treasured and what could be trashed.
Sookie Stackhouse was priceless.
And she was about to be mine in every way.
That thought alone made me impossibly harder, so I leaned down and warned her as tenderly as I could, “And if I have my way, I will be your only.”
Another truth. I would kill anyone who even thought themselves my rival for her affections.
Her nervousness died down as her amusement rose up when she accurately described, “So possessive. I bet if you had a report card, it would read, ‘Doesn’t play well with others.’”
“On the contrary, lover. I play very well with others. Perhaps you’ll find the time to write your own report on it in the morning.”
“You’re certainly giving me lots of quotes to use,” she giggled. “So far you’re all talk.”
I growled at her playfully and was about to make her eat her words by way of eating her pussy when another growl made its way to my ears.
“What was that?” Sookie asked as she sat up and looked towards the sound, with her eyes narrowing into the darkness.
Another scream, trailed by numerous shouts followed, and I surmised by distance and location they were coming from the camp. I suspected we were under attack, but before I could say anything, she placed her hand on my arm and said, “It’s Clancy. Something’s wrong with him.”
I grabbed ahold of Sookie and flew us back to the group to see Clancy writhing on the ground in agony.
“What happened?” I asked no one in particular. I didn’t care for him, but he was still one of ours. We needed every body possible when the time came for the inevitable fight we would be forced to wage and couldn’t afford to lose any.
Unless of course, they challenged me in any way for Sookie.
We would just have to make do with the reduced numbers.
“He just got back,” Flood offered, now standing at my side. “He didn’t say where he was going, but I suspected he went out for a bite to eat.”
While the tirade formed in my mind, preparing to rip him a new asshole for disobeying orders, I watched as his pale features slowly became ashen, taking on the gray pallor associated with silver poisoning. But I saw no wounds or indications he’d been stabbed by a silver blade, so I walked over and leaned down over him, asking, “What happened?”
“I…I…went into town,” he stuttered and hissed again as he clutched his stomach. “Woman. Leaving a bar. Glamoured. Fed. Was fine until…”
Despite his obvious agony from an unknown cause, I was furious with him. Hunting so closely to the government facility was impetuous and irresponsible. We had no information on who our enemies were or what methods had been deployed in order to safeguard them. I’d already informed the vampires upon our arrival, feeding would be done in groups of two, no less than fifty miles out from our location. In the meantime they could choose to suck down one of the TruBloods Sookie had brought along. Or they could just suck it.
I didn’t care.
No one in our group needed to feed daily, but it would seem Clancy at least had become spoiled by the Great Revelation. Having your meals willingly put themselves on a platter night after night made for a lazy vampire.
And it looked as though he was paying the price for his gluttony now.
His body doubled over as he yelled out in pain and all we could do was helplessly watch as his mouth opened once more in a silent scream just before his body exploded where he lay, covering me and the surrounding group in a bloody spray.
What. The. Fuck.