When I lost sight of her taillights as she turned out of the parking lot, heading towards the highway, I decided to try to get a little bit of work done to give Sookie a head start in reaching her home.
Highly doubting her rusted death trap could reach – much less exceed – the posted speed limit, I knew I could fly there in a third of the time.
I just happened to know it from experience.
But my thoughts refused to focus on the task at hand and instead of going over the bar’s invoices and schedules as I’d planned, I found myself replaying our evening. She really was a breath of fresh air, made sweeter not only by her scent, but more so by her personality.
Her wit. Her character.
They drew me in like a moth to a flame.
And her body…
Well…that drew my dick in like a tractor beam to an alien spaceship.
But once my memories moved past Andre’s unexpected visit, they settled on something else she had said.
Something to do with a turkey.
And opening a new window on my computer screen, my Google search led me to a Williams-Sonoma website.
If she thought I’d let her fuck herself with that plastic contraption over using my own Nordic baster, she was sadly mistaken.
As if the sheer force of my indignation could make others do my bidding through my will alone, in the next second my eyes moved to the phone on my desk, willing Ludwig to call and tell me I could fuck her without the threat of meeting my final death.
But short of that – and if Sookie’s suspicions turned out to be true – my mind flipped through other scenarios in which we would both survive a sexual encounter.
Because there would be an encounter of a close kind that had nothing to do with alien spaceships.
But my subsequent Google search led me to something even more abhorrent then the idea of using a turkey baster.
Using a condom.
My eyes glared at the screen like I could melt it with the death ray of my hatred alone. And when that didn’t work, I shut it down, with thoughts of going to Ludwig and shaking the elfin doctor upside down by her ankles until she told me what I wanted to hear.
But with my luck, I’d likely only shake enough change from her pockets to pay for the blasted latex prison my dick would be sentenced to.
Fed up and edgy, I couldn’t sit still for any longer and decided to expend some of my pent up energy by following Sookie home, rather than meeting her there. I hadn’t yet told her I could fly, but her sense of humor made me believe we would both enjoy my revelation.
When I dropped down from sky in front of her car as soon as she pulled into her driveway.
I would get a laugh out of it at the very least.
Given the misfortunes in her life of self-imposed solitude, I was impressed by her generally jovial attitude. Even feeling the slight fear under Andre’s watchful stare, she’d made my own lips twitch feeling her want to laugh when I’d offered my supposition over Compton’s departure to the queen’s lieutenant.
Little did he know Compton’s departure was from more than just Area Five.
Little did she know – come Hell or high water – I would be making another set of her lips twitch with a different kind of want.
Latex could be used to cover more than just my dick.
Flexing my still latex-free fingers, I estimated she hadn’t been gone for very long. Fifteen minutes at most by the time I reached the darkened alleyway behind the bar and shot up into the sky. And while the traffic was sparse at that time of night, I doubted she’d gotten farther than a few miles on the highway. But because she’d recently taken my blood, I wouldn’t need to fly along the same path her car would have taken, now that I could sense her location.
And her mood.
And zeroing in on her mood, I could sense at that very moment she was longing for something.
Me, I assumed.
So what if it made me an ass.
But the thought she was missing me only made me put on a burst of speed to reach her that much quicker. For some unexplainable reason – one I didn’t want an explanation for – I’d much rather feel her happiness than any other emotion.
It was pure.
Left unhindered by the weight of hidden agendas or ulterior motives, her happiness seemed to come to her freely, with no strings attached.
And yet I inexplicably was.
It was something else I didn’t necessarily want an explanation for.
While my mind blamed my attachment to her on her overall innocence – something as rare as a Louisiana snowstorm – I quickly closed the distance between us. Sensing she was getting closer, I slowed my speed so I wouldn’t overshoot her car, but just as her rusted death trap came into view over the treetops, so too did something else.
The flash of someone else on her trail.
Barely hidden just inside of the tree line, he ran alongside of her car, but it was only my preternatural eyesight that allowed me to see him at all.
And I was too far out – too high up – to reach her before he did.
No sooner had he darted in through the passenger side window than I was blindsided by her pain and my body faltered for a second in the air. My blood tie to Sookie was only made stronger by our close proximity, but I still hadn’t been prepared to feel her pain so intensely.
Nor had I been prepared to witness what I saw next.
In spite of my momentary floundering in the sky, my eyes hadn’t strayed from them, so I’d not only felt her attack, but I watched it as it happened. He’d barely settled into the seat beside her when he yanked her by the back of her head towards his mouth and ripped into her neck.
And then splat.
No more Andre.
In her fright, her hands had been raised up in the air, with her fingers splayed wide.
They’d held no stake.
She’d had no weapon.
Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it.
I hadn’t truly realized until then that I hadn’t truly believed her claims as to how Compton and the others had met their end. Just as strongly as she’d believed herself to be cursed, my own mind had tried to rationalize away the impossible.
So vehement was my denial, I would have taken any and all bets that if she could be proven to be a true venefica, then I would replace my fleet of cars with a unicorn drawn sleigh.
But just as I was marveling over witnessing the impossible, her decelerating car slowly veered to the right and came to a jarring halt in the ditch alongside the road. However it was feeling the life leaving her body that had me torpedoing to her side.
The driver’s side door had been ripped from its hinges and went flying through the air, just as my feet touched the ground. Ripping the seatbelt away with one hand, I used the other to cradle her head as I pulled her lifeless body free from the car.
The furious roar that left my chest – be it from seeing the blood gushing out of her torn open neck or knowing it was my possessive taunting to Andre that had likely played a part in his attack on her – didn’t faze her in the least, so I knew I only had moments to react.
Laying her down on the ground beside her car, I ripped open one wrist and shoved the torn flesh into her open mouth, before repeating the action all over again on the other and forcing my own bloodied flesh against hers.
Seeing my blood fill her mouth, only to watch it spill out over her open lips, my mind began making plans for either outcome. One way or another it seemed I would be burying her before dawn.
Whether or not she would remain in her grave three nights from then was a tossup.
Snarling at the thought of that fucker killing her, my eyes moved upward and took in the bloody aftermath sprayed across the interior of her car.
I wouldn’t even get the satisfaction of killing him myself if she didn’t survive.
But hearing the slightest of gurgling sounds, my eyes darted back down to Sookie and seeing her throat swallow my blood swallowed up what was left of my rage. My only concern then was her survival, so I reopened the wrist over her mouth and pulled the other away from her neck to see the magic in my blood was already working.
With her flesh torn open, my blood had flooded her torn arteries and tendons, so it had begun to heal her from the inside out. Already her own blood flow had stemmed from her wounds and her heartbeat grew stronger with every passing second.
I saw no need to question my slight disappointment that it appeared I wouldn’t have a new child in three nights’ time.
Likely it was my own self-preservation instincts kicking in.
Likely preserving my sanity.
But I hadn’t seen the fallacy behind my thoughts until I felt the swipe of her tongue across my wrist, just as her lips attached to my skin and she pulled my blood into her mouth in earnest. She’d refused to take it by this method just the night before, worrying her saliva would somehow end me, but I felt fine.
Among other things.
So maybe it was just her blood that was a vampire death sentence?
I couldn’t be sure.
I didn’t really care.
All that I cared about was seeing her own wounds stitching themselves closed and hearing her heartbeat strengthen.
When her lightheadedness threatened to make me topple over, I finally pulled my wrist away from her mouth. She’d had enough of my blood to heal, but she’d lost enough of her own that she was still unconscious.
But it wasn’t until I scooped her blood soaked body up into my arms that another thought occurred to me.
Our blood had mingled when I’d shoved my bloodied wrist against her neck.
Nothing made sense where she was concerned, but that seemed to be par for the course, so I would wait until I heard from Ludwig before trying to form any conclusions. In the meantime, I decided to take Sookie home.
I doubted she’d rescinded my invitation to her home, so I could have brought her there. But considering Andre had been sent by Sophie-Anne in search of Compton, in all likelihood someone would go looking for him in Bon Temps. The risks were too great for her to return any time soon.
Especially now that Sophie-Anne knew her favorite child had been ended.
As Andre’s Maker, she would have felt it when he’d met his true death and very well might come searching for answers herself.
Answers I would deny having when she undoubtedly arrived.
Not trusting any of the safe houses I’d used in the past to relieve my boredom with whoever had managed to capture my attention for the night, I brought Sookie to the one place no other human had ever gone.
Pam was the only other who knew of its location. Even Bobby hadn’t been told of its whereabouts because – like every other human, save Sookie – he could be glamoured.
Something that fuck Andre had tried to use on Sookie when asking her name.
It had been a blatant ‘fuck you’ from him to even attempt it, much less in my presence, but as the queen’s lieutenant and child, I’d had no recourse.
And I hoped his last thought was realizing he was karma’s bitch.
Cradled in my arms, I shielded Sookie’s body from the wind as much as I could, while I flew at top speed to my home. We arrived less than ten minutes later and I landed in the backyard, taking her inside through the side door and bringing her straight to my bathroom.
Pam had her own home, so mine was the only one in the house stocked with soaps and shampoo, but with Sookie still unconscious, it was up to me to undress her.
At least karma seemed to be on my side that night.
Not only was I sure Sookie would survive her attack, but I had survived my own impulsive – if not downright careless – reaction to heal her.
But while she could be saved, sadly her dress could not. Now a deeper shade of red than even I cared to see on her, I gently removed it from her body, only to discover just how much karma was loving me that night.
Because the only thing left covering her body was a red lace strapless bra.
And I doubted I would have been able to survive our night on the dance floor had I known her dress was the only barrier in between us.
My leather pants would have been the first casualty.
But as much as I desired her body, this wasn’t the way in which I had imagined seeing it for the first time. So I ignored every temptation to be had – both by sight and smell – and concentrated on just getting her clean.
A joint shower would have been the easier option if she could have stood up on her own, but she couldn’t even keep her eyes open, although they briefly fluttered when I gently placed her in the bathtub.
Starting at the top of her head, I washed and rinsed the blood from her hair, before moving further down her body. I made sure to be extra careful when washing the blood away from her neck, but the pinkish hue – the only evidence left of her ordeal that still marred her skin – had faded even more by the time I’d finished with the rest of her body.
I dried her as well as possible before wrapping her in another dry towel and carrying her into my bedroom. Not having any clothes that would fit her smaller frame – but doubting she would appreciate sleeping in the nude as much as I would appreciate her doing just that – I covered her body in one of my t-shirts and settled her back onto the bed before leaving her there to get myself cleaned up.
Once I was freshly showered, I walked back into my room and seeing her there, seemingly peacefully sleeping on my bed did things.
Things that blindsided me in a way that I didn’t want to look too deeply into finding out the cause.
But in spite of having no clock or windows in my bedroom, I knew sunrise was less than hour away. However, also knowing there was no food for her to eat when she woke up, I left her there to get the provisions she would need.
And to do away with the evidence we’d left behind on the side of the highway.
It took twenty minutes to dispose of her car – now an eyesore to the catfish forced to share their home with it at the bottom of a lake – and I was back at the house within twenty minutes of its burial to find she was still sleeping soundly. So I left the items I’d bought for her in the kitchen and left her a note on the nightstand beside her, telling her where to find them.
Daybreak was only moments away by then and I lay down beside her, questioning my own sanity for leaving her in the room when I would be defenseless.
But the thought left me just as quickly when she moved on her own, for the first time since her attack, and attached herself to my side without ever waking up.
So I went to my daytime rest hoping my lucky streak with karma would continue on while I was dead to the world.
As my consciousness returned to me, with it came a flood of my other senses.
And already hard, I nearly came from just her scent surrounding me.
The warmth of her body still lying beside mine was just as palpable as the slow and steady drum of her heartbeat and upon opening my eyes, I was blindsided yet again.
This time by her soft teasing smile and bright blue eyes shining back at me.
“You really do sleep like the dead,” she snickered.
I’d been prepared to deal with her fear. Console her in any way possible to soothe her sure to be frazzled nerves. To apologize for my own neglect that had made her attack even possible. Readied to face her wrath for her unconscious bath.
But a happy Sookie wasn’t something I had been prepared for at all.
Not that I was complaining.
Her head was resting on my pillow, with my body still turned towards hers, as it had been when dawn had taken me. So I merely smiled back at her and stated the obvious.
“I am dead.”
Her eyes rolled to the top of her head for a moment before she trained them on me again and gave me Pam’s patented reply of, “Whatever.”
But just as they returned, so too did her smile when she said, “I’ve never been to a slumber party before. I can’t believe I missed the whole thing.”
Snaking my arm under her head to reach the pillow on the other side, I lifted it slightly and asked, “Pillow fight?”
Giggling, she playfully smacked at my chest and said, “Pervert, right?”
She had no idea.
But not having any idea of where her jovial spirit had come from, I only offered, “You seem to be in a good mood.”
I truly was thrown by her attitude.
She was happy and I knew it.
I could probably even be convinced to clap my hands.
Her smile remained, but her gaze became knowing when she said, “I figured you would be too after playing dress up with your life sized Sookie doll.”
But when all I did was stare at her – needing some sort of rational explanation for her mood – she burrowed her head back down onto our shared pillow and sighed, “The secret source to humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in heaven.”
I’d recognized the quote immediately, although I shouldn’t have been so surprised to hear it pass from her lips.
She’d shown me time and again that I shouldn’t expect the expected from her.
Perhaps I would one day learn that lesson.
But, either or, I was sure she would find a way to blindside me again.