"You're really going to make me do this?"
"In your own words ‘damn straight’."
"You think you're so funny."
"Only because it's true."
Sookie watched as Eric flopped down onto his stomach atop his bed and folded his arms under his head.
Thankfully he'd apparently changed the sheets sometime earlier, though she couldn't imagine him doing such a menial job, and she didn't have to look at the blood stains she'd made yesterday. Looking him over from where she stood in the doorway, she had to force herself not to sigh in appreciation. He really was beautiful … though she'd never tell him that. His ego was big enough. Any bigger and she'd be worried his head wouldn't get through the door.
He was still wearing only his black training hakamas and the broad expanse of his muscular back was practically beckoning her to touch him. Crossing her arms over her chest, she argued, "Don't you feel the least bit bad about getting this backrub through debt? I mean shouldn't you want me to touch you because I want to … not because I have to?"
Looking at her over his shoulder, Eric replied, "Not even a little. My sense of honor might keep me from getting between those perfect thighs of yours through debt, but a massage? Not. Even. Close."
Laying his head back on his folded arms he called, "Come, my Sookie … you owe me a back rub … and a foot rub, but I might save that for tomorrow."
Laying his head back on his folded arms he called, "Come, my Sookie … you owe me a back rub … and a foot rub, but I might save that for tomorrow."
Releasing a sigh Sookie moved to kneel beside him on the bed as she warned, "No funny business."
Chuckling softly Eric replied, "I assure you, my pet, when your hands are on me, humor is the least of my concerns."
"You know what I mean—don't get fresh with me." Setting her hands on his back and forcing herself not to notice how very hard the muscles beneath her were she began to rub her fingers in circles. "I'm not going to be very good at this. I've always tried to avoid touching people most of my life so I've never done this before."
Not caring how she touched him as long as she did Eric asked, "Why did you avoid touching people?" In reality, massages did nothing for vampires as their muscles did not tense up. This was more about luxuriating in the feel of Sookie's hands finally on his body, even if it was because she lost a bet.
"Touching others increases their thoughts in my head. Amps up the sound. I always limited myself to brief hugs and the like most of my life."
Feeling her nervousness at giving him a back rub abate as they spoke, Eric decided to keep her talking. "That must have been hard for you. I've observed that humans thrive on physical contact."
"You can't miss what you've never had. As a child my parents figured out pretty quick I didn't like to be hugged or touched too much, and weren't overly affectionate with me because of that. They just didn't know it was because their thoughts and feelings bombarded me and caused me pain through touch."
Looking at her over his shoulder he asked, "You can tell people's feelings as well as thoughts?"
Nodding her head, Sookie replied, "I feel them as my own when I'm touching them if I don't block them out, I can make people feel better if they're sad or angry or in pain by touching them. I sort of take their emotions into me and drain some of their feelings off of them if I need to. I used to not be able to control it and it happened whether I wanted it to or not, but once I learned to put up shields I could keep from taking them into me if I wanted. Now if I don't want to absorb people's emotions I just block them. Of course it only works if I'm touching someone; if I'm not in contact with them I can only hear their thoughts."
"You continue to surprise me with your skills Sookie. So can you pick up on feelings from vampires when you're touching them? I'm broadcasting a few your way right now little one," Eric said with a decided purr.
Chuckling softly Sookie continued to rub his back as she replied, "I'll just bet you are, but to answer your question: no. I get absolutely nothing from vampires and that is why I enjoy being around you guys so much—it's comforting."
"Comforting? I don't think I've ever heard the company of vampires described in such a way."
"Yeah, well you try spending your whole life concentrating on keeping noise and feelings that aren't your own out and then suddenly be able to be around others and not have to do it … believe me it's comforting. Well worth the danger involved."
Smirking at that Eric said, "So you are at least aware that there is danger involved by being around us then?"
"Of course I am. I'm not blind to the fact that first and foremost you guys are predators, but, well, it's nice not being the only oddity in a room. You guys are curious about me, but you don't look at me like I'm a freak. You can't begin to know how good that makes me feel."
Feeling her hands shift to the other side of his back he offered, "You know Sookie if you kneel over me you could do both sides at once and it would work better. You also wouldn't have to lean so far over."
"Maybe but my legs would get tired of holding me up pretty quick."
"You could sit on me … I promise you won't be too heavy."
Shaking her head as a blush filled her cheeks Sookie replied, "I'm fine where I am, thank you very much."
Chuckling softly, Eric replied, "Nothing is going to happen Sookie. I'd have to be on my back to present a danger to you in the way you're worried about. Currently the part of my body I very much wish to introduce you to is pressing into the mattress … what are you afraid of?"
"Eric, I firmly believe you could be blindfolded, gagged, and handcuffed in silver chains and still be dangerous to me, so I'll stay where I am."
Trying a different approach, Eric said, "I see, you are afraid if you touch me any more than necessary your own desire for me will overcome that pitiful resistance you have towards me. You know you'll succumb to your attraction to me and that is why you are afraid to sit on me. You have no control over your lust for me. I see, coward."
Gasping Sookie slapped his back and said, "I do not want you! And I don't lust after you!"
Looking over his shoulder Eric teased, "Prove it."
Sitting back on her heels, she glared at him. "Are you really daring me to sit on you? And you call me childish! This is reverse psychology and I'm not falling for it. So just lay there and let me do your damn massage already."
"I knew it, you want me."
Releasing a growl of her own, Sookie hiked up the long hem of his shirt she was wearing and swung a leg over his body to plop down over him, sitting right on his ass. Cocking a brow at him she said, "I. Do. Not. Want. You."
"Liar. And you may continue."
Huffing Sookie renewed her attentions to his back with greater vigor. "You are such a jerk! You can't ever win gracefully. You always have to have the last word. You …."
Perfectly content to listen to her rant at him as long as she continued to sit atop him, Eric thought, 'Much better.' He was pleased she had taken his bait. Her angry attentions to his back as she tried to take her frustrations out on him caused her to rock back and forth atop him and he was finding the sensation extremely pleasurable. He was slightly deterred by the fact she was feeling only aggravation at the moment and no real feelings of lust, but he knew he could fix that.
'First things first. Get her to calm down and become more comfortable with the situation, so I have to get her talking.'
Wracking his brain for a moment he finally said, "Let's continue with our other agreement … tell me your favorite childhood memory."
Her hands stilling on his back for a moment as she let her tirade trail off Sookie finally shrugged her shoulders and said, "I guess that would be when I got Tina."
"Yep, we had just moved in with Gran and things were really hard for me and Jason, but me especially. He had friends he was able to take comfort in, but other than Gran and Tara I was on my own and Tara had to take care of her Mom a lot so I only got to see her a few times a week."
Looking at her over his shoulder Eric asked, "Was Tina another friend you acquired during this time?"
"You could say that, she was my cat."
"Yep. Jason was coming home from Hoyt's house one day and he found her in a box beside the road. She was a kitten then and apparently someone didn't want her. He knew I'd been asking Gran about getting a puppy, but since we couldn't really afford one he figured a kitten would do just as well. He brought her home and gave her to me so I'd have a friend. He even gave me all the money he'd been saving up to buy a dirt bike so I could take her to the vet and get her vaccinated. It wasn't a puppy, but I loved her all the same."
Pleased by the feelings of love and contentment rolling off of her through the bond, Eric said, "I'm glad your brother is capable of doing nice things for you from time to time. You keep talking about Tina past tense though so I assume she died at some point?" That brought a feeling of loss and he cursed himself for asking such a thing.
Nodding her head, Sookie replied, "Yeah, Rene killed her one night. The night I came to read your employees at Fangtasia looking for your stolen money, actually. He strung up her body and hung it on my ceiling fan so that her blood would splatter everywhere. I guess since I wasn't home he figured he'd hurt me in any way he could. Everyone knew how much I loved that cat … I thought about getting another one, but I can't bear to think of getting another cat."
'Perhaps it's time she got that puppy she always wanted then. I shall speak to Bobby tonight when she goes to sleep. She will have a surprise to return home to.'
Deciding to move along to a topic less painful he said, "Well then, I guess I shall tell you something about myself now. I had a dog as a boy."
Surprise evident in her voice Sookie asked, "Really?"
"Yes, he was a hunting and guard dog and a worthy companion."
"What was his name?"
"Dog. We did not name our animals back then as you do today. They were beasts of burden and tools for us to use. We did not personalize them as you do now, though I was fond of him and took better care of him than most of my kinsmen did their dogs. I had him for six years before he died protecting me in a battle. He attacked a man coming up behind me and distracted him long enough for me to finish the one I was fighting and turn to face them. When the battle was done, I searched the field for him and carried his body into the woods to bury. Many of my fellow Northmen laughed at me for wasting energy in such a way, but I would not tolerate the idea of him rotting away in the sun with our enemies. He may have been an animal but he was loyal to the end, and such a thing deserved to be honored."
Tears building in her eyes Sookie whispered, "That's beautiful, did you ever get another dog?"
Easily scenting her tears, but feeling only good emotions emitting from her through the bond, he answered, "I didn't have time. A few weeks later I was made vampire and we do not keep such pets, though I've made a yearly donation to the SPCA ever since it was founded in honor of him."
"Yes. I have always admired the strength and loyalty of dogs. They are not given the credit they are due. They do far more for their human masters than humans do for them. For centuries they provided not only protection for people, but a means of survival as hunters as well. It is disgraceful the way humans have forgotten how much they owe these loyal animals and allow them to waste away in the streets as they are."
Truly shocked now Sookie replied, "Just when I think you couldn't surprise me any more you say something like that. Who would of thought the Viking had a soft spot for puppies."
Smirking beneath her and enjoying the warmth spreading into him from her through the bond Eric thought, 'Things are progressing nicely.' He hadn't lied, and truthfully he did have a soft spot for dogs. He just forewent mentioning that the donation he made was via one of his companies and allowed him a tremendous tax break each year. He didn't see the point of alerting her to that fact. Let her think he did it merely out of the kindness of his heart. 'Besides it's not like I'd give any money to some charity supporting humans … that would just be ridiculous.' Enjoying the companionship building between them he said, "You're turn … tell me something about yourself. Something that won't make you sad."
Racking her brain Sookie finally said, "When I was little I used to have these imaginary friends that were pixies. Or I thought they were pixies. From what you were telling me about other supernaturals I might be wrong. They were these little flying lights that spoke to me in my mind and I would sneak out of the house at night when everyone was sleeping to play with them in the woods. I must have been really lonely as a child because they were so real to me. I'd see them all the time but no one else ever did. I stopped seeing them after my parents died though."
Eric tensed beneath her for the briefest of moments before affecting a nonchalant tone, "Describe them to me…you say they were lights?"
"Yeah … they were just little glowing orbs of light that kind of sparkled, and they seemed to tinkle in the air like they were little bells. They didn't have actual bodies that I saw, just light, but they were always with me. What's really strange is that I never named them. I just knew them by the feel of their thoughts in my mind."
'It cannot be! She's not describing pixies, she's describing Guardians! Guardians are only assigned by The One and never lightly—oh my precious Sookie, what are you?'
Deciding he needed more information, Eric asked, "And you say you stopped seeing them the night your parents died? You simply stopped?"
"Well, I spoke with them one last time. Before Sheriff Dearborn arrived to tell us about my parents, I was upstairs in the room I slept in at Gran's house and they were with me. They told me that they couldn't come visit me like they had anymore but would be watching and if I ever needed them to call and they'd come to help me. They also told me that things were going to be hard for a long time, but one day everything would get better. I just had to wait until then."
"And did you?"
Not understanding what he was asking Sookie replied, "Did I what?"
Laughing softly, Sookie answered, "Eric, I was a little girl that made up imaginary friends because I was lonely. Of course I didn't call them! They're not real."
Shrugging his shoulders beneath her Eric said, "Perhaps they were Sookie. After everything you've learned about what's in the world perhaps they aren't as imaginary as you think. The next time you're in trouble call them and see what happens."
Stilling atop him, Sookie asked, "Were they real pixies?"
"No. Pixies look much like what you believed fairies to be. They resemble your Tinkerbelle, but are tricksters. They do partake of acts of kindness, but only when the mood strikes them. Most pixies wear cloaks of invisibility to keep humans from seeing them though. They live deep in the forests and jungles of the world and as you can imagine deforestation is wrecking havoc on them."
She was silent a moment before saying, "I wouldn't even know how to call on them. Like I said they didn't have names. I never called them when I was little they simply appeared whenever they wanted."
Still not wanting to tell her how significant having Guardians was, especially Guardians that had made it clear they were at her disposal, Eric simply replied, "Why don't you just try thinking of them and wishing for them to come to you. The next time you are in trouble do that and see what happens. If they appear they're real and if they don't then they were imaginary. It won't hurt you to try…and if they're real they might save your life."
"You really think they might be real?"
Knowing they were real, but hesitant to tell her so since whatever was watching over Sookie seemed determined she stay in the dark about it, Eric shrugged again and said, "They might be. I'm finding that many things concerning you Sookie are unbelievable … so the next time you're afraid or in danger wish for them to come to you and see what happens."
"I guess it wouldn't hurt to try it, but I don't think it would work. If they were real why didn't they come any of the times I've been in danger lately?"
"Did you call them?"
"Well no, but if they were real wouldn't they have come anyways?"
Glancing at her over his shoulder Eric replied, "Not necessarily, they told you that you had to call them in order for them to come … you didn't, so they couldn't. Next time, call. Don't be frivolous about it, though. They said to only call if you were in trouble so you should do so."
"Ok. I'll give it a try next time someone tries to kill me or I'm in trouble … which considering the way things have been the past couple of months, it shouldn't be very long before I get to test this theory out."
Laughing, Eric replied, "Hopefully I will have better luck at keeping you out of trouble than Bill did."
Smiling at that Sookie moved her hands to rub his lower back before asking, "So what do you want to talk about now?"
"Talk? I've had enough of talking for now." Moving with vampire speed, Eric was on his back to hold Sookie on his lap directly over his evident erection as he whispered against her lips, "Now I want to taste you … time for you to feed me Sookie."
Gasping, Sookie set her hands on Eric's chest to try and push away from him, but the moment her right hand settled over his heart where the Mjolnir rested she felt an electric shock shoot through her body and she sighed, "Eric …"
Feeling the same rush of power fill his own body, Eric nuzzled her neck, trying to push his shirt off her shoulder without her realizing it, as he pressed, "Remember our deal, little one: you promised to quench my thirst for you."
Shuddering at the feel of him, and finding herself unable to pull away as she knew she should, Sookie let her eyes flutter shut as he nipped softly at her pulse. "Something tells me no matter how much of my blood I give you you'll always want more."
"Clever little thing," Eric murmured between kisses along her neck.
Wrapping his arms around her waist to pull her tighter against his body while pressing her down harder against his erection he purred, "Feed me Sookie, you promised." He wished desperately that she wasn't wearing one of those awful tampons that hindered the delicious scent of her menstrual blood. He hated those tiny pieces of cotton that got to be where he so desperately wanted to be. 'Like they can truly appreciate the beauty of their surroundings … horrid little human inventions.'
Her hand still over his mark Sookie felt a rush of heat flood her body. Her mind became hazy and a whimper escaped her as her head tilted to the side exposing her throat to him. She knew this was wrong. She knew she shouldn't allow him to hold her like this, on his bed, with his arousal pressed so hotly between them, while she was still dating Bill … but she couldn't stop. She couldn't force herself to pull away from his hold, and more and more she was yearning for the feel of his fangs in her flesh…yearning to feel him all around her. She'd hate herself for it tomorrow. Right now she was going to succumb to her desire to feel his bite. "O ... okay."
He'd known he'd had her the moment her head tilted to the side, but when her breathless acceptance of his advances reached his ears he felt a growl rip through his chest. He scraped his fangs along her pulse once, twice, and then bit deep. The spicy sweet taste of her filled his mouth as he ground her down against his erection. He could feel her fingers stroking over his mark and he yearned to push his hand under his shirt she was wearing to touch her own, but was afraid that would be pushing her too far and he didn't want to do that. He had to move slowly with her or she would fight him with everything she had. Slow and steady won wars. 'She tastes so fucking perfect,' he thought in total abandon.
Her head fell back as she felt him working at her neck, drinking long and deep. Unable to move the hand from over his heart, where she was still stroking the Mjolnir, her free one shifted from his chest to snake its way up behind his neck to bury into his hair and pull him closer to her. "Eric ...." she whimpered helplessly as need and desire warred within her.
Eric could feel her lust building and it joined his own. Each stroke of her fingers across his mark seemed to reach all the way inside his soul and spread warmth to every fiber of his being. He could feel his Mjolnir throbbing as pulses of power tore through him at her touch. Moving one of his arms from around her he reached under his pillow behind him where he kept a small dagger and quickly slashed his neck as he raised his head to stop feeding. He knew he couldn't give her time to think. "Drink my Sookie," he said as he cupped a hand behind her head to pull her towards his neck. He was flooding the bond with need and he hoped she wouldn't fight him.
Unable to resist the desire to taste him, Sookie followed Eric's direction easily and leaned forward to latch onto his neck. Taking his blood inside of her as the hand she'd had buried in his hair moved down to stroke along the back of his neck she moaned at the taste of him. 'He tastes so good.' She could feel his hardness pressing against her center as he rocked beneath her, but she didn't care about the wrongness of his actions. She could only focus on the feel of him.
Knowing she was thoroughly distracted Eric slowly crept his hands up under her shirt. He stroked his fingers along the smooth planes of her abdomen before inching them upwards. When his fingers brushed the undersides of her luscious breasts he groaned and shuddered against her. No woman had ever affected him in such a way and he marveled at the fact Sookie could have him practically panting in need from such little contact. Closing off his end of the bond, as he was determined that anything that happened from here on out be a result of her own desire, he cupped her perfect mounds in his hands and growled, "Mine … my Sookie."
She could feel his touch against her breasts, but the taste of him so thoroughly driving her beyond reason kept her from caring. She couldn't think beyond the here and now and presently Bill was not here. There was only Eric.
'More! I want more of him,' she thought as she pressed closer to him and drew harder against the wound on his neck.
Feeling her increasing need Eric moved his hands to tease her nipples as he bucked his hips beneath her. "Take me inside you little one … let me become a part of you … need me, my pet …. need me as I need you." Keeping one hand on her breast to play with her nipple he let the other rise up to trace over her Faery Star. As her hand was still over his Mjolnir the reaction was instantaneous. Need and fire exploded between them and he released a roar as he buried his head back into her neck to drink from her again.
They both began to sparkle and glow and the bed floated off the floor along with all of the other furniture in the room. Sparkling lights once more filled the air surrounding them and began to swirl in a vortex around the bed. Faster and faster, brighter and brighter, a never ending stream of brilliant light that would blind any looking on. Magic ignited the air in the room in a virtual aurora of colors.
They moved against each other as Sookie ground her womanhood against Eric's thrusting erection. The blood they shared ebbed and flowed and they both hungered for more of each other no matter how much they drank. Finally Sookie threw her head back and screamed as pleasure consumed her. Burying her face into Eric's chest she panted against him as she felt his hips jerk against her one last time before he released his own roar of satisfaction. Together they trembled as one as the aftershocks of their orgasms coursed through their bodies.
Holding Sookie against him as he fell back against the bed, Eric watched as the furniture in the room slowly lowered to the floor and he thought, 'What is happening between us? What magic is binding us this way?' He could feel Sookie quivering in his arms and he removed his hands from her breasts slowly to stroke along her back under her shirt as he whispered, "Oh my precious … I don't know what you are but I'm never going to let you go."
Sookie was far too dazed from the sensations warring within her to understand what he said and mumbled, "Huh?"
Chuckling at her bemused state and reluctant to bring her out of it as he knew she would be angry at what had happened Eric continued to stroke her back as he simply replied, "Nothing my Sookie, you will know soon enough."