Finally regaining her senses, Sookie jerked up from her position lying across Eric's chest and hissed, "What the hell!" Scrambling away from him she asked, "Why does that keep happening? Something—something's not right about that! Why does it feel so funny when I touch your tattoo, and what the hell happened to me the moment you touched my chest? Which by the way, you are NEVER to do again!"
Watching Sookie dart away from him to huddle on the far end of the bed as she glared accusingly at him Eric moved to sit against the headboard. Raising one of his legs and resting his arm atop his knee he replied, "I'm not sure why that keeps happening. Sharing blood at the same time is supposed to be a more pleasurable experience but I've never heard of anything like this happening. As I said, Sookie, things with you are never normal. Something about you and your blood sets us both off when we feed."
"Are you blaming this on me?"
"Well I've fed on many humans and this has never happened before, and as you have had Bill's blood and accidently ingested Long Shadow's and none of this happened then the obvious conclusion is that there is something special about your blood that triggers our reactions; I am merely being logical."
Crossing her arms under her chest Sookie replied, "Well then we should stop exchanging blood."
Shaking his head Eric countered, "That is not an acceptable solution. I may not understand what happens between us when we share blood, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. We will not be ending our arrangement, unless, of course, you'd like me to stop my efforts in retrieving Bill that is? I must say I wouldn't be upset if he never returned."
"You are so aggravating! And you're a jerk!"
He shrugged. "Maybe. I don't really care as long as I get what I want. Now are you pulling out on our deal to share blood? Do I make the call to let Lorena know she is welcome to keep Bill?"
Gripping her hands in her lap, Sookie hissed, "No, you'll get your blood. But we're not sharing at the same time anymore."
"We'll see. Now, there are a few hours before sunrise so what would you like to do until then? And don't say go home because that is not an option."
She shook her head. "If you're not going to take me home then I want you to take me to the store."
Arching a brow, Eric asked, "For what? You have food and my clothing is sufficient for you to wear in my lair. What else do you need?"
Blushing Sookie mumbled, "Uh—I just have to get some things for me to use at night."
Understanding that she wanted an alternative to her tampons to use at night, Eric replied, "No."
Her mouth dropped open in a gasp. "No? What do you mean 'no'?"
"I mean no. You will use nothing at night. If you will not let me drink from between your thighs I will at least have the pleasure of scenting and feeling your blood all around me."
Shrugging his shoulders, Eric argued, "No, it's not. Your misconstrued human beliefs lead you to think that, but in truth, blood is worshipped as a purity and blessing the world over. Besides no blood is disgusting to vampires, certainly not yours."
Shaking her head Sookie replied, "No! I'm not going to … it's—I … just no!"
"You have no choice."
"No choice? The hell I don't! I'll just sleep in a tampon then."
Leveling a glare at her, Eric said, "You most certainly will not. I read the warnings and it could lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome. I won't allow you to endanger yourself. If you attempt to do so, I will simply wait until you are asleep and remove it from you myself. If you don't want me touching you again then I advise you to take it out yourself before coming to bed."
Grabbing a pillow and smacking him on the chest with it out of sheer aggravation Sookie hissed, "Why do you always win all of our arguments?"
"Pure talent," Eric replied before hopping off the bed and heading for the bathroom. "Now I believe a shower is in order as we both had quite the orgasm there. Feel free to join me….I can smell your cum from here and while it delights me I doubt you want to walk around with it dripping down your thighs the rest of the night." When he disappeared into the bathroom Sookie called after him, "JERK!" His laughter was her only answer.
An hour later Eric watched as Sookie emerged from the bedroom after her shower; regrettably she'd refused to join him during his own. She was once more adorned in one of his shirts, but this one was a black Fangtasia t-shirt that she was intending to sleep in. He could tell she was wearing a tampon but as she was not going to bed just yet he didn't say anything about it. He'd prepared her a plate of fruit to eat and it was sitting on the coffee table waiting for her. "Eat."
Huffing at him but picking up the plate after taking a seat on the opposite end of the couch she watched him pick up the remote to turn the TV on. Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye she thought, 'I wonder what he likes to watch?'
Picking up on her curiosity Eric said, "I have TiVo as I'm working during most of the airing times. My favorite shows are Castle, Criminal Minds, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and practically anything on the Discovery Channel."
Clearly shocked Sookie asked, "You like Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Really?"
"Yes, it always amuses me how lacking in intelligence humans are, and how willing they are to degrade themselves for money."
"I should have expected an answer like that."
Watching her eat a few grapes Eric asked, "What do you like to watch?"
Shrugging her shoulders Sookie replied, "I don't really watch all that much TV. For the last four or five years I've worked at night so didn't really have a chance to get into any sitcoms, and the nights I did have off I tended to watch whatever my Gran was watching. And since then my nights have been pretty full so I never thought to."
"That's strange. Most humans seemed to be obsessed with television these days. They say the average human watches over four hours of television a day."
"Yeah well like you said, I'm not exactly normal. I'm not one for sitting inside watching soaps during the day when I could be outside sunbathing or doing yard work."
Smirking, Eric said, "I like that about you. However I'll admit I like television. As someone that has lived for countless centuries it is nice to be able to zone out and get lost in a good story from time to time. I usually only watch TV once or twice a week and it's normally when I'm confined because of the sun. That's why I appreciate TiVo. It is so useful."
Sookie was silent for a moment before replying, "I get that. I guess vampires get bored after awhile. TV is probably a nice outlet from reality when you get restless."
"Indeed. So as you aren't up to date on any of the shows I watch would you like to see one of my box sets. I'd suggest Castle. I think you'd like it the most. It's funny and has mystery. I'd think you'd enjoy it."
"You've already seen it. Wouldn't you mind seeing it again?"
Shaking his head Eric answered, "If repetition bothered me then I would never survive as a vampire, so no."
Nodding her head Sookie replied, "Ok, I wouldn't mind watching it then."
Two hours later after finishing up the second episode Sookie agreed with Eric's assessment. She had enjoyed the show and would continue it tomorrow, but for now she was getting tired. Which was why Eric had turned the TV off. Turning to him she said, "You remind me of Castle."
Smirking, Sookie replied, "Yeah, in your own minds."
Laughing at her joke Eric said, "I'll take it as a compliment and leave it at that. For now you are tired and need rest. I have some more work to do on the computer since I stayed here tonight. Go to bed."
Releasing a yawn Sookie stood and headed for the bedroom as she called out, "Night."
"Goodnight little one." When she was gone Eric made his way to his office. He had several things he needed to take care of tonight, but the important ones would need to wait until Sookie was asleep and couldn't overhear the conversations he was going to have.
A half hour later when he knew Sookie to be asleep by the feel of her through the bond and the slowed heart rate coming from his bedroom he picked up his cell phone.
"Northman, I told you to leave me alone."
Sitting back in his chair Eric replied, "Ah Lorena, sounding a little testy. I take it your maker informed you of our conversation yesterday?"
"The Council will hear of this Viking! Bill is my child and you don't have the right to interfere in my treatment of him!"
Chuckling softly Eric said, "Oh Lorena, such foolishness. I have done nothing other than express my wishes to have Bill returned, you know this. The Council will impose no sanction upon me as I have not laid a finger on you or instructed any owing me allegiance to do so either. I have not broken any laws."
"Adrian is making me leave! He says as long as I have Bill I am not welcome here! That is interfering!"
"No, that is punishment for hanging up on me. Believe it or not, Lorena, but I will only need Bill returned to Bon Temps for a few days and then he will be severed from Sookie completely forever. You may do as you wish with him after that."
This caught Lorena's attention and she asked, "What do you mean?"
"You are aware I wanted the girl for myself?"
"Yes. It's why you asked me to come to Dallas, but I still don't understand how Bill returning to that rat hole town will aid you in your cause. If anything I would think you would want me to keep him out of your area."
Kicking his feet up on the corner of his desk Eric replied, "I do want him gone for good—just not yet. Your abduction came at an opportune time for me, Lorena. Sookie easily deduced he'd been taken from the bodies you left in the restaurant and the mess you made of their table. Being the resourceful creature she is, she called me and asked for aid. We made a deal; I would get Bill returned and she would do a number of things for me in payment. Apparently your precious Bill told my Sookie absolutely nothing about our world and thus she had no idea how dangerous making such a bargain with me would be. Sookie has not only signed a binding lifelong contract to work for me, she has also agreed to share mutual blood exchanges with me until Bill returns—as Bill told her nothing of our world she has no idea the repercussions of her actions."
"You're joking. That foolish girl has no idea she's thrown away her relationship with Bill by doing this?"
"Watch your tone and words Lorena; that's my human and soon-to-be lover you're speaking about. She is not some pathetic Fangbanger for you to degrade … and yes, she has no idea Bill is lost to her."
Lorena's laughter filled the phone as she replied, "Then I have no problem bringing Bill back for a visit. Seeing his human so thoroughly bound to you will crush his will and desire to get away from me. You can expect us soon."
"No? I thought you wanted us to return?"
"I do … just not yet. I want Sookie in my bed first and I have promised her not to force her. Besides I want Bill to know she chose me willingly over him."
"I don't understand what you're looking for Northman. What is it you want? Why do you even wish us to return if the girl is already yours? I will of course because I want Bill to see that the girl is no longer an option, but I'm not understanding your logic in all of this."
"I want you to return because I made a deal with Sookie that Bill would be returned to Bon Temps, and I always make good on my word. I do not wish you to return now, because if you do Bill will no doubt make Sookie very aware of just how much I have deceived and tricked her. She'll come to find that out eventually, but I want it to be after she comes to my bed. Her learning of just how far she has put herself under my control now will set my plans back for her. So you will wait to return until I tell you she is completely mine. Then we will both have the satisfaction of seeing Bill find out that Sookie is beyond his reach forever. After that he should be more amenable to following after you like a good boy as he did before."
Lorena's laughter once more filled the phone as she said, "You are quite the manipulator Northman. I admire that. Very well. I'll play your game."
A smirk forming on his face Eric replied, "And you'll keep quiet about it. You will not tell Bill of my arrangement with Sookie, nor will you mention anything to her on the phone when you speak with her."
"What are you talking about? I have no intention of speaking to that human."
"You will…in two days time Sookie will require proof of your abduction of Bill. She still doubts that I was not involved in his disappearance and I have promised to set up a phone conversation between them. So in two days I will contact you and you will tell Sookie you took Bill, and then you will let them speak. The conversation will not have to be lengthy, just long enough for my Sookie to believe that you have him."
Lorena was silent for a moment before replying, "Alright. I can make that work. It will hurt Bill to speak to that girl and believe I'm never going to let him see her again so I have no problem with that."
'So very predictable,' Eric thought before saying, "Very Good. You shall hear from me soon then."
"Fine. And Northman?"
"Get the girl in your bed quickly. I want this foolish infatuation Bill has for her over with as soon as possible."
Smirking Eric replied, "Working on it."
Hanging up, he thought, 'Things are progressing nicely. The night after I take Sookie home when she comes to Fangtasia again I will allow her to speak with Bill and solidify the fact in her mind that I am not responsible for his disappearance. After that it shouldn't be hard for me to break down her defenses towards me. She will be in my bed soon.'
With that thought in mind he made his next phone call. "Bobby…I want you to procure me something for Sookie. It will need to be here by tomorrow night and ready for her when I return her home. I would prefer you get it from Sweden but if there is one of suitable standards here in the states that's acceptable. I want …."
The next morning, Sookie woke once again trapped in Eric's arms with his leg wedged between her thighs. She'd taken her own tampon out last night and forced herself to ignore the embarrassing knowledge that she would be bleeding all over him and the bed and forced herself to go to sleep. So now she again found herself pressed tightly to Eric's hard body with her blood smeared between them. 'He might not find it gross, but I do!' She was glad that this was her last night here. 'Tonight Eric is going to take me home before sunrise so I'm not going to have to bunk down here again.'
Climbing out of the bed after worming her way out of Eric's hold she padded into the bathroom to clean up. After taking a long shower in Eric's deluxe bathroom she donned another of his shirts and pair of boxers before heading towards the kitchenette area to eat breakfast. After fixing herself an omelet she sat down on the couch and saw another letter for her sitting atop her books. Setting her plate down she picked it up and read:
I hope you enjoy your day and rest as much as possible. Do not rush to finish your books you are perfectly welcome to take them home with to finish them there if you'd like. You can do the same with Castle as well if you want to finish the season. You seemed to enjoy it last night. Once again enjoy anything you find in my home as though it is yours. I will take you home tonight, but not immediately so don't expect to be leaving as soon as the sun sets. I have no other instructions for you and will see you when I rise.
Smirking at the note and setting it aside to return to her food Sookie thought, 'Well I'm glad I don't have to finish American Gods today. I want to read it closely so that I don't miss anything and I did like Castle. I think I'll watch a few more episodes today and take it home with me to finish it.'
With that decided Sookie finished her food and washed her plate, fork, and skillet in the small sink before putting them in the drying rack. With that done she headed to Eric's office so she could call Tara. Picking up Eric's phone she waited for the other girl to answer.
Startled Sookie asked, "Hey girl, how did you know it was me?"
"This is the same number you called from yesterday. So how are you?"
"Better. It helps that I know I'm going home tonight, though I'll probably get there pretty late."
Tara was tying her shoes getting ready to head in to open Merlotte's up for some delivery men as she replied, "That's fine. I'm probably going to be sleeping at Eggs for tonight. Hey did you know that Eric has that contractor guy here to fix the plumbing? The crews arrived at sunrise yesterday and worked all damn day, and got here at sunrise again this morning. The guy told me that they'd be finished by tonight."
Rolling her eyes, Sookie said, "Yeah, I know. I'm not happy about that, but I'm learning to pick my battles with Eric. Anyways I wanted to ask you to feed my fish today. I forgot to ask you yesterday and I don't want him to die."
"You have a fish?"
"Oh! I didn't tell you! Eric won him for me at the carnival he took me to the other night. With everything going on lately I didn't have time to tell you about our date."
Hearing the excitement in Sookie's voice Tara smiled and said, "Spill girl, sounds like the date was better than you thought it would be." She didn't worry about the time as the construction guys had woken her a good hour before she needed to so she had plenty of time to shoot the shit with her friend.
Laughing, Sookie curled up in Eric's chair and launched into the tale of how her date went with him. She told Tara about the mind blowing kiss in the fun house, her kicking his butt at bumper cars, him winning her a bear, then her impressing him by getting him a stuffed dog, and then she finished off with what Eric had done with the fishes. "I couldn't believe he did that Tara; it was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I hate to admit it but that was the best date I've ever had, and what's worse is that I am really starting to like Eric; there's more to him than I could have ever imagined." She was tempted to tell her friend about the donation Eric made to the SPCA in memory of the dog he'd had as a human, but something told her Eric expected her to keep his confidences.
Back in Bon Temps, Tara was quiet a moment as she said, "Well, you need to be careful Sookie. You told me that Eric has made it clear he wants you, but he hasn't told you exactly for what, not to mention that while I'm starting to think just like you that Bill is hiding something from you, the fact remains you two are still together. I think you need to have a serious conversation with tall, blonde, and dead and let him know that you can't let anything happen between the two of you until you settle things with Bill. You also need to find out exactly what it is he's after from you Sookie. Wanting you is good and all, but what happens if he gets you? Where will things go then?"
Nodding her head at this even though the other girl couldn't see her Sookie replied, "I have been thinking the same things, but I've also been thinking that no matter what happens between Bill and I nothing could work out between me and Eric anyway."
"Well let's face it Tara, what would a girl like me do with a guy like him? He's got everything going for him, and I'm … well, I'm just me. Not to mention the whole me being human and him being vampire. I had hopes of Bill sticking by my side through old age and everything, but I don't see Eric thinking about us long term like that, and I won't be a fling or a notch on his bedpost."
Laughing at her friend's words Tara said, "Something tells me if he keeps count that way he's got a shit load of bedposts!"
"Well it's true! But seriously Sookie you being human is something Eric must have already thought about. That's why you need to talk to him about it. While I don't think he tells you everything he should and probably has a few secrets of his own like Bill, he's seemed to be pretty up front and honest about his intentions towards you. He hasn't hidden the fact he's going to do anything and everything he can to win you from Bill, so I think if you outright ask him if he's looking for a long term commitment he'll tell you. Buck up and ask him girl; it's the only way you'll find out."
Sookie was silent for a moment before asking, "Do you really think I should ask him? I mean isn't even entertaining the idea of being with Eric while I'm still with Bill a betrayal?"
"Girl, you have the right to feel whatever you feel. I'm not saying jump into bed with Eric any time soon, but you shouldn't be ashamed of anything you're feeling towards him. Tell me something Sook, did you ever feel this strongly about Bill? Even after he pulled that shit with his blood and lied to you about it? Which you should be way more upset about than you are by the way."
After thinking it over Sookie whispered, "No."
Seeing she was making headway with her friend Tara leaned back on the couch and pressed, "I didn't say it before Sook, but it seemed to me you jumped into your relationship with Bill pretty quick. You'd never had a relationship before and he knew that. You guys have only been dating for a few months and now he's pushing you to get married … add in the fact he hid so much about his world, which Eric has been completely honest with you about, and the fact that he's outright lied to you about so many things and you have to face the truth that something isn't right about your relationship with Bill. I didn't want to say anything to you before since you were so happy, but now that you're starting to question things on your own don't you find some of Bill's behavior and actions a little strange? I mean why is he so insistent you two marry right now? He didn't even want a long engagement. He proposed and wanted you two to fly to Vermont the next night to get it done. Doesn't that seem strange to you?"
Sookie was quiet for a moment before saying, "You think Bill is hiding something big from me don't you?"
"I think you believe he is too and you wouldn't be taking part in this conversation at all if you didn't. If you didn't already think that Bill's got some big secret he's keeping from you then you would have told me to mind my own business and hung up the phone by now…deep down Sookie you know something isn't right. Don't get me wrong I'm not all Team Eric now. That guy really and truly freaks me out, but he's got a serious thing for you. And while I don't think you should get into something with him until you settle things with Bill, I do think you need to look at your relationship with Bill realistically. You two were friends for a month, dating for about three and now he proposes? In essence how much do you really know about him?"
Pulling her knees to her chest, Sookie felt tears fill her eyes as she admitted, "I actually know more about Eric now than I know about Bill. The most Bill ever told me about himself I learned with the rest of you guys at his speech before the Descendents of the Glorious Dead. Other than that every time I tried to bring up his past or what his world was like he'd always divert the conversation back to me."
"See Sook! Right there! That's suspicious! Something ain't right with what Bill's doing. Personally, I think his disappearance is a good thing. It probably kept you from making a decision you were nowhere near ready to make. The more I think about it it really sounds like Bill was trying to tie you to him before you found something out. He knows how old fashioned you are. He knows what marriage means to you…he knew you'd stick through an awful lot before walking out on your vows….he's keeping something from you."
Realizing her friend was right, Sookie asked, "What could be so bad that he'd go to these lengths to keep it from me?"
"I don't know Sook, but you have to find out what it is. My advice is ask Eric what it is he wants from you. If he tells you he's looking for long term relationship then you tell him you can't be anything more than his friend until you settle things with Bill, and then enjoy your time with Eric as just friends until you can speak with Bill. You say that nothing could really work out between you and Eric, but you don't know that. You haven't asked him what he truly wants you for, and I just can't believe he'd go to all this trouble to get a fling out of you. You need to find out what he wants and see if you want the same thing. And while I hate to admit it Sook, as much as I don't like Eric he's good for you. You've never smiled this much or had this good a time with Bill. With Bill you always seemed to be finding things out about him after they happened and he'd tried to hide them from you, you two would fight, and then he'd make it up to you. If Eric turns out to be a good guy and you like him, I mean really like him, then you follow your heart. After you find out what Bill's hiding of course."
"But what if everything Eric's doing is just an act to get me in bed with him? What if he's just manipulating me again?"
Back in Bon Temps Tara released a sigh as she said, "You're going to have to figure that out for yourself. All I know is that man acts different with you. Something tells me he doesn't stay his hand for very many people or go to these lengths to impress anybody, but he has for you. You mean something to him. I don't know what, but he's definitely interested. Beyond that I can't say."
"When did you get all open minded about this Tara? You were all against me having anything to do with Vampires when I first started dating Bill and now you're telling me I should keep an open mind with Eric?"
Laughing at the shocked tone in her friend's voice Tara replied, "I've done a lot of growing up over the past few months Sookie. What happened with Maryann … well it changed me. I've realized a lot of things because of it. One of them is that you're different Sookie..and not in a bad way. You're something special. There's no denying regular men will never work out for you. You can't be with a guy whose every thought is open to you. You can't hear vamps and they don't treat you like a freak … if you feel comfortable in a relationship with one it's not my place to judge. All I know right now is that Bill is hiding something from you and apparently trying to trap you in marriage before you find out what, and Eric? Eric has made no secret of the fact he wants everything he can get from you, but at least he's honest about it. Those are the only truths you've got right now. Everything else is up to you to figure out."
Smiling at her friend's honesty Sookie replied, "Thanks Tara, this really means a lot to me. I'll let you get on to work now. I'll see you tomorrow at Merlotte's if you're not home when Eric brings me back."
"Bye girl, and don't worry about your fish. I'll feed him. Oh! And Jason, Lafayette, Eggs and I got that room cleared out for you. Jason didn't know what you wanted to keep so he took everything over to his house and stored it in the garage. He says you can go through it all whenever you want."
"Thank you guys so much Tara. Tell Jason I'm sorry we couldn't do Sunday dinner today, but I'll cook for all you guys next week."
"I'll tell everybody. Have a good day Sook."
After hanging up with her friend Sookie headed for the dojo to take care of her stretches and exercises. Eric had assured her last night that he'd contacted Ken and told her she wouldn't be available today for her lesson and would reschedule with him later. However she wanted Ken to be able to tell she'd been practicing her kata. Thankfully taking so much of Eric's blood so often kept her from being as sore as she had been that first day. That was definitely a good thing. When she was done with her exercises and had taken another shower to clean up she curled up on the couch to watch more of Castle while she waited for Eric to rise.
Later that day Eric rose a few hours before sunset as usual. He luxuriated in the feel and scent of Sookie's blood coating his skin before heading for the shower to wash it off. As much as he loved to wear Sookie's blood on his person he knew it freaked her out, and he wanted to do his best to make her last evening here with him as perfect as possible. 'Besides once she is living here with me full time I will break her of the idea that her blood is dirty. Soon she will enjoy me not only drinking from between her thighs, but seeing her blood mark me in such a way.'
After his shower and putting on a new pair of black training hakamas he headed to the living room and found Sookie napping on the couch with the TV on. Smirking at the sight of her so at ease in his home, that she would one day call her own, he decided not to wake her. He'd get his work and training done before dressing for the evening. He wasn't going to give her clothes to wear home because he enjoyed seeing her in his far too much. Currently she was wearing a red silk button down shirt with matching silk boxers and he again noted how very well red suited her.
Making his way into his office he powered up his computer and went to check his messages. The first one that really caught his attention was from the queen and he quickly clicked on it to see what she had to say.
QUEEN SOPHIE-ANNE: Northman. I received the edict from the Council announcing your new asset and their formal protection of her, and recognizing your ownership over her. I'm pleased that you have managed to secure such an asset. I shall be sending Andre to your bar tomorrow night and he will observe your new human in the flesh. You will ensure she is available for inspection. If she proves to be as useful as one would imagine her to be since you've gone to such lengths to procure her for your own, I trust you will make her available to me should I have a need of her services. I look forward to hearing Andre's report.
On another note, do you know where Bill Compton is? I have tried contacting him over the last few days and he has not replied. I very much wish to speak with him.
After re-reading the note several times he decided something was off. First he had been fairly certain the queen had some idea that Sookie along with her unusualness already existed from their previous conversation when he'd gone to seek her aid over the maenad. She'd spoken as though she already knew that Sookie was no ordinary human, and yet her email made it sound as though she was unaware of this fact. He was also wary of her mention of Bill. While Bill was no vampire of standing to warrant the Queen's notice it was obvious he had some type of prior business with her if she was asking him about the younger vampire's whereabouts. He'd seen him at the queen's home in New Orleans but hadn't thought much of it at the time. All subjects were allowed to come and request the queen's aid if they so chose. You were never guaranteed her aid, but you could make the request nonetheless. Now he wondered if there was something more to Bill being there than he had thought.
Something about the whole thing was bugging him, and his instincts were kicking in that he was entering dangerous ground. He decided that his first order of business would be to try and get a feel from Andre tomorrow night when he came to Fangtasia. Hopefully the man would give something away that he could use. Of course he'd have to have a long talk with Sookie about how to act around the Queen's child, but he was sure once he impressed how important appearances would be in front of him she would fall in line. Sookie was quite adept at behaving when she knew her safety and freedom were on the line. His decision on the topic made he finished up his work quickly, and was pleased to see that Bobby had been able to procure the item he'd requested and he would be waiting at Sookie's house with it around 2am when Eric intended to return Sookie to her home.
After rushing through only what was necessary for him to take care of at the moment, he left the rest for him to take care of before dying for the day. He wanted to get his training done so he could devote the bulk of the evening to Sookie before taking her home. After finishing his training session and changing into boots, pants and black silk shirt Eric headed back into the living area and took a seat on the coffee table in front of Sookie. Stroking a long lock of her hair back he whispered, "I do not like the idea of letting you go. You belong here with me my Valkyrie. One day you will walk through my door on your own and never leave me."
He continued to stroke his fingers through her hair before shaking her shoulder gently and saying, "Sookie, wake little one."
Feeling a gentle stroking motion through her hair Sookie moaned as she stretched on the couch before blinking her eyes open. "Eric?"
"Time to get up, pet. I promised to take you home tonight but I have plans for tonight before I do so you need to get up now."
Sitting up on the couch Sookie stretched her body and released a yawn before asking, "What do you want to do?"
"I'm going to take you flying."
Arching a brow Sookie asked, "You have a plane?"
Realizing that Sookie probably didn't remember their brief conversation in the air when he'd retrieved her from the hospital due to her concussion, Eric shook his head and replied, "Won't need one." Standing he held his hand out to her and said, "Come…I wish to show you the sky and tell you stories of my people…if you'd like to hear them."
Nodding her head Sookie took Eric's hand and followed him as he led her to the door that had kept her trapped here for the last two days. "Do you have a helicopter or something?"
Eric just chuckled as he held his eye in front of the scanner before typing the code into the keypad. When the door swished open he led Sookie forward. He was hoping she'd enjoy flying with him. It was one of his favorite activities and he wanted them to share it together often. He was planning to hold her amongst the clouds while telling her the old stories.
Trailing behind him with her hand still in his Sookie took in the look of the house around her. It was quite obviously very large and she wondered what he needed with all this space. "Wow, you have a nice house."
"I'm glad you like it, you seemed surprised."
Shrugging her shoulders Sookie said, "Well you obviously spend most of your time in your lair so I don't get why you need such a big house—or do you spend more time up here when you're not holding girls hostage down below?"
Sensing through the bond that she wasn't trying to be mean and was merely teasing him Eric replied, "You are the only one besides Pam I've ever brought here…well I did bring a witch to cast an anti-dust spell, but she was blindfolded and only here long enough to cast the spell. And to answer your question I spend very little time in the house. I just like having the best."
"Sounds like you alright. And anti-dust spell? You mean you never have to clean?"
Leading her out into his backyard Eric shook his head and replied, "I hate having to do such things unless absolutely necessary, and as I trust no one with my resting place hiring a witch to cast such a spell was simply logical. With the spell all I have to do to keep my house clean and in working order is to gather up my clothes and bedding once a week and take them to a cleaner's then bring them back. Other than that my house stays in pristine condition all on its own."
"Wow … that must be nice never having to clean."
Hearing the wistful note in her voice Eric made a mental note to contact the witch he'd hired to cast the spell on his house and speak to her about having her to do the same to Sookie's. Now standing by the tree line around his home he pulled Sookie in front him and asked, "Are you ready?"
Looking up at him Sookie said, "For what?" He simply smiled before scooping her up bridal style and launching them into the air. She screamed. Loud. "OH MY GOD!!!!!" Burying her face into his chest as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hung on for dear life she chanted, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!"
Nuzzling her hair Eric said, "Don't be afraid little one. I have been flying for over a thousand years and there is nothing to fear. Look around Sookie. Look and see the clouds … fly with me."
Her heart pounding in her chest Sookie took deep gasping breaths as she whispered, "I can't believe this … are we really flying?"
"Yes my Sookie, we're really flying." Nuzzling the top of her head he pressed, "Look and see the world through my eyes. Enjoy the sky with me."
Taking one last shuddering breath Sookie raised her head and slowly looked around them. Wisps of clouds whirled around them and she could see thousands of tiny lights below them glowing in the dark. Slowly removing one of her hands from around his neck as his arms tightened around her Sookie let the moisture of the clouds wash over her skin. Giggling at the sensation she whispered, "You can fly."
Delighted by her joy he replied, "I can fly, and you're flying with me."
"This is amazing! Can many vampires do this?" Sookie asked as she looked all around her; taking in the sight of the clouds, the stars, the moon and the blinking ground below them.
"Few, I know of only a few others that have the gift. Many vampires when made rise with a gift … flying was mine."
Looking up at him with a brilliant smile on her face Sookie said, "That's some gift! Can Pam fly?"
Shaking his head, Eric replied, "Sadly no. Pam rose with no gift. A fact she detests." Watching Sookie turn back to face the sky he thought, 'I wonder if you will have more gifts bestowed upon you when I turn you? What great feats will you be capable of as my child and companion? I cannot wait to find out.' As Sookie continued to gaze out at the stars he asked, "Would you like to hear some of the stories of the AllFather?"
Glancing up at him Sookie said, "That's Odin right?"
"He was the highest God in Asgard. All of the gods were supposed to be descended from him and thus he was called AllFather. He sat on Hlidskialf, his throne that was also a mighty watchtower for him that he could oversee all the world. He would watch the fairies, elves, dwarfs, giants and men. He had two ravens called Hugin, or thought, and Munin, which was memory. They sat on his shoulders while he was on the throne and each morning he would send them out into the world to observe men and at nightfall when they returned they would report their findings to him."
Laying her head on his shoulder Sookie said, "Sounds like he liked to be all up in everybody's business like someone else I know."
Chuckling softly Eric nuzzled the top of her head as he replied, "Yes…he was very curious. Legend says he would often come down to mingle amongst men dressed as one of us. He would wear a broad brimmed hat to hide the fact he only had one eye. He often…"
"Yeah what was up with that? If he's an all powerful god why did he only have one eye?"
Pleased by her curiosity Eric continued, "As you pointed out Odin was a curious fellow. He desired knowledge above all things. He so desired to know truths that he traded his eye to the giant Mimir in return for drinking from the Spring of Wisdom. Odin was shown many of the world's mysterious including a vision of Ragnorok. However he…"
"I will tell you that story another time. As I was saying, Odin desired knowledge and sought it with a passion. He initially traveled to Yggdrasil where he sought truths from three Norns who spun at the Well of Fate. They were called Urd, Werdandi, and Skuld. These three women sat at the well and spun the threads of fate and told Odin many secrets of the past and the future. But Odin was not satisfied with what he learned from them and eventually traveled to speak with the giant Mimir. Mimir did not tell truths lightly however and required a sacrifice from the AllFather…thus Odin gave his eye for the gift of seeing the future. Mimir accepted his offering and showed him the Ragnorok, which I shall speak to you of another time. Odin was not pleased with this truth however and left Mimir angry. As he left the giant he came across a leafless tree upon the Fogmoon when the frost covered the lands. This is the part I want you to pay close attention to my Sookie…as you near the end of American Gods you will understand why."
Nodding her head Sookie replied, "I'm listening."
"Odin came upon the leafless tree and became tangled up in the branches. He hung there trapped between heaven and earth for nine days. During this time his ravens circled him filling his head with the thoughts of men, and Odin's mind warred within itself seeking ultimate wisdom. Slowly his inner being became clearer and more luminous as truth took him. With great exertion he bent down from the tree and carved the symbols of truth and life's noblest values into the trunk.
"He called them Runes, sacred glyphs, that whisper wisdom to those that read them. When he was finished carving, he gained the ability to free himself from the tree and jumped down. Using his sword, he cut the symbols from the tree and returned to Asgard with them where he initiated his divine companions in the reading of the runes. He also blessed his most loyal men with the ability to read them and hear their truths. Remember this tale when you finish reading American Gods. It will come in handy."
Lifting her head to smile up at him Sookie replied, "That's beautiful, did you believe all of this when you were alive?"
"Did you want to go to Valhalla?"
"But of course. I entered every battle ready to see the Valkyrie riding towards me on their winged steeds. I longed to sit in the hall of heroes beside my father and his father before him. To drink and dine with Odin sharing tales of victory and courage as the Valkyrie served us the best mead and never ending roasted boar? What could have been better?"
Laughing softly at this Sookie returned her head to his shoulder as she asked, "What do you believe in now?"
"When did you stop believing in your gods?"
Eric was silent a moment before saying, "I may no longer worship the gods of my people, but that does not mean I do not believe in them."
"You … you really believe in Odin?"
"All myths are based on truth Sookie, you may not ever see Odin but that doesn't mean he isn't real."
Looking into his eyes as he looked down at her in total seriousness Sookie asked, "He—he's real?"
Her mouth falling open in shock Sookie whispered, "Wow, I … I don't know what to say to that."
Sensing her rising anxiety Eric replied, "You cannot be frightened of such truths Sookie. You keep to your god and others can keep to theirs. It is most doubtful that Odin or any of the other forgotten gods will ever interfere in your life. Many of them have lost most of their powers as human faith in them faded, anyway. A great majority of them are mere shadows of their former selves. And keep to your faith if it soothes you. I do not follow your God or his code, but that is because he was never mine to worship."
Sookie was silent a moment before saying, "There really is more out there than I could ever imagine isn't there."
Nodding his head Eric replied, "Yes, much more, but do not fear. I will never let anything harm you."
A soft smile forming on her face at those words Sookie laid her head on his shoulder and enjoyed flying through the night sky with him. 'It's so beautiful.'
Feeling her pleasure and contentment through the bond Eric let the comfortable silence stretch between them. He kept his pace slow since he wanted to stretch out the return to Sookie's home. He wanted to not only enjoy his time in the sky with Sookie, but make sure he did not beat Bobby to her house. His day man was supposed to not only be arriving with the surprise he'd instructed him to get, but was supposed to go by the shifter's bar to pick up Sookie's car with the spare key he'd had made and had Bobby pick up from Fangtasia. He wanted to make sure Sookie would be able to get to work tomorrow and wouldn't have to worry about getting there herself.
A little over two hours later Eric finally landed in Sookie's yard; he'd toured in and around Bon Temps with Sookie so she could see what her home looked like from the sky. She'd especially liked the view of the Bayou from above. As he landed he was pleased to see that her roommate wasn't there, but Bobby was waiting for them on the porch. Keeping Sookie in his arms as she had no shoes on and he didn't want her hurting her feet on the gravel driveway he said, "Close your eyes." When she did he used his vampire speed to have them up and on the porch in front of Bobby. Setting her on her feet he said, "Keep your eyes closed."
Moving forward he retrieved his gift for her from Bobby before waving the man back a bit and facing Sookie as he said, "Now you may open them."
Opening her eyes Sookie clapped her hands together and squealed in delight at the sight of the fluffy black puppy in Eric's hands with a red bow around its neck. "You didn't!"
Smirking at her, thoroughly pleased by her reaction, Eric replied, "I did."
Reaching forward Sookie took the squirming puppy from Eric and said, "He's so cute!"
Clasping his hands behind his back Eric watched as Sookie cuddled the dog to her chest and murmured saccharine nonsense to the animal. "This is a breed of dog from my homeland. It is the same type of dog I had when I was a human. They had no formal title back then but today they are called Swedish Lapphunds. I had him overnighted from my homeland from the best breeder in the country. They are a sturdy breed and he will make you a fine companion. Their coats do get thick and heavy so you will have to shave him in the summer, but I've made arrangements with a groomer in Monroe and you can simply drop him off anytime and he'll be ready within an hour. Bobby has his papers and vaccination schedule. He'll need his next set of shots in another week and again I've made arrangements with the local vet. Simply take him in and everything will be taken care of."
Nuzzling her face into the soft black fur of her new puppy Sookie smiled at Eric and said, "I can't believe you did this! Thank you so much!"
Nodding his head Eric continued, "This is a true companion dog Sookie. You will have to take him with you most places. He is not to be left home alone all day. He is meant to stay by your side. This breed is very intelligent and he will learn quickly what is acceptable and what is not. I do not want you to use a leash with him. Teach him to walk at your side. He will naturally want to stay close to you and it will not be difficult for you to train him to stay near you and not to wander."
"That could be hard. I have to work at Merlotte's and Fangtasia, won't he get in the way?"
Waving his hand dismissively Eric replied, "He will pose no problem at Fangtasia, you may play with him there all you like since you are capable of doing that and listening at the same time. As for the Shifter's? Since you are on your feet there much more often you can train him to lay and wait for you in a certain spot. It should only take him a week or two to pick up on that. Leave him in a designated area with water and toys and he'll be fine…but I want you to take him with you everywhere. This breed of dog is loyal and observant. He might notice problems you do not."
Snapping his fingers so that Bobby came forward with the basket of supplies he'd ordered the man to get Eric continued, "This should be everything you'll need for him, but in case you need more I set up an account for you at the pet store in Monroe as there wasn't one in Bon Temps. You may simply go in and pick out anything you want. There will be no charge."
Bobby set the basket down at his Master's feet before saying, "Her purse from the bar with her car and house keys is sitting in the front seat of her car. Goodnight Master."
Eric simply nodded at his man as Bobby inclined his head to Sookie when she said goodbye to him and left them alone. Watching Sookie cuddle the dog to her chest he asked, "Does he please you?"
Tears filling her eyes Sookie stepped forward as she tucked her puppy under her arm. Leaning up on her tip toes she kissed his cheek and replied, "Very much. Thank you so much for this. I've always wanted a puppy."
Feeling his Mjolnir throb on his chest the moment her lips touched his cheek Eric wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her against his chest as he settled his mouth atop hers. In this moment he wanted her so badly.
'She is mine. I will never let her go.'
Sookie gasped at the sudden intimacy and the moment her mouth parted, his tongue delved inside. Her puppy had gone still and lay silently in her arms as Eric bent her back. Her chest was throbbing and she felt heat spread through her body. Her heart beat madly inside her chest as her womanhood pulsed in need. She found herself responding to the kiss despite her better judgment and her tongue engaged his in a battle of dominance.
Feeling Sookie surrender to his assault, Eric cupped a hand behind her head as the other around her waist pulled her closer. He was glad the puppy had gone quiet and still so as not to distract Sookie. Her tongue was tracing delicately along his fangs and he shuddered at the sensation as his cock twitched in need in his pants and begged for release … begged to be buried deep inside the woman in his arms. She was moaning into the kiss and making these sexy little noises in the back of her throat that only increased his desire.
'She whimpers like that one more time and I won't be responsible for my actions.'
When she was desperate for air Sookie drew back from the kiss and buried her face into his chest as she struggled to regain her composure. She could feel his hands on her. One was stroking along her back and spine, while the other trailed gently through her hair. 'Oh my god…I really do want him,' she realized in dismay. It wasn't just attraction, it was more than that. She wasn't exactly sure what it was she felt for him, but she knew she wanted him. And that was a big problem. "I…I think we need to talk."
Feeling the whirl of emotions within her through the bond, Eric replied, "Indeed." Allowing her to pull back he told her to wait on the porch while he retrieved her purse and keys from her car, locked it, then returned to her side on the porch. Handing her the keys to her house he grabbed the basket of dog supplies while Sookie unlocked the door.
Entering the house and very grateful Tara was going to be bunking down with Eggs for the night, Sookie said, "I'm just going to get him a bowl of water…you can sit down in the living room if you'd like."
Nodding, Eric retreated to the living room to sit back on the couch as he listened to Sookie moving around in the kitchen setting up the various dog bowls he'd provided for her new puppy. Several minutes later he was pleased to see her walking towards him with the puppy padding after her dutifully.
'Already attached to its mistress. Good dog.'
He waited for Sookie to settle herself on the couch, and watched in amusement as she put the puppy beside her so it could immediately curl up between her legs and the cushions. Stretching out on the couch with one arm resting along the back he said, "You wished to speak with me?"
Biting her lip Sookie found herself stroking her new puppy as she said, "I…well…I just…"
Sensing her hesitancy and having a pretty good idea about what was bothering her Eric said, "You question my intentions towards you, and you fear breaking some moral code you have about betraying Bill by doing anything with me."
"It scares me how perceptive you are sometimes."
Chuckling softly, Eric inclined his head and said, "I have survived by being perceptive and picking up on the small things. So let's talk…First I assure you that you are more than a simple conquest to me. If all I wanted from you was a roll in the sheets I guarantee you I could have had that by now."
Arching her brow at that Sookie said, "Oh really?"
"Sookie if you were just another bed companion to me I would have done anything necessary to achieve that. Humans mean little to me and forcing one to comply with my wishes is easy for me to do. If sex was all I wanted from you I could simply take it."
"That's not exactly comforting Eric, knowing that you could hurt me like that is pretty scary."
Shrugging Eric replied, "I could, but I won't. You mean more to me than some pathetic Fangbanger or conquest. I want you to choose me willingly…and one day you will."
Feeling her heart flutter at that Sookie pressed, "And if I do? Then what?"
"Then you'll be mine."
Shaking her head Sookie replied, "That doesn't answer my question Eric."
"I know what you're asking…however you are not ready to hear my answer. Know that I am playing for keeps here. Once I have you'll be mine for good. Permanently. There will be no leaving me…ever."
Her heart skipping a beat at those words Sookie asked, "Will I like your answer when you finally decide to give it?"
Smirking at her Eric said, "Maybe, maybe not. It's hard to tell right now. Just keep in mind that I have never put so much effort into bringing a woman to my side. In fact, I've never had to put any effort into getting a woman ever. The fact that I am so diligently pursuing you should mean something to you. I intend to make you mine Sookie … and once I have I will never let you go. Take comfort in that."
"You make me sound like a possession Eric. You can't own me."
"Oh but I can. I will own everything you are and you will belong to me and me alone for the rest of your life." 'And then I shall turn you and you shall truly belong to me for all time as my child and companion.'
Unaware of his dark thoughts Sookie replied, "Eric I'm not a possession, and you're not exactly comforting me here."
Cocking his head to the side he asked, "Do you want comfort or do you want truth?"
"Then the truth is, I intend to own you completely. You will be mine in every way possible. You will love me. You will obey me. You will desire me above all others. You will be by my side at all times. You will be mine until the day you die."
Seeing the shock in her eyes, Eric thought, 'Of course, you will die young as I will drain you and fill you with my blood so you may rise Vampire to walk beside me in the night for all eternity—but you are not ready for this truth yet.'
Her heart starting to beat faster in her chest Sookie whispered, "That's scary, Eric."
"You asked for truth and I gave it to you, however, rest assured that I will not take you until you give yourself to me. I will be patient until then, but one day you will yield to me. You will come to me of your own free will and the moment you do I will never let you leave me, but the choice to be mine will be yours. You should also be aware that you are the only woman I have ever sought to bind to me like this…so know I do none of this lightly."
Hugging her knees to her chest Sookie shook her head and said, "I can't even begin to think about that right now."
"Then think about it later. So now let's address your concern about your loyalties to Bill. I'm assuming you feel as though you are cheating on him by developing any feelings for me? You think it is wrong to enjoy spending time with me while he is gone?"
"In a nutshell."
Kicking his feet up on the coffee table Eric continued, "I do not know if I can help you with that. I myself would quite obviously prefer you toss aside your sentiments towards Bill and come to me now, but I know this hope is in vain. Your beliefs on right and wrong will not allow you to come to me until you've resolved things with him. I am not happy with this knowledge, but I accept it nonetheless."
"Then you know why I can't allow things like what happened on the porch to happen again, you've got to stop doing that."
Looking straight into her eyes Eric replied, "I will not stop pursuing you. I am not accustomed to giving up on something I want, and I refuse to start now. It will be up to you to turn me away."
"That's not fair!"
Smirking at her Eric answered, "I thought by now, Sookie, you would know I never play fair."
"You just gave me a puppy so I won't call you a jerk."
"Much appreciated," Eric laughed. After a moment of silence stretched between them he continued, "I do wonder though if you have given any thought to your relationship with Bill since he's been gone? While I know it is not my place to comment on it I must admit what is between you and he perplexes me. His behavior towards you, the actions he took and more importantly didn't take, and your actions towards him confuse me."
Cocking her head to the side, Sookie said, "You're right and it isn't your place to comment on it, but what do you mean?"
Pleased at her willingness to hear his input Eric said, "If Bill was so concerned with keeping you to himself why did he not have a contract with Mr. Catadalias drawn up? He might not have been able to afford to log it with the Council, but a contract itself with Mr. Catadalias would have provided a more significant level of protection for you against other vampires. If you'd had a contract with him I would not have been able to demand blood from you or have you take mine as part of our bargain. So it confuses me why he left you so unprotected? I am also confused as to why he told you so little about our world. Bill may be young, but he's not stupid. He had to have known the moment I met you that you had become a part of our world and others would seek you out. Why did he not prepare you for what you would encounter or what might come after you?"
When Sookie remained silent and it was obvious she was thinking on his words he pressed on. "And truthfully the speed with which he committed to you was astounding to me. Bill has never had a human pet, he never had a relationship with a human and it was known he preferred solitude after he left Lorena's side. Then all of a sudden he's back in his ancestral home, which he avoided his entire undead life since the memories of his past life haunted him which everyone knew, and he's dating you. Within months he's proposed and seeking to bind you to him in all the ways you hold dear, and yet he takes none of the steps to secure you for his own in any of the ways our kind recognize. None of this makes sense to me. He apparently wanted to make sure you wouldn't leave him, but took none of the steps to make sure you couldn't be taken from him."
Setting her chin on her knees Sookie asked, "And you've taken these steps?"
Not wanting to give too much away Eric replied, "I have taken the necessary measures to make sure no one can take you out from under my control without facing dire consequences….if they even could take you that is. By logging the contract we signed with the Council I ensured that not only the entire Supernatural community knows you are part of my personal retinue, but that this very fact will be protected by the Council itself. Should anyone try to take you from me by force the Council will sanction their deaths. Few will face such consequences, so it boggles my mind that if Bill was so determined to have you for himself why it is he forewent any of these same precautions. It just doesn't make sense to me."
"Ok, so how do my actions confuse you?"
Thinking on how to word his response for a moment Eric finally said, "I'm confused why you would be willing to commit to him so soon in such a permanent way. I have not known you as long as Bill, but even I know that you are not like so many other humans today. You would not divorce easily. If you made vows to your God you would keep to them with everything you are. Bill has to know this as well. Bill is your first true relationship you've had, and within a few months you are willing to bind yourself to him in such a way. It confuses me. I think perhaps Bill has made it so that you don't have time to think…his actions lead me to believe he is hiding something from you that has to do with our world and wishes to bind you to him before you can discover what that is, and since you are so very young and new to being in a relationship I think you got carried away by his professions of love and failed to question him or his motives."
Glaring at him Sookie replied, "Bill loves me, he's not lying about that."
"I have no doubt he does…however that does not mean he's not keeping something from you. He must be. There is no other explanation for his actions towards you concerning how our world treats humans, and how vampires are able to protect those humans that belong to them."
Deciding not to comment on that speculation Sookie said, "So you think I'm rushing into things with Bill? You think I'm making a mistake by agreeing to marry him?"
Knowing that he had already stripped her of the ability to marry Compton Eric was not upset about discussing the topic. She was his and his alone, she just didn't know it yet. "I think you would be making a mistake to marry him in such a short time. As I said you are the type of girl to make a vow and keep it. You would never divorce easily. If you wish to get married I understand that, but why would you agree to it so quickly? Why is Bill rushing you? Is it not normal for you humans to be engaged for at least a few months?"
Rolling her eyes Sookie said, "What do you know about marriage in this day and age?"
"Enough to know that considering the obstacles a normal couple faces let alone a Vampire/Human one you would need a stronger foundation to base it on. You have known Bill for only a few months and it is obvious he's hidden things from you….and yet you are willing to bind yourself to him in such a permanent way. It confuses me."
When Sookie remained quiet and bit her lip he pressed, "You've already considered these things, haven't you?"
Meeting his gaze Sookie slowly nodded her head. "I—I've come to realize something is wrong between Bill and I … I hate to admit it, especially to you, but you're right … he's hiding something from me, and since he's been gone I've started to wonder why he wants to jump into marriage so quickly. I keep rolling these questions around in my mind, but in the end he's the only one that can answer them."
"So if you've already realized he's lying to you why are you so determined to remain faithful to him?"
"Because even if he's lied to me, I'm not the kind of girl to step out. Until I can sit down and speak with Bill and find out what is going on in order to make a decision about us I'm still with him. I can't cheat on him. If things don't work out between us that's one thing, but until then I have to stay true."
Eric was silent for a moment before replying, "So when Bill returns and you find out he has not been truthful with you and you break things off with him you will come to me? You will choose to be mine?"
Shaking her head Sookie said, "I can't make that promise Eric. Look, you've been really great lately, but, truthfully I'm not all that sure I can trust you. I know you're capable of deception and I don't trust that all of this is real. You say you want me, but I don't know if I could stand to be something you own. I don't know if I could be in your world. Part of what I like about being with Bill was how he distanced himself from your world. And you … well, you make me nervous Eric, you make me feel hunted."
Smirking at her assessment and how spot on it was Eric replied, "I am hunting you Sookie. I'm not going to lie to you. I am not like Bill. I will never be a southern gentleman, but I can promise that once you give yourself to me I will bind you to my side in any way I can. You fear abandonment, but it will never happen. I can promise you forever Sookie, beyond that, I can promise you no more. I am no Prince Charming as you yourself pointed out. I am a vampire and I want you more than I've ever wanted anything else. That is the beginning and the end of it."
Seeing the fear enter her eyes Eric said, "I have given you enough to think of concerning Bill and the inevitable relationship you and I will share. For now there is something else I must discuss with you."
Glad to be off the topic as she really didn't know what to say to what he'd just said Sookie replied, "Ok … what's up?"
"The Queen contacted me about the Council's edict concerning you and your status as my asset. She will be sending her child and right hand man Andre to Fangtasia tomorrow night so he can observe you."
"Ahh, you want me to sit up and do tricks to show me off huh?"
Smirking at her and pleased she was joking about it and not becoming upset as he had thought she might Eric replied, "Something like that, however I want you to understand that this could be dangerous."
"Yes. Something about the Queen's message bothered me. I don't know what but my instincts are telling me the Queen is up to something. It is imperative that when Andre is here you show total subservience to me."
Curious now Sookie asked, "Why?"
"Sookie, I allow you far more lenience than any other, but I shouldn't. No other vampire would allow a human asset of theirs the freedom I give you. Andre is a vicious vampire that would put all those you've met to shame. He despises humanity and lives only to serve Sophie-Anne. He is not to be trusted in anyway, and the fact that she is sending him and not some lackey to report back worries me. While you are mine and under my protection under the Council's edict, that does not mean there is no danger. You or I showing any weakness would be dangerous. When Andre visits tomorrow night you must act accordingly."
Realizing how serious he was being and that he wouldn't be telling her this unless it was important, especially since he'd never made this type of demand of her before, Sookie said, "Ok, so how am I supposed to act?"
Glad that she was falling in line Eric replied, "First and foremost, you cannot speak unless directly spoken to. You cannot give your input unless asked."
"That's not fair!"
"Remember, Sookie, vampires do not consider humans their equals."
Biting her lip Sookie asked, "So you don't care about what I have to say?"
Shaking his head Eric replied, "If that were true I would not allow you the freedom to speak to me as you do. I value your opinion as most of what you say is very intelligent. I ask you to behave this way now because Andre is one of those vampires that would sooner cut off your head than ask your input. To him you are little more than a tool."
"Ok. So what else?"
"You must refer to me as Master."
"No way! You are NOT my Master!"
"Sookie, you must realize I would not be asking this of you if it was not necessary. I have never demanded you address me this way, nor did I attempt to make it part of our contract which I very well could have done. I ask this of you now because it is important. When we are in front of certain vampires or other supernaturals you must show proper deference to me."
Realizing he was right Sookie asked, "So I don't have to do it all the time? As soon as this Andre guy leaves it can go back to the way it was?"
Nodding his head Eric replied, "Yes. You will only be required to act this way at certain times and I will always warn you of them before they happen."
"So that's all I have to do in front of this guy? Keep my mouth shut and call you master?"
"Yes. I or Pam will be with you all the time so you will never be alone with him, and if need be I will give you further directions if and when the time comes."
Deciding she could do this she said, "Ok. I can be all submissive for one night if it's necessary. And I'm going to believe you that this is necessary, and you're not tricking me and I'm only agreeing to this because you gave me a puppy."
Laughing as he watched her pick the puppy up to cuddle against her chest Eric replied, "If a puppy is all it takes to get you to cooperate this well, I'll buy you an entire kennel."
"I think one is enough for now."
Seeing her release a yawn he stood and said, "You are tired and no doubt you have a busy day tomorrow so I will let you sleep, and since you have agreed to behave accordingly tomorrow, I will not make you exchange blood with me tonight. It might be necessary for you to arrive at Fangtasia sooner than normal tomorrow, so I ask that you be ready to leave by 7 instead of 8."
Following him towards the door with her puppy in her arms, grateful he wasn't going to insist they exchange blood since she was feeling pretty vulnerable from their discussion, Sookie said, "I can swing that." When he opened the door and stepped out onto the porch to turn and face her she added, "I really liked flying with you tonight Eric and I hope you'll take me again. And I really, really like my puppy."
Laughing, Eric scratched the puppy on the top of the head as he replied, "You would be more pleased with a puppy than a hundred thousand dollar car wouldn't you my Sookie?"
"Now you're getting it, Viking!"
Leaning down Eric kissed her on the cheek and whispered, "See you tomorrow night, little one."
Sookie stood in the doorway and watched as Eric turned from her and walked off the porch before taking to the sky. When he was gone she released a little sigh and shut the door. Smiling down at her puppy as he licked her chin she cooed, "I think I'll call you Thor. Now let's go to sleep, puppy. You and I have a lot to do tomorrow."
In the sky, Eric flew towards his home. He wanted to retrieve Sookie's books and the Castle box set as they'd forgotten them at his house. He'd drop them off at Fangtasia and leave a voicemail for Bobby to deliver them to Sookie in the morning. He was very pleased with the way things had gone with Sookie tonight, and even more pleased to learn she'd already begun to question her relationship with Bill.
'She says that nothing can happen between us before she settles things with him, but I'm sure with a little more persuasion she'll succumb to my advances. I'm not sure if having her speak to Bill tomorrow night will help or hinder my pursuit of her? She still has some doubts as to my involvement in Bill's disappearance so speaking to him will resolve that fear, but it also might increase her guilt of developing feelings for me. I guess I will just have to see how it goes.'
Having flown at his fastest speed Eric landed in his front yard quickly and made his way into his house. Quickly retrieving the books and DVD set, Eric thought, 'I can feel her emotions changing towards me. I can tell her heart is warming to me. Soon she will love me and then I'll have her. She will be mine … and soon.'