Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chapter 30 ~ Chocolate Orgy

The next morning, Sookie woke up to Thor's barking to alert her he needed to go out. Thankfully the hotel had a small yard for walking dogs, and she wouldn't have to find a nearby park. She was still lying in Eric's arms with her head resting over his unbeating heart. Her head hurt and there was still a throbbing ache in her chest, but Eric's tight hold strangely enough made her feel better. 

Looking up into his peaceful (dead) expression she traced her fingers softly over his cheek and thought, 'He's not after my gift. He swore on Godric. I know he wasn't lying. He may not love me, but at least he wants me for me.'

That was the only silver lining she had at the moment. Wiggling out of Eric's arms, she picked up Thor and a pillow from the couch before heading for the door. She could hear Alcide, Tray and Quinn's minds in the hall and knew they were already on duty. Opening the door she found them all in chairs surrounding her room with their guns on their hips. A quick dip inside Alcide's mind showed her that Han had apparently told them she'd had a hard night with the queen and they were to leave her alone about the departure schedule until she said she was ready to go. Smiling softly at all of them she handed her growing puppy to Tray and said, "Will you take him outside for me? I'll leave the door open and you can let him back in when he's done. I'm going to take a long bath and then we can go."

Quinn watched as Tray headed down the hall with the dog before he looked at Sookie. She had dark shadows under her eyes and she looked unbelievably fragile. She appeared an entirely different woman from the bright, bubbly, and feisty woman he had met the day before. "You alright, babe?"

Sookie looked at her weretiger bodyguard and whispered, "No. I'm not." She didn't say anything else as she propped the door open with the pillow and headed back inside her suite. She collected her bathing supplies from her suitcase and walked into the bathroom. She turned the water on in the tub and adjusted it to the temperature she wanted. While it was filling up she took a quick shower to wash her hair. Pinning it up she sank into the large whirlpool tub and let the hot water soothe her body. 

Resting her head against the neck pillow she thought, 'Bill was sent after me. He came to Bon Temps to secure me for his Queen. He let the Rattrays attack me so that he could get his blood inside me. He tricked me. Just like Eric did. The difference is that Eric didn't let me get hurt in the bombing so that he could give me his blood to heal me. He protected me with his own body and then fooled me into thinking he was hurt and needed my help. Bill has been after me the entire time and has made false claims of love to get me where he wants me. Eric has been after me from the get go, but been up front with the fact he'll do whatever he has to in order to get me.

Kicking off the faucet with her foot to stop filling the tub with water when it came to her neck Sookie continued to mull her problem over. 'Bill lied to me. He seduced me for his Queen. He played to all of my dreams, fantasies, and weaknesses and used them against me. That's why he didn't tell me what his blood would do to me. That's why he didn't want me knowing about his world. That's why he didn't bond me to him. He was making sure the queen could take me.'

Her heart throbbed painfully at that as tears filled her eyes and a sob escaped her chest. 'Was all of it a lie? Everything? Was his kindness and generosity a lie? Did he ever mean any of it? He told me he couldn't lose me … did he actually mean that or was it all about securing me for Sophie-Anne?'

Bit by bit Sookie forced herself to relive every moment she'd spent with Bill, and realized that there had been some blaring warning signs. First the fact that Bill returned to Bon Temps in the first place. She'd learned pretty quick since being around Eric that Vampires liked to work to fill their time. They didn't like being bored. Bill had no job in Bon Temps. He had no reason to return. He did nothing but spend time with her when she wasn't working at Merlotte's. The first night Bill had come into the bar he had been very interested in her from the get go. He'd wanted to sit with a glass of wine simply to have a reason to stick around and watch her work. Then he'd been so interested in her when she saved him and asked repeatedly about her gift. Not to mention the problem with the Rattray's. She'd told him to meet her after work and she knew now that Bill was never late. Of course he had been there the moment she got off, and he'd probably known the Rattrays were there long before they attacked her too.

'He stood there and watched. He stood there and watched them beat me near to death just so he could get his blood inside me. How could he do that?'


Pulling her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them she thought, 'I gave myself to him. I gave him my virginity and trusted him with everything I was, and the entire time he was in my life because he was ordered to be there.' Tears continued to spill down her cheeks as she remembered all the tender and intimate moments they'd shared. She remembered telling him her darkest secrets and trusting him with parts of herself she'd never shown anyone. She remembered the times that Bill had come to her rescue and she couldn't help but wonder if he was just that good of an actor or if what was between them had meant anything to him?

'He came to me in broad daylight. He defied his maker for me, even if she was a bitch. He killed my Uncle Bartlett for hurting me and he did it in a way he hoped it would never be found out. Why would he do that if I didn't mean something to him? Yeah he was sent to Bon Temps to get me for the Queen, but maybe he actually came to care for me?'

She let herself think about that for a minute before deciding, 'It doesn't matter if he came to have feelings for me. He came after me under false pretenses. He made me believe he wanted to be with me for me. That was a lie. He was after me for my gift and to give me to his queen. Even his proposal was part of her plan. He may actually love me now, but he was willing to deceive me until the end. Eric might lie and cheat to get me where he wants, but he's never lied about the fact he wants me for himself first and foremost. Bill let me think he was an honest gentleman when all along he was a wolf in sheep's clothing.'

Laughing bitterly at that Sookie thought, 'So that's it. I made a deal with the devil to get back a man that was playing me for a fool from the moment we met and planning to hand me over to that bitch Sophie-Anne. I handed my freedom, future, and humanity to Eric in exchange for empty promises and declarations of love from a lying, deceitful bastard that was sent to seduce me. Aren't I just the luckiest woman on earth?'

Sookie could feel anger, betrayal, and despair threaten to overwhelm her, but she forced them back. 'No. I'm not going to freak out now. There will plenty of time to cry later; when I'm in my own home, Eric isn't lying dead in the other room, and a pack of Weres aren't standing outside waiting for me so we can go. I'll cry later. For now I'm going to suck it up and keep myself together. Later. Later I'll cry for what I've lost and what was taken from me. Now I need to be strong.'

Her decision made Sookie finished her bath. When she walked out of the bathroom in a towel she smiled to see Thor up on the bed lying across Eric's chest with his tail wagging. She scratched his head before heading to her suitcase to get ready. She dressed in a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes before repacking all of her other clothes. She left her dress and jewelry on the floor and table where Eric had put them. She didn't want them or any other reminders of last night. When she was ready she was fixing to head out of the door before she saw a note with her name on it lying on the coffee table in the living area. Setting her suitcase down she picked it up and read:


Sookie,
Today is Sunday and you and I were supposed to go on dates tonight and tomorrow night per our agreement as Fangtasia is closed. I'm cancelling them. The next three days are yours to do with as you please. I've let Ken know your training sessions are postponed until Wednesday. Your other lessons that were to begin Tuesday have been moved to Wednesday and I've arranged for you to have off from your shifter's bar to accommodate them. I paid off your credit cards and your bank account is full again as well. Spend money on whatever you like, even if it is for your pitiful friends and brother.

I will see you Tuesday night.
E

She couldn't help but smile at what Eric had written her. For the first time he called her just Sookie and didn't add the my to it. He was giving her a break, and she thoroughly appreciated it. It was also obvious that he wanted to make her feel better but had absolutely no idea how. She still wasn't happy in her situation with Eric, but she was grateful for his presence last night. His voice had been the only thing keeping her together as he sang to her and told her stories of his people.

She had no delusions about him, however, and knew he was still the controlling and manipulative bastard that had tricked her into boding with him. Yet last night he had been kind and done all he could to ease her suffering. He hadn't used the situation to exploit her or take advantage of her vulnerability, and she was thankful for that. Grabbing a pen and paper out of the nightstand she scribbled a quick note and set it by his cell phone. With that done she picked up her suitcase, called Thor to her, and headed out into the hall to meet her guards so they could go. She knew Eric intended to fly home when he rose and she was glad she didn't have to face him just yet.

Once they were loaded in their cars with Han and Ivan's coffins safely stored in the Denali, Sookie let Thor lay in her lap despite how heavy he was getting. She stared out her window as Quinn drove the Hummer away from the hotel and hit the highway to take them back to Bon Temps. She enjoyed the quiet around them before Quinn finally asked the question she knew he was going to ask.

"What happened last night, babe?"

Stroking her hand through Thor's fur while continuing to stare out the window, Sookie replied, "I'd rather not talk about it right now. You'll find out soon enough. Everyone will. For now, I just want to sit in peace."

Sensing that she really did want to be left alone, Quinn nodded his head as he replied, "Sure thing. If you want to talk I'll listen though."

"Thanks."

As Sookie fell silent beside him Quinn thought, 'Something bad must have happened. Han and Ivan didn't seem too pleased when they woke us up last night and told us we weren't to bother her this morning until she said she was ready to go. They also told us to be on guard. They mentioned some trouble with the Queen so something went down last night. Wonder what the hell went on?'

The entire ride back to Bon Temps was made in silence, and again they only stopped once to refuel and stretch their legs. When they pulled back up to the house Sookie saw that Tara and Lafayette's cars were there and she wondered at that since she knew they were both supposed to work. Mark and Allan drove the Denali over to Bill's house to unload Han and Ivan's coffins while Quinn grabbed her bag and helped her into the house as she carried Thor.



Stepping inside Sookie gasped to see the interior of her home. Not only was all of her new furniture here and in place, but her house was filled with chocolate. There were Godiva towers and exotic chocolates she'd never heard of in giant gift baskets and wood boxes. Sculptures made entirely of colored chocolates were scattered around the shelves and mantle. There were dozens of chocolate rose and candy bar bouquets decorating the room. There was a table set up by the fire place with a chocolate fountain and three of the most beautiful chocolate wedding cakes she'd ever seen. There were baskets upon baskets of cookies and cupcakes all over the place. Her living room was literally full of every kind of chocolate imaginable. Keeping hold of Thor, she called out, "Hello?"

"Sook!" Tara cried as she and Lafayette came out of the kitchen. They looked to see Quinn, Alcide and Tray standing around her taking in the chocolate as well and Tara asked, "Alcide and Tray I know, who's baldy?"

"John Quinn. Just call me Quinn," the weretiger said before he indicated the house and asked, "What's up with all the chocolate?"

Tara shrugged and replied, "Don't know. It all arrived about an hour ago and was paid for by Eric." Focusing on Sookie she said, "Sam gave me and Lafayette the day off. Said it was orders from Eric also. Bobby showed up about two hours ago and supervised the installation of a freezer in the kitchen. He had it stocked full of Rocky Road, so what happened?"

Tears filling her eyes Sookie looked at Tara and Lafayette and said, "Something really bad."

Lafayette moved to take her in his arms as he added, "Must be, you don't eat Rocky Road unless you're really upset." Looking at the guards over Sookie's shoulder he said, "Normally I'd have no problem sitting around and looking at you fine men all day, but this is girl time. You guys need to wait outside while Tara and I talk to Sook."

When the guards looked at each other Tara put her hands on her hips and hissed, "You heard him! Git! You can protect the outside of the house."

Quinn glared at Tara before focusing on Sookie, who was still enfolded in Lafayette's arms, and said gently, "We'll be outside Sook, hope the chocolate helps."

Sookie raised watery eyes to smile at Quinn as she replied, "Me too, there might be enough here."

When the guards were gone Lafayette pushed Sookie back a bit to ask, "What happened baby girl?"

Setting Thor down on the floor Sookie whispered, "Bill was sent to Bon Temps to check me out by the vampire Queen of Louisiana. Hadley is her pet and told her all about me so she sent Bill here to find out if I could really read minds. If I could he was supposed to seduce me, marry me, and bring me to her to serve in her court New Orleans. She's mad that Eric interrupted her plans and now she can't have me. I made the deal with Eric to save Bill and he was playing me for a fool the whole time. Everything was a lie. I was just a mission to him."
There was stunned silence before Lafayette pulled Sookie into his chest to hold her close as he whispered, "Oh my God Sook, lord girl."

"Sookie," Tara said softly as she moved to wrap her arms around her friend and cousin as well.

For long moments the three of them stood there in the entryway as Sookie began to sob openly, great, gasping, heart wrenching sobs. "H—he lied! A—all of it, all of it was a lie! H..he used me! He was just going to hand me over to that bitch!" Sookie's legs gave out and she sank to the floor to cry hysterically while Tara and Lafayette dropped to their knees beside her. Staring at them through tear filled eyes she cried, "I gave him everything I had! I sacrificed everything I have to save him! And for what? To find out that he came here to seduce me because he was ordered to?"

Wrapping her arms around Sookie as she rocked the girl in her arms Tara whispered, "Oh Sook, oh my poor girl, you cry baby, cry it all out. Then we'll think of how to get back at that jackass."

Stroking Sookie's hair as she sobbed into Tara's shoulder Lafayette's own eyes filled with tears as he added, "It's going to be ok Sook, it's going to be ok."

For a half hour Sookie sobbed her heart out. Her nose ran, her face turned beat red, and she could barely breathe she bawled so hard. Her entire body shook with the force of her sobs as she let out all the pain that had built up since finding the truth out about Bill. All through it Tara and Lafayette sat there on the floor beside her and whispered words of encouragement to her. They told her they were here for her and they'd stand by her. When Sookie's cries finally abated Lafayette picked her up and carried her over to her new couch while Tara went to get a wash cloth, a glass of water, and some aspirin. When she came back she found Lafayette sitting on the couch with Sookie lying down and her head in his lap as he stroked her hair.

Crouching down in front of her friend, Tara offered, "Here, honey. Take these aspirin so you don't get a headache and wipe your face."

Sookie sat up and took the pills as she smiled at her friend's thoughtfulness. After swallowing the aspirin, she set her glass of water down on her new coffee table and looked around at her new furniture surrounded by chocolate. Her eyes landing on the large tiered solid chocolate cake she pointed at it and said, "Let's start with that."

Lafayette laughed and stood from the couch as he said, "I'll get the plates and forks. Tara you get the milk."

Five minutes later Sookie was curled up in her new loveseat with a huge piece of cake while Tara and Lafayette sat on the couch with theirs. After swallowing the bite she had in her mouth she whispered, "I feel so stupid. As I look back on it there are some blatant signs that something was very wrong with him and his presence here … how could I have missed all that?"

"You missed it Sook because he wanted you too. Human men are damn good liars and manipulators. Bill's a vampire and ten times better at all that. He got close to you and you weren't expecting it. What he did is horrible Sook, but it's not your fault," Tara insisted.

"She's right baby girl. Bill's the only one at fault here. He played off your heart and your inexperience," Lafayette added.

Tara nodded her head and continued, "That bitch Hadley too, she should have kept her damn mouth shut!"

Shoving another piece of cake in her mouth Sookie was quiet while she chewed it before saying, "What do I do now? I was hoping that Bill could help me in some way, but that option is out. Even if he did agree to help me get away from Eric I couldn't trust anything he says. For all I know he'll just be waiting for an opportunity to grab me up and deliver me to the queen. She made it clear she wants me for a pet. So now I'm stuck with Eric and to top it all off I find out everything I've done is for nothing? Everything I've been through since I met Bill only to find out that the whole time I was nothing more than a mission to him?"

Tara shook her head and replied, "Sook I'm not defending Bill, but I think he really did care for you. He might have been sent here to seduce you but he did come to care for you."

"Doesn't mean anything though does it?" Sookie asked bitterly before shoving another piece of cake in her mouth.

Everyone was quiet a moment before Lafayette said, "Sook I'm not arguing that you've got a bad deal here. What Bill did to you was wrong, and me and Tara will help you make him pay if you want. Right now though—"

"Eric offered to kill him for me," Sookie whispered.

Tara and Lafayette both gasped in surprise before Tara asked softly, "What did you say?"

"I told him no. I told him that I don't want to be responsible for anyone dying. I said I don't want to feel guilty as well as stupid."

"I say let Eric kill him," Tara offered.

"Tara!"

"Well, Bill's the reason you've gotten into so much trouble lately. He deserves to die for getting you into this position."

"Gotta agree with Tara here," Lafayette added.

Looking at both of her friends Sookie shook her head and replied, "Well my answer is still no. I'm mad, but not homicidal."

Shrugging Lafayette pressed, "Well that's up to you. What I was saying before is that while all of this shit is really bad, and I hope Bill gets what's coming to him, you need to focus on what's important."

"My arrangement with Eric," Sookie whispered.

"Yeah," Lafayette replied. "Right now, despite what you've learned, you've got to figure out what you're going to do about Eric. Tara told me what she could about what's going on, but we both know there's more to it that you're not telling us."

Sookie was quiet for a moment as she thought about whether or not to tell Tara and Lafayette what was really going on. Finally she decided she was tired of going it alone. She was tired of walking on egg shells around everyone. She was tired of secrets. So she let go. "Eric owns me."

"What?" Tara gasped.

Fresh tears pouring down her cheeks Sookie set her empty plate on the coffee table before drawing her knees up to her chest on the chair and wrapping her arms around them. "Eric tricked me with our deal. Signing the contract didn't protect me. It trapped me into working for him for the rest of my life, and sharing blood was a much bigger deal than he or Bill made me think. It bound me to him forever. I'm what vampires call his 'blood bonded'. In their world that makes me his slave. He owns me. He told me he's going to train me to be his perfect companion and then he's going to turn me and I'll be with him forever."

Dead silence.

Sookie smiled sadly at her friends as she took in their frightened and shocked expressions as she continued, "And there's nothing I can do to stop him. At this point without his protection another vampire will snatch me up real fast and force me to serve them or turn me on the spot since they all seem to want me for my telepathy. I have no way of protecting myself from Vampires since they have so many resources to evade the law. Calling the police will only be a joke to Eric or at worse something that pisses him off. I can't run because Eric's blood in me will allow him to find me no matter how far I go. He can actually control me with the blood bond. I have no allies that can help me and no power to fight him. He's one of the most powerful warriors in the Vampire world, and has strong underlings and allies. I can't fight him and no one else can or will either. I'm Eric's slave and one day he'll drain me and make me his child."

Tara and Lafayette looked at each other before he rubbed his hands over his face while Tara started to cry softly as she came to kneel on the floor in front of Sookie's chair. She took her friend's hands and whispered, "Oh my God Sook … oh my God."

Smiling softly at Tara as her own tears continued to leak down her cheeks Sookie replied, "I really screwed up this time huh? Guess I should have listened when everybody told me nothing good would come of getting involved with Bill; hindsight really sucks."

Neither Tara nor Lafayette knew what to do or say. All three of them sat in silence before Lafayette asked, "What are you going to do?"
Shrugging Sookie answered, "Right now I'm just taking it one day at a time. Eric said I can stay here in Bon Temps for now and that he doesn't intend to turn me for two or three years, four at the most. I'm hoping I can find some way to get out of this before then. For now I have to play smart. He doesn't actually treat me as bad as he could. I've seen how some of the other humans are treated by vampires and believe me it could be much worse. I'm going to try and call the lawyer that drew up the contract between Eric and I and see if he can help me with anything. Other than that I've got nothing right now since I obviously can't ask Bill for help when he gets back. My best option is to not piss Eric off so that he really does take control of my life. Right now he's just annoying the hell out of me."

The room went silent again before Lafayette got up, grabbed Sookie's plate, and cut her another huge piece of cake. Handing it to her he said, "We're going to need more chocolate to make it through this one girl."

Sookie laughed and accepted the pastry. It had been a little past 11am when she and her guards left New Orleans so now it was almost 7pm. The sun was beginning to set and she was beyond grateful Eric had given her the night off because she really didn't think she could summon the energy to go anywhere right then. She, Lafayette, and Tara curled up on the couch and watched Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, and Pretty Woman while feasting on chocolate and ice cream. They agreed that there would be no more talk on Bill or her situation with Eric and for the rest of the night they simply hung out.

In New Orleans, Eric rose a few hours before sunset as normal. He knew that Sookie and her guards had driven home today and frankly he was glad. While he looked forward to the days he would wake with Sookie at his side, last night had really thrown him for a loop. He hadn't known what to do about how she was hurting, and the very fact that he'd felt such an all consuming need to help her shocked him. It had been beyond a desire to offer aid, and was truly a need inside him.

Standing from the bed, he made his way to his phone on the coffee table so he could check his messages. He immediately spotted the note that Sookie had left him and picked it up to read:



Eric,
Thank you. I'll see you Tuesday.
S

He smiled at the simplicity of her note, and was glad that he had been able to help her in some way. After listening to his message from Bobby that everything he'd asked for had been done he decided he needed a nice long bath. He could easily detect Sookie's scent in the bathing area and knew she'd probably woken with much the same need. Once he was seated in the tub with the hot water whirling around him, he let his mind wander to the events of last night.

'I don't care what Sookie said; I'm going to kill Compton. I'll just make sure she doesn't find out about it. That's the secret he was hiding from her. That's why he didn't blood bond to her. The queen sent him. I should have seen that. Compton's return to his ancestral home was suspicious in itself. His actions towards Sookie in the beginning were suspicious. He was obsessive. Though I know he loves her. He might have been sent to obtain her but he fell in love with her somewhere along the way.'

Frowning at that thought he wondered, 'I do not understand the human concept of love. It seems to make them all do such foolish things. Compton fell prey to the emotion and he made foolish mistake after foolish mistake concerning Sookie because of it. He nearly ended up in the ground chained with silver for five years because he loves her and acted without thought for that love. I was seconds away from throwing Longshadow off of Sookie that night but held back to see what Bill would do and sure enough he played right into my hands. I had hoped he would give me Sookie in return for not reporting his murder of Longshadow, but he loved her and wouldn't let her go. Or was it because of the queen's edict?'

That leading him into another thought he decided, 'He had to have loved her at that point. If he didn't he would simply have contacted the queen before I could take him before the Magistrate and had her interfere. Or possibly contacted the queen about my request in the first place to get out of having to bring her to Fangtasia at all. No, he loves her. He was probably trying to find a way to keep her for himself and keep her from finding out about the queens orders.'

Ducking into the water to submerge himself completely Eric stayed under as he thought, 'Sookie seems to bring out such strange emotions in Vampires. Even Godric was affected by her in such a short time. Compton was made into a simpering fool over her. And me? I'll admit I tolerate her independence and disobedience more than anyone else, but love? I do not understand the word nor wish to experience it. Sookie will love me but I know I'll never fall victim to such a foolish emotion.'

Rising from the immersion, and stretching his arms along the sides of the tub, Eric let his head fall back on the neck pillow as he continued to mull over his situation. He truly believed that he was incapable of love, and yet he couldn't help but remember how he'd felt last night. Standing there before the queen, he'd wanted desperately to sweep Sookie up in his arms and carry her out of there before Sophie-Anne could divulge Bill's mission and break his bonded's heart. He shouldn't have felt that way. He should have been eager for the queen to shatter Sookie's idealized notions of Bill. He should have been ecstatic at the prospect of Sophie-Anne obliterating any chance of Sookie continuing to want Bill once he returned. But he was not.

He would have given anything to spare Sookie the knowledge she learned last night. Even though the truth of Bill's entrance in Sookie's life was excellent ammunition for him to use in breaking her affections for the fool he didn't want it. He'd have preferred keeping her in the dark and continuing in his steady pursuit of her love for himself. These desires were not like him.


Furthermore, when he returned to the hotel instead of using Sookie's vulnerability to his advantage to advance his seduction he had been concerned with her and only her. Instead of manipulating the situation to his benefit as he'd always done he instead was seeking ways to lessen her pain. What's more it hadn't been something he thought about. His reaction to her heartache had been immediate. The thought of manipulating her in that moment when she was so very broken down had never even crossed his mind like it should have. He'd been determined to make her feel better, and not even for himself. He'd wanted her pain to end for her sake. He'd never felt such a powerful need to care for someone before and the feeling still baffled him. It was an entirely new experience for him, and he wasn't sure he liked these new thoughts or emotions.

'Why did her pain upset me so much last night? I wanted to kill Sophie-Anne, all her children, and hunt down Compton then and there. I wanted to shelter Sookie and hide her from the ugly truth of what had been done to her. I should not have felt that way. I should have felt victorious. The queen telling Sookie of Bill's true reasons for returning to Bon Temps assures that she will never want him back. This will aid me in having Sookie come to me willingly in ways none of my other maneuvers have. I should be gloating and using this knowledge to my advantage. I should be exploiting this new weakness in Sookie…and yet I didn't and won't. Instead of going out with her tonight and taking advantage of her weakened state I'm giving her three days off to do what she wants. I won't use this truth against her as I should, but why?'

Eric couldn't understand his feelings pertaining to Sookie and what had happened last night. He couldn't understand how he could have so quickly and easily broken away from a thousand years worth of habit in trickery and manipulation to so thoroughly abandon his own pursuits in favor of another. Last night his only concern had been Sookie and all thoughts of his own plans for her had disappeared from his mind. Other than releasing her from his power he would have done anything she'd asked to make her feel better. He had only ever been at the command of Godric and had never willingly given so much of himself to anyone else, and yet he would have knelt at Sookie's feet last night if she'd told him it would make her feel better. This realization baffled him, and angered him somewhat.

'I will not allow my affection for her to rule me. I am not Compton. I admit I care for her, but I care for Pam also. Caring for one's possessions and children is fine, but being so concerned for them that I lose sight of my goals? Unacceptable. I will not use this information against Sookie since it affects her so. The fallout of it is enough to aid my pursuits. Her love for Bill will be no more and it was my greatest obstacle in winning her love for myself. Now the Queen has torn it down. I will give Sookie the time she needs to get past this and then I shall continue with my plan to train her as my companion. That is all. I will not let her make me weak.'

His decision made, Eric finished his bath before redressing in the suit he'd worn last night. He had about an hour flight to Shreveport tonight, and had his meeting with the vampires in his area at Fangtasia to discuss these new pills given to Fangbangers intended to bring his kind down. Since he had cancelled his dates with Sookie he'd ordered Pam to call a meeting so he could at least get his work done. After settling his tab at the front desk he walked out of the building and shot into the sky to head home.

The next morning around 10am, Sookie crawled out of her comfy new bed, which had one of those nice Sleep Number mattresses on it that Eric had purchased for her apparently, and headed downstairs to let Thor out. Lafayette had spent the night with Tara and her and was trying out her new guest bedroom set down the hall. They were both still asleep so she tried to be as quiet as possible as she made her way down the stairs. Stepping onto the front porch she found Tom, Ian, and Quinn seated on her rocking chairs as Bobby stood by the railing with several large bags at his feet that were stuffed with tissue paper. She smiled at her guards before focusing on Bobby and saying, "Good morning, Bobby."

Bobby nodded his head and picked up the bags as he replied, "Mr. Northman instructed me to deliver these to you."

Sookie waited for Thor to hop back on the porch before she responded, "Ok. Come on inside." Looking at her guards she added, "You guys too. I'll start breakfast after I see what Eric sent."

When everyone was inside, Sookie watched as Tom and Ian took in the massive amounts of chocolate in her house and she said, "You guys can have as much as you want. Feel free to take some home too. I love chocolate like any girl, but this is beyond even my ability to eat."

Ian laughed replying in his roguish voice, "We might take some back for the little ones of our pack. They'll certainly have no problem getting through it all."

"You guys go on in the kitchen. Coffee pot should have kicked on at 9 so there should be some. I'll be there in a minute." When her three guards had done as she asked Sookie focused on Bobby who looked annoyed as usual and asked, "Any orders for today?"

Setting the bags down on the floor, Bobby stated, "No. I was instructed to give these to you and inform you that I'm at your disposal. If you want me to stay and run your errands for you I will. Or if there is anything you need done I'll take care of it."

"That's ok Bobby. You can go and if I need anything I have your number, but I doubt I'll call." She watched as Bobby nodded his head and walked out. She rolled her eyes at his rudeness before kneeling on the floor to see what Eric had sent her.

There were three large gift bags. Each had a card tucked into the tissue paper on the top. Grabbing the first one she read:


Sookie,
For step two.
E



Setting the card aside she pulled the tissue paper out and looked inside. A small smile crept on her face as she pulled out two sets of pajamas and three nightgowns. The first pajama set was silk and sleeveless. It was red with white lace trim. The second set was definitely something she would wear. It was a little tank top with spaghetti straps and capri pants. Butterflies adorned the entire thing. 

Her first nightgown was peach sheer chiffon with sequins on the bust. It was very feminine and she liked it. The second nightgown was chiffon as well but white with a blue bow. The third was cotton with lace trim around the bust and tiny yellow flowers covering the material. She could definitely see herself lying around the house the next couple of days in these sleep outfits. Shaking her head at Eric's thoughtfulness, she reached for the second bag to get the card and read:


Sookie,
For step three.
E

Reaching inside the tissue paper to the bottom of the bag she smiled wider as she pulled out a giant role of industrial strength black trash bags. She didn't really have all that much from Bill to throw away. Probably not even enough to fill one bag since he'd given her very little, but the sentiment was nice all the same. Setting the bags down behind her she reached for the third and final note.


Sookie,
For step four, hopefully.
E

Pulling the tissue paper out and looking into the bag she actually laughed as she took in the small gas can inside with a book of matches tapped to the top. Apparently Eric took her very seriously when she said she might burn down Bill's house to make herself feel better. She'd never actually do such a thing since she knew Bill had built that home together with his wife when he was human, but the thought did make her smile. Gathering her nightgowns up, she carried them upstairs to her room before coming back to the entryway to get her trash bags and gas can. She would store these in the utility closet.

Once that was done and the gift bags put away she went to the kitchen to get breakfast started. As soon as she entered her three guards immediately stopped talking amongst themselves and looked at her with sympathy. She knew immediately that Quinn, Alcide, Tray, Mark and Allan had obviously heard her cries and discussion with her friends yesterday from the porch. Ian and Tom had apparently been filled in. 

"Guess you guys know huh?"

All three men went silent. None of them really knew how to respond. Tom and Ian were lucky enough not to have been there yesterday to hear Sookie's heart wrenching sobs as she explained what she had learned from the queen to her friends, but Quinn had and he'd never forget how horrible it had been. When the silence became uncomfortable Quinn offered, "We can kill him for you if you'd like."

Laughing as she pulled eggs, bacon and a few other ingredients out of the fridge Sookie replied, "Now you sound like Eric. I hate to disappoint you guys but killing is never a solution with me. I was hurt and I feel stupid. It really sucks to know I gave up everything for a man that didn't love me, but I'll deal with it. If you want to help don't mention it to me ever."

Everyone was spared another uncomfortable silence when Lafayette strolled into the kitchen and let out a low whistle as he looked at Tom, Ian, and Quinn. He was shirtless, barefoot, and wearing a pair of lime green pajama pants with giant red kisses on them. Running his hand down his chest Lafayette said, "Damn Sook! I'm gonna have to move in if this is what you wake up to every morning girl!"

Just like that the tension was broken. Sookie laughed and since supes were so at ease with sexuality, none of her guards were offended and simply laughed right along with her. Lafayette moved to help her with breakfast while her guards started discussing the game that had been on last night. Tara woke up not soon after that and joined them. Breakfast was a light and happy affair with no one bringing up the ugly truth of Sookie's situation.

For Sookie, the next two days passed quickly. She didn't leave the house much, just as she'd told Eric she wouldn't. She had several more crying fits in the arms of Tara and Lafayette who were at her house as much as possible when they weren't working. Jason had come by once after Tara told him what had happened, but since he was so bad with a crying female and Sookie knew that she sent him on his way with a firm promise that next Sunday they really would have a family dinner like she kept on telling him they would. Sam came over as well when Lafayette filled him in, but was smart enough to merely bring her food, kiss her forehead, tell her to call him if she needed anything, and leave her be. He knew sitting around and staring at her with sympathy wouldn't help her any.

Mostly Sookie spent the next few days moping around and kicking herself for how stupid and naïve she had been. She couldn't believe how easily she had let Bill trick her, and she swore she'd stop being so damn trusting. The only actual activity she got around to doing was paying off her brother's house and car, which he thanked her enthusiastically for, and paying two years worth of rent on Lafayette's house after taking a cash advance on one of her credit cards; he was just as thankful. She also called Mr. Catadalias and left a message about discussing her contract with him, but hadn't heard back from him yet. Other than that she simply enjoyed being in her newly furnished house, eating never ending supplies of chocolate and ice cream, and trying to get over her heartbreak.

She spent her days playing cards with her Were guards and watching movies when she wasn't too upset, and at night she got to know Han and Ivan. She found she really, really liked them. Han was a very quiet man with a wry sense of humor. He seemed fascinated with so many of her "strange human customs" and asked her endless questions. He informed her he hadn't actually had anything to do with a human in such a personal sense in well over six hundred years since he began guarding someone he called either "The Ancient Pythoness" or "HER". So he was thoroughly intrigued by her human beliefs, ideas, and living requirements. He had actually been surprised to find out she ate three times a day and asked her if it was necessity or because she simply liked food. That had led to a discussion on the human body and its needs for survival.

Ivan was great fun too. He enjoyed games and was all intense and focused when she taught him and Han how to play monopoly. They'd begun the game Sunday night and were still playing it as none of them had won yet. It was hard for her to understand Ivan at times due to his poor English, but it was obvious he was an intelligent man. He explained to her in broken sentences that he had been chosen to be an Enforcer and had always been a guard of "HER". He told her that his maker had turned him at the request of this Ancient Pythoness person and then immediately turned him over to her to use as her Enforcer. That's how he and Han had met and become friends Sookie learned. Apparently they had stood side by side for the past six centuries to guard this woman and had come to respect and admire each other greatly. Strangely enough Sookie sensed that they were lovers and she thought that was beautiful.

They weren't overly affectionate with each other, but she caught them looking at one another from time to time and knew there was more to them. They were also very at ease with one another and seemed to be able to communicate without words. She hoped the guesthouse was finished with its underground light tight chamber soon. She knew the hidey hole at Bill's wasn't very large and it had to be a tight fit for them. She wanted them to have more room to be together. The contractor told her it would be finished by Friday, and she related as much to Han and Ivan. They'd seemed pleased by this news. They weren't too fond of Bill's house apparently and she couldn't blame them.

So her nights were kept busy speaking and hanging out with Han and Ivan. Both told her stories of their past and Sookie was amazed to know that Han actually knew Genghis Khan. He'd met the man after returning to Asia shortly before he joined the Ancient Pythoness he'd mentioned so often. She loved their stories almost as much as Eric's. She also enjoyed sitting out on the porch at night and watching them spar and train together for a few hours as they did. As long as Tara and Eggs weren't there her Were guards would emerge from the woods in their wolf forms and sit there to watch as well. It truly was a sight to behold to see the two mighty Vampire Enforcers train together; even if they were only practicing.

All too soon however it was Tuesday night and she was getting dressed in the gown that Bobby had delivered to her today along with her ruby and diamond E necklace that Eric had gotten fixed for her while they were gone. The dress Eric had sent for her to wear tonight was a deep crimson red silk mermaid gown that hugged her body. He seemed to be putting her in gowns instead of short cocktail dresses more and more when she was working at Fangtasia, and she was glad. She didn't like being on display but if she had to be she wanted as much of her skin covered as possible. When she was ready she met Han and Ivan downstairs, both men in black again with their weapons on their backs, and they left for Fangtasia in Ivan's Hummer.


When they pulled up to Fangtasia Sookie accepted Han's hand as he helped her out of the car with a smile as Thor followed after her. Ivan had parked his SVU and rejoined them by the time Han had escorted her to the front door, and she found his overwhelming presence behind her comforting as the fangbangers' thoughts bombarded her. She spotted Eric easily as soon as they stepped inside as he was seated on his throne as usual. She smiled softly at him as Han guided her forward with Thor keeping up.

Eric watched Sookie make her way towards him and was pleased with her appearance. The gown looked lovely on her of course and her hair curly hair hung down beautifully around her shoulders, but it was the look in her eyes that pleased him. He could still see the hurt there, but they were not cold and dead as they had been before. He was still determined to continue with his plan to make Sookie his companion and teach her to please him, but he would wait until he knew her spirit was restored from the blow the Queen had delivered about Compton's betrayal to begin her training again. He'd learned something from the entire ordeal; he enjoyed Sookie's fire far too much for her to lose it. 

He would have to work her training carefully to ensure she bent to his will and was not broken under it. He never wanted to see that pain in her eyes or feel that coldness from her heart through the bond again. So he'd make sure he was gentle with her for now until she had recovered from the shock and pain Bill had caused her, and then begin molding her into his companion again. When Sookie was standing before him he held his hand out to her and greeted, "You look lovely. Do you like the dress?"

Setting her hand in his so he could pull her down on his lap Sookie nodded her head and replied, "Yes, but it doesn't exactly fit in." She saw Thor move to lie down beside Eric's throne.

As Han and Ivan moved to stand behind him on either side of his throne to continue keeping watch Eric responded, "Of course not. That's the point." Sweeping his hand out in front of him he added, "You're better than them and I dress you to prove that."

Rolling her eyes at that Sookie asked, "I thought you said that a witch was going to put a barrier up around my house while I was gone and that I'd have to re-invite everyone in? People were already there when I got home so did she or does it just not work?"

"I've been meaning to speak to you about that. She did not have the chance to do it. She's selected a stronger spell to form the barrier and in order for it to work you must be present. She is going to meet us tonight when I go home with you and perform the spell then." What Eric didn't say was that the Council had contacted Octavia and informed her that the spell she had chosen before was not sufficient enough and had sent her some rare items and ingredients for her to form a much more powerful barrier instead. Octavia had contacted him before he left Shreveport to fly to New Orleans and told him of the orders she'd been given and said she'd meet with him and Sookie when they got back. He was still unsure about why the Council was so interested in Sookie but as long as they backed his ownership of her he decided it wasn't necessary to worry about it. They would tell him what he needed to know when it was time for him to understand what was going on.

Sookie watched Richelle approach with her gin and tonic and saw Ivan take it from her to sniff before he handed it to her with a nod. After taking a sip she whispered, "Thank you for the chocolate … and the other stuff."

Tightening his hold around her waist, he asked, "Did you eat all of it?"

Laughing Sookie replied, "I love chocolate Eric but even I couldn't eat all of that. I had to give some of the cakes, cookies, and cupcakes away but I don't think it will be hard for me to put those ten pounds on as I make my way through the rest of it."

"Good. You are too small."

Shaking her head Sookie laughed, "You must be the only guy I know that has ever asked his girl to put weight on. Most guys want their women to lose weight."

He knew she didn't understand what she had just said, but he did. Sookie had referred to herself as his girl, and whether she would admit it aloud or not subconsciously she was beginning to think of herself that way. He wouldn't alert her to the significance of what she'd just said of course. If he did it would make her pull back again. Instead he simply smirked and whispered against her ear, "I enjoy your body as it is Sookie, but the more of you there is the better. I look forward to enjoying your soft curves beneath me as I ride you."

Her face flamed in embarrassment. "So if I balloon up to 300 pounds you won't care?"

Laughing at that he answered, "Perhaps not that much more. If you got that big you'd never get to be on top, and don't you want to ride me as much as I'll ride you?"

"Eric!"

He merely laughed more at her shocked voice. "You did ask Sookie. Really you walked right into that one."

Shaking her head at his antics Sookie decided to divert his attention and said, "I've been watching Han and Ivan train at night, two vampires going at it really is a sight to see. Have you ever seen them fight before?"

Eric glanced over his shoulder at the two legendary warriors. He knew of course that they were lovers as they bore each other's scents, but he also knew they were two of the deadliest fighters in the word. Eric was fairly certain he could take Ivan in a fight, but Han could beat him hands down. Shaking his head at Sookie he replied, "I have not had the honor or pleasure of seeing them train, but I would very much like to witness it. Perhaps they will honor me enough to train with me a time or two as well?"

Han nodded his head with a small smile and answered, "We would be more than willing to both demonstrate our abilities and test yours. Tomorrow night bring your sword and when you return to Sookie's with us we can all engage in a spar."

"Ivan fight Viking. Ivan think Viking win. No beat Han though. None beat Han," the mountainous warrior added with a smirk towards the smaller man at his side.

Eric smiled and replied, "I guess we'll have to see."

After that the rest of the night passed quietly. Han and Ivan left the stage separately during the hours to take a Fangbanger into the back to feed, but other than that they stayed with her and Eric to stand guard. Sookie found herself even more upset than usual by the sexual thoughts and memories of some of the fangbangers that Eric had bedded, but she was pleased to hear from Richelle that he hadn't touched her in over a week. Sookie didn't doubt that Eric was getting his needs taken care of, and it surprised her at how jealous she was at that thought. She was still determined to find a way out from under Eric's control and she knew that getting further involved with him would be foolish, but she couldn't help but feel jealous as she thought about any other woman touching him or him touching them. She knew it was stupid but she didn't want Eric with other women even if she wasn't going to take him for herself. The only good part about being forced to hear the sexual thoughts of other women that had been with Eric was that it kept her mind off of Bill and what he'd done to her.

Eric could barely contain his satisfaction at the emotions coming from Sookie. He caught her glaring at women from time to time and recognized those she glared at as women he'd used for entertainment before. He loved feeling her jealousy, anger and resentment. Not to mention the twinge of possessiveness inside her as well. They were definitely better feelings than the pain and heartbreak she had been broadcasting to him over the last few nights through the bond. They made small talk through the night and whenever he caught her glaring at any woman in particular he'd kiss her cheek, or temple, or play with her fingers to show her his affection.

Pretty soon it was 1am and all that Sookie had found were two kids in the bar with fake ID's. Other than that it was the same hero worshipping and obsessive thoughts over Eric that there always was. Deciding she'd found all she was going to Eric told her, Han, and Ivan it was time for them to go. Eric had decided that he would ride in the Hummer with them as he escorted Sookie home at night so it would only take him a few minutes to fly back to the bar instead of the half hour it normally took to drive. The ride home was made mostly in silence as Sookie fell asleep almost immediately. She lay against Eric's chest as he held her while Han sat up front with Ivan as Thor slept on the floor by Sookie's feet.

When they pulled up to the house, Eric was pleased that Sookie's car, which had arrived Monday from Texas Armoring and was now bullet proof as well, was the only one there. What he didn't know was that Tara was spending the night with her boyfriend since she'd spent all of her free time with Sookie over the past three days. Looking out of the car window Eric saw the witch on his bonded's porch with her apprentice. He'd told them to park over at Compton's and walk over. 

As Han opened Sookie's door Eric shook her gently and said, "Sookie … wake up little one … we're here."

Yawning as she rubbed her eyes Sookie sat up and replied, "Huh?"

Laughing at her stupor Eric was out of the car and around at her side before she had even finished yawning. He pulled her into his arms and walked towards the porch with Thor following after them as he explained, "We're at your house and it is time to put the barrier up." Setting her on her feet in front of him while her guards stayed in the yard as the witches stepped forward Eric continued, "Sookie this is Octavia Fant. She is going to secure your house."

Sookie smiled at the woman and held out her hand so she could shake it and greeted, "Hello Miss Fant. I'm Sookie Stackhouse. It's a pleasure to meet you and I want to thank you for coming here to do this."

Octavia was a tall, thin woman. She was dark skinned and had a number of races running through her blood. Her hair was in varying kinds of braids that hung to her waist with shells and feathers woven in them. She wore a peasant top and long gypsy skirt with sandals. Her arms were adorned with dozens of bracelets and bangles as several necklaces wrapped around her throat. She had one of those ageless faces that made it hard to tell what her age was exactly. Octavia took Sookie's hand and encased it with both of hers as she replied, "I know who you are dear. Many know your name and more will soon."

Closing her eyes Octavia rubbed Sookie's hands with hers as she felt the girl's power. After a moment Octavia opened her eyes and smiled softly as she said, "There is power in you girl. Untapped power that calls to you. The Vampire's blood awakens life in you. You are strong … but I sense pain … it is recent. Your heart is shadowed. Betrayal it cries."

Gasping in surprise Sookie jerked her hand from Octavia's grasp and stepped back against Eric's chest as his hands settled on her hips. "H…how do you know that? What are you talking about untapped power?"

Octavia simply smiled softly at her. "She was right … you are the Chosen One. There is no doubt. My sight is not as good as Hers, but your aura screams at me. There is no need to cast the bones … Life surrounds you, sings from you. Life is in you."

Looking up at Eric Sookie asked, "What does that mean? What is she talking about?"

Eric shook his head and replied, "I don't know." Focusing on Octavia he pressed, "Don't speak in riddles. I did not call you here for this."

"I am here for you no longer Northman. I am here on Council orders as you know. This truth is beyond either of you for now. You will both learn of The Prophesy when it is time for you to. You will learn together. For now there is protection magic to weave." Indicating the girl who stood a little ways behind her she said, "This is Amelia Broadway my apprentice."

Amelia waved enthusiastically at Sookie and replied, "Nice to meet you." Amelia was slim and slightly shorter than Sookie. She had shoulder length golden brown hair and a bright smile. She was dressed much like Octavia but instead of neutral colors her clothes were bright and lively.

After the introduction was made Octavia took the bag Amelia held out to her and said, "We have all the items we need to weave our magic. Are the Weres in the woods allowed inside the barrier? If so let them come forward."

Eric nodded and replied, "Yes. Sookie has seven Were bodyguards during the day and they are all here right now. Han and Ivan are her night guards. I wanted them all present so that I was assured they would be allowed inside the barrier to protect Sookie."

Octavia nodded her head and added, "All anyone needs to get into the barrier once it is up is a true invitation from Miss Stackhouse. They don't even have to be here at the time of the invitation. She can simply say their names aloud and invite them while inside the barrier and the magic will allow them passage."

"True invitation?" Sookie asked.

"Indeed. No one can threaten you into inviting them in. The magic would sense the ill intent. The barrier will also force out anyone that tries to hurt you that you have invited in. You will not even have to un-invite them as you would a vampire if you wish them to leave. The magic of the barrier will sense your desire or need and carry it out for you." Stepping past Eric and Sookie and making her way down the steps Octavia said, "We will perform the spell at the point of binding. I found your circle."

Eric knew what she was talking about immediately of course and took Sookie's hand to follow after the witches while Han and Ivan fell into step behind them along with the Weres who had emerged from the woods when Octavia told them to come forward. Sookie had smiled at the sight of Quinn in his tiger form. She'd never seen a tiger before since she'd never been to a zoo. He was beautiful she decided, and actually larger than the wolves. Together everyone made their way around the back of the house towards the circle that had formed around Eric and Sookie when they completed the blood bond. The white flowers that had sprung up that night shined brightly beneath the moon and made the circle of bare grass even more apparent.
Octavia moved to stand beside the circle, she knew it was not her right to stand in it, and knelt to the ground as she began emptying her bag. She pulled out a bowl, a knife, a box, a flask of liquid, and four separate objects that she held in her hands as she stood to face the crowd while Amelia began pouring a sandy mixture on the ground from a huge urn in the form of a pentagram with the circle in the middle. Holding the objects in her hands she said, "These are items of great magic. Few are left in our world as humans forget the old ways."

"What are they?" Sookie asked as she stared at the objects in Octavia's hands.

Holding up a long feather that seemed to shift colors the witch explained, "This is the feather of one of the First Angels. More powerful than the rest as he was an ancestor." Shifting the items in her hand she picked up a large chipped reptilian looking scale that was blue-black in color. "This is the chest scale of a dragon before they left this world to return to the fire dimensions when the magic waned in this world." Shifting the items again she picked up a perfectly spherical stone that seemed to glow a deep green and continued, "This is an Earth Stone. One of the few left in existence. One of these stones has the power to nourish a hundred square miles of ground with pure life for a thousand years." Taking the last item in her hands she lifted it up to show to those around her and indicated the sharpened metallic material and said, "This is a piece of Poseidon's Trident."

"Earth, Air, Water, and Fire," Eric acknowledged.

Smiling at the Viking Octavia nodded her head and replied, "Indeed." Focusing on the Weres she said, "Four of you come forward." When they did she continued, "I want you each to take one of these pieces and travel roughly 30 yards in the four directions. Bury these pieces about a foot into the ground and then return."

Everyone watched as each of the four Werewolves called forward took one of the items in their mouths before they bounded off in separate directions. There was a few moments of silence before the Weres returned with dirt on their paws and sat down to rejoin their other two pack mates and Quinn. Octavia nodded her head at them before kneeling down before the bowl, the knife, the flask and the box. She opened the box to retrieve what was inside as she said, "We need fresh blood of yours and your bonded's Miss Stackhouse to work this spell. What was collected before won't work. I destroyed that sample." When she stood back up she was holding a syringe in her hands and approached Sookie. "Please hold your arm out."

Eric felt Sookie's sharp spike of fear as she pressed against him and began to panic. He turned her face into his chest so she couldn't see the needle and ordered Octavia, "No needles."

Clearly seeing the girl's terrified response Octavia nodded and moved to put the needle back in the box. "I had intended to use the knife to collect blood from you Viking. I thought she would be more at ease with the collecting of blood by a needle, but I can use the knife on her as well if it will make her feel better."

"It would," Eric replied as he sent soothing waves to Sookie through the bond. He could feel her heart beat slow as Octavia replaced the needle and instead approached them with the knife and bowl.

Standing in front of the Vampire and his bonded Octavia ordered, "Hold your hand out Vampire." He did and she sliced his palm to let his blood pool into the bowl she held under it. He kept the wound from closing until she said, "That's enough." When he immediately closed the wound and pulled his hand back she faced Sookie and continued, "Now you."

Sookie held her hand out and closed her eyes. When she felt nothing she opened them and was surprised to see that her hand was in fact bleeding into the bowl. Realizing that Eric was blocking the pain she smiled up at him and whispered, "Thank you. That's nice of you."
Eric shrugged and replied, "I told you that I'm the only one that can cause you physical pain when I punish you for misbehaving."

Scowling at him she hissed, "And then you have to go and say something like that!"

Eric smirked and took Sookie's hand to bring her wound up to his lips so he could lick it closed with his healing saliva when Octavia nodded at him that she had enough. When her hand was healed he laughed, "I speak only truth."

"Jerk," Sookie muttered before facing Octavia. She and the others watched as she added the liquid from the flask to the bowl and mixed them all together. By now Amelia had finished forming the giant pentagram and came to stand beside her teacher.

When she was done forming her mixture Octavia stood with the bowl and held out her hand to Sookie saying, "Come here child."

Sookie looked up at Eric and when he nodded at her while pushing her forward gently she faced Octavia and took the woman's hand. "What are you going to do?"

"Magic," Octavia replied smiling. She situated Sookie in the center of the circle amongst the white flowers. "Alright then dear you are going to stand here and I'm going to pour this potion around the circle you're in. Ok?" When Sookie nodded Octavia moved to do just that. When the last of the liquid was poured and the circle formed she faced everyone else and ordered, "Everyone spread out in a circle around the pentagram."

Sookie watched as Eric, Han (who had picked up Thor and was holding him so the puppy wouldn't interfere), Ivan, Octavia, Amelia, and her giant wolf bodyguards along with Quinn moved to spread out evenly in a large ring around the giant pentagram she was standing in. She was beginning to get nervous as she felt the air begin to shift and charge around her and looked at Eric. He smiled at her and sent another burst of calm through the bond. She shifted nervously and wrapped her arms around herself. Her silk dress rustled with her movements and she waited to see what Octavia would do.

Octavia, who was standing at the northern most point of the star, focused on Sookie and said, "I'm going to recite the incantation. It will activate the star and the circle around you. Things will happen around you and you will feel the magic. Do not leave the circle until I tell you to. Understood?"

"Yes," Sookie whispered. She didn't like this. She didn't know what was going on and she was getting scared. She could feel Eric sending waves of calm and comfort to her through the bond and she was thankful for it. Looking around she saw Han, Ivan and all of the giant Weres looking at her with Interest. Amelia looked excited.

Octavia crossed her arms over her chest and began to chant in Latin. The spell she spoke was powerful; old beyond imagining and handed to her by the Ancient Pythoness herself for this very task. Her voice started soft and slowly became louder and louder. As her voice got higher she raised her hands to the night sky with her eyes closed and her face turned to the moon.

The effect was immediate. Sookie watched as the sandy mixture forming the pentagram began to glow and shimmer a golden hue. The circle around her formed by the blood concoction began to radiate as well only it was a bright and burning red. She gasped as the ring of bloody fluid flashed and turned to flame and began to rise in a swirling circle around her. She was really scared now and she whimpered, "Eric—"
"It's alright Sookie. Just don't move. You're fine. I'm right here. It will be over in a moment." Eric could feel her rising fear and pushed even more comfort and warmth into her through the bond. He knew she'd never seen magic before and had to be amazed and terrified at what she saw.

Everyone watched as the circle of fire around Sookie suddenly exploded outwards to ignite the glowing formation of the pentagram. It burned bright and hot in front of them before turning a brilliant blue color as the flames died down and only swirling waves of energy remained. The Pentagram began to pulse and the shape of it rose up off the ground and began to grow larger and larger as it floated higher in the air. 

Everyone watched it stretch and build in the night sky save Octavia whose eyes were still closed as she chanted in Latin. Bit by bit the pentagram grew until it filled everyone's view it stretched so far and wide above them. Suddenly Octavia's voice screamed the final verse of the spell into the night. The pentagram flamed bright white in the sky before the massive symbol slammed back towards the earth within the blink of an eye. The energy melted into the soil and the ground rippled and rolled beneath them as power filled the air before everything went still.

Octavia sank to her knees and whispered, "It is done. All within the pentagram is protected by the barrier. Those of you in here now are allowed in without invite unless the magic deems you a threat to Sookie or her bonded. The barrier spans 30 meters in either direction of this spot." Looking at Sookie, she continued, "If you are ever afraid and danger is near stand in that circle. It will send you to your bonded's side to take you from the danger."

That caught Eric's attention. He moved to take Sookie's hand and pull her into his side as he asked, "What do you mean?"

Octavia accepted Amelia's help off the ground and explained, "It is the point of your binding. You were connected here and thus the spot holds power for you both. If she ever needs to be with you immediately and her fear or need is great she can stand in the circle and wish to be by your side and then she will be. The magic of the barrier will send her to you."

Eyes widening Sookie gasped, "You mean like teleport? Is that possible?"

"Everything is possible Miss Stackhouse. You have much to learn of our world, and little time to learn it. I have done what I came to do." Octavia pulled a business card from the pocket of her skirt, handed it to Sookie, and said, "If you ever have need simply call and I shall come. Good eve Chosen One."

Sookie watched as the two witches walked away before looking up at Eric and saying, "Why do I get the feeling I'm in the middle of something I really don't want to be?"

Kissing her brow Eric replied, "Something strange is going on. I don't understand all of it either, but we've been promised answers eventually. That will have to do for now." Focusing on the Weres he said, "You can return to your homes and report for duty in the morning." When they all turned and trotted off he looked at Han and Ivan and said, "I'll be spending the rest of the night here and leave in just enough time to fly back to my home before sunrise when the Weres will return so you may have the rest of the night off."

Han and Ivan bowed their heads to him and Sookie before Han set Thor on the ground so the two Enforcers could head for Bill's. They would enjoy the rest of their night together. When they were gone Eric swept Sookie up in his arms, pleased when she laid her head on his shoulder, and carried her inside with Thor following. He used his own key to open the door and stepped into the entryway. Rolling his eyes at the bright and flowery furniture Sookie had picked out for herself he thought, 'When she comes to live with me the decorating will definitely be left to my care.'

Once inside he set her on her feet and said, "Go get changed for bed. I wish to speak to you of a few things."

Sookie nodded her head and headed upstairs to get out of her dress and jewelry while her puppy stayed behind with Eric. It only took her a few moments to get out of her dress and put on her new butterfly pajamas before she headed back downstairs. She found him sitting on her new couch and couldn't help but laugh at the sight of him. Eric and flower print just didn't go together.

Hearing her giggle and guessing it was about the look of him on her new couch he said, "I think you picked this couch just to humiliate me by making me sit on it."

Curling up on the other end of the sofa Sookie shook her head and replied, "I happen to think this couch is cute."

"You would."

"Well it is!"

Rolling his eyes Eric sat back and stretched his arm along the back as he said, "The queen is not going to give up her pursuit of you. She will attempt to kill me and bond you to her to make you her own."

Pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them Sookie asked, "When?"

"Not soon by your standards. Possibly six months to a year, but the attack will come. She will also probably try to interfere in our lives as much as possible. You need to be on the lookout for anything or anyone new. She is not above planting spies."

"Yeah, I got that," Sookie replied bitterly as she thought of Bill. She was quiet a moment before she asked, "What about the site? What plans did you guys make?"

"I cannot tell you most of them since you are a human. However I can tell you that we will both be traveling to other states over the next month to work for various monarchs. Our first trip will be next week to New York City."

Sookie actually smiled at that and asked, "Can we see the Statue of Liberty while we're there? Before going to Dallas, I've never left Louisiana."

Pleased by her excitement Eric nodded his head and replied, "Yes I'll take you to see it. I'll take you to see her sister statue in France if you'd like."

"There's a Statue of Liberty in France?"

Nodding his head Eric replied, "There are several replicas actually. The most notable one is near the Grenelle Bridge on the river Seine. It's located on a small isle and faces the Atlantic Ocean towards her sister here in the States. It was erected three years after the one here in New York after the French gained their own independence. You do know that the French built the statue and gave it to America do you not?"

"Yeah. Only I thought we raised half the money for it and they raised the other half?"

"Close. The French raised the money to build the statue itself and America was charged with raising the money for its pedestal. The French came through on their end rather quickly, but Americans lagged. The project would have fallen through completely if not for Joseph Pulitzer who fought for the North in the Civil War and was a Hungarian immigrant. He owned a small newspaper called the World. He heard that America wasn't going to meet its end of the fundraising goal and the statue wouldn't be erected. So he announced through his paper that the Statue was a symbol of all Americans. He blasted the rich of this country for failing to come through despite their ability to, and promised to print the name of every contributor no matter how small their donation. He remarked it was supposed to be a symbol of Freedom and because of that many African Americans actually sent in pennies and dollars to contribute to the $100,000 goal. They succeeded and the money was raised for the pedestal so the French sent the statue here. Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who designed and built the statue, escorted it here to oversee its raising."

Sookie smiled at Eric and asked, "Do you know everything?"

"Not everything. Just most everything," he replied with a smirk.

Shaking her head at him Sookie continued, "Is that everything?"

"No. Now we are going to discuss why you called Mr. Cataliades about our contract."

Sookie went still. Eric was staring straight at her and his gaze was intense. She bit her lip as she thought on how to respond before finally whispering, "You know why."

Leaning forward with his forearms on his knees Eric stared hard at her and replied, "I do … but I want to hear you say it."

Swallowing Sookie forced herself to hold his gaze and answered, "I'm trying to find a way out of all of this."

"Be more specific."

"Away from you."

Smiling darkly at her, Eric lounged back against the corner of his end of the couch and said, "Well he called me and let me know you'd contacted him and asked for permission to call you back. I denied it. That is why you have not heard from him." When her mouth fell open in surprise he explained, "I told you that as my bonded, supernaturals are not allowed contact with you without my permission Sookie. Mr. Cataliades is well aware of this. However let me assure you that even if you had spoken to him he would have told you the same thing I'm telling you now; the contract is unbreakable. That's why one hires Mr. Cataliades. His contracts are air tight and lifelong. Besides I don't even need the contract anymore now that we're blood bonded. It no longer binds you to me. My blood in you does. The contract now specifies what I am willing to allow others to get from you when I loan you out to them. It is actually now my conditions for you to work for others."

Tears filling her eyes Sookie asked softly, "You planned it that way the entire time, didn't you? That's why you negotiated it in the first place. You wanted terms and conditions for hiring me out to others."

"Indeed."

"Do you really see that far ahead? Could you really know what I was going to do in every situation we've been in?"

"Yes. Your heart makes you easy to predict. You'll do anything you can for those you love. It's why I'm determined to win your affections."
Wiping the tears from her cheeks, Sookie replied, "If you want my heart maybe you shouldn't talk to me so much. 90% of what you say either makes me mad or makes me cry. The other 10% makes you almost lovable, but you're awfully sporadic with that 10% aren't you?"
Shrugging his shoulders, Eric offered, "I am what I am Sookie. You'll love me in spite of it all. You'll not be so upset by my words once you've settled into your place."

Sookie was quiet a moment before she asked, "Are you going to punish me?"

"Do you think I should?"

"I don't want you to."

"That's not what I asked. Do you think you have misbehaved and deserve punishment?"

Sookie thought about it for a moment before replying, "No. I was only trying to look at options. If I had actually found anything to use against you and tried it then I would have misbehaved. You didn't tell me I couldn't ask people about our situation. I haven't broken any rules exactly."

Eric smirked and stated, "That's quite an interpretation, but an acceptable one. You may ask all the questions you like, but only of those supernaturals that I allow you access to. Most of them won't give you answers, but you can ask all the same. However if you do ever actually attempt to sever our connection or leave me you will not enjoy the punishment."

"What will you do?"

Deciding there was no point in hiding the truth he replied, "That will depend on how far you get in your escape attempt. If you try and are caught immediately by your guards I will simply spank you so hard that you won't be able to sit down for days; possibly make you sit at my feet at Fangtasia for a few nights. If you run from me and I have to track you down myself I'll chain you to my side for real. I'll put you in shackles and lead you around with a collar and leash so you know exactly who is Master. If you try to sever our connection through magic or some ally you actually manage to acquire I will rip you out of your home and keep you trapped in my lair for the rest of your mortal life until I turn you. The only times you will leave it will be when I take you somewhere, and, even then, you will wear the collar and leash."

Fear building in her chest at this Sookie forced herself to ask, "So there is a way to sever the blood bond through magic?"

"Maybe. As Octavia said anything is possible. However if there is it is not known. In the 18,000 years of recorded Vampire History there is no documentation of it ever happening or any known process to break a bond such as ours. I doubt it can even be done. The Council seems just as determined as I am to keep us bound and they never fail in achieving what they desire, but your attempt to even try to sever our bond will anger me beyond any attempt to flee."

"Why?"

"Because you are mine. I've never wanted to bind someone to me as I want to bind you and I will not be disappointed … Do not attempt to sever our connection Sookie. Try to run if you wish. But if you try to undo our bond my retribution will be swift and all consuming."

Sookie was quiet a moment before asking, "Is that it?"

"That was all I wished to discuss with you, yes. Now we will exchange blood and I will lie with you."

"I'm not having sex with you!"

"That's not what I said. I said I will lie with you. I enjoy holding you while you sleep and since I wanted Han and Ivan to have a night to be together I will stay and watch over you until I must leave to seek shelter from the dawn. I'll text your Were guards to arrive earlier than they normally do to compensate for this change of plans."

"Are Han and Ivan lovers?"

Nodding his head Eric replied, "Yes, does that bother you?" He knew many humans were prudish about sexuality. He knew Sookie was modest, but if she had prejudices he needed to break down he wanted to know now.

"No. Would I be friends with Lafayette if I was bothered by it? I'm glad. I was pretty sure they were already. I'm happy for them. Their relationship is beautiful."

"So is ours."

A bitter laugh escaping her Sookie replied, "No it's not. Their relationship is based off of mutual respect and affection. Ours isn't."

"I've already told you that I care for you, and I respect you very much, you're the one holding back."

"How can you say that? You don't respect me! And you only care for me as a pet. You've told me yourself you don't love me."

"I don't love you, and I won't. Love is not something I'm capable of or wish to be capable of. I doubt Han and Ivan love each other. They care deeply for one another yes, but love? Not likely. As for respect? You have more of my respect than any human ever has. I think you're intelligent, brave, resourceful, and gifted in a number of ways. Not to mention beautiful. You think outside the box and I like that. You also adjust and learn quickly. Admirable qualities, but you are human and naturally beneath me because of this. When I turn you my regard for you will be even higher, but I will still be your maker and above you. And let's not forget the fact I have a thousand years of living in comparison to your 25. I respect you Sookie, but you cannot and never will be my equal. However if I saw you as only a pet I would never allow you the luxuries or liberties I do now. I've never had a human pet and don't want one. You are my bonded, and I do care for you. You need to learn the difference."

Sookie was quiet a moment before she pressed, "Define care."

"I enjoy you being happy. I enjoy feeling your happiness through our bond. I want you to have the things you want; except your freedom from my rule of course. I will let no one hurt you, and those that do will die by my hand. I do not enjoy seeing you in pain, unless I've caused it through punishment as those times are quite satisfying to me. I like your smile. It makes you even more beautiful and I will endeavor to make you smile often. I like hearing you laugh. It is a pleasing sound. I will not let you work and toil as I see it beneath you. I would prefer you spend your days playing and resting and then spending your nights with me, but you would be miserable that way. Your desire to work keeps me from giving you a life of leisure as I wish to. I care enough for you to shield you from the bitter and hard truths of my world in order to protect your tender heart. I care enough for you to let you remain here in your home instead of bringing you to my lair to live with me as I wish to. I care enough for you to teach you to defend yourself so you can't be hurt. I cared for you enough not to kill your brother despite the fact he was involved in the murder of a vampire in my area and the law states I should put him to death."

Gasping as her hand went to her heart Sookie whispered, "You know about that?"

"Indeed. But he is your brother and you would never forgive me his death. I covered it up and blamed it solely on the girl he was with who had a previous history as a drainer, and since she's dead our laws our satisfied."

"Can't you be put to death for doing that if it's found out?"

Nodding his head Eric replied, "Yes, but it won't be found out. I've already had Pam glamour Lafayette to believe that it was the girl who took Eddie, and I will see to the altering of your brother's memories soon as well. Their memories are the only traces of evidence, and soon it will be gone. I've only put it off this long since I knew you could detect glamour in a human's mind and did not want you getting angry about finding it in your brother's. Now however I expect you to agree with my actions and I will have Pam see to it tomorrow night."

"You can glamour him, but only about that."

"Indeed."

"So you care for me but you don't and won't love me?"

"Correct. Love as I understand it is unconditional. I will go to great lengths to protect you from any and all threats, but I will not lay down my life for you. I will merely ensure that you are never endangered. I will inconvenience myself to make you happy, but I will never truly put your wants or needs above mine."

Shaking her head Sookie replied, "You just said you wanted me to live with you but are letting me stay here."

Smirking Eric answered, "This is a temporary situation. I will allow you to live here for the rest of your human life to keep you happy and content unless you force my hand by doing something foolish and try to escape me. However there will be times over the coming years when I bring you to my lair to stay for days and possibly weeks for my own enjoyment. And of course once you are turned you will live with me for eternity. My turning you is in itself my wishes superseding yours. You don't want to be Vampire, but I wish to turn you. My will again overrides yours. In the end my wants and needs will always come before yours."

"You're spoiled … and selfish."

Laughing Eric replied, "No I'm entitled. There's a difference. I have fought for centuries and earned the right to take what I want."
"What about what I've earned?"

"You've earned the right and privilege to be mine."

"Some privilege."

"You'll see it that way one day." Holding his hand out to her he ordered, "Come here. It is time to share blood."

Sookie stared at his hand for a moment before setting hers in it. "I still think you're a jerk."

Pulling her into his lap he replied, "I know, and you will for some time to come until you accept your place and begin to enjoy being mine. One day you will rejoice in being mine. I can wait until then."

"You'll be waiting a long time," Sookie growled as Eric nuzzled her neck and licked at her pulse.

"We have eternity little one. More than enough time for me to win your heart."

Leaning away from him as she adjusted her legs so she could sit sideways on his lap Sookie asked, "Why are you so determined for me to love you if you don't and won't love me?"

Stroking her hair back, Eric replied, "Love drives you Sookie. Your heart rules you. Love is what makes you strong and binds you to others. I wish you to be bound to me above all others, and that is why I am determined to own your heart. I myself am ruled by my mind and will. I am ruled by logic and strategy. I am influenced by my instincts and desires, but am able to overcome them. My instincts scream at me to make you mine and I used my mind and logic to make it happen. I desire you enough to make sure you can never leave me, and ensured this by using my intellect to outmaneuver you at every turn. We will be a team for eternity. Two halves of the same whole. You will be the heart and do the loving. I will be the mind and keep us a step ahead of the rest. Several steps actually."

She didn't know what to say to that. "Why is half of what you say to me pleasing and the other half terrifying?"

"Because I am both a lover and a killer. I can be good and bad, Sookie. My goodness will be reserved for you, and the evil I'm capable of reserved for those that threaten us."

"If you turn me, and I'm not saying you will since I'm determined to find a way out of this, but if you do will I be like you and Pam? Will I be cold and cruel?"

Kissing her temple Eric replied, "Doubtful. We tend to carry many of our personality traits as humans into our Vampire lives. I have no doubt you will retain your humanity when I turn you. You will always be ruled by your heart, which is why I intend to secure it before I make you Vampire. That way you will always love me."

I have no doubt you will retain your humanity when I turn you.
'That's from one of my dreams! Oh my God! Is he there in them? Is he directing them? Does he know what I dream about?' Shaking her head Sookie looked at Eric suspiciously and said, "I don't want to live forever. I don't think I can."

"I would not turn you if I thought you were incapable of standing the test of time. There will be moments when it is not easy of course, but you will always have me. I will carry you when you find yourself too weary to stand on your own. Those times will eventually pass and you will know joy walking beside me in the night once more. I will always be there for you as your maker, as your friend, as your lover."

Those were the words in her dream verbatim. Gasping in outrage she jumped from his lap and scrambled away from him. "You liar! You lied to me again, you jerk!"

Feeling the shock, horror, and outrage coming from her through the bond Eric shook his head at her and replied, "I swear Sookie. I swear on Godric that you will make it as a Vampire. Most humans are not fit for this life, but you are. You were made for eternity."

Hands clenched at her sides Sookie hissed, "I'm not talking about that, you jerk! I'm talking about my dreams!"

"What about them?"

"You lied to me about them! So did Pam! You told me they would just be sex dreams and she said I direct them!"

"They are and you do."

Shaking her head furiously Sookie cried, "Then how the hell did you know to say that!"

"Say what?"

"What you just said you jerk! About turning me, and us being together, and me being a vampire, and you carrying me when things were hard, and all that crap! You said it in my dream!"

Standing now as well Eric pressed, "What are you talking about?"

"You know, you lying jerk!"


Advancing on her so that he was standing a foot in front of her Eric replied, "I don't and you will explain it to me now. What do you mean I said it before in your dreams?"

Sookie kept her head back to hold Eric's gaze and realized he really didn't know what she was talking about. Curious now she said, "I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to answer it without thinking ok?"

"Sookie you will tell me what you meant about your dreams right now."
"I will, just do this first ok?"

Eric was silent a moment before he finally answered, "Fine. Ask your question."

"Do you ever miss the sun?"

"I remember missing the warmth of it as a newborn. I remember resenting the lost hours of the day at a few centuries old, but now? Now I do not remember the sun's warmth, and I have lived in the night for so long I do not think about walking in the day. Vampires spend just as much time up and about as humans; we just do our living at different times than you."

Gasping in surprise as her hand went over her heart she whispered, "You said that in my dream! Those exact words!"

Getting annoyed now Eric took hold of Sookie's upper arms and pulled her close as he hissed, "Tell me what you mean."

"I've been dreaming about you."

"I know. My blood will make you have sexual dreams of me."

Shaking her head Sookie argued, "No Eric … I mean yes. I do have sexual dreams about you, but sometimes I have different dreams about you."

"What do you mean different?"

"We talk."

Arching a brow Eric asked, "What do you mean talk?"

"We talk. About personal stuff. What you said about me being a vampire and you taking care of me if I got tired of it, and what you said about the sun, well you said those exact words in my dreams. Word for word."

Eric was quiet a moment before taking Sookie's hand and leading her back to the couch. When they were both seated he ordered, "You will tell me of these dreams. Leave nothing out."

She thought about refusing but she was learning that even small things were important now. So many strange things were happening between them and she didn't know what was going on. She couldn't rescind his invitation, Han, Ivan and Quinn had been sent by this Council to guard her, and all kinds of other weirdness. She might not like Eric very much, but at the moment he was the closest thing she had to an ally in the supernatural world. So she told him. She explained about them lying in the field and speaking to each other. She told him about feeling her love for him in the dreams. She told him about being able to feel the connection between them as though it were a living tie binding them to each other. She told him about the mark she had on her chest over her heart in the dreams and how it glowed with his when they made love or touched them. The only thing she left out was him telling her he loved her and feeling his love for her as well. When she got to those points in the story her chest throbbed painfully and a voice in her head told her not to. The voice screamed at her he was not ready to hear that and if she told him it would end badly so she kept quiet about that. But she told him everything else. She told him how she could still feel the sensation of him against her or in her when she woke from those dreams. She explained how they weren't fuzzy or hazy like all her other dreams. Even her sex dreams about him didn't leave her with the intense feelings these ones did. Through it all Eric simply sat there and listened. When she was done she waited silently for him to respond.

Eric sat beside Sookie as he stared at the coffee table. His hands were clasped together as he leaned forward with his arms on his knees. He knew the dreams Sookie had just described to him were important. She was obviously seeing bits and pieces of the future. The question was why? And how?

'The dreams are not in the same setting, but the words are there. The meaning behind them is the same. She is getting visions of the future. Distorted visions, but visions all the same. The question is whether or not this is her own gift, or if someone is sending her these visions? At this point there's no way of knowing.'


Looking at Sookie he said, "You are to tell me whenever you have one of these dreams, but tell no one else. It is possible this is another power of yours that is awakening, or it is possible someone or something is sending you these dreams. In either case you are dreaming of things before they happen. Are you ever able to direct them?"

"What do you mean?"

"Can you direct them? Can you ask questions you wish to ask or do you feel separate in the dreams like a spectator?"

Shaking her head Sookie said, "it's me in the dream. I'm not watching it. I'm living it."

"Then next time see if you can ask your own questions. Ask why you're dreaming of these things. Ask of what's to come. Maybe we can learn what this prophecy business is about."

"Ok."

"And don't tell anyone about this."

Crossing her arms over her chest Sookie sighed, "I'm keeping an awful lot of secrets about what's going on between us lately."

Pulling her into his side as he felt her worry grow Eric replied, "Sookie you already have vampires interested in you for your telepathy. If word spreads that you get visions of the future it will only be worse."

Leaning against him as her weariness began to set in since it was almost 4am Sookie said, "It sucks being the shiny new toy that comes out right before Christmas that all the kids want. Just instead of people standing in line all night to buy me I have vampires ready to scheme and kill to take me. Aren't I lucky?"

Picking her up to cradle her in his lap with her head on his shoulder Eric replied, "No one is going to take you. I've claimed you as mine and mine you will stay."

"Way to make me feel better."

He couldn't help but laugh. He stroked her back for a few moments before saying, "Time to exchange."

Lifting her head from his shoulder Sookie asked, "Will you make sure to do it separately? I'm too tired to go through anything else tonight."

"Very well. I will take from you now and then I'll carry you upstairs and you can take from me there. That should ensure nothing happens."

"And you won't try anything while I'm trying to go to sleep? We're just going to lay there?"

Nodding his head Eric replied, "I'll be good. I promise."

"More like biding your time and waiting to strike, but I'll take it."

Smirking Eric watched as Sookie moved her hair so he could get to her neck. Leaning down he nuzzled her soft skin and whispered, "Soon we will both be tired of the wait little one." He didn't give her time to respond as he sank his fangs into her neck to drink her delicious blood. He was pleased as the beloved sensation of passion and power swept through him. Gone was the darkness and taint of her emotions concerning Bill that had overridden her essence at the hotel.

'So good, my faery Princess … she tastes so good.'


Sitting in his lap Sookie whimpered as Eric's arms tightened around her to press her closer to him. She felt the electric charge shoot through her again as his fangs pierced her flesh. More and more she was coming to love the feeling of him feeding on her. It was a pleasure in its own right. Without thinking her hands found their way to his hair and she threaded them through his golden mane to hold him closer to her. "Eric," she moaned softly.

He could feel the desire in her as it beat in him as well. He knew that each time they exchanged blood together it bound them closer together. Soon she would crave these moments as much as he did, and he looked forward to that time. When he knew he couldn't take anymore Eric pulled back to lick his bite wound closed. Sookie's eyes were closed and she was breathing deeply as she shuddered in his arms. He kissed his way up her neck to claim her lips. Forcing his tongue inside as he pulled her against his chest he thought, 'She will yield to me soon. I will be buried inside her soon.'

Sookie wrapped her arms around his neck and gave herself over to his embrace. She was too tired to remember all the reasons she shouldn't be kissing him. She could feel his cold hard body against her warm one and reveled in the shiver that raced through her as his mouth slanted over hers again and again. 'He always tastes so good,' she mused as her tongue twirled around his fangs.

When he knew she needed air Eric pulled back with one last nip to her lips and ordered, "Time for bed little one."

As Eric picked her up and carried her towards the stairs Sookie buried her head in his neck and whispered, "Usually I have to fight you off. Losing the will to fight so soon Viking?"

Laughing softly as he made his way up the steps Eric replied, "Never … however, dawn is not far away. I haven't the time to fully enjoy and learn the feel of your body, nor do you have the energy. When I claim you for the first time we will have the entire night to take pleasure in each other. There will be time for quickies after that."
"You sound so sure that I'll give in."
"You will. You cannot deny the call of your body for mine for much longer. I can be patient until you are ready to yield to me." Kicking open her bedroom door he took in the new light blue wood furniture and remarked, "You have such girly taste. As we live together over the centuries and move from place to place I will choose our furniture."
When he set her on her feet so he could remove his boots Sookie pulled back her comforter and replied, "Don't bet on it. Women always decorate the home. Men are lucky if they get one room in the house for themselves. If we do end up living together I'll decorate everything in pink and yellow flowers and make you sleep on a bed with purple sheets. I see cherubs coming your way too!"
Eric laughed as he moved to crawl under the covers with Sookie after stripping down to his boxers. When they were sitting on the bed with his back to the headboard and her looking at him expectantly he took the knife he'd taken from his pants pocket and sliced at his neck. He was pleased when she moved forward to drink from him without having to be told to. Burying a hand into her hair he wrapped the other around her waist to pull her into his lap and hold her against him as he put the knife on the nightstand. He could feel her drinking deeply, and growled in pleasure at the sensation.
Sookie moaned against Eric's neck as she took his blood into her. The same wild and fiery taste exploded in her mouth as she drank from him. It didn't matter that his blood was cold. It was always hot in her mouth. She could taste the power of him in his blood. She could feel her heart beat faster as her chest pulsed and throbbed. Her womanhood grew moist and she shifted against him as she felt his erection pressing into her bottom. The end came all too soon as Eric pushed her back, but she refused to ask for more.
"That's enough," Eric commanded softly as he drew Sookie back from his neck and willed the wound to close. He let her lick the last few drops from his skin before moving them to lie down on the bed beneath the covers. He could feel that her body was heated and primed and knew it would be hard for her to fall asleep in that condition. So despite his own heavy arousal he sent her waves of calm to cool her off.
Sookie felt her intense desire abate quickly, and looked over her shoulder at Eric to ask, "You doing that?"
"Yes. Or would you prefer to lie here in my arms all hot and bothered. I wouldn't mind. I enjoy the scent of your arousal."
As her arousal had died down Sookie could feel sleepiness calling to her. Releasing a yawn she faced forward and snuggled into her pillow as she replied, "No … this is fine."
He could feel unconsciousness already pulling at her. Wrapping an arm around her waist he pulled her back to his chest and nuzzled her hair as he fit her body into the curve of his much larger one. "Go to sleep little one. You have your lessons tomorrow."
Already dozing off Sookie whispered, "Night Eric."
Kissing her temple he replied, "Good night my Sookie." She was sound asleep within seconds. He was surprised how much he enjoyed holding her while she slept. Normally he was not one for lying idle and doing nothing, but he found true enjoyment in holding Sookie in his arms. Taking in the fresh scent of her he thought, 'Soon she will fall asleep in my arms from exhaustion due to our mating. Not because she's had a trying night … very soon.'
Eric stayed until he knew he had to leave to head for Shreveport so he could make it to his lair before the sun rose. Before he left he sent a text to Sookie's Were guards to head her way. He knew it would take them about 15 minutes to get there but he wasn't worried about leaving Sookie alone as he knew she was still sound asleep and couldn't hurt herself, and the barrier would protect her perfectly. 

Placing a final kiss on her brow he leapt out her window and took to the sky. It had been a long night and the coming ones didn't look promising since Eric knew Bill was returning before Friday.



3 comments:

  1. i'm really loving the pictures that are being added to some chapters. the descriptions were always really well written but the pics are a nice touch. :-)

    i am still so glad you have a new home to post this on. at the risk of sounding a tad stalker like, i am obsessed with the way you write certain things. the emotion of a scene really comes through such as the scene at fangtasia where they up on the ceiling....so well written.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Ugh Quinn and the Babe crap. Glad he's letteing her have some time but we know he'll go right back to being an arsehole soon enough. LOL Glad Lala and Tara are there for her. Unfortunately she would have gotten involved with the vamp world, Scumbill or not, thanks to Hadley and her big mouth. Sigh....there's the obnoxious viking we know. ""his steady pursuit of her love for himself"" He is really delusional at this point. Glad Sookie got time with her friends without interference. The gift bags were funny. hmmm Octavia let a few things out of the bag. You are def in the middle of something girlie. Ugh for him being an arse about Mr C. I agree with the 90% thing at this point. Arse I say....ask only the people I say you can talk to cause they know nothing and will give you no real answers. He's digging himself and the council into a bigger Hating hole by the second. If Sookie has prejudices???? Wow Pot meet kettle moment. He has NO clue about true respect. At this point, he has no hope for her forgiving him for all he's done so far, regardless of the Jason thing. Sookie had it right... He spoiled, selfish and he has an entitlement complex. A Team for eternity???? yeah right. Using the blood and the bonding is not yielding, its wearing her defenses down. He has so much to learn about her.
    "

    ReplyDelete



  3. great chapter jammed pack full of getten to know yahs... I agree Quinn needs to stop calling her BABE , its driven me insane.... Kristie

    oops
    "Once they were loaded in their cars with Han and Ivan's coffins safely stored in the Denali Sookie let Thor lay in" you need a semi colon between Denali and Sookie

    2-"but she couldn't help but feel jealous as she thought about any other woman touch him or him touching them" touch s/b touching "other woman touching him"

    ReplyDelete