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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chapter 50 ~ River of D'Nile

Eric held Sookie in his arms, gently stroking her blond waterfall of hair and murmuring words of encouragement to her. Over and over, he promised her he would protect her, that he would keep her and their son safe. The hesitation and worry she had seen in Eric's eyes as he spoke of Sargon terrified her, and she knew that anyone her Viking saw as a true threat was beyond dangerous. She had never seen Eric afraid of anyone or anything. He had always been invincible. She would not have believed he HAD a fear. He was always in control, always commanding—and yet, here was the name of an enemy that made him feel vulnerable, for her, for the baby, for their future together. Her fear ratcheted up from the uneasy pit of her stomach, working its way inexorably up till it closed her throat making it a struggle to breathe. She could not quell the tremble in her body.

Eric could feel all of Sookie's emotions. He hated her terror. As his bonded and mate, she should never be afraid like this. He wanted to shelter her from the world, and he suddenly understood what it must have been like for Compton trying to shield his fragile human girlfriend. At first, Eric had thought Bill a fool for the constant protective posturing, for preventing Sookie from protecting herself and keeping her from being the warrior she could be if she needed to be. He'd thought Bill a fool for blatantly endangering himself for her again and again, but now … now Eric understood the sentiment exactly.

The thought of the dangers and cruelties of the world touching his Sookie roused the beast in him. At first he'd wanted to make her a warrior like himself, but now the mere notion horrified him. Instead, the animal in him wanted to lock her away and savagely defend what was his. To walk the perimeters of their home, marking his territory. It went beyond reason. He wanted no one to hear her voice, to see the soft smile that lit her face, to know her laughter, to touch her. He would kill anyone that touched her. He would tear their limbs from their bodies and drink their blood and pull out their organs with his hands and bite and rend and…. Calm, he had to calm the beast. He could not and would not lock her away. To do so would break her loving, gentle spirit, and he would not allow her to be broken.

"I will protect you, my Sookie. As long as I stand, I will let no one harm you, and I am not easy to knock down." His gaze was warm as he cupped her chin to pull her eyes to him.

Her laughter did not reach her eyes. "You're too big to knock down."

"You like my size."

Now she laughed heartily, color flooding her cheeks as she slapped his arm playfully. "Eric!" she chided. He looked wide eyed with feigned surprise and she laughed again. His smile was contagious. "You used to intimidate the hell out of me. You're so much taller and so much bigger than me. But I've learned to appreciate just those features. They make me feel protected." Her warm lips pressed against the column of his neck. The moment of diversion ended as Sookie asked, "What happens now?"

"Now we plan. Running is not an option; it is unsafe. I cannot protect you from Sargon on my own. We will need the forces of the supernatural world. So I'll begin amassing an army and increasing the levels of protection around you. You will be secure, Sookie."

"What if you can't? What if nothing works? What if Sargon—"

"Lover, stop. Let me worry about the what-ifs. All you need to focus on is staying calm and healthy. This is not my first war, nor will it be my last. I know what needs to be done, and I will do it. Follow my orders when I give them, and we'll be fine."

Sookie shook her head. Intuitively, she recognized that her continued passivity would be impossible. She had acquiesced to Eric in a thousand different ways since that evening when Bill disappeared. She didn't want to lose track of who she was, of what she was capable of. She hadn't given up—and gained so much—to sit back and let him now handle everything. She had to be a part. This wasn't Eric's war, it was theirs.

As if sensing her thoughts, Eric added firmly, "You will not be involved."

"Eric, I am involved," she protested. "We're together now. This is our life. This is our child, and this is our future. Whether you like it or not, I'm involved. I need to know what's going on. I need to know where you're going to be taking us, what your plans are to protect us, and … I just need to know, Eric."

He considered her words. Strategy had always been a silent companion, he was uncomfortable with sharing intent. It had always proven his instincts correct to disseminate little of his plans as if putting them into words would hazard his position. Finally, he nodded, offering a compromise. "Very well. I will tell what I can, but you must accept the fact that I will keep some things from you. You cannot know of all I will do to keep us safe, to keep our child safe, and to keep the supernatural world safe."

"As long as you only keep things from me because you have to, not because you want to in order to make things easier for you. Not so you can handle me better."

"Fair enough."

"So what's the plan?"

Shifting Sookie in his lap so that she was sitting bridal style, Eric entwined his hand with hers atop her belly and said, "First, Sophie-Anne. The Council will order her before them soon to strip her of her title and exile her from the country. She must be gone before I can begin preparations to build my army. She should be gone in a few days. After that, I will have all beings capable of wielding magic brought before me. Not only will they begin researching how to save your brother, but they will create an amulet for you that will conceal your pregnancy from human eyes."

"Why are you going to do that?"

"It's preemptory, Sookie. I do not wish the Fellowship to learn of my son you carry until absolutely necessary. However tightly the spell can be woven, is time on our side to bring our baby to full term without worry of the Fellowship carrying out hate attacks."

"That's pretty smart, but I thought you said you already had some plans to get rid of the Fellowship terrorist cells?"

He stroked long fingers over her flat stomach. "I do, but those fall under the realm of 'you can't know'. The majority of the Fellowship devotees are harmless. They will need monitoring, but it is the cells I'm worried about, and my plans for them are not for you to know. I'm working from the basic plan the Council set forth, but with a few of my own modifications."

"So you don't intend to destroy the entire Fellowship?"

"No. That would be foolish. Not all humans will be favorable to vampires and other supernaturals. If the Fellowship were destroyed, and no longer served as a gathering point for these humans, another organization would rise up to replace it. In such situations, the second organization is always more aggressive and hostile than the first. It is best to keep the Fellowship. We know who they are, and can monitor them appropriately."

"That's really smart. I'm impressed, I never would have thought of that."

His lips brushed against the shell of her ear sending a shiver throughout her body. "You would not. You do not see the world as I do. You do not search out areas for weakness and strength, and view everyone as a potential enemy. You have not trained yourself to always search for danger. You see the world with fresh and loving eyes. I like that about you. I will think of war tactics, and you think of everything else."

"What about my friends, Eric?"

"They will remain here until Sophie-Anne and her children are expelled from the country. After that, I will send them back to their respective homes and have a witch erect barriers to protect them while inside. I will also arrange for suitable guards to watch over them."

"They're going to be so mad at me for all of this. I could see in Tara's mind how her first reaction was that this was my fault. She reconsidered moments later and told herself it wasn't, but her first response was just a wave of raw anger and resentment."

Eric growled, "I have always maintained that the people you insist on surrounding yourself with are idiots and unworthy of your attentions. Your friend simply proves my prior assessment. I understand she cared for your brother, but certainly no more than you. What happened is no fault of yours or Jason's. It is Sophie-Anne's fault for believing you weak, me foolish, and herself immune, and if there is any more blame to place, it surely must fall on my shoulders. I should have anticipated such action from her. You are my bonded and it was my duty to protect you, and I failed. I have lived in this world for many centuries dealing with creatures like Sophie-Anne; I should have predicted this."

Sookie was stung by the unfairness of his words. "Oh Eric! No! I don't blame you, and you shouldn't blame yourself. It wasn't your fault. Like you said, it was Sophie-Anne's fault for being a sore loser."

"I am glad you feel this way, but I still believe that I could have averted this, and, if I cannot find a way to sever your brother's blood bond, I will be burdened by my failure for the rest of my life. I knew one day you would lose him, and it would hurt you, but you should never have had to bear witness to him like that."

She took a steadying breath. "We'll try to save him. I don't blame you, and I don't want you to blame yourself. I know I screamed at you that night, but that was my emotions getting the best of me. I didn't mean any of it."

"Your heart is too kind, my Sookie."

"You like my soft heart."

Smirking, Eric confirmed, "As long as it is always mine."

He saw dark emotion welling behind her smile. "People are going to die."

"Yes, Sookie, they are. War always means death."

Sookie's voice was tremulous. "They're going to die for all the wrong reasons. Rather than working out differences peacefully, they're going to die for the feeling of self righteousness. I don't want anyone to die. I don't want there to be bloodshed."

Wrapping his arms around her tightly, Eric sent her calm and comfort through the bond. "I can't promise you that, Sookie. I can only promise to shield you as much as I possibly can. I do not want there to be bloody battles around you. You weren't meant for bloodshed. I do not want a war with humanity, but I will not run if they come. If our survival means I must deal death to our enemies, then I shall do it."

"I've never seen a war."

"You will see little of this one. "

"I thought you wanted me to be Ninja-Sookie?"

Eric laughed, "No. I admit at first I envisioned you being my child and fighting back to back with me, but now I find the idea distasteful. You will continue your lessons with Ken, for as long as your pregnancy allows, of course, and I want you to work daily with whomever Niall sends to teach you to master your faery magic."

"He said I have two cousins that live in Shreveport, and that he'd have them call you tomorrow to set up a schedule."

"Good. I'll tell them they will come every day to help you. Knowing how to wield your faery magic could save your life one day."

"Or keep me away from Sargon." Sookie felt Eric stiffen. "He might be able to best you, couldn't he?"

His brow drew down in dark speculation, his voice was distant. "Yes, Sookie, he might. If he is truly alive, then he is the oldest vampire in existence, and by far the most powerful. If he has been lying in wait all this time, there is no knowing how much power he has amassed or what resources he has at his disposal. Sargon is the ultimate danger. He is the stuff of legends to vampires and all supernaturals. He is the only thing any of us have ever truly feared. As you humans fear your boogeyman, he is ours. There can be no mistakes or leniency in the measures we take to protect ourselves from him. There can be no hesitancy on either of our parts to defend ourselves."

"Eric, if he gets me … it means …." Her words trailed off, fear lingering behind in their absence.

Yes, he understood. Sending her all the strength he could through the bond, Eric assured, "I am immune to the sun and silver, Sookie. I have my father's sword that can never be knocked from my hand, and serves to increase my strength and power. I am not new to a life of war and hardship. I was not an easy man to kill before we bonded, and now I am nearly invincible. The One has given us both the tools and means we need to defeat Sargon. We were born to defeat him. Fate is on our side. It will not be easy, but it can and will be done."

She pulled back and looked into his eyes. In the dim light, Eric's eyes were hard as granite and the color of the stone itself. If Sargon did get to her, it meant her Eric, the man she loved so much, was dead. Her stomach lurched at the idea of him being taken from her. She had not chosen this life with him. She had not come to him freely, but she had found love with him. He was far from perfect, and she was determined to get him to see that they were equals, but, beyond all this, she loved him.

There would be time to sort out the rest later. Right now, she needed to feel him. She needed him to stop time for just a little while, to carve out a moment of tenderness between them. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she tugged his face to hers, pressing her lips to his. "Eric," she whispered, "I need you."

Eric knew it wasn't the sex she wanted but the intimacy she ached for, she needed to feel connected to him, the same way he needed to experience her. She wanted his body inside of hers. She wanted to feel surrounded by him. They both needed an altered reality, a universe onto themselves, to go away from the nightmare their lives had become. They need the escape, a time to recharge and feel comfort in strength in the other's touch so they could reemerge to take on the world again.

He stood, swinging her up in his arms, and put on a burst of speed to have them upstairs and in their bedroom—no longer hers, but theirs. Girly furniture and all. Their clothes melted away as their hands scrambled over the other's to rid themselves of the troublesome fabric barriers separating them. Sookie's breath was hot and fast as it ghosted over his chest, warming his cool skin. Through sheer force of will, he steeled his fangs to run tenderly along the delicate curve of her shoulder when he wanted—and needed to bite. The moment they were both naked, he picked her up and settled her on the bed. Their mouths were ungentle, hungry and devouring, as he settled between her legs.

His lips never lifted from hers as he braced himself above her on the bed before reaching between their bodies to stroke her to readiness. His fingers found her moist, and he sought out her clit to build her desire for him. This first joining would be hard and fast. It was about assurance and connection. Tender touches and soft words would come after. Right now, she needed him to take her to a place away from the hysteria and madness, to take him inside herself so she could forget. Eric needed to lose himself inside her body, needing her to lose herself as he claimed her.

They kissed feverishly. She probed for his tongue, swirling hers into his mouth and drawing him into hers to suck it fiercely. Desire stabbed at his groin. He nipped her bottom lip and sucked it between his teeth as his fingers lightly sawed back and forth between her molten lips, drawing up to the hood of her pearl, circling, pulling, tugging, and then dipping down again. Tearing her mouth away, she arched against his hand, pressing her body into his as her arms and legs drew up to hug tightly around him, her grip desperate, his possessive.

"Eric … please ….!"

Giving a lingering caress to her pearl, he took hold of his arousal and positioned it at her hot entrance. His tip breached her lips and he quickly slid his arm under her to raise her hips. She heard him groan and caught his eyes, glittering with desire, traveling over their joined bodies.

"Look at us, Sookie. Look at how we fit."

She followed his eyes to where they looked down the length of her body, to where the soft brush of their hair met, gold on gold, looking beyond at where his manhood lodged thickly between her thighs. She closed her eyes for a moment, drowning in an undertow of lust. Pleading eyes met his and he growled. "No one will take you from me! You are mine!"

He pushed in. The thick girth of his cock filled her tightly, her muscles tensing around him so completely that when he was inside her she felt like they were truly one. There was no him, and there was no her, there was only them. He penetrated her in a hot rush, his erection impaling her to her deepest depth. Time disappeared, sensation replaced thought.

Burying his face into her neck he inhaled the heady, intoxicating aroma of his sweet Sookie. He grew impossibly longer, thicker. Eric pulled his hips back and thrust back into her in one long, smooth stroke. They both groaned. He felt Sookie's nails claw into his back as he began to create a relentless, driving rhythm. His hand found her breast and his thumb rasped against her taut nipple over and over again, shooting sparking pleasure across their bond. It was a wild, intense consummation and the world narrowed to the sizzling contact of their bodies and the shrieks of pleasure that accompanied the sounds of heavy slapping flesh. Neither of them lasted long and, as the savagery of Sookie's orgasm spiked inside her, her walls tightened around his cock, milking Eric's orgasm from him with a fevered shout of her name from his parched throat. He buried himself deep inside her as his climax exploded in 4, then 5, then 6 violent ejaculations as he filled her with his seed. And then his teeth were sinking into her shoulder as he began to drink her addictive blood.

In the aftermath, as Eric drank from her, Sookie clung to him, stroking his head, tears pooling in her eyes as awareness stole her lovely moment. She could not lose this man she had never dreamed she could love this much. She could not lose his son—their son—growing inside her. Outside forces threatened everything they'd built together, were still building, and she could not let them be taken away. As her Viking fed from her, she whispered, "You can't leave me, Eric. You can't leave me alone. I don't know how things are going to work out between us, we both still have so much to learn, but I can't lose you. You can't leave me."

Eric took in only another small mouthful of his mate's blood before pulling back, licking the wound on her neck until it closed. He had taken less than half of what he normally drank, but, since she was pregnant, he was hesitant to take even that. He made a mental note to call Dr. Ludwig as soon as possible to get the particulars of Sookie's condition and what was necessary to see to her health. "I'm not going anywhere, lover," he said hoarsely. "I've worked too hard, and put far too much effort into making you mine to let anyone take you from me. I bound you to me for eternity, and I mean to have you for eternity."


"I promise."

Sookie closed her eyes and sighed as Eric began to nuzzle her neck. "As much as I want to stay in bed up here with you, we should probably go back downstairs. I need to finish talking to my friends. Tara is really upset, and you definitely have a lot to do."

He pushed her back onto the mattress as she started to rise, kissing the delicate hollow of her throat, his tongue dipping into it and tracing a cool path across her shoulders. Her body betrayed her traitorously and she shivered, a low moan escaping through her tightly clamped teeth. Okay, so maybe leaving wasn't such a good idea after all. He had a way of convincing her that could not be beat.

"The world will be there waiting for us, lover. It and the problems it represents for us aren't going anywhere. In all my long years, I have learned to step back from time to time to regroup. Your heart is still hurting, and you are still overwhelmed from tonight's revelations. We both need this time together. It's okay to be selfish, Sookie. Rushing out into the world with frayed nerves will help no one. We will rejoin the others when we are ready."

"I'm afraid to go back out there."

"I'll be with you. You never need to fear when I am with you."

Eric continued to playfully nibble her neck and shoulders. Her hands stroked up her Viking's back as he continued to lavish attention on her neck and shoulders. "Eric, do you ever wish you could go back? Do you ever wish you could do things over?"

"I would not trade having you in my life for anything. Even if you do argue too much, refuse to let me buy you gifts, and won't let me kill Compton."

Her laughter was unabashed and delighted. "You know that's not what I meant. Are there ever things in life you wish you could undo?"

Pulling back to look in her eyes, Eric replied, "I never allow myself to think like that, and you should not either. Thinking of the 'what ifs' in life will chip away at your spirit. The 'what could have beens' can drive you insane, and destroy you in stagnation. Then you are leading a life based wholly on retrospect and miss what's happening now. I never let myself travel down that path, and I don't want you to either. That path led Godric to his end, and I will not allow you to suffer such a fate. You will never leave me, Sookie."

"It's just that sometimes I think if I had been faster, or smarter, or more aware, I could have saved my Gran, or Jason. If I hadn't been so determined to stay out of everyone else's head I could have heard Rene and saved Maudette and Dawn and Gran. I could have—"

"Sookie, you will stop this. It is not your job to make all the evils of the world go away or right all wrongs. No one and nothing can do that. The One, the most powerful being in existence, sees the problems of this world, and yet even this being cannot simply snap it's fingers and set things right. Mistakes, losses, and sacrifices are a natural part of life. You cannot stop them from happening. Dwelling on what can't be changed will only make you mourn losses even more. Do not do this."

Sookie held her Viking's gaze for several moments. She could feel him sending her the warmth of his affections, and the strength of his resolve to comfort her. How she adored this man! Reaching up to cup his face in her hands, she traced her thumbs over his full lips. "Six months ago I despised you, and now I can't imagine being without you. I think you cast a spell on me."

Chuckling, Eric kissed her fingers. "You're the one casting a spell. I've walked this world for over a thousand years and no one has ever bewitched me like you. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I have thought of little else. You filled my thoughts and haunted me. Every night I rose, you were my first thought, and every day when I died, you were my last. You distracted me, and I have never known distraction. You took away my control, and robbed me of my logic. I had to have you at any cost. I am the one under a spell."

"We're not always going to agree, Eric. I still don't think you have the right to treat me the way you do sometimes. I don't think it's fair that we're not equals. We should be partners. Not master and … whatever I am to you," she fretted, looking away from him, eyes suddenly heavy with disappointment.

Eric moved to roll them on their side, tangling his legs with hers as he drew Sookie's chin up, forcing her eyes to meet his. "We are mates, little one. You are my bonded and eternal companion, but you will never be my equal. I will always guide us and make the big decisions, my Sookie. I will listen to your input, and take your wants and needs into account, but the final word will always be mine. I lead, you follow. You belong to me. I am the one that holds ownership. That is our relationship."

When would he understand that they were equals, just with different strengths? Stroking her fingers over the marking on his chest, Sookie resisted his complacency. "I don't see it that way. I may belong to you, but, to me, these marks make you mine just as much. We should be equals."

"We are not."

She sat up with a huff, grabbing a pillow and hugging it to her naked chest, looking down at him in stark challenge. "If you don't see me as an equal, that means you see me as an object or as a pet, and I don't want to be either of those. I'm better than that, Eric."

Eric's face was clearly annoyed. "Sookie, we have discussed this," he argued. "You are not an object or pet. I admit to seeing you as such in the beginning, but I have made it quite clear my views have changed. Just because you are not, and cannot be, my equal, does not mean you don't hold great value to me."

"Eric, 'value' sounds like asset," she winced. His mouth fell open to reply and she held up a hand to stop him. "If you don't see me as an equal that's all I can be to you. I know you care about me. I know you think I'm smart, but until you admit we're partners in this, it makes me less than what I am."

He reached out to quickly dislodge her pillow and tossed it aside, pulling her back down into his embrace. "What you are is my Sookie. You are my woman. My mate, my companion, the mother of my child. You are my greatest strength, and my greatest weakness. The only way to truly hurt me, is to hurt you. You are my future as I am yours. Where I am, you are. I would take on the world, I will take on the world, to keep you safe, and to keep you mine."

"I don't think it is fair that your word is always final," she said sullenly.

"And I have told you time and again that little between us is fair. Your opinion holds sway over me, Sookie. We've established this, but, in the end, I will always do what I believe to be best for the both of us."

"But, Eric, I—"

Rolling her beneath him, Eric interrupted, "Do you know why I will never let you go? Why I will never let anyone take you?"

Glaring up at him as annoyance continued to chafe her, Sookie goaded, "Because you're selfish?"

Smirking, Eric refused to rise to her bait. "It's because you are the most wonderful, intriguing, and worthy woman in the world. I have known goddesses, fairies, angels … some of the most sought after women in all of time, and none of them compare to you. I will not let you go, will not let you be taken from me, because I cannot go back to life without you."

Sookie held his gaze, eyes widening. "Eric, I— "

"You have changed me. Only Godric has ever changed me in any significant way, and nowhere near as deeply as you. I think and act in ways I never did before meeting you. Sometimes I feel outside of myself but I acknowledge I am a willing participant in this remaking of me for your sake alone."

"I don't understand."

"All those months ago, I told you that you were something to be won, and I was right. Your life and free will I took from you, but your heart? It needed to be won, because that is the true prize. Your love has made me stronger than I could have ever hoped to be. Your love forces me to do acts of kindness I would otherwise never engage in. I am more patient. I am more reflective. I do things simply to please you, because the thought of losing your love causes me fear. I will defy vampire and Council law to try and save your brother. I will interfere in the bond between Maker and child. I spare humans I would have otherwise killed. I do all this to keep your love for myself."

She struggled against resignation. Holding his gaze, she asked, "If my love means so much to you, if it makes you so strong, why won't you love me?"

"I don't love. I own. I possess. I control. However, I hold affection for you. I care for you above all others, even Pam, but love? It's not something I'm capable of."

"I think you love me. Just like you did Godric. I think you love me, but are afraid to admit it."

Eric was silent in appraisal. He saw the banked intensity in her gaze. There was no uncertainty there, just the conviction he was wrong and a fool. He felt unnerved. It was a weakness he would not allow. He'd begun questioning many of his long standing beliefs since meeting his Sookie, and he'd begun to realize that his life had been reduced to a tedious and repetitive existence over the last four or five centuries. Sookie had brought him back to life, and it was part of the reason he would not, could not, give her up. 'But love? Can I even be capable of love? I do not think so. Love is unconditional, and that is not in me. I want her above all things, but my happiness and needs will always supersede hers.'

Shaking his head, Eric denied, "I do not love you. I am incapable of such a thing. Love, as I understand it, is unconditional. My desire and need for you will never permit me to let you go, even if it were in your best interest. I want you to be happy, but it will have to be with me."

His face was predatory. "I will do whatever I must to keep you with me, even if it means putting you in chains."

"I so did not need to hear that, Eric," she stiffened, pushing back against his chest. "You said you'd die for me."

She grabbed the pillow he'd tossed minutes before and re-fluffed it before sliding it under her head.

"As I said, I will not let you go. There is only one way anyone will ever take you from me, and it will be over my finally dead remains."

"So you'll die for me, you'll take on the vampire world and the Council to make me happy, you'll fight all of humanity and the strongest most powerful vampire sorcerer the world has ever seen to keep me safe, but you don't love me?"she asked. 'The absurdity of this stance surely has to get through that thick skull,' she thought with no small amount of frustration.

"In a nutshell, as you humans would say."

She shook her head, biting back a knowing smile as she fought to keep her voice flat. "Have you ever been to Egypt, Viking?"

Eric had no idea why she would ask such a question seemingly out of nowhere. "Yes. Many times. Why?"

"Did you have fun floating down that huge river D'Nile? 'Cause you're having quite the trip now."

Eric scowled. "I am not the one in denial, you are. I am fully aware of where we both stand in this relationship. You are the one allowing your fantasies to delude you. I do not love, but if it makes you feel better to believe I am capable of such an emotion, I will not stop you. I have already given you permission to believe I belong to you due to our markings, and if it furthers your happiness you may believe I love you as well. Neither are true, but if denial makes you feel better, float down your own river and have fun."

Sookie giggled. 'He so loves me. He's just being a big baby and won't admit it. He needs more time, and considering everything going on, I probably shouldn't push him on it right now. I'll give him some more time to accept the fact he is head over heels in love with me.'

Stroking his broad, muscled chest now, she pouted, "You're being mean to me … make love to me so I'll feel better."

"Finally, something we can both agree on." His voice had lowered, thickened with lust as he bent to take her mouth.

He kissed her, slowly deepening the kiss, his tongue moving against the seam of her lips forcing them apart to admit him. The taste and smell of her once again filling his mouth and nose as he pressed his arousal hard against her folds. "You make me burn, Sookie. You are the most beautiful woman in the world to me. None compare to you."


Trailing feather light kisses along her shoulder as their hips rocked together, Eric exulted, "Your body is ripe and wanton, full of hills and curves …."

Sookie giggled.

He looked at her in mock sternness and then grinned wolfishly. "I have to explore this uncharted territory. There could be buried treasure here," he said as his fingers ran down to lightly tease her vulva. "And there's definitely gold to be plundered in these hills," he assured as his hand cupped one of her breasts, kneading her nipple.

He watched her gasp of pleasure and acknowledged, "You have no idea what that does to me when I hear that from your gorgeous lips."

His hand began to map out the curve of her body, charting it with his fingers running down the length of her, probing and caressing as she melted against him.

A powerful wave of tantalizing lust and need came barreling across the bond as he opened his end fully. Sookie moaned, "I feel a little better," she said restlessly, clutching at his shoulder. "Keep going," she urged.

Eric grinned. Nuzzling her cheek, his voice was warm and rumbling. "I love to run my tongue along your neck, feeling the throb of your pulse beneath it. Hearing you moan."

His tongue slid down her neck, dipping into her throat. His teeth nibbled softly at her shoulders. She writhed against him, pushing her shoulder against his mouth.

She drew her legs up tightly against him, pressing against his hips to lock over hers, his arousal massive and stretched to the point of pain. He had to have her soon.

"Oh God … keep going, my Viking."

He scraped his fangs along the delicate and sensitive pulse of her neck, the area that excited him so much, and yet worried him with its vulnerability to his enemies. He swore that he would be the only one to ever be close enough to bite into her soft skin, and it would always be with the intent of giving pleasure. Caressing her body softly with his calloused, battle worn hands he began to kiss and lick his way down her succulent body. "Below is the soft rise of your breasts. Two of my favorite things."

His tongue ran between the fullness of her breasts, their seductive heat surging between the wetness of his mouth. His broad hand cupped one and flicked its nipple. He could smell Sookie's arousal pooling between her thighs. His eyes were dark and carnal above hers. "I love circling your nipple before taking one into my mouth, running my tongue against its hard peak."

His tongue was coarse against her. Her nipples hardening in response, maddening his senses. "And then it's all I can do not to reach for your other breast, rubbing my thumb over its nipple." His hand tightened: squeezing, cupping, kneading.

Sookie was trembling beneath him, her body writhing responsively to his words and touch, her hunger spiraling upwards. "Oh God, Eric, the things you say to me!"

Eric could feel her rising pleasure and need through the bond. He reveled in the emotions he could evoke in his bonded. "You say you don't want me to own you, but every time I'm near you, you only pull me closer …." He leaned into her ear. "I crave you, Sookie. I can't get enough of you."

She lunged at his hair, grabbing fistfuls as her fingers clawed into his scalp, pulling him down close to her face.



He kissed her, his mouth closing over hers heatedly, stealing her breath, his tongue sweeping into her mouth to slide against hers, pushing, taunting, prodding. He spoke so close to her mouth, his lips brushed hers. "You make me feral, Sookie. I want to fuck you and bite you and rub myself all over you."

He raked his teeth over the hardness of her nipple, his mouth sucking deep, hard, rasping the aching flesh, twisting, pulling it deep into his mouth. Her body arched hard against him like a bow. His hand glided to her other breast, kneading the nipple between his thumb and forefinger, pinching it while his mouth worked feverishly against the other.

"God," she whispered, her toes curling convulsively. Her heartbeat pulsated inside her chest, her mouth, her womb. His words created a rabid frenzy inside her and her body moved in an answering undulation. She was quickly moving past the point of coherent thought. 'My God, what this man does to me!'

"I feel your body's arousal. I feel your need and desire for me. Your arousal fills my head and it's all I can do not to take you savagely. The beast in me wants to mark you, claim you, take you in all ways, but the man in me wants to worship you."

His tongue tickled the soft shell of her ear and he whispered against it, "Every time I inhale to drink in your intoxicating scent I want you beyond thought. Every time I am near you, I feel a thousand years of control threatened."

Sookie's eyes were filled with longing. "Eric, please … oh God please! I want you inside me!"

Eric felt the surge of pure male satisfaction; he loved to hear his Sookie beg for him, he wanted her out of control. He pursued her down into her wildest fantasies. "Feel this, Sookie." He took her hand and moved between them to place it on his cock. "I am rock hard for you. YOU do this to me. I am a Viking, powerful, deadly, master of my realm, my älskade, but with you, when we are together like this, it's you that has the power over me. I crave you, I crave your body, I crave fucking you."

Enough! Too much! Her mind slipped into sensory overload.

"Eric! NOW! You made it up to me! Now come inside me!"

His grin was positively bestial as he rose languidly from her breasts to shake his head at her. Eric laughed, "Oh no, little Sookie. I'm far from through. You wanted amends for me upsetting you. You asked me to make love to you. What kind of mate would I be if I denied your request?"

"Eric, ple—"

"Hush, lover, this is my show. Now where was I?"

She curled her fist around his cock and squeezed his thick shaft, pumping it once, twice, three times. He groaned, his eyes closing, rolling up into his skull as blinding pleasure streaked across him.

"No, you don't. Not yet you don't," he gritted, reaching for her hand and pulling it quickly up above her head. He reached for her other hand that was planning a mutiny and disarmed it too with a quick jerk above her head, capturing both with one of his hands and pinning them there. Her eyes were dark with heat, her smile carnivorous.

Smirking down at her, he ran his free hand down the smooth expanse of his Sookie's belly, the belly that would soon be ripe and swollen with his growing son. "Your skin is so soft, so soft," he said, nuzzling her face rapturously. "I wanted you plump, and now you will be. My child grows inside you: my son, and his development will give me the curves I've longed to see. Right here, my Sookie, right here is our child. The very idea of him inside you rouses such primal emotions in me. My beast calls you mate, my beast demands I protect you and our child. I imagine you heavy with my son and it makes me hard. I cannot wait to feel your rounded stomach against me as I take you. To see your breasts grow and swell with the milk that will feed and nurture my son. My seed will make these changes. That makes you mine!"

His words were dark and possessive, but so achingly sweet and tender with his all consuming need for her, it made her heart pound against her ribs. "Oh Eric …." Her mouth sought his and he gave it to her, slanting down on hers again and again. She moaned, feeling helpless against him, overwhelmed by his largeness and power.

Eric let his hand trail lower. His fingers brushed against the tight golden curls above her sex.

"You smell of soap and lavender and arousal, Sookie. You smell so fuckably sweet." He slid a finger between her lips, feeling her slickness, testing her readiness.

She was very ready.

"God Sookie, when you're like this, it makes me insane."

Her head thrown back against the pillow now, she turned into it and bit against its fill, muffling her moan.

"No lover. I want to hear all of it. Every moan I wring from your body. Don't hide it. Share your pleasure with me. Let me know how much you want me."

Pushing two fingers into her liquid velvet, he growled, "It drives me insane every time I touch you here. You make me ache like no woman ever has. No woman's body has ever given me such pleasure. You are my world and all I can think about is you. You consume me, my älskade."

Feeling his fingers curling inside her, pressing against her sensitive walls as he stroked her, Sookie's eyes rolled back in her head. "Please, Eric! Please! No more, I can't wait anymore!"

"Oh, but you will, my Sookie. You will wait for me as I waited all those long months for you. A few moments is nothing in comparison. You will wait as I worship your body as I please … and you will enjoy every second of it. THIS is what you missed all those months, lover. This is what you fought so hard against me to resist!"

His long fingers sank deeply into her wet channel, stretching and preparing her. He thrust in and out, his fingers slipping through her lips and sliding up to her pearl, now engorged and hard. He teased it, sliding across and around, flicking the tip, over, under, squeezing with his thumb and forefinger. Her moans became a desperate keening cry as fire ripped through her. She bucked against him with each stroke of his fingers, pitching her body upward, grinding her breasts against his chest, her body begging for release.

"Please Eric, my hands. Please," she begged. He gazed into her eyes so gently, with such feeling, she felt her very breath blaze painfully in her throat. He released her hands and they lunged to grab his face and bring it to her mouth. She kissed him repeatedly: anguished, overwhelmed and undone.

"I love you, God, I love you," she cried, and her eyes were glistening with tears.

He continued with his steady and thorough seduction. She had asked him to make love to her, and he would grant her that wish. 'I cannot give you the words or emotions you need, my Sookie, but I can give you this. I cannot give you love, but I can make you feel loved.' He felt her body clench against his fingers, tightening in helpless response. She was rolling against him, hips rising, demanding, entreating. Her response fueled his need, his cock throbbed in anticipation.

She felt sure she would die from her need for him. "Please Eric! Please!"

She felt his fingers withdraw and she whimpered at the loss of contact until he shifted and replaced them with something better. His erection pressed through her slit. She nearly cried with relief as she felt him sink into her, inch by glorious inch. The spectacular girth of him tunneled against her walls sending pulsing coils of fire up her spine. The enormous length of him pushed inexorably to her core.

"Eric … oh God! "

She cried out as he pulled all the way back, just the crown of his manhood skimming her portal, both of them waiting for that downward stroke that would send their sensory nerves into fever pitch. He poised above her, staring down at her enigmatically, muscles trembling. He wanted her to look at him, to watch while he fucked her, to see her come apart under his thrusts. Her eyes were radiant, her body flushed, the scent of her excitement rich and fragrant. He felt her body frantically clutching him as if to keep him inside, to force him to move.

"Sookie." He plunged forward in a powerful downstoke, burying himself deep inside her and started to set a scorching rhythm that she instinctively responded to. Thrust and withdrawal, over and over, riding her hard; she cried out against the sleek friction. He grunted with each stroke of deepest penetration, ravenous for her, as she writhed and twisted under him.

Her legs came up to circle around his waist, locking her ankles together at the small of his back, driving him deeper into her as she clutched at his shoulders, back, ass to pull him closer, wanting more of that deep, shuddering agony, wanting to devour him with her tongue and mouth.

Wrenching back from her lips, Eric's eyes were pained and possessive. He growled, "You're mine, Sookie, body and soul, mine."

"Yes, Eric, I'm yours!"

The bond broadcast all of her feelings to him, every emotion, every want, desire and need was for him. His eyes caressed her breasts as he looked down at her with drawn fangs and he returned her sentiments with lust, desire, possession, and most of all, his never-ending need for her. He needed her as he'd never needed anything else. There was the distant memory of the loss of his wife Aude and the children they had shared, so long ago it felt dreamlike now. In those intervening years, only Godric's loss had been hard for him. Sookie's loss would have him racing to meet the sun. He could not go on without her now that he knew what life with her was like. He couldn't lose this. He couldn't bear to think of her loss.

The feel of her beaded nipples rubbing against his hard chest caused his own to tighten in response, shockwaves rippling downward. He growled, "No one will take you from me! No one but me will ever touch you! I won't lose you!" He punctuated his words with a hard thrust and snarled, "You won't be taken from me!"

Sookie sensed the darkness growing in Eric. The thought of her loss roused his beast like nothing else. Sending him warmth and calm, Sookie soothed, "I'm right here, Eric. You're inside me. We're together and that's all that matters. Make love to me, Eric, make love to me and make me scream for you."

Her body was singing for him, he heard her soft cries and pants like primal music to his senses. She wasn't going to last much longer. Neither was he. He could feel her trembling all around him, her muscles tightening and gripping him to her and it was all he could do not to spill into her. The scent of sex engulfing him, he grabbed her hips, lifting them, forcing her hard against him. He drove in deeper now, his hard length slamming into her.

His eyes began to glow and the furniture in the bedroom floated off the floor along with the bed they were on as he rode her harder and faster. His hips were a pistoning blur of movement as he lay claim to her. His grunts and growls met her whimpers and sighs, between them, the feel of the incredible bond tossed them insensibly on its waves of lust.

And satisfaction.

Sookie's world dissolved in a shattering orgasm that broke and surged over her relentlessly, driving her down an endless pulsing corridor. She arced up against Eric's tight hold and cried out his name, her body clenching around his. Her tight contractions pulled him over the edge, and, with a roar, Eric's body convulsed as his cock erupted inside her, emptying in painful-pleasureful geysers, brutal out-of-control spasms that wracked every nerve ending.

Eric's eyes were still glowing. His power electrifying the air as he called the knife from Sookie's nightstand to have it fly towards him. He grabbed it, slashing at his throat and demanded, "Drink! Take all of me into you, my Sookie!" She couldn't help but obey. Sookie sealed her mouth over the wound he had made and she began to swallow his powerful and heady blood.

'He loves me … I know he does. I can feel it in him! I taste it in his blood! He'll give me the words one day.'

The moment Sookie's lips met his flesh, Eric sank his fangs into her shoulder to drink from her. The power between them exploded! Sparks of light erupted in the air as their markings began to glow and pulse with power. Waves of energy rippled from their fused bodies as their intense orgasms continued to send jolts of pleasure throughout their bodies. The magic spread out of the room, through the house, rolling across the expanse of Sookie's land. Magic ignited the air and the barrier surrounding the Stackhouse property began to glow a brilliant blue. The air around them flashed so brightly it lit up the whole house and illuminated the night. The flash could be seen all the way into town, and would be the talk for days to come.

For long moments they drank the others' blood, Eric again careful not to take too much as their bodies glowed and hummed with their combined power. Eric drew back from her shoulder and retracted his fangs, licking the puncture marks closed before meeting her eyes. She was glorious. He would never get enough of her. "That is how a Viking claims his woman. Who's better at claiming now, little one?"

As the power and magic in the air began to fade, their marks fell back into dormancy Sookie sighed, "Shall I make up an ode to you? Where do you want me to start?"

His cock was still hard inside her, and he gave her a long, sharp thrust to remind her. "How about you start with an ode to the Gracious Plenty?"

He was languidly pumping into her, giving her time to recover from the intense orgasm they'd both experienced (she didn't have a vampire's quick recovery after all), and she moaned at the feel of him. "I think it's a bad idea to stroke that massive ego of yours anymore. If your head gets any bigger it won't fit through the door."

Looking affronted, Eric argued, "My head is in perfect proportion to the rest of my body."

"It is rather nice. Your face isn't too bad either," She wryly observed. He was gorgeous beyond sensibility and he knew it.

"Well, aren't you eloquent? And you made fun of my song writing abilities?"

Rolling her eyes, Sookie scratched her nails up Eric's back and laughed, "Oh get off it, Viking! Time for the encore, and, after that performance, my expectations are pretty high … show me what you got!"

Grinning, Eric moved to cup one of her breasts as his head bent to lave her nipple, "Challenge accepted, min älskade."

Outside, the Weres along with Han and Ivan looked up at the house from the tree line where they had been finishing up scouting places for security posts while Sam, Lafayette, Tara, and Eggs rushed out of the guest house. The air was still crackling with energy and tiny lights sparkled in the air like glitter. Everyone gazed at Sookie's home in wonder as Lafayette voiced what they all were thinking.

"What the HELL was that shit?"


  1. Great chapter. Glad they talked and connected at the beginning. Glad she is at least trying to have the equality convo with him but he really is taking a ride down the river D'Nile..but she just encourages his delusions. ah well. . Hope once she learns some powers, she can take back some of her own decisions. LOL for the magical firewords display.

  2. ahhh hellll the prophecy is going to kill their budding relationship but Eric sweetheart it is LOVE you feel, man up dude..... that Lala was the Chosen One.... Kristie

    1-"her muscles tightening and gripping him to her and it was all her could do not to spill into her." remive the R in her "it was all he could do not to"
    2-"Outside, the weres along with Han and Ivan looked up at the house from the tree line"
    capitalize WERE " the Weres along with"