Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
This chapter is dedicated to Icelander, who has been my Frida for weeks now! I have gone through and updated all the chapters with the Icelandic translations next to the dialogue in parenthesis, a request from Siberian shewolf. She made a good case for it, and I hope you all agree. If you don’t, let me know. Thank you SeriousCrush for your help storyboarding my chapters, without your feedback I would be stuck. Your editing is always brilliant and helpful.
Putting the ‘F’ in JFK
I sat down in the living room and picked up Eric’s Kindle. I loaded the page for ‘Beginner’s Icelandic,’ which was the first book Eric had downloaded specifically for me, to continue my Icelandic education now that we were home. I had been in contact with Frida, via e mail. She had become my personal Icelandic teacher and had helped me learn quite a few sexy phrases that books never covered. I had already been through all of the lessons in ‘Beginner’s Icelandic,’ which touched on several important aspects of Icelandic culture, and a fairly thorough depiction of how the ancient language worked. Every word in Icelandic has a gender, which made putting sentences together a challenge. It depends on whom you’re talking to and what you’re talking about. As Frida put it, “It’s a complicated language!” She was so right!
I reviewed the lessons and practiced with the audio CD, speaking Icelandic out loud to myself, and repeating the words. I went over the vocabulary lists for colors, articles of clothing and the short phrase list I thought would be helpful while Eric and I met with the governing boards and eventually with the public. I needed a way to communicate my impressions of the meetings, and since Eric had a full grasp of Icelandic (and also the fact that it is a very isolated language), it seemed like the perfect choice. I made a list of phrases to practice, which included quite a few identifying characteristics to describe whom I was talking about. ‘Please be careful’ was at the top of my list, along with plenty of other phrases sure to come in handy. I studied for three hours, and when I finally couldn’t focus anymore, I decided to take a break.
I went to my luggage and pulled out the new satin outfit from Tara’s store. I had to show Pam. I folded it into a tote bag and went into the kitchen to grab a snack for my drive to Fangtasia.
Maxwell was at the door checking IDs. “Sookie, so nice to see you.” He nodded at me as he let me pass. “Likewise!” I said back to him from inside. He had always been pleasant to me. I scanned the room and saw Eric sitting in the throne just like he had been the first night we met. Pam was nowhere to be seen.
I walked over to him and kissed his cheek.
“What took you so long?” he said moving his lips against my ear.
I shivered and pulled away from him. “I was studying. May I practice?”
“það er eitthvað að. Við þurfum að komast héðan út, strax!” (Something is wrong. We need to get out of here, quickly!) He cocked his eyebrow at me. “Expecting the worst, Lover?” I shrugged, you never could be too careful.
“Við getum treyst honum,” (We can’t trust him.) I said carefully.
“Hver þeirra?” (Which one?) he answered.
“Svört skyrta.” (Black shirt.)
He raised his eyebrows at me, motioning around the room. I noticed that half of the people in the room had black shirts on. I needed to be more specific.
“Bláar buxur.” (Blue pants.)
“Honum?” (Him?) he said, reaching out and grabbing a fangbanger with a black shirt and blue pants.
“Well done Sookie!” Eric was pleased. “Thank you for your assistance,” he said to the confused man, whose arm was still in Eric’s hand. “Run along.” I giggled as the poor guy did just that, rubbing his arm as he ran.
“You are really progressing quickly. I am very impressed. Anything else you want to practice?”
“Not in public.” I grinned at him and changed the subject. “Is Pam here?”
“She’s in her office. Girl talk?” He mocked me.
“No…I need to show her my new outfit!”
“She gets to see it, but I have to wait?” He huffed.
“Yes, but you get to see it on me.” I patted his shoulder as I walked away.
I knocked on Pam’s door. “Enter.”
Pam smiled at me from behind her desk. “How was shopping?” She eyed the bag over my shoulder. I answered her by pulling the shirt out of the bag. She inhaled slowly and her fangs descended slightly. “Wait, it gets better!” I said reaching into the bag, draping the skirt over my arm. “That is amazingly beautiful!” I beamed at her, happy that she had approved of my shopping trip.
She stood up and pulled the skirt out of my hands and held it up to her waist, swishing the material back and forth. “Can I borrow it some time?”
“Sure, after we get back from New York. I just had to show you, the shoes really make the outfit. Thank you again for those.”
“Stop thanking me. You deserve them. End of story.” The thanking stopped here. I knew when to listen to Pam, and now was one of those times.
“I have been feeling restless since I quit my job at Merlotte’s. Is there anything you need help with tonight?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, there is. I have spent the last hour attempting to sort these invoices. Eric has neglected them for far too long.” She touched the three inch thick stack of disheveled papers on her desk.
“Would you like me to organize them? I could create files for each group and label them all. I love to file things. It has always relaxed me.”
“I always knew you were disturbed, just not to this degree! That would be very helpful. I will let Eric know you’re in here in case he needs you for something.” Pam stood up, motioning that I should take her chair, and left me to deal with the pile of papers.
I used every available surface in Pam’s office to sort the papers. Alcohol invoices were certainly the most plentiful. There were also plenty of receipts for purchases made for the bar, most of which were from a restaurant supply store, which I put in a separate pile. The invoices from the photographer that Eric hired for the Fangtasia calendars, were clipped to the proofs from the shoot last year. Mr. January had posed for several shots, and my favorite was still the more revealing front view. Mmm, he was very yummy. I flipped through the rest of the shots and pulled out Pam’s. She had also posed many different ways, wrapped in tight leather gripping a riding crop. She looked amazing, as usual, with an extra deadly edge to her. Nothing said, “Watch Out!” like a skin-tight black leather outfit.
I moved the piles onto Pam’s desk and then sat down to make files for all of them. I was just tucking the last pile into a folder when the door opened. Pam and Eric walked in. I stood up and showed Pam the file drawers full of labeled files. “I organized the files alphabetically, so you should be able to find things pretty easily.” Pam and Eric looked at each other, then at me. Pam was smiling.
“I told you she was working.” She sassed to Eric.
“I can see that. I didn’t realize she would be in here all night. Sookie, are you ready to go home? I still have a little packing to do tonight.”
Wow, time flies when you’re drooling over naked pictures of your husband! I nodded, grabbed my bag of clothes and went to my car. Eric, Pam and I all left at the same time, and I raced around the corners to beat Eric home. He obviously let me win, but it still felt good.
I followed him downstairs and flopped on the bed while he packed. I was on my stomach, my face resting on my folded arms. “I am really nervous about meeting all of these important vamps. What if I screw up? What if they think you are wasting your time with me? What if they won’t let me come with you to do jobs?” I was about to add one more ‘what if’ but Eric stopped me.
“You shouldn’t be, you won’t, they won’t, and I will not accept a job without you.” He crouched in front of me, and held my face between his hands as he spoke, sending a relaxing wave through me. I took a deep breath.
“How will you introduce me?” I asked looking him right in the eyes.
“My wife, Sookie.”
“Stackhouse or Northman?”
“Stackhouse. For now. Our pledges have made our marriage permanent in my world, not in yours. One of these days this country will get its head out of its ass and legalize vampire/human marriage. Then I’ll be able to give you my name.”
I had never talked to him about it, assuming my ideas for a typical human wedding would be silly to him. Turns out he was just waiting for his turn. He never ceased to amaze me. “Good answer.” I tilted my face up to kiss his mouth. “Will you lay with me for a while? I’m tired.”
He undressed us both and pulled me into bed next to him. I reached over and set the alarm, leaving myself plenty of time to get ready in the morning. “Are you done packing?” I mumbled, half asleep already. “Almost….” He stroked my hair and back, lulling me to sleep. I woke up alone to the blaring sound of my alarm. I made my way upstairs and found his luggage and travel coffin arranged neatly by the front door. There was a note on the coffin.
‘Lover, I look forward to New York. Thank you for the gift, your scent is one of the most delicious things I can imagine going to sleep with. I will be sure to show my gratitude when I wake. E’
I jumped in the shower and was out in no time. While I waited for my hair to dry, I made some coffee and a quick breakfast. Eating helped to calm my nerves and I got ready for our flight. I checked the clock. Anubis Air would be here in about a half an hour. I spent my time fixing my hair and putting my makeup on lightly. I didn’t need much besides a little mascara and lipstick since my tan was still holding on, just barely. I went into my closet and pulled the outfit I had selected for traveling. Comfortable was my main criteria. The skirt was made of a stretchy velvet material that fell heavily around my knees, and was a combination of many shades of dark pink with brown highlights. I chose a fitted brown shirt that matched perfectly and a pair of comfortable brown boots that completed the ensemble. Eric mentioned that I would need to run to get to my connecting flight, so dressing sensibly was important. I wanted to be able to kick my feet up and read during the flight, and this skirt was just stretchy enough to let me. I made a final check through my luggage to be sure I had everything. I pulled my luggage to the door and was startled by a knock.
I scanned the other side of the door. Two humans. Their brains were buzzing in professional work mode. I opened the door and was greeted by two very serious men. We exchanged information, just as I had done before. They carefully loaded Eric and the rest of our luggage into the van and I took a seat near Eric’s travel coffin.
The Shreveport airport was bustling with weekend travelers. The two men that had picked us up unloaded the van at the Anubis Air counter. I had my travel itinerary, ID, and confirmation number ready. After I checked in and signed a responsibility waiver for Eric, I was given a boarding pass and pointed in the direction of my flight. I was already patting myself on the back for choosing sensible boots, the gate where our flight departed was the farthest one in the terminal.
I didn’t have to wait long at the gate. I positively identified Eric’s travel coffin, and signed for him. I found my seat and was grateful to have the row to myself. I was looking forward to reading. I set my carry-on down on my seat and pulled a romance novel out then stuffed my bag in the overhead compartment and made myself comfortable. After anxiously waiting for the flight attendants to finish the “In case we crash…” demonstration, I settled into my book and enjoyed the flight to Atlanta.
Eric was right about my connecting flight. I did not have much time, and the gate was in a separate terminal. Thank goodness for moving walkways! I used the ‘walk’ side to run like hell, scaring a few people as I did. Of course, the terminals were all very close outside, and when I finally arrived at the gate, Eric’s travel coffin and our luggage were waiting for me. I signed again, showed my boarding pass, and sat in my seat, breathless. I didn’t have the fortune of flying alone this time.
A very friendly woman was sitting in my row, and patted the seat next to her when I peeked over her to check the number. No sense in getting my book out, she looked like a talker. I put my carry-on away, and climbed over her to sit in my seat. I giggled to myself and blushed, at the memory of climbing over Eric on our flight home from Iceland. She looked at me like I was crazy.
“Something funny, hun?” She asked. I couldn’t place her accent, but her mind told me she was from Idaho, visiting her brother.
“Just a good memory. Where are you from?” Might as well get her started!
Her name was Shar. She paused briefly during the ‘Here are your oxygen masks, and your seats double as flotation devices’ demo, but pushed straight through the rest of the flight, talking endlessly about her family, and the farm she and her husband worked in central Idaho. She didn’t understand her brother, living in the ‘big city’ surrounded by strangers and pollution, but she did love him. I asked her if she was traveling alone. She gave me the same crazy look, and answered, “Does it look like I’m flying with someone besides you?”
I shrugged, “With this airline, you never know!”
She waved her hand at me and said, “I’m not traveling with a vampire, if that’s what you mean! This airline had the cheapest connecting flight, and I figured I was safe flying during the day. You never know what kind of crazy people you might run into at night.”
I plastered a polite smile on my face and nodded, not wanting to fuel the fire. The realization hit her and she said, “Oh” and looked away. “Whom are you traveling with?”
“My husband.” I said proudly. She narrowed her eyes at me and looked at the ring on my finger.
“I didn’t think it was legal to marry a deader,” she said bluntly. I struggled to mask my disgust with her choice of words.
“Not yet, but it’s only a matter of time. As if my choice to marry a vampire even remotely challenges the sanctity of human marriage!” Now it was her turn to plaster a fake smile on her face.
Lucky for both of us, the captain announced we were beginning our final descent into JFK airport. I watched the city approach through the window. It was enormous. The city was golden from the setting sun.
I decided to change gears in our small talk, “You weren’t kidding! This is a big city!”
After we were allowed to stand up, I wished her a happy visit with her brother, and she bid me a safe stay with my ‘husband.’ I hated when people used air quotes all the time, especially when they were referring to what they considered to be my hypothetical marriage.
I let a few people pass between us, and waited patiently with everyone else to file out of the plane. There was a small line of travelers that flowed to the pickup counter. The vampire passengers were still in their travel coffins, which had been unloaded and arranged in a line, waiting to be identified and claimed. I signed, again, and walked over to Eric’s travel coffin. I could feel through our bond that he was awake and waiting for the sun. Just as the sun set, the travel coffins clicked open simultaneously. Eric sat up and reached out to take my hand in his. “How was your flight?”
I sighed. “I was seated next to an obnoxious woman that had some wonderful opinions about humans that date vampires. I missed you.”
He twisted his body out of the coffin, and put his arms around my waist as he stood behind me. “I missed you too. As I mentioned in my note, I am very grateful for your gift. I am so sorry about the woman, I’d like to do something to make you feel better.”
“I’m sure I would love whatever you have in mind.” I whispered back to him. He pulled me away from the window and started walking towards the center of the airport. The now empty travel coffins were loaded onto a truck waiting outside, taking them with the rest of the luggage to the baggage claim area.
We passed an escalator, and Eric led me inside the stairway next to it. He rushed me up a flight of stairs and stopped to push me against the wall. I was surprised to find there was absolutely no one else in the stairway with us. I guess no one in their right mind would take the stairs when an escalator was right there! He pulled my carry-on off my shoulder and put it on the ground next to us. He pulled the hem of my skirt up, caressing my legs. My breathing was already uneven. “I love it when you wear skirts!” He breathed into my mouth as he kissed me.
“Oh yeah? Why is that?” I answered, smiling.
“So I can do this.” His fingers danced around the edge of my panties, and pushed them aside. I rocked into his hand, desperate for more contact. He obliged and slid a finger up and down my slit, coating it with a fine layer of wetness. He slowly pushed a finger inside me, tilting his wrist back and forth, rubbing the heel of his hand on my clit. I was faintly aware of the sound of his pants opening and just as I was about to cum, he stilled his hand and replaced his finger with the tip of his cock. “And this.” He said as he pushed into me. My first orgasm flowed through me immediately, I moaned into his mouth as he lifted me and pushed me against the wall thrusting into me, drawing out the sensations. I buried my face in his neck and teased at the sensitive skin with my blunt teeth. I wrapped my legs around his ass, urging him to fuck me. “Oh god, yes!” I mumbled against his skin, as he picked up the pace and began to slam his hips into mine. I used his neck to muffle the moans tumbling out of my mouth. My pussy contracted around him as a cascade of pleasure took over my body again. I sucked on his neck, and the combination was too much for him to bear, he let loose and roared as he came with each forceful thrust.
I pulled my face away from his neck and was impressed with the hickey I had managed to give him. I watched as it faded, feeling a little sad that there was no evidence of our airport sex. He put me down on the ground, and I pulled my panties into place, smoothed my clothes, and attempted to tame my hair by pulling it into a messy bun.
“Thank you. That was certainly a good way for you to express your gratitude.” My breath was still uneven. Eric stood perfectly still, smiling at my disheveled state. It was completely unfair how tidy he looked.
“Welcome to New York City. Alex will have a car waiting for us.” He pulled me away to the baggage claim and the waiting chauffer holding a sign for Northman/Stackhouse.
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