Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest
From your feedback I know you are all in love with Amando. So here’s a whole chapter filled with his sass, and completely lacking in lemons. As my lovely and talented content editor, SeriousCrush, puts it, ‘It might not have action in it, but it has a lot of fun and interesting dialogue.’ I hope you all agree!
Dinner with Friends
“I think we need one of these at home.” I said into Eric’s neck, patting the bench next to his head. “I couldn’t agree more!” He said, kissing the edge of my ear.
There was a soft knock on the other side of the door. I concentrated for a minute and listened. “Vampire.” I pulled my body off of his and went to the bathroom to retrieve a robe for each of us. I sat down on the bed and propped my feet up on the bench, Eric wrapped himself in his robe as he walked to the door. He opened the door just enough that I could see Alex standing on the other side. I waved to him and smiled. He nodded to me.
“I hope I gave you enough time.” Alex said, looking at the pile of clothes on the floor and bed. “I like how you’ve decorated.” He added, taking in the restraints still attached to the bench legs.
“Thanks!” I chimed in. “Most of these places just need a woman’s touch.” Eric cleared his throat to get back to business.
Alex handed him a file holding the contract the governing board had drawn up in the last hour and a half. “They are quite taken with Sookie.” He said to Eric in a hushed voice. “I can hear you!” I called out from my seat on the bed. They both looked at me. “What? If you don’t want me to hear, don’t talk in my room! What does ‘taken with me’ mean?” I guess Eric did not see a reason to keep me out of the conversation, so he invited Alex into our room.
“They were impressed with your gift, and also your ‘pretty face’ as Elan put it. We all enjoyed hearing you describe the Queen’s favorite hobby.” I blushed at Alex’s words. “The Queen was particularly fond of you, and expressed her wishes to see you again while you are in her city.” She seemed like she could definitely show us a good time, that’s for sure! “In any case, here is your contract, all you need to do is look it over and sign in the presence of a third party as witness. I would be happy to witness your signatures tomorrow night before we go out. Amando would really love to go out to dinner before we go to the club. He has a lot of questions about…..well, everything, just thought I would warn you.” Alex rolled his eyes and smiled, knowing all too well what Amando would be like.
I laughed and said, “I would love to go out, would 8:00 be about right? That would give us a couple of hours to eat and talk.”
“8:00 it is. I will leave you to the rest of your night together.” With that, Alex nodded and backed out of the room.
Eric closed the door and joined me on the bed. We sat together, reading over the contract. “What’s this part for?” I pointed to one of the paragraphs.
“It explains our travel situation, that the board will pay for our transportation to and from meetings, but if we choose to stay for pleasure, we will be on our own.” I nodded, just like Eric had discussed with Alex when they were setting up this meeting. If we wanted to spend time sightseeing, we could, it would just be on our dime.
There was a section describing our obligations to meet with the board at least twice a month, via videoconference. Alex had picked 2:00 am (Eastern Standard Time) on the first and third Tuesdays of each month for our videoconferences. I had a feeling we would be very busy in the weeks prior to political elections, and I was grateful that the next election was in two years.
Eric scrutinized every word of the contract. He wanted to be careful about what he put his name on. I guess you didn’t live to be a thousand by taking chances. I leaned back on the bed and dozed off for a while as he read. I was slowly but surely adjusting to being awake at night with him. I was still awake for some of the day, but not much. I woke a few hours later in Eric’s lap. He had propped himself up on the back of the bed to read and watch a little TV. I noticed he had taken my shoes off. They were arranged neatly next to his just outside the closet.
“Morning, sunshine.” He said to me as I blinked my eyes open. “What time is it?” “3:00 am. Would you like to go on a walk with me?”
“Does that mean I have to get dressed?” I asked, snuggling against him.
“Well, you could go out in that robe, but I would not recommend it!”
“Oh alright!” I said, scooting off the bed. I pulled on some jeans and a sweater. I brought my cranberry red coat with me, and the gloves that matched. New York in January is freezing cold, especially in the middle of the night.
Eric stood up from the bed and stalked over to me, unwrapping his robe very slowly. He let it drop on the ground. I gulped as the soft light from the table danced across his marble smooth skin. He was so stunning, so perfect; it was hard not to feel self conscious around him. “You are so beautiful.” I whispered to him, reaching my fingers out to trace the outline of his muscular chest. He chuckled softly and walked to the closet to get dressed. He displayed his ass to me as he got dressed, knowing I would really enjoy the view. “Is this supposed to be payback?” I asked him as he lingered a little too long stepping into his jeans. He turned to smile at me, “Why? Is it working?” I laughed out loud. He knew damn well how I felt. Even after our marathon bench sex, I was feeling lusty for him again.
“Come on, I want to show you the view!” He pulled me out of the room. A quick elevator ride later, and we were walking in the quiet streets outside the hotel. He surveyed our surroundings, then said “Get on.” Eric opened his arms to me, so I jumped into them, wrapping my legs around him. He took off into the air, flying slowly enough that I could see where we were going. He headed straight for the Statue of Liberty. There were lights shining on her all night long, bringing life to the grey-green metal. He put us down just inside her visor. I walked around the small room and looked down the narrow spiral stairs in the corner. “Sure beats taking the stairs!” He laughed. The view was amazing. The whole city was sparkling in the soft moonlight. He came up behind me and held me against his body. We stayed there for what seemed like an hour, before he asked me if there was anywhere else I’d like to see. I wasn’t familiar enough with the city yet to know what to ask for, so I told him to show me anything.
I held onto him again and he took off. He flew over the city, showing me sights I would never see on my own. We stopped at a bakery, which was open well before dawn so I could get breakfast. We finally headed back to our hotel, the sun would rise soon and Eric was getting tired. He landed just outside our hotel on a deserted patch of sidewalk. When we got to our room, Eric said, “Will you sleep with me today, Lover?”
“I would love to, my sexy beast.” I smiled at him and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed. When I got out of the bathroom, Eric had closed the blinds, and was waiting, naked, under the covers for me. I snuggled against his cold body and whispered, “I love you” just as he was shutting down for the day. I followed him in sleep moments later.
I woke up that night at 6:30, I had slept for nearly 12 hours! I looked around the room and found a note from Eric.
‘You were sleeping so peacefully, I didn’t want to wake you. I will be back soon. E’
I stretched and got out of bed, deciding to take a shower while I waited for his return. I felt wonderfully refreshed after my shower and spent my time getting dressed. I pulled the beautiful satin skirt and shirt out of the closet where I had hidden it yesterday so that it would be wrinkle free today. I wrapped the shirt around me and fastened the ties around my waist. The skirt was incredibly soft against my skin. I decided to leave my hair down tonight. I spun in front of the mirror and was very pleased with how I looked. I sat on the golden bench and slid my feet into thigh high stockings, held in place with a garter belt and my pretty Louboutin’s. I heard the faint whisper of the card key in the door, and the latch click as Eric opened the door. I stood up to greet him.
He stopped in the doorframe, staring at me, looking incredibly handsome in grey slacks and a matching grey vest buttoned neatly over a crisp white shirt. “You like?” I asked, spinning around for him, giving him a full view of the thigh highs covering my legs as the circle skirt rose around me. “Mmmm, I like.” He said, the heat in his eyes letting me know how much he liked my outfit. He walked towards me and said, “It’s missing something.” I cocked my head at him, looking over my outfit, puzzled by his words. He pulled a little red box out of his pocket. The beautiful script on the box read ‘Cartier.’ I took the box from him, and sat down to open it. He crouched in front of me so he could see my face when I opened it.
Positioned on the incredibly soft velvet of the box, was a beautiful platinum pendant in the shape of two crescent moons on either side of a full moon. The chain was beautiful and delicate. The moons were crusted with tiny diamonds. I looked up into his face. “My goddess needs a little moon magic.” He smiled at me and I hugged him. He pulled the necklace out of the box and clasped it around my neck. My eyes welled with tears, threatening to ruin my perfect makeup.
“Alex and Amando will be waiting for us, we should go.” Eric said, pulling me away from my overwhelming emotions. “Thank you.” I whispered, willing my tears to retreat. “Anything for you.” He answered.
He slipped into his suit jacket, completing his ensemble, and grabbed the file that held the contract Alex had drawn up for us.
We walked outside and were met by Phillip. Alex had sent him to our hotel to pick us up for the evening. He was driving a sleek black car, with a modified back seat that had two benches facing each other. It seemed like a mini limousine. Eric helped me into the back seat and folded his large body easily to sit next to me. Phillip put the car in drive and took off.
Phillip pulled up in front of a beautiful restaurant, Le Bernardin. Eric was standing on the curb a moment after the car stopped, offering his hand to me. “Thank you Phillip.” I said as I stepped out of the car. He smiled at me, and drove away.
Amando and Alex were waiting inside at a table surrounded by incredibly tall vases filled with beautiful flowers. Amando jumped up from his seat and ran over to greet us. “Sookie, you look stunning in that circle skirt, wherever did you find something so amazing?” Before I could answer he was kissing my cheeks and guiding me to the seat next to his at the table. He immediately started going on and on about the amazing menu; how the lobster was the best he had ever had, and that the halibut was very tender. He actually never stopped talking until Alex held up his hand.
“Eric and Sookie, it is so wonderful to see you again. Thank you for joining us tonight.” We returned our polite greetings, and Eric and Alex decided to deal with business first. Eric put the contract on the table and pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket, “Sookie and I have looked over the contract and are very satisfied with it.” He signed twice and initialed once, then handed me the pen and I did the same.
When the contract was signed, witnessed, and stashed safely in the folder, Amando grabbed my arm, indicating he wanted me closer to him. I leaned and he said, “I am so glad you are going clubbing with us. You will be the belle of the ball at ‘Bent.’ It’s a gay club, but don’t let that deter you from having a good time, women are always superstars around gay men, as you probably noticed. Especially beautiful and well dressed women.” I blushed at his compliments.
“I have never been to a gay club before. What’s it like?”
Amando talked nonstop until the waiter came to take our order. I glanced over the menu and choked on my water when I saw the price list next to the descriptions. I waited for Amando to order first, he was very comfortable ordering an expensive meal, so I shrugged and asked for the baked lobster. Eric and Alex ordered from the specialty menu, getting a sampler of locally (and willingly) donated blood. Amando ordered wine for us, asking the waiter to suggest something that would go well with both of our meals.
Before Amando got started again, I asked him about his relationship with Alex. “We have been together since I was 18. I came out to my family, and they didn’t take it very well. I mean, Hell-o, as if they couldn’t tell?! I guess people see what they want to see, especially when it comes to family.” He was looking past me now, then shook his head to continue. “Anyway, I left home, and decided to come to New York City to make a new life for myself. I made myself at home in the club scene, which is where I met Alex. I had never met a vampire before, so he was a brand new experience for me. My friends all warned me to stay away from him, but I couldn’t. I’ve always been a bit too fearless for my own good.” He added in a whisper. “We’ve been together ever since, and that was, what, four years ago!” He took a sip of his water, waiting for me to take it all in. “What about you and Mr. January?”
The waiter came to the table with our food, and two champagne glasses of blood. He uncovered my plate and I was surprised at how beautiful food could be. It smelled amazingly delicious. He uncorked the wine bottle, pouring a little in Amando’s glass, waiting for his approval. When Amando nodded in appreciation, he filled both of our glasses and left the table so we could enjoy our meal.
I smiled at Amando, “So, you have a copy of the calendar?” He nodded, his eyes wide. “I guessed as much when we met you last night, but thought I would ask. How did you get one? I thought it was a local Louisiana thing.”
“Alex got one for me, from his friend….um, I think her name is Pam.” I smiled, now I understood the comments Pam had made. “My friends were all so jealous that I begged him to get me a dozen more copies. Let me tell you, that man of yours is a legend in my circle of friends.”
I laughed, “He is definitely legend worthy.” My eyes glazed over.
“Amazing sex, right?”
I blushed again and nodded my head. “Alex too. I had never experienced that kind of intensity before! I guess centuries of experience will do that for you. We just get to be the lucky recipients of that experience!”
I felt so comfortable with him, I decided to share a little more about myself. “I have only dated two other, um, people….”
“You’re kidding! How in the hell is that possible?”
“I have a talent that most men find offensive.”
“Like what? Snoring or something?”
“No….like reading minds.” I waited nervously for him to respond.
“No shit? Try me, oh try me.” He was so excited, it made me love him more.
“Ok, don’t talk, just think of something, and I’ll tell you what you’re thinking.”
He sat quietly and smiled at me. The silence from our side of the table got the attention of Alex and Eric, Amando shooed his hand towards them, and they went back to their conversation. I listened to Amando, and picked up on something else. His thoughts weren’t clear, sort of fuzzy, like when I listened to my brother.
“Amando, do you know what you are?” I whispered. “I mean, about your family, where you come from?”
Amando was quiet for a minute, carefully deciding what to say. “Can you tell by listening to me? Did I say something?” He was anxious.
“No, you didn’t have to….you sound like me, like my family. Mine is my grandfather. Where in your family?” He knew exactly what I was asking about.
“My great-great-grandmother, on my mother’s side. She’s still alive, of course, and is so amazingly beautiful. She never judged me, and I love her for it.”
“I have never met anyone outside of my family!”
“I really live up to being called a fairy!” He laughed loudly at his own joke. “You didn’t ever tell me what I was thinking….”
“Sorry, I was so distracted by your brain waves I didn’t get a good listen. I promise this time I’ll say your thoughts word for word.”
I listened again and burst out laughing. Then whispered, “Suck my dick.” I didn’t want the whole restaurant to hear me, but of course Eric did and was intrigued by the fun we were having. “Very funny Amando!” I smiled and hugged him.
“That is SO cool, do it again.” So, I listened again. This time I said, “Oh, I didn’t need to see that!!” I pushed on him playfully, trying to get the image of him dancing around in tight black panties for Alex out of my head.
I leaned over to him and said, “So, Alex knows about your heritage?” He nodded and said, “I think it’s one of the reasons why he puts up with me, that and because I’m so fine.” He added, striking a pose for me. I laughed again.
“The lobster’s amazing, right?” I nodded and thanked him for suggesting it.
We enjoyed the rest of our dinner and as Alex was paying the check, he called Phillip to let him know we were ready to go. No need to worry about parking in the city when you had a driver on hand at all times. I thanked Alex for dinner and Amando for the conversation. We all climbed into the car and made our way to Bent.
The next chapter will be lemony for sure, so review and then go read it!
On to Getaway Ch 35: Bent