Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thank you to everyone that guided me in this chapter especially, SeriousCrush, ELW1, and TeaCupHuman, who all gave me such wonderful ideas, I had to write them into the story! Thank you again to EricJacobLover, ILoveVampiresSoWhat, and IkeaGoddess for your help with Black Light District names.
I need to say thank you to the handful of you who have been with me from the beginning, reading, reviewing and encouraging me to write! I would have never gotten to 67 chapters without you!
SeriousCrush, you have done so much for me: 41 chapters, over 123,000 words, countless hours of brainstorming, and constant loving support and guidance. I love you for all of it, but love you most of all for showing me that I could do it.
Big love to my family: who all endured my absence (sometimes more than others) over the last nine months while I wrote this. I am the luckiest woman in the world to have their support and love in everything I do.
Turning a New Leaf
As I looked back over the time Eric and I had spent together since that fateful day when it all began, it made me smile. My life had changed so much, and I had enjoyed every minute of it. True, I had been afraid of change…..but it was something that really needed to happen to my stagnant life.
The same was true now. I was finally ready to say goodbye to my human life. I was ready to be with Eric. Forever.
When I had packed my clothes for our trip to Iceland, I had no idea what was in store for us. I would have never guessed that Eric would have opened his life to me, finally giving me a chance to open mine to him. It was the best thing that had happened to our relationship. He taught me how to relax and how to be myself. I didn’t even know who I was until he opened my eyes.
Through our work, I had built strong relationships with members of the various clans, and felt accepted for who I was, celebrated for my otherness. I had finally found a place where my telepathy truly was a gift.
I was afraid that after I was turned, I would lose the gift that I had just learned how to utilize. I voiced my concerns to Eric, and he answered as honestly as he could.
“We will have to find out. I have researched our historical records, and there has never been a case like yours. Although….I have met a few demons that share your gift, so perhaps it is something that can survive the constraints of the human realm. Most vampires discover they have a natural ability, maybe this will be yours…..”
Even though Eric held no definitive answer about the future of my telepathy, I felt reassured somehow. “Is flying an ability that vamps do or don’t have?”
Eric nods, and I cannot hide the look of disappointment on my face. He speaks immediately, “I’m not saying that you will only have one ability. Patience Lover. If nothing else, I can always take you flying.”
Talk of my telepathy, of course, led to a question that needed to be asked: what if I couldn’t do my job anymore? So much of my work depended on two things: my telepathy and my human-ness. Wasn’t that what we were advertising? ‘You can trust a vampire to respect your human life!’ What kind of a message would I be sending to all those humans out there, where with one final blood exchange, I would lose the thing that made me relatable?
“What do I say to them…when they ask me why I didn’t think being human was good enough? Why I gave up everything and threw my life away? What happens when I become a target for their hate too?” My voice became more and more unsteady as the scenario of angry protesters targeting me spun out of control in my head. My chest tightened, and the words on my tongue wedged into my throat, making it impossible to continue.
Eric laughed quietly and rubbed his hands down my arms, pushing the anxiety away from my body, letting it drip onto the floor. “Lover. Your human life was good enough, and you didn’t give up anything. You chose a new life with me, for love. If that doesn’t speak for your goodness, I don’t know what would! And you know as well as I do that they hate you just as much as they hate me. You are there, defending me, willingly, and they hate what they don’t understand.”
I laughed at his honesty, and knew he was right.
Eric and I spent hours discussing my new life. Mostly it was me asking a thousand questions and him answering…..well, mostly answering. He got distracted easily, especially if I happened to be naked.
I cried when I stopped by Jason’s house, and said goodbye to him. He tried to talk me out of it, as I knew he would, and all I could do was explain to him that this was something I wanted. It was very similar to the conversation I had with Amelia when I told her.
Claude and Dermot stopped by for a minute near the end of my discussion with Jason, and they both shook their heads. I explained to them that Eric had not talked me into it. This was a decision I had made consciously. This was something I wanted with every fiber of my being, I was not being turned against my will. Which is exactly how it should be.
After seeing Jason, I walked through Gran’s house, watching Tara’s kids running around my feet, enjoying the sounds of life in the old house, and knew that I did not belong here anymore. Tara was surprisingly understanding, and smiled with a hint of jealousy at the idea that I would never age and fall apart with her. She hugged me, told me she loved me, and that she was glad I had found happiness with Eric. She and Amando were very much alike, and surrounded me with love and support. I was grateful.
Merlotte’s was my next stop. I asked to talk to Sam privately in his office. He knew he wouldn’t like what I had to say, and on the short walk down the hall, he steeled himself, tensing his body, protecting himself from whatever hurt I was going to inflict. Sam had really good instincts. He always had. I told him and I wished it didn’t have to be this way. He was hurt and angry, and without saying a word to me, he walked to the door, stopping to hug me tightly, sharing the warmth our bodies had in common for now. Sam never said a word to me, and I left Merlotte’s with sadness at the loss of my friend.
Tonight was the night we were going to tell Pam, which would hopefully have a better outcome than the silent goodbye with Sam.
I drove straight to Fangtasia, and found Eric and Pam working together on something in Eric’s office. Paperwork for the bar, preparing for an audit by the looks of it.
When I entered the room, Eric stopped and smiled at me. Pam flashed me a quick smile, and went right back to work. It took her a few seconds to register that Eric was no longer interested in paperwork, and that I had something to do with the change of conversation.
“Pam, we have something to tell you,” I started, cautiously.
“What? Have you finally decided to come over to the dark side?” She guessed in her flat offhanded way. She was in business mode, and was anxious to get back to finishing the work in front of them. I nodded slowly, a smile creeping across my face as the idea registered in her brain. “No shit?!”
“No shit,” I repeated.
She looked at Eric who was beaming at Pam’s reaction. Pam rushed around the desk and swept me up in a bone-crushing hug. I groaned and managed to get out the words, “Still human….” She dropped me to the ground and smiled at me, her eyes dancing.
“It’s about fucking time. Welcome to the family, sister.” Pam grinned.
That had definitely been the highlight of my day. It got even better later when Laurie came by to see Pam, and it was the first thing she told her. Laurie smiled at me, and cautiously congratulated me. I’m sure Pam was waiting for the day when Laurie would catch up to me, I could tell by the way she watched her reaction with a hopeful eye.
Over the last few weeks, I had ‘interviewed’ the vamps that came into Fangtasia. Almost all of them, except for the really old ones, remembered the first year as the hardest, the hungriest, and the most dangerous. I could try and convince myself that it wouldn’t be like that for me, with a maker like Eric. Pam assured me that he had taken care of her in ways she couldn’t begin to understand until she met other vamps.
Eric had come up with a brilliant plan. We requested time off of work, and booked the tickets. Paris, he said, would be the perfect place to begin my new life.
I knew from my ‘research’ that makers didn’t usually spend eternity with their child, but each time I asked I got the candid response ‘Of course, that was before the great revelation, during a time where we couldn’t openly choose and prepare the one we wanted to bring over.’ Eric and I were different.
On my last day as a human, I made plans with Ella. I really needed someone to talk to and found myself wanting her with me. I got up early and spent the late morning, by myself, lying in the sun. I tanned nude again, this time setting a timer so I wouldn’t fall asleep and get burned. I had no idea if my skin would remain at least somewhat golden, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
A quick shower cooled my heated skin. Ella arrived right in time, and we left for our day out. She drove straight to the Black Light District, taking me back to Slique, the salon we had visited when I had my nails done. Ella had booked most of the afternoon for me: hair, eyebrows, waxing, manicure, pedicure, and a facial. Slique offered a package deal for humans in my particular situation, which is why we came here. The staff was all very serious and careful, handling me delicately. The sun had lightened my hair a little, so all they had to do was trim a little off the ends. It was odd to think that this would be the last haircut I would get. My nails were shaped beautifully and painted soft pink, to match my toenails. When I looked down at them they looked like little gumballs in a row. The staff was meticulous, and they let me make every decision, down to each hair. I had never been so conscious of my physical appearance before, and when we were done, I felt confident and happy with their hard work.
By the time we were done, I was starving. I had enjoyed one of my favorite meals for breakfast. Biscuits, sausage, gravy, eggs, and coffee. I didn’t normally cook so many different things for myself, but I knew it would be my last chance to enjoy my favorites. Ella decided that we should have ice cream for lunch. Seemed like a good choice!
The pseudo blood-splashed walls of Midnight Bite were just as startling during the day, and although it was late afternoon, the ice cream parlor was remarkably empty. Most of the tourists waited until dark, attempting to get a glimpse of a vampire. In an ice cream parlor. Yeah, right. The young man behind the counter was dressed to fit into the Fangtasia crowd, but didn’t sport the fake fangs like his coworker had. I talked him into giving me a tiny scoop of all my favorites, making a reasonably large banana split, that wouldn’t make me too sick. This way I could enjoy a little bite of everything. He didn’t ask why my order was so weird, and went to work, happily scooping 12 flavors and took my money. Ella got strawberry sorbet this time, and she smiled at the plate of melting sweets in front of me.
“One more stop,” Ella said, as she pointed down the street.
The Satin Lining was a quiet combination of a funeral parlor and luggage store. Coffins were lined up along the wall, on a large rotating rack. A woman came into the showroom and smiled warmly at us both, offering to help us.
Ella spoke up. “My friend needs to be fitted for a travel coffin. Top of the line. Full security locks, cushioned lining, fireproof, lightweight, and do you have anything in pink?” Ella smiled pleasantly, as I giggled at the last request.
“Of course, right this way.” The woman smiled as she realized we weren’t tourists. Ella clearly knew what she was looking for, and I had the money to pay for it. She led us to a room in the back that displayed sleek coffins that looked like sleep-pods from a sci-fi movie. She smiled as she pointed out a brushed aluminum model. It was small and pink.
“It has a thin layer of stainless steel for strength, a washable satin liner, and top of the line natural rubber gasket that is fireproof and light tight. Because it is anodized aluminum, the color won’t scratch or chip off, like other models that have been painted. The color is infused in every molecule of aluminum.” She reached over and popped the external latches, and the lid hissed open on hydraulic hinges. “You can see here, there are security locks on the inside, which cannot be opened from the outside. There are four locks, two for each side, reinforcing the hinges, making the coffin completely safe. This particular model also has a five star air travel rating by Annubis Air.”
I reached inside and felt the lining. It was cool and smooth, and underneath, it was heavily padded with foam, cut in the contour of a body. I gulped then asked, “Could I try it out?” I might as well get used to the idea. After all, I would be traveling in one of these for most flights Eric and I would take.
She and Ella lifted it off the display rack and put it on the ground, the saleswoman holding it open for me. “Um, do you have a flashlight or something? I’m afraid I won’t be able to see what I’m doing.”
The saleswoman smiled brightly at me, and said, “There’s a light and mirror inside, in case you need to freshen up after a long flight.” She pulled back a piece of material to reveal the hidden mirror and light, and flicked it on for me.
I had never been a fan of small spaces, and although Eric had reassured me that it’s not possible for vampires to be claustrophobic, the thought of willingly crawling into a coffin as a human was something that gave me the willies. But here I was, crawling into the coffin, pulling the latch overhead until the lid thudded into place. I was grateful for the small light, and fumbled with the latches until I got them all into place. I knocked on the lid, at which point the saleswoman attempted to open the lid. It held tight. I was sold and made my way out of the tiny space as fast as I could and bought it.
The saleswoman swiped my credit card and helped us load it into the back of Ella’s van. As the van door clicked shut, the reality of what I bought sunk in. I bought a coffin. For myself. Weird!!
The ride home was quiet. I had a lot on my mind, details I needed to get straight. As Ella pulled into our driveway, I asked her for the twentieth time, “You’ll be here, right? When I wake up?” Ella nodded, comforting me “I might not get too close, but I’ll be here,” she joked. We lugged the coffin into the front room and sat down to catch our breath. Eric was still sleeping. The sun would be down in an hour.
“Where to?” Ella asked, waiting for me to tell her where I wanted to go for dinner. We drove to the restaurant where Ella and I had first met, The Olive Street Bistro. The hostess led us outside, where we could enjoy the sunset, talk and enjoy our meal in private. I ordered a small meal, which was delicious, but not nearly as delicious as the entire menu of desserts I ordered. I knew I couldn’t finish them all, but between us, Ella and I certainly made a dent in them. We pushed away from the table, feeling full to bursting. Ella asked, “Is it ok if I take these home to Miles? He will go crazy for the chocolate torte!” I nodded, happy that her adorable son would benefit from my eyes being bigger than my stomach.
We talked the whole way home. She double-checked the itinerary for our flight to Paris, so she could be sure to get us to the airport in time. We both squealed several times at the thought of Paris in the spring, with the man I loved. True, I’d be a baby vamp with a lust for blood, but I would see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame! I could hardly wait!
I promised to send postcards to Ella, and as I hugged her goodbye, I cried in her arms, overcome with gratitude. “Ella, I love you so. I don’t know what I would do without you!”
“I love you too, Sweetness, now go enjoy your night with your husband. I’ll see you in three nights.”
Eric greeted us at the door with a look of surprise to find me crying. “I was going to ask if you had a good last day…..” he trailed off, and then smiled as he felt that happiness was the source of my emotions.
“Good night. Sookie, I’ll see you when I pick you up for the airport! Eeee!” We hugged again and Eric laughed.
She drove away, leaving Eric and I alone, to enjoy our night.
“I like the coffin you chose, the pink suits you.” Eric smiled warmly as he touched the smooth metal. “Mine is the same brand, although some of us,” he motioned to his height, “have to wait for weeks for our coffins to be special made. Speaking of that, I’m going to get mine, so we’re ready to go.”
Eric disappeared, and then came back with his travel coffin propped like a toy in one hand. It was a his and hers matching set, well almost matching….except for the pink. He smiled. “This is really happening, isn’t it?”
I looked up at him and said, “I felt the same way after I bought it. Like everything became more real somehow!”
“You look beautiful. Did you have a good time at the salon?” I nodded and told him about my day of binging on sweets. “You only live once, huh?” Funny. I smacked his chest.
“I need to pack.” And when I was done, I felt ready. With my luggage tucked neatly next to my coffin, Eric and I went downstairs.
Eric had filled the room with electric tea light candles. They ‘flickered’ softly, giving the room a creamy glow. Vampires and candles don’t go well together, and this achieved the effect without the risk.
“So, um, how does this work?” I asked, nervously twisting my hands.
“First,” Eric answered, opening the buttons holding my shirt together, “you get undressed. Then, I get undressed….”
I stepped out of my jeans and helped him out of his. Soon, I wouldn’t notice the coolness of his skin.
As his fingers gripped the edge of my panties, I looked away, “I’m sorry I can’t give you another gift, it hasn’t been long enough.”
Eric caught on right away, “Lover, as much as I enjoyed giving in to my blood lust, there is nothing that would satisfy me more than waking up to you every night for eternity, starting now. It is a small price to pay.” His tenderness made me want to cry again.
He captured my lips with his mouth, quieting my mind and setting my body on fire. My palms slid across his silky skin, his muscles contracting under my touch. I scraped my tongue across his fangs, and then pushed my tongue in his mouth, offering him the first taste of blood. He moaned and sucked, pulling my body closer to his, crushing my breasts against his chest.
We had been slowly moving towards the bed, and when it brushed the back of my legs, I relaxed into it, urging Eric to follow me. His mouth left mine as I fell, and his eyes were fixed on my breasts, which jiggled as my body settled against the soft clean sheets. He licked his lips and then delved forward, hungrily sucking one nipple and then the other into his mouth, rasping his fangs against my sensitive skin. I arched towards his mouth, and then rolled my body, lifting my hips up to try and touch him with my wet heat. He shuddered as his cock grazed my slit, and forced himself to pull away. “Not so fast….”
Eric returned his attention to my body, pushing my hips down against the bed as he positioned his face between my legs. He traced the edge of my sex with his tongue, awakening every last nerve in my body. I opened my legs wider, silently begging him to proceed. His tongue darted inside me and swept up and rubbed my clit. He repeated this movement over and over again, until I was gripping the sheets and panting for breath. When he sucked my swollen clit between his lips, I was undone and screamed, releasing a flood of moisture into his hungry mouth.
Eric sat up, smiling with puffy lips, shiny with traces of me, kneeling between my legs. His cock jutted up from his lap, pointing towards me. I propped myself up on my elbows, to watch him. He pushed a finger inside my pussy and pumped in and out until my breath caught again. He curled his finger and rubbed on my g spot, my head fell back, tightening my neck, constricting the orgasmic scream trying to escape my throat.
With his hand now covered with cum, Eric stroked his cock with a firm grasp. Giving his dick the same glossy sheen as his lips. He pushed down to the base, aligning his cock with my body. One thrust in was all it took. My body trembled, his body stilled, waiting out the tremors that seized him as my pussy contracted around him.
I lifted my hips to meet each thrust. Eric growled and drove into me, harder and faster than before. The room filled with the energy flowing between us as he got closer and closer. Without missing a beat, Eric asked quietly, “Are you ready?”
“Yes, I love you.” I breathed, stifling the fear in the back of my mind by focusing on the pleasure of this moment.
Eric leaned over me, his mouth hovering over my pulsing neck. His fangs slid into my skin, and for the first time, he did not hold back. He devoured me. I could feel my heartbeat echo through his body, reverberating in his still lungs. He shifted his body and pushed a hand between us, rubbing my clit, sending one last orgasm rocketing through my body. I felt my heartbeat slow, and my body struggling between fear and pleasure as the force of my orgasm pushed more blood into his open mouth.
Eric sensed my fear and bathed my body with love and comfort through the bond. I felt so tired, and could no longer keep my eyelids open. The fear of death slipped away from me, as the comforting black of nothingness enveloped my limp body. “Stay with me. Forever.” His words filled my mind as his blood filled my mouth. I swallowed, over and over, filling myself with him, coming to awareness again, feeling the pleasure again. I moaned and grabbed his wrist, drawing from the wound. I had never wanted him so much, never needed him so much. I bit into his skin, keeping the blood flowing, which forced a growl out of his lips as he came in violent jerks. I felt love, power, happiness, and something new…and then I fell asleep and everything went dark.
I am only going to ask you one last time. Will you please review Getaway? Be sure to message me with ideas for more stories too, I always love a good brainstorming!
Are you ready for the sequel? Read on… La Vie En Rose