Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thank you to everyone that reviewed the last chapter…I know I’ve been gone for a while, and it is lovely to know that you have not abandoned me. SeriousCrush, I always appreciate every comment and lovely encouraging word.
The phone rang twice before Mr. Cataliades answered. His voice was cool and crisp, until I said hello, and then it softened. “Sookie, my dear, please call me Desmond. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”
“We just finished a video chat with Dr. Ludwig.”
“Mm hm,” his voice sang. “What do you think?”
I could feel my temper rising. “What I think is that you should explain my gift.”
Desmond chuckled warmly. “Well, it wasn’t really given to you. I gave it to Fintan and Adele. No need to thank me.”
“I wasn’t planning on it,” I huffed. “Thanks to you, I spent my entire human life as an outcast.”
“Now, now, my dear,” he said soothing me with his rich voice. “I gave the gift out of love. Might I also remind you that I am not responsible for your essential spark. If you have issue with your unique heritage, you would be better served to have this discussion with your fairy family.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep unnecessary breath. “I’m sorry. You’re right.”
Desmond cleared his throat. “Well, now that is settled, is there something else you wanted to discuss?”
“Dr. Ludwig mentioned that demon blood might help solve the problem I have when I feed.”
“Ah yes, she mentioned that…how you gain their memories. Fascinating.”
“The last time I fed from a human, I spoke French for hours, and could only think of his life,” I said, sounding more irritated than I intended.
“Yes,” he drawled. “That would be exasperating. So you would like to change that. Correct?”
I nodded and then remembered I was on the phone. “Yes.”
“As you know, I am only half-demon, and although I would love to be of assistance, I believe you need a more concentrated source of demon blood. My brother Nargal might be willing…for the right fee.”
I glanced at Eric, who had been listening to our conversation. He nodded his head, indicating that we would be more than willing to pay his price, whatever it might be. “We accept. I would appreciate your asking him.”
“I will be in touch.”
“Thank you Desmond,” I replied, and then he was gone.
“Now, we wait,” Eric said pulling me into a hug. “Do you think Amelia would be willing to help?”
“Only one way to find out…” A few minutes later, after explaining everything all over again, Amelia agreed to help. Even though we had talked about my choice to become a vampire, we had not seen each other since my wedding in Las Vegas, but in the short time we were on the phone, I felt close to her all over again. She sounded nervous, but also exhilarated to help me with such intricate magic. I made her promise that she would let me buy any supplies she would need for the demon blood separation spell, and told her I would be in touch as soon as we found a willing donor.
Realization hit me as I ended the call. “We have to go home, don’t we?”
“Unless you want Amelia and a demon flying together across the Atlantic,” Eric said teasing me.
I pouted and threw myself down onto the bed. “There is still so much to see. So much for me to learn…”
“Paris will always be here. We have an eternity to travel the world together,” Eric said as he sat next to me. He gathered my hands in his and kissed my palms. He smiled and kissed me again. “As far as me teaching you…I can do that anywhere. You have already exceeded my expectations with your control and skill. I honestly don’t believe that your family will be in any danger. I am sure that it will take a few days to make arrangements. That will give us a little more time to see the city.”
I yawned and stretched next to him, suddenly feeling the impending dawn. Eric got up and locked the window blinds in place and then came back to the bed and began to undress me. I rolled onto my stomach and sighed as the silky material of the sheets brushed against my nipples, making them hard and sensitive. I pulled myself up until I was nestled face down between the pillows. I felt Eric’s weight on the bed, and then his knees between mine, wedging my legs apart. I lifted my ass by tilting my hips, giving him a better view of my slippery pussy. He growled and dove between my legs pushing his tongue against the smooth swollen skin. I shuddered and contorted my body to give him greater access. His tongue swooped down and cupped my clit, kissing it as his tongue circled the growing mound of tissue. Eric dipped his tongue inside me briefly before sliding it up and over my ass. My body shook and then his dick stabbed into my leg as he shifted his body upright. He gripped my hips firmly, dragging me up onto my knees. I leaned heavily on my forearms and craned my head to look between my legs. His cock brushed against my engorged lips. I sighed and then he pulled away.
Eric massaged my ass and then smacked it lightly. It stung for a split second, and then he was pushing his massive hard-on against me again. He pulled away again. I wanted to cry. Spank. My ass stung in the same spot as before, and then he used his hand to guide his dick until it was just inside me. He rubbed his dick up and down, stretching my opening and pushing against my clit. A flood of moisture coated the head of his cock, making it shiny. He mumbled something and then pulled out of me again. This time it was my other cheek that got a smack, and this time, my body responded by producing more fluid. Eric ran his thumb up my wet slit and moaned as he sucked his thumb clean and buried the head of his dick inside me again. His hips jerked and he sank inside a little farther. He quickly corrected his mistake and pulled out of me. Another spank, more cum, and then a tiny thrust. Each time he pushed into me, he used his hand to rotate his cock in circles, brushing and pushing against my clit. I moved my ass in the air, begging for more. I was desperate. Each spank brought with it a string of cum, coating not only his dick, but also his hand.
“So wet,” Eric ground out behind me, teasing me again with the head of his cock. “Tell me what you want, Lover.”
Spank. “Wrong answer.”
“Please?” I begged. He pushed inside me a little farther. “Yes!”
Spank. “Please what?”
“Please fuck me?” I begged again. Spank. My body shuddered as he pulled out and spanked the other cheek. The pain subsided quickly as my skin healed, leaving the pleasure to overpower my senses.
“Please fuck me…” Eric trailed off.
“Yes, please fuck me,” I repeated. Spank. Spank, his fingertips brushed against my sex as his hand retreated, spreading a slippery trail of cum between the inside of my thighs. I whimpered and felt my orgasm hanging by a thread, held just out of my reach by Eric. “Please fuck me, Herra minn.” I finally figured out the magic words.
Eric groaned and pushed into me, burying himself to the hilt. I screamed into the pillows and contracted around him, my body fell limp against the bed, followed immediately by his. Dawn had arrived.
Consciousness came back to me quickly. Eric kissed my back and whispered, “Now where was I?” And then he moved upright, holding on to my hips and drove into me. I tilted my hips down, pushing my ass into his body. I was forced to pull my face away from the pillow long enough to fill my lungs so I could scream. Not out of necessity for breathing, but for vocalizing my pleasure. My muscles tightened and my body shook, squeezing him. He slammed into me, pushing the last of the air out of my lungs with a guttural “Ugh.” The pillows around my head muffled the sounds of our bodies meeting, over and over again, which was the only sound in the room.
Eric spiraled his hips, rubbing his cock inside my pussy in all new places. I inhaled sharply again and let out a low moan. This time, as the intense pressure that come with the imminent arrival of an orgasm began to spread up my spine, Eric’s body began to stiffen. His legs hit mine erratically and I knew he was close. He leaned over my back again, resting his mouth on my shoulder. “Yes,” I moaned as I gave myself to him. His fangs pierced my skin and as he sucked delicately, his thrusts became more powerful until we were crying out together.
Our bodies collapsed in a tangle of limbs on the bed. Eric stretched and reached for the phone, ordering three True Bloods.
We could hear the cart coming down the hall a few minutes later, so Eric pulled away from me and slipped a robe on to meet them. I didn’t bother to move, waiting for Eric to bring me breakfast in bed. The woman pushing the cart smelled delicious, and I fought the temptation to pounce on her while Eric thanked and tipped her.
“Drink this,” Eric ordered, handing me a warm bottle. I opened my mouth and chugged it, grimacing as I swallowed the swill in the bottom of the bottle. “And this,” he said handing me a second bottle. I was about to protest but knew better than to argue with him.
“Yeack,” I said as I finished the second one. “How can you sit there and sip that nasty stuff?”
Eric shrugged. “It’s not so bad.” I raised my eyebrows and looked at him skeptically. “Okay, it tastes like shit, but it takes the edge off of the hunger. Clears my head.”
“I have to admit that it does help with the hunger.”
“What they should do is bottle you…mm, I could eat that all day.” Eric bit at the air between us. I laughed.
The phone next to the bed rang with two quick tones.
“Bonsoir,” Eric said. He nodded. Without another word, he handed me the phone.
“Good evening, my dear,” Desmond said. I could hear the smile in his voice and held my breath in anticipation for potential good news. It would probably take me a while to let go of these human traits.
“Hi, you have good news?” I said, unable to contain my excitement.
“Indeed I do. My loyal brother has agreed to help you.”
“Thank you!” I gushed. “When?”
“How soon can you be back?”
“I’m not sure. I will call Ella and have her take care of reservations for our trip home. I will let you know as soon as I can. Thank you again mister…um, Desmond.”
Desmond chuckled. “You’re very welcome Sookie.” While he spoke, Eric motioned that he wanted the phone.
“Wait, before you go, Eric would like to talk to you again.” I handed the phone to Eric.
I could hear Desmond’s voice muffled through the phone. “I wanted to discuss payment.” Eric’s voice was the epitome of business.
Desmond said, “Nargal wants fifty thousand, plus my usual fee.”
“Yes of course. Money will not be a problem.” Desmond interrupted him. “Okay…” Eric trailed off.
Desmond’s voice was quieter so I leaned closer to hear his second request. “He also wants an exchange of blood.”
“Whose?” Eric’s voice hardened.
“Hers. She is very unique and he wants to taste her.”
“I…” Eric began to decline his offer. I touched his shoulder so he would look at me and nodded my head. I could feel his desire to protect me, and as I nodded my head I could feel his resignation to let me make my own choices. It was a small price to pay for freedom. “Sookie agrees,” Eric said and his voice got quieter as he went on. “He will not touch her. I will not allow him to feed from her.”
Desmond’s voice was smooth. “Of course. You are her master, you can decide how the exchange takes place.”
Eric straightened his back. “Then it is settled.”
“I look forward to hearing from you,” Desmond said before he hung up the phone.
I touched Eric’s face, willing the muscles in his jaw to relax. “Eric, I need this.”
His shoulders slumped. “I don’t trust him. Especially when you are part of the payment.”
“I do. Mr. Cataliades would never put me in harms way. He’s too smart.” I smiled at him. Eric finally relaxed. “I appreciate you looking out for me, as you always have. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Eric kissed me sweetly. I could feel his love. “Why don’t you call Ella?” Eric said handing me the phone.
I dialed her and after a quick explanation, she said, “Would you like me to call Mr. Cataliades and Amelia for you and make arrangements?”
“That would be perfect. Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Of course I don’t mind. This is my job, isn’t it?” she laughed. “Would you like to meet them at Fangtasia?”
Eric, who had been listening to the conversation, shook his head. “Too many distractions…and I don’t really want to deal with trying to get the smell out of my office.” I cocked my head and stared at him in confusion.
“Perhaps Mr. Cataliades will be willing to host the meeting at his business office in New Orleans,” Ella offered.
“That would be perfect since Amelia has moved back into her place. Will you ask him?”
“Done. I’ll be in touch. I’ve got the hotel number here, you’re in room 7007 right?” Ella asked. I confirmed the hotel number and then waited by the phone to hear back from her.
I didn’t have to wait long. Ella had taken care of everything to arrange a meeting. I could hear her fingers clacking on her laptop. “I’ve got you on the next flight out of Charles De Gaulle. Your departure time is tomorrow night, Wednesday at 8:50 pm. I just e mailed you the flight itinerary. There are two layovers, one in London, and then another in Dallas. I will be at the New Orleans airport to pick you up Thursday night at 10:30 pm.”
“Thank you Ella, you’re the best,” I said smiling. I hung up the phone and opened my laptop.
“Tomorrow?” Eric asked, confirming what Ella had said.
“Yes. That only leaves tonight for Paris.” It hurt me to say it. I wasn’t ready to leave.
“The Louvre,” Eric said, already knowing where we would spend our last night.
“Sounds like a wonderful idea.”
We planned to go into the museum through the underground entrance, since Eric humored me and took me on the Metro for the first time. The seats on the train were uncomfortable, but clean, and thankfully it was not terribly crowded. My body swayed with the train and the faint sound of beautiful music coming from somewhere nearby. Eric smiled at me, letting my happiness wash over him.
We walked along the corridor to the museum entrance. I trailed my fingers along the glossy brick walls and marveled at the beauty of this underground world. The bricks extended up the wall and across the curved ceiling, making the tunnel bright as the white bricks reflected the lights coming off the train. A musician got off of one of the other cars, continuing to play as he walked, filling the tunnel with lively accordion music. He sang and smiled at people passing him, his kind eyes asking quietly for money. I smiled and made my way over to him, tucking a folded bill into the collection jar hanging around his neck. He nodded gratefully to me and sang for me for a minute before he moved on.
Eric was waiting patiently against the wall. “Sorry to make you wait. I’ve never heard such lovely music.” I smiled and kissed him.
“Street performers are part of Paris. I’m glad you got to experience it. Are you ready for the Louvre?” I nodded and took his hand.
My mouth hung open as we stood in front of two beautiful marble sculptures. “These were carved by Michelangelo?” My eyes followed the perfectly sculpted muscles in his abdomen and fell on his genitalia. “Why is it…so small?” I whispered. “I mean, he’s over seven feet tall, and that is definitely not proportionate.”
Eric let out a short burst of laughter. “Only you would look at the work of the Divine One and ask why his dick is so small.”
“Shh, stop talking so loud!” I said feeling embarrassed. “I can’t help it. It’s eye level…” I whined. I moved to the other sculpture. “It’s the same…is that an Italian thing or a renaissance thing?”
Eric smiled and came up behind me, pushing his impressive body against mine. “Some are not fortunate enough to have Viking blood in them.” His voice was cocky and it made me laugh.
“They are beautiful, nevertheless.” I smiled at him and followed the hallways to one of the exhibits.
The Louvre was huge and it took us three hours just to walk through the lower level. The room full of Egyptian artifacts was fascinating. Their culture had always drawn my attention, and for a while in my late teens, I had been obsessed with it, determined to be an archeologist some day. This was probably the closest I had ever gotten to my teenage dream.
Eric led me up one of the staircases, intent on taking me to the upper level. I stopped in my tracks again. Towering above us was a massive sculpture of a headless armless woman. She had a wingspan that matched her height, and the rich caramel marble was carved with such fine detail that it made me want to cry. “The Winged Victory of Samothrace,” Eric said. “She was a Greek goddess. This was carved to mark the victory of a naval battle.”
“She’s so beautiful, so graceful. I love the way her robe flows around her, as if a breeze blew the stone into place.”
“She is beautiful,” Eric said gazing at my face. I nodded and then looked at him and shook my head when I realized he was talking about me. “What? You must know how beautiful you are.”
“Thank you…” I said as I kissed him.
Once we were on the main level, I noticed a crowd around a roped off area. The rest of the Louvre was barely filled with tourists, but this spot seemed to be something special. A guard stood nearby, making the same loud announcement. “Aucune photographie au flash.” (No flash photography). I looked up at Eric and said, “What is he guarding?”
Eric, who was a head taller than most of the people in the crowd, said, “The Mona Lisa.”
“Oo, the Mona Lisa! Why no flash pictures?”
“They are worried it will destroy the paint over time,” Eric answered shaking his head as people all around him snapped pictures despite what the man was saying. “It’s also behind bulletproof glass, which is why it looks distorted from here.”
I looked through the crowd and noticed that the people were pushing against each other, impatiently trying to get a closer look. I reached my hand out and touched the person right in front of me. I cleared my mind and then thought, ‘Stop pushing. Put your cameras down.’ In unison, the crowd quieted and began to slowly file past the painting. The guard stood frozen staring at the crowd like they were aliens. Eric smiled at me and laughed quietly. “What? They were being rude!”
“I agree. I just marvel at how you use your power,” Eric whispered, stroking my back lovingly.
Eventually it was our turn and I admired the rich paint and her beautiful smile. The guard was still in shock, and when I smiled at him, he just shook his head in confusion. Chaos would descend soon enough, but for now he relaxed against the wall, enjoying the peace.
The walls were lined with paintings I had only ever seen in books. I really couldn’t believe that I was seeing them in person. Another sculpture in the middle of the hallway made the crowd split again. It was another armless woman, but this one had her head. “Venus de Milo,” Eric said. “Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. A bit too Greek for my taste.”
“It’s so erotic, the way the fabric draped around her hips seems like it will slip off at any moment,” I said.
“She is certainly my favorite Greek goddess.” Eric moved to look at a painting a few feet away. “Another da Vinci: Virgin on the Rocks. Historically inaccurate…but still beautiful.”
“That is supposed to be Jesus and John the Baptist as infants?” I asked as I read the plaque below it. Eric nodded. “Yep, I see what you mean.”
We spent another two hours walking slowly, hand in hand, admiring one painting or sculpture after another. As the night wore on, the museum emptied, until there were only a handful of tourists. “We should get back to the hotel. We need to pack,” Eric said, reminding me that we were going home tomorrow.
“I know. Thank you for tonight. You are the best tour guide I have ever met.”
“I am glad I could be of service,” Eric replied bowing slightly.
Eric let the manager at the front desk of our hotel know that we would be checking out tomorrow night, and took care of our travel arrangements. A taxi would be waiting for us at sundown.
As we packed, my sadness at leaving Paris was replaced with the anxiety of going home. We had been gone for almost two weeks, and I was really looking forward to being home, and sleeping in our own bed. I wasn’t sure I would be ready to see all of my family or friends just yet, but there was a built in support system at Fangtasia. Or at least I hoped they would support me. So much had changed, and it was nerve-wracking to think about how everyone would react to my new life.
“Stop worrying,” Eric said as he zipped up his suit bag.
I smiled nervously. “I’m trying to, just worried about how everyone will treat me at home.”
“You have me, Pam and Ella. What else do you need?”
“Everyone else’s approval,” I said. “I know it’s pathetic, but I didn’t exactly get a loving farewell from some of my friends.”
Eric gave me a hard look, one that said, ‘Fuck them!’ but he said, “I’m sure they will come around. Time. All they need is time. After all, you are still you…just lacking a heartbeat.”
I laughed and hugged him. He was right. All they would need was time.
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