Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
This is dedicated to all of you that have taken care of someone after a night of too much tequila. I hope you were rewarded with something that is worth the smell of alcohol-induced vomit.
I am so very grateful for SeriousCrush, who read this and found a few mistakes…the rest are my own.
This chapter features the poem ‘Passion Without Flesh’ By Jason Paul Fox.
SPOV (in Eric’s body)
I was grateful that I didn’t have a pulse and couldn’t sweat, since I was sure I would not have felt so confident with a racing heart and clammy hands as I stood toe to toe with Eric. I remembered exactly what Callisto had said the night our bodies were switched. She had insisted that Eric and I shared desire, lust, longing, and a hunger for each other. I told her that I didn’t want anything to do with Eric, and she wanted to prove that I did.
There had to be another way. Giving in to him was wrong…wasn’t it? It had to be. I straightened his shoulders with a new resolve.
There had to be another way.
Pam did not help matters when she told us to just do ‘it.’ I brushed off her comment and changed her focus by offering to work for her. She took the bait, and before I knew it, I was sitting on the stage watching her leave. She reminded me several times not to smile, and to talk as little as possible, which wasn’t too difficult since no one dared to approach me. I remembered the first time I came to Fangtasia and saw Eric sitting in this exact spot. He took my breath away and scared me to death all at once. The more I got to know him, the less afraid I was. Fear had been replaced by something else. Lust.
I shook his head and focused on my job for the evening. Pam needed me to find the person responsible for the poems in the bathroom. Most of the humans in the bar were clear senders, filling my mind with their thoughts of fear and excitement. I scanned the crowd, catching the soft voice of a woman hidden by the surrounding walls of a booth.
All day I picture curves arching under me
Dripping the sweat of passion, the heat
Jeering at the bodies we use to strain for pleasure
Equaled by no other.
We quest together for the
Coolness and calmness that follows it.
Tonight I must make this image into reality.
I cannot live on images.
Veritability of pleasure, not phantoms of fever.
Each moment stretches into eternity; I
Long to run my hand down the spine, cup
Each buttock in turn, lick a line of
Shivers along the spine hiding behind you.
Soon I will make love to you.
An image of Pam followed the final words. She was smiling and had her eyes closed. Pam was sprawled out on a bed and her body was being caressed by long brown hair.
I stood up and made my way through the crowd, being drawn into the fantasy inside this woman’s head. The images dissolved when I reached the table and my presence snapped her back to reality. The peaceful dream-like energy she had just been transmitting moments before were suddenly replaced with fright and the urge to bolt. I smiled at her gently and said, “You’re here for Pam.” She nodded uncertainly, her dark hair covering her face. “Come with me.” I gestured to the stage.
“Um, okay…” she said as she closed her book and picked up her drink. She was curious and afraid.
I sat back down in Eric’s chair and pointed to the one next to me for her to sit in. Pam usually sat in that chair, but considering the circumstances, I didn’t think she would mind. The woman hesitated for a moment and looked like she might throw up.
“I love poetry,” I started, glancing at the book in her hand. “May I?” I held Eric’s hand open and she reluctantly handed it over. A Fangtasia napkin was stuffed inside, marking the poem she had just been reading. I read it quickly and quoted,
‘Tonight I must make this image into reality.
I cannot live on images.
Veritability of pleasure, not phantoms of fever.’
“That is so powerful. You can really feel the longing…”
She nodded and smiled shyly as she sat down. Her fear began to subside. “How well do you know her?”
“Pam?” I asked. She gave me another shy smile. “A little…enough to know that she loves poetry.” Her smile grew. “Are you a student?” I asked, knowing full well that she was.
“I’m studying literature at the University of Louisiana. My name’s Mel.” She did not offer to shake my hand, and I admired her for her observation of vampire ritual.
“Eric.” I said, feeling the lie twinge inside me.
“Do you want her too?” Mel asked uncertainly.
“So, it’s the other one?”
“What?” I asked.
She stared at me and raised an eyebrow skeptically. “That blonde woman you came in with…?”
I looked around nervously. “Is it that obvious?” Had anyone else noticed?
Mel nodded and smiled. “I was watching Pam when you came in.” She tucked her hair behind her ear as she relaxed. Her smooth forehead was covered with tiny freckles. She was quiet and peaceful and didn’t fit here.
“Mel? Why are you here?”
“To see her again.” Mel looked around the room and then came back to me. “I came here with a couple of my friends a few weeks ago. I can’t stop coming…not after seeing her. The friends I came with tonight left a while ago. I was trying to build up the courage to talk to her.”
“Do you want to meet her?” I asked. Mel nodded emphatically. “She can be really mean…”
“She is so graceful, so powerful, so beautiful.”
“We’re talking about the same vampire, right?”
Mel giggled and that’s when I could hear someone storming up next to us. I held Eric’s hand out to stop them and found his fingers firmly embedded in my breasts. At first I assumed that this was another one of his attempts to bring us together, and then I looked into my eyes and saw the anger and hurt. It surprised me enough that I pulled his hand away.
Mel smiled nervously, watching us interact, and was tempted to bolt. I smiled at her and told her to wait in Eric’s office. Pam had been gone for an hour, and I assumed she would be back soon.
As soon as Mel was out of sight, Eric started accusing me of finding someone to have sex with. I almost laughed in his face, but managed to keep his mouth shut. Eric was jealous. He had dreamed up some scenario where I was going to jump into bed with every fangbanger in the bar, starting with Mel. Before I had the opportunity to explain, Pam joined us, and I got the satisfaction of telling him that Mel was Pam’s poetic admirer, and that she was waiting for her…not me.
I actually saw Eric squirm. He was uncomfortable because he knew he had overreacted, but he wasn’t about to apologize or even admit to it. The silence between us was painful, so I let him off the hook by suggesting he go relax. Apparently his idea of relaxing was trying to swallow a bottle of tequila. Whole. It didn’t take long before my head was on the table. I watched Eric closely, and my attention had not gone unnoticed. No one approached him, no matter how tempting a passed out human body would be to some of the vamps making an appearance at the bar that night.
Just before closing, Pam and Mel came out of Eric’s office. They were both smiling. Pam’s smile evaporated when she saw my body draped over the table, my limp hand clutching the half empty bottle.
“Idiot!” Pam scoffed. I couldn’t have agreed more.
Luckily, Pam had Eric’s keys (which he had left in the office) and offered to drive us back to Eric’s house, which was good, because I couldn’t remember where he lived, and the thought of driving his Corvette unnerved me.
“Carry him and follow me,” Pam said as she turned and went back down the hallway, where Mel was waiting. Pam grabbed her hand and pushing the back door open, which led to the employee parking area.
I pushed the bottle out of my hands and gently lifted my body off of the bench. It was easier than I thought it would be. I was still adjusting to having this much strength. I had the most trouble trying to keep my ass covered as I carried my body down the hallway. Eric mumbled something and tried to hold onto his neck with my floppy arms. My breath was probably flammable, and I was grateful that Eric didn’t need to breathe. “Shh, Eric, everything is going to be alright. I’m taking you home.” At least I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping his hunger under control, since the smell of alcohol was overriding all the delicious aromas that normally came off of my body.
Pam had the back door of her car open, and motioned for me to put my body down on the seat. “If he pukes in my car, I’ll kill you both,” Pam said looking from me to Eric who was still mumbling and beginning to sweat.
“Then I think you better hurry…” I said. The gurgling noise coming from my stomach did not sound promising. I climbed into the seat, careful not to hit my head against the opposite car door. I draped my legs over Eric’s lap and closed the door.
On the way to Eric’s house, I couldn’t hide the smile forming as I watched Mel caress Pam’s hand. Pam did not mind the attention, quite the opposite. When we pulled into his driveway, Pam offered to help me get him inside, taking his keys and opening the door for me. Mel gave me a soft smile and mouthed the words ‘Thank You’ as I passed her door, carrying my limp and groaning body. I returned her smile and felt happy for them.
Pam was waiting for us, and whispered, “Thank you Sookie. For helping me find her.” She wouldn’t look at me, and I guessed it was because she wasn’t used to being gracious to humans. Well, at least not to me. It didn’t seem like she was having any trouble being gracious to Mel.
“You’re welcome Pam. I want you to know, she’s not like the others. She doesn’t belong in Fangtasia.”
“I know. That’s what I like about her.” Pam looked innocent and happy; both of which looked obscene on her face.
“Good luck with your little lush,” Pam said as she left, pushing the keys into his hand.
I shook his head and closed the door, taking Eric to the bathroom down the hall so he could throw up if he needed to. I removed his phone from inside my cleavage…just in case. It’s a good thing that I did, since it was the first place he threw up.
The first hour was the worst, but after Eric purged most of the alcohol out of my body, he became much more calm. He even fell asleep at one point, propped against the side of the bathtub. I took that opportunity to wipe the floor with toilet paper where he had missed when I aimed him at the toilet. I was thankful for the lack of needing breath, yet again. What I really needed was a wet towel to wipe my face and chest and a mop for the floor. I started opening cupboards and didn’t find anything suitable, and guessed that this was probably a bathroom he didn’t use.
I made sure my body was safely wedged against the wall, and breathing evenly before I left to find a towel. The kitchen was just as barren, and as I looked through the cupboards and fridge, I realized there would be a problem once Eric woke up. There was no food in this house. Or coffee. We had passed a convenience store on the way here, and I figured that I could walk to it once I got Eric cleaned up and in a bed.
I followed the stairs down and found a luxurious master bedroom with an attached bathroom. The bed was enormous and looked very comfortable, so I decided to bring Eric down here once I cleaned him up so I could keep an eye on him until sunrise. The shelves in the bathroom were loaded with clean towels, so I got one and then rushed back upstairs.
Eric stirred slightly when I lifted him off of the floor and carried him down to the bed in his room. He was saying something, but his words were so slurred that I couldn’t make sense of them. I pulled the covers back and put a towel over the pillow and put my body down on it as gently as I could. He nuzzled into the towel and fell asleep again.
I was in the closet trying to find something that resembled pajamas when I hear the telltale sounds of impending vomit. Even if I could have gotten back fast enough, I wouldn’t have had anything for him to throw up into. His house was conspicuously lacking garbage cans.
Eric, the bed, and my dress were all saturated with a mixture of alcohol and partially chewed French fries. If Eric had last eaten during my shift at Merlotte’s and then downed half a bottle of Jose Cuervo nearly six hours later it was no wonder he was so sick. He had a lot to learn about being human, and I just hoped he didn’t wreck my body while he was ‘borrowing’ it.
It took me another half-hour to find clean sheets and change the bed. I attempted to wipe the puke off of my face, but when I realized it was in my hair, I knew that a shower was the only option. I undressed my body and put my dress in the sink. As I pulled the dress off, I was surprised to see that he had forgone undergarments, which made me even gladder that I had been so fastidious about keeping my ass covered as I carried him to Pam’s car. Eric did not protest until the water hit my face, and then he sputtered and swore at me, mumbling something about me trying to kill him by drowning him.
I wrapped a gigantic towel around my body and carried me back to bed. I had another towel in place, hoping to catch little spills, but needed to find a garbage can. Pronto. I finally found one, hidden in the cupboard under the bathroom sink. It was empty, and appeared to be new. I put it on the table next to the bed and then went back into the closet in search for pajamas for my naked body. I came up empty handed again, so I decided that an undershirt was my best option. I unwrapped my body from the towel, and gasped when the heat of my skin burned Eric’s hands again. Is this what it felt like every time he touched a human? I slid the shirt over my damp hair, pulled my floppy arms into place, and then tugged it down until the shirt brushed against the top of my thighs.
I hung the wet towel up, and tucked the blankets securely around my body. Eric smiled at me and said, “Thank you. Everything is all right…you make everything all right.” He fell asleep again, so I slipped away in an attempt to find a washer.
The washer and dryer were upstairs and after deciphering the symbols on the washer, the sheets started to spin around and get bubbly. The laundry room also had a fully stocked shelf of cleaning supplies, so I got busy in the bathroom.
I checked on Eric one more time before I left. I had his wallet and keys tucked in his pocket and ran as fast as I could to the convenience store. The middle-aged clerk was sitting in a chair with his feet propped on the counter next to the cash register. He was reading a Western novel. He watched me warily as I filled my arms with a few groceries. The refrigerator case had milk, eggs, bread, and sandwiches in one small section, and the rest was filled with beer and synthetic blood. Eric had plenty of blood in his fridge, so I focused on food for my human body. I made several trips to the counter, putting down groceries and a few other essentials lacking in Eric’s house; namely a toothbrush and toothpaste.
“Are you ready?” the man asked me when I dropped off a load of food. I noticed he had a container of silver spray next to the register. Insurance for late night visits from vampires.
“I think so. You know, you should get some of those hand held shopping baskets,” I said feeling tired and irritable.
“Just in case I have a deader come in at five o’clock in the morning for a toothbrush, instant coffee, and bread?” he said skeptically.
“As a matter of fact…yes,” I said, sounding like a whiney child.
He chuckled and put his book down and rang up the pile on the counter.
I opened Eric’s wallet and I jumped as I saw the pile of cash in the main fold. There was a stack of one hundred dollar bills. I had only ever seen this much money when Sam was closing the till for the night and counting for a deposit. And yet here, in Eric’s wallet was easily over two grand.
“I said, ‘that’ll be 55.67,’” the clerk said.
“Oh. Here you go.” I handed him a hundred dollar bill and he shook his head.
“Sorry, we can’t make change for big bills after ten o’clock.”
“That’s fine with me. You can keep the change.” I said, determined to get back to Eric’s as quickly as I could. Dawn was approaching.
“I’m not allowed to accept tips,” he protested, looking up at the security camera.
“It’s not a tip. I’m prepaying for the next 45 dollars worth of transactions,” I said smiling, feeling satisfied with my solution.
I grabbed the bags of groceries and moved in a blur back to Eric’s house. I put the groceries away after I checked on Eric, finding him sleeping soundly still. I downed a bottle of blood, shaking his head with disgust. I wrote a note explaining where things were, and then I locked everything up and joined Eric on his bed. When I stretched out next to him, he rolled over, draping my arm and leg over his body. It felt nice to be surrounded by the warmth of my human body, so I didn’t push him away. Instead, I closed my eyes and went to sleep for the day.
Poor Sookie! What do you think Eric will do when he wakes up?
Keep in mind that reviews/comments are not just for my ego…they give me ideas for upcoming chapters (or different stories all together!). So please review!