Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
SeriousCrush not only edited this for me, but she also pointed out that it is not an epilogue. I rewrote this chapter three times, and each time I struggled to tie up all the loose ends and write a proper epilogue. She pointed out that I clearly had more to say, so voila, you get an extra chapter. I’m so sorry for the wait, between editing my book, starting a new one, struggling with this chapter, and trying to get over bad reviews, it took me MUCH longer than I anticipated.
Okay, on with the warning: This chapter is not work friendly. 🙂
Meeting the Queen
Of course, Pam was right about the queen. Sookie had been nervous about meeting her in person, especially after being so scared by Andre. Sookie’s nerves settled a little as a limo pulled up in front of Eric’s house to pick them up for the first meeting. Eric agreed to accompany her to the queen’s palace. Being surrounded by his love always helped her relax.
For the first meeting, the limo driver had explained a little bit about what the queen expected of Sookie.
“The queen confides in the limo driver?” Her voice was skeptical.
“I am her loyal servant, I do whatever the Queen asks of me. My name is Raul.” He spoke to her through the small window that separated the driver and the passengers.
“Pleased to meet you. Sookie Stackhouse.” Sookie nodded her head. She liked him immediately.
The palace grounds were enormous, and the palace was even more impressive. Sookie and Eric were brought, by Raul, into an inner chamber and introduced to the Queen.
“You must be Sookie Stackhouse,” the Queen said, nodding her head. “My name is Sophie-Anne. I am the Queen of Louisiana.” She smiled.
Sookie visibly relaxed. “Thank you for inviting us to your palace, Queen Sophie-Anne.”
The Queen clasped her hands. “Would you mind demonstrating your gift? I have heard so much about it, and I must admit that I am more than a little curious to see how it works.”
Sookie nodded her consent, and they got down to business.
Sophie-Anne asked a lot of questions, and Sookie answered them all. The Queen seemed to be more than satisfied by her relationship with Sheriff Northman, and was obviously thrilled by her willingness to demonstrate her abilities on every human Sookie could find in the palace, even when they weren’t in the same room.
When she felt satisfied that the Queen was thoroughly impressed, Sookie stated her demands, requesting Eric go with her on trips, and suggested she be paid an annual salary of $80,000 for being available any time. Her mouth hung open when the Queen accepted without even blinking. Sookie had never made that much money in her life and was ecstatic over the prospect at not having to worry about money ever again.
Eric stroked her back. Sookie could feel his happiness through their bond. He had shared with her his nervousness about their meeting, since he knew from experience that the Queen and Sookie could both be stubborn, and he knew it could have ended in disaster. He was relieved that things were going so well.
“Sookie Stackhouse, I am delighted to work with you, and I am sure you will always use discretion when discussing my business.” The Queen stood to her full height, and although she was tiny compared to everyone in the room, her presence was enormous.
“Of course,” Sookie stated solemnly.
“Excellent.” The Queen nodded. “Here is a schedule I had drawn up. I expect that you, and Sheriff Northman will be able to accompany me on the dates I have marked. All transportation will be taken care of.”
Sookie took the pieces of paper and flipped through the pages, each one representing one of the next three months. Sookie nodded to indicate her approval. It was a reasonable amount of work, and she was looking forward to knowing what her schedule would be this far in advance.
“Sheriff Northman, you will need to teach her our history and political structure. She needs to be prepared.” Sophie-Anne gestured to Sookie.
“As you wish, my Queen.” Eric bowed deeply. He gave Sookie a quick smile. He glanced at the schedule in Sookie’s hands and noted that the first meeting was with the central clan, which gave him the perfect idea about where to start with her education.
“Lovely to have that settled. Sookie, when you sign this contract, we are done here.” The Queen walked over to a table. She lifted an ornate and old-fashioned quill and pierced her wrist with it, signing her name in a beautiful flourish of blood. She pulled the quill tip off and threw it in the fire.
Sookie gasped. She was surprised, not only by the queen’s actions, but also by the presence of a contract. When Sookie read it, she was even more intrigued because it had all of her terms outlined specifically. Salary…transportation…everything. She hadn’t seen anyone coming or going in the room, and wondered how it had appeared on this table.
The queen handed Sookie a fresh quill, and looked from it to Sookie’s wrist to the paper.
“Eric, can you help me?” Sookie offered her wrist to him.
Eric nodded and his fangs descended with a loud snick. He bit into her warm flesh gently, licking to get the blood flowing.
Sophie-Anne inhaled deeply. “Andre is never wrong about heritage. How much Fae is in your family?”
Sookie shrugged. “I’m not sure. It’s something that I’m still trying to find out myself.” The thought worried her. She wasn’t exactly sure she was ready to uncover this part of her family’s past just yet.
Sookie dipped the tip into her blood the same way the Queen had. The blood wicked up the hollow shaft, and she signed quickly before the blood began to clot. She held her wrist to Eric who healed her quickly.
Sookie and Eric left shortly after the contract was signed, both relieved the meeting had gone so well.
Sookie looked at the schedule on their way home. “The Queen needs my help in two weeks for a three day conference. What does Amun mean?”
Eric laughed. “I have a lot to teach you.” He spent the next week going over as much as he could with Sookie. He was pleased with how quickly she managed to pick up the information and before long, she knew the names of the Kings and Queens in the Amun region.
During a break from her lessons, Sookie talked Eric into going to Merlotte’s with her. She missed seeing her friends, since Eric had quit her job and she had been spending so much time in Shreveport with him, or working on getting her house back in order.
Merlotte’s was not terribly crowded, and when they walked it, Sookie was shocked to see Charlotte sitting at the bar, drinking a bottle of blood and flirting with Sam. Charlotte and Sam both looked toward the door when they entered.
Charlotte slid off her seat and walked up to Eric. “Sheriff Northman, it is so good to see you again.”
Sookie smiled at her widely, remembering in time that she was in her own body, and that while she may know Charlotte, Charlotte didn’t know her, and neither did Eric. “You must be the new vamp that moved into Bon Temps, my name is Sookie. Eric mentioned that I had a new neighbor.” She hoped Charlotte remembered the conversation they had.
Charlotte returned the smile and nodded her head. “Charlotte. Pleased to meet you.”
Eric cleared his throat. “Yes. Charlotte, so good to see you again.” He gave Sookie a grateful smile. “How are you enjoying Bon Temps?”
Charlotte’s eyes darted to Sam. “The locals are so warm and friendly. I think I finally found a town worth staying in.”
Sam’s face flushed a bright shade of pink, which complimented his strawberry blond hair nicely. He cleared his throat and looked at Sookie. “How are you Sookie? It’s been a while…speaking of that, I’ve got your last paycheck.”
Sookie followed him to his office while Eric was talking quietly to Charlotte. “I’m so sorry Sam, for the way things happened,” she started. “I hope you found a replacement.”
“I always do. She’s not as good as you though.” Sam winked at her. “Have you and Arlene made up yet?”
“What? Why is Arlene mad at me?” Worry creased her forehead.
Sam lowered his voice again. “During the, um, switch…Eric hurt her feelings. I think she’s let it go most of the way, but it wouldn’t hurt to smooth things over a little.”
“Thanks Sam.” Sookie was grateful to have a friend that cared enough to help her. “What’s with you and Charlotte?” she whispered. She knew first hand how excellent vampire hearing was, and didn’t want to embarrass him, even if Eric and Charlotte were in the other room. Charlotte seemed to like Sam, but she wasn’t sure if Sam reciprocated those feelings.
Sam blushed again. “She’s been coming in for a few weeks, and I don’t know.” He paused and took a deep breath. “You know, I never imagined I’d date a vamp, but she’s…different. Now I can’t remember why I never wanted to date them.”
Sookie nodded. “I thought the same thing when I met her when I was in Eric’s body. I’m really happy for you.” She didn’t need to read his mind to know that he was crazy about her.
“Speaking of that, did Callisto pay you two a visit, or what?”
“She didn’t have to. I figured out how to reverse the spell, it just took a while because I was just too stubborn to admit that I had feelings for Eric. That’s why she did the spell in the first place.” With the knowledge that she had now, she couldn’t understand why she had been so opposed to being with Eric. Maybe she had to experience life in his body before she could really understand him, which ultimately brought them closer together.
Sam laughed and raised an eyebrow. “So, you gave her the right kind of tribute, huh?”
Sookie nodded and laughed. “I’m glad to be back, I’ll say that much. Eric’s job sucks!”
“Speaking of jobs, Terry mentioned you work for vamps now. He was downright cheery about it, which has been his general attitude for weeks. I don’t know what happened to him, but it sure is nice to see him smile. He also mentioned that your floors look as good as new.”
She felt relief wash over her, knowing that Terry was still doing all right. “Yep, that’s right. I signed a contract and everything…all on my terms too! You’ll have to come over some time and see my house. I rearranged and cleaned up a lot of stuff when I got it all back in place. I think it looks good.” Of course, it had been Eric helping her too. No sense in letting all that vampire strength go to waste.
“That’s great, Sook. You and Eric seem really happy too.”
“We are. Nothing builds a strong relationship faster than understanding the other person.”
Sam chuckled. “I imagine you learned a lot about each other.” He reached into his desk drawer and pulled out her paycheck. “It’s not much, but it’s yours. Good luck, Sook. I hope your new life is wonderful.”
“Thanks Sam. You too.” She hugged him.
By the time Sookie and Eric were getting ready to go to the Amun conference in Memphis, Sookie felt prepared. Sookie was incredibly nervous about her first real job for the Queen, and twisted her hands while they waited for their transportation.
Raul pulled up in front of Eric’s house and loaded their bags. “Ms. Stackhouse. Mr. Northman. It is a pleasure to see you again.”
“Please call me Sookie.” She and Eric got in the back of the limo, and Raul gave her a smile.
“Memphis is a five hour drive, so make yourselves comfortable.” Raul slid behind the steering wheel and drove away.
Eric moved quickly to the seat that shared a wall with the driver, talking in an inaudible whisper to Raul through the small window. Sookie was looking at him curiously, but he did not give her an opportunity to ask what he was doing.
Sookie was about to ask him what they were talking about, when Eric joined her again. Her attention was pulled away from him by the sound of the window rolling up, sealing the two compartments. Seconds later, she could hear the muffled sounds of Raul singing to a loud rock radio station. “What…”
Eric’s mouth was on hers instantly, his tongue pushing past her lips impatiently. He pulled away from her slowly, giving her a seductive smile. His fingers eased up the hem of her skirt and he looked at her in surprise when she stopped him.
“Raul is right there!” She pointed to the tiny opaque window six feet away.
Eric nodded. “Yes, he is.” He fell between her legs, kneeling on the carpeted floor. He nuzzled against her exposed thigh.
“Eric. He’ll hear us.”
He shook his head, tickling her with his soft hair. “No he won’t.” He winked at her. “I promise.” He could feel her relaxing under him, and took the opportunity to push her skirt further up. He touched her gently, waiting for her permission.
Sookie couldn’t resist him, and trusted him. She opened her legs and sighed when he pushed her panties to the side and stroked her slit with his thumb. A low moan escaped her lips, and her body melted off the seat, trying to get closer to him.
Eric wasted no time getting her panties off, tucking them safely in his pocket. His mouth descended, and he planted a cool kiss on her heated flesh. He smiled when she moaned again, exposing his fangs. He shifted uncomfortably as his cock strained against his zipper. His tongue pushed between his fangs and flicked against her pussy. This time, he moaned as her tangy flavor invaded his mouth. He gripped her thighs and pulled her closer to his mouth, sucking and licking furiously. His thumb joined his mouth, pushing inside her as his tongue lathed her clit.
Sookie clamped her mouth shut and dug her hands into Eric’s hair, urging him on. She was so close and he knew it. His tongue moved faster and as her orgasm was building, she closed her eyes and focused on remaining as silent as possible. Her eyelids displayed bursts of light, and her face was hot. The orgasm radiated from her sex through every part of her body, making her toes tingle. She held her breath, swallowing the scream that was trying to escape, and when she finally started to come down, her head swam as the blood resumed its normal path.
“Mm.” Eric moaned and sucked his thumb into his mouth. Hungry for more, his mouth descended on her slit again. His cock twitched in his pants, and after one final lick, he pulled his body away and quickly opened his fly.
Sookie’s eyes were glazed over and followed every movement Eric made. When he opened his pants, his dick sprang out. She shivered as she watched him grip the base and slide the head against her wet lips. She wanted more…no, needed more.
Once his dick was covered with her slippery fluids, he wrapped his fingers around the shaft tighter and began to pump it. He smiled when he saw the disappointment on Sookie’s face. He clearly wanted her to beg.
As if she could read his mind, she said, “Eric, please…I need you.” She was finding it hard to form sentences.
“What do you need?” He was smirking and still stroking his cock with one hand while his other caressed the inside of her thigh.
“You. All of you.” She looked at his hand again.
“Tell me what you want me to do.”
“I want you to fuck me.” Her voice was breathless. She knew he loved when she said the word “fuck.” He told her it was incredibly erotic coming from her sweet mouth.
Satisfied, he leaned toward her, guiding his dick against her soft inviting flesh.
Her pussy kissed the tip of his cock, and she moaned when an involuntary spasm in his hips forced him further inside her. The limo filled with a mutual sigh as their bodies joined.
Eric’s body was rigid and he gripped her hips possessively as he slammed into her over and over again. Her body formed a bridge between him and the seat where only her shoulders and head were supported by the soft material.
She braced her arms against the back of the seat, arching her back and thrusting her breasts towards the ceiling.
While he continued to thrust, Eric unbuttoned her shirt and pulled her bra out of the way enough that he could kiss and lick her breasts. His body curled over hers, and as he got closer and closer to releasing, his mouth opened, sucking her breast against his fangs.
“I want you to bite me,” Sookie demanded.
Eric’s body shuddered as he came inside her and his fangs slid into her taut skin. This time, Sookie could not contain her cries of pleasure mixed with pain, and Eric joined her, moaning against her breast. Her orgasm hit hard and fast, filling his mouth with blood as her body convulsed.
As they came down, he retracted his fangs and licked her skin clean, healing her wound and smiling as her nipple hardened against his tongue. He held her body against his, and then pulled out of her so he could join her on the bench seat again. He cradled her limp body against his. “Sorry I ruined your hair, lover.” He tried to smooth it down.
She laughed. “It’s a small price to pay for orgasms.” She reached her hand up and laughed again when her fingers caught in the knots on the back of her head. “I have a brush in my purse.” She pointed to the floor where it had fallen just out of her reach.
Eric retrieved it, and then held her while she groomed herself. “I thought that might help you relax a little before your meeting.”
Sookie turned and kissed him. “Thank you, it was very helpful.”
“That’s why I’m here, right? To help you?”
Sookie nodded. She always felt better when he was around, with or without orgasms. “Thank you for being willing to come with me on these business trips. It makes me so happy.”
“I would do anything to make you happy.” Eric held her for the remainder of the trip, and provided her with the same love and support while she worked during the conference.
On to Switched: Epilogue