Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Now, onto the story. Thanks, Meridian, for your muse-whispering services. That’s quite a handy talent you have! 🙂 NSFW again!
Eric gripped Sookie firmly as they made their way to the hall. He ushered her outside quickly, giving courteous nods to the guards positioned throughout the palace and grounds. Sookie squirmed against him, so he carried her outside where he placed her as gently as possible into the passenger seat of his car.
She glared at him and took a deep breath. “I wasn’t—”
He put his finger to her lips, silencing her. “Not here.”
She frowned as he threw the car into gear and drove away. The gate swung open for them slowly. His ears filled with the sound of her heart, which still beat wildly inside her chest.
He had plenty to say to her, but not until they were a safe distance away from the network of ears that surrounded them. Sookie watched him so intently she didn’t seem to notice any aspect of their drive away from headquarters and into the old, quiet neighborhood a few miles away.
Eric pulled into the long, curving driveway in front of his house and parked his car.
When he removed the keys from the ignition, she finally spoke. “You had no right to take me out of there. I wasn’t finished!”
“Yes you were,” he replied.
“But she… I wanted to—”
“Get out alive? Because that was my goal.”
Her eyebrows knit together. “She was going to kill me?”
“I’m not sure, it would’ve been very reckless, but I could tell you had a lot more to say and she’s not accustomed to being treated like that.”
Sookie scoffed. “What? Being held accountable?”
Eric shrugged. “Well, yes.”
“Oh.” She blinked and looked around. “Where are we?”
“My house.” He got out of his car, opened her door, and took her free hand while she clutched her folder in the other.
“It’s so beautiful.” Her eyes widened as she took in the massive trees hanging over their heads and covering the front of the house. She reached out toward the old wooden swing hanging near the side garden.
He extracted his keys and opened the front door, smiling as the familiar aroma of home hit him. Sookie’s knees buckled, but before she could fall, he gathered her in his arms.
“Sorry,” she said, her hot breath caressing his face. “It’s been a long night.”
His grip tightened. “You need to rest.”
She glared at him again. “You vampires can’t go around assuming things about people,” she said, poking his chest. “We’re not mindless idiots. You don’t always know what’s best for us.”
He kissed her, turning her fury into passion.
“Okay,” she said, blinking slowly. “You happen to know what’s best for me, but you’re the exception.”
“I won’t let it go to my head,” he answered as he sat on the couch and pulled her onto his lap.
She deposited the envelop on the table behind her and then nuzzled against his neck. When she pulled away she looked him straight in the eye. “What was your debt?”
He sighed. He hoped Sookie had missed that part. “Pam.”
“Pam was your debt? I don’t understand.”
“Pam got in over her head, so I asked the queen to step in. She was happy to help…”
“Knowing you would owe her.” She touched the side of his face.
Eric nodded. “I knew what I was asking. There’s always a cost. Pam is worth it.”
“She was in trouble?” Sookie asked.
He nodded, but didn’t give her more information. Pam’s affairs were just that: Pam’s.
“So when the queen sent you on your assignment to watch over me, you really had to follow orders, didn’t you?” she said.
“Yes. I didn’t want to be there any more than you did.”
She wiggled on top of him. “It wasn’t all bad, was it? Even if the cabin was gross.”
He squeezed his eyes shut, enjoying the sensation of her warm body against his.
“I like your house a lot more. Are you going to show me around?” She kissed him sweetly.
“Not now.” Despite all that had happened, one thing still bothered him. “Why do you want to see Bill?”
Sookie looked away. “I don’t know… I just want to—”
“Be with him?” he asked, jealousy twisting around inside him, gnawing at his heart. He leaned backward, bracing for the betrayal. But it never came.
Her eyes widened. “No. I don’t want anything to do with him. I just wanted to know why he did it,” she added in a whisper.
Agony flickered across her face and it cut into him. She didn’t deserve anything that had happened. He wanted Bill to feel the pain she had endured. To make matters worse, she started crying.
“What did he stand to gain? Why did he trick me? Why did he let me get hurt?” Tears flowed down her cheeks and sobs shook her shoulders.
His grip tightened as he cradled her to his chest. “Because he’s a coward.” He wiped the tears from her face. “He’s never going to hurt you again. I’ll make sure of that.”
She squeezed her eyelids together and nodded. “You always keep me safe. Thank you for that.”
“You don’t make it easy.” He laughed as he thought of how she had spoken to the queen.
Sookie laughed through her tears. “I was mad. The family information helped. A lot,” she said, motioning to the folder. “How did she know I wanted it? She’s smart, but she’s not that smart.”
“I told her. You had questions and I thought in light of everything you needed to know the truth about your past.”
She sighed and the smile fell from her face. “What if I don’t want to know? And who is Niall? Is he a bad guy? What if there’s something bad in there? What if—”
Sookie’s relations to Niall had probably put the queen on edge, too, only adding to the uncertainty of their meeting. He quieted her with a kiss. “You don’t have to read it, but at least you know it’s there when you’re ready.”
“What if I don’t want to work for the queen?” Sookie whispered.
“You don’t have to. You have other options,” he said, before he kissed her again and pushed his tongue inside her mouth while he buried his hands under her skirt. She moaned and unbuttoned his pants, freeing his cock. He pulled her panties to the side and sighed when she positioned his dick against her wet heat.
She gasped and held her breath as she sank down on him, taking him in inch by inch. A ragged exhale escaped her lips when he filled her completely.
He dug his fingers into her warm flesh and kneaded her ass, encouraging her to move. She lifted off him and locked her arms around his neck, bracing herself. He raised his hips experimentally, hoping that she wanted him to fuck her.
She nodded, her forehead rubbing against his. “Yes,” she said. She obviously needed him just as much as he needed her. Fast and hard.
He growled. He’d give just about anything to hear her ask for it. One day, she’d get there. Until then, he was happy to fuck her when she needed it whether she vocalized it or not. He spiraled up into her, forcing a cry out of her sweet mouth.
“Yes!” She dug her nails into his shoulders and held on tightly as he thrust over and over. Her cry evolved into a moan and then her entire body tensed. Her pussy fluttered around his cock, dragging an orgasm out of him. Her face and neck flushed pink. He kissed every inch of her exposed, hot flesh. She sighed and rested her face against his shoulder, exposing her pulsing throat. When she spoke, he could feel her breath through his shirt. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that.”
He smiled and licked the side of her neck, resisting the temptation to bury his fangs in her. “Neither will I.”
They stayed like that for hours, holding each other as night began to give way to morning.
She stretched. “I’m hungry.”
“Me, too.” The longer he held her in his arms, the more difficult it became to resist her. “I’ll unload the car.” He lifted her gently and placed her on the couch next to him.
“Can I use your phone? I should check in with my gran again.”
“What about caller ID? Do you think she’s figured out who I am?”
Sookie opened her mouth and laughed for a few seconds. “We have a single phone in our house. One. It hangs in the kitchen on the wall. It has a cord and everything. My gran refuses to upgrade. It’s the same phone she’s had since the sixties.”
Before he went outside, he handed her his cell phone. He caught snippets of her side of the conversation each time he brought something inside, and when she started really talking, he stopped dead in his tracks outside the room.
“I’m still in New Orleans. No. Not with Bill. Calm down, Gran. Let me explain. He wasn’t who I thought he was.” She took a deep breath before she went on. “He put me in harm’s way. Don’t worry. I’m fine…now.”
Eric leaned on the doorjamb outside the living room and strained to hear both sides of the conversation.
“I’m staying with a friend,” she said.
His heart sank. He had never despised a word so much in all his life.
“Everything is okay and I wanted to let you know I’m going to be here for a while, and not to worry.” She laughed. “I know you’re worried. That’s why I called. I’m safe and sound. Eric is treating me—”
He could hear her grandmother’s voice screech through the phone demanding to know who Eric was.
“He’s my friend, and he’s helping me out.” When she spoke again her voice took on a hard edge. “I’m a grown woman. No, I’m not going to give him the phone.” She sighed. “No, you’re not coming down here!”
Eric stepped into the room and held his hand out. He braced himself before putting the phone to his head. “Hello Mrs. Stackhouse.”
“Are you Eric?” she demanded.
“I am. Eric Northman.” He straightened his shoulders. He enjoyed the honesty behind his words. Pretending to be Bill had turned his stomach the last time they had spoken.
“And how do you know my granddaughter?” He could almost see her scowling at him.
“After Bill hurt her, I made sure she was safe.”
“Vampire Bill would never hurt her!”
Eric scoffed. “You don’t know him very well. I do.” Before she could go on to defend Bill, Eric went on. “Sookie is safe with me. You have my word.”
“What’s your word worth?”
“A lot,” he answered with confidence, which must’ve satisfied her since the next time she spoke, her words lost their interrogative edge.
“She’ll need her own room.”
“She can pick any room in the house.” It was true; he just hoped she would pick his.
Sookie shook her head and pulled the phone away from him. “Satisfied? Okay then. I know you do. I love you, too. I will. I’ll call him later. I need to eat now. I’ll call soon, okay? I love you. Bye.” She closed the phone and handed it to him. “I’m so sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. She has your best interest at heart.”
“She treats me like a child.” She clenched her jaw and frowned. “I hate that. She said she was going to come down here and get me!”
“She needs to see you as the confident woman you’ve become.”
She laughed. “That’ll be the day. Come on. Let’s have breakfast.”
He gave her a quick tour of the kitchen and bathroom, apologizing for the lack of supplies in his house. He hadn’t had human guests for more than a couple of hours in the past, but planned to go shopping so he could make Sookie more comfortable. She threw a meal together while he warmed up two bottles of blood.
“Do all vampires drink so much?”
He chuckled. “You make it sound like I have a drinking problem.” He took a long draw from the first bottle. “It’s safer this way.”
“Safer?” Realization dawned on her face. “Right. Because I’m irresistible.”
“I’m surprised Compton didn’t kill you. He’s young and inexperienced. That’s usually not a good mix for fairies.”
“I’m only part fairy,” she corrected.
He gathered her in his arms, put his lips to her neck, and inhaled her heady scent. “You are delectable.” His dick hardened.
“I’m also hungry and tired.”
He reluctantly released her and finished his meager meal while she ate. He pulled the phone book out of the drawer in the kitchen and put a pile of cash on top of it. “Feel free to order a meal when you need it.”
“Thanks,” she said.
As they made their way down the hall, he said, “You are welcome to any bedroom in the house.”
“Including yours?” she asked, looking up at him through her eyelashes.
“Yes,” he whispered, pushing his door open. His massive bed occupied most of the room.
Sookie blinked and tilted her head. “Where’s your coffin?”
“I had the windows bricked over in the bedrooms. There’s no need for such precautions.” He closed the door behind them.
A shy smile spread across her face. “I’ve never slept with anyone before.”
“The first step is getting undressed.” He grasped her zipper and pulled it down in a single movement. Her dress fell away from her luscious skin and onto the floor. He groaned at the sight of her in only panties and heels.
“I don’t suppose I need to wear these,” she said, stepping out of her shoes. “Should I get my pajamas?” A faint blush crept up her cheeks.
“I don’t suppose you’ll need those either,” he said, his voice hoarse.
She attempted to stifle a yawn, but couldn’t. “I’m so tired.”
“Of course you are.” Moving quickly, he pulled the bedding back, lifted Sookie, and deposited her on the sheets. She gave him a sleepy smile.
“Are you going to join me?” she asked, glancing at the other side of the bed.
Eric nodded and dropped his clothes onto the floor next to Sookie’s before crawling into bed. The sheet tented over his hard-on, a detail that didn’t go unnoticed by her. He shrugged. “You have that effect on me.”
She giggled and rolled onto her side, snuggling into the crook of his arm and resting her cheek on his chest. She wound her hot limbs around his body, holding him in a searing embrace. A sigh escaped her lips. “This is nice.”
Of all the words he could conjure to describe their situation, nice wasn’t one of them. Amazing, spectacular, or torturous seemed better suited, but before he could share his thoughts, her breathing evened out and her pulse slowed. “Sleep well, Sookie,” he whispered as he switched off the light next to his head. She murmured a reply and then resumed the same slow rhythm of breathing.
Despite his full stomach, he’d never been hungrier in all his life. When the sun approached the horizon, he was grateful for the oblivion that awaited him.
* * * *
The moment consciousness returned he knew something was wrong. The mattress still held a little warmth, but Sookie was gone.
He bolted out of bed, ripped the door open, and sped down the hall. His frantic pace slowed as he approached the living room and her voice enveloped him. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips at the familiarity of the situation: Sookie on the phone and Eric just out of sight listening.
She laughed. “Don’t say that. Of course I’ll come visit. I miss you, too.”
His smile and heart disintegrated at the same moment.
Poor jealous Eric! Any guesses as to who she’s talking to? Find out in Relapse: Chapter 4