Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
All mistakes are my own.
Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Sookie wake up.
Sookie blinked. Night. The spell the sun had cast on her had been lifted, giving her freedom of motion and the awareness that someone was grabbing her ass.
Not someone. Eric. Eric is grabbing my ass. She smiled. What else would she expect from him?
“Good morning, starshine,” he sang.
“The earth says hello,” she replied. “Do you mind letting go of me?”
At some stage of her waking, the hem of her shirt had lifted, and his large hand had cupped her partially lace-covered cheek. “I do mind.” He squeezed her and pulled her hard against his body. “I’ve become very attached.”
“Don’t get used to it,” she said, pushing away from him, only intensifying the images of biting, ripping clothes, and fucking. “I’m starving.” She clutched her stomach.
“Upstairs,” he motioned to the ceiling.
Sookie rushed up the stairs, surprising herself at the speed with which she moved. She couldn’t wait to heat the first bottle, which only made it more disgusting. By the time she had the second warmed, Eric sauntered into the kitchen, sporting a not-so-subtle tent in his pants. She looked away, relieved again that she couldn’t blush and show her embarrassment. Unfortunately, she looked down and noticed that the material was almost transparent across her breasts. She tried to cover herself, which only made Eric laugh. “We need to go shopping tonight.”
“I don’t agree,” he answered, running a finger down her spine. “But if you insist, we’ll stop on the way to Fangtasia.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, suddenly unsure of her own voice. “I should call my gran, today. She’s probably worried sick about me.”
Eric handed her a small cell phone and returned to the basement.
Sookie’s hands shook as she dialed. She waited, but at the fifth ring, Gran answered.
“Hi Gran,” Sookie replied, smiling uncontrollably.
“Oh, honey. I’m so glad you called. Sam said something about your job taking longer than you expected, but I didn’t know what that meant.”
“Sorry I couldn’t call before,” she said guiltily. “The job was pretty intense.”
“Yeah, to say the least.” The very least. “In fact, I’ll be staying in Shreveport for a while longer while I wrap things up.”
“I hope they’re taking good care of you,” she said.
“Everything is … fine.” She couldn’t tell her over the phone. “I’ll come home in a few days and tell you all about it.”
“A few days?”
“There’s enough money in our account to cover the power bill,” she said changing topics. They always scrambled for money near the middle of each month. Her death money, as she called it, would come in quite handy. “I love you, Gran, but I need to get to work. They’re waiting for me.”
“Okay, honey. Thank you for calling. See you soon!”
Sookie hung up and wiped the bloody tears from her cheeks. She licked her finger clean and proceeded to fight to put her fangs away for the next five minutes, finally succeeding by thinking of Mike spooging on her arm. It was definitely the buzzkill she needed. She dressed for the night, that time in a pair of jeans and the plush cashmere sweater. Black heels finished the outfit nicely.
Eric waited in the kitchen, wearing a black T-shirt and fitted jeans. “Ready for work?”
“We’re going shopping first, right?”
“Whatever you want.”
* * * *
Sookie giggled when she glanced over her shoulder. Eric pushed the cart behind her, following her every move. Fangtasia would be opening soon and she knew she didn’t have much time, but she still enjoyed the simple scene of Eric with his bright red shopping cart maneuvering through the mega-store. She added a few hair-care items she needed as well as three soft nightgowns.
Eric held up something black and lacy. “What about this?”
She glared at him. “Pass.”
“You’re right. White would be much better on you,” he added, holding up an identical piece of lingerie in white.
“Pam is waiting for us.”
“Fine,” he said, throwing the unwanted garments onto the rack.
Sookie pulled out her purse at the register, but Eric put his hand on hers and shook his head.
“Let me. I owe you.”
The woman standing at the register thought they looked cute, like a new couple that still bought things for each other. If only she knew how much Eric owed her. To make matters worse, the woman leaned closer.
“We need to go,” Sookie whispered. Her muscles twinged in time with the checker’s pulse and her fangs slid out.
Eric paid and ushered Sookie out of the store and into his Corvette.
“How do you deal with that? I could hear her heart beating, calling out to me,” she lisped through her fangs.
“It’s a hunting instinct meant to help you survive. The problem is, we live in a world where we don’t have to hunt. Instead of learning to hunt, you need to learn control.”
She thought of her sticky arm encounter with Mike, which forced her fangs into hiding.
“Excellent. What did you think of?”
Sookie pressed her lips together. “Mike’s … jizz. He got it on my arm.”
A laugh burst out of Eric’s mouth, surprising her. “Whatever works.”
“What works for you?”
“Once, about a hundred and fifty years ago, I was desperate. He was diseased. That’s all I’m going to say.”
She scrunched up her nose. She didn’t want to know more. Incurable disease from the past took many forms, most of them unpleasant. Yay for modern science!
“Tonight, I want you to work on keeping your hunger under control. Focus on something else. Anything else.”
When they got to Fangtasia, Sookie went to the bar straightaway and put all her energy into tidying the area. The shelves had been stocked well, but partial bottles had gotten pushed to the back and something tacky had gotten spilled under the sink. She kept her work in the forefront of her mind, which eased some of the tension of helping human customers. Drinking a lot helped, too. Thankfully, no one singled her out like Mike had the previous night.
A handful of vampires littered the club, a different set than had been there the night before. Maybe they worked in rotations. She made a note to ask Eric.
As if he could tell she wanted to talk to him, he visited her. “How are you doing?”
“Better. I’m focusing on cleaning.”
“No one in mind for tonight?” he asked.
She scoffed. “How am I supposed to focus on something else and find someone for tonight?”
“It’s called multitasking.” He smiled. “If you would rather not worry about it, I’ll pick someone for you.”
“Make sure they’re clean,” she said and then quickly added, “and nice.”
“And muscular and handsome?” he asked with a hint of jealousy.
“Always a bonus,” she said.
“I’m sure Ginger is available,” he teased.
“Hard pass.” She glared at him. “Too bad Mike didn’t come back.”
“Mike won’t be coming back.”
“Did you tell him to stay away? Is that it? Too worried that I’ll get attached to a nothing?”
“I’ll find someone,” he replied, ignoring her comment.
And he did. An hour before the club closed, a skinny young woman followed Eric to the bar like a puppy. “I thought we might like to go for a walk.”
“Now?” Sookie asked.
Eric nodded. “Pam has things taken care of. We won’t be long, will we?”
The young woman smiled up at him.
When they pushed through the back door, Sookie whispered, “I thought biting wasn’t allowed on the premises.”
“Which is why we’re going for a little walk.” He strolled along, the women trailing behind him, and then stopped abruptly. “This is the property line. We’re no longer on the premises.” He led the woman to a tree so they were hidden from the parking lot. She gripped the bark and tilted her head to the side. Ready and waiting.
“Are you willing?” Sookie asked, and listened to her brain for the answer. She very much wanted him to bite her. Sookie frowned. “She wants you. Not me.”
Eric lifted the woman’s chin. “I’m going to kiss you and then she’s going to bite you.”
The woman moaned.
“No.” Sookie shook her head. “I don’t want to be a part of that.”
Eric lifted his eyebrows. “Now who’s jealous?”
“That’s not… I’m…” she stammered.
“It’s just a kiss. Is that okay?” he asked the woman.
She nodded. I can’t believe he’s going to kiss me. Becky is never going to believe me. This is going to be awesome!
“Follow my lead,” Eric said before bending his head down to meet the woman’s waiting mouth. Her nails dug into the tree and she moaned again, when he pulled away, she breathed hard and fast. “Now.”
Sookie nodded and opened her mouth, sinking her fangs into the taut skin of her neck. The woman cried out and then relaxed against the tree.
“Listen,” Eric whispered. “You’re almost done.”
Sookie used all her power to focus on the woman’s heartbeat. It had started strong and fast, but slowed with each swallow. The last thing she wanted was to hurt anyone, which was the whole reason she listened to him.
“You’re done,” he said.
Regretfully, Sookie pulled away gently, licking at the wound until the bleeding stopped. The woman breathed hard against Sookie’s face. “Should I heal her?” She brought her finger to her mouth.
“Don’t. I want it there,” the woman protested.
“You’ll have a scar,” Sookie said, looking closer at the handful of healed bite marks on her neck and realizing she might not care.
“It’s okay,” she said. Her cheeks burned. “I collect them.”
“Thank you for feeding me…”
Sookie looked into her eyes. “You should go home and rest, Claire. Drink plenty of fluids and have some cookies.”
“I like cookies,” Claire replied. “Good night.” She turned away and made her way through the back lot toward her car.
“Why are you so nice to them?” Eric asked when they were alone.
“They’re feeding me. They don’t have to, so I’m grateful. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Did you enjoy that?”
“Better than the bottled stuff.”
“There’s one thing that would’ve made it better.” He stepped toward her.
Her question got stuck in her throat as he kissed her. Claire’s blood had warmed her and fueled her lustful reaction. She pushed her tongue into his mouth, which he eagerly sucked on.
Fuck. I want her so much. His thoughts shifted. Yield to me and I’ll show you how good it can be. Feeding and fucking go together.
She broke away and took a handful of unnecessary breaths. That would be a hard habit to break. “Why do you always have to ruin it?”
He tightened his grip on her ass and pulled her against his very firm body. “Are you attracted to me?” he asked.
“Let go of me.” She struggled, but it was futile.
“Answer my question.”
“You can’t make me!” she shouted.
“Maybe I can’t, but I’m stronger than you and I’ve got all night.” A smile tugged up the corners of his mouth. “Plus, I like the way you’re rubbing against me.”
“I’m not rubbing against you.” She went stock-still.
“Maybe you prefer Claire?”
“I told you, I’m not attracted to women.”
“Are you attracted to me?” he asked again.
“Of course I am!” she shouted. “Have you seen you?”
He laughed. “So why won’t you give in to me?”
“What’s wrong with you? You’re so used to women throwing themselves at you that you can’t possibly imagine someone saying no?”
“Well, yes,” he answered with a shrug. “I want you, you want me. End of discussion.”
“No it’s not. You want me to yield to you. That’s not how consent works. We’ve had this conversation before. Remember?”
“Vaguely,” he replied sounding bored.
“When I’m ready to be intimate with someone, it’s going to be what we both want. Not because I’ve been worn down and I’m finally giving in. That’s not what I want.” Her anger overshadowed her lust, mostly because he was being so damn stubborn.
“You did very well.”
“Don’t change the subject.”
He laughed again, which only pissed her off more. “I’m telling the truth. You’re very gentle and that puts people at ease. It’s better that way, I promise.”
“Don’t compliment me,” she growled. “Let go.” When he finally did, she tore away from him and stormed back inside.
She needed to learn how to separate hunger and lust during feeding, or she might not be able to resist him in the future.
Comment below and then read more! Petulance: Chapter 9