Relapse: Chapter 12

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

All mistakes are my own. Short and sweet and NSFW. 🙂


 

Chapter 12

Alternating POVs

 

Sookie’s POV

 

“I still can’t believe we did it,” Sookie said as she and Eric drove toward his house. “What’s a summit?”

“A conference of sorts, where representatives from all the clans come and discuss pressing matters.”

“Pressing matters? Like business stuff?”

Eric nodded. “Among other things.”

“So we’ll be able to offer my services to a new audience then, right?”

“I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long.” He turned the car off and was outside her door with her luggage in his arms in the blink of an eye.

She looked at him and then at the ground. “Are you sure it’s okay? Me moving in with you? You never asked…”

He put her bags down and pulled her out of the car and into his arms. “Sookie, will you please move in with me?”

She looked up at him and kissed him. “I would love to.”

“I’m glad to have that settled.” He hoisted her things back into his arms and walked toward the front door. “Would you mind getting the keys?” A mischievous smile flickered across his lips.

She grinned and dipped her hand inside his right front pocket. Of course she knew where his keys were. She couldn’t forget the first time she found them, at the cabin on Willow Bend Road, while she plotted her escape. If someone had told her then that she would be moving in with her detox warden, she would’ve laughed herself silly. But now it seemed like the only logical choice. No one had ever cared for her and understood her like he did. She smiled and shook her head, clearing the thoughts away.

“If you keep touching me like that, we’re not going to make it inside,” he said between clenched teeth.

“Sorry,” she whispered and then rubbed his dick intentionally. “Sorry, not sorry.” She laughed when he groaned and then unlocked the front door.

“Where would you like to unpack?” He asked with a little growl in his voice. “The closet in the spare bedroom is empty.” He strolled to the room and put the suitcases down on the plain bed.

She frowned. All the notions of moving in together suddenly changed. It seemed that instead of lovers, they would be roommates.

“What’s wrong?” Eric asked.

“Nothing, I just thought… I assumed that we would be…” She struggled to keep tears out of her eyes.

His eyes widened. “Wait. Do you think I want you to sleep in here?”

“I don’t know. Maybe?” She shrugged.

“Do you want to?”

“No. Do you?”

“No,” he answered without any hesitation. “I want you to sleep with me. I thought you might want your own closet since mine is full.”

“Oh. Okay,” she said, brightening.

“Before you unpack, we should go shopping. You need food.”

Sookie clicked her tongue. “But we were just out. Why didn’t we just stop on the way home?”

Eric laughed. “I think you overestimate the size of my trunk. You’re lucky both pieces of luggage fit in there!”

* * * *

Eric’s POV

 

Eric hummed along with the music over the speakers as he pushed a shopping cart. They went up and down every aisle, Sookie examining each shelf before moving on. She selected food, pots and pans, plates, bowls, and utensils; everything she would need to make herself at home. Things he hadn’t even considered.

Instead of heading home, he made a detour to an all-night hardware store.

Sookie frowned. “What do we need here?”

“A key.” He smiled and took her hand. Within five minutes, he had a copy of his house key. “Now it’s official.” He had lived alone for decades and the idea of sharing his space with someone made him anxious and exhilarated. Sookie seemed to understand the gravity of the gift.

“Thank you for trusting me.” She pressed the key to her palm and closed her hand around it.

“I love you,” he replied.

She responded by kissing him.

When they got home, he motioned for her to try her key, so she did, smiling when the lock clicked as it opened. She paused before stepping inside. “What if I need to go somewhere during the day? My car is in Bon Temps.” She smacked her forehead with the heel of her hand. “I didn’t even think of that!”

“You should buy a new car.” He wrinkled his nose at the thought of her piece of shit car. He couldn’t believe she would want it.

“How?” She lifted her eyebrows.

“With money from our future jobs.”

“I might need to run to the store some time before fall.” She sighed.

“News travels fast in the vampire community.” He lifted the bags. “Come on, I’ll unload your food while you unpack. Don’t worry. If you need to go somewhere, you may borrow my car.”

She gulped. “Maybe I’ll just walk.” She disappeared down the hall and into the guest room while he set to work unloading all the new items for the kitchen. He had just finished putting the last bit away when she joined him. She opened a drawer next to the sink and laughed.

“What?”

“Plates typically go in a cupboard. This drawer should be for forks, knives, and spoons.” She smiled and lifted them out.

Eric shrugged. “I’ve never purchased plates before. Or any of these things.” He pointed to the cupboards where he’d put things away.

Sookie made short work of rearranging everything. She laughed again. “At least you put the food in the right place.”

They spent the remaining hours of the night talking and cuddling in bed, until the sun finally forced him to sleep.

He knew where Sookie was the moment he woke. He rushed outside and found her in the swing, which hung from the tree near his driveway. Her bare feet brushed against the lush grass as she rocked back and forth. He came up behind her and inhaled deeply. The sweet fragrance of the sun still clung to her skin.

“Did you sleep well?” she asked, twisting on the wooden board to look up at him.

“I always do when I’m with you.”

“Sorry I left an hour ago.”

“I can understand why. I would sit in the sun, too, if I could.” He smiled and gripped the ropes, giving her a push. She only wore his T-shirt, and with each swing forward the hem ruffled up her legs.

“I was thinking about Gran. I hope she’s okay.”

“You should call her.”

Sookie frowned. “Yeah, about that… How would you feel about me getting my own phone?”

“That’s a wonderful idea. Is there anything else you need?”

“You,” she answered, and then gasped when he moved around her, stopping the motion of the swing and wedging himself between her legs. “Inside,” she added, looking around suspiciously. “There could be someone watching.”

“That didn’t stop us last night,” he said, caressing her hard nipples through the thin material of his shirt.

“Having sex in your car is different than having sex out in the open like this.” Despite her words, she leaned into his hand and moaned softly.

He lifted her into his arms while she wrapped her legs around him and carried her inside, determined to fulfill her request before his resolve evaporated. Before they had crossed the threshold, she plunged her hands inside his pants. He slammed the front door and pressed her against it, kissing and licking along her jaw and neck while she pulled out his cock.

“Yes,” she hissed as he sucked on her throbbing vein. “Bite me.”

His dick twitched and cum dribbled out the tip at her command. He wanted to be inside her while her blood filled him, so he said, “Not yet.”

She pouted, thrusting her bottom lip out, which only made him want to bite her more. “Why? What are you waiting for?”

He aligned their bodies and sighed when her slick sex opened to him. He pushed inside her and said, “This.”

She arched her body and held onto him tightly with one hand while the other pressed his face against her exposed neck. He couldn’t resist any longer and sank his fangs into her hot flesh. The moment her blood coated his tongue, he came hard, slamming into her. Her body quivered and then she gasped.

Eric pulled his mouth away and scanned her face. “Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head. “The door did.”

Blood seeped out of her wound and trickled down her collarbone. Eric lapped at it before carrying her to the empty guestroom, which happened to be the closest room with a bed. He sat on the firm mattress, cradling her in his lap. “Better?”

She nodded and then rested her forehead against his. “Am I still bleeding?”

“A little,” he answered, unable to take his eyes off the bite mark on her neck.

“Do you want more?”

“Always,” he answered as he started rocking their bodies gently back and forth.

She closed her eyes and tilted her head to the side, offering her neck again.

“Mine,” he said before kissing the skin he had punctured. His hips jerked as he extracted another mouthful of blood.

“Yours,” she murmured, wrapping her arms around him and pressing her covered nipples against his chest.

He could feel her contentment but also her hunger. Even though she hadn’t asked, he knew she wanted more. He pulled away from her neck again just long enough to bite into his wrist and offer it to her, and when she latched her mouth on, he said, “Yours.”

Her body trembled as an orgasm crashed over her. She sucked hard while she tilted her hips down, crushing her clit against him with each thrust. He healed her neck and watched her beautiful face flush with ecstasy. When she finally pulled away to breathe, she licked his healed wrist and said, “Mine.”

He pulled her into a kiss, letting their blood mingle on his tongue. Only one word could describe how he felt in that moment: whole. They came together one more time and then stretched out on the bed, holding each other until Sookie’s stomach reminded her that she had needs beyond what Eric could provide.

While she danced around the kitchen, utilizing all the new supplies they purchased the night before, Eric made his way to his bedroom and retrieved his phone. He smiled as he listened to the message from the King of Arkansas.

Sookie froze mid-step when he rejoined her in the kitchen. “What is it?”

“We have a meeting tomorrow.”

Her eyes widened. “We do?”

“I told you. Word travels fast.”

She flung herself into his arms. “It’s really happening, isn’t it?”

He nodded and kissed her. “And this is just the beginning.”

 

The End


 

As I mentioned before, I have ideas for future stories. The problem is, I have THREE ideas … so now I have to narrow it down and get my brain to focus on one so I can get it written. I’ll be back as soon as I have something worthy of posting. Until then, know that I appreciate you!

 

For now, please review and let me know what you thought of Relapse!

Relapse: Chapter 11

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

All mistakes are my own and there are probably a lot. I’ve been fighting some stupid cold for the past week and it’s sucking my will to live (not to mention derailing my train of thought). BTW, this chapter is NSFW. 🙂


 

Chapter 11

Alternating POVs

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie pulled on the one remaining dress on her bed, the rest packed away.

Eric glanced inside her nearly empty closet. “You’re taking everything?”

She looked at the floor. “Yeah?” They hadn’t discussed any plans for the future, the one where she basically moved in with him and used his house as home base for their future work together. “Should I not? I just thought it would be easier if…” Doubt crept into her heart.

He wrapped his arms around her and surrounded her with love. “You are more than welcome at my home. You know that. Does your grandmother know you’re leaving?”

She nodded. “I told her tonight. She took it better than I imagined.” Finally, she met his eyes. “Are you sure it’s okay? We didn’t really discuss moving in together. I just assumed.”

He grinned. “As you should. We are bonded. Nothing can keep us apart.” And then he kissed her.

When they parted she sighed. “I can feel everything. It’s almost like reading your mind, but instead, I’m reading your heart.”

“So you know what I say is true.”

She nodded. “I do. I still worry though.”

“I know. I can feel it, too.” He touched his heart. “Are you ready?”

“Yes. Let me say goodbye to Gran.”

* * * *

Eric’s POV

 

Eric focused on the dark road ahead of them. Sookie had spent the first half of their journey crying as she watched her familiar life disappear out the window. The sorrow of her farewell still lingered in the car, so he remained silent, respecting her need to process her loss.

An hour outside of New Orleans, she finally spoke. “You’re going in with me, right? When we meet the queen?”

“Yes.” He gave her a reassuring smile and flooded the bond with love.

She relaxed and returned his smile. “I’m so glad I have you. Can you imagine what would’ve happened if we never met?” She shuddered. “I’d probably still be with him.”

Eric’s jaw clenched. He couldn’t bear to consider such a sick alternate universe: one where Compton used her and abused her for his personal pleasure. His grip on the steering wheel tightened.

“But now, I’m starting a new life with you,” she said, her eyes shining. “I think I owe the queen something for bringing us together, so I plan on offering her first dibs.”

“First dibs?” He frowned.

“Yeah, you know, like for conferences and stuff. If she and someone else want me for the same job, she’ll get preference.”

He nodded. “I think that is a good decision.”

“I’m nervous.”

“Don’t be,” he said, trying to keep his voice calm and his own anxiety to himself. “I’ll be right there with you.”

“Thank you,” she replied, squeezing his leg. “I need to be strong. I can do this.”

“Yes you can.”

When the palace grounds came into view, Sookie’s heart sped up. By the time they walked up the front steps, her apprehension overwhelmed him. She paused midway and frowned before continuing up. He put his arm around her and reminded her to relax.

It didn’t work.

* * * *

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie’s heart hammered in her chest as they waited in the long hallway. The queen’s voice drifted out of the same room where they had met the first time.

“You may enter.”

Sookie swallowed hard and took a deep breath. Eric gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze and then they walked in together.

Queen Sophie-Anne rose from behind her ornate desk and bowed demurely. “Sookie, I am so relieved to meet with you again.” She gave Eric a long look. “Eric, I am so delighted you called.”

“I had a lot on my plate,” Sookie started. She wasn’t about to apologize for putting her family affairs first.

“Have you had time to consider my offer?” Sophie-Anne said, pointing to a lengthy legal contract between them.

“I have,” Sookie said, taking the seat across from the queen. Eric stood guard, more protective than he’d been the last time. Sophie-Anne returned to her seat.

“And?”

“There’s been a change in plans.” Sookie smiled despite the daggers in the queen’s eyes.

“Oh?”

“Before we begin negotiations, I’d like to know your relationship with Hadley.” She’d been dying to know how her cousin fit into everything.

“Hadley?” The queen’s eyebrows rose delicately, but something changed in her face. It was the look someone gives when they know something you don’t.

“My cousin, Hadley. I believe you know her.”

“What leads to think so?”

“Those pictures in my family file were from her. How did you get them? Do you know her?” Sookie leaned forward and held the queen’s gaze, never flinching.

“Yes,” Sophie-Anne finally admitted. “I met Hadley a year ago.” A smile flickered across her lips. “She was very forthcoming with information.”

Sookie glared. “About me?”

“Among other things. She’s a darling creature.” The queen sighed. “Hadley and I … are very close.”

Sookie’s mouth hung open. I’d like to give her a piece of my mind! “So that’s how you knew about me. That’s why you sent Bill to collect me, except he had other plans.”

Sophie-Anne’s eyes narrowed. “I’ve seen the tape. You got him to confess more in thirty seconds than my team did in four days. You did very well. I didn’t think you had it in you to give him the True Death. I guess I was wrong.”

“I wasn’t performing for you.” Sookie spat the words out as she gripped the wooden handles of the chair. Anger flared inside her. Eric flinched. She could feel hesitation and warning coming from him.

The queen tilted her head and looked from Sookie to Eric. She inhaled deeply and narrowed her eyes. “I see you’ve relapsed.”

“You have no say in the decisions I make in my life,” Sookie challenged.

“Don’t I?” Sophie-Anne rose from her chair and leaned on the desk. “And what makes you think I won’t kill you both right now?”

Sookie straightened her shoulders. “I can name two reasons.”

“And they are?”

“One, you need me. Telepaths are hard to find, especially the non-demon kind that are willing to work with vamps.”

The queen nodded, encouraging her to go on.

“Two, there’s a portal on the stairs leading up to the palace. I don’t think you want to start a war with Niall, do you?” She inflated her chest with confidence. “We’ve become quite close in the last few days.”

“Is that true?” Sophie-Anne looked at Eric, waiting for confirmation. He nodded solemnly. The queen wilted into her chair.

“You see,” Sookie said, pausing for effect, “my great granddaddy is happy to be a part of my life, which is why he’s offered to protect me and everyone in my family with magic. Powerful fairy magic. So if you, or anyone else gets any ideas, you’ve got another thing coming!” Her legs trembled as adrenaline pumped through her. She’d been saving that bit of information for the perfect moment and it worked better than she anticipated.

Completely defeated, the queen sighed. “So you’re not going to take the position?”

“I’m going to offer something different,” Sookie started, waiting for the shock on Sophie-Anne’s face to settle in before going on. “I’m going to offer my services to anyone willing to meet my terms, including you.”

“I have to share?” Sophie-Anne aske with disdain.

“Yes. But because you brought Eric into my life,” she replied, reaching out and touching his hand. “I’m going to give you preference.”

“How kind.” The queen’s words were chemically sweet.

“If you’re not open to this arrangement, Eric and I will leave.” Sookie stood and came up to his side. He put his arm around her, soothing her raw nerves. When they reached the door, Sophie-Anne spoke.

“Wait.”

* * * *

Eric’s POV

 

Eric hovered over the queen’s desk while she and Sookie went through yet another revision of the new and improved contract. He read each word and shared his feelings with Sookie through the bond when he found something suspicious.

Sookie glanced at him. “Which part?” she asked, as if he’d spoken to her.

“There,” he said, pointing to the clause the queen had just added.

“I don’t like the wording of this. It’s too open for interpretation,” Sookie said. “The rest is good.”

Sophie-Anne growled and glared at Eric as she scratched through the words. “Why are you here?”

“I’m her partner. We work as a team.” He loomed over her.

“That’s right. If you want my services, you have to hire us both.”

Another growl. “Fine.” Sophie-Anne referenced her calendar. “I’ll need you for the summit this fall and then for an Amun meeting in December.”

Sookie looked at Eric and only agreed once he nodded.

“We will require a separate contract for each job,” Eric said. He couldn’t hide his smile. Having the upper hand with Sophie-Anne didn’t happen often.

“Of course you do,” the queen mumbled. She closed her eyes and within a few seconds, Andre walked through the door.

“How may I serve you, my queen?” Andre bowed low.

“Please prepare these documents and make two copies.”

“Three, if you don’t mind,” Sookie added quietly. She shrank into her chair away from Andre.

Sophie-Anne nodded. “Three.” She dismissed Andre and smiled. “Now we discuss payment.”

“Ten thousand per job, with a three-night maximum, including travel time,” Eric said before Sookie could answer. He could feel her uncertainty and gladly took over. Negotiations were one of his strongest skills. “Expenses paid.”

“And if I need you for more than three nights?”

“It will be an additional five thousand per night.”

The queen considered the offer for longer than she needed to, but finally said, “I agree to your terms.”

Sookie exhaled loudly. “Great.” Her shoulders relaxed, but tensed again when Andre returned.

Andre handed the third copy of the contract to Sookie, bowed and left the room.

Sophie-Anne signed the first one and then slid the contract across the table. Sookie signed and then Eric signed. They repeated the process with the second set of paperwork and then everyone stood.

“You know how to contact us,” Eric stated, flashing his phone.

“I look forward to the summit,” Sookie said.

“It’s been a pleasure,” the queen replied.

Sookie curtsied and dipped her head while Eric bowed. He quickly escorted her out of the palace and into his car.

Trained by her previous meeting, Sookie remained silent until they were a long distance from the royal grounds before she said anything.

“We did it!”

“Yes we did.” He pulled into a dark, empty corner of a parking lot. “You played her beautifully.”

“My heart is still racing.”

He touched her chest and the vibration of her heart pumping blood through her body made his fingertips tremble. “You were amazing!”

“No, you were amazing,” she replied.

He slid his hand down and cupped her breast, which made her breath catch in her throat. She closed her eyes and rested her head against the seat. He leaned across and kissed her slack mouth, pushing his tongue inside while his fingers migrated farther down. She opened her legs while he pulled her dress up. When he caressed her lace-covered slit, she moaned. He shoved her panties to the side and rubbed her clit. She gasped and squeezed his cock through his pants.

He moaned at the same moment he plunged a finger inside her. Her hips rocked in the seat, meeting his hand with powerful thrusts. Her pussy fluttered around him as she came, gasping and writhing under him.

When she finally caught her breath, she wrapped her arms around his neck and climbed onto his lap, ducking her head and tucking her legs neatly on either side of his body. She tugged at the material of her dress until it fanned around them and then rubbed her heat against his straining erection while she fumbled with the button holding his pants closed. He dug his fingers into her ass, guiding her body, trying to fulfill his need to come.

He groaned when she freed his dick and pumped it with her hot hands. They worked together; she lifted her body and aligned his cock while he held her panties to the side. She kissed him sweetly and then licked his fang before puncturing her tongue.

She licked her lips, leaving a crimson trail across her flushed skin. “Oops,” she said and then she thrust her bleeding flesh into his mouth. He rammed into her and came instantly, surrounded by her heat and satiated with her blood. Her body quivered on top of his. He sucked on her wound until it stopped bleeding and when his dick hardened, he gripped her ass and held her steady so he could fuck her hard and fast.

Her head bumped against the roof of the car with each thrust and then her moans morphed into a scream as she came. With one final lurch, he joined her. She relaxed and rested her head against his shoulder, her hot breath warming his cool skin.

He smoothed her tousled hair and smiled. “I love you.”

“Mm,” she answered, but he felt her love surround him.


 

I am so grateful for the lovely reviews/comments. It is the main reason I write FF. As much as I know many of you are enjoying this story, there is only one chapter left. I considered making this one a little longer and ending it here, but I thought you’d all like a little notice before I pull the plug. Don’t worry though … I’ve got two Eric and Sookie story ideas swirling around in my head. Now I just need to decide which one to write first.

On to the final chapter Relapse: Chapter 12

Relapse: Chapter 10

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

All mistakes are my own. NSFW again! 🙂 Real Life was a demanding bitch this week, but I’m hoping to get time to write soon!

______________________________________________________

Chapter 10

 

Alternating POVs.

 

Eric’s POV

 

“Hear me out,” Eric said, holding his hand up defensively. Sookie was lying on top of the other one. She looked like she might hit him at any moment. “You have something to offer that no one else can.”

“Why don’t they just ask a demon to read minds for them?”

He frowned. “Vampires and demons don’t work well together. Occasionally, half-demons are willing to accept jobs, but overall, they keep to themselves.”

“So she wants me because I’ve got demon traits without all the demon baggage?”

“Essentially. You need to start viewing your telepathy as an asset. As soon as you do that, you’ll be able to see how valuable you are.”

Sookie looked him straight in the eye. “You honestly think I should be a telepath-for-hire?”

“Yes. Ultimately, it’s your decision, but you should consider it.” He smiled. “Especially now that you have a reputation.”

“For being a vampire killer, thanks to you.” She lifted an eyebrow. “You really think that’s going to keep me safe?”

“It’ll help. And I’ll be your bodyguard.”

“And manager or agent or whatever you’d call it. You would find me jobs—”

“Us,” he corrected.

Adele called down the hall, “Sookie? I’m home. I got those strawberries you wanted!”

“Be right out!” she yelled over her shoulder and then frowned. “You sent her out for strawberries?”

Eric shrugged. “There weren’t any in the refrigerator, and I know how you enjoy them.”

She shook her head and went on in a whisper, “So, you would find us jobs where I would work and you would keep me safe. Is that it?”

“Yes.”

Sookie sighed. “And what makes you think these other vamps are going to leave me alone? Someone will figure out I’m not scary and decide to expose the truth about me.” She shivered.

He hugged her, cradling her against his chest. “If we were bonded, no one could touch you without my permission.”

She pushed away from him. “That sounds an awful lot like me being your property.” She narrowed her eyes into tiny slits. “Is that what this is about? So you can use me?”

“No,” he said, but it was too late, she had already slithered out of the bed. She tugged her dress into place, covering her sublime ass. “Don’t leave,” he begged.

She glared at him and staggered away, throwing his shirt at him before slamming the door behind her. The fact that she couldn’t walk straight made him smile.

A light blinked on his phone, indicating he had a message waiting for him. It turned out to be from Queen Sophie-Anne.

“I would like to discuss my offer with Sookie, but seeing as how you’re not home, I guess I’ll have to wait.” She let out a long sigh. “Where have you taken her? Please return my call.”

Please? I never heard her use that word.

After getting dressed, he joined Sookie and Adele in the kitchen.

“I don’t know what came over me, but I thought we would enjoy a little midnight snack of strawberries and angel food,” Adele said from the cutting board, where she was chopping strawberries. “I’m sorry you can’t enjoy it, Eric.”

Sookie scowled at him as she sliced two pieces of fluffy white cake.

“You know I had to drive clear out to Shreveport to find a store open this late?”

“Is that so? I wonder who gave you that idea?” Sookie glowered his way.

Adele shrugged. “It just popped into my brain and it sounded so good I just had to go get it.”

Eric sat at the table and watched Sookie and Adele eat their dessert in silence. When the dishes were done, Adele excused herself to go to bed, leaving him alone with Sookie.

She turned in her seat and poked him in the chest. Her words flowed out of her mouth in a venomous whisper, “You’re just as bad as the rest of them. You keep secrets from me and manipulate me!” Tears welled in her eyes. “All this talk about us and how you want to be with me. Is that why you insisted on healing me? So you could get one step closer to owning me?”

“No,” he said, wiping the tears off her cheeks. “I would never influence you to take my blood even if I could! I want to be bonded to you so we can be connected.” He touched his heart and then hers. “You didn’t let me finish. No one would be able to touch me without your permission, either.”

Her face relaxed. “Oh.”

“It would link us in every way. I would be able to find you no matter where you go, and you would feel me, as well. It’s not one-sided.” He kissed her and then added, “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she said, her warm breath caressing his lips. “I just thought… After everything that happened…”

“I’m not Compton. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“I know!” she replied quickly and then sighed.

“You can trust me. I want you to be happy, and I think this will make you happy.” He smiled. “The queen called. She wants to know where you are.”

“Has she been to your house?” Her eyes widened.

He shrugged. “Probably.”

Panic made her voice tighten. “Is she mad about Bill? I could explain how it happened and she would believe me, right?”

“You don’t need to explain anything. I told you, she doesn’t care about Compton. Before he killed himself, he admitted to insubordination. He did the world a favor.”

She let out a shuddering sigh. “I just can’t help but think that won’t come back and bite me in the ass.”

“The only thing that’s going to bite you in the ass is me,” he said, showing his fangs.

She laughed. “Don’t tell me, that’s part of the vampire mating ritual, too?”

“No, just a personal preference.”

“She won’t be happy … if I turn her down.” Worry furrowed her forehead. “What if she comes after my family?”

“She won’t. She’s too smart for that. Besides, you’re not turning her down, you’re just not accepting the job she described.”

Sookie’s heart pounded in her chest. “I need to talk to her and tell her, don’t I?”

We do,” he said reassuringly. He could feel her hesitation before she spoke.

“And if we’re bonded, that will help.” Her statement came out more as a question.

“Yes.”

She blew the air out of her cheeks. “Can I have some time to think about it?”

“Of course.” He just hoped she didn’t wait too long. Sophie-Anne wasn’t known for her patience.

* * * *

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie stretched and covered her face. The bright sunny afternoon hurt her eyes. As she made her way to the kitchen she blew a kiss to her sleeping vampire tucked safely in the crawl space.

Gran hummed from the back porch over the noise of the washer and dryer. “Hello, honey. Did you sleep well?”

Sookie shrugged and fell into one of the chairs at the table. She slept much better with Eric, not to mention everything that was on her mind.

“Have you got any dirties that you need washed?” Gran nodded to the baskets waiting for the washer. “I’ve got room in here for your sheets so you can have a fresh bed tonight.”

“I don’t think I’ll need it.” Sookie looked away.

“Oh?” Gran whispered.

Sookie sighed. “It’s time for me to start my life. With Eric.”

“You’re leaving?” her voice cracked as she shuffled across the worn floor.

“Yes,” Sookie murmured. “I’ve been offered a job and it’s too good to pass up. I’ll be traveling a lot.”

“I always knew this day would come, but that doesn’t make it any easier.” Gran joined her at the table.

Sookie looked at her. “Are you going to be okay?” Besides the possible risk of attack from the supernatural community, she had to admit that her grandmother was old.

Gran smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes. “Of course I will. I can take care of myself. I’ll miss you though.”

“I’ll miss you, too,” Sookie said, reaching across the table and taking her hand. “I’ll come visit. This will always be my home.”

“I’m glad you still feel that way. I really am sorry about everything. I never meant to hurt you,” she whispered.

“I know. I’m glad we got a chance to talk.”

“You’ll always be welcome here. Both of you.” Gran looked down the hall. “I like that young man of yours.”

Sookie laughed. Many words described Eric, but young wasn’t one of them. “I do too.”

“When are you leaving?”

“Tonight, as soon as Eric wakes.” He didn’t know that yet, but she was sure he’d be fine with her decision.

Gran nodded. “I’ll make us dinner in a bit. Are you hungry now? I could make you a sandwich.”

“That would be great. I’m going to change and then take a walk, get a little sun.” Sookie squeezed Gran’s hands and then slipped back into her room. As she sorted through her clothes to find something to wear, she realized she would have to pack, too. Later. I need to do something first.

Dressed and ready for the day, Sookie thanked Gran for her sandwich and then headed outside. She ate while she followed the worn path through the woods, stopping at the spot where she and Eric had been interrupted the previous night. She moved her fingers through the air. Niall came through a portal that was right here…somewhere. And then something happened. A little electric pulse warmed her fingertips. She found it again and saw a faint distortion of the air around her, like heat rising from a sidewalk.

“Niall?” she whispered. No answer. “Niall?” she repeated, louder. Still nothing. She scoffed. It had been a stupid idea anyway. He showed up when he wanted to, not when she needed him. That was obvious. She shook her head and turned back the way she’d come, but stopped abruptly when Niall replied.

“Sookie, it’s so wonderful to see you again.”

She turned to face him and marveled at his beauty. He was even more striking during the day. “How did you know I was here?”

“I could feel you,” he replied, arching his hand through the portal, making the air shimmer. “The same way I could last night. Do you need something?”

She nodded. “Protection.”

He arched a delicate eyebrow. “Northman should provide more than enough protection.”

“Not for me. For my family. I’ve made up my mind about what I want to do and I don’t think the queen of Louisiana will be happy. Eric said she wouldn’t dare go after my family to try and manipulate me, but I’m not so sure.”

“You are wise beyond your years.” Niall smiled.

“Can you help me with that? Do some sort of magic or something?”

He nodded once. “I can arrange something, if it’s important to you.”

“Of course it’s important to me. They’re my family.” Just the fact that she had to explain her reasoning made her furious. They were his kin, too. She fought the temptation to give him a piece of her mind by reminding herself that he had offered to help. Worry about her family, Gran especially, had been eating her alive. “Thank you,” she added.

“What have you decided?” Niall asked. “That the queen won’t be happy with.”

“I’m not going to work for only her. I’m going to be a freelance telepath for the vampire community.”

He nodded and a flicker of surprise crossed his face.

She frowned. “Do you think it’s a bad idea?”

“Working for vampires is dangerous, especially considering their predilection for fairies.”

“We thought of a way around that.”

Niall’s responded by lifting both eyebrows.

“If we are bonded, he would be able to fully protect me.”

“True.” Niall’s eyes narrowed. “You’ve already had his blood?”

“Twice.”

“Do you trust him?”

“Yes,” she answered without having to consider it. “Do you think that’s a bad idea?”

Niall smiled. “For someone who is capable of making her own decisions, you certainly ask for a lot of feedback.”

“But you like him, right?” she asked eagerly, bothered by how much she valued his opinion.

“I do. He’s a fine choice, as I already said. However, being bonded is a commitment. The spell required to break the bond can be lethal to both parties.”

Sookie shuddered as she remembered the pain she had endured to detox her system of Bill’s foul blood, and they had only exchanged blood once. “I believe that.”

“What I’m saying is, consider what you want to do with your life. What does your future look like? Does Northman play a role?”

Sookie smiled and nodded. “Yeah, he does.”

“Then it would seem to be a good decision.” He looked over his shoulder and stared at the invisible portal.

“Can you see through there?”

Niall nodded once. “Yes. I need to return.”

“Thank you for your help … and advice.”

He picked up her hands and kissed them. “I am glad I can finally be a part of your life. I am happy to be of service. Until we meet again!” He released her and stepped backward. His foot disappeared and then his leg followed.

“Bye,” she called out.

He smiled and then completed the disappearing act.

She walked back to the house with a spring in her step as if a giant weight had been lifted from her shoulders. And it had, because she no longer had to worry about her grandmother, brother, or cousin.

She packed and helped make dinner, spending her last few hours enjoying her gran’s company. Just before the sun set, she stepped into the shower and waited.

* * * *

Eric’s POV:

 

Eric woke to the trickling sound of water running in the pipes next to his head. He pushed the wooden door up and out of the way as he emerged from the tight crawlspace. Sookie’s happiness overwhelmed him. He knocked on the bathroom door where the shower ran. “Sookie?” he asked.

“Come in,” she called, poking her head around the edge of the curtain to smile at him. “Join me,” she said.

He locked the door and undressed quickly, leaving a cloud of dust to settle on the tile floor. “Where is your grandmother?”

“Watching T.V.”

He stepped into the small tub behind her and sighed when the warm water splashed across his chilly skin. She wrapped her arms around his body and rested her head against his chest. “You’re happy,” he stated.

“I am.”

“You had a good day?”

“I did.” She looked up at him through wet lashes. “I’m ready.”

“For…”

“My future with you.”

He smiled. It was the best thing he’d ever heard.

Her hands slid down his back until she cupped his ass. “I want to be bonded to you.”

“Are you sure? You’ve had enough time to think about it?”

She nodded. “I’m sure.” He could feel it, too. Her certainty. “Do you want me?”

“Very much,” he said, kissing her.

She moaned into his mouth and dug her fingernails into his skin. He lifted her with ease, pinning her against the side of the shower. She squealed and her body tensed.

“Cold tile,” she explained. “It’s okay though, it’s warming up.” She gripped his cock with her hot hands and pumped him several times, making a little cum dribble out. “I want you,” she begged, tilting her hips until her pussy hovered over his dick.

He gripped the base of his cock and pushed against her opening, her heat burning him, and then she engulfed him. Her tiny cry of pleasure was enough to send him over the edge, his hips jerking erratically as he came inside her. She gasped and joined him. While she still fluttered around him, his dick hardened. He held onto her tightly and started moving again, enjoying the way she tried to remain quiet. She watched him carefully as he positioned his tongue under his fangs. She nodded and opened her mouth, ready to receive his offering.

Blood smeared across her lip as she sucked him in. She moaned and came again, the sounds muffled by his mouth. She dug her teeth into his tongue, milking more blood from him as she rode out her orgasm. When the wound finally healed, she released her hold and licked her lips clean.

“Bite me,” she demanded.

“Gladly,” he said, and then he slid his fangs into her taut neck. The second her warm blood coated his tongue and throat he could feel it pinging around inside him, bonding with his. The magic of their third exchange stunned him and he almost lost his footing.

“I can feel it. Can you?” Sookie whispered in his ear.

He moaned as a response, still feasting on her blood.

“I love you,” she murmured.

He finally broke free and said, “I love you, too.” And then he healed her neck and proceeded to fuck her until his legs went numb and they came together one final time.

Sookie gasped for breath and smiled at him. “Wow. That was… Wow.”

He kissed her and lifted her off of him, holding her tightly until her legs worked again.

“Thanks for joining me,” she said.

“Thank you for inviting me.” He washed his body quickly and then turned the shower off.

“I’m ready to go, well once I’m dressed. I’m all packed.” Sookie’s voice was muffled as she dried her face.

“We’re leaving tonight?”

“Yep. Will you call the queen and let her know we’re on the way?” she asked.

“I will.”

______________________________________________________

I just can’t seem to stop writing sex in the shower! Maybe it’s because of CH’s inspiring scene… In any case, who’s ready to meet with the queen?

Relapse: Chapter 9

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

All mistakes are my own. Thanks RedJane12 and MsBuffy for your help catching my mistakes last time! NSFW.


 

Chapter 9

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Niall? Sookie’s heart thrummed against her chest. He looked like an angel, surrounded by a faint glow.

“I have been anxious to meet you, Sookie.”

“You know who I am?” Sookie asked. “Where did you come from?” She looked past him at the endless woods from which he had emerged.

“There is a portal nearby. It is the one Fintan used to visit your grandmother.” Niall responded. “The same one I have used over the years to watch you grow.”

“Wait a minute,” Sookie said, frowning. She looked at Eric and then at Niall, who both seemed perfectly at ease. “Do you know him?” she asked Eric.

Eric nodded. “I met him centuries ago. We fought together.”

Niall smiled. “He is strong and courageous.”

Eric bowed slightly at the compliment.

“You never said you knew him!” Sookie poked Eric’s chest.

“I only said I couldn’t answer your questions about him. I didn’t mean to mislead you, I only told you what I knew for certain,” Eric replied.

“That we are acquaintances is irrelevant,” Niall interjected. “I apologize for not making myself known before now, and I also apologize for interrupting your…”

Sookie’s face burned with embarrassment. Her great-grandfather had walked in on her in process of undressing her lover.

“Conversation,” he finished politely. “Is there a place we may go to have a more civilized, private discussion? I don’t have much time.”

“My gran is still awake, otherwise I’d offer our house.” Something about Niall’s words made her think he didn’t want to include Gran in their conversation.

“I can take care of her,” Eric said, and then darted through the trees in a blur of movement.

“What’s he going to do to her?” Sookie asked while her forehead furrowed.

Niall touched her shoulder reassuringly, his skin impossibly smooth and warm. “He is probably glamouring her.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Vampires can persuade humans to do their bidding. It’s harmless … most of the time.”

Her frown deepened. Had he tried it on her? Had the queen?

“It’s ineffective on fairies, and fairy descendants, yourself included.”

With a great whoosh of air, Eric returned. “Your grandmother decided to go shopping. The house is ours.”

Sookie tilted her head. “Did you glamour her?”

“Yes.” He looked at Niall and then back to Sookie. “I gave her money for groceries.” Sure enough, Gran’s pickup started a minute later and the faint sound of flicking gravel followed.

“Shall we?” Niall asked.

They walked together toward the house with Niall a few steps behind them. “Have you tried that on me before?” she asked Eric, keeping her voice low.

“Yes. It doesn’t work. I should’ve known you were part-fairy from the first moment we met.” He grinned. “You wouldn’t shut up, no matter how hard I tried.”

Sookie scoffed and then laughed. “That’s all you wanted from me?”

“At first,” he whispered, giving her hand a squeeze.

The yellow glow from the porch light surrounded them. Sookie took a deep breath and led the way into the house. “Well, here we are.” She offered a chair to Niall on one side of the table while she and Eric took the other.

The kitchen, while functional, seemed downright dilapidated next to Niall. Sookie thought he would look right at home in a palace made of gold. She cleared her throat. “Can I offer you anything? Coffee? Lemonade?”

Niall gasped. “No, thank you though.”

“Lemons are fatal to fairies,” Eric whispered to her.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Lemonade always made her tongue a bit raw, but she’d never died from drinking it.

“Iron is also very dangerous,” Niall said. “Which is why I have designed a protective skin that I wear when I visit your realm.” He pinched the skin by his wrist and lifted a silky, transparent material.

“That explains why you’re not all fangy,” she said to Eric.

“Yes.”

“I just found out about you,” Sookie said to Niall.

“I know. I heard your conversation this morning. I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, and after your discussion this morning, I know this is it.”

Sookie shrugged. “As good as any. Honestly, I wish I’d met you before. I wish I had known the truth about my past.”

“It wasn’t my place to discuss those details with you. My son Fintan tried to keep his relationship with Adele a secret. No one was supposed to know. But now it doesn’t matter.”

“What happened to Fintan? My gran said he just stopped coming one day.”

“He went to the Summerlands.” A single tear rolled down his glossy cheek.

“Is that far away?” she asked.

“He died.” Niall straightened his back. “It was terrible. He and his cousin fought to the death.”

“They both died?”

Niall nodded gravely. “So much loss.”

“I’m so sorry,” Sookie said, overcome with sorrow at never meeting her real grandfather.

“Thank you,” he said, patting her hand across the table. “Northman, how did you come into my great-granddaughter’s life?”

“The queen of Louisiana asked me to watch over her.” Eric didn’t elaborate.

“Loyal to a fault,” Niall remarked.

“Not to the queen,” Eric specified. “To Sookie.” He put his arm around her shoulder and squeezed it.

“Fairies and vampires have had a very interesting past. I suppose it’s fitting that you’re together. Uniting the two races.” Niall looked between them and smiled. “You have chosen wisely,” he said to Sookie. “Although, if I had my say in things, I would’ve chosen a fairy for you.”

“I’m capable of making my own decisions,” Sookie stated.

“I see that,” Niall replied.

“What’s it like? Where you’re from?” Sookie asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.

“Beautiful. I’ll have to take you to Faery some day so you can see it for yourself.”

“Really? You’d do that?”

“Yes, but only you.” Niall glanced at Eric.

“Right, because fairies are so irresistible to vamps?”

“Yes.” Niall lifted his eyebrows. “I can’t stay much longer. Do you have other questions?”

“My telepathy is not a fairy trait, right?”

Niall shook his head, his hair swaying. “Demon.”

“Demons are real?” Sookie’s mouth hung open. “Fintan was friends with a demon?”

“Yes to both.” Niall narrowed his eyes and directed the tiny slits at Eric. “You haven’t told her anything?”

“There hasn’t been time.”

“If her safety is your first concern, you need to have that discussion now.”

“What discussion? What’s he supposed to tell me?” Sookie said, demanding to be kept in the loop.

“About the other races,” Niall said. “Your world is at the center of many realms, which means there is a variety of beings who reside here. Why is your queen interested in Sookie?” he asked Eric.

“She’s not my queen,” Eric corrected.

“She wants me to work for her her as a telepath,” Sookie answered even though no one had asked her.

“Are you considering it?” Niall asked.

“Kind of. I’m not sure. Why? What should I do?”

Niall smiled. “You’re capable of making your own decisions.”

“Why do I have the spark of magic but none of my relatives do?”

“You were born with it,” Niall said. “Fintan knew the minute he saw you. He told me before… That’s why I’ve been watching you.”

Sookie nodded. “So they don’t have it, and they’re never going to get it?”

“No.”

“Have you been watching Jason and Hadley, too?”

Niall shook his head again. “No. They do not interest me.”

Sookie sighed. “Dang, I was hoping you’d be able to tell me what Hadley’s been up to. She disappeared a while ago.”

“She clearly has ties to the queen. You should ask her.” Niall shrugged. “I overheard this morning, remember?”

“Right.”

Niall pushed away from the table and stood. “I’m sorry to cut our meeting so brief, but I should return. I will be in touch. Northman, it was a pleasure, as always.”

“Wait!” Sookie stood, too. “I have one more question.”

Niall paused. “Yes?”

“Do you really have tiny feet?”

Niall smiled and lifted the hem of his flowing white robe revealing miniature feet. He leaned across the table and kissed her forehead. “It was delightful speaking with you. I look forward to our next meeting.”

“Me too,” she said smiling. He seemed to float to the door, and then waved before going through it. A royal, official wave. She wouldn’t expect anything less from him. “Bye!” she called out long after he had left.

She exhaled slowly and sank into her chair. “Whoa. I think my brain might melt. There are demons?”

Eric nodded. “And shapeshifters, maenads, mermaids, trolls, werewolves… The list goes on and on. As long as they can blend in with the humans, they’ve been able to live here successfully.”

“And I thought vampires were weird!”

“Hey,” he said, feigning hurt pride. “You wouldn’t think that if you saw the mating ritual of trolls. There’s a lot of mucus.”

“Ew. I don’t need to know that.”

“They need it because they have barbed penises. I’ve heard sex with a troll is quite painful.”

“Oh good, you’re still talking.” Sookie pinched the bridge of her nose.

“I wouldn’t know though. I’ve never been fucked by a troll.” He smiled.

“That’s a relief,” she said, playing along. “How about demons? Do they have freaky parts, too?”

“I steer clear of demons. Their blood is quite toxic to us, and you know how I enjoy blood and sex together. Not as much as maenads, though. Maenads are insane and always make a huge mess.” He rolled his eyes. “You wouldn’t believe what they’re capable of. They are beautiful. Just like mermaids. But mermaids aren’t as common as they once were. They’re a delicacy in parts of the world.”

She grimaced. “Okay. I’m done learning.”

“Are you sure? There’s a lot more.” He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

“How about you tell me about vampires since that’s who I really need to be worried about right now. I need to make a decision about the queen’s offer.”

“What if I demonstrate the mating ritual of vampires instead?” He put his hand on her leg and slid it up and under her dress.

“My gran could come home any minute!”

“She’s shopping,” he said reassuringly.

“There’s a portal outside where fairies can spy on us,” she said, suddenly feeling a thousand eyes on her. “We’ve already been caught once tonight!”

Eric stood and pulled the curtains over the widow. “Better?” She stood next to him, making sure there wasn’t a crack anywhere. He kissed along her neck and then pulled the front of her dress down, sliding the skinny straps over her arms. The elastic neckline moved over her breasts with ease. When he rolled one of her nipples between his thumb and finger, the rest of her resolve evaporated. He lifted her off the ground, his fingers digging into her ass, so she wrapped her legs around him, gasping when her swollen sex rubbed against the bulge in his pants. He pushed her against the kitchen wall and started lifting her dress.

“My bedroom,” she commanded.

He carried her down the hall, kissing her as he walked. She kicked the door closed and then he put her down on the edge of her bed and nuzzled the crook of her neck, but she stopped him.

“Window,” she said, pointing to the opposite wall and covering her exposed breasts. Who knew what lurked outside?

Eric snapped her curtains into place, removed his shirt, and then stalked over to her, wedging himself between her legs. He bent over her and his mouth moved back and forth between her nipples and then up to her lips, leaving cool kisses across her heated skin.

She unbuttoned his pants and pulled his dick out, making him groan. She nibbled on his lip and sucked it into her mouth. He lowered her down on narrow bed, with her ass hanging off the side, and then pushed her dress up until it pooled against her belly. His hands roved over her body, rolling her nipples and then massaging her ass as if they had a mind of their own and couldn’t decide what they liked better. “Is this part of the ritual?”

“Worship is always part of rituals.”

She hooked her feet around his legs and pulled him closer. “What happens next?” She lifted her hips, trying to align their bodies. Of all the fantasies of having sex in her bedroom she’d had as a young woman, none featured anyone as glorious as Eric.

He gripped his cock by the base and manipulated it against her opening.

She closed her eyes and concentrated on the pleasure building inside her, but opened them abruptly when his phone rang.

Without checking the screen, he silenced his phone, tossed it onto the table next to her bed, and picked up right where he left off, rubbing the velvety head of his dick up and down her slit. “Where was I?” he asked. “Right here.” And then he pushed inside her.

“Ugh.” She moaned and pushed against the wall, holding on tight to ride out the first wave of euphoria. “Yes,” she hissed.

Eric caressed her legs and spiraled his hips, driving into her slowly. Sookie whimpered.

“Tell me what you want me to do,” he said, sucking his thumb into his mouth and then rubbing it against her engorged clit.

She lifted her head and focused on his cock disappearing inside her and the electric sensation of pleasure building under his thumb.

He stopped moving his hips, but continued to manipulate her clit. “Tell me,” he murmured.

“I want you to fuck me,” she whispered, heat spreading across her cheeks at her bold statement.

He grinned and then he gave her what she wanted. Fucking her hard and fast, his hips slamming against the inside of her thighs. A scream escaped her throat as she came again, and that time, he grunted and came inside her.

He moved their bodies so they could share her skinny bed. Half-dressed and out of breath, Sookie could only smile to acknowledge the way he held her tenderly.

“Was that all part of the vampire ritual?” she asked, struggling to breathe.

“No, that was just so I could hear you say you wanted me to fuck you.”

“You accomplished your goal.” Sookie grinned. “Are you going to tell me about vampires now? Besides their mating rituals,” she added quickly.

“I think you’ve earned it,” he said, kissing her. “I’ll begin with politics.” He went on for nearly an hour, discussing how vampires had divided the United States into the four clans: Moshup, Amun, Zeus, and Narayana. He explained that most vampires were loyal to a king or queen, and if they wanted to run a business, they needed permission from the ruling body to do so.

“So Pam had to get permission to open Fangtasia?”

“Pam should’ve gotten permission,” Eric corrected.

“Oh.” Realization dawned on her. That must’ve been Pam’s debt. “So you’re loyal to the queen of Louisiana?”

“No. We had an unusual circumstance. I live in her state, but only because I had to. Things are different now that she’s released me.”

“So that means you can do whatever you want?”

“Yes.”

Sookie frowned. “So if I worked for her, would you stay or go somewhere else?”

“I would stay, but not for her.” He smiled and kissed her again.

She sighed. “What should I do? I don’t really like her, not that I have to like my boss…”

“You should consider other options.”

“You keep saying that! What does that mean?”

Eric picked up her hand and kissed the middle of her palm. “Do you think Sophie-Anne is the only vampire who would like you to work for them? She’s gone to great lengths to find you and keep you to herself. Everyone in her inner circle knows about you, but that’s where the knowledge ends. If more vampires knew what you can do they would all be interested.”

“Are you suggesting I tell the entire vampire world about my gift?” Her mouth hung open.

“No, I think you should let me do it.”


Eric always has the best ideas…but will Sookie agree? Find out in Relapse: Chapter 10

Relapse: Chapter 8

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

All mistakes are my own. Your feedback in the form of comments/reviews is incredibly valuable to the way I shape my stories. Sometimes, after reading your comments, I end up rewriting everything, and it always makes the story better. Thank you for contributing to the creative process. I couldn’t do this without you.

__________________________________________________________________

Chapter 8

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie waited for Gran’s response, expecting some big revelation, but she just shrugged.

“What about him? You know all about your grandpa.”

Sookie sighed. “Hang on, I need to show you something.” She pushed away from the table and jogged to the car. With the folder in her hands, she ran back up the front steps and into the kitchen, where Gran was doing dishes. Sookie helped clean up the table and dry the pans, knowing she wouldn’t have Gran’s undivided attention until after the chores were done.

“What were you going to show me?” Gran asked, looking at the closed folder and taking her seat at the table again.

Sookie sat across from her and pulled out the oldest picture first.

Gran smiled. “I haven’t seen this picture in ages. We’d been married a week. Mitchell was so handsome.”

“He was,” Sookie agreed. Next, she showed the pictures of baby Linda and baby Corbett. “But this isn’t Mitchell, is it?”

Gran’s eyes darted to meet hers and then flicked away. “Of course it is! Who else would it be?”

“Gran, don’t lie to me,” Sookie warned. “I’ve been lied to my whole life and it needs to stop now. Who is it?”

“I had an affair,” Gran whispered.

“Gran!” Sookie’s mouth hung open. “After all the comments about me staying with Eric and you treating me like a child? How could you judge me?”

“I shouldn’t have. I’m so sorry, honey.” Gran’s eyes filled with tears. “I should’ve told you before, especially considering that you’re…” she trailed off.

“What?” Sookie asked.

“Special.” Gran tapped Sookie’s head.

Sookie had been open with her Gran about her telepathy after her parents died, mostly because she couldn’t keep it to herself. As a grieving kid, she didn’t have much control over herself. “Does he have something to do with that?” she asked, pointing to the glowing man.

Gran nodded and then stared out the front window. “His name is Fintan. He came from the woods one day while Mitchell was away for work. They could’ve been twins! At first I thought it was Mitchell. He said he’d been watching me.”

“From the woods?”

She shook her head. “He wasn’t from here. He’s a fairy.” She paused, letting that bit of information sink in. “He loved me, you know. And even though I loved Mitchell, I loved Fintan, too.”

“Did you know he was a fairy?” Sookie asked.

“Not at first. He knew me. Knew what I wanted most in life, and then he gave it to me.” Gran looked at Sookie, tears spilling down her cheeks. “I wanted children. Mitchell and I couldn’t so…”

“So you did cheat on Grandpa?” Hearing it from the source was harder to swallow than Sookie imagined.

“That’s not how it was. They were almost the same.”

“No they weren’t. Fintan may have masked his real appearance to make you think he was your husband, but you knew.”

Gran nodded. “He tricked me at first, but after a time I knew he was different. His feet were so tiny. That’s how I could tell them apart. Fintan never visited me while Mitchell was home. He knew when I’d be alone. I hated being alone. Fintan brought me so much joy. They both did. They were both such good fathers.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? After all this time?”

“How could I? A proper lady isn’t supposed to be unfaithful. People would talk!”

“You’re worried about your reputation?” Sookie said, slamming her fists onto the table. “I spent my entire childhood worried about being good enough to make you proud. Do you know how frustrating this is?”

“I’m so sorry,” Gran repeated. “I was wrong. So wrong.”

Sookie took a deep breath. “Who is Niall?” she asked.

Gran squinted. “How do you know about him?”

“His name keeps coming up. Vampires are leery of him. Who is he?”

“Your great-grandfather. Fintan’s father. He’s a prince in their world I guess. Fintan never told me more than that.”

“You’ve never met him?”

She shook her head, her soft gray hair floating around her face.

“What happened to Fintan?”

“He stopped coming one day.” Gran’s face sagged as a frown tugged her mouth down.

“So we’re all part fairy? Dad, aunt Linda, Jason, Hadley, and I?”

“Yes. Fintan was only half fairy.”

“Could he read minds, too?”

“No,” Gran started.”

“I thought you said he was the reason!”

“That was a gift from his friend, Desmond.” She shuddered. “When I was pregnant the first time, he made me drink a thimble-full of his blood, which he said would bestow a great gift upon my descendants.”

“Great gift?” Sookie scoffed. “Telepathy is awful.”

“I had no idea what it was. I only knew I couldn’t refuse.”

“So why can’t they read minds, too?”

“It has something to do with a spark. Fintan explained it to me once, that only a few fairy-human descendants carry the spark of magic. You have it. You’re special.”

“Great.”

“I know this is a lot to hear. I also know that I should’ve told you before. I should’ve been strong enough to admit that I’d done something wrong. But I wasn’t. I’m not. I like my life the way it is and you’ve had to pay the price for my silence. Can you ever forgive me?” she implored, holding Sookie’s hands in hers. “I am so sorry.”

“I love you, Gran. That’s all I can say right now. Forgiveness is going to take time.”

“I understand.” Gran pulled away from her and looked at the table. “Where did you get those pictures?”

“I was going to ask you the same question. I was given this folder by a vampire in New Orleans, but how did she get them?”

Gran spread them out in front of her. She pushed the old pictures aside and focused on the ones of her grandchildren. “These all have Hadley in them. Linda must’ve taken these pictures. When she died, I guess Hadley got them.” She frowned. “Why would Hadley give away pictures of her family to a vampire in New Orleans?”

“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

“I’m really sorry I didn’t tell you before,” Gran whispered. “But I’m not sorry for what I did, because it means I got your dad and Linda, and then you, Jason, and Hadley.”

“I just wish things had been different.” But as Sookie thought of that, there weren’t many alternatives. If Fintan hadn’t come into Gran’s life, Sookie wouldn’t exist. Being part fairy beat nonexistence. Even if she had known, would it have changed anything? She still wouldn’t have any way of dealing with her telepathy, but still … knowing there were others out there like her would’ve made her feel a lot better.

She decided that she was grateful to finally know the truth, no matter how strange it was. She yawned. “I’m so tired. It’s been a long night,” she said.

“Get some sleep. I’ll see you when you wake up.” Gran stood, took her apron off, and slipped into her garden boots. “I’ve got weeds to pull.”

Sookie hugged her and then walked down the hall, pausing briefly over her sleeping vampire. “Good night,” she whispered, and then she fell into her bed. The familiar mattress cradled her body and lulled her to sleep instantly.

* * * *

Sookie woke with a start as something clattered outside.

“Shh,” Gran said, her voice muted through the closed window, “you’ll wake your sister.”

Jason groaned. “I’m fine, Gran. Don’t worry about me. Just worry about whether this ladder falling on my head woke Sook up.”

When Sookie got outside, Jason was repositioning the ladder against the front of the house.

Gran clicked her tongue. “He woke you up, didn’t he? I’m really sorry,” she said, and she wasn’t talking about the racket.

Sookie sighed and then hugged her brother. “It’s okay.”

“Hi Sook, how’s life treating you?”

“Not bad,” she replied. She looked at Gran. I wonder if she’s told him about our past. “How about you, have you and Gran had any important conversations?”

He frowned. “We’ve been talking about the roof, if that’s what you mean. I gotta patch that piece. A storm is coming in tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m fair to middlin’.”

“It’s old and worn and not nearly as strong as everyone thinks it is,” Gran added, giving Sookie a meaningful look. She wasn’t talking about the roof that time either.

“It’s okay. Sometimes the roof breaks. Sometimes the roof needs to be forgiven for not being able to bear all that weight.”

Jason frowned. “We’re going to forgive the roof because it leaks? What are you two going on about?”

“Nothing. I’m going to hop in the shower, okay?” Sookie looked at Gran. “Can you hold the ladder?”

“I can handle it.” Gran smiled and shooed her inside.

Sookie showered and changed into her favorite sundress. While Jason and Gran worked outside, she went to the store to buy supplies for dinner. Luckily, she didn’t run into anyone she knew, because her stomach started growling half way to town. “I’m making dinner tonight,” she announced when she got back home. “Jason, are you staying?”

“Of course. I’d never turn down a meal!” he called out from his perch on the roof.

Sookie set to work in the kitchen, humming and cooking like she always did. The sun still streamed through the windows when she called them inside for dinner. She served the three of them and then sat down.

About halfway through the meal Eric made an appearance, startling everyone. How a man so big could move so silently was beyond Sookie’s comprehension. He glared at Jason, flashing his fangs. Jason wilted.

“Hi,” Sookie said, getting up from the table. “Did you sleep well?” She went to the fridge, pulled out a bottle of synthetic blood, and popped it in the microwave. Eric didn’t answer; he was too busy intimidating Jason. “Eric, this my brother, Jason.”

“Ni-ice to meet you, E-Eric,” Jason stuttered, not making eye contact.

Sookie stretched and kissed Eric on the cheek and whispered, “He’s okay.”

Eric’s fangs snapped back into hiding. “Nice to meet you.”

Sookie handed him the warmed bottle of blood and dusted his back off. “Would you like to join us?” She pointed to the empty chair next to her.

“I wouldn’t want to impose,” he said.

Gran, who had been oblivious to Eric’s scare tactics, waved his words away. “Please, sit with us.” She smiled when Eric joined them. “We were just talking about the roof. Jason’s been working on it all evening,” she said, filling him in.

“Are you a roofer?” Eric asked.

Jason shook his head. “No, sir. I work construction, so I know a little of this and that.” He looked like he might faint at any minute.

Sookie nudged Eric under the table and nodded her head at her brother.

Eric’s shoulders relaxed. “I’m sorry for frightening you. I only meant to keep your sister from harm, and I didn’t know you.”

Jason sighed. “It’s okay. Sook didn’t mention she had a new beau.” He scowled at her.

“You wouldn’t shut up about the tar paper. How was I supposed to get a word in edgewise?” she asked.

“I’m pretty sure you could’ve gotten it in somewhere.”

“Children,” Gran warned.

“Sorry, Gran,” Sookie and Jason chimed in unison.

“Sookie mentioned you live in New Orleans?” Gran asked, taking control of the conversation once more.

“Yes, ma’am. It is my primary residence.”

“Primary?” Sookie asked.

Eric nodded. “I also have a home in Oslo, my favorite place to winter.”

“I’ve never been to Norway,” Gran added.

“It’s lovely.” Eric’s eyes sparkled a little. “And you, Jason, do you live nearby?”

“Yep. A few miles away,” Jason said cautiously. “Speaking of, I should probably be heading home. Hoyt is coming over later to watch the game.” He stood and thanked Sookie for the meal then offered his hand to Eric. “It was real nice meeting … you.” He pulled his hand away when Eric made no effort to reciprocate the shake.

Eric drained his bottle and then stood, towering over Jason. “Likewise.”

Jason backed away slowly and then practically ran to his truck, slamming the front door behind him.

Eric sat back down and finally noticed Sookie staring at him with her mouth open. “What?”

“Do you have to be so … intimidating?” she asked.

“It’s in my nature,” he replied, smiling a dazzling smile.

“He’ll be fine,” Gran said before starting in on the dishes. “Thank you for dinner, Sookie. If you’ll excuse me, I need to fold laundry.”

Folding laundry meant her favorite T.V. show was about to come on and she just so happened to do laundry while it was on. After she left the room, Sookie whispered, “You were being a dick.”

He shrugged. “Maybe a little. You didn’t tell me your brother would be stopping by. What was I to think about a strange man dining with you?”

“You could just assume that he wasn’t about to kill me.”

“Because that’s been the case so often?” He laughed.

“Well, no. But… Okay. I see your point.” She brushed off a bit of dirt from his shoulder. “How did you sleep?”

“Like the dead,” he replied, winning a smile from her. “And you?”

“Likewise, but with breathing.”

“Thank you for dinner,” he said, holding the empty bottle up. “I should probably have another. Your brother smells like you.”

Sookie scoffed and hit his chest. “Are you saying I stink?”

“No.” He grabbed her hand and dragged it in front of his face, inhaling her scent. “I’m saying you both smell like fairies and it’s hard to resist.” He licked the sensitive skin on the inside of her wrist sending a shiver down her spine.

“Second bottle, coming up,” she said, pulling away from him. She didn’t mind a love bite, but the hungry look in his eye worried her a little.

“Did you get a chance to talk to your grandmother?” Eric asked when the microwave beeped thirty seconds later.

“Shh.” Sookie held her finger over her mouth and pointed to the next room where Gran sat watching T.V. She nodded to the back door. “Gran, Eric and I are going to go for a walk.”

“Okay, honey,” Gran called back. “Don’t forget to take a shawl, the skeeters are out.”

“Come on,” she said, pulling Eric toward the door. He downed the bottle in a few seconds and then put it on the counter.

Once they were a safe distance away from the house, she said, “Gran admitted to everything: the affair with Fintan, that he fathered her two children, and that he’s Niall’s son. Niall is a prince?”

Eric nodded. “Yes, he is very powerful.”

“She also told me where my telepathy comes from: a friend of Fintan’s. She drank his blood while she was pregnant.”

Eric’s eyes widened. “No wonder she’s so comfortable with a vampire in her house.”

They walked through the woods with flecks of moonlight lighting their way. She put her hand inside his and smiled. “I’m glad you came with me.”

“Me too.” He dragged her into his arms and then pushed her against a tree. “I like this dress,” he said, kissing along the thin straps leading to her breasts.

“I think you’re going to like what’s under it, too.” She grinned and tucked his hand between her legs. She had forgone undergarments in anticipation of their night together. He seemed to greatly appreciate that, kissing and licking her shoulders with more enthusiasm. She pushed her hand into the waistband of his pants and squeezed his cock.

He groaned.

“I want you. Now,” she said between gasps as he nuzzled her nipples through the thin material of her dress.

His groan turned into a growl and without warning he pulled away from her, whirled around, and turned his hands into claws, ready for a fight. Sookie’s lust haze finally lifted when she focused on someone walking toward them. A man dressed in white, with long, glossy blond hair.

“Northman,” he called out in his musical voice.

Eric relaxed immediately and bowed deeply. “Niall.”

__________________________________________________________________

Cock-blocked by great-grandpa. Not cool. Find out what happens in Relapse: Chapter 9

Relapse: Chapter 7

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

NSFW All mistakes are my own, and I’m sure there are a lot of them.


 

Chapter 7

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie’s head swam. She knew she’d have to explore her family history sooner rather than later, since it seemed to keep coming up.

“You need a hot shower and something to eat,” Eric said, wrapping his arm around her and leading her into the bathroom. “You look a little pale. Are you feeling all right?”

“No. Everything still hurts and my head spins if I move too fast.”

His eyebrows knitted together. “You lost a lot of blood. Enough to feed me,” he admitted. “I healed your wound and then cleaned your skin and clothing. I’m so sorry Compton hurt you.”

“You kept me safe.” She leaned against the counter.

“I would’ve died trying.” He lifted her onto the counter and undressed her quickly and gently, stuffing her plastic suit in the garbage and putting her blood-soaked blouse in the sink. Then, he undressed himself and lifted her until she wrapped her arms and legs around his body so he could carry her into his large shower.

She sighed when the warm water caressed her back and washed some of the blood out of her hair.

“Will you let me heal you properly?” he asked, kissing her forehead.

“With your blood?” she asked.

“Yes. It’ll make you stronger.”

“The queen said it would only take three exchanges for a bond to form. Do you want that? To be bonded to me?”

Wisps of steam curled around Eric’s face as he gazed into her eyes. She could feel something coming from him stronger than ever, but was too afraid to fully acknowledge it. Is it love?

“Was Bill right? What he said, before…” she shook her head scattering the gruesome images of his death. “About how you feel about me?”

“Yes. That’s why he was so afraid.” He paused. “Love brings out the monster in me.”

She grinned from ear to ear. “So you love me?” she asked, knowing his answer before he said.

“Yes. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

He winced before he kissed her, and when she opened her mouth to him, she understood why: he had pierced his tongue nearly all the way through. The second his blood coated her throat she felt the familiar strength and hunger stir inside her, but unlike the first time she’d taken his blood, this wound stayed open. She swallowed again and again while she slid down his lean body searching for his cock. She needed him. All of him. All at once.

Without releasing his tongue, she reached between their bodies and guided his dick inside her. He groaned and stumbled forward until her back was against the wall. She gasped when the cool tile shocked her skin, but then she latched back onto his mouth, milking more blood from his self-inflicted wound. He slammed into her and came almost immediately, drawing an orgasm out of her. She pulled away to breathe, releasing his tongue and regretting her action immediately.

As Eric started pumping in and out of her, she watched him bite his tongue again before offering it to her. She tightened her grip on his neck so she could suck while he fucked her. She moaned and swallowed, until the new wound healed too. She leaned her head against the wall and held on for dear life, waiting for orgasmic oblivion.

He didn’t disappoint. He never did.

She came twice before he finally joined her again, growling as his cock swelled inside her. When her breathing evened out, he lifted her onto the ground, holding her as her legs shook.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much,” she replied. She stretched under the water and smiled. “Bye bye pain. Hello hunger.”

Eric laughed. “We still haven’t had a chance to go shopping!”

“I have leftovers.” She shrugged and washed every inch of her body with soap. “Thank you for healing me.”

“Thank you for letting me.” He kissed her again and then turned off the shower.

After she dressed, Sookie went into the kitchen and warmed up her Chinese leftovers, and started digging for the plastic fork the delivery guy had left. “Thank goodness he brought a fork and chopsticks, or I’d be eating with my fingers.” She sighed. “I still can’t believe what happened. I mean … I know it happened because I saw it, but it seems so surreal.”

“Death is always a difficult concept to understand.”

She rolled her eyes. “Says the immortal man.”

He picked up the other chopstick and held it between his thumb and finger. “Not against this.”

She nodded. She hadn’t really planned to kill Bill. She just wanted to threaten him a little. Put a little fear into him. But he had done the unexpected.

She ate quickly and then made her way into the front room, where the folder full of family information still sat. “I think I’m ready.” She exhaled slowly. “Okay, here goes.” Her fingers trembled as she opened the file. A black and white photo sat on the very top with her gran’s handwriting scrawled across the white border. She squinted. “That’s my gran and my grandpa.” She outlined their young faces with her fingertip and smiled. “This must’ve been before my dad and aunt were born.”

The next item was a newspaper clipping stating the Corbett Stackhouse had been born. A picture was clipped to the article featuring her gran and grandpa again, but this time smiling with a brand-new baby. “Look at how cute my dad was!” she grinned at the bundled little baby, but something struck her odd. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it so she showed it to Eric. “Something’s off. What is it?”

“Your grandfather is glowing.” Eric tilted his head.

Sure enough, a halo of light surrounded her photographed ancestor. She held the two pictures side-by-side. The men looked similar, but not exactly the same. “Who is this?”

Eric pressed his lips together. “I’m guessing he’s a fairy, but I can’t identify him. He’s masking his true form.”

“Masking?” She turned to face him.

“Fairies can do that in our realm, but it makes their skin shimmer.” He tapped the picture. “Like this.”

She shook her head trying to make sense of what he was saying. “So some fairy came to our realm and pretended to be my grandpa?”

“Seems that way.”

“Did my gran know?” Her head spun as a million questions filled it.

“Take a deep breath,” Eric said, holding her shoulders.

“What does Niall have to do with this? Who is he? Is this him?” She tapped the picture.

“I can’t answer your questions.” He looked over her shoulder at the pile of papers in her lap. “There’s more.”

Another picture surfaced, same pose, same glowing grandpa, different baby. “This must be my aunt Linda.” A newspaper clipping of her mom and dad’s marriage was taped to one announcing Jason’s birth and then Sookie’s. Her eyes filled with tears as she read the next headline: HUSBAND AND WIFE DRIVE OFF BRIDGE. NO SURVIVORS. A pile of family pictures filled the folder: Jason, Sookie, and Hadley playing outside Gran’s house, Sookie and Hadley hanging upside-down from a tree branch, Sookie and Hadley dressing in matching Easter dresses. They spanned her whole childhood, but stopped abruptly when she hit her teens.

Sookie’s skin crawled. “Where did these come from? These are personal.” Truth was, she hadn’t even known they existed. “I need to talk to my gran. In person.”

“We have enough time to get there if we leave now,” Eric said, surprising her.

“We?” She had expected to make the trip alone.

“I love you, Sookie. I want to be there for you. Please let me.”

She smiled. Despite the chaos of her past and the confusion of her twisted reality, she knew one thing: he loved her and she loved him right back. “I love you. Thank you.”

* * * *

“Where are you going to sleep?” Sookie asked, her forehead furrowing. “I don’t have a coffin or anything at my house.”

“Do you have a crawlspace under your house?”

Sookie grimaced as she imagined the decades of dead spiders and mice that had accumulated under her family home. “Yes, but—”

“Good. That’s where I’ll sleep. I don’t want to leave you.”

“It’s so dirty down there. No one’s been in there since we got a new line drawn in for our water heater. That was twelve years ago.”

He smiled. “Dirt doesn’t bother me.”

“But there’s dead stuff down there!”

“So I’ll be in good company,” he joked.

Sookie laughed. She could always count on him for that … and many other things.

The closer they got to Bon Temps, the more anxious she became. She thought of how she was going to ask all her questions. She wanted to know everything: where the pictures came from, who the man in the photographs was, and if her gran knew.

With the folder of pictures clutched tight in her hands, she braced herself for the upcoming confrontation.

Eric slowed as he wound down her long, gravely driveway. A single light shone through the kitchen window, which didn’t surprise Sookie. Gran always got up well before dawn to make breakfast.

Being home filled her heart with contentment. She hadn’t realized how much she missed it. Suddenly, her question and answer session seemed less important. She put the folder down on her seat and got out of the car.

The aroma of biscuits and sausage fill the air, stirring Sookie’s appetite. She smiled. “Come meet my gran before you have to go to sleep.”

Eric followed her up the front steps and waited respectfully at the door.

Sookie called out, “Gran, I’m home!” And then she was in the kitchen, wrapped in the loving arms of her grandmother. “I’ve missed you,” she whispered, fighting tears.

“I missed you too, honey.” Gran rubbed her back. “What are you doing here so early?”

“We drove all night,” Sookie started and then realized Eric hadn’t followed her inside. She sighed and pulled out of her gran’s arms. Of course he didn’t. She hadn’t invited him in. “Eric, will you please come in?”

In the blink of an eye, Eric whooshed into the kitchen. “Mrs. Stackhouse, it’s a pleasure,” he said, bowing.

“Are you the man I spoke to on the phone?” Gran asked, narrowing her eyes.

“I am. Eric Northman.”

“And he’s been keeping you safe?” she asked Sookie. When Sookie nodded, Gran went on, “I don’t know what happened at Vampire Bill’s house, but I sure am glad she wasn’t with him. Thank you,” she said, and then, without any hesitation she hugged him. Her frail, tiny body seemed even smaller against Eric’s. “Thank you for bringing my girl home.”

He patted her lightly and bowed again when they separated. “You are very welcome.”

“Now,” Gran said, wiping her eyes and sniffing. “What can I get you for breakfast?”

Sookie looked at her and then at Eric. Gran had no idea that Eric was a vampire.

“I’ve already eaten,” Eric said graciously, “but thank you for the offer. I need to rest now.” He glanced out the window, which had begun to brighten.

“I’ll take two eggs, please. I’m going to go get Eric situated. I’ll be right back.” Sookie took his hand and led him down the hall to the trapdoor under the rug. The hinges creaked as she lifted the heavy plank of wood. “Are you sure about this?”

He nodded and gathered her into his arms, kissing her before descending the roughly cut earthen steps leading to the tiny crawlspace. “I’ll see you in a few hours.”

She nodded and closed the door, leaving it unlatched, but covering it with the rug. A plate of steaming food waited for her at the table. A moment later, Gran plated her own breakfast and joined her.

“Thank you so much. I’m starving,” Sookie said, digging in.

“I’m glad you’re here. I’ve missed you.”

“Me, too,” Sookie replied around a bite of food.

“Tell me about New Orleans and this Eric fella.” Gran lifted her eyebrows and waited expectantly.

While the sun rose, Sookie recounted a very modified version of what had happened over the last two weeks. She skimmed over her stay at the cabin and carefully chose each word to describe the truth about Bill, that he had used her and hurt her, but that he wouldn’t hurt her ever again. And then she talked about Eric. How wonderful, caring, protective, and supportive he was. She couldn’t admit to her gran that she loved him, but it seemed pretty obvious.

“Where is he sleeping? Not in your room, I hope.” Gran held Sookie’s eyes.

“First of all, he’s a vampire, so he’s sleeping in the crawlspace under the house right now. Second, I’m a grown woman and I happen to enjoy sharing my bed with him.” Her cheeks flushed. She refused to be ashamed of her healthy sex life, but she wasn’t about to discuss it in detail, either.

“You know how I feel about that.”

“I know.”

“So you came home so I could meet another vampire?” Gran asked.

“No. I came home to ask you about grandpa.”


Poor Gran is going to be put on the spot…read on Relapse: Chapter 8

Relapse: Chapter 6

:

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

I have a feeling you might enjoy this chapter. All mistakes are my own.

_____________________________________________________

Chapter 6

 

Alternating POVs:

 

Eric’s POV

 

Eric pressed his ear to the small gap in the door. He could hear everything. He could also feel Sookie’s emotions building inside her: sadness and anger. So much anger. He wanted to warn her about getting the truth from Compton. The truth would hurt her. But she insisted she needed to know why. Her voice shook as she spoke to Compton, occasionally punctuated with a sniff. She was crying. He waited, giving her the time she needed despite his desire to save her from the waste of space in the cell. To save her from the pain he was causing all over again.

Her anger erupted at the same moment she slapped him, but quickly turned to fear. Eric pushed the door open and flew toward them. Sookie’s body was stiff as she fought against him. The door closed with a loud click. The scent of her blood filled the small room. Eric growled and delivered a powerful kick to Compton’s tethered leg, breaking the bone.

Compton howled, releasing his grip on Sookie, who crumpled to the floor at his feet. She held her bleeding throat and scooted against the wall. Compton rocked forward and clutched his mangled shin.

As much as Eric wanted to make sure Sookie was okay, he needed to neutralize the threat to her first. He gripped Compton around the throat and lifted him toward the ceiling.

A scream escaped Compton’s lips as his foot separated from his leg, a stream of blood coating his lifeless appendage and the shackle that still held it.

Eric pivoted and pressed Compton against the door. Eric’s fist fit perfectly in the tiny window, protecting him. Compton flailed against Eric’s chest, like a swarm of annoying gnats. Compton’s skin began to smoke as the silver lining burned him. The security guard banged on the door and tried to open it, but couldn’t.

Compton’s pathetic cries tapered off as his bleeding slowed. He glowered at Eric. “Northman.”

“Apologize to her,” Eric demanded.

“Did you fuck her?” Compton asked. “I bet she’s sweet. Pity I never got a chance. I would’ve enjoyed making her scream.”

Eric slammed Compton’s head against the door until a bone-cracking sound echoed through the cell. Blood trickled down Compton’s neck and began to smoke.

“Apologize.” Eric tracked Sookie’s movements out of the corner of his eye as she stood and walked toward them.

Compton glanced at her and laughed. “Why do you care?”

Eric didn’t answer, because Compton didn’t deserve the truth. “I said, apologize,” he emphasized each syllable with another crack against the door.

Compton’s eyes widened in fear and he held his hands up defensively. “Oh fuck. You’re in love with her. I’m sorry. Please, don’t kill me.”

The security guard shouted, “Move out of the way!” But no one paid any attention to him.

Eric’s jaw tightened. “Apologize to her.”

“I’m sorry, Sookie. Please tell him to let me go, okay sweetheart?”

Sookie took a step toward Compton while she retrieved something from her pocket. Blood trickled down the side of her neck and soaked into her blouse. “I never was and never will be your sweetheart.” With that, she produced a single chopstick, which she held against his heart with shaking hands.

* * * *

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie’s hands quaked as she gripped the thin piece of wood.

Please, sweet—” Bill begged.

“I’m not your sweetheart,” she repeated, pushing against the thin tunic covering his chest. “You don’t deserve me. You used me. You hurt me. You’re worthless,” she added. It was true. Every last word. She wished he’d never come into her life. “I’d hate to see what the queen has in store for you after what you just admitted.”

Fear contorted Bill’s face.

“That’s right. You just confessed, on camera, that you never intended to follow orders,” she said, pointing to the corner behind her. Her head swam with each turn. “That the only reason you found me was so you could have fun with me.” She smiled and pulled her hands away. “I guess you’ll get what’s coming to you. What’s the punishment for treason?”

Eric answered. “A slow, painful death. Sabine is a lightweight compared to Sophie-Anne.”

“No.” Bill shook his head, put his hands on top of hers and plunged the tiny weapon into his heart.

Within seconds, his hold relaxed and his body began to disintegrate. Copious amounts of blood seared against the silver door, filling Sookie’s nostrils with the foulest smell she’d ever encountered. Bill’s face collapsed and morphed into a liquefied pile of stringy, bloody tissue.

Sookie’s world spun and then everything went dark.

* * * *

Eric’s POV

 

Eric released his grip on Bill’s remains and lunged for Sookie. He scooped her into his arms just before she hit the ground and cradled her against his chest as the security guard pushed through the door, sweeping through Bill’s remnants, making a bloody smear on the floor.

The guard growled and barked, “Heal her. Now!” His eyes darkened and filled with longing as Eric’s mouth made contact with Sookie’s torn throat.

Eric bit his own tongue and probed inside the wound until it closed and then he set to work cleaning her skin. Her white plastic suit was spattered with droplets of blood, which he licked clean before sucking on the collar of her blouse. He needed to remove as much of her scent as he could.

“What the fuck?” the guard shouted, looking down at the slimy pile of tissue on the floor. He used the toe of his boot to push the chopstick away.

A moment later, the woman who had let them in appeared at the door.

“You didn’t check them for weapons?”

The woman shook her head. “I forgot. She smelled so good. I couldn’t think straight. What happened?”

Eric looked up from Sookie. “She killed him.”

She did?” the woman asked.

Eric nodded.

“I thought maybe you took it from her or something. I was watching the feed upstairs and saw her pull it out of her pocket. I couldn’t see after that. She just doesn’t seem like the kind of person who—”

“Don’t make assumptions about her,” Eric said. “That’s what Compton did, and you can see what happened to him. You have no idea how ferocious fairies can be. She comes from a long line of warriors. I’m holding her for your safety. When she comes to, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”

The woman’s eyes darted to the mess on the floor and then to Sookie who began to stir in Eric’s arms.

* * * *

Sookie’s POV:

 

Sookie opened her eyes slowly. The pain in her neck had eased significantly, but everything still hurt. All her muscles ached, as if she’d spent the last hour shivering.

“Welcome back,” Eric said, rubbing his thumb against her shoulder.

She glanced around the room and found not one, but two guards near her. When she made eye contact with them, they both shrank away, as if they were afraid of her. She touched the side of her neck tentatively and smiled. “Thanks for healing me.”

“We need to get you out of here,” Eric whispered. “There’s no need for more violence,” he added with a louder voice.

Who is he talking to? Sookie frowned but Eric shook his head slightly signaling something.

“What about the queen?” the man asked.

“I’ve already alerted her of the … situation,” the woman said.

“The queen knows how to get in touch with us. I’m sure we’ll hear from her soon. We need to leave before something else happens.”

Despite what Sookie had been through, she couldn’t help but notice the language Eric used. Us and we. She smiled.

Eric carried her past the guards, who didn’t try to stop them. Why would they? Bill killed himself to avoid the queen’s punishment. Coward.

Ghostly white faces peered through the small window in each door they passed, their eyes a mixture of desire and fear.

Eric ascended the stairway, still holding her gently. “I think I can walk,” she protested, but he didn’t stop. He didn’t put her down until he had his car door open.

“Don’t say anything. Get in.”

“Okay, but…” she said, sitting in the passenger seat. Eric started the car before she could close her door.

“Shh.”

She frowned, but remained silent long after they passed through the ornate gate that enclosed the Containment Area. “Can I talk now?”

“Yes,” Eric replied, keeping his eyes on the road.

“Who were you talking to, about doing something violent?”

“You. Because you killed Compton.”

“Me?” she shouted, turning in her seat to face him, her torn suit crinkling under her. “But I didn’t! He did. You saw!” she protested.

“But they didn’t.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I don’t understand.”

“Regardless of my best efforts, there will be times when I obviously can’t protect you. What you need is respect … and a little fear from the vampire community. You have that now.”

“But I didn’t do anything!”

Eric pulled into the driveway that curved in front of his house, turned the key, and looked right at her. “You threatened him. The camera caught that. They heard his confession, too. He was as good as dead, and he knew it.”

“So now everyone thinks I killed Bill?”

He nodded. “Vampires can be vicious, but if they are intimidated by you, you’ll stand a better chance of surviving. You want to stay alive, right? Because after that stunt, I’m not so sure.”

She sighed and looked down at the stains on the front of her clothes.

“Did you get the answers you wanted?”

“Yes,” she whispered. The sting of Bill’s words came back to her. A little piece of her heart ached and tears filled her eyes. “How was I so blind?”

“Because you’re a good person who sees the good in others,” Eric answered while wiping her cheek.

There was nothing good inside of Bill. All of it had been a lie. “He deserved it.”

“Yes, he did.” He got out and then opened her door, leading her into his house. “You should rest.”

She scoffed as she waited for her head rush to pass. “I’ll probably have nightmares for the rest of my life. His face…” she shuddered as an image of his slimy skin sagged around his limp eyes filled her head.

“It’s not pretty,” he added.

“You’ve seen that before?” Her mouth fell open. How could someone witness something so gruesome without it ruining their life?

“A few times,” he admitted. He didn’t offer any more information, and she didn’t ask.

“Am I in trouble? With the queen?” Her heart began to race.

“It was self-defense. Plus, I’m sure she wouldn’t want to … rock the boat, I believe is the expression.”

“Rock what boat?”

“Niall’s.”

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So much plot, so little time! Read on: Relapse: Chapter 7

Relapse: Chapter 5

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! My book, In Your Shoes, is now available through Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online retailers. It’s a story about a couple on the verge of divorce, trying to understand each other. It’s funny and sad and everything in between, with just a hint of magic … and as always, a happy ever after.

 

This chapter is short and plot-filled. Brace yourself. All mistakes are my own.

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Chapter 5

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie frowned. “The queen?” She scrambled away from Eric to try and reach the phone, sliding onto the couch. “Is she calling to find out where we are so she can kill me?”

Eric laughed. “She knows where we are. Maybe she has news about Compton.”

The phone rang and vibrated again. A smile spread across her face as she imagined getting to tell Bill that his ancestral home burned to the ground. Guilt nagged at her for thinking something so mean, but memories of what he’d put her through put those feelings to rest.

“Hello?” Eric said, answering the phone. He nodded. “Yes. I know the way. Of course.” He looked at Sookie and said, “Give her another night.” He disconnected. “We’re going to see Compton.”

“Why is she helping me see Bill? She could’ve just said no.”

“Because she wants you to work for her and after finding out how angry you were last night, she’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen.”

“She’s offering a lot.”

Eric shrugged. “Not really.”

She scoffed. “Excuse me, Mr. Moneybags, but two hundred grand is a lot of money.”

“I’m not saying it’s nothing, I just happen to think you’re worth more.”

“You mentioned that before, that I had options.”

“I could support you,” he offered.

She lifted her eyebrows. “I’m not a free-loader.”

“I didn’t say it would be free,” he teased.

She shook her head trying to keep their conversation on track. “I feel like I owe her something for letting me see Bill.”

“She doesn’t care about Compton. She’s trying to make you happy by giving you what you asked for.”

“I need to go, but I’m not happy about going to see him,” she said.

“Do you want to go now?” he asked.

Sookie took a deep breath. “I’m nervous.”

“Don’t be. I’ll be right there with you.”

That was all she needed to calm her racing heart. That and a little protection.

* * * *

An hour later, Sookie was finally ready to go. Her leg bounced as they made their way out of his neighborhood and drove to the edge of the bustling city. Eric slowed as they approached a small booth smack dab in the middle of an elegant fence enclosing what appeared to be a high-end gated community.

“Northman and Stackhouse,” he said to the vampire behind the glass.

The man nodded and the gate opened.

“Where are we?” Sookie whispered. The lights from his car swept along the road ahead of them. Lavish mansions dotted the perfect landscape.

“The Containment Area.” He paused and then went on, “This is Louisiana’s vampire prison.”

Sookie laughed, sure he was messing with her. “These mansions hold prisoners?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Human authorities have no knowledge of this place, or any of the other prisons we run nation-wide.”

“Oh. So you make it look like a regular neighborhood so no one suspects anything?”

Eric nodded.

“What if a prisoner escapes?” A shudder worked through her body as she thought of a pissed off vampire let loose on a city full of unsuspecting humans.

“They don’t.” He wouldn’t look at her. “That’s the one.” He pointed through the windshield at a benign, beige home. “That’s where Compton is.”

She swallowed hard. “I want to talk to him. Alone. Okay?”

“Alone? No. That’s not a good idea.”

“He knows who you are, right? He won’t talk to me if you’re there. I just know it. Please?” she pleaded with him.

Eric sighed and then nodded. “Okay, but I’m going in with you as far as I can.”

They followed the curved walkway to the house and Eric rang the doorbell. The chimes hadn’t finished reverberating through the windows when a petite vampire opened the door, dressed in a crinkly white suit from head to toe, a hood covering their face. Despite the vamp’s slight frame, they blocked the entrance with ease.

“Northman and Stackhouse,” Eric said again.

The guard’s shoulders relaxed. They nodded, moved to the side, and said in a soft, feminine voice, “We’ve been expecting you. Follow me.” She led them past a bank of monitors, each one showing a camera feed of a jail cell. When they reached a room full of white suits, she finally removed her hood, exposing vibrant red hair. “Part of his treatment is food depravation. For your safety, you must wear protective gear before you enter his cell.” By the end of her sentence, she was lisping through her fangs.

Sookie gave her a nervous smile. “Will Eric be able to go with me?”

“I’m not sure we have a suit big enough for him,” the woman said, looking him up and down and then scanning the racks of clothes. “You’ll have to make do.”

Eric shrugged and stepped into the suit, zipping it up the front. It hugged his body and exposed the bottom six inches of his pants.

The woman handed Sookie a matching outfit, which Sookie pulled on over her clothes. Within seconds, it was uncomfortably hot. “What’s this made of?”

“Tyvek. It’s not breathable, so our detainees can’t smell what we’ve been eating, or what they might want to eat,” she added giving Sookie a meaningful glance.

Beads of sweat formed around Sookie’s hairline. “Great. Can we go before I cook inside this thing?”

The guard nodded and unlocked a series of doors leading down to the basement. A long, concrete hallway stretched out in two directions. She nodded to the left. “Compton is in the north wing.”

Eric stayed close to Sookie, which was just fine with her. Sweat trickled down her back. Partly from anticipation of finally facing Bill, but mostly because she was encased in plastic.

Another guard waited outside the north wing. Their guide motioned for them to go ahead without her.

“We’re here to see Bill Compton,” Sookie said to the vampire.

“Hoods on,” he said in a gruff voice.

Eric and Sookie both complied.

The guard glanced at Eric and said, “Once you’re inside, don’t touch the door. It’s lined with silver.”

Sookie’s heart hammered in her chest. She took a deep breath and nodded to the guard, who led them to the farthest room from his station. Six rooms lined the walls, three on each side. Each had a window the size of a fist. While the guard unlocked the cell, she caught a glimpse of Bill sleeping on a long bench against the back wall.

“Visitor,” the guard shouted as he pushed the door into the cell and then stalked back to his station.

Bill didn’t move. Sookie took a deep breath and stepped inside. She held her hand up to Eric, stopping him from following her, silently pleading with him to let her go in alone. Eric nodded and wedged his shoe in the door so it wouldn’t close all the way.

Sookie shuffled a little closer and noticed a cuff on Bill’s ankle restraining him to the floor. “Hi, Bill.”

Bill sat up slowly and looked at her as if she were a mirage. His dark eyes glazed over as if he couldn’t really see her. “Sookie? Is it really you, sweetheart?”

She nodded and clenched her fists. She wished Eric were with her. She wanted to see his face, to feel his touch, but she didn’t dare look back at where he was waiting.

“Where have you been?” Bill asked. He didn’t stand up or make any effort to reach out to her.

“They took me. It was horrible. My gran was worried sick. How long have you been here?”

“Four days.” He glanced up at the camera pointed down at them, his movements sluggish. “They’ve kept me locked in here without food for four days.”

It was then that Sookie noticed the dark circles under his eyes and the sunken flesh below his cheekbones. His skin was also more pale than usual. Faint scars marred his forearms.

“Four days?” She tilted her head, counting all the days she’d been at the cabin. “What about the others?”

His face shifted from anger to artificial sweetness. “I was staying with a friend.”

A friend. She wanted to spit in his face, but she needed more information from him. “Why didn’t you come rescue me?”

“I wanted to,” he said, “but I was running for my life!”

“I thought you said you were with a friend. They tortured me,” she said, hoping to get a real reaction out of him. Nothing.

Sookie forced a few tears out of her eyes. Not out of sadness, but out of anger. “It was terrible. The pain was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. They said I had to endure it because of your blood. Because you had too much control over me.”

He slumped against the wall and shook his head. “Not enough,” he whispered.

She ignored his comment and went on. “It’s a good thing you were with a friend. Your house is gone.”

He frowned. “Gone?”

“Burned to the ground. Everyone wondered if you were inside. That would’ve been terrible.”

“My home… Are you quite sure?” he asked with far more concern than he’d shown for her.

She nodded and forced herself to ask the next question. “Were you there that night the Rats attacked me?”

“Of course I was! I made sure they wouldn’t bother you ever again.” He clicked his tongue. “You probably don’t remember very much.”

“No,” she said, staring a hole into the top of his head. “Before they attacked me. Were you there?”

His silence proved his guilt.

“Why? They almost killed me.”

“I wouldn’t let them kill you!” he said defensively.

“No, of course not.” She chose her words carefully from the rehearsed speech she’d been practicing for a week. “You didn’t want a dead telepath, that’s not what the queen asked for,” she added casually.

“She would’ve been furious, not that I cared much about what she wanted. I had my own plans for you,” he whispered. His addled brain didn’t seem to be processing how she knew so much. “You wouldn’t be any good dead.”

She bit back her anger and asked her next question. “Why did you agree to take me to Fangtasia?”

“I wanted to have a little fun.”

“Fun?” she asked as calmly as possible. “Trying to make Sabine jealous?”

He licked his lips. “It worked,” he whispered as he caressed the scars on his arms. “She would’ve enjoyed you, too. I was going to share.”

Her stomach churned and anger boiled up in her like lava. She lunged toward him and slapped his face as hard as she could. For the first time he looked at her. Really looked at her. She pushed the hood off her head and loomed over him. “Apologize,” she said between clenched teeth.

“For what?”

“You hurt me.”

“No. I never got a chance,” he answered coolly. “I had plans for you, but you ruined them. Better late than never, right?”

A chill went down her spine and the next thing she knew, he had his hand around her throat. Even in his weakened state, her soft tissue was no match for his iron grip.

He ripped open the front of her jumpsuit and blouse, inhaled deeply and scowled at her. “Who is he, whore?” He crushed her throat as he pulled her on to his lap.

She tried to pry his fingers off, but couldn’t. Her scream died on her lips as he sank his fangs into her neck.

 

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Read on … Relapse: Chapter 6

Relapse: Chapter 4

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

All mistakes are my own.

_____________________________________________________

 

NSFW! Like really, really NSFW.

 

Chapter 4

 

Sookie’s POV

 

As per usual, Sookie’s bladder woke her. She wiggled away from Eric’s body and slid off the end of the bed. After a quick trip to the bathroom, she grabbed blindly at the pile of clothes just inside Eric’s room. She ran her fingers over the soft material of his shirt and pulled it over her head, marveling at how much of her body it covered. She dropped the rest of the clothes, which thudded dully against the ground. What was that? His phone! I need to call Sam. By the time she retrieved Eric’s phone, her eyes had adjusted to the dim light spilling down the hall. Eric remained still, frozen for the day. She laughed at the memory of climbing inside his coffin at the cabin in search of his keys and finding something much better instead.

She closed the door behind her and made her way to the front room. A stripe of sunlight came through the windows in the living room, warming her toes as she gazed outside. She dialed one of the Chinese restaurants out of the phone book, placed her order, and waited. She paced back and forth in front of the window, waiting anxiously for the delivery guy to show up with her dinner. She also thought about what she was going to say to Sam. Fifteen minutes later, a dumpy old car pulled up outside Eric’s house.

Sookie grinned and grabbed money off the counter before opening the door.

“That’ll be…” the young man trailed off, taking in every inch of her bare legs.

“Eleven fifty, right?” Sookie asked, thrusting a ten and a five toward him.

“Um, yeah.” He blinked slowly. She didn’t have to be a mind reader to know what he was thinking.

“Keep the change,” she said before closing the door.

“Thanks,” he mumbled through the door before taking off.

She ate over the sink, wondering why Eric didn’t have a table in the dining area. She laughed. Why would he need a table? She cleaned up, tucking the leftovers into his nearly empty fridge and washing the wooden chopsticks. She put them into the empty drawer where silverware would normally be.

Next, she dialed the number for Merlotte’s and smiled when Lafayette answered.

“Merlotte’s bar and grill,” he sang.

“Lafayette! It’s Sookie.”

“Damn girl, Sam’s about gone nuts here without you!”

She laughed. “I know. That’s why I’m calling.”

“When are you coming back?”

“I’m not,” she admitted.

Lafayette let out a long slow breath. “You gotta tell him that, not me.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you, too, sugar.” The phone creaked in his hand and the sound became muted for a moment. “Sam wants to talk to you.”

She didn’t have much of a chance to say goodbye before Sam started firing questions at her. She laughed again. “Slow down. You sound like my gran!”

“Sookie, where in the hell have you been? You’ve been gone for over a week. Adele called and said something about a vacation with Bill, but that didn’t sound like you, especially considering what happened. I’ve been worried sick.”

“I know. Listen, everything is okay.”

“Have you been with Bill?” his voice took on a sharp edge.

“No.”

He sighed into the phone. “Thank goodness. His house burned to the ground.”

“What?” She gasped.

“Yeah. I was worried he had you tied up somewhere in there when it happened and that you barely managed to escape with your life. They’re still investigating, so no one was sure.” He lowered his voice and went on, “You know how Bud talks when he drinks? Well I’ve been giving him drinks on the house to get him to drop details, but he hasn’t mentioned a body count, not that there’s be anything left from a vamp.”

“It burned to the ground?”

“Yeah. It was arson. Bud’s sure of that. They’ve got a perp in lockup.”

“Who?”

“Renee. Someone saw him fleeing the scene and he admitted to it, saying he’d done the world a favor.”

“Oh no. How’s Arlene holding up?”

Sam clicked his tongue. “It shook her up real bad. But that’s not the worst part.”

Sookie’s stomach clenched. “What’s the worst part?” she asked, afraid of the answer.

“He admitted to killing Maudette and Dawn.” His voice trailed off at the end. She knew he’d been sweet on Dawn, and her death had dealt a nearly lethal blow to his heart.

“Oh my god.” She covered her mouth. “Renee? How could it be him? I know him. Hell, we all know him.”

“I guess we didn’t know him all that well. You should hear some of the stuff Bud tells us. Actually, I’m glad you’re not here to hear it. It’s awful. He hates vamps and thinks anyone who consorts with them deserves to die.”

“Oh.” She blinked. That could’ve been her. She could’ve been next. Perhaps that’s why he targeted Bill’s house, assuming they’d been there together. Two birds with one stone.

“I’m just glad they caught the son of a bitch. I hope he rots in there.”

She was still too stunned to speak.

“Without Dawn, Arlene, or you, I’ve had to hire a few new servers. But don’t worry, you’ve always got a place here.”

That did it. She snapped back to reality. “Yeah, about that…”

“You’re not coming back, are you?”

“No. A lot happened, and it all started the night the Rats attacked me. To make a long story short, Bill’s out of my life and I’ve been offered a job in New Orleans.” It didn’t feel like lying. She had been offered a job … she just didn’t want to accept it. Regardless of her decision, she couldn’t face waiting tables again. “This is the earliest I could call to let you know.” Sookie took a deep breath and strained to listen. She could hear Sam breathing and the chatter of patrons around the bar. “Are you mad?”

“No. I’m not mad. I figured you were destined for greater things, I just thought I’d have more time to get to know you.” He sighed. “I suppose you’re glad to be gone.”

She laughed. “Don’t say that.”

“So you’ll be back?”

“Of course I’ll come visit.” How could she walk away from her hometown for good?

“We all miss you around here,” he whispered.

“I miss you, too.” She smiled. “Take care of yourself, Sam.”

“You too, Sookie.” He disconnected.

She snapped the phone shut and nearly jumped out of her skin when she caught a glimpse of Eric standing by the edge of the doorway. “Sweet Jesus, you scared me.”

“Who’s Sam?” he asked, hidden in shadow.

“My boss … and friend, I guess. I just quit my job in Bon Temps. I also ordered take-out. Chinese food. Yum.” She got up and walked toward him, putting his phone down on the table in front of the couch. “I hope it’s okay that I used your phone.”

“It’s fine,” he said, not looking at her.

Panic gripped her. Is this when he’s going to tell me to leave? That he’s done with me? But as she approached him she noticed every muscle in his body was tight and his hands were clenched into fists.

She put her palm on his bare chest and the other on his cheek, turning his face toward her. His perfect eyebrows were furrowed together. She gasped. “You’re not jealous, are you? Of Sam?”

He narrowed his eyes.

“You are!” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into a kiss. “Please don’t be jealous. I’m yours … if you want me.”

His eyes softened and his hands relaxed. He cupped her ass and pulled her toward him, crushing her body against his. “Say it again,” he demanded.

“I’m yours,” she said just before kissing him again. When she pulled away to breathe, he undressed her with one quick movement.

“Mine,” he whispered as he caressed the round globes of her breasts.

Her breath caught in her throat when he dipped his hand between her legs.

“Mine,” he repeated when he pushed his finger past her curls and inside her.

A moan escaped her lips and because she didn’t trust her knees, she leaned against the doorjamb. Eric followed, his face hovering over hers.

“Mine,” he breathed against her lips before capturing them, thrusting his tongue inside in time with the movement of his finger, which brought her closer to release with each passing second.

She gulped for breath as Eric kissed his way along her jaw and down her neck. He nuzzled the base of her throat, grazing her skin with his fangs. “Yours,” she murmured, pressing his head toward her, encouraging him to bite her.

“Mine,” he mumbled before his teeth pierced her flesh. He swallowed and moaned, their bodies vibrating in unison.

Sookie held her breath as her orgasm ripped through her. Her pulse pounded against her lips and drummed in her ears. Her world began to spin and then she gasped for breath, filling her empty lungs. Her next breath took the edge off her dizziness making everything come into sharp focus again. Eric’s face was the first thing she noticed. Bloodstained mouth and furrowed brow.

“Are you okay?”

She smiled and nodded. “Just forgot to breathe.” Her knees wobbled when he withdrew his finger and sucked it clean.

“Fuck,” he whispered and then he licked his lips.

“I need you. Please,” she added. “Now.”

He nodded and then hoisted her up against the wall. The velvety head of his cock pressed impatiently at her entrance. He seemed to be waiting for something.

“Please?” she begged, tightening her grip around his neck. She planted kisses along his shoulder.

Seemingly satisfied, Eric pushed inside her slowly, filling her and stretching her until nothing else mattered. She opened her mouth and bit hard as euphoria washed through her. Eric howled and slammed into her over and over. Her mouth slid against his skin, and only after she licked her lips did she realize she’d drawn a tiny amount of blood. She almost apologized and then she licked her lips. Another wave of pleasure coursed through her. She licked him clean trying to sate her ravenous hunger. His blood pinged around inside her, infusing every cell in her body with his power and appetite. She bit him playfully. “Mine!”

“Yours.” Eric kissed her, their tongues mingling.

“So good.” She arched against the narrow piece of wood knocking them off balance. Eric spun on his heel and guided them toward the couch. It scooted across the hardwood floor when they collided with it, but that didn’t stop his unrelenting thrusting. Sookie sat on the arm of the couch, locked her ankles around his body, and fell backward, letting her head rest on the cushions.

Eric gripped her breasts and drove into her until they both came again.

Sookie panted hard and finally opened her eyes. “I want more.”

Eric grinned and began spiraling his hips.

With more strength than she normally possessed, Sookie pushed herself up, gripping his arm with one hand and the back of the couch with the other. She needed to get closer, to feel him deeper. He pushed inside her and tilted his hips, crushing her clit. “Yes.”

He did it again, and she cried out again.

“Yes. More!”

Instead, he pulled out all the way, encircling the base of his shiny cock, and began rubbing it against her clit. Sparks of desire shot through her body. Her head got all swimmy again, reminding her to breathe despite the maddeningly pleasurable tease Eric was engaged in. Rubbing her bundle of nerves and then dipping just inside her. Again and again. She wanted him to fuck her hard, but she also wanted him to keep touching her clit. Her breathing became erratic as she fought to hold onto sanity.

Watching her face, Eric rubbed his dick up the length of her slit, parting her lips and nudging her clit over and over. His mouth fell open, revealing his wicked sharp fangs. She wanted to kiss him, to lick his fangs, to bite him again, to have him fill her up again. She wanted everything.

When her orgasm hit, she screamed, and while her pussy contracted, Eric pushed inside her all at once. Her pleasure intensified beyond what she thought was possible and only increased when he grunted and growled as his cock swelled inside her.

Her entire body shook for a full minute, and when she finally came back to earth, she no longer had the strength to support herself. Eric held her gently and bent to kiss her.

“I think I lost you for a minute,” he murmured against her lips.

She smiled. “Mm hm,” she hummed. “I’ve never… I had no idea…”

“The sex or the blood?” he asked.

“Both. Together! Why did your blood make me feel like that?” Bill’s blood had made her feel strong, but none of the hunger, desire, and power she had just experienced.

“Because of how you took it.”

She focused on his face and she knew how he felt, what he wanted: her. It filled her with deep satisfaction. She nodded and then frowned. “I never knew Bill’s feelings.”

“He forced himself on you,” Eric ground out. “You took from me. That’s the difference.”

She looked away too ashamed to hold his gaze. I took from him. He didn’t offer.

As if he could read her mind, he said, “I would’ve offered, but I didn’t think you were ready. Especially after what you went through at the cabin.” His voice trailed off.

“So you’re not mad at me? It was an accident, I swear, I didn’t even know I’d broken your skin.”

Eric cupped her chin. “You make me happy.”

She could feel it, coming off him in waves. Now she knew for sure how he felt about her. She nodded. “Me, too.”

“I happen to like being bitten,” he added.

“Me, too,” she whispered. She kissed him and licked his fangs. His cock hardened inside her. “So does this mean you’ve claimed me?”

“We claimed each other,” he said. “That’s what the queen was telling you about before. An exchange can change your feelings.”

She shook her head. “I don’t feel any different about you. Just more.”

He held her carefully and started moving his hips again.

“My fee-lings for yo-ou are dee-per,” she said, her words coming out in fragments as he awoke her nerves again.

“Deeper,” he repeated pushing into her to the hilt and rocking back and forth. Their mouths met and the sounds of their pleasure mingled on their tongues, finally reaching a crescendo when she came and drew another orgasm out of him.

Sookie sighed. “I want more, but at this point, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to walk again.”

Eric gave her a fangy grin. “I can always carry you.” He wiggled his hips.

His phone vibrated against the table, but he didn’t show any signs of interest in answering.

“Your phone is ringing.”

He shrugged and caressed her breast.

She squinted, reading the letters and numbers on the tiny screen. “Who’s QSA?”

He stilled his movements. “The queen.”

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What do you think the queen wants? On to Relapse: Chapter 5