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.”

_____________________________________________________

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.

_____________________________________________________

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.

 

_____________________________________________________

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.”

_____________________________________________________

What do you think the queen wants? On to Relapse: Chapter 5

Relapse: Chapter 3

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

Now, onto the story. Thanks, Meridian, for your muse-whispering services. That’s quite a handy talent you have! 🙂 NSFW again!

_____________________________________________________

Chapter 3

 

Eric’s POV

 

Eric gripped Sookie firmly as they made their way to the hall. He ushered her outside quickly, giving courteous nods to the guards positioned throughout the palace and grounds. Sookie squirmed against him, so he carried her outside where he placed her as gently as possible into the passenger seat of his car.

She glared at him and took a deep breath. “I wasn’t—”

He put his finger to her lips, silencing her. “Not here.”

She frowned as he threw the car into gear and drove away. The gate swung open for them slowly. His ears filled with the sound of her heart, which still beat wildly inside her chest.

He had plenty to say to her, but not until they were a safe distance away from the network of ears that surrounded them. Sookie watched him so intently she didn’t seem to notice any aspect of their drive away from headquarters and into the old, quiet neighborhood a few miles away.

Eric pulled into the long, curving driveway in front of his house and parked his car.

When he removed the keys from the ignition, she finally spoke. “You had no right to take me out of there. I wasn’t finished!”

“Yes you were,” he replied.

“But she… I wanted to—”

“Get out alive? Because that was my goal.”

Her eyebrows knit together. “She was going to kill me?”

“I’m not sure, it would’ve been very reckless, but I could tell you had a lot more to say and she’s not accustomed to being treated like that.”

Sookie scoffed. “What? Being held accountable?”

Eric shrugged. “Well, yes.”

“Oh.” She blinked and looked around. “Where are we?”

“My house.” He got out of his car, opened her door, and took her free hand while she clutched her folder in the other.

“It’s so beautiful.” Her eyes widened as she took in the massive trees hanging over their heads and covering the front of the house. She reached out toward the old wooden swing hanging near the side garden.

He extracted his keys and opened the front door, smiling as the familiar aroma of home hit him. Sookie’s knees buckled, but before she could fall, he gathered her in his arms.

“Sorry,” she said, her hot breath caressing his face. “It’s been a long night.”

His grip tightened. “You need to rest.”

She glared at him again. “You vampires can’t go around assuming things about people,” she said, poking his chest. “We’re not mindless idiots. You don’t always know what’s best for us.”

He kissed her, turning her fury into passion.

“Okay,” she said, blinking slowly. “You happen to know what’s best for me, but you’re the exception.”

“I won’t let it go to my head,” he answered as he sat on the couch and pulled her onto his lap.

She deposited the envelop on the table behind her and then nuzzled against his neck. When she pulled away she looked him straight in the eye. “What was your debt?”

He sighed. He hoped Sookie had missed that part. “Pam.”

“Pam was your debt? I don’t understand.”

“Pam got in over her head, so I asked the queen to step in. She was happy to help…”

“Knowing you would owe her.” She touched the side of his face.

Eric nodded. “I knew what I was asking. There’s always a cost. Pam is worth it.”

“She was in trouble?” Sookie asked.

He nodded, but didn’t give her more information. Pam’s affairs were just that: Pam’s.

“So when the queen sent you on your assignment to watch over me, you really had to follow orders, didn’t you?” she said.

“Yes. I didn’t want to be there any more than you did.”

She wiggled on top of him. “It wasn’t all bad, was it? Even if the cabin was gross.”

He squeezed his eyes shut, enjoying the sensation of her warm body against his.

“I like your house a lot more. Are you going to show me around?” She kissed him sweetly.

“Not now.” Despite all that had happened, one thing still bothered him. “Why do you want to see Bill?”

Sookie looked away. “I don’t know… I just want to—”

“Be with him?” he asked, jealousy twisting around inside him, gnawing at his heart. He leaned backward, bracing for the betrayal. But it never came.

Her eyes widened. “No. I don’t want anything to do with him. I just wanted to know why he did it,” she added in a whisper.

Agony flickered across her face and it cut into him. She didn’t deserve anything that had happened. He wanted Bill to feel the pain she had endured. To make matters worse, she started crying.

“What did he stand to gain? Why did he trick me? Why did he let me get hurt?” Tears flowed down her cheeks and sobs shook her shoulders.

His grip tightened as he cradled her to his chest. “Because he’s a coward.” He wiped the tears from her face. “He’s never going to hurt you again. I’ll make sure of that.”

She squeezed her eyelids together and nodded. “You always keep me safe. Thank you for that.”

“You don’t make it easy.” He laughed as he thought of how she had spoken to the queen.

Sookie laughed through her tears. “I was mad. The family information helped. A lot,” she said, motioning to the folder. “How did she know I wanted it? She’s smart, but she’s not that smart.”

“I told her. You had questions and I thought in light of everything you needed to know the truth about your past.”

She sighed and the smile fell from her face. “What if I don’t want to know? And who is Niall? Is he a bad guy? What if there’s something bad in there? What if—”

Sookie’s relations to Niall had probably put the queen on edge, too, only adding to the uncertainty of their meeting. He quieted her with a kiss. “You don’t have to read it, but at least you know it’s there when you’re ready.”

“What if I don’t want to work for the queen?” Sookie whispered.

“You don’t have to. You have other options,” he said, before he kissed her again and pushed his tongue inside her mouth while he buried his hands under her skirt. She moaned and unbuttoned his pants, freeing his cock. He pulled her panties to the side and sighed when she positioned his dick against her wet heat.

She gasped and held her breath as she sank down on him, taking him in inch by inch. A ragged exhale escaped her lips when he filled her completely.

He dug his fingers into her warm flesh and kneaded her ass, encouraging her to move. She lifted off him and locked her arms around his neck, bracing herself. He raised his hips experimentally, hoping that she wanted him to fuck her.

She nodded, her forehead rubbing against his. “Yes,” she said. She obviously needed him just as much as he needed her. Fast and hard.

He growled. He’d give just about anything to hear her ask for it. One day, she’d get there. Until then, he was happy to fuck her when she needed it whether she vocalized it or not. He spiraled up into her, forcing a cry out of her sweet mouth.

“Yes!” She dug her nails into his shoulders and held on tightly as he thrust over and over. Her cry evolved into a moan and then her entire body tensed. Her pussy fluttered around his cock, dragging an orgasm out of him. Her face and neck flushed pink. He kissed every inch of her exposed, hot flesh. She sighed and rested her face against his shoulder, exposing her pulsing throat. When she spoke, he could feel her breath through his shirt. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that.”

He smiled and licked the side of her neck, resisting the temptation to bury his fangs in her. “Neither will I.”

They stayed like that for hours, holding each other as night began to give way to morning.

She stretched. “I’m hungry.”

“Me, too.” The longer he held her in his arms, the more difficult it became to resist her. “I’ll unload the car.” He lifted her gently and placed her on the couch next to him.

“Can I use your phone? I should check in with my gran again.”

“What about caller ID? Do you think she’s figured out who I am?”

Sookie opened her mouth and laughed for a few seconds. “We have a single phone in our house. One. It hangs in the kitchen on the wall. It has a cord and everything. My gran refuses to upgrade. It’s the same phone she’s had since the sixties.”

Before he went outside, he handed her his cell phone. He caught snippets of her side of the conversation each time he brought something inside, and when she started really talking, he stopped dead in his tracks outside the room.

“I’m still in New Orleans. No. Not with Bill. Calm down, Gran. Let me explain. He wasn’t who I thought he was.” She took a deep breath before she went on. “He put me in harm’s way. Don’t worry. I’m fine…now.”

Eric leaned on the doorjamb outside the living room and strained to hear both sides of the conversation.

“I’m staying with a friend,” she said.

His heart sank. He had never despised a word so much in all his life.

“Everything is okay and I wanted to let you know I’m going to be here for a while, and not to worry.” She laughed. “I know you’re worried. That’s why I called. I’m safe and sound. Eric is treating me—”

He could hear her grandmother’s voice screech through the phone demanding to know who Eric was.

“He’s my friend, and he’s helping me out.” When she spoke again her voice took on a hard edge. “I’m a grown woman. No, I’m not going to give him the phone.” She sighed. “No, you’re not coming down here!”

Eric stepped into the room and held his hand out. He braced himself before putting the phone to his head. “Hello Mrs. Stackhouse.”

“Are you Eric?” she demanded.

“I am. Eric Northman.” He straightened his shoulders. He enjoyed the honesty behind his words. Pretending to be Bill had turned his stomach the last time they had spoken.

“And how do you know my granddaughter?” He could almost see her scowling at him.

“After Bill hurt her, I made sure she was safe.”

“Vampire Bill would never hurt her!”

Eric scoffed. “You don’t know him very well. I do.” Before she could go on to defend Bill, Eric went on. “Sookie is safe with me. You have my word.”

“What’s your word worth?”

“A lot,” he answered with confidence, which must’ve satisfied her since the next time she spoke, her words lost their interrogative edge.

“She’ll need her own room.”

“She can pick any room in the house.” It was true; he just hoped she would pick his.

Sookie shook her head and pulled the phone away from him. “Satisfied? Okay then. I know you do. I love you, too. I will. I’ll call him later. I need to eat now. I’ll call soon, okay? I love you. Bye.” She closed the phone and handed it to him. “I’m so sorry about that.”

“It’s okay. She has your best interest at heart.”

“She treats me like a child.” She clenched her jaw and frowned. “I hate that. She said she was going to come down here and get me!”

“She needs to see you as the confident woman you’ve become.”

She laughed. “That’ll be the day. Come on. Let’s have breakfast.”

He gave her a quick tour of the kitchen and bathroom, apologizing for the lack of supplies in his house. He hadn’t had human guests for more than a couple of hours in the past, but planned to go shopping so he could make Sookie more comfortable. She threw a meal together while he warmed up two bottles of blood.

“Do all vampires drink so much?”

He chuckled. “You make it sound like I have a drinking problem.” He took a long draw from the first bottle. “It’s safer this way.”

“Safer?” Realization dawned on her face. “Right. Because I’m irresistible.”

“I’m surprised Compton didn’t kill you. He’s young and inexperienced. That’s usually not a good mix for fairies.”

“I’m only part fairy,” she corrected.

He gathered her in his arms, put his lips to her neck, and inhaled her heady scent. “You are delectable.” His dick hardened.

“I’m also hungry and tired.”

He reluctantly released her and finished his meager meal while she ate. He pulled the phone book out of the drawer in the kitchen and put a pile of cash on top of it. “Feel free to order a meal when you need it.”

“Thanks,” she said.

As they made their way down the hall, he said, “You are welcome to any bedroom in the house.”

“Including yours?” she asked, looking up at him through her eyelashes.

“Yes,” he whispered, pushing his door open. His massive bed occupied most of the room.

Sookie blinked and tilted her head. “Where’s your coffin?”

“I had the windows bricked over in the bedrooms. There’s no need for such precautions.” He closed the door behind them.

A shy smile spread across her face. “I’ve never slept with anyone before.”

“The first step is getting undressed.” He grasped her zipper and pulled it down in a single movement. Her dress fell away from her luscious skin and onto the floor. He groaned at the sight of her in only panties and heels.

“I don’t suppose I need to wear these,” she said, stepping out of her shoes. “Should I get my pajamas?” A faint blush crept up her cheeks.

“I don’t suppose you’ll need those either,” he said, his voice hoarse.

She attempted to stifle a yawn, but couldn’t. “I’m so tired.”

“Of course you are.” Moving quickly, he pulled the bedding back, lifted Sookie, and deposited her on the sheets. She gave him a sleepy smile.

“Are you going to join me?” she asked, glancing at the other side of the bed.

Eric nodded and dropped his clothes onto the floor next to Sookie’s before crawling into bed. The sheet tented over his hard-on, a detail that didn’t go unnoticed by her. He shrugged. “You have that effect on me.”

She giggled and rolled onto her side, snuggling into the crook of his arm and resting her cheek on his chest. She wound her hot limbs around his body, holding him in a searing embrace. A sigh escaped her lips. “This is nice.”

Of all the words he could conjure to describe their situation, nice wasn’t one of them. Amazing, spectacular, or torturous seemed better suited, but before he could share his thoughts, her breathing evened out and her pulse slowed. “Sleep well, Sookie,” he whispered as he switched off the light next to his head. She murmured a reply and then resumed the same slow rhythm of breathing.

Despite his full stomach, he’d never been hungrier in all his life. When the sun approached the horizon, he was grateful for the oblivion that awaited him.

* * * *

The moment consciousness returned he knew something was wrong. The mattress still held a little warmth, but Sookie was gone.

He bolted out of bed, ripped the door open, and sped down the hall. His frantic pace slowed as he approached the living room and her voice enveloped him. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips at the familiarity of the situation: Sookie on the phone and Eric just out of sight listening.

She laughed. “Don’t say that. Of course I’ll come visit. I miss you, too.”

His smile and heart disintegrated at the same moment.

_____________________________________________________

Poor jealous Eric! Any guesses as to who she’s talking to? Find out in Relapse: Chapter 4

Relapse: Chapter 2

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

This chapter is short. Just warning you now! I stayed up entirely too late one night thinking about this story and realized I needed to rewrite this chapter (and the rest of the story), so I did. It’s still short, but I’m much happier with it. I hope you enjoy reading!

 

____________________________________________________

Chapter 2

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie laced her fingers through Eric’s and held onto him tightly as they walked up the front steps toward the palace. Her ankles wobbled in her new heels and she became lightheaded.

“Breathe,” Eric whispered, giving her hand a gentle squeeze.

She nodded and took a deep breath, feeling remarkably better. One step after another led her to the front doors. A vampire guarded either side, wearing the same uniform the vamp at the gate had. The woman held a wicked blade in her hands and a long curtain of black hair hid half her face. With her visible eye, she observed Sookie with keen interest. The man attempted to keep his focus on Eric as they exchanged greetings, but failed miserably. Sookie leaned against Eric, wishing she could hide behind him and disappear, and then he started moving inside.

A lavish hall sprawled ahead of them. Fine carved furniture lining the walls while an enormous chandelier hung overhead, the multitude of crystals throwing colored light on the creamy white walls. As if making an entrance in an epic film, a young woman sashayed down a curved, glossy staircase at the end of the hall.

“Welcome,” she called, her silk gown flowing around her as if it weighed nothing.

Eric took a step away from Sookie, released her hand, and bowed. “My queen.”

She smiled. “I see you survived the wilderness, Eric. And this must be Sookie Stackhouse.” The queen finished her descent and floated toward them. Her small frame didn’t diminish her strength; instead, it seemed to enhance it. Like a fine Japanese sword: delicate, beautiful, and deadly. “My, aren’t you lovely?”

Sookie shifted from foot to foot under the scrutiny, the familiar heat of a blush creeping up her neck. Finally remembering her manners, she curtsied. “Ma’am.”

The queen tittered. “Please, call me Sophie-Anne.” The accent that had been hiding behind most of her words emerged when she spoke her name. She gestured to a door leading to an extravagant office. “Please, sit.”

Sookie passed Sophie-Anne as she went into the room. The queen inhaled deeply and gave Eric a satisfied smile. Sookie sat on the edge of a chair that looked like it belonged in a museum. She held as still as she could, afraid it might break under her. The queen sat in a chair nearby, but Eric remained standing between them.

“Eric, I am most pleased with the outcome of your work. Your debt has been paid. I hope you will consider taking a position here, with me.”

A smile fluttered around the corners of his mouth and then disappeared. “Thank you, Sophie-Anne.”

Debt? Eric owes her something? He never mentioned that. Sookie knew well enough to keep her mouth shut. She could ask him later.

“You may leave,” the queen said.

“I would like him to stay,” Sookie said.

The queen looked from Eric to Sookie, raising one perfect eyebrow. “You’ve become attached, I see.”

Sookie nodded slowly and straightened her back hoping Eric wouldn’t leave. He didn’t. He stood next to her. That simple thing, not leaving, filled her heart with hope. Maybe he wasn’t just using me.

The queen narrowed her eyes. “You are very interesting. Do you know why you’re here?”

Sookie glanced at Eric, who still hadn’t moved. “Eric said you wanted to talk to me about something, but not until Bill’s blood was gone.”

“Bill.” Sophie-Anne scoffed. “I sent him to do one little job and not only did he fail me, but he seems as though he were trying to undermine me. If that’s the case—”

“What job? Sheriff Pam mentioned something like that the first night I met her, but it’s all a little foggy, what with being drugged and all.” She lifted one eyebrow, waiting for the queen to respond.

“Bill is – was my procurer. He was sent to acquire you, but apparently he had other plans. I keep waiting for him to admit his guilt, but he hasn’t said a word. The night he took you to Fangtasia was the first time I knew he had found you. Imagine my surprise finding that he’d claimed you.”

“Claimed me?” Her forehead creased. Never mind the fact that the queen had just referred to her as if she were property. The queen also spoke about Bill as if she’d seen him recently. Maybe she knows where he is!

“He gave you his blood. Quite a lot.”

She almost defended him, praising how he had saved her from the Rats, but she knew that wasn’t the whole truth. He had saved her, but only because he’d probably arrived late on purpose so she would need to be saved. She couldn’t complain about having Bill out of her system, but that didn’t make the queen’s actions right. “Why would him giving me his blood undermine you?”

The queen relaxed into her chair. “Well, you see, when a human has vampire blood, it creates a bond. It’s weak at first, but full strength with the third exchange. It influences your brain, your emotions, and your decisions. Bill had influence over you the moment you took your first swallow.”

“And you didn’t want his influence?” she guessed.

“Exactly.” Sophie-Anne smiled. “It was obvious I couldn’t trust him after such a grievous error.”

Sookie leaned forward. “So I had to pay for Bill’s mistake.”

Eric flinched.

“I wouldn’t look at it that way,” the queen said, her smile tightening.

“Wouldn’t you? I was treated like a prisoner. Tied up, handcuffed, and drugged because I had Bill’s blood inside me.” Sookie gripped the arms of her chair to keep her hands from shaking. “Why didn’t you just tell me what was going on and let me make a choice about what to do?”

The smile fell from Sophie-Anne’s face. “In my experience, humans aren’t willing to listen.”

“I’m not a regular human, am I?” Sookie asked, challenging her.

“No, you’re not,” she answered, shifting forward and reaching toward the desk. “In fact, you are a descendant of Niall’s,” she said with awe.

Sookie frowned. Who’s that? Why is she acting so weird?

Eric took a step between them, his hands balling into fists, preparing for a fight.

“Relax, Eric,” the queen commanded before lifting a folder. “Here is the information I could find about your fairy heritage.”

Sookie’s mouth hung open. She reached out and took it. Newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, and old photographs poked out of the edge. She had no idea what she might find in that folder, so she put it on her lap, determined to read every last scrap of paper on her own. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome.” When the queen relaxed into her chair, Eric took his neutral position between them. “Now, let’s get on with things. I would like to offer you a job where I can benefit from you telepathy.”

Sookie had been expecting that and countered with, “What are your terms?”

“Oh!” Sophie-Anne laughed, noticeably delighted. “I am willing to pay two hundred thousand a year.”

Sookie nodded, pretending that two hundred thousand dollars wasn’t a big deal. Working at Merlotte’s had barely covered utilities, and not for lack of effort. She worked until her entire body ached for next to nothing. Now, she was being offered a job that paid ten times as much. How could she say no? “Hours?”

“They will vary. I’ll need you to be available for meetings and when I travel. We can discuss that more fully when we draw up a contract.”

The queen’s presumptuous statement put Sookie off. When we draw up a contract? When?! As if I don’t have a say in this! “Before I agree to anything, I’m going to need an apology,” she stated, waiting for the shock to disappear from the queen’s face and ignoring the tension in Eric’s body.

“An apology?”

She nodded. “For my treatment. I don’t blame Eric. He was following orders and made every effort to take care of my needs. You gave those orders and I want you to apologize.” She held the queen’s eyes with her own, never wavering, no matter how fast her heart hammered against her chest or how light-headed she became.

Sophie-Anne took her time, but eventually said, “I am sorry for your distress.”

“Distress?” Sookie asked. “Do you have any idea how painful that spell was?” She narrowed her gaze. “It felt like my body was being ripped apart from the inside.”

“I apologize,” the queen murmured with more feeling than her previous statement.

“My personal life is my own business, including whomever might be influencing me.” She couldn’t stop. All the anger, pain, and bitterness about how she had been handled came to the surface and forced its way out of her throat. “Don’t ever assume to know me.”

“Understood.” The queen nodded once.

Sookie was breathing hard and her hands shook, not from fear, but from the power of standing up for herself. Eric took a step between Sookie and the queen, his entire body coiled tight. Fear radiated from him. She took a deep breath and tried to calm down.

Sophie-Anne frowned. “This is not what I expected of this meeting.”

“Sookie has been through a lot and is still recovering,” Eric said.

She stood behind him, angrier than ever that she wasn’t included in the conversation anymore.

“Perhaps we can meet again, once she’s had a chance to rest more fully,” the queen said. “Please let me know when she’s ready.”

He bowed slightly and pulled Sookie against his body. Despite her position, she didn’t feel peaceful in his arms. She wanted to fight for her rights and make sure the queen understood how pissed she was, but Eric ushered her out of the room before she could open her mouth.

At the door, she finally broke free. “I want to see Bill,” she blurted.

The queen’s eyes met hers again. “I’ll be in touch.”

____________________________________________________

Originally, I had written Sookie going with the flow and accepting the job outright, but after I thought about it long and hard I decided that she needed to be angry … angry enough to stand up for herself and hold the queen accountable for her actions. I was inspired to make the changes because of a comment Meridian made about Detox. Thanks for planting those seeds in my brain!

On to Relapse: Chapter 3

Relapse: Chapter 1

I was a little worried about being able to post today since I decided to change the entire plot line earlier this week. I hope you enjoy this new story, which happens to be a sequel to Detox. Please comment and let me know! I hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend. All mistakes are my own.

 

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.

 

NSFW right out of the gates!

______________________________________________________

Chapter 1

 

Sookie’s POV

 

Sookie’s entire body ached. Not like it had after the detox spell. This was amazing. She ached for more, even if she couldn’t possibly handle it. Her hair fanned out across Eric’s sublime chest as she rested on top of him. She not only struggled to breathe, she also couldn’t form the words to express how she felt. She explored the edges of his tepid shoulders, his skin cooling her hot fingers. She sighed.

“Are you happy, lover?” Eric asked, his voice rumbling through his chest.

“Very,” she answered dreamily.

“Good.” He kissed the top of her head. “The sun is coming.”

“So soon?”

“We’ve been together for hours,” he said, chuckling. “I don’t want to leave any more than you want me to, but if I stay, it won’t be pretty.”

She clicked her tongue and pouted. “Can I sleep with you?”

“In that tiny coffin? You would be terribly uncomfortable.”

She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed him. “When do we leave?” Her heart raced at the idea of the uncertain future that waited for her.

Eric stroked her hair, soothing her as if he knew how anxious she was. “At sundown. The drive is long and the queen will be waiting for us.”

“What’s she like?” Sookie had asked once before, but it was before Eric trusted her. Things had changed.

He didn’t answer right away, his face thoughtful. A slight frown creased his forehead. “She’s strong. Commanding.”

Sookie swallowed hard. Her pulse thundered against her skin. She opened her mouth to voice her fears, but he went on.

“She’s also fair and savvy.”

“Fair?” Sookie scoffed. “She’s the one that had me held here like a prisoner!”

“You must understand,” Eric started. He didn’t get to finish because Sookie interrupted him.

“No. She needs to understand that she can’t kidnap people whenever she feels like it. You have no idea how scared I was!”

Eric nodded, his head rubbing against the bed under them. “I apologize for not telling you more. I didn’t have a lot of say in the matter.”

She narrowed her eyes and sized him up. He seemed genuinely sorry for holding her hostage, but that didn’t make the situation any better. If the queen had enough power to control Eric, she was far more dangerous than he was letting on.

He pulled her into a kiss, silencing her anxious mind for a moment. “I must go. Try to get some rest, okay?”

“Okay.”

His arms tightened around her, and then he rolled them so he could pull away from her. Her body protested at the loss of contact. His hips jerked.

“See you tonight,” he said before leaving her room.

“Tonight,” she repeated.

* * * *

Sookie woke hours later in a pool of sweat. She panted hard, her heart hammering against her sternum. Sunlight streamed through the window above her bed. She’d been dreaming about the queen. About Eric. About Bill. She swallowed and licked her dry lips. She needed water and something to eat.

After a quick trip to the bathroom, she made her way into the kitchen where she threw together her last meal at the cabin and sat down to eat alone. Since their arrival, Sookie had been looking forward to leaving, but now she dreaded it. She’d become accustomed to the worn floors and the scratched table. She’d worked hard all week to turn the dump into a homey little oasis. Everywhere she looked she found memories of her budding relationship with Eric.

She frowned. What’s going to happen between us once we get to New Orleans? Does he actually like me, or was I just convenient? She shook her head. How could she think that of him? Because I’m not a fool. Because I know men, and I’ve been hurt before. What’s to say Eric is going to be any different than any of them? She took another bite of her dinner and sighed. He is different though. He’s already proved that to me time and time again.

Tired of arguing with herself, she hopped in the shower, rinsing the film of sweat off her skin. The cool water eradicated the suffocating heat of summer and eased some of the tension out of her shoulders.

With the towel wrapped around her body, she walked outside to her favorite bench, intent on enjoying sunbathing in the field of flowers one more time. She covered the weathered wood with the plush fabric and stretched out, arranging her wet hair in a wavy halo around her head. The sun kissed her skin and licked away the water still clinging to her, warming her to her bone. The heat still radiated through her when the sun went down.

She smiled when she heard Eric’s door open. The next thing she knew, he hovered over her, naked.

“I thought you might be out here,” he said, his voice raw.

She smiled. “I wouldn’t miss it.”

He stood between her feet and traced the curves of her body. “I want you.”

She closed her eyes, enjoying the sensations of her nerves waking to his touch. She wanted to ask him if he wanted her because she was there and there wasn’t anything else to do, or if he wanted her because he wanted her. But she didn’t say anything. Instead, she thought, I don’t really want to know the answer to that question. So she said, “I want you, too,” which was true. She did want him. More than anything.

He bent his head over her breasts and a moment later, his mouth made contact with one of her nipples. She sighed and dug her fingers into his hair. She lifted off the bench, arching her back for more. He trailed kissed toward her other breast, sucking and licking until she had twin peaks, heaving with each breath.

He sank to his knees, leaning back to sit on his heels. With a gentle tug, he pulled her body toward him, hooking her legs over his shoulders. He kissed the inside of her thighs, sucking on her throbbing femoral vein. When he pulled away, he growled. “You smell so fucking good. I want to eat you and rub myself all over you.”

Sookie smiled and watched him lick his lips. It was obvious he was struggling to restrain himself. “I’m still a little sore from last night,” she admitted, the heat of embarrassment surfacing in her face and neck.

“Inside?” he asked, stroking her swollen sex.

She nodded. “First time and everything.”

“I understand,” he said, rubbing her clit in gentle circles. His cool mouth descended, replacing his fingers with his impatient lips. Another growl escaped his throat when he dipped his tongue inside her. Sookie groaned, knowing the limits of her body. He leaned backward, brought his hand to his mouth, and bit his fingertip. In the next move, he pushed his bleeding finger against her opening, and then inside.

His blood soothed her while his finger spiraled against her slick walls. She moaned and her mouth fell open, making it easier for her to gasp for breath. The tenderness she’d woken with disappeared and the only thing left was the undeniable desire for more.

“Yes,” she hissed.

Eric’s mouth descended again, sucking on her clit while his finger pumped in and out of her.

She came quickly, her legs squeezing his head. He nuzzled against her pulsing thigh again. “Yes. Bite me. Now,” she said, still riding out the waves of pleasure.

He hesitated for a moment before sinking his fangs into her soft flesh. His finger twitched inside her as his body trembled. He drew deeply against the wound twice, healed it, and then turning his attention to her quaking pussy. His tongue traced around the sensitive bundle of nerves before he pulled away, removing his hand as well. Their eyes locked as he licked his finger clean. He straightened his back, his cock thrusting toward her, dripping with cum.

Unlike the previous night, she had no fear of what would come next. Only anticipation. She opened her legs wider, making room for his muscular body.

He rubbed the head of his dick against her, moving in slow circles around and around, but never in.

“Please. I want you,” she begged.

Eric grinned and gave her what she wanted, pushing in to the hilt. He bent over her, kissing her as she stretched around him. She could taste herself on his lips. She forgot about her insecurities, her fears, and everything else. Nothing mattered but him. He pulled out most of the way and spiraled his hips back in, setting a rhythm that stole her breath and filled her with euphoria.

She screamed when she came, the sound erupting out of her and silencing the chorus of crickets in the field around them. Eric followed suit grunting while he held her tightly. He kissed her sweetly, pulling away to let her breathe and propping himself up on his elbows on either side of her. His hair hung around her face like a blond curtain.

“Thank you for healing me,” she said. “That’s a very handy trick.”

“I’m happy I can help. Especially when we both benefit.” He sucked on her bottom lip, grazing it with his impossibly sharp teeth. “Thank you for feeding me.”

“You didn’t take very much,” she said.

He shrugged, making his hair dance and tickle her face. “You’re still recovering from your fever. Octavia told me it would take time for you to heal.”

“I feel much better.” She sighed, remembering the task that lay ahead. “I didn’t pack. I know you said we should leave first thing, but I wanted to sunbathe one last time.”

“I’m glad you did,” he said, smiling. “Besides, we can pack now.”

Sookie pouted and tried to protest when Eric stood, but then he slung her over his shoulder and carried her toward his car.

“I’ve got everything I need,” he said as he moved toward the passenger side.

“Except your keys,” she stated, trying not to laugh.

He growled. “Shit.”

“And my clothes.” She giggled. “And your clothes.”

“Clothes are overrated.” He put her down on the hood of his car and cupped her face between his hands. “If I had things my way, you wouldn’t need clothes ever again. We would run away together and spend every night fucking.”

She leaned backward, letting her back mold to the cool surface.

To prove how good his plan was, he lifted her hips and aligned their bodies, pushing inside her. He held her carefully and drove into her over and over until they both came.

Sookie gasped for breath and turned her face until her fiery cheek touched the hood of the car. “If I’m going to meet the queen, I want to be clothed.”

“Fine,” he said with mock exasperation and then he hoisted her over his shoulder again, caressing her ass the entire way inside. He put her down outside her bedroom. “Go on, get dressed if you must.”

She thanked him and smiled before slipping on the sundress she’d worn for an hour the night before. She folded the rest of her clothes and put them into the bags Pam had brought them in, lining the hall with all her new things.

Eric emerged from his room fully clothed with a bag over his arm. “I’ll be glad to never have to sleep in there again.” He looked over his shoulder and grimaced.

“So we’re not coming back here?” she teased.

“No.” He dropped his bag and gathered her in his arms. “I’ve got bigger plans.”

Her eyebrows arched. “Oh?” Does that mean he plans on taking me on vacation?

He didn’t elaborate what those plans would be; he simply kissed her, which was good enough.

While Sookie gathered the rest of their things from the house, Eric took bags to his car, filling the trunk. She slipped her new heels on and stood on the front porch. “I’m kind of going to miss it.”

Eric laced his fingers through hers and led her to his car. “Are you ready for a drive in my fancy car?”

“Yes!”

He held her door open and helped her into her seat. The engine purred when he started it, sending a vibration through her legs and up her spine. He took the bumpy dirt driveway slowly, but once they got out onto the open road, he shifted into the highest gear and put the pedal to the metal.

Sookie rolled her window down and put her hand out. She smiled and said, “It’s like flying.”

“Now you understand why I like it.”

The next three hours passed in relative silence. Spending the last week together had made them comfortable around each other. Sookie had a million questions about everything, but couldn’t figure out where to begin asking, and even if she did, would she want to know the answers? Probably not. She knew very little about vampires, and even less about vampire politics.

By the time they reached the outskirts of New Orleans, her legs bounced with nervous energy. It looked smaller than she remembered, and more sinister. Cast in shadows, the streets seemed to be hiding something. Vampires, she thought. When she was a kid, she didn’t know they existed, but now she questioned everything. Had they been here back then? Did they know who she was and had just been waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch her up? Would they have taken a six-year old? She scoffed, thinking the queen wouldn’t have had a problem with that at all.

“Everything okay?” Eric asked, putting a hand on her knee.

Her nervous movements stilled. “Yeah, just a little anxious.”

He squeezed her leg but didn’t offer any words of reassurance. He seemed uneasy, too.

As they neared the center of the city, the streets became more crowded. People milled around waiting for their night of fun to begin. Sookie closed her eyes and listened. She didn’t have much time, but found several blank spots right away. The car came to a stop. A bright red light glowed against the hood of the car, stopping traffic while a side street passed through the intersection. She focused on one of the vampires standing on the sidewalk nearby, who stared at Eric’s car as intently as she looked at him. She was grateful for the dark tint on his windows.

“Do you know him?” she whispered.

Eric glanced at her window and nodded before putting the car in gear and taking off. His jaw tightened.

Uh oh.

“Headquarters is a block from here,” he said as if he were warning her of an impending storm.

“Okay,” she replied, sitting on her hands to stop them from shaking. Breathe. Everything is going to be all right. “What if I don’t want the job? I mean … the queen has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure I’m here, but what about what I want?” The words flowed out of her mouth in an anxious stream.

Eric glanced at her and frowned. She wished for a moment she could read his mind.

The next time the car stopped, Eric rolled his window down. He nodded to the vampire perched in the security booth.

“The queen’s expecting you,” the man said.

Eric nodded again and looked straight ahead, waiting for the gate to open.

The vampire gazed at Sookie with a mixture of desire and curiosity. She swallowed hard and wished Eric was still touching her leg, but he wasn’t, he was driving, or trying to if the guard would just let them in. Finally, the gate swept open and Eric eased forward. He closed his window and followed the road toward a massive palace. His car joined many others when they parked.

“That guy gave me the creeps,” Sookie whispered. “Why was he looking at me like that?”

“Everyone knows who you are. I’m sure they’re all very curious.”

“Curious is fine by me, it’s the hungry stare I can’t abide by.”

Eric gave a short laugh. “That’s something you need to get used to. Do you have any idea how good you smell?” He turned to face her, his pupils dilated and his fangs on full display. “Without Compton spoiling it, your sweet fairy blood calls to us, begging us to drain you dry.”

He hadn’t mentioned that before, and now she sat a short distance away from a building full of creatures that wanted to kill her. Great. “I don’t suppose I could get a rain check for our meeting tonight, can I?”

“No. We would both pay the price.” That seemed to sober him up. He got out and a moment later stood by her side of the car. He opened her door and held his hand out to her.

She took a deep breath and stepped outside.

______________________________________________________

What will Sookie do? Find out now in Relapse: Chapter 2

Relapse

Relaspse jpgWith her painful detox behind her, Sookie and Eric finally leave the cabin on Willow Bend Road. In New Orleans, she sees the city for what it really is: a vampire oasis. When she meets the queen of Louisiana she’s offered a job that will be tough to beat, but she’s not so sure she wants it.

Eric is faced with his own dilemma when the queen releases him from the debt he owed her. He also must learn how to keep Sookie safe and admit that he feels something much deeper for her than he ever thought possible.

The agony Sookie suffered because of Bill’s betrayal hasn’t been easy to recover from and her anger toward him is like poison inside her. She discovers that the only way she can really get him out of her system is to ask him one simple question: why.

With a clear head and an open heart Sookie must decide what she wants to do with her life. As long as Eric is by her side the sky is the limit.

Relapse: Chapter 1

Relapse: Chapter 2

Relapse: Chapter 3

Relapse: Chapter 4

Relapse: Chapter 5

Relapse: Chapter 6

Relapse: Chapter 7

Relapse: Chapter 8

Relapse: Chapter 9

Relapse: Chapter 10

Relapse: Chapter 11

Relapse: Chapter 12