Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
All mistakes are my own. Brace yourself for an emotional roller coaster and a NSFW moment.
The line outside the movie theater swelled around the ticket window when Eric and Sookie arrived.
She smiled and squeezed his hand, but he sighed. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I don’t like waiting.”
She giggled. “I noticed. It’s fine. We have plenty of time before the movie starts.”
“I could make them move, one person at a time.”
“I think you enjoy abusing your power,” she said with a frown.
He kissed her cheek and whispered, “You might enjoy it, too.” His mouth moved to hers and then his tongue probed inside. If she’d had any breath to take away, that would’ve done it.
Someone bumped into her. She opened her eyes and pulled away from Eric. “The line moved.”
“I see that,” he replied, kissing her again, that time digging his fingers into her hair and making her moan. “Are you sure you want to go to the movies?”
“Mm hmm,” she hummed. Even she wasn’t convinced anymore.
The woman behind her cleared her throat loudly. When Sookie made eye contact the woman lifted her eyebrows and nodded to the growing gap ahead of them. “We’re waiting,” she whined.
“Sorry,” Sookie lisped through her fangs.
The woman jerked backward and mumbled, “It’s okay.” Before too long, a small group of people around them stared.
Sookie pressed her lips together over her sharp teeth and pulled Eric toward the ticket window. She was used to people being rude to her, but she wasn’t used to them being afraid.
“Are you okay?” Eric asked.
She glanced over her shoulder at the woman who was still staring at her, wide-eyed. Fear radiated from the crowd. Sookie’s instincts kicked in and she wanted to hunt them down. Extinguish the fear. “I scared her.”
“We’re scary.” He bit the air playfully, but she didn’t smile.
“I want to go. Please?” Before I do something bad.
“Okay.” He led her toward the parking lot. “This isn’t the crowd we’re used to.”
“How do you do it? How do you get along with people who hate you?”
“Not all of them are like that. Some are more understanding than others. Don’t let them get inside your head.”
“I’m trying.” The farther they got from the cluster of people, the better she felt. Once they were out of sight, her blood lust subsided. “I wanted to hurt her.” She leaned against the side of Eric’s Corvette and sighed.
Eric nodded. “It’s better when they’re willing. Easier to control all those urges.”
“Where did you find Tommy? Is there another vampire bar?” She hoped there was, because she needed to eat. Now.
“Not exactly, but there is a place.”
“I’m hungry,” she stated. “Can we go there?”
He nodded. “It’s not far. Get in.”
“Okay…” she said, doing as she was told.
Eric sped out of the parking lot and drove a few blocks before stopping in front of a brick wall the led to a dark alley. He got out and walked toward a door hidden in shadows. She opened her mouth to ask where they were, but he held up his finger, indicating she should wait. A jukebox played, the sound distorted by the walls and muffled by the drunken chatter of the patrons inside. She pressed her hands against the cool wall behind her and waited. A familiar tune filled her ears. The door opened and a dark-haired woman stepped outside and smiled at her.
“He said you would be out here waiting.”
“Are you hungry?” the woman asked.
She nodded again.
“Here,” she said, moving her hair away from her neck. Her skin pulsed. It’s a win-win. You get what you need. I get what I need.
Sookie didn’t care what she meant. She needed to eat. She lunged forward, bit the woman on her neck, and moaned. Nothing else mattered.
When the woman’s heart began to slow, Sookie pulled away and healed her quickly. “Thank you,” she said.
“Now I need mine.”
“He said we were trading.”
At that moment, Eric stepped outside, his skin flushed.
“You said!” the woman screeched.
Eric pricked his finger on his fang. “Open your mouth,” he commanded.
The woman obeyed and closed her eyes as a single drop of his blood fell onto her tongue.
“Whoa. Fuck,” she mumbled.
“Okay,” the woman responded, her eyes glassy. She pushed past him and stumbled inside.
“What was that?” Sookie demanded.
“A trade. She wanted V, you needed blood.”
“Is she an addict?” she asked.
“Probably. Places like this are crawling with them. It’s better that she trade instead of getting her supply from a dealer that drains vampires.”
“Did you eat?” she asked, taking in his pink cheeks.
“Did you pay Tommy, too?” She glared at him.
“With a drop. Why does it matter?”
“Because you’re using them!” she screamed and turned away.
“No I’m not.” He gripped her shoulders and forced her to look at him. “This is what they want. They’ll have the best night of their lives, believe me.”
She remembered the way she felt the first time she had his blood. It had made her feel like she was flying and helped her forget that she was dying. That kind of euphoria was more powerful than any drug she’d ever taken.
Unlike her previous encounters, this one had left her with a bad taste in her mouth. “You should’ve told me what you were doing.”
“Why?” His gaze challenged hers.
“Because I would’ve said no.”
“That’s the cost. We came to them. This is reality.”
“I’m contributing to her habit. I don’t like it.”
She twisted away from him and ran, but he ran after her. Faster than she would ever be. She couldn’t escape him.
“Stop,” he said, catching her in his arms again. “Please.”
“Where do I belong? I can’t do the things I’ve always done, and I can’t seem to stomach the things I need to do.” Tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks. She wiped them away and glared at her hand. “I’m a monster.”
“No you’re not,” Eric whispered. “You’re amazing.”
She shook her head and sobbed. “Take me home.”
The trip home was silent. Something had changed in that dark alley. A little piece of her humanity had slipped away.
* * * *
When morning came, Sookie slept alone. She didn’t want to discuss what had happened and she knew Eric had more to say. It had been centuries since he’d been alive. How could he possibly remember what it was like to be faced with the harsh realities of her new existence? She didn’t want anything to do with him.
Her resolve began to crumble when fear consumed her, but there was nothing she could do. Frozen in her solitary bed for the last few seconds before dawn, tears crept into her eyes.
When she woke that night she couldn’t see. Her bloody tears had sealed her eyelids shut. When her body was finally able to move, she walked slowly and carefully to the bathroom. A hot shower did the trick and helped ease some of the sorrow out of her, too.
She eventually got out, pulled on a nightgown and helped herself to a couple of bottles of cold blood. She grimaced. This is what the rest of my life will be like? Forever? She fought tears. The reality of the transformation had finally hit home. She had died a week ago. Died. No more sunbathing, no more restaurants, no more being normal. Not that she’d ever really been normal, but now, she was even further removed. Her only connection to the world was Eric and he couldn’t possibly understand what she was going through. Her stomach clenched as emotions roiled inside her and her viscous dinner threatened to evacuate.
She felt Eric before he said anything.
“All the years spent trying to fit in. For what?” she shouted, not turning to face him. “What about my family? What about my future? I had plans.” Her anger consumed her. “I didn’t want this.”
“I know you didn’t,” he whispered. “But you were dying.”
“You should’ve let me!” she screamed.
In the next second, he held her gently in his arms. “Never.”
She rested her forehead against his chest. She’d been in survival mode since she rose from the dead so she hadn’t really thought about what her new life would be like. “I want to die.”
“No you don’t.”
Tears spilled out of her eyes and dripped on his chest, painting his pale skin with streaks of crimson.
“It’s going to be okay,” he said, stroking her hair soothingly.
She pushed away from him. “I cry blood. I’m hungry all the time. I hate synthetic blood, and if I want to eat what I’d like, I have to arrange a drug deal. How is that okay?”
“Because you have me.”
“I have you,” she repeated. “And how does that make anything better?”
Eric stepped toward her and pulled her into his arms again. “Because I’m going to show you that your new life is one worth living.”
“Cowering in fear every day and drinking that vile sludge? Sounds like a dream come true!” she said, sarcasm dripping from every word.
He laughed. “This would be so much easier if I could control you. I could say, as your Maker, I command you to calm the fuck down. But no. You’re too stubborn for the easy way.”
“You’re not the boss of me,” she sassed, the tension leaching out of her shoulders.
“Too bad. I’m really good at telling people what to do.”
“I know.” She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned against him, fully aware that her new nightgown was soaking up her tears. In the grand scheme of things, laundry was the least of her worries. “What if Gran is afraid of me? What if she’s like that woman last night?”
“I’ll be there to help you.”
That was all he had to say to put her fears to rest, because having him around did make everything better.
* * * *
At Fangtasia, Sookie focused on work, which wasn’t easy since one of Mike’s friends had returned. Without Mike … of course. He came up to the bar and ordered.
“I’d like a jägermeister bomb and an explanation,” he said without missing a beat.
Relatively early in the evening, there weren’t a lot of other customers. Her hands stilled on the bottle under the bar. “What do you want me to explain?” she asked.
“I want to find out what happened with Mike. He wouldn’t come tonight. Flat out refused.”
Sookie shook her head knowing full well why Mike wasn’t coming back. “Nothing happened.”
“That’s a lie. Tell me what happened,” he demanded.
She glared at him. “You should watch your tone.”
He held her gaze and thought she didn’t deserve respect just because she was a vampire. “He won’t tell me anything about that night. Did you hurt him?”
She shook her head. “No. He let me bite him and then he went home.”
“Did he bang you?” he asked, letting his gaze slide south. “I bet you liked it. You’re a slut. I can tell. I bet you have those tiny pink nipples that look like candy.” A very clear image of Sookie on her back popped into his mind: he was having sex with her and she was calling his name.
She wanted to punch Brad right in his filthy mouth. She would never understand the nerve of some men who thought they could say what they wanted because of the way a woman was dressed.
Everything Pam had bought for her accentuated her breasts, which had not gone unnoticed by the Fangtasia clientele, especially not this douche bag.
“He wanted to,” she replied. “But no, he didn’t. Only one man is allowed to touch me and he’s standing behind you.”
The man turned and nearly bumped into Eric.
“Is he bothering you?” Eric asked.
“Yes. He thinks Mike and I had sex and that I want him, too.”
“Is that true?” Eric asked him.
The man started sweating. “I didn’t—”
“You didn’t have to say it, Brad,” Sookie answered. “I heard you.” She touched her temple.
“Fuckin’ freak!” he mumbled, looking at her in disgust.
She held his gaze. “You’re going to leave and you’re never coming back. You’re also never going to speak to a woman like that again. Women deserve respect. Do you hear me?”
“Go,” she commanded. Her hands were shaking.
Brad stumbled out of the bar, never looking behind him.
“What an asshole!” she ground out.
Eric laughed. “You could’ve made him do whatever you wanted. You could’ve told him to cluck like a chicken or profess his love to a complete stranger, but no. You tell him to respect women.”
“Don’t laugh at me,” she shouted.
“I’m not laughing at you. I’m surprised by you. Surprised at how strong your moral compass is. It’s refreshing.” He cupped her cheek. “You’re like a super hero.”
“Fighting the injustices of the world, one douche bag at a time!” she added. She grunted in frustration. “Why am I so hungry?”
“Because he made you mad. There’s only one way to make it go away.”
“I’m not going to kill him,” she stated. Even if it was what she wanted to do, she refused to give into her base instincts.
“That’s not what I’m suggesting.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “Come with me.”
“Now,” he said, pulling her toward the hall, gesturing at the bar to Pam briefly along their journey. He yanked her into his office and closed the door behind them. “Take it out on me. I can handle it.”
She pinned him to the door and attacked his mouth. All her anger and frustration spilled out of her in that kiss. She rubbed against him furiously, needing more … needing everything. She grunted and tore his jeans open, freeing his cock in a matter of seconds. He gasped and lifted the hem of her dress so he could grab her ass. He tugged her panties to the side and slid a finger inside her. She moaned and leaned into his hand, meeting his thrusts with a tilt of her hips while she pumped his dick.
She came hard and her legs quivered.
Bite me, he thought. Bite me and fuck me.
She sucked his tongue into her mouth and scraped it with her fangs as she climbed onto him. Her knees hit the door as she aligned their bodies, his cock rubbing against her slick flesh. He held her panties out of the way and thrust into her at the same moment she bit into his tongue. She sucked and slammed into him, coming instantly and taking him with her, his dick pulsing as he came inside her fluttering pussy. After she recovered, she started moving again.
Eric never faltered, holding her steadily as she rode him, giving her everything she needed and more. When his tongue healed, he pricked it for her and offered it again, satiating and arousing her hunger simultaneously. Her knees bruised with each brutal union and healed just as quickly. She poured every ounce of energy into him and he took it all. He crashed into her one last time, sending them both over the edge again.
She pulled away and gasped for breath, holding onto his neck tightly. She rested her forehead against his and sighed. “Thank you. I’m glad I have you.”
“You can have me any time you want.” He grinned and then kissed her sweetly. “Better?”
“Definitely. I think I need to learn how to separate my hunger from my emotions, though.”
“I don’t agree. I happen to like when you’re hungry.”
She smiled. “We should probably get back to work.” She lifted off of him and stepped on the ground. He groaned and leaned his head against the door.
“Because Pam needs us?” Sookie answered.
“What about my needs?” He scoffed and refused to move. She grabbed his slippery cock and pushed it back inside his pants, patting it.
“I’ll take care of your needs later.”
He smiled and zipped his jeans carefully. “I’ll hold you to that.”
Sookie’s struggle is just beginning. Petulance: Chapter 12 is waiting for you!