I was on overload. That would teach me to ask questions I didn’t want an answer to. I sank under the water and tuned out the rest of the world. Did Gran know about this fairy guy? Well wait a minute. Just because fairies gave gifts to the newly born didn’t mean that my necklace was a gift from one. This was all speculation.
I pulled myself up out of the water to find Eric was watching me closely.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “You’re telling me that I might have fairy relatives, my grandmother is missing and being tracked by a vampire and on top of all that, a freakin’ maenad stole my necklace and is having a friendly chat with an ancient oracle. Plus I recently broke up with my boyfriend, my idiot brother proposed to his… fuck I don’t even know what to call her and I lost my job after my shapeshifter boss turned into a wolf and attacked me. So no, I’m not sure I’m sure I’m okay.” With that I stood up and reached for a towel.
I didn’t know what to make of anything that was happening and there were no easy fixes for any of those problems. It was like this big knot and I wasn’t sure where to start pulling to unravel it all. Somehow it all fit together and a stark realization hit me.
Until I met Eric my life was fine. Sure it was a little boring but I didn’t have to worry about all these creatures coming from out of nowhere. Gran would still be here. I wouldn’t have lost my job.
“Is this happening to me because of you?” I asked.
“Sookie, I don’t know anything about your grandmother’s disappearance,” he said.
That much I knew and believed. It was, however, a little too coincidental that Gran disappeared the same night I went to see Callisto.
“What if Callisto had something to do with Gran’s disappearance?” I asked.
“That’s possible,” he acknowledged.
“Is there a way to call her back?”
“Not that I know of.”
I sighed and left the bathroom to put some clothes on. Eric followed me to my bedroom and watched while I slowly started to breakdown. None of my movements made any sense to me. My brain was going a hundred different ways all at once until Eric reached out and grabbed a hold of my shoulders.
“Sookie, slow down,” he said.
“I can’t. Gran is missing and somehow I know it’s my fault,” I told him.
“You don’t know that.” His hand caressed my neck in that familiar way that always made me relax.
He drew me closer to him and like before I let him hold me. In spite of everything that had happened I still felt safe with him. There was something about Eric and the way he treated me that let me know he would always be looking out for me, always protecting me. Even if I kept pushing him away he would always come back if I ever needed him.
Blaming Eric for all of this was pointless. Say it was true that Eric was some sort of metaphorical black cloud that would always bring me trouble; at least he was sticking around to help me clean up the mess. That was a lot more than I could say for Sam, who never really came right out and said he had feelings for me but had expected me to run to him when he orchestrated an attack that would force Eric’s hand into being honest with me. When Sam didn’t get his way he fucking fired me. But Eric? Eric never gave up. For weeks he told me how he felt about me in a very creative way. When he felt my suffering he came to me and offered assistance, in spite of the marigolds I’d left him earlier in the day.
“Maybe I’m the problem,” I muttered as he held me.
“What are you talking about?” he asked me and lifted my chin so he could look into my eyes.
“Maybe I’m the reason bad things happen to people. Non sibi means ‘not for self’ so maybe it’s because I’m so reckless sometimes that others get hurt. I think I’m helping, but I just make things worse.”
“You’re being too hard on yourself, Sookie,” he said.
“But the one thing all of this stuff has in common is me,” I argued.
“Blaming yourself isn’t going to change anything,” he insisted. “You didn’t ask for any of this and you’re doing what you can to correct what you can. I know you’re worried about your grandmother but there is nothing you could have done differently to prevent what happened. For all you know she’s got a flat tire and is stranded on the road somewhere.”
“And the pregnant woman?” I asked.
“Could have been someone asking for directions,” he suggested.
He was right. Once again I told myself that I might have been overreacting. My gut said I wasn’t but that didn’t mean my gut wasn’t wrong.
“Lay down,” he said, gesturing to my bed.
“I know it’s asking a lot from you right now, but trust me. Please.”
He was sincere in his request. I took a moment to think it over before I laid down on my bed.
“Turn onto your stomach,” he said.
I did as he asked and then closed my eyes. I had no idea what he was going to do with me but I trusted him, in that moment, to give me what I needed. If only I knew what that was.
And then I felt his lips on my ankle, slowly moving up the inside of my leg. When he got to the towel he moved it out of his way. His kisses remained slow and soft, almost like he was massaging me with his lips. Eric got my towel off and tossed it to the side. When he got to the top of my leg he switched to the other and worked his way back down.
My body managed to relax and come alive all at the same time. When he was done kissing my legs he straddled my backside and his hands went to work on my shoulders and back. Those strong hands of his kneaded the tension and knots right out of me little by little. Some spots were more painful than others, but Eric explained those were spots that carried more tension. It would be more painful to work them out but once he did they felt a million times better.
“Your hands aren’t starting to cramp up?” I asked when he’d been at it for more than an hour.
“Not at all,” he said. “Shall I do your feet next?”
I smiled against the blanket beneath me. “If you keep this up I’ll be asleep in no time.”
“I’m sure I can find a way to keep you awake,” he said, and then began to press his thumbs along the column of my spine.
I groaned when things started to pop and realign themselves under the pressure of his hands. Sweet baby Jesus, he was good.
All of a sudden I felt his fingertips between my thighs. He wasn’t touching me in a sexual way…yet, but he definitely had my attention.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“Going where the tension is,” he said and I could hear the smirk in his voice.
“I doubt I’m tense there,” I said even as I gasped when his fingers moved up.
“Do you want me to stop?” he asked. His tone dropped into the one I had quickly come to associate with playtime when he asked, “Or should I ask, what color are we, Sookie?”
Hearing him talk like that sent shivers through me. I was definitely green in the sense that my body knew him, and knew what he was capable of doing to me. Mentally I was at a yellow but not a part of me was at red. He knew all of that thanks to his blood in me, but it meant a lot that he was asking anyway. If I said I was green he was going to keep going. Did I want him to?
“Green,” I barely breathed the word.
Eric growled his approval and his fingers found what they were looking for. If the goal was to relieve my tension it wasn’t working the way it had with my other parts. When I felt his lips on my back and shoulders the tension only heightened. I lay there perfectly still, letting Eric have his way with me. He knew how to touch me, I’d give him that. He knew when to speed up or slow down, and when my hips started to move in search of more friction, he moved his fingers to my clit.
I moaned and grabbed the blanket. Eric moved his kisses up my neck and pushed my hair out of the way. Hips lips were at my ear and then I heard a clicking sound.
“Do you want to bite me?” I asked, my heart speeding up at the prospect of it.
“Blood play is a hard limit,” he reminded me. “Are you offering yourself to me?”
“Will it hurt?” I asked. I didn’t want to play with knives or something like that. I didn’t get turned on at the thought of cutting each other just to see blood run. That was also part of the reason I was against extreme punishments. Eric had been respectful of those limits.
This, what he was asking for, was different. This wasn’t about getting turned on by bloodletting, but about feeding him. He needed blood to survive, and as far as I could remember he’d only had mine once—the night of the orgy. I’d bitten him and then he’d bitten me back.
I should have known then, but I was so thrown off by the whole thing that I hadn’t known what to make of it. Now I knew. Now I could make an informed decision.
“Not at all,” he promised, and I believed him.
“Let me turn over,” I said.
Eric got off of me which meant he had to move his hand as well. I had planned to roll over onto my back but Eric did me one better. He sat back against my headboard and pulled me onto his lap. I straddled him and watched his eyes sweep over me. Again he moved my hair out of the way and his other hand went back between my thighs to continue his ministrations. I sighed and closed my eyes. Eric gathered me closer and brushed his lips against mine.
It took me a minute to come around to it, but I gave in to his kiss. I’d missed it. There was no denying that. I had missed him. Eric had hurt me badly by lying like he had, but in that moment I knew I could forgive him as long as he swore to tell me the truth in the future. I couldn’t go right back to being his sub, but I was willing to try the other things. I needed to get to know him and not Him.
When I licked one of his fangs his fingers slid inside me again and my hips started to move. Our kisses deepened and his thumb found my clit. The pressure built up deep in my belly as my tongue battled with Eric’s. He waited until just the right moment to break off the kiss. I needed to breathe—my lungs felt like they were going to explode. Eric kissed and licked along my jaw and down my neck.
His fingers moved faster, pumping in and out of me at the perfect speed, and he kissed along my collarbone for a few seconds before returning to my neck. I was so close to cumming… And then I felt his fangs, those razor sharp teeth of his that had the power to kill me. Yet I trusted that he wouldn’t. It was crazy after what we had been through, but Eric had always taken care of me before. He had kept me safe and even saved my life after I was attacked by my jealous, shapeshifter boss. Why go through all the trouble of trying to woo me back if he was just going to kill me?
“Do it, Eric,” I breathed. I wanted him to. I wanted to know how it felt.
He found a spot on my neck that he liked, and kissed it. His hand was in my hair, holding my head in place. My hips were moving and I wanted so much to fall over the edge already, but Eric was drawing it out.
“Eric, please,” I begged.
He placed one more kiss on my neck and muttered something in a language I didn’t understand and then his fingers curled inside me, finding that magic spot that made colors flash like fireworks behind my eyes. I cried out as the orgasm started and it only intensified when there was the momentary sting of his fangs entering my neck. I cried out again and tried to hold still while he drank from me. All of a sudden his hands were on my hips, pulling me down while his hips thrust up, and still he kept drinking.
“Eric!” I cried out. I wasn’t expecting it to feel that good when he bit me, but there was something powerful about it. Maybe it was knowing that I was giving him something he needed. The sub in me was flailing in happiness at being able to serve and please my Dom so well, but it wasn’t just that.
And I wanted more. My hands went to the button on his jeans and started to work them open. When Eric had taken his fill he licked my neck once more, and then looked up into my eyes. I stared back at him with an expression that probably relayed my surprise and need all at once. There were no words exchanged before he kissed me again, nor did Eric stop me from reaching into his pants.
The kisses broke only so he could take off his shirt, and he guided my head where he wanted my mouth to go when I moved away from his lips. I didn’t feel the urge to bite him, at least not do hard that I broke the skin. When I teasingly bit his nipple, Eric hissed and thrust his hips up.
“Like that?” I asked in a sex kitten voice I didn’t recognize as my own.
“Do it again,” Eric requested, so I kissed my way across his chest to the other nipple, and then bit again.
He growled and then I was on my back underneath him. I was still stroking him and he managed to balance his weight without crushing me so he could get his jeans off entirely. His mouth moved down my body slowly and he got all the way to my waist before I pulled his head back up to mine. I was ready. I wanted more.
“Eric, please,” I whimpered for a second time.
He kissed me hard and started to rub his hips against mine. I moaned into the kisses and when Eric put his cock at my entrance I thrust my hips up. He groaned and slowly slid the rest of the way into me. My legs wrapped around the back of his thighs and his hips started to thrust slowly. His lips closed around one of my nipples and my arms went over my head to grab the end of the mattress.
He moved from one breast to the other as his thrusts got faster and deeper. My eyes squeezed shut and I let myself get swept up in how good it all felt. There was no dirty talk about me being his or who I belonged to. Eric wasn’t rough with me but I wouldn’t say that he was too gentle either and by the time I was ready to fall over the edge again I was panting, sweating and so incredibly thankful that he hadn’t given up on me.
Eric pushed my legs up higher, allowing him to get a little deeper inside me and that was all it took. I cried out when I came, but he didn’t stop. We rolled over and I sat up while my body moved on auto pilot, riding him like it had preprogrammed to do it. I wanted more and judging by the way he was looking at me, Eric did too.
He knew all the places to touch to make me cum again, and again and again before he finally couldn’t hold out any longer and came with a roar that I was sure shook the windows in its intensity. He collapsed on top of me and placed lazy kisses on my neck and collarbone. I lay beneath him, gasping for air and shaking like a leaf. I’d never felt anything like that before, and it wasn’t just the orgasms I’d had. There was something else taking root in me but I didn’t know what it was.
After a few minutes Eric lifted his head and kissed me so sweetly that I thought I might cry. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “Thank you, Sookie.”
All I could do was smile and wrap myself around him. Somehow whatever had been broken between us was on the mend, and for the moment I couldn’t have been happier.