“Wait!” Sookie called out at the last second when Eric was just about to launch himself out of her window. “Don’t go yet.”
Eric turned and looked over his shoulder, but didn’t step down from the window.
“Play isn’t the only thing I can offer you,” Sookie took a step closer to Eric.
Eric remained quiet for a moment, just taking her in as he got himself turned around and out of her window. Her towel was hanging around Sookie’s body loosely and he could see she was lowering it at a painfully slow rate.
“What else can you offer me, Sookie?” his eyes watched the slow descent of her hands that were guiding the towel down her body.
“What do you want?” Sookie brazenly asked, her hand suddenly halting the movement of that damn towel.
Eric looked her up and down, his fangs clicking into place before he said, “Everything.”
“That’s a lot to give one person,” Sookie gave a coy smile and let her eyes meet his. “What will you give me in return?”
In the blink of an eye Eric was towering over her, his hand wrapped around the side of her throat in a caressing sort of way. He could feel the thud of her pulse in her jugular, and his blood called to him from within her veins. She wanted him, that much was obvious to him even without the blood tie; he could see it in her eyes in the way she looked up at him.
And she didn’t run.
“What would you like?” he asked, although he had a pretty good idea.
“The same. I want to be equals,” Sookie told him quite simply.
“You want to be vampire?” Eric lifted an eyebrow.
Sookie shook her head slowly and said, “Being a vampire doesn’t appeal to me. Y’all are actually kind of boring.”
Eric beamed in surprise and asked, “Is that right?”
“It’s all plottin’ and schemin’ all the time. It gets boring to watch after a while. I’d rather stick to the simple things,” she said, and let one of her hands rise up to rest on his wrist. “Can you be simple, Eric?”
His thumb moved slowly, stroking the soft skin of her throat. He looked deep into her eyes, listening to her blood while he considered whether or not he could be that for her. He could be a lot of things, but he could never be human for her if that was what she was after.
“I cannot be human, Sookie,” he said.
“I’m not asking you to be. You’re a vampire,” she laughed quietly. “I know what you are, Eric. You have never tried to hide yourself from me, no matter how annoyed I might be sometimes. You have always given me the truth. I’m asking you to be simple when you’re with me. Show me a side to you that isn’t all about plottin’ and schemin’ to get your way. Show me what’s here,” she said and moved her hand to his chest where his heart would be beating if he was still alive.
“You want my love,” he surmised, and Sookie tilted her head a little, her eyes lifting to meet his again.
“No less than you want mine,” she answered.
Eric growled quietly, although she didn’t know why.
Sookie tilted her head a little more, leaning into the hold he had on her throat. She kept her eyes on his when she asked, “Do you want another taste, Eric?”
He nodded his head up and down slowly.
The hand on his chest moved up to grab his neck and pull him down to her. Eric let her move him, posing their bodies right there in the middle of her bedroom. He breathed an unnecessary breath, inhaling her scent and fighting the urge to simply sink his fangs as deep into her as he could. He felt Sookie’s pulse quicken with every fraction of an inch closer he got to her neck, but she wasn’t afraid. He could feel the anticipation and excitement thrumming in her veins.
She had offered herself to him, and the thought of what might come after his next taste of her threatened his self-control. He forced himself to move slowly, but his senses were all screaming at him. He was surrounded by her, and it was the most glorious feeling he had ever felt.
At the last moment Eric changed courses, and his lips brushed against Sookie’s. She made a small noise of surprise, but her lips chased his. For the moment, the promise of her blood was forgotten as he tasted her lips instead. She lost herself in his kiss and let go of the towel that had been shielding her. The hand that was on her throat moved down to her chest so his large palm covered her heart.
Eric kissed her until she needed to break away to breathe. Slowly his lips trailed her jaw to her neck, and then she felt the light scraping of his fangs there. Her breath caught, and he kissed her neck for a moment before suddenly slipping his fangs into her. Sookie’s eyes opened wide, and she stared toward the ceiling, concentrating on the feeling of her blood flowing into him, and rhythmic grinding of his hips against her as he drank.
He pulled out quickly, and when Eric looked into her eyes his mouth was bloodied and there was a golden glow around him. There was something different in his eyes, and she thought he might lean in to kiss her again, but instead his mouth returned to her neck where he bit a second time. He held her a little more tightly, and Sookie slapped at his shoulders to get him to back off.
“Eric,” she pleaded as everything started to go black.
Sookie woke with a start, sitting upright in bed and grabbing at her neck. No blood, no vampire lurking in her bedroom. Sookie sank back against her pillows, trying to make sense of the dream she’d just had, as well get getting her heartbeat back to normal again. She was just on the verge of accomplishing goal number two when there was someone pounding on her front door.
Sookie sat up again and tried to figure out who would be at her home at just about sunrise on a Sunday morning. It certainly wasn’t Jason, since he was more than likely hungover and currently passed out face down in the cleavage of whatever woman was lucky enough to take him home for the night. Sookie threw back her covers, and gasped when she realized she was naked.
“What the…” she trailed off, distinctly remembering putting on a nightgown after Eric was gone.
The nightgown was now on the floor beside her bed.
Sookie grabbed the material up off the floor and slipped it on, and then grabbed her robe off the back of her bedroom door before going downstairs to see who was banging on her front door so early in the morning. Sookie peeked through the lace curtain covering the little window in the door, and there was a strange redheaded man standing there with a sour look on his face.
“Can I help you?” Sookie asked as politely as she could muster once she got the door open.
“Sookie Stackhouse?” the man asked with a hint of disgust.
“Yes?” she said, and dipped into his mind.
I didn’t know the Master enjoyed slumming, but she’s got great tits.
“I’m Bobby Burnham, Eric Northman’s assistant. He asked that I deliver this,” he stepped out of the way and gestured to a newer model BMW that was parked in front of Sookie’s house, “for you to use until your own vehicle is finished being repaired.”
The Beemer will probably need repairs when she’s finished with it. The driveway here will destroy the undercarriage in no time.
Sookie’s eyes went wide, and then her emotions started a small war in her. On the one hand, she was touched by his kindness. On the other, her temper was having quite the conniption fit.
“Here are the keys. Mr. Northman will collect the vehicle from Dawson’s garage when you’re finished with it. Good day,” Bobby said, and then retreated to a fancy Cadillac that was also parked in front of her house, but there was someone behind the wheel of that car.
The Cadillac drove away while Sookie stood there looking stunned, trying to figure out what to do next. The car Bobby had left behind was very nice, but not at all what Sookie would ever choose for herself. Then again, this was a temporary gift from Eric. As long as she didn’t find the title to the car with her name on it somewhere, she could gracefully accept what he had done.
It was then that Sookie noticed a piece of paper tucked under the windshield wiper blade, and she dashed off the porch to retrieve it. Her name was printed on the envelope that was made of a creamy cardstock, and monogram stamped on the flap in the back. The envelope wasn’t sealed, which Sookie was grateful for. She lifted the flap and pulled the note from inside the envelope.
I regret I was unable to deliver this myself. This is only a loan until you get your own car back, although I would happily gift this to you if I knew you would accept it. Trust me when I say that making this loan to you is no sacrifice on my part. When your car is ready, simply leave the loaner at the garage and I will pick it up when time permits, or when I feel like annoying Bobby with a lame task.
I trust that he behaved himself in your presence.
Until we meet again,
Sookie read the note twice, and then put it back in its envelope. Bobby had behaved himself, she supposed, by any other human’s standards. It wasn’t quite fair to punish him for his thoughts. People thought unsavory things all the time, Sookie included; it was just human nature. She went back to the house and locked herself inside. She was still exhausted, but couldn’t imagine going back to sleep.
Sookie went to the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. She flipped the radio on, and already there were Sunday morning services being broadcast from all over the state. Sookie smiled at the memory of Gran’s dislike for some of the fire and brimstone that some of the preachers down that way were always shouting over. To Gran, worship had always been a private thing, something done with one’s heart and soul instead of their mouth and voice.
It had been a while since Sookie had gone to church, maybe too long. It was difficult to find faith when all of these terrible things kept happening. But that’s when you need the Lord the most, Gran’s voice echoed in her mind. While Sookie waited for her coffee to finish brewing she fried herself an egg, made some toast and hummed along with the hymn that was being sung. There wasn’t time enough for her to actually get to the Sunday service since she had to be back at work in just a matter of hours.
While Sookie sat down to breakfast she thought about the things she had learned the night before. She needed to get up in the attic and look for those letters Lafayette had told her about. Her mind spun a little at everything that had happened in just the last twelve hours. Lafayette had resurfaced, she’d gotten a warning from Hadley, she’d discovered she was part fairy, and more than likely, been betrayed by the first man she ever loved that wasn’t a relative. That was a lot to take.
When Sookie was done eating she cleaned up the kitchen and went upstairs to get dressed. All she could think of was going to the cemetery to have a chat with Gran. After putting on a simple sundress, Sookie went up to the attic in hopes of finding the letters. There were several footlockers they could be in, but Sookie ultimately found what she was looking for. The letters had an unfamiliar penmanship on half of them, but they were addressed to Gran. Sookie picked up the box and took it with her on her walk to the cemetery. Maybe, just maybe, she’d find what she was looking for there.