Ethereal Redemption Chapter 10

SOOKIE’S POV
Blonde bad and beautiful, in the hot summer sun, with her tight dress painted on
Fahrenheit 101
She got the long legs to prove it, the back end to move it
She’s a XXX movie just walking by, lip-gloss, high heels, I’m losing my mind
She’s coming at me like a wrecking ball, upstairs, downstairs she got it all
Blonde bad and beautiful, blonde bad and beautiful
She got it all.
~ Blonde, Bad and Beautiful, Airbourne

With only an hour to go until we were due to land, I pulled myself off the bed Eric and I had found ourselves making love on. I’d tried my hardest to be as quiet as possible, unsure exactly what Godric could hear. Eric had assured me numerous times that no-one would hear us, but my good Southern upbringing had taught me to not flaunt one’s relationships, and having Godric hearing us was certainly flaunting in my opinion.

Moving to the wardrobe in the room, I plucked the pink garment bag from the rail. At least Niall helped us to identify which outfit belonged to whom. Picking up a matching pink wash bag, medium sized make-up bag and a large box I made my way to the bathroom to change. I had no issues changing in front of Eric, but I didn’t want him to see me until the outfit was perfect.

Showering quickly using the contents of the wash bag, I dried my hair quickly. I gasped when I opened the garment bag: Niall had really outdone himself. I’d planned on wearing one of my sundresses; I never have been, and never will be, one for fancy and expensive clothes, material wealth doesn’t matter much to me. After pulling on a pair of lacy red Victoria’s Secrets panties I found in the garment bag I withdrew the dress.

Holding it up, I let my eyes trail over the garment. The fabric was silk in a beautiful deep red colour. Eric’s favourite. The thought brought a smile to my lips and I couldn’t help but squeal in excitement. I squealed!? Cheese and rice!

I didn’t even think twice before I pulled the dress on; I’d had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to wear a bra to hold ‘the girls’ in this dress, but the structure of the garment allowed for that. The fabric flowed over my curves; the neckline was plunged and there were thick straps across my shoulders. The dress was pulled into folds across my chest to add texture, and the edge of the fabric around the neckline was studded with silver gems. Glancing down, I caught sight of my legs; the dress had a slit in it, right up to my thigh. Oh, my Viking would love that! The back of the dress fanned out into a trail and for a moment I panicked, what if I were to step on it and stumble?

Right, of course, I would be next to a 6’4 vampire who would catch me before I landed on my backside, I hope. Pulling the lid from the large box, my eyes bugged out. I pulled out a pair of silver sandals and slipped them onto my feet, lace straps crisscrossing to halfway up my calf. A little red bag sat in the box too, so I plucked it out and placed it on the counter. A black box sat inside the larger box and I opened it to reveal droplet earrings, the droplets were red. ‘Very funny.’ I thought to myself, rolling my eyes at their representation.

I put the earrings on and opened the make-up bag, I applied a little bit of powder to further the look of my sun-kissed skin, lip-gloss to add some sparkle to my lips, and some mascara to make my eyes pop. My recent infusion of 1000-year-old vampire blood meant my complexion was otherwise perfect. I was thankful in that moment that my hair dried with a natural curl to it, so I took a few sections and pinned them up with bobby pins, allowing them to fall over one shoulder, leaving my neck bare; just how Eric liked it.

Packing both my wash bag and make-up bag into the large box, I left it on the counter to retrieve when we landed, but not before dropping my make-up into the red clutch bag. It would no doubt need touching up later in the evening.

Drawing a deep breath, I unlocked the bathroom door and stepped out to be met with an empty room. Moving to the main area of the aircraft, I opened the door from the bedroom to be met with the back of my Viking and his Maker, both already dressed in their suits. I couldn’t contain myself as I took in the appearance of my Viking and lent against the doorframe. He was a 6’4” beautiful Nordic God, dressed in a black suit with a red shirt on underneath which matched my dress perfectly. Eric could be wearing sweatpants and a wifebeater and he’d still be the most beautiful man on the planet.

Godric had gone for a more conventional look from what I could tell, a simple black tux which helped to age his young appearance slightly. He was without a tie, leaving the top few buttons undone so the blue ink of his tattoo showed.

“Hello handsome,” I drawled at my Viking lover, soaking my words with my Southern accent. Eric had always said he loved my accent.

Both vampires whipped around at the sound of my voice, and as Eric’s eyes travelled up and down my figure I crossed one leg over the other, the fabric sliding from my skin to reveal a shapely tanned limb. A deep growl resonated from my vampire’s chest as his fangs snapped down in appreciation, a raw hunger radiating in his eyes. “Fuck me.” He leered, clearly enjoying the sight if the bulge in his tailored trousers were anything to go by.

“I did, about an hour ago,” I teased, waggling my eyebrows in exactly the same way Eric did. In an instant he was before me, pressing me up against the doorframe. His 6’4” frame pinning me in place, his hips pressed to mine so I’d feel the evidence of his arousal: A whimper slipped from my lips

“Don’t tempt me, I’m already seriously considering not letting you off this plane until you’ve come at least six more times, screaming my name,” he whispered huskily in my ear, licking the area just behind my earlobe. I could already feel my panties dampening.

Pulling myself from my daze as I remembered the other male present on the plane: I gave Eric’s arm a playful slap, “No nasty talk, Mister. Perhaps if you’re good I’ll let you undress me later,” I offered with a wink, sliding out from his grip and crossing the plane. I had no idea where this sudden sex-kitten act had come from; I think it had something to do with Eric’s reaction to the sight of me. I felt beautiful around him, treasured, valued. No one else had treated me like that, especially not Bill.

Godric held his hand out to me and I took it as he pressed a kiss to the back of my hand, “You look lovely, Miss Stackhouse,” he complimented with complete sincerity and a warm smile. Returning his smile, I took a quick second to observe his own attire, glancing over my shoulder at my Viking who now stood exceptionally close behind me. I took a little longer to check out his outfit for the night.

“As do both of you,” I returned the compliment with an equal amount of sincerity. Eric looked like the devil and completely edible, while Godric looked every bit the gentleman he was.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we will be starting our descent soon. If you could please take your seats,” the voice over the PA system announced, and I moved to my seat slowly, unsure on the ridiculously high heels I had been given.

As I sat, Eric leaned over and captured an earring in his hand. “Niall’s sense of humour I assume?” He asked with his signature smirk and I nodded in response, automatically going for his hand with my own as he let go of my jewellery. I still hated flying.

As the plane landed on the tarmac and came to a stop, the captain opened the door for us, pushing the steps down so we could exit. Godric left first with his bag in his hand, I followed him, and Eric took the back. A man was standing at the end of the steps, and once we passed him he was up in the plane, clearing out our belongings.

Watching as he went up the steps behind us, I turned back in time to see the beautiful black limo pulling up and a gasp escaped my lips. Clearly, the man we were meeting had money and liked to flaunt it. The chauffer scuttled out, moving around to open the door for us. Presenting us with ID, his employer was listed as Ari Seti-Nekht. Happy with his ID we filed into the limo, using the same order we had come off the plane in. Our belongings were stored in the trunk, and soon we were pulling away from the airport.

I was trying my hardest to keep my excitement from bubbling over, but the smile on my face was refusing to leave anytime soon and, if I was being honest with myself, I didn’t want it to go away. I couldn’t remember a time when I’d smiled so much since Gran passed away. Even though I had done well to hide the physical signs of my excitement, the emotional side wasn’t doing so well.

“Your excitement and happiness are intoxicating, lover,” Eric declared, slouching back into the seat beside me, one arm was thrown lazily behind me as he watched me with keen eyes and a smile on his lips. Godric sat opposite us and he, too, could sense my excitement and happiness through his Maker-Childe bond with Eric.

“It is nice to see you smile so much, Miss Stackhouse. Have you ever been to Nevada before?” The ancient vampire inquired.

Shaking my head I locked a hand with Eric’s, his long slender fingers fitting perfectly with mine. “No, I never had the opportunity to take time off work and I don’t have the financial means to do so. The first time I ever left Louisiana was when we went to Dallas,” I explained. I had enjoyed the trip to Dallas really; minus the whole almost rape thing, the bombing and having to talk Godric off the hotel roof at sunrise. But then, that was just another day in the new life of Sookie Stackhouse.

“We’ll go on many more holidays, lover. I promise you. Anywhere you want to go, we shall go there,” Eric vowed, giving my hand a gentle squeeze.

“Would you take me to your home country?” I asked, turning to look at Eric. I felt curious about where my Viking had been born.

I could feel the shock through the bond; clearly, he hadn’t been expecting me to ask for us to go to his homeland. The shock soon changed to a tidal wave of love and happiness, along with yearning. I knew he wanted to go back home but had never had an excuse to go; now he did.

“I would love nothing more than to take you back to my home. I have a log cabin there actually; we can curl up in front of the fireplace in a big blanket and watch the northern lights. We can go for walks in the snow and build snowmen, go ice-skating on the frozen lakes…” he continued, his eyes taking on a distant look.

Sparing a glance at Godric, I caught his warm smile. “Thank you,” he mouthed at me. I had no idea what he was thanking me for but I had obviously done something right. Maybe it was time for Eric to remember his past and get in touch with his humanity as Godric had.

Pushing back the blinds on the windows, the bright lights of Las Vegas flooded the car and I couldn’t help but twist to look out of the window. Casino’s, shopping malls, hotels, all of them passed us by and all of them were beautifully illuminated with beautiful people milling around outside them. It was now obvious to me why Las Vegas was known as Sin City.

The car turned in front of a large building, gliding to a stop before it.

The chauffer opened the door for us and Eric was first out. Holding his out his hand for me I graciously took it as I exited the car, Godric following closely behind me. A bellhop came to take our bags from us and reluctantly Godric handed his over, though he made a show of snapping his fangs down as a warning that should anything happen to his luggage, heads would roll.

Dropping my shields, I focused on the bellhop. “Oh god, I can’t believe I’ve been put in charge of taking care of the Northman party’s bags. Big boss said they have money; I don’t even wanna think about how much all their stuff will be worth. Gotta make sure it gets to their rooms in one piece and stays safe. The big boss would have a fit if something went wrong and I need this job so bad. Need the money. Need the good reference.” He went on and on and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young man. He was obviously trying his hardest. He reminded me of Barry, back in Dallas, and I couldn’t help but smile at the memory.

Eric offered the crook of his left arm to me and with a fluid movement I took it; Godric stood on my right. Taking a deep breath, I knew we would be able to do this. We were walking into the unknown, and yet I had two of the oldest vampires in America with me. Suddenly I wasn’t so worried.

The doors were opened for us and we entered the lobby of the hotel. My jaw dropped, and I quickly had to regain my composure. The whole room was made of marble, buffed to perfection and reflecting the golden lighting, giving the room a warm glow. Thick pillars of marble supported the roof and chandeliers hung from the ceiling. In pride of place sat a fountain. The fountain consisted of three women, all made of marble, standing together in a group with their backs to each other, facing outwards. They wore togas and watched over the lobby and its guests.

What caught my eye the most though was the man standing before the fountain, the man from the photograph. I was right with my estimations of him, he was defiantly tall, about 6’5” I would say. Of course, he looked no different than his photograph, given that he was a vampire and didn’t age. He wore a smile, which revealed perfect white teeth, his fangs retracted, and he had donned a simple black suit and tie for the evening. Stepping forward he gave all three of us a nod. “Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Northman, Mr. Nervii, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Ari Seti-Nekht: Should you need anything during your stay please do not hesitate to ask me,” he greeted formally with impeccable manners. Although it was obvious from his accent, and name, that he wasn’t a southerner, he would get on perfectly in Louisiana.

“I will have my staff take your bags up to your rooms. I have placed you in our two most luxurious suites and you may stay for however long you wish; the cost is on us,” he continued, glancing between the three of us, his smile never faltering. I realised then that he had clearly been some sort of businessman or politician in his long life.

Turning his attention to me, his smile softened, “Your kin has been so impatient to see you. Would you like to meet them now?” he offered, giving me a chance to back out should I want it.

“Thank you, Mr. Seti-Nekht, I’d love to meet them,” I replied with equally impeccable manners. I felt Eric’s pride flood through the bond.

With a nod of his head, Ari started to guide us through the lobby. I gawked at everything around me, the high ceilings all looked to be hand painted, the chandeliers must have cost a fortune and the neutral tones of the walls picked up the warmth from the lighting. The vast use of marble made the building even more impressive. My heels clicked against the flooring and I became very aware of the eyes following me as I walked. Throwing my shields back up, I firmly clamped them in place. Nothing would ruin my good mood.

We were led through a series of marble walkways before being guided through a large marble arch, the words ‘Casino’ were printed on it in beautifully ancient lettering. The room was packed with humans, vampires and weres, and I was relieved I’d thrown my shields up. Eric moved closer to my side and Godric mirrored his actions, protecting me from the unknown creatures. We moved through throngs of people, some sat at tables playing poker or roulette, some stood by fruit machines and others were occupying the bar and lounge areas. Everyone was exceptionally beautiful and obviously wealthy. I felt so out of place, I was nothing like these people. My wardrobe consisted mainly of Walmart clothing, and I didn’t have the spare change to gamble. As if sensing my unease, Eric leaned down to my ear as we walked, “They pale in comparison to you, my faery,” he whispered reassuringly, pressing a kiss to my temple, which I gratefully accepted. It was nice to feel wanted by such a handsome man.

We drew to a stop at the bottom of a large sweeping staircase, two flights of steps led up to the first floor and a balcony sat in the middle: The perfect vantage point. The top and bottom of the staircase were decorated with globes, which I took to represent the world. Whoever owned the place could most certainly own a nice chunk of the world given the expense of the place so far, and I hadn’t even clapped eyes on the rooms yet!

“Ah, here comes my Queen!” Ari interrupted my thoughts and I returned my eyes to the staircase in time to see the woman, who emerged from around the corner, starting her descent of the staircase.

Never in my life have I felt as jealous as I did then. She looked around twenty years old and she was easily 5’4” without her gold strappy heels, but with them, she was definitely pushing 5’9”. She was dressed in a white gown which clung to her curvaceous figure like a glove and fell to her ankles. Her waist was cinched to showcase her hourglass shape with a golden band of fabric, ornately decorated. She, too, had a plunging neckline, just as daring as mine, and yet her chest was a little ampler than mine. Another notch against the woman. Golden straps, in the same fabric as the band around her waist, held the dress up on her frame.

As she moved down the steps I caught a glimpse of the back of her dress. The golden straps that went over her shoulders crossed between her shoulder blades before disappearing under her arms to meet the white fabric of the dress. Her attire was backless, showing off her smooth skin and the fabric met again just above her backside where golden sparkles and gems flared downwards, pulling attention to the small train that flowed over the steps as she walked.

Looking up from her dress I was frustrated to see that her face was just as beautiful as her dress. She had this ethereal glow to her that I found captivating, and her bright blue eyes were wide and sparkling with joy, framed with gold and bronze eyeshadow and her eyeliner was minimal, flicking out at the outside corner of her eyes. Her porcelain skin was flawless, and her features were all in proportion. Her lips were painted ruby red, contrasting with her dress and skin and drew attention to the plump flesh. She wore her hair in curls, just like mine, and it was the same shade of light blonde. The one crucial difference was a minimal diamond tiara upon her head, peeking out from her blonde curls.

As she took the last step down, Ari offered his hand out to her and she took it with the elegance and grace that only a proper upbringing could give. She glided across to us, her blue eyes fixed firmly on mine, disregarding Eric and Godric. A bright smile lit up her features, and I caught sight of her brilliantly white teeth.

I didn’t like the woman very much; she was too much of a show off for my liking. She flaunted her wealth and that infuriated me. Gran had always taught me to work for my money and to work hard. This woman looked like the sort who let the men do all the work and would spend all day lounging by a pool or shopping, spending her man’s money.

Dropping my shields, I attempted to poke her mind but was met with a high steel wall encasing all of her thoughts. I was stunned for a moment; I thought I was the only one who could build up walls to keep people out. Was she expecting me to prod her mind?

“It’s so lovely to finally meet you, my kinswoman! Niall has spoken so fondly of you,” she beamed with pure excitement. Without even having to read her mind I could tell she was sincere in her joy. What caught me was her reference to being my kin. I was related to this woman? I could see a physical resemblance; we were blonde, blue-eyed and slender. The similarities stopped there, though.

Dropping Ari’s hand, the beautiful woman gestured around her to the casino, obviously proud of her business. “Welcome, welcome to my palace, Caesars Palace! My name is Ata.”

I heard Godric gasp, “Ata?”

Her eyes shifted from mine to Godric’s and she gasped too, a shocked expression on her face as her eyes fell to the tribal tattoo peeking out from his shirt. Looking into his eyes once again, she fought back her tears, her voice coming out in a whisper. “Godric?”


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