A/N I think the Viking and his faery need some time together now, plus I think he needs to seek counsel with daddy! 🙂
Oh and yes, the contact lenses are nicked from Torchwood; I will forever ship Jack and Ianto! 😉
Yes Jase did drink straight from Jess in TB and that’s still the same in this story, but Sook only knows about Eddie considering she knew Jason was on V. I get the feeling she wouldn’t go rummaging through his mind out of respect and would therefore be unaware of his little tie with Jess, unless of course Jase told her in TB, but I can’t remember that!
Under a lovers’ sky, gonna be with you and no one’s gonna be around
If you think that you won’t fall, well just wait until, ’til the sun goes down
Underneath the starlight, starlight, there’s a magical feeling, so right
It’ll steal your heart tonight
You can try to resist, try to hide from my kiss, but you know
But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight
Deep in the dark, you’ll surrender your heart, but you know
But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight
No, you can’t fight it, it’s gonna get to your heart
~ Can’t Fight the Moonlight, LeAnn Rimes
Rolling over as I woke for the evening I was disappointed not to have my little faery to cuddle up to – to feel her small, warm body against mine. She was like my own personal radiator, not that I felt the cold but it was nice all the same, a reassurance she was still alive. Checking our bond I found she wasn’t anywhere in the penthouse but she was still close by, and she was joyful and content. Good. She’d be more susceptible to my ideas for the evening then.
Dressing myself quickly in a pair of black jeans and a dark blue jumper, I headed out of the bedroom and across the hallway to my Maker’s room. There was no need to knock; he would know I was on the other side of the door.
“Come in, my Childe.” I heard him through the door. Not needing to be told twice I entered quietly, finding him sitting on one of the chocolate coloured seats in the room, near the window which overlooked Vegas. Sparing a quick glance around, and letting my hearing do some of the work for me, I ascertained that Ata wasn’t in the room. “She is with Sookie, I believe.” He informed me with a knowing smile, having clearly worked out what it was I had been doing. Gesturing to the seat opposite him I took it quickly. The room was beautifully appointed, and a lot more time and effort had gone into it than the guests’ rooms, like the one Sookie and I were staying in. They were beautiful too, but it was apparent that Ata hardly ever used them.
The room was painted in shades of cream to give it a bright, yet warm feel. In some sense it felt like a representation of Ata – bright, clean, modern, yet with a touch of warmth. The room smelt like both my Maker and his bonded, of fresh linen and the subtle undertone of their couplings.
“What’s the matter, my son?” He was always to the point. Even though we had all of eternity, patience was not one of a vampire’s strong points unless we were waiting for an enemy to slip up, or for our loved ones to return to us.
“I worry about Sookie, she’s still led by her heart rather than her head. She was going to go running to Jason and Hunter last night without thinking about it, which would have been exactly what Russell would have been betting on. I fear she might do something reckless and I can’t lose her, I won’t.” I stated, not feeling the need to hide my emotions in front of Godric. He was my Maker, he knew me better than I knew myself at times.
“Sometimes my Childe, you’ll have to play the bad guy in order to keep her safe. When she finally returns to reality and thinks about it then she’ll know you’re right, but don’t rub it in. She’s a very proud woman, and her Southern upbringing has instilled in her the need to put others before herself. Just promise me, and yourself, that you won’t order her around when in private like you did last night, when you called her back to you as she was about to leave. I have a funny feeling your little faery doesn’t appreciate being ordered to do something by anyone. Instead, may I suggest calmly explaining to her why she shouldn’t do something, and then use that wonderful mind of yours to give her an alternative? I think, though I may be wrong, that she fears to be considered as a ‘pet’, she wants to be your equal. I know our world makes that difficult in public, and perhaps you need to explain that to her. She’s incredibly loyal though, my son, and that’s a rare quality in others these days.” He reassured me, giving me food for thought at the same time.
“Sometimes I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool and whisk her off to my farm in Öland, that way I can keep her safe from everything in the world.” I confessed. “But Compton wrapped her in cotton wool, and look how that worked out.” I sighed, running a hand through my hair. I wasn’t use to these human emotions, this worry, and this level of care. I cared for Pam yes, she was my Childe, but I knew she could hold her own for a while without me. I’d taught her everything I knew and she was a strong fighter, a survivor. Sookie was fragile though, a knife, a bullet; even a tumble could kill her. There was no way I could turn her though and for her to survive it, to remove some of her fragility.
“Sookie needs to be in this world, Eric, she needs to see what our world is like. If it were too much for her she would have disappeared by now, she wouldn’t be here with you. This training she’s receiving will hopefully make her stronger, so you won’t have to worry about her as much. Her place is with you, and you both know that. You belong together my Childe, you’re fated after all.” He lent forward, placing a reassuring hand on my knee.
“I know, and I will forever be grateful to whichever God decided to bestow such a gift upon me, because I truly don’t feel deserving.” I pursed my lips together, placing a hand on top of Godric’s. It was comforting to feel his presence in our bond still, to feel his hand on my knee. Two years ago I very nearly lost him, and it was a cold, hard reminder of just how important he was to me. He made me, he took care of me, raised me. I was part of him and he was part of me.
A smile flickered across his lips as he gave my hand a gentle squeeze. “Oh you are very much deserving my Childe.” His words caused me to smile. I hadn’t done very much to be proud of over the years. Yes I had created a business empire, which had made me wealthy, but I had taken and taken from the world, from the humans, and never once gave anything back. Fangtasia was a lucrative business, a chance for humans to have a brush with ‘death’, and yet Pam and I had mainly created it so that our food would come to us, rather than us going to them. It was a selfish move. I wouldn’t take anything for granted though anymore. I had very nearly lost my Maker to the sun, and I had very nearly lost Sookie on numerous occasions – the worst being to the fairies. The thought of her being used as a broodmare caused my emotions to shift into something a little darker.
“She compliments you. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. stated that darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Sookie is your light, just like Ata is mine. We were both on spiralling paths into a deeper sense of darkness. I was going to meet the sun and end it all, and you were being forced by Sophie-Anne to sell her blood and you were fighting with Russell. Our women pulled us back from those edges, unknowingly so. You use to be so bitter, my boy, and that is my fault. I drove all emotion out of you, but Sookie is restoring that, and I am very grateful for it.” He brought his hand up to my cheek and stroked along my cheekbone softly.
Leaning into his hand I closed my eyes, purring lowly at the love flowing in our bond. “I’m very proud of you, Eric. You’re my greatest achievement.” He whispered softly, leaning forward to press a fatherly kiss to my forehead.
“Have you spoken to Ata about the third bond yet, about day walking? It would give us an advantage over Russell.” I questioned, remembering how badly Russell wanted the sunshine. If Godric and I were to have it, then we would be far superior, and would probably have a higher chance at taking him out.
“She found out last night, but I told her I do not wish to create the third bond out of a need for protection, or for an upper hand. The third bond is sacred, Eric, just like the blood. The third bond is unbreakable my son, and sets the tone for the rest of your lives together, it binds you together as one. If we create those bonds in a desperate hope for some safety, then I fear our bonded’s will be in even more danger. The third bond should be created out of love. I know that goes against everything I have taught you, but trust me when I tell you to wait.” He brushed a stray strand of my golden hair from my face. “You should tell Sookie though. It would be unfair for her to hear about it from Ata.” He added gently, causing me to nod in agreement. “Lets go find our women.” He removed his hand from the side of my face, rising to his 5’6 height. I followed, towering over him. It was easy to see why people simply assumed I was the elder of the pair of us, but it was the silent strength that Godric exuded which gave the game away. He had no need to physically show off.
Together we left the bedroom, entering the living area. Checking my bond with Sookie, and the weak one I had with Ata, I was pleased to find that they were together and both were well, though they were still not in the penthouse. It was then the scents lingering in the air assaulted my senses – two from Sookie’s bloodline, one unknown human male, a little on the aged side, and a hint of magic. Scowling, I did a quick scan of the area, spotting two suitcases by the elevator doors that hadn’t been there when I had slipped into my day rest. Jason and Hunter had clearly arrived in one piece. Pam was sat on one of the couches, and I offered a nod in acknowledgement, which she readily returned. My Childe was lazy, but beautifully loyal.
“Sookie and Ata aren’t here.” I commented as Ari entered the room, having changed his usual suit and tie look for a pair of comfy blue shorts and a fitted cameo shirt, which I caught Pam checking out. I sent her a wave of amusement, and she responded with a wave of mercy. I had to try not to laugh out loud. I would never tire of teasing my Childe, as she had teased me at every opportunity when I had been pining over Sookie during her yearlong absence.
Ari paused in his step, glancing to the ceiling for a moment before he smiled. “They’re in The Colosseum. Come, I’ll take you.” He offered a hand down to Pam, who took it with a small smile. Godric and I walked behind them; both of us noting how comfortable Pam seemed to be with the Egyptian vampire. I was a little baffled by her sudden attraction towards him and her acceptance of such affectionate physical contact, but then Pam had always been a complex and fickle woman.
“What is The Colosseum?” Pam enquired as we all entered the elevator, Ari hitting the button to go down to the ground floor.
“The Colosseum is a modern replica of Rome’s architectural wonder. In the year 2000 we made plans to renovate the defunct Circus Maximus Showroom, which we opened in 1962. During this time, we were approached with a new business venture with Celine Dion. Once the venture was passed, we cancelled the renovation and a new entertainment venue to replace the old showroom. We closed the showroom in September 2000. The Colosseum was built specially to house Celine Dion’s “A New Day…” concert. We made sure the construction coincided with other renovations to the hotel, such as the addition of retail space, meeting areas, restaurants, spas and the 20-story all-suites tower. We started the project in December 2002 and completed it on February 4, 2003, and then we opened it up on March 25, 2003. The success of Celine’s show drew more entertainers to perform here for us, which of course helped us to pay off the $90 million it cost to construct. We’ve had Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, Romina Arena, Faith Hill, Ricky Martin and Luis Miguel perform here. We also host comedy shows from time to time in there, with people such as Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler and Ellen DeGeneres. We made sure that it was fitted with world-class acoustics and given a classic style. Ata oversaw the design herself, given that she visited Rome on occasion to see her father. We’re turning it into the venue for the VRA passing party though in two nights, so we’ve had teams in all day removing the seating, rigging up live feeds to the TV screen so we can all watch the news when the votes have been counted, and we’ve had people blocking off the upper levels, in order to keep everyone contained. I think Ata even called in some technical guys to sort out lighting and such. I tend to leave that kind of thing to her.” Ari laughed as the elevator came to a stop on the ground floor.
I’d completely forgotten about the VRA passing, of course Sookie and Ata had spoken about it during the day when they had recorded their conversations and actions for us, but so much has happened since then that it slipped my mind. If the VRA passed I’ll be able to transfer my businesses into my own name; I might even transfer my homes into Sookie’s name. I had them assigned to random humans, who I’d glamoured into giving Pam and I invitations but to not give them out to any other vampire. At least if they were in Sookie’s name I would rest in peace knowing she couldn’t be glamoured, and that she would never dare breathe a word of their locations. It’d be legal for me to marry Sookie too, but I had a feeling that she would want to wait for that. She hadn’t been too happy with the fact I hadn’t told her immediately that the third bond would be the equivalent of marriage in the vampire world. I’d marry her by both of our customs though. Heck I’d even go as far as to marry her by fae custom, considering I could probably get away with that now given my real heritage. The thought that my father, the man I had thought of as my father, wasn’t my real father was like a knife to my silent heart. He had believed me to be his son, raised me as his own, loved me unconditionally and had handed me his crown upon his death. It may not have been his blood that had been in my veins, nor his DNA in my genetic makeup, but I would still honour him by delivering the true death to Russell. I wondered if my mother had told him the truth that I wasn’t his, or if she had allowed him to believe I was.
Moving through the Forum shopping centre inside Caesar’s Palace, I took note of the stores – Tiffany and Co, Dior, Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. I could feel Pam’s longing through our bond and it were possible for a vampire to hyperventilate I had a feeling she would have been doing exactly that. Ata and her children, my brothers, had built themselves an incredible empire. Moving through a marble arch we reached a pair of heavy wooden doors, roped off. Ari unclipped one side of the rope, pushing the doors open before he held them for us all. Nipping through, Ari replaced the rope barrier and shut the doors behind him.
“No no, lower it a little.” Ata’s voice drifted through the huge space. I was silent as I examined the space. It was of course circular like the real Colosseum, and the stage sat on one side. A huge empty space lay before it and I could picture the hundreds of thousands of seats that would have usually filled the space. The upper levels, which all appeared to be blocked off, still contained the luxurious red seats.
We had come in through the side entrance, the fire escape if you will, and looking out across the sea of space and red seats I could clearly see two huge arches that would allow guests entrance. The room was decorated in wood, giving it an earthy feel, and on the wall space on either side of the stage were painting of Roman gods. I recognised them immediately from one of the many textbooks I had studied over the years. Jupiter sat on the left, the master of the gods and the main Roman god. It was said that he held thunderbolts in his hands, which he could hurl from the sky. He had always reminded me of Thor, having the ability to control thunder and lightening. On the right sat Neptune, holding his trident. Of course he was the powerful god of the sea. It was then I realised what exactly I was looking at – a god of the sky and a god of the sea. Ata was from the sky, and Godric from the sea. Sookie was from the sky, and I was from the sea. Lost in my mind trying to work out if it was merely a coincidence or something more, I didn’t hear Sookie approach me until she was stood right before me, her arms wrapped around my middle.
Snapping out of my contemplation I wrapped my arms around her, dropping a kiss to the top of her head. “Good evening lover how was your day?” I pulled back to look down at her, offering her a warm and tender smile.
“It was great. Jason and Hunter arrived safely.” She filled me in, gesturing over her shoulder to her brother and a small brunette boy, the one from the photo, who was helping Jason and Ata to direct the huge chandelier up to the center of the room. “A lightbulb went.” Sookie grimaced towards Ari, who mimicked her expression.
“I could smell another male in the penthouse, and some magic. What have you been up to today?” I enquired, my curiosity burning away at me. Of course Sookie could feel it through the bond, and thankfully she put me out of my misery.
“Ata’s tailor came today so we could try on our outfits for the VRA party, the theme is Carnival vs Showtime, and you have to dress up too.” She prodded my chest, but of course I didn’t even flinch. The thought of dressing up didn’t bother me. I dressed up for Fangtasia’s Halloween party every year, and there wasn’t much I could look ridiculous in, if I could say so myself. “You should see the costume we have for you Pam, it’s perfect for you.” My bonded grinned at my Childe, whose whole face lit up. As if one woman wasn’t difficult enough, now I would have to deal with two of them in cahoots with one another!
“Ata and I are going as showgirls, we even have a costume for Isabel too, but we have nothing for you guys yet, so you’re gonna have to go shopping for something.” Sookie explained with a shrug.
“What about the scent of magic?” I questioned, wondering if they had been attacked again today. They all looked to be in okay shape, but then again Sookie and Ata had the ability to heal people with their green light.
“Oh Ata gave me some more training and I teleported for the first time. I technically shouldn’t be able to do that because I don’t have enough fae blood but my spark is strong enough.” My bonded grinned at me, clearly pleased. I couldn’t contain my pride and pulled her in for another hug. “I can teleport anywhere in the world, so long as I can visualise the place. So, you’re gonna be taking me on lots of holiday’s, Viking.” She teased me as she pulled back from our hug.
“Oh lover, I’ll take you all around the world if you so wish it.” I promised her, pressing my lips to hers to finally claim my good morning, or good evening depending on how you looked at it, kiss.
“If he offers to take you to his farm in Öland then don’t go, that place is a windy shithole.” Pam quipped, causing my beloved to laugh.
“You’ll have to show me your teleporting skills later love, I want to know how it works.” I brushed a few stray strands of her blonde locks from her face, remembering how they shined in the sunshine. Perhaps soon, when we were bonded thrice, I would get to see her in the sunshine once more. Rapidly I remembered Sookie’s ability to read vampire minds now so I quickly buried those thoughts in the very back of my mind.
Ata, Jason and Hunter finished putting the chandelier in place and the trio made their way to our little group, Hunter’s hands firmly locked into Jason’s and Ata’s as he walked in the middle of them. Letting go of Hunter’s hand, Ata made her way to my Maker, and the pair of them exchanged a chaste kiss, obviously keeping it PG for the teacup human in our presence. Sookie took Hunter’s spare hand, holding him tightly. “Hunter this is my,” Sookie seemed to pause for a moment to find the right word that the little human would understand, “boyfriend, Eric.” She introduced me. I could feel Pam’s amusement at such a human label and I sent her a small wave of disapproval. If it were a way for Hunter to understand then I would accept the label.
“This is his,” she paused to look for a right word, mouthing an apology at us all for the human labels, “father, Godric.” She introduced my Maker, who ruffled the boys’ hair affectionately.
“You love Auntie Ata.” Hunter spoke up to him, offering him a knowing smile.
“You’re correct, Hunter.” Godric offered the boy a smile in response.
Hunter turned to look up at Sookie. “If you love Eric, and Godric loves Auntie Ata, does that make them my Uncles?” He asked innocently. Pam’s amusement flooded the bond and I didn’t have the heart to scold her for it. Ata had to stifle her coo behind her hand.
A smile tugged at Sookie’s lips, as she looked down to the teacup human beside her. The labels humans put on relationships never transferred well into the undead life, but it was sweet to see the young human try and figure out all of our relationships to one another. “I don’t know Hunter, you’ll have to ask them.” She told him softly. Shyness suddenly overcame the little boy and he hid behind Sookie’s legs. Spotting an opportunity, not only to annoy Pam but also to make the young boy feel comfortable in vampire presence, especially mine, I crouched down before him.
“If you would like me to be your uncle, Hunter, then I would love to.” I informed him, offering a fang-less smile. Gaining back his confidence, the teacup human abandoned his place behind Sookie’s legs, instead throwing his arms around me in a hug. Startled by his sudden embrace it took me a moment to respond, but I soon found myself wrapping the little boy up in my arms. Hunter pulled back a moment later, looking up at Godric who crouched in front of him, not having to cover as much distance as me to be the same height as the young boy.
“I would love to be considered as your uncle too, little one.” He told Hunter softly, who responded in exactly the same way he had with me, throwing his arms around Godric in an embrace.
“His mother, Hadley, is dead, and his father doesn’t want him. Jason and I are all he really has left, which is why I think he’s asking you all if you’ll be his family too.” I heard Sookie mentally informed all vampires present. Watching Hunter as he extracted himself from my Maker, I could see that behind his happy and bubbly exterior he was sad, afraid and lonely. If it was family he wanted then I would make sure he would have it, lots of it. The corner of my lips quirked upwards as I realised I could give him another family member.
“I have a daughter, Hunter. This is Pam.” I gestured to my Childe, whose earlier smile faded as she realised what I was about to say. “So it looks like you have a cousin!” I grinned at the young boy, allowing my mischief and amusement to flow through my bond with Pam. I could feel her mortification at such a title and it only spurred on my enjoyment of the situation. Hunter turned to look at Pam with a shit-eating grin, and I could see the look of horror on my Childe’s face.
Rising back up to my full height at the same time as Godric, Hunter moved over to Pam. “What do you want, short stuff?” she quirked an eyebrow at him.
“I’m not short.” He sassed her, and I found myself laughing quietly at the fact this little human, who only came to mid-thigh, was sassing my feisty, fierce progeny.
“You are compared to me.” Pam retorted, letting go of Ari’s hand to fold her arms over her chest.
“One day I’ll grow up to be big and strong, and then I’ll be taller than you. Besides, you’re cheating.” He pointed to her ridiculously high-heeled shoes, causing my Childe to look down at her feet. I could feel her inner turmoil at the fact she didn’t have a response for that. Hunter, sensing he had won, stuck his tongue out childishly at my progeny, who surprised us all by responding in exactly the same manner.
“You’re not bad for a teacup human, squirt.” Pam complimented Hunter after she’d pulled her tongue back into her mouth. Hunter grabbed her legs, hugging them to him, causing my Childe to slip into shock. She soon brushed it off, awkwardly patting Hunter on the top of his head as if he were an obedient dog. The mental image made me bite down on my lip to stop myself from laughing.
“And of course you and Uncle Jason met my eldest boy, Ari, last night.” Ata introduced Hunter to him, and Hunter gave the Egyptian a wave, which was returned.
“Do you have everything planned for the party?” Ari shifted the conversation, his eyes trained on Ata who was still at my Maker’s side.
“All the main work is done, as you can see.” She gestured to the large space where the chairs had once been. “And on the morning of the party I’ve got people coming in to decorate the place, and I have E(E)E coming in to provide the catering. You wouldn’t believe how much the stupid tiger wanted for the service! Apparently his business was in high demand, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Celina beat me at a party.” Ata scowled, and I could immediately feel the hostility coming from her.
Unsure if it would work or not, I sent my mental question to Ari. “Celina is?” I quizzed, trying to include Pam and Godric in on the mental conversation. Clearly it worked as I felt their surprise and then curiosity.
“Sheriff of Area 24, Arizona. Her area borders Ata’s and the pair of them have been locking horns ever since Ata was given the position.” Ari mentally filled us all in, maintaining conversation with Ata easily.
“We need to send Bubba and Oscar into Felipe’s mansion this evening, shall we go up and prepare?” Ari suggested to his Maker, who nodded her head. Hunter took hold of Sookie and Jason, swinging between them as we walked as a group out of the Colosseum. I took Sookie’s spare hand, locking our fingers together.
“What did you do today, Hunter?” I asked the small boy as we all made our way back to the elevators.
“Miss Flo cooked us breakfast and then Auntie Ata gave me a friend in my mind so I can’t hear all of you, so now you’re all really quiet, see?” Hunter let go of Jason’s hand, moving so that he was holding onto my hand, and Sookie’s. Holding the little boys hand tightly, I felt a sense of longing fill my bond with Sookie. I could give her anything but a little one. Looking over Hunter’s head, I watched her as she glanced from the small child between us to his hand in mine, then up to look at me. I felt my own sense of longing wash over me and pushed my love for her through the bond, wanting her to know that I was okay with this, that I was sorry I could never give her this. Hunter started to swing our joined hands as he continued on with his tale of his day. “Then we ate a huge piece of chocolate cake and Auntie Sookie had some training. She knocked over a huge tower of wood and metal boxes today before she popped out of the room, like this.” He chattered on in an excited tone, letting go of Sookie’s hand to put his finger in his mouth, clicking it against the inside of his cheek to make a popping sound. Unable to stop my laugh, I showed my appreciation for the demonstration.
Grinning up at me, Hunter wiped his hand on his slightly tatty jeans before he took Sookie’s hand once again. It was only now that I realised what he was wearing. His jeans were a little on the short side and incredibly well worn, and the t-shirt he was wearing was a little tight – but not in a fashionable sense. He was in need of some new clothes. Perhaps I’d send Pam to get some for him later, I’d have to tell her that he wasn’t to be her new dress-up doll though.
“It sounds like you’ve had a very busy day, little man.” My Maker commented as we all entered the lift, Hunter’s small hand still lost in mine. I could feel Pam’s amusement at the situation, so I glanced over my shoulder at her, offering a shit-eating grin. Hunter’s head bobbed in a nod as he agreed with my Maker.
The lift arrived at the penthouse and we all entered the room, the other vampires in our nest were settled in various seats around the room, and the tech guys from the night Ata had entered Felipe’s mansion were there too. “Thanks for coming in on such short notice guys. I need you to rig up my Childe, Oscar and one of my closest friends, Bubba. They’re both going to be entering the home of a man whose very secretive and will probably conduct checks on them and their luggage when they arrive. What can you do for me?” Ata questioned the men, moving to take a seat on the sofa, which Riei and Oeri had vacated. Riei and Oeri moved to stand behind the sofa protectively. My Maker took the seat beside her and Pam took the vacant spot on her other side as Ari stood beside her. Isabel, Bubba and Oscar were sat on the other sofa, meaning there was no room for Hunter, Sookie, Jason or I. Sensing this; Khai disappeared for a moment before he appeared with the barstools from the kitchen, and a few chairs from the guest bedrooms. Sookie and I took chairs next to one another, and Hunter looked to be at a loss of where to sit.
Deciding to take the choice from him, in order to get him settled quickly so our plan to send Oscar and Bubba into Felipe’s mansion could begin, I scooped the tiny human up, sitting him on my lap. Wiggling a little he soon found a comfortable spot and lent back against my chest, keeping a firm hold on my hands, as if I would let him fall. Sookie’s adoration came flooding through our bond, tinge with her love and longing. Ruffling the boys’ bangs I sent my bonded back a wave of pure love, offering her a smile over the top of Hunter’s head.
I was aware of Jason’s eyes on me and my interactions with both Sookie and Hunter. If it weren’t for the time we had spent together during the year of Sookie’s absence I would have growled at him for his critical observations. But, I had learnt during our time together that Jason Stackhouse wasn’t a bad guy, he was just seriously misunderstood. He wasn’t the brightest of the bunch academically, but then again I wasn’t either, however he was good at thinking on his feet, quick to respond to situations and he loved and cared for Sookie dearly, and I could tell that love was extended to the little boy on my lap too. He could look over ever aspect of my relationship with Sookie and he would only find that my love for her was real. There were no lies; no manipulation like there had been Bill. In some sense I could understand his need to examine our relationship and ascertain if I was good enough for his sister, I had done the same to Ata when I had first met her and she had embraced my Maker. It seemed a trait, for those in the Stackhouse line with fae blood, to be loyal to those closest to them and exceptionally protective.
I could also see Jason’s eyes drifting to Bubba every now and then, but he never once gave any outward appearance that he recognised him. “I read him the riot act earlier.” I felt Sookie intrude on my mind, and I playfully gave her mind, which I could feel in my own, a little swat. She raised a hand to her mouth, clearly trying to stifle her laughter as I sent her my mirth through the bond. It seemed Sookie and I rarely got time to ourselves to do whatever we wanted to do. Some lunatic was always chasing us or we were always thrown into the middle of some disaster.
“We can sort out contact lenses like the ones you wore, and we’ve actually got a model we’re currently testing that has lip reading software in them. So long as you’re looking at a person, and have an angle where you can clearly see their lips, the contact lenses can send the image back to a computer in any location and the computer can read the other persons lips, converting them to words for others to view. They even have the function to allow the viewer of the computer to type messages to the person wearing the contact lenses, thus enabling two-way conversation. You can also record whatever the person wearing the lenses is seeing and hearing.” One of the tech guys informed us, his companion dipping into one of the metal cases they had brought with them to reveal a small white contact lenses case.
Ata took the lenses case from them, looking it over for a moment before she passed it on to Oscar. “Have you ever worn contact lenses?” She asked the baby vamp, who shook his head. Oscar handed the box to Bubba, who looked it over for a moment before he opened it.
“You’ll probably get more use out of them than me. I can’t see Felipe filling me in on anything extremely important, or allowing me to be in the room when he’s discussing anything serious.” The young vampire shrugged, obviously aware of how low down in the food chain he was.
Taking the lenses out of the case, Bubba started to insert them. “Do you have anything I could use, perhaps?” Oscar asked them man rummaging through the metal trunk. Finding what he was after, he produced a bottle opener, handing it to the young vampire. The metal was thick, but it didn’t look very heavy. The design on the front was of the galaxy, complete with a planet in the centre and the stars.
“Because you’re a good mainstreamer.” He offered Oscar a wink before he chuckled. “Embedded inside the metal of that is a bug finder, use it to sweep rooms when you enter them before you have private conversations. The planet in the centre will flash bright red when there are bugs in the room and then, as you get closer to the bugs, will remain bright red. You can also use it to check your phone for any listening devices or such should you leave it in your room unattended. I assume you have an untraceable phone?” He questioned the young vampire, who apologetically shook his head.
“Well it’s a good job we have that covered too, already programmed with the numbers for Miss Caesar and Mr. Seti-Nekht’s untraceable phones.” The elder of the two men chipped in, removing two phones from the case, handing one to Oscar and the other to Bubba.
“You two are gonna be spies?” Hunter spoke up from my lap, eyes wide at the idea.
“You’re right we are, we’re gonna be like James Bond.” Bubba beamed happily at Hunter. The reference to the English spy was lost on the young boy on my lap, however he smiled and bobbed his head happily anyway, playing along like he understood Bubba’s words. I had a feeling the action was second nature to the young human, pretending to go along with the things people were saying even when their minds were screaming out something entirely different.
“The first sign of trouble and I want the pair of you out of there, okay?” Ata informed the two with a stern glance, both vampires nodding their consent as Oscar tucked the bottle opener into his pocket. The next twenty minutes were spent familiarising Sookie and Ata with the communication link they would have with Bubba. Even Ari and Khai were told to pay attention in case they needed to take over from either of the two women. Hunter remained on my lap the whole time, only shuffling every now and then when he would need to get the circulation to his legs going once more. It was something that, as a vampire, I never had to worry about.
Once the computer system was rigged up, and Oscar’s bottle opener bug finder had been tested, both vampires picked up their suitcases, wishing us farewell before they headed out of the penthouse. They’d promised to get into contact with us when they were securely in Felipe’s home and when they had cleared the room of bugs. We were going to be recording the feed from the lenses all night so that Sookie and Ata could look over it in the day together and pick out the important information, but if anything drastic and immediate was about to happen, then Bubba and Oscar had been told to ring us straight away, to give us some time to prepare.
“Ata, I believe we still have a few things to go over in preparation for the party in two nights. I’d like for us to go over it all this evening if possible?” Khai addressed Ata once Bubba, Oscar and the tech guys had left.
“I think my cousin needs an evening with her bonded.” Ata agreed, rising up onto her feet. Offering her hand down to my Maker, he took hold of it, rising up onto his feet to stand beside her.
“Hunter, how would you and your Uncle Jason like to hear a story from the Middle-Ages?” Ari offered. “I think your Auntie Sookie and Uncle Eric need some grown-up time.” He shot a wink in my direction and I was thankful that he was going to take care of the little man on my lap for a while so that I could spend time with my Sookie.
“I’d like that very much, Ari. Will Pammy be staying too?” Hunter’s eyes swivelled to my Childe, and her horror at such a nickname caused me to snicker.
“Oh I’m sure Pammy would love to stay and hear the story too.” The corner of Ari’s lips quirked upwards as my Childe pinched his thigh with her lethal manicured nails. To Ari’s credit he didn’t even flinch.
“If we don’t see you before sunrise, then enjoy your day rest, and Sookie, Jason and Hunter, I’ll see you in the morning. Don’t stay up too late!” Ata moved towards the elevator, her hand laced with my Maker’s. Khai, Riei and Oeri moved with them, entering the lift with them before the group disappeared behind the doors as they slid shut. Egor and Agmund were stood guard outside the elevator as per usual, both watching Hunter with a burning curiosity. I had a feeling that since Ata had never had any biological children of her own and a casino was no place for kids, that they rarely got to see teacup humans up close and personal.
Standing up, Sookie followed and I scooped the brunette boy in my lap up into my arms, carrying him over to Pam. Without giving her any warning I placed him down on her lap, and he looked up at her with a smile. Looking up at me from under her ridiculously long lashes, I could tell through our bond she was not amused, and my bank balance would likely have a pretty dent in it by the end of the night. I didn’t care though. Seeing how much Hunter had taken to Pam was well worth any amount of money. She dropped her gaze a moment later, offering the boy a fangless smile. He shuffled on her lap a little before he lent against her chest, getting himself comfy for the story Ari was about to tell.
“It was 430AD, and we were in England at the time, in the city of London.” Ari started his tale as Sookie and I crept off towards our bedroom.
The moment the door was closed I stole a kiss from her, leaving her a flustered mess at the door as I vamped to the wardrobe, rummaging through the clothes I had brought with me. “We’re going to go swimming my love, so wear something suitable.” I instructed, changing into my own swimwear. I could feel Sookie stood a little way behind me, and the lust barreling through the bond as I pulled up my swim trunks caused a smirk to cross my features. “Like what we see, my little faery?” I teased, grabbing a white shirt, which I slipped on, turning to face her as I started to button it up. I was about to grab a button when Sookie was suddenly before me, taking the button out of my hand, buttoning my shirt herself. I was baffled for a moment; she had been on the other side of the room a moment ago!
I recalled her ability to teleport and I tutted. “My cheeky little faery, using your abilities against me.” I scolded her playfully as her fingers brushed over my exposed skin, nimbly buttoning up my shirt. I couldn’t contain my shudder at the feel of her warm hands against my cool skin.
“I wasn’t using them against you, my mighty Viking, I was using them to help you, and you’re body is certainly not complaining.” She responded. I could hear the smile she wore through her words as her eyes dropped down my body for a moment, before travelling back up to meet my own.
Leaning down I brushed my lips to her ear. “My body never complains when it’s near you, unless you’re withholding my sanctuary from me.” I worked a hand down her clothed frame, dipping between her thighs for a moment, causing her to gasp. Chuckling at the blush that crept over her features, she batted my hands away, huffing as she moved to her side of the wardrobe where she removed her bikini from the rail. Not bothering to hide her body she stripped down before me, testing my control as my fangs were itching to make an appearance at the sight of her utterly exposed. Slipping her panties off she threw them aside. Stretching out an arm I was able to catch them, and I brought the lacy material to my nose, inhaling the scent that was distinctly Sookie. With her bikini on, Sookie turned to find me with my nose buried her underwear.
“Eric! That’s gross!” She scolded, trying to snatch the fabric from my hands, but my height meant I could hold them above me and she would have no chance of getting them.
“No it’s not, lover. I’m the only one who will ever get to relish your intimate scent.” I licked my lips as she attempted to jump up and grab the fabric from my hands, her breasts bouncing in the halter neck of her swimwear. I felt mischief through the bond before I found myself flat on my behind a moment later, the lacy material snatched from my hand and now back in the dainty hands of the woman it belonged to. A smug smile crossed her lips and I felt her pride and amusement through the bond. She’d just used her faery powers on me to get her own way, and I found myself turned on by her simple use of the immense power she could wield.
Using my speed to my advantage, I had her pinned to the wall a moment later, my huge frame holding her place. She gasped at the sudden movement, her heartbeat picking up at our sudden proximity. Rolling my hips forward I pressed my crotch to hers, scenting the air to discover if she was as excited as I was. She was. “Now now my lover, it’s not fair to use your powers against your bonded.” I dipped my head to her neck, ghosting my lips over her pulse point. With her heartbeat erratic and her breathing laboured, I couldn’t stop my smirk. “Especially when it’s been longer than twelve hours since I last fucked you.” I purred against her skin, licking along her jaw line, her body shaking with want. “I could have you right here, right now, if I wanted. But what fun would that be?” I breathed into her ear, nuzzling the soft spot behind her ear lobe. “I’ve already had you up against a wall, but I’ve never had you in a swimming pool. Perhaps we’ll correct that this evening, find a dark corner where I can ravish you until you’re screaming my name for all the guests to hear.” I continued on in a husky tone, keeping an eye on her heartbeat and breathing. My words were having the desired effect. My bonded was breathless, flustered, excited and, from the scent in the air, definitely interested in the idea of pool sex with the potential of an audience. Ah my little exhibitionist.
Dipping my head down, I caught Sookie’s lips with my own, pushing my tongue into her mouth demanding entrance, which she willingly gave. Tasting every little crevice, her small hands knotted themselves into my hair. I could get lost in her kiss for all of eternity and I wouldn’t mind. I had never been a fan of kissing. I was good at it yes, I’d had 1000 years to practice, but to me it was unnecessary unless you held feelings for the person you were sharing the kiss with. Sookie’s legs found my waist and she wrapped them around me, clinging on to me as I held her up against the wall. Hands roaming everywhere, I felt the soft curvature of her hips under them, her hourglass figure slipping effortlessly beneath my fingers. I continued up, tracing the swell of her breasts before I cupped her face, running my fingers over her jawbone as I tipped her head sideways, allowing me deeper access. I could feel my beloved, through the bond, starting to become lightheaded so I pulled back, trailing kisses across her cheeks before rubbing my nose against her own in something Pam mentioned was called an ‘Eskimo’ kiss.
“Come my beloved, or we won’t make it to the pool at all this evening.” I teased her, slowly uncurling her legs from around me, placing her down on the floor Pulling a light cotton dress on over her bikini, we left the room together, creeping through the living area where Ari was still telling Pam, Jason and Hunter a story from the Middle Ages. Our trip in the lift was silent, but our bond was positively humming with joy at the fact we were alone together. Tightening my hold on her hand we entered the lobby together. Most of the repair work was almost finished by now, and I could see it being completed in time for the VRA party. I had no idea where I was going, so I allowed my bonded to walk before me, leading the way. Walking behind her enabled me to admire her pert rear as she trotted along.
“Stop staring at my butt.” I heard her grumble under her breath as we exited the building, arriving at the start of the pool area.
“Beautiful butt.” I teased, remembering our conversation from my faery blood high. Moving to stand beside her, I threw my arm around her shoulder in a very human gesture. There were a few people milling around, other couples enjoying late night swims and the odd round of heavy petting, but other than that it was beautifully quiet.
“This is the Garden of the Gods, there are eight pools in total.” Sookie informed me as she started to lead me towards the northwest corner of the collection of pools. The pool we stopped before was empty, and Sookie wasted no time in removing her cotton dress, throwing it over the back of one of the chaise lounge chairs that were dotted around the edge of the pool. “This is the Jupiter pool.” She told me quietly as I removed my shirt, throwing it onto the chaise lounge where it landed beside Sookie’s dress. The pool was an odd shape, consisting of many half moon curves with sharp corner edges at the end before the next half moon curve would begin. It was a combination of smooth and sharp edges, and I found myself amused by how much it represented the fae women who were part of the nest I had found myself a part of. There were four sets of curved steps leading down into the water, and Sookie wasted no time in entering. Spotlights were placed within the walls of the pool, illuminating the water. Outdoor lanterns and faery lights were strung up around the pool to illuminate the seating area, and I assumed the faery lights were an in-joke with Ata and her boys.
Watching as my bonded entered the water, I was captivated by the way the moonlight shimmered off of her sun kissed skin, the way she held herself with such grace, and the way her movements were soft and unhurried. I wanted to cherish her this evening, worship her. Following her into the water as she beckoned me with a crooked finger, I wasted no time in reaching her, wrapping an arm around her waist to pull her close to me. “I am Ægir, God of the Sea, and you are Rán, my sea goddess.” I whispered in her ear, remembering my day in the sunshine thanks to Claudine. I regretted killing her, as she had been Sookie’s only link to her fae heritage before she had met Ata, but I would never regret getting to spend a few precious hours in the sunshine, to play in the lake in the day, to feel the heat of the sun on my skin and not find it uncomfortable, to see Sookie in the daylight. Even though I was lost in my amnesia, I’d realised at that moment that Sookie was a creature of the day, not the night, and my little glimpse of her in the sunlight had stirred a longing inside of me, one I had subdued for over 1000 years, to finally be a day walker. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. I didn’t want the restrictions of the night. I wanted to stretch out beside her in her back garden, watch her tan, watch her go about her usual housework, and hear her humming, see her dancing in the sunlight as she cleans.
I was aware of her little habits. I’d had my day man, Bobby, send a few Were’s to watch over in the past, but they’d been told to keep a reasonable distance from her so that she wouldn’t hear their thoughts. They’d reported all their findings back to me.
Sookie looked up at me from under her naturally long lashes, a faint blush on her features as she too recalled that day. Deciding to bite the proverbial bullet, I scooped her up in my arms, causing her to shriek in delight. Laughing softly, I sat myself down on the steps, still submerged in the cool water. With Sookie straddling my legs, I was able to place my hands on her hips to hold her steady, using it as an opportunity to feel her unmarred, smooth skin in my hands. “Sookie, what I have to tell you is important, so please hear me out before you jump to any conclusions.” I started gently, raising a hand to tuck a few loose strands of her honey coloured hair behind her ear. Nodding her head she settled onto my lap, her hands moving to my shoulders, her fingers playing with the short hair at the nape of my neck. “According to Oeri, our third bond could enable me to day walk.” I took the blunt approach, not wanting to mix my words. I could feel her shock through the bond, which I was monitoring closely, and she opened her mouth to speak. I silenced her with a finger to her lips, reminding her that she agreed to let me speak first.
“However a third bond is unbreakable, we’d be bonded for all eternity, we would never be able to leave one another. If one of us dies, so does the other. Separation will be both physically and emotionally painful for us and we won’t be able to hide anything from one another, ever. I love you Sookie, and while day walking is the ultimate dream for a vampire and would give us the advantage over Russell, I don’t want us to bond thrice just yet.” Our bond was filled with a sudden sharp hurt, and I could see the tears welling up in my beloved’s eyes. “No no, shhh min kärlek, don’t cry.” I soothed her; gently kissing away the few tears that had fallen from her eyes. “I love you, never doubt that. I will tell you and show you that every day for the rest of eternity if you want me too, and I will always mean it. I don’t want our bond to be created out of a need for safety, or because you feel like you must give me the sunshine, which I know is how you feel right now.” I pointed out, causing a tinge of embarrassment to enter our bond as she nibbled on her lower lip, dropping her head.
Placing a finger under her chin I tipped her head back up, pressing a firm kiss to her lips. “Godric told me this evening that the third bond is sacred. I have never heard of anyone who has thrice bonded before. The third bond will set the tone for the rest of our life together; it’ll bind us together as one. If we create the bonds for safety, Godric seems to believe it will only put you in more danger, and I will not have you in any more danger because of me.” I stroked a thumb across her cheekbone.
“I want to give you the sunshine, Eric. You’ve saved me countless times from situations I was stupid enough to get myself into, and then you bought my house and restored it for me when I was in Faery. Let me repay you with this.” She was almost begging, but as appealing as the sunshine was I wouldn’t give in.
“No min älskling, you have already repaid me. You took care of me when I had no idea who I was, when I was vulnerable, and then you gave me this.” I tapped her chest, right above her heart. I was well aware of how corny I was sounding, but Sookie needed to know how much I loved her and that I trusted her, that I wanted and needed for her to trust me too if we were to both get out of this alive. We would have to start working together, rather than against one another.
“But you will want to complete our bond, in the future?” I could feel her nervousness and her apprehension. Compton had done a fucking number on her. If I knew where the bastard was I would go and stake him, king or no king.
“The moment Russell is dead I will have you flat on your back on the nearest soft surface and I will claim you until sunrise is just around the corner.” I kissed my way to her ear, purposefully breathing so that my cool breath would caress her warm skin, causing her to shiver, shake and shudder. The power I could hold over her, and the power she held over me most of the time, was incredible. “Then we’ll complete our bond, and together we’ll sit and watch the sunrise. My first true sunrise in over 1000 years, and I won’t have to worry about burning up. It’ll all be because of you, my little faery.” Tears were threatening to roll down her cheeks once more, but I could feel from our bond that these were not tears of sadness, but ones of happiness. Kissing them away I finally claimed her lips once more, wrapping my arms around her waist to lift her up.
Wading through the water, our lips still attached in a passionate kiss, I held her against the far wall of the pool, as far away from the other guests as possible. Using my frame to shield her from their sight, I slipped her bikini briefs down, lifting each of her legs in turn to remove them completely before I threw them onto the chaise lounge. While ripping them would have been fun, my bonded wouldn’t have had anything to wear back up to our room, and I mostly certainly wouldn’t be letting her go commando through the lobby.
Tugging at the knot at the nape of her neck, her bikini top slipped free, and that too joined the pile of clothes on the side. Pulling back from her soft lips to allow her to breathe, I focused my attentions on her clavicle, nibbling and kissing the area, laving my tongue over her warm, moist skin. She tasted like the sun, like the wheat and honey from my human years. Her hands roamed down to my swim trunks, which she quickly removed with a little help. Using my knees to part her legs, I captured her lips once again, easing myself into her in one slow, long thrust until I was completely sheathed inside of her heat.
Swallowing her moan at the sensation of our joining, I gave her a moment to adjust, my tongue coaxing hers into exploration. Feeling bold, my Sookie snaked her tongue into my mouth, rolling her hips against mine. Taking my cue I started with slow, rhythmic thrusts, angled to reach the little sensitive spot inside of her. Hands clawing at my back as she tried to climb up me, I kept her pressed to the swimming pool wall, my hips unrelenting as I plunged into her repeatedly. She moaned my name, her hands slipping under the surface of the water to grasp my butt, which she used for leverage as she kept up with my unrelenting pace.
Peeling my lips away to allow her to breathe, I kissed my way down her neck, nipping at her collarbones before I bent my head lower, capturing one puckered nipple in my mouth. Throwing her head back, my Sookie brought one of her hands to the nape of my neck, pressing my head against her chest. “Yes! Oh god, Eric. Yes!” She gasped as I brought one of my hands to her other breast, rolling and pinching her hardened nipple between my fingers. I could feel her internal walls fluttering around me, preparing to clamp down and milk me of my seed.
Using my free hand I rubbed at the apex of her legs furiously, already feeling myself about to tip over the golden edge. I wouldn’t have my moment until Sookie had hers though. Speeding up my thrusts, the water around us crashed against our skin, the cold liquid trying to quench the fires burning inside of us.
My name tumbled from her lips like a mantra as I dropped fang, easing the sharp points in either side of the dusky nub I was sucking and licking. The moment my fangs penetrated her body she cried out her release, her inner walls clamping down on me, ripping my own orgasm from me. Drawing out two quick mouthfuls of her blood which tasted all the more sweeter for her release, I pulled back from the wound I had created, roaring her name in completion as I deposited my seed deep inside of her, thrusting into her through the aftershocks that rippled through both of our bodies. Panting wildly Sookie clung to me, her face buried in my neck. Holding her close I slowed the rocking of our hips until we finally came to a complete stop. Tipping her head back once her heart rate and breathing were under control, my beautiful little faery looked up at me with nothing short of complete trust and love. It damn near broke my silent heart.
Not saying a word I scooped her up in my arms, hoisting her out of the water with me still buried deep inside of her. Exiting the pool I moved to the chaise lounge our clothes were strewn and with the flick of a wrist they were in a neat pile on the floor.
Sookie’s arms were around my neck and as I lay her down on the soft cushion she pulled me with her, my huge frame shielding hers, stopping the world from seeing her. While I wanted to ravish her outdoors, and she clearly wanted to ravish me outside also, I didn’t want anyone to see any of my bonded’s womanly parts. They were for my eyes only. Looking down at my bonded as she smiled up at me, I questioned everything that had happened in my existence before she had wandered into my bar, all virginal in that fucking red and white dress. Why on earth did she think it would be a good idea to wear white to a vampire bar? I tried to find something within my 1000 years that would warrant such a reward, and yet I could find nothing. I tried to find something, anything that I had done which was selfless and morally correct, and I still came up with a blank. I would do right by my Sookie though, she would never feel unloved or uncared for, and she would never question my devotion for her like she had done with Compton. I would fix his mistakes and ensure her happiness for the rest of eternity.
The thought that we would have eternity together, with Sookie retaining the sunshine and her heartbeat, caused me to smile. I would never tire of tasting the sunshine on her skin, smelling it on her clothes. “I love you.” I reminded her softly, rolling my hips now that I felt she had recovered long enough.
Gasping at my lazy thrust, Sookie’s eyelids fluttered to a shut, hiding her from me. “Look at me, lover.” I brushed the back of my hand against her cheek; her eyelids sliding back to I could gaze into the bright blue orbs that had been hidden behind them.
“I love you.” She repeated, leaning up to capture my lips as she rocked her hips encouragingly. Not wanting to disappoint, my hips matched her slow and lazy rhythm, our lips only ever parting when my bonded needed to breathe, and even then I would attach my lips elsewhere on her body – her jaw, her neck, her collarbones, her bountiful breasts. I lost track of time as we continued to make love on the chaise lounge, the sounds of the few people milling around simply slipped away, and my focus was entirely on my love and her pleasure. My name tumbled quietly from her lips, scattered between the groans, grunts and moans coming from her, which I was easily matching as she showed me how one long, tender lovemaking session could far outweigh the quick and wild fuck I was use to. Finally feeling her inner walls start to contract I stole another kiss from her. Checking my internal body clock for the first time she we had started our second round of lovemaking, I found it had been over an hour, an hour of teetering on the edge, bringing one another to the height of pleasure. It would be safe for her to take my blood now. I wanted every part of me inside of her this evening, and my fangs had already buried themselves in her creamy skin. I hadn’t closed over the wounds yet because the sight of them as my loves breasts bounced with each thrust was doing such wonderfully wicked things to me.
Offering my neck to her, as she had done for me countless times, I was pleased she wasn’t squeamish as she sank her blunt teeth into my flesh, the force of which threw me over the edge, and I howled out her name as I filled her with my essence. The taste of my blood sent Sookie over the edge too, and she pulled away from the wound she had created long enough to shout out in completion, her inner walls clamping down on me as she latched back onto the slowly heeling wound. Taking deep, long draws as I rode us through the aftershocks, my little faery soon pulled away from my neck as the wound closed itself. I could feel my blood in her system as I closed my eyes. I could feel it moving through her veins, travelling through her heart, supporting her organs and keeping her alive. The blood was such an incredible thing.
Eyes fluttering open again, I could see my blood smeared across her lips. Leaning down I licked her face clean, causing her to giggle. The sensation her giggle caused was incredible! Groaning at the sudden contracting and flexing of her internal muscles I rested my head against her chest, sinking into her. Sookie’s arms came up to wrap around me, holding me to her. My fang marks from earlier had healed from her intake of my 1000-year-old blood.
We lay in companionable silence for a moment, and I lost myself in the sound of her heartbeat, the feel of it as it thumped away beneath my ear. If I remained still and thought of nothing else, it was like my own heart was beating once again.
“I’m going to adopt Hunter.” Sookie’s soft voice broke through the silence. “His father doesn’t want him, and he needs to know how to shield his mind. He might even develop powers like mine. I can’t leave him to be all alone in the world.” She explained to me, but there was no need for her to do so. If she wished to adopt the young human then I wouldn’t stand in her way. He was actually a rather adorable breather, and he didn’t seem at all fazed by fangs. I was a believer that the new generation needed to grow up around vampires, so that the prejudice and hate towards my kind would slowly start to dwindle.
Focusing on our bond, I could feel Sookie’s concern for the boy, her love for her family member, but I could also feel her longing. “I’m sorry I cannot give you a child that will grow inside of you. I would love nothing more than to see you swell with new life.” I pressed a kiss to her stomach, feeling her longing and sorrow through the bond. That wasn’t what I wanted, not at all, and her feelings caused my next words. “If the VRA passes in Louisiana, would you allow me to adopt him with you, to raise him with you like he were our own son?” I looked up Sookie’s body, capturing her eyes with my own. If I could not give her a son, then I would raise her adopted one with her. I already had a daughter of sorts, and a baby vamp was the last thing I wanted right now, but a human child I could deal with, I hoped.
“You’d want to adopt him too, be his daddy?” She asked quietly, her small hands rubbing my shoulders, all of her emotions painted onto her face. There was no need for our bond in that moment; I could clearly see her happiness, her excitement, and her hope.
“I want to give you a family, my Sookie. I want us to be a family.” I reassured her, thinking about the fact that all of the vampires in the penthouse were family to me anyway. Ata had bonded to my Maker; her boys contained a tinge of Godric’s blood and were therefore my brothers. Pam was my own progeny, and she seemed quite happy with Ari. Then there was Jason, with his tie to Sookie, and Hunter too. Feeling her hands pulling me up, I travelled up the length of her body, settling over her once again as she pulled me in for a hug. I buried my face into the crook of her neck. Only my little faery would be so bold as to allow a vampire to snuggle against her throat.
“You could both move in with me too?” I offered. If there was no thing that Sookie’s year in Faery had taught me it was that I couldn’t stand not being around her. I bought her home to fix it, and to be around her things. Once we were thrice bonded the separation between our homes in Shreveport and Bon Temp would be horrendous.
“I would love to, Eric, but I can’t abandon my home. It’s been in my family for generations. I don’t want it to sit empty.” She sighed, stroking my bare back. Technically I still owned the house, so I could conduct any and all renovations on it and Sookie wouldn’t have a legal say in the matter. She could shout at me in private all she wanted, but I would still get my own way.
“Why don’t we renovate it then?” I picked my words carefully, referring to us as a single unit, though I would pay for it myself. I was aware that Sookie still had some money left over from our trip to Dallas to save my Maker, but I wanted her to have some play money. “We could add an extension so that Hunter could have a new room, we could expand your kitchen or living room too. I know I have the cubby under the house but we could put lightproof shutters on your bedroom, so I could fall asleep beside you every morning.” I suggested. I would have to put the house back in Sookie’s name for me to be safe there in the day, but that would only require a few signatures and a visit from Mr. Cataliades, the half-demon Supe lawyer.
“Eric, you’ve already done so much to my home though.” Sookie started to protest, but I silenced her with a kiss.
“It’d be our home, and they’d be made for us both.” I pointed out in a whisper, running my nose along her jawbone, causing my beloved faery to laugh.
“I’d like for you to live with Hunter and I. Putting up with you for a week wasn’t so bad, I think I can handle forever. Just don’t use the fire poker to attack any of our guests again!” She batted my chest lightly, and I laughed at the memory of attacking Bill. If only I’d have staked him then and there, I could have blamed my amnesia and then Sookie and I wouldn’t have to put up with him and his bullshit lies any longer.
“Can’t say I promise, but I’ll try, just for you.” I dropped a kiss to one of her exposed breasts, nudging it with my nose, which caused us both to laugh. Sookie froze however mid-laugh, and I could feel the panic building up inside of her. Instantaneously lifting my weight from her, I caged her in, looking down into her face, searching for answers. “Sookie, what’s wrong?” I demanded, throwing out my senses in a hope to find the culprit of Sookie’s sudden actions.
“Four angry Were’s, closing in on us.” She informed me in a whisper. Growling lowly at the interruption to our wonderful evening I dressed quickly, throwing Sookie her bikini, which she quickly put back on. If these were more of Felipe’s Were’s I would more than happily storm his compound and stake the annoying prick for all of his interruptions and threats. I placed Sookie behind me to protect her and it didn’t take long for two of the wolves to emerge from the shadows.
Dropping fang, I sent a warning growl in their direction, using my heightened senses to monitor the area for the other two wolves. They seemed to be hanging back. Good. I hoped they were having second thoughts about attacking us. One of the wolves took a running start towards us, using the power his hind legs could give him to pounce on me, but thankfully my quick reflexes meant I was able to bring my arm across my body and fling the mutt to the other side of the pool. My plan was perfect, until the second Were leapt towards me a moment later, capturing my arm in its powerful jaws. Howling out, which I briefly found ironic, at the pain of the animal’s bite, I tried to shake it free from me.
Feeling Sookie’s fear made me want to get rid of the animal quicker, but it was unrelenting. As I shook the creature I managed to gaze into its eyes, hoping with all my might that I could get a sliver of glamour into it. It was a failed attempt though, there was only madness in the creatures’ eyes. The human it usual took the shape of was lost on V, and clearly it thought I would be its next fix. “Sookie get out of here, now.” I shouted back to her, hoping she would remember to trust me and to trust my judgment. I could take a beating from the Were’s, and I had a feeling I wasn’t their true target, but I was in the way of her. Sookie’s fear was pummelling through the bond, and every inch of my body was screaming at me to protect her. I could feel her backing away but it was too slow for my liking. If I could just get this Were off of me I could vamp us up to the safety of the penthouse.
Raising my free hand to strike a deathblow to the creature clinging to my arm, I was captured by the other Were I had thrown across the other side of the pool moments before. Both were able to take me down, and I found myself in a crumbled heap on the floor. It was then Sookie’s scream, and the fear and anger in the bond, blew up to extraordinary proportions. Sparing a quick glance in her direction, I realised my earlier assumptions had been wrong. The two Were’s hadn’t been lingering as if rethinking their plan, they’d been lingering to enact the plan. Two had taken me down, and now the other two were in their human forms, holding onto a struggling Sookie, trying to drag her away from me, away from the pool.
“ERIC!” She half screamed and half sobbed, battling against the two drugged up Were’s as I tried to free myself from the creatures either side of me. Kicking a leg out from underneath me I managed to throw one of the animals off balance, but it’s jaw was locked around my arm and I could feel my flesh tearing as the wolf’s sharp teeth shredded through it. My blood was flowing freely now, and both creatures were greedily taking their fill. I didn’t want to feel their emotions; I didn’t want to be able to track them. My blood wasn’t theirs, it was my bonded’s. It belonged to Sookie. I belonged to Sookie.
“LET ME GO!” I heard Sookie scream as she was dragged to the other side of the pool, both Were’s holding onto her arms securely. I could only imagine how much that was amplifying their thoughts, thoughts my Sookie didn’t need to hear. Her eyes met mine across the pool and I felt, and saw, something snap inside of her as she took in the sight of the two Were’s pinning me down, trying to get as much blood from me as possible. It felt like I was being stripped of my masculinity, being held down by two dogs, but even one Were jumped up on V was a challenge for me, let alone two. They were both clearly male as well, given their bulk. “I SAID, LET ME GO!” My bonded shouted out one last time before the whole pool area was lit up in a magnificent display of white and gold light.
Squinting as my eyes couldn’t handle the bright light, I opened them a crack in time to see the two Were’s who had been holding onto Sookie fly off either side of her, one thumping into the brick wall of the bar and the other landing face first against the trunk of a thick tree. The Were’s holding onto my arms stopped their desperate drinking of my blood and glanced towards the brightness, which subsided as quickly as it had appeared. My bonded stood there, fists clenched at her sides, and a look of pure fury on her features. I swelled with pride at the sight – faery Sookie was coming out to play.
“Let. Him. Go.” She ordered in a steady tone as she took numerous steps towards us, but all she received was a growl from both wolves, which still had their teeth, buried in my arms. I could feel myself weakening from the blood loss. Were’s were greedy creatures, and I would need to find a few bags of donor blood to replenish myself. Sparing a glance to the two prone figures on the floor either side of the pool I tried to listen for their heartbeats, but could find none. At least the fuckers were dead.
Sensing she wasn’t about to get anywhere with the Were’s if she tried to rationalise with them, she raised one of her hands, aiming it directly at the larger of the two creatures, the one clinging to my right arm. Through the bond I could feel her gathering her magic inside of her, shaping it quickly for its use. The Were suddenly let go of my arm and leapt towards Sookie, but my bonded was quicker, firing off a blast of pure white light, which hit the creature square in the chest. The moment it made contact with the animal it burst into flames, which quickly engulfed it. The howls of pain were a satisfying sound to my eardrums and a pile of ash was all that remained, hitting the floor before a light breeze swept it away.
Spotting my opportunity while the last remaining Were was otherwise occupied, I rallied all of my remaining strength and quickly snapped a wooden leg off of one of the chairs surrounding the pool. Driving it through the creatures’ heart, I made sure it went right through the mutt, the point of the makeshift stake burying itself in the tiles surrounding the pool edge. The action caused the Were’s jaws to tear into my flesh some more, but at least the animal was dead now. A stake was the usual weapon of choice when killing vampires, as it turned them into a pile of goo, but it could also kill a human should it be aimed in just the right location, towards the right internal organs. A werewolf was, essentially, a human most of the time.
Sookie’s worry flooded our bond and she was before me in seconds, down on her knees. As my fangs were already down, she simply raised one of her wrists to my lips, slicing it open before she pressed it to my mouth, encouraging me to drink. Unable to hold her wrist in place, as my arms were torn to hell, I could do nothing but take from her. Her eyes were focused on the rips to my flesh, and I could see the tears forming in her eyes. “Can you run yet? I want to get you into the protection of the penthouse.” She asked me quietly, her free hand moving to gently touch the area of my arms that were trying to heal. I flinched due to the pain and she was immediately apologising. Feeling my strength returning to me a little, I nodded, knowing I would be able to get us up to the penthouse, but maybe no further.
Closing up the wound on Sookie’s wrist once I took my fill, I ensured she still had plenty left in case the use of her powers took some of her energy from her. She grabbed my shirt, which was now splattered with my blood, as was Sookie, and I motioned for her to climb onto my back. I was unable to carry her in my arms, the thought of which saddened me. Sookie clambered on and I rose from the ground, sparing a quick glance to the dead bodies around the pool, listening for their heartbeats once more before I was satisfied that they were dead.
Feeling the urge to inform the others, as Godric and Pam had more than likely felt my anger, pain and fear for Sookie earlier on, I attempted to get a mental message through to either Ata or Ari, knowing both had heard me before and that Ata was out of the penthouse. She had my Maker and some of her children to defend her, but if the Were’s were after Sookie then they were probably after her too. “Ata, Ari, anyone. Sookie and I were attacked by four Were’s high on V down at the Jupiter pool, all are now dead but we haven’t disposed of their bodies. Sookie and I are on our way up to the penthouse now, so that we’ll be inside the protection spell. Ari, if you can hear me, don’t let Hunter come to Sookie and I until we come to get him from you, we’re a little worse for wear.” I thought as loudly as I could, knowing that I was at least doing something right as I felt Sookie push her love and strength through our bond.
It was seconds later, as Sookie and I whizzed through the lobby, that I received two responses. “My boys are sending humans to clear up the mess, I won’t risk any of us out there. Godric and I are in the elevator on the way back up to the penthouse now.” Ata’s Egyptian lilt slid into my mind.
“I hear you brother, Hunter is occupied fully right now, don’t worry about him.” Ari reassured me a moment later. Pam and Godric’s concern bombarded me, pushing me on. I decided on the stairs rather than the elevator, knowing it was in use. Racing up them, Sookie and I entered the penthouse the moment Ata and Godric stepped out of the elevator. Using vampire speed I took Sookie and I across the room and into our bedroom. Ata and Godric followed after us quickly. I sent a wave of caution to Pam, reminding her to stay in the living area so as not to upset Hunter. She got the message, and remained sat beside Ari, telling my future son another story. Placing Sookie down in the bedroom I collapsed onto the bed, sitting with my feet firmly planted on the floor. The wounds on my arms were starting to heal but they were still incredibly painful, and I was still a little short on blood. Sookie was off into the bathroom, returning with a damp cloth as Ata and Godric entered the room, closing the door behind them.
“What happened?” Ata questioned as she took in the scene before her, moving towards me. Her small hands took ahold of either side of my face with motherly tenderness as she looked down to my arms. Godric sat beside me, taking one of my mangled arms in his hands as he started to lick the wound, helping it heal.
“Four Were’s came for us, Sookie heard their brain patterns first. Two attacked me, brought me down, tried to take my blood as they were high on V, and then the other two tried to drag Sookie away. There was this bright flash of light and Sookie killed two, she challenged the ones holding onto me before she killed one, I ended the other.” I informed her, flinching as Sookie wiped the blood from a few tender spots on my free arm. The rough pad of my Maker’s tongue wasn’t helping my torn flesh either; it was like rubbing sandpaper over the wound. I gritted my teeth however and dealt with it. He looked up at me, shooting me an apologetic look, and I pushed my love for him through our bond, letting him know I was fine.
“Your powers are getting stronger if you can kill without even thinking about it. The flash of light meant it was impulsive, your natural reaction to the situation. I’m impressed cousin, and very proud.” Ata mused aloud as she let go of my face, moving to the bathroom where she grabbed another damp cloth, using it to wipe down Sookie as she was wiping me down. I was proud of Sookie too as she had defended me beautifully.
“I killed three people though.” Sookie sighed, wiping away the last splatter of blood from my face as the wound on the arm Godric was holding closed up completely. My Maker and Sookie swapped sides, and they starting the process all over again.
“Three Were’s, there’s a difference. Besides, they would have killed Eric and then you if you hadn’t of killed them first.” Ata pointed out bluntly, finishing up with Sookie. Chucking the cloth back into the bathroom sink, she shrugged her shoulders at my bonded, who seemed lost in thought over her actions. Raising her wrist to my mouth a moment later, she offered me more of her blood.
“I can’t take it, Sookie. I took too much from you already. Thank you, though.” I gently rebuffed her. Her jaw clenched at my refusal and I could feel an argument coming on, however a knock at the door captured her attention, and I felt her tune into their brain signal.
“Jason.” She murmured as Ata opened the door, letting the Stackhouse male in.
He quickly closed it behind him, taking a moment to assess the situation before he crossed to me, holding his wrist out in an offering. “I don’t need no telepathy to know you’re in need, and I ain’t even gonna ask what happened ’cause I probably don’t wanna know. Although I ain’t as much of a faery as Sook I probably taste better than that synthetic stuff ya’ll pretend to drink to keep us humans happy.” He stated. I found myself chuckling quietly at my fellow blonde males comment. The residents of Bon Temp found him attractive but dumb, and yet I could tell that he was actually a bright guy when it suited. Well, he was bright enough not to fall for the words of Nan Flanagan. Glancing to Sookie for her approval I could feel her pride for her brothers’ selfless action, so I took his offering, sliding my fangs into his wrist. He flinched initially, as most humans did the first time, however he remained perfectly still as I fed from him, only taking enough to slow his heartbeat down. His blood wasn’t as strong as Sookie’s, but I could detect the slight trace of fae within it. It wasn’t enough to replenish what I had lost though, but I was feeling infinitely stronger. Closing up Jason’s wrist wound, I glanced up at him, giving him a nod of thanks. Something seemed to pass between us and I felt like I had gained his approval, like we had come to a higher understanding of one another.
“That’s not enough.” Ata declared, presenting her own wrist to me. I wavered for a moment, but I felt Godric’s reassurance through the bond, so once again I took the offering. Ata’s blood was stronger than Sookie’s, and I found myself holding on to my control as tightly as possible, but I could detect the level of fae-ness to her blood starting to decrease as she suppressed the toxicity of it. I was both glad – as my control was becoming less of an issue – and annoyed, because she tasted divine. Not as good as Sookie, but still wonderful. Ata’s blood was enough to replenish me, and the wounds on both of my arms were now sealed shut thanks to my Maker’s tender care.
“Thank you.” I thanked all in the room. “Could you bring in Hunter please? It’s past his bedtime.” I asked Ata quietly, knowing she would hear me anyway. The corners of her lips tugged up into a small smile, as did my Maker’s and she nodded her head, disappearing off with Godric to retrieve Hunter for me. Sookie padded off into the bathroom, where I heard her enter the shower, cleaning the chlorine from her body and hair.
“I know it wasn’t my brightest moment, The Fellowship of the Sun,” Jason started, capturing my attention, “but I did learn some stuff there. I’ll take care of and defend Sook during the day, and little Hunter too. I would say the same for Ata, but I get the feeling she’s use to defending herself.” He shrugged. While I had to agree that the Fellowship of the Sun had been a stupid idea, the Stackhouse male had pulled his shit together and redeemed himself over the past two years. I knew he would be no match for Were’s high on V, but the sentiment was there.
“Thank you, Jason.” I offered him a small smile, which he returned before he gestured over his shoulder towards the door was his thumb.
“I’ll leave ya be, see ya in the evening.” He gave a small wave as she sloped out of the room. Falling back onto the bed now that I was alone, I closed my eyes, screwing them shut as I groaned in frustration. I’d been so lost in Sookie and our blissful peace that I’d abandoned my senses, let down my guard, and it had resulted in us being attacked. I’d promised Sookie I would take care of her, that I would defend her and fight for her, and yet she had fought for us. I wasn’t so weak as to feel a blow to my ego at the thought of Sookie saving me rather than me saving her, in fact I quite liked that she was strong enough to save us both, but she shouldn’t have had to. I’d been raised during an era where it was mans job to fight for his woman, to defend her, not because she was weak but because he loved her and wanted no harm to come to her. I felt the bed shift and a weight settle over my hips.
Opening my eyes I found my little faery straddling me, wearing one of her little silk nightie shirts. Leaning forward she brushed her lips to mine “Go and shower, you smell like chlorine and I don’t like it.” She murmured, pulling back to hop nimbly off of my lap. Righting myself I moved to the bathroom at human speed, and yet I showered at vampire speed, wanting to be back with my bonded as quickly as possible. If anything had of happened to her this evening I would have gladly killed everyone who dared to get in my way, and then some. Returning to the bedroom in a pair of fresh boxers, I was just in time to see Sookie open the door, and for Hunter and Pam to enter. Hunter was holding onto my Childe’s hand, and I had to force back my laugh at the smile on Pam’s features. She held his suitcase in her other hand. Spotting me however, the smile quickly disappeared and was replaced with her trademark, bored expression.
“Here’s the little teacup human, he’s been told plenty of stories this evening.” She stated in a flat tone, letting go of Hunter’s hand as she placed his suitcase down, but not before he hugged her legs. Glancing over his head Pam met my eyes across the room, and I could feel her concern through our bond. Sending her waves of reassurance and love, I watched as her concern disappeared from her eyes, instead replaced with satisfaction. Her shoulders dropped a little as she relaxed.
“What stories were you told this evening, Hunter?” I asked, crouching down and holding my arms out for him. He scampered into them, and Pam left the room, mouthing to me that she would see me at sunset tomorrow. Holding my future son in my arms helped to calm my nerves over the thought that more Were’s could come for Sookie, or Ata, or any of us for that matter. Felipe obviously didn’t want to get his hands dirty and was delegating work. I prayed Oscar and Bubba would uncover something.
“Cousin Ari told me stories about the Middle Ages, and cousin Pammy told me stories about the Vic-tor-i-an era.” He sounded out the word, looked pleased with himself when he pronounced it right. I had a feeling he hadn’t had much of an education. I was aware that school had been a problem for Sookie, so I could only imagine what it was like for Hunter. I would make sure my son was sent to a private school if needs be, with small classes so he could concentrate, or I would arrange for him to be home schooled with a Supe, whose thoughts would be harder to read.
“I hope the stories were suitable for you.” Sookie stated as she flicked back the sheets. I carried Hunter over to the bed as Sookie rummaged in his suitcase, removing a pair of pyjamas for him. She helped him change as he explained the stories he had been told.
“Cousin Ari told me stories about his brothers and all the tricks they use to pull on Auntie Ata, then cousin Pammy told me about all the dances she went to when she was a human. Did you know she wore all these pretty dresses and when her mommy wasn’t looking she use to show her panties to all the boys.” He sniggered behind one of his small hands, and I found myself laughing at the mental images that description conjured up. My Childe had never changed. Sliding into bed first, Hunter scooted in next, and Sookie took up the other side of the bed, creating a Hunter sandwich. I could see how tired he was, his eyelids fluttering every few seconds.
“Goodnight Hunter.” Sookie whispered, dropping a kiss to the top of his head.
“Goodnight little man.” I added, pressing my own kiss to his forehead.
“Night night Auntie Sookie, Uncle Eric.” He mumbled sleepily before the sandman paid him a visit, drawing him into slumber. Sookie and I watched over Hunter for half an hour, watching him sleep. I monitored his heart rate and his breathing before I finally took Sookie’s hand over Hunter’s sleeping form.
“I nearly lost you again this evening. I failed to protect you, but you protected us both, and I am so proud of you.” I told her honestly, bringing the back of her hand to my lips, kissing the soft skin there. I let my pride and love for her to enter our bond and her eyes fluttered shut as she happily accepted it.
“You didn’t fail me, Eric. There was nothing you could have done. You once told me that one Were on V was a struggle for you, so I can’t even think about what two must have been like.” She whispered, her fingers tracing over my freshly healed arm as she returned my love. “Think of it as me returning the favour for all the times you’ve saved me.” She declared softly, leaning over Hunter to press her lips to mine in a gentle kiss. I wanted more from her. I wanted to claim her and ravish her to remind myself that she was okay and she was unharmed, but Hunter was with us, and although it wasn’t frowned upon in my day to engage in sex with a minor in the room, as most homes in my days were only made up of one room, I was aware of the shift in the times and the disapproval such an action was met with nowadays.
“I know. Tomorrow, I promise you.” I heard Sookie vow, and my excitement level kicked up a notch at the prospect of getting to claim her tomorrow night. “If you go to sleep now, tomorrow will come around quicker.” Sookie smiled, and her words reminded me of similar ones my mother had spoken when I had been a young boy, excited for the start of Jul. Jul was a cycle of 12 days and the first day was on the 21st of December. On that day, we had to stop any kind of work because a period of peace was starting. Jul was a time for family feast and gift distribution. The houses were decorated with spruce, mistletoe and holly. The decoration ribbons were yellow and red, the colours of the sun, and the spruce was decorated with stars and candles symbolising the return of the light – the longer days. In the chimney I use to place – before the birth of my little sister, as it was the job of the youngest child – a big decorated log, which burnt for three days. It was our equivalent of Christmas. Freeing my hand from Sookie’s, I placed my arm over Hunter and her, holding them closely together, securely in place.
My other arm slipped under the pillow, and I cradled Hunter’s head. “Please don’t leave the penthouse tomorrow.” I asked Sookie quietly, feeling her tiredness seeping into our bond.
“Don’t worry about me. I won’t.” She murmured quietly before sleep took her. I lay there in the darkness, listening to the heartbeat of my bonded and the boy who would soon be my son. I spent a while simply gazing at the two, picking out their matching features. Their noses were the same, as were the curvature of their lips and the sharpness of their cheekbones. I was worried for my Sookie, worried for Hunter and Jason and Ata too. I was useless during the day, unable to aid them, and the thought infuriated me.
Before I could become lost in my anger at myself, my state of being or not being depending on ones views, the click of the light tight shutters warned me that sunrise was just around the corner. Taking a few deep breaths I inhaled the scents of my bonded and our future son, before I forced myself in downtime, knowing it would help my transition into my day rest. The moment the sun crept over the horizon I was out.