Eric was incensed. Because of her association with him… A low growl escaped from his throat as he remembered seeing the fear on Sookie’s face when she had seen the broken door to her house. He leaned his head back into the pillow and tried to stifle the noise. His Sookie’s life was in danger, and it was somehow because of him. Previously he’d been aware that there was the possibility that those looking for him would go after her, and his ingrained survival instincts, as well as his gut, demanded that he take appropriate precautions to ensure her safety. But when he had seen the door to her old, weathered house hanging wide open… He mentally thanked every god in his arsenal that he’d had enough sense to keep her with him. If she had been home…alone…
He consciously loosened his hand’s tightening grip on her long hair and shifted a bit to ease Sookie’s head more comfortably into the space between his neck and shoulder. As he tightened his other arm about her waist, he realized that the events of the past few days were already taking a toll on her. She shouldn’t have fallen asleep this quickly. As a healthy human, she should have had at least several more hours of energy, which he had intended to put to great use, but instead she had fallen asleep almost as soon as she’d stretched out beside him.
With a sigh he acknowledged to himself that he didn’t begrudge her the rest she needed, especially as things were bound to get worse before they got better. Didn’t they always? But what kind of life was this for a human? Especially a woman? Especially his woman?
How much longer would he have to keep dragging her from safe house to safe house? How much longer would she put up with it? And, with her telepathy, he wasn’t sure he could command her to remain with him for her own safety if it did come to that.
He certainly didn’t want it to come to such extreme measures, especially since he knew summoning her wouldn’t work. Unbeknownst to her, and he truly hoped she never found out, he had already attempted it earlier when they were in her bedroom and she had gotten upset. He had felt a curious desire to ease her obvious distress and had called her to him, wanting her to leave that suitcase on the bed and come closer to him so that he could fold his arms about her and draw her close.
From his observations, she hadn’t noticed even his strongest attempt. So, if he couldn’t summon her from less than three feet away, he highly doubted he’d be able to command her to any action, either. Oddly, that thought pleased him, even if it prevented him from commanding her to safety.
And with everything that was going on, her safety was a definite concern.
Fuck, if this was simply a matter of fighting, he’d have it made. Fighting was what he did best, well, after fucking, of course. But, no. This just had to be a case of “cloak and dagger” bullshit. While he excelled in strategy and in solving intricate puzzles, he much preferred hand-to-hand combat. Straightforward battle was much more his style. There was nothing like watching your opponent bleed because of wounds you had inflicted yourself…none of this asinine business of hiding behind others to do your dirty work. Cowards.
He just needed to find out exactly who the cowards were so that he could deal with them, and be done with all this chaos so he could get back to the important things…like wooing his Sookie.
Slowly he inhaled, taking Sookie’s clean sunshine and flowers scent deep into his lungs. At least they’d bonded. He had to take solace in that, and in the fact that she didn’t seem to mind staying around. Of course, he was her best bet for safety, even if he preferred to believe she chose to stay because of her perfectly understandable attraction to him.
He smirked knowing that attraction would only increase since he’d given her his blood…his blood which should start inspiring his future lover to have certain dreams any day now. He couldn’t wait.
As the power of the sun eventually pulled him under, his last thought was that at the end of all this, he would owe her an enormous bonus.
Late that afternoon, Sookie woke up once again in bed with the huge blond vampire. She stretched, then automatically nestled her head back into the hollow of his shoulder and closed her eyes. The arm that had been wrapped around her had somehow fallen in such a way that his hand was cupping her ass. She wasn’t very surprised.
Although she’d slept pretty well, she’d kept having all sorts of crazy dreams about Eric. And about sex…with Eric. Lots…of sex…with Eric.
She shivered as she recalled a particularly vivid one and squeezed her thighs together as she remembered in excruciating detail what his hand had been doing in that same spot that was now tingling and throbbing for his touch.
With a frustrated curse, she threw off the covers and went to the bathroom. After a nice hot shower in the small stall, she towel-dried her hair as best she could and changed into one of her older sundresses. Sometimes the comfort of favorite old clothes was just what she needed.
A thorough prowl through the small cabin proved it was just as boring as she’d thought it would be, but at least there were some books in the small set of shelves. She finally gave up and selected a tome about the Carpathian War figuring if nothing else it’d put her back to sleep.
Forty-five minutes later she realized that she had yet to turn even a single page. Instead, her mind insisted upon reliving some of the crazy, sexy dreams she’d had. Curiosity might have killed some poor cat, according to that horrible old saying, but it also sure kept her brain busy trying to make sense of the more nebulous images that had paraded themselves through her mind during her sleep.
Flickers of Eric in his expensive silk underwear slowly kissing his way up her body, leaning over her, kissing her neck and nipping at her collarbones ran through her mind… Hazy images of him using one finger to rip open the front of that new red and white flowered sundress (that she had yet to even wear) and seeing his blond hair pool on her chest as he closed his lips around one pink nipple and started sucking on it while he rolled the other one between his thumb and finger…
Sookie hastily rose from the couch and grabbed a package of prepared fruit from the small fridge and one of the plastic utensil packs from the bottom of the food bag. As she sat back down on the couch, she automatically gazed over toward Eric as she struggled to open the plastic wrapping holding the spork, mini napkin and tiny packet of salt hostage. She was really glad Pam had thought to grab something for her to eat with.
Even though she knew he was in his unresponsive day sleep, she couldn’t help but wonder how he was able to rest so easily knowing that God-only-knew-who was after them. But then, did vampires even dream?
Immediately erotic bits and pieces of her strange dreams flooded her mind. After sneaking yet another glance of Eric to make sure he was still asleep, she guiltily gave in and savored the images of hot dream sex with the big blond vampire while she ate her mixed fruit salad. Eventually she admitted to herself that although she hadn’t tried very hard to stop the tempting memories, she was positive that strawberries would now always remind her of Dream Eric’s big blond head between her wide-spread thighs. She couldn’t believe the things he’d been doing to her with his tongue and fangs…and she really couldn’t believe the things she’d been doing to him when he was finished…
With shaking knees and firm resolve she stood and cleaned up after her “meal” and grabbed a chocolate bar. She nibbled on it as she mourned once again the lack of a coffee pot, her thoughts turned toward home, which inevitably lead to her broken front door. She needed to ask Eric if he had been able to contact someone to have it fixed, but still, her grandfather had built that door with love, pride, and his own two hands. It could never be replaced, no matter how beautiful the new door might be. She just…she just missed home, but was damn glad she hadn’t been there when those drainers or thugs had broken in.
She couldn’t believe someone would just burst into her home like that, and sincerely doubted they would have offered her flowers if they had found her home alone. Sookie sat back down on the sofa with a soda in her hand and wondered how long she would have to live this way, roaming from location to location, spending her days bored nearly to tears.
At this rate if the drainers or whoever didn’t kill her, she’d probably die of decaffeinated boredom instead. If this kept up much longer, she would definitely have to see about buying a small coffee maker and supplies. And, honestly, was she even getting paid for all this? Her entire life had been turned upside-down!
She allowed herself a minute to fully embrace her inner pout and wallowed in a brief but satisfying bout of self-pity and confusion. Her life was currently nothing like anything she’d ever planned or wanted.
However, as much as all this was complicating her life, she couldn’t complain too much, not really. It’s not like any of this was Eric’s fault; hell, they were after him, too, and he seemed to be handling all this chaos pretty well, even if she highly suspected that he wasn’t telling her everything. He knew what to do, and how to keep them safe and at least semi-comfortable for the most part. At this remote of a location, the running water in the bathroom was a definite bonus. And goodness knows he’d had the best mattresses on the planet so far.
Suddenly a dream image of Eric, large as life and naked in all his glory, floated into her head and settled in for a good, long visit. He was lowering his body atop hers, his hands holding hers on each side of her head, pressing her into said mattress. She could almost feel how he’d captured her lips with his…how his thighs had parted her own…his groan rumbling through his broad chest when she’d returned his kiss full force…
“Future lover of mine, what thoughts are you thinking to put such a lovely blush on your face,” came his deep, smug voice out of the blue.
Startled, Sookie looked up and saw the vampire of her dreams sitting up on that mattress with the covers down around his hips. At least he was still somewhat dressed she thought with mixed feelings.
“Nothing,” she squeaked out, then looked at her watch. “Isn’t it too early for you to be up? Not that I’m complaining,” she rushed to add at the look on his face, “but it’s not all that late yet.”
Sensing a confusing blend of both the remnants of her arousal and her current trepidation, Eric chose to continue talking rather than pursuing his interest. For now.
“Older vampires can often rise before the sun sets, and before you ask,” he injected with a smirk, “I’m well over 1,000 years old, and the sun will set in about 10 minutes anyway.”
Stunned, Sookie’s mouth fell open for a brief moment before she caught herself. “You’re over 1,000 years old? Really?” She examined his face in minute detail (once again). “But you don’t look a day over maybe 25 or 26!”
Sookie grinned to show him that she was joking, even though she was still reeling inside. 1,000 years old! She couldn’t imagine the things he’d seen or done or experienced…the history he had both seen and caused. She had a distinct feeling that maybe she didn’t want to know some of his past, but she was highly curious about most of it.
Eric’s voice brought her attention back to him as she had evidentially been caught up in her thoughts longer than she’d realized. “Why don’t you come back to bed while we talk about it.” He waggled his brows suggestively, which brought a bright laugh from Sookie.
“Oh no, I don’t think so, not when you’ve undoubtedly got over 1,000 years of experience seducing unsuspecting maidens.”
“That simply means that I have over 1,000 years’ worth of experience in the art of seduction. Care to test my skills? I’m certain I can make it worth your while.” The seductive tone of his voice assured Sookie that he definitely would.
Just as she was about to more-than-regretfully decline his ‘kind’ offer, and she was seriously surprised by just how badly she wanted to climb onto that superb mattress with him, his expression changed in the blink of an eye from playfully seductive to absolutely serious.
He held up a finger to request her silence as he seemed to strongly concentrate on something that she couldn’t hear, even with her newly enhanced abilities.
Through the new bond, Sookie could sense that he was intensely focusing on something, and that he was curious and very mildly concerned. He wasn’t alarmed in any way, which she thought was a very good thing.
A few moments later, just as Sookie’s own curiosity was about to get the best of her, he finally spoke as he rose from the bed.
“Are you packed and ready to go, or do you need to gather your things?”
(A/N: Don’t forget: JR Watkins writes the odd chapters – no pun intended – and I write the even ones.)