**A/N: Taa dah! It’s only been, what, a month and a few days since the last chapter? I blame Thanksgiving as I’m certain it has nothing whatsoever to do with me being dumb enough to have 5 WIPs at one time. Nope, nothing whatsoever… *sighs at own stupidity* Hope it was worth the wait.**
As far as he was aware, Eric hadn’t hallucinated since he’d been Turned.
During his human days there were a couple instances caused by accidentally ingesting the wrong kinds of mushrooms or other fungus-related incidents, and granted things could get a little odd when too much drink was involved, but he was vampire and vampires didn’t hallucinate unless they’d partaken of pure fairy blood.
He stared down at a calmly serious Sookie as he ran his tongue along his teeth and fangs…nope, no fairy blood hybrid or otherwise.
Eric waited another second to see if her expression changed from ‘calmly serious’ to ‘ha ha, gotcha’, but when it didn’t he knew he had to react…somehow.
Surely she hadn’t just offered him his third dearest wish after Bringing Godric Back and Take Me Now, Eric, I’m Yours.
Her eyes, however, said yes.
It was later, seven minutes later actually, before he realized he’d even lowered his head…much less realized that he was, in fact, kissing her soundly.
His low, pleased growls in appreciation of her request hadn’t seemed to bother her, not considering how her hands had been threading through his hair and clutching at his shoulders.
When his fang accidentally scraped her bottom lip and a trickle of her fresh, warm blood entered his mouth, he couldn’t help it.
Between her astounding request, the feel of her in his arms and the taste of her in his mouth, he came in his jeans.
And he wasn’t quiet about it.
“Did you just…,” Sookie exclaimed with a bark of shocked laughter.
He simply licked her quickly closing wound and hummed an affirmative.
A moment later he lifted his head and raised his upper body on strong arms, and his expression faded from dazed pleasure to complete seriousness as he studied her amused countenance.
“Did you just ask me to help you end Compton? To finally end him,” he stressed in his quest for affirmation.
Could it really be?
“Um-hum,” she parroted his own hummed agreement as she tidied his mussed hair with her fingers.
Seeing that he had switched over to Serious Eric, she nodded and replied, “Yes, Eric. That walking sideburn’d piece of shit has been allowed to defile this realm long enough. It’s time for him to go.”
Concern immediately crossed Eric’s face. “Has he contacted…”
Sookie shook her head and interrupted him. “No, I haven’t seen him since I burnt his ass crispy, but if I know him, and unfortunately I do, it won’t be long till he tries something with me.”
She gave him a sidelong glance as she continued. “I know there’s a conference or summit, whatever, coming up, and I know he’d want to parade me around as his latest acquisition, and that is not going to happen.”
Eric didn’t even bother feeling any guilt over his previous plans to have her on his arm during that conference because those plans were no longer relevant. His current plans, the ones involving silly ideas like “keeping Sookie safe” and “suggesting that she return to her realm for her own safety until he had taken care of Compton”, were also dying a quick death.
“While I approve of this idea… Oh, Sookie, you do not know how very much I approve of this idea… But there are so many potential repercussions.”
He paused to compile the list in his mind before relating them to the soft woman now wrapping her arms around his upper waist and struggled to keep himself in check.
“You’re assuming we’d be caught.”
Eric fell face-first into the sofa cushions when suddenly there was no fairy-hybrid beneath him.
A giggle from the other side of the room told him her location, and he sat up, then glanced wryly at the wet spot on the front of his jeans.
He rose with casual grace then in a blur sped over and captured his laughing hybrid.
“Got’cha,” he breathed into her ear.
Sookie had played Catch The Fairy with Godric often enough to be an expert at the game, although the old man had never made her feel quite like…this.
Whereas with the Maker she would have used tickling or feinting as evasionary tactics, with the Son…
Eric’s gut clenched when she slowly trailed her nose along his jaw then down his neck, and just as he was turning his head to capture her lips once again, his arms were empty.
With a growly huff of dissatisfaction, he turned around but didn’t see her anywhere in the room. He stilled and listened intently, and heard her mildly excited heartbeat in the… At true vamp speed he blurred to the kitchen, and just as he reached for her, she popped away again.
Slowly, deliberately, Eric stowed his precious letter from Godric away for safekeeping then tracked a certain disappearing Sookie.
Half an hour passed. Sometimes he would succeed as far as touching her hair or landing a brief kiss before she would pop away, other times she would pop into a room and appear half a step behind him, run her fingers through his hair or lightly slap his butt, and pop away again before he could even turn around.
At any other time such skillful evasions would have irritated the hunter in his soul, but he was understandably proud of her apparently well-honed abilities.
Finally she appeared before him as he stood once again in the kitchen, and each wrapped their arms about the other in mutual conclusion to the game.
“How did you become so talented,” he asked a few steamy minutes later.
“Practice,” she replied with a smile in her eyes and a teasing grin on her slightly kiss-swollen lips. “Lots and lots of practice.”
That teasing grin piqued his curiosity. There was something about it…
“Oh, really. So you had playmates in Fairy, I take it?”
Sookie stifled a wicked grin as she nodded.
She didn’t realize how easily Eric could decipher her expression nor how uneasy it made him feel.
“At first it was with my cousin Claudy. We would play Catch as I was developing my powers. It wasn’t long, though, till I was even better than she is at it,” she touted with justifiable pride as Claudy was a full-blood fairy.
“Then I started practicing with your Maker.”
Eric could have sworn an iron fist had hit his gut. His face hardened immediately and his hands dropped from her waist. Something in her voice…
“Should I be concerned?” He bit the words out between clenched jaws.
Sookie picked his hands up and put them back around her waist and looked up into his stormy eyes. Eric neither wore nor hid his jealousy well.
“At one point a while back, yeah, you might should have been.”
The devastation she saw briefly cloud his eyes prompted her to continue quickly.
“But Godric isn’t the vampire for me, Eric. That, I’m thinking, would be you. Or at least I would like the chance to find out.”
His hands and jaw relaxed, but not enough in her opinion, so she popped them out of the kitchen and arranged it so that he sat on the couch and she landed in his lap.
She slid her arms around his tense neck and continued.
“I won’t lie to you – Godric is an amazing person. He’s…he’s a lot of things, good, kind, amazing things, but Eric, he isn’t you. He’ll make Claudy a fine boyfriend or whatever you want to call it if they’ll ever get it together, but no, he isn’t the one for me.”
Eric nodded but Sookie didn’t get the sense that he was ok yet.
She toyed with the neckline of his shirt as she gathered her thoughts.
“Godric helped me a lot more than I think even he knows, and it wasn’t just in helping me hone my skills as my powers developed, either. He’s a smart guy, ya know?”
The Viking nodded his head as a wry smile crossed his face but he still wouldn’t completely meet her eyes.
“We talked, and we talked a lot. We spent a lot of time together especially when Claudy had other things to tend to and was away sometimes. I might have been seeing things that weren’t there, but for a very short while…things might could have taken a, well, a romantic turn between us. It’s probably just my ego wanting to believe silly things, but I like to think he was interested in me that way, too. But something held me back from taking those steps, so it never came to anything. It could have been that I was maybe seeing things that weren’t there, but it could have been my subconscious remembering you,” she ended with a shrug.
She glanced up and he was finally looking into her face.
“I’m telling you this for several reasons. For one, not telling you would have felt like I was lying to you, a lie of omission, and we just can’t have that kind of thing between us, not anymore. But I’m also hoping so hard that you and him can somehow see each other again somehow, and I don’t want you seeing how close we are and wondering about things that never happened. “
She smiled sweetly if a tinge sadly in remembrance.
“At the time I was torn between wanting something to happen and being glad it hadn’t, but now, now I’m just relieved it never did. There’s no place in this world I’d rather be than right here on your lap.”
Eric gazed into her eyes for a long moment, then leaned his forehead against hers.
Eventually he cleared his throat.
“I’m glad you told me,” he stated softly. “Had I seen that closeness you describe, I admit, I would have wondered. If I had to lose you to anyone, I would prefer it be to my Maker, but I have to ask you, Sookie, how could you not choose him over me?”
Tears sprang to her eyes as her soul suddenly felt slightly bruised.
Knowing what he was asking but unsure how to respond, Sookie exhaled slowly, then answered honestly.
“You feel right to my heart.”
She squealed when she suddenly found herself in the vice-like grip of his arms as they surrounded her smaller form.
“Yeah?” Equilibrium apparently fully restored, Eric slowly ran his hand down the curve of bottom. “How do I feel to your…”
The laziest wrestling match of the century ensued on that desperately beige couch, each wondering what kind of lover the other would be and knowing the experience would be breathtaking.
Finally Eric’s vampire mind remembered the intrusive realities, and he sat them up to resume the other conversation. She noticed that he kept her on his lap, though.
“I have thought and I cannot see a way to end Compton without you being implicated because of your scent, nor can I find a way to do it without me being virtually forced to take over the kingdom.” The expression on his face left no doubt in Sookie’s mind as to Eric’s thoughts on either subject.
She hadn’t told him about a certain power she had. He’d seen evidence of it, of course, but hadn’t yet connected any dots. He would in time, though.
“So you don’t wanna be the king?” Sookie batted her lashes at him outrageously.
He growled and lightly ran his fingertips up and down her sides until she squealed again and threatened to pee on him. She made a point to remember that one for future use considering how quickly he stopped.
“Well, then, is there anyone you would like to take over Louisiana on your behalf? Is there another vampire you trust to keep us safe?”
That was the true crux of the problem, Eric finally acknowledged to himself. He couldn’t think of another soul he would trust with that kind of power, someone he could trust to assure not just his own safety and freedom, but…Sookie’s.
He exhaled gustily.
Looks like I’m going to be an Odin-be-dam’d motherfucking king, he dolefully acknowledged at last. There truly was no other vampire he could trust to see to her safety and damned if he would allow the woman now snuggling into his chest to be forced to return to the Fairy realm because of her heritage and abilities.
Sensing that he was in deep thought, Sookie had settled herself more comfortably on his lap and called her drink glass into her hand. After sipping the beverage that was still magically cooled, she’d popped it away, then slid an arm around Eric’s trim waist. She’d then snuggled into his chest as if it had always been her home and remained quiet as he thought for what seemed like forever.
Instead of answering her question, when he spoke his statement surprised her.
“Next weekend there’s some sort of gala,” he rolled his eyes as he stressed the word, “at his place so it should not be done then. Time-wise it would be better…”
Sookie pouted as she interrupted, “But I wanted that to be our first official date!”
Thoughts momentarily distracted not only by that odd bit of information but by the importance the idea seemed to hold, Eric raised an inquisitive brow. “Why?”
She shrugged. “Bill introduced us; it just seems fitting that he’d be involved in our first real date, too.”
The deliciously evil look she slid him almost made him soil his pants twice in the same night.
“Hello Fairy Sookie,” he growled with fire in his eyes and a smile on his lips as he lowered his head.
Sookie suddenly found herself straddling his lap, and laughingly returned his increasingly passionate kisses until the sun’s rising chased each to their unexpectedly colder bed. The plans would be discussed in fuller detail the following night.
**A/N: *stops fiddling with a painful hangnail long enough to ask* So, what did you think? *resumes glaring at painful hangnail*