The moment her beloved Maker abandoned her, Willa rounded on Sevrin. Her face a study in embarrassed outrage, her eyes flashing, her cheeks faintly tinged with pink and her nostrils flaring, she glared up…up…up into the culprit’s ruggedly handsome face.
“You were eavesdropping?!?,” she seethed as quietly as she could. Those bastards! How could they??
Entranced by the bewitching sight before him, Sevrin took the few measured steps needed to close the distance between himself and the outraged hellcat. Black eyes gleaming and with one dark brow raised, he promptly settled his big hands on her waist and lifted her up to brace her back against the wall by the door.
Before Willa knew what was happening, he was lowering his head…
As his firm lips gently glided over her own, she finally realized his intention and gasped in shock. Ever the opportunist, Sevrin took advantage of the situation. With a gentleness surprising for his size and appearance, he quickly deepened the kiss.
Lost in the smooth feel of his lips on hers, the rhythmic stroking of his tongue against her own, and the heady masculine scent that rose from his massive body, without conscious effort she brought her legs up and circled his waist as she returned his kiss with matching fervor.
Easily succumbing to the responsiveness of the woman in his arms, Sevrin soon matched the rocking of his hips with the thrusting of his tongue, pulling back only to surge forward again and again.
Willa delighted in the fact that neither of them had to stop to breathe and tightened the hold her legs had on his core to bring him into even closer contact. As unexpected as this was, it felt far too right to bother with thinking…
Her hands rose with a will of their own and one delved into the fall of his shiny black hair to hold his head steady while the other clutched at his broad shoulder as if her unlife depended upon it.
Finally the tinkling of the bell above the station’s main entrance drew their attention, and Sevrin lifted his head a scant few inches to answer her now-forgotten question.
“Yes, and I like you, too.”
Having said all that he deemed necessary, he lowered his head and, hidden by the curtain of his loose hair, proceeded to make the most of the time they would have while the pregnant one devoured whatever the fuck “barbecue” was.
He hadn’t liked it when Willa had dropped her legs from his waist, but considering their public location, he understood.
But that didn’t mean he had to like it.
Of course, if she hadn’t, visitors to that store may have seen what a good old-fashioned hard-driving never-ending vampire fuck was like.
Sookie was in hog heaven, as it were. Three orders of barbecue sat on the small table before her, two in take-out boxes and one in a plate already mostly inhaled. Nearby and already in take-away containers sat extra coleslaw, some pickles since she was sure Eric’s safe house didn’t have any, and while the little diner hadn’t had fish sticks, they did offer some glorious fried chicken. Two whole orders waited in yet another to-go container, and two gallons of iced tea waited in a plastic bag. Deep-fried potato wedges waited in another bag (topped with a large handful of diner paper napkins)…and since she didn’t consider deep-fried potatoes to be an actual vegetable, she planned on making herself a huge salad from the small but fresh-looking salad bar…after she finished her barbecue, thank-you-very-much. She debated between eating the large container of mac and cheese here, or later at Eric’s house…
“Eric,” she suddenly asked after she’d taken a giant swallow of the orange juice he’d bought her. “I was just wondering, do you have toilet paper and coffee and stuff at your house? I mean, I wouldn’t think you usually have humans at one of your safe houses, so I just wondered.”
The resulting grimace on his face answered her question.
An instant later he was on his phone ordering the head of his private investigations department, Pete Bronson, to go shopping, and after providing the Were with a highly detailed list of necessities, he paused to ask Sookie if there was anything else he should add. Sookie, her mouth full of a bite of pilfered fried chicken, simply shook her head – Eric had even told the man the correct brand of coffee and everything. After ensuring that Pete knew which house to bring the supplies to, he ended the call.
He thought that all his safe houses were well-stocked with such things, but hadn’t been willing to bet on it, and besides, he knew there wouldn’t be such things as fresh milk or vegetables. A call to his trusted employee was indeed warranted.
The moment Sookie announced she was full, without rushing her but with amazingly efficient movements, he packed up the items she wanted to take and quietly called for Willa. When she appeared a few moments later with disheveled hair, faintly flushed cheeks, and slightly swollen lips, he had to raise a brow. Sevrin, having closely followed the brunette, appeared as impassive and glowering as ever.
Eric was not fooled.
“Willa, I’m going to carry Sookie out to the SUV. Can you put these bags in the back so we can get back on the road?”
At Willa’s nod, Eric helped Sookie to rise from the low diner chair, and within a minute they were en route once again.
“So who’s this Pete guy,” Sookie asked after they’d exited the parking lot. She grabbed her handbag and started searching for her antacids – the barbecue was awesome but her stomach didn’t always appreciate her version of “awesome”.
“Pete’s the Were in charge of the private investigation firm I own. I’ve had him on Steve’s case – he’s how we know that Steve was released. Pete’s father has worked for me off and on through the years, so I’ve known him since he was a small child. He is trustworthy.”
“That’s good. It’s nice to have people around you who you can trust.” As she popped two antacids into her mouth, she gazed dolefully into the depths of her handbag. The shock of that night had worn off, but the fear she’d felt was just as strong, as was that horrible sense of being ignored during the attack.
Correctly interpreting the direction her thoughts had taken, Eric thought about how he should respond. While he didn’t have extensive knowledge of the Dae, what he had observed and heard about them down through time had stayed with him.
“Sookie, Willa told me how things happened the other night with Steve, and I have a theory about that. While I don’t have any proof, I do know that some Dae have the ability to influence or dull the thoughts of those in their proximity. I don’t think it’s a form of glamouring or brainwashing, but it is something along those lines. It doesn’t affect vampires, however, which I believe may have been what saved you, and this may explain why it took so long for the others to act. From what I can tell, he may have, for lack of a better word, dulled their thoughts so that they wouldn’t be as aware of their surroundings as they normally would be.”
His heart ached when the relief she felt from his words bled through the bond, and he wondered how long the fuckhole had been muting Sookie’s friends toward her. Emotional fuckery of that sort deserved a long, slow torture.
Soon enough Sookie’s full tummy caught up with her, and Eric gladly allowed her to drift off to sleep.
When he was certain that he wasn’t being followed, a maneuver he fully expected Pete to follow, he switched directions and drove straight to his safe house.
This house, as was the usual layout, had two stories visible above ground, but also had two extremely well reinforced, waterproofed and insulated stories hidden below ground level. The entire structure was fully ventilated, light proofed, and solar powered. The only entrance was via the fully enclosable garage, but multiple hidden exits were available from both hidden levels and from the roof. In short, this design was perfect for a safe house.
Located well back from the closest two-lane county road, the long driveway was deliberately easy to miss and was quickly swallowed by what appeared to be a small forest of trees and shrubs purposefully planted to provide cover.
As expected, Pete was parked behind the garage with his vehicle strategically hidden from view.
Once parked, Eric waited for Sevrin to pull in beside him and for Pete to quickly unload his vehicle before he pushed the button on his dash that would close the garage. Within a very short time the three vampires and the Were had unloaded both vehicles, turned on the lights to the main floor, and engaged the ventilation system before Eric brought in the still-sleeping Sookie.
After placing her on a comfortable sofa in the den, he turned to Pete and motioned for the Were to follow him.
Once back in the garage, he ordered, “Find Sookie a female day companion, someone to keep an eye on her safety while they’re also keeping her company.”
“My mom,” the Were immediately recommended. Suddenly remembering to whom he was speaking, he cleared his throat then began again. “My mother would be perfect. She’s full Were, as you know, and she’s raised three kids. She also took some first-aid classes a while back, but mainly she knows how to keep her cool in the face of accidents and trouble. With three boys, she had to,” he trailed off with a fond smile. Then he snorted. “With my dad now retired, she’d be glad to get out of the house, too, but I think she’d like some company herself.”
Eric thought for a moment. He hadn’t had many dealings with Mrs. Bronson, but he knew her to be a good woman who ran a clean and well-organized home.
And she was female. He nodded in approval.
“Speak with her tomorrow and see if she would be interested, then let me know.”
Considering himself properly dismissed, Pete nodded and left. Eric secured the premises and returned to find Willa helping Sookie to sit up.
He honestly didn’t see how her pregnancy could last another three to four months; her small frame certainly couldn’t handle much more…stomach. He hoped modern technology had created a device that would help pregnant women to rise from a seated position since she desperately needed something along those lines. He’d look into it tomorrow night.
“Good morning, sunshine,” he quipped with a tender smile. The feeling of having his Sookie in his home, under his roof and in his care, was exhilarating. Finally, she was exactly where she had belonged for so long.
Sookie beamed at Eric – the pride and satisfaction on his handsome face were unmistakable – and wondered at the burst of excitement she felt. It was at that moment she remembered that she had a bladder…a very full, very tiny, very annoying bladder…
And she had three, possibly four, more months of this to go.
“Ugh,” she said as her smile turned wry. “So I take it we’re here? Well, um, this is a gorgeous room, it really is, but, um, where’s the bathroom?”
With more of a laugh than Sookie thought quite appropriate for the situation, Eric extended a large hand and helped her to stand. After sending Willa to find the bag with the toilet paper, he patiently escorted Sookie to the nearest restroom, then spoke with Sevrin about going to Fangtasia as soon as he was certain Sookie was settled. He didn’t want to rush her first experience with his favorite safe house and truly wanted her to consider it her home as well, but he understood Sevrin’s driving need to tend to business – that was just the way he was.
For two cents he’d just have his security staff transfer the bitch to the silver cell Sevrin had requested, but he knew how wily she could be…and that she’d fucked half of the females on that staff.
No, he’d have to go, and since Sevrin wouldn’t know the way to the glorified bar, he’d have to drive.
**A/N: Anyone want to guess what kind of night Pamela’s going to have? And, well, I guess you can officially say that Sevrin is a vampire of action, huh… *grin* So, what did you think?**