“Eric?” she asked softly as she snuggled her back into his chest.
“Yes, my voracious goddess.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle with his posturing. “You were right, I was doing it completely wrong.”
“Glad to be of service,” he said as he placed a soft kiss on the crook of her neck. His arm rested over her waist while fingers found each other to intertwine. Content and satiated they held each other in the intimate embrace that comforted them both to near sleep.
“Godnatt min älskling. Sov så gott dröm något sött.” (Good night, my darling. Sleep well, dream something sweet)
The skies were a deep grey outside but there was little that could wipe away at the contented smile on Sookie and Eric’s faces. Their sleeping positions had been awkward in the cramped bed but neither one could ever remember feeling this good upon rising. At her stirring Eric’s index finger traced and lingered over the dip of her curves on her side.
“What happened to the no touching policy?” she asked with mock indignation at the feel of his tender touch that didn’t fail to send shivers down her spine.
“I believe that was last night’s offer,” he smirked. “From now on all bets are off.”
“You’re not going to make this easy on me are you?” The smile that seemed etched on her face only set further with that realisation.
“I intend to make it very hard on you,” he whispered huskily into the shell of her ear. To his delight it coloured a deep shade of red that flushed further across her cheeks.
Despite her body’s feverish response at his attentions Sookie wasn’t mentally ready for that quite yet. The thought of the last man she shared herself with had inflicted wounds that took time to heal. That were yet to heal. What was wracking her brain predominantly was not Bill’s working of her but rather her own ease at allowing it. That she had submitted to the manipulation without any resistance. She had to get past herself before she could allow that level of physical intimacy again. Sookie trusted Eric intrinsically but her heart was still a fragile organ that hadn’t quite recovered yet and in her mind the man that held her so lovingly now only deserved to receive her whole. The way in which he seemed to offer himself to her.
“You just keep that in your pants mister,” she warned. “I’ll invite Mrs Frisk up myself to unleash the rest of that broom upon you.”
He just laughed at her as she wiggled herself from his hold indicating she had no intentions with meeting up with his broom handle this morning. Eric pouted when she finally managed to wrestle free from his hold and moved from under the covers into the chilly morning air.
“I don’t think I can look that woman in the eye anymore,” Sookie sighed as she was visually scanning the floor for her lost underpants.
“Fuck her and her morality,” Eric scoffed while stretching his bare torso for her perusal further encouraging that flush of pink he delighted in. “What happens between us is our business. Besides what we did last night would probably be right up her precious maker’s book.”
“More like we skirted the extremities of the loopholes,” she said knowing the contents of the bible all too well as she continued her search under the bed.
“You really believe everything that book tells you?” Eric asked looking at the ceiling while imagining the many creative ways to painfully poke the disruptive widow with a broomstick herself.
“That book was written thousands of years ago, it hardly applies to today. I just enjoy the spirituality of it all,” she replied while crouching down to peer at the underside of the heavy furniture pieces. “I like the idea that my Gran is in a good place and that someone’s always watching out for me.”
Eric moved his body on his side in order to enjoy the view of Sookie crawling around on all fours in her bra and pyjama pants. “But you have me for that now,” he pointed out with a suggestive waggle of his eyebrows. “As I recall you called me a Viking Sex God after.”
“Well my omniscient deity perhaps you can locate what I’m looking for,” she replied testily correctly assuming he was the culprit responsible for her missing panties.
Eric had indeed deftly pocketed them from the floor the night previous but he wasn’t going to give them up so easily. With feigned innocence he proclaimed, “What is that you seek my childe? Spiritual enlightenment, perhaps an out of body experience? As I recall I’m quite good at those.”
“Ha ha,” she returned anything but amused. “You know exactly what I’m looking for. Hand them over.”
“Hand what over?” he said batting his eyelashes appearing as very much the guiltless he was not.
“My panties Eric,” she huffed out, her patience with his antics running thin.
“Ah you mean these,” Eric smirked at her in triumph as he held them dangling from his index finger. “I believe they are mine though. An appropriate offering to my Divine Being.”
“Jerk,” she yelped while making an unsuccessful attempt at grabbing them causing her to crash on the narrow bed beside him. She huffed out in annoyance with her failed attempt as the black piece of cloth now hung tauntingly out of her reach. “Damn you and that giant wingspan of yours.”
He only continued to laugh at her misery till he noticed a hint of calculation travelling across her irises.
“I’ll trade them for a kiss,” she offered sweetly as her bottom lip disappeared behind her blunt teeth.
Eric considered it briefly before deciding he’d probably be able to get more out of this bargain if he opened it up for negotiations.
“Tongue?” he asked knowing full well she would probably refuse this. He knew her well enough by now that Sookie wouldn’t want their first real kiss to be a trade-off, however, he would take any advantage he could get.
“Just the lips.”
“Then I have no interest,” he answered all business.
“Just give them back,” Sookie whined. “They’re gonna be all crusty and gross.”
“Maybe I like them that way,” he smirked, causing her face to contort to a deep scowl. “I’ll give them back under one condition.” Sookie cocked her eyebrow as she eyed him suspiciously.
“The next time you wear them I get to take them off.”
Sookie was ready to tell him to shove it before she considered that he’d hardly be in the know when she was wearing what underneath her clothes.
“Fine,” she accepted laying her hand out. “Hand them over.”
His hand clasped over her opened palm with the scrap of lace between them and in recognition of his moment of opportunity Eric pulled her body to his and placed a soft kiss to her lips.
“A kiss was not part of the deal buster!” she yelled out annoyed shoving his chest hard and propelling him off the bed which only further fuelled his hilarity despite the hard landing.
“You’re cute when you’re mad,” Eric taunted as he continued to laugh maniacally.
“Yes please,” he wheezed out in between laughs.
“Gah! That was not an offer.” Sookie stomped away to the bathroom her annoyance expressed in every heavy thud of her feet, knowing full well he was continue to mock her as his chuckles were yet to relent.
Eric got himself up from the floor without a care for the slight pain in his behind, his thoughts already occupied with how best to catalogue the contents of her underwear drawer. He knew that she had not brought a lot of clothes to Sweden so it wouldn’t be long before his earmarked pair would be in rotation again.
They left the guesthouse relatively unscathed aside from Mrs Frisk’s damning looks. Sookie didn’t even want to contemplate what the judgemental woman thought of their activities of the night and following morning. With ease they checked themselves in to a new hotel where no scrutiny was laid upon their preferred sleeping arrangements. A bakery with adjoining café offered them a suitable breakfast and they were soon on their way to the cabin.
The access road to the cabin was heavily overgrown and it was clear no one had come here in a very long while. Not wanting to scratch up the rental car they continued on foot. The virgin snow dampened all sounds, the only noise coming from the crunch from beneath their carefully treading feet.
When Sookie spotted a wooden structure once painted in an oxblood red in a clearance ahead she asked, “Is that it?”
Eric studied the satellite images that he had brought and confirmed they had indeed arrived at their destination. After unsuccessfully trying a set of keys found in Halina’s room he pulled out a small set of tools and set his gloved hands to work at unlocking the back door. He gave Sookie a set of plastic shoe coverings, which she had dubbed Smurf feet on account of their bright blue colour.
Inside the cabin was empty; they knocked on the walls and searched for any hiding spot, careful not to leave a single trace. The kitchen cabinets were bare as were the built in cupboards. The attic only housed the remnants of a family of deceased mice. None of the floorboards lay loose and after hours of scouring every corner of the cabin they came to the conclusion there really wasn’t anything to find here.
With immense disappointment Eric locked up the house leaving it as untouched as they had found it. Sookie was already removing her Smurf feet as Eric sank his body beside her on the veranda. She jumped into a pile of fresh snow and turned round to face him.
“Cheer up Eric,” she tried with a bright smile to distract him from the let-down. “We’ll go to the beach, freeze our asses of. Who knows maybe I’ll cop a feel.” The words hardly seemed to register with him and Sookie wondered if perhaps he thought she was going to feel up a cop, with his track record of understanding idioms anything was possible.
He removed his own set of plastic feet coverings, running a tired hand through his hair with the thought of finding no further leads. It wasn’t an unfamiliar place for him to be and without fail the memory of his dead family haunted him as he once again felt like he had failed them. Eric was pulled from his stupor when he heard a loud yelp and a string of curse words from Sookie as she fell face down into a giant hole in the ground.
“Sookie!” he yelled full of concern while sprinting to where she appeared to have been swallowed up by the snow.
“I’m fine I think,” came her muffled reply. He pulled her out onto solid ground brushing the powdered snow from her face and hair.
“Are you ok?” he asked checking her over for injuries.
“A little sore around the edges, what is that down there?” she asked which was the first time Eric took notice of a set of concrete stairs in the ground. He carefully moved down shoving the snow aside till he found a metal door.
“It’s a fallout shelter,” he explained. “People were nervous about an invading USSR round here during the cold war.”
“Can we get inside?” she asked excitedly curious to what lay beyond.
“It’s locked up, my tools won’t get us in here. We need the key or more specialised tools,” he said as he was trying several keys from the collection of keys they had found in Halina’s room. Just like with the cabin none of the keys seemed to be the matching one. The last key he tried finally seemed to catch in the lock but no matter how much force he exerted the door refused to budge and with a frustrating growl the key broke off in the lock. An angry foot struck the door repeatedly before Eric took a deep breath and started scrolling through his phone to contact an associate that specialised in cracking safes. The bars for his reception, however, indicated they had no signal out here so he beckoned Sookie to follow him back to the main road.
“What do we do know?” she asked when he appeared to have calmed down again while starting to shiver a little with the melting snow on her skin. At the sighting he instantly pulled her into his side to share his body heat.
“I’m calling a specialist to fly over as soon as I have some cell reception. We’ll go to the beach, freeze our asses of. I get to cop a feel.”
“Ha. You should listen a little more accurately,” she scolded with a stern face. “It’s me who gets to cop a feel and I never specified you would be the recipient. Don’t think I forgot about your little stunt this morning.”
“Well it better be me or the next time I’ll leave you to choke down on that snow when you tumble into another hole.”
“Pfff. As if I’m some dainty little thing incapable of digging myself out of a hole. As I recall I gave you quite the chase when you so rudely awoke me in my house,” she challenged while sprinting ahead of him.
“Well let’s see if you’re so successful this time round,” Eric called after her as he made his way to chase her.
Sookie was nearly at the car when his giant arms surrounded her body pulling her up and off the ground while she squealed in protest flailing her arms and legs in a desperate attempt to be released from his grasp. Eric pulled her body round and moved her back against a birch tree leaning in fully intent on kissing her.
“Where’s your bravery now Ms Stackhouse?” he taunted while locking his eyes firmly on hers.
She made disgruntled noise expelling hot air through her nose and pulled her face to the side denying him the access he sought. He moved to seek out her lips again but they were interrupted by a continuous repetition of chirping noises coming from his phone. He looked down and saw he had thirteen missed calls from Pam. Eric sighed reluctantly as he pulled away from Sookie knowing it was important. Pam hated phones almost as much as she hated making phone calls. She only ever called in an emergency and before he managed to call her back the phone was already ringing.
“Eric,” she spoke the relief evident in her voice. “Why haven’t you been answering your phone?”
“I’m in the woods, reception was out.”
“Finally burying Sookie in the woods then,” she teased.
“Pamela,” he warned.
“Is she still holding out on you?” the teenager cackled down the other end of the line.
“What’s so important?” he asked ignoring her question as they made their way to the car. His opportune moment had been thoroughly lost as Sookie was now clattering her teeth again with the onset of chills. He handed Sookie the car keys so she could enjoy the warmth of the vehicle while he continued his conversation with Pam outside.
“I had a visit from Bill Compton.”
“Shit,” he replied. The asshole was really making it hard for Eric to detest the surly waste of space any more than he already did. “Are you okay?” Eric asked with concern of Pam’s mental state in confronting one half of the two despicable beings that had sought to exploit her.
“Mildly annoyed,” she responded dryly not willing to reveal the impact his sudden appearance had caused her. “Talbot was nearby, he’s too scared to approach Russell directly. He wants Sookie’s things, he knows ‘Russell’ has them. He’s still looking for Lorena’s ring.”
“Is he still there?”
“No, that’s why I’m calling you a gazillion times in a row. I just saw him board a plane to Stockholm while we were waiting for our flight to Mikonos.”
“Fuck,” Eric grunted.
“So have you?” Pam enquired in her usually cheery tone that masked the reprisal of trauma she had suffered through with Bill’s sudden confrontation of her.
“Have I what?” he asked confused at Pam’s latest question.
“Fucked her already.”
“I’m not discussing this with you,” he gritted out.
“I guess not then,” she mused. “I thought that hand puppet would have done the trick. You did write the card right?”
“See ya blue balls.” With expertise she had hung up the phone before being able to hear him growl out the string of profanities directed her way. After Eric had reached his contact Floki and arranged for him to come down on the next flight, he relayed his conversation with Pam to Sookie. Well the parts about Bill anyhow.
“I really don’t want him to find me Eric,” she said softly struggling with Bill’s encroaching presence in what she considered her safe haven. Her eyes were wide with fear at the prospect. “I need to stay dead to him.”
“I know,” he spoke soothingly as he drew circles with his thumb on the back of her hand. “I think it would be best you stay here a little longer. Let me find him in Stockholm, have his little confrontation and see him off back to the States. If we wait it out he might follow us to Monaco I can’t risk exposing you and I rather not postpone the meeting with the lawyer. I need you there.”
“You’re not sending him back in a body bag are you?” she winced. He merely chuckled at the thought; it was beginning to sound like a very good idea.
“Only if you ask me to.” He pulled her hand to his mouth and placed a soft kiss upon it.
“That’s sweet of you but I don’t think I’ll ever ask that of you,” she sighed. “Not unless it’s at the threat of your life.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“When will you leave?” Sookie asked, disappointed at the thought of having to separate from him again.
“When we’ve opened up the fallout shelter,” he said with regret. “I’ll fly back with Floki tomorrow night.”
“Maybe you should go sooner I could work it out with this Floki character,” she offered hoping the faster Bill had his little spat with Eric the quicker she could be home with him.
“Floki is a little… Let’s just say he’s an acquired taste and his English is as good as your Swedish.”
“Oh. Alright then,” she said with resignation.
“Don’t worry älskling,” Eric soothed as his thumbs tenderly caressed her cheeks. “Bill’s predictable I’ll find him easily enough and you’ll be flying back as soon as he’s boarded his plane.”
She stared out the window watching the fresh snow descend down softly around them. “Still want to go to the beach?” she asked determined to occupy her mind with anything but Bill Compton in the short time they still had together.
“Only if I get to be the cop,” he grinned at her. It only made her burst into a fit of giggles. She wiped the tears from her eyes and when they opened again a set of penetrating blues stared her down. His lips sought out hers to tenderly explore the soft edges of her mouth and with that the last remnants of the snow on her body melted away.
A/N: I was a little surprised at your overwhelming enthusiasm of last week’s chapter, I have yet to dissect exactly what was so special about it so that I can replicate it in the future. I had nearly scrapped the scene in favour of getting to the cabin quicker but I assume you were all glad I didn’t 😀
To make up for the lacklustre ending of the TB finale I have been utilising the announcement posts for the stories to write little quick fixes around the ‘Thank You’ episode. Since not everyone follows the same stories I’ve decided to house them all here under the name Thanksgiving Fixin’s. Despite my previous claim that I would not be making announcements for announcement posts I have decided to send out a post on Sundays to remind you all of the fixin’s that were posted that week. Anyhow they’re uber short and I’ll see how far my imagination stretches but there’s a couple rummaging around in my head and they take as long to write as my usual announcement posts so it works for me. I am now also entertaining requests/prompts for these fixin’s if they spark my imagination I’ll write it and credit you. So if you have something in mind or simply have an idea for the identity of the mystery man at the head of the table or something else leave it behind in the comment section. Or simply voice your complaints of the finale my associative mind picks up story ideas from the inconsistencies in True Blood all the time…