“UNH!” It was about as elegant I could get in that moment when all my body wanted to do was crawl into his, never wanting this to end.
The man could fuck though, there was little deniability in that and he was building to something I never experienced before, hitting into hidden depths till it stopped and surged. Releasing me of it all in waves while I clung on to him, the rhythm continuing, easing slightly with the flutter of my insides while I chanted his name in praise. Surely it had to end and he would come inside me but that announcing swelling remained absent, I could barely see him through the sweat soaked strands of my hair that obscured his face above me. It was a miracle I remembered to breathe.
He was still hard when he pulled out of me, while my insides seemed to have settled and fallen to sore. I whimpered at the loss and his pride as expressed through that still triumphantly erect cock, bloomed to the surface. Its evil cousin, the single elevated brow, dared question if I wanted more. Though I didn’t think it was possible to sustain more pleasure, I rose to the challenge and initiated one of my own, “Make love to me.”
There he was again, vibrating inside of me without the hard determination or the special skills. They had been wonderful and earth shattering but it didn’t compare to this, where our eyes had constantly sought each other in frenzy, now they didn’t even dare blink for the possibility of losing this connection. The movements were simple, familiar, we kissed softly in between. Rewarding ourselves for opportunities lost that would never have resulted in this. This perfection that settled us and brought us in tune, and it lasted for as long as we cared it to, words unnecessary to experience it all. He spilled and I received.
It was simple. I loved him. He loved me.
We were an us now.
I never wanted to smoke a cigarette, in fact I hated the sight and smell of them, but after that I came to understand the desire in the aftermath of such occasion, to simply mark it with a punctuation. I was done, happy, content. There was simply was nothing left to add. I’d had sex often enough, as man and as vampire, to know that was something different. I lacked the words to describe it, I had always written off the words ‘making love’ to the prudes who were too scared to taste the word ‘fuck’ in their mouth, but begrudgingly it was the closest I could get in describing that.
Old habits, however, continued to die hard when I uselessly stared at the porcelain bowl of Sookie’s toilet with my limp dick in hand. I don’t know where the liquids and solids that weren’t blood I ingested seemingly evaporated, and even Godric didn’t have an answer, but in a rare sleepy haze my body fooled me into believing I still urinated. I looked dopey, a satisfied grin looking back at me when I took in the reflection of myself in the vanity mirror while washing my hands. It was an embarrassing sight, since I was alone I indulged in it. Eric Northman in love, it was a rare thing indeed.
When I sidled back into the warmth of the bed beside her, where even her soft snores appealed to me, I reached for my phone. Photographing us both, my steady vampiric hands allowing a crisp photo despite the lack of light. It was reminiscent of the sketch I had sent her once, after my return when I was hoping to get her to understand the depth of my yearning for her. The composition wasn’t as striking, but this captured the weight of us and without much thought I shared it with the person who would appreciate seeing it most. Thankfully the picture was chaste enough and revealed little but my head resting contentedly with hers. I had, however, neglected to remember the girl in question I sent it to lived in a different time zone, hours ahead of ours, causing a teeny bop ringtone she had installed on my phone to thunder loudly into the room. Fucking Taylor Swift.
Sookie’s eyes fluttered open and I implored her to continue to sleep, and thankfully she did while Louvelle excitedly squealed on the other end of the line while uttering haphazard French phrases that made little sense at the rapidity in which they were expelled. I found a quiet spot on the landing, a seat at a bay window that overlooked the lake where in the distance I could spot my Maker watching carefully with a menacing stare as the dawn approached on the horizon. I beckoned him, he hesitated, but neared regardless.
“When are you going to marry her?” Louvelle interjected as the only coherent thing I could respond to between her babbles of our true love after I regaled a PG-13 version of the events that occurred over these past few days.
“When things settle.”
In truth I hadn’t given it much thought, my interactions with Sookie always having been overshadowed by a fear that the expectations of us would never measure up to the reality; awkward and its annoying cousins always lurking in the background with their threatening presence. Added to that, the success of my first marriage did little to implore the sanctity of it with me, but I had failed to consider Sookie’s desires on the subject.
“I will be a bridesmaid,” the little wolf announced, leaving little room for arguments. “Or a flower girl. No! Both!”
“Of course,” was the only suitable answer I could think of. I was high on my Sookie afterglow, dangerously so, I would have probably agreed to anything Louvelle had asked in that moment.
“Remember, Eric,” she spoke sternly in that French lisp of hers that made my name sound like another’s. “We see well only with the heart.”
“On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur,” I repeated back from the book I had read to her many times at night. Only now did I come to understand the depth of those words in a book meant for children that gave insight into the world of adults. “Goodnight, little wolf.”
She growled, muttering that it was day and that she was no longer little, but it was how I had always greeted her when reading her those books. Reluctantly she carried on with her day while I slipped into jeans and made my way downstairs to greet my Maker who had taken cautious residence on the porch below.
“Come in,” I urged, knowing Sookie would not take too kindly for him to be stalking any twig that moved in an assessment of danger outside when there was an offer of hospitality indoors. He, however, seemed more at ease outdoors than in.
“You gave me a great fright,” he confessed softly while I prepared us both a heated blood. He only hesitated momentarily before agreeing to the Royalty Blended in favour of the True Blood I knew he preferred on his conscious. I hid the small smile I carried in triumph over him, pleased that he was sustaining himself on something more nourishing and favouring my tastes. Perhaps he was just indulging me due to the simple fact that his worst fears had not come to be, in any case I would take the opportunity as it came.
I apologised for the fright caused in my Maker when setting down the warmed drink before him. His hand clasped over mine, pained eyes looking up holding me close to him in a way he could never express with words. “It was not your fault,” he whispered. “I can’t help but feel responsible if something were to happen to you or young Sookie. Happiness such as yours should not be tainted.”
I nodded in understanding; we were a burden he wished to carry where he derived some happiness of his own in the process by providing that care. My bare back barely hit the hardwood of the chair when I felt a similar feeling of responsibility as Sookie’s sudden state of panic surged through the bond into me. She was halfway down the stairs, partially dressed, and calling out my name when we collided.
“We have to go,” she urged, thrusting my shirt and shoes at me. “The hospital, Staci is hysterical and hurt. Bill.”
She forgot to breathe and nearly fainted while I held her up, urging her to calm. “He’s dead,” she finally finished after taking in a few extended breaths.
“Sorry,” I offered out of habit, though neither of us would really care for the loss of his life except that it cut the connection to a well of information that we had yet to delve into.
“Where?” Godric demanded while I did my best to dress as quickly as able.
“Shreveport General,” Sookie answered with a startle, not having noticed my Maker until the moment he spoke. He was gone in seconds, taking flight in direction of the hospital. We headed for the car assured with the knowledge Godric would secure her where Sookie was hesitant to fly there in my arms.
“It’ll be okay,” I assured while reaching out to pet her thigh. She smiled weakly, I don’t know what it was that had her so connected to the girl, but there was something touching about her care for a relative stranger.
“I could have been her,” she whispered aloud, answering the question that just passed through my mind. I regarded her carefully, wondering if she had an insight with her telepathy since exchanging blood. She didn’t flinch or betray a thing when I thought the most horrible thought I could imagine, dismembering her brother limb from limb. “He tried to glamour me once, it’s how I found out I was immune.”
My hand tightened on her thigh, “What did he want?”
“A date; seemed innocent then, not so much now. His continued insistence scared me.” Her hand threaded through my grip on her loosening the hold and while we waited on a deserted crossroad for a light to turn green, I pecked the back of her hand softly, only then noticing the travelling tear. We missed the light as all I could think to do was kiss it away, hoping to kill the sadness inside her.
A car honked behind us, and since we hadn’t come across another vehicle on our entire journey we must have been lost to time longer than we thought. A quick glance in the mirror and the realisation hit that it was our security detail. That bastard Shahbaz was grinning before blowing an air kiss my way. I accelerated hard, pushing the sports car to its limits to make up for whatever time we lost till we stood waiting outside the gates of Pam’s palace. Sookie regarded me with confusion, the hospital being some way away.
“Godric’s here,” I explained perhaps a little too late. My mind was too preoccupied with the thought of never having repeatedly staked Bill Compton to death when I had the chance.
“Don’t think he’d leave her there,” I offered in explanation to which she nodded in understanding. The security measures were more stringent than ever before, and Sookie’s impatience outweighed my insistence to stay in the car till it was done. She ran for the palace as soon as able while I waited till every part on my car was inspected by a set of mirrors and a keenly smelling set of Weres. At a distance I felt Sookie’s spirit drop, and mine fell right along with hers when I entered the room where Staci was nothing more than a puddle on the floor.
“We took it too far,” Sookie whispered while staring into Staci’s vacant eyes. It was just the shell of her, mind lost to somewhere else. “I’m a horrible person.”
“No!” It came out so harshly because I refused to even entertain the idea while I held her up when she threatened to crumble under the guilt. “This is not your fault.”
The girl clutched onto my Maker like an injured bird, broken probably was more accurate, whispering jumbled sets of words that made little sense. ‘Bill dead.’ was the only one she repeated more than once.
A hesitant knock on the door caught our attention, I had expected Pam to show up at any moment, but the tentative approach had us all guessing who would appear from behind the heavy set of double doors.
“Tulla?” my Maker whispered to the woman who had sired him, his tone filled with awe while she regarded him with kind eyes. She appeared ancient, more so than Aelia when I knew she to be younger with none of the pretence of the Sanguine, gliding into the room with a billowing loose skirt of simple cotton.
“I had a feeling I would be needed soon,” she smiled, regarding the girl in his arms. “I see I arrived just in time.” She bent in closely, brushing away the hairs on Staci’s sweaty forehead, and, miraculously, she calmed in her mere presence. “Why don’t you rest now?” she whispered suggestively, but it was followed like a command. She kissed Godric softly on the lips, another command was spoken without a hint of force. “You will stay with her so I can finally meet my grandson and his intended.”
“We’re not engaged,” Sookie offered in correction, causing Tulla to titter with delight.
“I wasn’t talking about engagements, my dear,” she spoke with amusement while taking Sookie in one arm and me in the other. “It is only a matter of time.”
Sookie and I exchanged glances of equal confusion, but followed her out of the sumptuous guest room regardless after an encouraging nod from Godric. “Where might one find a drink? I am parched!”
We were startled by the sounds of crashing crystal just outside Pam’s private quarters that held the most impressive of her drinks collection, which had me wonder if Faeries had shown up unexpectedly there, too. Pam’s voice was hoarse, most likely not the first time she yelled that night as it turned into day. “Run away from me as you always do!”
“I’m not running away!” Kristian roared back.
“I see little has changed with you two,” Tulla interjected with a wry smile causing them both to restrain their seething and find their composure effortlessly.
“Tulla,” Kristian responded warmly while kissing the ring on her hand when it left my arm and was presented as such. “There was no notice of your travels. How did you charter the jet without my knowledge?”
She snorted, patting him on the head like a small child. “I travelled coach, Kristian,” she tittered. “You should try it some time. It’s marvellous, everyone keeps to themselves.”
“This is not the time to be disregarding your safety,” he spoke sternly.
Tulla shrugged in response, “I have lived long enough, if I die, I die.”
“You have strange instincts for an immortal being,” Kristian chuckled with a shake of his head.
“Ever consider maybe I have the right ones, while you all foolishly hang on for little purpose.”
“You may have a point.”
“I always do,” she said slyly before beckoning Pam to her, “My little niece, come here.”
“I’m surprised they let you in looking the way you do,” she spoke with mock disdain as if the simplicity of her white cotton dress held up like a sheet by a few pins equated a burlap sack.
“Me too,” she laughed while embracing Pam. “I was certain you selected your guard on their tastes in draped cloth.”
“You know I really should,” the reigning Queen of impeccable taste grinned. “Perhaps that would be the answer to all my problems.” A sharp glance was cast her Maker’s way who did his best to ignore it.
“So did you two leave me anything to drink behind?” Tulla mused aloud while stepping her bare feet around the shattered pieces.
“I’ll have one of the servants-” Pam offered before Tulla held up her hand.
“Please don’t, I have legs, I have limbs. There is no need.”
Pam nodded and, in a very uncharacteristic move, we witnessed the Queen herself sweep up the evidence of glistening glass from their spat. Sookie and I sat down across from Kristian who had yet to settle the restless energy as easily as Pam demonstrated; she all but swept it underneath one of her pricey silk rugs with the shards of glass.
“Perhaps you should ask Sophie Anne to come and stay again,” Sookie spoke conversationally when Pam seated herself beside Kristian with as much distance between them as the piece of furniture allowed. Pam’s discerning brow lifted in question till it eased, and it seemed they were speaking in shorthand that only the two of them were proficient in as I and her Maker remained completely oblivious to the veiled speak between them.
“Of course, it was such a delight having them here. I’ll send out invitations instantly.”
“She won’t want to come alone, I’m sure,” Sookie replied with a plastered-on smile.
“Of course,” Pam agreed knowingly and I held my temper for not being in the know between those two. I feared I’d become the butt of their joke at some point with disastrous consequences to my ego.
Tulla sat down a tray of drinks, obviously forgetting the time of day for Sookie with her choice of hard liquors and bloods. My filled tumbler sat untouched in solidarity beside hers while Tulla probed and investigated our path to each other. Again, Sookie was frugal in her replies and would only sometimes interject, whereas I was more elaborate as I simply wanted to fill in the blanks where Godric had been painfully silent towards his own Maker. Tulla regarded us with avid interest while Pam would run interference along with Sookie, keeping the details of us sparse.
“You should get back to Bon Temps,” the Queen herself announced out of the blue startling me with its suddenness, but I had become remiss in remembering Niall would expect Sookie to be there in the day.
Deciding to play along to whatever game they were participating in, I answered, “Of course,” before bidding my Grandsire goodbye with a promise to talk more soon. We checked in on Godric who regrettably let us go without his continued supervision in favour of his latest charge.
“What was that about?” I asked when we were afforded the privacy of our car. Sookie pretended to be asleep, the reason only confusing me more. I put my frustration with the lack of answers into the accelerator pedal of the car, not caring that the security detail was lagging behind. Only when we were nearing the exit of the highway near Sookie’s home did she decide to speak.
“How well do you know Tulla?”
I regarded her carefully, where she carried that studious face of hers that wasn’t unlike that of my Maker’s when he wanted me to understand something by deducing it from the information placed in front of me.
“She’s the black sheep of the family,” I explained. “Her Maker favoured Godric over her, but she does not seem to mind.”
“She’s different,” Sookie spoke carefully, not hinting at anything more and I lacked words to add to that.
“What was it like?” I asked after letting my mind wander over the events of the early morning that would pull this caution from Sookie before clarifying, “Staci’s mind.”
I remembered the muddled state of my amnesia and Sookie had known it through another, her generous spirit had cried for me then, that my Maker had encouraged me to continue to forget and I dreaded to think an innocent girl was stuck in that forever. Perhaps that was why Godric had taken such an avid interest in her care, to atone for what he had gotten wrong with me.
“Hollow,” she whispered while staring at the sky devoid of clouds through the side window, her breath causing condensation on the glass before her eyes came to briefly meet mine. “All she remembers is the love and worship she felt for Bill, and how he was ripped to shreds.”
“I’m sorry you had to witness that,” I could feel the pain it caused inside and sought to comfort her, but she rejected it, feeling it valid to feel sadness over such thoughts. She was right in that sense, not all the pain could simply magically be erased away because we willed it so. “Do you at least know who it was?”
She held her lips tightly, draining them of their natural pink flush, before answering succinctly, “Andre.”
A feeling of dread settled over us both as I slowly came to understand, shedding new light on her veiled conversation with Pam that encouraged the invite to the Impurus and his Sanguine Maker. Her next spoken words, however, sent a chill down my spine and for the first time since turning vampire, I shivered with that coldness while her deduction settled in my mind and connected the loose dots. Tulla’s outsider status, the unaccompanied flights making her permanent whereabouts unknown, the opportune timing of her arrival, and the strangely effective way she brought Staci to calm without a hint of glamour. Sookie voiced the words as they entered my mind, “What if it’s her, Eric?”
A/N: Special thanks to msbuffy as ever for her continued dedication to all the editing she does for me.
So if the recap in italics seemed unfamiliar you missed the outtake last time, find it here.
Right you know where to find me in my usual spot of hiding… Sorry, you were probably liking Tulla, I even made her a banner below, anyhow fun times ahead in the Aurelie household. Let me know thoughts and stuff… oh yeah, Bill died…