Eric really can kiss like there’s no tomorrow. Though I’d like there to be a next day so I can receive another just like this. Soft yet firm but I had yet to make acquaintance with his tongue. So I invited him in by stroking my own at his bottom lip and seeking the defence walls of his teeth. It happened before I realised what I had done. His fangs descended and the soft tissue was lacerated and blood poured from my mouth to his. There was nothing pleasant from that point on as he sucked profusely while the tenderness that was there lay forgotten. It was but a second till he pulled away with eyes dilated and an alarmedGodric stood between us.
His healing saliva had cured the wound but my tongue was suitably numb from the deprivation of blood. My breaths were ragged and I stumbled with my back against the doorframe. I didn’t like seeing Eric like this, looking so ashamed. It was my fault not his, I wanted to reassure him of that but I had no interest in discussing the technicality of our kiss with an audience. It was bad enough they were there to witness it in the first place. I gave him an apologetic look but it hardly seemed to register.
Before I could utter a coherent word Godric had whisked him away and Pam pulled me beside her on one of the beds. I didn’t want to talk about this with her, Pam had enough dominion over my life as it was. I had always allowed it because it pertained to parts of my life I didn’t care about. Eric was not one of those.
“He is young and not well versed with fresh feeds,” Pam offered when I remained adamantly mute of what was coursing through my own mind. I refused to look at her in attempt to avoid talking further of it, the blank wall was a particularly interesting sight to me tonight. “From your scent I know you would taste better than most.”
I had to roll my eyes at that. Pam had told me this many times and it always made me feel like a tasty piece of meat. It was the only time Pam ever would make me feel uncomfortable and that takes her continued lesbian advances in regard. I initially thought it a ploy to get me to her bed but others had subtly noted on it since. Even the weres in my employ had noted how sweet I naturally smelled. They couldn’t just compliment me on the shininess of my hair.
Thankfully we were interrupted by Shahbaz announcing that his brothers in arms had arrived. I was dying for some fresh air and to look at the night sky. To feel like an inhabitant walking the earth again instead of residing in its ground. Unlike the creatures of darkness I seemed to be surrounding myself with, there was nothing healing about the soil to me.
I picked up my pace to disengage the lock that led back to the upper floors. I passed by the bedroom Eric and I had shared and heard whispers of Swedish. I had a hard time gaging Eric’s relationship to Godric. I knew Godric to be an exceptional person but from what I had understood so far he hadn’t always placed Eric’s best interest first. I was still reeling from the knowledge that, were it not for the Great Reveal, Eric would have been doomed to an eternity as an amnesiac. No matter how many new memories he would have made he would always be walking around with a hole in his soul. One that had nothing to do with me.
I knew from Pam the maker child bond was complex. According to her, the one who made her held her heart the dearest but could punish her like no other. It wasn’t physical punishment that caused the damage. That would be a useless exercise with the Sanguine, they healed instantly and what would cause great pain to an Impurus or a mortal would feel like a small slap to them. Obedience amongst the Sanguine was cultivated through that unique bond. Disappointing their maker weighed heavier on them than anything else. It was almost as if it were ingrained into their DNA, their wellbeing rested on the approval of their parent.
Pam had lost a recently turned cousin when his maker unexpectedly perished. He couldn’t live without the support or reprimand of his maker. He withered away and died without cause. Pam had been particularly fond of him as they were turned in short succession of each other. It took Pam a good couple of decades before she was able to suffice without the constant presence of her maker. She had admitted that the sexual component of their relationship had complicated things further so perhaps that was not the norm.
Pam suspected Eric and Godric’s relationship wasn’t as complex as hers and I hoped she was correct in that assumption. I would never wish to be the human in between a maker and his child. There was no use to even attempt to compete as such.
I invited the list of names Shahbaz had written out phonetically for me in order for them to pass the threshold of the wards. The squadron of expert fighters was quite the sight as they kneeled down in the patch of grass in fealty of Pam. The procedure was repeated when Godric emerged besides Pam. A convoy of armoured vehicles stood ready and waiting for Pam and her company to leave. Eric had yet to appear from the confines of the basement this entire time.
Godric and Shahbaz seemed to take command of the Guards of Anûšiya while Pam led me back inside. I knew this face far too well. It was Pam in her take charge mode, one even I had difficulty arguing with. I sat down with a glass of sweet tea knowing I wasn’t going to like what she had to say.
“I want to help,” I interjected before it would be an argument. “If I had resumed screening your staff like I always did this wouldn’t have happened.”
For once I could see the age and weariness of her continued existence on Pam’s face as she gave me a tight smile. I didn’t know everything about the situation but I knew it weighed heavily on her conscience. “The leak isn’t human,” she sighed. “There was no new staff hired since you last made the rounds. It’s either a were or one of our own.”
“I’m sorry Pam,” I offered. I knew she valued loyalty above everything else, this betrayal had to have cut deeply. While my grasps on weres’ thoughts was minimal I was always able to sense emotions and intent aside from the occasional thought. Regardless we both knew the betrayal lay at the hands of a vampire rather than any other.
“I’d like for you to remain by Eric’s side for now,” she informed me. “We need to prepare for Aelia’s arrival tomorrow and I rather have him worrying over you here than distracting others with your sole safety.”
“You’ll take my help when you need it,” I insisted. Pam simply nodded in acquiescence as she stood ready to depart. I waved her, Godric and Shabaz off. Two Guards of Anûšiya stayed behind guarding the outer perimeters.
My home was empty again apart from the void in the basement. It was a strange sensation, I was used to being alone now but despite the circumstances that had filled up my home it had been nice. Eric’s absence at sending Pam and Godric off didn’t leave me confused. It was a Sanguine thing, they never said goodbye. Pam said it was a bit of arrogance on their behalf. Humans started saying goodbye to each other out of fear of not seeing them return alive again. Fate was a cruel mistress in tough times. The Sanguines always saw each other again no matter what length of time in between.
I warmed him a bottle of Royalty blended and descended down the stairs. I found him much like I had when he first woke for the night. A small smile crept onto my face as I saw he had made both our beds. The pillows still sat slightly askew but it was clear he had put his best effort into it.
He graciously accepted my offered liquid meal as I settled myself in the armchair beside him. He sipped at it slowly and carefully.
“About earlier,” I started. I immediately had to grab his hand to stop the apology threatening to come from his lips as my eyes pleaded with him to let me finish what I was about to say. “It was my fault. I know you’re a vampire now but sometimes I forget. I was careless in my actions.”
He sat his drink down and looked at me attentively as if he was truly regarding me for the first time. I don’t know if it was conscious or not but his thumb caressed the protruding ends of my knuckles. He was still so human to me, in his actions and expressions. Between the two of us we’d probably be mistaken in our mortal states for the other’s. I had always assumed it was my association with Pam that had most believing I was a Sanguine. Pam however, had informed me it had more to do with the poker face that had emerged alongside my telepathy.
It also meant that despite my lack of ability to read into their minds I could read their expressions better than most. Eric was young by their standards and from what I had understood earlier that night he had spent very little time around other Sanguines.
“Sookie,” he said with a sigh. “I lost control, it was I who was careless.”
All seemed to come down to that with vampires. Control, having it and losing it. With Eric I knew it was different. He had always been firmly in control in his human life, his house spoke of it in every meticulously planned millimetre of it. Everything had a carefully fitted place in his life. It is how he knew I would never be able to fit in it. I wasn’t a mistress and I couldn’t be his wife.
I shook my head in disagreement, “Who pulled you away? Godric or yourself?”
Despite the flurry of speeds in which it had all happened we both knew the answer to that question. He had moved himself away from me the moment the blood hit the back of his throat. Godric had arrived between us a millisecond later. His head hung slightly in defeat of my argument. We both liked to blame ourselves for things beyond our control because in a sense that brought us some command of the situation. It absolved us of our helplessness. Fate and chance were mistresses we both despised. They had pulled us apart before. Perhaps we should be more forgiving now that they had brought us to each other once more.
“Would you like to go for a drive? I could really use some fresh air,” I offered in distraction of earlier events. I had missed driving the Corvette and with him it wouldn’t feel like taking possession of it as entirely my own. His eyes told me yes but his words told me no.
“I can’t,” he offered in an explanation that didn’t seem his own. “I am to stay in this room unless your safety calls for it.”
It wasn’t hard to recognise a maker’s command. It was hard to see it enslave Eric like that but that’s how the Sanguine bound the young to their side. Devotion and loyalty were paramount to their collective survival and the attacks of the previous night proved the need for just that. It still made it difficult for me to stand witness to that. Luckily my extensive experience with legal jargon had proven me an excellent detector of loopholes.
“Well my safety demands you by my side,” I said with a triumphant smirk as I pulled at his hand to follow my feet up the stairs. “So follow me.” I saw him carry an equally satisfied smile as he passed over the threshold of the confining room with ease. He frowned a little when we got to the garage. Something had happened between him and the Corvette and I had yet to find out exactly what. Jason’s truck was still in Bon Temps if it hadn’t been swept up in the fire. The continued onset of his frown and fallen mood gave me cause to an idea.
I entered the necessary codes and slowly the garage floor opened to reveal the only other car of his that I had kept. It had come in years after his death and was destined to be a museum piece and as such I had kept it hidden away from Jason’s prying eyes. Eric had ordered it years in advance, one in a series of ninety-nine. His eyes filled with unbridled glee at the resurfacing of it.
“Still don’t want your inheritance back,” I teased with the keys dangling in my hands. He growled like the vampire he was and it was as if he was speaking directly to what resonated in between my thighs. If it could I’m sure the kitten that resided there would have purred in return.
“You make quite the argument,” he returned as he stalked towards me. “How about just the car.”
His hand engulfed my tightly clutched one making it clear neither one was going to give in. We were at another standstill, thankfully it was a playful one. So fuelled by the spirit of coming out of events unscathed I caught him off guard by licking up the ridge of his neck. I barely caught the cursing of ‘minx’ directed my way as I sprinted into the driver’s seat. I victoriously opened the signature Koenigsegg’s door to him and patted the empty seat beside me.
His poorly acted disappointment was a suitable performance considering the car model name was named after the Swedish verb of ‘to act’. I beat his instructive words on how to start the car by quickly and successively performing the actions before the words left his mouth. I couldn’t help but giggle at the miffed look on his face as the engine sang in delight at my attentions. I had never understood the fascination with fast cars till I experienced the feel of a mechanical beast coming to life underneath you, notifying that you were in for one hell of a ride. We both needed that right now, escaping death knew how to inform you to take a grasp of life.
I carefully edged us out of the garage with my windows down, I tossed the keys to the Corvette to Alcide knowing he stood no chance in hell of following us with his standard fleet of cars. With the Corvette he might stand a chance. The wolf grinned widely knowing exactly what he was in store for.
“So why did you keep this one?” Eric asked as I slowly drove to the gates. The low suspension required extra care till we made it to the smooth asphalt outside. The truth was I really liked the car but I would never admit to that.
“Like anyone would buy this. It has your name written all over it,” I told him. “Literally.”
It was a lame defence. I would have received twice the amount for what Eric had originally paid for it despite the fact that his name was indeed embroidered onto the leather seats, engraved on every surface and printed on all the soft fabrics of the roof liner and floor mats. The owner of the specialised supercar manufacturer had told me it was a private joke between Eric and himself, they were old friends. Apparently he was becoming concerned with Eric’s Americanisation and decided to truss up his order in accordance. Rich boys made extremely expensive jokes.
His laughter was lost as the engine drowned it and any other sound out. That was why I loved this car, it shut people out and as a telepath that was a rare treat. In this car no one’s thoughts could reach me and it was bliss. It was even successful in alleviating me of my own troubling thoughts as the empty highways opened up to my insistent feet.
When I had my fill after a good 80 miles I pulled over to allow Alcide to catch up and let Eric have a go at the engineering dream. With nothing clouding my mind or his I pulled at his leather jacket as soon as our seatbelts were disengaged. My lips crashed into his and without hesitance his mouth opened to mine. His fangs made their presence known once more and at the realisation I felt him pull away in hesitance. I forced him to stay, determined this was another battle I refused to lose to him. I was on a winning streak even if I did play dirty by encircling one fang with my tongue. He stalled his resistance and fought my tongue with his instead.
Contact sports had always been a struggle for me but this was one in which I happily pleaded defeat. The silence of his mind and touch was unparalleled. The Koenigsegg had nothing on the man whose name was written all over it.
From that moment I only ever wanted one man’s name to leave my lips.
So I breathed out, “Eric.”
A/N: So we’ll be back exactly from this point with EPOV next Tuesday.