Sookie was a speed demon behind the wheel and the sensation of her taking control of my beloved dream car was far more exciting than I ever imagined. I never thought I would allow anyone other than myself to drive this specific vehicle. I had been searching fruitlessly for a car from this same limited release as soon as my Sanguine money came in. Now I knew I would have to be sweet talking Sookie out of the one that had my name written all over it. I’d happily buy her a matching new one with her name all over it but I knew she wasn’t going down without a fight. She was as enamoured with this piece of machinery as I was, despite her denial of it. Thankfully we were evenly matched in determination when it came to combat.
It seemed that was what we were best at. Whether it be battling with our tongues or our words and fuck if it didn’t make me hard. Regretfully that would have to wait after the slip of my fangs tonight. I knew I had to take it slow. I wasn’t ready for that yet with Sookie and despite her aggressive assault of my lips I doubted she was either.
She was no anonymous donor or random woman of my past. I couldn’t bear it if I hurt her in the process of my excitement. She nursed my wounds like no other but I couldn’t stand to see any harm come to her. As civil as we Sanguinges looked, there were beasts inside of us and the mere sensation of her blood had brought that out full force.
I had learned something new about Sookie Stackhouse tonight. She didn’t shy away when I did. Not that she actively sought out danger but fear never strapped her down unnecessarily. What I had interpreted as her defences before were merely a tactical temporary retreat, she never left the battlefield.
Our ever increasing heated kiss was disrupted by the flooding headlights of the Corvette into our private bubble. Sookie smiled dopily at me as she placed the key in my hands and I snuck in a quick taste of her lips before I stood beside her with my otherworldly speed urging her out of her seat. She laughed at what I hoped read as my apparent enthusiasm while she swapped her seat for mine.
The wolf was lost to us in seconds as my feet reached the bottom of the floor. It was far better than I had imagined as the speed coursed through my veins. As much as flying was a revelation to me this sensation still felt unparalleled. My heightened senses only added to it, no drug could compare to this high.
I took us to a secluded spot, one I only ever ventured to alone when things got too complex or I needed to be out of the house. No matter how many square feet it contained, when you want to be away from someone it might as well be the size of a cabin. It would be awhile before her security team had caught up with us, as I had put the supercar well past the legal speed limits and they were surprisingly good at remaining unnoticed. It felt very old world to have these chaperones looking over us but in a sense we needed that and I preferred them over Godric and Pam.
Sookie had managed to get out of the car before I was there to assist her out of the low seat. She didn’t sit waiting like a damsel, she had earned the right to carve her own path and I found I liked it. It suited her.
I had thought she had stood in a stasis of time in my absence, in the way she kept everything about my home exactly the same. Her adjustments were small but they were conscious choices just like keeping this specific car. She knew of what I cared for and that made her care but at the same time she discovered things about herself along the way. I had been right back then. Sookie was not meant to be a kept woman she was meant to be her own. That last part I had only realised by witnessing it in the present.
I guided her to an overturned tree trunk that I had sat on so often in the past I was surprised I hadn’t worn it down to the exact measurements of my ass. She sat down beside me and I noticed the weariness in her eyes. Beyond that lay fatigue, she hadn’t slept the day away like I had. I knew we had to talk about the upcoming visit of Aelia, the mistress of our Sanguine house, but I wanted a night that belonged to me for once. One I could share with her so we could momentarily leave our worries behind.
“What happened between you and the Vette?” Sookie asked as she pulled her cardigan around her tightly. At the sight I draped my leather jacket around her. I had no need for it anymore, it was a strange thing for clothing to be purely decorative. Pam had been talking me into buying a lot of clothes lately. Shopping had been her preoccupation when unable to reach out to Sookie. When she ran out of boutiques to rob blind she had diverted her efforts to me. I didn’t mind, the few clothes still left at Sookie’s house had been formal wear and the clothes I did possess were simple but would make me stand out among the discerning tastes of the Sanguine.
I found it amusing that Sookie considered my affection for my former car a living relationship but I was coming to understand her world view. Possessions meant more to someone who always had very little of them. I was a poor excuse for warmth but I nudged Sookie into my side regardless before I found an answer I could give. “It reminds me too much of a past that’s no longer there.”
“It’s like that with my Gran’s house too,” she said with a sigh and I couldn’t help but pull her closer. I knew the loss of it was one she had to mourn however ridiculous it seemed to me to grieve a physical object. To her it was like losing her grandmother all over again. “I worked so long and hard to get it back and when I did, I didn’t know what to do with it anymore.”
“Sounds like us.” My thoughts had slipped out of my mouth before I had given pause at their possible impact.
We both fell silent at that realisation. I hoped the parallel stopped with burning flames that led to total destruction and that my inability to face my past in a red little vehicle had made me withdrawn. As if she was reading my thoughts she remarked, “Let’s hope we don’t crash and burn.”
“If we can survive the Koenigsegg we can survive anything,” I jested in an attempt to lighten the heavy mood. Her lingering eyes turned to find mine. Despite their dark depths I always found light there, however inexplicable that may be. Now a hint of mirth resided alongside it.
“I think we should get t-shirts made up,” she returned. “I survived hurricane Freyda. That’s far more impressive than the car.”
Her weathering of that heavy storm went beyond that of impressive. Freyda appeared to be the butt of many of her private jokes. It was the only manner Sookie ever possessed in which she acted like the jilted mistress. I suspected it was Pam or her brother’s influence to degrade my ex-wife to a joke so she lost her threat.
“You didn’t need to move all the assets of the estate around like you have,” I said knowing that the subject of my ex needed to be addressed. I didn’t want to have Sookie feel like she ever competed with that.
“I know you don’t want it back,” she said with a little frost to her tone. It was strangely reminiscent of Freyda’s usual tenor with me, it didn’t suit Sookie one bit. Her heart hardened too much with it.
“No,” I replied trying to avert another discussion on that subject matter. “She won’t be after it anymore. Freyda is no longer in need of it.”
“I hope you got that in writing and notarised,” she retorted with the same ice. I didn’t think there was a side to Sookie that I didn’t like but this was one. It pained me to know my actions had given birth to that.
“I don’t need to,” I replied keeping my tone level and soft. “We have an understanding, our final parting was amicable.”
The look on Sookie’s face was incredulous and that was incredible to see. Very little ever cracked her pristine façade, Pam had told me it was a by-product of her telepathy. She had needed to develop an incredible poker face not to show her reactions to the inner thoughts of others.
“The papers said otherwise,” she said pointedly.
“And everything they’ve ever written about you is the absolute truth,” I remarked at which she gave a defeated sigh. I knew the press hadn’t been kind about her until recent years when she became the generous philanthropist. “It was all PR fed by the AVL and Freyda’s publicist. It’s why the no contact order was in place.”
“So they all could forget I was supposed to be the interfering mistress.” Her fingers dug deep into the flesh of her skin just above her knees. The face revealed nothing of her distaste of it all but that movement told me everything.
“No,” I said in explanation. “The AVL wanted you to play along as the…” I paused searching for a term that wasn’t as damning but there wasn’t one, “my former mistress. They wanted me to exchange the relinquishing of my estate for your compliance.”
Her face of anger was very similar to my own when Nan Flanagan had informed me of her ‘brilliant’ strategy. Thankfully Godric had backed me up and she was forced to rework her plan, unfortunately it came with the no contact order. I believed it in part to be a punishment for my refusal to pull Sookie in as an accomplice to her publicizing scheme. Star crossed lovers caught across the ages was a story Nan Flanagan couldn’t resist to spin.
“Freyda willingly agreed?” she asked as if it were a complete impossibility. I am sure with the Freyda Sookie had dealt with it certainly would have seemed exactly that. “Did you do some sordid deal with her too?”
“No.” My head shook in accordance with the statement to underline the fact. I needed Sookie to understand Freyda was no longer of any threat to her or to us. Legally or emotionally. “She finally got what she wanted, and it wasn’t with me. She never fought for the money Sookie, she fought to be recognised as the love of my life. When I was dead and alive.”
“She wasn’t?” Sookie asked, it was meant to be a statement but it came out as a question.
“Only you,” I whispered loud enough for her to hear and I felt the warmth that was at my side push in closer till nothing was left to separate us. I wasn’t ready to repeat those three magic words again till I knew for certain that she was ready to reciprocate. In this moment Sookie didn’t need to hear them to believe I held them solely for her.
“She magically accepted this because you told her so?” Sookie questioned with that same incredulous tone. It didn’t surprise me she had a hard time imagining Freyda as she was now. I had a hard time accepting that change in her too but I was glad to see it.
“No,” I said with a badly withheld chuckle. “She found someone else to love and he loves her back. They’re expecting their first child in a couple of months.”
“Sten,” Sookie gasped with realisation and I gave affirmation of her deduction. “I couldn’t understand the language in his mind but it had such gentle intent. It reminded me of how you thought of me all those years ago. I can’t believe the ice queen found someone to help her defrost.”
I couldn’t help but laugh as Sookie’s nickname for Freyda had been my programmed name for her number in my cell phone for years. When I informed Sookie of this she already knew this, my personal assistant had run her through all the contacts and explained who the moniker had belonged to.
“You’re awfully Zen about the woman who tried to make you permanently dead,” Sookie remarked with a tone that resembled one much closer to her own. It was melodic and soothing to me, the Southern lilt of her speech endeared her and it hid the true force of her magnitude. Hurricane Freyda was scary but to be at the end of Sookie’s verbal sword was surely a far more frightening place to be. She knew how to fight dirty, her display in hiding my assets had proven as much. The apple didn’t fall far from her godfather’s tree.
“I have an eternity but time ahead of me,” I offered in explanation. “Why should I waste time holding on to something I have no position to change. We were bad with each other, it doesn’t mean we are bad people apart.”
“She tried to kill you,” Sookie repeated for what seemed my benefit as her blank face only produced an accelerated blink.
“Luckily she didn’t succeed,” I returned with a smirk. “I’m sure I would be decidedly less Zen about it then. She apologised and admitted she was wrong, she regretted it. We can both move on now.”
Sookie sat quietly as she seemed to reassert everything she knew of Freyda. Despite her telepathy I knew I had shed a different light on her and from her body I could sense a certain amount of weight she carried lifted with the realisation of who Freyda was in the present.
“You held on to me,” she whispered softly. Her eyes were filled with unshed tears as she searched out my own once more. The penetrating gaze made it feel as if she was actively seeking out the thoughts that resided in my mind. As if the words I was about to speak could not be trusted. “Why?”
“You,” I said gently, in an attempt to avert the tears that were threatening to spill. “I wanted to keep.”
It was no use what I said, they fell regardless. Her fresh face glistened in the limited light of the waning moon. I kissed the beads of moisture away from her face even though I knew they had nothing to do with sadness. I still didn’t like seeing them there.
“I don’t want to be a vampire,” she strangled out with her gaze averted to the forest floor. “I don’t have an eternity of time ahead of me.”
I always had a difficult time accepting this part of my new existence. I didn’t want her to be what I was either. She was alive and that is how she was supposed to be, it had terrified me when she spoke of using my former grave as her own one day. Were we both human I would have accepted it was a fate we shared collectively. My fingers grazed in urging at the underside of her chin so I could see her eyes once more.
“The darkness is not a place for you,” I clarified to her. She was a great big beaming light that had served as my guide in the darkest corners of my expunged mind. There was nothing in me that would want to extinguish that. “We have now and many tomorrows. If you would accept my blood you would last longer than most.”
The magic that sustained us was like a youth elixir to the human system. It would never make them immortal without a turning but it had kept companions around for years beyond anything capable by modern science today. The Sanguines guarded the blood with great reverence only to be dispensed to chosen ones, execution was given to those who shared it without consent of their familial line. It was why the permission to court Sookie held such great importance. I knew the blood of my direct line was stronger than most, there was two millennia between Godric and myself, its potency was barely diluted.
“You wish me to take your blood?” she asked with a tone that revealed she understood all too well the importance of it. A thought occurred to me that perhaps Pam had given her an infusion of blood once considering that age had barely worn Sookie down. I quickly disregarded the thought as I would have sensed it inside her, however faint it was, the blood of our line would always find itself in others. I had first experienced it when I met Aelia’s human companion, it was similar to the connection I felt in Pam but not as strong.
“I wonder how long it’s going to take you to accept there is nothing I wouldn’t wish to share with you.” Acceptance was a slow process with Sookie and luckily I had all the time in the world I just hoped she caught on soon enough. She nodded in understanding until I felt her hand snake into my pocket as she pulled the heavy key from my possession.
“Except the Koenigsegg,” she smirked triumphantly with a perfect pronunciation of the Swedish brand. My hand clasped over her thieving one in retaliation. The threat was idle, I could crush her hand with a mere squeeze and have the key back before she could blink but that strength would never be used against her. All I would ever be able to do was caress her with the lightest of touches.
“Except the Koenigsegg,” I admitted in defeat as her hand slipped from my loose grip. Where I had expected her to bolt to the driver’s seat she surprised me by turning over my large hand and placing the key firmly inside it. “Now tell me the real reason what’s wrong with the Corvette.”
“It reminds me of the man I used to be,” I sighed baring the incarnation of my former self. “The one who chased skirts to piss off his wife. It wasn’t me but I acted like him anyway.”
“You were never that man back then,” she said to me as she tucked away a stray piece of hair from my forehead, a lack of toiletries at Sookie’s house left it slightly unkempt. “I read it in your mind, everyone but Freyda understood. Love wasn’t something you gave away as easily as everything else. My bank accounts stand testament to that.”
Sookie knew every intricate detail of my past, if she hadn’t read about my philandering in my mind she would have read about it in the media or been confronted with it in court. What I regretted most was that she had been lumped in among those women. I had made every concerted effort for her not to be. While the rest of the world might still regard her as such I knew the truth as well as she. She stood miles apart on her own.
A/N: Now that I have your attention I have a little announcement…
I’ll be off on holiday for the next couple of weeks to a place where Wi-Fi will be shoddy at best. I’ll see what I can do but it may happen that a week passes without an update or that it happens on a different day. It’s Already Gone is the only story that will continue as scheduled seeing that it coincides with the show. For those impatient ones among you I suggest to read/catch up with another one of my stories while I’m gone or make sacrifices to the Wi-Fi gods and pray for good reception. I’ll be back at work September 1st so unless I catch Hep-V regular scheduling will commence from that point onwards.