She fell asleep in my arms.
Our ardent nights, her minor loss of blood, her anxiety about my sun exposure, and her orgasm all contributed. I felt her go lax as I cleaned her neck, making sure I caught every last drop of my precious supply. I was still nestled inside her. A vampire perk. We didn’t always soften after climax. I knew from our bond that she liked it when I continued to occupy her, long after the fact. I’m sure she could feel my own pleasure in the act. She would gasp in scandal if I said so, but having my dick sheathed inside her calmed me as nothing else did. Sookie’s body was my home. I planned to inhabit it as often and as long as possible.
So she slept still joined to me.
I, however, wouldn’t dare. I held her close, admiring how she looked in the light of day, but I did not succumb to the drowsy pull that was urging me to die for the day. We were out in the open. Weres were hunting her. Awake, I could protect her, but more than three would prove difficult. Not only that, if any escaped me, then my brand new secret would be blown. A vampire was out in the woods in the middle of the day with the girl. Yes, it’s certain. Yes, she’s might be responsible.
And just like that, it would be out.
And despite Sookie’s confidence, no vampire in the world would believe that she was incapable of giving them the same gift. They would kidnap her. They would ask nicely and bribe her with anything she liked. Or they’d simply torture her. Starve her. Kill her family and friends in front of her. Demand that she wave her little wand and infuse them with her Light. It didn’t matter if she couldn’t. She could explain a hundred different ways that what she had given to me was unique and unrepeatable. They’d never believe her. They’d end up killing her in their desperation to make her comply. And I would lose her. I would lose her and she will have already taken my preferred method of suicide. Without her I would wither, and the sun would deny me my true death.
I looked up at it. Its unblinking eye looked back.
I looked back down at my side.
Vampires simply didn’t glimpse such things.
She murmured in her sleep and burrowed backward, closer to me. She tightened her hold on my arms around her. She sighed contentedly, as if we did this all the time. I curled my hips and legs securely around hers. She had absolutely no idea. She just lay there, sweet as honey, not understanding the devastating power she had bestowed upon me. With this gift, she had both freed and yoked me. I was free; the sun had forgiven me because it loved her. I was enslaved; the woman in my arms owned me, body and soul. I was no longer my own. I was Sookie’s, for her to do with as she pleased. Perhaps is was the vampire bond that chained me so tightly to her. Perhaps it was the Fae bond. Perhaps whatever mystical combination of the two had broken my will and left me quivering with need for her.
Perhaps there was no magic at all. Just Sookie. She was more than enough.
I shook my head in annoyance. I felt blood pooling in my ears and swelling in my sinuses. The bleeds were coming. I needed to sleep. Her gift had not abolished that requirement, and we simply weren’t safe in the woods.
Gently, I disengaged from her and zipped myself up. She frowned in her sleep and turned into me, fisting her little hands in my tank. Her leg hooked disapprovingly over my thighs. The ring I’d placed on her finger winked at me. “No,” she muttered petulantly. Unconsciously, she thought I was leaving her. I gathered her up in my coat and held her to my chest. She settled down instantly and nuzzled her head into my shoulder.
My heart clenched. I gritted my teeth and ignored it.
I walked us back to her home. My eyes and nose were relentless, searching for any sign of intruders. But I detected nothing. Her part of the forest was still clear. I got us inside her fence perimeter and turned it on before walking inside. I kicked off my shoes and took us upstairs. The shutters were open. Light flooded every room. I flinched when I passed through the beams, expecting pain. There was nothing. My lover’s Light protected me.
I pulled her sheets back and settled her in it before stripping my clothes and her pretty dress and joining her. I left the curtains open. Reckless, certainly, but like Sookie, I needed to see how long this protection would shield me. I would awaken if I began to burn.
Greedily, I tugged her on top of me. Her soft breasts pressed into my chest, her arms and legs all found anchors and she gripped me, matching my appetite for contact. I clutched her to me like a spoiled child would a doll and let my eyes fall shut.
I always slept during the day. Never again would I have to fear it.
“So what exactly am I to make of this?”
It was after four in the afternoon when I rose again, having had enough rest and no longer needing to stay dormant until dark. After putting on my jeans, I found her downstairs, curled up in a chair with a book, a yogurt cup, and my ring between her fingers. I entered the room gingerly. It would take a while for me to move in the light with the same confidence as the dark. My feline namesake was asleep in her lap. I smirked at him. Now that Sookie was mine, I could afford to be generous and allow him such liberties without feeling jealous. She looked up at me, brows arched playfully. She held the ruby up.
“Well? Mister I-Don’t-Believe-in-Marriage-Between-Mortals-and-Vamps? What’s this all about?”
The blood stone winked at me again. I’d chosen it carefully from my collection, which I’d accumulated over many centuries. It had belonged to the Ottoman Princess Esma. She’d given it to me as a token of her appreciation for tall, light-haired men when I visited her court in 1798. Out of courtesy for her generosity, I’d skipped eating her and had settled for one of her handmaidens. Her ring had joined my assortment of precious stones. It was the size of a pea, set in white gold and married with four smaller diamonds. I kept no large diamonds, however. I found their colorlessness uninteresting.
Sookie was waiting, still holding the ring aloft.
I shrugged. “You are mine. Your world as well as mine need know this.”
She smirked indulgently. “Soooooo, no civil partnership ceremony in Vermont? You’re just staking your claim?”
I settled into the sofa and gazed at her coolly. “Correct. Do you wish for me to marry you? I will, if that is your desire.”
She blinked rapidly, her hand falling into her lap next to her pet. “You’re serious. You’d marry me? In a Christian church with my friends watching and picketers outside damning our union?”
I chuckled at the image. “As I say, if you wish it. A Christian marriage is immaterial to me, lover. It wasn’t my religion even when I lived. But I am interested in as many official bodies as possible recognizing our bond. Human legal systems and religions included. I will have no one dispute my claim to you.”
Her brow climbed higher. “And vice versa.”
She snorted and held her ring up, inspecting it carefully. “It’s stunning, Eric. I should have said that first. Thank you.”
I nodded. “Anything, lover. So? Would you like me to ask you for your hand?”
She smiled and shook her head. “Actually, no. I think we have enough on our plates right now. Why don’t we just stick to the staking-your-claim reason. I’m perfectly happy to wear it and inform human men that I’m taken.”
I eyed her pointedly. “And two-natureds.”
Sam and Alcide slipped through her eyes yet again. Her smile dropped and she nodded earnestly. “Everyone.”
She set her book and yogurt on the coffee table and shooed the cat away, unfolding from her seat and sliding towards me. “So.” She crawled into my lap, every bit as feline as her pet, and settled her arms around my neck.
“So,” I echoed.
“We’re bonded now. Your way. My way. The good old-fashioned way.” She wiggled her ring finger. “What do we do now?”
I slid my hands up her thighs, under her dress. It really was distressing how distracting she was. I needed to worry about getting fucked on all fronts from my adversaries, and yet all I could think about was how many pieces I needed to rip that dress into. One massive tear right up the front like our first night? That was certainly the most expedient. Or did I want to take my time and rip tiny little ribbons off, one by one, until she was standing naked in a pile of fabric strips? She would reward me with more shocked rebukes if I did it that way.
I cupped her ass and hissed angrily at what I found. “Where are you panties?”
She arched in my palms, widening her splay across me. “You said not to wear anything I value in front of you. I can’t risk my underwear. You’ll shred every pair.”
I dipped my fingers deeper between her thighs, skirting where she wanted me, punishing her with soft little strokes in the wrong places. “So you wear nothing? This is supposed to pacify me?”
She whimpered and squirmed on top of me. Still, I denied her. My fingers played the innermost silk of her leg, nothing more. She writhed with frustration.
“So immodest,” I goaded her. “Will you always seek relief so whorishly with me, lover?”
” ‘m not a whore,” she muttered childishly, rotating her hips like a trained seductress.
I chuckled. “For me, you will be. You’ll fuck me shamelessly every time. Isn’t that right?”
Her lips twisted in distaste and she jerked impatiently, hating my insight.
“No,” she denied. She would not concede to me. I laughed as she did nothing to stop her own body from molesting mine. So full of her own virtue, she saw no conflict with her wanton behavior.
I removed my hands from under her dress and she cried out in annoyance. Smiling wide, I cupped her cheeks. “Delightful creature.”
“Shut up,” she sniffed at me and rose from my lap in a huff. I rose as well. Playtime was over. “We need to get to Fangtasia. Dark will come soon.”
Standing beside me, Sookie became serious. “Are you still feeling all right? I didn’t want to wake you. I saw blood leaking from your ears.”
I nodded. “I’m fine.” I held my hand out towards the window as proof. My photosensitivity seemed all but gone.
She sighed in relief and I tugged her into my bare chest, lowering my face to hers. “And you? Have I left you enough blood?”
She came to me effortlessly, tipping her forehead against mine in trusting affection. “Plenty. Plus I have some of yours. I’m healthy as a horse.”
“Very well. We must hurry.” I did a quick calculation. Sookie’s car was still at work and mine were all in Shreveport. I couldn’t call my driver, too much time and too unscrupulous. I took her hand. “Fly with me.”
She barked an incredulous laugh and cocked her head at me. “You’re not serious.”
“Completely. It’s the quickest way. We risk the least exposure as well.”
“No way!” she cried. “It’s daytime! Everyone will see! And I’ll freeze to death up there. And you don’t come with a seatbelt. Hell, no.”
We didn’t have time to argue and I could sense this was a disagreement she would eventually yield, if given the opportunity to object extensively. That was her way. Assured in that knowledge, I made a decision and snatched her up. I flew us out her door and into the air above her property before she could even gasp in outrage.
“Eric!” she screamed, clutching me as I hovered a hundred feet in the air.
“What’s wrong, lover?” I purred as I held her waist. “Afraid people will see up your dress?”
She wanted to slap me. I could see it in her eyes. If she could have spared a free hand, she would have done it in a heartbeat.
“Put us down,” she hissed furiously. “You’re not even half dressed. You can’t just carry me off.”
“You think I give a fuck about flying naked into Shreveport?” I egged her anger.
“Please,” she asked firmly, pushing into me nervously and looking at the ground. “I wasn’t ready. I don’t feel safe.”
I gentled instantly and trapped her chin in my fingers. “Let us practice then. I’ll take you back in a second. Tell me which you prefer.”
I leaned down and swept her up bridal style, her legs dangling securely over my arms, her body cinched into my chest. “This?” I took off, speeding a quick lap around the immediate area. She gulped and clutched my neck like a child, but did not protest. I halted and softened my hold, urging her legs down until she hooked them around my waist. I coaxed her arms around my neck and her cheek against my own, her body locked intimately around me.
I took off again, the trees and landscape a mere blur beneath us. I completed my lap and touched her lawn as gently as a downed kite. She held me tightly, but was notably calm and that pleased me.
“Which makes you feel safer?”
With a deep breath, she shifted into me, cinching her body more tightly around mine. “This one. This one’s good.”
It was also my preference. Every inch of her was plastered to me. I nosed into her hair and inhaled deeply, taking too long and letting her know I was happy with her assent. And her position. Up in the air, all I had to do was open my fly and I could experience her in a way I’d never considered before. The chill of the biting wind would be a wonderful contrast to her volcanic internal heat. It was something to consider. Soon, once I’d accustomed her to flight with me. Watching her come in the midst of a storm, or a sunset, would be a sight worth staging.
“Come,” I urged her. “Let’s get our things and go.”
We landed at Fangtasia as the sun began to dip low on the horizon. She’d worn her coat, and holding on tightly to me, she’d managed to stay warm during the trip. I’d had to focus harder than usual. Everything looked so different in the light, especially late afternoon. The colors were so intense that more than once, I’d turned into Sookie’s face and closed my eyes, operating on autopilot. It was simply too much to comprehend right now. It was easier to concentrate on my human than to appreciate the immensity of what she’d granted me.
Once in my office, I dove into the paperwork Pam had left me and filed the appropriate documents to acknowledge Sookie Stackhouse as my Bonded human companion to the Authority. In the strictest terms, I was remiss not the file before I’d consummated my bond to her, in case there was any objection to my choice. But in reality, it wasn’t compulsory and the deed was already done. They could do nothing to circumvent it, their objections to my claiming a Fae be damned. All that was left was formality. As proof to myself, I tapped our bond softly as she sat reading a magazine on my sofa. She was pleasantly bored, waiting for me to finish and for Pam to appear and update us on our guests when they arrived.
The club was opening. I could hear people and feel the presence of other vamps in the building. My bar was coming to life. At least Pam would have no cause to bitch about my absence. Hell, I got there before Ginger.
Sookie looked up, feeling my probe.
Smiling, she probed back, holding my gaze as her nimble little mind explored my emotional state. Annoyingly, she picked up instantly on my anxiety. I tried to minimize it and focus on my dauntless interest in her, but she wasn’t fooled.
“Tense?” she asked unnecessarily.
“No,” I evaded, easing back into my chair and turning it towards her. “Just thinking.”
“Worried thinking,” she specified shrewdly, tossing her magazine aside. “Anything I can do to help you?”
Her offer was genuine. I scoffed and raised my brow. “Always, lover.”
“Pft,” she waved her hand at me. “Perv.”
“You refused. At the house. Remember?”
“Merely withholding candy from my baby. Entirely different.”
“Well, now who’s feeling blue-balled? Not so nice, is it?”
“Language,” I tsked her. “What happened to my blushing belle?”
She got up and stalked towards me, her sweet little dress belying its naughty little owner. It kissed along her golden legs and accentuated her enticing tits. Fuck, she was magnificent.
Instead of crawling into my lap as I anticipated, she fell gracefully to her knees in front of me. Still staring me down, she undid my belt and unzipped me. “Your blushing belle wants to help you relax,” she said.
I was hard instantly. Around her, I almost always was.
She pulled at my jeans until they pooled at my feet. My cock pointed directly at her from just under my tank.
“Sookie,” I growled reprimandingly.
She smiled innocently, batting her huge dark eyes. “You insinuated. Are you now saying you don’t want me to…” She bit her lips and looked at the evidence of my wishes. “…help?”
“I was teasing you, lover. Pam will be here shortly. I need to concentrate.”
She leaned forward and swallowed my tip in her scalding, heavenly wet mouth. I gasped and bucked hard against her lips. She laved her tongue against the slit, swirling and kissing until I barked her name ferociously.
She let me go, dropping her coyness and letting her eagerness shine through. “Let me,” she whispered, mouthing me quickly again. “It’ll clear our heads.”
“You sucking me off isn’t clarifying.”
She was out of excuses. She took a little more of me and I felt my resolve buckle. “Please?” she whispered desperately. “I need you. You taste so good.”
She felt it. Goddammit, she felt my surrender. The moment it happened she moaned in her pretty voice. Looking at me shyly, she swallowed me tentatively, letting her tongue and lips and inner cheeks coat with me with their mind-blowing heat. She moved experimentally, up and down along my length, testing me. Despite her having tasted me like this before, I’d never been watching her. She felt demur under such an intense audience.
I let my fangs drop. I bared them hungrily at her. “Blow me like you mean it.”
Sparks flared up in her eyes and she lost herself to my pleasure. She swallowed as much of me as she could, pumping my base with both hands.
“Yesss,” I hissed encouragingly. “Harder. God damn you, girl. Why do I give in to you?”
She hummed hard, loving that she was getting to me. Loving that she made me weak. I gripped the armrests and thrust my hips upward.
“Mmph!” she grunted around me, startled as I actively fucked her while she worked me.
“Don’t stop,” I growled warningly. “You’ve started this, now you suck me until I lose my fucking mind in your mouth.”
She slid her hands up my thighs, up my stomach, fanning them under my shirt before sliding them back down and playing with my balls. I gave her an open-mouthed hiss, baring my teeth menacingly. Through our bond, she sang with triumph. My aggression was driving her crazy.
The room was growing heavy with her. Only moments before, her scent had been a light, pleasant top note. Like oranges. Now she was unrequited lust personified. She was so hungry for me, her scent was filling my fucking bar with the outrageous evidence of an unsatisfied angel. And it was coming from my office. Every supe in my place would smell her and assume I was incapable of fucking her into jelly.
“Harder,” I ordered in a low tone. So soft so hot and un-fucking-believably good.
She obeyed me. With her eyes closed, she sucked me so hard her cheeks hallowed out. Her warm hands gripped and milked me so expertly that I almost didn’t notice when they started to glow.
She was powering up again.
“Yes,” I urged upon seeing it. “More. More, lover. Suck me blind.”
Her Light intensified. She was still unaware as she moaned at my praise and swallowed me over and over. My cock tingled achingly, I could see a million waving lines of static electricity jetting from her skin into mine. I’d never seen or felt anything remotely like it and I snarled harshly, loving my Sookie’s unique abilities. With the gentlest care, her fingers stroked my balls, sending shocks straight to my spine and making me flail under her mouth.
“Fuck!” I screamed.
With one last squeeze, her hands exploded around my dick and I came roaring on her luscious little tongue. Light, her Light, shot through my dead nervous system, reactivating it for a moment. I felt my heart thump once in response, expanding and restricting, then falling silent. My cock erupted like never before, her power driving it to unprecedented climax. I pumped blindly, swearing, trembling, unable to do anything except come for her in an endless stream.
She never let go. She held me and took everything I gave her.
“Sookie,” I whispered, awed.
She moaned for me again, answering my astonishment, and sweetly sucked until I had nothing left.
She looked up hopefully, cradling me between her fingers, unwilling to release me. “Was…was that okay?”
Without thinking, I struck her. Through our bond. I lashed out with all of my enraged disbelief at her genuinely humble question as to whether she’d delivered a satisfactory blowjob instead of the most soul-shattering of my existence. She gasped in shock, dropping me and clutching her head in distress.
She was on her back on my desk in an instant, her dress not fit for rags.
“Jesus Christ!” she sobbed as I rose dangerously above her. My shirt was off. My hands gripping her thighs wide open. My hips in position at her pussy, the apex responsible for informing my clientele she was unsated and oh-so receptive.
“Now, little Fae,” I gritted at her threateningly. “It’s my turn.”