I can’t explain what happened.
There I was, waving my arm in the real world, waiting for Eric’s blood to get word to the man that I was back and in need of assistance, and then… boom. He was there. He said my name. He touched my hand. He fell to his knees and stared at me with that perfect face, strickened with disbelief and horror at me being trapped in a tree. He put his lips to my palm and I watched as my achingly beautiful man kissed it with more reverence than I’d ever seen in any church.
Before me, Eric had never put much stock in religion.
But for me, he was the most pious, devout worshipper you’d ever see.
As our blood bond sparkled back to life again, I felt nothing of my cool pragmatist vampire. That guy was history. Instead, I felt a hot mess of relief and devotion. He went to work on my fingers. The scruff of his neglected stubble was a wonderful contrast with his soft lips as they pressed into each pad like they were rosary beads.
As usual, I had no control over my reaction to such pure love.
My Light smacked him right between the eyes. Eric shouted with joy as it found its way to his heart and into my Radia, which I’d been summoning from the moment I reached out into the world. In the short time before he’d arrived, I sensed its fury at our separation and mourned how badly it must be punishing the man who so jealously defended it.
Now that he’d found me, it rewarded him with a blast of erotic sunlight.
No wonder he demanded more than one.
But I was already a goner. Reverent kisses on my hand weren’t good enough. From the moment he touched me… I. Wanted. My. Man.
I didn’t care about a rescue. I didn’t care about finding safety. I didn’t care about Claudine coming back. I didn’t care how weak or unwilling Eric might have been to indulge me. I didn’t know if it was due to pregnancy hormones, or adrenaline, or the relief of seeing him again after a week of solitude, or what.
All I knew right then was that my soul mate had found me. My soul mate with his huge dick. I needed to fuck both of those things or I would explode.
I attacked him.
He let me.
He took my clothes.
I took his.
I didn’t want any sweet, happy foreplay or whispered affection as he took in my new shape. I could tell from his popping eyes that my belly amazed him. I could also feel that it triggered that inner possessive caveman that I teased him about. He liked what he saw. His hands had already claimed it as I threw myself at him and kissed him like a deranged Beetles fan.
I was bouncing on that huge dick and drinking his blood before I’d even realized that I’d stolen them. After a week of food that tasted like nothing, Eric’s spicy blood danced on my tongue like a sinful, boozy dessert. Cinnamon rum cake, only so much sweeter. I moaned as I gorged.
He let me, and then committed some thievery of his own. He bit me hard and drank like a glutton. Relief spilled into my pleasure. All this time, I’d been so afraid about him growing weaker by the day. I cried out, so happy for him. Hungry for him. I fucked and fucked, drank and drank, bled and bled. His hands continued to pay homage to me, even though I’d forced him to be more carnal that he’d intended. He told me with no words how proud he was of me for making such a big, healthy child, how beautiful I looked, how eager for more children I made him. The novelty he felt told me that he’d never made love to a heavily pregnant woman before. The fact that it was me, and the fact that Adam was his, drove him absolutely wild. He felt like he was inside creation itself.
In our desperate collisions, I came gasping his name. I accidentally shot him again as I did. But even though he roared like the scariest lion, I knew he was okay with it. As he unloaded his usual, impressive river of come, I wondered just how many children two immortals could make if each pregnancy took just one month. His demand for two hundred kids might be a conservative estimate, given how often we fucked like animals. Which was daily.
We rested, then dressed, and took off.
He carried me bridal style as he flew. I teased him for going slower than I’d ever seen and asked if I was that much heavier. When he looked down at me, my heart melted. “You weigh nothing. You’re that much more precious.”
When we got home, I teased him even more for the new sun roof over our bed. He said nothing, merely ripped the plaster-covered bedding off the mattress, then gently laid me on it. He took back his shirt. He removed my ugly dress-made-skirt. Standing back and looking at me with no clothes on, he betrayed no emotion at all as he removed his jeans, then joined me on the bed.
I held out my arms, impatient to hold him.
He refused them.
Instead, he spent a good half hour slithering over the bare mattress, looking at me from every angle with hard, rapt curiosity. Sunlight dappled his skin as he moved in and out of the patch he’d created. Every time I tried to talk, he shushed me. Every time I tried to reach for him, he stopped me. I was forced to lay quietly, watching him move like a boa constrictor up and down my sides, over my head, between my legs. Occasionally, he’d reached out and drag a single finger over my belly button, or my breast, or my throat.
His cock was hard and angry during the entire examination.
I tried to clench my thighs to quell how wet it made me, but he stopped that as well. I blushed as he stared unblinkingly at it, all shiny and obvious. When he reached out again, he stroked his fingers through it with slow, scientific fascination.
“Eric,” I gasped softly, flinching at the caress.
He didn’t meet my eyes, watching his own fingertips trace my folds. “Do you…” he spoke low, “…have any idea… how astonishing the two of you smell?”
“Please come here. You don’t know how badly I’ve missed you. We don’t have to do anything if you don’t want, but can I just lay in your arms?”
“Want to…” he echoed vacantly, dipping slightly deeper. I gasped, louder this time. He whispered, “It’s obscene what I want to do to you.”
“Please, baby… whatever it is, I want it t-,”
“Shut up,” he interrupted. “Don’t agree with me. Don’t agree to be fucked until there’s nothing left of you. Don’t agree to be eaten in three big, wet bites. Don’t agree to bear triplets because one child at a time is not enough. Don’t agree to imprisonment in this room. To handcuffing your legs around my back. To never seeing another person who isn’t me. To cutting my heart out and keeping it in your purse.”
The images made me wetter. I mewled, daring to ride his finger a little.
He finally looked at me. “You should have stayed in your little house, in your little town, and lived a little life. Found a human man you could tolerate. Had children who repeated your path. You should have left me in my black, cold world. You should never have come to Fangtasia in your little white dress and glowing white soul. And when you did, you should have simpered at me. Or propositioned me. I could have ignored that, like I do all the others.”
I rode him a little harder, staring into those blue eyes as he accused me in soft whispers.
“But you didn’t, did you? You came looking for me. You had to be beautiful. You had to be dismissive. You infected my dreams. My wakefulness. I’d been a content vampire, Sookie. I was doing well, until I met you. And now? Now I’m a dark, cold man in love with your glowing, white soul. I think of nothing else but being close to you, and of killing those who impede it.”
He stroked my thigh with a very un-cold hand.
“I want to eat you. And fuck you. And hold you. Make you happy. Make you scream. Make our children. Make you bleed. Make you mine, even if I have to swallow you whole. When you’re taken from me, these feelings get stronger. Looking at you now, you perfect fucking woman, they’re a very real threat.”
I jutted my chin at him, unafraid.
As I moved my hips against his gentle petting, I spoke. “You think you’re so scary, don’t you? That you can look at me with that chilly blue glare and I’ll go running back to Grandmother’s house? Poor little Sookie? Doesn’t know what she signed up for? Gets abducted and turns her vampire all crazy?”
I moved away from his hand and pushed myself awkwardly until I shuffled down the mattress, right in his face. “You’re not safe, either. Every time I look at you, I want to tear you to pieces. When I hold you between my legs and arms, I’m trying to crush you. So help me, I want your bones to pop. Your blood is the best dessert in the world laced with crack. If you didn’t heal so fast, I’d swallow a gallon. Your perfect body triggers my bite reflex. I want to shake you between my teeth like a rag doll. And I could do it all. I could Still you, and strip you, and take my fuckin’ time. And only after I’d had my fill would I climb on your dick and have a grand time makin’ all your babies, babies I want so bad I can taste it. You think one at a time is enough for me? Knowin’ you produce millions of sperm each time? Knowin’ I only get a single one of them, and the rest are children that will never exist?”
I cupped his scruffy face in my palms. His eyes fluttered at my touch.
“Fuck you,” I murmured lovingly. “Never leave my side again. Never hold back, not when all of you isn’t enough. Quit staring at me like a recovered museum piece and git your naked ass up here so we can cuddle. I don’t want to be inventoried. I want to be held.”
“You still smell dangerously like fuckable honey, and you’re giving me a fetish I didn’t know I had.” He lowered his head, his tongue darting out to lick the slope of my belly.
I nudged my legs until I’d corralled him between them. “Wouldn’t you know it? I’m horny and you’re hungry. And just so there’s no misunderstandin’? I want you to finger-fuck me while feeding from my thigh. How’s that for a dissmissive, glowing, white soul?”
His expression turned pained and he dropped his head to the bed, groaning. “Why was I cursed with such a tempting, exquisite mate? How could I ever refuse her?”
“Po widdle baby,” I mocked through a smile. “Who knows? I might even make you fuck me again. I might get on my hands and knees and beg you to show me how much you missed me. I might watch you over my shoulder as you grab my hips and slide in, filling me up like only you can. And I’ll come so easy, watching you pump against my ass like the damned soul you think you are. And I’ll tell you I love you, because despite what you think, you’ll always be Saint Eric to me.”
His head shot up and he hissed at my words.
I got my fingers. He got his dinner. I got on my hands and knees and politely asked him to fuck me. He very politely obliged, driving his cock hard and deep while we cried out to each other. Over my shoulder, I babbled about how beautiful he was, making him promise to stay by my side forever, preferably in this bed. Rough, gritty praise escaped the prison of his clenched teeth; how he never wanted me thin again, how he was bound to me and our children for life as our protector, how nothing would ever separate us, come Hell or high water.
We fucked until we couldn’t speak anymore. Then we came together.
Many hours later, the sunlight began to wane in the gaping patch in the ceiling.
Eric gathered me up and carried me to another bedroom. Not as big as his, but not nearly as ventilated either. The bed was comfy. He set me down on the edge, then retrieved some of the maternity pajamas I’d bought. They were silky and light purple. He dressed me slowly, buttoning over my belly until I was covered navel to neck. He didn’t even leave the few on top open so he could admire my cleavage. He knelt and drew each pant leg over my calves and thighs, lifting me to slide them over my butt, before gently tying the drawstring in a little bow.
Despite my scolding, he kept taking stock of me. Our bond bubbled with his disbelief at how big Adam was.
When he was finally done, he moved between my legs, still nude, and dropped his head on my stomach. His arms crept around my back. As his hug completed, the tension that had lived in him for seven days just fell away. He sighed, his body heavier as he slumped against me. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and hugged him back.
“Tell me what happened,” he said at last.
My fingers took up their usual position on his downturned head, delighted to have his hair to play with again. “I asked Claudine to come see me. I was cooking dinner for Jason when she showed. Things were fine until I mentioned Massawa. Then she just went crazy and popped us to this weird place. She said I’d be safe there until Adam was born.” I ran my nails lightly over his scalp. He grunted in appreciation. “Why? What did she tell you?”
“The same. Except I nearly killed her.”
“Did you feel me leave? I sure felt losing you.”
He nodded into my lap. “I’d gouge the memory from my brain, if I could. The pain of losing you nearly killed me.”
“Me too. I was a puking mess.”
I tried to laugh softly, but it sounded wrong. “I guess we can’t ever take separate vacations, then.”
He didn’t laugh with me. After a moment, he asked, “Where did you go? Were you hurt at all? Were you cared for properly?”
My fingers slid down to his nape and caught the knot in the leather cord that he always wore. “I don’t know where it was. Claudine called it The Seam. She said it was a place between this world and Faery, that nobody except her even knew about it. She kept her library there. Big as the Ole Miss stadium, lemme tell ya. I spent every day reading her books, trying to find one that explained how to leave The Seam. I never found it. Instead, I threw a fairy hissy fit and told the books to show me out. I expected one to come forward with the info. Instead, the tome from Sophie Anne fell out of the shelves. Behind it was that hole you found me in. Talk about taking someone literally.”
Without lifting his head, he reached behind his neck and brushed my fingers away, untying the cord. It dropped away. He did something with it in his lap, then reached behind once again and retied the knot. Once he finished, he plucked something from his lap and help it up. He never looked up as he presented me with my ruby ring. I’d been so consumed with his face, I’d never looked at his necklace and noticed it strung alongside his talisman.
“I believe this is yours.”
I took it from him, slipping it back on my finger.
“Did it help at all? I didn’t know what else to give Claudine. Anything I told her to convince you I was okay, she could have just read my mind and taken. I knew you would assume that,” I said.
“No. It did not help. But it mattered. Thank you.”
I bit my lip and looked away. I didn’t want to think about how horrible our separation had been for him. Having no idea where I was, or how I was. At least I knew he was home and safe the whole time I was in that stupid seam. I speared my fingers deep in his hair, willing my comfort into him.
“I was warm. I was well fed. She gave me clothing and shelter. I wasn’t tortured or anything. The worst thing I suffered, aside from losing you, was boredom and the occasional back ache. She put up with a lot from me and never once reacted in anger. You never have to worry about that. She pulled a bullshit stunt, but she did it thinking she was helping us.”
“I will still kill her.”
As I looked at the rippling, powerful body of the man in front of me, I realized for the first time since I’d been back that I didn’t want that. Sure, Claudine had been a chick dick for kidnapping me, and I thought of nothing but her demise for a solid week, but now that I was free and back in the world where she claimed danger lurked, my appetite for her death had diminished.
“You said Massawa might actually be a problem. It’s your turn to tell me what happened.”
He recounted sitting in his office when I was taken. How he’d assumed I’d died and nearly ended himself had Pam not stopped him. I whacked the side of his head and made the decision to kiss Pam right on the mouth when I saw her. He told me about Ludwig feeding him my blood samples, about Hunter and his ability to see The Seam. I wished the boy was there now. I’d love to know when he’d heard me, or how he’d try to talk to me. I wished I’d known at the time. Eric talked about Massawa and his increasingly shady behavior, always poking around and asking about me, until Eric had his people confirm that he was indeed checking up on us.
My hands tightened around his head. “So what do we do?”
“We leave this house tonight. It’s vulnerable to vampire entry. Our new home is now complete and is in your name. We will go there. We will contact Ludwig, Jessica and Pam to let them know you’re home. I want the doctor to look at you and the other two will help stand watch.”
“What about Jason? Or anyone else from Bon Temps? Are they worried about me?”
“Your brother was glamored to forget anything was wrong. I answered texts on your phone from your friends to avoid their panic. They assumed I was you and that you’re busy lately. Only Hunter knows of your disappearance. And the fairy, Chloe. I attacked her in hopes that she might know where you were.”
“Did you kill her?”
“No. She escaped before I could interrogate her.”
“She probably told Mab about it, then,” I concluded. “I’m guessing that put Claudine in some hot water. She was nervous about Mab finding out that she was actively sequestering the Scion instead of just jotting history down like she’s supposed to.”
I loosened my hold on him and stroked the blonde hair in my lap again. “When’s sunset?”
“Two hours from now.”
“Should we pack? I don’t want to be here when Massawa and his people wake up.”
He nodded against me, but made no move to rise. “Yes. Once we’re in the new house, it will be a simple matter of keeping you there until the birth. He can stand on the driveway every night, if he wants to. Once you have Adam, I’ll hold him up in the fucking window and wave.”
“What about his day people?” I asked. “They can just waltz through any door they like, at any time.”
“Day walkers I can handle. Massawa is my only superior. That is whom I must shore my defences against.”
I chuckled. “He might be stronger, but he is in no way your superior. What about Claudine? She’s not stronger, but she’s definitely poppier.”
He ground his teeth loudly. “Since I won’t be leaving you ever again, she is welcome to try.”
Eric finally looked up at me. As much as a vampire could, he looked exhausted. I gently ran my finger down the ridge of his nose. “Poor baby,” I said sincerely this time. “Have you had enough blood? Do you still feel sick?”
“I’m fine. Just more emotional than I’m used to.”
“I really did do a number on you, didn’t I? Next time, I promise I’ll stay in my little house in my little town and let the authorities do the investigatin’.”
At that, he finally gave me a tired smile. “No. You’re mine. You were always meant to be mine. If you hadn’t come to me that night, I would have found you another way. We are one, lover. And while I might bitch and moan about being tamed by a darling fairy waitress, I would never have chosen anything less.”
If I weren’t so fat, I would have leaned down to kiss him. “Me either.” I made a show of looking him over. “You might wanna throw some clothes on before we run for the hills. We don’t want the neighbors waggin’ their tongues.”
He didn’t have neighbors. He snorted anyway.
We packed what we could fit into his black SUV. Mine was mostly clothes. His was mostly money. I tsked him, then packed an extra bag of jeans and shirts for him. You can’t wear Benjis, I don’t what Eric says.
The sun slipped low on the horizon as we sped away from it. Aside from picking out a few interior ideas, I hadn’t seen a single brick of our new place. I didn’t even know where it was. As rain began to patter softly on the windshield, Adam did a double flip and pressed his foot into my crossed arms as I stared out from the passenger’s seat.
It wasn’t the greatest of circumstances, but maybe he was excited about moving day, too.