“Sookie?” Eric questioned, hesitantly. I could tell that he was trying to comfort me and apologize. I could tell that Eric wasn’t quite sure of what to say. I could read his confused thoughts and feelings going on inside his head.
“What?” I raised my head, turned towards him with a disappointed expression on my face. I felt really embarrassed and disappointed that Eric had known all of my thoughts and feelings and still hadn’t come to see me. This was very strange to me because I didn’t seem to care about anything other than the fact that he hadn’t made an effort to come and see me. Not his lies nor his manipulations.
That was what really scared me. It wasn’t that he kept them from me, it was the fact that he didn’t do anything about it, even after knowing all of the facts. It was so unlike the Eric that I knew. He had never been shy and had always been straightforward to the point that he was too pushy. I was used to Eric being manipulative and cunning, so maybe that’s why his omitting a few facts, didn’t seem to bother me.
I told myself that Eric must’ve had a really good reason but I wanted to hear him say it. I didn’t want to hear it in his mind.
“It wasn’t like that,” he tried to explain. “Honestly, it’s not-” Eric broke off his sentence. I could feel his fear through our bond.
“Then what was it?” I asked, curious and scared. “Why didn’t you come to see me? I thought, for sure, that after Felipé told you that you were under orders to protect me, that you would be wrapped around me like a bandaid.” I replied. “You never did…not once.” I cried, not caring that now there were tears rolling down my face. I felt like the one person who I counted on the most, had disappointed me, but I wasn’t mad at him. I was just confused.
“Is there something wrong with me?” I wondered. In the back of my mind, I wondered if I had thought something or felt something that caused him to turn away from me.
“Oh hell,” Eric gently, cursed. I could tell that he was pissed off that I was somehow blaming myself.
He sat back down on the bed again. He gazed down at me, regretfully. “Sure, I knew what was going on in your mind. I wanted come to see you to talk about it, but…” he got choked up and looked away. I could feel his guilt, remorse and fear.
“You were scared too,” I finished for him, knowing from hearing his thoughts, what he was trying to say. I knew that Eric wasn’t big on words. If I wanted to hear those words, I’d have to drag them out of him somehow.
“Yeah,” Eric admitted, then sighed. “I knew that you were happy. I knew that you didn’t like the politics and responsibility that followed me around constantly. I decided to let you be. If you needed me, I’d be there,” he explained. “You see…you pushed me away often enough, that I was confused. I didn’t know who or what you really wanted.”
“You knew,” I accused. I felt momentarily angry at myself for giving him mixed signals.
“Yeah,” Eric admitted. I could feel his deep regret about it. “But I think that even though I knew your inner thoughts and feelings, I wouldn’t let myself believe it,” he explained. “You see, I’ve never been the kind of man, human or vamp, to let a woman get under my skin. It’s just not me. When I first met you, I tried everything in my power to try to forget about you,” he confessed. “I don’t know…I hated the way you made me feel, for the first time in hundreds of years. You made me feel weak and vulnerable. I didn’t want to put myself out there. You would always turn to other men, when things got too scary for you and so I ran with it, knowing that it was just an easy excuse.”
“After how hard you’ve been trying to get into my pants before…I thought that you’d be beating down my door.” I reminded him, still feeling put out by the fact that he hadn’t made any effort after knowing all the facts.
“Yeah, well…” Eric replied, shrugging his shoulders. “I wanted to. I really did, don’t get me wrong…but I felt that whenever I would try to bring up the subject about our time together when my memory was wiped out…you didn’t want to talk about it or circumstances prevented it from happening. I began to feel like it was a lost cause and that what happened during that time didn’t matter as much to you, as it did to me,” he explained.
“What?” I gazed at him, curiously. I hadn’t expected that. I sat up in bed and stared at him, like he’d lost his mind. “How could you think that if you could read my mind?” I wondered, amazed as to how he could’ve thought up that one.
Eric shrugged. “As I said, I was getting mixed signals. When I would read your mind, you were thinking of one thing, but you would say or do something else the exact opposite,” he explained. “What was I supposed to do? I thought I was losing my mind.”
“I loved your fantasies, don’t get me wrong,” he continued, grinning wickedly at me, just like the Eric that I was used to and had come to love. “Believe me, I was surprised at myself too, that I didn’t come to see you right away, but another reason was because of the King. He and Victor were trying to keep me as busy as possible. I didn’t want to mess that up as I’m sure that you can understand.” He looked at me, to make sure that I did.
I nodded my head. I understood why he wouldn’t want to make waves with Felipé and Victor. Their relationship was pretty new. Eric had a lot of pride. He would want to make a good impression on them because you just never knew what they may do to him and Eric figured that if they felt like they needed him, then his life (and therefore mine) was safe too. While they had worked out a partnership of sorts, there was still a lot of mistrust among them. I could hear Eric’s uncertainty about it in his mind.
“You were trying to be practical and protective,” I replied, reading his thoughts. I nodded my head, not surprised, if Eric was anything, he was those things. “So…where does that leave us now?” I wondered.
Eric grinned at me, relieved that we were finally clearing the air. “In a basement in an old mansion?” He joked. He winked at me.
I laughed. Trust him to crack a joke during a heavy intense conversation. I rolled my eyes. I knew that he was trying to reassure me that everything was going to be alright. “True,” I agreed, laughing. “But I meant, what does all of this mean for our relationship?”
“What do you want?” he replied back, instead of answering me.
I thought about it. I thought long and hard, as I finally realized just how important Eric’s question was. “You already know what I want,” I replied back instead.
“Yeah, I do,” Eric replied, nodding his head. “But it doesn’t change the way we feel. As much as we’d like it to, we can’t go back to the way things were before.”
“True,” I replied, understanding. “Do you want that?” I asked, the loaded question. I looked at him, a little unsure. “Do you want to have something more than what we’ve had?”
Eric looked me in the eyes. “Yes, I think I do,” he replied, finally admitting what was in his heart. I was elated and relieved. I hadn’t known how much I was both dreading and needing to hear his answer. “But I’m just not sure if it’s what’s best for you,” he shrugged.
This took me aback. I stared at him with surprise. I looked into his mind and soul. I was beginning to see something that I’d missed before and that Eric hadn’t mentioned to me himself. “Oh,” I replied, not sure of what to say.
Eric was still trying to protect me, I could see it. Even staying away from me, had been about protecting me…in a way. He had kept his distance because he didn’t want Victor or Felipé anywhere near me. I was having one of those, ‘a-ha’ moments where everything began to make sense.
Eric looked away from me, as soon as he realized that I understood everything. If there was something I knew about Eric, he wasn’t a man big on words. He preferred to show you, rather then tell you how he feels. I felt my heart flutter in my chest as I realized just how much he cared for me.
I moved closer to him, wrapped my arm around his neck and pulled him towards me. Since he preferred actions to words, I would do that too, I thought to myself. I gently kissed his lips, sucking on his bottom one. I slipped my tongue inside his mouth, to duel with his, letting him know just how much I appreciated all that he’d done in the past and what he was trying to do for me now.
I didn’t have to worry about things when he was around. Well, other than keeping my clothes on, I thought to myself. I felt giddy and really, really happy and cheerful. The feelings overwhelmed me, because I knew that Eric was feeling them too.
I ended the kiss and looked him in the eyes. I reached up and brushed his hair back from his face. I stared into his deep blue eyes, seeing something that I hadn’t seen before. Genuine love, devotion, caring, protectiveness and happiness, that I now realized that I’d never had with either Bill or Quinn, I thought sadly to myself. I pushed those thoughts back, when I realized that it didn’t matter.
I had him and he was what I’d hoped for; dreamt of; for a long time now. “So…when we get out of here…how are we going to make it work?” I wondered. I had been ready to spit out those three little words, but decided to hold on to them for a little while yet. I wanted to hear him say them first.
Eric thought about it. I could see the number of ways that he’d worked out inside his head. Wow, he had been thinking about it in great detail, I thought to myself. Even down to living arrangements. His thoughts shook me, because I hadn’t been able to see past the hurt and pain that his inattentiveness had created.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” he shrugged. “But I think that we could come up with an arrangement,” he explained, confidently.
I smiled at him, then leaned over and kissed him once again. Although, neither one of us had spoken the words aloud, I could tell by the way he was thinking and feeling that he felt the same as me. It was a heady and wonderful feeling.
I backed away. He was smiling tenderly at me too. I couldn’t get over it. Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5 was in love with me and I was in love with him. It was somewhat shocking. I had never thought that he wanted something more from me, than a quick roll in the hay until now.
“You know…” I paused, as I began to talk some more. I wasn’t sure if I should bring this up, it didn’t matter anymore anyways, but I wanted to get it off my chest. “You were the only vamp that I was ever able to read in their mind.” I confessed, looking away from him.
Eric looked at me, astonished. “You were able to read my mind before?” He asked, puzzled and surprised. “When was that?”
I tried to remember. “It was shortly after we first met, you were thinking of ways to use me,” I answered, grinning at him. “Or…maybe it was because I already knew who you were deep down inside and you were always easy to read, to me.” I laughed, teasing him.
Eric laughed. “Well, maybe back then I wanted you to see it and hoped that it would break things up between you and Bill,” he teased back.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Eric would never change, that’s for sure. “Yeah, true. You don’t know the meaning of the word, no,” I teased back at him. “And you know what?”
“I couldn’t be happier that you’re so persistent,” I grinned at him.
“Yeah, well, I’ve been told that I’m very stubborn,” he replied. He gazed at me with a teasing expression on his face.
I laughed. “You know…I get that a lot too,” I replied, pretending to be shocked by that.
It was Eric’s turn to laugh. “So…are we good now? No hard feelings that I kept a few things from you?” Eric wanted to make sure.
I pretended to think about it. “Well…maybe since now I know that we can’t lie to each other anymore, I’ll forgive you.”
Eric laughed. “Good,” he reached for me and pulled me closer. “But you know that I’ve always been honest with you, right? You were the one who wasn’t honest…with me or yourself.”
“Yeah, well, maybe you were a little too honest,” I teased back. “But it’s okay because we understand each other now,” I smiled at him.
Eric laid down next to me on the bed. I curled up next to him. We were both happy and content that we’ve managed to work things out between us. I was relieved to know that I had somebody else in my life. I wasn’t alone anymore, that I had someone else to count on now. Although, we couldn’t ever go to the beach together, have long walks during the day and sunbathe.
I looked up at him. “You know what I’ve always wanted to do?”
Eric smiled at me. “What?” he asked, curiously.
I could tell that he was wanting to read it in my mind, but I shut it off from him. Sometimes it’s better if you can keep a few secrets. Which led me to think about it some more. I have had better control of it since I had bonded with him. I felt pretty confident that we could still surprise each other from time to time.
“What?” he repeated, jarring me back to the present.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas,” I told him, smiling. “I’m not a gambler, mind you, but I’ve heard that they have great entertainment,” I explained.
I felt Eric tense up. I wondered if he had ever been there. I tried reading his mind, trying to figure it out, but he’d shut me off, the same way I had.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, sitting up in bed, looking down at him. “You haven’t been there have you?” I was curious. I wanted to know everything about him. Where he’s been and what he’s seen. But that would take years to cover because he was so old.
“Sookie,” Eric stated my name quietly.
Uh-oh, I knew this wasn’t going to be good. First, because of the tone of his voice. Next, because I could feel the tension and uncertainty in his mood.
“What?” I asked, impatient and confused. I stared at him. I prepared to hear the worst.
“I was planning on telling you…” he began. “You see, Victor told me that Felipé wants you to come to visit him in Vegas. He needs you to do something for him,” he explained.
I stared at him. “What did you say?” I asked, hoping that he hadn’t agreed to it already. I had a mind of my own. I didn’t need Eric to do my answering for me.
“I told him that I would arrange it, but that I couldn’t be sure,” he answered.
“How long ago was this?” I asked, wondering if he’d been putting it off for awhile.
“Not long…in fact, it was the night that you disappeared,” he replied. He looked at me, remembering. “I have never been so unsure of anything in my life. Do I want to go away with you? Yes. But I don’t want to be loaning you out to other vamps all the time either. King or not, you’re mine.”
I really liked hearing those words coming from him now, since I know how deeply he cares for me. I didn’t always feel that way because I didn’t appreciate being anyone’s possession, but when it came out of Eric’s mouth, I kind of liked it. It made my heart flutter.
“Yeah, but aren’t you kind of part of their kingdom now?” I pointed out to him, reminding him that he didn’t have as much power as he once had. At least, not in the bigger scheme of things.
“Yeah, but I hate it,” Eric replied. “It’s like being babysat.”
I giggled, imagining Eric wearing a diaper, being babysat by a teenager. I couldn’t see it.
“What’s so funny?”
“Nothing,” I replied, laughing. “It’s just that you don’t appear to me like you need babysitting. But I do know what to do to you, if you misbehave.” I grinned, naughtily at him.
“Oh?” Eric replied, surprised. He was gazing at me, with heat in his eyes. Seeing into his mind, I could read the naughty things that he was thinking of. “Do you want to do those things to me now?” He asked, hopefully.
I laughed, because he would never change, it didn’t take much for his mind to shift to something sexual. That was part of his charm. I somehow knew that he would still be able to surprise me from time to time. “Well…” I shrugged, teasing him. “I do know of something along those lines…” I hinted.
Eric watched me, while I reached down next to the bed. I felt the ties that Dimitri had used to hold me there, the first few days. I had a feeling that Eric was going to like this. It was naughty and kinky of me, I thought. I picked it up with one hand, then grabbed Eric’s wrist with the other. I slipped the knotted end onto his wrist, capturing it.
I looked at Eric, who looked first at his tied up wrist; then up at me. We both grinned, wickedly at each other. I could tell that he really liked my idea.
“Sookie…I’m shocked,” he gasped, with pleased surprise and feigned outrage. He grinned up at me, with a wicked gleam in his eyes.
I continued grabbing each tie and tied him to the bed by his wrists and ankles. I stood at the foot of the bed, gazed at his naked body sprawled out before me. I looked up to see what kind of reaction he was giving me. He looked pleased and very happy to be tied down in that kind of position. I had crazy and wild thoughts going through my brain.
Judging from Eric’s reaction, his gracious plenty (he’d grown bigger and progressively harder) I could tell that he had read my thoughts accurately and was looking forward to what I was planning on doing to him. But then, I could read some more of his mind. He was thinking of doing the same thing to me, after we were through.
I know that with his strength, he could easily break through the ties, if he wanted to. But he didn’t. I knew it and he knew it. It floored me, how much that one action or lack of action meant to me. It proved how much he trusted me.
I kneeled on the bed, started at his toes, worked my way up his legs, touching, massaging, kissing, and licking. I paused at his gracious plenty. His hips rose up off the mattress. He was encouraging me to take him inside my mouth, but I wasn’t ready yet. I wanted him at my mercy, begging for more.
“Please,” he cried, reading my thoughts. He wasn’t quite begging yet, so I skipped by his gracious plenty.
Believe me, it was a very difficult thing to do. I kissed and licked his abs, moving slowly up his body. I took one cool nipple into my mouth. Bit it, licked it, then sucked it. I switched to the other one and repeated the same actions.
My hands caressed his muscular, masculine body. Tracing his muscles in an intricate patterns. Touching his cool skin made me hotter than I’d ever been. My desire rose up to a fever pitch. I straddled his lap, feeling his gracious plenty pressed up against me. I didn’t take him inside me, though. I teased him by touching my moist entrance, just out of reach.
Eric moaned. “Sookie, please,” he begged, losing control. I could tell that it was taking an extreme effort for him not to rip his arms and legs out of the ties and grab me. He didn’t beg enough yet, not for my liking. “Sook-ie,” he moaned again. He opened his eyes, which had been closed before. “Take me,” he pleaded.