I was surprised and stunned to see blood beginning to streak down Eric’s face. He was crying. I reached up and wiped them away, smudging the blood so that he looked like a mess. But it was a beautiful mess to me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, curiously and confused. “Why are you crying?”
Eric shook his head and didn’t answer me. He withdrew away from me, sat on the edge of the bed, as if suddenly embarrassed. “It’s nothing…” he replied, shaking his head. “I just got overwhelmed there for a moment,” he tried to explain.
I frowned at him, puzzled by his behavior. This was so unlike Eric. It almost reminded me of fake Eric from when he’d stayed at my house. “About what?” I asked, trying to get it out of him. Of course, his mind was shut off from me, so that I couldn’t read it.
He turned back towards me, stared at me curiously. “Have you ever become so overcome with emotion that you didn’t know what to do?” he asked.
This was a first. Eric was asking me for advice. I had never dreamed that the real Eric would ever do anything like that. It was definitely out of character for him. Something must be troubling him, I thought to myself. “Yeah, all the time,” I answered, truthfully. I waited patiently for him to respond.
“Seeing you here…in this house…it just got to me, that’s all,” he finally explained, while he shrugged his shoulders. He quickly collected himself, as if realizing that he was showing a sign of weakness to me, but then put his wicked grin back on his face. “Don’t let that get out,” he winked at me.
I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say to that. “Are you okay now?” I asked, with concern. I sat up in bed and rubbed my hand across his shoulder blades.
Eric nodded. “Yeah, I think so,” he sighed, as if he took a deep breath, which he didn’t because he didn’t breathe. “I think I just lost my mind for a moment there. Sorry to scare you like that,” he explained. “It’s just that all of this…” he motioned around the room, including me, as if pointing out that it wasn’t one thing in particular. “It scares me. You scare me. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
I bit my lip and mulled that over, deep in thought. “Well, if it’s any consolation to you…I feel the same way too,” I confessed. “Promise me that whatever happens…when you find out who’s behind my kidnapping and everything…that you will keep yourself safe and alive. I’d much rather not know the particulars, if it means that you’re still in one piece.”
Eric looked at me, incredulously. “You mean, you don’t see this as a sign of weakness?” he asked, incredulously.
I shook my head. I could tell that he was shocked, but then I remembered that when he’d been alive, things had been different back then. Men weren’t allowed to show signs of weakness and if they did, their enemies were sure to use it to their advantage, not that it’s changed all that much. But a male showing his sensitive side didn’t happen back then. “No, I don’t,” I replied.
“You don’t see this as a side of me that turns you off?” he asked, curiously.
“No,” I shook my head. “I’m saying that it’s a side of you that I haven’t seen in a long time. You were a lot like this when your memory was erased. I kind of like it. It feels good knowing that you need me as much as I need you,” I explained. I smiled at him, offering it as a token of our love and friendship. “And here I thought that I would be more trouble to you than I’m worth,” I joked, hoping to lighten the mood.
It did the trick. Eric laughed. “Trust me, you’re worth it. It’s not often that I’ve cared about a woman, like I care about you,” he winked at me.
It made me wonder about his past. Both when he was alive and after he’d been turned into a vampire. I was curious and wanted to know everything about him. But tonight wasn’t the time to discuss it. I yawned. When I looked at the clock, I was surprised to see that it was three o’clock in the morning. I’d been up for a long time.
“Sorry, but I’m feeling sleepy,” I explained, sighing and stifling another yawn. “I would love to talk to you more about everything but my mind and body can’t cope,” I explained.
Eric looked at me with concern. “Why didn’t you say so?” he asked, alarmed. He stood up and pulled the covers back, so that I could climb into bed. “Go to bed,” he ordered, his tone sounded an awful lot like his bossy tone that he used with his employees. “Get some rest. We’ll talk more tomorrow night,” he explained.
“Okay,” I was too tired to try to argue about his ordering me around. We would definitely need to have a chat about that, I thought to myself.
I crawled under the covers. Eric tucked me in, like I was a little girl. It made me briefly wonder if he’d had kids when he was alive or not. He was a natural at it. I still couldn’t get over seeing this side of Eric. He reminded me, distinctly like fake Eric. I couldn’t help the rush of excitement when I thought about it. He’s still in there! I wanted to shout. That was the side of him, that made it easy to love him.
Once I was all situated in bed, Eric leaned over and kissed me. “I’m going to do some more digging,” he explained.
I nodded my head, then gazed up at him, curiously. “What do you do when the sun rises?” I asked, curiously. We were in his house. I wanted to know where I could find him in case I needed him, I figured. “Do you sleep in the basement or something?”
Eric shook his head. “No, I sleep in here, in fact,” he answered, graciously. “The windows are boarded so that the sun can’t come into this room. I’ll be joining you once dawn breaks,” he winked at me, before rising up off of the bed. “Go to sleep,” he urged. “You have a full day tomorrow.”
“You don’t want to cuddle?” I suggested, hopefully.
Eric laughed. “I’m not a teddy bear, but okay,” he climbed into the king sized bed next to me. As if Eric would’ve ever turned down an offer of laying next to me in bed. I wanted to roll my eyes. Some things never change, I thought to myself. I liked it though. It was a part of his charm.
I curled up against his cool body, closed my eyes and tried to go to sleep.
I went to sleep trying to figure out what his plans were exactly. It was a good thing that I was off tomorrow too. But I did need to get home and see how things were going with Amelia and Octavia. My curiosity about Eric and learning as much as I could about him was a bigger draw though.
Soon, I fell asleep, while Eric held me. I must have fell asleep quickly because I felt Eric move in the middle of the night and figured that he was up doing his investigative work. I was too tired to wake up and I went right back to sleep once more.
Sure enough, when I woke up in the morning, Eric was laying there next to me. I watched him in his prone state, knowing that it would take a lot in order to wake him. I knew from previous experience just how impossible it was to wake him up during the day. I didn’t really have to be careful to keep quiet or anything like that.
I pulled back the covers and climbed out of bed. Since it was dark in the room, I turned on the lamp on the night table. I found my discarded clothes on the floor and put them on.
I should’ve brought a change of clothes, I thought to myself. I could smell that they were dirty, so I figured that I’d wash them. I walked over to Eric’s closet and opened it up. I found his shirts hanging there. I pulled out a white one, then slipped it on. I grabbed my clothes, which I’d stripped out of before grabbing the shirt, and carried them out of the room with me.
I walked down the hallway towards the stairs that would take me down to the foyer. I wondered where the laundry room was in that house, it was so big. I walked down the stairs, towards the back, where I assumed the kitchen was.
I was surprised to smell coffee brewed and the smell of bacon and eggs. Who broke into Eric’s house to cook breakfast for a vampire? I wondered. I walked into the kitchen, completely surprised to see an older woman busy cooking at the stove.
I blinked and paused in the doorway.
She was an older woman, with a dark complexion. She was more round than tall. She reminded me, briefly of Octavia, but I could tell right away that this woman wasn’t a witch. Which made me wonder why she was there.
“Who are you?” I asked, as I walked further into the kitchen. I stared at her curiously, while I waited for her to answer me.
The woman turned around and gazed at me with pleasure but not a whole lot of surprise. I guessed that Eric must’ve told her that I was there.
“I’m Mr. Eric’s housekeeper,” she explained. “My name is Annabelle, but you can call me, Bella,” she suggested. “You must be Sookie,” she guessed, taking in my appearance. I could feel her gaze at me from head to toe. I could tell that she was pleased by my appearance. “I had heard that you were pretty, but I didn’t think that you were this pretty. No wonder the master fell for you,” she commented, almost to herself.
“He did?” I asked, trying to keep the hope from sounding in my voice. “What makes you say that?”
“Well…” she paused, “it’s obvious. You’re the only woman that he’s invited here in…” she paused, trying to remember. “Actually, I don’t recall Mr. Eric ever inviting a woman into his own home.”
“Oh, so you know that he’s a…” I tried to say it, but didn’t know her well enough to yet.
“A vampire?” she asked, finishing my sentence. “Of course, my own sister was one. She was taking care of me, but when she ended up dying her final death, he took me in. That was in…oh, must be fifty years ago now. I was relatively young back then.”
I found this woman very interesting. She looked like someone’s grandma, which made me miss my Gran. I shoved my thoughts aside, deciding that the coffee looked too good to be true. “Would you mind if I had some?” I asked, looking towards the coffee pot with longing.
“Of course, dear, that’s what it’s there for,” she replied. “The master told me to make sure that you had coffee and some food in you.” She looked down at the clothes that I carried in my arms. “Are those dirty?” She asked, curiously. I nodded my head. “Oh, I’ll wash them for you,” she offered. She stopped what she was doing at the stove. It looked like she was cooking pancakes. She walked over to me and took my clothes out of my arms. She quickly left the kitchen towards what I assumed was the laundry room. She disappeared through a doorway, leaving me alone in the kitchen.
I walked to the coffee maker and poured myself a cup of coffee. I sat down on the bar stool, that was parked at the cook island. I noticed that the pancakes should be done by then, so I climbed off the stool and went to the stove to take them out of the pan.
I returned to my sit, not ready to eat breakfast yet, even though the smells smelled good and made my stomach growl. I drank my coffee slowly, looking around the kitchen.
Just like the stairs and the doors in the house, the cabinets were made of a dark cherry wood, with a marble countertop. Stainless steel appliances. All the bells and whistles that belonged in a kitchen. The only thing different was that the kitchen belonged to a vampire and so it seemed like it was more for show, than anything else. In fact, it looked like it belonged in one of those home magazines.
I refilled my cup of coffee and took a walk through the house. I walked into the dining room, where there was a long dining room table, again made of dark cherry or mahogany. China filled the hutch that filled one wall. A crystal chandelier, but smaller than the one in the foyer, was positioned above the table.
I continued into the living room. It had a fireplace with shelving on both sides. The furniture was modern, but not out of place with the Victorian interior. The colors were rich, mostly in neutrals and warm looking colors.
Next, I found a small study that had a desk and computer. I could tell that Eric liked to do some work at home because there were some papers spread out on the desk. Book shelves lined the walls, with an interesting array of authors. There were classics; like Shakespear and Charles Dickens; to more modern and current ones like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Some of the classics looked like they were first editions, their covers well-worn and used. There were other books as well, encyclopaedias and other reference books. I could tell that Eric liked to read and learn.
I left the study and walked into the family room or in what one could only call a TV room. There was a huge, gigantic TV along one wall with a home theatre system and leather chairs to sit on. It had a nice movie theatre feel to it.
Next, I found a games room. There was a pool table and a video game that looked like it belonged in an arcade.
Looking around Eric’s house, made me understand that Eric had a variety of interests, kept up with the times and had an overall enjoyment for life.
I headed back upstairs towards Eric’s bedroom. At the top of the stairs, I decided to look in some of the other bedrooms, just to see what they looked like. The first room I looked in, took my breath away. It looked like it was a museum.
I walked in, afraid to touch anything. I could tell that these were items that Eric must have collected over the years, spanning a thousand years. It was organized; oldest to newest. I started at the beginning. I looked at an old garment and horned helmet that Eric must’ve worn while he was alive. There were other artefacts as well. His sword. A carving knife. A bottle that must have held water at one time.
I continued down the line, finding similar objects and items that proved just how much Eric had seen and done during his long life as a vampire.
I wasn’t sure how long I’d been in that room, but I could hear Bella calling for me from the downstairs. My clothes must’ve been ready, I figured. I quickly left, then headed back downstairs, almost feeling guilty for finding Eric’s room of memorabilia.
When I got back to the kitchen, Bella handed me my clothes, freshly washed and laundered. I was relieved to have my clothes once again and thanked her.
“Oh, don’t mention it dear,” she waved it off with her hand. “Here, try my pancakes. They may be cold by now, but I can warm them up in the microwave,” she suggested, hopefully.
I shook my head. I wasn’t really hungry now. The feeling had passed, but I thanked her anyways. I left the kitchen, then headed back up to Eric’s room.
I looked inside and noticed him still laying in bed. Like a bee drawn to honey, I found myself joining him in bed. Sliding under the covers, I realized that he while he looked peacefully dead while asleep; he also looked happy. He had a slight grin on his face, as if what he’d been thinking about when he’d fallen asleep had brought him pleasure. I hoped that it had something to do with me.
I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, then decided to have a nice warm bubble bath before I dressed. His bathroom was as opulent as the rest of the house. There was a separate shower. A sunken tub that had a Jacuzzi in it. Double sinks in the vanity and it was tiled with marble.
I found a bottle of bubble bath, as if Eric had planned my visit to his house and poured it in the running water. I wasn’t sure what time it was now, having not looked at the clock when I’d climbed into bed with Eric, but since I’d slept in really late, I figured that it must now be close to dusk.
It was winter and the days were getting shorter, meaning that Eric’s days were getting longer. I wondered what he wanted to do when he woke up.
I stripped out of Eric’s shirt and climbed into the bathtub. I stopped the running water because it was now full up to my shoulders. I felt relaxed and tried to figure out which buttons made the jets turn on in the panel next to me. It was kind of confusing.
Finally, I figured it out and completely relaxed while the jets soothed my tense muscles. I really wished that I had something like this at home because this would feel heavenly after a long day at work.
I must have fallen asleep in the tub because the next thing I knew, I could feel a pair of eyes staring down at me. I opened my eyes, looked up and noticed Eric standing there over me, with a heated look in his eyes.
“Would you care to join me?” I asked, the wanton part of me teased. I grinned up at him, invitingly.
“Funny, that was going to be my line,” Eric replied, sexily. “Would you like me to scrub your back? I’m very good at that, so I’m told,” he winked at me.
“How can I pass up an sweet offer like that?” I replied back, then leaned forward, expectantly. “If it wouldn’t be too much trouble…” I teased.
Eric chuckled. He shed his Jockey briefs and stood before me naked. Of course I looked. My mouth watered when I couldn’t help but notice his gracious plenty standing at attention. Well, good morning to you too, I thought to myself.
Eric climbed in behind me. His legs on either side of mine. He grabbed the bar of soap from the soap dish, lathered up his hands and began to wash my back. I could feel his gracious plenty pressed up against my back. I loved the way Eric touched me. He was gentle and loving, as well as exploring and massaging. His hands slid around to my front. His soapy hands cupped my breasts and played with my nipples for awhile.
I closed my eyes in rapture, enjoying what he was doing to me. His hands dipped under water, sliding lower until they touched my center. One hand played with my clit, while the other held me to him. I could feel him pressed up against me.
“Mmmm…” I couldn’t help but moan.
Eric chuckled. “You like this, huh?” he questioned.
I nodded my head, eagerly. “Yes, would you like me to turn around?” I asked, curiously. I wanted him inside me; like yesterday.
“No, we can do it another way,” he replied.
My inexperience didn’t prepare me for what he was planning. I hadn’t a clue how he figured that he was going to do anything in the tub, without me turning around.
“Trust me,” he must’ve been able to sense my doubts and insecurities because he said it, reassuringly.
He pushed me forward so that I was kneeling in the bottom of the tub. His hands cupped my bottom, then I could feel him come up behind me. Wedging his knees between my thighs, he parted them, while his fingers played with my clit. I was gasping for breathe, when I felt his entry, strong and sure. I gasped again, but more out of surprise than anything.
I braced myself on the sides of the tub. The water acted like a buffer of sorts. Eric kept thrusting, deeper and deeper until he was fully sheathed inside me. Water slashed over the sides of the tub, as Eric’s thrusts became more and more frequent and violent.
His hands moved up and cupped my breasts, playing with my nipples, until they hardened. I felt the scrape of his fangs, not realizing until that moment that they had been lowered. His hand brushed my hair away from my neck and I knew that he was going to bite me.
The next thing I knew, he was drinking from me, while he continued to stroke me from the inside out. It was a very erotic feeling. Finally, in a explosion of lust, we both climaxed and shook with desire.
Slowly, reality began to return to me. I could feel Eric’s fangs still at my throat, felt the tugs from each time he sucked. Finally, he must’ve had his fill of me because I could feel his lips lick the wounds and he backed away from me.
He climbed out of the tub, grabbed a towel, then held it open for me to jump into. I pulled the lever on the tub, so that the water would drain, then awkwardly climbed out. Eric wrapped the towel around me, rubbing vigorously, to dry the water off of me.
Once I was dry, I noticed that he was still dripping wet. I grabbed a clean towel and treated him the same way. He leaned forward and kissed me, showing me his appreciation for my attentiveness. He handed me a robe and put his own on.
Who’s robe did this belong to? I wondered in the back of my mind. I shouldn’t have thought it because it would end up driving me crazy, I figured.
“Nobody, it’s yours,” Eric had read my mind again. I gazed up at him with a surprised look.
“Really?” I asked, surprised.
“Really,” Eric nodded his head. He shrugged his shoulders, “I had been planning for this day for a long time now. You also have your own closet full of clothes. I had asked Tara what sizes you wore and what styles you preferred and she helped me fill it up,” he explained, as if it wasn’t that big of a deal.
I looked up at him, speechless, unsure as to what to say. What do you say to a guy who does all of that, except a big thank you?
“You’re welcome,” Eric smiled down at me. He had read my mind once again. “Come, let me show you your closet full of clothes.” He grasped me, gently, by the elbow and led me to another door that led off of the bedroom. He opened it up and said, “viola!” He waved his hand as if showing of a masterpiece.
I stood there in shock. The closet was enormous. It was bigger than Gran’s room at home. It had purses, shoes, dresses, pants…everything a woman could ever hope for. It was all nicely arranged in drawers, on hangers and shelves. There was even a chair that I could sit on. There were three floor-length mirrors so that I could see myself from any angle.
I was speechless. Nobody had ever did anything like this for me before. I didn’t know what to say. “Um…” I sputtered, unsure if I should accept this great gift. “Um…you shouldn’t have,” I tried to explain. It was too much. Tears came to my eyes because I was so emotional from it.
Was this his way of asking me to move in with him? I wondered. I looked around me and knew…that I couldn’t accept it. It was too much, too soon.
“You don’t like it?” Eric waited for my reaction. I could feel that he was getting more and more apprehensive and insecure; if he had done the right thing or not.
I shook my head. “No, I do…I like it a lot,” I replied. “It’s just that…it’s too much. I can’t accept it,” my voice cracked because I could feel that I was about to cry. “I’m sorry,” I apologized, then quickly headed back out of the room. I headed into the bathroom, where I’d left my own, freshly washed clothes and put them on.
I raced out of Eric’s bedroom, while he stood there watching me, motionless. It was the last vision of him that I had. He had a look of regret and disappointment, but I couldn’t deal with that now. I had to get out of there.
I raced down the hall; down the stairs and headed out the front door. I stood there on the front porch, finally realizing that I had no way to get home. I was stranded, unless Eric either flew me home or I borrowed one of his others cars (that is, if he had one). I stood there, not sure of what to do.
I stood on the front porch of Eric’s house, indecisive. I wanted to get away, but knew that I’d have to go back in to ask Eric to take me back to Fangtasia to get my car. I was scared to face him, after how I’d just run out of his bedroom.
He must hate me, I thought to myself. What kind of woman treats her man that way after he gives her a great gift like that? Was I going crazy?
“No,” I heard Eric say, softly, behind me.