LATE Chapter 024

9 Days and Counting…

 

“Nine days.” That was the first thought in her head when she woke up. She looked at the clock – 8:17. Wow, that was early for her. She didn’t even remember getting home last night. She assumed Eric must have undressed her and tucked her in bed and she had a vague memory of being wrapped in Eric’s arms with his bleeding wrist to her lips – was that a dream?

She felt like such an idiot. Eric managed to arrange a wedding for her and protection for their child and what did she do? She passed out and threw up all night. OK, Felipe seriously creeped her out, but what was this, some bad soap opera?

She knew Eric would have killed Felipe if he could have – and she wished he could have. She thought about telling Eric to make sure she was never alone with Felipe, but he would do that, anyway. That phrase “while it’s in its mother’s body” seriously creeped her out, too. Did that mean if someone took it out of her body… ew, that turned her stomach. These were vampires – disemboweling a human was all in a days work for a lot of them.

She hoped it wasn’t a mistake to tell Felipe about Niall, but she tried to tell herself to trust Eric. Dr. Ludwig told her to trust him to know what needed to be done to keep them alive. He said that was their best option, so it must have been the right thing to do.

She had 9 days from today – Friday didn’t count because that was the travel day — to plan a wedding. Actually, Sandy would probably do most of the planning. How the hell they were going to pull this off, she had no idea. She stretched a little and rolled over into Baby Eric position, her arms hugging the little bulge. It was all going to be worth it, she told herself, when they had their family safe and together – Baby E, her and Big E. She laughed out loud – Big E and Baby E. She liked that. Maybe she should start talking to Baby E, too?

There was so much to do. She needed a dress, she needed to ask Amelia, Octavia and Jason if they could come to Vegas for a few days and this wasn’t much notice to give a person with a job – though Jason wouldn’t care and he’d jump at the chance to go to Vegas for free. She couldn’t really think of anything else she’d need to do. Clothes and guests were the only things she needed to bring. The rest was going to have to be done by Felipe’s staff.

She guessed that was part of Eric’s plan – make them do all the work, and they’d just show up and enjoy themselves. She knew Felipe would throw a wedding far more extravagant than she’d ever do for herself, and he had the staff to do it up right. She should focus on being happy about being married and she had to find a way to make last night up to Eric.

Ooh, that gave her a twinge – she had been so busy all day yesterday and so sick last night that she hadn’t even had time to think about sex. She put her hands on her breasts and squeezed a little. She played with her nipples. It was light out so Eric wasn’t going to catch her. It was only around 9 by now and Alicia wouldn’t be upstairs for a bit. She ran her hands down her body, enjoying the touch and being touched. She squirmed a little, and reached between her legs. Oh, yes. This wouldn’t take long, though there was no need to hurry.

She thought about the naked Viking in the basement, and slipped 2 fingers into herself. She thought about his scent. She thought about the cool touch of his fingers – those long fingers that could do magick as far as she was concerned. She settled into an easy rhythm rubbing her clit and pinching a nipple with her other hand. She pictured what might happen if she went down to Eric’s hidey hole and was there when he woke up. That was what did it. She was RIGHT THERE. It was short and quick, but whew! what a way to start the day!

Eric would need to go to Fangtasia tonight, but maybe she would go down and surprise him. She went to the bathroom and washed her hands, then she noticed on her way back to the bed that Eric left her a note with some papers attached.

My Lover,

I hope you are feeling better this morning. I’m sorry that last night was so stressful for you. I hope we can look forward to our wedding and be happy knowing we will be a family.

I have attached some faxes from Felipe’s staff, asking questions about what you would like for the wedding. Please fill them out and fax them back to them this morning. It would be a good idea to call your brother and your Witches to confirm that they are going. Sandy will send the travel arrangements when they are confirmed. You will need to move quickly to get your dress in time, so ask Alicia to begin working on that immediately.

I love you,

Eric

There were three pages of questions. Some of them weren’t too bad – what color flowers do you want, (pink and yellow) what kind of cake, (red velvet – hey, it is a vampire wedding, after all) who will give the bride away (Jason, if he goes) – but some of them were about themes and china and what the hell is a trousseau? so that stuff was going to have to wait for Alicia.

Phone calls she could do. It was way too early to call Jason if he was home, but he was probably at work, so she tried his cell. No answer – it went straight to voice mail. She told him about the wedding a week from Sunday and could he go to Vegas with them from that Friday to Monday, and she really hoped he could because she wanted him to give her away. Then she tried Amelia, and got through to her. Amelia was thrilled about the whole prospect – Vegas, a wedding, being maid of honor, the vampire cocktail party, even the fact that Pam was going. They chatted for a long time, and Sookie told her as much as she dared about Felipe and his world. Amelia was completely up for it and said she would call Octavia and see if she could go.

Sookie expected Amelia to be cool with the vampire world but she was much less certain about Jason. He was brash and quick-tempered and not all that bright sometimes. They would be deep in the heart of vamp territory and it wouldn’t take much of a row to get them all killed. Was she being selfish wanting him to be there? Could she trust him to behave himself for a few days? She had a plan for keeping him in line but she’d have to clear it with Eric. She really did want him to be there.

She heard a noise outside and went to the window. There were some really heavy, strange shades that kept light out of the bedroom, but she could move them enough to see some men moving around in the back yard. They were working on the pool! Yay!

“Good Morning, Miss!”

Sookie jumped a little – “Hi, Alicia. You’re early today.”

“I was just bringing up some new clothes to put in your bureau and closet. You’re usually asleep when I do this.”

“Oh – I didn’t think about that, but I guess that has to get done early in the morning, huh?”

“Yes, Miss. You’re a sound sleeper, though, and rarely stir when I’m in here. I hope you don’t mind. Mr. Northman said he leaves at sunrise and any time after that should be fine.”

“Yeah, that’s fine.” She’d have to remember that. Getting caught by Eric is one thing. Getting caught by Alicia would be more than a little awkward.

“I got you some nice cotton yoga outfits for your training sessions and I’ve already called a specialty shop and they’ll be here tomorrow at 10 am for your first fitting. Mr. Northman left a message and told me it needed to be ready to travel by next Friday. We should be able to get that done – we can engage a private seamstress if need be.”

“Speaking of weddings, I’ve got these faxes I need to respond to about the wedding arrangements. Can you help me with them, please?”

“Of course, Miss. Would you like to do that before or after you eat?”

“I think before – the sooner the better.”

“Would you like to bring them to the kitchenette and we can talk about them while I make your breakfast?”

“Yeah, that would be great.”

She handed Sookie a pink robe from her closet that she didn’t even know she had and they went down the stairs. Sookie sat at the little table.
“Oh, I forgot to mention – can we get a larger chair so Eric can sit here with me sometimes? These chairs aren’t quite sturdy enough for a big Vi… a big guy like him.” Sookie figured Alicia didn’t need to know Eric was a real Viking,

“Of course, Miss – I didn’t know that was something he did.”

“Yeah, sometimes he likes to keep me company while I eat.”

“Alright then…” Alicia was taking things out of the fridge and cupboards. She took out the waffle iron and that pleased Sookie to no end.

“Oh, good – waffles. I’m really hungry.”

Alicia smiled at her. As Alicia mixed the ingredients, Sookie read the questions to her and they talked about the possibilities. She decided the theme would simply be Spring, and Alicia said that would work with her pink and yellow colors. She specified a kind of china, but Sookie just wrote down what she said without really understanding what it was.

It turned out a trousseau was the gown and accessories and they wrote that Eric would provide that. She requested prime rib for the dinner and when asked what music she wanted for the first dance she said “In Your Eyes” and tried to hide her face so Alicia wouldn’t see she was flushed remembering that night at Fangtasia.

They managed to wrap it all up by the time Sookie’s waffles were ready, so she dug in and Alicia went to the fax machine to send the information back to Felipe’s headquarters.

When Sookie got done with her breakfast, it was still only 10:00. Bobbie wouldn’t be there for her training for three hours, so now what? She was still supposed to stay off her feet, so Alicia suggested she find a book in Eric’s study and take it upstairs to read. That was as good an idea as any other so she went into the first floor study and looked around.

Eric had a nice library. Not huge, but he had more books than anyone else she knew. Everything was bound in leather and looked expensive. He didn’t have the kind of romances or mysteries she usually read, but Alicia suggested Rebecca‎ by Daphne Du Maurier and told her there was a wonderful old black and white movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Sookie figured if she liked the book, she and Eric could watch the movie. The book turned out to be about a widower who met a young, inexperienced girl and brought her back to his huge mansion where she felt she was in the shadow of his deceased wife. Eric didn’t have a ghostly wife hanging over Sookie’s head, but she could definitely relate to being a young woman not sophisticated enough for her new surroundings.

She took the book upstairs and snuggled into Eric’s bed… or rather, their bed… and she read for about an hour and a half before she fell asleep. Alicia woke her up at 12:30 so she could get into her yoga clothing and wake up a little. She picked a pair of loose pink cotton pants with a soft drawstring waist and a white camisole top which she hoped would be ok because she didn’t feel up to dealing with clothes at all right now, least of all a bra.

Bobbie James was right on time and they went straight up to the 4th floor. She was wearing a lavender unitard under a dark blue skirt that looked like it was made from one of those cotton print scarves from India that Sookie always looked at with longing but never could get herself to buy. Her wavy hair was soft around her face and she seemed to be in a genuinely good mood.

She carried a small boom box with her and played soft New Age music while they worked. She taught Sookie some basic moves, explaining that yoga was about stretching gently into position without bouncing which was harder than it sounded. Years of gym classes full of jumping jacks and sit-ups sort of left a person with a natural tendency to want to bounce. It was very different than any kind of exercise Sookie had done before and it seemed as if she wasn’t doing much but at the end of an hour and a half she definitely could feel she had been doing things she wasn’t used to.

Bobbie ended the session with a massage, and Sookie was nervous so she kept her panties on but she did take off her shirt before she got up on one of the massage tables. She was glad Bobbie couldn’t see her face when she explained that she was using an almond scented massage oil. Sookie was pretty sure she wouldn’t be using it the way Eric liked to but thinking about it made her blush and giggle softly.

When Sookie rolled over on her back, Bobbie asked questions related to the pregnancy – yes, she had some morning sickness, yes, she was having an occasional cramp and was told they would be worse than most women experienced. Bobbie did a little massage actually on her abdomen, but she spent most of her time pressing different points on her hands and feet that were supposed to help. She finished off with a really thorough foot massage that felt heavenly, and suggested that tomorrow they include a pedicure with her treatment. Sookie still had barmaid’s feet and she knew they needed attention so that seemed like a good idea. As Bobbie left Alicia told them that the pool would be ready to use on Friday, so they could do some water exercises then.

By this time it was after 4pm, so Alicia suggested Sookie go upstairs and read a bit until dinner was ready, but she barely read a page before she was asleep. Alicia brought her tray up at 5:30 and by the time she was done eating, Eric was up.

“Hello, dear one.” He sat on the bed next to her and leaned over for a kiss. “What kind of day did you have today?”

Sookie told him about her training and about the progress on the swimming pool. She told him that the first fitting for the dress was the next day, and told him about the selections she had made for the wedding with a little help from Alicia. Alicia excused herself for the evening, and while Eric checked his email, Sookie ran a bath for them. Eric was surprised to find Sookie in the tub when he came back.

“My lover, I…”

“Yeah, I know, you have to go to Fangtasia tonight, but I want to spend some time with you first. We don’t have to have sex – I like it when we just soak and talk, too.”

Eric realized she was feeling a little insecure about all the changes, so he stripped and joined her in the tub.

“Thank you,” she said as she settled between his legs, her back against his chest. He put his arms around her and kissed her hair, then her ear.

“Dear one, if you don’t want to get married in Las Vegas….”

“No, that’s not it. I realized why you wanted to do it there – they do all the work and we just enjoy the results.”

“Yes – I thought it would be less stressful for you, but Felipe…”

“… is seriously creepy. I can’t figure out if he admires you or is jealous of you.”

“Probably both. Vampires love having things that no one else has, or something better than anyone else has. We are very proud. Siring a child is a unique event for a vampire. Having a bonded is rare. Some would consider me very lucky indeed.”

“Do you?”

“Consider myself lucky? If I were religious, I would be tempted to say I have been blessed.”

“….or cursed…?”

“Never, my lover. Our life might include a few unique complications, but I am happy to make adjustments. I’ve had centuries of life alone. I am more than happy to do things differently for a while.”

“It will only seem like a little while to you, won’t it. For me, it’s the main part of my life, unless I go over…”

“I will never push you toward that, dear one, but you know it can be done whenever you choose.”
“Yes, and I appreciate that – both the not pushing part and the part that offers it if I choose it. Having a non-human child puts everything in a very different perspective for me. I want to be around for you as long as possible because I love you, but that isn’t an obligation. Being there for our son is my responsibility. I have to really think about that.”

He hugged her tighter and kissed her cheek.

“Eric, there’s something else….”

“Yes…”

“When Felipe said…”

“…that he would protect the child as long as it was in your body…”

“Right. That was creepy.”

“Yes.”

“What did he mean by that?”

“I didn’t want to alarm you last night, you were so emotional and sick, but I planned to talk to Dr. Ludwig and to Niall tonight to make sure our child is properly protected…”

“Protected from what?”

“There is magick all around this child. It is theoretically possible one with the power and the knowledge could take the baby from your womb and kill it.”

“Oh, my god! Do you think….”

“I think Felipe left himself an out so that if an enemy of mine were to try such a thing, he would not be obligated to avenge the child if you were unharmed.”

“As if I wouldn’t be harmed if someone snatched my child from my body and killed it?!”

“Physically harmed, dear one. Vampires don’t think about emotions the same way humans do.”

“You think about emotions.”

“My motivation is different. I am happiest when you are happy, so your happiness is a priority for me. Part of ensuring your happiness means factoring in the emotional effect my actions might have on you.”

“Do you really do things differently because of me?”

“Oh, yes, my lover. Bill Compton would have been finally dead long ago if not for you. I would have killed him without a second thought the other night if I had not known his death would upset you. I’m taking a risk by letting him walk around freely that I would prefer not to take. As Sheriff, I could have killed him long ago by rights, and as your bonded, I would also be so entitled. My first priority now should be the safety of our child – it is wrong of me to put your feelings ahead of my responsibility, but I could not bear for you to be angry with me, and I do not think you could forgive me if I killed him while you still care for him.”

“I’m sorry, but thank you.”

“I love you, Sookie. You will always come first for me, whether that is right or not. It is my greatest weakness.”

“Being in love shouldn’t make a person seem weak.”

“I’m not a person, Sookie, I am vampire. It doesn’t make me seem weak, it is an actual, literal weakness that endangers my position among our kind and threatens my continued survival.”

“Do you ever wish you’d never met me?” she asked quietly.

“No, dear one, I never wish that. I should. I should have killed you after the first night I met you when I realized afterward that I could think of nothing else but you. That would have been the smart, logical thing to do to ensure my survival – but I couldn’t do it.”

“I don’t think that makes you weak.”

“Let’s just hope it does not make me – or you or the child, for that matter – dead.”

She turned around and kissed him. “We’re a team. We’re stronger together than apart. You said yourself the gods must have a plan for this child, so that plan has to include us, right?”

“One would hope.”

“It does, I know it does.”

“Now who is having suspicions of destiny, my lover,” he laughed.

“Hey, I can if you can,” she teased. She reached for the soap and began to wash his chest, her hands enjoying the feel of his muscles under his skin. He was so beautiful.

“What are you thinking, dear one?”

“That you’re beautiful. You have a beautiful body.” She said as she continued to wash his arms, her fingers tracing the line of his biceps.

He laughed out loud “I always think that about you, my lover. What a beautiful family we will be.”

Sookie was glad the mood had lightened a little. She knew Eric was being honest with her and she sort of understood about the danger they were in, so it was important for them to enjoy the time they had together and to have fun with each other whenever they could.

She washed him well, all over, then she washed his hair as she straddled his lap and he kissed the top of her breasts. When she finished, he started with her hair and worked his way down, taking great pleasure in doing a very thorough job. As they were drying each other off, they giggled a little and kissed playfully because they both knew they needed to get on the road to Fangtasia.

“Is it OK if I go to Fangtasia with you tonight?”

“Of course, my lover. Are you going to sleep in the office?”

“Actually, I was thinking I’d hang out in the club with you if that’s ok.”

Eric was very pleasantly surprised. “You are going to sit beside me on the stage?”

“Maybe more like I’ll sit with you at your table.”

“I would like that very much, dear one.”

She went to the closet and looked at it – man there was a lot of new clothes here. “I wonder what I should wear?”

“A dress, please, something that shows your legs. I love to see people admiring your legs.”

“I thought that made you jealous…” she teased.

“Not jealous. Possessive. I want people to admire them but they must also know that they are MINE.” He said as he nipped at her earlobe and she rolled her eyes at him.

She found a pretty black sundress with lavender and yellow flowers that would show off her chest and her legs. She found a black push up bra and a black lace thong. Eric whistled when he saw her in them, then he helped her pull the dress over her head. It fit her wonderfully and it had an empire waist so it hid the little bulge in her tummy. “Look, it hides Baby Eric” she said cheerfully.
“Baby Eric?” His eyes lit up. It was the first time he’d heard her say it.

“Yeah, that’s what I call him, Baby Eric.” She patted her belly. “Or Little E. You’re Big E, of course.”

“Do you talk to him?”

“More like I think at him, but since you told me about talking to him, I’m going to start actually saying words out loud soon.”

“Baby Eric,” he repeated as he kneeled down on one knee and raised her dress in front so he could plant a kiss on her little bulge. Sookie had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing out loud at the mighty Viking getting gooey over a baby. If you had told her a year ago that Eric Northman could actually be sweet, she’d have called you crazy.

“I wonder how long it will be before I can feel it move?” Sookie said.

“Move?”

“Yes, move. At some point pretty soon you’ll be able to feel him kick and roll over in there.”

Eric was literally speechless at the prospect. It had been a very long time since he’d been around a pregnant woman and that little detail had slipped his mind. He turned his back to pull on his jeans but she knew he didn’t want her to see him grinning like a fool. She got a mental picture of his big hands holding a little baby and just about melted. It was all going to be worth it, she thought, all the danger and the morning sickness and even creepy Felipe, because when it was all said and done, she and Eric would have a healthy baby boy who would look just like Eric – she hoped.

“Should I wear heels? Alicia said I might not want to, but they would look nice with this dress.”

“Wear a pair that you like and take some flat shoes with you in case you want to change.” He was smart like that sometimes – and he knew the heels would make her legs look even better so he could show her off. She was secretly starting to like the way he showed her off. She knew a proper lady should hate it and be offended but it gave her a little thrill to know he was proud of her, and took pride in letting people know she was HIS bonded and no one else’s.

The fact that he thought she made him look good made her feel good about herself in a way she never had before. When she was on Eric’s arm, she wasn’t crazy Sookie who hears voices, she was his bonded, his beloved and that set her above anyone else in his eyes. She knew that Eric could literally have anyone he wanted – and had – and he chose her. Their bond might have been solidified under duress but it was real and it was special.

It was a quiet night at Fangtasia. Pam spent a little time at three different points in the evening sitting at the table with Sookie chatting about the upcoming trip to Las Vegas. Pam was actually excited about going and she seemed fine with the idea of Eric being married. Toward the end of the night, Sookie thought it was time to ask Eric and Pam about her plan to control Jason in Las Vegas.

“Speaking of Vegas, you all, I was thinking that my brother might be a problem, but I really want him to be there, so I had an idea about what to do with him.”

“Yes, my lover?”

“I was wondering if maybe Pam would be in charge of Jason? He’ll go along with pretty much anything a pretty girl tells him to do, so I don’t think he would mind. He’s not too bright sometimes and I don’t want him to get himself or anyone else killed. He can be hot-headed and obstinate.” Sookie was talking fast. “I mean I don’t want you to have to work while you are there, Pam, but you’ve mentioned before that you like Jason…”

Pam laughed.

Eric was shocked. “Sookie are you suggesting….”

“Yeah, that Pam kind of be Jason’s date so she can control him while we’re in Vegas.”

“You want MY Pam to … court your brother?”

“Not court exactly… just maybe mess around with…”

Pam was beyond amused. “So you are suggesting that I fuck your brother so he will be more pliable and less likely to start a fight?”

“You don’t have to have sex with him if you don’t want to, but he will be more cooperative if he thinks he might get laid.”

“What if I want to?”

Eric now looked at Pam with the same astonishment he had directed at Sookie.

“What?” Sookie asked.

“What if I want to fuck your brother while I’m babysitting him to, you know, make him more pliable?”

“Well, if you’re into it and he’s into it, I don’t have a problem with it…”

“Sookie!” Eric couldn’t believe his ears. HIS Sookie had suggested that HIS Pam bed her brother and HIS Pam was considering it!

“What? It’s better than letting him start a war over something stupid and you know he’s perfectly capable of doing just that. Pam is stronger and smarter than he is and she likes him anyway. Jason has no morals to speak of anyway and I really want him to give me away.”

“Pam, you know you are under no obligation…” Eric began.

“Master, may I speak frankly?”

“Of course.”

“I’d love to have your future brother-in-law as a pet for the weekend. It would enable you and your bonded to relax and enjoy your time there and I think Jason and I would enjoy… each other’s… company.”

“It won’t be awkward for you with Amelia there will it?” Sookie asked.

“Oh, no, Amelia and I are friends and she won’t have a problem with anything I do.”

“So you wouldn’t mind?” Sookie asked, just to be sure.

“Not at all. It will make the whole weekend much more fun for me to have a playmate – especially such a pretty, eager playmate.”

“Excuse me for a minute,” Eric said as he got up from the table and walked over to the bar. A tourist who had had a little too much to drink made the mistake of grabbing Eric’s ass as he stood at the bar and wound up wearing his drink and being thrown out the back door of the club with a great flourish. Sookie cringed just a little at Eric’s reaction but Pam was laughing her ass off. Her master didn’t know whether to be jealous, proud, angry or appalled at this new development and he unloaded all of that on this hapless idiot in a Metallica shirt. Pam lived for these moments.

Eric stalked back to the bar and Sookie was afraid he would kill the next would-be fang banger who touched him so she decided it would be best to take the proverbial bull by the horns. She walked over to Eric, and he turned to her as she approached him. She took hold of his belt buckle and pulled him back toward his office. He offered a little resistance but went along just to see what she had in mind.

She pulled him into his office, then shut and locked the door behind them. Without saying a word, she guided him to sit down in his chair behind the desk, turned her back to him, straddling his legs, flipped up the tail of her skirt and bent over his desk in front of him. Her thong didn’t survive another second – it was in shreds and he was in her in less than a heartbeat. It might have hurt if she weren’t in a state of perpetual readiness, but she was, so when she cried out it was more out of relief than anything else.

She knew he had fantasized many times about bending her over his desk, so she was a little more vocal than usual to spur him on. As he held her hips and slammed into her she managed to get her dress over her head and throw it across the room. The black bra followed, so he had her wearing nothing but heels and thigh high stockings. She braced her elbows on the desk, and arched her back to raise her back side to him even more and he was loving it. She knew the tops of her thighs would be bruised with the imprint of his desk, but that was a small price to pay.

He let go of her hips and pushed her forward, reaching around her to squeeze her breasts roughly. That made her straighten up a little and he pulled her back toward him and drove his fangs into the spot where her neck joined her shoulder. She let out an almost animal scream as he bit and that drove him over the edge. When his last spasm was over, he sat in his chair and pulled her back on his lap, still sucking hard on the wound as his hands ran frantically over her breasts and between her legs. He liked the reaction he got when his hand went between her legs so he held her around the waist as he worked her and he continued to feed from her. He was taking a lot of blood, and she started to worry a little, and tried to move away from the hand between her legs, but he wouldn’t let her.

“Eric… Eric” she tried to get his attention but his hand was instantly over her mouth and the other hand was relentless. She was trying to fight him, but that was impossible. The hand between her legs stopped just long enough to knock everything off the right side of his desk then he spun her around and pushed her onto her back.

There was nothing comfortable about this, but she realized that he was high on her blood again as he pushed her knees up and back to take her deeply. She was glad the desk had some kind of formica top on it because she’d have splinters now if it was wooden. He was wild and merciless, and she later realized she should have been a lot more scared than she was. It was hard to think – it was all she could do to hang on, but it occurred to her that her best bet was to make him come and there was one sure way to do that.

“Eric – let me drink from you. Feed me blood.”

He didn’t speak or slow down but he did raise his wrist to his mouth and rip it open. He held it up to her and she latched onto it, drawing as hard as she could between gasps for air. He let out a groan and slowed way down, leaning down onto her literally “rubbing himself all over her” as he’d always said he wanted to do when she smelled of fairy.

He ran his hand over her face and down her body. He leaned down and she wrapped her arms around his neck, relieved that he was calming down.

“Wrap your legs around me” he whispered in her ear. She did and as he straightened up, she came up with him. With his hands under her, he carried her over to the leather couch, laying her down gently and then lying down beside her. He kept her wrapped in his arms and held her tight for a long time without speaking. He was shaking.

“Are you cold?” she asked softly. He shook his head. Eventually, he kissed her forehead softly and he wiped his face with one hand and she saw a trail of red on his cheek – was he crying?

“Eric…?”

“Shhhh, my lover,” he whispered. After a while passed, he said “Are you alright, my lover? Did I hurt you?”

“Eric, I’m fine – are you ok?”

“You are so strong, my dear one, you are the strongest woman I have ever known.”

“Maybe because I’m drinking from you…”

“No, it’s more than that. It’s more than your fairy blood and it’s more than my blood in you. Were you frightened?”

“Why would I be frightened? I was a little worried that you took so much blood, but I wasn’t frightened, just… a little worried, I guess, but I’m not afraid of you.”

“Maybe you should be…”

“That’s ridiculous. I’m not afraid of you, Eric – I never have been and I never will be.”

 

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