I know it's kind of spoiler-y, but I still need to warn you and there isn't really any way to tell you this without... well, telling you...: this chapter is NSFW.
Betaed by Gonsalsy (thank you!)
Disclaimer: Let the owners be owners.
I turned carefully and slowly, trying to be mindful of my bruised rib and rolled onto my side, just enough to be able to easily see Eric when I turned my head. I looked at him long and hard, silently contemplating his face. I'm not sure what it was I was searching for or what I found. He patiently returned my gaze, waiting for me to decide what I wanted to do next. I couldn't find the right words, so instead of saying anything I lifted myself, resting some of my weight on my forearms, not without effort to make the move painless. He watched me like a hawk when I shifted closer and leaned down to kiss him.
For a moment, I almost thought he wasn't going to respond, because at first he stayed completely immobile when my lips touched his. Only after a few seconds his mouth moved under mine but even then the kiss remained slow and gentle. I lingered a little before detaching my mouth from his and pulling back. Our eyes locked again when I slowly laid back returning to my previous position. We just lay there, side by side, for some time, watching each other. Neither of us said anything, but this time the silence was full of tension.
I wasn't surprised when, after a few minutes of all that staring, Eric shifted and leaned over me, carefully sliding my head off his shoulder onto the pillow. His eyes were full of questions. Without looking away, he moved closer unhurriedly, giving me plenty of time to pull away.
Perhaps it was gratitude or the stress of everything I had seen that night. Perhaps it was the closeness caused by what we'd just been through together. Maybe it was about reassuring myself that I was still alive, about the wild euphoria that cheating death can produce, a challenge to the danger I had avoided. Maybe it was the primal instinct that made me desire the winner, the strongest and fittest male who could defeat the enemies and protect in need. Or maybe I was just really fed up with not remembering how it was to be with Eric in this most intimate way, that I had been robbed of the pleasure that went with the sin of yielding to him. But when he came back for more, I made no move to stop him. This time when he kissed me I combed my fingers through his hair and held him in place. For the first time in my memory I didn't have a word of protest to say to him.
I faintly tasted blood. Some of it must have remained after he tended to my wounds. I wasn't sure which one of us it belonged to.
"Sssssookie," he said into my skin in a deep, sensual voice that instantly sent a shiver down my spine. "My, my, my Sookie."
It was hard to protest against his possessive words when he accented every one of them with a kiss. I moved my hand to his back with a sigh. Even reaching blindly I could feel the muscles shifting under his skin. Some people thought silent vampire bodies just as disturbing as corpses – I never understood how something as buzzing with concentrated energy could be considered dead. Eric certainly seemed very invigorated at the moment despite his lack of pulse.
I winced involuntarily when I accidentally put a strain on one of my many injuries with some stronger movement. Between the aching rib, bite-mark, and a gunshot wound, not to mention all the scratches and bruises, finding a comfortable position was a challenge. Eric was keeping most of his weight off me, but it looked like it was still too much.
"Eric, wait a sec," I whispered.
He raised his head at once and pulled away slightly.
"Do you want me to stop?" he asked and I'd have to be blind not to see disappointment on his face.
"No," I said blushing furiously. "But…"
I bit my lower lip.
"But?" Eric repeated kissing my nose.
I couldn't hold back a smile. When exactly did Eric get so… sweet?
"But I'm not sure if I should," I admitted reluctantly. "I kind of hurt all over."
Everything he was doing was very, very pleasant and I really didn't want to stop him. Eric hesitated for a second.
"I can be careful," he phrased it as a statement, but his tone was questioning.
One of his hands was still caressing me lightly, in a hypnotic rhythm. Finally I nodded, giving into temptation.
Eric shifted his body, looking for a way to minimise the pressure of his body on me. A quick check told me that my legs were fine. The most pesky injuries were located on my torso, especially the lower part of my ribs.
"Better?" Eric asked, but I was unable to answer him in an articulate way since he had just found a very particular spot on my neck.
Instead of answering him I wrapped my arms around him and arched my back, only to growl with frustration when a sharp sting of pain sobered me up. Damn it, I didn't want to give up. I knew at that point it would put me in a really sour mood.
"Shhhhh…" Eric murmured soothingly. "Lay back. I'll take care of you."
And with that he closed each of my hands in his own and held them in place.
Ignoring how much this particular situation reminded me of a scene from one of my trashy romance novels, I took his advice and tried to relax. There is a line between stubborn and stupid, and passing on that opportunity would be crossing it.
Though altruism was a quality I would have never have accused Eric of under normal circumstances, I was happy to discover that that assessment was wrong in at least one area – Eric wasn't a selfish lover.
I giggled when Eric's hair tickled my neck. He was still holding my hands, so his main weapon consisted of kisses. It seemed that he was planning on covering every inch of my skin with them, following some complex pattern. Had he grabbed my wrists, I would have probably felt trapped, but since he laced his fingers with mine, it just felt as if he was holding my hands. I sighed when Eric revisited the path leading along my clavicles for the third time before moving lower. He looked up at me and sent me the most sinful smile I'd ever seen. He inhaled through his nose and rubbed his cheek against my heated skin. I realized that my heart was beating next to his ear and that it had to be a very loud sound for him. I'm sure my pulse sped up at the thought and he could hear that too. As if to confirm, he squeezed my hands.
After taking a minute to enjoy snuggling against my bosom, he started to toy with the edge of my black bra. I giggled again, because for a moment it looked almost like he was trying to hide his head inside it, instead of taking it off.
That was before he added his fangs to the equation. After that, all desire to laugh left me, though not at all for reasons that would make me complain.
"Eric," a gasp escaped me when he started presenting me with the full repertoire of caresses he had to offer even with the narrowed means at his disposal, which nevertheless seem to go on forever.
I don't know if his skill and eagerness were just a vampire thing (after all, who could be a better expert at biting and sucking if not them?), but I thought I was going to lose my mind at any moment, though he had yet to touch the lower part of my body. It had never happened to me before.
My voice must have startled Eric out of a trance, because he lifted himself slightly (no! – I wanted to shout – get back here, right now! – but my ability to talk lucidly was limited at the moment) and then he regarded me with an intense look I couldn't quite decode.
"My lover," he said looking me in the eye and it sounded exactly like something he was supposed to say.
"Eric," I said again, since I couldn't come up with anything smarter to say.
He raised my hands and kissed them one by one without letting them go, laced our fingers again, and then, thankfully, he leaned down to kiss me before my impatience could reach the critical level. I returned the kiss in a slightly desperate way, because my lips were missing him terribly. I'd been trying to ignore the chemistry between me and Eric for as long as I could remember, and it looked like all that suppression was going to take spectacular revenge on me.
Eric shifted his attention back to his new favourite pair of toys and I had to bite my lip to stop myself from begging when he scratched me with his fangs and eagerly worked on making sure that not a drop of my blood was wasted. Acting on a strange whim, he didn't take my bra off – maybe he wasn't willing to test my soreness and try to unhook the fastening on my back – but the lacy fabric unexpectedly gave me an additional stimuli, attacking my oversensitive skin. I had to do something – anything – fast so I didn't go mad.
And then I remembered that my legs were free and agile. I blame Eric's talents for not thinking about that any sooner.
I immediately wrapped my legs tightly around Eric's torso. Unfortunately, he was too tall for me to be able to circle his hips this way in the position we were in– but I could still dig my bare heels into his ass making Eric let out his own inarticulate noise. I admit it was satisfying to hear it. Apparently it was a right course of action, too, because Eric finally decided it was time to move things forward and slid lower along my body. I suddenly remembered my first dream about him and I had a feeling that I knew where he was going with this.
"Open your eyes," he said, his voice slightly changed, and I lifted my eyelids obediently at once. I hadn't even noticed when they drooped in the first place.
Some distant part of my mind registered the fact that his thumbs were stroking my wrists in a circular motion. I glanced at him and he growled into my stomach, making me take a shaky breath. It was a very different kind of growl than the ones I'd heard from him earlier in the evening. I felt it in my whole body. I watched the journey his mouth was taking across my skin fascinated. He didn't take his eyes off me even for a second, which made me unable to look away either. I still couldn't quite believe it was really happening.
Though, when Eric reached the edge of my pants, I was ready to pray that I wouldn't wake up. That would be terribly frustrating.
I thought that at that point Eric would have to use his hands for sure, but I was wrong. I inhaled sharply when I realized what he was planning to do. Eric grinned impishly and winked at me. And then, slowly and with a suspicious ease, he unhooked the button with his teeth. At that point I wouldn't look away even if someone paid me to. Undoing the zipper with the same method looked equally interesting.
Finally Eric hooked his thumbs through the belt loops and gave them a short, hard tug. This part of the task didn't go as smoothly as the other one, but after some wiggling on my side (a little uncomfortable, but I was already past the point when that could have still discouraged me) we succeeded in sliding the pants down my hips. I was very pleased that I wasn't wearing jeans, because that maneuver would probably have been much harder if I had.
I kicked the pants off the rest of the way impatiently. I got a little tangled in them, but eventually I managed.
Eric happily snuggled down back between my legs.
"I'm going to bite you here," he informed me kissing the sensitive skin on my inner thigh, next to my groin.
I shivered. Eric kissed a second point close to the first one, as if he was marking the spots for both of his fangs.
Bill had told me once that vampires enjoy biting humans there very much, but he never did that himself. Up till then, vampires had only taken my blood from my neck or less often my wrist, but I had a feeling that it was a very different sensation.
"Later," Eric added.
He rubbed his face against my body. The skin on his cheek was slightly rough, as if he had shaved a little unevenly and stayed this way forever. You couldn't see it, but you could feel it.
"Can we skip to Later?" I asked shamelessly if a little breathlessly.
My brain turned into mush a while ago.
Eric chuckled softly.
"Mmmm, personally, I prefer Right Now," he replied and got busy with nipping at me.
I consider myself a strong woman – but the sight of lace hooked against a fang stripped me of what was left of my rational mind. I wasn't able to think if it was wise or not – all I could think of was for Eric to hurry up.
"May I?" he mumbled with his mouth full and any other time I would have laughed at the weird moment he chose to show some manners, but at the time it was the last thing on my mind.
My eager nod sealed the fate of my underwear. Eric made a move, too fast for me to register, and the narrow strip of fabric gave up with a faint snap, ruined beyond the chance of repair. I really didn't mind one bit.
I managed to take a deep breath before Eric moved the scrap to the side and finally gave me what I wanted. I cried out softly in shock.
Now I was the one to grip his hands, not the other way around. I'm sure I dug my nails into his skin deep enough to leave marks, that is if he was human and they had a chance to stay there before he healed.
I thrashed like a fish in a net. There was no doubt that Eric knew what he was doing and that he enjoyed doing it. I never wanted him to stop, but I was so turned on it didn't take long before I felt that something huge was coming.
I forgot that I was supposed to keep quiet for the sake of the neighbors behind the thin wall. I forgot the pain in my bruised side when I jerked and arched my back. The world somersaulted.
There was nothing but pleasure.
I faintly registered the moment when Eric turned his head to make good on his earlier promise and bit me exactly where he told me he would. His fangs slid into my flesh like a hot knife into butter, making everything even more intense. It was a very strange, but very welcome sensation when he drank from me in that spot – it felt like he was making love to me when in reality he was sucking my blood.
I lay waiting for my senses to return and my breath to calm. When I came back to earth, Eric was stretched on his side next to me, watching me, one of his hands caressing me slowly. I didn't even recall the moment when he had moved. He smiled widely at me when he noticed me looking at him.
I didn't know what to say. He was beyond spectacular, but I wasn't sure if he needed to hear that. He was very self-assured as it was.
I was slowly regaining control over my limbs, so I stretched my arm toward him. I furrowed my brows when my hand landed on the stiff fabric of his jeans.
"Why are your pants still on?" my brain mouth filter hadn't clicked back into place yet.
Eric let out a peal of laughter.
"That, my lover," he said, "is an excellent question."
As some of you have already guessed, this story is coming to an end.
Don't worry, though - if you think you're going to miss it, I have some good news for you: there are few more "bonus chapters" waiting for you after you finish reading the main story (you can think of them as glimpses into a few chosen moments of Eric and Sookie's future). I'm not sure yet if I want to post them here, or as separate entries, but I'll let you know when the time comes.
That being said, I still want to hear your impressions on the chapter.
Next time: As much as I appreciate Sookie's question... Forget the 'why'. Let's see what Eric's going to do about that!