Hey guys, I'm sorry for taking so long with updating.

I've been struggling a lot lately with my uncle's passing and writing has been incredibly hard lately. I feel like I'm not getting anything good out for you guys, so I'm sorry if this one is really disappointing. It's hard to pull myself out of it at the moment, so I do hope you'll forgive me.

Thank you all so much for being so kind and patient. I really don't want to let you guys down with the story, so I hope this one was okay. Hope you are all safe and happy!

Chapter 18

Once down the steps and off the plane, a security guard was waiting with a sniffer dog on its leash. I knew it was bad for me the instance the medium-sized German Shepherd started snarling and barking, raising its head to me, the fur on its back standing upright on end. Animals no longer liked me ever since I had been turned vampire, which was a true shame, as I had always been an animal lover at heart.

"Ma'am, step over here please," the guard directed me in a bored voice.

He'd been working long hours lately and he was drained and tired. He just wanted to finish his shift and head on home- or so his thoughts told me. When I stepped towards him, the dog was still barking harshly at me and snarling. It really didn't like me.

"We seem to be having an adverse reaction towards you from Flutie over here." He handed the dog to another guard, seeing as it was getting a bit too aggressive. "You have any concealed weapons on you?"

This was the first time I had ever been called over by a security guard, so I felt quite tense and shaken. Far as I knew, I hadn't done anything wrong or had broken any flying laws.

"Um, no, Sir," I answered politely, though fearfully. "I got no concealed weapons on me. Animals just don't like me."

Did a pair of fangs count as a concealed weapon?

"Set your suitcase down on the ground, please." His stern, no-nonsense voice wasn't helping any, but I obeyed and did what he said immediately. "You got any drugs on you?"

"Drugs?" My worry subsided, and now I was just feeling insulted. "I'd never touch drugs, not ever."

"Then spread your legs apart, please." His command startled me. Why on earth would I need to spread my legs for? "You've just gotten a strange reaction out of Flutie, so its my duty to pat you down, make sure you aren't trying to conceal anything. That alright by you, ma'am?"

I didn't see how I had much choice and I dreaded being into trouble, so I obliged in spreading my legs apart as he went behind me. It was strangely degrading when he started running his hands up my bare legs, around my crotch, giving me a good thorough feel.

His body brushed against me and the higher up he got with his big hands, the more uncomfortable and on-guard I felt. My fangs shot down- a natural defense mechanism, it seemed- but I was cautious to keep my lips pressed tightly together.

"Dang, feel the firmness of that body she got there..." I heard by his thoughts. "Imagine what's underneath that dress... Don't seem like she's concealing nothing illegal... Weird of Flutie's behavior... Nice, firm rack though..."

The last bit was while his hands gave my breasts a quick and, what felt to me, unnecessarily curious squeeze, then he reluctantly stepped back. Was it protocol for a security man at the airport to squeeze your breasts? I couldn't be sure, but it didn't feel all that good to me.

It felt invasive, and it took all I had not to follow through with the urge to clamp a hand down around his wrist to hopefully snap it in half.

He cleared his throat before saying hoarsely, "All right, all good now, ma'am. Thank you for your cooperation."

I collected my suitcase and purse from the ground and as I turned to look at the man, I let him know how displeased I was by him copping a feel. "I'm all for what you people do here in making sure no one sneaks in anything illegal or dangerous," I said to him, pulling up my top lip a bit too much so he could see what I had underneath it. He squinted at me through the glare of the sun, his eyes popping out at the sight of my fang bling. "But next time, you don't squeeze my breasts that long. Understand, mister?"

He actually stepped a good distance back from me, gulping loudly, and it made me feel so good that all that had just happened in the past couple of minutes instantly felt like little fish to be worried about.

"You have a nice day now," I finished through my fangs, enjoying his reaction.

A satisfied smile broke across my mouth as I showed him my back, strolling away from him.

Yep, I definitely was going to enjoy my time here in Dallas, all right.

The hotel we were to be staying at, was called the Hotel Camilla.

As it turned out, people working for Anibus Airlines also had a combined car service, so a four wheel drive was waiting to take us to our hotel. Eric's coffin was placed in back, and the car was fortunately big enough. I hadn't been anywhere out of Bon Temps before, so I sat in the front with the driver, enjoying the sights and the hustle and bustle of the mid-afternoon traffic. Dallas was so much larger and populated than a small town like Bon Temps, and you could really feel that.

Once the car pulled up at the hotel, a few men from inside came out to help with both the luggage and also carrying Eric's coffin upstairs to the room. I would have been perfectly content with carrying my own luggage, yet the young man that rushed out to help me seemed all too eager to that I couldn't resist. I smiled at him thankfully, and he smiled back in a way that looked more like a nervous grimace than anything else.

"Welcome to the Hotel Camilla," he said, in what I was assuming was his customary greeting. "I'm Barry, and I..." He looked sideways at my face, and his smile weakened for some reason. "I'll, uh, I'll be your porter."

"Thank you," I said, still smiling. When I glanced up at the hotel that was to be my accommodation for potentially a week at the most, I felt overwhelmed. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in Bon Temps before; For one, it had to be five-stories high, the building. It looked very high up there, as far as hotels went.

"...And yes, it's actually the first hotel catered to suit vampires," Barry cut in anxiously, like he could hear me. "The rooms are even light tight, which means that... that the windows are tinted and limit ultraviolet light exposure." He seemed not at all completely there, and he was coiled up like a spring with anxiety and distress. A quick probe into his mind immediately revealed to me why that was.

To both my equal shock and delight, Barry was a telepath, also. He could read human minds, exactly as I could. I hadn't met anyone like me before, and it seemed he wasn't experienced enough to know how to put his mental guards up from time to time to stop it from getting too overwhelming. I could also see that, he was big on denial; He didn't want to acknowledge that he had this ability, and he certainly did not want anybody else to know. So, feeling pity for him, I tried to keep quiet about it and pretend I hadn't noticed.

"I'll just show you to your room and then I'll put your luggage with you," he mumbled to me, and I followed him after checking in with the reception and getting a key card for the room handed to me. We took an elevator up to the forth floor and I followed Barry down the narrow hallway. When we finally stopped at one of the doors, he showed me how to use the key card properly and then he helped with carrying my luggage in.

The room was not at all what I was expecting either. It was fairly large, and modern. The white curtains were open and when I glanced outside the window, the view was amazing. I could see everything. When I looked down towards the street below us, it seemed about six feet of a fall.

"Er, is there anything else that you need to know while I'm here, ma'am?" Barry asked, shaking me out of my admiration. I turned to look at him, finding him standing there, my luggage on the floor neatly beside him. "We have room service offered to you. You just press that button over there, and you make your orders from the menu, and then food will be delivered straight up to you shortly." He pointed to the telephone on the wall.

He didn't know I was a vampire.

"Great, thank you," I mumbled uncertainly. Then I remembered. "Oh, and if I'm wanting something from the menu that's, uh..." I paused for a moment, struggling how to put it without frightening him off, "...Vampire related?"

"Oh, we have blood donors here for that, too. Hotel Camilla is the only hotel that offers that option for vampire clients currently."

"Right, so if I'm feeling... peckish I do the same thing? Press the button for room service?"

"Actually, that's number two. Press number two, and it will direct you straight through." Barry seemed a bit confused by my asking, but I decided it was probably best not to tell him. The less who knew about what I was while in Dallas, the better.

"Great, thank you so much for your help, Barry." He gave me a tentative smile, moving to leave. That was when I realized Eric's coffin hadn't been brought up to the room. "Oh, Barry, wait," I called him back urgently. "Um, my other... room mate that came to Dallas with me in his coffin, Mr Northman? Eric Northman?"

"Oh, you both actually have separate rooms. Mr Northman will actually be in the room just straight down the hallway from you."

"Oh." In a ridiculous way, my heart actually sank over that news. I didn't know why I just automatically expected us to be sleeping in the same room together, but a part of me kind of was hoping we would have been. "Well, thank you again."

Barry nodded before leaving, and as the door clicked shut, it fell strangely silent in the room.

Suppressing a sigh, I went over to my bag of luggage, starting to unpack. Then I peeked into the bathroom, saw the wide tub, and decided a long soak in a bathtub would be very nice. This one had definitely put my one at home with Gran's to shame.

After about a full hour of lounging around in the hot soapy water, feeling fresh and reinvigorated, I got out, slipping into the complimentary white fluffy bathrobe that was offered while I called Gran like I promised, assuring her that I had arrived safely by plan and that I was fine. Then I started inspecting the room more; The little mini-bar was fully stocked with bottles of TruBlood, and a few small bottles of vodka and other alcohol. If only I could still drink alcohol, how wonderful life would be...

There was still roughly two hours to go until the sun went down and my Sheriff woke, so I decided I might as well make myself busy in ordering something from room service. I now felt hungry, so I called the line to order someone up for me. I had my self-doubts and second thoughts, but then decided I might as well experience everything once, shouldn't I?

I was brushing out my damp hair and slipping into some underwear when I heard the person make themselves known.

"Um, room service," a man croaked out as he knocked a couple of times. "For a Miss Stackhouse?"

He sounded just as nervous as I felt, bless him. When I strode forward to let the door open for him with one of my tense smiles, he appeared just as nervous as his voice had sounded. He wasn't at all what I was expecting; He was young, about eighteen or so, with short brown hair. He looked about the same age Barry was.

"Yes, please. That was me that called, I'm Sookie," I said, a bit too eagerly. I tightened my robe over my body. "Come on in."

He hesitated before stepping into the room fully, looking around. I closed the door securely shut before turning to glance at him, my smile still there.

I could tell, by his thoughts, that he was just as surprised by me too. Apparently the recent vampire clients he had hadn't been the smiley types like I was.

"Um, where you want me?" he asked uncertainly, looking around again.

"The couch is just fine. Or... whenever you'll feel most comfortable?"

We both sat on the couch, and I could tell we were still both equally as nervous as one another. Maybe this was his first time as well? Or maybe... he was just wanting for me to dig in and begin? I didn't want to seem rude and too overeager to start feeding, so I decided on small talk instead.

"You been doing this long?" I asked curiously. "I mean, feeding vampires at the hotel?"

"About three months now," he admitted with a shrug. "The pays real good, better than any other regular job. You can just begin whenever you want to. We don't got to make small talk or nothing like that. Honestly, I'm used to vamps just going straight for it. Where do you usually, you know, like it?"

I stared at him blankly, wondering what he meant exactly. Then it occurred to me when I heard his thoughts. Most of his clients preferred neck biting to other places. As for me, I wasn't too sure I felt comfortable with that; Neck biting seemed far too... intimate almost. Not to mention risky seeing as it was my first time unsupervised and all. My eyes drifted to the side of his neck, at the pulsing point there. Then when I breathed in slowly, it felt noticeably different; Like there was a fire lining my throat, burning me from the inside out.

"Um, I'm happy with just your wrist, if that's okay with you?" I asked hesitantly, and I could see it was more than okay by him.

I noticed him sag against the couch in relief just a little. He busied himself with undoing the cuff-link on his sleeve, and I became aware of myself just staring at him, so I deliberately forced myself to look away instead, swallowing down a thick, painful gulp.

I didn't know about him, but I felt anxious as all hell. Mostly, I wanted to do this right. I didn't want to end up going too far and somehow taking too much blood from him; Maybe I ought to have waited for Eric to wake come night after all? Then again, I also wanted to learn and experience this by myself, to reassure myself I was capable of feeding from a real live blood fountain without going overboard.

He shifted on the couch towards me, and before I even could make any sense of what was happening, I was already holding his arm between both hands and his wrist was pressed up against my mouth. My fangs had already come out to play and they were throbbing, aching for it. That burning in my throat had become nearing the point of agony; It was so dreadfully painful that I wanted it to end. Only I held good restraint on myself, with just allowing myself to have his warm wrist up against the lining of my lips. I wasn't playing with him, I was more so just testing myself.

"I've never done this before," I admitted a little shamefully against his skin, flicking my eyes over to him. He was holding himself rigid, his breathing deep and shaky. "Well, at least not on my own and unsupervised anyhow. I probably seem like such a ditz."

"Really?" He croaked out; Both shocked and unnerved that I hadn't done this properly before. "New vampire? You were turned recently?"

"Nope, I'm actually five years old. Well, I've been a vampire for five years, but so far... I've only drank from a human once. Usually I stick to the bottled stuff, but I kinda feel like a treat. This'll be my second time," I explained, and my tongue accidentally brushed against his skin with the words. His skin didn't taste too bad either; It was salty, slightly sweaty. "Maybe we ought to have a safe-word?"

"A safe-word?"

"Yeah, you know, like... you say a word to warn me that I'm going too far or that you're getting too uncomfortable. Pick a word." It was probably foolish of me, but I'd feel better and it would help a lot more in letting me know when to stop feeding from him.

"Um... pot plant?" He suggested uncertainly, his eyes staring at the pot plant on the carpet across from me.

"Pot plant, okay," I agreed, licking my lips to moisten them. "Well, you just say pot plant whenever it gets too uncomfortable for you, okay? Or especially when you start feeling a little woozy."

He hadn't ever had any vampire client asking him to use a safe-word before. Far as I was concerned, I thought it was incredibly smart thinking of me, to be honest.

"So, you got a wife? Or a girlfriend?" I reasoned that it would also help me if I got to know him on a more personal level. I couldn't go too overboard if I knew he had family waiting for him.

"Um, no. I'm pretty much single. Single and enjoying it."

"Well, good for you."

I could see he was getting uneasy by all the questions- usually the vamp clients just went straight into the biting- and, frankly, I didn't think it was possible for me to hold off for any longer. I bit, blood pooled into my mouth, and that first swallow..

Goodness me, it was so good. Too good.

It took away that burning wonderfully, with each and every bit that slid down my throat. It acted as a cooling relief, that wonderful taste running down my throat. My entire body seemed to loosen with a bliss that felt strangely close to that of an orgasm. Well, of course, I hadn't experienced many orgasms in my time to be totally sure. But hell, it sure was good enough.

Who needed sex when biting and drinking from somebody felt just as good? No, I couldn't be thinking like that, I scolded myself. Keep that up and I'll start biting every single person I see...

When I looked at the boy again, I could see his breathing had slowed and he was a lot paler than he had been once he came in. His eyes were clenched shut and his head was lolling back on the couch. Then with effort that seemed tremendous, he muttered, "Pot plant" in a sluggish way.

I drew back on the couch, licking my mouth, feeling content and appeased.

When I went to wipe my mouth, blood came off on my palms. "Goodness me," I said apologetically, licking the red stain off my palm with my tongue. Waste not, want not. "I am such a messy eater, aren't I?" Then I slid my tongue around the corner of my lips. "Excuse me."

Afterwards, we sat on the couch, staring at one another nervously. I didn't know what to say, but then, as it seemed, neither did he. I wasn't sure whether I would have offended him by complimenting on the taste of his blood, so I kept quiet.

Then he said, "Aren't you gonna heal me? Usually the vamps do after they've fed?"

"Oh, I didn't know." I peered down at his wrist uncertainly; There was still two fang marks there from me, the skin still completely broken through and red-stained, and it was still weeping with fresh blood. I hadn't ever healed somebody before, so I wasn't entirely sure what it entailed. Even with Eric, I hadn't been game enough to ask that much, considering how I didn't want to annoy him or show the depths of my inexperience. "Um, how do I heal you exactly?"

The boy looked surprised, before he lifted his wrist towards me. "Well, usually what the vamps do is, that they nick themselves with their fangs, like, on their fingers or something. Then they smear the blood all over the bite."

It sounded easy enough. I brought my finger up, rubbing it against my left fang. Then I had to tilt it more on an edge so that the sharpest point would break through the skin.

My fingertip tingled and itched where it hurt, and I quickly smeared my blood over his opened wrist before I glanced at my finger again curiously. Surely enough, my finger had healed over completely. When I watched his wrist, it did too.

"Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus," I spat out in surprise.

Now, there was no longer any broken, fang-marked skin there. It was just a red stain of completely closed up skin. My blood had managed to successfully heal his wound up completely.

Despite myself, I grinned. I thought I could definitely get used to this, and quickly. I had never healed anybody before, no less seen the effects firsthand by myself.

"Wow, I'm really learning a lot lately," I laughed despite myself. "This is gonna sound real funny, but I've never so much as even healed anybody with my blood before. How amazing! I never knew I could!"

I went to pay him as he stood to leave, only he insisted that it couldn't be paid for until I was checking out of the hotel, so I couldn't even give him any money for his services. Checking the time, I had half an hour left until Eric would wake, so in order to make it go quicker, I got changed in a fresh pair of clothes to feel better. I threw on one of my skirts and one of my floral blouses and prayed that I looked decent enough for whatever was going to happen once Eric and all the other vampires woke.

I wasn't sure if Eric would expect me to get straight into it tonight. Really, I had no idea in the slightest of what to expect at all. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I hoped Eric would fill me in beforehand.

There was a pounding knock on the door fifteen minutes later, and I grinned widely in the mirror to make sure I had no red stains visible in my teeth before I went to open it. I felt my body tense up, as I peeked through the eye-hole in the door.

"It's me," Eric said straightforwardly, like I hadn't thought of looking through the peephole to check and see who my visitor was. "We have an hour, and then one of Godric's underlings Isabel Beaumont is meeting us downstairs in the lounge with her human."

I had to suck in an unnecessarily deep breath before stepping back to let him in.

When he stepped in while his eyes took a comprehensive scan of what I was wearing, I saw what he was wearing and I felt confused. Or well, more like maybe it was what he wasn't wearing...

He was wearing a pair of tight dark denim jeans, but his shirt was missing. The jeans rode low, showing off glorious pale skin and tight muscles. He had a body fit for a God, that was for sure. I could see a few red splotches of what looked like TruBlood drying on his skin, and those splotches just screamed to be licked off him by a tongue. Eric seemed almost playfully abashed as he looked down at his bare chest as well. "Oh, dear, it would seem that I had an incident and spilled bottled blood all over myself."

I had to fight the impulse to smile. "Uh, yes. I can sure see that."

"What was it that you continuously like to call me again?" He asked, feigning confusion. "Lickable, was it?"

"Oh, yes. Definitely lickable."