A/N: This story is based on information obtained from the TV-show "True Blood" and not from the "Southern Vampire"-books, since I have not read them. Enjoy!
Sookie was still shuddering in the aftershocks of her orgasm when Eric pulled out of her, shivering a little himself. He put her down gently to rest beside him on the soft lion-pelt. Though her skin had been so recently heated, Sookie was already getting cold. Eric wrapped his sturdy body around her, embracing her from behind, one arm possessively around her waist. They lay there on the floor of the candlelit room where they just had spent another passionate, mind-blowing hour. Sookie was panting slightly, the vampire by her side not much so. Eric was circling his smooth fingers softly through her hair, and it felt wonderful. Sookie wanted to follow her body's desire to yield to him yet again, but the black hole in her stomach wouldn't go away. Eric took her to the most amazing heights – but she always crash-landed and it always hurt.
"I can't believe I'm doing this."
Sookie was facing away from Eric into the darkness, but she felt him shift immediately and the fingers in her hair stopped moving.
"Is there an echo in here?" he mouthed against her. Sookie closed her eyes and sighed.
He was kissing her, kissing the abused left side of her neck that would be marbled with bruises for days, as if trying to make up for the damage he had caused. His breath was ghosting over the small puncture wounds, soothing them. His touch was gentle, so unlike Eric.
"Give me one good reason to why I should be here. I should be at home waiting for Bill." Sookie said, feeling her heart sink in her chest as she did.
Eric's mouth came to a halt. He turned her around slowly so that she was facing him. As always after sex his gaze was softened, less intense, but Sookie still couldn't help herself nearly drowning in the blue depths of his eyes. He supported his head with one hand, the other remaining around her waist.
"I can give you everything Bill's given you. I can protect you, fulfill all your wishes…-"
"Can you love me?" Sookie said, resenting the way her voice almost failed her.
It was Eric's turn to sigh.
"Sookie, as I've been telling you; vampires-"
"-don't fall in love, they just fuck, blah-blah. I know." Sookie said.
She turned to her back and moved her gaze up to the dark roof.
"Maybe you're right. Maybe there is no love."
Eric surprised her by draping his body over hers, smoothly pinning her down. His groin pressed against her mound and she felt herself moisten just by having him that close, the strong physical bond they shared making every part of her respond to him, erasing all common sense. He looked at her with a small wrinkle between his brows that she hadn't seen before. His slightly messy blond mane was framing his face perfectly, almost glowing in the candlelight. Slowly, he stroked her lips with his fingers, and a powerful feeling of déjà-vu washed through Sookie. He had done exactly that just before he left her in Bill's house that night.
"If knowing the first time I saw you that I must have you…" Eric said, "…if the thought of another laying their filthy hands on you makes my skin crawl with an anger I can barely contain… if discovering that you have lit a fire inside of me the like of which I thought I was no longer capable of experiencing… If that is love, then… I love you."
The room fell very silent. Sookie's heart suddenly felt too big for her chest and she couldn't speak. Eric waited warily, and though she tried Sookie couldn't find any trace of a lie in his face. She tangled her fingers in his hair, pulling him down. His lips met hers, hungrily, and Sookie gave in, letting herself drown.
"Are you forcing me to beg?"
Eric chuckled. "Would you?"
Bill rose, striding out on the floor, shoulders tense. Behind him by the door Jessica was wailing and clawing the wood like a very hungry puppy. Eric crossed his arms, masking a grin.
"I would have helped you my friend, if this favor hadn't been so closely linked with your misdeed. She is your punishment, not mine."
But Bill had sensed something, his gaze darted through the office as he breathed in hard several times. A wave of fury darkened his face and he clenched his fists.
"She has been here… Sookie has been here!" he snarled, so loud that Jessica nearly jumped out of her skin.
Eric's response was instant, and his voice was casual.
"Yes. Looking for you."
Bill's swift movement over to the desk halted abruptly. He glared at Eric as if he tried to make him drop dead on the stop. Jessica, realizing the graveness of the situation, had the decency to shut up. She stared at them with big eyes. Eric bent over the desk, leaning his elbows against it.
"Come on, Bill. She will understand. After all, you did all of this solely for her. "
Bill didn't move, his eyes only narrowed even more. Jessica must have grown tired of the silence as she started wailing again, louder than before. Bill gave Eric one last glare before he spun around, grabbing Jessica by the arm to her great protest and barging out the office. Eric sat in silence and watched them leave. A faint smile formed in the corner of his mouth. He almost felt sorry for Bill, fighting so hard for something that was already lost.
The glass of lemonade flipped over on the tray and its content splattered all over the front of Sookie's shirt. She winced as the icy liquid went through the fabric. That's the second thing she's spilled since I got here. Sookie's eyes darted to the middle-aged woman at the table next to her. She was scrutinizing her with her lips curled downwards in dislike. As Sookie looked up, there was hardly anyone inside of Merlotte's that didn't give her similar glances. Their thoughts were buzzing in her head like angry wasps. She spun around and dashed back to the bar.
"Are you okay there Sooks?" Tara said as Sookie handed her the tray and the empty glass.
"Yeah, I'm fine. A lot on my mind, that's all." Sookie said, looking down at the shirt and frowning.
It was very true. She had been doing detective work with Sam ever since she was attacked, trying to find out who the man in her vision was. That was, when she was not at Fangtasia… when Eric learned what had happened he had insisted that Sookie should stay in his mansion, located somewhere only he and Pam knew the coordinates. Just until the danger blew over. Sookie had after much discussion made him accept her decline. It had been the most reasonable thing to do for sure, but she wasn't nearly ready for something like that. Had she accepted it would have been like she had made a choice, and she hadn't. Though, Sookie still haven't heard a single sound from Bill. He wasn't answering her calls or messages and she found herself thinking lesser and lesser about him and ever more of Eric. It stirred up a whirl of emotions inside of her that left her irritable and unable to concentrate. And as if this wasn't enough, Sam had made no attempt to hide that he was coming on to her in Bill's absence. Sookie shook her head thinking about it. She couldn't for her life understand why she was suddenly the biggest object of interest to all things male! Just as she thought this Sam emerged from the kitchen, hesitating a little before he went up to her.
"Here, let me…"
He had gotten a wet cloth and started wiping the front of Sookie's shirt with it. She stared at him, unsure how to act. Was he really unaware of how obvious he was? Sookie felt Tara looking at them from behind the bar and had just started receiving a not so very nice string of thoughts from her regarding Sam, when the doors to the bar flew open. The swift, sudden movement made everyone inside look up in confusion. A painting fell to the floor with a crash. Sam, who had been standing with his back against the doors, grunted as he was pressed up against one of the walls. By Bill. He was paler than usual, his hair was on end and every fiber in his body was focused on Sam. Sookie gasped.
"Just what do you think you're doing?" Bill gritted between clenched jaws. One arm was all he needed to render Sam unable to move, but he glared right back at him without fear.
"I could ask you the same thing…!" he growled, not unlike a cornered dog.
"Bill, let him go!" Sookie cried, pushing his shoulder. She got no reaction; all Bill seemed interested in was shoving Sam straight through the wall.
"Bill! He was helping me!"
Finally, Bill loosened his grip on Sam, letting him down. Sam adjusted his shirt slowly with a hostile expression. Tara's eyes darted back and forth between the two, the glass she had been polishing forgotten in her hands. Sookie could feel the whole bar staring at them as Bill turned to her. Their eyes met, and Sookie felt none of those things she had imagined feeling upon seeing him again at last. There was no bolt of happiness inside of her chest, no desperate need to be in his arms. Only a cold streak of fear and a great lump of unease, lodged somewhere in her throat.
"Sookie…" Bill said, moving towards her. "I've missed you…"
He wanted to embrace her but Sookie put her palm to his t-shirt-clad chest, caressing it numbly, afraid to look him in the eyes. She could feel him tense and halt.
"Bill…" she mumbled. "I… haven't heard from you in two weeks."
He grasped her cheek lightly and turned her face upwards. His eyes were big and tired, restless. She wondered how long it would take until he noticed how wrong everything was.
"I know, I'm sorry." Bill said. "I've been…"
The pattering of high heels right next to them cut him off. Sookie loosened herself from Bill, staring at the young woman that was suddenly by his side, leaning against him casually as if he was some kind of furniture. She wearing a black, sleeve-less, low-neck dress that Sookie thought looked like it had been torn off by her thighs. Her makeup was exquisite though, and she was beautiful in a bloodcurdling way. Her red hair was flowing in rivulets down her back. She couldn't have been much older than eighteen, yet she looked intently at Sookie as if she was the younger one of them. Her blue eyes were cold and spiteful. She was a vampire.
"Is this your little wifey?" she said, turning to Bill in disbelief. "She is not even half- cute!"
"Nobody asked for your opinion!" Bill growled, shaking her off. The redhead however only sneered and crossed her arms.
Bill turned his gaze to Sookie again, grabbing her hand.
"This is not what it looks like, I promise." he said. "Her name is Jessica, and she is my punishment. For killing a vampire, I was forced to make a new one…"
"It was amazing!" Jessica gasped with a sly smile, leaning against Bill again, still staring at Sookie. "He gave me my very first orgasm!"
"Will you shut the hell up!?" Bill bellowed, pushing her away with force this time. Jessica pouted and turned around.
"Whatever." she said, walking over to one of the tables where at least three young men had been giving her dirty looks ever since she came through the doors.
"Do any of you boys want to dance?" she said with a smile so sugary that it could attract bees. In no time at all she had created a crowd over at the jukebox, every man trying to get closer to her than the others.
"She needs to stay with me until she can manage on her own." Bill said, watching her flaunt herself.
Sookie had dropped his hand, stunned. She was supposed to say something, she knew it. Something about how much this situation upset her. The only thing was; a part of her relished this because in a small, awkward way it justified what she had done… She tore her gaze away from Jessica still thinking about what to say and how. But Bill wasn't looking at her face anymore. His gaze had locked onto the navy-blue scarf that was tied around her neck. Sookie's hand flitted towards it, but Bill had already ripped it off. The wounds were there, two red dots on her white skin, like binding evidence on the scene of a crime. Sookie had dreaded this moment, but her fear couldn't completely drench the feeling of a strange relief. She met Bill's eyes. She had never seen that kind of fury. It sent chills all the way down to her toes.
"Who?" Bill said lowly, clenching the scarf in his fist.
"Eric…" Sookie whispered, shrinking back.
Bill threw his head back with a snarl, exposing his fangs. The customers of the bar who had been occupied gawking Jessica's actions turned to Bill again, and Sookie heard somebody whimper in fear.
"I knew it!" Bill spun around, his eyes burning. "I'll rip his fucking head off!"
"Willingly…" Sookie mouthed.
Bill turned around again, very slowly. Sookie found herself raising her head.
"I've been seeing him willingly."
She had expected a million different reactions from Bill, but not this one. He chuckled, a chuckle that turned into a laugh of that kind that made the tiny hairs in the back of everybody's necks tickle.
"Sookie, I am impressed." Bill said, smiling grimly. "What an outstanding achievement. You have become the newest addition to the collection of whores in line to his bed."
Now that does it-
Sookie extended her arm just in time to stop Sam from throwing himself at Bill. He stared at her in confusion but she just pushed him back gently, never letting her eyes off Bill.
"It's all right, Sam." she whispered.
A small eternity of time passed as the former lovers watched each other, a silent abyss growing deeper between them by the second. Then, Sookie gestured towards Jessica at the dance floor, who had started making out quite shamelessly with one of her patrons.
"I think your new friend is bored. I suggest you take her somewhere amusing before she gets out of hand."
Bills expression softened somewhat when he heard the sternness of her words.
"Will you just leave? Take her and leave, Bill!"
Her temples were burning, and if he didn't leave soon she was going to lose it-
"I am under orders to protect you…!" Bills voice weakened and died out.
A cold fist clenched Sookie's heart. She had been mad at Eric when he stated his suspicions. But here it was, outspoken, right in front of her. All along, ever since they first met, Bill had been… doing his job. Blinking frantically to hold her tears back, she drew in a shaky breath and raised her head, staring right at Bill.
"Then… you can tell whomever you're taking orders from… that Eric Northman protects me now."
It was done, she could feel it. Everything was over. The plea in Bill's eyes disappeared and he clenched his lips together.
"As you wish." he growled.
Sookie closed her eyes and turned away. It was only by the sound of something fast moving, Jessica's high-pitched curses and the busy murmur of the customers that she knew they had left. Her mind was suddenly attacked by a flutter of heated, angry accusations and she barred them away with all her might. Someone was caressing her shoulder. She turned around, meeting Sam and Tara's worried expressions. They wanted to hold her, comfort her, understand her…
"I… need to be alone." she mumbled, stumbling out into the kitchen.
Sam tried to follow her but she gestured for him to stay very firmly, and to her relief he obeyed. She barged through the corridor, out to the back doors, ridding herself of the apron as she ran. All the noises of the bar died out as the doors slammed shut behind her. The night was warm and windless, a myriad of stars between the treetops brightening up the sky. On the grassy patch behind the building, one of Sam's never-ending projects was parked – a rusty red pickup truck with a dissected engine. Sookie climbed on top of the platform and curled up against the back of the driver's compartment. Hot tears pooled between her eyelashes, trickling down her cheeks and she didn't try to stop them anymore. Quiet sobs shook her shoulders. She couldn't recall ever feeling so torn. She couldn't decide if he just had made the biggest mistake of her life. Without exactly thinking, she fished up her cell phone from the pocket and texted a single word. "Eric". Tears blurring her vision, she hesitated for a while before pressing "Send". Several long moments passed and Sookie had the time to slowly lose all hope. She wrapped her arms around her knees and bent her head down. He wasn't coming. As important as he was, had she really expected him to just drop everything and come running to her? Stupid. She was stupid, miserable and all alone. She pressed her face tight into her arms, and when suddenly a loud thump resounded from somewhere above her she was caught completely off guard. She scrambled to her feet nearly losing her balance in the process. Eric stood on the roof of the driver's compartment, his contours lined with starlight. He was wearing fancy-looking jeans and a black shirt to match them. A rugged leather jacket was draped over his broad shoulders. His hair was windswept. Sookie looked up at him, and there it was. The pang of heat, desire and longing that she no longer felt in Bill's presence.
"How on earth did you get there?" she said to him, not letting her voice break like it wanted to.
Eric shrugged. "I flew." He smiled like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Sookie stared at him with her jaw dropped as he climbed down to her, smooth like a cat.
But Eric had noticed her tear-soaked cheeks and took her face in his palms. Sookie found her whole body relaxing at his touch. His thumbs caressed the thin skin under her eyes and his expression was solely of concern.
Sookie looked down as another pair of tears flooded her eyes.
"It's Bill, he… he knows..." she sobbed. Eric's eyes narrowed.
"What did he do to you?"
"Nothing. He didn't do anything… he left. He just left…"
Eric embraced her, and at first Sookie was so surprised that she didn't hug back. But soon enough she wrapped her arms around his back, pressing her face into his chest. His leather jacket creaked as he moved one hand up to caress the back of her neck, his mouth dipping into her hair. Sookie breathed in his smell, a fresh cologne and something else that was exclusively him. Eric.
"I told him… that you protect me now." she mouthed against him.
Eric slid his hands down to her waist, moving his lips down her forehead, and Sookie tilted her head upwards. Eric placed a soft kiss on her lips. She could feel him smile.
"That makes me more proud than what's good for me, I'm sure." he said.
Sookie answered his smile tentatively. Her tears were drying. She could have stayed right there on the platform of the truck in the starlit yard, next to Eric, for the remainder of the night. The blonde vampires grip around her waist tightened somewhat.
"I have given this some thought," he said, looking intently at her. "-and since you won't stay in my mansion I've come up with a way for me to protect you even when I'm not in the immediate area."
Sookie tilted her head to the side.
"I want you to have some of my blood."
Sookie jaw dropped for the second time that night. Even as Eric held her, she imagined his power flowing through his hands into her. What then…
"It would enhance your senses greatly," Eric said, as if he had read her mind, "to a level where you could foresee an attack and be able to fight it off."
"Eric, I…" Sookie stammered.
But Eric had lifted his gaze to above her head. His eyes were wandering the darkness and Sookie got the sense that he was scanning their surroundings.
"We will not discuss this here." he said. "Come."
Sookie gasped as Eric scooped her up in his strong arms as had she weighed nothing at all. He lowered his head so that she could put her arms around his neck. She rested securely against him but though she had anticipated what was about to happen it didn't stop her heartbeat from increasing slightly.
"I saw a nice spot coming here." Eric smiled, and with a leaping movement they were airborne.
When Sookie finally dared to open her eyes and lift her head, she saw a sight that she would return to in her thoughts and dreams for a long time to come. They were drifting gently across the sky above the treetops, the beautiful night-clad landscape spreading like a picture from a storybook below Eric's feet. Sookie would never know for how long they flew since time seemed to be frozen. But then, warm air streamed around them as they descended through the woods into a small dell by the river. They connected softly with the ground just below an old willow. Eric put Sookie down and she took a few steps out onto the grass, her eyes wandering the scenery in awe. The river floated quietly in a smooth creek, disappearing through the trees. Its black surface reflected the starlight so perfectly it almost appeared to be glowing. The grass was rich and soft at her feet, the big trees surrounding them still and knowing, and between the branches shone a slightly yellow moon. The sound of crickets chirping was the only thing that broke the silence.
"Eric… it's beautiful." Sookie whispered.
"Not like you." Eric's voice came from behind her.
Sookie turned around. Eric was sitting on top of his leather jacket, leaning against the trunk of the willow. He cocked his head, looking at her, and for some reason Sookie felt blood rush to her cheeks.
She suddenly felt all the tension she had suffered that day turn into desire for this vampire before her. This ancient, powerful vampire that had offered her his blood for protection. She walked over to him, admittedly a little bit shaky. She sat and Eric moved her into his lap so that she was straddling him. It was strange how she could be shy for him considering the things they'd shared.
"So, how are we gonna do this?" she said, feeling her cheeks throb.
Something shiny gleamed in Eric's hand. It was a Swiss army knife. Before Sookie had time to draw a breath, Eric had put the blade against the side of his throat and started to drive it across his flesh.
"No…!" she gasped, but Eric only chuckled softly.
"It's the best way." he said, removing the knife.
Sookie watched his blood trail in a tiny rivulet down his pale skin, much thicker and redder than her own. She met his eyes, asking, and he nodded. His grip around her hips tightened as she leant slowly forward.
"Try not to… touch me to much during." he mumbled against her shoulder. "I might get irrational."
Sookie vaguely wondered what he meant, but her lips had already touched the blood and she closed her eyes, closing them over his wound. She sucked a little, and immediately the hot liquid came flowing down her throat. She felt Eric's adams apple bob as he sighed hoarsely. Sookie found herself grasping his neck, pressing her body against him. Nothing could have prepared her for this. The blood she was drinking at an increasing pace didn't taste coppery, not metallic at all. Instead it tasted luscious, sweet… rich. It was fluid fire seeping into her and filling her in the strangest way. She felt a lash of heat over her mound, her nipples hardening as it grew into a heavy, aching wetness. She grinded forward with a helpless moan and at once she felt Eric grow hard like a rock, his shaft aligning itself with her throbbing clit. She rubbed against him, sucking harder. His fingers dug into her hips like claws as if he was trying to hold back, but Sookie dipped her hand down to his crotch, unfastening his jeans with her feverish fingers. Eric snarled as she grasped his hardness through his underwear. She found her way past the fabric and felt him twitch in her hand as she started stroking him. His strong hands grabbed her shoulders, pushing her away from his throat. Sookie licked her lips, panting, locking her gaze with Eric's. His fangs were out, gleaming in the starlight, and his face was irate with arousal. Normally such an expression would have scared her, but Sookie had drunk a part of Eric – and that part wanted to fuck. Badly. She ridded herself of his grip, her knees brushing the ground as she leant down, enclosing the tip of his hard cock with her wet, wanting lips. Eric arched his back in surprise as she swallowed him, taking so much of him that the tip tickled the back of her mouth. The wet spot in her panties grew as she started sucking him with hard, merciless strokes. Then, his hands were on her again, forcing her to release him and look up.
"Hels eldar, kvinna!" he groaned, and though Sookie didn't understand the words she felt their heat like a physical caress.
She saw stars, then nothing but Eric's blonde mane as he had thrown her down, pinning her to the ground with his body. A small rock was digging into her back but she couldn't have cared less. Eric rocked against her with ragged breaths and Sookie locked her legs around his waist as he was tearing off her lemonade-stained shirt and bra. Her breasts leapt into the free air and her painfully hard nipples sent sparks to her clit as Eric gathered them in his mouth and fingers. Somehow, her shorts were down by her ankles and she raised her hips against him, desperate for friction. She heard fabric ripping, a small breeze of air hitting her aching mound. And then, she clawed marks in Eric's back, whimpering as he thrust his fingers into her wetness, twisting upwards. She had never needed anything that badly in her life. But it wasn't enough. Surprising both of them, Sookie used her new strength to push Eric down onto his back. Before he had a chance to do anything she had straddled him anew and lowered herself onto his hard, smooth rod. She arched her back with a throaty moan as he filled her to the brink, almost splitting her in half. Eric raised himself up, gathering Sookie's limp upper body in his strong arms. She almost lost it as Eric started thrusting violently, hitting deeper into her than ever before, fucking her hard and whole. She was twitching with a pleasure almost too intense to bear, her pussy contracting around him, harder and harder… Eric moaned something she couldn't make out, hauling her down onto her back again, quickening his pace.
"Älskling, älskling…!" he panted into her ear. Then, he grazed her right breast with his fangs, biting down. Sookie came with a strangled moan, her whole body writing in pleasure as Eric drank with a hoarse growl, climaxing hard inside of her.
The stars were quiet on the night sky, telling no one what they had witnessed. Sookie lay curled up beside Eric, resting her head on his arm. He was making patterns with his fingers on her bare stomach and though she didn't see it she knew he was smiling. Her whole body was still churning with warm waves. Eric's power. Sookie felt her own smile growing in the corners of her mouth. This was how it was going to be. It was good, and she allowed herself to be hopeful.
"That thing you were calling me before… what does it mean?"
Eric turned to her, trailing his fingers across her lips, his blue eyes warm like two endless summer skies.