Quick Update – It's the night of Full Moon and Michael is returning to Victoria.
I slowed as I approached the building, I could see the human looking out, but she had not seen me yet. Letting a human see me, while I was a wolf, was against everything I had ever been taught. I was cautious but determined to go through with this. A couple of paces took me out of the shadows and the figure in the building started in surprise. She could see me. I felt it was far to dangerous to howl, but I whined and yapped for a moment until she left the window. I moved towards the doorway that my human-self had used and met her there.
She opened the door wide to let me into a cramped little space, her voice was high pitched with surprise. She knelt down to be at my height and fussed over me, scratching my ears and using some soft cloth to clean the mud from my paws. She used lots of words, quite quickly, I didn't understand fully but I was sure she was pleased I was here.
Now I understood why dogs wagged their tails. It was a 'happy' thing to do and it seemed to make the human comfortable too.
She opened another door and led me to another larger room with a stone floor, my claws scratched on the surface. She said something which included "silly British weather... dry by the fire... don't suppose you'll need it to keep warm though" and moved through the room. With my nose at her ankles and I followed her as we went through to another room, this had a thick cloth flooring and a fire blazing.
I was initially worried about the fire, but I knew it was contained so I forced myself to go closer. I sat beside it as she indicated, then lay down, surprised that I enjoyed the warmth. My coat would dry quickly, being rained on wasn't uncomfortable as only the surface was damp. Being so close to a bright fire was new to me in this state, but I stayed where the human wanted me to.
She stood away from me and for the first time she seemed a little nervous. I looked steadily up at her, I think 'puppy-dog eyes' would be the right phrase. She shifted from one foot to another, then said, "Can I sit with you? Is that OK?"
In reply I lowered my head to my front paws, angling my head towards her and away from the fire. She sat beside me, once again she caressed my ears and stroked my head, back down to my neck. Apart from the yawn I gave, which made her laugh a little, we were quiet and certainly comfortable.
I was too relaxed to stay as a wolf for long, I felt the magical heat running though me and knew I was about to change. I put my head up quickly and the human hastily moved her hand from me, as I eased up onto all fours. She was too close to me. I put the length of my nose against her thigh and pushed a little, she seemed to understand and moved away from me, but she stayed sitting down.
Victoria's eyes held mine as the change took me over and I became human. Her eyes opened wide, her mouth made an "o", she was as amazed as me that we had shared this moment.
After the change I couldn't help doing a check of myself. A deep breath that filled my lungs was always a relief, my heart beating a little fast, but certainly beating and I was all human down to fingers and toes.
After a while she spoke. "Oh wow, oh wow... my eyes can't believe what they've seen." She reached out to touch my face, quite cautiously. Her gentle touch was a strange sensation, no one had ever touched me so soon after changing. Her hand was cool against my overheated skin, I only had to move my head a little to kiss her finger tips. She gasped a little, but her surprised face smiled.
Still on my hands and knees I reached out for her, scooped my arm around her waist and pulled her beneath me. She gave a small squeak of surprise, then giggled, maybe realising what an odd noise she'd made. As I looked down at her she quietened and lifted her head as I lowered mine to her and kissed her. I made sure I was gentle at first, but I couldn't keep calm for long, her arms wound up around my neck and I tugged at the tie on her robe.
She had put on warm clothes while I was out, a fluffy robe, pyjama bottoms with my t-shirt and thick socks. I opened her robe and pushing up the t-shirt, kissed the smooth skin of her stomach. Moving higher I teased her hard nipples, hearing her gasp and feeling her fingers wind in my hair.
I was confused when she pushed at my shoulders, I admit I growled at her little. "Too warm!" She gasped out her explanation. I moved back to sit up on my knees, as she struggled out of the sleeves of the robe and dragged the t-shirt over her head with a huff. I still felt warm from the change, that and the fire we were next to, probably made her feel as if she was overheating. I was happy to help and pulled down the pyjama's, revealing her wonderful legs and kissed the soles of her feet as I removed her socks. I parted her legs, moving her feet to either side of my knees, trying to be careful.
My senses were still on overdrive, she smelled so sweet. I desperately wanted to be inside her, but now I wanted to taste her too. Maybe just a detour. With my fingers and tongue I teased her, it was clear she was as ready as I was.
I slipped inside her. Paradise again. So wet. I wanted to kiss her so she could taste herself on my lips but her eyes were wide. Shocked. I quickly realised my voice wasn't entirely human as I growled the question, "Stop?"
"No, no." She reached to my shoulder, holding me to her. "You're so warm... hot inside me! Don't stop, don't stop."
We came together, in a shouting rush. I felt a flash of heat through me as if I was about to change, but that feeling didn't go any further. I fell forward, only just stopping from myself from landing heavily on her. She was gasping in breath, I was almost in the same state. I did manage to speak though. "You OK? Sure you're OK?"
She nodded. It seemed we had gone from me not being able to speak, to her not being able to speak.
"Did I hurt you?" I had to ask.
Victoria grinned and shook her head. "No, I'm fine, fine. Better than fine..."
"I've never done that before." I admitted. "Not so close to changing."
"Never... I wasn't even sure if we should."
"Glad we did!" She said and we dissolved into relieved laughter. I moved from covering her to laying beside her, gazing up at the ceiling.
We could do this. Fight, then make-up. Horrible fight followed by more make-up sex. On and on. I knew I'd stay with her and whatever relationship we had, but I wanted more than 'fight and make-up'.
Talking more to the ceiling than Victoria I said quietly, "We do still need to talk..."
I glanced at her, she looked as if she was trying not to grimace.
"Lets just try, please?" I whispered as I scooped her up and lifted her on the sofa. She didn't complain, but she did look tense. I pulled her to me as we laid together, she felt tense too.
I did have a vague plan of what I needed to say first. "I'm sorry that we fought earlier, I didn't want that to happen. I really don't think of you as 'a pet'..."
Victoria kept her eyes from mine.
"...if you were my pet, would you have talked to me like that? Would you have ever spoken to Eric like that?"
I felt her freeze in my arms. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you..."
I interrupted, "That's not what I mean, you can say things like that to me. Disagree with me, shout at me if you need to, because we don't have the same type of relationship that you had with Eric. Do we?"
Victoria seemed to think about what I'd said. "It is different, but Eric didn't like to fight. Maybe you do... I don't know."
"I don't like to fight, but I will if we need to, when we need to sort things out. Though I'd prefer to talk rather than argue. I desperately want us to be together, but you're not my pet."
She scowled a little, but didn't speak. I pressed on. "You're... well, you're my girlfriend, if that's not too cheesy."
I smiled at the thought, but she became angry. She kept her voice low, "So I'm the girlfriend before your Were Wife. I know that's what you want eventually!"
"No! I want to be with you, I don't want to be with someone just because she's Were... I made that mistake before."
She made a frustrated noise, huffing out breath.
"I want to be with you. If we can get through this, I want you to be my wife."
She sounded suspicious. "But you don't want kids with me, you said!"
"When did I say that?" I have to say, I was a little mystified.
"When you were worried about getting me pregnant. You were terrified of having children."
"On Sunday morning? That was our first time together, sweetheart. I really didn't mean for all time, just now, right now... A baby right now would be a little soon don't you think?"
"I suppose." Victoria said quietly, I tried to stay quiet too, to give her time to think this through, we obviously had a lot of crossed wires. She hadn't pushed me away, she was still in my arms, comfortable on the sofa, I took this as a good sign and risked another question.
"Do you want children?"
"I never really thought about it before. I knew I would be able to think about it eventually, but only after Eric and I… well, after we finished... but I didn't think I'd be thinking about it so soon."
"There's no hurry... I want you to myself for a while first." I smiled, but couldn't raise one from her.
"But you would want a Were kid. A wolf, like you. Would that be one on the side?"
"Would you expect me to bring it up? Or try keep it a secret from me?" She was shaking her head. "I don't want that... I've done sharing."
"Good! I don't want that either, I saw how that hurt my mom. I wouldn't want that for us. There are plenty of Weres around. Both my father's have Were grandchildren, I'm not desperate to add to our number. I want our kids, yours and mine, when we're ready... not any other woman's."
I couldn't tell if she believed me, she still looked frustrated at our conversation, maybe she didn't want to believe me. I offered a her glass of wine, maybe we needed a little break from talking.
I collected my jeans and when I returned from the kitchen, we sat together on a sofa again. Victoria wrapped herself in her robe and sat cuddling her glass. She didn't seem inclined to restart our conversation, but I wanted to try again. "Do you believe I love you? Can I say that to you now?"
She save a small, rueful smile. "I don't even know what it means, I said it to Eric but... Sorry, you don't want to know that..."
I assumed she'd seen me wince. "It's hard to hear, but please, say what you need to say." I took a large slug of wine.
"When I said it, I didn't know if I knew what it meant? I don't know if I know now, it's different everywhere! No one knows! My mum doesn't know, books don't know... everyone thinks differently." Her voice was becoming high pitched, I could see tears in her eyes and held her to me.
I was struggling with what to say. "I'm no expert... I've only felt this once myself. I know everything's better when I'm with you. Even if we don't agree, even when you were with Eric! I was an idiot to love you back then, but I couldn't stop. Nothing's changed for me, except that I thought we almost had it, I thought we were together... I am gonna keep trying to make this work."
She didn't say anything, but looked at me as if she was trying to understand.
I kept talking. "I don't know how to prove it, but I love you. But in... what... thirty years time? When we're dancing at our kids wedding, I will be saying 'I told you so!'"
I made her smile for a moment and what she said next gave me hope. "You know I can't go back to Louisiana? Won't you miss the pack?"
Surely she must be considering this, if she was thinking about where we could go? I hoped I could keep her smiling with my answer. "I've not been part of that pack for a while, I wouldn't go back even if I wasn't with you. You're my pack now. You and me. A pack of two."
She laughed and shook her head. Again we were both quiet, both sipping wine, sitting side by side. I was drinking to give myself something to do, I think she needed thinking time.
"It is easier, being with you. I don't regret Eric, I never will, but it was difficult sometimes. I tried so hard to please him." As she spoke, she kept her eyes down, but she let me hold her hand, as I tried to comfort her. Our fingers entwined together. "If I am going to be someone-else's..." This time she glanced up at me, but lowered her eyes quickly when they caught mine. "If I am going to be yours then..."
I had to interrupt. "Victoria, you won't be mine. You don't have to give yourself to me. You are your own person, not a possession."
She scowled at me, looking frustrated.
I continued. "I'm sorry, but that's a Vampires idea, not for humans, not for Weres..."
"That's what I want!"
I didn't want to upset her, but I had to try and explain. "I'm not saying there was anything wrong with what you and Eric had, but it's not a relationship that we should have."
"But that's what I want." Her eyes were bright with tears, but she carried on. "If I'm with you, I'm yours... and if I'm with you, then you should be mine too." Her smile was brittle, as she saw my surprise. "It should work both ways. That's what I want. I got hurt once, I'm not going to risk that happening again unless what I'm getting is worthwhile."
I think she realised that she was close to shouting because she snapped her mouth closed and after a moment rubbed her lips together. "I should be yours and you should be mine." She spoke a little more calmly, she was certainly resolved.
My head was spinning at her ultimatum. Possession. Was that what I wanted?
"It doesn't matter, forget it..." She squeezed my hand, then tried to let go.
"Victoria, please." I held onto her hand, despite knowing she wanted me to let go. "This is different for me. Let me think about it."
"Fine." She said, quite sharply. I let go of her hand as she stood.
"Do you want me to just agree with you, without thinking about it? Without meaning what I said?" I tried not to snap back, but she scowled a little more, so maybe I did. With a little more control, I continued, "This is important to both of us, I need to think it through."
"OK. You're right, I'll give you some time. I'm sorry if I was nasty, I didn't mean to be."
I shook my head, trying to let her know I was fine. After a moment she actually smiled. "This isn't easy is it?"
"No, it's not." I managed a smile too.
Victoria said she was getting more drinks. I don't think either of us really wanted one, but it gave us both a little breathing space as she went to the kitchen.
The Vampires were always wrong. That was how I was brought up. Their habits of keeping pets was repulsive, I was always infuriated with the way Northman had called Victoria "Mine". Now it seemed that's what she wanted and, as well as that, she wanted me to be hers.
I refused to just tell her what she wanted to hear. If I agreed to this it wouldn't be lip-service.
I hated lying, I had done it too often recently. Kellie and I had been working on our wedding vows when we broke up, I knew every word was a lie and I'd hated it. I'm sure Kellie knew I wasn't being true, maybe she wasn't either. I knew both of us were trying to please other people, but that didn't make planning the sham of a wedding any better.
Back to here and now, and the girl I loved. I wouldn't lie to her but could I agree to being hers? Being a possession?
'To have and to hold, from this day forward.' A few words of those wedding vows came to me. 'To cherish and keep her.' Was that the same as Victoria being 'mine'? It seemed close.
A few words that at the time, Kellie and I had hated. 'I humbly give you my hand and my heart.' Was I too proud to give myself to Victoria?
It wasn't too difficult to make a decision.
I left the lounge, passing the kitchen where Victoria was waiting and bounded up the stairs in three strides.
"Be right back."
When I returned downstairs, Victoria was in front of the fake fire, watching the flames that had worried the wolf in me. She looked tense, then a little relieved as I came into the room and knelt beside her by the fire.
"I thought you were packing," she whispered.
"No, I'm still here." I took her hand and kissed her fingers. "I'm yours. I have been for a long while, I'm sorry it took me so long to think about it."
I was rewarded by a beautiful smile. "And I'm yours." Then she hitched in a breath of relief and moved to hug me. I was having trouble letting her go, we held each other in front of that fire and relaxed for the first time in a long while.
I had something that I shouldn't forget. I didn't want to spoil the moment, but make it even better. "I've got something for you." I whispered.
"Oh, really!" She said, looking up at me with a bright grin. Her hand ran across my stomach, making it swirl.
"Yes, really, but not what you're thinking." I had to laugh as she screwed her face into an exaggerated scowl, but she didn't object as I scooped her off the floor. I sat on the sofa, with her legs across my knees. "I haven't given these to anyone." I needed to make sure she knew that as I dug in my pockets.
I took out the little battered jewellery box and handed it to her. I couldn't help holding my breath as she opened it and looked surprised at what was inside.
"They're my mom's rings. My dad wanted me to have them. Her wedding ring, her engagement ring." I bit my lip a little, not sure how Victoria would react to this.
"Your mom's?" She clarified.
I nodded. "I thought we should keep the wedding ring until later but I'd like you to wear the engagement ring. As an engagement ring or just a ring, if you like."
Victoria was looking a little amazed, so I decided to back off. "I don't mean to rush you, or push you into this. I'm sorry."
"I just need a minute." She smiled but then said, "Your mom's" again and looking a little sad picked the engagement ring out of the box.
I nodded. "If you wear it, then everything that's important to me is in one place."
Victoria look a little teary. "It's beautiful! What if it doesn't fit?"
"We can worry about that if it doesn't. I'm sure it can be changed a little. Do you want to try it on?"
"Yes!" She did have tears in her eyes, but a big smile too, then she laughed. "Which is my engagement ring finger? I can't even think!"
I could still picture the rings on my mom's finger and together we slipped the ring home.
"Thank you, it's an honour to wear it. It's so beautiful."
"Thank you for wearing it, I'm glad you like it."
We hugged, and she whispered to me. "I more then like it... You know I don't just want to wear it because it's beautiful?"
I nodded into her hair, murmuring "I know".
She gave a satisfied hum, then began kissing my shoulder and up to my neck. I let my hands run along her long legs. It seemed we had both talked enough tonight.
I rarely slept well on the night of the full moon, tonight was no exception. However, as it was close to dawn Victoria was sleeping. She was face down on the sofa wearing just my T-shirt. There was a teasing, glimpse of British 'bum' showing, along with her lovely legs.
I was tempted to take a photograph but that seemed like asking for trouble. I was using my camera with Victoria's laptop to send pictures to my niece Katie, and could practically guarantee if I took that photo, then I'd somehow send it to Katie too. I'd had a quick sandwich and was having a beer while sending the e-mail, telling Katie how well Full Moon and 'the' talk went. I didn't go into details, thinking she and Victoria might want to chat about that kind of thing. I just told her we were happy and that she had to come visit us this summer.
I was even happier when I checked my bank account, the money from the sale of my Father's shares was sitting there. No matter how much money Victoria had, I could fund a long stay in Italy and Europe until we made more permanent plans. More importantly, I could pay back Pam, get out of her debt and forget all about the vampires of Louisiana.
I realised there was a slight problem, I had to write her a cheque and I only knew her as Pam, I'd never heard her surname. Would her bank account even be in her name? Hating that it was necessary, but wanting to get this sorted out as soon as possible, I sent a quick polite text to her requesting the information and hoped for a very short, speedy reply.
My phone rang ten minutes later, I had to run out of the lounge so it didn't disturb Victoria's sleep.
I had no idea why Pam decided to call rather than text, but I knew there was no point letting this bitch ruin my night, especially when there was an ocean between us. "Good evening, Pam."
"And how is little pet?"
I didn't let myself get angry at that title. "Victoria is fine. What name should I make your cheque payable to?"
Did she want to play some stupid game? "Yes Pam, your cheque. So I can pay you back. Remember the cash you leant me!"
"Silly puppy!" She gave a sickening fake laugh. "You still think I loaned you that cash!"
"Yes, you handed it to me..." I was getting a sinking feeling that there was more to this after all.
"Yes, I did, but I never said it was from me... Why would I care about little pet's well-being?"
"Who's cash was it?" I tried to keep my voice steady.
"You should make your cheque payable to 'Eric Northman', of course. He wanted to ensure that his pet was well taken care of... once he had done with her."
I felt a flash of rage run through me. For a second I thought I was going to change but I got a hold of myself and sank into one of the kitchen chairs.
The bitch in my ear continued. "Eric is quite proud that his scheme worked. Poor pet was so very miserable. He knows she is happy now."
How did he know? For maybe just one second I panicked that Victoria had been in contact with Eric, without telling me. No. I was sure she wouldn't keep that a secret from me, not after tonight.
I knew Pam wanted me to know the full story, she wanted to cause more pain. Like a fool I asked, "He knows?"
The Vampire spoke in a slow, measured voice, like syrup. Too sweet. "Eric has tasted so much of her delicious blood, of course, he knows her feelings. He felt her heart break. He could feel her misery, even when she was an ocean away."
I was listening and trying to block out her words at the same time.
"He is aware that this intimate knowledge will fade soon, but still, my maker likes to take care of his pets. He imagined that you would cheer her and how right he was! Victoria enjoyed herself at the weekend. Eric was amused."
I managed to say, "I'll get the cheque in the post." I was about to cut off the call, but she stopped me.
"Wait! You owe Eric much more than the cash. Keep that girl safe, keep her away from Vampires and keep her out of Louisiana." She cut off the call before I did.
I was close to throwing down my phone, but it was a stone floor and I didn't want to wake Victoria, or have to buy a new phone. I hated Northman telling me what to do, especially as what he wanted me to do was exactly what I intended.
'Eric was amused' by the Sunday morning Victoria and I had spent together. Dirty bastard! I fumed, pacing the kitchen. The thought of the vampire 'listening in' to us, through her feelings, enraged me. Fuck! I had an image of him and his child laughing at the two of us and the time we shared.
No, that wasn't right. I had to assume that he did want to move on from Victoria, but would anyone really want to 'feel' their ex with someone new. Maybe he lied to Pam, or maybe she lied to me, but I was sure Eric Northman was not amused that his 'pet' was happy with someone new.
I hoped he was jealous, I hoped he had turned a very pale, shade of green. He was a fool to let her go and I had benefited from that. I knew Victoria was happy now and that knowledge was reconfirmed by him, through his child.
My temper cooled and I began to think more clearly. I could keep this a secret from Victoria, not tell her that her first lover had planned her second?
After all the talking we had shared tonight, I knew, I shouldn't keep this from her. The sun was due up, I would talk to her tomorrow.
I collected my sleeping beauty from the lounge. When I lifted her from the sofa, she grunted in a very unladylike manner and I tried not to chuckle. I noticed that she held her hands together, her fingers stroking my mom's engagement ring on her other hand. I knew I was watching a habit forming.
A short time later she was cuddling into me and I was trying to sleep.
"Michael, what's wrong?"
"Nothing..." I hated lying to her, so added quickly. "We can talk tomorrow."
"We can talk now." She moved to look up at me.
"I'm awake now and worried... Please?"
Hoping I wouldn't regret it, I quickly filled her in on why I had been talking to Pam. Victoria couldn't help asking. "Oh, how is she?"
"She's a bitch."
"No change there then!"
I laughed with her than tried to work out how to tell her about Eric and his plan. I didn't want these ridiculous vampire games to hurt her.
"Pam said she didn't loan me the cash to come over here, but Eric did." I carried on, but noticed that Victoria lowered her eyes. "He could feel how upset you were and wanted to make it right. Now he is taking credit for us getting together, he thinks it was his plan. It seems he wanted to keep you safe." I tried to make this seem better than it was.
"He wanted me to be me safe?"
"I think so. Safe and happy."
Victoria was quiet, then she smiled. "So Eric has become Emma Woodhouse." She was laughing and I had no idea why.
"From Emma? Yeah, you really wouldn't know her. It's a book. Jane Austen?" She laughed again. "I'll make you watch the film one day! Hmm... Right at the beginning of the book, Emma thinks she's the perfect matchmaker. She thinks she has brought this couple together, but it's obvious to everyone that this couple, the Westons, are meant to be together. They're not big characters in the story, just on the edge of things, happy together. I always liked them."
I hadn't the vaguest idea who the Westons were, but they sounded good to me. I was finally smiling again. "I was worried this would upset you."
She shrugged as well as she could when laid in bed. "It's a bit weird, but I get it. Eric likes to finalise things and, well, this does finalise things. He wants me to be happy, I'm glad that he was concerned enough." She paused for a moment. "Does that bother you?"
"No, no, not at all." I agreed. In fact if she could say 'final' one more time, in one way or another, I'd be euphoric.
"I'll never regret Eric, but I'm happy now. It's like he's wrapped up and in a box, in the corner with a big bow. All finished with. That's good for me."
Her train of thought lost me a little, but I think she meant she had 'closure'. From other women I knew, I got the impression that this was good. Relief flooded through me and I held her close.
Close became closer, quite quickly, as I pulled her into my arms. Worries about bloodsuckers dissolved in waves and waves of Victoria, my Victoria.
There was a breathy whisper in my ear. "Remember I'm only human!"
"I'm sorry, you must be tired..." I almost moved away.
She interrupted me. "I wasn't saying 'no'... Just... be careful with me. It's been a long day!"
I thought there was more to this, I waited.
"You say you love me?"
I nodded. Obviously!
"Make love to me? Show me what that's like."
That I could do.
I've always been meticulous about getting dates from the books, full moon dates and sunrise/sunset times correct, but this finale has one glaring error. Michael would never get an internet connection or a mobile phone call that close to Scarfell Pike! Please forgive me?
Tight Viking Hugs of Thanks to everyone who's supported this story and taken the time to read. I hope you have enjoyed this, it was incredibly self indulgent. I couldn't have kept writing for 16 months if not!
Please let me know what you think! Did the Happy Ever After work for you?
If you've read this far and not commented yet, you really should!
Before I go... Darling Fairy~Blood is working on a picture version of the "Corridor" scene. I am so looking forward to seeing it! Thanks Fairy!
I'll tweet the address when it's out or please keep an eye on fairybloodcastle dot blogspot dot com ~ Definitely for adults only and NSFW!
FanOTheFang on Twitter ~ TakeMe-ImYours on Tumblr ~ 27th November 2011