AN: Edited Chapter 7/21/12 - After reviewing the posted chapter, much rumination, and seeing you the readers picking up on some unintended consequences, this chapter has now been edited. When I first started crafting this installment, Yvetta's little cameo was more removed from the rest of the plot, but as the chapter began to come together those scenes just started flowing together. As strange as it may sound, I was kind of oblivious to the implications that were damaging to the overall theme of the story. The muse felt a re-write was in order to preserve the integrity of the plot line and tone of the story. Live n' learn.
But you don't really care about the technical stuff do you? Let's just get back to the story...
In this chapter, everybody makes a scene. If last night everyone was sad, tonight everyone is angry. Enjoy the indignant outbursts and righteous fury!
The only comfort is the moving of the river
You enter into me, a lie upon your lips
Eric had been back at Fangtasia half an hour and already nearly every chair, table and barstool had been tossed, overturned or broken. As entertaining as his snarling, destructive outburst was to watch, Pam was disturbed to see her maker in such distress after his first meeting with the young woman who was contracted to bear his child.
If only a few hours of Sookie Stackhouse put Eric in this kind of mood, she wondered what the next few days would bring; never mind the next nine months. Pam waited out his tantrum safely behind the bar, watching attentively as Eric took out all his frustrations on the innocent furniture.
Ginger heedlessly entered the room with a case of beer, prepared to stock the cooler, only to flee back the way she came, screaming her bleached little head off all the way.
The room was sufficiently trashed and Eric was running out of inanimate objects to destroy. He moved on to the bottles, grabbing each one from the shelf and smashing it against the wall at full speed. A flash of color crossed the room - brown, green, blue and yellow - only to shatter against the opposite wall like trickling liquid fireworks.
Matching his speed, Pam raced in front of him to stand in the way of the projectiles, catching a Rémy Martin VSOP and a Lagavulin 16 Year in each hand.
"Those are expensive," Pam drawled flatly.
Eric stopped and stood tall amidst the wreckage: muscles taut, ready to snap at any moment and cold eyes glaring angrily at nothing in particular. Pam's interruption seemed to snap him out of his frenzy, but only just.
"Was the girl not to your liking?" Pam asked curiously, setting the bottles down on the bar. Innocent with a stubborn streak was not his usual type, but it wasn't like he had to entertain the girl.
"She refused me," Eric growled irritably. He looked at her pointedly, "Me."
"Did the little prude get shy on you?" Pam guessed, trying not to sound amused.
"She just laid there like a fucking doll," Eric raged, skulking toward the bar. "Like some ignorant cretin was humping her for his own pleasure. She said she didn't want to be touched. It was unnecessary." He looked at Pam for the first time since he returned. "Thousands of women, Pamela. Hundreds of thousands have begged me for a night in their beds. And this backwater waitress refuses me."
Ah, Pam realized. So the fairy had gone right for the soft spot: the ego.
Eric slumped against the bar, clearly pouting. Pam delicately righted a stool to sit next to him. "It's her loss, Eric," she reasoned carefully. "You only need to fuck her. She doesn't need to like it."
But that was just the problem, wasn't it? Eric found that he wanted her to like it. The very nerve she had to reject him was the same thing that endeared her to him. Instead of cowering in his presence, Sookie showed bravery. Where other women would have wantonly offered their bodies to him, she demurely let him have his way while she hid her true pleasure under a mask of indifference.
Without realizing it, Eric had become far too concerned with what this woman thought - of him and his skills. He was a Viking, a living relic of strength and warrior's pride. He had no need for validation. However, it irked him that this girl, Sookie, couldn't even try to enjoy herself.
Eric certainly didn't need Pam to hear all this inner debate. If his progeny learned how preoccupied he had become over Sookie he'd never hear the end of it. "I am aware her pleasure isn't necessary," he muttered absently. "But her anxiety is distracting."
And with that, Pam began to suspect it was his own pleasure he was concerned with. A passive partner would certainly result in a passionless tryst. There was no fun in that.
"Then call it off," she reasoned quietly, dropping from the bar stool to stand before him. "There are plenty of things you do enjoy that are right here."
"I will not," he rumbled warningly.
"Why?" Pam questioned desperately. She didn't understand his reasoning at all. It was as though a stranger had replaced her maker. "Why do you want this so badly?"
"I have told you not to meddle in this," Eric barked in his booming maker-knows-best voice. "You will not distract me!"
"This child obviously means something to you," Pam sobbed, red tears rimming her eyes and threatening to spill over darkened lashes. "Yet you tell me nothing. Am I not enough for you? Have I failed you?"
Eric softened his expression and moved forward to take his progeny into his arms. He would never consider Pam replaceable, so he was surprised and saddened that she had reached that conclusion. After all this time, what had he done to make her think she meant so little to him?
"No. Pam, this has nothing to do with you or anything you have done," Eric told her gently, slipping his hand into her hair and bringing her head against his chest in an effort to calm her. "You are my child as I was the child of Godric. You were born into greatness. You are my progeny and my legacy. Whatever happens - " he hedged, afraid to say too much. "Nothing will change that."
"Then why?" Pam whispered hopelessly.
He placed a kiss to her forehead and pulled back, his face resuming a stern expression. "Your lack of sentiment has always been one of your most admirable qualities, Pamela. You know I love you more when you are cold and heartless."
"Hey y'all?" Ginger squeaked cautiously from across the room, obliviously interrupting the tender maker-progeny moment. "It's almost dawn, in'it?"
Pam rolled her eyes at the mentally scarred waitress. As if vampires needed to be reminded of the approaching sunrise. "You're right, Ginger dear, it's time for my beauty rest." The younger vampire stepped away from Eric and plastered on her fake business smile. "You can go ahead and make sure all this is cleaned up before we open tomorrow night."
"All this?" Ginger asked dumbly, surveying the damage with despair.
"That a problem?" Pam deadpanned. She crossed her arms across her chest and fixed Ginger with a disapproving stare.
"No, no," the waitress assured her with a panicked look in her eyes.
"Good," Pam resolved with a harsh nod. She chanced a quick glance back at her maker before turning on her heel and leaving the room.
Eric smiled at Pam's innate ability to snap back into the emotionless bitch with such ease. He really did admire the side of his progeny that was detached and unsympathetic. She was strong. She would weather this storm with all the grace of a palm tree bending to the wind. It made him believe that he could too.
He didn't come. Sookie took off from work early to mentally prepare herself for round two of awkward, humiliating vampire insemination. She turned down the invitation to try Jesus' cooking - which according to Lafayette was in "a whole 'nutha world" and possibly even better than his. She even made a point to call her brother and catch up, insuring Jason wouldn't "drop by" again.
Sookie upheld her end of the deal She was nervously waiting at the kitchen table for the inevitable knock on her door that she'd been anticipating for the past three and a half hours since sunset. She would have probably fallen asleep if she hadn't been so jittery. But all those uneasy feelings turned to anger when Eric didn't show his face.
And what was she supposed to do? Patiently wait her life away until this vampire moved her up the priority list? Forget that! She owed three days and nine months to this bargain and not an hour more. The whole appeal of this contract was its brevity. People signed their remaining days away to marriage, unfulfilling careers, insurance fraud and all kinds of things to make ends meet. Eric's needs wouldn't last the rest of Sookie's life and she intended to keep that time as brief as possible.
Sookie piled herself in the car and made the drive to Shreveport. There was still time before sunrise. And even if there wasn't, she was going to make sure he knew these three nights were not going to drag on forever.
A woman on a mission, Sookie didn't stop moving from the moment she left her house. When the car was parked, she was out the door and in Fangtasia seeking out the one person who would know without a doubt where to find Eric.
When Sookie found Pam, the vampire looked surprised to see her. Surprised speechless, which seemed like a rarity for Pam. Sookie decided to take advantage of the confusion and jump right to her purpose.
"Where's Eric?" Sookie asked tensely, trying to reign in the unmistakable edge of impatience in her voice.
"He's -" Pam looked up at the ceiling, taking her time to decide on the right word. "indisposed."
Sookie rolled her eyes. Given how little she knew about Pam and Eric, she was pretty sure "indisposed" really meant "avoiding you until I decide to grace you with my presence on a whim." Sookie didn't have time for that. She stormed past Pam on a personal warpath and began the hunt.
Sookie opened each door one-by-one, peeking in and judging the correctness by Pam's reaction. Door number one was just a stock room, in which a vampire and a human were going at it like deranged animals. Sookie promptly slammed the door on the graphic scene, a red-hot blush rising to her cheeks. Pam grinned smugly at Sookie's flustered reaction.
Door number two was just a dark staircase leading down to a dank, empty basement, but obviously held something private because Pam quickly shut the door. To Sookie, it seemed like a twisted game of "hot-and-cold." Sookie was getting warmer and warmer as she moved away from the crowded bar area and down through the service hallway.
Door number three was the winner. Pam didn't try to stop Sookie, but she did huff and pout, making as much of a fuss as Sookie imagined Pam ever did. The door opened to the bar's office where Eric sat at his desk, doing some crucial task that was obviously more important than fulfilling his contract with Sookie.
"Sookie, stop. Don't. Come back," Pam droned idly.
Pam didn't bother putting any power behind the words, nor did she make any effort to physically restrain the girl already standing in the office. Sookie looked back at the vampire over her shoulder and stared in disbelief at Pam's lame attempt to discourage the blond waitress.
"I take it Sookie couldn't be stopped?" Eric asked Pam, somewhere between annoyed and amused. He didn't seem surprised at Pam's antics in the least.
"What can I say? She overpowered me," Pam drawled indifferently.
"Off you go, Pam," Eric ordered lightly. Pam rolled her eyes heavenward but obeyed her maker's command, leaving the room and closing the door behind her.
"Sookie," Eric's voice rang out low and silky, filling the silent office. "Miss me?"
Sookie could hear the devious smirk in his voice. It was even worse to see it plastered on his face.
Eric certainly had not expected her to show up at his bar of her own free will. After suffering through her irritating lack of interest the night before, he was content to take a night off from having to interact with her. The familiar normalcy of Fangtasia was a welcome change. But her sudden appearance was an interesting development indeed.
Approaching the desk, Sookie caught the briefest glimpse of the files Eric was reading before he shuffled the loose papers briskly into a manila folder. She could've sworn she saw a photo of a golden Viking crown, an ancient relic of another time, but the image was gone before she could even dream of what it meant.
"You didn't show!" Sookie yelled plainly. Best to stick to the point and remember why she came here. "We had a deal."
Eric stood and approached her, closing the distance until he was in Sookie's personal space.
"Three nights," she reminded him, lifting her head to bore an angry stare into his eyes.
He regarded her casually, hands resting on his hips. "I didn't specify which three nights," he reasoned calmly.
"I'm specifying now," Sookie retorted hotly, throwing his words back at him. "Yesterday was one of those nights. Tonight is one of those nights. And tomorrow is the third. And then that's it."
"Are you so eager?" Eric asked, amused. "You can't even wait until tomorrow night to lay with me?"
"Tonight," Sookie repeated, choosing to ignore his obvious dig. "And tomorrow."
"So be it," Eric whispered.
Then, in a flurry of movement only a vampire could achieve, Sookie's world turned upside down. She was thrown over his shoulder like a caveman's bride and that pissed her off. Before she could protest, however, the bar flashed by her like a bad 80's movie on fast forward and she was up above the ground in the night sky - wait, what?
"Eric!" Sookie screamed, scrambling to hold onto something as she dangled from his shoulders, facing the ground that was entirely too far below them.
Eric scooted her down off his shoulder, holding on to her hips and lowering her down until her feet rested on top of his. Sookie shrieked at the lack of barriers holding her and threw her arms around his neck, drawing closer to him. He smirked at the unconsciously intimate position and wondered if this was how it would be if she were more willing.
"You can fly," Sookie said dumbly. He didn't miss the surprised smile on her face or the way her blond hair played in the wind. She was quiet for a moment, awed and amazed to be flying in the air with him. She looked around her as best she could while still holding him tightly. As the initial shock began to wane, she remembered that he was basically abducting her and wondered why. "Where are you taking me?"
"You wanted to have me tonight," Eric told her smoothly. "And so you will."
The world below them moved faster as he propelled toward her little farmhouse in Bon Temps.
"Oh no - no!" Sookie protested, clinging to him desperately and throwing her legs around his hips for good measure. This vampire was the only thing between her and a nasty splat on the ground. She held on to him for her dear life. "I've survived drainers, fake Rene and I've killed a damn maenad. I am not falling down and dying like this!"
"You killed a maenad?" Eric asked, surprised.
He looked impressed and Sookie squirmed a little under his appreciative gaze. She couldn't take all the credit. "My friends helped. We came up with a plan and trapped her." Since Sam was really the one who put his life on the line, Sookie felt comfortable crediting her friends as a whole instead of Bill.
"A maenad is a formidable creature," Eric admitted. "Was this before or after you gave the Queen her scare?"
She averted her eyes nervously, like a schoolgirl who had done something naughty. Of course he would have heard about that. Did all vampires know each other? She was afraid she was in trouble, Eric recognized.
"Sophie-Anne is a spoiled brat - and half my age. I am not going to punish you," he assured her.
"That was after," she breathed. "The first of the "bad things" in Bon Temps was the serial killer…" and just like that the words kept spilling from her mouth. She realized – remotely, somewhere in her mind – given what they were about to do, even if they were fifty feet in the air right now, this was some sad form of pillow talk.
She barely knew this vampire and yet here she was, divulging her whole sad life story. She never had an ear like this before. An audience who just watched her and absorbed the words without disbelief. To whom else could she recount the whole tale without them thinking she was crazy?
Eric listened with interest, albeit possibly feigned. His subtle reactions and simple questions spurned her on, playing up the drama of her brushes with death and feeding on his fascination with her bravery. She may look like nothing more than an uneducated backwater barmaid, but as Sookie spun her story, laying each experience of the last two years out, one after the other, she started to feel like so much more.
"It sounds like you have a warrior's heart," Eric told her as the tale was winding down. She smiled bashfully, but brightly. A true smile of pure happiness, and he blatantly ignored the affect it had on his hollow chest.
Recounting her exploits had distracted her from the fear of flying and she hardly seemed to notice as Eric softly touched them down in the grass below the steps to her porch.
"Shall we go inside?" he asked her evenly.
Sookie snapped back to attention and her defensive walls shot back up around her. Her face turned stony as she regarded her surroundings and nodded curtly. "Yes. Let's get this over with."
"Are we doing this?" Sookie asked in an exasperated voice. Eric had followed her up to the bedroom, watching silently as she undressed in the darkness and plopped herself on the bed. Somewhere in the past few minutes he had lost his pants, but otherwise just stood there. Sookie wondered what was the hold up?
"I was waiting for you to be ready," he told her honestly.
"I'm ready," she deadpanned.
"You don't have to torture yourself," he said earnestly. "This is the fun part."
Sookie couldn't contain her reaction. She snorted and chuckled humorlessly.
"It would be fun for you too," he reminded her, "if you stop fighting me."
"I have my reasons for acting like I do," Sookie explained. "Humans – and – half-humans too," she corrected haltingly, "we have feelings. It's not so easy for us to just shut 'em off like you do. Do you want me to 'conduct business' and move on or do you want me to 'have fun' and become a clingy half-fairy woman?"
"That would defy our arrangement," he growled.
Fairies were known to have telepathic abilities. That Sookie knew the effect she was starting to have on him was Eric's secret fear. It was a folly to think she could sense such things, but fairies were secretive creatures and one could never know their true abilities until they were revealed. He promised himself not to show any outward signs of his unnatural interest in her.
"Exactly," Sookie sighed, hoping he finally understood. "So please let me do what I have to do."
Eric crawled onto the bed above her, curling his lofty frame around her as he had the night before. He lowered his mouth to her ear and Sookie shivered as his hair tickled her cheeks. "Then you must let me do what I have to do," he whispered roughly.
Sookie swallowed, hard. "What's that?" she asked shakily and immediately regretted opening the door with that question. She willed him to remember the ground rules. She willed herself to remember the ground rules. His body was barely touching her but he was so close. She could feel his lips move against her skin as he spoke and somehow it was all so unnecessarily intimate.
"I have never taken a woman by force," Eric admitted slowly. "When you cringe and cry it makes me feel disturbingly cruel and repulsive."
"What do you want from me?" she sobbed emptily. "I told you why I act this way."
"Don't act at all," Eric ordered firmly. "I am not a friend with whom you will have to interact socially. There is no need to pretend or save face. After tomorrow night you will never see me again."
He seemed so sure of that fact and Sookie did not know if it was comforting or distressing. Fate had a way of arranging absurd coincidences in this world. How could Eric guarantee she would never meet him again? Would he move far away or deliberately try to avoid her? The thought of a vampire running from a mortal was almost laughable.
"I'll try," Sookie breathed softly. A concession - to get him to shut up and to make him just get on with it.
It must have been enough to satisfy his request because he moved against her then. His hands caressed her sides, around her hips and under her thighs. True to her word, Sookie did not try to stop him this time. She let Eric prepare her for him in the oldest dance, allowing her body to react but chewing her bottom lip to silence any auditory encouragement.
His hand moved between her legs as his lips found her throat and she was done in. All the air left her lungs in a breathy gasp despite herself. Eric smiled inwardly in triumph. A few well-placed touches were all he needed to break her resolve.
Keeping with the rhythm, not wanting to break this electricity built up between them, Eric entered her swiftly, soothing the intrusion with deft fingers and soft, cool lips against her heated skin. Sookie kept her voice quiet but her rapid heartbeat and ragged breathing did not escape Eric's notice.
Her mind and body battled for control. As Eric sped up his movements against her, she opened her thighs to accept him but stilled her hips so they did not rise to meet him. She allowed him to envelope her in his long arms but did not let herself arch against him. She caught herself reaching up to comb his fingers through his hair and retracted it suddenly, plastering her hands against the bed.
Sookie bared her throat to him just as she had the night before, squeezing her eyes shut even as her mouth hung open in a silent cry. Eric buried his head deeply against her neck, tasting her skin with each flick of his tongue as he inhaled the sweet scent of Sookie. She flinched almost imperceptibly as he scraped blunt teeth against her pulse. It was a momentary alarm that faded quickly as new feelings took over. She trusted him not to bite, Eric realized.
The combined sensations built higher and tighter inside Sookie before she spun out of control. As she spiraled up on the golden wave she reminded herself where she was and whom she was with - but none of it mattered when she crashed down. Her arms latched onto Eric's shoulders and she threw her head back with a melodious cry. It was beautiful to Eric's ears. It rang of victory.
He thrust into her with renewed purpose, in harmony with her own pleasure. He did bite her when he crashed down after her, not with fangs but with dulled teeth. His lips sucking at the skin of her neck as he claimed her inside and out. Mine. The primal desire came from deep within and he banished it away instantly. She was not his nor did he want her to be. She was only a means to an end.
Eric slumped lazily against Sookie and she was in no state to rush him away. She relaxed her muscles into the comforter and fought to catch her breath. She tried not to think too much about what she felt or what it meant. He had asked her to let her body have its way and she did. That was all.
He sluggishly pulled away from her in silence and she heard a rustling that she assumed was Eric dressing.
"My car!" Sookie realized suddenly and bolted upright. It was still in Shreveport. Belatedly, she realized her nudity and grabbed a pillow to cover herself. Propriety was propriety after all.
"It will be in your driveway tomorrow morning," Eric rasped, his voice low and gravelly. Sookie nodded, imagining an army of minions just waiting for Eric's orders. It wasn't her place to think of the how. She was just glad to be getting it back.
"I'll see you tomorrow night?" She asked hesitantly. Sookie hoped her point was made by showing up at the bar tonight but Eric seemed the type to change his tune at the drop of a hat.
"Yes," he answered absently, as though his mind was really miles away. "I will come to you. For the last time."
AN: A very grateful shout-out to beta Sweet Sookie for helping me with this chapter every step of the way. You are awesome! You know who else is awesome? Everyone who followed, favorited, and reviewed this story. Wow, what a welcome. Thanks to you all! And thanks for bearing with me! This edit feels so much better. I hope you don't disagree.
Thanks for stopping by! See you back here for night #3… the last time?