Warnings (no particular order)
(Lemons are more like a light spritz).
Chapter 14 – Guilt
Old Norse reminder: vandræði (trouble) and min hǫldr – my hero
“What are we doing tonight before we ah . . . you know, do the thing with the boxes?”
“Will you take a moonlight swim with me? After you tell me what you did today; you smell so good.” He licked over her collarbone after he spoke. “You taste good too.”
“I enjoyed the sun for a bit – only for a short while, no sunburn. I came back down to sleep a little longer.” She gave him a small kiss. “I still can’t believe you gave me the code to your resting place.”
“Of course I gave you the code; I want you to come and go as you please. So how about that swim?”
“With bathing suits?”
He looked at her like he was put out and sighed. “If you insist.” She laughed at his antics. “Would you like dinner on the deck first?”
“I’ll have a snack later. I’m not hungry right now.” She moved to get up and he tried to pull her back. “Where are you going?”
“Human needs and I’m getting ready. I’ll meet you up there.” While tugging her arm she asked. “You gonna let me go?”
“You know the price woman, it must be paid.” Sookie rolled her eyes but leaned in to give Eric a kiss. “I’ve never heard of anyone that likes kisses as much as you.”
“Only kisses from you, Lover.”
A huge smile spread across her face. “That seems so corny but I love when you say stuff like that.”
It was their fifth night on the island and for the past few nights, they simply focused on each other and their relationship before tackling more heavy stuff. Before going to bed earlier in the day, they promised each other they would deal with a few things that night: Sookie would go through her box of Gran’s stuff that sat unopened in Eric’s living room and Eric would open one more item in his box from Godric.
Ready for their swim, Sookie paused in the doorway and sighed at the sight of the pavilion Eric had built for her. It was right on the beach, with a white tent roof and gauzy panels she could choose to close if she wanted. It wasn’t something she asked for but when Sookie mentioned how long it had been since she’d sunbathed Eric ordered the structure. He was worried she would burn until she built up some color and he wanted her to enjoy the beach while limiting her time in the direct sunlight. She checked out Eric while he was setting fresh towels in the pavilion for after their swim. Every once and a while in the past few days, she would have a momentary panic about how fast they were moving. The panic didn’t last long though. What she felt for Eric wasn’t something she could describe or at this point, stop. Instead, she vowed to enjoy falling for him and tonight she was especially excited since she had a surprise ready. A package had arrived and at her request; one of Eric’s guards hid it in the kitchen enabling a stealthy retrieval. Now she was wearing it. With a giggle to herself, she peaked out the door so only her face would show and called to him. “You ready for me?”
“Always, especially when you have that look of mischief about you, vandræði. What are you up to?” She turned so he could see the shirt she’d worn as a cover up and his jaw dropped.
“Sookie?” He licked his lips. “What’s under that shirt?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?”
In a blur, he ran up to her. “Yes, yes I would. It’s long enough to be a dress so I have no clue what’s underneath.”
Trying to hide her nervousness and appear as sexy as possible she walked by him toward the pavilion. With her back still to Eric, she slowly gripped the bottom of the shirt and pulled it up and over her head. Eric was stunned to stillness: Sookie was naked. Shocked that she didn’t hear him right behind her already, she looked over her shoulder then beckoned him with a curled finger. Excitedly, Eric ran to her, stripped and picked her up bridal style while she squealed. “What does the mean, Lover?”
“It means we’re skinny dipping. Nothing more yet my anxious Viking.”
“No exploration of newly exposed parts?” His eyes started on hers but at the end of the question, his gaze had turned to her pussy. Without waiting for an answer he exclaimed. “Sookie, you’re shaved completely?”
“For a few days now, since the first night we went for a swim. I do it for wearing bathing suits.” With a snap of her fingers in front of his face she continued. “Are you watching where you’re going? I don’t want you to walk me into a palm tree by accident.” He didn’t turn his head away from her clean-shaven sex so she put her hand over it. “Eric?! Eyes ahead! Good Lord are you always this distracted by lady bits? You saw me naked when you bathed me the other day.”
Covering her area with her hand finally got him looking at her again. He licked his lips. “Only your lady bits Lover. The other day I was being a gentleman and I behaved. Now, what about that exploration? I’m suddenly hungry.” Her eyes grew wide and she blushed; Bill had never done that to her. Bill actually said oral sex was disgusting. Given her reaction, Eric backed off; they’d gotten to the edge of the water so he changed the subject. “Are we playing shark and minnow again tonight?”
The topic change threw her for a moment and she stared at him before she caught up. “Can we do that thing with me on your back first?”
“You like that don’t you?” He’d made it waist high into the water and released her so she could climb on his back.
“Who wouldn’t? You can swim so fast in the water – it’s better than an amusement park ride.”
“Very well, hang on.”
They came out of the water after a few hours of fun, tickles, and kissing. To keep sand off their wet feet, Eric flew them to the pavilion and dried Sookie off first then himself. To prove he could be a good boy, he put her shirt back on without any additional leering. Once back in the house, Eric helped Sookie with a snack and they moved to his den. Earlier, Eric had placed both their boxes in the room in preparation for their next tasks. Sookie surprised him when she finished her wine; then straddled his legs to give him a kiss. Ever since their first kiss, they took lots of opportunities to make out. “I’ve never had a vacation like this since I became an adult. It’s been nice to truly relax; thank you for that. It helped me prepare for this; I’m ready to open my box.”
“I’m a little nervous. You go first.”
She moved to the floor next to the box and opened it. Since she’d supplied the packing list, she knew everything that was in the box but still wanted to spend time with the items, share them, and the stories about them with Eric. On the top was the ugliest afghan Eric had ever seen but he wisely kept his mouth shut. Sookie lifted it out and gave Eric a weak smile. “It’s horrid, I know. She made it in the 70’s when these colors were a bit more in fashion.” Eric raised an eyebrow. “Since Gran wasn’t a knitter, it would have been ugly even by 70’s standards, but it was her one and only attempt at knitting. It was always folded on the back of the couch unless we needed it. I spent many hours curled up with Gran in this afghan.” Now that she started, she didn’t hold back. “Gran . . . Gran was my everything.” Seeing she was upset, he moved to the floor to sit with her as she continued. “Gran needed to be my mother and father. What most don’t understand is that Gran was my best friend. I love Tara and Lala, but at the end of the day, Gran is the one who put cold compresses on my head when I had a headache from telepathy, she chased my Uncle off the property with her shotgun,” A sob came out as tried to get some control and she added with a broken voice, “and she held me in this afghan to make me feel better when I couldn’t stop crying over my curse.”
Eric took the blanket from her hands and wrapped it around them as they sat together and offered, “That makes this the most beautiful blanket in the world.” She smiled through the tears streaming down her face and gave him a grateful kiss. “Even if it is hideous.”
The comic relief broke her sobs into a small and very much needed laugh. “Thank you.”
“What else do you have in that box?”
Before answering, she bit her lip. “Photos.”
He could see she was nervous about this but didn’t understand why. At first he thought she was worried about seeing these pictures again but when she pulled them out he realized where the concern was coming from. These were framed photos; photos meant for display. Wanting to put her at ease immediately he offered, “Where should we put them?”
Clearly, he’d surprised her given the shocked look on her face. “This is your home Eric, I don’t expect you . . .”
His finger went over her mouth to stop her comment. “It’s our house Sookie. I want us to share everything.”
“Eric, we haven’t been together long enough for you to say that.”
He backed up so he wouldn’t overwhelm her. “I won’t push but you can still display these here and again when we go to Alaska and Sweden. While we’re together, we’ll share the houses. OK?”
“Better. Still freaking me out a bit.”
“Don’t freak out. Show me the photos.”
Sookie relaxed against Eric’s chest and scooted down a bit so he could see over her head as she pulled out each photo and told the story. One picture was pulled out they both bellowed. “What is this?”
“My first haircut.”
“But your hair is long and Jason’s hair is hideous.”
“It was the first time I gave a haircut. Jason was my customer.”
He was still laughing when he commented further. “And I guess your last?”
She gasped indignantly. “I’ll have you know I’ve been cutting Jason’s hair for years. I needed practice.”
“Was he willing?”
“He was being kind. When I was little, I wanted to be a beautician and he let me do this to him. Course Gran buzzed off the bad cuts until I finally got better.”
“So what happened to your beauty school dreams?”
“Beauticians have to touch people; touching only heightens my telepathy.”
“Don’t be, it was a kid thing. The only carry over is cutting Jason’s hair sometimes.”
“You need to patch things . . . “
“I’m not having a Jason relationship discussion now.”
“Fine.” He knew that tone from Sookie. A subject change was needed immediately. Eric really didn’t want to upset her now. “Maybe you should cut my hair.”
She started playing with it immediately. “Really? How does that work, will it grow back?”
“Yes it grows, only more quickly than yours. If I keep it short, we’ll need to trim it almost weekly. Once it hits the length it was when I was turned, it stops growing.”
“So do you want to cut it?” She nodded. “Good. First, show me your pictures.”
Over the next hour, he ‘met’ her parents, friends, her cat Tina and of course, Gran. For these memories, she laughed a bit and sniffled but she didn’t cry.
“You’re OK doing this.”
“I am. I had my good cry over the blanket.” As she reached in for the next item, she smiled and Eric was happy to see it. “Hopefully this is her jewelry box.” It was a plain white box and when she opened it, she saw it was her Gran’s jewelry box. “It’s falling apart, I know. That’s partly my fault. See, in here isn’t the most expensive stuff. In fact, most of it’s costume jewelry. Jason has my parent’s wedding rings for the day he finally settles down.” She chuckled. “I don’t see that happening anytime soon.” Carefully, she removed the jewelry box from the outer box.
“So what’s in the jewelry box?”
“Not much. Like I said, she mostly had costume jewelry and I asked Eliane to remove the silver items.”
She simply nodded and opened the box, being careful of the broken hinge. “Let’s see what’s inside.” As she recalled, there was lots of jewelry she really didn’t need to keep and a few of Gran’s nice items. When she dug further, she found a bracelet with plastic letter blocks and buttons that spelled Sookie.
Eric put the small bracelet on three of his fingers. “What’s this? Something you made?”’
Her face was wistful as she recalled the memory. “I did. I wanted Gran to have me with her when she went off to work. I made one for Jason but he never wore it.” She shrugged. “He was too cool I guess.”
“He was a fool for ignoring such a treasure.” She laughed at him as he inspected the carving in the lid of the box. “The box looks handmade.”
One of her fingers ghosted over the broken hinge. “I was always playing with this jewelry box, that’s how this got broken. She eventually gave me a big tin with buttons to play in. It had a thin plastic needle and thread. I was forever making necklaces and bracelets.” She got lost in thought for a moment then continued. “I’d forgotten about that tin. Anyway, back to this box. My Grandfather made this for my Gran. It was strange though – I never saw any other carved wood pieces like this.”
Eric moved closer to look at the box lid; he recognized the sun pattern immediately: sky Fae. “You say your Grandfather gave this to your Gran?” She nodded. “Yet he never made other such wooden items?”
“Not a one. I hardly remember him but you’d think there would be a bunch of wooden things like this if that was an interest to him. I could never figure it out.” With curiosity, she looked at Eric. “You’re mulling something over.” When he didn’t offer anything she guessed he had information he wasn’t sharing. “You can tell me you know. Your eyes widened a bit when you looked at the lid of the box. You know more.”
“I do.” Taking an unneeded breath, he paused. “Sookie, this symbol is from the sky Fae. It’s actually a symbol reserved for sky Fae royalty, but that’s a puzzle we’ll deal with another time.”
“So, the sky Fae; what does that mean?”
“The Fae, well fairies are broken into four groups: sky, earth, fire, and water. Fire fairies are actually demons like my lawyer. The sky and water Fae are at war, at least I believe they still are.” As if thinking, he rubbed his chin and looked off for a moment. “Sookie, your parents drowned?” She nodded. “That seems like too much of a coincidence.”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!”
“The water Fae started the war with the sky Fae over hybrids; part human/part Fae hybrids. Niall Brigant, the prince of the sky Fae came to earth and bred with a human; it started a trend since the Fae were having difficulty bearing children. The head of the water Fae, Niall’s nephew, Breandon Brigant was opposed to hybrids to the point that he went on a campaign to kill them all.”
“Am I in danger?”
“Living a life with guards was already happening Sookie. I can’t lose you. This gives me more reason. I can call Cataliades and get an opinion if you want.”
“Sure.” She looked down and her mood had soured from the Fae talk and the reminder of her parent’s death. Eric held her for several minutes before she spoke again. “It was my fault my parents died.”
“How could you possibly think that?”
“They were driving to a marriage therapist and their car was swept from the bridge. It wasn’t water Fae Eric. The marriage was in trouble because of me. My mother . . . she couldn’t stand having a defective child. It caused a rift and before you say I’m wrong, remember, I could hear their thoughts.”
“Sookie they could have easily been on that bridge to go out to a nice dinner.”
She seemed really lost in thought. Ignoring his comments, she continued. “I killed Gran too. Rene was after me, not her. Gran was home from her meeting before me and I wasn’t supposed to go at all. It should . . . should have been me.”
“No, it’s my fault. Godric too! If I hadn’t been caught by the Fellowship, he wouldn’t have needed to sacrifice himself. He could have saved himself. You know this – you said something like it to me.”
“SOOKIE ENOUGH!” His bark was so loud she flinched and pulled away from him. With a sigh, he offered an apology and his reason for yelling. “I’m sorry for yelling but you were spiraling out of control.”
She stood to respond. “No Eric, these memories have been haunting me for a long time; don’t belittle my feelings.”
“Sookie.” As she did the morning he was on the beach, he approached her slowly so she wouldn’t run. “I’m not belittling your feelings; please hear me out.” His arms reached out to her but didn’t touch her yet. “Sookie let me ask you something. Would your Gran have given her life for you?” When she remained silent but still had her arms wrapped around herself he offered. “From what you’ve told me she would. If you had been there – you both would have been killed. That a killer was running loose in Bon Temps is not your fault. All this happened while your idiot law enforcement locked up your brother. Is it their fault he was loose?” She shook her head. “What about his fiancée? That Arlene you’ve spoken of. Shouldn’t she have known?”
That statement didn’t help at all. “Don’t you see Eric? I’m the one that should have known. I’m the telepath. I didn’t hear anything until he came for me.”
“When would you have normally seen this Rene?”
“Where you frequently tried to keep up your shields, right?”
She gasped. “And I’ve been playing that mind game while I worked. It was something Bill came up with, a mental exercise. I’ve been practicing focus, only listening to certain people, not everyone.”
“So you missed his thoughts.” Her stance had relaxed – marginally – but enough that he pulled her to him. “Lover, you aren’t responsible for saving the world.”
“But I was responsible for saving Godric and I failed. I failed him and you.”
“I’ve thought about this. Godric was too weak from silver poisoning to save himself, you understand that, right? You remember he had trouble standing and walking; he couldn’t have flown away.”
“But . . .”
“Sookie, your being there enabled me to say goodbye. He never would have opened the bond for me to find only him. He opened it so I could save you. If you hadn’t been there? My maker would have died anyway and this way, I had those last moments. Sookie, you aren’t guilty of his death; I thank you for that opportunity.”
“I hadn’t thought of it that way.” He thought he’d gotten through until she shook her head. “But the memories, I can’t enjoy the memories.”
“Yes you can. It’s not the memories that haunt you; it’s the guilt. It’s guilt we both need to let go.”
“Why do you have guilt?”
“I should have done something about Bill long before I did. I thought something was off.”
“My wonderful relationship with Bill is NOT your fault.”
“Sending you into the Fellowship of the Sun is.”
“I pushed and if I hadn’t done that, then you wouldn’t have had that time with Godric.”
“I know – so I have guilt over those feelings.”
“We’re a pair. I hear what you’re saying but as I guess you know, it’s not a switch. I can’t simply stop feeling the guilt.”
“So we talk through it.”
“Agreed, but enough for tonight.” She packed the box of her Gran’s stuff and stood. “You ready to go through your box?” Going through Gran’s stuff had taken a lot out of her and she was hoping he’d say no. She got her wish.
“I’m thinking it’s too much for one night.” While running his fingers through his hair, he offered. “How about that hair cut?”
“Naughty boy.” She laughed and swatted at him. Then with a devilish look in her eyes she promised. “How about we shower together after? I mean, we’ll both need one.”
“I like how you think Lover. I’ll be hard the whole time you’re cutting my hair while thinking about it.”
“Stop talking like that and get your butt outside. We’ll use the side deck; it’ll be the easiest to sweep clean.” She pointed towards the door that led to that deck. “I’ll get the tools I need, you set up a chair.”
“There’s that bossy Sookie.”
They met on the deck as planned and he sat in the chair waiting for her to get started. She was still for so long he grew worried. “Are you sure you know how to cut hair?”
“Yes, I’m debating if I want this cut or not.”
“It grows fast.”
“Ok. She started spritzing some water on his head while she played with the locks, moving them to get his hair wet all over. At one point he grunted when she got a bit tangled and yanked on his hair by accident. “OH! Sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“That didn’t hurt.”
She was standing in front of him as she worked so she looked down at his face in question. “But you grunted.”
He pulled her down so she was straddling his lap and their faces were inches from each other. “I didn’t grunt because that hurt.” He pushed his hips up to she could feel the effect her accidental hair tug on had him.
“I can feel what you mean now.”
“Like I can feel, what are these, bikini bottoms? When did you put on bottoms you sneaky thing?” She giggled at him while he pulled her closer. “I want a kiss. It’s been too long.” Using his hand, he pulled her head closer to his and their lips and tongue met. When she needed air, he released her but kept his gaze on her steadily. “I’m addicted to you Lover.”
“I’m starting to know the feeling min hǫldr. But now, I want to finish this hair. I think I’ll keep the front longer so I have something to tug.” Eric looked at her and took an unnecessary swallow. “I see I struck you speechless.”
“Doesn’t happen often. Hurry up and cut. I want my shower.”
“It’s just a shower, Eric.”
“We’ll see. Besides, I quite enjoyed our swim and I was a very good boy at the same time.”
Confidently, she started snipping off Eric’s gorgeous locks, reminding herself that the hair would grow quickly if she really hated it. While she worked, she continually ran her fingers over his scalp and Eric had to work hard to contain his moans of pleasure. To style his new cut, she used gel though they were about to shower.
“Why are you going to this trouble now?”
“I want to be sure I like it before we finish out here.”
“And are we finished?”
“You’re a little too excited about that shower. We’ve both bathed each other already.” She moved back to look at the cut and smiled. “I like it. You didn’t have a handheld mirror that I could grab so you’ll need to check it out inside. OK, we’re do . . .”
The words weren’t fully out of her mouth before he grabbed her and ran through the house to his bathroom. He started the shower and pulled off his shorts before Sookie regained her balance fully from the run through the house. “Can I help you with your clothes?”
“I think I’m able to handle my clothes. You really are excited about this. We aren’t having sex Eric.”
“I know that. But I really enjoyed skinny dipping before; feeling your bare skin next to mine.”
The water temperature was perfect when they stepped in and he started by wetting her hair. With her head tipped back under the spray, her breasts were pushed a bit forward and he didn’t even try to hide his hungry gaze. When she pulled her head up, she sniggered at him. “See something you like?”
“Very much.” Finally able to look up he smirked at her and started with the shampoo.
“You’re very good at this.”
“I can see to it that you never need to wash your own hair again. Or your own arms, legs, breasts . . .”
She laughed. “I get the idea. I’m doing your hair next. I want to get all the little hairs from your cut.”
Eric finished washing her hair quickly and he sat on the bench so Sookie could take care of him easily. The bench put Eric at the perfect height for her breasts. She focused on business and got his hair washed before she finally said. “Are we messing around before we get washed?”
The look on Eric’s face was a mix of hope and disbelief; he needed to clarify. “Boundaries?”
“Hands anywhere, only your hands. Well, you can kiss these,” she touched her lips, “and” her eyes looked down to her chest. “Those.”
Before anything further was said, his hands and tongue were on her breasts. Little moans started escaping from her mouth, which only spurred Eric on more. To reach her mouth, he stood and their tongues started the duel they both enjoyed; he was devouring her and she loved it. Once he was satisfied with their kissing, he spun her around to face away from him. “Eric?”
“Trust me, you’ll like this.” His hands came up and cupped her breasts, pinching and pulling to harden the nipples. Then he placed one hand over her vulva and whispered. “Spread your legs apart for me.” She was so far gone in her pleasure that she complied immediately. Once she was in the position he wanted, Eric grabbed the hand held showerhead and moved it to spray right over her sex. Giving one last squeeze to a breast, his other hand moved down to open her folds and began rubbing.
“Oh God Eric. That . . . that feels so good.”
“It’s supposed to Lover.”
“I want you to feel good too.”
“Don’t worry about that now, just feel Sookie, just enjoy.” She could only answer in a moan as he sped up his attentions. “Let go Sookie, I’ve got you.”
She yelled out a loud ‘ahhh’ as he felt her muscles contract around his fingers. He dropped the showerhead and grabbed her as he felt her knees weaken. Before she knew it, she was spun around with her legs around his waist and arms loosely hanging on his shoulders. Her breathing was heavy and he simply held and soothed her as he waited for her to calm. Her eyes opened and sparkled at him when she smiled. “Oh my Eric.”
“Did you like that?”
Her words were mixed with giggles. “You cleared something up for me.”
He chuckled. “I’m not sure how an orgasm can do that.”
“Well, I ah . . . had wondered if Bill ever got me to that, you know golden level. Now I’m sure he didn’t.”
“Sookie, do you mean you’ve never had an orgasm?”
“I never dated, you know this.”
“But you have a hand.”
“ERIC! What have I told you about nasty talk? I lived with my Gran; my room was across the hall from her. It wasn’t done.”
“There’s nothing wrong with masturbating and there’s nothing nasty about us having a discussion about intimacies.”
Her eyes were focused over his shoulder and her cheeks were bright red. “I know there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“Then why are you so embarrassed? I’ll have you know my hand has gotten me through these past weeks since I decided to be celibate.” She raised her eyebrow and he got her meaning right away. “Celibate while waiting for you dear; not celibate with you.” He kissed her softly. “Sookie, why did you decide to skinny dip tonight? Why the shared shower?”
“At the speed we’re going, I know . . .” She stopped and shook her head. “I want to move forward. I want to really enjoy my first time with you so I thought I’d take action and get over my embarrassment with nudity so I don’t need to worry about that.”
“I have no opposition to seeing you naked but be sure you aren’t putting too much pressure on your or rather us. I suppose this is partly my doing since I kept saying perfect firsts. I have an idea though to help with your inhibitions.”
“I bet you do.” He lowered her, stepped back so their bodies weren’t touching and looked down. “Yeah, I’ve felt that monster this whole time. What are you suggesting I do with that?”
“Nothing, I’m suggesting you watch me.” Her eyes opened wide and the beautiful blush grew on her face. “I can assure you, I have no problems with you watching.” To prove the point, he backed up further, sat on the bench, and took his considerable length into one hand. No further words were needed; Sookie was mesmerized. At first she looked at his hand and cock, noticing how he squeezed it and observing the pink pearl of cum appear on the tip; then she switched to his face. She’d always closed her eyes when she and Bill had sex so she’d never seen a man or really anyone orgasm. Eric’s eyes were staring at Sookie’s and she could see the desire and lust; his mouth was open partially and he was panting – though she knew he didn’t need to breath. “Sookie,” he spoke in a gravelly voice, “I won’t last long.”
“What do you want?”
“Will you come here so I can kiss you?” She moved immediately to sit on the bench and leaned into him. Surprising him further, she placed her hand on his and matched his rhythm then took over while he played with her breasts. Suddenly he turned a bit and came over her stomach; it wasn’t his intention, he couldn’t resist. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”
She smiled at him and shrugged. “Is it a guy thing? To cum on the girl?” He nodded. “Good thing for you that I don’t care then. Plus we’re in the shower – so even better.”
Her openness at this concept was encouraging. “Then allow me to get you clean . . .”
“I can’t believe how pruned I am. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a long shower.” They were getting ready for bed now that Sookie had eaten a snack and she was commenting on how her fingers were still wrinkled though they’d finished the shower a while before.
“I’ve never been happier about my tankless water heater.” He’d pulled the sheet and blanket back and she scooted in. “I have some emails to work on, but I’ll wait until you’re asleep.”
“Thank you.” She assumed their usual spooning position and he wrapped his arm over her stomach. “I enjoyed today.”
“It wasn’t too much, too soon?”
“Nope.” She turned around. “Not physically. I mean, some folks have been together for hours and have done more than we have. I’m sorry for that.”
“Why are you sorry? I have no worries about waiting for you to be ready. But you said not physically, what is too soon?”
She spun around to resume her position facing away from Eric. “Forget I said anything. We’re fine.”
“Not going to happen Sookie.” She stubbornly shook her head ‘no’ but he climbed over to face her. “Please?”
To encourage her to talk he took a hand and waited silently. Finally, she offered, “I’m scared.”
“What are you scared of? Me?”
“I’m scared of my feelings for you. I’m falling fast Eric.”
“I know Lover, I know. I feel the same as you but I’m not scared of the feelings. I welcome them.”
“I’m only scared because . . .” She trailed off not wanting to say anymore.
“I know Bill demons. It’s fine. Take the time you need to be sure. I never want you to doubt your feelings about us.”
“What if it takes me a while?”
“Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited for you?” He tucked some hair behind her ear. “I’ve waited over a thousand years Sookie. If you need more time I can certainly wait for you to be ready.”
“I can’t believe you’re Sheriff Northman sometimes you’re so sweet.”
“For you only.” He kissed her softly. “Are we playing anymore Scrabble before you go to sleep?”
“Haven’t you had enough Scrabble for today?”
“I can never play enough Scrabble with you.”
“You’ll get me worked up and I need to sleep. Diana is taking me out tomorrow on your boat, I promised her I’d be up before 1:00 PM.”
“Very well. Sleep well Lover.”
“Thank you Eric.” As he’d done the past few mornings, he waited for her to drift off before he kissed her softly and moved to the desk in his suite to check email. His first note was from Eliane:
I’m sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. Barry and I have continued to team up and Sookie’s house is in good shape for her long absence. With Michael’s help, both Barry’s and my apartments are packed and the contents are being sent to the temporary Shreveport apartments you reserved for us. You’ll be happy to know that Isabel has hired Michael as her dayman; she knew how well he’d served your maker and both are pleased with the arrangement.
As you requested, I’ve been in contact with Dr. Ludwig and she is prepared for Sookie’s treatment. We’ve booked a private plane for her and the equipment. Since Barry and I are ready to leave, we’ll fly to the main island with the Doctor so we’ll see you a day or rather night earlier than planned.
Please advise if there is anything else you require from the area. With another day before I leave, I should be able to manage any requests.
- I found that red and white dress in Sookie’s closet. I have it with me.
After willing down his erection at the thought of Sookie in that dress, Eric recalled one extra thing that Sookie might want from the house. As Eliane mentioned, she did have another day so he sent an e-mail off with his request and continued through his in-box. Of course, he’d seen the note from the Queen, or rather one of her lackeys, and ignored it so he could read the note from Eliane. He’d been anxious to get an update from Sookie’s assistant since he’d put Ludwig in touch with her. The news of Ludwig’s plans was good; he hoped it was enough to keep him happy through whatever the Queen had written to him. Reluctantly, he opened the Queen’s email.
Two problems from your area have been brought to my attention and I am unsatisfied with you child’s response.
Pamela sent me her mid quarter financial reports and I am not pleased. If Fangtasia’s business continues to drop as it has in the first weeks of this quarter, your tribute will be reduced significantly and with my renovation project, we can’t have that. Prepare to make up the gap personally Sheriff.
I also understand from William Compton that he discovered a local in his town is selling V and your child has done nothing about this situation. This criminal, a Mr. Lafayette Reynolds, should be killed per our laws and Pamela stopped William from taking any action. I have overridden your child and ordered that Mr. Reynolds be held at Fangtasia. I understand he is friends with your new pet. Such bad luck about that.
I expect you to call your child and ensure she has the situation with this V dealer in hand. I want him killed for his crimes Eric. She has three days to follow-through. If he is still alive after that I will have William moved in as the area Sheriff and Pamela detained for insubordination.
Remember, you are on leave at my discretion and I am currently unhappy with how your area is being handled.
Queen Sophie-Anne LeClerq
Not wanting to wake Sookie, he bolted upstairs to his den so he could formulate a plan. Eric was sure this was some kind of ploy to get him or more likely Sookie back into Louisiana. He was also sure Sookie would realize that, and never forgive herself if Lafayette, her Lala, died. He had less than two hours until sunrise and he needed to save Lala and while he was at it; ensure the protection of Sookie’s idiot brother, and any other friends in Bon Temps. He needed help; daytime help and he knew exactly who to call.
A/N: In my original outline, they were not meant to move so quickly – but you know how hard it is for me to slow down romance.
Camping next weekend – so it might be Sunday again.
(Reference): Sun image: sunrisesigns.com