Another rough (unbeta’d) chapter to get you through since I’ve been lost to my house, work and Christmas for weeks.
Chapter 20 – Homer, not Simpson
“I thought you said it was a little cabin?” Sookie looked out the plane window as Eric pointed out his home in Alaska.
“It is to me.”
“Eric, it’s twice as big as the farmhouse; at least it looks that way from up here. Who keeps that clean?”
“That’s your concern?” She nodded. “Are we going to have to go through this again in Alaska like we did on the Island?” Eric was recalling an argument they had in the Bahamas when he found her cleaning a toilet one day.
“You told me you have a Were moose serving as your guard and caretaker in Alaska, surely that doesn’t mean cleaning.”
“His sister, Misu, cleans for us. This time is for us, not toilet cleaning.”
She pulled her lip over her teeth then answered. “Same rules as the island. I won’t clean the daylight areas but I will clean the light tight spaces.”
“Sookie.” His tone indicated a bit of frustration.
“Eric?” She was challenging him.
“It’s different here. I’ll be the one waiting for you to wake up because of the lack of sunlight this time of year. I want to spend our awake time together as much as possible. Misu will come in after we’ve left the light tight area.” She was still glaring and that was fine since they were about to land. She’d gotten much better about flying while they were in the Bahamas but still hated landing. Right now, their little tiff was distracting her. He continued to stare at her for a moment. When they were about to touch down he made a pleading face and offered. “Please Lover, this is a vacation.”
She grimaced as the plane hit the tarmac then smiled. “You distracted me through the landing and I still have all my clothes on.” He smiled at her realization. “But I’m still cleaning our rooms.”
“Exasperating, frustrating, stubborn.” He muttered under his breath as they walked from the plane to the small airport.
“What’s that dear?”
“Nothing Lover.” He grabbed the bags and headed out through the building toward the car park. His Alaska caretaker, Patuk, had delivered it to the airport earlier that day. As they approached the doors to the outside he grinned. Sookie was in for a huge temperature change. Before they left the Bahamas, he checked the weather in Homer and knew it was only going to be about 17 degrees F.
“HOLY SHIT ERIC!” The door had opened for some other people and a blast from outside came in.
“I’m not prepared for this.”
“I know. I am. Stay here and I’ll be right back.”
He ran out to the car, put their bags in and removed the contents of a garment bag hanging in the backseat. Quickly, he returned to his scowling lover and held out a full length fur coat complete with hood. As soon as she started to frown he spoke. “Lover, there is a very different perception about furs here. This was made of fox caught by some local natives. They eat the animals after they are skinned and Patuk’s mother put the fox pelts together to make this. She has very successful business making custom fur coats from the animals her son hunts for her. It’s a full use thing, I assure you. You eat cow and in this case, there is the added use of the fur for something very practical.”
“Thank you. I understand now and it is beautiful.”
“Not as beautiful as you, but it will do.” He guided her to the door. “Come, I want to show you our home.”
“From what I saw on the plane it’s beautiful; I can’t wait to go in.”
His face was almost giddy as he turned to her. “Wait ‘til you see the view. He paused as they approached the car. “Do you want to drive?”
“The roads are pretty clear according to Patuk, it’s probably a good time to try.”
She grimaced but moved towards the driver’s side with a tight lipped, “fine.”
Under Eric’s guidance, she drove them to the cabin; her hands gripping the wheel until her knuckles were white from some of the ice patches scattered on the road. On the way, he pointed out the home Thalia and Barry were sharing while in Homer (they had left the island early to get settled in first.) As soon as they got far enough onto the driveway to see the house, she gasped. It had been completely lit up for Christmas. “Eric, it’s beautiful.”
“I’m pleased. I texted Patuk when we landed so the house would be lit for our arrival. The outside and main living room are done as a surprise to you, but the rest has been left for us to do together.”
“I like that.”
When she parked the car, he ran around and collected her. “I can walk.”
“I don’t want you to slip before we get your proper winter footwear on.”
“I’d say you’re sweet, but you don’t want me to get hurt and cut down on Scrabble time.”
“SOOKIE! That’s not true. I can heal you.”
“I’m only teasin’. You know, you are . . .” The words died on her lips as she took in the main living room. It was decorated for Christmas in an old time Santa theme and was gorgeous. Sookie couldn’t believe how thoughtful and giving Eric was. He showed her how much she meant to him every day. Sometimes it was a grand gesture – like decorating his home for a holiday he didn’t celebrate. Sometimes it was as simple as peeling her potatoes for dinner. Her love for this man was exploding within her. “Eric. Thank you. This is stunning.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“Are the decorations for the rest of the house like these?”
“There are a few more rooms in this theme. I had Eliane find your Christmas decorations from the farmhouse and ship them. Everything is here since we’re staying for Christmas.” At first she stood there with her mouth open; then tears formed. “Sookie?”
“I love you so much Eric Northman. That’s . . . that you thought of it is huge and you had my stuff shipped?”
“I know this is your first Christmas without Gran and I want . . .”
“No Eric, this Christmas is my first Christmas with you. That’s the focus.”
“What do you want to do first? Unpack, show me around?”
He leered at her and licked his lips. “Oh we’re doing something else first. It starts with you stripping.”
“This is the tour. We’ll go to each room and find our favorite furniture and positions.”
“Hmmm, like we did for your island home?”
“That’s our island home and you know darn well the favorite was decided before we started.”
She pouted. “I know. I’m going to miss that porch swing.” She’d been stripping as he suggested and she moved to the oversized chair, sat and proceeded to spread her legs out and position them on the chair’s arms. “But we should find our favorite quickly. We’re only here for three weeks.”
Eric stripped and joined her, but he was on his knees in front of her. “This is a good start Sookie.” He said as his fingers began toying with her sex. “You’re so wide open here; I don’t know what I want to do.”
“First you stretch and kiss me of course.” He smirked and leaned over to kiss her, but not where she expected it. “That’s not what I mea ahhhh nt.”
That was the reaction he wanted. “So should I stop?” He took another swipe with his tongue after he asked causing another gasp from Sookie. “Was that a yes or no Lover?”
“Finish what you started Mister.” Sookie had learned on the island that Eric was a master with his tongue. It was a bit awkward for her at first – since it was something she’d never experienced but after only a moment under his care he’d won her over on receiving oral sex. Eric loved the taste of Sookie so for him it was a win win. Often, when they were alone on the island, he would simply drop to his knees and eat her out.
Sookie never complained.
“Eric, mmmm.” Sensing she was close, he backed off her most sensitive areas earning a grunt in frustration from his lover followed by a very drawn out whine. “Eeeerric.”
“Yes Lover?” He rose up to position himself at her entrance. “Did you want something?”
“So articulate my love. Do you want to cum?” She nodded wildly. “Do you deserve to cum?” More nodding. “Do you want to cum on my cock or my tongue?” The nodding continued. “Both?” He chuckled as he asked.
“Yes.” It was breathless but she’d said it. At this point, he wanted to fuck her but he had given her the choice, and what Sookie wanted she got. That didn’t mean he wasn’t going to wait long. Using vampire speed he focused on her clit with his tongue while his fingers rubbed her favorite spot on the inside. She came quickly and he thrust in fast. “Ungh ” was all he heard from her. In this position, he was very deep and currently enjoying the twitching still going on from her first orgasm. He stretched up to kiss her on the mouth and she had it in her to say, “Finally.” He chuckled at her but stopped when she leaned a little and bit one of his nipples. She’d learned quickly how much he enjoyed it. That action spurred him on and he started thrusting with purpose. Pulling all the way and quickly pushing in again, over and over.
While he liked how spread she was he didn’t like the lack of connection between them so he pulled her off the chair and repositioned them on the fur rug in front of the fire. “That’s better.” He said between kisses. Sookie loved this part of Eric. Sometimes they tried more adventurous positions and they both enjoyed the physical pleasure, but more often than not, Eric would move them so he could be touching and holding more of her. This closeness was a constant part of their lives now: they were very close before they added sex to the relationship but now Eric couldn’t be near her without touching her in some way. Deciding he liked the feel of her more than his desire for completion, he slowed down now that they were more connected so he could enjoy her for longer. She had other ideas though and she pulled her legs up to wrap her ankles behind his back then she started pitching her hips into the position that drove them both crazy. When he grumbled out a “not fair,” she knew she had him and sealed the deal by telling him to bite. Never able to resist when Sookie offered, he bent down and bit around her nipple and took only a small amount but it was enough to bring them both to a very loud ending.
They cuddled for a long time after they finished; something that was also new to Eric since Sookie. He found it satisfying every time and it prompted Sookie’s current nickname for him. When her breathing calmed he turned to her and offered, “I love you Sookie. Welcome to our Alaskan home.”
“I love you. Do you think I can see more of this home now?”
“You’re ready for another room on the tour so quickly?”
“Well, actually I need to see one of the bathrooms and then the kitchen. Then I’ll be ready to resume the tour as you described it.”
He rose up and helped her off the floor before heading to the closest bathroom. A short while later they were in the kitchen where Sookie was preparing her dinner from the foods pre-purchased for her. She smirked when she saw the fixins for burgers and fries as well as some halibut (a local must have) for her. Unsure of how to best prepare the fish, she opted for her burger and fries treat. “Sookie.” Eric interrupted her cooking.
He scowled but secretly loved his nickname. “I want you and Barry to spend some days in the sun exploring. Thalia and I have spoken about this.”
“Eric.” She glared at him and spoke in a warning tone.
“Not up for debate. Not every day but some days. Patuk will also fly you over the area including Seldovia.”
“Now you’re dangling bribes. You know I was fascinated by Seldovia.”
“I’ve also arranged for the Pratt Museum to open – though they don’t normally open in the winter. We’ll do that in the late afternoon one day though.”
“Ok you stubborn man. Some days only.” His smile was victorious. “Hang on mister. I’ve got a condition.” He raised his eyebrow up in question. “I want you to take a good amount of my blood one day before the sunrise so we can play in the snow and test how long that can last.”
“Don’t you think that should be emergencies only?”
“No I don’t and honestly, don’t you think for an emergency we should know what the full benefit can be?”
“Don’t worry. I’m going to focus my diet to prepare for it and we’ll be fine.”
“Ok Lover. I’ll try that once.”
“Why don’t you get all our bags moved while I finish this up? You can eat with me.”
“Yes Ma’am.” He left her with a kiss and took care of the bags as she asked.
Sookie was plating her dinner when he returned and announced. “Guess what arrived?” She spun and saw what was in his hand. “Do you want to look through it now or after dinner?”
“Okay.” He laughed out. “I want to see it too – since you wouldn’t show me the daytime pictures.” Eric unwrapped the digital photo album Sookie had created from their time in the Bahamas. He flipped it to the first page and exclaimed. “I want that one for my phone.” It was Sookie sunbathing on their beach in a very tiny bikini. “Who took this?”
“Lala, but you know everyone was there.” He growled. “Get over it Viking. Barry only has eyes for Thalia and your guards know better.”
He continued to page through the album enjoying the shots of Sookie and her friends in the sun. While he’d heard about some of their adventures, Sookie kept all the pictures a secret so he especially enjoyed some pages in particular. Specifically, Eliane took pictures of Sookie painting at various locations throughout the island. Most of that art was already hung in the island houses, well except for the paintings of where Sookie saved Eric and their beach. That painting, Eric had shipped ahead of them to Alaska. For now, he didn’t want to leave it anywhere. He was amazed at the look on Sookie’s face as she painted. It was a combination of bliss since he could see her eyes were sparkling and concentration – her tongue sticking out of her mouth. He thought she looked adorable like that and he told her so.
The next photos in the album were from their side trip to Atlantis. Eric had booked several hotel rooms so they could enjoy the resort’s amenities for a few days. He was now looking at the pictures taken of Sookie and her friends swimming with the dolphins. That was an activity reserved only for the daytime so he hadn’t seen it yet. Sookie was radiant in the photos. “I’m glad we hired a photographer for this.”
“Yes, thank you Eric. That was an experience I never want to forget, and since Atlantis doesn’t permit personal cameras, the photographer was the only way to go. Except for spending time with you, swimming with the dolphins is my Bahamas highlight.”
“Not Bruno Mars?”
“I enjoyed that show but it wasn’t my highlight. Mostly because I knew you only went for me.”
“Sookie that should never take away from your joy. I would go again and again if you enjoyed it.”
“I know. I did enjoy it and recognize that you did it for me.”
The next few pages quickly became Eric’s favorites in the book: Lala had taken photos of Sookie in every one of her fancy outfits (as she called them) for their dinners out and shows while they were in Atlantis. It was a fashion show of Sookie and she looked gorgeous in every ensemble.
The final pages of the book covered Thanksgiving. Though he had been part of eating the feast he enjoyed discussing the day with her again. “I’m glad Jason was recovered enough to enjoy the holiday with you.”
“Me too. It was nice to have him back again. I didn’t realize how long he hadn’t been himself.” She glared at him. “And you still needed to hit him though he apologized.”
“Hush woman. I know you’re really not mad about that.”
“Nah. He deserved it. Thanks though for letting him stay on the island for a while. Lala and Hoyt too.”
“Of course Lover. I don’t want them to be used against you. Sam will be fine in Bon Temps with Alcide sending pack members to help guard.”
“How did you know I was going to ask if you thought Sam would be OK?”
He kissed her nose. “I know you.” Since she’d finished eating while they looked at the photos, he picked her up and carried her from the kitchen to a winding staircase. “In fact, I know you’re going to love what’s up here.”
When they reached the top, the first sound she made was the very audible intake of breath at the room and the view. “You have one here too?”
“Now I do. I had this one made for this room. It’s not quite like the porch swing on the outside deck, but the view is still nice.”
“I love you! I was so going to miss that swing.”
“Really? You only mentioned that once a day for the past week.” She elbowed him in the ribs. “Want to try it out?”
“In a minute. Wait, why did you close the curtains downstairs? We’re right above the big windows so it’s the same view.”
“I wanted you to see it from here first. I thought it might help you decide you liked the swing.”
“Pfft. You knew I was gonna be in love with this swing instantly. The view is spectacular.”
“It’s the Homer Spit. We’ll check it out tomorrow.” He moved to stand behind her as she stared out the window. “Only one thing could improve it.”
“You, naked in front of the window and I have to wait for that. I don’t know why you insisted on putting on a tee-shirt for dinner.”
“We’ve been through this before Eric; I don’t like to eat naked.”
“Shame, because that’s my favorite way to eat.”
Sookie and Eric had settled into a comfortable and playful routine for their first days in Homer. As promised, Eric took her into downtown Homer and they checked out the shops and restaurants (those that were open in the winter). Each evening, they watched a sappy Christmas movie at Sookie’s. Sookie had always enjoyed watching the movies in the days leading up to Christmas but with Eric; she could enjoy the character’s happily ever after without feeling bitter. She’d found her own happy.
Eric was only dead for about four hours a day so he truly was the one waiting for her to wake up. Sometimes he would do nothing but hold her while she slept; unable to believe he really had won her heart. Sookie would wake to see him staring at her with a look of wonder on his face. When she asked the first time he looked at her like that, he told her how shocked he was to be with her. Of course she misted up at his words and told him she was as happy and surprised being with him. Thalia and Barry could see the connection between the two when the four got together as well. Of course, Eric and Sookie could clearly see that Barry and Thalia were also getting along nicely themselves. It prompted a quiet conversation between Thalia and Eric on bonding while Barry and Sookie cooked dinner together one night. “Eric, I’m thinking about a bond.”
“Sookie and I are as well. Actually, I’m ready, Sookie wants more time. What does Barry say?”
“I haven’t asked him yet. I never thought it my life it would be something I would consider. I want to be sure myself before asking him.”
“Makes sense. We have until February before we need to return. I love Sookie and want to bond with her simply for that reason, but there is safety to consider as well.”
“Hence my desire to bond. They smell the same so I believe Barry is also a fairy hybrid. Like Sookie he is also at risk.”
“I agree. The risk is the same for him. This brings me to following onto the conversation we started on my island.”
“About your offer from Council?”
“It’s not an offer yet, Roman and I are meeting as soon as we can, it’s about the potential offer he’s spoken about though. As I told you, my goal is to cover Pamela, you, Sookie and Barry in the contract. I have other ideas for staff as well, but I think bonding to Sookie and Barry is important as well.”
“I will speak to him on this part of our vacation then.”
Eric nodded then smirked. “You know, I don’t ever recall you smiling as much as you have been these past weeks.”
“Shut up Northman.” He chuckled at her but stopped his teasing. “I think they’re about ready to sit down, we should join them.”
They walked into the kitchen he added. “I want to ensure they get outside soon. Sookie has been reluctant.”
Thalia winked and informed him, “I’ve got a plan for that. Something she won’t be able to resist.”
“Can’t wait to hear it.”
“Hear what Eric?” Sookie was standing in the kitchen with her hands on her hips. “I heard you guys doing your fast talking. What’s the big secret?” Eric moved to help Sookie put the meal on the table and pulled her chair out for her to sit. Once she was seated, he sat beside her, put his arm around her, and kissed her cheek.
After all, he’d been away from her for almost thirty minutes.
“I’ll leave it to Thalia to tell. She has something up her sleeve.”
Sookie turned and looked at Thalia and raised her eyebrows in question. Thalia didn’t make her wait for long. “I made arrangements for you to spend time with Jean Keene.”
Sookie’s eyebrows rose up and she sat up completely straight. “The Eagle Lady??” Thalia nodded. “WHEN?”
“Day after next. She’s expecting you at noon.”
“You know, I should be mad that this was all some way to get me out of the house during the day, but I won’t. I’ve so been wanting to meet her and see all these eagles that she feeds, I’m gonna say thank you, and Barry, what time are you picking me up?”
“No way, you’re picking me up. You need the practice girl.” Barry was obviously serious.
“Fine. We’ll need to leave at 11:00 AM cause you know how slow I go on with all the ice patches around.
“I’ll be at my front door waiting. You can honk for me.”
After their guests left, Eric and Sookie enjoyed the porch swing and the view for a while. They were so comfortable with each other, they only needed to be together to enjoy themselves. Eric relished times like this. With Sookie, he could be himself or simply present and not be anything at all. For everyone else in his life he needed to be a strong maker, a Sheriff, a Viking or some other role. Tonight, they each had a hand on the other while they read and swayed, Sookie’s beloved Christmas music was playing in the background. Neither spoke for a while until Eric broke the silence with his curiosity about Sookie’s reaction to his request to bond. “Sookie.”
She put her book down immediately and gave him her focus. “Yes Eric.”
“Have you given any more thought to bonding?”
After sitting up, she nodded and took a deep breath. “I love you.”
He sat up to face her. “I love you too.”
“I’m certainly not saying no, I want you to know that. I’m . . . I mean for me ahh . . . the closest thing I can compare it to is marriage,” he started to interrupt but she stopped him. “I know, it’s not the same in many ways, I’m simply comparing it.” He nodded and told her to go on. “What that means to me is a bond is something very sacred and shouldn’t be rushed into. I mean even human weddings have the engagement period.” Using both her hands, she held his face tenderly. “I don’t want to mislead you. I want to bond. Maybe what I need is an adjustment period.”
“I can understand your need for time. I’ve wanted a bond with you for a very long time. I told you before – I’ve waited a thousand years for you; I can be patient for a bit more.” The comment she made about engagement gave him an idea; something that hadn’t occurred to him.
“Will you tell me what happens after we bond? Do we live together? How will our relationship change?”
“I want us to live together other than that, I don’t see it changing. Right after the New Year I hope to sign a contract with Council so we don’t need to return to Louisiana if you don’t want. We can live anywhere Sookie.”
“Really? Cause I already want to live with you without the bond.”
“Really.” He answered reassuringly. “We’ll need to travel for work though.”
“I know we’ll travel. Back to the bond, what else will change?”
“As my bonded, you are granted a higher standing in the vampire world and extra protection. For day-to-day, I don’t see it changing us except we’ll have the bond that connects us.”
“I’ll feel you.” He nodded, even though it was a statement, not a question. “All the time? I mean, when you are in Sheriff mode. . . “
“I’ll block the bond for certain things – like Sheriff mode.”
“You said extra protection. Is that why . . .”
He cut her off. “I want to bond with you because I love you. Other advantages are side benefits, not the reason.”
“I believe you. But it will be nice to have extra protection once you’re part of the Council.”
“Your safety will be a major factor in my negotiations.” He kissed her nose and smirked. “I’ll let you in on a secret I’m planning for my contract negotiations though.” She leaned in like they were in a crowd and he would need to whisper it. “I’m planning to negotiate for a private plane, pilots and flight staff out of the deal.” Since she was so close he licked her ear and she shivered. “With a light-tight bedroom.”
“But you already inducted me into the mile high club when we flew here.”
“You have to renew often to stay a member. I don’t want you to lapse.”
“Oh no, that would be horrible.” She wiggled around to get the swing moving since they’d been still for a while. “I think we should practice your aim while I’m pretending to be a moving target. You know, just in case.”
“Practice makes perfect.”