Pam read the newspaper with minimal interest. It had been a while since she last bothered with keeping up on local news since arriving in Shreveport two months ago. The vampiress had better things to do with her time in those eight weeks. Primarily, she had been occupied with teaching Sookie, as well as assisting her Master with training his soon-to-be-Bonded. Though Eric had expressed his desire to go without aid from his Child, he had brought Pam in to play the role of the unknown vampire so that Sookie could learn proper protocol in introductions and interactions. Sometimes, during their self defense training, Eric even had Pam stand in as a sparring partner. Eric’s over all height advantage making it all the more difficult for Sookie to learn even the most basic of retaliations.
Then there was the matter with Bill Compton. Shortly after that vampire arrived in the area, Pam had been assigned to remain with Sookie whenever Eric was forced to be away from her. This intrigued Pam, but Eric kept all knowledge to his actions to himself, but Pam was not stupid. Bill was interested in Sookie, and Eric did not want him to meet her until Eric and Sookie were Bonded. If Compton made any attempts to take her from him after that, there would be no trials or audiences. Eric would be fully entitled to end Compton’s existence. No questions asked.
Frowning at the title of an article, Pam went over to Sookie, “Your last name wouldn’t happen to be ‘Stackhouse’, would it?” Pam asked, handing the newspaper to Sookie.
Her reading ability had increased dramatically in a matter of a couple of weeks, surprising both vampires, and she read the first paragraph of the article quickly before glancing at Pam with a slackened jaw.
“Congratulations, you are the first missing person I’ve met that I was not involved in killing.” Pam leered.
~“ ‘Sookie Stackhouse, age 17, has still not been found,’” Sookie read aloud. “ ‘She was first known to be missing when an explosion that claimed the life of her guardian, Bartlett Hale, alerted social services and police that the teenager had not been present at the time of the explosion.
Residents of the community claim to never have met the missing girl, and that they had never seen her leave her home or enter town. One source explained that Ms. Stackhouse is a mentally ill young woman, and that Mr. Hale had insisted on keeping her home to prevent Ms. Stackhouse from suffering any damaging episodes.
“I only saw her one time when I delivered groceries to [Hale’s] house.” Said a reliable source,“She seemed shy because she would just peek around the corner of the hallway while I was at the door.”
It is unclear if Ms. Stackhouse was somehow involved in the explosion, or if she wandered off without Mr. Hale’s knowledge, but police, as well as social services, are still looking for her.’” Sookie finished reading the article aloud, complete bafflement written on her face. Eric had joined them in the den when he had heard Sookie reading.
“It is a good thing we have not been out in public all of this time.” Eric crossed his arms over his chest. “Otherwise, we may have been accosted by police and unaware of the situation… I am surprised your Witch did not make the connection.”
Sookie shrugged. “Angie doesn’t really read much in local news. Usually, she just reads the World section, not local. And Angie doesn’t watch television, just DVDs. Besides, neither you or Pam have watched the local news at all in the time I’ve been here.”
“Sharp one we’ve got here.” Pam smirked. “What should we do, Eric?”
“We have a few options.” Eric set his expression into ‘unreadable mode’ as he spoke. “We can forge new documents for Sookie and change her appearance and identity. I can step down as a Sheriff in Louisiana and take us all out of state. Or, we can go to the police and explain the situation. A little glamouring here and there would help. Sookie, it is your choice.” He nodded his head at his woman.
“I definitely don’t want you to stop bein’ Sheriff… I’m not too keen on havin’ to cut or dye my hair either.” She grimaced. “But… Goin’ to the police… Couldn’t you get in trouble, Eric? I mean… If they find out we’re lovers…?”
Eric chuckled, “You are 17, Little One, you are of legal age to consent. After they hear your story of why you ran away, I doubt that the police nor social services will question your leaving.”
“So… I’d have to tell them… About everythin’?” Sookie asked meekly. Angie was not even privy to Sookie’s history with Hale, and that was after two months of the pair talking hours at a time, daily, for two months. Therefore, she was especially uncomfortable letting complete strangers into the details too.
“Yes, Lover.” Eric smiled in a sad, but encouraging manner.
“What if they call me mentally unstable?” Sookie asked quietly. “That’s what Bartlett always used to threaten me with… Anytime I wanted to call the police… Or just so he could get me to do what he wanted. He’d just threaten to put me back in the hospital.”
Pam scoffed. “I think you can handle a couple of hours without raising the mentally disturbed red flags. Plus, you could ask for me to be in the room while they interview you. I will hold your hand to keep things silent. Perhaps you could even delve into their minds to see where their train of thought is.”
“Should we do this now? What happens if we’re there past dawn?” Sookie pressed.
That last comment made Eric and Pam pause for a moment, but Eric recovered. “Sookie, you are comfortable with Jackson Herveaux, yes?” Sookie nodded. He was the only Were she had officially met, aside from the one that she had killed, and he seemed like a good man… Where it counted. “I can ask him to escort you home if our time gets pressed towards dawn. Pam and I can easily glamour the police into releasing us if the need arises.”
Sookie sighed. “I don’t want to tell this whole thing out loud, but I’m sick of livin’ with my past loomin’ over me. Let’s get this over with.” She rose from the couch.
Her vampires followed her silently towards the front door. Eric brought the Escalade out from the garage. Ever since Sookie had carelessly let the door flop open, and almost hit Eric’s Corvette, he had taken to just pulling the Escalade out before letting her get in. It was a source of great amusement for Pam, and she had teased her Maker over how she had never witnessed him move that fast until his Corvette’s paint job was at risk of damage.
Pam smirked as a sudden silence grew in the police station. Every officer was staring at Sookie and her vampire companions, forgetting their jobs for a moment to absorb the enormity of the situation. A girl, missing for two months, as far as they knew, suddenly appearing in the police station as if she had just returned from vacation and had no idea she had been missing. Though this was not entirely untrue, Pam still found it amusing.
“Hi, I’m Sookie Stackhouse, and I’m not missin’,” Sookie stated when she reached the first, unoccupied officer’s desk. “And I’m not mentally ill, either.” Her voice was flat on the last part, not enjoying that the world had been informed of her mental disability, which she was finally beginning to see as the gift that it was. In fact, she was using that gift at that moment, and she was very surprised to find that there were several Weres in the building. It was even more shocking that they seemed to be police, and not criminals. Sookie wondered if her perception of Weres had been biased. After all, if there were a lot of Weres that were cops, that had to mean that Weres were good, right?
“M-Ms. Stackhouse, where have you been? Your uncle-”
“I heard.” Sookie grimaced. “But I left him in that house, alive, with no plan on ever returnin’.” The officer noticed Sookie’s clenched hand in Eric’s. “This is Eric Northman and Pamela Ravenscroft,” she introduced. “They’ve been takin’ care of me.”
“We should take this into another room.” The officer stood from his desk and began leading them to an interrogation room. “My name is Detective DonLevy, I’m just going to let you folks get settled in here while I grab Graison, he’s the primary on your case,” he explained before leaving.
Eric sat down beside Sookie, stroking the back of her hand affectionately while Pam leaned back in her chair, exuding boredom while she examined her perfectly manicured nails. A minute later, Detective Graison entered the room and sat across from the trio.
“Ms. Stackhouse, I’m glad to see you in good health.” Graison nodded at her. “Your friends?”
“Yes.” She nodded back. “We just saw the newspaper this evenin’, and came straight to the police station to clear things up.” Graison could not get over the healthy fullness of the girl’s face, or the genuine, soft smile she wore. True, her smile was a bit uneasy, but that was to be expected of someone who found out that they were “missing”. In the picture they had been given by social services, the girl had appeared almost gaunt, and her smile had been wide like her eyes. Her picture spoke volumes of her claimed madness, but the woman sitting before him now… There was no question that it was the same girl, but, in a way, it was a completely different person.
“Similar articles have been printed regularly over the past few weeks. Not to mention, the explosion at your uncle’s house was almost two months ago. Why did it take you so long to find out?” Graison asked.
Eric took that question. “I have several businesses scattered across the country. Though the base of my operations is here in Louisiana, we have been traveling the last month and a half while I was surveying properties as well as checking in on my other acquisitions,” he lied smoothly. “Sookie accompanied me in that time. We just arrived back this afternoon.”
“I have no interest in the news.” Pam smirked. “So I didn’t notice anything amiss. However, we have Sookie read the newspaper on occasion to help her along in her reading since she detests children’s books.”
“You can’t read, kiddo?” Graison was surprised.
“I’m okay at it now, but no one bothered tryin’ to teach me before Eric,” Sookie huffed. “I was mistakenly diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic when I was four, and spent several years in a mental institution. I was put on so many drugs that I don’t think anyone could have taught me my own name if I hadn’t known it already.”
Eric rubbed her hand carefully, trying to give her strength. In that moment, he wished that they were already Bonded so that he could ease away the storm of emotions brewing in her little body.
“My gran had me released from the hospital after my parents died in a flash flood, and she took care of me for a couple of years before she passed away from a stroke. I went to live with Bartlett after that.”
“And your grandmother never taught you to read? Or your uncle?” Graison was still stuck on this.
“Gran tried to teach me, but my adjustin’ to bein’ out of the hospital took a long time. When it’s all you know, and it’s a crazy thing to grow up in that kind of environment, it takes a long time to get used to somethin’ different. As for Bartlett… Well… I don’t think anyone would approve of the things he did teach me.”
“It’s a pity his house exploded.” Sookie looked self-consciously at her nails, avoiding Graison’s gaze. “You might have realized why I ran off if you’d seen the house. Was the downstairs bathroom still intact?”
“Did you wonder why there was a deadbolt on an inside door?” Sookie glared.
“Because of the explosion, the origin of most of the debris-”
“That’s where he’d lock me up when I got my period. He’d make me sleep in the tub and stay in there for days until I was “done”, ’cause he didn’t want to have to deal with the fact that I wasn’t a “little girl”. I bet you found rolls of melted up duct tape, though. That wasn’t lazy, fix it yerself duct tape, though. He’d make me tape down my boobs and walk around without any pants on. He’d starve me t’ try ‘n’ keep my boobs from gettin’ any bigger. He’d make me shave off all my body hair to make me seem younger.” Sookie was panting as she spat out the disgusting, degrading things that had been done to her. “And ya know why I went along with all of this? Why I didn’t tell social services? Why I didn’t run away!?” Graison was sitting on the edge of his chair. “Because every time he’d demand these things, he’d tell me I couldn’t tell anyone ’cause they’d just think I was a crazy little girl. Then I would be sent back to the mental hospital, and I could not go back there.” Sookie took her hand from Eric’s to hear the detective’s thoughts. Her hands cupped her mouth as she tried to slow her ragged breathing and listen to the man. Her focus was all over the place, and Sookie could not stop the trembling in her hands and the jumping of her nervous legs.
He believed her, but he also wondered if Sookie had somehow been responsible. It was impossible. Accidental death through and through. But…
“How did you meet Mr. Northman? Did you know him before you left your uncle’s?”
“I didn’t know anyone before I left. I left one night… I don’t know what made me do it, but somethin’ in me just said I was done with it all. I grabbed up some clothes and bundled up, grabbed a bit of food, and just left. I made it out to Shreveport at some point. I don’t know how long I was livin’ on the street… Maybe a month or so. I fell asleep in the doorway of one of Eric’s buildin’s and he woke me up and offered me a place to stay. I agreed, and I’ve been livin’ with him ever since.” Sookie shrugged. She decided to downplay their meeting so as not to incite more inquiries. “Pam showed up a bit later, and the two of them have been workin’ hard, teachin’ me how to read and interact with new people. I’ve even started makin’ a good friend.” Sookie actually managed to smile a bit as she thought of Angie. “They’ve been teachin’ me a lot of things, and I’m grateful that I managed to have just enough luck to have somethin’ good happen to me finally.”
“Mr. Northman, did you know about this abuse?”
“Sookie told me after a few days. I made a comment in passing that upset her, and managed to convince her to open up to me about it. She eventually told me about her past,” Eric replied, his tone even, but his eyes on fire.
“Were you angry? Did you want revenge for her?” Graison pressed.
“I was extremely angry, and yes, any honorable man would want to seek revenge for her. It looks like some higher power saved me from an internal struggle, however.” Eric smirked. “Any man that would defile a child deserves such divine retribution to be rained down on him. Fortunately for Bartlett Hale, I did not get to have my way with him.” Sookie grasped Eric’s hand tightly. “It is quite all right, Lover. I have not been mirandized. Even if I had been, I would say the same exact thing. And seeing as Hale was not torn limb from limb and scattered about the country, I obviously did not get my way.”
“Did you just call Ms. Stackhouse your lover?” Graison felt a bit nauseous. Northman had to be more than ten years older than the girl.
“Yes, Sookie and I have been lovers since the night she came to stay with me. That was not an arrangement, but it just came to happen that way.”
“And you didn’t think to tell the police that you had found a runaway?”
“I decided that, given her age, that if she did not desire to be where she had been- I had no desire to send her back there. It takes a strong woman to overcome so many obstacles and reach for something better, even if it means dragging herself through hell first. How could I send a woman who had clawed her way out of the lion’s den back in?”
“But you didn’t know the situation immediately upon meeting her,” Graison pointed out
“You do not need to know details when you have seen physical evidence. This woman was skin and bones when I met her, and she is quite an attractive woman. Yet, despite her beauty, she chose starvation and the streets over resorting to bartering her body. A girl who sustained years of sexual abuse and months on the street managed to come to me a virgin. I honor those who honor themselves, and her pride is what drove me to take her in. She is fierce, and I respect that fire in her.”
Graison did not overlook the adoring gaze Sookie placed upon Eric as he praised and idolized her. Neither did it escape him that this man was probably the first person in her life to offer such adoration, and that was what she needed. Who was he to take that from her, or question her for it?
A knock on the door made Sookie jump. Reaching out with her telepathy, she felt the red snarls on the other side of the metal door. After a pause, the door opened and a young man came in holding a manilla envelope. “Got that packet of personal effects that you wanted to return.” The man paused only briefly at the presence of the vampires. Sookie did not need to hear anything from his mind to know that this Were was completely familiar with who Eric Northman was.
“Thanks, Howlett.” Graison nodded, accepting the envelope. Once the younger officer was gone again, Graison smiled softly at Sookie. “I wanted to give this to you now.” He handed her the envelope and Sookie was forced to let go of Eric’s hand to open it.
“What is it, Sookie?” Eric asked carefully.
“It’s, ummm…” Sookie wiped at a stray tear. “It’s my birth certificate.” Her heart felt like a slab of marble had been pulled off of it. For the first time in her life, she felt like she actually existed in the world. A yellowed, creased paper that smelled of dust finally gave Sookie the confirmation that she was alive somewhere. Somewhere, she breathed and smiled and cried. The world knew that she was out there…
So why had the world left her behind? “Can I,” she cleared her throat uncomfortably, “can I have a moment?” Her voice was dry and thick as that marble slab that had only recently been shirked aside, tried once more to inch its way back across her chest.
“Of course.” Graison nodded and stood up to leave.
“Pam.” Eric tilted his head ever so slightly to dismiss his Child.
The vampiress rose as well, nodding at Graison, who was holding the door open for her politely.
“That’s some girl.” Graison began conversationally once the door was closed.
“Yes.” Pam nodded.
“That Eric guy… He’s good to her?” Graison asked.
“Does he take her out?”
Pam eyed the detective for a moment. “Not as much as he would like, but they are building up to it. Sookie does not always do well in large groups. She is unaccustomed to being part of groups, or even away from a single building. I know that it makes her anxious on occasion, but that is something instilled in her by man, not a mental condition she was afflicted with prior to being put into a mental institution.”
“I’m not fishing for information on her,” Graison grunted. “I’m fishing for information on Northman. That girl’s been through enough. I don’t want to hear that she got thrown aside by a wealthy businessman next.”
“Your concern for a stranger is… I suppose it is admirable.” Pam smirked. “But Eric will not throw her away. As much as I wish he would at times. He will not.”
Graison looked at her in surprise. “You don’t like Ms. Stackhouse?”
“I like her very much.” Pam’s smirk grew a bit. “She is very entertaining to have around.”
“Then why don’t you want Mr. Northman to be with her?” he pressed.
“That is unimportant. It is what he decides that matters,” Pam answered.
Graison stared at Pam with curiosity. Pam and Eric spoke so eloquently. It was like he were speaking to royalty when they were talking. Their bored, steely gazes. Their even, articulated tones. Their squared off shoulders and unwavering posture. Graison shook his head at the observations.
After a few more moments of giving the pair in the interrogation room time to collect Sookie’s composure, Graison decided it was time to wrap things up. Entering the room, Pam at his heels, Graison said, “Well, if you’ll just leave me your contact information in the event that we have any follow up questions, you are free to go.” Graison went back to his side of the table and slid over a form that Eric filled out since Sookie’s handwriting was still awkward and leaning towards the side of illegible.
After information was given, Eric wrapped his arm around Sookie’s waist and guided her towards the exit. Sookie shied away from the officer that appeared from the observation room. It was Howlett again, but she tried her hardest not to be afraid of him. The officer that had watched them leave turned to Detective Graison and asked, “You’re just letting them go? She’s mentally ill, shouldn’t she be-”
“I spent nearly an hour with that girl,” Graison snapped. “There was nothing wrong with her. Something about this “mental illness” isn’t right. Remember what that guy said? The one that’s been hounding us the past six weeks?”
“Yeah, that blond guy. What about him?” The younger officer remembered. Now that he thought about it, without the vampire stench in his nostrils, the boy smelled just as sweet, if not sweeter than the girl that was now leaving the station.
“He said he knew she wasn’t crazy. She was special, not crazy.” Graison smiled a bit to himself.
“What do you mean?” The officer gawked for a moment. Graison was one of the best, human, detectives in the station, and had a knack for having accurate gut instincts.
“She had all her mental faculties. She was meek, a bit shy, but Northman said she has fire, and I’m inclined to believe him. Ms. Stackhouse has survived a lot of things, more than any one person should have to experience in their lifetime. I don’t think she had a damned thing to do with the explosion at the Hale residence. The girl couldn’t even read up until a couple months ago, so how do you think she would know how to orchestrate an explosion without getting herself killed? And Northman, well, he said flat out he would have ripped that mother fucker apart given the chance. That’s not something you say if you’re worried about being caught. My feeling is, that if he did have anything to do with it- we won’t be able to prove a damned thing. So just trust me and leave the case alone. Accidental death.”
The Were had to agree with that observation on Northman. It was true. There would never be any evidence if he had indeed killed Hale. Though the younger officer was certain of Eric’s involvement, there would be no use trying to prove it. Maybe, in a few years after the Great Reveal, vampires might be prosecuted properly, but he seriously doubted if even then Northman would be stupid enough to get caught.
Still, Howlett was more concerned about trying to get Northman back under the microscope. Not for the murder/accident, of course, but for more time to check out that Stackhouse girl. The way Howlett had watched Northman allow the human girl to cry onto his clothes, and the way Northman had soothed back her blonde hair as he pressed his lips to her head- it just made the fire of curiosity burn in his gut! He wanted to know, so badly, how this girl had charmed a thousand year old vampire! And the words he kept hearing her utter:
“I exist, I exist… I exist…” Over and over again until she had calmed.
“Is it over now?” Sookie asked quietly on the car ride back to Eric’s home. It was going on 1 AM, and she was drained from the strain of keeping her shields up in such a crowded location.
“Almost, my lover, I just have one final question for you.” Sookie looked at Eric worriedly, and Eric saw Pam shift in the back seat curiously. “What did make you leave at the time that you did? Had you waited until your 18th birthday, you may have had an easier time leaving. I understand that your hardships may have-”
Sookie interrupted Eric as he spoke, a rarity he had only witnessed once before, “He was gonna sell me.”
“What?” Pam looked at Sookie, disgust in her eyes. Eric merely frowned, having heard this from Bartlett’s own lips. He had not realized this had been the final straw that removed Sookie from her Uncle’s grasp, although he had suspected.
“Bartlett was workin’ out a deal with some man in the next county. This guy didn’t like them as young as Bartlett, and they were workin’ out a transaction.” Sookie was staring out the window, her jaw clenched tightly as her lips trembled.
“Did you ever meet this man?” Eric asked quietly, that had not been divulged during his interrogation. Eric had merely plucked the man’s name from Bartlett’s glamoured lips, and then logged it to memory for potential use in the future.
“Only once. Bartlett invited him over to check me over. Of course, they weren’t openly talkin’ ’bout it, but I could hear their thoughts, and I was so sc-scared.” Her voice finally broke, and Sookie put her fingers to her lips, resisting the urge to bite the nails. Pam would slap her hand every time she caught Sookie chewing her nails. “Bartlett only liked t’ look at me ’cause nothin’ of his worked down there… But this guy, he was already thinkin’ ’bout what he wanted t’ do with me.” Sookie leaned forward, pressing her forehead to her knees as she began to sob. “He wanted t’ hurt me. I could see his fantasies of me tied down beneath him, screamin’ and cryin’…” She began to pant harder. “How he wanted t-t’ “tear me up” ‘n’ make me bl-bleed.”
Eric was gripping the steering wheel hard, and when he looked in the rearview mirror, he could see his Pam discretely wiping at bloody tears that were forming in her eyes. Pam had never been what anyone would call sympathetic, let alone maternal, and Eric had never seen his Child react in such a way before. He was unsure if it was because of the story, or because Pam had come to like Sookie, but Eric could feel through his Maker/Child bond that Pam had been shaken to the core.
Eric nodded slowly. “I am very proud of you, Little One, you showed great strength tonight. Not just by keeping your shields intact, but by describing your history so strongly. It took a lot of courage to retell that darkness in your past. It took even more courage to tell Pam and I what you could not tell the police.”
Sookie blushed a bit over the praise, but kept her gaze trained on her knees as she straightened up. She was still hiccuping with sobs, but Eric could feel the sense of reassurance Sookie had flowing through her, and he took her hand to squeeze it gently.
“Sookie,” Eric began carefully, “I have been considering this for a while, and would like to take you to Dallas next week.”
“Really? I’ve never been out of Louisiana before!” Sookie beamed, forgetting the hardships of the evening for that brief moment.
“I will be introducing you to Godric,” Eric continued.
“Oh, so I’m gonna meet more vampires?” She faltered a bit, still not completely assured with herself that she was ready to meet more of the undead.
“A few. Godric’s nest is larger. He likes to keep a closer watch on his subordinates than I do, and tends to keep the more spontaneous ones nearby to monitor them. With the Reveal coming up, he wants his Area in order. I too have been monitoring my Area more closely lately to control any upheaval or scandals,” Eric explained.
“Do you think I’m ready for this?”
“I do.” He nodded sharply. “We will be leaving Monday.”
“Monday?” Sookie gasped. “So soon?”
“Yes, it is the only opening he and I will both have for the next five months or so, and I would rather not put it off any longer. Especially with Compton getting so curious about my reasons for staying in my home,” Eric explained. “Also, Pam has found a house of her own and is planning on leaving us next week. So I will be helping her move after we return.”
“Pam… Yer leavin’ us?” The vampires were surprised at the desperation in the girl’s voice. True, Pam and Sookie’s relationship had been turbulent, to be kind, at first, but Sookie had come to see the vampiress as a dear friend soon after.
“Not to worry, Little Sookie, I will still be around. Also, after Eric has introduced you to his Maker, I am sure it will not be uncommon for you to accompany us on Sheriff’s business,” Pam explained.
“Why after I meet Godric?” Sookie frowned.
“I will explain that on the trip to Dallas,” Eric evaded the answer.
“Are you comin’ to Dallas with us, Pam?” Sookie asked.
“No, I am not. As I understand it, Eric knew this would be your first trip out of state, and he thought it would be nice for just the two of you to go. Besides, I must keep the Area in order in Eric’s absence.” she explained patiently.
“I’m gonna be so bored during the day.” Sookie sighed sadly. She doubted Godric would trust her enough with his pass codes so that she could leave the house, and she thought it would be terribly impolite to make long distance calls to Angie during her stay.
“I have arranged for you to have a driver to take you shopping and see the sights,” Eric assured.
“It’s not the same.” She pouted a bit childishly. “A driver isn’t gonna tease me or play word games with me.”
Eric chuckled. “That is true, but I will be dead for the day, as always. You will have my credit cards, though, and may buy whatever you like. There are many more stores in Dallas.”
Sookie shrugged. “I like spendin’ time with you, not yer money.”
Pam made a gagging noise in the back seat. “You just haven’t found your vice yet. May I introduce you to my shoe collection?”
“I’ve seen yer shoes, Pam.” Sookie giggled.
“Might I suggest you go to La Perla?” Eric wriggled his eyebrows.
“The closest one to Dallas is in San Marcos… That’s a 3 hour drive depending on who’s behind the wheel.” Pam rolled her eyes. “Godric’s residence has a swimming pool, though. She could spend the days swimming, or tanning. I know she likes to lay about in the sun.”
“I don’t know how to swim,” Sookie interjected.
Pam looked put out. “Little Sookie, we have so much to teach you,” she sighed.
“I look forward to it.” Sookie grinned as Eric pulled up to the front of his home.
“Master,” Pam addressed, “I am going to change and then go find a meal.”
“As you wish, Pam.” Eric nodded, opening Sookie’s door as Pam’s flung open and the vampiress was in the house before Sookie could accept Eric’s hand. “My child is so impatient.” He shook his head bemusedly, leaving the car running since Pam would be using it shortly.
As the pair walked up the steps to the front door, Sookie felt the gust of air as Pam flew past them. When the Escalade was pulling out of the driveway, the young woman turned to her vampire and laid beseeching eyes upon him. “Make love to me?” she requested shyly.
Eric did not need the link he had to feel her need. It was not a carnal need that shone in her eyes, it was strangely subdued in fact. It had been a while since he had seen his lover so unsure about asking for pleasure. Only, he knew it was not pleasure she was seeking tonight. She needed acceptance, to feel wanted. Sookie needed to feel his want for her, to reassure that he was not repulsed by her- even though he had proven many times before that he had never seen her past as a disgrace against her.
“All night, my Lover.” Eric purred, wrapping his arm around her waist, and tugging Sookie against his body before he claimed her lips. Her arms wrapped around his neck, holding him tightly to her.
“Gently?” she asked in a breathless whisper when he released her lips.
“Mmm,” he moaned, “my pleasure.” Happy to oblige any request as he lifted her from the ground and carried her through the front door, kicking it shut. Sookie’s arms remained wrapped around his neck as he carried her into his bedroom. As he placed her on the bed, Eric lightly patted her hands as they went to remove her clothes. “No, Lover, stay just like that for now.” He winked, making Sookie bite her lips in anticipation as she relaxed back against the bed.
The girl watched as Eric moved about his room slowly. She always found it soothing when he moved at a human pace because she felt less rushed. Although, she did not mind him moving at vampire speed when he was inside her. Tonight, though, she wanted slow and gentle, and her vampire was delivering just that.
Eric lit a few candles and adjusted the light dimmer to a soft glow. Turning to the wall stereo, he tuned a soft station on, it was instrumental, but not classical. Sookie could not place the genre, but she was not paying particular notice to the music.
As Eric sauntered over to the bed, Sookie held her arms out for him, which he gladly fell in to. Their lips met gently as Eric let a bit more of his weight rest against her than usual. She wanted to feel his closeness tonight, all of him, and he was doing his best to comply with her wishes.
They kissed for what seemed like an eternity before Eric reluctantly left her lips and kissed around her face, along her jaw and to her throat. She moaned appreciatively as he paid this area particular attention. Eric licked and nibbled at her neck, but did not allow his elongating fangs to penetrate it. Tonight was about Sookie, and he was in no need of nourishment at the moment.
Finally, having played with her carotid long enough and felt its thrilling pulse against his tongue, Eric continued lavishing her skin with his tongue. He kissed the thin strap of her dress down her shoulder before repeating this action on the other side, a gentle gesture that made Sookie’s heart pound.
Sookie whimpered and rolled her hips slightly as Eric continued to take things slowly. It was difficult for her to keep her body still and just enjoy his ministrations. She wanted to touch him too!
Acting on this impulse, Sookie reached out and began combing her fingers through Eric’s long, golden hair. Her fingertips twirled the long strands as he pushed her dress down… down… down and kissed the valley between her breasts. As he sucked a hardening nipple between his cool lips, Sookie shuddered helplessly beneath him. He nibbled and sucked tenderly before giving the same treatment to its twin.
By the time Eric was finished lavishing her breasts with his attention, Sookie was a trembling wreck upon their bed. Eric could not help his self-satisfied grin as he continued dragging her sundress down the length of her body. When only her dainty pink thong remained, Eric nuzzled against the fabric, breathing in the heavy smell of her arousal and licking her through the fabric. With a resounding mewl, Sookie arched pitifully against the mattress. Eric, however, continued to tease and keep her dangling in her delicious delirium while his cool hands massaged her inner thighs.
“Eric, oh! Eric!” she murmured helplessly.
Delighted with her responses, the vampire caught the thin bands of her panties and tore them effortlessly, flinging the useless scrap of fabric away before burrowing his mouth against her sex. Sookie cried out in relief, finally receiving what she had anticipated for seemingly an eternity.
Her cries and mewls of pleasure rung in Eric’s sensitive ears as he flickered his tongue and invaded her entrance with his worshiping fingers. After he had made her climax twice, he finally gave in to his own want and began removing his clothing.
Sookie sat up slowly and began assisting him in his disrobing. She licked her lips excitedly as she began undoing his belt buckle, and Eric merely gazed down at her after removing his shirt. When she had opened his pants, Sookie immediately took him into her mouth, stroking his base as she began pleasuring him.
“You are a wonder, my Sookie.” Eric groaned as her tricky little tongue danced against his sensitive skin.
After climaxing in her mouth, Eric gently pushed Sookie back onto the mattress as he leaned over her. Slowly, he pressed the tip of his member against her wet slit, rocking sedately back and forth, going steadily deeper with each stroke. Sookie whimpered at his pace, but did nothing to entice him into speeding up. She was enjoying the slow torture.
Soon, Eric was all the way inside of her, rocking with an abrupt thrust at the deepest point of his stroke, forcing a longing cry from his lover. He did this repeatedly, adding the ministrations of his fingers to her clit as he did so.
Sookie nearly screamed when he did this, and soon she was plummeting down the mysterious path of multiple orgasms. Eric groaned as her internal muscles squeezed and contracted around his cock in an agonizingly sweet grip.
With a series of irrepressible jerks of his hips, Eric came inside of her with a satisfied moan. The lovers recovered slowly, Eric’s cool body splayed out beside Sookie’s hot, sweating one as she tentatively turned onto her side and nestled her head against his chest.
“I cannot believe how much better you get every time I have you.” Eric nuzzled her hair gently. “Every time I begin to think you could not please me more, you surprise me.” He closed his eyes as he took a deep breath of her scent. Sookie chuckled against his chest, too tired to giggle like she had intended. “Are you nervous about Monday?” he asked quietly.
“Should I be…? Do you think Godric won’t like me?” she asked, worried now.
Eric sighed. “I did not mean to alarm you. No, lover, you should not be worried about my Maker. I am curious to how he will respond to you, though. He was quite amused when I turned Pam, for I had been alone for so long up until then. When he met my Child, he was very happy. I am curious how he will react when he finds that I will be Bonding to a human.”
“Can he object?” Sookie asked breathlessly.
“He is my Maker. He may do whatever he pleases.” Eric shrugged. “However, he would not do that to me. Godric is quite… Intrigued by humans. I am certain that he will be even more captivated with one that has so thoroughly enthralled me.”
“Eric, do you really mean it when you say you want to Bond to me?” Sookie asked quietly.
“Lover, I would not be taking you to meet my Maker if I were not serious. I did not introduce Pam to Godric until she was nearly 50 years old, and here I am dragging you to Dallas unprepared so that I do not have to wait another 5 months!”
“Can I ask you a question?” Sookie murmured.
“You know that you are always welcome to ask questions.” Eric smiled down at her.
“I’m not sayin’ that I’m truly thinkin’ about it yet, but I want to know if bein’ Bonded would cause any differences.” Sookie bit her bottom lip, a trait Eric found absolutely adorable of his little lover. “If I ever decided that I wanted you to make me into a vampire,” Eric would have skipped a heartbeat if his heart still could when she uttered that wonderful phrase, “would bein’ Bonded make it any different than your relationship with Pam?”
“Oh, yes, Lover.” Eric’s voice was huskier than normal, since the topic was one that made his entire body thrum with energy. “Very different.”
“How so?” Sookie looked up at him awkwardly, planting her chin into his pectoral muscle to do so.
Sitting up slightly, Eric leaned against the headboard as he made Sookie more comfortable, stroking his lover’s golden hair as her head slid into his lap. “Where Pam was eventually free to roam after she had been properly trained and adapted to vampirism, a Bonded pair never part after the human half is turned. They would crumble without one another. If the Maker were to die, the Child would be unable to continue on, and would meet the sun. If the Child were lost… Well, it usually ends in the same manner, though some of them manage to recover. That usually only happens when the Maker’s own Master steps in and prevents them from meeting the sun.”
“That’s so sad.” Sookie frowned.
“Ah, but, Lover, would it not be sadder if a Bonded pair could never meet again? Even humans look forward to the afterlife to be reunited with their Love,” Eric told her.
“Yes, I guess you’re right.” Sookie sighed. “But just so you know, I was just askin’ because in case I change my mind about becomin’ a vampire. I’m still not sure about it,” she warned him.
“That is very studious of you.” Eric nodded. When she looked at him curiously, Eric explained, “Studious means to pay close attention to something.” Sookie nodded in understanding. “All right then.” He leaned down to kiss her forehead.
Over the months, it was true that Sookie’s vocabulary had grown immensely, but it was still common for Angie, Pam, and Eric to utter words that left the girl entirely baffled. To her relief, they never snickered at her for this, and promptly gave her the definition or a synonym for the word she was unfamiliar with.
“I won’t have to talk too much, will I?” Sookie realized with bewilderment. “I don’t want your Maker to think that I’m dumb!”
Eric smiled down at her. “I assure you that Godric will not look down upon you for this. Indeed, he may enjoy trying to teach you some things while we are visiting.” Eric brought her hand to his lips to kiss it. “He is quite an enthusiastic teacher when willing students present themselves.”
“I hope he’s patient,” Sookie mumbled.
Eric chuckled, “Well, he has put up with me for a few hundred years…”