Catalyst Ch. 34

Chapter Thirty-Four: Camilla

Sookie’s POV:

This is Camilla?” I ask while staring at the photo Pam’s handed to me and I feel Eric begin to worry in our Bond. I’ve had the last few hours to mentally train myself to start thinkin’ of this girl as a stranger and now that I have a photo of her, it’s a little easier to reinforce my new mindset.

It is,” Pam nods impatiently.

How was she?” I ask, looking to Pam because she doesn’t try to protect me as much as Eric does.

Funny,” Pam smiles. “Much more aware than I thought she would be. She holds conversations very naturally. We were very lucky that Grissom didn’t seem to have gotten very far in her mental deconstruction. Her memories are gone, but her personality is still very acceptable. She’s funny, sweet, polite, and quite pleasant to be around. She cried a bit, but I did not mind. It seemed appropriate.”

I roll my eyes, “She’s been through some major trauma. I think tears are more than appropriate.”

I am going shopping for her once the stores are open. You are coming with me,” Pam says, point-blank. “I need you to buy her groceries. She seems to remember foods she enjoyed. Do you recall any she preferred?”

Her favorite Gatorade was the blue one and I know she liked the banana cream pie yogurt,” I offer, stretching my memory back and pleased to find it’s awkward, trying to think of Zoey. Maybe I could think of Zoey as Camilla’s deceased sister? That works for me. Jason and I have quite a few similar food preferences. Siblings can have a lot in common. “She hated pretzels… She was big on sunflower seeds,” I recall her munching on them constantly in the dugout. “She could wolf down a pizza. I think her favorite was sausage and mushroom. That’s all I really knew about them,” I finish after exhausting my memories.

She said she likes chicken,” Eric mentions. “Would you mind taking some from last night’s dinner to her?”


I look at my Bonded in surprise, “You want me to see her tomorrow?” This is a bit surprising since he was so adamant about me not meetin’ her just a few hours ago.

Eric nods, “I can feel you are already thinking of her as Camilla. You have already been mentally preparing yourself for this and I will not deny that you are probably the best suited for helping all of us assist her.”

My telepathy, I realize. Bein’ surrounded by vampires all the time has sort of made my gift somethin’ I have and not somethin’ I am. It’s nice to finally identify as ‘Sookie’ and not ‘the telepath.’

I want to help,” I tell him pointedly.

I know,” Eric sighs and pulls me into his arms. “I just cannot resist my impulse to protect you from things such as these.”

It’s a big, bad world out there, but I’ve known that a long time, Eric,” I remind him. “Jason and I have had all kinds of terrible things happen to or around us, but we still grew up to be pretty decent people. Camilla won’t change that any more than all the other unpleasantness. Besides, makin’ someone’s life better helps me remember that even though it can be a big, bad world, there’s a chance at happiness and dreams comin’ true. I don’t mind facin’ the bad things and makin’ them better whenever I can.”

I feel his love for me swell in our Bond, and there is this all-consuming sense of pride and awe. The sensation washes through me, filling me with this consciousness of being some walkin’ Goddess, all because Eric worships me in his heart.

Pam groans and walks toward the stairs, “Sookie, I will retrieve you in five hours. Take a shower afterward, so you are not sticky.”

I roll my eyes while Eric chuckles and lifts me from underneath my bottom. He carries me to our bedroom and flops me down.

Seriously,” I begin to accuse, “she doesn’t have to comment every time I get the ‘love me eyes’.”

Yes, she does, because she is Pam,” Eric replies, layerin’ himself over me and kissin’ at my neck. His hands are sneakin’ under my clothes, removing them quickly, but somehow not makin’ his efforts seem impatient. Soon, I am naked beneath him, and his mouth is lickin’ and kissin’ me all over until my nerve endings are singin’ praises to his perfect mouth.

Eric,” I groan when his hands join his prayer service. They knead my fleshy parts as his mouth continues lickin’ and sucking. My breasts, hips, thighs, and butt are all rubbed down until I feel like molten chocolate, all hot and gooey.

I shimmy a little when Eric splits my legs open and begins lavishing attention on my center. He’s all reverent and slow. He builds me higher and higher until my hips won’t stay in place and his strong hands are holdin’ them still.

Please, Darlin’,” I moan softly as I feel his tongue snake into me. My fingers comb into his long, long hair and twist it around my fist. God, I love his hair all long and thick like this! They are his reins and I have become a competent rider in our time together. His mouth spurs into action at my sharp, little tug and I cry out pleasurably while I enjoy the benefits of his experience.

Eric’s in a particularly giving mood, makin’ me cum over and over again until my body feels disjointed and sluggish. When I can barely move, he rolls me onto my side and slips in gently from behind. I let out a soft, exhausted moan as he moves slowly and smoothly inside me. His large hand is cuppin’ my breast and squeezin’ it gently as he begins to kiss his way up my neck.

I groan when I predict the path of his lips to my ear. Soon he’s suckin’ it soft and slow, and somehow my body manages to experience one last, world-ending climax. It’s so intense and deep that Eric gets dragged over the edge with me, and I suck in oxygen greedily as his cock fills me with his pleasure.

Mmm, you spoil me, Northman,” I murmur into my pillow.

I enjoy spoiling you,” he whispers against my sensitive ear.

Ah, get away from my ear,” I plead once I realize I’m too stimulated to tolerate it. “I’m too tired to cum again.”

He laughs softly and scoots away, rollin’ me onto my back, so he can pillow his head to my breast. I sigh happily when he does and wrap my arms around his head, holdin’ him to me.

Mmm,” I hum again. “I like lyin’ here this way with you.”

As do I, Sookie,” he assures me, runnin’ his hand against the softness of my belly.

I feel him become pensive while we lay all cozy and content. He’s still playin’ with my belly, and I know what’s got him preoccupied. I don’t comment, though, because I enjoy this building anticipation in him. Every day, what originally blossomed as relief becomes enthusiasm for the day when I become pregnant. In the beginning, Eric had only been excited to find I could bear his children because he knew it meant so much to me. Now that excitement has truly begun to transform into his very own anticipation. My Eric wants to be a father nearly as much as I want to be a mother. It makes my heart swell with even more love for him.

Eric sucks in a surprised breath when he feels my affection radiate and he nuzzles against my breast.

All too soon, Pam’s knockin’ on our door and I groan in protest. I want to stay in bed with my husband! I give him a pout and Eric gives my lips a gentle kiss.

One-hour warning!” Pam shouts at me. “Start getting ready!”

When Eric gnashes his teeth at my chin, I groan. Thoughts of mutiny spring to mind, but I know there’s no use sayin’ no to Pam when it comes to shopping.

Turning onto his front, Eric straddles my hips and leans down to cage his arms on either side of my head. His long hair casts a curtain over us, and I inadvertently moan at the intimacy of being in his arms. “She will come in and drag you out from beneath me if we try to resist,” he warns in a conspiratorial voice, makin’ me giggle.

I need to shower,” I tell him with a gentle peck of his lips. “I’d ask you to join me, but then I’d never be ready in an hour.”

He laughs and rolls off me, floppin’ over to my side of the mattress. Regretfully, I clamber off the bed and start for the bathroom. Quicker than I thought I could, I am ready to begin my day and Pam barely lets me eat any breakfast before she’s shovin’ me into her van.

Camilla’s POV:

This is very good, Camilla,” Godric tells me excitedly after I hand over the paper of math problems he’s given me. “Your math skills are superb.”

Thanks,” I mumble, embarrassed by his praise.

So far, we’ve done a vocabulary test where he gave me a list of words and asked me to write a definition for each one. I did pretty well on it. Then, there was a chemistry test that started with me listing as many chemical elements and their symbols as I could, though I did less than great on that one. Biology came after that and he said my answers were passable. I don’t think I did all that well. We tried history and nothing he asked sounded familiar to me, but, for some weird reason, The Pledge of Allegiance is still in my head along with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That’s about all I know. Finally, we did math, and it seems to be my best subject.

This is a very good thing, Camilla,” Godric tells me with a smile. “It means you only have to relearn history. Your sciences are sloppy, but still at a high school level. I would probably give your vocabulary a college-level comprehension.”

Um,” I begin slowly, a strange urge compelling me, “are there stories that might teach me history? I think I like to read.”

Hmm,” Godric becomes thoughtful, “I think we should focus on a classroom style for you to learn history before blending fact and fiction.”

Okay.”

I think he heard the disappointment in my tone because he gives me a comforting smile, “What if I told you my own historical stories? That way, it may feel as if you are listening to a book rather than reading a textbook? You must take notes, though.”

Godric has explained to me about vampires, that he and the other three people I met last night are vampires as well. I don’t know if it’s the amnesia or what, but I didn’t find it all that difficult to accept, especially after he showed me his fangs.

May I ask you a question, Godric?”

Of course,” He nods, cleaning up the papers from our little tests.

How old were you when you became a vampire?” I ask curiously.

Late teens,” he says without looking up.

You look older,” I grimace.

Godric gives me a chagrinned smile, “Most of my adolescent years were very harsh on my body. I suppose it may have aged me. How old do I look?”

I shrug. My brain can’t conjure any images of people to really give an answer. It’s really the most bizarre thing, “I really don’t know. Something about you just makes me think you’d be older than a teenager.” That makes me wonder, “How old am I?”

It’s Godric’s turn to frown now, “Now that you ask, I do not know. I should ask Sookie. She would probably know.”


Why would… OH!

Did she know me before I was attacked!?” I ask excitedly.

I see by his expression the answer is yes, but I don’t know why he looks saddened by it.

Camilla,” He sits down across from me and looks me straight in the eyes. “This might be difficult for you to accept, but when I explained what happened to you last night, it was so you would accept there is no recovering who you were before the attack. The girl you used to be, apart from some of your preferences, is gone forever. I do not wish for you to try to be a ghost of your former self.”

But if you knew who I was, you could take me to my family!” I insist. “They could reteach me who I was, and-”

Camilla,” he stops me, “you will never be their daughter again. They will cling to the hope that someday you would regain your memory, but it will never happen. I do not want to tell you who you are.”

But-”


“Camilla,” he interrupts again, “this is not just about what you want. It is about safety. If it were discovered we allowed you to return to your family after being exposed to the vampire world in such an irreversible way, your memories would be erased again and you would not be sent home afterward.”

Wh-why?” I ask sadly.

Because in a few short years, vampires will make themselves known to humans. When that happens, the International Council of Vampires will not want someone alive who could negatively spin the vampire community. If it were found out that there was a vampire out there who physically modified humans, erased their minds, and sold them, our entire race would suffer the consequences. The Council will never allow that to happen.”

I consider Godric’s words for a moment. Does this mean I’ll be his… What? Roommate? Prisoner? Captive? I don’t understand what he’s telling me. Will I ever be free to go out on my own again? Now that I know the truth about vampires and what they’re capable of, will Godric ever let me go?

Camilla?” he calls my name carefully.

I think I’m going to go lie down for a little bit,” I tell him while I rise from my seat at the kitchen counter.

All right,” He looks resigned and it makes my heart clench. I’m a vampire’s captive!

Quietly, I make my way to the bedroom and flop on to the bed while I try to consider all that has happened to me in the past fifteen hours. Longer if you count the hours I can’t remember…

What does he care if I know math and history? Why does it matter if I’ll be in this prison for the rest of my life, no matter how nice it is? Who would help me escape? If I did escape, what could I possibly say that won’t end up with me in a mental facility?

My heart’s pounding in my chest and I think I’m going to be sick. Soon I am off the bed and pacing anxiously. Sure, Godric’s been really nice to me, but so what? He’s still holding me in isolation with him. He’s still refusing to tell me who I used to be. Doesn’t he realize that it’s important to me to know!? I may not ever be able to become that girl again, but it would have been nice to know who I was.

Going over to the mirror, I look at my reflection. My face is still a little bruised, but the incisions are healed by Godric’s blood. He had cut open his fingers and traced the blood against the incisions, healing them almost instantly. Only, his blood would never manage to heal me in the way I desperately wanted it. My heart hurts and as it clenches anxiously, tears spill from my eyes and I watch the stranger’s face cry. It’s ugly and terrified. This stranger’s face does not cry beautifully.

How much of this face is even mine? How much of this body? Who am I really? What’s going to happen to me?

I jump at the knock on my door and quickly brush aside my tears. Tentatively, I open the door and see a taller, blonde girl, standing there with a smile.

H-hi,” I greet nasally.

Hi, Camilla, I’m Sookie,” The blonde smiles at me widely and I’m taken aback. She’s got a real nice tan, so she’s definitely not a vampire. I quickly remember that Sookie is the name of Eric’s wife, so I slowly open my door further. “May I come in?” She’s got a container of food and it’s steaming, as if it just came out of the microwave. The smell of it makes my stomach growl.

Sure,” I step out of the doorway to let her in and Sookie goes to the bed and sits down, like this is an ordinary exchange between friends. “What is that?”

Chicken,” she says with an impish, little grin. “Eric told me you were cravin’ it last night. Just so happens I made some for Christmas dinner. I hope you don’t mind leftovers. I didn’t know if you were a white or dark meat gal, so I brought a little of everythin’. I could eat a whole chicken myself, so I’ll eat whatever you don’t want.”

Slowly, I make my way over to sit across from her on the bed, eyeing her nervously, “You’re the one who knew me before…”


Her smile falters, “Yeah, I did.”

Do I look very different?” I ask, looking at the chicken hungrily.

I wouldn’t have recognized you,” she says apologetically. “You look real nice, though. Even with the bruises, I can see you’re a very pretty girl.”

Was I pretty before?” I ask curiously.

You were pretty,” she says with a soft smile, but quickly changes the subject, “I brought some groceries. Everything’s in the fridge or pantry.”


“Thank you,” I say softly.

I was wonderin’ if, after your face isn’t so bruised, you’d like to go shoppin’ with me?” She pushes the container of food at me, and I slowly reach for a leg.

Just you and me?” I ask in surprise. No vampire guard?

Well, you, me, and my brother. I don’t drive yet,” She grimaces in embarrassment.

I stare at her a moment, “I have amnesia and I know how to drive.”

Sookie giggles and tells me, “My brother and husband like drivin’ me around, and Pam can’t stand humans drivin’. She says we’re all way too slow.”

I begin to eat the chicken I’ve picked up, and, at the first bite, I feel like dissolving into a puddle of goo. So goooood…

My Gran’s recipe,” Sookie must have noticed my eyes rolling into the back of my head. “I was happy when I heard you wanted chicken. Comfort food is kinda my thing.”

It’s definitely your thing,” I agree and quickly devour the entire container of chicken. It’s only when I’m scraping the meat off the last bone I realize I didn’t leave her anything. “I’m sorry! I just couldn’t stop eating!”

Sookie laughs again and shakes her head, “No big deal. I’ve got plenty back home.”

We sit quietly for awhile, me licking my fingers clean, and her watching me expectantly. After I’ve run out of distractions, I look at my cleaned hands, and mumble, “So… What can you tell me about myself?”

She shrugs, “I don’t know, Cammie. I guess we gotta figure that out together.”

But… You knew me before…” I trail off. It hurts having to ask a stranger about myself.

I feel her take my hand and I look up into her big blue eyes, “Why do you want to learn about a total stranger whom you’ll never meet? You are a brand-new person with a world waiting for her, Camilla. You don’t have to meet any expectations of a ghost. You only owe yourself happiness. Will knowing who you were make you happy? If it will, I will tell you everything I know, but if you only want to know that stranger’s life to try and become her, then maybe you should let her go. Tryin’ to be someone you’re not could be awful taxing.”

Am I not who I was? If I’m someone new, then who am I?

I just don’t know what to do…” I finally whisper my confession. “Searching for my past just seems like a direction.”

Sookie nods at my explanation, “How about we start with finding out what you like?” She pulls a small rectangle with headphones from her pocket. It takes me a second to recognize it as an MP3 player. “I put a bunch of different music on here. I even had Pam help me get a good mix of genres. Why don’t you take this and when you feel like it, listen and pick out songs you like?” I nod slowly while I accept the music player. “Oh, and I brought a whole bunch of movies. Classics, romances, comedies, thrillers, the whole cinematic experience.” She takes the movies out of her giant purse and puts them on my bed, followed by several books.

When there is a mountain of media on my bed, and I am in a daze, trying to figure out how it all fit into her purse, Sookie looks at me with a smile. “Start here,” she says, “See if any of this fills some of the void you’re feelin’ right now. Next week, you, Jason and I will go out and do the human thing. Just give this a week, Camilla, and if you’re still feelin’ lost without your past, I’ll tell you as much as I can, but for now? Will you try to discover a bit for yourself? Please don’t make me tell you who you were or who you need to be now?”

I do not want to tell you who you are, Godric’s words ring in my ears. Oh! Tears spring to my eyes. He hadn’t meant that he wanted to keep secrets from me! He just doesn’t want to influence who I am or who I’ll become! That’s what all of this is about… Not making me feel as if I need to be whoever I was. For the first time, I appreciate the burden they have kept from weighing on my shoulders. Finally, I realize no matter whose face I saw in that mirror, it would be a stranger’s.

These vampires and this woman are protecting me. They are letting me become my own person again after having my identity stripped away from me completely. I don’t have to be anyone but myself, whoever that may be…

A sob escapes my lips just as all these realizations come barreling through me. It is one of gratitude and relief. Suddenly, I fling my arms around Sookie and she just holds me while I cry. I don’t know how long it lasts, but with every tear her shirt absorbs, it’s a weight off my overtaxed mind.

Sookie’s POV:

Who’s Camilla?” I ask of my Bonded while we lay naked in our bed back in the Shreveport condo.

Hmm?” he murmurs, knowin’ it’s my night for sleep, not wantin’ to break the spell of my enforced fatigue.

Godric was so adamant about not namin’ Camilla, but all of a sudden, the name seemed so valuable to him, at least significant enough to break down his resistance. So, who was Camilla?” I ask once more, still keepin’ my eyes closed.

Eric remains quiet for a long time, but eventually he sighs, holding me closer, “Camilla would have been Godric’s Fellow Child. It is a term we use for progenies sired by the same Master.”

Would have been?” I ask curiously.


“Godric murdered her before she could be turned,” Eric whispers, then kisses the top of my head. “Livius, Godric’s Maker, was a sadistic fuck,” I flinch whenever Eric uses that word out of anger. Its use is always accompanied by a surge of an unidentified emotion I have yet to comprehend. “He did things to Godric, unspeakable things. Aside from the sexual abuse, Livius branded and tattooed Godric, turning his body into a personal canvas. Once Livius was satisfied with his mutilation, he made it immortal.”

I swallow hard, “How long?”

As a mortal, Godric survived probably more than four years as Livius’ doll. He cannot be certain because of the glamouring he was under, but he recalls the annual festival he was purchased at occurring at least four times while he was mortal. That is why he is not certain of the age he was when he was finally turned. He knows he was thirteen when he was bought, so he thinks he might have been seventeen or eighteen when he was turned, but he may have easily lost memories of several festivals while under glamour.” I can feel through our Bond that Eric isn’t very comfortable sharing Godric’s past with me. He probably feels it isn’t his business to be telling me these things.

And Camilla?” I whisper, my eyes open, staring at him anxiously.


“Sookie, you will never fall asleep at this rate,” he chastises.

It’s okay. School doesn’t start for a little while yet,” I remind him, propping myself on my elbows to watch him intently.

With a rueful smile, he tells me, “Camilla was Livius’ new doll. He only had her a week before Godric managed to kill her.”

But-”

Godric could not hope to overtake his Maker,” Eric stops my interruption. “Instead, he took the only opportunity he had and stopped Camilla from being abused and tortured in the same way he had.”

He killed her,” I whisper. “He couldn’t free her body, so he freed her soul.”

Eric blinks at me in surprise, “Yes.”

So, our Camilla is something like Godric’s second chance at saving a girl being hurt by a sadistic vampire? From her being turned into a ‘doll’?” I ask.


“I believe so,” Eric nods.

Why ‘doll’?” I ask, worryin’ my lip between my teeth, not truly wanting the answer.

Simply because they are entertainment or collectables. They are meant to be played with or admired, to be done with as seen fit by their owners,” Eric’s voice is becoming darker, more intense. The emotions in our Bond are swirling with anger and distaste.

Have you ever owned a doll?” I ask in a quiet tone.

No.”

Because of Godric?”

No, because I do not collect. I have never been a collector,” Eric spits. “I have never pretended to be an innocent, Sookie, I never will. In my human years, yes, I fought for land and honor. I led men to their deaths and many times I fought in those grim valleys for my own life, right alongside them. I toasted the glory of a win and I mourned the loss of fallen brothers. Yet, my Maker never had to teach me the wrongs of stripping away another’s identity,” Eric stops abruptly after I subconsciously shift away from him.

We are silently staring at one another and I feel him in our Bond, searchin’ the way he always does after he tells me horrible things. I’m so frazzled, even I’m curious as to what it is I’m feelin’.

Please do not be frightened of me,” Eric whispers after another eternity of silence. “I am sorry-”

Shh,” I press my finger to his lips. “You just got real intense, and… I felt The Viking. I’ve never had a real glimpse of him, y’know? It shocked me to feel that, not just because it was so frightening, but because it’s as though there’s some ancient emotion attached to it that doesn’t exist anymore. It was intense and dark and, yes, very scary. Incomprehensible,” I finally determine. “It’s scary because I don’t even know how I could ever begin to understand it.”

I hope you never do,” Eric whispers into my hair and starts runnin’ his hands through it soothingly. “There are ways I felt as a human and when I was a fledgling vampire that have no purpose in modern society.”

All I can do is lay there and silently absorb all I’ve learned and felt over the past twenty minutes. Godric, Livius, and the Camilla of the Roman Empire, Eric with his Viking heritage and pride; I believe that’s what the whole thing came down to for him back then, pride. I don’t want to think about it or try to justify it. Those were not my vampires.

Who Eric, Godric, and Pam are now; that’s what’s important. They are the ones I have chosen to let into my heart.

On to Chapter Thirty-Five!

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Catalyst Ch. 33

Chapter Thirty-Three: Incoming Compton

Eric’s POV:

There are many advantages to being an Impervious Immortal. One of them is that when my prey must stop and rest, or in this case, die for the day, I am not forced to end my pursuit. Grissom had been forced to take shelter, while I remained capable of tracking. His underwhelming ability for going into hiding allowed me to catch him before noon the next morning.

He had attempted to make a land run to Dallas before catching a plane to some other continent and beginning his hundred-year exile from North America. The Bossier airport is not an international one, and New Orleans would be the equivalent of jumping into the lion’s den. Of course, none of that matters, because I am sitting in front of the spot where he buried himself leaned against a tree, and texting my Bonded repeated apologies.

Merry Christmas…- E

Will you be back by tonight? – S

It is very likely. Already caught up with Grissom. – E

That was quick? -S

I have unfair advantages. -E

I missed you this morning. -S

Missed you too, Dear One. -E

When do you think you’ll be home? -S

In Texas. Earliest I will be home is nine. Have to detain Grissom for trial. -E

We can pretend tonight is Christmas Eve and tomorrow’s Christmas… -S

I smile at her antics, but also shake my head. These holidays are strangely important to her. It is difficult to fathom. In the back of my mind, I picture us decades down the road, gathered around a dining table, all holding hands as Sookie recites grace to the children she will bear. The vampires of our family will remain at the table with our living family, all of us enjoying some arbitrary holiday or another… It is a strangely satisfying daydream.

What are you thinking about right now? -S

You and babies. -E

(=^_^=) Love you, but I hope we can wait a few more years! -S

Me too. -E

I want to see her become a teacher. Even if she only follows the career a short time before becoming a mother, I want her to reach the dream she has held close to her heart these past years. Perhaps when our children start school, she may return to teaching… I am becoming way too absorbed in this, I realize, chagrinned. How easily my Bonded melts away the restless warrior in me, and makes him a contented man. Centuries of vampirism are chiseled from my soul each passing hour spent under the radiant sun.

But as the sun begins to set, I feel the vampire in me revive from his nap in the brilliant daylight. He is shaking away the lingering laziness of his sleep, grinning expectantly, waiting for his prey to rise. This is the first moment in the last six months where I have fully recognized the duality of my spirit, the vampire warrior and the love-struck Bonded. I will need to thank Grissom for letting my vampire stretch his legs.

As the sun falls beyond the horizon, I send Sookie one last text: Back to work, love you. See you tonight. -E

Be safe. I love you, too. -S She replies quickly, and then, that is all. I wait in silence for Grissom to worm his way to the surface and shake the dirt from his body.

Once I see the mound of dirt start to expand, I rise from the tree that I have rested against all day, and prepare myself for the altercation. Grissom is not one to be taken lightly. He is just less than a century younger than myself. It will be quite the battle should he try to stand up to me.

He senses me, I discern while my body tightens for his readied attack. Grissom has paused before leaving the soil, just below the surface, calculating his best plan for attack. If he is smart, he will try to rush me straight from the grave, and then juke past to flee. He knows better than to try to take me in a prolonged fight. If I am uninjured, he cannot hope to outrun me. I can fly. He cannot.

As I anticipated, Grissom tries to wait me out first, lull me from my fighting stance. Therefore, when he springs from the dirt, he is caught off-guard when I am still ready for him after thirty minutes of waiting. However, he has his own surprise for me. He died for the day holding a stake and as he lunges and feints, his arm swings to deliver the blow.

Missed!” I snarl as he leaves himself vulnerable by letting his arm remain within my grasp after I deflect his attack. Clutching the limb, I swing him against the trunk of my resting tree. Once I have him by the throat and suspended in the air, Grissom looks down in surprise at his weapon buried in my chest.

I let out an angry huff. That was a close one, I realize when I feel the stake between my sixth and seventh rib. With my free hand, I yank the stick from my flesh. “I should end you right here and now for that,” I snarl in his face, “but the Magister would not appreciate being summoned and then sent packing. I suppose I will just have to make you suffer for the entire six evenings of your incarceration!”

With my free hand, I take out a thick, leather glove and use my teeth to tighten it over my hand. Grissom flinches as he knows what is coming after I reach into my pocket and extract a thick chain of silver. I cannot wait for the day when I no longer need the theatrics of these fucking gloves.

I say nothing as I cinch the chain around Grissom’s neck and ascend into the sky with him hung by it. The sound of his sizzling flesh and his hissing complaints are my entertainment all the way back to the warehouse.

Northman,” a slight vampire greets me when I touch down at my meeting place.

Billy Compton,” I grin devilishly just to annoy him. “How are things in New Orleans?”

He offers little more than a shrug, “Procuring is suspended until after the Revelation. I have been twiddling my thumbs, performing errands for Her Majesty to pass the time.”

I nod while I unlock the warehouse door, dragging my prisoner inside. “Why are you looking at me like that, Billy?” I ask when Compton’s eyes continue to stare at me. He thinks he is being subtle, but a vampire and warrior my age knows when he is being observed.

I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but that aura says it all. The Viking is actually Bonded!” Billy shakes his head in disbelief yet again.

Happily,” I tell him with a grin he cannot comprehend. “So, Sophie-Anne is maintaining her Procurement Department, even after the Revelation?”


Compton shrugs, “I guess she’s waiting to see if the laws slacken after we’re out for awhile. She wants to retain me just in case that happens.” He pauses for a moment before looking around, “So, where is this girl you want me to try and put back together?”

I jerk my head over to the silent figure sitting obediently vacant in the corner. Some food containers are stacked neatly beside her, uneaten. Shit, she is worse off than I thought. I can smell her waste in the air, and her incisions look angry. Perhaps I should have asked Godric to look after her…

I can tell from here that she will never be the same girl again,” Compton says with a frown and his face drawn thoughtfully.

See if you can get her cleaned up while I get this one checked in,” I tell the procurer while I drag Grissom to the holding cell. I make quick work of shackling the bastard before coming back upstairs. In the time I was gone, Compton has stripped Zoey down and is carefully scrubbing her body clean. Thankfully, my warehouse has running water, in the event I need to hose things down after a bad meeting.

Any thoughts?” I ask, coming to check on the pair.

Rising to his full height, Compton crosses his arms over his chest and stares at Zoey considerately. “I can restore basic cognition, but the memories he’s wiped are long gone. I don’t know the first thing about rebuilding this girl’s personality. I mean, she’ll have to relearn everything. From what I can tell, language is still intact, simple motor functions are still there… Basic things like that, but the things that made her who she was are lost. She won’t remember a single book she’s read or movie she’s seen. She’ll never remember her family or friends. All the important personality traits that created her are gone. I don’t know what will happen when I turn her back on. Maybe she’ll respond like an amnesiac? The most I can do is switch her back on, so she may start over.”

I run my hand through my hair and sigh, “Be certain that the trauma she sustained from Grissom is wiped clean. Her mind must not be any more fucked up than it is by the sounds of it. I will make some phone calls. Perhaps I might find a facility for her.”

Compton raises his eyebrows at me, “She must have been a mighty good friend to your Bonded.”

No, not really, but Sookie would never forgive me if I did nothing.

Compton takes my silence as confirmation before stating, “Regardless, she will need regular care as her body continues recovering from the surgery. I doubt you could send her to a facility before knowing her face will be unrecognizable from what it was before Grissom got ahold of her.”

I already know she will look nothing like the girl she was,” I rumble, looking Zoey over with a critical eye. New nose, shaved-in cheekbones, and jawline; her squared features have been broken and shaped into the trendier heart-shaped appearance. Her breasts and rear have been augmented, but Grissom never does implants, so, the additional mass probably came from her thighs or belly. Her uterus will have been removed for ‘convenience,’ and her fingerprints have been burned off with acid, then soaked in vampire blood to prevent unsightly scars.

Well, at least I know how he was managing to turn off their cognition,” Compton states with a frown. When he sees my curious gaze, he points to Zoey’s face, “He destroys their physical identity. He puts them under glamour, modifies them, and then when they can’t even recognize themselves in the mirror, it’s that much easier to turn their minds off. They’re traumatized, they’re looking to escape, and he gives them exactly that, a free pass from their own personal hell.”

With the cognitive mind switched off, it is that much easier to deconstruct their personalities until all that is left is a sex and blood doll who can feed itself, use a toilet, and obey simple commands,” I realize.

Exactly.”

How long will you need with her?” I ask after having done my detailed appraisal of her appearance.

Compton tilts his head back and forth thoughtfully a moment, “With how little I might even do for her, I would probably say she’ll be the best I may get her within about four or five hours?” he estimates.

Then I will retrieve her at 4 A.M.,” I nod. “That will give me time to discuss her options with the rest of my Bloodline. There is a safe cache in my office if you decide to remain for the day,” I offer, and he seems surprised I would be inclined to extend its use to him. “I will see you again shortly.”

The vampire nods at me and I leave the warehouse to return to Bon Temps. There is much to discuss this evening.

Godric’s POV:

Everyone is seated in the living room, awaiting Eric’s return to the farmhouse. Sookie has only just finished explaining everything she knows to Jason who is nodding, a grave expression on his face.

Dang,” Jason whispers into his hands. “Poor Zoey…and Eric doesn’t know how bad it is yet?”

He had a specialist come in this evening to examine her. He has just concluded the meeting with him and is returning now to give us the prognosis,” I tell the young man.

Best case, worst case scenarios?” he asks me.

I let out a sigh, “Best case is an amnesiac. She would still have skill sets, preferences, and personality, but no memories to how she obtained them. It causes a wide variety of responses depending on the individual. Anxiety, depression, anger…it depends on her. Worst case scenario is she will be a full-grown woman with the abilities of a toddler. She would need to relearn everything, like using a toilet, speaking, reading…everything. All wrapped in the shell of a human being with no personality whatsoever. I just hope…” When I trail off, the siblings stare at me aghast, and I tell them one of my greater concerns, “Grissom has a habit of removing vocal chords. Usually this is only done on demand as some buyers like their… They like the noises.” I do not want to say the word ‘doll,’ but it is a rather precise term for the products Grissom creates.

Both Sookie and Jason flinch and reflexively touch their throats. Sookie looks particularly upset about the situation, and I can already see her planning to assist in any and all rehabilitation the girl will require. Jason appears sympathetic, but I do not sense any obligation to help her for the long-term.

Before any further discussion takes place, the front door opens, and my Child comes to lean in the archway between the foyer and the living room. Sookie rises quickly from her perch on the sofa arm and wraps Eric in her embrace. “How bad is it?” I hear her ask worriedly.

Eric snakes his arms over her shoulders, kissing the top of her head while he takes her to sit in his lap on the sofa. “It is difficult to say just yet,” he tells her. “Compton is working at turning her cognition back on. We will know more once she can comprehend what is happening around her. Compton said she still has her language and general skills intact. We are hoping for an amnesiac, but we will have to wait and see.”

Did he rip out her voice box?” Jason asks, his leg bouncing anxiously.

I did not see any incisions that would indicate surgical tampering of her vocal chords,” Eric offers. “However, until she tries to speak, I will not know for sure if they have been damaged.”

What do we do now?” Sookie asks quietly.

Eric sighs and leans his head against hers in a movement of comfort, and I see him resigning himself to the presence of another woman in his house and sense his unease. They have a wedding to plan in just under a year and a womb that is a ticking clock of fertility. If Sookie became pregnant in the next few months, she would not have the time nor the energy to devote to Zoey Roth.

What if I took her in?” I am surprised at the sound of my own voice. Four heads turn to look at me with raised eyebrows. All I manage is a slight rise of my shoulders, “I pass for my early-twenties quite easily. If I wear a cap or wig, I will not stand out in public during the day for brief outings, and it is not like I have anything to do until Jason’s transformation.”

Everyone is staring at me silently and I find it quite amusing since I am the one who advocated humanitarianism in our Bloodline.

If she has to redo all her schooling,” Pam finally speaks for the first time since convening in the living room, “Master Godric would be the best to re-educate her. He does not have any obligations to the Louisiana court, or really any responsibilities currently,” She gives me an apologetic bow of her head for stating such a thing. Nevertheless, I offer her a grin because it was a blunt, yet accurate assessment.

Sookie,” Eric looks to his Bonded with hope, “will that ease your mind?”

Tilting her head thoughtfully, she gives me a strange smile and nods, “Yeah, I think that’s a better fit.” I do not know if the expression I give her conveys my curiosity the way I wish it to, seeing as her eyes soften and her mouth relaxes in a contented sweep of her lips. “I think continuous company would do you good,” She shrugs, and all I can manage is to blink at her repeatedly.

Eric lets out a relieved sigh at Sookie’s consent, “I will need to donate some of your clothing. Pam, I want you to take her measurements. You may shop for her tomorrow evening.” He reaches into his pocket, extracts his credit card, and hands it into Pam’s eager fingers.

My pleasure!” Pam clutches the credit card as if it is the answer to life’s greatest questions.

Jason, Sookie,” Eric turns to the siblings, “Godric, Pam, and I will go pick up Ms. Roth at the warehouse, then Godric will take her straight to his residence-”

But-” Sookie begins to protest.


“Sookie, her appearance will upset you greatly. At present, she knows nothing about what she has been through. All she will know is that she is in pain. It is better to treat this situation as normally as possible, help to decrease her anxiety, and assist with getting her settled in with Godric. After she has begun acclimating to him, then we will try socialization,” Eric is in full dictatorship mode, and I must say I find it amusing. He has a much better grasp of human psychology than I once gave him credit for. Then again, he has always relied more on his charisma to win over others than glamour, which might be why he is quite inept at it. I suppose he takes after me.

His Bonded frowns for a moment and I notice she does not appreciate having the law laid down before her. Eventually she purses her lips and states, “I guess I’ll go find some clothes for her. You think my gym clothes would be better? Loose and cozy?”

Eric nods, but he is tense. He knows she is unhappy with him.

After she leaves brusquely, Jason smirks and says to Eric, “Way to piss off your wife.”

She always has to mother everyone,” Eric replies in frustration. “It will be a blessing when she is finally pregnant and has an appropriate outlet for it.”

Until the kid grows up!” Jason laughs.

I watch, amused, from the sidelines while Jason and Eric verbally spar. Perhaps Sookie is correct, and I do need more consistent socialization. The last individual I spent quantifiable amounts of time with was Isabel, still, all our interactions were entirely professional. My Bloodline, which I have mentally added Jason and Sookie to that collective word, is now the only socialization I have. I really am quite the loner.

Eric is much more sociable than myself. He enjoys having quite human interactions, mostly because it offers the opportunity to unleash his sexuality and charisma upon the unsuspecting. He finds it far more gratifying to get what he wants without the use of glamour. I, personally, do not want for much.

Sookie returns with some clothing, dropping it in Eric’s lap, then she flops in to the chair across from him. Eric raises his eyebrows at her actions, staring expectantly for some sort of explanation. When she remains silent and pouting, Eric rises and goes to kneel before her. He still does not say anything, but places his hands on the backs of her calves and begins kneading them.

After a moment of his attention, Sookie’s lip pushes out comically further, and I hear her murmur, “I just want to help.” Eric smiles, leans in, and kisses her protruding lips.

I know, Dear One,” Eric whispers against her lips. “I am only keeping you distanced for both your well-being and Zoey’s.”

She nods in understanding, wrapping her arms around his neck while she whispers, “It’s just hard to be on the sidelines.”

Only until her injuries heal some,” Eric tells her, “and we have a better understanding of the girl she will become. I want you to be prepared and accepting of how she must be treated. I think it might be better if we gave her a new name, not just for her safety, but also for the benefit of understanding she is no longer Zoey Roth. That girl is dead, Sookie. We are not trying to save Zoey. Right now, we are trying to save a lost human woman and make her life one worth living. We cannot begin to bring Zoey back from the dead, but we can give this young woman a chance to live.”

I am nodding in agreement to Eric’s sage words, but when I open my eyes, three pairs are staring back at me. “Did I miss something?” I ask bemusedly at their intent gazes.

What will you name her?” Sookie asks curiously.

Name her?” I ask in surprise. “She is not a puppy or kitten, Sookie.”

Well, we have to call her something,” Sookie points out. “It only seems right that you choose. After all, you’re the one who’ll be interacting with her most often.”

My bemusement quickly shifts to unease. I do not like the idea of naming this woman. It feels too much like I have ordered her from Grissom. The offer to re-educate her had been one of compassion, but naming her feels too much like ownership.

I would prefer not to do so,” I mumble, even as a name whispers in the back of my mind. Camilla, I think, taking my memories back thousands of years. Long, brown tendrils of hair wrapped in my fingers. Big, brown eyes, staring at me in gratitude as I cup her angelic face. That relaxed setting of her lips just as I twisted her lovely neck and ended her torture…

Godric?” Sookie calls me from my reverie, one of great joy and regret. Joy that I could save someone as I had not been saved, and regret that I could do no more than take her life to protect her from my own fate.

Camilla,” My mouth speaks out of turn once again that night. “I will call her Camilla.”

I see my Child’s Bonded close her eyes as the name washes over her. “Camilla,” she repeats, absorbing the name.

Perhaps this time I can do more for a young woman who fell victim to a sadistic vampire.

Eric’s POV:

It is nearing the time we vampires need to depart for the warehouse. I kiss Sookie goodbye before leaving, promising to return as soon as possible. She gives me a soft smile when she walks to the garage to wave goodbye and see us off.

The drive to my Sheriff’s office is a silent one. Pam is tapping my credit card against her nails impatiently and something tells me she will be disguising herself to go shopping today. Admittedly, the day after Christmas the stores are swamped with shoppers, so it would be an optimal time to go unnoticed by the two-natured. Her scent will be diluted amongst all the other bodies and she has been remarkably obedient about staying in during the day.

Yes, Pamela,” I finally sigh once we pull up to the warehouse.

Master?” She looks at me hopefully from the backseat. Her reflection in the rearview mirror is wide-eyed and expectant.

You may shop during the day. Please try to disguise yourself accordingly.

Thank you, Master,” Pam grins, clutching my card excitedly.

Take Sookie with you. You may answer her questions regarding Zo… Camilla,” I tell her.

Yes, Master,” Pam agrees while I park the car and the three of us climb out.

When we enter the main floor of the warehouse, Compton looks up at us in surprise. He had not expected my entire Bloodline to be present.

Is she aware?” I ask.

The young vampire nods, “Yes, but she is very confused.”

Who are you people?” ‘Camilla’ asks, and I am relieved her vocal chords are intact.

These are the friends I told you about,” Compton tells her. “Eric is the one who found you.” He points to me.

Thank you, Eric,” Camilla whispers with a slight bow of her head.

Her arms are placed strategically, attempting to hide her nudity, and I lay the clothes at her knees. “I brought you something to wear. I apologize for the delay,” I offer, rising to my full height.

As one, Compton, Godric, and I turn our backs while Pam steps in to help Camilla dress.

Can you stand?” Pam asks her, and I listen while the women move to clothe her. “She is dressed,” Pam announces, so we turn and face them once more.

What happened to me?” Camilla asks, some of the edge leaving her voice now that she feels less vulnerable.

You were attacked,” Godric tells her.

Is that why I can’t remember anything?” she asks quietly, touching her scalp as if feeling for a bump on her head that would explain her lapse in memory.


“Yes,” Compton tells her.

Thank you for the assist, Compton. We will take it from here,” I dismiss the outsider.

I’m sure Sophie-Anne will send you a bill for my services,” Compton replies before taking his leave. I can tell he is relieved to be let go, though I am not sure why this situation unsettles him so.

What’s going to happen to me?” Camilla asks softly when it is only the four of us.

Godric steps forward, then seats himself on the ground in front of the young woman, “I am going to bring you home with me where we are going to let you heal and rest.”

What then?” she asks desperately, and her arms wrap around her body for some modicum of comfort.

When you are up for it, we will do a few tests to discover anything you remember to do,” Godric explains softly. “Once we have an idea of that, then we will figure out a course of action.”

Camilla nods. “What’s my name?” she asks.

I watch Godric hesitate, “What would you like to be called?”

Camilla clutches her head and sobs, “I don’t know… I just don’t know…”

My Maker pauses again before quietly asking, “May I call you Camilla?”

The girl wipes tears from her large brown eyes and whispers, “That’s a pretty name.” Another tear escapes her eyes and she swipes at it, “Mr. Compton showed me my reflection… I think that name’s too beautiful for me.”

Taking her hand, Godric murmurs, “After all you have been through, so polite and kind… That is beautiful to me.”

I like the name,” she finally accepts it.

All right,” Godric smiles and begins to rise. “Camilla, Eric will drive us back to my home. I have some clothes you may wear until Pam brings us some specifically for you.”

I don’t want to be any trouble,” She looks at Pam apologetically and it makes me chuckle.

Believe me,” Pam drawls, “it is anything but a burden.”

Thank you, Pam,” Camilla smiles at her gratefully, and I must admit that she is quickly earning my admiration.

Do you know if you have a favorite color?” Pam asks curiously.

Camilla’s brow draws together thoughtfully, “Green, I think. Earthy colors and tones…”

Pam nods agreeably, “They would go well with your coloring. Pants, skirts, or dresses?”

Dresses…?” she replies uncertainly. “I don’t think I dislike any of them, though. Honestly, I’ll appreciate anything you bring me…”

Shall we head to the car?” I ask now that my Child has an idea of her shopping list.

Camilla accepts Godric’s hand to help her rise and I note that she moves tentatively. Her surgery is still restricting her movements, but she is quickly accommodating the injuries. When he helps her into the back of the car, Pam comes to sit up front with me, allowing time for Godric to bond with his new ward.

Why are you three helping me so much?” Camilla asks as I turn over the ignition. She quickly adds, “Not that I don’t appreciate it, but I don’t understand.”

Camilla,” Godric murmurs, “I am at a loss of what I should tell you, but I think I should make you aware that you do not just have amnesia. This is not something that will go away. You will never remember your life prior to tonight.”

I listen carefully while she absorbs this and I am not surprised when I hear her sob. Eventually she asks, “Then I’ll always be…”

No, you will make new memories, Camilla. You will make a new life and friends. This is not an end, but a brand-new beginning,” Godric tells her comfortingly. “We are just trying to make this new beginning as viable as possible. Do not think of it as a loss, but an opportunity. I will help you be the best you can be. Whatever you find yourself wanting of yourself, I will do everything in my power to make it happen.”

What is it you want right now, Camilla?” I ask, interrupting Godric’s vows.

A shower,” she replies with a sobbing laugh.


My entire Bloodline chuckles at her comment.

I like her,” Pam declares.

Camilla seems to take Pam’s approval with pride.

What else would you like, Camilla?” I prod her to continue.

She is quiet for some time, but eventually offers, “Something to eat. It’s really the weirdest thing. I don’t remember eating anything, but I can see them and taste them in my head. I want chicken.”

Hmm, my wife made chicken for dinner last night. Do you think you could wait until noon for it? I will have Pam drop some off with your new clothes,” I tell her.

All right,” she easily agrees.

I pull up in front of my condo and turn to Pam, “Grab some food to take over to Godric’s.” Pam jumps out of the car and returns a few minutes later with a bag. “Pop tarts, bananas, and milk?” I give her a strange look.

I will ask Sookie to buy some groceries for her when we go shopping,” Pam shrugs. “She will have a better idea of what to feed her.”

I like bananas,” Camilla tells us. “I think I like them a lot.”

Pam shrugs and snaps a banana from the bunch, then reaches back to hand it to the girl. She peels it and devours the thing quickly. She has eaten all four by the time I arrive at Godric’s residence.

Before the pair can exit, Pam turns in her seat, “Camilla, may I take your photograph?” she asks.

I guess,” The young woman shrugs.

Pam quickly reaches into my glovebox and takes out the Polaroid while simultaneously turning on the cabin light. Camilla automatically gives the camera a shy smile and Pam snaps a quick picture.

Rest well, Camilla,” I tell her while Godric assists the injured woman from the backseat.

Thank you, Eric… For finding me and doing all of this,” Camilla murmurs before she is led to the house.

Once the door is closed and I see my Maker and his new roommate are safely inside, I turn to Pam, “What is the picture for?”

I want to show it to Sookie,” Pam shrugs. “I think with her gift, she might be very capable of helping Camilla.”

I frown at the suggestion, but my Bonded’s telepathy could be more than a little useful. Sookie would be able to read Camilla’s concerns and moods better than any of us and give better assessments of how she may be coping with this ordeal.

She would want to help, Eric,” Pam reads the hesitation on my face accurately.

I sigh, “Yes, I know.”

I thought maybe a picture would help prepare her for meeting Camilla.”

It was a good idea,” I tell her.

Are you going to let her come with me to meet her tomorrow?” she asks me curiously.

We will see how she responds to the picture and then Sookie and I will decide together,” I answer noncommittally. I would prefer to keep distance between the two women for now, but I know Sookie will push for instantly being taken off the bench.

My Sookie… Perhaps Camilla needs to be mothered a little bit…

On to Chapter Thirty-Four!

Catalyst Ch. 32

Chapter Thirty-Two: Christmas Traditions

Jason’s POV:

Fuuuuuck….

“Jason, noooo!” my sister whines while I explore our old house.

Really, I shoulda known better, but without thinkin’, I opened Gran’s old bedroom door and got exactly what I deserved for my lapse in judgement. Fuckin’ sheets everywhere, ropes hangin’ off the bed frame, clothes thrown all over the floor, and blood on just ’bout everythin’. The fuck were they doin’!?

I close my eyes, walk backward, and close the door gently in front of me, “I didn’t open that door. It was closed the entire time. I have absolutely no idea what this room looks like,” I tell her and myself.

“Jason, why did you go in there?” She has her face buried in her hands, and I know she’s wishin’ she’d taken the time to straighten things up before I arrived. I hear Godric chuckle from the living room where he’s tryin’ to stand the tree up.

“It was just Gran’s room in my head,” I mumble, “but it don’t matter, ’cause I didn’t open that door. I have no idea what that room looks like anymore.”

Sookie shakes her head at me and tugs me toward the kitchen. “I want to start comin’ up with some new Christmas traditions,” she tells me. “I think it would be nice if we started doin’ somethin’ special that the whole family will enjoy.”

I frown at her, wonderin’ if she realizes that her and I are the only two of the five of us that give a shit about Christmas, “How you mean?” I watch as she looks at her feet, and her little hand starts tracin’ its nails against her belly. OH my GOD! “YOU’RE PREGNANT!”I scream.

She looks at me in alarm, “No! No, but… Well, I will be someday if what Endymion said is true… I guess I just want my kid to appreciate Christmas like you and I did…”

I relax now, knowin’ that I’m not about to be an uncle. Even if she is, and I will be immortal, I’m just not ready to be an uncle yet, and she ain’t ready to be a mom, either. I know she talks a lot about bein’ a teacher, and blah blah blah, but I know the second she pops out a kid, she ain’t goin’ back to work for a good long while. Hell, the kid’ll probably graduate high school before she goes back to work.

It takes me a second to remember she’s got eternity to be a teacher, so a couple decades outta the game’s not really a big deal, especially ’cause Sook’s always been a caregiver, and I know it means more to her than bein’ a teacher. She’s got those mommy instincts that she uses on me all the time, and I’m her big brother!

“Okay,” I tell her, “you just keep that oven cold for a few years, all right? No preheating until you’re at least thirty.”

She rolls her eyes at me, “I don’t think it’s anythin’ I got a say in, Jason. It’ll happen when it happens.”

“Doc given you any clues about when that’ll be?” I ask curiously while she starts movin’ around the kitchen to make us Christmas Eve dinner.

Sookie shakes her head and frowns, “No. She said my body’s coolin’ off on the fertility stuff and she thinks that means I’ll have a twenty-five-year ovulation like the fairies.”

“Yeah?” I sit at the kitchen table and watch her work. I know better than to get in her way in the kitchen.

“So, there’s a chance I’ll get pregnant around twenty-five or twenty-six years-old,” she whispers.

“You sound less happy than I thought you would,” I confess. She shrugs, and I get up to pull her into my arms, “What’s up?”

Leanin’ her head into my chest, she admits, “I don’t want to wait twenty-five years between kids. I want my babies to grow up together and watch each other’s backs in school, like you did for me.”

I smile and kiss the top of her head. “Well, maybe you’ll have twins,” I tease.

Sookie groans, “Ludwig said that might be more on the likely side. She said fairies often have twins, sometimes even triplets!”

“Fuck, that’d be a lot of kids,” I tell her.

She nods in agreement, “I guess I’m just bein’ selfish. I get to have Eric’s babies. I should be thankful for that instead of pinin’ for more.”

Kissin’ the top of her head, I tell her, “There’s nothin’ wrong with wantin’ something. You can’t help how you feel.” She nods again and I hug her tight. “Besides, whether it’s one or five, I’ll be their Uncle Jason. I’ll watch out for ’em like a big brother.”

“I wonder if my kids will be able to reproduce? If they can… Will their kids be immortal? Can the world sustain that many immortals?” Sookie begins to babble and I hug her tight.

“Who knows? Would Endymion?” I ask curiously.

She shakes her head, “Probably, but when he came to see us after we were Bonded, he refused to tell us more than ‘It works out.’.” She rolls her eyes.

“Why is that all he told you about your own kids?” I demand angrily.

Sookie shrugs and pulls away from my arms, “Mostly because knowin’ too much about your own future might alter it. Also, he can’t give much away without tellin’ about other dimensions, so he’s very limited in what he’s allowed to say.”

All I can really do is nod. Sookie and I are chin deep in the supernatural, and we’ve begrudgingly come to find we gotta just nod and smile through most of what we’re told. For two academics like us, it’s complete bullshit. We like our facts and rule sets. Bein’ told “because that’s the way it is,” doesn’t fly too well with us, and the past year has been nothin’ but vague answers and reasonless rules.

“I have the tree up!” Godric calls proudly from the living room, and I smile while I go check it out. I got no doubt it’s perfect, even though Godric’s never put up a Christmas tree his entire existence.

The thing is just the right height to leave room for the angel on top, and standing straight up. I’ll admit, he got that done a helluva lot quicker than Sooks and I ever could have. “Looks great!” I tell him with a grin.

Godric gives me a sheepish expression before confessing, “I have never done this. Can you imagine? As old as I am, you would think I had the curiosity to try it at some point.”

“To be fair, you really predate Christmas trees,” I tell him.

“I predate many things I have embraced,” Godric teases while I help him start clippin’ out the bent and overly long branches, so it’ll be nice and conical.

“Yeah,” I laugh, “but those are everyday things, not annual observations.”

“Hmm,” he’s thoughtful a second, “I suppose that is true… I think it has something to do with so many holidays being food-based. After all, vampires cannot have several annual slaughters to celebrate our thanks, and attributing a mass murder to any savior would be rather counterproductive…”

“What about Fourth of July?” I ask curiously.

Godric smiles a bit, “I quite enjoy that one. Depending on which city I am in, the fireworks can be rather magnificent.”

“Shreveport doesn’t do too bad a job,” I offer. “Too bad we were in England for the Fourth. With any luck, I’ll see plenty to last an eternity while I can.”

“While you can?” he asks curiously.

I shrug, “If we aren’t out to the world as immortals, we’ll have to travel often to keep from bein’ found out. I’m sure we’ll end up out of the US at some point.”

Godric smiles again while we finish trimmin’ the tree, “You and your sister are surprisingly adept at coming to correct conclusions and asking very good questions about future events.”

“Well, with everythin’ we went through after Gran died, losin’ the house, havin’ to kowtow to CPS rules, findin’ a new place to live… A whole lot of shit… I guess we learned to ask questions and think ahead pretty far,” I tell him thoughtfully.

“What do you think you will miss about being human?” he asks me softly.

I consider his question a minute before confessin’, “Eatin’ food. Sookie and I are bonded through food, y’know? Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy? I smell that, and it just makes me think of our family. Gran, Ma, Pops, Sook, and me all sittin’ ’round the table, sayin’ grace, and then diggin’ in like we were starved…” I shake my head ruefully. “I’m not worried about it ruinin’ my relationship with Sooks, y’know? I’m just worried I’ll forget our family.”

Before Godric can reply to my concerns, the front door opens. Pam and Eric stroll in, lookin’ annoyed while they take off their jackets and hang ’em up, all domestic-like.

“Hey, guys,” I greet. “How was Sheriff shit?”

Both shrug, but Pam offers, “Exactly that. Shit. With the Revelation coming, everyone is following protocol much more readily than before. Right now, our biggest concern is some trafficking. All roads should have been closed by now, but someone is keeping theirs open.”

I frown for a moment, trying to figure out what she’s talkin’ ’bout, and then it hits me like a slap in the face. Human trafficking. Ugh, I feel sick at the thought, but all I can reply with is a dismayed, “Oh.”

“All roads had the last five years to be closed,” Eric informs me as he gives the Christmas tree a concerned glance. “We wanted to steadily decline trafficking instances, so that when vampires made themselves known, there would be no single instance before the Revelation where trafficking and missing persons plummeted.”

“Did you ever have a road?” I ask cautiously.

Eric shakes his head, “No, but I will not pretend I would not have opened one in my youth if Godric had not forbidden it.” That surprises me and I look at Godric who shrugs as if to sarcastically say, ‘Yeah, it’s my fault he’s not a completely heartless son of a bitch.’

“Eric is very… Industrial. He does not often consider the people when it comes to business and profits,” Godric offers apologetically. “His kindness is given out of pragmatism, not affection.”

“They know this,” Eric snaps at his Maker and I don’t know what it is, but Eric’s really off his game tonight. Something’s got his feathers ruffled. This thought is only confirmed when my sister comes outta the kitchen and curls herself around Eric. “I am home,” he tells her with a smile that overshadows his earlier foul mood. Godric’s frownin’, too, and I’m wonderin’ what’s up.

Before I can start askin’ questions, Pam takes my hand and leads me upstairs to where my old childhood bedroom used to be. It’s an office now, but Sookie replaced one of the sofas with a futon, so I can sleep here when I visit.

“What’s goin’ on?” I whisper when we’re in the office. Pam frowns and starts strippin’ off her clothes. “Oh, no,” I shake my head warily, “if you’re tryin’ to distract me with sex, it’s gotta be bad!”

“It is not my place to tell you what is bothering Eric,” Pam tells me as she drops her skirt and is now standin’ in a pair of pale, pink panties and matchin’ bra. Fuck, she’s gonna do the whole sweet girl routine, and I’m gonna forget all about Eric and his mood. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she asks in that fake “sweet and innocent” voice she somehow manages to pull off, despite being the sexual deviant she is.

I let out a long sigh before pullin’ off my shirt. Let Sookie figure her man out herself.

Godric’s POV:

“What is it?” I ask my Child while he holds his Bonded tight to his body.

He remains silent a moment before stating, “Grissom.”

It scarcely takes a second for me to recall the vampire to whom he is referring. Grissom is over nine-hundred, and I am particularly less than fond of him. He is a Child without a Master and has been for many centuries since his Maker was lost in the Vampire/Fae war.

Grissom made his name by procuring restricted magical artifacts, stolen prophecies, and many desirable humans. He is vicious to humans; discovering delicious samples, abducting them, and modifying them to make their appearances just as covetable as their blood or abilities. He glamours them to near-lobotomy, creating beautiful, pliant, functioning blood factories. I believe he has earned the title of being my antithesis. Everything I hold precious is merely a shell to break and reshape into a product for Grissom.

“What about him?” I ask, trying to keep the edge out of my tone while Sookie looks between me and Eric curiously.

Looking at his Bonded, Eric kisses the top of her head and pats her rear, “Dear One, I do not want to talk about Grissom in front of you. It will upset you,” he tells her.

“Eric-”

“We are going to take a stroll,” Eric tells her softly and offers her another consoling kiss.

Her gaze softens a moment before she sighs, “Okay, but you owe me an edited version when you get back, all right?”

I feel regret in the Bond as he nods his agreement. With her momentarily placated, I follow Eric to the door.

“What has Grissom done?” I ask once we are heading down the hill toward the graveyard.

“No surprise, he is still trafficking,” he grumbles.

“Did you cite him?” I demand angrily.

“Yes. The Magister will be coming at the end of the month to try him. That only gives me six days to find him.”

“Other than his absence, what is the problem?” I ask.

Eric places his hands to his face and groans, “There were three humans in his facility… I thought it had been properly decommissioned, but apparently, I was misled. He had been playing by the new rules so graciously, I thought he was finally growing the fuck up!” Eric is snarling angrily, and I am surprised at his vehemence.

“Eric?” I say guardedly. This reaction is far more than a simple case of an insubordinate vampire.

“I was walking his property and I could smell her,” Eric growls.

“Who?”

“Zoey Roth,” he whispers.

Roth… Roth… The name is familiar.

“One of the girls on Sookie’s softball team. She is the one Sookie subbed for in the game you attended,” Eric tells me after I hesitate to respond. “I only met her once, very briefly, one evening after I picked Sookie up from dinner with her team.”

I outwardly flinch, “How long had he had her?”

“Judging by the state of her body, I’d say about three weeks,” he murmurs. “She is quite a mess. The bruising and incisions from her modifications are still healing, but she will be quite beautiful. Unfortunately, Grissom had already begun her mental deconstruction.”

“How bad?”

“Bad enough I could not repair her,” Eric runs his hand through his hair in frustration. “I called Sophie-Anne to send up Compton. He is one of the most skilled in her court with glamour and restoration. She asked why I did not just put the girl out of her misery, and I did not know what to tell her other than she is a friend of my Bonded. The truth is… Zoey was a sweet girl… Ordinary, but sweet…”

Smiling, I reach over to place my hand on Eric’s back. He stiffens since we do not usually resort to physical acts of comfort, but I feel his amused annoyance in our link. He knows that I am proud about his compassion for a human other than his Bonded and her brother.

“When will you begin your search for Grissom?” I ask after my moment of annoying Eric has run its course.

Eric frowns, and then I feel his remorse, “As soon as I have explained to Sookie…” He does not finish his explanation. I know that he regrets bringing an obstacle between his Bonded and her holiday spirit.

“It is vital that you not waste anymore of your time here,” I tell him sternly. “You have already given Grissom a head start. I will tell Sookie what is happening-”

“I would prefer to do it,” he tells me softly. “It is her friend, and-”

“She would want you to find the individual responsible more than she would like to hear it directly from you,” I argue. “Go. Now.” Eric frowns, but I know that in his gut, he agrees with me. “Hurry back and let us hope you can salvage the remainder of Sookie’s winter break.”

Before he can come up with an argument, Eric nods and takes to the sky. I watch him ascend into the stars, and I am not surprised when I hear Sookie come running out of the house. There is no need to turn and see her confusion or irritation.

“Where’s he goin’!?” she asks me, a strange culmination of frustration and amusement in her tone.

“He must find a fugitive vampire,” I tell her. “Grissom is a vampire not adhering to the ban on human trafficking. He is ruthless and without compassion, even more than Eric ever was.”

Sookie raises her eyebrows. Though she has only heard stories of her Bonded’s previous escapades, even she is surprised to hear someone could be more impartial to humans than Eric. She knows that Eric only puts up with her human friends for her sake, and that Jason is the only other human whose company he consistently enjoys.

“Why didn’t he just tell me? Or call and go straight from the warehouse?” she asks.

I close my eyes before delivering the bad news, “He wanted to tell you himself, but I warned that he had already wasted precious time… A friend of yours, Zoey Roth, was one of the humans taken by Grissom for… Repurposing.”

Sookie looks at me alarmed. “Wh-what do you mean by repurposing?” she whispers. I explain Grissom’s methods to her as delicately as possible, but I see the heartbreak on her face. “Did he come after her because of me or Eric?” Her voice is uneven and coarse.

I shake my head, “No. I am certain if Grissom knew that girl had any connection to you or Eric, he would never have taken her.”

“Will she be all right?” Sookie asks next.

“I do not know, Sookie. The Queen is sending her procurer from New Orleans to see if he can reverse any of the damages, but it is tricky.”

“Procurer?” She gives me a curious look.

“He would have had a similar job as Grissom before the end of human trafficking,” I tell her. “Of course, his methods are nowhere near as brutal, but only vampires very adept at glamour are hired for any Royal Procurement seat.” At Sookie’s curled lip, I quickly add, “Out of all the procurers I have known or of whom I am aware, Sophie-Anne’s is quite honorable.”

Sookie’s expression turns into a scowl, “A kidnapper is still a kidnapper. Bein’ less of an asshole doesn’t change the fact he steals someone’s child.”

I cannot help but chuckle. Sookie calling someone an asshole is quite a rare thing. In fact, aside from her recent adaptation to using the word “fuck” in moments of pleasure, I have not known her to swear easily.

“An asshole, Sookie?” I smile at her consolingly.

She takes a long, slow breath and releases it with a huff, “Sometimes, the vampire stuff… It’s real hard to accept when it bleeds into the human stuff. Zoey doesn’t deserve havin’ to go through this.”

Patting her shoulder, I admit, “I very much agree. It was one of the reasons I was so adamant to teach Eric compassion. He and Grissom are cut from a very similar cloth, but Eric had me as a Maker to subdue some of his ruthlessness,” I look at her worriedly, hoping she does not ask for explanations.

Sookie swallows hard, but does not say anything. Her expression takes me by surprise because it is very telling.

I feel my eyebrows raise, “He told you about my Maker?”

She nods, “Yeah. Day after we Bonded, and all the stuff with Hadley and my aunt happened. We got talkin’, and it kinda came up.”

“I see,” My face falls as I experience the frustration of one so young knowing my past. Despite having made Eric for the purpose to help myself heal, he was the only youth I spoke candidly to about my experiences, even after a thousand years.

“I didn’t understand,” Sookie continues, not looking at me. “I didn’t understand why you fell so far, or why you made Eric as your confidant. What I did understand is that every ounce of compassion he had in the beginning that eventually made him the vampire I love today is because he loves you. He hurt for you and couldn’t bear to see anyone else suffer, not from abuse in any such form. You taught him very important things to be a compassionate creature, even back then, when you thought he was so ruthless.”

I look at her hopefully, wondering if she is really forgiving about my deplorable human life. She turns her gaze to find me staring at her and smiles. Taking my hand, she gives it a brief, comforting squeeze. “That’s why the vampire stuff is so hard at times. I still can’t understand how vamps like your Maker could do things like that. It’s not just the ruthlessness, it’s the complacency that unnerves me.”

Nodding in understanding, I withdraw my hand, “Complacency is one of the torments of immortality. After you have seen centuries of deplorable acts, you find ways to turn a blind eye to keep from going mad. Other times, you find yourself becoming a deplorable person who performs those acts. However, I swear to you, I will do everything I can to protect you from that. I hope you stay the same sweet, compassionate woman my Child fell in love with.”

She smiles at me and laughs, “Godric, if I don’t, Endymion will probably clip my wings.” I give her a soft chuckle in response, but, secretly, I think she is quite right.

Jason’s POV:

Fuuuuck yeeesssss…

“You know,” I mumble exhaustedly, lyin’ naked on the futon, “the world would be a much more peaceful place if every woman wanted a fuck as much as you. Us men wouldn’t be out startin’ fights if we had sexy ladies ridin’ our dicks all the time.”

Pam gives me a playful smirk, “Well, if mortal men could fuck as well as you do, maybe sex would be more enjoyable and less of a chore.”

“That’s pro’lly the nicest thing you ever said to me,” I laugh, and tug her to sprawl across me. I’m playin’ with her pretty li’l fingers a few moments before she moves to climb off me. “Where you goin’?”

“You have been getting far too cuddlesome lately,” Pam tells me annoyedly. “It makes me uneasy about what you think this is between us.”

I roll my eyes, “I like to cuddle. I think it’s sexy havin’ a naked woman lyin’ across me. Ya don’t like it, bring another girl in here, and I’ll cuddle her after.”

Pam’s eyes light up at my suggestion, “You would be all right if I brought another woman in here?”

She does realize I’m a man, right?

“Yeah, if she likes dick, too,” I try to shrug nonchalantly, and not let on that I’m already startin’ to get hard again from this conversation. “I don’t wanna be sittin’ on the sidelines, y’know?”

Pam claps her hands gleefully, and I find it a little weird that she can have such a delighted, childlike expression while negotiating a threesome. “I have been eyeing just the girl!”

“No glamouring,” I tell her sternly.

“Of course not,” Pam scowls. “That would be cheating. I was thinking that President of Kappa… Cynthia,” I watch Pam’s face darken with lust.

I choke on a laugh, “Cynthia! Aw, man! Pam, if you can get her into a threesome with us, I will worship you for a month straight. Shit, I’ll do that thing you like when it’s time to party,” I give her a wink.

Her eyes narrow, and her lip quirks upward, “Keep your mouth shut?” I nod and her lips turn into a wide grin. “Challenge accepted.”

All I can do is grin. Holy shit, my first threesome! And if anyone can make it happen, it’s Pam!

On to Chapter Thirty-Three!

Catalyst Ch. 31

Chapter Thirty-One: Christmas Break

Sookie’s POV:

What am I doin’? Oh, Gosh, what am I doin’!?

I know I must look like a terrified, little rabbit, but this place is intimidating! Leather, belts, canes, gags… What am I doin’!?

May I help you, Sugar?” the saleswoman behind the counter looks at me kindly. She’s got this dark, dominatrix look about her, all smoky eyes and deep lipstick. Her hair’s a purplish red, and her skin’s pale.

Despite outward appearances, she smiles after I give her what must look like the most horrified expression she’s ever seen in her life. Poor thing, she thinks bemusedly.

Slowly I slink up to the counter, “Um,” I begin eloquently. My face is burnin’ red, but I have no idea how to do this myself. All the people I could ask would taunt Eric and he would find out about my first day of winter break’s, “Mission: Sookie Instigates Spontaneous, Kinky Sex.”

I promise it’s nothing I haven’t seen, done, or handled before,” the saleswoman tells me comfortingly. I see her name is ‘Fang,’ and, for some reason, that makes me smile. Maybe because it makes me think of Eric.

I let out a strange noise that sounds like a whimper.

Blindfolds?” she guesses, and I shake my head. “Feathers?” Head shake. “Vibrators?” Like Eric needs a vibrator. His mouth is a vibrator! “Lube?”

How-do-I-four-point-cuff-myself-to-the-bed?” I ask in a rush.

She blinks in surprise before giving me a pleased smile, “Ooh, more adventurous than I thought!” she grins, makin’ me blush. “I have a really simple set up for that. The straps are adjustable, and you can just ring them around the legs of the bed, or the headboard if it’s accommodating,” she begins to explain while she leads me through the store. “The restraints are just wide Velcro, so you can get three of your four points secured easily, and then give yourself a little slack on the last one to roll your wrist to smooth it down. It’ll be a little looser than the other three, but if your partner has any experience in bondage, he’ll tighten it up once he finds you,” She gives me a wink.

He does,” I mumble shyly, taking the package in my hands. “How long would it take me to set up?” I ask. “He works from home mostly… I’d have to do it before he gets back from a meeting…”

Only about ten minutes,” She shrugs.

Totally manageable! I think contentedly. I could have myself tethered in the amount of time it takes him to return from his Sheriff’s duties. But, just to be safe…

Um, will I be able to get myself out of these if… I choose a poor time to… y’know,” I mumble.

If he hasn’t tightened your fourth point, you can get yourself loose… Or you can leave your fourth restraint off and let him do it for you,” she offers.

Oh, okay,” I nod.

Is that all you needed?” she asks with a curious tilt of her head.

I guess… Unless you have any recommendations? My fiancé usually does all the… adventurous stuff, but I want to try, too,” I confess, feeling an odd jolt of disappointment in myself.

She smiles comfortingly at me, and I gotta admit, it’s nice not havin’ this stranger secretly mockin’ me, “I think it’s pretty awesome you’re trying to be more adventurous, and not just leaving it all up to your man.”

Thanks,” I mumble.

She grins a bit mischievously and leans in to whisper, “Do you like to get frisky in public?”

My fiancé does,” I offer. “I guess I do, too, but I get nervous about it, so he doesn’t prod me to do it too often.”

I know a toy that might help you overcome that,” she tells me.

I feel myself lean in and murmur, “Really?” Can she tell I’m super intrigued?

Leading me over to the vibrators, I blush when she picks one up. It’s u-shaped and comes with a little plastic remote. “This part will be inside you,” she points to the bulbous end, “and this part can either be pressed against your clit, or you could put it against your butt if you’re into that sort of thing.” She looks me over appraisingly, and I’m a little smug when I hear in her head she can’t quite puzzle me out. For once, my face gives nothin’ away. “Your fiancé can control the vibes with the remote. Turn it off, turn it on, increase the vibes, or change the vibe pattern. It has a pretty nice range at a hundred yards.”

Holy crap! I want, I want, I want! I think wildly once I take the package into my hands and stare at it appraisingly. I think my panties just liquefied.

On cue, my cell phone starts to ring and I apologize to Fang, “Excuse me,” I apologize and turn my back to her, “Hi, Darlin’!” I answer perkily.

Sookie,” Eric sounds amused, “what are you doing?”

Shoppin’,” I answer with as playful a tone as I can muster.

For?” he asks, and I feel him laughin’ at me on the inside.

Things,” I offer, tryin’ to sound more nonchalant.

Are they sexy things?” he asks, and I feel a flare of lust in the Bond.

I guess you’ll just have to wait until I’m home to find out!” I tell him teasingly, and I see Fang give me an approving nod. I blush, realizing that I finally said something confident for the first time since entering the store. “Now, you just wait for me to get home, and maybe I’ll show you what I bought.”

I look forward to it,” Eric whispers with a gentle purr that does not help the previous panty-dissolving issue.

Bye, Darlin’,” I croon back and close my phone with a blush. “Sorry about that,” I apologize again to my attentive sales lady.

It’s all right,” Fang laughs. “It sounds like you’re going to be taking that baby for a test drive when you get home. May I make another recommendation?” I nod, and she leads me over to the lubricants. I manage not to blush. She picks up a bottle and hands it to me, “I’d use this stuff with the Cum’n’Go-”

The what?” I ask, befuddled.

She points to the vibrator, “Sorry, it’s what we call it around the shop… Because it makes you cum while you’re on the go?”

I giggle at the clever name and nod, “Okay.”

It’ll make your clit nice and tingly,” She picks up the sample bottle and while I’m reading the label on the container she handed me, Fang reaches over and places a little on the inside of my wrist. It feels very pleasant, and I can’t help but wonder how it would feel on my ears…

Holy crap! I’m thinking of my ears as a sexual part of my body! Eric will be so proud, and suggesting we use the lubricant on my ears might surprise him more than my purchase of the Cum’n’Go.

I’d really like this,” I agree to buy the lube. Before Fang can sell me on anything else, I start for the checkout, and pay for everything in cash, so Eric doesn’t know from the credit card statement that I bought more than the vibrator and lube. When everything’s paid for, I take the bondage kit out of the packaging and roll it all into a ball to shove in the bottom of my purse. I accept the plain bag with the vibrator and lube, grin at Fang, and wave goodbye.

I’ll have to come here again!

Eric’s POV:

Welcome home, Dear One,” I greet my Bonded with a deep kiss. “Now, are you going to tell me what had you so worked up while you were out?” I ask with hope, kissing her neck and pushing my body tightly against hers.

She catches her lip between her teeth and holds up the bag with her purchases, “I bought some stuff I want you to use on me,” she says shyly.

I raise my eyebrows and take the bag from her. When I glance inside, I must admit that I am very surprised. My Sookie went to a store and bought these? I am not merely surprised, I am impressed!

In the condo?” I ask, knowing that Sookie is intimidated about my predilections for public sex. It is not so much the exhibitionism as it is being able to enjoy her pleasure whenever the mood strikes me. There are times when she smiles at me, touches me, or just feels a certain way that scream at every one of my impulses to give her pleasure right there and then. Of course, having such a beautiful woman love and desire me all the time increases the need and want to pleasure her as well.

She shakes her head, “I thought we could go for a walk in about an hour… after sunset…”

My expression darkens while I place the bag down and pull Sookie close, “Do you know how fuckable you are right in this moment?” I ask huskily.

Well, if you want to familiarize yourself with your new toy before we take it on a test run…” she trails off, letting her offer wash over me and I nod.

What is the lubricant for?” Anal sex, anal sex, ANAL SEX! “I have never known a juicier woman than you,” I tease.

Oh,” She flushes deeply. “Umm, it’s really warm and tingly, and…” She pulls my head down to whisper in my ear, which always makes me laugh when she whispers to me in the privacy of our own home. “I thought it would feel real nice on… my ears.”

I gape momentarily. Sex toys! Special products to stimulate her ears! Exhibitionism! “Where is my Sookie? What have you done to her!?” I tease before crushing my lips to hers. Before she can reply, I have flung the woman over my shoulder and picked up the bag with our new activity set. Throwing her on the bed, I set the bag neatly by her feet. “Ears or toy first?” I ask, opening the packaging of the vibrator.

Ears,” she whispers, and I grin excitedly. It is a perfect decision. If this lubricant is as pleasant as she is anticipating, it will have her pussy nice and wet by the time I clean the new toy, add batteries to it, and the remote.

Setting down the toy, I reach for the little bottle. I only allow a drop on my digits, rubbing it between my thumb and index. I can feel the warming action and the tingle she mentioned. Leaning over her, I run my fingers across the shell of her ear before massaging the oil into the lobe. I hear her tiny gasp, and smile before treating the other ear to the same consideration.

Is it nice?” I ask quietly against her ear, letting my cool breath create a stimulus against her sensitive skin.

Her reply is to whimper, and I watch as she twists her hips in an almost quiet desperation.

Chuckling, I slide my hands down her body to quickly divest her of her jeans and panties. She moans and tilts her exposed pussy at me beseechingly, “Do you want the lubricant on your clitoris, too?” I ask in my ‘growly’ voice as she endearingly refers to it.

Please,” she whimpers with another delicious arch of her spine. I grin and lean down to plant a kiss on her clitoris, giving it a brief clip of my tongue. She cries out, and I must admit, this lubricant she discovered is amazingly potent on her extraordinary ears.

When I have given her a few teasing caresses from my tongue, I add some of the lubricant between her folds. She writhes as the fluid activates, and I watch for a moment as her body moves on our bed as though phantom hands are touching and pleasuring her. It is exhilarating to behold.

While Sookie allows herself to be stimulated by oils, I quickly finish opening the vibrator she purchased. While she is blissfully oblivious, I clean it and put fresh batteries in the toy and its remote. Turning it on in my hand, I play with the control, learning the different intensities and patterns before determining my best strategy. I must remind myself the goal is to make sure she does not cum from the vibrator or lubricant. The goal is to make her so wild with desire that she wants me to take her abruptly while we are still out.

Already I notice the lubricant losing its steam. Though Sookie’s lust is still fanned, her body is not undulating as it had been after the oil was first applied. Quickly, I remedy her waning enthusiasm by slipping the vibrator into her slick channel. She groans and flexes her pelvis when the toy presses against the back of her pelvic bone and the antennae rests tauntingly against her clitoris.

Eric,” she whispers, but before she can say more than my name, I thumb the remote and it springs to life against her. Her body tenses immediately, and a soft moan murmurs past her lips.

How does that feel?” I ask curiously and softly as not to break the spell of her arousal.

Mmm, like you’re teasing me,” she confesses and I nod, having guessed as much. Slowly, I adjust the speed of the vibration and watch her body clench. “Ah! S-still not much more than teasing…”

I press another button and watch her reaction. This time the vibrations are alternating from inside and against her clitoris. Each time it buzzes against her little blossom, I see her hips buck, but I am delighted that it is rather underwhelming. Good. After all, this game is only meant to fan her flames for me, not a toy.

Looking out our window, I note the sun is setting and it should be safe enough to leave the condo. I abruptly turn off the toy, and Sookie blinks up at me dazedly.

We need groceries,” I tell her with a shrug while I throw her panties and jeans on to the bed. “Shall we give that toy a real test run?”

She blushes prettily, or perhaps her cheeks are red from excitement. With a kittenish smile, she redresses and snuggles into my side as we leave the condo.

My hand is resting lightly on Sookie’s hip while I lead her to the car. I open her door for her and she settles in with an anticipatory smile. Lust and excitement are coursing through the Bond, making me surprisingly giddy for our little adventure. Yet, once I settle behind the driver’s seat, I realize I cannot operate the remote, hold her hand, and drive all at the same time.

Therefore, we make it to the grocery store without any good vibrations, but I can feel her waiting for it to happen. That is why I turn the toy on while making my way to her door. I watch delightedly when she gasps and tosses her head back in surprise. When I reach her door, I turn the vibrator back off and grin when she looks up at me heatedly.

What g-groceries do we need?” Sookie asks me after I take her hand and help her out of the car.

I smile, “Nothing frozen or refrigerated,” I reply and she rolls her eyes.

So, basically, nothing we could have gone without for another day?” she teases while we stroll toward the shop.

I smile and kiss the side of her throat, “Plenty of ambient noise, so you do not focus on the sound of your little secret.”

Her face is still flushed, and I see now it is from the arousal. She is self-conscious, but her desire is quickly over shadowing it, which is exactly for what I had hoped.

She grabs a cart, unsure of what all we will be purchasing, and I walk beside her, my hand gently resting on the small of her back. We stroll lazily through the store, and I see a nice opportunity to give her a new sensation.

You need another case of water,” I point to the packaging. She looks at me suspiciously because I never let her lift heavy items when we are together. Raising her eyebrows, Sookie bends over to pick up the case and I turn the vibrator on once more. Even though she had anticipated my actions, I see her legs tremble, then smile after she takes a knee. Leaning down, I whisper in her ear, certain to let my breath tickle the sensitive flesh, “Allow me…”

I reach past her and lift the case, leaving Sookie kneeling on the tile once I place it in our cart. Glancing at her, I see her hips shimmying and I grin to myself for the hundredth time since she told me of this game she wished to play.

Turning off the toy, I extend my hand to her and shakily, she takes it. I haul her to her feet and we begin our shopping anew.

I tease her when she reaches for cereal. I let the vibrator torment her all the way down the bread aisle. She is letting out surprised gasps all through the jams and jellies while the toy alternates patterns as quickly as I manipulate them. Amusedly, I watch as her eyes scan back and forth. Impatience quickly fills our connection to each other. Impatience, need, lust!

Eric,” she groans after she crouches to grab her coffee and I taunt her again. She clutches at the shelf and I watch her chest heave in concentration. “I can’t take much more,” Her voice is weak, pleading.

That is the point,” I tell her, placing my hands on her waist and squeezing, making sure to give the soft flesh above her womb a firm pressure. She unabashedly moans when I do this, and I chuckle, “Shh, Dear One. You do not want anyone finding out your secret, do you?”

Her eyes are dark and hooded with glorious intangibles and I gasp at the gaze she gives me. It is even more potent with the swarm of emotion flooding the Bond and I find my body gravitating toward hers, “Here? Next to the coffee grounds?” I breathe jokingly against her ear. My hands trail from her waist to her hips, reaching behind to squeeze her bottom. I can hear the faint buzz of her secret, and it makes me harden more than the half-mast I have sustained since this game began.

Anywhere you want, please,” she moans softly into my chest, wrapping her arms around me tightly and squeezing.

Taking the canister of coffee from her loose grasp, I toss it into the cart, trap her between myself and the handle, and begin guiding her toward the side of the store. Every few seconds, I increase the vibration of the toy until we are outside the bathrooms. I grab her purse and practically shove her into the men’s bathroom.

Eric,” She is trying to climb me while I push her into one of the stalls.

Turn around,” I tell her, setting her purse on the tank. She moans and does as I tell her. Swiftly, I have her jeans undone, and shove them and her panties from her ass. “Your panties are soaked through,” I tell her with my own moan. She wiggles her bottom at me after I slip the vibrator out and lick it clean.

Please, please, please,” she murmurs over and over, wriggling and pushing back against me.

Quickly, my trousers are open, and I bend Sookie forward until her hands are flat against the tile of the wall. She whimpers and mewls until I bury myself deep inside her. We both take a moment to collect ourselves, both having waited so long for this moment.

Please, Eric, need you so much,” she whispers frantically, pushing back against me. I respond by bucking my hips harshly against her. The noise that action brings from her lips is heavenly to my ears, and I am soon losing myself in her heat and want. There are no attempts to hold back once I thrust wildly behind her and she moans and cries out happily in front of me.

Pushing her shirt and bra above her breasts, I clutch at them violently as my hips push tightly against her rear. She gasps and yowls while I pluck at her nipples, grinding her sex against me and achieving maximum depth from this position. “Yes, Sookie,” I snarl, staying in close and bucking wildly. “Fuck me, Sookie,” I remain still to allow her the opportunity to bounce back against me.

Her hips swivel and bounce in a perfect figure-eight, twisting and milking my cock until I can no longer remain still. I release her breasts and grab her hips to pull her back and surge forward simultaneously in a delicious collision that spurs a yell from both of us. I feel her contracting, I feel myself pulsing, and soon we are reaching brand new heights as we cum noisily in the men’s bathroom.

We remain frozen, bent over a toilet. She is catching her breath and I am merely acting as an anchor keeping her from tipping forward. With one arm holding her firmly against my chest, I reach forward and slip her toy into her purse while kissing the back of her neck.

Are we more open to sex outside of the home now?” I ask against her nape.

A surprised giggle escapes her lips, “Yeah, Darlin’, we are much, much more open about it.”

Sookie’s POV:

Day three of “Mission: Sookie Instigates Spontaneous, Kinky Sex” is the night I plan to tie myself to the bed. It’s Eric’s night to be at the warehouse for Sheriff business, and a perfect opportunity to play with outfits I won’t mind gettin’ tore up. I’ve considered just bein’ naked when he finds me, but there is just somethin’ super sexy about havin’ my underwear ripped off me.

Day two had been rather tame compared to our adventures in the grocery store the previous night. It had been our first day back in Bon Temps, and I’d felt more mischievous than kinky. Before Eric had gone to his office for the day, I hid my panties from the previous night in the heat register, and then cranked up the furnace. It took about twenty minutes of the heat wafting through my panties and mixing into the air before Eric called me upstairs. With a naughty grin on my face, I’d skipped up to his office and asked what he needed with my most innocent voice. His eyes were all hungry and dark and the next thing I knew, he’d thrown me on his desk, ripped off my clothes, and ravished me.

After a thorough debauchment, Eric had asked how I managed to make the entire room smell like my sex. That’s when I’d gone to the floor register and lifted it, revealing the pair of cum-soaked panties from the night before. He’d called me a tricky, little Madam.

My little daydream of yesterday’s activity passes, and I’m once again trying to pick out a perfect negligée. Pam’s done wonders for my bedroom wardrobe, but, even still, it’s hard to choose one for sacrifice. Finally, I pick the one I think Eric will like best. He’ll just have to buy me a new one.

Suddenly my phone rings and I smile, knowing it’s Eric before I even look at the caller I.D.

Hey, Darlin’,” I greet, layin’ out my sacrificial negligée on the bed.

You have no idea how pleasant these past three days have been,” Eric growls into the phone, and I feel his arousal through the Bond, making my nether regions respond. “You do not give your sexual creativity enough credit, Dear One.”

What do you mean?” I ask playfully, maneuvering around the bed and securing my restraints to the frame.

I know you will have a surprise for me when I return home,” he says in this dark, chocolate voice that’s just as sinfully delicious. “You are excited…”

Hmm, well, if you take too long gettin’ home, I might start without you,” I tell him tauntingly.

Should I cancel my last two meetings?” he asks roughly, and I feel his desire burn even hotter in the Bond.

I make a pouting sound just to make his breath catch, “No, I guess I can be a good girl… At least until you get home…”

I can practically see him clutching his phone at that statement as frustration starts to seep into our connection. It really is empowering to know I make a thousand-year-old vampire not just want me, but need me.

I will keep them as brief as possible,” he breathes into the phone eagerly. I made a dead man pant! I hope he can feel just how giddy I am right now!

I’ll be waitin’, Eric,” I tell him huskily.

He hangs up after that and I get some of my excitement out with a little happy dance in our bedroom. As I dance around giddily, I see my reflection in the window, proving what a little girl I still am at times. There’s a window in here again… Two actually, one more than there used to be. I quickly skip over and draw the blinds…just in case. Even though our house is out in the middle of nowhere, I don’t want to run the risk someone might peek inside and see me all tied up and mostly naked. For one thing, I’d be embarrassed the whole rest of my life, which is a very long time! Secondly, and probably more importantly, Eric would murder them.

Once the shades are drawn, I pick up my chosen negligée of oblation. Eric is my God of sexual awakening, and I offer to him my sexy nightie!

My face is pleasantly flushed with anticipation while I skip to our bathroom and wash up for the millionth time that day. I want to smell good and be squeaky clean before my Bonded makes a mess outta me! I put on my nightie, brush my teeth again, and floss. I apply just a smidge of mascara and tasty Chapstick. Any other make-up would just sweat off in the first fifteen minutes and I don’t want that.

Preparations are halted once I realize Eric is movin’ in the Bond. Holy crap! He left the car and is flyin’! He’s already nearly home, and I’m not ready!

With a squeak, I jump onto the bed and quickly start strappin’ myself in. Right ankle, left ankle, left wrist- Eep!

I barely get my other wrist restrained when our bedroom door flies open and crashes into the wall. With a jump, I stare up at the demon before me.

Loose?” Eric asks me impatiently, already peelin’ off his clothes. All I can do is stare at him dazedly while he climbs onto the bed and starts checkin’ all my restraints. He actually loosens the ones around my ankles a bit, undoin’ the Velcro and layin’ two of his fingers between my skin and the straps before tightenin’ them again. He tightens up my right wrist, since I couldn’t quite do that one properly by myself.

Do you have any idea what you have been doing to me this last hour?” he snarls against my mouth before kissin’ me hard. I whimper as he grinds his erection against my core. “I could bend rebar around this!” he claims, pushin’ at me again and I have to admit he might not be wrong. I’ve never felt him so hard. “I will play with you later,” he tells me quickly before tearin’ off my panties and thrustin’ deeply inside.

I cry out and try to arch against him, but my restraints do what they’re supposed to keep me helplessly limited. “Ah, Eric!” I shout while he starts movin’ against me violently. He’s not even startin’ off at a human pace. He’s fuckin’ me like a vampire, his fangs are down, slicin’ me in places and licking the trails of blood they bring in their wake. I can hardly breathe as he moves to press his mouth against mine.

His fang slices my lip, and my tongue moves of its own accord to stunt the bleedin’. As it does, I feel an ivory fang. Playfully, I snake my tongue against it, up to his gum line, and somethin’ just happens.

Eric roars, and in that nanosecond before his reaction occurs, I have a very vivid flashback of him tellin’ me exactly what happens if I play with his gums while his fangs are down. “I will fuck you very, very hard,” rings clear as day in my head.

Next thing I know, I’m screamin’ my head off, Eric’s snarlin’ into my neck, bitin’ me anywhere and everywhere he can. A jackhammer has replaced his hips while I am fucked harder than I knew was ever possible.

So yeah, don’t mess with a horny vampire and his gums… Or do… I think dazedly in the back of my head while, “Oh-my-God. Oh-my-God. Oh-my-God,” tumbles from my mouth repeatedly. My orgasm is on me so suddenly and violently that I start to cry in release before it’s even in full effect. Tears are rollin’ down my face, Eric is pushin’ into me so deeply I think he’s trying to crawl into my uterus, and my orgasm just won’t stop. Even when I’m too exhausted to keep cummin’, it just doesn’t end. Not until he stills and I feel his cock inside me, fillin’ me up with just as lengthy a climax.

His pleasure is so overwhelming, even as he withdraws from between my thighs, I can feel his spendings dribblin’ outta me. He’s filled me to the brim with his sperm and I wiggle tiredly when I feel it makin’ the sheets stick to my butt.

Eric’s starin’ at me in bewilderment, but I can feel a sense of satisfaction in him that he’s feelin’ a bit guilty about. Suddenly, he’s undoin’ my restraints.

I was fine,” I mumble tiredly, havin’ not been tied up long enough to go stiff.

Sookie,” Eric shakes his head, “you are bruised, and there is blood and cum everywhere. You need to rest for now and there is no need for you to rest in restraints.”

As my body’s endorphins fade away, I begin to feel what he means. My body feels like it’s been in a car accident. The pain is more discomfort than pain, and well worth it in my opinion.

Are you all right?” Eric asks me nervously.

Darlin’, I’m so all right, it should be illegal in forty-nine states,” I tell him.

Forty-nine?” Eric raises his eyebrows.


“Everything’s legal in Nevada,” I grin lazily. He laughs and starts rubbin’ my ankles and wrists. “So, that’s what you meant about fuckin’ me very,
very hard?” I ask after I feel his mood has calmed a bit.

He gives me a sheepish grin, “Perhaps harder than what it should have been. You had me quite pent up beforehand.”

I’ll have to remind myself to get y’all hot and bothered like that before playin’ with your fangs.”

Sookie,” Eric looks at me in trepidation, “will you look at the bed?”

He helps me off the bed and I look down at the sheets. I don’t know how he expected me to react to the all the blood and other body fluids, but laughing hysterically was probably not on the top of his list.

Wow, Eric, I don’t think there’s any cleanin’ this!” I am still laughin’. “This might need a whole new mattress!” Tears are rollin’ down my eyes.

Sookie, I bled you-”

So what?” I grin at him. “It felt amazin’ and it’s not gonna kill me. I’ll go drink some water and eat some food. I’ll sleep a couple hours just for good measure, then I’ll be right as rain.”

Then you are not angry?” I can practically feel him searchin’ the Bond.

I shake my head and smile, “Not a bit. Why would I be?”


“You do not feel I ruined your surprise?” Eric asks hesitantly, like he’s nervous he’ll give me fuel for a fire I didn’t know I had burnin’.

Smiling, I shake my head again and pull him in for a soft kiss, “Darlin’, knowin’ I can get that kinda response out of you? You didn’t ruin a thing. You made it the best night of my life… So far…”

On to Chapter Thirty-Two!

Catalyst Ch. 30

Chapter Thirty: Clarifying

Sookie’s POV:

Things I have learned in my first six months of bein’ a Living Immortal:

Firstly, I can put on weight! This came as a surprise to me after I destroyed Thanksgiving dinner, ate half a pumpkin pie, and baked so many holiday cookies, the Kappa Bake Sale ended up takin’ a good portion of them once I realized I’d put on five pounds in less than a week. It took me so long to discover I could put on weight because I need to eat so much to keep my body going 24/7! So, imagine my surprise when Ludwig popped in for my monthly physical and told me I’d gained five pounds when I hadn’t put on a single pound since my immortality kicked in!

Secondly, I may heal, but not like a vampire. Eric had explained this to me before we even Bonded, but it took a few injuries before I fully understood what he explained. My busted nose and broken wrist healed super-fast because my body prioritizes injuries versus “changes.” Ludwig actually explained it pretty well when I asked about it during one of my endless check-ups.

Basically, my body identifies natural changes in my body (Like… Oh, my hymen bein’ torn!), and doesn’t bother fixin’ them. The doc also informed me there are physical changes that occur durin’ pregnancy that will also not mend (Like when my hips get wider – Dang it!), but the trauma my poor, little vajayjay will go through durin’ the birthin’ process will heal quickly like my nose and wrist did. She said the thing that makes a Living Immortal’s healing unique from a vampire’s immortality is that my body knows how to accommodate whereas a vampire’s only knows how to revert to optimal.

Thirdly, and this is kinda like the first thing on my list, I can lose weight. When I say lose, I mean, holy crap! It’s only been something I’ve struggled with since Bonding. It’s super hard to eat that much food! Almost six thousand calories a day! Mostly I survive on carbs, proteins, and those special drinks they make for bodybuilders. I thought it was pretty cool at first. I mean, I can eat anything I want and rarely put on any weight! The problem is, empty calories like ice cream and cookies make it hard to concentrate. Buuut, I do get to eat ice cream every day, and that is awesome!

Chicken and rice is practically a go-to meal for me, and Eric’s actually in the kitchen a lot, makin’ sure I have plenty of food. It was surprising to find out he really likes to cook. He says since everything tastes disgusting to him, it’s a real challenge.

Also, I finally found out how he learned to cook. Apparently, he glamoured a chef and kept him hostage for a few weeks, learned to cook, and, I guess, subjected the poor culinary artist to his horrendous cookin’ for awhile until he could plate a meal that was edible. No particular reason why he decided he wanted to learn to cook, he just told me he was terribly bored and had been fascinated by Julia Child for some weird reason.

Fourthly, apparently, my body is adjusting for the long haul of baby makin’. I haven’t had any major hormone fluxes, human or fairy, in two months, nor have I had a period. It’s kinda nice not having a period every month, but that also means I don’t get that monthly assurance that I’m not pregnant. Instead, I’m stuck waiting for Ludwig to show up with her pregnancy tests to check things out.

Fifthly, and finally, vampire sex does a body good! In attempts to keep up with my hubby in the sack, I am in the best shape of my life! I’m strong, flexible, and agile all because Eric likes to do it anywhere and everywhere! Staircases, closets, doorways, bathtubs, elevators… Point is, my body’s been bent in ways or I’ve held it in positions that are almost inhuman!

Those are the big five things I’ve discovered in the six months I’ve spent as a vampire’s wife and Living Immortal.

Sookie,” Eric calls to me and I’m jolted from my musings with a pleasant smile.

Yeah, Darlin’?” I look up at him when he comes back to bed with a stack of papers and magazines.

One year and counting,” he teases me, throwin’ down all the stuff he’s carryin’ on to the bed. “You need to start telling me what it is you want in a wedding.” I look at the endless supply of bridal magazines and giggle.

You bought copies of ‘Modern Bride’?” I giggle again, picking up the issue and thumbing through it.

Dream wedding, remember?” He flops on to the bed next to me, and gives my shoulder a kiss. “You need to decide where it will be, who is attending, and what they are eating.”

I frown, “Well, it’s not gonna be very big. Jason and I don’t have any family to invite, but I’d probably invite a lot of the girls from Kappa, Jason’s teammates, my softball team… Oh! Sarah Garrick – our old CPS agent! I’d bet she’d like to see a happy endin’ for Jason and me! Kristin, but I think I might ask her to be one of my bridesmaids if we manage to stay friends, not havin’ class together anymore… Do you mind if Pam’s my Maid of Honor?”

Eric raises his eyebrows, “You would choose Pam over Kristin?”

I raise mine right back at him, “There’s no one in the world I’m more honest and comfortable with… Other than you, of course.”

Eric nods, pleased, “I was hoping I would be the exception.”

Besides, Pam will throw a kickbutt bachelorette party!” I giggle. “Are you gonna have a bachelor party?”

Sookie, my entire existence has practically been a bachelor party. I am done with all that,” Eric chuckles. “Also, we are already Bonded. This human ceremony is for you, not me.”

But I really want you to have fun and enjoy it!” I whine, throwin’ the magazine to the floor and huggin’ on his arm. “Let’s have it at night! We can invite a buncha vamps from Area 5! I think it’d be cool to have a mixed wedding!”

Eric frowns a bit, “I suppose I could invite Sophie-Anne… She has been very insistent about meeting you.”

Oh?”

He shrugs, maybe lookin’ a little bemused, “I had quite the reputation before you came skipping into my existence. Sophie-Anne is alarmed, if not fairly amused by it. She wishes to meet the woman who finally captured me completely.”

Are you and Sophie-Anne friends?” I ask curiously.

You know that she is my queen. I am loyal to her, but friends?” He looks very thoughtful as he considers the word. “I would say we are associates more than we are friends. We have great respect for one another, but are not very likely to socialize beyond professional terms.”

I frown before telling him, “It seems like that’s how most of your relationships are. Most of the socializing I see you do is with me, or because I kinda force you to do it.”

He grins, “Yes, well, eternity is a long time to know people. Vampires are quite known for their reclusiveness. Being yours has certainly forced me to be more sociable, but it has been an adventure,” he assures me at the end. I’m just still reeling at Eric callin’ himself mine. He uses possessive pronouns all the time, but it’s usually him callin’ me his. It’s always a treat hearin’ him admit that he belongs to me just as much! “Mmm,” he purrs, feelin’ me gloatin’, “someone is just as pleased as I am.” He’s kissin’ my throat, givin’ it little love bites. “Do you enjoy owning me, Sookie?” he whispers against my skin, givin’ me goosebumps. “My heart, spirit, and body? All of it is yours,” He snakes his tongue between the groove of my windpipe and the thick chord of muscle there, and it causes my whole body to tighten.

Eric,” I murmur weakly. You’d think after six months of getting this vampire’s lovin’, I’d have some kind of resistance to it. Nope. I’m just as helpless to his prowess as the first time he gave my ears a little tug. My legs begin to part, and he settles between them smoothly. “Ah!” I arch against the bulge in the front of his jeans when he pushes it toward my center. “Do you think,” I gasp when his hips give a gentle tilt, pushin’ that much harder, “you’ll ever get tired of me?”

He chuckles, givin’ my throat a little nip, “What is there to get tired of? You give me everything, Sookie,” he tells me.

I’m just scared you’ll get bored with me someday,” I confess as his hand squeezes my breast firmly. “Pam’s the only person you’ve had sex with more than me,” I point out.

And you are rapidly catching up to her,” he teases as his body slows against mine. He holds his hands on either side of my head and looks down at me contemplatin’. “Sookie, I did not jump from person to person because the sex was boring. I had such a vast array of lovers because the individual bored or angered me. We have already discussed the only type of sex neither one of us is interested in exploring, and that is extramarital. Neither of us desires to share the other with a second person. There is no form of sex you would deprive me of, so how will it be possible to become bored?”

But I’ll never surprise you,” I mumble.

You surprise me all the time,” he assures me, “with the things you enjoy, your enthusiasm to explore, and your willingness to put your pride on hold by letting me give you new experiences. You are a woman who is strong and self-reliant, yet you eagerly surrender yourself to me. You are everything to me because you know when to lead and when to follow. You speak to me of your fears and let me assuage them. You tease me and give me your opinion without ego… Sookie, you are perfect, and I love you more and more every day.”

I feel a warm ball of contentment expand in my chest, “Y’know, one of the reasons I’m so open with you is because you say the most amazing things to me?” He chuckles and kisses my throat in reply.

Do you know what I would like to do right now, Sookie?” Eric whispers against my ear, and I feel arousal, anticipation, and lust grow in the Bond.

What’s that, Eric?” I whisper back, arching my hips against his.

It involves rope,” he murmurs, his eyes flashing excitedly.

Really?” I like rope! I had no idea I’d ever like bein’ tied up, but from the second he first mentioned it, the fantasies immediately made my nether regions clench.

Mm-hmm,” he purrs. “It also involves that little reflex we have been working out of you.”

My eyes widen when I piece together his hints. “You want to fuck my mouth with my hands tied?” I guess and there’s that delicious throb down below as I picture it in my head.

May I?” he asks, but he’s got this grin ’cause he can feel my own anticipation ampin’ up.

Yes, you may,” I tease at his formal request. His grin widens and he gives my lips a quick peck before he hops out of bed to retrieve the rope.

I flop back and stretch out on the bed, knowing that I’m about to get a workout from my sexy husband. Knowing him, he’ll go to town on my mouth and then give me one of those amazing ‘thank you’ orgasms that turns my body to Jell-O. That’s exactly what they are, too. He calls them ‘rewards’ or ‘congratulatory,’ but to me they all mean ‘thank you!’ ‘Thank you for letting me train away your gag reflex,’ or ‘thank you for letting me play with your butt because I know it means I’m one step closer to fucking it.’ Of course, he has no idea that he’s not gettin’ my bottom for another year. I figured he took one virginity for our Bonding, he gets to have the other one for our wedding.

Stretching?” Eric guesses as he returns.

Mm-hmm,” I agree, arching my back and reaching my arms and legs out like a starfish.

I will give you a nice massage after this one,” he promises after he throws the rope on to the bed and starts moving pillows. I give the rope a quick glance and frown. It’s much longer and thinner than the other one we’ve used. I don’t say anything because it makes the anticipation greater. “Dear One, will you lay with your chest on those pillows?” he requests, and I roll across the bed to get to where he wants me.

Next thing I know, he’s arrangin’ me like an artist’s mannequin, and I’m restin’ with my chest on the pillows, my butt in the air, and my arms between my legs. He’s got the rope securing my wrists to my ankles, and once they’re immobilized, there’s another pillow propping me up a bit higher. I give my arms and legs a curious wiggle, and realize Eric’s got me well trussed up. I’m not goin’ anywhere unless he puts me there himself.

All right?” he asks, rubbin’ his hand over my bottom in a real calming way.

Yup,” I tell him with a smile I hope conveys this is more than me just bein’ indulgent.

He gives my butt a quick little spank that makes me jump and pull at his sea-worthy rope techniques. Walkin’ in front of me, I wriggle a bit when I see he’s stripped down and already standin’ at full attention. Apparently, he gets as turned on tyin’ me up as I do bein’ tied up!

I will use our Bond, so I will know when it begins to be too much,” Eric tells me.

Okay,” I reply and open my mouth wide, makin’ him laugh.

Rather than puttin’ his cock in my mouth, he kneels in front of me, pushes my hair out of my face, and gives me a slow kiss. “Not even a year ago, you were so shy about your ears, and now you are bound to our bed, offering your mouth to me. Yet you still wonder how you could possibly be enough for me? I believe you are the prime example of a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets,” he teases before giving me another kiss, harder, and more urgent this time.

When he pulls abruptly from our kiss, I open my mouth wide again and this time, he doesn’t waste a second before he’s pushing his thick cock past my lips. I hum happily when he slides against my tongue, back, back, back, into the depths of my throat. There’s no gag reflex. Eric’s done too fine a job murderin’ it over the course of a month or so, and I rake my tongue against his shaft as he remains buried in my throat.

Perfect,” Eric hisses while I let my tongue dance over him. He eases out slowly and I suck in a giant breath before he pushes back in. My husband does this a few more times, a slow penetration before murmuring, “I am going to speed up.”

All I do is hum approvingly again, and he starts thrusting with a smooth, even tempo. I spend my time pacing my breathing, my tongue playing along his length while simultaneously enjoying his experience through the Bond. He’s gettin’ more and more excited the longer this new adventure goes on, and his moans are growing louder and louder once he finds that I am keepin’ up with him. His speed increases and so my breathing needs to be timed with it, but then he increases his pace again, and I admit it’s getting harder to catch a breath.

Suddenly, he pushes all the way into my throat and lingers. His fingers are combin’ through my hair and he’s makin’ his hot, snarly growl I love. Enthused by his noises, I simulate swallowin’ around his girth and feel his hands tighten in my hair, givin’ it a pleasurable tug. Finally, he pulls out of my mouth and I greedily gasp for air. When he thinks I’ve had enough time to catch my breath, he’s buried in me again, and I start contracting my throat once more. He lets out another snarl, and starts buckin’ his hips against my face until a very familiar throb pulses through his cock. His cum shoots straight down my throat and I moan around his thickness, giving a few gentle swallows.

You are perfect, my Sookie,” Eric rumbles while he slowly pulls from my mouth and drops to his knees. He kisses me fiercely again, and I wiggle a bit impatiently. I don’t want to flat-out beg for my ‘thank you’ orgasm, but I’ll be really disappointed if I don’t get one. “How are your fingers?” Eric asks against my lips.

I give the digits a little jiggle, and make a face, “Tingly… Maybe a little stiff?” I tell him honestly.

And your toes?”

I repeat my previous wiggling, this time with my toes, “Same.”

He nods and stands up. Walkin’ behind me, I feel the ropes loosen, and then he’s pullin’ my legs straight back and my arms off to the sides. He starts rubbing my limbs vigorously until they give little jolts when the blood starts flowin’ properly again.

That was a long binding time for you in such a position,” he comments after he stops the vigorous rubbing and turns more relaxing with his touch.

I frown and roll onto my back, “Not sure how to interpret that.” He tilts his head questioningly. “Was it a long time to be tied like that, or just a long time for me to be tied like that?”

He smirks and starts rubbin’ down my front, “A long time for you to be tied like that.”

I pout, “What about in human time?”

He becomes thoughtful a moment, “A full-blown submissive would have found it to be a very short time. A woman who has only been bound three times in her life? It was a very long time, especially because you have only ever had your hands tied. This time you were in an immobilized position. It puts much more strain on the body.”

I take his explanation for what it is. I have all the time in the world to build up some endurance. I’m sure I’ll be a bondage Olympian within the next fifty years.


Eric is chuckling to himself as he rolls me back onto my stomach and starts massaging me all over. When I’m a loose, contented, puddle of goo, he gives my bottom a soft pat and rolls off the bed. My relaxation immediately evaporates after he retrieves his jeans and slips them on.

But… But… Thank you orgasm! I think forlornly as he begins cleaning up the room.

Do you want breakfast now, Dear One?” he asks me with a smile, and all I can do is sling my jaw open. He tilts his head curiously, waiting for me to answer.

M-maybe in a bit,” I stammer, shocked at his lack of reciprocation. Don’t be so selfish! I think at myself angrily. “I’m going to, um, look at some of the magazines you brought me.”

He gives me an amused smile and shakes his head, “Let me know when you are ready to eat.” Then he leaves the bedroom and I flop back against the mattress.

I try. I really do try not to feel upset or cheated. When our bedroom door flings open suddenly, I sit up at full attention. Thank you, God!

I almost forgot,” Eric comes back to bed and my heart gallops excitedly. He leans down, kisses my lips deeply, and mumbles, “Thank you.”


He leaves… Again.

Don’t cry. Don’t cry! Sex isn’t tit for tat. You did that for him. You can’t always expect something in return or it’s just being selfish.

But I really, really want my ‘thank you’ orgasm, I think petulantly, even if he did give me the massage he promised…

I reach between my legs and I’m so freakin’ wet it’s unbearable. My fingers are all coated and sticky. My lower half is clenched and aching. I can just take care of things myself, but what if he walks back in and catches me? Will he feel bad for leaving me wanting? But he can feel me! He knows I’m wound up!

I’m torn and confused about what I should do.

Eric’s POV:

Well, this is not nearly as fun as I had hoped, I think bemusedly when I feel Sookie’s emotions rocketing from despair to insecurity to annoyance, then finally settling on confusion. The strange part is, her annoyance seems particularly focused on herself, instead of me. Here I stand in the kitchen, waiting for my beautiful Bonded to come storming out and push my mouth against her pussy, but she remains in our bedroom, filling with self-loathing.

I wait impatiently for her to come to me, but then I feel apprehension, guilt, and pleasure? Frowning, I try interpreting this strange culmination of emotions, that is, until I hear her pulse quicken and her breathing become labored. Is she masturbating? I think in surprise as I head back to our room.

Opening the door, I see my Sookie on our bed, her fingers dancing between her legs and a hand clamped over her mouth to stifle any noises she might make. She notices me instantly and her hand freezes in its task, her eyes wide and guilty.

You know,” I tell her conversationally while I stroll into the room, “I was waiting for you to ask me to do that for you.” I climb onto our bed and take her busy hand into mine. Bringing it to my lips, I lick it clean. She looks at me with those regretful eyes and I sigh. What does she believe she was doing wrong?

She tilts her head away and stares at the wall opposite me, “I-it’s not a loving gesture if I expect something in return,” she mumbles.

I quickly remember that my Bonded has manners and it makes me smile, “Because relationships are not tit for tat,” I recall my words from when Sookie first began exploring her sexuality. “That may be true, but relationships are about communication. If you need me, you must do something about it, Sookie.” I split her legs wide and click my tongue sympathetically. “This looks uncomfortable,” I tell her, leaning down to stroke my tongue against her dripping slit while simultaneously pushing down on her lower abdomen. Sookie lets loose a wild sob and I glance up at her in surprise from her need in the Bond. Her center is over-sensitized and her emotions too high. This is going to be one hell of an orgasm, I think ruefully.

Though I had wanted her wild with desire, this is not quite what I had in mind. I give her center another slow lick and her body coils violently after a firmer push against her abdomen. She is crying with shame and confusion, but, above all else, it is desperate need that makes her weep.

Sliding up her body, I hold Sookie to my chest, and gently slip inside of her. Her gasps and moans as I do so are choked, impatient noises. While I pick up speed and softly caress her clitoris, she huffs for air, and her body clenches mercilessly around my cock. Tears are spilling from her eyes when she lets loose a mantra of, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” over and over, until it crescendos into an unintelligible scream that coincides with her orgasm.

She is sobbing as she comes back down, but it is not the cathartic, healing sobs I usually reduce her to during sex. These are ashamed, disappointed cries, so I hold her, kissing her hair. Was my little game that unkind? I have made her wait for her climaxes before and never reduced her to any emotion quite like this!

I am sorry, Sookie,” I whisper against her hair. “Do not cry-”

I c-can’t help it,” she chokes, holding me tighter.

What on Earth did I do to you?” I ask sadly. “I wanted you wild, not woebegone…”

How much stuff do you hide from me?” she asks suddenly and I frown, not grasping her meaning.


“I hide nothing from you, Sookie,” I tell her honestly. “You are able to feel me entirely.”

Am I?” she asks, moping.

Of course, you are. I may repress some of my emotions from time to time as to not overwhelm you or sometimes to surprise you, but I do not hide,” I tell her earnestly.

I couldn’t tell what you wanted me to do when you left,” she mumbles. “I didn’t know if that was it… You just wanted my mouth and nothing more…”

I always want all of you, Sookie,” I smile at her playfully.

But I couldn’t tell,” she insists. “I couldn’t feel your anticipation or excitement… Not even lust, which I almost always feel from you… I just felt amusement and it felt like you were just messing with me… I didn’t know what to do,” she finishes weakly.

Sookie,” I look at her in surprise, “I will never leave you wanting for long. I do that at times to enhance your experience, but never as a cruelty or impartiality.

Why did this time feel so different?” she asks, subdued.

I smile knowingly and chuckle as understanding finally comes to me, “Because you had an entire expectation built in your head. Sookie, I will never leave you wanting. You will never have to resort to masturbating to achieve climax…unless we are doing masturbation play, but I rarely am in the mood for such games…” I shake my head out of the minor distraction. “The point is, I will never leave you wanting for me, but it does not mean I honor instant gratification. Sometimes I will want to make you wait. Sometimes I want to make myself wait. Sometimes I merely want you to seek me out and take me, just the same as I seek you out so frequently.”

But how will I know what you’re doin’?” she asks desperately.

You will not,” I shrug. “It is not about knowing. It is about feeling. Sex between loving, giving, partners has nothing to do with manners. It is about desire and need. In sex, giving and taking is not even. It is all about finding pleasure for yourself while giving pleasure to another… I knew you were enjoying yourself when you offered your mouth to me and that is a very heady feeling.”

I do like givin’ you head,” she tells me meekly and I smile. “I like the noises you make…”

I like your noises, too,” I tell her playfully, kissing the space just below her ear, earning a pleasurable shiver. “Still, my point is, if your need or desire is so great you feel the need to masturbate, do not, instead, find me. Come to me, Sookie. I will always want you. I could be on a conference call for all I care. If you need me when I am in the middle of a meeting, I will just mute the damned call and fuck you right there in my office.” I watch her face turn bright red, but her eyes are molten, blue pools. I do believe I have given her a new fantasy…

I don’t know how to jump you,” she tells me honestly, as if she has only now realized that it has never happened. “You always just…kinda…know when I want it…”

Hmm,” I consider this a moment, then note that I really have never let her initiate. She is always so welcoming, so accommodating to my sexual needs, I had never noticed they might be so frequent, leaving her quite sated. The new question is, Do I tell her that I will not prompt sex, or let her seek me out on her own?

It is quite the conundrum. If I tell her I will not prompt her, she may be likely to overcompensate, so would that really be encouraging her? If I do not tell her, she might react as she did earlier and believe my interest in her has waned… This has transformed from a conundrum to a dilemma, I realize irritably.

I need more time to think through this. Perhaps a ‘risk to gain’ formula is needed. With that idea, I gently rise from where I have been propped above my Bonded, “Are you ready for breakfast now, Dear One?” I ask curiously.

She gives me a soft smile and nods, “Yeah, I could go for some breakfast.”

What would you like?” I ask, finding my pants once more and slipping them back on.

You’re cookin’?” she checks. When I nod that I will, she becomes thoughtful, “I think pancakes are your best breakfast food, never over or undercooked.” All right, so for a vampire I am an exceptional cook. From a human perspective, however, I am barely competent.

How am I supposed to become better at preparing other foods if you always have me making the same three?” I tease her and lean down to plant another kiss on her lips. “Start looking at your magazines while I make your millionth batch of pancakes.”

She giggles and flops on to her stomach, reaching for one of the magazines I brought in earlier. As she begins flipping through pages, I return to the kitchen and begin preparing her breakfast.

On to Chapter Thirty-One!