We were on our way to Fangtasia and I thought I was going to throw up I was so nervous. Maybe I should have just stayed home. Maybe I wasn’t ready for this and should have given myself more time.
“Sookie,” Eric said as he placed his hand on my knee and gave it a little squeeze. “Why are you so nervous?”
“What if I’m not ready for this? What if I do something wrong?”
“You won’t do anything wrong and if you want, I will take you home, but I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Little by little I felt my nervousness slowly leave my body and a sense of calm wash over me. I looked over at Eric, his attention was on the road.
“Is that you? Did you do that? Make me feel calm?” I asked him after I enjoyed a few moments of the tranquil feeling.
“It is. I can stop if you want me to,” he replied.
“No, I like it,” I said as I turned my body toward him in the seat. “What’s it like to feel someone’s emotions?”
“Most of the time it’s a good feeling unless the person to whom you are bound to is in pain or something along those lines. I can barely remember a time when I haven’t been bound to someone. First, my maker, then Pam, and now you. It’s something I’m quite used to,” he said with a shrug. “A vampire can close down a bond. Most do, they don’t want to feel someone else unless they have to. The only one I leave open all the time is the one I have with you,” he said looking over at me and giving me a sweet smile. “I always enjoy what you’re feeling, especially when you’re happy because of me or when you used to send me your love,” he said. I could barely hear him at the end.
I placed my hand on top of his and squeezed. I hated knowing that I was making him sad in any way. “Will you let me feel you through the bond? I’d like to know what it feels like. Is it the same for me as it is for you?”
“I believe I feel you more than you will be able to feel me. I cannot really be sure. I’ve never known anyone that was bonded before they became a vampire for them to be able to compare. You really want to feel me?”
“Yeah, I think so. Did you ever used to block me?”
“I didn’t. I promised you when we decided to bond that I would only block the bond from you if I was in pain or bloodlust,” he said with a quick glance my way.
“What’s bloodlust?” I asked him. I had a feeling it wasn’t anything good.
He tilted his head to the side for a moment, trying to come up with the best way to answer me. “It’s a state a vampire goes into where they do not have much control over themselves. They want to kill, feed, and fuck. If I were to feed from you or have sex with you during that time, I wouldn’t have much control and I’m afraid I would hurt you. It could be too overwhelming for you to feel.”
“Have you ever been in bloodlust around me or had to block it from me?” I questioned.
“No, up until your accident I have never blocked the bond from you.”
We had just pulled into Fangtasia’s parking lot and into a parking spot. Eric turned his body toward me as best as he could in the small interior of the car.
“Are you ready?” I nodded my head in agreement.
Slowly I started to feel different emotions swirling through me. I could tell they were not mine, but it was nice all the same. I closed my eyes as I tried to differentiate each one. Happiness. Contentment. Hopefulness. Calm. There was this warmth that filled my body and radiated around my heart. It made me feel so safe and happy. I never wanted the feeling to end. I felt a gigantic smile spread across my face, and I slowly opened my eyes to find a small, shy smile upon Eric’s own face.
“What is that warm feeling?” I asked, closing my eyes so I could indulge in the sensation once again. “I can feel it radiating through my whole body. It has to be the best feeling in the whole world,” I said, opening my eyes once again.
“It is,” he said, while tilting his head to the side once more before reaching his hand out to my face and tracing his fingertips along my cheekbones, jaw, and finally my lips. “What you are feeling is my love for you.”
“This is you loving me?” I asked, pointing to my heart.
“Yes,” he said, before I launched myself over the console of the car, wrapping my arms around his neck. Hugging him with all my might. I slowly withdrew myself and placed a lingering kiss on his soft, pink lips before I sat back in my seat.
I didn’t think it was possible, but during our hug all the feelings that I was getting from Eric swelled and amplified. If I thought I liked feeling him through the bond before, now I couldn’t get enough.
“Will you keep the bond open from now on? I want to keep feeling you.”
“If that is what you want,” Eric said with a wide smile and hooded eyes. “I will go back to our old agreement unless you ask me to stop.”
“I don’t think I’ll ask you to stop,” I said.
“If you need me to I will. You only have to let me know.” His gaze dropped to my lips for a moment before returning to my eyes. “Are you ready to go inside?”
I looked out the window to get a good view. I don’t know what I imagined, but this wasn’t it.
From the outside it was a plain white building with a red awning. The parking lot was full. We were parked in one of three spots that had a sign in front of them stating they were for the owner. Do Not Park for Penalty of Draining and Dismemberment.
I pointed to the sign. “Would someone really do this?”
Eric just shook his head, “Pam came up with those. She hates having her parking space taken. So far it’s worked.”
We walked in the back door and into an office. Immediately Eric went behind the desk and sat down and started going through paperwork. There was stacks and stacks of it. Finally he found a folder and held it up.
“Compton’s file,” he said before I streak of black came into the room. I let out a shriek and held one hand to my chest. My heart-felt like it was going to beat right out of me. Standing in front of me was a beautiful, blonde woman in all black.
She looked at Eric and then at me. “Mistress, I’m so happy to see you again. Are you well?” Her light blue eyes raked over me and her blood-red lips curled into a smirk that reminded me of Eric’s.
“Mistress?” I asked looking over at Eric. “Why did she call me that? I thought I’m your wife.”
Eric glared at Pam before getting up and coming over to me. “You are my wife. Pam called you that because she knows you hate it.”
“That’s not very nice,” I said looking at her. With an amused look in her eyes, she simply tilted her head to the side and raised an eyebrow. “But why Mistress?”
Pam stood with her hands of her hips and tapped her foot, looking impatient.
“I am her master and you are her mistress. Don’t worry there are very few occasions where she has to call you by the title,” he looked over at Pam. “We are going out to the bar and will meet with Bill in my booth. Man the door.”
“You know,” Pam drawled. “I miss my friend and would like to spend time with her.”
“You should’ve thought about that before calling her mistress,” Eric replied.
Pam responded with a dramatic eye roll and quietly harrumphed as she made her way to man the door.
We walked down the hall and into a loud room of red and black. It was filled with people all in black. Mostly leather. They were what I would guess to be vampires, since they were moving so fast, dancing up on these boxes with a pole going up the middle. I noticed signs placed throughout the room saying No Biting on Premises. I really hoped all the vampires abided by those signs.
Once we sat down in the only booth that was left open I looked down at my clothes. I was in jeans, a light yellow v-neck sweater, and boots. I looked like none of the people here. Even Eric was dressed in all black.
Actually I hadn’t seen him in anything but black. I knew he had some color to his wardrobe from looking at his side of the closet.
“Why did you let me dress like this when everyone else is wearing black?”
“You’ve always dressed in whatever you want,” he shrugged. “You were already dressed when I got up and I didn’t even think about it.” He placed his hand on my knee and squeezed it before turning to talk into my ear. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
“I’m fine. It’s not like I really want to dress like them. I just didn’t know there was a dress code.”
He chuckled, “There isn’t, but for some reason they think we like them dressing like that. That it makes them more appealing.”
“Then why is Pam dressed the way she is and you’re in all black too.”
“Pam only dresses that way here. It’s her work uniform. Outside of work she’s normally dressed in pink or something like it.”
“I can’t imagine her in pink.”
“Once you get to know her again you will,” he chuckled.
“Why don’t I have to wear a uniform?”
“I prefer you to not dress like our customers or like Pam. I want you to dress like you.”
Pam walked a man over to our table. He had brown eyes and hair with long sideburns. He was dressed in khaki pants, a white Henley, and a brown leather jacket. He stood in front of our booth and nodded to Eric. Eric indicated for him to sit down.
This must be Bill.
“You’re petitioning to reside in my area. Is this permanent or temporary?”
Bill’s cold eyes looked over at me and he regarded me for a moment before returning his full attention back to Eric. “I did not realize pets were permitted to be witnesses of our… personal affairs.”
“You would do well to remember that you are in my area Compton. What I do and how I run it is none of your concern,” Eric replied in a steady, commanding tone. In this moment I felt like I shouldn’t be here and Eric must have felt my uneasiness because he gently grabbed my hand, entwined our fingers together and placed them on the table.
Bill eyed our joined hands and his eyebrows raised slightly when he caught sight of my wedding ring.
“Of course Sheriff Northman my apologies,” Bill smoothly said before looking at me with growing interest.
“I’m a collector of fine items and antiques and I must say, that is a very beautiful ring, Ms…”
“Northman, Mrs. Sookie Northman,” I replied.
Bill’s eyes dart back up to Eric and his nostrils flared for a moment.
“I did not realize the law legalized marriage between vampires and humans,” he said with a knowing look and smiled. “I believe congratulations is in order.”
“Thank you,” I said with a forced smile. Something didn’t feel right about this vampire.
“Truly, you must be an extraordinary woman to capture the attention of the great Eric Northman for more than just… an evening.”
My grip on Eric’s hand became a little firmer. I didn’t like the way this vampire was treating me and from what I could feel from Eric, he didn’t either.
“Compton, you will show respect to my wife and bonded,” Eric growled through a dangerous smile. “Are we clear?”
“But of course,” Bill replied before looking back at me with a look of remorse on his face. “I meant no disrespect Mrs. Northman.”
Even without any knowledge of the supernatural world, this was bad and not only that, but I knew he was lying. What he didn’t want was to start out with his sheriff already crossed at him.
I gave a weak nod and smiled before glancing away from him.
“Very well, how long do you plan on staying in my area Compton,” Eric asked.
“For the foreseeable future,” Bill answered.
“I see,” Eric hummed, rubbing his thumb on my hand. “Where?”
“In my ancestral home in Bon Temps. My last living relative died recently and I’ve come to claim my home.”
Eric quietly regarded Bill as he continued. “It is to my understanding that I will be the first vampire in Bon Temps.”
“You will be,” Eric said.
“You know of Bon Temps?” Bill asked not masking his shock.
“I do. It’s where my wife is from,” Eric answered.
Bill couldn’t stop the surprise on his face, but he quickly schooled his features. “The Compton name is a well noted and respected family in Bon Temps. I remember many of the old family names from when I was human. May I ask what your maiden name was? Perhaps I knew your ancestors.” His smile and curiosity seemed genuine but still…
I looked up at Eric not knowing what to say, “Stackhouse.” I told him and felt warm reassurance coming from Eric. Feeling his emotions was definitely going to take getting used to.
“Stackhouse,” Bill repeated. “They were my neighbors across the cemetery when I was human. What a pleasant and unexpected surprise.”
“Indeed. Now if you are quite done interviewing my wife, I’d like to finish.”
“Of course, of course.” Bill replied with a tight smile and glanced at me one last time before focusing on Eric.
“What will you do for income?” Eric inquired.
“I am currently working on a project for her Majesty. I was told that it should not be a problem.”
“What is the project?” Eric asked him.
“Confidential,” Bill replied with look of insincere remorse.
Eric took another moment to assess Mr. Compton before giving him a curt nod.
“I’ll give you a thirty-day trial period. You are to show up once a week and put in time here as part of living in my area. If you do not follow my rules then you will not only be punished, but you will be banished from my area. Are we clear?”
“Yes,” Bill replied after a moment.
“Good then we’ll see you in exactly a week. If you’ll excuse me I have some work to do in my office. Sookie,” he said after standing up with his hand out for me to take. Taking his offered hand, he helped me stand and we walked back to Eric’s office leaving Bill behind in the booth.
“It shouldn’t take me too long to do the paperwork,” Eric said.
I looked at the files and papers on his desk. It seemed like it would take quite a while. “Are you sure that seems like an awful lot?”
He held up a small stack of papers. “This is all I have to do tonight,” he said, but pointed at the stacks of folders and paperwork. “That is what you normally file away. Pam and I are not any good at putting it away. You keep the office running and organized.”
“Oh, should I try to figure it out?”
“No need tonight,” he responded.
“What should I do while I wait?”
“You can sit on the couch and look at some magazines, or if you want I can have Pam come and escort you to the bar to get a drink while you wait. I’m sorry there’s not much for you to do. If you want then the next time we come in we can try to figure out your filing system or you can bring a book from home,” I gave him a nod in approval. I wanted to be able to help. “Which would you prefer to do?”
“I’m kind of thirsty. You’re sure that it’s okay for me to go out there?” I asked him.
He looked up from his paperwork to respond, “Of course, it’s okay. This is your business. You’re safe here. You never need to worry about your safety when you’re with me.”
“Then I’d like to go out to the bar and get a drink while you finish your work,” I replied. I didn’t want to become totally dependent on Eric. I needed to know that I would be just fine when I was away from him.
Pam escorted me out of the office and to the bar. She informed me that she wished she could sit and talk, but she needed to work the door tonight. Someone had called in sick and they were down an employee. I asked her if I could be of any help, but was told that if I helped Eric wouldn’t be very happy.
I sat down at the bar on the only available stool. A drink was immediately placed in front of me by a man with long dark hair, tattoos, a vest, and fangs. I gave him a quizzical look.
“It’s what you always drink,” he informed me.
I gave him a smile and took a sip of me drink, “Thank you.” I was surprised by the taste of my drink. It wasn’t sweet like I thought it would be but it was still delicious.
“You’re the boss,” he replied before moving on to his next customer.
The bar was busy. If the bartender hadn’t been a vampire I’m not sure he would have been able to keep up with all the drink orders. Every time my drink was empty and new one took its place. I kept quiet and sat on my bar stool and watched all the people.
I did finally notice some customers come in together that were not dressed like everyone else. They looked like they had just come off the street since they were wearing regular clothing. It was interesting to see all the men and women trying to get a vampire to be interested in them. The new group of customers that I later learned were tourists would watch the vampires and every once in a while one would go up and ask for an autograph. They almost seemed scared of the vampires.
I was on my third or fourth drink and was feeling a little different than normal when the two girls next to me squealed. I turned to look at them since that was not the typical behavior I had noticed while sitting here.
“He’s here,” the girl next to me said. She had black hair, brown eyes, with white and black makeup on with a short, tight black dress, and super high black heels. “I can’t believe how hot he is. I’m so excited now that he’s here.”
“I know. It would have been a total let down if we didn’t get to see him. Definitely not worth the cover charge. He makes it all worth it and more,” said the second girl whose dress was even shorter. The only difference was that she had red eyes. I didn’t even know anyone could have red eyes. She was a little scary.
I turned around on my stool to see who they were talking about. To my surprise Eric was walking toward me.
I heard girl number two say, “He’s coming right over here toward us. How do I look?”
“Hi!” I said loudly, when Eric was in front of me. He took my drink out of my hand and placed it on the bar. I placed my now empty hand on his bicep.
“How many drinks have you had?” he asked.
“Three or four. I don’t really know. The guy behind the bar kept giving me a new one every time it was empty. He said it’s what I usually have,” I said while I rubbed my hand up and down his arm. “Did I do something wrong?”
“You did nothing wrong,” he replied while glaring at the bartender.
The bartender quickly made his way over in front of us.
“How many drinks did you serve her?” Eric asked, but it almost sounded like a growl.
“Three. What’s the problem?”
“What’s the problem? Do you really think she needed three drinks in the span of thirty minutes? She’s almost drunk. Don’t let something like this happen again. Are we clear?”
“Absolutely,” he replied, looking over at me with a menacing look.
“He’s even hotter when he’s mad,” girl number one said, staring at Eric. I hadn’t realized up until now that the man the girls were talking about was Eric. I knew I thought he was the most gorgeous man in the world, but I didn’t know others thought so too.
I had seen plenty of men around the bar tonight and none of the them could compare to Eric.
“My husband is hot,” I replied to the girls while running my hands up from Eric’s abs to his pecs. I looked up to see Eric with a big smirk on his face. “Have I ever told you how hot you are?” I asked him.
“A few times, but not lately,” he said with his smirk still in place while taking both my hands in his. He leaned down and placed a sweet kiss on the tip of my nose. “Have I told you how beautiful you are tonight?” I shook my head no.
“My mistake. You are very beautiful tonight,” I could feel myself blush and a smile form upon my face. “I’m going to tell Pam that I’m done and that we are headed home. Will you be okay for a few more minutes?”
“I’ll be fine. Can we get me something to eat on the way home?”
“Anything you want,” he said before walking off to see Pam at the door.
I turned around to sit back down, but someone had already taken my seat. The two girls who had previously been admiring my husband had a look of shock on their faces.
“How did he end up with you?” the girl with the red eyes asked me.
“I don’t know, but I do know that I’m a lucky girl.”
Both of the girls were nodding their heads when Eric made his way back to me.
“Are you ready?” he asked as he put his hand on the small of my back. I nodded. “Any idea of what you’d like to eat?”
“No, I’m sorry. Something that isn’t a sandwich.”
“We should’ve had Ginger call an order in for us to pick up on our way home. Do you want to pick something up or would you like to go in to eat?”
“Can we just pick something up?” I asked him. “Something that I used to eat. Did we ever pick up food before?”
“All the time. There were a lot of nights when you would call in an order and we’d pick it up on our way to work. Then you’d eat in my office before filing the paperwork and then you’d go out and work the bar.”
While Eric called in a food order for me, I pondered on what work I could possibly do at the bar. I was sure I’d be able to relearn how to file the paperwork, but there was no possibility of me using telepathy to help out like I used to do. Was I even needed at Fangtasia anymore?
When Eric got back in the car with my food, he sat the bag in between my feet on the floorboard before taking one of my hands in his.
“What have you been thinking so hard about?”
“If I’m even needed at Fangtasia anymore. I can’t use my telepathy and I don’t know how to file the paperwork. I’m-”
“You’re needed. I need you there. It would be intolerable without you. We’ll figure something out if you feel like you want more to do, but you’re always needed there.”
“Thank you, I’m feeling kind of lost as to what I’m suppose to do. Everything and everyone is new,” I said looking over at him.
I had just laid down next to Eric after getting ready for bed when he turned on his side to look at me. He ran his fingertips along my arm, causing me to close my eyes.
“Thank you for being so patient with me. I know none of this can be easy for you,” he nodded his head. “You’ve been so nice and sweet,” I said as I rubbed my hand up and down his arm. “I didn’t know those girls at the bar were talking about you until I saw you coming toward me. I should have known though,” I said with a smile as I rose up onto my knees beside him. “I may not be able to remember all the men I’ve seen throughout my life, but I know out of all the men I’ve seen since I woke up from my accident that you are the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen.”
I ran my hands from the deep ‘V’ that escaped from his sleep pants along Eric’s washboard abs slowly up to his pecs. I circled his nipples with my fingertips. Eric sat up pulling my body against his. I could feel my nipples harden against the cotton of my tank top as they pressed against Eric’s bare chest.
As I traced my fingers along his eyebrows, cheekbones, and along his jaw, Eric’s eyes closed and he leaned into my touch. My eyes scanned all the features of his face. From the tiny lines on his forehead to the light stubble around his mouth.
I ran a finger along his bottom lip causing his eyes to spring open and stare back at me. I watched as Eric’s eyes slowly looked upon my parted lips.
“Sookie…” he said before I brought our lips together. At first it was soft. Our lips and our hands upon each other. But all too soon I was breathless as Eric pulled away to let me breathe. He gently laid me down on our bed before plopping himself down on his side of the bed and throwing one of his arms over his eyes.
I was still trying to catch my breath when I heard Eric lightly chuckle.
“What?” I asked breathlessly.
“I don’t think I’ve had to use as much self control in all my thousand years as I am right now. You test my willpower, my dear Sookie,” he said with a groan.
I could feel his lust for me, but I could also feel him trying to regain control of his self. After a few minutes, I scooted my body closer to Eric’s. When my hand touched the arm he had draped over his eyes, he removed it and turned his head to look at me.
“You have nothing to be sorry for,” he said. Eric took my hand and kissed the back of it. “Come here,” he said as he pulled my hand, bringing me closer to him. He didn’t stop until my body was flush against his and I laid my head on his shoulder.
I wrapped my arm around his chest while Eric stroked my hair. While I was getting sleepier by the minute, my guilt over making Eric almost lose control was slipping away.
“You do not need to feel guilty, min älskade,” he said before lightly grasping my chin and tilting my head back. Once my head was tilted back enough for our eyes to lock onto each others, he placed three soft kisses on my lips. He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tight. “I only want to wait until you are ready and with the alcohol in your system tonight it has lowered your inhibitions. I would hate for you to regret it in the morning.”
“I wouldn’t regret it, but you’re right that I’m probably not ready. Can we lay like this until I fall asleep?”
“Of course, you don’t need to ask. You can do whatever you’re comfortable with,” he said and then resumed stroking my hair and putting me to sleep.
“Good night, Eric,” I said as I snuggled in closer to him. If I could I think I would have crawled inside of him. For every inch that I snuggled closer, I could feel the intensity of Eric’s happiness and love expand throughout my body.
“Good night, min älskade. Jag älskar dig,” he said before burying his face into my hair and finally placed a kiss.