I was sitting on the bed in between Eric’s legs while he brushed the tangles from my wet hair. I had been in the shower when he rose for the night, and if I was afraid that he might go back to holding out on me again, Eric quickly proved me wrong by taking me up against the shower’s tile wall the moment he stepped inside.
Was it possible for a vampire to wake up in bloodlust?
I didn’t know, but I was definitely sated for the night and feeling the hairbrush along with Eric’s hands softly flow through my hair was enough to cause me to melt into a pile of goo right there on the bed. I didn’t want to leave this bed. In fact, all I wanted to do was snuggle up next to my vampire for the rest of the night, but I knew that wasn’t likely to happen.
Once Eric was done, he sat my brush down on the bed before placing a kiss on that special spot just underneath my ear. He knew what he was doing to me, and it was, even more, obvious when I felt his cool breath from his chuckle against my skin.
“You’re not fair,” I pouted.
“Why is that, min älskade?” He asked as he wrapped his arms around my waist from behind.
Leaning back, I rested my head on his shoulder and placed my hands on top of his. “I don’t want to move from this bed. I want to stay here and snuggle with you for the rest of the night, but I know that won’t happen. Tell me what you know and why you’ve been so apprehensive about telling me.”
“We need to leave here to be able to take down the vampire who has orchestrated this fight with us. He’s stationed too far away for us to be able to come and go. Texas is a big state, and not all of us can fly or move at supernatural speed. We need to find a closer location where we can all stay. Godric is calling an ally that he trusts to help with the fight and a place to stay.”
“Okay. That doesn’t sound bad. What else?” I questioned. Something wasn’t adding up as to why he hadn’t wanted to tell me.
“I am worried about security, your safety. It is widely known that the vampire that Godric wants to work with has an extreme dislike for Weres. It is possible that Quinn will not be able to remain with us.”
“I will find a way. I will not be able to stop worrying about your safety if I know that you have no one looking out for you during the day and when I cannot be with you to protect you. It is possible that I’ll have to make other arrangements, and we may have to stay somewhere away from the group,” Eric explained.
“What about Hauk?”
“He’s a fine protector for you, but he will be out at night helping us, and he cannot be seen by anyone during the day. We will just have to wait until Godric hears back from Thortin.”
“I don’t mind staying in a separate location if necessary. We would have more alone time together with it just being Quinn and us,” I said with hope.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case,” he said sadly. “I believe that we will be with one another less given that I will need to be with the group deciding on what needs to be done and making arrangements. I’m only telling you this now because you asked why I was apprehensive. I can tell you that Godric wants everyone to go. He doesn’t want anyone staying here in case of another attack. Charlie and Mason do not have the clearance to come down here on their own, and since they can both be glamoured, Godric doesn’t want to grant them temporary access.”
“I understand that. I like Mason, and you know how much I like Charlie, so it doesn’t bother me that they are going,” I replied happily.
“You were only just hoping for more alone time with me,” Eric said, kissing the top of my head and started to sway us back and forth. “Someday soon when this is all over, we will get our alone time. We will travel the world, and I will show you my homeland and where we honeymooned. We can be gone as long as we want. Will that make you happy?”
“I’m happy with you now,” I said, turning around to straddle his lap. “It doesn’t matter where we are, but I would like to see where you come from and the place of our honeymoon. I want to go when the days are long and dark. I want to experience that with you.”
“Then you will,” he replied, his breath caressing my ear.
“Are you going to tell me the information you found out last night?” I asked, resting my forehead against his and staring him in the eyes.
“If you want to know,” he replied simply, but our bond told me something else. He was hesitant for some reason.
I was immediately taken aback and hurt. Did Eric not want to tell me for some reason? He’d always said that he hid nothing from me and that we talked about everything, that I was his confidant.
I pushed up off his lap and launched myself to the other side of the room as my tears welled up, blurring my vision.
“Kära en, what…”
“No,” I said, shaking my head and interrupting him. “Why don’t you want to tell me what you found out? I thought you hid nothing from me, but…”
“No buts,” Eric interrupted angrily. “I’m not trying to hide anything from you, and if you truly wanted to know you only have to read it directly from me. I was only concerned about telling you because once you find out, you’ll be worried about me and everyone else. I know you, Sookie, and how you react when you think I’ll be in danger.”
“You’ll be in danger?” I choked out as my tears returned, only, this time, I couldn’t hold them back.
Eric was quickly kneeling in front of me and pulling me to his chest.
“I’m afraid so. That’s why I need to know that you’re safe. I’d send you far away until this whole mess was taken care of if I thought you’d stay where I wanted you to be safe, but if what I thought before hadn’t convinced me, then your feeling of determination to keep me safe right now and the vast amount of hurt I felt when I mentioned sending you away definitely did the trick.”
I watched as a smile spread across his face and the warmth of his love almost overwhelmed me. I hugged myself to his large frame and then asked him what was so funny when I felt his body lightly shake and his amusement.
“I love how you feel that you can keep me safe and that you’d do anything to protect me. It’s a blessing and a curse. If you were ever hurt because you were trying to save or protect me…” I felt him shake his head and hold me tighter. “I could never live with myself. I need you safe,” he implored, pulling back to stare down at me. I looked into his soulful eyes as they showed me every emotion that was running through our bond.
“Promise me you’ll do as I and those around you say,” he said, his eyes pleading with mine.
I could feel that he would be in constant worry for me if I didn’t promise. I also knew that he’d worry about me anyway just as I would worry about him. I had already seen him get hurt twice, and I never wanted to see Eric shot or burned again.
“I promise I’ll be safe and do as you say,” I vowed, sitting up straight and squaring my shoulders. “Please tell me what you found out. Did you get the information easily?”
“Easy for us,” he smirked. “No,” he shook his head. “It did not go as smoothly for the Were we captured just as I knew it wouldn’t. He was very unwilling to give up any intelligence. There were only a few minutes before dawn when I made it back to our room, but we got every last piece of information out of him.”
“Is he dead?” I quietly asked.
Eric’s smile dropped from his face, and he turned serious. He answered back just as quietly. “Yes.”
Tilting my head to the side, my eyes roamed Eric’s face as I tried to place what he was feeling. It was a mixture of resignation, apprehension, and something else. “I’m not understanding what you’re feeling,” I finally stated when I could not place the unnamed emotion.
“I am not ashamed of what we did last night. It is part of my vampiric nature, and it needed to be done to keep those I love and care for safe, but I also know your caring heart and that you don’t want anyone to die or get hurt, even our enemy. Also,” he paused and rubbed his thumb over my bottom lip, “I don’t want you to see me as a monster.”
“Never!” I promised, shaking my head while I pulled him closer and kissed him.
Our lips met feather light at first. Small caresses against each other until his hands wound in my hair. It was short but passionate. It was a promise, a vow. He would always be my Eric, my husband. Nothing could change that or my love for him.
Pulling away, I could see that I had allayed his fear that I would one day see him differently. I would be happy to set his fears at ease every day if I could see and feel the way he looked at me now.
We finally settled down on the couch in the adjoining room. Our bodies faced each other with our hands entwined before he finally told me what we’d be confronting in the days to come.
“What we discovered isn’t good news, Sookie,” Eric confessed. “ The one who’s been funding the Fellowship is a vampire, and not just any vampire, but a very ancient and powerful vampire from the Old World.”
“How old?” I asked as my eyes darted over his worried face.
“Somewhere around twenty-five-hundred-years-old,” he answered with a smile that I’m sure was supposed to be reassuring but looked more like a grimace setting my nerves aflame.
“Older than Godric?”
“Yes,” he nodded. “He’s one of the oldest vampires that I am aware of, and he’s been taking out all the ancient vampires in the Old World and has now moved here. Godric is one of the oldest here in the New World,” he explained.
I knew there was still more, and that it was likely very bad since I could feel Eric’s unease intensifying more as he spoke. “What else?”
“He knows that I was the one who saved Godric from the warehouse, he’s had the Fellowship watching us ever since, he knows that we’re still here, and he now has his sights set on killing me also.”
I felt the blood drain from my face as the world stopped on its axis.
“No!” I gasped. Eric was right to feel the way he felt. No! He needed to be more afraid than he was. We needed to leave and go I don’t know where, but somewhere where this crazy ass vampire would not find us.
Wrapping his arms tightly around me, Eric rocked me and tried to convince me that everything was going to be alright, but I knew that he couldn’t promise that. No one could. I wouldn’t be able to relax until I knew we were all safe.
After a few minutes, I pulled myself together with some deep breaths and looked up at Eric’s worried face. I attempted to smile and let him know I was fine, but there wasn’t a smile I could give that would convince either one of us that we were fine and not in danger.
“Do you want me to send you away? I will if you want me to if you need me to. I’ve never felt you so fearful before in my life.”
“You,” I said, poking him in the chest. “Need to be more scared. You should want to leave with our friends and me, and never come back,” I begged.
“It wouldn’t matter. He wants us dead, and I believe he’s just crazy enough to keep coming after us no matter where we would go. He might get sidetracked into killing others, but, in the end, I don’t think he’d stop unless he was finally dead, or Godric and I were dead. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life on the run from some crazed vampire.”
Shaking my head, I curled my hands into tight fists. “Why is he doing this? It makes no sense that he’s out there killing other vampires.”
Prying my hands from their angry grip, Eric laced his fingers with mine. “According to the Were, it is because he hates how vampires have become since the Revelation.”
“I don’t understand,” I said with a frown.
Kissing my temple, Eric calmly continued. “He believes they’ve become soft since they don’t have to hide what they are anymore, life is too easy, and we are losing our edge. If he kills off all the ancient vampires who have any remote chance at ending him, Marcus believes that he can drive the remaining vampires to return to the way it was before we outed ourselves. To the underground,” he explained.
“That’s insane! Just because he kills all these vampires, it’s not like the world is going to forget that vampires ever existed. I can’t wrap my head around it,” I said, putting my hands on my head and shaking it.
“I don’t understand it either, dear one. He has always been known to my world as being easy to deal with. No one would have ever expected that he would one day go on a killing spree of his own kind. Most likely no one knows that it’s been him who has been killing all the powerful vampires in the Old World. Godric, Hauk, and I will be calling some of our contacts to see if the names of the vampires that we got from the Were are, indeed, finally dead. If they are, we will need to be extra diligent regarding our safety. It wouldn’t be hard for him to kill us all in one swoop.”
“I still say we run away,” I whispered into this chest.
“We are the only chance at stopping him, and he will keep coming after us if we run. We will stay and fight. We will find out all the information we can and use our every advantage. We will be successful. We have no other choice,” Eric stated with conviction.
“So what do we do now?” I asked unsure of our next move.
“We meet up with the others to see if they have any information, get on the phone to make arrangements; find out any information we can, pack up what we have here, and after we find accommodations, we will leave. Hauk, Charlie, and Mason should be here by the end of the night, and if everything goes according to plan, we will leave tomorrow night or the next. We don’t want to be here in case Marcus decides to attack again.”
I snuggled up to Eric’s side as we continued to sit on the couch seeking his comfort.
“I’m scared,” I whispered.
“I know. I am too,” Eric confessed.
We stay huddled up together for a few more minutes before Eric stood and helped me to my feet so that we could head upstairs to see if anyone had found any information that would be of help to us.
Just as we made it to the door leading upstairs, I turned to Eric and asked, “Is that why you were using sex to distract me when you woke up?”