Waking up next to Eric, even though he was technically ‘dead’, was becoming one of my favourite things. He looked so peaceful in his ‘sleep’. Youthful, even. All the worry that burdened him, his duty as Sheriff, his everlasting wish to keep me and mines safe, they all disappeared as he wrapped his arms around me and stopped resisting the pull from the sun.
I watched him for a little while before dropping a kiss on his cool lips and heading toward the bathroom. After our first round of love making, we had made quite a mess in his spacious bathroom. I smiled as I brushed my teeth before taking the damp towels and clothes scattered on the floor. My father didn’t raise a slob and, although I knew Eric had housekeepers coming in several nights a week, I didn’t want anybody to find my dirty underwear lying around.
I still had some work to do. In the last couple of days a handsome blond Viking had kept me from achieving anything. Luckily, Eric had brought my laptop from the farmhouse and had set it in his own office. I grabbed a long silk white robe, sighing at the expensive La Perla label and headed toward the home office.
The deal with the Hep D clinics was almost finalized and I went through some financial reports for Eric and Pam’s other ventures. The inn in San Francisco was still highly popular and the sell numbers for Gaul Ambrosia were up by 3% since the last quarter. Eric’s shares in both the True Blood and Royalty Blend companies were still bringing in money, but Pam’s shares in Valentino, Burberry and Christian Dior were bringing even more.
Looking at the clock on the fireplace mantel I realized it was almost midday. I decided to go outside and enjoy the sun a little bit before having lunch. The walk-in still intimidated me, but I smiled. Pam and Gran had obviously chosen the clothes residing in it with great care and, surprisingly for Pam, they had respected my tastes.
I settled for a barely there red bikini before putting back the white silk robe. I found Gran in the kitchen, humming softly as she prepared lunch. Freyja was sleeping in a cute wicker basket, snoring.
“Good morning, Gran!”
“Good morning, Sookie dear. Going out to enjoy the sun?”
I nodded, checking the several pots and pan on the burners.
“I’m making Shrimp Étouffée. How about you go lie down and as soon as it’s ready we eat outside on the patio?”
“You’re the best, Gran.”
I exited through the patio door and I had to hold my breath at the view offered to me. The land was extensive and for the first time I could fully appreciate it. Eric had said that he had built this house for me. I couldn’t see myself worthy of such a beauty. I went down the stone Imperial staircases and lied down on one of the wooden lounge chair. I always felt re-energized after spending some time in the sun and if it hadn’t been for Gran’s shouting from the patio telling me lunch was ready I would have probably stayed there until sundown.
Gran’s Shrimp Étouffée was as good as I remembered. We talked for a while, me telling her about babysitting Arlene’s kids and about her engagement.
“I don’t think it will last” she sighed. “That Rene is exactly like her other husbands. The others were drifter-type, men who weren’t from around here, with no roots in Bon Temps. Oh, they made her happy for a while, but they always left her.”
“She seems to fall for the wrong guys, right? If only she knew…”
“Knew what, honey?”
I bit my lower lips. “I ‘heard’ somebody think about her. Apparently, Terry Bellefleur has quite the crush on her.”
Gran smiled. “That poor Terry…”
We continue our idle chat while finishing the yummy Shrimp Étouffée.
“Would you put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, dear? I’m going back to the library…”
And off she went, tiny Freyja following her. I went back outside for a little while, soaking in the sun, hoping to enthrall my Viking with the wonderful smell clinging to my skin upon his rise. Then I went back inside, carrying my robe in my arms and stripped naked once I entered Eric’s room – or our room as he had started to call it. I took my spot back on the bed and snuggled in his side, relishing in the safeness I felt whenever I was next to him.
I closed my eyes and sighed. I knew the moment he came ‘back to life’. First there was a tingle in the bond then I felt his strong arms circled me, sending me even closer to him. His nose was nuzzling my shoulder as he took a deep breath.
“You went in the sun.”
It was not a question, more of a statement.
“I love the smell of sunshine on your skin, lover.”
“I thought so…”
Soon his lips were seeking mines and in a flash I was now straddling him. His thousand years of experience, though I preferred not to think about all those others women who had the privilege and pleasure to get intimately acquainted with his GraciousPlenty, quickly got me ready for the ride of my life. Knowing that we weren’t alone in the house – albeit with it being so big there was barely a chance for Gran to hear anything – I bit my lips, trying to contain the moans of pleasure that were rising from my throat.
His hands were resting on my hips, possessively. There was nothing slow or tender in our joining and I didn’t care. We weren’t making love, we were fucking. Not that he was unable to make slow sweet love – no he had more than proven it to me during our first night together and many more time after. But tonight he was fucking me to oblivion. As simple as that. He was claiming my body, my soul, my mind and I was willingly letting him. Our bond was drowning in pure lust and I LOVED it. My mate, my bonded, my Viking, my Vampire was claiming me. I grabbed him by the hair, forcing his mouth against mine, needing it as I need air to breath. I came yelling, letting go of his mouth. I soon felt the small sting of his fangs sinking into my shoulder. He only took a small sip before kissing the fangs marks.
He continued his delicious assault on my body, sending me toward ecstasy once more. After my fourth orgasm I was a panting mess. My mind was telling me I couldn’t take it anymore, but my body had a mind of its own. I couldn’t believe that I had been a blushing virgin only a couple of nights ago. Eric had awakened a sexual beast that I didn’t even know resided in me. I came one last time, this time in sync with the handsome man that I knew would forever be mine.
“I’m not sure I’m going to be able to walk after that” I said after a couple of minutes.
He brought his wrist to his mouth and the distinct sound of his fangs clicking into place sent a chill down my spine. Soon thebleeding wrist was at my mouth and I smiled before drinking his ambrosia. His blood tasted like nothing I’ve ever tasted. I couldn’t really say what it tasted like, but it sure wasn’t the copper taste blood normally is like.
A couple of gulp and I could already feel the magic of his blood work through me. The soreness that had taken residence in my core was fading and I was feeling quite energized.
I kissed him once more before getting up and heading toward the bathroom.
“Where do you think you’re going, lover?”
“To take a shower, of course. And unfortunately you’re not invited. You wouldn’t be able to keep your hands to yourself and I won’t go in a meeting with vampires smelling like sex!”
He let out a groan.
“I promise to be quick.”
And quick I was. I strolled back to the bedroom, a fluffy red towel wrapped around me, and smiled at the view offered to me. He was still on the bed in his glorious nakedness, scrolling through his messages on his phone. I went to the walk-in and sighed. There were just too many options! I finally settled on a white pantsuit with a white shirt. I was putting on my underwear, a lacy white bra and the matching boyshorts, when Eric vamped to his side of the walk-in.
“Great choice of outfit, lover. I don’t know if I prefer you in red or in white… Either way, you are delectable as always!”
“Stop it, you big goofy Viking! Get dressed so we can deal with your thief! I still have to fix my hair and…”
In a whoosh Eric was standing next to me, dressed in dark jeans and a black wife beater.
“Need help, lover?”
If I thought that him undressing me was sexy, it was even sexier to have him dressing me. His lips lingered on my collar bone as he put my shirt on, his hands on my tights then my butt as he helped me into my pants then pressed a kiss on my exposed belly button. I was so turn on that I was close to rip his clothes off and fuck him on the floor.
“You have to stop now, Eric…”
His cell phone, for once, seemed to agree with me. He groaned and answered, letting go of me. I took the time to style my hair into a sophisticated knot updo. I put on my ‘E’ necklace and joined Eric back in the bedroom.
“You ready, lover?”
We said goodnight to Gran – who honestly didn’t even seems to care, the book resting in her laps apparently more interesting than us – and took the Corvette toward downtown Shreveport.
“Who was it on the phone?” I asked, sending a silent prayer as Eric drove like crazy down the highway.
“The original cockblocker, of course! We’ll have company tonight.”
“Compton. Apparently he was at Fangtasia last night when the accountant called Pam.”
“Let me guess, he used his ‘position’ as Area 5 ‘Investigator’ to get himself an invite?”
“For a blond bimbo you are smart, Miss Stackhouse.”
I playfully slapped him on the arm. “You seemed to like the blond bimbo earlier!”
“You’re wrong, I don’t like the blond bimbo…”
“I don’t like her, I love her.”
It took me a second for the revelation to sink in. Before I could even begin to think about a response to it, he pulled the Corvette into his reserved spot in the nearly empty Fangtasia parking lot. Pam pink mini-van and Jason’s Escalade were parked side by side next to an old beat up Cadillac – presumably Compton’s ride.
I shook my head and lowered my shields. There were three ‘blank’ spots and several human brains inside the bar – Pam, Long Shadow, Compton, Jason and the bar’s waiting staff. The accountant, named Bruce, was sitting in his car, terrified.
“You okay, lover?” asked Eric as he opened the passenger door for me.
“What? Oh… Yeah. I can already tell you that your accountant didn’t do it. The poor man is scared to death in his car. He’s sure you’re going to blame him, even though he’s the one who told you about the theft.”
We entered through the employees’ entrance and headed toward Eric’s office where Pam and Jason were cozily sitting on theleather couch.
“Pamela, is everything set up?”
It always surprised me, the contrast between off-duty-Pam and on-duty-at-Fangtasia-Pam. Gone were the black leather and pseudo dominatrix outfits, she looked like your next door neighbour’s soccer mom.
“Yes. The accountant should be here shortly, Long Shadow is keeping Compton’s company and the rest of the staff is waiting in the back room in case we need them.
“So we start with the accountant then go through your whole staff?”
Eric sat down behind his desk. “Yes. Who knows, we might find some interesting things about our employees apart from afucking thief.”
“And how to we conduct these interviews?” I asked. “We’re not going to go there and tell them I’m telepathic, right?”
“Of course not, Tinkerbelle! You know that your secret is safe with us.”
We came up with a strategy. Jason would question them while I ‘listened’ to their thought. Then came the tricky part about how we would all communicate together if I caught up something important. Jason was actually the one who came up with it.
“Do you know if any of them speak Swedish?”
Pam looked at her Maker with a smile. “Long Shadow knows some swear words, but I don’t think he’s fluent… It would highly surprise me if any of the staff spoke a second language apart from redneck, of course.”
“And Compton’s language abilities seem to only include a very bad Southern accent and basic French… Great idea, Stackhouse.”
We marched together, Pam and Jason in front and Eric and I behind. His hand was on the small of my back and I felt a rush of confidence through our bond. Long Shadow was standing behind the bar while Compton was sipping a bottle of True Blood and Bruce the accountant was sitting at a table, trembling with fear.
“Long Shadow, you remember my lawyers, I imagine?”
The tall vampire smirked at me. “Of course, Master. The one who get your sloppy seconds and your delectable non-pet…”
I rolled my eyes.
“Compton, I don’t think we need to reintroduce you to the Stackhouses?”
“No, of course not. Jason, Sookeh…”
The four of us cringed at his mispronunciation of my name.
“Tonight it’s going to be Mr. and Miss Stackhouse, Mr. Compton. While I understand that Long Shadow as a small interest in Fangtasia, can someone remind me why he’s here?”
The polo clad Compton was quick to answer. “I am here as the Area’s investigator, Mr. Stackhouse. I imagine that you are probably not familiar with Vampire hierarchy…”
“I’m very familiar with it, Compton. After all I am Mr. Northman and Ms. Swynford De Beaufort’s attorney. I know all about your hierarchy, how you are basically a lackey to the Area’s Sheriff who in turn as to answer to the Queen.”
“Allow me to correct you, I was given the position by the Queen. I answer to her and…”
“I beg to differ, Mr. Compton” I said, sweet as a Southern Belle, “you are an Area employee, which mean that Mr. Northman, as Sheriff of Area 5, and Ms. Swynford De Beaufort, as his second, are your bosses. You report to them, not to the Queen. Am I right, Mr. Northman?”
“You are right, min älskare.”
The lack of reaction from both Compton and Long Shadow at Eric’s used of the endearment told us that our plan to use Swedish was perfect.
“As you know, it was discovered by Bruce, our dedicated accountant, that $60,000 was missing from the bar’s account. Our lawyers will interview him, then our other employees until we find the culprit.”
Jason took a legal pad from his briefcase and we both sat opposite Bruce.
“Bruce… May I call you Bruce?”
The poor man was sweating profusely and nodded, looking extremely scared.
“Why don’t you tell us how you found out about the theft?”
Taking a deep breath he relied how he found several discrepancies throughout the bar’s books that added to a grand total of more than sixty grand. He kept saying that it was well done, that at first glance nobody would have suspected anything if not for the fact that he was reviewing everything in case the IRS decided to surprise audit them like they did for several other vampire businesses. Jason was nodding as the man continued his story and I lowered my shields.
“I should have listened to my wife! I shouldn’t have work for vampires! They’re going to kill me! All I did was report the theft.”
“Är han talar sanning? (Is he telling the truth?)” asked Eric.
“Ja, det är han. Han är rädd att vi kommer att anklaga honom, men han gjorde inte det. (Yes, he is. He’s afraid we’ll accuse him, but he did not.)”
“Well, thank you, Bruce” said Jason. “That will be all for tonight.”
The man looked surprised. “Really? You won’t… I can…”
“Listen to Mr. Stackhouse, Bruce” said Pam, sweetly. “Unless you have something to hide…”
“No! Of course not! I… Thank you. I…”
“Go!” said Eric, bored to death – no pun intended. “Bring in the humans! One at a time.”
Pam snorted and did so. The interviews continued and we didn’t discover anything significant apart from the fact that most of the staff, even the straight males, wanted a piece of Eric.
“Jag tror att jag kommer att bli galen om jag hör ytterligare en person tycker om sina sexuella fantasier som presenterar dig, Eric! Om jag inte visste bättre skulle jag tro att du glamour dem att bugga mig! (I think I’m going to go crazy if I hear one more person think about their sexual fantasies featuring you, Eric! If I didn’t know better I would think you glamour them to bug me!)”
“Du sa nyckelordet, älskare. De är bara fantasier. Jag skulle aldrig vilja skada dig på ett småaktigt sätt. (You said the key word, lover. They’re just fantasies. I would never wish to harm you in such a petty way.)”
“Ni två är riktigt sjuk, tycker du inte det, Jason? Hon verkligen fitta piskade dig, Mästare. (The two of you are really sick, don’t you think, Jason? She really pussy whipped you, Master.)”
The four of us laughed, but were interrupted by the groans coming from Compton.
“Could you please speak English? We don’t all speak Viking, you know!”
“Speak Viking, Compton? Is it the same as speaking American? For your information we are speaking Swedish, we always conduct our business in Swedish since Mr. and Miss Stackhouse have been fluent since childhood. If it bothers you I wouldsuggest you learn the language.”
“I hear the Rosetta Stone method is pretty good, Compton” said Jason. “Our Gran used it to learn Swedish. She said that even at her age it was quite easy. And since you are actually more than twice her age…”
It took a lot not to burst in laughter, but Pam saved Compton the embarrassment by bringing in the last of the human staff. It was the waitress from the other night, Ginger. She was still scantily clad, in a barely there skirt and a top she probably bought in the kids section.
“Betalar du din personal så illa att de inte ens har råd att köpa vanliga kläder? (Do you pay your staff so badly that they can’t even afford to buy normal clothes?)” I asked, eyeing the poor woman.
“Bara vara glad att hon kunde klä sig i dag, Sookie (Just be glad she could dress herself today, Sookie)” explained Pam.
I peeked at her thoughts and let out a sigh.
“Hennes huvud ser ut som en schweizerost! Hur ofta har du glamour henne? (Her head looks like Swiss cheese! How often do you have to glamour her?)”
Both Eric and Pam looked at each other, mischief in their eyes.
“Låt oss bara säga att Ginger tenderar att vara på fel plats vid fel tidpunkt. (Let’s just say that Ginger tend to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.)”
“Why are y’all talkin’ funny?” asked the poor woman.
She sat down in front of Jason and winked at him.
“Hey there, handsome!”
“Ginger, someone stole $60.000 from Fangtasia’s account. Mr. Stackhouse is going to ask you some question, answer them truthfully.”
“Aye, Aye, Master” she answered in a disgustingly flirty way.
As Jason asked her if she took the money, I lowered my shields and tried to peek at her Swiss cheese-like thoughts. It wasn’teasy, but I was able to get some clear stuff.
“I ain’t took no money! If you say I did I’ll beat the shit out of the Master’s pet… But not you, handsome, I could have so much fun with you, yummy.”
“Det är inte hennes (It’s not her)” I answered, my shields still down.
“Do you know who took the money, Ginger?” asked Jason, drawing doodles on his pad.
“No!” was her answer.
“Shit, I didn’t do it, I swear! Fuck, he’s goin’ to kill me!”
“Hon vet vem som gjorde det! (She knows who did it!)”
“Vem?! (Who?!)” asked Eric and Pam, at the same time.
Once more Jason asked her.
“Ginger, who took the money?”
All I got from her thought was static.
“”Det finns inget i hennes tankar … Det är tomt! Glamour! Det är en vampyr… Lång Skugga! (There’s nothing in her thoughts… It’s blank! Glamour! It’s a vampire… Long Shadow!)”
The Native American vampire must have known more Swedish than we thought because I soon as I said his name in Swedish, he was one me, fangs down and his hands around my throat. Before Eric or Pam or Jason could react, Compton broke one of the beer engines and staked my attacker. Blood kept flooding from his mouth, landing on me. I tried to close my mouth and nearly choked on all the blood. I blacked out, the last thing I heard was the piercing screams coming from Ginger.