The sound of flesh slapping against flesh fills the air as does the sound of a woman moaning in pleasure. Sookie knows the vampire she seeks isn’t in the basement. Even though she can’t understand the woman’s thoughts because they are in a foreign language, the images Sookie is able to see tells her the vampire in the basement is not Bill. The woman’s thoughts are like a pornographic movie, and Eric Northman, the bane of Sookie’s existence, has the starring role.
The mental images fascinate Sookie. She’s seen sex thousands of times in the minds of other people, but it’s never looked like this. Even the stuff people imagine her doing with Bill cannot compare to what Sookie is seeing in the woman’s mind. In truth, sex with Bill has been tame other than that one time in the cemetery.
Whoever started the rumor that sex with a vampire is the ultimate erotic pleasure never had sex with Bill Compton. Sex with Bill is . . . predictable. There is nothing exciting about it. There is very little foreplay before he slides his dick and fangs inside her. It’s not bad . . . But it’s not the earth-shattering experience Cosmo and other magazines have made sex with a vampire out to be.
But something tells Sookie that Eric would certainly live up to the hype. Given the cries from the woman in the basement and the feeling of bliss that colors her thoughts, that’s exactly the type of experience she is getting.
Sookie knows it’s wrong but she wants to see what she’s missing. She wants a taste of the forbidden. For just a moment, she wishes it was her downstairs with Eric and not whatever fangbanger he’s selected for his evening’s entertainment. Those are the thoughts that propel her down the darkened stairwell leading to the dungeon-like basement of Fangtasia. Sookie knows she has to make this convincing since she barged into the club looking for Bill so she calls out his name even though she knows he’s nowhere in the building. What’s surprising is that Pam isn’t trying to stop her from interrupting Eric. Given the look of glee on her face, it’s almost as if the female vampire wants Sookie to see what’s going on in the basement. And Pam’s attempts to stop her are non-existent; even her words sound bored, as if she is reciting them from a script provided to her. As Sookie turns to walk down the last few steps, the sight before her makes her forget her cover story.
That expression can be taken a multitude of ways. Perhaps she meant it in disgust due to the naked woman tied up in some sort of kinky bondage act. Or else she meant it in surprise because it never occurred to her that a vampire could use their speed for more than just fighting or running. Given the red flush on her cheeks, it could have been a cry of embarrassment.
But Sookie’s exclamation was none of those things.
What would Eric say if he knew Sookie said ‘Holy S’ because the sight of his perfectly sculpted backside rendered her stupid? What would the Sheriff of Area Five say to the fact that the only thought running through her mind is that she wants to drop to her knees on the dirty floor, lean forward, and take a bite out of his luscious derrière?
With Sookie’s exclamation, Eric stops thrusting into the bound woman. She cannot read vampire minds, but she can get a bead on their emotional state. Eric’s void had been a bubble filled with clear fog before she interrupted his activities. It was tranquil, which seemed at odds with the activity he was engaged in; Sookie thought his void would be more active, certainly tinged with passion. It wasn’t until her uttered words that the fog inside Eric’s bubble started swirling and changing color. The way it began moving reminded her of the sky when tornados form; agitated and violent. The color also changed, first becoming a greenish-grey that she often associates with guilt, something she’s picked up on from Jason’s thoughts. It then morphed into the deep vermillion she associates with anger. But there are flashes of yellow which she knows is happiness and that orangish-pink she sees when people are attracted to someone. But the overwhelming color is a bluish-grey that she knows all too well because it is often the color of her own emotional state.
“Sookie,” Eric purrs as he turns his head to look at her. “See anything you like?”
Hell yes I do! Thank God Eric isn’t the telepath here or else he would know just how badly Sookie wants to be the one down there with him. Eric would be completely smug if he knew exactly how jealous she is of the bound woman. Sookie tries to keep her eyes averted from the naked bodies in the room because that is the polite thing to do. The problem is that she is fascinated by the naked woman that Eric has chosen to spend his evening with. What is it that Eric sees in her? If he’s spending time with her, does he really have an interest in Sookie?
Maybe he’s just toying with me.
All of these thoughts race through her mind in a matter of seconds. The flirtatious smirk Eric put into place for Sookie fades away when he notices his progeny behind her. “I take it Sookie couldn’t be stopped.”
“What can I say? She overpowered me,” Pam says in her soft feminine voice. Sookie turns her head to scoff at Pam, knowing no one in their right mind believes that one. What interests Sookie more is that the deep vermillion inside Eric’s void pulses like an angry heartbeat. Is he angry at the interruption or because Pam didn’t stop Sookie from coming down here? The telepath doesn’t understand what about the situation has upset Eric. She takes a step back trying to avoid having that anger directed at her.
“I do,” Pam retorts with an appreciative glance around Eric to the bound woman spread open, leaving nothing to the imagination. Sookie’s eyes flicker to the woman as well, curious about what Eric finds attractive about her. Without trying to seem like she is staring, Sookie takes a quick inventory of the woman’s body before darting her expression to look at any point north of Eric’s personal equator. Does he like it when a woman alters her physical appearance with chemicals and plastic to make herself something she isn’t? The woman sagging against her restraints isn’t a natural blonde, her breasts have been surgically altered, and her tan is too perfect to be natural. Sookie feels self-conscious that she isn’t as well manicured as Eric’s evening entertainment.
I look like a bramble bush down there compared to her trimmed Southern Hemisphere
There also isn’t an ounce of flab on the other human present in the room. Sookie knows her body is toned from the years spent on her feet waitressing and carrying heavy trays of food and drinks, but her stomach isn’t flat like a washboard. Her breasts, although round and firm, aren’t as high and tight as Eric’s companion for the evening. This inventory of the other female human’s body has Sookie feeling inadequate and nervous. She tries to retreat, but Eric fixes her with a gaze that pins her to the spot. However, he sends Pam back upstairs and she retreats with ill-concealed annoyance. Pam stomping up the steps and angrily slamming the door pulls Sookie back to the absurd situation she finds herself in.
Eric introduces Sookie to his companion for the evening; a woman named Yvetta, and learns she is his new dancer. Pole dancer, she thinks uncharitably. He’s treating the moment like it is Sunday afternoon high tea, prime and proper as he introduces the two women to each other including their place of birth. All Sookie wants to do is laugh at the absurdity of the situation. It’s like one of those bad pornos she’d caught Jason and Hoyt watching one day while Gran had been over Maxine Fortenberry’s house. Sookie hadn’t said anything when she first saw what the guys were watching, but she couldn’t control the fit of giggles that had overtaken her by the absurdity of the situation she’d seen on the television screen. Jason had screamed at her to get out of the house once he’s realized she was there, and she’d hightailed it out of the house to the woods where Tara was waiting for her. The two girls had laughed for hours over how ridiculous it had been. Sookie snorts in amusement to herself as the bad porno soundtrack begins playing in her mind. She almost giggles outright when Eric swaggers towards her, his steps in time with the music in her head.
Bow chicka bow wow indeed!
With his hands on his hips and a smirk on his lips, Eric stops in front of Sookie. His lips twitch with humor as he gazes down at Sookie’s flushed face. He is enjoying the discomfort his nakedness is causing the sheltered telepath. “What brings you to Fangtasia on this balmy summer night?
“Bill’s been kidnapped and I think you did it.” Stay focused Sookie; stay focused. There’s a reason you’re here. Remember Bill; the vampire that proposed to you earlier this evening. The vampire that loves you.
But it’s hard to stay strong when faced with absolute perfection; Adonis personified. She’s human; sue her! It’s also difficult to stay steadfast in her devotion to Bill when she knows that there are problems in their relationship. Dallas put their differences and issues under a magnifying glass. The problem with MaryAnn had temporarily pushed those issues to the side, but they had coming rushing back to the forefront of Sookie’s mind when Bill had slid those airline tickets and engagement ring in front of her.
“I didn’t. Any other theories?” His blasé attitude rankles Sookie. Why is Eric so dismissive of her? These are serious accusations!
“I’m still on this one thank you very much. Where were you tonight around eleven o’clock?”
“Here with Yvetta.”
“Doing this? For the last six hours?” SIX HOURS?!?!?!?!?! I’m lucky if Bill can last six minutes! It takes everything inside Sookie to keep her jaw firmly locked and not flop open in shock. She’s never before felt unsatisfied by Bill’s performance as a lover, but now . . .
“You seem surprised. Is Bill’s stamina not up to snuff?” How is it with one look, Eric manages to convey his superiority over Bill? The overly cocky vampire knows that he is superior to Compton in every way imaginable; all he wants is for Sookie to admit it. Despite the issues in their relationship, Sookie is loyal to Bill. Without the pressure of Bill and his ring in her face, she knows that their relationship isn’t going to survive. First love very rarely does, and while the thought saddens her that her relationship with Bill has run its course, she is not about to abandon him to his fate. There may be issues in her relationship with Bill, but she’s not about to betray him. Well, not any more than she already has. She’s fairly sure that Bill won’t be happy about the fact that Sookie has had a conversation with his nude superior.
“Tell me where I can find Lorena. If you don’t have him, she does,” Sookie demands.
For the first time since their conversation began, the amusement leaves Eric’s void to be replaced with concern. He’s enjoyed every minute of unsettling Sookie and feeling his amusement has helped keep her hackles up. However this wave of concern gives her pause. Why is Eric concerned for her?
“Solid theory. But given the tenor of your last run-in with Miss Krasiki I think it’s better if I dealt with her instead,” the vampire states in a cold voice that leaves no room for argument.
“How do I know you will?”
“Because if Bill was in fact kidnapped, by human or vampire, I am duty bound as sheriff of the area in which he resides to find him,” Eric responds in a brisk tone indicating that he is all business. Yet there is a yearning in his eye and stark need on his face that lends intensity to his next words that his soft tone does not. “Even if I do want what is his.” Eric is gazing at Sookie with pure need and desire. It is not the cocky, boastful swagger that he displayed moments ago. The emotions coming from Eric are strong and deep. Dallas gave Sookie her first glimpse into the psyche of the thousand-year old vampire in front of her. He is deep; there is love inside him. Right now he is hurting over the loss of his maker. A maker that Sookie had made a promise to.
And she intends to keep her promise; she intends to honor Godric.
But Eric needs to work for it. It can’t only be her putting forth this effort.
“Then do it,” Sookie commands before walking up the stairs. Her steps ring loudly in the otherwise still room. Before she reaches the top of the path leading out of the basement, she turns her piercing gaze back to Eric. “By the way, you owe me ten thousand dollars!”
Eric smirks in acknowledgement of her words. “I don’t seem to have my checkbook on me,” he retorts cheekily while patting his imaginary pockets.
Sookie’s lips twitch as she tries to fight the smile that threatens to break out on her face. “When you bring my check, make sure you aren’t doing your best impersonation of The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
“Don’t you like my outfit?” He gives her that look that’s both sexy and infuriating at the same time. Sookie wants to slap him and kiss him all in the same breath. She gives in to neither urge, instead laughing at the strangeness of the night.
“If I say yes, then you’ll tease me and continue to preen like a peacock. If I say no, you’ll accuse me of being a liar. All I’ll say is that I will not mind seeing it again in the future.” Eric’s eyes widen in surprise and his mouth opens to respond, but Sookie raises her finger to indicate he needs to wait.
“Find Bill; I can’t in good conscience jump from one bed to the next without ending things with him. He deserves that consideration. And afterwards . . . who knows what will happen? Maybe I’ll let you model this outfit for me again, but I’d better be the only one getting to see it!” With those final words, Sookie leaves the basement. She feels better than when she first arrived. Sookie is secure in the knowledge that Eric will do everything in his power to find Bill quickly.
All he needed was a little incentive.