Our third and final bonding trip saw us returning to our snowy wonderland on a bed of furs. Our time in the snowy retreat was magical and extremely erotic. I cannot believe some of the things Sookie let me do; I eagerly look forward to a repeat performance when we are not intoxicated on each other’s blood. Now that we have completed our bond, I wonder if we will continue to have these little trips. If we have no more, I shall miss them; they allowed Sookie and I to focus only on each other in a secluded paradise. However, I love how clearly I can feel her. I can tell every nuance in her emotional state, and I can pinpoint her exact location, which at the moment is too damn far away from me. Using our bond, I “tug” on it to get her attention. Her infectious giggle drifts through the floor boards before her voice drifts up the stairs.
“Hold your horses Cowboy! The human needs to eat!”
Grinning wickedly, I send a surge of lust through the bond. I have something she can eat if she’s in the mood to swallow something. Within a few seconds of sending her my lusty feelings, I hear her petite feet running up the stairs to our room. I arrange my body in the most alluring pose I can on the bed. Despite all the sex of the past two nights, I have this insatiable need to cover Sookie’s body with my own; to mark her with my fangs, blood, and cum as she is mine. I know it’s chauvinistic and antiquated, but I don’t care. To other Supernaturals, my scent will now be intertwined with hers so they know she is mine; but what about those human assholes thinking they have the right to ogle her beauty? Perhaps I will give into the human tradition. What is it that annoying singer that’s always shaking her ass says? Oh yes, if I like it I should put a ring on it.
The door to our bedroom opens, and Sookie skids to a stop in the open door. She ogles my body while I ogle hers, and I growl appreciatively at the goddess standing before me. She is wearing my black wifebeater and nothing else. “Did you traipse around the house in only that? Where anyone else could look at you?” Mine . . . she is mine . . . These are the only thoughts running through my brain. No one else can see her like this but me. Mine.
Sookie must feel the tenor of my internal musings because she raises her eyebrow in perfect imitation of what I often do, and closes the door with a soft click. “Calm down Captain Caveman! No one was in the kitchen to see me. In fact, no one is in the house. Lafayette and Alcide are working, Nicole and her mother have gone back to Sam’s trailer, and all the vampires are in their resting places. Jason, I imagine, is at the police station, but I’m sure he’ll stop by for dinner. So what are you doin’ up? It’s only a little after three. I thought you rose an hour before sunset.”
So caught up in my possessive tendencies I failed to consider the time. “I wonder if this is a new benefit because of our bond. This will be a wonderful bonus, allowing me to lavish even more attention on you,” I say with a smoldering look. The sweet smell of her arousal perfumes the air and my fangs slide down in hunger. I have gorged myself on her body and blood but I crave more. I need more. My delectable fairy must feel the same because she drops my shirt on the floor revealing the soft, rounded perfection of her body. Watching me with hooded eyes, her tiny hands move over the curves of her body until they cup the bountiful globes of her breasts. I watch, as if in a trance, as her thumbs graze her nipples in a back and forth motion. I am salivating with hunger as I watch one of her dainty hands as it slides down her torso, over the pelvic bone, and disappears in the secret garden between her thighs. Her breathe comes in jerky gasps that have me panting unnecessarily.
“Do you know how much it turns me on to watch you watching me?” Sookie says to break the charged silence in the room. “It’s the sweetest kind of temptation to touch myself like I know you would touch me, but it leaves me a little unfulfilled because I know I will never stretch my body or fill it the way you do. I crave having you inside me Eric,” she moans softly as she pushes a finger inside her. I snarl with need as I watch her pull the glistening digit out and rub the wetness up her torso to her nipples. I launch myself off the bed, pining her body to the floor as I gorge myself once more on the pleasure that I have only ever found with my bonded mate.
Nearly three hours later, I finally let Sookie leave the confines of our room. If it wasn’t for the rumbling of her stomach, we might not have left our private sanctuary. Sex is always a large role in a vampire’s existence, but I do not recall ever feeling this level of sexual need. As soon as I experience the exquisite bliss of release, the need for more is already clawing at my sanity. I fucked Sookie relentlessly for three hours, sharing countless climaxes with her. But it seemed the more pleasure we experienced, the sharper our sexual frustration became. This is maddening! Even now, with her body innocently brushing past mine in her quest to get to the refrigerator, I feel the need to pin her against the wall and have my way with her.
“Stop it!” Sookie’s tone of voice is sharp and when I glance at her, she is staring angrily at me. “Get ahold of yourself. We cannot spend all our time in the bedroom. Go take a cold shower or think of something other than sex.”
“But I’m always thinking of ways I can please you,” I say in a deeper voice than normal. “I only want to satisfy your every desire with my lips, hands, and tongue . . .” Sookie’s whimper and accelerated breathing have my predator’s instincts kicking in. The slamming of the front door interrupts our sexual haze and Sookie stumbles away from me. She moves back to the refrigerator, opening and closing the freezer door rapidly to blow cold air over her body. After doing this a few times, she pulls a large bag of frozen pasta out of the freezer, setting it on the counter. She closes the freezer and opens the refrigerator, pulling out vegetables and chicken. Her last item out of the refrigerator is a large pitcher of sweet tea which she carries with her to the cabinet of glasses. She fills a large tumbler with the sugary drink and guzzles it down. The flush slowly recedes from her body, more’s the pity. I beat the sexual deviant in me back for the time being; there will always be more time to play later.
“Thank God that’s over,” Pam says snarkily as she enters the kitchen. “The batteries on my vibrator died about twenty minutes ago. And no noise-canceling headphones can completely block out your screaming.”
“PAM!” Sookie’s flush returns and she looks embarrassed. I, however, preen like a peacock knowing that everyone heard how well I pleasured my mate.
“I meant Eric,” my progeny deadpans. Sookie sniggers as I glare at my progeny.
“Jealous?” Pam’s face is her usual expression of indifference, but there is something in her eyes that is not normally there. She has that look I used to have when I would see Sookie with Compton: longing. I wanted a partner to share my existence with, someone to break the monotony of time. With everything that has happened, I do not know if Pam has had time to grieve the loss of Tara. The length of their relationship may have been short, but they went through several harrowing experiences that inevitably drew them together. There was also a sexual tension and attraction between them that I’m not sure they ever got to act on. But despite all that, Pam was Tara’s maker. As I once tried to explain to Pam, a bond between maker and child defies description. It is something that forever ties two essences together. If the maker and child share genuine affection for each other, as Godric and I do, the bond is more than any simple familial connection, deeper than the commitment of marriage. It is the giving of life, a rebirth if you will; and it is the single most important connection a vampire will ever have. Pam and Tara were not given the time to see how the bond would have developed, and I mourn that loss for my child.
Despite their unusual beginning, I think Tara would have been the perfect progeny for Pam. They shared many similar characteristics, but it was more than that. I think Tara finally found someone who would care for her, who would always be there; unlike her human parents. In return, Pam was no longer alone. She may come across as cold and heartless, but Pam’s greatest fear is being alone. It is why she has stayed with me despite being released, why she clung to me desperately. I know part of her earlier treatment of Sookie was due to her fear that I was replacing her, that I no longer wanted her by my side. I love Pam; I want her to be happy. But there comes a point when every vampire separates from their marker. If not, the bond can begin to create a madness within the progeny; a sense of obsession that overrides all else. When a child is driven mad this way, the only recourse for the maker is to send their child to the True Death. The child will become a danger to the maker, even if they have been released. It is too late to stop the insanity from destroying the child’s psyche. I have seen this happen a few times in my existence, most notably with Lorena. Her maker had released her too late. The sickness spread through her like a virus and it didn’t end when her maker met his True Death. Instead, it transferred to Compton. I had pitied him for having to suffer under her dominion, but it seemed he had developed the same obsessive tendency in regards to the fairy beside me that is preparing her dinner.
Pam never answers my question; instead she watches the scene in the kitchen with sullen eyes. Sookie is boiling a pot of water and sautéing chicken and broccoli together in a pan. Lafayette, Alcide, Nicole, and her mother all return while the three of us are in the kitchen. Lafayette immediately helps Sookie finish cooking while Alcide hurries through a shower. I’m sure he will be going to feed Willa before the evening deepens to night. I am again thankful my youngest progeny has a support system outside of myself. In that regard, I think Willa is a far stronger vampire than Pam. She has been forced to stand on her own two feet, and I think she has done a remarkable job given how young of a vampire she is. She has shown more control and restraint than vampires decades or centuries old.
“Well, I am going to find my dinner for the evening,” Pam says when the domesticity of the scene becomes too much for her. Godric and Willa had joined us and they are assisting with dinner. Well, Lafayette is flirting with Godric as they work on slicing vegetables. Willa disappeared in search of Alcide. I will pretend I didn’t hear what happened between them upstairs.
“I do not want you going alone,” I tell my headstrong eldest. “With Compton on the loose, I would prefer we not venture out alone.”
“Really Eric, that pansy ass was no match for me when he had his full strength. Given his advanced illness and the fact he’s fled the area, I think I will be fine,” Pam huffs indignantly while crossing her arms and tapping her Jimmy Choo’s impatiently on the floor.
“Pam,” I begin only to be cut off.
“Eric, I’m tired of feeling like the third wheel. Everyone else is getting their ‘fucking happily ever after’ like a damn Disney movie, but what about me? I lost my progeny. I know I was a shitty maker, but I never wanted her to meet her True Death! Like you, I was hoping to get a second chance when we returned here. But life once more proved how much of an infected cunt it can be because I lost Tara before I ever got to explain my reasons. I’m happy you got Willa and Sookie to accept you with open arms and Godric returning is like finding out I get free Louboutins and Blahniks every day for the rest of my existence. But this fairy tale ending is too fucking much for me!” Pam’s impassioned speech is accompanied by bloody tears falling from her eyes. She vamps out of the house, pulling the screen door from its hinges in her haste to escape.
My first instinct is to run after her, to comfort her. But Pam is right; it is difficult to be around those that are happy when you are miserable. It’s not that you want others to be miserable with you, but the happiness of others sharpens the pain and loneliness. I’ve been blessed with the perfect happily ever after and it must feel like a silver spike up the ass to my child.
“Should we go after her?” Sookie’s voice and expression show her worry and I feel her trying to comfort me through our bond just as she places a gently hand on my arm.
I grab her hand, placing a tender kiss against the flesh of her palm. “No Lover; she needs time alone. She will come back when she’s ready.”
I feel so damn selfish. I’ve been so wrapped up in my happiness that I forgot to consider the pain Pam must be experiencing. How has she managed to hold it together this long? If that were me, I’d be doing everything possible to bring everyone down with me. After all, misery loves company. It’s not to say that I’ve been ecstatically happy this past week, but having Eric here has lightened my burdens. I hope I do the same for him.
It’s a somber evening after Pam’s outburst. Dinner is a silent affair with the exception of Nicole and her mother announcing they will be leaving in two days. Tomorrow a moving company is picking up the items from the trailer. The day after that they will be flying to Chicago. Sam’s body will be cremated, and the ashes will be sent to Nicole’s parents’ address. It’s depressing to realize that Sam’s life is settled in less than a week; it’s as if his existence has been completely erased from this world. His only legacy is the daughter growing inside Nicole. Will Nicole share stories of Sam with their daughter or will he become a forgotten memory?
Eric must feel my melancholy because he picks me up in his arms after dinner, carrying me up to our room. He says nothing as he lays me down on top of the bed. Before I say anything, he is on his side beside me, curling his gigantic frame around mine, sheltering me from the world. His hands hold me tightly but do not stray from their resting place. This is exactly what we need, a moment to be still, to process all the changes in our lives. The tranquility that surrounds us lulls me to sleep.
But that same sense of tranquility does not follow me in my dream state.
I am dressed in the black dress I wore to Terry’s funeral, the same dress Warlow tried to make me his bride in. There are flowers in my hand and I’m standing in the Bon Temps Cemetery. Who are the flowers for? I sure as hell am not placing them on my parents’ graves! My feelings for Gran have also changed as I’ve come to accept who I really am. There is still guilt over my Gran’s death and I mourn her loss every day. But I’m so angry that she knew the truth about me and never told me. Instinctively, I know these flowers are not for Gran. I walk through the cemetery until I come to two newly dug graves. The simple tombstones have me weeping: Samuel Merlotte and Tara Thornton. As my tears flow, I divide the flowers between the two graves.
“I’m so sorry,” I whisper brokenly. “I love you both and I hope you’ve found peace wherever you are.”
As I stare at the graves, crying for two of my dearest friends, a bright white light shines in the distance beyond the tombstones. My hand rises to shield my eyes from the light and I turn my head for extra protection from the harsh light. When the light fades, I lower my hand and turn back to the graves.
“Oh my God!” Standing as if nothing happened to them are Sam and Tara. Sam’s wearing his usual jeans, plaid button-down shirt, huge belt buckle, and cowboy boots. Tara wears the dress she wore to the pairing party. They both look so much like I remember, seeing their mangled remains had tarnished my memories of my friends.
“It’s alright cher. We aren’t here to hurt you,” Sam tells me when the silence drags on between us.
“I’m so happy to see you two,” I say as fresh tears fall from my eyes. “I miss you both so much! I wasn’t ready to say good-bye.”
“No one’s ever ready to say good-bye Sook,” Tara tells me wryly. “It’s OK, Sook; everything’s alright now. I mean, it sucks that we’re dead, well finally dead in my case,” Tara says in that sarcastic tone of voice she always used when emphasizing her point. An uncomfortable laugh escapes me, because I never thought I’d hear that tone of voice from her again. I miss her so much!
“We don’t have much time Sook, but you gotta be careful,” Tara warns me. “He’s coming for you. All this is because he will never stop trying to have you. He glamoured my momma to stake me,” Tara says indignantly. “Who the fuck does that?”
“Bill wants to take everything away from you,” Sam cautions. “He wants you isolated. Eric knows what Bill had planned below the house. That was the tip of the iceberg; Bill would have enslaved you for eternity.”
My fears start to escalate and my heart hammers in my chest. Sweat beads up on my skin, making my clothes stick to me. I want to ask them how to stop them but I feel like cement has been poured down my throat. I can’t open my mouth; I can’t find voice for my questions even though I’m screaming them as loud as I can in my mind.
“He’s coming for you,” Tara reiterates. “And he won’t be alone.” Sam and Tara fade away from the cemetery and I finally find my voice again. I’m left screaming questions without getting any answers. When is Bill coming? Who will be coming with him? Is he using Jessica against us as Eric and Godric feared? Who else is he targeting?
I run from the cemetery, seeking the safety of my home, but a dense fog suddenly blankets everything. I can see nothing in front of me, but I hear whispered voices telling me they are coming for me. I run as fast as I can, stumbling my way through the forest and fog. No matter how fast and far I run, I cannot reach my home. The voices increase in volume and speed, becoming a drumbeat that my heart pounds in rhythm with. My running comes to an abrupt halt when I fall in a hole the size of a grave. The voices stop when I scream from pain and fear. I try to climb out of the hole, but it seems to be going deeper and deeper in the ground. No matter how much I climb or how high I jump, I can never reach the edge of the hole.
A hand appears out of nowhere, reaching down in the hole to help me. I look up with relief thinking its Eric coming to save me, but another scream falls from my lips.
“Hello sweetheart,” Bill says with an evil grin and his eyes full of malicious triumph.
“Sookie wake up! Lover, open your eyes; I’ve got you!” Eric’s comforting, strong voice breaks through my horrific dream. My eyes snap open and I’m looking wildly around the room though I am not really seeing anything. Eric has a firm grasp on my shoulders, trying to keep me from thrashing about. However my legs are fighting to free me from their cotton prison beneath the sheets. I am panting like a rabid animal and my heart still races inside my chest.