Chapter 19 – Generator
I’m the Generator, firing whenever you quit
Yeah whatever it is, you go out and it’s on
Yeah can’t you hear my motored heart
You’re the one that started it
I was still sitting on the bed when Eric stormed in the room and started pacing back and forth in front of me before stopping and looking at me intently. I took a breath and geared myself up to speak but Eric put his hand over my mouth.
“No! You will listen and I will talk. You may comment when I am finished.”
I nodded and he took his hand away, clasping it with his other hand behind his back and paced again like he was trying sort out what he wanted to say in his head before actually saying it.
“Your call … what you said to me, it … I had felt your doubt and indecision through our connection.” He crouched on the floor in front of me and pushed his long, blond hair back with his hands, resting his elbows on his knees before looking at me again. “Then you told me you weren’t sure how things would affect our relationship, I wish to … attempt to make your decision easier.”
Well that sounded ominous. He stood and walked over to the mini-bar, taking out a Trueblood and guzzling it back cold. From his facial expression I could equate the experience to me drinking cooled bacon fat. Eric sighed and then straightened up again. I was finding it very hard to stay silent, it would be easier to keep my trap shut if he was talking and I was listening.
“Sookie, when I first saw you at that Sherriff’s social, I knew you were no donor. I knew you were special, I could smell it and I wanted you. When I was asked to escort you in Baton Rouge, I had no idea of the effect your situation would have on me. I was, and still am, fiercely protective of you and I had no clue why that was but after spending so much time together this past week my … feelings have only grown more intense.”
Oh! Well that put a different perspective on things!
“Before, when the Queen … suggested you become mine, I was sure that by the time we got Bill back I would be bored with you and ready to go back to my corner of Louisiana and continue my role as Sherriff and … what would be the human title? Player! Yes, I was what you would call a player. My reputation as an excellent lover brought many women to me so I could feed and fuck but I believe returning to that … existence would feel empty compared to the relationship we have developed.
I have not enjoyed having conversations, spending time or sharing thoughts with a human for many, many centuries and when we make love, and make no mistake that is exactly what we do, it is as if I can feel my heart beat again. You are the cause of that sensation Sookie, you have ignited something within me and I want to find out where it will lead us. You can choose New Orleans or anywhere else in the state but I want you to choose us, choose me, choose not to give up on what you started.”
Eric sat on the bed next to me, his eyes curious as they searched for a reaction from me. “You are shocked, why is this?”
“Well … you sounded a little annoyed when I called you and I thought that you were coming over to tell me to stay in New Orleans, that you didn’t want me. I was sure you’d want to go back and take up where you left off in Shreveport, after all – you did say that you could only stand to have me as your one and only lover for a short while.”
“And our talk of feelings in my car? That gave you no indication that perhaps I would reconsider?”
“I … a lot of people have told me about the Supe world, how all of you guys are willing to lie, to deceive to get what you want. I called you because I thought you would want your old life back and that the things you said before were just to … keep you on my good side? I don’t know!”
“Amazingly Sookie, I feel no desire to deceive you, another way in which you are different.” I nodded and felt the tension leave my neck and shoulders. Eric pulled me into his lap and held me tightly, rubbing his nose into my neck and inhaling deeply. “How do you do it Lover? Every vampire who comes into contact with you has their view on their way of life challenged.”
“Eric, I don’t really do anything. I’m just me, whoever I talk to and wherever I am. Speaking of which, I should call Gran and ask if she’ll have me back.”
“You wish to live with your Grandmother? It has been widely assumed you would live with me.”
“You … you want me to move in with you?”
“That would be the most logical and safe place for you. Just because Waldo is finally dead, and his schemes along with him, doesn’t mean De Castro, or other ambitious vampires, will give up. You will still require a day guard and a dashingly handsome Viking to prevent someone thinking they can just bundle you into the back of a van.”
“That’s a good point, so Shreveport it is then.”
“Not necessarily. I have a few safe houses out with Shreveport – in Ruston, Minden and Arcadia. Those will be closer to your Grandmother but I would have to increase the security on them before they were sufficient house us on a more permanent basis.”
“Could I see them? Before we decide which one?”
“Certainly. I will not make a decision without your input; I understand that if I wish to have a relationship with you that I must value you as an equal.”
“And take me on dates.”
“Yes. Take me out to the movies, dinner, dancing. The kind of things that normal people who are part of a couple do.”
“Oh Lover!” He laughed that deep rumbling laugh. “We are anything but normal!”
The Queen kindly paid for our hotel room for the two weeks that I had to remain in New Orleans, when I wasn’t reading delivery staff with Tom, tying up loose ends from the Queen’s business meetings or reading replacement donors with Eric (which created more problems than it solved) we spent time together doing things like seeing parts of the city I hadn’t seen before. Plus we made love, a lot, in more positions and places than thought were possible, a few days ago I thought a big dose of reality would slap us in the face when my period came. I told Eric I felt gross and that it would be messy but he took that to mean we should have shower sex rather than bed sex – his only problem was that he couldn’t … y’know … use his mouth, it made sense really, if my own body didn’t want that blood then why would a vampire?
Sophie-Ann also asked my Gran if she could send a trusted contractor out to the farmhouse to see if there was space available for a light-tight area so Hadley could visit her regularly. They were starting work in a few days time and Gran was looking forward to having the family together on a regular basis. She wasn’t the only one, I was fairly … okay really excited at that prospect myself. Hadley was already complaining about Bill’s constant chatter regarding how out of date the hardware and software was on her PC, her patience broke last night and she ended up throwing the computer at him and telling him he could do whatever he wanted with it. A couple of days away from each other would probably do them good; they reminded me of Jason and me when we were little.
Speaking of Jason, I was still a mixture of bewildered and grossed out by a telephone conversation he’d woke me up to have. I had no idea when he took Pam home that night that they would make a regular thing of their trysts, and the last thing I wanted was for him to be calling me up for advice on vampire sex stuff. I was surprised when I managed to go back to sleep afterwards and not have nightmares about the old wet/dry vacuum cleaner Mom and Dad had.
Tonight Mr. Cataliades was meeting with us to go over my new contract, the gist that I got was that I’d be paid a monthly fee to retain my services plus I’d get an additional fee when they were used. This meant that I could have another job as long as I gave priority to the Queen, Eric had already told me that there would be a big market for my telepathy and I would be nuts if I didn’t cash in on it. I mean what else could I do? Waitress?
I was dressed in a pretty skirt suit and ready to leave when Eric rose, Aunt Flo had also left the building so I was looking forward to getting the meeting over and done with so we could get back to our room and I could show him the lingerie I’d put on under my conservative outfit. Despite Hadley telling me that vampire blood made you extra horny, I think even Eric was surprised by my voracious appetite. He sniffed the air around me and popped his fangs.
“No! None of that! After the meeting we can come back here and have some fun but not before!”
He pouted, without the fangs it might have been cute. “But it’s been so long since I’ve tasted you Lover.”
“Later. Now – you get dressed and we meet with Sophie-Ann and Mr. Cataliades.”
Eric huffed and stomped around at human speed, he even went into the bathroom to put his clothes on which annoyed me because one of my favourite little things was watching him bend over and pull his jeans up. The elevator ride down to the conference room was silent but filled with sexual tension, both of us making the effort not to touch one another or even really look at one another. It was noticed immediately when we entered the room, Mr. Cataliades wasn’t there yet but all the vampires were. Hadley came to me before we sat down and pulled me back out into the foyer.
“Have you guys had an argument?”
“What? No! Well maybe a little, Eric wanted to …” I cupped my hand around my mouth and whispered. “Have sex but I insisted we came down here and took care of this first. He just makes it so damn hard to resist him!”
“I’ll bet it’s hard.”
“Oh hush Sookie! I know Eric’s reputation and I also know your pussy is the only one he’s stuffing these days.” I opened my mouth to protest at her vulgar phrase but she cut me off. “He’s more than happy, so don’t try and act like a gentile lady when it’s obvious you’re anything but in the bedroom.”
I opened and closed my mouth a couple of times; I had absolutely no reply to that. Hadley sniggered and dragged me back into the office by the hand. I sat next to Eric and less than five minutes later Mr. Cataliades came in looking flustered.
“I’m so sorry I’m late Your Majesty. Traffic.”
He set his briefcase on the table and pulled out a pile of papers. Going over the contract was simple enough, it was just as we suspected but the one thing I didn’t know was that Eric was to be my agent of sorts. If a vampire within the state asked for my services he could accept or decline on my behalf, if the vampire was from outside Louisiana, the Queen had to approve and I would also receive a sizable bonus for working across state lines. Eric would take 30% of my fee as my agent and from that 30% he had to give half to the Queen. I was allowed or rather; encouraged to start my own business as a way to increase my income and exercise my abilities, as long as Sophie-Ann got priority what I did on my own time was my beeswax. As with my first contract, everything was fair and protected my interests. I signed in all the indicated places, as did Sophie-Ann and Mr Cataliades and then I was free to go.
Eric and I would travel north the next evening at first dark (or as early as our libido’s would let us) so I said my goodbye’s to everyone, promising them I’d come down to visit even if I wasn’t working. I could see Eric getting antsy and when the last hug was given, I was thrown over his shoulder and raced back to our room at vampire speed. He didn’t even wait for the elevator, just ran up the stairs quicker than the Roadrunner with Wile. E Coyote on his tail feathers. I was eventually put down in the middle of our room where I immediately swayed on my feet for a second before running to the bathroom to bring up the jambalaya I’d had earlier. I was brushing my teeth when Eric knocked on the door.
“Lover? Are you ill?”
“It’s called vampire speed for a reason Eric, humans aren’t meant to travel that fast.” I rinsed and opened the door, spotting Eric sitting at the end of the bed looking sheepish. “I know it’s just you bein’ enthusiastic and all and it makes me feel fuzzy inside that you need or want me so much but please don’t do that again.”
“Perhaps I can do something to make you feel better?”
Eric stalked towards me with a familiar look in his eyes; I put a hand on his chest when I saw him begin to lean his body into mine.
“I’m all for feeling good honey but I think I’ve still got vomit breath.”
“So … no kissing you on the mouth?”
I shook my head and he smirked before spinning me around so my back was to his chest and running his hands down my arms to grab my hands and place them on the wall above my head and parted my legs by nudging my feet with his booted toes while pushing my torso forward until my forehead rested against the painted surface.
“But I can kiss you anywhere else?”
I nodded, bumping my head off the wall a couple of times in the process and felt him slide my skirt up past my hips. Eric growled in approval of my stockings and garters and started kissing me thoroughly quicker than you could say ‘body cavity search’.
The next day I spent the few hours between waking and waiting for Eric to rise packing the clothes and gadgets I’d bought into the luggage set Eric had given me as a gift. It was a sturdy Samsonite set, functional and long lived – practical rather than designer, Eric was aware of my distaste for spending excessive amounts on things no matter how much I needed them. I dressed casually and was accompanied by Tom to the nearest grocery store to pick up some essentials for our trip. I knew none of the houses we’d be visiting would have any food and that until Eric could arrange another guard for me I’d need to stay inside while he was still resting. I ate a large dinner in the hotel restaurant, Eric had gone to make sure his Corvette had a full tank of gas before he came to bed this morning, so we shouldn’t need to make any stops on the way north.
The plan was to drive to Ruston first as it was furthest east, then spend one night in each house heading west until we got to Shreveport and I got a chance to see the properties Eric owned there too. Once we’d decided which suited us best, we’d temporarily move into the most secure home Eric had in Shreveport until proper security measures were in place for our chosen home. Eric was already in contact with various packs and lone two-natured to organise a guard for me during the day and I had been in touch with Amelia, Hadley’s landlady, about organising wards. Because Eric was a vampire, other vampires didn’t need an invite to his house, so part of the extra security measures would be that ownership of the house would be transferred to my name. Even though Eric was living there, the theory was that if a human owned and lived in the property, the usual invite rules would apply and Amelia would be able to construct a similar ward around the home as I had in the old residence.
I sat my cases near the door to the room and stood at the window, taking in the view of New Orleans one last time before I set off to start my new life. Eric had already set up quite a few meetings for me in his area and we’d spent some time talking about what any business I started would be described as. Even though vampires were out in the open, I doubted your average human manager would be able to comprehend hiring a telepath, so we decided I would print ‘Personnel Consultant’ on any business stationary. If a human came across it they wouldn’t be suspicious and I was already on my way to becoming quite the icon in the Supe world apparently. I was lost in my thoughts on the future that was in front of me and didn’t notice that Eric had woken up.
I jumped a little and turned to the bed with my hand over my heart. “Eric! You startled me!”
“Why don’t you come over here and I’ll calm you down?” Eric had the monopoly on leering in our relationship, and smirking for that matter, not to mention eyebrow quirking.
“What do you have in mind Sherriff Northman?”
His eyes flashed with lust and the next second I was on my back bouncing on the mattress, Eric’s hands inside my t-shirt and his fangs nipping lightly at my earlobe. His movements became slower, gentler and his mouth captured mine sensually.
“Mmmmm … Eric.” I was panting, aching but we had things to do and when Eric kissed me like that I knew we’d need a good few hours. “We should get on the road; if we keep going we’ll never get to Ruston before Sunrise.”
“Sookie, Lover, Dear Heart. Don’t you want to give this room a proper goodbye?”
“Don’t you want to christen every room in your houses?”
“Oh I love the way you think my little telepath!”
The drive north was uneventful, unless you include Eric and I groping at each other whatever chance we got. I watched the highway pass by and sipped at the bottle of water I had with me, knowing that soon I’d be settled, we would be settled, we would have a home, a permanent home. Eric glanced at me from the driver’s seat.
“You are excited, I like that. Is it the prospect of what will be coming when we get to the house or is it something else?”
“I’m looking forward to moving somewhere and not having to move again. A place to call my own, if you like. I’m excited about being settled.”
“It is something I am intrigued by. As a vampire I’ve never spent too much time in the same place, we always had to move, blend in. If we stayed somewhere too long people would get suspicious but since the revelation this is no longer a problem. I have a regular resting place but I’ve always made sure I have plenty of places to hide if need be.”
“Because power brings problems, I get that, just look at Sophie-Ann. Religious hate attacks, petty jealousy, getting asked to marry someone only to know there’s something hinky with it … I don’t think I could handle all that.”
“It’s the burden of being a regent, as a Sherriff I only have a fraction of those problems and as a good Sherriff I have many loyal vampires at my back to fight with me and help to protect my interests.” He looked at me pointedly.
“So what does Pam think about us shacking up together?”
“She thinks I have gone mad, constricting myself to one human for however long you live, but perhaps if she had been the Sherriff and spent the same amount time with someone like you that I have, she would see things differently.”
I thought about that a little and chewed my lip in concentration. Maybe Eric had gone mad? I was young and hot now but in 20 years gravity would be having a real effect on my perkiness.
“What’s it like? Being turned? Is it painful?”
“These days it depends on who your maker is but before the revelation it was unusual to find a human who wanted to be turned. For me, yes it was painful; I was taken from the side of the road on my way home one evening. For Pam it was less … violent. I was turned to be a warrior and servant to my maker, I turned Pam for company. It was a lonely life before we came into the open.”
“If things work out … with us … how would it be for me?”
“For a start you would be aware, unless you were seriously injured but even then I would not turn you unless you asked. I am assuming that if you requested to be turned it would be me that you would choose for your maker.” I nodded. “I would make it as painless as I possibly could and I would most definitely ensure we were making love at the time but your body would still react to dying, that is a discomfort I cannot prevent no matter how much I would want to.”
“That’s good to know.”
He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the journey, somehow sensing I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. I wondered what I’d really be missing if I was turned, I already kept vampire hours so it’s not like I’d miss sunbathing. I worked in the Supe world so I wouldn’t have to worry about changing my job or even finding a new place to live, wherever we ended up it would be suitable for vamps. I’d miss coffee and chocolate cake and beignets but whenever I talked to Hadley about that stuff she said that you miss them but it’s a different feeling to say an ex-smoker sitting next to a pack of Marlboro’s. I’d still be able to see Gran and Jason and me and Hadley could be literal BFF’s. Five years maybe ten? I’ll wait and see how my new life turns out, if Eric and I are still together and still as into each other I’ll weigh up the pro’s and con’s again.
What on earth am I thinking about? Here I am on the cusp of what could be a successful and fulfilling life outside a mental hospital and I’m so busy thinking about what I’ll be doing in ten years time! Considering ten years ago I was the family troublemaker no-one wanted at weddings, then ten months ago I was expecting to rot in Valmont for the rest of my life with the occasional trip back to Grans. Around ten weeks ago I was thrown into an amazing world where I was respected and encouraged to use the very thing that got me locked up but now … well the world was my oyster!
I let a smile grace my lips and made a vow to always live for the next day because you never know what it will bring.