20. Ain’t it the Life

Epilogue – Ain’t It the Life

Two vampires, a witch, a were-swan and a telepath walk into a bar. No; it’s not the start of a really bad joke – it’s my life now. Several times over the last year and a bit, me and the ‘girls’ meet in various bars across Louisiana to catch up, gossip, have girl talk, swap stories and generally shoot the Supe shit. Our first meet-up had been just after Halloween the previous year, Eric and I had settled into his most secure home while the ‘farmhouse’ (it seemed more like a plantation home when you compared it to the Stackhouse farmhouse) in Ruston was fixed up to our needs. Amelia had travelled north to put some extra wards on the Shreveport house and Hadley decided to tag along, we decided to have some drinks together then Pam walked in while we were planning and we invited her to come too. Then Ellen had called to say she was in Bossier City to have a meeting with the owner of a rare gun she wanted for her collection and boom! It was a full blown girl’s night with bars, dancing and a drunken Sookie stripped of inhibitions being returned to a horny Eric who took full advantage.

Since then we’d met up at Merlotte’s between me getting back from Dallas, where I met another telepath – Barry Horowicz, and Thanksgiving (which I don’t think anyone in Bon Temps, especially Jason and Sam, will ever forget), after the Festive season (which deserved a huge blow-out after everything Eric, Pam and I had gone through with that damn witch Hallow), a while after Katrina we had a night in Baton Rouge where Lisa joined us (for a conservative dresser that girl knew how to party), basically anytime we all had the time to make for it we were cracking open the booze (or Trueblood in Pam and Hadley’s cases) and chatting the night away.

Tonight we were back in Baton Rouge, where the Queen had temporarily moved to after the hurricane, and Lisa was already inside Viva with a table reserved for our party. We drew a lot of attention from the guys at the bar as we trooped in but none of us were here for that, this was the first time we’d had the chance to get together since the security farce that was the summit in Rhodes. It was fortunate that Sophie-Ann had the foresight to send me, Barry and Amelia up there a week in advance to scout for possible problems or it would have been a disaster.

“Hey girls!” Lisa stood and hugged each one of us, hugging was something Pam had had to get used to over the time she spent with us. “So! How about those fellowship goons?”

A collective ‘Urgh!’ was uttered from all of us as we sat round the table and a waitress came over for our drink order.

“I shudder to think what might have happened if we hadn’t gone in advance.”

“Definitely!” Amelia nodded enthusiastically. “How a supposed premier vampire hotel got so many Fellowship spies in its security team and staff I’ll never fathom. The organisation was a mess, it was just as well we caught wind of the plans to blow the place up before any of the explosives had been put in place or Goddess knows how many could have died!”

We nodded solemnly as our waitress came back, then Pam raised her blood in a toast. “To telepaths! May they continue to save our dead asses!” Amelia cleared her throat. “And witches too, well some witches anyway.”

“So, Sookie, what did Eric get you for Christmas this year?” Lisa asked and everyone at the table snickered.

“He bought me a new car since I eventually passed my test, which is more expensive than last year but also more impersonal.”

Ellen choked on her SoCo and soda. “Oh yeah! Last year was very personal! I can’t believe you didn’t cut him off for that ‘present’!”

“Hey I thought it was … well I was going to say sweet but it was just him being his horny self.”

“What did he get you?” Lisa obviously hadn’t heard the story, despite it now being a fairly famous topic to tease both me and Eric about.

“He set an alarm for me to get up 2 hours before sunrise so we could open our presents together but when I got downstairs the only thing under the tree was Eric with a bow tied around his hard on.” Lisa snorted and orange juice came out of her nose. “But anyway, there’s a reason I wanted us all together. I have some news.”

“I knew it!” Hadley squealed. “When did he ask you?”

“What?” I was confused, as was Pam.

“Eric, he’s asked … uh … never mind.” She looked at my face and realised that whatever she thought he’d asked – he most certainly hadn’t. “Oh crap. Sorry, I just thought that … with his visit the other week … never mind, it was probably nothing, just Sherriff stuff.”

“If what I had to say wasn’t very important I’d get you to explain yourself now Had but it’ll wait until I’ve gotten this off my chest.” She nodded. “So about 6 weeks back Eric introduced me to someone, an unknown relation of mine and well, yours too Hadley. He was a fairy and he is my great Grandfather.”

A collective gasp escaped everyone’s mouths except Hadley. “You didn’t know Sookie? Didn’t Andre test your blood?”

“No he didn’t, whatever that entails, I had no idea he was a phlebotomist. That aside, you knew? You knew this whole time we were part-Fae and didn’t think to mention it?”

She shrugged. “I never thought about it after Sophie-Ann turned me but I was sure that she and Andre would have checked you and told you. I figured if you didn’t say anything you cared about it as much as I did.”

“Okay.” I nodded; the reasoning was sound … for Hadley. “Well, the bottom line is that Grandpa couldn’t have kids and a ‘kind’ half-fairy gave Gran the children she wanted, making us one eighth Fae.”

“Super yummy but not so tempting that you end up drained.” Pam winked. “No wonder Eric is able to refuse the fangbangers! I would too! If Jason was a Justine then our … relationship would have turned out very differently!”

“So, you’re not all human?” Ellen creased her brow slightly. “Fairy makes sense though, you’re pretty, smart, cunning, brave, all the good Fae traits. Well here’s to you Chica!” She lifted her glass. “May you never develop any of the bad Fae traits and stay as the sweet, funny, almost human that we all know and love!”

Our glasses and bottles clinked as we tapped them in response to Ellen’s toast. As soon as that was done everyone’s attention turned to Hadley.

“So.” Amelia and Pam, who were either side of my cousin, leaned closer to her. “What was it you were saying about Eric asking Sookie something after a visit to the Queen earlier?”

“Indeed Hadley, my Master has been very secretive these past weeks. I knew it had to do with Sookie and there is the chance that he merely wanted to hide her part-Fae status but I’m thinking it has more to do with your comments earlier.”

“Uh …” She looked at me nervously. “EriccametoseeSophie-Annlastmonthandaskedforpermissiontobondwithyou.”

Gasps, again. “Wh … what?”

“Is it true Hadley? My master really sought permission to join with Sookie?” Pam’s eyes were bright with excitement.

Hadley nodded and grabbed my hand across the table. “I’m so sorry I opened my big mouth Sook! I thought he’d already asked you and that was your big surprise and now … now I’ve ruined it!”

“Well … I … wow. Okay, okay. Look let’s just forget you ever said anything. No more talks of bonding or me and Eric for the rest of the night, agreed?”

Everyone nodded and we moved onto other topics of conversation, laughing loudly enough to get the attention of almost everyone in Viva when Hadley, Pam and I recounted the story of when Bill brought a donor called Brandie to Thanksgiving dinner at my Grans. When Gran told everyone to get ready to eat, Brandie stripped of her dress and sat on Bill’s knee.

“Oh my! It was positively mortifying!” my hands were glued to my cheeks, which were red with embarrassment only remembering the incident!

“And you should have heard the way Gran went off on her!” Hadley did her best Gran impression telling Brandie what was and wasn’t accepted in her home.

“Before we went to rest Eric gave Bill a very stern lecture on vetting appropriate humans to bring as dates to a family dinner. I can’t believe he didn’t anticipate problems, Brandie was one glamour away from being in the fresh produce aisle of that insipid supermarket … Wal-Mart … yes that’s the one.”

“Well.” Hadley put down her bottle and leaned towards the table in the universal (I’ve learned) ‘I’m about to give you some juicy gossip so lean in close’ action. “I heard that since the VRA has passed he’s been looking into what to do with the old Compton land and is quite smitten with a real estate agent he met from Monroe.”

“Well if she’s able to hold down a job then it’s one step up the evolutionary dating ladder for him.” Ellen quipped with a smirk. “Unless he’s making her up?”

Hadley snorted. “If he invented her, he could have given her a better name than Selah Pumphrey!”

“Oh Goddess! That sounds awfully homely! I’ve only met Bill a couple of times but if he was gonna make up a girlfriend wouldn’t she be data analyst called Candy?”

We laughed more at Amelia’s teasing and continued making fun of Bill a little more; really he was such an easy target! I went to the bathroom and when I came back, as usual, Pam and Amelia were cosying up to each other. Every single time we got together they hooked up, it didn’t bother me now but when I first noticed it Pam was still having a kind of thing with Jason and it rubbed me up the wrong way to see her flirt with my friend when I knew my brother was hanging around for a phone call from her. I’d asked her to make a clean break with Jason and she did, Jason was put out for about a week but then he bumped into some girl called Crystal that he had seen around Merlotte’s and forgot about why he was put out at all.

As last orders were being called at the bar, we all pulled out our diaries and planners, except Hadley and Pam – vampires have amazing memories. The next best time for a meet up would be for Sophie-Ann and Andre’s wedding anniversary in March.

“Do you think she’d like a belated bachelorette party? The wedding itself was rushed through and we never had the chance to plan anything.” I just stared at Amelia; there were no words I could find to reply to that. “What? Just because she’s a Queen and a vampire doesn’t mean she’s not one of the girls!”

“Uh … I don’t think Soph would like that.”

Hadley was slowly shaking her head from side to side. I knew deep down that what the Queen would like came second to how Hadley would feel. Sophie-Ann marrying Andre had been a better deal for Hadley than her marrying anyone else but it still had to hurt to see the woman you love committing herself to another. The wedding was a large affair, Sophie-Ann had been determined that after Katrina she would not show weakness, despite many Louisiana vampires falling to their final deaths. ‘Our numbers may be depleted but we are still a force to be reckoned with’ she had said. Plans had been kept under wraps tightly to prevent the FotS catching wind of it, which was mostly where I came in; I reviewed the staff and security of the hotel on a weekly basis from when the booking was made so we could move to another venue if someone had loose lips. Fortunately, the only problem we had was with the paparazzi on the actual night.

We pencilled in our next get together for 3 days after the anniversary celebration and went our separate ways. Pam, Amelia and I headed back to our hotel; I was swaying slightly but not so drunk that I needed help walking. Pam handed her room key to Amelia and saw me to mine and Eric’s suite, waiting until I was safely in the room before leaving. I threw my jacket onto the sofa, kicked my shoes off and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Looking at myself in the mirror, I was more than pleased with the way things were turning out. I’m a strong, confident, independent young woman with more close friends and family than some people can shake a stick at. I’m in a loving, committed relationship, which by all accounts from Hadley’s slip up, was about to move to the next level. To the casual human observer, I’m a successful businesswoman who happens to keep odd working hours for the most part but in the Supe world I’m the go to telepath for people problems.

When I started my consultancy, I refused financial help from Sophie-Ann and Eric and instead applied for a loan from the bank to secure an office and other necessities to get me off the ground. Within three weeks of opening my doors I had a very impressive client list and an even more impressive balance on my check book. By the time ‘Stackhouse Personnel Consultancy’ was six months old that loan had been paid off in full and I was employing two assistants. Anita and Rowan both belonged to the Shreveport Longtooth pack, what with my abilities and readiness to give them a chance to work with me; I had come a long way with my relations with the pack since our first meeting in Merlotte’s.

Most recently I was in talks with Barry to join me, offering him a partnership in my business and planning to open a Dallas branch with the business renamed ‘Stackhouse/Horowicz Personnel Consultancy’. He wasn’t 100% sure of whether to go for it, he was also in negotiations with the newly crowned King Stan Davis for his services but with the information I was able to give him about my relationship with Sophie-Ann, he felt confident of securing much the same deal for himself in Texas as I have in Louisiana.

I took a long drink of water from one of the bottles from the mini-bar and made my way to the bedroom. When I opened the door I was greeted with the view of Eric leaning against the headboard of the bed, smiling at me, completely naked, watching TV – which was odd because he never watches TV. It was then that I realised whatever he was tuned in to sounded an awful lot like very enthusiastic sex.

“Did you have a good time Lover?”

“Uh … yeah. It was great, what are you watching?”

“Porn or what this generation proposes it to be. It’s actually fairly un-erotic … as you can see from my non-arousal.”

Colour me confused. “So … why are you watching it if it doesn’t turn you on?”

“Because apparently I am in it.” He grinned.

“Okaaaaay. You say ‘apparently’ so I’m guessing you have no recollection of making this porn movie.”

“No and I’m unhappy at how they’ve put some actor in a bad wig, told him to curse in Swedish and expected people to believe it is actually me. I’ve already contacted my lawyer, although it is a compliment that someone would desire to capture my performances on film, a poor imitation is not complimentary.”

I tilted my head to the side and watched as ‘Eric’ pounded into a red-haired woman who was, for lack of a better term, being throat fucked by another vampire. I could see why Eric described it as un-erotic, it didn’t look like she was actually a person, she was just two holes for the vampires to enjoy, and from the gagging/retching/sobbing noises she was making, they were the only two in the scene gaining anything from the experience.

“That doesn’t look like fun.”

“For her I doubt that it is they’ve been doing that for the last 20 minutes without a break.”

“Eww.”

“Indeed, it’s also incredibly boring.” He turned off the TV. “There is no way to make vampire pornography to human expectations and provide true eroticism. Since we went public, the human world is fascinated by the danger, the possibilities of brutality, our speed and stamina and that is reflected in movies like the one we just watched.”

“Uh … you mean you just watched.” He rolled his eyes and I climbed onto the bed, still in my favourite red dress and matching heels. “So what would vampire porn be like if it was made to vampire expectations?”

“Lover, you do not want to know, many vampires find the strangest things a turn on. But would you like to know what a movie to my expectations would involve?” I had come leaps and bounds in my sexual experience since being with Eric but there were many things I drew the line at – most of them I learned about from the minds of the fangbangers in Fangtasia. There were a lot of things he’d introduced me to that I loved and I knew that it pleased him but there were a couple of things I’d said ‘no’ to and the fact he didn’t push me, pleased me.

“If it includes buckets of blood and a spiked leather collar, then no.”

“Hmmm … no those things are not featured, there would, however, be a blonde human with incredible breasts.”

He rolled onto his side and rubbed circles on my ankle with his long fingers. “Uh huh and what would this blonde human be doing?”

“She would be looking into the camera and slowly removing her clothes.”

Feeling a little naughty and confident from the alcohol in my system, I slid back off the bed and stood a couple of feet away as Eric scooted towards the edge of the mattress so he could see me from head to toe. I swept my hair back and reached for the zipper at the side of my dress, pulling it down slowly before slipping the straps from my shoulders one by one, peeling the fabric from my skin ten times slower than I would usually undress. When the dress dropped to the floor, I stepped out of it and kicked it to the side, standing in my red lace strapless bra, matching boy shorts and my shoes. I tore my eyes away from Eric’s long enough to register his previously flaccid length was now standing to attention and twitching with interest at my little show, his eyes dark with lust as he realised I was playing with him. Eric loved bedroom games.

“And what else would this woman do?” I licked my lips and ran my fingertips over my stomach and along the waist of my panties.

“She would touch herself, very lightly, stroking.”

As he said this his hand moved south over his chest to touch himself softly, showing me what he wanted me to do to my own body. I brought my hands back up and gently traced my collarbone with the ends of my nails.

“Here?”

“Lower.”

It came out as a growl, I loved it when he did that, it was a ‘tell’ to how turned on he was and it made me throb in all the right places. I scraped my nails down the sides of my breasts, hips, thighs, down to my knees so I was bending over giving him a view of my cleavage.

“Here?”

He squeezed his erection and rubbed his thumb over the tip. “Higher.”

My nails travelled back up the insides of my thighs, harder this time, leaving white trails on my tan skin until they were at the top of the lace that covered my breasts. I ran my hands over the skin spilling out of the cups.

“Here?”

“Yessss.” He gripped himself tighter, stroking with his whole hand. “Take it off Lover, dance for me.”

I picked out a song in my head, ‘American Woman’ by Lenny Kravitz, and turned my back to him, releasing the hooks of my bra one by one, taking it in my hand and stretching my arm out as far as it would go before dropping it on the floor. I wrapped my other arm around my chest and swayed my hips to the beat in my mind, turning slowly and lifting my hair up from my neck, knees together and shimmying slowly towards the floor and back up again to the imaginary music. Eric was now sitting on the edge of the bed, his fangs making it impossible for him to close his mouth, the end of his hard cock shiny with pre-come that had leaked out.

“Let me see you Sookie.”

I pulled my arm away but brought my other hand down at the same time so I was cupping my globes and plucked at my nipples with the thumb and forefinger of each hand, worrying my bottom lip between my teeth at the feelings the scene was bringing out in me. I continued to move to the song as I ran my hands over my torso, stopping at my hard buds to roll or pinch them every time my hands passed over. I heard Eric grunt.

“More. I want to see more of you Dear One; I want to see all of you.”

I dipped my hand into my shorts and gasped when I felt how incredibly wet I was, gathering my juices on my fingers and placing them against Eric lips where he licked and moaned at the taste of me. I turned my back to him once more and slowly lowered my shorts, bending at the waist to untangle them from my feet and running my hands up the back of my legs to my rear. I spanked myself, not too hard, just enough to tingle and make the right noise, then I straightened my body and circled my hips before I turned back to face Eric. His hand was moving a little faster and his mouth was hanging open, his eyes drinking in every inch of me. I swayed lifting my hair and parting my knees with my hands when I dipped down, running a hand along my thigh and petting myself before shimmying back up to stand and place one heeled foot next to Eric on the bed.

“I don’t even need to touch you to know how wet you are Sookie, I can see your sweet pussy dripping nectar. So wet for me.”

His free hand gripped my leg next to him and he leaned forward to taste me, in that split second I had to make a choice – carry on with my little show or let Eric have control. I swung my leg from the bed and backed away, hearing Eric’s chuckle and seeing the amusement dancing in his eyes, I continued walking backwards until my thighs bumped against a piece of furniture. I checked to see what it was to discover a fairly sturdy looking table which was just the right height for me to perch on, so I did. I spread my legs as wide as I was able to but continued to use both hands on my breasts, pinching and pulling at their stiff peaks. Eric stood up and knelt on the floor at the side of the bed, leaning against it and using his other hand to rub and squeeze at his balls.

“I know you want me Sookie. You’re only torturing yourself.”

I wanted to scream out ‘God! Yes! I want you!’ but then he would win, instead I smirked and brought my right hand down to run along my slit, moaning when my fingers made contact with my swollen clit. Eric’s eyes flashed between my face and what my hand was doing as I slipped two fingers inside and pumped them in and out a few times then used them to rub slow circles on my pearl. I was too turned on, too close already and this had turned into a battle of wills.

“Ugh … Eric … baby.” I kept alternating between burrowing my fingers in my soaking channel and playing with my bundle of nerves. Closer. Closer. “I’m so close Viking … ah!”

Eric growled and I saw him move a little before stopping himself, he was back to using one hand to stroke up and down his cock slowly, he must be pacing himself. I was doing no such thing, as much as this was a game, there would be no loser, I just liked to see how far he would go before taking control. My hand was moving faster, my breath coming out in gasps and moans, the muscles in the pit of my stomach were coiling in anticipation and my legs were shaking with my body’s need. I saw the tendons strain in Eric’s neck and knew it was time for the big guns.

“I’m gonna come Eric … don’t you want me to come around your cock baby? Don’t you love how it feels when I do that … uh!”

I saw those tell-tale sparkles in front of my eyes just as I felt my vampire slamming into my body and burying his length inside me, my fingers were still rubbing at my clit and my walls clenched around him as he started to pound into me. I cried out his name and a whole host of grunts, moans and curses as his manhood bumped against my g-spot with every thrust, prolonging my orgasm to the point I was almost sobbing by the time his body jerked and he thrust one last time.

“Aaargh! Sookie!”

I felt his cool seed within me as he groaned out his release and slowed his movement until we calmed down. Eric lifted my very numb and possibly permanently marked butt from the table, which turned out to be just as sturdy as I suspected, and we collapsed onto the floor giggling. Well, I was giggling, Eric was out and out laughing.

“Well played Lover but next time you’ll give in first.”

“Oh really? What makes you think that?”

He picked me up and deposited me on the bed before going to root around for something in the overnight bag he’d packed. He pulled out a rolled up piece of cotton and came back to lie next to me.

“I know that Hadley let slip a little secret I was keeping from you. Pam sent me a text earlier; she wrote that you were shocked but not disgusted by the idea of me asking you to bond.”

“Well of course it doesn’t disgust me, I love being with you, I love being yours. I’m sorry that … whatever you had planned for asking me has been spoiled.”

He waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “It’s of no consequence, how I ask you isn’t the issue. How you answer is.”

Eric unrolled the material and a very old looking dagger dropped onto the bed between us. It was simple, the metal of the blade was scratched from many years of being sharpened and the leather on the handle was worn and frayed.

“This dagger was given to me when I was a child, I would have perhaps been 8 years old, I used it to kill my first deer. Game meat was rare for us, we ate heartily that month. I carried this blade through my human life and continued to carry it as a vampire, it has … significance. It has helped me find food and fight my enemies, now I wish to use it for a less necessary but just as desirable action.”

“It’s not like the one used at Sophie-Ann and Andre’s wedding is it?”

“No, it is not a pledging blade. Simply an artefact, which has great meaning for me. Sookie Stackhouse, I would be honoured if you would commit yourself to a blood bond with me.”

Wow, this was like the vampire version of a proposal, except bigger and more involved. I had learned a lot about vampire blood in the time that Eric and I had been together, after our first two exchanges Eric made me all too aware of the ramifications of more ‘accidents’. The effects of those exchanges had worn off six or seven months later, that is to say that Eric couldn’t feel me anymore – he would still be able to track me but my emotions were a mystery, he didn’t like that, he liked to be able to tell if I was panicked or scared so I took a little more of his blood to keep the effects in place for him but we were careful to ensure that there was no exchange. I knew that there was a big chance that only one more exchange would make it permanent, and I would be able to feel him too … that would be nice and it would also be the only thing to change between us.

“Eric Northman, I am thrilled that you want to enter into a blood bond with me and it would be my pleasure to commit myself to you in this manner.”

His eyes lit up and he smothered my mouth with his, pressing his arousal into my stomach and palming one of my breasts in his large hands. I was rolled onto my back, Eric propping himself up on an elbow and pinching my nipple before running that hand down between my legs. I was still sticky and slick from our earlier coupling, not to mention that the thought of another blood exchange and what reactions it would elicit was doing to me – there was no need for preparation and Eric swiftly picked me up and I slid down his erection easily with a drawn out ‘Ahhh’ emitting from my throat.

We locked eyes as he gripped my hips and helped me ride him, it was … different. The way we were looking at each other it wasn’t about the pleasure, it was about proximity … just us being together, being as close to each other as we could without being one person, the intensity was almost overwhelming. Eric pushed me back so he could bite my breast but before he leaned over, he stroked one hand from my neck to my hip and gazed at me, almost reverently. It was too much; I closed my eyes and writhed in his lap.

“Look at me Sookie.” I opened my eyes just as he bent down and sank his fangs into me, keeping his gaze on me as he drank. I shuddered against him as I came, Eric licked the bites closed and moved gently within me as I came down. “I love you Sookie.”

I stared at him with my mouth gaping open like a fish. “I … I love you too Eric.”

He grabbed the knife with one hand and pulled me back up with the other, making a quick but deep cut in his neck he commanded me to drink. I latched onto the wound and sucked as hard as I could, listening to Eric panting, feeling him swell and twitch inside me before shouting something in his own, dead, language as he reached orgasm. He collapsed on top of me, still, not breathing, not even making any noise at all.

“Eric?” A grunt.

“Are you okay?” He rolled off me and flopped onto his back, I giggled, it was just like he was a normal human man who had just made intense love to his woman.

“I feel … like the marrow from my bones exploded out of my dick when I came. I also feel you, your fatigue but contentment. It is much clearer now than it was before.”

Eric looked at me, I felt a buzz in my brain that hadn’t been there before then I felt affection, trust and love wash over me. I gasped in surprise at the strength of Eric’s emotions towards me, then I moaned as he projected his lust and wanting to me.

“And that, Dear One, is why you won’t win our little battle of wills again.” Eric smirked at me.

He’s a smug bastard but, by gosh, he’s mine.

FIN.

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