There was a reason I never wanted to become King, there was too much paperwork involved. The fact that I was back at Fangtasia where I belonged was overshadowed by the details needing to be hammered out. If it had been anyone other than Cataliades I might have already strangled the lawyer holding me captive with ink and fine print. As it was I suffered in silence, signing where needed, answering when asked, and in general counting down the minutes until I could see Sookie again.
Upon waking I had felt her distress, but it was fleeting and her strength surged immediately after. I knew she was going to see her brother and Tara today, but I also knew she’d planned to see Sam. I’d offered to go with her, but she thought it wouldn’t be appropriate. I growled thinking that if he hurt her, I’d rip him to pieces. Well, I wouldn’t actually, trying to remember that I couldn’t just kill all of her exes. She was mine, I reminded myself, and that made anyone in her past insignificant. If it weren’t for the overwhelming happiness I felt coming from her for the last few hours, I would have flown to Bon Temps and swept her into my arms. She would know just how precious she was, no matter what the shifter made her think.
Cataliades eyed me as I was lost in thoughts of Sookie. “Northman, this would go much more quickly if you were mentally present.” I grunted at him trying to pull myself back. “Shall we adjourn for the evening?”
I glanced at the clock. It was midnight and there was still much to be done. There were holdings that needed ownership transferred to me, not to mention I had to go through the vampires who were running things and figure out if anyone should be replaced. I was trying to avoid doing that as much as possible since it would only create underground factions that would look to overthrow me. I hadn’t gone to all the trouble of getting free only to lose my head because I’d pissed someone off. But if they needed to be replaced they would be. It was a fine line. It was also necessary to make an appearance on stage. If I wanted to take Sookie to Europe I’d have to do damage control from my time with Freyda for the nights before we left. Bill’s death made the statement that I was not to be fucked with, but being seen reinforced that knowledge.
Realizing I’d have to meet with Cataliades again the next evening anyway I said, “Let’s call it a night. I need to go play King to my new subjects.” Fangtasia had been crawling with vampires who were trying to get an early foot in the door.
Cataliades laughed, “I suppose that’s true. You and Sookie could run off into the night and leave Pam to deal with it.”
“And she would either bankrupt the state with her designer shoe addiction or hunt me down and filet me. Neither are optimum options.”
He nodded, gathering his papers. “I’ll see you then tomorrow then. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
I stood and followed him out the door, watching as he left the bar. My throne sat empty before me and I headed towards the stage, the crowd parting as I walked through, murmurs escorting me every step of the way. I draped my body haughtily into the seat, my long leather clad legs stretched out before me. I exuded an air of indifference and settled back into the chair imagining all the ways I was going to make up for the boredom of these hours with Sookie later. I saw Pam enter and head towards the office to change her outfit so that it was more suitable to be gazed upon.
Several young vamps approached me with trepidation. I listened to their fawning flattery with disdain, but nodded at the appropriate moments, and when they were finished waved them off. One fangbanger crawled to me, trying to kiss my boot, and I resisted the urge to kick him across the room. Another slithered her way towards Sookie’s throne, attempting to place her unworthy ass there, but I fixed a glare on her so terrifying she scurried away and straight out the door.
It had taken her awhile, she never did anything halfway, but Pam finally came to stand behind me. She bent down and whispered into my ear, “Back enthralling the vermin like you should be.”
I heard the smile in her words even if it wasn’t reflected on her face. “Have I told you how much I missed your snark?”
“Your credit cards told me, don’t worry. Now, why don’t you go and find your fairy. She’s had a long day.”
My entire body tensed. “Elaborate.”
She came around and sat down on the edge of my throne, even she wouldn’t sit in the pink throne though I’m sure Sookie wouldn’t mind. “I don’t know the details, I didn’t want to pry, but when I met up with her it was obvious that she’d been crying. Tara and I cheered her up, but I have no doubt that she’d like to see you.”
“I felt her distress earlier, but she seemed to shed it quickly enough. I could tell when she met up with you that her mood improved immensely. I should go to her.” I was focused on Pam, which is why I didn’t notice when the crowd separated to allow someone a clear path to the stage. It wasn’t until the only sound emanating from the room came from the sound system, that I looked up and saw Sookie striding regally through the crowd. Her blond hair flowed around her shoulders and she was wearing a black leather trench coat. On her feet, a pair of five inch heels, her legs covered by sheer black silk stockings. She stopped right in front of me, placing one hand on each of the arms, bending down to kiss me passionately, her hair forming a barrier against the rest of the room.
Her lips parted seductively, sighing against my mouth. “I missed you and considered waiting at home, but I decided that I would join you here instead. After all, I couldn’t have you dealing with all of this on your own, now could I?”
She slowly unbuttoned her coat, revealing a black pencil skirt slit all the way up her thigh and deep red bustier trimmed in black lace that framed her perfect breasts. It was all I could do not to drag her back into the office. When I moved to do just that, she wagged a finger at me.
“Nope, this is about showing us as a team,” she paused, her eyes going dreamy with desire, “and tormenting you with patience. I’m going to sit right here next to you, while you think about just what you want to do to me, and only when you’re ready to explode will I finally relieve you. And you should see what I’m wearing underneath this.” Hidden from prying eyes by her open coat, her hand ran up the inside of my thigh and over the thick length that strained against my leather pants. She stepped back, removing her coat and handing it to Pam, who was highly entertained if her low chuckle was any indication.
Sookie kissed me one last time and eased herself into her throne at my right, crossing her silk-covered legs, and running her fingers up and down my arm. I picked up her stroking hand, placed my lips against her palm, and my tongue flicked out to taste her. I could feel the shiver of longing that rippled through the bond. I had no idea how long I’d be able to resist her, but I knew I was glad that she was here with me. It helped to solidify our position for her to be seen at my side. I was briefly shocked at her acceptance of her new role and, though I didn’t think it possible, fell more in love with her. She must have felt my shock and love because she smiled up at me in understanding.
I let my eyes roam over her. “This is a different look for you. I didn’t even know you owned a leather jacket.”
One side of her lips twitched up in a half smile. “Halloween,” was her only reply.
“I like it.”
“I knew you would. I took a page from Pam’s book. I figured if she could step out of her Ann Taylor when she came here, I could leave my sundress at home for an evening.”
Pam had moved to stand between both of us behind the thrones, one arm trailing along the top of each. “And such a delicious look it is for you Sookie.”
Sookie rolled her eyes, “Not for you Pam.”
“Such a shame.” Pam let the thought hang in the air. “Let me know when you two are ready to adjourn to a more private space. I’m giving Eric all of ten minutes before he drags you off all caveman like.”
My eyes narrowed at her. “You doubt my willpower Pam?”
“Only in regards to a certain blonde fairy princess.” Her lips tightened into a smirk, trying to contain her merriment.
I would have argued, but she had a very good point. The three of us watched the drinking, dancing crowd. It was a normal night at Fangtasia, if busier than usual, and I let my contentment flow through the bond to Sookie. It might have been laced with a heavy dose of lust, but I couldn’t be blamed for that. My eyes trailed down her legs to the five inch heels.
I was enjoying the evening when Sookie leaned over to me. She said gesturing at the pulsing throng. “They’re glad you’re back. Though some of them had wondered why you didn’t indulge in what they had to offer.” My body tensed and I worried about what she was hearing. “Don’t worry, I’m a big girl and I can handle the mean-spirited thoughts of fangbangers. Jealousy mostly, though some are thinking of naughtier things.”
I growled, “I do not share.”
She smiled indulgently at me. “Really? I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked.”
“You are mine,” I replied, while in my brain I was really wondering how much longer I had to wait until I showed her just how much mine she really was.
As if reading my mind she asked, “How much longer…”
I didn’t let her finish the question before I stood, taking her coat from the corner of her throne and holding it out for her to slip on. I offered her my hand, swept her off the stage and out the front door. Seconds later I had her pressed up against her car, my mouth searching hers feverishly.
“Right now I’m cursing the fact that I didn’t buy you a much larger vehicle.”
“Is that so?” She drawled as she rubbed herself against me. “I wonder why that is.”
“Because I would take you right here in the back seat. As it is I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to restrain myself.”
“I’m actually surprised you didn’t just drag me into your office.” She toyed with the button of my pants, her other hand tucked into my back pocket and pressing me harder against her. “There is always your Corvette.” My eyes blackened and I felt my fangs run out as I realized that my Sookie was turning into a bit of a sex kitten.
Lust surged through every nerve in my body. I grabbed her up, flew us to the lot behind Fangtasia, and laid her across the hood of my Corvette. I stood above her in between her thighs. “Do you remember the first time I had you in this position?”
“It was the first time I almost gave into you. Well you and that spandex that hid absolutely nothing.”
“I had wondered,” I responded letting my hands wander down the bustier, carefully not touching those glorious breasts. She spent the last couple hours tormenting me with patience. Two could play at that game. My fingers teased underneath the edge of the lace and across her stomach. Her hands reached up to grab for me and I pinned them above her head with one of my larger ones. Bending my mouth to her, I nibbled on her earlobe and moved downward, taking tiny nips of her bare skin until I reached the tops of her breasts and my lips pressed soft kisses along the edges of her bustier. With my other hand, I felt up the line of the slit of her skirt, scraping my fingertips against her exposed inner thigh. I felt her quickly drawn breath.
I released her hands. She reached up to rip open my shirt, buttons flying everywhere, and pushed the shirt down over my shoulders. I fingered the clasps of the garter belt that held the silk stockings in place. Her hands dragged my mouth down to meet hers, her teeth taking tiny nips of my lower lip. Under her skirt, my hand grazed across what felt like very skimpy lace panties, her heat warming my palm held just above her. Fingertips skimmed across, but withholding the sensation of touch. A harsh moan came from deep within her.
“What was that about patience my love?” I teased her. “Maybe I should just let you drive home alone and make you wait until we’re there.”
“You wouldn’t.” Her voice was raspy with need.
I removed my hand. “Oh yes I would.”
She was having none of it. With her skirt around her waist, her legs were free and she wrapped both of them around me. My arms scooped her up and moved us into the back seat of the ‘Vette. She shimmied out of those deliciously tiny panties and then moved back to straddle me. Her hands were busy unbuttoning the pants that held me captive, pulling them down enough to release me. She took me in her hand and positioned herself right above me.
“What was that about patience, Eric?”
Oh god, this woman might be the true death of me. The scent of her arousal was thick in the air of the car and she circled the tip of me around the warmth of her, teasing me with how ready she was. I placed my hands on either side of her waist and urged her body downward. I slipped inside and felt the softness of her envelop me, taking in every inch that I had to offer. She was so beautiful, her blonde hair falling like a curtain around her flushed face. The windows fogged from our pleasure, our bodies in sync, and the world fell away. There wasn’t much room in the back seat, but we were so lost in each other that neither one of us noticed.
We returned home and spent the rest of the evening twisting our bodies around each other and fell asleep in a tangle of limbs. I woke shortly before Eric and gazed sleepily at him. I was playing with the slight dusting of pale blonde hair on his chest when he rose for the evening.
“Good morning lover.”
I kissed him and whispered, “Good morning my handsome Viking.” We only had two days left before the coronation and then our wedding. I sighed blissfully and burrowed myself under the blankets and closer to him. He wrapped himself around me and kissed the top of my head. “I still can’t believe you’re home and that I am going to be your wife. Speaking of, Tara, Jason, and Michelle will be joining us for the wedding.”
“I’m glad of that. I know that it means a lot to you. They are your family and should be here to witness our joining. But tell me, when I woke yesterday I felt your distress. What did Sam say to you to upset you?” I ducked my head down so that he couldn’t see my tears, I didn’t want him to think that I had any regrets. He tilted my chin up. “Sookie?”
“It was nothing, Eric. Or nothing that I didn’t expect at least. I had hoped for more…”
“What did he say?” His words questioned me, short and clipped with a barely concealed anger.
“He just doesn’t want to be friends anymore, which I totally get, but it hurts.” I felt a sharp stab of fear come from Eric. I quickly reassured him. “No, it has nothing to do with us, Eric. I love you and there’s no one else that I would want share the rest of my life. It’s just that we had been friends for so long and now it’s gone, ya know?”
He relaxed. “I know dearest.” And then in what I can only guess was his attempt to lighten the mood, though it was Eric so I couldn’t be totally sure, he asked, “You want I should kill him?” He raised an eyebrow indicating that all it would take would be one word.
I chuckled lightly, “No. No, that’s okay. Let him live. His loss right? Besides, I have you and that’s more than enough. I can’t wait to be your wife.”
“It won’t be long now.” He paused. “I want to tell you how happy you made me by showing up last night, Sookie. I know you probably didn’t want to, but it’s important for us to be seen together. We have made great strides in securing our place here and insuring your safety, but we will still face difficulties as you are not a vampire. It isn’t anything we can’t overcome, considering how strong you’ve become, but it will help if we are proactive. Now, I’m sure, no matter how much I’d rather stay here in bed with you, that we both have other things to do.”
“Well I need to give the house a good scrubbing considering that we’ll have a houseful come Sunday evening, but would you like me to come to Fangtasia again tonight?”
I felt his happiness bubble through the bond. “I would like that very much, but I don’t want you to feel obligated. I know how difficult your telepathy must be in the situation.”
“Oh I don’t mind at all and my telepathy can come in handy I’m thinking. I can read the minds of the humans that are there. That way if there’s any trouble brewing I can let you know. It might be something as simple as a couple of underagers, but who knows. I think it could be helpful.”
He contemplated that. “It’s a very good idea, Sookie.” He bent down and kissed me before continuing, “I’ve also been thinking about when we return from Europe. I’ll need to travel throughout Louisiana, checking on the other Sheriffs and their vampires. It would be beneficial if you were to come with me. Equality will be easier to implement if they see that it starts with us. You don’t have to…” He trailed off and I could tell that it was important to him.
“Of course Eric, I was serious about this being a partnership. I understand that you’re King and therefore Mr. Important, but I am a part of your life now, all of your life.”
“Sometimes I can’t believe how happy you make me.” And since we were still naked from the night before, he showed me just exactly how happy that was.
We headed upstairs afterwards and I made some coffee, warming Eric’s blood. He didn’t need it, but I think he liked that we were developing a routine. We split the newspaper between us and sipped our drinks. It was nice, just like you would expect a couple to do when they first woke up. We spent the time enjoying the quiet.
“I have one more thing I need to ask you.” He raised an eyebrow in question. “Well, I miss Bubba. Originally I was thinking that it would be nice to have a memorial service for him, but then I thought about it and realized that it would be more for me than any of you guys since y’all don’t have funerals or anything like that. So I thought of something that would remind me of him, but I wanted to run it by you first, since it would affect both of us.” I told him what I wanted and he laughed uproariously at the irony, but agreed that it was fitting. I gave him long searing kiss to say thank you and we jumped in the shower before he had to leave to get to Fangtasia for the evening. Afterward he walked me to my car and kissed me goodbye. I assured him that I’d see him later and he watched as I drove off.
I headed into town, excitement rippling through me. I hadn’t been sure of this idea after what happened the last time, but it felt right. I pulled into the parking lot and walked into the building filled with light and old, but clean, linoleum. I told the peppy brunette behind the desk what I was there for and she pointed to the hallway to the left.
“Just come back out after to fill out the paperwork once you’ve chosen,” she said and I thanked her before heading towards to hallway she’d indicated. I followed the signs that led me to the third door on the right. Inside were a series of overflowing cages. I opened the door and stepped into a room full of mewling.
I looked through each of the cages, petting the kittens within them. I wanted to make sure to pick the right one. There was an adorable orange and white swirled little guy who toddled up to me, rubbing his face against the finger that I poked through the mesh. There were kittens of every color and I opened a few cages snuggling their little faces and getting little kitty kisses on my cheeks. I played with several, trying to decide between them. Truthfully part of me wished I could just take them all home. It’s not like I didn’t have the land, but I didn’t want them to have to spend the their time outside, and since this was a no kill shelter I didn’t have to carry the guilt that if I didn’t take them all that their little lives were in jeopardy.
I stood up, stretching my legs after sitting on the floor. As I did my eye was caught by a tiny white kitten tucked into the back of one of cages. The sign indicated that he was a boy. He was littler than the rest and obviously the scrawny runt of his litter. He had a stripe of black that went back from his nose up between his ears, with matching black mittens on his paws. I opened the door and stretched out my hand to him slowly. He backed away, but then hesitatingly came forward. His little nose bumped against my knuckle and he jumped back startled. He cocked his head to the side as if unsure of what had just happened. He took a few steps closer, eyeing warily my outstretched hand, and then, seeing that there was nothing to fear, he rubbed up against my hand, the teeniest meow squeaking out. I turned my hand over and scooped him up, fitting him into my palm. I brought him up to my face, cuddling him, and he licked my cheek before I lowered my hand. He scooched himself down and curled up into the crook of my arm. He looked up at me and yawned. He was perfect.
“Shall we go home Bubba?”