Turned out Eric didn’t really need time to recharge. By the time they had made it back to bed, Sookie could barely move her legs. She wondered if she could ever look Hoyt and Jess in the eyes again after the things they did to the couple’s cabin.
She’d worry about that later. For now, she’d let herself be utterly, insanely happy and content — held by the man who made her forget how broken she was.
She could feel Eric’s breath fanning the back of her head as he traced the curvature of her spine with his finger. Lavender sheets tangled around their waists. She bit the insides of her cheeks to stifle a giggle bubbling from her throat. Goose pimples broke out as she shivered.
“Are you cold?” he asked, pressing his chest against her back, his arm snaking around her middle, tugging her closer.
She could only shake her head as she held her breath when she felt his hardness poking the small of her back.
“Shouldn’t you be sleepin?” she croaked when he swept her hair over her shoulder before he planted soft kisses on the side of her neck.
“Can’t sleep. There’s a naked girl in my bed,” he husked in between kisses.
She chuckled hoarsely as she rolled to her other side to face him.
“You’re too much,” she mewed, cupping the side of his jaw.
“You might have mentioned that a few times,” he quipped, the side of his lips curving into a wicked grin.
“I can’t keep up with you.”
A deep rumbling sound erupted from the back of his throat as his lips grazed the bottom of her chin. “I warned you, didn’t I? I told you I’ll never be done with you.”
His voice – low, melodic and so fucking sexy — made her nerves tingle. The promise of more made her stomach flutter.
She truly hoped he would never be done.
A gasp escaped her lips when he nipped her earlobe. “You really need to sleep,” she stammered, eyes flickering close.
“No.” He nuzzled the curve of her neck, leaving feathery kisses across her collarbone.
His refusal made her smile. People said she was stubborn; perhaps she had met her match.
“You barely slept at Sam’s. You need to rest.” She was surprised she was still able to form a coherent sentence at all.
“No.” His mouth latched on the skin on top of one of her breasts and sucked it lightly.
She was turning into a pile of goo from the heat emanating from her core. Damn hormones. She might have been late in to the game but at Eric’s pace, she’d be a pro overnight.
Her fingers weaved into his hair as he dipped lower. “We… really should… slow … unh…down.”
Her half-assed suggestion fell on deaf ears as his hand slid down to her folds while his knee nudged her thighs to spread them wider.
“You talk too much,” he whispered before he crushed his lips to hers.
He stroked her gently, making her hips sway upward, searching for more friction.
She had surrendered. “More,” she panted against his mouth.
She could feel his lips curl as his finger increased its tempo all the while avoiding her nub. It was driving her insane.
“Oh god, Eric, please,” she whimpered, her back arching.
He lifted his head, his forehead resting over hers. She was right, he was smirking. Cocky bastard.
“I love hearing you say my name.”
It was her turn to grin like a Cheshire cat. She bit her lip, trying to be coy before she whispered, “Eric.”
Her effort was rewarded by a deep guttural growl. His eyes blazed as he licked his lips before he pushed a finger inside her. She inhaled sharply, squeezing her eyes shut.
“Don’t close your eyes.” His voice was deep and raspy as though he had been holding his breath.
She forced her eyes to open, her fingers clawing at his back, desperate for something to hold on to as she felt the wave of her orgasm threatening to sweep her away. “Eric, please.”
He slipped another finger inside her as his thumb traced circles around her swollen nub. He pushed deeper, harder each time. Her hips bucked wantonly as her orgasm built up faster and faster. He pierced her mouth with his tongue, tangling it with hers. She could hardly breathe. She was sure she was going to faint from the lack of oxygen or from the glorious high of ecstasy.
He nipped her lower lip and that sent her crashing with a loud moan followed by a single word…
She was a boneless mess by the time she wrenched her eyes open. She rolled on her back, gasping for air. Eric hovered above her, fingers glistening with the fruit of his labor. He was watching her, his eyes gleaming with victory as his fingers daubed her lower lip, coating it with her juices before he kissed her ravenously.
He was shameless, voracious, insatiable, and downright intense.
“You want more?” he rasped, ragged breath blowing against her face.
She suppressed a smile as she gulped for air. “I thought I was gonna pass out,” she admitted without a hint of embarrassment.
He drew his mouth to the crook of her neck, kissing and sucking gently. “You can’t pass out. I have a lot of plans for you and I kinda need you to be awake for most of them.”
She chuckled as she fisted her hands in his hair and tugged so she could see his face. Her chest swelled just by looking at him. He was terrifyingly beautiful. And his eagerness to please her was beyond her wildest dreams.
“What’s on your mind?” he asked, planting a soft kiss on her cheek.
“Yeah?” His eyes glimmered as he beamed. “What about me?”
She swallowed hard, steeling herself. “I don’t wanna be a rebound.”
Eric froze. He drew back so he could look her in the eyes.
“Neither do I,” he replied in a serious tone.
“What do you mean? I was never in the game.”
“Are you sure? Because according to Jason you’ve been planning your wedding to a certain doctor way before you learned how to spell his last name right.”
Sookie pursed her lips into a taut line. He had struck a nerve.
“Tell me you’re over him. That I’m not just a placeholder.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Weren’t you the same guy I ran off with last night?”
His face darkened. “Then say it. I need to know that you’re over him; that you’re no longer pining over the one who got away.”
She reached to cup the side of his jaw. “He didn’t get away, Eric. I let him go.”
His eyes softened before he scooped her up and brought his lips to hers. He kissed her as he rolled on his back and flipped her so she’d be the one straddling him. He palmed the back of her neck, pushing his tongue deeper, claiming her mouth and everything else. As though he was telling her how much her answer had pleased him – how she managed to silence that fucking voice in his head that told him he wasn’t enough.
She let him. Let him breathe her in. Let him take what he wanted.
His grasp on her nape loosened as their kiss tapered. He grabbed her cheeks and gazed deeply into her eyes. “I’m never letting you go.”
She sucked in a breath as she stared at him. She had heard those words before. From him. From the man who tried to possess her. To break her. She should have been frightened by now. She should run to the hills and unshackle herself from Eric. But just the thought of leaving him was making her heart tighten painfully in her chest.
She pressed her palm against his torso, right where his heart was, hoping she’d be able to tell if it was beating for her.
“Do you still love Sylvie?” she croaked.
The back of his hand grazed the side of her face. “I love you,” he whispered, probably hoping that would be enough.
She gave him a look and his chest sunk as he dragged his fingers through his hair. He reclined himself, wrapping his arms around her hips and clasped his hands at the small of her back.
“I loved Sylvie,” he said at last.
Sookie’s throat constricted at the admission as she dropped her gaze to his chest.
He snuck his finger under her chin and tipped her head up. “I loved her but I wasn’t in love with her anymore.”
She forced a chuckle. “Oh wow. How original.”
“Okay, let me put it this way. Before I left Sylvie in Paris, I knew the probability of us seeing each other again was practically non-existent. But I left anyway. Because I knew I’d be fine without her.” Eric pressed his forehead over hers. “Last night, when you told me to go back to New York, I knew I couldn’t. I knew there was no way in hell I was gonna leave you.”
Her teeth grazed her bottom lip. “You still have her ring though.”
Eric finally cracked a smile. “No. I don’t.”
Earlier that day…
Sam marched in his office to bring Eric a cup of coffee – his third in two hours. Sam’s hair stuck out everywhere, streaks of bed marks on his left cheek.
“Thanks,” Eric murmured.
Sam, putting his own mug on the table, didn’t even cover his mouth as he yawned audibly while pulling up a chair across the desk.
“I have a question,” Eric started, sipping from his mug.
“If it’s a math problem then forget it. There’s a reason why this bar is in the dumps,” Sam grumbled, buttoning the flannel shirt he had been wearing since yesterday.
“It’s more of a proposition than a question,” Eric said, hunching to pull the bottom drawer of the desk where he kept his valuables. He took out his wallet and dug for the tiny round object from one of the folds.
The look on Sam’s face when Eric held out the diamond ring in front of him was worth more than the rock itself.
“Yes!” Sam blurted, shooting out of his chair to pry the jewelry off Eric’s fingers. “A million times yes!”
Eric guffawed as Sam held the ring over his head and stared, gaping at the winking diamond.
“I’ve never been with a dude before, but what the hell, I can learn to love you.”
“Settle down, Romeo,” Eric chastised all the while grinning at his newfound friend’s humor.
Sam sank back in his seat, still dazed at the rock clasped between his thumb and index finger. “Holy cow, I know you like our Sook, I just didn’t know you were this serious.”
Eric’s smile disappeared. “It isn’t Sookie’s.”
Sam turned to him, frowning. “Beg pardon?”
“It belonged to my ex,” Eric explained, crossing his arms against his chest. “We were broken up before I ended up here in Bon Temps.”
Sam set the ring down on the table, as if the gem had suddenly turned to stone.
“You were engaged?” Sam asked somberly. “Does Sook know?”
“She okay with it?”
“I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with Sookie.”
Sam nodded in agreement.
“Why’re you showin’ it to me then? You want my advice?”
Eric uncrossed his arms and placed them over the desk. “I want you to have it.”
Sam’s eyes almost bulged out of their sockets. “So you were really proposin’ to me?”
Eric smirked puckishly. “Yes, Sam. I want to be your partner.”
“You asked Sam to sell your ring so he could pay off his debts and keep Merlotte’s open?” Sookie asked him in bewilderment.
“He’s getting it appraised in Shreveport before we fence it in the black market,” Eric expanded on it. “It wouldn’t fetch anywhere close to its sticker price but it’d be enough to settle Sam’s bank loans and keep Merlottes running for at least a few months.”
The idea came to him last night on their way back to Bon Temps when Sam was telling Hoyt about the fate of the bar. Thanks to the Rattray brothers Eric realized he was literally sitting on a fucking gem.
Home is where you find a purpose, Sam had told him yesterday. Eric might have found his.
“Why would you do that?” Sookie asked.
“I think the right question is: why didn’t I think of it sooner?”
“Eric,” she breathed out his name. It wasn’t a lusty whimper but more of a frustrated sigh. “This is crazy.”
“Crazier than taking you in a remote cabin surrounded by gators?” Eric rebutted with a coy smile.
She merely arched her brow.
“It’s only crazy if it doesn’t make sense. You said it yourself, that bar brought people together. Its walls could tell a million stories. Stories I would like to hear; stories I’d like to someday be a part of – especially if it includes a certain stubborn waitress.”
Her lips parted, her ocean blue eyes glazing as she stared at him. “Please tell me you didn’t do it for me.”
Eric swept a strand of wispy golden hair and hooked it beneath her ear. “Do you really want me to lie?”
She sighed softly. “But— what about your company? What about New York?”
“No shoptalk, remember?”
“We can’t keep avoidin’ it, Eric. Sweepin’ it under the rug isn’t cleanin’. I need to know what your plan is.”
He smiled. “I’m staring at it.”
She blinked, her eyes getting watery.
“You know why I don’t wanna sleep?” He kissed her lips softly, cupping her face. “Cos I’m fucking scared, Sookie. I’m scared that if I do, I’ll wake up back in New York and realize all of these had all been just a dream. It makes me violently ill thinking there’s a chance you won’t be here when I wake up.”
She rested her forehead against his. “I’m not goin’ anywhere.”
He crushed his lips to hers, suppressing the strong urge to bite her tongue, to draw blood, to taste everything as if that was the only way he could be certain she wasn’t a figment of his fucked-up imagination.
He had never wanted anyone so much and it was terrifying.
“Eric,” she said, pulling away as she sucked in air. “We need to talk about this. You can’t kiss your way out of everything.”
He grinned. “I can try.” He slanted his head, his gaze fixed on her mouth. She halted him with a look.
“Eric,” she warned, arching her brow.
He gave up, rolling on his back. She spun on her side and put her head on his chest, looking up at him, waiting.
He kept his eyes on the ceiling, while absentmindedly stroking her hair. “When I found out I’d been set-up all I could think of was getting back at the people who had wronged me. My mind started spinning, plotting ways on how I could make them suffer.” He paused to turn her eyes to her. “Then I thought of you. The way you kissed me that night at the hospital. No one had looked at me like that before. Like you really believed I was capable of something good. I wanted that, Sookie. I wanted to be the person you deserved to be with.”
She pressed her lips on his chest and breathed out, “You are.”
He closed his eyes and took pleasure in the softness of her lips against his skin.
“What about your family?” she asked, pulling back a little.
His chuckle was acrid. “I don’t have one.”
“You have your father.”
“Well, let me see, the last time I saw the Colonel was the day we buried Godric. I was throwing dirt on my brother’s casket when he walked up behind me and whispered, ‘I wish it was you.’”
Sookie’s hand on his chest quivered as her eyes bored into his face. “Oh, Eric.”
He avoided her gaze as he stroked her arm. “I was actually shocked he didn’t push me into the pit. Then again that would be overly dramatic. And the Colonel didn’t care much for histrionics.”
Sookie’s expression became sullen. Emphatic. She wound her hands around his neck. “He didn’t mean it. He was grieving. He wasn’t thinkin’ clearly. It is tough when a parent outlives his kid.”
“Believe me, he meant it. Every word.” He looked up to meet her gaze. “Funny part was, it wasn’t the worst thing he ever said to me. Didn’t even make it to top five.”
“Stop it…” she sounded as if she was in pain.
“Aren’t you curious why I call my father Colonel?”
Her lips tugged into an awkward smile. “Because he makes good fried chicken?”
He had to laugh at that — for her effort.
“Seriously though. Why do you call him Colonel instead of boring ol’ Dad?”
“Because he wouldn’t let me. Dad was for Godric, the son he wanted, the son he loved. Me, I’m stuck with Colonel because I’m a soldier, which was actually a step up from being ‘the accident.’”
Her eyes narrowed, her lips pinched into a taut line.
“Fuck him,” she spat. “He doesn’t deserve you.”
The anger simmering in her eyes made his chest bloat with pleasure.
“You’re my Eric,” she said in a deep, steady voice he hadn’t heard before. “You don’t need some egocentric asshole who bullies his own son out of misplaced loathing. So I say fuck him. You don’t need him. I’m your family now. I’m all yours.”
He wasn’t certain if it were Sookie’s abhorrence toward the Colonel, her overwhelming sense of protectiveness for him or the fact that she had claimed him while surrendering herself to him at the same time that finished him off.
Perhaps it was the latter because his cock had sprung back to life and pulsed wildly against her thigh.
Her eyes popped when she felt it throb. Her neck worked up and down as she swallowed. He couldn’t blame her, it was rather demanding.
One hand clamped around her waist as his other reached for the condom by the bedside table. “You did say you’re mine,” he rasped, flicking his tongue to lick her shoulder.
“I am,” she breathed out. “And you’re mine. Mine to kiss. Mine to make love with. Mine to sleep beside every single night. Mine to tell my secrets to. All mine.”
“I thought I was too much?” he teased, tearing the foil with his teeth. If it were up to him, he’d forego the protection but knowing Sookie was a virgin, he doubted she was taking any kind of contraception.
“I’m willing to take my chances.” She skated down and straddled his thighs as he put the rubber on.
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into,” he husked before he grabbed her thighs and flipped her on the bed. She let a squeal and he slammed his mouth to hers. “I can be very possessive.”
“Then possess me, Mr. Northman.”
A/N: I don’t own Mr. Northman.
Hello m’loves! I tried, really I did. I wanted to post this a couple of weeks ago but it had been vicious at work. Even my laptop which was on perpetual sleep mode gave up and just shut down completely after having been ignored for so long (or maybe it was from old age).
Oh well, I’ve managed to sneak in a couple of hours before I turn into a zombie again. I hope you like it. MsStitcher tried to filter my clumsiness. I might have missed a few things, please take pity and try not to cringe. I also want to give a huge ‘hell yeah!’ to MsStitcher who aced yet another brutal exams. Love you to bits, R!
We’ll go back to the plot next chapter, just a little more sexy time wouldn’t hurt, right?
Much, much love!