Eric was not surprised to find Sookie tucked securely into his side when he rose the next night. The events of the previous night had done a real number on her, and Eric knew from experience that when Sookie was hurt in any way she longed for him. She needed him to soothe her pain away, and it didn’t matter if he was dead for the day his presence alone could soothe her. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her closer to him as he buried his face in her hair. He breathed in her scent and let the fear that overcame him when he felt her pain finally drift away. Eric didn’t think he had ever been as scared as he was last night when he sensed her pain, knowing she had been stabbed while he was with stuck in that car with Yvetta had almost killed him. He swore then and there that he was never leaving her alone for the night again.
“Mmm,” Sookie mumbled sleepily as she slowly woke up.
“Good evening, Lover,” Eric greeted as he pressed his lips to her head. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine,” Sookie sighed as she snuggled into his embrace. “Pam got to me before any damage was done.”
“Sookie, you were stabbed,” Eric replied; he choked on the words as the truth of how close he came to losing her hit him.
“I meant she got to me before Bill gave me any of his blood,” Sookie said.
“He tried to give you his blood?” Eric growled.
“Yes,” Sookie said softly. Feeling Eric’s anger, Sookie rolled onto her back and tried to pull him to her.
Knowing what she wanted, Eric rolled to his side and placed his head on her chest; he purred in contentment as he felt her fingers start to stroke through his hair. He could feel his anger leaving him; he rubbed his stubble-covered cheek against her breast, making her giggle.
“Have you been in bed all day?” Eric asked as she rubbed his thumb over her stomach.
“No,” Sookie replied as she scratched his scalp. “I woke up around lunch time, got something to eat, and took a shower. But then I missed you and wanted to be near you.”
“I missed you too, Lover,” Eric said, knowing she was referring to the last few nights as well.
“Did you want to be near me too?” Sookie asked, her voice taking on a playful tone.
“I always want to be near you,” Eric told her as he angled his head so he could see her face. “Around you, on you.” He leered up at her as he added, “in you.”
“Eric,” Sookie said, giggling. She could feel lust rising in the bond and tugged on his hair lightly.
“Lover,” Eric groaned. He rubbed his cheek against her breast before turning his head and capturing her right nipple between his lips. He yanked the sheets off them, exposing their bodies to the cooling night air. Sliding his hand over her belly, he dipped between her thighs. He smiled against her nipple as he felt her legs part for him. He circled her clit lightly with his fingers as he sucked her nipple into his mouth.
“Oh, Eric,” Sookie sighed softly as she pressed his head to her chest. Flames of desire were growing inside her as her body responded to him.
Releasing her nipple, Eric smirked up at her before kissing his way down her body. Moving between her parted thighs, he placed his hand on her stomach and stroked his fingers over her healed flesh.
“I’m all healed baby,” Sookie assured him as she placed her hand over his. “I’m fine.”
“I could have lost you,” Eric choked, his voice filled with emotion.
“But you didn’t,” Sookie said softly. “I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere.”
“You promise?” Eric asked.
Laying his hand at her sides, Eric rested his head on her belly and closed his eyes. He could feel her fingers stroking through his hair offering him comfort as she whispered soft words of reassurance to him. He groaned at the absurdity of it; she was the one who was stabbed, yet she was reassuring him, the thousand-year-old vampire.
Eric pressed his lips gently to Sookie’s stomach before lifting his head. He smirked up at her and moved lower. Breathing in her scent, he flicked his tongue out to taste her. He groaned at her sweetness as he lifted her legs over his shoulders. Burying his face between her legs, Eric fastened his lips around her clit and sucked hard; he growled against her sex, sending vibrations through her. He delighted in the small mewls of pleasure she gave as he drew patterns on her clit with the tip of his tongue. Her arousal grew with each swipe of his tongue until she was bucking wildly against his mouth. He gripped her hips hard as he feasted.
Sookie arched her back as she twisted her hands in the sheets; sweat glistened on her skin as her body shook. She cried out, her pleasure spiking as Eric scraped his fangs over her sensitive folds.
“Eric!” Sookie screamed as she felt him turn his head and sink his fangs into her femoral artery.
Eric took a mouthful of her blood before pulling back, not wanting to take too much; he sealed the wound before placing a kiss to her sex. The taste of her blood mixed with her cum made him painfully hard. Putting her legs back on the bed, Eric crawled back up her body and settled over her.
“Hi,” Sookie said dopily as she smiled up at him.
“Hi,” Eric repeated as he dipped his head and brushed his lips over hers. He pushed into her slowly, savoring the feeling of her stretching around him as he sunk into her. Resting his forehead against hers, Eric locked eyes with Sookie as he slowly pulled back and thrust back into her. He flooded the bond with his love as he worshipped her body with his.
Sookie let out small sighs of pleasure as she clung to her husband. Her body sung with pleasure as Eric took her to the edge over and over again before finally letting her fall over. She came with a gentle cry as she shuddered beneath him.
Wrapping his arms around his wife, Eric rolled them over. He moved his hands to her hips and helped guide her movement as she rocked against him. He raised his hips, thrusting up into her as he sought his own release. He whispered words of love to her as he came, filling her with his dead seed.
Collapsing on top of him, Sookie rested her head over Eric’s chest as she got her breathing under control. “Love you,” she sighed as she felt Eric’s lips brush over her hair.
“I love you too,” Eric replied as he held her tight.
“So she just gave her to you,” Sookie said as she sat in the passenger’s seat of her car as Eric drove them to Fangtasia.
“Yes, she was our wedding present,” Eric replied as he flicked his eyes to her briefly. After their lovemaking, the two of them had showered quickly before jumping into Sookie’s car and heading to the bar. Eric had just finished telling Sookie about his visit with the Queen and the ‘gift’ she had bestowed on them.
“I don’t remember putting that on our wedding list,” Sookie snorted. “So what, is the Queen expecting you to have sex with this woman and for me to throw a fit or something?”
“I think that was her plan,” Eric said. “She arranged for the whore to be waiting naked for me in my quarters. I have no doubt she expected me to fuck her, and of course Sophie-Anne would have recorded the whole thing and would have no doubt arranged for you to see the footage…”
“And I would’ve been so heartbroken, I would’ve accepted the Queen’s help when she offered,” Sookie finished for him. “As plans go, that’s quite pathetic.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Eric agreed.
“Did she really think that would work?” Sookie questioned as she shook her head.
“Apparently. I don’t think Sophie-Anne really had a plan; she wasn’t expecting for there to be a contract, and she believed she had the right to demand for me to end our marriage,” Eric said as he turned into the Fangtasia parking lot. “When I informed her she approved our marriage and it was also accepted by the Council, her only plan was lost, so she came up with a new one of the spot.”
“And this was the best she could come up with?” Sookie scoffed. “Eric, your Queen is an idiot.”
“You will get no argument from me, Lover,” Eric replied with a chuckle.
“So what are we going to do with your new pet?” Sookie asked. “Do we have to keep her or can we give her away?”
“We are stuck with her for the time being I’m afraid,” Eric replied as he turned off the engine. “Sophie-Anne threatened to have me reassigned to her court if I refused her gift. I fear she would still do that if I threw the whore out of my area, and I do not want Sophie-Anne anywhere near you. The whore can work at the bar and stay with one of the waitresses. I will put one of my vampires in charge of her; I was going to give her to Pam, but I believe Pam would like that too much, and I am in no mood to reward her.”
“You’re going to punish her, aren’t you?” Sookie said softly as she undid her seatbelt and turned to face him.
“I am, Lover,” Eric replied truthfully. “I know she is your friend, and you don’t want to see her hurt, but she failed both me and you last night. She was aware of the situation with Compton and the Queen. She knew I had been called away so he could get near you, and she was more concerned about chatting up some woman than watching you like she was ordered.”
“I shouldn’t have gone outside without telling anyone,” Sookie said.
“Pam should have been at your side, so you shouldn’t have had to tell her,” Eric countered. “You were attacked twice Lover, and Pam needs to answer for that.”
“Okay,” Sookie replied. She knew better to argue with Eric when it came to things like that. He respected her opinions and encouraged her to speak up, but when it came down to it, it was his responsibility as both Pam’s Maker and her Sheriff to deal with her. Pam had messed up, and she would have to deal with the consequences.
“I take no pleasure in punishing her,” Eric said as he reached for Sookie’s hand, “and Pam will be expecting a punishment. As I said, she was aware of the situation. I have no doubt Compton set up the entire circumstances so he could get his blood into you, even if I can’t prove it yet.”
“You think he made that woman attack me?” Sookie asked as she linked her fingers with Eric’s. She suspected it herself, the way Candy was raving at her was slightly different from the way the other fangbangers thought of her. They all thought Sookie was standing in the way of them and the Master, but the way Candy was expressed it was different.
“He told us it was because of you, that you’re in the way. Have to get rid of you for the Master,” Sookie repeated.
“Sookie, I never said that,” Eric said as he heard her words. Lifting their hands to his lips, he placed a kiss on the back of hers. “I would never say that.”
“I know you wouldn’t baby,” Sookie assured him softly. “But that’s what she said before she stabbed me. He told us, not the Master told us. He told us.”
“It sounds like something Bill would do and say,” Eric mused. “Glamour her to attack you, come to your rescue, and then kill the fangbanger so no one can question her and find out his involvement in it.”
“I really don’t like him,” Sookie grumbled.
“No one does,” Eric replied with a chuckle. “His own Maker can’t stand him anymore.” Eric smiled at Sookie as he leaned towards her and brushed his lips lightly over hers. “Ready, Lover?”
“As I’m ever gonna be,” Sookie said as she stole another kiss.
Climbing out the car, Eric sped around to Sookie’s side and opened the door for her. Offering her his hand, he helped her out of the car and escorted her towards the bar.
Neither of them was surprised to see their vampires waiting for them when they entered the bar. Word of Sookie’s attack had spread, and her vampires were all there to make sure she was okay. Sookie offered them a small smile before her eyes settled on the humans present, or more specifically the Queen’s gift.
Sookie ran her eyes over Yvetta as the other woman openly stared at her. Sookie didn’t even have to dip into her mind to know she was sizing her up. She had seen that look on many of the women’s faces at Fangtasia before. Yvetta was sizing up her competition. Sookie was actually looking forward to putting the other woman in her place.
“Pam, Thalia, my office now,” Eric ordered as he nodded at the other vampires. Linking his fingers with Sookie, Eric guided her to his office and to the sofa. He dropped a kiss on her head before walking to his desk. He faced the two females as they stepped in front of his desk. “Thalia, from now on you are in charge of protecting your Mistress when I am not able…”
“Eric…” Pam interrupted foolishly; the knowledge that he no longer trusted her to protect Sookie in his absence unsettled her.
“Silence,” Eric growled cutting her off. “This is not up for debate. You failed both me and your Mistress last night. I am not giving you the chance to do it again.”
Pam lowered her head, remorse washing over her. She knew she messed up the night before, but she wouldn’t do it again. She just needed to make Eric see that.
“The Queen is also playing her childish games; she ‘gifted’ me with one of her donors last night,” Eric continued. “For the time being we are stuck with her. Sophie-Anne also ordered the donor punished for failing in her mission to seduce me, although the Queen claims it is for other reasons. She is to receive ten slaps on the bare ass for the next thirteen nights. Thalia, I am also putting you in charge of meting out her punishment. She is to work in the bar as a dancer, but be sure to spread the word about why she is really here. I do not want any of our vampires to become entangled in whatever web Sophie-Anne is spinning. Treat her like a spy and reveal nothing to her.”
“Yes, Sheriff,” Thalia replied with a small nod. Her lips curled into a small smile as she thought about meting out the woman’s punishment. She would show the whore what happens when someone tries to come between her Mistress and her Sheriff.
Turning his attention to Pam, Eric stared her down as he let his disappointment reach her. He couldn’t believe she had been so foolish the night before. “Do you realize how badly you fucked up last night?” he asked.
“I do,” Pam replied, her voice barely above a whisper.
“I am not sure you do,” Eric growled. “Your Mistress, my wife, could have been killed because you were too busy fingering some worthless whore. Anything could have happened to her, Pam. Bill could have kidnapped her; he could have drained and turned her while you should have been watching her. I have never been more disappointed in you than I am right now. Do you realize that if Sookie had died, I would have followed after her?”
“No!” Pam cried, a look of horror on her face as she heard his words. He couldn’t mean what she thought he did. There was no way Eric would ever meet the sun, Pam thought.
“Yes,” Eric replied, his tone deceptively calm. “Forever means nothing to me if I don’t have Sookie by my side.”
“Eric, please,” Pam begged. She couldn’t face the thought of a world without her Maker in it.
“Silence,” Eric ordered. “You will be punished for this Pam. It is time you grew up. You are nearly three hundred years old; it is time you took responsibility for your own life and actions. I am cancelling all your credit cards; from now on if you want something you will use your own money to buy it. I will no longer fund your lifestyle. In addition, for the next month you will only drink synthetic blood. You will also abstain from sex; you will not give or receive pleasure. Is that understood?”
“Yes, Master,” Pam replied somewhat sulkily. She couldn’t believe he would cut her off like that. Eric had taken her credit cards from her in the past, but he had always given them back after a few weeks.
“Watch your tone, Child,” Eric growled as he eyed Pam with exasperation. He had enough of her acting like a child.
“Eric,” Sookie said softly. She offered him a small smile as he looked at her. She hated to see Eric and Pam like that, but she knew it had to be done. And Pam wasn’t making any easier by acting like a brat.
“I’m just going to get a drink,” Sookie said.
“I will have one brought in for you,” Eric replied.
“No, that’s okay,” Sookie said as she stood. “Thalia can come with me, and I kinda want to have a chat with the new dancer…”
“Why would you want to talk to her?” Eric asked genuinely curious.
“She was basically sent by Sophie-Anne; I just want to see if she’s been giving any orders,” Sookie explained as she tapped a finger to her head.
“Of course,” Eric replied, slightly put out that he hadn’t suspected that himself. He saw Sookie flick her eyes to Pam briefly and then back to him, and he smiled at her. He realized she was giving him a chance to speak with his child in private. “Come straight back when you have finished.”
“I will,” Sookie promised as she headed out the door, Thalia a step behind her.
Turning his attention back to the still sulking Pam, Eric let out a sigh; “Grow up, Pam,” he growled.
“Will that be all, Master?” Pam asked with mock sweetness.
Shaking his head, Eric moved towards the cabinet in the corner of his office. “No, child that will not be all,” he pulled out a pair of gloves from a drawer in the cabinet, before opening one of the doors. He removed a thin silver rod and turned to face Pam. “If you insist on acting like a child, then I shall treat you one.”
“Eric,” Pam said as she eyed the rod hesitantly.
“Do you know how much pain Sookie was in last night, Pam?” Eric asked as he walked towards her. “I do; I felt it. It brought me to my knees. I have never disciplined you for the hell of it, and when it has been deserved I have always been fair. I was fair tonight, and yet you still act like an ungrateful child, throwing a tantrum because she’s lost her favorite toy.”
“Eric, I’m sorry,” Pam said as she backed up. She knew he was being truthful. He hadn’t ever abused her, and his punishments had always been fair. Although, she still wasn’t convinced taking her credit cards away permanently was warranted.
“You are still thinking about what you lost and not what you did,” Eric said, seemingly knowing what she was thinking about. “Why don’t you think about what I almost lost because of your carelessness? I almost lost my wife. I think, out of the two of us, I would have lost more. Now hold out your hand.”
“Eric, please,” Pam replied.
“Do not make me command you,” Eric said.
Holding her hand out palm up, Pam stared at Eric as he lifted the silver rod in the air. She let out a small cry as she felt it sear into her hand as he quickly laid the rod on her hand and also brought it up, and the smell of her flesh burning filling the room. Wrapping her other hand around her burnt hand, she cradled it to her chest as she met Eric’s eyes. She blinked back blood tears as she saw the pain in them; she knew he hadn’t gotten any pleasure in punishing her. He had actually hurt himself as well.
“Go and get ready for work,” Eric ordered softly as he put the rod away and peeled off the gloves.
“Yes, Eric,” Pam replied softly. “I am sorry, Eric.”
“I know you are Child,” Eric said as he kept his back to her. Once he heard Pam leave, he turned around, his eyes rimmed with blood tears as he dropped his head. He heard his door open again and felt a small pair of arms slip around his waist. Burying his head in Sookie’s hair, Eric wrapped his arms around her and held her close.
Lifting her head up, Sookie raised herself onto her tiptoes and pressed a kiss to his cheek before taking his hand and leading him over to the sofa. Pushing him down onto it, Sookie climbed into his lap and snuggled against him, offering him comfort.