“Did you do that?” Eric asked, truly astonished.
“No! I can’t even make a candy bar appear!” I answered, fingering the stones at my neck. “I saw Claudine do something similar when she made my brooch into an amulet,” I said in a lower voice, looking up at Eric. “Eric, I told you these are not my stones. They’re for your protection, not mine.” I was a little scared. What if we had enraged the goddess?
He rearranged his features and looked almost mad. “I want you to have them. You need protection more than me. I had them set into a necklace for you.”
I took a deep breath and felt my eyebrows knitting together as I thought about all the possibilities. Besides enraging Eric’s goddess, it could have been something simple, like a spell imbued into the stones by Octavia. Or maybe the stones’ witch magic had reacted with my fairy amulet… but I didn’t have it on.
“Do you feel different?” Eric asked, moving to sit beside me on the table. He leaned towards me and touched the necklace, brushing his fingers over my neck.
“No,” I said, watching as the blue light started to ignite again at his touch. He withdrew his hand quickly and the light faded. He touched it again and the light returned. “Great, now I’m a blue light special,” I mumbled, reaching back and undoing the clasp. He didn’t get the joke. Just as well.
The necklace fell into Eric’s waiting hand, and the light faded. “It only glows when we’re both touching it.”
“Is it touching it, or touching each other and it?” I asked. I put my hand on his knee and answered my own question. It was when we both touched each other and one of us was holding the stones… or wearing them, in my case.
“We’ll have to ask the witch when we return,” Eric said, and put the necklace back on my neck. “Let’s see what happens the longer we touch.”
He took my hands in his. We were sitting facing each other now, and I was shaking my knee a little nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The blue glow began to spread from my necklace, up past my face and down my body, expanding slowly to include Eric. It truly looked like a giant version of what Claudine had done to my brooch, nothing more; a blue cocoon, if you will. I didn’t feel any warmer or cooler, nothing weird like electricity or a shock, no strange smells or feelings… other than feeling like I wanted to jump my husband’s bones that very moment… but I felt normal.
Apparently the jumping-the-bones thing hadn’t been only my thing. Eric started looking positively needy. His lust barreled into me at the same time that his eyes dilated and his fangs descended. Without a word he pulled me to our bedroom. He didn’t bother taking off my slip or his boxers, or checking to see if I was ready. He knew I was ready and simply took me. Hard.
I gasped at the sudden invasion, but it felt too good. After all, I’d wanted him too just as badly. He moved inside me with purpose, and I held him tight against me, wasting very little time in reaching our mutual sweet moment. It was all over in a matter of minutes.
We lied on our bed quiet for a long time, sated and confused. “Did the necklace make us do that?” I asked when the silence got too loud.
“I was wondering the same thing,” Eric confessed. “And I haven’t come up with a ready answer.”
I nodded. I had no ready answer either. “Maybe I shouldn’t wear it until we find out what… I mean more about it,” I said, taking it off and setting it on a bedside table.
“Agreed.” He brought his gaze up to mine. “Did I hurt you?”
“No, honey. I would have told you.”
“Sometimes I wonder if you would indeed tell me if I hurt you.”
“I’m not a fan of pain,” I said and smiled.
The night was still young, and way too beautiful to waste it indoors, so we dressed and went back to the kitchen, to clean up. In the island, with all the windows open as they were, one couldn’t leave dirty dishes or food lying around for fear of bugs. Eric offered to wash the pan after I’d washed the dishes, and I let him. Cast iron pans are heavy, and besides, I wanted dessert. There was some fresh pineapple already cut into thick slices, so I grabbed a couple of slices and ate them with relish over the sink. They were juicy.
“You are so sexy,” Eric breathed, watching me make a mess of the pineapple slices. I left nothing but the thick center.
“I feel like I need a shower with a high-pressure washer,” I bemoaned. “Between the beach, the sex, and now the pineapple juice… I’m all crusty.”
“We’ll bathe later. We might go swimming again,” he said with a smile and licked his lips. “I want a kiss,” he said, grabbing my waist and bringing me close.
I puckered up, and he smiled wider. Instead of kissing me, he decided to run his teeth over my jaw, and then over my earlobe. My lips relaxed from a pucker into a soft smile and he took advantage to ply mine with his. He ran his tongue over that little indentation between my lip and my chin, probably tasting pineapple on my skin. Then the taste of my skin wasn’t enough, and his tongue went in search of mine.
“Tart but sweet, yes?” he spoke into my mouth.
“Uh-huh,” I agreed. He could taste things by tasting my saliva, and as long as it wasn’t garlic, he liked most of the things I ate. Garlic was too pungent, he’d said. He wasn’t allergic per se, but it lingered in my blood and my skin for a long time, and it became uncomfortable for him.
So far, he seemed to like pineapple just fine. I was returning his kiss just as fervently when he pulled away suddenly. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said smiling, and turned back to the fridge. All the fruits they’d left us (well, me, actually) were in the fridge to keep them safe from bugs. Eric pulled out a mango. “What does this taste like?” I didn’t think he knew the name. After all, how many times did he stroll down the fruits & veggies section of a grocery store?
“That’s a mango. They’re mostly sweet as long as they’re ripe.”
“A kiwi, honey. They’re tart.”
“You really need to ask?”
“Sookie… play along.”
“More sweet than tart. They go well with kiwis.”
“They could be sour if they’re not in season. Otherwise sweet, but the skin can be tart.”
He plucked a grape from the bunch, bringing the bunch with him and letting the fridge door close. I let him pop it in my mouth. He was watching closely as I chewed.
“These are sweet,” I declared. I didn’t expect sour grapes at this place. He fed me a few more, kissing me in between each one.
“I like feeding you. You look sexy when you eat,” he said. We’d actually made it out of our cabin and were now descending the steps that would lead us to the beach.
“Same here,” I said, returning the compliment and meaning it from the bottom of my heart.
“Same here what?” he asked. If I’d been able to see him I’d have seen a glint in his eye. He was going to make me say it.
I shrugged. “Same here,” I repeated, knowing it wouldn’t be this easy.
He stopped where he stood at the bottom of the steps and crossed his arms over his chest. “You hurt me Sookie.” I think he pouted.
I turned back to him and climbed up one step, so I could look into his eyes from a better angle. “I love feeding you,” I put my arms around his neck. “And I have no idea what you look like when you eat because usually we’re in the midst of some very deep,” I kissed his nose, “hot,” I kissed the corner of his mouth, “wild,” I kissed the other corner, “passionate,” I kissed his chin, “sex.”
Eric growled deep inside his chest. “I can’t take you again,” he said, threading his arms around my waist and pulling me close.
“Why not?” I asked, although I did feel raw “down there.” Between having sex in the water and then the roughness of the last session, I was very much aware of all my lady parts.
Eric arched an eyebrow. He always knew when I needed a little rest. Maybe he could smell it. “Surely there’s more to our relationship than sex.”
“I honestly never thought a man would ever utter those words,” I said smiling.
He smiled with me and gave a chaste kiss. “I’m not a man.”
“You’re a vampire that happens to be male,” I said, remembering the first time I had tried to classify him. He’d just walked into Merlotte’s and shocked the heck out of me, with his luminous skin and outrageously good looks.
Eric chuckled and picked me up. He took to the sky with me in his arms. Instead of going to the beach, he ventured over the dark expanse of flora over the center of the island, traveling south. In the distance I could make out the lights from the island of Tortola. They shimmered on the water, announcing civilization was nearby, but still too far to touch us. Eric settled us on the beach on this side of the island. It was different than the one up north. It must have been deeper, because the waves lacked that gentle lull. They were breaking against the beach. We sat to admire the scene. He positioned me between his legs, to use him as a backrest.
“I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this,” I said in a quiet voice. I didn’t want to disrupt the perfect sounds of the night.
“Are you happy, Sookie?”
“I am beyond happy. There are no words,” I confessed, sinking into him. If I didn’t have it all… loving husband, beautiful honeymoon… I could forget whatever was waiting for us at home.
“Blissful… whenever you’re near,” Eric whispered in my ear. He held me tight against him. I felt that slow revolving door of love and lust that told me all was well in Eric’s world. He definitely needed this vacation too.
Eric began describing the constellations as his people saw them. He told me the moon was very nearly full, but not quite. He’d called it a waxing gibbous moon. In two more days all the shifters back home would be running wild. I felt a pang of guilt remembering Sam, but it couldn’t be helped. I swiftly put all those thoughts away and refocused on the now.
We lied on the soft sand side by side. I held Eric’s hand while he tried his best to make me laugh. He knew every kind of joke there was, but that wasn’t what he was doing. He was telling me funny stories, things he’d gone through in his long existence. Like the time he’d taken an ESL class in the seventies, to get acquainted with the new lingo, mostly. Pam, being English and from a wealthy background, had taught him proper English soon after being turned. But they were both stumped and the seventies caught them by surprise.
“I never liked the hippies,” he confessed. “They were too mellow.”
I laughed imagining Eric’s face if someone had asked him to sing Kumbaya, or else flashed him the peace sign. By his own admission, he was a more “rock & roll” type of guy.
“Once that craziness was over,” he continued, “freakin’ disco took over and I nearly called it quits and returned to my Mother Land… except the biggest freaks came from there.”
I gasped in mock shock. “Don’t tell me you don’t like ABBA! They’re legendary!” I tried to hold it in, but my laughter burst through. The funniest part was I knew he had enjoyed the movie Mamma Mia. Maybe it was because of the young actress in it. She did look a little bit like me, but sang better. Or maybe he just liked any movies with Swedish actors in it, like the actor that looked like Eric if Eric were twenty five years older.
I was able to contain my laughter after a few moments. Eric was peaceful beside me, just holding my right hand with his left and letting me caress the ring on his finger. He never took it off. He didn’t mind that I took mine off with the rest of my jewelry, and put it back on whenever I was heading out. He never took his off.
“There has been talk about allowing humans and vampires to marry in Vermont,” he said, apropos of nothing, though maybe my caressing his ring had brought the subject up in his mind.
“Really? I didn’t hear anything,” I said. He knew I didn’t like to watch the news, so sometimes he had to catch me up. At the very least he wasn’t a sensationalist reporter.
“They’re trying to make the bill pass. If the bill passes there, then other states might follow suit,” he said, turning his face to look at me.
I turned to look at him too. “Do you think Louisiana…?”
“Maybe,” he said when I didn’t finish my question. “But even if they don’t, would you like to marry me the right way?”
I blinked. “Of course.” That was the mother of stupid questions. We were on our honeymoon! “Eric… I know there’s no piece of paper declaring us married, but I’m your wife and you’re my husband. I don’t see you as anything else.”
“I know, my love. Perhaps it would be easier for you to explain our relationship to other humans if we could honestly say we’re married, and have that piece of paper,” he pointed out.
“True. I don’t want you to think I would marry you for the ease of the convenience of being able to say I’m your wife legally,” I shook my head at my own convoluted sentence. “I’m married to you already. I’d marry you again, even in a heartbeat, just like last time. But maybe next time we can plan it properly and let Pam go nuts with the preparations.”
Eric chuckled. “She would too.” He sat up and pulled me with him. He looked at me for a long moment, and I found myself unable to look away. It was as if we could read each other’s minds. We met halfway for a slow kiss.
As per usual, I fell in love and was in awe of this creature that always saw more in me than I dared to see in myself. I was so happy he’d come back to me, or his mind, rather. I’d been willing to stay with him regardless, but this, this was better. The way we understood each other so thoroughly could never have happened if he’d been missing the memories of his fifty lifetimes. I would have missed his reminiscences. They were an important part of him, what had made our second date so special to me: getting to know him.
“Swim time,” he announced, suddenly on his feet. The romantic part of the evening was over. Now it was time to play. He took off his shirt and helped me with the cover-up, enjoying the view of the new bikini I was wearing, before giving me a wide smile and running away into the surf.
“I’m a little scared of the waves,” I called out. I knew he could hear me. During the day I might have attempted getting in, even with the heavier surf. But at night…
“Oh, come,” he returned to me super vampire fast, and crouched in front of me, giving me his back to cling to. When I was securely wrapped around him he ran us right back into the water, splashing everywhere, and hollering something about Vikings being rulers of the sea. I’d believe it.
Once again we were giddy, enjoying each other thoroughly, with nothing to fear and nothing to worry about. He swam just below the water with me on his back, like he’d done in Dallas. It was like being attached to a dolphin. When he’d had enough of that he swung me around and we hugged each other, bobbing up and down on the waves. The movement was soothing.
“What will you do tomorrow while I sleep?” he asked me, pushing a stray lock of hair behind my ear.
“Probably the same thing I did today. I really enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. Not only did I enjoy doing nothing, I enjoyed knowing that I have nothing to do: no chores, no work, and no errands. It was perfect,” I answered.
Eric smiled. It looked wicked. “We could try making love,” he offered.
I was confused. “While you’re asleep?” I asked. I knew sometimes, while he slept, he looked ready. But still… that was kind of… “Kinky.”
“Yes, kinky. You’d have complete control over me, and I would have the most pleasant dreams.”
“Isn’t that like raping you?” I didn’t think it was, particularly since he’d been the one to suggest it, but I had to ask.
“Not if I give you permission. That is, if you want to and if you find that I’m… in the mood,” he smiled wider. The talk of sex was having the intended effect on him. And on me too, if I was being honest.
“I won’t say yes, but I won’t say no. We’ll see, okay?” I said; he was already flying up and back to the beach.
“Okay, love of my life,” he agreed, setting me down on the sand gingerly. We retrieved our things, and he flew us back to our cabin. “Bath in our balcony, or shower in luxury?” He pointed at the claw foot tub perched on a corner of our balcony, and then pointed to the inside of our bedroom, where the most ginormous shower I’d ever seen awaited us once again. We’d used it the night before. It had been something else.
“Ginormous shower, please,” I said, walking away to the bathroom inside our bedroom.
Whoever thought up the shower had been a genius. It had a “his” and “hers” side, so we could both take a shower at the same time without having to share, yet still be close enough to be able to enjoy each other. It had a bench that ran the full length, from my side to his. The whole thing was recessed, so there was no need for a shower curtain or doors. Eric had already said he might have one built for us in each of our homes… to which I’d said nothing because… I really, really wanted one too. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to encourage that kind of spending.
Just like the night before I was mesmerized watching my darling husband bathing. It was different from when I washed him. There was something intimate and almost naughty in watching how he took care of his own body… the way he ran his large hands over his expansive chest; the way he touched and soaped his (hard) length; the way he turned so I could watch as he… Oh, that butt! And, of course, he could take my stares as well as give them. His looks were positively ravenous.
“Oh, Sookie, do that again,” he purred from the other side of the shower.
I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but from the looks of him, it had been something sexy. “What did I do?” I asked for clarification. Plus, I wanted to make him say it.
“Touch yourself again,” he said. By now he was touching his own self.
I remembered what I had done to bring forth the hungry stare I was getting from Eric. I let my soapy hand roam south again, to tease my nub. Before, it had been nothing more than an automatic motion to clean the area. Now, it was a deliberate teasing of not only my body, but his as well, even from a few feet apart.
“Do you like that, Sookie? Do you like me to see you pleasuring yourself?” His voice was starting to take that growling quality it had whenever he became seriously aroused.
“Yes,” I said, not being very good at the word play. Hey! He was my first love!
“Can you make yourself come? I want to see you come, Sookie,” he said, stroking his length leisurely.
I felt my whole body heat up at his words. God! I would do anything for this man, wouldn’t I? I sat on the corner of the bench and spread my legs to face him, never taking my eyes off his. I hadn’t needed the pleasure of a self-release in many months, but it wasn’t something I could easily forget. I gave Eric what I hoped was a show. Watching him was all the encouragement I needed, and watching him watching me was an incredible turn on. I felt my heart doing somersaults inside my chest every time I sent a sweet thrill through my body. As I brought on my own orgasm I called to him. He was immediately beside me, watching me as my whole body shook and settled.
Still kneeling beside me, touching his own erection, he pricked the middle finger of his free hand with one of his fangs, and dipped it inside me. He was healing the little bit of damage that had made me raw earlier. Even when we were both in the midst of a wild bout of lovemaking, he needed to make sure I was safe. He needed to take care of me.
As soon as his blood healed me, he flipped me around. I had one knee on the bench, the other leg holding the rest of my weight on the shower floor. Eric got in the same position behind me and entered me. It wasn’t the lovemaking from earlier that night, or the wild mating later. This was passion, pleasure, pure and simple. This was two people who loved each other to the depths of forever, needing to show each other that forever meant some really good sex.
Eric started grunting, a low and savage noise that told me he was ready to be fed. I wanted nothing more than to feed him. He was inside me, and I wanted to be inside him too. He pulled me up and in one swift move sank his fangs into my shoulder. My beautiful Viking took me with him into the oblivion of our shared ecstasy.