“There’s only one little tiny problem,” Pam said as we started to put on our coats to leave the apartment on my first night as a vampire. The first night of the rest of my life.
Eric and I both turned to listen. After all, it was my first night procuring a meal and there couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be any problems before I actually went out. Pam got close to me and took a quick sniff. The embarrassment I would have normally felt was absent from my new makeup. That was an interesting development, particularly since I knew that I smelled like Eric and sex with Eric.
“Sookie, you still smell like…” Pam paused to look for words.
“Sunshine,” Eric supplied helpfully.
I made a face, not knowing what to think. “Is that bad?”
“No, but you might attract unwanted attention from other vampires. It’s unusual for a vampire to smell like sunshine,” Pam said, also making a face, a thoughtful one.
“It will be fine,” Eric said and waited to have my undivided attention. “You can practice your mind reading and mind control. If for any reason you feel threatened, I’ll protect you.”
Of course, my maker and lover wouldn’t let anything happen to me. I think the concept of a maker/child relationship had been mostly ephemeral to me until I experienced it for myself. There was complete trust on my part that my maker loved me and cared for me, and that was true, of course. But the knowledge that he would protect me was embedded into my psyche, visceral, not to be questioned or doubted. Later, as the child ages and becomes independent from the maker, those feelings of safety with your maker fade. If a child is lucky to have a maker like Eric, or even Sophie-Anne, the child remains committed to her maker and the love evolves into something more mature. If the maker is a sadist like Lorena had been to Bill… well, you got confrontation and a need to disobey.
My brain worked on overtime as we strolled through the slushy streets of Prague towards our destination. I’d never been to a vampire bar while traveling with Pam alone. We had decided it would only spell trouble for me to be seen at one, and there was no reason for me to seek my fun at one, so I hadn’t. Now that I was a vampire myself, it was time to be introduced to the vampire scene in Europe.
Europe was different than the United States in one key aspect: feeding was allowed on the premises of a vampire bar as long as it was done in a private room reserved for such a purpose. It was not considered public feeding as long as it could not be seen.
“So why did you guys stay in Louisiana?” I asked, following my thoughts and not really considering the fact that no one could read them.
Pam was first to answer. “Eric needed my help with the bar,” she shrugged.
“There are too many vampires here,” Eric said, meaning in Europe. “I wanted to have a little bit of power of my own, and that was not going to happen here. Pam and I left Europe a little after the Second World War.”
“In those days we had to travel as cadavers with other cadavers in the belly of the plane,” Pam snickered, probably remembering the smell.
The streets were not very busy, nor were they deserted. Eric took care to steer me away from any humans that were walking on the same side of the street as us, and I took care not to breathe in while we passed anybody with a pulse. We saw only a few vampires on our way to the bar, which was located near a busy part of the city. I was scared and excited at the same time.
I felt like a virgin. Even though I’d bitten Eric, I knew it wouldn’t compare to biting a live, warm person. I was hungry for it but at the same time I feared I’d harm my donor. I told Eric so as we walked, in a very low shy voice, and I checked Pam’s mental chatter to see what she was really thinking of me about my hesitation. She was remembering the first person she tasted… the first person she drained. Yikes!
“Choose a large man, as big as me or larger,” Eric said with authority. “I won’t leave you alone and I won’t let you drain anybody.”
“Sookie, use your gift,” Pam said in a mildly exasperated tone. “Just listen to their thoughts and you will feel their fear. That’s when you stop.”
“They’ll be thinking about having sex with me,” I whined… a little.
“So what? You can take that for a few minutes, can’t you? In exchange you get to keep them alive.”
Pam was making sense. I gathered a bit of courage to face the necessary task. Though I knew that Eric wouldn’t let me lose control, I had to prove to myself that I could do this, if only because of how hungry I was becoming. The empty feeling was getting to be almost painful, and I knew it would get worse. No wonder hungry vampires were dangerous vampires.
The bars and nightclubs that catered to humans were calling to me like beacons. I so wanted to follow someone inside. Eric, who had been holding my hand, gave me a mild squeeze whenever my gaze strayed to the point that I craned my neck back. In my defense, the men I saw fit his description of being large enough to handle my hunger. I was tempted to make one of them follow us to the vampire bar, just to see if I could do it, but mostly because they looked appetizing to me. Once I took a tentative breath that sent my mind reeling. So many scents mingled together! Some were downright nasty, I must say, but I could immediately tell that the scent of blood was the most exquisite to me.
My soft groan must have given me away because Eric wrapped an arm around my waist and brought me closer to him. “Almost there, dear one,” he whispered and kissed my hair.
Pam snickered behind me and I was sure at some point that night she would say “I told you so,” and mean it wholeheartedly. By now I knew she’d been right when she said that vampires didn’t think like humans, not exactly. What she had said to me to try to convince me to be turned had been very true. Of course, now she saw me as a little sister to either pester or educate. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that yet.
Finally, we arrived at the vampire bar, nestled in the basement of a building with a long line of humans winding their way up the stairs. Eric and I followed Pam, who had been there before, and we bypassed the line and the people. The bouncer let us pass right away, as was standard. We were the main attraction, after all.
The bar was typical for vampire bars, I would say. It reminded me a little of Fangtasia, as a matter of fact, except for the very obvious doors lining the walls. Those, I was told, led to the private rooms.
Immediately a few vampires turned in our direction to glance at the newcomers. Dusan, the only other vampire I had met in Prague, was there. He joined us and invited us to his table. Pam and I introduced him to Eric, and he introduced us to his friends. He didn’t say anything about my new “condition.” I supposed he had guessed I would be turned sooner rather than later.
My mind was not exactly on the conversation, which was being conducted half in English and half in Czech. I was scanning the room for a suitable donor, and once my eyes had found him I became fixated, like a cat watching a mouse. It didn’t take very long for our companions to notice either my hunger or my interest.
“Would you like to go say hello?” Eric asked in a whisper at my ear. I nodded and he, very gallantly, stood and got my chair, excusing us from the table. “I’ll follow your lead,” he said as we moved together towards my target.
The man was very tall, a little taller than Eric, and broad. He was accompanied by a human woman, and neither looked very interested as we approached. A quick scan of their minds showed me they were just enjoying the ambiance, not exactly looking to hook up. It was time to play some tricks, because I really wanted the man.
With just a suggestion planted neatly within his mind, the man turned to look at me and smiled, extending his hand and telling me his name. To this day I can’t remember what it was. I didn’t shake his hand, following vampire protocol, but I did smile back, completely forgetting that I had not developed any control over my fangs yet. The man was in my thrall, but the woman wasn’t. She gasped almost imperceptibly, but her attention was quickly diverted to Eric. He didn’t even need to glamour her.
It was the man who suggested I drink from him, and I had to use my mind reading abilities to decipher his question because he didn’t speak English. No matter, the language of hunger is the same everywhere. Eric and the woman led the way into the room, since he needed to feed too. I was so lost to the pain that I was experiencing that I even forgot to feel jealous of Eric’s companion.
The room, a small six-foot by six-foot space, had a small black leather loveseat and not much else… unless you counted a side table that contained some tissues. My companion took a seat and Eric sat beside him, but I barely paid Eric any mind, focusing instead of the sound of the two heartbeats in the room. The scent of blood and alcohol was intoxicating and I felt almost desperate to bite.
I straddled the man, kneeling astride him, watching him as he looked at me with excitement and hungry eyes for a different reason. He held my waist as I ran a finger over the pulsing vein that I wanted to sink my teeth into. My mouth watered and my gums itched as my fangs lengthened fully. The man brought me close and tilted his head, giving me the invitation that I certainly did not need. I was too far gone and would have simply taken the blood even if it had not been offered.
The man’s neck smelled of soap, shampoo, a little sweat, and detergent where it had rubbed off from his sweater. Under those ordinary scents was that of his blood. It was rich, faintly metallic, but I liked it. I was very careful where I sank my teeth into his flesh, wanting to make it as neat as possible. My instincts took over the moment his blood sprang to the surface of his skin. It was warm, succulent, tasting very faintly of beer but not enough to put me off. I removed my fangs from the wounds and clamped my lips around them making a seal, sucking slowly, knowing that my increased strength would make it very easy for me to drain him in only a few large mouthfuls.
His mind was open to me, and I had to endure his thoughts. They were mild enough, and I wasn’t surprised: he wanted to take me right then and there, in the same position we were already in. He was aroused by my bite, even though I didn’t have any idea of how to make it pleasurable or take away its pleasure. The moment the first sip of warm blood hit my empty stomach, it became satisfied AND cried out for more. I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to wonder about the contradiction, I simply kept drinking.
At some point Eric had finished with his meal and had dismissed her. I felt his large body behind me when I still wasn’t done. I growled low in my throat, emitting a sound I never knew I could make. It was a warning, as if I were a feral dog and somebody was trying to take away my food. Instead of taking me away, Eric began his attentions by removing the man’s hands from my waist and replacing them with his. I took a peek into his mind, and he was wishing to be the man under me, feeding me the way I’d fed him when I was still human. For that one moment, Eric missed being human. The feeling quickly faded when he noticed the man trying to touch me again. Eric hissed behind me, pulling me slightly at the same time I resisted.
What with being driven by hunger and with Eric behind me trying to cop a feel by running his hands under my sweater, I didn’t notice that I had started to take too much blood from the man. Eric must have said something out loud, but I ignored him and kept on drinking. In different circumstances he would have let me drain the man, but Eric knew I would regret it and hate myself for it later, so he commanded me to stop and I felt compelled to let go.
“Lick his wounds,” Eric ordered me. I did so grudgingly, relishing the last few drops that had seeped onto the man’s skin.
As soon as I was done, Eric lifted me off the man and ordered him to leave in Czech, after glamouring my identity out of the man’s mind. I struggled a little within Eric’s grasp, but he was holding me too tight. Good thing I didn’t need to breathe or I would have suffocated. I was still hungry!
“Give it a moment, it will pass,” Eric said in a soothing voice, holding me tight against him. He spoke into my ear, his sweet breath tickling my skin. “You were magnificent. You truly know how to make me jealous, lover.”
“You fed from a woman,” I said, finally cottoning onto the fact that I was a little bit mad about that.
“I gave you a lot of my blood and haven’t fed in days except for True Blood. I needed a human. Did you read my mind while I fed?”
I shook my head. It was the first time he spoke of my turning and I wanted to hear more. Now that the hunger was fading, as Eric had promised, I was able to focus more on all the other questions that were floating through my mind.
“You should have read my mind,” Eric continued. “It was full of you and how much I miss your human blood. But I would miss you more than your blood.” He kissed the sensitive part under my ear, followed by a few more tender kisses to my neck. “I love you. You are my wife in every way it counts to me. I am your husband. I am yours and yours alone.”
My body relaxed against his and I glanced at my engagement ring. Now our union would not be questioned or illegal in any way. However, I would have to get used to him feeding from other people because I could no longer give him the sustenance he needed. To his credit, he handled my feeding from another man with outstanding self-possession.
“In a few months we can return home. Wouldn’t you like that?” Eric asked, making us sway to the muffled music that filtered through the closed door.
I nodded. “Yes, I’d like that very much. Why do we have to wait?”
“I want you to be in complete control of your hunger before we visit people you know. I wouldn’t want you to harm them in any way. Although I would stop you, I don’t want to run the risk. I also want to avoid whatever is coming next.”
He was referring to the curse of the witches and everything that had happened afterwards. I had to agree. There were some things that I definitely wanted to avoid… although I probably had to make a phone call to Merlotte’s so that Sam wouldn’t hire Sweetie and bring that mess into his life and the lives of so many others.
I turned around and hugged Eric’s neck, staring into his clear blue eyes. We were still swaying to the music and I could feel his excitement pressing against my belly. “Are we staying here in Prague?”
He shook his head. “I’m biding my time for things I set in motion in Louisiana to come to fruition, so we have some time to explore the world. Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere,” I answered immediately then amended my answer. “Let’s ask Pam. She makes good choices.”
“All right,” Eric agreed and pressed me harder against him. Time stood still when he moved vampire fast to lay me down on the small loveseat, his whole body covering mine. This time I could see what he was doing and where he was taking me, instead of wondering what had happened like I usually did.
“Not here, Eric,” I managed to say before he covered my mouth with his. “Let’s go home,” I said between breath-stealing kisses.
“You will need to feed again soon, and I can’t wait that long. I need you,” he said in a low thick voice, reaching between us to undo my pants.
His hand squirreled inside and found my center, rubbing me just the way he knew would make me want to agree to anything. I moaned into his mouth and felt his lust swirling into me, like taffy candy, thick and sweet. I chose to open my mind and let his invade me. It was so full of me that I felt like melting and crying all at the same time. It had been one hell of a night, and Eric was simply trying to love me and love me right.
“Have you always felt this way about me?” I asked as my vision blurred to red before I blinked away my first bloody tears.
“Don’t cry,” he whispered, licking my tears away. “I’ve been in love with you for a long time now, you know that minn ástir.”
In his mind we were transported to a sunlit meadow, part of his memories from when he was human. It was filled with small tender yellow blooms, the first signs of spring in an otherwise harsh land. I closed my eyes and got lost in that meadow with him, feeling the soft grass underneath us, his hard body pinning me down, moving over me and seeking, finding and slowly entering me. His mind exploded with colors at the same time that I opened my eyes. Eric was so beautiful to me, lost in his pleasure, trying to not close his eyes in bliss because he’d rather look at me.
I tried to keep my moans to myself, but Eric had no desire to hide our lovemaking from others’ ears. The best I could do was pull him to me and kiss him, muffling his deep grunts with my mouth. It didn’t matter. Soon I was so lost to his kisses and his hands over every inch of me that I didn’t care anymore where we were and just gave myself over to my beloved.
Eric was moving excruciatingly slow until I pulled on his hair to expose his neck to me. His anticipation of my bite fueled his desire and my own passion. We moved together, me lifting my hips to meet his deep thrusts, and him thrusting harder and faster than he ever had… until time stood still again. Our lovemaking was a whirlwind of motion, my introduction to vampire speed sex. I was lost. I was lost to his mind, to my body’s desires and this new type of pleasure where everything Eric did to me felt like he was lighting fireworks inside my body, making me burst with several orgasms, one after the other.
My eyes closed and I forgot to bite as Eric’s body stilled with the last of his spent need. He whimpered against my ear then turned his head to kiss it. I took a deep breath, enjoying the mix of our scents together.
“Minn fríðr Eric,” I said, hugging him with both arms and legs.
“Even now that you can see me clearly?” he asked, pulling away a little to give me a wide smile.
“More so now, baby,” I answered, brushing his hair away from his face.
Our tender moment was interrupted by the sudden entrance of a couple of very large vampire males. Eric was immediately on his feet in a defensive position in front of me. I managed to put my pants back on a little faster than human speed and stood behind him, using everything I had at my disposal to size up the situation.
The vampires weren’t hungry, they were horny. They wanted Eric to share whatever he’d had in this room, which was me. When they both took deep breaths I knew we were in trouble. My part fairy ancestry was still at work, God only knew how. The bouncer came in behind them, but one look at the two and he, pretty much, told them to keep it inside the room and left, closing the door.
No time like the present to find out just how much power I truly could wield with my mind. It was either that or get into a fight, or let Eric get into a fight. Before Eric could take a step forward I put myself between him and the other males. I planted the suggestion that they didn’t want me, after all. It was easy to keep calm when my heart wasn’t beating in my ears, or my lungs fighting for air. Therefore it was easy to manipulate their minds into redirecting their lust towards each other.
Eric seemed to take it all in slowly, letting me manipulate the males’ minds without interfering. The amazing part was not that I could do it make them do what I wanted. After all, I’d already done it three times. What I found amazingly easy was to control both minds at the same time, like a collective consciousness that was mine for the molding.
The two males fell on each other and we made a quick exit out of the small room. Once outside we were met by a surprised bouncer, and Pam coming out of one of the rooms. She hadn’t seen what happened and was truly surprised when we told her.
“You were right, Pam,” Eric said grudgingly. “Any idiot will latch onto her scent and either want her or wonder.” All this he said in a hushed whisper as we made our way outside.
Honestly I was feeling a little guilty, even though there was nothing I could have done to change the way I smelled. But, as it was my problem, I also had to tell myself that I’d been able to handle it without getting any of us in trouble or harmed anybody.
“She changed both their minds?!” Pam said, following Eric’s lead and talking as if I weren’t there.
“It’s rude, you two. I’m still here,” I pointed out and started to walk ahead of them. I was starting to get that empty feeling in my stomach again, and it would only be a matter of time until the pain returned. “Fuck!” I said out loud as I stomped my foot, once we were on the street. I usually tried my best not to curse, but it seemed warranted at that particular moment.
“I’ll pick one,” Pam said, turning around the face the line of people still wanting to get inside the bar. She knew I was hungry.
“Don’t bother,” I said and picked someone from the line myself, another man. He felt compelled to follow us.
I knew this new life wouldn’t be easy… not that being human had been a walk in the park. Everything that involved life, or some variation thereof, would always be difficult and therefore worth overcoming. Life was its own reward. I wasn’t mad or upset in any way that I’d been turned into something different. In some twisted way I knew I’d been destined to something different than I was. Being a telepath sort of paved the way. Discovering I was part fairy and had demon blood inside me sealed the deal. In truth I’d always felt less human than those around me. At the same time, I’d felt like I belonged to the supernatural the moment I learned that it existed. It was why I’d been so excited to meet Bill the first time, why I hadn’t shot Sam the first time he’d told me what he was. Sure, it was the “essential spark” within me that allowed me to feel that way.
Now that I was truly something different, I felt like an alien within my own world. I was used to being the human that mingled with the supernatural. Now I was the full demon mingling amongst the people that hadn’t changed around me. And although that first night of being a vampire was a true revelation of so many things, I knew that I was still this unique being that was destined to always be different. I was more demonic than a vampire, as I’d been more fae than a human. Could Eric and Pam, these two people who I considered family, could they accept me? Could the vampire population learn to deal with someone like me?
Minn ástir = My love
Minn fríðr = My handsome (Eric)