Learning to let go of resentment, jealousy, and envy is crucial for any vampire. We have to live with each other for centuries, even millennia. It wouldn’t be fair to Eric, Pam, or myself to continue being angry with our choices, or looking to the past to wish it better. Like Eric had said and I liked to repeat: none of us had another cluviel dor that we could use to turn back time. We did what we did and we had to move on.
Besides, we were one unit. If Ocella had been a different kind of person, he could have joined us and become stronger, if only for the little bit of time that he still had left to live. Meg Moon was itching to be part of our trio, but her responsibilities to her kingdom wouldn’t allow her to leave it.
Nevertheless she wanted to do something to help.
“A wedding,” Eric had said over the phone and shot me a smile one night.
Meg’s voice sounded jubilant on the other line. “That’s perfect! Oh, come back to Segovia! Marry here!”
“Everyone must know that Sookie is mine and that I have powerful allies.” He squeezed my hand, feeling my momentary apprehension. “Otherwise all of this would have been in vain.”
Eric was trying to explain his decision to me. When he said “all of this,” he meant my using the cluviel dor to try to save his life, our leaving Louisiana and traipsing through all of Europe, and my turning. Those three momentous happenings that had shaped our lives ever since I’d reappeared in Fangtasia two years into the past… those three ripples in time that had turned into large waves… they would turn into costly mistakes rather than solutions if we didn’t seize our chances as they appeared.
There were two main problems we were trying to solve at that particular moment: one, Ocella was still around and in control of Eric and Eric’s progeny, including Meg; and two, we all wanted to go back home.
Whereas Meg was not very easy to manipulate by Ocella because she was so strong and had surrounded herself with strong vampires, Pam and I were weak in comparison, and subject to Ocella’s whim. So far, there was no immediate threat. After all, nobody knew what I could do, and word from Eric’s contacts had it that since I’d been turned I’d lost my telepathy, a carefully planted lie fabricated by none other than my demon godfather.
The truth, however, was that over the months I had been practicing my mind skills, using Eric and Pam whenever I could, my donors, and sometimes the patrons of places I frequented. For the most part Eric and Pam knew that I was about to strike, but sometimes I tried my luck while they weren’t aware that I was inside their brains. So far it had worked perfectly with everyone I’d ever attempted to manipulate.
My moment of glory came on my wedding night.
Like all queens, Meg was into grand gestures in order to ingratiate herself with her subjects and with those that lived within her jurisdiction, vampire, human, and shifter alike. Many attended the ball she threw in our honor, which coincided with an artists’ festival in Segovia. More specifically, “mind artists,” people who created by using words.
Meg was nothing if not a pragmatist like her maker. Our family became the subject of an magazine article about vampires, not that we gave away much at all, of course. The fact that there were vampires ruling over other vampires was not something that could be broadcasted. But the fact that my maker and siblings were ancient offered enough tantalizing information to warrant an article in a major news journal. The article would serve as an introduction prior to our eventual arrival in Rhodes. There would be no more use in hiding at that point. We would have either achieved our goal, or have died trying. By then we’d be the best known vampire family in the world. It would be a bad idea to kill us. If anything, it would be a good idea to be on our side.
So we returned to Segovia at the end of summer.
The night of our wedding, as soon as the sun had set, I ran to Pam’s room next to Eric’s and my room. She helped me with the exquisitely detailed white and silver gown with the three-foot train, the impossibly high heels, and my hair, which she set into an intricate design that only one born when she had could possibly had mastered.
“You’re nervous,” she commented as I sat perfectly still while she inserted pins studded with pearls on my hair.
Even though my outward appearance was calm, Pam was right: I WAS nervous. “To be honest I don’t know why,” I confessed.
“It’s not every day you marry the love of your life,” she said in a soothing voice. We were sisters and best friends once more. It only served to remind me of what I’d almost lost by being a jealous wretch.
“Actually, I did already marry him once.”
“That night doesn’t count. This is your night to do it over. More importantly, this is Eric’s night to rectify his mistake.”
“He didn’t really make a mistake this time around,” I pointed out. “I don’t hold him responsible for what happened in my other life.”
Pam sighed. “I know you don’t. Actually, I think you feel guilty for the things that are happening during this time, Sookie.” She was right. “I hope you understand that when we say that we both love you and enjoy having you in our lives, that we mean it wholeheartedly. You’ve given Eric a reason to live and thrive, a chance to ask Meg for forgiveness and have her be in his life again, another adventure under our old belts. You must trust me when I say that, even though some parts of this journey have been rough, we have enjoyed ourselves immensely.” She carefully helped me affix a diamond necklace fit for a queen and deemed me ready.
There was no need for me to verify her words by looking into her brain. The way she looked at me, the pride that sparkled undisguised in her eyes, and the soft sisterly kiss she delivered before leading me to the top of the main hall’s stairs were enough to convince me that she was being truthful.
For years I had dreamed, then dismissed, a wedding of my own. When I had given Eric the knife on a night that seemed a millenium ago, any hope I’d had of a wedding had gone right down the drain, along with dreams of being courted and wooed. This time the details of our wedding had been pieced together over several months, and even the setback of our fairy adventure hadn’t sidetracked our plans. Eric and I would be married in a vampire ceremony with more pomp and circumstance than befitted the union of two nameless vampires. After all, Eric had left his fiefdom to fend for itself back in Louisiana, which had been a very modest one anyway; and I was a newly made vampire with absolutely nothing to my name.
With Meg’s help, however, this would be the biggest vampire wedding ceremony anybody had ever witnessed. Since Eric and I were both vampires, we didn’t have to hide our union and it would be one-hundred percent sanctioned, thanks to a simple palimony agreement. There really was no need for one, since Eric was already more than just a boyfriend or fiance. It is expected that a maker’s belongings will pass unto his children upon his death. But, in the eyes of the world and the law, it behooved Eric to give me half of everything he owned – and, eventually, vice versa. This way nobody would be tempted to enter either of us into an arranged marriage like the one Ocella had roped Eric into in my other life.
As logical and practical as this all sounded, if I’d had a beating heart it would have been leaping inside my ribcage as I made my way down the elaborate steps and into the main hall of the castle, holding a bouquet of white lilies, trying in vain to smile demurely while looking at Eric. He was the epitome of handsome, dressed in the most beautiful black tuxedo with tails that I’d ever seen on a man, his hair held back in a simple braid. It was probably because Eric was smiling at me from ear to ear that my attempt to go for elegant and coy didn’t quite work. He was happy and so was I.
The castle’s main hall, the entrance, was the grandest room of all other than the ballroom. Meg had been in charge of all the decorations, making the main hall look fit for a queen’s wedding instead of my own.
The marble steps were covered in a deep burgundy carpet that cushioned every step I took to get me closer to my Eric. The ornate red silk that covered the walls had been replaced with white silk; the gilded ceilings had received a polishing; the wall sconces had gotten the royal treatment and now sported brighter lights, so that it seemed we were walking outside in the middle of the day, rather than the opposite.
The final piece was the ornate carved table that held our ceremonial knife – the same knife I had once given Eric. Somehow, the knife that had married Russell Edgington and Bartlette Crowe and that Eric had used to dupe me into marrying him, had made it across space and time to end up right in front of us, ready to unite us once again, this time proudly out in the open.
The ceremony still remains a whirlwind in my mind. I don’t remember the words we said, but I do remember how nervous I was throughout. I don’t remember what others said or how they saw us, but I remember the moment we each cut into our wrists using the same knife and drank each other’s blood. Eric’s lips on my wrist as he drank my blood, the feel of his skin and the taste of his blood on my own lips, and the fact that we were performing this very private act in a very public setting was enough to convince me of Eric’s steadfastness if nothing else would have. I don’t remember how we got to the ballroom afterwards, but I remember every single song that played while Eric and I danced.
“Thank you,” Eric said to me as we danced in mid-air. We were the stars, so of course we were the focus of all the eyes in the room.
“Whatever for?” I asked surprised.
“For this, the wedding, looking so beautiful, marrying me, being mine.”
I felt my whole body relax at his words. “Thank you for listening to things I never said.”
“Hm! I must have some kind of superpower,” he smiled and kissed me fully, our fangs lengthening with undisguised lust. However, the consummation of our marriage would have to wait a little longer. He stopped kissing me and became serious. “Do you want to try it now?” he asked and I nodded.
Our wedding night was important in and of itself, of course, but I would never get another chance to try the true measure and scope of my power before going back to the States.
The exercise we had agreed to was only to see how many different kinds of minds (vampire, human, were, and so on) I could control at the same time. After the ceremony, many more people had arrived to the actual ball, and the castle hosted upwards of five hundred people between guests and workers.
Eric stopped moving first at my command. He was easiest to control simply because of his proximity. We landed softly on a high balcony from which I could see the whole ballroom. The place was teeming with swirling couples, happy guests, horny guests, hungry guests. I let all the minds enter mine, and the perceived assault made me feel weak for the first time in a long time. Still, Eric’s mind was under my power, therefore it was just a matter of expanding the net.
I closed my eyes, “seeing” each mind as I took it over. One moment they were teeming with thoughts, the next they were blank. One by one in a quick sweep of the whole ballroom I was able to extinguish all thoughts from all those present at my wedding.
That moment is one that will forever live in my memory and nobody else’s. That is because everybody was under my control.
When I opened my eyes, everything and everyone had stopped. The dancing couples stood immobilized in the middle of the ballroom. Some happy guests had stopped midway through a laugh. The musicians had stopped their playing, but were still holding their instruments ready to play more.
What in the world was I supposed to do with all this power? Once I released the minds the people would simply continue thinking and doing whatever I had stopped. That wasn’t going to work.
“Now what?” I asked of no one and wished Eric was not under my control so he could offer some help.
A half a second later he startled me by squeezing my waist. He was back to himself and knew my dilemma. Somehow, by wishing to give him back control, I had actually willed it to happen and he had heard my question. “Remember when you made those two vampires want to have sex with each other?”
“We’ll have an orgy on our wedding.” I raised an eyebrow, letting him know that orgies and weddings didn’t really happen in this day and age.
He shook his head. “What do you want them to do?”
I wasn’t sure, actually. Now that I knew how to, I released Meg and Pam who quickly turned my way. This was more than I’d expected. They were below us in the periphery of the ballroom. They’d been having conversations of their own when I stopped it all.
“I’m lost,” I said to both my sisters as Eric flew us down to meet them.
Since this was Meg’s kingdom, she chose the next action. “Test to see if you can control only part of them,” she suggested and I agreed.
Exactly one-third of the room decided it was time to leave the party and did so, even if they had been in the middle of talking or dancing with somebody else, or even working. I saw them as tiny dots in my mind and I could pick and choose which ones would choose to go or stay. That worked out so well that I started to feel giddy and allowed the musicians to continue playing.
“The humans that are left should have no recollection of the fact that we’re vampires,” was Pam’s suggestion.
“Just some people with a penchant for wearing cheap plastic fangs?” I asked and made her laugh.
I didn’t do what Pam had suggested, but I did make them all think they’d had THE best time of their lives, whatever that happened to be. If their definition of having the very best time was to dance the night away, then they would go home thinking they’d done just that. The hardest for me was to allow some to think they’d spent quality time with my darling new husband. It was understandable that some would be thinking it, but that their definition of having the best night of their lives was so similar to my own definition was a little disconcerting. Nevertheless, I felt that I was powerful enough to allow them to think it had happened and not talk about it, but instead convey the generosity of their vampire hosts.
“That’s enough for one night,” Eric declared as soon as the guests started to leave in perfectly straight lines. Even though Meg was queen, and even though he often deferred to her, when it came to me he made it clear that he was the one in charge.
Well into the wee hours of the night, what had become for me my new “afternoon,” Eric bade good night to Meg and Pam and took me to a room that had been especially decorated for us to have on our wedding night.
The large room featured an enormous four-poster bed covered in soft white satin. There was no other light than whatever filtered from the outside, and I found that I liked it that way. My eyesight was made for the night.
Eric moved away from me for the first time since we had exchanged blood during the ceremony. He kept his eyes on me but made it clear that he wished me to remain standing right where I was.
“When I saw you descending the stairs I thought I was looking at an angel,” he said in a soft voice full of wonder and then bit his lip. His eyes refused to stop looking at me, his intense gaze sweeping over me from my elaborate hairdo to the hem of my gown, over and over. “I have seen every inch of you, Sookie, but I still cannot get my fill of you.”
I felt suddenly shy, like he couldn’t possibly mean it. Yet, I’d always felt the same way about him. What better night than our wedding night to tell him?
“You are so beautiful Eric,” I started and made him raise an eyebrow. He didn’t consider males beautiful. But I did. “So masculine, so handsome. I feel lucky that you chose me.”
“Ah! That’s where you’re wrong. You chose me,” he corrected. “Whatever happened in our other life to make you need to rectify it all by using your love token, that was you making a choice. I am the lucky one for the choice that you made, the choice that saved my life.” He took a couple steps back, still admiring me. Then he frowned with worry. “Have I been a good maker? Did I do right by you?”
Now it was my turn to frown. “Of course! I’m the one that feels guilty for all the trouble I’ve caused. Sometimes I feel like I should have stayed away. You’re still in danger and I still don’t know if it was your time to die that night.”
“Hold on, Sookie. Why didn’t you tell me this before? I thought coming back in time was to save my life.”
“It WAS to save your life, but I saw the stake as it was beginning to pierce your skin before the cluviel dor brought me back in time. I don’t know what happens after that. I don’t know if your death that night was one that is already meant to happen.”
Eric looked thoughtful then declared his verdict. “If my death is not something I can change, there there’s no reason for me to worry. Whatever I do is to improve our lives, yours and Pam’s specifically. My life doesn’t matter and it won’t matter if your lives are not the way I want them to be.”
I wasn’t quite following his train of thought, but the time for talking was over anyway. He made it plenty clear when he began to slowly take off his fancy clothes, letting them fall on the floor without a care.
“There’s something we must do now, my Sookie, and it has nothing to do with talking.” Eric’s smile was naughty and persuasive.
I smiled too. “Just a little talking.”
“Only a little, only enough so that you can tell me what you like most about me.”
“Your butt!” I said immediately, watching as he let his shirt fall.
He raised an eyebrow while undoing his pants, letting them fall, then stepping forward. “You are joking.”
“My butt over this?” he asked, fisting his gracious plenty over his silk boxers. He was ready to take me, of that there was no doubt.
Slowly, stalking, he walked to me. I was his prey for the evening, which he made evident when he licked his lips as he circled me. “This is a beautiful gown,” he said, then disappeared under it.
Pam’s wedding gift to me had been a beautiful pair of white lace panties, “perfect for your first night,” she had declared. Apparently, Eric thought so too because his fingers were delicate as he took the garment off me. He was lost inside a world of chiffon, lace, silk taffeta, and my skin. He was trying to worship the latter.
His tongue and his fingers traced paths over my thighs and hips, evading my center on purpose in order to make me beg. And beg I did when my legs began to tremble, my whole body yearning for him to touch me deeper. Just as two of his fingers began teasing my entrance, I was startled by a knock at the door and the subsequent entrance of a very large human man.
Eric’s deep chuckle from under my skirt was enough to tell me that he knew exactly what was happening and that he even expected it. The man addressed me in Spanish, letting me know that he was there as a donor. One brief look into his mind confirmed that he had been sent by none other than Eric himself, because he knew I wouldn’t get a chance to feed that night either before or during the party.
“Eat, minn kona,” he whispered and plunged two fingers inside me while I tried my best to pretend that wasn’t happening.
The man in front of me was admiring me openly, finding me both beautiful and desirable. His thoughts became explicit when he realized that there was someone hiding under my dress, guessing it was my husband, and smiling widely. He was also very handsome, with tanned olive skin, thick brown hair, brawny physique, and a face that should grace covers of magazines.
My fangs made my gums itch when they extended even more, now that sex would be coupled with blood. The man stepped over Eric’s clothes as he got closer, unbuttoning his tailored shirt and discarding it just as Eric had done. Just because Eric was pleasuring me under my dress didn’t mean I couldn’t appreciate the male beauty before me.
The heat from the man’s body called forth my hunger and made me whimper as the emptiness swept through my stomach. The man bent to my height and offered me his neck without any hesitation, his skin pulsing slightly as his heart sped up in anticipation of my bite. I didn’t make him wait long. I grabbed his shoulders and brought him even closer. His skin smelled of soap and a hint of cologne, but also a little musk mixed with the scent of his blood. He, too, was aroused, and somehow that made everything about him seem even more delicious.
Closing my eyes, I did something that I tended to do often while feeding from willing donors (those that I did not intend to drain): I imagined the man in front of me was Eric before sinking my fangs into the warm, soft flesh of his neck. Usually this helped only with the guilt I felt for being horny yet feeding from someone other than Eric.
It didn’t help this time at all and it was all Eric’s fault. He’d worked me up so thoroughly, and I’d become so lost to my own urges, that the moment the man’s blood touched my tongue I needed sex, my whole body undulating and seeking it from any source.
Eric coaxed my legs apart very easily and buried his face at my center, his tongue doing things to me that had me seeing stars behind my closed eyelids. Suddenly a powerful orgasm made me let go of the man in front of me, and almost made me tumble. The man helped to steady me and Eric reappeared from under my dress as if all was right with the world.
Before I knew what was happening exactly, he lifted my skirt and pulled my hips against his. “Keep feeding,” he commanded as a maker, so I had no choice but to latch on again to the man’s neck, who was very eager to have me resume my drinking his blood.
Other than having sex after feeding from a fairy, having sex while feeding from a willing donor was as close as it got to pure bliss for a vampire. This was Eric’s gift to me, something I’d been against but he wanted to give me anyway. Biting and feeding from Eric would never feel as wonderful and complete as feeding from a human while Eric took me.
Although my human mind would have balked time and time again at this turn of events, and although I’d been against feeding and having sex at the same time, Eric was more than happy to show me why I was wrong in my thinking, why he was right, and why I should always listen to him and Pam when it came to the way vampires “did things.” If Eric had been human he would not have been safe from me. Surely I would have drained him. The only reason I wasn’t draining the man in front of me was because Eric was holding back my instincts by the sheer force of his will as a maker.
Nevertheless, he was enjoying what was happening, what he had made happen by securing a donor for me. I let my mind become full of the thoughts of the two men that were with me, seeing how much pleasure they derived from me, how beautiful they saw me, how desperately they wanted to give me pleasure as well, how they both wished for me to lose control in various ways. The donor wanted me to give him my body, or at least to touch him and afford him a sexual release. Eric wanted me to accept my nature fully, to stop thinking so much, to revel in both feeding and fucking at the same time.
I pulled away from both, feeling Eric’s absence the most but still reclaiming my self. I stood a few paces away slowly taking off my dress and watching as both male faces filled with pure desire. Eventually I would erase the sight of my naked body from the human’s mind. For now, he was welcomed to watch.
Eric was exercising a lot of self-restraint, not quite understanding what had made me move away, but curious enough to let me have my way. My gown hit the floor in a rush of chiffon and silk, leaving me bare. There was moisture between my legs from Eric’s various attentions and my nipples hardened to taut little buds in the cool air. A soft hum of appreciation emanated from both men, something that sounded less than civilized.
Deciding to enjoy the night fully, I climbed the huge bed and lay among the pillows on the soft sheets, my skin gliding as the satin caressed me.
“Come to me bóndi, minn fríðr Eric.” My voice had come out soft and inviting.
He wasted no time and climbed on me, reclaiming my body for himself. He covered all of me, leaving no room, no space between us. He buried his hands in my hair, holding my head and turning it to bare my neck to him. He started moving faster and deeper inside me, making sure I knew who I belonged to.
“No matter what happens,” he breathed into my ear, “as long as I live you belong to me,” he said with more force and struck, sinking his fangs and teeth into my flesh.
The pain faded quickly, my whole being agreeing with Eric. He was biting to mark, not hurt, and drank my fairy-like blood even though it wouldn’t satisfy his hunger. It satisfied his urge to possess me completely.
We climaxed together, but he wasn’t nearly done. I wasn’t either, truth be told, still feeling both hungry and horny.
Eric knelt, still inside me and very hard, and beckoned to the man to join us. He did so naked, having lost his clothes while Eric and I had been alone.
“My wife is not allowed to touch another,” Eric warned in Spanish. The man took a deep gulp in fear, because he was remembering that I’d already leaned on him, touching his bare shoulders while drinking his blood. Eric smiled to calm his fears. He’d meant sexually. “Come.”
The man was still fearful, but did as told and got closer to Eric, his knees touching my leg. Like a lover, Eric wrapped an arm over the man’s waist and put his lips over the wounds I’d left on his neck. Watching Eric feeding from another man was at once infuriating and maddeningly seductive. When his large hand took the man’s penis and began stroking, I thought I would pass out, but I didn’t know from what.
Turns out that it’s amazingly sexy to watch Eric pleasure another, and this time I wasn’t under the influence of fairy blood, so my reaction was pure instinct. He took it upon himself to satisfy my need and also that of our donor, pumping inside me following a similar rhythm to pleasure the man with just his hand and his bite. Not two minutes after Eric began his attentions, the man came hard, warm jets shooting over me in high arcs. As I was getting pleasure from watching, I also felt an orgasm cascade through me, and soon Eric joined as well by coming inside me.
As far as I was concerned, the night could not have ended better. In a bizarre and twisted way, the strange slant my life had taken had freed me to enjoy what I never thought I could.
The world hadn’t changed. I had.
Minn kona = my wife
Bóndi = husband
Minn fríðr = my handsome (Eric)