Disclaimer: I do not own the Southern Vampires Mysteries by Charlaine Harris or HBO’s True Blood, created by Alan Ball. However this story and the AU I’m playing with are mine.
His large, lean frame radiated power. His arms crossed over his chest was silhouetted in the moonlight. Black fitted suit and brilliant white shirt almost glowed from under the branches of the winterized trees.
A skinny black tie held everything together. The man was sleek as a cat, perched and waiting for the canary to fall into his trap. In the familiar dark woods of my childhood, I suddenly felt stalked.
I pinched myself as the electric feeling of pleasure and attraction to this man washed over me. A revelation after years of not being interested in anyone at all. This gorgeous stranger, however, turned all my preconceived notions about men on its head. Or maybe that I wanted this man. To touch and taste me like no one ever had.
What would he taste like? How would he hold me in his arms? Gentle, rough? I wanted both, ready to experience everything he had to offer.
When he said nothing further, I realized I’d been drifting in my own mind too long. Examining my gorgeous stranger’s body for the hundredth time. He was built for sex. I was dying to see him move in any way he wanted to show me. Wondering if his walk would display the primal need that seemed to simmer just below the white-hot surface.
This blonde, god-like stranger was stunning.
“Well done, God.” I murmured.
His smirk widened into a panty melting grin, as if he heard me perfectly. Which was impossible. I must have imagined that part since we weren’t that close. True, it was quiet out here. Every bug was hunkered down tight to keep warm from the chilly night air.
“Um, hello.” I managed to get out around my too large for my mouth tongue. How was I supposed to talk to a gorgeous man? This was a first for me. Shaking my head at the absurdity, I laughed to try and lighten the tension in the air when he continued to watch me.
It may have been the fading effects of the shots, but my stranger hadn’t blinked once since he made his presence known.
Weird. Maybe I was more intoxicated that I thought. I usually noticed everything about the body language of any person. As well as what feelings I could glean from them. So far, I couldn’t feel anything other than what his body allowed. And those eyes sent shivers through my body with the promise they held.
Without a word, he pushed off the tree in an easy glide and strode toward me. Confident and determined to get what he wanted.
I was right, his stride was powerful. This man got what he wanted, every time. Without question. Was I crazy enough to bend to his will?
Maybe it was the magic that crackled around us, but I was tempted to give him whatever he asked.
“I, ah, wasn’t expecting to run into anyone out here.” I said nervously as he prowled closer.
The gorgeous stranger glanced around, his eyes landing on the old silent cemetery when he was a mere two feet from me. His clear blue eyes met mine once more and I drank him in.
He was even more beautiful up close. I could feel my heartbeat pick up the pace as he gave me a heat filled smolder. He seemed to be as aware of me as I was of him.
Was it hot out here?
Alright, pull it together.
“Evidently, otherwise, you would have been more aware of your surroundings. Tell me, do you always put yourself at such risk?” He asked in a smooth deep tenor.
I closed my eyes. The rasp of his voice made me melt a little more in my panties.
Wait, did he just reprimand me?
Taking another step closer, his large, lean frame loomed over me. It seemed thicker and more solid this close. I craned my neck up to stare into his beautiful chiseled features.
A bold forehead I itched to feel with my fingertips was swept away with his buttery locks that were cut short, reminding me of a fierce lion’s mane. I wondered if he would mind if I tugged on the slightly wavy lengths a bit. Run my fingers over the short hairs of his neck while I sucked his tongue into my mouth.
“Tell me,” he whispered in a sensuous growl. “Why is a stunning woman wandering the dark woods? Alone. Tonight?” His eyes looked over my body suggestively before he pushed his weight against me. I took an unsteady step back before he locked his arms around me. Trapping me between the cold tree and the coolness of his body.
“And in such a fetching dress. I could devour you.” His bare fingertip followed the line of my jaw and down my throat slowly.
I had never been touched like this. Like ever.
My gorgeous stranger was seducing me with his massive presence and a few gentle caresses. My pulse ratcheted up in the trap of his arms. He was a whole head taller than me, thank you boots. Otherwise, I might have not come up to his collarbones.
I wonder what those tasted like.
I couldn’t stop imagining him naked on top of me. Making me even crazier than he was now.
“Well,” I swallowed willing my dry mouth to wet before I spoke. “I’m expected at a party, just over there.” I pointed over his shoulder toward the lights and sounds of Bill’s yard.
At the moment, I realized that we were close enough to hear music. Michael Buble was singing about how cold it was outside.
“And, just so you know, if I don’t arrive on time, people will come looking for me.” I added with no nonsense. Oh good, I was completely sober and coming out of this intoxicating creatures pull.
There, now if my gorgeous stranger was thinking about murdering me. He was out of luck to not get caught. Jason and Linda would turn the world over looking for me. Then nail his sweet ass for it.
I wonder what his bare bottom looked like under a warm shower spray.
Jeez, my mind was hoping all over the place. Murder to shower sex. For God sake, I needed to let go of him or hang on for dear life. I wasn’t sure which one I preferred at the moment.
He satisfied grin let me know that he knew exactly what he was doing to me. His sneaky hand had wandered over, holding my waist making me feel tiny. And then it eased down the curve to my hip. His fingers separated and collected near my bottom. Gripping me tighter, he pulled me snugly against him. I gasped as I felt his erection against my belly.
I might have even rubbed against it as he hummed his approval of my movement. I was ready to grab the lapels of his jacket and climb him like a tree he was. Reaching his kissable lips. I wanted to know this gorgeous stranger in every way. The realization was a pleasant surprise after a lifetime of disappointment when it came to attraction to the male variety.
I must be out of my mind from doing shots with Linda, Gran and Jason, I should be screaming my head off for help. Although, most guests would never hear me scream over the music. The moonlight was bright enough that I could see my gorgeous stranger’s face and bright blue eyes.
He didn’t seem so strange.
“My Beauty is punctual. I like that.” He leaned over, inhaling the skin of my neck. Sending delightful shivers up my spine and a tingling through my pussy. “And naughty.” He squeezed my ass with both hands and thrust against me.
Was it hot out here? It suddenly felt like the tropics.
“You smell divine, I was right to want to devour you. I know that pussy is warm and ready for me to taste and touch and fuck. Tell me I’m right.” He purred.
My brow creased. No one had ever talked to me that way. It was hot, but I wasn’t ready to let him know that.
“Woah cowboy, you will treat me like the lady I am!” My chin came up, daring him to push any further after that dictate.
He chuckled, the sound flowing over my skin, but he didn’t move his body from mine.
“I will make you mine tonight, my Beauty. Count on it.” He said almost too low to hear. The power and absolute truth rang in my ears.
I was okay with that.
“Far be it from me to keep a lady from her appointments.” He said a bit louder and leaned his imposing torso away keeping our hips sealed. His eyes trained on my lips. “Tell me, are you attending Bill Compton’s party?”
I blinked at his dizzying speed of subject change. “Yes. I am the planner for his event.”
“Beauty and brains. Who are you to Bill Compton? Are you his?” He snarled the last word.
“God no!” The idea of being in any meaningful relationship with Bill Compton was distressing. “He is way too creepy besides I don’t date Prima Donnas.” I concluded. Why the hell was I telling this gorgeous stranger anything?
Before I could get those words out, his head fell back. A barking laugh echoed through the night. When his head came back down and his eyes met mine, I heard a sharp snapping sound. I looked down to forest floor, sure that I had stepped on a twig of some kind. There was nothing but rotting leaves below my boots.
“You have intelligent humor as well, excellent. This evening is shaping up better than I had hoped. I am Eric Northman. What is your name, my Beauty?” He asked in a low voice. The Adonis had a name to rival superheroes.
“Sookie Stackhouse.” I said.
“Sookie. What a beautiful name.” He raised my hand to his lips and kissed my bare knuckles. “Please, allow me to escort you on this Christmas Eve. I will protect you against all unwanted attention.” Eric promised.
Why did it sound like he was offering something else?
“Isn’t that what you are? Unwanted attention. How can I trust you, Eric?” I asked honestly. What did I know about this man? Who picks someone up in the dark woods?
He bent his knees so his impressive length could press right here I needed him to. Swiveling his hips, made me moan as he continued to rub my covered sweet spot between my thighs.
“Five minutes ago, you should not have trusted me.” Eric said in a thick hungry voice.
Eric inhaled deeply, making me realize for the first time I did not see any foggy breath escape his lips.
I gasped, trembling, but not in fear. “And now?”
“I have decided that you are mine. No harm will come to you while I am near.” Eric promised.
“Well,” I swallowed. “The jury is still out on that issue.” I eyed him a moment, trying my best not to beg to be fucked against a tree.
“Of course.” Eric leaned in and kissed my lips with raw passion, leaving me breathless and aching. He worked his way to my ear and rumbled.
“I admire a woman who does not offer her loyalty without due diligence.” He nipped my ear lobe. I giggled and pushed against his shoulders. This time he stepped back and held out his hand. I took it with a grin and we walked the remaining way through the woods to a party I cared about even less now to attend.
I was single-minded in discovering exactly what Eric had in mind when he said he wanted me to be his.
We stepped out of the woods and into a glowing wonderland. Enough illumination to have private spots for guests to drink, mingle and dance. The highlight was without a doubt the Magnolia tree with large red hanging ornaments.
“You organized this event?” Eric asked.
“Yeah, well my company. I consider myself more of the designer.”
“Simply stunning. Rustic, but not clichéd for a country Christmas party. You have excellent taste, my beauty.” I smiled under Eric’s praise. Glad to have my gorgeous stranger see me as more than a vulnerable lost doe in the woods.
“Thank you.” I blushed.
“I hold events throughout the year that could use your touch. We should discuss that at another time. Tonight I wish to learn about you.” Eric said.
I frowned. “I’d like that, but Bill wants to introduce me to some of his guests.”
Eric waved that notion off. “The guests who are attending tonight have more respect for me, allow me to introduce you. I want you by my side at all times.” He spoke.
Well, I guess that was that. It’s not like I was in a hurry to leave Eric for Bill’s company. Quite the opposite. Eric pulled me into his arms and kissed me again. Taking his time as he kissed my lips and teased his tongue against the seam. I opened willingly, I was dying to taste him again.
“Sookie, whoa!” Tara called out.
I pulled back and smiled a goofy grin as my friend came strolling up. Eric secured me to his side and I couldn’t have been more thrilled by the gesture.
“Hey Tara. I’d like you to meet Eric Northman.” I looked back up into Eric’s charming face a moment to smile before I faced Tara’s questioning gaze. “Is everything set?”
Tara collected herself quickly and smiled at me, then Eric. She waved her hand as if trying to rid the talk of work.
“Everything is handled fine, boss lady. Eric Northman, you say? Pleased to meet you, I’m Tara Thornton.” Tara held out her hand to shake Eric’s.
Eric squeezed my waist with his left hand before reaching out to shake Tara’s outstretched hand with his right. He seemed agitated to be forced into touching anyone else. Which was odd since he was rubbing himself against me whenever he could. Marking me with his cool, crisp smell.
A firm quick grip then Eric promptly released Tara’s palm to pick up my right hand in his. He kissed the back and looked down at me in apology. Why would I be upset that he touched Tara?
To say I was shocked at Tara’s friendly behavior was an understatement. Tara was hard as nails, keeping everyone at arm’s length until they earned her trust or was assured their worth through people she trusted. Guess Eric didn’t need to work too hard.
“A pleasure. A friend of Sookie’s is a friend of mine.” Eric said easily. He oozed charm and grace.
“Aren’t you that hotshot in Shreveport with the private club?” Tara asked with a broad grin.
My mouth dropped open. That is why his name sounded familiar. Eric Northman was a wealthy, world traveled playboy who had settled in Louisiana, of all places. His previous words and the warmth they brought me evaporated. Was he just making his way through the women of Louisiana?
Was I his next conquest?
Eric laughed. “I do own a private club, but I assure you that anything else you may have heard is rumor.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” Tara said sharply.
Oh good, there was my overprotective friend.
“You have a lot to prove Mr. Northman. Especially, if you want anything to do with Sookie.”
“Tara,” I groaned. Okay, that was a little much. I just met him, it’s not like we were getting married.
Eric never took his serious gaze from Tara’s as he squeezed me to his side. “Sookie can make up her own mind about me. But rest assured, I will make her happy.”
Tara narrowed her brow, reading every twinge on Eric’s face which I had to admit I couldn’t even read past determined.
“I guess we’ll find out.” Then she turned to me and the tension lifted like fog from the San Francisco Bay.
“Bill has been asking for you. All of the guests are here who RSVP’d and not an issue in sight.”
“Great.” I said, relieved not to be talking about Eric’s intentions toward me for the moment. I was confused about my own reaction to him without factoring in outside opinions.
“Thanks for holding down the fort. You want to head out?” I asked her.
“No, I’m not interested in seeing Mom tonight. She’ll be three sheets to the wind by the time I drive by. Besides, “Tara looked back to Eric. “Tonight is shaping up to far more interesting.”
“Okay.” I said, trying to let on that I knew she was referring to me arriving with a man, to a party I would have never attended in the first place.
“Excuse me, Eric.” A dazzling petite blond walked up to us. She wore a sophisticated emerald green sheath dress with large diamond circled emeralds hanging around her delicate neck. She gave me a quick once over and smiled. She reminded me of Tina right before she pounced claws ready to mark some territory. I shivered against Eric who tightened his hold on me.
“Enough, Pamela. Sookie is mine.” Eric hissed.
Her face went blank at Eric’s fervent statement. Pamela’s gaze left mine, her full attention on Eric.
Who was this woman?
She nodded once to Eric, her gaze lowered as what? A sign of acknowledgment? Respect? I was so confused. I had no interest in Pamela, why would Eric stake a claim on me? Someone he just met. Pamela’s eyes shifted to the next target, Tara. My friend looked just as perplexed as I was over the last few moments.
“And who might you be cupcake?” Pamela purred to Tara. Who in turn, pursed her lips in frustration before responding to the come on.
“I ain’t nobody’s cupcake, cream puff.” Tara snapped. Pamela’s eyebrow rose in amusement.
“Guess we’ll find out soon enough. Can I get you a drink?” Pamela smirked at Tara.
“Not a chance, later Sook.” Tara turned on her heel and marched back toward the party.
“I do love a challenge.” Pam said, staring after Tara.
Eric rubbed his large hand over my shoulder and said, “Sookie, this is Pamela Ravenscroft. My business partner and longtime friend.”
“Pleased to meet you.” I held out my hand to her. Pamela’s eyes shot to Eric, who nodded before she took my hand in hers. After a firm short shake, she let go and took a step back.
This was getting weirder by the minute.
“So I understand you two own a night club. How long have you been running that business in Shreveport?” I asked in hopes that knowing more information about Eric would ease my mind. Even if my body didn’t give a lick if Eric was some wizard from Hogwarts.
“A few years.” Eric answered.
“Well, I’d love to see your space sometime.” I pushed on.
“That can be arranged, my Beauty. Come, dance with me.” Eric whisked me away before I could say goodbye to Pamela.
A soft Christmas song was playing and many couples were moving slowly to the beat.
“You are so bossy.” I complained.
“And you love it.” Eric stared down at me as he gripped my hips closer to his hard body.
“No, I don’t.” Okay, I did. But I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that information.
“Yes, you do.” Eric mirrored my thoughts.
“Really, do tell how you think I love being dragged around a strange party since we met ten minutes ago?” I challenged.
“You never told me to stop, my Beauty. Which I am grateful for. That fact tells me that you want to be near me as much as I crave your company.” His lips kissed my cheek and whispered in my ear. “This is right Sookie, can you feel what is happening between us?”
I wanted more.
“The feelings we have will only increase once I slip inside you tonight.” Eric purred and nipped my ear. I could feel the flush creep up over my neck and cheeks as we danced on.
“Mind if I cut in?” A male voice broke our magic bubble.
“No.” Eric growled, still holding me to him. “Sookie is mine.”
I turned in his arms in time to see Bill’s brow raise in surprise to Eric’s declaration. Then Bill let out an honest to goodness snarl aimed at Eric.
“Well since I met her first and she is here tonight due to my invitation, she is mine. Northman.” Bill hissed.
The music had picked up to an upbeat number and the party goers followed by picking up the pace around us. We might have been in a private room for all anyone cared. I stared at Bill in disbelief to his statement. His one inappropriate comment almost three weeks ago and now he was claiming me?
Not that I knew Eric well, but I for knew for sure who Bill Compton was. I wanted no part of his mess.
“I am not yours Bill Compton. How dare you!” I yelled over the music. The couple closest to us took notice and danced away, giving us a wide birth as Mariah sang about all she wanted for Christmas.
“Sookeeh,” Bill gripped my upper arm and tried to pull me close. “You don’t know what you are agreeing to. Please, excuse Eric this moment and I will explain.” Bill pleaded.
“Ouch.” I tried to shrug from Bill’s grasp without success. That is until Eric’s large hand encircled Bill’s wrist and squeezed popping ever bone he had.
Bill yelped in pain and fell to his knees as he let me go. Eric gently pushed me away from Bill’s kneeling form and stepped in front of me. E peered down over Bill, the height difference was staggering. As was the power radiating from Eric. I wanted to press myself against this gorgeous creature and never let go.
Bill whimpered and shrank under the weight of Eric’s rage, which only seemed to turn me on. Seeing Eric defend my honor from this little weasel pressed every button I had.
“You are treading on dangerous ground. Everyone here knows the score, Compton. I suggest you leave Miss Stackhouse alone or face the consequences. Am I understood?” Eric said in a low commanding voice.
“Yes, Sheriff.” Bill said so quietly I would have missed it if I hadn’t been so close.
“Excellent.” Eric looked up and surveyed the many party guests and staff all looking our way in wonder and arousal. We had attracted more attention than I thought, judging by the heated stares.
“Sookie Stackhouse’s company did a phenomenal job tonight. I am sure that many here would be interested in her services for future events.” Eric announced. I blinked as the attention from Eric landed square to me. I could feel excitement and curiosity, making my cheeks flush once more.
I swear I’ve never blushed so much in my life.
Eric turned to me, pulled me into his arms and laid a sweet kiss on me. It was exhilarating to be kissed in front of so many people watching our every move. I wanted more.
“We are leaving.” Eric said and started to lead me to the edge of the dancefloor. Away from Bill and his psycho demands, away from a Christmas Eve party I had no desire to even attend.
“Where are we going?” I asked. Breathless with anticipation. I hoped we were heading to a secluded room. I wanted Eric to enact his promise to me from the dance floor. But I needed to tell him about me first. Hopefully, he would understand and not be repulsed.
“Somewhere private.” Was Eric’s only response as he guided me by the small of my back toward the makeshift parking lot.
“I need to let Tara know I’m leaving. She has a few things to handle in my absence.” I said.
Eric smirked down. “She can handle herself, besides she seems to be indisposed at the moment.”
I looked up, no doubt the question was written all over my face, but before I could ask Eric nodded toward the Magnolia tree. The large red ornaments and fairy lights hanging down to offer a beautiful place to escape the party.
And standing under the tree was Tara and Pamela.
Holy hell! Why was watching my friend and a woman she just met making me hot.
“Right, I’ll text her later.” I whispered and Eric hummed his agreement. He was as transfixed by the image of the two women as I was.
(A/N) How was that for a first meeting? Merry Christmas Eve!