Disclaimer: I do not own Southern Vampire Mysteries Series by Charlaine Harris or True Blood created by Alan Ball. The story I’ve created is mine and I hope you enjoy the twists as much as I do.
I sit up, startled out of a deep sleep by the loud buzz of the side table alarm. Fumbling for the edge of the bed I switch the darn thing off and lay back against the mattress to collect my bearings.
When was the last time I slept that good, maybe never. A dreamless vampire is keeping my mind clear of intrusion while I rest. Otherwise, insomnia would be the third-party in our bed.
The phrase has promise.
I sit and ease my legs over the side of the great big bed, allowing my toes to curl into the plush carpet. Raising both arms over my head I stretch of every muscle in my back and sides of my torso. I feel like a kitten after a long afternoon nap, Tina would stretch so lean and long for what seemed like ten minutes. Flexing her little claws like the little predator she was, I mimic her through my movements.
For a moment I forget that I’m completely naked from last night. Shrugging as I look over myself with dispassionate interest, I don’t care. It’s only Eric here and he is dead to the world.
With my last stretch I turn and crawl in next to my sleeping Viking.
Alright, I know he is not sleeping, but I like the sound of sleeping as opposed to saying, dead. The word sounds too odd a description for someone like Eric Northman. He is full of life and humor. His eyes filled with mischief and hope. Yes, sleeping is what Eric is doing.
Dead is more like what Bill does. Not that I had ever seen him that way. He is everything stiff, unmoving, and unsettling. Completely dead inside and out.
Moving the unpleasant thoughts from my ex, I focus my attention to Eric. Peaceful and boyish. His handsome features in a beautiful repose. I run my fingers through his long hair. I love his length, I wonder if he could grow it longer. Even now the soft blonde tresses reach past his shoulders. When Eric is awake his hair screams of lion’s mane. Proud, unyielding and completely delicious.
This is real, whatever it is Eric is doing to me, it’s real. I’m not going to wake up and find him gone.
I will never have to relive that moment again. Where I found Eric rewound from our time together and a blank slate in his place. I inhale deeply, catching my breath from the shock of pain through flashes through my chest. The mere thought of Eric forgetting me all over again is a terrible one.
Shake it off Sookie. Lighting doesn’t strike twice. I smile next at my sleepy vampire, tracing his profile with the tip of my finger. All these unhappy and unlikely thoughts are keeping me from doing something I’m terribly excited about.
I’m traveling today!
To an exotic island in the Caribbean.
I’ve always wanted to do something crazy like this but I lacked the opportunity to do so.
No! Stop, that is all in the past, even if the past was just a few days ago.
I refuse to allow myself to think that Eric will tire of me. He’s told me in many ways that he never had before, he has shown me in ways I never would have guessed before.
I can feel him, read him for Christmas sake! Eric wants me here. These stupid insecurities are going to take a backseat for a while so we can have this time together.
Eric was right. We need this time alone to cement what I feel every time I look at him.
Love and trust.
I want him to know so badly that I’m in love with him. He must feel it coming from me? The emotion practically bulldozed over me every time he smiles my way. It’s downright overwhelming.
For the love of…Jeez! I scold myself.
Placing one last kiss on Eric’s chilly nose, I then cover him up with the sheets and furs to keep him warm.
There, snug as a bug in a rug. Time to get ready, I’m pretty sure we need to leave in about an hour. That will give me plenty of time to wash, dress and eat before Bruce arrives to take us to the airport.
Entering the bathroom I take care of business and then turn on the shower. As the water heats I glance towards the sink and notice a lovely note waiting for me on the counter. The script is beautiful and screams: Eric wrote me!
Opening the thick paper I grin until my cheeks are sore.
I hope you slept well, it took all my energy not to ravage you again when I came back to bed. You have the body of a goddess and you are all mine! I look forward to our time without distraction.
Bruce will be in the house at 10:30 to pack the essentials. Please do not worry. Eat breakfast, have something to drink and relax. My trusted assistant knows how to handle everything.
Until this evening,
I exhale, alright I admit. I’m nervous to meet Bruce. But I’m resolved, if Eric trusts him it’s good enough for me…until proven otherwise. I just pray Bruce never betrays Eric because he will answer to me.
The blood-red sheen fades with the shake of my head. That was weird. Who knew I would become so possessive over a man. But this is not just any man, this is Eric.
Okay, new leaf and new experiences to look forward to. Hopping in the soothing warmth of the cascading water I quickly shampoo and condition my hair. An orchid and lilac body soap smells incredible and leaves my skin feeling softer than before.
Turning off the water, I wrap up in an enormous luxurious towel and step out to the heated tiles. What luxury. Eric is definitely a fan of creature comforts. Not that I mind at all either. A girl could get used to be very comfortable here.
Eric had shown me the other door in the bathroom that leads into the walk in closet. This way, either of us can zip after our shower without walking through the bedroom. And this way I will not disturb Eric as I finish my morning routine.
Not that I could. Vampires during the day are next to impossible to wake. I could probably play music at the highest volume next to his ear, bang on symbols or drive a semi-truck through here while the horn sounded. Eric would still not bat one eyelash my way.
In the closet I find a soft cream bra and panty set and some black yoga pants. A white tank top with some lace around the edges and a colorful thin button up sweater. The bright flowers make me imagine what the island will look like doused in sunlight and I can’t wait to see it all.
I slip on some white sandals, perfect for traveling. Now I can slip them on or off during the trip and be ready the moment the beach is in sight. Now to finish drying my hair…
I freeze, the noise came from the bedroom.
What the …Eric! Someone is trying to hurt my Eric.
I run out of the closet with my fist raised in front of me. With the intention to kill whoever is trying to harm him. A scream breaks free of my throat as I see a man, he is standing over Eric. Who is now laid out in a steel tube near the bed.
I freeze again.
The man turns around with a slightly alarmed look, he then takes stock of me with a quick once over before his composure is back in place.
As if I was no real threat to him at all!
“Who the hell are you? What are you doing in here?” I yell, locking my knees to stop them from knocking together. What is he doing to Eric? Did this man move him so that he can easily take my Viking out into the sun? Or some other torture I haven’t thought of.
Glancing at the bed my stomach bottoms out. Sheets and furs pushed aside and a hollow spot where Eric was just moments before I left him to attend to my needs. I should have never left him undefended. And now, Eric could pay the greatest price.
Frantically, I look back to the man. I’ll plead. Maybe he’ll take me for Eric.
“Don’t touch him! Take me instead!” I wail as I rush toward the guy who looks like James Bond’s twin. My attempt at punching him is easily maneuvered away from. My emotions are making me jerky as panic spins through me unchecked. 007 catches me by the wrist to stop any further attempt to hurting him. As if I could. This man is stronger than he looks and all human.
“My apologies Mistress.” The movie star look alike with a rich British accent releases me.
“My name is Bruce Campbell and I’m here to arrange Mr. Northman for his daytime travel.” He let’s go of my arm and takes a step back. As if not to intrude on my space.
“I was just about to close the lid before your arrival. See for yourself.” Bruce takes another step to the side so that I have full access to Eric in a travel coffin. It is a travel coffin, not some device used to cause my vampire pain.
The container sits on retractable legs and resembles a titanium bullet more than a coffin. The top lid is still open with Eric arranged neatly inside. Peaceful. Fine. I trace his cheeks with my fingers to reassure myself. He is safe. This is Bruce.
Eric had said, Bruce would be here to see to the essentials. I close my eyes in complete mortification. I must educate my Viking on telling me exactly what he means in his cryptic notes for the future.
Turning around to face the music, I’m surprised again. Bruce is standing on the far of the room from me, near the bedroom door. As if he is waiting for my approval to approach. His mind echoes the concerns that he has hurt me when I rushed him.
Oh good gravy! I just tried to kill the day-man who Eric trusts. I admit my strategy for killing Bruce was a bit weak but I would have tried anything to stop him from trying to injure Eric.
Bruce thoughts trickle in.
…Master Eric is very lucky to find someone who would protect him without thought for their own safety… Perhaps I shall suggest a trainer to help the Mistress to defend herself in the future…
He started compiling a list of names in his mind to suggest to Eric.
“I’m so sorry Mr. Campbell.” I cut into his inner dialog. “Eric didn’t mention that you would be here. I mean, he did! But not here, here.” I sigh in exasperation at my very poor attempt to explain myself. “Eric didn’t say that you would be packing him up. Personally.”
I shut my eyes against Bruce’s stare, what a disaster. I can’t imagine what he will say next.
“Mistress, it is I who should apologize. And if it pleases you, call me Bruce. I should have waited until you were ready to receive visitors. This is your and the Master’s private quarters. I miscalculated your timing when getting ready this morning. Please forgive the intrusion.” Bruce said sincerely. He was handsome, dirty blonde hair cut short with crystal blue eyes. Piercing.
“No, no, it’s fine. Really. I understand now.” I turn back to him and face my sleeping Eric. He would probably think me silly for attacking Bruce. “Eric said he trusts you, I just had no idea how much ‘til now.”
Bruce’s thoughts reflect how pleased he is to hear me say this.
“And please, call me Sookie.” I say.
“My Mistress is to kind. I am in Master Northman’s debt. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. The Master speaks very highly of you. I can see why he is so taken, your beauty and fierceness is admirable.”
Bruce’s thoughts mirror his words exactly. My Viking’s description left me breathless as Bruce remembered the conversation. I blush at the two men’s compliments. I will need to find some way to say thank you to Eric.
“Well, thank you. I’m still sorry though.” I apologize.
“No need for apologies Mistress, the error is mine. If I may, I have prepared breakfast downstairs. If it please you, may I finish preparing the Master for departure while you eat in the kitchen?” So polite and that accent of his added just the right touch.
“Oh, yes. Thank you. That was very thoughtful.” I agree, feeling my tummy rumble.
“It is my pleasure Mistress. While you eat something I will arrange the luggage and the Master into the SUV. When you are ready we will depart for the air strip. If that is acceptable?”
“Y-yes, thanks.” I say to Bruce before leaning over and kissing Eric on the cheek one last time before passing Bruce on the way downstairs.
This was so bizarre. But so far, Bruce was honest in his actions and thoughts. I just hoped we would make it to the airport in one piece. Bruce seemed very capable of handling anything wrong along our trek, now I wished that Eric had kept him around for the flight. I knew my skills as a fighter were terrible if something were to happen.
If Eric worried about something happening while we traveled, he would have planned for that inevitability. Right?
Waiting on the marble counter of the kitchen was a covered dish. Removing the glass cover my mouth watered as the aromas filled the room. Fried eggs, bacon, pancakes with maple syrup wafted up through my nose. Yum.
Taking a glass from the cupboard I poured myself some orange juice from the refrigerator. Maybe I should clean this all out before I go. On a second glance, there wasn’t much left inside. I was sure the condiments would keep for two weeks or more.
Bruce must have been the one responsible for filling the house with food. Well, of course he was. Bruce was Eric’s assistant. Day person? What was his title? I sat down to the closest bar stool and dug into the amazing food.
I was starving.
I was beyond excited to be on our way to Barbados.
Tearing through breakfast with the force of a rabid animal I wasted no time in savoring anything. My excitement ramped higher with each minute passing. With only a few bites left I finally pushed back. Full and ready to go.
Bruce came down a moment later…without Eric. I must have given my words a voice because he answered that there was a butler’s elevator available to make the transition easier.
“If you are ready Mistress, I suggest we be on our way.” I nodded.
Bruce opened the door to the black SUV and waited until I settled in and fastened my seat belt before closing the door and disappearing back inside the house. In the back seat were four large black suitcases and plenty of room for Eric’s travel coffin.
Bruce reemerged with Eric and arranged him in the back. Once everything was in place and strapped down. Bruce moved to the driver’s seat and started the car. Easing out of the circular drive Bruce asked, “Would you care for music Mistress?”
A classical melody came through the speakers, comforting and unimposing while Bruce maneuvered to the highway. He had impeccable manners and driving abilities. I was never one to sit in the back seat. I always insisted on driving, something about not trusting others to control the car maybe.
In no time at all, we were at the air strip. The Anubis jet was waiting on the tarmac.
“Allow me to get you settled aboard Mistress. Anubis carriers will handle your luggage and Master Northman with the utmost care.” Bruce assured.
“How can you be sure?” I questioned as I read his thoughts.
“They take the safety of their clientele seriously Mistress. Master has commanded me to protect you until the jet is in the air, I intend to do so.”
There were a lot of titles being thrown my way. It was so much to take in. Was this who I was now? A Mistress?
I knew my hang up on the word meant more home wrecker from my small town. Eric’s intended definition of the word was much more respect and reverence. I very much liked the way he saw me. Where Eric wanted me in his world. I wanted that to, but I still felt I had an ocean to cross.
Maybe flying over part of one today will help me bridge the gap of our two worlds.
Before I knew it, Bruce opened my door and escorted me up into the small plane.
Under Bruce’s careful eye, the carriers placed Eric’s coffin next to a bed in a back room. Secured the container of my Viking and then shut the door.
“May I get you something to drink Mistress? A mimosa perhaps?” Bruce asked once the carriers left the jet.
“Yes, please. Flying makes me nervous.” I revealed.
“Understandable. I myself prefer a martini to take the edge off before a long journey.” Bruce poured the orange juice and Champaign together before handing me the slender flute.
“Safe travels Mistress. If you require anything of me, my number is programmed in your phone.” He nodded to the cell in my bag.
“I will, thanks for everything Bruce. But please, call me Sookie.” His expression never changed from the charming warmth he radiated.
“My pleasure Mistress. Captain Herold will be boarding shortly. Until we meet again.” He bowed and vacated the plane. So much for getting Bruce to call me by my name. I giggled.
A moment later the Captain and Co-Pilot appeared in the cabin, locking the outer door behind them. Introducing themselves they quickly walked up to the cockpit to ready the jet for departure.
Sitting in a very cushy leather chair I put on my seat belt. Looking back toward the closed bedroom door I couldn’t wait for Eric to rise for the night. When we could officially begin our vacation.
“Good evening Lover,” Eric whispered in my ear then sucked the lobe between his teeth. My Viking had a wicked mouth.
I hummed, his mouth felt so good. His body was vibrating against mine. What a different sensation.
I was airborne for a moment and realized we were still on board the jet. Only I had been moved from the main part of the jet to the stateroom where Eric had rested during the day. That sneaky vampire must have taken me back to his cave.
I laughed at the thought of my Neanderthal Viking dragging a club. It was turbulence we were feeling as I snuggled closer to him. With my Eric awake I knew we were close to landing on the island.
“Are we there yet?” I asked in a rush of adrenaline. I was so ready to explore the beach and see Eric’s home.
“Very soon, my Lover. I was very happy to see you resting when I rose tonight.”
“Yes,” Eric grinned and then his fangs snapped down. “You will need your energy this night.” Confidence and lust catapulted toward me sending shivers down my spine with his promise.
“And what if I want to spend my days in the sun.” I teased…mostly.
“Hmm, I do enjoy your sun-kissed skin.” Eric rubbed his fingers across my collarbone, considering my words. “I can smell the sun’s rays in your blood, taste the warm light on your body. I may be persuaded to allow you an afternoon or two in the sun.”
“Allow me?” I said, the indigence oozed through the bond.
“Yes, allow. You are mine Sookie. You do as I say, as I wish.” Eric answered in a low gravelly voice.