The Heart Desires

Author’s Note: This was written as a gift for FairyTaleAmber during the 2015 SVM Story Exchange. It is Alternate Universe and non-canon. The banner was prepared by The Queen of Area 5. As an aside, WordPress forced me to add the numeral ‘1’ to my pen-name.

A Heart's Desire(banner by Sephrenia)

Part 1 – Dancing in the Ashes

Eric reviewed the column of figures on his laptop. He checked receipts, made sure the signatures were in place and the dates corresponded. He checked the box at the bottom of the screen and then saved the report to the ‘Finished’ folder in Nevada’s Box account. He closed the manila folder, double checked to make sure he hadn’t missed any paper and then slipped the folder into the Scanning tray. He looked to his left at the stack of folders that awaiting him. It measured at least two inches high, full of invoices and expenses, status reports and petitions. Since Sandy Seacrest had come to town he no longer had the excuse of needing to talk with the people in his Area. No, Sandy was now the official Area liaison. If there were business deals to be negotiated or disputes to mediate, that was now Sandy’s responsibility. Felipe had told him this temporary division of labor would allow the King to get a better handle on the state of his new kingdom. Sandy would be the new face of Area 5 which meant Eric was relegated to handling all the paperwork.

The vampire flipped open the next folder. It was a report on an interview with some vampires in Minden. Sandy had handwritten it. Eric was expected to transcribe, add his own personal remarks and file it with Felipe’s people in Las Vegas. With a sigh he opened the right report template from the Las Vegas website and started filling in the header section. His eyes shifted to the first paragraph. Sandy’s penmanship was terrible. He wondered if she had had a formal education before she was made vampire, but he suspected not. She was female and had been turned at a time women were considered valuable for the alliances they could cement through marriage and children, not for their minds. She might have been taught enough numbers to make sure her husband’s household was not being cheated, but little more. Certainly that education would not include how to write with a fair hand.

Eric suddenly found himself remembering a night in Bon Temps. It was happening with some fair frequency now, these flashbacks to his time with the telepath when he had had no memory of himself, that time following the witch’s curse. He and Sookie had been stretched out in front of her fireplace. She was reading Emily Dickinson aloud. She told him how she related to the young woman living apart from society, a virtual recluse in her family’s home in Amherst, MA. This human poet had known how to write.

He remembered the way Sookie had leaned over the book, her hair falling forward, a curl looping carelessly across the page. She had started to reach for the errant curl, but he had beaten her to it, catching the strands between his fingers and tucking it behind her ear. The fire had cast flickers that caught in her hair, making it look like small pools of melting gold all over her beautiful head and her eyes had met his.

And were you saved,

And I condemned to be

Where you were not,

That self were hell to me

“Eric?” Victor’s voice startled him and Eric realized he had been drifting. Again. He was spending more and more time drifting in his memories of Sookie Stackhouse and if he couldn’t get a handle on it, he was going to end up finally dead. As the Viking pasted a smile on this face, Victor needled, “What’s wrong, Old Sport? All work, no play making Eric a dull boy?”

“I suppose,” Eric said levelly, keeping a pleasant look on his face. “I am used to more activity in the course of my evenings.”

“I suppose you are, but don’t worry! I’ve been doing my best to take up the slack while you catch up with things around here,” and Victor dropped another ten files on the pile next to Eric. “I had no idea the Area was so far behind,” Victor continued, his voice dripping sarcasm. “But if you spent more time typing and less time daydreaming, you might catch up in… oh, I don’t know… fifty years or so,” and the English vampire chuckled at his own humor. “Well, I won’t keep you. I know you would like to get on. I’ll just head out and sit the throne for a while. There was a pair of glorious blondes out there who were looking for you. I’ll do my best to make up for your lack of good manners in making time for them.”

Eric bit back a growl, “I’m sure you will do a credible job,” he pushed out from between gritted teeth. “Keep in mind that the local police are diligent in sending undercover police to monitor the activities here. If you do wish to play with the locals, it is best to take them to one of the safe houses.”

“Why thank you for the advice,” Victor said, all sincerity and wide eyes. “I find it’s always best to take advice from functionaries, you have such a good read on a territory.” Then Victor’s eyes turned calculating, “Of course, it would be more interesting if Miss Stackhouse were to come to visit.” Eric couldn’t keep the tightness from his mouth and he knew in an instant Victor had seen it. The King’s lieutenant stalked back toward the desk, his eyes looking casually this way and that as he asked, “Why do you think that is, exactly?” Victor propped his butt on the corner of the desk and stared at Eric. “You seemed rather fond of her. Of all the places you could have gone the night we took the kingdom, you chose her home, which makes her absence even odder.”

Eric shrugged, feigning nonchalance, “I couldn’t say. She is a modern woman. Her work schedule is demanding and she has many things that require her attention. It is our mutual regard for our business commitments which forms some of the sympathy between us.”

“She doesn’t seem to visit at all,” Victor continued. “I took the liberty of inspecting your main residence,” and the dark-haired vampire fixed Eric with a particularly satisfied look. “You don’t mind, do you, Old Sport? I thought it important to know whether you had taken the right steps to make your lair secure. Very nice, by the way. Your style is… manly.” Eric struggled to keep the smile in place. That bastard had walked through his home? Wandered through his things without permission? Eric knew he would have to find a way to increase security at his other places and somehow manage to keep them secret from Victor, but it would be almost impossible with the scrutiny that he was under. “I didn’t smell your female in any of your rooms. Why is that? Don’t you allow her in your home? That doesn’t sound like much of a relationship to me.”

Then Victor’s eyes turned hard, “Of course, there is that rumor that you only secured her to satisfy the former Queen.” Eric knew the Lieutenant was watching him now with the intensity of a hawk, waiting for any indication that his speculation had hit the mark, “In which case I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I paid her a little visit. She was most… enticing.” Eric felt the growl forming in his throat. Victor’s look turned gloating, “Who knows? She may decide that she prefers my company and that will make convincing her to move to Las Vegas all the easier.”

Eric could feel his muscles coiling. It would be a matter of minutes and the Lieutenant would be dead. Eric was older… and he battled back his desire to do just that. ‘Think,’ he lectured himself, ‘if you kill this bastard the King will kill you. Who will protect her then?’ So, Eric said out loud, “I don’t know how the King will feel about you rewarding my loyalty by poaching my woman.”

Victor shrugged, his mouth turning down just a bit, “Yes, I can see your point. Still, if you don’t get caught up with your work, she may just think you’ve abandoned her altogether and decide to move on. Who better than a handsome vampire with money, an English accent,and the freedom to visit her and whisper all those words that humans seem to hold so dear?” Victor stood then, “Well, you to your work and me to mine,” and then, as he turned he casually brushed the pile of folders causing them to fall on the floor, spilling their contents. “Oh!” he exclaimed all apology and contrition, “I am so sorry! Hope you can sort that out,” and Victor was gone.

Eric looked at the pile for almost a minute before he did what he needed to do. He summoned Pam. He picked the next intact folder off what was left of the stack and started again. She came so swiftly he almost heard the sound of her high heels and the opening of the door simultaneously. She looked at him, her face expectant. He looked down, she looked down and she cried out, “No! Not again!” Eric didn’t bother answering. What was the point? She would protest. He would insist. She would mope. It wasn’t the first time this had happened and until Victor and the Las Vegas shame gang left, it wouldn’t be the last. If there was one good thing that could be said about it, while Pam was there fussing and fuming, her angry movements punctuated by her punching the floor, furniture or whatever else was handy, Eric couldn’t think about Sookie.

It took hours, and Eric had made some headway on the stack by the time Pam finished reassembling the last of the paper from the floor. She slapped the last folder down and turned to the Viking, her hands on her hips and her mouth set in a grim, straight line. “You are going to have to make peace with him, Eric!” she snarled. “This nasty bickering you have going on is not getting us anywhere. At some point it will come to a head and we could still end up nothing but a puddle of sludge.” When Eric didn’t make any particular sign that he was considering her words she walked toward him, put her hands on the edge of his desk, and leaned over so they were almost eye to eye. Eric looked up over the edge of his laptop and raised his eyebrows. “Think about it, Eric. If you manage to get us both killed, who is going to end up taking Sookie? You think Mr. Charm out there is going to heal the bite marks he puts all over her? I can tell how amazing her blood tastes. You were not subtle when you were with her. It was hard not to show up and demand some for myself, and I know how possessive you are!” Pam smiled knowingly as Eric’s jaw clenched. “I don’t care what you say. I am your child. I feel everything you do and I know that you are not unaffected by her.”

When it looked like Eric would snap at her, Pam’s eyes turned unexpectedly kind and her words were gentle. “All kidding aside, you were happy with her, really happy. I was almost sorry the curse was lifted. When you didn’t get your memory of that time back I thought it was for the best, but now? Now I’m wondering why you aren’t doing something to reclaim some part of that.”

Eric could feel his child’s sincerity. If he was being perfectly honest with himself, he missed Sookie. He missed the feel of her skin and the silk of her hair. He missed the way she smelled when she had been laying in the sun all day and how being balls deep in her with his nose buried in her neck made him feel like he had been in the sun too. He missed the way she was so happy when he hugged her, and how when he stared at the fire he would turn to see her staring wistfully at him. He missed her laugh and how he could make her feisty. He missed the feel of her when they made love and how she cried out when she reached completion. He missed…” and he looked up to see Pam’s stricken face. “You love her,” Pam’s voice was somewhere between awe and appalled.

“I don’t know what that is,” Eric told her.

Pam shook her head, “You go ahead and keep telling yourself those lies!” she replied.

Eric sat at his desk long after his child had left. The bar had fallen silent and he knew they had locked up around him. Victor would have given his staff permission to leave and the Lieutenant would have made sure that no one checked in with Eric. ‘She’s right,’ he thought. ‘I have to find a way to ingratiate myself before this becomes worse.’

Part 2 – The Plan

It seemed a relatively simple solution in the end. Victor was a regular cunt-hound and Felipe liked both men and women, preferably at the same time. Eric wondered why he hadn’t thought of it sooner. He rented a hall in Shreveport and turned it over to Pam. She hired E(E)E Entertainment and they worked to transform the space into a seraglio. There would be four separate rooms, each transformed to accommodate a ‘sultan’ or ‘sultana’ and multiple partners. There would be music, fountains, and enough architectural embellishments to make Felipe think he’d returned to the Alhambra. It had been well over a hundred years since Eric had thrown an orgy, and he couldn’t think of a group that would appreciate it more. While Pam worked on the venue, Eric sent Maxwell Lee to New Orleans to procure the entertainment. He decided to choose countries as the theme. One area, or room was the Barbary Coast, another area would be themed the Far East. There was a Caribbean area and the last featured men and women of Scandinavia. Eric knew Victor had a thing for blonds and redheads and he thought this would probably be his nemesis’ favorite.

Photos started flooding his cell phone and Eric found himself distracted by the work of choosing faces and bodies that would be complimentary. All were professionals or willing. As choices were made, Pam switched her attention to the job of costuming. After looking at a couple options, she hired a group that specialized in Mardi Gras costumes and called it a day. Those who were selected were provided the address. They had to present themselves to be costumed and ‘cast.’ Maxwell also included a screening to make sure there would not be any trouble makers among the group. At one point the dapper vampire texted Eric, asking if he could contact the telepath for help in screening out any problems. Eric thought of Sookie’s reaction to what was being planned and sent back a tartly worded reply making clear she was to hear nothing of this.

Finally things were far enough along to where a date could be set. Eric petitioned for an audience with Felipe. Victor delayed him for days, trying to wheedle the reason for the request, but Eric held firm. “It’s a surprise,” the Viking would tell him. “When you hear about it, you will be pleased as well.” Eric knew that the King’s Lieutenant spent hours trying to piece together what might be on the Viking’s mind. He queried staff and watched Pam and the others. Finally, running out of patience, he let Eric know that he had scheduled the promised appointment with the King for the following night.

Pam had wanted to have printed invitations prepared, but Eric would not approve the idea. “Believe me,” he told his progeny, “No one is going to need to be asked twice. Once I describe the circumstances it will be difficult to regulate the number that will wish to attend.”

Eric was right. He appeared at Felipe’s hotel suite at the appointed hour with Pam in tow. When he was announced he made a point of bowing low and remaining bowed for the appropriate time. When he rose he said, “I wish to express my gratitude to you and your staff, Your Majesty. You spared me and my child. You have demonstrated an interest in my Area and my business. I know that remaining so long in Louisiana must be a hardship to you. Since things are going so well, I thought some diversion might be in order.” Eric could tell that he had hit the right note. Felipe didn’t bother to hide his curiosity.

“What did you have in mind, Sheriff Northman?” he asked.

“With the help of my child, I have arranged an evening of delights. We have labored to bring a taste of the harem to Shreveport. Of course, I have done this with my own funds. Consider it my way of expressing my gratitude for the opportunity to prove that your faith in me was warranted.”

“Harem?” Victor was having trouble remaining neutral. Eric was sure that on the one hand he was angry he had not been able to make the Viking look bad by spoiling the surprise. On the other hand, he couldn’t hide his interest.

Pam smiled in a way that Eric was sure was causing her actual pain, “We did some particular planning with you in mind, Victor. We thought you would appreciate a room that is populated with the most beautiful of the Northern peoples. Blondes of every shade and an amazing array of redheads.”

Eric smirked as Victor was visibly struggling with his fangs. It made his next words come out with a lisp, “Roomthz?” he asked.

Eric nodded, “Why yes, Victor. Why restrict yourself to one fantasy when there are so many? There will be a room with treasures from the Jade Court. Another will take you to a buccaneer’s dream, and there is one more that may remind his majesty of the fountained courtyards of Morocco and Seville.”

Felipe looked around him at his vassals and guards, “Inventive Northman! Very inventive!”

“Nothing to rival Las Vegas, of course,” Eric bowed, “but I have sent all the way to New Orleans to bring together a beauteous bounty that should slake your thirsts. I will provide your guards the address. They are, of course, welcome to assess the location ahead of time. The entertainment will be arriving in four nights. I took the initiative to check your calendar, Majesty,” and Eric made yet another bow, “and I was told you had no particular plans.”

Felipe was so pleased he stood up and walked over to Eric. He grasped the taller vampire’s upper arm, “I am assuming the venue is suitable for guests?”

Eric looked to Pam who began reeling off information about the total size of the room, the number of ‘helpers’ expected, the size of the padded platforms, the other furnishings that would be available for play. Felipe gestured to Sandy who started texting those the King wished to bring with him. As Sandy worked, the King turned to Eric, “I can see that sparing you was the right thing to do,” he smiled. “This is most thoughtful, Northman, most thoughtful.” He turned to Victor who was hovering near his other shoulder. “Isn’t this thoughtful, Victor?”

“Yes,” the other vampire agreed, but his eyes were not happy.

Part 3 – And Me Without My G-String

 

Finally it was the night of the big event. Buses had arrived and the forty men and women who had been hired for the evening had been walked through trailers where they had hair and makeup finished. They were dressed in a colorful array of scarves and leather straps. There were gauze pantaloons and flared skirts. Piercings were highlighted and eyeliner was liberally applied. In the case of some, the only attire was rouge and a smile. Pam was inside, directing each ‘entertainer’ to their area. Some had scripts, but most knew what was expected. For her part, Pam was wearing a red leather corset and a colorful skirt that looked to be mostly strips of silk. She had a bandana on her head and a heavy ruby and gold necklace that hung between her breasts. “Fetching!” Eric teased her.

“You don’t look bad yourself,” Pam replied. Eric had decided to pattern his outfit with a variation on Viking. With his coloring he was a natural for ‘Blondland’ which was what they were calling the space with the northern theme and his costume made that clear. His only piece of clothing was in a short leather kilt. He expected his Maker would have recognized it since it was largely patterned on the garb of a gladiator. His bare chest was dusted with gold and he wore thick gold circlets around each of his upper arms. The wide belt seemed to emphasize the narrowness of his hips and when he turned quickly the kilt flared out revealing he was full commando underneath.

The vampires and other guests started to arrive. Greeters from each of the areas were there to explain their themes and entice guests to choose them. Things would not get rolling until the King had arrived but no one seemed to be complaining.

If was almost an hour before Felipe pulled up in a stretch limousine. The doors opened and when the King and his retinue spilled into the parking lot, it was clear that they had already started the party. Most were almost completely naked and they were liberally daubed with blood. Guards swarmed from the follow cars and surged forward to form a corridor of sorts from the limo to the open doors. Eric and Pam were both there to bow.

“Welcome, Majesty!” Eric purred. “I hope our gift adequately demonstrates our gratitude.” As Eric stood, he couldn’t help missing Felipe’s eyes sweep over him. The Viking knew the King wouldn’t make an overture. Being naked with someone you didn’t totally trust was too risky, particularly when they were both comparable in strength and age. Eric’s eyes swept over the King’s companions, “Majesty? I expected to see Victor Madden. I specifically tailored an area for his enjoyment. I hope nothing happened.”

Felipe smiled, his full attention already focused on the women and men he could see just inside the doors. “Not to worry. Victor will be here shortly. He told me he had something he had to get first,” and the King swept past them and into the greeting area. Pam signaled the musicians, and the evening’s entertainment began.

Eric donned a black leather executioner’s mask. Since the King had seen him it would be acceptable to don a mask now. He would play Master of Games this evening. It wasn’t that the women and men weren’t enticing. Max and Pam had outdone themselves. It wasn’t that his body wasn’t reacting. There was already action in the rooms, bodies pressing and the sweet, salty scents of sweat and arousal were filling his nostrils. As he walked through the northern room he caught a glimpse of a woman already on her knees, her lips stretched around one of Felipe’s favorites, Bruno. Her hair was the exact color of… and it occurred to Eric that he hadn’t fucked a feed in almost a month. A soft hand crept up his leg and another stroked his flank, but he didn’t move. ‘How did that happen?’ he thought. He recalled with perfect clarity each evening he had spent with a willing donor. Each time he had found some excuse to not relieve himself with the one he fed from. One had bad breath. Another had tits that sagged a bit. Each one was not quite right but a month? The woman moaned, and she didn’t sound like… ‘Sookie!’ and he knew with dead certainty that he had been ruined. That honey-haired, full-lipped, saucy belle had spoiled him for others. He wasn’t sure whether he should be appalled or angry. He was a thousand years old. Humans crawled and begged for his attentions. He chose! He… and it didn’t matter. He walked forward, the hands falling from him, the sounds of disappointment blending into the pulse of rhythmic drums and hisses and soft, panting cries.

Eric was walking towards the front entrance, wondering if anyone would notice if he left when he felt her. She was spitting mad. Her hatred was crawling up his skin like electric wires. His eyes went wide and every instinct kicked in. ‘Protect! Fight!’ his body seemed to scream. He was moving at vamp speed to find himself at the front door. Victor Madden was walking in half-dragging a woman who appeared to be wearing some kind of slave garb. Her face was veiled, but Eric knew immediately who she was.

Eric reached forward and yanked the veil from her face. Her eyes were covered with a scarf and she was gagged. “What is the meaning of this?” he growled.

“I thought you would appreciate having some of your own playthings around, Northman,” Victor smirked. Victor’s eyes never left Eric’s as he slowly raised his free hand toward the breasts that even now were threatening to break free from the too-small bikini top. Eric’s fangs descended and a growl broke free that surprised even himself with its ferocity. Victor halted his movements, his smile transforming into a cruel, knowing smirk. “I knew there was something more to this,” he purred. He pushed Sookie forward so savagely that she stumbled, falling against the Viking. His arms whipped around her as he caught her and he pushed comfort to her with everything he had.

“Eric.” She said it like a statement.

‘Interesting,” Victor said, and Eric knew as the Lieutenant’s eyes slowly dragged from his that he would have to kill him soon.

Victor drifted forward, Corrina and another vampire Eric didn’t recognize following after him. Eric looked at the woman in his arms. Without taking his eyes from her, he reached up and pulled the scarf from her eyes. Sookie’s own eyes widened and he remembered that he was wearing a mask. “Can you stand?” he asked.

Sookie nodded and once she regained her feet, he pulled the mask from his head. The telepath reached up and yanked the gag down from her mouth. Eric noticed her hands were bound together. “What the hell, Eric?” she bit out.

He couldn’t help but grin. Her evening would have terrified a lesser woman. She’d been trapped, put in slave gear by one means or another, bound, blindfolded and gagged. She could have had no way of knowing where she was going, yet here she was, spitting mad. Sparks flew from her blue eyes and her hands were in fists. Her lower lip was trembling, but with the angle it was pushed out Eric wouldn’t have needed their bond to know it was fury that fueled her tremor and not terror. In short, she was magnificent!

Eric held her eyes with his own and raised both her hands. As he lowered his eyes to figure out her bonds he noticed her wrists were so small they fit comfortably in the palm of one of his hands. He delicately picked the knot apart to free her. As soon as the soft rope loosened she pulled her hands apart and raised them, like she wanted to strike. Eric captured her hands in his, his thumbs rubbing across the soft skin of her wrists. “You will be bruised,” he said softly. “Would you like me to heal them for you?”

“What is going on, Eric? Was this your idea?” she demanded. Her tone was still plenty mad but he could feel the first tendrils of doubt forming in her mind.

“Bringing you here, Lover? No. Had it been up to me you would never have known of this.” Sookie seemed to notice for the first time what was going on. She leaned over to glance around him and her face flushed bright red. Eric watched it, the way the blood traveled under her skin, the flush like a dawn transforming her cheek from pale to pink to rosy, and he found himself enchanted all over again. “I should get you home,” he purred.

“What’s going on here, Eric?” Sookie pushed him a little so she could get a better look. Her curiosity was fully engaged. Of course she knew what an orgy was. In fact, she had taken him to one not so long ago – before he had lost his memories, before they had been everything to each other. He was so busy taking her in, in appearance, her expressions, her scent, that he missed her checking him out.” What the hell are you wearing?” her voice a combination of incredulous and intrigued.

“It is a gladiator’s kilt,” he said like it was something you see every day. “Why? Do you like it better than lycra?”

“No…” she said slowly, but her eyes weren’t really leaving the overlapping leather straps and Eric felt his cock thickening at the thought of her hands being so close. The sounds of those in the rooms were getting louder and Eric could feel his fangs starting to itch.

“Sookie?” Her eyes had traveled back to whatever was behind him and he could see she was fascinated. “Sookie?” he asked a little more insistently. Her face turned up to him. The pupils of her eyes were dilated and her mouth was slightly open. He found himself swallowing although he had no need. She wasn’t offended by these people as she had been by the humans in Bon Temps. ‘Of course,’ Eric thought. ‘These people are beautiful. What they are doing is appealing and those who will enjoy the more violent side of sex haven’t worked up to that point yet.’ His smile became more knowing. She was still so naïve. “Would you like to look around?” he asked innocently.

She looked up at him again, and he watched the conflicting emotions play across her face. He thought she just might say yes when a couple walked past them. The vampire was someone Eric had seen a few times standing near Felipe. She was leading a human with a leash fastened to the collar around his neck. “Yum!” she said. “Bring her in, Northman, I’m sure Felipe will be willing to share.”

Any interest on Sookie’s face vanished and she turned back to Eric, and he could see the beginning of panic as the reality of what could happen started to filter through. Eric made sure his smile was less predatory. “Come on, Sookie,” he said quietly, “Let’s get you home.”

The Viking walked to the makeshift closet and found a cape. He suspected it was Felipe’s, and somehow that made it even more appropriate. He draped it around Sookie. He didn’t bother covering up. It didn’t matter anyway. With an arm around her shoulder, he walked her outside and steered her to his Corvette. When he had her settled, and they were heading toward the interstate she turned to him, “Would you really have shared me if we’d stayed?”

Eric couldn’t help laughing. How little she knew him! “No, Lover. I’m afraid the time for sharing is over,” he assured her. Then a thought occurred to him, “Why? Would you have wished that?”

“Eewww! No!” she spat out. “I was just wondering.” She shifted on the car seat, adjusting the cloak around her. “I hope you won’t miss too much, taking me home and all.”

Eric smiled, “I would think you would be asking for an apology. It could not have been a comfortable evening for you.” Then Eric’s tone turned serious, “How did he capture you, Lover?”

She shrugged, “I was on the porch swing. I guess I wasn’t really paying attention. I was looking up at the stars and before I knew it I was pinned to the wall.”

Eric’s eyes narrowed, “Who dressed you, Sookie?”

“That female vampire, Corrina did. Victor chucked me at her like I was a sack of grain and the next thing I knew I was standing buck naked on my porch and my uniform was in pieces!” Sookie’s jaw set, “Someone owes me a new uniform! I don’t have that kind of money!”

“I will make sure you have a new uniform,” Eric shook his head. “So Victor didn’t touch you?”

She shook her head, “No, he did not and thank you very much!” Sookie took a deep breath and after huffing it out turned and said, “But he really doesn’t like you either.” They exchanged a long look and Eric nodded. Sookie nibbled her lip a bit then and shrugged. She drew her knees up so that her feet were on the car seat. She watched the road as she asked, “So, is that what you do every night?”

“What?” Eric asked.

“Have orgies and change partners? I mean, if it is, it’s really none of my business. I guess I was just wondering why I haven’t seen you in so long and I guess now I understand. Not like I could ever compete with that kind of excitement.”

“It has not happened before,” Eric told her, “It was something I arranged to try and improve my relationship with the King. It was also meant to indebt Victor to me. In truth, I have not taken pleasure with anyone since the night of the takeover.”

“You don’t have to try to make me feel better” Sookie huffed, but she couldn’t hide the hope that was hiding amidst the waves of distrust she was sending him.

“Does the thought that no one can satisfy me but you make you happy, Sookie?”

“No,” she said but every note and eddy of emotion coming from her said, ‘yes!’ and Eric found himself smiling.

Eric allowed time to stretch between them. He could see her thinking and then re-thinking, her indecision flashing across her face as clearly as if the words themselves were printed there. Finally she turned to him, “Eric? Why haven’t you been by to see me? I mean you left and you said we needed to have a talk and then nothing.”

“Sookie?” he looked at her, his eyes leaving the road, “Can I smell tears?” Could it be? Was she still his? It didn’t seem possible. She had dismissed him so casually. If he had been so important she would have come to him. It was what all human females did. They called and they sent messages, asking for time with him. They showed up at the club and stood before him. Sookie hadn’t. Eric assumed that meant that she didn’t love him anymore, not now that he remembered who he was. She had certainly told him often enough that she didn’t care. She had sent Niall to lecture him about his interference the night of the takeover like he was nothing more than a truant schoolboy. The old fairy had even threatened to involve the new King. Sookie Stackhouse didn’t even think enough of him to tell him about their time together. She made him blackmail it out of her. Surely she couldn’t still care if she treated him that way!

Eric glanced at the silent woman beside him. She wasn’t saying anything, she just stared ahead. He saw when she brushed her face with the back of her hand and there was the sweet smell that confirmed what he had thought. “Why are you crying?” he asked.

Sookie turned to him, her smile too bright to be natural, “I guess I’m just feeling sorry for myself,” she shrugged.

“I can understand that,” Eric replied. “It would be a trying evening for anyone. I’m sure you are angry that I have involved you in yet another problem.” He turned his eyes back toward the road, “We will be at your house in just a few more minutes. I will have words with the King. He will doubtless be more amenable after tonight. I will make sure you are not harassed again.”

“Oh, well… thank you,” she said softly. They drove in silence for a few more miles before she said, “Why?”

Eric glanced back at her, “Why what?”

Sookie leaned forward again, wrapping her arms around her knees. It caused the filmy layers of the harem girl skirt she was wearing to part, showing a long length of creamy thigh. “Why didn’t you come back?” she whispered.

Eric stilled. “Come back? To Bon Temps?” he felt himself on the edge of dangerous ground. To say too much, to reveal himself, was to risk further damage. Give him a sword and an enemy to face, he would charge, joyous, forward, sure of himself and his opportunity to win, but this new thing, this thing of the heart? For the first time in more years than he could recall, Eric was not sure of himself. When she didn’t say anything more he set aside his weakness. What was the worst she could do that she hadn’t done already? “You made clear you didn’t want me, Sookie. I have never forced a woman.” He turned to her and she turned to him. “I am sure that in time this wanting you will fade. For now, with the way you make me feel, I did not trust myself to respect your wishes.”

“What are you saying, Eric?” and he saw it again, that spark of hope in her eyes. He found that perhaps, even on this battlefield, he might find his courage.

“I’m saying that from the moment I left your house the night of the takeover, I have been haunted by you. When I couldn’t remember what passed between us, I could not rest. I knew something important had happened, something that changed my life.” They pulled up to the telepath’s house. The lights were still on and the front door was open, the light shining through the screen door. Eric looked at the porch swing and visions of them together flooded his brain. He could see images of them, entwined in the living room, the kitchen. He remembered the time he took her under the rose bushes and the minutes they spent under her shower, racing their hearts and the hot water heater. He turned to her, not bothering to hide the desire in his eyes or the hint of fang. “When I remembered that night, it was like I had found the answer to all my questions. I pledged you my life and a place by my side. It was my heart speaking. My heart says it still.”

“How is that possible?” she said, her hand finding his cheek. “You have so much more than I ever will…”

“I wish only you,” he answered her, catching her hand and turning it so he could kiss her palm, drawing her scent into him. He looked up at her through his eyelashes, “Come, I will walk you to your door.”

When he opened her car door she found her nose just below the leather straps that were sticking out on his kilt. She giggled and averted her eyes, then looked up to see him watching her. Her cape fell from her shoulders, but she didn’t retrieve it. It was a warm night. Her bare shoulders seemed to glow in the lights from the house and she couldn’t help but revel in the feel of the soft silks that flowed like gossamer around her legs. With each step, the low-fitting waist of the garment assured that the long skirt flicked back and forth, swishing around and between her legs. Her hand in his, she wondered if he could feel how turned on she was right now. When they walked up the steps of the porch she glanced at the porch swing, “Do you remember….”

“Yes!” he growled without letting her finish. She glanced at him, her mouth open a bit. Eric was looking wild. His eyes were almost black, his pupils had dilated to such extent, and his fangs were prominent in his open mouth. He was taking deep, shuddering breaths.

Sookie walked to her door and placed her hand on the door knob. She could hear the clicking of the hard leather of his kilt behind her. She shut her eyes and said, “If I had said yes that I wanted to stay tonight, what would have happened?”

“Sookie…” Eric sounded out of breath.

The telepath turned around, placing her back against her front door and putting her hands behind her in a way that thrust her chest forward a little. “Eric Northman? I want you to come in the house and show me what I missed,” she said in a clear, level tone of voice.

“Everything?” he growled.

“Oh yes, Eric! I want you to show me the ride that goes with that costume.”

Part 4 – The Gladiator’s Way

When the vampire didn’t move forward, Sookie reached forward to wrap her fingers into the thick belt at his waist. A smile playing on her lips, she stepped forward, tilting her head back while she used her other hand to fumble open the door. As he was leaning toward her, she stepped back, drawing him after her and into the house. She bit her lip and said in her best seductress voice, “You have been freed for one night warrior, and I have been given to you. What do you want to do with me?”

“Sookie,” Eric growled, “Be careful! I don’t think I can be gentle with you.”

“We had times we weren’t so gentle,” and she tugged his belt hard enough that the leather straps swayed. Eric hissed and Sookie knew the weight and cut of the kilt must have been causing some friction against his all too apparent erection. She let him go and stepped back into the living room. She swayed, the swish of the skirt the only sound. As she raised her arms, bringing her hair up and above her head, she looked over her shoulder, “Do you like what you see, gladiator?”

Eric was behind her, his motion a blur. He ran a single finger down the long column of her spine. He started at the knot at the base of her neck and ended at the low waistband of her skirt. He dipped his finger into the crease between the cheeks of her ass, “You are a gift fit for a figher,” he growled.

Sookie turned around, forming her smile into something she hoped was seductive. “Would you like me to dance for you?” she asked.

“Oh, you will dance, little slave girl,” he purred, and he reached for her hands, capturing both her wrists in one of his fists while using the other hand to stroke her breast through the cloth of the bikini top. He stroked the roundness of her breast that was exposed to both sides and then used his fingernail to stroke her nipple until it stood erect. He lowered his mouth towards hers, but before he claimed her lips he whispered, “If it becomes too much, you must tell me. I will stop,” and he kissed her then, his lips taking no quarter, the hand that held her wrists stretching upwards, making her stand on her tiptoes, the hand on her breast pinching her nipple and twisting it in a way that was not exactly painful. He backed her up until she was in front of the fireplace. He released her from her kiss and Sookie was sure her lips looked swollen. “On your knees,” he growled.

Eric released her hands and she almost staggered as he caught her hand again, steadying her. He looked behind him and grabbed a cushion from the couch and threw is on the floor in front of him. “Get comfortable,” he said, his voice dark. As she sank down before him, their eyes locked and he leaned over, bracing his hands above her on the fireplace mantle. Sookie reached for the belt that she assumed held the kilt in place, “No, little one. Use your hands to part the leather and grip my thighs to keep it in place.” As soon as Sookie moved the straps, Eric’s cock was before her. With the way he was leaning over, she was almost at the perfect height. During their time together, Eric had introduced her to the amazing experience that was oral sex. Ever one to return favors, Sookie had spent some time becoming proficient as well, but she never found herself looking forward to it with the same hunger she did at this moment. He was beautiful and she couldn’t wait to taste him. With a smile she licked him from root to tip, using the flat of her tongue. She dipped her tongue to play with his slit and then took his tip into her mouth, swirling and sucking. Perhaps it was the costume. Perhaps it was the danger that was now past. Perhaps it was having him back here with her. She couldn’t get enough of him. She tried to use her teeth as he had shown her, but in the end she abandoned any technique, sucking him hard, taking him further and further, her eyes seeing only him until he threw his head back and she heard herself moan. Somehow she had managed to take more of him into her mouth than she ever had before and she realized he was hitting the back of her throat and then, she did the thing she never thought she could. She swallowed and he was there and somehow it wasn’t so bad. She backed off enough to catch her breath and then leaned forward again. She could hear him chanting her name, but it seemed so far away. There was only him in her mouth and a hunger and pleasure she couldn’t describe and she suckled and sucked until he was at the back of her throat and she swallowed him again, and she moaned at the way it made her lady parts twitch. His cock was twitching too and she knew he was close. She was holding his thighs and pulling him toward her. She heard something above her that sounded like a crack, but she ignored it. Her whole world was the feel of him, velvet and hard, and his thighs, like iron. She glanced up to see the muscles of his neck standing out like ropes. Every muscle on his body seemed clenched and she swirled her tongue, closed her eyes and swallowed him, sucking hard around him and he was cumming, shooting down her throat. She backed off and he continued to pulse in her, his essence mixing with the saliva that ran down her chin. She was mess and she didn’t care. She swallowed again and again, rubbing him with her lips and tongue until he collapsed on his knees before her. His eyes were questioning and then he was kissing her, swirling his tongue in her mouth and sharing with her what they had made. He leaned back, his palm cradling her cheek, his thumb stroking the moisture from beside her eye.

“Sookie?” She brought her arms up and he pulled her close. “Your throat may be sore in the morning,” he whispered.

“Is this how you treat your slave? All soft and kind?” she whispered back. She ran her hands over his chest, “Was one round really enough for you?”

“No,” Eric growled, “And I have been denied long enough. It seems that we were very busy in this house and I intend to reacquaint myself with every memory.” Eric reached down and ripped the line of fabric that held the cups of her top together, and then he ripped the waistband of her skirt as well. He stood up, leaned over and lifted her over his shoulder. “We can start in kitchen,” he said, sounding something like a real estate agent, but when he set her bare bottom on the edge of the table, there was nothing suburban about him. Eric Northman wasn’t here to sell. He was here to take and that suited Sookie just fine.

Eric put his hands on her knees and pushed them apart, “Let’s see how much you enjoyed that,” he said, a slight smile playing on his lips. He tapped her clit with his fingers using his speed to make it seem as if a vibrator were stimulating her. Sookie started to close her legs to get more friction, but Eric stepped forward, keeping her knees wide spread. Keeping his eyes on her face, he ran two fingers lightly back and forth over her slit, dipping and playing. Sookie leaned back on her hands. He knew exactly what to do and she found herself making a series of incoherent sounds and trying to thrust herself against his fingers. “I love the feel of you,” he purred. “You are so soft and smooth here, so slick with desire.” He took away his fingers and Sookie responded with a needy moan. Eric sucked the fingers he had used to play within her, the entire time continuing to stimulate her clit. Sookie knew she was capable of achieving orgasm just from that stimulation, and Eric seemed intent on doing just that.

“Please, please…” she heard herself. She could feel her walls starting to clench, “Please!” she cried again.

He brought his fingers back to her, “I am greedy,” he said, his voice low. “I do not wish to miss one pulse of you,” and he thrust two fingers into her, twisting until he found that one spot. Sookie howled, pushing her hips off the table to meet him, her walls contracting with the sudden and welcome stimulation. Then his fingers were gone and his head was pressing into her. She was close, so close! “Cum on my dick, Sookie. Show me that you missed me,” and he was within her as her orgasm hit. She was so tight he seemed able to do little more than rock within her, but it was enough. She was milking him and she could feel him twitching within her, each movement sparking another tremor of pleasure within her. She could feel the sweat on her body and she collapsed on the table, her damp causing her to easily slide back and forth against the polished wood surface. “Oh, we’re not done yet,” Eric said, his voice low and dark. He lifted her again, this time bridal style and took her to the front porch. He set her down so she was looking out into the night and then he placed her hands on the rail. From behind her he stroked the curve of her ass and then stepped close. He kicked her legs a little further apart and then ran the head of his cock between her lower lips, drawing back and forth. He reached around to play with Sookie’s breasts. His fingers pulled and then pinched her nipples and his voice was in her ear. “Do you know the pleasure it gives me to call you mine? When you scream my name, begging me to enter you, I feel like a God! You have done this to me! And then, what do you do? When you have captured everything that I am, you deny me! What kind of cruelty is that, Miss Stackhouse? I never took you for a cruel woman, but you seem to take some delight in showing that side of yourself to me.”

Sookie arched her back, pressing her ass against him, “I didn’t think you could ever want me for real,” she panted. “I figured you would just put me in the pile with the rest of the fangbangers when you were done.”

Eric stilled for a minute, “No, Sookie. No, that will never happen, although there may be days you will wish it.” He resumed his stroking, back and forth, pulling and then pushing past her, the stimulation of his words and their being outside exposed to anyone who might be around causing her to start to drip moisture down her thigh. “You are a revelation to me. So demure, and yet I can feel how excited you are to be taken like this where anyone could see you.” Eric smoothed his hand down her back and as he reached her rounded behind, he pushed himself into her, his hand rounding to grab the front of her thigh, pressing deep and then deeper. Sookie groaned and Eric stilled, allowed her to adjust. She could feel him leaning back, the slight fur of his thighs tickling her sensitive skin. He pushed into her, using his hands to part her globes and stroking the smooth area below her rosebud. “You should see how glorious you look, stretched around me. I will never forgive myself for allowing Compton to keep you that night we met at Fangtasia. I should have separated you from him then.” Eric rocked forward again and thrust a little. “This should have always been mine, Sookie,” and he swiveled his hips, making her moan. “Play with yourself, Sookie. Stroke yourself until you hold me within you like a fist,” and Sookie dropped her hand to play with her clit. “Watch the woods,” Eric purred. “Watch and imagine that we are back in Shreveport and there are vampires who are watching how magnificent you are, who are watching me take you,” and there was something about the way he said it that had Sookie gulping and meeting his thrusts, her feet on tiptoe, her hand straining to keep a hold on the porch rail. He twirled his fingers around himself, meeting her own and then retreating, and then she felt a pressure on her rosebud. He was timing it so that his cock and his finger were entering her at the same time. “You like that, don’t you?” he said, twisting his finger just a little and Sookie couldn’t believe the moan that escaped her. “Keep playing with yourself,” he purred, and he pulled back and then rocked back into her. As he bottomed out within her he pushed the finger deeper. “Your ass is so tight,” he seemed to be speaking directly in her ear, “it will give me great pleasure to teach you how to take me here too.”

Sookie couldn’t deny the pleasure she was feeling, a dark, different pleasure that spoke of things forbidden and desires that were best hidden, but the thought of having him there, as large as he was, started to worry her. He must have felt it because he pulled his finger from her, returning it to scissor around himself and press at her clit from below, “Not today, lover. Not for many days. But we will start our journey this night,” and he flexed down, and then surged forward, the finger returning, wet and slippery, pressing into her and retreating. He pushed her fingers from her clit and took over, stroking and rubbing in precisely the right way, his cock dragging and then pushing forward with the right twist that caused her to press back. She thought he had replaced a small finger with a larger one in her rosebud and she realized her own rocking was driving that finger into her ass further than it had been before, but it didn’t matter, and then it mattered a great deal and she felt both her pussy and her ass clenching and she was shouting out into the dark, and she was flying to that place where they were one and all the world stood still around them. Eric groaned behind her, both hands holding her hips now and he slammed into her once and then twice before she heard him roar and felt him filling her. He collapsed across her back, and then his arms wrapped around her and he held her against his chest, his hands cradling her. “I love you,” he said, his words so simple after the experience they had shared, and yet, it was all she really needed to hear.

“I love you too, Eric Northman.” He stepped back from her then, and turned her to him. He lifted her against him, cradling her like a child and walked back to the house. He stopped outside the door and Sookie reached down to pull the door open so they could both walk back into the house. Eric carried her up the stairs and started toward her bedroom when she made a noise. He stopped and looked down at her, “I’m a mess!” she protested.

Eric looked at the door across the hall, the one that led to the bathroom. “It seems appropriate, doesn’t it,” he grinned.

“What?” she asked.

“That we should go there now, where we started.” Sookie found herself remembering that night when he had joined her in the shower and she blushed. Then Eric’s look turned serious, “I want you in my life, Sookie. I want you in my home. I don’t wish to rise without you. You say you love me…”

“Yes,” she said, laying her hand on the side of his face.

“Yes?” he said, and she should see that he was almost afraid to believe what she was saying to him.

“Yes,” she confirmed, “so why don’t we get dressed and I can show you all over again what I mean when I say I love you… at your place?”
The smile on Eric’s face was so carefree and Sookie saw without any doubt that the vampire she had fallen in love with the first time, that lost vampire running the woods, was still here. He had just been waiting for her to find him.

As they drove into the night on their way back to Shreveport, Eric raised her hand to his lips. He was wearing the track pants from his other time, and the old t-shirt she had stuffed under her pillow still fit him fine. Her suitcase was in the back and she had texted Sam giving her notice. There was a part of her that wondered what forever would hold for them, but in the end it didn’t matter. Sookie knew that as long as he was her heart’s desire, everything would turn out fine.

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6 thoughts on “The Heart Desires

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