AN: I know I have not updated in a while, and I apologize about that. I know no one wants to hear about RL issues, but suffice it to say I have had some bona fide heavy shit to deal with…
Last chapter, I was impressed by the many creative, intelligent, and insightful reviews that were posted. Based on the reviews, the consensus is that it is too soon for a full-fledged “lemon meringue pie” but a nice “glass of lemonade” would be plausible, if not welcomed. Well, I concur, but all bets are off next chapter. 😉
As a reminder, this chapter focuses on the second part of their date, after the dinner and conversation about Sookie’s desire to feed Eric…
Thanks again to all of you who left reviews last chapter! Also, much thanks to my wonderful beta, VAlady for being so damned cool and helpful.
As Eric drove up to the Cross Lake Marina, Sookie tried to calm her nerves. Soon she would be out there, on the lake.
On a boat.
She swallowed thickly and glanced over at Eric as he parked in a reserved spot near the dock. Although the car was illuminated by moonlight, they sat in near darkness. She became keenly aware of her breathing, which was all the more noticeable given Eric’s absolute stillness.
Suddenly, he turned and pressed the latch to undo her seatbelt. He adjusted his body slightly so that he was facing her. He spoke softly.
“You seem apprehensive. If you feel uncomfortable or wish to return home-”
“No, no…this is something I want to do, really. It’s just….” Her voice trailed as she struggled to find the words to explain how she was feeling. She hated that she seemed to run hot and cold with Eric but she didn’t know how to broach the subject of her ambivalence about him…about them.
He leaned closer to her, which allowed the moonlight to highlight his masculine features. He reached over and tenderly cupped her face in his hands. She glanced up and noticed how they big were and how they completely engulfed her face. Everything about him was so…larger than life.
“Sookie. Look at me.”
Her eyes latched on to his in obedience.
“It’s obvious that you feel ambivalent about me.”
Her breath caught as she realized he had used the very word she had just been thinking. She didn’t respond to his observation.
His eyes turned wary as he scanned her face. “Yes. You feel conflicting emotions about me. I suppose I can understand given the circumstances under which we became acquainted, not to mention how quickly you were confronted with the reality of both of our supernatural natures.”
She nodded. “Yes, there is that, of course, and another issue is that your extravagant gifts make me uncomfortable. It just accentuates the fact that we are not ‘normal’.”
Eric scoffed. “Normal? I think not! Although you seem reluctant to embrace your supernatural heritage, we are not “normal,” you and I. And despite your qualms about us, we were meant to be together. If you recall, you told me that your grandmother even spoke to you about me in a dream. Think about how remarkable it is that your matriarch actually used a cluviel dor to bring us together. The significance of her use of the rare fae talisman cannot be dismiss-”
“Now wait a minute. Let’s not bring Gran into this. Yes, she wished for me to meet my soul mate, for me not to be alone, but that doesn’t give you carte blanche to be able to waltz into my life and just assume I am going to accept you with open arms.”
Sookie’s temper was starting to rise and she found herself falling back into her typical defense mechanism of pushing others away when feeling cornered. “You know, why don’t we just call it a ni-”
He interrupted her by placing his lips on hers, abruptly silencing her. Startled, she tried to move her head back but was prevented by his hands, which remained firmly clasped on the sides of her face. She made an angry mewling noise to show her displeasure, which seemed to only urge him on, given his low growl and emergence of his tongue, which teased the seam of her lips. Despite her irritation with him, she began losing herself in the kiss, finding that she wanted him even closer to her. She reached up and snaked her hands up his neck and into his hair as she began kissing him back, allowing him to plunge his tongue deep into her mouth. The sensations that his mouth and tongue were producing sent a rush of wetness to her panties. Embarrassed, she pulled back, panting.
“Wait, wait. Stop for a second.” She shook her head and sat back heavily into the car seat.
Eric released her as he adjusted himself and waited for her to speak.
“God, I swear I can’t think straight when I’m with you!” She ran her fingers through her hair and glared at him. “You can’t just kiss your way out of issues, you know? We have to be able to talk things out.”
Eric chuckled. “Yes, I realize that, but I merely wanted to distract you. You seemed as if you were working yourself up, so to speak.”
In spite of herself, Sookie couldn’t suppress a giggle. “Well, you did distract me, sure enough. Your evil little plot worked. But don’t try that again, I’m warning you. I’m onto you mister.”
Eric continued to laugh softly as he exited the car and was in a flash at her door, reaching in to pull her out of the passenger side.
“Well, I have to warn you that you are correct about my “evil plot.” I have every intention of “distracting” you again. Many, many times.”
He kept a neutral, mildly amused expression on his face but internally, his beast was salivating at the possible ways in which he would take her, defile her, and satisfy his desire to claim her. He ached to make her his while bringing her to the heights of ecstasy. He had no doubt that Sookie would be an avid pupil to his sexual tutelage. He just had to get her past her genteel southern belle façade, which he suspected was only a thin veil cast over an otherwise wanton, feral nature. He knew that although fae were beautiful to behold, their passion and ferocity were legendary, rivaling that of vampire.
Without betraying his nefarious thoughts, he flashed a benign smile and held out his hand to her as she tucked her cardigan and purse under her other arm. She allowed him to lead her down the dimly lit dock, which seemed to glow in the bright moonlight. They didn’t have far to go, as he soon approached the largest and newest looking vessel.
Before she could react, he scooped her up, bridal style and lightly sprung onboard with her. By the time she could process what had happened, he had gently set her on her feet.
She looked around, momentarily bewildered. He bent down, kissing her softly on the cheek and took her by the hand. He gently pulled her into the cabin and showed her around. The interior was Scandinavian in design, with light wood, cream-colored accents, and black leather upholstery. He pointed to the stocked bar and kitchenette across from the sitting area as well as the location of the restroom, located between the main cabin and bedroom. He waggled his eyebrows as he pointed to the custom bedroom (that had a secret compartment which could conceal him during his day death) in the back of the yacht but she rolled her eyes and shook her head, declining to “try out the mattress” as he suggested.
After she accepted a bottle of water from the fridge, Eric clapped his hands together.
“Well, make yourself comfortable while I set sail. Or if you’d like, you can come up and keep me company. I’d recommend you take off those heels first before you come up, though.” Eric winked and in a flash disappeared from the cabin.
Sookie smiled to herself and took a sip of water as she watched the boat move effortlessly through the water. She sat and relaxed for a few minutes before removing her shoes, as Eric had suggested. She then put on her cardigan and stepped up onto the deck.
Eric was moving back and forth in a blur while manning the sails. Sookie sat on one of the seats and watched him, fascinated by his sailing expertise.
He had rolled the sleeves of his shirt up over his massive forearms and appeared exhilarated. He was obviously in his element, smiling broadly as some of his hair escaped the low ponytail and blew back wildly in the wind, all the while effortlessly manipulating the sails so that they billowed and caught the wind. Soon they were gliding rapidly across the lake.
He turned to her, beaming and beckoned her over to him. She stood and wobbled a bit but made it over to him without falling. He stood behind her and held her as he spoke softly in her ear, explaining the basic mechanics of sailing. Sookie found herself laughing and completely at ease with Eric, eventually losing all self-consciousness and worry. By the time they had traversed the lake and headed back to the dock, Sookie excused herself and went below to use the restroom and brush out her hair, which had become tangled from the wind. When she came out, Eric had already docked the boat and was sprawled in the sitting area.
He smiled and patted the bench for her to sit near him. She obliged and tucked her legs under her.
“Well, what did you think?” He smiled and gestured at the boat.
“It was amazing! But I have to admit, I didn’t realize that sailing involved so much work!” She giggled.
Eric chuckled. “Yes, sailing does involve effort, but in modern times it is so much easier than when I was a mortal man. My people were amazing seafarers, but without modern conveniences such as motors and electronic navigational aids as fail-safes. Sailing was indeed actual work…”
Sookie shook her head. “Wow. Sometimes I forget that you have lived through so much, all these centuries. It’s…” Her voice trailed softly.
“What?” he asked softly, reaching for her hand.
She cast her eyes down. “It’s a bit intimidating, truthfully.”
He reached out and gently raised her chin with his fingers. “Why are you feeling intimidated?”
“Well, here you are, over 1000 years old. You’ve travelled the world and seen and done everything. I’m sure you’ve been with the most beautiful and fascinating women…” She paused and looked up at him, though meeting the intensity of his gaze was difficult.
Bitterness crept into her voice as she continued. “So why do you want to be with me then? A chubby, uneducated freak of nature barmaid with no future, no prospects, who lives in a backwoods hick town. Why me?” To her chagrin, a lone tear trailed down her cheek.
Eric caught the tear with the tip of his finger and put it in his mouth. He slid closer on the bench seat and turned towards her. He leaned his forehead down against hers and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek where the tear had fallen.
“Sookie. I do not ever want to hear you say such things about yourself again.”
She sniffled and shook her head. “Why? It’s true.”
His eyes darkened in anger. “I have half a mind to take you in hand and place you over my knee!”
She bristled at his domineering remark but he interrupted her before she could comment.
“Yes, over my knee, little one! You will not repeat such ridiculous, self-deprecating falsehoods again.”
She took a breath and opened her mouth but he placed a finger over her lips.
“No. You will listen to me. You are gorgeous, flawlessly beautiful from the golden hairs on your head to the tips of your toes. Every inch of you is tantalizing to me and if you’d let me, I’d spend hours worshipping every inch of you with my tongue and hands. And with…other parts of my body.”
Sookie’s face burned with dueling emotions: embarrassment and unbridled lust. She licked her lips gingerly, forgetting that his finger was still pressed against her mouth. He cocked an eyebrow when she inadvertently licked him.
“Not only are you a goddess to me, but you are intriguing on so many levels. Intelligent, voluptuous, talented…and confounding! I suspect that your fire rivals mine, though I have yet to explore the depths of your passion.”
Sookie swallowed and her eyes darted back and forth, searching his face for signs of betrayal or deceit. Finding none, she slowly brought her hand up and pulled his finger away from her face.
“You don’t know me. How can you say such things to me?”
He shook his head. “Your beauty is undeniable to anyone who has eyes. Your intelligence is obvious in your thought processes and unfortunately wasted in that shifter’s hovel of a bar. You are the kin of a magical race and were blessed with the amazing gift of telepathy.” She began to protest but he cut her off. “As far as my noticing your passionate spirit, well, I have been both the unfortunate recipient of your temper and the unbelievably lucky witness to your self-pleasur-”
“Now stop it right there, buddy. No nasty talk, you hear?”
Eric chuckled. “Nasty? I think not. More like…hot, delicious, enticing, enthralling.-”
He stopped mid-sentence as Sookie lunged and covered his mouth with her hand. He continued laughing softly as she blushed. She tried to adopt a stern demeanor with him but couldn’t help but laugh with him.
As soon as he saw that she had found humor in the situation, he grasped her wrists and pulled her onto his lap. She gasped and stiffened in surprise but he was pleased that she didn’t try to fight to get away from him. He nuzzled the side of her neck, slowly running his nose up and down the soft skin between her earlobe and shoulder, which he bared by pulling her cardigan back.
Sookie suppressed a small moan as he caressed her with his lips. She closed her eyes and felt herself floating, feeling as if events had been set into motion that she was powerless to stop. She found it harder and harder to find reasons to fight the undeniable attraction she had for Eric. And tonight, on their date, with the daisies, the wonderful dinner, and sailing with him, she saw a different side to the handsome and mysterious stranger who had literally flown into her life just days before.
She suddenly noticed that he was gently tugging off her cardigan as he slipped one arm around her waist. Before she knew what was happening, he had tilted her back against him and pulled her hair over one shoulder. He was kissing and nipping at her neck more aggressively, all the while caressing her arms and shoulders. He moved his hands slowly up and down her upper body, avoiding actually touching her breasts though his fingers were dangerously close.
Sookie gave in to the sensation of his mouth and hands on her skin. She had been lonely for so long, had never really even had an actual boyfriend despite her brief dating history with JB. And here she was, with a beautiful man who desired her, who was going out of his way to try to accommodate mortal and modern notions of how he should court a woman. A man who was wealthy beyond imagination, who could have any woman he wanted in the world, and here he was telling her that she was beautiful, desirable, and fascinating. She allowed herself to relax against his chest as she reached up and turned her head. She saw that his gaze was glued onto her cleavage and chuckled softly.
“Hey, my eyes are up here, mister.”
He pulled back and looked her in the eyes briefly before glancing back down at her chest. “Yes, and they are beautiful, but I haven’t gotten much chance to see your luscious breasts since the night I was in your-”
Sookie stiffened and pulled away, attempting to get off his lap. “Hmmph. You just can’t help yourself, can you? You just had to say that to get a rise out of me.”
He tilted her head back and whispered in her ear. ” You have already gotten a rise out of me.”
It was true. She could feel his rock hard erection pushing into her hip as she sat on his lap. She shook her head free and snorted as she slid over on the seat while grabbing her sweater. “Yeah, well, that’s all you’re getting out of me tonight!”
She chuckled as she pulled her cardigan on and readjusted her dress while bending down to retrieve her shoes. After she slipped her shoes on, she stood up and her breath hitched as she caught the hungry look on his face. She cleared her throat.
“I think I should be heading back home now, if you don’t mind. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve had an absolutely wonderful time but I really should call it a night.”
Eric stared at her for several seconds, long enough for her to begin to feel uncomfortable. The expression on his face was complex and hard to decipher. She could detect undeniable lust, hunger, disappointment and…something else?
Finally, he nodded and slid down the bench seat and stood in one fluid movement. He reached out his hand to her. She paused for a moment before reaching for him. He pulled her close to his chest before slowly bending down; this time seeking unspoken permission to kiss her through his languid movements and the questioning look in his eyes. In response, she nodded and lifted her head up to him, meeting his mouth in a passionate kiss. She noticed that they both kept their eyes open during the kiss, which made the moment feel especially meaningful to her.
He pulled back and shot her a dazzling smile. “All right. I was going to keep you captive but since you gave me such an amazing kiss I suppose I must acquiesce and see you home, though it pains me. Are you ready?’
Breathless, she nodded as he once again scooped her up in his arms and placed a kiss on her forehead before effortlessly jumping off the boat. He floated down and landed light as a feather onto the dock.
She clutched at him, dreading the loss of his muscular arms. She turned her head and nuzzled his face. “You know, you said you’d take me flying sometime. I’m going to take you up on that offer.”
He whispered seductively in her ear, sending chill bumps down her arms, “Hmm, yes, and we will. But another night. It will give me an excuse to ask you out on a date again, won’t it?”
Sookie shuddered and closed her eyes, suppressing a gasp. It was as if his lips and whispered words flipped a switch inside of her, sending a rush of arousal through her body.
He laughed softly and continued carrying her to the car. He bent down and opened the door with one hand while gently placing her inside. As before, he reached across and buckled her seatbelt, though his hands lingered near her waist before he reappeared in the blink of an eye back in the driver’s seat.
He started the car and drove away with expert ease. As they drove along, they conversed easily. Despite the undeniable weight of sexual tension between them, she now felt strangely comfortable with Eric, and found herself talking easily about Gran and her estranged relationship with Jason. Before she knew it, they were turning on Hummingbird Lane and pulling up to her house.
As they walked up the porch to the doorstop, Sookie found herself wanting to invite him inside, but…she had a feeling how the night would end, and despite her body’s magnetic pull and ache for him, she thought it best to stop before things went any further.
At the door, she turned to Eric and looked up at his face, which seemed cool and impassive. She was unaware of the battle that was raging inside of him. His inner beast wanted to claim her now, force her to submit to his cock and sink his fangs in the artery between her legs although Eric the man realized that he deeply cared for this woman in a way that he not experienced before. He continued staring at her with a poker face as she tiptoed and placed a chaste kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you for an absolutely perfect date, Eric. It was amazing, better than anything I could have imagined,” she whispered.
He caressed her face before bending down and claiming her lips with his. He could not stop himself from briefly plundering her mouth with his tongue, though he forced himself to release her lips with profound reluctance.
He stood up to his full height and played with the ends of her hair that cradled her bosom. “I am glad you enjoyed our time together, Sookie. I have to confess that I do not have prior experience with “dating” but I am really looking forward to our next one.”
“Me too, Eric.” She blushed and turned to the door. “Well, I guess I’m going to call it a night.”
Although greatly disappointed that he was not invited in, Eric bowed slightly and said, “Good night, then. I will be in touch, soon.”
He waited until she unlocked her door and stepped inside before heading back towards his car. He saw the conflicted expression on her face and waved to her as she slowly closed the door.
AN: As I mentioned earlier, sorry again for the delay in posting, but the good news is that the next chapter is already written. 🙂