Chapter 1

This is a continuation of a one-shot that began in the collection “À la carte” titled, “Basement Blunder.” You will probably want to hop over there and read that before continuing here, if you haven’t already. You guys asked for it, and here it is!

And, with ATY – I am re-reading that again currently to make sure that what I have planned next comes out authentic to this story – details are critical at this point. So, another few days and I should have the next chapter finished. Just stick with me, it’s gotta be just right before it goes up.

Ali989969 is my beta for this story, and she’s fantastic!

Disclaimer – Don’t own them, wish I did. CH & AB, plus HBO do.

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“I don’t know about that, Eric,” I giggled. “Would the chains even hold you?”

“To be honest, I am not sure. I have never been chained before willingly. But I am certain that we could come up with something workable, should you wish to,” he leered at me as he stroked my hip.

He pulled out of me and I groaned without meaning to, instantly missing the fullness that he gave. Eric scooted to the side of me but remained facing me, and rolled me slightly so that I now faced him. The scene was again oddly reminiscent of my dream in Dallas; the color of the sheets, the openness of his expression, our positions in relation to one another… it was both alarming, and oddly comforting.

“I dreamed of this once,” I began, only to have him interrupt me.

“Only once? I am offended, dear Sookie. I have dreamed of this many times,” he smiled as he reached for my hand. He brought it to his mouth and kissed it; again, so like my dream.

“No, you goof. I mean I had a dream of us lying in bed together, talking, just like this,” I clarified as I swatted his arm playfully. “In Dallas, after that bullet bullshit, this was what your blood did to me.”

I wanted to feel the familiar security of my rage at him in that moment, but all I felt was soothed. As if it were right to be here with him, in his bed and in his arms. Why this level of intimacy with Eric Northman should feel comforting was beyond me, yet it did. It was safe, homey… normal.

How odd that the sense of normalcy and belonging I’d always longed for, I found in the bed of a cold-hearted killer.

What the fuck was wrong with me?

“My blood only amplified your feelings for me, Sookie. It cannot cause dreams or emotions that are not there,” he paused as a thought seemed to occur to him; it was obvious in his expression. “Has Bill never explained what our blood does when ingested?” He seemed genuinely appalled that Bill had likely not.

“Well…” I paused as I tried to remember all he’d told me. “He said it would heal me,” and something then occurred to me. “He told me when I had your blood that it would make me attracted to you, that I’d dream of you. He made it seem as if you’d be able to control me through the tiny bit of you I swallowed. But… wouldn’t his blood do the same?” I asked, my voice rising in pitch.

Had Bill really told me all the heinous things Eric’s blood would do to me, forgetting that I’d had gallons of his blood by then? Did he think me so dimwitted that I wouldn’t put it all together?

Obviously he had.

But trying to salvage Bill’s virtue (for my own sanity) I asked, “Would your blood affect me differently since you’re much older than him? Or is all vampire blood the same?”

“I knew that you were more than a pretty face, my lover,” he smiled at me, nibbling his thumb before speaking. “The age of a vampire will determine the potency, but no, Bill’s blood won’t act any differently than mine. Or that of any other vampire,” he clarified.

“So, you can’t make me dream of you?” I had to know.

“No, truly, I cannot. Now, depending on the tie when the bond begins, a vampire might be able to enhance feelings already there. Or in some cases, even create ties where there were none before. But that occurs when the vampire wishes to dominate or control the human, when there are no romantic feelings involved,” he explained.

Before he could say more, I jumped in. “So I’m screwed with you then! How can you tell me your blood won’t control me? You have no feelings for me!” I was on the verge of panic. I would be Eric’s butt-monkey, his brainless slave.

No wonder I’d just let him fuck me silly!

I wasn’t the type of woman to cheat on the man who had just proposed to her, especially when he’d gone missing right afterwards. It had to be his blood making me act so out of character!

Otherwise, what the hell did my actions say about me?

About who I really was…

“Do you really believe that? Truly?” he interrupted my self-loathing, as he kissed my hand still held in his. “Would I be lying here, sharing such a personal moment with you if you were only a fuck and feed in my eyes? Do you think Yvetta knows of this room, Sookie? I had her affixed to the ceiling, not lying on the finest Egyptian sheets, didn’t I?”

His voice was patient as he explained, with no anger present in his tone or body language. He didn’t seem to expect an answer right away, so I stomped back my ire and indicated with one finger in the “please hold” gesture that I’d take a moment to really consider his words.

Eric began to stroke my hip gently with one hand as he continued to pepper the hand he held with tiny kisses, but it didn’t feel as though he was doing it to manipulate my thoughts. It seemed almost unconscious on his part, as if he just needed to be touching me.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I, too, was stroking him!

My thumb was rubbing his gently where he held my hand in his as my fingers drew nonsensical patterns on the thigh he had wedged between mine.

Huh?

Perhaps we both needed the comfort of skin-on-skin contact.

That certainly didn’t seem like the actions of someone looking for a minion. It was lazy, unhurried… romantic.

Did Bill and I ever lie like this? Talking and basking in each other’s presence after sex?

Sadly, the answer was no.

Mostly when Bill was finished with me it was close to dawn, or on top of a fresh grave for Heaven’s sake. But even when Bill and I sat to just talk, it was rarely this intimate, this open and unguarded. He basically barked orders at me, fucked me, drank up my blood, and left.

Wow.

Now came the hard part. What did I feel for Bill before having his blood? But before I could really get into that discussion with myself, I had a question for Eric first.

“The way you treat me here, now, is certainly different than what I have witnessed when I’ve seen you with other women. I will give you that. But how do I know for sure what your intentions are? Or what type of bond we have? Is there a way to prove to me what you want?”

He paused all movements to consider my question, saying nothing for several long moments as he looked intently into my eyes. Whatever he found there seemed to satisfy him, and with a small nod he began answering me. “Yes, there is a way, but I need to explain some things to you first. You have had my blood twice now, and I yours only once. While I could feel your emotions once you took my blood in Dallas, and could sense your location since then, that was simply a blood-tie. What we have started tonight is the beginning of a blood-bond. These are wholly different entities, Sookie,” he stopped to make sure I was with him.

Nodding my consent, he continued. “Now, a tie is generally used to enforce glamour and to keep tabs on our meals. I, myself, do not use this method as a general rule. As a matter of fact, aside from Lafayette and now you, no one has had my blood since I turned Pamela.”

Now that shocked me. “Bill gave me his blood almost as soon as I met him, but of course I was dying, so he had little choice, really. But I guess I assumed that since he was so free with his blood that all vampires were. Have you really only given your blood to three people in the last hundred-plus years?”

“Yes. And the fact that Bill was so ‘free’ with his blood is more than a little concerning, in my opinion. Vampires are normally very guarded about sharing their blood with humans, unless they are making a progeny. Tell me the circumstances in which Bill was forced to open a vein for you,” he commanded.

I bristled at his order. Who did he think he was, ordering me around? But before I could lash out, he spoke. “I need to know what happened, Sookie. I am not trying to disrespect you; I know you are not someone who enjoys domination and decrees. However, something is not right here with Compton. I have been trying for a long while to figure out why he returned home, since he’d curried such favor in her Majesty’s court. It has made no sense, and I believe what happened when you first met him is the key in me figuring this out. So, please…”

Looking in his eyes as he spoke, something began to dawn on me. This was not a man who was accustomed to asking for what he wanted. Things were either given freely due to his position within the vampire hierarchy, or he simply took what he desired. I might not know his motives in doing so, but it was now obvious how differently he truly treated me.

Given that, I opted to answer him without my usual bitchiness. I explained about the Rat’s and the beating I had taken at their hands. I told him about Bill swooping in at the last second to save me, and how close I’d come to dying. At his insistence, I also explained about several other times I’d taken his blood. And before I knew it, I was telling him about my Gran and Renee, and Bill’s attempt to save me in daylight (though I did leave out the grave-side sex, thank you very much).

Eric had gone stock-still for long enough after I’d finished talking, that I began to grow nervous. I scooted closer to him in the bed, our clasped hands now pressed firmly between us, and leaned in to place a gentle kiss to his forehead. He just seemed so lost inside himself, and I found myself needing to comfort him.

“I think I know what Compton’s true motives are, Sookie. Though I hesitate to tell you,” he began after a pregnant pause.

“I had hoped that after all we shared tonight, Eric, that your days of lying to me were past,” I said quietly, my voice as forlorn as I was. I had so hoped he could be the man I’d caught glimpses of here and there, because that man was amazing and definitely someone I wanted to know better. I was heartbroken to be wrong.

“I have never lied to you, Sookie. I might not always tell you everything, for a variety of reasons, but what I tell you will always be the truth,” he whispered before kissing my lips with tender softness. “I hesitate to tell you, because as you have just proven again, you are always so quick to think the worst of me. I am leery, because I do not wish to cause you heartache, which this most certainly will. And to be honest, there is a part of me that would rather force Compton to tell you instead of me being the messenger. But I do not think it will wait, not if I want to keep you safe.”

“I’d always rather be hurt with the truth, than be happy living a lie, Eric. So tell me,” I said, this time commanding him.

He went on to explain that Bill had been a procurer for Queen Sophie Anne before coming to reside in Bon Temps, then he took a moment to explain what that title entailed. A tingling chill began worming about in my brain. Something that as Eric continued to talk, blossomed into a viscous snake, determined to consume me entirely.

Bill had been sent by the Queen to procure me.

As I pushed back the devastation that my whole relationship had been a sham, Eric spoke the words that made everything fall into place.

“… the queen’s pet, Hadley…”

“That big-mouthed fuckin’ cunt!” I exclaimed, determined to kill my traitorous cousin with my bare hands at the first given opportunity. She’d always been nothing but trouble, and all kinds of jealous of me.

It wasn’t until I looked into Eric’s face, his mouth agape and eyebrows raised, that I realized what I’d said.

“Well… she is,” is said quietly as I tried to bury my face in his chest.

His bellowing laughter as his arms wound around me quickly washed away any embarrassment I felt at my uncharacteristically crass words.

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So, here’s chapter one (or two, depending on how you look at things, lol.). This will be a mix of lemons and plot, though my muses are chanting “lemon, lemon, lemon!” at me, so I’m thinking there’ll be a lot of them!

Review if the impulse strikes *muah*

Love and hugs to all – thanks for taking this journey with me!

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