Close to Dead

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Chapter 19: So Help me God

I looked up at Larkin from my place on the back steps, “Repeat that, and then explain it. You want me, how?

He smiled, cocked one eyebrow in the air and laughed. I didn’t see what was so amusing, so I said, “Seriously, you want me?”

“Yes, of course I do.”

“In what way?” I struggled with the concept. My mind was on overdrive because this man, fairy, vampire combo was supposed to be my cousin, and though I was raised in the south, I don’t quite go for that ‘sleeping with your cousin’ sort of thing. I mean, this was Louisiana, not Kentucky, right? (*Sorry Kentucky)

He reached for my hand, but I flinched and placed both my hands under my legs on the cement steps. He grinned, “In what way do you think I want you? You are a beautiful, desirable woman, who is part fae, just like me. There is no one more perfect for me. I am an unnatural creature, perhaps the only one of my kind, and in many ways, you too are one of a kind.”

“Na-ah,” I said as a no. “Jason is the same as me, mostly human, part fae, so was my cousin Hadley, and well, I don’t know if you have any brothers or sisters, (if he had sisters, he probably would want to marry them or something) but Fintan might have other children out there.”

“But you’re different than Jason, different than Hadley,” he said smoothly, coming closer. He placed a finger under my chin, forcing me to stare into his eyes. “I’m different than Hadley. She was vampire, who used to be a human and who had fae ancestry. I’m mostly fae, Sookie, and somehow, even though I’ve been turned, I still hold all the characteristics of a fairy. I can go out in the daytime, I still have most of my magic and powers, and I’m still susceptible to iron. I just happen to have fangs occasionally, and a propensity toward blood. I don’t need blood to keep me alive, unlike most Vampires. You see, I’m an oddity, as are you.”

He released my chin and sat beside me. “Those who know my dirty little secret, that being that I’m part vampire, think of me as an oddity. The truth is, very few people know that I am part vampire. Very few. That was what Eric held over my head, well, and something else. He threatened to tell. I’m not even certain how he found out, probably from Niall. It doesn’t make a difference, because the king now knows, as does the new Sheriff, Victor.”

“Victor’s the new Sheriff?” I asked stiffly. I wonder what Pam and the others thought about that.

“Temporarily, yes,” he replied.

“Okay, back the bus up, tell me how I fit in the equation again, because you’re one of the best looking men I’ve ever met, next to Eric, of course. You could get any woman, so why me?”

Seriously, why me? I knew why most vampires were drawn to me … it was the fairy blood, but the fairy blood wouldn’t draw another fairy to me, would it?

He smiled, and again, I was almost struck by the sheer beauty of the man, and then I shuddered, because of the fear I felt when I was near him. “I think we could be good together, you and I, also, I want to see if we could possibly have an offspring together. I believe I’m still fertile, unlike other vampires.”

“Well, yuck,” I blurted, turning crimson. I stood up. “I’m your cousin, and even if we did have a baby together, it would probably have three eyes or would be missing a few chromosomes. We’re related!”

He laughed again, and it struck me that his laugh was as menacing as his smile. “In the fae realm, it is not so unusual for those of the same bloodline to mate and have offspring. It is often done.”

“You want to be a father that badly?”

“You’re so naïve sometimes, Sookie,” he offered by way of explanation. “I want the power that our mating would give me. I want to be the beginning of something, I want to be at the pinnacle, the very heart of a race, the first. You would be at my right hand. You would have power beyond what you can imagine. With your gifts, and my bloodline, we could easily rule the supernatural world.”

“I just want to be a normal woman,” I insisted. If only things were that simple.

“And marriage to Eric Northman is normal? Being bonded to him is your life’s dream?” He shook his head, held my chin between his thumb and forefinger and said, “You are naïve. I’ll give you time to consider my offer.”

He started to walk away but I called out, “What’s in it for me?”

“Ah … of course,” he smiled. “It would be remiss of me not to offer you something in return. I would fight to have Eric released. I may not be successful, but I promise you I would try.”

“I’m bonded to him, by blood and a pledge. That wouldn’t be easily broken. Besides, once he was free, he would kill you.”

“No, he wouldn’t,” he said with calm certainty, shaking his head. He stepped so close to me I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and goose bumps form on my arms. “Because believe me, he is powerful, and strong, but I am more so. Also, if you were the one to break the pledge to him, he would have to give you up willingly.” He leaned forward more, though he was already close enough that I could see every pore on his face, and he kissed my cheek.

“Think about it, Sookie,” he urged. “Otherwise, Eric might not live to see another year, and I would still have you in the end. Your choices are few. Have me, and Eric lives, or have me, and Eric dies. It seems like a clear cut choice to me.” He called out to Alcide, who walked out the door. He walked by me, not looking back at me once, the stupid coward.

They both walked toward the woods, and once at the edge, Larkin turned back and said, “I’ll give you a week to decide, Sookie, but only a week.”

Sam and my brother stood behind me by this time. I turned and explained everything to them. Jason called Larkin every choice name he could think of and then some. Sam made a few faces, but kept quiet. He finally said, “I think I might know one last person who can help us, Sookie, but it’s a gamble, and it will require me to leave for a few days. Will you be okay until I get back?”

“I’ll take care of her, along with Vampire Bill,” Jason said. “After all, she’s my sister. The others from Hotshot will help out, too.”

“Well, actually, Bill will probably have to come with me,” Sam explained, without really explaining. We all waited until sunset, and when Bill came walking through the graveyard, toward my house, Sam ran out to meet him. They stood there, talking for a real long time.

When they both came back to my house, I went back out to the back steps, and I watched as they approached. When Sam was upon me, I merely nodded to him. I didn’t know what he had planned, and I knew we needed all the help we could get. I sat on the steps until Bill came to say goodbye to me, and then he and Sam left. Jason said he would spend the night. He made a frozen pizza, and popped a movie into the DVD player.

I took a long bath, and while in the bath, I inevitably thought of Eric. I remembered one time, before the Fairy War, when he came over to visit me. I closed my eyes to relive this memory clearly. I needed to remember him. I needed to feel close to him. I needed him.

We had just argued, as we did so often, but I don’t even recall why we argued, or what we had said to each other. It wasn’t a bad argument, it was just one where he had irritated me to no end, as he always did. He thought he was right about something, and I thought I was right about something, and neither of us would concede to the other.

I finally yelled at him to get out of my house (although I didn’t rescind his invitation or anything), and went to my bedroom, and fell backwards on my bed, and stared up at the ceiling. Eric walked in the room, uninvited, unannounced, and after I had already told him to get the hell out of my house.

“Did you come to apologize?” I asked him.

“What do you think?” he asked. He placed his body beside mine on my bed, his hand coming to rest on my stomach. Then, he did something shocking. He tickled me. It was such a human, natural, normal thing to do. Something a human boyfriend might do to make his human girlfriend smile.

However, I barely smiled at him.

He leaned over and kissed my lips. He placed sweet little kisses over all my face, and my mouth. His fingertips traced the line of my lips, and then my eyebrows. He kissed the corners of my mouth, then just the top lip, then the bottom lip, and then he brought his tongue out and traced the line of my lips again.

He repeated this until he had kissed me so many times that I had lost count, yet he never deepened the kiss. The very last time, he kept his lips on mine and with more pressure and force, he opened my mouth to him. His kiss intensified as his hands went to my breasts.

He did the same little thing to my breasts as he had done to my mouth. On the outside of my blouse, he traced little lines with his fingers all around my nipples, up and over my breast, and occasionally he would kiss me over my blouse. When his hands were on my breasts, I happily opened my mouth to him.

I brought both hands up to his neck, to the back of his head, to hold him closer. I squirmed on the bed, trying to get him to lie on top of me, or trying to get me on top of him, but he showed amazing restraint. He seemed content to stay beside me.

I reached over and unbuttoned his shirt; at the exact moment, he slipped mine over my head. Clad in only a bra from the waist up, he looked at me intimately. I can honestly say that he looked at me with love. I swear his skin was smooth and like porcelain. He moved my bra down, and kissed my exposed breasts. He kissed one breast, and then he would place his tongue flat against the whole areola. He swirled the tip with his tongue, bringing it to a hard point. He did the same to the other. My hands weren’t unoccupied. They stroked his back, shoulders, and chest. He stood up, removed his pants, and then he slowly unzipped my jeans, shimmed them down my legs, and threw them to the floor.

We hadn’t exchanged a single word since he started his little assault. We didn’t need words, not when we had kisses and hands, and such.

Nevertheless, the spell was broken when he looked down in my face and said, “Do you concede that I was right earlier and that you were wrong?” I was shocked, and about to tell him that I conceded nothing when he added, “Do you know how much I love you? Do you know that I love every single little thing about you?” He kissed my lips and said, “I love your red, full lips. They look like rose petals, and I love the way they give me pleasure, and I love them even when they are pressed in a firm line, like now, because you’re angry because I brought up that I was right. Don’t be angry.” He leaned forward and kissed my lips. “I even love them when words come out of them that inflict pain, because I know that pleasure is soon to follow. But I especially love them when they smile.”

And right on cue, I had to smile.

“I love your neck, so long, soft and also for the obvious reason.” He gave me a somewhat evil grin, showing fang, and then with a gentle pressure, he skimmed the points of his fangs down the long column of my neck. He bit me gently, sucking only for a moment, enough to make me whimper and sigh, and then gave it a long lick to seal the wound.

“I love your breasts, but of course,” he said, “They are two of my favorite things in the whole world.” He kissed one breast, and then he leaned over and stroked the other one with a long, even, lick of his tongue.

“I love your flat stomach and the way it trembles when you laugh,” he said. He brought his hand to travel down my stomach. He dipped his tongue in my belly button, and then he tickled me with his hand again, to illustrate the way my stomach moved when I laughed.

He sat up on the bed and his fingertips gently traveling down one arm. “I love the way your arms wrap around my body and hold me tight when we embrace. I love your delicate hands, and the way they stroke me, making me full of desire.” My arms came up to his neck, to hold him and he leaned down to kiss my mouth again.

He sat back up and said, “Your beautiful, attractive, legs are two things I can’t get enough of, and which I love to stare at whenever I can.” He moved his hand down my right thigh, to my knee, and over my calf. Then he brought his hand up the left leg, starting at the foot, to the calf, to the knee, to the thigh. He rested his hand on my bare hipbone. I felt a wave of desire hit me so strong, that I almost felt an orgasm coming on, and all he had done was touch me.

He kissed the inside of my thigh and I know that I moaned.

“Do you only love me for the way I look?” I challenged.

“Why else would I love you?” he asked in return, then he smiled, and rested his chin on my stomach, his body beside mine.

“That’s the only reason I love you, too,” I lied.

“Good, then we’re even,” he said. He climbed up my body, kissing every inch he could, and then his hand went between my legs, and he moved his hand gently over the top of me.

“Would I sound shallower than we both already know that I am if I said that this might be my favorite body part?” His hand stroked me gently, his fingers not yet entering me. I still quivered.

“Can you be shallower? Isn’t that impossible?” I asked, though I was now out of breath, and I had to close my eyes. I bit down on my bottom lip to keep from screaming.

He kept a steady rhythm and a steady pressure with his hand, and I know I was beginning to make small, strange noises. He finally leaned his face very close to mine and he whispered, “Do you want me to finish showing you how much I love you, beloved?”

“Yes, please,” I whimpered, no longer having any composure whatsoever. There was not enough oxygen to fill my lungs.

My hips moved with his hand, he entered me with two fingers. I started to climax that fast, but when he removed his fingers, I cried out, to tell him to come back, but he replaced his hand with another part of his body. He shut his eyes, apparently concentrating on what we both loved the most.

He continued his rhythmic movement back and forth, and my legs contracted and I cried out once more, and suddenly he was on his back, and he propped me over his body, placing me on his throbbing erection, and we completed what he had started, but we completed it together.

When we were both down from our high, I put my hands on his chest, my legs on top of his and my head on his shoulder. I felt him kiss the top of my head. I wished he had a heartbeat for me to listen to, or breathing for me to concentrate on, but he had neither, so the only thing I could hear was my own heartbeat, my own breathing, and I sighed. It would have to be enough.

I think I fell asleep, because a little bit later, I was on my side, and he was on his side, and he was staring at me, still stroking my body, just here and there and everywhere. I forced my eyes opened and I said, “Thank you for showing me how much you love me, Eric. I appreciated it.”

He laughed, a true laugh. “Anything for you, Sookie. It’s always nice to be appreciated. Go to sleep, lover. I’ll stay for a while longer, but soon I’ll have to go.” He pulled me to his side. “By the way, I still say that I was right earlier. Wouldn’t you agree that I was right and you were wrong?”

Was he joking? After lovemaking like that, I didn’t even remember why we were fighting, but I was never one to concede to anything, or back down from a fight, so I said, “No, I really think I was right.”

Now, lying here in the bath, remember that night, and thinking about how stubborn, he was and how stubborn I was, and still unable to remember why we fought that night, I made a vow to myself. I sat up, wiped away tears that I didn’t know I had cried, and I vowed to be stubborn once more. I wasn’t going to give up on Eric quite so easily. I wasn’t going to give Larkin what he wanted. I was going to get Eric back, come hell or high water, so help me God.

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