Sam and I hadn’t talked much since I stopped working for him, a phone call here and there was all. He hadn’t been happy with my decision to quit or the reasons behind it, in fact he’d tried to talk me out of leaving Eric, even leaving the area to get away from the vampires who seemed to get me into dangerous situations. It was hard to make him understand that what was between Eric and I was more than a passing crush without sounding like a love-sick teenager. I didn’t want to tell him everything my Great-grandfather had told us, and eventually, we just agreed to disagree. We’d known each other too long to let it end our friendship, though clearly, based on how little we talked afterwords, it had put a substantial wedge between us.
Things back in Shreveport were calming down. We knew who was responsible for the bar attack, Alcide was out of jail, the Tribunal was set for the weekend, but Eric still felt that I shouldn’t come all of the way out to Bon Temps alone. I had laughed at that one for hours. All of the way. I’d made the drive more than a hundred times before I officially moved in with him, but suddenly it was too far and he was worried. I sighed. Men.
After my conversation with Amelia, I had tried to call Sam and see what was going on with his new girlfriend, but I’d had to leave a voice-mail letting him know Eric and I were coming for a visit. I was a little nervous about seeing everyone at Merlotte’s, but I hoped that after an awkward moment or two we would all be able to get back to normal.
Eric said he wanted to talk to Sam about some distributor issues Barry was having and was more than willing to be my escort for the night. Whether his distributor issues were real or not remained to be seen, but I appreciated that he at least made pretense for joining me other than his need to protect me. Pam had probably been reading Dear Abby to him again.
Amelia texted that she staked out the large, round table in the corner. It felt strange when Eric and I came in the front door of Merlotte’s like paying customers, but I guess we were. I looked around as we entered, but didn’t see anyone I didn’t recognize and certainly not someone with a strange vibe. Sam saw us from behind the bar and indicated he’d be over in a minute. Then I saw Terry talking to the cook and realized Sam had gotten him to come in and cover for him.
I heard Amelia thinking at me. She’s not here, Sookie. Do you think she’s coming? There’s something not right about her…
I had to smile. Bless Amelia for adopting Sam into her heart and being so worried but relax already!
Sam gave me a big hug saying it was good to see me before shaking Eric’s hand. He was just stepping back, when a thin, dark-haired woman came into the bar. I was trying to read Sam’s thoughts when I heard Eric make a little noise and felt his thoughts go a little haywire. I stepped back and saw him staring at the woman with a look of surprise. That was really an accomplishment.
She met Eric’s eyes and walked towards us. Sam turned at the same instant and his eyes lit up. Oh Shit. This was Sam’s girlfriend. Her thoughts had the hum of some kind of shifter, and it seemed that Eric knew her.
Who is she? I thought at him, trying not to be jealous.
I do not know.
I gave him a look as she hugged Sam and he gave her a little kiss.
Eric tried to clear his head and began again. I don’t know who she is, Sookie. The woman she resembles is long dead.
Before Sam could make introductions, she turned and looked right at Eric with a grin. “So, you have not gone into the beyond? Great Grandmother is pleased that we are meeting. I feel it in the wind.” Eric gave her a little nod and her words made me shiver a little. She continued, “My name is Pia, you must be Eric and Sookie. I’ve heard a lot about both of you.”
She really was a striking woman with Native American bone structure and coloring. Her skin was a rich café au lait color and her eyes a deep brown that you could drown in. Her hair was down to the middle of her back and had a glossy sheen that only Native American hair had.
I was studying her a little while Amelia was freaking out in her head. She is so weird! Her Great Grandmother knew Eric? That’s crazy!
Sam chuckled a little. “I’ve only said good things about you, Sook. I swear.”
Eric narrowed his eyes. “You do not say the same about me?” Sam’s body tensed and then Eric smiled.
“So, you knew Pia’s Great Grandmother?” I asked.
“Yes,” Eric said with a far away look. “It was a different time. She was a healer. She said she’d been given a sign that we would help her people in a time of need so she was not afraid of our kind. She was an amazing woman. It’s an honor to meet you, Pia.”
Pia smiled. “She told many stories of the Viking who lived only at night and came to our fires. I would love to talk to you more about her sometime.”
I could tell what Amelia meant when she said she couldn’t get a good read on Pia. When I listened to her thoughts, I heard the buzzing of a shifter, but also, a strange echo. It was like I was hearing more than one voice in her head. None of the voices were alarming, but there was definitely more than usual going on in there. I think I was actually hearing her ancestors as they guided her. I had never experienced anything like it.
We chatted for a few minutes about how she and Sam had met at a restaurant and hospitality trade show. They laughed about how they had to travel to Kansas City to find each other when they both lived in Louisiana. Pia was a manager of one of the lounges at the Paragon Casino over in Marksville that was operated by the Tunica-Biloxi tribe. It was a couple hours drive over to Bon Temps, but she and Sam had been taking turns traveling and making it work. She had enough seniority to be able to get two or three days off at a time, and Sam had the luxury of being able to leave whenever Terry could cover for him.
After a while, Sam, Pia and Eric went to Sam’s office to talk about the distributors they used. Amelia and I weren’t alone more than a second when she started in, “Okay, Sook. What’s the deal with her?”
“Amelia, you can relax. You can’t get a good read on her because she’s part shifter. Really though, she seems harmless. She has been thinking how cool it is to meet Eric and that maybe he can tell her some stories about her ancestors. She is really into Sam. She didn’t even think about how hot Eric is, and I hear that from, like, everyone.”
“What kind of shifter is she? Is she a wolf or a bear or something? I mean, she’d be from a different pack over there; she could be anything, right?”
I laughed. “I’m actually not sure what she is. I don’t smell wolf on her, and my nose is actually getting good at detecting that. I could smell it on Alcide’s cousin when he was at the house before. I didn’t used to be able to smell it. Anyway, I can hear the hum in her brain of a shifter, but I can’t put my finger on what she can shift into. I really think she’s harmless.”
“Well damn. That’s not nearly as exciting as I hoped for.”
“Amelia, she said her great grandmother talked to her on the wind and she knew Eric. That’s enough for me to process tonight.”
They finished in the office and we all said goodbyes. Eric drove us back to Shreveport at the only speed he knew, frighteningly fast. His phone had started alerting him to voice-mails about half-way through the drive. He stepped into the living room to return some calls, and I could hear him thinking about how ridiculous that his cell service lapsed while we were in Bon Temps. He was muttering, vacillating between English and old Norse, and it made me smile.
We were preparing for the Tribunal in the next couple of days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Eric wanted me to stay locked up in the house with Thor during the proceedings. He and Gordy had worked out their plan with Blake, the King of Georgia, and they would be prosecuting Gill to the fullest extent for all of the vampire laws, rules, edicts, or whatever you want to call them, that he violated. It sounded like there would be a lot of spectators coming to town for the event. Gill had pissed off a lot of people over the years and most were now willing to speak out against him, as long as the others were doing it too.
I ran a bath and laid out some clothes for the morning since I was working a daytime shift at Ellsey’s store. Eric came in to the bedroom as I was deciding which underwear would work best under my new leather skirt.
He picked up a scrap of black lace. “I don’t know why you bother, Lover.”
“Those are for daytime, Eric.”
“Yes,” he said as he put his arms around me from behind, “but daytime leads to nighttime, and I don’t like the way they slow things down.” He moved my hair out of the way and was kissing my neck.
“You could have fooled me. I thought you got off on ripping them off me.”
He licked and nipped a little at my jugular. “I do enjoy that, but could do without it.”
I was wearing a tank top and boy shorts that were definitely in his way as he slid his hands into the front of them. I was beginning to shiver a little, the anticipation building, as he caressed me softly and whispered sweetly about the way my skin smelled and tasted. He pushed the shorts down my legs slowly and the backs of his hands ghosted up my calves on the way back up. I gasped a little as I felt his lips at the base of my spine. Thankfully, I was near the dresser so I could reach out and hold on to steady myself.
He stood slowly and ran his hands up my chest to cup my breasts. His thumbs automatically began running circles around my nipples, and I felt myself getting wet. He pulled one hand away and licked his fingers before he brought it back, pinching my nipple as he rubbed himself against my back. I reached an arm around his neck to hold him to me and pushed back towards him. He kissed my shoulder and lifted the tank over my head. I was naked and exposed while he stood fully clothed behind me.
I turned to try to correct that problem and reached for his waist band, but he lifted me up and carried me to the bed, laying me out before him. I licked my lips as I watched him trail his hands over my stomach and down to my hips where he placed light kisses before he ever so lightly ran his tongue along my length. My mind was going crazy, I wanted more, but the sensations of Eric being so gentle were short circuiting everything. I wanted him to continue what he was doing, to do it harder, or faster or to do more, but he had to keep doing something.
“Oh God Eric, I…”
“Shhhh, Lover. It’s alright.”
He continued to work me slowly, almost reverently. It was worshipful and amazing. Tantalizing sweeps of his tongue and slow circles with his fingers had me gasping and writhing on the bed. When he drank from the vein in my thigh, I felt tears run down my face as I came, and when he moved his mouth back to my center I arched into him and it started over. He moved up my body while I was floating and traced his tongue along my skin. He began kissing me just as sweetly as he’d treated my lower body, and I couldn’t take it anymore.
I surprised us both with my strength when I flipped us over and sat atop him looking into his eyes. They were as glassy as I was sure mine were and it fueled my desire. I hastily unzipped his pants to unleash his erection and took him in my hands, moaning a little as I imagined him inside of me. I was dripping wet and still breathing a little heavy from my orgasm. When I met his eyes and he reached up to cup my breasts, I lost all thought and had to have him inside of me. I lifted up and impaled myself on him, shocking both of us. All sweetness was gone and we began fucking like the world was ending. I ripped his shirt up the middle and ran my hands over his chest while he slammed me up and down on himself. It didn’t take long for me to come again, but he just kept thrusting into me until I felt his muscles tense and saw him clench his teeth. I leaned my head back and arched my back as he thrust the last time and he ground me against his center.
Minutes later, he began laughing. I was lying sprawled out over his chest, with him still inside of me, covered in sweat. I raised my head enough to make eye contact. What? I thought, not having enough energy to actually talk.
Somehow, Lover, we managed to change roles. You managed to ravage me and leave me half clothed. That is usually my job.
I smiled and realized he was right. I laughed. It’s the new vampire diet. It does a body good.