As we entered the office Eric nodded at Ivan standing at the door and said, “Igor.”
I gasped a little at his mistake and whispered, “Ivan.”
Eric looked at me strangely for a second, and then chuckled. “Twins,” he said. “That’s Igor.”
I looked again, but the gaurd looked exactly like Ivan to me.
Eric was still smiling. “The only difference is that Igor does not speak.”
I sat on the couch and Eric made several quick calls on his cell phone, speaking quickly and quietly so I still had no idea what was going on. Bill joined us with Pam, while Igor remained outside the door, protecting us and keeping an eye on Bubba.
I was still in a strange state of suspended belief that I had heard Bubba perform. No one else seemed really that awestruck, and they were ready to discuss the impending attack. I was glad I had just gotten a refill on my G & T, I had a feeling I was going to need it. It was just now 10 p.m., we had two hours until New Year’s and about four hours to prepare for whatever battle lay ahead.
Eric looked from Pam to Bill. “I’m sorry to call you away from the party. I received an interesting phone call from Packmaster Herveaux a few moments ago. He has a tip that there are several raids planned by the King of Florida. Apparently, Lars thinks we are vulnerable because our King has not taken residence here, and he is targeting the three most powerful Sheriffs in Louisiana.”
Bill looked thoughtful. “What does that have to do with the pack?”
“Apparently, Lars knows we have worked together before. What is it you say Sookie?” He paused, “They have our back?”
“He thinks simultaneous attacks on all three areas and the Shreveport Were pack will be enough to throw off the power balance so he can take over.”
“What of Brandon and Itzel?” Pam asked. I guessed those were the two other targeted Sheriffs.
“I just called them. Itzel is in Mexico for the holiday. I spoke to Jerome, her second, and I spoke to Brandon briefly. They were both hosting parties as well and needed to get to safe phone lines. We will call them again after we’ve established a plan.”
I had been listening quietly, but felt there were some details missing. “Where and when are these attacks supposed to take place? How does Alcide know all of this and how would they catch the pack all together, or is he another target?” I thought Eric might be upset at me for speaking up, but he seemed pleased I was getting involved.
“One of the Alcide’s cousins does security at a Supe bar in Jacksonville. At dusk tonight, he overheard Lars talking with some Florida Weres about Shreveport and began to pay closer attention. They are planning to attack our businesses. Brandon owns a bar in Lafayette called Longnecks and Itzel has a banquet center called Timeless outside of Baton Rouge. They will attack later tonight when our parties end. They assume we’ll be too tired and distracted from celebrating to protect our assets. The Weres are having their own party in town tonight. Again, Lars thinks they will not be on guard.”
Everyone seemed to think things over for a moment.
Pam leaned forward and her fangs ran out, “How do you plan to punish them?”
I laughed to myself. Not how will we defeat them, but punish them. Vampires are so cocky.
Eric had his hands tented in front of his mouth while he thought. “I believe a group of us will need to leave after midnight so we can be out of the way and it will appear that we have no idea what is going on and we are leaving the fort unguarded, as they say. We will regroup a distance away and prepare to ambush. We will attack from both sides when they make their move and scare the hell out of them. Lars was always too cocksure for his own good.”
Bill hesitated. “I hate to ask, but how will we help the Weres?”
Eric snorted a little. “I would like to say they are on their own, but Alcide brought this to our attention, and Sookie is a friend of the pack. I think we will make them aware of our plan. Their party is in the warehouse district and there is plenty of room for them to make the same sort of ambush. They will need to make sure that some of their strongest fighters are on each side of the attack just as we will. Their party was catered by Quinn’s company. The tiger is there with a number of other Weres and Supes on his staff, they will help. I think Lars has no idea of the capabilities of the Were population we have. I should like to watch that fight, but I suppose,” he winked at me, “I will be busy.”
Bill nodded and both he and Pam stood as if ready to leave. She looked at Eric and asked simply, “What do you need of me?”
“Please call Brandon and Jerome. Be sure they understand the seriousness of the threat and that we cannot assist them.”
Pam nodded and left without a word. Eric changed his attention on Bill. “Compton, please speak to some of our influential friends in the bar; Titus, Chan, Enrique, the Scot. You know the ones. I will need a strong group to leave with us shortly and another group prepared to defend from inside the bar.” He looked at me longingly, and then focused on Bill again, “Now, leave. I need to speak with Sookie. I will find you when we are finished.”
Bill left and with a quick look over his shoulder at me, he closed the door.
“Lover, give me one minute to call the Were. I must tell him our plan.”
I nodded and waited while he made the call. I was sitting on Eric’s long black leather couch and wiped my hands over my face. When I moved my hands away, Eric’s face was right in front of mine. I knew he was searching the bond to see what I was thinking or feeling.
Through clenched teeth I heard, “This is not your fault.”
I sighed a little, but looked down with doubt. “I know it’s unrealistic, but you were at peace until tonight. I’m not even here one full night and you’re under attack.”
He put his hands in my hair and held my head so that I had to look at him. “This has nothing to do with you. It is Lars being a power hungry bastard. Sookie, I am sorry that it is ruining our evening.” He gently kissed my lips and ran the back of his hand along my collar bone. “I would give up everything to spare you being involved with this. I know you don’t believe me, but I would, for you.”
I kissed him back, gently again, and sighed a little, I sighed a lot when I was with him. “Oh, Eric. You wouldn’t be happy if you gave up all of this. I know that.” I smiled at him, “I still don’t want to talk about all of this tonight.”
“No. You promised me not tonight. And,” I think I started to blush, “If something were to happen tonight, I don’t want my last memory to be of us talking.”
I kissed him again; this time there was no gentleness. I was feeling possessive again. He was my Viking, and he was going to go into battle. Eric responded in kind. He was kissing me back and pushing the fabric of my dress up around my waist. I was trying to reach his belt. He ran his hands up my thighs and cupped me. I gasped a little, forgetting I had lost my underwear in the limo. I was hot and ready and still struggling to get his damn old fashioned belt off when he pushed me back on the couch.
He was looming over me like an animal ready to devour his prey. His palm pressed against me and my body knew it was a tease. He kissed me and leaned in to lick my neck. I was moaning and moving against his hand. He lightly kissed my breasts through my dress and moved to my center. I was watching him, almost mesmerized, when he blew a hot breath on my smooth wet core.
“I will never get enough of you.”
I bit my lip, his words fueling my desire. He made love to me with his mouth, stroking and drinking until I was at the edge of release. His eyes locked on mine, as he slowly inserted two fingers and then pulled them out even slower. He continued with the slow and lazy movements and began pressing my most sensitive spot with his thumb. It didn’t take long for me to start screaming his name and struggling to breathe. When I felt I couldn’t take anymore, he took over with his mouth again and I shattered. While my body was still quaking, he moved his mouth to bite my thigh and I came all over again. Thankfully the music was so loud that no one could hear my screams. Aw hell, the vampires probably could. I didn’t really care at that point.
I was still gasping for breath when he rose up over me. He put his fingers in his mouth, slowly withdrawing them with a smile of satisfaction, and I thought I would die. He kissed me and I could smell and taste myself on his skin and in his mouth. Somehow he had removed his belt without my help and his pants were simply tied at the waist. He pulled the string and freed himself while we were kissing and his arousal pressed against my stomach. He rubbed against me and I tried to grab him to direct him where I needed him most. He grinned a little and made another long, slow, agonizing stroke. I whimpered and he moaned, then he filled me with one long stroke.
He locked eyes with me again, that was his thing and I had to admit it was pretty sexy. I had forgotten how complete I felt with him inside me. I almost whined when he began to pull out, but I knew it was only so he could enter me again. He growled and I knew he couldn’t control himself much longer. He made a couple of long strokes and then he lost it.
He was almost snarling and bearing his fangs as he pounded into me. He continued thrusting and breathed my name, “Sookie.”
I dug my nails into his back and came. He moved one of my legs up over his shoulder and with a couple more powerful strokes, he closed his eyes and I could feel him releasing inside of me.
He put his head on my forehead and looked into my eyes. “Lover, you never cease to amaze me.”
I laughed. “Right back at ya, Viking.”
He moved a little inside of me and I could tell he was ready, already, again.
“This is my favorite part of preparing for battle, Lover,” he sighed.
His pulled out of me and I groaned. He laughed and gave me a quick kiss before moving me to where he wanted, leaning over the arm of the couch.
He ran a finger down my spine and began slowly rubbing me with the tip of his cock. He moved his free hand to crush my breast and then slammed into me like a freight train. This was not going to be gentle. He was only one man, but he was everywhere. He moved his other hand around to the front of me, so he was massaging my breast and my core and slamming me from behind. I felt him moving inside of me and his sac slapping against me, it was overwhelming. I couldn’t do anything but push back against him and try to maintain some sort of balance. He timed his thrusts so that just as he leaned forward and sunk his fangs into my shoulder; he pushed into me to the hilt. I was undone. I couldn’t hold myself up and I was actually crying from the force of my orgasm. My body was milking him as he thrust and pulled me against him like we couldn’t get close enough. With a snarl, he locked my body against him and came in waves.
I was breathing hard and wiping tears from my face. Eric’s eyes were glazed over a little and he was resting all of his weight on me. It didn’t help my breathing. After a second, he picked me up and moved us so I was laying on him on the couch. I had to blink my eyes to regain their focus.
“You’re going to have the energy to fight after that?”
He laughed. I loved it when we were lying like this and he laughed. I could feel his chest rumble and see the twinkle in his eyes.
“I’ll have time to regain my strength; we don’t expect the attack for several hours,” he laughed, “but thank you for your concern, Lover.”
We stayed like that for a few minutes and I sat up to look him in the eyes. “Eric, I don’t know what all of this means for us. All I know is that this is exactly where I want to be.”
He was looking back at me with longing and what could have been love, but we were so not having that conversation tonight. “Lover, I would have you at my side at all times.”
I felt myself getting misty eyed. “Eric, I.”
Oh Lord, was I going to say it? I was blinking back tears and shaking my head a little, “I think it would destroy me if something happened to you.”
He kissed me gently. “Lover, nothing will happen to me. I have fought too many battles to count and I am still here. It touches my heart to know you care, and I will do all that I can to come back to you.”
I laid my head back down with a sigh and just rested, running my hands through his hair. I’m not sure how long we stayed like that, but eventually Eric sat up a little to kiss me on the lips again.
He sighed and ran his hands over my back. “Lover, I need to speak to some friends in the bar to be sure we are prepared for the fight.” He looked at me rather searchingly, and I smiled back.
“Let me straighten up and I’ll go out there with you.” I was afraid he didn’t want me to listen in when he talked with some of the vamps I didn’t know, so I said, “I’ll just get a drink and sit at the bar.”
He raised that delicious eyebrow. “I told you I would have you at my side at all times, Lover. You do not have to sit at the bar.”
I straightened my dress and hair and fixed my lipstick for the second time since leaving home with Eric. We opened the door to go back into the bar and I realized Igor was still standing there. I gasped a little and blushed, wondering what all he had heard with his vampire hearing. I knew, that in reality though, he had heard it all.
Eric just laughed and took my hand and led me into the bar. Heads turned and everyone looked at Eric, apparently Bill and Pam had been spreading the word. He gave a curt nod to the whole group and moved towards Pam. A waitress immediately brought me a gin and tonic and Eric a perfectly warmed blood.
Pam nodded at Eric and told him the phone calls had been made and that the other Sheriffs were ready as well. He nodded.
“Thank you, Pam. I will meet you at the rendezvous point around 1:30.”
She nodded again, and Eric moved us farther into the bar. We actually mingled this time, walking around so Eric could speak to everyone he needed to. There were a lot of vamps I didn’t know at the party, and Eric was introducing me to many of them. It was kind of freaky though, many of them smiled and said they’d heard so much about me, and I hadn’t heard anything about them. I could really just smile and nod a lot, so I hoped I wasn’t making a complete ass out of myself.
When we walked up to the giant Scot, I could feel my heart beating a little faster. See, I’ve read this series of books with an amazing Highland Scot character. Plus I’m a huge fan of the Highlander movies. I knew the accent was going to bowl me over, but so help me, if this guy said his name was Jamie Fraser, or said something like “There can be only one,” I would probably come instantly, thanks to Eric getting me all sexed up, and faint on the spot.
Seriously, you’ve got to read the books to understand, but anyway, we approached the Scot and he nodded at us.
Eric nodded back. “Scot. I believe you’ve heard about the impending battle.”
He nodded again. “Aye. Where do you need me?”
Oh sweet mother of all that’s holy, he did have an accent. I was trying not to stare and drool. So much for not making an ass of myself.
Eric didn’t seem to notice, and kept talking to the man.
“I need you to stay here, Bran. They plan to attack as guests are leaving the club. I’d like you to be the first one out the door.”
He nodded. “Aye.”
There was a lot of nodding going on between these two, apparently Bran was a man of few words, which was better for me.
Then he looked at me very intently, cocked his head and looked back at Eric, “Your lassie, she’s part fae, no?”
Oh crap, that wasn’t good. But Eric smiled, although he did not confirm or deny anything.
The Scot smiled back. “Take good care of her, aye? The fae magick is to be protected.” He paused and went on, “I’ll be your lead man, Eric and I want Chan nearby. Two swords are better than one, no?”
Eric nodded one last time and we walked away.
“Lover,” he laughed, “you need to stop reading those books of yours.”
I was shocked. “You knew? I didn’t think you knew!”
He laughed again, pulling me into his arms and began kissing me just below my ear. “I could feel your desire through the bond,” he whispered. “And I’ve seen those damn books around your house. Amelia told me you ordered them on CD so you could hear them read with an accent.”
He kissed me where my pulse beat on my neck.
“Eric,” I sighed.
“I would be jealous, but I know it’s only a fantasy. And besides, I’ve known him for centuries, Bran is very much in love with his mate. He would never stray.”
He moved back to my lips and gave my lower lip a little bite while grabbing my ass and rubbing his length against me.
“I’m going enjoy fucking you over and over and making you scream my name until those fantasies mean nothing and all you can think of is me.”
I was barely breathing. “I think you just took care of that.”
He laughed. “Oh, you’re not off the hook so easily, Lover. Come, I still have some people to speak with and it’s almost midnight.”
Eric finished making his rounds with a couple of minutes to spare before the clock struck twelve. A waitress brought me champagne and gave Eric another blood. We stepped onto the dance floor and the band began to play an old song. It was kind of perfect for the vamps, Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce.
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
Eric and I were slow dancing and people were migrating to the dance floor for the big moment. I loved the feel of our bodies lightly pressed together and his hands making circles on my lower back. Eric had actually been humming along to the song, which made me chuckle. He didn’t have anything like this on his playlist, but I supposed he was alive when Croce was at his most popular.
As the song ended Eric moved back a little so we were looking at each other. The last lines of the song played, and Eric spoke the words along with the music.
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with
Before I could say anything, he kissed me. It was lazy and sweet and full of promise.
While were kissing, I heard everyone around us begin counting down. When they reached zero, balloons were released from a net on the ceiling and confetti fell all around us. The band played Auld Lang Syne but Eric and I just kept holding each other and kissing sweetly.
When we finally separated, I was looking into his beautiful eyes.
He shook his head slightly. “No words, Lover. We won’t speak of it tonight, but the song was just too perfect.”
He grinned and vamps were still hugging each other (how weird was that?) and saying “Happy New Year!” I heard it in several languages; French, Spanish, even Italian. I realized that hanging out with vamps was exposing me to quite an international mix of cultures.
The band broke into some good old rock and roll, and I made Eric stay out on the floor to dance with me. He was a good dancer and the crowd left a little circle of space around us out of respect for him, so we had plenty of room to get down. We did some old fashioned dips and spins and I moved in to do some bootie shaking that made Eric show a little fang. We stayed out there for a few songs, but I knew we needed to get ready to leave.
Eventually we headed to the bar, where Eric said a couple of last minute things to Bill and Pam, ensuring that vamps would be leaving in small groups over the next hour or so and regrouping to be ready when the bar closed at 2:30.
We made it to the door, and Eric signaled Ivan to call for the car. I had a quick thought that made me smile, and I turned to run my hands up Eric’s back. He put his arms around me as if to just give me a hug and I laughed. I grabbed his ass and started kissing him like my life depended on it. I began grinding myself against him and he began kissing me back, thrusting his tongue into my mouth and crushing my breasts with his hands. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the car pull up, and I stepped back, breathing heavy. I took Eric’s hand and stepped towards the limo.
He was a little stunned and I looked at him with raised eyebrows. “What? If someone’s watching us, I just made sure they knew why you were leaving your own party before it was over…”
He barked a laugh, and smiled back at me. “You are so much more than a pretty face, Lover.”
He allowed me to lead him to the car and we headed out to meet the rest of our raiding party.