As if lying to me for weeks and taking my virginity under false pretenses were not enough, Bill Compton now has decided to stalk me through my new undead existence! Oh, and he’s probably doing it because his Queen has ordered him to do so. I swear if I see him I may . . .
“Oh.” I muttered in surprise as my fangs suddenly clicked down into my mouth.
“A little angry?” Pam taunted.
“Piss off!” I hissed at her and immediately my hands came up to cover my mouth.
Did I just tell Pam to piss off?
What the hell was wrong with me?
Laughter. I abruptly realized Pam was laughing at me.
And I growled at her.
Damn it. Now, she was laughing harder.
And I was getting angrier.
“Sookie.” Eric’s stern voice drew my attention away from Pam and I looked into his eyes. “Remember, you are a newborn. Your emotions will change rapidly and you will be very quick to anger. Try to control yourself or I will do it for you.”
“You said I would still be myself.” I argued with a slight lisp, due to my new fangs. “I would never tell someone to . . .well . . . I would never say that.”
“Be honest.” He smirked. “You had a temper as a human. Now, you simply have to relearn control of your temper.”
Okay. I couldn’t lie and say I didn’t have a temper. I used to have some crazy fights with Jason when we were little, and when I was a teenager. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I really started to calm down and stop saying the first thing that came to mind.
I closed my eyes and sighed in resignation before I realized that I didn’t need to breathe and sighing was really unnecessary. Then I wondered how long I would do things like breathing and sighing. In other words, I wondered how long I would keep doing things that were decidedly human mannerisms. Then I found myself wondering when I’d stop getting side tracked so easily. Then I got frustrated because I was . . .
I needed blood again so I could think straight.
Rather than becoming annoyed that I needed blood again so soon, and possibly having a repeat of the episode I had with Eric earlier, I silently made my way into the kitchen and pulled out a bottle of blood from the refrigerator. However, when I turned around, Eric took the bottle from my hand and replaced it with an already full glass.
I looked at him with some confusion while drinking obediently. It tasted like the bags of blood he’d provided me with earlier, so why was he taking the TruBlood away now?
Obviously sensing my confusion, Eric offered an explanation. “You need human blood tonight. No synthetic.”
I opened my mouth to question where it came from but he beat me to it. “It was donated. The donor lives.”
“Will I need this much blood for very long? I’ve been feeding every hour and I’m sick of feeling like I can’t put two thoughts together for longer than five minutes.”
“Tomorrow will be better.” He answered soothingly. “The first night your body needs to build up its energy stores. When you rise next evening, you will require less blood and your thoughts will be more stable. However, you will still need to feed every couple of hours for a while, in order to prevent any accidents.”
I shivered at the word accidents as I rinsed my empty glass in the sink and Pam joined us in the kitchen.
“Thank you for the laugh little sister.” She smirked. “I haven’t laughed that hard in decades. Having you around will be very entertaining.”
I focused intently on calming myself for a moment before responding, and was surprised when my fangs suddenly retreated. Taking that as a good sign, I smiled at Pam. “I’m so happy I could help remove the stake from your ass, Big Sister.”
Pam’s smile quickly left her face and her eyes gained a mischievous glint. “Master, what are my instructions in regards to Mr. Compton?”
Tingling. My mouth started tingling intensely, and I felt my fangs starting to descend with the mere mention of the bastard’s name.
And Pam raised an eyebrow in my direction.
I closed my eyes, and tried to ignore her instigating ways, as I focused my entire being on keeping my fangs hidden. I wasn’t really sure how to control them yet but I was trying to follow my instincts, and simply use calm to control them.
Meadows. Gran. The Lake. Birds flying in the sky.
I was feeling calmer by the second.
“You may tell Compton that Sookie and I will be at Fangtasia tomorrow night.” Eric answered evenly.
There was no controlling my fangs with those words.
“What? Why?” I screeched at him.
Instantly I knew my response was a mistake.
With my vampire eyes, I clearly saw Eric’s posture stiffen right before he sped towards me, from six feet away.
Instinct took over as I ducked to avoid his oncoming hand, which was aimed at grasping my throat. I spun around to try to avoid his other arm, but he wrapped both arms around me. He then pulled my back against his chest, effectively pinning my arms to my sides.
His voice was low and dangerous as he softly whispered in my ear. “What have I told you about yelling at me?”
I felt an unmistakable surge of mutual lust at our close proximity, but I also felt a slight fear that was all my own.
“That I would be punished for disrespecting you.”
“Correct.” He answered huskily before turning his head to Pam. “We will see you tomorrow night.”
With those words, she was gone and Eric swiftly moved us back into the living room where he maneuvered me to a spot laying across his lap with my butt resting under his hand.
I squeezed my eyes closed willing myself not to yell out or cry as I awaited my punishment.
“Your first punishment,” Eric started as he caressed my ass, “is live donors for a week.”
I spun so quickly I ended up on the floor on my butt, looking up at Eric. His eyebrow was raised at me and I was about to yell at him when I realized his eyebrow was a challenge.
I had to stop yelling.
But I really wanted to scream.
Instead, I clinched my jaw and nodded.
Eric instantly reached down and pulled me back into his lap and kissed me deeply. When he pulled away after a moment, he smiled. “You are doing very well.”
“I don’t feel like I’m doing well.” I grumbled.
“Of course not. You have nothing to compare it to. However, I have seen hundreds of newborns over my many years, and you are very controlled.”
I smiled begrudgingly. “Do I get a reward?”
“What would you like?” He asked as his hand moved up my thigh.
Mmmm. That was a thought, but I had a different idea.
“I . . .”
Before I could say anything, Eric placed a finger over my mouth and shushed me. “Changing your punishment is not an option.”
I huffed and turned my head away.
Of course he laughed.
Suddenly I felt a large amount of pride swelling in my chest and I looked back at Eric. “Am I really doing well?”
“Very well.” He answered as he kissed me on the temple and placed my feet on the ground as he stood up. “Now, I want to do a couple of tests. Follow me.”
I followed behind Eric as he led me to the backyard and stopped about twenty feet from the back door.
“First, do you still have your telepathy?”
I was shocked. I’d risen hours ago and I just realized he hadn’t even asked me yet about my curse.
“Why are you feeling so surprised? Have you lost it?” He asked.
“No. Umm. I don’t think so. You still feel like a void to me.” I answered. “I’m just surprised it took us so long to talk about it. I thought you would want to know immediately.”
“There were more important things to attend to.” He shrugged. “Now, scan the area and make sure there is no one nearby.”
I lowered my shields and was shocked at how much easier the process was than when I was human. I hadn’t even realized I had raised my shields earlier. Pushing those thoughts away to examine later, I listened with my telepathy. I didn’t find anyone near the house or in the surrounding woods, and I reported this to Eric.
“Excellent.” He nodded. “I want to try to see if you have any special skills now that you are vampire.”
I nodded and felt myself getting excited. Having a ‘special skill’ could be fun.
“Don’t get too excited yet.” He warned. “You may not have one or we may not be able to determine it tonight. However, the Magister will ask when we meet with him in two night’s time, and I want to be able to answer truthfully that we completed some tests.”
“Some of the most common skills are related to extremely heightened senses. I do not believe you have any of these skills because you haven’t complained yet.”
“Why would I complain?” I was confused.
“Newborns regularly have complaints about adjusting to the volumes of speech or indoor lights. Imagine having keener eyesight or a heightened ability to hear more than you can now. Those with special skills in these areas have trouble having normal conversation, or going into a home with lights on during their first night.”
“Okay. I’ve noticed I can hear, see, and smell better than I could, but it’s not unbearable.”
Eric nodded before continuing. “The next most common skill is one inherited from your Maker.”
“Ooohh. I might be able to fly.” I said excitedly.
Eric couldn’t hide the slight grin that graced his face before he hid it away. “As I said, it’s the next most probable skill for you to develop. However, Pam did not inherit the ability.”
“Well, how do I try? How do you do it?”
“It’s rather hard to explain, but I want you to close your eyes and focus on feeling weightless. Then you will need to push off slightly from the ground as if you were going to jump. However, when you leave the ground, I want you to think about hovering by concentrating on the feel of the night air on your skin.”
I had closed my eyes as soon as he mentioned it so I followed his words closely and imagined myself buoyed on the night air. I bent my knees slightly and pushed off. . .
Only to come back down to earth.
I sighed disappointedly.
“No need to be discouraged on the first try.” Eric chided me. “We can also try flying together or there are some other, more aggressive, ways of testing your ability.”
“Aggressive?” I asked tentatively.
“Some Masters will use their Maker’s command to test a new vampire’s abilities.” He explained. “For example, I could command you to fly.”
“Then why don’t we do that?” I asked. “That seems rather simple.”
“It is simple to execute. However, if you do not have the tested skill, then it is very painful.”
“Yes.” Eric’s tone had grown in seriousness. “A Maker’s command must be followed. If a vampire does not follow a Maker’s order, then the child experiences growing levels of pain until the Master either removes the order, or the child complies with their Maker’s command.”
“So, if you ordered me to fly but I didn’t know how, then I would be in pain until you removed the command?” I asked with a little fear.
“Not exactly.” He corrected. “If you have the ability to fly, then your instincts and my command would take over and you would fly. You would not need to know how to fly. You just would. However, if you didn’t have the ability, then there would only be pain.”
I thought about what he was saying for a moment and weighed the options before asking cautiously, “You would remove the command quickly?”
“Of course, but we do not need to test you that aggressively, Sookie. There is no need.”
“I . . .” I took a deep unneeded breath, “I think I want to know though, Eric. It’s not so much the flying as the light show I did with my hands against Amy. I need to know if I can still do it. If I can, then I want to learn to control it before I hurt someone.”
Eric seemed to think over my words for a few moments before he spoke again. “Sookie, if you retained your Fae power, I cannot be sure it would follow the same rules as a vampire talent. Your instincts may not answer my command in the same way for Fae abilities. I do not wish to test you needlessly.
“Please Eric. Let’s try”
After what felt like eternity, he finally nodded slightly. “We will try two tests only. One for your ‘ light show,’ as you called it, and one for flying. I would not normally agree, but the Magister may push me to test you like this, if I have not already done so. I would prefer we test you in private and simply report our findings.”
“Okay.” I answered enthusiastically.
“Be careful what you ask for Sookie.” He warned. “This will not be pleasant for either of us if you do not possess the talent we are testing for.”
I nodded solemnly as I considered his words.
He would suffer my pain with me through our bond. I wasn’t looking forward to the possible pain but I was willing to suffer through it. However, I hadn’t considered Eric’s suffering with me.
“We don’t have . . . “ I started.
“I am not unwilling, Sookie. I was simply reminding you that your decisions now affect me as well.” He explained. “Now, are you ready?
“As I’ll ever be.”
In a deeper voice than normal, Eric’s words rang in my ears. “I command you to fly five feet up into the air and hover there.”
The moment the words started to leave his mouth, I felt a pull in the center of my being that demanded I comply with whatever orders my Maker relayed to me. It wasn’t painful as much as it was insistent, and compelling. Before I could completely register what was happening, my knees were bending slightly and I was jumping up into the air.
And I stayed there.
If I had a heartbeat, then it would have been racing. I was so excited I screamed and laughed at the same time.
I finally looked down at Eric to see him smirking up at me for a moment, before he was hovering right in front of me.
“I can fly.” I stated the obvious.
“Indeed.” He answered before laying the mother of all kisses on me.
Of course, I didn’t resist in the slightest.
I don’t know how long we lingered, exploring each other’s mouths as we hovered above the ground, but Eric eventually was the one to pull away, long after both of our fangs had descended.
“As much as I would like to continue this, we should get your feet back on the ground and conclude our test. Sunrise will be in a couple of hours and I have other plans for the remainder of the night.”
“Hmmm.” I hummed as I watched him descend to the ground. “Will I enjoy those plans?”
“I do believe you will, Ms. Stackhouse.” He grinned devilishly.
“Then by all means, please help me down so we can conclude our tests.” I said with my best Southern Belle smile.
In the same deep tone as before, Eric answered. “You may return to the ground.”
I immediately fell gracefully from the sky to land on my feet and look back at Eric.
“It took me several months to learn to fly on my own.” He explained. “We will work on it now that we know you have the ability. I dare say Pam will be quite jealous.”
“Oh!” I clapped. “Can I tease her?”
He laughed. “At your own risk.”
I couldn’t help but laugh as well. I was in a wonderful mood.
“Ready for our second test?” He asked.
“I command you to strike the chair behind you with the same energy you used against the drainer.”
Again, I felt the compelling pull inside me start to tighten and I raised my hand towards the chair. I expected the light to come out of my hand, but instead, I felt the pull inside me feel as if it was tightening. At first, it felt as if I had a stomach cramp, but very quickly it surpassed cramps and entered the realm of a knife churning through my abdomen.
I dropped to my knees.
And then suddenly it stopped.
Eric was in front of me in the next moment and he was wiping blood tears from my eyes that I hadn’t even realized had started to fall.
“What happened?” I asked softly.
“I removed the command when I felt your pain start to build. It seems you either did not retain the skill or it does not answer to your instincts, as your flying ability does.” He explained softly while continuing to clean my face. “We can try other ways of testing that ability on another night. However, we will not try the Maker’s call again with any Fae talents.”
I nodded slowly as I had no desire to repeat that type of pain.
“Come.” Eric said as he stood and offered me his hand. “I believe we’ve done enough for tonight and you need to feed again.”
I stiffened at the word feed and Eric seemed to read my mind.
“Your live feedings will start tomorrow at Fangtasia.” He explained as he led me into the house, and towards to the kitchen. “Do not worry. I will not let you harm anyone.”
I nodded in response as I tried to concentrate on what he was saying and not the cup he was pouring my meal into.
Willing myself to think about something else, I asked a question I had been meaning to ask since before Pam left. “Why did you want Pam to tell Bill where we would be tomorrow?”
“He will not stop until he finds you.” He shrugged. “It is better to know where we will face him so you are prepared.”
I watched him place my cup of blood in the microwave while I asked. “What do you think he wants? What do you think the Queen ordered him to do?”
“There are several possible answers to those questions.” He answered as he took my blood back out of the microwave and started pouring himself a glass.
“The most probable?” I questioned once I had taken a few sips.
“He was told to spy on us. To confirm your turning and report back to the Queen, before the Magister’s meeting.”
“But any vampire could have done that job for her.” I reasoned.
“True.” Eric conceded as we both finished our bloods. “However, she may have had some other job for him that does not involve you. Spying may be a secondary job.”
“Okay. What are the least probable options?”
“He could want to apologize. He may have wanted to try to ‘rescue’ you from me before you were turned. He could hold out a foolish hope that I would share you with him.”
“Over my dead body!”
Eric smirked at me and raised one of his eyebrows as if he were waiting on something.
Then I realized what I had said and I started to laugh. I laughed so hard I had blood tears forming in the corner of my eyes.
“My . . . dead . . . body!” I gasped out between laughs.
I heard Eric slightly chuckle before he moved to stand behind me with his hands on my hips. “Do not worry, Lover. I have no intention of sharing you with anyone.” He whispered as his lips slowly brushed against the sensitive space behind my ear.
“Mmm.” I hummed as I leaned back into his arms. “I don’t want to share you either.”
“You will not have to.” He answered as he nibbled on the crook of my neck.
As I turned in his arms to face him, I looked up into his eyes. “Do you mean that?”
“You are my bonded child.” He said softly as he swept a piece of hair out of my face and back behind my ear, “I would no more hurt you than I would purposefully hurt myself.”
And then he kissed me.
My legs seemed to have a mind of their own as he lifted me up to his height and they automatically wrapped themselves around his waist.
We were in our bedroom before I could blink an eye.
“You have learned many things tonight, Lover.” He spoke huskily as he lifted my top over my head. “It’s my turn now.”
I had already removed his shirt and was working on his belt and pants as I teased back, “What would you like to learn, Mr. Northman?”
As he kissed a path down from my lips to the valley between my breasts, he slowly answered.
“New ways to make you scream my name.”