Chapter 34

A/N

Thank you so much for all your great reviews and comments after the last chapter. Quite a few of you offered to take Sookie`s place in Eric`s bed. I wonder what you think of her, and him, after this chapter.

I also want to thank Rascalthemutant for reading this chapter and for correcting the mistakes. I wish I could send her some Eric for her troubles.

If you want to know more about Eric`s thoughts around the pledge, I would recommend that you read Peppermintyrose`s new fic Fealty. I keep learning so many things from her fics 😀


Eric held me close and whispered soothing words into my hair and that actually helped. My tears stopped and my despair lessened.

I had been through a lot since I had landed at the airport north of Oslo, thinking I was going to live with my boyfriend Bill and build a life with him.

I had been attacked, verbally and physically, I had been raped by the very same boyfriend I had come to this country for, I had seen and done things I never thought I would see or do and now the rock I had always had in my life, even after she was dead, Gran, was not the person I had thought she had been.

I turned my head in Eric`s arms so that I could see his face. His eyes looked worried, but there was something else there as well. Something warm and sweet and … for lack of better word … something trustworthy.

Eric had probably screwed with half the women of Norway, and I meant that in both ways, but he had never done anything to harm me. On the contrary. He had been there for me. At first it was to get me between his sheets and him between my legs, but now?

Oh, I didn`t doubt that he still wanted a passport to get between my legs, but he had said the initiative was mine and he had meant it. I smiled to myself. Eric wasn`t stupid. Sometimes, if you want to catch a rabbit, you have to let it come to you instead of chasing it. I didn`t like my own little rabbit analogy, but it was the truth. I would have kept running if he had kept pushing.

Before I knew what was happening, I placed my lips on his. My heart beat as if it was jumping out of my chest. I wasn`t used to initiating kisses. And I wasn`t sure I was doing the right thing. I only knew I was doing the only thing that felt right at the moment.

I pulled back to look at him. He lay very still as if he was afraid of breaking a spell. Then I kissed him again and this time I didn`t just place my lips on his. I opened them and let my tongue lick his warm and full lower lip. And then the upper.

Eric let out a warm breath that made me shiver slightly. His tongue came out to meet mine and the tips of our tongues swirled around each other. Then I darted my tongue into his mouth and started exploring. His white, strong teeth, his tongue, his lips.

Eric moaned slightly and it made me press my body closer to his as if I couldn`t bear to have any space between us. My thigh suddenly came to life and placed itself on Eric`s hip and I grounded myself into him.

I gasped at it and pulled back slightly, blushing.

Eric`s hand landed on my butt, pulling me back. “Don`t,” he whispered and we were a mass of grinding, moaning and hands roaming over each other`s bodies.

This felt so right, it felt as if this was how we were supposed to be. It felt perfect. At least up until Eric`s hand went under the elastic band of my panties and I remembered. I was having my period.

I grabbed his wrist. “I can`t, Eric.”

Eric pulled back. All of Eric was suddenly away from me, not one part of him touching me. It felt like a bucket of cold water had hit me and I gasped.

I saw his face, hard and disappointed and I had to touch it. My hand landed on his cheek and I turned him to look at me.

“No, Eric. It`s not that I can`t mentally or that I don`t want to. I`m not pushing you away. But I`m having …” How was I going to explain? It had been embarrassment enough to tell a government official about Aunt Flo coming to visit, but Eric? In bed, wanting to make love to him? I swallowed. “You know. You told Jonathan yourself that you knew I was having…”

Eric`s eyes were on me, softer than before. “Your period,” he finished.

“Yes.” I sighed in relief. I wasn`t used to talking about these things with anybody. Bill had definitely not wanted to know so I had just told him `stomach aches` when he wanted sex and I couldn`t. Bill would probably have fainted if I had told him that I was having my period just as he never wanted to see any traces of my pads or tampons.

“And so?” Eric had come closer to me again and now his eyes were full of mischief. Full of Eric.

“And so we can`t…” I trailed off again, but this time I was mad at myself for not being able to talk about it. What was wrong with me? Why couldn`t I just say `Sorry, Eric. I lust for you, but I`m bleeding like a bull in a bullring so we`ll just have to wait a couple of days before we fuck each other into oblivion`? I giggled a little at my own thought.

Eric`s eyebrow was raised. “You want to have sex, but think you can`t because you are bleeding?” His voice held so much surprise and wonder. “But why? Sex can be a wonderful thing at that time.”

I blushed. How could I explain something that was so deeply rooted in me? It was like explaining why I had to go to the bathroom from time to time. And what I was doing there.

“I`m sorry, Eric. I just can`t.” I touched his chest to make sure he knew I wasn`t rejecting him completely. “Not now.”

“We can do other things.” Eric whispered, while pulling slightly back. He didn`t want to pressure me, but he couldn`t let it go entirely either.

I thought I understood what he meant so I let my hand trail down his stomach and follow his soft, blond hair to the broad elastic band of his boxer briefs, but just when I was about to slip my fingers under, his hand stopped me.

“No.” His voice was husky. “I don`t want to be the only one taking pleasure tonight.”

“There is pleasure in giving, too,” I smiled at him.

“Not the kind of pleasure I want you to have.” Eric closed his eyes and took a deep breath as to pull himself together and then he opened them again. “Not now. I want the first sex you initiate to be something pleasurable for you. If you don`t want me between your legs now, I can live with that. But I don`t want half sex. I want the whole deal. And I can wait if I have to.”

I sighed. I had cursed my period many times, but that had usually been because of the pain or me bleeding through the pads. Now I just cursed it. I really wanted sex with Eric and I wasn`t sure I could wait. But I was sure I couldn`t have sex now. So there I was.

I crawled into his embrace instead. “Then just hold me,” I said. “My period won`t last forever.”

And he held me.

Xxxx

It seemed like my period was lasting forever this time, but that was probably just my libido being annoyed with it.

Me having my period seemed to be a good thing too. Eric and I were closer in other ways the next day and I enjoyed it. We had sort of turned a new leaf without even discussing it. Even if we hadn`t actually had sex on my initiative, Eric was much more at ease around me.

He wasn`t back to his old `yield to me` self, which was a relief, but he wasn`t holding back as he had been lately.

Or actually he was. He was holding back verbally. He didn`t insinuate or say anything with double meaning. But he hugged me, caressed me, let me sit in his arms when we were watching television and gave me the odd kiss that made me feel so good.

Eric wasn`t feeling all that good himself, though. Not because I had denied him sex. Sex between Eric and me had been good both at the cabin and on our wedding night, but not so good it left him sulking if he didn`t get it. No, Eric was worried about his mother. As much of a bitch Sophie-Anne Northman-Ravenscroft was, she was still his mother.

I sympathized with Eric even if I didn`t hold any warm feelings for Sophie-Anne. I had lost my parents early in my life. Eric had lost his father, but he never really had a mother, it seemed. Sometimes I gave him an extra hug just from knowing that.

Sophie-Anne had apparently taken a turn for the worse and was now in some kind of fancy mental institution where she was psychoanalyzed and medicated.

Xxxx

Pam came to Eric`s house two nights after Eric and I had become a more normal couple. Or at least, that was what I saw us as when I thought about it. Which was as rarely as possible. I didn`t really want to think about Eric and me as a couple because I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I had only ever defined myself as one half of a couple with Bill and he had betrayed me with another woman and had ended up raping me.

I knew Eric was not Bill, but for the time being I tried to think as little as possible about us and just enjoyed what we had, for however long we had it.

Eric wasn`t home when Pam came, but it seemed she wanted to talk to me.

“How is my favorite sister-in-law?” she smiled.

“I thought I was your only sister-in-law?” I said in a voice loaded with sarcasm.

“And thus my favorite.” Pam showed me all her teeth. Either she had been lucky with her DNA or the Ravenscroft family had a good dentist. I guessed a combination since Eric had a smile that could rival hers.

“I`m good, I guess.”

“Well, you look newlywed, but not so newly-fucked.”

I blushed. “Well, thank you very much for that assessment, Pam. You can keep the rest of them to yourself.” I wasn`t angry with Pam, but sometimes you just had to draw the line for her. And then redraw it. And possibly draw it again.

“Come on, Sooks. I`m worried about you guys. You`ve played cat and mouse for so long, I`m not even sure who`s the cat and who`s the mouse anymore.”

“Well, worry no more,” I said in an exaggerated dramatic way. And then I went to the kitchen to make coffee for us.

Pam followed me. “What do you mean `worry no more`?” Pam eyed me from hair to foot. “You haven`t fucked, I can tell.” I didn`t want to know how she could tell. “Have you talked? Did a miracle happen and you and my brother actually talked?”

I turned around and faced her. “We are working on things, Pam. Please just leave it at that.”

Pam held up her hands. “Ok, ok, I know when Auntie Pam`s advice is not wanted.” She took her hands down again. “So what is it that I hear; the most talked-about newlyweds in the country are accused by government officials of not being married for the right reasons?”

The coffee was done so I poured her a cup. Eric had baked a cake and I cut a piece of that for her too. We sat down at the kitchen table.

“It`s just not fair that my brother got all the domestic skills in the family,” she said after having tasted the cake and rolled her eyes while moaning.

“Yeah, I used to think I was a pretty good cook, but Eric is phenomenal,” I agreed.

“You know that cooking and baking is how Eric relaxes. It levels him when the world is a little too crazy.”

I shook my head. I had always thought Eric cooked because he liked to cook. End of story.

“He has cooked an awful lot for you, hasn`t he?” Pam`s eyes were barely visible between the cup she had against her mouth and her long, blond bangs, but they were definitely on me.

I nodded. I wasn`t sure I liked where she was going.

“The world has been a little crazy for Eric now that you are in it.”

“That`s hardly my fault.” I went straight into defensive mode.

Pam smiled. “I never said it was. It`s been crazy for Eric because he had to get to know a different side of him. And for the record, I don`t doubt that it has been crazy for you as well.” Pam`s face got serious again. “And now… our mother.”

“Yeah. How is she doing now?”

“Not good. You know that this leaves Eric with a very difficult decision?”

“Which decision is that?”

“If he should take over or let his uncle finally get his way.”

“I thought the uncle was bad news for the company?”

“He is. He is terrible news. But so is Eric. The company would drain him. Eric is the kind of guy who should run a fun little computer game company. A company based on skills and innovation. Northman Enterprises is based on exploitation and backstabbing.”

“He could change it?” I asked.

Pam let out a bitter laughter.

“No, the company would definitely change him before he changed the company.”

“Then why not let the uncle run it? I mean, if it`s already bad, how can it get worse?”

“Oh, there are degrees of bad. And Eric has a conscience. He would have a hard time watching his uncle use even more child labor, start even more sweatshops or pollute the earth even more.”

I could see how this was a Catch-22 for Eric and I felt for him. I also thought about the stupid, Danish group who had pushed Sophie-Anne into insanity. They wanted to protest against her way of running her business and now they were paving the way for someone even worse.

“So what is Eric going to do?”

“My guess is that Eric won`t have much choice. If his uncle is already trying to throw you out of the country in fear of you having Eric`s offspring, then he must be planning a take-over already.”

Xxxx

We didn`t have to wait long for Pam`s predictions to come true.

The next evening, when Eric and I were sitting close to one another on the couch, the doorbell rang. Eric got up to answer, but all I heard from the hallway was Eric shouting “SHIT!”

I ran over to him, trying to understand what had angered him. Or whom. I got the answer immediately.

“May I come in?” asked the charming voice through the closed door.

Eric seemed to gather himself, and after one long look at me, he relaxed. Eric turned to me, kissed me on the lips very lightly, and looked at my face for a long moment.

“It`ll be ok,” Eric said, and I understood he wasn’t really talking to me but to himself.

And then he opened the door.

Since the lights were still off in the hallway and the security light was on outside, from inside the house we could see pretty well. The man standing by himself on the stairs was not particularly tall, but he was a striking man. He was wearing a business suit under his woolen winter coat. His hair was short and curly, and though the light wasn’t good for making such a determination, I thought it was black. He stood with an attitude, like a model.

Eric was pretty much blocking the doorway, so that was all I could tell. It seemed tacky to go to the window and stare.

“Eric Northman,” the man said. “I haven’t seen you in a few years.”

“Victor Madden. You’ve been working hard for your father,” Eric said neutrally.

“Yes, business has been booming. There are some things I want to discuss with you—rather urgent things, I’m afraid. May I come in?”

Eric stood back from the doorway and looked at me. “Sookie,” he said, “I have to invite him in.” Eric said it as if he was inviting in an ax murderer because the blade was on his throat. And maybe it was, metaphorically speaking.

Eric had told me about Victor Madden. Victor Madden was Eric`s cousin, son of Felipe de Castro. Him coming here was definitely not good news.

Victor Madden walked in the door. He was a very attractive man, if not exactly handsome. His eyes were big and brown, and his jaw was decided. He had beautiful teeth displayed in a jaw-cracking smile. He looked at me very carefully.

“Reports of your attractions were not exaggerated,” he said, which took me a minute to decipher. I was too nervous to be at my most intelligent.

“Uh-huh,” I said, unimpressed.

“I’m delighted to finally meet you,” he said, bowing.

He smiled his best smile and took my hand and kissed it. He winked too and the winking was definitely from the Northman side of his genepool. Then I realized that he was flirting with me and like Eric, he was probably used to girls falling for him immediately. Well, I didn`t fall for Victor`s charms. After I’d let him establish that, I moved back to give him room.

“Please have a seat,” I said, though I sounded about as welcoming as a church lady forced to entertain an atheist. We all moved to the couch and the chairs.

I asked Victor Madden and Eric if they would like some coffee. They both looked surprised and only Victor accepted. I went to the kitchen to get him a cup and was pleased Eric had just brewed a fresh pot so I wasn`t away from the living room too long. Eric was on the couch and Victor had taken the easy chair. I sat down next to Eric, my hands clenched in my lap. There was a long silence while Victor selected his opening line.

“Your mother can`t run the business, Eric. We have taken over,” he said.

Eric’s head jerked. “How many of the board members agree?”

“Enough.” Victor was still smiling.

I pressed my lips together hard so no sound would escape. I took Eric`s hand and he held on to it as if it was his salvation.

“What of the employees?” Eric asked.

“We`ll have to do a clean-up there, of course.”

Eric sighed, but it wasn`t a sigh of surrender. More a sigh of pain.

“Viking Games?” I didn`t know Viking Games was even connected to Northman Enterprises and I felt a chill run down my spine. Eric could lose his company?

There was a long silence while Victor took a swallow of the coffee. The tension grew.

Then he said, “Eric, your company is yours, of course. We won`t interfere.”

I bent my head to hide an involuntary smile and Eric looked pleased, just for a split second.

“And why now? Why not give my mother a chance to get better?”

“Because you got married and we were told you didn`t use any contraception.” My gasp made Victor look at me. He nodded. “I`m sorry. I didn`t mean to make you uncomfortable.” Then he turned his head back to Eric. “You know how hard it would be for us to get into power if you actually had a kid. So it was really now or never.”

“So you figured you would just use my mother`s illness against her?”

Victor smiled. “Yes, that was exactly what we figured. And there isn`t much you can do about it. I mean, it`s not like you`re dying to take over anyway.”

Eric’s eyes were wide and fixed on the furniture. They blazed blue in the long silence and his shoulders seemed to sink in. He was giving up and panic started to tingle in my neck. Then it hit me. I had a brand new connected grandfather. Yeah, I was desperate.

I looked at Eric. “Should I call my grandfather?”

Eric stared at me, but Victor laughed.

“I hate to remind you that all your grandparents are dead.” When he saw my confusion, he continued. “Yes, of course we had your family checked. One brother, no grandfathers.”

Eric`s eyes were still on me and his hand was in mine. “Don`t make any calls, Sookie. I can live with this.”

I wasn`t so sure when I saw the look on his face, but then suddenly he straightened up as if someone had pulled a string connected to his neck. He even managed a little smile.

“I accept this, Victor,” he said and his voice sounded calm.

My heart bled for Eric and I didn`t want Victor close to him anymore. I got up and walked towards the door.

“It seems you got what you came for, Victor,” I said, making it very clear I was throwing him out.

“Indeed it seems,” Victor smiled. He smiled a smile I would have loved to wipe off his face, but at least he took my hint and walked towards the door. A minute later he was outside and I could close the door after him.

I went back to the living room, only to find it empty, so I trudged back to our bedroom and pushed the door open. Eric was sitting on our bed, his face buried in his hands. He looked up when I entered.

I went over to stand between his legs end kissed the top of his head.

“I`m so sorry, Eric.”

Eric leaned into my chest and I felt his hands on my butt and my inner emotions changed very rapidly from feeling sorry for Eric to something else. I was suddenly reminded of the fact that I didn`t have my period anymore. I wasn`t sure this was the time for sex, not after everything that had happened with Victor, so I went down on my knees and looked up into Eric`s beautiful eyes.

I stretched up and kissed him. I kissed his chin, his cheeks, his nose and his mouth. I leaned into his neck.

“Let me help you forget, Eric. Let me take away your pain for a little while,” I whispered.

I definitely didn`t get the reaction I had expected. I would have thought that Eric would grope me and kiss me. That he would be all over me. Or at least that he would take what I was about to offer.

Instead he got up very abruptly and stared at me.

“I don`t want pity-sex from you!”


A/N:

So what did you think of the two love birds after this chapter?

And it`s official: I won the Valentine`s contest at the Alexander Skarsgård Library Forum with my little one-shotCarnival is for Scars, Valentine`s for Mending. Yay 😀


If you read the chapter of Dead with the Viking I posted earlier today, then you will have read this before, if not, please read:

I am not entirely sure when I will be able to post the next chapter. If I get well and get my doctor`s approval tomorrow, I`ll be on a flight to Kenya on Wednesday and will be gone for over a week. And after that my lovely beta, Rascalthemutant, will be going to Scandinavia (and I get to see her face to face for the first time – yay) and I do not have the confidence to post un-betaed.

Buy me

But you will be able to buy me. Yes, you heard me – I put myself up for sale. Not my stupid, sick body, but my crazy head and my fast keyboard fingers. Along with a lot of great SVM-writers I have volunteered my writing skills for the Support Stacie Auctions. Stacie is a fellow fanfic writer with cancer and no health insurance and the money we raise in the auction, will help pay for her treatments. All the SVM-writers have different offers – some even offer banners with their stories.

Since I`m no techie, I can only offer my writing skills, but they will be all yours if you win me. You can decide a one-shot you want me to write or you can ask me for alternative point of views to one of my stories. Or maybe you think there were some missing pages in a story – something you want more of. You can decide. All human or vampires and telepaths, it`s your choice. I only ask to be allowed to write Eric and Sookie as the main couple (if there is to be a couple) and that I don`t have to glorify rape or something like that. The story will be all yours, but I hope you will let me post it here on fanfic and on the Alexander Skarsgård Library as well.

So enough sales pitch. Go buy yourself a writer and support Stacie :-D. The auction is from the 26th to the 29th of March and the address is this: www . supportstacie phpBB3/viewforum . php?f=24

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