I could feel Sookie tense up and looked at her. Rasmus was still laughing, rubbing it in as much as he could, but it wasn`t Rasmus she was staring at. I followed her stare and saw a vampire walking towards us. It was a vampire I had never come across before.
When he came to us, he nodded his head towards Sookie.
“I must say that I am pleased to see you here, Sookie.” He saw my arm around her waist. “And with a vampire, I see.” He smiled. Sookie didn`t.
“Vladimir.” She said. I pulled her closer and she slid her hand around my waist.
The vampire nodded to me. “I`m Vladimir. I used to live at Sookie`s farm. She helped me immensely when I first came to Denmark and I am very grateful for her assistance. And I was deeply pained by her loss when her husband died. I am therefore happy to see that Sookie is smiling again.” Sookie stiffened at the mention of her late husband. I let my hand soothe her back.
“I`m Erik.” I responded. Vladimir looked closer at me.
“Oh, so you are the vampire who is causing so many problems for the Queen. We must meet and discuss how we can make a spin on this so that it doesn`t hurt the Queen in the upcoming elections.”
Vladimir looked back at Sookie.
“I am now in the employ of our generous Queen. I am her campaign manager and I hope to help her win the election with a considerable lead.”
Sookie cleared her throat. “That`s good news, Vladimir. I`m glad that you have found a life here in Denmark.” She didn`t sound glad.
“I must be off. I am late for a meeting, but I am so very happy to have seen you again. I hope you will visit here again soon.” Vladimir looked at me. “I`ll get back to you on that meeting we need to have.”
Rasmus showed us to a room with a couch, a few chairs and a huge bed. The furniture would probably have had an antique dealer gasping. He closed the door behind us and Erik and I were alone. I figured I would take the bull by the horns for once.
“What was that all about? This `bonded` thing?” I made quote signs with my fingers. “And what did Rasmus mean by saying that you are 700 years late?”
Eric threw the velvet package over on the couch.
“Vampires don`t often bond to humans. I have never had a bonded and quite frankly, I always thought it was quite unnecessary. When vampires bond, we vow to protect the human for the rest of the human`s life. We also stay close to that human, preferably as a couple until the human dies. And it is very painful for the vampire when his or her bonded is no more.” Erik looked me deep in my eyes.
“Rasmus bonded with Sigrid back in 1300-something. Rasmus and I were fetalje-brothers or pirates, as you call it today, on commission from Queen Margrethe I…” I stopped him before he could continue.
“On commission?” I asked
“Yes, Margrethe`s father, King Valdemar Atterdag had lost an expensive war against the Hansa-cities, you know, the mainly German and Dutch cities that were in a commercial union and were a great power in these parts of Europe. His daughter Queen Margrethe turned pirates into privateers to fight against the rich Hansa-cities, taking out their ships when they were transporting goods from one city to the next.”
I nodded. I vaguely remembered stories about piracy in Danish waters in the Middle Ages. I never knew it was on royal commission, though.
“One ship had a woman on board. A young and beautiful woman. We soon understood that she was the daughter of the mayor of Bergen in Norway and we figured we could hold her and demand a high ransom. Only, she proved to be a very strong and willful lady and Rasmus fell head over heels for her. After only three days, he had her convinced that they should bond and they did when we reached Copenhagen. I tried to make him turn her instead, but she didn`t want that and he didn`t force her. He lived with her until she died of old age, actually very old age, considering the time, some 75 years later.”
This was fascinating. A love story with a happy ending – and still not so happy since one had to live on without the other.
Erik started taking off his shirt. I looked at him.
“What are you doing?”
“Have you never played `strip-questions`?” He waggled his eyebrows.
“`Strip-questions`. You ask me a question; I answer and remove a piece of clothing. I ask you a question; you answer and remove piece of clothing. The rules are very simple.”
“But, why?” I shook my head. We had serious things to discuss and he made it into a strip-game.
“I`ll give you that question for free. Why not? We have questions that need to be answered and clothes that need to me removed. Why not combine the two?”
“And why do we have to remove our clothes?”
He laughed. “That question is going to cost you my boots.”
“Cost ME your boots?” I was clearly not getting the rules of this game.
“Yes, the first one naked is the winner in this game.” His shirt was now off and he bent down to his boots. “We need to remove our clothes because bonding is so much more rewarding without them. And we don`t want blood stains on your nice dress.” He threw his boots over in the corner.
“This brings me to my question.” He dropped his smile. “Why did you become tense when you saw Vladimir?”
I looked at the floor. This was not something I wanted to explain to Erik. I was conflicted over it myself, so how could I? I waited, hoping Erik would move on. Of course he didn`t.
“Sookie, I need to know.”
OK, here goes, I thought.
“I have never told you about how Sam died, but Vladimir was involved. I`m just not sure how. Vladimir lived with us when it happened. He was a basket case and I had helped him quite a lot. I actually considered him a friend.” My heart felt very heavy talking about it.
One dark February night Sam was returning from the bar. He was turning left on the main road to go into our road and had to wait for some oncoming traffic to pass, when suddenly someone ran into him from behind. The car had apparently not seen that Sam wasn`t moving. That`s what the police guessed, anyway.”
Erik came over and held me. I buried myself in his naked chest.
“I heard the crash from the farm and ran as fast as I could. When I got there, the only one alive, so to speak, was Vladimir. He had also heard the crash and had moved faster than me.”
I had never told this to a living soul and the pain just knocked me over. Erik held me tighter.
“I will never forget the sight that met me. Vladimir was drinking blood from Sam`s neck.”
I could feel Erik`s anger so I quickly continued.
“He claimed he was turning Sam because he didn`t want me to lose him, but I can never be sure, can I? I felt so betrayed and yet I also felt that I was expected to be thankful to him because he was saving Sam for me.”
“But he didn`t turn Sam.” Erik half asked, half stated.
“No, I stopped him. Sam never liked vampires much and I knew he wouldn`t want to be one.” I looked up at Erik.
“Sometimes I have regretted that decision. It felt so right to honor Sam`s wishes at the time, but when I missed him the most, I wished I had said yes to Vladimir.”
I took a deep breath. Then I kicked off my shoes.
“That question cost you my shoes, Erik.”
I felt helpless and that is not a feeling I have often, nor is it one I enjoy. I wanted to keep her happy and safe, but I couldn`t take away her pain. Or could I?
“Your turn to ask a question, Sookie.” I let my fingers run through her hair and pulled her to my chest again and then I released her. She had a crease between her eyebrows.
“This is a question I really hate to ask, but I don`t understand why you want to bond with me. I`m just a plain old Danish woman with a bar….” I held my index finger over her mouth to stop her from continuing.
“Don`t sell yourself short, Sookie. You are a remarkable woman. You are strong and have spirit. You are smart and loyal. You have a great sense of humor and you are very beautiful. I knew the minute I saw you that you were special. First I thought it was because you smell so incredibly good, and you taste even better, but it`s so much more than that.” I cupped her face, but before I could kiss her she mumbled ironically:
“I`m glad it isn`t just my smell you like. Or you would run away screaming when I come home from a work-out session.” She said dryly.
I laughed out loud.
“I did mention that I enjoy your sense of humor? And Sookie – you could never smell bad to me!” I gave her a deep kiss. When she was lost in the sensation, I ended the kiss and bent down and took off my socks.
“Next question” I encouraged.
Hmm, there were so many things I wanted to know and with this `strip-questions` it didn`t feel like one of those conversations that would make me run away screaming. I knew what my next question would be.
“Ok. What about aging? You mentioned that Rasmus and this …. Sigrid were together `til she died. How does that work? I mean, vampires don`t age. How can you be in a relationship with someone who looks like your mother – or grandmother?” I went over to the couch to sit down. Erik followed me there.
“Excellent question, Sookie. Humans tend to marry someone close to their own age for many good reasons. One of the reasons being that you share experiences. You have seen the same shows on television, you have enjoyed the same rock bands, you have witnessed the same historic events. With a vampire, that reason is just not there.” Erik sat down.
“Vampires don`t really have a very good sense of human age. Vampires can look 19 their whole existence, but they grow older and older. We regard the vampire age, not the age they were when they were turned. This is why we don`t really care what age humans are. Our bondeds` aging doesn`t make the bond weaker or the vampire less attached.” Erik took my hand.
“Of course vampires enjoy beauty as much as anybody, but as you know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Age has nothing to do with it. I promise you, Sookie, that our bond will be just as strong your whole life.”
Erik took a little break in his speech, then he smiled his crooked smile.
“And we will have sex when you are old too. You will have my blood and will be stronger and healthier than other people. You might even live longer. You will also have a higher libido – and I intend to benefit from that.” He kissed me.
“But Erik…” I didn`t know how to say that I would find it weird to have sex with him looking his normal twentysomething when I was in my eighties – or even my fifties.
“Sookie. Don`t worry. Cross the bridge when you get to it. Don`t spend time worrying about it now”.
I felt my body relax. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, for all I knew. Why worry about my sex-life fifty years from now?
Erik jumped up and removed his pants. He had actually put on underwear. I recognized the pale blue shorts I had bought for him. I realized that I should have bought them in a size bigger. At least for the mood he was in now, which can only be described as very happy. I would have to write to the seamstresses of those shorts and thank them for the extraordinary quality they had put in their work. More sloppy seamstresses and the shorts would have been in shreds.
“Now it`s my turn, Sookie.” Erik said. He pulled me over to sit on his lap, straddling him. He pulled my dress a little up, took my head in his hands and looked me deep in my eyes.
“Sookie, would you do me the honor of being my bonded?”
I was rather proud of myself. I was not a romantic person by nature and becoming a vampire didn`t exactly enhance that, but I had been known to fake some romantic gestures in my past. The true joy about being with Sookie was that she didn`t expect me to do that. Sookie wasn`t one of those frail women who had to be romanticized into bed because they couldn`t accept their own lust. I could be honest with her instead of smooth-talking.
Still, even I knew that there were times when a romantic gesture would go a long way. And I actually enjoyed asking Sookie for `the honor` of having her bond with me. It did feel like an honor to have her as my bonded. I was sure she would feel the same way.
“I`m not sure, Erik.”
Or maybe not. I couldn`t believe my own ears. She was reluctant? She looked me deep in the eyes, then I saw a little smile and then she burst out in laughter.
“I had you there, huh?” She smiled.
My heart swelled. She was teasing! I love teasing and promised myself that I would get her for this – with interest. I smiled at the thought. I definitely wanted to live with this woman the rest of her life – and the rest of my life if I could have it my way. I would not have one boring day in her company.
My lips sought her. I let my tongue play with her bottom lip and she opened her mouth and let my tongue in.
I pulled away a little. “I still didn`t get an answer to my question.” I whispered.
“Erik, what can I say? Everything has been way too fast for my taste and I have no idea what this bond means, but it seems I can`t say no to you. Well, not after you tried to kill me anyway.” She laughed again.
I knew I would hear about my attempt to turn her the rest of our days together – and I could live with that. I liked being teased because that would allow me to tease back. 70 years of mutual teasing? I looked forward to it.
I pulled her closer and unzipped the zipper on the back of her dress.
“What are you doing, Erik?”
“You answered my question. It wasn`t the answer I expected, but it still cost me your dress.” I kissed her and pulled the dress over her head.
She was so incredibly beautiful in her bra, panties and pantyhose. I let my hands pull her closer while kissing her sweet breast.
“So how do we bond?” Sookie asked. I bit her nipple a little just at the thought of the bonding.
I took the velvet package and started to unwrap it. In it was a golden knife with jewels on the handle.
“This is a ceremonial knife. I am going to make a cut in my skin and you drink blood from me while I drink blood from you. An exchange of blood, brought out with this knife, will bond us.”
Sookie took the knife and looked closely at it.
“It`s beautiful.” She handed it back to me.
“Any special body parts you want to drink from?” I asked her with a smile.
“I think it will work just fine if we drink from each other`s necks, don`t you think?”
She didn`t know just how much those words turned me on. If my heart swelled earlier, something else swelled now.
This was as good a time as any, I figured, so I made a cut in my neck and Sookie latched on to the wound. I moaned loudly, licked her neck and bit. Now Sookie moaned.
My hands went up and down her body. Soon I had her bra unhooked and off. Her pants and pantyhose were harder to ease off, so I just ripped them and threw them on the floor. Or it might have been the on lamp or over the couch, I didn`t look to check.
If you have vampire strength, you should at least be able to enjoy some benefits from it from time to time and ripping my lover`s underwear was one of them. My own underwear shared destiny with Sookie`s and soon we were naked and sucking at each other`s necks.
If I had been harder, I would have been made of stone. My hand snuck down between us aiming to pleasure Sookie, but before I got very far, Sookie lifted herself up and I was deep inside her. She sucked hard at my neck and I growled loudly. She moved her hips in a very gratifying way.
I licked the wound I had made on her neck and started kissing my way up to her ear. She stopped sucking at my neck and licked her way up to my ear. Soon we were biting, licking and kissing each other.
That was when I felt the bond kick in. The lust I was feeling, which was quite considerable, suddenly doubled. Apparently Sookie felt it too because she moaned deeply.
I grabbed her hips and moved her up and down in what, after a few bucks, became a wild frenzy. We kissed like we had never kissed before. Sookie made some deep growls and the sounds coming from me were some you would normally only hear on Animal Planet.
Then it all ended in loud screams from Sookie and a roar from me. We shook and just clinged to each other, neither of us really grasping the height of the orgasm we had just been through. And Sookie, of course, not understanding why this orgasm was so extreme.
I thanked all the Gods in Valhalla for having sent Sookie my way and having her bond with me. As I couldn`t kiss any Valhalla Gods, I kissed Sookie as the true Goddess she was.