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is an avid fan of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, so much so, that waiting for the next book was not an option! This Sookie Stackhouse Fanfiction fantasy picks up where CH's book 9 left off. Tune in weekly for the next installment of Back from the Dead. Disclaimer: J. Barrington does not own the characters of the Southern Vampire Series AKA Sookie Stackhouse Novels. All rights are reserved for Charlaine Harris.

Love Me to Death - XLIII & XLIV

“DAMN! It’s great to be king,” Felipe said, raising an arrogant brow. His deep and hearty laugh bounced off the walls and filled every corner of the room with a multi-layered chorus. A breast over flowed one of his large hands and ample buns were firmly clasped in the other. And no, he was not having supper, not that vampires ate food. However, it appeared that he was being fed grapes or something that looked like grapes while being . . .

“UGH!” I gagged. “Baby, that’s just nasty!" I wanted to hurl. I stepped on the panel in the floor and lowered Felipe and his X-rated entourage down into the depths of the earth and out of my sight. I had no desire to be a spectator of service to the king, especially after I heard the sultry sounds of Marvin Gaye accompany his cynical mirth.

Since men are from Mars, Felipe did not equate love with sex. He could sow his royal oats with as many women as he wanted, without the debilitating consequence of the curse, I mean love spell (cast by yours truly), that I was afflicted with. Plus, his heart had been frozen for centuries.

He was oh so happy to impress upon his queen-to-be that she wasn’t the only good time in town. Dare I refuse his third invitation to spend the night in the royal suite? Dare I reject the king? Get used to it buddy. Your eyes may shine, your teeth may grit. This is one piece you aint gonna get. Conjugal visits: denied, Pepe.

I opted to make my bed and lie in the demolished illusion chamber with the shattered and melted windows and the phony fire place and the newly exposed cold gray cinder blocks. All kept me mindful of the deceptive nature of the beast that I was dealing with. That was something I couldn’t afford to forget.

Unfortunately, my hide-away was directly above the King’s love nest. I couldn’t hear the f*ck fest (thankfully and thanks to Marvin) but the fact that I knew what was going on made me want to boil the whole lot of them in oil.

My feelings were raw and jealousy a crippling vice grip around my spell-bound heart. My love was getting-it-on without me. The heartache was an intense throbbing deep within. I placed my hand over my chest in an effort to ease it. The pain managed to leak out in stingy tears that offered no true relief. I wondered if my pillow was being saturated with crimson stains. I would be able to smell the blood if that were the case.

I didn’t want to care but I did. For once, I wished that I could be glamoured out of my common sense. I could be down there making those muffled sounds and having my every desire, moral or immoral, fulfilled. I could offer my very soul as payment for one unforgettable night of pleasure. It would be me having those penetrating daggers of desire sucking the very life from me, destroying my will and surrendering my mind to an erotic fantasy of the vampire.

Can’t I be irresponsible Sookie who asks for forgiveness instead of permission? I don’t think so. That will never be me. I had seen too much.

Felipe was having a good time. Strangely enough, that brought me some relief. I stared into the darkness and meditated in my little corner of the world. I pretended that my anguish was only about CJ, how much I missed him and his sacrifice for me and not about the vampire. I prayed for peace and oblivion to sweep me away.

I should have been spending my time learning about Felipe’s great empire and the conspiracy for world domination. I should have been figuring a way out of this god forsaken place. The truth was, I just was not up to it. No Prozac. The absence of CJ’s song is a deafening roar to my hearing. I couldn’t think. Not to worry. The vampires around me were taking up the slack. Every thought in the building involuntarily and unknowingly sought an audience with my, already addled, brain. It was an effort, keeping the shields up without my usual helps to aid me; magic or consuming vampire blood. Either of those could help me get a handle on my telepathy. I would go out and face my issues tomorrow, I had told myself. I was hoping against hope that I wouldn’t be forced to swallow this bitter pill.

I managed to keep down a few crackers. I think that I got more on me than in me. Food didn’t hold any appeal. My lack of nourishment proved a challenge to my equilibrium. Being horizontal worked best, under the covers, alone, peaceful and quiet. I made a surprisingly comfortable pallet on the floor with the bedding and what was left of the mattress. When I turned it on the other side it looked like new and only smelled of burning cotton in certain spots.

The smell reminded me of the lazy days of summer back home. My grandmother would place pieces of cotton in a tiny stone pot, set fire to them and cover with a vented lid. She would hang the pot on the porch and it would smolder for hours. “The scent drives the squitoes away,” she used to say.

I snuggled into the singed covers and imagined that CJ was singing me a lullaby, a gentle serenade. The prayer of peace calmed me. His skin was a radiant golden bronze. His dark locks framed his chiseled features perfectly. The amber glow of magic shone through hazel eyes, showering me with warmth. His hands grazed over my face to close my weary eyes. He was so close that I could feel his breath wafting over me. It smelled like warm cookies fresh from the oven. The kiss on my temple was soft as a butterfly. Sookie owt!

I fell into a much needed, peaceful, deep sleep. My mind skipped from dream to incredible dream. I smiled in my slumber. I knew that he was smiling that beautiful smile right back at me. It was so real, like grabbing a piece of paradise and then all hell broke loose.

The floor began to quake. I heard a muffled roar and suddenly the room was showered with debris. Marble tile clunked in pieces all around me followed by splinters of wood, strips of dark fabric and feathers. I didn’t move at first. I cracked one of my eyes open to access the danger and damage.

“F*cking witches!” The voice boomed. “You dare curse the king!” Felipe came out of the opening in the floor and rushed toward me in a blur, well, actually, he exploded out of the sub-chamber creating a jagged, gaping hole in his wake and charged at me. He stopped just before colliding with me and hovered in the air. His bed mates continued to call him back. They knew better than to set foot on my floor. I would have Amelia turn them into playmates for Tray. They held their ground and called to the king.

“My lord, please, let us try once more,” one of my proxies said. “Perhaps you are just nervous.” I could not say what any of them looked like because I only saw red when I tried to focus on them. “Maybe it’s because of the cold, oh great one.” He rolled his eyes at her and then turned to me. His stare was icy, his eyes narrow. An exotic accent escaped lips that were tightly curled in a snarl.

“I took you in and this is what you do to me.” His words were venomous. He was beside himself and I had no idea of what he was talking about. I was trying to decide if I really wanted to know. Sleep. Sleep is what I wanted to know. Put me down for a NO! on venturing into the head of an enraged vampire. I prefer to keep my sanity, what was left of it, anyway. I desperately wished that I had the gift of song for just a few moments and could totally block everything out with a melody. I put up my shields as best as a mind that is shocked out of its sleep could, moved my pallet closer to the wall, sat down with my knees pulled up to my chin and watched the show.

The younger proxy spoke up and Felipe cursed under his breath. “My liege, shall I go to the infirmary and retrieve . . . ” uh oh, don’t say it, I thought catching the rest just before it escaped her stupid mouth “blue pills that they make for humans?” I couldn’t see his face but the look on theirs explained why they took off seconds before he swooped down and grabbed hold of whatever he could find, turning it into fire wood.

“Aaaarrghh!!!” His agonizing roar was loud enough to wake the dead. Leave it to Sookie Stackhouse to send the Rico Suave of vampires into a tizzy. He had gone mad, ripping what was left of the room to shreds and I was next. One look at me took the fight right out of him. He was thinking “I love you.” That seemed to make him even madder.

Amelia and Dyxie came through the door that was off to the side of the room. They rushed to my aide just in case all bets were off. Dyxie disappeared in a cloud of pixie dust and was about to take me, too. I held up a hand to stop her. It was a good thing that I did. Felipe was seriously considering slapping her between his hands like a gnat as her tiny voice needled him with a thorough tongue lashing. He probably would have followed through with his plan if he could see her. He’d also have to catch her. Fairies are very hard to catch, especially the little ones.

There was a crackling sound and we looked to Amelia. She was in a defensive stance at the door. A true to life, magic wand extended from her hand. It was the source of the crackling. That meant that the king was officially on his own. No one was getting past the witch.

I looked around the room to assess, yet another fiasco. The love thing made my heart warm toward the crazed vamp. Ewww! It was something so pitiful about his plight. The way he held his head in his hands, like he though it was going to explode. He was obviously having a major melt down and I had to help. I asked in my most companionate voice, “Spill it so I can get some sleep - - - darling.”

When there was nothing else in the room to reduce to confetti he growled. “You ungrateful devil woman.” He swiftly glided through the air. I was plucked from my post with one hand, rising up and up until my feet dangled. “You have damned me to hell.” Says the very spawn of Satan, I scoffed. I was thinking that he should feel right at home. I didn’t say it aloud. Adding fuel to this fire would be baaaaad!

Seeing the rage in his eyes should have made me scared as heck. I knew he wouldn’t kill me. He loved me and his fangs were retracted, too. That was a tell-tale sign that no one was slated to die in the near future. Then again, there are many things worse than death.

Upon closer inspection, the fury in his eyes seemed more like bewilderment. Every muscle in his face was tense. His voice was stiff and so low. His free hand was balled up in a fist in front of his mouth, like he was speaking into it. I had to use my gift to decipher the words. He stated his predicament very slowly so he would never be faced with the humiliation of having to repeat the words that I never thought I’d hear from a vampire.

“My soldier refuses to salute!” The latter part of the phrase broke apart in a high pitch.

“Ohhh!” I finally said when I put the sentence together in my head. He leaned into me, pinning my body to the wall so that I could gain deeper understanding. “Ohhh!” I said again when it registered what it really meant. I would have rather died than let that giggle burst out of my throat. We had to tread softly in dealing with this very delicate issue. After taking a moment to calm Cujo the attack pixie down, I quickly dismissed the audience that had swelled with the commotion. No need to air out our dirty laundry before company.

Before I could secure the lock on the door my back was pulled against him so hard that it knocked the wind right out of me. It was like being slammed into a brick wall. I saw stars. He was squeezing me so hard. His embrace was filled with longing like he needed a comforting hug. His hands started to wander and his needs grew to something else. He was either going to take me or kill me. I welcomed the latter but the something that was growing by leaps and bounds betwixt us assured me that he was taking option number one.

“Ah huh!” he chuckled with delight. “It appears that my soldier only salutes the queen, yes?” He smiled in relief. He sinfully swiveled his hips, making sure that I felt his . . . um, glee at the miraculous resurrection of Mr. Happy. It was jumping around in his pants like a catfish on a hook and I was the hook. Now, I am a warm blooded woman and yes, that felt good enough to bring tears to my eyes but I didn’t fall to pieces. “Is this all part of your plan to seduce the king?” he said with a roguish leer. “You don’t have to trick me or bespell me. I told you already, I am all yours.”

“We have not performed any new magic, my liege,” I mocked. “Now git!” Sadly, magic was off limits, les we give up our position to the enemy. It was the same stupid spell that I’d better find a way to reverse.

He still had on his black satin bottoms and his shirt was shredded somewhere in the area. He sure had a lot of black satin or red. I wondered if there was a room somewhere around filled with the stuff. I didn’t speak for a long time. It wasn’t because I had nothing to say but my canines were twitching from the immediate threat. My eyes burned like lava but I was able to keep them from sorcer-frying things in my path of vision.

He grabbed the back of my head turning me to look at him. Obsidian eyes burned into mine and after a perceptible pause he spoke dreamily, “Bésame.” The hell I will, I thought. If he laid those soup coolers on me one more time my legs were certain to pop up like toast in a toaster and my conscious would just have to take a back seat to desire. He pleaded adding light nibbles to my ear. “Por favor . . . un poco.”

“No. Not even a little.” My tone was a regretful as his, but stern.

“It hurts you to deny me, yes?” I nodded, infinitesimally. He already knew that and was about to milk it for all it was worth. He touched his cool cheek to mine. “Say yes and we will both be happily sated before sunrise.” Being a typical male, he went on promising me the moon in the hopes of getting me to swoon. Really, Felipe? I thought he would be more clever than that.

“You have reduced the most powerful vampire king to a beggar at the feet of a human,” he said silkily as he made his way down to kneel on the floor before me. He lifted one of my feet and slowly peeled off my satin slipper. His haunting gaze never left my eyes and for some stupid reason I completely relaxed. So much so that my mind reached out to his and slipped inside like a hot knife through butter. I really didn’t want to be there but was there none the less and expecting to find something good inside.

In is mind, his obvious plans of seduction were in full swing. The how was interesting. He would start by placing gentle passionate kisses to my foot, sure to wreak havoc on my sensors. I learned a long time ago that the foot has a few “Open, says me” buttons and I knew mine were all in working order. His hands were soft, like he had never done a stitch of manual labor in his human life. My body writhed a little and I successfully regained control in a matter of seconds. I shook my head to loose the images of that . . . that sinful tongue. It liked toes. Who knew the king had a foot fetish?

My body tensed just before his lips actually reached the top of my foot. He paused for a moment flashing a brazen smile. “The queen is not pleased,” he said, reluctantly lowering my foot to the ground. His arms circled my waist and he placed his head on my stomach. “I could make you happy, you know. There is nothing I would deny you. I will make your chamber fit for a queen. I want the largest most luxurious bed brought in to accommodate our love. You shall have hand maids and servants at your beck and call.” The words and gesture was innocent and childlike and almost convincing.

“I can be gentle,” he continued. He nuzzled his face into my abdomen. The movement forced an opening at the bottom of my pjs and his coarse hair tickled my tummy. “I could lap at that sexy belly button of yours . . . kiss it . . . and tickle it,” he bit at me teasingly and whispered “from the inside.”

Everything below my navel stood at full attention. My mind said, “You need to stop talking about it and be about it, buddy!” while I mulled the visual around, the words said aloud interjected something quite different; “This chamber is mine?” Who in the f*ck said that? Shoot! That was me, me and my buzz-kill conscious.

“Of course it is. It has been since you arrived,” he said, as happy as you please. “You may decorate it as you wish or I can return it to how it was . . . BS.” I was about to ask what BS meant when it dawned on me, Before Sookie. I was considered a delineative marker in Felipe’s extensive existence? Oh . . . Wow. That status was usually reserved for things like when a vampire was brought over or when they sired someone. I don’t even think that I achieved that significance with Bill. “I want you to be happy here. You need only speak your request and my Queen may have whatever she wishes.”

“She wishes,” I said, just as silkily, “for you to get the hell out,” putting an end to the charade. The illusion was convincing until the BS comment. Before Sookie was Bull Sh*t! “Your invitation to my chamber is rescinded.” We were seconds away from the kiss that he was certain would halt all my protests, when his feet started to move on their own, backwards, clumsily over the mess in the floor. The look of shock that blanketed his face was priceless. He wanted to reach out and grab me but coolly folded his arms instead.

Defeat was his companion as he retreated in forced mechanical movements like a herky, jerky Moonwalk. “I’m sorry about your problem, Felipe but the spell pains me, too,” I said sincerely. I was not sorry enough to sleep with the Prince of Darkness. “Maybe Mrs. Palmer and her five daughters can help little Pepe get some relief.” I added as he crossed the threshold. “I’ll even give you permission to picture me when you do it.” That was just mean but I couldn’t afford to let him think that he had a chance of hooking up with the Sook, even if this was my fault.

It was kind of sad. I could almost hear his fangs descending; feel the urgency of his hunger. The piercing stare was savage and his body trembled with restraint. It was a bit alarming. Yep. It was. “Nicely played, Mz. Stackhouse,” he silently conceded with a subtle inclination of the head. I shook the tingly feeling of magic from my fingers and I blinked rapidly to cool the magic that simmered behind my eyes.

The last thing I noticed was his pink tongue running over his sharpies, like a wolf salivating at its prey. He wanted to take a bite out of me in the worst way. The king hated to be caught with his pants down. It was a shame that he couldn’t play nice and had to get spanked. I may as well have slapped him in the face with a glove. Our eyes locked on each other, unable to look away when the door began to close in both of our faces. Yeah, I thought that my tactics were very clever and comical. I laughed until a pale hand wedged itself in the closing door and bent it back on its frame.

“My turn!” he rumbled. Had he thought about it, I would have been able to stop him. He was operating solely on instinct. Too fast to track, he shot through the opening, jammed the door shut with an audible crunch and shot over to me.

I was so startled that I jumped a few feet in the air and my body surfed backward over the mess and fell into the dark chamber below. It was a bumpy ride. The quick momentum would have had me landing in a thud had Felipe not violently yanked my foot. That prevented my neck from breaking my fall. Thanks to his aerial skills, we floated in the midst of the cold, black hole.

So there I was, dangling from Felipe’s hand as he hovered in the air. I wriggled in his hold that required little effort on his part. My chamber provided a dim light from above. I knew he could see all and he waited patiently for me to wear myself out.

His body vibrated as he fought the magic that had tried to expel him. The heaving of his chest and sweat beaded brow had all matter of alarms ding, ding dinging in my head. Vampires don’t need to breathe, they never perspire and they cannot stay where they are not wanted. All of that didn’t matter now. If the upper chamber was my domain, this was his.

I never considered myself a deep thinker. The blood rushing to my head and the dismay clutching at my throat got me to doing just that. Way differently is how I should have handled this a here sichiation. I so needed a do over.

Sexual gratification is second only to food with vampires. I, of all people, should know that. Due to the spell that I cast, I am now Felipe’s only source of gratification. What do I do? I taunt him and wave said source in his vampire face. If that didn’t put the upid in stupid. I felt like a tad pole who had slapped a whale.

Obsidian eyes glared down at me and then flashed ethereally beautiful silver that reflected the light from my eyes like diamonds. I had seen those eyes before in my woods. There was no humanity in them, only animal instinct. Consummate our union or consume, he contemplated. I started doing some trembling of my own.

The ache and quivering of my canines were undeniable signs of danger ahead and before I could pray that the worst didn’t happen, my fangs jetted out. I hate it when that happens! I tried to open my mouth really fast by making that throaty “Hah” sound that vampires make when their fangs extend. I always thought that vampires were trying to appear more threatening when they did that. Their lips were really getting out of the way of those sharp daggers and avoiding injury, of which I had failed at miserably. One of them sliced right through my lower lip, the other poked a hole above my chin. Blood quickly filled my mouth and overflowed in a steady drip.

The smell of fresh human blood made the vampire's whole body go rigid. I strained to see his face in the darkness. His eyes were closed, enraptured by the heavenly scent. His fangs were so white, so big, so long. The call to consume was a feral command, primitive and undeniable. Then I watched in bewilderment as he did the impossible. He beat the monster back; fangs retracted almost instantaneously, eyes warmed and then all was quiet. Never had I seen a vampire with such control.

Defying the magic to enter the room and keeping the vampire on lock had depleted him. His stillness in the air reminded me of what I call vampire down time. I had seen many of the undead just shut down when they had nothing to do; face expressionless, eyes black and soulless. He was using this down time to recharge and rejuvenate himself mentally and physically. It felt like he was drawing energy from the earth that surrounded us.

I lost a little time and woke up in a swing? That’s what it felt like, much like the stork is pictured carrying a baby. I had heard about these contraptions for the bedroom. It was a large piece of fabric that cradled most of my body. My legs and head were exposed. “Whoopie!” I said groggily. At least I’ll die with a smile on my face, I thought as I imagined all the things we could do. Then I tucked my feet in and curled into a ball as I thought about all the things we could do.

No one could hear my cries. I had dismissed all help yet I wasn’t afraid. I reached up to touch him as he floated past me, in awe of his strength. I had never seen a vampire like him. Every action was a show of his unmatched power.

His body rolled over to look at me. There were a few things I didn’t want him to notice so I clamped my mouth shut in a quick motion. Of course, that made the wound above my chin ooze out blood in a fresh warm trickle.

He continued to glide through the air. He looked like he was floating by on water, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I thought about that for a minute. Maybe it was more like a shark circling the fresh scent of blood.

He didn’t pounce on me as I expected but he did lower his altitude a few inches. His face hovered above me while the remainder of his body continued to turn and turn like the hand of a clock until his face was upside down. His nose locked on the blood like sonar and he could not move away.

“Sky,” he said quietly. The dark walls turned to a clear, starry night, illuminated by a crescent moon. His mind told me that it was neither a simulation or an illusion. It was a video feed from outside. It was calm, beautiful and majestic. That served as an adequate distraction and he did not miss the opportunity. He swooped in for a taste . . . only not. He held very still with my face cradled in his hands. His cool sinewy neck was right in front of my eyes. It reminded me of vanilla ice cream swirling high a top a cone. It was about as mouth watering, as well. A thick vein bulged out, taunting me.

He continued to stare down into my face. The look he gave me was not sexual or hungry. It was protective and nurturing, somewhat paternal. His saliva had the necessary coagulants to stop my blood that was now covering his hands. He trembled with restraint. “Devil woman. You will not ensnare Felipe so easily,” he said kissing me longingly on the non-bloody side of my mouth. He was gone for a moment and returned with a towel and warm water.

He took his time cleaning my wounds, returning the cloth to the warm water over and over. He was patient and gentle and using everything to keep from unleashing the vampire. I, however, lacked the will. Like a viper, I waited for an opportunity and I struck fast and hard.

My fangs sank deep into his neck and he hissed. Due to my inexperience, I completely missed the targeted juicy jugular vein that was sure to reward me with an explosion of the sweetest nectar. With vampiric speed his hand jetted out, locking on my mouth. The hold prevented my mouth from closing and also from me licking the blood from my teeth. My eyes went wild. My breath became a crazed pant. I could smell it. I really wanted a little taste. I really needed a taste. I would die if I didn’t get a taste.

“My, what big teeth you have,” he said, as if he had just noticed the daggers protruding from the human’s mouth. “You are truly an anomaly, mi reina.” He lowered the bottom half of his body as if standing would help him get a handle on the freak show; human heartbeat, vampire fangs and the glowing eyes of a sorcerer. He turned my face back and forth and let out a long whistle.

His mind went into overdrive. His first thought was to kill me but he quickly dismissed that because of the love thing. He wondered how to kill me and was it even possible? That pained him, too. Would one taste of his blood turn me into a vampire or something else entirely? Would the sorcerer’s enchantments kill me if I tasted his blood? Would a vampire die if he drank mine? For a hot second, Felipe actually feared me. After much consideration he decided that destroying me was something he had to do. In the end, he followed his, behaving like a despicable human, heart.

He leaned forward and this time he did lick. I panicked and grabbed a hand full of his hair and pulled him away. That's what I wanted to do. In actuality, I held on for dear life and stared at him while he worked me over. “Let me remove this temptation,” he whispered. “Trust me when I say that you don’t want my blood in you.” That was a first. The consumption of vampire blood was the best way to gain influence over a human, especially when the human was resistant to their glamour.

“However, if you want to become as I am then by all means remove my hand and drink of me.” The vampire in him spoke up. “No vampire regrets the change and you will be . . . . amazing, I assure you.” He thought of how perfect our union would be, how we would never grow tired of one another, as most vampires did, how we could stay together for all eternity.

I knew that he was going to clean his blood from my fangs. His mind had stated that clearly and matter-of-factly and I relaxed my hold. Without another thought he reached down and covered the protrusion with his mouth and sucked . . . hard and very, very slowly. There was nothing fatherly about it. “Dirty dog!” I thought, as heat seared up my body with each stroke. Contrary to belief, fangs are very sensitive. Highly! Ultra! That was a very important fact that my telepathy failed to extract. No wonder the undead connect feeding to sex. I wanted to cry. I did cry. And I wanted to tell everyone I knew to get them a pair of these things pronto! He was very thorough, extra, making sure that there was no trace of his blood left on me and I was putty in his hands.

He wanted to pull away many times but was intoxicated by my explosive reaction. He fed off my emotions of shock, fear, intrigue and desire. He liked the way my hands clawed at his neck and held on to handfuls of his dark curls. My body was doing a spastic dance while he held my head still and cooed. He, the king, actually cooed as if soothing an infant. He elated in the moans and groans that filled the chamber. My eyes were wide and wild and couldn’t get enough of the sight of the creature who was sending me into orbit. He liked the way my body shuddered as he sucked and teased the tip of my fangs, or so his mind said. So he made sure that he did it again and again. Just when I thought that I couldn’t handle one more stroke he said “that’s right, my Queen, come for me.” He’d had no doubt that he would be able to say those words to me again and I loathed the arrogance in his tone. Like a good girl, I followed his instruction to the T.

My mind kept blaring "Illusions! Illusions!" But that was as real as it gets. Screaming Orgasm was not just the name of a mixed drink that I’d served on many occasions as a barmaid. It took a while for me to scrape myself off the ceiling. I apologized profusely to CJ as I tried to free myself of my clothing. All of his sacrifice for me to end up underneath an ancient powerful vampire, humming with virility, cocked and ready to launch me into the land of immortality and immorality. The contraption that I was lying in constricted my movement. I was happy when Felipe reached for the bottom of my shirt.

I held my arms up high and waited. He didn’t disrobe me. Silently, he stood with his head lying on my shoulder. His mouth was close to my ear. He held on to my shirt with a firm grip and I tried to wrestle it up. Then he held on to my hands and I couldn’t move them at all. “Forgive me,” he said, with all the sincerity in the world. “You are not vampire and I should not have . . . stim-u-la-ted you in such a way.” His quiet accented voice broke apart the syllables. “It is too much for a human to handle.”

Forgive? Hell, I wanted to give him a standing ovation or bow to him at least. I wanted to be more “stim-u-la-ted” and I pulled on the fabric so hard that it ripped. My body felt more powerful than ever. I wondered why the heart felt apology though. It was made plain when Newton’s Law came a knocking at my door: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.

It started out as a tiny wave of energy that caused my body to undulate. The look in Felipe’s eyes was sorrowful as he pulled away. I grabbed at his hands for comfort, sensing that the big bad approaching was a real humdinger.

My body violently jack-knifed with the first wave. I panicked a little and did something that had I sworn I wasn’t going to do. I called out to him, to CJ. A pang in my gut so intense and a hunger so fierce that dead was the only way it would end. The next pain had me ripping through the swing and falling to the ground with the speed, strength and agility that had been unknown to me before now. I landed on one knee and searched the darkness with my newly enhanced night vision. The wounds on my face healed within seconds. I was primed and ready for the hunt. I needed to feed.

Fang stimulation is a technique that is used to encourage reluctant newbies to feed, his mind told me. It was like flipping on a switch that could only be turned off by feeding. Felipe expected me to be all over him, trying to drain him or busting out of the chamber to find a fresh source of what I really craved, human blood. The average human would have had such a reaction. I was something other.

The magic would not release its hold on me. Instead of watching me go on the prowl, he was an eye witness to the sorcerer showing the vampire just who was running things. The fire brewed down to a simmer in my eyes and my fangs retracted. Within a matter of minutes, I was back to normal, well brunette, hazel eyed normal.

“That was very sexy,” he said in amazement. I wasn’t going for sexy but I thought it was pretty damned incredible. He handed me a goblet of blood of which I immediately knocked away. “It’s synthetic. Drink, love,” he ordered and I did. It helped, immediately soothing the gnawing in my gut. It was like eating mac and cheese when you really wanted a juicy steak.

“Is this the side of Felipe you wanted me to see?” The sly smile that he had plastered on his angelic face the whole time that he ravished me, returned. It wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He couldn’t have been more sated if we had actually done the do.

“You now know what it feels like to be one of us,” he told me, in his own defense. “I know you like it. You don’t have to tell me that you feel invincible right now, better and more alive than you have in your whole existence. You can make an educated decision about being brought over.” Full, soup cooling lips, mouthed, barely audible. Not that I care. I’m just sayin’. His lips look like they should be . . . cooling somethin’. I mean, it’s not like I wanted to get a lick of those . . . Nope! Not me. I still have no interest in him. I bet they would taste like cinnamon. I was a little loopy and probably should have gone to sleep. Sleep sounded real good and I relaxed right on the floor beneath me.

Wouldn’t you know it? Felipe chose that very moment to share some very pertinent information. He stretched his body out across the air, gracefully floating around the room and released an unexpected confession: “My blood is old. I know of none older. I am the strongest and wisest. I have sired none and never share my blood. One drop of me and it will be game over for the Queen.” I figured that out on my own but that was usually not a deterrent when looking at the benefits of having influence over me. I see myself as an authority on the matter, having been victimized twice by the effects of vampire blood.

“I can go without the bare necessities for years.” Yippie! I thought. That includes sex! “But why should I?” Yeah, Felipe, why would you do that? “I guess I am partially to blame,” he said answering his own question. “It was my own covetous thoughts that put me in this position. Everyone knew about my obsession which is why the pixie chose me for help.” That was true. Even Jason and Sam knew about it and they weren't even vampires.

“Honestly,” said the lying scum of the earth vampire. “I only wanted to get back at the Northman for trying to outsmart the king with that ceremonial knife pledging.” That was more honesty than I expected. “And he did it in front of Victor, no less.” That really chapped his hide. “He should have come to me and not try to make a fool of Felipe.”

“I should have known better. This devil woman leaves men broken in her wake? and makes a sorcerer give her their power? and makes shifters deny their true nature? and makes vampires long to be human?” Gee, tell me how you really feel, I thought. I didn't make anybody do anything. And I'm not a devil woman.

“We Are Vampire! We own the night with no apologies. Blood and shelter are essential to our survival. You throw in things like love, caring, morals, and conscious and you got one dead vampire. Look at the Viking; he was as good as dead when I took over Louisiana.”

The bond is harder on the vampire, I thought, remembering what was said to me by Pam.

“I saved Eric during the Fae war and he knows it. The Viking was crazed and would have walked into his final death had I let him go. He was ready to take on Neave and Lochlan, half cocked. All knew of the two fairies as the deadly duo. I had plans for Eric but feared that I would have to put the sheriff of Area 5 down like a rabid dog. Eric was actually willing to give up all that he had gained. I did permit Bill, who was less attached, to track and go in his stead. Who knew that two vampires were enthralled by a telepath? I almost lost some of my best in the effort of saving a human.”

“Don’t you dare speak of either of them to me.” I wanted to say with more fire but the words caught in my throat. My vision began to blur and I quieted as the tears fell.

He stopped in mid air, lowered to the ground and stood only a few feet from me. When he called to me, I rose as before and sauntered over to my love. My steps were a little more jovial than I wanted them to be, like I was happy to answer the call. His eyes were staring at me like he wanted inside my head right now.

When I was within arms reach he grabbed my shirt and pulled me to him. It was too close for comfort and I hoped he wasn’t trying to pull another fast one on me. His mind went blank as I tried to glean a hint of his intentions.

“Tell Felipe what you just said. I want to make sure that you heard everything.” That was simple enough and I repeated what I said, elaborating on the details in a colorful spew. None of my temper was spared. This was all just a game to him. The nerve, meddling in my affairs. I was ready to add some more but something wasn’t quite right. Fangs renders imperfect diction. Even with the most experienced vampires you can always tell that there is an obstruction. His stiff words sounded like his fangs were fully extended. He was trying to hide his anger. He intentionally thought the question to me “How long have you been able read my mind, Queen?”

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1 comment:

  1. This is one of my fav fanfics. Please keep writing.