Chapter 9- Did You Fondle My CD's?
Chapter 9-Did You Fondle My CD’s?
Just before dawn Eric stopped at a convenience store and filled up the car. They had been driving for almost three hours. As Shreveport fell behind them he had told her they were headed to his ranch in Montana called Uppsala. A thousand acres that ran right up to the Glacier National Park on the west side, fifty miles of wilderness to the east and south, and the Canadian border to the north. No one but Pam knew that he owned it.
They would take turns driving the thirty some hour road trip, him at night and her during the day. She was to stop only when truly necessary for rest and food. That would put them arriving in Kalispell, Montana in the middle of her second shift. There they would provision up for at least a two week stay on the ranch.
Eric Googled the address for the Wal-Mart in Kalispell, and programmed the GPS. She looked around for music as she prepared to take the driver’s seat and found that there was an MP3 player integrated into the sounds system in the dash board. Before she could thumb through it Eric took it from her hand and smiled. After fiddling with it for a few minutes while also juggling his smartphone expertly back and forth, she felt satisfaction and smugness rolling over her in waves from the bond.
When he handed it back to her she saw why. He had created a playlist called Sookie and on it was all the Blue October albums, the Bare Naked Ladies Greatest Hits and Pink Floyd’s Greatest as well. Her eyes lit up. They were still downloading via the wireless connection through his smartphone hotspot, but as long as the connection held they would continue to download as she traveled.
“How did you do that?” she asked leaning over to hug him. “How did you know?” He wanted to tell her but now truly was not the time. They were in the open and exposed and he wanted to be able to answer her questions and discuss what was happening between them with no interruptions or split focus as he worried for their safety. Through the bond she sensed his indecision and reasonably deduced why he was hesitant to explain anything here.
“Wait,” she said. “Not now. I want to talk about it, but let’s wait until we are tucked in at Uppsala.” She paused and leaned into him, reaching up to kiss his check. “Thank you!” She felt his admiration and gratitude of being able to let it go for now. She was also pleased that she was getting the hang of this survival thing.
“Hrm,” he said pulling her close and letting himself kiss her for a slow moment. “Tonight, find a place where we can renew our bond when I rise. Some place safe from prying eyes where we can take a small respite in each other. I need you so much!” he whispered in ear making her shiver all over. At his admission of need he had clutched her to him and turned his face away from her unconsciously denying his need for her. She wasn’t having that! She pulled his face back and demanded he open his eyes and look at her. She pinned him with her eyes speaking in serious tones.
“I need you, too Eric. I will find a place for us.” He made that Swiss Army Sound again and she felt a rush of desire coming at her from the bond. She sent it right back and leaned in to kiss him softly. She started the truck and pulled off the side of the parking lot, taking his hand in hers. “Dawn is nearly here, Eric.” She had been right the windows were tinted and so no one could see into the vehicle at all. “Let’s go,” she pulled him with her as she wriggled between the front seats and into the back. She moved around and opened the coffin for him to slip inside. It was a tight fit in the back of the truck but he managed to get in, and get comfortable after shifting some stacks of cash around to the area where his feet were. Finally settling, he looked up at her again.
She had watched his every move learning how he did things, how he liked things to be done. Eric Northman wasn’t the only one who could figure things out like what she wanted for dinner, she thought smugly. She could be a ninja sneak, too!
“What are you thinking?” he asked her looking at her curiously.
“I am thinking that I picked a great teacher, and plan to be an A student!” was her enigmatic reply. She leaned in to kiss him goodnight before closing the lid. She made it sweet and chaste not wanting to start something that neither of them had any time for finish right now.
“You wanna try something before you go do sleep, Eric?” he nodded, hoping it was some new sexual position that would alleviate the need he felt pressing on him despite the oncoming day. “Ok, when we close the lid I want you to try and get into my mind while we are not touching. I want to see if our new bond connects us enough to allow for that now. Will you try? I want to try coming to you, too before I get back on the road. Would that be ok?” He nodded again.
“Since we don’t know the face of our enemy it would be wise to prepare and use every advantage we have. You are brilliant!” He reached up and ran his hand along her face again, lovingly. She blushed and captured his hand to kiss his palm.
“See you soon,” she said slowly lowering the lid. Once it was closed she let her hand linger on the outside for a minute and then looked around the outside of the car getting her game face on. Anyone watching who knew them would have recognized that flinty “Don’t fuck with me!” look on her face as being so much like Eric it was eerie. She was responsible for his care until darkness came again. Nothing and NO ONE would get NEAR him! She swore furiously, moving now toward the driver’s seat. She sat down, buckled herself in and took a deep breath.
Eric had felt her fierce protectiveness come through the bond and figured it was aimed at his now vulnerable position. He sent many things back to her, big love, big desire, and some amusement that she felt was his questioning if she was really that serious about keeping him safe.
She pushed herself, following the bond to his mind and then answered him there, tackling him and kissing him madly. “Damn right I mean it. You are MINE, Vampire! None shall touch you but me!”
“You sound like me, Sookie, talking about you!” he said kissing her back and held her close to him.
“Damn straight!” she confirmed. “Even I know you should never give yourself to someone who doesn’t feel as fiercely for you as you do for them!” She stepped back from his embrace, jumping for joy. “Woohoooo! I followed the bond to your mind, Eric! If I can do it you can to! Come to me! Come to me NOW!” she demanded disappearing from his mind. Without thinking he dove after her.
In his mind’s eye he saw a cliff, and he went over it holding on to the chord that, in his mind, represented the bond between them. Willing himself to her, next thing he knew he was in the familiar chamber of her mind. He was really starting to feel at home her, inside her like this.
She grabbed him again as soon as he appeared, kissing him possessively demandingly. He didn’t fight her too hard, but he was aware of time passing outside and their vulnerability in a gas station parking lot. She felt his worry and pulled him back down to her lips. “’Don’t you worry, I got skills you can’t even dream of, cowboy!’” More questions flared to life in his mind and more desire in his body. Her quoting his fantasy dream Sookie while alluding to powers that she had yet to reveal to him piqued his interest on all levels.
Gods, why must I always have to WAIT for this woman? Why is there never enough time to take her the way she needed to be taken? Arrrgh!
“I heard that, Northman. Promise me, when we get to Uppsala, that unless there are assassins waiting for us on the doorstep that we can lock the door and leave the world outside for a while? You’re not the only one who feels like we never have enough time.” He kissed her again, and reluctantly stepped back. The sooner her let her go here, the sooner she would get moving and the sooner she would get them Uppsala. Soon, he thought to her and then slowly faded away as he withdrew.
As he died for the day he felt her missing him through the bond but he couldn’t comfort her as he would have liked because he was busy missing her just as much.
After she got used to driving such a nice car, probably the nicest she had ever been behind the wheel of in her life, she started to really enjoy the trip. She had never been anywhere, except Dallas, and she had traveled there by plane and chauffer. She had never taken a road trip before.
The GPS guided her and she kept an eye on her speed, not wanting to give any excuse for a cop to pull her over and potentially risk Eric in his vulnerable state. When She’s My Ride Home came on the stereo she cranked the volume and sang along letting the miles slip past. Song after song that Eric had added to Sookie’s playlist made her feel more and more at home behind the wheel of his car, on this trip, with him.
How did he know? The meal she figured out, he had paid the bill, but this? Had he raided her CD case in the Honda? She snickered picturing the super dashing sexy vampire lurking in her bushes waiting for her light to go off so he could come out of the bushes and fondle her CD’s.
No, not his style. More like he would go up to someone who knew her and demand to be told what she liked. She let that play out for a minute, imagining him glamouring her friends to get the names of her favorite bands. “You will remember nothing of this,” he told them dramatically, his accent peeking through, before flying off into the night.
She smirked, amused by her own foolishness, reasonably sure that was not his style either, not really, at least not about something this insignificant. On the other hand, she had been away for a year, and he clearly had been through her entire house already. Perhaps he had fondled her CD’s after all?
I bet he even had them in his cubby with him! She smiled to herself. Yes, she had found that cubby, the one he had so casually NOT mentioned to AT ALL. His smug ass was probably still thinking that she hadn’t noticed it yet.
She had been furious at first, and then she had gone down there. What she had been expecting she wasn’t sure, but definitely not what she found. It was surprisingly simple. A leather couch, like the ones a Fangtasia covered with a blanket and imitation fur pillows, and his books. In fact, one of those books had been open on the couch, like he had been in the middle of reading and just stepped away for minute. He had been staying here! Well, it was his house, she had thought. Why wouldn’t he stay here? And right behind that, why would he?
Why would he buy my house at all?
Really, what was the point of buying this tumble down stack of sawdust? It meant a great deal to her, sure, but to him it was just a house to fix and flip, right? But if that were true why build a cubby for himself? Why bring his books here?
She moved over to perch on the edge of the couch and take a closer look. Most of the books seemed very old were in a language she couldn’t read. After looking at a couple she realized they weren’t even all in the same language! How many did he speak anyway?
She kept digging until she got to one that had a picture sticking out of it. She opened the book expecting any number of things, a naked woman, a naked Eric, a naked woman with a naked Eric, but what she saw instead was her high school senior picture. She gasped, realizing he must had found it in the mess that Mary Anne had left behind.
She looked at that picture thinking back. She had been so proud of herself for graduating. Gran had been, too. School had been so hard for her. It would have been so much easier to quit than to face the voices every day. The ones she couldn’t keep out of her mind or the ones she couldn’t keep out of her ears.
Crazy Sookie! Hey, Stackhouse is yer sister retarded, or what?
Making it through to graduation had been an accomplishment. Gran wanted to commemorate the occasion. They had only been able to afford the one photo to be done professionally. She thought she had lost it forever, but Eric had saved it. She looked around the room with slightly wiser eyes than she had before.
Eric had saved her family legacy. Mentally, she ticked off the replaced, repaired and restored furniture that looked as good as new. That wasn’t the kind of attention you paid to a conquest. A conquest was someone you wined and dined and bought fancy jewelry to impress. A conquest that was someone that came today and then left tomorrow at the latest.
What Eric had done here demonstrated a deep abiding friendship and respect, and more like the kind of thing you did for wife.
She had swallowed past that thought. Trying not to let it scare her, or to take it too seriously.
you want from me?
Was that everything?
If she were honest it was finding the cubby and the thoughts it evoked in her more than anything else that had put her on the porch, bag packed waiting for him two nights ago.
Two nights? She gasped again as time’s out of sync passing with the events of her life left her with the mental bends. How could so much happen so fast? How could it not have happened sooner? She regretted her time with Bill, immensely. When she thought about that, not what she had thought she had, but what she had to realize it truly was, it was almost more than she could take.
Bill had been the source of some of the deepest humiliation she had ever been subjected to, and that was going some when you knew she grew up with a name like Crazy Sookie. He took her so low…NO! She made herself push that away. Now was not the time to sift through that again.
The day passed quickly, she stopped to stretch and take a bathroom break a couple of times, grabbing a drink and a sandwich each time to keep up her strength. She also kept her foot to the floor to get as many miles between her precious cargo and Shreveport as possible. About an hour before sunset she started to look at the highway signs trying to find a good place to stop and renew their bond. She needed a shower and to stretch so she pulled into the Holiday Inn right off Interstate 70 somewhere near the Kansas Colorado border and checked in. Once she got a room she parked outside and waited for the sun to set. There was no way she was leaving him alone out here.
As sunset got closer she moved from the front to the back and when she heard the coffin open she squeezed in with him, not giving him a chance climb out. The confines of the travel coffin pressed her close into his body and she enjoyed that immensely. So did he from the SAS he made and the bond confirmed it.
Holding him close, her head turned to the side to rest over where his heartbeat would be she asked, “What’s it like when you wake up? Is it gradual, like sleeping or are you just suddenly wide awake with your senses open full throttle?”
“More like the second one.” He raised his hand to rest on the back of her head.
“Hrm, I bet you would be so sexy wiping the sleepies out of your eyes. If vampires had sleepies in their eyes I mean.” He chuckled.
“You certainly are when you do, my Sookie.”
“Just as well, I reckon,” she said raising her head to look at him, pressing her chin to his chest and wriggling her body against his to bring her lips up to his. He groaned as he became aroused at her movements.
“Why is that?” he asked his voice almost as tight and strained as his jeans were at that moment.
“’Cause a girl’s heart can only take so much, cowboy.” She kissed him, like she had wanted to do all day to plundering him at a rate his Viking heart had to admire. Then he remembered he was the Viking in this relationship and started giving as good as he got.
He was about to ask if they had a room with a bed somewhere nearby when he heard something outside the truck and froze. When he tensed beneath her Sookie stilled as well. It was full dark now but he could see just fine even through the treated glass with the dim parking lot lights.
A man was outside the truck and he seemed pretty interested at getting a look at what was inside. Eric turned his head to watch him as he moved all the way around the tinted vehicle and tried all the doors. Sookie ever mindful of his security had locked them before she joined him in the back. He looked at her, and touched his ear with his finger indicating her to listen to this man’s thoughts.
She nodded, closed her eyes and focused on listening.