The greatest sound bite in the history of sound-bitery is “How about both?” I know you know what I mean, and if you don’t then I envy the treat you have before you. Go, watch, learn and if you don’t want to make Eric Northman saying, “How about both?” into your ringtone, you alarm ringer and tattoo it on a body part, then, well, you’re a different woman than any I have ever met.
There is a video of all Eric Northman for the first three or four season of TB out there on YouTube, again, you know what I am talking about. It’s about 40 minutes long, and I sat down and did the math. 40 minutes, that’s it, that’s all. It averages out to something like 10-12 minutes of total screen time and story per season, over a three or four year period.
Think about that. All the stories he has inspired, all the fan art, all the scuffles with Bill lovers over an average of less than 15 minutes per year. It speaks to the power of Alex’s acting like nothing else. Sure he is pretty, and I don’t underestimate the value of that in any way, but when the boy had the feels, we all had them. When the boy was bad, we were cheering him on and paying for premium cable to get those few minutes.
I honestly can’t say whether it was the bad boy, the amnesia boy or the total fucking bad ass that used a man’s aorta for a sippy cup that made him so amazing as Eric Northman. Maybe, it was all of it. No one likes a one dimensional character. Alex’s Northman had more dimensions than we could have absorbed in a lifetime.
The best writing, in my opinion came in Seasons 2 and 3, when we first sank our fangs into the character and saw him kneel, bleed, cry and manipulate the woman he loved into all sorts of crazy positions that made me envious and a little scared that I actually had an internal debate with myself over whether, if I could be Sookie Stackhouse, would having a Viking in my kitchen make up for the constant string of dead bodies to dispose of? Well, no I didn’t scare myself until I decided that yes, it would more than make up for it.
What can I say? I’m an all-in kind of girl. You get the good, you get the bad, and after the bodies are gone you get the Viking. More than a fair trade.
Anyway, it was wasted that she went to him for help with her missing quasi- fiancé and that he came running to watch over her and all they did was lie to each other. I hated that. I like this better.
“I’m not going to talk about this with you,” I told him as I watched him prance around my porch, making fun of me. I had hurt him, and he had hurt me. Maybe we could call it even now.
“All right,” he agreed, the smirk on his face infuriating me.
“Let’s talk about why I make you feel human.” The smirk disappeared.
“No. I want you to invite me in.”
“If you tell me, maybe I will.”
“I didn’t come here to bargain with you.”
“So why did you come here?” He was scowling now. I thought more filthy talk was coming, but he surprised me, as he often did.
“I wanted to play the hero for a change.”
“What are you usually?”
“The bad guy. At least you seem to think so.” He was stalking back toward me now, determined to play the role he accused me of assigning to him.
“Do you feel human with me because you care what I think?” His pace never slowed, his gaze so intense I would have backed away if my back had not been against the porch railing. He as almost here, and my heart sped up. “Why do you care what I think?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“What am I to you?”
“What do you want to be?” He was leaning down now, speaking in that same slow hot tone that he had used when he had said, ‘How about both?’ It was a sound that undid me in the most new and fascinating ways.
“What are you offering?” He leaned closer, placing his hands on the railing, caging me with his arms, but not touching me. I wanted to run away and run into him at the same time. All I had to do to make those Dallas dreams come true was lean in. There was no need to run, he was right here.
“I told you already, Miss Stackhouse. Protection, and passionate primal sex.” I swallowed, but refused to blink. That would be losing.
“It would be.” He blinked, and I bit my lip to keep from smiling as a feeling of victory shot through me. I wasn’t sure what I was trying to prove. He had me by miles in any direction, but if I could hold my own for just a moment I would have proved something.
“Would be…what?” I had him hypnotized now. I thought of the Indian fakir I had seen on a PBS documentary, blowing his horn while he weaved and charmed the cobra. I knew what snake Eric had said wanted me to handle, but I was starting to think it was all just quiet lies. Nothing more than a distraction so that he could bite me in some more fatal way.
“Passionate…primal. You bring that out in me with your dirty words, and your cold red velvet blood. So smooth when it slides down my throat, telling me all the secrets of your heart.” He blinked again, and somehow managed to sidle just that much closer, but still not touching me.
“Sliding down your throat?” he repeated, questioning, as though he thought he had heard me wrong.
“Yes,” I told him, hearing myself gasp a little, as if the air had grown thin around me.
“Why are you afraid of that feeling?”
“Why are you?”
“I am not.”
“It’s what comes after then? When you are done howling my name like a werewolf at the moon, is it what comes next with me that makes you feel disturbingly human?”
“You ask questions you have no right to ask.”
“You have tied us together, Eric. You wanted to be a part of me, as you called it in Dallas. These are my rightful questions to ask.”
“But you did not want me to be a part of you.” He was sad and resentful.
“So, you admit that you did want to be a part of me, the woman who makes you feel disturbingly human? Yet when I come to you, you have nothing but games that you want to play. Is immortality so boring that you have nothing better to do than abuse a lowly waitress?”
“Abuse?” Oh, he was angry now. He pulled back a little, letting me see his furrowed brow and hot eyes. “What I gave you was a gift, foolish woman!”
“The wrapping was careless and tattered. How was I to know that it was a gift?” I was enjoying this way more than I had thought I would. There were so many things to care about, worry for, but it all faded away in the complications of this conversation that seemed to be filled with answers I didn’t care about and questions I could not ask.
“The wrapping was careless and tattered because I had placed it in front of a bomb to shield you,” he said, using that same dangerous low tone again, as he weaved his long body in front of me, coming close enough to strike again.
“Why did you do that?” I genuinely wanted to know.
“I did not think. It was instinctive.”
“That is not an answer. People protect things they care about. Is that why you did it?”
“Oh, my,” he said, smirking again, his eye brow going up, “You are so full of questions tonight, Sookie. Why don’t you ask the ones you really want me to answer?” I swallowed, almost distracted by the double dog dare you in his voice.
“You didn’t answer the question, Eric.” His smirk slowly faded, the fire in his eyes burning brighter still.
“You haunt me.” It was so low I barely heard it. He took a breath, frowning as he went on. “You’re a mystery I need to solve. A puzzle that I need to feel the edges of so that I can better understand.” His hands left the railing as he spoke, coming to rest on my hips, not pulling or moving, just resting there. His touch and his words burned truth from me.
“I’ve never been haunted like that.” He stared at me, and I fell into the soothing blue of his eyes that offered a startling contrast to the fire he was lighting on my skin. “Until I met you,” I added softly.
“No,” I took a quick breath as his hands shifted, sliding down from my hips to rest on my backside. I wanted him to pull me closer, but he stopped, only spreading the fire in me. “Every…” I stopped, my eyes fluttering shut to better enjoy the sensation of his hands on me. I tried again. “Everything has always been…without mystery for me. Motivations are easily understood when you can read someone’s mind.”
“You can’t read everyone’s mind.” It was as close as he wanted to get to comparing himself to Bill. It was as close as he wanted to get to naming the thing that should have been standing between us now.
“Some people are easily understood, even if you can’t read their minds.” That was as close as I wanted to get as well. He growled then, soft and low in his chest that was the barest distance from mine. I imagined I felt it vibrate on my skin as though we were touching. My heart sped up again. “Are you going to feel my edges now?”
If he had said yes, I would have pushed him away. If he had said no, I would have been crushed beyond repair. He answered me with a kiss, his hands leaving my body to press my face closer to his. My body found its own way closer to his. The sensation of his cool tongue was familiar, but the feeling it evoked in me was not.
I felt him in that kiss like I had never felt another, even when their minds lay bare before me. His words were painful and confusing, but his kiss was healing and clear. It told me that he did want to feel my edges, run his fingers over them until he knew me in complete. The soft sounds he made as he kissed me, ran his hands down my body again and lifted me to rest on the railing so that he could step closer, pressing himself between my legs that opened for him, only to close tightly around him again.
I had never been accepted before. No thoughts of how I might be this or that, of how I should be more like one thing and less like another. I could tell even with Bill, as I had with the few before him that I was seen only as what I could be someday, and not appreciated for what I was now at all. Eric accepted me. It was the most powerful thing I had ever experienced.
I wanted desperately to give it back to him, but I didn’t know how. This was my first lesson in true grace. I was swept away in it. If I wasn’t careful, he would cut himself on the sharp edges of me, and I could not bear to see him bleed for me anymore. If I pulled back now, even to find my feet, he would be hurt. Deciding in the space of a breath to let him teach me, I tangled my hands in his hair and surrendered to him as I had already done in my dreams.
He felt it, showing his knowledge in the deepening of his kiss and in the way he pressed himself closer to me, holding me there, perfectly balanced on the porch railing. Distantly, I thought that I should be worried about falling, but right behind that, realized I already had. I was counting on the man I haunted to put all my pieces back together again.
“Invite me in,” he demanded in my ear as he kissed my neck.
“Mr. Northman, won’t you please come in?” He growled again, stoking the fire he had built inside me. When he swept me up in his arms, pausing to kiss me again before he took me inside like Rhett had done to Scarlett in 1939, he took my breath away.
I had planned this from the moment I had first seen her in Fangtasia. I had planned this tonight as I dusted off my white hat to come here. I had never once believed that it would happen. At least not so soon. I knew that I would have her. I had forever, there was no rush. I could stand by and let all the callow men in her life fade to nothing. I would be the last man standing, and then she would see that everything that had come before had just been window dressing.
Her questions had caught me off guard, showing me that I had already let too many clues for how I felt about her loose between us. She was young, and inexperienced, but she had recognized enough to know what it meant when I said she made me feel human. A few more decades of life would have given her the rest of the puzzle. In that time she would have come to see that we covet the things that we can’t have or be.
I was a powerful immortal, but I could not be human. The habit of it had left me long ago. When she had conjured the flavor of it in me again she had charmed me. Yes, I had wanted to be a part of her, a part of that feeling. I cherished it, as I did her. Would she ever be wise enough to know that?
As I moved up the stairs to her room, her warm body in my arms I thought of all the things I wanted to tell her, knowing that I would never find the words to be understood, sure that I was going to try anyway.
I set her down on her feet and kissed her again, part of me afraid that the gift of her surrender would be fleeting. She could stop me with a mere sound of denial. She could break me with a handful of words. That fragility is what it felt like to be human, and I wanted it with her. Only with her, because the reward made the risk more than worth it.
When she slid my coat off my shoulders and then put her hands under my shirt, pushing it up I began to believe that she had been sincere in her decision. I helped her first with my clothes and then with hers, until we stood only in the moonlight from her window. I must have made a sound as I drank in the sight of her because she stepped closer.
“Tell me,” she said, no trace of insecurity or doubt, only curiosity. I was amazed that she knew of my complete acceptance and adoration for her.
“It is a strange sensation when reality matches what you have pictured in your mind so precisely.” She leaned in and kissed my chest.
“Tell me about it.” It was an agreement and a command. I picked her up again and laid her across the bed, kissing a trail down her golden skin. I paused above the heated center of her, holding her gaze with mine.
“You smell like wheat and honey,” then I tasted her, finding more of the same, while opening up memories of the days when I had ran in the sun so very long ago. Moaning as the images filled my mind, my tongue running through her wet folds again and again. The imagery was so strong I had to stop and gather myself before this interlude ended far more quickly than I had in mind. “I can feel the sun on my tongue when it’s inside you.”
I kissed her thigh as one of her hands tangled in my hair and the other moved to massage her breast, tugging the nipple, making me want to taste it as well. I slid up her body, kissing my way so slowly I started to wonder if I had masochistic tendencies that had gone undiagnosed until now. When my lips settled around her plump nipple I knew that it wasn’t torture of myself or her that drove me. No, it was the need to make this last forever.
Such moments were so rare, I had lived a thousand years and had none to compare, but she in her youthful inexperience did not realize the uniqueness of this experience. She was anxious and ready for me to take her to where I had promised her we would go. I smiled as I kissed her, grateful for the experiences that would allow me to satisfy us both tonight.
I moved her around so that she was sitting astride me. I wanted her to take what she needed. When she took me in her hand, pumping up and down slowly, her mouth was partly open, a dreamy look on her face that perfectly matched the feeling inside me. Her touch was like the best dream. When she took me in slowly, working me in deeper as she stretched around me at her own pace, I made myself stay completely still.
My gaze flicked back and forth between where I slid into her tight pussy and her face that told a story of deepest pleasure. I was elated to make her feel this, and then spun by the sensations that she brought out in me. When she was fully seated on my throbbing cock, her gaze met mine. She tried to keep her eyes open, but as she moved the pleasure took them partially shut as she made the softest sounds of satisfaction that it was everything I could do to remain still.
The bedspread was bunched in my fists, my fangs down and aching to pierce her flesh as she rode me, slowly and then building in speed. When she leaned down to kiss me, still moving on me, the change in angle and sensation made my own eyes go shut. I heard the bedspread tear as our tongues tangled.
“Touch me,” she whispered to my lips, freeing my hands to rest on her hips, helping her to rise and fall on me. I moved her faster and in seconds she was keening in my neck, her own hands fisting the bedspread now as I rocked up into her. The wet sounds our bodies made when we came together was delicious. The whole room smelled like the sunshine I had tasted between her thighs. I felt like was running in the sun again, muscles aching in the sweetest way as I worked her harder on my cock, needing to feel the sun explode around me and burn me up.
“Eric!” she called to me as she came closer to the edge of what was building between us. My hands gripped her harder, my hips crashing up into her faster. When her muscles locked and she cried out I held on, slowing her so that she could fully enjoy the feeling we had made between us. The feel of her fast damp hot breath on my neck made me tingle all over.
My hands left her hips to pull her face up from my shoulder. I kissed her again, rocking into her gently, letting the passion build in her again. When I felt her clench around me and moan into my mouth I knew she was ready to continue.
Gently, I lifted her off me, and slid from beneath her. When I was behind her, I pulled her up onto her knees, angling her hips, and entered her again in one long hard stroke that made her cry out with pleasure. I knew from her reaction this was going to be much faster than I wanted it to be, but I couldn’t take feeling her come again without joining her.
I leaned down, placed my hands on the bed beside hers and rocked my hips into her again, letting her feel me in this way for a few slow thrusts before I started picking up speed again. She rocked back into me, meeting each of my thrusts with equal measure. Her head was thrown back as she made a string of sounds that could only be interpreted by my cock. It twitched in response. I kissed her neck as I rocked into her, one of my hands coming up to caress her breasts, tugging her nipples as I had seen her do before. She rocked harder back into me, opening more of herself to me, spurring me on.
I had told her it would be primal, I had no idea I would feel like this. She made me an animal as much as she made me a man with her sounds and her body. I should have been more afraid of this, I thought, and then I thought no more as my hips crashed into her. We grunted and moaned together, a symphony of darkest most complete pleasure.
When she threw her head back and screamed as she clenched around me, I let go deep inside her. It was so intense my vision went black as I poured into her. She left nothing of me, taking it all into herself while she burned me alive.
We fell to the bed, tangled in each other, covered by moonlit shadows, and the feelings that had been set loose between us. When I could feel my arms again, they felt empty. I pulled her into them, pressing her back to my chest. I kissed her temple, pressing my lips to her and holding them there for a long time.
I could feel her in our tie. She was a mix of emotions and bone deep satisfaction. I watched her raise her hand in the dim light, and saw Bill’s engagement ring spark shallow fire. She had something she wanted to say. I waited patiently for her to find the words, dreading them.
“People do things a certain way. They grow up and they marry and they have kids. When Bill proposed, I hesitated. That is how he was taken. I was in the bathroom crying.” She sniffed now, the smell of saltwater tangling with the scent of sunshine love. “I finally accepted, thinking that now I would be like everyone else, but when I came out he was gone.” She turned in my arms to face me. “But I knew it was lie even then. I will never be like everyone else, and pretending won’t change that.”
“You are better than everyone else,” I told her, my sense of dread growing by leaps and bounds. She laughed bitterly.
“Oh, I don’t know about that, but I think,” she stopped. Reaching down, she removed the ring from her finger, leaning back to place it on the nightstand beside the bed. She turned back to me, her hand coming up to touch my face. “I think that it’s all right to be different.” I took her hand and kissed her palm, my eyes never leaving hers. “You showed me tonight what is to be accepted for who I am. I never expected that.”
“I never expected anything else.” She smiled at me, a little sadly.
“No more quiet lies between us.”
“No.” I agreed.
“I like the way you make me see myself.”
“You are beautiful. You should know this.”
“I see it, in your eyes, but I don’t believe it yet. It will take a while to change a lifetime of thinking.”
“Will you let me help?”
“I think I need you to help.” She stopped, searching again. “I think I need you to remind me, if I forget. Will you do that for me?”
“Yes.” I hated myself for it, but I had to know the meaning of her removing the ring. “What of Bill?”
“If he’s in trouble I will help him if I can.”
“You’re in danger now because of him.” She sighed, probably thinking of the werewolf she had seen that morning. Her fear had pulled me from day rest and to her side as soon as I was free to be here. Tonight had only increased my need to protect her. Something I wasn’t sure how to do while I hunted the monster who had killed my family.
“Why would the wolves want me?”
“Perhaps to force him to bend their will.”
“But what do they want?”
“We will know soon. They aren’t going to leave you alone.” She sighed again, reconciling herself to the fact that her life was in danger again, just days after Dallas. “I can protect you, if you let me.”
“I don’t think I want you to be tattered again.” She kissed my chest softly, her hand coming up to rest on my skin, warming me with more than her words.
“I’m tough.” I shrugged it off, even as I struggled to figure our next move.
“Yer a big sissy, unless I am there to suck out the silver when you get tattered.” I laughed. I shouldn’t have but her words showed me that she was on the way to forgiving me. She smiled herself, rolling her eyes at me before her face became serious again. “I can let you protect me, if you let me protect you, too.” Everything about her, even her words, was like sunshine. I warmed all over in a reckless way. I was going to tell her everything, and then gods help us both.