“I don’t like having feelings.” – Eric Northman
Eric was crystal clear of several facts.
One, Eric Northman did not get nervous!
Two, Eric Northman did not let his emotions overtake his senses!
Three, Eric Northman did not have fear!
Or so he thought…
At that moment, his ideals, of which he had always been so certain, were mixing together in a muddled entanglement that filled his head as he stood outside of the brothel. He had never felt this myriad of emotions in his entire existence, and that included his human life!
Everything had changed the night he met his Sookie. Standing there staring at the door, he felt somewhat foolhardy. That, however, did not assist in moving his feet forward. In his mind, he was attempting to formulate the perfect words to accomplish his purpose before taking that first step forward.
It was not as though he was asking for her hand in marriage! He only wanted to see her outside of this house to show her the sights of London. He wanted to see her face light up as she took in the city where she had lived all her life, yet had never seen. Quite simply, he wanted to spend more time with her, time in which Sookie did not feel the need to rush inside secretly to hide their assignations from the woman who ran the house, a woman who, seemingly to Eric, controlled her life. He wanted a night, no, many nights, not just an hour or two with the young girl who had captured his undead heart. Yes, they needed time together, and time was something Eric most certainly had.
Of course, he could glamour Freyda to accept and approve of his courtship with Sookie. For that matter, he could glamour her to be kinder to Sookie, to encourage her education, and to allow her time of her own to do as she wished. Would that be best or would it lead to the glamouring of all the women inside as well as the men? No, that would only serve to confuse his friend as to the changes in behavior from those with whom she was most familiar. He most assuredly did not want to glamour Sookie to accept those changes without question.
In truth, Eric did not need Freyda’s acceptance nor her permission, but he knew that it was of great importance to Sookie. She had told him about her mother and of her passing. She told him of how Freyda had allowed her to remain per her late mother’s request rather than sending her to an orphanage, or worse, out on her own. Though Freyda was strict with her and had high expectations of her work and her behavior, that is to say, she should remain out of sight of the patrons, but she had never been cruel to Sookie and Sookie felt indebted to her.
It had been five years since her mother’s untimely death and Freyda was the only family that Sookie felt she had. It wasn’t that the other women were unkind to her, they simply ignored her. She took care of the house and assisted in their needs before the house opened to the patrons each night. She was close to no one and to them, she was no one. To Eric, she was everything.
No, he hoped he would not find the need to glamour Freyda. It would be easier if she simply granted his request.
“Go on in, son. No need to be shy,” said an older gentleman with a wink as he passed Eric on the sidewalk.
It disturbed Eric that he had not even noticed the man approaching. When had he become so complacent? He needed to stop his musings. He was always aware of his surroundings. It was necessary for his survival. Had that all changed with Sookie as well? He needed to be more vigilant, but, even at this moment, his mind wandered back to her and her words behind the house. Her smile was infectious. Her excitement at their outing exhilarated him. The smell of her soft skin as he kissed her hand before she took her leave was intoxicating.
Eric watched the man pass by and thought how he must look to him, a twenty-year-old man standing outside the house of ill-repute debating if he wanted to pay to take a lover for the night or the hour as the case may be. The absurdity of the moment made him smile.
Finally deciding he could wait no longer, he climbed the stairs to the front door of the brothel. He took an unnecessary breath, opened the door, and stepped inside.
When he entered the familiar parlor, the atmosphere for him had changed. It was different even from the night before now that he was one step closer to having Sookie by his side. This was no longer the place where he came to fuck and feed. This was Sookie’s home. It was the place where she spent her days. This was the house where he had first laid eyes upon her. Though this was not where they had first met, he knew this place was where she performed her duties, held her daydreams, and planned for her future. Would that future include him?
Had she read the letter? She made no mention of it. It was likely she was waiting for their first night together to discuss it just as they had discussed so many other things in the past. Sookie was not one to hold her heart on her sleeve. He hoped that he would find the courage to tell her his secret. Could he do it in two nights? Would that be too soon? Though they had not known each other for more than a few months, Eric found he trusted her, and knew that even if she could not accept him for what he was she would not betray his secret.
Was it love at first sight? Eric was not so certain. He did not think so, but he could not be sure. Perhaps it was because he had never felt real love. He had never felt acceptance since he was turned. Not from the days of his human life had he felt the desire to be close to someone who was not his kin. He had never felt love aside from his human family and even with his perfect recollection, those memories were distant. They faded with each passing year. Eight hundred years was an enormous length of time, and he could no longer recall the faces of his parents with accuracy.
He knew his mother had loved him and he loved her. He could remember his heart breaking when she passed, but he continued on. He remembered his father’s power and perseverance. It was something that Eric had learned from him and taken with him into his second life. He remembered loving his children though he had not known them long. He could remember his wife with fondness and believed he had learned to love her in time, but she was not truly his wife. She was his brother’s wife, and he did not love her the way a husband should love a wife. There was no love between them that could equal the love his parents had given to one another. He had not chosen her. He had married out of duty. Simply put, she was not his mate.
It was true he had a photographic memory, but that had come after his death. It was one of his gifts he had risen with, and when he left his human life behind he had left those he had loved behind as well.
Eric had been a good man. He had been a good man to his own detriment for that was how he had met his maker. His maker had used his good nature against him by calling for his aid, only to betray him and take his life. He would never regret the new life he had been given, but he could not forgive the creature who had given it. He hated his maker more than any enemy he had ever faced on the battlefield, yet, at the same time, he loved him in the way the child/maker bond demanded.
No, Eric never had the feelings he now held for his Sookie. He had been a monster in his vampire life. He had stolen, lied, and killed, among other sins, but he had never feared consequences of his actions. He was afraid now. He feared a woman who could tear him down to nothing with her refusal. He feared that Sookie could destroy him with her actions or words as well when she learned of his true nature. He wanted to be a good man again. He longed to be that man for her. He knew he could only accomplish that by giving her his full self. He decided it was worth the risk of exposure to be with her.
His feelings for Sookie were unconditional. Come what may, he would stand by her side, even if her feelings drove her away from him. He would remain, if only in the shadows. He would abhor it if he could no longer speak with his friend, but he would accept her choice.
As he looked around the room, he saw her everywhere. She was in the shining floors. She was in the carefully placed wall adornments. She was in the air. She might corporeally be in the back of the house, but she was here as well. He could smell her scent. He took a deep unneeded breath, and again fell into the thoughts of the time they had just spent together when she all but asked him to be hers. As she is mine. He fell into the thoughts of the times they would spend together so very soon. He could hardly contain his emotions.
“There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” – Robert Burns
Freyda entered the room with a flourish and spied him immediately. He removed his hat and nodded to her in greeting, gracing her with a genuine smile. It was quite different than the false one he usually wore in her presence, but his thoughts were still on his Sookie.
As she approached, Eric could both see and smell her desire rolling off of her in waves. He stopped breathing to avoid having the stench permeate his nose. Her eyes ran over him from head to toe practically offering herself to him. She appeared as if she was ready to devour him and would, if given the opportunity. She was smiling mischievously with a teasing look. To be truthful, Freyda looked as happy as he had ever seen her.
His false smile then fell into place while he remembered his intentions. If she had designs on him that night, she was sure to be disappointed. His consolation to enduring her presence would soon be at an end when she gave him leave to court his young friend though her attitude and good mood boded well for him.
“You are in good spirits this evening, Freyda,” he said cordially.
“I am. You seem to be as well, Mr. Northman,” she cooed.
“Pray tell, what has brought on this youthful exuberance?”
Eric would continue to flatter her sensibilities to get what he wanted, if necessary. He would do everything he could to avoid the use of glamour.
“Why, it is you, sir. I had hoped to see you this evening,” she purred.
“Surely, Madam, you knew I would come as I do every night.”
“Ah, but tonight is special. You see, I have received correspondence just today. As my close friend, I wanted to share my good news with you,” she said coyly.
“Let us retire to the drawing room so you might regale me with the tale of your happiness. I wished to speak with you as well,” Eric said.
“Instead, why not come to my room, Mr. Northman? I shall tell you all about it. I have a sitting room there and it is most comfortable. We will have privacy from prying eyes and ears.”
Despite the fact that he had no desire to be in her quarters, he would go if that was what it would take to convince her and keep her at ease. Her perceived excitement at seeing him had come from somewhere else entirely. He now felt he would not have to fend her off in order to have their necessary conversation and so he acquiesced to her request. In fact, a private audience would serve him better, especially if she became upset in any way. She trusted him and he would use it to his advantage.
“As you wish,” he replied.
Her eyes opened wide in surprise at his agreement, and she wasted no time in taking his arm and leading him upstairs. Freyda had not expected him to accept, but she had long awaited this moment. She knew as soon as she was alone with him that she could turn his thoughts to her, and the intentions he had brought with him this evening would be forgotten.
After all, she was a woman, not a child! She would show him the difference! He would then share his deepest thoughts with her, and not the simple girl who currently held his misdirected and false desires. In fact, once he succumbed to her charms and the pleasures she could give him, she might not even need to follow through with her other ready made plans. It would break the girl enough to see that he had turned from her when he again found the lust deep inside of him and it was directed toward her!
Freyda only needed to bring it to the surface. She had watched him over time with his nightly selections. What she observed was enough to tell her that he fancied the most depraved acts in his sexual desires. She had heard the others speaking of his enormous manhood and wanted to see it for herself. She had heard the moans and cries of pleasure from him and the women he had bedded and left satisfied. Freyda knew he enjoyed fucking hard, and pushing his length deep down the women’s throats. She knew she could swallow him whole regardless of his length or girth!
She would give him the depravity he craved and more! He could bend her over and ram into her wet and waiting heat to his heart’s content until he could take no more. He could be as rough as he cared to, for when he finally exploded into her, it would be with him screaming her name. His cry would be loud enough for all to hear, including the girl downstairs.
Simply thinking of the night ahead had Freyda already stimulated. She would fuck him as only she knew how. She was more skilled than the others, and she knew the dark and twisted desires of men. After having her, he would never desire another. Tonight would be the first of many nights in her bed. He would never again think of the virgin whom he could not touch as he would touch her.
She had to be smart. She had to be cunning. She wanted him to want to take her and he would. She would bide her time, entertaining his request while tempting him with her physical prowess until his lust overtook him, and he could no longer wait to have her in every way.
When they reached the door to her room, Freyda stepped in front of him and pulled out a skeleton key. Her private quarters were off limits to both the patrons and whores. Facing the door, she slowly inserted it into the lock and turned it as she placed her other hand on the knob. Once she heard the lock slide out of its place, she wrapped her fingers around the knob making sure it didn’t turn fully, but giving the appearance that it had.
Eric noticed that Freyda appeared to be having difficulty pulling the door open. He was about to step in and help her when she pulled back forcefully and the door gave way. She accidentally stepped backward and her open palm accidentally brushed against his manhood.
She fell backward into his chest with the force of the door opening. She turned around quickly taking advantage of their close proximity, and placed one hand on his chest while Eric steadied her with his hands on her upper arms. Her other hand was still hanging loosely, lightly gliding back and forth in front of his pants without truly touching him.
“Oh! Mr. Northman! I am so sorry. The door was stuck,” she said, batting her eyelashes at him.
“It is quite all right,” Eric replied, taking a step back to put her at arm’s length.
She moved against the open door and leaned against it with her hands behind her back, pushing her cleavage up higher.
“Please come in.”
Eric stepped around her to enter the room. It was as he remembered. A dresser full of baubles and rouges, perfume bottles, and powders set against the wall. Unlike what would have been customary, the sitting room was through another door and the bed was there in the room they had entered. Velvet drapes hung from the windows, and the massive bed set against another wall of the room with an ornate headboard and footboard. He rolled his eyes where she couldn’t see and stood in the center of the room, waiting.
The bed was perfectly made and Eric thought of Sookie. She was even here in this room. He smiled as he looked at the bed.
Freyda was excited further, mistaking his smile as one brought on by other thoughts of the bed. She quickly closed the door and approached him, putting her hands on his shoulders from behind. Eric tensed.
“Allow me to take your coat,” she said sweetly.
“Let us move to the sitting room? I wish to hear about your good fortune, and, as I said, I wish to speak with you about something of importance to me as well,” Eric replied.
“Yes, of course,” Freyda said happily, guiding him by the arm through the door to the other room as if they were old friends reuniting to gossip.
Eric did not look around the room. All of his thoughts were now focused on the conversation he was soon to have. He knew he would see Sookie in every corner and he was already having a difficult time putting the right words together in his head to say to Freyda. He would allow her to speak as he gathered his thoughts together.
Eric removed his gloves placing them inside his hat, which he then handed to her. She placed it on a side table next to the only chair in the room, and then approached him again, stepping around behind him. Before she could touch him, Eric sluffed off his jacket where it fell into her arms. She laid it across the chair. The only other furniture in the room was a settee that he doubted could fit them both with his large frame, but there was no other place to sit and he wanted her to feel comfortable before he broached the subject that had brought him there. He stood next to it waiting while his stomach turned at the thought of ever having been there before.
With her back to Eric, Freyda pinched her cheeks causing them to turn reddish-pink, and then approached the settee swaying slightly. She looked as if she were about to faint.
“Is everything all right?” Eric asked, sounding concerned.
In truth, he was concerned. If Freyda was ill, there would be no way that Sookie would leave her, even for a short time. Freyda wavered on her feet, holding the back of one hand to her forehead and the other reaching out toward him. He took her hand and stepped over to steady her, helping her to sit.
“What has happened? Are you ill?” he asked, noticing the blush color of her face.
She shook her head; Eric tried to distance himself from her by removing his hand and standing straight, but feeling him pull back, she gripped his hand tighter and pulled it to her chest as she fell back into the couch with a sigh, causing her skirt to ride up showing her stockings. The front of her corset pushed her breasts up to the point that they were virtually heaving over the top. With her holding his hand, Eric had no choice but to sit as well. She was using her other hand to fan herself.
“No, no, I feel I am only over-heated. My skin feels flush and I am having trouble breathing,” Freyda said breathlessly.
“Shall I send someone for a doctor?”
“No! I only need to loosen this corset, and I will be fine. These ties are too tight sometimes and after several hours, I often find the need to excuse myself to my room to loosen them. I believe I have waited too long in my excitement tonight and now I am feeling faint.”
Eric hesitated until he saw the pained look on her face.
“I have a robe in my bedroom that I can change into if you could only just help me to stand,” she said quietly.
Eric frowned at the thought of continuing to touch her, but complied, wrapping one arm around her waist supporting her weight as he assisted in lifting her to her feet. He couldn’t believe he had ever had any desire toward her before. It was all he could do now to keep his calm façade. They walked together into her bedroom. Once or twice when she seemed fine Eric loosened his hold on her. Freyda would then stumble, causing him to once again pull her closer supporting her. He helped her to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Where is your robe? I will get it for you so you can change,” he said.
She pointed to the closet and he made his way there. Eric opened the closet and saw many dresses and several robes, all made of satin or velvet trimmed in various styles of lace. He looked through them, and pulled out the one that appeared would cover the majority of her skin and brought it out to her.
“Oh, no, not that one, it will be too hot! Please bring the pink one,” she said to him, still fanning herself.
Eric returned to the closet and reached for the pink satin robe. He looked at it before he returned to her. There was barely enough material to cover her! He closed his eyes, and took yet another unneeded breath. He focused his thoughts on Sookie. He was doing this for her, for them.
He brought the robe to her, arm outstretched to hand it over, but she seemed unwilling or possibly unable to take it. He laid it on the bed next to her, and then turned to leave the room.
“Won’t you please help me? I don’t believe I can get out of this dress myself,” she said with a sigh.
“I will fetch one of the women to help you,” Eric said stiffly.
“I don’t think I can wait. I feel as if I’m going to faint at any moment. Please…my friend?” she added.
Eric returned to the bed and turned his head to the side, closing his eyes. He knew without looking, quite well, how to remove a woman’s outer clothing and corset. He had done so many times in the dark, but this was not a situation he had wanted or one in that he planned to find himself.
Freyda saw his eyes close, thinking he was picturing her; them together in his mind on this very bed. She knew she had him, and it wouldn’t be long before he was caressing her in the way she coveted. She turned to the side giving him access to the back of her dress.
This was a new low, even for her. Eric knew what she was doing, and tried to ignore the reek of her arousal as she attempted to lean closer to him. Her thoughts could not have been further from the truth. He wanted to get this ordeal over quickly so he could ask his question and leave. Glamour was becoming more and more attractive.
When he had barely touched the top button at back of her neckline and she let out a moan, he could not withstand any more. He moved in front of her and grasped her by the shoulders. She looked up at him with need and he captured her eyes.
“You will stop this foolishness and return to the sitting room so that we may talk! You are thankful that I have taken the time to speak with you as you are unable to find anyone willing to stand your company for more than five minutes!”
That should do it, Eric thought. Though he had broken the promise he made to himself in glamouring her, he still had not instructed her to give her permission. That counted for something in his mind, and he felt comfortable waiting to compel her compliance until it was absolutely necessary.
He turned on his heel and returned to the sitting room, removing his jacket from the chair and putting it on. He held his hat and gloves on his lap as he sat down. He was done with her childish nonsense! He had no intention of staying one minute longer than necessary, and he no longer had any concerns for her comfort or ease.
Freyda returned to the room looking quite refreshed. She sat as demurely as she was able, which was not much, and had a grateful look on her face.
“Thank you for visiting me in my chambers this evening, Mr. Northman. I am on pins and needles, so curious to know what it is you wish to speak on with me,” she said with sincere interest.
Knowing that was the extent of the influence he had placed on her, Eric cleared his throat and began speaking.
“Madam, over the last several months it has been my privilege to meet and become acquainted with Miss Stackhouse. During the course of our newfound friendship, I have grown very fond of her. Though it may seem out of turn or improper for a young woman to be spending time with a man unchaperoned, please know that I have been a gentlemen and have not taken liberties in any way. She is bright, intelligent, and kind. Our friendship began quite by happenstance, and I find myself now wishing to spend more time with her. I know she will be turning eighteen in two nights. As she is your ward, I feel it only right to request your permission to return on that night to see her properly. I would like to begin a courtship with her and would be honored to have your approval,” Eric looked to her with hope in his eyes as he waited for her answer.
Freyda’s face was unreadable while she took in his words and contemplated exactly what he had said before she responded. When she found the words she wanted to hear from his speech, she smiled.
“Yes, of course, Mr. Northman! You most certainly may return to see her in two nights, and as many nights as you desire thereafter. I must confess how relieved I am to hear that you have not taken liberties, and now can understand fully why you have not spent time outside the parlor these last months. Now, if that is all you wished to discuss, know that you have my approval to return and spend time with her. She is, indeed, quite beautiful, and I can understand your attraction for her. Now you must be on your way to prepare for your night together to celebrate her birthday as I must speak with and prepare her as well,” she said honestly.
Eric was thrilled at her words. He had expected a much different reaction, and was overjoyed that he had not found the need to use glamour on the woman. He felt she had spoken the truth and she was correct in that he had preparations to make. He was so happy and relieved. He knew this was exactly what Sookie had feared, yet hoped for as a result of his conversation with Freyda.
Eric stood and bowed to the woman, tipping his hat to her.
“Thank you, Freyda! I will see myself out,” he quickly left the room, and was out the door in moments on his way to make his plans. He could not have removed the smile from his face even if he wanted.
“A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” – William Blake
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Angelica Huston as Freyda
A/N – A big thank you goes out to MsBuffy for editing this before I posted! She did, as always, an amazing job cleaning up my mess! Thank You to all of you who have decided to read my story! I hope you are enjoying it! It is written for you with love!
Disclaimer – I do not own the Southern Vampire Mysteries, True Blood or their origins. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. I just like to play with the Viking!