A/N- True Blood and SVM characters belong to Mrs. Harris, Alan Ball and HBO. Original Characters and story line are mine. Smooches for everyone!

Chapter 25

Scene 1 - EPOV - Neutralized

I felt Sookie's heart slow and her breathing deepened, indicating she had passed into her slumber. I enjoyed the feel of her hair running through my fingers and the way it collected and preserved her luscious scent.

"Does she know what she has done by giving you the sword?" Pam asked quietly as we continued towered New Orleans.

"That she has pledged herself to me in the old ways?" I responded wryly, "No to her it is just a gift she could give knowing I would appreciate it."

Sookie muttered and shifted in her sleep. I lightly ran my hand down her good shoulder and arm, soothing her until she was still once more.

"Talk to her Eric," Pam said seriously. "Tell her what it means to you to have received her families ancestral sword. She may surprise you."

"Or she will run in fear of losing her much coveted independence," I caught Pam's eyes in the mirror. "She will not recognize a union not sanctioned by her human church."

"You require her to trust you yet you will not grant her the same." My eyes narrowed at Pam's tone of voice. "Fine Eric, I won't speak of it again."

When we arrived at the Palace in New Orleans, Pam went to inform Ocella of our arrival while I carried Sookie to our rooms. It looked like Ocella was already redecorating for the more public rooms were missing the ostentatious gilding and female clutter favored by Sophie-Anne. The guest suites unfortunately were still full of womanly fluff and frippery. I undressed Sookie and once our bags arrived I slipped her into one of my t-shirts then tucked her into the lavish bed. I knew my scent would help calm her if her dreams grew dark while I was in the debriefing with Ocella.

When I was satisfied she was comfortable, I changed into clean clothes and headed to Ocella's office. When I arrived he was handing Pam an object which she tucked away and thanked him for. She stopped by to let me know she would check in with Thalia at Fangtasia and then keep an eye on Sookie until I returned. I warmly thanked her, she was such a good child, and then found a reasonably comfortable chair and waited for Ocella to speak.

Ocella came out from behind his desk to sit on the edge. "There were attempts against Gervaise and Cleo, both were foiled successfully," he said beginning to pace. He was decidedly un king like with his board shorts, bare feet and Night of the Living Dead stenciled t-shirt.

"Were there any fatalities?" I asked. It would be a shame if there had been, but over all I felt we had been well prepared for any coup attempt.

"One shifter guard but he made an excellent accounting of himself before he fell."

"Then it is well the Sheriff's returned so expeditiously."

"Pam confirms you vanquished the tiger?"

"Yes, it was a splendid battle."

"His sister may be a thorn in our side later on."

"I have already taken steps to avert such a situation," I said. I had Marshall searching for the girl and once she was found she would be glamoured to forget everything.

"Felipe's newest child, what problems do you foresee from her connection to Sookie?"

"I have people watching for her return to the state. She will be dealt with if needed, after all the first year as vampire is the most vulnerable."

"The scout Jonathan was caught near Mr. Stackhouse's home. He was questioned and then returned to Felipe as a warning."

"Jason is well?"

"No harm came to the human, though perhaps it might be worthwhile to bond him to one of your people. Your child perhaps, to keep a closer watch."

"I will consider it."

"Tell me about the attack by humans. Sookie is well?"

"I gave her blood, she is currently resting. One of the projectiles shattered bone, though it is healing well. She must have been monitoring with her telepathy. She caught them coming in behind us and used her body to shield my own."

"I will have to reward her for such exemplary service to her Sherriff." I growled at him and he brushed it off. "It would have been embarrassing to lose you to a pithy human attack Eric. It is appropriate your human protected you."

"The assassins were killed before they could be questioned. The Magister claims it was the Fellowship."

"It was Andre or Felipe most likely."

"You believe Andre would kill Sophie-Anne?"

"I saw the lust for power in Andre when he visited Fangtasia. Sophie-Anne had kept him leashed to her for too long, denying him the right to strike out on his own and make his mark. She had a hand in signing her death warrant when she gave him Louisiana. He would not be the first child to dispose of their maker to further their own agenda. Felipe was probably whispering in his ear. Andre is about as stable as his Maker was."

Ocella returned to his leather chair and thumbed through some paperwork. He stuffed a few sheets into a folder and handed them over to me.

"Read this. It is data I have gathered on Victor's movements before he accepted the position of Magister. I have neutralized any interference from him or Felipe for the foreseeable future."

I skimmed through the notes a wide grin forming in response to his ingenuity. "This will be quite a tactical advantage."

Ocella flashed a wicked smile, "Indeed, paperwork is so time consuming. But when you are sloppy with your permits and accounting practices it is only expected for the authorities to come knocking on your door."

"Nan has agreed to this?" I was astounded Ms. Flanagan would have allowed him access to such sensitive files. In my hands I held proof Victor was working with Felipe and various drainers in the underground to peddle 'v' along with tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement from other vampire factions.

He flicked his fingers in dismissal. "I was working on this as Magister. These files are my copies. She has no idea what I uncovered. The originals are in a secured location Victor will not be able to access. Felipe will be receiving a visit from the V-feds shortly to interrogate him about his peddling of blood. Victor of course will have to step down as Magister because of a conflict of interest."

"You wish me to drop a few words in the appropriate ears?" I had a list of Felipe's business associates in my office who would love to be warned about a pending investigation.

"Naturally," he smiled. "Felipe will be too busy avoiding the authorities and the assassins hired by his business partners to look outside his state lines for more territory."

"You are enjoying this," I said. He was all but preening in his chair.

"Absolutely, and you are too."

Of course I was. With the intelligence I had been gathering for the last several months combined with the information Ocella had access to while he was Magister we had effectively neutered Nevada. In a few months time they would be the ones ripe for a takeover and from the look in his eyes Ocella was not dismissing the possibility. He could have Nevada if he wished, as long as I was left to care for my little piece of Louisiana with my bonded. There were plenty of other things to keep me occupied without constantly dealing with State level politics.

We discussed the upcoming Coronation, a relatively small celebration with Andre handing off the crown to Ocella. All of the Sheriff's would be gathered in one location to swear their oath but their seconds would be covering their Area's. The lieutenants would make their way to the Palace along with other vampires in the State to swear fealty to him over the next few weeks. Ocella informed me he required the Sheriff's to be armed tomorrow. I was thankful he was returning to the old ways for Sophie-Anne had cared little about security and I didn't want to see all of our hardwork flushed away by a lucky stake.

I wondered about Sookie's cousin Hadley. Now Sophie-Anne was gone the human would no longer hold favor in court, unless Andre decided her unique flavor outweighed her timid a vacuous personality. Hadley's taste was pleasant but not extraordinary like Sookie's. Perhaps Andre would exchange her for one of the half demons I used to enjoy. Tavia's looks were as spicy as her blood and she had always lusted after a position at court. Of course Sookie would have to read Hadley's mind upon her return, to make sure she wasn't a liability. I thought Sookie would be pleased with my plans, for she valued family above all.

I sent off a few texts to get the wheels rolling and headed back to our rooms when Ocella was finished talking. I checked on Sookie who was still resting soundly and lightly probed her shoulder. The bone was healing correctly and I didn't feel any loose bone shards to interfere with the use of her arm. I would hate to have to cut the wound back open to retrieve any painful debris I believed she would sleep most of the day as her body recovered its energy from rapidly healing such a serious injury.

While she had been bleeding in my arms, her bloods sweet bouquet luring several other vampires near, I had been tempted to turn her. She had granted me permission after all and as it was I did have to feed her massive quantities of my blood to replace what she had lost. I hadn't lied when I told her I had opened my wrist three times for her. I just never mentioned the other time I opened the vein of my throat and allowed it to pour into her mouth to try to match the amount she was losing. No I wanted her turning to be as special as our bond and I would do everything in my power to make sure she enjoys her Sun for as long as she wishes.

I took a quick shower then slid into bed with her, gathering her close. The time and vigor I had spent pursuing her had paid off in spades. Not only did I have her compliance in regards to using her abilities, I had also found my hearts desire. A reward I never dreamed existed. I had little time to marvel over my good fortune this night before the rising sun laid me to rest.

Scene 2 - SPOV - I Will

I was roused by Pam repeatedly calling my name. I opened bleary eyes to find her peering down at me and nudging my shoulder. It took me a moment to register Eric was no longer next to me. I must have slept the whole day through. I felt like it too, you know that almost hangover type feeling you get when you've slept too much. It was difficult to resist curling back up on my side and just falling back asleep.

"Where is Eric?" I asked her sleepily.

"Appius needed him. Come you need to get up and eat."

I frowned at her in confusion. "Why are you here?"

"We need to talk and I want to do it before Eric returns." She pulled back my covers and literally hustled me into the bathroom where the running shower had steamed the room. "Go ahead and get in, you haven't got anything I haven't seen before." She pulled Eric's t-shirt over my head and stuffed me into the shower.

"Pam what has gotten into you?" I sputtered trying not to fall on my face on the slippery tiles. I caught her urgency and quickly lathered up.

"Sookie you love Eric, right?" She asked me out of the blue.

I leaned back and brushed the shower curtain aside to stare at her in astonishment.

"Uh Yes?"

"Would you consider us as part of your family?"

I had my hair washed and conditioned faster than I have ever done in my life so I could get out of the shower and speak to her directly. I waited until I was dried and pulling on the lacey underwear she handed me, completely oblivious to my naked state.

"I guess you could say you are family. I consider you as close as a sister sometimes," I confessed as I ran a comb through my tangled hair.

"What about Eric."

"Eric is Eric, he's my bonded."

"Which is closer than you would ever get to a human if you were married right?"

My hackles were starting to rise, "Pam just spit it out." Whatever was bothering her was serious enough for her to ignore my half naked self while I slathered on lotion. Not one innuendo had passed her lips yet, most un Pam like.

"You presented him with your family blade. For a Viking woman to do such is the same as claiming him as a prospective husband," she explained in a rush.

"Whoa, what?" I asked in disbelief.

"You proposed to Eric."

"I gave him a cool looking sword, that's it. I mean no one else in my family would ever use it and it was perfect for him"

"It means much more than that to him, and honestly to me and any other vampire familiar with Eric and the old ways."

"So that's all there is to a Viking marriage? Give your man a sword and you are hitched?"

Pam hesitated a second before replying, "No, there is the bride price to be paid, a ceremony and then the husband gives the wife a family blade in turn, which she is supposed to keep in trust until their first born son comes of age. A Fae joining is even less complicated. Blood is shed onto the ancestral blade and if the blade swallows the blood then they are bound. But the gifting of a special blade, one used in blood rituals is called a pledging between a human and a vampire. It is in essence a marriage, and you have indicated by your gift that you are considering Eric as your pledged. So are you?"

"Wait, if both of us spill blood on that sword we are wed by Fae ritual?" I asked remembering Eric nipping both of our fingers to test the magic of the blade.

"Joined or bonded if you will," Pam explained. "A fairy pair does not wed until their first child is conceived. I believe this is information you already know?"

"Well yes," I answered. "I just never saw anyone spill blood on a sword. Besides, Eric and I have already let our blood splatter on the sword. He was testing to see what it would do. You mean he knew this all along?"

"About the joining? No I doubt very much. Marriage and mating rituals would be of no interest to him. I know them because I was curious when we first discovered what you were. I wanted to make sure he didn't do anything foolish." Pam smiled wryly as she started to dig through my luggage. "He was aware of what the significance was to your gift though."

I froze in the process of combing my now mostly dry hair. "He thought I was proposing to him? Why didn't he say anything?"

"Because he knew you were oblivious to the symbolism." She stopped her rummaging and looked at me gravely. "Would you still have given him the sword if you knew? If humans could marry vampires according to your human rituals in this state, would you marry Eric right now if he asked?"

Her question was serious and not one to treat lightly. If Eric was a human, this far into the relationship would I marry him if he asked. I was considering marrying Bill with even less between us, would I do any different with Eric, knowing without a shadow of a doubt just what he felt for me?

"I would marry him," I admitted. "I gave up on the white picket fence and two point five kids the moment Claudette tried to eviscerate me. Eric has been good to me even with the high handed crap. We'll probably hiss and cuss at each other, get on each other's nerves and raise holy hell but it won't be boring."

A rare full smile bloomed across Pam's features. "In that case you would not object to making it official tonight? If I explain how the pledging works would you complete the ceremony?"

"Why don't you explain exactly what it means in vampire politics?"

While she helped me dress she explained the pledging would be the ultimate shield against anyone, whether they were a vampire or any other supernatural, from claiming me for themselves. I would be Eric's wife according to vampire law. He would in fact own me, a condition which prior to my experience with the Fae would have had me screaming in denial. No one could approach me without Eric's permission, including Appius, the Authority or even Alcide. It was the next logical step to our current relationship and I was actually astonished Eric hadn't tried in some underhanded and sneaky way to make it happen already.

"You are telling me this plan, to do this tonight, is one hundred percent your doing?" I asked Pam in disbelief.

She snarled at me. "He was positive you would run from him. He does not see how much you have changed since your ... incident."

I decided to be forthright. "He is correct in that I would probably have argued with him if he had tried to force it. I mean if he had walked in here tonight and said we are pledging without any discourse in his normal pushy way, yes I probably would have thrown a hissy fit. He knows how to push my buttons that way."

"Then it is a good thing we had our discussion, is it not?" She asked smugly.

"Yes Pam," I sighed. "So what do I have to do?"

She pulled out an odd looking dagger and walked me through the ceremony. It was very simple actually. She would wrap the blade in a black piece of silk. I would carry it like a ring bearer carrying wedding bands to Eric. He would take the blade, unwrap it and if he accepted me as his pledged, he would kiss it. It would be short and sweet, in front of witnesses who would carry the tale back to various monarchies. We would be wed vampire style.

"He won't refuse me will he Pam? I really don't want to do this if I end up looking like a human fool."

"He will be surprised, but he will not reject you. He has secretly wanted to do this since your third blood exchange."

I surprised her with a hug. "Then if you are sure, let's do this." My human friends would not understand the significance or consider me wed. They would just have to deal with it; our world isn't so cut and dried as it used to be.

All of this was whirling in my head as Pam did the finishing touches to my hair. As I stared at the woman reflected in my mirror one hackneyed phrase popped into my head. 'You've come a long way baby', isn't that Gods own truth.

Pam went to change and I nibbled on a piece of toast. My stomach was in knots now. I whistled when she walked back into the room an hour later.

Her dress was a wonder of pleats and drapery, fastened with little knots on each shoulder and belted with a real gold girdle. She wore gold sandals and her hair was gathered on the top of her head to cascade down in ringlets and tight curls.

My halter style dress clung to my curves and was covered in clear beads until mid knee where the beads changed to various shades of blue. It reminded me of a melting icicle. My sandals were silver and the top half of my hair was gathered into a braid while the rest flowed down my back loosely.

We smiled at each other and nodded in approval, we quite frankly looked hot. Pam handed me the wrapped dagger which I hid in my clutch. I took a deep breath and indicated I was ready to go. I followed her to the receiving room.

Pam had told me the room used to mimic a beach at mid day. The renovated room had been changed to a roman bath house. The pool contained thousands of flower petals, the ivory and gilding was replaced by sandstone tile and Corinthian columns. The ivory throne was now a marble chair shaped like an ornate 'U'. There was statuary tucked in every corner, and of course the requisite male and female bathing assistants. They were at least wearing loin cloths and pasties. I figured they were the donors for the evening.

Pam led me up to the throne area where Eric and Appius were standing talking quietly. My eyes were drawn to Eric first and believe you me; I had to wipe the drool from my lips.

He was dressed in dark gray leather pants and boots which were laced to the knee. His heavy silk tunic was a soft blue, with swirls of silver embroidery at the v neck and along the seams. He wore a platinum chain mail belt and a heavy leather harness that displayed the hilt of his broadsword across his back.

Eric had caught sight of me and the bit of fang I saw protrude over his bottom lip was all I needed to see to know he approved of my look. I turned my attention to Appius and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw how he was dressed. I had rarely seen the vampire in anything other than some kind of t-shirt, jeans or shorts, usually in sandals or flip flops. Tonight he apparently had pulled out all the stops.

Over a simple woolen tunic which ended above the knees, he wore a corselet made of curved strips of platinum fastened together with leather thongs. His boots were laced high over the ankle. Around his waist he wore a belt to which were attached a sheath and short dagger. From the front of the belt, over his belly, were suspended strips of leather to which metal disks were riveted. His short sword was carried in a scabbard suspended from a shoulder belt. He looked every inch the Legatus Legionis he used to be.

When the men were finished speaking Pam and I went to claim them. She and Appius found a secluded corner and started conversing. I knew they were deciding when the pledging would take place. Appius apparently was the owner of the ceremonial dagger I had in my clutch.

I collected Eric and found a position where I could monitor the room and Eric could guard our backs. I did a quick scan of the humans present and found nothing unusual. Eric waited patiently until I was finished. I still hadn't perfected maintaining a perfectly smooth face while I concentrated. He teased me about the little frown furrows between my brows.

"Nothing unusual on anyone's mind so far tonight Eric," I informed him as goose bumps formed from his lightly caressing thumb on the bare skin of my back.

"Excellent," He dipped his head to nuzzle my neck for a moment. "You smell delightful and look scrumptious."

I smiled up at him wickedly, "If you are hungry we can step aside for a moment if you wish."

"So tempting but I fear I must return to Ocella," he said with regret. "Andre has just arrived and will be anxious to get the formalities over with."

Eric must have summoned Pam silently for she came to take his place while he returned to stand with the rest of the Louisiana Sheriffs near Appius.

Andre was indeed impatient as he strode up to interrupt Appius' discussion with an unfamiliar vampire. I had to bite my tongue to keep from giggling at his outfit. He was wearing fawn breeches with those high stockings and buckled shoes. His shirt was loose and flowing, showing a boyish bare chest. He had a dark leather belt with an ostentatious buckle and what appeared to be a rapier in a scabbard at his side. He looked like a child playing dress up.

There must have been an unseen signal for suddenly the room fell silent and people gathered below the throne area. Appius and his Sherriff's stood to the left of the throne and Andre with his entourage to the right. As one the two vampires strode to the front of the throne and Andre lifted the golden circle he held in his hands and placed it on Appius head.

Then Andre began the King's oath. "Will you hold and guard by all proper means the vampire law as handed down by the Authority?"

Appius said, "I will."

"Will you be the shield and protector for the Vampires of the State of Louisiana?"

"I will."

"Will you uphold and recover those rights of the Vampire and possessions of the Authority that have been unlawfully usurped?"

"I will."

"Will you punish the unruly, banish the lawless and kill the traitors?"

"I will."

"Will you pay tribute to the Authority and tax to the human Government?"

"I will."

Andre turned to the rest of us and with a flourish of his hand announced, "Then I present to you Appius Livius Ocella, Vampire King of Louisiana." There was a round of applause as Appius swept the crowd with a cold hard gaze before seating himself upon his new throne.

"They must have added the human tax to the oath because of Sophie-Anne," Pam whispered to me as Andre stepped down from the platform and headed immediately to the bathing girls, choosing a blond and straightaway biting into her neck.

I turned away from his rude display to watch the Louisiana sheriffs swear their fealty to Appius. Their oath was similar with a couple of additions about registering new vampires and acknowledging the Magister's word as law during a tribunal.

Once the Sheriffs were done with their oaths, the rest of the vampires in attendance moved forward to swear to the new King and then renew their oath to their respective sheriffs. I guess this was the dinner break because the bathing beauties were being swarmed. It actually appeared I was in the minority when it came to the humans present who were being tasted.

I indicated to Pam that I wished to move away from the feeding frenzy so I wasn't mistaken as a hour devour, especially with the way Andre was eying me up. We moved to the other side of the room and I glanced over to Eric to make sure he registered my new position. He gave me a slight nod and a burst of lust through the bond to let me know he was aware of the change.

Pam suddenly leaned over to me and whispered, "Get ready."

It took me a moment to comprehend what she was talking about. When the light bulb went off though, I wasted no time in pulling out my little black bundle. I placed the now empty clutch on a nearby pedestal and waited for Pam's next move. There must have been some unseen signal between Pam and Appius for Appius stood and announced in a booming voice.

"Eric Northman, I request your presence."

The other vampires became silent as Eric approached Appius and went to one knee in front of him with his head bowed. I respected Appius but I did not like one bit seeing Eric submissive to anyone. I must have growled because Pam nudged me and gave a warning shake of her head when I looked to her.

Appius had a half smile on his face as he looked down at Eric, which really wasn't that far considering Eric's massive frame.

"You may rise Viking," Appius commanded and then announced to Eric and the assembled. "I believe we have a surprise for you this evening." Eric stood and looked at Appius quizzically who nodded toward me.

I was already moving toward the throne, thanks to a poke from Pam, with my little bundle held in my two hands at waist height. The first few steps toward Eric were easy, until the weight of the entire room of vampire eyes fell upon me, then I started to feel like Eric was getting further away instead of closer. At first Eric just watched me quizzically and then he glanced down at what I held and I could feel astonishment followed swiftly by anticipation through the bond. I caught and held his gaze forgetting about everyone else around us and almost gliding the rest of the way to him.

Appius had stepped back allowing Eric to be prominent. I remembered to curtsy to the new King and then still holding Eric's eyes I dropped to the floor on my knees in front of him. I held the wrapped dagger in arms out stretched toward Eric and waited for him to accept it. I could feel the tension building in side of me as he took his time. Could Pam be wrong, would Eric refuse me after all?

"Northman, if you do not accept such a luscious gift," Appius said with his eyes on me and not the object in my hands, "then allow me to take your place."

Eric flashed his new King an annoyed look apparently he had been savoring the occasion because in the next moment triumph was thrumming through the bond and black silk had fallen to the floor. Without further ado, Eric kissed the dagger now revealed and with eyes hot enough to melt my panties held out his free hand to me.

"Wife," was his simple statement.

I rose to my feet with a breath of relief and took his proffered hand. It took all of two minutes for me, Sookie Stackhouse to be wed by vampire law to Eric Northman. Now that's what I call efficient. I would have sworn though I had been prostrate for at least a half hour while he supposedly made up his mind.

I had actually forgotten about Appius until he addressed the crowd. "I Appius Livius hereby acknowledge the pledging between this vampire and his bonded human. Understand that any attempt to interfere with their union will result in the true death."

He then walked over to me and took my free hand, raising it to brush his lips over my knuckles. "Mrs. Northman, I wish you well in your handling of your Viking."

I hid my shock at being addressed as a 'Mrs.' anything. I guess I would have to get used to it. "Don't you mean to wish Eric well your Majesty?" I teased. "It is my understanding he is constantly complaining about what a handful I am."

Eric took the opportunity to lean down and whisper into my lips. "I would never complain about such a bodacious handful," as he brushed his hands quickly over my breasts. My breath caught and I barely repressed a shudder. My mouth was just as earnest as his when he swept me into a tonsil teasing kiss.

I thought I heard Appius say something along the lines of 'let the dancing begin' but was too busy fending off a very happy vampire.

Leave it to Andre to break our bubble. He had approached us unawares and one of his retinue cleared their throat to catch our attention. Eric ignored them for a few more minutes until he finally allowed me to gasp in a breath then he acknowledged Andre with a slight incline of his chin.

"Well played Eric," Andre said dryly. "Congratulations on winning the game."

Eric squeezed my arm cutting off my automatic urge to lash out at Andre.

"I play for keeps," Eric responded laconically.

Andre's features shifted and for the first time I witnessed the powerful vampire behind the spoiled evil pouty faced brat. "I accept your terms Eric."

"Very well then, my second will contact you to arrange the trade."

Andre disappeared after their brief exchange and Eric swung me out to the dance floor.

"Speaking of well played..." Eric said smiling down at me.

"I cannot take all the credit," I admitted sheepishly as I flicked my eyes toward Pam who was dancing with Appius.

"She did learn from the best," he modestly admitted then tossed me into the air shrieking with laughter.

It may not have been your typical wedding, but Eric turned it into a fairy tale just for me while we danced. His attention never wavered and our hands danced and teased over each other's bodies. We never separated no matter what the music played until the last dance where Appius interrupted us.

"I am exerting my authority as King," he announced as Eric reluctantly handed me off to him. The music switched to a slow waltz and Appius led me across the dance floor.

"You are exquisite this evening Mrs. Northman."

"Thank you Sire."

"I wish to make you aware that if you decide in the future to leave Eric I will endeavor to aid you."

I almost tripped in surprise, "I thought you were his friend?"

"Oh I am," he stated firmly. "But I wish you to consider me a friend as well. I am also a vampire first and foremost, and as a vampire I cannot help but covet that which makes one more powerful."

I was becoming increasingly nervous which he must have smelled.

He flashed a smile with fang. "Rest assured I can control my baser nature. I will promise you I have no intention of harming you, your husband or his child. I felt it was only appropriate to make you aware of my interest if you find yourself in need of assistance."

"I will keep your offer in mind," I said diplomatically.

"See that you do." The song ended and I gave him a slight curtsy, trying to discreetly locate Eric.

He must have felt my anxiety because he was immediately at my side and sweeping me off the dance floor.

"What did he want?' Eric asked with a frown.

I did not want to talk about it here; there were too many vampire ears nearby.

"Can we go back to our room?" I asked instead. His hand rose from my back to the nape of my neck where he massaged gently at the tension beginning to gather there.

"As you wish."

He was a whirlwind carrying me along as he made our excuses and rushed us back to our rooms. Just as swiftly he had us naked and lounging in the bed with me cuddled against his chest.

Eric demanded, "Before I begin to enjoy my new wife, tell me what Ocella said to upset you."

"He said he considers both of us his friends, but if at any time in the future I wish to walk away from you he will assist me."

Eric froze, "What?"

"He wants me," I stated quietly. "But claims he has no intention of acting on his desires."

"Even a King would face the true death if he did. You are mine."

"I am yours," I agreed as I nuzzled against his chest until I found one of his nipples where it lay in its soft nest of blonde chest hair. I bit him hard enough to draw blood and that was all it took for my first night as a married woman to begin.

His hands wrapped in my hair and he tugged my head over to his other pap which was already drawn up waiting for my attention. I bit him again and sucked a bit before slowly nibbling my way down the center of his chest to his happy trail. My hands savored the resilience of his flesh as his muscles flexed and slid beneath his cool skin. My tongue followed the soft line of hair south until I reached my goal. He was hard and heavy in my hands, fully aroused as shown by the dewy drop just waiting for my tongue gathered on his tip. I collected my silky prize then swept my tongue over the head before running my open mouth and flicking tongue down the underside of his length teasing as I went.

I carefully paid proper attention to the heavy sacks waiting their turn at his base before wrapping both hands around his girth and returning my mouth to his crowning glory. I worked him hard and fast, using the cues I was receiving from his growls and moans and the emotions fluctuating through the bond to guide my rhythm. I shrugged away his hands when he reached to guide me and ceased my attention to nip his inner thigh in warning. I heard a chuckle rumble through him replaced immediately by a moan when I redoubled my efforts. I was soon honored by the trembling of his thighs and the ballooning head in my mouth hinting he was just about there. I looked up and caught his eyes then oh so carefully I ran my teeth down his length returning for a final swirl and suck at the very tip. I was rewarded by the salty-sweet intimacy of him exploding inside my mouth.

I licked him clean then scooted forward to impale myself on his already waiting length. He felt so good deep inside and I just sat there squirming and clenching around him as my body strives to absorb his very being. Neither one of us could remain still nor was it long before I was riding him as hard and fast as I could, which wasn't fast enough for him because he grabbed my hips to hold me still as he pounded into me. I was more than fine with that as I came crashing to the precipice and gladly cast myself over. Only to swim back up as he started all over again.

We celebrated our nuptials for the rest of the night, ending with him tending the sensitive spots carefully with bloodied tongue and fingers as the threat of dawn brought our festivities to an end. We murmured to each other unable to resist the feathering of a kiss or the light brush of fingers over sensitive skin. When I could no longer withstand the heavy weight striving to close my eyelids I fell asleep with no doubt in my mind I was truly well loved.

In a small comfortable cottage near the bayou on the same evening Lafayette twists and turns amongst sweat drenched sheets. Deep in his mind a primal magic demands his attention holding him forcefully as it plays three scenes over and over.

*flash* as a portal opens with a crack and a lean well muscled form steps onto the overgrown hummock. His finely wrinkled features and long silken hair lend an air of gentility to his otherwise razor sharp countenance. There is movement in the brush and a collie steps forward to great the stranger. The elder bends and speaks softly to the animal and then with a pop they both disappear.

*flash* as a dark African beauty with eyes of oily black sings along with the radio as the desert miles disappear underneath speeding wheels. A roar of triumph is ripped from her lips and for a moment moonlight glints on the tease of fang.

*flash* as a wolves howl cuts through the shadowed trees in worship of the moon. Silver forms prowl and snarl amongst them selves, only to fall silent at the warning growl from a grizzled female with a scar splitting the corner of her mouth. Canine eyes glow with triumph and malice.

Lafayette finally tears himself from the never ending visions and curls into a whimpering huddle in the middle of his bed, praying for dawn to arrive and drive away the hellish nightmares.

And so ends another typical evening in the little backwoods town known as Bon Temps.

The End...till my True Blood season 5

(Cue True Blood theme song)

A/N - I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement through out my version of Season Four. I have reached the end of my original plot line though I can guarantee this is not the end for this particular couple. I will take a month or so to hammer out where I want them to go next and flesh out the particulars. I couldn't resist leaving just a bit of a hint just as you would find in the real series. While the sequel to Masters is percolating in my mind, those of you waiting for the next installment of Ties will see the first few chapters soon. My ultimate goal is to have both sequels finished before the real TB Season four or CH's next book hit the TV and Shelves. For a bit of fun I've included my own bit of fantasy casting for True Blood, please enjoy.

My True Blood Cast:

Eric Northman - Alexander Skarsgård
Sookie Stackhouse - Jessica Stam
Pamela Swinford DeBeauford - Kristin Bauer
Jason Stackhouse - Ryan Kwanten
Bill Compton - Stephen Moyer
Sam Merlotte - Sam Trammell
Lafayette Reynolds - Nelsan Ellis
Holly Cleary - Lauren Bowles
Jessica Hamby - Deborah Ann Woll
Alcide Herveaux - Joe Manganiello
John Quinn - Vin Diesel
Frannie Quinn - Svala Lind
Marnie Stonebrook - Elisabetta Canalis
Sophie - Anne - Evan Rachel Wood
Appius Livius Ocella - Theo Theodoridis
Thalia - Denise Vasi
Chow Chow Lin - Vincent Lyn
Andre Paul - Robert Boyd Holbrook
Claude Crane - John Abraham
Claudine Crane - Olivia Wilde
Preston Pardlo - Gabriel Aubry
Niall Brigant - Gaston Willig
Victor Madden - Ruben Cortada
Felipe de Castro - Andres Velencoso Segura
Tara Thornton - Rutina Wesley
Jennifer Carter - Coleen Mcloughlin