I wake with a small frown, lingering images of a frozen rose garden still floating through my mind. Wow, talk about a fucked up dream, I mean, really. My brow pinches, feeling an icy chill against my hand and I raise it slowly before my face to see a permanently frozen, blood red rose petal perched upon my flesh. Oh, holy hell; it wasn’t just a dream after all!
I turn my head then, only then realizing I’m wrapped in the familiar, combined embrace of my loves, the seven of us curled up together on our magically enlarged bed. Oh, thank God. Whatever happened, or wherever the hell I was before; I can at least breathe a bit easier now, knowing I’m back home where I belong. I look over my slumbering men, my vampires still dead to the world as my Weres are curled around them, breathing shallowly in their sleep.
The scene is peaceful, quiet, and should help to ease my still wracking nerves, so why am I suddenly left frowning? And why the hell are Mab’s words about being careful who I trust still echoing in the back of my mind? Dammit, I can’t let her get to me! She’s got her own agenda she’s playing at, that’s all; she doesn’t care about me, she only seeks to use me for, well, something, I’m really not sure what in all honestly.
My gaze wonders over my men, the men I truly love with all my heart, the men that have been here for me my entire life, helping to raise me, training me to defend myself, loving me in every sense of the word. Mab’s words are echoing once more as I suddenly can’t help but wonder once more what lives I might be keeping them all from. Just where might they all be now if not stuck here in this house with me with their own lives in danger right along with my own?
Am I keeping them from the lives they were meant to have? From the loves they were meant to be with? And what about me? What kind of life might I have had if not for the prophecy hanging over my head? My men told me it was our combined magics that allowed me to transition to a full blooded Fae, but does that mean without them, I may have remained mostly human? Could I have avoided this whole destiny mess that way, or would it have inevitably found me anyhow?
I have to admit, the implications are rather troubling, moreso the longer I ponder it all. What if Mab was right? What if I’ve placed my trust in the wrong hands? What if my entire life, my entire prophesized destiny has been nothing more than a charade? I mean, by now, the lines have obviously been drawn, but how do I know I’m on the right side?
“Princess?” a voice calls softly then to leave me looking up at three sets of concerned eyes. “You’re awake,” Alcide remarks, his dark eyes shining back at me in concern. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” he questions anxiously just before I find myself being scooped up by my three Weres, their collective arms wrapping around me tightly.
“Sorry, I’m fine, really,” I try an reassure them, feeling their doubt as I just can’t seem to shake these damn nagging thoughts that are now firmly implanted in the back of my mind.
“Sookie,” Calvin states, hitting me with solemn blue eyes. He cocks a brow at me and as always, as with any of my men, I just can’t seem to hide anything from him.
“So what happened to me anyways?” I question, avoiding further probing, at least for the moment. “I mean, the last time I remember seeing you, things were getting pretty heated in the kitchen,” I admit, instant guilt rolling in my gut upon recalling the way I behaved with my men, even knowing Dark Magics are likely fully to blame for my behavior.
“You passed out, Sookie,” Quinn informs me, his lilac eyes flashing with momentary fear. “We were terrified. Mímir and Amelia had to work magic to try and free you from Mab’s Dark Magics. You wouldn’t wake up after and we thought…,” my tiger trails off, his beautiful lilac eyes brimming with tears.
“Hey, hey, it’s alright, really, I’m okay now; I’m right here,” I assure my tiger, pulling him closer as Calvin and Alcide tighten their hold upon the both of us.
“I was so scared, Sookie,” Quinn whispers against my throat, before he’s breathing deeply of my scent to bring an airy smile to my face as I idly trace my fingers over his bald head. “What happened to you? Mímir said you’d be fighting your own battle,” he questions, bringing a small frown to my face.
“I-, uh, I saw Mab,” I admit, my voice barely above a whisper as I feel my men’s anxiety spiking through me.
“What do you mean? Did she hurt you? Sook, what did she do!?” Calvin demands, his human eyes flashing with his beast’s menace as he, Quinn and Alcide proceed to look me over for any signs of abuse. I’m left shifting a bit uncomfortably between them, not sure exactly how to explain what happened to me.
“I-, I mean, she didn’t hurt me or anything,” I start, being hit with identical, probing gazes. “We just, well, we talked is all,” I explain, watching my Weres exchange befuddled looks between one another.
“You…talked…,” Alcide questions, his dark head tilting in puzzlement. “And what did she want to talk to you about, Princess?” my wolf questions as I’m left wracking my brain, trying to decide just how to answer that question.
“Oh, well, she, uh, she said I needed to be careful about who it was I decided to trust,” I admit, seeing my men look only more confused than before. “She-, well, she seemed to think I may be wrong in putting my trust in Niall and Alexandra,” I explain, feeling my Weres annoyance spike through me.
“Bullshit,” Quinn asserts, his bald head shaking. “You can’t trust anything she says, Sook, she’s the enemy, remember?” my tiger insists to earn a meek nod from me.
“Yeah, right, of course; I know,” I answer back perhaps a touch too quickly as my Weres don’t appear to be convinced.
“Lover?” I hear my Viking’s voice sound to leave the four of us turning towards my Vampires as the three of them sit up together, only just rising from their day rest. “Oh, Lover,” Eric sighs out, leaning across my Weres to pull me into his sturdy embrace.
“Hey, it’s alright, I’m fine, I promise,” I reassure my Viking as he, Godric and Rasul grip me into a breath stealing hug.
“Dear One,” Godric sighs out, my ancient Gaul combing his fingers through my hair. “You’re truly a sight for sore eyes.”
“I can say the same for you all,” I admit, sending warm eyes over my assembled guard, already beginning to wonder just what the hell I was so worried about before. I’m just being silly, of course; these are my loves, my everythings.
“My Princess, are you sure you’re alright?” Rasul questions, his dark eyes welling with concern as I feel hot tears stinging at the corners of my eyes. I can’t explain exactly how I’m feeling right now, but overwhelmed is probably the term I’d have to use, even if I can’t put my finger on exactly why I feel this way.
“I-, I just,” I start, having to shake my head, knowing it’s just not like me to get so overly emotional like this. “I missed you is all,” I choke out, surprised to note just how true those words actually are, even if I was only unconscious for mere hours or so.
With that, I’m engulfed between my loves, finding myself breathing deeply of their comingling scents that never fail to comfort me, no matter just how bad things may be. I let out a shuddering sigh, combined hands caressing, soothing me, and making my troubles begin to fade under their endearing actions.
It’s then that it happens, just as it’s had a habit of doing lately; my lusts suddenly spike, strongly enough to bring a surprised gasp from me. Oh, God. Six sets of eyes instantly darken around me, my welling desires managing to spike their own. The touches of my men that I’d only just found comforting are suddenly sending fire through my veins, my every sense heightening until it’s just this side of painful.
“I-, I need-,” I gasp out, my mind blanking as combined hands begin lowering me to the mattress. A searing mouth locks onto my own, drawing throaty moans from me as I feel my clothing being literally shredded from my body and it’s still not fast enough. My spine bows up over the bed, my vision clouding right along with what remnants of logical thought I still have left and I find I can’t even communicate just what it is I need as there’s only desire, only a burning fire that needs to be quelled right now!
Thank God my men don’t need to be told just what it is I need as I suddenly find myself being pulled against a muscled chest, my already dripping sex being brushed against by the swelled tip of my lover. Without a moment of hesitance or even so much as a muttered word, I’m being impaled; hard, fast, and it’s so very, very good.
Echoing grunts and moans are rising up around me as I rock and grind myself atop my lover’s lap, my nails digging harshly into dewy flesh and it’s not until I’m staring deeply into familiar, chocolate eyes that I realize it’s my wolf I’m currently joined with.
“Alcide,” I sigh out, burying my nose into the crook of his neck, breathing in his musky, masculine scent, swearing I can scent the forest embedded in his flesh, can smell the grass, the leaves, the night itself washing over us as the two of us rock ever harder, ever faster, utterly losing ourselves to scent, to taste, to sensation.
“Sookie, my Sookie,” Alcide is chanting against my ear as his meaty fingers dig into my hips, the slight, stinging pain enlightening me to his slowly extending claws. The slight pain only manages to heighten the pleasure however, and I find myself digging my own nails deeper into his broad shoulders, riding him, riding the pleasure as we utterly lose ourselves in one another.
A low growl emanates from my wolf before I find myself being abruptly pinned beneath his massive form, seeing his eyes glowing wolf amber above me. My breath hitches as his hips begin rocking harder still, his beast visibly raising to the surface to add that touch of danger that just flat does it for me.
“Yes, God, Alcide!” I cry out, my spine bowing as my wolf’s claws sink into my ass and his sharpened teeth plunge into the crook of my throat, his hips pounding harder, deeper to make bright stars explode behind my vision.
“Wait, wait, I-, I can’t,” Alcide growls out then, shaking his head as he starts to raise himself upon his arms above me, sudden fear flashing behind his blazing amber eyes.
“W-what?” gasp out, knowing I need my wolf to keep going. We can’t just stop now!
“I-, I don’t wanna hurt you,” he rasps out, wary eyes trekking over my exposed body before I send a cursory glance down towards my blood coated flesh.
“Damn it, Alcide, you keep going, you hear me? And don’t you dare stop, not for anything, not until we’re done, got it?” I’m left growling out, clasping onto my lover’s sculpted hips and clutching him closer to slam him deep inside me once more. His eyes go momentarily wide just before a sharp snap of his hips draws a longing moan from my lips.
“Oh, fuck, Sook,” Alcide grunts out, our hips finding that same insistent, demanding rhythm against one another as before. My wolf bows to my demands, not letting up, not holding back and it’s with a ragged scream I finally find my release, subsequently bringing all my men right along with me.
Alcide rolls himself to my side, his chest heaving just as hard as my own as the lot of us are left floating back down from our intense release together. The feel of soft fingers caressing along my hip finds me glancing down to see my wolf examining my bloody skin that’s already managed to knit itself back together to leave utterly smooth flesh behind.
“I’m fine, I promise,” I sigh out curling into the heat of my wolf whilst feeling his muscled arms wrapping around me tightly. A cursory glance across the spanning bed enlightens me to the contented states of the rest of my guard, their sated bodies curled around one another. Soft kisses are exchanged between my Vampires and Weres alike. The endearing sight really should bring a smile to my face and yet a small frown forms as Mab’s words begin to echo in the back of my mind once more to leave me questioning if this is really the place my men truly belong.
I know for a fact virtually none of the current couplings between them would be even remotely possible if not for the magics joining us. Were they meant to be elsewhere? Am I keeping them from their true place, from their true loves? God! Why the hell am I questioning this all only now? Is it all Mab, or have I just allowed myself to be blinded to the truth up until now?
“Lover?” Eric questions softly, leaning closer to send me wary, cobalt eyes with Quinn still clutched tightly in his embrace.
“Oh, I’m fine, just a bit tired I guess,” I answer and it’s not fully a lie as I’m actually fighting to keep my eyes open at this point. My men must sense this as well as they’re quick to drop the subject, proceeding to tuck me snuggly under the covers with collective kisses and whispers of love. I return their kisses and whisper back words of affection, but all the while, that same voice is nagging at the back of my mind, leaving me questioning, well, just about everything and by the time I finally drift off to sleep, it’s anything but restful.