13
Jan
10

Loved by a Vampire – The Afterglow

For the last week or so we’ve been getting slightly hot and bothered around here as we explore Bill and Eric’s sexual behaviour and what it reveals about their character, their relationship with Sookie, and their role in the story generally.

In two previous posts we looked at how each vampire initiates lovemaking with Sookie, and also how they behave during the act itself.

Today it’s time to stifle those hormones, calm down a bit and snuggle up close. It’s time to bask in the afterglow.

THE AFTERGLOW – BILL

In putting together some Bill and Sookie afterglow material to explore, I was immediately struck by something I hadn’t even noticed as I read the books – there isn’t very much of it.

In comparison to the Eric love scenes which contain pages of action and dialogue, the Bill scenes are short, and they often miss bits. For example, Charlaine Harris will show us the initiation and the act, but leave out what happens after. Or she will just start the scene after the sex is over, with Bill and Sookie talking. Charlaine says she doesn’t include anything superfluous to the story – everything that is in the books is there because it’s relevant; and if it’s not there, it’s not important to the plot or Sookie’s story.

I find this little tidbit noteworthy, and you should bear it in mind as you read through this piece.

Surely, I thought, there must be lots of warm and glowy talk after Bill and Sookie’s first love scene, right? It was Sookie’s very first time after all. Even though I couldn’t immediately recall a monumental conversation, I was fairly confident that I must have just forgotten it.

After finding the scene in my copy of DUD, it turns out that Sookie’s first pillow talk is marked by a comparatively brief exchange during which Sookie confirms to Bill that he is her first, and Bill reassures her about her lack of experience, and confides that she is the first virgin he has been with since his wife.

DEAD UNTIL DARK

Finally Bill moved to lie beside me, propped on one elbow, and he put his hand over my stomach.
“I am the first.”
“Yes.”
“Oh Sookie,” He bent to kiss me, his lips tracing the line of my throat.
“You could tell I don’t know much,” I said shyly. “But was that alright for you? I mean, about on a par with other women at least? I’ll get better.”
“You can get more skilled Sookie, but you can’t get any better.” He kissed me on the cheek. “You’re wonderful.”

Sookie then suggests that Bill use some of his blood to heal her lady bits and Bill is pretty well up for that. It’s kind of hot, if you like that sort of thing. And brief – less than half a page. Bill is well behaved, which you would expect if he ever wants to get sex again. It’s all relatively normal. Well, as far as losing your virginity to a vampire can be considered “normal”.

There is no real afterwards conversation to speak of, but otherwise it was kind of sweet, right?

Let it never be said that I fail to give credit where it’s due.

Moving on, the next time Sookie and Bill make love we are at Bill’s house. We get the initiation – and nothing else. Oh c’mon Charlaine, that is just mean! Let’s try again.

Night three after Sookie gives it up. We miss the initiation, and we miss the act as well. We pick up the action with Bill and Sookie lying in bed afterwards, talking. The subject? Nasty Uncle Bartlett. Bill opens the conversation by asking Sookie if she has ever played “show me yours” with Jason, and shares an incident from his childhood when his brother and sister were caught doing this by their mother.

So far so good. Bill is sharing! The topic is…well, odd. But he is sharing.

Bill then begins to sense Sookie’s discomfort at the turn of the conversation, and manages to extract from her the story of her molestation as a five year old by Bartlett. Listening to Sookie tell the tale, it’s clear that he’s pissed as hell. But I can let that slide, since most any boyfriend would react from the gut in the same circumstances.

So the scene concludes, and I’m thinking “Hey! That was good for Sookie! She confided something deep and private and got things off her chest, and Bill listened attentively and acted like a nice caring boyfriend. These two might just have a shot.” Of course, this was early days – and I didn’t really know Bill.

Tell me, did it even occur to any of you that Bill would get on the phone and arrange a hit on the old fella as soon as Sookie fell asleep? Old Uncle B is drained dry by the time the sun comes up and I am picking my jaw up off the floor. The reality of what Sookie has invited into her life hit me full in the face.

Bill!?! What the FUCK?! In her newly sexed up hormonal fog, she trusted you with something huge. And you just ruined it all! RUINED IT. You really have no idea, do you?

Maybe things will improve in the next book?

Sookie tells Bill her deepest, darkest secret. Bill broods. Bill does something stupid. The End.

LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS

The frequency of Sookie and Bill’s sex really hits the downhill slide in LDID – perhaps because there is so much going on around them, or perhaps CH is deliberately setting up for Bill’s emotional withdrawal at the beginning of Club Dead. I suspect it’s a bit of both.

The first sex scene in LDID is interrupted by Eric before it really gets started (though Bill, true to form manages to get in some panty ripping to kick things off. This allows Eric to later find Sookie’s undies in pieces on the floor, and Alpha all over him. As he does.) By the time they get rid of Eric and get busy again, Charlaine is bored and we are cut off as Bill “bends his head to other things”. No afterglow here. No sex on page either for that matter.

“Things” are heading decidedly pear shaped between Bill and Sookie by the time we get our first post coital scene, well over three quarters of the way into LDID.

When he collapsed on top of me, I was exhausted…
…”Are you okay?” he mumbled.
“Except for having run into a brick wall a few times,” I said, indistinctly.
We both drifted off to sleep for a little, though Bill woke first as he always did at night.
“Sookie,” he said quietly. “Darling wake up.”
“Oo”, I said, slowly coming to consciousness. For the first time in weeks, I woke with the hazy conviction that all was right with the world. With slow dismay, I realised things were far from right…
“We have to talk”, he said…
“So talk.” I was awake now. What I was regretting was not the sex, but having to discuss the issues between us.

What they talk about, at length, is Bill’s self control issues (oh yes, this again) and specifically his inability to restrain himself from eating the FOTS people after the shoot out. Of course he has a good reason for this, and we all know what’s coming. He is VAMPIRE. Just in case we forgot.

The discussion then briefly turns to Bill’s parading around Bon Temps with Portia Bellefleur to make Sookie jealous. Finally, Eric gets a look in as Bill furthers his “Make Sookie Think Eric Is The Devil” agenda in a post-bullet sucking scare campaign.

I guess Sookie and Bill are having some problems, because this isn’t very warm and fuzzy. It is also the last time Bill and Sookie have consensual sex on the page. Charlaine has had enough of this mess, and so have we.

In the immortal words of Everclear – “So much for the afterglow”.

THE AFTERGLOW – ERIC

Comparing Bill and Eric’s behaviour after sex? Night, meet day. The differences are stark, and I know I’m harping on this but I just cannot fathom how Charlaine could be writing Eric’s sex scenes with such detail and completeness and glossing over everyone else’s, unless she has a purpose in mind. Namely, to hook the reader on Eric. As usual we have lots of talking, playful banter, touching and holding, and eye contact. Is that getting boring yet?

Hardly.

Dead to the World

From Eric and Sookie’s first love scene it was clear that in Eric, we were not getting a roll over and fall asleep kind of guy. DTTW Eric is not his complete self – however he is operating from his core, instinctive being. Since sexual behaviours are instinctive, I’ve always felt that Eric’s sexual behaviour in DTTW was probably not far off the mark for how “real” Eric would behave. It took five more books before we got any real Eric sex to judge whether that assessment was correct, and I think it was. Eric’s sexual behaviour in DAG really isn’t much different to that of DTTW. As it has remained throughout the previous two stages, his afterwards MO is consistent over both books…and of course it involves every hot move known to man, and some that most men have no clue about.

“Tell me about us. How long have I known you?”..
…“I’m cold,” I said gently, and he let me lie beside him, pulling the covers up over us. I propped myself up on one elbow and he lay on his side, so we were facing each other. “Let me think. I met you last year at Fangtasia, the vampire bar you own in Shreveport. And by the way, the bar got attacked today. Last night. I’m sorry, I should have told you that first, but I’ve been so worried about my brother.”
“I want to hear about today, but give me our background first. I find myself mightily interested.”

He was holding me, and my head was on his shoulder. I murmured into his neck, “You are so beautiful.”….
…“What part do you like best?” he asked, his voice teasing.
“Oh, your butt,” I said instantly.
“My… bottom?”
“Yep.”
“I would have thought of another part.”
“Well, that’s certainly… adequate,” I told him, burying my face in his chest. I knew immediately
I’d picked the wrong word.
“Adequate?” He took my hand, placed it on the part in question. It immediately began to stir. He moved my hand on it, and I obligingly circled it with my fingers. “This is adequate?”
“Maybe I should have said it’s a gracious plenty?”
“A gracious plenty. I like that,” he said.

I love this passage, it demonstrates perfectly the playful flirtation that has always characterised Eric and Sookie’s relationship. From the very beginning they’ve played off each other, openly teased and flirted, and shared a sense of humour no one else around them seems to understand. Even Bill admits they’re compatible and very alike in DAAD. They bring that playfulness into their lovemaking, and there are numerous examples of their sexual banter through out the books, not all of it occurring in the bedroom:

Lest we part on too lovey-dovey a note, I said, “Eric, when I’m back to being myself, I’m going to nail your ass for putting me in this position of being pledged to you.”
“Darling, you can nail my ass anytime,” he said charmingly, and turned to go back to his table.

Jeez! They're at it again! All lovey dovey, and touchy, and gazing into eachother's eyes. Laughing, talking...acting like a goddamn married couple. Get a room!

DEAD AND GONE

This time Sookie is the one to get the conversational ball rolling, before dodging out when Eric completely blindsides her with an unexpected offer:

“Can I tell you what happened today?” I asked after we’d drowsed for a few minutes.
“Of course, my lover.” His eyes were half open. He was lying on his back beside me, and the
room smelled of sex and vampire. “I’m all ears—for the moment, at least.” He laughed.
…Eric was a good listener, at least in his postcoital relaxed state.

So off I babbled like a brook in the spring, telling him about my rendezvous with Claude and
Claudine and all they’d told me about Breandan and Dermot.

This conversation is very long and covers alot of emotional ground. While it began blandly enough with Sookie relating her encounters with some nasty fairies, things soon moved into heady emotional territory. Pretending to be acting out of concern for her safety (while we are all thinking what a big fat liar he is), Eric asks Sookie to leave Bon Temps and stay with him in Shreveport. Sookie immediately panics that she’ll end up fessing up her feelings before she’s sure that they’re reciprocated, and starts putting up her brick wall at lightening speed. Eric keeps trying, coming closer than he’s ever been to telling her exactly how he feels about her. Sookie – who obviously has no idea when to shut up – tells him not to even go there. They then discuss her feelings for Quinn, Andre’s final death, the blood bond and Eric turning her…even the L word is raised, in a roundabout fashion. This was a landmark conversation for a couple whose ability to dodge emotional issues is the stuff of Sookieverse legend.

The reversal of “traditional” roles in this scene is striking. It is Eric who ends up laying himself emotionally bare in this scene, albeit unwittingly. He displays the kind of emotional vulnerability traditionally associated with the woman in a relationship that is still finding its feet. Sookie behaves more like a man; rambling about her orgasms, closing down his attempts to discuss their feelings and leaving him completely confused as he tries to work out what she needs from him – [“What are you after?”]

Along with their talk at Fangtasia earlier in the book during which Eric shared the details of his human life, his turning and his maker, this pillow talk certainly stands as a milestone in their relationship. Eric put more out there emotionally in Dead and Gone than he has in all eight previous books combined. The vampire quite obviously has it bad.

Finally, with dawn approaching Eric leaves for Shreveport:

He bent to kiss me, and I put my arms around his neck. For a second, I knew he was thinking of crawling back in the bed with me; I hoped it was his body language and his murmur of pleasure that cued me to his thoughts….
“I want you again,” he said, sounding a little surprised. “But I have to go.”
“I’ll see you soon, I guess?” I was awake enough to feel uncertain.
“Yes,” he said. His eyes were bright and his skin glowed. The mark on his wrist was gone. I touched where it had been. He leaned over to kiss the place on my neck where he’d bitten me, and I shivered all over. “Soon.”

This exchange is so incredibly…human. I love that she knew what he was thinking as he was saying goodbye – was she reading his mind as she has done briefly in the past? Was it the effects of the blood bond? Or was it nothing more complicated or magical than a “knowing” we all experience at some time – the knowing that comes with feeling a deep emotional connection with the person we love.

VERBS AND ADJECTIVES

Bill Scenes: kiss, tracing, shyly, skilled, wonderful, indistinctly, drifted, hazy, dismay, regretting, sex, discuss.

Eric Scenes: tell, gently, interested, holding, beautiful, teasing, burying, stir, drowsed, lover, laughed, relaxed, babbled, kiss, murmur, pleasure, want, uncertain, touched, shivered.

Screencaps

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

10 Responses to “Loved by a Vampire – The Afterglow”


  1. 1 Dan
    January 13, 2010 at 6:55 am

    BTW: HBO on Demand switched over to season two today.  On the afterglow, what we see in DAG confirms that the idenity stripped Eric in
    DTTW really was Eric’s core being.  There was much frustration for him after curse was broken and the Wordly Eric, defined by his responsibilties and status, could not reconcile his feelings.  He knew she was no other woman but wants to unferstand what happened.  He likes her, but he is not accustomed to chasing after feelings.  She throws up her walls because she refuses to believe that DTTW was really Eric.  Much safer to treat Sherrif Eric as the sorta friend, who just wants in her pants and to use her abilities.   She stuffs the feelings as best she can.  Eric goes through the process of reconciling his “not knowing” which often leads to the lowest common denominator of emotion: anger

    Then finally, after the takeover in #8, his memory is recovered.   He immediately starts using those terms of endearment again.  He gives her space and becomes very busy with work, but he knows what he wants.  Sookie is split at this point.   Just the thought of him gives her goose bumps but she blames it on the blood bond.   She starts to relent in DAG, knowing that the feelings are at least partly natural.   She is not really that angry about the Knife ceremony.   She is now playing lip service to her doubts.   At current, she knows he really loves her. I wish she would relinquish any thoughts about breaking the bond because Eric is right, the more bonded to him, the safer she is.  And why not have a convient tool, such as a bond, to your significant other.

    • January 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      what we see in DAG confirms that the idenity stripped Eric in DTTW really was Eric’s core being. There was much frustration for him after the curse was broken and the Wordly Eric, defined by his responsibilties and status, could not reconcile his feelings. He knew she was no other woman, but wants to understand what happened. He likes her, but he is not accustomed to chasing after feelings.

      Sometimes it takes a male perspective to pull all of my emotional fluffing into a succinct, factual statement. You SO get it Dan. That is exactly what’s going with Eric at this point in the books, perfectly defined. Eric has copped alot of flak for his withdrawal from Sookie in books 5-8. He’s been accused of being cold, of not caring, of losing interest. A 1000 year old being is never going to embrace the full extent of his feelings for a 26 year old mortal without some serious introspection. He knows he’s put himself out there, and therefore made himself vulnerable…but he doesn’t know exactly what happened. Of course he’s going to pull back until he can work out where he stands.

      As you say, when his memory comes back in FDTW it is game ON. He immediately starts up with the terms of endearment again, initially recalling DTTW by calling her “his lover” but by Bk 9 some interesting new terms have come into play – dear one, darling, and dear heart. Well, well, well. We’ve moved from the sexually charged “lover”, the possessive and sexually charged “MY lover”, to….dear one? darling? and Dear heart? There’s no sexual connotation to these terms, they represent a complete shift in his view of her. Sounds to me like someone gained a wife and some pretty deep feelings along with their memory. Sounds like someone moved on from lust, to love.

      On the blood bond – I have been very anti BB but I’m starting to come around as I understand it a bit better. I think Eric knows that Sookie loves him, he feels it through the bond. He said it in DAG – [“You love me”. He nodded.] Oh, he knows. She knows. How long it’s going to take to hear the unspoken laid bare is the big question.

      I’m doing a post about Dead to the World soon, because amnesia Eric and real Eric – and Charlaine’s intentions with both – fascinate me.

  2. 3 Stef
    January 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Well, you’ve done it again. Another fantastic post!

    I see Eric as going through the biggest transformation in these books. He’s frankly “forced” to come to terms with over 1000 years of “life” without possibly ever having to worry about the human emotions that he is dealing with in regards to Sookie. He,to me, has overcome a lot (perhaps even the same amount if not more of what Sookie has gone through–at least emotionally). And generally speaking, he’s lived all of these “experiences” with her to be able to empathize completely with what she is going through. And, I think he’s been jealous for the first time in his long existence which scares the crap out of him IMO. He may even be a little concerned with the possibility of rejection. After all, he knows now how he acted when he wasn’t entirely himself in DTTW. I think he somewhat believes that Sookie has huge expectations of him, and he’s doing his best to live up to them.

    Bill…not so much. He has shared “experiences” with her, but to me still remains detached in a way. While Eric loves being a vampire, I think Bill enjoys it even moreso. He is younger than Eric, so he hasn’t been able to fathom being around for thousands of years. I think Bill is into Sookie more for the chase. We all know Eric has the personality to enjoy the chase as well, but he has struggled to come to terms with so much emotion that I think it’s the real deal for him. The vampire definetely “has it bad” as you so eloquently put it:)

    As you do, I seem to get completely frustrated with Sookie as the books go on. She needs to come to terms with all of her turmoil, seek counseling if need be and face up to her true feelings for Eric dammit! And tell him she loves him for crying out loud! She can admit it to herself with some certainty in DITF, but she needs to admit it to him! Although, I think deep down, Eric knows she loves him, he’s just giving her a huge-ass amount of time. The man’s patience is impeccable considering his personality.

    • 4 Ashley
      April 1, 2010 at 3:21 am

      So right, so right!! ahhh Sookie drives me insane in the books..just say it dammit! She DOES need to tell him, to his face…Erics wants her to come to terms with her feelings….if she said to him, i dont think she’d be disappointed. I just hope she’s with Eric in the end. They just belong together.

  3. 5 walgigi
    January 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I just said on another post that Sookie, when is confused and wanted to hide to herself her feelings, is worst than a damaged traffic light in the middle of Manhattan. And even when I said it in a funny way, it isn’t. She is always trying to rationalize her feelings (and everybody else’s), and that’s a huge mistake. Because you don’t “think” love, you “feel” it. Sookie is also used to sabotage her own feeling as a self defense mechanism. And I have to admit that, even when I deeply enjoyed that Sookie said to Amelia that she loves Eric in DITF, the fact that she is having a sexual dysfunction with him worries me a lot, especially after their last ackward afterglow in DAG.

    @Steff -” As you do, I seem to get completely frustrated with Sookie as the books go on. She needs to come to terms with all of her turmoil, seek counseling if need be and face up to her true feelings for Eric dammit! And tell him she loves him for crying out loud! She can admit it to herself with some certainty in DITF, but she needs to admit it to him! Although, I think deep down, Eric knows she loves him, he’s just giving her a huge-ass amount of time. The man’s patience is impeccable considering his personality.”

    I completely agree with you.

  4. 6 sunnynala
    January 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    On the differences in True Blood–S/B pillow talk is sappy and immature, like a pair of high school lovers. It’s all ego stroking a Hallmark card platitudes. No real connecting on an emotional level, no true baring of their souls. OTOH, S/E in the dream sequences show how much Sookie longs for a deeper, more mature connection. The humor in the Dallas dream, which comes just after the bullet sucking and after Bill has tried to convince her Eric is evil, struck me as stemming from an intimate familiarity, an ease and confidence with Eric Sookie has never shown with Bill. AB is headed in the same direction as CH when it comes to E/S, he’s just taking a longer, more circuitous route.

  5. 7 VampirePamsGirl
    January 14, 2010 at 3:22 am

    I just want to seriously thank you. This post, more than any other, really reaffirms my faith that CH does intend for Eric to be the HEA or at least definitely shows that Bill (contrary to the hopes of some) will absolutely not be the HEA. I mean, as we’ve discussed before CH said that she wrote DUD as a stand alone book and that she really didn’t start plotting long-term until LDID. And what a surprise, things are fairly good with B/S in DUD and then it all starts to fall apart in LDID and just like Humpty, there ain’t no putting that crap back together again.

    Also loads of thanks to sunnynala for continuing to give perspective on TB and for personally giving me hope for the show. 🙂

  6. 8 Kristen
    January 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Once again, you’ve “nailed” it (again, pun intended)!

    Love, love, love your blog and love, love, love that I can come here and not feel like such a Sookie-addicted hot mess. No one else in my life quite understands my obsession with the books, and by extension, the beautiful Viking.

    I tell people now “Edward who??”

    =)

  7. 9 ellemoe
    January 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I think Sookie’s reluctance in admiting her love for Eric has to do with her qualms about the BB. She feels as though she doesn’t know what she’s feeling as opposed to what Eric could be making her feel. Vamps are supposed to be able to exude some control over their “humans” hence the glamour aspect. She can’t be glamoured and can’t be controlled that way, but with the BB and her feelings changing when Eric comes around, i.e., her feeling happy/content when he’s near and her wanting him to be near her, she feels as though those aren’t her true feelings, especially if she’s pissed at him. Once she comes to grips with the fact that he can’t control her emotions through the bond and that what she feels is genuinely what she feels, she’ll be able to tell him she loves him. We know she does, he knows she does but she’s scared. I think it also has to do with her only other intimate relationships with me. Bill being her first everything broke her heart terribly and she told him things she hadn’t told anyone else. She’s guarded now, not wanting to be hurt that way again, not wanting to give herself to anyone else that way again. Quinn, I don’t even know what to say about their “relationship” which was kind of a fling if you ask me. She wasn’t over Eric, she knows he wasn’t over her but she was upset because he wasn’t around. So, since she has little experience with the ways of relationships getting into something really serious with Eric is a scary thought. I’m hopeful for DITF to shed some light on the situation and Sook’s mind will be opened to the possibilities of the love she can get from Eric and the relationship they will be able to share.

    Love your article, love your blog and couldn’t agree with you more.

  8. 10 EricsRenfield
    January 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Please forward a copy of this to AB @ HBO! You are spot on in my opinion. Bravo!


Comments are currently closed.

ABOUT SOOKIEVERSE

My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I'm going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are rampant...you have been warned!

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers

find me

Archives

tweet tweet!

Recent Comments

Blog Stats

  • 524,642 hits since October 2009

%d bloggers like this: