|Save the Last Dance
Author: InLoveWEric PM
Sookie, writer and dating Senator hopeful Bill Compton, finds herself in need to learn to Waltz. Enter Eric Northman, Professional dancer, watch how Eric Spins Sookie into a new world she just doesn't want to leave. E/S - AU M for a reason.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Family - Eric & Sookie - Chapters: 22 - Words: 183,285 - Reviews: 213 - Favs: 141 - Follows: 173 - Updated: 06-05-12 - Published: 10-09-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6384971
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Save the last dance for me.
A/N This story was the dream and inspiration of my dear Beta, Lilgray26. She wanted to see something about Eric teaching Sookie to dance. Thus this story was born. I expect it to be a short story (but if you have read any of my other stories, you know how that goes
(Beta Note: YAY We LOVE YOUR LONG Stories almost as much as we love your LONG CHAPTERS! Right everybody!)
The concept of the song chapter titles was inspired by the "I write the Song" contest. But after writing for a few hours, I knew this would take more than a one shot to tell. So, here is what I came up with. LilGray26, you inspire so much in me. This is totally for you.
Chapter 1 – We Just Disagree
"Sookie dear, have you picked out your dress yet?" Elizabeth asks me.
She startles me out of my thoughts. I've been trying to work on my book for the last three weeks. Bill has been on the campaign trail and since I'm not his wife, William Sr. and Elizabeth thought it would be more tactful if I stayed in Louisiana. They're always concerned with image and perception. Bill already has his campaign coordinator Lorena with him. Since I have no "job" with the campaign, they thought it inappropriate for me to be with him.
"I mean, how would it look?" Elizabeth said matter of factly. "It isn't like you have any reason to be there except to be on Bill's arm. And since there is no ring on your finger, it would make him look bad."
Not that they were ever advocating us getting married. They felt that Bill should marry but were still holding out for him to find a more suitable mate. I'm hidden from the press like an unwanted family member. Bill treats me like a well cared for China Doll. Taking me down and dusting me off for parties and then placing me back on my shelf. Our outings and dates lately have only been for public notice, and only when he needed to have me on his arm. Other than that, he went solo with his Campaign team in tow.
The Gala in a few weeks was such the event that I would be expected to be the perfect Southern Belle. I'm really not looking forward to it.
"I'm sorry?" I look up at Bill's mother. She's in complete dress from head to toe, including a hat. One would think she was on her way out. But this is how Elizabeth dresses on a daily basis. You never know who may come to visit you. You must be prepared. She would say to me.
I'm prepared. I'm dressed. Granted, I'm in yoga pants and a tank top. But I'm in writing mode and don't expect anyone to call on me. Anyone who would isn't in New Orleans. And anyone I care to see wouldn't care what I am dressed in. I'm seated on the back patio, curled up with my laptop on the side table. I just made a breakthrough in my latest chapter and I was lost in my own imagination when Elizabeth arrived.
She sighs at my confusion. She always sighs when I'm around. "The Gala, have you found your dress for the ball? It is little over a month away." She looks at me indignantly. "You will need to pick something out so we can get it to the designer. You can't wait much longer, Sookie."
You can see the distaste on her face when she says my name. It has never been a secret that Elizabeth Compton doesn't approve of me. I'm a small town girl from a backwater town in northern Louisiana. Even though I am a published author with a rather large following, it doesn't matter. I don't come from money or breeding and Elizabeth will never allow me to forget it. Not to mention my name. Though I have met people in her circle named Buffy, Miffy and the like, my name somehow makes her cringe. I like it. It's unique and fun. I never knew why my mother chose it, nor did I have a chance to ask before she passed. But it never bothered any of my family or friends, it's just my name.
I wanted to go home to my farmhouse in Bon Temps while Bill was away, but he would have none of that. He said he needs me in New Orleans to look after things for him. I agreed to stay for another week, but then I am going home. I have a deadline to meet and being in New Orleans is just a distraction. Especially when all three of the Compton's view my writing as, well, unacceptable.
So I write stories about vampires and werewolves. It's a genre I was first exposed to in a creative writing class in High School and it just took off from there. With the encouragement of my friends, Amelia, Tara and Sam, I sent my first story to a publishing house that Amelia was then interning at. She graduated a few years before me and was taking classes at LSU Shreveport. They loved it almost from page one. Subsequently I was published right before I graduated from High School.
Now, six years later, I was working on my third book of the series and my first four chapters to my editor and friend Amelia Broadway were due a week ago. My muse had finally returned this morning and just like that Elizabeth Compton scared it away.
I look up from my computer. "Elizabeth, I really haven't had time. This story is due to Amelia and I still have the book tour to think about…"
"Sookie, you must think about Bill. He is expecting you to take care of all this. He can't be worrying about you when he is not here." She says. "Now, I will make an appointment for you at the dress maker." She huffs. "We are cutting it short, but he may have time to do something for you. I mean it is a big event, but I will pull some strings. Now I am thinking pale yellow since the color goes so well with Bill's eyes."
I put my hand up to stop her. "Actually, Elizabeth, I'm going to have my friend Tara make the dress. She just opened her boutique in Shreveport and…"
She doesn't let me finish. "Sookie, Bill is running for US Senate. The Governor's Gala is a very big event. You can't just show up in anything. It must make a statement." She taps my hand. "We must look our best for him. All eyes will be on you two when you dance that evening. It is a very important night and many of the press will be there. I suspect that you and him will be the center of attention, especially if what Lorena tells me is true."
"DANCE?" I exclaim.
"Why of course, I mean he is one of the guests of honor. I expect the Governor to give him his endorsement that evening." She laughs. "I mean, why wouldn't he?" She looks at me. "Of course you know how to ballroom dance. Even in your small neck of the woods, I would expect your grandmother to teach you the finer points of being a lady?"
I try not to react. Elizabeth knows full well that my brother and I were raised by our Grandmother after our parent's death. She also knows that we didn't have a great deal of money. But somehow, Gran had found a way to send me to ballet classes until I was 12. I loved it so much. After 12 the lessons, costumes and such got a little pricey. I told her that I didn't need to go any longer. I could tell that she knew of my heartache but I wanted to be strong for the family. There were much more important things to spend our money on. Like fixing the leak in the roof, or putting food on the table or paying the phone bill. I just couldn't, in good conscience take money away from the family anymore. My instructor, Mrs. Bellefleur, would allow me to come to the lessons and help her with the little ones. While I interned I could use the practice rooms to dance when everyone was gone. It was a good trade. But one that ended when Gran had her first heart attack. She had worked at the library up until then and the doctors instructed her to stop. I had to find a real job to help out. Gone were my thoughts of dance. Bill never asked me to dance. In fact, he assumed I don't know how. I don't know how to ballroom dance, but he never asked. The one and only time he took me out to a club, he was aghast at my movements and rushed me out almost immediately after my friends arrived. Since then the idea of me dancing was never brought up again.
In fact, Bill knows very little of my upbringing. He has some very defined pre-conceived notions of how things were and never thought I had much refining. Well, we may have been poor, but manners and southern values have no price tag. Gran made sure I knew how to behave myself at anything from a garden party to a cotillion. I know how to set a proper dinner table and the lost art of sending thank you cards. I know how to handle myself in a room full of men and more importantly, women.
But the idea that I have any of these skills is lost on Bill Compton and his mother. They both hover over me when I'm anywhere in public, just waiting for me to mess things up for his precious career.
"I'm sure Bill won't expect me to dance." I say to her.
"Oh, well then why did he tell me to remind you of it not an hour ago?" She looks at me.
"You spoke with Bill?" I ask. I hadn't spoken to him in a week. He was out somewhere in California (or was it Colorado) looking at backers for his campaign. I can't understand why if he's campaigning to represent Louisiana, he needs to go out of town. But I just got a smile and a pat and told that it isn't my concern.
I had met Bill a year after I graduated High School and just after I came home from my first book tour. He had graduated from law school the year before and was working at his father's firm in New Orleans. My Gran had passed suddenly and William Sr. was the lawyer that she used to write up her estate. I had learned that the Compton family used to own the plantation next to our farmhouse. When they left, my Grandfather had purchased it and moved the old plantation home to a learning center in Reston. He then added the land to ours. Now it is a quite substantial piece of property.
When Gran passed, Jason sold his share of the property to me and I sold my share of our parent's old place to him each for a dollar. We thought it funny but both properties are about the same size and we thought it unnecessary to squabble over little things. We're all each other has left. And neither of us was brought up to allow a little thing like money to get between us. It has always been Jason and I through the years and we wouldn't allow a family feud to change that.
My parent's house was closer to Shreveport and easier for Jason's business. Jason is seven years older than me and shocked everyone when he announced that he wanted to be a physical therapist and attend LSU instead of taking the football scholarship to Texas State. He had a few injuries his senior year and thought that his career would probably be over before it began. After the last incident before he graduated, he became interested in the trainer and PT specialist on staff that worked on him. He felt his days as an athlete would give him a good perspective on how to help people with injuries. At 31 years old, Jason has a thriving business.
Bill and I talked the few times I came to his father with questions. First it was quite innocent. He would be in the conference room with his father. Then, it just started to be him. I was only there a handful of times but it was enough for him to ask me out, first for lunch and then for dinner. Soon we just fell into dating. He was different than the other men I knew. He was very serious and determined to be in the Senate by the time he was 35. He is 34 now. A great many years older than my 25, but he doesn't seem to mind. I think he likes having a young author on his arm when we go out. Even if he tries to avoid discussions of exactly what I write.
Our relationship is going on four years old and he has spoken briefly about marriage. He seems to think that being married will be a benefit and thinks we should do it before he heads to DC. I say nothing because it's easier than arguing. I really don't want to leave my home and have made no mention of changing my mind. I have just finished redoing the old farm house with my Royalties from my books. I have made it into the fabulous old home that Gran would have loved and wanted it to be. I love my home and wish to be there whenever I'm not traveling. Bill never wishes to be there and avoids discussions of returning to Bon Temps like it's a dirty secret. He much prefers the night life and energy of New Orleans. I like it to a point. But I miss the quiet of my home and want to be there now.
"Sookie?" Elizabeth calls to me. "Do you or don't you know how to dance?" She asks me.
I look at her for a moment. "I have a month right?" I ask.
Her eyes widen as she looks at me. "This…can't be happening! You…you don't know how to dance? Do you know how to do anything but write that trash and filth?" She points to my computer. "I mean seriously Sookie, your name is bad enough for no one to take William seriously. Then we have to put up with the talk about your sex on paper books. Now you are telling me that on the most important night of my son's career, you are going to embarrass him!"
I stand, closing my computer. "I am terribly sorry I am such an embarrassment to your family." I say to her walking out of Bill's sitting room in his Garden District home. It's so cold here. No wonder I have problems staying for long periods of time.
I walk up to my bedroom. Yes, not our, mine. Bill and I have not had intimate relations. Four years and he is as frozen as an ice storm. Any time we get close, he pulls away, explaining that he doesn't wish to take advantage of me. I'm 25 years old. I would like someone to take advantage of me! But he has always stopped himself and he feels that for the staff and his parents, we should have separate rooms.
"Appearances are everything, Sookie." Bill would say to me.
I roll my eyes as I place my things into my duffle bag and suitcase. I take one more look around to make sure I haven't forgotten a thing and head down the stairs.
As I reach the front hall I hear the shrill voice of the Wicked Witch herself. "Where do you think you're going?" She comes out of the parlor.
"I'm going home." I say to her.
"What are you talking about, you have to go with me to the Ladies Tea tomorrow and then you have that luncheon with the Governor's wife the day after that. These are important events and you are required to be there for Bill." She looks at me with disgust.
"You go. I'm sure I'd just embarrass your family anyway." I say as I walk out the door.
"SOOKIE!" I hear her scream but I don't turn around. She won't scream anything else nor will she follow me. What would the neighbors think?
I pull out of the drive and head for the highway that will take me home.
I look at my watch. I figure I have an hour before I get the call from Bill wanting me to explain myself.
Why do I stay in this relationship again? I can't seem to remember. I truly despise politics, I hate the uppity attitude of the rich and famous and I really hate those hats I'm supposed to wear to those stupid teas!
I mean, Gran taught me how to be a lady, contrary to what Bill or Elizabeth Compton think. But these horrid women will not allow you to forget that your grandmother's grandmother was never a member of the Louisiana Hat Society. I sigh and grab onto the wheel tighter and concentrate on the road ahead of me. I have a ton of things to do when I get home and the first is to sit on my huge patio that was just finished and have a glass of sweet tea. I need to feel my home and center myself. No matter what these people think of me, I am Sookie Adele Stackhouse. And she is a great person.
As if I could set my watch by it, an hour into my trip, I get a call.
"Yes Bill." I say without looking at the handheld. Thank goodness for Bluetooth.
"Sookie, you mind telling me why I was called out of a meeting to hear my mother screech about dresses and dancing?" He asks me.
"Bill, I'm driving, can I call you when I get home?" I ask him.
"Sookie, my mother called me from home. Where are you?" He asks.
I sigh. "I'm on my way to Bon Temps." I say to him.
"Sookie, we spoke about this. I need you to be at those functions for me. You need to represent me while I am away." He says with a little more aggression than I'm used to. "Lorena says that you are expected. Now I know you get, well preoccupied with things. Do I really need to have someone keeping your schedule for you? Is it that hard to remember that I am campaigning for the US Senate?"
"Bill, listen," I say. "I have deadlines I'm missing, I have a house I need to tend to. Jason needs some help in the front office while Crystal is on bed rest with the twins. Tara is working on some dresses and needs me to model for her." I sigh. "I need to be home. You don't need me in New Orleans. Believe me, your mother gets more out of those bored housewives than I ever could. She will get you your donations. You don't need me there."
"Sookie, I don't have time for this. Lorena has me booked solid for the next few weeks. Thank goodness she is considerate of my plans." He says.
Where is this coming from?
"I am leaving here and going to Texas then New York. I have spots on Meet The Press and have a discussion with some of the southern political figures in Savannah in another week. I don't have time to settle squabbles between you and my mother. Nor do I care to. Just do what she says. She has much more practice with this than you." He says.
It's true. William Sr, has been a political figure in Louisiana since before I can remember. Everyone knows the Compton name. And Elizabeth has always been by his side. She knows how to play the game. Trouble is I don't know if I want to play.
"Bill, she will be fine in New Orleans. I have responsibilities too you know." I try to say without sounding defensive. I fear I fail miserably.
"Fine, Sookie. Will you be attending the Gala or should I get a stand in?" He hisses.
I slow the car down and pull over. I'm getting mad and I don't want to crash. "What is that suppose to mean?" I ask him. "When have I ever not shown up for one of your events?" I ask him. In the four years that we have been together I have turned my life upside down and inside out to accommodate him. "I have already changed the release of the paperback of the last book so as to not take away from your campaign. I have had this damn Gala penciled in on my calendar since before you left on this latest trip. I have other things I need to get done, William Compton. My life has not stopped just because you aren't here." There I said it. I am tired of holding it all in.
"Well, Mother has informed me you are unable to dance. I think this is something you should have told me yourself." He says to me.
"Who said I can't dance? I just can't waltz. And besides, it never came up." I sigh. "Look, I need to get back on the road so I am home by nightfall. I will be in New Orleans the night before the Gala. I will look at getting some dance lessons. Amelia's partner owns a dance school in Shreveport. I will see if she knows anyone who can teach me the steps." I say to him.
"Could you please, for the hundredth time, not call that woman your editor lives with, her partner." He groans.
"But that's what she is." I say.
"Fine, Sookie call her what she wants. Just don't let anyone see you with her."
"But I think you owe my mother an apology for walking out on her." He says. I say nothing. That woman will not be getting an apology from me.
"I feel that this conversation is going nowhere." He growls. "I will inform my mother that you will take care of your dancing needs. Please do not forget. I will be expecting you to be flawless." He pauses, waiting for me to reply. I don't. He sighs again. "I will call you next week." He says and hangs up. Not an 'I love you' not a 'goodbye', he just hangs up.
I pull back onto the road and make my way to my home.
Once I pull into my newly constructed garage, I sigh with relief. I have wanted to come home for over a week. So why didn't I? because, I always lose my nerve when it comes to Bill Compton and his family.
I've never had a boyfriend before. It's true. Jason never thought anyone was good enough for me and since he was so much older, he kind of shooed everyone away. I have a lot of great friends, though. Apart from Amelia and Tara, I have Sam Merlotte who owns the bar/restaurant in town. JB and Alcide have been friends of Jason's since birth, not to mention Hoyt and his girl Holly. We are all a really close group of friends. When Jason met Crystal, we all knew his days of running around were over. She helped him settle himself and now he is a very devoted husband and soon to be father.
He is the first call I make as I flop down into my new family room and look out onto my patio.
"Hey there sis, how's New Orleans." He asks. Jason doesn't like Bill but tries his very best not to say much.
"I'm home." I say with a smile.
"Well how did you manage to get the leash off?" He laughs. I know he really isn't kidding.
"I had a fight with the shrew and left." I say to him. "Listen, do you need my help?" I ask him.
"Well, I got one of the girls from the college to start on Monday, but if you could come in tomorrow and help me sort through the files and get everything organized, I think it would make it easier on her." He says.
I laugh. I can just imagine what the office looks like without Crystal there. My brother is a wonderful man and takes care of each of his patients like they are family. But the one thing he isn't is office savvy.
"Sure Jay, I will come in around 9 and get started." I say to him.
"Sookie, I love you." He says. "But I don't want you staying too late. I saw Amelia and Pam out the other day and she was saying something about you being late on your deadline. So just a few hours, okay. I don't want you to get behind."
I sigh and try to hold back the tears. Of course my brother knows what I need.
"You know how much I love you, right?" I ask him.
"Sook, what's wrong hon?" He asks me.
"Oh, you know, the same." I sniffle.
"Sweetheart, you…ugh." He sighs. "I won't lecture, okay, I won't. But just know, you don't need him or New Orleans. Damn it, you are Sookie Stackhouse." He laughs. "By the way, Crystal has just burned through your last book and she is begging for more. It's really good, you know. I really like the blonde vampire you introduced. Who is he created after?"
Jason knows that most of my characters are based loosely on people I know, funny how Bill never noticed the dark haired sleazy vampire. But then again, he would have to read my book to notice.
But the newest character, I don't know. He's someone in my mind. Blonde, tall, built with long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes with a smile that could make anyone go weak in the knees. I don't know anyone like that.
"Not sure, he just started popping up in my dreams." I say.
"hmmm, he reminds me of someone, I just can't place it." He says. "Anyway, I need to get home. Crystal gets bored being alone all the time. I will see you tomorrow, okay."
We say our goodnights and I walk through the house. Not much is left of the old farmhouse. I even had to have the foundation redone to make room for the additions. But I kept the front porch. I love that porch.
I walk through the living room to the den and into my office, depositing my computer and notes on the built in counter. Making my way to the door in the back of the den, I open the door to one of my favorite rooms in the house.
I promised myself when I had to stop, I would always try to dance. So when I was building the house, I made a small studio.
Smiling to myself, I walk over to my shoes waiting for me on the table like an old friend. I pick them up.
"I'm home." I say softly.
With a tear in my eye, I slip off my flip flops and pull on my shoes and take my place at the bar.
Just like that, I am 16 again listening to Mrs. Bellefleur tell the five years old how to hold a position.
I sigh and begin to warm up.
A/N The first chapter song is "We Just Disagree" by David Mason
You can listen to the song on Youtube : http:/www(dot)Youtube(dot)com/watch?v=p8_FOQ7-P30
Please let me know what you think.