You

I wonder, if she was a real person and not a fictional character, if Buffy and I would be friends?

She would understand me. Because there was that episode in season three when a demon's blood gives her the ability to hear people's thoughts. And she has had two vampire boyfriends, just like me (even more coincidence, one had been dark and brooding and the other blonde and bay-boyish). Plus, I flatter myself that we have very similar taste in clothing and accessories... and this thought pleases me especially when I think about Buffy and I swapping clothes like old girlfriends.

And all of a sudden I am entirely depressed. Because I am sitting on my couch, leaving a gigantic carbon footprint by cranking the central heating up even though there's only me in the house because Amelia and Octavia finally caved and went out on a Wiccan spiritual camp-out in the Bon Temps woods near Jason's property. And I am depressed because I ended up eating the last five choc-chip cookies that were in the pantry. And I am watching a Buffy re-run because for the last three weeks the Area 5 vampires have been entertaining the new King of Louisiana and haven't been in contact with me except when I called Fangtasia and Pam said Eric was too busy to talk, and I should just sit pretty for a while. And I am depressed because I don't know if I have been feeling antsy and bored these last three weeks because I really want to see one vampire in particular, or if I just miss being up to date on the supernatural goings on of my town...

And suddenly I feel guilty because I realize that Amelia and Octavia would have never agreed to go on a Wiccan spiritual camp-out if I hadn't been such a hostile room-mate these past three weeks.

And then all at once I don't feel depressed or guilty or lonely. I feel fine. Almost happy.

The motion-detector lights click on and suddenly the darkness outside is partially cast in a strong glow.

I jump three feet into the air and cling to the remote control as though its a wooden stake, and a small part of my brain wishes that Buffy was a friend of mine because she would come in really handy on nights when I am left on my lonesome because I drive away my fed-up roomies...

"Sookie?"

I jump another three feet and whirl around to find Eric staring at me with an amused look on his handsome Viking features from the doorway. He let himself in through the back door, which I hadn't got around to locking yet.

"Dammit! Eric!" My voice is strained and tinkering on hysterical.

"I thought you would be able to sense me." Eric says, frowning.

Oh. That would explain the bi-polar emotions.

"Well a knock would still be nice..." I murmur, clicking the TV off and throwing the remote on the couch.

"Where have you been?" I snap, the initial shock of his appearance ebbing into irritation at being caught off-guard and scared.

"Entertaining..." he begins, but I snappily cut him off.

"The new King, yeah, yeah, I know!"

"Sookie?"

"I called at Fangtasia a bunch of times."

"Pam informed me."

"She said you couldn't come to the phone..."

"I have been very busy."

I open my mouth, but realize what I am about to say will sound a lot like 'and what? You can't take five seconds out of your busy day to call your own mother'? Except replacing 'mother' with...? I am not his underling. Nor am I his girlfriend. He has called me 'lover' and 'dear one'... so I keep my mouth shut.

"My absence has displeased you?" he asks, and I cannot mistake the sound of hope in his voice.

I shrug. Whatever.

"Sookie?"

"I would just like to be kept in the loop is all!" I snap. Why can't vampires just accept a shrug of the shoulders? Why must they have things explained?

"I did not think it would be a good idea for you to be in the company of the King..."

"Maybe I wanted to be!" I didn't. But that was besides the point.

"So that he can see how talented you are and put your gift to work for him...?"

Dammit.

"I just wanted to know..."

"It was vampire business, that is all." He interrupts.

And since when have I been on the outside of Shrevport vampire business?

"Was? As in, the King has..."

"Gone back to Las Vegas. Yes."

"Good to know." I mumble.

"You are angry with me?"

"Yes." I wasn't... I had just been thinking about what was going on with the vampires for the last three weeks, not getting a straight answer from Pam and feeling hopeless and uninformed. And now Eric was getting the sharp end of my boredom stick.

"Alright."

Eric turned and headed out the back door, the way he had come. I watched him from the doorway as he walked around the side and toward the front, where he had parked his car a little way away from the house.

I didn't want him to go. The anxiety hit me like a wave and his three weeks absence in my life suddenly felt like a stone around my neck that I had just now cast off with his reappearance.

I shook myself and stepped back into the house, closing the back door firmly behind me and locking it.

I went back to the couch and turned the TV on.

I watched Buffy slay a bumpy vamp for 60 seconds before clicking the TV off again, dashing down the hall to my bedroom and grabbing my red coat from the hanger. I reached for my purse and was starting to search for my car keys inside when I got to the front door and pulled it open.

Eric was standing by his car, the door open, he turned to look at me when he heard me emerge

For a moment we stood looking at each other, neither of us moving.

And then I pulled something out of my purse and tucked it into my coat pocket, tossing my purse on the couch and closing the front door behind me as I strode outside, down the front porch steps and walked toward Eric.

He closed his car door, turned and walked toward me.

We met halfway. An arms length between us, and then we stopped. He looked down at me. I looked up at him.

"It's you." I breathed.

"Yes?"

"I mean..." I reached out, brushing his right hand with my fingers. Instinctively, he gripped my hand, encompassing it in his own larger one, a slender finger absently making circles on my palm.

"I think, maybe, it's always been you..." I whispered.

His eyes were steely blue and looking down at me intently.

At this point in the proceedings, I had kind of thought that Eric would have his tongue down my throat. Lord knows that's where I wanted his tongue to be... I didn't really want to be saying all this. Declarations of love are embarrassing, no matter how pure the sentiments. I had half-hoped that Eric would get the gist of my words and I wouldn't have to lay my heart out on the table... in fact, I had been hoping that we could skip my embarrassing declaration of undying love and Eric could lie me out on the kitchen table and...

But I suppose that, in the past, Eric had always been the one doing the declaring. Eric had been telling my how he felt (strange as it might be to think of Eric having anything resembling feelings). He had told me exactly where he stood with regards to me. Now, it looked like it was my turn.

All is fair in love and war.

I gave my head a little shake, to clear it. Which wasn't really necessary, since the only voice in there was my own.

I did the mental equivalent of sucking in one giant gulp of breath before plunging into the sea depths. Here it goes, all or nothing...

A little smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. "I love you." I let out a shaky breath, and plunged further in, "It's not the blood bond. And I don't think it's because of my fairy blood... or that I owe you my life more times than I care to count..."

His hand was still making small circles on my palm. It was an oddly human, and comforting gesture, and I found that I didn't need to come up for air. So, I kept talking.

"I love you. You scare me sometimes. You can be ruthless, conniving, way too politically-minded... but I love you. I like being around you..." I quirked an eyebrow in mid-thought, "okay, maybe a little bit of that is the blood link... but I have fun when I am with you, when we're not under attack or anything. You're funny, and you make me laugh. You can be reckless and stubborn and all together too proud, but so can I... and despite the ruthless, political juggernaut side of you, you are also very loyal. To me, for one thing. You've told me truths that were painful to hear, but that I needed to know all the same. And you take care of me. More ways than I think I know... but you know me so well, and you know that I would kick up a fuss if I thought some man was trying to swaddle me, so you do it even without me knowing and thanking you for it..." I gave my head a little shake. I was going off on a tangent, and I was starting to babble. In the process of babbling my eyes had lowered to stare absently at one of Eric's shoulders, avoiding his eyes as the color in my cheeks rose. I needed to get to the point, before my nerve ran out.

I sucked in another quick breath, and forced my eyes to meet his again.

Eric, sensing a change, stopped tracing circles. He was just staring now. His face completely blank.

Very gently, I lifted my hand out of his. He made no move to reach for it again, as I stuffed it in my jacket pocket.

"You've made it clear that you want me. I'm not sure in what capacity that want is... you say that you remember the way you felt, when you had amnesia. I don't know what that was, exactly. If me saying that I love you is the same as when you say it. Maybe all you want is my body, my blood. Maybe once you have that..." I gave a small nod to indicate the space between us, "...then it will be all over. I don't know," I gave a little shoulder shrug, "all I know is I want you too. And I don't mean I want to have any sort of control over you. I am pretty sure that's how you see your feelings for me... as some sort of control I have over you, like a puppet-master or something. But I don't want to own you or anything. I just want to be with you. I want to love you. That, in my book, does not mean possession... it just means..." I huffed a little, annoyed that I was still on the tangent tracks. I shrugged again, and dug my other hand into my coat pocket. "I want you. I love you."

I stupidly felt like saying 'the end', especially when Eric kept staring down at me, and I felt the red in my cheeks continue to rise.

And then my words suddenly echoed in my head, and I felt completely foolish.

Foolish, because Eric had already had my body and my blood... furthermore, he could remember having them. So maybe it was already over for him, as I had just predicted. Maybe that's why I hadn't seen him in two weeks, not because there was a new king who required his full attention.

Or perhaps the blood link had already worn off, as I'd been telling myself it would... and all that was left were my real, human feelings for Eric, and there was nothing left on his side for me...

I opened and closed my mouth as I stared up at him.

He hadn't said a word. But in his silence I had come up with a myriad of possibilities for why I was standing, on a cold Louisiana night, outside my house looking up into beautiful blue eyes that were regarding me with... indifference? Disgust? Pity?

I bit the inside of my cheek and resolved not to cry. Yet.

Instead, my right hand grasped something in my coat pocket. Something small and hard and warm from my rubbing while I had been talking.

I pulled my hands out, reaching for Eric's with one and opening it up, his hands splaying open easily. I placed the little bullet in his hand, and curled his long fingers back.

He looked down for a moment, opened his hand, closed it and then looked back at me. His face still completely blank.

I shrugged again as I met his eyes.

The little bullet that I had sucked out of him in Dallas years ago, though it felt like a lifetime. I had put it in my purse afterwards, and never quite knew why.

"I kept it." I said, and it sounded ridiculous the moment the words escaped my lips. "I don't know why..." I was really going for some sort of gold-medal in stupidity tonight.

I shrugged again, stuffed my hands back into my pockets, and turned around. I was surprised that my legs, feeling heavy and about ready to crumple beneath me, managed to climb me up the steps to my porch.

I had laid my hand on the door knob, when Eric spoke. His voice sounding surprisingly smooth.

"I was going home." he said, as though this sentence was supposed to make all the sense in the world to me.

"Huh?" It came out sounding a little impatient and ragged and none too sophisticated. Once I had reached the door my insides had loosened with the promise of being able to break down once I stepped to the other side. I had been all ready to let myself close the door behind me, fall to the floor, and have a good old cry. So my throat was already convulsing with the threat of tears. Now one slid silently down my still flushed cheek.

"I was going home." Eric said again, as though this were the simplest answer to the simplest question ever posed.

He took a few steps forward, out of the darkness, to the glowing edge that were the motion-detector lights of my front porch.

His hair caught the light, and his dark blue eyes focused on me. His face had changed... it was no longer blank. He looked... calm?

"Eric, what are you talking about? I really just want to..." I began, but Eric continued to walk forward. And something in his face made me shut up and listen.

"When the witch cursed me, she told me to go home."

"What?" I asked briskly, and instantly scolded myself for not being able to control my impatience with his round-about answers. His face looked so... what was it? As though he had just had a light-bulb moment.

"I think she meant for me to end up in what is now Iceland. Which would have been very inconvenient for me, because it would have been daylight in Iceland at the time..."

"Eric..." I started again, meaning to hurry him along.

"But I came here instead."

"You came here? But you'd only been to my house a couple of times and I rescinded..." Eric was now standing on my top step, he continued to inch forward, his eyes never leaving my face.

"When she told me to 'go home' she didn't seem to realize that I had lived for hundreds of years and was not in the habit of calling any one place home..."

"So why..."

There was an arms length between us, and Eric stopped. Looking down at me, his beautiful eyes were clear with understanding.

"I came home, Sookie."

And then he kissed me. It was hard and cold, rough with his wanting. His tongue parted my lips and my arms reached up while his wrapped around me, lifted me up bodily and as my arms went around his neck my legs wrapped around his waist.

I heard the door give and felt the rush of warmth as the inside heating erased the outside chill from my body. I thought for a moment how grateful I was that Octavia and Amelia were having a spiritual cleansing out in the woods with the Bon Temps Wiccan's (much to their distaste), and then suddenly my thoughts were entirely preoccupied.

To my surprise, Eric didn't rush us down the hall to my bedroom. He walked with me wrapped around him, kissing him, moving my mouth from his to give his neck a little nip. He walked almost slowly, letting out little moans as my kissing continued, moving back to his smooth cold lips.

He opened the door to my bedroom, and lay me gently on the bed. I was reluctant to untangle my arms and legs from his body, and when he pulled away to stand up I made a move to pull him back to me. But he was standing up, looking down at me with my hand outstretched to him, and he had that calm look on his face again.

"I'll love you. I'll want you... always" he said, his voice sounding heavily accented with a lovely lilt.

"Oh." was all I managed, before he crawled on top of me, and slowly started taking my clothes off, starting with my socks and shoes.

I scrambled up, and was kneeling on the bed, pulling him up to do the same. I kissed him as I undid his jeans, he kicked his shoes off, and I pulled his t-shirt over his head. And then his fingers were making slow circles on my shoulder-blades while his mouth found mine again. The circles began spiraling downward, running the length of my arm, down my side, the slope of my stomach, my thighs... and lower until I started moaning and convulsing.

I went limp in his arms and he artfully scooped me up to lie me flat, his body resting on top of mine, the weight of him held in his arms that were on either side of me.

He didn't need to ask me to look into his eyes. I knew that was what he liked, and frankly, I didn't want to look away from him as he slid into me and moaned when I arched my back and pushed my hips up.

At his last convulsion I stretched my neck out, offering. And I let out a surprised squeak when he bent down and planted a light kiss there, instead of driving his fangs in.

He rolled over to the side, my eyes were still wide with shock when his arms came around me and pulled me to him, my head resting on his chest, one arm around my shoulders.

For a long time we lay in the darkness. Me, breathing heavily. Eric, not breathing at all. I nuzzled my head against his chest, and he let out a throaty laugh at last breaking the stillness.

"I knew you would yield to me eventually, Sookie." he said, very calmly.

And for one horrible second my stomach plummeted, like it does when your driving along and there's a dip in the road... or that feeling you get when you fly and there's turbulence, and your stomach feels likely to be somewhere above your head.

And then he laughed, a soft throaty cadence of chuckles.

I gulped, and felt my muscles tense. Ready to spring up and start yelling, biting, screaming, kicking...

"I just never thought that I would yield myself to you in return." he spoke softly, and leaned down to kiss the top of my head lightly.

All at once every part of me relaxed, enjoying the loose-limbed jello feeling Eric had just given me. And then suddenly I understood what he meant before. Because I had never felt so completely at home than I did in this moment.