Title: 3 word Challenge Fic

Author: PrettyPretty

Rating: PG

Pairings: Sookie/Eric

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Charlaine Harris/HBO/True Blood. I just like to take them and play with them for a while.

Author's Notes: No beta for this one. I know I'm a day late! Enjoy!

Spoilers: Through Book 8 of the Sookie Stackhouse Series

Chapter 1

"I'm not so sure this is a good idea." I crease my eyebrows and look at Amelia and Octavia across the kitchen table. Amelia rolls her eyes and waves her hand in the air to dismiss my misgivings.

"It's a Halloween party. It'll be fun. Besides, you could use a little fun." Amelia reasons.

"Going to a party at Fangtasia with a bunch of fangbangers isn't my idea of fun." And watching those fangbangers hang all over Eric would be no fun at all, I can't help but think while taking another sip of coffee. The invitations had come in the mail over a week ago. It pleased me that Eric had been thoughtful enough to include my roommates. Octavia had politely declined by RSVP because she had already made plans to spend Halloween with her nieces and nephews in New Orleans. Amelia couldn't have been happier to accept. It took her three days to convince me to do the same. Now that it was 10 in the morning on Halloween, I'm having second thoughts.
"You've already bought the dress." Octavia offers.

"But…." I start to speak but sigh into my coffee cup instead. The two witches share a knowing glance. Yeah, yeah. I'm obvious, I know. It's been several weeks since the King of Nevada had taken over and things had yet to be settled between me and Eric. We've spoken on the phone a few times about nothing in particular. I called to check on how he was handling the changes after the take over. He had called me after I worked a long shift to check on my well being. I knew he felt my weariness our shared bond. A bond I'm still confused about and not comfortable with.

"Oh, come on, Sookie. You've been moping around for weeks now. I'm almost to the point of casting a spell on you to snap you out of it!" Amelia tried to be light hearted in her remark, but I glare at her anyway.

"Don't you dare!"

"You know I wouldn't." Amelia sips her coffee and then adds softly over the rim of the mug, "Not unless you wanted me too."

I glare at her and she can't help but giggle, "Lighten up."

"I'll try." I sigh and push away from the table.

Chapter 2

I kept myself busy most of the day washing clothes, cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the kitchen. Amelia was a neat freak and kept the house spotless, but the distraction was necessary to keep my mind off seeing Eric face to face. Amelia and I had gone shopping in Monroe earlier in the week. I have to admit I'm a little excited about the dress. Amelia had even talked me into making an appointment for manicures and pedicures for this afternoon.

I'd never had a pedicure before. Boy, what I had been missing! The petite Asian woman makes me a little nervous at first because she and the other woman that worked there keep speaking to each other in their native language and then looking at me. I'm sure they're talking about me. Maybe I have disgusting feet or something. I can't understand their thoughts either. There's nothing I can do about it, so I start to relax and enjoy the pulsating water on my feet in the pedicure chair. I glance at my watch and notice it's nearly 5 o'clock. We're expected at Fangtasia by 8. By the time we drive home, get dressed and fix our hair, we'll be cutting it close.

"Relax, Sookie. We can be fashionably late."

"Wonder what it'll be like." I question.

"Pam said it would be fun. Once its 'last call' for the regular bar people, the invited guests will stay on for a private party."

"Then why did Eric want us there so early?!" I complain as we sit at the drying table. Of course Eric wants me there early. "Why don't we just wait until 12 or so to go?"

"Stop whining. It'll be fun. Besides, maybe I'll meet somebody."

I roll my eyes and laugh. Amelia was still smarting over Bob, her one time lover that she had accidentally turned into a cat. She hasn't heard from him since Octavia turned him back into a human. He left shortly after to return to New Orleans.

"What about Pam?"

"Pam and I are more friends than anything else."

"What about Tray?" I try not to pry in Amelia's life, but I had told her about Tray Dawson wanting to call her sometime.

"He still hasn't asked me out! What am I supposed to do?!"

I snort as we walk through the parking lot. The October air has taken on a slight chill. I'd worn my old flip-flops so I wouldn't mess up my polish, but now my feet were freezing.

"Don't ask me! I'm the last person to be askin' for dating advice." Amelia laughs and links her arm with mine.

"That's true. Let's go home."

~~
Chapter 3

I stare in the mirror. I took extra care in getting ready. While we were out shopping at the Mall in Monroe, I'd noticed that Clinique was giving away free gifts with purchase. So I treated myself to the 'Happy' perfume set. The little bag full of sample size moisturizer and lipstick was too good to pass up. I pull on my black thigh high stockings and then slip into the little black dress I bought. 'You can't go wrong with a little black dress, Sookie." Amelia had said. As I smooth the front of the dress down I turn to make sure there are no panty lines. I smile to myself at the knowledge I'm wearing a black thong. The dress was long sleeves but backless and scooped a little low in the front. Thanks to the tanning bed at the video store my back is nice and tan. I decided to curl my hair and twist it on top of my head. I slide into the new black heels. Normally I chose a conservative heel. But Amelia had been a wild influence. The 3 inch paten leather stilettos made me feel sexy. But did I want to feel sexy. I had felt everything but the last few weeks. I'd broken up with Quinn and Eric seemed to be just as confused about our relationship as I am. I sigh out loud and finish the last touches of my make up.

Amelia was the first through the door at Fangtasia. She hugged Pam and looked around at all the decorations.

"Hello, Sookie. You look delicious tonight." I couldn't help the smile that settles on my face. That Pam is a real card.

"Thanks. The place looks great."

"It's our favorite time of year. Have a good time." Amelia reaches for my hand and pulls me through the crowd. I make a conscious effort not to meet Eric's gaze. Of course he knows I'm here. A wave of contentment and pleasure washes over me through the blood bond. I steel my nerves and follow Amelia to the bar. Felicia nods politely and fills our drink order. I still think she's afraid I'm going to get her killed.

A lot of things need to be said between Eric and me but I'm not going to be the one to start the conversation. Eric needs to decide how he feels about me. He needs to tell me what he wants from me. My heart has been ripped to pieces more than once and I'm not sure I can withstand another emotional blow. I settle into the corner of the booth and just try to blend into the crowd for a while.

The fangbangers are out in full force tonight. Most are dressed in campy vampire costumes. It always struck me as funny that the only ones that didn't look like some cartoon version of a vampire were the actual vampires. Eric is seated in his chair at the side of the club. Several girls are offering themselves to him. I feel my stomach flip at the thought of Eric feeding on them. Sensing my jealousy through the bond, Eric looks past them to where I'm sitting in the corner. Before he could catch my gaze, I quickly look away.

"You're going to have to acknowledge him at some point." Amelia's so good at stating the obvious.

"I know. But I'll be damn if I'm going to run to him. He knows I'm here. He has two good legs. If he wants to talk to me, he can come to me." It's immature but it's the best I can muster these days.

Amelia rolls her eyes and nods, "Okie dokie. Well, I'm going to drink until my fingers tingle and then dance till my feet hurt." I laugh and take a deep swig of my gin and tonic.

"That doesn't sound like a bad idea."

"Then we need another round!" Amelia waves her arm at Felicia and soon a waitress is bringing more drinks.

"Hey, there's Bill." Amelia waves her fingers at Bill as he walks through the bar toward our table. I smile as he approaches. Amelia slides in on her side of the booth and offers Bill a seat. Things have been better between us the last few weeks. I think he's finally accepted that I'm not going to throw myself back into his arms…or his bed for that matter.

"Evening, ladies. Happy Halloween." I can see the sparkle of excitement in Bill's dark eyes. Vampires like Halloween like a five year old loves Christmas.

"Happy Halloween." I offer with the best smile I can manage. "Have a drink with us."

"Certainly. Can I get you ladies another?" Amelia nods and downs the last of her drink. Bill acknowledges my smile and leaves us to go to the bar. I won't look at Eric. I can feel his frustration through the bond. He's willing me to come to him but I'm fighting him. Instead of acknowledging his obvious scowl in my direction, I turn my attention to the DJ. The band must be playing later. Bill returns with more drinks and frowns at me a little as I down half of it in one large gulp.

Easy girl. It's a long night. Pace yourself. Amelia looks me in the eye and projects her thoughts at me. Bill starts to speak but Amelia stops him with a hand on his arm. She shakes her head a little at him and they both seem to have come to the agreement that they better let me be tonight. Just when I think my night couldn't get anymore complicated, Jason walks in.

Chapter 4

"What is Jason doing here?" A ask a little louder than I mean to. Jason turns at the sound of his name and gives me a guilty look. He and I haven't spoken since I had to crush Calvin's hand with a brick. I had to break a grown man's hand because of my stupid ass brother and his whore wife. He set me and Calvin up to find Crystal screwing Dove Beck and I hated him for it.

"Hey." He says to the table.

I ignore him. Bill and Amelia exchange pleasantries and before I can stop him, Jason slides into the booth beside me. I gulp the last of my drink for a little courage and turn on him.

"What are you doing here?!" I practically spit my words at him.

"I was invited."

"What?" I vaguely register Bill extending his hand to help Amelia from the booth. I guess they don't want to be a part of our little family drama.

"You're vampire over there sent me an invitation." I look past Jason and glare at Eric. I see his eyes widen a little at the anger I'm pushing at him. I know he can feel it. Before I can say anything, Jason starts again. "Look, I know you're pissed at me and I'm sorry about that. Really, I am. But what the hell was I supposed to do?! No one would believe me. Hell, Crystal would never admit it."

"So you used me. That's bullshit, Jason!"

"What should I have done? Tell Calvin? Like he'd believe me. You were at the ceremony, Sookie. You think anybody in Hotshot woulda believed me without proof? Besides, how the hell do you think I feel?! She's my wife! And she was pregnant to boot! No one seems to care about how I feel?" My anger suddenly weakens as his words take hold. Was pregnant.
"Oh Jason." I reach out and touch his arm. He sighs and ducks his head a little. "When?" As much as dislike Crystal, I know Jason was excited about the pregnancy.

"About two weeks ago. I guess it's for the best, right?" Jason clears his throat and I know he doesn't want to talk about Crystal losing the baby.

"I'm sorry." I don't know what else to say. Jason straightens and plasters a smile on his face.

"I'm gonna get a beer. I'll get you another." I sigh and feel a pang of sadness as I watch him walk to the bar. I realize I'm alone. I slide out of the booth and decide to go to the restroom. I stand and realize that three gin and tonics in an hour will definitely make your fingers tingle. I offer Amelia a little smile as she and Bill are dancing on the dance floor. I carefully make my way through the crowd toward the restroom. I finished my business and check my make up in the mirror. I wash my hands and grab my purse. I step out of the door and nearly shriek when a large hand grabs my arm and pulls me down the dimly lit hallway. I take a swing but when my fist meets solid muscle I realize who has decided to man handle me.

"Eric, let go!" He's not hurting me, he'd never hurt me, but he does have a grip on my arm that makes it clear that I need to follow him. He guides me to his office and after closing the door behind him, releases my arm. I snatch it a way a little more forcefully than normal to make the point that I don't appreciate being lead like a dog on a leash.

"You're intoxicated." This is what he has to say to me? I'm intoxicated? Screw him.

"I'm not." I am a little but that's none of his business.
"Why are you ignoring me?" He asks with anger in his voice.

I snort a little and cross my arms over my chest. I can stare too, mister.

"Why are you ignoring me?" Take that.

"Why are you drinking so much?" He's deflecting. Two can play at this game. I'm not giving in.
"Why do you care how much I drink?" A surge of anger and frustration swell across the bond. I glare at him.

"Why are you so much trouble?!" He demands through gritted teeth. I take a step back at the intensity of his voice.

"Me? Me?! You're the one that…that…." I want to scream all the things he is…frustrating, insufferable, confusing…but my head won't focus. I settle for clenching my fists by my sides and stomping past him. He reaches for my arm again but I pull from his grasp.

"Wait." He asks more softly. I stop with my hand on the doorknob. "Please, don't leave." The gentleness in his tone causes me to drop my head a little in defeat. I would love to just stomp out of the room in complete indignation, but we all know I can't. Eric and I are bonded. We're connected in a way few others will ever know; a fact that frightens and excites me.

"What do you want, Eric?" I refuse to turn around. I'm afraid of what I'll see in his eyes. What if it's pity? Because after he's remembered everything he can't believe what a fool he was and now he has to let the poor mortal know it was all a huge joke.

"You." I shake my head and close my eyes to keep the tears from falling down my cheeks.
"You've already had sex with me, remember?" I tell him through tight angry lips. He's wanted me for sex ever since I've met him. I'm startled by the frustrated growl rumbling through his chest. I flinch when his hands rub down my arms.

"I'm not talking about sex, lover." He gently turns me to face him. I meet his eyes and have to take a breath. He slides his hand to my neck and leans down to gently kiss my lips. He moves slowly and tentatively. Only when I part my lips and swipe my tongue across his upper lip does he deepen the kiss. My arms tighten around his shoulders and I moan softly into his mouth. He pulls back a little like he wants to break the kiss but I pull him back against me. Lust and passion slide across the bond and soon I'm pressed up against the office door. Eric's hands are caressing my neck and then sliding down my arms. A hand cups my breast while another shifts me closer to him. Suddenly, the alcohol and the lust lift from my brain for a moment and I push Eric away.
"Wait….wait…" I pant. I smooth my dress with one hand and push against his chest with the other.

"What's wrong?" His fangs are showing and that's not the only proof of his desire, let me tell you. I take a deep breath and try not to look at his obvious excitement.

"You and I have to settle some things first. I mean, in a matter of weeks, we've been blood bonded, I've broken up with Quinn, you've recovered your memory, the King of Nevada has taken over and…and…" I swallowed hard and met his eyes. "…and I need to know what all that means when it comes to me….to me and you."

Eric stands a little taller and seems to be thinking of where to start. He offers me his hand and guides me to the couch. I sit and I'm a little taken aback when he kneels in front of me and takes both of my hands in his.

"We've put off this conversation for far too long." I nod mutely in agreement as I focus on our joined hands. He's stroking my knuckles with his thumb.

"I guess I should start with our bond." I look at him them. I search his eyes for some comfort. He leans forward and kisses me gently on the cheek.
"What does it mean? Will it always feel like this?"

"It can change. But that is up to you. I told you there was a chance you would grow to hate me." He lowers his head and kisses my fingers. "But I hope that will never come to pass. The blood bond is permanent. We will always be connected. Unfortunately, the circumstances of our bonding were not what I would have wanted for us."

"I know you did it for me." He nods solemnly and shifts to sit beside me on the couch.

"I knew that being bonded to Andre would cause you more pain than either of us could bare."

"You said we were bonded too much to suit you." He sighs and rests his head in his hands for a moment.

"You are trouble." He chuckled at the memory. "Only you would pick up a bomb and refuse to put it down."

"I was scared."

"I know, lover. As was I." My eyes widen. The thought of Eric Northman being scared was hard for me to digest.

"Scared I'd blow us all up?"

"Scared I would lose you; scared that I already had when you chose to leave with the tiger." I feel his sadness at the memory seep across the bond. "But then you came to me first. You saved me. You saved me and Pam from the bombing."

"I…I had too. I felt like I didn't have a choice. Is that because of the bond?" Eric smiles and brings his hand to my cheek.

"No, dear one. That was you." I take a deep breath as his words lay on my heart. It was me. I had to save Eric. I couldn't not save Eric. I didn't run to Quinn. I called him, but I made no effort to help him. I didn't even think of Bill. All I could think about was Eric. Eric had to live.

"I don't want to hate you." I blurt as I reach for his hand again.

"Then you and I must come to an agreement. We must work to make sure that won't happen. Once bonded, it's what you might consider… a marriage. We will either make an effort to make it work…or work against it." My eyes widen at his analogy. Eric and I had only spent a few days together and then real life had ripped it all way. Now we were married?!

"I'm a little overwhelmed."

"I know. It is my hope that over time, you will grow to…" He pauses and searches my face. "…grow to love me." I can only stare at him. Eric is sitting before me with his emotions laid bare for me to see. I'm pretty sure this was a rare occurrence for a man much less a 1000 year old Viking vampire. I can't speak, if I open my mouth, I'll sob. I lean forward and grab his cool face in my hands. I pull him to me and capture his lips. This kiss is filled with passion, caring, excitement, anticipation and maybe a little love. I swipe my tongue across his fangs and he moans into my mouth. Before and I can protest, I'm on my back and Eric is on top of me. He's shifted between my legs and I can feel his joy at my acceptance of him pressed firmly against my thigh. His hand slides up my leg and he pauses when he feels the change from stockings to bare skin. He pulls away and looks in my eyes.

"I have missed you, lover." It's now that my senses come back to me. I can't just have sex with Eric until we've settled a few more things. I push against him and start to wiggle out from under him. He complies with a frustrated growl.

"It's too soon…we can't. It's…it's too soon. We may be 'married' but you haven't done anything to actually earn that yet…" his eyes narrow and I continue "…and neither have I." I'm finally able to stand and he rights himself on the couch. I try to let him know how I'm feeling through our bond. I'm not upset with him, I'm just still a little apprehensive. I smile a little as he shifts himself in his pants. I guess it's true, marriage isn't easy. A pseudo-marriage with a vampire through a blood bond is going to be hard as hell. I reach my hand out to him and he takes it and smiles. He lifts himself from the couch and wraps his arms around me stroking the bare skin of my back. He nuzzles his cheek against my exposed neck.

"You're wearing new perfume." He states as he inhales my scent.

"Do you like it?"

"Very much." He places a kiss behind my ear and I struggle against the urge to start pulling his clothes off. Feeling my lust, he lightly brushes his fingers up my bare spine while he nips lightly at my collarbone. I shake away from him and glare.

"Stop trying to seduce me." He narrows his eyes and leans forward.

"It was working." I giggle and push against him.

"I know." Regrettably respecting my wishes, he backs away and offers me a smile.

"We will talk more." He takes my hand and kisses my fingertips. "But tonight is a night for fun. Are you finished drinking and sulking, lover?" He teases.

"For a while, I guess." I laugh.

"Wonderful." He pulls me by the hand toward the door and then stops abruptly. I feel light and happy again. I know part of it is from the bond. Just being in Eric's presence makes me insanely happy. But this is more. We're going to work things out. We're going to talk and try to make things work. He slides past me and rubs a hand across my back as he rounds the corner of his desk. He pulls open the bottom drawer and fishes a small box from the bottom.

"I bought you something. I hope you'll accept it." He moves to stand in front of me and places the box in my hand. I hold my breath as I slowly open the jewelry box. My eyes fill with tears as I see the most beautiful diamond ring. It's like nothing I've ever seen. It's a wide band with white and black square cut diamonds wrapped around half the band. I assume its white gold or maybe platinum. Vampires would never buy silver. It's gorgeous but I'm not sure what it means. I look in his eyes and I know he sees and feels my confusion.

"I know it's customary in your human culture for a man to purchase a ring as a sign of his commitment to a woman. Following this custom, the woman wears the ring as a symbol that she is no longer available for other suitors, that she is pledged to another. I want you to know my intentions."

I swallow to dislodge the lump that settled in my throat. Is this a proposal? Was his marriage analogy more than an analogy?

"When did you buy this?"

"After we returned home and I was healed." I stare at him for a moment and then look back at the ring.

"I have to ask you a few questions…but I don't want you to get mad or take it as me not wanting…us. Okay?" He leans against the edge of his desk and crosses his arms over his chest.

"Alright."

"Is this an engagement ring? Are you proposing marriage to me?" His expression softens and he drops his hands to the edge of the desk.

"Well, we are bonded and that is something I take very seriously. I hope that one day you will accept all that goes with a blood bond. I want you to know that I am committed to what our bond means. I am committed to you." I allow a small grin to spread across my face.

"So it's just not a way of publicly staking your claim?" He meets my eyes and he knows he can't lie to me.

"If my sign of affection serves another purpose, that is acceptable too." I laugh at his honesty. I step closer to him and hand him the ring box.

"So this is like a promise ring?" He cocks his head in confusion so I explain. "A promise ring is like a pre-engagement ring. It means that one day there may be more. But for right now, we're promised to each other."

"Would that make you happy?" I look at him for a few seconds and see the love he has for me reflected in his bright blue eyes. I hold my hand out to him with my ring finger extended.

"Yes." He slips the ring on my finger and then kisses it.

"You've made me happy." He whispers into my neck. I feel the tear slide down my cheek but I ignore it because Eric is pulling me closer to him. "I could only be happier if you would let me continue my seduction." The chuckle vibrating from his chest causes me to laugh as well. I push away from him and stare at the ring on my finger before I look back at him.

"Maybe later. Tonight's for fun. Are you going to ask me to dance or are you still sulking in your chair?" His smile brightens and I know he enjoys me teasing him. We exit the office and hold hands while we walk back out to the club. Amelia catches my eye and I offer her a brilliant smile. I dramatically brush a nonexistent hair from my face with my left hand and see her mouth fall open.

Chapter 5

Eric has danced ever slow song with me. He can't keep his hands off of me. When we're sitting, he touches my back or my neck. When we're dancing he explores the curves of my hips. Everyone in the bar is having a great time. Pam has convinced Jason to dance with her. She had to promise not to lead. Amelia had found a young vampire to dance the fast songs with. Bill was leaning against the bar sipping on a TruBlood. We were all having a nice time just being together. It was close to closing and the DJ plays a Halloween staple. As soon as the first cord plays Jason and I instinctively look and each other. He cocks his head toward the dance floor and urges me to join him. I shake my head no and he tromps toward me.

"Come on, little sister. It's Halloween. You know you still remember it." He reaches out to pull me from the booth I'm sharing with Eric. Eric looks at me with amusement and confusion. I want to tell Jason no, but this is his way of setting things right with us again. He wants his sister back.

"I'm not sure I know all of it anymore." I warn as I slide from the booth. I turn to give Eric a quick kiss on the cheek. Jason pulls me along behind him and Amelia appears by my side.

"You know it?" Jason asks her as we line up on the dance floor.
"5th grade Sullivan Dance Recital. I was lead zombie." She brags.

"Well then let's show these vamps how it's done." The beat of the music swells and we all wait for Jason to start it. I can't believe we're doing this. I catch Eric's eye and he seems intrigued at what's about to happen. I'm a little embarrassed and I really wish I had another gin and tonic in me. But it's Halloween, Eric and I have started to put us in a place that I'm sure will make me happy and I have my brother back. The crowd erupts in applause as the three of us move in unison. A few fangbangers join us and soon there are at least 12 humans on the dance floor. Eric's eyes sparkle as he watches me. I laugh as we start the neck shimmies. Who would have thought vampires find the Thriller dance so entertaining.

My stilettos aren't the best dancing shoes but I manage. The crowd whoops and howls at our synchronized dancing. As the song ends with Vincent Price's trademark laugh Jason hugs me and laughs in my ear. He releases me and turns to Amelia. I literally skip back over to Eric who is definitely amused but there's something else in his expression. He had moved to the edge of the booth and I step between his legs. He moves his hands to my hips and I lean into him. I breathe deep a few times to catch my breath.

"What was that?" He laughs.

"I can't believe you've never seen Michael Jackson's Thriller."

"Is that the name of the dance?"

"It's a song. It's from the video. Jason and I spent hours learning it when we were little. We wanted to be so cool." I laugh at the memory of Jason and me in front of Gran's TV rewinding the old VCR tape that Jason had recorded the video on.

"I enjoyed watching you." He whispers in my ear. I feel the shivers of desire travel to my abdomen. "But I didn't like everyone else watching you." I pull away and glare at him.

"Stop."

"You are mine." Vampire's think that statement solves everything. Like I'm supposed to slap my forehead and see the error of my ways.

"We've had this conversation before." I remember his jealousy from Rhodes when I danced with Barry.

"But we didn't finish it." He seethes and I step back and look at him.

"Are you picking a fight?" His eyes widen and I see the ancient Viking clench his jaw.
"No."

"Looks like you are. You know I like to dance and I'll dance when I want to." I lean forward and look him directly in the eye, "I'm not sliding down a pole. I'm dancing with friends. I'd dance with you but you won't dance the fast songs with me. So, until you get your ass out there with me, you can just sit here and pout."
"But…" I pull his hands from my hips and hold them in front of me.

"No buts. You promised, remember." I hold my left hand up so he can see the ring. "I'm not a whore. Don't treat me like one."

"I have never…"

"It's dancing…not stripping. So…so get over yourself." I emphasize my point and hope to lessen his anger by leaning forward and giving him a quick kiss. Before he can say anything I turn and walk away. As I pass the bar, I pull Amelia by the arm back to the dance floor. She doesn't question and starts to pull Pam along with us.

"Is he jealous?" Amelia asks while the three of us dance to Kanye West's 'Gold digger'. Pam looks over at Eric and laughs.

"Oh yes. He's seething. You've really gotten his…" She pauses searching for the word. "…goat."

"He's got to learn I'm not going to heel."

Amelia laughs and we sway our hips in unison. Soon Pam finds our rhythm and we're trying to ignore the glare Eric is giving the three of us.

"He's not used to being so…enamored." Pam offers with amusement in her voice. "Be nice to him Sookie. He's old and set in his ways."

I can't help but feel a pang of guilt. I'm sure this was as new to him as it was to me. I start to leave the dance floor when I feel a hand press against my hip. I didn't jump. I know his touch. Eric is behind me. Pam is absolutely amused beyond words. Seeing Eric step up behind me and match my motions is more than she can bear. I glare at her and dare her to make fun of him. This is a big step for him. He's trying. Amelia projects her thoughts at me.

He's not bad. You know they say a man that can dance well is also good…

I hold my hand up for her to stop. She leers at me and Eric can tell there is something that he isn't privy to. He dips his head to my neck and whispers.

"I'm sorry, lover." Apologies do not come easy for Eric. When he says them, he means them. I turn in his arms and ignore the world as I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him. This is the beginning of our give and take. This is the beginning of us.

Finis