I just want to say that I do not own any of the characters from the Sookie Stackhouse series, they all belong to Charlaine Harris. As one of my favorite fanfiction authors says 'I am poor so please dont sue'.


Chapter 1

Sookie woke up out of a peaceful nights sleep. She opened her eyes to stare at the bright ceiling of her room wondering how this could be possible. It had been a month since the Nevada vampires overran Louisiana, threatening all that she held dear. She didn't like it but she could deal. She could deal with never getting paid for her time in Rhodes. She could deal with the Nevada king orchestrating a hostile take over, which very nearly could have ended in her death and the deaths of those closest to her. She could even deal with her sleezoid brother setting her up to find his wife cheating with another man, though it resulted in her having to break the hand of her friend and sister in laws uncle. As horrible as these things were, they were not things that kept her up nights. They did not cause her irrational mood swings that now had what few friends she had walking on eggshells around her. They may have caused her stress but they surely didn't cause her lack of appetite which now cause her clothes to fit a little looser on her. There was only one thing that could effect her so profoundly; Eric. Or a lack there of.

Sookie has not heard from Eric since the night he and Pam came into Merlottes, where she worked as a waitress, to proclaim the formal protection of the new king. Eric had seemed so happy at that time. Even though he now remembered their time together she had seen a glimmer of hope that she would get her lover back but she'd squashed that hope before it could take root in her heart. But she did think that at the very least she would be able to get her friend back. The one who shared an easy familiarity and a kindred humor. Others may have looked at her like she was crazy but he seemed to truly get her. But over the last month she hadn't seen hide nor golden hair of Eric. Instead she had been plagued by feelings of anger and irritation and confusion. Sometimes there would be glowing affection weaved in with all of this but mostly it was all so jumbled she didn't know what to make of it. It had even gotten to the point that she had felt all these intense feeling grow stronger, even in the day time when surely Eric would be sleeping. Sookie perpetually started to feel anger at the emotional overload. It scared her, how much of this was Eric? How much of this was her? She was hurting that she was brushed aside so easily. That's when she had realized that she had been banking on Eric to keep his word. As much as she dreaded the 'coming to and understanding' talk, she was actually grudgingly looking forward to it because it represented closing a chapter and getting some much needed clarity in her life. This is something she desperately craved.

But something was different about this morning. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, so she lay there in bed thinking over everything in her life trying to come up with what the difference was. She'd had another horrible night at work, but when she was changing for bed she had felt a shift though she couldn't quite put a finger on it and she had been too tired to try to think on it. Now, as she commented to herself about how beautiful the day was shining outside, she realized the change and jerked herself up into the sitting position. This idle thought got her attention, she hadn't taken pleasure in anything at all in the last month and now shes impressed by the weather outside? Cautiously Sookie began to poke around her self, as if she expected a damn to break and she be overrun and drug under by a tidal wave of emotions. However, that didn't happen. Sookie felt calm and peace and contentment. She poked at the bond and she felt the same things coming from it even though she knew Eric would be sleep. She smiled and stretched, then hopped out the bed to take a quick shower and take care of some essential needs. It was when she came out the bathroom and began to get dressed that she noticed a note laying on the pillow next to hers. After pausing for a few moments to evaluate the seemingly innocent piece of paper, she sat down on the bed and picked up the note to read.

'My Lover' it began in Erics beautiful script. 'I know that our chat has been long overdue. We have some things that we do need to work out. I understand that you may not want to see me after my extended absence but its time that we come to our understanding...whatever that may be. I will see you tonight, right after dark.' It was signed 'E'.

Sookie didn't know what to make of this at first, so she read the note again. The again. Then again, until it sunk into her mind what it means...Eric's coming. For the first time since she woke up Sookie looked at the clock. It was already 4:30 she figured that it gave her about two hours before it gets dark outside, and then another thirty to forty five minutes for him to drive from Shreveport-that is if he drove like a bat out of hell like usual. Of course he would.

Despite her reservations Sookie felt excited at the pending arrival of her-I mean Eric. Should she feel excited? Shouldn't she be mad or hurt or something...ANYTHING other then excited about the man who abandoned her for the last month without a word-not even from his flunkies? Sookie probed herself again searching out different feelings. She found that she couldn't feel anything but excited in this moment so she went with it. She was just relieved to finally have one clear emotion instead of hundreds crashing around inside of her ripping her up and constantly changing before she could get a handle on them. So she took her excitement and put on her bathing suit to go outside to catch some rays. This was truly something she had missed in the last month but could not bring herself to do. Laying out in the sun felt like coming home to her. As she laid there in the sunshine, she let her mind drift over the last month trying to make sense of what had actually happened. She felt a pang of guilt as she saw her friends recoil from her when she lashed out, and then resigned themselves to not speaking to her unless they absolutely had to. She had a lot of bridges to mend. Speaking of, she just remembered the retreat that suddenly came up for Amelia and Octavia. They had left yesterday and another pang of guilt spread through Sookie because she knew that it was because of her.

Just as she started to wallow in how horrible her attitude and actions had been she felt her stomach jolt. She opened her eyes to realize that the sun was just about all the way down and Eric must me stirring. Being so old he often wakes early. Sookie replaced her lounge chair to the shed, then ran into her house. She was about to make a dash to her room to begin to get ready but her stomach gave a hopeful growl. Sookie stopped dead in her tracks and covered her stomach, it has been so long since she actually felt hungry. She made her a sandwich out of the left over meatloaf that Amelia had left in the fridge and quickly ate it chugging down a glass of milk.

As she tried on clothes she became rapidly aware of how bad her situation had been, she had lost weight. Her clothes didn't drape off her but she certainly needed a smaller size. Her eyes had deep circles around them. She settled on a pair of jeans that used to hug her but now the drooped a bit because there wasn't as much to hold on to anymore, and a fuzzy black shirt that hid a lot of the differences in her body. She wasn't sure if she would be going anywhere but knowing herself she might want to make a quick get away from Eric and it was better to be safe then sorry, so she pulled on a pair of black boots. As she finished her makeup a rush of calm and contentedness rushed over her, Eric was close. She got up and went int the living room just as a light knock came from the front door. She took a deep breath and opened the door, and there stood her viking.