Give Or Take By PersianFreak

Disclaimer: I wish Eric Northman belonged to me. As it is, everything belongs to Charlaine Harris. I'm just having a ball with her property 

Rating: T for language and thematic elements

A/N: Just a conversation I imagined in my head. One-shot. Set after FDtW. Eric and Sookie are together, because my deranged mind wishes it to be so.

"So, were you always a..." I paused, trying to pick the right word that wouldn't offend him, "a player?" There really was no nicer way of saying it. Eric turned from where he was standing in front of the stove to raise an eyebrow at me. It was a little after sunset, and Eric and I were in my old house's kitchen where, having had his dessert already (heh), Eric was busy making my dinner. It was strange to watch him cook for me when his sole source of nutrition, other than the occasional True Blood, was me, but he had insisted I let him and, after months of practice, he was getting rather skilled at it.

"By 'always'," he turned back to the stir fry he was making, "are you referring to my days as a human as well as my nights as a vampire?"

"Um, let's say after your..." I paused again, unsure of how to finish.

"After my death?" he supplied helpfully with an easy grin thrown over his shoulder.

"Yes." Eric turned off the stove and got a plate out of my cabinet, carefully transferring the food from the pan. I smiled fondly at the apparent ease with which he worked. He grinned at me smugly as he served me my dinner, like a child vying for his mother's approval of a job well done.

"Thanks, baby." I reached up and kissed him. He then grabbed the bottle of True Blood he had been sipping on from beside the stove before settling down in another one of the dining room chairs across from me.

"How is it?" he nodded towards the food, knowing full well what my response would be.

"Delicious." I smiled indulgently. I wasn't kidding; he really was becoming a fantastic chef (I chuckled inwardly at the vision of Chef Northman). It had been amusing, occasionally downright hilarious, watching him struggle at the beginning, but he, like all vampires, was very good at mastering new skills. I looked at him expectantly; he still hadn't answered me.

"Yes." For the first time since the beginning of this conversation, he began to look unsure. He knew I was going somewhere with this, somewhere he wouldn't like, but he couldn't lie to me: the blood-bond we shared continued to grow stronger and would rat him out as soon as he opened his mouth.

"I see," I kept my eyes trained on my plate as I chewed, "How many, do you think?"

"How many what?" he asked carefully.

"Women. How many women do you think you've been with?"

"In the past millennium?" his expression was incredulous, but I could tell he was becoming desperate. I was keeping my emotions under control and my face blank, and this confused him

"Ballpark." I relented, but only slightly, "Say, past 25 years." I wanted to know how many women he'd fucked senseless since I'd been alive. Not that it meant anything. I couldn't possibly have expected him to tone down the sexin' in preparation for our relationship: that was just plain unrealistic, but I was curious.

"Uh," he frowned slightly as he tried to come up with an estimate, "Um, nine... thousand?" I almost choked on my food. His response made me finally look up from my food with wide eyes.

"You've slept with nine thousand women???" I sputtered, "That's, what, one every night?"

"Not every night," he tried to down-play it, "Just a ballpark, remember? Give or take." I scoffed.

"Right, of course, that brings the number right down."

"Oh, Sookie, come on," he all but pleaded, "There isn't much else to do for an immortal being!" He made a good point. I calmed down a little, but I wasn't quite willing to drop the topic.

"You slept with a different woman every night?" I tried to rein in my jealousy and shock. He nodded, his eyebrows still drawn in concern. "Fed on them, too, I'm assuming?" Another nod. I went back to eating my food, but my thoughts were still on Eric. Nine thousand women, and that was just in the past quarter-century. Multiply that by forty, and you get three hundred and sixty thousand women that Eric has had sex with during his lifetime. Approximately, of course. Another thought occurred to me; he had told me I was the best he had ever had... out of three hundred and sixty thousand women? Either that was a fantastic compliment (and a sobering thought for generations of women), or a fantastic load of bullshit. I wasn't sure which.

"Sookie?" Eric interrupted my thoughts hesitantly. I looked up at him. "You aren't upset with me, are you?" Oh, God, he was giving me his puppy dog eyes! The last time he had given me those he had lost his memory, and they were having the same effect on me now that they had then; my heart felt like it was melting. I ignored him and the puddle of goo formerly known as my heart.

"So how does a guy who gets laid by a different woman every night settle down with a barmaid?" He raised his eyebrows at my cruder-than-usual words.

"How about the fact that I fell in love with you?"

"Point taken," I conceded, "Are you still sure I'm the best you've ever had?"

"Sookie," he sighed as he moved around the table to kneel in front of me. I turned slightly to face him. "Everything I have ever told you is true." I nodded reluctantly. "Besides, I've lived a thousand years, how many women did you think I've slept with?"

"I hadn't really thought about it," I admitted, "The number just... shocked me, I guess." He smiled gently.

"You are the best I have ever had," he whispered against my lips, "and you are the only one I have ever loved." He pulled back and looked at me carefully.

"I'm sorry I freaked out." I mumbled, my eyes glued to my lap.

"It's alright, love," Eric grinned, "I hate that you've been with Compton and the tiger, I can't imagine how I would feel if I learned you had shared your bed with thousands of men."

"You'd go on a killing spree." I teased mildly.

"Perhaps," His grin widened and displayed his half-extended fangs, "and perhaps I would fuck you until you had forgotten about everyone but me."

"Well, I am done with my food," I checked my plate calmly, "so why don't you try and make me forget about the other men I've been with?"

"Oh, I will more than just try, lover." And with that, Eric swooped me up into his arms and into my bedroom.