Title: Reflections of What Might Have Been

An SVM What If from "From Dead to Worse"

Author: Terri Botta

Support Stacie Auction Story: TeamEricSookie

Ficlet Challenge: Write a story where Sookie didn't send Eric away when he asked for blood after he took a bullet for her.

Pairings: Eric/Sookie (duh)

Rating: M for Mature

"We need to talk about this again," Eric said when he pulled into Sookie's driveway. He parked in front of the house, and turned to her as much as he could in the little car. "Sookie, I'm hurting.... Can I ..."

He leaned over and brushed his fingers over her neck. The gesture was unmistakable, and she looked at him, her gaze straying down to the blood soaked shirt he was wearing, then before her very eyes the bullet that had been embedded in his skin began to work its way out of his neck, rupturing the flesh as it dropped out.

She stared at it, shuddering as she realized that he'd taken another bullet for her. How many was that now? Three? Four? She'd lost count. She reached for it and picked it up. It was still wet with his blood, and she smeared it on her fingers.

'This bullet was meant for me,' she thought soberly. 'If Eric hadn't pushed me down and covered me…'

She'd be dead. She knew it. Once again, Eric had saved her, even at risk or pain to himself. She knew the bullet couldn't kill him, but it had to hurt like hell to be shot, especially in the neck.

'I should add this to my collection,' she mused darkly.

"Sookie?"

Eric's voice was weary, and as she looked at him she noticed that he was paler than normal.

'No wonder. He lost a lot of blood. I guess he didn't get enough from that Were…'

"Was the Were not enough?" she asked. She tried to keep her voice gentle and quiet so he wouldn't think she was being snarky.

He made such a face that she almost laughed, but she sobered at the last minute.

"I only took what I had to. Werewolf blood tastes worse than that cheap synthetic crap."

"Oh."

She looked at the bullet again, thoughtful.

"I'll stop at the shifter's bar and get a TrueBlood," he said with a sigh when she was silent for too long.

She looked up at him again, staring into his eyes. His face was drawn and his mouth was pinched with pain, and she felt guilty. He'd taken the bullet for her, and she owed it to him to help him get what he needed.

'But I don't have any TrueBlood in the house,' she remembered.

No, if she was going to help him, it would have to be the real thing. Her body's reaction to the thought surprised her with its intensity, but she got herself under control.

"No. No, you don't have to do that," she replied, shocked by how steady her voice was. She put her hand on the car door handle and opened it. "C'mon inside."

Her black heels crunched on the gravel driveway, and she looked down at it as she walked to her back door.

'Something else he gave to me…'

She knew Eric was beside her, but he was being quiet. She wasn't sure if the confusion she was feeling was his or hers, but it unsettled her and made her thoughtful.

'What am I doing?'

She paused at the back door and realized that Eric had never been in the house since it had caught on fire. Once again she looked at him. The security lights had come on when the car tripped the sensor, and she could see him very well now. In the bright light cast by the flood lamps, he looked even more pale and pained, and the streaks of dark blood on his shirt contrasted against his white skin and made her shiver. If he had ever looked like death before…

She opened the back screen door and stepped onto the new porch. Eric was able to follow, but he stopped at the back door to the house. His eyes were bright, and his face was unreadable, but she knew he was waiting for the invite. She drew a deep breath as she unlocked the back door and pushed it open.

"Please come in," she said.

As she entered the kitchen she got an odd sense of déjà-vu. Although this Eric wasn't half naked and barefoot, there was still a feeling of familiarity of entering her kitchen with an injured Eric in tow. And even though he did not skitter in like a frightened rabbit, he did enter with some caution, and his eyes asked a host of questions that his lips did not give voice to.

Of course now that they were actually in the house, she had to come to terms with what she had decided to do. There was no real way of giving a vampire blood that would not result in the vampire becoming aroused. She knew this with complete clarity. The question was how she was going to react, and what she was going to do about it.

Unfortunately, Eric was not helping her make a decision. He was being quiet, as he had been pretty much all night, and acting very un-Eric. If he had smirked at her or leered or made a suggestive comment, it would be easy for her to remember who she was supposed to be dating and put some kind of distance between Eric and her, but he was just standing there watching her with eyes that looked every bit a thousand years old.

And he was once again in her kitchen, covered in blood from taking a bullet that had been meant for her.

"Eric…" she began, but stopped when he turned his head sharply towards the door to the living room. A shiver of fear ran through her as his eyes turned predatory, and she scrambled to figure out what had distracted him. A second later, Amelia entered the kitchen. 'Oh…'

"Sookie? Is that you?" the witch asked, pushing open the swinging door. "I thought I heard you come in… Oh my god!"

Her friend had stopped short, staring at the blood covered vampire standing in her kitchen, her eyes wide with shock and fear.

"Eric, what happened?!" Amelia asked.

Sookie could see that Eric's fangs had come down because his upper lip was protruding a little bit. He was keeping his mouth closed, though, so she didn't know if Amelia could see them. It was obvious to her that Eric could smell Amelia's blood, and he was looking at her as potential prey in a way that he did not look at her, and she was damn glad of it.

The expression Eric was giving her friend was cold, calculating. It was the look of a hungry animal who had just spied food, and Sookie knew she had to bring Eric's attention back to her otherwise things were going to go south very quickly.

"We were attacked by a Were impersonating a police officer. When Eric pulled over the guy pointed a gun into the car and tried to shoot me. Eric took the bullet," she explained hastily, putting herself between the vampire and the witch and making sure she was in Eric's line of sight.

"Oh my Goddess! Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, but Eric…"

She stopped at looked at the vampire, glad to see that he had focused on her again and the dangerous glint in his eyes was gone. She wasn't sure she liked the new expression much better because it was fathomless, but it was better than thinking that he was about to jump on her friend.

"Oh, no, we don't have any TrueBlood!" Amelia replied. "I can run quick to the QuikMart and get some…"

"Amelia, it's okay," she said, cutting her friend off before she could get started. "I'm…" She was what? "I'm going to take care of it."

There, that was ambiguous enough. Amelia got the message loud and clear because her eyes opened wide.

"Oh… Oh! Well… ummm… I think we do need a few things from the store. The Monroe Wal-mart is open late, right?"

"There's really no need…" 'Please don't leave me alone with a hungry vampire even if we are blood-bonded…'

She cast a glance at Eric and wondered if he was impressing his will upon Amelia to make her leave because he was staring very intently at the witch, and his eyes were practically glowing.

"No, no. It's okay. I don't mind," Amelia insisted as she went to get her purse and keys from her room. She moved just a little too quickly.

Sookie sighed mentally, but she didn't bother to read her friend's mind. She could tell from body language alone that the witch was scurrying like a scared rabbit.

'Or a rat jumping ship…'

She hadn't turned around, but she could feel Eric's eyes on her, boring holes into the back of her neck, then she finally mustered up enough courage to turn and look at him again.

He was still there, still silent, but he was watching her. His expression was completely unreadable, even for her, which was very disconcerting, and she was wondering if she'd made a mistake. She remembered what Eric had told her after she'd cast Mickey out of the apartment she was renting from Sam after her house was set on fire. He'd said he would have gone right for her throat so she couldn't rescind his invitation.

'How fast could he rip out my voice box?'

His complete silence was getting more disturbing by the moment. She wanted him to smirk at her, to make a comment on her new kitchen or say something

'Say anything.'

"So? What do you think of my new kitchen?" she asked nervously, just for something to say.

He broke his gaze from her long enough to give the room a cursory once-over, his eyes sweeping the room dispassionately.

"I am not a good judge of these rooms, but I can see that care and attention to detail was taken when the contractor did his work," he replied, his voice soft.

She nodded, relaxing somewhat. "Yeah, Randall Shurtliff does a good job. He did the roof when I had it replaced."

Eric nodded back and returned his gaze to her. His eyes were intense again, and it made her stomach do flip-flops.

'Thank goodness I didn't eat anything heavy for dinner.'

"It smells different though," he continued. "It lacks the scents from years of use, of the humans living inside and the things that happened here. It smells new."

"Is that a bad thing?"

He frowned. "No. But it is… unfamiliar. The smell of your kitchen… it was… comforting to me."

'Comforting?' "I'm sorry," she replied, but she didn't know why she felt the need to apologize.

"It smelled of you. Of your life. And of other things. Old things, the way a home smells after it has been lived in a long time. Now, it smells like just a room."

He shrugged and gave her a little apologetic smile.

"I guess I didn't even think about how it would smell to one of you guys. Come to think of it, you're the first vamp in here since I moved back," she commented.

He gave a little nod and looked around the room again. "I suppose I should feel honored that you invited me back into your home. Thank you."

She swallowed and more butterflies fluttered around in her stomach as he looked at her again.

"Well, I… Ummm…"

Just then, Amelia came hustling back in, her steps quick and nervous. "Okay. So… Umm… I'll be back in… uh… a while, ok? I'll be sure to bring back some TrueBlood. See you folks later. Sookie, be safe. Eric, feel better."

With that Amelia was gone, skittering out the back door and closing it behind her. A few moments later Sookie heard Amelia's car start up and zip down the driveway, and she realized that she was alone with a hungry, wounded vampire and she smelled of fairy.

'I am in so much trouble.'

"So… Umm… okay. Why don't you sit down?" she offered, indicating a chair at the wooden table.

Eric looked at the chair and obligingly lowered himself into it. He was silent again, waiting, and his eyes spoke of patience and tolerance. He knew she was nervous, and he was biding his time.

'How patient can a guy get if he's a thousand years old?' she wondered.

Her eyes fell on the bloody shirt and the blood smeared across his skin.

"Why don't you take that shirt off, and I'll start it soaking. Blood's real hard to get outta clothing," she suggested, going to the deep sink.

She picked up a basin and started filling it with warm water.

"I'll just replace it," he answered, but she heard the rustle of the cloth falling to the floor.

When she turned around with the basin of hot water in her hands, he was sitting bare-chested on the chair, but the chair was now facing her. He wasn't mostly naked and wrapped in an old blanket. He wasn't barefoot and scared out of his mind, but there was something in his eyes that brought back the memory of that New Years night so vividly.

There was blood streaked all over the one side of his neck and down his chest. The hole from the bullet was gone, but she could see where it had popped out. She set the basin down on the table and went to get a rag. He was quiet and patient with her as she began washing the blood from his skin. It was a familiar thing, and she took comfort in it, glad that he was letting her do it while she sorted out her feelings.

For a while the only sound in the kitchen was the sound of the water in the basin and her own breathing as Eric just sat there and allowed her to clean him of the blood. The action was grounding, and it helped her focus on what she wanted to do next. Eric was being so compliant, acquiescent even, that she knew anything that happened next would be all on her. He was letting her lead and allowing her to figure things out for herself.

But he was still watching her. She noticed that he seemed fascinated by the water dripping from the rag she was using to clean him, and his gaze followed her hand intently, almost the way a cat follows a string. His eyes were tracking her movements with deep interest, and a little crease had formed between his brows.

When he was clean, she dumped out the water and refilled the basin so she could soak Eric's shirt. Her own sky blue shirt had a drop or two of blood on it as well, but she would have to soak it later.

'Oh who am I kidding? I should just take it off now and put it in the water with Eric's shirt. It's not like this evening isn't going to end with him in my bed.'

She was shocked by the surge of lust she felt at the thought, although it shouldn't because she'd felt something similar earlier, but this time, memories of Quinn didn't give her the strength to turn away her desire. Quinn was M.I.A. and Eric was there in her kitchen, and just because he wasn't covered in blood anymore didn't mean that she didn't remember what he had done for her.

And she found that she didn't want to remember Quinn. She wanted to remember her Eric. And when he was sitting there so quiet and so patient, she could almost pretend that he was still her Eric, that he'd never forgotten her or that he had remembered their time together and still felt the same. She didn't want Quinn. She wanted her Eric back.

'As if that'd ever happen. If us blood bonding in Rhodes didn't do it, nothing will,' she admitted sadly.

She stalled for as long as she could, pushing his bloody shirt down into the basin and agitating it until she came to a decision. She finally sighed and made herself turn around again. He was still sitting there, still being silent, but his eyes were tender, and he gave her a gentle look when she approached him. He rose to his feet as she came to stand in front of him, and towered over her, his eyes never leaving hers. They were glowing like they always did when he was feeling something intensely, and every bit of his attention was focused on her. She shivered because the look did things to her deep inside.

She drew a deep breath. This was it. This was the moment of decision. She was going to offer him her blood, but would she offer anything else? She knew what her body wanted, but she wasn't too sure about her heart.

"Eric…" she whispered, holding out her hand.

He took it and pulled her carefully towards him. She lifted her chin slightly, and he kissed her very gently. The kiss reminded her of how wonderful his smooching technique had been, and she began to sort out what she wanted from him. Then he broke the kiss, and their eyes met for a moment before his hand caressed her arm tenderly, and he lowered his mouth to the side of her neck. She closed her eyes and sighed. If she let him bite her in the kitchen…

His lips brushed her skin lightly making her shiver and break out in gooseflesh, and she remembered the last time he had bitten her. She tried to hold still, but he didn't bite. Instead he kissed her pulse point, then he drew his mouth up to her face again, lightly touching his lips to hers. The kiss was caste and questioning, and she began to relax as she parted her lips and allowed him to continue. His hand slid behind her, urging her closer, but not insisting, and she stepped forward of her own accord.

He took her motion as encouragement and deepened the kiss, but he was still being cautious and careful. Each movement was a question she had to answer, and a reminder that she was in control. Knowing how she smelled to him, and how hungry he must be, his restraint was impressive. Most vamps would have bitten and ravaged her by now.

But Eric wasn't most vamps. Eric was… Eric was Eric, and that made all the difference.

They both sighed at the same time and she relaxed completely. Eric released her mouth and let his lips slide down along her neck again. He was making small panting noises, and she could feel how tense he was, but he was still holding back, still waiting for her to take the lead. She felt his fang scrape along the soft spot behind her ear, and she let out a gasp. He grunted a bit and opened his mouth further, but she placed a hand on his cool chest, and he stopped immediately. She pulled back enough to look in him in the eye, and she wasn't surprised to see the raw need there.

She discovered that she had to clear her throat and swallow a couple of times before she could speak.

"Not where anyone else can see," she managed to tell him.

His pupils dilated as she watched him process her words, then he dipped his head down towards the brachial artery in her arm.

"Not there either," she whispered, surprised by how steady her voice was despite the raging emotions surging through her.

He stopped and looked at her, waiting, and she licked her suddenly dry lips.

"Let's… let's go somewhere more private," she suggested softly.

He smiled very tenderly, not a smirk, but a sweet curve to his lips that looked almost out of place on his chiseled features, and stepped back. She smiled up at him, and for a moment she saw her Eric, the one she had loved, looking back at her from Compos Mentis Eric's eyes, and it was into that Eric's palm that she slipped her hand and guided him quietly to her bedroom.

He went willingly, still being silent, as if he knew words would break the spell, and once they were in her bedroom with the door closed, he used the language of touch to tell her everything she wanted to know.

He undressed her carefully, lifting her blue shirt over her head as she kicked off her black heels, and his eyes roamed over her body as if he was seeing her for the first time even when she knew he'd seen her mostly naked the night the maenad attacked and again after Club Dead. But maybe it was different for him this time because they were alone and in private.

When he unclasped her bra to free her breasts they both gasped, and she arched her back as he lowered his mouth to lick her nipple.

"Ah…" she moaned softly as his cool tongue laved her warm skin.

He returned to her mouth, kissing her deeply as his hands slid down to unbutton her black pants. Her hands were equally as busy, and she practically yanked open his trousers and pushed them down his hips. Now that she had given in, she was almost desperate to have him, and she groaned when she saw that he wasn't wearing any underwear.

He was as large as she remembered him, and her whole body shook as she anticipated having him again. He'd been so so good. Better than anyone she'd been with, not that she'd been with all that many, only him and Quinn and Bill, and she had to admit that both vamps were definitely superior in bed than Quinn had ever been.

She must have made a desperate sound because the next thing she knew, she was on the bed and Eric was peeling down her panties, his large hands stroking her thighs. She grabbed at his broad shoulders as his lips claimed hers again, and she pulled him closer, urging him to climb on top of her. Then she drew in huge gulps of air as he began kissing his way down her body, stopping at her breasts and her navel, and she fisted her hands into the sheets as she writhed beneath his tongue. It was just like the first time after they'd taken that shower together, and she had brought him to her bed. He'd kissed her down her body and then…

He reached the juncture of her thighs. She knew it because she was watching just like he liked her to.

'Oh yes. Just like that.'

Now if he stayed with the original program, he would now…

He slipped his fingers deep into her. His long, clever fingers.

'Ooohhhhh…'

His even more clever tongue began licking her, and he had her on the edge in moments. And then he did what he did that night, he turned his head slightly and bit her on her inner thigh, and she climaxed so hard she nearly blacked out.

'Oh sweet Jesus…' she prayed as she convulsed from the waves of pleasure. How did he do that?...

She was still seeing spots across her vision when he raised up and pushed into her in one slow, steady thrust. She cried out, arching as she was impaled on his hardness, and clutched him close as he bucked his hips and hit her sweet spot dead on, making her climax again just like he had before.

But unlike that first time, this time he didn't come right after her. No, he kept at it, moving his hips to ride her steadily even as he growled and pulled back his upper lip to bare his fangs. He was holding back, making deep guttural sounds as he rubbed himself all over her, arching his spine so he could nuzzle and suckle her breasts without breaking his rhythm. She moaned and spread her legs, sliding her hands down to grab his perfect ass and force him deeper.

"Eric…" she moaned, letting her head fall back against the pillows, but then she lifted it up again to meet his eyes.

He was staring at her, and his eyes opened wide when he saw her watching him; he even lost his pace for a second before he rebounded and renewed his efforts with force. Her own eyes got wider and wider as she felt a third climax building.

Their gazes locked and held, and she couldn't look away. Her hands dug into his forearms as she began to tense up, the force of his thrusts sending her higher and higher. It was no Golden Wave getting ready, it was a Golden Tsunami, and it was about to make landfall.

A strangled sound escaped her lips as the wave broke and came crashing down on her as she shook, the pleasure filling every cell in her body. She screamed and her cry was answered by Eric's roar, and she felt him shudder deep inside her. He hung for one protracted moment, then his eyes rolled back into his head, and he collapsed on top of her.

They stayed joined, trembling with aftershocks, until he lifted himself up and fell in beside her. She made a tiny mew as he gathered her up and cuddled her, tucking her in next to him and stroking her hair. She shivered and he pulled the blanket around them, murmuring soft words in a language she didn't recognize, but she didn't have to know what he was saying to hear the feelings behind them. They were words her Eric would have said, and she couldn't help but remember how wonderful being with that Eric had been.

She closed her eyes and pressed her face into his chest as she fought the tears, trying to be still and quiet so he wouldn't suspect, but of course, he could feel her through their bond, and he responded by crooning and cooing to her as he pulled her closer. It was just like she remembered, and she couldn't help but wish that the rest of the world would just fall away so she could have her Eric back.

'Why did he ever have to forget? I miss him so much.'

A tear escaped her eye as he kissed her temple gently, almost lovingly, and he sighed a deep, contented sigh.

'Oh Eric. Why did it have to be this way?' she lamented sadly, curling her fingers into the golden hair on his chest.

"Sookie…" he whispered softly, his voice full of awe and wonder.

Her eyes popped open at the sound of his voice, and she tensed immediately.

"Sookie… I remember everything."

The words took a moment to sink in, but then she realized what he meant, and she went cold down to her toes.

'Did he? Does he?...' "Oh Hell."

FIN