Second Chance by PersianFreak

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Charlaine Harris. Please don't sue.

Rating: M - He-ey! What could this mean? Lemons, perhaps?

A/N: Hey, last chapter, you guys! With me there's always the possibility of companion one-shots, so don't be too mad! A big THANK YOU to everyone who reviewed and made laugh, giggle, or plain ol' happy with their kind words; you guys rock.

To WhoKnowsWhy: HAH! I did it :)

Any last reviews are welcome. In fact, they are encouraged; just let me know what you thought of the entire story!!!

Love you all 3

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The following weeks were the hardest of my life. I debated calling Fangtasia every night, and sighed in relief every time Pam walked into Merlotte's or whenever her name flashed across my phone screen. My heart dropped every time I spoke with Pam for she never bore the good news I craved. I went to bed every night dreaming of Bill, imagining his strong arms around me and his cool words telling me that he loved me. I decided it was a twist of fate that would force me to yearn for Bill this way after I had pushed him away for months; some cruel joke played by the gods to teach me a lesson. The Moroccan vampires were evidently rather upset with Bill for disturbing their delicate existence in a country where vampires still weren't exactly welcomed. They had warned him to stay away but he had not listened, intent on doing his job and doing it well. They were an ancient clan, toughened by the centuries of survival and outraged beyond reason. Under order of the king, Pam temporarily took over Eric's duties while he travelled to Morocco in an attempt to gain some footing in the negotiations; a simple promise of never returning did not seem to satisfy my vampire's captors. I wasn't made aware of the details, nor did I care. All I knew was that my stomach was constantly in knots and I could barely concentrate on anything other than writing down drink orders and placing mugs and glasses on top of tables.

As it turned out, I got the best Christmas gift I could have ever asked for that year.

"We have him," Eric informed me over the phone before hanging up, "We're on our way back." I hadn't squealed like that in years.

***

"Ohmigod," I gasped before launching myself into Bill's arms. "You're okay; you're here; you're okay." Bill showed up on my front porch two days after New Year's, dressed in a simple black sweater and black slacks, his hair combed back perfectly.

"Hello, sweetheart," He sighed into my hair, his arms tightening around my waist. My lips fervently found his and I kissed him, our lips duelling for control. I pulled him in, slamming the door shut behind us. Amelia and Octavia were both out, the former with Tray and the latter staying with her niece's family, so I had the house to myself. Seeing me stumble as I refused to stop kissing him, Bill lifted me up, slowly carrying me to my bedroom where he put me down once more. My fingers quickly found the bottom of his sweater and rid him of it as he did the same with my nightgown. I fumbled a bit with his pants but he distracted me as his lips travelled down the line of my jaw, his own hands expertly unbuttoning the damned things and neatly kicking them away, leaving me naked and him in his underwear. Sliding those off as well, we tumbled unto the bed, Bill pushing the covers aside.

"Darling," He moaned as my hands travelled up and down the length of his shaft, pumping lazily as his mouth teased my nipples. I lifted his face to mine and kissed him, finding it hard not to do so now that he was back in my arms.

"Bill," I murmured against his lips. His name was my favourite word; my only thought. Bill, Bill, Bill, over and over again like a prayer as I nipped lightly at his skin and he sucked on mine, as my hands rubbed and massaged his body and he pressed himself against mine. His hand dropped down to my core, rubbing roughly at my clit and spreading my lips open as his fingers slid inside of me, my back arching and a moan escaping my lips before I could help myself. He played me like that until I was half-insane, and then he removed his hand, quickly positioning himself and pushing in. I gasped and cried out as he settled into a rhythm, my hips moving in response with his a second later. My fingers dug into his cool skin, my nails scratching and no doubt leaving red marks, making him growl. I could feel the pressure building inside of me, the wave of pleasure that made me want to throw my head back and moan but at the same time forced me to keep going. The rhythm sped up, our bodies reaching a crescendo simultaneously as we both tumbled over the golden edge and he collapsed on top of me. Eventually he rolled off, propping his head up on his hand, looking down at me. I rolled so that my face was against his chest, my body pressed against his. Bill pulled the comforter up and tucked it around us, his lips pressing against my forehead.

"I was so worried," I murmured, "I missed you so much."

"I'm sorry," His cool voice sounded raspy and strangely sexy.

"Was it horrible?" My voice sounded small, even to my own ears.

"Yes," came the matter-of-fact reply, his hands drawing patterns on my bare skin.

"I love you," His hand froze on my back, and for a few moments my breathing was the only sound in the darkened bedroom.

"Do you, Sookie?" He sounded almost hopeful.

"Yes," I kissed his chest lightly, "I do." He pulled back enough to place a light kiss on my lips; a kiss that deepened until I broke away gasping for air.

"I love you, too," He smiled at me, pulling my close once again. I had a lot of issues to resolve; Eric being at the top of the pile, but at that moment, I simply didn't care. I fell asleep in the arms of a man who loved me and dreamed of clich├ęd days filled with happiness.

***

I parked my car in an empty spot and paused, biting my lips as I hesitated. I had to do this, I knew that, but that didn't make it any more enjoyable. With a sigh I opened the car door and walked across the dim lot towards the small door emblazoned with Fangtasia in a fancy script. It was unlocked and I was welcomed with the expected din of a bar on a weeknight. Muffled music could be heard, the bass line distantly thumping.

"Sookie," Pam raised her eyebrows as she froze in mid-stride, slowly closing the door she had just walked through behind her, "Is everything alright?"

"Uh, yeah," I responded with a small smile, "I was just hoping to talk to Eric; is he in his office?"

"Go on in," Pam smirked, nodding towards Eric's office door. I nodded and thanked her, bracing myself before I knocked. I knew that he was already aware of my close proximity, the bond having already warned him of that, so I wasn't surprised when I heard a gruff "Enter". Timidly opening the door, I peeked in. Eric was alone in his office, dressed in a pair of jeans and a black wife-beater, his beautiful hair pulled back in a low ponytail. He was leaning against his desk, frowning at me as I walked in.

"Good evening, lover," He greeted me quietly, his subdued mood taking me aback.

"Is something wrong?" I asked carefully, but he shook his head.

"Nothing of importance," He shot me a calculating look, "I have been told Bill is doing fine," He paused and I nodded, "Which begs the question: what brings you here?"

"Eric, I wanted to thank you," I began, studying the carpet carefully, "I appreciate everything you did for Bill, more than I can say."

"What I did for Compton I was obligated to do as his sheriff," Eric pointed out coolly.

"Regardless," I insisted, "I'm grateful, and I'm also... sorry." He remained silent so I continued. "I'm sorry for ever hurting you, for hating you, for not trusting you. I'm sorry that I kept the details of our relationship to myself when deep down I knew that I should have told you. I didn't mean it when I said I wish you were dead and I'm sorry that being blood-bound to me is such a pain and I wish it wasn't, but I'm also grateful that you saved me from Andre." The words tumbled out unfiltered until I paused, taking a deep breath to steady myself. I screwed my courage to the sticking place and met his crystal blue eyes.

"I do not pretend to understand what you see in him," He finally spoke.

"Eric..." I sighed.

"Logically, I would be a better mate to you than Compton-"

"No, you wouldn't be," I interrupted him sadly, "Even if you fell in love with me and I loved you back... Eric, you're the Sheriff of Area 5, for crying out loud. Your job is your life! Fangtasia is your baby and your number one priority; we both know that."

"I have already proven that I can change," He insisted.

"You were forced to, Eric," I tucked my hair behind my ear impatiently, "You lost your memory and with it you lost who you were. You were a... a shell, Eric."

"Is that what you tell yourself?" Eric smirked bitterly.

"Oh God, please don't do this," I buried my face in my hands, removing them in surprise when I felt his hand on my shoulder.

"I am... sorry," He muttered awkwardly, apologizing clearly a foreign concept to him, "I appreciate your, uh, apology." I nodded and he regarded me carefully for a second. Apparently satisfied, he began again. "I am not going to force you into anything, Dear One. You are my bonded and I wish you well, despite the humiliation this may cause me should the news get out."

"You can always say I'm horrible in bed," I grinned and he smirked.

"There is always that." His smile comforted me

"You're a good guy, Eric,"

"If you tell anyone," His fangs snicked out, "I just may have to kill you."

"I take it back," I assured him quickly, taking a step away. Eric laughed and so did I, effectively ending the conversation on a good note, for which I was grateful.

I drove home with a grin plastered across my face, enjoying the temporary balance I had managed to bring to my life. That night I made a point of telling Bill I loved him, over and over again until he interrupted me with a kiss every time I opened my mouth. I giggled and held him close, sighing contentedly as I drifted off to sleep in my vampire's cool arms.