A/N: *Wipes away tear* So here we are, at our last meal together with Eric & Sookie. I hope I did it justice. I hope all you wonderful readers enjoy it.
I couldn't end without the biggest, most massive THANK YOU to the phenomenal woman known here as S. Meadows. Meads was actually the one who gave me that 1st push way back when to write my 1st little drabble for a weekly challenge, and look what happened...You've created a monster bb. But you've stuck with me the entire way, helping me polish up my words and generally just being a fuckawesome person and friend. You do SO much for this community and so much for me. ILY. xo
Disclaimer: Charlaine Harris owns these characters, I just make them eat tasty food. ;)
I twisted and turned in the mirror once more, wondering if what I was wearing would work. Lafayette had insisted on coming with me when I went back to Target to find something cute for tonight. All Eric would tell me was that we were going out to dinner, and it would be someplace nice. I glanced back in the mirror and hoped that the deep plum colored halter dress would suffice.
I still wasn't sure what was going on, but it almost felt as if everyone except for me knew something. Pam would barely make eye contact with me the last few times I visited for lunch, but that certainly didn't stop her from grabbing whatever dish I had prepared. Lafayette definitely knew something, and looked like he was about to burst with whatever it was whenever I saw him. Yet, he never actually did, no matter how hard I pressed.
I blew out a breath of air, nibbling on my lower lip as I tried to figure out what the big surprise could be. I thought for a while that perhaps Eric was finally going to ask me to move in with him. For the last few months I had been unofficially living at his place, only spending a couple days a week at my own apartment. His place was very spacious, and his kitchen was amazing, so it only made sense that we stayed there more often.
The doorbell interrupted my thoughts, and I raced to it, almost flinging myself into the arms of the man standing there. It was a good thing that I didn't, since it wasn't Eric. I took a step back and apologized.
"Good evening, miss. Mr. Northman was unable to pick you up himself. He apologizes profusely, but insists that I attend to you," said the uniformed man before me.
I furrowed my eyebrows at this revelation and wondered what was going on. Was this part of the surprise? I asked the driver to wait a moment while grabbing my jacket and purse. I also quickly texted Eric, but wasn't really surprised when there was no response.
I followed the driver down to a limo. Eric sure did pull out all the stops for tonight. When I made my way into the back seat, I saw a single red rose waiting for me. Picking it up and inhaling, the sweet scent made me smile. I pulled my phone out of my purse and looked at the time. It was ten minutes to seven. I wondered if the driver would tell me how far of a ride it would be if I asked. I quickly dismissed that idea, knowing that if Eric had his way the driver wouldn't reveal anything.
Within five minutes we pulled up at our destination, however and I was shocked to see we were at Merlotte's. Puzzled once again, I had no idea what we were doing here, and couldn't figure it out for the life of me. I doubted Eric would make a big to do over dinner at a place he still ate at almost weekly, but I figured I might as well go along with it. The driver opened the door and offered me his hand. I stepped out, clutching the rose carefully to my chest. He walked me to the front door, opened it, and the wished me a pleasant evening.
I walked in and was shocked at how quiet it seemed. Normally there was a low din form the mingled conversations happening at all the tables. But tonight you could almost hear a pin drop. It was a bit unnerving. I walked up to the hostess podium and was happy to see Claudine there.
"What's going on," I whispered nervously.
"What do you mean?" she asked, flashing her beautiful smile.
"Why is it so quiet?"
Claudine shrugged and then told me to follow her, as if nothing was amiss. I walked behind her and gasped when I entered the main part of the restaurant. It was completely empty. None of the tables were set, and there were no other customers or servers for that matter.
What the devil was Eric up to?
I looked around again, and my eyes started to water when I noticed that one table was all set up – Eric's usual table. The corners of my eyes started to burn a bit, as tears threatened to spill over, and I quickly pulled a tissue out of my purse to dab at them. I craned my neck, looking for Eric, but couldn't find him. I frowned, wondering where he could be.
I was interrupted from my thoughts by Claudine, who had come to stand beside me. She had put her hand on my elbow, and gently guided me towards the table.
"Have a seat, Sookie," she said, her face lit up with glee. "Your server will be right out."
I nodded at her retreating form, wondering who was taking on the role of waitress for this romantic dinner, and bet Arlene jumped at the chance to be a part of this whole thing. How long had Eric been planning this? I was curious as to how he managed to get Sam to go along with it. There was a glass of water already poured for me on the table, so I held it up to my mouth and sipped, the cool water helping to calm my nerves.
Eric knew I wasn't a huge fan of surprises, so I was a little wary of this whole thing. But, I also had implicit trust in him. I loved him for heaven's sake. So I knew that whatever he had planned would be wonderful. Heavy footsteps behind me alerted me to the fact that somebody was coming.
My jaw dropped open in shock when I saw who was standing before me. It was Eric, but he didn't look like he was dressed for our date. Instead, he was in the male equivalent of a Merlotte's uniform, looking absolutely edible in a pair of black dress slacks and a crisp, white button down shirt. He was carrying with him a menu and stood before me with a smirk gracing his face.
"Would you like to hear the specials tonight?"
I blinked my eyes a few time, completely speechless. I wondered if he was going to just laugh and sit down with me, allowing whoever was truly our waiter to serve us, but he just stood there, waiting for me to answer.
"Um, sure?" I asked rather than said, still confused about what was going on.
Eric ran down a list of meals normally found on the Merlotte's menu, but then stopped before reciting the last dish.
"May I recommend the steak dish? It's a slight variation of our normal steak dish, but I think you'll find it quite agreeable."
There was no wink at the end of his description, letting me know this whole thing was a little prank. Instead, he waited patiently for me to say something.
"Okay. The steak sounds lovely. I'll also have a glass of Shiraz, please."
I figured if I was going to go along with this role reversal I might as well have a drink to go along for the ride. Eric smiled warmly and assured me he would be right back. When he returned he had my glass of wine in one hand a bowl of warm rolls in the other.
"The chef prepared a special herbed butter for the rolls tonight," he said, placing it in front of me. "Enjoy."
He scooted away and I sat there, shell-shocked. I thought once he brought me out my wine he'd drop the act and we'd enjoy our dinner together. I grabbed a roll and began to butter it, the savory smell of herbs wafting into my nose. I took a bit and hummed in satisfaction as the flavors melted on my tongue. Lafayette's butter truly was heavenly.
He must have known about this if he prepared a special meal. I was completely blown away that he was able to have kept it a secret for this long. Usually, if you wanted gossip spread, you headed straight for Lafayette. It was like he was physically unable to shut his yapper. But, clearly, he had been able to for Eric.
Eric had appeared out of nowhere, and refilled my glass.
"Thanks," I said with a smile.
"Will you be joining me?" I asked, wondering when the whole charade would be lifted.
"Not yet," he replied with a grin. "So, why don't you relax and enjoy your meal and allow me to serve you."
The wicked gleam in his eye as he said the last bit made me hopeful for things to come post dinner, and I wished that my food was here already. I didn't have to wait much longer as a few minutes later Eric came out, carrying a steaming plate of food.
"Your dinner," he announced as he set the plate down in front of me.
It all looked truly delicious, and I would have to remember to thank Lafayette, if I didn't have a chance to see him later.
"This is a twist on a dish that one of our regulars enjoys," Eric began explaining with a smirk. "The steak has been done, au poivre, exactly to your liking. A little pink on the inside, is that correct?"
I nodded, secretly thrilled that he knew how I enjoyed my meat cooked.
"The side dishes consist of scalloped potatoes with thyme and garlic green beans. Please, enjoy."
He nodded to the plate in front of me, but made no move to sit down and join me. After ensuring that everything was to my liking, he walked back into the kitchen. I shrugged and decided I wasn't going to waste this meal. I cut into the steak and it parted effortlessly, soft as anything. It tasted phenomenal as well. The potatoes were done to perfection, a bit crispy on top and totally cheesy and creamy in the middle. The green beans had a wonderful spicy crunch to them, thanks to some garlic chips that Lafayette knew I loved. I hoped I'd have a chance to rid myself of the garlic breath, however, before continuing on with the date.
Eric came out soon after to remove my plate. He looked a little peaked and pale, and I wondered what was wrong.
"I'll be back in a moment with dessert," he said before quickly scuttling away.
It was very un-Eric like. When he came back, he was carrying a platter, covered with a silver top. I licked my lips in anticipation of what was to come. I knew Lafayette made a mean molten chocolate cake, and I crossed my fingers that I would be enjoying some form of it. Eric brought the plate right up to me, his hand, stilled over the top.
"Sookie, before I met you I was a different man. I woke up, I got dressed, I'd go to work, I'd come home. But I wasn't living. Then, I decided to stop into this restaurant for dinner one night, and something caused me to wake up. It was you, Sookie."
Eric dropped down to his knees in front of me, and I let out a gasp. My stomach started forming little knots, and I was pretty certain that there wasn't any chocolate cake underneath the cover.
"You caused me to break out of my routine, to feel like it was okay to move around outside the box. You made me ask for the specials. I am so glad I did, because I found the best special of them all. I found you."
Eric lifted the top of the plate off, and the tears that had been pooling in my eyes spilled over; hot salty tears rolled down my face, and all I could do was stare at the man in front of me. Eric began talking again, and I finally looked down at the plate. Sitting in a black, velvet box was a simple, yet stunning diamond ring.
"Sookie Stackhouse, would you do me the honor of being my wife, and spending the rest of our lives together?"
I nodded, unable to speak and launched myself at Eric. He was grinning like a fool, and I kissed him all over the face, punctuating each kiss with an emphatic "Yes!" Eric hugged me tight as I buried my face in his neck.
"I can't believe you went to all this trouble for me," I sniffled.
I could feel Eric's body shake with laughter.
"This? This was nothing. Making sure Lafayette didn't spill the beans? Now that was hard."
I laughed along with him, my head spinning with emotions. Eric sat on the floor and cradled me in his lap. He pulled my hand to him and slipped on the ring. It fit perfectly. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation. Here we were, sitting on the floor of an empty restaurant, newly engaged. I felt giddy and almost as if I was drunk.
"So…" I started, as I held up my hand to gaze at my new ring. "Does this meal actually come with dessert?"
I burst into a fit of giggles, unable to contain them any longer. It was all so surreal. Eric and I were going to get married. I was going to marry the man I loved. I turned around to face Eric, who was giving me his signature 'What the fuck' look. He shook his head, before bellowing out.
Not even a second later, Lafayette came barreling around the corner, a bottle of champagne in one hand and two glasses in the other. A huge smile was broken out across his face.
"Congrats!!!" he squealed as he picked me up off the floor, almost knocking the wind out of me.
"Easy there with my fiancé, Lafayette," said Eric, and I flushed, hearing him use that word.
"You'll get your time to celebrate later tonight," winked Lafayette. "I get to drool over the rock now."
He grabbed my hand to inspect the ring as Eric poured us some champagne.
"This is stunning, Sookie."
I watched as Lafayette held my finger up and inspected the ring from all angles. I giggled as I nodded my head.
"Yup. It's perfect."
Lafayette stuck around for a bit longer, and I teased him about how well he kept Eric's surprise. He said that in exchange for his secrecy, I better let him be my maid of honor. I told him I'd think about it. Lafayette disappeared and said he'd be back in a moment. Eric and I drank almost the entire bottle of champagne before Lafayette came back out, carrying a large gold box with him.
"Chocolate cake," he whispered as he handed it to me.
I beamed, excited I would get my dessert on top of this already incredible night. I gave Lafayette a huge hug, and grinned as I watched him attack Eric with one as well. Finally, Lafayette headed back to the kitchen, and it was just Eric and I. He grabbed my hand and the extra bottle of unopened champagne that Lafayette had left.
"Come on future Mrs. Northman, we have some celebrating to do!"
I squealed in delight as he pulled me out the door where a limo was waiting for us. I assumed we were headed back to Eric's apartment, but instead we pulled up to the Hilton. Eric quickly checked in and soon I was whisked away to the penthouse sweet.
As I walked in the room, I kept blinking my eyes. It was all decked out in rose petals and lit candles. It was a completely fairy tale. The tears started up again, and I sniffed, hoping to keep them at bay.
"Oh, shit. Did I screw it up?" Eric asked, looking genuinely worried.
"Not…at…all…" I sobbed, even more touched by his concern.
He didn't seem to believe me, so I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed him by the shirt collars and pulled him towards me.
"Let me show you how right this all is, Mr. Northman," I whispered huskily to him.
I dragged Eric towards the bed, not even caring that it was still covered in rose petals. I pushed him down, and despite knowing I didn't quite have the strength to get him down, he easily fell beneath me. He was laid out on the bed, and I licked my lips. Straddled him, I began to undo each button on his shirt as slowly as possible.
I could feel him growing hard beneath me, and wiggled my hips a bit just to tease him. Eric must not have been in the mood for teasing because he growled as he gripped my waist and flipped us around so I was the one now laying on the bed.
"I don't think I can go slow right now, Sookie," he hissed, sending shivers down my spine.
Without waiting for me to respond, Eric captured my lips in his, kissing my hungrily. His hands moved up and down my body with abandon, stroking whatever bare skin he could find. He pushed my dress up over my hips and hitched my leg over his waist.
His mouth found that sweet spot on my neck, right under my ear, and when he sucked in, I gasped out in pleasure. I writhed beneath him, needing more and sighed in relief when I felt his fingers pull the sides of my thong down, freeing it from my body. Eric's head dipped lower as his mouth trailed warm kisses down my dress-clad body until he settled himself right between my legs.
His fingers came down to spread me open, and I let out a low moan as his mouth made contact with me down there. The heat of his breath and the feel of his wet tongue on me had me panting and crying out, wanting more. I felt his long fingers slide in, pumping in and out in the most delicious rhythm. Eric didn't stop until I had reached my climax, coaxing every last bit out of me. I knew there was a reason I was going to marry this man.
Despite feeling like a puddle of jello, I pulled him up towards me and kissed him for all I was worth. My own taste was mingled with Eric's, and I couldn't get enough of the combination. Eric pulled back, his eyes shining bright. He looked so happy at that moment. I wondered if I could make him happier.
I finished unbuttoning his shirt and pulled it off of him. Before I went to help him out of his pants I crossed my arms and slowly pulled my dress up off of me, tossing it into a corner of the room. Eric's eyes grazed hungrily over my body, and I couldn't help but take in his. His taut muscles had a slight sheen to them, and the V-shape leading down below his waistband was incredibly tempting.
I made quick work of his belt, and he helped me pull both his pants and boxers off in one tug. He kneeled before me on the bed, clearly ready for me. I wrapped my hand around his warm length, stroking him up and down. His eyes fluttered closed and he sighed happily. After a few more strokes his own hand came up to still mine as his eyes opened.
"Not yet," he pleaded. "I want to be in you."
Eric sat back on the bed, and pulled me into his lap. He knew that this was one of my favorite positions because not only did it feel absolutely incredible, but I was able to look directly into his eyes the entire time. Eric lifted my hips up and I slowly came back down, sheathing him inside of me. We both groaned as our hips met, relishing the feeling of each other.
I wrapped my arms around Eric's neck and slowly began lifting myself up and down. Eric met me, thrust for thrust, and we soon found a pace that worked for both of us. My body was still reeling from the orgasm he had just given me, so it wasn't taking long for me to reach another one. I gazed into Eric's eyes and he stared back at me, sharing plenty of emotion without using any words.
I had to close my eyes, however, when I felt his finger come down and pinch me, right where I needed it the most. I shouted out as I bucked harder against him, falling over the edge. I used my hand on his shoulders to steady myself, as wave after wave of heat and bliss took over my body. As I came down from my high, Eric was still pounding into me, right on the cusp of his release.
I bent forward, and sucked his earlobe into my mouth, lightly biting down on it. That seemed to throw him over, and I soon felt his spill inside of me as he called out my name. We both took a few minutes to catch our breaths and relax. Soon, however, I had to pry myself out from Eric's embrace to use the bathroom.
When I returned a few minutes later he had turned down the bed, and had two slices of chocolate cake waiting, along with glasses of champagne. I climbed into bed, alongside him and took the champagne he held out.
"To us," Eric toasted, clinking his glass against mine.
"To us," I echoed with a grin.
I take a few sips before placing the glass on the bedside table. I then grab the plate of cake to my side and dig in. I see Eric is not far behind, as his cake is already half gone.
"So," Eric said between mouthfuls. "I've been thinking about what I want to get you as a wedding present, and I think I have just the thing."
Was Eric off his rocker? I wanted to slap him for even thinking about getting each other wedding gifts. Knowing him, he'd probably go way overboard and get me something crazy like diamond jewelry or a car or something. But the playful look in his eye had me curious.
"Oh yeah?" I questioned, as I wiped off a stray bit of chocolate that had fallen on his chin.
Eric looked over at me, his eyes were shining and his expression was joyful. He hugged me close to his body before placing a kiss on the top of my head.
"What do you think about owning your own restaurant?"
A/N: Sigh. And there you have it. I have to thank everyone who took the time to read, review, fav or just put this fic on alert and followed along from your computer. Thank you all SO much.
While I have you here, let me spread the good word for a sec. For those of you who don't know, every Monday SVM authors post teasers over in the teaser thread. Check it out: http://forum(DOT)fanfiction(DOT)net/topic/55534/19191439/9/#24393892
Also, there is a FABU new SVM blog that has tons of great things going on, so please go check it out as well: www(dot)thesookieverse(dot)com
and lastly (if you're still here, lol). A smidge of self h00ring. For those that read my Twi o/s, Inhale Her - it made it to the final round of voting. If you're so inclined, feel free to check out who is also up and please vote! There are 3 more days to vote! http://www(DOT)fanfiction(DOT)net/u/2238935/AwkWard_Contest