AN: Hello. I'm once again borrowing from the goddess Charlaine Harris the fabulously imagined Sookie and Eric, plus random others from the Sookieverse. This will be AH, slightly OOC and definitely not cannon. I'm also letting go of all inhibitions and writing ESN as it might happen in RL. The story will develop over several years and cover much ground. (in many, many ways.) It will be both romantic and lemony. But, don't worry, no cursing on this plain of reality. IF explicit material upsets you, exit this now and find tamer FF, please! All characters are the property of Ms. Harris and now I guess H*O and possibly Alan Ball. Maybe some lawyers and accountants as well.

Fourth of July c. 1972

Karen Carpenter was singing "Close to you" on the record-player and Sookie was slumped in a rocker, staring out the screened-in porch toward the empty boat dock at the bottom of the steeply sloped lawn. It was a miserably hot and humid Fourth of July weekend at the Lake with her parents and their hard-drinking adult friends. Not the sort of holiday weekend she had anticipated before her best friend Claudia had to cancel their trip to Chicago. Even her older brother had managed to escape the family holiday celebration by driving to a Deep Purple concert in St. Louis with his girlfriend Amelia.

"Shit, I'm bored" she thought. She was all out of dope and Jason had taken the last baggie with him. Selfish prick.

Life was about to improve in a big way, however.

Sookie looked up toward the mouth of the cove. She was so hot her skin felt damp. She had elected to wear just her tiny pink bikini for the day, but it was still too much clothing against her skin. The bikini was a success, though. It emphasized her flat stomach and boobs that had finally appeared last winter. She had noticed her dad's friends staring at her last night and had hesitated about a bikini, but the soaring temperature made anything else impossible. Today she'd decided it wasn't a bad feeling to be noticed; she wondered if the older women knew what their husbands were thinking about her last night.

The sound of an outboard motor interrupted her thoughts. A long blindingly white Chris-craft was cruising along the shore across the lake. She could just make out that it was being driven by a large dude with dazzling white-blond hair. There were two other girls and two guys sitting on the seats in the back by the engine.

She might be only seventeen, but she still knew the drill. Sookie jumped up to open the screen door, walking purposely but not eagerly to the boat dock and grabbing a towel along the way from the beach chair she had been using. The bottle of baby oil was in her hand and the adults were clustered safely around the front of the lake house. She knew they would not see her making her way to the water's edge.

She reached the walkway; the unpainted wood felt very dry and warm under her bare feet. The boat made the swing around the end of the cove. Lying down on her stomach she saw it pull into an open slot at Dena's Resort next door to gas up. She would wait and watch.

The two couples left the boat and headed up the steep stairs to the combined bar and pool hall. The driver of the boat tied off to the dock, threw out the bumpers and began pumping gas. He was close enough to observe her and he looked up and directly at her. She smiled and after a moment he gave a small wave.

Sookie thought for a moment, then sat up and crossed her legs, facing him. She waved back.

He finished pumping and looked around for his companions, who were still inside the bar. After a small hesitation, he got back in the boat, pulled it out of the slot and turned it in her direction. She swallowed hard. What did she want?

The boat moved slowly toward her, cruising past the intervening docks until he could pull it around and was facing her. He put the boat into neutral and just stared at her, engine humming. It was a beautiful boat up close, with gorgeous white leather seats with tiny black piping. He looked like a college guy to her. Definitely older.

They stared in silence at each other. "I'm Eric" he finally told her. He removed his black aviator sunglasses. He was deeply tanned and even she noticed he was well muscled, wearing only a yellow pair of swim trunks and navy boat shoes. He looked like a god. Thor, perhaps, if she remembered her Norse mythology reads.

He was clearly waiting for her response. "I'm Sookie. This is our house."

"Mind if I tie up? My older brother Sven and his friends are over at Dena's next door getting some beer. It's too hot for me to want to drink right now."

Sookie nodded and stood to help guide in the boat. At 5'6" she wasn't tall, but her legs looked long thanks to the bikini and the oil she had smeared over the fine sheen covering her body. She saw him looking at her out of the corner of her eye and felt a small thrill run through her. She knew what that look meant.

He stepped out of the boat and glanced up at her parent's lake house. She noticed her mom had come around the corner and begun walking down the hill though the grass to where she was standing with Eric. He straightened up and began walking toward the end of the dock to meet her mother.

After what seemed an interminable amount of time, her mom established Eric was the grandson of one of the owners of a house in a nearby cove. Having been vetted by her mom, he now was invited up to the house for a soda and willingly followed her, leaving Sookie to trail along behind him.

The adults stood to get a better look at what she apparently had fished from the Lake, her father giving her a look she had not seen before on his face and could not identify. Eric was very tall and masculine. She saw several of the women sitting on the plastic lawn chairs and gliders looking carefully at him. It was an interesting experience for her. Her mother made introductions and quickly whisked him inside the house for the promised can of Coke. The adults were silent for a few seconds when he left, then conversations resumed again. She moved away from the drifting cigarette smoke and the smell of stale beer to stand in front of the door. She heard Eric ask her mother if it would be okay if he took Sookie for a boat ride around the coves. Amazingly, her mother agreed, saying "But she is only seventeen, don't forget." Shit.

Sookie entered the kitchen to stand by Eric.

"Don't be gone too long with Eric, Sookie. Your dad is going to start up the grills soon. Eric, you are invited to stay for dinner if you like."

He made a non-committal sound and suggested they leave for the boat via the porch door on the front of the house. Sookie felt dazed. She grabbed a t-shirt off the chair as they moved through the dark, cool rooms of the house and heard the back porch door swing shut as her mother went out to advise her dad she was leaving. Eric hustled her down the lawn and she picked-up her towel and the baby oil before she swung over the side to land on the boat's floor next to Eric who was standing up to steer it away from the dock. It all happened so quickly her Dad could only wave from the corner of the house as Eric pushed the throttle forward hard and they braced as the boat surged forward. She giggled and looked sideways at Eric as his shoulder-length blonde hair flew out behind his head. His profile was very attractive with that knife-edge nose. She was a little dazed by the whole sequence of events.

The noise from the engine, the wind whipping past her ears and the sound of the waves behind them made conversation all but impossible. What would she say to him anyway? 'God, you are beautiful.' That would make her look stupid.

He eventually pulled into a cove, slowed down and began steering the craft along the shoreline. They both remained standing within a few inches of each other.

"Are you in high school?" he asked.

"I'm a senior. I've already been accepted for mid-term at Columbia." She stated, glad to finally have something to say to him. "Where do you go to college?"

"Columbia in New York or here in Missouri? I'm a senior at Stanford, and before you ask I'm majoring in geology. I'm going to enter the graduate program at NAU in Flagstaff and then go on for my Ph.D." He still had not looked at her.

"Why Flagstaff? Oh, the Grand Canyon, I guess."

"Want to smoke some dope?" He bent over and pulled a bag of rolled joints from the compartment by the driver's seat. He twisted around to turn on the eight-track tape player and the Moody Blues "Tuesday Afternoon" drifted out over the peaceful waves created by their movement through the water.

He took a large hit and handed it to her before exhaling. They quickly finished the first joint and he lit a second one. It was around five o'clock and not many people were on the water, only the occasional fish breaking the surface.

Without any warning, he leaned over and wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him. The tape ended, and he released her to change it out. The sounds of the Allman Brothers Band drifted out of the sound system on either side of the boat's seats. The melancholy voice of Greg Allman singing the lyrics to "Melissa" were so bewitching, Sookie closed her eyes to imagine she and Eric locked together on top of pale sheets in a decaying southern mansion, the very air around them shimmering with the heat of late day after hours of passionate lovemaking. Snapped back to reality, Sookie felt Eric move back into position by her side. She turned her face up to him. His eyes were a sparkling shade of sapphire with long golden lashes that framed the planes of his face. His expression was unreadable.

"Want to sit down?" he asked gently.

She nodded. He cut the engine and walked away to drop the anchor. She realized they were at the end of a cove and there were no houses nearby. But, she knew exactly where they were as she and Jason often parked the family boat on the muddy shoreline, climbing up in the tree cover to smoke grass in peace, away from the adults.

He put her towel on the seats at the back of the boat and turning around held out his hand. She moved forward and sat down and he plopped down next to her and draped his arm around her shoulders. He remained silent and the boat rocked gently.

Desperate for conversation, she asked him if he intended to stay for dinner tonight. He shook his head, "No."

The pot and the rocking movement and the music began to affect her and she felt her attention begin to waver. It was hot sitting in the sun. She noticed a cooler and asked if she could have a drink. "Just beer in that cooler."

"I'll take one anyway." She got up, took out a Schlitz and grabbed a handful of ice that she began rubbing over her forehead and then on her chest above her breasts. She knew enough to know she was teasing him, so she sat down under the boat's cover, facing him and waited for him to come to her. The beer was very cold. She wondered aloud why his brother had him stop at Dena's when they already had beer.

"I wanted to meet you." He looked at her. "I saw you come down the lawn to the dock. I didn't know you were only seventeen."

"Look, I should probably get you back to your house."

The ride back took less than twenty minutes. He waited with the boat running while she stepped over the side and stood on the dock, turning to face him. He gave a small wave and gunned it back to the resort next door.

She felt forlorn and wondered what she had done.

At dinner she was very subdued and her mother noticed. Sookie fended off her questions and went to her room very early. She pulled out her plastic-covered pink journal with the purple and green flower shapes, but didn't feel like writing anything. She put one of Jason's Neil Young's albums on the record-player, which she had drug into her room, and closed the door to think about Eric. She realized she could take a walk along the road tomorrow and end up over in the cove where he was staying at his grandmother's house. With that thought, she curled up in bed, the fan blowing full force on her to muffle the sound of the crickets sawing madly away outside her window. The humidity made sleeping nearly impossible, but the effects of the sun and the pot eventually made it easier for her to fall asleep. She didn't even get up to turn off the record player.

Sunday was another hot summer day. They would not be leaving until Tuesday morning as her dad owned his own development firm and did not need to be back in the office until he was ready to do so. Sookie rose early and put on the black bikini her mother did not know she had bought, covered it with a short lime-green terry-cloth robe and headed to the kitchen for coffee. The new, fashionable copper-colored appliances had not been used that morning. She figured the adults would be sleeping off the effects of the beer and sangria they had consumed last night until at least late morning.

She walked down to the dock, taking a beach chair with her, but elected to drink her coffee and eat the sweet roll with her feet dangling in the water. She saw several sunfish moving in the green shadows where the sun did not reach and watched a few carp swim past her feet. She was lost in thought and started only when a large shadow blocked the sunlight. She turned and looked up into Eric's face. He was wearing faded cut-off jean shorts with a dark red, blood-colored t-shirt and loafers with no socks.

"Did you even hear me come up?" he said sitting down on the dock beside her to remove his shoes and lower his legs into the lake water. She noticed he smelled very good, Brut maybe.

"Feel like smoking another joint?" he grinned at her.

"I thought you thought I was too young." She replied.

"Yes, you are jail bait, but I like to live dangerously. Plus, I'm really bored with watching my brother make out with his girlfriend all night long. They were going at it…" he stopped and looked at her curiously.

Sookie was quiet. What could she say to that?

"Why don't you take off the robe and we can swim for a bit." He suggested to her.

The water felt great and Eric had watched her disrobe closely. He definitely seemed to like her bathing suit. In the water, he swam for a bit, and then moved up to wrap his arms around her and place his face close to hers. It was a strange sensation to be kicking her legs and yet be held so firmly again his nearly naked body in the water. The water was still cool from the night, and her nipples were rubbing against the inside of her bikini top. She had an almost queasy feeling in her stomach, but she did not feel sick. Her breathing had sped up and she found herself looking at his lips as she could not meet his eyes.

"Do you have a boyfriend, Sookie?"

"'No. Eric. Do you have a girlfriend?"

"Not at the moment, but I'm interested in you. Want to walk back to my house and meet my brother and his friends?"

After checking at her house, it was apparent none of the adults had yet arisen. Vampires all!, she thought with amusement. Sookie left a note on the table that she was taking a walk, and within thirty minutes they were entering the front door of a very modern lake house. It was expensively furnished and Sookie felt a little embarrassed by the contrast between her parent's very functional and plain furnishings versus the leather and heavily embellished chairs and sofas she noticed in the great room. Even the walls had nice paintings.

"Are your parents or grandparents here with you guys?" she asked.

"Nope. Want to go back to my room and listen to some music?"

"Yeah. I'm kinda thirsty. Do you have any orange juice?"

"How about some lemonade? I think Sven and Monica were making drinks with it last night."

The lemonade was very cold and they both had more than one glass. Sookie also grabbed a grabbed a brownie off the table as walked by. She followed Eric back to his room, sliding her toes through the lush, long-pile off-white carpet. Even the air smelled sweet in this house, she thought. She wondered what she was getting herself into but decided she didn't care. She silently resolved to do just about anything she felt like doing.

His bedroom was impersonal, painted a dull grey with standard issue furniture. It held just a dresser and a double bed covered in a red and blue Indian madras print blanket. The room smelled strongly of pot. His albums and tapes were stacked neatly in a corner, but his clothes were scattered on the floor and piled up in the corner. She was amazed to see that it had an attached bathroom with a shower. He sank down on a corner of the bed and put an album on the turntable. "Black Sabbath", he told her.

She didn't really like it, but sat down next to him as she didn't want to sit on the floor. He kicked off his shoes and stretched out his long frame on the bed.

"Lie down next to me. We can just listen to music if you like."

She didn't believe him, but wasn't averse to a little kissing. She stretched out on her stomach and knew her butt was sticking up in the air. It too had grown this last year, really more than she would have liked. Nothing she could do about it except give up eating.

"Do you have any Elton John?" she asked for something to say.

"Have you heard "Madman across the Water?" He ditched Black Sabbath for Elton.

The music was very moody and she relaxed and prepared herself for him to make a move. The bed was very firm underneath her. She felt certain if she struck her hand under the mattresses she would find a crumpled Playboy magazine. It was almost a given. She felt along the floor to locate it, and soon brought up an old one to see the pages opened to a nude dyed-blonde centerfold with very large breasts and dark pubic hair. Eric said nothing, studying her to see how she would react. She dispassionately flipped a few pages until she saw another spread of various nude women posed suggestively with uniformed baseball and football players she did not recognize. She leaned back against his shoulder and held the magazine so he could look at the photos with her. He began softly kissing her hair and stroking up and down her bare leg hooked over his. The photos were very erotic. It was exciting to be holding such contraband in her hands while snuggled into the most gorgeous male creature she had ever seen.

Things progressed quickly and Sookie soon felt Eric's mouth kissing the tops of her breasts while his fingers were tugging at her bikini bottoms. She made a shaking movement with her head and he moved his hands to cover her hands.

"Am I moving too fast for you, little Sookie? Have you ever kissed a boy before today?"

It was impossible to pay attention to whatever he was saying, as he had now moved his lips to inside her bikini top and was fishing her other nipple from the cup. She sat up suddenly. "I don't know if this is a good idea."

"Sookie, I have a new book you would enjoy reading. I'll go get it and be right back." Eric stood and left the room. Sookie noticed he was no longer wearing his t-shirt. How had she missed him taking it off?

When Eric returned he was carrying a thick book with a white cover and large red lettering. It appeared to be well-used; even the spine was cracked. He did not show it to her immediately. Instead he began kissing her again, but this time the kisses were probing and hot. He was letting her know he wanted more from her, using his mouth to telegraph his demands. He also gripped her shoulders very tightly and snuggled his lower body against hers. It felt very possessive to her, but not really bad. Now she could feel his erection pressed against her. To think of it was to want to touch it, and she did, gripping him tightly. What was he saying, now? She concentrated on his words.

"This book just came out and all the guys in my fraternity are reading it. Want to see the title?" She opened her eyes to notice he had pulled away and was holding the book.

She blinked and felt herself turning red. It was The Joy of Sex. Everyone at school had been talking about it but no one could get a copy. "How did you get it?" she asked shyly. He smiled, and then opened it to a page showing an oddly hairy, naked couple with the man's penis clearly entering the woman between her legs. While technically Sookie know how things fit together, this was the most explicit representation she had ever seen.

Eric spoke. "Have you heard of cunnilingus? There is a drawing here I would like to show you." The illustration was very graphic and showed just an exploded view of the woman's spread legs with the man's head nestled between them and a very well-detailed view of her opening. "I think you would like something like this and I promise you there is no chance of pregnancy." She stared at him in surprise. Was he crazy?

"Eric, how about some more music? It seems really quiet in here. Where is your brother?""

"They must have left while I was at your house. I saw the corvette was gone from the drive when we walked in."

"We're alone in your house?"

"Guess so. Want to roll a joint?" He was rolling the paper and licking it before she had a chance to respond. However, when he offered her the first toke, she eagerly accepted. She wondered if the lemonade had been spiked, as she had started to feel a little woozy. It was just a couple of glasses full of the stuff, but maybe the pot would clear up her head. She briefly closed her eyes.

When Sookie opened her eyes again, the first thing she saw was the top of Eric's head between her legs. The second thing she saw was that her bikini top was missing, his fingers were tweaking her nipples, and her bikini bottoms appeared to be on the bed beside her. She gave an involuntary moan as she realized Eric's tongue was massaging the area between her legs and it felt very wet where he was touching. But what it really felt was almost indescribably wonderful.

He lifted his head and stared into her eyes. "You seemed to be enjoying that. Want to do something similar to me?" He now looked both hopeful and delicious. His lips were wet and swollen. They were much darker than his normal pale pink shade. She also noticed his shorts were on the bed beside her and the cover of the bed was rolled-up under her hands as if she had been pulling on it.

"Eric, I'm sure my parents are awake and wondering where I am right now. They might think to come looking here for me since they know your grandparents. I should probably get back, don't you think?"

Eric's contented expression gave way to a blank mask. "Whatever you say, Sookie." His voice was no longer soft and intimate. He rolled off and pulled on his shorts without getting up. He left to walk into the bathroom and began washing his face. Sookie grabbed her suit and pulled it on quickly. Her parents were going to kill her or send out the dogs for her, whatever that meant. Maybe both.

The car was back in the driveway and Eric drove her just to the road above her house where she insisted he let her out to walk alone down the gravel pathway. He said he would see her later, but she hoped not. She would turn eighteen next month and was looking forward to moving away from home to live in Columbia. Eric would just complicate her life and he was in school in California, anyways.

It was turning into a bummed-out holiday weekend.

AN: This will be a wild ride, this I pledge.

BTW, all gremlins are mine. (Spelling mistakes greatly embarrass, so please don't point them out.)