Note: Spoilers upto 2x07 "Release Me."


Sookie bangs on the back door of Fangtasia. For the hundredth time since she left Bon Temps, she reminds herself to not let Eric get to her. He has a tendency to make her angry but losing control is only going to give him the upper hand.

After knocking for several seconds Ginger finally answers, and from the blank look on her face and hazy state of mind, it's obvious she doesn't recognize Sookie.

"Club doesn't open for another hour, sweetie," Ginger says with the usual confused glint in her eyes and perplexed smile.

"Ginger, it's Sookie. We've met before. Remember?"

"Uh… yeah."

Sookie doesn't need her telepathic skills to realize the Fangtasia waitress has no clue who she is; maybe Ginger's been glamoured one too many times.

Ginger fidgets nervously. "But I still can't let you in."

"I need to talk to Eric."

"He's in the back. He doesn't like me bugging him when he just wakes up. He gets real grumpy."

"Yeah well, I don't have time to wait around for Eric to get in a better mood. I have to see him now."

Pushing her way into the bar, Sookie walks past Ginger and marches toward the back room. Just when she's about to knock, the door opens and a gorgeous redhead steps out of the room. Her hair is ruffled, a sated smile displayed across her face. And two fresh fang marks on the side of her neck.

The woman shoots Sookie a hostile look before she walks away, her hips strutting seductively. Sookie resists the urge to throw something at her.

"Don't worry, Sookie. I'm always hungry for more."

Eric's soft, taunting tone already weakens her resolve to stay calm.

Leaving the door open behind her, she steps into his office. Dressed in a black wife-beater and jeans, Eric is sitting behind his desk, eyes focused on the sheet of paper he's holding in his hands.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?" he asks without looking up.

"I got your check in the mail today."

He finally meets her gaze and his right eyebrow arches up as if to mock her. "And you're here to express your gratitude in person?"

"Not exactly." Pulling the envelope out of her purse, she drops it on his desk. "The deal was for ten grand, not fifteen."

"Consider the rest an advance for next time."

"You think I'll work for you again?"

"Yes," he replies cockily.

"You're dead wrong."

"I'm certainly dead but I'm never wrong."

"You were wrong about me."

"You, Sookie, are an exception to the rule."

His blue eyes are filled with mischief; a lopsided smile curves across his face. He looks like he's having a hell of a time teasing her. She wonders what it is about goading people, especially her, that he enjoys so much.

"I'm curious: what exactly displeased you about our last arrangement?" he asks.

"Other than almost being raped?"

She wonders if it's regret that flashes across his face, but the emotion dissipates so quickly she must have imagined it. After all, this is iEric/i.

"I assure you nothing like that will happen again."

"I'm supposed to take your word for it?"


Just the one word. That's it. He doesn't provide any further justifications.

"I don't trust you."

"I'm not Bill Compton. Gaining your trust isn't really a matter of grave importance to me."

There are many things that bother her about Eric but it's his cold arrogance that she detests the most. "Just write me a damn check for what you owe me. I don't want a penny more from you."

He picks up the envelope she had dropped earlier on his table, holds it between his fingers, and plays with it all the while studying her with his languid gaze.

"I don't have all night, Eric," she bites out.

"Big plans tonight?"

"That's none of your business."

"Does Bill appreciate this argumentative streak of yours?"

"Yes," she responds in a snooty tone but regrets her words right away. The last thing she wants is for Eric to know more details about her relationship with Bill; no doubt he'd use it to provoke her more.

"Liar," he sneers.

"You don't know anything about the two of us."

"I know he has very strong feelings for Lorena, stronger than what he feels for you."

"You're wrong. He hates her."

"Hate is a powerful emotion," Eric replies with a patronizing smile. "He shares a bond with his maker which you can not compete with."

"I'm not here to discuss my relationship with you."

"Bored of it already? I am too."

"Are you going to write me a check or not?"

Flashing a wicked smile, he pulls out a checkbook from his drawer. She's relieved when he starts writing but in typical Eric fashion he doesn't just hand it to her when he's done. Instead, he leans back in his chair and playfully taps the table with the check.

"I'm surprised Bill allowed you to come to Fangtasia all by yourself."

"I'm not his slave. I do what I want."

"And that was to see ime/i tonight. Alone."

She can feel the heat rise in her cheeks and she knows he absolutely loves her humiliation – his twinkling eyes are a dead giveaway. "You know what. Mail me the damn check."

Eager to get away from him, she turns around and is in the process of storming out of the room when Eric moves past her with lightning speed. Suddenly he's standing directly in front of her, and she almost crashes into him. "What the ihell/i?" she yelps.

He leans in even closer. If he was human, she would be able to feel his breath on her skin. But he's not human. He's a vampire and he's staring at her - no, into her - like she's a puzzle he's desperately trying to solve.

She blames fear for the butterflies in her stomach, the pounding of her heart in her chest. It ihas/i to be fear because the alternative is not an option. She won't let it be.

He's incredibly still as his gaze remains concentrated on her; she's not sure why his stillness leaves her feeling more awkward and uncomfortable than when he's provoking her.

"Here," Eric murmurs, holding the paper between their bodies.

She can't look away from him and a part of her doesn't even want to.

"Quickly. Before I change my mind."

Her eyes locked on him, Sookie reaches out to grab the check from him when she experiences a sharp sting. Glancing down, she realizes she has a paper cut on her index finger and it's bleeding.

"Let me."

His voice is smooth like velvet. Seductive.

She can't break away from his hypnotic gaze as his fingers wrap around hers and bring them to his lips. He sucks gently on the digit, his tongue caressing her skin.

She's hot… and flushed… and breathless… every nerve in her body is heightened.

His eyes are piercing blue, shaking her to the core, and getting more brilliant as he continues to suckle her finger.

"Well, well, well. Looks like I'm interrupting something good."

Pam's amused voice brings Sookie right back to reality and she finally finds the strength to tear her eyes away from him.

"Didn't I teach you to knock?" Eric asks, still watching Sookie.

"The door was open," Pam grins.

Moving as fast as she can, Sookie sidesteps past Eric and Pam and dashes out of the room. She needs to get away from him, from this place, to somewhere familiar where what she feels doesn't frighten her or make her ashamed.

It's when she's already in her car and few miles away that she realizes she left the damn check behind.