Well first of all, I feel an explanation is in order, based on recent reviews. So here it goes. I work full time, and now have a second job. I have a side business/hobby, several children and a hubby with a walker. Bearing in mind, I'm not a writer, well wasn't before this. So this is an adventure to me. It's hard for me to write long chapters as most of this story I figure out during my commute to/from work. I appreciate each and every review, each favorite and each alert. Especially this week. Your loyalty really humbled me. I was so happy as I read each and every review. You guys are the goods. I just can't thank you guys enough. On that note, here's the next chappie that I worked on with your recent reviews motivating me.

AmaZen, as ever, is amazing and an awesome beta. She's kept me motivated and kept my self-esteem going. She gives me love, pointers, grammar checks and inspiration. She's also proven to be a good friend. I hope, one day, we can meet in real life.

We're going to try something new. I read a lot of fic with play lists and although each moment in my mind has had a song, I've never posted them. For now, I'm going to try.

This chapter is written to "Take Me As I Am" by The October Project. http: / www . youtube . com/watch?v=Bxrd_mL4BB8.

"Maybe," she giggled. That was all the answer I needed. I continued to hold her hands as I kissed my way down her jaw to her chest. This silly shirt didn't give me nearly enough access, but I realized it laced up the front. I took one end of the bow into my mouth and pulled it loose. She gasped and held her breath as I continued to pull the ribbon through the eyelets and free of the offending garment. I watched as she took in a deep breath, causing her shirt to fall to her sides. I sat up and took her in.


I felt his mouth on the tie to my shirt and my breath hitched. Am I ready for this step? I hardly know him.

Before I even had a chance to consider this completely, I felt the ribbon sliding from my top. I guess it's too late now.

I couldn't suppress the panic filling my chest. It had been so long since I was with anyone. By this point I'd normally be inundated an onslaught of thoughts on my imperfections. Thoughts wondering how long to get into my pants. It's amazing the shit that flies through people's heads when they're engaged in this type of activity. While I'd be learning the topography of my soon to be lover, I'd hear him nit-picking my boobs, thinking how quickly he could get me wet to slide into home, wondering how much effort I would require before he got off. Inevitably this resulted in my rolling him over and doing my best to please him. I'd been willing to do anything to shut off the litany of rambling complaints and bargaining in his head. With Eric, I heard none of that. I guess I should be thankful that I could just have an experience like a normal person without all of the drivel that I couldn't block. Trying to remain in the mood while blocking the mind of someone in such direct intimate contact was impossible. Thus, what miniscule sex life I'd had so far had consisted of fellatio and a fuck before rolling over and crying myself to sleep. The way Eric was looking at me, like I was an oasis in the desert was unnerving. Is he that into me, or does he just want to drink my blood?

When I finally sucked in a breath, I felt fabric sliding on either side of me. I was fully exposed, except for the nearly transparent lace bra I was wearing. Goddamned pink lace, I knew I should have went with the padded one.

I watched Eric's expression and it didn't change. He drank me in as I lay there, trying to breath normally while completely freaking out in my mind. Why am I doing this?

I sat up against him and shyly pulled my shirt back over my chest. I kissed him while I did so in an effort to cover up the fact that I was, in fact, trying to cover up. I continued kissing him gently as I pushed him back. Once he reached the edge of the bed, he stood up and looked at my quizzically.

"Is something wrong? Did I hurt you?" Not yet, you didn't. But it's coming. It always does.

"Can you go out into the living room while I change into something more comfortable?" I asked. Some granny panties and my old snoopy pajamas would work well. He looked like he was going to say something, but merely nodded his head, grabbed his boots and left the room. As soon as I heard him at the end of the hall I jumped up and shut the door. I rushed into my bathroom and ran some water so I could rinse my face. As I turned off the tap I stared at myself in the mirror. My image was no surprise, I'd seen it enough before. Tonight's was a bit different than usual encounters. Had I waited twenty minutes, I'd see the familiar expression after taking a man to my bed. Tonight, I stared into the mirror twenty minutes before the tears arrived and confirmed once again that I'd always be alone.

I suppose I couldn't blame the guys. They had no idea what made me cry when we got done. It's not like I could explain to them how mortifying it was to listen to them criticize my fellating, think about how my boobs weren't big enough or hoping I'd come soon so they could get off and go home. Men are fucking pigs.

I changed into my don't-fuck-me-jammies and pulled my hair up into a pony tail prior to going out to greet Eric. He wasn't lazing on my couch or chair like I'd hoped. He was pacing in the living room with the grace of a caged tiger instead. He looked beautiful. Several locks of his hair had come loose and now hung in his eyes. His muscles rippled underneath his shirt as he paced and he moved like a predator on the prowl. I guess now's the time to be nervous.

The pained expression on his face both alarmed me and made me feel bad for cock blocking him. He looked me up and down in my jammies. I stood there wringing my fingers. "Listen, Eric..."

"No," he replied.


"No, Sookie, you listen to me. If I hurt you, I assure you it was accidental. I've spent centuries perfecting my restraint. I'll spend centuries more to make it up to you if I hurt you."

Huh. "You didn't hurt me, Eric," I sighed. Why does he think he hurt me?

"Then what happened?" I totally did not want to discuss this now. I was so tired. I hadn't had enough sleep in days. I shouldn't be at this point yet. I shouldn't be having this conversation for several more dates. Can I consider these encounters dates? Shit! Where the fuck am I in this mess?

I just shook my head and went to the couch, tucking one ankle under me as I sat down. Eric turned and watched me, hands spread wide as if asking for an answer. I motioned for him to join me. He dropped his hands, slumped his shoulders as he walked over and sat at the opposite corner mimicking my posture.

"Eric, it's complicated. This is one of the many reasons we shouldn't be seeing one another on a personal level." His jaw dropped open and I swear to goodness his adam's apple bounced several times. I guess that body function works too.

"What do you mean complicated? I may be a Viking, but we're good problem solvers. Whatever it is, I can take it."

I am fuckity fucked. How do I explain my particular brand of crazy to a thousand year old vampire who will probably think I am insane since all evidence points to that being an accurate observation? How does one explain that they're insecure and used to hearing condescending thoughts about themselves while in bed?

"No, Eric. It's just, well. I can't explain it okay. I'm not used to all of this!" Translation: Please just drop it.

"How do you mean?" He asked. Better to be thought a wing nut than to confirm it. I'm so not explaining my telepathy. Time to perform, Stackhouse.

"Eric, it's just hard for me. I'm not used to being with anyone. It's been a long time. It just makes me hyperventilate." Did I just say sex makes me hyperventilate? Doesn't it do that for everyone? You're royally making an ass of yourself, Stackhouse. And yet I am still talking to myself and not him. Nice.

"If done properly, your breathing should accelerate, yes. I'm not understanding the problem here."

And he nails my fucked up shit. Why not? Because every other asshole spent his attempts to go down on me while thinking about how quickly I could be done so he could fuck me and go home, that's why, ya asshole!

"Eric, it's just difficult. Can you understand that?" Oh yes, I forgot. I'm the asshole here.

"Sookie," my whispered name on his lips sounded almost like a prayer. I felt like a complete heel doing this. I wanted nothing more than to be wrapped in his arms while running my tongue over his skin. I wanted nothing more than to experience intimacy without the onslaught of thoughts to ruin it. I enjoyed not knowing his thoughts. I made me feel normal.

Why am I doing this to myself? To him? Because you're fucked up goods that's why. You should have never quit the Zoloft.

"Sookie, you're the first person, living or undead, that I've encountered in a very long time who doesn't want me for my area, my power, my money or my status. Admittedly, our introduction was a bit sketchy, but I feel almost human around you. You've taken me to task and have shown you're my equal. I want you. I think you worry too much. I think that you think that I am just out to get into your pants. Well, I'm not. Do you think I'd tolerate Amelia if I was? Do you think I'd be here if I was? I can have any fangbanger I want, but I don't. Ever since I met you, you've intrigued me and I've wanted nothing more than to make you mine. I've not taken anyone since that moment. You've shown that you see me for who I am, not what I am. You've taken me amongst your friends. You allowed me to experience normal, human encounters when no one else has. What makes you think I can't be understanding enough to wait for you? I've waited a thousand years for someone like you, and I'll wait another. If you need more time, I'll give you all the time I have, which is immense. For many, many years I've missed my humanity. You've helped bring some of it back."

He had me at, "I want you." Jesus, I'm dying here. I ignored my conscience and climbed onto his lap.

"Eric, I want you too. You've made me feel human again too, for the first time in a very long time. I underestimated you in the worst of ways. I'm just not sure I am willing to subject you to all of me."

He placed a finger over my lips to shut me up. I found myself panting in his lap and stroking his chest. His nipples were sensitive, I found, and I wanted to bite them. But I couldn't. I pulled my shirt up and over my head and sat back, letting him stare. He didn't have the same look on his face as my other lovers. He wasn't ogling my rack, he was looking me in the eyes. Before I could contemplate this further, he yanked his shirt over his own head and pulled me flush against him. The coolness of his skin, or the touch, not sure which, had my nipples hard and wanting. He held me close to him and looked into my eyes. His hands drifted from my hips, up my sides and finally one nestled into my hair while the other created a rock hard band around my shoulders. Before my brain could start it's self-deprecating rant, he kissed me. `Lips only' was amazing. When his tongue licked against mine I about died.

I ran my fingers through his hair and down his neck and then over his shoulders. I felt the hard muscles flex as he shifted to a full seat and straddled me against him.

As he pulled back, he nuzzled into my neck. "Lover, you are amazing. To me, it's all about you. I want to show you how much you've done for me. Will you let me show you how much I appreciate you?"

Would I? Could I? Was he lying? Know what? Who fucking cares. It's been a long time and I can't hear him judging me. If I was being honest, I'd say I deserved this. Even if I didn't...

"Yes, Eric, show me." And he did.

He kissed my neck, my clavicle. He lifted each breast to his lips and licked and bit and kissed my nipples until they stood rock hard. He held my hips against his and showed me his desire and I took it all in despite how intimidated I was by the bulge in his pants.

He ground my hips into his while sucking one nipple and pinching the other with his fingers. I wanted to levitate. I guess I could have if I told him as much, since he could fly and all.

As he stroked and pulled at my nipples, I pinched and pulled at his. Holy cow, did he just growl at me? I hope so. Fair is fair and all.

He kissed me deeply then stood up and carried me to my bed. I should have objected, but I didn't. I couldn't. He had me hook, line and sinker. I wanted him to show me what I meant to him. I wanted to show him what he meant to me.