Title: Break Away

Your Pen name: Southern Amateur

Characters: Sookie and Eric plus the gang

Disclaimer: I don't own the Southern Vampire Mysteries. I just like to play with them.

As I finished refilling all of the ketchup bottles and salt shakers, Sam was coming out of his office. We both met behind the bar. I was finishing up the last few beer mugs and he sighed audibly as he approached. "Sook, I've worked the numbers, and I just don't think we'll be able to have that Halloween party here. Historically, we've never had more than a few people in here on Halloween as most of the folks are out trick-or-treating with their kids or they're home giving out candy to the neighbors' kids." I knew this was coming.

"It's okay, Sam. I was just thinking if we made a big to-do about it, people would want to come in. But I see your point."

"Sook, I know. But after all the commotion that's gone down in the last few months, I'm tired, and I really don't want to drag in my staff and prepare for a big night when more than likely ya'll will have come in to twiddle your thumbs and the wasted money on decorations will be just that."

"Hey, Sam, does this mean I get the night off?" My favorite smile showed up on his face. "Yes, ma'am. Whatcha gonna do with yourself on the scariest night of the year?" Scariest night of some other year, maybe, but certainly not this year. Sam must have watched the expression slide off of my face. Before I could think otherwise, I pasted my well worn (and practiced) crazy Sookie Stackhouse smile. One look in Sam's eyes told me he wasn't falling for it. "Oh, sorry, Cher. That was stupid of me." I fought the tears and looked down to make sure the dried beer mug in my hand had a perfect polish. Sam took the mug from my hand before I could manage to break it, or rub it into non-existence, set it down and took me into his harms. He forced my face into his shoulder just hard enough to show he was not going to let me run off and he squeezed my ribs into a gentle, but firm hug.

"It's okay, Sam. It's not your fault, just sometimes, well, it just pops up! I'm fine, really. Even my scars are beginning to smooth out. Just sometimes...." He held me tightly, "Shhh, Cher. I know. You're brave you know that? You're the bravest person I know. I'm so sorry. I wish I could make it all go away." As the tears that welled up in my eyes finally managed to run over the edge and trap themselves in Sam's polo shirt, I took a deep breath and willed the color in my face to go back to normal. I looked up at Sam, who had finally managed to unclamp his hands from me, and I genuinely smiled at him.

"Hey, Sam, since no one hardly comes in and all, why don't you close Merlotte's down for the night and let me figure out something to do on Halloween?" He scratched the back of his head and said, "I dunno, Sook. Closing the bar? I've never shut down the bar." He had a point. He didn't even shutdown the bar when his step-dad shot his mom. "But like you said, Sam, no one comes in! Why waste any staff or time or even electricity? You never get to hang out with us outside of this place. Let me figure out a plan, and you just agree on coming!" I could see the agreement on his face.

"Ya know, Sook. I think I just might do that. Whatcha thinking?" Oh hell.

"I have no idea, but I'll manage something. You game either way?"

"Game? You bet. Just let me know what's going on and I'll be there." I beamed.

"Alright, Sam, I'm going to wrap it up and get out of here. I am going to see if Eric can come over tonight to help me figure something out." Sam grumbled under his breath, "Yea, we all know how much he loves it when you smell like weres."

"Sam Merlotte! Well, yea he does hate it," I wound up giggling. "The Hotshot crew was here for lunch and I'm sure i just stink of panther and then this shifter comes up and hugs me and comforts me when I cried. Lord only knows what Haggar the Bloodsucker would say to.." and I lost myself to snickering.

"Sook, did you just refer to Eric in the context of a cartoon?" Maybe. "Oh I was just kidding." He suddenly became very interested in arranging the non-skid floormat, but I could hear him mutter, "Uh-huh."

As I untied my apron, I hollered out, "Alright, Sam! I'm going home!" and I jumped into the back hall, then into Sam's office. I grabbed my purse, tossed my apron into the drawer and I was out of the employee entrance before anyone could recognize my retreat. I practically skipped to my Malibu, well I would have completely skipped the entire way, but the damn gravel drive would sure as heck land me on my butt. I used my presence of mind to remind myself that beginning a night with Eric Northman with bruises was not a good idea. It's best to leave the bruises to his making. Man, was I ready, willing and able. I tooted my keyless entry to get into my Malibu and I slid into the seat. I called his cell to leave the message invite, "Hey, it's me. I was wondering if you could come over tonight. I want to discuss something about Halloween with you." I shut my phone, turned the key into the ignition, turned the radio to my favorite pop station and took off like a bat out of hell. I thought of Eric the entire way. I'd not seen him since last Saturday, and Halloween was in two weeks. Two weeks! Yikes. I needed to make plans and quickly! I pulled onto Hummingbird Lane and onto my driveway. My "viking" driveway. I pulled around back, threw the car into park and ran up the porch steps and into the laundry room. "AMELIA! YOU HOME?"

She was in the entry way from the laundry room to the kitchen screeching, "JESUS CHRIST, SOOK! YOU SCARED ME HALF TO DEATH!"

"Sorry, Amelia, I just didn't know if.." she cut me off.

"I'm here and I'm cooking. How do you feel about homemade macaroni and cheese. Sounds great, I can feel my hips and thighs expanding now. "Yum!" As I walked to my room I could hear her fishing in the cabinets for bowls. Once I got back into the kitchen with my catalogue in tow she'd already placed my bowl on the table with my napkin and spoon. Peach tea waited in my glass on the placemat. "Aw, thanks Amelia. You're the best." She sat down next to me. "So Amelia, I think I've convinced Sam to shut down Merlotte's on Halloween night. He says hardly anyone shows up so we shouldn't try doing the whole bar party idea, so I suggested he come to a get together with me. Problem is I need to make a get together."

Amelia freaked, "You convinced Sam to shut down his bar on Halloween? How did you do that?"

"Yes, my lover, how did you convince the shifter to shut down his... bar?" Amelia and I both jumped in our seats and practically dropped our silverware. In the kitchen entryway was tall, blond and handsome.. and leatherclad? In my peripheral vision I could tell Amelia and I were on the same wave length. Beginning at his black leather clad feet, we followed the thin lines up to his black leather clad thighs to his waist... Oh my god, his waist... in which a neatly tucked black button up shirt took residence. Moving up, the buttons quit working in the middle of his chest and his chiseled pectoral muscles screamed for me to lick them. His collar bones looked like candy from Willy Wonka, begging to be nibbled on, and his neck was stretched tight and the muscles in his neck rippled as he pretended to breathe. His broad shoulders sported a long black cape and his sculptured jaw line complimented the black mask covering his eyes, well, his eye area. His piercing icy blues shot through as if examining my door frame. His hair was swept back into a perfect pony tail at the base of his neck and the round hat on his head drew the attention back down to his face. I dropped my spoon, loudly.

"Uhm, Hi, Eric?" I managed to work out. He looked at me, pointedly. Amelia and I both noticed those blues staring in our direction. "Uhm, Sookie, I'm just going to go upstairs and eat in my room. Sorry, I'm horn.. tired, I mean. You understand?"

I barely managed to pull my eyes into her direction. "Uh, yea, Amelia. I'm feeling the same way. When you get a chance, can you put dinner away so it doesn't go to waste?" Translation. I'm going to bed now too, and although I will try my best not to sleep, someone should make sure this awesome food does not go to waste, m'kay? Amelia got my drift and left.

I tried to gracefully rise from my chair, but all I managed to do was knock it over as I rushed across the floor to my viking. "Eric, what are you doing dressed as... Zorro?"

He smiled, "Lover, you guessed correctly."

"Do I get a prize?" I asked. I hoped like hell I did. I wanted my prize to be transforming Zorro into a naked Viking! He picked me up into his arms and I wrapped my legs around his waist. "Lover, you always get to have the prize, we just need to work on creating more contests," he purred into my ear. "Whatever," I mumbled and then ran my fingers into his hair. He stared into my eyes the entire way to the hall and into my room. As he entered, I released one foot to kick the door shut. He chuckled. "Excited?" I whined, "Maybe," and squirmed against his pelvis. Oh holy night, he's ready too! Yipee!

He gently laid me on the bed and asked what I was thinking. I was thinking naked, now, in me, on me, under me, behind me, did I mention naked? Yup! I was thinking something earlier but it was irrelevant, all of it! As he bent over me to kiss me, I slid the hat off of his head and threw it somewhere, don't know where, but it was gone. I slid the hair tie out of his blonde mane and ran my fingers in it. He was standing between my thighs, holding himself up with his hands. "Lover, what are you thinking?" Huh? Oh yea, naked, now, in, on, under, behind... He smirked and leaned in to kiss my lips, gently. No tongue, but his lips were magical. They gently enlaced with mine and he sucked my bottom lip into his mouth. I could feel his fangs gently rake across my skin.

"Ohmygod," I moaned and my eyes rolled into the back of my head. Before I knew it I'd ripped his shirt open (and heard buttons ping ponging in my room) and I was yanking it out of his waist band. He grabbed my hands and pinned them above my head and arched over me, hissing. "Lover, slow down." Mmmph. Oh wait, that wasn't in my head.

"Yes, Lover." He hooked his fangs into the collar of my shirt, then about an inch down and an inch below that, and continued until he reached the hem of my shirt. Then he released one of his hands from mine and snapped the shirt open from my collar bones to my waist. Well that gives a new meaning to perforated. Suddenly my bra was gone too, still under me but now a front loader when it used to be a back loader. Oh well. "Eric, please let go?"

"Oh yes, Lover, I am letting go." I moaned into his mouth, "No Eric, please let me go." He unleashed my hands with an "Oh right." I immediately slid my hands to his waist band and popped that tight leather button open. Yes! I yanked those pants down and discovered.. Oh my, no panties! and pushed them down his thighs with my feet. As I did this, he ripped the waist of my shorts open...Oh you're buying new ones , Mr. Man, those are expensive!... and yanked them away. My panties disappeared in a flash and he was between my knees without any fabric. I looked up into his eyes and saw them sparkle in the moon light. He leaned down to take in my nipple and as his mouth sucked it in and rolled it between his teeth, I grabbed both of his and rolled them between my fingers. I could hear and feel him hiss against my skin. I moaned his name into his ear while I licked his ear lobe and exhaled into it. He growled, low and deep within his chest. He grabbed ahold of my hips while licking my nipple and I sucked in air like a fish out of water.

"Ohmygod, Eric, please!" and he leaned up to look into my eyes.

"Watch me, Lover," he purred and I felt him approach me. I tensed up for the impact, but he leaned in and whispered into my ear, "Relax," and I did. He held onto my hips and slid in, like a hand into a well fitted glove. Well, I'm sure if he was the hand and I the glove, I'd be bursting at the seams, just as I was now. I sucked in air quickly, and he leaned in to kiss me. "Relax, Lover, it will work," and work it did, he did, we did. He was gentle initially, going slowly in and out, rubbing against me on each down stroke. Soon I was panting, unable to breathe, I tried to hold the moans inside so I wouldn't scare Amelia. I felt his voice reverberate on my breast, "Lover, the witch left long ago. She insisted she had some last minute sale shopping to do. Please don't hold back." And so I complied. Each time he entered again, he flexed upward so he hit my spot. I was becoming unglued. I could barely keep my legs wrapped around his waist, I needed foundation. Just then Eric grabbed my hips and held them steady above the bed, at just the right angle to hit my spot and grind against me.

I saw sparks. "Eric, please, Eric.."

"Yes, Lover," and I looked up to see his eyes watching me intently. I turned my head and bit into the pillow next to me, and he growled.

"Enough! Look at me, Lover," and I did. He rose and fell in perfect rhythm, beginning to keep pace with my increasing heartrate. I began to feel myself clench around him, and he grunted. Satisfied that I could reciprocate this sensation I grabbed both of his nipples in my fingers and plucked and kneaded. He jerked inside of me and growled again. "Say it!" he exlaimed, "Min fjärilslarv, say it!" And with that, I clawed my hands down his back and screamed, "YOURS!" and he shouted, "YES!" and shuddered within me. I shuddered along with him and he fell forward, hands on either side of my head and kissed me lightly. "Min fjärilslarv, you are amazing." Another aftershock rocked me against him and I felt him swell. Oh, no, I need a human minute! "You're not so bad yourself, Zorro." He chuckled, withdrew and laid down next to me.

After a moment, I slouched off the bed and promptly lost my balance. I thumped onto the floor. Ouch, there goes bruise number one for the night. He laughed and picked me up by my waist.

"Min fjärilslarv, what shall I do with you?" I laughed, "I think you have a pretty good idea already. Hold up, I have a proposition, so let me go." He did, albeit unwillingly. I stumbled into the kitchen to retrieve my catalogue. I snuck back into my room like a retarded character from Mission Impossible. Hey, my legs were wobbly and Amelia could show up any minute and find me naked in the hall way holding a Halloween catalogue, and sat at the head of my bed. "Eric, I asked Sam to close Merlotte's on Halloween." He looked up at me, sat up as well, and grabbed a pillow to cover himself. My gentleman.

"Oh?"

"Yes, because I wanted to throw a Halloween party at Merlotte's but Halloween is such a slow night due to the people with kids, that he just can't justify it. I want to throw a party on Halloween at.. gulp... Fangtasia."

His left eyebrow raised. "Eric, just a costume party. People will still pay for drinks and what not, but I want to do something together. We're together. Why shouldn't we have celebrations together too?"

"Min fjärilslarv, tell me what you have in mind." I did and he agreed to everything including the jack-o-lantern. I took a bit to explain the significance. "You want to hollow out a pumpkin, carve a face into it and put it on display in my bar?" Bingo. "Yep!"

"What's in this for me?" he asked. Typical Eric. Quid Pro Quo.

"Uhm," I was getting a bit nervous now.

"Okay, Lover. I will not let you borrow my bar to host your party." Figures.

"Min fjärilslarv, we shall throw a party.. together." I couldn't resist myself. I was already jumping on top of him to cover his face in kisses. "Eric! Thank you!" He pulled me off of him and set me in his lap. "This jack-o-lantern you spoke of. It sounds ridiculous. Pam is going to hate it. I cannot wait to pick one out." I couldn't help but laugh. Then his face changed abruptly. "Lover, in exchange for this, I want us to pick out one another's costumes." I agreed to this term, but we needed ground rules.

"Eric, do you want to have us wear matching costumes?" I could tell what he was thinking: Either I'd just suggested he put me in pants for the night, like him and this was highly objectionable according to his libido, or that I suggested he would be stuck wearing an identical version of the dress he'd envisioned for me. "Eric, I meant matching theme." He immediately perked up.

"How about Gone with the Wind? I could be your Rhett and you could be my Scarlett?" "Uhm, they cost a lot of money and I'm not spending all that just to have you rip if off of me at the end of the night." He then pointed out how it was his money and he could spend it however he wanted and if it was on a very big and expensive dress for me, then that was that. "Besides," I told him, "I am not wearing a corset." He sighed, needlessly, "Why not?"

"Well, corsets were merely designed to make skinny waists and have the boobs stick out!" Apparently a certain Viking failed to find the problem in this. I put on my most sultry voice, "Eric, do you like it when my boobs stick out?" He leaned his face into my chest and began having a silent conversation with my breasts. "Eric, do you realize corsets were not designed with breathing in mind?"

He purred to my boobs, "Sure."

"Eric, do you like it when I breathe (and I allowed my breathing to hitch a second)?" He purred some more, "Oh yes, Lover, the more heavily the better." I snorted.

"Good, so you realize since I can't breathe in a proper corset I won't be wearing one!" He scoffed. "Eric, you spend so much time keeping me alive, why would you risk suffocation for a huge dress?" I could see his head clear. He gets it. Good boy. "Eric, I could dress as this..(and I pointed to the page) fair.. godmother, i mean." Ice blue cloak and hood will do just fine.

"Lover, she has on too much clothing." Fine. Llet's look at your costume. I turned the page to the arabian knights styles. I pointed at the version of Disney's Aladdin. "You could dress like this?" Not only did he scoff, he sat up and asked, "Oh so you want me to dress like the fairy?" Minus Point.

I glanced across the page and indicated the genie. "Oh so you want me to dress like The Tiger?" Another Minus Point for me. "Eric, let's consider this our first game of trust. I won't dress you as a pansy, or fairy.." He knocked his eyebrow up. "or were or shifter. But whatever you pick, you know how I was raised. I can't have my boobs hanging out and I won't dress like a whore. And don't you even think of making me into some hussy with skin sticking out. I don't need to display my scars.

"Scars?" he scowled. "Yes, Eric, my scars." The ones inflicted by them? His gaze shifted to the scars visible on my chest and then up to my eyes. He re-situated us on the bed so my head was, once again, on the pillow and he was at the foot. He started playing with my heel. "Eric, the scars are still here. I don't want people to see them!"

He bent his head to look me in the eyes, "Sookie, your scars are nothing to be embarrassed about." I could feel his anxiety pour into the bond.

"Eric! They are there, I hate them! I won't wear any costume which shows them off!"

"Min fjärilslarv, I will respect your wishes. Any costume I pick will not depict fairies or enough skin to show your scars. Understood?" I gulped. Just then he grabbed my foot and kissed the scar on my ankle, and I stifled a snicker. He kissed the one on my inner knee, and I laughed out loud. "Eric Northman! That tickles!" He snuggled my inner thigh and locked his apologetic eyes on mine. "Min fjärilslarv, I am so sorry." Then he kissed up my inner thighs and kept on until he reached me. His tongue slid out and touched me and my hips bounced. He had me seeing stars in seconds and he was in me within the minute. His hands intertwined mine and we came together, physically and metaphysically.

I woke up the next morning to the bright sun shining on my face. I had some planning to do. I needed to tell Amelia! Apparently jumping up and down on your knees on your friend's bed is not a polite, Gran approved method of waking people up. Amelia did not look happy, but when I pointed out the fresh cup of hot coffee I had placed on her night stand, she cheered up quickly. I filled her in on the discussion from last night, and definitely not on the events, and soon she was bouncing around like I was. We were inviting all of our friends to a party at Fangtasia and Eric was going along with it.

The next week and a half went by without incident. Well, without major incidents. Everyone at work knew the bar was not open on Halloween and soon word spread that crazy Sookie Stackhouse was having a party at her vampire's bar in Shreveport. I was happy Amelia and I had made an official guest list. I didn't want the night being ruined by Bon Temps morons showing up to see if I hadn't really orchestrated an all you can eat buffet for my boyfriend. Eric was coming over tonight so we could carve his pumpkin. Well, he'd do most of it, I was just going to explain the process and help out. It was Friday night and I was spending it with Eric. Ordinarily I'd be primping myself, but tonight was all work. I'm sure even if I wanted to, I couldn't get myself worked up. The goo inside of a pumpkin is just gross and it was ruining all of my attempts to figure out a way to get Eric out of his clothes.

Just as I finished changing out of my work clothes and into a pair of shorts and t-shirt, I heard a knock on my door. I opened it to find my viking wearing a similar outfit and before I could ogle at the muscles under that shirt I saw it. Behind Eric, on a trailer was the biggest pumpkin I'd ever seen. It had to be 3 feet in diameter. "Eric. Where did you find that thing?" He walked down the steps, and replied, "Internet."

Typical Eric. Everything has to be as big as possible. "Well, I'll get the shovel, you go into the kitchen and get a knife... a big one." I came back around and Eric was standing next to the pumpkin holding my bread knife. I showed him how he was to cut open the top and once he did, I handed him a shovel. He smelled the inside and wrinkled his nose. "Aren't you going to help?"

I snickered. "Nope, that thing is huge and I want no part of that. Besides, you wanted it to be your jack-o-lantern. Now get all of the goo out and dump it into my rubbish bin. When you've cleaned the shell, come get me and we'll have fun." At that I strode my happy butt back into the house, sans pumpkin goo on a grand scale.

Thanks to vampire speed, it only took Eric about half an hour to accomplish his task. I found him standing on my porch, covered in goo and looking like he was trying to figure out a way to open my door without touching it and transferring said goo onto my house. I led him to my shower and helped him out of his clothes. Well, I just removed his clothes, he didn't need help, but he let me and that was that. Once inside, I soaped him up and being the thorough girl I am, I paid attention to every square inch of him and made sure it was clean. Don't ask how Mr. Happy could possibly have gotten dirty when it was under his shorts the whole time, he needed a good washing and I was obliging! Once we got the soap off, and I got off and then he got off, we got out and dressed. Time for the fun part. Carving.

I decided to let Eric finish this one on his own. I was not going to let myself get wounded the night before my party by amputating an arm while trying to get my knife through the thick shell of that... behemoth. Instead, I sat on the porch and watched. I wish I could say I was engrossed in watching the giant pumpkin transform into a face with eye cut outs and a mouth baring fang, but all I could watch was Eric's muscles twitching under his shirt. His back rippling, his pecs....Yum.. Next thing I knew, I'd bitten my lip and Eric pronounced himself done. I went over to inspect his handiwork. It was perfect. I didn't realize how artsy he could be. I stood on my tippy-toes and gave him a kiss. He wrapped his arms around me and pressed into me. "Mmm, min Fjärilslarv, I wish I could stay." I halted.

"What?" He looked sad to say it, which helped a bit, but I had plans and they might have involved another shower. "Lover, I have to finish up some business before tomorrow night. Your costume will be waiting. I've instructed Ginger to let you in early so you can decorate, but please don't make me regret that decision," and he winked. "Oh, I toned it down, just for you," I pouted. He kissed my forehead and got into the truck toting the trailer which held the monster.

I went inside and got ready for bed. I'd purchased the decorations this afternoon so I was ready to go. Now I'd have nothing left to do but lay in bed and worry about what Eric picked out for me to wear. Eric's costume was delivered directly to Fangtasia so Eric was all set. The party would start at 9 and I'd get there around 6 to decorate, shower and dress. I knew I shouldn't be worried. Eric's been the poster child, er vamp, for good boyfriends lately. I'm sure he stuck with the ground rules. I rolled over and fell asleep.

I was out of bed at noon and almost ran into Amelia as she came into my room bringing coffee. She looked ready to burst at the seams. "Hey, what are you going dress as?" I asked her.

"I'm not telling you, it's a surprise." She quipped. Then she asked me the same question. I groaned. "I have no idea yet. Part of the agreement for tonight was Eric and I got to pick out one another's costumes." Her eyes got big at that one. "Oh, Sook, I know how Eric can be and well, good luck with that! I gotta go. I have some last minute things to pick up for my costume and then I'll see you at Fangtasia at nine." With that she bolted up the stairs.

I sat down in the kitchen and read the morning paper. I got up, showered, packed up, and head to Shreveport. I got there at quarter of 6 and went to the employee entrance. Ginger answered almost immediately and told me, "Master is not here yet!" I groaned. "Ginger, it's still daylight out," and I used a good deal of energy not to finish with "Duh!" Luckily she left me to my devices and I could start decorating. I stuck with the basics. I knew if I hot glued candy corn to every surface this would be the last Sookie/Eric party that would ever take place. I put up all of my fake cob webs, hung the skeletons, had spiders trickling down the light fixtures, and I even had dry ice in strategically hidden buckets to make the floor all smoky. Once I'd finished, I'd realized it was 7:30 and Pam and Eric would be here any minute. I ran to the back and jumped into the employee shower. I put on a simple sun dress and waited for Pam and Eric to get here.

Eric got here first and I was immediately thanking the makers of his costume. I'd dressed him as a gladiator (Russell Crow style), complete with the sandals. It showed off all of my favorite assets: shoulders, chest, arms, legs, Woohoo!. He began ordering people to bring the pumpkin in and place it on the pedestal to his throne. It was the perfect center piece. I ran up to him and stretched up to kiss him while secretly trying to slide my hands into his costume to rub his chiseled abdomen. "Min fjärilslarv, Pam is on her way in now, she has your costume." Before I could even reply I heard a snarl. Dressed as a crimson Play-Boy bunny, Pam was crouching in front of the pumpkin. She snarled, "Which of you insolent morons did this? This is an abomination!"

I felt Eric chuckle under my hands, "Pam, it is a jack-o-lantern. It is for Halloween. Do you like it?" We all knew exactly how Pam felt about the lantern at this moment so I'd no idea why he'd bothered asking.

"Master, I will remove it at once! When I find out who is responsible I will drain them." He growled.

"Pamela, if you try I will break you. That is my creation and if you don't quit insulting it I will make sure it continues it's existence in the center of your front lawn." Pam looked shocked. I could see she was torn between laughing hysterically at the thought that Eric made a Halloween decoration out of human food and throwing the pumpkin at Eric to remedy what she considered an eyesore. Her survival instinct kicked in and she went with continuing to remain undead. She grabbed the small suitcase and garment bag she'd left by the door, spun on her heel and shouted, "Stackhouse, Eric's office NOW."

Eric informed me that she was indeed quite unhappy and unless I wanted her to run amok with the vaseline, I'd better hurry. This did not sound good at all. "Don't worry, min fjärilslarv, I will see to the food and drinks. The decorations are cute, by the way. Hustle!"

I skitted behind her like a puppy. Once inside of Eric's office, Pam ordered me to undress. She did have the decency to turn her back and only sneak peaks once I'd covered myself with the towel I'd stashed in there to take home and launder. She handed me corn starch, mumbling how baby powder is bad for human lungs, and told me where to apply it. I put on the silver tights, the floral lace miniskirt and prayed to God that there was more to this outfit. As I lifted my arms, as instructed, she rolled what appeared to be latex onto me. Then she slid some silk gloves over my arms where the tops hooked onto a pearl shaped button on the top of the shoulders. She ordered me to sit and I did.

She curled my hair and put it up on my head and curled the tendrils she'd arranged to hang down. She applied some light make-up and had me put on my mask. Thinking I was done, I began to move upward and she pushed me back down and held a pot of shimmering silver powder and brandished a fluffy brush. "Uhm, Pam, what is that?"

"Master says you don't wish to have your war badges visible. This will not only cover you in sparkling dust but will cause the light to reflect off of the powder thus making the scars invisible to the human eye in most lighting."

War badges? What the hell was she thinking? She could read my expression on my face. "Sookie, you were involved in the battle of the fae. You suffered harm and you lived. The marks you wear show what you have endured and survived. They are badges of honor, and it's about time you saw it that way." Well that sounds a hell of a lot better than `damaged goods' as I had been thinking.

"Fine. Go for it," and she did. When I was finally done she handed me my box of shoes. Hesitantly, I opened it to find the cutest silver ballerina flats. Puzzled, I looked to Pam. "Master wants you happy tonight and apparently that means comfortable." My viking. I put on my shoes and looked down at myself.

"Uhm, Pam, did he think dressing me like a story book fairy would be some kind of joke?" She scoffed, "As if. Here, let's go to the restroom and look in the mirror." I followed her and when I stepped into the mirror I was without words. My hair was in loose curls. I had on silver, pastel blue and pastel pink eye make up and light mascara. My mask was a mixture of the same colors. My dress was latex, obviously, but they had poured fine silver glitter into the portion that made up my bodice so my boobs were covered and not visible. The sleek v-neck line was enough to show off the girls but discreet enough to keep me honest. The floral lace miniskirt completely covered my nether regions and the pattern was visible on them. The silk I thought was a scarf of sorts connected at my shoulders, spread around my back and was sewn along the silk gloves. The silk was the lightest, most beautiful shade of pearl I'd ever seen and it was clearly hand painted into the pattern of.... I turned, spread my arms and gasped. A butterfly. I willed the tears to go away as I thought of how much thought, and restraint, Eric had put into this. Pam smiled, showing fang and announced me perfect, for a human that is.

I made my way out to the bar and took it all in. Eric let the decorations stand and the music was hopping. Food and beverages were being served by the staff and everyone looked happy. Were, shifter, human and undead alike were mingling. Just then Sam (scarecrow) approached, gave me a hug and told me I looked amazing. "Thanks, Sam, have you seen Eric?" Just then I saw my gladiator off to the side and could tell the moment he saw me. He quit speaking with whoever was dressed as Darth Vader and quickly approached, took me in his arms and kissed me. "Eric, thank you!"

He looked me up and down and up again. "Thank you, min fjäril." He took my hand and we began winding through the crowd. I greeted Tara (a naughty nurse) and JB (Tarzan). I spied Jason dressed in the typical Dracula costume, oblivious to the dirty looks being thrown his way by every vamp, and most of the humans, in the crowd. Eric broke away, promising only a moment and I spied Amelia. I approached, flabbergasted. "Amelia, a sex kitten? Don't you think sex and feline got you into enough trouble," I laughed. Suddenly Eric was by my side, and asking about this trouble. I gave Amelia a questioning look and she laughed and gave me permission. So I explained about the cat we'd had for a few weeks and Eric found it quite amusing that the cat was indeed Bob, Amelia's former lover. However, when I explained that Bob the cat was the result of not being careful what magical spells you shouted during an orgasm, Eric nearly snorted his Trueblood out of his nose. We continued the same way, mingling, laughing. Eric was engaging and I couldn't help but send happiness through the bond. Three back to back gin and tonics later found me on the dance floor with Eric, who'd managed to convince me that re-enacting the dance from the Thriller video in public wasn't so bad. I made a mental note to only drink diet coke from then on.

When the night was winding down, Eric came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist and whispered "Let's go home." I reached up behind me and stroked his cheek.

"Sounds good." We made our rounds and said our good nights to our friends. I thanked Holly and Hoyt (Raggedy Ann and Andy) for coming and found Eric. Well, I said good night to my friends. His staff and underlings got a string of orders for closing up for the night followed by instructions on which contingencies to follow to ensure we would not be disturbed. I know I should have felt badly, but it had been a couple of weeks since we'd last had do not disturb time and watching Eric just made me happy.

We drove home in relative silence, mostly because I fell asleep as soon as I wiggled my tights off. I woke up in Eric's arms as he was trying to figure out how to hold me in the cradle position and unlock the front door at the same time. I slid down his body, thankful he'd gotten rid of his gladiator armor. Now he was in his skirt, which made me giggle at the thought. Eric Northman let me dress him in a skirt tonight after all. We stepped inside and he shut the door, locked it and turned to me. He leaned in for a kiss and I wrapped my arms around his shoulders. He scooped me up and my legs tied around his waist. This didn't bode well for the skirt of my latex dress as it gave way and ripped up the sides. I couldn't care any less at this point, so I looked up into Eric's eyes and got lost. Quick as a whip we were in my room, and Eric sat on the bed and rested against the pillows while unwrapping my legs from him. I adjusted my legs so I could straddle him and sighed. Eric noticed that my dress was half way gone. I felt his hands slide from my thighs to my hips to the bottom of the rips on my sides. Gently, he continued ripping on each side until he could slide the entire thing off of me. I removed the gloves in the process. All I had left was the lace miniskirt. I giggled to myself. Eric's eyebrow shot up and he clearly wanted to know what I was thinking.

"I just found it amusing that we're both down to our skirts." He laughed and remedied that situation. We'd both lost our skirts. He kissed me softly, slowly. Just playing with my lips really, not insisting on entry into my mouth. I ran my hands up either side of his jaw and into his hair and held on tight. His fingers found my breasts and he stroked them so lightly his skin was whispering to mine. He got the desired result at any rate, which was agonizingly slow. Little Eric was giving the salute against my back, clearly approving of tonight's festivities. I rose up and slid back down on him. My hips worked in harmony with his slow lips. There was no hurry tonight and I wanted to savor every inch of his body. My hands traced the lines of his collar bones, his shoulders, and wrapped around his biceps. I could feel the muscles ripple and twitch under his skin, both with the movement of his ministrations on my skin and with the effort of suppressing his desire to throw me down and take me. I can't say I disagreed on this line. But this was sweet and soon enough I could feel it building up. During more fast paced episodes, it would slam into us and sending us screaming. This time, it was a slow building and it was just as good. The release was trying to sneak up, but it couldn't hide. My body thrummed with it and it spread to my limbs. Soon fighting the desire to thrust quickly was part of the pleasure, or torture, but it didn't matter because it all came together and felt right… Best. I stroked his nipples with the same light strokes he was displaying on me. As I was about to enter rapture, Eric leaned in and bit just above the nipple he was worshipping. We rode out wave upon wave of pressure and release and Eric retracted from my skin and closed the wound. "Min fjäril," he whispered against me and wrapped his arms around me pulling me so I leaned against his chest.

"Eric, what did you just call me?" He laced his fingers into my hair and rubbed my back with his other hand.

"My butterfly." Okay.

"But that's not what you called me before?"

"Which time, Lover?"

"Well, up until you saw me tonight, you called me something else. What was that?" He chuckled, quietly. Uh-oh.

"Before? Min fjärilslarv?" That sounded like it, I think.

"Yes, what is that?"

"Lover, that means my caterpillar." As I bolted upright he chuckled again and didn't stop. "Eric Northman, you've been referring to me as a worm? Why?" His hands went back to their places and he urged, er forced, my head back down upon his chest. I felt him sending me calm and that deep feeling across the bond. I was beginning to think it was love lately, but how would I know.

"Lover, I have done alot of thinking about you lately, and about us. I've thought over every moment since I met you and tried to piece together how you are still here." I tensed.

"No, I do not mean to remind you that I should have killed you a long time ago. That is more of a, "probably would have been easier on everyone" type feeling now. I've gone over all you've been through since that night I saw you at Fangtasia with Compton." I could feel the anger coming across the bond and I tried to send calm.

I think it worked because he continued, "Lover, you were beaten in a cemetery, attacked by a maenad, beaten and almost raped at the Fellowship, you suffered true madness at the cabin when the maenad came for her tribute, you endured Bill's betrayal, you were staked, you then fought a death match with his maker and won, you protected a clerk in a gas station by wielding a shot gun, only to be beaten upon arriving home by the weres sent to kidnap you, you cared for me and then I broke your heart and you survived the battle with the witches. You were shot and during that time of healing protected a friend, you dealt with Mickey, you realized your cousin was dead and was then attacked by her newborn vampire. You withstood Bill's true intentions on meeting you, you were kidnapped and about to be tortured by the Pelts and you managed to escape the battle between the King and Queen in Louisiana. You triumphed over Andre and his attempt to bond with you and you rescued us all during the explosion at the Summit, you survived a war between packs and you rescued me and the King from Siegbert. You were betrayed by your brother, found his dead and pregnant wife on a cross, was attacked by the fae and killed him. You helped catch the Fellowship prior to their crucifying you and lived through the resulting gun fight and then you lived."

I gulped. Damn vamp recall. I was crying silently. "I lived?" I managed to whisper.

"Yes, lover. When the fae twins took you, you could have given up, given in and let go. But I understand that even at the end you were defying them. You could have done a number of things, but you lived. Do you not see? Most, if not all, other humans would not have survived any combination of what you have endured. The ones who did would have given up and died on their own. Some would fold in on themselves and spend their lives rotting in a hospital. But you, you did none of these things. You've embraced what your life is, albeit unwillingly, but you have nonetheless. I have to admit, after the fae twins, I thought you would withdraw into yourself like normal humans. But since that incident it's clear your stubborn nature has taken over and you've chosen not to fold in, whither away, let go. You've chosen to spread your wings..."

"And learn how to fly?" I whispered with a giggle.

"What's that, Lover?" I sighed and ran my fingers through the soft chest hair beneath my face.

"Oh nothing, it's this Kelly Clarkson song. She sings, I'll spread my wings and learn how to fly."

"No, lover. You spread your wings and learned how to live on. I've seen this coming which is why I've called you min fjärilslarv. I was hoping you'd continue to emerge from the darkness and tonight, I realized that you are min fjäril."

I whispered, "Butterfly."

He held me closer, "My butterfly, Lover."

"Yours.".

I sat up. "I'm not the only one transforming here, Mr. Northman. You mingled with my friends tonight! I thought the party was far out, but you acted as if you enjoyed being with people tonight. What's up with that?"

He laughed out loud and rubbed his hands lazily up and down my sides. "Pam absolutely loathes it too. It is great." What?

"Eric Northman, are you acting like the perfect guy just to piss off Pam?"

"Lover, I am not acting." I was ready to let loose.

"Eric, damnit, and here I was really..." He put his finger over my lips to silence me.

"Lover, please let me finish. Will you?" I nodded. "I am not acting. I've thought a lot about myself as well. Since you refuse to spend the rest of my existence with me, I've decided I want to spend the rest of your existence with you. I'm tired of leaving you because I have to return to my work and I am tired of you having to leave me so that you can maintain contact with your friends. I want to bring you to work with me so we can spend more time together even if that means pissing off Pam by acting as she so eloquently calls it "fucking human", but that is what I want. I want to get to know your friends so you won't need to choose between spending time with them and me, and since I wouldn't let you abandon your people, that is more time without you with me. I want your existence to be the best it can be given our respective obligations and tendency to get attacked. That means that I have to get off my throne sometimes and explore new things." He smirked then, "Besides, I like the Witch. She's amusing."

I couldn't help it. I got my ear to ear smile on, the uncrazy one, and I kissed him for all he was worth. After we had a chance to do a an instant replay of earlier, he slid us onto our sides and tucked me under his shoulder. "Lover, sleep now." My incessant need to not be bossed around re-appeared.

"Why?" He sighed and ran his finger tips across my arms, memorizing every piece of skin.

"Lover, I want nothing more than for you to fall asleep feeling safe in my arms. I can't accomplish this if you don't manage to fall asleep before dawn. Now sleep."

I wrapped my arm and legs around him and nuzzled his chest with my nose. I was trying not to think, just to give in to sleep, but I thought out loud. "It's ironic."

He looked glanced down, "What is ironic, min fjäril?"

Almost asleep I whispered, "Metamorphosis was today's word of the day on my calendar." I could feel the smile on his face as he pressed his lips to my forehead and whispered back, "Indeed."