Eric and His Great Pumpkin One-shot Contest

Title: Graveyard of Good Intentions

Your Pen name: LindsayK

Characters: Sookie, Eric, Alcide, Gran, Jason, Pam, Bill, Quinn

Disclaimer: I own nothing

I want to thank krismom for beta'ing this for me. You rock!

Now go forth, and enjoy :)

I sat under our tree in the graveyard feeling pretty miserable. I had put a lot of effort into my costume even though he said he wasn't coming. Some part of me hoped that I meant enough to him that he would show up, tell me he loved me, and sweep me off my feet to carry me away into the darkness. I snorted. A person shouldn't believe things like that; things that would never come true.

I had even chosen our costumes this year in the hopes that he would recognize their significance. The thought took me back to my first Halloween in Bon Temps.

~o0o~o0o~o0o~

I was eight years old, and my parents had died that summer. My brother Jason, and I moved in with our Gran. We had to start a new school, and while Jason made friends quickly, I hadn't. When you're eight, the new girl is treated like she has a disease. She's different, and if you're seen with her, you're different too. Nobody would talk to me. There was only one other kid in the class that nobody talked to. His name was Eric Northman. He was ignored because he was freakishly tall for our age, and had long hair like his idol at the time, Thor. Even Eric wouldn't talk to me.

That Halloween, I tried to convince Gran that I didn't want to go trick-or-treating, but she wouldn't hear it. She made me a costume, fixed my hair, and sent me off with Jason to do the tradition. Jason went as none other than, well… Jason, the masked killer. He took me to a few houses, and then abandoned me to go egg and TP houses with his friends. It was a small town, so he told me I would be fine, but I wasn't to go home until he met back up with me.

So off I went, door to door, ringing doorbells, holding out my pathetic plastic sack, and saying the requisite "trick-or-treat" with no enthusiasm whatsoever. The only thing that seemed to make me happy was when I finally looked into my pathetic sack to find that I'd made out like a bandit in the candy department. I was walking down the sidewalk, and looking through my sack as I made my way back to Hummingbird Road where I was to wait for Jason, when I ran into someone, knocking me flat on my butt.

"Ow," I said pathetically as I stood back up. Standing in front of me were three boys in my grade. Bill Compton dressed like a vampire, John Quinn dressed as a tiger, and Alcide Herveaux dressed as a wolf. They were all staring down at me with stupid grins on their faces.

"Excuse you," I said with an attitude, and tried to walk around them. They wouldn't let me pass. "What do you want?" I asked.

"Give us your candy," Bill the vampire said.

"No, it's mine, and you can't have it," I said as I clutched my sack to me. I was horrified and upset. The one good thing to come out of the night was my loot of candy, and these cootie-spreading bullies were going to take it from me. John the tiger stepped forward and snatched the bag right from my grip.

"Hey! That's mine!" I yelled, and tried to snatch it back.

"Wrong. It's ours now," Alcide said.

Before I could say anything back, Alcide was being hit over the head with something; then Bill, and then John too. They all yelled, and turned around to see what had attacked them. John had moved a little, and I saw who it was.

"Give her the candy back," Eric said in a mean voice.

"No! We took it fair and square. No take backs," Bill said.

Eric responded by hitting him in the head with the object again, and when Alcide and John stepped toward Eric to defend Bill, Eric hit them with it too. The three bullies staggered back, and as they turned to run Bill knocked me over again, and I still didn't get my candy back.

That fall caused a rip in the tights of my costume, and I wanted to cry. What else could go wrong? Before any tears could fall, Eric was helping me up.

"Are you okay?" He asked.

I nodded. I couldn't ever remember hearing Eric speak out of the classroom. Except for him telling the bullies off, of course. I was finally able to look at his costume. He was dressed as Thor, complete with a plastic blow-up hammer, which was now deflated.

"They broke your hammer," I said.

"That's okay," he said quietly, looking down at it. "They took your candy."

That's when I started to cry. It was pathetic, but I was eight, and my Halloween candy was stolen, my tights were ripped, my brother was nowhere to be found, and my parents were still dead. Life sucked. Eric picked something up off the ground. It was my little tiara.

"Is this yours?" He asked.

"Yes, it goes on my head," I sniffed back.

"Here," he said as he put it back in place. "What are you anyway?"

"I'm Tinkerbell," I said, finally smiling. "You know, Tinkerbell, the fairy from Peter Pan?"

"I don't watch many movies."

"Except Thor?"

He smiled. "I love Thor! He's awesome."

A few porch lights went off. It was probably time for me to head back home.

"I have to go home now," I said. Eric looked sad. He probably didn't have many friends.

"Where are your parents?" He asked innocently.

I hung my head, and tried not to cry. "They died," I said quietly. Eric surprised me then, and took my hand. I looked up at him.

"Mine too," he said. "Want me to walk home with you?"

I nodded. I hadn't known Eric lost his parents too. Maybe that's why everyone ignored him. We got all the way to Hummingbird Road, and my brother still wasn't there. I didn't want to get him in trouble, so I told Eric I had to wait.

"Can I wait with you?" He asked. I nodded, and we sat in the grass by the road. "You want some of my candy?" He asked, holding out his bag.

"We're supposed to have it checked first."

He looked into the bag, and rummaged around before pulling out two full-size candy bars, and then handed me one.

"These came from my house, so they're okay," he said.

"Thank you," I said as I took the chocolate bar, and began to open it. Before I could take a bite, Jason came running up. Eric and I stood up, and I was able to say bye quickly before Jason was dragging me off down the road. He was mad when he saw that I didn't have any candy, and tried to take the chocolate bar Eric had given me, but I threatened to tell Gran that he left me alone so he shut up. Gran was upset that some kids had stolen my candy, and I pretended not to know who they were. I didn't need them to be upset with me at school because their parents had received a phone call. Before I went to bed that night I ate the candy bar Eric had given me, and hoped that he might talk to me in school.

The next school day after that Halloween, Eric was waiting at the end of Hummingbird Road for me, and walked me to school. He did that everyday until it got too cold, and then he would meet with me in the front of the school when Gran dropped me off. We would sit together at lunch, and he would always pick me to be his partner in Gym. Eric became my friend, my only friend, and I became his.

~o0o~o0o~o0o~

For the next few years we were inseparable. We played together in the summertime, and every Halloween we made it our tradition to trick-or-treat together. We took turns picking our costumes, and they always had to go together. We had been everything from Beauty and The Beast (my choice) to Bonnie and Clyde (his choice), though I think he just wanted to hold a fake Tommy gun.

By the time we hit High School, everyone thought we were a couple, and I have to admit I had developed feelings for Eric. We always denied it when someone asked if we were dating, but I secretly hoped he wanted me as much as I did him. As he fell out of his Thor-love phase, he finally started getting regular haircuts, and really grew into his sharp features. He was very handsome, even at fifteen. I hadn't quite grown into my body yet. My boobs were getting bigger, and I started getting curves, but everything seemed disproportionate, and awkward. I hadn't yet hit my final growth-spurt.

It was the first Halloween of our High School career when we discovered we couldn't score as much candy as we used to, and didn't really care for trick-or-treating as much. We quit early that year, but neither of us wanted to go home, so we went to the graveyard next to my house instead. Eric claimed we were protecting it from kids who vandalized it every year, but I couldn't recall ever seeing any vandalism in it before. We spent the rest of the night talking in the graveyard, and that was when our new tradition was born.

The next two Halloweens we spent in that graveyard. Eric would meet me there, and we still dressed up in costumes for the fun of it. He would bring candy, and I would bring soda, and we'd sit and talk the whole night. He made it quite easy for me to fall in love with him actually.

By the Halloween of our junior year, I had finally grown more. I was a few inches taller, still not as tall as Eric, but nobody was. My breasts were on the large side, but I didn't look disproportionate anymore. I wasn't exactly a thin girl, but I still rocked a bikini, which equaled a hot body to me. Who wants to be a stick anyway? Eric had hit his growth spurt as well. He was just over six feet tall, and being on the football team required him to weight lift, which really did amazing things for his physique. My hormones went into overdrive when I was around him. They were all screaming at me to jump him, to tell him how I felt, but the irrational fear of rejection kept me from it every time.

It was that Halloween when our first kiss almost happened. Eric said something crassly funny, and I slapped his arm and giggled.

"I love your laugh," he said to me seriously. Then he leaned into me, angling his head just a bit, and his eyes kept darting to my lips. I didn't know what to do, so I stayed still. My breathing hitched, and as he got closer, I closed my eyes, waiting for my first kiss. Before our lips could touch, a sound startled both of us. There were younger kids coming into the graveyard to play, so we quickly separated to scare them. They were gone in less than ten minutes, but by then, so was the moment, and Eric was acting like nothing had happened at all. We didn't know it at the time, but that almost-kiss jumpstarted the next phase of our lives.

Eric picked me up the next school day, still acting like happened. He didn't even act awkward about it. I felt rejected. That may seem irrational, but I was a teenager, and all teens are irrational at times. I tried to remind myself that he was the one to initiate the almost-kiss, but that led to me thinking that the way he was acting now meant he regretted that he even tried.

Eric had football practice after school, and I always stayed for it. He was my ride, after all. The fact that he dressed in tight pants had nothing to do with it. I would usually do homework while they practiced, and when they finished Eric would take me home where he did his homework. He would always stay over for supper, and then go back to his house for the night. Eric lived with his Aunt Sophie, and her husband Andre. They were good to him, and rich, so he always had nice things, but he didn't like it there. He said it didn't feel like home.

He came up to the bleachers after practice, and told me that it would be another thirty minutes or so before he could leave. The coach was keeping a group of them for some reason or another. I was about to tell him that I would wait when Alcide came running up to us.

"If it's alright with you Sookie, I can take you home now," he offered nicely. I didn't see a problem with it. It was a bit chilly out, so I could go on home, and Eric could come over when he was done. Then I looked at Eric. He was staring at Alcide as though he wanted to strangle him.

"Eric?" I said tentatively. "Would you mind if Alcide took me home?"

His head turned, and he stared at me with something akin to rejection in his eyes. It confused me. It was just a ride.

"It is chilly out, and I don't want you getting sick," he said.

"Alright, I'll go hit the showers, and come get you in a few, okay?" Alcide asked.

I nodded to him, and he turned and sprinted off for the locker room. I looked at Eric. "Are you still coming over?"

"Of course," he said with his bright smile, and I immediately felt better. "I'll see you in a bit."

I sat back down and read until Alcide got done. He came up to me about ten minutes later, and asked if I was ready. I put my book away, and stood up to leave. I made sure to wave goodbye to Eric before I left, and then Alcide took my backpack for me, and led me to his truck. He opened the door, and helped me climb in. He had one of those huge extended-cab trucks with a step to help you climb in. His father owned his own construction company, and he bought Alcide that truck when he turned sixteen. Alcide closed the door, then went around to the driver's side, and tossed his football gear in the back before climbing in the cab.

"Let me get the heat on," he said distractedly after he started the engine.

"Thanks," I said appreciatively. I appreciated a few things about Alcide on the drive to my house. He had grown quite a bit too. He wasn't quite six foot tall, but he was close. He had a toned body, and at that moment, he smelled really good too. He even let me pick the music (classic rock thank-you-very-much).

Alcide was quiet for a while, and then out of the blue he asked, "So, are you and Eric really together?"

"What? No. What?" I said, flustered.

"You two are always together. He drives you to school, and you stay for practice to wait for him. I just assumed you were dating," he said reasonably.

"We're not. We're best friends, and that's all," I said a bit sadly. "Why do you ask?"

"Because if you weren't together, I was going to ask if you wanted to go out with me on Saturday night. See a movie or something."

I was shocked. Boys never showed interest in me, especially not a popular one like Alcide. He had never been mean to me either… Well, not since that incident on Halloween night all those years ago. Now here he was, asking me on a date. I was actually flattered. I'll admit that I wanted Eric to be the one asking me on a date, but he obviously didn't want me that way, and here was a perfectly nice boy who I found attractive… Why not say yes?

"Are you still asking?"

He glanced at me quickly, and then focused on the road. "Yes."

"Then yes," I said with a bright smile I couldn't help but let out, "I'd love to."

I watched his own smile form, and it made me happy. I wanted to see him smile because of me more. When we pulled up to my house, Alcide jumped out of the truck, and ran around to my side to help me down. I thanked him for the ride, and he asked for my phone number and permission to call me. I gave him both, and he kissed me on the cheek before he left.

I have no doubt in my mind that if Eric either hadn't tried to kiss me, or actually done it, I never would have said yes to Alcide. Because if he hadn't, I still would have clung to the hope that he liked me, and Alcide asking me may have been the push for me to tell him how I felt. Since he had tried, but seemed to want to forget about it, I was convinced that he didn't feel the same, so I said yes. I would go out on a date with a boy who actually liked me in the romantic sense, and I would enjoy myself.

When Eric got to my house he looked like he wanted to talk to me, but Gran had just put supper on the table, so we sat down to eat. At some point during the meal, Gran asked Eric if he knew the boy who was taking me out on Saturday. My face flushed. I had wanted to tell him myself, but I couldn't blame Gran for asking. When she saw Eric's confused expression, she gathered that he didn't know yet, and apologized.

"No, Gran. It's okay. I just hadn't seen him to tell him yet," I explained, and then turned to Eric. "Alcide asked me to go on a date with him Saturday, and I said yes." I watched Eric's emotions flicker across his face. First was shock, then sadness and hurt, and then he put up a mask. It was a mask I hadn't seen him wear since we were eight. Seeing it again tore me up inside. He was hiding from me. Was he afraid if I got a boyfriend I wouldn't spend time with him anymore? That most certainly would not be the case. Eric was my best friend, and having a boyfriend wouldn't change that.

"Alcide is a good person. He's on the football team with me, and I've never heard or seen him be disrespectful towards a woman. Sookie will be fine, Gran," Eric added with a smile. He had been calling her Gran since he first met her.

I was surprised by his description of Alcide, especially given the look I saw Eric give him when he offered to drive me home. After dinner, we went to my room to do Eric's homework. Being in such close proximity with him was hard, especially since we were stretched out on my bed together. My brain kept going places it shouldn't, so I tried to focus on helping him with his math instead. Eric was a very smart person. He got good grades, and hardly ever asked me to help him with anything. I really think he just wanted to stay at my house longer, so he used homework as an excuse. After about an hour, he finished up, and then got off the bed and closed my bedroom door. Gran had an open-door rule, but she never said anything when mine was closed. She knew Eric and I weren't doing anything sexual, and she trusted us. I sat up on the bed.

He sat next to me, but refused to look at me when he spoke. "Do you like him?"

"He's never been anything but a gentleman with me, and he made sure to ask if you and I were together before he asked me out."

"And you told him we weren't," he said, more to himself than to me.

"Eric, are you afraid I'll stop being your friend?" I asked, and took his hand. He still wouldn't look at me. "You'll always be my best friend. It's just one date. We might find that we hate each other, you never know," I said, trying to lighten the mood. He didn't react, and was pulling his mask shit again. I let go of his hand, and punched him hard on the arm.

"Ow," he said, "What was that for?"

"You're cutting me off, and it's pissing me off. Don't do that. I couldn't stand it if you stopped being my friend." I was dangerously close to tears. Eric's arms wrapped around me, and he gently rocked me back and forth.

"I won't stop being your friend, I promise. You can't get rid of me that easily."

"I don't ever want to get rid of you," I whispered so quietly, I'm not even sure if he heard me. He held me for a while, and then he went home with a promise to pick me up for school like normal the next day. I could tell that he was determined for things to stay the same.

The rest of that week flew by, and things were normal for the most part. Alcide started calling me every night, and we talked a lot. We had a lot in common, and I found myself hoping he'd want to be my boyfriend. When Saturday came around, Alcide showed up on time, and introduced himself to Gran before we went to the movie. He didn't try the around-the-shoulder-boob-grab on me, but instead settled for holding my hand through the movie, and when he dropped me off, I got my actual first kiss. It was closed-mouth, but it was still great. I had butterflies in my stomach for a guy other than Eric, which I considered progress.

Alcide asked me to go on another date with him that Saturday. I agreed, and that week flew by as well. He asked me to be his girlfriend that night, and I received my first French kiss when I said yes.

A couple of weeks into our relationship, Alcide asked if he could start taking me to school everyday. My answer caused our first fight. I refused to tell Eric he couldn't give me a ride anymore. I promised him we would still be best friends, and I fully intended to keep that promise. Alcide seemed to insinuate that I had something other than friendship going on with Eric, and that really did hurt. I had been developing feelings for Alcide, and I really liked him. I didn't want to screw it up because of my friendship, but if he gave me an ultimatum there wouldn't be a second thought. I would choose Eric. He didn't give me an ultimatum though; he walked off in a huff with a promise to call me later.

When I told Eric about mine and Alcide's fight he seemed a bit happy at first, and when I told him what the fight was about, he became sort of… wistful. Eric made me sit down, and told me he was fine with Alcide taking me to school. I was surprised, and asked him if he was really okay with it. He assured me he was, but that if Alcide ever wanted him to stop coming over after school, he wouldn't be okay with that. I wouldn't either, and if Alcide were to ever ask that of me, it would be the end. Eric was my best friend, and my home was his home. I told him so.

When Alcide called me later that night, he apologized before I could even tell him what Eric and I had decided. That impressed me. He told me that he was sorry for suggesting that I was cheating on him with Eric, and for being upset. That impressed me even more. Alcide really was a good guy, and I felt lucky that he cared for me. When I finally told him the news, he asked if I was sure, but I could tell he was smiling through the phone. The next morning he picked me up, and it was strange not seeing Eric first thing in the morning. Being greeted with a kiss on the other hand, that was really nice.

For the next few months, things were great. Alcide would take me to school, but I still came home with Eric since he would be going to my house anyway. Things between Eric and I were still good, different, but good. We didn't see each other nearly as much on the weekends, but we had our weeknights together. The mask was still there at times, and it tore me up every time I saw it.

It was Valentines Day when my world flipped upside down. Alcide planned a dinner for the two of us at his house since his parents would be out of town for a week. I thought it was sweet, but Eric didn't seem too keen on the idea. I brushed him off and went anyway, not understanding why he would care what I did with my boyfriend on Valentines Day.

Alcide picked me up, and we went to see a movie before going back to his house for dinner. He cooked it himself, so it wasn't that great, but it was the thought that counted. After we ate he gave me a beautiful necklace with a heart on the chain, and told me he loved me. My mind raced when he said it. Did he really mean it? Did I feel the same? Did I want to feel the same? Looking into his eyes, I had no doubt that he meant it, but I also knew that I wouldn't if I said it back. I cared for him, deeply, but I wasn't in love with him. I was only seventeen, but I was pretty sure I knew what love felt like, and I didn't feel that for Alcide.

"You don't have to say it back," he said.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I care for you, I really do, but I'm not sure it's love."

"It's okay. I just wanted you to know how I felt, so as long as you're not breaking up with me, everything is fine," he said with an awkward smile.

I smiled back, "I'm not breaking up with you."

He pulled me to him for a kiss, and I don't know when it happened, but at some point, our clothes were partially off, and Alcide was carrying me to his bedroom. Not long after that, we were going much further than we ever had. In fact, the furthest we'd gone was a little under the shirt action. When I realized what he intended, I pulled back. Alcide seemed just as startled as I was, and he assured me that he hadn't planned it, even offering to stop then and there to drive me home.

I thought about it for a minute. Would it really be so bad to do it? I had been more surprised that we'd gone so far, than appalled at myself. It hadn't felt wrong. Alcide loved me, so it couldn't be bad to have my first time with him, right? At that moment, looking into his eyes, I knew he really would drive me home if I were to ask. I didn't.

I want to say that my first time was spectacular, romantic… everything I dreamed it would be. It wasn't. Not that I didn't enjoy myself, don't get me wrong. Alcide made sure I got mine, even if he got his way before. He was gentle at first, and while there was some pain, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

A couple of hours after, Alcide drove me home, and walked me to the door. He kissed me goodnight like he always did, but there was something more there that time. His confession of love did something to him, and I wish I could say it had done something for me, but it hadn't. I still felt the same towards him, even after having sex.

I went inside, and found a box of chocolates and a Valentines card on my bed, and I furrowed my brow at who they could be from, but then it hit me. It was another tradition of mine and Eric's to give each other the stupidest, most cheesy valentines card, and the cheapest box of chocolates we could find every year. I sat on the bed and opened the card, smiling at his beautiful handwriting. Before I knew what was happening, I was crying. Everything was all so wrong. I had a boyfriend that loved me, and we had just taken an important step in our relationship. I should have been happy, but I wasn't. It was only then that I realized what a huge mistake I had made. I was still deeply in love with Eric. I thought being with Alcide would help me get over it, but it hadn't. I wanted Eric to be the one to make me a shitty dinner and tell me he loved me. I wanted Eric to be my first, and now he never would be. He had been the furthest thing from my mind when I made the decision to sleep with Alcide. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't stop to really think about the repercussions. It wasn't fair to Alcide. I had been his first as well, and he was in love with me. I felt sick and twisted, and barely made it to the bathroom in time to throw up my dinner.

After all the contents of my stomach had been released, I took a long, hot shower. I felt like I needed to scrub myself clean of the harm I had caused. While I lay in bed, trying desperately to fall asleep, I knew what I had to do. I had to break things off with Alcide, and I had to tell Eric how I felt. Alcide would probably hate me, and Eric would probably tell me he didn't feel the same, but I couldn't be intimate like that with one man, and in love with another. It wasn't right.

I woke up late the next morning, and rushed to get ready. I was already a half hour late for my first class, so I decided to skip it entirely. Gran told me that Alcide stopped by to pick me up, but she told him I wasn't feeling well. I gathered that she heard me get sick the night before. I told her I was feeling better, and asked if I could take her car to school. She let me, and I got there just in time for second period. I had it with Eric, and he looked visibly upset when he entered the room. He looked right at me, and for a split-second I could see his emotions, then that fucking mask went on. I'll never forget what I saw there. He was heartbroken.

Getting through that class was hell, and as soon as the bell rang, Eric jumped up from his chair, and ran out the door before I could even call out his name. I didn't know what to think. My brain had been going crazy through the whole hour trying to decipher that look in his eyes. Did he know what happened between Alcide and I? If he did, why did he look heartbroken? Did he actually feel the same about me? Somehow, I ended up at my locker without realizing it. My thoughts were all consuming, it seemed. I opened my locker, and the next thing I knew Alcide was turning me around and planting a passionate kiss on me. When he finally released me I didn't know what to do, but thankfully he spoke.

"I take it you're feeling better," he said.

"Um… yeah, I got sick last night, but I must have slept it off. I'm fine now."

"Good, because I was wondering if you wanted to spend some time with me tonight."

"I don't know. I think I need to rest tonight, but we'll see, okay? I need to talk to you later anyway."

Thankfully the bell rang before he could ask me what I needed to talk to him about, and we both took off for our next class. I didn't have any more classes with Eric, and couldn't seem to find him in the halls between periods. He was even absent at lunch, and I wondered if he had gone home. At the end of the day I waited outside, and when I finally spotted him my heart ached. He was walking to the parking lot with his arm around Pam Ravenscroft, the school hussy. Guys knew what they were getting from her, and that was no strings attached sex. She had always tried to get Eric to sleep with her, but he never would. Since I had been dating Alcide, I noticed him talking to her more often in the halls, but I didn't think there was anything going on between them because he would have told me. At least I thought he would. I watched them walk to his car, where she whispered something in his ear. He smiled, and laughed, then nodded at her before she went to her car. He got in his own, and waited for her to pull out of the parking lot before following her. My eyes watered. He hadn't even looked for me. The only thing I could take comfort in was the fact that I could tell, even from far away, that his laugh wasn't genuine. It was his masked laugh, the one he gave everyone but me. It was my only piece of hope, and I held onto it tightly.

Alcide came up and put his arms around my waist from behind. "Have you thought about it?" He asked.

"Yeah," I said. "I think I should just stay home tonight. I'm feeling a little woozy still."

"Okay," he said sweetly. "What about what you needed to talk to me about?"

Breaking up with him didn't seem right anymore for some reason, not when I had no idea what was wrong with Eric. I decided not to say anything to Alcide just yet. We didn't have to sleep together again. The whole thing felt really selfish, but I didn't want to ruin a potentially great thing if I knew there wasn't a chance Eric would want me. I could grow to love Alcide.

"You know, I don't even remember," I lied with a short laugh. "Nothing to worry about."

He walked me to Gran's car, kissed me goodbye, and then I drove home. Even after seeing Eric drive off following Pam, I somehow expected him to be at my house. He'd never not shown up before. When I went inside I told Gran I wasn't feeling well, and went straight to my room. I tried to call Eric four times, but he never answered, and I never left a voicemail. I cried myself to sleep that night.

Alcide picked me up the next morning for school, and I asked him then if he was okay with not having sex again for a while. He was concerned, and wanted to know if he'd hurt me. I assured him that I was physically fine, but that I didn't think I was emotionally ready for it. He understood, but wanted to know if I felt like he pushed me into it. I made sure that he knew that I made the decision myself, and that I didn't feel pressured at all. After we got to school, and out of his truck, he gave me a long, tight hug, and whispered to me how much he loved me, and would never hurt me. His words cut right into my heart.

I saw Eric in my second period class, and he didn't seem upset. I almost got up to talk to him before class started, but I heard a couple of girls whispering behind me about how Pam was bragging that morning that she and Eric had slept together, and that he was amazing in bed. My heart stopped for a second, and then proceeded to beat faster than it should. I felt like I had been punched in the gut, and before I could stop it, I let out a choked sob. I embarrassedly gathered up my things and ran out of the room crying, desperately avoiding Eric's gaze. I couldn't leave campus without signing out, and unless you were a senior you needed permission from a parent, so I ran to the girl's bathroom, and puked as soon as I got there. After my rather intimate session with the toilet bowl, I sat on the floor of the stall, hugged my knees to my chest, and cried my eyes out. I didn't even notice that someone had come in until I heard a voice softly calling my name.

"Sookie, open the door."

I reached up, unlocked the stall door, and Eric pushed it open.

"Jesus, Sookie," he said as he got on his knees and pulled me to him. "Are you pregnant?" He asked.

"No! What the hell?"

"Gran said you got sick the other night, and you just ran out of class to throw up. I just assumed…"

"Well, you assumed wrong," I said, pushing him away from me.

"I'm sorry," he said, suddenly sounding… afraid? "Alcide said…"

"What did Alcide say?"

"Well, a bunch of the guys were asking him how Valentines Day went, and he said it was fine, but then someone asked if he got laid."

"What did he say?"

"Nothing. He just told them to mind their own business. I pulled him off to the side and asked, and since he thought you would have told me already he confirmed it."

I began to cry again. "It was just once," I said, and saw him visibly flinch.

"Why are you crying?"

"It was a mistake. It was all a big mistake. I don't love him, and it never should have happened," I confessed. Eric let out a breath, seemingly relieved, and pulled me into a hug again. I relaxed in his arms for just a second before I remembered what I heard in the classroom.

"Where were you last night?" I asked, and he stiffened. Pulling away from him again, I continued, my anger and hurt growing, "I tried to call you."

He stared at me for a short moment, regret brewing behind his eyes. "I was with Pam," he said in a tight sort of voice.

"You slept with her?" I asked quietly. He nodded once, and that was all it took for my heart to shatter. That was all I needed to know. He didn't love me, and would never want me. I now realize how selfish it was to think that, especially given that I had just slept with my boyfriend, but that was what my irrational teenage self let me believe.

I removed myself from his grasp completely, and my own mask went on. "About time you got yourself a girlfriend, Northman," I said, appalled at my own words.

"She's not my girlfriend, Sookie. It probably won't even happen again," he said, and then he brushed some stray hair from my face. The motion was so tender and sweet… I couldn't take it. I had to get out of there.

"So will you be available to take me home after school today?" I asked as I stepped back. He looked confused and hurt, but nodded. "Okay then, I'll meet you at your car after school," I said while picking up my bag, and then I left. He didn't follow.

After school that day, we both seemed to pretend that nothing had happened. We were desperately holding onto our friendship, to some sense of normalcy. Gran could tell that there was something wrong with us, but didn't say anything. Eric never mentioned me sleeping with Alcide again, and I didn't mention Pam.

Somehow we managed to keep our routine, despite what had happened. Eric didn't talk to Pam as far as I knew, at least not around me, and nobody gossiped about them sleeping together. Alcide respected my wishes to not have sex for a while, but once the ache from what happened with Eric dulled a bit, I found myself seeking his attentions again. I really didn't see the harm. Alcide loved me, and Eric didn't, so why not enjoy my boyfriend? He wanted to know if I was completely sure it was what I wanted, and at that time I was so in denial, I assured him I was okay with it. I just wanted to feel… something.

If Eric knew, he didn't say anything. Alcide was good to me, and he didn't push me to say that I loved him. I was glad, because I still didn't. Even though I had decided to let go of my hope that Eric and I would ever be together, I still couldn't bring myself to love anyone else. Just before school ended, I noticed Eric talking to Pam more often. They were sleeping together again, or still.

On the last day of school another major event occurred. Eric drove me home, and we had our hang out time, and dinner with Gran, then he left. Alcide came to pick me up for a last day of school date, but instead of a movie, I convinced him to take me back to his house. I initiated everything, and when we got down to it, I found myself imaging that he was Eric. I knew it was wrong, but I let myself get taken away by it; it ended up being the best sex we'd ever had.

Afterward I realized that that was the final straw for me. Imagining that you're with someone else when you're with your boyfriend is just wrong. It was one thing to be with Alcide when I knew I didn't love him, because I still hoped that eventually I would, but it was a whole other thing to imagine that he was someone else. When he woke up I told him I thought we needed to break up, and he was stunned. I told him that it was all me; that even after everything I still didn't love him, and it would be wrong to lead him on any longer. He didn't say anything. He got dressed, and then he took me home.

"I'm sorry, Sookie," he said. I was shocked that he was apologizing, but I understood what he meant.

"I'm sorry too," I said, and went inside.

I wasn't sure what to do. Breaking up with Alcide felt like confessing a sin, but at the same time, I felt horribly guilty because of his feelings. Part of me wanted to run straight to Eric and tell him how I felt, but that was the part of me that still believed he might have feelings for me. I would go stir crazy sitting at home all night, so I decided to go to the big party celebrating the last day of school. Eric said something about going, so I thought I might see him there.

I got ready, and borrowed Gran's car to drive to the party. It was already going pretty strong by the time I got there, and since I saw Eric's car I started looking around for him. I got stopped a couple of times by a few girls, all asking if Alcide and I had broken up. I confirmed it, and they said how sorry they were before moving on to gossip about it with someone else. When I found Eric, he wasn't alone. He was sitting in a chair, and Pam was across his lap. He didn't seem to be enjoying himself a whole lot, but he did have his arm around her waist.

I immediately set out for alcohol. I'd never drank before, but I didn't care. I couldn't deal with everything anymore. I found the keg and started downing beers, and then people started handing me shots. I don't know what was in them, it was disgusting, but I was beginning to feel tingly. Then I started dancing, and I didn't care who with. Some of the guys were getting a little handsy, and I was about to kick a guy in the nuts for copping a feel when someone began pulling me out the door. It was Eric. He looked pissed.

"What the hell are you thinking, Sookie? What would Gran say?" He asked as he continued to pull me. My head was starting to hurt. I didn't want him touching me. That was too painful.

"I broke up with Alcide," I blurted out, and he stopped in his tracks. When he turned around to say something I wrapped my arms around his neck, and pulled his head to mine. The second our lips touched I felt a shock go through me. He was stiff for a second, and then he loosened up and began to kiss me back. His lips moved against mine in a wonderful rhythm, and just as I began to deepen it, he pulled away. There it was. Rejection. I immediately hunched over and retched on the ground. Eric got behind me and held back my hair as he rubbed soothing circles on my back. After I finished, he picked me up and carried me to his car where he gently put me in the passenger seat, and drove me home. He carried me to my bedroom, removed my shoes, and covered me up, but before he left, I asked him to stay.

"I'm not sure that's a good…"

"Eric, I just broke up with a boy who loved me, then had to see you with that slut all over you, and then I got drunk and puked my guts up after being rejected by you. I've had enough crap for one night, and all I want is my best friend to hold me until I fall asleep. I need to know that some things aren't going to change, even for just a little while."

He didn't say anything else; he simply kicked off his shoes, and lay down next to me. He pulled me into his arms, and I fell asleep shortly thereafter. I think he might have whispered something before I was completely out, but I wasn't awake enough to understand him.

Eric was still at my house the next morning, and was helping Gran make breakfast. Gran didn't say anything about Eric being there, or my appearance. After we all ate, Eric and I talked. I decided to test him a bit, and asked what had happened the night before, feigning non-remembrance. He asked if I really didn't remember anything, and I want to say he sounded disappointed, but that was wishful thinking. He said I went to the party and got drunk because I was upset about my break-up with Alcide, and that he took me home when I got sick. I was sad that he didn't mention the kiss, but I took it as total confirmation that all he ever wanted from me was friendship.

The summer went by quickly. Eric and I spent the whole thing together, and it actually felt like old times again. I was beginning to feel like my old self again. Eric and I were beginning to feel the same again. The whole thing was causing me to hope, and I didn't know what to do about it. I was still convinced that he didn't feel for me, but I also knew that the upcoming Halloween would likely be our last. The thought gave me an idea, so I got to work on making our costumes early.

When school started back up, Eric began acting strange again. I still went to practice everyday, and Alcide avoided me for the most part. He didn't seem to hate me like I thought he would, but he didn't go out of his way to talk to me either. A couple of days before Halloween, he stayed to talk to the coach while the other guys went to shower, so I caught him before he went to the locker room. I asked him how he was doing, and he told me that he was fine. He met a girl over the summer from another school, and he said things were developing nicely between them. I was happy for him, and told him so, and he gave me hug as a sort of peace offering.

The next day I asked Eric if he had gotten the candy for our graveyard session, and he surprised me with his answer.

"I didn't think we were doing that this year. I figured we'd just go to the party Pam's throwing."

"Eric, it's our tradition. This might be the last Halloween we get to do this, and you don't want to? I already made our costumes."

"I'm sorry, I didn't know you still wanted to go," he said coldly, and offered no compromise.

"I'm still going. Go to the party if you want, but I'm not. If you want to spend Halloween with your friend, you know where I'll be," I said, effectively ending the conversation.

We didn't have school on Halloween, so I lazed around the house, hoping that Eric would come by. I always made our costumes, so he knew his was in my closet. He never showed up though, and he didn't call me.

~o0o~o0o~o0o~

So that's how I ended up sitting in the graveyard, feeling miserable. I had the soda, but no candy, because Eric hadn't shown up. About an hour of staring at the moon later, I was finally ready to give up. I was hit with the overwhelming urge to cry. It was the first Halloween I'd spent without Eric. It felt so wrong. I felt a couple of tears fall, and tried to calm myself before going home. Then I heard someone clear their throat behind me, and I turned around quickly. It was Eric. He was dressed in his costume, and looked nervous as hell.

"So," he began, "A Viking, huh?"

I smiled "And a fairy," I said, gesturing to my costume.

"A grownup version of Tinkerbell and Thor," he said, stepping closer to me.

"That was the idea."

"I'm sorry I went to that party tonight. I heard that you and Alcide got back together, and I didn't think you'd want to do this, and then you said you did, but I didn't want to spend it with you if you were someone else's," he rambled.

Did he say someone else's? "What are you trying to say?" I asked as my heart began beating faster.

He closed the space between us, and pulled me roughly against him. It only took a split second for me to react, and suddenly we were kissing like we were the last two people on earth. I felt that shock run through me again as his tongue entered my mouth. Nothing had ever felt so good. My arms wrapped around his neck, and my fingers threaded into his hair. He groaned into my mouth when I pressed against him, and then pulled back abruptly, his forehead still touching mine. We were panting for air, but unwilling to break apart.

"I love you, Sookie. I've loved you for a long, long time, and I can only hope that you feel the same," he said quietly.

"I love you, too," I whispered feeling so relieved, I thought I might faint.

"Why the hell didn't you say anything?" He was smiling.

"I thought you'd reject me. I never imagined that you actually loved me too."

"Well, I do, and I'm not keeping that shit to myself again," he laughed.

We lay down together and Eric held me, running his fingers through my hair as we looked at the stars.

"There's something missing," I said as I sat up.

"What?"

"We don't have candy. It is Halloween after all."

He grinned, and reached down to his foot. He had strapped two full size candy bars onto his boot. They were the same kind we had our first Halloween together.

"You have a choice," he said as he held one in front of me. "Trick or treat?"

"Easy. Treat," I replied, and he swiftly captured my mouth with his own. "Not the kind of treat I was talking about, but that'll do," I said when he pulled away.

"Oh, you meant the chocolate?" He teased while handing me the candy bar.

I stretched up to lick his earlobe, and then whispered, "You're a treat too, just one I'd prefer to enjoy later."

"And you will," he whispered back.

I got goose bumps from that statement, and as soon as I recovered, I tore off the wrapper of my candy bar, and took a big bite.

"It's official," I said. "This is the best Halloween ever."

"Not quite," he said with a mischievous grin as we heard some kids coming.

"I'm on it," I said, and we both got up to go scare the willies out of the preteens. Ten minutes later, they were running from the graveyard, and I was back in Eric's arms, kissing him like I'd always wanted to. Yes, I would have to say; it was definitely the best Halloween ever.

~o0o~o0o~o0o~

A/N Well there it is. I about killed myself writing it. I even had to cut almost a thousand words to keep it under the limit. The delete key and I don't get along. No worries though, because I fully intend to turn this into a multi-chapter story when the contest ends. The story should cover the entirity of this one-shot with much more detail, and some things I had to cut. Plus, you'll get EPOV's, which means you'll know what the hell was going through his head during all of this :) Oh, and lemon... Sound fun?

I want to thank the loverly Yoga and Zigs for putting on this whole shindig. Ya'll are the best! *hugs*

Thanks for reading, and I hope you liked it!