I remember very little of the night that Sookie saved me beyond staking Hot Rain. I know I got us into my bedroom and I called Ginger to tell her not to come in to work. (Ginger would never again step foot in my house.) And I remember feeling Sookie safely snuggled against me and vaguely wished I'd had the strength for a shower. I doubt if I smelled my best. But she didn't seem to mind. She smelled like dead vampire herself.

When I woke the following night, I felt Sookie's presence and pushed her hand down to my cock. She began gently stroking me and I was in heaven but then I wondered for a second if I was hallucinating. Was I still in the chair? Was Hot Rain here? I stopped her hand and opened my eyes. She seemed to really be here and I wondered whether I had finally gone mad until I bit into her throat and knew that no hallucination could possibly be this good. I felt her warm blood coat my throat and restore my strength and I felt better than I had in centuries. I was with my bonded—my chosen—when I had been all but certain that my undead life was over.

Sookie told me that she had returned the house to order and I loved the idea that she was already making it her own and taking care of it and of me. I pulled her into the shower and devoured every inch of her. This was the body I had imagined in every tormented moment of my incarceration and I had never been so grateful to touch it. We enjoyed each other, exploring and laughing and sharing in the joy of being together.

I took Sookie downstairs and fixed her a well-deserved meal and showed her the house. I was pleased that she seemed so comfortable in it. After I made us a fire, I opened Sookie's robe and my own and laid her out on the soft rug in front of the fireplace. I kissed her tenderly and massaged her body until I felt her completely relax. Then I toyed with her with my fingers and tongue until she came, softly moaning my name. I loved watching her face when she came. While she was still riding her high, I mounted her and filled her with my own passion. As I rode her, I watched the firelight play on her beautiful features and let my love flow into her heart. Tears fell from her eyes into her hair and I kissed them away just before we shared heartfelt joy as we came together.

We relaxed by the fire, just feeling each other's feelings in pure bliss until she began to grow tired. She insisted on taking herself home in spite of my objections. I knew how important her job was to her and her independence, and so I reluctantly let her go, but not before I gave her a house key and impressed upon her what she meant to me and how I wanted her.

The following week was a full one. I glamored my address out of Ginger's memory and moved her into another house of mine where she could live a fairly normal life believing an uncle had left her money. I pushed Hot Rain's car (which was parked behind my garage) into the lake with Bobby's briefcase still in the trunk. I disabled the candleholder just in time for our new housekeeper to begin. He was Sookie's clever choice—a flamboyantly gay man named Lafayette Reynolds. Escrows closed all over town, ending the property ownership of Leif Norrman and Eric Northman. Some new escrows opened, selling homes to an unsuspecting Sookie Stackhouse (just in case).

I began a new chapter in my long undead life. After centuries of simply marking time, I found meaning in my existence when I discovered a clever, brave, funny young human with whom to share my nights. We made a home together, pleased each other, explored our bond and love, and found a happy life under the stars.

XXX

A/N: If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll check out the Halloween contest:

http://www . fanfiction . net/~EricandhisGreatPumpkin

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the list, you'll find my two entries, Samhain and Dead Boys. I've written an EPOV companion to Dead Boys that I'll post after the contest.

Also, go see the human cowboy contest:

http://www . fanfiction . net/~ericstravaganza

My entry there (again, at the bottom of the list) is Chihuahua Mountain.

And I'm proud and honored to be judging a contest for new writers:

http://www . fanfiction . net/u/2130969/Poppin_Cherries

I hope all you newbies will enter!

(Remove the spaces before and after the dots to find the contests.)

And keep checking my profile. I'm starting a new story soon called Stolen Beauty.