A/N: A gigantic thank you to my new beta, evenflo78! She's awesome and rocks my face off! But I played with this after she sent it back to me, so all mistakes are still mine. (One of these days I will find a way to blame someone else. Hehe!)

Happy birthday to svmaddict! I was trying to get this up on Friday, which was her birthday, but well, you see how well that turned out. Happy bday anyways woman!

Before we get into this chapter, I want to remind you that bidding is open for the Support Stacie Vampire Author Auction. A ton of amazing author's have offered themselves up to write whatever story you can think of. To bid, go to http:// www .supportstacie. com /phpBB3 ?f= 16&sid= 97c6d3e1c4c6a3e d2fa468ebf882b5c6 (just remove the spaces) You have until Monday night, 9pm Central time, to bid.

Disclaimer: CH owns these guys; I'm just messing with the playbook a bit.


SPOV

Eric's fangs had sunk into my neck, and he groaned. He wrapped his arms around me and began rubbing his hands up and down my back, getting a little lower each time. I was frozen. This was why I was worried about Eric drinking from me. I was afraid about doing anything sexual with him, but I couldn't deny that a small part of me was intrigued by the idea. The man was gorgeous. It was impossible to not get at least a little turned on in his presence.

Eventually, his hands lowered to my butt and he pulled my body flush against his. There was no doubt that he was aroused as well. The evidence was very firmly pressed against my stomach. I may have moaned a little at the feeling of his arms wrapped around me and his large hands squeezing my butt. He seemed to take that as a sign of my acceptance for him to continue.

He finished drinking from me, licking over the fang marks to close them, and began kissing his way back up my neck, across my jaw, and finally to my lips. It was a soft kiss at first and I was a little surprised. I assumed Eric would be a passionate kisser and lover, not that I really knew much about any of that. He slid his tongue along my bottom lip, and I parted my lips for him. His tongue entered my mouth just as slowly and softly as he had been kissing me before. It was definitely a more than pleasant kiss and I was getting more turned on by it and his wandering hands.

His hands had begun to slide up my back and towards my chest. He gently caressed both of my breasts and I moaned at the sensation. No one had ever touched me like this but it felt good.

Eric's mouth began to make its way back down my neck and his hands began unbuttoning my top. Even though I was nervous, I couldn't bring myself to stop him. Eric slipped my shirt from my body and began teasing the skin just above my bra line with his lips and tongue, while his fingertips drew light circles along the skin of my stomach and sides. He started kissing me again and reached behind me to undo the zipper on the back of my skirt. As it fell to the floor, he brought his hand down between my thighs, gliding across the increasingly wet fabric. He touched me gently and I began hearing music. Literally.

I stopped kissing Eric, trying to figure out where it was coming from. It wasn't the kind of music for kissing. It was rock music and it was completely distracting me. However, Eric ignored it and began working his way down my neck again. I tried to follow his lead by ignoring the music, and finally the song finished. Just as Eric was pulling the cup of my bra down I heard a man say, "Good morning Shreveport! It's 5 A.M., and I'm here to get you started on your day and get you into work on time!"

My eyes shot open, and I rolled over to turn the alarm off. It had all been a dream. Ugh! I slumped back into the mass of pillows while I got my bearings straight.

I was alone in Eric's hotel suite in Shreveport.

In reality, none of what I dreamed had happened. Well, except Eric feeding from me. And the groan. He had definitely groaned last night. Or this morning. Whenever. Apparently he liked the taste of my blood. But outside of that, he behaved as he said he would.

Eric had been very gentle when he bit me. I had tensed up at first, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The fact that he had been placing open mouth kisses along my neck may have distracted me a little as well. No one had ever kissed me there or like that. I had kissed a few boys in high school, but it was always a little awkward and never went very far.

Touching a person makes his thoughts come through more clearly, and it was difficult to maintain my shields when I was kissing and trying to fool around. Inevitably, the guy would think something that would disgust me, the mood would be gone, and there would be no more dates. Sometimes I would make that decision, and sometimes the decision would be made for me when he never called.

So it was no surprise that Eric's kisses on my neck got me more than a little worked up. The man was gorgeous, he exuded sex, and he was incredibly skilled with his mouth; it was a little difficult to not be the least bit aroused in his presence. But I was still thankful that he remained a gentleman and once he was done drinking from me he simply licked the puncture wounds to make sure they healed. He also bit his finger and rubbed a drop of his blood over them so that humans wouldn't be able to see the marks. I was thankful for that too, since I wasn't sure what the small town minds of Bon Temps would think about me walking around with fang marks on my neck, especially in light of the murders of Maudette and Dawn.

Once the puncture wounds were had healed, Eric took a step back. I assumed it was to give me space and make me less nervous.

After a minute or two, Eric spoke up. "Thank you, Sookie. I am glad that you are willing to do this, especially so soon."

"Um, you're welcome. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Thank you for being gentle and doing what you could so that it wasn't painful."

"My pleasure," Eric leered. The awkward moment was over. Or maybe I was the only one to feel a little awkward to begin with. "As I said before, you may stay here and rest if you wish."

"Thank you. I think I will. I'd like to be home before Gran wakes up so she doesn't worry about me, but it would be nice to rest for a bit."

"You are welcome. I can stay with you if you would like."

"No, it's fine. I'm sure you have stuff you need to do and all I'm going to do is take a short nap. I'll be okay by myself."

"Very well. I'll let you rest then. I will see you tomorrow night, yes?"

"Well, technically, it would be tonight, but yes. I'll be at Fangtasia around ten."

"Until then, Sookie," Eric responded. Then he dropped a kiss on my forehead and left.

Once the door was shut, I swung the safety latch over and headed towards the bedroom. I didn't want to sleep in my clothes, and since I hadn't planned on spending the night I didn't have an extra set, so I stripped out of them. I set the alarm clock for 5 A.M., crawled into bed, and then drifted off.

That led to me lying in bed, wondering what brought on such a crazy dream. Well, I guess I was pretty sure what actually brought the dream on. But the dream still surprised me.

Finally deciding that it was just a silly dream and meant nothing, I rolled out of bed. I made my way to the bathroom, thankful to see a new toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste in a basket on the sink. I debated a quick shower but then realized I would just be putting on dirty clothes and scrapped the idea. Plus, I wanted to get home before Gran woke up so she wouldn't worry.

After I dressed, I headed down to the lobby. I fished my valet ticket out of my purse and handed it to the attendant. A few minutes later I was on my way home.

Sunrise wasn't until shortly after 6 A.M., but I could see the morning colors beginning to show. It was beautiful. It made me wonder how often I would be seeing the sunrise in my future. I wasn't normally up early enough, but I'm sure my schedule would adjust dramatically once I was living with Eric, and definitely once we were married. The thought made me a little sad because I loved the sun so much, but maybe if I got to enjoy the beauty of the sunrise on a regular basis it wouldn't be so bad. Plus, it's not as if I would sleep for the entire day. No, I'd still get to enjoy my sun, even if I had to make time to do it. There was simply no way I was going to give that up.

I arrived home just after the sun had completely risen above the horizon.

I parked my car behind the house and went inside. I didn't have to be at work until three, so I fully planned on climbing straight into bed. Unfortunately, Gran was already awake and standing in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.

"Well, hello and good morning, young lady," Gran said in a flat voice. Was she upset that I had been out all night and was just getting home or that I hadn't let her know that I'd be out all night? Eric was my fiancé and a vampire so it was more likely the latter.

"Good morning, Gran. Sorry I didn't leave a note or anything, but by the time I knew I'd be out late, it was 3 A.M., and I didn't want to wake you up just tell you I wouldn't be home."

"Hmmm," Gran said as she fixed her cup of coffee. "I guess I better get used to it. You are an adult and in two weeks I won't even know when you are getting home anyways. I just worry about you dear."

I walked up to Gran and gave her a big hug. "I know Gran. If I know ahead of time, I'll tell you. I promise. Maybe I should think about getting a cell phone so I can keep in better touch, especially after I have to move to Shreveport."

"Well, it's done now, but I definitely like the idea of a phone so you can keep in touch once you move. What would you like for breakfast? You can tell me how last night went while we eat."

"Breakfast? Ugh. No thanks. I'm going to crawl into bed. Last night went well, but it was long, obviously. Eric and I got some things settled between us, he wanted me to find out who was stealing from him and I did, and I started planning the engagement party with Pam, Eric's Child. All in all, I guess it was a good night. Just long, and now I'm tired."

"My! You were busy. Yes, go get some sleep. I guess it's a good thing that you have two weeks to adjust to all of this."

"I don't know about that. They might actually be harder since I will be living and working here and having to drive up to Shreveport almost every night, thanks to me and my big mouth."

"Oh? I thought you only had to go to Eric's bar twice a week? Doesn't he understand that you have a job here that you are committed to for the next two weeks?"

"I doubt he cares about what responsibilities I have as long as they don't affect what he needs from me. But this one is kind of my fault. I brought up the fidelity issue, and Claudine pointed out yesterday that if I was going to expect him to be monogamous, I'd have to be willing to be his sole source of blood. I thought he could get by with only needing blood every two or three days, but apparently he needs human blood everyday. So I'll be going to Shreveport unless I work late, in which case, he will come here. You don't mind if he comes here, do you, Gran? Oh goodness! I didn't even think to ask you to make sure it was ok. I'm so sorry."

"Calm down. It's fine dear. It will give me a chance to meet Eric. Certainly Niall knows him well enough, but I would like to meet the man my granddaughter is going to marry," Gran replied with a smile.

"Okay. Thanks Gran. I'm going to go back to bed now. Good night, or morning rather," I said. I heard Gran chuckle a bit as I was walking out of the kitchen.

I woke up shortly after 1 P.M. still feeling a little tired, but it wasn't anything a good cup of coffee couldn't fix. Unfortunately, the coffee was cold, so I made a fresh pot and then went to find something to eat while it brewed.

Once I had eaten and had a couple of cups of coffee, I changed into my favorite bikini and headed outside to get some sun.

As I lay on the lounge chair, I thought back over the night before.

I was a little annoyed that Eric thought he was the best person to tell Bill about our engagement. Granted, I didn't know Eric very well yet, but he seemed to be more annoyed with Bill than anything else, so I was fairly certain he wouldn't have given the information gently. Besides, despite what Eric thought, I was going to have to deal with Bill eventually. It would've been a lot more efficient to simply allow me to be the one to tell Bill. We had become friends; at least that's how I saw Bill. Even when he was warning me about Eric and wanting to claim me, it was only ever out of his concern for me.

I really wanted to tell Eric that he actually didn't know what was best in this case, and I should be the one to tell Bill about our engagement. But Claudine had pointed out earlier that day how little I knew of vampire politics and that speaking against Eric in public would only embarrass him and possibly anger him, so I kept my mouth shut and hoped that he wouldn't ignore my wishes on a regular basis. We would have big problems if he did that.

I had intended to keep an eye on the back hallway to see when they emerged, but between the men wanting to dance and buy me drinks and Pam wanting to talk about the engagement party, I was too distracted. The men were disgusting. I hadn't spoken up when Pam was explaining it to Eric because I was afraid of what he would do, but she was dead (ha ha) on. The men did see the ring on my finger but since they were only there for sex, they really didn't care. Well except for the second man; he had seen me with Eric and thought he would be saving me if he could get me away from him and out the world of "demons."

At least Pam had been amused by the entire situation. However, I wasn't sure if she found amusement in my annoyance, the men's stupidity, knowing it would irritate Eric, or a combination of the three. Either way, between that and the party planning, she almost seemed as though she were having fun, unlike the last time I had seen her. She still scared me a bit; especially since she had no qualms about baring her fangs and hissing at anyone that annoyed her, which was pretty much everybody that had come up to our booth. She tried to tell me that it was all part of the act but I wasn't sure that she didn't actually enjoy herself, at least with that aspect of the stereotype.

We didn't get to do much planning, but since I knew I'd be back up tonight we weren't pressed to get everything done last night. Pam had said she would make the arrangements with the hotel, which was the most important part really, once Eric returned from his meeting. We did bounce a few ideas around before Eric came back to the booth. I quickly decided I would let Pam take the reins for most of the planning since she clearly knew how to throw a proper party for vamps. She had some really great ideas, too.

I felt bad for asking Eric later in the evening if I could rest in his office, and even worse for falling asleep. I was worried that he would have been upset about it all, but he hadn't minded and even seemed as though he actually cared about me getting the rest. That part shocked me. I could find no reason to explain his concern for me, and certainly not this soon. I knew he had been intrigued by me from my first night at Fangtasia with Bill, but I had assumed it was because of the telepathy, and then later I figured out that it was only because he had learned who I was, his future fiancée. But interest doesn't elicit caring. I was stuck with him whether I liked it or not. It confused me as to why he would bother to care that I liked being stuck with him or about my well-being in general.

Perhaps it was all simply because life would be easier if we actually got along with each other. Even I knew that much, which is why I had been attempting to play nice, for the most part.

However, there was no way I was backing down on my morals. I knew it had angered Eric that I wanted him to turn humans over to the police when they were involved with things, but I couldn't live with myself if I knew he was torturing them.

I knew there was nothing I could do for any vampires found going against Eric. One, I knew there was no way for the police to overpower or contain vampires. Two, Eric would seem weak if he did not handle defiant vampires by their own laws and punishments.

I was relieved when Eric relented to my wishes about turning humans over to the police. For a minute or two I really thought he wasn't going to. But apparently, he can be reasoned with and my arguments made sense to him.

Oh! But then we had a few minutes left before the imposed time limit was over. I will never point out free time again when I'm with Eric. He too easily finds ways to amuse himself, including tormenting me. I didn't know what to make of what he was doing when he stalked me and then pinned me against his desk. I had been pretty sure he wouldn't bite me in his office, but then what was he trying to accomplish? Was he really just seeing how worked up he could get me?

Well, he succeeded. My damn, traitorous body. I was carefully trying to avoid anything physical with Eric. First, I did not know him well enough to do those sorts of things yet, whether we were engaged or not. Secondly, and just as important if not more so, Niall wanted me to stay a virgin until the wedding night. But clearly, Eric didn't get that memo. But perhaps he did but didn't care. He seemed very much like a man who made his own rules, or at least chose which ones he would follow.

Just when he got his wish and I was very turned on and actually found myself wanting to be kissed by him, he stood up and walked away. Of course, lucky me, he could tell how disappointed I was from his unfair advantage of knowing how I'm feeling, and he had the audacity to laugh at me. The man was infuriating! Perhaps he wasn't interested in me in that way and just wanted to see how interested I was? I made the decision then that I would control myself better around him. I wasn't going to simply be some pawn for his stupid over-blown ego. He had enough women, and even men, falling at his feet to help his precious ego out if he really needed it.

I was determined to not let him get to me in that way anymore. Sure, he was attractive, but I wasn't going to be toyed with by anyone, let alone by the man who was supposed to at least try to be kind to me because he was my fiancé.

Obviously though, my body didn't get the memo that we weren't going to react to Eric's advances. It thoroughly enjoyed his kisses along my neck in the hotel room before he bit down. Surprisingly, he didn't take advantage of that particular opportunity to toy with me further once I was already turned on from his kisses. But perhaps he didn't want to irritate me while I was allowing him to have my blood.

I had gotten myself worked up and was now annoyed and very confused about Eric, so I decided I had soaked up enough sun and went inside to begin getting ready for work. I wanted to get there a little bit early so I could talk to Sam and give him my two weeks notice. I got dressed and was on my way in under 30 minutes.

Right before I got out of the car, the light hit my engagement ring. I debated on whether to leave it on or not as I would no doubt get lots of questions about it. Since they had yet to find Maudette and Dawn's murderer, I decided it was better to just take the ring off. Now was not the best time to announce to my small little town that I'd be marrying a vampire, even if they already thought that I was crazy.

Sam was sitting behind his desk when I walked into his office.

"Hey Sook, you're here early," Sam greeted me.

"Hey, Sam. Yeah. I need to talk to you about something before my shift starts."

"Well then, have a seat. What's up?"

I sat down in a chair across from Sam and explained, "I've got to give you my two weeks notice, Sam."

"What?" he asked, looking a little crestfallen. "Do you mind if I ask why? You're a great person and deserve far better than working in this place, cher. But I guess I'm just curious as to why I'm losing my best waitress."

His words touched me. "Well, I'm moving to Shreveport in two weeks and the commute would be a little difficult," I joked. I wanted to lighten the mood a little bit. Sam had always been a great boss, and for the most part, Merlotte's had been a fun place to work. I was a little sad that I had to quit, so I was trying to cheer myself up. But it wasn't working too well.

"To Shreveport? Are you going to start going to school at LSU's campus there? That's great Sook! What are you going to study?"

Oh, how I wish that was the reason. "No Sam. I'm, um, well I don't want this to get around just yet because of the murders, but I'm engaged to Eric Northman. He owns that vampire bar, Fangtasia, and he thinks it would be best if I moved in with him for my own safety."

Sam sat back heavily in his chair and exhaled as though he had been kicked in the chest. I gave him a few minutes to process everything. Finally, he said, "Sookie, I didn't even know you were dating anyone, let alone Eric Northman. How much do you know about him? He's not really the romantic type. He's better known as someone that is not to be messed with."

"And how would you know anything about him Sam Merlotte?" I retorted back defensively. Sam was a true shifter, he could shift into any animal that he wanted to, but he had never admitted it to me. I kept his secret. I didn't hold it against him that he had kept it from me since I had never told him that I was a telepath or one-eighth faerie or even knew about the supernatural world. His words against Eric shouldn't have been surprising because I knew all too well the prejudices between the Supe races - werewolves, other were animals, and shifters did not like vampires and vice versa. I knew Sam meant well, but his words still upset me for some reason.

"I just do, Sook. How long have you been seeing him?"

"Long enough."

"How well do you really know him, Sookie?"

"Are we really going to play Twenty Questions, Sam? Does it matter? I'm engaged, and I will be moving to Shreveport in two weeks, and I won't be changing my mind about either one. Okay?" I tried to keep my tone gentle, but I needed to be firm too. This wasn't really something I could freely talk about.

"Fine, fine," Sam sighed. "I hate to see you go, and I hate to see you married to a vampire. I just hope you know what you are doing. I don't want to see you get hurt."

"I know you mean well, Sam, but I do know what I'm doing. I should get out to my tables now."

"Alright, cher."

Sam gradually went back to acting normally around me over the course of the night, which was a huge relief.

I rushed home when I got off of work, knowing that I wanted to shower before heading up to Shreveport. I showered then threw on dark wash jeans, a light blue silk top, and a pair of blue sandals. I figured that I had made my first and second impressions and now I was just going to be comfortable, though I'd still make sure I looked nice. I remembered to slip my engagement ring back on before I walked out the door.

As I drove by Bill's house, I felt a pang of grief. It had hurt that he had ignored me last night, and I was really hoping that he wasn't going to stop being my friend because of my engagement to Eric.

I arrived at Fangtasia and went to the back door as Eric had instructed me to do from now on. Just as I walked up to the door, Pam opened it and greeted me. "Good evening, dear Sookie."

"Hi. How are you tonight, Pam?"

"Well, as usual. I am looking forward to our party planning. The Hilton confirmed that they were available on the 17th, so all we have left to do is to decide on decorations and such. We'll use the DJ from here since the bar will be shut down that night."

"Oh. Okay. Sounds like you have everything pretty much planned out."

"I do. But Eric has informed me that this is your party, not mine, so I am to run everything through you, and you have the final say on everything."

"Well, okay. I liked all of your ideas from last night though, so I'm sure I'll like your new ideas just as much."

Pam led me to Eric's office. Like last night, he rose from sitting behind his desk to come greet me, lightly kissing my forehead.

"Good evening, Sookie. I trust you had a good day?"

"Considering I slept for most of it, I guess so. I told my boss that I could only work for two more weeks."

"Ah, I am glad to hear it. I would be more pleased if you quit working there immediately, but at least you will no longer work there by the time you move into my house. I trust everything went smoothly?"

"Kinda." Eric raised an eyebrow at me so I continued, "Well, Sam wanted to know why, so I told him that you and I are engaged and I would be moving up here. He doesn't like you very much, but I figure that's just because he's a shifter. He didn't argue with me too much about quitting. Just wanted to make sure I would be okay. He's really a nice guy."

"Ah, that's right. He is a shifter, all the more reason for you to no longer be employed by him."

I simply rolled my eyes in response. I was not going to get into a "Who is the superior supernatural being?" debate with Eric.

"Moving on. What's the plan for tonight?" I asked.

"I have some business to take care of first, but I know Pam wanted to take you to the hotel so that you could see the space she reserved," Eric replied.

"Oh okay. Um, you want to just meet me at the hotel whenever you are ready then?" I asked. It felt a little weird to talk about Eric drinking my blood so openly, especially in front of someone else, even Pam. I wasn't sure I'd ever get used to it really, but hopefully after I was living in his house we wouldn't need to schedule when he fed from me.

The night went smoothly. Pam and I got most of the party planning finished. All that was left was to send out the invitations, which we would do once they arrived the next night. Apparently, Pam telling the company it was a job for Eric Northman and there would be a large bonus if it was done more quickly was all that was needed to expedite our order.

Eric arrived at the hotel room shortly after Pam had left. I gave him my work schedule and we settled when he would come down to Bon Temps. I had the next two days off and then worked the lunch shift for two days, so I'd have to do the drive to Shreveport. But after that I worked the late shift for three days straight, which meant Eric would be coming to Gran's house.

The next few days went as smoothly as could be expected. Claudine and I went shopping and found my dress for the engagement party, and Pam and I got all of the invites for the party sent out. Eric was getting a bit more touchy-feely than the first time he drank from me, but he still didn't cross any major lines.

Of course, he still found ways to torment me by trying to arouse me outside of when he took my blood. He also clearly did not think there was such a thing as personal space. Or, more than likely, he simply didn't care that I had any. My body still refused to listen to me and instead gave Eric exactly the reaction he was looking for. It was rather annoying.

I was beginning to get used to Eric's advances though, and last night I had actually laughed at Eric a few times when he was trying to seduce me. Surprisingly, he wasn't offended at all, but seemed even more pleased. Perhaps he had just been trying to make me more comfortable around him? If that's all he was doing, it was an odd way of doing so, but evidently it worked. I was still a little nervous around him, but seeing him everyday and the fact that he behaved himself when he drank from me, helped a lot towards being less nervous.

The only thing that bothered me over those few days was that I never saw Bill. I expected him to at least come over to Gran's house after I had gotten home but he never did. Although, it was possible that he was out or didn't know when I arrived home. I hoped he wasn't avoiding me because of my engagement to Eric.

It was the night of my first late shift at Merlotte's since the engagement, and I was a nervous wreck. Eric would be seeing my house and meeting my grandmother for the first time. This time, Gran did not have to force me to clean. Although, I don't really know why I was so willing to do so, since when we thought Bill was my betrothed I could've cared less. Regardless of the why, I cleaned my heart out all day.

I arrived at work just before the dinner rush at 5 P.M. I knew 11 P.M. would come very quickly since I really did not want it to. However, I was still shocked when I looked up and saw Bill walk into the bar. I hadn't realized that it had been that late. I was relieved to see that he wasn't avoiding me after all. That thought lasted for all of 30 seconds as he sat down in Tara's section. Clearly, he was avoiding me. But if that was the case, why come to the bar at all?

One of my customers called for another round so I didn't have much time to think about Bill's presence or his choice in sections.

The next hour flew by, and it was 11 P.M. before I knew it. I considered trying to talk to Bill before I left but Eric had said he would be at my place at 11:30 P.M., and I wanted to shower the grease and stale smoke smell off of me before he arrived. I'd have to talk to Bill later.

I had just pulled on a pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt when there was a knock at the door. I rushed to answer it, greeting Eric and inviting him in. Eric came through the door just as Gran entered the living room with a couple of glasses of iced tea for her and me and a Tru Blood, the most common synthetic blood on the market, for Eric. I made the introductions and then we all sat – Gran in her favorite recliner and Eric and I on the sofa. I sat down before Eric and he took the opportunity to sit very close to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. I had gotten used to it at Fangtasia but it was a little weird at first since we were in my home and sitting with Gran.

"Thank you for allowing me into your home so late, ma'am," Eric began.

"Oh, don't worry about it. This is what is most convenient for you. And please call me Adele. I won't be able to stay up with you kids for too long, but I am happy to finally meet you." Kids? Gran did remember that Eric was over a thousand years old, right? I looked at Eric and he had an amused smirk on his face. I hoped that meant he wasn't offended by Gran calling him a kid. "Sookie has told me a lot about you," Gran continued. Yeah, that he's gorgeous but worse than Jason when it comes to women.

"She has, has she? I hope it has all been good?" Eric inquired. Was he seriously fishing for more ego-boosting material? He never seemed to quit.

"For the most part, yes. It does seem as though you are a bit of a ladies' man though, and now that I see you I can certainly tell why. But I am glad to hear you will be giving up those ways for Sookie. She's a special girl, and I don't just say that because I have to. She has a big heart. She deserves to be treated with respect."

I almost spit out my iced tea! I never expected Gran to be so forward about Eric's reputation as a ladies' man. I knew she wanted to make sure he treated me properly, but did she really have to be quite so blunt about it? Oh, who was I kidding? This was Gran, so yes, she did have to be that blunt.

"Of course, Adele. I have discovered for myself over the short time I have known her that Sookie is indeed very special."

Really? He was most likely only referring to my telepathy, whereas, Gran was not. Though, he may have also been referring to my faerie blood. Oh well. He was doing his best to charm my grandmother, and by the pleased look on her face, he was succeeding.

"I am glad to hear that you agree," Gran replied. "So Eric, tell me about yourself. I realize that vampires are private beings, but perhaps you'd be willing to share some of your past – where you've lived and when?"

Hook. Line. Sinker. Eric's ego had a captive audience, and Gran was in heaven. The woman who loved history had a treasure trove of it sitting in her living room. The more Eric was willing to share about his thousand plus years on this Earth, the more Gran would fall in love with him.

I simply sat back and listened. Gran hung on his every word for about an hour and then pardoned herself and headed to bed. I really couldn't blame her all that much for her curiosity. Eric certainly had an interesting past. It was easy to get caught up in his stories about Europe, China, and India. That was just what he got through tonight.

"Your grandmother is a delightful woman," Eric said as soon as Gran had closed her bedroom door.

"Yes, well, it's easy to think that when she feeds your ego so well."

Eric chuckled before replying, "Are you suggesting she is not pleasant?"

"Nope. She is absolutely wonderful. I'm just saying that all you have to go off of is her feeding that ego of yours because you happened across one of her favorite subjects - history. Hmmm. Come to think of it, you didn't happen across it at all. You just happened to be old enough to have a vast history and are willing to share it with her."

"It is refreshing to find someone that is interested in the history I have seen. Were you bored, dear Sookie?"

"Actually, I wasn't. It was very enjoyable hearing your stories. I hope you'll continue to share them with me, and I know Gran would love to hear more as well."

"Of course," Eric replied. With vampire speed, Eric grabbed my legs and dragged them across him so I ended up sitting in his lap and asked, "What shall we do now that we are alone?" He nuzzled his face into my neck and ran a hand along the outside of my leg, from ankle to hip.

"Seriously, Eric? Are you really trying to get fresh with me while my grandmother sleeps in the next room? Actually, she's probably not even asleep yet," I said as I tried to climb off his lap.

He wasn't having that though and locked one arm around my waist and the other across my legs. "Get fresh? I don't know this term."

"It means making out or hitting on someone," I sighed.

"Ah," Eric smirked. "Well, then I suppose I am getting fresh. As long as you are quiet, it would not matter. But perhaps it's best if we go outside." With that, Eric scooped me up and carried me outside to the front porch and sat us down on the porch swing. "Now, where were we?"

"Geez. If I didn't know better I would think that sex and blood were the only things you thought about."

"They are two of my three favorite activities," Eric said into my neck.

"That doesn't surprise me. But what's the third?"

"Fighting, of course. The thrill of battle is exhilarating," he responded, pulling his head back to look at me. He definitely liked fighting. I could see the excited glint he got in his eyes just from thinking about it.

"I'm going to take your word for it. I've never been in a fight or a battle and I don't want to."

"But you have trained to fight, have you not?"

"Yes, a little bit. I know some basics. Great grandfather wanted me to be able to defend myself but he did not see a need for me to learn anything offensive. I have other tricks too if I really need them."

"Good to know. Hopefully, you will never need to use any of it, but you never know," Eric said, returning to my neck and kissing it. It had been less than a week, but it was almost becoming automatic for me to tilt my head as soon as Eric began kissing my neck. His fangs pierced the skin and he began to drink.

I had usually been standing when Eric drank from me, but in this position Eric seemed to be able to pull me even closer, and I felt along my leg just how excited Eric got when he drank from me. And oh my, he certainly felt proportional, or more. I suddenly got really nervous. Did he expect that to ever fit inside me? Oh that was going to hurt. At least I had a year before going through that sort of pain.

I tended to ignore thinking about the sex part of the marriage, but feeling Eric's hardness brought the reality to the surface. My avoidance wasn't so much about not wanting to have sex, oh boy did I, but the thought itself was daunting. In light of this new information of how big Eric was, it was even scarier.

In some ways Eric still made me nervous. I had opened up to him some as he had been nothing but kind to me so far. But he was definitely a man that took what he wanted. Although, most of the time he made you think that you wanted to give it.

It all made me wonder how he would be in bed. Would he be gentle with me or would he just take what he wanted? The idea was unnerving. I was trying to calm myself down before I got upset because I knew Eric could feel my emotions. Apparently, I wasn't fast enough.

Eric finished drinking and licked the wounds so they would heal shut. As he pricked his finger and ran it across the marks he asked, "Sookie, what's wrong? You've never gotten scared before. Did I hurt you?"

"No. It was just something I thought about."

"What did you think about that made you so upset?"

"Nothing. Don't worry about it," I replied, embarrassed. I definitely wasn't talking to Eric about sex.

"Sookie, look at me." Once I obeyed and looked up at him, he continued, "Why won't you tell me? It's my duty to protect you, if something makes you fearful and nervous, I should know about it. Why are you embarrassed to tell me?"

"It's nothing you need to protect me from," at least for a year. "It's just something I thought about but I'll get over it. It's no big deal. Please just let it go," I replied, climbing off his lap. I needed to put some space between us.

"Very well. Clearly, this is not something you wish to speak about at the moment. Though, I do hope the time comes soon when you feel you can trust me with anything. I'll let you have your space for now. Thank you for an enjoyable evening, Sookie." He opened the front door for me and then kissed me on the forehead as I walked passed him to go into the house.

I locked the door once I was inside and headed towards my room. After quickly changing into my nightgown, I curled up in bed. I decided I would call Claudine when I woke up the next morning. Perhaps I was just overreacting and she would tell me that I was being silly. Really I was hoping she could make the whole sex thing a lot less scary.