A/N: I don't own these characters. Charlaine Harris does. You have no idea how much I wish I owned Eric though
A/N: Much love to my fabulously wonderful beta Smfogleman. She makes one hell of a grilled cheese sandwich, let me tell ya. :-)
A/N: Here we are again! Sorry for the time in between updates. RL is just crazy. However, this one is a bit longer than normal and even has a very special POV, which I had waaaaay too much fun writing! ENJOY!
That is the only way to describe how I feel these days. Eric and I graduated a month ago, and thankfully we were both able to find jobs straight away.
We have been together for six months, and they have been the greatest six months I have ever spent with another person. Of course we have had our minor issues, but what couple hasn't? Though we aren't officially living together, he is almost always staying at my apartment. Alcide has even taken to ribbing him about abandoning their apartment.
Our sex life is spectacular. I was stunned to realize that he was a virgin. I never would have guessed it. He certainly didn't show it. I am no slut by any means, Tray is the only other person I have ever slept with, but somehow I never thought Eric would be a virgin. It thrills me to know that I'm the only person he's ever been with, and hopefully I'll always be the only one.
Marriage hasn't come up. It's too soon, but in my heart of hearts I know Eric is the one for me. I feel things with him I never felt with Tray and it reinforces my decision that ending things with Tray was the right thing to do. I still feel terrible for hurting him and ending our engagement, but it was better to end things before we made it to the altar.
My vision goes dark all of a sudden and I am about to scream when a familiar scent invades my senses.
"If you want to blindfold me, shouldn't you take me home first?"
"Fuck, Sookie. Don't tease me like that when we're in public."
The hands over my eyes are removed, and I turn to see Eric standing behind me.
He bends over to give me a kiss before coming around to join me on the park bench.
"What are you doing out here?" he asks me.
"It's such a nice day, I thought I'd sit out and read. What are you doing here? I thought you had to work."
A ridiculously large grin crosses his face. "My boss let us go early. His wife went into labor."
"Oh, Eric, that's so exciting!"
"Yeah, I'm not sure if he was more excited or terrified. It took him ten minutes to find his keys, even though they were sitting on his desk. But I'm happy for him. And I'm happy to get to spend the rest of the afternoon with you."
Well if that doesn't deserve a kiss I don't know what does. I give him a gentle peck on the lips, intending for a short kiss, but he threads his fingers in my hair and pulls me closer.
I find myself getting lost in the taste of him, and the feel of his tongue caressing my own, when I hear my name being called.
"Sookie, is that you?"
I know that voice. I woke up to it saying my name for the better part of three years. Eric stiffens beside me, and I pull back from him.
Turning my head, I see Tray standing there. I'm a bit shocked to realize he's not alone. He's with a girl. And they are holding hands. A streak of jealousy shoots through me before I am able to stop it. I shake my head. This is ridiculous. I'm happy with Eric. Tray should be happy too.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Eric stand up, and extend his hand. "Tray."
"Eric," he says, shaking his hand.
Gesturing to the female beside him, he introduces us. "Sookie, Eric, this is Liz. Liz, this is Sookie and Eric."
I can't help but eye her up and down. She's much shorter than Tray is; she can't be more than 5'3. Her hair is a deep brown, full of curls that reach her shoulder, and her brown eyes are hidden behind a pair of glasses. Over her shoulder is a bag that reads Math is Delicious. I guess she must enjoy math. I can't help but notice that she is the complete opposite of me, and I don't know how I feel about it.
"Could we talk? Alone."
It takes me a moment before I realize that Tray is speaking to me.
"Um, sure. Yeah, that would be fine."
I watch as he leans down to give Liz a kiss on the cheek, before heading off to a bench several yards away. I squeeze Eric's hand and turn to follow Tray. As I am walking off I hear Eric making small talk with Liz.
"So you like math, huh?"
Tray is sitting on the bench, and pats the empty spot beside him. Taking the seat next to him, I can't help but notice how happy he looks.
"You look good, Tray. Happy."
"I'm very happy. You look good too, Sookie. It's obvious how much you and Eric adore each other. Even I can see that."
"Tray, I'm sorry. If I had known you were going to be here, we wouldn't have made out in the park. You shouldn't have to see that. I shouldn't flaunt him in front of you; it's not fair of me."
Shaking his head, he smiles at me in the manner that always used to make my heart do flip flops in my chest.
"You have nothing to apologize for, Sookie. He makes you happy; you should never feel bad about that. Besides, I've moved on. I have Liz in my life now."
The smile on his face grows even larger when he says her name and I can see his eyes light up with a happiness that is new to me.
"You really like her don't you? I can see it in your face."
"I think I'm falling in love with her. She's an amazing person. She's part of the reason I wanted to talk to you."
"I want you to know that I'm glad you ended things when you did. I was really upset at the time. I couldn't believe you were breaking up with me to date Eric, even if I tried to put on a good face about it. It hurt. I wallowed for a little while, but then Liz snapped me out of it. We had been casual friends for a while, she was in a couple of my classes, and we paired up for a project. I was a miserable jerk to work with, but she didn't put up with my mess for a second. I believe her exact words were 'You need to get over yourself. There are other girls out there that would love to date you. In fact, there's one standing in front of you right now.' I guess you could say I didn't have a choice in the matter. We've been dating for 3 months now. She makes me happy. If I'm being honest, she makes me happy in a way that not even you did, Sookie. I can tell it's the same for you with Eric though. There is a glow about you when you are around him. I want you to be happy, and I guess I just wanted you to know that I'm happy too."
I sit there for a minute taking it all in. A small part of me is hurt to hear his words, but then again I had been planning on marrying him. The bigger part of me is thrilled to know he is moving on and that he is truly happy. She sounds like a real spitfire and thati as definitely something that Tray likes. The relief I feel with the knowledge that he isn't mad at me, is overwhelming.
Throwing my arms around him, I hug him tightly.
"Thank you, Tray. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear you say this. All I ever wanted for you was for you to be happy. If Liz does that for you, then I'm glad. Heck, maybe sometime the four of us can get together."
Letting out a loud laugh, he shakes his head back and forth. "I'm not sure we're quite ready for that, Sookie. Maybe someday, but not yet."
I chuckle along with him, knowing that he's probably right.
"Come on, what do you say we get back to our other halves? I'm sure they are both wondering what we have been chatting about over here."
I can only imagine what Eric is thinking. When he and Tray last spoke I wasn't sure I was going to get through to him. Hopefully he knows by now that I love him and only him.
As we approach, Eric and Liz are laughing about something.
Eric immediately grabs for my hand, and Liz curls herself into Tray's side.
"You ready to go, number muncher?"
"Sure am. It was really nice talking to you, Eric, and it was good to finally meet you, Sookie."
"See ya, Eric. Sookie," Tray says, planting a kiss to my cheek before he and Liz take off.
"I'm really sorry I left you alone like that, Eric."
Kissing me gently, he stops my apology.
"You and Tray needed to talk. Even I know that. Did you finally get full closure? I know you've been worried about him even if you wouldn't admit aloud."
I hug him tightly. "Yes I did, Eric. Thank you. For being so understanding. For being you. I love you."
"I love you, too. Now, I have something I want to run by you. Alcide called. He and Felicia want to have dinner with us tonight. Kind of a double date he said. I think he secretly just misses me."
Laughing at him, I have to agree. If I didn't know with certainty that both men are straight I would probably question their friendship at times. Those two have such a ridiculous bromance going on.
"I think that sounds lovely, Eric. But what ever shall we do with the rest of our afternoon?"
Pinning with me a stare that singes my panties, he raises one eyebrow in my direction.
Grabbing his hand we both break into a dead run and head for my apartment.
The crashing sound of balls hitting pins fills the air around us. Eric, Sookie, Felicia and I decided to go bowling for our date. Ok, Eric and I decided we should go bowling. Felicia and Sookie had lobbied for a movie, but I think we all realized that there wouldn't be much socializing going on. Unless you counted Felicia ending up in my lap with my tongue down her throat as socializing.
I'm having a hard time keeping my hands to myself tonight as it is. She looks so beautiful, and those jeans she is wearing are hugging her ass to perfection. I watch her head down the lane to take her turn and bend over to roll the ball in a way that makes me want to set my pin up in her alley and let my balls doing some crashing of their own. I'll never be able to get my fill of that woman. She's my everything.
I'm removed from my thoughts when she jumps up and down, having rolled a strike. The smile on her face lights up the entire place and I can't help grinning along with her. Bounding over to me, she plants a kiss on my lips before leaning over to punch Eric in the arm, telling him to "beat that."
I stand up and try to catch Sookie's attention. "I think I'm going to go get more beer. Sookie can you come help me? I'd ask Eric, but he's up next."
"Of course, Alcide."
I smile as I watch her lean over and kiss him for good luck. I'm really happy for them. My man was so hung up on her for years, and I honestly wasn't sure what he would have done had she married Tray. She's a pretty spectacular woman, and the two of them together are a sight to behold.
When we are far enough away from the lane, I tell Sookie the real reason I wanted her help with the beer.
"I'm going to ask Felicia to marry me, and I was hoping you could help me pick out a ring for her."
"Oh my god! Alcide! Oh my god! This is so exciting! Does she have any idea?"
"We've talked about it before, and it's a foregone conclusion that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together, but she doesn't know I'm planning to propose so soon. I want her to be my wife. There is absolutely no reason to wait. I love her. She loves me."
Tears start to fill up her eyes. "Oh, Sookie. Don't cry. I can't handle it when you girls get all happy emotional and start crying. It's just weird. Please stop."
"I can't help it. You better get used to it. This is what 'we girls' do. We cry. I would love to help you pick out a ring for her, by the way. When do you want to go look? Have you told Eric you're going to propose?" she rambles on.
"Yeah, he knows. He's my best friend; I wasn't not going to tell him. Besides, if I hadn't told him, you'd tell him later tonight. Am I right?"
She gives me a knowing smirk that is so eerily like Eric I have to suppress a chuckle.
"Are you free tomorrow? I'd really like to find her a ring soon. I'm chomping at the bit to do this. I have something in mind already, but I just have to find it."
"Meet me at my apartment around ten tomorrow morning and we'll go. I'm really happy for you, Alcide. You've always been such an amazing friend to Eric. Both of you have. And you've welcomed me with open arms into y'alls friendship. It means a lot. Felicia has become my best girlfriend, so I'll do whatever I can to help."
With a quick glance back to the lane, I see Felicia and Eric giving each other a hard time about something, so I give Sookie a quick hug, and we grab our beers and head back.
I get the feeling that Sookie and Eric haven't had the marriage conversation yet, but Eric has already told me that he plans on marrying her. He'd be a fucking idiot not to. I get the feeling a proposal will be around the corner for them soon enough.
I take my seat, and as Eric grabs his beer, he manages to whisper "So you told Sookie, huh?"
How the hell does he know that? We were far enough away that I know he couldn't have heard us.
"I saw you hug her man. You're not that casual with your affections normally. What time are you picking her up tomorrow?"
I shake my head. Shit. He really is my best friend.
"I'm meeting her at ten. So don't keep her up too late, fucking her brains out, ok?"
Taking a long swig of his beer, he claps me on the back. "Now that is not a promise I can make."
I have just finished eating my breakfast when Eric trudges into the kitchen and collapses into the chair across from me. I slide my cup of coffee across the table to him and bounce up to pour myself another cup.
"How on Earth are you so chipper this morning? This isn't normally like you," he grumbles over his mug.
"Today is going to be a good day. I'm so excited to help Alcide out. Felicia is going to be so surprised."
His face seems to droop a bit, and he takes a sip of his coffee, avoiding my eyes.
"What did I say, Eric?"
He tries to evade my question by clearing his throat and drinking more of his coffee.
I walk over and plant myself on his lap, forcing his eyes up to meet mine.
"What is wrong?"
"I just," he trails off, before clearing his throat once more and starting again. "I guess I was hoping that I was the reason for your good mood. I thought we had a great time last night. The way you screamed my name it sure seemed like it." His lips curl up into a grin as he finishes the statement.
Knowing him as well as I do, I know that he is lying to me.
"We had an amazing time and you know I enjoyed myself. Now why don't you tell me what is really bothering you."
Running his hands over his face, he takes a deep breath and scoots his chair back from the table.
"Whatever it is, you can tell me, Eric. We agreed to always be honest with each other. Stop hiding from me."
"I'm not ready to get married," Eric blurts out.
I sit and stare at him for a moment, before I burst into hysterical laughter.
The glare on his face helps me to get myself under control.
"I'm sorry, Eric, but who said anything about getting married? I know I sure as hell didn't."
He is smart enough to consider his words before speaking.
"Well, you're going ring shopping with Alcide, and well, Sookie, you're a girl. I know how girls can get when it comes to marriage. I love you more than anything, but it's too soon for us to get married. I am just afraid you'll go with him and get all these ideas in your head. I mean, you were engaged to Tray. I remember how happy you were when you told me the news. I want to be the one that makes you that happy, but not now."
He shifts his gaze away from my face. Is he scared of what I am going to say?
"Eric, I'm not like most girls. You should know that by now; you've known me long enough. I agree with you. It is way too soon for us to get married. Do I want to spend my life with you? Yes. Am I ready to get married to you? No. Tray and I dated three years before he proposed. I'm not the kind of girl to rush into something like this. You make me happy, happier than I have ever been. That's enough for me for now. I like what we have going on. Besides we don't even live together yet. I'd like to live together before we get engaged. I'm happy and excited for Alcide and Felicia. You should be too. Let's focus on helping them have the wedding of their dreams. He's your best friend, and well, she's been pretty good to me. They both have. So today I am going to help him pick out a ring, and when I come home, you and I will have some special alone time. Does that sound good?"
He pulls me closer to his body, which seems impossible considering how close we are with me on his lap, and plants a kiss on me that I feel all the way to my toes.
"I love you so much, Sookie. I'm glad we are on the same page. Now, go help Alcide find a ring for her. Felicia deserves the best. She's going to be shackled to him for the rest of her life; she should at least get a nice ring out of the deal."
I swat him on the shoulder before pulling myself off of his lap. A knock sounds on the door less than a minute later, so I go to answer it.
Alcide is standing there with a megawatt smile on his face. He looks like a kid that has just gotten a new puppy.
"Are you ready to go, Sookie?"
"Good morning to you, too. Eric's inside if you want to say hello."
"Good morning. Sorry, I'm just really excited to go do this."
He is so adorable in that moment I am willing to let his rudeness slide.
"Hi, Eric. Bye, Eric" he yells into the apartment.
I can hear Eric laughing as he yells back "Buy her a good one man, so that she doesn't rethink her decision to get hitched to you."
"Fuck you, asshole."
"Back at ya, fuckface."
I swear the two of them are better suited for a locker room than polite society.
Making a theatrical show of it, Alcide bows to me and offers his arm, and we are off to the jewelry store.
S&S Jewelers is the best known place in town. If you are looking for something special, it is the place to go. I have always loved their slogans "Where diamonds in the rough shine" and "S&S Jewelers. Be Dazzled!"
Immediately upon entering the store, we are greeted by two women, Susan and Sandra. The famous S&S.
"Well aren't you two an attractive couple. What are we shopping for today?" the one with the nametag reading Susan asks.
Alcide and I look at each other and both snort.
"We're not a couple. Not even close. I'm just helping him pick out a ring for his girlfriend."
"Yeah, she's my best friend's girl." He turned to me, "No offense, Sookie, but you aren't really my type."
"No offense taken, you're not my type either."
Hitting the woman on the arm, Sandra speaks up, "See, Susan, you can't just assume people are together. Now, let's get some rings for you to look at. What precisely are you looking for?"
Alcide was pretty clueless when it came to jewelry I found out. He knew he wanted something simple and non-traditional, but it didn't extend beyond it. Susan and Sandra show us a variety of options, but nothing is striking his fancy, until he sees one that makes his eyes pop wide.
"That's it. It's perfect. Actually it is beyond perfect."
The ring is a simple silver band, with an emerald setting. On either side of the stone, are Celtic Trinity knots. It's an absolutely stunning ring, and unique, just like Felicia.
"Emerald is her birthstone, and she loves all things Celtic. Wow. I'll take it. Perfect."
I give him a huge hug. "She's going to love it, Alcide. It's beautiful."
With a grin to rival no other, he says "I cannot wait to give it to her."
After settling everything up and getting the ring prepared, we leave, with well wishes from both ladies, and a not so subtle reminder that should my beau and I wish to get engaged, that I know where to find them.
"Good lord. Does everyone want Eric and I to get engaged? We're not ready yet!"
Alcide stops walking and grabs my hand. "Sookie, listen to me. You make my boy happier than I've ever seen him, and you know that. If the two of you aren't ready, then don't rush it. Only you and he can decide that. If you ask my opinion, the two of you already act like a married couple. That being said, take your time. It's probably going to happen for you one day. Besides, I don't want you stealing my thunder right now."
Laughing out loud, I punch him softly on the arm then give him a hug.
"You're a really good guy, Alcide."
"Tell me more. My ego can always use some inflating."
I roll my eyes and we make plans to have dinner the following night, just the four of us, and I make him promise to give us details of the night.
Reverting to his smart ass ways, he waggles his eyebrows at me, "You want all the details? I'd hate for Eric to feel inadequate."
This is my boyfriends' best friend. Ridiculous, childish at times, and put him and Eric together? Forget it. Yet, I wouldn't change it for the world. Life is funny like that sometimes.
A/N: The ring: http:/www(DOT)abitoblarney(DOT)
A/N: Alcide was sooo much fun to write! I hope you enjoyed his pov!
A/N: Gotta pimp a couple of my ladies who put in a cameo! Lubdadub: the Countess of Kink. She's got several amazing stories going on right now. http:/www(DOT)fanfiction(DOT)net/u/2078758/Lubadub
AND my soulmate, and the woman I am so proud to beta for, the lovely missust! http:/www(DOT)fanfiction(DOT)net/u/1729178/Missus_T