A quick note: Maybe some of you already got this, maybe not, but it's time for me to do a shameless plug :) I wrote a one shot, something very near and dear to my heart. I would be honored and appreciate it to no end if you would check it out and leave me a review. If you choose to, it's called Keep On Loving You and you can find it on my author page. It's a portion of the story that has been about 10 years in the making. It's the story that if I were ever to become a famous writer, and have movies and everything made, this is the story I want to tell. I would appreciate it greatly if you'd all check it out. /End shameless plug.

Chapter 13

"Sookie, I was wondering if you'd do me the honor of going on a date with me tomorrow evening," he said with a wink. Alcide laughed. The look on her face was practically priceless. He wished he had a camera. Apparently she had talked herself into believing the worst of him, because the look she wore was shock, complete with her mouth hanging open.

Sookie felt her mouth drop and worked to close it. She couldn't comprehend that she had believed for even a moment that Alcide wouldn't want to be with her. He had been after her for months and she'd been turning him down, sure that she'd get hurt again. And all along, she was slowly falling deeper. Finally she smiled. "Yes, Alcide, I'd love that."

The smile he wore was so big she was sure it hurt his cheeks. "Good night, Alcide," she said before disappearing into the bathroom. She was sure she heard a quiet sound of triumph as she closed the door.

Sookie was only mildly surprised that he hadn't asked to join her "just in case she had a nightmare." It was just as well, she thought as she cleaned her face and pulled her hair up. She didn't glance down the hall at him in the living room as she went into her bedroom, but the temptation to was almost overwhelming. She quickly undressed and pulled on a camisole and boyshorts and then crawled into bed. She fell asleep thinking about Alcide and where their date might take them.

The dreams came, as they always did. And as they have for the last couple weeks, they changed. Subconsciously Sookie knew Alcide had gotten into bed with her again. She turned into his warm embrace, letting him absorb the horrid dreams. If this was the way to get rid of them, she wouldn't protest. There were worse things in life than sharing her bed with Alcide Herveaux.

Sookie was surprised to wake up and find Alcide wasn't in bed with her. Disappointment flooded her and she tried to shake it off. She hadn't been sure she wanted him to come to bed with her. He'd come when she started screaming, and now he was back in his own bed, probably so he wouldn't freak her out.

She stretched and rolled over to get out of bed. Just as she was reaching for her robe, the door to her room opened and Alcide stood there holding a tray. "Oh good, you're up. I was just about to wake you so you can have some breakfast," he said with a smile. He set the tray on the nightstand next to the bed. It was laden with eggs, toast, bacon and coffee.

Sookie abandoned the robe and slid back into bed. After all, what woman in her right mind turns down breakfast in bed? "You did all this just for me, Alcide? Thank you." She took a sip of the coffee first before digging into her breakfast. "Aren't you going to eat?" she asked, self-consciously.

"Oh, I ate before bringing you this. Do you have any preference on what we do tonight?" he asked.

Sookie swallowed a bite of toast and shrugged. "I figured since you were doing the asking, you had an idea," she laughed.

"As a matter of fact, I do," he grinned. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay with that. I figured we would leave around three."

"Three? In the afternoon?" she asked, confused.

"Sure. You don't want to go out this afternoon? I promise it'll be fun," he coaxed.

"It's not that I don't want to, I was just surprised. I figured you were going for the dinner and a movie type date."

"Maybe next time," he said with a wink. "I'll take your tray and let you get dressed," he said, reaching for it.

"Oh no, no! Let me do the dishes since you were so sweet to make me breakfast in bed," she said as she climbed out of the bed.

"Hush, just go take a shower and get ready. I expect you to look hot for our date," he winked and then grinned to show he was teasing.

Sookie rolled her eyes and pushed him out of her bedroom. "Get out then! I'll be out in awhile."

When she emerged after her shower, her hair was hanging about her shoulders in bouncy waves. She had applied her makeup sparingly, using just mascara and lip gloss. It enhanced her natural beauty and was more appropriate for an afternoon out. Sookie quickly disappeared into her bedroom before Alcide could get a good look at her. When she stepped out of her room a few minutes later, she was dressed in a lightweight peach colored sweater and a brown denim skirt. Knee high white socks and brown mary janes completed the look. She smiled shyly when she walked into the living room and found Alcide sitting in his chair.

"Wow," he said, standing up. "You look amazing, Sook."

"Thank you. You don't look so bad yourself," she replied, looking him over. He was wearing a green polo shirt that brought out the green of his eyes and a pair of dark blue jeans. Black work boots were on his feet and it looked like he'd tried to tame his dark hair with little success.

"Are you ready to go out to lunch?" he asked.

"I thought we weren't leaving until three?" she asked.

"That was my original plan, but I confess I'm feeling a little selfish today. I'd love to take you to lunch and then start our date. If that's okay with you?"

"Well I didn't get all dressed up for nothing." She smiled. "Lets go, Mr. Herveaux."

A wide grin split his features. "Miss Stackhouse?" he offered his arm to her and she took it.

They ate lunch at a small diner not far from the apartment complex. After they were finished and Alcide had paid the bill, turning Sookie down when she offered to pay her half, they got into his truck and he pointed it toward a part of the city Sookie hadn't visited much.

"Where are we going?" she frowned as she watched the landscape pass them by.

"We're almost there. You'll see in a minute."

Five minutes later he pulled into the parking lot of a miniature golf course. As he turned the engine off he glanced over at her and grinned. "Up for a friendly game of miniature golf?"

Sookie couldn't help but laugh. "You're taking me mini golfing? Well I hope you're prepared to lose!" She opened her door, but before she could jump out Alcide was there to help her down. He grabbed her hand after setting her on the ground and led her toward the little office to rent the clubs and balls.

She had been skeptical when he'd brought her to the mini golf course, but Sookie had to admit she was having fun. They were about evenly matched and they had decided that the loser would pay for dinner later. "You better not purposely lose, Alcide," she'd warned him.

Although Alcide had thought about losing on purpose so he could pay, he realized that Sookie was on to him. He played hard and was surprised to realize that he may end up losing this game fair and square. On the final hole he was down by one stroke, but a hole in one could win it for him. Sookie was up first. She lined up her putt and took her shot. The ball rolled up the hill and managed to stay at the top, but didn't go into the hole. Another putt sunk the ball.

Alcide hated this hole. It was a fairly high slope with the hole at the top. You had to climb a small set of stairs to get to the top of the hill. He always managed to hit the ball too hard and have it come rolling back down at him. He took a deep breath as he got ready to swing.

The ball made its way up the slope, went over the top and hit the back wall. It started back the way it came, and Alcide was sure he had lost. As the ball moved back toward the slope it curved slightly and went straight into the hole. A hole in one. He looked up at Sookie and grinned. "I guess you're buying, chere."

Sookie was surprised that he had played honestly. She had thought for sure he'd lose on purpose. She didn't mind paying, in fact she was happy to since he had played hard and earned the win. "I guess I am. Does that mean you get to pick where we eat?"

"Well I did win," he smiled.

They turned their clubs in to the kid working at the counter and Sookie linked her arm through his as they walked out to the parking lot. "Anything else up your sleeve after dinner, Alcide?"

"Well I might be convinced to go dancing if you really want to," he smiled.

She gave him that look. The one women get when a guy says something stupid and they know it. "You were already planning on dancing, weren't you?" She climbed into the truck when he opened her door.

"Me? No. I only aim to please, chere." He grinned and walked around the front of the vehicle and got in his side.

"Don't make fun of me! You had this whole thing planned... well maybe not the little mini golf bet of loser pays for dinner, but the rest you have. So don't give me that." She stuck her tongue out childishly.

"Careful, Sook, I might have to make you use that."

Her eyes widened. Heat suffused her cheeks and she looked out her window.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," he apologized immediately.

She looked over at him and smiled. "No, it's fine, Alcide. Really," she said when he looked about to protest. "Lets just say... it made me think about just skipping dinner..."

"Damnit Sookie, don't say that!" It wasn't anger that made his voice tense. "I promised you a real date. Don't you go getting any ideas of cutting it short."

"I wasn't the one who started it," she pointed out.

Luckily the drive wasn't very long. Sookie wasn't sure if she could stand much more of that type of banter without demanding that he pull over. She smiled to herself as he walked around the truck to open her door. Not that long ago she was denying she wanted him, and now she couldn't wait to take him to bed again.

"What's so funny?" he asked as he helped her out of the truck.

Sookie looked up at him, her grin widening. "Just thinking how a few short weeks can change a girl's mind pretty easily."

He looked confused but didn't ask her what she meant. He laced his fingers with hers as they walked into the restaurant and got their table. They were both surprised to pass by Maria Cooper as they were being seated.

They looked over the menus and placed their order. As they sipped their drinks, neither was surprised when Maria decided to approach them. She stood at the head of the table and glared down at both of them. "So you're with her now?" she spat.

Alcide, to his credit, remained calm. "I don't see how it's any of your business, Maria."

Maria's gaze speared Sookie next. "Are you sleeping with him?"

"Again, Maria, I don't see how that's any of your business," Sookie smiled politely, ever the southern belle.

"If you'll excuse us, we would like to return to our dinner," Alcide said, trying very nicely to get Maria to leave.

"He'll leave you, too. That's what he does, you know," she turned on her heel and stalked off before either could reply.

Sookie was left staring after her. Her eyes found Alcide's and widened in shock. "Can you believe her nerve?"

Alcide had been holding his breath, wondering if Maria had managed to scare Sookie. He let it out silently and shrugged. "She's always had a vindictive streak in her. She usually doesn't show it to this degree though."

Sookie didn't reply, instead she digested this information. After a moment she smiled. "So tell me, Alcide, where are we going next?"

"Dancing. I told you that," he grinned.

The rest of dinner went quickly by. True to her word, Sookie paid, and Alcide let her. "Of course, next time, I get to pay," he said.

Sookie grinned up at him as they walked to the truck. "You're pretty sure you're getting a second date, Mr. Herveaux. We're not even done with date number one."

He helped her into the truck and chuckled. "I'm pretty damn sure that you want a second date as much as I do, Miss Stackhouse. Of course, I leave that all up to you though. I'm at your mercy."

They arrived at the salsa club that he had brought her to months ago. Even though it was a Sunday the place was packed wall to wall with bodies. The music was blaring and Sookie's body moved of its own accord to the beat. Alcide's hand was on her hip as they moved through the crowd toward the dance floor.

She spun around and grabbed Alcide's hands as they reached an open space. She grinned up at him as he pulled her against him and they started moving in time to the music. After a few minutes they had a bit more space to move and he spun and dipped her. Her laugh was infectious and he found himself laughing with her.

They danced until their hair was plastered to their scalps with sweat. Finally they made their way to the bar to get a drink. Sookie ordered a bottle of water and Alcide did the same. They each took a deep drink from the plastic bottles. Sookie replaced the cap and sagged against Alcide. "Thank you," she said, loud enough to be heard over the music.

He had been about to reply when he felt eyes on him. Scanning the crowd he groaned low in his throat. "Don't look now, but Maria is here," he told Sookie.

"Is she following us?" Alcide glanced down at her to find her completely serious.

"I don't think so. Random coincidence?"

"I buy that for the restaurant, but not so sure about here. I'm not going to worry about it though. Let's just ignore her."

"That gets my vote," he grinned and after they finished their bottles of water, they returned to the dance floor. Alcide tried to ignore Maria, but it was difficult to ignore someone staring daggers at you. Finally he turned his back on her. He danced with Sookie and managed to forget his ex-girlfriend.

The night had been an almost overwhelming success, with the exception of Maria. Sookie leaned against Alcide as they made their way out of the club and he wrapped his arm around her waist. As they reached the truck he kissed the top of her head before opening the door. "Thank you," he told her.

As she climbed into her seat she looked at him, confused. "For what?"

He grinned. "For going out with me."

"Well, you're welcome. Thank you for taking me." She leaned down and kissed him lightly on the lips. "Now you need to get us home, because there's a nice soft bed calling our names." She winked.