A/N Hello again, dear readers. This lil' tale is brought to you by Duckbutt, HopeStreet, nycsnowbird, Sonjita and Violhaine, who collectively bid a big ole bunch of money in the April Support Stacie Auction for it, WOOT! WOOT!!

The SVM universe made a magnificent showing, and these ladies were a big part of that. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes to see such generosity in the name of someone they have never even met.

As a special reward to the bidders, I've given them each a tiny cameo here, a little Hitchcockian (har har) device. See if you can figure out who's who, and I'll put the answers on my profile.

Fanfic does good, y'all, you remember to tell any outsider who doesn't 'get it' just that. With times being what they are and still they made such a magnanimous gesture. I heart all you guys, you know it.

Unlike DEAC, this outtake is written in third person POV. It's the way it came to me, and I have learned not to question instinct when it comes to stuff like that. Basically, it's the way I had to write it, so that the reader could feel our vampire's perspective. He is the star of this particular show, the Eric/Sookie role-playing in the French Quarter I talked about before. It takes place after Chapter 54, but before the epilogue and the trip to Norway, so, no, they are not married yet.

I do have to warn you if you haven't read DEAC, this might not make any sense to you. If you need to refresh, Chapter 43 holds the original reference, (Beau Sinclair's book had the photo of Eric in full dress, remember?), and you might want to look it over. Due to possible copyright infringements, names of certain characters are not used, more details posted on my profile.

To clarify, Eric and Sookie are role-playing; he is reprising his role as another well-known blond vampire who lived in New Orleans in the eighteenth century, (and he has been hired to play the part of that vampire at the Halloween Ball), and Sookie is the bodice-ripped damsel he is chasing through the streets.

I know my girls probably wish I'd shut up and get on with it. My friend Wanda W. stepped up from retirement and beta'd this piece, and I can't forget her.

I miss you all already, truth be told. Take care, misscyn

Death Eatin' A Cracker Outtake


At three in the morning, most of the Halloween revelers were gone, although a few stragglers remained here and there. In this particular portion of the French Quarter, however, the vendors had long closed, and the street appeared mostly empty. The blonde-haired woman in the long billowy dress ran breathlessly down the cobbled stone, looking over her shoulder every few seconds, her eyes wide with fear and anticipation.

Dawn would be here in a few hours. The vampire needed to feed.

The street lamps dimmed as the night went on, and gargoyles cast long shadows against the ground, mocking her. Were they not supposed to protect from evil?

She'd watched him from a distance all evening at the Halloween ball. It was a traditional masque this year, the costumed women fawning and falling all over him. The attraction, the connection between them, could not be denied, but they stayed apart, circling each other, waiting.

She wore a dress she'd picked for a photo shoot once, a blue gown with a long rustling skirt and a low-cut, push-up bodice, the little sleeves pushed half-way down her arms. Although it was supposedly a period piece, she'd mentally dubbed it her 'street wench' get-up, and the name stuck. Still, with her hair long and loose, the look suited her.

Even though it was a predominately vampire event, several others attended, and at least a dozen Little Red Riding Hoods roamed the streets with their Were escorts, some in full-fledged shift.

But as vampires were the main attraction, many of the women had gone to great expense and trouble, complete with elaborate dress and accoutrements. One particularly fetching strawberry blonde wore a wedding gown, not a parody, an honest-to-goodness Vera Wang creation of blush and off-white silk, setting off her tawny complexion and clear green eyes just so. A timeless and well-educated beauty, she'd ditched her husband and four children in Chicago to attend this event, and she wasn't taking any prisoners. Needless to say, he'd danced with her more than once.

Next was the dark-haired, mocha-skinned woman in the BDSM-motif red leather and black lace gown, complete with black patent leather stiletto heels. The tight corset set off a rack that could only be described as spectacular, and the deep slit up the back of her gown did not escape the vampire's attention. She had a wicked sense of humor, coupled with a melodic laugh, and she'd amused him for a good part of the evening. This one had been especially forward, grazing his backside with her hands and 'accidentally' pressing her impressive breasts against his chest during their dance.

Then there was the organizer of the affair, a statuesque, also well-endowed woman, dressed in an obviously expensive, hand sewn silk kimono, her glorious waist-length auburn hair loosely upswept with Kanzashi lacquered wood hair ornaments. She was a touchy-feely type, grazing her fingers across his knee as they discussed 'business' at various points during the night. She and the vampire were long-time acquaintances, and she missed no opportunity to tell everyone at the ball that they knew each other very well.

Not to forget the icing on the cake, the freckle-faced gypsy fortune teller with the shiny dark brown hair and big, luminous eyes, who grabbed his hand between hers and caressed it slowly, studying his palm a bit too long. "I see you in the bed of a mature woman who knows how to appreciate you," she drawled with a highly suggestive wink, running her fingers slowly back and forth across his hand.

The street wench was not amused.

He'd flirted and carried on back with the women—it was part of the duties, after all. And the ladies certainly deserved his attentions. They had paid a generous price for admission, and promptly, at that.

Even though she knew this, repeated this mantra again and again in her head, still it angered her. And the girl in her soul reacted viscerally, flirting back with the faux vampires in attendance, as well as the real. She'd smiled extra big at the vampire's well-known associate, the planter, whose dark eyes had glittered and fangs extended in appreciation as he swung her about the dance floor.

And even though he had eventually laughed the others off and politely pushed them away before things went too far, the mere spectacle of it made a sour taste in the blonde's mouth, made her belly clench. Still she kept her distance; that was the agreement. He was grand master of the affair, and the undisputed center of attention, after all.

She'd felt his eyes burning into her from time to time, but she refused to acknowledge him, even though she knew he would make her pay.

He had noticed, of course, narrowing his gaze at her actions, but maintaining his distance as well.

He knew his time would come. A sweet revenge, served a wee bit chilled, would indeed be best.

When the ball ended she'd dallied with her friends for some time, eventually wandering away on her own to roam the streets. The French Quarter had so much to see, so many items of interest. Although she knew it was dangerous to walk the streets alone, she'd been at it for over an hour before he flew in front of her.

But she was never alone. She could feel him following from a distance, the whole time. She'd never been in any real danger. Other than from him, that is.

Every whisper of a sound made her jump. She moved forward, steadily, in spite of her fright. Suddenly a whoosh of wind surrounded her, and then right before her, he stood. Her mouth dropped open involuntarily as she took him in, almost as if it was the first time. Shiny blond hair sprung forth in loose waves from the masculine forehead, the strong jaw line, high cheekbones and long nose emphasized by the shadows.

He was huge, a monster of a man, his arms almost as big as her thighs, nearly bursting through the ice blue brocade jacket, the ruffles of his shirt at his throat only emphasizing his raw male power. Her eyes drifted down to the snug winter white britches, and she gasped at what they could not hide.

"I know who you are," she whispered, defiantly meeting his crystal blue eyes with her own.

"Do you?" his dark voice rang out in the night as he quirked an eyebrow at her, one corner of his mouth lifting in a smile. "Then you know what I want." He stepped forward, and she stepped back.

Her bravado faded as her stomach sank. She knew she was in over her head, but she would not go down without a fight.

She raised her chin and looked down her nose at him as best she could. "My friends are back at the inn, and they are expecting me," she said. "They will come looking."

"They will not find you," he countered with an evil grin. "And if they do, it will be too late."

Her courage left her as she wrung her hands. "I shouldn't be out this late," she whispered again. "My Gran always told me nothing good happens after midnight."

"Unfortunately, your Gran," here he reached out and traced the curve of her cheek with his index finger, "never met me."

She jerked away from his hand. "She knew of your kind," she snapped. "She knew what you are, just as I know what you are now. I have met your type before."

He drew himself up to his full height and towered over her, imposing, terrifying, threatening. Her mouth went completely dry.

"You may have knowledge of the undead, you silly woman, but you have no knowledge of me, or you would not speak to me so rashly," he snarled. "As far as any other vampire you may be acquainted with, it would be foolish to judge me by their standards. Let me assure you, little mortal; I am one of a kind."

She searched his eyes, and found nothing human there.

"It's really you," she said, once again breathless.

"The one and only," he smirked, drawing closer.

She leaned back, her eyes darting about. There must be a way out, an escape. She continued to retreat until her back hit a black wrought iron railing. He moved forward slowly, gracefully, as if he had all the time in the world. He stopped in front of her and grasped the railing beside her shoulder with one hand, lowering his head to within a hair's breadth of hers.

She wracked her brain desperately. His presence intoxicated her, the electricity he emitted making it so very hard to think.

"Where's your friend?" she blurted as her muddled mind failed her. He raised an eyebrow.

"The dark-haired vampire, the farmer who abhors violence and bemoans his fate," she clarified.

He threw back his head and roared with laughter, the raucous sound echoing down the empty street.

"Where's my friend?"He mocked as her color went higher."Do you think he will stop me?" He turned his head so that his hair brushed her forehead. Their lips were mere millimeters apart. She stifled a whimper, and he laughed, low in his chest, before moving back a couple of inches. She swallowed loudly as he fixed her with his stare.

"Pray, what would the planter do—what is the human expression—'piss and moan'?" His beautiful lip curled cruelly once again. "Perhaps you are hoping he will whine at me until I lose my appetite?"

She turned her head away, to no avail. He drew his cool finger along her chin and turned it back.

"I have gone far too long without sustenance," he murmured, nuzzling lightly along her neck as he inhaled deeply. Her heart beat without restraint against her chest; surely it would stop altogether if he continued.

His hand moved lower, lightly tracing her décolletage along the neckline of her blouse. Her nostrils flared as she tried to control her response. He chuckled darkly, running just the tips of his fingers back and forth. She bit the inside of her cheek, still fighting him.

"And you smell far too good." He moved forward, grasping the railing in both hands now with her body between, blocking her in. "The farmer cannot help you now."

She backed up farther, her backside touching the stone wall beneath the railing. She found herself, literally, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her eyes drifted down to the front of his britches again. A very hard place.

Her neck quivered as she swallowed once more in fear mixed with anticipation. The vampire chuckled again, and touched her neck right where it trembled with his lips, drawing them softly back and forth, not in any hurry.

He continued to kiss and lave at her neck, making it nearly impossible to handle any mental processes at all. She drew in her breath sharply as his tongue flicked her earlobe back and forth. She pressed forward and felt cool steel, hard flesh. Big. He was so big, bending over her. She felt her resolve failing, and rallied her strength with an effort.

He pulled back momentarily and looked as if he were going to dive into her chest. She seized the opportunity to shove him further away and duck under his arms.

"Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel, isn't it?" she challenged, her hands on her hips.

He crinkled his brow.

"I suppose. Although I'm not going to shoot you," he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her gently, but firmly, back into his arms, "and you are not a fish."

She hung back, although she knew full well resisting at this proximity would be fruitless if he set his mind to it.

"Care to make it interesting?"

"It's already interesting to me," he leered.

"I thought you preferred men," she taunted with a burst of courage, her head to one side.

"Not tonight," he replied with a flash of fang. If possible, his leer became dirtier.

"Give me a few minutes' head start," she said. "And then you move at human speed, no vampire tricks."

He regarded her skeptically, but said nothing.

"You may use your vampire senses," she conceded. "I know it would be hard to suppress them. But no flying, and no nano speed movement. Got it?"

He shook his head minutely. "Why would I agree to that?"

"To even the playing field."

"There's no way to even it," he said, quite matter-of-factly. "I have your scent now. You know how this is going to end."

"Are you afraid I might win?" she challenged again.

He leaned against the wrought iron railing and crossed his arms over his chest, regarding her with a cool gaze.

"If I fear anything, it would surely not be that," he answered, amusement evident in his tone.

They met each other, stare for stare. He seemed to reach an internal conclusion, and appeared a trifle bored with it. He gave an imperious little wave, almost as if he were shooing her away.

"Go now, brave one," he whispered. "I'll give you human speed, and seven minutes. The clock is ticking."

Without a word, she turned and ran down the empty streets, his laughter following her footsteps.

Her feet pounded the pavement; she silently congratulated herself on her choice of sensible footwear. Several minutes went by as she plowed forward, making her plan. She passed the Andrew Jackson monument and St. Louis Cathedral, its beauty breathtaking in the night. The statue of Jesus, hands outstretched, goaded her forth.

She started down Pirate Alley and instantly knew that she'd made a mistake. Her footsteps slowed as she pondered an escape route—there was none, the shops located tightly together—and then she saw him, waiting for her at the other end. His shape rose like a phantom, the gas street lights casting shadows across his features. She met his gaze with trepidation, but yet no little pride. It was too late to turn back, and she had nowhere to run. She finished the few feet between them slowly, with her chin held high.

"Poor choice of venues," he drawled as she reached him. "Now I've got you, and you won't talk me out of it again."

He picked her up easily and slung her over his shoulder, fireman-style. Instinctively she started to kick and beat against his back, but he silenced her with a swift swat to the backside. She yelped in surprise and—much to her chagrin—not entirely in displeasure.

"None of that," he barked. "I have been extremely lenient. You do not wish to anger me at this point."

The vampire moved fast to an alcove of the Cabildo, located next to the St. Louis Cathedral, just a little off the street. He deposited her unceremoniously in the lap of an elevated statue of Thomas Jefferson, effectively situating her just at waist height.

"You had your chance," he all but growled. "Now we're doing this my way."

She looked around wildly, her gaze fixing on the stone face of Jefferson, set sweetly in repose.

"But this is sacrilegious," she protested.

"Not yet," he grinned as he shed his jacket and proceeded to unbutton his shirt, rolling the cuffs up at the same time. "But it will be."

"What kind of creature are you?" she demanded, more than just a tad indignantly.

"I am a beast," he smirked. "One that you are about to have a monstrously good time with."

He pushed her petticoats up and raised her legs, putting them over his shoulders. He appeared completely composed until she looked closer and saw his Adam's apple moving just a little.

"Someone could see," she breathed.

"They could," he agreed. "But I don't care."

"They might stop us," she made a last-ditch attempt.

He barked another laugh. "God help them if they do."

He reached into her blouse and pulled it down along with her bra, exposing her breasts. Her bra strained as he cupped them, pushing them forward above the corset. He sucked a nipple deeply, then another. He smiled against her breast as he felt her skin dampen and her heart beat wildly against his mouth.

He rocked his hips forward in an uninhibited, wanton motion. He ground and moved himself, pushing, unashamedly rubbing and bumping, the steel cords in his neck bulging with restraint. She could not help but respond to him, but stubbornly held back, for a reason she could not name.

Perhaps it was the remnants of the earlier jealousies, and perhaps, just a bit, because he scared her a little like this.

She felt the cold marble under her ass and behind her back. He bent his knees and thrust forward with force, the hard surface bruisingly meeting her flesh, but she did not care.

"I could stop," he murmured, his face buried between her breasts.

"I have never forced a woman. There is no need."

"You have used your influence, however," she panted.

"That's just good business," he smirked, then seemed to consider something. He slipped out of character for a moment, lowering his voice.

"Would it make it easier for you if I did? More authentic, perhaps?"

She looked interested, curious even. What about that, he thought to himself.

"You will yield to me, fair lady," he whispered, looking deep into her eyes.

It was not a request.

"You need to let go," he whispered. "Drift away."

Her mind went back to a night of pain and revelation; it seemed so long ago. She looked into his eyes and felt the pull; down the rabbit hole she headed, the tunneled walls swirling, deeper, deeper ….

His eyes flickered. The pull stopped.

She blinked. "What happened? Why did you stop?"

"I don't want you that way," he said, somewhat gruffly. She felt, rather than saw, his mask nearly slip there again for a moment, before he set his features and scowled. His eyes roamed over his face, meeting her eyes last. His expression turned reptilian. She shivered in response.

"It's not necessary to use influence," he proceeded to unbutton his pants. The slow, methodical way he went about it did naughty things to her inside.

"You want this. You've wanted it all night."

"Yes," she said simply.

He reached between her legs and tore away her tiny excuse for underwear, little more than a purple ribbon and a two inch patch of lace, and tossed it in the air. It landed on Jefferson's nose and hung down like a trophy. She giggled in spite of herself.

He ran his hand up her leg and touched her intimately, his fingers sure and bold. He smirked at her readiness; she merely grinned back.

"A little too eager," he murmured. "Perhaps I should make you wait."

She leaned forward and licked along his collarbone, then grabbed his length in one hand, stroking smoothly, then roughly. He set his jaw.

"I don't care to wait," she said.

"Been expecting me, have you?" he growled.

"Yes," she hissed. "And you are rather late."

"How remiss of me," he whispered into her neck. He thrust inside her mightily, and she gasped at the controlled power behind his movement.

"I will have you and take you harder than you have ever been," he whispered, and somehow his breath cooled and heated her flesh at the same time. "And you will love it and beg me for more, and maybe I will give it to you," he pushed forcefully forward once again.

"And maybe I won't." He stilled and she whimpered.

He started again, driving into her over and over again, with her head thrown back. He was not particularly gentle and took her roughly, nearly savagely. She cried out, but there was no one to hear.

He slowed down, then sped up, teasing, and rubbing his hardened ridge against her soaked and heated, swollen folds. She nearly begged for more; he laughed cruelly, and then obliged.

He grasped her ankle by his ear, tearing off her shoe and throwing it behind them. He turned his head and licked her arch, sucking it lightly. She moaned loudly, and he did it again, pressing his thumb in deeply. With his other hand he worked his fingers over her center, in small, tiny, tight circles, then moving bigger and harder all the way, stroking the glands on either side, thrusting and then ….

And then ….

Her first orgasm widened her eyes and wiped her mind blank, exploding with white space and pleasure that rang on and on, trilling up and down her spine.

She found herself engulfed in the feel, the smell of him, the musk and spice and heady mix that only hard fucking produced.

Still hard, he began to move his hips in circles, building her again.

She threw her head back and focused on the three steeples rising above the Cabildo, against the night sky, as he impaled her again, and again. She clenched and bucked, spiraling but not arriving, waiting, wanting … his eyes shone bright in the light as she saw an anticipatory flash of white teeth before he bent his head further.

He slid his mouth and fangs down the length of her throat, and pierced quickly at the juncture of her shoulder, smoothly, a deft motion, perfected over time.

He felt the warm slide and she became all blood and honey; she felt the cool sting and he became all hard sugar and sex.

A lone saxophone wailed plaintively in the distance, punctuating their heated moans and groans.

He became all vampire at that moment, blood on his mouth, fangs still descended and shining in the Cathedral's light. He grunted loudly and kept up the punishing pace, the marble hitting hard, and she knew she'd have a bruise or two. It started to be just a tad painful and he felt it, reining himself in with great effort, a flicker of remorse in his eyes. She shook her head tightly to let him know she was okay, and she detected the relief as it crossed his face, briefly, before he resumed his pace, pushing her higher and tighter and higher and then—

She shattered, fragmented, and left that place, taking him with her as she crashed.

He let out a roar as he finished, and damned anyone who heard it. He held her limp body up as she collapsed against him, trying, at the same time, to quiet his own shudders and shakes. He licked his lips clean, and brushed her hair out of her face. They took a moment, a lovely, wonderful moment, simply to be.

Tenderly he drew her blouse up, covering her exposed breasts, straightening her skirt and petticoats, smoothing them down before attending to himself.

She smiled tremulously up at him, suddenly shy. He reached out and grabbed her chin again, pressing his lips against her forehead and nose.

"This is the part where I sweep you away to my lair," he murmured. She giggled in return, touching his lips lightly with her fingertips.

"But unfortunately, all I have is a rather elaborate suite at the Monteleone." He gave her a sideways smile.

She sighed in an exaggerated manner.

"It'll have to do," she said with a wink as she reached up and straightened his ruffled collar.

The couple turned in the direction of the hotel and made their way back at a leisurely pace, fingers threaded together, neither one quite ready to give up the night.


The clear moonlight illuminated the large and ornately decorated room in cool colors, all shades of blues and grays and whites, only the golden shimmer of their hair interrupting the scheme.

After their shower, he'd gone to the French doors to fasten the light-tight blinds in place, but the beauty of the skyline gave him pause. His eyes searched the horizon for signs of the rising sun as he calculated, near to the minute, how much time they had left.

"Lookie here," she called from the bed, the sheets drawn loosely around her naked chest. He turned around and leaned his back against the glass.

"They gave me a grab bag of Trick or Treat candy down at the front desk." She pulled out a miniature package of Fun Dip and waved it at him.

"It's like they knew you would be here," she chuckled. He snorted a laugh.

"Ah, here we go," she said, digging deeper. She pulled out a Blow Pop and unwrapped it, shoving it into her mouth. He lifted his eyebrows at her and with a devilish look she bit down hard, crushing the candy into confectionary shards against her tongue.

He wore a pair of faded jeans, no shirt or shoes, the tops of his boxers peaking out a bit. She'd brushed all the waves out of his hair after the bath and it swung against his collar bone in silky strands. He looked like a model, all abs and pecs and perfect teeth and hair, boyish and beautiful.

A knock interrupted their quiet and he crossed the room and entered the foyer area. He opened the door to find the curvy, petite hotel manager herself standing on the threshold with a smile. She handed him the bottle of champagne they'd ordered as well as the extra towels, taking in his naked flesh with her huge blue eyes almost hungrily, her gaze fixating on his package before drifting down to his feet.

The hotel manager had somewhat of a fixation for men with beautiful feet. And, as far as feet went, the vampire's were certainly the cream of the crop.

He smiled and offered her a tip, which she politely declined before turning and giving him a full view of her shapely posterior and dancer's legs as she walked away. He closed the door and turned back to the suite.

"That's it," his companion snorted from the bed. "That's the last floozy I'm putting up with tonight."

He eyed her indulgently.

"Don't give me that look," she snipped. "They've been all over you all evening. Ten times worse than Fangtasia, and these were no fangbangers. I thought I was gonna have to get up in that kimono chick's face if she touched your knee just one more time."

"Don't bad-mouth my computer girl," he said, proceeding to open the champagne and pour her a glass. "She can disable a malicious virus and protect a hard drive faster than Bill."

"Huh," she huffed. "There were so many lovely women there tonight …." she drifted off, looking at him wistfully.

"They were lovely," he admitted quietly. "And they also were not you."

Her demeanor softened as he crossed back to the window, apparently fascinated by the night view still. Their post-coital tranquility, interrupted by the delivery, returned, and she basked in the afterglow for a moment. After a few minutes he turned back around.

He wore a sometimes playful, sometimes thoughtful expression on his face as he watched her from a few feet away. She tried not to stare at his almost unearthly beauty, the cool colors of the night setting off the slight glow of his skin.

She suddenly had a nervous energy about her; sometimes sex—and being relentlessly stared at by an undead creature—did that. She set the grab bag aside and began to fiddle with the buttons on the clock radio as she swallowed the last of the candy, washing it down with the champagne.

He watched her fidget and wondered idly if she would ever know exactly what lengths he would go to in order to protect her. She, in turn, wondered if he would ever understand how much she'd come, in spite of herself, to depend on his strength.

"When did you know?" She peeked at him from underneath her lashes. He looked at her questioningly.

"You wanted me from the first night," she stated, a trifle arrogantly. She softened the statement with a shy smile. "But the second time we met, you just wanted my gift. I got a flash into your mind that night," she swallowed.

She'd told him that it happened from time to time before, but it still made her nervous to talk about hearing a vampire's thoughts. She ventured a look at him sideways, but he did not appear to tense at her words, so she went on.

"You thought you could threaten my family or someone I loved and get me to do your will." She watched him but no expression became apparent on his face.

"But you never did." She looked at him expectantly.

He shrugged slightly. "You had very little family to threaten at that point, even less a short time later, after Bill and Rene took action. And it was a method I resorted to, from time to time, but only if other options failed."

He looked down at his feet, then up at her again. "My Maker threatened my children and their progeny for years when I was a young vampire to keep me … useful and compliant, in several different ways." He let the words and their hidden meanings float between them. "I find it a somewhat unsavory, although effective, tool of coercion."

Something cold gripped her heart, and she felt an inexplicable rush of sorrow and anger. He'd been giving her these little tidbits of knowledge lately, just every once in a while since they'd grown closer, and she recognized them for how valuable and rare they were.

She also knew he would not wish her to escalate her reaction as the subject was distasteful, so with great effort she pushed the emotions down.

Finally she found a station and turned it up slightly. Elton John's The One filtered through the room.

She attempted lightness in her tone as she pursued her original train of thought.

"But when did you know you cared? When you doctored my wounds in Dallas?"

He rolled her words around in his head, pondering.

"It may have started in Dallas," he half-turned and pressed his forehead against the cool glass. "By Jackson, I was gone."

"Yes," she said, watching him languidly still, the sheets pulled higher around her breasts. "But when did you know you loved me?"

He quirked an eyebrow. "The exact moment, you mean?"

She smiled lazily and nodded. The lyrics of the song drifted between them.

In the instant that you love someone
in the second that the hammer hits
Reality runs up your spine
and the pieces finally fit

His eyes flickered toward the source of the music as he gazed back out the glass at nothing in particular. Something that he had not thought before clicked, and he knew. He nearly chuckled out loud with the realization. Instead, he rubbed his face with his hand and gave her a rueful glance.

"I suppose it would have been when that curly-haired vampire we met at Russell's was sucking on my neck."

She sat up a little then, her memory jogged. "I had thought he might have done that …." she pursed her lips, wondering, but wisely remaining silent.

"Yes, among other things," Eric replied, his eyes moving over the skyline again. She started to speak, though better of it, and looked at her hands.

"That makes sense. You told me it made you angry on the swing that time, when you realized you were in love with me," she finally said. "And when you brought me the keys to the Lincoln that night, you didn't seem too happy."

"I was not."

"You said you didn't like having feelings."

He shook his head. "And I didn't."

"So you like it now?" She tilted her head a trifle coquettishly to the side.

"It's growing on me," he returned with a wry expression. Something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye.

"A shooting star," he pointed to the sky outside the window.

"Ah," she craned her head to see. They watched the white light streak to the Earth together. "Expecting a visit from your girlfriends?" she teased.

"Not tonight," he smirked back.

She twisted her hands in the comforter as she searched for the right words. Guilt weighed heavily on her soul.

"You have sacrificed for me, done things that have caused you pain, and sometimes loss of face; I have cost you much more than money."

"Yes," he said, his features set sternly. "I shall require retribution, I think."

"When?" She looked alarmed.

"Whenever you're ready," he said in his darkest voice.

"Oh." She grinned then, and patted the bed beside her. "Whenever you are."

He smiled back but did not move, enjoying the sight of her, waiting naked in the bed.

"We could have been caught, out in the open like that," she sulked just a tiny bit.

He shrugged again. "It wouldn't have mattered. I would have just glamoured anyone who might have come along."

"I was letting you, you know," she said, watching him carefully. He waited for her to finish.

"I was letting you glamour me," she clarified, a trifle abashed. "You know, earlier tonight …." Her voice trailed off and he nodded as he shoved his fists in his jeans pockets.

"Why did you stop?"

"I told you," he replied, a trifle brusquely. "I didn't want it that way. I didn't want you—us—like that, even in play."

She brushed her hand across the silken comforter as she considered how much that admission might have pained him. She closed her eyes and sent him an image of himself as she saw him above her, in all his vampire glory, as they coupled at the statue. She wanted him to know, despite her pride, just how magnificent he appeared in her eyes.

He smiled with his eyes closed as he sent one back of her, in the throes of passion, leaning back and holding onto his arms for dear life, and another when they were walking together. He wanted her to see just how beautiful she was to him, not only when they were joined, but at all times.

"Have I cost you too much?" she pondered out loud, and her words jolted him out of his reverie.

He opened his eyes and grinned at her. "Not yet," he teased. "As of now, I believe you give as much as you take."

"Yes, but will you always feel that way?"

"As long as you keep your game up," he taunted. "You can start right now." He drifted his hand low across his abdomen and winked.

She snorted and rolled her eyes. "You are such a man."

"I am more than a man." He pushed off the glass with his shoulders and moved toward her in that languid, big cat way of his.

"I get that," she whispered, watching his shadow as he crossed the room to the bed, because sometimes looking straight at him was just too much.


Ending A/N My lovely bidders are responsible for this outtake's creation and completion. I thank you once again ladies, and Support Stacie thanks you. I will never, ever forget the gesture. You are each and every one a goddess in your own right, you are. Don't even try to deny it, because I know better.

Just a note – Although there are many statues in the Big Easy, the statue of Thomas Jefferson is a figment of my imagination—and Lanyap's, my NOLA consultant, who maintains such a statue would be conceivable, as the Louisiana Purchase was signed at the Cabildo.

The only statues right at the cathedral itself are one of Andrew Jackson, (too out in the open for Sookie, although I did consider it), and 'Touchdown Jesus', (according to Lanyap), and even a heathen like me couldn't desecrate that one.

I will be doing a Norway outtake in the future, but it's gonna be a while.

On a personal note, thank you to all the readers who have given reviews and sent me messages upon completion of my story. Quite simply, they were beautiful, and so are y'all. Peace, crunchers, misscyn