Okay, so I will be responding to all of your reviews this last chapter. I really appreciate you sticking with me and seeing this thing through. I knew how the story ended but I forgot a lot of the details. It's funny to me to read it now and see so many things I would change because it feels OOC, but it would mean having to do a lot of rewriting if I were to correct it. So for those of you who felt these characters were very OOC, you're right. In my defense, however, I did note that in the very first chapter of this story before it even started. Anyway...I appreciate your reviews, favorites, alerts and everything else. It means a lot to me. *tears up a smidge* Okay...enough before I get serious cry face. I'll look worse than Sookie in last week's ep of TB. Yeah, it's THAT bad.

*puts on party dress* Okay, I'm ready for the wedding.


Chapter Thirty Six: Right Here In My Arms

I heard Jason coming into the house before I saw him. He was humming with as much excitement as I was and as he raised his hand to knock on the bedroom door, I heard him thinking, I wish Mama and Daddy where here to see this. He wasn't thinking anything I hadn't thought myself a million times in the last few hours, but it was sweet to know he was thinking it too. There was a quick rapping before he opened the door a crack. "Sook, you decent?"

"Yeah, I'm all dressed." I smiled at him over my shoulder.

My brother stepped into the room and smiled his mega-watt smile at me. "You look real pretty, little sister." He said with pride as he came into the room.

"Thanks, Jason." I stared at my reflection in the full-length mirror in front of me. "Who'd have thought when we were kids that I'd end up marrying a vampire?"

"Lots of things have changed since then." Jason sighed and sat down on chest at the end of the bed. "You're happy, right, Sook?"

"Of course I'm happy. Why would you think I wasn't?"

"I just don't want you thinking you have to marry Eric because he's the only one who can keep you safe." Jason admitted, looking glumly at his feet.

"Jason, I'm marrying Eric because I love him and because I want to spend my life with him." I assured my brother. "I thought you were okay with this."

"I am, Sookie, I am." He stood up and walked over to stand beside me. "I just don't want you doing this for the wrong reasons."

"I love him, Jason. What other reason do I need?" I shrugged.

"You don't." He looked at our reflections and put a protective arm around me. "I got my speech all wrote out for the ceremony. I wanted to let you read it, but I thought you might want to be surprised by what I have to say. I promise I'll behave myself." Jason said when I looked at him questioningly. "Wait until you see the yard."

My face lit up at mention of Eric's secret project. "Looks good, huh?"

"Looks amazing. I can't believe he did it all in one night." Jason was impressed with a vampire, which was certainly something new. It wasn't so long ago he was following around those morons from the Fellowship of the Sun, condemning all non-humans to horrible painful deaths. "For what it's worth, Sook, I think he really loves you too."

"He better." I smiled at my brother and there was another knock on the door. I hadn't sensed the approaching brain, which told me my visitor was vampire. "Come in Pam."

"We are ready to start." She told me, smiling when she saw me.

"Thanks." I felt my heart leap into my throat. Pam disappeared, but didn't bother to close the door. "Did you give Eric his gift?"

"Of course." Jason's eyes had bugged out of his head when I had given him a sword to give to Eric. But then I explained that it was a traditional gift for a wife to give a husband back when Eric was a human. I assured him Eric wouldn't be using it to massacre any of the human guests and Jason seemed to lighten up a bit. "You glad to have your talent back?" My brother asked.

"It was rough at first, but I'm coping." I smiled down at my feet.

As a gift to me, Eric had asked Pam's magically inclined friend Amelia to see what she could do about restoring my telepathy. It was an unexpected gift, and at first I wasn't sure I wanted it back. I'd gotten used to the quiet in my head, but I also knew that being a telepath was a part of me and I missed it quite a bit. Not to mention, it meant that I couldn't be glamoured ever again and that would make Eric's job that much easier when it came to keeping me safe. So, I'd consented to letting Amelia work another spell on me. At first, I'd had an awful time being anywhere other than with Eric. I wasn't used to flexing that mental muscle to keep the thoughts out of my head anymore and it took several visits at work from Eric and Pam before I was able to restore order in my head.

I'd never really thought of Pam as a friend up until recently, but she had become a valuable asset to me. Part of me assumed she was so nice to me because of Eric, but I wanted to believe it was more because we just seemed to understand each other in a basic kind of way. As it was, she was standing up as my maid of honor, while my brother was Eric's best man. As much as Eric and I wanted to keep the ceremony just to the two of us, we had to have witnesses there to sign our marriage certificate. Since it was important to the old Norse traditions that a male member of the bride's family be there, I'd asked my brother. Pam was the only thing remotely close to family that Eric had, so of course, she was the obvious choice for him.

I picked up the small crown of flowers I'd ordered and I placed it on my head. I couldn't imagine wearing one of the traditional headsets a Norse bride would have worn, so this would have to do. I picked up a small pile of cloth and Jason looked at me curiously. I wasn't going to be carrying a bouquet of flowers the way your average bride would be. There was no need for them in the sort of ceremony Eric and I were having. I'd done some research on the internet after a few of Eric's tutorials, and I was able to find out some information on Norse weddings. Although he'd insisted it wasn't important to him to incorporate those things, I could tell that it was. Since I was a Christian, but not real religious, I didn't mind that we weren't getting married in a church. The important thing was that we would say vows to one another, and we would take them seriously. I didn't care who witnessed them, so long as they were said.

Jason walked me through the house, and left me in the kitchen with Pam, since I didn't need someone to walk me down the isle. In fact, I wasn't sure there would even be an isle. The curtains in the kitchen were closed so I couldn't see outside. Eric had been giddy like a little kid with the thought of being able to surprise me with whatever he had come up with for this ceremony. Pam looked me over from head to toe and she adjusted my hair just a bit.

"You look stunning, Sookie." She smiled at me with approval.

"Thank you, Pam." I smiled in return. She was wearing a crimson colored dress that was cut into a replica of the dress I was wearing. Only Pam's dress was velvet, and therefore, much warmer than my own would be.

Her face brightened a bit more, her milky white skin glowing against the deep red of her dress. "It's time."


I felt my heart leap into my throat and I watched as she walked out the kitchen door and onto the mud porch. I went to the refrigerator to retrieve a golden apple I'd bought just for the wedding and I put it on top of the cloth I was carrying. I waited a few seconds before following Pam out onto the mud porch. The second I stepped out I could see the yard. It was breathtaking. Eric had strung lights up over all of the trees, creating a soft white wall of light and the ground was sparkling. It took me a minute to realize it was gold dust I was about to step on. There were candles lining the path I would walk from the house to where he was standing. The ceremony was being performed by a justice of the peace, since vampires couldn't perform human weddings (at least not yet).

My eyes connected with Eric's as I walked toward him. He was wearing a lovely black suit with a red tie the color of Pam's dress. The sword I'd given him was strapped to his side, but it didn't look nearly as out of place as I'd thought it would. I paid close attention to his expression as I walked toward him because that was the one thing I could never quite imagine as a little girl. I would imagine what my dress would look like, or how many bridesmaids I'd have, or even what the cake would taste like on my wedding day. But since the man I was marrying was always a faceless one, I could never quite see what I wanted his face to look like when he saw me coming toward him. But the look on Eric's face was perfect and it made my heart swell. He looked sure. He looked happy. He looked like he was in love. I couldn't have asked for anything more than that.

I felt my lower lip tremble just a little and I was glad I had tucked some tissues under my watch the way my Gran used to do. I made a quick stop at the small table that had been put outside and draped with a beautiful tablecloth. As was custom, I placed the apple on it as an offering for the Norse Goddess Idunn, who would always make me beautiful and fair in Eric's eyes. I smiled at Eric as I turned to walk back to him and his smile was as bright as my own. The first part of the ceremony required us to exchange gifts that expressed our livelihoods. Since Eric and I were in relatively similar businesses it seemed almost pointless, but I knew our gifts would be very different. They were also more symbolic than anything else. He presented me with a beautifully engraved pewter flask, while I gave him the material in my hands.

"An apron?" He arched an eyebrow at him in a peculiar way, but he smiled nonetheless.

"Well, it's not just about my work at the bar. It's about my responsibilities in the home." I said, which seemed to catch him off guard. Not that I was signing up to be his cleaning woman specifically, but I knew there was no way Eric was ever going to just volunteer to vacuum the living room, or wash the kitchen floor. I didn't mind doing those things so long as it didn't go unappreciated, and Eric understood that.

Even the justice of the peace seemed a little surprised by my gift, considering I was marrying a vampire. Our ceremony was steeped in tradition, considering how untraditional the entire concept of our marriage really was. Our vows were going to be pretty traditional as well. We wouldn't be mentioning anything about me promising to let Eric feed on me every night for the rest of my life, or him promising he would mow the lawn every Sunday. After the justice of the peace said the usual opening remarks for a wedding, he turned to Eric and I, and asked us the question that was most crucial to the whole ceremony.

"Eric and Sookie, do you come of your own free will to ratify the bond already made between you in the sight of this company?" He asked, and in his mind, I knew he was half expecting me to pipe up and admit I had been glamoured into marrying Eric, but nothing could further from the truth.

It was very important that both parties be willing in a marriage, according to Norse tradition, and I was definitely willing. "I do." Eric and I said simultaneously.

"What gifts and resources does each partner bring to this alliance?" The Justice asked, and it was Jason's turn to talk.

"Eric is a worthy man." He started, which sort of floored us both. "He is loyal, respectful and protective. He will regard my sister's life as if it were his own. To this union, he brings the wisdom of his many years," This made all of us laugh quietly, including the justice of the peace. Leave it to my brother to remind us all of the huge age difference between Eric and I, even if we looked to be about the same age. "As well as a pure intent. Above all, Eric is ready to take on the responsibility this marriage offers."

Believe it or not, Pam actually had little pools of red in the corners of her eyes. While Pam could be enthusiastic from time to time, and she was certainly sarcastic on a regular basis, I never would have pegged her for a romantic. But I'll be darned if her voice didn't crack once or twice as she spoke for me.

"Sookie is a worthy woman." She started the same way as Jason had. "She is kind, generous, devoted and faithful. She will regard Eric's life as if it were her own." I was thankful she didn't call Eric her Maker or her Master, as that would have raised an eyebrow from the Justice who was overseeing this ceremony. "To this union she brings heart and soul, as well as strength and courage. Above all, Sookie is ready to take on the responsibility marriage offers."

It was nice to hear such wonderful things said about us both, especially considering who they were coming from. Jason had made an effort to try to get to know Eric a bit better. He'd been disappointed to discover he wouldn't be getting the benefit of drunken wedding sex with Pam since she wasn't into men, nor did she have a pulse. My brother might be willing to friend a vampire now, but I didn't see him getting into a relationship with one after all he'd been through. Even if he was over all the garbage that FotS had put in his head, he was still too troubled by the things that had happened in his own past to really let a vampire get close to him in an intimate way.

"The binding of hands represents the binding of lives." The Justice said as Eric produced a chord I hadn't known was there under his jacket. The cord was wrapped around each of our left wrists so that our hands were connected. Eric and I turned to face one another and he pulled the sword that was strapped to his waist from the sheath it was in. Our wedding rings were dangling from the handle of the sword. He plunged the sword into the earth between us and he removed my ring first. We turned our hands so that he could slip the ring on my finger.

"I, Eric, do pledge you, Sookie, to live as your husband." His accent was a little thicker than usual, which would have told me his emotions were running high, even if I couldn't feel them. "Your hearth shall be my hearth, your board shall be my board, your bed shall be my bed. For your loyalty I shall return love, and for your love grant you my loyalty. What I give to others shall not deprive you. What I gain from others I will share. In weal and woe we shall stand together as comrades and lovers, together we shall walk life's way. Upon the circle of life I swear it."

I removed his ring from the other side of the sword and put it on his finger. "I, Sookie, do pledge you, Eric, to live as your wife." I smiled at him and laced the fingers of our left hands together, squeezing his palm against my own as hard as I could. "Your hearth shall be my hearth, your board shall be my board, your bed shall be my bed. For your loyalty I shall return love, and for your love grant you my loyalty. What I give to others shall not deprive you. What I gain from others I will share. In weal and woe we shall stand together as comrades and lovers, together we shall walk life's way. Upon the circle of life I swear it."

"Whenever a marriage is made, the partners bring to it not only their bodies and spirits and worldly goods, but their family and friends. I ask you who have come to witness this wedding whether you will love the two as you have loved each one, whether you will encourage and support them in keeping the vows they have just made, and whether you will extend your friendship to those with whom this marriage connects you?" The Justice looked back and forth between Jason and Pam.

"We will." They both said.

On the table where I had put the golden apple, Pam retrieved a goblet and a small plate that held a seed cake that she, herself, had baked for the wedding. It was about the size of a pancake, and made with a similar batter, except Pam had added honey and poppy seeds to it. This was another symbolic tradition. The cake was meant to symbolize the sweetness and fertility of marriage, even though I was quite certain Eric and I would never have a child of our own. He dropped a piece of the cake on the ground as an offering (which was something I found out later. I thought it was just a goof on his part), and then he fed a small piece to me. It actually wasn't horrible, and back when Eric was married as human, it was probably quite tasty. But people didn't know of triple chocolate fudge cakes back then.

After that, it was customary for a couple to share a horn of mead, but since Eric couldn't drink anything other than blood, this would be a blood ritual. Yep, that's right, I drank blood at my wedding. It was Eric's blood, as a matter of fact, since it would have taken too much of mine to fill the goblet, and his was more easily replenished than my own. There was no way I was going to start drinking TrueBlood to make up for the supplies I lost, either. I had to draw the line somewhere, I figure that's a pretty darn good place to draw it. At the smell of the blood, both Eric and Pam's fangs ran out and I felt a twinge of fear from my brother. I smiled at him to let him know it was okay. Vampires couldn't control the running of their fangs anymore than I could control my heartbeat when something spooked me. It was just an involuntary reflex.

Eric took a sip from the goblet before handing it to me. I took a sip myself and almost immediately felt the effects of his blood in my body. I was perfectly healthy, so taking a hit of vampire blood was a pretty big deal. I handed the goblet back to Eric and he finished off what was left inside before handing the cup back to Pam. This was it. The ceremony was over.

"By the power vested in me by the State of Louisiana, I pronounce that you are husband and wife. By the vows here spoken, by the exchange of tokens, may the bond just made endure unbroken. Eric, you may kiss your bride." The Justice gestured to me.

"I love you, Sookie." He whispered to me, tilting my chin up toward his face with his fingers.

"I love you, Eric." I answered him, and when he kissed me, I never felt so peaceful.


I wasn't much of a drinker, but since it was my wedding I made an exception and had a glass of champagne. I was in the kitchen with Eric, Pam and Jason when the phone rang. The caller ID told me it was Sam. Not only was it Sam, but he was calling from his house on Friday night. That wasn't a good sign. That night would not be a good night for a tragedy, but I worried that was exactly why Sam was calling me. I picked up the phone on the third ring, and it sounded a bit chaotic around Sam.

"Sam, what's wrong?" I asked, bringing all the conversation around me to a standstill.

"Sookie, I need you to get down here right away." Sam sounded terrified.

"Sam, I just got married." I reminded him.

"I know, I know, and I'm sorry to bug you on such an important night, but there's a problem here, and I need your help." Sam sounded regretful for pulling me from my happiness.

"What's going on, Sam?" If I was going to abandon my little wedding celebration, I damn well wanted to know it was for a good reason.

"I can't really tell you over the phone. Just, please, Sookie, you have to come. Bring Eric with you." He said.

"Sam, are you in trouble?" I asked.

"Just hurry." Sam said in a rush, and hung up the phone.

My heart sunk as I replaced the phone on its receiver. "What happened?" Eric asked.

"Sam's in trouble. He needs our help." I said in a broken voice. This wasn't how this night was supposed to go. "God, why can't anything ever go right?" I asked, looking to the ceiling as if I were looking directly into the face of God.

"Did he say what's wrong?" Jason asked, and I searched his brain to see if he knew anything. As per usual, my brother- bless his heart- was clueless.

"No." I said bitterly, and then set down my glass of champagne. "Well, I guess we better get going." I sighed.

"Sookie, let the Shifter handle his own problems." Eric insisted.

"I can't do that, Eric. He's asking for my help. Let's just go see what the big deal is and then we can come back here and finish the celebration." I offered.

If it weren't for my already proven habit of being stubborn and determined, Eric may have wasted a little more effort trying to convince me not to go. Instead, he mumbled something in Swedish that made Pam chuckle. The four of us piled into Eric's large SUV that we had driven to Mississippi a few months before, and in no time, we were pulling up to Merlotte's. I didn't see a single car in the lot, or any of the lights on in the bar. Even Sam's trailer was dark. I scanned for brains nearby and that was my first big clue that something was definitely strange. There were too many brains for so little activity.

Eric grabbed my hand as I marched toward the bar. He was ready to defend me, just like he always was. "I smell shifters and Weres." He informed me, but I already knew that because of the brain signatures I had counted. I could tell a human brain from a shifter brain very easily and I assumed the flashes of red I was getting were the Were brains.

Eric opened the door of the bar and when he did, the lights came on inside. "Surprise!"

I was caught off guard by the sudden noise and I stumbled backward, bumping my brother. "Sweet Jesus!" Was the reaction they got from me. My heart yo-yoed from my feet to my skull and back again a time or two before I could move.

I looked from Eric to Pam to my brother. There were no clues from Jason, but Pam and Eric were smiling. They were in on this little plan and I knew right away it was a good thing they hadn't told Jason, or I would have figured it out much sooner. Sam stepped forward in a nice gray suit and as soon as I regained the ability to speak, I walked toward him.

"What is all this?" I looked around to see a large wedding cake on the bar and the pool tables covered over with various snacks and treats. There were decorations on the walls and candles on the tables.

"It's your wedding reception." Sam said as if I should know better.

"You're throwing me a surprise wedding reception?" My mouth hung open.

"I felt bad about the way I reacted when you told me you were married. You're my friend and you've always been there for me. I should be big enough to do the same. If Eric makes you happy, then that's all that matters." Sam said, causing tears to spring to me eyes.

"Sam Merlotte you are the best boss, and friend, a girl could ever have." I threw my arms around him and kissed his warm stubbly cheek. When I pulled back I punched his arm, careful not to go too hard since I had Eric's blood in my system. "And that's for about scaring me half to death!"

He smiled at me again, and pulled me into another hug. From there on I was passed around from one person to another, everyone wanting to know about the ceremony and see my rings. There were a few vampires in attendance as well, but they mostly kept to themselves on the other side of the bar. I would like to be able to say that the people I'd known for so long were able to put aside their prejudices or fears long enough to have fun at the party Sam was throwing for me, and some of them did, but most of them just kept quiet. As long as there was no bloodshed, I suppose I would call the whole thing a success.

Even more surprising, Eric was taking the whole thing rather well. He was being a bit more social than I thought he would be, and I was thankful for that. I knew he was just doing it for me, but that was just as good a reason as any. Lord knows I'd gotten involved with vampires simply for his sake a time or two, and I was sure I'd do it again in the future. But, that's what a marriage is, right? You do things you don't always want to do because it makes the other person happy. For Eric, that included dancing with me to a Tony Bennett song while everyone in the room watched and took our picture. Eric wasn't crazy about being photographed, but he understood that it was important to me, so he let it go.

After a few dances with a few other people, I excused myself to go to the ladies' room. I wanted to pull my hair up in a ponytail. It was awfully warm in the bar and all of the champagne I'd had to drink wasn't doing much to keep me cool, not to mention all of the dancing. I leaned against the old porcelain sink and took a few deep breaths. The bathroom door opened and I felt myself flood with happiness. I didn't even have to look up to know it was Eric.

"This is the ladies' bathroom." I turned toward him.

"So it is." He looked around as he pushed the door closed behind him and threw the lock.

"Eric, you can't be in here." I laughed, a little too tipsy to notice his fangs were out, but I noticed it as soon as he was standing in front of me. "Eric we can't have sex in here." I whispered as his mouth lowered to mine.

"Sure we can." He picked me up and set me down on the old heat register. Thankfully, the heat wasn't up too high or I would have burned myself. "You look beautiful, lover. Delicious, in fact."

"Thank you." I smiled up at him drunkenly and tugged on his tie to bring his face closer to mine. "If you can behave yourself for just one more hour, I promise to make it worth your while." I licked his fangs and I felt a fresh wave of lust roll through our bond.

"One hour?"

"One hour." I nodded, still holding onto his tie.

He smiled a devilish smile at me, and then said, "One hour. You got yourself a deal."


When the hour was up, Eric made it clear to me that he expected me to hold up my end of the bargain, and so I started to say my goodnights and thank you's to everyone who had attended the party. Sam promised to hold the gifts that some people had brought in his office until I could pick them up in a few days. Since it was close by, Eric and I would be spending our first night together in my old house. After that, I would be heading to Shreveport for a few days before going back to Bon Temps for Christmas. I couldn't imagine not waking up Christmas morning in my Gran's house. Besides, I had offered to make dinner for Jason, Sam and Tara, and I couldn't very well rescind those invitations just because my husband didn't eat.

Eric sped down Old Parish Road like he was being chased by fighter planes, but I couldn't really blame him. I'd had a whole hour to think of all the other things we could have (and maybe should have) been doing instead of mingling with random folks. There was a package on my front porch, and I knew the handwriting on the card instantly. Bill had been to the house. If it weren't for the fact that Eric was lost in lust, he might have been more angry about it. As it was, I simply brought the package inside when Eric carried me over the threshold of the house. I set the package down on the dining room table while Eric did a quick sweep of the house to make sure it was locked up like Fort Knox.

I stood in the foyer waiting for him to return to me, and he did with this hungry expression in his eyes. "Don't tear my dress." I said with a smile, since I was pretty sure the thought had crossed his mind.

"No harm will come to the garment, lover." He promised me in a predatory tone of voice that made my heart flip-flop and the space below my pelvis ache.

He glided toward me, and put his hands in my hair to angle my face before lowering his lips to mine. His need for me was obvious when he pressed his body against mine, and almost instantly, we were peeling off each other's clothes. I backed up toward the living room as he unzipped my dress carefully. He pulled it away from my body, allowing my arms to slide out of the sleeves before letting the dress fall around my feet. I stood there in front of him in fancy white lingerie that had been a gift from Tara. Eric licked his fangs in appreciation for the outfit I was wearing, and we went back to kissing as I unknotted his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. Undressing him was a much more time consuming process than I'd thought it would be.

Our mouths were exploring terrain we both knew quite well by that point. I nibbled on him in various places as his hands removed the lingerie I was wearing. My heart was hammering away, and it was the only thing I could hear aside from the occasional groan or sound Eric made. When his hand slipped between my legs I rewarded him with a firmer bite on the right side of his neck, and he growled at me. I smiled up at him with innocent eyes, and began to unzip his pants. When they fell to his feet, I swear my heart stopped altogether. Eric didn't wear underwear very often, which was just fine with me, but that night he was wearing bright red underwear that was definitely stretching to conceal everything.

His fingers move expertly inside my panties, and I slipped my hand inside his underwear to show him the same courtesy. Our mouths collided again, and we moved slowly from the living room toward the hall, and back to my bedroom. By the time we reached my bed, I was moaning loudly into Eric's mouth. I laid back on my bed, and raised my hips so he could remove my panties. As soon as they were gone, he sank between my legs, and let his tongue take the place of his fingers. His hands snaked up my body to my breasts, and it surprised him when I bent my neck so that I could pull one of his fingers into my mouth. His eyes flashed, and he turned his head to the side and began to nuzzle my thigh. His thumb took the place of his tongue, and just as I was starting to cry out, he bit my thigh. My entire body shook violently, and I accidentally bit his finger. He sucked on my thigh just a little bit harder, causing a delightful aftershock to hit me rather quickly.

My eyes were still closed, delighting in the warm that was radiating from deep in my belly when Eric positioned himself on top of me. He rubbed up against me in a teasing sort of way while he tongue was darting in and out of my mouth. My brain was soupy with booze and lust, and the only words I could find to say were far more vulgar than ones I would normally choose, but they seemed to be of great encouragement to the vampire who had waited patiently for me for so long. Still, he was enjoying the teasing portion of all this. He would push into me just enough for me to feel him, and then he wold pull out. He repeated this over and over again until I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I grabbed his hips, and raised mine to meet him, and I pulled him into me. I moaned loudly, and crushed my hips against his as he thrust into me. His lips never left mine, and we kissed until I couldn't breathe anymore. He held the back of my head, his fingers lost in my hair. When our bodies turned so I was on top of him, I stayed just as close to him, though his hands drifted down my back to my hips, rocking me gently. When he sat up, he moved me faster on top of him, and felt my toes starting to go numb from curling so much. I gasped against his throat, and then nearly screamed when my body tightened up and started to shake. I threw my head backward, and chest pressed against his when my back began to arch at an almost impossible angle.

My hips continued to rock against his until finally, I felt him explode inside of me, his arms tightening around me. He didn't bite me again, though I felt the pressure of his fangs against my collarbone. He fell backward, taking me down with him. I stayed there on top of him for a few minutes before rolling onto my side. He was starry-eyed and dead silent. I was still gasping for air, and wondering when my heart would start beating normally again. He traced a faint line on my side where Debbie Pelt had grazed me with her knife. Eric had healed me that night simply by licking the wound. The cut hadn't been very deep, and the coagulant in his saliva was enough to seal the would closed.

"So, Mr. Northman, was it worth the wait?" I angled my body closer to his.

Eric looked down at me and said, "That was only the beginning, Mrs. Northman."

I smiled to hear myself called that, and my smile only grew when I realized Eric was ready to go again. It was going to be a long night, and if our first night as a married couple was any indication of our future, it was going to be a very happy marriage.

-FIN-


So there you have it, baby birds. The HEA everyone always wants. Researching this last chapter was so much fun for me. There's a surprising amount of information available on Norse wedding traditions. The majority of the ceremony you read was one I found on-line somewhere. Sadly, I don't have the link for it, but it didn't just materialize out of thin air, either. Before anyone asks me for an epilogue or to continue this story in a sequel let me tell you that has already talked me into writing a follow up to this. I've started the outlining process but it'll be a while before I get the chance to start production on it. I need to confer with some people about my ideas and make sure it flows. If possible, I'd like to complete the story before I start posting it, so be patient with me. I've got a lot on my plate right now and it's only going to get crazier one the Sins Contest submissions start coming in.

I'll be posting a promo fic from the fabulous kjwrit in just a little bit that I think you'll all enjoy. If you haven't gotten into her work yet, what'cha waiting for? Trust me, baby birds, you won't be disappointed. Eric in dress blues? *thud* I rest my case.

Before I forget! There's a great challenge that was thrown down last night by the wonderful and MissusT (if you're not reading Leap of Faith or Halo Effect, you totes should be!) in honor of all the birthdays coming up in the Sookieverse in the next couple of weeks. So if you're looking for a way to honor your favorite fanfic writers on the anniversary of their entrance to the world, write 'em a fic. Trust me, us authors love it when you write us presents. For more information on whose birthdays are approaching and what the challenge rules are check out:

http:/www9dot)thesookieverse(dot)com/2010/07/let-them-eat-birthday-cake-challenge(dot)html

Again, thank you for sticking with me! Now I can get back to focusing on Hot For Teacher and Always For You (both of which will be returning soon, I promise!) If I could, I'd molest each and every one of your faces for being so awesome. Thanks for reading!

~Meg~