*this fanfic takes place after vampires have come out of the coffin, but before Bill Compton ever walks into Sookie's life. I like to believe that if Sam would have acted sooner on his love for Sookie, they would be together. Enjoy.

Tonight was the night. Sam had been dying to ask Sookie out since the day she had walked into the bar asking him for a job, but he had never quite gotten up the nerve.

He also had a few things to consider. He was a shape-shifter and wasn't sure how she would take that. Word on the street was that she was a telepath, and he believed it. She had also handled vamps coming out of the coffin in stride, so Sam had confidence that if and when he told her his secret, she would accept him.

The other issue-he was her boss. She had made it clear that he was the only boss she had ever liked working for. He had a feeling that had to do with her telepathy as well. He didn't care, but wasn't sure she would be willing to even go out with him because of their working relationship, but he'd made up his mind to try.

She was off tomorrow, and so was he, and he had easedropped on her conversation with another waitress earlier and found out that she was just planning to curl up with a good book. He hoped she would change those plans for him.

The bar was busy that night, and he could tell she was tired when she came in his office to retrieve her purse. Now or never Sam thought.

"Sookie, you're off tomorrow right? Do you have any plans?"

Sookie couldn't believe her ears. Was he really going to ask her to fill in again. She always got asked first and could usually use the money, but it had been a long week, and she was looking forward to her day off.

"No plans," she forced a smile. Sam was so darn sweet it was tough to refuse him. "Do you need me to work or something?"

Sam could tell she was a bit irritated at the thought and smiled. She was so cute when she was angry. "No," Sam said. "That's not why I was asking. I was actually hoping that you would let me take you on a date tomorrow night."

Sookie was shocked. She had sensed Sam's crush on her but wasn't sure it was enough for him to act. Little did she know, Sam was all out in love with Sookie, but he worked to keep his thoughts guarded around her, knowing about her special skill.

Truth be told, she had a crush on him too, but she was worried if they went out something would end up happening that would cost her her job. She loved working for Sam and had to quit every other job because she could read her bosses minds. She worked hard to keep Sam's thoughts out because she liked him and waitressing so much.

"Gosh Sam," Sookie blushed. "You caught me off-guard. I would love to go out with you, but don't you think me working for you makes that kind of weird?"

Sam had been prepared for that answer and had a response ready.

"Sookie, you and I are both adults, and I think if we go out and it doesn't work out, then we are mature enough to continue being friends and maintain a working relationship." That was the serious part. He then lightened things up. "But trust me-I am certain you won't be able to resist my charms if you'll just say yes."

Sam's grin was darn near intoxicating, and Sookie laughed. He was right. Besides that, all the other waitresses had hinted to Sookie that Sam had a major crush on her, so she was sure they wouldn't care and would probably even love it if they went out.

"Okay," she said. "I would love to go out with you Sam. When you put it that way, how can I refuse."

Sam resisted the urge to jump up and down he was so excited. He played it cool.

"Great. I'll pick you up, say, around 6. We can go to dinner and a movie in Shreveport."

"It's a date." Sookie said before grabbing her purse and walking out. As she drove home that night she was already thinking about what to wear a little surprised at how excited she was. She had always liked Sam, and he was sure nice to look at, but she had always pushed the idea of being anything more than his friend and employee out of her mind. Now with a date looming, she felt giddy like a teenager. She hadn't dated very much and had close to zero experience with men. It's no fun hearing your dates thoughts, but with Sam, things were different. Both of them worked to keep his thoughts out of her head, and whatever she did catch was always positive and had never been cause for alarm. Sookie went to sleep that night dreaming of the possibilities with her handsome boss.

Sookie woke up around noon the next day. She had worked until nearly 2 am the night before and wanted to get her beauty sleep. She was going out with Sam tonight, and she wanted to look good. She ransacked her closet searching for the perfect outfit. It was summer and hot, so she thought a sun dress would do the trick. She picked out a white one with pink and purple flowers. It had thin straps and showed off her tan. She hung it on her full length mirror and picked out some shoes that showed off her firm legs. Pink wedges.

Sookie went downstairs still in her pajamas and shared lunch with Gran. She told her about upcoming date with Sam, and Gran was delighted. "He's such a nice young man," Gran said.

Around 2, Sookie trotted back upstairs to take a bath. She wanted to shave her legs and wash her hair. She took her time, using some bath salts she had gotten for Christmas from Tara.

Sookie dried her hair while her hot curlers were heating up, then rolled them into her hair. She knew loose, bouncy curls would result, and she would look beautiful. Sam had rarely seen her outside her waitress uniform and ponytailed hair, so he was in for a real treat.

Gran paused at her door around 4:30 when she had started to put on makeup at her vanity.

"My, my," she said. "You are really going all out for this my dear."

"Well Gran, can you remember the last time I went on a date?"

Gran laughed and shook her head. The truth was this was all for Sam, but Sookie didn't want to let on how much she liked him considering she was still coming to terms with it herself.

Sam was coming at 6, so Sookie waited until 5:30 to put on her dress and shoes. She tossled her blonde hair, and it did look great. Her heart leapt when she heard his jeep pulling up the driveway. Good grief Sookie, she thought to herself. Pull it together. She was worried about her excitement. Sam had asked her out and all, but what if things didn't work out or he didn't like her as more than a friend. She looked at herself in the mirror and hoped that wouldn't be the case. She looked great and felt great.

Sookie could hear Sam talking to her Gran as she was coming down the stairs. She could see him first. He was wearing khakis, and a light blue collared shirt. She had never seen him outside a Merlottes tee and jeans, and boy did he look good.

He heard her feet on the stairs and looked up. Sam's heart nearly stopped beating. Sookie looked so beautiful he could hardly breathe. As she approached him, he kept cool, learning forward to kiss her cheek. "You look so pretty," he managed to say. "Thanks," she said. "So do you-handsome, I mean," she blushed and they both laughed. "Well I think you both look great," Gran said. "You two have a good time. Don't keep her out too late Sam."

"Gran," Sookie whined. "I'm 25 years old."

"I know," Gran said, "but you will always be my little girl."

Sam jumped in. "I promise to take real good care of her Mrs. Stackhouse."

Gran smiled and Sookie hugged her. "See you later."

Sam and Sookie walked out to his jeep, and he held open her door. He felt like he might need a cold shower when he caught a glimpse of her slip from underneath her dress as she climbed in. Down Boy he thought. He shut her door and walked around to hop into the cab. He buckled his seatbelt and before turning on the engine looked at her and said, "Sookie, you really are the most beautiful girl I've ever met."

Sookie smiled bright, her cute gap showing.

"Thank you Sam. I'm really excited about our date."

"Good," he said. "I hope I don't disappoint."

Sookie didn't think that was possible.

They drove to Shreveport about 45 minutes away talking and laughing the entire time. They had always been at ease with each other, and tonight was no exception.

Sam pulled up to a little Italian place right at 7. "I made reservations here," Sam said. "I hope that's okay. I remember you telling me once how much you liked pasta."

Sam was so thoughtful. "This is perfect," Sookie said.

The host seated them at a candelit table for two, and they each ordered a glass of red wine. They perused the menu while the waiter brought their drinks and bread. Sookie ordered Chicken parmesean with angel hair pasta, and Sam ordered a steak.

The food came and was delicious. They shared a slice of cheesecake for dessert. Both Sam and Sookie were having a great time and thinking about how natural it felt to be together.

Sam paid the bill and they left around 8 in order to make an 8:30 movie. Sookie loved Matt Damon, and one of the new Bourne movies was out, so they were going to see that. Sam had researched the options before the date, and let her choose. He bought their tickets and asked if she wanted any concessions. "No way," she said. "I'm stuffed."

"Me too," Sam said, and they made their way into the theatre to pick seats. It was pretty busy, but they found some seats near the middle of the theatre.

Once the previews started and with so many other people around, Sookie could barely hear Sam's thoughts but he was definitely antsy about something. She let her guard down to listen in and figured out he was arguing with himself about holding her hand. She didn't want to freak him out too much by grabbing his, so she instead decided to make a small move that would hopefully make him feel more comfortable. She leaned over and kissed his cheek then laid her head on his shoulder. "Thank you for asking me out Sam," she said.

She felt his body and mind relax. Her gesture had done the trick. Within a few minutes, Sam reached over and laced his fingers through Sookie's taking her hand. She looked at him and smiled and he grinned back. They held hands through the entire movie and walked hand in hand back to Sam's jeep after the movie was over. On the way home to Bon Temps both Sookie and Sam were thinking This feels right. They talked about their yummy food and the good movie on the way home, once again never at a loss for conversation.

The light was off in Gran's bedroom when Sam and Sookie pulled up the drive. Not surprising considering it was now close to midnight. She had left on the porch light and some other lights inside to Sookie could see to get in.

Sam hopped out to once again to open Sookie's door and help her out. Who says chivalry is dead Sookie thought.

Sookie could sense Sam was nervous as he walked her to the door, and she was hoping that meant he was going to kiss her goodnight. She still wanted to be surprised though, so she didn't listen to his thoughts.

When they reached her door, Sam said, "Sookie, I had such a good time tonight. I hope you'll go out with me again."

Sookie smiled. "I'd love too Sam, if my slavedriver of a boss will give me more time off," she teased.

Sam smiled and moved in closer. "I think that could be arranged," he said. He had closed the gap between them and needed to make a move. He leaned down and brushed her lips with his gauging her reaction. He pulled back and smiled at her. When she returned his smile after opening her eyes, he went in for another kiss, this one much more than a peck. It was hot and passionate. Sam's hands tangled in Sookie's hair as she wrapped her arms around his waist. Their tongues danced as the kiss intensified.

Forgetting his manners Sam let his hand trail from Sookies hair down to her breasts. As his hand roamed, she broke the kiss and pulled back.

Dammit he thought. "Sookie, I'm sorry," he said. "I got carried away."

She smiled. "Oh Sam, it's okay,"she said out of breath. "I want too, trust me. I just think we should go slow. I'm really not used to this sort of thing." She looked down embarrased.

He lifted her chin so her eyes met his and kissed her. "No, I'm sorry. I promised myself that I would be a perfect gentelman with you, and I just broke that. You're just so beautiful I couldn't help myself. I promise to behave myself from now on. We can go slow."

She kissed him again, then said "Goodnight Sam. Thanks for a great evening." She went inside, and he heard her lock the door. He walked back to his jeep having to fight the urge to turn around and pound on the door begging for one more kiss. She had that affect on him. He drove home smiling. He hoped if this was a dream, he would never wake up.