The morning sun shone brightly through the kitchen window. It was such a stark contrast to the night before.

After a quick shower and toast, I opened the front door for the paper and mail. A small wax sealed envelope with tiny scrawl was mixed in with a slew of bills and ads. I tossed the pile on the front table in irritation and threw myself onto the couch to examine the paper.

The paper was a favorite tradition of mine. The way the pages crumpled and the ink smudged almost made me giddy.

On the third page I spied an article about Fangtasia. "Blah, blah, blah… largest turn out for masquerade event at Shreveport's Fangtasia…. Costumers enraged after being dismissed from…. Closed early last night due to…" I found myself scanning the material faster, picking up mere words and strings of thoughts, "question of refunds… Owner and face of establishment…. unavailable for comment… unprecedented… vampire altercation… unheard of... local authorities have been asked…. Not investigate the… question of whether… parties are not pressing charges…. Affect the clubs popularity."

I slammed the paper down, feeling panicky and impotent, stuck in daylight when it seemed that only in the dark of night was is possible to accomplish anything. Frustrated by the futility of my rage, my curiosity, my anxiety, fear that Eric may have done something particularly dangerous, I took a meditative moment; I inhaled as slowly and deeply as possible, and must have sounded like a elephant with a severe cold.

I picked up the article and reread it, finding no real answers, only more questions. Who had fought? How were the people allowed to leave without being glamoured? Why did Eric close early? Would this affect the business? Where was Eric now? Was he safe and resting? Or was he in danger? Crap.

I rushed back over to my letter and ripped off the envelope hastily.

The scrawl inside was just as neat and tiny as the handwriting on the envelop:

We left things unfinished. Your ride will arrive at 7pm. Be ready then. Kom Gärna E.

I stared quizzically at the paper, as if I might argue with it.

I exhaled loudly, crumpled the parchment, and heaved it with all my might as far as I could. I would go. But, I would regret it, I was sure.

"It's a good thing you said please," I muttered under my breath, for only myself to hear.

(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)

I was ready at 6:30, but didn't want to seem like I was too excited about Eric's demands, so I putted around for several minutes when I saw the unmarked car with dark windows pull up the drive.

My cell chimed and buzzed. I checked the incoming text:

If you make me get out of this car, Breather, you will deeply regret it. Hugs, Pam.

No use keeping Pam waiting, she was usually only too ready to keep her promises, or threats, as the case may be.

I ran out the door and to the waiting car, sliding into the front seat ungracefully.

"Good evening, Pam" I muttered.

"Sookie. How lovely of you to be timely," she drawled, unimpressed. "Eric will be pleased to know you are just as terrible at following direction as ever."

"You'll be pleased to know that I don't care what Eric thinks" I spat back in anger.

"Please," she purred, "get feisty, I like you best when you're all puffed up and irrationally insubordinate."

I rolled my eyes.

"Dearest trinket, don't roll your eyes. I detest eye rolling. The last human that rolled their eyes lost them."

I stared straight ahead unblinkingly.

It was a long and insufferable ride to the bar. Pam opened her door and then turned to me off-handedly mentioning, "He's waiting for you in the basement."

Great. My least favorite place of all time: the basement. I had horrible basement memories. There were scenes tattooed to my retinas from the basement that might never leave me.

The bar looked much as it had when I had left it, save the caution tape, dim lighting, and lack of people milling about. It was clean and barren. Without the throng of crazed vampires, the place didn't look quite as threatening.

I was wearing casual flats and was unsuccessful in my attempt at stomping down the stairs. I was, however, successful in looking the angry teen part: arms folded haughtily across my chest, eyebrows sinking down my forehead, and a tight flat line of lips. I was a picture of, "I don't want to be here, leave me alone."

Eric was nowhere in sight. My show was wasted on a lack of audience.

I had reached the bottom of the stairs and turned in all directions. There was a note on the table.

Be here shortly, E

Oh, so he could show up whenever he deemed it worthwhile, regardless of my time? But, I had to be promptly on time? I went from irritated to red-hot anger in moments.

I was tapping my toes and blowing hair out of my face with a great exhale when I felt a rush of air as something whizzed by me in a blur of color and solid mass.

"My apologies. An important call" He smiled arrogantly. His teeth shown white and perfect. His leather jacket fitted just so. His blonde hair falling glamorously and his height towering left me breathless for a moment. And I hadn't even looked at his eyes yet.

"You're not excused," I stammered.

"Neither are you," he returned.

"Excuse you?" I replied, louder.

"Thank you." He smiled, overlooking the tone of my reply.

"That's not what I meant" I sulked.

"Semantics."

I rolled my eyes.

"Did you just roll your eyes?"

"Let me guess, you have a thing about that too?" I asked exasperated.

"Perhaps. How did you guess?" His fingers swept up thoughtfully to the hollow under his chin; perplexed, bemused.

"You passed it on to your progeny." I said flatly, re-crossing my arms and turning away from him.

We both paused, realizing we may be more stuck in futile conversation this evening than we had been last night.

"Is this where you went last night?" I asked.

"Yes."

"You didn't come down here alone." A statement. I knew it was the truth.

"You can not dictate my movements," his words defensive and short.

"It would seem not."

"Sookie, I'd like for you to be mine." He said, as if he were saying he wanted me to pass the salt. I felt him step closer.

I was about to reply something spiteful and angry, when I felt his cool fingers grace my lips.

"Before you say something I'm almost certain you'll regret, I'd like you to let me finish."

His words carried a kind of gravitas that was hard to deny.

"I know you think I am irreprehensibly evil; that you believe me to have no values; that you think I am untrustworthy and unkind. That I use women for sex." He paused.

"Well that last part may be true.

But, Sookie, I have never hated something so much as I do now. I hate being away from you. I hate not seeing how you respond or react to something. I hate not knowing exactly what you are doing when you are not where I can see you.

I think about you unceasingly. You're like this nagging, chirping bird, that won't stop. Constantly I hear you in my head. 'What would Sookie think about this or that?'

It's miserable.

I must have you as my own," he finished.