Close Enough

It was a strange thought, and it snuck up on Sookie before she even realized it, fluttering at the back of her mind like a moth in the dark. The moonlight was seeping onto the porch, hitting Eric's shoulders, framing his face and she thought close enough. The way they were standing, he was close enough to kiss. She quickly crossed her arms, shaking it off like she might have done to a bad memory or a foolish vapor. She was a mess, she decided, her heartbeat still irate from her being raided by a werewolf, firing a gun for the first time in her life and then burying the same werewolf only a short walk away. You would think that something like that would be enough excitement for at least a week or two, but Sookie knew better. She had only begun to unravel the trouble Bill was in, and she was going to get involved, no matter what. Eric had just declined her request to come with her to Jackson, not to her surprise. He had made it abundantly clear in what regard he held Bill, but Sookie couldn't shake the feeling that it was something else holding him back as well. She looked at him standing there, blood-soaked but still somehow managing to look stunning, trying and failing for the hundredth time to wrap her head around him. He would be of no help to her with this. Unless…

"If I do get in some kind of trouble, you'll feel it, right?" she said.

Eric nodded slowly. Although the sting of frustration was still there, Sookie felt almost reassured. After tonight, Eric actually seemed to be genuine in his efforts to protect her, and having a bond to him maybe wasn't such a bad thing…

"I feel something from you right now." Eric said, looking intently at her.

Sookie wrinkled her brow, wondering if a snide remark was in its place, but Eric was quicker.

"That you could really use some company."

His voice was without mockery, just as if stating the obvious. Sookie dropped her gaze to the floor. She hadn't had time to think about it, but as Eric said it, there was no denying that he was right. She was too anxious to sleep, eat or do anything at all, and to have someone around for a while… Sookie looked up at Eric again, resolutely taking a few steps back towards the door.

"I'll be fine, thank you." she said. "You can go."

Eric was in no hurry to leave though. He stood there, hands in pockets, holding her in his icy blue gaze. Sookie thought that she could always just turn around and slam the door in his face, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Not after he just saved her life, with a bullet in his chest that she had put there. She kicked herself inwardly at her inability to decide whether she had an angel or a devil on her doorstep. A smile played in the corner of the blonde vampire's mouth as he cocked his head slightly. The blood on his chin gave him an almost sinister look.

"Sookie… you know me." he said. "I'm a gentleman."

"You're a viking." Sookie snorted, raising her eyebrows.

Eric's smile didn't fade, but Sookie thought she saw a strange shadow fall over his face. When she tilted her head, it was gone, and Eric chuckled softly.

"I admit I've been a bad boy in the past…" he said. "…but I wouldn't do anything to you that you didn't want me to do. There is no fun in that."

Sookie didn't completely succeed in suppressing a grin. He was absolutely despicable. There were no alterations with him, no attempt whatsoever to hide his intentions. She was at loss of words, the sudden thickness of the night air brimming in her lungs. Eric gave a short nod and turned around, watching her over his shoulder as he started to walk away.

"Well then, if you are certain… goodnight." he said.

The words flew out of Sookie's mouth without asking permission from her brain.

"Eric, wait…!"

He halted, raising one eyebrow in forged surprise. She eyed him, tightening the grip of her arms across her chest just a little bit. The chirping of the crickets was almost deafening now.

"You can come in and get cleaned up, that's it."

"Okay." Eric smiled.

If he felt some kind of triumph he did nothing to show it. He merely walked up to her, his tall figure casting its shade on her as she held up the door. Sookie watched him as he went inside, with the lingering sense that she might just have done something very stupid, although she didn't really know what it was. She closed the door behind them with her eyes still on Eric's back.

"I hope you realize that I can kick you out on your ass whenever I feel like it." she said, fiddling with the handle. It badly needed to be switched out, as so many other things in her house.

"Believe me, I do."

Eric was looking at the floor but Sookie didn't grasp why until she nearly tripped in the puddle of werewolf-blood on the carpet. It had soaked in real good, and there was a smear of it on the floorboard from where Eric had dragged the body.

"Sorry about that." he said.

"Yeah…" Sookie sighed, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "The bathroom's through there."

She gestured towards the hallway.

"Can I call for you if I need any help?" Eric said velvety, his eyes gleaming.

Sookie only grimaced and waved him off. He smirked and sauntered down the hall as if he was a king in a castle. Sookie shook her head, only to catch a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror on the wall. She had a dumb expression plastered all over her face and she fixed it immediately with an annoyed groan. Something was very wrong with her, that much was clear. Maybe all the recent slaughtering combined with never having time to breathe had started to take its toll. Sookie stared at the blood-stained carpet as she took off her sneakers. She had lost count on how many times she had cleaned it, and she decided then and there to just let it dry and then throw it out. There had to be one final straw to everything. Instead, she walked into the living room. The old dresser by the window had a stack of Jason's shirts in it. She pulled out the top drawer and let her fingers slide against the washed-out fabrics. Her brother was as brawny as he was featherbrained, but she doubted that any of his shirts would fit Eric. Eric was much taller and his shoulders broader, his arms more massive… Sookie felt her cheeks redden. She could imagine Bill's reaction if he knew where Eric was right now, and it wasn't pretty. The thought of Bill sent a jolt of worry and guilt through her. She stroked the ring on her finger as if she could somehow reach to him that way. If only she hadn't rushed from the table like a crazy person that evening, maybe then she wouldn't be in this mess right now! Sookie stared at her reflection in the window. A part of her knew that she probably would have ended up in it anyway, because that was just the way it was with Bill, with vampires in general. Still, she had spent a good ten minutes in that restaurant bathroom before reason had caught up with her. Sookie's fingers stopped moving. Reason. That was it. Bill had assured her that he loved her, even if he lied to her sometimes, he could provide for her, and marrying him was the most reasonable thing to do.

Sookie grabbed one of the shirts without looking and heaved the drawer shut, but her thoughts were racing now and she couldn't stop them. She loved Bill to bits, but ever since she'd had Eric's blood a painful realization had started to dawn within her. If only a drop of Eric's blood could make her so drawn to him that she couldn't think straight when they were in the same room, how much had then Bill's blood affected her feelings towards him? And the whole marriage thing… she hated to admit it, but Eric had hit a weak spot when he brought it up. It was true, if she married Bill she would eventually grow old and die, he would mourn her of course but then he would be free to meet another. He had lived for more than two hundred years already, and had probably slept with more women than Sookie was comfortable thinking about. She on the other hand, would only have him… for the rest of her life. Could she ignore that fact? Could she ignore… Eric?

Sookie dug her nails into the fabric, glancing out the door towards the hallway. Eric was everything that Bill was not, the opposite of reason. Her first impression of him had been that of a cold-hearted animal, but that wasn't the case anymore, and she suspected that his blood alone could not take the full blame for that. She still saw him as reckless and devious, and the fact the she couldn't predict any of his actions was driving her crazy. Oh God, he was driving her crazy… Sookie closed her eyes as the sudden memory of one of her dreams about him washed over her. His strong hands around her hips, his lips caressing her neck, leaving her weak and aching… She would always have those dreams, and she would always wonder… Once, an evil little voice said to her, you would only have to sleep with him once and then never have to wonder again. Sookie's eyes flew open. Her face looked strange in the window, her eyes big and every inch of her skin was flustered and throbbing. She tucked the shirt into a bundle in her arms and marched down the hallway. The sooner Eric left, the better.

The bathroom door was open, the faint yellow light flooding out into the hall. Sookie walked slowly up to the doorway, peering inside. She had half expected Eric to greet her with a smirk and some lame joke, but he seemed to be lost in deep thought. He was leaning against the sink with his back against her, his black leather jacket and the ruined t-shirt resting on the edge of the bathtub. He had cleaned his face but the lower part of his chest was still stained with blood. His right hand was too, Sookie observed, and he was looking intently at it, almost as if he was trying to solve some kind of riddle. She frowned, and when Eric raised his head to meet her gaze in the mirror she was caught a little off guard. For a few moments, they said nothing. Then, Eric smiled faintly.

"Are you reading my mind?" he asked her through the mirror.

"You know I can't do that." Sookie said, leaning against the doorframe.

"It's just as well." Eric mumbled, turning on the faucet and placing his hands under the water. "You have seen enough blood today."

Sookie frowned again. The shadow she thought she'd imagined was back on Eric's face, darker now. She stood paralyzed, dazed at just how deeply his close presence affected her. Of course, there was her usual battle to not pay any attention to how sexy he was, something that had become increasingly harder ever since she saw him in all his naked glory down at the Fangtasia basement… but there was something else now too, and it went straight to her chest. Eric was hurting, it was radiating the in the air between them, and she might just have figured out why.

"The werewolves… they took someone from you, didn't they?" Sookie said slowly. "Someone you loved."

It was Eric's turn to be caught off guard. His left hand contracted around the edge of the sink as his whole body froze. He looked up again, into the mirror, into her eyes, his lips slightly parted. His eyes were suddenly piercing and Sookie felt like he was measuring her, measuring her strength. Her heart leapt against her ribcage but she looked back without blinking.

"I would have wished that you'd let it be, for your own sake." Eric said, turning off the faucet. "But that's not going to happen, is it?"

His voice was neither harsh nor soft and Sookie couldn't help but read a tone of alleviation into it.

"You can tell me." she said. "I can take it."

Eric gaze fell upon his hands again and an odd smile, deprived of joy, formed on his lips. His shoulders slanted as he started to speak.

"Godric was the only one who knew, and ever since he left…" Eric paused for a fraction of a second, but Sookie felt the weight of that pause like a rock in the pit of her stomach. "… it's been haunting me more than ever. Operation Werewolf, the wolves we were hunting, the ones that are hunting you now, goes back more than a thousand years. And the reason I know that is because they were the first werewolves I ever saw; on the night they killed my human family..."

Sookie hugged the shirt in her arms tight, her lips parting.

"Eric, I'm sorry…" she whispered.

The blonde vampire was quiet and his eyes had a veiled glow to them, as if he was still trapped in the memory. Sookie's lashes were suddenly damp, her heart heavy like an anchor deep in her chest. She had expected something like this, what she hadn't expected however was her own reaction. She didn't know what to call it. There were no words for it. The only thing she knew was that she needed to get closer to him. Without thinking she was on her feet, leaving the shirt in a heap on the floor and before she even knew it she was behind him, her forehead against his back, her breath ghosting over his skin. The air was so thick that she could have cut it with a knife. He was cold, but she was hot, so hot… her blood was churning, dancing in her veins and she closed her eyes, feeling Eric let out a shallow breath as his fangs emerged. The next thing she knew was the doorframe against her back, Eric's fingers tangled in the small hairs at the nape of her neck as he pressed her against him. Her heartbeats sent tiny ricochets to her mound, she felt Eric's arousal brushing against her hip through his jeans and it was too much… she wanted him too badly…

"Sookie…" Eric groaned into her shoulder, making her gasp. "You know I can't…-"

Her hands were around his neck, her lips trailing his cheek. Their eyes met, Eric's icy blue depths burning, his fangs gleaming in the weak light, and Sookie was on fire.

"Then don't…" she breathed, her world fading as Eric's lips descended upon hers.

The kiss was like a surge of lightning, and she lost herself in the amazing things his mouth was doing to her, his tongue invading her in a way that created an increasingly damper spot in her panties. It was raw and messy, unreasonable, just like in her dreams, only that it was real this time, making it feel ten times more intense… Her moan drowned against Eric's lips as his slender fingers traveled down her stomach, in between her thighs, stroking her aching nether region firmly through her shorts. She bucked against his palm, shivering now, her blood swaying so badly that she didn't notice Eric gently shifting her until she felt the edge of the bathtub beneath her bum. Eric's mouth left her to kiss the pit of her throat instead, and then he was down on his knees, his breath making her nipples harden as he caressed her breasts through the Merlotte t-shirt and Sookie grabbed the edge of the tub with both of her hands for support. Her legs opened up, allowing him entrance as he moved in between them, her thighs resting on his broad, muscular shoulders. She flinched as Eric ripped her shorts clean apart; only to almost tumble on top of him as his searing hot mouth found its way to her moist, lace-covered folds. Sookie threw her head back, her cry bouncing back to them as Eric tasted her, pulling her panties to the side with his fingers to give him access. She tangled her fingers in his blonde strands as he licked her hard and deep, making her soaked and trembling, a low grunt in his throat. She was close enough to beg as he used his free hand to unfasten his jeans, and when his fingers entered her, his tongue stroking her pearl ever so slightly, she couldn't help herself anymore. She looked down, locking her gaze with his. Eric's face was irate with hunger and arousal.

"So fucking beautiful…" he breathed, his voice strained.

"Eric, please…!" Sookie cried, and this time, Eric had mercy.

He pulled her down so that she was straddling him and Sookie clawed at his shoulderblades as he lowered her, at the same time grinding his hips upwards, claiming her with a single true stroke. Sookie's hair spilled over her back, her eyes falling shut as the sensation sent a raw flare of pleasure and pain through her, knocking the air out of her lungs. None of the dreams could have prepared her for this. He was too big, too hard, too perfect… Eric moaned into her hair, his hands locking around her hips, hitting her sweet spot over and over again as he rocked into her. Sookie's breathing came in ragged gasps as they begun a furious rhythm, each of Eric's thrusts sending heavy bursts of pleasure towards her center, and she was beside herself. She had never felt like this… so utterly lost, so immensely complete. One of Eric's hands moved up to her face, stroking her cheek, and she bent her neck, burying her face in his shoulder. His mouth lunged into her neck, his lips enclosing the shallow vein. His fangs sank down and Sookie dug her nails into his back as he hit deeper into her than ever before, sending her orgasm crashing over her, violently, making her contract around him in hard, wet spasms, drawing a high-pitched cry from her lips. She was still shuddering when Eric released her neck, wrapping his arms around her back as he pushed her down one final time, climaxing inside of her with a strangled groan. Sookie was blind and deaf and gasping for air, but she still felt his fingers in her hair, stroking her softly. Then, there were only his strong arms around her as she drifted away.

When she woke up, it had been dawn for a good while. Sookie turned to the side, trying to locate the alarm clock, to no avail. She crawled over to the edge of the bed, wrapping the sheets around herself as she sat up. She had a vague memory of Eric carrying her upstairs, and she could still feel the kiss he had placed on her forehead before he left. Sookie swallowed hard, staring down on her naked knees. Was she ashamed of herself? Yes. Was she going to cry about it? Maybe. Did she regret it? Sookie let her fingers slide against the side of her neck, feeling the puncture wounds from Eric's fangs, her whole body stirring at the memory of him.