Sookie lowered the skirt of her sundress gently, wincing a little bit as the fabric slid across the scalded areas on her thighs. The skin there had taken on a strong shade of red and was stinging furiously. She wasn't blistering yet, but it was only really a matter of time. She sighed shortly as the pain echoed through her legs. Tonight had been the second time in her waitress career that she'd spilled hot coffee over herself. The first time had been due to lack of experience coupled with over-eagerness. This time, it had been because her mind was simply too crowded to allow her to perform even routine tasks. Sookie stared at her naked toes, her cheeks throbbing dully as she recalled the recent events.

After Pam had joined her and Jessica, Sookie's first action had been to try and get her interested in Bill's secret stash and the information she had obtained by uncovering it. Her efforts had been in vain. Pam had barely even raised an eyebrow, and when Sookie had urged her to call Eric about it, she had cut her off instantly and coldly. She'd told her that if this information was of any importance at all, Eric would already be aware of it, and the discussion had ended then and there. Sookie had then tried calling Eric herself, the traditional way, only to find that his cellphone was turned off. As the dawn approached, the physical and emotional strain had caused Sookie to fall asleep on the sofa, leaving the two vampires to their own. Her sleep had been heavy and dreamless. When she woke up, the sun had already set. All the time she'd spent with vampires had finally turned her nocturnal, which was ironic considering her previous addiction to the sun. She'd found Pam parked at the kitchen table deeply focused on her Blackberry. Sookie didn't know where she had slept but her outfit was as impeccable as the night before, as if she hadn't moved an inch. Jessica had been awake too but hadn't lingered very long before she took off to meet up with the dark-haired vampire she'd danced with at the Fangtasia concert. She had been excusing herself abundantly, but her anticipation had been apparent and Sookie had assured her that she didn't mind her going.

Left alone with Pam, it had taken Sookie little time to realize that she simply couldn't stand remaining in Bill's house as things were and she had rushed off to Merlotte's, with Pam following her like a swift but reluctant shadow. Sookie's plan had been to distance herself from all the unanswered questions by burying herself in work, which had only resulted in her now burned thighs. She'd insisted that she wasn't badly injured and that she could keep on working, but Arlene wouldn't hear any of that and had promptly sent her home. The new waitress - Holly was her name - had given her a homemade ointment to put on and before she knew it, Sookie was back at Bill's mansion, the last place in the world where she wanted to be right now.

Sookie let her fingers slide against the skirt of the dress, her teeth digging into her lower lip. The dress was in a yellow floral pattern on a white bottom, and it had been one of Bill's favorites. The thought granted Sookie a mixture of disgust and confusion. She no longer had any reason to believe anything Bill had ever said to her, since their whole relationship was based on lies. She had read his logbook over and over, trying to make sense of it. But the last few pages had been ripped out, probably by the person who had caused the mess in the study, and the last note was dated a couple of days before she met Bill. Sookie's cheeks burned as she contemplated Eric's theory; that Bill might have planned for the Rattray's to beat her bad enough to almost kill her in order to tie himself to her, maybe even hired them to do it. A few weeks ago, she wouldn't have believed it for a second, but everything was different now that she'd seen this hidden side of Bill that she had been oblivious to the whole time. What tormented Sookie the most though, was that she didn't have any idea why Bill had done all this. Looking through the study, it was clear that he had targeted her because of her supernatural abilities, but Sookie had turned the room upside down and she still hadn't found anything explaining why they were so important. Obviously, her mindreading skills could be of use to vampires, but were they really worth all this trouble? Bill had mentioned that her blood was delicious, more so than most. Was that all it was? Was she some kind of delicacy unheard of to most vampires and therefore considered a collector's item? Or did it have something to do with the possibility that she hadn't taken in fully yet; that she was in fact some sort of fairy? And for the love of fudge, who was "S.A"?

Sookie's train of thoughts was halted by the sound of Pam's heels pattering across the floor downstairs. She listened, but the steps died down and when nothing else was heard she lost interest and instead let her eyes rest on her coffee-stained garments that were spread out on top of Bill's bed. Whatever she might think of Pam, there was no denying that her presence made her feel safe; and that had probably been Eric's intention. As she thought this, Sookie became aware that even thinking the blonde vampires name was now enough to make her heart to do an extra leap. Gosh, I really am a lost cause, aren't I? she thought. Smiling wryly, she went over what Pam had said to her the night before, as she'd already done an infinite number of times. If she was to trust Pam – and Pam had always been brutally honest – Eric might be in love with her. The possibility made parts of her feel happy in a weird, girly way. She could not recall ever feeling like that towards Bill, and it was both thrilling and unnerving. To be honest, she was sick of vampires and the dangers she got in by being with them, and she didn't exactly desire to be in love at the moment, especially not with one of them. What she desired however, was Eric. She wanted him perhaps more than she'd ever wanted anything else, and there was little she could do about it. As Sookie went through her handbag for Holly's ointment, she found herself wishing that he was alright out in Jackson and that he would return soon, preferably with some useful information. She hoped that he hadn't gotten into too much trouble, given his temper and how infected his relation to Operation Werewolf was. Pam had refused to talk about it, but chances were that the werewolves were after Sookie for the same reason that Bill had been, and Sookie wondered if she was right in assuming that Eric already knew that.

Sookie unscrewed the lid of the small jar and took a whiff of the ointment. It smelled sharply of dead flowers, making her wrinkle her nose. She had just decided not to use it when the roar of an approaching car was heard from outside. Moments later, the entrance doors opened and she once again heard Pam's heels, now exiting the house. Agitation rising within her, Sookie turned around and started running down the stairs. Her bare feet moved swiftly over the old floors that stilled smelled of soap after her and Jessica's cleaning. As she came down into the hall, Sookie threw a glance at the door that led to Bill's study. There was a kitchen chair in front of it that she had placed there in some kind of childish protest. Shrugging, she kept on moving. Pam had left the doors open and the light from the hall was escaping out into the night. As she came up to the doorway, Sookie halted in a huff.

A Corvette, blacker than the night itself, was parked on the driveway with the rear facing the house, ready to take off. Eric and Pam were standing just below the stairs. A wave of warmth shot through Sookie upon seeing Eric, but it was soon replaced by apprehension as she noticed how tense he seemed to be. He was wearing a grey short-sleeved shirt along with matching jeans, and Sookie got the weird feeling that the outfit wasn't his, only borrowed from someone. He was discussing something with Pam in that odd, melodic language that Sookie had heard them use before on occasion. Pam appeared abrasive, shooting Sookie several cold glances as they spoke. But then, Eric said something short and filled with poignancy, at which Pam nodded and gave Sookie a final look before she took off in a blurring speed. Sookie tried but failed as always to follow the movement with her eyes, and as she moved her gaze back to the porch again, Eric was already right in front of her. His eyes were strangely vacant, as if his mind was covered by a sheet of ice.

"Let's go." he said shortly.

"What…? Where?" Sookie managed.

Instead of answering her question, Eric simply wrapped his right arm around her waist, causing her to yelp as he started to carry her down the stairs. She tried to wriggle her way out of his grip, but it was like trying to budge a mountain. His grasp wasn't hard enough to hurt her, but firm enough so that she couldn't do a single thing besides flailing her limbs around.

"Eric, wait! Let me go!" she yelled.

She hit the blonde vampire's leg with one of her kicks, only causing herself pain. Eric looked down at her, slowing his pace but instead tightening his hold.

"Don't think for a moment that I won't force you, because I will." he gritted between his teeth.

"I believe you." Sookie growled, her face darkening as all her pent up frustration rose to the surface. "But you're underestimating just how much of a pain in the ass I can be!"

She howled the last part, and she didn't know if it was her words or her volume, but either way Eric decided to put her down. She backed away from him until her bum connected with the rear of the Corvette that must be his. Eric stood silent, watching her as she regained her breath. The light from the house behind him made him appear even taller than he actually was. It didn't seem like he was going to harm her, and it wasn't exactly anger that he radiated, though he was clearly wound up about something. Sookie's chest cringed. This wasn't at all how it was supposed be; it was not how she needed things to be. As infuriated as she was by Eric behaving this way towards her, she still felt her blood swaying from his touch; the burns on her thighs only serving to intensify the throbbing in her lower body. Also, Eric's gaze upon her made her extremely conscious of the fact that she in her haste had forgotten the new pair of panties upstairs on the bed, and therefore wasn't wearing any. Damn him. Sookie pressed her lips together. Regardless of her own feelings, what she needed to do right now was to disarm Eric. Trusting Pam, Sookie had a major part in him acting irrationally.

"Look," she said, leaning against the car. "I'm sorry for being a bitch the other night, it's just that…"

My feelings for you are so strong that they scare me, she thought, but she was neither able nor willing to tell Eric that for the time being. Instead of finishing her sentence, she took a deep breath, locking her gaze with Eric's. He had raised his eyebrows slightly but apart from that his expression was as deadpan as before. Nevertheless, he was waiting for her to continue.

"If there's going to be anymore adventures, I need to know. I'm tired of people keeping things from me." she said, her voice steady. "I'll come with you Eric; but not without knowing the details."

Though Sookie realized that Eric could easily ignore her request (he was a 1,000-year old vampire sheriff for crying out loud) she put faith in the connection she thought had grown between them. Eric didn't say anything right away. He looked like he was having an inner debate, though it was as always hard to tell with him. The air around them was dense in a way that reminded Sookie of the night that she had let him into her house to wash up. This time though, there were no crickets, only the silence of the night. Finally, Eric spoke.

"Will you keep that sweet mouth of yours shut?" he said, his face just a little bit softer than before.

"I will do my best," Sookie said, blushing slightly without any real reason. "but as you know; I can't give any guarantees."

Eric seemed to contemplate this for a second. But then, he started walking up to her.

"Fine." he said, the tension in his shoulders decreasing but not fading completely. "I need you to listen now, and listen well, because time is something that we don't have right now."

Sookie nodded. Eric stopped an arm's length away from her, and yet his close presence made her whole body tingle. She unconsciously rubbed her thighs together as he crossed her legs in a way that was supposed to be casual, keeping her face straight.

"I followed the werewolf tracks," Eric said, "and they led me to Russell Edgington, vampire King of Mississippi. He has recently taken an interest in you; the reason being the same that originally caused Bill to pursue you. That reason is because you're…-"

"A fairy." Sookie filled in, her throat dry. "My blood… it has fairy in it, doesn't it?"

Eric looked perplexed.

"Yes." he said, a wrinkle settling between his brows. "How did you know that?"

"I found the… research that Bill has been doing on me." Sookie said. "It's extensive. It fills up a whole room."

Eric let out a short chuckle, shaking his head.

"Classy as always..." he muttered. Focusing on Sookie again, his gaze turned sharp. "Then, you also know why that is so valuable to vampires?" he said.

"No." Sookie said, crossing her arms. "He left that part out."

Again, Eric seemed to hesitate and Sookie had to try her hardest not to simply plead for him to give her some answers.

"According to legend, vampires and fairies co-existed once." he said, taking care with each word. "But when vampires discovered that drinking fairy blood allowed them to walk in the sun; they allegedly drove them to extinction."

A black hole started to form in Sookie's stomach, though she was still only beginning to grasp what this was all about.

"No one has seen anything resembling fairies for centuries now, and most believe them to be a myth." Eric continued. "I did too, but then I had a taste of your blood."

Sookie's eyes grew big, her heart almost still in advertency. Eric tilted his head.

"Sookie, you are a living breathing proof that fairies exist." he said. "Bill has been able to move unharmed in the sunlight after having your blood, and so have I."

"So my blood is, what, like a sunscreen for vampires…?" Sookie said, hardly able to believe her own words as she spoke them. "Is that why Bill wanted me?"

"Bill was sent after you on orders from the former vampire Queen of Lousiana, Sophie-Anne Leclerq." Eric said. "She used to love sunbathing as a mortal. I don't know why he never delivered you to her, only that he was supposed to from the beginning."

"Oh fudge…" Sookie mumbled.

Her head was spinning and she put her hands on the car behind her to steady herself. Eric watched her quietly for a moment.

"Sookie, there's a point; and I need to get to it." he said.

Sookie looked up at him. At least he was acknowledging that this was hard on her.

"I know." she said, blinking a couple of times. "Please do."

"The were I killed was sent by Russell to bring you to him," Eric said. "and he wants you for much more than just being able to feel the sun again. He is extremely old and powerful, completely mad, and what he wants most of all right now is war."

Sookie furrowed her brow. "War…?"

"He is an extremist in that he loathes humans and would prefer to have you living in fear of us, like in the old days." Eric said, his voice deep. "He has been amusing himself by gathering an underground society of like-minded, weres included. If he wants to, he can just nudge the conflict that has been brewing in many places, and the consequences would be dire. You saw what happened in Dallas. There will be slaughter, mass-turning, anarchy… And with your blood as his secret weapon, Russell will gain more followers than he could dream of."

Sookie shook her head, a cold shiver running down her spine. What Eric said sounded so distant and strange, but yet he was convinced to the point where questioning him seemed meaningless. She watched him anxiously, swallowing hard. Eric's eyes had become veiled now, as if he was gazing into a memory.

"Also, Russell Edgington is the leader of Operation Werewolf." he said slowly. "It was on his orders that my entire family was butchered. He is the vampire that I've spent an entire millennia searching for."

Sookie finally grasped completely why Eric was so wound up. Of course he was.

"Are you going to kill him?" she said.

Something in Eric's expression turned solid like stone.

"I don't know how yet, but yes, I will kill him." he said. "I agreed to bring you to him in order to gain his trust."

"You did what?" Sookie gaped. "After what you've told me, shouldn't I be staying as far away from him as possible?"

Eric surprised her by moving forward, placing his hands on her hips. Sookie gasped as he lifted her up, placing her on the trunk of the Corvette, his touch still firm but gentler now than before. He moved in between her legs, his fingers curling slightly around her waist and Sookie felt her anxiousness being completely drenched by raw, unmasked arousal. It frustrated her, but at the same time she knew deep down that she didn't want things to be any different. Her lips parted as Eric's shadow fell on her. His eyes were the same arctic blue that she knew so well and yet his gaze was now burning.

"Trust me." he said heatedly. "Russell will not dare hurt you; you are much too valuable. And rest assured, I will dispose of anyone who tries."

"I'd prefer it if you didn't go on a killing spree." Sookie said, her cheeks throbbing. "But if things are the way you say they are, something must be done."

Eric didn't respond, but as silence fell between them, Sookie couldn't help but read some matter of gratitude into his expression. He leaned close, placing his cool lips on Sookie's forehead and she closed her eyes, breathing in, her blood thundering in her ears. Her arms were heavy as she put her hands on Eric's back, feeling his huge shoulderblades beneath her palms. Eric's grip around her hips tightened. Sookie peered down between them and was met by the sight of his erection, causing a smooth but rather significant bulge as it strained his jeans. If she hadn't been moist before, she certainly was now. Eric's left hand started stroking its way down, just like her body was begging him to do and Sookie shivered. He caught the hem of her dress, pushing it up, moving steadily closer to her mound that was just inches away from him, bare and unprotected… but as his fingers touched the burn on her thigh he stopped, looking up at her with a puzzled expression.

"It's nothing…" Sookie mumbled.

The flash of Eric's fangs startled her slightly, and though there was almost no light they still gleamed in that way that always made Sookie feel a little weak. Before she had guessed what he was about to do, Eric brought his wrist up to his mouth, piercing his pale skin with a slick noise. His blood running in a small trickle, he resolutely put his wound against her now bare thigh. It would never seize to amaze Sookie how a vampire's skin could be cold when the blood was so warm. A huff of air escaped between her lips as Eric moved his wrist across her burns, her skin tickling as they started to heal. She knew that it wasn't possible but yet she felt like Eric's blood was entering her, doing all sorts of wonderful things to her, making her own blood dance, placing a firm wet heat between her legs. By the time Eric removed his wrist, Sookie's heart was fluttering madly and her nipples were so hard that they could undoubtedly be seen through her dress. Their eyes locked. Eric's face was dark with restrained lust. He was holding himself back, perhaps for her sake, perhaps because time was escaping them, but if she didn't have him now Sookie knew she was going to lose her mind once and for all…

Without giving it extensive thought, she took hold of Eric's still bleeding wrist, bringing it up to her lips. She closed them around his wound, preventing it from sealing. Sucking a little, the hot liquid came pouring down her throat and Sookie's eyes fell shut from the sensation. Eric groaned, pulling her close to him, the bulge in his jeans brushing against her aching nether region. Sookie hauled at his shirt with her free hand as she drank. Tasting Eric's blood was completely different from what she remembered; and in a way, this was the first time. Back in Dallas, she had focused on the bullets, forcing away any sensation that his blood might have given her. But now, letting him in; she was completely overwhelmed by how it made her feel. It stirred her arousal to the point where she couldn't do anything but spread her legs helplessly as Eric pushed her skirt all the way up. The sound of him undoing his pants reached her vaguely through her daze, and as he pulled his wrist away from her, her lips were swollen and throbbing. Licking the few drops that remained on them, Sookie met Eric's gaze, watching his expression twist with the force of his fire, the attraction between them sizzling like electricity in the air.

"Eric, please… fuck me." Sookie breathed.

Something resembling a smile crossed Eric's lips, only to be replaced by a grimace of pleasure as he pulled her forward, onto him, impaling her on his hard shaft. Sookie gave a half-choked cry, a tremor shooting through her. She was so wet and wanting that he fit into her without much effort, and still she was as always taken aback of how big he actually was. Shallow breaths escaping her, she managed to wrap her legs around Eric's waist, her hands clutching at his shoulders as he started moving, so deep into her already that the sensation forced the air out of her lungs. There was no easing into it this time, no refinement, but she didn't care because this was how she wanted him, deep and hard, harsh and gentle at the same time… Her blood was in flames, her wetness convulsing in pleasure as Eric conquered her over and over, thrusting into her at just the right angle and her mind went blank as she held on to him, her heart and soul soundlessly screaming his name.

-.-.-.-

He was besieged by lust and something else that he could not place. As Eric held Sookie tight, this something else was coursing through him violently, drowning out everything that weighed him down. He thought of the countless others, how their fleeting warmth had left him colder than before. And now Sookie; her heat embracing him completely, sheltering him even now as his world was crumbling. The look in her eyes; not the bathetic glow of an inflated ego, but the ardor of a mate… a lover. Closing his arms around her, caressing her hair with his fingers, he groaned as her tightness twitched around him, pulling him in, forcing him deeper still, her moans like music in his ears. He could not get enough. She was the only thing he could not get enough of.

-.-.-.-

Sookie gasped and moaned, wrapping her arms around Eric's neck for support. He was quickening his pace now, his hardness brushing roughly against her sweet spot with every smooth stroke. Through it all, their eye-contact remained, and Sookie felt Eric's pleasure mounting as he watched her shivering with her own, dragging her closer and closer towards her release. She wanted it to last forever, but she knew that she wouldn't be that lucky, especially not as Eric brought his mouth to side of her neck, placing a searing kiss there. His fangs only skimmed her skin, never sinking down and she wanted to tell him that she needed him there; she wanted it so badly… but before she could do that, Eric changed his position slightly so that his pelvic bone rubbed against her swollen clit as he moved, and it was all over for her. Her orgasm came hurtling from her core like a wrecking ball, sending violent surges of pleasure in between her thighs, making her fidget and drawing nonsense from her lips as it went through her. She hid her face against Eric's chest, feeling him embrace her even tighter, a low moan escaping him as her contractions pulled his seed deep into her. Sookie closed her eyes, panting, reveling in the aftershocks as Eric dipped his mouth into her hair that was now a little bit moist by sweat.

The night was as still as it had been when Sookie stepped out on the porch. Eric's chest was solid against her face. He was cold, though some of her heat seemed to have rubbed off on him. Slowly, Sookie began descending towards earth again. Doing so, she realized the probable reason why Eric hadn't taken her blood this time, even though he had wanted to. Where they were going, she was most likely going to be in need of all the blood she could spare. A streak of fear crossed her chest thinking about it, but it was soon paired with the firm stubbornness that was a personality trait of hers and would surely lead to her undoing one of these days.

"I wish there was another way."

Eric spoke softly into her hair, as if he had guessed what she was thinking. Sookie lifted her head to look at him, finding nothing but sincerity in his expression as their eyes met again.

"So do I." she said. "But truth to be told, I'm really not in the mood for a civil war right now anyways. Also, you kept your part of the deal, and I intend to keep mine."

There was a brief silence between them again. Eric moved his fingers gently through the hair at the back of her neck and Sookie felt the final trace of her anxiousness melt away, leaving place for a solid calm. She was beginning to feel that she would be alright no matter what, as long as she was with Eric. It was a foolish notion, but yet it was as real to her as the air she was breathing.

"Time to go then." Eric said, his words firm but his voice definitely more at ease now than before.

Sookie had no time to reflect on this before Eric put his arm around the back of her knees, again starting to carry her towards the front of the car, the blood that lingered on her thighs staining his shirt.

"Now wait just a little bit," she cut in. "I can't go like this! I am not visiting no king – insane or not – without shoes or underwear."

Sookie could have sworn that the look that crossed Eric's face was a little amused.

"We'll pick up something along the way." he said, opening the door on the passenger side, putting her down lightly on the seat.

Settling with this, Sookie made herself comfortable, crossing her still weak legs as Eric got in, her blood still racing all over from what they had just done. As they started moving, fast enough to have scared her half to death if it had been anyone other than Eric driving, she felt a weight being placed on her left thigh. Glancing down, she noticed Eric's hand and cautiously put her own hand on top of it. The streetlights painted their faces as they came out onto the open road, and Sookie was filled with the strangest feeling of allurement. They were undercover, on a secret mission that would have made Bonnie and Clyde proud. Partners in crime. Sookie smiled faintly, watching the ancient blonde vampire in the corner of her eye. She found that she rather liked that thought.

-.-.-.-


A/N: Took a little longer than you thought, huh *blushes*. Well, there were several boring reasons why, but I'm hoping that the chapter was (again!) worth the wait.

About next chapter; there will be one, I just don't know when. I think it's more fair to both you and me to put it like that, rather than making promises that I end up not being able to keep. With season 4 now upon us, I will probably do something to accompany it, so keep a look-out for me :) And as always, thank you so much for reading.

Much love, EF