Chapter Six - That's All

I waited until I was out of his sight, then took off in a sprint to pick up anything embarrassing that might have been lying out. I had just finished straightening my bed when I heard Eric clear his throat behind me. I stood up straight, embarrassed that he caught me.

"No need to make the bed, doll. We're just going to mess it up again," he said, his voice deep and husky.

"We are, are we?" I asked. "And how is that going to happen?"

He strode over to me and pulled me down onto my bed. We laughed together, kissed, and picked up right were we had left off. Soon enough, I was unbuttoning Eric's shirt, then sliding it down his arms. He was as muscular as I'd thought. Not cut, but a bit bulky and defined. Perfect, really.

I removed his belt next, and unbuttoned his pants. He kicked them off, and they joined his discarded shirt on my floor. I sat up so he could pull my dress over my head. My bra hit the floor, then his boxers, and then I was enjoying the feel of his lips trailing kisses down my body.

He had just begun pulling my panties down, and I knew he saw it at the same time that he realized what it was. I sat up on my elbows, just as he pulled back a bit. There was a question in his eyes as he stared into mine, which were pleading for him not to ask, begging him to just wait until later. He understood, because after a moment, he kissed the slightly faded, shiny line across my abdomen, then continued his journey downward.

It took me a minute to get back into it after the sudden shock of memories that flooded me, but Eric was rather excellent at helping me along. It didn't take long for us to be in a frenzy of limbs, the room filled with sounds of pure pleasure. He was a wonderful lover, and the sexual chemistry between us was off the charts, and beyond anything I'd ever had with anyone else.

Much later, I was laying half on top of him, enjoying the feeling of his fingers tracing patterns over my back. That was when he decided to ask me the question I'd been dreading to hear.

"Will you tell me what happened?"

I took a deep breath and tried to steel myself. It was never an easy thing to talk about, and it never would be. I moved to sit up against the headboard, and Eric slid up to sit upright next to me.

"When I was nineteen, I got pregnant," I began, and Eric wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "We thought we were in love, and we were stupid. He wanted to take care of me, and we moved in together and everything. He worked with his father, and made good money, so I was able to stay at home during the pregnancy."

I paused as the memories of that day began playing in my mind. I tried not to think about it anymore.

"When I was thirty weeks along I was home alone during the day, and I just knew something was wrong. Preston… he had the truck, so I couldn't drive myself anywhere. I called him, and he told me he'd leave right away, but we lived out in the country. By the time he got there, I was convinced it was something really serious. I hadn't felt the baby move in a while. He rushed me to the hospital, but by the time they figured out what it was and performed the c-section, he was gone."

Hot tears were streaming down my face, and Eric reached over to my nightstand to grab my box of tissues. I wiped my eyes before I continued.

"They let us hold him for a while. He was so small, and so beautiful. He looked just like Preston. We named him Benjamin. A few days later we had a funeral. Preston… he couldn't take it. I went to a very dark place for a while, and that, on top of losing his son, was just too much for him. He left me a couple of months after the funeral, and I moved back in with my grandmother. She is the only person who got me through it."

Eric didn't say a word, he just held me a little tighter, and I was thankful. It was just what I needed. I knew he was there, supporting me, accepting me and my past, and I knew that he didn't pity me. I went on, deciding that I wanted to share more with him.

"I applied to colleges and studied literature. I got my life back in order, and slowly I became me again. Gran died a year after I graduated, and left me this house. She also left me a good chunk of money, most of which I used to buy the bookstore. I had my own investments and money that I used to buy property, which is why I'm able to give so much. I'm a very, very lucky girl."

"No, you're an amazing, strong woman, and I feel lucky to have had the good fortune to meet you."

I smiled, and rested my head on his shoulder. "So, what you're saying is, that you're really glad I choked and nearly died."

He laughed, and I heard and felt the rumble of it deep in his chest.

"I guess you could put it that way," he said. "Can I ask what ever happened to Preston?"

"He's still around here. We didn't talk to each other for a couple of years, but I knew he wasn't doing well. He'd taken to drinking often, and he wasn't taking care of himself. He was just so angry, and he blamed himself. And if I'm being honest, I really think he blamed me a bit too, but felt guilty for it. That's probably why he left."

"Do you talk now?"

"Yeah. He got some therapy, and stopped drinking. I send him a Christmas card every year, and we both go visit Ben's grave together on the day he was born. He's engaged now, to a really nice girl. We all get along just fine too."

"I'm glad it's turned out okay."

"Life did work out for both of us. He's happy now, with his fiancé, and I'm happy with my life, and my work. And now you."

"And now me," he said with a smile. "Where do you see you and I? Say… five years from now?"

"I think it's a bit too soon to lay something solid out there, but maybe I'll say that in five years, I hope to be married, or at least in a committed relationship, living with that person, maybe with a child of my own."

Eric let out a long breath, and pinned me to the bed with a huge smile on his face.

"That is the first time that thoughts like that haven't scared the ever loving shit out of me. I don't think it's too soon to lay out something solid, so I'll say it. In five years, if you aren't my wife then I'm the biggest fool on the planet."

I smiled, and then I kissed him.

"I'll remember that in five years when you're hemming and hawing on the ring."

"Oh I already have a ring, my grandmother's," he grinned, then began kissing reverently down my neck, and along my collarbone.

"Then I'll have to tease you when you haven't put it on my finger yet."

My hands ran up the length of his back, and he hitched my leg up around his waist. He was ready again, and so was I.

"I don't think you understand," he smiled, reaching down to tease me with his fingers. "If I haven't asked you by then, hell, by a year from now, I'm probably dead. I'd be a complete idiot to let you get away, Sookie Stackhouse." With that, he positioned himself and pushed into me. "I love you."

I gasped, at the pleasure of his body, and his words.

"I love you," he whispered in my ear.

I reached up to hold his face in front of mine, so I could look him in the eyes. I could always tell when someone was lying, and I had to be sure.

"Say it again," I said.

"I love you," he smiled.

I couldn't say it back, not yet, but he seemed perfectly okay with that, and when I stretched up to kiss him, he began to move his hips. God, but he was perfect at that.

The next morning I woke to an empty bed, and the smell of bacon and coffee. Eric walked into the room a moment later with a tray full of food, wearing nothing but a smile.

"Breakfast is ready," he said as he climbed into bed next to me.

"You cooked bacon naked?" I asked.

"No, I wore your robe. I think it's on the stairs now." He dropped his voice to a stage whisper, "The pink was making me a little uncomfortable."

I laughed, long and hard, and when I finally stopped, I surprised myself by saying, "I love you, too."

Eric only smiled knowingly, and sipped his coffee.

"How?" I asked. "People don't say that after one date."

"It may take some couples months to say it, and for others it happens overnight. For us? We've known each other longer than one date. There were all those lunches. We did a lot of getting to know each other."

"We did," I agreed. "So what does this mean?"

"It means that I love the woman I'm dating, and she loves me back," he said. "That's all."

"That's all," I repeated, and smiled.

Sounded good to me.

XxENDxX

Hope you all enjoyed :)