Someday My Prince Will Come

Author: Missus T
Beta: A Redhead Thing
Banner by: SydneyGen
Fandom: Southern Vampire Mysteries
Rating: T

Disclaimer: The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Charlaine Harris. I just take 'em out to play and give them a nudge in the direction I want them to go.

A/N:

This fic was part of a fundraiser to help our friends in Australia. Mother Nature has gotten pretty wild lately. I'm glad to be a part of something that is putting forward an effort to help.

Thanks to SydneyGen for helping me out and making a banner. I love it! http:/img820(dot)imageshack(dot)us/i/floodfic(dot)jpg/

Thanks to A Redhead Thing for doing her beta-thang. She continues to just rock my socks. Finally, thanks to ETheHunter and Scribeninja for their help and support with this fic!

This is a totally new o/s for the fundraiser. It's not tied to any of my other E/S fics...It has the potential to be built on, but I'm not making any promises...We'll see what happens.

o-~o-~o-~o-~o-~o-~o

Once upon a time, in a valley far, far away, there lived a princess...That's how fairy tales always started, and for a while I thought that there could be one about me. I grew up in a town that was far, far away from everything, and when I was a little girl my mama called me Princess.

Then my parents died, and I grew up in a heartbeat. Little girls without mothers don't get called Princess anymore. They don't have birthday parties at McDonald's, because their grandmother can't afford it. They wear hand me down clothes, and they are known by everyone as 'that poor girl.' They grow into teenagers who have to work harder than everyone else if they want a college scholarship, and they have to go home early, even on the weekends, because their grandmother goes to bed before nine o'clock. They don't get cell phones until they leave for college, and they spend hours, multiple times, explaining the internet and email to their grandmother and her friends.

I was a very young girl when I realized that fairy tales were not real.

"Sookie! It's five o'clock!"

I looked up from my desk to see my best friend holding out my coat. We had worked together for the past few years, starting as temps together and eventually being hired full time, working our way to positions as assistants for senior executives. So really, we were running the place.

"Ugh, Amelia. I'm not finished. Can't I just stay and get this done? I promise I won't just go home and eat ice cream."

"Nope."

She didn't elaborate. I knew I was in trouble. She didn't give one word answers very often. In fact, she was usually hard to shut up.

"Computer. Off. Now."

I almost snickered because she couldn't resist. She couldn't stop at just one word. "Alright. Fine," I said, saving my document and shutting down my computer."Where are we going?"

"I'm taking you to a mixer."

"A what?"

"A mixer. You know, where singles mingle."

"Why on Earth would you do that?" I laughed.

"Because I want you to get laid."

"I mean tonight. Why would you pick tonight to take me to a mixer?"

It was the anniversary of my parents' death. I'd told her that I didn't want to spend it alone but a mixer was not entirely what I had in mind. In the past I'd spent the day with my Gran, but she'd passed on six months ago. Growing up with my Gran had been fine, but living in the house my dad had grown up in was a constant reminder that he was gone. I loved my Gran, and I knew she'd sacrificed for my brother and me, but it wasn't the same as having my parents. I moved to Florida for college and enjoyed the anonymity of a larger town. I didn't go back to Louisiana after graduation but gradually made my way south to live and work in Miami.

"I didn't really. The two are just coincidentally occurring at the same time." She tried to hide her smile. "Just think, you'll be anything but alone."

"Thanks, Scooby. I already figured that out."

"Whatever. And if we're doling out nicknames from Scooby and the gang, you'd be Daphne, so I'd just watch it."

I snorted. "Like Daphne is any worse than Sookie."

We both laughed as I closed a file on my desk, and then locked it in the cabinet. "Come on, we'll have a great time. You don't have to do the speed dating part."

Speed dating? I was going to kill her.

We took a cab to a small bar with a large deck, and I tried to hide how disappointed I was in our plans for the night. I had wanted nothing more than to have a few cocktails with my friend so I was tired enough that when I went home I could go to bed and fall right to sleep without thinking about the way my life might have been if my parents hadn't died. She'd followed through on the drinks, and the rest might ultimately come true, she'd just thrown in a singles night in the middle of it all.

Thinking about my family was a double edged sword, really. If my parents hadn't died everything about my growing up would have been different, but because they had, I was financially secure as an adult because of an inheritance that kicked in when I was twenty-five. I'd never understood that. How we'd scrimped and saved growing up with Gran when there was all of this money waiting for my brother and I. Gran said she didn't need the money, and there was nothing that we needed that hard work wouldn't earn. I knew she was right, but it would have been nice to go to the mall and buy my clothes or to get through college without working two part-time jobs on top of my classes.

"Hello, McFly." Amelia was waving a gin and tonic in my face.

"I thought I was Daphne. You've not only switched movies on me but gone to live-action, Biff."

She laughed. She was no match for my movie trivia, and she knew it. "Fine. Whatever. You're actually..." She looked at two name tags she held in her hand. "Maid Marion."

She handed me the "Hello! My name is" sticker, and it did, in fact, read Maid Marion. "What the hell, Amelia?"

"Your mission for the night is to find Robin Hood."

"I think I'd rather speed date." I deadpanned, but in all seriousness, I would rather speed date.

"Not an option. I was just kidding about that."

"Ugh." I sipped my drink. "Who are you?"

"Um..." She looked at her name tag. "Call Sign: Charlie. I have no idea who to look for."

"Trade with me." I rolled my eyes. "I know who you're looking for."

"No way. You have to keep yours. It's like a fortune cookie; you can't give it away. Tell me who it is."

"Call Sign: Charlie. You know." Clearly she didn't. I quoted the movie, "Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.-That's a negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full."

"Yeah. I should know that one, right?"

"You came up with Back to the Future on your own, and you can't come up with Top Gun after a clue like that?" I shook my head. "We have work to do, young grasshopper."

"There's no need for me to learn that shit when I have you." She grinned obnoxiously.

I laughed at her, I couldn't resist. "Bitch."

"Damn right and proud of it. I'm going to mingle. Ta ta!" She waggled her fingers at me as she laughed and walked away, forcing me to decide if I was going to hide at the bar and wait for Robin Hood to find me or if I was going to actually search for him.

"Fucking ridiculous."

I hadn't really meant to say it out loud, but I had, and the unappealing guy next to me laughed as he took a sip of his drink. He eyed my name tag and shook his head. I saw his sticker. Jack Dawson.

I thanked God I wasn't wearing a name tag that said Rose DeWitt Bukater or a giant Heart of the Ocean necklace, he might have gotten confused by the shiny object.

I sighed as I made my way into the crowd of people. I felt a little weird looking at everyone's chest as I searched for my match. I had to laugh at some of the names I saw: Aladdin, Lancelot, Loreena Bobbitt, Rhett Butler, Jackie O., Elizabeth Bennett, Joey Buttafuoco, and Yoko Ono. I had a feeling that there were a number of people wandering around with no idea who they were looking for.

There were some attractive men at the mixer. I couldn't deny that, but I always had to wonder why these men were single. I mean, I suppose it was hypocritical because I was single too, but if you were in your late twenties or early thirties and single, there was probably a reason. The dance floor was full of people mingling, and I saw a very tall, very gorgeous guy off to the side. He seemed to be holding court with a group of women around him. I wondered what his name tag said. Tiger Woods?

I walked past him and snorted at my own joke even though I couldn't read the sticker on his chest. Much to my dismay, he heard me. His head snapped up, and our eyes met. He really was too handsome for his own good. It shouldn't be legal to look like that and be out in public. He could cause an accident or something. His lips moved up into a smile, and his eyes wrinkled at the corner. Shit. To be the woman he looked at like that.

Amelia appeared next to me, and I turned towards her as she shoved another gin and tonic in my hand, distracting me from Tiger. I quickly finished the drink I had and stacked the plastic cups together. She looked around the crowd and asked, "Any luck?"

"No," I sighed. "But I saw Raggedy Andy and Peter Pan."

She laughed. "Yeah, there are some crazy names out there. Who's Paul Finch? People were cracking up but I don't know who that is."

"Finch." I cracked up laughing. "He fucked Stifler's mom."

"Wait, American Pie?"

"Right!" Then I quoted the movie, "We'll always have Paris. And the pool table. And the car-"

She jumped in and finished the line, "And the two room-suite I have upstairs."

"Nice save." I raised my glass and took a sip. "Did you find Mav? Or is he flying a rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong?"

"What? Ew. That's gross." She shook her head and sipped her drink. I didn't even take the time to explain that it was a joke about the movie. "I think I saw him. I have to get closer. Is there another Maverick? Like, didn't Mel Gibson play one?"

"He did. I'm impressed you knew that. But he was Bret Maverick. You're looking for Call Sign: Maverick. Where is he?" I looked around as if I had any idea who I was looking for.

"Over there, next to the beauty queen hair."

"Oh, cute." I scanned the crowd where she was looking and saw a tall man with dark hair and a sexy bit of five o'clock shadow standing next to a woman with blonde hair that was teased and sprayed to high heaven. He was talking to a couple of other guys with his back to the blonde cloud of hair. "We should get closer and see if it's him. I think I have some pennies we can drop in that chick's hair, too. Wanna bet they get stuck in there?"

"Sure. You don't want to keep looking for Robin Hood?"

"I'll look on the way."

We wove through the crowd, and a couple of times I thought I felt someone watching me, but I couldn't find them when I looked around. I was reading everyone's name tags again, and I still didn't see my match when we reached the guy Amelia had pointed out. He turned slightly towards us, and you could clearly see that he was, in fact, the Maverick that we were looking for.

"What do I do?" Amelia asked quietly.

"Go over there."

"He's talking."

"Interrupt him. You're a bitch, it should be easy."

"This is true. Wish me luck."

"Luck."

She chuckled as she pushed forward towards him, and I heard her butt in, "Excuse me. Hi. Mav, I think I've been looking for you."

"Well, it looks like you found me!" he laughed. "My friends call me Tray."

Amelia giggled, and I knew they'd be fine. I turned towards the crowd again wondering if Robin Hood was even out there. Maybe he hadn't even shown up yet. They were randomly handing out name tags as you came in; this wasn't scientifically matched or anything.

"Maid Marion," a rough voice said beside me.

I turned and saw a bear of a man standing right next to me. He was so close to my shoulder that it made me uncomfortable. He looked like Mr. Clean and had creepy, purple looking eyes. He had to be wearing colored contacts, which was even worse, because that meant he wanted his eyes to be that color. I glanced at his name tag and it had one word. Ken. Really? That was just wrong.

He gave me a leer and a nod. "Hey." He looked at my chest, and he wasn't looking for my name tag.

"Hello, Ken." Translation, eyes up here, pervert. "Where's Barbie?"

He leaned close, and I smelled liquor on his breath. "I'm still looking for her. I hope she's the anatomically correct version."

"Ew."

That was all I needed to hear from him. I started to walk away but had been rather boxed into the center of the crowd. I tried to look for Amelia for a rescue, but her eyes were glued to Maverick, or Tray.

"How about you, babe?"

"Excuse me?"

"Anatomically correct?"

"Listen, asshole-"

A deep voice interrupted me. "Maid Marion!"

He was so tall that I had to look up to see his face, but I recognized his broad chest and a cotton shirt with the rolled cuffs. It was the blond God from the corner, and now, without a harem of women in front of him, his name tag was at eye level and directly in front of me. Robin Hood.

"I've found you!" He reached forward to shake my hand and managed somehow in the process to turn us so that he was between me and Ken. I have no idea how he did it, but I was so grateful that I forgot to be awestruck by his godlike presence.

"Wow. You have." I smiled. He had perfect timing, and I kind of liked that he'd swooped in to save me. His presence made me nervous though, and I found myself making a dumb joke. "Have you been busy stealing from the rich this evening?"

He smirked. "Nah, I took the night off. I've been hanging with my band of merry men."

I laughed. "Nice."

"Do you need another drink? Let's get out of this crowd so we can talk."

"Um. Okay. If you want to." I was a little awestruck that this gorgeous guy was literate, humorous, and chivalrous. He was probably gay. That would be my luck.

He put a hand on my back that made me aware of just how large his hands were and how close we were as our bodies gently brushed while we walked towards the bar. The physical contact and the time it took us to get to the bar brought me to my senses. I started to hear the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other" in my head. I wondered how long it would take for this gorgeous hunk of man to head to the restroom and lose his name tag now that he'd found me. When we got our drinks he put a hand on my elbow and led me to a small high top table that another couple had just left.

He cleared his throat. "So, Marion, tell me about yourself."

He really was charming. I'd like to say that I told him a beautiful story about myself, about who I was and what I enjoyed, but I didn't. He had to drag it out of me. I just couldn't get over the idea that he was probably disappointed in meeting me. I couldn't have been what he was expecting; he certainly wasn't who I thought I would meet.

Then he told me about himself. He was a lawyer, originally from Sweden, had one sister, played in a city basketball league and had a cat named Cicero. We joked a little, but I was still uncomfortable, and I caught him looking over my shoulder more than once.

"Look, this was really nice, but you can go if you want."

"What?" he looked confused.

I shook my head a little and sighed. "I'm sure that I'm not who you wanted to meet. An administrative assistant from backwater Louisiana with an extensive collection of DVD's? You don't have to stay. Go, try to meet someone who's more...I don't know, like you."

"Is that what this was all about? Wow." He laughed. "I was starting to think you didn't like me when you got all quiet. Listen, you don't really know me, so I'm going to pretend that you didn't say some of that. I am thrilled to meet you. Your backwater Louisiana accent is sexy. I don't care what you do for a living as long as you enjoy it. But I do have one question about the DVD's." He paused, and I nodded, waiting for him to ask me if I had porn. "Does that extensive collection contain The Godfather trilogy?"

I nodded and smiled. "The box set."

He returned the smile. "Then I have no problem with it."

I bit my lip. Maybe he wasn't like the others. Maybe he could like me. I mean, I wasn't expecting happily ever after, but happy for a while wouldn't be so bad.

"Can we start over?"

"There's no need. Now, tell me about Louisiana..."

So I did. I told him about the heat and the smells. The food and the people. My small town and that my brother was all that was left of my family. He listened intently, and I wondered how I had not seen that before. I asked him to tell me about Sweden and saw his eyes light up like I assumed mine did when I talked about Louisiana. I loved it there; it just wasn't the best place for me anymore. He talked about the snow and the city hew grew up in, the way you walked from place to place and didn't need a car. I told him that I'd always dreamed of going to Europe, and he talked about his favorite cities. I caught myself daydreaming for a few seconds about traveling with him. Looking out over Paris from high up on the Eiffel Tower, seeing Buckingham Palace or eating in an Irish pub.

"Where did you go?" His quiet voice brought me back to the present and the loud bar full of other singles.

I smiled. "Sorry, just thinking of places I'd like to see someday."

He lifted his glass towards me for a toast. "To someday."

It was an interesting toast that could have meant a million things, but the smile on his face and the sparkle in his eyes hinted that he wasn't talking about traveling.

"To someday," I repeated with a smile, bumping my plastic cup with his.

We'd been sitting together for close to an hour when the music on the sound system turned slower and a few couples began slow dancing. He nodded towards them, and I shrugged, figuring why not. We stood and another couple immediately claimed our table. He led me farther into the crowd on the dance floor than I thought was really necessary, but I wasn't going to stop him. He folded me into his arms and gently pulled me against his chest. It was warm, and his scent was almost intoxicating. There was something about the way I felt when he touched me that was mesmerizing. And a little disconcerting.

The song finished, and he continued to sway with me, holding my hand over his heart and caressing my back. Another slow song began playing, and I sighed, content to stay in the circle of his arms as I listened to Chris Martin of Coldplay sing Fix You.

And high up above or down below

When you're too in love to let it go

But if you never try you'll never know

Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you

I was a little lost in my head thinking about the song and the man holding me in his arms, wondering if he really understood how much I needed fixing or if the way he was humming along meant that he wanted to. His hand smoothed over my back, and I felt him kiss the top of my head. I looked up at him, and he smirked like he was embarrassed he'd been caught. Our eyes held, and I lifted my hand to his cheek. He leaned down, his face slowly moving towards me, and his lips brushed mine. I stretched up, inviting him in and luxuriating in the soft feel of his lips and warm tongue lightly stroking my mouth.

I probably would have let him kiss me forever, but someone bumped into him, and we ended up knocking our teeth together, then holding our hands over our smarting mouths laughing. The music changed to something a little faster, I thought it was One Republic, but I wasn't sure. It was one of those in between tempo songs that you couldn't dance to easily. He gave me a squeeze, kissing the top of my head again, and I smiled before he turned around, taking both of my hands behind his back, and towed me towards the bar. I certainly couldn't see around him, but he cleared a path for both of us, and I stayed close to him, my chest almost against his back, as we moved. Maybe it was so the crowd didn't cut us off. Maybe it was because I couldn't seem to allow too much space between us. Either way, I was close to him, and I wasn't complaining.

He pushed up to the bar, ordering another round of drinks. Reaching for his wallet he dropped my hands, but as soon as he held some cash in his hand, one arm came around my back, tucking me against his side. I had to admit I fit kind of perfectly. Once we had our drinks we edged away from the bar and the largest crowd of people. We laughed and talked some more, comparing favorites and dislikes. We both hated celery. We both loved green. I was addicted to having the television on in the background while he didn't even own a TV. He made playlists for different occasions on his iPod, and I just used the shuffle songs feature. He was a Blackberry. I was an iPhone. He was being sarcastic and mimicking the iPhone ads "there's an app for that" line, when I suddenly felt another pair of hands on my arms grasping me tightly.

Amelia's voice was frantic in my ear, "We have to go. Ohmygod. Bob's here. You know, 'Here, Kitty Kitty!' Bob! Please. He can't see me!"

I turned to her in shock and a little bit of disbelief. "Bob is here?"

"Yesss!" she hissed as she started to drag me away.

"Wait!"

I looked back at Robin Hood, who was holding my now outstretched hand, and in that moment I realized I didn't even know his name. We'd spent the night using our character names. His eyes were full of questions, and I was struggling to decide what I should do. Amelia could leave without me, true, but she was going to be a wreck. Bob's stalking after they broke up had scared the hell out of her, and I knew she wouldn't sleep for fear that he would show up at her new apartment. The ordeal with Bob a year ago had sent us both to self-defense classes and was enough to make her move across town. But this man in front of me had the potential to be someone important, and I didn't want to leave him.

"I had a great time." I bit my lip but when I turned to Amelia and saw the scared tears in her eyes I knew I had to go with her. I sighed. "I have to go. What's your name?" Even I could hear the desperation in my voice.

"It's Eric. Don't go."

Amelia whimpered behind me. "I have to. I...it's a long story. She's not safe here. I have to go."

His eyes changed. I don't know if it was understanding or some sort of testosterone surge, but he nodded.

"I'm Sookie," I said, feeling a lot like Cinderella running out of the ball.

"Sookie." He smiled. "I'll find you. Are you okay? Can I help?"

"No. I'm sorry. We have to go."

We had drifted a few steps away from him already and Amelia was really pulling me towards the exit. I glanced back over my shoulder at him, my stomach in knots.

"Go!" he mouthed.

I nodded, and that was it. When I looked back I could hardly see him over the crowd. He might have been tall, but I wasn't, and I was being swallowed by the throng of people as I trailed behind my panicky friend.

When we made it outside, I hailed us a cab and had us taken back to my place. She was better by the time we walked up my stairs and made it into the apartment, but she was still shaken.

I poured us some wine, and we sat down to talk. "I thought Bob moved away?"

"I thought he did, too!" She sipped her drink. "I'm sorry I panicked."

"What happened to Maverick?" I wondered what she'd told him about her freak out.

She sighed. "It's Tray. He had gone to try to find his friend. We were supposed to meet back up when I found you to see if we all wanted to go somewhere quieter with our matches so we could actually hear each other."

"Oh." That would have been nice.

"I should text him. He probably thinks that I stood him up!" And so she did, and I was thoroughly jealous.

In all of my insecurity I'd barely even managed to get Eric's name. He said he would find me, but I had no idea how. I was sipping wine and wallowing in my own misery when she giggled.

"He texted back. We're meeting for dinner tomorrow."

So after all of that, the Bob sighting meant nothing; it was a small hitch in the night that had brought her to someone new. I sighed and tried to remember that good friends were more important than passing moments with hot men. I just wished it had been more than that with Eric. Then again, he had served the initial purpose of the night for me; I hadn't thought of my parents in hours, and I certainly hadn't spent the night alone.

We finished our wine, and I set Amelia up to sleep on my couch. She may have mentally moved on to Tray, but she was still too freaked out to go home.

The weekend went by, and my life returned to its boring, normal routine. It was Wednesday before Amelia even asked me how my match had turned out at the bar.

"It wasn't that super hot blond guy, was it?"

Sometimes, my best was not that bright. "The one whose hand I was holding? Yes."

"Has he called you? He was hot!"

"No," I sighed. "We didn't exchange numbers."

"Why the hell not?"

I rolled my eyes. "Because someone dragged me out of the bar in the middle of panic attack."

"Oh, yeah. Well...I was afraid Bob was going to start boiling my bunnies right there in the bar."

"I can kind of see that, but it doesn't change the fact that I was ripped away from my destiny."

She snorted. "Did you just say that?"

I laughed. "Yeah. Sorry. Overly dramatic. He was just..." I sighed. "There was something about him that felt right, like we were supposed to be together."

"Wow. I've never heard you talk that way about a guy. Normally you give me all of the reasons he shouldn't want to be with you."

"Oh, there are reasons." I laughed. "But whenever he touched me, I forgot them."

She made a choking sound. "That's repulsively sweet. Especially from you."

"Thanks. I'm aware how uncharacteristic it is." I was also beginning to realize how pointless it was as well. He was never going to find me. He would not find me at the top of the Empire State Building or meet me in Vienna again in six months..

She sighed. "Well, if it's meant to be..."

"Right." I forced a smile, and we went back to talking about Tray, who she'd spoken to each night and was planning to spend the entire weekend in bed with.

The rest of the week dragged by, although it did involve a trip to Victoria's Secret with Amelia in preparation of her weekend while I got some pretty underwear to boost my spirits. My weekend included take-out Chinese food, laundry and chick flicks on cable. On Sunday morning I was sipping coffee in shorts and a t-shirt with a major case of bed head when there was a knock at my door.

I hadn't buzzed anyone up and was muttering about people letting strangers into our building when I opened the door to peak through the crack without releasing the chain. I gasped and fumbled with the lock, trying to quickly yank the door open.

"Eric?" I was grinning from ear to ear. "How did you find me?"

He stepped into the door and pulled me into his arms, lifting me into the air. "My best friend. But I thought there was no way it was really you."

He kissed me before I could ask him to explain, and then he carried me over to sit down on the couch with me in his lap. His hands were in my hair and mine were on his chest as we sat back, drinking in the sight of each other.

"What are you doing here? Do I know your best friend?" I laughed.

He grinned and shook his head. "We met for coffee a little while ago, and I explained that I hadn't been able to find you. When I told him your name he burst out laughing and said Amelia's best friend was named Sookie."

"Ohmygod! She is! Who's your friend?"

"Tray Dawson."

"Maverick? He was with you at the mixer?"

He laughed. "Yeah. Kind of crazy, isn't it?"

"Amazing, really." I laughed. "You were really looking for me?"

"You wouldn't think it would be hard to Google someone named Sookie, but nothing came up. I even looked for you in Louisiana thinking if I could find your last name I could track you down here."

"Yeah. Eric from Sweden wasn't a lot to go with either."

He smiled. "You know what? It doesn't matter."

"You're right." I smiled and laughed, none of it did matter. He had found me. That was the important thing. I was sort of straddling his lap, and it was a rather intimate position for what I was about to do, but I didn't care. I reached forward, and he threw his head back to laugh before shaking my hand.

"Sookie Stackhouse. Pleased to meet you."

"Eric Northman, Prince of Thieves."

"What?" I laughed, and then I realized what he meant. Robin Hood. Prince of Thieves. Wow. He'd almost stumped me with movie trivia. "Oh! Well, aren't I a lucky maiden? I've been waiting a long time for a prince."

He winked. "At your service."

He leaned forward and kissed me, distracting my mind from the thoughts of fairy tales, princes and happy endings. What fairy tale involved a singles mixer at a bar anyway?

It turned out mine did.

We always joked about the way we met, calling each other Robin and Marion, and he signed the flowers he got me on our six month anniversary, Your Prince of Thieves. It was sweet and romantic and perfect, until he murmured that he thought I was more than a maiden, that maybe I was his Princess.

I burst into tears, not sure if they were from heartbreak or joy, but unstoppable either way. When I calmed down, I kissed him and tried to explain my reaction, that I felt the same way and it had been the perfect thing to say, but also that it had been so, so long since anyone had called me Princess.

He knew my parents were dead and that I'd been raised by my gran, but he didn't know the whole story. And he certainly didn't know about my nickname, so I told him everything, and my tears began all over again. He held me and rubbed my back as I cried for losing my parents. For being a selfish girl who resented my grandmother at times, and becoming the woman who'd almost let life pass her by. I cried because I still missed them every day. Because I thought they would have liked him, and because I would never know.

As I looked back on that night, it had been a milestone-a point of not return, of sorts. I'd given him the piece of me that I kept from almost everyone, but I'd given it to him with all of my heart, and that was something I had never done before. It was my movie moment. I was Lloyd Dobbler holding up my boombox and playing In Your Eyes, or maybe I was Juno, filling Paulie Bleeker's mailbox with orange Tic Tac's. Whatever it was, sharing my past, my hopes and fears was my grand gesture, and he completely understood.

He proved, in fact, to be everything that I had imagined that first night at the bar. Being with Eric made me see that just because I'd grown up in the blink of an eye, it didn't mean that my childhood dreams couldn't come true, because, praise my fairy godmother, they certainly had.

A/N:

If you read this in the compilation, thanks so much for donating. Either way - if you're reading for the first time, or read previously, thanks so much for checking out the story! I'm not going to mark it complete for now...but I'm going to be honest and say that there is at least one project in front of this on my to do list. I won't rule out adding on, but I'm not going to make any promises. LOL

Thanks again for reading. I'd love to hear what you thought of it!