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Chapter Thirty-Two

It was something I wanted most. It seemed right; the first step of progress forward. I decided not to dwell so much over what he might think, and just bite the bullet from now on. I had been wrong, in dwelling over what might happen if I just went out there on a limb and told Eric how I felt, and that had turned out quite the relieving success. Now, it was just another theory to test out.

"Well, do I get my date like regular people have when they start seeing somebody?" I didn't think I was much of a materialistic girl or anything like that, it just would have been nice to simply go out on a proper, normal date with him. Like two regular people doing the basic rounds of getting to know one another, and chatting.

He was surprised by that; Clearly, it wasn't something he was expecting."When's your next evening off?"

And, clearly, I wasn't going to receive a straight answer from him just yet.

"One night from now."

"Then, I will come by you, at sunset. And I would be interested in seeing what a good girl like you will wear."

"Good girl?" I gave him the most iciest stare I could manage. "Oh, please. I believe that ship sailed long ago, don't you?"

"Time will tell," he said, almost enthusiastically.

"Will you be bringing your car?" I simply just wanted to know what to expect. I didn't feel I was asking too much; I simply wanted to be prepared.

"No. How else do you think I get places without it?" I might have seen a cocky smile on that shining face of his. "You better strap yourself up tight, Sookie," he called over his shoulder, "You're about to be airborne."

I was left standing with my mouth wide open.

Did that mean I was going to join Eric on one of his flying lessons? Well, that was pretty extraordinary, as far as for a first date goes.


I had self doubts, like any other girl. But knowing I was going out on a date with Eric Northman, those doubts seemed justified in some way. I wasn't perfect. I was willing to bet Eric had a whole lot of female admirers, most bucket loads more appealing in the looks department than I would ever be. I didn't even know what to wear on a date with Eric, no less what is suitable to wear on a date in a vampires eyes. And, really, I hadn't any vampire friends to ask on that.

Unless I asked Pam, which was a big no-no to me. She would either tell Eric and they'd laugh over my superficial concern over what to wear, or she would suggest something way out of my depths as far as the clothing department goes. Hell, she would probably try to convince me into smearing blood all over my body and letting Eric devour me, as a main-course meal. Even the thought of consulting his 'child' was incredibly unsettling.

And besides, I was hardly as daring enough as Pamela was, or confident in my body, if anything I had seen her wear was anything to go by. I did want to impress him, though, and leave him hanging on his words of before.

Sure, I might have been a 'good girl' in some ways. I might have liked to dress and act pretty conservative, as a learned upbringing from my Grandmother. But I was determined to show him, and show him well to the point where he would be sorry.

I was about to bring out a whole other Sookie Stackhouse that no one had ever met before.

I still had my qualms about tonight, though. I guess every girl experienced that, when going out on a first date with a guy she really liked. Of course, I'm sure, not many girls had gone out on a first date with a man of the vampire persuasion. No less, a vampire she knew from the age of fifteen. That kind of made me feel queasy to know I was going out on a date with a man who I'd known for so long, but I was also pretty excited at the prospect. I just didn't know what to expect, as far as what would be in store for me tonight.

Though, something about the unknown just made it all the more anticipating for the moment to arrive.

Making up my mind after a very long few hours of indecision, I settled on one dress I hadn't worn all but once before. Gran never liked it, because she felt it was a bit too revealing in a way. But revealing was exactly what I was going for tonight.

I decided to embrace my darker side- literally- in wearing a black dress. It was sleeveless, low-cut in the neck line, and showed a heck of a lot of cleavage. I was guessing wearing anything that showed off your neck was a good idea, as far as capturing the personal interest of the vampire you're aiming to please. Vampires loved sucking necks, right? So, why not show it off? Necks to vampires, were probably like breasts to men, and if you show a man a whole lot of your breasts, its pretty much eye candy to them. It would surely be the same with vampires to necks. At least, I felt so. I slathered on some red lipstick, painted my nails a glossy red to compliment the look, and selected the highest screw-me-please-I'm-a-woman-now heels I could find in the back of my closet, which were also black. I found a clutch purse I hadn't put to use in years. I wore my hair up into a wavy, loose bun, so that every inch of neck was on show for him. I was hoping he would like that little personal touch. Not that it meant I was indirectly giving him permission in any shape or form to sink his fangs into my neck, of course.

By the time sundown came, I was feeling incredibly confident and happy with my results for the Big Date. Now it was just a matter of waiting around for him to show. Since I knew he wasn't bringing his car, I wasn't looking out for any sign of a car pulling up into the yard. Though I felt truly prepared, I still couldn't help the bout of nerves that came creeping on when came a knock at the front door. Eric.

I gathered my clutch, and checked myself up in the mirror quickly to make certain I was ready to go. Shaking my head in consternation to get my act together, I opened the door, and there he was.

He took me in with some surprise: the black sleeveless, knee-length dress I was wearing, the light amount of shimmer make-up to make my tanned skin give off the faintest glow, black shiny peep-toe heels. For once I felt so glad and confident in myself, because I realized then, it was the first time I had ever made Eric Northman utterly speechless. Now, he was eating on his words of before in me being a 'good girl' in the way I dressed myself.

But then I found myself neither glad nor unconcerned when I stepped aside to let him in and saw what he was wearing himself; He was wearing black boots with a two-inch heel, tucked into his usual pair of tight black jeans at the ankles, and a snug lycra track suit jacket that was straining against his broad shoulders, it was so tight. Hair: Combed back and neat. Fangs: Slipping out, while his bright eyes zeroed in on my dress. In other words, strange date night material. But really, I was going out on a date with a vampire. What did I expect, that he would put as much effort as I had? I supposed then he could have been forgiven. Besides, men probably never took all that effort into their appearance, they probably didn't want to appear as if they were trying too hard to impress. I figured I must have had too high hopes regarding our date tonight. Still, it would have been nice. Not that he didn't look good, of course, because it was a sheer impossibility to me that he ever couldn't.

I smoothed down my dress, feeling very self-conscious, when he walked around me to scrutinize my behind in the dress.

"You think it's too much?" I asked, trying to sound unbothered either way.

"Definitely," he said, very gently, and I heard his fangs retract with a click. Then he swallowed audibly. "No clothes would have been just fine, as far as appropriate attire goes. The lesser amount of clothes, the quicker it would be to remove them. And, I'm all for time management."

I felt the blood surge up to my cheeks over that comment. "And do I come across as a good girl to you now with the way I'm dressed tonight?" I asked, trying to sound polite but my voice failed me; It was a tad steely on the surface for him. It was a natural defensive instinct I found would never go away.

"You're just overestimating the restraint I have in getting you in and out of where we're going tonight without at least once making the attempt to fuck you."

"Charming," I snapped. Then found a new, dangerous predicament within itself. I had put so much thought into what I was going to wear tonight, into stressing over it, that I completely forgo the fact he probably wanted me to fly with him tonight. Flying, in a short, scanty dress. Probably not the most smartest idea. Hopefully no one would see me in the air, then, otherwise they would have copped a whole sight of my underwear. I looked ahead, outside the door. It looked unlikely though, considering how dark it already was out. I found some tiny smidgen of comfort in that.

"So, where do you plan on taking me tonight?" I asked, feeling foolishly excited.

The damper on my spirits came next.

"Fangtasia, of course."

"Oh." I pursed my lips, trying my mighty hardest not to say anything rude. "Of course."

Really, what was I expecting?


Pamela was almost tempted into carding me at the door, when I walked hand-in-hand with Eric towards the double doors of Fangtasia.

I felt like my hair was sticking up all over the place, I was all jittery from what I had just only experienced seconds ago with Eric, which was mind-blowing. I thought I had pretty much experienced all there was, but obviously, I was sorely mistaken. I had clung to Eric like a drowning person to a lifeboat, while we drifted across the skies of Louisiana. At first, the vertiginous sensations I experienced wouldn't leave me. But after about two minutes and when I grew gradually more confident in trusting Eric not to let me fall, the scenery of late night Louisiana unfolding before me was impressive. It was an experienced a girl could only ever imagine in her wildest dreams, and I think that alone made it probably the best date I'd ever had (not that I've had many).

Pam assessed the dress I was wearing with over-eager eyes, and gave me an odd inclination of her head, as if telling me with the gesture alone, I had passed in my attempt at dressing to impress Eric tonight.

She was itching to say something cheeky about our date tonight, and I could tell as much.

She slipped in front of us just at the perfect moment, when we were about to enter the boxy entrance hall.

"Oh, fancy seeing you here this evening," she said, casting a look at Eric, a knowing look in her eyes while she gave him a good glance-over. "Haven't seen you here in a while," she tried to joke good-naturedly, but it only came across as a dangerous remark in my books. "And on a date with a Faerie, too. What gives?"

Eric was less than impressed.

"I am only indulging Sookie tonight, Pamela, and you know that," he explained in an aloof tone, and she nodded, grasping that very well.

"Of course you are." She slipped aside to let us pass through. I could feel her eyes on my back with interest.

"You told her about us going out on a date?" I whispered nervously, once we finally got inside.

"I did, and she knows it is very uncharacteristic of me."

I wanted to hear more into what it was he had told her exactly, but he beckoned me to follow.

"Only once, and only for Sookie," I thought I heard him say, but was most likely mistaken. I was instantly hit with a blast of loud rock music to the ears.

The noise was phenomenal tonight. It was massed with people this evening; Fang-bangers, and vampires, though it was incredibly hard to tell the difference between the two. People either wanted to come across as bad-ass vampires, or they were in fact authentic vampires. There was a rock band playing center stage, and it was a complete mystery to me whether the band members were even fully fledged vamps or not. A young teenage boy with waxy paper-like skin was standing at a microphone, glaring at a crowd of people who moshed to the music at center stage, while he crooned out some ballad that sounded morbidly pathetic. The young bass player on the left side of him, you could totally tell was a vampire however. He leaned forward and did an impressive riff on the chords of his guitar, one that might have put Jimi Hendrix to shame, and his sinewy fingers were fluttering at lightening speed. Ironically enough, the entire set of members were dressed as if they were starring in a cheesy, seventies vampire flick. It was astounding.

The bar was full tonight, too. I took in with some interest, that there was a person behind the bar - most likely a vampire- that I'd never seen before. Since Long Shadow was truly dead and gone, thanks to either Eric or Pam, naturally they would have had to employ a new bartender to get the job efficiently done. Eric grabbed my hand and wrenched me through the dance floor and, I noticed them, with a distinguishable amount of distaste that the dancer, Yvetta, was still working as a stripper/entertainer. She was working on a pole next to the stage, twirling around in no more than glittery nipple clamps and sheer, fish-net stockings, while several men crowded around her, like a pack of dogs drooling over her performance.

Eric broke me out of my moment of curiosity, in bending down to yell in my ear: "Let's get a seat."

We strolled on through the crowded dance floor and searched the booths. Most were scattered with groups of people, but to my amazement, when Eric seeked out on he wanted for us, the group stilled from their shouted conversations, rose immediately from their seats, and parted to make way for us like the Red Sea. One girl in the clan, I caught, was eyeing Eric with wistful intrigue. Evidently, no one dared to leave Eric waiting too long for anything, unless they wanted to be put in their rightful place.

I slide in to the then-deserted booth and set my clutch on the table top, while Eric unzipped his jacket. He was staring at me, a bit like I was a person on his V.I.P list. I also acknowledged, with some shyness, that his fangs had shot out, displaying how much so he liked what I was wearing yet again.

He asked what I would like to drink, and it took me a moment to recover from such a normal thing. I drew in a deep breath, asked for a gin and tonic, and waited patiently, while he did a quirky little finger gesture to the man behind the bar. Obviously, it was a sin for even the bartender to leave The Great Eric Northman waiting, because he sidestepped a person waiting at the bar to make our orders stat.

It was peculiar. I was on a date with a dead man, and it almost seemed close to normal to that of a date with a regular, thoughtful human being. Not that I'd had any experience with dating all that much, anyhow.

I got my drink within a minute, and Eric got a bottle of True Blood, which made everything all the more strange, because I knew he didn't particularly enjoy drinking the stuff. Maybe he was actually trying to impress me, just as much as I was in return?

Several minutes later, the band crashed to a halt and informed everyone that they were going on a quick five-minute break. There was a loud outbreak of protest from the moshers over that, but I found myself thankful for the moment of still silence around the room, however short it lasted. All the heavy music was making me feel slightly jumpy.

Eric took the lid off the bottle of True Blood with his thumb and took a small sip. I saw that appalled look flicker across his face clear as day, when he forced himself to swallow it down, and couldn't prevent myself from laughing over it. He lifted his eyebrows at me in question. I placed my hand on his arm and leaned forward to explain.

"Why do you even bother drinking that stuff if it disgusts you so much? That's like telling a kid to eat their brussel sprouts, when you know full damn well they hate them!"

"Would you prefer I have a fang-banger in front of you, Sookie?"

A bit of the red liquid dribbled down his chin while he spoke the words, and I felt uneasiness bubble to the surface in the pit of my stomach. Of course, when he put it that way, it made me feel stupid for even saying such a thing. Clearly, I wasn't very good with thinking before I spoke certain things out loud.

"Oh, right. Of course," I giggled, thoroughly put in my place. I felt super embarrassed. In a way I felt necessary, I tried to rectify the situation by steering it into more solid, easy ground. "What do you think of the way I look tonight?" I asked, because, sometimes, a girl needed that extra bit of reassurance deep down inside.

I moved my head and tried to smile as demurely as possible, hopefully showing him a nice view of the side of my neck that he would find particularly pleasing. Turned out, vamps sure did have a soft spot for necks, because he lifted a hand, leaned over the table, and held it gently to my neck. I caught my breath, and giggled again, because his hand was cold. Which was to be expected of a dead man, really. And he was a super gorgeous dead man, if I do say so myself, despite all the differences shared between us.

"I think you look delightful," he said, in a husky and sincere way that pleased my ears. "However, not my thing."

I might have blanched a little in upset over that.

"There is a place between your legs, a throbbing artery, that would be more suited to my style."

I didn't even have the time to be embarrassed and scold him for that, when a woman came sauntering over to us. Really, it had to happen sooner or later, and she was mightily interested in Eric.

"Hi there, sexy," the woman said, probably aiming to sound seductive, slicing through our conversation. Eric removed his hand from my neck, much to my dismay. "I couldn't help but noticing you watching me across the room. Over there." She pointed roughly an inch above my shoulder to where her table resided behind me with a glistening red fingernail. "If you wanted me, all you had to do was say so." I felt my brows quirk; Well, she sure had a whole lot of confidence in seducing the opposite sex. One that I was lacking. "I sure could make it worth your while." And she ran her fingers over her neck, stroking her throat, to make the point very clear on him just what she had in mind.

I took in a deep breath to control my temper. Some date this was. Eric had chosen to take me here, his bar, as our first date, and now he had women pouncing all over him. I was a bit miffed, because Eric probably took me here tonight just to rub in the fact how desirable he was, to many women. He probably thought it would impress me and make me fall at his feet, in some way. He was mistaken; It didn't impress me one bit, it only left me feeling a bit more insecure than I already felt and, dare I admit it, horribly jealous.

I wondered if I had fooled myself all long; Perhaps it would never work out between us? We were too different. Eric clearly loved the attention women gave him, and that probably wouldn't ever change. He wasn't a one-woman man, and he probably couldn't ever be. I found I wasn't one to share, neither. Plus, he was a vampire and I was a human girl. That's practically like chalk-and-cheese; Something that'll never happen in the realistic guise of things.

He stared up at her. It felt gratifying to me that he hardly looked impressed. "Oh, sweetie," he said, matter-of-factly. "Don't flatter yourself." He turned to look at me pointedly. Hungrily. "I was focused on the wonderous being in front of you."

Offense flashed in her eyes, and she turned to look down at me. Well, great. Here comes the catty remark. "Really?" She acknowledged my presence with a doubtful look. "She's so vanilla. She don't even have bite marks on her neck. She even let you bite her? Seriously, you don't know what you're missing."

"Oh, believe me, I do," he said. "And I am missing nothing. Except for Sookie naked."

I made a rude noise, embarrassed.

Then I felt terrible for the woman when, so lovelorn, she got down on her knees and crawled underneath the table to kiss the tip of his boot, like she believed he was God reincarnated or something pitiful. Eric stared at me, assessing my reaction over it, then looked down at her blankly while she sat down on her knees. I no longer felt jealous, but wary for her. She just wanted a slice of Eric's loving. Then, in such an unmoved way that angered me, he scowled down at her and laid his boot roughly on her shoulder and she slid but two meters across the floor. Several people turned to look into our direction speculatively and, I truly wished then, I was invisible to the world. Luckily, the band took the awkward moment to return to the stage, and they got back into their music, and fast. Whoever was looking over to find out what had transpired quickly lost interest and thankfully goaded the singer on again.

While I ought to have felt pleased by the outcome in Eric deterring the woman away, I felt anything but. There were surely plenty more polite ways he could go about it, but instead, he just decided to take a hurtful route in kicking the poor woman away while she was down. I took a well-needed sip of my gin and tonic, and found the gin was enough to warm me, in an unbelievably soothing way.

I tried not to pay him any more attention than deserved, which was hardly any, by trying to appear interested in the singer on stage, and failed. He caught my momentary searing look, and shook his head, fighting a smile.

"This is who I am, Sookie. Take it or leave it," he said over the music, equally as matter-of-fact as before. He leaned back in the booth, draped his arms along the chair, the epitome of male confidence. "Where ever I go, there will always be a trail of women close by." He sounded awfully proud on that. "This will never change. Sometimes, I will actively discourage them. Other times, I won't."

It felt like the end of a very terrible date for me, so wordlessly, I got up from the table, grabbed my clutch, and left. I was in no mood to speak to him; I just wanted to get home, and sulk. I was intent on ignoring him and giving him the cold shoulder for a night, or two. Eric decided to follow me out. I didn't know whether I ought to have felt pleased by that.

"I'll catch a cab home, Eric," I said tartly. Anything to be away from him.

"I wouldn't bother," he said stiffly. "My car is here."

"Oh, no flying again?" I retorted hysterically. "Whoopee."

Eric was in an incredibly hostile mood about us ending our date early, and I could feel as much on the ride home, and painfully. Really, what did he expect though, after his behaviour? I almost felt like I wanted to do some savage damage to somebody or something. The ride was quiet, with Eric not wanting to talk to me, which was quite fine by me, as I was serious on keeping my pact to myself in giving him the cold-shoulder over his antics tonight.

When we got to Gran's, I fished out the keys to the front door and walked on ahead of him up the cracked driveway towards the porch. I planned to go to bed earlier than I usually did, and keep to honouring my idea in giving him the cold shoulder for the night, but clearly things never quite work out the way you expect them to. Before I knew it, I was a blubbering, forceful mess.

"So, can all of you fly like you can?" I asked, unable to hide my curiosity. My voice came out louder than intended; I was still simmering over the failure of our date- if you could really even call it that. "Do other vampires let humans fly with them?"

"Can all you humans sing?"

"Nope." I laughed, instantly horrified at the mere thought of my off-key singing. It seemed to brighten my mood temporarily. Sometimes, my humming and singing got on my Gran's nerves so badly when I was younger, she would send me to my bedroom. It was that terrible. "I can't! I can't even sing in a bucket with a lid on it!"

"Well, identical to you humans, not all us vampires can do the same things, either."

"You don't consider yourself as human at all?" I asked, surprised. His tone implied as much.

"No, I don't and I haven't for a very long time." Eric's voice was dry. "I see myself as something far greater than that."

I laughed, because it hardly surprised me. "Well, of course you do," I whispered sardonically. "How did my Gran become a vampire exactly?" Though the topic gave me the heebie-jeebies, I found I wanted to know most of all. "Does it only happen when a person's near to death?"

"Not quite, but sometimes. Your Grandmother was drained by one of the vampires who had invaded into your home. She was close to dead, but then I heard her heart flutter like humming bird's wings. I ordered Pamela, as her Maker, to give your Grandmother her blood, much to her dissension. I told Pamela her time has come, as Maker. Once at the point of your death, we give you our blood to ingest, and then you lie like a corpse for roughly over forty-eight hours underground, then eventually, you will rise and walk the earth a living undead. And you would be so unbearably hungry you could slaughter any human within a five-mile radius."

The way he pronounced 'hungry' made me all shivery and cold.

"So, I'm guessing you've killed a whole bunch of people throughout the centuries because you were hungry, right?"

"Yes, I have." No biggie, his voice implied. How freaky.

"So, did my Gran slaughter anyone soon as she rose?" That was such a difficult thing to digest, because my Gran hardly seemed the person to kill anyone, whether she be a hungry vampire or otherwise. I liked to believe, deepest in my heart, that Gran would have been a more civilized, humane vampire. A bit like Godric seemed to me. Gran taught me and Jason to respect the law, and to stay true to the Lord's teachings. Hopefully, while vampire, she had done that herself. It was painful to consider otherwise.

"Your Grandmother was one of the very rare few who refrained from slaughtering anybody out of the hunger. Turns out, she had an early preference for True Blood."

I felt oddly enough at peace by that. I couldn't help the content smile spreading across my face, and, no doubt, he saw it, with his sharp vision through the dark.

"And was it hard when, you know... you became what you... are?" I asked, very slowly and carefully, with not wanting to say anything wounding.

It took him a while to figure out how to illustrate it.

"I was fully prepared, and accepting, when the opportunity arrived for Godric to change me," he said, a little too casually for my liking. "Much similar as your Grandmother, I was on the edge of death. My father and mother were murdered right before my very own eyes, and I swore to myself, even if it was the last thing I ever did, I would avenge them."

It took everything within me not to grab him out of a comforting embrace over that. Quickly, I laced my fingers more tightly around my clutch to stop myself.

"My comrades were killed, by some glorious and magical being, who turned out to be my father, Godric. He saw something in me, something worth saving. He saw strength, and a desire for retaliation, something that spread in my veins like the most deadliest of poisons. He offered me life after near-death, and a secure position to ensure those who were responsible for my parent's death would suffer and pay the price."

"Oh," I said, feeling breathless. "And did you manage to avenge them?" I sounded way more calmer than felt right of me.

"I did." I could see that blinding smile through the dark. "Nearly five years ago."

I stilled abruptly from my walking, blinking at him through the pitch-black dark. "Five years ago?" I repeated, shocked. I couldn't comprehend how it would be so soon.

"Russell Edgington," he explained gently, and I could tell he was speaking through gritted teeth. "Russell Edgington was responsible for slaughtering my parent's."

"Right." My brain was working in full gear at that. "And so, that was why you were so keen on helping defend me when the time came for him to come for me? Was that why you were so willing to take him down for me? Because it was partly what you wanted all along?"

"It was." No apologies. And then, he stepped in front of me, and lightly placed his hands on my shoulders. I peered up at him, up, up, and I still couldn't see him clearly through the dark. "Your great Grandfather came to me one sunlight while I was underground. He informed me, that a child was in danger, by none other than Russell Edgington himself, and that he intends to drain her, due to the fact she is the last existing Faerie-hybrid."

"My great Grandfather? Have I met him? I swear, my Gran told me he died of lung cancer?"

"No, I don't believe you have. Then again, he does not exist in this world. He exists in... another. He came to me, and we struck a bargain. If I guarded you throughout your childhood, and defended you when the appropriate time come from Russell Edgington, I would have the satisfying experience of murdering Edgington with my own bare hands. Another part of that deal, was a contract we shared."


"In the only way he knew to express his gratitude over guarding something highly special to him, Niall and I drew up a blood contract, just days after you were born and I had assurance myself that he wasn't deceiving me that there was a Faerie-hybrid that needed protection when she comes of age. You were promised to me, Sookie, you were sworn to me. Your fate had already been decided the instance the contract was signed. You are betrothed as mine, as my wife."


There it was. I sighed loudly through gritted teeth. I had well and truly experienced and heard enough nonsense for one evening. Maybe for the entirety of my life, even. Because having myself signed to someone else- even if that person was Eric Northman- it didn't settle too well for me. What happened to human rights? Own responsibility and freedom? After all, we were in a different day and age, where people had their own right of free will. And this was something I felt completely and utterly against.

I heard him hot on my heels when I slipped the key into the door to unlock it, and then he was taking me by alarm by full-on grabbing me by the arm and turning me round to face him without so much as a single word. I caught on to the peculiar glint in his blue eyes but I couldn't say I understood what was happening or what was up with him.

He kissed me next, my foul mood at him had disappeared completely, and all it took was a simple kiss.

Within the slice of a second, we were pressed up against the front door and his hands were roaming everywhere. One hand slid tightly around my waist, making me stumble forward into him, and he pressed himself against me tightly. His other hand had a mind of its own - not that I minded one bit, really- in travelling down the side of my left thigh and then pushing up, up, underneath my dress and in between my legs. I was guessing he really liked what I was wearing, after all. Maybe my body, too. He was almost like a horny, touchy-feely man-boy. It was worrisome. I made an embarrassing sound of surprise, one I hadn't ever heard coming from me before, which sounded distinctively pleased. After all, no one had ever touched me in such a way before, so openly and intimately.

"Gentle, Eric," I breathed raggedly against his lips, about the first time I'd finally at true last managed to find my voice. "Take it easy, big boy. Aren't we moving a little bit too fast here? I mean, it's only been a day!"

"Marry me, Sookie," he whispered against mine, in a deep and urgent croak.

We kissed for a bit longer, while his hand kept up with its rubbing through my panties. Boy, was he relentless. And then, consciousness slowly settled in, and I disengaged my mouth from his.

"What?" I didn't know whether I had heard him correctly or not. I was thinking I hadn't. Definitely moving too fast.

"Godric would have wanted this," he said, raising a hand to stroke the hair away from the side of my flustered face with his fingers. "Niall agreed to this. Marry me. Be my wife."

"Yeah right, Eric." So I had in fact heard him correctly. My ears weren't playing any tricks. Still, I could hardly believe such a thing flying so carelessly from his mouth. Eric hardly seemed like the type at all.

"You heard me, Sookie. I am being completely serious here." And I could tell as much judging by the stark expression on his face.

"Stop it, Eric," I scolded. "It isn't nice to play around on a girl with something as serious as that."

"Godric would have wanted this," he said again.

My eyes narrowed up at him. "Yes, he would, considering he's pretty much an advocate for vampire-human marriage. You wouldn't want it, though." He was hardly the type and I knew so.

He placed his strong hands on my hips as he sighed heavily.

"Clearly, you don't know me enough. I want it now. Never before, when I was human."

I was taken aback. Everything was too serious. We'd only been dating no less than a day, if you could even call it "dating," because I sure as hell didn't know what to call it. "What would make you change now, then?"

He raised his eyebrows, fighting back a naughty smile.

"Perhaps it would be interesting to have a Faerie as my spouse."

My stomach dropped. I knew what he was truly meaning by that; It would be valuable to him to have a Faerie as his wife, who has certain skills he could use to his advantage. I felt I knew Eric well, and it seemed something I'd hit the nail on the head with. Surely, he would never do things because he felt he wanted them for himself. He was always looking at it in the beneficial scheme of things, never due to personal things like feelings. And I knew better than to fall for it.

With as much self-control as I could muster, because it was hard, I slipped away from him in touching distance, whirled inside on my heels, and took great satisfaction in slamming the door straight in front of his face.


I didn't see Eric for two nights after the conclusion of our disastrous date. And, truth be told, I was glad not to. It dawned onto me that maybe it was just far too complicated, in attempting to start something meaningful with him.

I threw myself vigorously into working, which worked wonders for several hours. But once I arrived home after my shift ended, the alone time made everything inevitably rise to surface again. I made myself a mug of hot chocolate- something that Jason and I used to do a lot, when we were younger- and lounged around on the sofa for a while. All the quiet definitely brought some niggling issues to the surface, though I didn't think for one minute that they had ever really left me.

Things were a bit too complicated, as far as starting anything with Eric went. We were miles too different, we were on a different page. While I knew, of course I knew, I liked him- maybe even to the point of loving him, in some sense- our date together hardly went all that well. Then again, did I truly believe it would be immediately smooth-sailing from the start?

It wasn't just that he was a vampire and I was a human, that was screaming to me that we were different. It was other problems, also. While he had told me in his office that he was in love with me, I still wasn't quite positive where our feelings stood, or what I even wanted out of the whole thing, no less.

I wanted to be his girlfriend, it seemed wonderful, and yet, he hardly seemed the type. There was a lot of flaws there. We rubbed each other up the wrong way. He revealed to me all these things about me being contracted to him by a great Grandfather I hadn't even met, which every time I thought about, made me feel almost as if steam was about to bellow out of my ears, soon as I so much started to mull it over. It just didn't make much sense to me, yet at the same time, it did completely.

I was feeling so down and unsure of everything, that I must have slipped off asleep in my state of unease. I didn't know how, or even know when, but I woke just after a few hours feeling strange with my head being supported on couch a weird angle the way it had. A sickening feeling overcame me, gurgling my stomach, and when I slowly sat up, I heard sounds coming from outside on the porch. For a moment I sat there, listening.

Then it was almost calling to me. This urgency. This need.

Something was different, and in my sleepiness, I sought out what it was.

Outside, a figure emerged in my vision through the slowly brightening dark. Someone was standing on the top of my Gran's porch steps. At first, I got to thinking it was Eric, but I was wrong. It was someone else completely unexpected; the last person I ever thought I would ever see again.


At first, I presumed it was another one of my wacky dreams. But then, it was rare for anyone else to feature in them aside from Eric.

"Godric?" I pushed through the netted door to come meet his side. "What're you doing here?"

His eyes closed tightly, and he sighed through his nostrils, very slowly and relaxedly. I couldn't hep but get the feeling I was disrupting him in some way; He clearly appeared as if I had. Something wasn't right. The top buttons of his shirt was undone, his chest seeping through. There was a character of alien tattoos on his chest, symbols that I didn't have two wits about in understanding their meaning. His boyish face looked a lot more paler and waxy than I remembered; His cheeks were concaved, his lips pale. It looked as if he hadn't consumed human blood in decades.

"I do not mean to come as an inconvenience to you in coming here, child." His voice tugged at my heart, and twisted it. He sounded so forlorn, so... gone.

"Why would you even think that?" I whispered helplessly. I felt a strong surge, an aching need to comfort him. I lifted my hand, aiming to grasp hold of the one that was dangling by his side, closest to me, to send him a nice and consoling squeeze, because he sure looked as if he might have benefited from it. I hesitated for a moment, before sliding my hand through his. I noted how cold his skin was, how bony and light and frail his hand felt, when I held it in my own gently. "Are you all right?"

It seemed silly to ask that of him, because I could observe as much, that he was anything but. He stiffened when I squeezed his hand again, exerting pressure, and then he turned to glance behind his shoulder at me. There was no life in his eyes anymore. They looked just as lifeless and dull, as they had before, the first time I'd met him that time, while he was all chained up.

"I thought... being King would fix it somehow." His dark, too-big eyes held mine, searching for my understanding. An understanding, that I couldn't quite grasp. "Only, it hasn't. It's still there. It only grows profoundly by the nightfall."

"What do you mean?" I asked, suddenly afraid.

"It hasn't changed." He smiled down at me softly. "I came here tonight, because... I did not want to be alone. Not because I feel fear, but because... it would be wonderful to have someone by my side during the end. Someone, who has empathy in their heart, while my son doesn't."

For the first time since our date experienced together, I wished Eric was with me. He would have known what to do, surely. Because Godric was his Maker, and he would know how to handle the situation a billion times better than I would have. He probably would have had more luck of talking sense into Godric than I ever possibly could.

"Please." I understood then, and, unperturbed by it, I began to cry. "I know it seems like you'll always be feeling whatever way you feel. But it'll change, with time. You've just got to let it, and give it a chance to change, Godric!"

"But I have," he assured me heavily through his teeth. "For a little over a thousand years, and it still exists. The heaviness. I do not think I can bear it much longer. There has to be... relief. It has to end."

"But Eric needs you!"

"No, he does not. He has you now. I am just pleased I got to see it unfold in time. He will be fine. My loss will be filled, in time, because you will soon take my place in restoring him, and teaching him new life."

"Please," I begged. Then I squeezed his hand again.

He glanced down at our interlaced hands, visibly stunned. "I am an evil creature. I do not deserve your comfort." He sounded touched.

"How can you call yourself that? An evil creature?" It was ludicrous to me. "You're the most... human vampire I've ever met, and probably will always remain to be! There's a whole lot of goodness in you, of light. You did a very good, selfless thing, in taking Russell Edgington's life that day to spare mine. Doesn't that show what goodness runs within you? Doesn't that show how much you deserve to be here?"

"I am pleased I spared your life. But what good was there, in killing one more man? There have been too many killed on my account. I have killed many young children, similar to yourself, as did Eric. At least I spared you the humiliation of meeting the same cruel fate as the many other children's lives I have taken. For that, there is good in me." He slipped his hand from mine, and put further distance between us. The sun was slowly rising in the distance behind the trees in Gran's yard; an orange, pinkish glow. "This is nice," he said, his voice chillingly remote. "Having a human comfort me and cry for me while I endure the end. I couldn't have asked for more beauty in the world, than this. It was hardly something I was expecting. God has given me a humble send-off."

"So... you believe in God?"

"Unfortunately, I did not meet him, but I was around during his time."

"Then you ought to know, God forgives. He wouldn't want you to punish yourself, like this! He wouldn't want you to torment yourself, in feeling all this guilt!"

"Maybe not. But I intend to fully atone for my sins. For both Eric and my sins of our earlier lives."

"Aren't you... afraid?"

"I am not, child. This will be... an exciting last adventure."

And then the sun gradually rose higher. Birds began chirping through the trees, with its rise. Godric stripped out of his shirt, his skin began peeling off, ashing away. As I examined his young, young face, while I cried, I was struck by how calm he looked. He had found his release. He was going home. He was a dove being released from its constricting cage, being sent off into freedom.

Flames shot and burst through my eyes, and then, at the drop of a hat, he was gone.

Eric had brought my Grandmother back to life for me. I ought to have done the same to bring his Father back to life, to keep him alive... only, I hadn't. I couldn't. It was beyond my control.



He stilled from his pacing around my Grandmother's living room, and turned to look at me. This was what I had feared to have to come home to, all day. I just knew he would be coming. I hated that look in his eyes for me, that bleak and weary look that was held in them. And, uncontrollably, I started to cry, because I knew it would hurt him. Godric was special to him, Eric would have relied on me in some sense to help him in whichever way possible, and I couldn't even successfully do that. I felt like such a failure for it, such a person undeserving of whatever amount of faith he held in me.

He took a hesitant step forward into my direction at the sound of my voice.

I couldn't even go to him; I couldn't even move.

"Sookie," he said quietly, "Where's Godric? Why isn't he with you? I felt him with you last night."

What he probably couldn't understand, was that Godric had already well and truly made his decision. He had wanted to die, and if I had somehow been able to convince him not to, it would have only prolonged his suffering. And seeing his young face, the peace that rested on it, when the sun rose to him... it just seemed the right thing to do. He found relief in his decision. You couldn't will someone out of something, especially not when they were as determined and anguished as Godric was. He had allowed himself to live a little bit longer, maybe even praying being assigned King would lift the hollow ache residing in his heart. But even being King couldn't quell the depression. The only thing that could, in the end, was what he wanted the most.

To meet the true death. To meet the sun.

Really, I could have fought harder. Fought harder for Eric. But what good would that have done? He wouldn't have found any peace, or relief.

"Sookie," he whispered again tonelessly. "Where is Godric? Why didn't he return inside with you?" His voice cracked and broke on the last bit. I think he understood then, deep down in the depths of his mind, the answer to that. He already knew. His shining despair filled eyes fixed on mine, lurking with questions. "I can't... I can't feel him anymore. Why... why is that, Sookie?" I guessed he just wanted to hear me say it, and confirm it in the open.

I opened my mouth, I knew I had to say it to him, and yet I couldn't.

I went down on my knees, like a heavy sack of potatoes, trembling with tears. I think I was pleading then, begging, for him not to make me speak it out loud. I was also pleading for Eric's forgiveness in failing what he expected of me. He had put some faith in me, and I had inevitably failed. I didn't know what this would mean for us, then. Perhaps he wouldn't ever want anything to do with me again? Maybe it would have been better that way. Maybe it would make it easier to live with the fact that I'd disappointed him and let him down?

"Sookie?" He knelt along with me on the carpet, but he didn't touch me. And, if it was because he couldn't bring himself to, because of my failure in keeping his beloved Maker alive repelled him in some sense and turned his feelings for me inside out, I found I couldn't blame him. I would have felt exactly the same. "What happened?" He sounded uncertain, and afraid, for once.

"You already know, Eric," I murmured glumly.

"Tell me."

"You have to forgive me!"

"Why would I need to forgive you? What have you done that is requiring of my forgiveness, Sookie?"

Still, I was unable to bring myself to say it. Despairingly, I put one hand on either side of his face, and bent closer on the arches of my knees, pressing my forehead into his, feeling and touching his skin. In some perverse sense, I felt grateful that I was still able to do that, that Eric was still all flesh and bone, because had it been Eric I had lost in reverse, I would have lost so much, and that might have been too much for me to bear.

"You already know why you can't feel him anymore, and why he feels almost absent inside you." He made a deep noise of suffocating despair that tore through the very back of his throat, yet he still waited for me to finish. "He's gone, and I'm so sorry I failed you."

He made another noise, and I closed my eyes, so that his face was no longer visible to me. It would have hurt too much to look him straight in the face. His tragic noises were very nearly enough.

His large hands cupped my chin, he was breathing loudly and unevenly, and then I felt everything so crippling, I made a few noises of sadness resembling his myself. I could feel his anger, all the turmoil he felt within, all the... rage, because this was what we were now, thanks to our pledge. The confused mixture of anger and upset rolling off him, almost made me concerned he might do something terrible and frightening. He just had to find a person within closest distance to project it all on, and I was it.

And then I felt his betrayal. It stabbed at me, pierced me harmfully.

He grabbed my hands that were clinging onto the sides of his face, and gripped them tight in his own. "Sookie, why didn't you stop him from greeting the sun? Why?" he asked, the hurt and desperation pouring out from his nearly inaudible voice incriminatingly.

He shook me a bit, in a way that had my teeth chattering. "I tried to," I sobbed helplessly. "Believe me, I did! I tried talking him out of it, only it didn't work! He wanted to leave earth, he felt his time was up! And when..." I swallowed dryly, feeling my chin wobble. "...When those flames shot up and took him, he felt such solace in it! Consolation was written all over his face. He had been hurting for way too long, it was the only peace he could find!"

"Well, you didn't try enough," he growled thoughtlessly. There it was. It made me sob even louder.

And then, I felt his cruelty. I felt his malice. It was all directed at me, and he wanted me to pay the price. And, an instance later, he did make me pay. Arousal and anger went together, hand in hand, for vampires, I learned then.

Just as I was starting to comprehend my own danger and decided it best to perhaps move out into safe range, he seized me by the shoulders, brought me down and over him long ways on the carpet, and, by then, it was too late. I couldn't exactly say I was complaining, though.

He ripped off my nightgown from the seams with such primitivism, it was too quick for me to even start getting self-conscious. And then he rolled on top of me, and I decided then to just let it be and all happen of its own accord. My first time, shared with Eric, while he was in a fit of utter rage and hopelessness. I kind of had high hopes for it to be a tender, sweet, and gentle moment with him, but clearly, things don't work out the way you've expected them to.

When I let myself peek quickly up at him, I could still sense the rage, when he pulled his shirt off over his head. The next moment he unbuckled his jeans, tore them halfway down to his muscular thighs, and then I felt his skin sliding against mine; all hard and rigid and ready to expel some of that pain onto me physically. Blood was trickling down his cheeks.

He tore off my panties next with his hands, the band giving off a loud snap, and though I had the time to feel squeamish at being exposed to him so quickly with my private girly parts the way I was, astonishingly, I felt truly prepared and willing, in the ways my body seemed already moist in places, something I'd never experienced ever before. I learned then, that something about Eric's body automatically did that to me, and crazily.

"My Lord," I breathed out anxiously, and twisted my legs a bit, trying to squeeze my thighs together, when his eyes took in my body laying before him on the carpet. "You're relentless! I bet I'm such a major disappointment," I admitted shyly, and I truly felt that way then. Because, no doubt, Eric had loads of experience with women. I was willing to bet a limb he'd seen many women naked and exposed in the flesh throughout his long life. No doubt, women that were way more appealing to the eye than I was, way more... beautiful, and sexy. I hardly felt a woman at all.

These were the exact same insecure feelings I felt, whenever I thought about Hoyt and I ever doing the 'serious tango'. Of course, it was probably a little easier to deal with, since I couldn't hear what Eric was thinking of my body. Still, it felt worse in some ways, because I got to wondering then, what if he was comparing me with other women he'd seen naked centuries ago? How... mortifying. Still, it was reassuring to know there wouldn't ever be the possibility of hearing some of his niggling thoughts in the middle of doing the deed, thoughts that probably would have only exacerbated my nerves.

"That is not possible," he whispered hoarsely, taking in my body intently yet again. "For years, this has been what daydreams at Fangtasia were made of."

In a way that reassured me wonderfully, since his comment hadn't helped all that much, he bent down over me, set his hands on each pair of my knees tightly, and kissed me, long and hard. Even kissing him felt a little strange because I wasn't used to it. I hardly felt I belonged anywhere underneath him right then.

His thighs slid up in between mine, and without any ounce of control on it, I started rubbing the upper part of his arms with my hands compulsively. It worked wonders in killing some of the tension I felt, that's for sure.

He paused from his kissing to look down at me again. I stared up at him, trying to exhale calmly, because he looked about equally the most daunting and irresistable thing in my entire life. I would have been content to ogle his body for years, and I didn't think it would ever be possible for me to get tired of it. He had the most amazing body I'd ever seen in my entire life; Now I think I could understand why some women would fuss over a man's body and want to do bad, impure things to him in bed.

Something was scraping against my skin, my chest, something... cold, and it tickled. He was wearing a necklace, one I hadn't noticed before. There were two pendants on it, and one of them I could see faintly glinting in the dim light, was a long, peculiar piece of gold piping. It occurred to me next, it was a mockery of a stake. How ironic for a vamp to be wearing that.

He jerked in surprise a bit, when I curled my fingers 'round it and yanked the chain gently.

"What's the significance of that?" I asked.

"Godric presented me it as a gift many, many years ago." Pain filled his face over that, and then I felt bad all over again.

"And this one?" I murmured, fingering the compressed bullet he had dangling beside it, wearing it as a pendant. "Godric give you that, too?" It seemed a bit morbid; Eric wearing a bullet around his neck on a chain. I could almost see a tinge of red to it, and gathered it was most likely dried up, old blood, from Lord knows how long. Eww. I nearly shivered.

"Both hold sentimental value to me." He sounded oddly embarrassed in admitting that.

I made a face. "Why a bullet, though? I'm pretty sure there's blood stained all over it, too. That is just nasty. While I get you're a vamp and all, why wear your food?"

"It is from that day we found Godric and you got shot. I collected it as a... momento, of some sort. And yes, it is your blood. It still holds your Faerie scent." It was a bit spooky. I hadn't even the time to feel weirdly touched by that, when his hands started drifting up my legs without any ounce of forewarning whatsoever. I wriggled a bit, my throat made a funny gurgling shriek, and my knees jerked a fraction into the air in surprise.

"Don't move, Sookie," he commanded in a throaty voice. I almost gave out a weak giggle, because I was hardly in the right frame of mind to move. My body was crying out for it, it wanted it from him, it was ready and singing to meet him one in the flesh.

I opened my mouth, and then laughed giddily. "I-" He held a finger to my lips.

"Don't talk, neither."

Well, fine then, I agreed silently. I tried to set on a brave face, when he got on top of me. I felt anything but brave, when he bent in to kiss me, his lips tracing the outline of my neck.

"We will be one, Sookie," he spoke, excitement lurking in his dark and seductive voice. "In blood-pledge, and now in flesh."

"Is this gonna hurt?" I whispered unevenly, voicing my concerns. I felt my cheeks redden, because it didn't feel all that good in having Eric know just how much so inexperienced I was.

"I honestly don't know. I've never had a Faerie virgin before, believe it or not."

"Oh, well that's mighty reassuring," I retorted after an uncomfortable pause. "Just how many women have you had exactly?"

He lifted his head to peer down at me deeply over my question, and I instantly regretted asking that. I found myself not even wanting to know.

"Do I detect a bit of insecurity, Lover?"

I knew then it was bad. Way bad.

"Forget I even asked," I said quickly, wincing. I believed I already knew the answer to that. "Let me guess: You were a Viking man-whore, right?" He laughed at that.

"Tonight, you are the first, and the last hereafter," he said amusedly, but in a somewhat gentle and serious way. And really, that was just the answer I was looking for. No matter how much I knew it wouldn't be the case, because he was Eric Northman, and like he told me, he wasn't one for relationships and, no doubt, that extended to monogamous ones. Surprisingly, in that moment of time, it hardly mattered to me. So long as I just had him all to myself, even for one very long, very pleasurable night. It was more than enough. But it would change things.

*takes in deep breath, gets ready to flee* Hoping you enjoyed this one? Please let me know. I apologize if it's choppy, this one was incredibly hard for me! Thank you so much for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts, so please do review if you will! I know Eric can be a brutal, sadistic vampire deep down inside, but that's partly the way I see him. He does care deeply, he just tries to put on an allusion in front of Sookie.