Sookie slid open the back door and stepped out onto the porch. She shivered as the wind hit her and she started to go back inside to get her jacket.
"It's been a while since I've seen you," a voice called out from the darkness.
Sookie stopped, turning around to face Eric. "It has," she agreed. "What are you doing here?"
"A little bird told me you got married," he said, his voice almost a purr. "I wanted to come and see if congratulations are in order."
Sookie held out her hand, her smile glittering like the two rings on her finger.
His grin seemed frozen, cold and angry despite his polite tone. "Well then, congratulations. I guess it's still too early in the marriage to ask if you'd consider breaking it off?"
Sookie drew her hand back, refusing to take the bait. "Did you only come to piss me off?"
"So I'm pissing you off now by asking about your marriage?" Eric clucked his tongue. "That hardly seems fair. Or healthy."
Sookie sighed heavily. She thought of Alcide inside the house, watching the game with Jason. She didn't want either of them involved. "Eric, I know better than to tell you not to come here anymore. I know you won't listen and you'll just end up doing what you want to anyway. But I am married. I'm going to stay married."
Eric rolled his eyes, seemingly bored with her response. Sookie went on, "But for the first time in my life, I feel like everything is stable. I feel like I'm swimming with the current, not against it. This is me being happy. I've never had that."
"Funny how you seemed happy back when I was fucking you."
"It wasn't real." Sookie shook her head. "None of it was real. The sex was enjoyable. We had fun. But I could never be happy with you- or Bill. It was just the thrill of having something I knew I shouldn't. Real happiness is having a home, a husband, a life that isn't in shambles. Happiness for me is being out of Bon Temps, away from you, away from the memories."
"Sookie," Eric held up a hand to stop her. "This will all wear off. Nothing lasts. Especially not marriages. You're human. You can't stay happy forever."
"You're right." She caught him off guard and he raised his eyebrows. "There's going to be some bad times. Times when I'll want to leave. But I'm ready for the stability. My parents dying, hearing thoughts, having sex with vampires...it's been one thing after another since I was five. I need stable. I need real. I need a man that loves me, is faithful to me, would die for me."
"I would have died for you."
"No, you wouldn't. You cared about me. But the only person you would have died for is Pam." She wrapped her arms tighter around herself. "I need you to forget about me."
"What if I can't forget about you?" His eyes drilled into her.
"Then just let me go." Her voice was soft. "It's over."
He stepped toward her, like he was going to kiss her. Sookie backed away, placing one hand on his chest. "Eric, look at me. See me. You know I'm serious."
He watched her for a long moment and she saw the shift in his eyes. He knew the truth. She knew he would deny it, would continue to come around, bothering her. He was dangerous. But so was Alcide. And one day, Eric would get bored and give up.
"I'll see you around." His voice was low as he walked away. Sookie felt no grief, just a deep feeling of relief. It was finally over.