I thought I would try writing a story using the first person like in the wonderful books, so here is my attempt. I hope you enjoy it. ***Please note this is a one-shot, at least for now***

I don't own anything, but I am thankful that Charlaine Harris allows us to take her characters down different roads once in awhile.

The Accident

I woke up feeling water hitting my face and I tried to figure out where I was. Thinking hard I remembered the rain and a deer running across the highway. I had lost control of the car on the wet road, and then nothing.

Opening my eyes I realized I was still strapped into my car, but it was lying on its side and the water was coming in my broken window. I went to wipe the water away – but nothing happened. It was only then that I realized I couldn't feel my body. My head was flopped to the side on my right shoulder and I could feel my shoulder under my cheek, but I couldn't feel my cheek on my shoulder.

I felt panic and despair building within me. Threatening to create a wall against any rational thought. I fought them down. Okay, first where am I? I looked through the windshield but the headlights must have gone out in the crash and there was only blackness. As I followed the span of the windshield with my eyes, I realized I must be in a ditch since there was a waterline about a foot up the windshield.

Just peachy, down in a ditch with no headlights. Unless someone saw me go off the road I could be here all night. If I could honk the horn I could maybe get someone's attention. Maybe someone did see the crash and they were trying to find me, maybe in the dark they couldn't find the car.

I should call for help, at least I would be doing something. I always feel better doing something rather than nothing.

"Hello?" I tried yelling and it came out as little more than a croak.

I felt the panic beginning to rise again. I was so helpless. I didn't know if Bill was in the state or not, but I had made it clear I didn't want to see him. Barry was too far, and by the time he was able to get help to me it would be too late.

I thought I heard someone, or something, moving out there. I could feel my heart race. Was it help?

"Hello?" I croaked out as loud as I could. "Is someone there?"

Something jumped onto the driver's side of the car. I held my breath. It walked slowly towards my door and stopped. I could just see the shattered window out of my peripheral vision.

"You do get yourself in the most compromising positions Miss Stackhouse." I almost wept as Eric appeared in the window, his usual smirk on his face.

"Oh thank God Eric." I breathed with relief.

He crouched and opened the door, accompanied by the sound of creaking metal. He reached down to me. "Give me your hand."

"Eric, I can't move. I...I think my neck is broken." A sob escaped me, actually saying out loud my worst fear.

His face hardened and he cursed in a language I didn't understand. I could see movement, but I couldn't make out what he was doing.

"Call the paramedics, but stay with me, please?"

"No, I'll get you out. I'm going to cover you with my jacket to protect you from the glass." Everything went dark as his leather jacket covered my head. It smelled like him and it was oddly comforting.

I heard metal ripping and felt a slight jerk from the seatbelt. Then I heard him jump from the car and splash on the ground in front of the windshield. Then there was a great deal of breaking glass and groaning metal and the car moved, but not very much.

He lifted the jacket from my face and he was standing where my windshield should be. He had peeled the roof back like a sardine can.

"Oh Eric my car!"

"I don't give a damn about your piece of shit car." He was looking at my neck intently but not with hunger. He brought his hands up and put one along my cheek; the other he ran softly along my neck. The same hands that had just ripped my car apart traveled like feathers across my neck. His face was inches from mine, if he were breathing I would feel it. I would have jumped when his fangs clicked down, if I could move at all. He brought his wrist to his mouth.

"No, no more vampire blood. I'm sick of the dreams, of feeling different, looking different." I tried to sound firm, but my voice was so weak, too weak. "Call an ambulance."

"Are you sick of walking?" He bit into his wrist. "The doctors won't be able to make you walk again. This will. Now drink." It was an order and he awkwardly positioned his arm so I could drink from it without having to move my head.

On some level I knew he was right and I accepted it. My lips closed on the wound and I could feel my tongue tingle as the blood hit it. I tried to suck on the wound but found I was too weak and could barely lap at it. I felt my eyes flutter closed and I could not reopen them. As consciousness faded I heard him curse again and say. "You cannot die on me Sookie." And his mouth covered mine.

I could feel sunlight pressing against my eyes and a pounding in my head. My first thought was that I was supposed to be dead. I brought my hand up to cover my eyes and froze. My eyes popped open. My hand had obeyed, it moved. I looked down at my feet and tried and found I could wiggle my toes.

I also realized I was in just my underwear in my bed. The pounding was not coming from my head but rather the front door which I now heard crash open and Jason yelling as he ran through the house. "Sookie! Are you here? Sook!" He burst through the bedroom door, panic on his face which turned to an odd mixture of disbelief and relief. He ran up and hugged me.

"Thank God you're okay! What happened?" He grabbed my shoulders and looked at me. "You are okay, right?"

"Jason! Slow down! I'm all right." I reassured him but I wasn't sure I was, and if so how. "Wait, how did you know about the accident?"

"Andy called, he said your car was found in a ditch by the highway. He said it was torn apart and there was a lot of blood but no sign of you." He looked at me suspiciously. "How are you okay?"

"I'm not sure, I remember the accident. Then waking up in the car paralyzed..."

"Paralyzed?" He looked at me with alarm.

"Yeah, I couldn't move at all. Then Eric came..."

"Eric?" I had forgotten Jason had not met him.

"A vampire, he owns Fangtasia."

"The vamp bar in Shreveport?"

"Yes, now stop interrupting. Then I passed out again and woke up here." I caught my reflection in the vanity mirror, my hair was plastered to my head and my mascara had given me raccoon eyes. "Jason, can you wait while I shower? Hand me my robe," I pointed to the hook on the door.

He went and got it for me, I twirled it back around my shoulders and put it on before sliding out of bed.

"What do you want me to wait for?

"Will you take me to see my car? And can you call Andy and tell him I'm all right?" I stood up and gathered some clothes I could change into.

"Hey Sook." I turned and Jason was holding up a folded sheet of paper. "This was on your pillow."

"Thanks." I reached for it and opened it, turning so Jason couldn't read it. He huffed and left the room.

My Dearest Sookie,

First, let me assure you that I took no liberties, other than to clean and heal your wounds, which was a most delicious task.

The clothes you were wearing are on your back porch so you can see for yourself the extent of your injuries.

You had lost a lot of blood so I had to be careful how much of my blood I gave you. You should keep some O positive True Blood in your refrigerator for times like this.

Feeling and movement were coming back when I had to leave.

I will check in on you tonight.


How did he know my bloodtype? I pondered. Could he tell by taste? Then I recalled he had gotten me some when the maenad had attacked me. I didn't remember losing any blood last night, but then it was dark and I had no sense of most of my body. I folded the note and put it in a drawer. Then headed into the bathroom. Looking at myself closely in the mirror I saw that there was some blood in my hairline. But surely that did not cause that great a blood loss.

Undressing for my shower, I looked myself over carefully. Along my right thigh running almost the whole length of it, was a pink line. It started high on the front of the leg and ran diagonally inwards ending just an inch above my knee on my inner thigh. I shivered when I thought of Eric cleaning that wound, but it was not from revulsion, rather it sparked a warmth deep in my abdomen.

"Great, now the dreams will be back." I said to my reflection, knowing that they had never fully gone away. Though I had begun to suspect they were not all fueled by the blood.

Sighing, I started the water in the shower. Stepping into the spray it was like I could feel each individual drop of water hit my skin. I wasn't sure if it was because of the new nerves I must have grown or the heightened senses that come from drinking vampire blood. I quickly washed my hair and the rest of me. I dried off and towel-dried my hair the best I could. Then I got dressed, grabbing a brush before heading to the kitchen.

The wonderful smell of coffee greeted me and I loved Jason more than ever at that moment. I sat down as he poured me a cup.

"Andy wants to talk to you." He said as he sat the mug down in front of me. "Hungry?"

"Starving, I'll make some eggs." I started to stand, but he pushed me back down.

"I'll do it, you had a big shock and you look pale." He headed to the refrigerator and started rummaging about. "Want some juice?" He offered.

"Yes, please." It seemed odd that Jason was being so thoughtful and I tried to read an ulterior motive behind his behavior, but all I was getting was concern for me and relief that I was all right. I started brushing my hair. Gran would have yelled at me for doing it at the table, but despite the vampire blood I was already feeling fatigued. "What does Andy want?"

"To know how you walked away from the accident. Apparently the car is totaled." He started laying bacon out in the skillet.

"What did you tell him?"

"Just that I found you at home and you seemed all right but shaken up."

"You didn't mention my being paralyzed?" I asked hopefully.

"Nope. The paralyzed thing would be hard to explain since you aren't. And I didn't want to say anything to get any vampires angry at me."

"Probably a good idea, but I have to explain how I got home so I will probably have to say I called him." My purse was on the kitchen table so Eric must have fished it out of the wreckage. Pulling out the cellphone I looked up at my big brother. "I should probably let Eric know I am going to tell the police he's the one who helped me." I stood up. "I'll go in the other room and call and leave a message."

Once in the living room I paced a couple of times trying to figure out what message I was going to leave. Hi, thanks for saving my life, I'm telling the cops. Just didn't seem appropriate. Going over several possible messages and not liking any of them I finally gave up and punched in his number. I was bouncing with anxiety as I listened to the required rings before it switched to his voicemail. After the beep I babbled, "Hi Eric, thank you for coming to my rescue last night. I have to talk to the police about the accident. I'm going to tell them I called you after I hit a deer and spun out into the ditch. The deer should explain the blood unless they test it. I'm not going to mention my injuries. But you should expect a call from the police, I'm sorry. Thank you again, bye."

As I reentered the kitchen Jason glanced up, but looked down before he asked. "How did he know you were hurt and where?"

I sighed in a disgruntled sort of way. "I've had his blood."

"Are you and he...?"Jason still didn't like to think about me having sex.

"No." I shook my head, maybe a bit too emphatically.

"Then why have you had his blood?" He was being careful to keep his tone neutral and was focusing on taking up the bacon as an excuse not to look at me.

"The first time he tricked me into it. But then I got hurt really bad when I was trying to find Bill and I had to heal really quick, so I didn't have much choice."

"So why does it matter that you have had his blood?" Jason didn't seem to know about this effect of vampire blood, I often forget that I know more about them than most humans. He cracked some eggs into the bacon grease.

"Once you have their blood they always know where you are and can tell what you are feeling." I took a sip of coffee.

"They can do that?" Jason looked a little freaked out.

"Yep, I actually resent it most of the time, especially right after he tricked me. Although if it weren't for that I guess I'd be dead now."

Jason concentrated on the eggs. "Did he use his blood to heal you last night?"

"Yea, I was really surprised to be moving this morning, let alone alive. I guess I really owe him now." I know I looked glum.

"Well if he saved your life, again, it sounds like, he's got to be okay in my book." He slid the eggs out of the pan and onto the plates, moving the pan to a cool burner before bringing the plates to the table.

"Thanks, this is great." I realized no one had cooked breakfast for me since Gran passed. I didn't say that to Jason because I knew he had issues yet with that.

He kept looking like he wanted to ask me something and then changing his mind. After about the fifth time I just plucked the question straight from his brain.

"No, I am not a V addict." I said plainly.

"Sook! Stay out of my head!" he tossed his fork on his plate.

"Sorry, but you've been wanting to ask it. You were thinking it so loud it was almost like you were saying it." I looked down at my plate. "I don't think it works the same when you get it straight from the vamp. I don't know why." I added at the confused look on his face.

"What's he going to want in return?" Jason asked astutely.

I snorted. "I know what he wants, I just don't know what he'll settle for." I drank down most of the orange juice before remembering the bottle of B vitamins I had taken while I was with Bill. I stood and got them out of the cupboard and brought one to the table along with the coffee pot to refill our mugs. Taking my vitamin with my last swallow of juice, I picked up my hairbrush to finish my hair.

"You don't look like someone who was just in a nasty accident." He observed, looking me up and down. "You don't even have a bruise."

"You're right, but I can't very well hit myself on the head with a frying pan just to look the part."

"Can you do one with make-up?"

"Yes, Jason, I am an expert at special effects make-up." My voice dripped with sarcasm.

"All we need to do is put a bandage on your head and make the area around it a little red." He stood up from the table. "Hold on. Lets try it. Your vamp isn't going to like too many questions." He disappeared down the hall.

"He's not my vamp." I shouted after him. I could limp, that might help, I would have to remember which leg I was favoring, but I should be able to manage that.

Jason came back with my first aid kit and some of my make-up. "Do you really think this will work?" I asked dubiously.

"Just sit still. I've seen you with enough bruises lately that I should be able to do a halfway decent job of it." I wanted to protest, but it was too true of a statement. "Hopefully no one will look under the bandage." he added.

Thinking this was ridiculous, I sat still. Jason was right. The more convincing my story the fewer questions they would have to ask Eric. In remarkably little time Jason put down the cosmetics and picked up a little stack of gauze squares. He placed them on the area he had been working on. "Hold this here." he instructed so I did, then he got a long piece of gauze and wrapped it around my head to keep it in place.

"Jason, isn't this a bit much?"

"Shush." and he taped the gauze down.

"Go look." He ordered as he began to repack my emergency supplies and make-up.

Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror, I was surprised that it actually didn't look too bad. It wouldn't pass a close inspection, but if someone was looking for an injury it might satisfy them.

"It looks okay." I shouted back at him. "Let me get some shoes and we can go."

He drove me out to the freeway. I guess they hadn't gotten the car out of the ditch yet. Jason pulled onto the shoulder and came around to help me out. I was surprised to see Sam was there. He came up to me before the cops noticed us.

"Sook, thank God, are you okay?" He looked from my "head wound" to my right leg which I was favoring.

"I'm okay Sam really." I tried to reassure my boss.

We were close enough to the lip of the ditch that when I turned from him I saw my car, or what was left of it. I felt the color drain from my face. "Oh my God!" I whispered bringing my hand up to cover my mouth.

Both Sam and Jason moved in to support me when they saw my knees start to buckle. My car was worse than I had imagined it. The front end was smashed and the top was peeled halfway back, I had no idea how to explain that. By all rights I should be dead.

"Sook, watch your step." Jason said, loud enough for others to hear. In my ear he whispered, "You don't want them to take you to the hospital." Sam gave us both curious looks but didn't say anything.

That jolted me into standing up on my own. I couldn't go to the hospital, my wound wouldn't pass inspection and that would lead to too many questions. "Thanks," I said brightly. "The grass is slippery isn't it?"

Andy started climbing out of the ditch toward us. "Miss Stackhouse." He tilted his head in greeting. "I must say I am relieved to see you standing there." He was looking me up and down. "That was quite a wreck, can you tell me what happened?"

"Most of it, it was kind of a blur." I took a deep breath. "Well, I was driving back from Shreveport in the storm." I began, but Andy interrupted.

"What were you doing in Shreveport?" He was jotting down notes in his skinny notebook.

"Shopping. Oh no! my bags are in the trunk!" I looked at the car lying in a good six inches of water. "I hope they're not ruined."

"We'll pop the trunk as soon as we get it out of the ditch." Andy had followed my gaze to the car, but now redirected his attention at me. "Do you know what time the accident was?"

"I think is was probably around 11, maybe 11:30."

"Not too many stores are open that late."

"No, but when I came out of the mall the storm was pretty bad so I went to a diner, hoping it would blow over. But the radio said it was going to last for a couple of more hours and I decided I should get home before I was too tired."

"Did you have anything to drink?" He asked.

"Only coffee." I looked at him impatiently. "Do you want me to tell you the rest?"

"Yes, please go on."

"So, I was driving and I could barely see, the rain was coming down so hard. Then suddenly there was a deer right in front of me so I slammed on my brakes, but I hit the deer anyway and I lost control of the car. The deer slid up the hood and into the windshield. Then the world just spun around and I was in my seat held in by my seatbelt with the deer fighting to get free. I'm lucky it didn't have antlers, it's head was closer to me than you are now."

"And what did you do?" Andy asked, looking quite involved in my story.

"Mostly I just hid behind my arms until it finally got free. I hope the poor thing is okay." I scanned the tree line. "You didn't find it did you?"

"No, and the rain would have washed away any tracks. So then what did you do?"

"Well the seatbelt was stuck, but I had buckled my purse in so I could reach my cell phone."

"Yes, your brother had said you called a vampire named..." he flipped back through his notes. "Eric. Now why did you call him and not your brother or vampire Bill?"

Holding my chin up I said, "Bill and I broke up, and I didn't know if Jason was up. Besides I thought Eric could get here quicker."

"We're closer to Bon Temps than Shreveport." Andy observed.

"Eric drives really fast and it's almost all highway, and no offense to Jason..." I smiled up at my brother. "but vampires are stronger."

"So this vampire came to your aid in the middle of the night in a rainstorm." Andy seemed skeptical. "What exactly is the nature of your relationship with this individual?"

"Hey, what are you implying? This is my sister you're talking to." Jason puffed up his chest and looked belligerent.

"Calm down Stackhouse." Andy warned him. "I am just trying to establish the facts in this incident."

I put my hand on Jason's chest to calm him down. "Jason, it's okay." turning to Andy I added. "I work for him sometimes."

He arched an eyebrow. "In what capacity?" He tried hard to keep any innuendo out of his tone, he almost succeeded, but I still had to hold Jason back.

"Jason calm down. I help him in investigations and in dealing with humans."

"How do you do that?" Andy was a bit slow on the uptake this morning. I arched an eyebrow back at him. I actually heard the thought as it popped into his head and nodded at him, a smirk on my face. Andy was a reluctant believer and didn't like to talk about my handicap.

"Oh...um...So you called this man and he came here. Then what happened?"

"Well by the time he got here I was kind of fading in and out. I had hit my head, either on the deer or part of the car, plus I was really cold and wet so I was probably in a bit of shock. But he got me out of the car and took me home. I took a hot shower to warm up and clean off, then went to bed. He stayed for a while to check on me, but had to leave to make it home before sun-up."

"So you haven't been to a hospital? You might have a concussion." Andy looked genuinely concerned.

"Eric says no, vampires can tell how hurt people are, and I feel fine."

"And have you heard from Eric today?"

"No, but he's asleep now. He'll probably call tonight."

"Where can I reach him?"

"He owns the vampire bar, Fangtasia, I have the number here." I pulled up the number on my phone and he copied it down.

"One last question for now Miss Stackhouse." He waited for me to nod. "Why didn't you call anyone to tell them you were okay?"

"Like I said, by the time Eric got here and I got home I was pretty out of it. I'm sorry I created such a panic." I looked contrite because I was. I glanced at my car and gasped. "I haven't called Greg Aubert, my insurance guy." I fumbled with my cell phone.

Jason's hand covered mine. "I'll call him, Sook." He shot Andy a disgusted look as he walked a few feet away to make the call. Andy watched him for a moment then turned back to me.

"Miss Stackhouse, you don't have to wait here. It's going to be awhile before we get your car up. "We'll bring any personal items recovered to the station. If you think of anything else, please give me a call." He handed me a business card, I thought that by this point I probably had a whole stack of Andrew Bellefleur business cards, but I took it with only a soft thanks.

Sam and I started walking back to where both his and Jason's trucks were parked. Once we were out of earshot he turned to me, holding on to my shoulders lightly, he asked me quietly. "Okay Sook, what really happened?"

"Most of that was true, except I missed the deer, Eric came because I've had his blood and he knew I was hurt, and I was actually paralyzed and bleeding to death when he got here." The color drained from Sam's face and his grip tightened painfully.

"Except those small details." He said sarcastically.

I looked back at the police walking around what was my car to make sure we weren't being watched. "Sam, let go. You know I couldn't tell Andy any of that. Vampires don't want people to know how much their blood can heal or how strong they really are." He hadn't let me go but his grip had loosened and his head was down and he was shaking it slowly side to side.

"Are you his now? Is that why you've had his blood?" He looked at me then and I could see the hurt in his eyes.

"No!" I said indignantly, "He tricked me into drinking it." I twisted out of his hands. "But if I hadn't I'd be dead now." I held up my chin to dare him to argue that.

"I guess I should be thankful." He admitted. "I just hate to see you get involved with vampires again.

I realized that Sam had been in a pretty good mood since Bill and I had broken up. Not that he had bothered to ask me out.

"How did you know about the accident?" I was wondering how he had found out about it so quickly.

"Andy called me to see if you had called me." He looked down toward the wreckage. "With the state your car was in he knew you couldn't have just walked away. He was going down the list of people you might have called for help. I came here to see if I could get your scent, in case you had wandered away from the crash and were lying in the trees, but with the rain any trail would have been washed away." he looked at me sideways. "I feel better knowing you didn't choose to call a vampire over me."

I smiled at him, "I would have called you before him." I agreed.

"Oh Sam, how am I going to get to work?" I wailed, I suddenly found myself in tears that I just couldn't stop. It was all just too much. I had almost died. I owed Eric my life, again. I had no car and I was under no delusions that my car insurance payout would be enough to get me anything but a clunker. How did everything get to be such a mess again? I buried my face in my hands. Sam put his arms around me and made shushing, soothing noises.

"Dammit Sook, you're shaking like a leaf." After about a minute of uncontrollable sobs, despite the mental scolding I was giving myself, Sam yelled. "Jason."

I heard him come running up. "What happened?" he asked as I felt him pat my back.

That question struck me as so absurd that I snorted through my tears and ended up coughing and laughing. Okay, maybe I was a bit hysterical.

"Jason, you better get her home. I think everything is catching up with her." Sam still had his arm around me but he was leading me to Jason's truck. "Sook, don't come in tonight. You need to rest up and get better. If you need anything, call me."

I think there was a slight emphasis on the last word. By that point I was down to sobbing chuckles and I nodded. "Thanks Sam, I really would have called you if I could." I gave his hand a little squeeze.

"It's good to know." He smiled back at me and helped me up into the cab, shutting my door once I was seated. I buckled myself in and put my head back on the headrest.

Jason looked at me like I was about to go hysterical again. "Sook, you sure you don't need to see a doctor?"

I sighed, "No, I'm fine, Sam was right. It all just hit me. Can you take me home? I'm tired." he opened his mouth and I cut him off. "I am fine, my body just needs to heal and seeing the car and how close I came to dying was just a mental shock."

"If you say so." Jason started the truck and merged into the slow traffic, full of people rubbernecking to catch any sight of the wreck.

We rode back in silence. I was too tired to keep my shields up so Jason's half-formed thoughts kept washing over me. Mostly he was worried if I was alright, both mentally and physically. Worried that so much had happened to me in such a short time, that it might all be too much. He was also worried about Eric. He knew he was no match against a vampire, but he was going to do his best to keep him from forcing me into anything. I turned my head towards the car door and smiled. Jason had always stood up for me, always the protective big brother.

When we got to the house I was surprised when he turned off the truck and got out, I had figured he was just going to drop me off.

"Jason, I'm fine. You don't have to babysit me all day." However I ruined that by losing my balance getting down from his high truck. He steadied me and I knew I wouldn't be able to dissuade him.

"Uh huh." he said sarcastically. "Look you had a bad bump on your head and vamp blood or no vamp blood you shouldn't be left alone." He unlocked the door before I could even get my keys out of my purse. "That vamp shouldn't have left you by yourself." He stated firmly.

"Eric sticking around and burning to dust wouldn't have been much of a help." I reasoned.

"He could have called someone. Picked up your phone and called me or Sam."

"I didn't think of that, maybe he didn't either." It was a good idea and would have saved a lot of people a lot of panic. "Speaking of my phone, I should call him so he will know just what I told Andy so our stories match. Do you mind?" I asked as I held up my phone.

"No, go ahead." It sounded like he did mind, but I went into my bedroom to make the call anyway. I relayed everything I told Andy and thanked him again.

I looked at the bed longingly and decided I did need some sleep. Going back to the kitchen I found Jason digging through the fridge.

"You can't be hungry already, it's been less than 2 hours since breakfast."

"I know, I was just checking to see what I could pick up from the store."


"Well, you aren't up to shopping and it will be awhile before you get a car so I thought I would stock you up on somethings."

"What happened to not leaving me alone?"

"I'll be gone half an hour tops." he promised.

"Okay, can you pick up some TrueBlood at the store too? O positive."

"Why?" he looked annoyed at that.

"Eric said he would be back tonight to check on me." Jason gave me a dark look.

"You don't have to let him in."

"He just saved my life. I can't very well rescind my invitation." I patted him on the shoulder. "It's okay, he's not going to force me into anything." I said with more confidence than I felt.

"He better not even try." He dug his keys back out of his too-tight jeans pocket. "Anything else from the store?"

"Nothing I can think of. I'm going to take a nap for a bit."

"I'll check on you when I get back." I started to tell him it wasn't necessary, but he tapped his head. "Head injury, remember? It's a good idea."

"Fine big brother, play nursemaid. "I'll see you when you get back." I gave him a peck on the cheek which surprised him and left the kitchen.

I changed into a nightshirt, which was really just an oversized t-shirt, removing everything else except my panties so I would be comfortable and slipped into bed. Eric must have really been sparing with his blood, usually I had much more energy after drinking vampire blood.

I must have been more tired than I thought, because when I woke it was dark and Eric was sitting on the side of my bed, smoothing the hair back from my face.

"Thank you Eric." I murmured softly, shifting to face him more directly. "Where's Jason?"

"I sent him home." He touched my bandage softly. "What is this?"

My hand went to my cosmetic wound and brushed his. "Jason's idea, he thought I looked too good to have been in a wreck like that and I didn't want the police asking too many questions." I took his hand and gave it a slight squeeze. "Thank you for saving me." My eyes teared up and my throat constricted. "I'd be dead if..."

"Shh." his fingers brushed my lips softly and it took my breath away. He trailed them back along my jawline to the base of my skull. His touch was sending sparks across my skin and I shivered. But his expression was one of concentration not passion. "Turn over." he instructed softly. At my wary look he added, "I want to see how your back and neck are healing, they were broken in two places."

I swallowed at that, revisiting how close to death I had come and rolled over, tucking the pillows under my chest so my head would hang down arching my neck. He stood, then placed a knee on the bed so he could lean over me. He brought both hands to my neck, running his thumbs along the bones, his fingers fluttering on either side of my throat. As they brushed a particularly pleasurable spot I gasped and his hands stilled.

"Did that hurt?" his voice full of concern.

"No, it's just that your fingers are cold." I lied, since they were setting me on fire.

"Sorry." he whispered back, but he didn't sound it. His hands continued down my neck, delicately tracing the outline of each bone. He stopped when he got to the neckline of my t-shirt. Then I felt him shift and he started to pull up on the bottom of it.

"Eric." I began warningly.

"I have to check. You don't want a bone fragment severing something later, do you?"

"No." I conceded. I bunched up the t-shirt so it would reveal most of my back, while keeping my front covered.

He resumed where he had left off, the base of my neck and slowly worked down. I bit the pillow to keep from moaning at the passion he was kindling within me. Just below my shoulder blades one hand began to run along my ribs. I squirmed and giggled.

"This rib was cracked." he explained. "Is it tender?"

I shook my head and tried to concentrate on my breathing which was starting to speed up.

"Good." He trailed his fingers back up to my spine and I tried to relax. But it was impossible as his fingers continued to float, feather-light, across my skin. As he approached the base of my spine his fingers were brushing the swell of my bottom and I jerked at the contact. He placed one hand across my rear to to hold me down causing my muscles to tense, while his other hand continued the inspection.

"Hold still." I could swear there was a hint of amusement in his voice. "I'm almost done." The hand on my butt gave a light squeeze and I tensed even more. I know he knew what he was doing to me. I had had even more of his blood so he knew what I was feeling, how I was responding, but I still tried to fight to hide my reactions to his touch. Although a little voice inside me was asking why.

"Your back appears to be healing nicely." He surprised me by pulling the nightshirt back down. "Roll over." I turned and moved to sit, but he placed a hand on my stomach. "One more thing to check." I held my breath as I thought about the wound on my thigh. He scooted down the bed a little and sat on the edge as he leaned over to examine the pink line. He brought his hand up to the top of the wound and slowly traced the length of it. A moan escaped me and his fangs clicked down. As his hand repeated the journey in reverse, I moaned again.


I sat bolt upright and blinked at the daylight in my bedroom. I could hear Jason coming down the hall.

"Sook are you okay?" He said as he burst into my room. "Are you hurting? Where's the pain?" He looked at me with worry.

My head still reeling from the realization that it had been a dream, I stammered. "I'm fine. I was just having a dream about the accident. That's all." I felt my cheeks grow warm.

"Okay..." Jason looked disbelieving but let it go. "If you're hungry I bought some chicken and stuff."

"How long have I been asleep?" I was still coming to grips with the fact that it had been a dream, it felt so real.

"About three hours. I've been checking on you every half-hour or so. Making sure you're still breathing, you know." He looked a little sheepish.

I was a little stunned since I had no memory of him coming in at all. "Wow, I was really out of it." Looking at my bedside clock I discovered it was indeed almost one-thirty. "Let me put myself together and I will be right down,"

"Alright, I'll get the food out." He popped back out the door and I got out of bed. I realized that before I had been a little stiff, but now I felt limber, as limber as I had in Jackson after Eric had given me his blood, but before what had happened in the trunk. I spent a few minutes stretching and bending and it felt wonderful. If Eric had been careful about how much blood he had given me, his blood was extremely potent. I guess I had just needed to sleep longer to finish healing.

I went into the bathroom and freshened up. I was tempted to wash my "wound" away, but I wasn't positive that Andy wouldn't come by to ask more questions. For that reason I changed out of the oversized tee, put a bra back on and opted for a better fitting t-shirt and sweat pants.

I almost skipped into the kitchen, I was so full of energy. Jason looked at me oddly but only said, "You look like you're feeling better."

"I am, I feel great." I looked at the fast food fried chicken laid out on the table and noticed there was only one plate. "This is wonderful Jason, I'm starving. But aren't you going to eat?"

"I ate while you were sleeping." He glanced at his watch. "I was going to wake you up soon anyway. Greg Aubert is going to be here at 2:30 to ask you about the accident."

I was glad I put my bra on. "Okay, did anyone else call?"

"No, were you expecting someone to? Your vamp is probably still asleep."

"He's not my vamp." I told him again. "I'm just sure Andy is going to have more questions eventually." I finished fixing my plate and took a bite of the chicken. With the heightened sense of taste the vampire blood gave me I was sure I could identify all 11 herbs and spices in the secret recipe. "Thank you. You are the best big brother."

Jason actually blushed a little. We made small talk after that. Jason catching me up on town gossip and his job.

By the time I finished it was a quarter past two. "I should go wash up and change before Greg gets here." I stood and started to clear the table.

Jason took my plate out of my hands. "I'll take care of this. You stay in that and lie on the couch under the quilt. You should look like you were in a doozy of an accident." He eyed me critically. "Right now you're so bouncy you look like you're about to run a race or something."

"Good point. Let me go degrease." I wiggled my greasy fingers at him. "I'll be right back."

While in the bathroom I brushed my teeth and washed my face, being careful not to wash off the fake bruise, I touched it up a little and straightened the bandage.

I settled on the couch, stretching out on it with the arm at my back and pulled the quilt down over me. "How's this?" I asked Jason as he came in from the kitchen.

"You still look way too perky. Slouch down a bit." I did but he still didn't look happy. "Move slower, like you're afraid you might hurt something."

"How come you're such an expert at this?"

Looking a little guilty, he said with a smirk. "Sook, I was never sick a single day in high school."

"But you were always out sick!" I replied in disbelief, I was forever bringing home assignments for him, that he rarely bothered to do.

"I was out, but I wasn't sick. And if I can fool Gran then I gotta be good."

I gave him a disapproving look, but conceded his point. "Alright, master of deception, do I look pathetic enough?"

"Yeah, just wince sometimes when you move and if you want to get him to leave, just rub your eyes and yawn."

"Jason, I'm not going to rush Greg off." Gran would roll over in her grave if I was such a terrible hostess.

He just shrugged and went back into the kitchen.

Less than a minute later I heard gravel crunching under a car in my driveway. Beautiful gravel which Eric had paid for.

Jason came to the doorway of the kitchen and waited. I heard the footsteps on my porch and a knock on the screen. Then Jason called out, "No Sook, stay on the couch, I'll get it." I rolled my eyes, but slouched down trying to look frail.

I heard them exchange greetings and as Jason brought Greg into the room I pushed myself into more of a seated position. "Hi Greg." I said warmly, but tried to keep my energy level low.

"No, Miss Stackhouse, you stay put. You shouldn't be getting up."In one hand he had one of those stiff leather folders that hold a notebook but was making a stilling gesture with the other.

"Please sit down." I gestured to the recliner. "Would you like something to drink?" I picked up annoyance from Jason, of course, he would have to be the one to get the drink.

"No, thank you, I won't be staying that long. I must say I am relieved to see you looking so well." My heart skipped a beat, did he suspect? Was I not playing the role of an invalid convincingly? "After seeing your car, I'm surprised that you're alive." He opened the folder and held a pen ready to take notes. "Now have you seen a doctor?"

"No, I'm fine, just a little shaken up is all."

"If you're worried about the medical bills your policy will cover them."

"No really, I think I'm okay."

"Well, I encourage you to get checked out." He pulled out a completed form and half stood to hand it to me. "Your car is totaled, I don't need to take it to a mechanic to see that. A check for that will be coming in about a week. The total is at the bottom there. I'm afraid it's not much, but it will make a down payment. Now until the check comes you can rent a car to get around. Your policy covers 10 days of rental so that should help until you get a new car."

"Thanks Greg, I had forgotten about the rental. That will help me get back and forth to work." I smiled at him so he wouldn't feel bad that he couldn't cure all my problems.

"Now, I'm sorry to have to ask you to relive the accident, but I need to take down what happened for the report."

"No, I understand, I figured as much." I then told him pretty much the same thing I told Andy. Trying to keep it consistent without repeating it verbatim as if I had memorized it.

Greg took notes the whole while I was talking and waited til the end to ask the questions he needed to to clear up the details. Finally he asked, "Is there anything else?"

I thought for a moment and shook my head. "Nope, car, rain, deer, ditch, vampire. That's pretty much sums it up." He looked a little taken aback at my glibness, or maybe my casualness with vampires. In case it was the former, I stifled a yawn and looked sheepish. "Excuse me, I've been so sleepy today." I hoped he would attribute any bizarre behavior to that.

"I really wish you would go see a doctor." Concern replacing the shock on his face.

"If I'm still sleepy tomorrow I will, I promise. But I'm fine." I assured him.

"Well I think those are all the questions I have for now." He stood and motioned for me to stay put as I shifted to get up. "No, I can let myself out, you should rest." He put one of his cards on the coffee table. Call me if you have any questions."

Jason came out of the kitchen, just as I was saying goodbye, so he had obviously been listening in. He walked Greg to the door and followed him out.

I put my head back against the arm of the couch. How was I going to get a new car? The insurance check would probably cover tax, title and license on anything even 5 years old, and not make much of a downpayment after that. Then I would need to make monthly payments and my budget was already stretched pretty thin. There was the money from Dallas, but most of that was earmarked for property taxes and I was going to use the rest to fix up a few things that needed to be done around the house. I sighed, I guess those things will have to wait another year.

How much of a monthly payment could I afford? I tried to think of what I could squeeze out of my budget. I could get rid of either the cellphone or the landline, and if need be I could get rid of cable, but that ruled out watching anything but tapes and DVDs out here.

I could ask Sam for more hours at the bar, and he would probably give them to me, but that wouldn't be fair to the other waitresses. My only real option was getting a second job. I would have to get regular hours at the bar, so I could schedule around it. I sighed. I didn't even have the car yet and already I had buyer's remorse.

I closed my eyes and put my arm across them to black out the depressing numbers in my head. "Just be thankful you're alive." I told myself. "And moving – less than 24 hours ago you were paralyzed and bleeding to death. Now you can wiggle your toes." Which I did to prove to myself I could. I began to stretch each muscle in my body one at a time, then relaxed each in turn. I had read somewhere that it was a good relaxation technique and it did seem to help. I got up from the couch and did some stretches.

Jason poked his head in as I was twisting around at the waist, something they called a "windmill" back in gym when I was in school.

"Hey Sook, you look like you're feeling better."

"Yeah, I feel great right now." I bent to touch my toes, it felt really good to be moving after all the lying around I had done today.

"Um, Sook, I got a call and I gotta go for a while. Do you think you will be okay on your own for a bit?" He looked anxious and guilty.

I assumed he had gotten a call from s woman who was "hot-to-trot", but I didn't let on. "I'm fine, go, take care of whatever you need to."

"You're sure?" I nodded. "All right, thanks Sook. I'll come back later to check on you."

"No, don't drive all the way back out here. Call me later, if I don''t pick up the phone then you can come check."

"I don't know." he hesitated.

I went over to him and pushed him playfully towards the door. "Go."

He stumbled, "You're stronger than you look." Turning on the other side of the threshold he said. "Call me if you feel the least bit odd."

After many assurances he left. I wandered into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and saw that all of the dishes we had used that day were dirty on the counter. I sighed and headed to the sink. I might as well get them done now. It was actually relaxing to lose myself in the chore. It was the first normal thing I had done all day. I stood there washing the dishes and looking out at the woods across my back porch. I was surprised to see it was growing dark out. Greg must have been here longer than I thought. Finishing the first part of the chore, I drained the sink and started drying the dishes. I came back from putting away a plate and shrieked. There was Eric, framed in my window, standing on the porch.

"Oh my God Eric, you scared the life out of me." I scolded, catching my breath.

"That was not my intent. May I come in?"

"Yes, come on in." Suddenly it occurred to me, "I rescinded my invitation after we came back from Jackson. How did you come in last night?"

He had entered while I was talking and grinned crookedly at me. "I coaxed an invitation out of you while you were drifting in and out last night. It actually took some doing to bring you around enough to mumble. I thought I was going to have to break into Bill's and leave you there." He looked like he would have rather died. "That or leave you on the porch."

"There are these things called hospitals." I began sarcastically.

"You know you were healing to fast for that. According to your message you hid the true extent of your injuries from the police." He was leaning against the doorway to the living room, his arms crossed smugly. "Have you told anyone?"

"Just Jason and Sam." I replied with a shrug.

"Why the shifter?" His eyebrows raised.

"Because he's a friend and he was worried. Besides he has enough secrets, he's not going to go running to the cops with any vampire secrets." As soon as I said that I realized how cynical that sounded, but really that had been at the back of my mind.

He nodded, then looked me up and down. "So how are you tonight?" He asked with what seemed like genuine concern. "There was a while there that I thought I was going to have to bring you over."

"No." I stopped him. "Don't ever, ever bring me over. I don't want to be a vampire." I shook my head adamantly.

"You would rather die?" He was incredulous. "Why?"

"I'm human, all humans die, it's part of the package. I'm not afraid to die, I wasn't looking to do it last night, and I'm very grateful to you that I didn't. But I'm okay knowing that I will someday." His expression was intense, but I couldn't read it. Finally I turned back to the dishrack and picked up the last bowl to dry. "Thank you for coming all this way to check on me. You could have just called."

"If you weren't doing well would you have told me the truth?"

"Maybe." I put away the last bowl and put down the towel. "Can I get you a True Blood?"

"Thank you." He looked like he was accepting it just for good manners, which I knew took some forethought on his part. I got one out of the fridge and popped it into the microwave. While it was heating up I got myself an ice tea. When the microwave dinged Eric got the bottle out before I could. With a gesture I invited him into the livingroom.

I sat on the couch indicting he should take the recliner, which he did. "So..." I began searching for something to say after a moment's silence. "Have the police contacted you?"

"They left me a few messages, I haven't called them back." He looked as if he might not bother returning the calls.

"Please talk to them. The sooner this thing is closed the sooner the insurance will come through." He puffed up a little and I could tell he was going to come to my rescue again. "And no, you are not buying me a car. I owe you too much already."

He instantly looked suspicious, "Can you read my mind?

I rolled my eyes, mainly as a stall to think of what to say. "I didn't pluck that from your thoughts, I could see it on your face." I sighed. "Eric, I make my own way in this world and I hate being beholden to anyone. I already owe you my life. I can't afford to be more indebted to you."

"Do you think I saved your life to have power over you? So that you would owe me?" To say he didn't look happy would be a massive understatement.

"No, not entirely. Probably last night you were just caught up in the crisis. But it must have crossed your mind that now I owe you big time." I looked down at my hands because his expression was indecipherable and his eyes were sharp and burning through me. "I've seen how vampire politics work. The power games, how favors are used as bargaining chips and leverage and I am way out of my league. I have no power to bargain with and I don't want to always be owing something to you." I paused, not raising my eyes from my hands. When he didn't say anything I added. "But I am grateful that you saved my life."

I finally looked up and recoiled slightly. Eric looked furious. His lips were drawn into a thin, tight line. I could see the outline of his fangs behind them. His eyes had darkened like the sea in a storm and his hands were clenched into tight fists.

"So you have me figured out?" He bit out, barely moving his mouth, his jaw was clenched so tightly.

I hadn't expected this type of reaction. Maybe a wry acknowledgement that it was true, or even mock offense and denial, but not this intense anger. I opened my mouth, not knowing what I was going to say but he cut me off.

"And what favor did you think I would want in return for this debt?" His eyes were daring me to say what I had been thinking all day.

"I... I don't know..." I stammered, not wanting to voice the thought that filled me with dread yet made my heart race.

Before I could blink he pulled me to my feet, his hands gripping my upper arms. "Is this what I was thinking?" He asked with a sneer before crushing my lips with his. I could taste my blood as my lips scraped against my teeth and I knew that would make things worse, that it would feed the fury and hunger that had taken him over, but there was nothing I could do. Cold fear gripped my insides as I realized how helpless I was. This wasn't the same fear I felt when Gabe had tried to rape me . Then I felt there was some chance that maybe one of my fists would land true or someone would hear me and come to my rescue. But this was more a sense of icy doom crushing me. I knew I wasn't strong enough to hurt Eric even with my best punch. Nor was there anyone around to hear me cry for help.

When I had kissed Eric before, in Dallas, at the cabin, in Russell Edgington's mansion, it lit a passion within me that scared me. It was more powerful than anything I had felt with Bill. But now I was just scared and I knew if he did this any chance at any kind of relationship between us would be gone.

Then his punishing lips were gone and I slumped onto the couch, my legs unprepared to take my weight when he released my arms. Momentarily dazed I looked up to find him standing by the fireplace looking at me as if I had stabbed him in the gut.

"You really believe I would rape you?" His face held a mixture of hurt and disgust. "Don't deny it, I felt your fear and hopelessness and sorrow. Do you really think so little of me?" His indignation somewhat ruined by the trace of blood on his mouth from my crushed lips.

"I don't know what to think anymore! You save me from the Fellowship's attack then trick me into sucking a bullet out of your chest. You threaten me with torture to tell you what I know about Bill and in the same conversation tell me you want to fuck me. You stay by my side when I was staked then try to seduce me that very night. Now you save my life again, what did you expect me to think?" I put my elbows on my knees and drop my forehead into my palms. "Eric you're driving me crazy!"

For a full ten seconds there was silence then I heard a noise start to build. I couldn't figure out what it was and looked up. Eric was facing the fireplace shaking his head, his shoulders were moving up and down and I realized as the sound grew that he was laughing.

"Eric?" I ventured hesitantly.

He turned to face me. "I've been driving you crazy?" he asked in disbelief. "I staked another vampire for you the second time we met, why? I had never chosen a human over a vampire before. You invite me to an orgy, on the pretense of solving a murder, kiss me passionately and you really were just trying to solve a murder. I stay with you after the staking, and you respond to my advances then push me away. Still I put my life on the line helping you rescue your treacherous boyfriend, who turns around and rapes you. Then I save you from a bunch of bikers, only to have you rescind my invitation. Now you think I'm going to rape you. And I'm driving you crazy?" He chuckled harshly. "Pam's even upset with me because apparently I am so preoccupied with you that I'm neglecting the bar."

My head was reeling from his outburst. I hadn't considered his point of view and it did seem like he was going through a lot, but why? Just so he could have sex with me? No, he had so many potential partners who were prettier and very willing. So I could read people for him? He had gotten along fine for hundreds of years without a telepath. My blood? I had heard Eric and Bill discussing how it was different. Was that it? If so I wanted to hear it from him. "Why?" I asked softly.

"Why? I was hoping you would tell me." He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.

"It's because my blood is different isn't it?"

He looked at me as if I were stupid. "Hasn't it occurred to you that if all I wanted was your blood I could have just chained you up somewhere?" I felt my jaw drop when he said this because it hadn't, although maybe it should have. He smirked when he saw that. "The same is true if I were willing to rape you. Hell, it would be so much simpler if that was all I wanted." He approached slowly, it reminded me of a lion stalking his prey. His voice was low dangerous, yet seductive. "Chaining you somewhere in the dark. I could fuck you all night and into the day. Drive you over the edge of passion again and again until you passed out from pleasure. Drink from every artery until I picked a favorite, then use you as my personal chalice."

He was right in front of me now, towering above me. My heart was pounding in my throat, I swallowed trying to get it to return to my chest. If he were willing to do what he just said there was nothing I could do about it. My eyes were locked with his and I couldn't turn away. He brought a hand up to cup my cheek and I was too petrified to move, I didn't even flinch. "It would be so simple..." Then his eyes flashed with anger and he spun away. "...and yet the very thought holds no appeal."

I let out a shaky sigh and stared at his back, wishing I could read his thoughts. I could see the muscles tensing under his sweater.

"Why am I angry that you fear me? Why is my first thought at night and my last thought at dawn you?" These questions were all asked to the fireplace, he turned to face me and the confusion was obvious in his eyes. He was used to being in control of himself and everything around him, but now he had lost that.

It was only then that I realized he did have feelings for me outside of a desire for my blood and a lust for my body. I could also see that it had been so long since he had felt that way about anyone, if he ever had, that the feelings were foreign to him. Nor was I able to truly believe, after how Bill had betrayed me, that vampires were capable of love. But Eric definitely had some deeper feeling for me.

But how did I feel about him? Yes, I did fear him, I would be crazy not to, but I found that despite the dungeon scenario he had just painted, or perhaps because of his own reaction to it, I wasn't as afraid. He was right, if he were willing to hurt me, he could have done it by now. I had suspected him of an ulterior motive, of trying to gather power over me, but if he cared as much as he seemed to, I did have my own share of power here. Not that I liked playing power games, but it was good to know.

Did I want a relationship with Eric? My dreams all said yes and whenever I thought about the times we had kissed and more, my body tingled in all the right places. But was that enough? Did I like him? Sometimes, I liked verbally sparing with him. I liked how he would explain things to me, rather than trying to shelter me like Bill did. He's saved my life several times now. Has he lied to me? He tricked me into drinking his blood, but in hindsight I knew I should have seen through that. No, looking back he had been honest with me as far as I knew.

It takes longer to relate all this then it does to think it and Eric was still standing there looking at me his eyes questioning.

I stood slowly, he actually took a step back as if all five foot six of me was a threat.

"Eric, I'm sorry..." I began and his shoulders drooped as he turned back to the fireplace. "No, let me finish." I placed my hand on his arm to turn him back to me. "You saved my life and I threw it in your face, that wasn't right or fair. You've always been direct with me and after everything with Bill and Lorena I appreciate that." A spark of hope lit in his eyes.

"Do you frighten me? Sometimes, but I would be foolish not to be wary of anyone as powerful as you are. But you're right, if you were going to hurt me or take me against my will you could have done it long before now." I took a deep breath. "I should have thought of that myself and not implied otherwise." I gave him a slight smile, my hand still on his arm.

He covered my hand with his and squeezed it slightly. His touch sent sparks across my skin. One corner of his mouth lifted. "Thank you for that." His hand moved to my cheek and I gave a little gasp. "But I thought that there was more, the way you respond to my touch." His thumb traced my lips and my pulse sped up, which I knew he could sense.

"Eric..." I had intended to ask him to wait, but my voice was throatier than I intended.

"Sookie, you can't deny that you want me." A fire had started to smolder in his eyes and he bent closer. My grip tightened on his arm and that hand came to rest on my waist.

"It's because I had your blood..."

"Partly," he shrugged, "but it only builds on feelings that are already there." His voice was husky and seductive. He started to lower his head. "Do you want me to stop?" Then this lips were on mine before I could answer.

Whatever reservations I may have had, my body didn't share them. My lips parted beneath his and his tongue slipped past them, expertly fanning my desire. The hand on my waist pulled me every so lightly and my body leaned in against his. He broke off the kiss briefly as his fangs clicked down and I worked to catch my breath. Then his mouth was back on mine, plundering yet taking care that his fangs did not draw blood. The hand on my cheek moved into my hair, the other up my back. I moaned and my body moved against his, my hands coming between us to rest on his chest.

He kissed his way back to my ear, lightly tugged my earlobe with his teeth then whispered, "Shall I stop?" He stilled, as only a vampire can, waiting for my reply. I tried to fight through the desire burning within, then I thought – why? Eric obviously cared for me. I wanted him. Maybe I didn't love him, but that might be better, my heart wouldn't get broken again.

He pulled his head back to look at me and I saw the desire and the hope there as he tried to read my expression. Swallowing hard I brought one hand up to his cheek. He leaned slightly into it, never taking his eyes off mine. My thumb traced one of his fangs and his eyes widened at the significance of this. With a smile I moved my hand behind his head and pulled his mouth back to mine. I held nothing back from that kiss. I maneuvered my tongue past his fangs exploring his mouth. His hands moved to my waist and he lifted me, putting us in a better position for kissing. I wrapped my legs around his waist, his hands supporting my butt. I felt him walking and then he was lowering us onto the couch, my head on the arm as he supported himself over me.

His hands slipped up under my shirt and unclasped my bra, then moved forward to cup my freed breasts. His thumbs brushed my nipples which were already tightening into hard peaks. I arched my back, pushing my breasts further into his hands as my breathing sped up. Then his hands and mouth were gone. I whined at the loss of contact and opened my eyes. He peeled my shirt up off of me, then I gathered his sweater up, revealing his carved stomach and chest. We took a moment to drink in the sight of the other, then I moved in to cover his nipple with my mouth. I sucked on it and bit it, I couldn't help myself, he gasped and his fingers tangled in the hair at the back of my head. His other hand returned to my breast, his fingers going from fluttering lightly across my skin to kneading my flesh urgently.

I realized that he was leaning forward, lightly pushing me back onto the couch arm. He released my head, his hand coming forward to cup my cheek, and he looked down at me, the passion burning in his eyes. "You are so beautiful." he murmured as his eyes traveled over my face and body. Then his head lowered and he covered my breast with his mouth. His lips, tongue, and teeth expertly teased and caressed me, leaving me panting and moaning in seconds. My arms came around him and my fingers dug into his back. My legs were still wrapped around him and I pressed my pelvis to his, grinding against him. He moaned against my breast, the vibrations went straight to my core and I pushed against him again in search of some relief.

He lifted his head with what could only be described as a growl, his eyes blazing with desire and hunger, locking with mine. His hands found the waistband of my sweats and untied the bow with a jerk. I unwrapped my legs from around him, in a flash I was naked beneath him. He held onto the leg that has been cut with one hand as his other parted me, unerringly finding my pleasure center.

I gasped, closing my eyes and arching into his touch. "Open your eyes." he whispered urgently. It took an effort but I forced them open, looking back into his.

He slid off the couch, onto his knees. Still holding my leg he began to kiss and nip along my inner thigh, watching my face out of the corner of his eye all the while. His mouth was sending sparks of pleasure up my leg arcing to the ecstasy his hand was creating. My breath was coming in ragged gasps as I was becoming overwhelmed with sensation.

He had stopped his journey where my scar ended on my inner thigh. He nuzzled the area, licked it and I found myself in rapt anticipation of his bite, knowing the pleasure/pain sensation would send me over the edge. He turned and looked at me questioningly. I swallowed, nodding slightly. Turning back to my thigh he plunged his fangs in.

"Sookie!" My eyes shot open at Jason's irritated shout and I jumped, moving to cover myself, only to find I was still fully clothed and under the blankets on the couch. I looked around in confusion.

"Dammit Sook! No man wants to hear his sister making those noises!" He looked both embarrassed and angry. "And don't go trying to tell me that you were moaning from a nightmare. That was not a nightmare noise." His eyes dared me to deny it, but of course, I couldn't.

Under the blankets I rubbed my thigh where I dreamt Eric bit me. It had felt so real, I could almost feel a dull throb of pain and I was sure it felt warm.

"Sorry Jason, side effect of the vampire blood I guess." I admitted contritely. "Look Jason, you've been great hanging around with me all day, fixing breakfast, shopping, buying chicken. But I'm fine. You should go and have a great night." I got up from the couch and gave him a hug and then a playful push towards the door.

He looked at me skeptically, "You sure you don't want me here when the vamp gets here?"

I glanced at the twilight outside the window. "I'm sure, don't worry. If he was going to do anything against my will he could have just whisked me off last night." I replied, fully confidant now that that was true. Eric would be awake soon if he wasn't already and when he got here I was not going to deny either of us what we wanted.

"Alright, I'll get." Jason opened the door and stopped turning as he did. "But you call me if you need me, I mean it."

"I will, and I'll call you in the morning." I promised. I watched him go down the porch steps before closing the door.

I poked my head into the kitchen to see how big a mess there was to clean up and was surprised to see the Jason had done all the dishes. That was so sweet of him, since I knew how much he had hated that chore growing up. I decided I would make a nice dinner for him soon.

I continued on to my bathroom, deciding to take a quick shower before Eric got here. I had removed my shirt and was taking off the sweats when I froze. There on my leg, in the exact spot that Eric had bitten me in my dream was an ugly purple bruise, I knew it hadn't been there before. I felt the area and it was tender and warm. My mind raced, Eric could not have done that through a dream, there must still be some glass or metal in there and it had started something bleeding again.

I took a deep breath to calm myself down, trying to remember the little bit of first aid training they had given us in high school. For bleeding you elevate the area and apply pressure. But with glass in there I thought the latter might be dangerous. I grabbed my robe and quickly put it around me. I'll go back and lie down on the couch with my leg propped up. Heading back down the hall I detoured into the kitchen and decided that maybe an ice pack would be good too. As I filled the bag, I tried to assess how I was feeling. I didn't feel dizzy or faint, so I didn't think the bleeding was as bad as last night, although I might have been hanging in my seat unconscious for awhile before Eric arrived.

Grabbing an extra pillow from the chair I settled back down on the couch and gingerly put the icepack on the bruise. Was it bigger? I was sure it was, but it just might have been paranoia. I tried to be calm as I waited for Eric, keeping my heart rate and blood pressure low would probably slow down the bleeding. It was full dark now and Eric would be here soon. Then it occurred to me, what if Eric decided to go into the bar for awhile tonight before coming here?

I grabbed my phone from the coffee table and called his bar.

"Fangtasia, the bar with bite." droned Pam's bored voice.

"Hi Pam, this is Sookie. Is Eric there?"

"Sookie, I hear you need a new car." She perked right up at the sound of my voice.

"Yep, I guess Eric told you about the accident. Is he there?" I persisted.

"No, he was heading straight to your place tonight. He should be there any minute."

As if on cue, there was a knock on my door. "Hold on a second." I said into the phone before lowering it and calling out. "Who is it?"

"Eric." came the familiar voice.

"Come in." lifting the phone back into place I said quickly. "Thanks Pam, he's here. Talk to you later." Eric had entered but was standing in the open doorway. Ending the call, I turned to him. "Thank God you're here." I breathed.

That surprised him. "That's quite the welcome." He began as he closed the door and and moved further into the room. "I had sensed a lot of anxiety and I didn't know if you wanted..." he had rounded the couch and saw the icepack on my leg. He was instantly on his knees by the side of the couch, his hand covering my hand that held the icepack. "What's wrong?" He lifted it gently, then said something harsh in a language I didn't know. "How long has it been like this?" He was feeling along the artery above the bruise and tracing its path into the discolored area. I gasped as his ministrations had an erotic side effect. "Did that hurt?" he asked with concern.

"No, not really." I stammered. "It happened just before sunset. I felt a stab and then a warmth. I didn't see it at first because I was wearing sweats." I looked down at his fingers exploring the area. "Can you fix it?" I asked hopefully.

"Yes, stay here." He replaced the ice pack. "Let me get a few things." He stood in a smooth motion and headed down the hall. I heard him open the linen closet, then go into my bedroom.

"What are you looking for?" I called after him.

"I've got it." He said as he came back with a stack of towels and washcloths, which he placed on the coffee table. I saw my tweezers on top and swallowed hard, it looked like this was going to be painful and messy. Eric headed into the kitchen and I heard him opening and closing the cupboards. "Where's your alcohol?" he called out.

"There's some in the first aid kit in the bathroom." I replied.

He looked around the corner, his expression one of exasperated disbelief. "Not that kind. Something you can drink to dull the pain. Or any pain reliever stronger than these." He held up the bottle of generic ibuprofen I kept in the cupboard over the coffee maker.

"Sorry, I don't have either."

He put down the pill bottle and came back over to the couch. "I think you are going to regret being a goody-two-shoes." He sank to his knees again, grabbing a large towel from the bottom of the pile. He partially unfolded it, lifting my leg slightly he began to spread it out under my leg, before stopping and looking around.

"What?" I asked apprehensively.

"We need to turn you, so I can face the wound." My wounded leg was on the outside of the couch so he would have to bend over it just to see the blue patch. I started to work into a sitting position to turn around when he stopped me, "Wait a minute." He stood, then picked up the coffee table, turning it perpendicular to the couch, then he did the same with the ottoman with just a few feet separating them.

"Redecorating?" I asked, trying to hide my anxiety in a flip tone. He gave me a flicker of a smile, then his face returned to a pensive frown. "Should we call Dr. Ludwig?" Not that I really wanted to see her again, but if he were that worried maybe it was for the best.

"I tried to call her last night, she's at a medical convention." He spread out a double thickness of towel over the ottoman. In a fluid movement, he gathered me up and repositioned me so my wounded leg was on the ottoman, my other leg was on the floor, and my back slumped against the couch. As he straightened he held my face in his hands and stared into my eyes, I felt him trying to exert his will on me. "Sookie, I want you to go to sleep now. In a sleep so sound you won't feel anything until I tell you to wake up."

I smiled weakly, "Boy, I wish that had worked." I brought one hand up to cover one of his.

He cursed softly, "It was worth a try." He smiled crookedly at me then turned and grabbed a washcloth off the pile. He rolled it into a short tube then offered it to me. "You might want to bite on this."

"Okay," I began in mock exasperation. "now you're just trying to freak me out, right?"

"I wish I could make this not hurt." he gently squeezed my hand which had taken the washcloth.

"Eric," I leaned forward and covered his cheek with my other hand, holding his gaze. "It's okay, I know you don't want to hurt me." I closed the short distance between us and brushed my lips across his. Pulling back slightly, I could see the uncertainty and a glimmer of hope in his eyes, but he didn't move. Taking the initiative, I again met his lips, this time lingering, parting my lips and coaxing his open. He responded tentatively, letting me control the kiss. I increased the intensity, moving my hand to the back of his head, pulling him closer and running my fingers through his hair.

He jerked back and his fangs clicked down. I leaned forward to resume the kiss but he pulled back. "You don't have to." He whispered, but the desire was clear in his eyes.

I nodded. "I know."

"Then why?"

I'm sure the surprise showed on my face. "Does it matter?"

He cocked an eyebrow, looking a bit surprised himself. "Two months ago, I would have said no. But strangely I find that it does." His hand returned to the side of my face. "What is it you are doing to me?"

"Nothing." I said earnestly "And I'm not sure why. It's not out of gratitude. I just know that I want you and I want to do this."

"Hold that thought. Let's see how you feel about me after I take care of this." He looked resentfully at the growing purple splotch on my leg.

I swallowed and nodded, taking a deep breath I clenched the washcloth in my teeth and grabbed a throw pillow.

"Ready?" he asked, turning to my leg.

I nodded, hugging the pillow to my chest and leaning my face against it. I didn't want my reactions to cause him to hesitate in what must be done.

He wrapped one arm around my upper thigh. It didn't feel tight, but I knew my leg wouldn't be moving. "Try to relax." He murmured and I snorted at him. I knew it would be better if I could, but I didn't think that was possible. Then his mouth touched my leg and I tensed even more. But pain did not follow, instead he began kissing along my leg, his lips parted, his tongue flicking out, sending sparks up my thigh. A new tension began to build which served as a pretty good distraction. He started lightly sucking in, like he was going to give me a hickey, nipping at the flesh and I started squirming, except for the leg he held immobile. I knew he was trying to finesse it so it wouldn't hurt as much, but this was another kind of torture altogether. Then he sank his fangs in and I tensed before thinking that it wasn't too bad, Bill had bitten me near there and it was much the same pleasure/pain sensation and I relaxed slightly. Real pain came as Eric used his fangs like scalpels, cutting deep gashes in my leg. I bit down hard on the washcloth to keep from screaming, only a guttural noise escaping. My whole body convulsed and I had a deathgrip on the pillow. Foolishly, I thought that would be the worst of it, but then he began probing for whatever had caused the the bleeding to start again. For a moment instinct took over and I tried to escape the pain, I thrashed and I think I even kicked at him with my free leg, before everything began to recede and I was swallowed by a peaceful blackness.

When the light came back I was relieved to find the pain gone, replaced by a much more pleasant sensation. Forcing my eyes open I could see Eric, still between my legs. He was slowly licking the now-closed wound, a dreamy look in his eyes. I went to speak and found the washcloth still in my mouth. Removing it alerted him I was awake. He rose up on his knees, brushed the hair out of my face and looked me in the eyes.

"Are you all right?" the concern evident in his voice and expression.

I nodded. "Passing out is a really wonderful idea sometimes." I said with a wry smile. Flashing a glance at my leg, I asked, "All better?"

He turned to my leg and ran his fingers across the rapidly fading marks. "I pulled 2 pieces of glass out. I'm sorry I missed them last night, but then I was hurrying to stop the bleeding." I squirmed a little at the effect his fingers were having. "Did that hurt?"

"Hurt? No, that's not how I would describe it." My voice was husky.

He arched an eyebrow and mischief replaced the concern on his face. "Let's run a few more tests." He grabbed my ankle with one hand and ran a finger along the bottom of my foot. I squealed slightly and tried to pull my foot from his grasp. "Ah, ah, ah." he chided. "These are serious medical tests."

"Yeah right." I countered, then threw the pillow at him, which he dodged easily. As he turned to smirk at me, his face stilled and his eyes ran down my body. Glancing down, I realized that in my thrashing about, my robe had worked itself open exposing all of me except what was covered by my lacy bra and panties. Reflexively I grabbed the sides of my robe to cover myself, but I stopped and instead slid it off my shoulders. My eyes holding his the whole time.

He released my foot and shifted in front of me. "You're sure?" he whispered.

"I'm sure." There was no doubt in my voice and I closed the small distance, covering his lips with mine.

I jumped at the knock on the door, Eric growled, he looked like he was ready to kill whoever it was. I put my finger to his lips and kept quiet, maybe they would go away.

The knock repeated "Miss Stackhouse, this is Detective Bellefleur."

I slumped, then called out. "Hold on, I'll be right there." Turning to Eric I whispered, "Did you drive or fly?"

"I flew. I can glamor him away." He suggested.

"No, I need to talk to him." I looked at the disrupted state of my living room. "Can you put this right really fast, then go out the back door? In a few minutes, come to the front door?" I was hoping Eric would talk to Andy.

Standing he nodded, he had the furniture put right before I was on my feet. "How do I look?" I asked as I tied my robe around me, afraid that the ordeal I had just been through showed on my face.

"Delicious." He smiled.

"Eric, I need you to talk to him." I started.

"For the insurance." We said simultaneously. We just stared at each other for a second in shock.

"Are you alright?" Andy's voice came from beyond the door.

I gave Eric a little shove toward the kitchen and called out. "On my way." I took a quick glance around the room. Eric must have already gathered up any bloody towels and my tweezers were no where in sight. I wondered idly how long I had been out.

I headed to the front door, running a hand over my hair. Smiling, I opened the door. "Hi Andy, sorry, I was reading on the couch and must have dozed off." I stepped aside and gestured for him to come in. "Please let's go to the livingroom. Can I get you anything to drink? Ice tea? Diet Coke?"

"Thank you." He said as he stepped inside. "Just some water, if it won't be any trouble."

"No trouble at all. Please, go into the livingroom and I'll bring it in." I motioned with my hand like Vanna White. Then turned down the short hall to the kitchen. Fixing Andy's water I glanced at the microwave. I was surprised to see that it had been over an hour since the time I had figured Eric originally arrived. I had been out for awhile. It was still early for a vampire, but fairly late for Andy to be coming by.

"Here you go An... Detective Bellefleur." I handed him his water and shifted a coaster closer to him. He perked up visibly when I used his title, which I knew he would, maybe if he was in a good mood he'd leave sooner.

"Thank you Miss Stackhouse." He took a sip and set the glass down carefully centered on the coaster. "I apologize for coming by so late, but I was hoping you could put me in touch with Mr. Northman. I left several messages for him but he hasn't returned my calls."

"Have you tried the bar since the sun went down?" I asked innocently.

"Yes, they said he was out for the night. To tell you the truth, I was hoping he would be here." His eyes looked around, as if a vampire was going to solidify out of the shadows, but he didn't go so far as to crane his neck. "Is your brother here? I thought he was going to keep an eye on you today."

"Jason was here most of the day, but he got a call and had to leave." I picked up the phone. "If you want I can try calling Eric."

"If you wouldn't mind. I just need him to fill in a few things and then I think I can close the report."

"That would be great." I smiled at him. Then dialed the bar.

"Fangtasia, Shreveport's premier undead establishment." It was Indira's soft voice on the other end.

"Hi Indira, Sookie, may I speak to Eric?" I asked, trying not to sound like I knew what the answer would be.

"He's not here, I thought he was at your place." Her voice sounded confused but very soft and I was pretty sure Andy wouldn't be able to make it out.

"I expect he's still on his way. Thank you, enjoy your night."

"You too." click.

Setting the phone down I smiled at Andy. "They think he is on his way here, it shouldn't be too long. Were you able to get my car out of the ditch?" That seemed a logical question to ask.

"Yeah, it took a bit of work but we got it towed to the yard. If you want to come down and claim any personal items you should do it in the next couple of days." He looked pretty ill at ease being in a single woman's home by himself after dark. His grandmother raised him to think such things were improper.

"I'm going to pick up a rental car, hopefully tomorrow, so I'll swing by and see what's salvageable." I glanced at the clock on the wall, wishing Eric would hurry up and arrive. I was surprised when I heard gravel crunching in the driveway. Not even Eric drove fast enough that he could have flown back to Shreveport and driven here.

"Maybe that's him now." Andy wasn't looking forward to questioning a strange vampire, he could barely stand to be in the same room as Bill.

"Probably, I'm not expecting anyone else. Excuse me." I stood to get the door even before the knock. Reaching out with my mind I was surprised that there were 3 beings there, two voids which indicated vampires and one human that I didn't recognize who seemed both anxious and excited to be here. I tried to keep my face neutral. I peeked through the curtains and saw that only Eric was coming up the front porch. The other two were going around the back.

I opened the door before Eric could knock. I mouthed "Who?" at him before greeting him. "Hi Eric, please come in."

He mouthed back "Pam." then replied, "Thank you Miss Stackhouse. I'm glad to see you are looking well this evening." I started leading him into the livingroom.

"Eric, this is Detective Bellefleur, I think you two met before." I had remembered the incident at the cabin but I wasn't sure how much Andy would remember, considering how drunk he had been that night. "Would you mind answering some questions about last night? I'm afraid I was a little fuzzy on what happened after you showed up and you getting me home." I indicated he should sit on the couch. "True Blood?" I offered. He nodded before sitting.

"Nice to see you again Detective," Eric was being simply polite, not effusive, and surprising to me, not patronizing. "I'd be happy to answer any questions." He sat in the middle of the couch, his arms stretched across the back of it, his legs crossed so the ankle of one leg was on the knee of the other. It was a very open, friendly position, but it also emphasized just how big and intimidating Eric could be.

I left to go heat up Eric's True Blood. I had a feeling he probably didn't really want it. He was looking pretty pink and I was feeling a little run down despite my day of napping, so he had probably had quite a bit of my blood tending to my wound. I wondered what Pam and the unknown human were doing here, but knew if I went outside I'd arouse suspicion. The microwave dinged and I poured his blood into a wineglass, getting myself a tall orange juice. After my blood donation I thought it might be a good idea.

Reentering the room, I handed Eric his blood which he sipped politely after dipping his head in thanks. I sat in the only remaining chair, a very old, very worn wingback. Andy was writing something in his notebook so I waited quietly.

"And how long did you stay after you saw her safely home?" He asked, keeping his tone level.

"Until very close to dawn, I thought it best after the head injury." He raised his glass to his lips again. "In fact, I barely made it home in time, but as you can see, I am unsinged."

"If you were concerned, why didn't you call Jason to watch her?"

Eric arched an eyebrow and looked at me, "Jason?" Only because I knew him so well could I tell that he was hiding anger at the mention of another man.

"My brother." I supplied, and his face eased.

"I didn't know she had a brother. I'm afraid the only friends of Sookie's that I know are also vampires, so they wouldn't have been able to step in when I left."

"Anything else you think should be included in the report?" Andy looked at Eric expectantly.

"No, nothing I can think of."

Andy stood, and Eric did as well, I was startled that they were done already. "If there is anything else you can think of please give me a call." He handed Eric a business card. "If I have anymore questions what number can I use to contact you?"

Eric gave him a number that was different from Fangtasia's which piqued my curiosity. As I started to stand Andy held up a hand and said. "I can see myself out. Thank you for the water and your time."

"Good night Andy." I said, settling back into my seat. I slipped into his mind just to check his surface thoughts and found them a little fuzzy. As soon as I heard him walk down the porch steps, I looked accusingly at Eric. "You glamored him!"

Eric smirked, "Just a little to get him to overlook any holes in our story. You heard me answer his questions, I just got him to believe them at face value and close the report. Which is what you wanted isn't it?"

"I wanted the report settled, but I didn't want you to glamor him."

"You read his mind, is that so different?"

My jaw dropped, I had read his mind, something I normally try to avoid doing, and I didn't have an altruistic purpose behind it either. I was just checking for my own sake, but there was a difference. "I didn't change anything about him, or make him do anything that he might not have before."

"True, but how long did you want to wait until he was satisfied with our stories? Because there are some very big holes there, and as you assumed we, vampires that is, do not want it widely known that some of us can fly or that our blood can heal wounds as severe as yours were." He glanced at the kitchen. "Speaking of wounds, can Pam and her friend come in?"

The sudden redirection of the conversation succeeded in distracting me. "Who's her friend and why are they here?" If nothing else, I was learning to ask questions before inviting people into my house.

"Her friend is a nurse who frequents Fangtasia. I asked Pam to bring her along because I think you need some blood, and unless you want to turn, it shouldn't be more of mine for a while." He started walking to the kitchen with his wine glass. "I called them while you were passed out and met them on the road." He poured the True Blood down the sink, turning to me and waiting.

"No, I don't want to turn." Putting a lot of conviction behind that statement. "I did have Jason pick up some type O True Blood." I went to the back door.

"I noticed." He made a face showing his distaste.

I opened the door and called out. "Pam, you and your friend can come in."

Eric cocked his head, as if listening. "They might be a few minutes." he smirked.

"Oh." was all I could think to say. "Shall we wait in the livingroom?" I suddenly felt awkward with him, despite, or maybe because we almost had sex, and would have if Andy hadn't arrived when he did. "Why do we need a nurse though? In Mississippi you just had me drink some True Blood."

He motioned that I should go first, letting a little crooked smile appear. "Apparently, only vampires can get the blood that way. Doing a little research, it turns out that your digestive system just breaks it down."

I proceeded him, and sat on one end of the couch. I was surprised when he sat in the recliner opposite rather than join me on the couch.

"So." I said into the silence.

He arched an eyebrow. "So?"

"Thank you for talking to Andy." I bit my tongue to keep from mentioning the glamor.

He shrugged. "I thought it would be helpful to you."

"Eric, I've done a lot of thinking about us."

"Before or after the detective got here?" His face neutral.

"Before." It occurred to me he was afraid I was backing off from my earlier advances. "In fact, waking or sleeping I was thinking of you."

"I found my own sleep filled with dreams of you." He paused, leaning forward. "And not the usual dreams. Usually, they are very pleasant, and very carnal."

I could feel myself blushing but pressed on. "What were your dreams like today?"

"You were much less pliant than in my other dreams, actually much more yourself. Feisty." he smiled seductively at me. "Oddly, I liked it."

I opened my mouth to question him further, but I heard my back door close. I stood to greet my guests. Pam and a woman in her mid-twenties came in, they obviously had been enjoying each other's company. I nodded to Pam and extended my hand to the human. "Hi, I'm Sookie, how do you do?"

"Hi Sookie, I'm Margaret." The woman was holding a small ice chest and had a shoulder bag. She was dressed like most of the fangbangers so she probably hadn't planned on doing nursing duties tonight. "It's nice to meet you."

Taking in both women with a glance I asked, "Can I get either of you anything to drink?"

"Nothing for me." Pam said as she sat on the arm of the wingback chair.

"Me either, thank you though." She set the ice chest and the shoulder bag down on the ottoman. "Let's get you checked out so you can feel right as rain." She had a charming smile and I was beginning to like her.

"Sounds like a plan, where do you want me?"

"Why don't you sit on the couch here, while I check a few things?" She started digging in the shoulder bag and pulled out a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff. "I'm going to need you to shrug out of your robe, would you like a little privacy?" Her eyes flicked to Eric and Pam.

"Eric, Pam would you guys mind waiting in the kitchen?" I know Eric had already seen me without my robe. But being on display while getting a medical exam felt a little creepy.

Eric looked a little taken aback, while Pam just rolled her eyes. But they left the room.

"Thanks for suggesting that, and for coming out to see me. How long have you known Pam?" I loosened the robe and pulled my arms out of it.

Margaret wrapped the bp cuff around my arm, placing the cold disc of the stethoscope below it. "I've been going to Fangtasia since it opened. Pam and I have hooked up a couple of times." She quieted and started pumping up the cuff. I stayed quiet so she could listen for whatever it was they listen for when doing that. "A little low, but not in the danger zone." she supplied as she let the air out and pulled against the velcro to release my arm. "Have you been dizzy at all?"

"I passed out when Eric was getting some glass out of my leg, but I think that was from the pain." She put her fingers on my wrist and looked at her watch so I again stopped talking.

"Have you been going to the bathroom alright?" She asked matter-of-factly.

"I think so, I haven't noticed anything." I smiled, "But now that you mention it, do you mind if I take a quick trip?"

"No, go ahead." She shifted to the side so I could get through. Giving her a quick thank you I took care of necessities and reported everything seemed normal. Once I had resettled onto the couch she moved to the cushion next to me, placing the stethoscope on my chest.

"Take a deep breath and hold it." The stethoscope was thankfully not as cold as she listened to my heart, or breathing. Going through the familiar instructions of multiple breath holds. "You can put the robe back on." I did as she pulled something out of her bag. "Eric said you hit your head, broke your back and had a cut on your leg. You're really lucky Eric got there in time."

"I know, I was really scared until he showed up."

"He took off so fast last night, you almost couldn't see him." She shone a little flashlight at her hand to make sure it was working. "Look at me." She then flicked the light a couple times in each eye. "Is your vision okay? Any seeing double?"

"Seems fine"

She started moving her finger up and down and from side to side and I followed it with my eyes dutifully. "How long have you known Eric?"

"Less than a year."

"You two an item?" She took my hand and looked at my fingernails, then lightly pinched the skin between my thumb and finger.

"No." I was beginning to think I could skip my yearly physical after this.

"Why not? He obviously cares about you."

"You think so?"

"Pam said he does." She looked worried that she had said too much and glanced in the direction Eric and Pam had gone. She quickly started putting her stuff back into her bag. "You can put your robe back on." she offered, so I did. "You seem in really good shape, but I do think you're a little low on blood. Are you right or left handed?"

"Right." I responded. She turned to the ice chest, opened it and pulled out a bag of blood and some tubing. "O positive right?" I nodded. "You're sure?"

"That's what it says on my blood donor card. And I got a transfusion before."

"All right, I just wanted to be sure." She looked around, "Do you mind if I move the coat rack?"

"No, whatever." It only had a light jacket and an umbrella on it.

"Is it okay if they come back in?"

I nodded my head. "Eric, Pam you can come back now." I called. They walked back in almost instantly. "Eric, Margaret needs the coat rack over here, can you get it?" I pointed at it.

He picked it up and brought it over, looking slightly puzzled. "Where?"

Margaret pointed to a spot close to to the couch. "Okay Sookie, lie back with your head here." Indicating the arm of the couch so that my left side would be nearest the side. I did as instructed, carefully keeping myself covered by my robe.

Hanging the bag of blood on the coat rack, she got the blood flowing through the tube, then knelt at my side. She tied that latex band around my arm, swabbed the inside of my elbow. I looked away as she started to insert the needle and found that both Eric and Pam were watching with rapt attention.

"Not a snack guys, first aid, remember." I said lightly. Margaret looked a little nervous at my being so flip with them. Do most people dating vampires act completely cowed?

Margaret finished inserting the needle and removed the tourniquet. Standing, she adjusted the flow. "This should make you feel better, just take it easy while it's dripping. When the bag is almost empty, you can pull the line out, then elevate your arm until it stops bleeding." She pulled a card out of her purse, writing a number on the back before handing it to me. "You feel strange at all, call me, day or night okay?"

A little concerned that she was leaving while I was still hooked up to this I asked, "How long should this take?"

"About an hour." She said, checking the flow again.

"Okay." I turned to Eric. "You're staying right?" I hated how needy that came out.

"Definitely, we need to finish our talk."

Turning back to the women I said, "Thank you Pam, for bringing Margaret." Pam inclined her head slightly. "Margaret, thank you for everything and it was nice to meet you."

"You're welcome and it was nice to meet you too. See you around." She looked at Pam who nodded towards the door. She waved at Eric and left, Pam following after a nod at her Maker.

As the door closed Eric settled into the recliner.

"Are you sure you don't want a True Blood?" I asked as I looked up at the bag. We had an hour to fill with conversation.

"No, actually I'm a little full, which is why I thought it best to have Pam bring Margaret over with some blood. You bled quite a bit while I was fishing the glass out of your leg." He smiled wickedly, "Plus I would rather savor the flavor of your blood." He stopped himself then added, "Not that it is only your blood I am attracted to."

That brought me back to our earlier conversation. "Eric, when you were dreaming about me earlier today, did we fight?"

"Yes." he said slowly, his eyes widening.

"Did I turn down your offer of a car and imply you only saved me so I'd have sex with you?" I could tell the answer from his expression. "How could we be in each other's dreams?"

"I did give you a lot of my blood. Probably more than I have given anyone I didn't turn." He looked thoughtful. "Perhaps it has more to do with your ability."

"But I can't read vampires." I was not going to mention the time I did pick up his thoughts, or Stan's, that was my tightly guarded secret.

He shrugged, "How it happened isn't really what's important. I think more to the point is what was said. I assume you meant everything you said?"

I thought back to everything that we talked about. "It is true that I don't want to be a vampire, I think it is very important that you know that."

"I can't begin to understand it, but I won't force it on you. I barely remember being human, and what I remember cannot compare to what I've experienced since . But I will respect your wishes."

"I am sorry I accused you of saving me only to have sex with me. It wasn't a very nice thing to think." I lowered my eyes to hide my shame.

"I'm sorry I reacted as harshly as I did. If I were to be completely honest with myself I have to admit I have given you cause to believe it. I basically said as much at Russell's." He ran a hand through his hair.

"But you also said there that you had feelings, or rather that you hated having feelings and that we would talk and we never did." My tone gentle.

He smiled, "I seem to recall you rescinding my invitation. I took that to mean you didn't want to have anymore to do with me."

"Then why did you come last night?" I didn't voice the rest of that thought, which was Bill didn't.

"Because I sensed your terror and didn't even think, I just flew to you. Pam is right again."

"About what?" I wondered where Pam fit in this conversation.

"What Margaret had said, that Pam thinks I care about you."

"Oh." I couldn't think what else to say. I looked up at the bag, there was no discernible difference in the blood level. I sighed and looked at Eric apologetically, "I'm sorry I'm sure this isn't how you wanted to spend your evening."

"I did have something else in mind." His voice husky and seductive. "But even in our dreams we seem to be interrupted. That wasn't you having reservations was it?"

"No, both times it was Jason waking me up."

"Both times?"

"Well, this morning I dreamt that you were checking on my injuries and that was leading to other things. Apparently I moan in my sleep. Did we share that dream too?"

"I'm not sure, tell me about it." I could tell by the twinkle of mischief in his eyes that he was sure.

"Well, you came to my room while I was sleeping. You told me my back had been broken in two places. Is that true?"

"Yes, one at the base of your neck, another lower, just below your ribcage. It's remarkable that you were still alive when I found you." His voice grim, but he persisted. "So all I did was tell you about your back?"

"No, you insisted on checking all the wounds thoroughly." I shifted a little as remembering the dream stirred the embers of desire within me.

"How?" he prodded when it became obvious I wasn't going to elaborate.

"Are you trying to get me to talk dirty?" I accused.

"Not very successfully I'm afraid." he smirked back at me.

"Sorry, I'm not comfortable with that." I sighed and confessed, "Eric, I'm not very experienced. Bill is the only man I've ever..." I trailed off my cheeks growing red.

"He was your first?" He seemed a little shocked.

I nodded, not looking up. "I was never able to date human guys. I could never block out what they were thinking. When I met Bill and couldn't read his mind it was so wonderful. But it also allowed him to deceive me as no human could." I had to swallow a sob. As the pain from his betrayal came flooding back, I did begin to doubt my ability to have a "no strings attached" relationship with Eric.

"Eric, if we are going to be involved... I'm not asking for a commitment... I just..." I fought back the tears that were welling in my eyes.

He moved to sit on the side of the couch and took my right hand in his. "Sookie, I won't hurt you like he did. I haven't met anyone that could compare to you, and I don't foresee doing so. But I will promise you that I won't deceive you, if there comes a time when I want someone else, I won't string you along."

"Thank you." I whispered. I looked up at him then, his face close to mine. A tear escaped down one cheek and before I could wipe it away he closed in to catch it with his tongue.

"Even your tears are sweet." he murmured against my cheek, before his mouth shifted to cover mine.

It was a light, kiss, barely brushing my lips, followed by another and another. Slowly the length and pressure built until our lips were parted, pressed against each other. His hand released mine to slip behind my head, his fingers sliding through my hair and pulling me into the kiss. My hand came up around his back so I could pull myself against him. His other hand slipped inside my robe to caress my breast. Only when I brought my other hand up to wrap around him and got it tangled in the IV line, that I came to my senses. Breaking away from the kiss I gasped, "Eric, we have to stop, the blood."

With a shudder he pulled back, his fangs were down. "I am a very patient man, but even I have my limits." He said gruffly, but then smiled crookedly.

"You're the one who called a nurse in." I smiled in return, trying to get my own hormones under control. "And I have to admit, I think it was a good choice." I was feeling a little bit more energy already. "Would the time pass faster for you if you went into downtime?" I suggested.


"Whatever y'all call it when you just stop and stare off into space."

"Oh, downtime is a good a name as any for it. No, I'd rather stay with you, even if all we can do is talk." He looked like he was mulling over something, so I let him think about it, sitting quietly until my stomach growled.

"Oh my gosh, excuse me!" I was so embarrassed but I realized then that I was also hungry. I hadn't eaten since the chicken.

"Have you eaten yet tonight?' Eric asked his lips twitching at my embarrassment.

"No, but that's okay."

"It's not, you can't heal properly if you starve yourself. Can I bring you something?" He was rising from the recliner.

"You don't have to, I can wait until the transfusion is done."

"I have other plans for then." he smiled lasciviously. "Is there anything here I can get you?" he headed into the kitchen.

"Eric, it's okay. I know food is gross to you."

He stopped. "Who told you that?"

"Bill, he hated to watch me eat. He said vampires find human food disgusting."

Eric scoffed at that. "He has to get over that. You'd think he would have by now. Sookie, I've been around for a thousand years, while I have no desire to eat your food, I can tolerate being around it." He leaned over the back of the couch. "What do you want to eat?"

I thought of the chicken, but that would be very messy to eat one handed on the couch. I didn't want to make him cook anything, since I didn't even know if he knew how. "How about some ice cream? It should be in the freezer. Just bring me it and a spoon, please." I knew I had a small carton of ice cream in there, I was still getting over my heartache.

"Coming up." He disappeared into the kitchen and was back in a blink and held them out to me.

"Thank you." I said, taking them, but feeling rude eating in front of him. "You're sure you don't want anything?"

"I wouldn't say that." he said with passion in his eyes, but he settled back into the recliner. I took the lid off the small container and scraped the spoon across the surface, I liked my ice cream really cold. With the heightened senses from the vampire blood it was delicious and I closed my eyes with pleasure.

As I opened my eyes to get another spoonful I saw Eric watching me, his fangs down. I felt my cheeks burn.

"How anyone could hate to watch you eat is incomprehensible." He said in a husky whisper. "That was incredibly sensual."

""Stop, or I'll be too self-conscious to eat." I scolded, then chuckled.

"What's funny?"

"I was just wondering what your reaction would have been if this had been an ice cream cone." I actually hadn't eaten an ice cream cone in front of anyone since I was about fourteen and I picked up the thoughts of the boys around me.

"That might be too much for even my self control. We'll have to test it sometime."

I took another spoonful, trying to control my expression. To change the conversation I ventured. "Before my stomach so rudely spoke up, you looked like you were going to say something."

Appearing to brace himself for an argument he sat forward. "I think I have a solution to your car problem."


"No, hear me out. I think we should formalize your consultant status."

"What, I should hang out a shingle 'Telepath for rent'?"

"No, I am proposing that I put you on retainer, pay you a monthly fee to have access to your abilities. Of course you will need to set a rate that you charge for your services."

"But you've never offered to pay me, Bill, but not me."

"True, but you are no longer Bill's, and I have come to regard you as a member of the supernatural community, rather than just a human, no offense." he added hastily.

"Some taken." I really did need the money, and working for Eric had cut into my work time. "I wouldn't know what to charge, plus wouldn't I need a business license or something?"

"Assuming you insist on paying taxes on it and keeping it all above board, yes. I'll have my attorney get all the paperwork in order for you and a contract drawn up between us. As for what you should charge I can get you a list of rates various professionals, like private investigators, attorneys, what have you, charge and you can decide. But don't undervalue yourself. Your ability is rare and valuable."

I ate a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream in silence while I considered it. This could just be his way of getting me a car while mollifying my ego, but it did make sense. In my tirade, just before I walked into the biker gang ambush - right here in my own house, I had complained that all the time he was demanding was hurting me financially. But if we started having sex would it make me feel kept? He was watching me, his face neutral letting me think it through with no pressure.

"Okay, I'll consider it, but on a couple of conditions."

"And they are?" he looked wary.

"There needs to be a clause in the contract that if you don't use my services after six months the retainer payments stop. I won't be paid for nothing." He nodded. "Also I don't want busy work, or you coming up with stuff just to make me think I'm working. I meant it when I said I earn my way. If I think you're just giving me money out of pity or because we're seeing each other it ends. Our relationship and the contract." He set his jaw but nodded again. "I'm serious."

"I know you are and I expected nothing less."

"And, the original condition stands. Unless it is an immediate life or death situation, I want people turned over to the authorities."

"You've modified the original clause." he observed.

I looked down at the ice cream sadly and stabbed at it with the spoon. I knew I had, and on one level I felt bad about it. But since the night Long Shadow died I had had too many brushes with death and had met too many horrible people to be as compassionate. Or maybe it was naïve. I nodded. "Yes, the past year has made me more cautious."

"I had actually been a little surprised that you continued to work with me since I killed Long Shadow. I had hoped it wasn't because you considered his life less valuable than a human's."

I shook my head, "No, I was already in love with Bill at the time, so I didn't feel that way. But at first I was just so scared and then I came to realize that if you hadn't killed him, he would have killed me. I never thanked you for saving me then."

He shrugged trying to lessen the importance of the event. "You had proven yourself valuable and Long Shadow had betrayed me." He smiled, "I have never regretted that decision, even though I had to pay a large fine. You were wonderful in Dallas, making a very good impression on the Dallas vampires and probably saving my life."

"What, sucking the bullet out?" I scoffed.

"No, that was just an added bonus, you warned us to duck when the Fellowship was attacking."

"But you covered me and kept me from being shot."

"It seemed only fair, since you had done the warning." He sighed, as a conversational device since he didn't breath otherwise. "I don't want this to become who saved who how many times."

I figured he probably didn't want to go back to our dream discussion of me owing my life to him. I ate a few more spoonfuls of ice cream silently, it was getting melty around the sides. I made the mistake of reading the nutritional information. Since one of these little cartons was supposedly four servings, yeah right, and the tallies for one serving were shocking I figured I should stop. It had killed the hunger pangs. I scraped a final spoonful and put the lid back on. Eric stood. "Finished?" he asked.

"Yes, thank you. Can you put that back in the freezer?" I specified as I handed him the little tub. I wasn't completely sure he just wouldn't toss what was left.

He entered the kitchen and I heard the freezer open and close. Then he called out, "Do you need more juice or anything?"

"Just some water, if it's not too much trouble." I didn't bother to raise my voice since I knew he could hear me.

He came in a moment later with a tall glass of water. "No trouble at all." He cast a glance at the blood bag before returning to his seat. It was down to about a quarter of the bag. "Are you feeling better?"

I was taking a sip of water, so I swallowed quickly, then replied. "Actually I am. My blood sugar is up and I'm no longer feeling like I just came off a double shift."

"Then this was time well spent."

"You know Eric, I think this is the longest we have ever talked to each other." Thinking about it, this might have been longer than any conversation I had with Bill either, at least alone. Sure there had been times when we were around other people and had talked with them at length. But if it were just the two of us the talking was brief and we'd get straight to sex. "And we haven't even argued, I didn't think that was possible." I said with a smile.

"It is pretty amazing." he concurred. "Usually you seem to be looking for a reason to pick a fight with me."

"Do I?" I asked, surprised. Did I start the arguments? I was trying to think and it did seem that maybe I was belligerent with him. But why? Was it because he always seemed to have power over me or was having me do something I didn't really want to do? Or because he was trying to seduce me? I didn't start fights with other men who did. But from the first night I met Eric, Bill was jealous and I was so determined to be with Bill, that everything between Bill and I be perfect, that maybe me lashing out at Eric was the easiest way to deny the attraction I felt. "Maybe I do, or did. I hadn't realized."

"Don't stop." he said with a slight grin.

"You want me to keep arguing with you?"

He nodded, "It's fun, I never know what you are going to say next. What's going to set you off. Not many things surprise me anymore, but you always do." He was smiling openly now.

"Is life boring after so long?" I had a hard time wrapping my head around what it would be like to be alive for a millennium.

"Only if you let it be. Humans are always inventing new things and the world changes. Humanity has too, though much more slowly. Trying to go undetected for so long, means you have to keep moving so no one notices you don't age, that you only come out at night, it keeps things interesting."

"It must be lonely though."

"At first I traveled with my maker. Then when we parted ways I often traveled with another vampire. Then there's Pam, For the last hundred years or so we have been together more often than we have been apart." His expression was a little far away as if he were gazing back across the years. "I have had relationships with humans in the past, but they never lasted long, usually to keep my nature a secret."

"How can anyone that close to you not realize you're a vampire?" I knew others couldn't see the glow I saw, but the cold skin should be a giveaway.

"It takes a fair amount of glamoring to convince a lover that you are not a vampire." At my reaction he quickly added. "Not that I glamored them into my bed, I just used it to convince them that I was human and make them forget I fed off them."

I stretched, antsy to move after sitting here so long. I glanced at the near-empty plastic bag hanging off my coatrack. "I think this is about done." I said with relief and Eric was at my side before I lowered my eyes.

"Finally..." he murmured under his breath. Kneeling on the floor beside the couch, he took my arm gently, his hand hovering over the catheter taped to my arm. "Shall I?" he asked.

"Gently." I cautioned and turned my head, I always hated this part, and I never looked.

"Of course." I could feel him place his thumb on the catheter near where it entered my arm as he tugged on the tape holding it in place. Fortunately, the tape had not been there long enough to become one with my skin and it came off without pain. As he carefully pulled the catheter from my arm I heard his fangs click down. I turned in time to see him pierce his tongue with a fang before licking the small hole in my arm left by the needle. As his blood mingled with mine I felt a tingling warmth move up my arm.

Not moving my arm, I turned on my side toward him, my other hand going to the back of his head. He looked up, desire burning in his eyes, I was pretty sure my own matched. He rose on his knees and leaned over me, one hand moving to my hip as his head descended towards mine. Our lips met with a fierce hunger, all earlier hesitancy gone. I could taste his blood on his tongue, it fueled the lust that I had been suppressing for so long and I held his head there. His hand on my hip untied my robe and pushed it aside, moving up to my breast. His hand covered the lacy fabric, squeezing slightly, then his thumb brushed over my nipple, the rough material of the bra heightening the sensation. I leaned into his hand.

I brought my own hand up to trace the muscles on his chest. The softness of his sweater disguising the chiseled form beneath. I wanted it gone, I wanted nothing between us. I slid both hands down his body until I found the bottom of his sweater and slipped my hands under it. I moved my hands back up his torso gathering the sweater as I did.

With my hand no longer holding his head in a kiss, he started kissing along my jawline back to my ear. He nipped lightly at my earlobe, before his tongue traced the shell of my ear. My breath caught and goosebumps sprung up across my skin. He chuckled into my ear. "I remembered you liked that." My passion muddled brain took a moment to remember when he done it before and then I remembered the night the maenad almost drove me mad and me lying under him on the hood of his corvette.

"Mmm," I murmured in agreement. "But I don't know what you like."

His head came up so he could look at me, "I like you." He said earnestly. "I like you more than I have liked anyone in a very long time." The emotion behind the words gave them much deeper meaning than they sounded. Not that I was going to change it to 'love' for him, but I think it was almost unfathomable enough for him that he felt this close to a human, 'like' was probably hard for him to admit even to himself right now.

"I think I noticed." I replied teasingly, and used the moment to pull his sweater up further, he pulled it up and off. My eyes drank in the sight of his exquisitely carved alabaster torso. I started to shift to a sitting position, but his hand returned to my hip, applying the slightest pressure to deter me, I stopped halfway up and shrugged out of my robe, freeing my arms. Reaching out to him, I wrapped them around his neck and lowered myself again, bringing his head with me. We kissed again, the building passion driving us. My hands moved over his chest, my fingernails scraping his nipples, fingertips caressing the outline of his muscles.

One of his hands returned to my breast while the other moved behind me to undo my bra. Breaking off the kiss, he pulled back far enough that he could remove it completely before he leaned in and began planting kisses around my breast. With each kiss his fangs scraped across me, not breaking the skin but threatening a bite each time, keeping me breathless with anticipation and passion. When his mouth finally covered the stiff peak I moaned. Then his tongue, lips and teeth so expertly teased that I thought I was going to come from that alone.

I wanted him so badly, needed him now. I moved my hands to his waist and unbuckled his belt. Moving on to his pants, I had a little bit of trouble with the button, and every time my hands rubbed against him he let out a little growl of pleasure. While I was doing this his mouth at my breast continued to drive me deeper into a whirlwind of lust. One of his hands drifted down my torso until it encountered the waistband of my panties. His fingers slipped beneath them, each finger moving in a slight stroking motion so it felt like they were walking through the light hair. When they reached my outer lips, I gasped as he stroked me lightly, not parting me and still driving me into a frenzy.

My breaths were coming in arrhythmic gasps and I knew I was approaching release. I took as deep a breath as I could and mustering what little control I had, I slid the fingers of one hand inside his - now very - tight jeans, positioning them between his sensitive flesh and the zipper. He groaned at the contact and raised his head, his jaw clenched. He looked at me so intently that I couldn't break eye contact as I slowly pulled the zipper down. When the zipper was finally low enough for his manhood to be released, he shuddered in relief. My hand encircled him and moved down its length. I'm sure my expression changed to one of surprise as I realized how much bigger he was than Bill, he got a little smirk on his face. My eyes dropped to look at what I was holding and I felt a little fear that this was going to hurt, maybe a lot.

His hand came up under my chin and he pulled my face up to look at him. I could see concern and wariness in his eyes. "What's wrong? You're afraid again."

"It's so..." I didn't want to say big, it sounded too "porn movie". "I'm not sure if it... if I..." I felt myself blush. Yet I realized that my hands were still slowly stroking him.

He smiled tenderly. "I will make it feel wonderful." he promised and I believed him, breathing a shaky sigh. He gently stilled my hands and removed himself from my grasp. Standing quickly, he finished removing his pants and stood before me. His eyes ran over me like a starving man's at a buffet, and I must admit I was eying his perfect form with a great deal of hunger too. "But first I have to taste you."

I was confused for a split second since he had already had my blood on many occasions, but then it occurred to me what he meant and my heart sped up. As he lowered himself back onto his knees, I sat up and slid off my panties. I leaned forward to kiss him, parting my knees so he could close the distance between us. The kiss was short but passionate before he broke it off to start kissing down my body, making delicious detours along the way. His hands slid behind me and coaxed my bottom to the edge of the couch. His fingers stroked me lightly without entering me, but driving me crazy none the less.

When his mouth arrived between my parted legs I gasped as his tongue traced my outer lips. It was slow and light but made me squirm. He lifted my right leg over his shoulder and wrapped his arm around it to keep me still. His other hand slowly parted me, letting his tongue penetrate deeper. But he seemed in no hurry as his tongue leisurely explored my folds while he inhaled deeply. I wanted to grab his head and pull it closer, increasing the contact. But I knew if he didn't want me to, I wouldn't be able, he was enjoying the sweet torment he was putting me through. Instead I grabbed fistfuls of fabric, my robe I think, and let out a moan. His tongue flicked across my nerve center and I would have bucked if he weren't holding my leg, as it was I sat forward and cried out his name. I looked down at him, nestled between my legs. His eyes were burning with passion and triumph and I knew it was from hearing his name on my lips in the throes of passion.

Over and over he flicked my nub, light and quick, quicker than a human could. I fell back against the couch, my muscles trembling with the building tension. His eyes never left my face. When my eyes fluttered closed, only then did his mouth leave me. I looked at him questioningly. "Keep your eyes open." He urged huskily.

I nodded, unable to make a coherent sound, as his mouth returned to me. He sucked at my nub and I think I let out a little shriek at the intensity of the sensation. Then he slid a finger inside me and I moaned. He pumped it in and out, testing different angles. He hit the spot he was looking for, my body shuddering as he did. He sucked my nerve bundle past his lips and his tongue swirled around it. I was finding it hard to breath, then a second finger joined the first, after that everything was gone in a blinding release that seemed to go on and on.

When my vision came back, he was leaning over me, brushing my hair out of my eyes with one hand, I could tell the fingers of his other hand were still within me, languidly moving in and out, my hips were thrusting against them on their own.

"Eric..." I whispered hoarsely. His lips crushed mine, taking my breath away.

He pulled back and said urgently, "Say my name like that again!"

I smiled, bringing my hands up to the back of his head, "Eric." I repeated, before crushing his lips with mine. He increased the speed of his fingers and I dug my fingers into his hair. When his fingers were suddenly gone I let out a little whine, then I felt him position himself at my entrance. I tensed, still sure this would be painful.

He kissed his way back to my ear and whispered, "Shh, just relax." I gave a slight nod and let out a long sigh, trying to will the tension away. He nibbled my earlobe before letting his tongue dart into my ear, causing me to break out in goosebumps. One of his hands caressed my breast, toying with the rosy peak and taking my breath away. Still he did not enter me, but stayed poised at my nether lips. When his thumb pressed against my nub I writhed under his hands. He built up a wonderful rhythm and I knew I needed him inside me now.

I moved one hand down to his manhood, as I wrapped my fingers around it his whole body stiffened, but he waited for me. I ran the head up and down my slit, before positioning it and thrusting slightly forward. I gasped as the tip parted me. He did not thrust any further and I could not move more onto him without falling off the couch. He pulled back his face so he could look at me. His pleasure was evident, but there was also control and concern. He nodded slightly, silently asking if I was okay. I nodded back, amazed at how stretched I was feeling but there was no pain. He pushed in slightly, watching my expression for any sign of pain. While I was feeling full to bursting, the real torment was how slow he was going. I knew he was trying to be careful with me, but I wanted him so badly, wanted him to send me back to the ecstasy he'd taken me to. I wrapped my legs around him and pulled him closer to me, deeper.

His eyes blazed, and a corner of his mouth rose in a half smile. He had been waiting for me to set the pace, I knew now, and the amount of control he was exercising was remarkable. I could see it in the tension around his eyes. I realized too that I was breathing in little pants, not taking any deep breaths as I filled with him. When finally our bodies contacted I let out a deep sigh and relaxed, so aware of the pressure of him inside me, but it didn't hurt, it felt wonderful. I smiled up at him and rocked my hips slightly. Following my lead, he pulled out a little then thrust back into me, watching my reaction the whole time. He must have liked what he saw because he repeated it, pulling back a little further, thrusting a little harder each time, until my whole body was rocking with the movement.

Soon I was gasping as my release approached, the angle and the friction speeding me to completion. I could feel tremors running along my thighs and the muscles in my abdomen ripple in anticipation. He slid his hand down from my breast to press his thumb against my nub. At the contact I again called his name, my whole body arching. As he began to move his thumb around my nerve center I thought I would go insane with the passion, then the world fell away and all that was left was ecstasy.

As I returned to the world, I could feel him still inside me but no longer moving, one of his hands was lightly caressing my outer thigh. Then I realized my teeth were in the muscles between his neck and shoulder, I released his flesh and drew back quickly. He moved more languidly, looking very satisfied, but not sated.

"Omigosh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bite you." My mouth was tingling from the traces of his blood.

"Don't be sorry, it was a magnificent climax." His mouth a crooked smile.

"But you said I shouldn't drink anymore of your blood if I didn't want to turn." I was embarrassed at my loss of control, not even remembering biting him, as well as being worried about turning.

He let himself slide out of me, which made me shudder and feel suddenly empty, then lean forward to kiss me. "I would have stopped you if you started sucking my blood. You were really just biting down, probably to keep from screaming. I wouldn't have minded the screaming, but I enjoyed this more."

"I don't scream during..." I trailed off embarrassed.

"I bet I can make you scream." He smiled with a twinkle in his eye as he bent to kiss me.

It turns out he could.

The end...for now.