AN: Don't own any of these lovely characters of plot-points.

Takes place at the end of Season 5. The motley crew has retreated to Bon Temps in the hope that "Billith" will be able to be uninvited from Sookie's home, and buy them a day to regroup.

She had sat here once before. Back then things had seemed dire but had actually been relatively simple. Back then betrayal had been the siring of Jessica. These days betrayal was rape and near death at the hands of her beloved back in Mississippi. And now the one person she had always run to was the one she was running from. Who knew if Bill was even a vampire anymore so who knew if she could even rescind his invitation? Whether their retreat back to Sookie's house provided even that shred of safety?

If I survive this, she decided, I'm going to get him a new grave stone. This time with his true death date, today. As it was at the moment, all she could do was trace the carved text that some other lover had chosen over a century ago.

"He did love you," a low, reluctant voice spoke behind her in the darkness.

"I know you don't mean it, but thanks for saying it," Sookie grumbled, wiping her tears away. She had always hated letting Eric see her cry, but if there was ever a day for tears, this was it. She felt Eric kneel down beside her and she turned to look at him. She was shocked to discover that his eyes were rimmed with red, and as she watched, he swallowed hard trying to quell his tears.

"Sookie, I am so sorry," he whispered.

"Shh, it's okay," she said, reaching up to cup his cheek. He grabbed her hand and clutched it to his chest.

"It's not your fault," she murmured, getting up on her knees and wrapping her arms around him. "If anyone should have been able to stop him it would have been me. I guess if I'm not reading people's minds I'm just a terrible judge of character."

"You're not. You were right about me, about my motivations, and by the time I changed it was too late, and I'm sorry for that. And he did love you, Sookie. If I ever had you believe otherwise it was to serve my own purposes."

"Don't worry, Eric. Believe it or not, I've never given a flying fuck what you said about Bill. I know he loved me. Just not enough." She felt tears welling up and she struggled to stay in control.

"I loved you enough," Eric whispered the words into her hair so quietly she could hardly make them out.

"Why are you saying these things?" Sookie drew back and held him at arm's length.

Eric sighed, and when he spoke his face and voice had resumed some of their usual nonchalance, for which Sookie was grateful. This solemn Eric was terrifying her.

"I'm old as fuck, Sookie. And for the first time, I'm tired. I am fucking tired. I'm not planning on making any extraordinary efforts to survive."

Sookie sighed. "I thought you were going to say something like that."

She stroked his cheek once and then turned back to Bill's grave.

"Well, I'll miss you. At least I won't have to miss you for long since I'm pretty sure Billith will want me for his first meal."

Eric laughed and scooped her up into his lap, his fangs coming down with a click.

"That is if I haven't devoured you as my last meal first," he growled playfully, nipping at her neck. Sookie giggled and looped her arms around his neck.

"Tough decision. You both have such good qualifications. How will I ever choose?"

Eric laughed again and kissed the top of her head.

"I have loved four women in my life. The first was my human wife. I can hardly remember her now, but I know she was blonde with dark eyes, like you. Then for many centuries it was Norah. And my Pam. And you."

"I wanted to love you," Sookie replied sadly.

"You did," Eric disagreed, "As your elder I think I would know better than you. Compton should have been a blip on your radar, not the be all and end all of your life."

"Eric I have something terrible to ask you."

"What?" Eric asked suspiciously, pulling her away so he could see her eyes. "What?" He demanded, shaking her slightly.

"If and when Bill comes back to himself…if that's even possible…I don't want him to have killed me. He couldn't live with it." Sookie's eyes searched his for his comprehension.

Eric's face froze as Sookie's meaning sunk in and he pushed her off his lap, "You don't know what you're asking," he growled, backing away from her in horror.

"Eric, please," Sookie pleaded.

"You see me as a monster," he muttered in disbelief.

"Eric."

"NO!" He roared, suddenly lunging at her and pinning her to the ground beneath him.

"You truly hate me that much that you ask me to kill you to save Bill some guilt if he ever comes to his senses? I do not ever think I have been this deeply insulted," Eric hissed at her.

"You're right, I do hate you. But you're also the only person I trust right now. So don't flatter yourself," Sookie snapped at him.

Eric laughed grotesquely, his fangs descending again, and spoke with all the cruelty he could muster, "The scientist in me looks forward to finding out which tastes sweeter, the last drops of blood in your veins as your heart slows, or the blood from your femoral artery as you're coming."

Eric expected her to attempt to free herself or mock his sexual overtures as usual but instead she grinned wickedly.

"Would you like to give the latter another go now so it's a fair comparison? I wouldn't want a faded memory to skew your findings," she quipped, running a hand through his hair and then pulling it sharply.

Eric's smile faded and his tone once again became serious, "There's no fading memories of you, Sookie."

Before she could reply he was kissing her. His lips as velvety soft as she remembered and his tongue every bit as electric. Kissing Bill there was a constant hunger, a constant seeking. With Eric there was somehow always hunger and satisfaction at once, as if there was no linear cycle that went from desire to sated desire, but rather a constant ebb and flow. She was never satisfied, and yet she never felt the desperation that she felt with Bill. Ordinarily she would push those kinds of musings to the side for later consideration, but not this night. This night she had to memorize everything and make it her own, just in case she was allowed memories in Heaven.