In honor of the birthday of the actor who brought our favorite Viking Vampire to life.
Happy Birthday Alexander Skarsgard.
A one shot story.
Yeah, I’m a romantic sap. It’s true.
I was flying towards Sookie’s house enjoying the feeling of freedom I always got when it was only the air that surrounded me. I wasn’t sure what she needed, our usual night was Thursday and it was Tuesday, but of course I would make time for her. Thursday was our TV night. She knew, but would never reveal to anyone, that I had a fondness for those silly supernatural shows the networks were so fond of these days. Buffy was what started it. The one thing she had told me about my time with her during the witch war was that she discovered my love for the “bumpy forehead crowd” as she called it. I knew that there was much more that had gone on between us, but I was willing to wait. She had made sure I knew that she wanted to be my friend, and as much as I had been insulted initially, I couldn’t remember a woman turning me down in the past, I realized that it was important to her. Therefore it became important to me. I had time and could be patient.
It turned out that I enjoyed it, being her friend. The first time she had called me to come over and hang out as she termed it, I thought for sure that she was going to give in to me. I couldn’t have been farther off the mark. Arriving at her house at 7:30 on the dot, flowers in hand, looking as sexy as I possibly could in dark grey silk button-up shirt and black suit, intent on showing her just how much she wouldn’t regret her decision. Sookie had opened the door and laughed at me. I would never forget it, she had laughed at me. When her mirth had abated she finally invited me inside, she was still a good southern girl at heart, thanked me for the Calla Lilies, and told me to get comfortable in the living room.
She came back bearing a bottle of True Blood, a bowl of popcorn, and a glass of sweet tea. I remembered sitting uncomfortably on the edge of the sofa unsure of what I was doing in her house. She never invited me unless one of us needed something.
“Get comfortable,” she had said, handing me the bottle. “Can I take your jacket Eric?”
I’d handed it to her and tried to relax into the couch, but I didn’t enjoy having no idea what was going on.
She sat on the other end and turned to me, a serious look on her face. All I could think was ‘what have I done now?’ She must have been able to sense my unease because she laughed again.
“Relax Eric, you look like I’m about to tell you that you’ve been sold off into sex slavery for two hundred years to a Queen who’s required you to give up everything you care about and move to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma.” I remembered shuddering, thinking what a miserable existence that would be.
“Sookie, I must admit I’m feeling very uncertain as to what I owe this pleasure and that’s a very…uncomfortable feeling for me.”
“I can only imagine Mr. Control Freak.” She had laughed and if had been anyone else I would have thrown them in my dungeon for being so insolent, but it was Sookie so I’d let it go.
“Do you have any intention of telling me what’s going on here?”
She’d said nothing more and I was trying not to let my impatience get the best of me. After letting me twist in the wind for a few minutes more she had admitted that she had invited me over for what she called her Guilty Pleasure night. She explained that it was a secret she hadn’t shared with anyone and I remember being completely confused until she turned on the television to watch some show called The Vampire Diaries. I was utterly horrified, but I was determined not to blow it with her, so I gave in and watched. By the end of the hour I realized that I had enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as Buffy, no, but it was the fact that Sookie was sharing something with me that she had never shared with anyone else. After that it was the show Supernatural and by the end I realized that I was having fun. I’d had to examine what I was feeling a few times before I understood it, but there it was and it was the beginning of our friendship.
I’d been going over there for every Thursday for the last four years and what had started off as a couple of hours together eventually turned into an entire night of her sharing her favorite shows with me. I’d become addicted to our time together and it had eventually progressed to her sending me little text messages throughout the week asking me what I thought of this plot twist or that cliffhanger—I hated cliffhangers, it felt like I was being held hostage until I found out how it ended. Now, I was closer to her than I had ever been to any human and I liked it. We had somehow become best friends. Oh I still wanted her, maybe even more now than ever considering, but I had vowed that when she was ready to make the first move she would. I wouldn’t press her for anything she didn’t want. After what had happened with Compton, I wanted her to trust me completely and if that meant that I had to be abnormally patient, then I would. It explained why I felt like I had butterflies, as Sookie would put it, battering around on my insides as I flew towards her house on this random Tuesday night. Could it be that she was finally ready to take the step I’d been waiting for?
I was determined not to make the same mistakes tonight as I had four years ago. No flowers and no suit this time. I was dressed simply in a long sleeved black t-shirt and jeans with boots and my leather. I looked good, but there wasn’t much I could do about that. I landed in her yard and nervously walked up to her front door. God, I was a thousand year old vampire not a sixteen year old boy, I should not be anxious, but telling myself that didn’t help.
I knocked, as I always did, and I heard her muffled voice call out, “Come on in Eric, its open.”
I came through the door and answered her, “Sookie, how do you know it was me? It could have been anyone.”
“Oh Eric, silly man, I knew it was you from the void behind the door. If another vampire had come here to hurt me I doubt they would have been civilized enough to knock. Besides its eight o’clock on the dot and I know how punctual you are.”
I was somewhat mollified, but still shook my head at her as I settled into a chair at her kitchen table. She already had a True Blood warmed and waiting for me. “So, to what do I owe this pleasure?” I asked unable to hide my desire for answers. Please say you want me, please say you want me.
“I have a present for you.” I arched an eyebrow waiting for her to continue, trying not to get too excited. “Well, see, in all the time that I’ve known you, we’ve never celebrated your birthday.”
“Sookie, you know that I don’t remember when I was born.” I really had no idea where she was going with this conversation, but I was curious, a perpetual state when I was around her it seemed.
Her face held an enigmatic smile that I could swear she picked up from me. “I kinda figured that, what with you being over a thousand years old and all. It didn’t seem like something you’d be overly concerned with. So I’ve decided that today is your birthday. August 25th will forever be etched in stone as the day we celebrate you being born. Truthfully the day itself didn’t matter. It was simply when my plan fell into place.”
“Okay…so…” I said hesitatingly, still unsure of what she was getting at.
“So, I have a present for you. Pam is actually at Fangtasia getting it ready right now.”
“Please tell me you aren’t throwing me a birthday party Sookie,” I replied dryly, trying not to sneer.
“How long have I known you now Eric? Do you seriously think that I don’t know what you would do to me if I threw you a party with balloons and all your friends hiding behind the booths waiting to jump up and scream SURPRISE! Do you think I have a death wish?” She huffed at me, crossing her arms, and leaning against the kitchen counter.
“I would never kill you Sookie. Though I might torture you for something like that.” I let a devastating smile play across my lips so that she knew I was joking. I didn’t think she’d take me seriously, but I didn’t want to risk it. In truth, I could never harm even the smallest centimeter on her body. She was too precious to me. “So then, what’s the plan?”
“Well, it’s your birthday, so first we’re gonna watch your favorite episode of Buffy. Then we’ll head to your place so you can put on your Sunday best and then we’ll meet up with Pam at Fangtasia at eleven.”
“Buffy and a present? You’d better be careful, someone might think that you like me.”
She blushed furiously, which I tried not to read too much into, and said, “Eric, I know I’ve never told you, but your friendship really does mean the world to me. When we first met all those years ago I thought you only wanted to use me for what I could do for you, but now I know better. It’s why I help you whenever you need it. You’ve somehow, you highhanded jerkface, become my best friend.”
“Highhanded jerkface? Now you’re in for it.” I sped over to where she leaned, scooped her up, and deposited her onto the couch in seconds flat. I raced to the kitchen to grab my blood and made it back to the living room before she had even calmed her giggles. I set down the bottle on the side table and loomed over her, caging her body with both of my arms and staring intently at her. “Now take it back or else.”
“Or else what?” She asked squirming on the couch, her legs were tangled up with mine seeking freedom. God, if only she knew what she did to me.
“Or else…or else…I’ll, uh…I’ll tickle you!” I was getting tongue-tied with her body wiggling under mine.
She burst out laughing. “You’re going to tickle me? The big bad Viking vampire is going to tickle me?” She exclaimed. “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
To tell the truth, it seemed pretty ludicrous to me as well, but in for a penny in for a pound. I moved one hand down to her waist in warning only to have her roll out from under me, but our legs were twisted together and, knocking the coffee table to the side, she brought both of us crashing to the floor. We landed in a heap, my body pinned underneath hers, her long blonde hair falling over my chest both of us laughing hysterically. Fuck I love this woman I thought to myself, which silenced my laughter immediately. I knew I cared for her, but I’d never realized how deep those feelings went.
Her chest pressed against mine, she felt my silence and something changed in the air. There was a tension that hadn’t been there only moments before. For five long seconds we were frozen and I stared into her beautiful blue eyes. I wanted her to kiss me, but instead she sat up quickly, a look of surprise on her face, and offered her hand to help me to my feet.
“Sorry about that.” She chuckled nervously, moving the coffee table back into place.
“Well I’ve always known you were a dangerous woman,” I quipped trying to dispel her discomfort. “Now didn’t you say something about a certain Buffy episode?”
She headed over to the shelves and pulled off the season six DVD. Eric had replaced her tapes a few years back after they had worn out her collection. He explained that it was a selfish investment on his part, he didn’t want to have the sound go wonky every thirty seconds, though why he didn’t just buy his own set of DVDs was beyond her. She was trying to calm herself after what she’d just done. She’d almost kissed him and she thought he might have wanted her to. She shoved that feeling down though.
Eric Northman was a man who went after what he wanted and in four years, he’d never once even tried to kiss her. True he had wanted her years ago, but she was sure he had moved on by now. She never asked, fearful of his answer, and had studiously avoided any conversations that might involve a mention of the opposite sex. She didn’t want to admit to him that she hadn’t been on a date in years hoping that one day he would renew his interest in her. She figured she had ruined her chances after that first night she invited him over and laughed when he showed up thinking it was a date, but she had never given up hope. Back then she had needed time. With everything that had happened with Bill she was overly cautious about getting involved with anyone else. Even if that anyone happened to be the man she had fallen madly in love with the week he spent with her hiding out from the witches when he had amnesia. She couldn’t believe that he would believe her if she told him about their time together. So she didn’t, no matter how many times he asked. She had locked the memories down tight.
She popped in Once More with Feeling. Still, after all these years, she couldn’t get over the fact that his favorite Buffy episode was the musical. She would never have guessed it, but it was true. He’d made her watch it enough times that there was no doubting it.
“I’m gonna make myself a drink. Do you need another True Blood?” She asked him, trying to shake herself of the butterflies that had taken up residence in her belly. A drink would hopefully calm her nerves.
“If you’re headed that way, sure,” he answered with an intense look in his eyes.
She felt like a specimen pinned on a board and she quickly shuffled to the kitchen trying to get out from under the spell that his gorgeous blue eyes seem to cast over her. Once out of the room she took several deep breaths, popped a blood in the microwave for him, and poured herself a very stiff drink. She had nowhere to drive tonight since she knew that either Eric would insist on driving her beater car, as he called it, or they would fly to his place. Once she had calmed herself sufficiently, she headed back out to the living room. She smiled when she handed him the bottle and noticed that he was mouthing the lyrics along with the cast. He never ceased to surprise her.
They finished up the episode without any further incidents and she went to her room to change for the night. It wasn’t her surprise, but she wanted to look nice for him. She put on the new baby blue silk sundress that hugged her curves and flared out into a full skirt that fell just above her knees that she had purchased especially for tonight. Pulling her hair up into a ponytail and slipping her feet into a pair of heeled white sandals, she headed back out to him. If she hadn’t known better she would have sworn his eyes widened to see her, but it was only an instant before he schooled his features back to blank. She must have imagined it.
“Sookie,” he began, “you…would you like to me to drive or would you prefer to fly?”
“You’re the birthday boy, which would you prefer?” She smiled at him, she was pretty sure she knew the answer.
“Considering I hate that beater of yours, I would much rather fly.” He held his hand open the door for her to walk through and she grabbed her purse and keys that were sitting right there. “When are you gonna let me buy you a new vehicle?” He asked. It was an old argument, but one he never gave up on.
“I love my car,” she protested as she always did. She walked out and he held open the screen door so that she could lock her house behind them.
“It’s a death trap.”
“You always say that and that answer has never worked. You really should try and new approach since, you know, I’m still alive after all the time that you’ve kept at it.”
“For now. Who will I get to watch Buffy with me once you’re just a smear on the pavement?” He asked jokingly.
“Well you’ll just have to admit your addiction to Pam. Or maybe they have a rehab group for vampires addicted to a certain blonde slayer?”
We were standing in the middle of my yard and he was holding open his arms for me to wrap myself in. This was reason I usually let him fly us anywhere. For a little while I got to feel his muscled arms holding me as if I were the most precious cargo in the world. I tossed my keys in my purse and wound the strap over my shoulder so that it wouldn’t accidently get lost somewhere between here and Shreveport. Not that I didn’t think Eric wouldn’t land and use his fancy vamp vision to help me find it if that happened, but tonight especially we had someplace to be.
Sookie was the most incredible woman I had ever known. When she had come out of her room it took every ounce of my willpower not to sweep her up in my arms and kiss her with every one of my thousand years of practice. The blue complimented her deep summer tan and I loved her in sundresses. She was so unlike all the other women I knew. The ones that threw themselves at me in dresses that barely covered anything, wearing caked on make-up and too much perfume. I knew the dress was new and wondered if she had bought it specifically for tonight. It was something she would do. I could see how much this evening meant to her. She seemed so excited. I had no idea what was in store for me when we got to Fangtasia, but I was excited simply because she was.
I wrapped my leather around her and once she was snug in my arms, where she belonged all the time in my opinion, I asked, “Ready?” I never liked to startle her when I took off. I always wanted her to be prepared.
“Anytime you are.”
I’m ready now I wanted to whisper. I’d been ready for her for years, but instead I stayed quiet and took off into the night. It didn’t take long before we landed in my backyard and walked into the house so that I could change. She said my Sunday best, so I put on my best black Hugo Boss tux with a light blue shirt to complement Sookie’s dress. I’d always thought that we looked good together and there was no reason not to play that up.
When I came back downstairs she was comfortably perched on one of the leather high-backed stools that lined the marble island in the stainless steel kitchen. I didn’t use the kitchen for anything more than storing blood and food for Sookie when she came over, but it’s not like you could buy a house without one. She had chosen a book from one of the shelves and had her head down reading it when I entered. I leaned against the doorframe, hands tucked casually in my pockets, enjoying the view. So enraptured with the book it took her a few minutes to notice I was there, but when she looked up I was happy to hear her heart speed up. She had noticed how good I looked, which gave me hope.
“One day, my dear, you are going to give in to your very obvious desire for me.” I walked slowly towards her.
She jumped up, snapping the book closed, and snarked, “Ha! Don’t you wish! I am a Stackhouse, if I haven’t given in to you yet, I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon. Besides, what would your legions of adoring fangbangers do without you?”
“My darling Sookie, I haven’t sipped from anyone in years.” I turned my back and headed towards the foyer leaving her gaping in my wake. It came out as a joke, but I was actually serious. For a while after our time together I had still indulged in the women who came into my bar, but I found out quickly that I had no appetite for anyone who wasn’t her. So I drank True Bloods waiting for her to come around. It was no real hardship since I was old enough not to need much to survive on, but I’d be the first to admit it wasn’t as tasty as the real thing.
Her laugh followed me down the hallway, she wasn’t far behind. “Oh Eric, ever the joker. Don’t think for one second I believe you’ve given up your playboy ways.”
I spun around and found her standing a couple feet behind me. I towered over her and smiled. “Am I joking, Sookie?” I took a step closer to her. “How would you know? Maybe I’ve already discovered exactly who I want and maybe I have found all others lacking.” Her breath sped up as I took one last remaining step to bridge the gap so that there hardly a centimeter between us.
She swallowed hard, but I had to give it to her, she didn’t flinch. “Then you must introduce me to this woman. Anyone who could get the almighty Eric Northman to settle down must be a rare woman indeed.” Something flickered over her face, but before I could say anything she continued, “Now, we really must be on the road, you have a birthday present waiting for you.”
I was hoping that she would put two and two together, but unfortunately not. Alas. Instead of pursuing that discussion, since something about it seemed to bother her, I asked, “Do I even get a hint as to what it is?”
She seemed to think about it for a bit. “Your heart’s desire.”
She seemed very satisfied with her answer, but if my heart could have beat it would have been thundering in my chest. Had Pam told her about the curse? I know I hadn’t, but I knew the two of them hung out from time to time. I dismissed the thought. I had commanded Pam not to reveal anything that we had discovered from the witch before we killed her, she wouldn’t have disobeyed me. Would she?
“Intriguing,” was all I said. I cocked my arm and she slipped her hand into the crook of my elbow. “Shall we?”
She tamped the sadness she felt at the knowledge that someone else had claimed Eric’s heart, but she couldn’t blame him. Who would want to wait four years for someone? She wouldn’t let it matter tonight. Tonight was about making Eric as happy as he’d ever been. She’d worked so hard on his gift. She had gone to her grandmother’s lawyer, Mr. Cataliades to get help. He was the only person she thought would have the kind of connections she needed to make this happen. It had taken over a year, but it had finally worked out. She was so excited, she could barely contain herself. It had been the only time she had seen Eric as giddy as a schoolboy. Literally. He was like a kid on Christmas Eve, peeking over the railing and waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. He had been so disappointed that evening and when she had gone home she decided that one way or another she was going to make his dream come true. He was always so kind to her, giving her things that she needed like the cranberry coat and a new driveway, but she never thought she’d be able to return the favor. Finally she could.
Eric held open the door to his cherry red Corvette and she slid inside the leather seat. Zipping over to the driver’s side, he was putting the key in the ignition before she had a chance to even buckle her seatbelt. He waited until it had clicked though before he hit the button to open the garage and back out of the driveway. Always the gentleman. She sighed, feeling a pang of jealousy she knew he couldn’t sense. Their blood bond had worn off long ago and they had never renewed it. It was okay; she had the best part of him, his friendship. He was loyal and noble and kind. As much as she desired him, she knew he would never brush her off no matter how much he cared for another woman. They would be friends for as long as she lived. She knew that and she was thankful. And tonight she would show him how much his friendship meant to her. She would just have to remember to keep her hands to herself no matter how fantastic his butt looked in that tux. Seriously, it’s a wonder sometimes that didn’t just jump on him.
They drove in silence, both lost in their own thoughts, ancient Swedish music playing on his Bose stereo. Top of the line he had told her one time. Nothing but the best for Eric Northman. She glanced over at him and his hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly she was worried that it would snap in half.
“You okay Eric? You seem pretty edgy.”
“Oh, of course, I’m just excited about my birthday gift, that’s all.” He lessened the tension in his fingers and visibly appeared to relax.
“I can’t wait! I hope you love it.”
“Sookie, as long as it’s not a hundred vampires jumping out from their hiding spaces or a clown, I have no doubt that it’ll be the best gift I’ve ever received.”
The smile he gave her was enough to make her panties fall off. Whoo boy, when he turned on the charm he was near to impossible to resist. She almost demanded that he pull over on the side of the road and have his way with her, but she clamped down on those thoughts as hard as she clenched her thighs together.
“Wait a minute! What’s wrong with clowns?” She asked in confusion.
“Seriously Sookie?” She nodded. “They are simply the creepiest people ever.”
She watched him visibly shudder and stifled a chuckle. “You mean my big bad vampire is afraid of clowns? Oh that is just too much. Wait til I tell Pam.”
“You will do no such thing and I am not afraid of them, they just freak me out,” he said with as much dignity as he could muster.
“Oh yes, yes you are. Oh that is hysterical.” She burst out laughing then, unable to contain it any longer.
He glared at me, but I just couldn’t take him seriously. “You will swear not to say anything Sookie or I will tell Pam that you have discovered a love of shopping and there will be no end to the parade of stores she will drag you into. I promise you.”
She solemnly crossed her heart as they pulled into the Fangtasia parking lot. The neon sign was unlit since Pam thought it best to keep the place closed tonight. There was no reason why Eric should have to share his present with anyone.
“Oh goody! It’s time.” She bounced up and down as she unbuckled her seat belt. Eric just lifted one perfect eyebrow and stared at her. “What? I know what’s inside there and you don’t. That’s a rare occurrence for me.”
He shook his head and zipped around to open her door, extending a hand to help her out. He placed hers into the crook of his arm again making her feel like a Queen every time he did it. He was cool, calm, and collected right now, but in moments he would become that giddy little school boy again.
They had just reached the door when she said, “Okay, now you have to close your eyes.” He just stared at her. “No. Seriously. Close your eyes Eric or I’ll have to cover them with my hand and then Lord knows, we might end up in a heap again and I would hate to get your tux all dirty.”
When he had done so she reached for the handle and peeked inside to make sure Pam was ready for them. She was standing at the bar looking like the perfect housewife in a pink twin set.
“Come on in Sookie, we’re ready for you.”
I glanced up at Eric to make sure his eyes were still closed and took him by the hand guiding him carefully through the doorway. She placed her other arm behind his back so that he didn’t run into anything. It would upset him highly if he were embarrassed tonight of all nights. They wove through the tables and she stopped by the bar.
“Okay. You can open your eyes now.” He opened only one eye at first glancing down at her, but she nudged her head to the side indicating he should look at the bar. His jaw dropped and he didn’t move or say a word: seemingly frozen in place. Then he gathered his wits and dropped to one knee.
Holy fuck. She didn’t. She did. Somehow my love had done it. I stared in open-mouthed awe for a good thirty seconds before I realized that I was acting like a fangirl and that simply would not do. Exhilaration coursed through every vein in his body. I couldn’t believe it. He was in my bar. My bar in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere. I dropped to one knee.
“Mr. Northman I presume. There is no need to kneel and please call me Vlad.” A thick accent washed over me and I stood looking into the eyes of the one and only Vlad Tepesh. I had no idea how she did it, but I was going to marry Sookie for this. She truly was amazing. I looked over my shoulder to see Pam and Sookie giggling together. “And this stunning lady must be your Sookie. I’m happy to finally meet such an amazing woman.” She dipped into a curtsy as he took her hand and kissed it lightly.
“Shall we leave the two of them alone do you think Pam?” Sookie asked.
“Oh yes. Let’s get ourselves a couple of drinks and head to the office. I’m sure Eric will have his hands full without our interference.”
Sookie walked up to me and kissed me on the cheek. “Happy birthday Eric. I hope you like your gift.”
Like it? I loved it! It was absolutely incredible. I couldn’t help myself and without thinking I grabbed and kissed her with every ounce of stored up desire I had. When I let her go, her cheeks were flushed and there was a huge grin on her face.
“Thank you Sookie, you have made me very happy.”
She and Pam slipped out of the room and left me to talk to the Prince of Darkness, who had just insisted I call him Vlad. There was a bottle of Royalty sitting with two glasses and I filled them both. I had so many questions.
Pam took her bottle of True Blood and went to sit in Eric’s chair behind the desk. “Well Sookie, I have no idea how you did it, but you have just made Eric the happiest vampire in the known universe. He will be living on cloud nine for the next ten years because of you.”
She was completely dazed and flopped down on the leather sofa across from Pam. “I’m glad,” she said offhandedly. “He was so disappointed the night that imposter showed up. He looked like someone had just killed his puppy.”
She snickered. “That he did. He was always so infatuated with The Prince as he insisted on calling him. I never truly believed he existed, but apparently Sookie Stackhouse is a miracle worker because Eric is sitting out there with his vampire hero right now, probably stuttering over his words.”
“Pam, now that’s not nice.” She thought about it for a moment. “Okay, probably true, but still not nice. More importantly though. Did he just kiss me?”
“I believe he did blondie. I’m glad to see he finally went through with it.” Pam sipped her blood.
“What do you mean finally? I thought he was seeing someone?” She asked completely confused about what Pam had just implied.
Pam leaned back and perched her Jimmy Choo’s on the edge of the desk. “Ahhh no, Sookie. He hasn’t dated anyone since staying with you when he had amnesia.”
“But he told me he’d already found the woman that he wanted.” Pam just stared at her unblinking. “Oh. My. God. I am such an idiot.”
“Why yes, yes you are, my favorite breather. I was wondering when the two of you crazy kids were going to come to your senses. Why do you think he is at your house week after week?”
“It’s me. I’m the woman. And he really hasn’t been with anyone else in four years.” She made it a statement not a question. “I think I’m going to faint.”
Never one to miss an opportunity Pam responded, “Would that require mouth to mouth because if so, I’m all about you fainting.”
She lost it then and couldn’t stop laughing. It went on for so long that Pam began to look worried. She just couldn’t believe that all this time Eric had been waiting for her.
“Wait, but why did he never make a move. I mean, that’s totally not like Eric.”
“Because you told him you wanted to be friends and he was respecting your boundaries. Though I told him several times that it was ridiculous and that he should just take what he wanted. He insisted on being patient, which worked out in the end for him apparently since he’s sitting at the bar talking to Dracula and drinking Royalty.”
We went on talking for several hours while we waited for Eric to finish up with his birthday gift. It was the most excruciating waiting period of her life. She had fallen asleep on the couch when she felt herself being lifted by two very strong and muscular arms.
“Did you have fun Eric?”
“You have no idea. Come, let’s get you home. We can talk in the car.”
He carried her out, gently set her in the front seat, and buckled her in. He talked a steady stream all the way back to Bon Temps. It was more than she had heard him speak in all the time she had known him combined. He talked about everything but what she wanted him to.
I told her all about my visit with Vlad the entire forty-five minute drive back to her house. I knew that I was rambling and I couldn’t bring myself to address the one thing I really wanted to: the kiss. I had kissed her. I hadn’t been thinking when I did it, I had just been so happy and she was the person I wanted to share that with, but she never interrupted me so I began to wonder if she’d rather forget the whole thing. So I kept talking until we pulled into her driveway and then I turned off the engine and ran out of things to say. We sat there. Neither one of us looking at the other.
I finally opened my door and walked slowly around to her side of the car. I offered my hand to her, as I always did, and she took it, as she always did. Still neither one of us spoke. Damn it, I was a thousand years old, I shouldn’t be this tongue-tied around her. I took the keys from her hand when we reached her front porch and unlocked the door for her.
She finally looked at me. “I’m really glad you liked your birthday gift. I don’t know how I’ll top it next year, but I’ll figure something out.”
“I did, but you don’t need to give me anything Sookie. Your friendship is enough.”
She appeared sad for a moment and then said, “Well I’m glad I could give you your heart’s desire.”
I paused wondering what I should say, and then I realized that I didn’t want to wait anymore. “Sookie, did Pam ever tell you what we discovered about the curse that the witch placed on me?”
“No, why? What does that have to do with anything?” She asked, a cute crinkle of confusion creasing between her eyebrows.
“It was that I would be near my heart’s desire and never know it.” There I’d said it, but on the off chance she didn’t understand I was going to tell her exactly how I felt. “It was you Sookie. You are my heart’s desire. Not Dracula, you. I love you Sookie. There will never be another for me.” I fell silent and waited.
Her lips tilted up in the smallest of smiles and I could see tears forming in the corners of her eyes. That was it, she was about to break my heart and I didn’t want to hear the words come out of her mouth. Maybe if I gave her some space for a few weeks we could pretend this had never happened and we could go back to being friends.
“Well, I should go I guess. Thanks for the birthday…” I began to turn and walk away when she reached out and touched my shoulder.
“Yes Sookie?” I looked into her eyes waiting for the axe to fall. Well at least we’d always have Buffy.
“I love you too.”
I stood there stunned. Did I just hear what I thought I heard? My amazement must have shown on my face because she tugged on my arm a little.
“I would like it if you stayed.”
That’s all it took. She was in my arms, though I lowered my head slowly in case she didn’t mean it. She tilted her face to meet mine and I brought my lips down to meet hers, softly at first and then I couldn’t stop. I was crushing her against me and we were in the house. She was intoxicating. Her lips, her scent, the tiny moans that echoed from her mouth into mine. I wound my fingers through her ponytail, releasing the holder and letting her blonde hair fall across her beautiful shoulders. She jumped up and wrapped her legs around my hips, sliding off my jacket, and letting it fall to the floor. She tore at my shirt, buttons popping off and pinging everywhere before she tugged it over my shoulders and discarded it somewhere behind us. We left a trail of clothes from the front door to her bedroom. It was only the first of many nights we spent together.
My name is Eric Northman and I belong here.