The sun was just beginning to set when Sookie returned to her car. She had spent the better part of the day shopping in Shreveport. Normally she would do her shopping closer to home, but her Gran’s birthday was coming up and Sookie wanted to buy her something special. She had been saving up for months in the hope of finding that perfect gift. She knew her Gran would be happy with anything, but Sookie wouldn’t; it was Adele’s 80th birthday and, after taking care of Sookie and Jason for so long, she deserved spoiling.
Sookie and Jason had already convinced Sam Merlotte, the owner of the local bar and the place where Sookie worked, to let them throw a small surprise party there for Adele. Not that it took much convincing; she was very much loved among the residents of Bon Temps, and it was no secret Sam had a crush on Sookie.
Jason, for once in his life, had decided to be selfless and agreed to cover the majority of the costs for the party. This, luckily for Sookie, meant she had extra money to spend on the present. She had looked in most of the stores in search of the perfect present – without any luck. She had seen a few nice things, but none of them screamed at her to buy them. She was about ready to give up for the day when she realized there was an old bookstore not far from where she was. Remembering Adele’s love of books, Sookie thought she might find the perfect present there. Checking the time, Sookie saw she still had a couple of hours until the stores shut. Ever since vampires came out of the coffin, as the media so wittily put it, stores had been staying open later, taking advantage of the new undead customers.
One short trip to the bookstore later and Sookie was searching through hundreds of books, looking for the perfect gift. She debated getting Adele a book on the Civil War, before her eyes settled on a limited edition of Time Machine. The price was a little on the steep side, higher than she would usually spend on a book – or anything non-essential if she was honest – but she knew her Gran would love it. With her mind set, Sookie carefully picked the book up and took it to the counter; she winced as she handed over the money, but decided that if worst came to worst she could always pick up some extra shifts at Merlotte’s. With her purchase made, Sookie quickly left the store and hurried back to her car.
Sookie was halfway back to Bon Temps, the roads becoming practically deserted the further away from Shreveport she got. Her eyes flickered to the book she had placed on the passenger seat. She could almost picture Gran’s reaction when she unwrapped her present. She smiled slightly before a flash of red caught her eyes as a car came barreling out of nowhere.
A scream tore out of Sookie’s throat as she slammed on the brakes. She lurched forward, her head hitting the steering wheel, before she was jolted back by her seatbelt. She heard the sound of the crash as her car smashed into the front of the other car. She gripped the steering wheel tightly as her vision swam. She could hear the foul-mouth tirade of the other driver as he got out of his car. Sookie slowly blinked, opening her eyes, not even aware she had closed them. Her hands shook as she undid her seatbelt and opened the door.
Sookie slowly climbed out. She placed her hand on the top of it as she got her footing. Her head ached from where she hit it on the steering wheel and she felt tears pool in her eyes as she saw the condition of the front of her car. Apparently, the worst had come to the worst already.
She turned her attention to the driver of the Corvette and felt her breath get stuck in her throat. She had never seen such a handsome man. He was well over six feet tall with long blond hair, the same shade as hers. There was a slight glow to his skin that she couldn’t explain, but then again, she didn’t really want to. He wore a pair of dark blue jeans that clung to him almost indecently, and a light blue sweater that framed his upper body, giving her a hint of what lay beneath. He was, in a word, gorgeous. The only downside, she could see was the scowl etched firmly on his face.
“If you are done eye-fucking me, do you think you can explain why you crashed into my car?” he said harshly.
Sookie’s eyes widened at his harsh words. She swallowed the lump in her throat and glared at him. “Perhaps you would like to explain why you were driving like a maniac?” she countered.
“I was not the one that caused the accident.”
“No, you weren’t,” Sookie admitted. “You were just the one who came out of nowhere, driving way too fast.”
“You are blaming me for this? You crashed into me.”
“No, I’m simply saying you played a role in it. If you hadn’t been driving so recklessly, maybe I would have been able to avoid the collision.”
“Perhaps if you would have been looking where you were going, you would have also been able to avoid crashing into my car.” Seeing her flush, Eric knew he had hit on something and pressed on. “What were you doing that was so important that you couldn’t pay the proper attention to the road, putting on your make-up?’
“How dare you!” Sookie cried indignantly. “Yes, maybe I could have been paying more attention to the road, but maybe if you learnt how to drive properly and what a speed limit is, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“This mess, as you so inadequately put it, is your doing,” Eric said. “Don’t try to blame me because you can’t drive properly.”
“I can drive just fine,” Sookie huffed. “You might want to look into taking some lessons though.”
Eric stared at the young woman with surprise; it had been so long since anyone stood his or her ground against him, it was a refreshing change. He was used to getting his own way all the time, he had forgotten how much fun it could be to argue with someone without it turning into a blood bath. In any other situation, he might have let it go, but this brassy blonde had crashed into his prized Corvette, and that he could not forgive.
“I am not the one who needs driving lessons,” he sneered.
Sookie ignored the sneering hunk as she inspected her car. She felt the tears welling in her eyes again as she saw how much damage had been done. It was worse than she originally thought; the front of her car had almost been completely smashed in. She wondered briefly how it was so bad. She was sure her insurance would cover it, but it was still going to be hard for her. It looked like she would need those extra shifts after all.
Moving closer to her, Eric frowned as he saw the tears in her eyes. He couldn’t understand why she would cry over such a scrap of metal. The car was hideous. If anything, she should be thanking him for the accident.
“Why are you crying?” he asked. “I would hazard a guess and say it looks better like this.”
“Are you always this infuriating or are you making a special effort for me?” Sookie snapped.
“Just you,” Eric replied with a smirk.
“Lucky me,” Sookie whispered as a tear trickled down her cheek.
Eric had to hold himself back from reaching out and wiping the tear away. He frowned as he looked at the car again. “It’s just a car,” he said, still unable to understand her reaction. “Just a twisted piece of metal. Your insurance will pay to have it fixed, if that is possible. You do have insurance don’t you?”
“Yes,” Sookie snapped before chastising herself for being rude. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” she added as she opened her eyes and turned to face him. “I shouldn’t have snapped at you. Yes, I have insurance, and I’m sure they’ll pay out, it’s just that I’m gonna be stuck until they do.” She was unsure why she was telling him all this, but the words were spilling from her mouth before she could stop them. “I suppose we should swap details.”
“Are you asking me for my number?” Eric leered.
“What? No, I meant for our insurance companies,” Sookie said quickly, embarrassment coloring her tone.
“Shame,” Eric purred. Reaching into his pocket, he took out a business card and handed it to her.
Taking the card, Sookie looked over the information on it. She saw it was a business card for a club in Shreveport called Fangtasia. Her eyes widened as she realized what Fangtasia was. “You’re a vampire,” she blurted out before slapping a hand over her mouth in mortification.
“I am,” Eric said, chuckling at her reaction. “Does that bother you?”
Sookie shook her head, not trusting herself to speak; she couldn’t believe she had just blurted it out like that. She was so embarrassed. Ever since vampires came out of the coffin the year before, they had intrigued her. The knowledge they were real had her wondering what else was out there. She always wanted to meet one, although they way she had left a lot to be desired. It couldn’t have been worse though; one could have walked into Merlotte’s while she was working. That would have been sad. She knew all about Fangtasia, but she had never been there herself. Merlotte’s cook, Lafayette Reynolds, had visited the club and had been full of tales, but it held no interest to her. She wanted to see a vampire, not a performing seal, which was what she likened it to, due to Lafayette’s descriptions.
“I’m sorry,” Sookie mumbled. “That was rude.”
“I have heard worse,” Eric replied.
“I bet,” Sookie said as she recalled some of the reactions Lafayette had received when he revealed he had been to Fangtasia. Clutching the business card in her hand, Sookie remembered she hadn’t given him her details. “Oh, just let me get a pen and piece of paper and I’ll give you my details.”
Before she had a chance to move, Eric handed her another business card and a pen. “You can write them on the back of that.”
“Okay,” Sookie said as she took the card and pen and hastily scribbled down her details on the back before handing them back to Eric.
“Thank you, Miss Stackhouse,” Eric said as he looked over her details.
Sookie stood awkwardly in the middle of the road. This was the first time she had been in an accident and she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. She eyed her car again. There was no way she would be able to drive it home, so she supposed she should call someone for a tow, but who? Or more importantly, how? She didn’t own a cell phone, she couldn’t afford one.
Eric couldn’t stand seeing her so lost. He found himself wanting to help her. He frowned at the feeling, not used to it. For reasons he couldn’t even explain, he felt drawn to the young woman. He thought he might be going soft in his old age; it was the only explanation. If anyone else had crashed into his car, he would have scared the shit out of them. But he thought there was something different about her. Most people had either one of two reactions to him when they found out he was a vampire: they either ran screaming, terrified he was going to hurt them; or they dropped to their knees and offered him anything he wanted. This woman did neither and he found himself intrigued.
“Do you know someone who can tow your car?” Eric asked.
“No,” Sookie whispered. “I’ve never needed anyone to do it before. I don’t even know who to call.”
“I can arrange to have someone pick it up, if you like.”
“Please, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“It’s no trouble.”
“Thank you,” Sookie said, suddenly feeling like an idiot. Jason had taught her the basics of looking after her car. She knew how to change a tire or the oil, but he usually took care of the rest.
“It is no problem,” Eric assured her, surprised to find he actually meant it.
Sookie listened as Eric arranged to have her car towed and repaired, thinking at least she would know what to do if she had another accident.
“They will be here in about twenty-minutes,” Eric said as he disconnected the call.
“Thank you,” Sookie said again.
“Will you be okay getting home?” Eric asked.
“I think so,” Sookie replied hesitantly. “I can call my brother from the garage. Hopefully he’ll be able to pick me up.”
“Brother? You don’t have a boyfriend who can pick you up?” Eric inquired.
“No, no boyfriend,” Sookie said.
“I find that hard to believe,” Eric said as he let his eyes rake over her. “A beautiful girl like you should have men lined up wanting her.”
“None of the guys where I live are interested in me.”
“Then they are fools,” Eric replied, meaning every word. He couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been snapped up. He thought she was absolutely stunning, with her long blonde hair and blue eyes. Her figure was just how a woman should look, with her ample chest, round hips, firm thighs, and an ass he just wanted to grab. To hear her say her say the men of her town weren’t interested in her just reinforced his belief that the men of today were stupid.
“Maybe, maybe not,” Sookie said with a shrug.
“There is no maybe about it,” Eric replied firmly, making her smile.
The two of them descended into silence as the minutes ticked by, each of them lost in their own thoughts. The sounds of the animal nightlife were the only sounds to be heard.
Sookie let her eyes fall over him again. She couldn’t believe how handsome he really was. He looked like he had just stepped out of the pages of GQ magazine. She couldn’t hold back the blush as she pictured him in various poses.
She had never had this kind of a reaction to a man before; sure, she had been attracted to other men before, but not to the point of wanting to be around them; that probably had something to do with her little quirk. Nothing turned her off quicker than hearing all their nasty thoughts. She’d lost count of how many times she heard them say one thing, and heard them thinking something completely different. She knew most people were like that to some degree, herself included, but none of the others heard it like she did. They didn’t have to hear someone tell them how pretty they looked, but thought their ass was too big, or hide their disgust as they heard their married Reverend fantasize about bending them over the pulpit and fucking them hard from behind.
But Sookie couldn’t help but feel drawn to the strange vampire. Despite his earlier rude behavior, she found herself relaxing in his presence, which probably wasn’t the greatest idea, seeing how he was just that – a stranger. All she knew was his name, where he worked, and he was a vampire. He could be a serial killer for all she knew. Sookie snorted at that thought; if you believed the lore, all vampires were serial killers. As she let her eyes fall over him one more time, she asked herself if she wanted to know. Well, ideally, yes: she would want to know if she was alone with a serial killer; but at the same time she thought no, if he was planning her death, she wasn’t sure she wanted to see it, because she doubted it would be pretty.
Sookie chided herself, unable to believe she was debating whether the handsome vampire was actually a serial killer. She wondered briefly if she was judging him because he was a vampire, but quickly dismissed that idea. She would be just as cautious with a regular man. Deciding she had to know, she let her flimsy shields drop, her eyes widening when she heard nothing.
“I can’t hear you,” she blurted out unthinkingly as a small smile spread across her face.
“I didn’t say anything,” Eric said, looking at her strangely.
“Oh, sorry,” Sookie stumbled. “I thought you did.”
Eric regarded her carefully. He knew a lie when he heard one, and he was sure she had just lied to him, but he decided to let it go. He wasn’t sure what to make of the blonde-haired beauty; she didn’t seem to have any sense of self-preservation. She stood on a deserted street with a known vampire and she wasn’t the least bit scared. The fangbangers that flocked to his club, in the hope he would pick them for a night, always had a healthy dose of fear him of him. Even when he was buried balls-deep in, them he could still smell their fear, but this little woman showed none. Even before she knew he was a vampire, she had argued and stood her ground against him despite the fact he could have broken her in two.
Truth be told, if anyone else crashed into his car he probably would have snapped them in two, or at least scared them so much they would have soiled themselves. But she had managed to diminish his anger without him even realizing she had done it. Pam would rip the shit out of him if she could see him now; instead of yelling and scaring her, he had actually helped her out.
When did I turn into such a pussy?
Eric was pulled from his musings by the sound of the tow truck arriving. He watched with disinterest as a man climbed out the truck and ambled over. He didn’t miss the lascivious look he gave Sookie or her answering shudder. Straightening his shoulders, Eric glared at the man as he drew nearer, not liking one bit how he was staring at Sookie.
“Evening, little lady,” the man greeted, ignoring Eric. “What have you done here?”
“She crashed her car,” Eric snapped.
“I see that. How did you do that?”
“It doesn’t matter how she did it,” Eric answered before Sookie had a chance. “I called you here to tow the car to your garage and fix it. Do you think you capable of doing that?”
“I’m a qualified mechanic,” he huffed.
“Good. Then do it,” Eric ordered.
Sookie was confused as she watched them. It seemed asshole Eric had made a reappearance, although she wasn’t sure why. Curtis, as his nametag read, hadn’t crashed into his car and as far as she knew Eric, couldn’t read his mind; it might have explained it if he could. Sookie had been trying to block him out from the second he climbed out of his truck.
“Will you be needing a lift into Shreveport, little lady?” Curtis asked, licking his lips as he eye-fucked Sookie.
Sookie felt the bottom drop out of her stomach when she realized she would be needing a lift. She grimaced as the as she got a flash of what he was thinking invaded her mind. She felt bile rise up in her throat as she saw him picturing her sucking him off as he drove down the street. She opened her mouth to speak when Eric cut her off.
“No, she won’t,” he said firmly.
“Mr. Northman,” Sookie said hesitantly, not wanting asshole Eric to turn on her.
“Please call me Eric,” he said as he turned to face her, his features softening slightly. “I will be more than happy to see you home safely.”
“You don’t have to do that,” she said, even though she wanted him to.
“It is the least I can do,” Eric said. “After all, it was my reckless driving that caused this.”
“I’m sorry I said that,” Sookie said blushing. “I am as just as much to blame. But I don’t want you having to go out of your way. I can just as easily call my brother to fetch me.”
“Nonsense, it is no bother,” Eric said, strangely finding he meant it.
“If you’re sure?”
“Okay, thank you,” Sookie said, letting out a breath she didn’t know she was holding in. “Let me just grab my stuff from my car. Oh, wait, what about your car? Doesn’t it need towing as well?”
“No, I will drive my car to the garage myself,” Eric said. “It is fine to drive at the moment; the damage wasn’t as bad as yours.”
“While you get your belongings, I will deal with the mechanic,” Eric said.
“Sure,” Sookie said. She wondered why she was allowing him to handle everything like she was. Normally she would have balked at someone doing everything for her, but she couldn’t find it in herself to argue with him about it. Grabbing her purse and Adele’s birthday present, she walked the few steps to Eric’s car and waited by the passenger side. She watched as Eric dealt with the mechanic. A frown marred her features as she felt Curtis mind glaze over; it was as though his thoughts just stopped. She wondered about it for a few seconds before shaking it off, as she saw Eric walking towards her.
Sookie was pleasantly surprised when Eric opened the car door for her and waited for her to climb in. She thanked him as she settled in the passenger seat, missing the smirk on his face. The low car combined with the sundress she was wearing gave Eric the perfect view of her panties.
Pale yellow, he thought, grinning as he sped around to the driver’s side. He adjusted himself before climbing in behind the wheel and gunning the engine.
“Where am I taking you, Miss Stackhouse?” Eric asked, hoping she would say “anywhere you like.”
“Bon Temps?” Sookie replied questioningly, half-expecting him to change his mind.
Turning the car around, Eric headed in the direction of Bon Temps. His eyes flickered over the bag on her knee. He recognized the name of the bookstore, having purchased many books from there himself.
“What book did you buy, Miss Stackhouse?” he asked.
“Oh, Time Machine,” she replied, “and call me Sookie.”
“A fine book, and one of my favorites,” Eric said, surprised at her choice. “Have you read it before?”
“Yes,” Sookie answered. “But it’s not for me.”
“Who is it for then?”
“My Gran,” Sookie replied. “It’s her birthday on Tuesday. She’s turning eighty and I wanted to buy her something special. She’s always loved this book and I found this one at that bookstore. It’s a limited edition print and I wanted her to have it, ’cause she deserves it.”
Eric smiled as he listened to her ramble; from the way she spoke of her Gran, he could tell she meant a lot to her. “You are close to your Grandmother?” he asked as he slowed down slightly. He found himself wanting to spend more time in her presence and his usual maniac driving would only mean less.
“Yes, Gran’s my best friend,” Sookie said. “She raised me and my brother; always looked out for us and never complained.”
“What about your parents?”
“They died when I was seven.”
“I am sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Sookie said, “I don’t really remember them, and Gran was great. She was like two parents rolled into one.”
“She sounds like a remarkable woman.”
“She is. What about you, do you have a family?” seeing the look of pain sweep across his face, “I’m sorry, that was rude,” she added hastily.
“No, it is okay,” Eric said, seeking to reassure her. “It has just been a long time since anyone has asked me that question. I have not thought about them in a long time.”
“I’m sorry,” Sookie repeated. “I didn’t mean to pry. It’s none of my business.”
“I assure you, Sookie, it is okay,” Eric said. “My human family has been gone a long time.”
“How long?” she asked curiously. “How old are you?” she slapped a hand over her mouth as the words tumbled out. “Oh God, I’m sorry. I can’t believe I asked you that. It was so rude.”
“I don’t mind,” Eric said, chuckling. “And to answer your question, I am over a thousand years old.”
“Oh wow, that’s… that’s old,” Sookie stuttered. “I keep saying the wrong thing. I’m sorry.”
“Not at all,” Eric said. “I find it a refreshing change from the things I normally get asked.”
“Why, what do you normally get asked?”
“The usual questions vary from how long are your fangs to do you sleep in a coffin,” Eric said, leaving out some of the more obscene questions he was asked. Something told him she wouldn’t want to know he often got asked if dropping fangs got him hard.
“Seriously? That’s stupid,” Sookie scoffed. “Why would anyone ask those dumb questions? Vampires are like walking encyclopedias of history. I’d much rather know where you were and what you were doing during some of our greatest history than whether or not you sleep in a coffin.”
“You are in the minority,” Eric said, surprised at what she wanted to know. Since vampires had revealed themselves, they had gotten used to the dumber questions people asked. Pam had started to make a game out of it; all the vampires at Fangtasia would place a bet on which question would be asked most in one week and the winner would get the first pick of any fangbanger at Fangtasia. Pam had forbidden Eric from entering, claiming he had the first choice every other night.
“Then maybe you’re hanging out with the wrong people,” Sookie said cheekily.
“You may be right.”
“Do you like being a vampire?” Sookie asked suddenly.
“Why do you ask?”
“Just curious,” Sookie replied with a shrug. “You’re the first vampire I’ve ever met. I just wondered if you liked it.”
“I do,” Eric admitted.
“Do you ever miss being human? Being alive?”
“No,” Eric answered immediately, not even having to think about it. “Not anymore.”
“But you did once?”
“I did in the beginning. It took me a while to adapt, but once I did, I never looked back. I was born for this life,” Eric said. He wasn’t sure why he was telling her this. He rarely confided in anyone and if he did, it was never about his past, or his human past. Not even Pam knew about his first days as a vampire, but here he was telling this virtual stranger how he once missed being human.
He let his eyes flicker over her again. What was it about her that made him open up? Was she some kind of witch? Had she bewitched him? He didn’t think so; he didn’t smell or sense any magic on or around her. Her scent was sweeter than most, but that didn’t mean anything. He was sure there was nothing Supernatural about her that made him open up, it was just her being her.
“I’m sorry,” Sookie repeated for who knows how times that evening, sensing she had made him uncomfortable. “I’m just being nosy; just tell me to shut up.”
“Sookie,” Eric said, trying to interrupt her rambling.
“I’m sorry,” she said again.
“Stop apologizing,” Eric snapped.
“Did you just tell me to stop apologizing?” Sookie asked, disbelief coloring her tone. “You can’t tell someone to stop apologizing.”
“I just did.”
“Well, you can’t,” Sookie spluttered. “It’s rude. If I want to apologize, I will.”
“Damn infuriating women,” Eric growled, unable to believe they were arguing over the right to say sorry.
“I am not,” Sookie huffed.
“You most certainly are.”
“Buster,” Eric repeated, nonplussed. “In my thousand years I have never been called buster.”
“Yeah, well, I have a few more names you’ve probably never been called as well.” Seeing the dumbfounded look on his face, Sookie couldn’t help but laugh. Her laughter set off Eric and soon the two of them were laughing like crazy.
“If I say sorry again, will you snap at me?” Sookie asked as she wiped away a tear.
“No, this time I will allow it,” Eric said, “but it will be the last time.”
“Okay, I’m sorry I called you buster,” Sookie said, giggling.
“You are a strange woman, Sookie Stackhouse,” Eric mused.
“Most women in your situation would be cautious, if not fearful,” Eric said. “Knowing I’m a vampire, they wouldn’t talk back or tease me.”
“Do you want me to be scared of you?”
“No,” Eric answered truthfully. He didn’t even have to think about it. The thought of her being scared of him made his stomach twist almost painfully. He found he liked her fire and didn’t ever want to see her cower before him.
“So what’s the problem?”
“There is no problem, I just find it strange,” Eric said. “I am, for all intents and purposes, a total stranger and yet you still climbed into this car without a second thought. You have no sense of self-preservation. I am much stronger than you; I could kill you in an instant.”
“So could a bus, but I’m not afraid of those either,” Sookie said with a shrug.
“It is not the same and you know it,” Eric growled, not liking her blasé attitude.
“Yeah, I do,” Sookie replied, turning in her seat slightly. “My point is, there are a lot of things out there that could kill me, even regular humans, but I can’t go around fearing everyone and everything. If I did that, I’d probably go crazy. I know there are dangers out there, Eric, I’m not stupid, despite what my climbing in this car says. Besides, I knew you wouldn’t hurt me.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“’Cause I trust you.”
“How can you trust me?” Eric asked. “You don’t even know me.”
“I just do. Are you gonna hurt me?”
“See, I told you,” Sookie said smugly.
Eric couldn’t believe what he was hearing; no one had ever trusted him as easily as she did. Sure, Pam trusted him, but that was due to years of companionship and the bond they shared. His area vampires trusted him, but again that was down to years of service; he had kept them safe. No one had ever trusted him so freely without wanting anything in return. This little slip of a woman had offered him her trust without reservation. In that moment he swore he would honor the trust she placed in him. He would make sure she never regretted it, not realizing he was planning on keeping her in his life.
“You are a strange creature, Sookie.”
“You wouldn’t be the first person to tell me that,” Sookie said with a snort. Looking out the window Sookie was surprised to see they were in Bon Temps. The journey had flown by. “If you take the next right, you’ll be on Hummingbird Lane.”
Doing as she said, Eric turned onto Hummingbird Lane. “Maybe I should have been more worried about myself,” he said, seeing nothing but trees. “Have you lured me here to do me in?”
“Dagnabbit, you got me,” Sookie said as she slapped her knee and let out an exaggerated sigh. “You’ve learned my secret: I’m Sookie the Vampire Slayer.”
Eric let out a booming laugh, startling Sookie. “If I promise to be good will you let me go?”
“Only if you mean it.”
“I do, I swear,” Eric said solemnly.
“Okay, I’m just a big softie at heart,” Sookie said, letting out a dramatic sigh.
“You are too kind.”
“And don’t you forget it,” Sookie said, wagging her finger at him in a playful manner. “I would hate to have to chase you down.”
“Then I might have to be bad after all,” Eric leered, “if it means you will chase me down.”
Sookie ducked her head as a blush spread over her cheeks. She wished she had the courage to flirt back, but she felt so far out of her league. There was something very different about Eric Northman, and she didn’t just mean that he was a vampire. He oozed sex appeal and it made her nervous.
“There’s a turn off coming up, on the right,” she said.
Following her directions again, Eric took the next right. He grimaced as he drove up the driveway and he heard small rocks hitting the underside of his car. As they reached the house, it became clear the old farmhouse had seen better days. The paint was peeling and the porch needed fixing, and that was just what he could see from the car. He wasn’t sure why, but he didn’t like the idea of Sookie living in such a rundown house. Pulling up outside the house, Eric turned the engine off and waited.
“Thank you for the ride,” Sookie said.
“It was my pleasure,” Eric replied, briefly thinking about the ride he would have liked to give her. As he chased the crude thought away, he found he meant what he said. He had had more fun in the short time he spent with her than he had in the last month with the fangbangers of Fangtasia, even if they did spend part of it arguing. Climbing out the car, Eric sped around the car before Sookie even realized he had moved. Opening her door, he offered her his hand.
Taking his outstretched hand, Sookie climbed out of the car as gracefully as she could, remembering to pick up her purse and book. She was surprised when he didn’t let go of her hand as he walked the few short steps to the front door.
“It has been an interesting night,” Eric said. “I would like to see you again, if that is okay with you?’
Sookie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was he asking her out? She thought about it for all of two seconds. “I would like that,” she readily agreed.
“When are you free?” Eric asked.
“I’m working tomorrow, but I’m free on Sunday.”
“Sunday will be fine,” Eric said. “Where do you work?”
“Merlotte’s Bar and Grill,” Sookie answered.
Recognizing the name due to the owner, Eric wondered what Sookie would think if she knew just what Sam Merlotte was, but said nothing. “I will pick you up at eight o’clock.”
“Okay. Wait, where are we going?”
“That is a surprise.”
“Well, how will I know what to wear?”
“Anything you wear will be fine,” Eric said, “but if you must know, something similar to what you are wearing now would be fine.”
“You’re really not going to tell me we’re going?”
“No,” Eric said with a smirk. Lifting her hand, Eric brought it to his lips and placed a soft, sweet kiss on the back of it. His eyes flashed with hunger. “Until Sunday, Miss Stackhouse.”
Sookie watched in a daze as Eric strolled back to his car. She rested her head against the wooden support column on the porch as he climbed in behind the steering wheel and drove away. A smile spread across her face as she thought about her upcoming date. Spinning on her heels, she skipped into the house and searched out her Gran. She couldn’t wait to tell her about her encounter and the date she had coming up with her vampire.