Disclaimer: I own nothing! All characters in this story, the books and the show belong to Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball/HBO - Thank God! If I were them, I would run for my life, because I just know Eric Northman will find a way to drain me dry for all the sh*t he had to go through!

BETA: The lovely Breathesgirl/tj6james6. She is awesome and makes a readable story out of my jumbled mess because English is not my mother language.

AN: I need to explain some things before we start:

The first few chapters will mostly be canon but not everything, I changed quite a lot! It will become more AU as the story makes progress.

Some characters and especially Sookie and Eric will ACT OOC! So don't shoot me! If you like a naïve, innocent and selfish Sookie, don't read this story. You will not be happy with it!

Sookie never told Bill about her telepathy. She's not smitten with him and there is a reason for it (I will explain that in a later chapter).

There will be some parts of True Blood as well though not necessarily the story but some characters.

This story will contain lemony goodness and some violence. If you are not 18 years old yet and/or you are easily offended by it, please click the back button NOW! Don't say I didn't warn you!


Chapter 1:

Fangtasia was not what I expected when I thought of a vampire bar. Well, I didn't really know what to expect, but certainly not that. There was definitely a color theme going on: The whole interior of the bar varied between shades of red, gray and black. The lighting was very dim and cast shadows in the corners. There were framed posters of every movie vampire you could think of from Tom Cruise to Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee on the walls. There were also 'No biting on premises' and 'No lingering in the parking lot' signs posted everywhere.

From what I could see there were probably about a dozen vampires present; their bodies were softly glowing, making it easier to see them among the human clientele.

But the most… interesting thing was the fangbangers and their choice of clothing. It ranged anywhere from velvet and lace capes to latex and leather dresses and corsets.

And everything was black.

Every. Single. Piece.

Some of them were even wearing plastic fangs and had painted blood on their necks to imitate being bitten or in the corner of their mouths so it would look like they had bitten someone.

How pathetic!

Well, maybe it's the new fangbanger-couture?

I stood in the middle of the room and couldn't stop myself from gaping at them for a moment. Did they really think vampires would notice them when they all dressed the same? Surely they didn't think that vampires dressed like this all the time? Then again if you only watched the movies or read the books that is how they dressed.

I looked down at myself. Maybe my choice of clothes wasn't the right one either. The sundress I chose was knee-length and sleeveless with a low neckline and the fabric was white and scattered with bright red flowers. Now I understood the look on Bill's face when he picked me up from home. I stood out and I definitely didn't want to stand out that night – or any other night.

Hell, everywhere I went in Bon Temps people looked at me. It didn't matter whether it was the grocery store or the gas station, people pointed fingers at me and whispered behind their hands, "Hey, look at Crazy Sookie, what's she doing now?" I had always tried to ignore the comments and flip them the bird in my head but it still hurts. It hurt every damn time. At least here, in Shreveport, nobody knew me. But now I've done it again! It was a curse.

As if he'd read my thoughts, Bill whispered in my ear, "You look like vampire bait." I gulped. Thank you, Bill, for pointing out the obvious!

Bill's hand was on the small of my back as he guided me across the room to the bar and ordered the only choice he had, a True Blood, and a gin and tonic for me to try and calm my nerves.

The bartender gave me a fangy smile after he looked me over from head to toe. He was an American Indian, with long coal black hair and an athletic build.

"How's it going, Bill," he asked. "Is this your meal for the night?" He nodded toward me as he put our drinks on the bar before us. I was instantly put out. I was definitely not on the menu that night.

Before I could say anything, Bill interjected. "This is my friend, Sookie. Sookie, this is Long Shadow. She has some questions to ask."

I took this as my cue and took pictures out of my purse. "Have you seen these women in the bar," I asked while holding up the photos of Maudette and Dawn. "Or this man?" And the picture of my stupid brother.

"Yes to the women, no to the man."

I waited for him to elaborate but nothing more came through his thin lips. "Do you remember who the women hung around with," I poked deeper.

His face closed down, "That's something we don't notice, here. You won't either."


"Thank you," I said politely. Obviously I broke a bar rule. Apparently it was a big no-no to ask who left with whom. "I appreciate your taking the time."

I turned around and walked to a just-vacated booth near the bar, Bill following silently behind me.

We mostly made small talk and sipped our drinks after we sat down.

My eyes scanned the room again - and the people in it - and I dropped my shields slightly to let their thoughts wash over me.

Big mistake! My mind was instantly bombarded with one thought, and one thought only: sex, sex and - you guessed it - sex. It was like there were dozens of different radio stations playing only one song. It was like their brains were one big pulse which hammered against my mind.

It was painful … and very disappointing. It's not like I expected much from the people there - I came to that conclusion the minute I assessed their appearance – but it was like sex with vampires was the most important thing in the world. I was disappointed for my brother though since I had gone there for some clues after all - but I wasn't ready to give up quite yet.

The minutes ticked by and I hadn't heard anything; not a single clue.

"This isn't working, I need to talk to someone else about Maudette and Dawn," I explained after another fruitless attempt at reading the fangbangers' minds. "Do you know someone else who might be able to give me more information?"

Bill hesitated for a second before saying, "Yes. The vampire over there is the owner." He tilted his head at a booth across the room. "He has scanned you a few times already."

The vampire in question was very handsome. Beautiful wasn't even the right word to describe him. He was magnificent! Everything about him oozed sex appeal. He had shoulder-length blond hair and blue eyes, was broad shouldered and was very, very tall. There wasn't an artist in the world who wouldn't have given a fortune to paint his face; it was that perfect. His body could rival any statue of Adonis in the world. He was wearing dark washed-out jeans, boots and a black leather vest. That's it.

He was terrifying … and oh so very intriguing.

"His name is Eric."

His hypnotic, brilliant-blue eyes flashed in the light as they fixed on me and caused me to gulp quietly. It's as if he knew we were talking about him, I thought. Hopefully he doesn't have x-ray vision.

I couldn't look away as he held my gaze and for a moment, I swear, I could see the waves of a stormy ocean rolling through the depth of his eyes. It was like the sea was once his home a very long time ago. I could practically taste the salt on my tongue.

As the left corner of his beautiful mouth lifted slightly in a mischievous smile I was electrified! My body was charged with shocks that left me all warm and fuzzy.

"How old is he?" I croaked out and finished my drink in one long gulp; my gaze never wavering from Eric's. His tall frame radiated strength and confidence; and I could tell even from that distance, his body could barely control the power.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Bill shifting in his seat slightly. "Very. He's the oldest thing in this bar." His jaw tightened like he didn't like what he was saying. "We could go and talk to him." His tone was tighter than normal.

With that simple sentence the connection was broken and I looked sharply up at Bill.

Without even waiting for my agreement he moved out of the booth slowly; as if he wanted to delay the meeting and get it over with at the same time.

A flicker of panic made its way through my body before I could squash it. The thought of meeting this creature made my body shiver with fear and anticipation at the same time.

Of course I wanted to meet him; who wouldn't want be in the presence of this beautiful man – vampire – talk to him and get to know him? On the other hand a sense of foreboding made its way up from the pit of my stomach: I knew my life would never be the same after that. Whether it was for better or worse, I didn't know yet.

For Jason! You're doing this for your stupid rutting machine of a brother. He so owes me for this, I thought. I kept my silent mantra up as I took several deep breaths to calm myself and then got up and followed behind my companion.

My knees were a little wobbly as we made our way over to Eric. He was sitting with a female vampire who was just as beautiful as him. She had blond hair as well and was petite. They were staring down at a young fangbanger who had crawled across the floor and kissed the female's spiky high heel. She made a disgusted sound and kicked him in the shoulder: You could tell that she would have preferred to kick him in another part of his anatomy but thought better of it.

The people observing this scene ate it up like it was the entertainment of the year.

All I could do was shake my head. I mean, come on! Crawling like an animal and kissing a vampire's shoe? In her place, I would be disgusted as well. Does this happen all the time?

Eric finally looked up and scowled at us as we approached. His face changed to curiosity though as he recognized us. Bill gripped my upper arm and stopped me a small distance away.

"Bill," Eric said, nodding. He had a slight accent which I couldn't identify but it sounded European. It was sexy as hell though and I couldn't suppress the shiver that ran up my spine.

Bill nodded right back and it looked so silly and stiff that I had to hold back a snort. Apparently vampires don't shake hands. As if sensing my amusement Bill's hold on my arm tightened and it became very uncomfortable.

"Who's your friend?" The female leered at me. She just needed to lick her lips to complete the look. Her British accent was very pronounced; I would have recognized it anywhere. Up close she was even more beautiful and reminded me of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Well, if Alice had worn a Goth outfit … then her fangy smile ruined the image completely. I shuddered. I don't think I could read the book and imagine an innocent girl in a blue dress and a hair band ever again.

"Hi, I'm Sookie Stackhouse," I said politely. I had to stop myself from sticking out my hand since my Southern manners wanted to kick in: I definitely did not want my hand to be eaten.

"Aren't you sweet," Eric observed as his gaze moved over my whole body appreciatively, leaving it tingling. His left eyebrow lifted as our eyes locked once more.

I lifted my own eyebrow right back and answered sassily, "Not especially." If this vampire wanted to be cocky and arrogant I would give him some of his own medicine. Maybe I could get into trouble with him. Hmm, it doesn't sound that unpleasant.

Eric stared at me in surprise for a moment. Then his whole face lit up with delight as he and his female companion laughed. It was a fascinating sight.

I could hear a rumble in the crowds' heads. Apparently, they had never seen it before, either. Immediately, thoughts about sex with him in different positions flickered in their minds like fireflies. Each thought was more absurd than the last one. These people's imaginations knew no bounds. I could only shake my head.

"Sookie, this is Pam Ravenscroft and I am Eric Northman," he said.

"It's nice to meet you," I said but apparently Bill didn't think so since he was squeezing my arm more painfully than before.

"My friend would like to ask a couple of questions," he explained coolly.

The seated vampires exchanged bored glances. Their faces became stony and Pam rolled her eyes, "Like how long our fangs are or do we sleep in a coffin?" Her voice was heavy with contempt.

I exclaimed with surprise, "No! If I wanted to know that, don't you think I would have asked Bill already?" My arm had started to go numb and I'd had enough. I didn't need a babysitter and could hold my own in a conversation so I twisted my arm out of Bill's grip with a jerk.

"People really ask you things like that?" I asked in disbelief. My fingers were unconsciously massaging the now sensitive skin to help the blood flow. "These fangbangers are even more stupid than I thought," I mumbled before I could stop myself.

The vampires in front of me stared at me like I had grown a second head. Pam licked her lips suggestively - oh yeah, there it was - and Eric's eyes became more and more intense; reminding me once again of ocean waves: I could get lost in them.

"And you aren't?" Pam asked.

I had to shake myself out of my trance, "What?"

"A fangbanger."

My eyes narrowed, "No ma'am! I'm a lady. And I expect to be treated as such!" I explained proudly with my head held high. How could she? Could she not see that I looked and acted nothing like them?

Eric shifted in his seat and moved his right leg over his left knee and crossed his arms over his chest. He looked at me with obvious amusement and curiosity while Pam stared at me in amazement.

What? Is it that unusual for people nowadays to have proper manners? I mean, yes we live in the 21st century and the times when a woman had to be prim and proper are definitely long gone, but decency and self-respect should still be attributes everyone should possess.

Before they could say anything else I once again got the pictures out of my purse and held them up, "I would like to know if you've seen either of these women in the bar."

Eric's eyebrow shot up again, "Are you a cop?" He stared me right in the eyes and my mind started to tighten uncomfortably with pressure. It was like a thousand spidery fingers were touching my brain. I shuddered and said a little more sharply than I intended, "No! I'm a waitress."

The pressure stopped and I could see, just for a split second that he was confused before his face went blank. I guess he had just tried to glamour me but that doesn't work: I can't be glamoured. I hadn't decided if them being unable to glamour me was a good or bad thing for me.

"Then why are you asking?"

I arched my eyebrow matching his and put my hands on my hips; it was a funny little game. "Don't you know that it's rude to answer a question with a question?

"Quid pro quo, buddy. Answer mine and I'll answer yours!"

Pam was looking incredulously from me to Eric and back again and was catching flies with her mouth - as my gran would say – as he tossed his head back and laughed heartily.

I smiled, satisfied that I had once again elicited a laugh out of him. And I somehow knew it was a rare thing.

"Oh, Sookie, you are one of a kind, aren't you?"

I snorted and grimaced, "You have no idea," Then I tapped my fingers against the photos to get us back on track. "Quid pro quo."

They took the pictures and looked at them for a moment before Eric looked back up. He was holding one of the pictures up: it was Dawn. "I have been with this one. She liked pain."

I grimaced. Yeah, that's what I got from her mind once as well. JB du Rone had said something similar about Dawn after I had found her body. Those were both images I could do without.

Pam followed his example. "I have seen both but not been with either of them. This one," she tapped her perfectly manicured fingernail on Maudette's picture, "was a pathetic creature. She wanted to die." She gave me an intense stare and said, "That's what we are after all: Death!" The snap of her fangs emphasized her words.

I shuddered but didn't say anything.

"Quid pro quo, Miss Stackhouse. Why are you asking about these women?"

I took a deep breath, "Because they were murdered, and had fang marks on their bodies. Bill said it wasn't a vampire and I believe him. They were strangled rather than drained and I don't think a vampire would waste the blood so I assume it's someone who has an issue with vampires, fangbangers or both. My brother, who's a… well, he's a…" I could feel myself blushing furiously at what my brother really was, "well, he's chased so many skirts that he's had to go to the next Parish just to get ahead of his reputation.

"He's been with both recently so he's naturally the most popular and only suspect for our law enforcement. But it wasn't him!"

Eric cocked an eyebrow. "How can you be so sure?"

I eyebrowed right back. "I just know. He's definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer, it's a miracle he can tie his own shoelaces, but believe me, he's not smart enough to kill." The only things he could kill are the deer with his shotgun and his own brain cells by actually thinking. I didn't say that out loud though.

I know, I shouldn't speak badly about my brother but I was still angry about him even being in that situation and most importantly, had our gran so worried. "So thank you very much. That was more of your time than I actually wanted to take. Have a nice night," I said and tried to turn and leave. Unfortunately Bill's grip on my arm was back. I scowled at his hand and then at him.

"Bill, are you quite attached to your… friend?" Eric asked.

It took a second for the meaning to sink in. Did … had he just asked… My eyebrow rose into my hairline at his audacity.

"She is mine," Bill quickly responded. My head whipped around. Now it was I who gaped at him incredulously and was catching flies. I couldn't say anything; I was too dumbfounded. I mean, what the freakin' hell? I know he had claimed I was his once before but that was just to protect me from his creepy friends, wasn't it?

Pam and Eric were civilized and kind of fun to talk with. Yeah, I know, a vampire is a vampire. To some people the word vampire is synonymous with murderer and manipulator but to me they are just people. Sure, they have quirks and they murder and manipulate others, but guess what? So do humans. I did wonder though whether the devil I knew would be better for me than the devil(s) I didn't know.

Alas, I didn't say anything because I didn't know what was going on. One more thing to curse Bill for: his unwillingness to give me any information.

Eric studied me intently for a long moment before inclining his beautiful golden head and Bill seemed to relax a bit. He bowed to them and stepped back before turning around and walking away with a firm grip on my arm.

He half dragged me back to our booth before I could brace my feet against the floor. I repeated my gesture from earlier and jerked my arm free from his grasp once more. I just knew there would be a bruise there the next morning.

Can you tell I was angry? Oh yes, I was. Fuming! "What the hell, Bill!" I exclaimed in a furious whisper. "What was that about? I'm not your property!"

"Eric is older than me by centuries. I was just protecting you," Bill said, looking very much like the vampire that he really was, what with his fangs peeking through his lips and all.

"I don't need your protection from those two. They were actually very polite most of the time," Well as polite as vampires could be I guess, right? "Unlike your so called friends," I hissed. I know that little jab was a low blow but I was so angry that I wanted to hurt him the way he had hurt me earlier.

He snorted, "You are so naïve sometimes."

I looked at him in exasperation. "Oh and why is that Bill," I asked, not really expecting an answer. "Because you never answer any of my questions, that's why." He's always telling me that I don't need to know or it's for my own protection. Pah, he can take his protection and shove it where the sun don't shine! "So excuse me for being so ignorant."

Bill gave me a patronizing look and his tone didn't sound any better, "Sookie, you're getting confused again. 'Ignorance' and 'Naiveté' are two completely different things. Being ignorant means you're lacking knowledge by being unsophisticated and uneducated. Naiveté, however, is easily solved with life experience so don't sell yourself so short."

Whaaat? What right did he have to lecture me like a child? I couldn't believe his audacity! I had to restrain myself from slapping him across the face right there in front of everyone. It would have served him right.

Who the hell cares what the difference is anyway? We're not here for a proper English lesson, for Christ's sake!

I was shooting daggers at him. If looks could kill, he would have been dead – well, finally dead – in a big puddle of goo on the floor right now.

And it was so typical of him to ignore my angry rant from before. I could have screamed.

Bill shifted uncomfortably in his seat, as if sensing that I was close to losing it: He seemed to be doing that a lot. "Sookie, please don't make a scene. This is absurd. Let's not argue about this, especially not here," he said in a whiny tone.

Oh, of course not! He's allowed to berate me but when I try to speak or get clarification it's always 'not now Sookie' or 'I don't have the time Sookie' or 'that is very unladylike of you Sookie' so I decided to fume in silence.

Apparently Bill didn't like the silent treatment since I heard a sigh from the vampire sitting next to me which was very uncharacteristic. He seemed to want to make up for his behavior though by explaining, "They are my superiors. Eric is very powerful because of his age, and only needs to take a sip of blood to maintain his strength. He almost never kills anymore. So I guess for a vampire, he is a good guy. From what I heard sex with him is unforgettable, too." Yeah, I came to that conclusion all by my lonesome. Figuring that out myself wasn't difficult, not with all those thoughts bombarding my mind but I would never tell him that. Thank god I actually never let it slip that I was a telepath.

"With Eric being older, and my superior, it means that if you had been interested I would have been obliged to let you go with him," he explained quietly.

Maybe I should have done that, I thought.

I decided to break my silence, "Did it occur to you for even one second, that I can think and speak for myself," I asked icily. "I am not a puppet! This is not the 19th century anymore. Women have the right to vote, can dress as they wish and they have the right to voice their opinions. Times have changed since you were human, Bill. Welcome to the 21st century!"

My goodness, he was so old fashioned sometimes. Just remembering our conversation about my too short dresses and the petticoats he so loves had me still laughing silently. I've never had an objection to a little old-school behavior – I was used to it from my gran - but this was downright controlling. It was becoming more and more clear to me that we were not really compatible.

We barely had anything in common. And the way he acted towards me, and around me, sometimes struck me as odd. Most times when we were together he talked down to me like I was a child: like I wasn't worthy of his attentions; we had that perfect example just a few minutes ago. If that were the case then why was he always seeking me out and lurking in the shadows nearby?

What's with his little speech just now anyway? First he was acting like he couldn't stand Eric and was even claiming me in front of him for everyone to hear, not caring that anyone was listening; and I'm sure that people were listening. Then, just a few seconds ago, it sounded like he was pushing me towards Eric or at least was trying to sweeten me up to him. To say I was confused was an understatement.

The time ticked slowly by as we sat silently next to each other. That is, until a fangbanger decided to approach our booth. She was sickly thin and so pale that she could have almost passed as a vampire herself. She whispered something in Bill's ear. I couldn't hear what it was but Bill quickly shut her down with a stony remark.

Unfortunately she wasn't the only one. In a matter of minutes three more of them, two men and a woman, tried to persuade Bill to leave with them. They were so desperate it was disgusting.

And I was so sick of it.

I had to take deep breaths to calm my temper. I knew it was not his fault – well, at least not this time - but I had to get away from him for a minute before I said something I would regret.

I glanced over at the bar and saw that Long Shadow had gathered quite a crowd over there. From my angle I couldn't see what he was doing but it must have been very entertaining.

"Bill, could you get me another gin and tonic, please?" I asked through gritted teeth. That would occupy him for a little while.

"Of course," he said, and walked stiffly towards the bar.

A relieved sigh escaped my lips. Finally! The air had been so thick with tension that I could hardly breathe. I definitely needed to think of what to do about Bill. I didn't think I liked him enough to be in a relationship with him. I hated to disappoint my gran but she would have to understand that I couldn't be with someone who always spoke over my head and made decisions regarding my life without me.

Suddenly there was a 'whoosh' in the air and the seat Bill had occupied a minute ago was once again filled with a vampire. Eric, to be precise. His arms were resting on the back of the booth and his right ankle was on his left knee. He had a lazy smile on his face that gave rise to the suspicion that he felt very comfortable at the moment. I felt tense but for a completely different reason than before.

"You don't mind, do you?" He asked.

I made a very unladylike sound, "Would you even care?"

He smirked mischievously. "No."

"Figures," I mumbled. We stared at each other for moment but I couldn't hold back any longer and I burst out laughing. Oh my, I have never met someone like him who has such a wicked sense of humor. His words from earlier came to mind, "You are one of a kind, aren't you," I asked.

Eric grinned at me, "You have no idea," he responded suggestively.

His voice sent shivers up and down my spine. And it only got worse as his gaze roamed over my body.

His tone was husky as he told me, "You look like a white candle in a coal mine."

My mouth went dry and I flushed pink, "Thank you, I think."

He inclined his head, "So, are you truly Bill's or was that just his wishful thinking?"

I snorted; it was getting to be a really bad habit. "Oh, quite the latter. I'm no-one's possession, especially not Bill's. I'm my own woman. So no, I'm not his!"

With a self-satisfied smirk he leaned back again. "Good, very good."

I arched an eyebrow, "For you or for me?"

"I hope for both of us."

"You are very arrogant to think that I'll want to have anything to do with you."

"Oh, I'm quite sure, aren't I?" His gaze got intense as his nostrils flared. He was smelling me and I knew that he found what he was looking for when his eyes changed to a smoldering blue.

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and pressed my thighs together to hopefully stop him from smelling my arousal but it was a fruitless attempt. Can you blame me? This magnificent creature was sitting within touching distance, in this relaxing - and absolutely sexy as hell - pose and his masculine scent permeated my senses. Yeah, it definitely couldn't be helped.

His smirk just deepened but he didn't say anything about it. Thank god. Instead he changed the subject, "How did you meet Compton?"

I stole a glance at the bar but I couldn't see Bill in the crowd, "He's my neighbor. He came into Merlotte's, the bar where I work, a few weeks ago and introduced himself."

"And you've had his blood." It was not a question.

I gave him a questioning look. How did he know that?

He tipped a finger against his nose, "I can smell it."

My face became hot. Wow, if he can smell that… what else can he smell? Oh yeah, we answered that one already.

I cleared my throat before answering, "He uh … The night I met him he was almost killed by two drainer's, the Rattray's. They were locals. When I found them in the parking lot they had already bound him with silver chains and had begun to drain him. Somehow I managed to run them off but the next night I had to wait for Bill for a little while after work since I had asked him to meet me then: they came back and beat me half to death. Bill rescued me at the last second and gave me his blood to heal me: I would have died otherwise."

Eric looked like he was deep in thought for a moment, "Did he have your blood that night as well?"

My eyes narrowed at that question. Why did he want to know? Something was going on. I thought back to that fateful night and replayed the scene over in my head before I answered, "Yes, I think so. I think he licked my head wound. Why?"

His face got very serious, "Did he tell you what it means to have a vampire's blood?"

"Yes. He told me that it would heal me, obviously, and that it would increase my … you know, libido. He mentioned something about sexual dreams too but I'm still waiting for any of that, thank god." My cheeks grew hot at that admission.

Eric cocked his head to one side and his eyebrow rose into his hairline.

I had the nagging suspicion that something was definitely going on here. "Again, why?"

He seemed to be pondering something since he didn't answer me right away. When he did his voice was barely above a whisper, "It seems we have much to discuss. I would like you to come back tomorrow night. Alone. It is better to explain such delicate subjects in private."

Oookay! What. The. Hell? What was going on here? All these questions about blood had me thinking that there was something important Bill hadn't told me. As always! And doesn't this confirm my suspicion about Bill's behavior? The feeling of foreboding got stronger the more I thought about it.

Before I could ask any of my questions out loud a figure suddenly loomed over us. Sigh.

"Eric," Bill acknowledged coolly.

"Bill," Eric replied in the same dry tone and stood up.

Now I could see how much Eric towered over the other vampire. He was a giant of a man.

Bill had a sneer on his lips and a scowl on his face as he said, "I told you, she is mine!" I couldn't figure out if he was incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to voice that in such a venomous tone: I had the feeling Eric could snap him in half with just his pinky finger and without ever breaking a sweat. Well, if he could sweat anyway.

"Bill," His tone was quiet and cold as ice. You couldn't mistake it for anything but a threat, "I was just keeping her company. You don't want the other vampires to get any ideas, do you?"

Bill gulped and clenched his jaw, "Of course not. Thank you!"

Eric smiled like a snake eying its prey, "You're welcome." He turned to me. "Ms. Stackhouse, it was a pleasure. I hope I will see you again," he said and arched his eyebrow in a silent question. I knew he was asking if I would come back tomorrow like he asked.

I confirmed with a very small nod. The curiosity and worry was too great for me not to. And honestly, I wanted to see him again. "The pleasure was mine, Mr. Northman," I replied, smiling. He turned around and strutted back to his booth.

For the first time I had the pleasure of admiring his very delightful backside. My oh my, what a delicious behind he had. A shiver ran down my spine at that thought. I had the suspicion that that was exactly the reaction he wanted to achieve.