That's Why I Can't Stay/Cause that's the only thing/That makes me feel this way


One Year Later

Pam's PoV

Sookie was standing next to me when the news was announced on the television, and she grabbed my hand automatically. I could still hear Eric berating a young vampire for breaking rules of etiquette.

Sookie was annoyed, "They weren't supposed to announce it until tomorrow night."

I looked to Sookie, "Have you closed the bond?"

"I always do when he's playing the bad ass."

"Good. I'll take care of him. Have someone take your shift and wait for me in the car."

Sookie leaned up and kissed me on the cheek. She had Thalia take over for her. Thalia hated having to sit on "that damn, fucking Judas Chair." I loved when Sookie told Thalia to do something. Thalia actually respected Sookie, and so, she never did any of her complaining within Sookie's hearing. It was very amusing to see the great pit bull finally tamed.

I walked into the office. "Eric. Oh, that does look like fun." Eric had the young vampire hanging from his ankles in the corner of the office and was giving the mandatory number licks from the silver tongues (imagine a cat o' nine tails, but with silver chains).

"Why is Sookie out of the bar?" Eric had a tendency to get snippy when Sookie was out of his sight. Thankfully, it wasn't often that it happened.

"Sookie and I are going shopping. And you aren't invited. She hasn't been away from you in a year. She's earned a girl's night. And I might keep her for a slumber party, to which you are also not invited. Thalia is on the dais."
I watched Eric as he tried to reach Sookie; his ears still lifted whenever he talked to her mentally. I laughed at his look of frustration, casually flicked his ear, and left him to finish his task.

I told Felicia to pass the word not to let Eric hear about the announcement from the news and then made my way out of the bar.

Sookie was bouncing on the balls of her feet by the door of my BMW Z4. "He's trying to get in, come on."

"I told him you deserve a girls' night, and you do. So he best stay away."

"How am I going to keep this from him?" Her face was torn between excitement and worry.

"I'll keep you out until dawn. We can have everything ready for tomorrow night."

"Thank-you!"

"Thank-you, Sookie. You've made Eric very happy. Not to mention, you've given me so much ammunition to work with. We'll use my private cards, he can't see the bills for those. And please, do give in a little with the price!"

"I've changed a lot about myself, but I will not give up my distaste for spending more money on clothes than I spend on groceries in a month."

"You feed just yourself, how much could you possibly spend on groceries? And I know that Eric takes you out at least twice a week."

"Shut -it." I smirked at her irritation. "I promise not to look at a price tag all night."

"Good girl. Then we can have some real fun, and you can get what you actually want. Now, on to the first stop." In all my years on this earth, I had never been as excited as I was about the plan to help Sookie in her little surprise for Eric.

Sookie PoV

I don't think I stopped smiling all night. Pam and I got everything done in just a few short hours. In the last year, just about every business had lengthened their hours; some even stayed open twenty-four hours.

An hour before dawn, I was sitting at Pam's house when I could feel Eric pushing hard against my shields. I gripped Pam's hand for support and dropped them long enough to give him the mental equivalent of a raspberry before I raised them. I closed him off from me, but I listened in for a minute.

When I told Pam that he was pouting about not getting any that night she laughed and responded with, "Well that's what he gets for not having sex with you earlier."

Hanging out with Pam for the last year had pretty much cured me of my tendency to blush, but when I remembered how I tried to seduce Eric in his office, I turned I began to burn. He had too much paperwork, and he told he would have to keep me past midnight if he didn't get it done. I appreciated that he was keeping his promise, but I had pouted at the time. After my blush finally faded, I laughed right along with Pam.

Pam went to her resting place for the day, and I tucked myself into one of her guest rooms. I laid in the cold empty bed with my hand extended over the space that Eric should have been occupying. I waited for him to fall asleep and then I set my alarm on my cell for four o'clock.

I was up by three, way too excited to sleep any longer. I checked my phone, and I received affirmatives from everyone that I had invited to Fangtasia for the night. I called Philip. He and Lucy came to pick me up, and I told him exactly what was going on. We drove to a shop to get them some dressier clothes, and I went to the few places I had to go to pick up the decorations. They were great, and I couldn't wait to see everything once it was up.

When we arrived at Fangtasia most of the wait staff was on hand to help set up. I was glad that no one was told what was going to happen until they were leaving from work last night. I was positive that if anyone other than those farthest away knew, the whole plan was going to blow up in my face. I was proud of myself for being able to keep the surprise from Eric for the last two weeks.

At an hour before sundown I left for home. I arrived with thirty minutes to spare, maybe I could get my make-up before Eric woke up. For the first time in a long time I hoped that Eric would keep his hands to himself. It was probably a worthless hope, but I was going to keep it.

When I felt him wake-up, his thoughts were heavy with lust. I had my make-up done and my hair in hot curlers. I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer. Eric's laugh on the other side of the prayer caused me to open my eyes.

"Lover, if your anxious about what I'm about to do to you, I suggest you open the door of your own volition." Eric called out in a voice that was a mix of sweetness and sex.

"I'll open if you promise to keep off of me until later. I've made myself up, and I have plans that I refuse to let go of." I crossed my arms and actually stomped my foot.

"Sookie, let me in." This time he meant my head.

"Nyah, nyah. Big bad vampire can't get what he wants." I turned towards the mirror and started pulling the curlers out of my head.

I was interrupted by the door slamming open. I jumped at the noise. I looked up at his reflection in the mirror and put my hands on my hips. He stood where he was, eyes frozen on my body. I had on a cranberry push-up strapless bra and a matching thong. I glared at him for a moment and then continued with my hair.

"You look very nice, Sookie."

"If nice is the best compliment you can come up with, then might I suggest you take a look in the thesaurus. While you are at it, go put on the gray suit hanging in your closet. Not even your hissy fit will ruin my plans tonight. Now, go."

Eric looked amused for a moment and then disappeared. He was back in no time of course, gloating at me. He was fully dressed and his hair was pulled back in a braid. He looked good without any effort at all. "When do I get to find out about your plans?"

"When we get to Fangtasia."

"Why do we need to get dressed up to go there? I don't think I need to look good for the fangbangers."

"No, you need to look good for me."

"Well, then shouldn't I just go in the buff?"

"No, and do not touch me."

"Sookie -"

"Don't start pouting with me. You'll get some later, you should have put out last night. Just think of it was a test of endurance. Let's see how patient you really can be."

"You're evil."

"I was taught by the best in the arts of torture."

"You've never watched me torture anyone."

"Who said you were the best? I was talking about Pam."

I finished with my hair and went into my closet and pulled out a floor length cranberry-colored dress. I turned and asked Eric to zip my up. He grumbled until I turned around. The dress was strapless and the cut accented my cleavage without being slutty. Eric slowly traced his fingers down the sides of my breast and over my hips. I grabbed both of his hands and pulled him out of the house.

Eric PoV

As much as it aggravated me for her to keep me out, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. She had to be the most annoying creature on the planet. It was amazing that Pam had been relegated to second in that category. I, at least, got to drive.

We arrived at Fangtasia, and I was shocked at the sign that stated the bar was closed for a private party. Why would Sookie have the bar closed? When I tried to ask her, she shushed me and looked smug. She was having a good time keeping me in the dark.

When she felt my irritation, Sookie turned to me with a serious look on her face. "I've made a lot of concessions for you over the past year. I do not regret a single one. Can you not let go of control just once? Can you not trust me to do something for you?" She had picked up my habit of dropping contractions when she was upset or serious.

"I apologize." I closed my eyes and took a deep calming breath I should not have needed to take. I felt the tiniest pressure on my mouth and opened my eyes to see Sookie smiling up at me.

"I forgive you. Now come on."

We walked in to Fangtasia hand in hand. As the door open a cheer met us. All of Sookie's human friends were there. Many vampires from the area were there. De Castro, Madden, and Sandy were there. Mississippi and Indiana were also there with their seconds.

I smiled at everyone, but I turned to Sookie questioning what exactly was going on.

"I thought it was about time I took control of this relationship. Today the State of Louisiana formerly recognizes marriages between Vampire and Human. And I am telling you that this is our wedding."

I picked her up in my arms and without messing up her hair or make-up kissed her. There was an annoying laugh from beside us.

"No, Eric. You have to wait until the end of the ceremony. Now come on, go up to the stage."

Pam pushed us forward and before God, witnesses, and the state we were married. Sookie was mine, in every conceivable way. What could I give her that equalled that? After the fifth dance, I closed down my side of the bond, excused myself from Sookie, and handed her off to her brother. I wrapped Pam up in my arms and squeezed her tightly.

"Ah, Master, your bride might get the wrong idea. Hugging another woman. You are hers, afterall."

"Yes, I am. I need you to do something for me."

"Whatever it is you need, I would do."

"Take over Area Five."

"What!"

"I'm giving it up. For her. She deserves me in whole. I will set you free and swear fealty to you. You just have to accept."

"But, I enjoy serving you."

"We will always be friends, Pam. Please?"

"Yes, my friend. Let us talk to the King."

The conversation with de Castro was thankfully short. Sookie kept herself entertained, but sent me a wave of growing aggravation several times. Once everything was set, I opened the bond and she gasped. Every vampire in the room turned to her in concern. Her eyes and mine met and she tore herself out of Sam's arms.

"You don't have to -" she started.

I stopped her words with a kiss, not caring what I messed up. "Yes. You have given me you, and I now I will give you me. We are equals. I love you. Nothing, no one, has ever made me feel this way. I remember living in your home, having no power other than the ability to make you happy. I want to live that way for a very long time. I want just you, for as long as I can have you."

She smiled up at me with the threat of tears in her eyes, "You have me."

"As you have me."

I pulled her up on to the stage and announced my retirement.


And they lived equally ever after. Well, that's it folks. Hope you enjoyed the work. For those interested, now that this piece is complete I will be starting the sequel to my Life After Dark. I'm pretty sure I'll call in Second Life in Dallas. Happy Reading.