Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave

A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 9:04am

Sookie wasn't entirely sure where this idea had come from. Well, that wasn't entirely true. It had come from Merlotte's, during the second part of her double shift. As her arm became increasingly sore from the combination of carrying trays all night and the fairly recent stab wound she'd suffered, Eric's warnings to take it easy and maybe even take some time off rang clearly in her ears. It was too late for that night, of course, but on the way home, she couldn't escape the nagging truth that Eric had actually been right. It was a difficult truth to swallow, though unfortunately not a surprising one. Eric had always been entirely honest with her, though perhaps not in the nicest way, and always whether she wanted his opinion or not. It wasn't as though he didn't have the experience to back up his advice either. One could learn a lot in over a thousand years, it seemed, and that could be pretty infuriating. This time, though, she had to admit that maybe he had a point.

Not that there was a whole lot she could do about it, of course. She had to work. She had bills to pay, a whole lot of them now that her car pretty much only functioned when it felt like it. That'd need fixing, and a million other things around the house. It was Gran's house, the one she'd grown up in, but it sure did require a lot of upkeep. It was worth it to keep Gran's vision of the house alive, but that didn't come cheap. Old houses had old parts. That was just how life worked.

Gran was really who had her sitting out on her front porch tonight. Gran and Eric, anyway. Sookie still wasn't entirely sure what she was doing was the right thing, but it felt like it, in her heart. So far most of dating had been Eric inviting her places, things Eric had put together to impress her or maybe just make sure she had a good time. They were great dates, ones to remember, and ones she was sure the other waitresses would just flip out at a description of even half the dates he'd taken her on. They were really sweet, but it was glaringly obvious, at least to her, that she'd yet to invite him anywhere. Gran would be pretty ashamed.

So, she couldn't help but see Gran's influence in all of this. Sookie had a weekly tradition of taking flowers to Gran's grave, though admittedly it was usually something she did during the day. Tonight, she had invited Eric to come along. Well, sort of. He told her they'd be staying around her house tonight, and requested he bring flowers, even though she hadn't mentioned what they were for. She didn't know how Eric would take the trip, but she was always the one saying that they should get to know each other before their relationship went further. This was something important to her, so she hoped that he would get the significance of her inviting him along. She wasn't sure how he would react, but Eric was always surprising her. She was sure, as he pulled into her driveway in that flashy car of his, that he wouldn't fail at that tonight.

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:04am

Pale fingers drummed upon the leather steering wheel as Eric sped down the highway at unthinkable speeds, passing the beat up trucks and other vehicles far too common to northern Louisiana. He could feel the curious, jealous glances of the drivers and passengers he passed so carelessly beside them and reveled in the lingering looks, trusting the darkness of the summer night sky, the tinted windows, and their inferior human eyes to keep his presence a mystery to the gawkers. Then again, he wouldn't be surprised if every single one of them knew exactly who he was. There weren't many Corvette owners in this part of the state. As far as Eric knew, there was only one, and he had every intention of keeping it that way.

Leaving the highway at the much too familiar Bon Temps exit, the vampire cast a quick glance to the passenger seat, making certain the extravagant bouquet of flowers remained unscathed. Tentatively taking an unnecessary breath, the Viking was immediately bombarded with a fragrant aroma that would have made a lesser man wince. Instead, Eric found his cold lips twitching upward into a small smile. Sookie had requested flowers for their night inside her home and he had, if possible, outdone himself. He couldn't help but hope their night staying in would be spent entirely in the confines of her bedroom. A vampire could certainly daydream, at least...

Speeding through the podunk town, passing by the uninteresting buildings in a blur, the Viking didn't slow until the only thing worthy of his attention neared his sports car. Turning sharply off the road and onto the loose gravel of Sookie Stackhouse's driveway, his blue eyes immediately focused on the figure sitting idly on the front porch of the dilapidated farm house, the smirk on his lips becoming more a genuine smile at the sight of her, despite the fact that he was certain her driveway was destroying the undercarriage of his car. Coming to a sharp stop behind the eyesore that was her own form of transportation, in one fluid motion, the engine was extinguished, the flowers were in his hand, and the Viking was out of the car crossing the slightly overgrown lawn toward her.

"You are strangely devoted to getting me to conform to the ridiculous notions of modern courting, aren't you?" he asked with a smirk he couldn't stop as he climbed the steps in a single, effortless leap while extending the bouquet of flowers to the telepath. "I was somewhat surprised you did not demand a heart-shaped box of confections as well, though I am somewhat relieved. I received enough curious glances over these." Leaning down, Eric crooked a finger beneath her chin, lifting it before pressing his lips to hers for a long, lingering moment before reluctantly righting himself once more, confident they'd be continuing where he had left off once in the confines of her house. "Do we have plans for tonight or are we letting the mood lead us?" he asked, an eyebrow arching as the smirk only deepened on his face. "Because I could truly get behind that... and under it, atop it, and even beside it for that matter."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 9:04am

Despite some serious effort to keep the growing smile from her lips, Sookie just couldn't help but brighten at just the sight of Eric. He had that effect on her, whether she wanted him to or not. Before, she certainly hadn't, but lately she was coming to terms with her attraction for him, and it didn't seem like such a terrible thing anymore. It seemed like every time she saw him, it was in a different light. A better light, and one that she could actually see dating him in. As he walked toward her with that bouquet of flowers that was insanely over the top, no shock there, Sookie could've sworn that her heart fluttered. It was incredibly cliche, but what girl could ask for a better sight?

"It's not strange," she argued, though the smile hadn't remotely disappeared. "We're dating. We should act like it." Taking the flowers from him when they were offered, she buried her face in them, inhaling and smiling at the amazing aroma. "They're gorgeous, Eric. And over the top, as usual," she slightly scolded, but her smile didn't waver. "But since they're not for me, I'll forgive it this time." She didn't explain, instead laughing at the idea of Eric bringing her a heart-shaped box of chocolates. "I can't imagine you picking up a box of chocolates for me, somehow, but it sure would be a sight." Eric wasn't exactly a traditional boyfriend, but even filling her request for flowers without complaint, even though it must have been a little awkward for him, showed her that he was invested in this. She felt even better about her plan.

Leaning up to kiss him, Sookie was in no hurry to pull away, instead wrapping her free arm around him, sighing quietly and happily against his lips. Kissing had never been a problem between the two of them. Even when she couldn't stand him, Eric's kisses had always made her knees weak. Now that there were feelings behind it, whatever those feelings were, they were somehow even better. She couldn't imagine how that was, but somehow it felt so right. She imagined, frequently, that when they did finally have sex, that it would be an experience she could never top. If only she didn't feel so obligated to make them both wait for it...

"We have plans," she answered, blushing at his insinuations. "Though that's quite the illustration." He was always throwing her off with those comments of his. It was difficult not to lose track of what she was saying. "We're going to visit someone," she explained vaguely, taking his hand with the one that wasn't holding the flowers and leading him back down the steps. "I have sort of a weekly ritual, and it's been interrupted a lot cause of travel and all that," she continued, knowing that where she'd been and what she'd been doing didn't really require explanation. "But I thought tonight would be a good night to pick up on it again, and to take you with me, if you'll come."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:05am

"It's quite strange," Eric argued without a moment's hesitation. Though he wasn't sure it was strange for Sookie, it was unquestionably strange for him. He wasn't remotely accustomed to having to actually do anything or put forth any kind of effort in getting who he wanted. Inviting him over for the night and insisting he bring along flowers was definitely unusual for him. He couldn't stop the quiet chuckle that escaped his lips as she reminded him they were "dating." It was definitely her word to describe their dynamic and relationship and not his own. Arguing it was a useless battle, however. The telepath had the uncanny ability to be just as stubborn as he was much to Eric's annoyance and delight.

Shrugging his shoulders once slightly as she insisted the flowers were over the top, the Viking didn't choose to half ass anything, but his arrogance turned quickly to confusion as the telepath quickly dismissed his extravagance for once for reasons Eric didn't understand. "What do you mean they are not for you?" he asked, his attention turning immediately toward the chipped painted front door, searching for signs of another. Taking an unnecessary breath of the night air, only the smell of himself and Sookie lingered on the porch now. Purchasing flowers himself for a woman wasn't a normal routine for the Viking. If she was going to just give them to someone else in the hillbilly locale, he may just have to object repeatedly.

"There is no one else here," he pointed out, the words not a question, but completely confident. "I was under the impression we were staying in." In the confines of his mind and as his imagination ran wild, that meant they'd be spending the night rolling about her bed until she was breathless and sweaty and he was completely sated, no small feat. He could only arch his eyebrow as she silenced both his internal and external thoughts with the news that they had plans and would be visiting another. "I wasn't expecting that. Should I have worn underwear then?" he asked with a smirk as she took his hand and began leading him back down the steps he had just climbed.

Freehand moving to his pocket to once more retrieve the Corvette keys he had stored there as Sookie began explaining their adventure for the night, he found himself led in the way opposite the driveway. Stopping abruptly and pulling her to a stop as well at her cryptic explanation, the Viking's eyes looked between the telepath beside him and the direction they were heading, his lips twitching downward and vanishing the smirk he had been wearing. Glancing once more between the telepath and their direction, Eric took an unnecessary breath. "Does he know I'm coming with you?" he asked, immediately assuming the weekly visit was to Compton's given Sookie's gentle, cryptic explanation. Shrugging once to himself as he continued walking, he brought the smile back to his face. "I hope it is a surprise," he added as his hand moved from her own to instead wrap possessively around her waist. "I didn't know he was a flower fellow though. I'm not surprised."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 9:05am

"It is not," Sookie insisted. Flowers and a date were not strange. Everything else they did, maybe, but not that. This was fairly traditional. She'd have thought that someone as old as Eric could appreciate traditional. In this case, where Sookie was extending herself so far outside her comfort zone, traditional was appreciated. It was something familiar in a truly unique relationship, and that itself was fairly comforting. She needed that, even if Eric found it strange. Besides, the flowers really hadn't been for her. She never would've requested a gift for herself, as beautiful as the bouquet was. He really had gone too far, but it was for Gran, so she couldn't protest.

"You'll see," she promised him, not explaining for now as Eric asked who the flowers were for. She didn't want to tell them what they were doing until they were already on their way, for fear that Eric would reject or distract her in that way he was so good at. Taking one of the flowers from the bouquet, sure that Gran wouldn't mind, she snapped off the stem easily and tucked it behind her ear. They were beautiful, and she wasn't sure how Eric would feel about leaving them at the headstone, but it would be a loving gesture worthy of a loving woman. She didn't know how Eric felt about things like this, but she hoped that no matter his views, he could see what it meant to her.

"Nope, it's just us," she assured him, smiling still. "We're staying around the house. We won't go far, and we shouldn't be long." It was a beautiful night, but she didn't think they'd be spending too much of it outside. It really all depended on how Eric reacted. Blushing as he asked if he should have worn underwear since they were visiting another, Sookie couldn't help but laugh. "I'm sure it'll be fine," she assured him. Really, Sookie couldn't picture how Gran would have taken news like that when she'd been alive, but she hoped Eric wouldn't have said it in the first place. "We won't be long," she repeated, leading him out through the yard again, holding onto his cool hand.

Frowning as he pulled her to a stop, her eyes searched for his in the dark for some sort of explanation. "He?" Sookie repeated, not understanding. Following Eric's line of sight, Sookie shook her head as the understanding finally hit her. "No, no, we're not visiting Bill," she quickly assured him. "Goodness no, who wants to do that?" Bill hadn't said a word to her since they'd broken up. Not even a happy birthday. He didn't deserve a visit. Still, she didn't mind the arm around her waist. "We're going to visit Gran's grave. Bring her flowers, that sort of thing." She didn't know how he'd take that. "You didn't know her, but I think she'd have been pretty enchanted by you."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:05am

Watching as Sookie tucked one of the flowers behind her ear, Eric couldn't help but recall more than one fond memory of making the telepath shudder in the best way as he paid tribute to her ears, and it took a great deal of willpower to keep himself from pushing her up against the warped wood paneling on the farm house. Sure, he hadn't been thrilled to pick up the bouquet of flowers and they certainly had cost a pretty penny, but he wouldn't mind seeing the flowers apparently meant for another scattered across the porch and their plans forgotten in favor of the Viking's own plans being realized. He didn't even think Sookie would object to his attention much, even if she wanted to.

But when he tossed a glance in her direction, he was equally sure his telepath was very focused on seeing this plan of hers to completion. "Not many people would dare to answer a question I asked with 'you'll see,'" he informed her, though he doubted such a thing came as much of a surprise. "Next time you wish for more information from me, I will tell you you will see," he vowed, though Eric was well aware there was a difference. He would let her get away with the flippant answer, but she would never let him get away with such a thing. She really was possibly even more stubborn than he was.

Smirking silently as a blush rose to Sookie's cheeks, Eric couldn't help but revel in the fact that he had put it there, and the natural reaction always made the enchanting telepath even more desirable in his eyes. She really was extraordinary, so as she promised they wouldn't be out for long, he had to hope that was true. "Good," he stated with a single nod of his head. "I look forward to having you to myself." Leaving Fangtasia and the center of his Area's operation was no easy task for the Sheriff of Area Five to undergo, even if he was only a phone call away, but it was worth it for some time with the telepath. "Preferably with less clothes on." No point in not being honest now.

The slightly strained expression Eric had worn since first realizing they were headed towards Compton's relaxed as Sookie insisted they weren't headed to visit with Bon Temps' resident vampire. "I didn't want to do that," he confirmed needlessly at her rhetorical question, his arm not leaving her waist despite knowing he wouldn't have to make his claim clear. Arching a brow as she further explained who it was they were going to see, he walked with her in silence for a moment, only his head nodding sporadically to confirm that he was listening to all she said. "Most women are enchanted by me, even if some attempt to fight it fruitlessly," he finally stated with a confident smirk, his head turning to look down at her as they walked toward their goal. "I do not know much of your family," he admitted, turning to look towards the path to make sure it was clear in the darkness so Sookie didn't stumble. "Tell me of them. It is your grandmother who raised you?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 9:06am

The flowers Eric had bought her were beautiful. Maybe they would leave some by the grave and take the others back to be set in a vase by a picture of her. Gran would've liked something like that. She would've complained about other people fussing over her, though Sookie supposed that wasn't entirely unfamiliar. It was no surprise that she was a whole lot like the woman who had cared for her most of her life, and really, it was something to be proud of. She wondered if Gran would've been proud of her now, with the decisions she was making, and everything she was doing. Somehow she thought she would be.

Smiling at Eric as he nearly sulked over her lack of answers as to their plans, she gave his hand a small squeeze. "Nope," she argued, lifting the bouquet to her nose again to smell the beautiful flowers. "Your plans are always pretty diabolical, and there's almost always something to object to. My plans aren't objectionable." It made sense to her, though she doubted Eric liked being kept in the dark. They would walk only a little further, and then she could tell them him. It wasn't that she was embarrassed by the plans she'd made for them, but they were a little unusual. They weren't really date material, but she was sure that they would learn about each other given what they were about to do, and that was important.

Blushing just a little more as Eric said he looked forward to having her to himself, Sookie could definitely relate. "I like having you to myself too," she told him honestly. He was harder to get alone than she was, she was pretty sure, so the time he spent with her really was precious. She was pretty sure he didn't have too many spare moments in his never-ending existence, so that he chose to spend them with her really said a lot, she thought. Shaking her head and smiling despite herself as Eric decided it was appropriate to voice that he wanted to take her clothes off, even she couldn't be shocked at that. He said so frequently, and acted on it whenever possible. She was objecting less and less.

"Me either," she assured him, not wanting Eric to think for a moment that she really wanted to visit Bill. She was with Eric now, and while Bill probably did have a right to know, he couldn't have been all that interested in what she was up to if he hadn't made the slightest effort to even call. Watching him carefully for any reaction to their plans, Eric didn't seem to be taking it badly, at least externally. Biting her tongue as Eric stroked his own ego while insulting her efforts to resist him, she made sure to watch her step as he admitted to not knowing much about her family. "Yep, I lived with Gran after my parents died. She took me and Jason in without thinking twice about it. I was about seven, so I must've been a handful at her age, but she never said so. It was just the three of us for a long time. She was so good to us."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:09am

"My plans are always pretty diabolical?" Eric echoed back, chuckling lightly at the telepath's words. "My plans are always the perfect amount of diabolical," he corrected. "There is nothing 'pretty' about them. But if you are entitled to be mysterious and withhold information, I am entitled to do the same." It was no surprise she was objecting to such a thing, he had anticipated that, but when it was his 'diabolical plan' on the table, he'd still never share more than he wanted to, no matter how much Sookie insisted he had to. "A little mystery never killed a person, now did it?" Pausing after his own question, he couldn't help but smirk as his head turned towards her, his eyes quickly meeting her own pools of blue. "Don't answer that."

The vampire couldn't help but inwardly smile at Sookie's confession that she enjoyed having him to herself as well. It was quite a leap from where they had been in the not-so-distant past. From the moment he had first met her, Sookie had gone out of her way to resist him and reject him. She had hid behind other vampires, she had hid behind a banner of independence, she had belittled him and insulted him frequently, but he hadn't given up as so many would have. After what seemed like far too long to the vampire, she was finally opening to him, and even though he didn't entirely understand why such a thing was so important to him, he couldn't argue that it truly was.

Of course, Eric wasn't sure he was entirely willing for anyone but himself to be aware of just how important the telepath was to him, especially when he didn't entirely understand it. Keeping his arm around her waist, he reached for her hand free from the bouquet with his own unoccupied hand, lifting it to his lips and kissing it once before releasing it. "What? No confession that you are eager to get me out of my clothes as well?" he asked with a smirk. "Still intimidated then, is that it? I can see how that could be. You really shouldn't worry so much. No one would be surprised by the news, least of all me, and I will not hurt you." Pausing for a moment, the vampire let his fangs extend before winking down at her once. "Not anymore than you wish to be 'hurt,' that is."

Letting his fangs retract as they entered the graveyard, his eyes scanned over the many headstones, easily reading the dates and names found there. It seemed nearly everyone who had died in Bon Temps since it's discovery was buried in the relatively unkempt and full graveyard. Listening carefully while letting Sookie lead him, his eyes still roaming the headstones and markers of the cemetery, a small smile crossed his lips. "You are a handful to your elders regardless of your age at the time, dear Sookie," he assured her with complete sincerity, even if he wasn't sure she would appreciate it. "What happened to your parents? Your grandfather was already gone by then?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 9:16am

Nodding as Eric laughed over her description of his plans as diabolical, she thought it was accurate enough. "I didn't even know there was a perfect amount of diabolical," she countered, knowing there was really no use in arguing, but finding it hard to resist anyway. "And no, you're mysterious enough already without withholding information. Plus, I always get the feeling you're withholding stuff anyway, even if no one's actually sure what." Eric seemed to operate on a sort of need-to-know basis. Raising her eyebrows at him at his question, Sookie smiled back as he instructed her not to answer, with good reason. She was pretty sure a little mystery could easily kill a person, and that a vampire should know that, but he seemed to rethink it pretty fast.

Their relationship really had progressed a lot. Sookie had been hesitant to get involved with Eric, thinking it would complicate her life, but here she was taking him to visit Gran's grave, something clearly important to her. It was a major change, but not one she regretted in the slightest. She didn't feel that he was taking away any of her independence, but at the same time, she felt like she could trust and rely on him. It was a careful balancing act, and one she wasn't sure could last, but she was really enjoying it right now. Admitting that she wanted to be with Eric took a lot, and the admission scared her, but it felt right. She would try to hold onto it and to do what she could to help their relationship a long, as unconventional as it was.

Trying to hide her blushing in the dark should have been easy, but with Eric's exceptional vision, she doubted she was doing a very good job. "Your ego's big enough without me saying it all the time," she replied, bright red as he asked if she was still intimidated. He was teasing, of course, but she really was intimidated by him. It was hard not to be, in that way. She did trust him when he said he wouldn't hurt her, but she'd only been with Bill, and Bill was certainly no Eric. There was no comparison, but she still made one, and it really did intimidate her. There were so many questions in her mind, so many that she really did try to quiet, but she trusted that they would get through it. There wasn't really another alternative when she wanted Eric as much as she did.

Leading Eric through the headstones in a long-memorized path, Sookie barely thought about the other markers they passed. Shaking her head at Eric as he pointed out that she was still a handful, she couldn't help but laugh. "I'm not that much of a handful," she argued, though she doubted that was actually true. Her laughter died quickly at the question about her parents as she led him along the path. "There was this bad storm and a flash flood," she told him, looking at the ground now. "They were driving over a bridge, and I guess they got stuck, and..." she trailed off, not seeing the point in adding that they drowned. It was pretty obvious. "Yeah, Gran was already alone by then, but we were real close with her even before we went to live with her. I think she was the only person who didn't see me as some sort of freak, even back then. She protected me a lot that way, up until she died, really. She was fiercely protective of her family."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:17am

"I am the perfect amount of diabolical," Eric quickly answered, positive not only was such a thing possible, but that he had accomplished such for as long as he had walked the earth. "If one or one's plan is too diabolical, it will often lead to a self destruction. Not diabolical enough and someone will take advantage of that. Being the perfect amount of diabolical is difficult to achieve, but it keeps one alive." Or only as dead as they presently were, as the case may have been. "I am," he admitted easily and honestly as she theorized he was always withholding information. "No one needs to know everything. Most people don't even need to know anything. Having more knowledge than one needs only puts them in unnecessary danger." Sookie seemed a natural at finding trouble as it was. The last thing she or he needed was her being even more of a target because Eric told her more than he should have.

It was almost strange to the Viking to be so concerned about the well being of another. For a millennium, his priority had always been himself first and foremost, all others a distant second. Even his own children were not worth preserving if it could be at the price of his own existence. Still, Eric couldn't help but be concerned about Sookie. As he held her firmly to his side, cradling his arm behind her as they walked, he wasn't certain if it was simply because she was a valuable, easily ended human or if it was something more, something he hadn't figured out and didn't understand. Then again, he had yet to figure out why a human was valuable to him at all, gifted and talented or not.

Fortunately for him, those thoughts that had been plaguing him so regularly were easily pushed to the side when he had the blushing human beside him. Walking easily over the uneven ground, he kept his gaze on her, enjoying the delicious display of blood to her cheeks as she attempted to fight off his advances. "Now Sookie," Eric began, a mischievous smirk unmoving from his lips. "Do not underestimate my ego. It can be much bigger than it is at present. Perhaps one night very soon you will see it at it's full potential and then will not chastise me for being so well endowed," he concluded, the smirk only growing. Pausing for a moment, he added quickly, "For my ego being so well endowed. Not what you were thinking... though neither of us can argue I am that as well."

He couldn't help the smile that formed on his lips as she laughed, denying she was a handful. They both knew she truly was, the healing scars he could see clearly in the moonlight now were only further proof of that, but as quickly as her laughter began, it silenced, her mood noticeably falling with it. Turning his gaze away from the many, nearly identical stones in the cemetery, he looked to her, her own eyes focusing on the ground as she spoke of an incident that had happened decades earlier. "You still mourn them?" he asked, curious. Mourning wasn't often something vampires did, in any way, but briefly, the Viking wondered if his own children had grieved so long for him after his sudden and- to them- mysterious end. "Your grandmother sounds as if she was a wise human," he stated as their trek ceased, his blue eyes turning to the headstones belonging to Sookie's grandparents. Reading their names and dates, he could only vaguely recall learning the telepath's grandmother had died shortly after he had first met Sookie at Fangtasia. At the time, he hadn't been very concerned about Sookie herself nor the life she lived and instead was much more concerned about how he could use her and take her from Bill. "What else was she like?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 11:33am

Shaking her head once more as Eric explained how he was just the right amount of diabolical, it was all Sookie could do not to laugh. As it was, she failed. Eric had a great sense of humor, something that surprised her in a vampire, but she'd always liked that about him, even when she couldn't stand him. "The perfect amount of diabolical," she repeated, trying to accept the wisdom without giggling too much. She could agree with him on one point, though. "Knowing too much can be inconvenient sometimes," she consented, knowing that as a telepath, she knew too much all the time. Some aspects of people's personal lives just didn't need to be shared. She didn't need to know if her coworkers were pregnant or in a bad relationship, though she supposed it might've been handy to know one was engaged to a serial killer.

Knowing everyone's secrets and having to keep a secret herself was a burden, though, one Sookie really couldn't deny. Gran had seen her telepathy as something special, instead of a curse like most did, but Sookie could see both sides of the coin. Yes, she'd just used the ability to help save people, but sometimes she just wished she were normal. That was why being around vampires was so... relaxing. Most people would never see it as that, but she had no idea what they were thinking. Of course, that could lead to some pretty deadly situations, but it was sometimes worth it not to have to listen to their internal chatter. Besides the obvious thoughts about sex, Sookie had no idea what Eric was thinking. That was a gift.

Eyes growing wide as Eric spoke, Sookie desperately fought the blush that stained her cheeks. Despite everything he'd said to her, and everything they'd done so far, she still couldn't help but be shocked at some of the things he said. "Yeah, I'm sure you were talking about your ego," she replied sarcastically to cover her less than innocent thoughts that his words inspired. She was not going to think about Eric's ego in a cemetery! Well, she supposed she'd done much worse in a cemetery before, but... "Not appropriate conversation," she mumbled in an attempt to distract him from the very blush-worthy line of questioning. Like that would work. Eric could discuss suggestive topics anywhere and seem perfectly at ease doing so.

Sighing quietly at the question of whether she still mourned her parents, it was one to think about. "I've had a long time to cope with it," she began, knowing that eighteen or so years might not seem like much to a vampire, but it did to her. "I was real young when it happened, but I'll always miss them. Gran did everything she could to take their place, but growing up without parents and with my... ability... was pretty hard. Of course, there's always the chance they would've made things worse. They didn't really understand me," she explained with a small shrug. How could they have? Kneeling to place half the bouquet at Gran's headstone, she smiled sadly. "She was independent, and believed a woman should always stand on her own two feet, but should always be a lady. She took a lot of pride in her home, and loved entertaining people there. She was patient, and kind, and strong. A real fighter, you would've liked her. She died fighting..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 7:24pm

Nodding once with a smile as Sookie echoed back his words, Eric could tell the telepath was in no great hurry to believe there was such a thing as being the perfect amount of diabolical, but the Viking was certain he knew better, just as he always was. "I am the perfect amount of many things," he decided easily enough. "Diabolical is really only the very beginning of a lengthy list." Glancing over to her as she agreed knowing too much was inconvenient, he could only arch a brow and shake his head slightly. "You are thinking of your gift, aren't you? Knowing too much can also be a blessing if you are capable of concealing your knowledge," he argued for the sake of arguing, and also because he had always thought of Sookie's talent as a gift, not the curse she seemed to deem it. "Having more knowledge than those around you makes you more prepared for what others could never be prepared for."

The vampire couldn't help but chuckle aloud at the deep blush that stained the telepath's cheeks as he carried on, the sound of his amusement interrupting the silence of the night and the silence of the graveyard. "Of course I was speaking only of my ego," he insisted, though the contrary was undoubtedly the truth. "It is you who has such a dirty mind, you can think of little more than getting me out of my pants." Keeping his arm still around her waist and hand firmly upon her hip, the Viking leaned down, his lips meeting her ear. "Don't worry. I'll abandon them quite willingly. All you have to do is say the word," he whispered, his lips brushing over the warm skin of her earlobe as he spoke. Eric wasn't remotely deterred by the fact that he was in a graveyard. He was nothing if not a consummate opportunist.

Standing upright once more, a smile played across his lips as a laugh of amusement escaped them. "What is appropriate conversation then?" he asked as Sookie quickly attempted to take his mind and words rapidly away from the direction they were always headed. Looking around the carved stones that dotted the overgrown lawn of the cemetery for a moment, his gaze once more returned to her. "I really don't think this audience is going to object to our words," he pointed out. To Eric, if someone died, someone who didn't raise three nights later as one of the undead, they were just gone, nothing more than a memory that grew hazier with each passing day. He didn't know what Sookie believed, but he trusted by the end of the night, he would. She hadn't brought him there and didn't visit her grandmother so often for no reason.

Listening without moving as Sookie explained her feelings about her parents, the Viking's mind wandered a little to the children he had left behind. "Growing up, regardless of one's abilities or lack thereof, regardless of whether or not their parents survive, is never an easy thing," he thought aloud after a moment. "The entire time is a struggle. It is meant to be such a thing. When I was alive, it was not uncommon for parents to die and for children to be raised by other members of their family." He wasn't attempting to belittle her own struggle, but instead attempting to make her feel less alone. Eric had the feeling Sookie felt alone more often than a human should, and he knew too well what such a thing felt like. Watching as Sookie knelt to the ground and placed the flowers, Eric stood behind her, smiling slightly at the description of the woman she offered up. "I would have liked her, even if she would have driven me mad," he agreed. "She sounds as if she taught you everything you know. How is it she met her end?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 8:33pm

Sookie really doubted that Eric was the perfect amount of many things like he seemed to think he was, but arguing seemed pointless when he really had a very high opinion of himself. She supposed he really had no reason not to be, but Sookie always felt the need to argue none the less. "Of course I am," she acknowledged, despite his words on how her gift could help her be prepared. "I don't think knowing that Arlene's worried she's pregnant again or that Jason got laid last night will really help prepare me for anything," she argued with a small wrinkle of her nose, not really wanting to know either thing, nor the other far-too-personal tidbits she knew about people.

Shaking her head, trying very hard to be outraged instead of just blushing like crazy, Sookie stayed close to Eric even as he teased her. "You were not. It's not just my imagination, and my mind is not the dirty one." She couldn't really argue that she wanted to get him out of his pants, though, especially when he leaned down to whisper in her ear, feeling his cool lips on her skin. "Later," she promised him, though it probably wasn't the word he had been thinking of. That didn't change what she wanted. It was true, though. She did want him out of his pants later. There was more than just sex between them, which for Sookie, meant that she wanted him that much more. She cared about him, and she was pretty sure he cared about her too. That meant that, despite being intimidated, she wanted to be as close to him as possible.

"Not sex," Sookie protested as Eric asked what appropriate conversation was for a graveyard. The audience might not have objected, but that didn't make it appropriate. "We should still be respectful," she insisted, though she didn't really know how Eric felt about the whole thing, since respect for the dead meant something else entirely when vampires got involved. At least she didn't have to worry about being actually overheard with Eric around. He'd know if there was anyone nearby and warn her, probably, unless he intended on intimidating a certain sulky vampire who sometimes wandered the graveyard or spied on her house from there. Vampire exes had their drawbacks.

"That's true," she agreed as Eric said that growing up was difficult no matter what, having determined similar things for herself after hearing the problems and concerns of her classmates when growing up. Glancing over at him as he spoke about children with lost parents when he had been alive, she nodded. "It still happens too often," she replied quietly, knowing that the emotions probably hadn't changed in over a thousand years. A child feeling alone was still a child feeling alone, no matter the century. "Sounds like someone else," she agreed with a small smile, clearing some weeds away. "She did," Sookie agreed with a nod, hoping, not for the first time, that she was doing Gran proud. "Those girls I came to Fangtasia for the first time asking about were part of a spree of murders around here. The guy who did it was killing women who associated with vampires." Pausing for a moment to collect herself, she looked down at the ground where Gran rested. "He came after me, only I wasn't home. Gran fought back." Clearing her throat, she took a steadying breath. "The killer turned out to be my brother's best friend, someone I thought I knew pretty well. My 'gift' didn't do me a lot of good."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 9:45pm

Rolling his blue eyes slightly, Eric was certain the action would be lost on Sookie in the darkness of the graveyard, but he couldn't stop himself from doing it. She was so certain her talents were more a burden than the gift they were, and her proof only reminded the vampire once more that if he had it his way, he would take Sookie away from Bon Temps and the trite people who lived there. "I imagine the worthless humans you cross paths with on a day to day basis have useless thoughts to match their useless existences, but there are many more out there who offer true knowledge to you instead of self-absorbed emptiness. The knowledge you can gain in a place like Bon Temps is limited, something that I can't imagine comes at much of a surprise." Pausing for a moment, he turned towards her. "The world is much bigger than you realize."

Smirking as her blush only deepened and she did her best to be indignant, Eric could only chuckle lightly. "My mind happens to be the perfect amount of dirty," he insisted, turning toward her to brush a hand over her cheek. "Perhaps one night your mind will catch up." He'd keep his fingers crossed, at least. It wasn't that the Viking wanted to push her limits in a graveyard, that was odd even for him, but he did want Sookie to open up to him... a few ways over. Growling quietly, impatiently, as Sookie promised "later," Eric had to remind himself later didn't mean immediately in order to keep his fangs from extending. "I'm holding you to that," he stated,with a small smirk. "I'll hold you to that and anything else you want to be held to, for that matter." He was really such a giver.

Arching a brow as she insisted they needed to be respectful to the decaying bones around them, the vampire resisted the urge to laugh for Sookie's sake. "You do realize even the oldest here are a solid seven and eight centuries younger than myself, correct?" he asked, his amusement leaking into his voice slightly. "If we are to respect the dead elders that can be found here at present... what I say goes. You should be concerned about insulting me by insisting my... ego is inappropriate." Of course, Eric felt what he said was what went regardless of the situation, but he was quite certain by Sookie's own logic, he was right this time. "However, I will allow for you to make it up to me... thoroughly make it up to me, that is."

Eric's brow wrinkled thoughtfully as Sookie spoke, considering her words. "Is it really so common anymore?" he asked curiously. There were so many humans about and the life expectancies tended to be much, much longer than he had known them to be when living. His own children probably had not thought much of their loss, nor mourned much when so many dealt with similar things. He doubted it had been easy, but Sookie's situation probably was more rare and difficult. Allowing himself to smile slightly as she agreed that her grandmother sounded like someone else, he nodded. "Was she as frustrating?" he asked curiously, though he already imagined she was. Listening as she recalled what had led to her grandmother's demise, Eric could clearly remember Sookie's first trip to Fangtasia, as well as her interrogation, but he hadn't been aware of much of the rest. Shaking his head once, Eric couldn't agree with her thoughts. "You were blinded by trust. Few are actually worthy of being trusted, whether you can hear their thoughts or not. You should not give yourself and your faith away so freely. Is the 'friend' dead?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 10:19pm

Shaking her head at Eric, Sookie found herself disagreeing with him. Like that was new. "The people I know aren't worthless," she argued, frowning at the very idea of calling them that. "People can't just be dismissed as worthless or useless. They're human beings, you were one too." She had a feeling he tended to forget that often, but who knew? "I've travelled before," she countered with a shrug. "To a bunch of places, often in the company of vampires. I tend to get kidnapped, shot at, stabbed, those sorts of things when I go anywhere. The world is pretty big, but fewer people tend to try to kill me in Bon Temps." Of course, fewer didn't mean none. She was pretty sure most people went their whole lives without those sorts of problems, but she wasn't one.

Sookie hadn't always appreciated Eric's 'perfect amount of dirty' mind, but she had come to appreciate it more than she had before by, well, acting on some of it. Just some, though. "My mind is just fine, thank you," she replied. It wasn't nearly as dirty as his, but it had experienced its fair share of very, very dirty thoughts, not all of them her own. Her gift tended to let her see way too much of that side of people. Men and woman alike thought about sex way too often. Blushing and turning away at his growl, Sookie shivered in a way completely contrary to the warm night air. It had nothing to do with the temperature outside and everything to do with promises of what later could hold for them. "I like the sound of that," she admitted, leaning up to kiss his cheek.

"It's not about age," she told him as he argued that he was so much older than even the oldest people buried there. "You can respect the permanently dead even if they are much younger than you." It was something worth insisting on, even if he had a point. "These people had families. Their death was a loss. That should be respected." Patting his arm lightly, she smiled up at him. "Besides, your ego doesn't need the help. It's doing just fine on its own." Just because Eric was the oldest in the graveyard didn't mean he got to call the shots, at least no more than he normally did. She wasn't sure that was any consolation, though, since he was pretty bossy as it was.

Fixing the flowers as Eric asked if losing parents was really so common, she handed the half of the bouquet that would go back to the house back to him to hold temporarily. "I don't really know," she admitted. "I guess not, but people still die, even if they do live longer now. Accidents happen." Sookie knew that better than most. Smiling at the question of whether Gran was frustrating, Sookie nodded without hesitation. "I'm sure she was. She was incredibly strong-willed. Everyone knew she was a forced to be reckoned with, but she was always there when you needed her, too. Gran helped everyone she could. She was selfless." Eric's words didn't make her feel better about Rene, but then she couldn't imagine anything ever would. "Even so, everyone deserves a chance. Even his own fiance didn't know he was a serial killer. He really was insane. Not many had thoughts like his, once I was able to hear them." Nodding slowly, Sookie brushed some of the dirt away from the headstone. "I killed him when he came after me again. It was him or me."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 27, 2010, 11:27pm

Arching a brow, his blue eyes examining her face in the darkness of the night, Eric had to wonder if Sookie actually believed the bull shit she was spouting. From the sincerity and conviction in her voice, he had to believe she did, and the vampire just didn't understand how that was possible. "Being of value to you because you have no other option does not make them of value to the world," Eric corrected. Equally worthless people could be found anywhere in the world, but in town's larger than Bon Temps, there'd also be a fair amount of those more valuable. Chuckling as she pointed out every time she left her home she was nearly killed, Eric smiled. "But you attain much more useful knowledge than you do here," he argued right back. "Knowledge always has a price. It's often worth it."

Smirking slightly as Sookie insisted her mind was just fine, the Viking shook his head minutely back and forth. "Your mind could be much dirtier," he insisted, positive such a thing was true, even if he was confident the telepath had a much more dirty mind than she normally let on. "I will help you with that," he offered, not willing to hear her decline the offer. "It'll be my pet project. Are you dreaming of you and I on a regular basis?" he asked with a smirk he couldn't fight. "If so, we're half way there already." Not willing to settle for a simple kiss on the cheek, Eric's head turned quickly, his lips meeting hers for a fleeting moment in the darkness. "I am not a patient vampire. Later cannot come soon enough."

Leave it to Sookie to argue Eric's logical deduction even if there was no way to argue it. "It is always about age," he corrected naturally and without hesitation. "Experience is everything and worth respect. I respect the permanently dead enough," he continued with a shrug of his shoulders. "But by the condition of many of these plots, you are the one of very few who has not forgotten. While I may respect the dead, it appears it is the living who could do well with the reminder. I could memorize these names, find the families who's ancestors lay here, give them a taste of why my ego is so big, and I guarantee they would respect the dead much more. Should I?" he asked, positive she would be horrified at the idea. "There is no objection from my younger, dead brethren."

Taking back half the bouquet of flowers as Sookie handed them to him, Eric was a little curious why she was splitting the bunch, his eyes immediately scanning around the graveyard for another grave she may be visiting before they departed. "Accidents are seldom accidents," the Viking thought aloud, his eyes still roaming the cemetery, before realizing Sookie may not take kindly to such an opinion. Letting his gaze fall to her, consoling was not his area of expertise. "Which I am sure makes true accidents much more difficult to cope with." Listening as Sookie further explained her grandmother, Eric nodded, definitely seeing the description in Sookie as well. Hell, he was certain he had described her just like that. "I see where you get it from," he stated with a smirk. "You loved her?" Shaking his head as she spoke of the man who had killed her grandmother, Eric adamantly disagreed. "Not everyone deserves a chance and little is seldom what it seems." He spoke from experience. Hadn't he given a stranger suffering on the side of a road a chance? It had killed him. "And he doesn't sound that insane. Successfully deceiving all those around you is not the feat of one lacking intelligence and sanity. Obsession is deadly." Especially obsession with Sookie. Eric was confident the human Sookie spoke of wouldn't be the last to meet an end because of her. He was nearly waiting for his own inevitable night. "I am impressed you had such survival within you. Given your recent injuries, I was beginning to fear I was the only one who wanted to keep you alive.

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 27, 2010, 11:52pm

"They're not just of value to me," Sookie argued, shaking her head, firmly believing every word she said. "Every life is valuable, precious. Everyone has some part to play. Just because they're not useful to you in some way doesn't make them worthless. Everyone has worth." For a vampire who had seen so much, she wondered how it was that he couldn't see that. "Somehow, I think a trip to the library would be safer," she replied with a small smile as Eric pointed out that her trips had all granted her greater knowledge. Maybe that was so, and all those trips had been for a reason, so she couldn't regret them, but there were far safer ways to obtain knowledge.

Sookie didn't really think she had a dirty mind, despite all she had heard. "That's not really necessary," she argued anyway as Eric decided that he would help dirty her mind up. She was sure that project would involve lots of inappropriate thoughts said aloud on his end, but really, that wasn't so different from the norm. "That's a pretty personal question..." she mumbled in reply as he asked if she was dreaming of him on a regular basis. Truthfully, those dreams had started long before she'd ever wanted them to, back when they'd been more than a little traitorous to have. Now, they still happened, but they were more welcomed, and she had a little more material to work with. Dreams didn't really compare to reality when it came to Eric, though. Kissing him back, she was reminded of just that, smiling softly at him before continuing on. "Some things are worth waiting for." Eric seemed to be one of those, even if she was the one making them wait.

Smiling despite herself as Eric said that everything was always about age, she was silently glad that he wasn't those always chasing the younger girl, though she supposed that was still her, at least in comparison to him. Still, she'd seen vampires go after much younger women than her. "That's true," she agreed, following his gaze to the less visited plots in the graveyard. "You can't make people be good," she told him, rejecting the idea with a firm shake of her head. "People find their own ways to remember and mourn their loved ones, I guess." This was what she did for Gran, but she could see how it wouldn't work for all people. Everyone had their own way of coping.

Turning to look at Eric, curious and a little hurt by his words as he said that accidents were seldom accidents, she wondered what he meant by that, but his next words did make her feel better. Nodding slowly, she turned back to the headstones. "It was such a shock. There was no preparing for it, and it was so hard to understand. Between that and hearing everyone's thoughts on it, things no one would dare say aloud..." Trailing off, she shrugged again. It had been an impossible time. "I probably did get it from her. Yes, I loved her very much. I miss her." One of the things Gran had taught her, though, was that everyone deserved a chance. "Some people turn out to be bad, but if you close yourself off, you could miss something amazing." She was always trying not to put up too much of a wall around herself, no matter how much she wanted to protect herself from getting hurt. "The thoughts inside his head were like nothing I've heard before. Obsessed, but definitely wrong, in a lot of ways. He had so much hate inside him, so much rage. The first woman he killed was his sister, and I think it just shattered his soul." Standing from the ground after giving a final, silent goodbye to Gran, she shrugged to Eric. "Gran defended herself. How could I do any less?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 28, 2010, 4:28am

"Every life is valuable?" Eric repeated, the disbelief more than obvious in his voice at the question. Despite being dead, the vampire had more experience with life than Sookie ever could have dreamed of and just as much experience in ending it. "You don't really believe that," he decided, if only because he was certain most life was entirely worthless, but as he looked at her, he could only arch his eyebrow. "Or perhaps you do and that is why you are always on some crusade to save it... often foolishly. Not everyone is as precious as you are." Laughing as she insisted libraries were safer than the adventures she was often dragged along with, he was sure that was true, but he only shook his head. "You put your faith in books? Take it from someone who's seen a great deal of what is recorded first hand. Printed knowledge isn't much more accurate than theories or simple, blind ignorance."

Already, Eric was thinking about ways he could make Sookie's mind a dirtier place, one he'd completely approve of, but it was no surprise the telepath was quickly objecting to such a plan, no matter how determined he was to see it put into play. "Perhaps you would prefer I focus on dirtying you up and leave your mind be," he offered as a compromise. "I might prefer that alternative to simply polluting your mind in the best way possible." Letting a laugh escape him as she insisted her dreams were pretty personal, the Viking could only look down at her with a grin. "That answered that, though I doubt they compare to what I can make you feel when awake," he stated smugly. "Some things are worth waiting for, but some are better to have than to continually deny."

Watching as her eyes roamed over the other plots in the small cemetery, Eric arched a brow. "No one can make people be good, Sookie," he agreed easily enough. "Especially when they are not good to begin with. I can make them do what I want, however." And with more ease than most of the living could ever begin imagining. If humans truly knew all vampires were capable of, they would have all the more reason to pursue and persecute them than they already had. Letting his gaze once more return to her grandmother's grave, clearly taken care of and visited more often than the others around it, he tilted his head slightly. "Does this... help you?" he asked curiously. He didn't truly understand it, but he was curious and wanted to understand as best he could when devoid of the emotions that clearly ruled the telepath.

It was almost surprising to Eric, to see and hear Sookie recount the traumas of her childhood to him in the middle of the graveyard. Through their bond, he could feel a faint trace of what plagued her now, and he was somewhat dumbfounded by how fresh and potent her grief seemed to be. He almost wanted to ask her more, to ask her what she had heard in people's thoughts during the tumultuous turning point in her life, but he bit back the question, not truly wanting to make the night more difficult for her than it was already. Sookie would tell him if she wished to, he trusted that. If there was one thing Eric knew, it was that the telepath had no problem letting her voice be heard by him, whether he wanted such a thing or not at any given time. He really wasn't good at consoling, but as Sookie stood once more from the grave, he offered her his unoccupied hand. "There is great honor dying as your grandmother did, in battle, a warrior. When I was still alive, it was the end I would have chosen for myself, the end I dreamed of and never achieved." Listening as she imparted her own wisdom on him, the vampire could only smile slightly. "Such optimism delivered in a graveyard must be a rare thing," he thought aloud. "But you are a rare human. A rare human who constantly underestimates herself while often overestimating others." Glancing once more to the grave as Sookie turned away from it, he smiled slightly. "She raised an extraordinary granddaughter. I am sure you have good reason for missing her."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 28, 2010, 2:07pm

Nodding to confirm her own words as Eric repeated them, Sookie could hear that he didn't believe the remotely same thing. It hardly surprised her. "Of course I believe it," she answered with a small frown, wondering why on earth she'd have said it if she didn't mean it, or really, how anyone could believe otherwise. "My gift doesn't make me more or less precious than anyone else," she frowned, though it did make her unusual. Her life was just the same as anyone else's. Shrugging as Eric called book knowledge inaccurate, Sookie couldn't really be bothered by that. "I prefer fiction anyway," she told him with a small smile. Most of her reading was done while sunbathing, so she couldn't claim to read anything too heavy.

Blushing at Eric's compromise to dirty up her body instead of her mind, she shook her head. "You say that like I haven't let you dirty me up already," she chided, though that really wasn't how she'd put it. Eric seemed to take her lack of answers about her dreams as conformation that she was having them, but there was just one problem. "You can't possibly know what's in my dreams," she argued, knowing that though he might have guessed at the nature of them, and who could blame her for that, it didn't mean that she only dreamed of sex. There were other things, too. At least that's what she assured herself as she smiled up at him. "We're working towards that," she told him, knowing that no matter how she tried to rationalize holding off on sex with Eric, despite what she was sure were some legitimate fears, it was getting harder and harder to ignore the mutual attraction.

Rolling her eyes at Eric as he reminded her that he could make people do what he wanted, she didn't really see it as a good thing. "There's no point to life without free will," she insisted, not liking the sound of Eric controlling people. Sookie was somewhat surprised as he asked if visiting Gran helped her, and took a moment to be sure of what to say. "It does. It's more for me than her, really. She'd want me to go on and live my life, so she wouldn't be upset if I didn't visit like this, I don't think. When I visit her, though, I feel like she's still guiding me. I keep the memories of her and the lessons she taught me alive, and sometimes when life's real confusing, it helps." Looking back at him, she smiled slightly. "I don't know if that makes sense or not."

Nodding and looking down at Gran's headstone as she held onto Eric's hand, she felt a little better because of his words. The fact that Gran went down fighting was a very small comfort, but a true reminder of the older woman's strength, strength she had passed down to her granddaughter. "I don't know about that," Sookie replied with a slight brush as Eric called her rare, seeming to think far more of her than she ever did of herself. "Maybe you just don't talk to people in graveyards a lot," she suggested, though she knew that wasn't really what he meant. Still, it was hard to see herself as special, at least in a good way. Smiling a little teary-eyed at Eric's words, she leaned up to kiss him gently, wrapping her arms around him, knowing she had made the right decision in bringing him with her. "Thank you for doing this with me."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 28, 2010, 7:36pm

Eric was certain the expression on his face could only be called blank as Sookie insisted she believed every life was valuable. He really couldn't pretend to understand her rare and clearly wrong belief. Not even when he had been alive did he think every life was sacred and important, so he was certain the telepath's belief was something reserved for a select few. As she frowned, however, Eric was left shaking his head. "I didn't say it was your gift that makes you more precious than the average human," he pointed out. "It isn't, but you are unquestionably far more valuable and rare than most." He didn't and never would give his blood to just anyone. Few who existed, now or ever, could claim Eric had been so interested in them. "Why is it you think so little of yourself?" he asked curiously. "Or is it that you just don't believe a word I say?"

Smirking as the telepath blushed, Eric shook his head. "You can be far dirtier, Sookie," he insisted easily and honestly, his eyes sweeping over her cheeks and neck as her blood rushed to them. Laughing as she insisted he couldn't know the content of her dreams, the vampire let a smile curl on his cold lips. "That is true, but I do know you and you would have outright denied their existence if you could have. Therefore, your lack of an answer was very telling... and I approve," he added with a quick wink he wasn't certain she would even catch in the darkness. "You are not alone," he added as almost an afterthought and leaving it just at that. He was incapable of dreaming, that much was true, but it didn't stop his imagination from wandering when he probably should have been focused on other things.

Arching an eyebrow at her words, Eric shook his head slowly from side to side. "Then there is no point to life for many," he stated simply, feeling free will was something few, if any, truly possessed. Humans seemed to always operate under the will of others, whether it was parents, religious leaders, political leaders, or the popular masses. Vampires weren't much better. There seemed to always be another above them that could force their hand and with it, their will. He didn't want to think of that anymore than she did, however, and was much more willing to be lost in her explanation of why she visited her grandmother's grave ritualistically. "Is life often so confusing for you?" he asked. "And it does make sense. We all have those we trust for guidance."

Lifting Sookie's hand to his cold lips, Eric kissed it once before letting the linked limbs return to their sides. "I know about that," he stated easily, honestly. "But you are also correct. I do not speak to people in graveyards very often, though I am confident the sentiment remains true regardless." As Sookie wrapped her arms around him, the vampire was all too willing to return her much too brief kiss. "Thank you for sharing it with me," he countered, reclaiming her hand once more as he began leading her down the well worn, yet slightly overgrown path towards her home, pausing after only a few steps. "Are we visiting someone else?" he asked curiously, his gaze slipping from her to the half a bouquet he presently carried. "Or are these for me? If they are, for future reference, if you ever request a gift you are going to give back to me again, I'd prefer something I could rip off of you. Preferably with my teeth."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 28, 2010, 8:38pm

Sookie got the feeling that no matter how much she insisted that every life was precious, Eric would be on a totally different page. It was a belief she firmly held, though, and always had. No matter how often she tended to skip out on church now, that didn't change her belief that every life was a blessing. "I'm as valuable as every other human," she insisted with a small shake of her head. "I just don't think I'm all that special," she protested, not thinking she thought too little of herself, just that she was pretty average most of the way around. "I believe you think I'm special," she answered with a small smile that was all for him. "And it always makes me feel that way when you show it."

Laughing and trying to hide the blushing as Eric told her that she could be far dirtier, she ducked her head, as useless as the gesture was. "That's probably true," she consented without actually agreeing to become dirtier. "I do dream about you," she finally admitted, knowing that he already knew it was true. There was no point in denying it. "It's not only about sex though!" she quickly added, not wanting him to get the wrong idea. Though, wasn't that only more meaningful, that she was having other dreams about him? Was that more blush worthy? Tilting her head at him curiously as he said that she wasn't alone, she couldn't imagine what he meant. "You dream of me?

Frowning at his words, Sookie could hardly believe how pessimistic the view was. "There's always a point to life," she replied strongly, believing every word. Eric and she clearly had very different views on life, but she really didn't know how that could be. Still, she couldn't really try to change his mind. "Yes," she answered without hesitation, so quickly that she had to give a little laugh. "Yes, it's pretty confusing for me," she repeated more slowly. "I feel like I'm lost pretty often, like I don't know what I'm doing, or what to do." It sounded pathetic to say aloud, but Eric seemed to get it. "Who do you trust for guidance?" she asked curiously, not really able to see Eric do something like this.

Smiling gently as Eric kissed her hand, she stayed close to him, feeling cherished at that moment. "Maybe it is. I don't really know," she admitted, not really seeing what he was saying, but not wanting to ruin the moment either. Being in his arms was something special, something she didn't want to ruin just then after what he'd been willing to share with her. It really meant something with her, to trust him with this tradition of hers. It wasn't something she'd take lightly. Smiling, she took the half of the bouquet back from him, shaking her head. "It's for the house. Gran would want them to be enjoyed by the living too. But... I'll try to keep that in mind," she added with a small smirk, leading him towards the house.

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 28, 2010, 9:24pm

"For a human who hears so much more than most could ever dream of and thinks she knows so much, you truly are very blind, Sookie Stackhouse," Eric stated with complete certainty. He didn't know how to change her habit of underestimating herself while overestimating everyone around her, but he truly did want to change it. The thing was, the Viking was quickly learning there was no changing Sookie's mind once she seemed to make it up. "I do not think you are special, I know such a thing," he corrected once more. "You seem to think I have no understanding or true knowledge of humans having been what I am for so long, but such isn't true. I've studied the living for a thousand years, generation after generation. I know humans better than they could ever know themselves and I know when a human is special. You are special and I am not the only one who knows so."

Almost immediately, Eric's mind was wandering far away from the surroundings he was presently in the middle of and instead focused solely on thoughts of Sookie being far dirtier. Well that was a guaranteed way to make his fangs run out without even meaning to. Blinking his own dirty thoughts back for a moment, he quirked a brow while looking down at her. "What else if not sex?" he asked, his curiosity once more getting the better of him. He was quite used to hearing that he made guest appearances in people's erotic dreams, but if Sookie's subconscious placed him in more than that, well, that was quite possibly significant. Shaking his head once, Eric looked up toward the summer night sky through the trees. "I am incapable of dreaming as you do," he answered. "But I daydream."

Actually chuckling as Sookie so quickly and so adamantly argued his words, he couldn't help but be amused at how optimistic and stubborn she was. Instead of further arguing with the telepath who would never change her mind, he just smiled. "You believe you know a great deal and have very strong opinions for one so young," he thought aloud. "And you are not afraid to fight one you should be afraid of arguing with. I like it," he admitted with a smirk. Listening as Sookie admitted she often felt lost, Eric couldn't help but be a little surprised. If there was one thing the telepath always seemed to be, it was certain of and steadfast in her actions. "I would not have thought such a thing," he stated with a small shrug. "You conceal it quite well. Most of the time, at least. I trust myself to figure things out on my own mostly," he answered. "It's dangerous for someone like me to trust another in that way, but my children and my bonds guide me and advise me."

Eric really didn't understand how Sookie couldn't see how rare she was, but he supposed she wasn't privileged to see herself through anyone else's eyes, besides those who judged her and condemned her for her differentness. To him and many other supernaturals, Sookie's rarity and value seemed obvious. The Viking would have actually preferred if even fewer were aware of it. Relinquishing his hold on the remainder of the bouquet as Sookie sought it back, the vampire kept a hold of her hand as she led him back to the farm house she had lived most of her life within. "You could have requested I bring two bouquets," he pointed out. He had drawn enough looks simply getting one, he couldn't imagine the attention would've been worse for two. "Is there a certain day or night you normally visit your grandmother on? Do you visit your parents?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 28, 2010, 10:29pm

Sookie did hear so much more than most could ever dream, but she didn't know about any of the other stuff. Still, arguing with Eric probably wasn't going to sway him from beliefs he'd most likely held for a very, very long time. Still, hearing him insist she was so special brought a smile to her lips, even if she didn't agree. "I don't know why you think so," she admitted, looking up at him, trying to see him even in the dark. "But I also know you wouldn't want to be with me if you didn't believe what you're saying. I like that you feel that way about me." It really was nice to feel like someone thought of her as special instead of weird. Bill had always insisted that her ability was a gift, but he'd always been weird about the whole thing. She'd only seen that after, of course.

Sookie could feel the change in Eric through their bond that she was pretty sure meant something she'd said had turned him on, or more likely, something he'd thought. "Sex a lot," she admitted with a blush. "But other stuff too. Simple stuff, being places, doing things with you. Sometimes nightmares," she admitted, the smile fading. "What could've happened to you if some of our, ah, dangerous situations had gone more wrong than they already had." Admitting that meant that she worried about him, that she'd care if something happened to him, and a bunch more things like that. Somehow, though, she didn't feel bad admitting it. "Sometimes I dream about what might've happened if I hadn't said I was Bill's the night I met you." Hearing that Eric daydreamed about her put the smile back on her face. "What do you daydream?"

Smiling at how obviously amused Eric was with her firm assertion of her beliefs, Sookie tried not to be embarrassed. His words were true enough. She did have very strong opinions, and she really wasn't afraid of arguing with Eric, even if most were. Really, he'd never given her reason to be afraid of him. She trusted him, as strange as that was to think of. Maybe most wouldn't understand it, but most didn't understand her anyway. Smiling slightly as he said he wouldn't have guessed she was often uncertain, she shrugged slightly. "I'm sure of my beliefs, my morals. Applying those to my life everyday isn't always easy, though. Life is complicated. Confusing. Especially mine, I think." Most people thought their lives were confusing, she was sure, and she didn't want to make their struggles sound insignificant, but she was sure few people went through what she did.

Shrugging once more as Eric suggested that he could have brought two bouquets, she knew she never would've done that. "What you brought was perfect. I wouldn't want to inconvenience you that much. I appreciate what you did bring. They're beautiful." Gran would've loved them, and that mattered. Shaking her head as he asked if there was a certain time she visited Gran, she led him towards the house. "My work schedule's pretty erratic, so not really. I go every week, usually during the day to avoid neighbors." No need to say which neighbor. "I visit my parents a little less, but I visit them." She almost felt guilty explaining that. "I guess I didn't have quite the same relationship with them as I did with Gran."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 29, 2010, 12:56am

"I have my reasons," Eric stated easily as Sookie insisted she didn't know why he found her to be so special. He always had his reasons, even if they made little to no sense to others. Sookie wasn't like that though. People knew she was special. Some were jealous of it, some were frightened by it, and others, like Eric, just wanted and needed her because of it. "And you are right about that. I am proud and know I only deserve the very best that is out there. That is you and I will settle for nothing less." The Viking hadn't entirely figured out if his desire would wane once he had fully had the special, unique human he craved, but even though it was surprising to him, he didn't think it would. Sookie made him feel things. Not all of the things she made him feel he enjoyed, but he was quite certain he didn't want to return to the way he had been for a millennium either.

Though it was certainly tempting to stay in his thoughts of all the dirty things Sookie had yet to let him do with her, the vampire really was curious about her dreams. Smirking in both amusement and approval as she admitted to dreaming about sex between them often, he wasn't surprised by that, but he wasn't expecting the rest of her admission. "Being what places?" he asked, keeping his gaze resting contentedly on the telepath's blushing face. "You dream of what would happen if I was ended?" Pulling her to him, he rested a hand on the warmth of her well-colored cheek. "I am not pleased to hear you have nightmares of me, though I can only assume that means you worry for me, but you shouldn't. I will not be easily bested, even in dangerous situations, so you can replace those thoughts with more dreams of sex," he concluded with yet another smirk. The more she thought and dreamed about it, the more she was likely to finally give herself to him. "What do your dreams of the night we first met involve?" he asked curiously. He too often thought of that first night and wondered what would have happened had Sookie not supported Bill's claim of her, and that only led to answering her own question. "Sex mostly," he stated unabashedly. "And of you being mine."

Listening as Sookie explained her conviction and what caused it as they walked back towards the farm house, the vampire nodded silently. "Death is no easier, no less complicated," he stated absent mindedly. "At least death as I know it." He couldn't speak for those buried in the ground around them. He imagined their nothingness wasn't quite so difficult to manage. Releasing Sookie's hand to once more wrap his arm around her slender waist, Eric smiled slightly. "You were raised well," he decided. "Your morals and beliefs are not fanatic... though sometimes they are bothersome. You have principles many lack and a compassionate nature when many have not treated you compassionately. Add in many things that make you you and I can see how that would be difficult, but you are doing well with it all."

Laughing, Eric shook his head once more. "Bringing flowers was not an inconvenience. If you are in need of something, anything, at any time, I would hope you would tell me." He wasn't sure she'd listen to him, Sookie prided herself on her independence, and only tended to confess to what she needed when on a spiraling, emotional rant. He wanted to help her and provide for her though, as much as she would let him. Chuckling as she explained she went during the day to avoid neighbors, he couldn't blame her for that. "He will smell me out there," he thought aloud. He wouldn't be surprised to receive a phone call later from Bill accusing him of spying on him or of stalking Sookie. "If you will let me know when you intend on visiting, I will make certain you have flowers," he offered. Pausing their journey on the edge of the tree line that separated her yard from the small, rural cemetery, Eric kept his arm around her while turning toward her, holding her close. "You were very young when they passed. It is not wrong that you were closer to your grandmother because of it." Kissing her forehead once, he released her enough that they could continue walking. "What was it people were thinking when they were lost?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 29, 2010, 6:01pm

"If you say so," Sookie smiled back, not understanding just what those reasons were, but understanding that Eric's feelings were personal, whatever they were, and that he had often said that caring about anyone made him vulnerable. As far as she could tell, that's what was going on here. Eric said she was important to him, and that meant he cared, didn't it? His feelings weren't something he liked talking about, which normally would have bothered Sookie, but she recognized that his actions spoke much louder than his words. Even if he wasn't quick to verbally express what he was feeling, he did little things to let her know he cared, and that was more important. "Despite being incredibly arrogant, that was almost sweet," she teased, giving his hand a small squeeze.

Wondering if he would tease her in return for her dreams, she decided to tell him anyway. "Silly things, sometimes. Little ones. Sitting out near the lake behind my parents' old house with you. Going swimming in the lake everyone swims in. Laying out in the backyard and looking up at the stars. Watching Sound of Music with you and listening to you rant about how the way to 'solve a problem like Maria' is simply to kill her," she added with a laugh, since that had been a particularly strange dream. "I do worry for you," she admitted to him, leaning into his hand. "You seem to constantly be in danger, and I don't want to lose anyone else I care about." Eric already knew she cared about him, but somehow admitting that she worried for him made her a little vulnerable. "All different things," she told him with a small smile. "Sometimes they turn into sex dreams," she admitted with a blush. "What do the daydreams about me being yours entail?"

It was somewhat reassuring to hear that Eric's life, or lack thereof, wasn't any more simple than hers was. She couldn't imagine it was, with how many people and vampires he was in charge of protecting in mostly impossible situations. There always seemed to be some crisis only Eric could handle. Feeling safe, even in the dark graveyard, when Eric rapped his arm around her, she smiled up at him. "That's nice to hear," she told him honestly, knowing that she questioned a lot of her own decisions, but that Eric saying she was doing well with them meant a lot. Some things she'd done had her feeling guilty, some made her feel stupid, while others made her question her sanity, but deep down, she still felt she was a good person. She tried, at least, and part of her felt that it was that choice to be good that mattered most.

"You really mean that, don't you?" she asked curiously, knowing that Eric didn't say anything he didn't mean, but still not used to hearing something like that. Gran had always taken care of her unconditionally, but hearing an offer like that from Eric was... well, it was normally something she'd rebel against, insisting that she could get anything she needed herself, and that she was not a kept woman who needed taking care of. After what he had just shared with her, though, and she with him, that really didn't feel like the nature of the offer. He didn't sound like he was trying to control her or insult her. It was confusing to her, so much so that she didn't know what to say. "Let him," she answered as he said Bill would smell him, shrugging just a little. "I'm yours now." She knew that was the truth, even if possessive pronouns were not her favorite words in the world. "You'd do that?" she asked, touched by the offer, leaning into him. "You're always welcome to come with me," she offered in return, meaning it. Nodding, glad he understood, she closed her eyes when he kissed her forehead. "Cruel things. Similar things to when Gran died, really. At least they wouldn't have to deal with me anymore. Poor Gran for having to take care of a freak like me. Now I'd be even more screwed up..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 29, 2010, 8:06pm

"I say so," Eric stated with all the confidence in the world, because it was one thing he was certain of. Sookie was special. Everyone who encountered her knew it almost immediately. In only their first, brief encounter, he had been completely aware the human was rare and though Eric was only beginning to peel back the first of layers, he was sure there was many more extraordinary things about Sookie left for him to discover. If he could have had it his way, he'd have kept Sookie and her gifts a secret from the rest of the world eternally because the vampire was certain it was only a matter of time before everyone knew just how important she was. "I am not sweet," he corrected, saying the word as if it was some kind of infectious disease. "I am arrogant though," he added with pride, despite the fact that he was sure it was meant to be an insult. "But my words are true. You are what I desire, and not without reason."

Listening as Sookie shared the contents of her more mundane dreams with him, Eric couldn't help but be a little surprised by them. He was used to hearing that humans had sex dreams of him, that was almost ordinary, and he wouldn't be surprised if humans he had had in the past had dreamed of lavish things Eric could give and provide them with, but Sookie's dreams sounded nothing like that. There were no exotic destinations, no fancy gifts. It left the vampire contemplative for a moment. "Who is this Maria who is such a problem?" he asked after a moment of silent thought. Leaning down to her, he brushed his lips over her forehead, nuzzling the top of her head with his own for a moment. "Your definition of danger and my definition of danger is very different. I am going nowhere." Well, that was debatable, but he wouldn't say such a thing. Eric knew well enough his existence would often keep him away from Sookie, especially if he intended on keeping her safe and untargeted, but he wouldn't meet a second death. Not intentionally, anyway. Brushing a hand over her cheek once more, he smiled down at her. "You will have to tell me of more of these dreams," he insisted, and he wouldn't forget. "Even my daydreams of making you mine tend to involve sex mostly," he answered with a smirk. There was more to it than that, but he wasn't sure Sookie truly wanted to think of half the things Eric thought of, and he didn't trust speaking outside at all. "This may come as a surprise to you, but I quite enjoy sex."

Holding Sookie to him in the darkness, the vampire leaned down once more to meet her lips for a moment, unsure if she really believed everything he said, but he was certain it was true. Parting her lips with his own, he was reluctant to pull back from them, but staying in a cemetery all night was not quite an ideal. "You should believe it," he stated simply. There may have been many who didn't see Sookie the way he did, but Eric was positive their opinions didn't matter at all. "I don't waste my words... though I would not mind helping rid you of a few of your morals." Like ones that left her insisting it would be better for the two of them not to spend all their time alone together fucking.

"Naturally," he answered as she questioned whether or not he meant his words. He wanted to provide for Sookie with what she needed. Though he hadn't known much of her upbringing nor her family and still knew very little for that matter, he did know no one seemed to provide or care for Sookie. She was on her own, but she didn't need to be. Eric truly wanted to provide and care for her. Though he didn't entirely understand it, she meant a lot to him, more than a human ever had before, and he never wanted her to struggle or go without when he had far more than enough to keep such a thing from happening. Arching a brow in surprise as Sookie said she was his, it was seldom Eric found himself surprised, but the telepath had succeeded in surprising him. "Let him," he agreed with a small smile as they walked across her lawn, his arm holding her securely to him. Nodding as they walked, he glanced at the bouquet in her hands. "Easily. I would not want your grandmother to go without flowers. I would not be able to come weekly with my unpredictable schedule, but I am certain I could join you now and then." Leading the telepath up the creaky steps of her farmhouse, he stopped on the porch, turning towards her. "Give me names," he nearly snarled. "You don't listen to that, do you? You don't believe things like that, correct?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 29, 2010, 9:31pm

Smiling at Eric's confidence in his own words, that was really something she should have been used to in the vampire. Eric was confident, really overconfident, and he never seemed to doubt a word that left his mouth. She didn't always agree, but that certainty always made her feel a little better. When they were so complementary of her, they certainly put a smile on her face. "Fine, you're not sweet," she agreed, trying not to smile. "You're... What word won't you object to?" she asked before continuing. Still, she couldn't tease too much. Men today just didn't say things like 'you're what I desire,' so the words might've made her heart pick up speed a little. "Well, same here," she replied with a blush, wondering if he desired her in more ways than just wanting her out of her pants.

"A character in a movie," Sookie replied with a laugh as he asked about Maria. "It's a song," she explained further, closing her eyes as he kissed her forehead. "I have a feeling our definitions of danger aren't so different, considering we've been through plenty of dangerous situations together, but I still worry for you." Smiling, she wondered if she really would tell him more of her dreams, but she had a feeling that even if he'd laugh at her, she could trust him with those sorts of things. Maybe not the sex dreams, though. Ducking her head as he spoke of daydreams involving sex with her, she wasn't remotely surprised. "You know, I got that impression from you." Eric really seemed to like sex. She'd never doubted that.

Returning the kiss in the darkness of her yard, she relaxed into his arms, enjoying the feeling of them around her, as well as the feeling of his lips exploring hers. "I don't think that's possible," she told him as he said he wouldn't mind ridding her of some of her morals, but she did believe that he didn't waste words. It was part of what made it so unusual that he was saying he wanted to make sure she had everything she needed. Material things were easy for Eric to provide, she knew that, but he wasn't just talking about that. He was talking about things like flowers for her grandmother's grave, and well, wanting her to be able to depend on him. It was something else, something she wasn't sure what to do with. Something she'd really never experienced.

"It's not natural," she told him quietly, not meaning it in a negative way at all. "It's unusual. No one's really said that to me before," she admitted. "At least not someone who wasn't obligated to. Gran, mostly." Not even Jason had said those sorts of things to her before, but she didn't want to say that aloud. She didn't want to cause Bill pain, but she really wouldn't mind if he knew about her and Eric. At least him finding out that way wouldn't be as bad as having to explain it. Kissing him again as he explained that he would get flowers for Gran and even visit with her sometimes, she couldn't hold back how happy the idea made her, something she was sure she expressed to him without words by launching herself into his arms. Of course, she wasn't quite as excited at his reaction to hearing what people had thought, though it did touch her. "No names. I'm not getting anyone else killed because I complained about them to a vampire." She didn't want to explain that one. "Gran never let me listen to it. And when she died, I knew she loved me, so no. It didn't make it easy to hear, though."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 29, 2010, 10:27pm

"Fuckable?" Eric offered with a smirk. He'd prefer that over sweet any night, though he didn't think it was even truly a word. Still, he'd hardly object to keeping such a thought in Sookie's head. "I would not object to fuckable... and I am quite confident it is something I indeed am." He heard such a thing often enough. Humans really needed to learn to be more quiet if they didn't want their 'secret' desires so easily overheard. "And it is far more appropriate and accurate than sweet." Once more, he couldn't stop himself from saying it as if it was a disease. He was positive it really couldn't be used to describe him. Watching as she blushed, the vampire smirked slightly. "You really must stop blushing like that unless you intend on being my prey out here. It is difficult to resist."

The Viking really didn't understand this problem that was Maria as Sookie explained it to him. "Was the problem fully eliminated?" he asked with mild curiosity, thinking that sacrificing the woman seemed a logical move if an entire song was created to point out what a problem she was. Chuckling slightly as she insisted their ideas of danger weren't so different, Eric shook his head. "What you call dangerous, I call a typical business night," he thought aloud. "When it happens to involve a little bloodshed, it's just a more fun business night." Of course, it was less fun when he was the one losing blood which happened more often than he cared for, but it was still always an adventure. "Did you?" he asked rhetorically as she admitted she already had the impression he liked sex. "Once you give up this notion of depriving us of it, you will find you enjoy it a great deal as well." He was confident of that.

"The less possible something is the more determined I am to see it happen," he thought aloud. Ridding Sookie of some of her morals, like ones that kept her from diving straight into bed with him, or protecting every thing with a beating heart from punishment they deserved were goals of his. "Once upon a time there was a telepath who intrigued me, yet insisted she would never have a thing to do with me," he murmured with a smile. "Look how that turned out for her." When he set his mind to something, he tended to see it accomplished, but Sookie certainly didn't make it easy for him. She really was possibly even more stubborn than he was, as impossible as such a thing seemed. He was determined though and had nothing but time to see his goals realized.

"You don't surround yourself with the best people, Sookie," he thought aloud as she insisted his words weren't very natural. He had never made a secret of the fact that he disapproved of the Shifter she worked for, found the waitresses she worked with insignificant, and even the vampire she initially clung to inferior. The only thing was, Eric knew he wasn't the best person for her. Frowning slightly at his own thoughts, he was well aware of the fact that he wasn't good for her. As long as he was who he was, Sookie's connection to him put her in an unlimited amount of danger and if it was any more apparent she was of value to him than it already was, he knew it was only a matter of time before she was used against him. He truly did want to take care of her, and his selfish desire to do so would keep him from walking away, even if it was what she needed to be safe. Shaking the thoughts from his head and hoping Sookie didn't find his silence abnormal, he leaned against one of the rickety railings of her porch as she refused to give him the names he demanded. "Anyone else?" he repeated, an eyebrow arching as he forced his mind to focus on the now. "You have been busier than I realized. Who has been killed?" Keeping his eyes on her, he shook his head slowly. "People are judgmental of those they cannot understand. They fear and persecute what they are too incapable of comprehending. Take it from one who knows."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 29, 2010, 11:04pm

Eyes widening at the word Eric chose instead of sweet, Sookie wondered how large his ego really was. "Fuckable, yes, but that wasn't really the word I was looking for." He already knew he was, so there was really no use in denying it. Eric was gorgeous. Every female who'd ever laid eyes on him wanted him. What she wanted was something else though. She wanted to see what was beneath the incredibly attractive exterior and find out who he really was. She had cracked that tough shell a little bit, and it was what laid beneath that she was attracted to. "I'm no one's prey," she reminded him, though she did her best to try to calm the heat that rose to her cheeks. It was still flattering to hear she was difficult to resist, even if it was because of something like blushing.

"Sort of. They de-nun-ified her," she explained with a small shrug, wondering if that was what he meant by eliminated. "We'll watch the movie one night," she decided, wondering how Eric would react to Sound of Music. Sookie would be amused, at least. Everyone loved Julie Andrews, didn't they? Attempting to bite her tongue, she shook her head as Eric called danger a typical business night, even the bloody ones. She didn't like him being in so much danger. It was incredibly silly to feel protective over a thousand year old vampire, but if anything happened to Eric... She could hardly stand to think about it. Laughing as the conversation turned once more to sex, she was sure Eric could see the roll of her eyes between his incredible night vision and the lights from her porch.

"I've noticed," Sookie answered as Eric expressed his own inability to let things go, though she was was sure he wouldn't have described it that way. "Still, values are important, and I have strong ones." Smiling as he gave an example of his own stubbornness, Sookie shook her head. "That wasn't really what I'd call a value. It was more me trying to apply my values to the situation, and finding that how I applied them needed adjusting." Pausing for a moment, she decided that wasn't entirely it either. "Besides, you were an ass when we met." That was very true too. Eric had changed a lot in the time she'd known him, though she didn't know if he recognized it or not. She supposed she'd changed too, though she only really noticed sometimes.

Feeling the urge to defend the people she surrounded herself with wasn't really something she could help. "They're fine, I've just always had to take care of myself." It wasn't the most flattering defense of the people she knew, but she could admit that they weren't always the most reliable. Gran had been, but without Gran to take care of her, she'd been left on her own. It was something she'd accepted a while ago. Swallowing hard at Eric's questions, she really didn't want to explain. "Grain's brother," she answered hesitantly and a little shortly. "I don't want to talk about it." It had gone so badly last time, with Bill. Wrapping her arms around him, she leaned up to kiss his cheek. She hated that he ever had to experience any of that, but she knew it too well. "I wish you couldn't relate."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 29, 2010, 11:46pm

Chuckling as Sookie agreed with his word choice before quickly dismissing it, Eric couldn't help but be a little amused. "It's a shame that was not the word you were looking for," he thought aloud. "I could grow accustomed to you describing me in such a way." And it was definitely a whole lot more appropriate than sweet. "You are the prey to many," he corrected once more, briefly wondering if Sookie realized just how desirable she was. She was definitely his prey, he was certain Bill felt the same, but in ways that didn't just include the nourishment she could provide for them. He had seen the way the Shifter looked at her, and had already needed to make his claim on her clear to other vampires in both his Area and beyond. He was sure there were more who lusted for and pursued the telepath that he wasn't yet aware of as well. Sookie had an undeniable pull toward her. Lifting his hand to her cheek, he ran his fingers over it before gently gliding it over her neck. "But you are mine."

Brow wrinkling as he tried to process and understand "de-nun-ified," Eric's blond head began nodding slowly after a moment as he determined what she meant. "Ah," he finally stated, nodding a little more enthusiastically, a smirk forming on his cold lips. "I have done such a thing a number of times. I did not know there was a word for it, however. Yes, we will watch this movie," he agreed easily enough. "I was unaware you enjoyed such films. Good to know." Though he supposed this explained some of the charges to hotel rooms he had paid in the past... "The next night I can get away from Fangtasia and business, we will have a date. Just you, me, and The Sound of Music." He really had no idea what he was getting into.

Shrugging a far less than guilty shrug as Sookie acknowledged she had noticed Eric didn't let things go, it was part of what made him who he was, so he'd make no apology or excuse for it. "You, in general, are strong," he countered as she insisted her values needed to be in place. "It is what makes you a worthy adversary." She really did test his patience and present a stubborn front that often rivaled or bested his own. Laughing as she tried to justify her own change towards him, Eric couldn't help but be amused. "I am still an ass, the same ass I was the night you first entered my club." And a proud one at that. "But you are not the same girl." Not even close. "And you didn't give me much of a chance." Not that it would have worked out for her well if she had. It was Sookie's adamant denial of him that forced Eric to reveal more of himself than those who flocked to his club normally were privy to.

"And you think that is right?" he asked as she insisted she needed to take care of herself. "To only have yourself to rely upon?" It had taken death and centuries of disappointment, loneliness, and jadedness for Eric to decide he could only count on himself in this world. In his opinion, Sookie never should have thought what she did, and she was the kind of person others should have been leaping at the opportunity to care for just as he was, not being condemned or abandoned by them, but being avenged or even corrected in her thoughts seemed to be something Sookie didn't want. He could only arch a brow at her short answer that was coupled with a dismissal of the conversation. Taking a moment to process her abruptness, he finally nodded just once, barely registering her affection he was certain was to distract him. "Then we will not discuss it." Though that wouldn't stop him from finding out about it. "And that is a very wasted wish. I have accepted it. It does not bother me or effect me as it does you."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 30, 2010, 12:19am

Laughing at Eric's current obsession with the word fuckable, Sookie shook her head, entirely too amused. "You are, but that wasn't really what I was trying to say." Telling Eric that he was faceable would be way too much encouragement that she was sure he didn't need. "I am not," she protested, her smile fading at being called prey. "I'm a strong woman, and I don't like being talked about like a snack or an object. I'm yours, but I'm not prey. I'm not weak." Still, she didn't pull away from his hand. Maybe it was wrong of her, but she didn't mind being close to him, even now that he had upset her. He just needed to learn not to say things like that. She supposed, though, as a vampire, that might be hard.

Eric seemed very enthusiastic over musicals all the sudden, but he was always surprising her. She supposed he could have different interests that she didn't know about. "You've made women not nuns?" she asked, wondering if she wanted to know how that was. Probably not. He seemed equally surprised that she enjoyed musicals too. "Well, yeah. Gran and I used to watch those sorts of movies together all the time. We've got a whole collection." Smiling brightly as Eric agreed to a date with her, she squeezed his arm excitedly. "Sounds wonderful! You'll love it, if you like that sort of movie." It was still surprising, but Eric was a pretty surprising vampire, she supposed.

Leaning up to kiss Eric's cheek as he called her strong in general and a worth adversary, Sookie had to believe that was a pretty big compliment from a vampire that considered him superior to everyone else. "You're not an ass anymore, most of the time," she amended, feeling it necessary to clarify, if only for the sake of honesty. "And you're not the same vampire. I'm probably not the same girl," she agreed, but she had to smile as he said she hadn't given him the chance. "You didn't make me want to give you a chance when you were acting like you were. Now?" Smiling, she thought of the improvements in the way he behaved towards her. "Now, I think you're pretty great."

Shrugging as Eric asked if only having herself to rely on was right, she gave him a small smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "Right or not, it is what it is. I don't think right has anything to do with it. It's just the way things are." There wasn't much to be done about that, and Gran had raised her to take care of herself when she needed to. That was exactly what she did, and what she planned on doing for as long as she needed to. Giving him a small, grateful smile as he agreed not to talk about it, she rested her head on his shoulder and looked out at the lawn. "I guess you've had longer to learn how to deal with it. Still, you don't deserve it," she told him, placing a hand on his chest. "Do you want to head inside, or stay out here a little longer?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 30, 2010, 1:17am

Eric couldn't help the conceited smirk he wore on his pale face as Sookie assured him he was fuckable, though he really didn't need the confirmation for what he was already more than confident in. "Yes, I know," he nodded. "You were attempting to erroneously and inaccurately claim I am sweet, but truly, I am not even close to such a thing." That was one thing he couldn't pretend to be. Shaking his head, his own smile fading along with hers as she protested his words, Eric would make no excuse nor apology for them. "I did not call you a snack, but you are an entity of desire to many, many men," he pointed out without hesitation, letting his hand drop from her neck. "You are prey, but that doesn't make you weak nor defenseless. Not everything is the insult you are so quick to think it is."

Nodding a few times, his hands resting on the railing of her porch on either side of him, he couldn't imagine it was so surprising. His reputation tended to proceed him. "Oh yes. I enjoyed the challenge of it, even if it never ended up much of a challenge. Not very recently though," he thought aloud. "Devoting one's self to their church used to be much more popular than it is now. There was always quite the selection to choose from. Anymore..." His voice trailed off and he simply shook his head. The nuns he had seen more recently it was safe to say he wanted no hand- or any other appendage for that matter- involved in ending their vows. Blinking once, unnaturally, as Sookie claimed she had grown fond of such movies because of her grandmother, the vampire looked back and forth between the telepath in front of him and the direction of the graveyard repeatedly, a blond brow arching as high as it could. "I had no idea," he admitted, still somewhat surprised by the confession. "I'm actually not very familiar with such movies. I prefer the actual thing, but you will have to show me this collection of yours some time. I really wasn't expecting such a thing."

Looking almost skeptically at the telepath, Eric was certain he was as much of an ass as ever to everyone. He wouldn't apologize for it. It was part of who and what he was, and a vital part at that. He supposed Sookie seeing him as less of one was a good thing, but that didn't make her view accurate. "Perhaps not so often to you," he thought aloud, "but I am the same vampire. Occasionally I let you see more of me than the average human is allowed to, however." Smirking slightly as she insisted she didn't want to give him a chance, Eric's eyes met hers. "I think you wanted to give me a chance," he theorized. "You were just too frightened and intimidated to do so, but after a few brushes with danger and death, you decided there were better things to fear than something you wanted all along."

Shaking his head, Eric had seen enough of Sookie's phony smiles to last an eternity to know when they were real and when they were genuine, and the smile she wore now was certainly forced and fake. "You accept and expect others to do nothing for you," he pointed out. "It is not the way things should be, but you do not wish to change it, only make excuses for it." She made excuses for her 'friends,' for her family, and often seemed determined to reject any help from others. Yet the things she'd never be able to change, like how others thought of her, she seemed focused on changing, and let it bother her more than she should. Glancing to his wrist and the watch wrapped around it at her question, he was sure it was only a matter of time before he was called back to Shreveport or Sookie's lengthy day caught up with her. "That is up to you. You planned our night, and I am not sensitive to the heat and insects as you are."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 30, 2010, 1:55am

Secretly, Sookie thought Eric could do some pretty sweet things when he wanted to, probably without realizing he was doing it, but he seemed so insulted by the word that she wouldn't use it. She remembered him objecting to the word thoughtful in the past too. Fuckable wasn't really right in this instance, but he seemed so pleased by the word that she didn't argue. Sighing quietly as Eric explained what he had meant, maybe she had been a little defensive. "I'm sorry," she replied more gently, taking the hand that he'd dropped from touching her in hers. "I can tell now you didn't mean it like that." She knew she could be a little quick to jump to conclusions. More than a little, really. She was working on it.

Sookie definitely didn't want to know about Eric'd denunifying, she was sure. It sounded very different from the denunifying in The Sound of Music. Sookie had recently, before Eric, thought nuns had it pretty good, not having to deal with men, but she wasn't going to mention that to him just now. Besides, she'd never been remotely serious about it, and it seemed a little wrong to joke about something like that. "Oh, yeah," she confirmed, nodding and wondering what was up with Eric's surprised expression. They'd watched Singin' In The Rain together. He knew she loved musicals and older movies. He'd even taken her to one on a date. "I thought you knew," she shrugged, thinking maybe he hadn't thought much about it. "Next night you have free, we'll watch." If he liked the actual thing, did that mean he liked to sing? Sookie would love to see that. Maybe she could talk him into it.

Shaking her head, Sookie couldn't help but disagree. "You're not an ass to me," she told him honestly. She didn't think he was the same vampire, but she could at least let him know she didn't think he was an ass. "I love getting to see parts of you no one else does." She liked that they could share things together, lots of things that she never would have expected, and that it always brought them closer. "Eric, when I met you, I thought you were possibly the most attractive man walking this earth," she admitted with a small smile. "But you scared the shit out of me, so I'm not so sure I wanted to give you that chance." It had taken a while for her to stop being so scared of Eric, and once she had, she was firmly and unfortunately Bill's.

"How would I change it?" she asked, her voice not holding any harshness or anger at asking the question, but truly curious. She couldn't imagine how such a thing would ever come about. It wasn't like she could expect Eric to do things like pay her bills or fix up her house. She'd just started dating him, and that was serious stuff. Taking his hand once he was done looking at his watch, she smiled. "Well if you have the night off, we could go inside and spend some time together," she offered, seeing the truth in his words. "If I'm gonna get bitten tonight, I'd rather it not be by mosquitoes." Her words were more bold than she usually felt around him, but she felt close to him tonight. She wanted that feeling to last.

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 30, 2010, 6:16am

To Eric, Sookie very simply was prey, a few ways over, and he wouldn't apologize for thinking such. He definitely didn't think she was all the things she had named, however, and definitely not weak and defenseless. As a matter of fact, he thought she was the dangerous kind of prey that somehow ended up being bad for the health of any who dared pursue her... and Eric always pursued her, no matter how illogical it so often seemed. Leaning back against the railing as she both apologized and took his hand, the vampire was somewhat surprised to hear the words. He half expected her to yell, shoo him back to his car, say she wanted nothing to do with vampires, and he would avoid both her and Bon Temps until he next needed to hire her for her gift. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing had happened. "I didn't mean it like that," he agreed with a single nod of his head. "But for the record, you are quite a treat. I fail to see why you would think that is such a bad thing."

Looking once more between the telepath who stood in front of him and the direction they had only just traveled, Eric was a master of concealing his thoughts and feelings, but at present, he was positive his skepticism was leaking onto his pale features. "With your grandmother?" he questioned once more, finding the news almost impossible to process. "I am beginning to regret that I never had the opportunity to meet her." With how 'proper' and how 'appropriate' Sookie always attempted to be, Eric was a little surprised, to say the least, but her grandmother was sounding even more extraordinary. "I suppose I should have known," he thought aloud, thinking once more to questionable hotel charges. "I just always assumed it was someone else." Like Bill, sticking it to him in the only ways he could without his Sheriff contemplating dismembering him.

Arching a brow as she insisted he wasn't an ass to her, he was sure many would find that debatable, including himself, but he wasn't going to point that out. He supposed what she may have once considered 'being an ass,' she might now accept as his brand of honesty. He really didn't hide his opinions, nor sugarcoat things. He hadn't changed as much as she seemed to think he had, he was certain of it. "Be thankful you don't see more of me than you already do," he thought aloud. Not only would it put her in more danger, but it would also no doubt change her opinion of him. Smiling fleetingly, the expression faded as he shrugged his shoulders once. "I am quite frightening. Many would say it is part of why I am so appealing. You didn't want to give me the chance because of Compton," he finally decided, thinking they both knew that was the truth. Sookie was loyal, sometimes to a fault. "He is everything I am not." Which was good, in his opinion. There was nothing about Bill that Eric wanted for himself. Sookie hadn't been looking for a vampire, and Bill barely counted as one. He was safe.

"I wouldn't let you go without," he answered, expecting the argument to immediately begin. "You simply must tell me what you need." He had heard the telepath so often insist she wasn't a charity case, even though he had never considered her one. He had done what he could for her even before she returned his affections simply because she was important to him. If Sookie merely said the word, he'd find a way to help her, even one that could disguise his help. "I could give you more work," he continued. "And you could cease refusing payment for it. Though some of your fees in the past have been a little excessive at times," he continued, casting a sideways glance toward the house on the opposite side of the cemetery, certain Bill's influence had been to blame for that, "it is worth every penny. I could put you in touch with some other local supernatural business owners. Your talent is very valuable." At least she couldn't view that as charity. "Does your brother do anything for you?" he asked after a moment, trying to recall what little he knew of the other Stackhouse in Bon Temps. "He is older than you, correct?" Reveling in the warmth of Sookie's skin as she reclaimed his hand, he nodded once. "I know no such thing as a night off," he stated honestly. "But if I am needed, they will call me or come to get me," he stated, standing to his full height from the railing. Knowing those he had left in charge of Fangtasia as he did, he imagined they would skip the call and just send Compton to collect him, if only for their own amusement. Leading her to the door and holding it open for her, he arched a brow at her words, smirking slightly. "Do you have plans of being bitten tonight?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 30, 2010, 11:37am

"I guess we just define prey differently," Sookie decided, feeling guilty for snapping at him once she was calm. Shrugging, she wasn't sure it was a bad thing when he said she was a treat, but she still wasn't thrilled with the connotations as she knew them. "I guess I see it as something to be possessed or owned," she offered, knowing she had issues with that too. "But I could see how you might mean it as someone to be enjoyed. And that's not a bad thing." She could be reasonable, sometimes, if she tried hard enough. For Eric, she had decided to start trying. He was pretty special, and that was hard to ignore, even if it meant she had to overcome some of her own issues.

Nodding, entirely failing to understand Eric's surprise, the telepath shrugged. "Of course. She introduced me to them. Jason never watched with us, of course but the two of us loved sitting in to watch them together. Gran used to let me stay up late to watch them, on real special occasions." Tilting her head in confusion, Eric really wasn't making much sense. "You always assumed what was someone else?" she asked curiously, though she had to agree that he should have known. She'd mentioned it a few times to him, and it wasn't like him to just forget those sorts of things. She supposed she'd given him a lot to think about for the night, though. Maybe there was just a lot on his mind.

Shaking her head, Sookie simply couldn't agree with Eric. "I'm not thankful for that," she told him honestly. "I like seeing more of you than others get to. I like that you'll share yourself with me. I want to know you." It was a simple thing to say, but true. "Maybe you're frightening to others, but once I got to know you better, you weren't as scary. Of course, I was still worried you'd turn around and kill me for a while..." she trailed off with a shrug. He was partially right about Bill, though. "You two are total opposites," she agreed thoughtfully. "But I have to say, I'm pretty thankful for that." Maybe Bill was the reason she hadn't given Eric the chance, but she could never really be sure. "I think you get me better than he did," she added quietly, though she was sure it would surprise Eric, who it seemed she was always arguing with in small ways.

Trying to process what Eric was saying and what he meant by it was difficult when Sookie's first instinct was to feel like he was suggesting she couldn't take care of herself. And that was really what he was offering, to take care of her. She'd meant it when she said people didn't offer that sort of thing to her a lot. Not even Bill had. "You really mean that, don't you?" She seemed to be asking that sort of thing of him a lot, but she was... baffled. She didn't know how to handle something like that. "You want to be there for me?" The ways he described even felt like real offers, instead of him wanting to swoop in and handle anything, or pitying her in some way. "I don't know how much help I'd be to other business owners..." She wasn't rejecting the offer, not really, and she wasn't embarrassed by her job, but she knew her limitations. "I'm just a waitress." A good one, but still. "Jason?" Sookie asked, a little surprised, though she quickly shook her head. "He's older, but a lot less mature. He can barely take care of himself, let alone me. He's got a short attention span when it comes to anything he can't screw." Pausing, she reconsidered. "No, he's got a pretty short attention span there too." Walking through the door, she flashed a smile, leading him into the living room. "I know this pretty convincing vampire I don't think I'd want to say no to..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 30, 2010, 8:04pm

"Of course it can mean someone to be enjoyed," Eric agreed easily enough. Who didn't enjoy their prey? It was meant to be used and enjoyed for one's own purposes, but more often than not, it was a mutually enjoyed experience. "It is not as if you have never made another your prey," he pointed out easily enough, looking once over Sookie's face for a reaction. "The very first night you were in Fangtasia, do not pretend you did not make every vampire in my club your prey." She had stood out from every other human present, making every vampire present loathe Bill just a touch more, and had used their curiosity and infatuation in her in order to get information she wanted. It wasn't often one on the top of the food chain was made prey, but Eric had been Sookie's quite willingly. "Feel free to make me your prey whenever you wish," he continued. "I really do not mind. I enjoy it actually."

Blinking a few more times unnaturally as Sookie continued to explain, the Viking found himself a little perplexed. He didn't know much of Jason Stackhouse, but from what little he had heard, a denunifying was likely something he had attempted a time or two himself. Hearing that he had no such interest in films portraying such a thing while Sookie and her grandmother apparently adored them was a little dumbfounding. "I never would have thought," he admitted. "You consider watching such a thing a special occasion?" He really had much more to learn about Sookie. "The viewing charges," he answered easily at her own question. "To the hotel rooms. I actually thought it was Bill," he concluded with a shrug.

Shaking his head right back at her, Eric took an unnecessary breath in order to release it as a sigh. "You shouldn't want to know me any better than you already do," he insisted, his gaze leaving her face in order to sweep his eyes over her porch, the lawn, and all else he could see, half expecting someone to be listening, gathering information. The better Sookie knew him, the more she knew of the man within the vampire, the more of a target she would be, but he couldn't expect her to understand that, especially when he couldn't bring himself to explain it when it probably would have sent her fleeing back to something boring and safe. The thing that made the situation even more complicated was that Eric actually wanted to share more with Sookie. She was important and special to him in a way few had ever been. Sighing once more, his eyes returned to her. "I would like to share more with you, but it is difficult... complicated. You don't tell people you know me better than any other who enters Fangtasia, do you?" he asked. Until they were more bonded, until there was no denying who she belonged to, he didn't want to put her in unnecessary danger. He also didn't want her thinking he was ashamed of her or wanted to keep their relationship- whatever it was- a secret because of embarrassment or whatever other inaccurate things she might think. Lifting his hand to her cheek, he ran his fingers over it a few times. "Of course I understand you better than him. Bill is dead, trapped in his time, and you, dear one, are so alive." But for an equally dead man, Eric knew how to live.

Nodding back at her as she questioned whether or not he really meant his words, to Eric it was obvious that he did. It was true enough that when he had been alive, it had been a man's responsibility and duty to care for and provide for the women in his life, but it was more than that to Eric when it came to Sookie. Part of it was that she didn't expect it. So many humans who belonged to vampires were content to use them for their wealth and influence, they mutually enjoyed the sex, and the vampires were allowed to use the human for blood. Sookie wasn't like that. It was as if she dismissed the vampire part of him entirely and wanted to know and see only the man within him. She didn't care about the things or what she could get from him, and it only made Eric want to care for and provide for her more, not because he had to, but because he wanted to. He was fortunate to have so much, he wanted to make sure she had enough as well.

And it wasn't just that. Nodding once more as she asked if he wanted to be there for her, Eric truly did, but he knew it was something he would inevitably fail on. The demands on him because of his position were extreme. He couldn't be present in her life as much as she would want, as much as he wanted, but this was something he could do to make sure she was taken care of and never going without. "I want to be there for you however I can be," he stated honestly. "However you will let me be. I don't want you worrying about things you should not need to worry of. I don't want you to be burdened by things that you shouldn't have to be burdened by." Rolling his eyes slightly, Eric shook his head. "You are not just a waitress, Sookie. You are an amazing telepath with experience working with supernaturals. It is not easy for us to trust the living when we have so many secrets to protect and so many would pay for them. Your gift can help us know who we can trust, who we must watch out for, and it wouldn't be as dangerous as many of your assignments." It would be a way she could earn extra money without having to rely on the others who should have been able to help her, like her brother. Heading into her living room, Eric draped himself over the middle of the worn couch, arms resting along the back of it. Smirking slightly, he looked up at her, waiting for her to put the remaining flowers away before joining him. "Lucky vampire, though he'd be luckier if you failed to say no to other things as well..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 30, 2010, 9:15pm

"I think we define prey pretty differently," Sookie decided, much calmer now, though it made sense that a vampire would have a pretty different definition of the word. "I did not!" she protested as Eric accused her of making every vampire in Fangtasia her prey the first time she visited the club. "I wasn't even paying attention to most of the vampires in the club, aside from avoiding them." That was the truth. She had been pretty intimidated by the whole thing. Eric was definitely putting a sexual spin on the word as he offered to be her prey, though. "I'll keep that in mind," she promised, unable to stop the small smile that spread to her lips. Nodding as he asked if such a thing was a special occasion, she wondered why that was so strange. "We made a whole event of it," she explained. "Popcorn and everything." Pausing, she shook her head. "I haven't charged any to a hotel room. Bill likes them too?"

Frowning slightly as Eric said she shouldn't want to know him better than she already did, she shook her head, staying close to him. "I do want to. The more I learn about you, the more I care about you," she admitted, meeting his eyes as he turned to her. "It doesn't have to be difficult or complicated. If you want to share more with me, you should." She had no doubts about that. Laughing quietly as he asked about what she told people about him, Sookie couldn't help but be amused. "Who would I tell? Everyone I know thinks I'm just crazy Sookie, remember?" She didn't know why he wanted to keep her quiet, but if he thought she was so special, and said so often, she didn't think he was ashamed of her. She hoped not, anyway. Eric was right in one way. She didn't really think of him as dead, but Bill was very stuck in the past. "Of course I'm alive. What else would I be?"

As hard as Sookie tried, she couldn't help but tear up just a little bit at his words. They touched her, and they were more than she could have expected, from Eric, from anyone, and she could tell he meant them. He was recognizing that both of them had their limitations, she could tell, but she could also tell that he really did want to be there for her. "I think I'd like that," she told him quietly, leaning up to place a light kiss on his lips. "It means a lot to me, that you want to," she told him honestly but quietly, her lips close to his. She didn't know that actually letting him take care of her, even a little bit, would be easy, but she could tell he meant his words, and so did she.

Maybe Sookie wasn't just a waitress, but she didn't know where all this confidence Eric had in her came from. Yes, she was a telepath, and yes, she had experience working with supernaturals, but she didn't know how that qualified her to work for them more than she already worked for Eric. Less dangerous assignments did sound good, but she didn't know who would hire her. "It's something to keep in mind," she admitted almost reluctantly. It'd be physically easier than waitressing, which would be good when she healed, but she still didn't know who would hire someone like her. Putting the flowers in some water once they were inside the house, she put them on the kitchen table before joining Eric in the living room. Studying him for a moment, she smiled before sitting next to him, curling into his side. "Do you think tonight's the right night for that?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 30, 2010, 10:23pm

"Oh, you did," Eric argued back with a small smile as Sookie insisted she hadn't made the vampires present at Fangtasia her prey. She had used all she had to lure them in in order to get what she wanted from them, and it had worked. There was no shame in that. "You didn't do a very good job of avoiding them," he pointed out needlessly. "Bill, myself, Long Shadow, Pam... the vampires you would have been best to avoid are the ones you targeted. Your attack is fearless," he concluded easily enough, thinking she needed to be less embarrassed about it. It was odd that she would be so against anyone thinking of her hunting for prey, yet completely comfortable with the idea of her and her grandmother's interesting viewing habits. "Popcorn?" he repeated, blinking once more as she further baffled him. "Is such a thing appropriate?" Pausing for a moment, he tilted his head slightly. "Are we talking about the same thing?"

Sighing once more, Eric looked down at Sookie as she stayed closer to him, despite his words. "But it's dangerous," he told her quietly, his voice not much above a whisper. He didn't want to push her away, not at all, but he did need her to understand there was a reason for some of the distance he was required to keep. It wasn't for himself or his own benefit, he just loathed that she could become an innocent pawn, easily disposed of by others, because of him. "You think so much good of people," he continued, his hand lifting to trace over the slowly fading wounds and scars on her neck where a knife had been pressed. "Whether they deserve it or not, and someone would use that compassion you possess to destroy me and end you... because of me, because of who and what I am." That was the simple truth of it, but he wouldn't be surprised if Sookie tried to see some way around it, or think Eric worried for no reason. He wanted to share himself with someone, he could see that person being Sookie, but he didn't know if she really knew what that entailed.

For a brief moment, Eric braced himself for whatever blow Sookie would deal him. He could see the emotion in her eyes which seemed to be threatening to leak, and he worried he had said too much, that once more she was going to lecture him for treating her like some kept woman. Instead, she actually surprised him. Returning her kiss, he wrapped an arm around her waist, keeping her close to him, though she didn't seem in a hurry to move away on her own either. "You will tell me what you need?" Eric could only dig so much and so often before Sookie would berate him for that. He needed to know what she felt she needed, whether it was aid or whether it was just him, he needed her to reach out to him, instead of regularly or constantly pushing him away. He'd be able to trust her with more then, he was sure.

"Something to keep in mind?" he repeated, his blond brow arching as she returned to him and curled into his side on the couch. It sounded like she doubted herself, and that really baffled the vampire. "You do realize how valuable your gift is, don't you?" From what he had heard from Stan, the telepath they had crossed paths with in Dallas was being used on a full time basis by him and the boy was being paid handsomely for his full time services. "It could be your answer to much. There is much more opportunity in your talent than you seem to realize." Eric would hire her full time, whether he needed her gift that often or not, just to have an excuse to have and keep her near. Letting his arm drop from the back of the couch to wrap around her, he couldn't help but chuckle at her question. "Are you really asking me? I have thought it was the right night for sex since our very first meeting."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 30, 2010, 11:18pm

"I did not!" Sookie insisted, eyes wide at even the suggestion that she could be capable of such a thing. "I came with Bill, it seemed natural to ask the bartender, and you and Pam summoned us." It was all easily explained. "I didn't target anyone. I was just trying to figure out what happened to those girls." All very innocent, not any sort of hunting or anything like that. Sookie wasn't capable of that sort of thing. "You know, popcorn. Warm, buttery snack." Pausing when he did, she tilted his head to match his. Maybe they weren't talking about the same thing after all. "My love of musicals?" she suggested, wondering what else they could possibly be talking about. "I thought you knew I liked those."

Nodding and looking up into Eric's eyes as he quietly admitted that getting to know him was dangerous, this was really nothing Sookie didn't know already. "It is," she agreed in an equally quiet voice. "But it'd be worth it. We could protect each other," she suggested, though how she could protect him, she wasn't sure. "You don't have to isolate yourself like you do. You don't have to be so alone all the time." They hadn't been dating for very long, but there was something there, something that she'd been unable to ignore from long before they were actually together. She could see how he isolated himself, and it tugged at her heart a little. "You can let me in. I want you to." She did more than her fair share of isolating herself too. She knew how lonely it could be. She didn't want that for him.

Staying close to Eric, Sookie placed a hand over his chest, in the very place she was sure his heart had once beat. "You're what I want, more than anything you could possibly give me," she told him with complete honesty. She didn't want him to pay her bills or buy her a new car or repaint her house. She didn't want lavish gifts or expensive vacations or fancy jewelry. Time with him, just like this, was the most important thing he could possibly give her, as cliche as it might have sounded. "Other than needing you, yes, I'll try to let you know what I need." It wouldn't be easy for her, given how much practice she had at relying only on herself, but this was something he really seemed to want, and it felt good to know he wanted to take care of her.

Nodding and resting against his much cooler body as he repeated her words, Sookie frowned slightly in thought. "Not really," she admitted as he asked if she knew the value of her gift. "I mean, I know there can't be many. Barry said there were very few," she explained, and on some level, she knew that herself. It was hard not to notice being around other telepaths. That didn't mean her own gift could be used as some sort of job though... did it? She'd never really considered the possibility before. "I hadn't really considered any of that," she admitted, mind reeling at the possibilities she had never thought of. Telepathy wasn't an occupation, after all. Smiling as Eric wrapped his arm around her, she shrugged slightly. "I guess now that we've waited so long, I've been waiting for it to feel like the right time. Tonight has been pretty special, though..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 31, 2010, 12:12am

Laughing at Sookie's appalled expression over Eric's suggestion, the vampire could only shake his blond head in amusement. "You were trying to figure out what happened to those girls by luring in vampires to answer your inquiries," he countered easily. "You went with Bill because you believed he would open the door for other vampires to speak to you, essentially using him while trusting him to keep you safe... despite the fact that you'd encounter vampires who outranked him, by far." He really couldn't resist an opportunity to stroke his own ego whenever it presented itself. "You had your targets, you had those you decided you needed the knowledge of, and you achieved the knowledge you sought. Why is that really such an awful thing? It is nothing to be appalled about." It was something he did all the time and he sure as hell wasn't ashamed of it. And he couldn't understand how she could be so ashamed of that when she seemed completely unbesmirched by these movies she had been watching for years seemingly. "Musicals?" he repeated, blinking once more before chuckling. "How are you talking about your love of musicals? I thought we were discussing pornography." There had definitely been some miscommunication somewhere.

Looking down at Sookie as she insisted they could protect one another, he really wished it was that easy. Already she had been scarred by a human who had used her as a barrier between himself and Eric, and that was just mere chance, just because Sookie had trusted the human's mind more than Eric's instructions. She had been fortunate to get away only as hurt as she was, and that was an insignificant human's damage. He could only imagine what would happen if she was in another vampire's grasp, and it unnerved him to the bone. Sighing once more, there wasn't even a tiny part of the Viking that didn't want to believe in her words though. "You think that now, but you won't always feel such a way," he insisted. "You would never be safe. Five, ten, even fifty years from now, you would not be safe. As long as we both exist, you would be in danger. Even if you left me, even if you went on to live a 'normal' life... if you had knowledge of me another wanted, you could be used. I do not want that risk for you." He didn't know if Sookie wanted that risk for herself. If she did, perhaps he could try, but he didn't want it for her. "Isolation is not so bad. It has gotten me this far." He wouldn't admit it really was lonely. No one needed to know that besides himself.

He wasn't surprised to hear that what Sookie wanted most was just him, but it was also the most difficult thing for him to give. She wasn't like any other human he had ever had though, so what could really make him think she'd be content accepting or wanting gifts to compensate for his necessary absence and distance? Then again, he had never really been willing to go out of his way to give a human his time before, but Sookie was worth that effort and sacrifice. There was something special there, she was something special to him, and he knew because of it, it was all unfamiliar territory, even to a vampire who had thought he had experienced it all before. "I will do my best to be present when you need me." That much he could offer. He wanted to be there, he wanted to be with her. "It isn't always easy for me to be elsewhere." He probably made it seem far easier than it really was, but he knew he had to keep everything functioning as normal. "Really try," he insisted once more. There would be no buying his way out of disappointing Sookie, he knew that much, but he didn't want her disappointed by things that she never should have to worry about to begin with.

Pulling her even closer to him on the couch as she rested against him, Eric half cradled her as she spoke. "The telepath in Dallas is now employed full time by Texas," he stated, quite certain that was the human Sookie had just identified. "And Stan thanked me thoroughly for leading him to him." That was really all Sookie's doing, but of course Eric received the credit and King's gratitude, not to mention a powerful alliance. "Some of the Supernaturals that have yet to step forward such as the Weres and Shifters... even the fairies, they have many secrets they have to keep. Can you imagine how useful it would be to know before hiring someone how they felt about the vampires leaving the coffin? To anticipate if there would be negative reactions should their own time come? Or even to find out if their present employees were suspicious? How close they were to exposure? You could give peace of mind, and believe me, that is worth paying for." Turning his head toward her, he dipped his head to hers, his lips meeting hers for a long moment. "I will always be both anxious and ready, though even I can admit I am relieved our first union will not involve pink lycra." Pausing for a moment, he arched his brow, a smirk crossing over his lips. "Or will it?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 31, 2010, 11:05am

Shaking her head, hardly able to believe what Eric was saying, Sookie couldn't believe that was what she had done. "I didn't lure anyone in. I just asked my questions. I didn't make Bill do anything, and I didn't know about the whole vampire ranking system then." Her mission had been one focused on helping the girls who'd been murdered, even if she had to enter unknown territory to do that. "You make it sound like some super secret mission," she answered, thinking instantly of some spy movie. "I just asked who was around. Bartenders always have lots of information about a place." Besides, she'd needed a drink. Nodding as he repeated the movie genre back to her, seemingly stunned, she wondered how he hadn't known that was what they were discussing. "Pornography?! Goodness, no! Why would I... And with Gran?! Eric! That's just sick!"

Frowning slightly as Eric insisted she wouldn't always feel such a way, she shook her head, lightly tracing her fingers over his chest. "You can't possibly know I won't always feel like this. We won't have a chance to know unless we open up to each other." Smiling softly, she sighed at his words that she would be in danger because of him. "I'm pretty sure, with my gift, I'll always have knowledge other people will want. People will always want to use me, possibly dangerous people. I gave up on dreams of living a normal life a long time ago. That's just not possible for me." She'd known that from the time she started school. "You don't have to worry about me being in danger because of you. Even on my own, I'll never be completely safe. Not really." Pausing, she hesitated only a moment. "I feel safer when I'm with you, though."

Nodding as Eric reminded her that it wasn't always easy for him to be away from his life in Shreveport, but promising to be there when she needed him, she felt closer to him than she maybe ever had. "That can go both ways, you know," she told him, arms still laced around him. "I can come to you too. I can be there when you need me." She did have nights off, and she could probably arrange to work more days. The drive to Shreveport was tough in the car she had, but there were ways around that. "Maybe when I save up enough money, you could come with me to buy a new car, and then it'd be even easier to drive out to you." Nodding as he urged her to really try to tell him when she needed something, she knew it wouldn't be easy, but also that she had to try.

Nuzzling into Eric as he told her about Barry, Sookie nodded, having heard from him a few times. "He seems happy working there," she agreed, knowing Barry was loving it a lot more than his former job as a bellboy. Listening to Eric's description of ways she could be useful, she had to agree, it did sound like a job people could hire her for. She could see how those sorts of things could appeal to different Supernatural groups, but her? "Do you think they'd really want me, though? I know I'm a telepath, but I don't have any experience in business or anything. And I don't think I could just hand out fliers or something." That'd be pretty fishy. Those thoughts were quickly chased away as he bent to kiss her, and Sookie couldn't help but respond quickly, happily returning the kiss. Laughing quietly at the mention of pink lycra, she shook her head. "I'm proud to say I don't own any of that. You're the only one I know who could pull it off."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Jul 31, 2010, 7:10pm

Laughing as Sookie continued to deny actions Eric had witnessed first hand, the vampire really couldn't help but be thoroughly amused. "It is what you did, but what is so bad about it?" he asked, clearly not seeing why she had such an issue with it. "If you had no intention of getting answers specifically from the undead, you would not have gone to Fangtasia," he continued. "You wanted answers from vampires, you did what you needed to in order to get them. I do not understand why you seem to now find those very actions so objectionable. I do not think it was 'super secret,' especially since it was quite apparent what you were doing, but it was definitely a mission, and one you succeeded at. There is nothing wrong with that." Success was success, and Sookie had succeeded in getting what she wanted, even if she had appeared a little insane with that smile of hers... Shrugging once as her tone turned from defensive to repulsed, once more Eric found himself chuckling. "I thought it was rather unique," he stated as she called his own understanding of their conversation sick. "But you seemed comfortable with it. When did our discussion turn from denunifying to musicals?" He had clearly missed something.

It was almost difficult to maintain his own frown as Sookie traced her fingers over his chest, the action making him want to push her up against the side of her house and claim her as is despite the conversation. She was right about one thing, as much as he didn't want to admit it. The Viking couldn't possibly predict how Sookie would feel down the road. He had never been able to predict the telepath, that was a big part of exactly what had drawn him to her. And she was also right about using her. When Eric had first met her and learned of her gift, his own thoughts had been consumed with how useful she could be and how many ways he could use her and her gift. Leaning down to meet her lips, Eric pressed his lips to hers, lingering there before his lips parted against hers, deepening the connection for a moment before reluctantly pulling back, his forehead resting against her own as his eyes opened to meet hers. "What do you want to know?" he asked hesitantly. He didn't know that he was ready to share anything yet, but having an idea of what Sookie was looking for could only be helpful. "It will be easier with blood," he concluded after a moment. "If I am going to put you in additional risk, I want to know it." If their bond was stronger and Eric could feel Sookie more clearly, he'd know if something was wrong. Anything that could possibly make the impossible easier, he had to work towards.

Arching a brow as Sookie pointed out she could drive to Shreveport in order to spend more time with him, the vampire couldn't help but wonder if she had seen her mode of transportation lately. It left quite a bit to be desired, in his opinion, and probably would only put the telepath in more danger, something he was relatively certain she didn't need an excess of. "I don't think you'd enjoy sitting around Fangtasia that often," he pointed out, and that was what he did a whole lot of. It was where almost all of Area Five's business was conducted, it was his primary source of income, it was practically more his home than his home was. "But if you need a new car, I can obtain such a thing for you," he offered, but despite the nature of their conversation, he was sure Sookie would refuse. "Or could lend you a vehicle of my own until you raise the funds." He didn't really have a car to lend at the present, but he'd buy one to let Sookie use, since it seemed more likely she'd be willing to borrow one than accept one.

"It is good money and doesn't have him relying on the gratuity of humans who don't understand him," he agreed. "What is not to enjoy?" Hint, hint, hint. Eric really loathed Sookie working at the Shifter's bar as she was, frequently working more hours than she should have had to and always dealing with some amount of debt. Sookie was fiery. He imagined often her opinions and feelings about both the thoughts and words of her customers leaked into her service. When that happened around him, even when she fought him, he only wanted to push her to the nearest surface and take her. He imagined customers stiffed her in another way entirely. "Of course they'd want your services," he answered easily enough. "Despite our numerous superiorities, we have our weaknesses." They always tended to involve the people the supernaturals trusted. "Knowing what we need to look out for is half the battle. There is only danger in the unknown." Listening as she pointed out the faults with the plan, Eric shook his head. "I have contacts," he answered easily. "And I would vouch for you. Word of mouth is how we tend to operate." Paper trails did no one any good. "Any jobs you took at night I could accompany you to." Provided they happened before Fangtasia opened for the evening. "Or send someone with you, so you would be more comfortable." Pulling the telepath up and into his lap, Eric nuzzled his face against her neck, inhaling her scent while avoiding the side still healing. "I wanted to leave nothing to your imagination," he stated with a smirk against the skin of her neck. "Did I succeed?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Jul 31, 2010, 8:49pm

Pursing her lips as Eric continued to describe Sookie's actions in completely unwholesome ways, she couldn't see it as she did. "Of course I specifically wanted answers from the undead. The girls who died all had fang marks. It looked like the common thread, even if they weren't actually killed by vampires. And I was right, it was the common thread between everyone." She made an excellent detective. "It's not like I did anything objectionable to get the answers." She'd asked a bunch of questions, and hadn't gotten many answers in return anyway. "The Sound of Music is about a woman who leaves life as a nun to become a nanny. It's a musical," she explained, wondering when on earth he would have thought they were talking about pornography. "Honestly, Eric!"

Eagerly meeting his lips, Sookie couldn't deny the feelings between them that were so much more than just lust. Of course Sookie wanted Eric, who didn't want Eric, but it she wanted more than just sex with him. She wanted to know him, to know his thoughts, his feelings, his desires, even his past. "I want to know what's in here," she answered quietly, curling her fingers over his shirt on the spot above his silent heart. "Whatever you want to tell me, whenever you're ready to tell me, I want to know." She wasn't going to pressure him. He had never pressured her, and she knew she had a fair amount of opening up to do too. Nodding slowly but without hesitation as Eric said that it would be easier with blood, Sookie knew the risks of something like that. She knew how their bond had brought them together already, and also how it had complicated her life, but she really couldn't say no. His desire to give her blood came from a desire to keep her safe and to be closer to her, and she couldn't say no to that. "We could do that." It wouldn't be easy, and it would mean her life would change that much more, but she had to think that sort of change would make them both happier.

Tilting her head slightly, picturing spending some of her nights sitting around Fangtasia, she couldn't imagine that it was on top of her list of things she wanted to do, but nor did it sound like torture. "I wouldn't mind it so much if it meant more time with you," she told him honestly, shrugging slightly. "Though it might make some of those girls who chase after you constantly jealous." It was a danger she was perfectly aware of. Shaking her head, she knew she had promised to let him know if she needed something, she just couldn't let him buy her a car. "We can get one together," she told him stubbornly. "I'll pay for it, but you can come with me to pick it out. I'd imagine you're a better negotiator, which would be helpful." That was kind of like him chipping in, since it'd mean she'd have to pay less. "Maybe that would work," she agreed fairly reluctantly, unsure about borrowing one of his cars, but knowing it would be to visit him. "How many do you have?"

Nodding slowly, Sookie knew that Barry was really happy with his new life, and hadn't really understood why Sookie was so reluctant to take a similar position with the vampires she was close to. She hadn't wanted to get more involved with the vampire world at the time, but she'd since become used to things like that, and knew she wasn't entirely at home in the human world either. Maybe there weren't separate worlds at all. Either way, it seemed pretty impossible to avoid. "You'd look into it? See if anyone wanted to hire me?" she asked almost hesitantly, not sure that this was such a good idea when she'd spent most of her life trying to hide her gift, but also knowing she couldn't keep working at the pace she was and the job she was without consequences. She did have more responsibilities than just waitressing now. Smiling at the idea of him coming with her to the jobs, that would definitely make her feel safer, just in case. "I'd like that," she agreed, though the whole idea still kind of scared her. Resting her head on Eric's shoulder as he pulled her into his lap, she snuggled against him, smiling at their proximity. "Sort of," she answered, remembering the outfit very well. "I think you inspired my imagination more than discouraged it."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Aug 1, 2010, 12:55am

"I wish you would have done something objectionable to get the answers," Eric thought aloud, the vampire quietly growling at the mere implication of her own words. "The next time you desire information from me, I will have you do something objectionable in order to attain it," he continued with a smirk, his extended fangs visible just behind his cold lips. Shaking the thought from his mind but not from his memory, he looked to her once more. "Really Sookie, it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is one of the things that drew me to you. You knew what you wanted and set about getting it, even if any sane person would have told you you had no chance of accomplishing what you wanted, or were a fool for even trying." Pam had thought he was losing it to even answer her back then. Blinking as Sookie gave him answers of his own, the Viking tilted his head, clearly not understanding. "What does that have to do with denunifying?" he asked, confusion evident. "She was fucked first, correct?" That seemed the only logical explanation to him. "That is why she cannot remain a nun and must sit upon children?"

Smiling slightly as Sookie held a hand over his silent heart, he pulled back the collar of his shirt, his gaze turning downward. "My chest seems to be in there," he answered, though he knew that wasn't remotely what the telepath meant. It just wasn't an easy task though, by any means. He had built a millennium's worth of walls around him, ones that many had tried to break few but only a few ever had. "Would you like to see?" he offered with a smirk, his hand moving from his collar back to her cheek, stroking over it, reveling in her warmth. He almost cursed the fact that it was so difficult. Sookie had built many walls around herself, he knew that. He had ran head first into a great many of them already, and he knew he'd have to give in order to take. It was only fair... and though he normally didn't care about being fair, Sookie was, as they had both said many times, not normal. "When I can be confident of our connection, I will let you in," he promised, his hand moving from her cheek to rest over hers on his chest. It wasn't an easy promise to make, but he would make it. He had to.

Arching a brow, clearly skeptical as Sookie insisted she wouldn't mind spending a few nights around Fangtasia, Eric couldn't help but doubt that. She had never seemed to have a very high opinion of the establishment he ran, nor the clientèle he tended to play host to. Shrugging back at her as she insisted her presence might make some of the nightclub's regulars jealous, the vampire didn't truly care about that. Jealous or not, hopeless or not, the crowds would still amass nightly. Hell, if they believed the Viking they worshiped was becoming even more unobtainable, the fangbangers would probably flock all the more to show him what he would be 'missing.' "You could be good for business," he thought aloud, placing a kiss on her forehead before she began rejecting his offer to purchase her a vehicle. He wasn't surprised she refused, and he nodded once in agreement to her compromise. "Very well, on the condition that you will use one of my vehicles until then," he counter offered. "Otherwise I will not be held responsible for your car being towed in the middle of the night and replaced with something flashy and new, complete with an obnoxious bow atop it." He would too. "I have... enough," he thought aloud. The sports cars he tended to drive wouldn't be appropriate for Sookie though. "Lending you a reliable one will be no trouble."

Nodding back at her, it would be easy to find clients for Sookie with how valuable her gift was. "So long as our own deal still stands," he amended thoughtfully after a moment. The telepath had promised to work for him whenever he wanted, so long as he didn't go around killing people because of what he learned through her. He didn't want to need her and have to wait around because some mutt was hiring a receptionist or something of the sort. "And anytime you worked for a vampire, I would accompany you, even if I must leave Fangtasia in another's hands," he promised easily enough. Sookie was his, and he needed to protect that and protect her. Running his hand down the back of her head soothingly as her warm frame relaxed against his own, he smirked at her words while inhaling the scent of the day that clung to her, coupled with hew own distinct aroma. "Did I?" he asked with a chuckle of amusement. "I don't suppose that is such a bad thing. Do you have a very creative imagination?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Aug 1, 2010, 1:30am

Shaking her head as Eric said he wished Sookie had done something objectionable to get the answers she'd been looking for that first night at Fangtasia. Blushing at what he was suggesting, she shook her head, hoping that wasn't the case. "Don't you do that," she warned, though really, there was very little she could do to stop him, and she wasn't sure she would object as long as they were alone. "I guess that's true," she offered, knowing that she had gone after what she wanted that night, despite a lot of people thinking she was stupid for trying it. Clearly there was some mistake in discussing The Sound of Music, because it shouldn't have confused anyone this much. "She was kicked out of the nunnery, but it wasn't because of sex. No one got fucked, she just left."

Rolling her eyes at the vampire as he made light of what she was telling him, she knew he was only doing that because he wasn't ready to just dive into exposing themselves yet, at least not in that way, but she couldn't help but shake her head. Still, she couldn't blame him for it. "Later," she agreed with the smallest of smirks, leaning into his hand as he stroked her cheek, sighing quietly. They had a long road of learning about each other ahead of them, but she also knew they both wanted to try, even if it was hard. Nodding at his promise, she knew it was the best offer he could make, and also a fair one. He had to feel he was secure in order to share himself with her, and she wouldn't mind their relationship developing a bit more before she shared with him. "You'll have to tell me what being more bonded to you will be like," she agreed, smiling at the feeling of his hand above hers. She'd never really had the consequences of a bond explained ahead of time. It'd be a nice change to plan it first.

Eric's expression as Sookie told him she wouldn't mind spending more time at Fangtasia was pretty priceless. "I didn't say it'd be the most fun thing in the world, but if it meant spending more time with you, it'd be worth it." It wasn't like she didn't spend most of her time in a bar anyway. It'd be nice to spend it with Eric for a change. "I don't know about that," she disagreed when he said she'd be good for business, but she still smiled and closed her eyes when he kissed her forehead. Her smile only grew when he accepted her compromise. "That seems pretty fair," she agreed with a small nod of her own. Borrowing a car of Eric's when it sounded like he had so many didn't sound like it'd inconvenience him too much, and she didn't really trust her own to get her to and from Shreveport too frequently.

"Of course our deal would still stand," she agreed easily enough. "You'll always come first," she promised him, grateful to hear that he'd still want her help with things even if she was doing the telepath thing for more people. "I'd appreciate that a lot," she agreed, grateful that he'd want to be with her when she was around other vampires. Vampire politics could be really confusing, and they tended to be pert controlling. "Vampires can be pretty high-handed," she added with a small smirk, knowing she had called Eric that enough times, but only because he was. He was getting better at compromising and asking her opinion on things, though. Closing her eyes and sighing into his shoulder as he ran his hand over her head, she turned it slightly to place a kiss on his neck. "You did," she confirmed, wrapping her own arms around him, fingertips tracing under the back of his shirt. "It can be, sometimes. You keep reminding me that reality is better, though."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Aug 1, 2010, 2:46am

"And who do you think is going to stop me?" Eric asked with a smirk, now fully determined to make that exchange for information after seeing her blush at just the suggestion of it. He really, really loved it when she blushed. His fangs that refused to retract at the very sight of the flush in her cheeks was probably all the outward proof she needed to know just how true that was. "I think it's a fair exchange," he continued. "That way we both have the chance to get something we want. I don't know why I didn't make such a demand then. What a wasted opportunity on my part," he teased, though he didn't really think it had been. It wasn't as if he would have gotten anything out of her anyway, and she only would have continued questioning other people in the bar, possibly pestering the wrong vampire in the process. And then who would he have to explain awful musicals that would have made better pornography to him? "I didn't realize that church rejected nuns for reasons other than loud, raucous, unending sex that tends to wake all others even remotely near by from their slumber, exposing the indiscretion," he thought aloud, clearly not processing that it was just a story. And he really couldn't understand not having sex. "Was she horribly disfigured or something?"

Chuckling lightly as Sookie rolled her eyes at him, he knew that she was well aware he was keeping up his defenses simply because he didn't feel he had another choice at this time, and really, he didn't. Sookie had shared a lot of herself tonight with him and told him a great deal about her family without having to. Carefully picking through his thoughts, he looked down at her. "When I was alive, like you, I had an older brother," he informed her honestly. The information would be useless and insignificant to anyone else, but it was something very few had ever known. "He died before me, in battle, like your grandmother. Our parents outlived the both of us though." It was a small confession, but something personal, and he could share that much, make some kind of effort. Keeping his hand over hers, he glanced down at her, eyebrow arching. "You do not know already?" he asked, somewhat surprised. Eric had assumed Bill would have told her in an exaggerated fashion in an attempt to keep her from ever coming close to bonding with him again, whether it be on accident on her part again or intentional. It was just the kind of game Bill tended to play when he knew it was only a matter of time before he was bested.

Chuckling at her amended statement regarding Fangtasia, the vampire pressed his lips to the telepath's forehead once more. "Fangtasia is not so bad," he argued, though he knew already she thought it was. "But fortunately for you, vampires are moving to my Area regularly. The more who make Area Five their home, the less time you and I would need to spend in the actual bar being loathed and worshiped by the breathers respectively. Be thankful I don't tax those who owe me fealty." If he did, he'd be spending every single night Fangtasia was open being gawked at by the living all hours of operation instead of letting others pay their tribute that way. "My office really isn't so bad... and all the furnishings can really be multi-functional," he concluded with a smirk and a suggestive and hopeful lift of his brows. Nodding once as she accepted the use of a vehicle he'd have to go and find, Eric was still a little tempted to have her own car towed in the middle of the night. "You have to promise you will use the car I lend you," he continued, certain if she did, she wouldn't be in any great hurry to replace hers, but she still wouldn't have to consider it a gift. "I think your car is possibly the only thing on this earth more deadly than I am."

Smiling into her skin while nuzzling her neck, he was glad she wouldn't protest that much. It was strange and he didn't entirely understand it, but he needed to know Sookie would be there for him if he required it. It wasn't as it had once been. He didn't and wouldn't contemplate kidnapping and torturing her family members or Bill if the telepath didn't follow through on her word anymore, but he wanted to know she'd be there for him because she wanted to, not because she had to. "I can handle my own kind," he murmured into her shoulder as he held her, his head lifting at her next words, a smirk spreading across his lips. "High-handed?" he repeated, attempting to sound as insulted as he could. "You think vampires can be 'pretty high-handed?'" In one quick and abrupt movement, Eric stood from the couch while holding her, turning to lay the telepath down on it before laying atop her, pinning her between the cushions beneath her and himself. "Wherever did you get that idea?"

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Aug 1, 2010, 2:39pm

"Me, of course," Sookie replied, trying to hide her blush as he asked who was going to stop him from having her exchange inappropriate actions for information next time she needed some. Tucking her head against his chest so he couldn't see the blood that rose to her cheeks, she shook her head. "It is not a fair exchange," she countered, though it wasn't much of an argument. She wouldn't have responded well to such a suggestion when they'd first met all those months ago, though. She knew that much. Blinking up at him as he described other reasons for denunification, she was sure her eyes were wide. "Thanks for that image," she replied with a shake of her head. "No, she wasn't horribly disfigured. She was very pretty. You must've seen Julie Andrews at some point. She's in everything."

Curling her fingers around his shirt, letting his cold hand stay on top of hers, Sookie looked up at Eric, anxious to hear anything he had to say. Eric had an older brother, and his parents outlived both of them. Leaning up, she placed a soft kiss on his lips, grateful that he had shared that much. "It must've been hard to lose your brother. I'm sorry." It must've been doubly hard for his parents to lose him after already losing a child, but she didn't want to say that aloud. Shaking her head as Eric seemed surprised that she didn't already know all about bonds, she could honestly say she didn't. "Bill was always hesitant to tell me anything about vampires, anything like that. Most of what I know about bonds, I know from you." That or Bill's attempts to scare her further away from Eric, but she wasn't going to mention that, and it had always been a little off from the truth anyway.

"If you say so," Sookie replied with a small smile as he kissed her forehead, though she didn't actually believe that. "You must be a good leader. People must be hearing about that and wanting to move to be a part of that." Sookie was pretty grateful that it meant less work for Eric at Fangtasia, at least. "You wouldn't be sitting at your throne thing if I was with you, right?" she asked a little skeptically, not thinking she'd enjoy that all too much. That was a lot of attention to be on her, and all negative attention at that. "Your office wouldn't be bad," she agreed, though she had to hide her face in his shirt to avoid him seeing the blush that rose to her cheeks at the sound of his office being multi-functional. "Maybe," she mumbled into his chest, still not pulling away when he began listing terms for not just buying her a new car. "I promise to use it," she agreed, not wanting a nice car like the one she was sure he'd lend her to just sit around. She didn't want to insult him. "It's not so deadly," she countered with a small laugh into his chest. "It'd have to start for it to be deadly."

Sighing contentedly as he nuzzled her neck, she'd always loved how, well, cuddly Eric had always been. He seemed to love being close to her, and she liked having him close too, even if she hadn't always felt that way. "You come first," she repeated , closing her eyes and resting against him, realizing how true the words were, and how she'd have to start cutting back on Merlotte's hours if she was going to go through with this. It would be good for both of them, though. "I'm sure you can," she agreed honestly as he assured her that he could handle any vampires she'd be working for, having no doubt that Eric could guide and protect her. Unable to help but laugh as Eric sounded so insulted at having his species called high-handed, she nodded, unable to get any words out when she was laughing as she was. Squealing as he picked her up and pinned her under him, her laughter died at being in such a compromising position, but her smile didn't. "From you, of course," she answered, looking up into his eyes. "Though I have a hard time minding so much with you anymore..."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Aug 1, 2010, 7:11pm

"As if you could stop me," Eric argued with a chuckle, amused Sookie actually thought she stood a chance at doing such a thing. Really, he doubted she even thought she stood a chance, she just always seemed to believe she was obligated to argue or disagree with him. "If you want something only I can provide you with badly enough, I think you'll wisely make the exchange and think it's entirely fair while doing so." She could object all she wanted, but the vampire was certain it was all really just a show of some kind she felt she had to do. Nodding his head as Sookie's eyes went wide and stunned, the Viking smiled. "You are quite welcome," he offered, despite the fact that he didn't think her gratitude was very genuine. Shrugging once as she spoke of Julie someone, Eric didn't pay much attention to movies, nor the humans in them. Even the attractive living weren't worth noticing really. "I will see her when we watch this musical of yours," he offered, though he sounded far less enthusiastic than he had when he believed the movie to be of another persuasion. "Can we have sex during it?" It would be a consolation...

Shaking his head as Sookie theorized the loss of his brother had been difficult on him, Eric didn't really feel that way. "He died with honor," he stated simply. "As all men wished to die then. I was proud of him. My family was proud of him." It had been a loss, there was no questioning that, but Eric hadn't shed tears of sorrow or mourned as Sookie seemed to do for those she lost. His brother's death had ended up shaping much of Eric's existence until he had met his own death. "I simply did my best to carry on where he had left off." Keeping the telepath close to him, the thumb of his hand over hers stroked her skin thoughtfully as his brows lifted in mild surprise. "Twice bonded and you would be able to feel when I am close, being near me would make you more at ease," he began quietly. "I would know what you are feeling more clearly, and you would be able to get a sense of my own feelings." If he had any. "I would have some influence over your emotions, and you would have some over mine. For that matter, I would have more influence over you, and you would have more influence over me. I would become less a vampire to you and more a man and you would become less a human and more a part of me to me. It is not so dissimilar from being bonded only once, but everything becomes more clear, easier to draw on. Every exchange binds those things more tightly, it makes them more potent, more evident. Three times is considered fully bonded. There are additional things that go with that, but there are other bridges to be crossed first." No point in overwhelming her with things she didn't need to concern herself with yet. Or ever. There was really no telling how things would go.

"Most humans who do not loathe vampires tend to like Fangtasia," he pointed out, though Sookie really wasn't most humans and never would be. Eric didn't need to be telepathic to know that the humans who flocked there were thinking about predominantly two things. The tourists thought about how no one back home would believe they had spent a night among vampires and lived to tell a tale and the fangbangers were thinking about sex with the undead, and hating any human who had the attention of a vampire when they failed. Sookie would be stuck hearing all those thoughts. It probably wasn't her favorite place for good reason. "My throne thing," he repeated in amusement before shaking his head. "I am entirely capable of sitting in a booth or at a table or even at the bar when I am out front," he informed her with a smirk. "I just enjoy the attention I receive when in 'my throne thing.' There'd be no need to drag you up there though," he promised, his head dipping to nuzzle against her own as she hid her face in his chest. "My office is much more private. So is the stock room. It's dark in there as well... and relatively sound proof." He really didn't mind planting suggestive seeds when the opportunity presented itself. Pulling the telepath back from his chest just slightly, he looked down at her somewhat scoldingly. "That mass doesn't even start?" he repeated. Maybe he could have it towed away in the middle of the night. It would actually be a favor. "I will have the car delivered to you in a night or two. If I am in a rush or if you are asleep, I will leave the keys in your mailbox."

If there was one thing Eric couldn't object to, it was Sookie telling him that he came first, though her words nearly caught him off guard. It wasn't something he expected the telepath to ever say to him, that was certain. Smirking against her neck as his nose inhaled her skin, the vampires fangs extended once more and he bit gently at her skin. "I will let you come first now and then if you deserve it," he stated ambiguously, though he was certain she would get every possible meaning the Viking offered with his words. Pinning her beneath him and against the couch only seemed to amplify that message. A seemingly permanent smirk rested on his lips as he looked down into her eyes, a hand ghosting up and down her side as he studied them intently. "You should not mind," he agreed quietly, his voice not much more than a whisper. "You haven't been objecting to anything my hands do lately... and they have been busy."

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by Sookie Stackhouse on Aug 1, 2010, 8:59pm

"I could try," Sookie countered with a smile, knowing she actually stood very little chance of stopping Eric from doing anything, but that had never stopped her from trying. "Well, we'll see about that," she answered, trying to hide the color in her cheeks. Really, the arrangement didn't sound so bad, but she knew she couldn't just agree to it. Arguing was what they did, just like how Eric enjoyed constantly shocking her. Nodding, still a little speechless at Eric's explanation of his own denunification experiences. "No, we can't have sex during it," she answered with a laugh, shaking her head. "Maybe after..." Sookie was beginning to think, after all this getting to know each other, that putting off sex like she had been might not have been the best idea.

It seemed that Eric's loss of his brother had inspired a different response in Eric than Sookie's loss of her grandmother. "He sounds like someone to be proud of," Sookie told him, placing a kiss on his cheek. Sookie knew next to nothing about him, but Eric was proud of him, and Eric didn't say those sorts of things lightly. "I'm sure he would have been proud of you," she added as Eric told her that he did his best to carry on his brother's life. She had no doubt that he had done a great job of it. Listening closely and quietly as Eric told her what deepening their bond would mean, some of it sounded kind of intimidating, but overall, it didn't sound bad. Some of it sounded really good, actually, and Sookie didn't really believe that Eric would use any influence over her. He had never forced her to do anything, and she didn't think he would start anytime soon. Nodding thoughtfully, Sookie looked up to meet his eyes. "I think I'd like being more bonded to you."

Sookie was sure that Eric was right and most humans who liked vampires liked Fangtasia, but she wasn't really most humans. "Most humans don't have to hear lots of angry jealous thoughts directed at them," she pointed out with a small wrinkle of her nose. Eric seemed amused at her description of his throne thing, but that's what it was. "That's good. I could sit at a booth or a table or the bar," she agreed easily enough. His office sounded a whole lot better, though, even if the thoughts of what they could do in there and even the stock room made her need to hide her face in his chest. "Private is good," she whispered into his chest, half hoping he wouldn't hear. Looking almost embarrassed as he questioned her about her car, she shrugged guiltily. "It does sometimes. Just not regularly." Nodding as he explained about how he would have the car delivered, Sookie wondered if there was any way out of that. "I'll try to wait up."

Shaking her head at his words, Sookie tried her very hardest not to let the heat rise to her cheeks again. "That wasn't what I meant and you know it," she answered, though really, she doubted that actually mattered. Pinned beneath him, it was all Sookie could do to look up into his eyes and try not to be overwhelmed by some of the things he made her feel that she'd been pushing back for so long. "You make it hard to object," she agreed just as quietly, barely capable of remembering just what she was supposed to be objecting to or why, but knowing it wouldn't be all that terrible if she just gave into Eric right there on the couch. She was sure he wouldn't refuse.

Re: A Kiss From A Rose On The Grave
Post by ericnorthman on Aug 1, 2010, 10:26pm

"Don't underestimate us, Sookie," Eric began, only the faint traces of a smirk curling on his lips to betray his message ahead of time. "We can have sex during anything. The possibilities are endless." He wouldn't be remotely deterred by a musical, no matter how ridiculous he thought it was, not when Sookie's warm body was only inches from his own. He couldn't help but smile as she consented to the possibility of having sex after, which left the Viking believing he could fully convince her out of her clothes before it ended. "We will negotiate it," he thought aloud. "If the movie is full of nuns not getting sex, shouldn't someone be allowed to enjoy themselves?" he asked, hoping Sookie saw it his way, though he really doubted she did.

It was almost strange to think back so many years, especially to memories he barely recalled upon in the past few centuries, but he offered her a smile as she decided his brother over a thousand years ago was worth being proud of. Shrugging his shoulders slightly, he didn't really know if his brother would have been proud of what Eric had done in his wake, but he had attempted to take over his brother's responsibilities. "I did not die as he did," he concluded, as if that alone meant his brother could not have been proud while sounding a little disheartened. "I did not die a warrior's death." Sookie didn't really need to know the details of that fateful night beyond what was obvious to all. At least not yet. "But this is what I was meant for." Looking back into her eyes as she held his gaze, the vampire lifted his hand to her cheek once more, stroking it. "There is no rush," he stated simply, and that would be true provided she didn't get herself into a life-or-death situation anytime soon. "We can wait until you know you want to be more deeply bonded." There was no going back.

Chuckling as Sookie hid her face in his chest, he could feel her warm breath through the fabric of his shirt and it excited him nearly beyond control. "Or you could join me in 'my throne thing,'" he offered with a smile she couldn't see. "Privacy is overrated. I have nothing to hide and would not object to all knowing who it is I choose to be with," he teased, knowing the mere suggestion would probably horrify the demure and much-too-ladylike Sookie. Still, it was true. Despite the telepath's objections to his possessive pronouns, Eric wanted all to know she was his and that he had chose her. All he had left to do was claim her completely, and that was something the Viking wanted to do more than anything else in the world at present. Looking down into her eyes, he smiled gently at her. "Then do not object," he stated in a whisper before his lips met her own, kissing her softly at first before the action became more urgent.

He wanted her and despite her consistent demands for restraint, Eric knew Sookie wanted him as well. The hand sliding gently up and down her side slipped naturally beneath her shirt in it's downward pass before snaking up her stomach, her skin so warm to his touch as his lips, tongue, and teeth ravaged her mouth urgently. Letting his lips sink from her mouth to her chin, the vampire began kissing down her throat, his fangs gently scraped over her skin, before kissing over the healing wounds that had been left there. He reveled in her rapid breathing and the tiny, quiet sounds she made beneath him as he kissed and explored her, and actually growled at the sudden digital interruption to her noises.

The vampire reached into his back pocket with his unoccupied hand, pulling the phone from within it out and bringing it to his ear, propping himself up over her by his elbow. "I am here, but I am in the middle of something," he hissed into the phone before the caller had a chance to speak. "What am I in the middle of? My telepath actually, so explain quickly." Slowly sitting up as he listened to the hushed, rush of words on the other end of the phone, spoken so quickly no human could understand them, his eyes fell closed. "Very well." Not offering another word, he ended the call as he sat up fully, turning his attention back to Sookie. "I must go," he said, though it was probably needless to do so. "I won't be forgiving this intrusion, but I hope you forgive me," he added, letting one of his hands stroke over her cheek as the other pulled her up into a sitting position beside him. Pressing a kiss to her lips, he reluctantly pulled back, getting to his feet before leaning down to kiss the top of her head. "You will see me soon," he promised before slipping quickly out the front door.