The room was filled with the sweet burning smell of hickory in the hearth. The sounds of the fire crackling echoed throughout the dimly lit sitting room. Sookie’s eyes moved across the words that filled the pages before her. Her cheeks flushing at the steamy love scene unfolding in her imagination. She didn’t know what had possessed to read the book in the first place. She couldn’t help but feel guilty over her callousness. Bill had been missing for weeks, without a word and here she was comfortably wrapped up in her grandmother’s old afghan in front of a warm, blazing fire, her nose in a book.
Mentally chiding herself, Eric’s words echoed throughout her head. He had guaranteed his assistance in locating Bill. He’d even gone as far to reassure that he would do all in his power to return him safely to her. Sighing as she looked longingly into the flames, she couldn’t help but worry there were strings attached. Eric had never struck Sookie as one to do anything unless it benefited him as well.Shaking her head, she lowers her eyes to continue reading.
Landing quietly on the gravel in front of the porch, Eric’s hands move to smooth his wind blown hair. Taking in the dark appearance of the house, he casually climbs the stairs of the porch. Peering into the window, he admires the slight blush of her cheeks.
“What are you reading, Miss Stackhouse?” He coolly whispers against the pane of the window, before making his way to the door and knocking.
Hearing the knock, her eyes flick upwards from the book. Laying it on the coffee table as she rises to her feet, she makes her way to the door opening it a crack to reveal Eric. Having not expected him, her mind begins to race with the possible reasoning for his sudden appearance. Her breath catching in her throat as she barely asks, “Bill?”
Taken back by her question, he stands staring at her in silence for several moments before realizing the motivation behind her reaction. “Sookie, Bill is fine. He is still among the undead as far as we know.” Taking a step forward, his hand unconsciously moves to rest softly on her shoulder.
Blinking, her eyes gaze up into the cool deep blue eyes of her visitor, her heart now racing for another reason. She hated the effect Eric had on her. Just his presence left her knees shaky. She mentally cursed him. For being so attractive and for being devious enough to trick her into ingesting his blood. Yes, Sookie despised Eric and the way he left her in emotional turmoil. Moving away from his touch, she forces her eyes down to stare at his broad chest, focusing on slowing her breathing.
“Then why are you here, Eric?”
Sensing the shift in her emotions momentarily, his eyes follows the showcase of emotions displayed across her face with amusement. Chuckling, his hand closes the front door behind him.
“Why, I thought you were more hospitable than that Miss Stackhouse.”
His voice lined with a hint of teasing as he moves closer, the sound of her pulsating heart indicating the effect of his closeness has on her.
Sookie shifts slightly and feels the butterflies fluttering in her stomach as he closes the distance between them and inhales deeply.
“I apologize, Eric. Good evening. How are you? What do you want”
Closing her eyes, Sookie grits her teeth together. Knowing Gran would chide her for being so rude, but too flustered to worry about such pleasantries.
A smirk curls his lip as his long fingers lift her chin. Their lips nearly touching, his cool voice husky.
Gulping, her breath catches once again in her throat as her gaze locks with his. Her racing heart, pounding thunderously in her chest and her mind goes blank. Unable to pull away, she leans to close the small distance between their lips. His hand moving to the small of her back and pulling her closer as his lips move against hers…
Eyes opening up quickly, Sookie sits up straight. The book on her chest, falling onto the living room floor with a thud. Looking around dazed, she exhales slowly as she realizes she had been dreaming. Laughing at her silliness, she bends down to retrieve the fallen book. Pausing as her fingers brush the cover as the sound of a knock echos through the house. Reluctantly making her way to the door, her cheeks burn with a deep blush as the open door reveals Eric. A smirk on his lips, he looks expectantly at her.
“Good evening, Miss Stackhouse.”
Placing a hand to her forehead, her only thought is: This is going to be a long night…