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Before the Storm

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I'd had so little chance of having the kind of life everyone took for granted. Word of the day calendars just to increase my vocabulary was not something every other girl had to pick up because they couldn't go to school without hearing what everyone else said. I know a lot of people were against it but, for me, being around vampires just made sense. I couldn't remember anymore what it had felt like not to have people in my head all the time.

And Eric had been the first thought I'd had when I'd come back.

Not straight away. That thought had been reserved for 'Who the hell are you boys and what the hell are you doing telling me I can't come into my house' thoughts, or even 'What do you mean I've been away for more than a year?!' thoughts. But right after that... Eric's name had floated into my mind. What had he thought for the last year and more that I'd been missing? What had he done?

Not that I'd ever tell him any thing of that, of course.

And then he'd sped up to my house. Right on time. Or... a little later than right on time. That was to be expected, after all. Shreveport was a lot farther away than Bill Compton's estate. That didn't make any easier the disappointment I felt when it was Bill I had to deal with first. Or when Eric politely left when Bill told him so. That wasn't like Eric at all.

His words, though. I had already come to see just how much Jason had given up hope of me ever returning. And Bill... Well, a girl just didn't happen to believe in anything much Bill said anymore after what he had done to me.

Still, none of that stopped me from closing my eyes after Bill, Jason and Andy Belfleur left, and just whispering his name.


He would have gone all the way back to Shreveport twice over in the time it had taken me to wrap up the conversations with Andy and Bill. Yet he was there again, standing a mere several feet from me the second after Bill had vanished, and the other two had driven off.

My lips parted. I hardly knew what to say.

"I don't know why I did that," I said. It was honesty, of a sort. My grams had always brought me up not to tell a lie to anybody and, considering how I could hear other peoples' thoughts and they couldn't hear mine, it didn't seem fair to lie anyhow. I'd decided to myself not 10 minutes ago that I'd not be letting Eric have any idea of my feelings for him, beyond the blood of his that still ran through my body. Yet here I was... giving him a big old sign.

The fact that he was still standing several feet from me had to be a sign of respect for personal space.

"I know you've been through a lot," he began, which just told me that he hadn't gone far in the first place if he'd heard everything that had gone on after he'd supposedly left. But, strangely, I couldn't feel too upset about that. "Let me be the first to tell you that I won't overstep boundaries while you are trying to get your feet again."

I felt my lips parting in a smile before I could help myself. "Well, I appreciate that, Eric."

Eric nodded his head, as if to say that that was just so. "I should probably leave you to your sleep. You're probably very tired after everything you've been through." He paused then, despite his words, he took a step closer towards me. "Of course, if you're not tired and would like to invite me in again..."

There was that smile, on his lips and around his eyes, sneaky as ever. And I would not be accepting that invitation. No way. No how.

"Thank you again for your kindness, Eric. I'll be taking that sleep now. Alone," I added, not unkindly, just in case it was in any way unclear to him.

He nodded his head, then stepped back again, the glitter of a smile still in his eyes, before he was off.


Just put me inside you,
I will never, ever leave,
Just put me inside you,
I will never, ever leave you.