A/N: I don’t own True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Those rights to belong to Charlaine Harris, Alan Ball and HBO. I am in no way affiliated with them, no profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
I do, however, own my OC’s and their shenanigans. Enjoy!
I took my toiletry bag into the bathroom, brushed my hair out before pulling it back into a ponytail again, and washed my face as well as the sticky sweat from my arms before putting on some clear deodorant. When I returned to my room, I changed into a sleeveless, black linen blouse. It was a much better choice to wear if we returned to the rays of the blistering sun. I grabbed a lightweight cardigan, pulling it on to wear while we remained in the cool comfort of the apartment. Then I walked back into the living room to find Maggie. She was sitting on the loveseat in the middle of the room, her bare feet propped up on the coffee table. She had her eyes closed and for a few seconds, I wasn’t sure if she had dozed off until she spoke.
“Feeling better?” she said as she opened her eyes and sat up straight.
“Yeah, thanks. You’ve got a really nice apartment,” I said as I sat down in a plush chair to her left.
She smiled wide and then arose from the loveseat to enter the open kitchen, separated from the living room by only a counter. Opening an overhead cabinet, she took out two wine glasses. My girl! She returned with them and a bottle of Merlot. I pulled two coasters out of a holder on the table while she sat down and proceeded to pour us each a glass.
“You seem tense. I thought we could use a drink. I know you love red wine,” she giggled.
“OK, see, when you say things like that, it’s what make me a bit unsettled. How do you know all of this about me? I didn’t drink wine when we were out together so how do you know what I like? How were you able to see me with an empty suitcase? How is it that you know I’ve learned things that I probably wasn’t supposed to know? Just what did you figure out? You’re making me a little crazy and lot nervous here,” I said in one quick long breath.
“Settle down, Cricket. Everything is fine. Take a drink, sit back, and relax. There’s nothing sinister behind what I know about you or how I know it.”
“Listen, I didn’t mean sound rude. You have to understand though that none of this is ‘normal’ for me. So much has happened in the last few days. Then again, you seem to know that already as well. I know I’m being abrupt, but I want some answers,” I sighed.
“Scrying,” she said simply as if that explained everything.
“Not to sound stupid, but…what?”
“Scrying is when…” she started before I interrupted her.
“I know what it is. What I’m asking is what have you seen in my future? I know scrying is used for fortune telling.”
“Oh, no,” she laughed, and rolled her eyes in an overly dramatic and comical fashion, “I don’t see the future. I can only see what’s happening in the present. I’m still working on building my abilities. I do have a small crystal ball. It’s pink. You’ll love it! I’ll show it to you later. It’s so small I can carry in my purse!” she giggled, “I can really use any reflective surface though. Water works best because it’s clear, but any liquid will work,” she sighed, “It’s just…ever since we met, well, ever since I heard you sing, I made it my mission to find out all I could about you. I’ve been sort of keeping tabs on you.”
The fuck?! I felt my eyes narrow while I stared at her and my mouth fell into a hard line as I inhaled deeply. She’s been spying on me!? Well, that certainly put a crimp in any trust or faith I thought I might have in her. My look must have been pretty severe because she quickly tried to backtrack.
“No! No, Cricket, I wasn’t trying to…how do I explain this? I didn’t mean any harm and I didn’t do it all the time. I was just trying to get a glimpse now and then to see if there you were doing anything unusual or perhaps anything out of the ordinary regarding the way people reacted to you, especially when you sang.”
Her attempt to console me wasn’t working, and it must have shown on my face and body when I abruptly stood and stared at her.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…I mean, I wasn’t…I’m so sorry,” she burst into tears and I began to feel guilty over the sudden irritation I was feeling.
Maybe she is telling me the truth? I knew that she had been intrigued just as everyone had seemed, and was excited to solve whatever riddle she may have believed I was. I suppose I couldn’t truly be angry with her over such a thing as that. I already felt as though we were friends. As long as she hadn’t been watching anything too very personal, like the time I had spent with Eric. Oh God! What if she had seen us together? What if she had watched? I moved over to sit beside her on the loveseat and put my hand on her arm.
“Did you? Please, you have to tell me. Did you see anything that might embarrass me? Please be honest.”
“No! Oh, God, no! I only looked occasionally and usually around the time I thought you might be at the tavern singing. Well, I did see you yesterday afternoon with the wine, dancing around, and singing. You looked upset, but you were trying to hide it, even from yourself and of course, there’s no audio in my crystal ball! I only looked this morning because I was so excited to tell you what I think I’ve discovered, and then I checked to see if you were busy or still sleeping. I knew since it was daylight that you wouldn’t be with Eric. When I saw you with your suitcase, I only wanted to catch you before you left for wherever you were going. Where were you going anyway?” she asked.
“Honestly? I think I was coming here, but I just didn’t know it yet. I need…wanted to get away. JP’s out of town and I was feeling alone, I guess. You said before you knew I was going through a lot and you thought I knew everything now. I’m quite sure there are good many things I don’t know. I mean, think about it. I don’t know what else there is to know. For instance, I didn’t know that you were a witch. I didn’t even know there were witches, not real ones… So, um, what do you know about Eric and me? You just said you knew I wouldn’t be with him because it was daylight.”
“Oh. Well, I saw you together at the tavern outside a couple of nights ago, but I stopped watching when it looked like you were…you know…going to kiss or something. I didn’t want to witness something so personal so I stopped looking,” she said, sheepishly averting her eyes.
I felt my face heat up and knew I was blushing remembering that moment before that fucking time-police officer Bill Compton showed up. Then I started thinking about later that night… The night…and a lump formed in my throat.
“We didn’t,” I cleared my throat, “I mean, we did, but not then. We were interrupted. I learned that he was a vampire that night. To be honest, I suspected, and then thought I knew before, but I proved it that night, sort of. Actually, I sort of tricked him and he didn’t really have a choice but to reveal the truth. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters now,” I swallowed hard and wiped under my eyes before any tears fell for her to see.
“Why doesn’t it?” she asked, looking directly into my eyes.
“Look, I don’t want to talk about it. Could we just leave it at that, please? I also need to say that if we’re going to be friends, the kind of friends that I think we can be, you can’t spy on me anymore. Now that you discovered, well, whatever it is, that’s enough. Anything you need to know after this, just ask me. I need to know that I can trust you.”
“Of course you can! I won’t do it anymore. I promise. Again, I’m sorry, Cricket. I honestly wasn’t trying to invade your privacy even though I guess that’s exactly what I did,” she sniffled.
“I believe you,” I said and I meant it.
I moved back to where I had been sitting and picked up my wine. Finally able to relax a fraction, I pushed off my shoes and leaned back into the chair. Taking a drink of my wine, I thought over what she had said, wondering what all she really had seen, and took another long drink. I’m going to need a refill soon! I didn’t believe she had any malicious intent, but I still wasn’t happy with what she’d done. I was definitely not ready to discuss Eric with her or anyone else. Hell, if I wasn’t ready talk to JP about it yet, I certainly wasn’t going to tell Maggie! It was humiliating, if nothing else. No, it was more than humiliating; it was both fucking appalling and humiliating!
Though it was true that I felt I had known her for years, the fact of the matter was it had been less than a week since JP and I had met her. I watched her as she, too, picked up her wine and took a sip before pulling her legs up and tucking them underneath her skirt. We stayed quiet for a little while and it was a comfortable silence. Then she took a breath and I primed myself for whatever was coming next.
“So, do you have any more questions?”
“Are you kidding me right now? Of course I do! First and foremost, what exactly did you ‘figure out’ about me?” I laughed.
I watched as the excitement on her face appeared almost instantly, and suddenly she was back to her exuberant and bubbly self. She leaned forward in her chair, took another large drink of her wine before setting it on the table, and then put her hands on her knees. Her eyes began searching around the room looking for something and I tried to follow her line of sight, but she didn’t settle on any one spot for long. Then she looked at me and sighed.
“I don’t even know where to begin. There are no books here capable of fully explaining it, and I don’t know if I actually can. Maybe we should wait until we talk to Octavia? She knows so much more about this than me.”
“Seriously? You practically begged me to come as soon as possible to see you, and now you want to wait to tell me why I’m here?”
“I know, but she’s busy until early evening and I think it would be better if we were all together. I’m really not trying to put it off. I just thought we might, I don’t know, hang out a little.”
“Ugh! You’re killing me, you know? Fine. We can hang out. You’re just lucky that you already saw what kind of wine I like. So, is it safe to ask any other questions or am I just going to end up equally frustrated?”
“Ask away! I can tell you pretty much anything else,” she shrugged with a wide smile.
“Good answer. So, can I assume the way everyone looks at me like a puzzle to solve has something to do with whatever you and Octavia have to tell me?”
“More than likely, yes.”
“Then maybe you can explain this. Why can’t I be glamoured?”
“You can’t be glamoured?”
“Huh, apparently you don’t know everything about me or maybe you just didn’t see anyone trying, but they have, and I can’t. I’m not entirely sure if it works partially or not at all.”
“How do you know?”
“The night I met Eric for the first time, I believe he tried to glamour me. Pam had me cut from a scene we were filming, he told me that I would forget it, wake up the next morning excited and happy as if nothing happened at all. Well, I can tell you that little experiment did not work, because despite what he said, I was still pissed as hell at her! I thought he was simply trying to be nice, but looking at it now, he was definitely trying to convince me and I’m sure that was an attempt to glamour me. What he said did make me feel better after I went home, but it certainly didn’t erase my feelings or the events of that night. I think it was the next night of filming when Pam told me that I would forget the words to a song that I was to sing on the show, essentially making an ass of myself. Not in so many words of course, but that was her meaning. I was confused over what she was telling me to do so I said I was going to talk to the director to see if that’s what he wanted for my character. She got this ‘deer in the headlights’ look in her eyes and told me not to say anything. I don’t think she knew for certain at that moment, and of course neither did I, but I could definitely see panic on her face. Finally, the night that you saw Eric and me outside the tavern, Bill tried it. I knew something was up by then because I already believed they were who they were pretending to be for the show. When he tried to tell me that I imagined the conversation and anything else that had just happened between Eric and me, I just nodded and walked past him. I’m sure he believed it worked, but in truth, I was pissed as hell that he would even try! Pam knows now that it doesn’t work because she said Eric told her. He must have figured it out by himself due to my reaction to his words that first night.”
Every time I mentioned Eric’s name I felt another pang in my chest, but I pushed all of them aside until I finished my explanation. I didn’t want to show any unusual emotions to Maggie. She probably caught on to them anyway, but it was best to let sleeping dogs lie for now. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide everything fully, but part of the reason I was so willing to come here was to try to put it behind me and not think about it or him. Maybe sleeping in a purple room would be a very good thing after all, if it could bring me peace of mind.
“That’s interesting. It never occurred to me that that could happen,” she paused for a moment, deliberating, “Hmm… Maybe I can at least tell you something.”
“Really?” I sat forward, placing my glass on the table.
“That’s great! Thanks! I wasn’t sure I could wait until tonight.”
She took a deep breath and blew it out before beginning to speak excitedly, “So obviously, after I saw you and heard you sing at the tavern that night, I knew you weren’t human, but I wasn’t…”
“What?!” I screeched louder than I intended, interrupting whatever she was going to say.
“What?” she asked truly perplexed.
“What do you mean ‘what’? You just said I’m obviously not human! Of course, I’m human! What the fuck, Maggie?”
I was on my feet now, irritated over her nonchalant attitude about the ridiculous thing she just said. She, on the other hand, was fucking excited about it! I started pacing as my mind raced. ‘You’re an interesting creature, Miss Kerrigan’ I heard Eric’s words and voice echo in my mind. Hearing his voice so clearly startled me and I almost turned to look behind me just as I began to hyperventilate. Next thing I knew Maggie was in front of me, guiding me back into the chair.
“Don’t be silly. Of course you are. I just meant not completely,” she smiled as if I would just accept that fact.
“Yes, I am! … I am one hundred …percent …completely a …normal human …being!” I said between gasps, trying to get air into my lungs. Tears pierced the corners of my eyes as I was still overwhelmed at having heard his voice in my mind.
“No, Cricket, you aren’t,” she stated definitively.
“I can’t…I’m not…”
“Here, put your head between your knees and try to relax,” she stated calmly while gently pushing my head down.
She was serious. She is fucking serious!
It took a few minutes for me to calm myself enough in order to take some deep, slow breaths, and then a few more until I could sit upright. Maggie brought me a cool, damp cloth and placed it over the back of my neck while I fought the battle over fainting and pressed it to my head when I sat up. I smiled weakly and gently pushed her hand away. She had a worried look on her face and tried smiling back at me while she placed the washcloth on the table.
“Are you OK?” she asked quietly while returning to her spot on the loveseat.
“Yeah, I think so. I mean, I no longer feel as if I’m going to pass out at any given moment.”
“I guess it’s a lot to take in.”
“I didn’t really think of it that way… Maybe I should have phrased it another way? You might have taken it better or something… I knew I should’ve waited until we were with Octavia…” she was mostly talking to and chastising herself.
“No, Mag, I don’t think there’s really any possible way to tell someone they aren’t human and not get a reaction!” I laughed out, bringing her back from her quiet, internal ramblings.
I couldn’t tell her that my reaction wasn’t necessarily due to the new information. No, it wasn’t hearing that I wasn’t entirely human that overwhelmed me. On some subconscious level, I think I expected her to say something like that. What I hadn’t expected was to hear Eric’s voice as if he was speaking directly in my ear. What the fuck was that about?! That was the real reason I suddenly freaked out, but I wasn’t about to tell her!
Thinking about his words, what had he meant when he said that to me before, when we were talking for the first time, then in one of my dreams, and only a moment ago when I heard him repeat it again in my imagination? Had he known from the beginning there was something abnormal about me? Of course he did, dumbass! It’s probably the only reason why he was with you at all. They all must have known. Why else would all the supernatural people, or creatures, I met look at me so strangely? Then it occurred to me, if I was strange to them, what the hell did that mean for me?
“OK. I’ll bite,” I said after a minute or two of silence.
“What do you mean?”
“What’s the rest of the story? If I’m not human, what am I?”
“I really didn’t mean that you’re not human. I just meant…” she began before I interrupted.
“I know, just not entirely human. I got that.”
“I really don’t think I should say anything else,” Maggie said nervously.
“Oh, no! Don’t stop on my account.”
I picked up the wine bottle, refilled our glasses, and placed the bottle back on the table. I pulled my legs under me and settled into the chair. I took a deep drink, looking at her expectantly. She was fidgeting with her hands and tugging on the fabric of her skirt. Apparently, she was unable or unwilling to continue, and we sat in silence again until it began to become awkward.
“OK. I get it. You’re not going to tell me your theory. How about this? Why don’t you tell me why you decided I was obviously not human at the tavern?” I said, a bit of frustration leaking through my voice.
Her head shot up and a look of relief crossed her face as a wide grin grew there. She picked up her wine and relaxed back into the loveseat leaning, against the arm.
“Oh, that’s easy. Your voice. The moment you opened your mouth and the first note came out…it was like…it was as if you captured the room. I don’t mean in a way that a singer or performer garners the attention of the audience. You grabbed us and brought us with you into the heart wrenching melody and words. Before you began, the cast and crew in the tavern had been engrossed in their own conversations. Most of them weren’t even paying attention to you. They were polite, but disinterested in whatever karaoke you were going to sing. I mean, karaoke is karaoke no matter what song the singer chooses. Good or bad, it’s still just karaoke. It’s fun, but nothing to get excited about,” she said with a small shrug.
“Yeah, I agree and I was nervous. I’ll admit it didn’t calm my nerves when they more or less dismissed me, but the owner made a deal with us. I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to stay and meet the crew or the cast as I was hoping at the time. I didn’t even know what he was going to play.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered what he played because the instant, and I mean very second that you began to sing, the room went completely silent with the exception of your voice. Every eye was on you, and they were hanging on every note. You probably didn’t even notice. Your eyes were closed and you were already teary, choked up from the song JP had chosen. It obviously meant something to the two of you, to you, especially it seemed. I felt your emotion in my soul. I could feel tears in my eyes and when I glanced at JP, one tear was already falling from his eye. I wasn’t far behind. The power, the emotion, you were obviously feeling when you sang affected us all. It was as if I could feel what you were feeling. Eventually, even the music fell away to my ears and it was only you up there on that stage, I believed the words you were singing. The desperation of the lyrics and the way you simply put them out there was amazing. I’d never had that experience before and I knew. I just knew right then that there was something unique about you. When the first song was over, after the thunderous applause, you took a moment to recover. I asked JP if it was always like that. He knew immediately what I meant and told me that he had never heard you sing like that before. Then the requests started, and every song was more engaging than the last. When you cried, I cried. Each time you looked out over the crowd and smiled, I smiled. I couldn’t help it. I think it was the same for everyone and you didn’t even notice.”
“Oh, I noticed. I thought it was strange the way everyone was reacting to the songs. I knew that people were requesting songs for me to sing. I didn’t understand why, but I just went with it. I love to sing and they seemed to be enjoying themselves, but take a minute to think about it, Maggie. They were getting drunk. You got drunk. People can be overly emotional when they drink. Haven’t you ever listened to a song when you’re good and drunk and the singer or words say something you can relate to and you just give yourself over to it? That’s what it is. I mean, the other nights that I sang, they weren’t all torch songs.”
“What kind were they?”
“Well, some were fun and flirty like one I sang with Jason, and another for and with Lafayette. Once I sang to or rather at Pam that was just expressing my anger at her. The song during the filming was sultry.”
“And tell me, on those nights or with that music, how did the audience react?”
I sat there for a moment as I recalled the way the crowd had responded. They shared my mood with the lyrics and the feelings I put into the music. During the filming, no one was drunk, yet they were still very engaged in the sexiness of the music, but wasn’t that just acting? The music set the mood they were responding to on camera. Then I thought about Warren during rehearsal. I had left him speechless for a reason I still didn’t understand.
“That doesn’t mean anything. It’s just music. If you hear a happy song, you get happy and maybe you dance. If you hear a song about heartbreak, you get sad, even if you’re in a happy relationship. That’s what music is for, just like movies. If you want a good cry, you watch a sad movie. I think maybe it’s your super-witch powers that are making something out of nothing.”
“You’re wrong. See, this is why we need Octavia. I felt it for myself. She believes she recognized what I was describing to her, wants to meet you, and decide if I’m right.”
“Is she going to make me sing?”
“I have no idea. We didn’t discuss it, but I know she is intrigued.”
“What about this Godric guy?”
“We’ll talk about that after we meet with her. If we’re right, then we need someone older to talk to just to be sure. Octavia knows a good bit about many things, but you might be something she’s never encountered. We’ll just have to wait until tonight.”
“You know you’re making my head hurt with all the vague and mysterious things you say. If your entire theory, whatever it is, is based on my singing of a few songs on the one night you were there, then I think you’re reaching. I’m not going to argue over it. I’ll just go with the flow. It’ll take my mind off of everything, and that is a good thing.”
“Take your mind off of what? You can tell me.”
Oh shit! I didn’t mean to say that.
“Nothing. It’s nothing. It’s part of that ‘I don’t want to talk about it’. Please leave it alone.”
“OK. I just want you to know you can trust me.”
We sat for a little while longer until both of our stomachs started growling at the same time.
“I think we need to get some food now that we’ve finished off this bottle of wine. Besides, I’m going to need a good bit more to drink before tonight. I also want to do some shopping. I need to grab a couple of things,” I said.
“No problem and you’re right. You’ll need the energy. We probably both will.”
“Great!” I said while I pulled on my Chucks.
“Yeah?” I asked, looking up at her and meeting nervous eyes, “What’s up?”
“There’s something I think I should tell you. It’s not anything serious, but I don’t want you to doubt my sincerity about anything, you know? So, I think I should be honest.”
“All right,” I said, sitting up straight.
“My mother’s name was Margaret. Maggie,” she said, still sounding nervous.
“What are you so worried about? That’s sweet that you were named after your mother. What’s the big deal?”
“Well, my name isn’t Maggie. I use that name because I don’t want to be associated with my father.”
“Why? Is he some mafia type or something?” I laughed.
“No. He’s just…he doesn’t approve of my lifestyle choices. He doesn’t approve of witchcraft. He’s a contractor and has a lot of connections. He said I embarrass him when I’m myself.”
“Aw, that sucks, Maggie. I’m sorry your Dad’s such a jerk. So, what’s your real name or what name do you go by?”
“My given name is Amelia. Amelia Carmichael. I use my mother’s name, Margaret Broadway, for the reasons I told you. Sometimes I go by Amelia Broadway.”
Oh My God! Another one! She’s another one straight out of the motherfucking books! And she knows it. Maybe that’s why she didn’t want to tell me. Then again, what difference does it make? I don’t care if she doesn’t use her given name. Hell, I go by Cricket of all things!
“So, do you want me to call you Amelia?”
“You can if you want, but I like Maggie better. It reminds me of my Mom and I miss her sometimes, but it doesn’t make any difference to me either way. I just wanted you to know,” she sighed, obviously relieved.
“OK, Maggie it is, then,” I smiled at her and finished tying my shoes.
She returned a genuine smile to me right before she giggled. Again.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Kathy Najimy as Amelia ‘Maggie’ Broadway
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
JUMBO thanks to all of YOU for taking the time to read this story. I hope you enjoyed the chapter!
Don’t forget to review, please. I really love hearing from you.