Disclaimer: 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.
A/N: I do, however, own my OC’s and their shenanigans. Enjoy!
“You have had vampire blood.”
What could I say? Obviously, I couldn’t lie about it. She already knew, but how did she know? Was it obvious to every person with any kind of supernatural ability? Could she sense it? I hoped to God she couldn’t smell it. Witches didn’t have a super sense of smell like vampires and werewolves, did they? Oh Sweet Jesus, does she know whose it is? Did Maggie ‘see’ it happen? Is that why she keeps asking me to talk? Then again, what difference did it make? Other than the fact that you don’t want to tell them? I must have taken too long to answer because she spoke again.
“There is no reason to attempt to formulate a response. I wasn’t asking. It has been recent, yes?”
“Yes,” I said quietly while wincing internally.
“Jesus, what difference does it make?!”
“Amelia has told me that you only discovered the Supernatural world within the past week, so it is reasonable to assume it has been within that time. That would explain your turmoil. When you spoke of it, your body language changed. I can only assume you are thinking of this…person.”
“Well, of course I am…now! If you already knew when I learned about the others, then you already knew it had been recent. Why ask the obvious? Why does it matter?”
“You are now tied to this vampire. Due to that, you are experiencing a separation greater than you might otherwise and that separation is clouding your thoughts. You are separated at the moment? They are far away?”
I tried to keep my face neutral when I answered. He had also told me he was part of me. I already knew we were tied. He’d told me he could feel my emotions. I really, really, did not want to be talking about this or thinking about him. I came here to get away from all that. If I wanted to wallow in it, I could’ve stayed home, cried in my bathroom, staring at that fucking bathtub!
“To be honest, I have no idea. They could be down the street for all I know,” I said in a tight voice. I continued the ‘they’ pronoun she was using. There was no reason to give away any more than necessary.
“Oh, child, you would know. You would be calm and at peace, but clearly you aren’t. However, you had a tie to this vampire prior to taking their blood. There is an emotional tie that goes beyond the blood. Your feelings were reciprocated. There is obviously a spiritual tie between you.”
“Whether or not that is true, I don’t know what difference it makes. Maggie heard me sing before it happened. How about if we just concentrate on that? Besides, it wasn’t a conscious choice to take the blood. I mean, I’m not saying that I was unwilling, but it was out of necessity to save my life, so it really doesn’t count,” I shrugged noncommittally. She laughed at that.
“You are deflecting. Tell me, did your vocal ability advance afterward?”
“I don’t know. As I said, I don’t know why it started and I certainly don’t know if it changed.”
“I would posit that something triggered it. If what you say is true, that you hadn’t had the blood beforehand, then I believe the trigger was being in a room surrounding yourself with beings that are ‘other’. I am sure that had never happened to you that you were aware of, and being near so many could have emitted an energy that brought your own ability to the surface. I believe the blood tie further strengthened what was already released in you that night.”
“It doesn’t matter. The blood will go away…eventually.”
“Yes, that it will. However, it does matter a great deal.”
At that moment, I heard Eric’s voice again. “Why do you continue to say things do not matter when they clearly do?” It took everything in me not to react to the proximity and clarity in his voice again.
“Look, can we just change the subject?”
“You don’t seem to understand. It is clearly affecting you.”
“Fine! Yes, it is affecting me, but I don’t think it’s all from the blood. You said there was an emotional tie. Well, you’re right. I do…I did feel something more and I thought he did, too, but it was all me. OK? Just me. It feels like any other breakup, but it wasn’t like that. I mean, we weren’t together, not really. So, like any other heartache, you deal with it and move on. I’m sure it’s only because it just happened that I’m still upset. It will get easier and it will pass, like it always does. It takes time, Octavia. Surely you can understand that. There’s nothing spiritual about it and there’s certainly nothing spiritual between me and him. Now, can we move on? I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” I pleaded with her.
So much for not telling her it was a ‘him’. I could already feel a lump in my throat and I’m certain she could hear it in my voice. Fortunately, for the moment, I was keeping the tears at bay. I needed to stay in control of my feelings and move past it. I needed to remember it was only a one night stand. It didn’t matter how I felt. He clearly didn’t feel the same. I would get over it. Can’t we just stop talking about it?!
“Yes. We can move on, for now. I must tell you though that you do need to deal with him if you are to reach your full potential.”
“What do you mean ‘deal with him’?”
“That means you will need to see him again. Until you do, you will struggle with this in your heart and mind.”
“Well, that’s not possible, so it’s a moot point. I’ll just have to figure out another way to reach it. As far as I’m concerned, the subject is closed.”
She simply shook her head at me with an almost worried look. It was obvious we weren’t done with it, but for now, she acquiesced. I reached for the flask and tipped it back taking a long pull of the alcoholic substance.
“This is really strong. What is it?” I asked.
“Magic,” she smiled much like Maggie had when she gave me the same response about the air conditioning.
I started coughing immediately and looked at her with wide eyes as I gasped out, “What?”
“It is a concoction taught to me by my own mentor many years ago. Don’t worry, there are no ill effects. I find it helps me to relax and I am able to center that much easier,” she snickered.
“So, you’re saying you need to get drunk to do your spells or whatever?”
I heard her barking laughter again and it took a moment for her to recover.
“Not at all. You needed something to calm yourself. Your energy was making me as tense as you and I thought this would help. The best part is you won’t feel poorly tomorrow.”
“Maybe you should make a gallon of this for me to take when I leave?” I laughed.
“Perhaps I will. Now, on to more enjoyable things. I would like to hear you sing.”
“No time like the present! Later tonight I believe we should go somewhere else. For now, I think it would be good for you to do it here.”
“Um…If it’s all the same to you, I don’t want to be up at night. We can go somewhere tomorrow and I will sing for you, but it’s getting late. It was already beginning to get dark outside when we arrived. I would prefer if we do this during the day.”
“I understand your desire to sleep while your vampire is awake with the situation you have found yourself in.”
“First of all, he is not my vampire. Secondly, please tell me we’re not going back to that topic,” I rolled my eyes.
“Stop that. I am simply stating that I agree due to the circumstances. However, before we venture out to see the reaction of others tomorrow morning, I simply can no longer wait to hear your voice! Amelia has spoken of nothing else since she returned. Now, close your eyes and sing what you are feeling. Let it take you to where you are right now,” she said, getting excited.
I took a deep breath before closing my eyes. I planned to sing something that would strengthen the feelings I was having. I wanted a song that showed my resolve. It was how I was feeling right then or how I was trying to feel. Moving on, putting everything to rest even for that one moment. I tried to clear my mind and waited for the music to come to me. I didn’t think about what I was going to sing. I would go with the music when I heard it in my head. However, before I could begin, she had one more little nugget to add.
“And whether you agree with me or not, he is your vampire.”
Immediately, my heart filled with pain and my eyes filled with tears. It was a simple song, but at her words, it was what came to me, and it came out before I could stop it. The emotion bubbled over in my voice clearly expressing that pain.
I could put down the bottle
And feel good tomorrow
I could get some sleep
And see the sunrise
I could walk away
From all this sorrow
But I just keep seeing those eyes
Oh, I just keep seeing those eyes
And my heart won’t let me let go
I’m not in control this time
My heart won’t let me let go
I’m just witness to the crime
No, you can’t stop a heart that has made,
You can’t stop a heart that has made,
No, you can’t stop a heart that has made up its mind.
I sat for a moment with my eyes closed. Willing the tears in my eyes to dry, I took a few deep breaths. I thought about the words I had just sung. I didn’t recall having heard that song before, but who could tell? Music stuck with me. I would’ve only had to hear it once and it would be locked somewhere in the recesses of my brain. Octavia remained quiet, allowing me a moment to recover. Perhaps she realized how much emotion went into those few lines. It was, as always, the emotion of the words that crashed into my very being. I opened my eyes to see a handkerchief being held out to me. Without making eye contact, I took the cloth and dried my eyes as well as my face where the tears had escaped. When I finally looked at her, she had a sad smile on her face and she was holding her own handkerchief. Her eyes were glistening as if she was crying herself.
“Beautiful,” she whispered.
“Thank you. I’m not sure where that came from. It wasn’t at all what I had thought I would sing,” I replied, almost embarrassed in the quiet of the room.
“Exactly! You let out the words that you keep holding onto and told me what was in your heart in that moment. It is what I asked of you.”
“Well, you could’ve saved your final comment until I was finished.”
“Ah, but then you wouldn’t have been truly expressing your feelings. You would have been performing for me.”
“That’s what I do. That’s what I did every night when I sang at the tavern. I performed.”
“You see, that is where you are wrong,” she said simply.
“I don’t understand,” I really didn’t.
“What you did just now, that was not a performance. That was a deep expression of your inner self. I now understand what Amelia was saying. I didn’t watch you feel that longing. I felt it myself. You were not singing for me or sharing a song, you were sharing yourself. Tell me, when you sang for others, did you take into account if they would enjoy it or were you singing for yourself?”
“I suppose on the night Maggie heard me, I was trying to sing for them. No, that’s not entirely true. I had no idea what songs were going to play and I simply prepared myself to be ready for anything. When the music started, the first song, it was something very special and emotional for me. I gave myself over to it and forgot anyone was even listening really, at least while I was singing. The only time throughout that night or any other night that I thought about who was listening was in between songs. When I was singing, I was completely embraced and gave in to whatever emotion the music brought out in me. I guess I only sang for myself. Except for when I…” I stopped abruptly.
“When you what? When you sang specifically to someone else?”
“Why would you think that?”
“I am learning as we go. Is that what you meant?”
“Well, yes, I guess. There were a few times when a song pulled me toward someone and I pushed all the emotion that I felt toward that person. In those times, I sang for them. I sang to…that person.” I hadn’t really thought about that before.
“Your vampire?” she asked with a knowing smile.
“I’m not even going to argue again that he’s not mine. To answer your question though, yes. He was the only one that it happened with unintentionally or maybe subconsciously. There were other times that…well, one night I was trying to prove my theory that they were all hiding who they were, so I chose specific songs to get a reaction out of various different people. It was the only night I chose my own music to sing.”
“Did it work as you wanted?”
“At first, but then something happened and it didn’t matter anymore. I mean, I stopped trying to prove anything.”
How much do I tell her? We were about to get into something I needed to keep private. It was personal to me and Eric. Not only did no one know that Eric had chosen that song in the middle of my set for me alone to understand, but that would lead into what Maggie had seen outside the tavern and subsequently the remainder of the night. That night. No, I wasn’t going to go there.
“Someone interrupted my set with their own request. It was normal for people to request what they wanted to hear, and so I changed gears and sang what they wanted. Besides, by that point I had more or less already seen what I wanted where it mattered to me,” I said, trying to be as vague as possible.
“That’s it? You’re not going to dig?”
“No, that is for you alone to know. You will tell me more when you are ready,” she chuckled.
Fat chance of that happening! His song is not for me to share.
“So, what’s next? What do you think?” I asked.
“Next we will go tomorrow and you will sing again. I had planned on going somewhere public to watch the reactions of those who heard you, but now I have another plan in mind. We may still do that and probably will, but I want to see something else first.”
“Where are we going?”
“I don’t think you should worry about that any more tonight. As you said, it is late and you should rest. It will be an exhausting day tomorrow, I’m sure. I will see you in the morning,” she said as she stood and motioned to the door, which opened quietly at the wave of her hand.
I pulled my shoes on and stood.
“Did you see or hear what you wanted?” I asked as I walked to the door.
“More than I hoped for. She was right to bring you to me. Thank you for coming. Good night.”
I was being dismissed. Before I could utter another word, I was in the hall and she had closed the door behind me, or it closed itself, or whatever.
I walked up the four flights of stairs thinking over the evening. I still had more questions than answers, but if Octavia was now rethinking whatever her plan had been then maybe I had surprised her as well. It occurred to me that maybe she didn’t believe everything that Maggie had told her about me and that I had proven to her it was true. Whatever it was.
When I reached Maggie’s apartment, I knocked lightly on the door and it swung open so quickly she must have been standing there waiting on my arrival.
“Whoa! Were you waiting there all this time for me to return?” I laughed.
“No, silly! Octavia called me and said you were on your way up,” she said, giggling.
She pulled me in and closed the door, ushering me to the chair I had sat in earlier in the day. I noticed she already had a new bottle of wine open on the table and our glasses were full. It’s a good thing my tolerance was at an all-time high. It was also a good thing that these ladies liked to drink! I was on vacation after all, despite the fact that this was beginning to feel like some sort of spiritual retreat.
“So, what did she say?” she asked excitedly as she unceremoniously plopped onto the loveseat.
“Honestly? Not much.”
“Oh that’s bull. Did you sing? What did she do? What did you sing? Are we going out to find somewhere for you to sing? Do we need to change?”
“Slow down, Maggie. Yes, I sang and no, we are not going out tonight. She wants to go somewhere in the morning,” I said, picking up my wine and taking a drink.
“Ooh, where are we going?” she asked like a kid who just found out there was an unexpected class field trip.
“I don’t know. She didn’t say.”
“Did she tell you?”
“I just told you she didn’t say where we’re going.”
“No, did she tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“What she thinks about you? I mean, it’s what we both think. Well, I didn’t know what to think until I talked to her when I got home, but I agree with her, so now it’s what we both think. What do you think?”
I could play this one of two ways. One, I could tell her the truth that Octavia had, in fact, not told me anything about what they believe. Or two, I could lie and pretend I knew exactly what she was talking about and hope to gain more information. After a quiet moment, while I downed my glass of wine, I decided I was too tired to try and piece together anything she might giggle out about her theories.
“No. She didn’t tell me anything other than the fact that she had to change her plans for tomorrow and that she agrees with you or sees what you were saying about me. Would you like to clue me in?” I sighed.
“Oh… No, if she didn’t say anything, then we’ll wait until tomorrow. I’m so excited! I can hardly wait to see where we’re going. I can’t believe she made me leave before I could hear you sing again!”
“Have no fear. I have a feeling I’ll be singing a good bit tomorrow. Either that or she’ll find whatever she’s looking for right away and we can talk about it afterward.”
After a couple more glasses of wine, we said our goodnights and got ready for bed. I went into my purple room and lay on the bed. My mind couldn’t stop whirling thoughts around about my time with Octavia. I still had no answers. So, I was left with knowing that my vampire was up and about the world somewhere and I wasn’t supposed to look for him.
Was she right? Did I really have to find him again to get over him? That won’t be happening. I knew I hated the way things were left and everything that went unsaid, but that was a good thing, right? A clean break? I had never had a one night stand, but it wasn’t healthy to continue thinking of him, was it? Did I really need closure when no real relationship had happened? Was she right that there was a stronger tie between us aside from the blood? I thought about all the time we had spent together and how it seemed that we’d been together for such a long time, but that was all circumstance, wasn’t it? It was like a week-long fling at camp when you were young. You meet a boy, you like a boy, you spend the week together, and then you both go home to opposite sides of the country, knowing that it was fun while it lasted. Right?
I had to stop obsessing over each and every little detail. I couldn’t live in the memory of those few days forever. However, I wasn’t ready to fall asleep and see Eric again. And I knew I would see him again as soon as my eyes closed. I still blamed him and pushed him away in my dreams. I climbed out of the bed and made my way through the living room and out onto the balcony. I needed fresh air to help clear my head a bit before I was ready to sleep. One part of me was still hoping that he couldn’t feel me if he was far away, while another part of me wished he was feeling the same way I was.
I stood on the balcony looking at the moon and closed my eyes. Truth be told, I was afraid to go to sleep. It seemed like I would express everything I wanted to him in my dreams, but it still hurt when I woke because I knew he hadn’t really heard anything I said and never would.
Before I realized it, I was singing again. The night was so peaceful and as they had in Octavia’s apartment, the words poured out before I even thought about them.
I can’t let go
I’m addicted to your torture
I’m a prisoner to the pain
Although you’re gone
All the misery remains
I do my best
Everyday just keeping busy
To avoid the ghost of you
But when I rest
There is nothing I can do
My eyes are closing and I’m scared
Cause I only dream of you
You’re a beautiful nightmare
And nothing can wake me up from you
I gave you love
Gave you everything you asked for
And this is what I get
Your silence only fills my head with noise
I do my best
Everyday just keeping busy
To avoid the ghost of you
But when I rest
There is nothing I can do
My eyes are closing and I’m scared
Cause I only dream of you
You’re a beautiful nightmare
And nothing can wake me up from you
You’re a beautiful nightmare
You’re a beautiful nightmare
I shook my head and sighed before returning to bed.
I inhaled deeply, contentedly, and relaxed further into my favorite snuggle spot against the sculpted chest of the most beautiful man I had ever known. Strong arms tightened around me and I felt a soft kiss on top of my head.
“Mmm… Hi,” I said lazily.
“Good evening, min sǫngr. I have missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” I found myself saying.
“How was your day?”
“They have something to tell me, but they won’t just spit it out. It’s very frustrating.”
“What?” I asked as I tilted my head up to look in his oceanic eyes.
“Perhaps you are not ready to know,” he replied, leaning his head down to give me a tender kiss on my forehead.
I relaxed onto his chest again and began playing with the soft, blonde hairs around his belly button.
“No, I think I am. Apparently, there’s something clouding my thoughts,” I said, poking him.
“That is unfortunate. What do you think it could be?” he said playfully while stroking up and down my bare arm.
“Well, I know what it is, but I don’t know what to do about it,” I said innocently.
“Hmm, is it possible I could be of assistance?” he asked, pulling me over so that my body was lying on top of his and my chin was resting on my hands against his chest.
“I find that hard to believe. What is the problem?”
“Well, you see, I have this six and a half foot tall Viking vampire that won’t stay out of my head.”
“I ask again, what is the problem?” he said with a smile before kissing my lips gently.
“You,” I said, giggling.
“What? Most certainly, I cannot be the problem,” he said as he began tickling me.
“Yes, you are most problematic thing in my head right now,” I said, laughing harder.
“Surely you jest?”
“I’m not and who says that? ‘Surely you jest?’” I repeated, imitating his voice.
He growled as he rolled us over so he was hovering over me, settling between my legs that automatically wrapped around his waist.
“What shall I do to help you alleviate the problem?” he asked as he began kissing down the side of my jawline to my neck.
“Well, it’s clear you’re not going to leave me alone.”
“Correct,” he whispered into my ear.
“Then I guess I’ll just have to get over it.”
He pulled back to look into my eyes. His brow was furrowed and his eyes held a look of concern.
“You mean get over me?” he asked as if afraid of the answer.
“That doesn’t seem to be an option either and I’m tired of fighting it. So, I suppose I’ll just have to put up with you,” I sighed dramatically.
“Is that such a terrible punishment?” he asked with a brilliant smile before resuming his tender kisses on my collarbone.
“Not always,” I moaned out in response to the cool breath I could feel across my heated skin.
“Well, now that that problem is solved, is there anything else I can do to assist you?”
I tapped my finger to my mouth pretending to think.
“As a matter of fact, yes, Professor, I’ve missed my last few classes,” I said, biting my lip.
“Ah, so you are in need of some extra credit?” he growled into my neck before moving further down between my breasts.
“I think maybe a hands-on tutorial would help immensely,” I giggled with a grin growing on my face.
“Miss Kerrigan, I believe I have the necessary equipment to help you with that,” he winked before continuing his descent down my body.
I awoke with the sun shining through my window, fully refreshed and not at all sexually frustrated as I had been the day before when Maggie practically beat down the door. I sat up and stretched. Today’s the day! I was finally going to find out what the hell the two of them had been talking about. I probably should have been nervous, but in reality I was simply excited more than anything else.
My dream the night before was different. It was the type of dream I’d had of Eric before I was ever with him in real life. Full of nothing but playfulness and seduction, it was fun. I didn’t know if I made the decision consciously to stop fighting and arguing against everything with him in my dream. Maybe I had enough of that when I was awake and knowing I would see him in my dreams, whether due to the blood tie or not, I just needed to accept it. Whatever happened, it was a damn good dream. I didn’t fight it. I enjoyed it. Hell, I deserved it! The best part was I didn’t feel overly cautious and stressed out when I woke. I decided to take it one minute at a time for the remainder of the day.
I gathered a change of clothes and padded to the bathroom. I heard Maggie humming in the living room as I passed through the hall.
“Morning, Cricket! I’ve got coffee ready when you are!” Maggie called.
“Great! I’ll be out shortly. Thanks!”
My shower was short, but it was perfect. It was still a wonderfully comfortable temperature in the apartment and feeling the way I was, I was ready to get the day started. Having no idea where we were going, I dressed in worn, denim capris and a short-sleeve, cotton, button-up shirt with a plaid print. I paired it with denim blue ballet style loafers. I dried my hair and left it down, but placed an elastic band on my wrist in case I wanted to pull it up later.
I returned to put away my dirty clothes and make the bed, and almost ran face first into Maggie when I entered my room and saw that she had already done it, and was on her way back out.
“Oh, sorry, Cricket!” she giggled.
“Um…no problem, but uh, what are you doing in here Maggie?”
“I just came in to straighten up while you were in the shower,” she said, smiling as she stepped past me.
“OK. Well, I’ll be out in a minute,” I said, closing the door behind her.
I was more than a little irritated that she was in what was essentially my room for the next however many days I was here, but decided to try and put it aside for now. I was in a good mood and I didn’t want my mind wandering and wondering about what she was doing in there. I looked around the room and didn’t notice anything different. I opened my suitcase and everything seemed to be the same as it was a short while ago. Stop it, Cricket! She was just being nice! Quit being so paranoid and freaking out over everything! I scolded myself. I tossed my pajamas on the bed and left the room, making sure to close the door on my way out.
I met her in the kitchen where she had just filled two travel mugs with coffee. She was dressed similar to me in khaki capris and a lavender short-sleeve button-up shirt.
“Do you take anything in it?”
“Lots of cream if you have it and a little sugar, please.”
“Of course!” she gave me a beaming smile.
“Is Octavia coming up here?”
“Oh God no! She never comes up here. There’s no elevator, you know.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said, remembering the day before when I lugged my suitcase up the stairs.
“We’ll meet her in her apartment and then we’ll find out where we’re going! I’m so excited! I could barely sleep!”
“I can tell. How much coffee have you had?”
“This is my third cup. I’ve been up for a couple of hours.”
“Jesus, what time did you get up?”
“Five. I like to get up early to take care of my plants and sit outside before I start my day. You slept late. It’s almost eight already!”
“Oh. Well, I don’t really consider eight a.m. late and I didn’t know we were supposed to be up early.”
“We weren’t. I just was hoping you would be up earlier.”
“I stayed awake for a little while after you went to bed. I didn’t want to…I mean, I couldn’t fall asleep right away.”
“Yeah, I guess yesterday was a big day for you, huh?”
“You could say that. I feel good, though. I hope I’m up for whatever today has in store.”
“I’m sure you will be,” she giggled as she finished preparing the coffee.
“Should we go then? Do we need to call Octavia?” I asked.
“Nope. I spoke to her already. She’s an early riser, too. We’re all set.”
We made the short trek down to Octavia’s apartment and I wasn’t surprised when the door opened as we approached.
“Good morning, Octavia!” Maggie hollered as we entered the apartment.
Octavia entered from the hallway with a wide smile on her face.
“Well, good morning, ladies. How are you this morning? I will tell you I barely slept at all! So much to think about!” she said as giddy as Maggie.
“You should’ve called Maggie. She didn’t sleep either,” I laughed.
“Oh, I know. She sounded much less exuberant when I spoke to her a few hours ago.”
“My God, you called her at five?” I looked at Maggie in shock.
“No, silly, she called me a few minutes after I was up!” she giggled.
My look of shock must have crossed over to Octavia.
“I didn’t wake her. I knew she was up. I wouldn’t have called otherwise,” Octavia said to me with a wink.
As much as I wanted to ask, I really didn’t want to know how they knew the other was awake. JP and I didn’t even have that connection. Probably because we’re not witches! At least, I didn’t think we were. Then again, who the hell would know and if they did, they wouldn’t tell you! I smiled to myself at that and almost laughed out loud until I realized my internal musings were being watched. I looked up and saw both of them with expectant looks on their faces.
“Sorry. Did you say something to me?” I asked, feeling bad for ‘checking out’ on them for a moment.
“No, we were just watching you talk to yourself,” Octavia snickered.
“Was I talking? God, I didn’t realize. Sorry.”
“No, we were watching your face as you had a conversation with yourself in your head,” Maggie giggled.
Note to self, be more observant. These two would no doubt be watching everything I did and turning the pieces to fit into the puzzle that was me.
“Let’s sit for a few minutes,” Octavia said, taking a seat.
Maggie and I followed suit, and I took the chair I had originally been sitting in the night before.
“So, Cricket, how did you sleep?” Octavia asked.
“Fine. Thanks. Better than I have in a few days.”
“No dreams then?” was her follow up question.
My eyes widened briefly before I could school my features again.
“Um, you know, the usual, I guess.”
“You know, dreams can signify many things. Images can be interpreted. Amelia is quite good at Dream Interpretation. Maybe later we should talk about them. It could give us more insight about you.”
The look on her face told me that she knew about the dreams. It must be a common thing regarding blood ties. She was most definitely screwing with me.
“Oh, Cricket, that would be so much fun! I would love to hear if your dreams were different sleeping in the purple room than at home…” Maggie began.
She jumped back, startled at my outburst while Octavia only chuckled.
“I mean, no, that’s OK. I’m good. Thanks anyway, Maggie,” I smiled at her before shooting a quick glare at Octavia.
“Um, OK. Let me know if you change your mind,” she said, trying to cover her disappointment.
“I won’t. I mean, I will let you know, but I won’t change my mind,” I said, causing Octavia to laugh in earnest.
“Should we have breakfast? Are you hungry, Cricket? I ate hours ago, but I know you just got up and breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” Maggie said cheerily, still not understanding why I was sitting there in shock and Octavia was laughing.
“No. If you’ve eaten, I’d rather get to it. I don’t generally eat first thing in the morning anyway. What about you, Octavia?” I said, taking a drink of my coffee.
“I’m fine. I’ve had my breakfast. I suppose we should get going.”
“Where are we going?” Maggie said, beginning to bounce in her seat like a kid going to the amusement park.
“No, I think before we do or go anywhere else, you two should finally tell me what is going on. You’ve both heard me sing now. So, please can you just tell me your theory before we move any further? If we just go to a new location so I can sing, I can tell you it won’t be very entertaining.”
“Child, I thought you understood last night when I said I don’t want you to perform.”
“No, I understood that. However, I thought you both understood that I don’t want to keep listening to evasiveness and riddles. I’m ready. Just tell me.”
There was a silent communication between them. Octavia nodded and Maggie smiled brightly before they turned their attention back to me. Come on, already!
“When Amelia first returned to town, she sought me out immediately. She was very excited, well she’s very excitable, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”
I nodded and waited for her to continue.
“She began to explain what she had experienced when hearing your voice and asked my opinion. I will admit that I thought she was exaggerating. Perhaps she’d had a little too much fun that night coupled by the exhaustion of the day she’d had. She asked if I thought it would be a good idea to watch you.”
“You mean, spy on me,” I stated with no inflection. I wasn’t angry anymore over it, but I now understood that Octavia had a hand in that happening.
“I’m sorry, Cricket, I wasn’t trying to…” Maggie started to plead her case again.
“Maggie, I’m over it. It’s fine. Please go on, Octavia,” I said, earning a relieved smile from Maggie.
“Yes, well, we agreed that it might prove to be a beneficial thing to do. I was confident that she wouldn’t uncover anything and that would be that. She is in training, you understand.”
Again, I nodded. Maggie took over.
“After a night or two of watching you in that tavern, I noticed the response the audience was having. Of course, like I told you, there is no audio, but that made it all the more noticeable because their facial expressions matched your own. I told Octavia about that. I was so excited to see that I was right!” Maggie squealed before looking to Octavia to continue the story.
“Yes, she told me and I have to say I was intrigued. That, and the fact that Amelia was already so enamored with whatever had happened to her and with you, well, I had to meet you and see for myself.”
“What you are? You see, I thought it was hypnosis.”
“What do you mean? You thought I was hypnotizing the crowd each night?”
“Well, I wasn’t sure about each night, but I suspected you did the night that Amelia was there to hear you. It sounded so strange the way she was describing it. The way she felt, what she heard, the emotional investment you brought out in her, all of them. I thought you might be a very great hypnotist especially if it would work on the Supernatural. Add to that singing, dancing, or any other kind of entertainment, and you would have an audience that was happy and satisfied regardless of the actual performance. I assumed you did it as your living. Amelia told me that you had said you were the Entertainment for the night.”
“Yeah, I was more or less roped into doing it for the owner that night.”
“But see, I didn’t agree with Octavia. I don’t think I can be hypnotized and I knew there was something else, but I wasn’t sure what,” Maggie interjected.
“And?” I asked.
“The fact of it is that I know for certain I cannot be hypnotized. My magic is too powerful to fall under the spell of another,” Octavia stated.
“OK,” I said, still waiting.
“I thought if I could get you here and you would sing for me alone I could prove my thoughts and then I could explain to Amelia that it was simply a trick.”
“But that didn’t happen,” I stated.
“No, it did not. When I heard you last night, everything she had told me made sense. As I explained to you last night, I felt everything you felt, just like she had said she did. I knew in that moment that you were definitely not a hypnotist. Not in the ordinary sense anyway,” Octavia said.
“I’m not sure what that means. What other kind of hypnotist is there? Let me get this straight and see if I understand. I’m a not-entirely human maybe non-ordinary hypnotist? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Something like that,” she said.
“OK. Can you put that into a term I would understand and we can go from there? I don’t think it’s possible for me to be any more confused than I am already.”
“Simply put, I believe…”she started.
“We believe! Octavia and I talked about it before, but you convinced her last night!” Maggie chimed in.
“Oh for the love of God, please just tell me!” I slumped back into my chair. It was only eight-something in the morning and I was already getting exhausted. Already I needed a drink. Where was that magic flask to add to my coffee? No sooner was that thought in my head than I was being handed said flask.
I took it gratefully and drank from it greedily, letting the harsh heat from the alcoholic concoction burn its way down my throat. Then I looked at them and raised my eyebrows.
“Well?” I asked.
“You are a Siren!” they shouted simultaneously.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Kathy Najimy as Amelia ‘Maggie’ Broadway
Maya Angelou as Octavia Fant
Thanks to all of YOU for reading this story. Please, please review!