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. I simply like to play with the Viking!
A/N: I only own my OC’s and their antics.
I only looked into his eyes for a second before I lost all control and crumbled to my knees, letting out harsh sobs I could no longer contain. I don’t know how long I stayed there with my face in my hands, trying to gain control of myself until I finally settled down, leaving only lingering, silent shudders in my shoulders. How embarrassing! I had just broken down like an overly-dramatic teenage girl going through her first break-up in front of this poor guy who already had enough of his own troubles. I was supposed to be there for him, not the other way around! I rubbed my eyes and swiped under them, brushing away the tears with the backs of my hands. My face still felt hot and I would’ve given anything to have some tissues with me, but I hadn’t brought any. I moved to wipe my face on my sleeve, but before I could, I noticed as a handkerchief was offered to me.
Out of gratitude, I took it, dried my cheeks, and wiped my nose. What teenage boy carries a handkerchief these days? The only man I knew who still carried one was my Dad! No, that wasn’t exactly true. JP generally had one on hand, but that was typically for me. I let out a hiccupped laugh at the thought. JP would love to hear how I completely lost it over Eric! I could picture his smug ‘I told you so’ grin on his face. I internally rolled my eyes, deciding that I would not be telling him about what had just happened.
Finally, I looked up to see that the boy was kneeling on the ground watching me. He was still keeping a slight distance between us, as if he had handed me the cloth, and then moved backward to give me space. He was probably afraid I’d lose it again if he got too close! His face was still covered in the same concern and sympathy I’d seen a moment ago. Great! Here sits the poor lonely woman, in a city she doesn’t know, on the ground of a roof, with a stranger, acting like a fool.
“Better?” he asked.
“Yeah. Thanks,” I replied. My voice was hoarse from my displays both before and after he arrived. “I’m, um…”
He held up his hands cutting off my words.
“Don’t apologize. I believe I understand. I’ve heard that sometimes a person needs to cry. I can’t say I find the same release in it as some.”
“Well, I seem to be doing a bit too much of it lately. And, uh, thanks for the handkerchief. I didn’t know guys really carried them anymore. I’ll wash this and get it back to you,” I said, slightly embarrassed.
“You can keep it if you’d like. I don’t need it. I’m just glad I was here. I had planned to arrive later, but I heard you singing, and I wanted to come and listen. I wasn’t sure if you would be here or if you would be busy with your friend.”
“Oh God! You heard me from all the way down in your room?” I groaned. Who else had heard me? Was I that loud? Yes. Yes, I was. My face, which had just begun to cool off, heated again with a blush.
“No,” he said quickly, “I’m staying in the penthouse. It’s much closer than the suite you have. I was on the balcony. I hope you don’t mind that I was here.”
“No, I’m just sorry you saw all of…that.”
“I told you there’s no need for an apology. I’m simply happy you are all right,” he said, smiling warmly while shaking his head a little.
I stood and brushed off the knees of my jeans. Then I gestured to another of the chairs, plopping quite ungracefully back into mine. He stepped over and sat across from me as he had last night. His footsteps were practically silent. No wonder I hadn’t heard him arrive. Then again, I probably wouldn’t have heard a semi pull up next to me with how absorbed I had been in my tirade directed toward my IBF. It took me a moment to register what he’d said.
“Wait, you said you were closer than my suite. How do you know I’m staying in a suite?” I asked suspiciously. I had assumed he was staying on the same floor as me, but if he was in the penthouse… Had he followed me down? If he did, I hadn’t seen him.
“You have access to the roof. Only the top floor and the penthouse have access to here, so I concluded that you’re staying on the twentieth floor.”
“Oh, right,” I said, feeling idiotic for not putting that together, “You’re staying in the penthouse? Holy sh… I mean, wow, your family must be… Sorry, that’s none of my business.”
“It’s all right. Yes, I suppose we have acquired some wealth over time.”
“Must be nice, I’m only here because someone else is footing the bill,” I laughed, shaking my head while thinking of how much it must cost to stay in the penthouse. I wasn’t even sure how much the room I was staying in cost. If they were giving away free bottles of seven hundred dollar wine, it must be quite a bit.
“It has its advantages, I suppose.”
“So, did you sleep all day? I did. I couldn’t believe it, but I slept until sunset. I never sleep like that. My roommate on the other hand… Man, he can sleep like the dead!”
“I’m that way, too,” he said, laughing to himself.
“So, did your parents give you a hard time about staying out all night?” I wanted to get him talking about himself.
“No… My parents are dead.”
Yikes! I wasn’t expecting that! No wonder he looked so sad. I must have upset him the night before by talking about his family and again just a moment ago.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry! I didn’t know.”
“Of course you didn’t, how could you?” he said with a small smirk.
“I don’t know…I mean, I guess people always say that. I just meant that I’m sorry. That must be very hard,” I said, properly chagrined.
“It was a very long time ago. I don’t even remember them.”
“You don’t? Nothing?”
“No. I haven’t even thought about them in a long while.”
“So, who takes care of you?”
“Why would you think someone needs to take care of me?”
“Well, you’re still so young, you know?”
“I’m older than I look,” he said, but he didn’t seem offended by my assumption. He almost looked amused.
“Oh. Sorry, I guess I thought you were only maybe sixteen or so. I just assumed. You mean, you can afford to stay in the penthouse alone at, what, eighteen? Do you have a trust fund or something?”
It was unimaginable to me to have money like that at my disposal, especially at his age. Damn, he would never have to work a day in his life if that was true.
“I have money in many places.”
“God, this is really none of my business. I don’t know why I’m prying. I’m just so surprised. You know, you shouldn’t spend it all so quickly. I mean, you’re young. Staying in an expensive hotel might seem like it’s not a big deal now, but trust me, once you finish school and get out into the real world… Jesus, what am I saying? This is so not my business. I just can’t seem to help being curious.”
I could feel my face heating up again when the boy started laughing quietly at my rambling. I couldn’t blame him. I had stuck my foot in my mouth about his family. It only seemed logical that I would stick my nose in his financial business. I wondered what other body part I would be sticking somewhere next… Oh shit! Scratch that…eighteen!! I reminded myself.
“So, how’s that decision coming along?” I asked.
“I’m still thinking things over,” he sighed.
“You know, I’m a good listener. I know I keep butting into your personal business, but to be honest, I’m concerned.”
He looked surprised, as if no one had ever said that to him before. He looked away from me and stared into the fire for a few minutes. He appeared to be trying to figure out what to say.
“Why would you be concerned about me?”
“I don’t know, exactly. I guess I’m comfortable with you. I think we could be friends and I just believe… No, I know, at least for me, that it’s good to talk things out. My best friend and I have a deal that only one of us can go crazy at a time while the other has to stay sane to talk the other down… Not that you’re crazy or anything! Fuck! I mean, I’m certainly not completely sane at the moment either! Oh fuck, this isn’t coming out right. All I’m saying is that I’m happy to listen if you need to get something off of your chest. I can tell something is bothering you, and I would hope that you would be open to talking with me or someone about what’s troubling you. And, uh, sorry about the language, I tend to have a bit of a sailor’s mouth.” Remember who the adult is here!
I received a genuine smile at that. I’m not sure if it was for my comment about my language or that I said I would listen to him. I hoped it was the latter.
“There’s nothing troubling me.”
“I call Bullshit!”
“I said, Bullshit! Come on, I can see it. It’s all over your face. Whatever it is, you can trust me. Your secret is safe with me,” I said, smiling.
“I believe you. That is, I believe you are someone who can keep a secret. In fact, I believe you are keeping secrets.”
What the hell? I needed to steer this conversation away from me and back toward him. How would he know that I was keeping secrets? I was, of course, but some were my own and some were not mine to tell. Did he know about the vampires? Did he think that I knew, too? If that was the direction he was heading, I needed to lead him away from those kinds of questions. If he asked me, I would have to lie and I just told him he could trust me.
“Hey now, we’re talking about you,” I laughed.
“Don’t worry. I won’t ask you to tell me. Not yet anyway, but this trust is going to have to go both ways. Unlike you, I’m not certain that being friends would really be what you wanted.”
“Of course it is. I was a teenager once. I know how tough it can be.”
“It’s not that. I’ve been on my own for quite some.”
“You live alone?”
“Not now, I have…roommates. It’s only that I lead my own life or I used to… I was on my own before and it was getting to be too much surrounded by…so many others. I’m having a difficult time staying in the same life that they lead. I don’t think I belong there anymore.”
“Are they doing something illegal? Are you in some kind of trouble? Are they making you do something you don’t want?” Jesus, Cricket! Calm down!
“No, no. It’s not like that. I just needed to get away.”
“So, you ran away?”
“In a manner of speaking.”
“So, they don’t know where you are?”
“No. I don’t want them to know.”
“Then I’m glad you left. You know, if you’re of legal age now, you don’t have to go back there. You can go to the authorities if you need to. I would go with you. You weren’t living in a group home or anything, were you?”
“A group home?”
“You know, a place for…troubled teens. They’re supervised more or less. Generally, it’s a place for kids who’ve gotten into trouble in one way or another, but there are some that are only for orphans until they find a foster home to stay in. Were you in a foster home?”
“No. I’m old enough to be on my own,” he chuckled.
“OK. That’s good. Do you think they’re looking for you?”
“I didn’t tell anyone I was leaving, but I would hope they respect my privacy.”
“So, you’re not hiding from anyone?”
He looked toward the fire again and I had my answer. He was hiding from someone or maybe many people. What had this poor guy gotten himself into? I hoped that he had not done something illegal and was hiding from the police. Though it sounded more like he was sucked into doing something he didn’t want to do.
“Technically, I suppose you could say I am hiding. Don’t be alarmed. It’s not in the way I assume you are thinking. I’m not afraid of anyone. I’m only hiding in the sense that I simply don’t want to be found. I wanted some time alone…to think.”
“Then you’ll return to them?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
“So, that’s the decision you’ve been trying to make, whether you’ll go back to the place you were living?”
“Part of it is, yes.”
“And the other part?”
“What I will do if I don’t go back.”
“Well, you seem to have the means to do anything you want. You could go to college. Is there anything you’d like to study?”
“I don’t think University is a place for me.”
“Why not? The whole world is open to you. You can be anything.”
“I’ve seen the world.”
Something was wrong. Nothing he was saying added up. He was orphaned at a young age. He was living on his own. He was rich and somehow gotten hooked up with the wrong crowd. Given what I could understand, I would guess he might be seen as easy pickings. On the other hand, he seemed intelligent and I couldn’t believe he would be duped in that way.
However, at the same time, he said he’d seen the world? Was that when he was living on his own? How many years was he alone? How could he travel as a minor to other countries? Had he lied about his age to go backpacking across Europe or something? The legal age for just about everything was lower there, but you would have to be able to get there to begin with. Did he have family in another country? If so, why would they have left him to his own devices?
There was something he wasn’t telling me. Fuck! Maybe he’s sick? I wondered how I would be able to find out. Double Fuck! Maybe he’s delusional!? Certainly, he wouldn’t tell me if he had stopped taking his medication. I needed to learn more. I really felt that I needed to help him. There was almost a connection in some way. I couldn’t put it into words, but there was something that had kicked in telling me to help him. He was already feeling like my kid brother.
Just then my stomach grumbled causing him to laugh.
“You should eat.”
“No, I’m fine,” I said, even as my stomach growled again. I wanted to keep him talking. I had a bad feeling about this decision he was trying to make, specifically what options he was considering, but wasn’t telling me.
“It’s getting late. I should get some rest as should you,” he said, standing.
“I’ll only go if you promise me something.”
“What would that be?”
“Promise that you’ll be here tomorrow night…you know, to talk some more.”
“I will make that promise for one in return.”
“OK. What do you want?”
“Tomorrow night, you will tell me about your Eric.”
My Eric? That was like a sucker punch to the stomach and I tried not to wince when my chest tightened. I shouldn’t have been surprised though. He had asked me earlier and I had effectively changed the subject. However, if that’s what it would take to make sure he was not going to take off or do something dangerous, then I would have to agree. Obviously, I couldn’t tell him everything, but I would tell him what would be safe for him to know.
“Then you have my word that I will be here.”
“Good. Thank you.”
“You were right, you know?”
“It is good to discuss things with someone. I’m very much enjoying this time with you,” he smiled warmly.
“So am I,” I said, returning the smile.
When I reached the hallway leading to my room, I stopped and listened. There was no noise, in fact, it was almost eerily silent. I quickly and quietly made my way to my room and let myself in. I noticed the cart had been removed and briefly wondered if there was anyone staying on the floor apart from my nosy neighbor I saw earlier. I would definitely need to remember to continue pushing the cart far down the hall if we were going to be here for any length of time.
I checked my phone and still, no missed calls or texts from Maggie. I dialed her number and it went straight to voicemail without even ringing. Where is she? I didn’t have any idea where the nest was and I really did not want to make an attempt to find it on my own. There wasn’t anyone else that I knew, so I would have to just stay in my room until I heard from her.
I walked to the bar and retrieved my wine bottle and glass from dinner, and carried them to the balcony again. It was a clear night and though I was hungry and tired, I was restless. I poured a glass of wine and took a long drink. It was a good thing that we had decided to part on the roof. I wasn’t quite sure how I would’ve handled it if he told me he was planning on hurting himself in some way. That was almost what it sounded like and it worried me, but maybe I was wrong. He seemed very calm. That could mean that he was resolved with whatever outcome he would have. He just needed to make the step one direction or the other.
Maybe I am too concerned that it’s something bad to consider it might be something good? Clearly, he was intelligent. Maybe he was considering what he wanted to do with his life and was having a difficult time trying to figure out how to tell his roommates that he wasn’t coming back, or was moving on, or whatever. He was so young. With money he could do whatever he wanted, go anywhere he wanted.
I would try the next time I saw him to find out where his interests lay. There had to be something. Maybe school was just a scary thought. It could be overwhelming at times, but I wasn’t sure he realized all that could be gained, or maybe he was right that school wasn’t for him and he wanted to do something else with his life.
He was obviously confused to some degree and I was sure the decision was difficult, but I also believed that wherever he had been living, it was a good thing that he left. Not that I believed he should be blowing all of his money staying night after night in a penthouse, but I had to admit, if I had been able to experience that at his age I definitely would have done it! Besides that, it was perfect for staying under the radar. If someone was looking for him, who would guess that he was staying here, in the most expensive room, alone? All amenities were included. He wouldn’t even need to leave. I knew that from my own night and day. I hadn’t left the hotel since we arrived.
After finishing the bottle (and deciding to get another tomorrow), I decided to go to bed. Then it occurred to me there was one person I could talk to who could possibly give me some answers. I carried everything back to the kitchen and picked up my phone.
“Good morning, child. How is everything? Have you been able to learn any new information?”
“Octavia! Thank God you’re up! I’m sorry to be calling at this hour…”
“Nonsense! I can’t wait to hear all about it! Of course, that’s if you’re ready to talk about it. Which, I assume by this phone call that you are…”
“Have you heard from Maggie?”
“Oh, did she leave the two of you to speak alone? I told you Godric would accept you and you would feel comfortable with him. I would imagine she is letting you tell me yourself. What did he say when you told him what you are?”
“I haven’t told him anything, yet. He hasn’t…” I started to explain before she interrupted.
“Working your way up to it? I’m sure he can tell you’re something different. Don’t be afraid of him, child.”
“It’s not that. He…” I said before she cut me off again.
“Wait a moment before you say anything else. Did Maggie put up the privacy spell?” she asked in a serious tone.
“Good. Then we can speak freely. I’ve put one here as well. Go ahead.”
“Octavia, I haven’t heard from her since she left to go to the nest and find Godric!”
“You mean he came alone to speak with you? I would have thought she would have at least introduced you. Goodness knows what she said to him. Oh Lord, maybe he told her to leave you two to speak. I’ll have to speak to her about her behavior,” she said, clucking her tongue.
“No! That’s what I keep trying to tell you! He didn’t come at all and she hasn’t come back!”
“Oh my?! That’s it? Oh my?!”
“You must calm down, child.”
“Has she called you since you talked to her after we arrived?”
“No, she has not. When is the last time you two spoke?”
“What did she say?”
“First she called to tell me that there was a cloaking spell or something at the nest and she needed to get around it. Then a couple of hours later she called to tell me that Godric wasn’t there.”
“He wasn’t home?”
“Right. I thought she might be waiting for him to come back because she said she was going to stay a while longer. She was in a hurry, and then I heard her speak to someone else in the background, but I couldn’t hear their conversation.”
“I will contact her.”
“Octavia, her phone is going to voicemail. I’ve called several times since I woke earlier this evening. I thought she might have gotten back while I was sleeping and was asleep herself, but now I’m thinking that might not be the case.”
“Did you go to her room?”
“Well, no, I…”
“Why in the world not?”
“I was… There’s someone else staying on this floor with me. I mean, there are a couple of people on this floor.”
“Why would that stop you? They don’t know that you know about vampires, if that’s what they are. They might not even be anything other than human and if they’re not… Well, what difference would that make? Child, you are part of this world now. You need to begin to accept that. No one will bother you. Don’t make a point of trying to figure anyone out and they will more than likely ignore you as well.”
“Logically, I know you’re right, but… Earlier, after I finished my dinner, I pushed the room service cart outside of the room and for some reason felt that I should push it far down the hall away from where I was staying. I don’t know why exactly, but I had a feeling that I shouldn’t let anyone know there was someone here.”
“That was probably a good idea, just to err on the side of caution.”
“Exactly! Anyway, I was just closing my door when I heard another open further down the hall and I watched through the peephole to see who it was.”
“Who was it?”
“When we arrived yesterday and were getting on the elevator, I tripped and fell into a man that was already in there. He was exiting the elevator. It was him in the hallway.”
“Did you get a bad feeling about him when you met him?”
“No. He seemed friendly enough.”
“Then why are you afraid now?”
“He passed by the door and then came back. Octavia, he stared at the door looking between the entry keypad and the door as if he was trying to listen or something. Then it looked like he sniffed, almost as if he smelled the door before he stopped.”
“Did you open the door? Is that why he stopped?”
“Fuck no! In fact, I had my hand clasped over my mouth even though I was fairly certain he couldn’t hear me. No, he stopped because someone else said something to him. Then he gestured in the direction of my door and shook his head to tell whoever it was that no one was in here.”
“What did the other person do?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t see them. When I heard the other voice, I stepped far away from the door, and then went in the other room. Still, it freaked me out enough that I don’t want to go wandering around the halls. I’m sure you’re right that no one will pay attention to me if I don’t pay attention to them, but why would this guy try to… I mean, why would it matter to him if I, or anyone else, was here?”
“What did he look like?”
“Um, he’s big. I mean, he’s tall and looks like a body builder. His chest was as hard as a rock when I collided with him.”
“You said he smelled the door? Are you certain?”
“No, but that’s what it looked like he was doing.”
“Hmm, I believe, child, that you have someone important on your floor.”
“What does that mean?”
“What it means is that he sounds like a bodyguard of some type and he was just taking precautions for his employer. Don’t take it personally.”
“Is that normal?”
“Of course it is! Have you never seen anyone famous in public? They are always surrounded by people who protect them.”
“You mean, you think there is someone famous staying a few doors down from me?”
“Perhaps. Whoever it is, I’m sure they are no threat to you if they are watching out for their own safety. Just leave them alone and be polite if you see the man again.”
“But why would he smell my door?”
“My dear child, why do you think he would do that?”
“He’s a Were!”
“That was my first thought as well. Now, before you get yourself worked up into a tizzy, remember, Supernatural beings have been around longer than you can imagine. If this man is a Were, it does not mean he is protecting anyone other than an important, or possibly very paranoid, human. Weres do not run in the same circles as most other Supernaturals and they certainly do not work for vampires. So, get that thought out of your head. However, since they live as humans, they, obviously, work for humans. It is not uncommon for a Were to work as a bodyguard.”
My mind immediately shot to an image of Tray observing and overseeing the goings on at the tavern. He said he was there for protection. He was protecting the humans. He was protecting the humans from the vampires. He tried to protect me from Eric. I didn’t appreciate or agree with his effort at the time, since it almost killed me, but I could understand his actions better now that I had felt that fear. I wasn’t afraid of the vampires that I knew, but it was apparent I might possibly be afraid of those I didn’t. I supposed I would have to get over that.
If he was a Were, he undoubtedly knew this hotel was safe for other Supernaturals and was only looking out for his employer. I felt much better after coming to that realization. I would make sure I had no reason for him to be worried about me being here, though I still didn’t intend to advertise my presence.
“OK. So, you think I should go to her room?”
“No. I will contact Amelia and find out what is happening. You should get some rest. You sound very tired. I will tell her to call you or contact you myself once I locate her. More than likely, she is in her room and perhaps has turned off her phone or allowed the battery to run down. If I cannot get through to her, I will have someone from the front desk go to her room. Do not worry, child. I am certain that everything is fine. Amelia would call me if she was in any sort of danger. I am surprised that no one has called me to verify her presence at the nest since Godric wasn’t there, but I do believe that there is no cause for alarm.”
“Thanks, Octavia. I feel better now that we’ve talked.”
“Not at all, child. I’m glad you called me to inform me of the situation. Get some sleep. I will speak with you soon.”
I heard the line cut off before I could say anything else. I was more relieved than I thought I would be now that Octavia was getting involved. She would know what to do or who to contact. Fatigue washed over me after hanging up the phone and I made my way to take care of my bathroom needs. After changing into my pajamas, I plugged my phone into the charger next to my bed, and crawled into the covers where I fell asleep quickly.
When I awoke, it was dark again. I’m never going to see the fucking sun if I keep staying up all night! When I sat up in bed and stretched, it occurred to me that I hadn’t dreamt of Eric. That made me both relieved and sad at the same time. I was happy not to have had another dream of us arguing, yet sad that I didn’t get my nightly dose. I went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. I didn’t bother to look in the mirror, but decided to go ahead and order dinner before taking a shower.
I entered the main room only to stop dead in my tracks. I took a sharp intake of breath when I saw the object of my adoration standing in front of the fireplace, staring at the small fire housed there. Oh! He’s here! I’m still asleep! His head rose as I entered and I saw him take a deep breath, letting his shoulders relax slightly when he exhaled, but he didn’t turn around. I wasted no time moving down the steps to him and wrapping my arms around his back. I felt the tension leave my body at once.
“I thought I missed you tonight,” I whispered into his back.
“Never,” he said in a hushed voice.
We stood like that for what felt like hours. I simply held him around the waist while his hands held mine and rubbed small circles on the backs of them.
“So, who’s dreaming tonight?”
He let out a small, short laugh and shrugged, then turned and wrapped me in his long arms, pulling me close to his chest. I felt the barest of kisses placed on the top of my head. He leaned forward and rested his cheek on me. We both sighed. I looked up, causing him to move his head and look down at me. He opened his mouth to speak, but I wrapped my hand around the nape of his neck and pulled him to me. The kiss started out soft and gentle, but the longer it continued, the more passionate it became. We tasted each other with licks and small bites with blunt teeth, each moaning practically in unison when the kiss deepened.
My hands gripped the back of his hair, and his hands slid up and down my back, pressing me closer to his body. One hand reached up into my hair, and I felt his fingers thread through it, holding my head in place as he devoured me with his tongue.
He pulled my head back abruptly and locked his gaze with mine. I opened my mouth to protest, but he placed one finger over my mouth.
“Not tonight. We wasted too much time last night and we have so little,” he said huskily.
He reached down and picked me up bridal-style, and carried me back into the bedroom, keeping his eyes on mine throughout. No more words were said as we undressed each other. My hands ran over his body as his did the same, and soon we were under the covers wrapped together, moaning and caressing the newly uncovered flesh of the other. He rolled us until I was underneath him and settled between my legs that automatically parted for him. His kisses rained down on my face and neck, and then he was resting on his forearms. He pulled back to look at me with a half smirk. I rolled my eyes, causing him to laugh again quietly.
“Look at me.”
I did and lost myself in the oceanic waves I saw as he watched me, too. I nodded slightly, and his smile grew as his eyes flashed darker. He lowered his face to kiss me and as his tongue entered my mouth, he entered me. It was bliss. I was never so happy to not be awake.
“So, tell me about your Eric. Who is he?”
“I…uh…well, he’s…no one. Just a guy.”
I saw him raise one eyebrow and look at me for a long moment. I could almost hear the wheels turning in his head.
“I call Bullshit,” he said calmly in his soft voice, causing me to laugh.
“You heard me. I don’t think I believe you.”
I had gotten up a few hours earlier, but my stomach was in knots both from having no word from Octavia or Maggie and in anticipation of this very conversation. I went to the roof and had been pacing for a while, trying to put into coherent thoughts what I would say when I was asked that very question. I still was not prepared with a reasonable answer. We were sitting in our usual places with a low fire burning in the pit as we talked.
“Let’s talk about something else, if you don’t mind.”
“You can trust me, Cricket. I, too, know how to keep a secret.”
I was silent for a minute, wrapping my mind around that statement. On the one hand, I did somehow feel I could trust him, but on the other hand, I didn’t know him. Of course, the night before I had tried making him tell me anything I could drag out of him about his own life, so it was only fair that I would share, too.
Then something glaring smacked me in the face. An uncomfortable feeling crept over me, and I unconsciously drew my knees up to my chest in the chair and wrapped my arms around them.
“How do you know my name?”
He quickly averted his eyes to watch the flames, but the look on his face told me that he hadn’t intended on making that slip of the tongue. Did he know me? Did he know who I was? Did he know what I was? Why was he insistent on me telling him about Eric? Oh fuck, fuck, fuck!
“It is your name, is it not?”
“It is, but how do you know that?”
A moment passed while, I assumed, he was trying to find an appropriate answer. Finally, he looked at me and sighed.
“That’s the name your friend called you.”
“What friend? When?”
He hadn’t seen me with anyone else that I was aware of. I hadn’t been around Maggie in two days. Had he been watching me since we arrived? Did he follow us from New Orleans? Was he one of the spies Octavia mentioned? Shit, I need to get out of here! My slight panic must have shown on my face even as I tried to hide it.
“Don’t be afraid. I heard her say it when you were speaking with her on the telephone.”
What the fuck? I had been alone in my room last night on the phone with Octavia. There was a privacy spell. I spoke to her when I was inside the room! How the hell did he…?
“No. The night we met. Your friend had been detained and called to let you know. She addressed you as Cricket. Would you prefer if I called you something else?”
I wracked my brain trying to recall everything Maggie and I had talked about. I was sure I stepped away when I answered the call. I knew I had turned my back and walked away out of earshot while he stayed seated, and she had been whispering! There was no way he could have heard her unless… I looked at his eyes dancing in the firelight and I knew. How could I have missed it?
“Who are you?”
“Please do not be upset. I know you can tell what I am now.”
“Did someone send you?” Who would have sent him? I don’t fucking know anyone!
“I was just enjoying talking with you.”
“Jesus! Of course! It all makes perfect sense now. You let me go on and on referring to how young you are and how I wanted to help you with whatever you needed. You let me make a fucking fool of myself! I was even starting to feel…never mind. Was that fun for you? Did you have a good laugh making fun of the stupid human?!”
“I didn’t want to frighten you. It was nice to have someone to talk to.”
“Clearly, you are not as young as you look or as you pretend to be! I’m such an idiot!”
“I am sorry. I see I have spoiled this by not revealing what I am.”
“No, I can handle that! You’re not the first one I’ve met!” I shouted. I clapped my hand over my mouth and clenched my eyes shut. Shit!
“I know. I told you I knew you were keeping secrets,” he said with a small smile.
I shook my head and sighed.
“Fine. I didn’t tell you everything either, but you of all people should understand that I couldn’t share that secret. I didn’t know you and I certainly didn’t know you were…you know.”
“A vampire. Yes, you did quite well and I trust you. You should know that you can trust me as well. No one sent me. I never saw you before I met you here.”
“I guess I’ll have to trust you on that. Then again, if you wanted to do something to me, I couldn’t really do much to stop you anyway,” I said.
Of course, that wasn’t entirely true. I had my voice and it had already made one vampire draw back and cover his ears, and that vampire was ancient. Who knew what it would do to this guy? I hoped I would never have to find out, but I knew what to do if I had to. I couldn’t blame him for not revealing himself. I had my own secret, after all.
“You have no need to worry. Not only am I not hungry, but I would not do that to you without permission.”
“So, how old are you anyway?” I asked, relaxing finally back into my seat.
“Seventeen,” he said in a rough voice and chuckled.
“Ha ha, Edward,” I rolled my eyes, “How old are you really?”
“Two thousand, give or take a few decades,” he smiled.
Wait! What? He couldn’t be…but how many 2,000 year old vampires are there in Texas? Oh My God!
“Holy shit! You’re Godric!”
“You know me?”
“I’ve been waiting for you!”
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Allan Hyde as Godric
Thanks for reading!
Please leave a review!