Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with True Blood, the Southern Vampire Mysteries or their creators. No profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended. I don’t own the Viking, but I love to play with him!
A/N: Cricket & JP belong to me.
I wasn’t entirely sure how long I sat there with the phone pressed against my ear, trying to process what he’d just said, and what would happen next. I knew I had questioned in my mind if he was thinking of me, too, but I never believed it was true, not really. I mean, I’d had his blood. That’s what caused the tie that had brought him to my dreams. It didn’t work the other way around, at least I didn’t think so, and neither Godric nor Octavia had said anything to the contrary. Maybe they didn’t know? Maybe this had never happened before?
I certainly never would have thought we were having the same dream! Dreaming of someone was one thing…having the same dream?! That was…well, I didn’t even know what the fuck that was! I mean, I’d never expected him to be thinking of me at all. Hell, I thought he never wanted to see me again!
Wait! Wait! Wait! Vampires didn’t dream! Eric even said so.
Still, his words had stopped me in my tracks the other night as he left my doorway, calling me ‘beautiful girl.’ At the time, I thought perhaps I had imagined it. His reaction after I had told him ‘Sweet Dreams,’ and that moment he took muttering to himself made sense now. He was questioning it, too. Was that why he said it? Was he gauging my reaction?
Then again, Godric had said it actually was possible for them to dream, though it was rare. The vampire had to be overwhelmed by something. I remembered he’d said that older vampires who rose before the sun set and remained alert before it rose often spent their time contemplating things and attempting to resolve them.
One hour per thousand years.
Was that what was happening?
My dreams had been occurring every night. Surely it hadn’t been that long for Eric as well, had it? How many times had it happened? Oh. My. God! The things I’d said to him in those dreams!!! Dream-Eric kept trying to get me to admit I loved him. He was so sad when he thought I wanted to hurt him intentionally. He was so upset the night I hadn’t dreamed, when, in his words, I didn’t come to him. He’d said he’d waited, but I never came.
Was that all really Eric, the real Eric?
I remembered that time he’d insisted he was the one dreaming and we’d argued. Maybe we had only been thinking of each other? Maybe we hadn’t shared the same dream at the same time? No. Even I couldn’t believe that any longer.
I started giggling when I remembered that, even in my dreams, he was jealous of Godric sleeping in the next room. Of course, I hadn’t told him Godric’s name in our dream, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. He was jealous enough of my relationship with Godric in our real lives. I shook my head and sighed. Silly vampire. He would just to have to get over that.
I wondered what Godric had told him. Had he revealed to him what his friend or Octavia had said about us being connected in multiple ways? Had he told Eric that he believed it as well? Probably not.
Telling Eric about his conversation with his friend may have led to the rest of the conversation with her about Muses and Sirens. I wasn’t certain they’d talked about that yet. Still, I hoped not.
I wanted to discuss all those things regarding myself with Eric while we were alone, no possible interruptions. I still wasn’t fully convinced that my influence, or whatever it was, didn’t work on vampires as Godric had claimed, but I would rather attempt to find out on my own than have Eric believe it only because Godric said so. I mean, what if Godric was wrong?
In any case, I figured that one big thing would be more than enough for one night’s conversation and the shared dream thing was pretty fucking big! I wasn’t really even sure how we would approach the topic, least of all discuss it or really, I guess, what if anything we might be able to solve. More to the point, what was there that could we solve, or even do about it? Yet, it seemed it was another something we would have to work out together.
Whatever happened, that simple word made my heart flutter, and I let myself smile. I saved his number in my phone and carried it to the counter.
I wondered when and at what time he would return. I was too excited to sit still, so decided I had to get out of the room for the time being. I had no intention of leaving the hotel, but I could head down to the bar, have a drink, and watch the karaoke. Hell, I was in so much of a better mood, maybe I’d sing! I had seen the affect it had on the strangers here. On the other hand, knowing there were more than likely some Supes in the hotel, and not necessarily knowing their type gave me pause. I figured I’d just play it by ear.
I went into the bedroom and returned everything to the closet, changing into dark jeans and a sheer, light gray blouse with darker gray swirls over a white camisole. The blouse was lower in the back and flowed around my hips while the front draped just above the button of my jeans. It was a V-neck and tied above my midriff. I applied a bit of makeup and lip gloss.
I had only towel dried my hair, so I blew it out with the hair dryer and a round brush to smooth it and left it down. I knew I would be seeing Eric later and I didn’t want to be appear too dressed up, but I wanted to look nicer than the last two times he had seen me. Now my bruising was all gone, thanks to him, I felt good. Actually, I felt better than good. I didn’t want to jinx it though, but I realized briefly that I actually felt happy.
Returning to the kitchen, I grabbed my phone, wallet, and keycard, shoving everything in my pockets and practically skipped out the door.
“Oomph!” I grunted as I ran face-first, into a wall.
What in the…?
OK, so it wasn’t an actual wall, but it sure as Hell felt like one! When I looked up, I realized it was the massive back of my giant, weirdo stalker. The fuck?
He was facing away from me, standing in front of my door with crossed arms. His body didn’t budge an inch at our collision, however, he turned his head and looked down at me. I saw a slow, amused grin grow upon his face as he tried to unsuccessfully contain in his chuckle.
Maybe I should have been frightened, but I was in much too good of a mood to let his creepy stalker tendencies ruin it, and then his smile completely disarmed me. It was a little reminiscent of our first elevator ride; save for the fact that it wasn’t his chest I smashed into this time. I also no longer had the uncomfortable feelings I had experienced over the last several days whenever I either saw, or tried avoiding, him.
I glared at him, but my glare held little anger simply because I couldn’t help the small smile that crept onto my face that mirrored his.
“Um, hi. Could let me out of my room, please?” I asked politely.
He stepped forward, then turned to face me while still holding his smile.
“This seems to be becoming a regular occurrence. Perhaps I should start wearing protective gear?” he joked in his deep voice.
I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah, well, if I knew you were guarding the door, I might not have barreled into you,” I quipped.
I watched while he suddenly stopped laughing. A surprised look took over his face until it turned serious.
“Oh. I thought…that is, I’m here to…this is ridiculous…,” he rolled his eyes and cleared his throat, “I’m Mustapha,” he said as he held his hand out and smiled again.
“I’m Cricket,” I took his offered hand and shook. His very large hand dwarfed mine entirely.
“Yes, I know, Miss Kerrigan.”
My hand pulled back abruptly, though not from fright. It was, I guess, more of a surprise. You would have thought with everything else that had happened to me lately, and the way I’d seen him smelling me in the elevator, not to mention lurking around my door, that his statement had freaked me out a little, but it really was quite the opposite.
No, it was that I was more curious than anything. Maybe my head was still too caught up in my conversation with Eric. I mean, he saved me from Fuckface, surely he could take on this guy, right? Then again, he wasn’t here to take care of anything. I decided I would play nice.
“OK, Mustapha, why are you creeping around in the hall?” I asked.
OK, mostly nice.
“I wasn’t creeping!” he defended himself.
“If you say so. What are you doing standing right outside my door, and more to the point, how do you know my name?”
He huffed and rolled his eyes again, mumbling to himself, but I caught it, “I cannot believe he didn’t tell her.”
“Tell me what? What are you talking about?”
“I was asked to, well, it’s as you said. I was, that is, I am guarding the door to this room.”
“What? Why? Who asked you to do that?”
“Eric Northman,” he said gruffly and his irritation was obvious.
My eyes opened wide! He was a bodyguard, just as Octavia and I had suspected, but why was he guarding my door? Eric wasn’t even in the room.
“OK. Well, Eric’s not here, so…”
“Are you going somewhere?” he interrupted me, noting my clothing.
“Oh, um, yeah. I’m going downstairs.”
We stood looking at each other for a moment. It was a bit awkward. At least I could finally put a name to my stalker. I was more than relieved that he was guarding Eric although, I still wasn’t sure why a millennia old vampire needed a bodyguard.
Then I gave myself a mental slap on the forehead. Of course Eric needed a bodyguard! He was completely vulnerable during the day.
“So… It was nice to meet you, officially, Mustapha. Like I said, Eric’s not here.”
He nodded, but didn’t move.
“OK. Well, um, I guess I’ll see you later. I mean, you’re staying on this floor, right?”
He nodded again, but there was a slight smirk on his face. I suddenly felt ridiculous for being so afraid of him before, and then having lied about the location of my room. Of course, at the time, I had no idea Eric was here at the hotel at all, and more than that, would have had no reason to think this guy knew him.
If I had…well, to be honest, if I had, I probably would have tried to avoid him even more than I had, considering the fact that I wouldn’t have wanted to inadvertently run into Eric. That would have made me the stalker.
“OK. Um…see ya’,” I said, allowing the door to close behind me.
I started walking toward the elevator and I heard him begin to walk behind me, but it didn’t creep me out as it would have only the day before. In fact, now that he knew Eric wasn’t with me, maybe he had decided to go out as well.
We reached the elevator and he pushed the down button before I could. I smiled up at him and he returned it. There wasn’t any small talk while we waited for the car to arrive or during the ride down. It wasn’t uncomfortable, just quiet. He seemed as if he was a quiet guy.
Then I remembered I had been told that a Were who worked as a bodyguard was often a lone wolf. It made me slightly sad for Mustapha, but I also remembered Octavia’s advice. Ignore them and they’ll ignore you. Now that I had met him, I couldn’t just simply ignore him! He seemed nice enough, but I certainly wasn’t going to strike up a conversation, asking if he belonged to a pack. Who knew how he would react if he knew I was aware of his two-natured status?
The car stopped at the first floor and I stepped out with Mustapha in tow. I wondered where he was going while I made my way to the staircase in the lobby, leading me to the restaurant. I wondered why he wasn’t sleeping if he had to watch out for Eric all day.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and pulled it out, stepping aside to let Mustapha pass, but he just stopped behind me. Okay…
I saw the text was from Eric’s number, and immediately smiled.
- Min Sǫngr, Sadly it appears I will be later to return than I had hoped. It is unlikely that there will be much time before the sun is ready to rise. I will try. However, I do not wish to make a promise that I cannot keep. If I do not see you, rest well. I look forward to the next time we are together. – Until then, E.
My shoulders sagged, but I was only slightly disappointed. He was looking forward to seeing me again, but he was where he was needed. I hoped that everything was going well, and I was extremely happy that he had thought to text me, letting me know what was going on without just blowing me off or having someone else do it. My smile grew again as I texted back.
- Don’t worry about it. I understand and I appreciate you letting me know. Thank you. I look forward to seeing you again, too. Be safe and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help, though I’m not sure what that would be. I’ll see you tomorrow night. – Yours, C.
My phone vibrated again before I could return it to my pocket. He replied with only one word, but that one word caused the butterflies in my stomach to dance and a surge of warmth shot through my heart.
Yes. Yes, I was.
I slid my phone in my pocket with a ridiculous, goofy smile on my face and sighed. I would see him tomorrow. Tomorrow couldn’t come fast enough!
I began walking again and heard Mustapha walking behind me, too. I continued a few steps into the lobby, saw a door for the Ladies room, and made my way there. I didn’t really have to go, but I needed a moment to figure out what was going on without making a scene.
I was probably blowing it out of proportion. Who knew? Maybe he had stopped to tie his shoe or something equally innocuous while I was texting. It was a coincidence. I went ahead and forced myself to pee, then washed my hands.
My makeup didn’t really matter anymore since I wasn’t going to see Eric, but I checked myself out in the mirror anyway. When I thought of Eric, I saw my face in the mirror reflect the blush that rose on my cheeks. I rolled my eyes and giggled. JP was right. I had it bad.
I took quite a bit longer than necessary before I decided to leave the restroom. When I opened the door to the lobby, I didn’t see Mustapha and sighed with relief after I stepped out. Then, peripherally, I saw movement on my left. When I turned, I saw him standing a couple of feet from the door.
He gave me a small smile, but it fell when he saw my face… My goofy smile was long gone.
He looked confused and…was he surprised?
“Are you following me?” I asked.
His answer surprised me. What was wrong with this guy? Was he lonely? I mean, it seemed obvious that he was following me, but to just admit it like that? Did he think we’d just hang out because his boss wasn’t around or something?
“Let me rephrase that. Why are you following me? Because to be honest, I just got over the idea that you were a stalker, only to find out that you are, in fact, a stalker,” I threw up my hands exasperated.
“I’m not stalking you,” he said calmly.
“Really? I’m pretty sure that’s what a stalker would say. Don’t you think?”
He smirked, but not in a creepy way. He seemed amused.
“I don’t see what’s so funny about you following me around. First, I see you sniffing around my door, more than once I might add, and now you are following me around the hotel? What the Hell, man?” I asked.
I realized my slip up when his eyes tightened at the word ‘sniffing,’ but I could explain that away, right? It was just an expression. I hadn’t meant it the way it sounded, had I? I didn’t think I did. Oh, well, it was too late to take it back. His smirk was gone and he took a step toward me. I held my ground with my chin up.
“I am not stalking you, Miss Kerrigan,” he said quietly.
“Then what are you…?”
“I told you.”
“Yeah, you said you were guarding Eric, but he’s not here.”
“No. I said he asked me.”
“Yeah, but…” then my brain finally caught on, “You mean you’re…”
“Guarding you, yes.”
“Yes,” his smirk was back, probably from the shocked expression on my face.
It was all I could think to say. To be fair, why in the world would I have ever thought he was acting as my bodyguard? That thought hadn’t and would’ve never occurred to me. I didn’t need a bodyguard.
Well, unless Fuckface was around. I hated that asswipe. A shiver went down my spine while I recalled what he’d done. It must have shown on my face.
“Are you all right? I’m sorry if I’ve upset you. I should have been clearer when we spoke upstairs.”
I waved off his concern as my mind wrapped around the fact that Eric arranged a bodyguard for me, his bodyguard. Surely he could use Mustapha wherever he was. I mean, I knew that Weres and vampires didn’t exactly get along, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t with him in a house filled with vampires.
Although it appeared that they must be OK with each other, or why would he be working for Eric? On the one hand, it was very sweet of Eric to be concerned for me. On the other hand, I was slightly discomforted by the fact that he felt I needed protection in the first place.
I moved to a bench along the wall and sat. He came with me, of course. I motioned for him to sit beside me, and, after a cursory glance around the room, he did. I could see the concern on his face. He really thought he had upset me.
“Don’t worry. I’m not mad, but I do wish you would have said something.”
“At first, I thought you knew.”
“Yeah, well, I think it was pretty obvious that I didn’t.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry about that. I generally keep my distance.”
“Really?” I laughed out loud, “You mean the distance between you and the front of someone’s door?”
He gave a sheepish smile.
“Sorry about that,” he mumbled.
“It’s OK. Really. So,” I slapped my hands on my knees, “since you’re going to follow me around all night anyway, why don’t we…” I trailed off as I looked across the room and gasped.
He wasn’t supposed to be there. I stood, but my body refused to move any further. Mustapha immediately stood as well and followed my line of sight, but I wasn’t paying attention to him. I was focused on the tall, lean figure on the other side of the room. Why is he here? I watched as he turned, and his blue eyes sparkled as they caught the light. Then he saw me and a huge smile covered his face as our eyes locked on one another.
I knew my smile matched his because I felt like my face was splitting in two. We stood still for what seemed to last forever, but in reality was no more than a second, maybe two.
Then we were moving, almost running, toward each other, and I jumped at him only to be caught in his long arms and spun around as my arms locked around his neck. We were both still smiling when he set me down.
“I missed you, Harlot.”
“I missed you more, Strumpet.”
I threw my arms around my best friend again, and he hugged me just as fiercely. I could feel my eyes filling with tears and when I pulled back, I saw his were as well. We both laughed and wiped our eyes with the backs of our hands.
Anyone looking on would have thought we hadn’t seen each other in years instead of merely weeks, but for us it had been forever.
“What the Hell, you jackass? Why didn’t you call?” I laughed.
I slapped his arm playfully, and he put his hands on his hips and rolled his eyes.
“Hello? What the fuck kind of surprise would it be if I told you I was coming, dumbass?”
“Fair point,” I conceded.
He laughed and nudged me in the shoulder. I looked around and frowned.
“Where’s Russell? Didn’t he come with you?”
“Oh, he did, but he dropped me off, and said he needed to go to the…”
“Aviary,” I said, cutting him off.
He looked at me quizzically.
“Sookie and I are calling it the aviary. I’ll tell you later,” I said in a voice so low it was almost a whisper.
“Got it. Yeah, he went there. He told me what was going on and said he’d be back later.”
“That’s good. I don’t know everything, but I think that’s a good thing. OK. Grab your shit and let’s go.”
“OK,” he said, and turned to retrieve his suitcases, only to find they weren’t there, “Hey, where’s my stuff?”
I looked in the direction of the elevators and saw Barry standing there, holding his suitcases and looking at us expectantly. I twined my fingers through JP’s and started walking, pulling him along.
“Never mind. Barry’s got them. Come on. Do you have your key?”
“Who the fuck is Barry?” he whispered.
“The Bellboy,” I said, nodding in his direction.
“Seriously? You know him by name? What? Are you moving in? Leaving our hovel behind? What about me? Are you leaving me, too?” he sniffed, wiping a fake tear from his eye.
“Shut up. I only know him by name. He brought my bags up when I checked in, and he’s delivered room service a couple of times. Oh my God, JP! You are so going to love it here!”
He looked around as we walked.
“Are you kidding me? I love it already.”
“Just wait until you see the suites. You’re on the twentieth floor, right?”
“Yeah, how’d you know that?”
“This is a very special kind of hotel.”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard. I guess the twentieth floor is the only place for us to stay?”
“Actually, no, there’s the penthouse, too. My friend is staying there, but I haven’t actually been to his room.”
“His room? My, my, how the mighty have fallen…to the gutter with the rest of us,” he winked.
“Fuck off. It’s not like that. Now be quiet,” I said as we reached Barry and the elevator.
“Hey, Barry. How’s it going?”
“Good, thanks. How are you?”
He looked between JP and me, and smiled. His smile faltered slightly when Mustapha stepped into the car with us before the door could close, and he turned forward toward the door as it slid shut. He pressed the button for the twentieth floor, then turned slightly toward JP. He opened his mouth, but I answered before he could ask.
“He’s on the same floor as me,” I said, smiling.
Barry nodded, but didn’t say anything. I could see his shoulders tense as did Mustapha’s. The ride was quiet and JP looked over at me, questioning. I shook my head and mouthed, “Later.”
He nodded and I stepped in front of him to put my key in keyhole for the twentieth floor.
“Fancy,” JP muttered.
“You have no idea.”
We all stepped out of the car when it reached our floor and Barry picked up JP’s suitcases. Mustapha, on the other hand, stepped to the side a few feet to give us room.
“I can show him how to get into the room, Barry, don’t worry about it.”
“That’s OK. It’s my…”
“Job. Yes, I know, but he’s my best friend and I think I can handle it.”
Barry looked undecided, but I could tell he was slightly relieved to be able to leave the floor so quickly. He nodded and handed JP his suitcases.
“That’s my room,” I said as we passed it.
“Awesome! I think mine’s next door!”
JP looked so excited, I could see the excitement in the bounce of his step. Mustapha followed along silently while I began to tell JP about my suite.
“Stop! I bet mine is exactly the same and I want to savor it.”
I rolled my eyes and giggled, but acquiesced. We reached the door of his room, which was indeed, next to mine. I showed him how to use the keycode and looked down so he would have privacy. After he was set and opened the door, he stepped inside first and stopped. I remembered having the same reaction. As I guessed, it was exactly the same as mine.
“The bedroom’s over there.”
JP hurried to take his suitcases inside and I heard him gasp when he opened the bathroom door.
“Oh my God! I fucking love it here!”
He came scurrying out of the bedroom with the look of a kid at Christmas! I let him explore for a few minutes, keeping quiet, and watching his reactions. It was hilarious because I could picture myself doing the same thing.
“Come on. Let’s go back to my room.”
“Peej. I know this is your suite, but it’s Russell’s, too, and I feel kind of funny hanging out in here. I have my suite to myself. Do you mind? Trust me. It’s exactly the same as yours, so you can look to your heart’s content.”
He looked only slightly disappointed, but nodded, and followed me out. Mustapha was still standing on the other side of the hallway, waiting outside the room when we exited. JP looked at him, and then to me.
“Mustapha, this is my best friend, JP. JP, this is Mustapha, my, um, my bodyguard.”
JP’s eyes grew wide as he looked at the large, intimidating man before he stuck his hand out and smiled.
“Nice to meet you.”
“So, um, I don’t know the protocol or whatever,” I said to Mustapha.
He laughed genuinely and smiled down at us.
“There’s no protocol. If it’s all right with you, I’m going to my room for a short while, but I’ll be back.”
“Dude, seriously? I didn’t even know you were here until about an hour ago. It’s fine with me. You’re fine. Go. I don’t need anything. Though, if it matters, we might go back downstairs later. I don’t know yet.”
“Then I’ll be sure to return shortly.”
He left as I unlocked my room and gestured for JP to go in first. He glanced around and smiled.
“It’s gorgeous,” JP said, turning toward me with a giddy look on his face.
“I know, right? Just like yours. You want anything?” I asked, walking toward the bar.
“Oh, are we having cocktails?”
“What do you have?”
“Any fucking thing you want,” I said, smiling.
“I love it here!”
“You should know, I’ve become a bit of an alcoholic, I think. I actually have an unlimited supply of moonshine.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t actually know what it is. It’s my Magic Moonshine. The fucking jug never empties!” I pointed to it on the kitchen counter where I’d left it next to a used glass.
“In that thermos?”
“Right. I forgot. OK, to you it looks like a thermos, but to me it looks like an old-timey moonshine jug, complete with three X’s on the side.”
“Hmm. You really have been drinking a lot.”
I started laughing and he joined me.
“I’m serious. It’s a witch thing. I mean, a witch made it for me.”
He stopped laughing.
“You’ve been drinking some potion a witch made for you.”
“Octavia made it. I told you about her. At least I think I did. It’s fine. She wouldn’t do anything to me, I don’t think. No, she wouldn’t. She’s Maggie’s mentor. Anyway, you can get buzzed and drink as much as you want, but you will never have a hangover.”
While I was speaking, I grabbed a bottle of cherry vodka from the bar and a couple of glasses, carrying everything to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and took out a couple of Energy drinks. When I turned around to mix the drinks, I saw that JP had brought over a bottle of Tequila.
“Oh, um, check for limes. We might have to call downstairs and order them or something.”
“No worries,” he said as he opened the refrigerator door, “Jesus! They think of everything! Who would have thought they would have actual limes in a hotel room?”
“It’s a suite and they do?” I asked, looking in with him.
I hadn’t even noticed them. In fact, I hadn’t really noticed much of the food in the room. I knew there were snacks, because I’d had popcorn and Maggie had had cheese and crackers, but now that I looked, I noticed lemons, limes, fresh fruits, and several cold drink mixers.
They must have restocked when they came in to clean the room. I guess they must have also noticed my penchant for drinking, due to the fact that there were so many accompaniments for that purpose. I had never seen so many mixers outside of a grocery store. When I glanced over at the bar, I also noted the full bottles of alcohol and a few new varieties. I hadn’t actually seen the tequila until JP brought it over. It was as if someone had told them things that I liked or would want.
“Pull out some of the cheeses. There are crackers and plates in the cabinets.”
JP nodded and set about preparing our snack. Once everything was ready, we decided on the vodka for the moment, and carried everything outside to the balcony.
“OK, Vixen. Spill,” he said, taking a long drink.
So I did.
As we snacked, I gave him an overview of my time with Godric, leaving out his turmoil and his decision. I told him about the theories of my ancestry and the stories Godric had told me, both from the history he knew and what his friend had said. JP sat with wide eyes as I recounted my visit with Octavia and the experiments with my voice that we had done while I was there, and the wards around the room.
I included everything I could, apart from the things I felt were private for Godric, and even Eric. We talked about my lunch and walk outside with Sookie. He was rightfully infuriated about Fuckface, though he loved the new nickname. He swooned over my rescue by Eric.
I finished up by telling him about the night before, which he had already heard a bit when we spoke on the phone, though I didn’t mention the revelation of the shared dreams. I thought it was better to wait until Eric and I had a chance to talk it over before I said anything. That would remain between us, at least for now.
He remained quiet through most of my story, only asking a few questions here and there to clarify or react. There were many exclamations of ‘holy shit,’ ‘no fucking way,’ and ‘Oh my God,’ but he was as eager as a young child to learn more. It was wonderful to get it all out of my head, especially to JP.
When I was done, he was all but speechless. I asked about his week with Russell, but he said we’d talk about it the next day since there was nothing he could say that was as interesting as what I had been through. I disagreed, but didn’t want to press it. He would regale me with his tales of sex and debauchery later, of that I was certain.
We took everything back into the room and cleaned up. Then we gathered our necessities for the tequila shots and headed to the sofa.
“So, Sookie is here, too?”
“Um, yeah, she’s actually there, you know, at…”
“The aviary,” he finished for me.
“With them. Yeah.”
“What’s up with that anyway?”
“Well, you never know who might be listening. I don’t know if Russell told you that this place is run by vampires and Weres, so it’s better to be as vague as possible. We’re calling it the aviary instead of the nest. I don’t know what would be recognizable and if it would be a problem for us, you know, humans to know about it.”
“But you’re not human anymore, right?”
I rolled my eyes, “Of course I’m human,” I sighed.
“No, I just meant, fuck, I don’t know what I mean. I mean, Maggie said…I don’t even know how to process it all.”
“Peej, I’ve already been telling you some of this when we’ve talked.”
“No, I know, but it’s just…so much.”
“Tell me about it.”
“So, you’re still you, and you’re still human. Well, I mean, mostly or whatever. I mean you’ve got something else in you just like Sookie. She’s a telepath for certain, like we’d guessed at Dan’s, right? So, you’re really a what?”
“I don’t know really. I haven’t figured it all out, yet. I mean, Godric is trying to help, but, so far, nobody really knows because no one believes in them or I don’t know. They thought all the Sirens were dead and the Muses are around, but sort of mythical or some shit. All we can sort of agree on is that I’m descended from Muses, but that could mean a couple of different things.”
“I know, right? Oh, and yeah. Sookie’s really a telepath. Actually, I think Barry might be one, too.”
“Yeah. I think so. I mean, how would I know? I just had a feeling and I suggested to Sookie that she meet him.”
“What’s with the face?”
“Uh, the face you make every time her name is mentioned. You’re grimacing.”
“No, I’m not,” I smiled weakly.
“Dish!” he ordered.
“Fine. I’m…I’m jealous.”
“Jealous? Why in the fuck…”
Just then his phone chimed. He pulled it out to read a text and I watched his face transform into one of a love sick puppy. It was so fucking cute. It made me want to pinch his cheeks and hug him. He typed back a reply and looked up at me with a sheepish grin.
“Yeah,” he said, turning redder.
“I didn’t realize how late it was, but…”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Go. We have tomorrow. Besides, you still need to tell me what that blush is about, you Tramp,” I giggled as we stood.
“OK. I’ll call you when I get up.”
When we reached the door, I grabbed him around the waist, and he hugged me in return.
“I really, really missed you,” I said.
He opened the door and gave a final wave as he walked to his room. I didn’t see Mustapha, so I assumed he had gone to bed. That was perfectly fine with me.
I cleaned up the main room and closed the balcony doors, but left them unlocked just in case.
After I finished getting ready for bed, I decided to lower the shades to block out the sun. It would be dawn soon and, if nothing else, it would keep the sun out of my eyes while I slept. I climbed into the bed and turned out the light. As I snuggled in, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
My best friend was here.
Then I felt the familiar and very welcome feeling of peace wash over me. Someone else was here as well.
“May I join you, Min Sǫngr?” his low, gravelly voice asked in the dark.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Sean Hayes as JP
Michael Clarke Duncan as Mustapha
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