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: I want to again thank all of you for nominating both this story and ‘Into the Blood’ for several of the YWB Awards! I truly appreciate it!
Now…*rubs hands together*…who’s up for some lemonade?
“May I join you, Min Sǫngr?” his low, gravelly voice asked in the dark.
An exhilarated shiver ran down my spine at the sound of his voice. My heart swelled and an uncontrollable grin plastered itself on my face. After spending my night having unloaded everything that had been weighing me down to JP, my mind felt light for the first time in weeks. I was ready to spend some quality time with Eric, even if it was limited due to the pending sunrise. I reached over to the lamp next to my bed.
“You do realize I can see you perfectly in the dark,” he said with a chuckle.
“Yes, but I can’t see you,” I replied, turning on the light.
Once I saw him, I couldn’t help the flurry of butterflies that took residence in my stomach. There he stood in all his glory, looking breathtaking as ever in his tight, black tee shirt and black leather jacket…and he was all mine.
My tall, beautiful, sexy Viking.
“How was your evening?” He asked as he casually removed his jacket.
“JP is here, and as wonderful as it is to see him, my night just became better,” I answered, trying in vain not to think about what he might remove next while maintaining control.
“Hmm. Mine as well,” he said with a wink.
I sat up and pulled the covers back on his side of the bed, watching with rapt attention as he sat on the edge to remove his boots and socks. Then he rose to stand at the side of the bed and pulled his shirt over his head. I stared, barely able to keep myself from drooling after his hands moved to his belt buckle, slowly opening it, popping the top button of his jeans, and gauging my reaction to his actions. My eyes widened slightly at the growing bulge in his jeans and I felt a tingling between my legs. I heard him inhale and a soft growl quietly expelled from his luscious mouth.
At the sound, my eyes snapped to his, not knowing if I should continue watching his striptease or look away. He smirked, no doubt at the look on my face, the way my heartbeat had sped up, or how my breathing had become slightly heavier. He must have sensed my hesitation when my hand moved slightly, blindly reaching for the lamp again.
“You do not need to turn it off for my modesty. I have told you before. I am not ashamed of my body. I want you to see what you do to me.”
My gaze held with his briefly before traveling down his well-defined chest and abdominal muscles. I wanted to run my tongue between every inch of them! Without my consent, my eyes ran lower, to the V of his hips and the light, blond, happy trail of hair revealing itself to me while he slowly opened his jeans, one button at a time, until his erection sprang free. He wore nothing underneath.
Unconsciously, I licked my lips when I saw his cock twitch. I swallowed thickly, watching him remove the pants entirely. He chuckled softly and I moved my eyes back to his. They were dark and stormy blue, crashing waves swirling with hooded lust. That smirk never left his face.
“Did…” I squeaked out before clearing my throat, “Did everything go all right tonight? Has anyone found him?”
“Was that what you were thinking about?” he asked in a throaty whisper while he slid into the bed next to me.
“Um…yes?” I whispered while he moved closer, causing my body to tremble in excitement at having him so near.
“If that is your concern at the moment, then, yes, all is well. Yet, somehow I do not believe that was what was on your mind.”
He braced himself on one elbow while he slid his other hand up the back of my head and gripped my hair, burying his face into the side of my neck and inhaling deeply. He ran his nose along my ear gently, then took my lobe into his mouth and tugged on it. My eyes fluttered closed and I sank back into the pillows at the head of the bed.
His body moved over one side of mine, pressing firmly against me as he continued marking me with his scent all the way down my neck to my collarbone, licking and sucking my skin along his path. I moaned at his actions and my back arched off of the bed. My hands found their way to the back of his neck and fisted in his hair.
I felt his hand glide down the other side of my body to the hem of my tank top. Without stopping his other movements, he slid it under my shirt, then gently moved my shirt up to uncover my breast. My eyes opened to watch him knead the flesh and roll my pebbled nipple between his thumb and forefinger until his cool, wet tongue replaced his fingers and he took it into his mouth. His eyes lingered on mine after he bit down on my nipple, sending an electric shock throughout my body, and I writhed under his ministrations.
I rubbed my thighs together seeking any type of friction and I could feel the damp cloth between my legs as it slid against my skin. I moaned at the sensation, combined with those of his touch. God, I missed this!
“Tell me what you want,” he whispered between nibbles on my skin.
His hand cupped my breast and tightened delightfully into the flesh. I moaned again, gripping his hair tighter and pulled him up to my mouth, wanting, no, needing to taste him on my lips. His brushed against mine and I felt his tongue glide across my lower lip. I opened my mouth, craving the sweet breath that had previously been ghosting down my body. Tenderly, he accepted my invitation and his tongue danced along the tip of mine. I pulled his head to me, deepening our kiss, and he purred into my mouth, eliciting a groan from me.
His kiss was just as passionate as our first, and more powerful than that of our too-brief reunion the night before. The scent of clean linen invaded my nose and I smiled against his lips. I had not felt such contentment since we were together in my bed at home. Even in my dreams, it had not felt as good as it did in that moment. I was putting my trust in him again, and allowing my feelings to overrule any doubts I had in my mind. I could only hope it was the right decision. In that moment, nothing had ever felt so right.
Our kisses became heated as our tongues began to explore and caress one another’s. Fingers and hands reacquainted themselves with the other’s body. I felt him thrust against my hip and I wrapped one leg around him, pulling him closer, and encouraging his movements.
I swallowed his growl as he continued to thrust against me. Never breaking our connection, he moved to settle between my legs that spread open easily and wantonly for him, pushing my heated center against his hard cock. His arms slid under mine past my shoulders to hold me in place once he broke our kiss, only to pepper my face with feather light touches. My hands moved from his neck, touching his back, shoulders, any other place I could reach in our position when he pulled back to look at me. His thumbs caressed my cheekbones and his fingers held my neck on both sides while he pressed our foreheads together.
“Mine,” he breathed.
I could only nod and he smiled, taking my breath away for an instant. He lifted his head and captured my eyes. It was as if he could see inside of me and I looked into those blue oceans I had missed. There were so many emotions flashing through them, it would have been impossible to identify them all.
It was still unreal for me to believe he was truly there with me, and not just in my head. I expected to awaken at any moment as so often happened when I was with him. Our bodies had stilled during our intense stare, but it seemed as if I could feel our connection, or perhaps I wanted to believe it was there.
I love you. The words were there on the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say them.
“What is it, Min Sǫngr?”
“Is this too soon?”
“Chelsea, I have made love with you every night since the first night we met, yet, I have only been gifted with one real night having you in my arms as you are now.”
“If vampires can’t dream…” I wasn’t sure how to continue.
“You have been in my mind, my waking thoughts, or perhaps I have dreamt. It is possible they are the same as daydreams humans have,” he tried to explain.
Even though I thought it to be true, I still couldn’t wrap my mind around how it could be. I wanted to push aside all the questions and be in the moment with him. I knew he didn’t have the answers either. I was silent as I processed what he had said. Had it really been since the moment we met for him as it was for me?
“Have you… Do you not dream of me?” he asked quietly, almost as if he was uncertain of what we both suspected was happening between us.
“I do. Every time I sleep, I dream of you.”
“We are… Are we together in your dreams?”
“Yes. Always. We don’t always make love. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we play. Sometimes we simply hold each other, but we are always together, even when I kick you out,” I added with a chuckle.
“It is the same for me. I remember that you told me to leave, but I could not,” he said in a serious tone. My smile faded and I felt my brows knit together.
“Do you think it’s true? Do you think we’re sharing…?”
“It would seem so,” he answered.
“I do not know,” he said. Then his eyes softened, “One thing I do know is that I have missed you. That said, if we truly have been with each other every night, how could it be possible that it is too soon for us to be together now?” he asked with a sly grin.
“Well, if we’ve truly been together every night, how can it be possible that you miss me so much?” I countered playfully.
“We have only had one night.”
“One real night.”
“I want more.”
I didn’t respond with words. My hands found their way to his neck again and I pulled him to me for a toe-curling kiss that lasted until I was panting for breath and he was growling into my neck. Together, we removed my pajamas, and he settled between my legs again. We moved in sync slowly and rhythmically while our bodies became aroused again and begged for more.
His lips were everywhere, teasing, tasting, and claiming me. I had no complaints! I had no will, nor reason to deny myself any longer. Those three words drifted into my mind once again and I swallowed them back. It wasn’t the right time. I wasn’t sure if or when there would be a right time. All I knew was that he wanted me, and I wanted him in return.
His hand moved down my chest between my breasts, to my stomach, then further still until he was covering my mound with his fingers. One finger slowly circled my swollen clit right before sliding between my folds.
“Mmm…so good,” I mumbled as I bucked into his hand, causing his finger to slip into me.
“So wet for me,” he grunted.
I nodded at his statement, words were not possible. I rode his hand while another finger pressed into me.
“Do you like that, Chelsea? Do you like my fingers filling you? Does it feel good to have them so deep inside you? I can smell your arousal. I can feel how much you want me.”
My breathing picked up and I pushed harder against him. I had no idea where his dirty mouth had come from, but my body responded quickly, coating his hand with my juices. I liked dirty-talking Eric! His thumb moved to rub my clit and I could feel my walls begin to flutter.
“Oh God! Oh my God! Fuck!”
“Let me feel you, Min Sǫngr. Let go,” he growled in my ear while his fingers sped up, thrusting in and out of me, curling and twisting.
I ground against him once more, then my back arched, and my mouth opened to cry out his name. He continued to push in and out of me, slowing his pace to help me ride out the aftershocks of my orgasm.
I opened my eyes to find him smiling at me. He almost looked smug. I rolled my eyes at his expression, but couldn’t stop my lips from curling into a smile of my own.
“Your turn,” I said, reaching between us to wrap my hand around him, feeling him thicken at my touch.
Pre-cum was leaking from him and I swirled it around, coating his head and shaft by gliding my hand down to the base and back up again, then playing with the ridge at the bottom of the head with my thumb before curling my palm over the top and starting the movement over again. Eric rolled onto his back and I followed, keeping my hand tight around him while my body half-covered his. I watched his eyes darken further as they flicked between my hand and my lips.
Suddenly, he grunted and pulled me to him, kissing me hard. His tongue plunged into my waiting mouth. There was no fight for dominance, I gave it to him. He groaned when my hand tightened around him and pushed his hips, thrusting into my fist. He released my mouth and whispered my name almost reverently. His hands ran through my hair and down my back. Up and down they caressed while my hold on him never wavered.
“Tell me what you want,” I whispered, repeating his earlier words to him.
I licked up the side of his neck and around the shell of his ear.
“Everything,” he said, then added, “Let me make love with you.”
After one last stroke, I climbed on top of him and straddled his thighs. He sat up quickly and pulled our chests flush together. His hands cupped my ass and pulled me against his hard cock pressed between us. I lifted onto my knees and placed him at my entrance. My pussy already slick from my orgasm, we both moaned loudly as I sank down on him until he was fully sheathed in me.
“So fucking tight,” he said under his breath.
His mouth attached to my nipple and I kissed the top of his hair, his neck, his shoulder. I circled my hips, and began moving up and down on his shaft, grinding against him each time our hips met.
“I missed you,” I panted.
His mouth met mine in a deep, sensuous kiss, showing me how much he had missed me, too. He guided me down to the bed and gripped my thighs, pulling me closer as he pushed deeper into me. My eyes closed and my head thrashed from side to side as I fisted the sheets in my hands.
“Look at me,” he commanded quietly.
My eyes snapped open and were met with his hooded, lust-filled gaze. The intensity of it caused me to take a sharp intake of breath. He released my legs and his body covered mine. I reached up to cup his face and bring his lips to mine once more. Our eyes never left each other as he quickened his pace. I felt my stomach tighten and I fought to keep my eyes open once my legs began to tremble, and my fingers gripped tightly to his shoulders.
“Cum for me, beautiful girl. I want to watch you fall apart as I make love with you.”
That did it! I came around him, holding his eyes for as long as I possibly could. My powerful orgasm triggered his own while I squeezed him tightly from the inside.
“Mine,” he roared as he came just as powerfully inside me.
He collapsed onto his elbows to keep his weight off of me, and his head fell to my shoulder. As I stroked his hair, I glanced up at him and kissed his temple. With a groan, he pulled out of me and laid on his back. I slid out of the bed and went to the bathroom to clean up. When I returned, I didn’t hesitate to crawl over to him and lay by his side.
“How much longer until sunrise?” I asked quietly.
“Only a few moments. Come here.”
He pulled me against him and I rested my head on his chest. He kissed the top of my head, and wrapped his arm around me. His hand reached to my chin and lifted my head, so he could press a gentle kiss to my lips. I snuggled back into him again, slinging one leg over his where he rested a hand on my thigh.
“Good night, Min Sǫngr.”
“Good night, My Viking.”
“Thank you,” he whispered before he fell silent.
I looked up at his face that was completely still and peaceful, yet had what looked like a slight smile on his lips. All movement had stopped and I gazed at him for a few moments, seeing him fall dead to the world for the first time. We had fallen asleep together, or rather gone to bed together the night before, but I hadn’t looked at him.
I wondered what it was like. How did it feel to literally die every morning? Where was it that his mind went when he was no longer…alive throughout the day? He was so powerful, forceful, and commanding when he was awake, that it was beyond strange to see him in a state where no movement was possible.
There was no fluttering of the eyelids, no rising and falling of his chest. I mean, I knew it, but to actually witness it was something entirely different. It was incomprehensible!
Feelings of awe and gratitude welled inside of me, knowing he trusted me enough to be with me at a time when he was so vulnerable. The magnitude of it overwhelmed me and my vision blurred before I blinked back my tears. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I whispered to him, knowing he wouldn’t hear me.
“I love you, Eric.”
I awoke to the noise of my ringing phone. When I tried moving to answer it, I realized I couldn’t. There was a hand holding my thigh in a vice-like grip while another was wrapped securely around my waist. What the fuck? Did rigor mortis set in each morning, too?
I reached down and, with great effort, pried the fingers from my leg, releasing it. Once that was accomplished, I rocked back and forth between his body and his arm, trying to create some give in his hold around me.
“Jesus, Eric, let the fuck go,” I mumbled to myself.
The phone stopped and a moment later I heard the alert, letting me know I had a text message. Finally, there was enough room to move and I wriggled down the side of his body to extricate myself. Sweet Baby Jesus! I lay on my back for a moment to catch my breath. I hadn’t realized how hard I had been working for that small bit of movement!
We had left the light on, so I was able to look at him again. His face still held his serene smile, and his body had not moved at all, outside of what I had just done to move him. Curious, I reached up and lifted his now-pliable arm, and placed his hand on his stomach. Seriously? He’s easy to move now that I’m not there?
I picked up his heavy arm again, holding it in the air before dropping it unceremoniously on the bed. It flopped down as if it hadn’t been stiff as a board moments earlier! Huh. Had he simply been holding me that tightly when he went to rest? We would need to talk about his hold being a little looser next time! I mean, for fuck’s sake! What if I had had to pee?
Realizing my body ached from being in the same position, apparently all night, I stretched my arms and legs, then rolled over and grabbed my phone. The message was from JP and a wide smile grew on my face once I opened it.
- Rise and shine my little ho! Time to wake up and see the sun!
The sun? I looked at my phone and saw it was only three in the afternoon. Yay! I would get to spend the afternoon with JP before Eric rose for the night! Quickly sitting up, I texted back.
- What reason could you possibly have to wake me up at this ungodly hour?
- Oh, please, the mere thought of seeing my perfect face is reason enough for anyone to wake in a tizzy of excitement just to gaze upon my radiance. Really, you should already be up and waiting outside my room for me to make my appearance.
I laughed out loud, then covered my mouth with my hand, looking quickly at Eric. I chuckled and shook my head at the ridiculous thought that I could have woken him with my laughter. Rolling my eyes at myself, I dragged my lazy ass out of bed.
- You’re fucking insane and completely narcissistic! LOL! Gonna grab a shower. See you in a few.
I rose from the bed and made my way to the bathroom with the phone still in my hand.
- Don’t bother. We have plans.
I had barely finished reading the message when I heard a knock on the door. Quickly, I found my pajamas and ran to the door, pulling them on as I went. I stopped myself before opening it, and returned to the door of the bedroom, then paused. I was sure there must be a way to lock it, so I could enter or Eric could exit, but I hadn’t had to worry about it until right then. Not sure what to do, I simply pulled it tightly closed.
I returned to the main door and looked through the peephole. JP was standing on the other side with a bright smile on his, yes, perfect and radiant, face. Excited, I turned the lock and opened it.
“Took you fucking long enough, Tartlet! I know you weren’t in there getting busy because, let’s face it, business doesn’t open until the sun goes down,” he quipped.
“Shut the fuck up, Hussy. I had to get dressed from last night’s business venture,” I winked.
“Oh, so Eric made an appearance in the wee hours of the morning, hmm?” JP teased as he brushed by me to enter.
When I looked past him to close the door, I felt the heat rise on my face after I saw Mustapha standing on the other side of the hall outside my room. Shit!
“Good morning, Miss Kerrigan,” he greeted politely.
“Good morning,” I said and cleared my throat.
We stood looking at each other for a moment while he pretended he just hadn’t heard me say I fucked Eric last night, and I pretended that I hadn’t said it at all.
“So, um, I think we’re going out shortly,” I said.
“Then I will see you soon,” he smiled.
I nodded and quietly closed the door, then turned to JP.
“What the Hell, you jackass!? You could have told me he was standing out there!”
“How was I supposed to know you were going to announce your nightly activities to complete strangers in the middle of the hallway?” he asked, smirking.
“You’re a dick,” I said, moving to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee.
“You love me!”
“I’m lucky you love me or I’m lucky I have a dick?”
“I didn’t say you have a dick. I said you are a dick, Dick! Besides, I didn’t say I loved you. In fact, you’re starting to irritate me,” I said, then very maturely stuck my tongue out at him.
“That just proves my point,” he said.
“You just admitted it. I mean, obviously we know I’m completely lovable because, well, I’m me, not to mention the fact that I know you love dick. So either way you look at it, you love me. Win-win,” he shrugged.
“Oh, my God! Shut it already!” I said as my face heated up again.
“Not until you say it,” he taunted, trying to hide his amusement.
“Fine! I love you, you asshole.”
At that point, he couldn’t contain himself any longer, and he burst into a long, loud belly laugh. It was beyond ridiculous, but completely contagious, and soon I was wiping tears from my eyes as I pulled the coffee mugs out of the cabinet.
“Ah, the truth shall set you free,” he said dramatically between giggles.
“The truth will toss you into the Supernatural River without a paddle.”
“Guurl, you wouldn’t change it if you could.”
I raised an eyebrow at him in challenge for all the shit I’d been dealing with related to my own new Supernatural nature, not to mention the emotional stress I’d been going through.
“OK. I get it. However, you wouldn’t change what’s happening now with that sexy blond in the other room,” he cajoled, wiggling his eyebrows.
I rolled my eyes, and poured us each a cup of coffee while he retrieved cream and sugar. After preparing our beverages, we made our way to the balcony to enjoy the sunlight.
“So, you said we have plans?” I asked.
“Oh, yes, my dear, we have a full afternoon ahead. We are going to the spa, and then to do a little shopping!”
“Really? That’s awesome! I haven’t been to the spa, yet, but…why are we going shopping? You packed practically your entire wardrobe and I have plenty of clothes with me. Besides, that’s not one of our usual past times unless we’re going antiquing, which I don’t really think is something I’m up for.”
“Well, in continuation of the royal lifestyle that I’m growing accustomed to, Russell told me to pamper myself and his little songbird today. Apparently, there’s some party or something at the aviary and we are to be in attendance.”
“A party for what?”
“Didn’t Eric tell you?”
“Well, apparently they found that Ferris guy and tonight there’s a celebration. We are going shopping for something fabulous to wear,” he said with a big smile.
“His name is Farrell.”
“Farrell, Ferris, fucking Falafel, whatever! Oh, and some other guy Garrett came back. I guess he was missing, too,” he shrugged.
“His name is Godric. Jesus, did you even listen when Russell told you?”
“I admit; I might have been otherwise occupied with his exuberance.”
“Why was he so excited? He doesn’t even live in this state. I didn’t think he even knew much about the whole thing.”
“Well, from what I understand, this Godric guy is a big deal.”
“Yeah, he’s older than most. Not as old as Russell, but he’s up there.”
“You know about him?”
“Yes, I know him, dumbass! In fact, I told you all about him. He’s the friend who is staying upstairs in the penthouse. You know, the one who told me all about my heritage or whatever. He’s also, um, Eric’s Maker.”
“Oh, shit! You never told me that when you were telling me all about your time here. Well, you mentioned Godric, but since I thought the guy at the aviary was named Garrett, I never put it together.”
“Strange, you’re usually so observant, you know, like the way you figured out they were all vampires in the first place,” I pushed his foot with mine.
“Oh, fuck you! At least I finally believed you! Besides, I’ve had quite a bit going on myself,” he winked.
“Yeah, I can only imagine how busy you’ve been,” I laughed as he blushed.
“Whatever. The most important thing is we’re going to a party tonight!”
A nest of vampires hosting a party? I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that might entail. Would there be fangbangers on standby or glamoured humans waiting in dark rooms to be snacked on, or, worse, killed outright? The thought made me shiver and I looked over at JP’s sparkling eyes. He wasn’t usually that excited about going shopping for new clothes, so it made me wonder what was going on with him.
“Why are you so happy?”
“I don’t know. I just feel like I haven’t been to a real party in awhile.”
“You know this won’t be like a regular party, right? I sincerely doubt there will be beer pong and keg stands.”
“When was the last time we went to a party like that? We aren’t nineteen anymore, you know,” he said, rolling his eyes.
“I’m just saying before you go out and buy yourself a tux, or something equally ridiculous like leather pants, just think about where we are going.”
“Oh please, as if I wouldn’t look spectacular in leather pants!” he scoffed.
“Whatever. I simply wouldn’t want you to forget that you could still be glamoured or influenced by the other party goers. You should stick with me or Russell, or even Sookie tonight, OK? I’m sure she’s going.”
“Yes, Mom,” he sighed, rolling his eyes again.
“I’m serious, Peej.”
“I know. Stop worrying so much. Everything will be fine. Now hurry up and finish your coffee, or we will be late for our appointments!” he exclaimed, bouncing in his seat clearly excited about whatever he had in store for us.
I had to admit, I was getting pretty excited, too. I hadn’t thought much about the spa since Maggie had mentioned it, other than a passing thought a couple of days ago, and now I would get to experience it with my best friend.
I went to the kitchen area and finished my coffee, putting the cup in the sink, then left him to quickly change into a tee shirt and yoga pants, still making sure to close the bedroom door behind me, just in case JP decided to take a peek at the very naked vampire in my bed. I brushed my teeth and took care of my other needs in the bathroom, then pulled my hair into a pony tail.
Before exiting the bedroom, I walked over to the side of the bed where Eric was resting and kissed him on the forehead. Smiling at his still form, my body flushed as I pictured what had happened in the early morning hours. I hoped there would be many more nights like that.
Closing the door behind me, I turned to JP.
“Um, you stay in the same room with Russell, right?” I asked him.
“Well, up until last night, no. I mean, we stay together until he has to rest, but then he goes to wherever it is he sleeps. I have my own room upstairs in his, might I say, mansion.”
“Last night you did, though, right?”
“I don’t want to leave Eric here unprotected and I’m not sure how, or if I can secure the door. I know the door to the other small room locks from the inside and is safe. Godric rested in it, but I’m not sure about the bedroom. What did you do for Russell?”
“Oh, he’s got a guy that does stuff for him in the day time. When I left, he stayed in the suite.”
“Oh, right. I guess maybe Mustapha must be Eric’s dayman.”
“I thought he was your bodyguard.”
“Well, he is, or was, last night, but he was already here with Eric before they knew I was here, so I’m guessing that he watches over him during the day. This room has protection wards, so no other vampires may enter, but that wouldn’t prevent anyone else from coming in. However, as much as I don’t want to leave Eric alone, I don’t know if I want Mustapha to have my room code.”
“Why don’t you just ask him what he did before you were here?”
“Oh, right. I should have thought of that!”
“Must still be too early in the morning for you. It is, after all, nearly four in the afternoon,” he chuckled.
I rolled my eyes and pulled on my shoes. As we made our way to the door, I stopped and went to grab a pen and some paper.
“What are you doing?”
“I’ve been bitching at Eric for not communicating with me, and I don’t want to do the same thing, you know? Hey, will you get my stuff together while I do this?”
JP proceeded to gather my phone, keycard, and wallet, tossing it into my bag while I wrote a quick note to Eric to let him know that I was with JP and where we would be, or, at least, what we were doing since I wasn’t entirely sure where we would be after the spa. I didn’t include that I knew about the party in case he wanted to tell me himself. It probably wouldn’t have made a difference, but I could always tell him later that I knew.
Then I added that I wasn’t sure what to do when I left because I didn’t want him vulnerable, and that I would be asking Mustapha for help. A simple ‘Yours’ was added to the bottom before I crept back into the bedroom, folded his clothes, and left the note neatly on top.
“OK. Done,” I said after I pulled the bedroom door closed.
“You know, I’m sure he won’t be up before we get back,” JP said.
“Be that as it may, I still don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
“Right. Shall we?”
“Yes, let’s,” I giggled.
I opened the door to find Mustapha standing in front of it with his back facing us, just the same as he’d been the day before. I cleared my throat and he turned, smiling down at me.
“I see you are leaving?” he asked in his rich, deep baritone voice.
“Um, yeah, we’re going to the spa.”
“Ah, very nice,” he nodded, stepping aside to let us out.
I waited in the doorway while JP exited the room.
“Mustapha, you’re Eric’s dayman, right?”
“I wish there was a better word for it, but, yes, for the time being, I am,” he grumbled with his voice dropping in volume slightly.
I was curious about his statement and inflection, but assumed he possibly wouldn’t want anyone knowing who his boss was, especially if Weres and vampires were known not to associate. Besides, what would be the point of having a bodyguard if everyone knew who you were guarding?
“Well, you already know he’s in my room and I’m not sure…I mean… I don’t want to leave him unprotected or anything, you know?”
“Don’t worry. I had no intention of leaving him today to go with you. Contact me if you need me. My phone number has already been programmed into your phone, so just call if you need assistance.”
I thanked him, hoping I would never need to use it for anything requiring protection. Then I wondered briefly how his number had already been in my phone. Maybe Eric had put it in there for me?
“Great! So, my next question, um, what do I do with him?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he’s just in there, you know?”
“Cricket,” I corrected and he smiled.
“Cricket, there is nothing to worry about. Here, let me show you how to secure the door.”
I stepped back and he entered the room, walking to the kitchen. He opened one of the cabinets under the counter, then directed me to look inside. On the right side, near the top, was a keypad, much the same as the one outside my room! I looked back at him.
“It’s linked to the code you created after you set it for your initial entry. Just like your room, no one can get in unless they have your password. If you type it in and press enter, the room will lock as well as the other doors in the suite, even the windows have additional locking mechanisms that slide in place. It’s like a home security system. However, it is much better than any you could purchase for your home,” he smiled gently and stood, walking back toward the door.
“Will he be able to get out? I mean, if I’m not back when he gets up?”
“Yes, he can let himself out and I will be outside the door. He’ll be fine. This floor is up high enough, so that the only ones who could reach it are those who could fly, and they are all down for the day,” he smiled again while he walked out the main door to the hall.
I entered the code, and almost instantly heard locks and shutters slide into place. It sounded as if someone was locking down the cells at San Quentin! I walked to the bedroom door and tried to turn the knob, but it held. I couldn’t see anything along the edges that would indicate there were additional locks, but I trusted what Mustapha said and, after all, it was a vampire-friendly hotel. Surely, they would know what would keep one of their own safe!
“I’ll be back,” I whispered to Eric through the door.
I exited the room and smiled at an impatient JP, rocking back and forth on his heels. Once he noticed me, his face brightened.
“Ready to go?”
“Yep. Thanks, Mustapha,” I said, smiling.
“Anytime, Miss…uh, Cricket.”
“See ya’ later,” JP said, and Mustapha simply nodded in return.
JP and I practically skipped down the corridor to the elevator. Neither of us could keep the smiles off our faces, both at the idea of going to the spa and more so, at spending a few hours alone together.
“Do you think we should call Sookie?” he asked while we rode to the ground level.
“Why?” I said a little more sarcastically than I’d actually intended.
“Um, to be nice, duh. Seriously, what’s your deal? I know you like her, so why are you being this way?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, you’re right. I really do like her,” I sighed, aggravated at myself.
The doors opened and we stepped off. JP turned to the left and we followed the signs leading us to our afternoon of relaxation.
“It’s just that…I don’t know. Every time she mentions Eric, I get this knot in my stomach and I start to get angry,” I tried to explain.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake! That is called jealousy and that’s just stupid, sweetie.”
“I know,” I sighed.
“Did he, or did he not, tell you he wasn’t interested in her?”
“He did, but…”
“It’s hard to explain. It’s like I had this ingrained idea in my head from the fucking books, telling me that they were destined or something, so every now and then, I see red when I think about him calling her, not me.”
“Jesus! Get the fuck over the books already! It’s fiction! Yes, obviously, there’s some truth to them, but come the fuck on, the rest is just that, fiction! Besides, didn’t he call her here to help him? Russell told me that she works for him sometimes.”
“I know. I know.”
“Then what the Hell is your problem?”
“He’s mine!” I growled.
“Whoa! Where did that come from?” he asked, snickering at the, no doubt, extremely possessive look in my eyes.
“Oh, shut up!”
He bumped my shoulder, and I relaxed, laughing a bit with him.
“Yes, you Floozy. He’s yours. He wants you, so get over it.”
“You’re right. Yes, we should call Sookie, if you want.”
“Maybe for shopping later,” he shrugged.
“Sounds good. We can have dinner, too. Besides, I’m sure she probably has a much better idea of what to wear. You have my head wrapped around cocktail dresses and slutty heels, and I’m fairly confident that is not the required attire.”
“Suit yourself, but I plan to look irresistible…and there’s nothing wrong with slutty heels,” he winked as we entered the door to the spa.
“Well, don’t go overboard. You only want one man’s attention tonight.”
He smirked before walking to the counter to give them our names.
The afternoon was exactly what I’d hoped it would be. We were massaged, primped, plucked, and waxed. Facials became my new favorite treat, and we even took a mud bath, although I wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to do again. It was too confining, and as relaxed as I was, I didn’t like the feeling of the mud in all my girly bits.
“Have you ever thought about it?” JP asked with his eyes closed as he rested his head back on a pillow at the edge of the bath.
“Thought about what?” I glanced over at him.
“Becoming like them,” he whispered.
“Becoming like… Wait! What?!” I practically screeched.
“Shh. Keep your voice down!” he chastised.
“Why? You’re not seriously thinking of…are you?” I whispered.
He shrugged, but didn’t answer.
Had he been glamoured to think that he wanted to become a vampire? Was Russell influencing him? I would have to have a talk with him. He’d promised me he wouldn’t let anything happen to JP. It was just a fling.
Wait! Was someone else trying to influence him? Maybe someone else at Russell’s mansion had taken a liking to him? Did Russell even know? Yes, Russell and I definitely needed to talk, and the sooner, the better!
“No one’s trying to talk to me into anything, if that’s what you’re thinking,” he said without ever opening his eyes.
“I wasn’t thinking that,” I lied.
“Yes, you were. I know you. Look, it was just a thought that’s crossed my mind over the last week.”
“OK, but why?”
“Are you fucking kidding? Not only have I been having the time of my fucking life over the last week, but they’re beautiful, flawless, immortal…and the sex? You can’t tell me it’s not fucking unbelievable! Haven’t you ever imagined it? What it would be like?” he asked, finally looking at me.
The truth was I couldn’t deny what he was asking. I had just thought about the same thing while I looked at Eric before I fell asleep. Well, not exactly the same, but along the same lines. I hadn’t really thought about myself being turned, but I had wondered what it was like and what Eric felt.
Now that JP had brought it up, my thoughts began swirling, not necessarily with the idea of being beautiful and flawless, especially not with notions of drinking blood or killing people, but I was certainly interested in imagining having Eric in my immortal life.
Then again, would he even want me forever? Would he still want me in a year, a month, a week? We had some sort of connection that I couldn’t even comprehend, yet, it didn’t mean it was something that would last forever. I wasn’t sure I would even want to live forever if I couldn’t be with him. Of course, if I had JP, too…it might not be too scary. Hell, it might be pretty fucking awesome!
“You know, we’d have to give up quite a bit,” I said, closing my eyes and returning to my relaxed state.
“I’m sure that’s true, but think about what we would gain,” he said so dreamily that I was sure he had closed his eyes again as well.
We didn’t talk anymore about it after that. We finished our mud baths, took soothing showers, and finally had mani-pedi’s before finally leaving the spa. I felt fantastic, relaxed, and…renewed. My life had changed so much in such a short span of time, it was nice to feel refreshed and not bogged down, worrying about anything and everything.
I was looking forward to a night away from the hotel, no matter where that might be. Even though I was nervous and curious about what could happen, I felt comfortable and confident that everything would be all right. Not to mention, I still hadn’t talked to Godric since he left a couple nights ago, and I found that I missed him.
I texted Sookie and invited her to join us in the hotel’s restaurant. As far as we knew, she didn’t know that JP was in the hotel, but, then again, she had probably seen Russell the night before and might have deduced that he was there. She said she would be down shortly. I was uncomfortable giving my name to the hostess, so we waited for her outside the doors.
The sun had not yet set, even though it had taken longer than we expected at the spa, and I doubted we would have time to shop before our respective vampires rose for the night.
Thinking of Sookie being treated the same as she was previously, if she was not back to her room before Fuckface arose, had my blood boiling. He was such a douchebag. Before I could explain it to JP, she arrived.
I waved at her as she approached, but she quickly noticed JP slightly behind me, and her eyes became as big as her smile.
“Oh, my gosh, JP! I thought you might be here when I saw Russell last night, but I didn’t get a chance to ask him, so I wasn’t sure! I’m so excited you’re here!” she squealed, grabbing him into a tight hug.
It was obvious that she was just as happy to see JP as well as he was. He returned the hug and picked her up as if they were long-lost friends. You would never have guessed that we had only known her for about a month, give or take. When they released each other, she hugged me briefly before looping her arms through both of ours as we entered the restaurant.
We were seated quickly, even though it was dinner time, and it seemed busy.
“Are you finally here to see our list for Karaoke?” the hostess asked as she led us to our table.
“Not tonight, but don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten,” Sookie giggled to her.
JP raised an eyebrow and I nodded toward the platform. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he wanted to do it or, more than likely, wanted me to sing, but, when he looked at me, I shook my head.
We took our seats and ordered drinks from the bar. A few minutes later, the waiter arrived and took our orders for dinner.
“So, JP, what have you been doing in Mississippi?” Sookie asked.
JP got a twinkle in his eyes, and I could tell he was about to say something not appropriate for dinner conversation, so I spoke up before he could.
“I don’t think she means who have you been doing, Peej. I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that,” I teased.
JP blushed, but snickered after Sookie almost choked on her gin and tonic, then started coughing.
“You OK over there, Sook?” JP asked casually with a grin.
“Yeah, I meant have you gone sightseeing or anything?” she asked in a raspy voice once she had recovered.
“Other than the vast estate of Russell’s, I haven’t seen much outside of the house,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
“No unsullied details to share?” she asked.
“Honey, I’m not sure you’re ready for any details, sullied or unsullied,” he winked at her.
“Yeah. Probably not,” she agreed, blushing before we all fell into giggles.
Our food arrived shortly after that, and the conversation flowed easily. Not once did I feel that twisting knot in my stomach, even when Sookie mentioned Eric. I supposed the pep talk in the form of a scolding from JP had left me more confident in whatever it was I had going on with Eric.
“So, JP said there’s a celebration tonight. I assume everything is all right?”
“Yeah. Everyone’s real happy that the, um, that they’re back,” she said, keeping any names out.
I was grateful for that. Remembering Octavia’s mention of spies had made me very cautious about saying Godric’s name, other than in my room where I knew no one could overhear.
“Is Maggie still there? She hasn’t returned yet.”
“Oh, uh, she left. I think she went home. I guess what I mean is she was convinced to go home.”
I remembered the message Godric had left with my wine. It had said in a very vague way that he would be glamouring her to return and that Octavia agreed. It was best if she didn’t remember the nest and where it had been. I knew it was for her safety and their anonymity. Still, I was disappointed that it had come to that. I hoped that JP and I could visit her and Octavia once we returned home. It wasn’t a long drive, after all.
“I really wanted to go shopping, but I don’t think there will be time now,” JP sighed.
“You could always go out tomorrow,” Sookie suggested.
“No, he wanted to get something to wear tonight.”
“Because he wants to look fabulous,” I said, looking at him with a teasing grin.
“Damn straight!” he said.
“I don’t think you need to do anything. You look fabulous right now!” Sookie complimented JP, and he ate it up.
“Well, obviously, we’ve never been to an aviary before, and don’t know what to expect,” I explained.
“I can’t say that I’ve been to a party at an aviary either. If it matters any, I’m goin’ like this,” she said, gesturing to her clothes.
She was wearing a simple baby blue dress. It wasn’t exactly casual, but it was by no means dressy either. It was modestly cut with a boat neck and flowed from her waist to slightly below her knees. Her make-up was understated, much as I generally wore mine, and her hair was down in curls that simply hung loose from her shoulders. I decided I would wear the dark blue dress I had purchased with Maggie in New Orleans.
“Oh,” JP said, sounding defeated. I hated seeing and hearing him sound so disappointed.
“If you want to dress up, sweetie, I’m sure it will be fine. Just ask Russell his opinion. He would know better than any of us,” I suggested, rubbing his arm.
“That’s true,” he shrugged, but seemed to perk up at my suggestion.
About that time, the waiter dropped off the folder containing our check and, before JP or I could grab it, Sookie opened and signed it, charging it to her room, which, of course, was being paid for by Eric. Although it didn’t make me jealous, it did irritate me somewhat that she was having him pay for our dinner out when we could have easily afforded it ourselves. I took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and then downed the remainder of my Cherry Vodka, sans Energy drink.
Sookie checked her phone, and we decided to leave once we realized it was later than we had thought. If the sun hadn’t already set, it would be very soon.
“Will you be OK?” I asked Sookie quietly as we approached the twentieth floor.
“What? Oh, yeah, of course. I need to apologize for Bill. He’s always a little over-protective and it’s been real stressful lately. He’s an investigator for the Area and working for Eric and…well, Eric’s a little demanding sometimes, especially with the circumstances. I mean, we didn’t know at the time that we were looking his Maker. Thank goodness he came back on his own, or, I guess, that he called Eric. I can’t say I’ve ever seen Eric as out of sorts as he was over the last week. Of course, I think there might have been more to his behavior, but it seems to be all worked out,” she said with a knowing grin.
She abruptly stopped talking and blushed a bit. I wasn’t entirely certain if she had just realized she was rambling, or if it was something else, but I didn’t want to ask because, honestly? I was really afraid of the answer as to why her face had suddenly heated up.
“You don’t have to apologize for that jack… Sorry, for Bill. He was out of line with you, and never should have grabbed you like that!” I said, a bit more forcefully than perhaps I should have.
“I know you don’t like him, Cricket, and, after the other night, I don’t blame you, but you don’t know him like I do. He’s not normally like that. He was just worried about me, you know?”
I simply couldn’t respond to that. I had no idea what to say. After having been in an abusive relationship in the past, it seemed to me that she was either blind to what was going on already or the signs as to what was coming. I decided right then and there that I would help her get away from him!
I wasn’t quite sure how I would do it, but I could figure it out. Having been through it with me, I knew that JP would help, but I wasn’t sure if I should ask him or not. He didn’t like Fuckface any more than I did, but the fact was we were just humans.
Once we arrived on our floor and exited the elevator, we all hugged with promises to see each other later.
I was so excited to get into my room and see Eric that I was barely able to enter the code. I couldn’t wait to be in his arms, lost in his kiss, and then I would need to kick him out to get dressed! I would only need a few minutes to slip on my dress, do something with my hair, and I’d be ready to go.
After I entered the room, it hit me that Mustapha had not been outside the door. I hoped it was due to the fact that he, himself, had to go to his own suite, and not that Eric had already left. Eric wouldn’t have been able to return to my room without the keycard and the balcony was locked from the inside.
Sighing while I closed the door, I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to wait until I was ready to go to see him. When I entered the bedroom, I noticed the bed was made, and there was a single red rose on my pillow with a note underneath. I practically swooned at the sweet gesture, and sat on the bed, picking it up and taking in the wonderful scent while I read his love note:
‘My beautiful girl,
I cannot tell you how it felt to hold you in my arms again. Now we have had two ‘real’ nights. I am looking forward to spending many more nights together and greatly increasing that number. I must say, I was disappointed not to awaken with you next to me, but your concern for my safety quickly diminished that thought.
I am pleased to know you spent the day with your friend. I am certain you have missed him greatly. I had hoped you would return before I rose, but it appears we will have to wait to hold one another and to kiss again the way you allowed me last night.
Unfortunately, I have something I must attend this evening, but if you would do me the honor of joining me in attending, I promise we will come straight here upon our return.
Please say yes.
I cannot wait to see you,
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Sean Hayes as JP
Michael Clarke Duncan as Mustapha
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Thank YOU for reading!
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