Chapter 02

Into The Blood by kinnik Banner1

Chapter 2


Peej came out about ten minutes later smiling.  I asked how it went, and he told me that Maggie appeared to have had enough and silently told Tom off with just a glare.  Tom had been taken aback, and looked a little afraid of her at the same time.  I was glad to hear that jackass was thrown off of his nasty game.  JP said that Maggie told him they were going to quit for the day, and he was lucky to have gotten in when he did given that he was the last one they would be seeing.  Poor fake Ginger.

“So, how about a beer?” he asked.

“You think Dan will let us in?”

“I’m sure he’ll let you in after all the times you’ve filled in for his waitresses when they called out, and I’m with you, so I’m in,”  He winked.

“Hey, we’re regulars and I know how to wait tables.  It’s the least I could do for him.”

“Yeah, and the least he can do is let us in!” he smiled a little wickedly.

I was still a little nervous, but hadn’t I just been thinking about it?  We made our way over to the door and opened it.  Dan saw us and came over quickly before a large, intimidating man I’d never seen before could reach us.

Dan’s a pretty tall, stout, balding man, and one of the sweetest guys I know.  You’d never know it to look at him.  He may not look it, but he could bench press JP with one hand while drinking a beer in the other.

“I’m not supposed to let anyone in that’s not working on the show,” He said with regret.

“Who’s that guy?”

“He came with the crew; I guess you could call him a bodyguard of sorts.  He’s supposed to keep out the townies. His name’s Tray,”  I looked at him questionably.

“What’s wrong?”

“Tray?  Are you sure?”

“That’s what he said.”

JP looked at me oddly.

“Tray’s from the story,” I whispered.  I thought I saw the large man turn his head slightly our way.

“Hookah, theys no ‘Tray’ in “Truly Bloody.”  I would remembahs that fine ass,” He whispered back in his best Lafayette impersonation.  The man looked…relieved?  He turned his head away again before I could catch his eye.

“No, you’re right,” I said quickly.  But, there is in the books. I thought.  What a weird coincidence…

I turned to Dan. “So, are you one of the places in town that is catering for the show?”

He smiled and answered proudly. “Why yes, yes I am, but they have their own staff to work the tables.  Hell, they even brought in their own drinks.  You know how I feel about that.  I would never allow it under normal circumstances, but they’re paying really well, and I’m going to get great publicity.  It’s red wine, red grape juice, or colored water for all I know in those Truly Bloody labeled bottles from the show, crates of it.  They also need to store it in my walk-in since some of it is used in the filming and they said they want to keep it cold.  They said it’s for photos and stuff.  The fans eat it up.”

“I thought you said no one’s allowed in,” JP said.

“Well, there will be the extras from town, and I’m sure people will be taking pictures through the windows.”

The tavern has huge front windows that take up almost the entire walls facing the main street.  It was a perfect place to people watch or read your favorite book with the sunlight coming in.  There were a few tables along the windowed walls that JP and I usually grabbed when we came in whether it was day or night.  It was our favorite place to sit.

It got very hot outside, but Dan kept the temperature nice and cool so sitting in the sun wasn’t oppressive, and it definitely drew in more people for him to have a comfortable temperature and relief from outside when you were out shopping or walking.

The other walls were covered in old photos of the town and pictures of the original train station and the trains that had run through it, and some local sports memorabilia.  Over the bar to the side was a large black and white photo of a much younger Dan standing in front of the tavern when his Dad first opened it.  Next to that was his first dollar bill in a frame.

“Is any of the cast here tonight?” I asked hopefully.

“No.  Tonight is full of production people as well as the catering crew who are going over the menu we have and choosing what they want.”

“Well, good for you.  That’s great!”  I smiled weakly.  I really was happy for him, but disappointed at the same time.  Who knew if we’d get another chance to get in?

“Listen, I’ll give you an apron, and you could serve tonight if you want to stay.  I can also mention to the catering crew that you guys have experience and can help them if they need it.  That is, if you want to,”  He smiled mischievously.  Dan knows how much we love the show.

“Can you get away with that?”  JP asked excitedly.

At the same time I said, “We’re hoping to be cast as extras.”

“Cricket?  Who gives a shit if we serve sandwiches or stand in the crowd?!  If we can get close at all to the set, it will be worth it!  In fact, we’ll get even closer if we are working the food table.”

“I want to wait and see if we get cast first.”

“Fine, but if we don’t get a call, we’re doing it.”

Dan looked thoughtful for a minute, and then you could almost see the light bulb appear over his head as a big smile spread across his face.

“I’ve got it!”

“You’ve got what?”  I asked suspiciously.

“For tonight…you can sing.  You know we usually have karaoke tonight.  I’ll set up the stage and you can sing.  Even if I can’t serve my regulars, I’m not going to do anything different than any other night.  You can stay, if you sing and you don’t get to pick the songs.  If anyone asks, I’m going to tell them that you work here, regardless of what you say.  My bar, my rules.”

“What?!  Oh no no no no…”

“Cricket, you have an awesome voice.  Maybe we’ll get to meet a few of the people here, and then we won’t be like outsiders to the crew. Come on.  Do it.”

“Fine!  But you’re singing, too,”  He looked shocked.  “Yes, you are.  If I’m going to do it, you’re going to do it.”

“Ugh, ok, I’ll be your backup singer or we’ll sing a duet.”

Dan looked serious for a second.  “Listen you two, if others don’t join in, I’m just going to keep making you sing until they do.  If they don’t, then you’re tonight’s entertainment.  You don’t need that monitor anyway; you just need the music on.  Got it?”

“Your bar.  Your rules,”  I sighed.

I knew I was going to regret this, but JP was right.  We could meet some of the crew.  If we didn’t get cast, maybe we could pretend to work the Kraft table and, if they were using outside help, they wouldn’t question if we were around, right?

We made our way in and followed Dan to the bar.  He gave us each a shot for ‘liquid courage’ and we downed them right there.  I got us a couple of bottles of water, too.  JP went ahead and ordered a couple of beers, two more shots, and took them to a table near the stage.

Dan turned to one of the bartenders and told them anything we wanted was on the house tonight, and to go set up the stage and equipment.  He walked us over to our table and on his way back, he was stopped by Tray.  Even though he was a little ways away, I heard him explain that I was singing and JP was my backup.  Tray looked skeptical, but nodded his head and went back over to the door.

It wasn’t too loud in the bar since there weren’t many people there, at least not yet.  I had no idea how many people worked on the show, but this appeared to be where they would be hanging out when they weren’t working, so I guessed that at some point there would be more.

I went to the restroom to warm up my voice and bumped into Maggie.  I hadn’t even seen her come in.  She smiled brightly and looked much more relaxed.  She had changed into jeans and an orange blouse with some little embroidered lace around the collar and loose, flowing sleeves made of chiffon.  She was adorable.  Squealing as if we were old friends, she pulled me into a hug.  I was startled, but hugged her back.

“Cricket!  I didn’t know you’d be here! ”

“How much have you had to drink, Maggie?”

“Me?  Oh, nothing yet.  I just walked in.  What about you?  I didn’t think anyone was allowed in if they weren’t part of the crew.”

I smiled a little shy smile and said, “Ummm, I’m tonight’s entertainment?”  It came out like a question and I gulped a little.

“Well, aren’t you full of surprises?”

Suddenly, I had an idea.  If she was to join me on the stage, then others might take a turn, and I wouldn’t spend the whole night up there.  I did love to sing, but something was making me nervous about it tonight.

“Maggie, how would you like to join me for a couple of songs?”

“Oh no, hon, I don’t sing.  Well, not in front of other people,”   She giggled again.

I decided to play on the old friend vibe she was giving off.

“Come on…just us girls!  It’ll be fun.  It’s karaoke and if you don’t, the owner’s gonna make me do it alone all night.  Please?”

I gave her a big smile and showed her my excitement while nodding my head until she finally started nodding along with me.  YES!

“Oh, OK, I’m leaving town tomorrow anyway.  Why not have some fun while I’m here!  Not the first song though, I need to get a glass of something strong in me first.”

“Deal.  I’ll see you out there.  You can sit with me and JP at our table.”

“JP’s here, too?  Oh, I didn’t know you two were friends!  This is gonna be so much fun!”

I felt much lighter after I walked out.  I went to our table, downed my other shot, and took a long drink of my beer.  I told JP about Maggie, and he was just as happy as I was that we seemed to have made a friend already and a casting director at that!  The night was looking up.

When Maggie came out, I waved her over to us.  She giggled as she hugged JP, and when she sat down I could see the tension leave her shoulders.  She really had needed to relax.  The waitress came over, one I’d never seen, and Maggie ordered a Long Island Iced Tea.  She must have really needed a drink too.  Those things knock me on my ass!

When her drink arrived, we toasted to a fun night ahead.  I was feeling pretty good until I heard the microphone come on.  I turned around and saw Dan standing on the stage, mic in hand.  It was only 9:00, and I had a feeling it was going to be a late night for me.

From the look on his face, I knew he was about to pull out the southern charm he kept tucked away most of the time.

“I’d like to welcome you all to our town and to my little tavern where I hope ya’ll feel at home while you’re here.  Now sometimes we like to have karaoke in these parts and tonight we have one of the most talented young ladies I know with us who will be the first to grace us with her beautiful voice.  I know there’s hard work to be done this week, but I’ve also been told that ya’ll don’t have an early morning tomorrow, so tonight, kick back, relax, and join in.  There’s a book o’ songs at the bar and you can sign up there,”

He turned to me and held out his hand.   “Alright, Cricket, get on up here,” I stood and made my way to the stage as I heard JP call out ‘break a leg.’

At the sound of my name, I heard a few murmurs and a snicker or two.  There were even some cricket sounds being made in the back, but I saw Tray take a step into the room and the noises stopped.

Huh…that was strange.

I took the mic from Dan and said, “Now Dan, don’t build me up into something I’m not.  I just like to sing and you have captured an audience for me.”  I turned to the room.  “I can’t make the promises of grace and beauty that Dan has just filled your heads with, so I’ll let you know there are two exits to the building.  If you want to run, that’s where you need to go.”  I pointed to the exits like a flight attendant.

“Don’t feel pressured, but when you go to get your next drink at the bar, please sign up for a song or your waitress will be happy to bring a list to you.  Once the music starts, it doesn’t stop all night, and if you don’t sign up, you’ll have to listen to me.  I might be alone up here, but I don’t tire easily,”

I gave my best smile to the room of strangers.  They basically just looked back at me blankly.  They were completely unfazed by Dan’s charm or my attempt at humor.  With the exception of Maggie who laughed, gave a “Whoop Whoop,” and started clapping joined in by JP laughing with her.  Others joined in with weak clapping as I nodded at Dan to start the first song.

The music started and I looked at JP in disbelief.  He shrugged with a smile on his face.  Of course he had played it.  It was “Stay With Me,” my favorite song by Bette Midler.  It made me cry with emotional overload every time I heard it.  We had watched her sing this song from the Divine Madness video over and over.  The passion, the fierceness, and the strength of her voice was overwhelming.  Do you have one of those songs?  The ones that wrench you open and pull out your insides?  Well, this was mine.

Damn him.

Now I was going to perform it for a group of people who obviously didn’t even want to hear me sing.  Most of them had already turned back to their companions and conversations.  The room was fuller now, but I felt even more alone on the stage.

I put the microphone on the stand.  I could feel tears already starting to prick the edges of my eyes and took a deep breath.  I placed both hands on the mic and I started to sing.

Where, where did you go when things went wrong, baby?

Who did you run to To find a shoulder to lay your head upon?

Baby, wasn’t I there? And didn’t I take good care of you?

Oh, no I don’t believe you’re leaving me Oh, oh, oh

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

I can’t go on

I was trying to keep my voice in check when I looked over at JP who had already had a tear trickling down his cheek. It was the emotion. When I sang, I couldn’t keep it under control. It wasn’t a simple ballad. I had been using both of my hands and arms gesturing wildly while I sang. Quietly, I regained my control and went on…

Who, who did you touch when, when you needed tenderness, baby?

I gave you, I gave you so much and in return I found myself some happiness

Baby, what did I do?

Maybe I was too good, too good to you

Oh, no, I don’t believe you’re leaving me Oh, oh, oh

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

Now here came the waterworks. I glanced over, and JP and Maggie were both crying outwardly as I felt tears fall from my eyes.

Remember, you said you always gonna love me

Remember, you said you’d never ever leave me

Remember, remember,

I’m asking you, begging you Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, my baby

I can’t go, oh, on

In true Bette Midler fashion when she sang this song live, I spoke the next part.

“You know, when I first sang this song, I thought it was about a man and a woman.  Now, I ain’t so sure.  Maybe it’s about your Ma or your Pa or some friend that you counted on that left you hurting real bad.  Funny the kinda things that go through your head when you sing a song as deep as this one.”

My tears were coming down in earnest now, eyes closed, I kept going…

Maybe this time I should be the one to go away

‘Cause honey, ain’t it my turn to have somebody

Grab hold of me and say

“No, no don’t go, you can’t go”

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, baby

Stay with me, my baby

I can’t go, I can’t go, I can’t go, oh, on

When I was done I stood there as the music faded. One hand on the stand, one hand on the end of the mic, and my forehead pressed against the speaker of it. I was breathing heavy and my shoulders were shaking. I came back to myself as I remembered I was in a crowd of strangers, and I took a few deep breaths.

It was silent in the room. I knew my face was a mess. I just wanted to quickly get off the stage and go clean my face. Slowly, I lifted my head and everyone was staring straight at me. All talking had stopped and they were all just looking at me.

JP and Maggie stood and then, suddenly so did everyone else and applauded. Loudly. There were even more people now and they were all standing, whistling, and clapping. I was completely overcome by it and smiled. I had forgotten all about the mess on my face until…

My eyes were drawn over the heads of the crowd to the back of the room and I saw him. He, too, was looking at me, but he wasn’t clapping or whistling, he was just staring at me.


Stay with Me – Bette Midler

Please watch and enjoy.  If the link doesn’t work, let me know and I will fix it.


Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan


Sean Hayes as JP


Kathy Najimy as Maggie


 Vincent D’Onofrio as Dan


Jason Momoa as Tray

 BACK                              NEXT

A/N:  I don’t own SVM/TB.  I just can’t stop myself from playing with the Viking!

Thank you to MsBuffy for her editing and additions.  She’s Awesome!! Thanks for reading!  Please leave a review and let me know what you think!  🙂

20 Responses to Chapter 02

  1. Pingback: Into the Blood – Chapter 2 | kinnik's Funhouse

  2. mom2goalies says:

    Oh my, this is getting interesting. Tray is there and seemed a bit unsure when she noticed his name, hmmm….
    And who could it be in the back of the room staring at her????
    Really enjoying this and looking forward to updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kinnik7104 says:

      Who indeed…?? LOL I’m so glad you like this story!! I’ll get the next chapter up soon.
      Oh, if you haven’t checked out Bette’s video, you should. It really is a very powerful song and I ‘heard’ Cricket singing it, much like she does. 🙂
      Thanks for reading!


  3. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Hmm, interesting that they brought their own drinks and that Tray seems to be intimidating the crew and was worried that she recognized his name…I hope it’s Eric that she’s staring at! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kinnik7104 says:

    You’ll just have to wait to find out who the Mystery Man is… 😉 I’m happy that you’re enjoying it! Thanks for reading!


  5. Who is “He”? Do you mean Mr. Eric Northman?
    You left us a nice cliffie !
    Love who you picked as Tray!
    Can’t wait for more…Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    • kinnik7104 says:

      …the suspense is building… 😉 I’m glad you are liking the story!
      MsBuffy actually suggested Jason Momoa to me and I thought he was perfect.
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!


  6. jc52185 says:

    He does make a very good Tray.

    Very interesting chapter. Lots of clues for what could be happening – or I could just be imagining them all lol. The chemistry between all the characters is very nice; can’t wait to see what will happen with it when a few more additions….like the one who could be staring at her from the back of the room.

    Really good chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kinnik7104 says:

    I’m so glad that you liked it! It’s very encouraging. I’d love to tell you what’s coming next, but sadly, I can’t…the man in the back of the room is telling me not to… LOL Thanks for reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jc52185 says:

      Well then, for the record maybe we shouldn’t listen to the man in the back of the room lol. I suppose I will have to patiently wait to see if my thoughts are correct, or if I am way off the mark. Neither would surprise me at this point lol.

      And hopefully I figure out why I wasnt getting notified of new chapters. Now I have another reason to be excited for chapter 3 – I get to find out if I did fix it but most importantly, I get to see what happens next lol.

      Take care, be well, and be careful in this weather!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. idream3223 says:

    Wow…there’s purple everywhere, (BONUS!) and D’Onofrio is HERE! (Squeee!) and you have mastered the art of the evil cliffie! I love it! I means you can’t throw things at me cause it’s like a Cliffie Sisterhood kind of thing! 🙂 This is so cool. I can’t wait to find out what happens next! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kinnik7104 says:

    LOL I love purple, if you couldn’t tell. Is it too much? I was so excited to find a picture of Eric with a purple background.
    Glad you like my casting. He is exactly how I see Dan. 🙂
    I will happily join the Sisterhood…I love your cliffies. They make me crazy and bring me back for more! I’m excited that you like it!
    Thanks for reading and for taking the time to review. 🙂


  10. Pingback: Updates 2-4,15 | SVM & TB Stories

  11. oh I wonder who was staring at her in the back of the room! So cute how you renamed it Truly Bloody! I like Maggie! Idream3223 is right… you are corrupt now with your cliffies! Evil woman! Loved the chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kinnik7104 says:

    LOL Thanks! Maggie is fun. I really like her, too. According to idream3223, I’ve joined the sisterhood. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to review!


  13. ladytarara says:

    Hmmm – I wonder if maybe the characters from the books are real and the actors for the show are just actors? Maybe the casting call doubled for a donor pool? Bet the bottles of truly bloody are real too – or maybe I am totally wrong. Either way I’m hooked. Hope Eric tortures all the writers from the show… Could Cricket be a version of Sookie? I should stop trying to guess and click the ‘next’ button!

    Liked by 1 person

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