Chapter 20

Into The Blood by kinnik Banner1

Disclaimer – I do not own SVM/TB. I just want to play with the Viking!

Chapter 20

“Good evening, JP.”

Eric. Of course it was Eric. I had known it was, but just a moment ago I’d been hoping I was wrong. When I heard his voice, I was glad I wasn’t. In fact, the very thought seemed ridiculous now. As soon as I heard him speak, I instantly calmed. What had I been so afraid of? I still wasn’t sure if I was ready to ask what would only sound like insane questions, but oh! I definitely wanted him to continue talking! His voice resonated inside of me, and I felt a warm feeling in my stomach as if it had been placed there…by something… I didn’t know what! It just seemed strange that I always seemed to feel that way around him! Then again, after everything he had done for me, it felt like the most natural reaction in the world… I had the strongest…urge to make my presence known, but I didn’t! I still needed to collect myself before I could allow that to happen… Now why was that?

“What’s that?” JP asked.

They were speaking quietly and I strained to hear from my room. Finding it difficult, I crept to the top of the stairs just out of sight.

“I stopped by the hospital to return Chelsea’s belongings to her.”

“She signed herself out. She said she wanted to come home to recuperate,” JP said, a little too quickly in my estimation.

“That is understandable. Is she awake? I would like to speak with her.”

“No! I mean, she’s sleeping. We came home a couple hours ago and she went straight to bed. I can tell her you stopped by the next time she wakes up if you want.”

“Thank you. I would appreciate it. How is she feeling?”

I had to resist another pull to simply step around the corner and let him see me. Looking at him would make me feel even better, I was sure of it! I felt the strongest desire to run down the stairs and throw my arms around him, to be enveloped in his strong embrace… Wait a minute! This was crazy! I hoped JP would hurry because as much as I wanted Eric to stay, I also needed him to go! I wasn’t sure I could fight it much longer…

“I think she’s OK, considering. She just needs rest. I’ll ask her to call or text you when she gets up. Is there a time that’s too late?”

“No. I am accustomed to staying up all night.”

“Right. Well, then I guess I’ll talk to you later. Thanks for stopping to check on her. I’m sure she will appreciate it.”

I could tell JP was nervous, but he was trying to act casually. I wasn’t sure if it was from what we were just talking about, or the fact that he hates evading and, in this case, flat-out lying. I assumed it was a combination of everything. I knew he simply wanted Eric to leave so he didn’t have to continue doing it.

“Not at all. Will you make sure she gets this?”

“Sure thing. Good night.”

“Good night, JP.”

“Oh! Eric?”

“Yes?”

“Thanks for being there. I mean, thank you for saving her and everything.”

“How could I not?”

I peeked around the corner after hearing the screen door shut and watched him walk off of the porch. My stomach did flips just seeing his retreating form, and I quickly ran to the front window in the living room to peek around the edge of the curtains. I watched him walk down the driveway to the sidewalk before he stopped and turned. For just a second I thought he looked straight at me! I instantly pulled back from the curtain and when I sneaked another look, he was gone! Those feelings of comfort, serenity, and contentment I had been having went right along with him… I squinted, but I didn’t see him any further down the sidewalk. Where was his car? I remembered from my dream the other night that he said he had other transportation. I knew in that moment I understood exactly what he had meant.

~~~

JP entered the room looking frazzled. He dropped my bag by the door, immediately sat on the couch, and started preparing a new round of shots.

“Well, that sucked! You know how much I hate to lie.”

“I was right! Holy shit! I’m right!” I said, still looking out the window while my arms and legs started their own dance.

“Get over here and drink with me. I need a minute.”

“I didn’t see a car! Did you see a car? I mean, he was casually walking down the sidewalk…and now he’s gone!”

“Of course he’s gone! You told me to send him away!”

“No, I know, but I don’t see him anywhere! I think he flew away!” I happily exclaimed. This explained so much!

“I don’t know if I can take this, Cricket. It’s just too God Damn surreal. Get away from the window! He did not fucking fly away!”

I looked at him all at once deflated. I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes as I walked over and sat on floor in front of the coffee table. JP handed me my shot.

“I thought you believed me? I thought after the conversation we were just having, you…,” I trailed off before slamming back my shot.

“I do! I did! I don’t know. Fuck! I honestly don’t know what to think, but having just talked to him, it just seems ludicrous. He seems like just a normal, HUMAN, guy. How could what you’re saying be true?”

“I didn’t want him to go away…”

What? You told me you didn’t want to see or talk to him tonight.”

“I know, but when I heard his voice, I did. I wanted to be near him, I wanted to feel close to him. I didn’t want him to leave. Every time I’m around him, I feel content. I hurt less and I feel…warm. If I knew what real happiness was, I’d say I feel happy!” I starting laughing again.

“Then why didn’t you come down? Why didn’t you say something?”

“I had to stop myself. I never got to finish telling you about my other dream. I need to.”

“I’m not sure I’m still ready to hear it.”

“JP?”

He lifted the bottle to pour another round, but it was empty. JP stood and left the room in silence. I stayed on the floor and I heard him downstairs opening the freezer.

Was I wrong? I mean, it really did seem the most ridiculous fucking thing ever! I had seen tons of movies and read tons of books, but they were just fantasies. Maybe I had read one too many fan fiction stories about Eric Northman and his ‘Gracious Plenty’. Now I had met ‘Eric Northman’ and he was as Gracious of a person as I assumed was his legendary Plenty. He was a real person to me now. But was he real?

Why couldn’t JP give me solid reasons why I was wrong? This was easily the most thrilling, or the most terrifying, thing that had ever happened to me, and I had no fucking clue what to do with either scenario.

JP returned with a full bottle of vodka, a fresh bowl of lemons, and two energy drinks. I went to the bathroom and grabbed us each a couple of tablets of ibuprofen while he poured another round of shots. We swallowed the ibuprofen with the energy drinks. Apparently, we were going to stay up for quite awhile. It really was a great way to avoid a hangover.

He slid my shot across the table to me. We drank them in silence. I was waiting for him to say something.

“Fine, tell me.”

“I can tell you aren’t up for hearing the whole thing.”

“No, it’s OK, really. I just can’t wrap my mind around all of it.”

“Well, in my dream, he said I would always feel close to him.”

“That’s it?”

“No, when I asked why, he said he’s a part of me now. There’s more, but that was the most important part. It’s the last thing I remember before waking up. It’s what made everything fall into place! Now I do; I do feel close to him. I can’t explain what it was that I was feeling when he was here not long ago or how I felt when he left. Forget the whole obsessive fangirl! I’m telling you, that’s not it. I feel it in my stomach, in my entire being.”

“I just don’t know what to think, Cricket. You know that was a dream.”

“That’s true, but after the accident on set? I vaguely remember him saying that if he was a vampire, he could heal me. I think he did. I think he did it by putting his blood on my back. You saw it! It was still there in the morning, that pink mark? I think that’s what Bill meant when he was talking about what Eric had done before…”

“That mark could have been anything.”

“Really, Peej? How about this? I think he fed me his blood after I fell from the fire escape. I think I swallowed it when I thought it was blood from my tongue, except there’s no wound in my mouth now! That’s why my arm is healed too. The bruises were healed when he gave me his blood to stop my internal bleeding. Maybe it wasn’t enough to heal me completely, but I don’t think he was trying to do that, and I don’t think he intended for my older bruises to be healed, but they are! That’s what Bill was talking about. This was different than what he did to my back because I actually drank it.”

“You know that sounds crazy, right?”

“Yes. I know exactly how it sounds. I’ve been struggling with this for days, but I can’t come up with anymore excuses, and neither can you. You know I’m right.”

“I can’t admit you’re right, but I can’t come up with a reason to say you’re wrong either.”

“Sookie said when she was around me she can only hear music.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know, but if she’s a telepath, she can hear thoughts, right? When she’s around me she can only hear music, and they are all confused by it.”

“So now she can actually read minds, too? If that’s true, what’s with the music? Are they all in on it? Fuck! None of this seems real.”

“OK, think about our fight the morning after you spent time talking with Pam outside. Why were you so vehemently defending her?”

“I don’t know. Even while I was yelling at you, it didn’t feel right.”

“I think it’s because she glamoured you to do it. You and I get mad at each other, but you were so hateful that morning. I think it was triggered or something after we started talking about her. She doesn’t like me for whatever reason. If she felt threatened by me hurting her friendship with Eric, then maybe she was trying to do the same with you and me.”

We were quiet while JP poured us round after round of shots. I think he wanted this conversation we were having to be a drunken memory. I drank right alongside of him wanting the same thing, but I knew it wouldn’t happen.

“How would I know if I was glamoured?”

“I don’t know. I guess you wouldn’t. What do you remember about all the time you’ve spent with Russell?”

“I don’t know. I guess I don’t remember everything. I know I’m very attracted to him, and I can tell you that we’ve fooled around a little. I remember all of that, but, honestly? There are parts that I don’t remember. I mean, it’s as if all of a sudden it’s much later than I’ve thought it should be at times when we’ve been together.”

“You did look a little pale and tired this morning.”

“Really? Russell, too? I can’t… No…I just can’t believe that.”

“I’m just saying maybe. Maybe not, I don’t know. There are too many other things that don’t make sense.”

“What else?”

“The names. The regular people we meet working on the show, not the actors, many of them are named after characters in the books. That might not mean anything, but you have to admit that Maria-Star is not a common name. In fact, I’ve never heard it before. Have you?”

“No. It is a strange one.”

“Alcee?”

“No.”

“Warren, Claudette, Tray…I’m sure there are more. What about Dan?”

“Dan is a common name, Cricket! Wait… Our Dan? You can’t possibly think that Dan has anything to do with this?”

“No, but he has been acting really strangely, and when I saw the “Truly Bloody” bottles in the trash? He pretended they were beer bottles. What if he’s been glamoured?”

“Now you’re reaching.”

Now I’m reaching? JP! This whole thing is reaching! Like way out of the norm! You know Dan never forgets anything, but he forgot who told him I would sing!”

“Who do you think it was?”

“I’m not sure, but I think it was Eric. I think he wanted to hear me sing again. I think he’s the reason I was cast to sing in the show.”

“What else?”

“Don’t you think it’s strange that everyone seems to be exactly like their character?”

“I thought it was Method Acting?”

“I did too, but is everyone in the cast really that good? Don’t they seem even a little too real to you? I mean, if they aren’t, then the boatload of them deserve Emmy’s because they are excellent fucking actors!”

“What else?”

“For fuck’s sake! How many more examples do you need?”

“Just one. Give me one more.”

“Tray’s a werewolf.”

His eyes opened wide and his mouth fell open.

“What?!”

“I think he’s the one who was in the school.”

“That Motherfucker!”

“Wait! I don’t think he was trying to hurt me!”

Something fucking growled and chased you through the school! If there are Vampires and Telepaths, then why not Fucking Werewolves?! What else is there? Holy Fuck, Cricket! I’m gonna fucking kick his ass!”

“Even if you could, which, face it, as much as I love you, he would kill you in a fight; he wasn’t after me.”

“Who was he after?”

“Eric.”

“How do you know?”

“Eric told me. In my dream,” I winced.

I was waiting for him to deny everything again. Nothing made sense. Yet at the same time, this was the only thing that made sense. I closed my eyes and waited. I took a deep breath preparing to hold back the tears from his rejection. He didn’t make a sound. When I opened my eyes again, he was staring at me. His eyes were glossy and I knew he was on overload. When we locked eyes, he opened his arms, and then I rushed to stand up and move to the couch to hug him. We stayed like that for a long time. Then we finally pulled back and looked at each other.

“Everyone?” He asked quietly.

“I don’t know. You could read the books, I guess. It’s been a long time since I read them and I don’t remember everything. By the way, as long as we’re going in head first? Sookie’s a fairy, but I don’t think she knows it. Yet.”

“Jesus, it’s true, isn’t it? It’s real… He’s real… They all are!.”

“Yeah. I think so.”

“What are we going to do?”

He sounded so scared. He reminded me of a child who believed there were monsters under his bed. I guess in a way he was right, but I didn’t think anyone was out to get him. I placed my hand on his and held it.

“Listen, sweetie. If I’m right, if it is all true and you can’t handle it, I’ll ask Eric or someone to make you forget. You don’t have to deal with this if you don’t want to. I appreciate you helping me to figure this out, but I don’t want you to suffer for it.”

“Maybe they can make us both forget?”

“Well, I’ve thought that over too. I think that must be what they usually do, but I don’t think it works on me.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve been going over every minute detail of the last week in my head, contemplating whatever the fuck was going on. I thought of Eric in the parking lot telling me that I would forget Pam’s shenanigans during the filming. I thought of Pam telling me to sing loud and forget the words. When I questioned what they were saying to me, they both looked very surprised. Then there’s this; everyone looks at me very strangely like maybe there’s something wrong or different with me. It’s very disconcerting. So, if they can’t erase my mind, maybe there is something wrong with me?”

“I think there’s something wrong with you for just saying that sentence,” he said as he started laughing. It was a real laugh, not a nervous, freaked out, laugh.

“Well, we already knew that. It’s just now in epic proportions!” I laughed along with him.

“I don’t want to be kept in the dark,” he said.

“OK.”

“Seriously, what are we going to do?”

“We” are not going to do anything. “You” are going to continue on as if you don’t suspect anything. We’re going to go to work, film the scenes, and come home each night directly afterward, therefore avoiding as much extraneous contact as we possibly can. No sense in putting yourself in danger unnecessarily, especially if you can be unconsciously manipulated.”

“And you? What are you going to do?”

“I, my friend, am going to prove it!”

“How?”

“Get your song list together.”

~~~

The next morning we slept in late. We had stayed up late picking out a plethora of songs and compared, accepted, or vetoed each other’s choices. Fortunately, after the energy drinks we weren’t hung over. Thank God!

Since we had both left our phones off until we awoke, there were messages left on both informing us that there were no evening scenes filming that night. Perfect! It had something to do with them not having any available space. I didn’t care why, I was just happy we had the night off!

I did have a missed call from Eric, but the rest were numbers I didn’t recognize and there were no messages. I assumed that when the call went straight to voicemail the caller hung up. I texted Eric to tell him that I was singing tonight and I hoped he was able to make it. That was it for me.

JP had some texts. They were all inquiring about my recovery. I was glad he had told Russell to let everyone know I wasn’t up for chatting or visiting. That reminded me! I really should’ve told JP that Eric had seen me in the window and would have realized that JP had lied, but I didn’t want him to panic any more than he already was about everything else. I would step up if anything came of it.

He also had several voicemails from our new friends. I had to wonder if they were only pretending to be our friends just like they were pretending about everything else. I truly hoped that was not the case. I liked them. Whichever was true, I would just have to deal with the outcome.

Of course, I wasn’t sure if they were all pretending. If they were, I didn’t think it was due to maliciousness, only self-preservation. I really had no concrete ideas in my head about anyone, except for Eric, well, probably Pam too. As for Sookie, I hadn’t actually heard anyone say she could read minds or hear thoughts, and I didn’t know what it meant that she was hearing music. For all I knew, she could have just been reminded of a song I had sung when she was at the bar, but coupled with everything else, that was highly unlikely.

The whole thing with Tray was only substantiated in dreams, but it was still there. In truth, was he really pretending to be anything? He wasn’t in the cast, and he had never said he was anything other than security. If he was the one in the school though, then he was pretending to be human. He did cause my terror that ultimately caused me to fall, consequently forcing Eric to give me his blood, and that finalized the entire thing for me. So, yeah, maybe I did have some pretty concrete thoughts about him, too.

I called Dan around eleven and told him since we weren’t working I wanted to have the concert that had been cancelled the other night. He was more than happy to agree. I could practically hear the sounds of a cash register cha-chinging over the phone! I hoped it might still be early enough in the day for him to put out a flyer. Still, I had no intention of singing the requests of anyone other than JP. We had my set ready, and if there happened to be extra time that was fine, but I wanted to make sure all of my songs played first or maybe I would mix them in with other’s requests. I didn’t want it to seem too obvious.

My plan was that the songs chosen would elicit reactions from the people in the room, not just simply swaying to the music. The lyrics were subtle and could have different meanings. I really was still clueless as to what it was about my voice that affected the people listening, but, since it seemed to affect all of them, I was going to try to use it to my advantage.

I hoped that JP would lose some of his unease once we were there. I assumed that Sookie, Lafayette, Tara, and maybe Bill would sit with him again. I didn’t want him behaving any differently now that we had become aware of the fact that they, indeed, were the characters whom they had been acting as if were pretend all along. I tried to convince him to stay home, but he vehemently refused.

“I’ll watch everyone’s initial reaction to the songs while you sing.”

“Absolutely not!”

“What the hell? Why not?”

“Because it will seem too suspicious if you’re staring at everyone instead of watching me sing the same as you’ve done every other night.”

“What if you aren’t able to see them?”

“It’ll be fine. Besides, I don’t want you in the middle of this. You have to remember, if I’m right, these people have been keeping this very big secret for a very long time, and more than likely they are extremely cautious and observant of their surroundings.”

“Eric doesn’t seem too cautious when he’s around you, at least not when you’re alone after what you’ve told me.”

“Are you kidding? Half of the time I’m around him I’m only partially coherent for one reason or another. The rest of the time the clues are coming from dreams! Plus, I think that his apparent recklessness was why Bill was so angry with him. Did I tell you that fucker said he didn’t care if I died?”

“Eric?! What the fuck?!” JP shouted.

“Of course not! No, Bill said it! He didn’t say those exact words, but that’s what he was meant. Of course, it was probably because he didn’t want me to finding out anything. I guess I can’t fully blame him for that.”

What a dick!

“Unfuckingbelievable, right?!”

“Now I want to kick his ass, too!”

“Well, you better get over it. You can’t show any sign that you know anything. That is the last thing we need. In fact, I really think it would be better if you stayed home. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“No fucking way! I’m not leaving you alone up there.”

“They can’t do anything to me on stage and they can’t convince me to do anything on or off.”

“Well, I don’t want anything else to happen to you, so forget it!”

“Understood. I would do that same.”

~~~

We made lunch before deciding on our wardrobe.  That seemed like the most normal and mundane thing. It was crazy that I wasn’t freaking out. Somehow knowing that JP now believed me made it all right to be calm. It was as though a huge rock had been lifted off my shoulders. I was strangely relieved and relaxed. Maybe the freaking out would come later after seeing them?

As I thought about it, I realized that Eric had never done anything to hurt me. He was continually helping me. It was impossible for me to think anything negative about him. I hoped that he would come clean with me, if not tonight, sometime soon. In my mind, he had nothing to lose. I would never reveal my thoughts or knowledge to anyone. Aside from not wanting to hurt him, I was two hundred percent certain that I would be institutionalized somewhere if I ever spoke to anyone other than JP concerning this!

However, I was concerned about the reactions of the others, well, truthfully only those of Bill and Pam, but I felt that Eric would step in if things went wrong. I trusted him completely. He had never given me a reason as to why I shouldn’t. He hadn’t lied to me, he simply hadn’t told me anything. Why would he? I was someone that he’d  thought he would probably never see again, and I was confident that he never believed I would ever get this close to him or the truth. The truth! Fuck! Like JP, I was still having some trouble wrapping my mind around all of it, yet there was no longer any doubt nor denial.

It was going to be a cool night tonight and for that I was relieved. I knew it would be a bad thing if I showed up with very few injuries. Fortunately, no one had seen me other than Eric. As rumors tend to grow much like weeds, if anyone thought they really knew what happened to me and that things had been blown out of proportion, everything regarding my accident could be easily explained. Still, it was better not to poke the bear, so to speak.

I decided on a simple black dress. It was a sheath with a lace overlay. The sleeves were three-quarter length and I felt it covered just enough. The lace was perfect for the cool summer evening. I paired it with black tights that would hide my legs, black pumps, and a simple gold bracelet.

Aurelia Gliwski for Bloomingdales fashion lookbook (Fall 2009) photo shoot

With JP’s help, it was easier than I thought it might be to cover the bruises and marks on my face, neck and hands with makeup. They were still there, albeit healing quicker than what would probably be considered normal. I knew they would be there for a while, but, oddly, or maybe not so oddly, that was a good thing. Without the makeup, it wasn’t pretty, but once we were finished I didn’t look as bad as I’d feared.

It was time to go.

~~~

We arrived at the tavern in the late afternoon. I had no compunctions about settling in before the show started. There weren’t too many people there yet. I thought they were more than likely finishing the day scenes with Sookie and the gang before calling it quits. To my surprise, Sookie, Lafayette, Tara, and Jason arrived shortly after we did! I was also surprised though pleased to see Jason with them. We hadn’t had a chance to speak with him.

JP was still slightly nervous when he saw them, but, after a few minutes, he seemed to relax as well. I had told him to do all he could not to think of everything after Sookie joined us. If she was truly a telepath, he would give us away in a hot minute and I wasn’t sure what her reaction might be. I didn’t know if I would be able to successfully proceed with my plans. I only hoped that he could do it, or that she would not react if he couldn’t. I suggested he try to think of their acting skills, specifically their ability to stay in character, or rather these personas all the time. That was the truth and it could pass as innocuous. After all, we both believed it even if their acting was for a different reason.

I had already given my song requests to Dan and I watched from our table as they made their way to the bar to write down what I could only assume were their music choices for me to sing, and to order drinks. After last night, you’d think I wouldn’t want any alcoholic beverages, but I was feeling fine as was JP! We each had a cocktail in hand when they joined our table.

We stood and hugged each of them in turn before deciding to push two tables together for extra room due to the fact that there were more of us here tonight. I would, of course, be leaving to sing, but it was possible that more would join the table, namely Bill, before the night was over. After that task, we settled comfortably back into our chairs. I found it refreshing that I really was comfortable with them. I could tell JP had overcome his nerves and was enjoying their presence as well. In truth, we really did like all of them!

“We were so excited to hear that you want to sing tonight what with the filming being called off,” Sookie said immediately as she took her seat.

“What can I say? I’ve always got a song in my head and I just have to get it out,” I replied.

That elicited a kick under the table from JP, but I just glanced at him, smiling.

“Right… Well, we’s glad yous does,” Lafayette said, but not before I saw his eyes dart to Sookie.

I remembered that neither of them had seen me from the time when they’d had their talk about me outside. Don’t overplay your hand too quickly, Cricket! I decided to listen to my internal voice.

“Besides, I felt bad about cancelling before,” I added.

“So, I didn’t really get ta meetcha yet. I’m Jason,” he said, reaching out with his hand.

“Cricket, and this is JP,” I returned. We both shook his hand.

“It’s time for shots!” Tara announced suddenly.

“Sure, why not? We seem to be turning into quite the teetotalers,” said JP.

“More like alcoholics,” I laughed.

“Hey, deys nothin’ wrong wid enjoyin’ yaself!” Lafayette agreed.

“Yeah, even though we’re all workin’, ain’t you like on vacation or somethin’ from yer reglar  jobs? An’ we got the day off, so why the hell not?” said Jason.

“I guess we are,” I said.

“Great, then let’s get this show on the road!” Tara said, waving the waitress over.

After several rounds, most of which I declined, I knew it was time to get up on the stage. The sun had not quite set, but it was well on the way! I was ready. Well, as ready as I would ever be. I looked at JP who nodded.

In turn, I nodded to Dan. He approached the stage and took the mic.

When I stood, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Tray was in the back of the room. I smiled and reminded myself to focus on what I wanted to happen tonight.

~~~

“How ya’ll doin’ tonight?” Dan began, “I haven’t got much to say. Just that I’m happy to see everybody here and I know Cricket is too. I won’t take up any more time cuz I know she wants to get started. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!”

I stepped up on the stage and took the mic from him with a wide smile on my face.

“Good evening, everyone! I hope you’re excited because I know I am! I want you all to have a great time! I’ll take this chance to remind you that there’s a book at the bar where you can drop off any request you have for me to sing or for a duet. We’re going to start a little more upbeat tonight before we get into the mushy stuff that I know you love. That said, I’m ready if you are?” I laughed.

There were some shouts and applause from the crowd that had grown, knowing what was coming. Their faces were expectant, and already I had their full attention. I waited for Dan to return to the bar before I nodded for the music to start.

Here goes nothing. The quick tempo of Creedence Clearwater Revival began to play. This is a country style song. It’s appropriate! I told myself this hoping I wasn’t starting out too strongly too soon. I glanced subtly at Tray right before I started singing.

I see the bad moon arising. 

I see trouble on the way.

I see earthquakes and lightnin’.

I see those bad times today.

Don’t go around tonight,

Well it’s bound to take your life,

There’s a bad moon on the rise.

I glanced at him again, but his face gave nothing away. In fact, he didn’t even seem to be enjoying the music the way he had in the past. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but I thought I might get something. I continued the song, finally reaching the end. No reaction at all from Tray or anyone else, other than the regular bouncing in the seats, smiles on faces, and some were singing along.

Hope you got your things together.

Hope you are quite prepared to die.

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.

One eye is taken for an eye.

Don’t come around tonight,

Well it’s bound to take your life,

There’s a bad moon on the rise.

The only thing I did notice, during the last verse of the song? They walked in. Eric looked at Tray with a scowl on his face, and that was all.

I took a deep breath. OK, OK, OK! Just keep going!

I watched them take their seats at a table that had somehow been left empty. Eric caught my eye and nodded to me with a small smile. I saw Pam turn to greet JP with a nod of her own and a wave. I looked at our table to see that Bill had joined Sookie, and he was leaning in, speaking closely to her. They were engrossed in each other and that was fine, and then the intro to the next song started playing.

Russell appeared from out of nowhere and was sitting next to JP. JP looked comfortable and content, and I was glad. I only hoped they were his true emotions.

Listen to the song here in my heart

A melody I start but can’t complete

Listen to the sound from deep within

It’s only beginning to find release

Oh, the time has come for my dreams to be heard

They will not be pushed aside and turned

Into your own all ’cause you won’t

Listen

As soon as I started the lyrics, Bill’s attention snapped to me. His eyes then darted over to Eric who remained passive. Bill looked back at me for another moment, frowned, and then leaned in once more and quickly began speaking to Sookie again. She patted his hand and shook her head. The song was a ballad and had an entirely different meaning, but I had been hoping that he was on edge enough to react. I was elated to see that I had been right!

Listen, I am alone at a crossroads

I’m not at home in my own home

And I’ve tried and tried to say what’s on my mind

You should have known

Oh, now I’m done believing you

You don’t know what I’m feeling

I’m more than what you made of me

I followed the voice you gave to me

But now I’ve gotta find my own

As the song went on, my eyes continued to return to our table. Each time I looked over, Bill would whisper again to Sookie who finally nodded, and then looked at me. It seemed she had been trying to placate him, but she was starting to really listen to the words I was singing. I wanted her to react to the double meaning, but she was a far better actress than Bill, she only smiled at me.

You should have listened, there is someone here inside

Someone I thought had died so long ago

Oh, I’m screaming now and my dreams will be heard

They will not be pushed aside or worse

Into your own all ’cause you won’t

Listen

I don’t know where I belong

But I’ll be moving on

If you don’t, if you won’t

Listen to the song here in my heart

A melody I start but I will complete

Oh, now I’m done believing you

You don’t know what I’m feeling

I’m more than what you made of me

I followed the voice you think you gave to me

But now I’ve gotta find my own

My own.

Sookie was the first to applaud with a wide grin and a wink. What did that mean? Does she know? I was taken aback for a second before I returned her wink with a smile of my own.

When the music began for the next song, I turned my attention to Pam. This is the one I’d been waiting for! I pushed every emotion I had into it as I sang it directly to her. There wasn’t much of a double meaning. There was straight out determination in my voice and I was going to make her feel it.

I thought things couldn’t get much worse

But guess what they did

You hit my heart upside with a wrecking ball

Oh but that’s what I get

But I’m not going nowhere

I can live on my prayers

‘Cause I’m done playin’ nice

I’m done running for life

‘Cause you think that you got me scared

I was watching Pam with a smug smile on my face as I continued the song. She was frowning. She. Looked. Pissed. She may not have guessed that I knew, but it was clear what I was saying and that I was saying it to her! I was done with her fucking with me!

This time it’s goodbye trouble

I feel the light at the end of this tunnel

I get stronger with every step

Come Hell, come high water

You push on me I’m going to push back harder

I got a whole lot more than a little bit left

Oh, so don’t put dirt on my grave just yet

Oh, don’t put dirt on my grave just yet

I looked over at Bill as I sang the next verse. I was done with his attitude too!

Everyone can save their breath

They can spare me the change

You can point your finger somewhere else

If you’re looking to blame

I’ll give you something to believe

Nothing on me says defeat

No I’ll never look back

So you better think fast

If you think you can cut me deep

After that, I took notice of the crowd. They were eating it up! They loved the fire in my voice and were getting into it as they moved to the music. My fierceness was resonating in the air. In fact, they were getting the looks of determination and understanding on their faces too. I could see each one of them were probably thinking about someone they knew to whom they wished they could say the words!

Hey!

Well it’s gonna take more, gonna take more, gonna take more, to pull me under

Gonna take more, gonna take more, gonna take more THAN THAT to pull me under!

This time it’s goodbye trouble

I feel the light at the end of this tunnel

I get stronger with every step

Come Hell, come high water

You push on me I’m going to push back harder

I got a whole lot more than a little bit left

Oh, so don’t put dirt on my grave just yet

Oh, don’t put dirt on my grave just yet

Don’t put dirt on my grave just yet.

At the end of the song, I turned my attention back to Pam. Eric had his hand on her arm as if she had tried to get up and leave in the middle, and he was holding her in place. As the music ended, I saw something in her face change. She looked directly into my eyes, and raising one eyebrow, I saw what appeared to be acceptance on her face. Maybe even respect? She smiled. She actually smiled, a real smile! Then she showed that new respect for me by giving me a deep nod.

I nodded to her in return. I turned to take a drink of my water. That one had taken a good bit out of me and I knew I would need a break soon, but I had one more I needed to get out before then. Maybe I shouldn’t have put them all together that way, but I knew I wanted to get it all over with before I could relax.

~~~

When I heard the music for the next song begin, I whipped around and looked at Dan in question. I had not chosen this one! He was supposed to play my songs in order before playing any requests. What the hell? I shook my head slightly and he nodded ‘yes’ at me. He pointed to the book with a smile, and then pointed at me.

This was a request for me?

I looked around the room quickly and caught Eric’s gaze. His eyes were fixed on mine intently and one side of his mouth pulled up into a grin. Of course, no one knew who had requested the song. I was sure Dan wouldn’t even be able to remember, but I couldn’t believe it was him! Those warm feelings returned to me as I felt his eyes boring into mine. Everything else started to drift away.

No! No, no, no, no! This went against everything I knew about Eric Northman!

Still, when I looked at him, I forgot all of that and just let the words take me. The words that shouldn’t be meant for me from the man that shouldn’t be saying them, I couldn’t look away as I started to sing.

I had given up

I didn’t know who to trust

So I designed a shell

Kept me from Heaven and Hell

And I had hit a low

Was all I let myself know

Yeah I had locked my heart

I was imprisoned by dark

The longer I looked at him, the more I saw in his eyes. Why was he showing this part of himself to me?

You found me dressed in black

Hiding way up at the back

Life had broken my heart into pieces

You took my hand in yours

You started breaking down my walls

And you covered my heart in kisses

I thought life passed me by

Missed my tears, ignored my cries

Life had broken my heart, my spirit

And then you crossed my path

You quelled my fears, you made me laugh

Then you covered my heart in kisses

Finally, after I thought I had figured everything out, figured him out… I was at a loss again, but I couldn’t deny him this moment.

I was down for the count

I was down, I was out

And I had lost it all

Yes I was scared, I was torn

I took to the night

I’d given in to the fight

And I slipped further down

I felt like I had drowned

I knew right then that no one would ever know this was him.

You found me dressed in black

Hiding way up at the back

Life had broken my heart into pieces

You took my hand in yours

You started breaking down my walls

And you covered my heart in kisses

I thought life passed me by

Missed my tears, ignored my cries

Life had broken my heart, my spirit

And then you crossed my path

You quelled my fears, you made me laugh

Then you covered my heart in kisses

I didn’t realize how emotional I had become as he was baring his soul to me until I felt the tears that had been pouring down my face.

I was hopeless and broken

You opened the door for me

Yeah I was hiding and you let the light in

And now I see

That you do for the wounded

What they couldn’t seem to

You set them free

Like a butterfly kissing a child with an eye for the minor key

It hit me then like a ton of bricks when I realized he needed someone to know him. He needed a real friend. He needed someone to give him comfort.

You found me dressed in black

Hiding way up at the back

Life had broken my heart into pieces

You took my hand in yours

You started breaking down my walls

And you covered my heart in kisses

I thought life passed me by

Missed my tears, ignored my cries

Life had broken my heart, my spirit

And then you crossed my path

You quelled my fears, you made me laugh

Then you covered my heart in kisses

When the song was over and the applause started, it broke me out of my trance. I looked around the room at faces stained with tears. I placed the mic back on the stand. What just happened?

“I’m sorry, everybody. That one took a lot out of me! I need a quick break. Sorry,” I said, my voice shaking.

I stepped off the stage quickly passing through the room and straight out into the night air. I needed a minute alone. I needed to clear my head. What was that? It had shattered everything I thought I knew.

My minute alone didn’t even last a full minute when I heard the door open and close.

I felt the comfort and serenity wash over me, and, before I had even realized it, he moved to stand behind me.

~~~

 Sia – Dressed in Black

Click the link above to hear Eric’s song to Cricket.

~~~

1e6525198832042

Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan

tumblr_no3jgfhvi21tukebto1_1280

Alexander Skarsgård as Alex/Eric Northman

9fc6a7070a6b2fa6a22223161704ac11

Sean Hayes as JP

black and white sookie

Anna Paquin as Ann/Sookie Stackhouse

NelsanEllisHeadshot-1024x812

Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette

tumblr_inline_ni5n7xZ9p41qdvgbp

Rutina Wesley as Tara

60th+Berlin+Film+Festival+Ryan+Kwanten+Portrait+nob6uLvCX1El

Ryan Kwanten as Jason

Kristin-Bauer-van-Straten-07

Kristin Bauer van Straten as Kris/Pamela Ravenscroft

Ewan-McGregor-bw-381x500

Ewan McGregor as Russell Edgington

9239910c3f4c4caecf4f17848a72136a

Stephen Moyer as Steve/Bill Compton

8272704668_42bbd13d89_z

Jason Momoa as Tray

Vincent-d-onofrio

Vincent D’Onofrio as Dan

BACK                 NEXT

 A/N: A huge thank you to MsBuffy for her editing and encouragement! You’re the best, my friend!! Thank you to Gyllene for the incredible banner! Thank you for reading! Please review and let me know what you thought!

Music credits –

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

Beyonce Knowles – Listen

Nashville Cast/Hayden Panettiere – Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet

Sia – Dressed In Black

40 Responses to Chapter 20

  1. Kittyinaz says:

    omg!!! So awesome!!! Really!!!! And he is letting her in. He has decided to open up to her.. or at least that is what I am reading into this… But I might be wrong.. oh god.. please no!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jjbuffy2 says:

    oh no, you left it THERE…. *pouts loudly* ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Finally! JP! is on board too. the odds are better than ever now. i think it’s very brave of Eric to open up like that. this could lead to all wonderful loving! 😉
    can’t wait to read more of the “concert”. i am anxious to know which song will definitely nail it. 😀
    great chapter!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. msbuffy says:

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great chapter!
    I’m so glad JP is listening to her and he’s finally realizing that something is really off with these “actors”!
    Liked Pam’s reaction to the song… she actually smiled to Cricket!
    The song chosen by Eric really is written for him!
    He’s opening his soul to Cricket…will she really “accept” him?!
    Now I’ll be on pins and needles until the next update.
    Jackie69

    Liked by 1 person

    • kinnik7104 says:

      Yeah, seems like all it took was for Cricket to stand up to her (in her own way) and Pam is seeing her differently. It was time. 😉 I really like Pam. She couldn’t be bitchy forever. LOL
      I agree that it the song could have been written for Eric. The fact that she’s the only one who knows it was his, too.
      Guess we’ll have to wait and see what her reaction is. I think she’s a little freaked out at the moment. LOL

      Like

  6. tj6james6 says:

    le sigh…Yeah, I needed a minute, but really? Leaving it there *pout*.
    You know I think cliffies should be banned, right?
    Definitely worth the wait though, definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mom2goalies says:

    Oh no! I can’t believe you left it there!!!!! Now that PJ believes her, Sookie seems to be ok with her knowing, even Pam is resigned to it AND Eric picked that song and then followed her outside, you leave us hanging?!?!?! SIGH
    I agree with th6james6, cliffies should be banned…
    Gonna be a long and hard wait for an update, even if it comes today. Thanks for sharing this even if we readers are impatient and pushy for more. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Update 6-24-15 | Fanfiction Minions

  9. mindyb781 says:

    Holy crap holy cow, oh baby. He came outside , that song. Yippee ! I liked her plan with the songs. It makes me laugh that Eric realized the plan and sent a message . The girl has more control than me I would have run down the stairs at her house.
    Hmmm, I think Eric should lay a big kiss on her 💗💋💗💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jc52185 says:

    Big chapter you have here! So much happened!

    JP is on the same page with her (for the time being at least – I’m trying to figure out if I think he will be forgetting a few things here lol). Possible acceptance by Pam is always a plus – maybe now Cricket can spend a night or two without getting hurt. The song was a big step for Eric in opening up, potentially letting her know that he knows that she knows (and boy did that just feel like a Friends episode lol).

    Great chapter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • kinnik7104 says:

      Thanks! Yes, it just kept getting longer and longer. No stopping place seemed right until it did…of course, that left a cliffie, which I never plan to happen, but seems to quite a bit. Whoops!
      Let’s hope there are no injuries and she stays coherent….but no promises. 😉
      Hmm, I guess when you put it like that, it does sound like an episode of Friends. LOL
      Glad you liked it!

      Like

      • jc52185 says:

        I would say where would the fun be if she stayed injury free but I can think of many other things that you could have her do that would be even more fun lol.

        I blame my friends comment on just watching the episode they all find out about Chandler and Monica lol.

        Hope life is treating you well!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. lzdiva4 says:

    Well she knows and they know she knows. 🙂 Please hurry with the next update so I can find out what Alex/Eric has to say and how he reacts. This story just gets better and better.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ladytarara says:

    I love cliffies – though I do seem to be in the minority. All that angsty waiting just makes the next chapter even better. Hooray- the pennies are dropping and hopefully Cricket can avoid any more head injuries!

    Liked by 1 person

What did you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s