Disclaimer – I do not own SVM/TB. I just want to play with the Viking!
I was jostled awake by someone bouncing on my bed. I peeked through barely open eyes and saw my best friend, quite unusually, wide awake.
“What the Hell, Tigger?” I groaned.
“Get up! Get up! I made breakfast. Drag your skinny ass out of bed and come down so we can dish!” he practically shouted.
He stood and took off out of the room before I could even sit up. I heard him scurrying down the stairs humming.
Well, this is a strange change of events! Usually I was up hours before him and it was his ass I had to drag out of bed. I rubbed my eyes and stretched.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt pretty good. No, I felt really good. Eric was right. I didn’t feel at all sore in my lady bits! Awesome! Despite his assuring me that would be the case, I still had doubts once I had seen and felt proof of just how well-endowed he was.
Hmm, I really had to stop doubting him. I was still sleepy. Glancing at the clock, I saw it was only eight o’clock in the morning! Good God!
I got up anyway and started to make the bed, and then thought better. After all of the activities that had taken place on top of and in my bed last night, I decided to pull off the bedding entirely and just wash it. I hated to lose Eric’s scent…but still…
I’ll keep the pillow cases on, and then I can still smell him anytime I want! I grabbed a pillow and took a large whiff tossing it back on the bed. Oh God! I can’t wait to see him again tonight!
I sighed and smiled to myself while I gathered and then dropped the pile of laundry outside my bedroom door. I headed into the bathroom to take care of all my morning stuff.
“Come on, Cricket!” JP shouted out at the bottom of the stairs.
He must have really had a good time last night seeing he was so excited this morning!
“Jesus! Calm down, JP, I’ll be there in a minute! Lemme pee, for crying out loud!”
‘You would think he was five years old on Christmas morning with how excited he is!’ I thought shaking my head and laughing by the image conjured in my mind.
While I was brushing my teeth, I took a look in the mirror. My hair had the ‘yeah I was up all night doing naughty things’ look so I messily pulled it back with a scrunchï. Remembering I was without undergarments, I stepped into the closet, pulled on a pair of pajama pants, and a tee shirt. I definitely needed to wash this nightshirt too!
I glanced at the bathtub on my way out of the bathroom and started giggling while I remembered last night, well, I guess, this morning. Hell, a few hours ago! It was going to be so difficult taking a bath alone without thinking of the ‘RE-popping’ my proverbial cherry.
I dropped the nightshirt in the pile of bedding outside of my bedroom and while I stooped to pick all of it up, I stopped short when I heard JP singing in the kitchen.
In the still of the night
I held you
Held you tight
I listened to him while he continued having changed to humming and dropped the laundry. Rushing back to the bathroom, I grabbed two hairbrushes off of the double vanity, raced back to the hall, and took off running down the stairs.
I rounded the corner and slowly walked down the hall into the kitchen while I stepped side to side, swinging my left arm, and snapping my fingers singing into the ‘microphone’ in my right.
‘Cause I love
Loove you soo
I crooned and he jumped a little once he heard me, and then ran to me quickly, laughing and taking the hairbrush I held out for him. He sang with me while we danced like The Satins, shuffling and snapping our fingers side by side in the middle of the kitchen.
Promise I’ll never (shoo do shoobie do)
Let you go (shoo do shoobie do)
In the still of the night (in the still of the night)
I remember (I remember)
That night in May, the stars (I remember the stars)
Were bright above (I remember)
I’ll hope and I’ll pray (babba da babba da)
To keep (to keep) your precious love
Well before the light (shoo do shoobie do)
Hold me again (shoo do shoobie do waa)
With all of your might (shoo do shoo do waa)
In the still of the night (in the still of the night)
We turned together quickly to face the right, my front to his back, continuing to step in time side to side, swinging our arms to the rhythm of the music and singing together.
Do bop do do waah
Do bop do do waah
Do bap do do waah
We spun to the other side, his front to my back, and clapped our hands together once on the turn as we continued to dance and sing.
Do bop do do waah
Do bop do do waah
Do bap do do waah
Abruptly, we faced forward, singing to the sink and the appliances in the ‘audience’ continuing to dance.
So before the light (shoo do shoo do waa)
Hold me again (shoo do shoo do waa)
With all of your might (shoo bop do waa)
In the still of the night (in the still of the night)
We turned to gaze at each other while we sang the last lines.
In the still of the night (in the still of the night)
He bowed to me and I gave him a deep curtsy. Then we repeated the actions to our audience who graciously held their applause in reverence and awe of our performance.
We looked at each other for about a half of a second before bursting into giggles that quickly turned into belly laughing.
He handed the brush back to me and I took them into the downstairs powder room. We both still had huge smiles on our faces once I returned to the kitchen.
I looked around the kitchen realizing I didn’t have to do anything. The table was already set. I walked into the eat-in area and sat down at the table followed by JP. I looked at the huge spread of food he had prepared. There was coffee. Thank God!
On the table were two plates filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and toast along with glasses of grapefruit juice, orange juice, and bowls of sliced pineapple, peaches, and cantaloupe.
Hmm, Vitamin B? He must know for certain too.
“My God, Peej, what time did you get up? I heard you come in just a few hours ago.”
“I don’t know. I woke up a while ago feeling refreshed and wide awake. I took a quick shower and came down here to start breakfast.”
“Did you sleep at all?”
“Maybe an hour, I think, but I feel great! I waited forever for you to get up until I just finally decided to go in and wake you,” he said still smiling.
“Well, everything looks fantastic! Thank you!”
He beamed at me before stabbing a chunk of pineapple and shoving it into his mouth. I followed suit and soon we were stuffing our faces without speaking. It was delicious, and I felt full and satisfied when we were finished.
I rose from the table and grabbed the plates while he brought in the glasses, and then returned to the table to retrieve our coffee cups. He put them in the sink, but I promptly recouped them to fill them once more while he loaded the dishwasher. The kitchen was spotless.
“Wow! Did you already clean up everything else?”
“Yes, I needed to do something while I waited for you,” he said, grabbing his coffee cup.
We moved to the family room and sat on the sofa. We looked at each other expectantly.
“So?” I asked as he simultaneously asked, “Well?”
We both smiled like fools, and then proved we were by giggling madly.
“Russell asked me to go away with him!” he said in a rush while I babbled out, “I had sex with Eric in the bathtub!”
“What!?” we asked jinxing one another.
I leaned back on the arm of the sofa while gesturing for him to continue as I drank my coffee.
“When filming ends, he wants to take me away for a long weekend or a few days,” he sighed dreamily.
“Okaay,” I replied slowly, drawing out the word.
“No. What was that? ‘Okaay’,” he mimicked me.
“Really, nothing, it’s just that…”
“Just that what?”
“You know what he is, right? I mean, isn’t he? I just want you to be careful, that’s all.”
“You know, you’re one to talk! You just said you did it with Eric in the bathtub?! To answer your question, yes, he’s a vampire. I had quite a bit of fun making that discovery,” he said, blushing.
“I know, but going away with him…that’s different. Anything could happen.”
“What the fuck, Crick? Are you telling me that if Eric asked you to go away for a few days you would say no?”
I thought that over for a minute and recognized he was right. Why was I arguing?
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t judging you, I swear. That was just unexpected and took me by surprise. You’re right. I would absolutely go away for the weekend with Eric! He’s amazing! So where is Russell taking you? How long will you be gone? When are you leaving?” I said, getting excited for my best friend.
We laughed together before he started answering my questions.
“He said he wants it to be a surprise. He’s some big deal in Mississippi so maybe we’re going there. I don’t know. I’ll be gone for a few days, who knows, maybe a week? We’re leaving the night filming ends, well, if it’s early enough, I guess. Obviously, we’ll have to wait until the next night if it’s not. It’s only a four hour drive.”
“Wow! A week? What about school?”
“Um, I’m pretty sure I can easily skip my classes for a week,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Hey, I’m excited for you! You’re going to have a great time! I really like Russell.”
“Me too,” he said with a wide smile.
“I would hope so! Eric said there aren’t too many scenes left to film. I think the next one is the masquerade gala or the ball, or whatever. I’m really looking forward to that. I loved those costumes! I think I might be singing again, but no one has mentioned anything yet. They really don’t tell us much, do they?”
“No, but who cares? I’m having a great time!”
“Yeah, me too! It’s crazy, right? Not just the show, I mean, everything!”
“Are you kidding? It’s fucking insane!”
“So, what’s really going on with you and Russell?” I cooed.
“What do you mean? We’re just having a good time together.”
“Don’t you think you’ll continue to see each other?” I asked somewhat surprised.
“Nope, just a fun getaway. I can’t imagine it going anywhere afterward. Besides, you know my type and he’s not it. I prefer someone with a little more…ethnicity, but Russell’s just so damn cute and charming! How could I resist him? I suppose we might hook up if he ever came back to town, but really, what reason would he ever have to come back here?”
“For you! Why wouldn’t he?”
He started laughing.
“Jesus, Cricket, how many times have I told you that you need to stop thinking of sex as if it’s some big, emotional, commitment? Yeah, yeah, I know, you’ve told me a million times that you couldn’t do it unless you felt something for the guy, but seriously!” he rolled his eyes.
I remained quiet, looking down into my coffee mug.
“Hey! Wait a minute! You said you had sex with Eric!”
I stayed silent while I took a long drink.
“You’re not? Wait, are you? I know you have this huge obsession with him, but you don’t… Do you? What does he think? Did you say anything? What did he say?” he asked.
“I’m not obsessed with him! Sure, my fangirl self may have been before, but things have changed. He’s nothing like what I thought! All of that went away once I got to know him,” I stood and walked into the kitchen to get a refill of coffee.
“Sure you’re not just living out some fantasy?” he called after me.
It was my turn to roll my eyes. I returned to the room sitting down on the arm of the sofa once more.
“Yes, Peej! I’m sure! It’s not like that, he’s not like that! He’s real. We talked. I told him things about my past and he’s opened up to me too. Fuck! I should not be telling you this stuff. He’s very private and he has an image he has to maintain before others that CAN’T waiver. I swear to God, I will kill you if anything leaves this room. You cannot breathe a word of anything to Russell!
“I won’t, but you do know they are friends, right?”
“I don’t care! Promise me!”
“No, I’m serious! Promise!”
“Jesus, I fucking swear, OK?”
“Damn! You really do like him, don’t you?”
“Yes. I really do,” I admitted sheepishly.
“Here you are telling me to be careful. This is a big deal. What did you tell him? You really did share things concerning your past? Oh, Cricket! I can’t even begin to how imagine rough it must have been sharing those painful times.”
“You know what, Peej? It was and it wasn’t.”
“It was because, well, let’s face it, it just sucks. Given our respective ages, we both have pasts; well, one of us quite a bit more than the other, and truthfully? That’s where they belong, in the past. It’s partly why I didn’t share all the gory details. I mainly gave him the headlines, but he wants to hear more and I told him I would share more tonight. Still, he’s open to knowing more and I suppose that’s why that at the same time, it really wasn’t so hard. He makes me feel safe, I mean, really safe in the same way as you do, JP. He’s easy to talk with and was genuinely interested to learn some things regarding me. He was upset as a result of the little bit I did say though he was pleased that I told him I would tell him more.”
“Man, you’ve got it bad,” he said, shaking his head.
“No, I don’t, it’s really not like that.”
“Guurl, it is soo like that! Don’t forget that I know you, you floozy. That was massive for you! You and I hardly ever mention those fuckers, and you don’t screw around. Ever!”
“I’m not screwing around!”
“My point entirely. By the way, kudos, though I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to soak in that tub again! It sounds as if you had more than just fun…”
“Oh! I did! I really, most sincerely, had the greatest…‘more than just fun’!” I said giggling.
“So… Was it anything like your dream the other night?”
“So much better and I didn’t feel the least bit guilty.”
“Why the fuck would you feel guilty? I don’t understand why you even felt that way before.”
“I guess because I thought there might have been something between him and someone else. You know I would never have been with him if I thought for one second there was.”
“Yeah, that I do know. Who did you think he was seeing?”
“Well, I didn’t really believe he might have been seeing someone per se, just that I thought he should or something as if he was destined to, even though it hasn’t happened yet. It’s silly. Besides, after last night, I think it could be just my subconscious. I know now I’m able to tell, and just given what he says, he’s not with anyone.”
“How do you know?”
“Russell and I talked discussed it.”
“Why would you do that?”
“I don’t know. It was simply a passing comment he made.”
“Well? Exactly what did he say?”
“Not anything, really. He just said that he’s known Eric for a very long time and he’s noticed his behavior has been uncommon around you.”
“God, it’s not as if we spent the night gossiping about you two! We had our own things to do, you know.”
“You do look happy.”
“Whatever. Don’t over think it. We’re having fun, that’s all.”
“OK. I know everyone isn’t like me.”
“No one is like you!”
“Shut up!” I said blushing.
He laughed, and then examined my face for several moments as though searching for something.
“Oh My God! You’re in love with him!”
“Of course it is! I’ve only known him for a few days!”
“Yeah, well, it’s been several very long few days, most of which the two of you have spent together.”
“I’m done with this topic,” I said, looking away.
“Fine. Let’s change the subject,” he said as he rose and stretched.
“Let’s go pack your stuff.”
“Sounds like a good plan!”
“Hey, if you don’t know where you’re going, what will you take?”
“I have no idea.”
We went to the closet where JP began pulling out nearly everything he owned. We carried everything to his bedroom laying it out on the bed. As he went through the pile pulling out different shirts, shorts, and pants, I took them him and folded them into neat stacks.
Once satisfied, everything left over was returned to the closet, and then he grabbed his suitcases. We had no idea of how long he would be gone so he chose enough clothing for a week. After he was packed, he took what turned out to be two suitcases, placed them on the floor, and hung his garment bag on the door. All that was left was his toiletry bag for the day he was leaving in just a few days.
I wasn’t surprised by the amount he had packed. He had always packed much more than me whenever we went out of town together.
Although I would miss him, I knew he would have a wonderful time. I was so excited for him! We hadn’t spent much time apart ever since we’d known each other. We always took day trips or vacations together.
It will be fine! He will be fine!
I started to wonder that he could be wrong and they might continue to see each other after the trip. It wasn’t too long of a drive to Mississippi, even less if you flew. We didn’t have an abundance of extra cash to take many flights, but maybe they could take turns or something.
We sat in the living room and JP turned on the TV. My mind returned to Eric.
Would he ask me to go away for a few days? We would definitely continue seeing each other. If the last few nights were any indication, I surmised he would want to stay with me while JP went out of town. There were no windows in our finished basement so he wouldn’t have to leave in the mornings. We had some furniture down there, not much, but it wouldn’t be too difficult to put something down there for us, I mean, for him to sleep on.
Then again, it would probably be very difficult for him to be so exposed, so maybe he wouldn’t want to stay, but we would still have the nights. I believed he trusted me. I knew I trusted him. Still, that was probably too much to ask. I would simply offer and see what he said.
No, I didn’t care what Peej thought. There was something between Eric and me. I knew Eric felt it too. I recalled his words.
”I have not met anyone like you in all the years I have walked this Earth. You have brought something to the surface in me that I did not know was still there. Something I am not sure was ever there. I am different with you than anyone else.”
I was unique to him. The thought made me smile. I felt the same way. Yes, this was something special. I couldn’t wait to see where it went. But, no, I wasn’t in love with him!
No, that’s ridiculous! I couldn’t be! Am I? No! JP’s crazy! It’s too soon!
It already felt as though I’d known him my entire short life. I hoped he would tell me more about his life tonight. Now if we could only stop bickering! I laughed to myself.
I was brought out of my musings when JP’s phone rang. He answered it and although I couldn’t hear what was being said, a huge smile crossed his face while he was listening.
“Yes, I’ll let her know, too,” he said right before he hung up.
“What was all that?”
“I’m supposed to tell you that filming’s been cancelled for tonight again!” He said practically bouncing on the couch.
“Who cares? This means I’ll get to spend another night with Russell!”
I’ll get to spend the whole night with Eric again!
I couldn’t have been more excited to hear that news.
“I know I should be upset that we aren’t shooting, but I’m soo not!” I said with a wide grin on my face.
“I know, right? Let’s get dressed and head up to Dan’s for a drink!”
“Exactly. It’s already noon. That is a completely acceptable time to begin drinking.”
“Yeah, you’re right. OK!” I laughed.
I waited for JP to gather what he wanted from the closet before I went in and took over the bathroom.
My thoughts immediately strayed to the way Eric kissed had me right there in the shower so passionately and sweetly at the same time, I touched my lips and smiled.
I took a long, hot shower recounting every minute of the previous night while I stared at the bathtub through the glass wall of the shower. Once I turned off the water, I heard JP on the phone once more out in the living room before he ended the call.
“Hey Cricket, get a move on!” he called through the door.
I didn’t answer, I just went into the closet to get dressed. While I was looking through my clothing I made a decision. I put on a pair of cutoff denim shorts and an old tank top.
When I was dressed I returned to the living room and found JP sitting on the couch with the remote in his hand flipping through the channels.
“Finally!” he said, and then he looked at me, “What are you wearing? Go get dressed!”
“I am dressed. I’m staying home.”
“What? No! Lafayette just called and we’re meeting them for lunch.”
“Him and…I don’t know, everyone else. They’re happy to have another night off too.”
“I’m sure. They were pretty excited last night. Still, I want to stay here and clean the house.”
“Seriously? Come on, the house looks fine. Don’t you want to hang out with them?
“Be that as it may, I would rather not go. Don’t you want the house to be clean when Russell comes over later? Why don’t you just bring them all back here after lunch and we can hang out for a couple of hours until sunset?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. If you’re bringing them here, all the more reason to clean.”
“Fine. I can tell you’re not going to change your mind.”
“You’re right. Now go. Have fun. I’ll see all of you later,” I said, waving him off.
“OK,” he said, giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
That didn’t take too much convincing. He all but skipped to the stairs. He was in such a good mood. Only having fun with Russell, my ass!
I finally put the laundry in the washer and made my bed with clean sheets. I spent the afternoon dusting cabinets, washing down counters, vacuuming carpets, and mopping the wood floors. I even swept the deck and the porch! By the time I was finished, my comforter was dry. I carried it upstairs and finished making the bed. Once I finished, I took out the heavy duty cleaner and scrubbed the tub, and then washed down the walls of the shower. You never know!
I shot off a quick text to Eric.
- You probably already know this, but the shoot has been cancelled again tonight! I’m really looking forward to seeing you. JP’s going out with Russell again so I’ll meet you at the tavern at sunset, and then we can come back to my house. I promise not to rescind your invitation. 😉 ~ C.
- p.s. In case I forget to tell you, I had a really nice time tonight. ~ Your ‘Pretty Woman’
I hit send and immediately thought of how stupid that sounded. Why did I write that? I rolled my eyes and laughed to myself. Oh well, too late now. I’m such a dork!
I was still giggling when I checked the time noticing it was only three o’clock. I had plenty of time before sunset and figured I should take a nap. The night before was catching up with me, and I definitely didn’t want to fall asleep later when Eric was here! Now that my bed linens had been changed and it was already made, I decided to nap on the living room couch. I set the alarm on my phone and placed it on the coffee table. I planned to sleep for an hour and a half. That would give me time to shower and get ready before heading to the tavern.
I had a brief thought of JP having not yet returned with the others, but didn’t dwell on it too long. They must be having a great time! JP would awaken me once they arrived and maybe I’d still have time to make a quick dinner everyone.
I grabbed one of my Eric-scented pillows and breathed in his scent while I snuggled into the couch. Sleep found me quickly.
Eric was standing outside just off the porch when I saw him. It was the same spot he had stood in when he’d left last night. I took a step toward him as he stood still and watched my approach. Once we were face to face, he gently cupped my face leaning down to kiss me chastely on the forehead, and then on my lips. I wrapped my arms around his waist and pressed the side of my face to his chest. He kissed the top of my head and rested his cheek there while encircling me in his arms.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“As am I.”
“It would have been a mistake for both of us.”
“Yes,” he said while he pulled back slightly and looked down at me.
We were almost repeating the words we’d spoken this morning, but something was different.
Our gazes locked when I looked up into his eyes. He stared into me, but his clear blue eyes looked sad. I needed to change that.
“JP thinks I’m in love with you,” I said light-heartedly.
“What do you think?” he asked in a hushed voice as his eyes darkened.
“I think you drive me crazy,” I laughed quietly.
“This I already know,” he said with a smirk.
He stepped back, looking at me intently while he obviously prepared to leave for the day.
“You know I cannot.”
“Yeah, I know,” I sighed.
He gave a small smile and stepped to me again. This time he kissed me tenderly yet deeply before releasing me.
“I am glad you understand. Good night, min sǫngr.”
He shot straight up into the sky.
“Good night, Eric,” I whispered, looking up to where he’d gone.
I returned to the house and had just locked the door when suddenly my stomach felt as if it was twisting in knots. I fell to my knees at the force of it and curled into a fetal position. I lay on the floor for a moment, unable to move and feeling as if I was going to be sick. I rose to my knees and dry heaved several times until the pain subsided enough to where I was able to stand and climb the stairs. I was almost to my room when I felt a wave of anguish pass over me forcing me to the floor again. I cried out in pain clutching my chest, but there was no one was home to hear my cries.
Where was JP?
My mind filled with thoughts of Eric. I’d had his blood, surely he could feel my pain, but I only felt him moving further away.
Oh God! The sun is rising! He can’t come!
It felt as if my heart was exploding when another wave of anguish pulled me from my thoughts. Tears streamed down my face while sorrow filled my entire being.
It was too much. I separated from myself as I had in my other dream. I watched as I held one hand to my heart and the other to my stomach crying out for him, and suddenly I knew. Somehow in that moment, I realized this was not my pain. I don’t know how I knew, but I understood that it was coming from Eric.
Had we actually bonded? Is this what it’s like?
All at once I was me again, and I calmed enough to distinguish the emotions that were his and what I felt. I cried again feeling his continuous turmoil, knowing there was nothing I could do. I didn’t even know where he was.
I could feel all of it.
It was overwhelming, and I placed my hand over my heart once again and wailed. Eric was so full of sorrow and regret.
Had we in actual fact bonded and he truly had not wanted it? Was this why he feeling regretful?
We had not bonded, but did he want it prior to me telling him it would be a mistake? Was this why he was sorrowful?
I did this to him!
“No, min sǫngr.”
I looked up when I heard the sound of his voice. I felt peace wash over me. He was looking down at me and I saw that his eyes were filled with blood tears. Some trickled down his face, but his voice was calm though he appeared tormented. My heart broke.
“I’m sorry, Eric,” I said in a voice barely audible.
That was all he said as he turned and walked away.
I could hear a phone ringing in the distance. All of a sudden I was jolted awake. I sat straight up, sweating and panting, still bewildered due to my nightmare. My chest ached and there were tear tracks on my face. After a few deep breaths, I leaned back against the arm of the couch, brought the pillow to my face, and inhaled his scent deeply.
I took a few more deep breaths until I had completely calmed. Eric was safe somewhere and sleeping the day away. Everything was fine. My unconscious mind was simply worrying still over the panic of bonding and the fear of how he might react had it really happened. He claimed that it didn’t and I believed him, apparently my dream self wasn’t quite so trusting.
I shook it off. Fucking nightmare! Maybe I should tell him about it tonight?
He would reassure me again and all would be well. Then again, I didn’t want him thinking I needed constant reassurances. If we were going to work, we needed to trust one another fully.
After all of that, I definitely did not want to go back to sleep! I rose from the couch and stretched. I carried his pillow back to my room, tossed it on the bed, and then returned to the living room to turn off my phone alarm.
I noticed a missed call. That must have been what caused me to awaken. When I pulled up the caller ID, I was so happy to have my best friend yet again! He was always there! He was always there when I needed an emotional jumpstart. We both were there for the other, especially when it counted.
I listened to his voicemail. There was a good bit of noise in the background indicating a full house. I could tell that JP was quite tipsy and could only imagine how many rounds of shots they’d had. He was asking me to come to the tavern. It seemed that no one could drive, a fact that I was grateful that they recognized, and they wanted me to join them. I heard some of the others shouting near the phone.
Lafayette – “Come the Hells on, hookah!”
Jason – “Whatcha waitin’ fer pretty lady? Git yer pretty lil’ behind over here and sing somethin’ fer us!”
Tara – “Jason Stackhouse! Don’t you talk to her that way! Especially if you want her to come! Please come to the bar, Cricket!”
Jason – “Sorry! Please come!”
“Did you hear that, you hussy? Come on, already!” mumbled JP at the end.
How could I turn down such charming invitations? I laughed while I hung up the phone.
I wanted to look nice, a little bit of sexy coupled with a little bit of innocence. Eric and I had the whole night with JP gone and I planned to take advantage of it. My bruises looked better today and wouldn’t take as much make-up to cover.
I decided on a short, loose-fitting, white summer dress with a pastel leaf print that was very low cut in the front. I wore a lavender cardigan sweater that buttoned below my breasts to my waist to cover my arms. Yeah, OK, maybe a little too low cut for the tavern, but I wasn’t planning on staying too long…
After choosing my outfit and brushing my teeth, I got in the shower for the second time that day and scrubbed the sweat, dirt, and doubt of the day from my mind and body. After a long shower filled with shaving, plucking, and moisturizing, I dried off and dressed. I left my hair down so it hung both over my shoulders in the front as well as down my back. Then I swept on a little light makeup and once that was done, I had nothing else to do but leave.
I sent a quick text to JP.
- On my way. Have a round ready, on me! C U soon! XOXO
On the drive to Dan’s I started to get that odd feeling that caused my heart to ache for Eric and my stomach to tighten once again. I pushed it away, attributing it to the fact that the sun had set and I would soon be seeing him.
Rather than feeling that, I consciously forced my thoughts to last night’s activities, Eric’s gentleness and patience, his passion, his generosity and understanding, and, yes, his perfection in all things related to sex! Most importantly to me, however, were Eric’s words. Butterflies started flitting in my stomach when I remembered his voice with all its tenderness.
“I do not want you to be afraid when you are with me. I would never hurt you.”
I sighed in contentment though that didn’t make me any less nervous thinking about seeing Eric for the first time after we’d made love…all night. I wondered if it would be obvious to anyone. I hoped not. It was still too new.
After I parked, smoothed my dress, and entered the tavern, my fears were put to rest once I saw all of my friends laughing and talking. They were all clearly past tipsiness and headed toward intoxication. No one would notice a thing. That thought made me smile while I walked to the table. I decided it would be best if they got plenty of water and, hopefully, some food into them if they planned to continue drinking at this rate. Besides, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I was hungry!
I went to the bar first and ordered several bottles of water for everyone, well, all the humans, and a good amount of food. I didn’t know what anyone would like, so I ordered one each of the twelve appetizers on the menu. A couple of tables had been pushed together for our group.
“Cricket!!” they all shouted at once when I came near the table.
I definitely felt loved and wanted as I approached.
Russell stood to greet me.
“I’m so glad you could join our party, little songbird,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
“Should I apologize for JP now or later?” I laughed, looking over at my friend.
“Oh, he’s just having a little fun. There’s no harm in that. I’ll make sure to sober him up later,” he said in his Southern gentleman’s voice.
Russell reached out and took my hand to kiss it. For a split second I thought he smelled my knuckles before kissing them.
“Well, well, it seems someone else has been having a little bit of fun,” he leaned in and whispered, looking me straight in the eye.
I blushed and looked at the floor.
He leaned in closer to my ear and whispered lower than even another vampire could hear.
“Don’t worry, my dear, your secret is safe with me. I would, however, avoid Mr. Compton and my Buttercup if you’re concerned about it,” he said conspiratorially.
My eyes grew wide while I glanced at everyone around the table who had returned to their previous conversations.
“Then again, at this point, he probably smells like you as well, so I’m not sure there’s much there can that be done,” he winked before sitting back down at the table.
I was too stunned to say anything. Then a sudden thought occurred to me and I looked around the room. Where was Pam? And where was Eric? I was sure my text said I would meet him here at sunset. I pulled out my phone to check and it did, indeed, say just that. I didn’t get too far into that thought when there was a loud shout or rather shouts from our table.
I looked around our group as I was guided to and seated in a suddenly empty chair that appeared near me. I realized it was Russell who had once again taken my hand and guided me there.
He bent over and spoke quietly only to me.
“Stop fretting, my dear, it will cause premature wrinkles. I have every confidence they will arrive shortly.”
I nodded to him once he returned to his own seat on the other side of JP. I looked around the table. To my left sat Lafayette, then Tara, Jason, Sookie, Bill, Russell, and JP to my right. There was a rather large space between Bill and Russell, presumably for Eric and Pam. I would be surprised if they sat with us after they arrived though stranger things had definitely happened lately, but Eric and Russell were friends after all.
As I requested, there was a round of shots for everyone on the table. In fact, there were five rounds of shots.
Holy shit! Really? I was so glad I had ordered water. It arrived at that moment.
I reached down and grabbed my first shot. We all raised our glasses together.
“What are we drinking to?” I asked no one in particular.
“To songbirds,” said JP. Everyone looked at me fondly before we drank.
“To our new friends, JP and Cricket!” shouted Tara and we slammed back our shots.
“To our old, OLD friends, Russell and Bill!” shouted a giggling Sookie, causing a loud guffaw from Russell and we drank again.
Sookie was seated across from me and she seemed to be just as tipsy as the rest. Bill rolled his eyes at her toast with a pinched look on his face that made me laugh causing him to shoot me a glare. When I saw his nostrils flare, his stare became more intense. I knew he scented Eric and I looked away to Jason who was laughing, a goofy grin on his face.
“To a nights ta remember…if we’s can!” called Lafayette, eliciting laughter from everyone. Once again, we drank our shots.
“To a indeternal…undetenble…unterten…to goin’ home!” called out Jason.
“To going home!” everyone repeated.
I lowered my glass after what Jason said registered in my mind.
“Not for me!” shouted JP, taking my glass and tossing it back.
I looked at JP and saw Russell’s hand holding his. Russell was looking at him with a sweet smile upon his face. It made my heart swell with happiness.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Sean Hayes as JP
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette
Rutina Wesley as Tara
Ryan Kwanten as Jason
Ewan McGregor as Russell Edgington
Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton
Thanks to you all for reading and your patience! Please review and let me know what you thought!
Music credits –
The Five Satins – ‘In the Still of the Night’