Disclaimer – I do not own SVM/TB stories. I just want to play with the Viking!
I hope you like it!
I stood there for a minute just staring at the restroom door. I started to wonder if there was more to their relationship than I had read as I went out the door and continued mulling over what she had said. “I was the one chirping.” What a bitch!
I headed to our table, and noticed that she was sitting in my chair laughing along with JP and Maggie. One of the catering crew had taken the stage and was slurring the words to Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield.”
Instead of going directly to our table still a little ticked off at my restroom standoff, I chose to go the bar and talk to Dan. My friends appeared to be having fun, why ruin the evening? Dan was always a friendly face.
“What’s with the requests?”
“I have no idea, but during your second song there was practically a line to take a look at the book and nearly everyone said they were requesting you to sing their favorite love song.”
“That’s just crazy! I’m happy for you though. You must be raking it in tonight!”
“I can’t complain”, He said with a huge smile on his face. “So, I was thinking you might want to do this every night after they’ve finished shooting for the day or evening?”
I interrupted him before he could get any further into his prepared speech. “No. I do not want to do this ever again. That was exhausting! I just want to sit down and enjoy the rest of the evening, sans microphone.”
“You might think so, but you’ll find out,” I thought I heard Dan mumble something more under his breath while he was getting me a shot and a drink.
Standing at the corner of the bar, I looked down and saw several empty bottles in the trashcan with the labels peeled off. They were the same size and shape as the Truly Bloody bottles used on the show. Why would the labels be gone unless they were actually drinking it?
OK, maybe the stuff tasted pretty good if the actors had to drink it during so many takes. I glanced around to see several beer mugs that appeared to have a red tint them. It looked as if they even liked to mix it with their favored beverage of choice.
Dan saw me notice them, and quickly told me that he had just received a few cases of Raspberry Porter, almost successfully diverting my attention. I had never tried it before, but had heard of it and didn’t really have any reason to doubt him, even if he was acting a little strangely.
Tray, the bodyguard, came out from the kitchen to take a look around and nodded at me. I had noticed him and the other one, Jake, while I was onstage.
The tavern had a blackboard with newest beers written in chalk that rotated whenever Dan bought something new and there it was, on the list. Although they had only been my thoughts, still my curiosity disappeared as my embarrassment grew. I hadn’t noticed it on the list before, but decided I would try it another time. I had switched to Coke. It was getting late and I was driving home.
He handed my drinks to me while I looked over to our table. It seemed she wasn’t going to leave, so I was just going to have to head back over and deal.
I thanked Dan and downed my shot. When I arrived at the table, the three of them were talking quietly and laughing over something she had just said.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh, hey! We were just listening to anecdotes about some of the backstage pranks that go on during rehearsals. Apparently, Eric Northman is a real prankster, especially once he gets into wardrobe,” JP laughed.
“Really? That sounds like fun,” I sat down at the unoccupied chair.
“Actually, they’re really not that funny. Well, JP, Maggie, I so enjoyed meeting you. I would love to chat more, but I need to get back to my table. Have fun and you two, behave yourselves,” She winked as she stood, and walked away without even glancing in my direction.
I moved over to the chair she had just vacated and stared at my two companions. I had intended on telling them about my run-in, but they were both so enamored with the conversation they’d just had that I just couldn’t ruin their fun. I silently sat and tried not to sulk. JP offered to get me another Lemon Drop, but I declined.
“She is so sweet,” giggled Maggie.
“I know! I didn’t know she was so funny. It’s too bad she had to go before you had a chance to meet her,” JP said to me, still laughing over something she had told them.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” I said looking in the direction she had gone. I watched her approach and sit with him, starting to talk, laugh, and gesturing over to the table where we were sitting. Bitch.
I turned my attention to the stage as ‘Jason’ started singing “Stand by Your Man” by Tammy Wynette. He was funny and not a bad singer as he crooned to the women in the room. I finally started relaxing somewhat and began to enjoy myself.
Next up was a duet with ‘Lafayette’ and ‘Tara’, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” by Barbra Streisand / Donna Summer. Now, that was really funny.
Not to be outdone, ‘Jason’ returned to the stage and grabbed one of the women who had been sitting with him to sing Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”
The rest of the night was so entertaining that I barely noticed when Dan got back up and grabbed the mic.
“Alright folks, we’re winding down for the night, but not before we get an encore from your new darlin’! Back by popular demand…”
He was looking right at me and so were the others. I shook my head.
“Come on, Cricket! The people have spoken!”
The crowd started applauding. ‘WooHoo’s’ were being shouted as I stood and made my way back to the stage, blushing from all the attention.
“OK, I guess I’ve got one more in me,” I smiled.
“Don’t worry, she’ll be back tomorrow night when ya’ll are done with your shootin’!” Dan announced.
I was shocked by the way they were cheering for me and by what he’d just said. What was he thinking? He said it as if there wasn’t even a question that it would happen, and handed the microphone to me.
As I took the mic and placed it on the stand, the room went silent. As soon as the music started, they went still and held their breath, waiting.
This song was sultry, even though the words sang about heartbreak, it was sexy. “Stronger than Me” by Sarah Buxton and Kate York, began to play.
Oh, Here I go again
Walking the line killing time between my sins
Oh, Why do I come here
The endings still the same
I’m bringing back old tears
I act like I don’t know
Where this road will go
I could almost sense the feelings of longing coming from my audience, and I looked around the room. They were rapt. My eyes stopped roaming when I saw that I had His undivided attention once again.
In that moment, the rest of the room didn’t exist for me, and I found myself feeling the heartache and pain in the words. His eyes never left mine as I began to sing to him only.
Sunrise hurts as much you
You both come up when I don’t want you to
Oh, I can still hear you say
That you and I will both be better off this way
These things that I run to
What I put my heart through
Caught up in his gaze, I found I was putting all my emotion into my singing and again the music took me away, lost in those blue eyes that sparkled in the dimly lit room. They were shining as brightly as if there was a spotlight on him.
Once again, I couldn’t look away and the music became a part of me that I wanted to share only with him. It was all-encompassing and passionate. I didn’t know why, but I wanted him to feel what was in me through the music and my voice.
Pour me something stronger
Pour me something straight
All these crooked voices, make them go away
Pour me something stronger than me
Pour me something stronger
Pour me something dark
Pour it up so high, til I can’t feel my heart
I can barely stand up
I can hardly breathe
Pour me something stronger than me
When it was over, he smiled a small smile and his eyes lingered on me for another moment before his attention was taken away.
The crowd once again stood and applauded. I came back to myself and took a bow.
“Thank you so much, everyone! This was a very special night for me to be able to perform for all of you. Goodnight!”
When I looked back, he was gone. I made my way back over to JP and told him I was ready to go home. We both hugged Maggie and exchanged numbers. She promised she would keep in touch. I found I was sorry to say goodbye. Somehow, I knew we would be seeing her again.
We arrived home a few minutes later and went upstairs to change. JP came in after I had put on my fleece pajama pants and my favorite worn out t-shirt.
My feet were sore and I was exhausted. JP went into the closet and came out in his sweats and a SLU t-shirt. I turned on the television, but JP had other things in mind. He took the remote, clicked it off, and then he sat on the other end of the couch just staring at me with a big grin on his face.
“I’m just as excited as you, Peej, but can we talk tomorrow? I’m really tired.”
“Hell No! I am so hyped up that I could do cartwheels right now! I’m going to go down and make some coffee, and we are gonna stay up!”
He was out the door in a flash and I heard him clanking around the kitchen downstairs. I stretched my legs out relaxing into the couch.
I couldn’t get the image of those piercing blue eyes looking at me out of my head. I started smiling and a warm feeling came over me. He had noticed me. He had looked at ME! The obsessed fangirl in me came out and I started to giggle! I didn’t even get a chance to meet him yet. YET! I thought. Oh, I couldn’t wait to actually talk to him and hear that deep, sexy voice in person!
Then my mind wandered back to the restroom. ‘It takes much more than that to get his attention and hold it.’
“BITCH,” I yelled just as JP came back in the room with our coffee. My shout startled him, and he did a little balancing act to not spill the cups.
“What did I do?”
“Not you. That…that…that…PAM!”
“What are you talking about? Kris? I’m sure you’ll meet her next time,” I noticed they were on a first-name basis now.
He sat down excitedly and started telling me about his conversation with her, laughing at all the stories she had told as he relayed them to me. She had multiple tales about her and Alex doing silly things as well as the teasing that went on between them on and off set. She said they’re like family and he was the biggest jokester of everyone.
He told me Alex was always doing crazy stuff behind the scenes to get the others to laugh, especially Steve, causing him to break character in serious scenes whenever they’re rehearsing.
JP had asked about Steve and Ann and, at that point, Maggie had chimed in to say that they were still in L.A. doing an interview about the upcoming season to air later in the summer since they’ve only shot a few episodes.
They were flying out tomorrow night. She even introduced them to some other cast members who were at the tables close by. He asked his new bff “Kris” for any hints of what’s coming next and she just joked that he would have to wait and see, but at least he would get a sneak preview since he’ll be around for the filming of this one.
I waited until he took a breath, and then I told him about MY first meeting with her. I listed off the remarks she had made.
“That was quite the show.”
“It takes much more than that to get his attention and hold it.”
“I saw the way you couldn’t take your eyes off of him. Your mouth was practically hanging open.”
“All the fans look at him like that. It’s the price of being handsome and famous. Just don’t get your hopes up.”
I told him every word she said to me and her inflections as she said them. I told him about her attitude toward me when I returned to the table, not even looking at me, how she was laughing when she walked away and pointing to our table.
He let me vent and get it all out of my system, and then he said in a most cajoling tone,
“I’m sure you misinterpreted it, hon. She was so friendly and sweet. I always heard how nice she was, and I was surprised to find that it was true. Now, let’s analyze the things she said, shall we?
“First of all, it was quite a performance. You were amazing! That sounds like a compliment to me.
“Secondly, I’m sure she was trying to be helpful when she made the comment about holding his attention. You were staring at him, Maggie was staring at him; Hell, I was staring at him! He’s gorgeous! The poor guy must have to put up with that all the time!
“Finally, it sounds as if she was simply telling you that he’s a nice guy, and not to have any expectations of…well…being different than all his other fans. If they are like family, then she knows him pretty well and wouldn’t want to see someone let down if they were building him up as being the great Eric Northman.
“It does sound like she was blunt in the way she said it, but after meeting her, I think she was just looking out for your best interests. He’s just a regular guy. He’s a talented, rich, sexy, regular, guy. Wait, I think that’s an oxymoron,” He started laughing.
“Do not laugh at me, JP! I did not misinterpret anything! Did you hear anything at all that I just said?! It was as if she thought I was going to jump him if I got too close. Did I look like I was ready to pounce off the stage and make a run for him?!”
“Of course not, and I’m not laughing at you. It’s just that you and I obviously had a very different night. You were up on that stage most of the time, and I’m sure you’re exhausted. Seriously, I can’t believe how upset you are over this. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but even if she did say those things in the way you think, so what?”
“What do you mean ‘so what’? I’m never going to get to meet him if she’s around!”
“I think you’re being ridiculous. If we get cast, or work the Kraft table, or whatever we do, you will get a chance to meet him. I don’t know what you’re getting so worked up over. Did you not see him tonight?”
“Yeah, I saw him.”
Then it hit me and my fangirl took over again. I saw him. I was in the same room with my crush, my IBF. The man I stared at, fantasized about, and practically worshipped listened to me sing!
“Oh my God, you are SO right! I am being ridiculous! Who cares what she does? I’m going to meet him, take a photo with him, and maybe have a conversation at some point! Have you ever looked at one of those pictures he takes with fans? He always puts his arm around them. He smiled at me! JP, he watched me sing and he smiled at me! Oh my God! I can’t believe he was watching me!”
“Everyone was watching you. You were fantastic! I was crying from the first note you sang. It was unbelievable. I’ve never heard you sing like that before! It was like everyone was in a trance…”
“Yeah, that was weird, right? Did you know they gave Dan songs and requested that I sing them?”
“I know! It was an incredible night and no matter what happens, we will be on or near that set tomorrow!”
“Of course we will, Dan already announced that I would be singing when they were done for the night. Could you believe that? What the hell was I going to say to that? He didn’t even ask me, or give me a chance to say yes or no. Do you think I’ll be roped into doing that every night?”
“Hey, I don’t care if you have to sing while I do a jig. One way or another, we’re a package deal and we’re in!”
We stayed up a few more hours talking about all the cast members we had seen, the ones he had met, and the people who sang.
We talked about Maggie, how sincere and funny she was, and he told me all about their conversations while I was in the restroom before ‘Pam’ came over. He said she’d recommended us to be cast, but we’d still have to wait and see.
Just in case that didn’t come to pass, we made plans about how to make our way on to the set. Even if we were cast, we would only be needed for a short time while they filmed our scenes, so we decided that we would sneak on to the set. If we weren’t in a scene, we’d pretend we were working the Kraft table.
We could find out from Dan what they were supposed to wear. After all, they would be getting the food and drinks from the tavern, so he would know.
This was going to work. It had to work! I had to get up close and talk to him. I had to!
“I’m sure there will be lots of people there. They won’t notice two more, right?”
“Right!” He agreed.
We were both enthusiastic and as excited as we had been this morning when we finally went to bed.
Please enjoy this video of the song Cricket sang to Eric.
Aurelia Gliwiski as Chelsea ‘Cricket’ Kerrigan
Alexander Skarsgård as Alex/Eric Northman
Sean Hayes as JP
Kathy Najimy as Maggie
Ryan Kwanten as Jason
Kristin Bauer van Straten as Kris/Pam Ravenscroft
Vincent D’Onofrio as Dan
Jason Momoa as Tray
Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette
Rutina Wesley as Tara
A/N: As always, a huge thank you to MsBuffy for her editing on this chapter. I couldn’t do it without her. Please leave a review and let me know what you thought. 🙂 Thanks for reading!