The Viking's Heart (TB,Eric/OC,ADULT) Ch13 8/5/11DEAD&BURIED

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The Viking's Heart (TB,Eric/OC,ADULT) Ch13 8/5/11DEAD&BURIED

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Fri May 14, 2010 3:31 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

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Chapter One

Drip. Drip. Drip. God where was that sound coming from? Where am I? Cassie though, rubbing her eyes, trying to see passed the blackness. It was all consuming, it was painful to strain her eyes against the oblivion around her. Drip. Drip. Drip. Where the hell am I? Cassie screamed in her head as her hands reached out in front of her. Moving forward, she hit something solid…and gritty.

"Hello?" she tried her voice, it sounded normal except for its faint echo.

"Is somebody there?" asked a rough, male voice- it was unfamiliar and breathy.

Oh God, it was happening again, she was doing it again. Her body tensed up and Cassie tried to pull herself back, she didn't want this.

"Please, if somebody there, I needs ya help," said that voice again, clearer with a strong southern accent.

She had already opened her mouth and spoken, she couldn't ignore him- whoever he was. "I'm here."

"Oh thank God. Please, I need you to get these chains off. We have to hurry before they get back," said the voice.

"Who are you? Who are they?" Cassie asked, walking along the dirty wall, listening to the steady drip-dripping noise.

"My name's Lafayette. And who do you think they are? The damned vampires," said Lafayette, his raspy voice deepened with hate and fear. Cassie could hear him pushing at the chains, trying to break free as they rattled and the drip, drip, drip was broken up into halted pauses.

"We're in the South? Where are we, Lafayette? I can't see you, so I'll have to feel for you," Cassie said. "My name's Cassandra Mason."

"Yeah we in the South. How you not know where we are?" Lafayette replied, the rattling of his chains slowed and then halted as Cassie stumbled and fell with a gasp. "You a'ight?"

With a shudder, Cassie reached down to where she stumbled and felt for whatever tripped her, it was soft and wet and felt like something sharp was poking out of it. Her eyes were being to adjust to the faint light from the door crack near the top of the room. She focused on the object in her hand and almost stifled her scream- almost.

"Shut up! Do you want them down here?" Lafayette asked, his tone desperate and panicky.

Oh my God, Cassie thought, it's an arm; it's somebody's arm! Dropping it like it was poisoned; Cassie scrambled backward in a crab walk and slammed into somebody's chest. She scuttled around and found herself looking at a black man with several days' growth of beard on his face, torn clothes hanging from his body, and chains wrapped around his bleeding wrists. The blood dripping from his wrists were making that awful drip, drip, drip noise as it hit the floor of dark, cold place.

"You okay?" he asked, his face softening as he looked at her.

"I'm fine. Are you okay? Where are we?" Cassie questioned, noticing that his leg was torn up slightly and he looked like he'd been shot.

"Hell no, I ain't okay. I'm as far from mother fucking okay as you can get. How can you not know where we are? How did you get in here?" Lafayette said, shaking like a leaf as he stared up at the door crack.

"Look, I'm not really here. I know this sounds so weird, but I'm not really sure where we are. I live in New Jersey. I have this…gift and I can sense when someone needs my help, and then I'm there. Like astral projection, my body is somewhere else, but my…spirit is here. Look, we don't have time. I don't know how long this is going to last- it's not really an exact science. Tell me where you are and who to call and I'll do it if I can't get you out of here," Cassie said, trying her best not to freak out at the sight of him, dripping blood and on the verge of a breakdown.

"No fucking way. How I get's mixed up will all you crazy, psychic white girls is beyond me. Look, I'm in Shreveport, Louisiana in the basement of a vampire club called Fangtasia. I ain't got much family, but call Tara Thorton- she lives in Bon Temps, Louisiana- it's only thirty minutes from here. Tell her Lafayette is in some crazy V trouble with a badass vamp named Eric Northman. She'll figure out what to do. She's listed so just look her up. Now help me with these mother fucking chains. I ain't looking to die," he said, slamming the chains against the stone wall behind him.

"Okay, just hold your wrists out. I'm going to try something. It might not work because I've never tried it while projecting before," Cassie warned, grabbing his arms and holding him still.

Lafayette was looking at her like she was insane, and at this point, Cassie wasn't too sure he was wrong, but she ignored his eyes and concentrated on his wrists, on the chains. She thought about them breaking, about them opening, about setting him free, about them rusting at the core, about them flying apart- and it happened. His wrists shook, the chains rattled, the metal groaned in protest and with a sudden explosion that jarred her chest and sent her flying- the chains broke.

God that hurt, Cassie thought. She was lying on her side now, facing away from the stairs as Lafayette got to his feet. He was staring at her wide-eyed as he held onto the wall for support.

"You okay?" He asked, not coming near her to help her up.

Bending her back slightly, she felt it crack, and her muscles loosened up a little as she too got to her feet. "I'm fine, let's go."

Joining him, Cassie put one arm around his waist and used the other to anchor them against the wall. They made for the stairs as quietly as possible, both holding their breath and trying hard not to breathe. Each step was a victory, each stair a pain. When they reached the top, Lafayette sagged against her body, causing her to droop a little as she reached for the door knob. It squeaked ridiculously loud before it opened all the way and revealed a normal looking hallway. They hurried, still quiet, down the hall and out into the main area of a club. It was unimpressively themed in black and red with plush carpeting and booths. A raised dais held up a king-sized throne and a few more ordinary looking chairs. A huge, gleaming wooden bar shone like a welcoming beacon to alcoholism against the back wall and just to its right Cassie spotted an exit.

"Hurry up," she whispered, tugging Lafayette harder toward the exit. Just as they were reaching it, a gun cocked.

"Stop!" shouted an alarmed female voice.

"Son of a bitch," Lafayette said beside her, sagging against her so fully that Cassie had to work twice as hard to keep standing.

Turning, Cassie saw a bleached blond woman in her forties coming from behind the bar with a shotgun loaded and pointing straight at them. Her tub top, sagging boobs, short shorts, and stick thin legs screamed mid-aged cougar with a youth complex. Great a fang banger wannabe, Cassie thought, hefting Lafayette's weight more to her left-side.

"Who the hell are you?" said the blond, her eyes flicking from Lafayette to Cassie and back.

"Let us go you crazy bitch," Lafayette shouted, pulling some of his weight of Cassie as he pulled them back toward the exit. Wrong move. Blondie shot off the gun in her hands and Cassie barely had time to deflect the bullets slightly off target- which was Lafayette's upper-right chest- before hitting the ground.

"You can't go nowhere. Eric would have my job," said the 'crazy bitch'.

Cassie looked at the gun in the blonde's hand and thought about it being thrown from her grip to the other side of the room. She saw it in her mind, saw it leaving her hands, saw it skidding across the floor, and then it was happening. The shotgun gave a mighty jerk and went flying across the room.

"Ginger?" called a voice from the back as the sound of another door leading from the outside in echoed to the front of the empty club.

"Ah shit," Cassie swore, tugging at Lafayette who had frozen up with a look of terror in his eyes.

"Chow quick, that nigger is trying to escape and somebody's helping him," said the blond- Ginger.

In a blink a relatively short, tattooed vampire was in front of the bar, hissing with his fangs exposed. Not good, Cassie thought, so not good. And then she felt it, the pulling sensation of her body calling her back, she was leaving.

"Lafayette," Cassie whispered as his image faded in and out, in reality she knew it was she who was fading in and out, and fought harder to retain her presence.

"You's disappearing," he whispered in wonder, even as the vampire sped to their side and grabbed him up- attempting to grab her too, but not able to; she was too incorporeal now for that to happen.

"I'll find help," Cassie called out, shouting as she burst into consciousness.


Gasping, Cassie started awake. Looking around, she realized that she was on the beach, and that the sun was sitting low on the horizon- not many beach goers still present. Steadying her breathing, she reached into her large, golden tote bag and pulled out her cell phone. It was going on three-thirty. Great, she was late for work and her head was pounding.

Arching her back, Cassie retied her bikini top and pulled her light sandy brown hair back into a long, low ponytail. She noticed that her skin was a little too pink- she'd have a faint sunburn tomorrow for sure. Quickly, she backed everything up and put it in her tote, swinging it onto one shoulder, and then retied the knot of her sarong over the skimpy bikini bottoms that matched the tan, crocheted top- it was her best tanning bikini, the one that was cut just the right way and revealed plenty of skin to the sun's bronze kiss. Usually Cassie never burned, but she had been out in the sun baking for over an hour- half of which had been spent in southern Louisiana.

Sighing, she made her way over sand castles, sea shells, crab grass, and broken pieces of this-or-that before reaching her eco-friendly Prius. She loved her car; it was a gift to herself after she booted her two-timing ex out of their beachfront condo. It had been a great day- scratch that, it had been a fantastic day. She'd even given herself a mini-makeover on the strip: blonde highlights, new dress, pretty beaded flip-flops that cost too much but were oh-so-worth-it when she got her weekly mani-pedi. Life had seemed normal for all of two weeks.

Now the visions were back and her body was projecting her all over the place. Why did she have such bad luck? She was good person. She paid her taxes; she recycled; she donated to the Make-a-Wish foundation twice a year. What did she do in a past life to deserve all this? Really, she wanted to know.

Pressing the unlock button, she plopped into the driver's seat and tossed her tote bag on the passenger seat, snagging her Ed Hardy sunglasses off the dash in one motion sweeping motion. She pushed the glasses on and put the key in the ignition, flipping through her six CD changer twice before landing on a mix of 90s music always made her dance in her seat as she drove.

Checklist: get to work, change in office, look up a Tara Thorton from Bon Temp, Louisiana, call the attorney about selling her condo, call the realtor about buying a new condo, finish editing Sharon's newest book, order dinner in, and- if at all possible- take the longest bubble bath ever.

Pulling up to a red light, Cassie realized that she had fallen asleep on the beach with her cross on- again. How was it that she kept forgetting to take the darned thing off before tanning? Three times now it had burned the cord and pendant into her chest. Shit, she needed to put a string on her finger or something as a reminder. Oh well, she'd just have to wear it everywhere for the next few days until her tan faded some, or she had time to get to the beach for a fill-in session.

It took a couple minutes to get to the office and finding parking at Beckenstein, Wheller, and Beakman was like finding a way to get home in an hour at five o'clock in the evening- damned near impossible. She made a loop through the parking garage twice before she saw someone pulling out. Finally something is going right, Cassie thought. And just like that another car was coming from the opposite direction gunning for her spot. Glaring, Cassie hit the gas and swung out dangerously close to a cement pillar before squeezing into the barely available parking space- cutting off a very angry red jaguar that honked its displeasure.

With a shrug, Cassie unbuckled herself, snatched up her tote and stepped up and out of her car. Prius' were great for parking, so small they maneuvered like a dream when need be. Hitting the lock button twice, her car beeped at her and Cassie smiled as she walked to the nearest elevator, a disgruntled middle aged man making his way over there too. She noticed him staring at her and could have cussed at being late again- not even having time to change, but refused to show her embarrassment. She had a nice body, she could deal with the awkward stare thing.

They stood side by side waiting for the elevator to reach them as the lit up numbers above the steel grey doors lit up, slowly counting down to the garage level. Searching for something to say, Cassie glanced at the portly, salt-and-peppered man and grimaced. It was Mr. Hadden, the tight ass that ran publications on the third floor. He also happened to own a red jaguar. Oh I am so not opening my mouth, Cassie thought just as the elevator dinged and the doors slid open. Jessica Hawthorne and Maryann Dennison stepped out to greet her.

"Hey Cass, great tan. Wish I could get out to the beach," Maryann said, smiling her usual friendly smile.

"A little inappropriate for work though, don't you think?" Jessica asked, her smile bitchy in faked friendliness.

Mr. Hadden huffed and stepped into the elevator, "I'm not waiting all day, Ms. Mason."

"I'll just catch the next one," Cassie said, smiling prettily for him- maybe that would make him stop glaring quite so hard. He hurumphed at her before pressing a button, and the doors slid shut on his disapproving stare.

"He's a hard ass, just ignore him," Maryann suggested, shifting her black briefcase from one hand to the other before running a hand through her inky black hair- it was short this month, the long extensions of last month gone, and a spiky pixie cut replacing it.

"I'm sure he wasn't too mad, he got a nice look," Jessica added in, her smile a little sharper.

"Thanks guys, really. I fell asleep on the beach and I'm sort of late, so I gotta go. We should meet up for lunch later this week," Cassie said, looking pointedly at Maryann before sparing her own not-so nice smile at Jessica. She gave what got, and Jessica was like a bite of fresh lemon, bitter and unpleasant.

"Yeah, definitely. I have to find a sitter for Jamie, but I'm free this Saturday," Maryann replied. Jamie was her adorable nine year old son, Cassie recalled. It was weird to think that Maryann was old enough to have a nine year old son; she looked twenty-seven not thirty-seven. Truthfully, that's why Cassie started talking to Maryann in the first place, she looked like she was only a couple years older than Cassie, and she acted like it too.

"Sorry, I'm busy. I have a date with Kent, from bookkeeping," said Jessica, her smile particularly wicked. Cassie and Kent had had a brief thing back when she had started working for BW&B in the fall- almost ten months ago. That had ended when Cassie met her ex and they had gotten serious- pretty darned quickly too.

"Oh that's good. Tell him I say hi," Cassie said, only sparing Jessica a glance before redirecting her gaze on Maryann as she heard the elevator doors ding again, announcing its re-arrival to the garage floor. "Call me Friday and let me know what's good for you."

"'Kay I'll keep you posted," Maryann said, turning back to Jessica- pretending she didn't notice the way she was glaring at Cassie's back- and started for her own car.

The trip up to her floor was short, she was on the fourth level of the ten story building. She tiptoed passed Maggie's door- Maggie was senior editor and her current boss- and made for the door to her own office. Once inside, she walked over to the bureau made of cherry wood- finely polished to darkened perfection- and pulled out a long, yellow sundress. She changed into it quickly- thankful that it was strapless and cool- and fastened a thick, brown decorative belt around her waist. Her flip-flops added a cute touch, and it was a casual, but dressy look considering she hardly left her office.

Settling in behind her desk, Cassie started on her to-do list. First thing was first, picking up the phone she dialed 411.

"What city and state please," came the automated voice.

"Bon Temps, Louisiana," Cassie said clearly into the phone.

"What listing?" said the automated voice in response.

"Tara Thorton," Cassie said.

"One moment," said the machine.

Drumming her clear, French-tipped nails against the oak of her desk, Cassie wondered how the hell she was going to explain to this Tara person just what her gift was and how she just knew that her brother/cousin/friend whoever was locked up in the basement of a vampire club in Shreveport. And what the hell kind of name was Fangtasia? Did the person running the place have a sick sense of humor or what?

"I have that number for you. If you stay on the line, I'll connect you," came the voice of a female operator.

"Thank you," Cassie said, sighing heavily. The phone started to ring and she became nervous even as she forced herself to stop tapping her nails.

"Hello," said the female voice on the other end of the phone. It was thick with southern accent and brash- sort of like a female version of Lafayette, maybe they were siblings.

"Hi, can I please speak with Tara Thorton?" Cassie asked, crossing her fingers that she was there.

"That's me. Whose this?"

"Oh, I'm Cassandra Mason. Listen, I know this is going to sound…ridiculous, but I talked to your…friend? Lafayette? He's been kidnapped and he's in danger. He told me to call you and tell you that he's in a vampire club in Shreveport called Fangtasia. He mentioned something about being in trouble with a vampire named Eric about V? I don't know what that is, but he needs help," Cassie said, her nails tapping again. She noticed it and chastised herself as she flexed her fingers and laid her hand flat against her desk.

"What? How the hell do you know this? Caller ID says you from New Jersey. How the hell did you talk to Lafayette? 'Specially if he's been kidnapped. Are you fucking with me? I ain't somebody to fuck with," came the crass, negative reply.

"No, I'm just trying to help. Honest. Look, even if I told you how I knew, you'd think I'm crazy," Cassie tried to explain, and knew that Tara was probably looking at her phone and shaking her head- two seconds away from hanging up on her.

"I don't know whose you are, but I ain't a fool. Unless you gonna tell me how you know-" Tara started, and Cassie cut in.

"I'm sort of psychic okay? I can do this thing where I see people who need my help and talk to them. I talked to Lafayette and he told me to call you," Cassie said, trying to water down just what exactly she could do. She hated this part of helping people. This was part of the reason she avoided using her gift.

"Psychic? Like some jacked up Miss Cleo? I ain't about to hear all that," said Tara, her voice disbelieving. Cassie had gone through this before, she's talked to people very much like Tara- it would have been too easy for the girl to just take her word for things.

"What do I have to gain out of calling long distance to a stranger and telling them that someone they know is locked up? How would I even know to call you?" Cassie said, trying to reason with her.

There was silence on the other end of the phone for a long minute, and then she heard Tara sigh into the phone. "Fine, say you is psychic. What do I do?"

"I don't know. Call the police? Have them check it out? Aren't their laws against vampires harming humans?" Cassie asked, uncertain about that whole thing. She'd never met a vampire, nor did she know much about them. She knew what the blond vampire Nan Flanagan had to say on TV, but other than that and a few facts about True Blood, Cassie was ignorant- especially in southern politics.

"Harming humans? You mean Lafayette's hurt?" Cassie could only stare at the phone in disbelief. The girl thought that her friend was kidnapped by vampires and was in pristine condition?

"Yes, he's hurt," Cassie replied, waiting for what the other girl had to say.

"Well, all right I'll call the cops. But they're going to want to speak to you," Tara told her and Cassie wanted to shoot herself. If Tara called the police and they wanted to know how she knew that Lafayette was where he said he was, that meant going there, and it also meant exposing her gift(s).

"Shit, look I can't. I can't let other people know what I can do," Cassie said.

"Well how the hell is I supposed to get them to take me seriously?" Tara asked, and Cassie saw the flaw in their plan. Great, she was going to have to go down South to figure this out herself, just fan-fucking-tastic.

"Fine, I'll come down there and help. We can…figure it out together. What is the nearest airport to you? I'll catch the next flight out." Cassie said, already checking her schedule, mentally moving appointments, and promising herself another big reward gift when she got through this hellish nightmare.

"Why would you come all the way to Bon Temps to help a total stranger?" asked Tara after a pause.

Cassie thought about it for a minute, knowing that she had done stuff like this before, without really thinking about the why of it, "Because it's the right thing to do. Lafayette needs help, and I promised I would try. So I'm trying. Now what airport is closest to you?"

"You ain't gonna be able to catch one right into Bon Temps- we too small for one of those. The closest one is in Shreveport. TKX."

"Okay, I'll call my agent and have her book the soonest flight, and then I'll call you back," Cassie said.

"Okay. And Cassandra, thank you," Tara said, her voice carrying a warble that betrayed her genuine concern.

"You're welcome," Cassie said hanging up, her hand tap, tap, tapping away again.

A quick call to Sierra- her travel agent and longtime friend- and Cassie had a flight out from her usual airport to TKX in Shreveport, Louisiana, leaving in three hours. A call back to Tara confirmed her pick up, and Cassie sat back to rework her schedule. Working at BW&B had its perks, main one being that she got to set her own hours- which is why being late was such an embarrassment.

God, why today, Cassie wondered, why when I had such nice plans to relax? That must be it, Cassie thought. Whenever she had plans to relax something came up, more specifically her projection power. Astral projection was all about meditation and relaxation- no wonder she hadn't had an actual vacation since before she turned ten and projection became a regular part of her life. Her parents had been freaked when they first figured out what their baby could do; they had found her unconscious once when she was six and couldn't wake her up- and then her spirit came walking up the stairs carrying a dead cat and talking about the car that had hit it and driven into a pole two blocks away. She had saved a pregnant woman's life that day, and buried her neighbor's cat, Mr. Wigglesworth. Ever since then her relationship with her parents had been distant, they gave her plenty of money and kept their distance. It was an unfulfilling family bond that supported her financially but offered little else.

Coming back to the present, Cassie made her way quickly through her checklist and packaged the final product of Sharon's newest novel for the publishing department- leaving it on her desk with a post-it on it for her assistant to find. She hurried out of the office, rushed home, parked illegally down the block from her condo, rushed in and out with two packed pieces of luggage and one carry on, and then was out the door and down the street again- snagging the irritating parking ticket off her windshield and speeding for the airport. Nothing like the rush of spontaneous travel to get the blood flowing, Cassie thought caustically as she hurried for the right gate. Shreveport, Louisiana here I come, Cassie thought, settling into her seat.

Author's Note: Well here is chapter one to a story that just forcefully pushed it's way to the forefront of my mind, unwilling to leave until I wrote it. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, and I am looking forward to feedback. My other stories will be updated shortly in the next couple of days. Looking forward to the future of this story, EK!
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:10 am, edited 15 times in total.
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Egyptian_Kiss
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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch1 5/14/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Mon May 24, 2010 5:48 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Two

Hell. That was Cassie’s first impression of southern Louisiana. Where else in the whole world was she possibly going to be this damned hot? Jersey might be muggy from time to time, but this was truly the worst heat Cassandra had ever had to deal with. Ever, Cassie though while peeling her sundress off her legs as it clung sweat-slicked to them. It was nighttime now- shouldn’t the heat and humidity dim down a little? Cassie wondered, but shook her head and made her way to claim her baggage.

The flight had been relatively OK, but Cassie had spent more than half of it fighting to stay in her physical body. Her spirit had kept up an internal game of tug o’ war with her caffeine deprived body- and damn herself for trying to quit! Not only had she had to pay six dollars for the worst cup of tea she’d ever tasted- too sweet and too cold- but Cassie hadn’t been able to get up and move while warring with her astral self. Her first reward to herself when Tara picked her up was going to be a venti white chocolate mocha with caramel sauce and an extra shot of espresso. Maybe two shots of espresso.

After claiming her luggage, Cassie turned this way and that looking for an exit. Spotting one close by, she pulled her bags together and headed for the double doors. As soon as she was outside a hot, muggy breeze blew over her, giving a nice reprieving chill to her slightly damp body. Turning from side to side with slow movements, Cassie tried to think of how she was going to find Tara- blanking on what she might look like. Finally though, she saw a young, black woman with deep mocha skin- much like Lafayette’s- who resembled him slightly and was holding a cardboard sign that read ‘Cassandra Mason’ on it (her expression dared someone to say something to her while she stood awkwardly waiting for Cassie.)

“Tara Thorton?” Cassie asked by way of greeting.

“Yeah, you Cassandra?” Tara asked, lowering the sign to her left side and offering Cassie her right hand.

“Yes, it’s nice to meet you,” Cassie said. She took in Tara’s pretty features: glowing, white teeth; large, expressive brown eyes; long, braided, black hair; a too-wide nose that would be too much on somebody else, but sat just right for her. Having lived in the South her whole life, Tara was more appropriately attired in cut off shorts, a pink, scoop neck, tank top, and black thongs on her feet. No matter how cute her dress was, Cassie envied Tara her outfit.

“It’s nice to meet you too,” Tara said with her southern twang. That’s kind of cute, Cassie thought while following Tara to a beat up, yellow, four-door car that had seen better days.

“Um, I ain’t living on my own right now- I’m staying with a friend of mine, Sookie Stackhouse, and I’m borrowing her car right now while she’s at work. She’s alright with you staying with us for a couple days- her boyfriend, Bill, is a vampire and he agreed to help us,” Tara told her, throwing Cassie’s pretty eggplant colored bags in the trunk that was absent of anything except a tire iron and jumping cables.

“Thank you; that’s very kind of them,” Cassie replied, she was on her best behavior even though all she wanted to do was shout for coffee- she felt like a withdrawing druggie- one fix was all she asked!

They both were soon situated in the car and Tara was turning the key, causing the car to make an awful struggling noise before the engine turned over, and the car gave a cough and started. Immediately the air conditioning kicked on, blowing strong gusts of hot air at them with a whirring noise emitting from the dashboard. Silently, Cassie thanked God she had her Prius. It was quiet between them for ten minutes or so before Cassie decided to break the ice.

“So do you know where a Starbucks is around here?” Cassie asked, she needed coffee- her body was exhausted and her mind was so close to giving in to her spiritual need to project.

“Nope. But we can stop by Merlotte’s on the way to Sookie’s place. My boss Sam always has a pot brewing,” Tara replied, flicking on her directional- which had masking tape wrapped thickly around the middle- and hopped on the highway.

They don’t have Starbucks, Cassie thought horrified. Starbucks is everywhere, she thought. This really was hell. She had proof now. Sighing but trying to pretend she wasn’t a coffee snob, Cassie smiled a tight, closed-mouth smile and looked out the window. Outside it looked like a war between Man and nature- and nature was winning. Tall bushy trees, green and shimmery, sat against a midnight blue sky- stars shining like diamonds blanketing the dark expanse of space. Grass banks, wood fences, wild animals- they made up the vast landscapes of southern Louisiana. As they drove, they passed a huge lake, black in the night light of nature. Sandy banks surrounded the onyx water and a single dock was erected far across on its opposite side. It made the woods around it seem fairytale in design.

Lafayette was right when he said Bon Temps was only a short, thirty minute drive from Shreveport. Soon enough, Cassie was watching as a ‘Welcome to Bon Temps’ sign approached and was passed as Tara sped down a country road. Two minutes down the road another dirt road- well traveled and not unpleasantly bumpy- appeared, and Tara flicked the directional again. This road took them passed several quaint, if not slightly dilapidated, farm houses and a small grocery store with a painted sign that read ‘Grabbit Kwik.’ Taking a right onto a paved road, they drove passed an empty construction site, and shortly after were pulling into a parking lot with six trucks; two cars; and a trailer off to the side. A wooden sign had the word ‘Merlotte’s’ carved into it and painted blue with gold accents. A neon open sign hung in one of the massive, glass pane windows- set into the burnished wood walls of the establishment. A wrap around deck lined with old rockers added a homey feel to the place. It’s a hidden treasure, Cassie thought with a genuine smile.

“We’re here,” Tara said woodenly, jerking open her door and getting out quickly- heading for the steps leading up onto the porch before Cassie even had a chance to fully get out of the car.

Huffing, Cassie beat feet to follow Tara’s lead, hustling up the steps and through the entrance- hearing the ring of a bell above the door.

The inside of Merlotte’s was just as nice as the outside, Cassie decided as she took a seat at the bar when Tara told her she’d “be back real quick.” A cute brunette behind the counter said she’d be right with her, and Cassie sighed in relief- coffee was a few seconds out of her grasp.

“What can I get ya?” Twanged a masculine voice; having appeared beside the brunette bartender who exclaimed “Thank the sweet baby Jesus” before scurrying from behind the bar to pick up a tray. Cassie thought it was amusing.

Glancing up at the ruggedly handsome man with scruff on his face and pretty hazel eyes, she saw him smiling warmly for her. Mhm, they make them good in the South, Cassie thought, giving him her most killer smile.

“I would like your best cup of coffee- the stronger the better,” Cassie said, winking at him cutely. She watched him turn a variant shade of red, but smiled more broadly at her.

“That’s a cute accent you have there. Where you from?” said the cutie, turning from her to a coffee pot, popping its top to put in a fresh filter, dark roast grounds, and pouring spring water from a gallon jug below the bar.

“Oh my accent is cute, huh? You’re one to talk,” Cassie replied, her smile deepening, and she could have rolled her eyes at herself because she just knew her dimples were showing. “I’m from New Jersey.”

“That’s a long ways from here. What has you visiting these parts?” he questioned, popping the top on a beer and handing it over to the same brunette who had been on the other side of the bar moments ago, but was now barking orders left and right.

How to answer, Cassie wondered. Tara’s surly behavior didn’t scream bestest buds, so what would be a plausible response? “I’m editing a new book and the author is going with a southern angle, and because she’s one of our best writers, I’m getting a taste of the South so I can better edit her work.”

“You’re an editor? Ever consider writin’ anything?” he asked.

“Sometimes, but I enjoy my work as an editor,” Cassie said. “I’m Cassandra Mason by the way. But feel free to call me Cassie.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you, Cassie. My name’s Sam Merlotte,” he told her, reaching out to shake her hand.

The coffee pot made the percolating sound it makes when the pot’s just about done. Smiling widely and biting her lip in anticipation, Cassie reached into her gold tote for her eggplant colored, Kathy Van Zeeland wallet- it matched the luggage in Sookie’s car and shined nicely in the low lighting of the bar. Pulling out her platinum AmEx, Cassie watched while Sam poured the black coffee in a soup-bowl-sized mug that had pretty blue flowers around the rim.

“Here you go,” Sam said, placing the mug in front of her along with a silver pitcher full of cream and a shaker full of sugar.

Cassie smiled, pouring cream and sugar heavily into the mug while handing Sam her card. He put his hands up in a sign of rejection.

“That’s on me. From one coffee lover to another,” he said, pouring himself an equally large mug of coffee- only shaking sugar into the blackness.

“Thank you, it tastes extra good now,” Cassie informed him.

“Cause it’s free?” Same asked, his eyes twinkling.

“Cause a cute guy bought it for me,” Cassie flirted, taking a deep drink. He blushed again and Cassie glance down coyly and then back up at him.

“Laying it on a little thick, don’t you think sugar?” asked a tall red head out of nowhere.

“Butting in where you aren’t wanted, wouldn’t you say, Red?” Cassie tossed back, arching one of her well-sculpted eyebrows at the older woman.

“Well maybe I’m just looking out for my friends; you know what those are don’t you?” the bitch asked.

“Arlene get yo’ ass back to work and stop harassing our customers,” Tara said, now beside a frowning Sam behind the bar. Red, Arlene, huffed angrily and stormed off to the cook’s window.

“Sorry about her, Cassie. It’s a small town- everyone has an opinion,” Same interjected, smiling an embarrassed smile.

“Got that coffee I see,” Tara said, offering Sam a sweet smile that made Cassie take two mental steps back. Sam was cute, but Tara obviously had designs on him. Too bad, he’s a looker, she thought.

“You two know each other?” Sam questioned.

“She’s gonna be staying with Sookie and me while she’s workin’,” Tara told him; how she knew to follow up on Cassie’s lie she wasn’t sure, but it didn’t matter- she was already nodding in easy agreement.

“That’s why I’m missin’ a bartender tonight?” Sam asked genially, a joking smile on his face now.

“Yep,” Tara replied, taking a beer for herself and then joined Cassie on the other side of the bar. “Hey listen Cassie, would you mind stickin’ ‘round here till close so Sook can catch a ride with us? Bill has some ‘duties’ to take care of.”

Cassie nodded while sipping her richly flavored coffee, and saw Sam wink at her when she sighed into the mug.

“Since you’re here Tara, maybe you could take over the bar? I got a hell of a lot of paperwork to do?”

“Sure thing Sam. But since it’s my night off, don’t ya think I should make time and a half?” Tara said, smiling with exaggerated brightness to sweeten him up. Cassie almost laughed at the incredulous look Sam gave her.

“Tara,” Sam said, shaking his head with a sigh. “Yeah, all right. Just hurry up and get behind the counter.”

“Thanks Sam,” Tara replied, her smile turning genuine. She totally worked him, Cassie thought, smiling into her mug.

Sam glanced her way with a different, warmer smile, and Cassie fought her natural instinct to flirt. He looked like a simple kind of guy- wearing a plaid shirt and plain jeans with work boots. In high school he was exactly the sort of guy she’d have asked out; probably would have had some fun in the back seat of his truck. Ten bucks says he has a truck, thought Cassie salaciously.

“I’ll see you later, Cassie. It was a pleasure to meet you,” Sam addressed her, walking to a side hall.

“You bet. I need a coffee fix at least once a day,” Cassie called after him, watching his jeans hug his cute little butt.

“Sook,” Tara suddenly called, breaking into Cassie’s lusty gaze.

A busty, blonde appeared at the side of the bar near the short walk to the cook’s window, a smile plastered on her face. She was carrying an empty tray and her brown eyes were staring at Cassie with interest. “Hey Tara, can I get three Coors and two shots of whisky?”

“Got it. This is Cassandra, that girl I was telling you about,” Tara introduced her and Cassie felt the weirdest buzzing sensation in her head- it was like the start of an irritating headache that wasn’t quite ready to blossom.

“Well it’s real nice to meet you, Cassandra,” Sookie said, her brow creasing even as her smile stayed bright and slightly unnerving. She offered Cassie her hand, putting the tray on the gleaming wood, and leaning over toward her.

Taking her hand the buzzing increased and Cassie forced it down, giving herself a harsh mental shake that seemed to immediately quell the uncomfortable sensation, “Just call me, Cassie. Thank you for letting me stay with you.”

“Oh sure, especially with the circumstances,” Sookie said nicely, though her smile had dimmed and her eyes had tiny stress lines. It was then that Cassie looked at Tara who wasn’t meeting her eyes and was fiddling with a bottle of Jim Beam and a couple of shot glasses, the three beers already on the tray.

“Order up,” shouted a man’s voice from the side window and Cassie watched Sookie excuse herself with the tray, swinging by the cook’s station to grab up two baskets of chicken strips and fries.

“You want anything to eat?” Tara asked her, finally looking her in the eye since Sookie’s pronouncement that she understood the “circumstances.” An olive branch, Cassie though with a touch of sarcasm. Okay, she could overlook this. Beside, Sookie seemed nice enough and it was her house.

“Actually, yeah. Could I just get a burger? It was a long flight for me,” Cassie answered, smiling in a peacemaking manner.

“Got it,” Tara said. That must be her catch phrase at work, Cassie surmised, turning her head to glance at her surroundings.

Booths and wooden tables made up the majority of seating- other than the bar- and stuffed animal heads hung on the walls like hunting history on display. Old-fashioned glass lanterns sat on the tables for decoration, none of them actually lit. Several families were seated in the shiny blue booths, waitresses clad in black shorts and white shirts working fleet-footedly to deliver quick service. Several deer heads were mounted around the room and little plagues with the hunters’ pictures and names were nailed beneath them. A space was cleared near a 1950s jukebox was positioned on a side wall that played homey songs- lots of country and slow music.

A black plastic basket was set on the counter in front of her, and when she looked up from her stare, Tara was placing a bottle of ketchup near her. Cassie nodded her head and smiled in thanks when Tara held up the still mostly full pot of coffee.

“Thanks Tara,” Cassie said and took a long, fortifying sip as she shook ketchup onto her burger.

The bell over the door rang out and several people shouted a greeting to whoever entered, and then out of her peripheral vision, Cassie watched as an attractive construction worker took the barstool beside her. In the light of the low hanging, golden lamps his hair was a pretty, dirty blonde color- much like her own, though hers was more heavily streaked with light blonde highlights.

“Hey Tara. Can I get a Bud?” he asked. Not a moment later a Budweiser was set open in front of him, and Cassie could feel the shift in his attention to her as she bit into the juicy burger- it was awesome and her stomach grumbled at her in satisfaction.

“Well hi there. You’re new. Name’s Jason,” said the blonde man and he smiled a smile that had a strangely charming pull.

“Cassandra Mason. Call me Cassie,” she said politely and offered him her hand to shake. He looked at her with a surprised raise of his eyebrows, Jason accepted her hand and when she shook his hand strongly his smile wilted some- Cassie sighed mentally. He was one those- a sexist pig who was pre-unbuckled and de-zipped for the next easy lay. Not much of a loss though, Cassie thought. He was sexy and boyishly cute, but she liked her men to be men, not boys with a “being-a-man” complex.

“Cassie, this is Sookie’s brother, Jason. I’d watch his hands and his words,” Tara warned while lining a tray with eight shots and doing a ‘round robin on it with a bottle of spiced rum- Captain Morgan’s. Her words were spoken wearily, but a cute smile quirked her lips; and just like that Cassie reconsidered the man beside her. Maybe there was something more to him, then again, maybe Tara had just known him too long and he was ‘the one that got away.’ Guess Jason Stackhouse would be in the ‘to be determined’ category.

“I happen to be a fine southern gentleman,” said Jason, his expression joking as he kicked back his beer.

“Clara May, order up,” Tara shouted, rolling her eyes at Jason’s statement. The petite brunette from earlier appeared to tote the tray over to a booth of women laughing and controlling a majority of the jukebox tunes. One of the younger women looked over at the bar, noticed Jason and waved flirtingly to him. Jason choked on his beer and- after wiping his face with a napkin Cassie offered him- he waved back discretely. Tally one for the sexist pig, Cassie thought.

“Dam, Bud’s gone to shit since they went German,” Jason commented and kept his eyes off the jukebox section of Merlotte’s.

“Don’t blame the beer ‘cause you slept with Corianne Dobson and now the girl’s all hung up on you. That beer is the same ol’ shit as always,” Tara said, and Cassie took a second glance at the waver, Corianne- she was staring at Cassie angrily.

“Okay, creepy ex alert,” Cassie warned Jason when she noticed Corianne headed in their direction at the bar. God, I so don’t want to deal with jealous exes right now- I dumped mine, Cassie thought in frustration, and focused her attention to her food- maybe she could avoid confrontation by pretending to not exist.

There were a few bites of her burger left and a couple good swallows of Sam’s rich coffee sitting in the bottom of her mug. She pretended to be looking at another side of the bar as the short, busty ‘Corianne’ waltzed over and ordered a shot of tequila.

“Hiya Jason. Whose your friend?” Corianne asked and Cassie glanced at the girl.

“Hi Cori. This here is Cassie,” Jason replied, smiling innocently, though his eyes constantly roamed to her breasts. Tally two to the sexist pig.

“Well ain’t it just a pleasure,” Corianne greeted, smiling falsely at Cassie- how very Jessica, Cassie thought while returning a sharp smile of her own and finishing off her meal.

“Nice to meet you,” Cassie responded, though her tone of voice made it sound more like ‘get the hell out of my face.’

“Well I’m going to head home soon. Melanie’s bridal shower’s almost over. Mama’s working late tonight in Shreveport, so you want to come by? My birthday’s next week and I’m going to Vegas with Penny- so tonight can be our private celebration,” Corianne explained, pressing her breasts against one of his toned biceps while staring Cassie down.

“Here’s your tequila, Corianne. And how old you gonna be next week?” asked Tara, putting her elbows on the bar while Jason sweated out the second invite and turned red at Tara’s question- obviously he was only planning one night with the girl.

“I’m gonna be twenty-two,” Corianne exclaimed, excitement making her voice raise to a higher pitch.

Cassie looked again at Jason and raised her eyebrows- mocking him with a twitch of her nose. He sighed, looked at Corianne and finished his Bud, “I’ll give you a lift home, Cori. Hey Tara, just put this on Sookie’s bill for me.”

“Happy birthday to me,” said Corianne, shooting back her alcohol- slapping down a ten for Tara, and grabbing Jason’s hand as they headed out- waving at her jeering girlfriends.

“God, I hope he’s using protection. That girl is a hot mess,” Tara told Cassie, grabbing up her dishes and taking them to the cook’s empty window.

“Hey Tara, I think I’m just going to sit in a booth. Can I get a cup of coffee sent to my table?” Cassie asked.

“Yeah, sure. I got it.” Tara said, and Cassie said a quick “thanks” and headed for an empty booth by the door.

A couple hours passed until close, Cassie sipping coffee, people watching, and flipping through a prospective manuscript sent to her from some no-name-author-to-be: Kerri Tacorn. It was supposed to be about a sci-fi romance between two alien worlds; it was a hit or miss Romeo and Juliet for Trekkies. The plot wasn’t extremely original, but the word choice and grammar was good- it had a few kinks in the flow, but overall it had promise. She’d have to call her assistant tomorrow and arrange a meeting with Miss Tacorn about the sloppier chapters and not-so-subtle hints in her foreshadowing that would be too obvious for the reader- no one liked a ridiculously predictable ending.

“We’re gonna close up now. Want a cup to go?” Sookie questioned, approaching her after her close down work.

“Nah, I’m good. Thanks though,” Cassie replied, putting her stuff away in her tote and joining Tara by the door as Sookie left to grab her purse and hang up her apron.

They all piled into Sookie’s yellow clunker and wended down dirt roads and passed a cemetery and two driveways before turning down a long, ill-repaired drive up that led to a beautiful antebellum style home with a splintered wrap-around porch, a swinging bench chained precariously from the overhanging porch roof. It was painted a faded white wash and the trim was nearly worn away, but it had a quiet dignity to it that screamed old South.

Sookie pulled out her keys and led the way into the parlor of the house and Cassie saw the stairs leading up to the second story, the living room to her right and the kitchen (so she was told) laid at the end of the hallway beside the stairs through a swinging wood door. Two doors stood side by side along the short hall leading to the kitchen, one was a bathroom, and the other was a small 12’x12’ guest room. Cassie would be staying in that guest room.

“Thank you again, Sookie for letting me stay here. It’s lovely,” Cassie said as they were bringing her luggage into the guest quarters while Tara had already gone to bed, saying that they could talk over breakfast.

“Well, I think it’s just amazin’ that you have such a powerful gift and do what you can to help the people you see. I know what it’s like to be different, and how hard that is. I can read peoples' minds,” Sookie told her and Cassie jerked up from unpacking her pajamas.

“Wow, I’ve never met anyone who was like me. Do you know why you can do it? How long have you been doing it?”

“I’ve always been able to do it, I think. I mean, as far back as I can remember, I’ve just known what people are thinking. And I don’t really know how it works or where it comes from, and I don’t really think I want to. But when Tara told me about you and how you was coming all the way here just to help Lafayette- a complete stranger- it made me realize just how much you are doing with your gift,” Sookie told her and she almost looked ashamed.

Cassie did not want Sookie to think she was some savior, because she wasn’t. She didn’t do this because it was her calling or because she wanted her gift and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Hell half the time I don’t even want to be involved, Cassie thought. The only reason she kept putting herself through the emotional and mental trials of helping the people in her visions was because of the deep seated tugging that haunted her, pulled her to them, made her feel for them, made her remember them if she left them to their fate. She had done it once, not answered the call- forced herself back to her body. She had been thirteen at the time and she ended up in a building with a girl who was kidnapped. It had scared her so much she had projected herself back to her body. A week passed of fighting the tugging and feeling scared and seeing that girl’s face over and over again, until the seven o’clock news came on and the police announced finding the girl’s body while her mother passed her the mashed potatoes and her dad asked for the butter. Ever since, Cassie tried to just get it over with, or fight off the tugging, but her conscious always won out, and half the time she gave in while the other half she merely passed into unconsciousness at the more urgent tugs.

“I’m not some hero to be idolized. I’m an editor. I do what I do because sometimes I just can’t help but be who I am, which means going through with all the craziness that follows while I figure out how to help whoever I meet,” Cassie finally responded, and she saw a look of understanding pass through Sookie’s eyes.

“I wanted to march off to Fangtasia and deal with Eric myself when I heard. I don’t like my friends being hurt and him and Tara are as close to family as friends can get. They’re cousins and the closest to each other in their family. But Tara talked some sense into me and I know I can’t just go tell Eric what to do, but my boyfriend, Bill, he’ll help us. He’s doing business tonight with Eric and I’m sure he’ll bring it up somehow. Bill’s a good guy,” Sookie said. She was beaming as she spoke of Bill, and Cassie could see love there. It was new, or at least it looked new to Sookie because it had that blind, shiny perfectness to it- the kind that comes with first love. Cassie knew people very well, she had seen the best and worst of them in her projections and nothing looked happier and more innocent than first loves and that unreal perfection that came with it- it was a bittersweet reality of blissful ignorance.

“You know the vampire that has your friend?” And Tara was Lafayette’s cousin- now that made sense.

“Yes and he is a big jerk. He thinks he’s king of the world and God’s gift to women- and he’s powerful enough to make it seem that way too,” Sookie explained, sitting on the beige quilt that draped the full size bed sitting in the middle of the room next to the one paisley blue armchair and a white, oak end table.

“How old is he?” Cassie asked.

“One thousand years old. But you can never tell by their looks, obviously. Vampires are kind of tricky to figure out at first,” Sookie said, shaking her head with a far-away smile on her face.

“Honestly, I only know what they say on the news,” Cassie said, pulling out her favorite pajama set, a satin pink tank top with lace neck trim inlaid around the v-neck and a pair of matching pink satin shorts that were breezy and short. A sweet relief against the southern heat to be sure.

“Well they have a horrible allergy to silver, but you probably know that. They can’t go out in the sun, it’s fatal. And the only ways to kill them are with a stake to the heart, beheadin’, and fire. Oh, and I think overexposure to silver would probably do it too,” Sookie rattled off as Cassie stood awkwardly ready to change and get into bed, it had been a long, long day.

“Good to know. Look Sookie, thanks for all the information and for the place to stay, but can we talk about this tomorrow over breakfast? I’m really tired.”

“Oh good Lord, I’m keeping you up chatting. I’m sorry, that’s poor manners on my part, Gran would be ashamed. I hope you sleep well, let me know if you need anything. I’ll see you at breakfast,” Sookie said standing, smiling goodnight and heading for the door.

“Night Sookie,” Cassie said. The door closed behind the perky blonde and Cassie sagged a little against one of the four bed posts- all white- and rubbed her eyes before changing.

Getting into bed, Cassie felt the tug and wanted to cry in exhaustion, but knew that wouldn’t help anybody. Lying down against the fresh linen pillowcases, Cassie let herself go and felt the tugging take her away.

Author's Note: Here's chapter two, I hope everyone enjoyed it. Let me know what you think, EK! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch2 5/24/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:04 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Three

Fangtasia’s basement, Cassie thought as she took in the surrounding darkness and the familiar smell and that high crack of light at the top of the stairs. There was no dripping sound this time, but Cassie could hear the pounding beat of music that was muffled by the door.

“Lafayette?” Cassie called softly- her skin was covered in goose-bumps and tingling with apprehension.

“Cassandra?” asked Lafayette, the rattling of chains from her left giving her a direction in which to walk.

“Yes,” she said, moving with her arms stretched out at her sides to avoid bumping into anything.

“Girl what the hell you doin’ back here? You fuckin’ up and disappeared last time, like magic,” he said, voice mystified.

“I can’t always control this. Now, are you hurt? More?” Cassie asked, finally her hand bumped into his chest and Lafayette’s chained hands came up to make her face him.

“I don’t know. I think I’ll be fine. Sons of bitches nearly drained me, but they held off. Asked me some questions about you and they have some persuasive ways, shit I nearly lost my voice from screaming. They know what you look like- Chinese mother-fucker can draw. They know your name’s Cassandra too- and I’s sorry ‘bout that, but I ain’t about to get my fingernails pulled out, you know?”

Cassie was horrified at the thought Lafayette was being tortured, thanks to her “help.” And now they knew her name, which spelled trouble with a capital T. Shaking off the news, Cassie moved her hands in front of her face and waited for her eyes to fully adjust to the darkness. Straining her eyes, Cassie sought Lafayette’s face and scanned his body for further injury. Some severe bite wounds on his inner thigh (bleeding through his pants in a dark stain that was visible), exposed upper chest, and right wrist stuck out in gruesome reminder of just who held Lafayette captive. His skin was ashen and he was shivering, but his leg looked bandaged.

“You should get up outta here before they come back. It’s night time they-” Lafayette began and was quickly cut off by the sound of the door opening.

Freezing in place, Cassie pivoted to face the stairs, positioning herself protectively in front of Lafayette. The click-click of heels against the stone floor echoed through the room and Cassie watched a pair of shapely, toned legs descend followed by a lean, curvy torso, and led up a small neck to a beautiful face. The woman was dressed in a tight, red leather dress that clung like a shiny skin to her body, cutting off mid-thigh with a navel-plunging neckline and a sleeveless cut that revealed long arms and wicked, blood red nails. Perfect blonde hair hung down her back in curls and a killer pair of Stuart Weitzman, red leather pumps with a 4” heel and pointed-toe shone in the door light- Cassie owned them in black.

“And who do we have here?” the woman whispered sinisterly, her lips curving into a pointed smirk with lips painted a red that matched the shoes and dress. The light from the door illuminated her and Cassie wondered if she got highlights too because that color blonde seemed unnatural in glow, like a halo.

Lafayette tugged her from behind before Cassie could answer and then the woman was there, in her face, watching with an amused expression while Lafayette stood guarding her, as she had him.

“Are you going to be a good blood bag?” the woman asked Lafayette and he cursed up a storm. Cassie was trying with all her might to leave the room, to pull away, but it wasn’t working.

“Now I asked, who do we have here?” Pam reiterated, pushing Lafayette with one hand out of the way and up against the wall behind them. She trailed a fingertip along Cassie’s jaw and twirled it around her jugular as her digit slid over her skin seductively, the light scratch of her red fingernail making Cassie’s heart jump.

Straightening her shoulders, Cassie brought a hand up to grip the woman- obviously a vampire – by her wrist. The smirk on those ruby lips turned into a smile when Cassie gently pulled the finger from her face, experiencing a chill as the coldness trailed off her skin.

“I’m Cassandra and you are?” Cassie said, her voice not wavering. She knew this woman was dangerous and though she wanted to jump to Lafayette’s side Cassie stood her ground. If this chick wanted to size her up, Cassie would make sure to meet the measurement.

“Pam,” came Cassie’s response and Cassie quickly released Pam’s wrist. “And I was being facetious. I know who you are. But what are you? Other than mouth-watering.”

“She ain’t got nothin’ to say,” Lafayette said, his chains rustling as he bravely- if not fearfully- stood back up just behind Cassie. “Hooker, get lost,” he said to Cassie, his eyes wide and reflecting fear.

“Hooker, take one step and I’ll take off your head,” Pam said, mocking Lafayette with her eyes as her fangs slid into place.

“Pam,” barked a commanding voice from the top of the stairs where the door was still open. “We have had this discussion before, close the door when you enter.”

“Yes Master. But we have a special guest,” said Pam, her eyes rolling sarcastically as she agreed with her ‘Master.’

As flip flops started to descend the stairs, Cassie tried again to turn back to her body; to leave- as much as she was worried for Lafayette she couldn’t help him at that moment- and yet again nothing happened. Damned useless power, Cassie shouted in her head, berating herself for not practicing more.

“And who would that be, Child?” questioned that masculine voice and Cassie felt herself get excited at the tone. This voice was like sex slathered in honey with deep, commanding undertones.

As the stranger came into sight, Cassie felt heat liquefying between her thighs and her breath caught. If his voice was sex and honey his body was wet dreams and promised orgasms. Standing at least six foot five, a well-muscled, blonde fox with intelligent ocean blue eyes scanned her from the foot of the stairs before appearing beside Pam. His attire contrasted Pam’s as he stood in track pants and a black tank top. However, together the two stood with a stillness that was unsettling, even as Cassie’s temperature rose. She took in the defined jaw, the long, straight nose, his mouth that made her want to kiss him and be kissed by him, the way his blonde hair hung long around his face and brushed his shoulders- which were broad, defined, and built. He looked Swedish, like Cassie’s by-marriage-aunt, Brenda.

There eyes met and his bored expression changed to intrigue as he looked her over and Cassie realized she was standing in her pajamas barefoot in front of him. It seemed ridiculous, but Cassie wished in that moment that she had her Smashbox make-up kit and her favorite Stella McCartney dress.

“Eric, this is Cassandra,” Pam stated, her amusement still dancing in those pretty blue eyes like sapphires to the crystalline blue of her male companion.

“Well, how nice of you to join us, Cassandra,” Eric said. His eyes moved over her shoulder and Cassie glanced to Lafayette who had been inching toward the stairs- his chains mysteriously absent. “Don’t do anything stupid.”

Lafayette paused, incapacitated by fear, and Cassie frowned, her eyes drawing together as her nose crinkled- a sign of her anger. She hated bullies and this gorgeous hunk of man-vampire- whatever, had it tattooed in bold on his forehead.

“Just let him go,” Cassie said, clenching her hands tight when those seductive eyes turned back on her, an eyebrow raised in reply.

“And why would I do that? Better yet, why don’t you tell me how you got in here? Are you a drainer? Come to find new prey?” he mumbled, his voice searching as he moved into her personal space, her body humming with awareness as her nipples hardened at his tone.

“I’m not a drainer. I’m here to help Lafayette. Just let him go- he’s not a bad person. Whatever he did, he doesn’t deserve this,” Cassie said, even with her lack of evidence to that point. But no, if Lafayette were a bad person her spirit wouldn’t have found him. She had only ever found good people in need of help.

“He is an addict and pusher of vampire blood. His goodness is questionable- as is his worth,” Pam intoned as she appeared beside Lafayette in a blurred run that escaped Cassie’s eyes.

“Well he’s worth something to me,” said Cassie, stepping back from Eric and then over to Pam and Lafayette- Pam now clutching Lafayette in a one-hand grip.

“You still didn’t answer my question,” Eric said from behind her, right behind her. His body pressed against her back and a noticeable bulge made her sheath warm and wet with want. “How did you get in?” he whispered the next against the skin of her neck.

“Let him go,” Cassie ordered Pam, gripping Lafayette’s other arm. The logical part of her brain screamed at her to run, pull away from the fangs lingering so close to her neck and beat feet to survive. But Cassie ignored her own sage instincts and maybe it was how heated she was becoming that was to blame.

“You fuckin’ crazy?” Lafayette asked, his eyes focused on Pam who was baring her fangs at Cassie. It was a chilling sight.

“Pam, enough,” Eric commanded and Pam retracted her fangs, but her nails dug deeper into Lafayette’s arm. “Why don’t we discuss this in my office?”

The tugging was finally happening, Cassie realized as she turned back to face Eric. His face was a mask of calm indifference now. His eyes were cold and empty. He faded in and out a bit and Cassie fought against the return now- the irony of which did not escape her. Eric’s expression changed to shock as he faded in and out and Cassie tried to form words- to insist he let Lafayette go- but the words were lost to them; her body jerking upward.


Opening her eyes, Cassie stared into the mild darkness of Sookie’s guest room. Taking a deep breath, Cassie flopped back down to the mattress, her head bobbing slightly when it hit the pillow. She was back, safe. Her body was still warm and flushed with the excitement of meeting Eric. Sookie’s earlier description of him made much more sense now, but Cassie couldn’t deny that man was sexy and strong- it was in every line of his artistically crafted body.

Glancing at her Samsung Intensity, Cassie saw that it was going on 3:55 in the morning. The background picture was of her mother’s dog- Wolverine- a puffy, Alaskan Husky with beautiful eyes, one brown and one blue. It had been a long time since Cassie had visited her parents, but she always looked forward to seeing Wolverine, whom she named, and knowing he at least would greet her warmly.

Pushing off that random thought, Cassie rolled over in bed and faced the wall, closing her eyes as she tried to sleep again. Seeing Lafayette and knowing he was alive was something, she could tell Tara that much. Her mind replayed her projection and Cassie couldn’t stop her naughty perceptions of Eric the Hot. 'Cause in her mind, he was Eric the Hot. It was probably unhealthy to fantasize about a vampire sheriff that had no qualms about imprisoning and probably killing humans- but Cassie couldn’t help it, he was made for fantasizing. Even his ‘Child’ Pam was a hot number. But Eric took the cake. Cassie had her wild child past and she still enjoyed the cat-and-mouse of drawing a man in; which made Eric a very dangerous fantasy- the kind that fit Cassie’s bad boy bill in tall order.

Tossing restlessly, Cassie took a turn staring at the ceiling. What is a drainer anyway, Cassie wondered. It was obviously not a good term; both vampires had taken on a deadly look when Eric had made the insinuation. And how was she supposed to prey on vampires? Did she look insane with a death wish? Or better yet, did she even look like she had the man power to overtake one of them?

Finally, Cassie drifted off smiling incorrigibly, fantasizing things that were almost too-complicated to be possible. It was only three short hours later that Cassie was woken by the sound of a revving truck, the slamming of the front screen door, and a somewhat familiar voice shouting from the kitchen. The sound of a pot slamming against something and clattering to the floor was what had Cassie jolting to her feet and stumbling bleary-eyed out of the bedroom and down to the kitchen.

Pushing open the kitchen’s swinging door, Cassie took in a red faced Sookie and an injured Jason sitting on the floor nursing his left leg. Sookie, who looked about ready to brain her brother, glanced up at her first and her anger instantly became contrite.

“I’m sorry, Cassie. I didn’t mean to wake you up,” Sookie said.

“Oh no, I just wanted to see what was going on. No worries,” Cassie said, looking for the coffee pot- assuming they had one. “Do you happen to have some coffee though?”

“Oh yeah; of course. I’ll get on making a pot. Maybe this’ll teach you not to just come into a lady’s house at dawn, Jason. Don’t come sneakin’ round here thinkin’ you are always gonna get away with your poor manners. Gran would be ashamed,” Sookie lectured, lifting the skirt of her long, old-fashioned night gown as she moved passed Jason who was moaning and groaning over his knee cap, and reached into the cabinet above the stove and a black and steel French press coffee pot appeared in her hand. She scooped three hefty lumps of grounds, from a no-name can of coffee, into the bottom of the coffee pot and set a kettle to boiling.

“Mornin’ Cassie,” Jason greeted, having gotten to his feet and stumbled to the table dramatically. He was wearing a plaid tee, jeans, and a pair of work boots- his hard hat sat on the table next to a pair of work gloves and a yellow worker’s vest. His hair was mussed but in a cute way.

“Morning,” she said softly, taking a seat beside him while Sookie set out to make hash browns, sausage, and sweet cakes. There was shuffling up stairs and a distant “ya’ll can shut the fuck up” from Tara, and then a loud door slam. Sookie looked up from her griddle to shake her head toward the kitchen door.

“Tara ain’t into mornin’ people,” Jason informed her and Cassie gave him a look as she patted at her frizzing hair. Her hair had been fighting her last night to frizz and curl into its more natural form, but Cassie had used her Nick Chavez Angel Drops to de-frizz and hopefully keep the wavy curls forming at bay. Now she had morning hair and was up before seven am; yeah she could understand Tara’s attitude.

“What were you doing here this morning, Jason? I know you have food- I just dropped off some groceries. And you can’t be raiding silverware since you got most of it last time. You need money?” asked Sookie conversationally, flipping food over as it sizzled and filled the air with a smell that made Cassie’s stomach turn over in hunger.

Jason huffed beside her and Cassie wondered if he was angry she had accused him of being a moocher or the fact that she had hit the nail on the head. He met Cassie’s eyes embarrassed, turning a shade of pink that made him look even younger, before looking out the kitchen window.

“Geez Sook, you act like I ain’t family or somethin’. Can’t I just come by for breakfast with my sister?” Jason said, playing off her suspicions.

“Sure can, but wouldn’t it have been prudent to wait until I was awake? I mean, I know you got work early, but it ain’t this early and Merlotte’s don’t open for another two hours. So what’s really going on here Jason Stackhouse?”

The way Sookie spoke reminded Cassie of her own mother- straight to the point without the frill of excuses. Some might call it an honest quality in a person, but unlike Sookie, Meredith Mason wasn’t family oriented; she was a shrew who enjoyed telling others how insignificant they are.

“Alright, so maybe I could use a loan. I got to get my rearview mirror on my truck replaced and that shit’s expensive,” Jason conceded, accepting the plate of grits, eggs, and bacon Sookie handed him.

“What you need a new mirror for? I just saw your truck yesterday and it looked mighty fine,” Sookie asked. She turned off the kettle, which had begun to whistle and billow steam, and poured the boiling water into the coffee pot and let it steep as she flipped sweet cakes in the butter she had taken from the mostly empty fridge.

Running a hand back and forth on his neck, Jason shoveled in a mouthful of eggs to avoid answering. Cassie glanced between the two and saw the strong family resemblance as Sookie pointed to different foods for Cassie and Cassie returned a thumbs up on the sweet cakes and bacon. Smiling, Sookie brought her the plate and a bottle of honey.

“Thanks Sookie. It smells and looks great,” Cassie said, her eyes lingering on the French press. She hated French press normally, but in a pinch- coffee was coffee.

“You are welcome,” Sookie said. Then she rounded on her brother, “Answer me Jason, or you can pay for your own mirror.”

“Alright, don’t get all uppity on me. See I left last night with Cori, and she and I went back to her place. She wanted to have a good time and I was game, but she was getting a little clingy; so I set her straight- got her knowing I wasn’t looking for anything too serious. That girl is crazy, she took a crowbar to my rearview mirrors- and I got to her before she got both. Swear to God, I don’t know where she got her temper, but she was going to go for my windshield too,” Jason explained, munching on a piece of bacon.

“Don’t you take the Lord’s name in vain in my house, Jason Stackhouse. You know better!” Sookie reprimanded and Cassie watched as she pushed the press down in the coffee pot and a black, black coffee was strained above it. Loading a tray with cream, sugar, and cups, Sookie brought the coffee over.

Cassie watched the rest of breakfast play out over her plate while sipping her coffee- one part coffee, two parts cream, three lumps of sugar. Jason argued that he was not a womanizing pig and that women knew what to expect when they went home with him. Sookie countered with a hand full of derogatory terms that Cassie didn’t completely understand, but got the general gist of. After which, Sookie kicked Jason out and told him to send the estimate over after he got it looked at; to which Jason handed her a piece of paper with a number on it that caused Sookie to start swearing at her brother and his promiscuity.

A quick shower later and Cassie stood in the bathroom smoothing Angel Drops into her hair while watching it curl and wave in a mass of thickness. She had forgotten her hair dryer and straightener, Cassie realized and sighed. Oh well, she thought, I’ll deal.

Picking out a flowing skirt that hit her knees in varying shades of pink and turquoise, Cassie tugged it up her long legs, too shapely for her tastes but not too bad given her pear shape, and noticed that her boy shorts were a matching shade of petal pink. She hooked on a three-snap, strapless, white, lace bra that had pink roses decorating the cup line, and pulled on an off-white vest top that had three large buttons holding it together. A pair of silver hoops and her flip flops later, Cassie was back out in the main living area of the house. Sookie was sitting with Tara in front of the TV in her work uniform, her hair back in a ponytail.

“Hi,” Cassie greet, stepping into the room and taking a seat in an overly large, dusty rose armchair.

“Mornin’,” Tara replied and Sookie smiled with a “hey.”

“So you both have work?” Cassie asked, crossing her legs and ignoring the vibration of her cell which had been going off the entire time she was in the shower. It was her assistant, but she hated to take calls in front of other people- it was rude.

“Yeah, we work till two. Lunch has the best tips,” Sookie said.

“Oh okay. I have some work to do too, so I’ll probably be looking for a place to fax today. But before you go, I should tell you I saw Lafayette again last night,” Cassie said. She went into detail about what happened and what was said, and Sookie got really angry and Tara looked terrified, which she expressed in swear words and unshed tears.

When Sookie finally calmed down enough not to rush off to Fangtasia and do something ultimately stupid, she and Tara told Cassie where to find a fax machine- at the general store on Main. They offered her a lift and Cassie accepted. The car ride was quiet and full of tension, and Cassie had never been gladder to get to work in her life. All three said their goodbyes and Cassie headed inside the plain looking building made up of crumbling, faded bricks.

A brass bell rang out above the door and announced her presence to the store clerk, a young girl with braces- the older, colorless kind- and long, red hair that had a bright natural look to it. The girl was flipping through a magazine at the counter and braiding and re-braiding her hair over one shoulder. She looked up when Cassie came in and Cassie wasn’t surprised when the teen- maybe sixteen or seventeen- sighed, stopped snapping her gum, and greeted her with a feigned smile before returning her focus to the magazine on the counter.

Making her way to the counter, Cassie glanced around at the ten or so aisles that made up the general store, and spotted the coffee machine and additive setup against the far back wall near the line of freezer doors that spanned the length of an aisle and ended in a door that said ‘restroom’ above it in glowing red letters.

“Hi. I need to fax some papers and I heard that this was the place to come,” Cassie said, smiling her best for the teen.

The girl, Savannah so-say her name tag, was now smiling genuinely at her and lifting her elbows up off the counter from her staring contest with a shirtless Taylor Lautner- splayed out on a three page magazine poster.

“Oh my God, are you a yank? We never get yanks ‘round her, not no more anyway. I love your skirt! I have one that’s like black and sheer and kinda looks like that one,” Savannah said and Cassie fought to stop her eyes from widening and her eyebrows from lifting in surprise.

“I’m from New Jersey. And thank you. But I have papers I need to send out and it’s important I get them out before noon. So, do you have a fax?” Cassie asked again, tugging a thick three-hundred-plus stack of papers out of her tote.

“Yeah, sure. It’s in the back by the coffee machines. I’ll show you how to use it,” the girl volunteered, and she was around the counter and heading to the coffee station before Cassie could deny her.

“What’s New Jersey like?” Savannah asked over her shoulder, turning to walk backwards as she faced Cassie.

“It’s cooler than here and it’s got a lot of city life, but it has its forest areas, and trees are everywhere just like here,” Cassie explained, watching as Savannah almost crashed into a spinning tower of mini-cereal boxes, but somehow narrowly avoiding it with a clairvoyant jerk to the side.

“Bet there’s a lot more to your cities than ours. We got nothing going on 24/7. ‘Cept for Vampire Bill, he’s new to Bon Temps, and he’s living up at the old Compton place near the cemetery. Him and Crazy Sookie are hookin’ up,” the teen rambled, stopping beside a fax machine that looked to be only a few years old.

Cassie couldn’t get over how this girl was describing Sookie and her boyfriend. What gave her the right to stick her nose where it wasn’t wanted, “Sookie isn’t crazy. She’s a nice person with good southern manners. And fearing vampires is smart, but talking about them behind their backs might be called stupid.”

“You insulting me?” Savannah asked, her arms crossing as she flipped her lopsided braid over her shoulder.

“No, if I was insulting you wouldn’t have to ask,” Cassie informed her, pursing her lips
condescendingly with a raised eyebrow.

“Here’s the fax. You can figure it out yourself,” said Savannah in a huff before marching off self-righteously for the counter.

Rolling her eyes at the display, Cassie started examining the machine and the pay mechanism and not to long after she was in business- literally. She poured herself a cup of coffee and fixed it up the way she liked it, and flashed it at Savannah who was watching like a hawk, and went about running the papers through the machine and depositing twenty bucks every-so-often. She returned her assistant’s call and gave her instructions for the meetings she had to reschedule until later in the week. By quarter to eleven, Cassie was packing her papers back up and stuffing them in her bag, heading up to the counter with two empty coffee cups and a mostly full third in her hand.

“You’re supposed to pay before drinking them,” Savannah snipped.

“Who says? I’ve got the money and I’m standing right here with my purchases. Ring me up please,” Cassie rejoined, noting the lack of magazine on the counter and the fact that a small TV set was playing off to the side behind the counter.

Savannah rang her up and Cassie paid, then she walked out the door and started down the street to her right. Earlier, Sookie had told her Merlotte’s wasn’t too far from the general store and that Cassie only had to take a right and walk about half a mile up the road before she’d be at Merlotte’s doors. The half mile walk felt like two miles in the heat and sun exposure, but Cassie chugged her last coffee- putting the empty cup in her tote for later disposal- and made it inside ten minutes. She took up a seat in the booth she’d occupied last night and ordered up some lunch from Sookie while waving at Tara who was behind the bar arguing with a line of men dressed in construction gear, Jason not among them.

Sookie and Tara got off at the same time and the three headed back to Sookie’s house, country music playing loudly through the left speakers of the car, but fuzzily on the right. It seemed that someone had pressed on Sookie’s auto-talk button because she was chattering incessantly in the car about random people that had come and gone from the bar during her shift. Tara didn’t seem to feel the need to talk as Sookie went on and on, and Cassie couldn’t get barely a word in edgewise. Once they got to the house, they had an awkward silence fall over them and then Sookie said she was going to go tan in the backyard, and Tara just headed up the stairs without a word.

“You wanna join me in the yard? I have a spare suit and an extra lounger,” Sookie offered and Cassie accepted.

Sookie provided her with a tight two piece that fit almost perfectly- though the top was a little loose- Cassie was less endowed than Sookie in the breast department, a B to Sookie’s C. However, it fit well enough and Cassie found it comforting to sit silently beside Sookie soaking in the sun. When the sun was sinking low and Cassie was feeling like a fried egg- the southern sun was much stronger and caused her to sweat more heavily- they headed in and shared a few glasses of homemade sweet tea.

A firm, polite knock at the door caught Sookie’s attention, and Cassie watched as she lit up with a genuine smile, not the too big, pointed one she used at work, and she dashed for the front door. A minute later, Cassie watched as a tall, dark-haired, pale man with brown eyes and thin lips, entered the room arm and arm with Sookie. Obviously this was Vampire Bill.

“Well hello. It is a delight to meet you. My name is William Compton, but please won’t you call me Bill,” he said like a proper gentleman as Cassie rose from her kitchen seat and shook his hand when she offered hers and he accepted.

“Nice to meet you. My name is Cassandra Mason, Cassie for short,” Cassie replied. She got a good vibe from Bill, but something seemed off in his gaze. He was staring at her strangely and when he turned to ask Sookie for an O positive- at her mannerly offer of a beverage- Cassie felt uncomfortably certain he had been looking at her in hunger. And not the sexual kind.

“So Bill, what did Eric say?” Sookie asked, rejoining them at the table where they had seated themselves while she warmed up a True Blood for him.

“Well, as you know Sookie, I can’t order Eric to do anything. When I requested that he release Lafayette, he demanded to know how I knew of him,” Bill said with a pause. His eyes met Cassie’s and she glanced at Sookie then back at him and gave a mental-shrug; she already knew how that ended.

“What’d you say?” Sook pressed as she handed him his warmed blood.

“I told him that we had received a tip and that his safe return was necessary to your happiness,” Bill said to Sookie, his eyes bitter. “Unfortunately, Eric refused.”

“Lafayette told him my name and he knows what I look like from a picture the Chinese vampire drew,” Cassie filled in the blanks, giving Bill a heads up on her most recent foray into Fangtasia.

“This is not good. Eric claims special humans for his own, and he has obvious interest in you. I’m afraid you can’t come to Fangtasia with us this evening to try again,” Bill answered. “And Sookie, I’d ask that you stay here too. I would like to pursue this alone.”

“William Compton don’t you get high-handed with me. I’m a grown woman and I’m yours, I will be perfectly safe,” Sookie replied, standing with her hands on her hips from the table.

“And I can take care of myself, Bill. I didn’t fly hundreds of miles to sit around and do nothing. I’ll meet with Eric and I’ll convince him to let Lafayette go. I’m very persuasive,” Cassie told him, remaining seated, but her tone firm.

Sighing, Bill ran a hand through his neatly-trimmed brown hair, “Not to undermine your abilities, Cassie, but Eric is devious and barbaric in his pursuit of anything he desires. He’s a thousand year old Viking with the power of a vampire sheriff.”

“Well he can bring it, because as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve gotten what I want too,” Cassie said, arching her back to crack it and then relaxing back into her seat.

“Very well. If you are both insistent upon coming this evening, you had better get ready. We leave in an hour,” Bill stated, getting up from his seat, half-finished True Blood in hand, and headed for the back door.

Sookie muttered something about stubborn jealousy and marched upstairs to tell Tara in on the plan while Cassie gathered herself and went to shower and change. She showered quicker than usual and then was stumped as to what to wear. She perused her bags and found a pretty, white, sequined dress with a cowl-neckline that drooped down to expose a daring hint of cleavage and fell to her lower thigh in a straight cling. It was the only fancy dress she had grabbed, and in truth it was an accident- it had been in with the basket of clothes sitting cleaned and folded on her dryer when she’d come crashing in and out of her apartment before leaving for the airport. Matching the dress with a pair of gold, ankle boots- the only other footwear beside flip flops and black flats that she had brought with her- she pulled them on and applied her make-up in a hurry: black shadow, black mascara, and gold lip gloss.

Giving herself the once over and smiling appreciatively at her image, Cassie ran some Angel Drops through her drying curls and entered the living room where the sounds of arguing were going on.

First glance said Sookie and Tara were fighting. Second glance brought Bill into Cassie’s line of vision, and his tense body and glaring eyes too.

“I want to come,” Tara shouted, an arm extending to point at the four-door jeep that was sitting out front.

“You cannot. I cannot protect four humans at once. Getting Lafayette out will be hard enough with two psychic females to watch. You would only be hindering your cousin’s return,” Bill argued back, his face grave and his tone harsh.

“Please Tara, make this easy on us. I love you and I love Lafayette. We’ll bring him back in one piece, promise,” Sookie pleaded and Cassie wondered if it would be enough. It was, because not a moment later, Tara took off stomping for the stairs leading to the upper landing.

“So, you ready to go?” Cassie asked, coming more fully into the room.

Both Sookie and Bill stared at her and then one another while Sookie bit her lower lip in worry and ran her hands over the full skirts of her cornflower blue sundress- tank-topped and calf-length with a braided rope of sky blue accentuating her bust-line.

“Yes,” Bill said carefully, then led the way to the door and down the steps and politely opened the door for both she and Sookie.

The drive to Shreveport was clouded with country music, Sookie’s chatter about work- a second reenactment for Cassandra and a first for Bill- and the sound of wind rushing in and out of the open passenger and driver windows. Sookie held Bill’s hand the whole way, and Cassie noted he stoically returned the gesture.

As they pulled up to Fangtasia- written in fancy, red script over the door, Cassie noticed the long line of people, all scantily clad and some with fake fangs, and the few open parking spots; it must have been packed inside.

Bill pulled into a spot close to the front entry and handed Sookie out while Cassie took the initiative to open her own door and hop down from the raised height of the jeep. They walked together, she and Sookie a step behind Bill, and they cut to the front of the line. Pam, the gorgeous, blonde, vampire woman, stood taking IDs at the door.

“Cassandra, what a nice surprise. Here in the flesh, I see,” Pam commented, her fangs flashing in the glowing red light of the overhead sign.

“Pam, we are here to see Eric,” Bill cut in, smoothly stepping in front of Cassie.

“It’s packed with blood bags tonight, Bill. I don’t know that he could spare the time,” Pam said. Her expression went from interested to dry and caustic in seconds.

“Well he can make the time,” Sookie said, pushing forward with a fierce look on her face. Cassie wondered if Pam was going to attack her right then and there, and looked to Bill for a reaction- none came.

“And what do you say, Cassandra?” Pam asked, her eyes lighting again while smiling a purposefully wicked smile.

“I think I always get what I want, and I want to talk to Eric. In private,” Cassie said, smiling seductively in turn. She knew this game, and Pam was a fine player. “Can you give me what I want Pam?”

That wicked smile turned heated and Pam’s eyes studied her face then her neck and back up to her lips. Cassie traced her lower lip with her tongue and smacked her lips together silently, suggestively.

“Honey, I always deliver,” Pam stated, eyes back on Cassie’s as they twinkled and then she was gone in a blink, and Bill was ushering both Cassie and Sookie inside.

They made it to the bar and the Chinese vampire from her first visit stood watching them. The club was much more impressive all lit up. Woman danced on raised platforms in three corners of the club and a few scattered in the crowd and on the raised dais behind an ostentatious throne. Eric the Hot sat on that throne, the main attraction by far. Music pumped loudly in her ears and Cassie wondered how the bartender could hear her, but figured it was another vampiric quirk.

“What’ll you have?” asked the bartender. Bill ordered an O positive, Sookie a gin and tonic, and Cassie ordered a white Russian.

“Coffee fiend even with liquor?” Sookie whispered in question, her nervous smile out in full force.

Cassie shrugged, “It’s creamy; it’s sweet; it tastes like coffee- it’s a superior drink.”

“Twenty even,” the bartender said, placing their drinks in front of them with marked speed. Cassie wished she could move that quick, it would make being late to work a thing of the past. Twenty bucks for three drinks is ridiculous, Cassie thought, watching as Bill paid for them. She had offered up a ten, but he had graciously declined.

Taking a sip of her drink, Cassie relaxed against the bar, legs leaning against a stool, but not sitting on it. She surveyed the crowd and watched as they gyrated and gave in to sexual urges. It was a typical club, though the vampires did move oddly- too fast at times or too sharply to be humanly possible. A line from the bottom of the raised dais to the bathroom on the right led up to Eric’s throne. He sat, now staring in their direction, and ignored his ‘subjects.’ For lack of a better word, Cassie thought. His ego must take up half the club, how they had enough occupancy to fit it and the crowd- Cassie didn’t know.

“We are being summoned,” Bill said as Eric lifted a hand and twitched his fingers in a ‘come here’ gesture.

“Summoned? What are we in medieval Europe?” Cassie questioned, unhurried in moving as she drank more from her glass.

“I think it’s stupid too, but we better go,” Sookie said coaxingly.

Giving a quick lift of her lips to the bartender, Cassie followed Sookie’s lead, which followed Bill’s. They were up at the dais a minute later- having pushed through the mass of dancing bodies- and stood at the steps leading up while Eric, Pam beside him, stared down at them. His eyes fixed on Cassie.

“Are we gonna go somewhere and talk?” Cassie asked, breaking the silence. Bill was rigid; and Sookie was defiantly standing with her arms crossed glaring at the floor. A look from Bill said that wasn’t the right thing to say.

“Cassie, stay quiet,” Bill ordered and Cassie’s eyes narrowed as her nose scrunched up. She wasn’t five; she didn’t need someone telling her what to say or when to say it.

“Well are we? ‘Cause I didn’t come here to stand around being looked down on,” Cassie questioned, her eyes locked on Eric’s and then flicking over to Pam’s amused ones.

“Is she not yours, Bill? She doesn’t seem to have proper etiquette,” Eric finally spoke, talking to Bill as he assessed Cassie. She hated being ignored and his eyes might be on her, but his words were for Bill.

“Oh I’m sorry, was I supposed to kiss the ground you walk on before talking to you? I’ll make a note,” Cassie said, voice chilly. Who the fuck was he to ignore her?

A smirk appeared on that bored, beautiful face and Cassie felt her insides jump a little.

Pam said something to him that Cassie didn’t understand in another language, and Eric returned with the same weird words. They were staring at her and not talking to her.

“I don’t like being ignored. And I didn’t want to stand at a stage with gawking fan girls either. We can either take this somewhere private, or I can walk out now and find another way to get Lafayette out of your torture chamber,” Cassie said in a raised voice. Several vampires and humans turned to listen at her words and a few gasped in surprise- the human women stunned.

“Cassie,” Sookie gasped, one of her hands intertwining with a worried Bill’s.

“Let’s take this to my office,” Eric said, standing to his full height and trotting down the stairs in a pair of leather pants and a black-fitted tee. That’s a step up from the track pants and tank top- though they had been delicious on him too, Cassie thought.

They walked down a hallway, passing the basement door as they went, and entered a small, serviceable office space. One desk, four chairs, a filing cabinet, and a couch- it was a very sparsely decorated work space.

Pam closed the door and then was beside Eric who sat in a large, leather chair behind the desk- the largest chair in the room.

“Your guest doesn’t know how to be discrete, Bill,” Eric reprimanded.

“I apologize for her behavior,” Bill replied, taking a seat facing Eric while Sookie took the one beside his.

Cassie opted for the couch and took a seat, crossing her legs, and watching them. “I know how to be discrete. I don’t know how to take no for an answer though.”

“She always gets what she wants, apparently,” Pam added, grinning at her Master.

“I see. And what do you want, Cassandra?” Eric asked, his fingers pressed together in a steeple as he leaned forward on his desk with his elbows for support.

“I want you to let Lafayette go,” Cassie said, putting her arms outstretched against the back of the sofa, spreading her wide and making her dress ride up higher on her thigh.

“And what do I get in return?” Eric asked.

“What do you want, Eric?” Cassie rejoined.

“Cassie don’t. Eric, Lafayette is my friend, and I demand that you let him go,” Sookie said, butting in with her headstrong anger. “If you don’t, I’ll go to the police.”

That was all it took to have Eric towering over Sookie’s chair, fangs bared, and ready to kill.

“I don’t take well to threats,” Eric responded, voice raspier and sexier as he became angered.

“Leave her alone,” Cassie said, standing too. Eric turned to her and her nipples pebbled in response, her body wanting him as it had last night. He retracted his fangs and then he was in front of her, a hand brushing her shoulder and tracing along her exposed collarbone. “What do you want in exchange for Lafayette?”

“I could be convinced to let him go, but could you persuade me?” Eric teased.

Bringing her hands up to his broad, strong shoulders, Cassie stood on tip-toes and met his eyes as their faces were inches apart, “Do you doubt I could?”

Smirking again, Eric leaned into her and stole a hot, wet, open-mouthed kiss before pulling back with blood on his lips. When her eyes landed on his bloody lips, she felt the sting on the inside of her lower lip where a fang had nipped her. He licked his lips and savored the taste for her entertainment, she was sure. Pam was beside them and Eric turned to her, sharing an impassioned kiss with her quickly before pulling back and staring again at Cassie while Pam made satisfied ‘mmm’ noises.

“Delicious, just like I thought,” he whispered, and Bill and Sookie’s faintly indignant replies were lost to her as Cassie felt her core clench.

In a blur, Eric was back behind his desk- though Pam had not moved and was staring fixatedly at Cassie- and reclining in his kingly chair.

“A vampire has gone missing in Texas. If you and Sookie would join me to help in finding him, I would allow your friend to leave with you,” Eric stated.

“No,” Bill shouted, his anger blazing as his nostrils flared.

“Oh don’t be so dramatic, Bill. It’s just a few days in Texas,” Pam said, taking a seat on the couch beside Cassie, who had seated herself when Eric made his demands.

“No, it is too dangerous. Vampires will be everywhere and Cassie is unclaimed,” Bill insisted.

“Bill,” Sookie whispered.

“Why do you want me?” Cassie asked. And what vampire was so important Eric wanted to traipse off to another state to charge to his rescue, Cassie wondered while eying him.

“Your gift could prove very useful to me in this,” Eric said stoically.

“And what do you think you know about my gift?” Cassie asked.

“A human who can send her spirit in search of another? I’m sure I can figure out some use for you,” said Eric amusedly.

“I’ll do it. But I want it to be just me, Eric, and I want five thousand dollars,” Sookie agreed while Bill tried to protest.

“Your human is presumptuous Bill,” Eric said, “and I will not settle without Cassandra too.”

“I have work in another state that I need to return to,” Cassie informed him, and the sudden sensation of a hand on her thigh caused her to jerk, her eyes going to Pam. Pam was caressing her thigh, and those nails of hers from the night before were trailing upward- they were still a perfect red match to Pam’s dress, though tonight’s was long and had strategically placed slits that caught the eye.

“Pam, don’t touch,” Eric reprimanded, his amusement not lost. “As for your work, call in sick. I’ll pay Sookie her five thousand and I’ll match for you.”

“I don’t need money and I’m not sick. I traveled down here to help Lafayette,” Cassie replied as Pam removed her cold fingers from her tingling skin.

“Consider this an extension of helping your friend,” Eric said, smiling. “I’ll even double the money- is ten thousand so little to you.”

Cassie hated being outmaneuvered; it was too infrequent to be a regular irritation, but she felt its sting right then. “Make it fifteen and I’ll call my boss right now. I’m not cheap- in any regard.”

Something flashed in those arctic blue eyes, and Cassie gave into the slight shiver that erupted down her spine, and averted her own to meet Sookie’s. Sookie was gaping open-mouthed at her, and Bill was doing his best to look unaffected despite his small smile. She felt more than heard Pam’s laughter- the couch shaking a little in tandem to it.

“Deal. Pam,” Eric stated, and Pam was gone that quickly. “The money will be deposited in your accounts tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to make that call, Cassandra. We leave tomorrow night.”

As he finished speaking, Pam reentered the room and a worn out Lafayette was tossed to the floor. His body splayed out at Cassie’s feet while Pam returned to her Master’s side. She gave Cassie a satisfied glance.

“Oh my God. What did you do to him?” Sookie shouted, and Bill hushed her while helping Lafayette to his feet. Lafayette was staring at Cassie in awe.

“You actually here? What the fuck is goin’ on?” Lafayette asked.

“Yes I am here. And I told you, I’m helping you,” Cassie answered and stood to help, but Sookie had taken up the spot she would have filled instead.

“Do you want an answer to your question, Sookie? I could go into detail for you,” Pam baited coyly.

“Rent a horror movie, it’d probably be a less gory adaptation,” Cassie remarked under her breath, watching as Sookie and Bill headed out ahead of her, Pam chuckling in their wake.

“Sweet dreams, Cassie,” Eric called from behind her and her body gave an involuntary jerk at his use of her nickname- it sounded like a promise on his lips, and she hurried out with a ‘night’ called out over her shoulder.

Author's Note: Well I was inspired and chapter three just wrote itself. I hope everyone enjoyed this newest chapter. Let me know what you think, EK! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch3 6/6/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:48 pm

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary: Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Four

Glancing around the plane, Cassie noted that it was emptier than any airplane she had ever been on. There were some people, mostly claimed humans, but the majority of unsold seats were a sea of black cushioned rows. The interior of the plane was beautiful, but reserved. Cassie supposed the same description could be applied to vampires themselves. Anubis Air, a vampire run air service, seemed very much in line with their target audience.

“Can’t sleep?” Sookie asked, her voice drowsy. Her head was leaning against the window as she stared at Cassie.

Shrugging silently, Cassie let her eyes rove over the plane again, and then she turned her attention back to Sookie. “I’m just wired, I guess.”

“It’s no wonder with all that coffee you had this morning,” Sookie murmured, her eyes opening and closing as she fought off sleep.

“I’m not used to getting up at three in the morning. I’m a late morning kind of girl. But don’t let me hold you back. Catch a nap, I’ll wake you when we get there.”

“You sure? I don’t mind staying up with you,” Sookie asked, yawning at the end of her sentence as her eyes drooped at the prospect of a nap.

“I’m sure.”

There was no reply, and Cassie noticed that Sookie’s eyes were already closed, her mouth open a little in her sleep. They had gotten up early enough to double check what they had packed, have a healthy breakfast (with two pots of French Press), and stuff all their bags in the back of the car Eric had sent to pick them up.

Remembering her conversation with her boss, Cassie sighed loudly, blowing out a disgusted breath. Maggie had made it very clear that if Cassie didn’t return by week’s end, she no longer worked for Beckenstein, Wheller, and Beakman. Which would blow, Cassie thought angrily. Editing was a passion that burned inside of her. Giving hope to aspiring writers, and helping other people succeed had always been something Cassie enjoyed. Losing her job over vampire drama would just plain suck. The irony of her own thoughts struck her, and Cassie let out a low laugh.

Getting up to use the bathroom, Cassie headed down the aisle, but came to a stop when she reached a cluster of people who had come together just in front of the bathroom. They were all talking amongst themselves, laughing and passing around vials of red liquid- each taking a sip before passing it to the next person in the circle. Most of them were women, most beautiful, and all rail thin. I guess anorexia is back in style, Cassie thought wryly.

“Excuse me,” she said, attempting to pass them with a twist of her body- making herself as thin as possible.

“Oh you’re beautiful! I love the skin. Who do you belong to?” said a petite blond with shocking purple eyes- contacts.

Startled and confused, Cassie stopped, wedged between one of the two men in the circle who was surprisingly tall (though not so much as Eric), and a woman Cassie's height with dyed black hair and lipstick to match.

“If I said myself would that be too modern lib?” Cassie joked, cracking a nervous smile.

The group laughed, and the woman who had spoken shook her head in good humor.

“I am Helen’s,” said the blond, and when she reached out her hand for Cassie to shake, she passed her a vial of the red liquid they had all been sharing.

“And I am Paris’s. He’ll be three hundred this winter,” stated a proud redhead. She had an Asian tilt to her eyes and thin lips, but her cheek bones were very Indian as they were set high on her face.

Murmurs went up around the circle in excitement when the redhead pulled out two vials, taking a sip from one, and then passing them both in opposite directions in the circle. They were talking about vampires, Cassie realized. It dawned on her that the red liquid was vampire blood, and the vial in her hand was from the vampire Helen that the blond claimed to be traveling with.

“Aren’t you going to taste it? Helen’s blood is so sweet. She might only be a hundred and eight, but it’s a rush,” said the blond.

Glancing at the liquid in the vial, Cassie shook her head in decline, and passed the vial to the man beside her.

“Thank you. But I don’t-” Cassie said, cut off mid-sentence.

“Who are you traveling with? We know that pretty blond is with Bill Compton. Are you his too?”

“No, I’m working for Eric Northman. We’re traveling to Dallas,” Cassie said. Passing along the next vial.

“Eric Northman. Wow, he’s like a thousand. What’s his blood like? Do you have any? I was with him once for a night at Fangtasia. He’s an amazing lover,” said a bubbly, black-haired girl who looked to be no more than seventeen at best. She turned her neck and pointed to a small scar below her left ear, “He bit me right here. It was almost better than the sex.”

The circle laughed, and Cassie felt her eyebrows shoot up and a wicked spike of jealousy. She might not ‘belong’ to Eric, but she had some nice fantasies that definitely staked a claim.

“Eric doesn’t like to share and neither do I,” Cassie said misleadingly. She imagined that what she said was very true, Eric seemed like the kind of vampire that thoroughly possessed people, body and blood.

“So what are you going to do in Dallas?” asked the redhead; the exotic tilt of her eyes growing as they narrowed in a striking glare.

“Just business. But I was headed to the restroom; so if you’ll excuse me,” Cassie said, finally pushing her way passed the tall man- passing off the vial of blood she had in her hand, and made for the restroom door.

Once inside, Cassie locked the door and stared at herself in the mirror. She had small shadowy circles under her eyes. The truth was Cassie hadn’t wanted to sleep because she had felt the pulling again. She knew once she closed her eyes her spirit would break free- and right now that just wasn’t the best idea.

Splashing her face with cold water, Cassie shook out her hair and yawned deeply. Widening her eyes at her reflection and relaxing them again, she mustered the energy to return to her seat. She passed the same group of people- now almost all of which were passed out in their seats- and reclaimed her spot beside a softly snoring Sookie.

As she reclined back into her seat, Cassie fought to keep her eyes open as they winked shut several times, and a rolling wave of drowsiness pulled her under.

Coughing wildly, Cassie stifled a sneeze. Her eyes blinked through the sudden intensity of the sun streaming through a clear pane of glass. The window was set in a wooden paneled wall, boxes and trunks scattered in disarray, stretching out in an open flat layout.

“Who are you?”came an angry demanding voice.

Turning, Cassie saw the outline of a boy, squatting beside a staircase leading down into the house. They were in an attic, she thought.

“I’m Cassie. Who are you?” she asked in her gentlest voice.

The squeaking of the boy’s sneakers against the wood floor made her surroundings jarringly real. She noticed the mop in his hand, as well as several ugly bruises that colored his arms and the right side of his face. He was a handsome boy, maybe twelve years old, with deep brown eyes and a mop of thick, messy red hair.

“I’m Danny. What are you doing in here? How’d you get in without me seein’?” he asked. Boston, they
had to be in Boston. The boy’s accent was thick with it. Hearing it made him all the more adorable, and Cassie smiled at him.

“I’m special. I can see people who need my help,” she explained delicately.

Danny’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped a little as he put the broom down and slowly approached her, trance-like.

“Are you an angel?”

Oh boy, that was the last thing Cassie wanted him to think.

“No, I’m not, but I still want to help you.”

“Because you look like an angel, and if you were, maybe you could see my mom in heaven, and tell I miss her,” he said, rolling right over Cassie’s words.

“Your mom died?” Cassie asked, trying not to be disconcerted when he was close enough to reach out a hand and touch her face. He seemed to sober when his hand pressed flat against her cheek, and he yanked his hand away.

“Yeah. And it ain’t been the same since. I wish I could be with her. If you ain’t an angel, how are you going to help me?”

“Well, you could tell me what’s wrong and I’ll try. Who did this to you?” she asked, touching his face and pointing to his bruises.

“Nobody. You can’t help me. Nobody can. Just go away. I’m fine.”

Taking a deep breath, Cassie bent down to his level and grabbed his arms to stop him from backing away. She jerked back when he cried out and slapped at her arms to make her stop.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Yeah, well that’s what everybody says.”

“Who’s everybody?” Cassie questioned; being careful not to touch him again, yet not willing to stand back up in retreat. This poor kid was being abused, and it was clear he was grieving the death of his mother.

“Dad and Wendy and Cindy and Nate. They act like we’re all one big family, but we’re not. They’re not my brother and sister, and she’s not my mom. Dad says he hits me because I need to learn to get along, but he just wants me to go away like mom did so he can have his new family. But it doesn’t matter because once I’m old enough I’m leaving. And there’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well just leave.”

Danny’s voice kept cracking as he ground out his angry words and pounded his fist into his thigh with each sentence. Grabbing at his hand, Cassie stopped his hand, and when he pulled it back forcefully she lost her balance and fell to the side with a startled cry.

The boy jumped to his feet and held out his hand to Cassie, shouting his apology. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to do that. You alright?”

“It’s okay,” Cassie said, standing to her full height and brushing off some of the dust that she had landed in. “I’m okay.”

“I didn’t mean for you to fall. I just don’t like being touched anymore.”

“It’s okay. Listen, I can help you. Just tell me your last name and I’ll help you. You don’t have to feel alone,” Cassie told him, but she felt the tugging. Something was happening to her body, and she was getting
pulled back.

“Myers. I’m Danny Myers, but I don’t see how you’re going to help me if you ain’t an angel. But if you are an angel and just can’t tell me; tell my mom I miss her and I love her. And I want to be with her,” Danny said, blinking at the ceiling as he refused to look at her.

“I’m sure your mom can hear you just fine. I’ll see what I can do to help. I’m going to go now. But I promise, I’ll do what I can to help,” Cassie said, heading for the stairs. She didn’t want to disappear in front of him and scare him- or give him the false impression she was an angel.

“But my dad’s down there. You can’t leave that way,” he called after her, but he seemed too scared to follow her. As she reached the landing facing down the second flight of stairs, the old Victorian home faded around her.


The sound of Sookie’s high pitched screech broke Cassie into full consciousness. She was still seated on the plane, an attendant attempting to wake her, but the sound of Sookie’s cry was coming from somewhere off the plane.

Jumping to her feet, Cassie raced down the aisle, passed the group of drugged up vampire groupies, and off the plane. She spotted Sookie wrestling with a man in a black suit and rushed to help her. As she reached them, the man threw Sookie against the side of a limo and tried to push her through the open backseat door.

Balling her fist, Cassie cried out “Hey!” and when the man turned to face her, she gave him her best left hook. The crunch of his nose beneath her fist and the spurt of blood that hit her face and neck made Cassie cringe as the assailant landed in a disheveled lump on the floor with a satisfying thud.

Sookie leapt over the prone figure on the floor as Bill appeared before them, and a thumping sound pervaded the background. A feminine voice was shouting for them to get her out of something, and when Cassie turned, flight attendants were unlatching a shaking coffin, and a pretty, tall, long-haired redhead climbed free.

“Sookie are you alright?” Cassie heard Bill ask as the redhead blurred to his side. She smiled shyly at Cassie, and Cassie smiled in return before facing Sookie.

“I’m alright, Bill. Thanks to Cassie,” she said politely with a smile.

A cold look came to Bill’s face as he picked up the fallen man with a quick “thank you” to Cassie. The redhead watched eagerly as Bill’s fangs clinked down, and his eyes squinted at him in rage.

“You will drive us to our hotel and remain in the driver’s seat until I come for you,” he said in a whispery voice that was captivating and terrifying all at once.

“I will drive you to your hotel and remain in the driver’s seat until you come for me,” the man repeated, eyes caught in a dazed stare before resuming their normal sheen. He walked to the driver’s side and climbed in, bloody nose and all.

“What just happened?” Cassie asked.

“And can I do that too?” the redhead asked, smiling excitedly.

“Jessica, get in the limo. Sookie, Cassie- I am sorry to have left you unattended. Dallas may turn out to be more dangerous than I had anticipated.” Bill stated, handing all three of them into the limo before joining them.

“I had to glamour him; it is a vampire trait. We are able to force our will on most all humans- yourself and Sookie exempt. And you will learn to glamour when I feel you are ready for that responsibility Jessica.”

“No fair. I want to do the fun stuff too, Bill. You’re so boring. I can’t wait to see Eric, he always let's me do stuff,” the redhead- Jessica- said with a pout. Cassie imagined she was very young to be turned, maybe sixteen or seventeen. Back when Cassie was that age, everything seemed unfair.

“Jessica,” Bill said; his tone impatient.

“Bill, be nice. She’s still new to all this,” Sookie interjected, smiling at Jessica as the redhead returned her own.

The rest of the ride was silent, other than Jessica’s constant prattle about her old life, and how boring being a vampire was compared to what she thought it would be like. She had constantly turned to Cassie for conversation, obviously looking for a new companion while Bill fretted over Sookie with long looks and stolen kisses.

When they pulled up to the hotel, one of the staff opened the door and handed her out, Jessica close on her tail while Bill assisted Sookie from behind. The driver remained seated, and Bill went up to fetch him while Cassie took in the enormity of the hotel. The exterior was thick, dark-tinted glass with a large overhang above a four-door entrance way with rolling, red rugs and attendants at each door.

Bill led them in through the far right, and as she walked in, Cassie took a deep breath- the air smelled like lavender and bleach. The combination burned her nose slightly and it crinkled in an almost sneeze. Though Sookie looked equally repugnant to the scent, Bill acted unfazed and Jessica swore under her breath while her eyes watered with bloody tears.

A number of hotel staff stood behind a high check in counter, wearing pressed royal blue uniforms, and smiling with practiced charm. As Bill directed them to the main desk, an attractive young man stepped forward to take their bags, and a bejeweled, brightly smiling young woman- equally attractive- asked their names before punching them in and handing over individual card keys.

“We hope you enjoy your stay. Please feel free to contact the front desk for any services you might require, or our well equipped kitchen staff with all your dining needs. Check out is ten a.m. each morning and turn down is 6 p.m. each night for our nocturnal clientele. Have a nice day,” she said, bobbing her head in a friendly parting.

Smoothly practiced, Cassie thought as the girl transitioned back in line, and they followed the handsome Hispanic man into a tremendous elevator that played delicate classical music in the background.

“This place is so stuffy,” Jessica complained, making a face at the man whose name tag said Hank.

“We are quite accommodating to all needs, Miss.” Hank said. He looked perfectly complacent as he stood in front of the elevator doors, glancing at neither Bill nor Jessica. He spared a look for Sookie until the faintest growl sounded over the music, and then a look at Cassie, who winked in friendly reassurance.

The doors dinged open when they reached the thirteenth floor, and Cassie noticed that the walls were papered a deep gold, and the rugs were a rich red. Smart, if they had any blood spills they wouldn’t have to replace the rug, Cassie thought.

They stopped first at Sookie and Bill’s room, which had a connecting room for Jessica.

“Where is Cassie going to be staying?” Sookie questioned, her cute Southern twang politely inquiring.

“Her card key is assigned to one of the conjoining rooms down the hall,” said Hank while placing the bulk of the luggage just inside the door of the large suite Bill had opened.

“Conjoining?” Cassie asked. When did that happen? And who with?

“Yes. Your tab here has been paid up by one,” he fished around his pocket, removed a notepad, flipped through several pages, and then read off, “Eric Northman.”

“Excuse me.”

“Yes, it says right here, Eric Northman, room 1312, plus one.”

“What? That was not the agreement. We demand another room!” Sookie shouted, Southern manners be damned apparently.

“All right. If you’ll just give me a card to charge the new room to, I can have that done immediately,” Hank said. He held his hand out impartially, but Bill stayed Sookie’s hand which had begun questing through her clutch bag.

“Sookie, it is fine. I can pay for my own room if I have to,” Cassie said.

“That was not the agreement either, Cassie,” Bill replied. He looked angry, but not ready to burst as Sookie was.

“It’s cool. Look, how much is a room?”

“Twenty-three hundred a night,” Hank said, hand still outstretched.

Yikes, Cassie thought, that’s a little deep in the pockets. “Um, that’s okay. I’m sure the room Eric paid for is great.”

“No it is not! Why don’t you share with Jessica? Her room is plenty big,” Sookie offered, but Cassie heard a distinct “Hey!” from the other room attached to the suite, and shook her head.

“I think Eric outmaneuvered us on this one, Sookie. No worries, I’ll deal with him later. Get settled in and then come visit me?” Cassie asked, if only to put Sookie’s mind at ease.

For a moment, Sookie looked like she was warring with herself, but Cassie saw the moment when logic won out. “You got it. And if Eric gives you any trouble, you tell him we can leave anytime.”

Smiling in thanks, Cassie followed Hank down the hall to the right and swept her own card key through the electronic lock. With a beep and a flash of green light, she entered one of the most opulent rooms she had ever stayed in. Growing up with parents who spared no expense, had richened her taste, but even Cassie couldn’t deny the luxury around her. A hot tub sat in a far left corner on a raised wooden deck with brass poles holding perfectly folded, ironed towels. To the right, a California King-sized bed with an impressive, hand-carved head and footboard pressed against the wall, two decorative, black and crystal embellished wall sconces lit the far side of the room, and the two marble end tables that bookended either side of the head of the mattress. Posh French patterned carpet rolled across the floor in diagonal cut design, and a sofa four-loveseats in length sat under a steel-shuttered window. Three purely decorative wall torches sat in brass brackets while a line of light-tubing encased in purple mood lighting ran the wall the doorway was set in, and a replica of Café Terrace by Van Gogh was painted as a mural along the wall surrounding the fifteen by fifteen foot walk in closet.

Whistling in appreciation, Cassie watched as Hank set down her luggage and pointed to a fine brass rolling cart which had a hooded plate and a bucket of chilling wine. “Mr. Northman took the liberty of ordering your dinner. If you have any other needs, please feel free to contact the front desk. All meals and expenses have been taken care of, and a personal letter is waiting on the cart. Just pick up the phone and press star-eight-eight for the front desk. Have a nice evening.”

As Hank went to leave, Cassie stopped him, “Wait.” She pulled a twenty out of her purse, this had to be the minimum going rate for a place like this, and handed it to him. “You have a nice night too.”

Hank smiled and ducked out.

“Smooth, Eric, real smooth,” Cassie said, amused.

She sauntered over to the cart and peeked under the hood. Steak, rare- cute, rich in iron and expensive.

The white envelope had her name written in neat hand, and when she opened it the writing was impeccable- almost feminine.

Sweet Cassie,
I hope this room is too your liking. I know the lovely Miss Stackhouse was probably against your location, but I knew you would not disappoint. You said you don’t come cheap-may this room meet your standards. Till I have the pleasure of seeing you tonight, njut liten en.
Eric


Cassie could almost hear the sexy rasp of his voice as she read the letter and it sent wily shivers down to her core. Eric the Hot knew how to write a letter.

Sighing, Cassie popped open the wine, indulged in a glass, and refilled it as she entered the bathroom to check out the finery. The inside was almost as beautiful as the bedroom- French paintings on the walls- tiny nameplates underneath- and a floor made of mosaic tiles. A claw footed tub sat against the far left, a door to the right (Cassie surmised that it must lead to Eric’s room), and a pedestal sink with a mirror that took up the long expanse of the opposite wall as she walked in.

Going back into the bedroom, Cassie pulled out a long, gold; peach; pink; and orange tiered ankle skit
with a breezy, white tank, and pulled off her clothes. Making her way to the bathroom, she started the bath and added some of the complimentary lavender bubble bath, set her wine glass aside, and settled in.

“Love baths,” she whispered to herself- clipping up her wavy curls and inhaling the steam rising up above the bubbles. She floated in the calm of the waters for a long time until the sound of a door opening caused her eyelids to flutter up.

“Enjoying yourself, little one,” said that smooth, sexy voice.

“I am,” she said back, turning her head to face Eric, and forcing her body not to sink lower into the water. He had meant to catch her off guard, and she wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of her surprise.

He looked amused and turned on all at once- which made her body flush beneath the water, and her already rosy cheeks blushed harder.

“Mind if I join you?” he asked, crouching beside the lip of the tub, fingers reaching out to catch an errant curl- twirling it enticingly between his index finger and thumb.

“I was actually getting out,” she said, flicking her eyes in question to a crisp, white towel which hung from a brass rack.

Eric rose to his full height, causing Cassie to tilt her head back to meet his eyes, and he took the towel and unfolded it, holding it up in challenge. Never taking her eyes from his, Cassie stood from the water, remaining bubbles and droplets of water rushing down her body, before stepping over the lid and into his embrace as he firmly wrapped her up. His arms trapped her to his chest, and a warm throb pulsed between her wet thighs.

“You play a dangerous game,” he said in a low voice, mouth coming down to the shell of her right ear. The breath that left him lacked warmth and it caused shivers to curl down her spine and goose-bumps to run down her arms and legs.

“But I’m good at it. Now I’m cold and I need to get dress. Let me go, Eric,” Cassie rejoined, stepping out of his arms as he released her.

“I like you. Which is saying something, Cassandra. It’s not common that I like breathers. And I’ve found two this century. Interesting,” Eric told her.

Cassie walked into her room, smiling over her shoulder at him before shutting the door on him, and she heard the distinct sound of the water draining from the bath.

Toweling down and dressing quickly, Cassie downed the last of her second glass of wine- now less cold- and slipped on her gold boots. She unclipped her hair and just as she ran her brush through it to take out some of the frizz from the steam of the bath, a knock came to her door. On the other side, Sookie stood beaming.

“Hi Cassie. Sorry it took me so long to get over here,” Sookie said.

“It’s okay. I was taking a bath anyway.”

“Oh, good. Sorry again about Eric, he thinks he owns everybody.”

“I can handle myself, Sookie, so don’t worry about it,” Cassie told her.

“Bill told me to come and get you because we’re meeting with the Dallas vamps. You ready?” Sookie asked.

“Sure. Let’s go,” Cassie said.

They walked together down the hall to the elevator and found Jessica and Bill waiting for them. Eric was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Eric?” Cassie asked, and jumped slightly when her reply came from behind her.

“Right here, little one.”

Turning Cassie took in his head-to-toe black outfit: black tank, black jeans, black leather jacket; hell, even black boots. “You need to add some color to your wardrobe.”

“What do mean, I have you,” he said, putting his arm around her waist and pulling her into his side.

Jessica giggled while Sookie looked on in concern, and Bill frowned in disgust.

Smirking up at him, Cassie rolled her eyes to the side, and when the elevator opened, they all stepped in- Cassie not moving from Eric’s side. So what if he was a badass, self-important vampire sheriff; he was good at it.

Eric leaned forward, causing his body to press flush against Cassie’s side, and hit the number nine. The ride in the elevator was relatively fast, and soon they were in front of a room, knocking, and being admitted by a man with a Stetson and a ridiculously huge rodeo buckle.

“Stan,” Eric said, all playful sexiness gone. He looked rigid and every bit the big-bad-vamp he was supposed to be.

“We didn’t say to bring any blood bags, Eric.”

“These humans belong to me and my party. Watch your tone, Stanley,” Eric said, eyes cold, no inflection in his voice save a subtle bite.

“Where is Isabel?”

“Here,” said a regal, female voice.

The group turned and was led into a large open sitting space. A rather tall, brunette stood near a coffee table, her clothes and stature screaming European wealth. Not a fan of the hair, but great clothes, Cassie thought.

“Eric, it is good to see you,” Isabel said.

“Cut the pleasantries, Isabel. What happened to Godric?” Eric shot back, moving from Cassie's side to face the female vampire.

Stan scoffed behind them as he closed the door, and Jessica and Sookie took seats offered to them on the couch by a timid looking man- probably human by Cassie’s guess.

“He went missing a few days ago. We had the whole nest out looking for him, and we are almost positive the Fellowship of the Sun has taken him,” she replied. She was glancing over both Sookie and Jessica before her eyes turned to study Cassie with a more intent level of interest. That must be a vampire trait, Cassie thought.

“The Fellowship of the Sun? Those crazy vampire hating fanatics from TV?” Jessica questioned, her eyes wide with fascination. Cassie remembered hearing about the Fellowship of the Sun, they were constantly preaching the immoral, unnatural existence of vampires, and a lot of other racist notions. Cassie hated people that used God as a means to tear down other people they didn’t understand.

“How could they take someone such as Godric? He is over two thousand years old,” Eric questioned. He looked ready to kill, more full of emotion than he had been since they entered the room.

“We’re not sure. Which is what makes this such a dangerous situation. If they can take Godric, what is to stop them from taking us all?” Isabel said.

“We kill them all, that’s how,” spouted Stan, his Stetson in his hand.

Isabel and Stan began to bicker and Bill tried to intercede on Sookie’s behalf when she threw in her lot, but Cassie only had eyes for Eric. Jessica sat completely forgotten and getting moodier about it by the minute.

When Eric threw a beautiful crystal vase against a far wall, Cassie was the only one not to jump because she was the only one to see it as he snapped and reached for it.

“Enough. You bicker like children,” Eric went on a short rant, and Isabel snapped back in petulant reply, reminding them all that they were invited guests, only included out of respect for Eric’s connection to Godric as his Child.

Wow, Cassie thought, Eric is Godric’s Child. She wasn’t sure exactly what that meant in terms of importance in the vampire community, but making someone a vampire seemed like a big deal- it took an eternity of commitment.

“So what do we do now?” Sookie asked, holding hands with Bill who had seated himself between her and Jessica.

“We kill them,” Stan stated.

“No, we cannot do that. We have to treat this diplomatically. Godric was a supporter of human-vampire relations,” Isabel rebuked.

“Then what do you suggest? Wait around till they pick us off one by one?”

“I could go in during the day. Check around the church to see what’s going on inside, and if they’re keeping Godric there,” Sookie offered, and Bill immediately rebuffed that idea.

“I have a better idea,” Eric said. He was staring at Cassie, and she knew what he was going to say just before the words left his mouth. “Cassie can find him.”

“You want to send in one of these little girls to find Godric?” Stan asked, laughing outright.

“First off, Eric, I’m not even sure if I can control it. Secondly, who the fuck are you calling a little girl, little boy? Did we feel like playing dress up this morning, or did you really make the decision to wear that, cowboy?” Cassie snapped off, irritated with the overgrown ass standing before her.

Stan’s fangs came down with a resounding click, and Isabel had to grab him by the collar of his button-down shirt even as Eric stepped in front of Cassie. In turn, Bill bared his fangs and threw an arresting arm in front of Sookie while Jessica’s eyes danced in entertainment.

“What’d you call me, blood bitch,” Stan demanded. Isabel commanded him to stop, and Eric murmured something for vampire ears only.

Turning to her, Eric leveled her with an amused look, “I paid you to come along on this trip. You will do this for me.”

Meeting his eyes, Cassie knew he was right. She was being paid very well to at least try. “You got it, boss man.”

Eric gave her a smile, threw up a stoic front, and then explained to Isabel and Stan, “This human is mine. She has a gift that she has agreed to use to help us. Cassandra will not need to enter the church physically to find Godric. And if you have one ounce of self preservation in you, Stan, you will remember who I am, and what I am capable of.”

“How is she to find Godric if she does not enter the church,” Isabel asked, hands on her hips as the human man rubbed circles against her back.

“I’m going to send my spirit out to find him,” Cassie said, and took a seat on the other, vacant couch that faced Sookie and the others.

“You’re gonna do what?” Stan asked.

“I have the ability to send my spirit out to people in need. I’ve never controlled it before, but I’m game to try.”

“And you think you can find Godric?” Isabel questioned.

“I’m going to try.”

“When will you do this?”

“Eric?” Cassie asked, turning her eyes to where he stood a pillar of silence.

“Now.”

Author's Note: Sorry it took so long to get this chapter out, but my mother had a quadruple bypass little over a month ago and things have been stressful since. She's recovering well according to the doctors, and I'm doing the best I can to take care of her and find some creative time. I hope everyone enjoyed this last chapter, EK!
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch4 7/24/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:28 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Five

"Now?" Cassie asked, her eyebrows shooting up, her forehead crinkling.

"Yes, now. Is that a problem?" Eric asked. He stood like a wall of muscle and demands- arms crossed over his chest.

"Um, I don't know. I guess we'll see," Cassie told him, and with a deep breath, she laid down on the couch.

"What are you doing?" Isabel questioned.

Turning her head in Isabel's direction, Cassie noticed her skepticism and the way she was staring at Cassie in doubt. It made her all the more determined to do this.

"I usually do this when I'm sleeping, but since that's not the case, I'm going to lay back and relax. It's usually when I'm relaxed that I can do this. Now describe him to me," Cassie said, closing her eyes and folding her arms over her stomach. She felt someone kneel down beside her, and cool breath touched her ear sending shivers down her spine and causing her stomach to clench.

"He is five feet eleven inches tall with dark hair and eyes. His skin is pale and smooth with light muscle definition. His appearance is deceptively young, maybe twenty. When he smiles, his lips stretch thin and wide across his face. Tribal tattoos are inked into his skin, intricate and strong, they name him a man in his long dead community of men. He has runners legs, thick calves and strong thighs," Eric's voice filled her mind, and a form slowly took shape in her mind as Eric spoke reverently of this man, this Godric.

The blackness in her mind was changing, Eric's voice fading, and Cassie tried to hold on to his words, tried to see this man.

Cassie took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She was in a cell: shiny gray bars, swept linoleum floors, wooden benches, and a mattress with a sheet in the far corner. On the opposite sides of the bars were filing cabinets and crosses- hundreds of crosses in different sizes and colors.

A hand came around her throat, and Cassie gasped in surprised pain. Her eyes focused on the man in front of her. He looked like he was maybe twenty, and just as Eric described, but so much more. His white skin shone as bright as the bars and his tattoos were fiercely stark against his skin. He looked indifferent to her as he held her throat- not so much that she couldn't breathe, but enough to stop her from speaking while he examined her.

"Who are you? How did you just appear like that?" his inflection warned her to be cautious with her reply. He slowly lowered her to the floor and released her throat- his hand still settled at its base while she stared back at him.

"I'm Cassandra. Are you Godric?"

Wrong question, Cassie thought anxiously when the hand tightened considerably around her neck.

"How do you know my name?" A fire lit in his eyes and it was more terrifying than Cassie could name. He looked like he would kill her without a second thought, like she was nothing to him.

"Eric," she choked out and the grip loosened. "I'm helping Eric Northman. I have the ability to find people who need my help."

Godric held her eyes for a few seconds and Cassie wondered if he was trying to glamour her, which would be incredibly rude- as well as pointless- considering she was trying to help him; and she happened to be immune.

"I do not need your help, human. It is because of your kind that I am in here," he whispered. "I do not blame you, but I do not require your services. Go back to my Child, tell him to leave me where I am."

"I can't do that," Cassie said even though she really didn't want him to have a fit over this and break her neck. She wouldn't just leave him to crazy church fanatics.

"Why not?"

"Because Eric won't accept that. He's not exactly the sit back and take it kind of guy," Cassie said, "and I'm not going to tell him you said no because I happen to be human. Look consider me a special case, since I'm pretty sure you don't know any other humans who can do this."

He regarded her for long seconds, and Cassie wondered if he knew how creepy his staring was. He did not breathe or move when he did the stare thing.

"I do know my Child, he is very stubborn. All right. You may help me. Now tell me how you intend to do that," Godric said, arms folding over his chest. It reminded Cassie so much of Eric she couldn't help but quirk an eyebrow at him before making a noise in the back of her throat that made him move his hand from the column of her neck.

"Well where are we? That Fellowship of the Sun place?"

"Yes, I am being held in their basement," he answered.

"How did you get captured?" Cassie took a seat on one of the benches and tried not to look too interested. He had that calculating look on his face, like he was playing a game of chess and every move was important for both players.

"I was betrayed. Someone in my nest let them in while I was sleeping, and they carried me off in silver nets. Silver is poison to our kind; even for one so old as I, it is not something we can easily escape," Godric told her. He showed no emotion, but Cassie thought his pride was probably hurt by that one- he was a man…vampire, after all.

"Okay so they're packing silver nets, probably some guns and stakes and more traditional stuff- holy water, garlic, all that jazz. Crosses galore," Cassie said with a glance around the room, "and they probably plan to kill you soon."

"To sum it up, yes."

"Great," Cassie said. She was on the wrong side of the bars, damn it. Time to put that nifty power of hers to use. "I'm going to try something, so don't be alarmed, and you might want to step back; I haven't done this much."

Taking a deep breath- as it seemed to help channel her thoughts- Cassie stared at the lock on the cell. She envisioned it breaking. Her mind's eye saw the lock rusting over on the inside while the mechanism broke. She saw it coming apart, bit by bit, and the door flying open. She imagined the noise, and the broken pieces, and-

An explosion rocked the room, the bars rattling, and chunks of the cell door flung in every direction. Too late, Cassie realized it was silver, and Godric got hit in the stomach and face with bits of the broken lock.

"Oh God, I'm so sorry," Cassie exclaimed, rushing to his side on the other side of the cell where he had fallen back from the explosion.

"You are a peculiar human," he murmured, and Cassie ignored that comment in favor of pulling shrapnel from his stomach while he brushed his hands over his sizzling face. He did not make a single sound of pain, but Cassie knew it must hurt like a bitch.

"We have to hurry. They must have heard that," Cassie said, and before she could blink or stand from her crouch, Godric was on his feet behind her, standing as if nothing had happened. He turned to her when she stood, and Cassie walked with him toward the door.

Footsteps were thundering down the stairs they were approaching, and Cassie glanced nervously at Godric. He had a cold look that would have frozen her in place if it had been directed at her, but his eyes were on the stairs. A group of men dressed in combat clothing and holding silver crosses and guns tromped toward them.

The front man leapt down toward them, hand raised high behind him, stake pulled back, and Cassie ducked low, slamming her right shoulder into his stomach and flipping him over her body. A crunch sounded behind her, but Cassie refused to look back as she grabbed the arm of the next man who was trying to stab her while his buddies moved around him and straight for Godric.

"Fucking fangbanger! How'd you get down here?" he shouted, a mask hiding his face from her as Cassie was slammed back into the wall while he wrestled his stake from her clutching fingers. His meaty fingers curled around her neck, and Cassie grunted angrily- what the hell was it with people and touching her neck. "Die bitch." Never good to hear, Cassie thought, and she brought her knee up between his legs as he slammed the stake down at her chest. Her attempt to avoid the stake worked to an extent- it didn't embed in her chest, it slammed down into her thigh and pain exploded in her vision.

The man was ripped from her body where he had doubled over and pinned her to the stair wall, and Cassie heard his horrified bellow through a funnel of fuzziness.

"I can't pull that out. It's silver," Godric told her, kneeling beside her spot on the stairs. He was looking at her differently now, with interest, and Cassie shivered at the penetration of his stare.

"Just get out. I'll be fine. Don't stop, just head for Dallas- the vampire hotel there," Cassie told him and when he nodded and stood, she wanted to call him back because the pain hurt so bad- she didn't want to be alone.

Gripping the stake with two hands, Cassie yanked with all her might and screamed.


"Cassie!" Sookie shouted as Cassie came to, sitting up shaking, a cold sweat coating her body.

"Mother Fuckin', son of a-" Cassie shouted, her hands coming to clamp down on her thigh where blood was seeping from her stake wound. She let out a scream when she looked up and saw that every vampire in the room was staring at her, fangs bared. "I'm not dinner! Get me a fucking towel!"

"Bill!" Sookie shouted, shoving him into a wall while Cassie watched Eric blur out of the room, and then suddenly appear beside her with a large bath towel.

Eric knelt beside her, fangs covered by his closed lips, and Cassie almost didn't want him to touch her.

"Move your hands," he ordered, and Cassie pulled back bloodied hands and wiped at the tears coming down her cheeks while Stan came close sniffing the air above her. He was the creepiest.

"Get the fuck away from me," she yelled at Stan, using her blood smeared left hand to push against his stomach, picturing him flying across the room- and in the next moment, he was.

Intense pain was shooting up her leg and into her stomach as Eric applied considerable pressure to her wound. It took everything in her not to scream out as more tears slid down her cheeks- some leaking into her open mouth.

"I could help you with this wound," Eric told her, his enchanting, arctic eyes holding her attention while numbness began to take over the area around her thigh- her right leg pinned between the couch and Eric's body.

"How?" Cassie gasped while Bill restrained a hissing Jessica, and Isabel withdrew from the room with her male human's wrist in her mouth.

"I could give you my blood. Vampire blood has incredible healing abilities, you would begin mending immediately," he told her. Immediately sounds damn good to me, Cassie thought.

"It sounds incredibly gross," she said, emphasizing the incredibly part, but unable to stop staring at him while he brought his left wrist up to his mouth, biting into the pallid blue-veined flesh, and offering it to her.

"Cassie, don't!" Sookie yelled to her, even though she was holding Jessica around the middle while Bill held her face- mouth-baring fangs open- and gave her orders that seemed to calm her.

"Why?" Cassie whispered as Eric's wrist drew closer to her mouth and the smell filled her nose, it didn't smell gross at all.

"Because it'll make you more attracted to him, and he'll know stuff about you," Sookie told her, just as Jessica slammed her back into the wall behind them- effectively winding Sookie.

Shaking off the smell of Eric's blood, Cassie met his overwhelming eyes, "What does she mean?"

He sighed and brought his wrist down, "I will always know where you are. You will have sexual dreams about me- not such a bad thing. You will become stronger, your libido higher, and we will have a connection that cannot be broken. But you will heal, as I said, very quickly."

Hm, let's see. Sex dreams- check. Knowing where I am- annoying, but not the worst thing in the world. Stronger and all healed up- kick ass. High libido- got that. Pain in leg- too much to bare.

"Okay. Give it to me," Cassie told him, watching as he re-bit his wrist and brought it to her.

"My pleasure," he said with a smirk, and Cassie rolled her eyes at him as her mouth closed over his bite.

A throb; it caused every muscle in her body to convulse- that was the first sign it was working. Then the pain in her leg, which made Cassie want to rip her own hair out, or punch someone, stopped existing- one second it was there, the next it was gone. After the pain disappeared, a sinful spiral of pleasure from her gut up to the top of her head and down to the tips of her toes sparked her insides. Like an orgasm that wouldn't end and a power that made her dizzyingly high- Cassie sucked greedily from Eric's wrist. With each pull of her mouth, each lap of her strong tongue, a rush of energy spilled over inside of her. Her eyes shot open and stared up at Eric who was watching her in amusement. Eric the Hot was sooo hot.

"Enough, Cassandra," he said to her huskily.

No, it wasn't enough, it would never be enough. Sucking with strength from her diaphragm, Cassie drew more of him inside of her, the delicious sinful pull shocking tendrils of desire along her nerves, up her spine, and around the edges of her fingernails.

"I said no more," Eric told her, and he gripped her by the back of her head, drawing her off of him with the power of one hand.

Angry that he was hurting her- the grip of his hand anything but delicate- Cassie glared at him, and then he was gone- a large hole exploded in the wall adjacent to the couch. Dust and spackle and wall paper littered the ground; and Stan howled with laughter from where he stood behind the couch licking at his shirt front where Cassie had touched him.

Energy popped and sizzled along her skin like ecstasy, but Cassie knew she had just thrown Eric through a wall- with her mind. Without focusing, without thinking out the steps- a single thought and a well placed glare had sent him crashing through layers of sheetrock and wooden beams.

"Eric!" Sookie screamed, and Cassie jolted up to a stand. There was no pain in her leg, and somehow she was across the room, through the hole, and kneeling beside him before Sookie had even crossed half the distance.

"I'm sorry," Cassie said, even though Eric was already sitting up and brushing debris out of his hair.

"I'm not. That was some show. My blood seems to have already taken great effect. You pack a decent punch for a human," he said, voice low and musical, amused and delighted. He was smiling, and that made Cassie's insides jump crazily for a whole different reason.

"Don't joke, you jerk. I could have killed you," Cassie said, helping to wipe his shirt off, but only succeeding to smear it with blood. He caught her hand just as Cassie registered her face and clothes must be covered in her own blood from touching herself.

"Would you mind if I had a taste? It only seems fair," he murmured, eyes seductive, mouth curled in that should-be-illegal smile.

"Um-" Cassie said, mind focused on his mouth, but he didn't wait for her to finish that articulate thought before leaning down and licking at her already almost fully healed thigh. He brought both hands down to hold her waist and suck from the closing wound, and Cassie gasped at the sexual shivers that liquefied her core.

"Ops, sorry. They're fine," Sookie replied to the others in the room on the other side of the hole in the wall. Cassie might have blushed at Sookie's subtle attempts to hide the sight of she and Eric locked together while Eric licked at her thigh, but the sensation of it made everything around her unimportant save his questing tongue.

He pulled back, and like an electric shock, her body jolted at the release. It was a disappointing reality that he had stopped, but he was staring at her again, and Cassie couldn't think of a thing to say.

"Interesting," he said, licking his lips and bringing a hand up to the corners of her mouth to wipe at the blood still trickling down from the corners of her lips.

"I was expecting something more like, yum," Cassie said before she realized it came out, and Eric laughed. It was a sexy belly laugh that made the juncture between her thighs quiver and clench while she laughed shakily along with him.

"Yum indeed. Now why don't you tell me what happened," Eric said, standing and pulling her around the waist up to her full height beside him. Her wound closed off just then, and Cassie felt a little less powerful- though the high of it was still making her want to giggle and run and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Vampire blood is some powerful shit, Cassie thought.

They climbed through the wall together, Eric hefting her weight with one arm like a steel band wrapped around her waist, and he placed her on the couch before standing behind her.

"I found Godric," Cassie announced, and the others gathered around, Isabel and her human man coming back in to join him. The man looked decidedly paler than when they had left, Cassie realized.

"And?" Isabel asked, hands clasping in front of her while she tilted her head regally to one side.

"He was kidnapped by the Fellowship of the Sun. They used silver nets to capture him during daylight. He said there is a traitor in the nest. I helped him break out of the cell he was being held in at the Fellowship's church- in their basement. We were attacked by a group of armed men with guns and silver. I don't know what they looked like- they had masks on. One of them called me a…fangbanger and staked me," Cassie explained, and she felt Eric's hands come to rest on her shoulders.

"I told Godric to leave, that I would be fine, and to meet us at the vampire hotel in Dallas. He's on his way- assuming he got out," Cassie finished.

"He got out. They ambushed him once during the day when he was in his nest- that was not the case at the church. He'll be back soon," Isabel stated, taking a seat across from Cassie. "You have done us a great service. For that, I thank you."

"You're welcome," Cassie said, running a hand over her thigh.

"Stan?" Isabel asked, arching an elegant eyebrow at him.

He came around the couch and leaned against the wall Sookie had been thrown into, beside Jessica and a stoic Bill. Sookie was smiling at Cassie, despite her worried glances at Eric. It made her wonder just want Sookie's intentions toward Eric really were.

"Yeah thanks," Stan agreed, purposefully licking his shirt front again.

"Savor the flavor of that laundry detergent blood- cause that's all you'll ever get," Cassie quipped, arching a brow in challenge at him when he hissed at her.

"Enough Stan, she is our honored guest. Mr. Northman, we appreciate your help," Isabel said. She stood and exited the room, whispering to the man beside her to make arrangements for Godric to stay in a room at the hotel.

"There are several vampire hotels in the area. He may not come here first," Bill announced.

"Yeah, but that's what happens when you have humans relay messages," Stan said. A whoosh of air sounded in the room, and Eric had Stan pinned to the wall, Jessica jumping back out of the way while Bill snatched up Sookie at his own blurring speed and ordered Jessica back to their room.

"You will respect my human, or I will rip out your tongue and allow her to feast on your blood before I kill you. Do you understand?" Eric threatened like nobody's business, Cassie acknowledged with a shiver, though she wasn't too keen on feasting on anyone's blood- despite the high she was riding off Eric the Hot's kick ass blood. She was too civilized for this vampire brutality- but thinking on her attack on Eric, maybe not as civilized as she had thought.

"Sorry," Stan grunted, then pushed Eric, who released him, and moved out of the room.

"Feast on his blood?" Cassie parroted, both eyebrows high up on her forehead now as she smoothed a hand over her chest, delighting in tingle her breasts shot off like sparks as she brushed across her hard nipples.

Eric merely smiled in response and helped her to her feet as Cassie followed him back to their room. If anyone they passed on the way to their suite thought it was weird she was walking around covered in blood and torn clothing, no one said anything.

"Get changed. Take a shower and wear something nice. We will be meeting Godric when he arrives," Eric demanded, turning his back on her while he stripped off his shirt and dropped his pants and boxers, opening his armoire in the black, leather themed room opposite hers. His back muscles were a sculpted work of art, and his ass- oh that ass was poetry in motion- flexed and led down to perfect, tall legs corded thickly with muscle and painted over in smooth, pale skin.

"Can't I just take another bath and relax? I did my part in this and now I'm ready to kick back," Cassie asked, eyes drawing him in her mind as they traced over each curve and line. She watched his back contort as his upper body turned to face her, his handsome face smirking at her stare. She didn't turn her eyes away, or pretend not to stare- she liked what she was seeing, embarrassment be damned.

"No. I want you with me, and I'm paying you to be here. But if you'd like, I can join you for that shower," he offered, clothes suspended in his hand, waiting for her answer.

"I think if you want to see Godric at all tonight, the answer to that should probably be no," Cassie whispered, and he nodded his head, and began to dress as Cassie exited through the bathroom.

Better make this a cold one, she thought, and Cassie stripped down, climbing into the tub/shower and drew closed the curtain.
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch5 8/12/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:21 am

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer
: I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Six

The downstairs lobby was bustling with activity as the elevator doors dinged open, and Cassie stepped out with Sookie right behind her. Bill had elected to stay upstairs with Jessica because according to Sookie, Jessica had ordered something off the menu that had Bill's dander up. He seemed like a pretty high strung kind of guy; Cassie wondered how he had come to be Jessica's sire- they seemed like an unlikely pair.

Her hair was still slightly damp and curling as it dried- random strands flying in her face from time to time. She had wondered what to wear, and if Eric would be the one to pick her up from her room, but he hadn't, and Sookie had. Sookie was still wearing the same sundress from earlier- the girl never seemed to wear anything else except for her work shorts. But as Cassie ran a hand down her black lace, short sleeve, baby doll dress, she had to admit she had wanted to dress up. Godric had been such an impressive figure, overpoweringly confident, and Cassie admired that in other people- and it was a matter of pride that she wanted to match that in herself. She only had her three pairs of shoes to choose from, and her golden boots had won out. It took away some of Eric's towering height advantage.

"Do you feel awkward? 'Cause I feel awkward. Everywhere I go in this hotel, I feel like I'm being size up as a midnight snack," Sookie whispered as they approached the front desk. Apparently Eric had sent her to get Cassie and told them to report to the receptionist at the front desk. He was a little demanding, Cassie was coming to notice.

"Hey, we might be walking happy meals to these people, but we're walking happy meals with an edge. We have something nobody else here has," Cassie said back, voice not quite a whisper, not quite talking aloud.

"Really, what's that?" Sookie asked.

"Our own personal mojo. You do the mind reading thing and I do…I'm not sure what you would call what I do, but I got edge," Cassie said confidently, flashing the smile she had used so often. It was the smile she used when she was winning over a client, the smile she used when she was hob-knobbing with the big bosses- it was the smile that had landed her at BW&B.

"Couldn't be that we're under Bill's protection," Sookie teased, and Cassie threw her a smile.

"Maybe I do feel a little more untouchable because of Eric. Only this much though," Cassie said, showing an inch of space between her index finger and thumb.

They stopped at the reception desk, and Cassie leaned on her elbows on the teak wood of the counter, "Hi. Eric Northman told us to come down to the receptionist desk."

The blue-eyed brunette eyed her up and down, and Cassie arched an eyebrow at her. She was being sized up by a barely legal teen with a self-important attitude. This had to be one of the weirdest days of her life.

"You're Cassandra Mason?" the girl asked.

"Yeah."

"But you're human."

"And so are you according to the tracks on your neck. Why?" Cassie sassed. She did not come downstairs dressed up to play twenty questions. The line of bruised marks running along the girl's neck and collar bone were mostly obscured by her high collared work shirt, but the top buttons were open to reveal more than a glance of cleavage.

"I apologize ma'am; I just wasn't expecting a human. A nest meeting is taking place in Hall B down this corridor," the receptionist- Brittany, according to her nametag- pointed with a long, candy apple red, acrylic nail to a hallway to the left of the receptionist desk.

"Thank you," Cassie said, an extra bright smile on her face as she batted her eyes in a fake show of appreciation.

"She was so completely jealous," Sookie said laughingly as they walked past Hall A toward Hall B.

"She's young. All of this is new and fun to her. She doesn't get how dangerous her job is," Cassie replied, stopping at the door and looking at Sookie before Sookie took the initiative to open the big white doors. The doors led into what looked like the modern day equivalent of a ballroom- large marble tile arranged in a spiral design leading to the center of the room. A massive, onyx fireplace gleamed in the far wall, and one food laden table sat beside the fireplace while men and women wearing serving uniforms circulated to the vampires in the room who stood talking and drinking.

"There's Eric," Sookie said, and Cassie looked to where Sookie was pointing. Eric's blond head standing above the rest of the crowd beside the chairs near the fireplace. A long line stretching from the doors to the chairs was impeding their path, and Cassie cut around a plump woman richly dressed, scarves in blacks and reds draped her like a dress, and a large gold wrap encompassed broad shoulders and hung down the inside of her elbows.

"Ow, are you the next course?" the woman asked, her large, pointed nose protruding like a bird beak from her face as her nostrils flared to smell her.

"No," Cassie said, and she stepped back to Sookie's side. This woman defied the image of the perfect vampires Cassie had come to know. "Come on Sookie, let's go."

"Oh, but couldn't I have a taste? I love the taste of elves, I haven't had one in over four hundred years," the woman asked, stooping from her six foot height down to Cassie's five-foot-three.

Elves? What?

"I'm going to pass. And I'm human," Cassie told her, backing up and skirting a woman in a tight green dress, open wounds still bleeding as she smiled in a daze and joined a group of pale haired men with their fangs run out. They looked like triplets, all white blond heads, deep brown eyes, and strong cut jaws; a trio of brothers.

The plump woman with the beak nose huffed and stood regally, grabbing the bleeding woman from the band of brother,s and snarled in Cassie's direction- her fangs clicking out in a vulgar display as she sank them deeply into the petite woman's neck- blood spilling out across her breast and staining the emerald fabric of her dress.

"Elves?" Sookie asked, her eyebrows up in her forehead as they zig-zagged through the crowd toward Eric.

"I have no idea," Cassie murmured back. They stopped by Eric who was now kneeling in front of Godric who sat in front of the fireplace. Shadows played along the wall and cast a glow behind Godric.

"Rise, child," Godric said softly, and Eric rose to his impressive height. He was wearing a leather duster over a fresh, all-black-outfit.

"Cassie," Eric said, turning toward Cassie.

Sookie shifted uncomfortably beside her, and Cassie tossed a glance her way.

"Hi. What's going on? Who are all these…people," Cassie said. She did a quick scan around the room and then back at Eric.

"These vampires are my nest. They are here with their humans so that Miss Stackhouse can help us find our traitor. Eric has told me much about you both," Godric said. His eyes were on Cassie, skimming the thigh that had been hurt earlier. Cassie couldn't help but touch it with the tips of her fingers; her hand resting there- the memory still fresh and chilling.

"Wait what? I didn't know this was a work thing," Sookie said. Cassie turned to her and saw the uncertainty in her eyes. How could Sookie find the traitor without pissing off the vampire the human belonged to- that was a good question.

"Is it safe for her to interrogate people in this crowd? Isn't privacy better?" Cassie asked.

Sookie nodded her head. The look in her eyes was more than weary. She was openly using her gift, something Cassie could relate too. Hiding a secret your whole life, and then having someone parade it around in front of a crowd was like ripping off a band aid, except the sting lasted.

"If you prefer, we can arrange for a separate room," Godric inferred.

"That would be best," Sookie said. She was nervously fidgeting with the fringe of her dress as she smiled her too-bright smile. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Godric."

So sweet, like a southern ray of sunshine, Cassie supposed. Even in a room full of people who'd love to make them their dinner.

Godric simply stared at Sookie with measuring eyes before casting Cassie one of those curious, intense stares that she had found so creepy in the Fellowship church. Like hot coals turning over in a fire pit- his stare was an icy burn. His eyes set her blood rushing at hyper speed, and then smoothed over her with cool indifference; it was like he was trying to steal her soul and capture her thoughts in a glance.

"This one will stay with me while you watch over the other, Eric," Godric stated, his eyes never leaving Cassie though Eric inclined his head subserviently, ignoring Cassie thoroughly as he ordered everyone out of the room.

"Cassie," Sookie said, shifting from one foot to the other as her smile ramped up painfully tight. "Are you sure you'll be alright?"

"Don't insult the man. I'm sure he'll be a good host. Besides, I can take care of myself. Thanks Sook. Just go do that voodoo that you do," Cassie said breezily. Showing fear would be bad, especially if they managed to insult Godric at the same time- he might look calm and reasonable, but Cassie had seen the monster.

"If you need help, just think it," Sookie replied, her eyes darting from Godric to Cassie, and then allowed Eric to lead her out as he whispered in her ear. That whispering sent a spike of jealously through her, but Cassie refused to acknowledge it as the room emptied and Godric waved her to a metal stool beside him.

Once the last vampire had left and all the humans were filing down the hall in a line, Cassie focused her attention on Godric the Silent. It was weird how much the two were alike. Both he and Eric had a commanding presence; they both gave orders like nobody's business; and there was an elusive alluring quality that surrounded them both.

"You were right," Godric said, voice ringing out in the emptiness of the room. The fire in the fireplace spat loudly and the crackle made Cassie jump.

"I like to think I am. Anything in particular I said?" Tilting her head, Cassie appraised the way his eyebrows drew together, and the shadows danced on his still figure.

"You are not like other humans," he said. His tone was whispery soft, like a thought that occurs in your own mind and you aren't sure if you said it aloud.

"Thank you, I think. I mean, I'm pretty sure your opinion of humans is not so hot right now, so thanks."

He inclined his head, and his dark hair caught the shine of light and made his face glimmer like a star.

"Eric tells me that you are an editor in New Jersey. Were you raised there? Born there?"

"Yes. Well, no, I mean, I was born in Ireland. My parents were there on vacation, and they stayed until I was born. They moved back a week after," Cassie told him, reclining against the brick of the fireplace.

"Are you Irish then?"

"No. My mom's Greek and Italian. My dad's Scottish and English."

"You look very Irish. I knew a girl back in the 13th century, and she had the most remarkable gray-green eyes. Yours are more gray than green, but in the light-" Godric paused, and his hand came out to her slowly, gripping her chin in an achy hold, and turned her face toward the fire. His other hand drew back the curls from her face, and he stared.

"I don't know if you're hitting on me, or if you're hungry, but I'm feeling kind of exposed," Cassie said, though her lips tried to pull up in a smile. It was hard to do with his fingers clutching her face.

"Would you let me taste you?" he asked. He sounded curious. Not hungry or angry, curious.

Laughing uneasily, Cassie jerked her head free and cleared her throat. "I didn't really plan to be on the menu tonight."

"If I told you that it would be advantageous for you. Would you?"

"How would letting you 'taste' my blood, be advantageous?"

"I might know more about you than you do."

"Just by drinking my blood?"

"I have lived for over two thousand years. I can restrain myself, I promise. There are things that the blood can tell that the mind might not know," Godric said, that haunting whispery tone making Cassie's toes curl in her boots while she licked her lips and bit her bottom one.

He was seated one moment and gone the next. Cassie's head snapped to the side as Godric blurred at her feet. He knelt in front of her and took her hand in his while he raised a dagger to her clenched palm.

"Eric's had my blood, can't you just ask him?" Cassie asked nervously, eyes widening. She supposed that him not actually biting her should be a comfort, but it wasn't.

"I have never taken him to Ireland. He would not know this."

"Okay, but what about that whole you'll know where I am thing. That's a little off-putting."

"I will never use that ability to hunt you. You are under my Child's protection, as such, you are under my protection."

Releasing a breath and staring into his deep, inky eyes, Cassie opened her hand, uncurling her fingers, and took a deep breath- closing her eyes and waiting for the sting. She waited and waited, and then she felt a gentle sucking on her palm, a tongue dancing along her skin leaving a wet, cool trail. He had cut her palm, she could feel where his mouth was sealed over it, but the pain did not come. A hum tingled her fingertips and made her instantly aroused, but Cassie pictured Eric's mouth and his lips- that tongue was his, darting and swirling along her hand.

"It doesn't even hurt," she whispered, eyes opening as the mouth moved and air touched the wetness on her palm. It started healing almost immediately right in front of her eyes, Godric was smiling up at her.

"I've gotten good at making bloodletting a pleasurable experience."

"Eric better watch out. You're charming," Cassie flirted, pulling her hand back and tracing the closed cut with her fingers. The skin was cool and silky.

"I would never take from my child. We would share," Godric replied, smirking in a way that made him look older seductively, and Cassie shivered inside. "However, he favors you, and I find that I respect you. How much do you know about your parents, Cassie?"

"My mom's a rich, snobby housewife who plans meetings with politicians' wives. My dad's a self-important retired American ambassador. They both come from money and they don't like common jobs. And they aren't the most open minded people either," Cassie said. She was thinking of what her mother would say if she saw Godric. His tattoos are offensive, his hair is lack-luster, his clothes are too gothic, his smile is frightening, and he's a vampire for goodness sake! She'd hate him from head to toe and back up again. And her fabulous father would be so utterly indifferent he wouldn't even acknowledge Godric's presence. Between the two of them, they didn't have a nice word to say.

"What is your mother's maiden name?" And the questions keep on coming. Cassie could use a cup of coffee; it would make the whole being awake at night thing ten times easier.

"I don't know. She doesn't like to talk about my grandparents or my uncle- her only brother. I've never even met them." Which had been weird growing up, without grandparents, and not knowing her mother's brother; her mother told her that they were close as children, and that her brother had been a wildly rebellious son, but one of the best brothers ever. The way her uncle was described, Cassie imagined that she was the female version of him. He was an environmentalist, an avid reader, and he liked to travel. Freedom- that was what he wanted. The ability to be himself away from his parents- they definitely had a lot in common, Cassie thought.

"You have elf blood in your veins. They are a race that has long since disappeared from the public eye. You've probably heard about them in folklore- they were revered in Ireland. Fairies and elves used to run Ireland. Fairies were the mischief makers, the playful sort of creatures that caused more problems than the solved. Like all things in nature, there must be a balance. Elves were that balance. They are the darkness to Fairy light. They fixed the problems that a day of destructive playing left behind. Magic is both black and white. It is a common misconception that white magic belonged to the light; black magic to the night, but that would not be balance.

"Elves have the gift to find people in need and problems that need fixing. They have the ability to impose their will on people and objects. Your astral projection is your mind seeking out problems that need fixing. Eric told me that you can only astral project when you are at rest. That is because you are primarily a night creature.

"Your friend, Miss Stackhouse, is a fairy- or part fairy. Her human blood is what makes her good, as I am told she is. Be careful where she is concerned. Fairies are tricksters; they have the ability to enchant others by reading their minds and finding in them all the weaknesses of a person; that is how they are able to win others over, by manipulating an individual based on their thoughts. She cannot read vampire minds- yet. But that may change the more of our blood she ingests, but that will also drain her of her abilities; dark and light are not meant to mix. I do not know what other abilities she might develop, but she may become a danger."

Cassie had been stunned into silence at this point, her hands twisting in the knee length hem of her black lace dress. But Sookie had been nothing but kind to her.

"Wait a minute, Sookie is a good person. She loves her family and her friends. I could never see her hurting anyone else. That's just not who she is. And elves? Neither of my parents can do what I do, they had no idea where my 'gifts' came from."

His face became fierce, and Cassie felt dizzied when his arms wrapped around her, and there was a whoosh of air as he tugged her to her feet.

"Do not be so sure. People are not always what they seem. You all have volatile emotions that blind and weaken you- but fairies are more susceptible than even humans. If she feels that you become a threat in anyway, she will turn against you. I have felt Fairy Fire; I have waged war against them. They are not human, they are fierce and beautiful and deceptive. Be as your ancestors were, wise; careful; intelligent," his words were spoken so softly that Cassie barely heard them.

"Why do you care what happens to me?" Cassie asked, and her eyes searched his in the firelight.

"Because I have seen terrible things and I have done even worse. I am the nightmare that vampires spring from; I am one of the first and the few who have seen this world torn to pieces time and again by magic so strong nothing else survived it. And my child has laid claim to you. In your eyes, I see salvation, and at my age, salvation is an elusive dream whispered on human lips."

A shrill scream hung in the air, and Cassie tore her eyes from his as Godric released her arms which he had used to tug her from her seat. She turned back to Godric and found him gone. The scream cut off, and Cassie felt herself collapsing to the floor and her head crack against the tile.

Sookie was standing in front of her, a man strangling her as growls and cheers went up around them.

"Sookie!" Cassie shouted, and she lunged on top of the assailant. Her nails dug into the flesh of his neck, and warm wetness ran over her fingers. The man cried out and bucked beneath her hold. He finally let go of Sookie and backed up. He threw his wait forward, and Cassie went flying over his shoulder and head, hearing the harsh ripping of her dress as a wave of cool air slid over her left side where the fabric tore, rolling over his back and slamming down into a bronze table.

Looking up dazed, Cassie saw the man's face- it was Isabel's human, the man who had been in the room with her when she astral projected to find Godric. He bent to grab her, and Cassie stared up at him petrified and her gaze sent him flying. Like a spark that leapt inside her, Cassie felt him moving at her will and tried to stop his careening. Taking hold of that thought, Cassie watched as he stopped, hanging suspended in the air. Someone plucked him from behind, dragging him down, and Sookie's face appeared above her.

Bruising was appearing around Sookie's eyes and neck, and her nose was crushed in a bloody, broken mess.

"You're bleeding. Get out of here- vampires," Cassie told her, trying to sit up, but her body was fading and Sookie's voice was incomprehensible. And then there was nothing.
Last edited by Egyptian_Kiss on Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch6 9/13/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:18 pm

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Category: True Blood
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Seven

Head rush, Cassie thought as she came to, sitting up slowly with the aid of a strong palm against her lower back.

"Cassie, are you okay?" Sookie twanged at her as Cassie opened her eyes. They were back in her room on the thirteenth floor- safe. She felt like she had woken from the most refreshing sleep- completely unconscious and unable to project. But how?

"Sure, I feel great," Cassie replied, turning back to find whose hand was stilled on her back. It was Eric, of course.

"Glad to see you feeling better, little one," Eric murmured at her and Cassie swallowed, her mouth cotton dry.

"What happened?"

"You hit your head on the tile floor and passed out. My blood healed you while you slept," Eric told her, eyes searching her face, and Cassie felt utterly exposed and raw- a nerve touching experience.

The cracking of knuckles brought Cassie back to Sookie who was sitting on the foot of her bed, mouth twisted to the side, hands in her lap- a perfect picture of awkwardness in a mellow-yellow sundress. Her nose didn't look broken anymore and she was eyeing Eric peripherally.

"So that guy who was with Isabel, he was the traitor," Cassie said, and felt Eric move from behind her, standing beside the bed at her side.

"Yeah. One minute I couldn't get a read and the next I was in his head and I saw the whole thing, him letting the Fellowship fanatics inside the nest and their big silver nets. I guess he could tell I knew and he just up and attacked. Then all the other fuckin' vampires in the hallway burst in and they were practically cheering him on," Sookie spat, her words full of venom and hurt. Her expression changed to a kinder one with a smile and she added, "But you saved me. Godric got to me just after you disappeared and Hugo was…taken."

"Glad to help," Cassie remarked, standing up too as Sookie rose. "What time is it?"

"4:27 in the morning," Eric responded arms crossed over his broad, straining chest- his leather duster was gone and a scrap of black cotton was the only barrier between Cassie's eyes and that incredible chest.

"How is it that vampires always know what time it is?" Sookie quizzed, watching as Cassie walked to her bags to grab something new to wear-her dress was ripped and she felt like a disheveled mess.

"We have an internal alarm system, I guess you would say. It helps us to know when the sun has set and it is safe to rise," Eric shrugged and Cassie watched him over her shoulder until she settled on grey biker shorts and her silver and black star, zip-up hoodie. She was surprised at some of the laundry she had with her- she was just glad to have clothes to sleep in; wearing dresses or jeans to bed was too uncomfortable.

"I appreciate both of you taking care of me, but I'm still tired and it's really late. I'm going to changed and go back to sleep. Say goodnight to Jessica and Bill for me, Sookie?" Cassie tossed over her shoulder, turning her back to them as she saw Sookie stand respectfully and head toward to the door. A quick, quiet "okay, goodnight" from Sookie was followed by the closing of a door. Some part of Cassie knew that Eric was still standing behind her, watching her every move.

With a teasing thrill, Cassie pulled off her dress and felt the rush of air touching her body intimately before she tugged on the shorts and slipped her arms in the hoodie and as she began zipping it, she turned, inch by inch slowly raising the zipper. Eric's cool blue eyes looked darker, hungrier, and Cassie gave an internal shiver. He had the ability to strip you naked mentally and keep you that way- and it was a sinfully enjoyable experience, Cassie thought. She had never felt so desirable and Cassie was fueled by desire.

"Not tired?" Cassie quipped, a smirk lightening the atmosphere as she sized him up. He stood so tall above her and she imaged hoisting herself up with her legs wrapped around his waist, pressing against a hard erection, and moistening his lips with her tongue, kissing him with all the pent up sexual tension searing the air and eating her up with every breath.

"Why? Would you want to sleep with me?" Eric rejoined and Cassie let out a startled laugh, amazed at how he took every topic and managed to make it about sex. But that's what comes with being a thousand year old Casanova- every word an entice and every sentence a double entendre, inviting and lust-driven.

"Careful Eric, your mixing business with pleasure," Cassie taunted, sauntering with a seductive beat swaying her hips over to her bed and climbing in- both end table lights were on and the room glowed in the low lighting.

"Two very pleasurable endeavors, they mix well. But our business is concluded Cassie, and nothing is stopping me from fucking you into this mattress and giving you the most pleasurable orgasms of your lifetime. Just say the word," he said in his whispery siren voice, and the husk of it had Cassie rubbing her thighs together in a picture of wantonness.

Exhaling sharply, Cassie ran a hand from her thigh to her core. Her fingers moved from between her thighs up her stomach and to her chest- teasing her hardening nipples through the hoodie and her thin bra.

"Is that an invitation," Eric asked, leaning down heavily on the mattress, his body covering Cassie's as she stared with wide eyes at him. She wanted him to pull her under his body and make good on his promise. And she would only be here one more night. Having a little fling would be good for her, and the throbbing, heat pooling in her lower abdomen and between her thighs would stop if she just had some release. But Eric was a dangerous man to tempt, to play with and Cassie knew danger never just had a taste and then left- and she didn't need to encumber her life with rash decisions.

"I want it to be, but," Cassie said, taking a deep breath when Eric's form came closer to her and his chest pressed against her aching breasts, sore with their need of him, "but, I can't do this. I'm leaving tomorrow and-"

"And one night with me might not be enough?" Eric teased, his smirk daring her and Cassie wanted badly to reach up and grab his face, to kiss him so soundly that arrogance melted into begging. Yeah Cassie, Cassie thought to herself, that's gonna happen.

"One night with me and I'd ruin you for women. How would that be fair, I mean you'd be disappointed for so many lifetimes to come," Cassie replied after a pause, her slightly open mouth just beneath his, now-fang-baring, mouth.

"I'd make you come so many times you'd forget your own name," Eric told her. "I could show you moves you never knew existed; some so old they're forgotten by most."

One-ups-man-ship, Cassie realized, was what was happening and it was another ploy, a way for him to gain the upper-hand, and damn it if Cassie didn't want it to happen.

"Well now you're just bragging," Cassie whispered, eyes on his moving lips, and the way his skin felt so close to hers. Her nipples were electric pulse points of frenetic sexual energy- a jolting shock as she breathed every new breath.

"I don't brag, I state the truth. There's a difference," he told her and Cassie believed him. Her sheath clenched and his eyes lit with excitement, he knew what he was doing to her.

"It is better we don't," Cassie finally said, loudly in the silence of her beautiful room, it was a perfect place for lovemaking- not so much for a one night stand.

"I disagree, little one, but I'll honor your request. Have a good night," Eric told her.

"I'm probably going to take a flight out tomorrow morning, so I won't see you again," Cassie told him and she wanted to smack herself. She didn't need to tell him that, she didn't owe him explanations, but a part of her wanted him to care.

He stopped at the bathroom door which passed into the bathroom and through to his own suite. Back to her, she heard him say, "A shame, but this isn't over. I'll be seeing you" and then he was gone.

What the hell, Cassie wondered, did he mean by that. But it doesn't matter. Cassie had to get to sleep, book her flight, say goodbye to Sookie, Bill and Jessica, and then skip town. If she didn't make a flight out in the morning, she wouldn't have a job when she got back to Jersey. Not to mention the meetings that were coming up in the next week, and that one manuscript sitting in her to-do pile back at BW&B. Maybe if she was really sweet, Maryann wouldn't mind the fact she would have to cancel their plans tomorrow night- it was short notice, but Maryann was the easy-going kind of person who didn't flip out every cancellation.

As she drifted off, Cassie's body hummed with disappointment and she was almost tempted to go after Eric. But she slipped back into sleep before she could do something she might regret later.

Cassie opened her eyes and immediately closed them again. No, now was not the time for this, there was so much to do later that having to deal with a psychic charge right now was not an option. But when Cassie reopened her eyes she was still in a back alley behind some nameless bar with two dumpsters and an amber streetlight beaming overhead.

Sighing, Cassie turned around looking for whoever it was she was meant to help now. I wonder if I get vacations from this gig, Cassie thought and would have laughed at the ridiculousness of her thought if she hadn't spotted someone.

A waif life girl, rail thin with obscene bone structure skeletally prominent in her face and long, thin arms, her lean legs lacking muscular definition and her hair dull and limp, spread out like a stringy, dingy brown mop around her head. The girl had to be in high school, or just graduated, and she lay unconscious on the black pavement, her shiny silver micro-mini and matching halter were cut dirt ridden and her puffy lips were a pale, ghostly pink, the surrounding skin pale and malnourished. She looked dead, or about to be, Cassie realized, dropping down beside her.

Turning her neck to and fro, Cassie found no bruising, but when she lifted the girl's right arm away from crossing her torso, a line of tracks down her arm made a chill spike through her in horrifying understanding. Pushing the girl onto her back and laying her head against her chest, Cassie listened for a heartbeat- there wasn't one.

"Okay, oh God, okay," Cassie said to calm herself, breathing in and out. "It can't be too late; I'm here for a reason."

Opening the girl's mouth, Cassie pushed down her tongue flat, and opened her mouth wide, before breathing into the girl's mouth, feeling the chest inflate against her. Pulling back, Cassie searched for just the right spot and began pumping a rhythmic beat against the girl's chest, her hands quivering as they lifted and pushed. Putting her ear to the girl's chest again, still Cassie found nothing.

"Calm down," Cassie whispered to herself, tears forming like crystals in her eyes, and she tried again.

Breathe, pump, repeat. Breathe, pump, repeat. Over and over Cassie did this and then finally, as she breathed into the girl's mouth, she gasped beneath her. Cassie pulled back and saw glazed brown eyes pull back to blink up at her. The girl was alive.

"What the fuck are you doing?" the girl asked and Cassie let the tears fall from her eyes.

"Saving your fucking life," Cassie said harshly and then got up off the ground, wiping her hands on the back of her biker shorts.

"What?" the girl said, completely absent of mind.

"Call 911 or get to a hospital. You overdosed and your body is about to go into revolt. Now," Cassie ordered and the girl got dazedly to her feet. She swayed back and forth and Cassie new that she wouldn't make it past the bar's entrance in her condition. "Come on I'll help you."

"I don't need your fucking help," the girl said with a slur. She staggered back into the alley wall and Cassie steadied her as the girl slapped at her hands and said a few more derogatory words that Cassie ignored.

"Why are you fighting me? Just let me help you," Cassie said, exasperated and ready to swing the girl up over her shoulder and drag her to find help.

"Nothing comes for free," said the girl and Cassie took pause long enough to study the girl. Clearly she didn't trust people, her life was harsh, and something- at least one thing- had to be worth escaping for her to be so drugged out.

The girl tugged at her halter top and ran shaking hands through the straw like hair before staggering forward toward the bar again. How to help her, Cassie wondered, how to make her see she didn't need to run from help.

"What's your name?" Cassie asked.

"Ariadne," the girl responded hazily.

"Let me just make sure you get to a phone, ok? I'll let this one good deed be my ticket into heaven, deal? This way I get an ok with the big man upstairs and you get medical care, fair?" Cassie tried and she approached Ariadne slowly. Ariadne had stopped at the bar door and allowed Cassie to lift one of her arms across her shoulders and hoist her weight against her body, letting the bulk of the work fall to Cassie.

"There isn't a God, but if you want, sure. I'll be your brownie points for a lifetime," Ariadne said in response and Cassie nodded. They made it into the bar and up to the bartender- a middle-aged Hispanic man with a bald spot and a dish rag slung over one shoulder.

"Hey you're a new face, you with Ari?" the bartender asked, tipping his beer in their direction.

"Yeah, Ari here almost OD-ed in your back alley, I'd probably call an ambulance right now," Cassie told him coldly, settling Ariadne on a stool and laying her arm across her back as Ariadne laid her head against the bar counter and gasped for breath. "How old is she?"

The man shifted uncomfortably under her inspection and Cassie new his kind. A middle aged bottom feeder- preying on the young and letting drugs and underage drinking flow freely in his establishment to up the hype of his lawlessness, self-promoting by ignorantly turning a blind eye.

"I'm…not sure. I'll call 911," the man said. He wasn't sure her ass, Cassie thought. He called Ariadne "Ari" which meant he knew her on a personal level, he was trying to hedge because he knew his ass was in a sling and he'd go down for this if she died on his property. Scum, Cassie thought, glaring as he disappeared into a back office, reappearing minutes later.

"Ariadne?" Cassie asked, soothing a hand down the girl's back, shivering in disgust when each bump of her spine was easily detected by her light caress. Ariadne merely moaned at her, at least she was still alive.

Looking around her to take in the surroundings, Cassie noted the crappy wood tables, the plain fold out chairs and the many booths that had little to no lighting. Rap music and techno beats alternated over the speakers and a dark stage was set up for the DJ- fog machines pumping out mist all over the room and making the seediness all the more prominent.

"She going to be alright?" the Hispanic man asked, eyeing Ariadne terrified.

"I don't know," Cassie told him, and it stung that it was true. She had no idea if Ariadne would live or die, or if this was all for nothing. "Ariadne, how you doing?"

"Fucking fantastic," she groaned and then promptly sat up and threw up all over the bar top. A sick sense of justice came from that, Cassie felt, and a part of her really enjoyed the stunned outrage of the bartender.

"Shit! Fuck! Get her-"the bartender began and cut off when Cassie cut him one of her most lethal looks.

"What's your name?" Cassie asked, rubbing Ariadne's back as the smaller girl leaned on her for support away from the mess she had created. The bartender was rushing around grabbing rags and shouting for the other employees help.

He looked up at Cassie and she saw fear. Good, he should be afraid, what he was doing wasn't just morally wrong, it was illegal and she was going to see him fry for this.

"Freddy," he answered.

"And what's the name of this bar?"

"Night Lights," he murmured, almost indiscernibly, but Cassie caught it.

"And what city is this?" she pushed and that's usually where she got the weird stare- which he abruptly gave her.

"How do you not know what city you're in?" he asked, scrutinizing her.

"I'm just passing through. When I saw a dying girl in your alley, I thought I'd stop and help," Cassie told him with rehearsed believability.

"Youngstown, Ohio," Freddy told her and Cassie nodded. Okay, she'd never been to Ohio before.

The ambulance came swiftly and EMTs swarmed into the bar, crashing the "ambiance" and Cassie slipped away from Ariadne, moving into the shadows as the EMTs loaded the fragile young girl onto the gurney and started taking her vitals as they rushed out the door. Several of the medical physicians asked about what happened and Cassie let the bartender explain, slipping into the small, single bathroom wear she faded away.


When Cassie came to it was going on eight in the morning. Five hours, which was all she had sleep-wise and she had no idea how much of that accounted for her time in Ohio. She rubbed at her exhausted eyes and face before climbing out of bed and getting ready.

She slipped on a tube dress, black with blue flowers, and slipped on her flats. She gave up on trying to tame her wild curls and with a few Angel Drops and a quick brush through she was on schedule. Cassie called Melanie and set up her return flight then made her way with bags in hand down to Sookie's room. She knocked lightly in case Sookie was still out and waited. It only took a minute before Sookie, clad in one of Bill's shirts, answered the door. She looked as though she had only just gotten to sleep a little while ago and her hello was muffled by a yawn.

"I'm sorry, I meant to say, good morning," Sookie said once she finished yawning, and then she gave Cassie one of her rare genuine smiles.

"It's okay, I'm sorry to bother you so early. I'd be sleeping like the dead right now if I didn't have to catch a flight out in a couple hours- I'm headed to the airport right now. I just didn't want to leave without saying goodbye. It was a pleasure meeting you and it's too bad you don't live closer by. Tell Lafayette and Tara goodbye for me? And Bill and Jessica?" Cassie asked.

Sookie stood up a little straighter in the door-frame and shook off her sleepiness.

"You're leaving so soon? You could stay at my place for while," Sookie offered, hugging her in an openly friendly gesture that Cassie hadn't expected but returned.

"No, I have a job to worry about. But feel free to drop in any time for a visit if ever you're in New Jersey, and there's always the phone."

"Sure, of course. Thank you for all your help," said Sookie and Cassie waved it off. She liked Sookie but she sucked at long goodbyes, it had a lot to do with her parents and their indifference to her comings and goings- she never learned how to channel her emotions into her words. But she at least had the conscious thought to say goodbye in the first place, that had to count toward some manners rule somewhere.

The trip from the hotel to the airport Cassie spent sitting and wondering about that girl and why she had ended up the way she had. Her own parents neglect had affected Cassie, but in a positive way. Cassie was motivated to go to college, to get an apartment, to pursue a high-paying career as a "so there" to her parents. She wanted to prove she didn't need their connections or their money; she would have a successful, enriched life all on her own. But that girl, Ariadne, she seemed like the self-destructive loner. But maybe, Cassie thought, they weren't that different at all, maybe they both had problems connecting with others because they had never learned to do so young. Cassie had an array of social contacts and acquaintances that she often kept lunch dates with, but no one really got close, and there wasn't a man to-date that could say he had her heart. Not that Cassie didn't love, she thought, because she did love her job and her mother's dog and she even had a soft-spot for Maryann at the office (probably her closest friendship.)

Her thoughts turned to Eric as she settled on the plane; her eggplant luggage already loaded and tagged- her handbag in the upper compartment above her seat. She thought about Eric's smirk and the way he interacted with Pam, his Child, and Godric, his Maker, and the way that his love had shined for them in a subtle undertone. Cassie had fun with men, she enjoyed men, and she liked friends- but her life had never quite fit the bill with others. She was always keeping people at distance because she was well-acquainted with the evil inside of people. But Eric, a monster in his own right, had been impressive and emotionally responsive, even as he kept a tight-lipped leash on his inner thoughts.

Her gift was one part blessing (for those she helped) and one part curse (because Cassie was doomed to see the failures of mankind over and over again.) Maybe she should have jumped at the chance of being with Eric, so alive and free in his primitive pursuit of anything he wanted and he had wanted her. Maybe this one time, Cassie could have let herself have that, let her own leash go and embrace the wild side.

As her eyes drifted shut, Cassie nodded at the idea. I welcome the wild child of emotions, Cassie thought, and a smile touched her face. She had been wild once- as a teenager- but maybe now it could be emotional too, to dare to live a life unhindered by knowing.

A/N: Thank you to Black Bird Fly for your review, I appreciate and enjoy feedback. This chapter primarily focused on Cassie, as will most of the next, but have no fear the south will rise again. Until next time, EK! :D :mrgreen:
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch7 9/20/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:34 pm

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer:
I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author: Egyptian Kiss
Pairing: Eric/OC
Rating: ADULT
Summary: Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services?

Chapter Eight

"Maggie, you can't fire me. I told you I had an emergency and I had to go to Louisiana to take care of it. I brought back edited scripts and I even hooked a possible new Sci-Fi author. And I made it back by your deadline," Cassie found herself saying as she waved one of her edited manuscripts in the air.

"But you have been distracted this whole week and I didn't particularly like either of the manuscripts you provided. It could go either way," Maggie snapped back and Cassie inhaled deeply through her nose. Maggie's temper was a fiery as the red hair on her head. Sometimes Cassie wondered how she had been hired in the first place with all the hard-asses in charge at BW&B.

"Okay, so I'll find new ones. Bottom line, do I have a job?" Cassie asked exasperatedly, folding her arms over her chest and arching an eyebrow- it was her classic I-can-take-anything-you-have-to-say pose.

Sighing, Maggie leaned forward in her chair and pulled out a silver cigarette box from her the front pocket of her white cotton, button-down and snapped it open. When she pulled out a cigarette and the peculiar green and gold flowered lighter Maggie carried with her everywhere, she lit it and took a long drag. Cassie met Maggie's intimidating stare and didn't flinch when Maggie blew out the smoke and the fumes hit her in the face. I hate smoke, Cassie thought, but schooled her features to indifference.

"Yes, you have a job. But if you don't turn out some serious work by next week, you are fired. Are we clear? I like you, Cassie, I do. But I'm a business woman and I need people who can focus all of their attention on their careers. You assured me when we hired you that you would be an asset to the company. Now prove it or get out. I'll see you next week for a one on one," Maggie told her and Cassie had to choked down a cough as the next wave of smoke blew her way.

"Thank you, Maggie," Cassie said through a fake, gritted teeth, smile.

Walking out of the office with as much aplomb as she could muster, Cassie hurried toward her office. Now she had to change her pretty green dress, Cassie realized. If she didn't it would smell like smoke all day and Cassie hated smelling like cigarettes, it reminded her of her father's cigars. And too bad, Cassie thought, because the dress is killer. It was a pretty v-necked velvet dress that hugged the body and fell to the knee in a gentle ripple from the waist.

Once she was safely behind her closed office door, Cassie grabbed her spare change of dress, a black velvet mini skirt that was stick-straight and a bohemian style peasant blouse in shades of blue and brown. Good thing she'd gone with black flats- they match everything, Cassie thought and smiled.

"Alright," Cassie said to herself as she settled into her comfortable desk chair. "To do list: call police in Youngstown, Ohio and give anonymous tip about Night Lights; call social services in Boston about Danny Myers; edit newest manuscript; buy dinner." Cassie scribbled her to-dos on a post-it and stuck it on the shiny surface of her desk.

Picking up the phone Cassie dialed 411 and asked for the police precinct number for Youngstown, Ohio. Her call went through and it took less than five minutes for her to leave her anonymous tip about Night Lights and the seedy owner Freddy. Just remembering that grease ball and that armpit he called a club made Cassie righteously indignant. She settled back into her chair and dialed the 411 again. Another female operator connected her to the social services department in Boston.

"Hello, this is Roger speaking," said a friendly male voice on the other end of the line and Cassie froze for a second, wondering how this conversation was going to go. "Hello?" the man asked again and Cassie unfroze.

"Hi, um, I need to report child abuse. I can't tell you my name or how I know, but I know of a child who is being mistreated," Cassie started and she heard a rustling in the background as the man ordered for someone to hold his calls.

"And how do you know this child?" the man asked.

"I met him and he had bruises and he seemed scared and upset. He told me his mother had died recently and his father had remarried. His name is Danny Myers," Cassie replied.

"And you're afraid to reveal yourself because you know the parents?" Roger guessed.

Close but no cigar, Cassie thought. "Uh, no. Look, that's really all I know. He has two stepsiblings- Cindy and Nate- and a stepmom, Wendy. Will you look into it?" Cassie asked.

The sound of keys on a keyboard being tapped gave her reassurance and when Roger said he would, she hung up before he could ask her anymore questions. It was always tricky with government agencies; they had the tendency to be suspicious and attempt to find the caller. Cassie had learned a long time ago to use a company phone or a phone booth. They were harder to track down and even if they did find where she had placed the call, findings were inconclusive about who placed it in the first place.

Having made her two calls, Cassie then began the arduous process of struggling through her manuscript. Halfway through, she called Chow's- the best Chinese food in a hundred mile radius- and leaned back in her chair with a yawn. The woman who took her order said they were backed up and it would be an hour and fifteen minutes at least before she would get her food (BW&B was twenty miles from the restaurant too boot).

Her office began to lose light as the sun set behind her, the windows in her office large and luminous even as the sunlight dimmed. Flicking on her desk lamp, Cassie scratched out a couple words and made a note in the margins. She usually liked romance novels, but the one she was reading was about vampires and it made her think of Eric. Ever since she left Louisiana, Cassie had Eric on the brain. He's too memorable to forget, Cassie told herself and pictured him.

Dropping her pen, Cassie rested her head against the warmth of her palm and closed her eyes. She had virtually no sleep lately, and she knew she'd be staying late at the office. Maybe just a short break, Cassie thought, yawning with her eyes closed and feeling the cloying fingers of sleep whisper around her mind before she drifted off.

Opening her eyes, Cassie yawned and stretched. The room was so dark but her chair was more comfortable than it ever had been. It felt larger than normal, practically dwarfing her in size. Her eyes adjusted and she realized she must have nodded off, but when she tried to look for her lamplight- she had thought she'd turned that on before- her lamp was missing and only the light from the crack of her office door illuminated the space, barely.

Getting up, Cassie turned toward her bureau and walked with her arms out at her sides, trying to make her way toward the door. She slammed into a box on the floor and tumbled to the floor while swearing.

"God d-" Cassie started and bit her lip to stop herself. Getting up and to her feet, Cassie headed toward the door and made it unimpeded. She pulled it open and her eyes widened. "Son of a bitch."

Before her was the hallway in Fangtasia that led out to the main area of the club. She turned back and saw Eric's office and realized she had woken up (more like dreamed her way into) Eric's place.

She glanced down and fixed her blouse which had gone slightly askew. Closing her eyes, Cassie tried to will herself back to her body. Opening one eye, Cassie peeked at her surroundings and sighed, opening the other. She was still in Fangtasia. Giving in, Cassie made her way into the club which was throbbing with the beat of the DJ's music. Several dancing girls swung on poles and vampires and vampire-wannabes swarmed the dark, smoky atmosphere of the club. The bar was overflowing with patrons and maneuvering her way toward the exit was like parting the red sea- damned near impossible. The unimpressive red and black scheme came alive with the lights on and the music controlling the movement of the crowd.

When Cassie did finally reach the front door, she ran into Pam. Literally. Pam was like a solid wall between Cassie and leaving and it was as if she had just sprung up from the ground.

"Cassie, what a delight. I thought you had gone back home. Miss me too much and couldn't stay away?" Pam asked, giving Cassie her best fanged smile. Tonight Pam was wearing a short, black dress with leather straps and shining gold buckles with a riding crop at her waist- Mistress of Bondage her apparent role.

"Um, actually, I'm not really here," Cassie said with significance, trying to keep her voice down so the line out front couldn't hear her.

"Oh, dream popping, I see. Well Eric is on stage and you are welcome to have fun," Pam told her with a sexy smile. Cassie felt a wandering hand on her ass and watched as a sparkle entered Pam's eye.

"Okay then," Cassie said stepping out of the reach of Pam's hands. "You go play Mistress of the Dark for the paying clients and I'm going to…go," Cassie told her.

"If you're here after midnight maybe I can steal away for a…midnight snack," Pam quipped and Cassie raised her eyebrows at Pam, and then disappeared into the crowd.

Eric was on his throne on stage and Cassie ended up dancing her way through the crowd to where the raised dais stood above the crowd. She wasn't sure what to do. She had never projected somewhere where no one needed her help. But seeing Eric languishing on his throne in tight leather pants and a black-muscle shirt made her shiver.

His ice blue eyes were sweeping the crowd, but when she took her first step up the dais, his eyes met hers and stayed. There was a line forming and Cassie heard someone shout at her to get to the back of the line, but Cassie didn't listen. She moved up the stair and toward Eric and when she was standing beside his throne, him staring up at her, she smile.

"Hi."

His face was passive, no emotions to be seen, but he waved her into the chair beside him. It was smaller and plain and didn't look incredibly comfortable, but Cassie took it.

"I thought you were going home," Eric said and Cassie watched him turn back to the crowd again. He had a part to play, Cassie supposed, and he did it very well.

"I am home. I'm just having a dream right now," Cassie whispered to him and hoped he heard her over the blaring speakers behind them.

He turned back to face her and Cassie wished she knew what he was thinking. She remembered him that night in the hotel room, his body pressed against hers, ready to take her.

"I can still smell your blood and hear your heart race. It's peculiar. Why are you here? Couldn't stay away?" He asked in that heated voice that made her nerve-endings stand up and take notice while her core grew wet and her nipples pressed at her bra and blouse.

"You and Pam must share a brain. She said the same thing to me. Actually, I don't know why I'm here," Cassie said- which was now a lie. She remembered thinking about him before she fell asleep, but she refused to tell him that.

Eric stayed quiet after that and as time passed, Cassie noticed many of the women in the club glaring up at her. Too bad for them, Cassie thought, and smiled.

"Would you like a drink?" asked a blue-eyed brunette with too-big breasts and a small waistline. She had appeared out of the crowd when Eric twitched his fingers in her direction. She had on what passed for a waitress outfit and Cassie smiled tightly at her when she leaned against Eric's arm, pressing her breasts against his arm and shoulder.

"Cassie?" Eric asked, nodding toward the girl.

"White Russian," Cassie replied, trying to remain indifferent as the girl waved her wrist in front of Eric's face, just below his nose.

"You heard her Nina," Eric said and the girl snapped to, rushing off through the crowd and to the bar. She was back shortly and Cassie wondered how she got through the crush of bodies so quickly.

"Anything for you, Eric?" Nina asked after handing Cassie her drink.

"No."

Nina the waitress took off in a dash toward one of her tables and Cassie sipped from her straw and glanced at Eric from the corner of her eye.

"Not thirsty?" Cassie asked, trying to make conversation. The silence wasn't awkward it was just…too quiet- a funny thing to think considering how loud the music was playing.

Those aquamarine eyes turned their intense gaze back to her and Cassie toyed with the straw using her tongue.

"Are you offering?" Eric asked.

"I don't know how that would work considering this isn't really my body," Cassie said, but her heart sped up at the suggestion of his lips on her neck and that tongue of his against her pulse. Her hand grew clammy and her panties grew damp.

Suddenly, Eric stood, he extended his hand toward her and Cassie trailed her eyes up his muscular arm and to his face. Grabbing it, Cassie followed him, watching as a path opened up in front of him, and the dancers paused in their steps as Eric strode through the audience. Cassie clung helplessly to his hand, staying close to his body as many leering stares followed their progress toward the hallway and down to the office Cassie had first appeared in.

Eric clicked on a light as they entered and shut the door behind her. She stood in front of him, her back to his cluttered desk, and took another sip from her drink. Eric's hand was a blur of movement; he snatched her drink from her hand and placed it on a beige filing cabinet. His hands reappeared at her waist, gripping her through the sheer material of her blouse and tight-fitting skirt.

"You feel real," Eric told her and Cassie nodded. Her lips were dry and her body was humming where his hands gripped her curves. He felt so good standing there towering above her, hands on her waist, fire in his eyes. She took a deep breath and her chest met his hard body. "Can I taste you?"

"You can try," Cassie told him, and she turned her body toward his desk as his hands spun her around. He pulled her back against him and lowered his body, his mouth coming close to her neck, hovering by her ear. The chill of his breath made her body convulse and then his teeth scrapped the sensitive skin of her neck. This is so erotic, Cassie thought and in that moment that followed, his teeth sunk deep.

A cry left her from the fierceness of his bite, but a moment's pause after made the difference. Her blood rushed up from where his mouth joined with her neck and his grip turned intense, his fingers tightening to the bruising point, and she heard him inhale deeply through his nose.

The weight of him was too much and Cassie bent over the desk, hands braced on its surface. One of his hands released its grip and trailed down her skirt to the hemline, pulling it up her thigh. His hand disappeared between her thighs and Cassie spread her legs to give him more access as his body settled into hers, and his mouth pulled voraciously for more of her blood.

Two fingers passed over her panties, teasing her, and then her panties were gone and his hand cupped her intimately. His fingers separated her lips and delved into the building moisture, grazing her swelling clit in the process, and Cassie could not resist the urge to buck against his hand. A finger pressed at her entrance and breath escaped her as his long digit pushed inside, her muscles gripping at him, pulling his finger deeper.

Energy popped and sizzled in the air around them and Cassie gasped when he withdrew his finger only to have it joined by a second as he gently thrust them inside of her. It felt like a dream now, too pleasurable, too perfect to be real, but as his tongue laved across the bite he had made, her body buckled and her arms gave out. The hand still holding her waist in a steely grip moved up her torso to keep her pressed against him, and the hand between her thigh moved more quickly. She met his fingers thrust for thrust, crying out in pleasure as the smooth skin of his palm touched her clit again and she moved towards the shivering ecstasy of an orgasm.

"Faster Eric, oh God," Cassie whisper-cried and the swell of gripping pleasure overwhelmed her. Her muscles twitched and pulsed in waves around his fingers as a rush of liquid poured from her sheath and Cassie threw her head back against Eric's chest. "Oh fuck."

His fingers pumped her until she was too sensitive and she begged him to stop. Eric slowly lowered her to the desk, giving her time to brace herself, and he waited for her to catch her breath.

She turned to face him, pulling her skirt down, and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him to her, before their lips met in a kiss. Her body was quivering in the aftershock of her orgasm and the warmth that filled her body made her shiver against the cold press of his body, but kissing him felt so good.

Pulling back Cassie felt her body fading. "I'm waking up," she whispered to him urgently.

"You're disappearing," Eric stated, his eyes dark and intense.

"I know," she said back and she leaned up to kiss him again and felt the firmness of his lips before it faded.

Someone was banging at her office door, Cassie realized as she started awake. Jumping up, Cassie felt her legs wobble slightly, and the slick wetness between her thighs was cooled by the night air coming in from the windows behind her desk. The sun had set completely and only the dim glow of her lamp light lit the office.

Reaching the door, Cassie opened it a crack and saw a very impatient Chinese man waiting on the other side.

"Cassie Mason? I have your order," the man told her, holding up a cardboard carrying box that held a number of white and red cartons full of Chinese food.

Opening the door the rest of the way, she let him into her office and as he placed the meal on the desk, she opened one of her desk drawers and pulled a fifty out of her wallet. She handed it to him and because her body was still filled with the sexual rush Eric had given her, she told him to keep the twenty dollars as a tip, and hurried him out the door with a quick "thanks."

Cassie ran a hand along her skirt and felt that her panties were missing. She sighed and went to the bathroom down the hall to clean up. The cubicles in the open area of hall outside of her office were empty and dark and the building felt deserted. When she was settled in at her desk and the Chinese containers were open, Cassie thought to glance at the clock behind her desk and noted she had been out for an hour and half. Which meant the Chinese delivery guy had to have been knocking for a good ten minutes; she'd placed the order just before slipping off.

It took another four hours before Cassie finished editing the manuscript, and by the time she threw the remains of her dinner away and was locking up her office door, she was exhausted.

The elevator was a quick trip down to the parking garage, and Cassie regretted having parked so far away. Hers and maybe five other cars were the only ones left in the parking structure, and the sound of her footsteps echoed as she clicked her unlock button and her headlights came on.

Tossing her work bag into the backseat, Cassie got in her Prius and turned on the car. One of her alternative rock mixed CDs blasted from the stereo and Cassie jumped in her seat, hitting her head on the roof of the car, and she frantically reached for the volume knob to turn it down. Laughing at herself, Cassie checked her mirrors and started when she saw someone standing in the shadows by the gray, cement pillar behind her car.

Glancing down swiftly to her center counsel, Cassie pushed the button to open it and grabbed her mace and the small silver pocket knife her ex had left in her car. Gripping them in her hand, Cassie's eyes followed the person's movements as they walked toward her door, and Cassie- not wanting to feel disadvantaged- got out of the car and stood to face him/her.

"Who are you?" Cassie asked bravely, moving her hands to her sides to hide her protection.

"Cassandra Mason?" asked the person, and as they stepped out from the shadows, light crossed the man's face. He was short- dark hair, dark eyes, black clothes and shoes- and had a stocky build.

"Yeah, and you are?" Cassie asked, using her thumbnail to flip open the safety flap on her mace.

"The King wishes to speak with you," the man said in a smooth, cultured voice.

"What king?" Cassie asked, eyes widening as the man drew closer with his measured stride.

"King Thadieum, the vampire King of New Jersey," the man (she was now guessing vampire) informed her as he stopped in front of her. He had a large nose that looked to have been broke several times, a strong jaw, and a distinct cleft in his chin.

"Actually, I'm headed home," Cassie said, steeling her nerves and ready to raise her mace if he made another move toward her.

"We have heard that you helped our Southern allies. The king merely wishes to show his gratitude. My name is Marcus and I am here to escort you safely to his home," said Marcus as he took one step too many.

Cassie raised her hand and sprayed him straight in the eyes, and when he hissed in anger, she slashed at his outstretched hand, cutting him across the arm from wrist to elbow before diving back into her car. She put the car in reverse and slammed on the gas, turning the wheel frantically as the vampire slammed a fist against her driver side window, causing the glass to explode inward and scratch at her skin.

Marcus lost his grip on the car window frame when Cassie switched gears while still in motion, jerking the Prius in a forward jolt. Cassie glanced back in her rearview mirror and watched as Marcus hit the asphalt only to stand up a second later and begin running after the car.

Once she was out on the open road, Cassie hit the gas until the pedal was pressed flat against the floor and watched as the vampire tried to keep pace. Her wheels bumped over a speed bump a couple blocks from the ramp leading onto the highway, and as she went airborne, she saw the vampire, Marcus take to the air, coming up to land on her roof just as the car took a nosedive and slammed jerkily back down.

Running a red light, Cassie jerked the car to the right and heard Marcus slamming against the roof. A fist pounded from above and an arm went through the roof above the passenger seat. With a scream, Cassie slashed at him again with the pocket knife that she had an iron grip on and the arm disappear through the roof of the car.

The ramp to the highway came into sight and Cassie swung out wide in an attempt to dislodge the vampire on her roof. How can this be happening, Cassie screamed mentally and her body started to shiver.

Her poor Prius was taking the beating of its life and Cassie was terrified it would stop working all together. The hood started smoking and she saw that her oil had dropped- she must have hit the ground too hard after that speed bump. A semi-truck was in the lane next to her and Cassie knew what she was thinking was crazy, but with a deep breath and a shriek of terror, she turned her car into the next lane, slamming into the side of the truck and dislodging Marcus. She quickly turned her car back into her lane as the truck honked loudly and watched in her mirror as Marcus's body hit the highway and thudded, rolling several times before laying still.

Shaking, Cassie signaled to turn into her right lane and turned off on the next exit three miles up. Her car was making an awful noise and when she pulled into the parking lot of a Motel 6, she turned it off, listening as it sputtered to a stop and smoke billowed out the sides of the hood. When Cassie reached back and grabbed her wallet and her cell phone, she stepped out of her car and assessed the damage.

Her two front tires gave out, the windshield was cracked, one hubcap missing, and her bumper was gone. The entire left side of her car was scrapped up and the door handles were missing. Her roof was full of scratches and one giant hole that led into her passenger seat.

There were only three other cars in the parking lot, but the sign on the main building lit up and said open. Grabbing everything she could out of the car, Cassie rushed to the main office and once she was inside breathed a relieved breath. Her hair was a mess and though she had brushed off the bits of glass that had cut up her arms and neck, her lip was busted from hitting something in the collision. An old man sat at the counter watching The Price is Right and barely looked up when she entered.

"I need a room," Cassie said and shoved on her sunglasses. When the man looked up at her, his eyes widened and he sat up straighter.

"You alright miss?" he asked.

Yeah, sure, Cassie thought sarcastically. "I'm fine. I need a room. I don't care what kind."

"Name?" he asked.

"Put it under Terry Holten," Cassie said. It was the name she had on her fake ID from back in high school.

"Okay, you're in room 73 building 2. It's $100 a night," he said and Cassie read his name off his tag- Earl.

"Thanks Earl," Cassie said and she dropped a hundred and fifty on his desk. "You have a tarp around here I could borrow or buy?"

"Yeah, I got one in the office," He said and he went to grab it. When he came back up front she noticed that his shirt was plaid and he was wearing jeans, for some reason it reminded her a lot of Sam Merlotte.

"Thank you," Cassie said with a weak smile. Her body hurt and she needed to get in a hot bath before her muscles froze up and became stiff.

She rushed out of the dingy office with its oak wood counter and two vending machines and hurried toward her wrecked car. It took her a couple minutes to get it over the Prius and for her to catch her breath as she headed for her room.

Once inside, Cassie hurried to the bathroom and turned on the hot water, heading back out to the bed to sit while it filled up. Her eyes hurt and her jaw was throbbing. A shard of glass stuck out from her ankle that she hadn't noticed, and when she pulled it free the blood dripped onto the brown cotton blanket on the bed. The walls were whitewash and the carpet was tan. An end table and a lamp plus an old TV made up the ambiance of the room and if Cassie wasn't in shock, she would have laughed at how tacky it was.

Her hands shook as she grabbed her cell and dialed 411.

"What city and state?" said the automated voice.

"Shreveport, Louisiana." Cassie said, her tongue felt big from when she had bitten it trying to dislodge Marcus from her roof.

"What listing?"

"Fangtasia," Cassie practically whispered.

"One moment please," the voice said and then she was being connected.

Getting up, Cassie walked with a slight limp into the bathroom, sitting on the white counter top and letting her legs rest on the top of the black toilet seat. The tub was half full.

"Fangtasia, the bar with bite, Darla speaking. How can I help you?" asked the voice on the other end of the phone.

"Is Eric still there?" Cassie asked.

"He's in his office. Who may I say is speaking?" Darla asked and Cassie wished she sounded less perky.

"Tell him it's Cassie," she said and pulled off her flats, letting them drop against the shiny white, tile floor.

There was a pause and then Eric's cool voice said, "Miss me already?"

"Eric, I was attacked," Cassie said, hissing when she stood and pulled her skirt down her legs. Her back was sore.

"What happened?" his voice changed, Cassie thought, like ice and anger.

"Some vampire showed up as I was leaving my office. He said his name…was Marcus," Cassie said and took a labored breath as she pulled her blouse off and shifted the phone from one hand to the other. "He said he was coming to get me because the vampire king of New Jersey wanted to see me. He heard I'd helped, and I quote "Southern allies." I don't know why I freaked. He just- it just seemed like it was a bad situation," Cassie said. She was panting as she turned off the tub water and lowered herself into it.

"He attacked you?" Eric asked and she shivered from the harshness of his tone.

"I attacked him first. I had mace and I cut him with my silver pocket knife. He chased my car and he got on top. I got on the highway and I swerved into a truck to shake him- he was destroying my car. He got thrown and I didn't see him get up, but I didn't exactly stay around to see what happened. My car's totaled and I'm stuck at a Motel 6 off highway 10. My car's covered and I got a room. I'm afraid to go home and I'm hurt," Cassie said and tears started to leak out of her eyes and steam rose of the hot water as her body throbbed.

"Stay where you are. I will send someone to retrieve some things from your apartment and you will be on the morning flight out of New Jersey," Eric told her.

Cassie tensed and coughed, holding the phone away from her as she spat out blood.

"Eric, I just spit up blood," Cassie whispered, putting her hand in the bath water and watching it turn pink. She heard him say something to someone else before he responded.

"Cassie you need to stay awake until someone can get you. They will come to your door and they will tell you I sent them for number twenty-seven. If they don't say that, don't open the door. What room are you?"

"Room 73 building 2. Eric I can't leave New Jersey, my job-"

"Is not as important as your life. If you stay in New Jersey the king still has power over you. I cannot protect you if you are not in Louisiana. You will come when my man arrives to get you," Eric ordered, cutting her off, and Cassie nodded, eyes drooping as if he could see her.

"Will you stay on the phone with me until someone gets here? I need a distraction to keep me awake," Cassie asked and Eric murmured something to someone else on his side before the sound of a closing door reached her.

"Alright Cassie, tell me your wildest sex fantasy," he said and Cassie blushed before replying.

Author's Note: It's been a while since I updated- I got a new job and my focus was elsewhere for a while. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I look forward to what you think. Let me know, EK!
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch8 11/07/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:40 pm

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer
:I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author:Egyptian Kiss
Pairing:Eric/OC
Rating:MA
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services.

A/N: Jake17: Thank you so much Carrie, I appreciate your review. I'm very flattered that you think so well of my writing and I do remember helping you with your grammar when you first started. I love your writing and I'm so glad you are enjoying The Viking's Heart. I can't wait to see what you have to say.

Chapter Nine

"Cassie?" Eric called to her and her head snapped up from her chest where it had fallen as she nodded off.

"I'm here," she said. She realized she was still sitting in the cold bath water and her skin was turning pale, shivers running up her arms and spine. "Hold on a second."

Reaching for the white cotton towel hanging by the tub, Cassie forced herself up and out of the bath, wrapping it around herself as she stood on shaky legs. Pulling up the plug at the bottom of the tub, she glanced at the blood-tinged water as it drained, and snatched up her Samsung Intensity from where she had placed it on the sink counter. It felt like time had stood still while she lay in the hotel bathroom, but her wounds were achy and she had to push herself not to drop the phone.

"I'm going to put you on speaker," Cassie told him and when Eric said nothing, she took it as consent. She put the phone on the TV stand while digging through the few salvageables from her wrecked car.

"Lover," Eric purred into the phone and shivers of a different kind slipped down her back.

"Yes," Cassie said, tugging on a pair of torn, tight denims with one back pocket missing and graffiti writing down one leg- they must have fallen out of the bag of donation clothes she had given to the Salvation Army from her high school days. At least they still fit.

"Tell me what you're wearing," Eric said in that seductive voice that was steeped in sexiness. He had to stop doing that, Cassie thought, because it made her brain stop functioning, and she needed to be ready to go when Eric's guy showed up.

"I wish I could say nothing, but I am getting dressed," Cassie teased. She knew that she had that throaty voice she took on when she was aroused. The phone echoed her voice back at her and she bit her lip to keep from smiling.

"You'll have to model for me sometime, I'd like to see you in nothing," he murmured and Cassie pressed her thighs more tightly together, the denim dug into her silk panties and caused delicious friction to shiver through her core.

Pulling on an old push up bra- one cup size too small- Cassie rolled her neck and reached for the yellow baby doll shirt she liked to wear at the beach, it was light and breezy with short sleeves and a low neckline. God, Cassie thought, the shit that I keep in my car. She noticed a pair of old running shoes in one of the zipped up clear plastic bags from her trunk which held miscellaneous items that she never really used, but always kept around: sneakers, a Green Day tee-shirt, a change purse, a spare pair of Chanel sunglasses, half-empty bottles of tanning lotion, old tubes of lip gloss, a lanyard with no keys, and a couple of magazines dating back to the days of Bennifer.

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours," Cassie responded over her shoulder as she looked around the hotel room for a first aid kit- there wasn't one.

"Hmm," Eric said in way of reply. It was such a sexy "hmm", low and deep. Cassie imagined the vibrations of it in his throat, and pictured herself kissing along his jaw and neck.

Sitting down on the bed, Cassie laid back into the pillows, her body unclenching and relaxing. Her mind felt numb and if she closed her eyes, she wasn't sure she'd open them again. She pressed her Green Day tee into a particularly bloody wound and hoped the pain would quickly fade or go numb.

"I'm so tired, Eric," Cassie said, the phone now on the bed beside her.

There was a shuffling from the other end of the line and Cassie wondered if he was still hung up on her domination fantasy from earlier- he'd practically been panting as she described it to him.

"You must stay awake," he told her and she tried to open her eyes again, but closing them was such a huge relief.

"Okay, I'm just gonna keep my eyes closed," Cassie murmured, yawning a moment later, even as the deep breath shot a thrill of pain through the middle of her body- splitting her in half.

Eric made a noise and Cassie wondered what he was doing when he finally responded, "Open your eyes."

"No, it feels so good to keep them closed," Cassie argued.

"Cassie, open your eyes, now," Eric demanded and angrily she opened them, glaring at the phone.

"Why do you act like I have to listen to you? I mean, I get you're the big bad in your area, but I'm not one of your little underlings," Cassie said loudly, cringing when as her diaphragm expanded in response and her stomach clenched. He was one part sex-god and one part asshole, and Cassie still couldn't help her intense reaction to the sound of his voice.

There was laughing, feminine laughing, on the other end and Cassie's brow furrowed. "Who's that?"

"One of my underlings," Eric teased and it sounded so playful Cassie smiled.

"Which one?"

"Pam, darling," Pam responded, her caustic voice floating through the speakers.

"Hi Pam," Cassie rejoined, rolling on her side and making a small sound of pain as her back cracked and her jaw ached.

"Hi sugar," came the lilting reply.

"You still didn't answer my question," Cassie said to Eric.

"I don't have to answer your questions," Eric said and Cassie heard the flat tone of his voice.

"Well fine, then, I won't answer yours either. You know dominance is sexy in a man, but stubbornness is not," Cassie replied, stifling another yawn as her eyes drooped.

"So you think I'm sexy," Eric replied, his tone flirty and light- so enticing.

"Oh please, like you don't already know you're sex on legs," Cassie said with a sarcastic note as a small smile tugged at her lips and her eyes closed again for a moment as she pictured him.

"Mm, I like the way you think of me."

"That's because I'm feeding your huge ego," Cassie told him and giggled lightly to herself as Pam gave another of her airy chuckles.

"I'd feed off you any day," he replied.

A pounding knock boomed through the room and Cassie lurched off the bed and to a stand, dizzily making her way to the door in quick, staggering steps. Peering through the peephole, Cassie saw a burly man with light brown hair and a scruffy beard and long side burns. He was dressed in black slacks, a white button down, and he had on a pair of aviator sunglasses that eclipsed his eyes and some of his forehead.

"Who is it?" Cassie called.

"I'm here for number twenty-seven," he said, his thin lips in a straight line, like a slash across his face, barely moving as he spoke.

"That's George," Eric said to her and Cassie realized as she opened the door for the tall man, that it was sunny out.

"Mr. Northman sent me," George said, standing stoically in the doorway as Cassie grabbed up her things and reached for her phone.

"George," Eric said over the speaker of her phone and Cassie held it between them so George- who had straightened at the sound of his name- could hear.

"Yes boss?"

"I want you to drive as quickly as your vehicle is able. You are to be here by nightfall- no exceptions. Charter a plane if you must. Cassie is not to be left alone at any time and she is not to carry anything. You will stop only for food and to get medical supplies. No side trips or you will be terminated," Eric said in the chilliest tone Cassie had ever heard, she imagined that his eyes were a glinting ice blue and that his face was stern in that sexy commanding way he had.

"Understood, boss. I already collected some of her stuff like Mistress Pam asked me too," George said. Cassie wanted to laugh at him for saying Mistress Pam, talk about taking a role too seriously.

"Good. Cassie, I am going to rest now. I will see you when the sun sets," Eric said in way of goodbye.

"I don't know if vampires can dream, but if you do, dream about me," Cassie flirted, hitting the END button before he could reply. She did have a thing for getting in the last word.

"I'll carry those," George said, snatching up her stuff and marching off for the car as Cassie trailed behind, phone in her pocket and room key in hand. She made a side trip to the office and dropped off the key to the pimply faced teenager wearing a Metallica shirt and headphones that blocked out any other sound. He didn't even glance up when Cassie dropped the key on the desk and walked out.

George stood next to a black SUV with large tinted windows and a yellow strip along the side of the car. He got in and Cassie followed suit, hopping up into the seat and slamming the door shut as they peeled out of the parking lot. They stopped off briefly at a Walgreens for a first aid kit- which would have to do- and a couple of bags of chips, two bottles of Diet Coke, a coffee energy drink (thank God for Starbucks retail) and a pack of Lunchables (something Cassie's mother would have died before buying back in the days of school lunches and fieldtrips).

Munching on some Cheetos, Cassie stared out the window and watched as her life in New Jersey faded away into the suburbs and highways leading South, and finally the nature and wildness that made up swamp country. George stopped twice for a bathroom break at her insistence, and he made up for it by breaking every traffic violation known to man. It was impressive and terrifying to watch him maneuver passed other cars, run red lights, swerve around pedestrians and bicyclists, and still manage to maintain a solid hundred and ten miles an hour. Cassie was pretty sure her fingernail marks would be a permanent addition to George's car seats.

By the time they had pulled into Shreveport, Cassie was running on fumes, as was George's car, and her eyes kept slipping in and out of focus. She didn't respond at first when George announced that they were at Fangtasia, and his bear-paw-like hand gripped her shoulder- still riddled with glass wounds- and shook her heavily. She hissed out a "son-of-a-bitch" before shoving open his door and jumping down onto the pavement of the Fangtasia parking lot. She purposefully slammed her door shut in a "so-there" at Georgie boy, and hobbled over to the entrance where a line had begun to form. Pam stood sentinel in the doorway and her smile was extra wicked when she saw Cassie.

"The jeans aren't quite my style, but I do love your ass in them," Pam told her when she stepped up to the door.

"Nice to see you too, Pam. Where's Eric?" Cassie asked as she felt George step up behind her.

"In his office. He was expecting you an hour ago," Pam stated, holding the door open.

Cassie heard George making excuses about her making him stop at a rest stop for half an hour while she did her business and re-bandaged some of her deeper cuts. He was definitely afraid of Mistress Pam, Cassie thought in amusement. Walking through the crowd was ridiculously painful, Cassie couldn't make it five feet without someone slamming in to her backside or her shoulders and she was ready to rip someone a new one, her usual composure nonexistent, when the crowd parted slightly and the hallway appeared. Slipping through the cluster of bodies, Cassie hurried on unsteady feet to the office, and barged in.

Eric sat at his desk with a stripper laid over it while he drank from her thigh. Her long dark brown hair with chunky electric blue highlights hung over the edge of the desk as she moaned a porn-star-moan, loud and sexually-charged. A terrible jealousy gripped her seeing Eric's mouth on the girl's thigh and his hands on her hips while the girl gyrated her upper-half, her breasts ready to burst out of her corset like top, her fishnets rolled down to her knees.

Crossing her arms, Cassie waited with an irritated expression on her face while Eric finished up his snack. His eyes lifted to hers the moment she walked in and Cassie fought from saying something that would make her sound jealous- she was not that girl.

He took one last pull a minute later and the girl on the desk sighed disappointedly when he drew back and licked his leftovers off his lips. The girl stood in her five inch, fuck-me pumps and stretched languorously, glancing at Cassie with a smile.

"Do you want me to stay? I have plenty of energy if your friend wants to join," the girl, whose voice sounded much too young and innocent to go with that outfit, asked Eric.

Eric glanced at Cassie as she licked her lips and made a noise of disbelief before shooing the girl from the office.

"If you didn't like the show, you should have knocked," Eric said and Cassie turned a pretty shade of red, realizing he must know exactly what she thought of his little show through their connection. Maybe she should have talked to Sookie a little more before taking Eric up on his offer- but then she probably still would have done it because her thigh had hurt like nothing she had ever felt before (until this morning) that night back in Dallas.

"Am I complaining?" Cassie asked, schooling her features into what she hoped was her classic show of indifference; it usually did the trick with her parents and coworkers.

"Come here," he stated. Cassie moved around his cluttered desk and took a seat on his desk where his playmate had just been sitting.

He smoothed his long, cool fingers up her arms and tugged at her shirt when she hissed out a "that hurt". His perusal extended to her back; he asked her to stand and turn and when she had his touch was light and impersonal, not fiery and sexual. The way his fingers touched her, regardless of intent, still set her blood at a quick tempo and her heartbeat accelerated as he turned her back around and began tugging at her jeans.

"Eric," Cassie said, trying to stop him- she didn't want him to see how badly cut her legs were, even he had to have limits when it came to temptation and she was too weak to be his dessert course.

His eyes, once sky blue were now dark like twilight, and she took a quick breath as he purposefully tugged her jeans down her legs. He stroked her skin with a soft touch she would not have associated with him, and then he bit his wrist, bringing it to her lips and Cassie didn't pause before latching on.

The high of his blood returned to her as if it had never left, as if it hadn't been over a week since he'd given her that first taste, and her heart beat double time with each new sensation. It didn't taste like any particular thing, but it made her feel wild inside, free and alive, and never had Cassie considered herself a sex goddess, but the arousal and sensuality that filled her caused her to arch into him, grabbing his free hand, and guiding it to her right breast. His hand molded to the contour of her, slipping beneath the material of her bra, and teasing her nipple.

"Ah," Cassie gasped, mouth lifting briefly from his cut wrist and she bit back down on it as she felt it close, a gush of blood overwhelming her in the process and sending her body into a spiraling orgasm.

The door opened behind them and a gasp along with a familiar "sorry" and the reclosing of the door woke Cassie up from her blood-haze. She gasped around the wrist; pulled back, and laid in the same position that brown-and-blue haired stripper had just been in not fifteen minutes before.

"Is that an invitation," Eric whispered, head down between her thighs while Cassie took lung-filling breaths of air. His golden mane hung around his masculine face and his eyes gleamed like sapphire in the office light.

"Was that Sookie?" Cassie asked between excited breaths, trying to ignore the promise of pleasure in his eyes.

Standing to his full and imposing height, Eric nodded, crossing his muscular arms- well defined beneath his shiny, black, long sleeve shirt. His pants were tight, a dark denim wash, and when he turned from her as she leaned up on her elbows, the taste of him still sitting on her tongue, Cassie stared appreciatively at his well-toned ass. She reached up and gave it a healthy pinch, giggling as Eric tossed her a smug smirk over his shoulder.

The sound of a filing cabinet opening and closing registered and Cassie realized she was still in her underwear and blouse, her jeans in a heap on the floor.

"Sookie is here to investigate a group of humans in a nest that's residing in my area. I do not want a repeat of the Texas problem here in my area. She and Bill are going to be using my office for interviews. You will join me on stage," Eric told her as he dialed a number on his Blackberry and stared down at her while she shimmied back into her jeans.

"Are you kidding? I can't go out there and sit on stage looking like this," Cassie said, glancing up from buttoning her pants closed.

"George," Eric began, pointedly ignoring her, "I want you to bring in one of the suitcases you retrieved for Cassie. Yes, now." And then he ended the call and raised a mocking eyebrow at Cassie who ignored him in turn.

George knocked and dragged in her favorite Coach Luggage bag, and dropped it on the floor. Trying not to cringe, Cassie grabbed it up and threw it on the couch in Eric's office with ease. She felt as though she had the strength of ten men, and she liked it. Unzipping it she stared at the disaster job George had done packing and then back up at him as he stood like a statue, his aviator glasses still in place.

"Thanks," Cassie said with a forced smile and she pulled out an ivory and onyx mini-dress and her black flats which were squished in the zipped compartment with a few of her lacy panties (how embarrassing).

George left and Cassie turned to see Eric watching her. Sighing because modesty was clearly a thing of the past, Cassie stripped to her underwear and tossed on the dressed, pulling off the sneakers and slipping into flats. There wasn't even a hairbrush inside to run through her messy hair.

Standing, she took Eric's arm and steered him to the door.

"Eager?" he whispered.

Pausing in the doorway, Cassie leaned up to his ear and traced the outer shell with her tongue, "Desperately."

His body jerked against hers and an arm tightened around her waist and Cassie chose that moment to jerk the door fully open and smile at Sookie.

"Hi Sook," she said in her best nonchalance tone of voice, smiling at the feel of Eric's hard body as he tensed- she could practically feel his frustration.

"Cassie? What are you doing here? I thought you went back to New Jersey?" Sookie questioned, smiling at her confusedly. That girl had a smile for all her emotions: jealousy, anger, confusion; Cassie wondered if she ever just dealt with her emotions forthright.

"That is not your concern," Eric said over Cassie's shoulder and she tried not to roll her eyes, which resulted in a slight flaring of her nostrils in his general direction.

"Well, whatever the reason, I'm glad to see you. You should come by for some lunch sometime. We can tan together," Sookie offered, Bill appearing beside her just then. He was dressed in his drab clothes, a peculiar comparison to Sookie's yellow and blue flowery sundress.

"Good evening, Miss Cassie," Bill greeted and Cassie smiled. She still felt something was off with Bill and when Eric spoke to him and gave them their directions for the evening, Cassie felt grateful to him as they moved down the hallway and into the sexually-amped up masses.

People moved away from Eric's path and by relation Cassie's as they made for the stage. The stripper with the brown-and-blue hair winked at Eric and he smiled a satisfied smile before taking his throne-like seat. Cassie stood next to him, staring at the pitiful excuse for a chair next to his and huffed.

"Don't like your seat, sugar?" Pam asked having seemingly appeared from thin air- got to love that vampire speed.

"I'm fine, thanks," Cassie said, dropping down into Eric's surprised lap. He glanced down at her, not saying anything, and then back up at his dancers.

"Oh, darling, I like you," Pam stated; her befanged grin enchanting. She stood beside them now in a powder blue sweater set with a black pencil skirt and tan panty hose with pointed white heels on her feet. It was so obscure seeing her go from Mistress Pam to Pam the Soccer Mom.

"Well I like you too," Cassie said with a wink.

"And I'd like it if you two would stop talking so I can enjoy the show," Eric told them, arms pulling Cassie back against his chest as her legs hung over his lap and the arm of his throne.

Glancing up at the black haired dancer with the café au lait skin in front of them, Cassie watched her moves. They were okay, but Cassie remembered a time back in high school when she would sneak into strip clubs and impersonate dancers- running out after a performance with a fist full of fives and ones while laughing and evading security.

"She's okay," Cassie said.

He turned to her then and Cassie felt his fingers run up her back and along her neck. All the nerves in her body jumping crazily, "You can do better?"

"I'm insulted that you say it like it's a question," Cassie teased, her warm breath puffing against his cold skin.

He smiled a smile she had never seen before; it looked devious, intrigued, and delighted. It did wonders for his face and when he leaned in, Cassie almost kissed him, but stopped short at his next words, "Dance for me."

Flicking her eyes from his face to the packed interior of the club, Cassie smiled.

"I need a shot of Tequila first," Cassie said and Pam, who had been smiling through the whole exchange was gone and back again with a shot in her hand. Offering Pam a wicked wink, she downed the shot and stood up from Eric's lap.

She walked over to the stunningly pretty girl with the midnight skin, and tapped her on the shoulder. When she had her full attention, Cassie whispered to her and the girl back up with a bright smile, waving a hand at her pole. A new song came on as she gripped the pole with both hands. It was a good one, fast and slow beats with a slinkiness that had her dancing around the pole. She kicked her shoes off in Eric's direction, feeling the burn of his cool gaze down her back side as she teasingly lifted the hem of her dress to flash her blue silk panties at the audience. When the perfect moment struck, Cassie flipped her body up and wrapped her legs around the pole above her head, using one hand to hold her in place and the other to grab at her breast, biting her lip and moving her hips in a buck against the cool metal. She twirled her way down the pole in a slow spin, and her legs released the bar once her butt touched the floor. She was facing Eric as she straightened her legs up and apart in a V-split, and crossed and uncrossed them at him- her panties peeking out.

Moving away from the pole, Cassie crawled to Eric and slowly stood rolling her body sinuously, pulling the zipper down her back slowly, letting the crowd get a glimpse of her bare skin as it revealed more and more of her creamy, tanned skin. She turned to Eric as she wiggled her hips, letting the dress puddle at her feet and she dropped down with the beat at his feet only to rise up, sticking her ass out at him, feeling the caress of his hand on her backside, as she gasped to the crowd. She pulled away from him shortly thereafter, cat walking down the runway to the pole leading out from the stage, and retook it with two hands, swinging around it, her curls flying around her face in a seductive twirl.

Men catcalled and threw bills across the stage, some begging her to come to them as she fed off the high from Eric's blood and the vibrations of the music. She pressed her back to the pole as her feet touched back down and used one hand to tug at her hair, pulling it from her face and sliding up and down the cool steel of the pole, her heart fluttering in her chest as she spun to face Eric, dropping her hair and lifting her right leg up to the pole, using it to hook her high off the ground and doing a twirl while her left leg extended straight out.

As the song was ending she unclipped the hooks of her bra one by one in a baited breath move, and just as she was about to drop the bra from her chest, the song ended and she smiled, holding the material with one hand to her body while facing Eric. His eyes carving her from stone in his mind, etching each dip and curve of her body.

She hooked her bra back into place, tugged on her dress and took her flats from Pam who had a lusty look on her face- it was her fuck-me-to-the-floor face in Cassie's mind. Her big lips pouting and her fangs run out while her nipples looked like hard diamonds poking at the soft cashmere of her sweater set. Obviously Pam thought she was good.

Retaking her seat on Eric's lap, Cassie felt how much he enjoyed the show.

"Mm, much better than Lena. Maybe I should hire you," Eric whispered in a husky voice that sent vibrations straight to her core.

"I'm not in that line of work, but for you? I could do a few private shows," Cassie murmured, kissing the hollow of his neck and feeling that titillating "mm".

Lena, the girl with the dark skin and the silky black hair retook her position at the pole, and Lena smiled at Cassie who waved for her to take the tips Cassie had earned. Just as the crowd got back into Lena's moves, a hush fell over the entryway to the club and a short man, a child, floated through the room. Literally floated and behind him an escort of vampires followed, each wearing tailored suits. Cassie heard Eric hiss something to Pam and she disappeared.

The child came up the steps, his pale skin like snow, his hair a shock of white curls, and his eyes a startling black contrast. He had beautiful features, a child model in the making, and Cassie could feel a queasiness settle in the pit of her stomach as Eric's arms tightened around her waist.

"Harmon," Eric said, bowing his head in deference. "It is good to have you here. I hope the queen is doing well."

The angelic boy nodded his head, face blank save his eyes, as they rested on Cassie.

"Queen Sophie-Anne requests the presences of Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area five, his child Pamela, and his pet Cassandra Mason. You are to report tomorrow evening to New Orleans at the Queen's estate. No later than midnight," the child stated and Cassie raised an eyebrow at him.

"Who are you calling a pet?" Cassie asked indignantly, attempting to stand up when Eric gripped her more firmly around the middle and shushed her.

"She is unfamiliar with our terms, Harmon, forgive her," Eric said from over her shoulder and Cassie turned to glare at him.

"I don't care, who he is. I'm not a pet. Do I have a Fido written across my forehead? I don't think so. Nor am I furry. I'm-"

"Incredibly insolent," Harmon said, but his tone was more amused than anything and when Cassie turned to face him he had an innocent looking smile on his face.

"Yeah that too," Cassie said returning his smile despite the spike of caution she felt stir.

"I like that. Alright, the Queen Sophie-Anne requests Cassandra Mason, a human companion to Sheriff Eric Northman of Area five," the small boy said smiling charmingly at her.

"I like that," Cassie said looking over at Eric who was staring at Harmon with his glacial mask of indifference.

"Tomorrow then, Sheriff," the boy said and he and his storm troopers took off the way they came as Pam reappeared at their side.

"What do you think he wants?" Pam asked Eric.

Glancing at Eric's face, Cassie saw how tight his lips had drawn and licked her lips nervously.

"I think we are about to have a political war," Eric stated, looking down at Cassie with unfathomable eyes.

"Between us and the queen?" Pam asked and her tone sounded more worried than Cassie had yet to hear.

"No. I believe the queen is going to war over Cassie, and we will be her means to an end with the King of New Jersey," Eric said and Cassie wondered what else in her life was going to change now that she was in it up to her ears with vampires.

A/N:Thank you again to Jake17. I hope everyone enjoyed this update. Let me know what you think. EK!
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr

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Re: The Viking's Heart (TB, Eric/OC, ADULT) Ch 12/05/10

Postby Egyptian_Kiss » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:31 pm

The Viking's Heart
Disclaimer
:I don't own True Blood or the Charlaine Harris series.
Author:Egyptian Kiss
Pairing:Eric/OC
Rating:ADULT
Summary:
Cassandra "Cassie" Mason has always been special. Her ability to astral project as well as her ability to project her desires have always been gifts that plague her life- conscious and unconscious. When she travels to the small town of Bon Temps to help one of her psychic charges, her world turns inside out- leaving her job as an editor behind when she strikes a deal with the sexy vampire viking, Eric Northman. And what will happen when her gifts do not go unnoticed by the Queen of Louisiana and more than a small time vampire club needs her psychic services.

Chapter Ten

Pam's red lacquered nails clicked in the same methodic rhythm against the bar as it had when Eric first disappeared into his office for "important strategical planning" and had put her on Cassie babysitting duty. In Cassie's defense, she had been righteously indignant about the notion, but when Eric laid those baby blues on you and said "Lover, I care only for your safety" it was hard to keep your knees locked and your dander up- as far as Cassie was concerned anyway.

It was a little after four-thirty in the morning and Fangtasia had been empty for at least a half an hour. Cassie had been sitting at the bar with Pam until it closed, and the opportunity arose to get away from Mistress Crabapple who kept insisting Cassie allow Pam to "take just one sip" from her neck. Chow, one of the main staff who also happen to be the Asian vampire who sketched her likeness, stood behind the bar counting out the till while Pam watched. Apparently there had been some financial issues with a previous partner and Pam was playing watch dog to make sure that newbie was on the straight-and-narrow.

Cassie stared at her golden tanned legs in the low lighting of the club, now that the bells and whistles of Fangtasia night life had been turned off, as they swished up and down over the side of Eric's throne while she bit her lip and contemplated what her next step should be. She already had a pot of coffee brewing behind the bar. So check to "need more caffeine" which had been first on the list once Eric went into his man cave. Number two should probably be how to save her job. I should probably just write that one off as a loss, Cassie thought, sighing and leaning her head to rest against the back support of the chair. New number two, Cassie thought, should be finding an apartment. Her realtor for selling her beachfront condo had come through in record time and the deal was already in its final stages. A few signatures, a walk through, and some movers- and Cassie was officially homeless.

Thinking about her beautiful ocean view condo kind of saddened Cassie, it made a reality out of the last few months of her life, and she wasn't sure if she liked the outlook. She couldn't even go back to New Jersey to pack any of her things, let alone purchase a new place to live there if some tyrannical, vampire was hot on her heels for her gifts (which she had yet to fully master). It struck her that she could move down here, to the South. It was almost laughable at first and Cassie sat with an amused smile on her face for a second, but then it hit her. Why not? Sure she had never lived, for any true length of time, outside of the Northern U.S. states, but that didn't mean it was unthinkable. She'd toured Europe back when she was 18 for a few years, staying in France, Italy, Scotland, Greece, the Netherlands, China, and parts of Japan- anywhere exotic that filled her hunger for travel and her desperate desire to be away from her parents' control. But she'd never given a thought to moving anywhere but good old Jersey.

Remembering Bon Temps, Cassie smiled at the charm, but a little town like that was too public. Everyone knew everything about everybody in Bon Temps, according to Sookie. Cassie liked the beach, which wasn't impossible to find in Louisiana, but it was a ways from Shreveport. A big city at least, Cassie could do. Shreveport seemed big- or at least big enough not to make Cassie claustrophobic. A small part of her brain told Cassie she was only considering Shreveport because Eric lived here, and he was definitely an attraction. And he could keep her safe, Cassie thought- but only as a hindsight tack on to make her feel less guy obsessed. I can't just move here because I like a guy, Cassie argued with herself, especially someone who clearly doesn't do monogamy.

"Hey Pam?" Cassie called, swiveling her head to see the stunning blond in full boredom-stare-mode.

"What?" Pam said in her least interested voice.

"Is there a Starbucks in Shreveport?" Hope coated every word and Cassie prayed for a yes.

"I do not care. I do not drink coffee," Pam told her with a half-lidded glance. "But if you are on the menu-"

"I'm not," Cassie shot back, cutting off one of her lewd comments with a smile and a roll of her eyes.

"There's one on 74 Ave and Jilt St., off Davis," said a feminine voice from behind her. Cassie turned at the waist to see one of the dancers with milk and honey skin and waist length red hair coming out onto main stage in a pair of powder blue sweats with a black backpack slung over one shoulder. She had pretty green eyes and a big mouth that smiled widely when in front of a full crowd.

"Thanks. I'm Cassie," Cassie said as the girl came to stand at her side, hand held out to her for a gentle shake.

"Delilah Pierring," the dancer said stepping down off the stage and heading for Pam. Apparently conversation was not her forte.

Cassie closed her eyes and leaned back against the chair and relaxed. Maybe Shreveport could be a temporary-trial-run. She could purchase an apartment or condo, and if it panned out it did and if it didn't well, Cassie would figure that out later. She was a chameleon in that sense, mutable to her surroundings. Maybe Eric was being dramatic and this whole thing wouldn't turn in to all out political war, maybe she could go back to sunbathing on the beach and beachfront condos in a couple of days.

"Sugar," Pam called to her and Cassie felt too tired and content to open her eyes.

"Yes?" Cassie responded, eyes closed and world drifting around her.

"I'm taking my entertainment for the evening home. Be a dear and tell Eric to babysit you himself," Pam said as the sound of the front door clanging open and closed finished her statement.

Cassie "um-hmmed" Pam as sleep caught her and everything became peaceful.

I'm dying, Cassie thought, taking a deep, searing lungful of hot smoke. She dropped to her knees, the plumes of thick, dense, black air mushrooming toward the ceiling and streaming out a window beside her.

Fire. The room she was in was on fire and Cassie struggled to regain her calm. She'd never been projected somewhere that was on fire, or that had put her in immediate physical danger.

Pressing herself flat to the floor in an attempt to breathe, Cassie saw her. A tiny little girl, arms wrapped around her drawn up knees, tears running down her face, rocking back and forth.

"Hey," Cassie called to her, voice roughened and straining from the mouthful of smoke she had inhaled.

The girl's head lulled back at the sound of Cassie's voice, and striking blue eyes stared at her from the face of a living china doll. Her features were delicate, Asian, and Cassie placed her at five or six years of age.

"Crawl to me," Cassie said, holding out her arms despite the flames licking up the red and pink floral patterned wall paper, and the wood floor beneath her was getting hotter and hotter – a whole of fire already burned through the far left corner beside the only door in the room. It was an art studio, Cassie thought, watching as buckets of turpentine exploded – turning her face away from the blast – and canvas and paints littered the decaying floor.

"I can't. My hands hurt," the little girl shouted, holding up her hands. There was a burn mark the size and shape of a door handle on both palms. She'd tried to get out, Cassie thought, and the fire had heated the brass of the handle.

Looking around for an out, any out, Cassie started crawling on her stomach and hands to where the little girl was curled up against the wall, smoke becoming so thick in the air that it was hard to see anything a few feet above their heads. She felt and heard the explosion of the other window, two lined the back wall Cassie had appeared beside, and she struggled harder for physical stamina.

Reaching the girl, Cassie scooped her up in her arms and looked back at the devastation of the room. She could hear the whine of fire engines and cop car sirens drifting in from the windows, and Cassie also knew that the windows being smashed meant that the fire would spread faster, more oxygen to feed it. Her skin felt like a livewire of heat and pain, nerves flashing the big EMERGENCY signals in her brain.

"I need you to hold on to my neck, arms tight, okay? Put your face in my neck and breathe as little as possible," Cassie told the girl, wrapping her arms around her neck and bringing her legs around her waist. The white and blue summer dress the girl wore bunched at Cassie's midsection, and the puffs of breath against Cassie's neck made her feel secure enough to move.

Coughing violently first, Cassie allowed her eyes to water in alarm and then blinked back the hysteria so she could move. She crawled, little girl in tow, toward the windows. Cassie wished she knew how to use her powers better, how to make things happen exactly when she needed them too, and maybe this little life experience was the kick-in-the-pants she needed to practice outside of emergency situations.

A burning rag fell from the ceiling and landed on Cassie's hand when they were a foot from the window. Crying out, Cassie jerked her hand back and she and the little girl clinging to her tipped over backwards. A flaming support beam from overhead crashed with a horrifying sound from above into the space they had just been crawling, the floor in front of them continued going up in flames, blocking their path, and Cassie cried out, crushing the little girl to her body to protect her from the backlash.

The hole left behind from the beam crashing was jagged and Cassie was leery about approaching it. She crawled back, putting some space between her and her plan A for escape. Turning for the other window, Cassie crawled harder and faster, the girl weighing her down jiggling with the effort and crying into her hair.

Maybe it was just good luck but the second window had no impediments, and Cassie promised to do something really nice for herself if she survived this experience.

Peering out the window, Cassie saw the fire escape and she would have cried out in victory if she didn't think she'd startle her young charge.

"I'm going to put you up and out on the fire escape first okay? You stay there until I come out and we'll get down. Okay? Say okay." Cassie said, pulling the girl's arms from around her neck and pointing at the window as the ceiling started creaking ominously from overhead.

"My mommy," the girl whispered, pointing toward the door. "Where is she?"

Cassie glanced back at the door which was barely visible through the clouds of smoke and burst of fire.

"The firefighters will help her," Cassie said and she really hoped she was right.

"But she was drinking tonight," the little girl whispered, scared and teary-eyed.

Please don't ask me to go get her, Cassie thought as she stared into this little girl's eyes. Could she really live with herself if someone died and she had been in a position to try and help? No, Cassie thought angrily, and then grabbed the girl by her shoulders and hoisted her out the window and into relative safety.

"I'll go help your mom. You are going to be very brave and climb down this ladder," Cassie instructed, climbing out the window to shouts of excitement below and the sight of flames licking out other windows on various floors of a beat up brick apartment building, rescue workers shouting from below. Figuring out the mechanism for the fire escape, Cassie helped the girl on to the ladder and showed her how to climb down hand over hand.

"Hey, you up there!" someone below shouted and Cassie had only a second to duck back into the apartment.

The room was getting worse by the second and Cassie fumbled on her hands and knees back toward the door. Once she was staring at the knob she tried to center herself for the rush of power. She saw the door swinging open, the latching giving way, the fire moving back, the smoke rising up – and then the wood bowed out toward the other room and exploded into dust and smoke and Cassie's eyes widened as she saw the inferno of a large wood, chrome, and leather living room going up in flames.

"Hello," Cassie shouted, coughing as black wisps of smoke filled her nose and blurred her eyes.

"Help me!" someone screamed shrilly from behind the black, leather couch shaped like an L in the middle of the room.

Belly crawling, Cassie came to the side of the couch and saw a waif-like Chinese woman, her hair in a frayed bun, her long grey dress ripped and her face dripping tears.

"Let's go. There's a fire escape," Cassie told her, grabbing her arm and forcing her to bend in the same crawl.

They made it back to the burning art studio as the ceiling in the living room caved in and Cassie threw herself, along with the woman whose arm linked hers, into the art room. They shimmied to the open window and Cassie shoved the woman out onto the escape. She hoisted herself up onto the windows ledge and she pulled one leg through, but as she jerked her other leg over the ledge, the ceiling in the art studio gave out and Cassie was thrown from the force of the fiery explosion up and over the side of the escape. She screamed, smoke and fire clouding around her and she saw the Chinese woman making her descent as her body did a free fall for the pavement. Just as the impact came, Cassie disappeared.

"Ahhh!" Cassie screamed and her body hit Fangtasia's stage, face down, stomach flat against the floor.

"Cassie," Eric said and Cassie wheezed when he pulled her up from the floor to face him. Her feet dangled above the stage floor, Eric's hands gripping her shoulders so that she was suspended eye level with him. His iron grip was vice-like and painful.

"You're hurting my shoulders," Cassie said, coughing, and a wisp of smoke came from her lips.

"What happened?" Eric asked and Cassie closed her eyes to picture of the pavement coming at her a million miles an hour, it was terrifying.

"I was helping someone in a burning building," Cassie explained when he set her in his lap, his warmth made her less shivery and her exhausted muscles relaxed against the hardness of his chest.

"A burning building?" Eric murmured and Cassie rubbed her head against his strong chest, she felt exhausted.

"Mhm. Some little girl and her mom," Cassie mumbled.

"You are injured. Drink," Eric said abruptly.

Cassie tilted her head back to stare at his pale skin and pale blue eyes. He looked like a god as he stared down at her. He held his bleeding wrist above her mouth and Cassie took what he offered, eyes never leaving his as she sucked greedily from him. Cassie could never forget this taste; she had no doubt in her head that her body was on fire in a very different way. Electricity zinged through her veins and power suffused her lungs and the soreness in her hand, the one that had a burning rag fall on it, faded into nothingness.

"Mm, maybe I'll have you drink from me every night," Eric whispered, his voice husky and dripping with sexual invitation.

Thighs clenching together, liquid desire igniting in her core, Cassie moaned into his wrist, biting harder, and she trailed a hand up his shirt front, feeling the flexing of his muscles beneath her palm. This whole experience was empowering, enlivening, and erotic. Cassie sighed and released his wrist when he tugged it from her mouth forcefully.

"Better?" he asked amusedly and Cassie licked her lips in a slow, seductive slide.

"Much," Cassie said. She leaned up and kissed him because she was unable to stop herself.

Eric's mouth was warm and wet and wanton. He sucked at her tongue, drew her into his mouth before dominating hers, and when her hands were both under his shirt and teasing his nipples, he bit her tongue. Spicy and sweet and dark, that was Cassie's taste and when he sucked greedily on her mouth, Cassie felt the feeding curling up from her toes. The kiss was hungry and raw – nothing like her usual kisses, but Cassie gloried in the overwhelming power of it. It was a testament to his age that Eric could make Cassie weak-kneed and exhilarated with a kiss.

"I'm out boss," shouted Chow from behind the bar, and Cassie pulled back.

"Dawn is coming, Lover. There is a bed prepared for your stay in my office. I will rise at sunset. Do not go anywhere," Eric told her.

"Um, I'm going to need Starbucks so I have to leave," Cassie replied, hands retracting from under his shirt and looping around his neck.

Standing, Eric lifted her bridal style into his arms and headed in the direction of his office.

"You will do as I say. You may send Ginger, my day staff, to fetch your Starbucks," Eric said with mid-amusement and mid-distain. Cassie licked at his neck, where his pulse should have been, and bit playfully. "Do not start something we cannot finish, Cassie."

The way he said her nickname gave her shivers and Cassie thought about pushing him, but now was not the time.

"I have to look for a place to stay tomorrow. And call someone about packing my things up in Jersey. I can't just sit around and wait for you to wake up," Cassie argued when he put her down on a cot in the middle of his office, his desk having been pushed back toward the wall, and the navy blue comforter and matching pillows cushioned her.

"You may use my office as a means to make your arrangements. Do not leave this building. I have many enemies and they are now your enemies. The Fellowship of the Sun is not hindered by daylight. Do not be foolish," he told her and Cassie would have rebuffed him if he hadn't caught her in another of those delicious lip locks.

"Goodnight Lover," he whispered and then he did that vampire super-speed trick that left Cassie in his wake. Men, she thought, and sighed as she snuggled down into the cot. It smelled like him and as Cassie fell back into a deep sleep, she couldn't deny the attraction of having someone care about her – for what felt like the first time.

A/N: Thanks for all the encouraging reviews - you rock so much Jake17. I'm sorry it took so long for me to get this out, but I hope you all enjoyed it. Let me know what you think. Next chapter, we meet the queen. EK!
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal~Pamela Vaull Starr


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